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Old 05-13-2011 at 06:01 AM
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 Post [11] »


William MaCarthy

Bill shuffled up the steps of his apartment building. He called in sick to work with ‘a terrible stomach flu’ he had claimed to have. ‘It’s like the bombing of Pearl Harbour in my bathroom. Really better if I stay home’ And he smiled as he clicked the end button on his cell phone. He had the day off and Ortiz now had a lovely image of Bill sitting on the john with his pants at his ankles and his nose in some trashy romance novel. Damien had been out and away lately, and was flighty and anti-social when at home. It would have concerned Bill any other, but today he needed some time for himself to lay on the floor, blow smoke rings into a quickly emptying bottle of gin. And for dessert would be his ever trusty Valium. He hadn’t touched it in a month. And he was almost missing the sweet taste of dizzy, kaleidoscopic hallucinations. In his high day dreams, he was married to Victorine, Geoff was alive, Ben had his act together, he was an uncle and a father, and Damien was out and proud. In his delusions, all thoughts of regreat and disappointment and stressed floated away until they were nothing but taboo words. Until he woke up, and those were the feelings that would fill him.

Damien would get home and Bill would be asleep in his bed, seemingly normal, possibly exhausted from the long hours of tech work.

That was the plan for the day.

That was until Bill pushed open the door and almost tripped blindly on Damien’s shoes, discarded and thrown higgledy-piggledy to the wayside.

Bill looked for him, quickly searching through the house, his heart pounding, his hands shaking. His plan was ruined, and Damien was home. If Damien was asleep, nothing had changed.

Bill kicked the door open gently, leaning up against the frame, his jingling as he tossed them from hand to hand. He needed to do something with them to keep them from shaking.

Damien was awake. He was on his laptop.

“That’s not what I think it is, is it?” Bill said with a smile. If Damien was typing up his job application, Bill didn’t want to see it. He wanted Damien to feel confident that Bill could trust him and believed in his abilities without prove reading his application. With or without Bill pulling strings, Damien was a shoe-in for the costume job.

Bill twirled his keys around his finger, the other shaking one sliding into his jacket pocket.

“Hey, mate. Mind if I join you?”


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 05-13-2011 at 06:13 PM
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 Post [12] »


Damien Blackwood-Michaud

The slow creak of his bedroom door coming open and the soft jingling of keys might as well have been the soundtrack to a horror film. Damien looked up from his screen in what felt like slow motion. A smile overtook Bill’s features.

“That’s not what I think it is, is it?”

“No!” Damien said quickly, trying to close the window.

He clicked the little red and white X in the corner once, twice, three times, but the window wouldn’t close. As Bill’s footsteps neared the bed, Damien’s panic increased tenfold. Bill would accidentally steal a glance at the screen and instead of seeing solitaire or an upload of the pictures Damien had taken for inspiration or a job application, he would see a zillion different bouquets and immediately want to know if they were for Ashton or Criss and when Damien had to say “neither” (because lying to his best friend was not an option)), things would just go to hell.

C’mon! Close! Closecloseclose!!

“Hey, mate. Mind if I join you?”

Realizing that Bill wouldn’t take “no” for an answer after a week filled with Damien being MIA, the younger Brit forced a smile to his lips and slammed his computer screen shut.

“Oh, sure… Yeah, pull up a seat.”
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Old 05-15-2011 at 10:55 PM
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 Post [13] »


William MaCarthy

“No!”


Bill almost jumped at Damien’s quick, defensive answer, his quick and erratic clicking. Curious, Bill squinted his eyes in Damien’s general direction.

“Oh, sure… Yeah, pull up a seat.”

Bill didn’t pull up a seat. He sat down on the bed with a sigh.

“Hey…” Bill breathed out, a tight smile on his face. “How..” he cleared his throat. “How are you? You haven’t been around much when I am, and I haven’t been around much when you are…” Bill sighed again, shaking his head. “I’m a lousy host, aren’t I?” It was a half pitiful laugh.

He was cutting to the chase. There was no beating around the bush with Damien. There never had been. Damien wasn’t acting like himself and Bill knew that he wasn’t either. They were both guilty for the crime of secrets. Both of them, eventually, would either pay for it and do their time or have to confess and go free, a little bruised and beaten, but better because of it.

“But anyways, mate… Are you okay?”


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 05-16-2011 at 02:56 AM
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 Post [14] »


Damien Blackwood-Michaud

Bill sank onto the bed beside Damien. He sighed heavily. Damien looked at his friend. Bill looked older these days. More worn down, sadder. Damien didn’t have to ask him to be sure that Victorine Delavent was somehow behind it all. Damien didn’t trust Bill’s semi-girlfriend to be faithful anymore than he trusted an unattended four year old not to eat a box of cookies. She’d been the one true source of negativity in Bill’s life since moving to Paris. Well, her and Ortiz. But Bill wouldn’t be so dejected-looking over something their boss said. Santiago Ortiz was pretty much all bark when it came to Bill. Not about everything, but Bill, yeah. Damien watched them quietly during his first week and it hadn’t taken long to realize that it was a mixture of banter, professionalism, and guts-hating. But Victorine? Victorine played with Bill’s heart and his brain in ways no man ought to be played with. Damien was thankful—fleetingly—that he and Ashton would never have that problem. There wasn’t that much emotional investment from either party as it was. Damien cocked his head sadly, watching Bill in silence.

“Hey…” Bill breathed out, a tight smile on his face. “How..,” he cleared his throat. “How are you? You haven’t been around much when I am, and I haven’t been around much when you are…” Bill sighed again, shaking his head. “I’m a lousy host, aren’t I?”

Damien shook his head in silent protest. Bill had a life here. Damien couldn’t expect to be entertained 24/7 anymore. Besides, it was better, actually, that he and Bill didn’t cross paths much these days. Damien still loved his best friend, but he didn’t want Bill to know what he’d been up to since arriving in Paris. Bill laughed pathetically.

“But anyways, mate… Are you okay?”

Damien inhaled sharply through his nose and held his breath for a long moment. Was he okay? He was due to marry a girl he didn’t love. His conversations with Ashton were marked by their polite nature and marked silence. He had a boyfriend in London who he was contemplating breaking up with. Criss was anything but kind in their few phone conversations, which were becoming nothing more than rows about Damien’s ability to be faithful and cheap shots at his courage, since he had yet to come out or leave Ashton as planned. He had to admit, Criss was in part right. He was scared to come out, but more importantly—

“I met someone,” Damien blurted out. “A guy. He’s… He’s… Really cool.”
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Old 05-28-2011 at 04:47 PM
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 Post [15] »


William MaCarthy

Growing up in the MaCarthy household, there was always someone to talk to, and there was always someone around to get close to, to laugh with.

But now, living in his own apartment with the man he never thought there could be an awkward silence with, they felt like strangers.

Damien seemed shifty lately, nervous and agitated. Not that Bill was entirely innocent in their lack of communication, either. He knew he was, as of late, being irritable and argumentative, tired and busy. He was trying to protect Damien from this potentially devastating hunch about Lucian and Ashton, was worried about his lost brother and worried that Damien would find out the secrets Bill was hiding in an orangey-brown bottle.

“I met someone. A guy. He’s… He’s… Really cool.”

Damien’s outburst almost startled Bill. He hadn’t exactly answered his question, but this was a wonderful response.

“That’s great! Tell me about him.”

And as Bill began to listen, an idea formed in his brain beneath all that curly hair. If Damien was able to come out to Ashton, the little slut could be honest about her affair with Lucian and would therefore be less of a little slut and Damien would be free to be happy with whomever he wants and Ashton and Lucian would be free to go forth and fill the world with beautiful but unfaithful babies. It was a wonderful idea in which everybody was happy. But how would Bill go about making it happen? That was the question.


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 05-28-2011 at 08:35 PM
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Damien Blackwood-Michaud

Damien wanted to snatch the words from the air and swallow them whole. He wished Bill hadn’t heard anything about Toddy. Best friends deserved honesty, but Damien didn’t want Bill to know just how much he was messing up his own life. Especially since Bill’s life wasn’t exactly turning up roses.

“That’s great! Tell me about him.”

“Great?” Damien repeated, standing up and laughing humorlessly. “Bill… I don’t think you get it. I can’t meet someone right now!”

He flopped back onto the bed and closed his eyes.

“He’s brave and funny and good looking,” he said flatly. “And I think he fancies me… A lot. And, well…”

Damien giggled. He hated the breathy sound and clasped his hands over his mouth.

“He’s good looking, did I mention?” he asked, rolling onto his stomach and looking at Bill. “Blue eyes, American accent… I’ve never dated a Yank. But… Well… he’s also a receptionist. Is that weird? Like… Where Ashton works. That’s… Erm… A problem?”
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Old 05-28-2011 at 10:41 PM
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William MaCarthy

“Great? Bill… I don’t think you get it. I can’t meet someone right now!”


Bill was probably the only one in the room who found this funny. His suspicions were confirmed at the opera house. Ashton was sleeping with Lucian, so Damien had every right to look at, to love, to touch any man he wanted, since obviously, his fiancée had the same philosophy. He found it ironic that Damien had such a violent reaction to the thought of infidelity at the sake of happiness when Ashton was doing the very thing (with his father, no less).

Damien flopped back down and Bill wondered why he had stood in the first place.

“He’s brave and funny and good looking. And I think he fancies me… A lot. And, well…”

Bill smiled happily at his friend. That giggling noise that escaped his lips was hilarious and reminiscent of Bill when he spoke of a date with Victorine. It was a sound that hadn’t been in his apartment for a long time.

“He’s good looking, did I mention? Blue eyes, American accent… I’ve never dated a Yank. But… Well… he’s also a receptionist. Is that weird? Like… Where Ashton works. That’s… Erm… A problem?”

Bill shook his head, still smiling. “Damien,” Bill said, “Happiness is never a problem.” Mentally, Bill cursed himself for being a hypocrite. Lucian and Ashton looked happy and Bill found that to be a problem. “I say go for it. You have a few months until you tie the knot, why not live? Think of it as an extended stag.” Bill said with a smile. “With one exception—I have to meet him. He sounds neat.”


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 05-31-2011 at 02:37 AM
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Damien Blackwood-Michaud

Bill shook his head and his mass of floppy, brown curls tumbled over his pale forehead. Damien frowned a little. In part because Bill desperately needed a haircut, but also because Bill was smiling as though Toddy might be the best thing to happen to Damien since getting accepted into Oxford what felt like a million years ago.

“Damien,” Bill said, “Happiness is never a problem.”

Damien snorted. Happiness was a problem when it interfered with other people’s happiness. If he pursued Toddy, he’d only end up breaking his heart when he married Ashton or break his promises to Ashton if he left her for Toddy.

“I say go for it. You have a few months until you tie the knot, why not live? Think of it as an extended stag.” Bill said with a smile. “With one exception—I have to meet him. He sounds neat.”

“Oh, that’s lovely advice,” Damien harrumphed. “I’m sure you have loads of wise words about dating since it always pans out so well for you.”
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Old 05-31-2011 at 04:49 AM
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William MaCarthy

“Oh, that’s lovely advice. I’m sure you have loads of wise words about dating since it always pans out so well for you.”


In the years they had known each other, the two men had said many things to each other. Many were kind, some were jokingly rude. Some were terrible and out of anger. But this? This was just low as Damien’s sarcasm stabbed through Bill like a meat cleaver to the gut. He felt the blood rush to his face as his anger grew.

“At least,” Bill said, his voice venomous and hurt, “my parents know about my relationships. At least I don’t have to hide anything like some people in this room.”

Bill knew as soon as he said it that he shouldn’t have even thought that. He knew that it was wrong. He knew that it would hurt and that it would breed resentment. And Bill mentally slapped himself for it. He hated himself for it, even as Damien’s words stung him to the very core of him.


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 05-31-2011 at 05:10 AM
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Damien Blackwood-Michaud

Damien was so sick of people acting like he wasn’t an adult. He was twenty-three years old and thus far, only Toddy seemed to realize this fact. Ashton was distant and acted like Damien was suddenly her annoying kid brother. Lucian still saw him as being a kid of indeterminable age; Natalie was the same. And until now, Damien thought he and Bill were equals. But it was clear, Bill saw Damien as some dumb kid. He was telling him to run around and throw caution to the wind, which would be one thing if his tone wasn’t so damn patronizing. Like Bill knew what was best for Damien. But the thing was, having a gay brother didn’t make Bill an expert at battling sexuality and self-worth. And it wasn’t like Bill had a stellar track record in relationships. He’d cultivated some bad boy image in school, but deep down, Bill was the kind of guy who just wanted that sweet, romantic, once-in-a-lifetime love. And of all the girls he could have picked, Bill picked one who made him salivate like a dog, without giving him a treat. Victorine Delavent was… well… a hussy. That was being harsh. Damien supposed if he called Victorine a hussy, he’d have to say the same of Natalie. Both women had a perfectly good man who would have taken a bullet through the heart for them, but preferred the risk and danger of an open relationship or one-night stands. And Damien had watched Bill crumble because of it. He’d seen his dad break down over it. Damien wasn’t about to become a cheater, too, just because it felt right. Sometimes, he just wanted to scream at Bill that he could see the way Victorine was driving him to pills and drinking and being bloody miserable and that he didn’t want Bill to only realize how miserable he was twenty-five years too late. Bill’s face reddened, but Damien didn’t care. He was sitting up now and staring at the older man unapologetically. He wasn’t sorry for what he said; someone had to get it out there. And if Damien didn’t, he was sure Ben or someone would and it wouldn’t be put even half as nicely.

“At least,” Bill said, his voice venomous and hurt, “my parents know about my relationships. At least I don’t have to hide anything like some people in this room.”

Damien pushed off the bed.

“F*ck, Bill,” he said, tears constricting his throat. “Don’t you get it? Victorine isn’t good for you, the same way my mum wasn’t good for my dad. And now you’re asking me to, what? Be a cheater, too? That’s good, because I really want to drive Ashton and Toddy to Valium, too. Please… Just…”

He wanted the best for the people he loved. Drugs and heartbreak weren’t even close to the “best”. He just needed Bill to get it. Everyone’s love lives were a mess. His. Bill’s. His parents. Toddy’s. Ashton’s. And they all crossed paths somewhere along the way. And slowly, Damien was watching their little web of a world unravel and collapse onto itself. He didn’t need to make it worse. Why didn’t anyone get that?
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