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Caleb Holmes
Misunderstood Maniacs
Mon Apr 4, 2005 19:22

Lucy had agreed!

Oh God, holding her in his arms against had felt like heaven, his mind filled with a blissful sensation that he hoped would never depart. Even if it hadn’t been all too proper to be curled up together on that narrow hospital bed, Caleb didn’t care. The woman that had stayed with him through all the bullshit, all the red tape, was finally in his arms. It wasn’t all too surprising to find out at that point in time that he fell into slumber. Lucy hadn’t been there upon waking, but he could still feel her there anyhow. She was his driving force now.

“Good!” Three weeks later and Summer was praising Caleb over the leaps and bounds he had progressed in therapy. “Well, you’ve maxed out the last piece of equipment that I can’t even do. I declared you fit to breathe on your own!” Her typical giggle came, and he mused that if he hadn’t enjoyed being with Lucy so much, Summer would have been an ideal target. She was like most of the women here though, always giving him a sidelong glance when they thought he wouldn’t notice. Holmes had somehow become a fabled name, and to see the man nearly killed… “Why did you want to work so hard on your breathing regiment, anyhow?” Summer innocently asked as she packed up her things.

“Returning to the root of it all, I guess,” Caleb replied. But she apparently wasn’t very happy with that answer. Ack, glare of doom! “Okay! Sunday I’m going to be in Phantom at the Village Playhouse!” Huff huff huff. Big rush of words to avoid any terrible things that would happen to the various portions of his anatomy. Jeez! Women were scary.

“Oh wow, you sing?” Shit. Why did he always have to find the Phans? It was like they gravitated to him! “Sings one of the songs that you’re doing!” When the hell had this therapist gone from professional to bouncy teenie bopper? He’d really like to know the answer to that question. “Come on, pleeeease?” Twitch. Well, now would be a good a time as any to find out if he really could sing. Deep breath!

“Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation… Darkness stirs and wakes imagination… Silently the senses abandon their defenses…” Caleb started out low, hearing the pitch inconsistencies that presented a problem in the beginning. So it was safe to say he was out of practice. But screw it! Not caring who heard, his voice rose, pushing the envelope. “Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendor… Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender… Turn your face away from the garish light of day, turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light… And listen to the music of the night!” Pausing, Caleb caught his breath, immensely pleased to find that his chest didn’t hurt. The only question was could he do it on stage, dragging Christine around? “Summer?” She was staring at him, lips parted and cheeks flushed. What the hell? “Helloooo! Earth to Captain Dunmer!”

“Whoa.” Huh? Prodding Summer in the shoulder, he eyed her worriedly, pondering calling a nurse or orderly to give him a hand here. Just when he reached for the call button, she seemed to shake herself out of it. “You’re the Phantom?” Nod. “The Phantom?” Nod again. “The one from the first production last season?” Oh shit. Cringing inside, he nodded one last time. “But you’re not Gino Maurizio!” Crap. He had to find the one god damned blonde on this base that had a crush on that bastard.

“Yah tawlk like ‘dis dollface, ‘n da idjits believe what youse wants ‘em to.” Caleb shrugged, swinging his legs off the edge of the bed. “That was a long time ago though.” Glancing over his shoulder at the sound of footsteps, he grinned upon seeing Ben walk through the door. Even if Greg was with him, he could ignore him for a while. Twitchy-twitch. “Monsieur Firimin! I have a note for you…” Muahaha. Caleb took the time to rise to his feet carefully, casting aside the cane for the first time in a while. “Let’s get this over with Greg.”

The second three weeks had gone in much the same fashion, Caleb pushing himself harder than he could remember in recent history, amidst complaints that he had become fat. He had never been much of a bodybuilder before though, physique earned through hours of training, not weight lifting. This was definitely a new look for him; he wouldn’t have described it as bulky, but it looked… odd. Hell, none of his suits would fit through the chest now! But more so, he continually put Rob off, immersing himself in the therapy that he really did not need any longer. All of it was an excuse to buy some time.

Then the day came where he was let free from this prison for a short while, herded into a government car by Lucy before they were speeding off. At least they only had the driver with them, who he was willing to bet did a lot more work than being just an MP. All efforts to find out their destination had failed, and Caleb had to settle for holding the girl’s hand as they drove. But crossing over the Bridge and into Manhattan made their destination almost painfully clear. Why in God’s name were they going here? The question gnawed away at his insides as they pulled up to the curb, a nearly unrecognizable charred frame standing on the property where there had once been a proud family home. This wasn’t supposed to hurt him.

Watching Lucy go stand on the lawn, he climbed out of the car waving off the offer of help, glancing up and down the street. He knew neither of them had returned to this place since the night that began this horrible string of events, moving from city to city in an effort to keep Lucy safe. Ironically enough, they had never found security until returning to New York. Half the families were locked up, the rest had fled the area in an attempt at damage control, but it was done for. Sighing, he strolled up beside Lucy, gently placing a hand upon her shoulder for comfort as they surveyed the damage.

“I sold the land Friday afternoon to a halfway house.” What?! “They have enough money to redo the inside and make it into a sanctuary for teenagers of rehab.”

“Oh, Lucy…”

“Caleb… I want to stay in New York. Leaving it again would require a strength I just don’t have, not now anyway. Would you consider staying with me?” When had this even been an issue? Naturally he had assumed that they would be staying here. But obviously it was a worry for the young girl. But then she smiled. Truly smiled! Still the girl worried her lower lip between her teeth, asking one more question.

“Would… would you marry me, Agent Holmes?”

All right, Caleb had definitely been taken off guard. What the hell had Ben told her?! To say the man was shocked would have been an understatement; Lucy had him gaping at her for long, uncertain moments. Leaning down, he gently kissed the girl, showing her that he loved her the only way he knew how. Still she treated him like porcelain, and he could understand why this infuriated so many women. He was capable damn it, yet still he was denied!

“I never thought that we were leaving New York, sweetheart. I know you love it here, and it’s your home. Hell, I didn’t want to take you away the first time!” Pausing, he tucked a few strands of hair behind Lucy’s ear, studying her face for a few long moments. It seemed like he was contemplating a response, and taking his time with it. That really couldn’t be good, now could it?

“No.” His answer came in almost a stern tone of voice, and Caleb shook his head. “Let me explain, Lucy.” He didn’t want her falling into tears right then and there, wrapping the girl in a warm hug as he murmured against her ear. “I’m retiring, Lucy. Honest to God, retiring. They want to keep me on as a consult, which is just an excuse to give me a paycheck and harass me a few times a year for answers.” He knew the Agency would never let him go with a clean break, but this was the closest he would get to it in his lifetime. And the thought made him happy. “We won’t have to worry about anything, sweetheart. I can be a bum, and you can be the theater hippie you always have been without any cares.” That was one hell of an explanation.

“So, Luciana Avellino. Will you do me the honor of waiting on a man? Don’t answer me now. Just… Think about it.”

“Jesus Christ, my hands won’t stop shaking!” And it was only practice!

Caleb stood there in the dressing room, early in the morning at the Village Playhouse, with Lucy as they got into their respective costumes. David had wanted them to do one run through of the entire ordeal before Sunday, apparently trusting the cast to do what they had done in the past. The sounds of hammering and construction were a fatal backdrop in the theater. Apparently a new set was being built on short notice, nearly completed now, since an anonymous donor had bestowed a great deal of money upon the playhouse. Caleb would never say anything about it, but the glances that Lucy shot him some times told him that she knew it was him. Well, they didn’t have to talk about the matter to know what happened.

“I don’t know how you do this,” he muttered, affixing the mask on his face after a few long moments. Erik’s prosthetic had been remade, looking rather gruesome, as angry red scars criss-crossed the right side of his face, nose seeming to melt into his cheek, while the bone structure was twisted, contorting his features. All right, it had taken a pretty penny to make that, but he really didn’t care. He could do this, right? Caleb was shamed to admit that he had gone so far as to take a dose of a nearly full bottle of pain medication, knowing that the exertion was going to hurt like hell. But it’d be worth it to see Lucy sing again. Truly sing.

“You still look like Leia, damn it,” Caleb muttered with a grin at the sheer leggings that were part of Lucy’s Hannibal costume, winding an arm about her shoulders. “Time to face our demons.” It was ironic to think that this could bother him so much; but everything had begun here. As well as ended. Hell, one of the first things he had done was the carpeting replaced, as well as the stage and grand piano. The thought of his blood still on those wooden planks would have been too much.

“Opera Ghost!” a man shouted from across the stage, looking rather dashing in his costume. Sean hadn’t changed much, but somehow his face had seemed to mature over the last year. He was still pretty though, and had quite a few chorus members swooning over him in the wings. “It’s great to see you two again.” He even had perfect white teeth! This was insane.

“People!” Clap-clap. “People!” It was over the new sound system that had been installed the previous day, and they were still working the bugs out of it. But that wasn’t… “David will be here shortly. My name is Ray, and I’ll be lending a hand on Sunday. Now, if we could—”

“Whoa whoa whoa!” Caleb felt… tense here, for he wasn’t a persona, wasn’t anything but himself with Lucy. Oh God. Was the world going to finally see what a monster he was? “How in the hell did you find us here, Ray?!” Demands upon a director were never well taken, but apparently this bastard liked them because he gave a devilish grin.

“A little birdie. Now get to your places before I beat you!” Aw crap. Quickly he sought out Ben and Hugh with his gaze, but they only gave him toothy grins that were far too much alike. All right. Was everyone plotting against them? Glancing about, he was quickly coming to find that the new set David was having built in record time was looking more and more like the one they had dealt with in San Francisco. Complete with trap door. Oh God, it couldn’t be good when two eccentric directors came together to collaborate on bringing down Caleb Holmes’ life. Twitchy-twitch! “Phantom? What did I say?” Yeah, yeah, yeah.

“Break someone’s legs, sweetheart,” he murmured with a grin, giving Lucy a kiss. The resounding ‘Awww’ from the cast was hardly needed, and he shot them all a dirty look. Bastards, they were all bastards!

Well, time to go be a misunderstood murderer!

  • No Matter WhatLucy Avellino, Mon Apr 4 15:36
    [ No matter what they tell us, no matter what they do No matter what they teach us, what we believe is true No matter what they call us, however they attack No matter where they take us, we'll find... more
    • Misunderstood Maniacs — Caleb Holmes, Mon Apr 4 19:22
      • Innocent IngenuesLucy Avellino, Mon Apr 4 22:35
        “Jesus Christ, my hands won’t stop shaking!” Lucy glanced up from adjusting the hidden zipper on her Hannibal costume, watching Erik fiddle with the front of his costume. And he was Erik. Caleb had... more
        • Betters Homes and... Bugs?Caleb Holmes, Wed Apr 6 23:59
          “Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation… Darkness stirs and wakes imagination… Silently the senses abandon their defenses…” Caleb hadn’t had any difficulty with the script thus far, considering ... more
          • A Hell of a TownLucy Avellino, Sun Apr 10 01:38
            “Oh my god.” It was too much to take in at first. Ben and Hugh, moving toward her in slow motion, as if in a movie. The view of Rob and Beth in a swing. The house itself was huge. Stately. Lucy could ... more
            • Ingenues AboundCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 10 02:51
              “Son of a bitch !” Ow. Caleb slowly turned about, glaring at the carpenter that had the audacity to hit him upside the head with a wooden plank. He must have been glaring daggers, because the man... more
              • Quiet SurprisesCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 10 02:52
                “I remember, there was mist… Swirling mist upon a vast glossy lake…” This was the third time through, and they had yet to get to the unmasking! Caleb wasn’t certain if Jenn was just nervous, or if it ... more
                • From the TopLucy & Friend, Mon Apr 11 15:18
                  “This trophy from our saviours, from our saviours! From the enslaving force of Rome!” Marion was in fine form tonight, loosing the sort of shrieks that one might expect from the likes of Tammy Faye... more
                  • Story time around the FireThe Clan, Mon Apr 11 18:01
                    “Thank you again, Rob.” “It was my pleasure, James. Now that Caleb is leaving, well… Its time for him to stop hiding. It isn’t as if he were in any danger now, though I suppose one can do only so... more
                    • Nervous TicksCaleb Holmes, Mon Apr 11 18:02
                      Pace. Pace. Pace. Unbeknownst to Caleb, he mimicked Lucy’s actions one floor above, treading across the bedroom hardwood in a fit of nausea. He told himself it was to stretch out his leg, but he had... more
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