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Caleb Holmes
Simpler Than This?
Thu May 12, 2005 21:55

“Well, I'll tell you what the King is doing tonight: He's scared! He's scared!”

This probably wasn’t the best time to mention that he missed portraying the Opera Ghost, was it?

Honestly, it wasn’t that he hated Camelot, or playing the role of King Arthur. Caleb found it whimsical and amusing in a Monty Python-esque sort of fashion. It was just… He longed to convey the dark seduction that Phantom of the Opera offered. Silliness was all well and good, but it wasn’t… Argh! Already he had begun to realize that he had waltzed through the dialogue without realizing it, going through the motions that had been instilled in the last few weeks. Weird.

Exiting the stage just after the Lusty Month of May, which was entirely silly and he was grateful he didn’t have to sing that nonsense, Caleb quickly got a hand getting out of the armor, hidden behind the backdrop. Things could never be so easy, though. When is the next tournament? Listening to Lucy’s portrayal of Jenny he chuckled at the delight she managed to convey. Now where the hell was his tunic for Arthur? God damn it all, he had set it down right here so he wouldn’t have to run around and search for it. Or for the costume mistress who conveniently disappeared in the middle of the play! They all figured she was watching from the audience, which was hardly acceptable.

Well, perhaps it had been lumped in with Sean’s things. The boy had exited just after himself, off by the round table getting help with his armor. Ah-ha! There was his tunic! Snatching it up off of a piece of scenery, Caleb quickly tugged the garment over his head. But his gaze widened once he could peer past the collar of the costume. Sean was… No. No way! He could feel himself gape for a moment as Mister Perfect leaned in for a surprisingly sensual kiss with one of the knights. One of the male knights. What the hell did he just miss?! Before he could even process the information, it was time for a game of backgammon.

He didn’t even know how to play backgammon!

What!! Blast! Blast you, Merlyn! This is all your fault!” Arthur really was an idiot! “You swore that you had taught me ev'rything from A to Zed, with nary an omission in between. Well, I shall tell you what you obviously forgot: That's how a ruler rules a Queen!” Caleb went about pacing across the stage, back and forth, raging at the unseen sorcerer. “And -what of teaching me by turning me to animal and bird, from beaver to the smallest bobolink!” What the hell was a bobolink? “I should have had a –whirl at changing to a girl, to learn the way the creatures think!” At least he didn’t have these sort of difficulties with Lucy.

“Guenevere, Guenevere! In that dim, mournful year, saw the men she held most dear go to war for Guenevere. Guenevere! Guenevere! Guenevere! Guenevere! Saw the men she held most dear go to -war for Guenevere! Guenevere! Guenevere! Guenevere!”

“One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea.” For one moment, Caleb’s face lit up in a cheery smile, one that he felt like such a jackass for giving, since it was so overplayed. There it was, nonetheless! “But it seems some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle! Run, boy!”

The ovation was nothing like what they received for Phantom, but it was good regardless. Caleb was beginning to suspect that people showed up to see the Playhouse’s Trio, as they had begun to be named in reviews and opinion columns in the various local press.

Well, at least he ended the night with a bang.

Bang. Bang. Bang. That was last night, damn it! A loud groan followed, before Caleb snuggled up to Lucy’s backside and started planting a trail of kisses across her soft skin. No, don’t go! Bang. Bang. Bang. Damn it all! Couldn’t he get some nookie in peace? Whine!

“Scopata! Approvazione, approvazione. Vedrò chi è e minaccerò i loro bambini per intruding sulla nostra vita sessuale. Soggiorno qui, il mio amore.” Er…

“Lucy?” Peeking out from the covers, Caleb swore. She had already vanished! “She spouts gibberish, and leaves me alone in bed.” Hmph! Mumbling to himself, the fellow dared to brave the cool air with a squeak. It was too early for this!

Caleb!” Jesus Christ! “Rob is here to kidnap you!” Great, just freaking fantastic. Rushing into the bathroom, he managed to take the quickest shower known to mankind, brush the teeth, screw the five o’clock shadow, and dress quickly! There was a long moment of indecision as to whether he should arm himself. But, no, he was just a consultant now, it wasn’t his worry. Even if he did feel rather naked without a weapon in the dress shirt and slacks. Out the door.

“Love you!” Kiss-kiss. Thirty-seconds later he was holding a phone to his ear. “Moira? Yeah, I know it’s early, sorry about that. But I have to skip out for the day…” Just let it be a few hours! “Could you keep Lucifer company? And no Gary Oldman for her, if unless you can find me!” Hopping into the back of a chauffeured sedan, he scooted over so the suit could get in, without paying much attention to the man. “Thanks doll, I owe you big time.” Whew.

“Well, that was cute.” The suit. Bastard.

“Excuse yo—” The words died in Caleb’s throat once he turned toward the suit, eyes popping at the fellow. “Holy—John!” The man grimaced at the outburst, which silenced him rather effectively. A curious glance in Rob’s direction revealed the man simply shaking his head. What the hell had he just missed? “Wait, what’s going on here?” The man beside him was frowning; an old… friend. If you could call him that. Hell, he hadn’t seen the bastard in at least four years. Thought him dead after one nasty run… “Well?”

“Patience, Caleb.” He didn’t have much of that any more.

The car ride seemed to take forever, which was just silly. They were only going into the city, to the same building that had started him on that funny little side trip that had led to Lucy and his life today. It really wasn’t that bad; he adored the girl, and wouldn’t give her up for anything. Everything else could have been improved, but that was neither here nor there. Why not ask to be headlining on Broadway while he was at it? Pffbt. Scoffing at his inner thoughts as they meandered into the building after a screeching halt, it was… down in the elevator. Aerosmith suddenly popped into his head, and he had to stifle a giggle as the doors dinged open. Oh God, Lucy had turned him into a certifiable pervert!

“This way, gentleman.” This couldn’t be good; Rob had his game face on. Shit, he thought he was done with business like this! Motioning John onward, he studied the man’s slumped shoulders and hanging head. Okay, he had been out of the loop for way too long. It was into a conference room they went, devoid of life in its sterile nature; a great deal of stainless steel and halogen lighting. Instant headache. “Would either of you like anything to drink?” Withering glares, and Rob was nodding as if he figured as much, opting to offer Caleb a hefty file to pursue as he sat down.

“So, do I get to hear what this is all about yet? Or do I have to read this Tolkein-size file first?” Damn! Flipping it open, he quickly scanned the first few pages, eyebrows creeping upward with every line. John Slepchoski – what sort of name was that? – along with all the stats and career history. Since the last time Caleb had seen the man, he had been doing things that were low key, mostly background work. Nothing like what they had done. Footnotes throughout the documents told that John had been singled out by a few unsavory types; ones that he had managed to avoid on his own by discreet inquiries and features that simply… blended in. Well, he thought so anyhow, though Lucy would likely disagree.

Skipping to the end of the files, since he was impatient and didn’t want to sit here all day, Caleb quirked a brow. A death certificate! Given full honors at his burial, where there was no family or friends. He really had vanished. “So they were hot on your ass, and you disappeared. I suppose this is why Beth has been stopping over at our house quite often as of late, Rob?” A helpless shrug said enough, and he nodded. “Why the hell do you need me, then? I mean, I’m an analyst, or I was. So what the hell do I have to do with any of this?”

“I know you have things to do tonight.” You think? “So I’ll try not to keep you too long.” Oh, if he missed the play tonight David would have Rob’s head. Come to think of it, that might be worth it. “You’re one of the few that have actually managed to acclimate themselves to civilian life.” Right, you call this acclimating?! “I’d like you to lend John a hand with that.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Of course Caleb had to blow up; it’d been a while since he had! “No offense John, but seriously. I’m not a psychiatrist. How am I supposed to help him with this? I’ve got the play and the wedding coming up!” It sounded ridiculous, even to his ears. What made it worse was he had actually liked John, was a good guy.

“Now that’s a line of bullshit, Caleb.” Damn. “Since I don’t want to even begin listing off potential credentials concerning psychiatry and psychology…” Hrm, perhaps it was psychological warfare that tipped him off. Shit! “I’m not asking you to hold his hand. I’m telling you to help integrate him into society. Get him work at the Playhouse, help him find a place to live.”

“Sirs, please!” Crap, they had been talking about John like he wasn’t even there. Considering he hated it when that happened, he could only imagine how the man felt himself. “It is fine. … Caleb,” that name sounded funny coming from him, “I understand. Honestly.” Why’d he have to pull the guilt trip card?

“No…” Sigh. “I’ll make the arrangements.”

Woo, party!

“I swear to God, Dad, if he says ‘Partner’ one more time, I will burn this cd!” Caleb couldn’t help but crack a grin at Bennett, wondering what the kid had against the Duke. Seriously, this was the Duke! He freaking rocked!

“And we’ll see how much lighter fluid it takes to torch your drum set.” James said this with a perverse sort of satisfaction that made his youngest son shout and rail about ‘his’ drum set. This was fantastic. Caleb snickered for quite some time until his father made an off-handed comment about, “Just wait until it happens to you.” Oh, sure, everyone thought that was hilarious! Bastards. Already Rob was eyeing his watch though, which didn’t mean good things for him.

“Shit!” It was Jane from the mudroom, shouting as she helped the boys inside. A soaked Beth and Moira followed afterwards, punctuated by the crash of thunder. Where the hell did that come from?!

“Caleb…” Rob warned quietly, tapping his watch. Great, he couldn’t even say goodbye to Lucy! Paper by the phone and a quick note was scratched out, pondering taking a six-pack just for shits and giggles, before rushing out the door with the bastard that always ruined his fun. Couldn’t he have one day with Lucy this week? Just one?

“Let’s roll.”

  • The Simple FolkLucy Avellino, Wed May 11 03:29
    “You mean that a king who fought a dragon, hacked him in two and fixed his wagon, goes to be wed in terror and distress? Yes!” Lucy watched her lover stroll towards center stage from her place in the ... more
    • Simpler Than This? — Caleb Holmes, Thu May 12 21:55
      • Or Even This?Caleb Holmes, Thu May 12 23:19
        “I hate shopping. This is why I let Lucy buy everything for the house!” Caleb whined, plucking at one of the nearby clothing racks, grimacing at some of the garments there. Yes, it was late on a... more
        • Mister Holmes' NeighborhoodLucy Avellino, Fri May 13 18:45
          “ . . . until you’ve tried the patented Holmes Omelet.” Huh? Lucy shook her head, trying to clear the cobwebs, and shoveled the first bite of eggs into her mouth. Chew. Chew. One very blissful sigh... more
          • Evening EnchantmentsCaleb Holmes, Fri May 13 22:36
            For the umpteenth time this morning, Devon questioned himself as to why he had even considered going on this insane ‘shopping’ trip. Why did women call it shopping when all they did was wander past a ... more
            • Fruits and VegetablesLucy Avellino, Sat May 14 23:39
              “Take Sean inside, would you?” Sure. Take the varmint inside and keep him under house arrest. Sean glanced towards the locked door, then wisely decided not to press his case. Italian women were very... more
              • Coffee and BreakfastCaleb Holmes, Sun May 15 21:18
                “Take Sean inside, would you?” Caleb had worded it as a request, but John knew better. Oh, he had heard that tone of voice countless times, and never disobeyed. The ones that did were left in... more
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                  He stepped mechanically through the motions, body and mind doing their best to synchronize at the behest of the katas. Muscles once driven to the edge of tension slowly began to loosen up as Sean... more
                  • Star CrossedCaleb Holmes, Tue May 17 02:42
                    It was the first time that John had smiled – truly smiled – in a long time. “I miei genitori sono venuto in America quando ero giovane; tutta la nostra famiglia ha incluso. Spendere i vostri giorni... more
                    • Tears of a ClownLucy Avellino, Wed May 18 15:31
                      Lucy stood at the top of the steps, toweling her hair dry, and watched Sean stalk out of the kitchen into the foyer. He glanced up, sharing a frustrated glance with his sister before exiting the... more
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