magic_fratboy: (emote - loss)
NOTE: Takes place early this morning. As always, Zee is [livejournal.com profile] zee_ali and is used with much love & some permission. ;p

The shell in the bed is a ghost, pale papery skin against black sheets, head pillowed on red. He breathes, he sleeps, but he doesn’t move. He doesn’t even stir to let his body find a more comfortable position, so the muscles tense and bunch over two days until the shell isn’t much more than a wooden board. Warm hands come now and again to move him, ease the knotted muscles to softness again, but the tension’s never far.

Inside the shell, a man is fighting for his life.

The healing sleep is covering a war for human souls, fought not with weapons and blood but pure energy. Light dawns, darkness snuffs it out. A diamond glitters and it turns instantly to coal. It’s Hell on earth, but the light of the flames isn’t quite enough to make the dim the smell of sulfur and brimstone. The cycle has his chest rising and falling, leaves him running for his life until he’s buried so far in himself he’s not sure he can ever fight his way back out.

Surrender.

Never.


..... )

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 733
magic_fratboy: (magic - triumphant before the masses)
NOTE: The conclusion to this, this, this, and this. Sassy is [livejournal.com profile] no_substitution and Zee is [livejournal.com profile] zee_ali, both used with semi-permission and total love. Gregory Karras is [livejournal.com profile] mr_presto and mine to abuse as I see fit. :P

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

==========

The door was always his favorite part.

Normally the doors had bars, he avoided solid in the past. This time, however, solid was his only option. He had to get creative to get this done without relying on his memory…fortunately, the necessary tools were out there.

Crouched on the floor, he smiled as he gave the plastic pick one final twist and heard the snap that preceded both halves of his boot cuff clunking to the floor as they fell away from his ankle. Unlacing his boot, he slipped it off and pulled out the small package hidden inside. Rolling his ankle to shake off the phantom weight and the pain from having a gun cleaning kit digging into his instep for over an hour, he unrolled the muslin wrapping and got to work.

When he finally picked up the key head to attach to the end of the device, he had a slender length of tubing screwed together, topped with a hinged device that would let him insert a key into the padlock outside his door and turn it to release himself. Satisfied it was properly assembled, Tommy moved to the door and stared out through the bars to the cell across the way.

From the opposite wall, he stared at his own reflection across the ages…

The Night Before... )
magic_fratboy: (emote - laugh)
“Focus on the sound of the slot machines. Take what you need from there.”

Shutting his eyes, Tommy obeyed the softly spoken command. It was surprisingly easy to do, pulling that all encompassing blanket of sound around him. Then again, he realized with a grim sort of humor, maybe not so surprising. After all, he’d learned this lesson before…

The digital clang of bells and chimes, the cheery blip of reels turning, it all blended into a storm of noise that washed over him like cool rain that raised goosebumps on his arms and made the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up. It was an ocean of sound and sensation that moved with its own tide. It ebbed with heat and promise, held a current of icy despair and desolation and balanced both in a precarious dance that could send the waters surging in either direction.

In the eye of the storm, the air bubble in the water…he walked forward. )

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 403
magic_fratboy: (emote - planning)
"When King Lear dies in act five, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He's written....'He dies.' That's all. Nothing more. No fan fair. No metaphor. No brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is, 'He dies.' It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with 'He dies.' And yet every time I read those two words I find myself overwhelmed with disphorium. And I know it's only natural to be sad. But not because of the words 'He dies', but because of the life we saw prior to those words. I've lived a good, long life Mahoney. And I'm not asking you to be happy that I must go, I'm only asking that you turn the page. Continue reading. And let the next story begin. And, if anyone ever asks what became of me, you relate my life in all it's wonder....and end it with a simple, and modest,...'He died.'"

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Who are you? Who are you, I don’t even know!”

Tommy shut his eyes with a heavy sigh, reaching up to rub his forehead in an effort to worry away the knot of emotion he could already feel forming between his eyebrows. He knew this was coming…to be honest, he didn’t think it would take this long, for the three paths to merge into a single destiny. He was strangely grateful for it.

It was a blessing, to have been able to remain Tommy Karras as long as he did.

“I’m the man who’s askin’ you to leave me in the ground if I die.” He replied quietly as he looked up from his place on the sofa. “It’s not an easy thing to ask, Mom, but it’s what I want.”

“I don’t want you talking like this!” Agatha Karras snapped, shaking her head. “This is madness, this is--”

“Necessary.” He replied, standing and walking over to her. “And I can’t ask Dad ‘cause you’re the one that’s good at making the hard calls. Mom…you’re right, you don’t know who I am. I stopped being Tommy Karras the second my powers manifested. I have to do this…Buried Alive, all of it. I have to reach out and touch the edge if I’m ever gonna get close enough to say goodbye to Zee…my heart, Mom. It doesn’t know she’s gone, and I can’t…I need…”

He trailed off as she embraced him then…his mother, who so rarely showed overt affection wrapping him in her arms like a mother should. It was oddly comforting, that it was her instead of Dad, the one who was always his refuge…

“If I die,” he whispered, “you leave me there in the ground. You take May, and you go to Tuscany to tell Zee and her uncle. You grieve, but you move on, and you take good care of everybody. Do you hear me?”

He felt her nod against his shoulder, and something inside of him eased. “Oh, Tommy…”

“Everything I am, everything I was? It falls to you if something happens to me. Promise me, Mom.”

There was a long pause, then a shaky sigh as she drew back to meet his gaze and nod again.

“I promise, baby…I may not be an avatar, but I’ll do my best.”

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 389
magic_fratboy: (emote - rolling out of bed)
Body parts are nice
I can close my eyes
And think about your lips
They quiver to the tips
Of the fingers on my hand
I am the man
With some secret plans
I need to carry out


+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

NOTE: Backstory, takes place after the events of this thread.

He woke, eyes still shut, to the still and silent darkness, the comforting softness of his down comforter and the mattress his friends swore could swallow a man whole. Maybe he was crazy for enjoying his comfort, but it suited him. The too-soft bed, the dark, the cool air in the room…

…only right now, it wasn’t so cool. Especially right next to him…

Opening his eyes, he was shocked to find her face so close to his, and more than a little mortified. He wasn’t, though, in any hurry to move her. He was a deep, but restless sleeper, and he could already feel how little he’d moved.

It felt strangely right to lay there, motionless, and simply stare.

The light from under the door gave the room just enough illumination to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness, to see her there in front of him in shades of grey and black. Her face was smooth and flawless, rendered beautifully human by a dusting of marks on the bridge of her nose that were either pale freckles or large pores, it was hard to tell. Her cheeks were flush with sleep and her lips parted just a little, her breath a soft brush on his face as he lay there looking his fill.

Something about having her in his bed felt like it fit…and staring at her face, peaceful in repose, made his chest tight. He barely knew this girl that had swooped in so quickly when he was in trouble…but she was unnaturally beautiful, and something had driven her into his bed. They weren’t even touching, not really, just…sleeping together.

And it felt good…good enough to reach up with one hand and lose his nerve to touch at just the last minute, letting his hand rest on the pillow between their faces instead. He could feel her breath against his knuckles there, slow, even, and warm.

It was a comforting sensation as he shut his eyes and let the rhythm of her life lull him back to sleep again.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 343

[jp] rain

Oct. 27th, 2008 10:54 pm
magic_fratboy: (fraternity - after a fight)
The rain poured down. He got back up.

The knife flew. He stopped it, caught it, and threw it back again.

The darkness was thicker than usual, even with streetlights illuminating the end of the alley, showing him the path to freedom. A path blocked by a personification of evil incarnate, sure, but still it was a way out. If he had the strength, he could escape.

You’re weak. You’ll fail.

Another body came at him, the pavement hitting his back hard enough to sting, hard enough to break. Still, he was whole…he was stronger than a man.

And he was tired.

He was used to getting up because he’d done it so many times before. Once upon a time, the shoulders had been broader and the body stockier, but it was the same routine. It didn’t change a lick, and he almost wished it would. A slight deviation, a smarter servant…even a different look to the Faces would be welcome.

The rain poured down. He got up, slower this time.

You’ll fail. You’ll die.

The human servant scrabbling at his feet began to scream as Tommy called a tongue of fire to life and tossed it into the older man’s hair. It caught quickly, flickering as the rain struggled to douse it under the downpour. More darkness, more clouds…the rain was ice cold and evil in origin.

You’ll die. They’ll all die.

Weary and drained, he turned to face the shadow in his path. It had no face or form, but the heaviness in his limbs and the painful pins and needles stabbing him from the inside out were all too familiar.

“Surrender.” He called out, his voice thin and tinny over the sizzle of rain on pavement. “Its favorite son.”

Knowledge was a minor setback, a fleeting weakness, but it was all Tommy needed. Shutting his eyes, he struggled for the image in his mind of black and white, first stirrings of flesh and blood filled with potential and possibility. He saw her eyes, and another pair of eyes he had yet to meet.

Her mother. Their creation.

Tipping his face back into the sting of hail now raining down, he opened his mouth and let it choke him as he screamed the name at the top of his lungs. It was the name of possibility, the name he’d chosen with love and care, the name of a new generation whose power was his to call even now by virtue of its very existence.

He hadn’t shared it with Zee yet, but it was the name he wanted for their unborn daughter.

And with the hope of new life and light, the California rainstorm turned warm. Electric light was nearly blinding in the wet and gleaming darkness.

One more human servant came, a blade burying itself deep in his belly as Tommy fell back again. Shoving off his attacker, Tommy pulled out the blade and rolled with a slicing motion, cutting the newcomer’s throat with a single clean move.

The rain poured down. He got back up…slow, shaky and bleeding, he got back up.

And went home.

Just like he always had.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 579
magic_fratboy: (emote - searching in the darkness)
[locked from Zee]

If you wanna know the truth? I’m a little afraid of fatherhood.

I love Zee more than words can ever say, and there’s not an ounce of doubt in me that this kid we’re having is the best thing that will ever, ever happen to me. I’m not questioning the potential that we can make it as a family or the rights and wrongs of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

I’m not scared to have this kid…I’m scared of having this kid.

There are things in this world that come so rarely, so infrequently that some folks never see ‘em. There’s moments you live through that you never forget, life changing moments that destroy everything you know and rebuild the world around you in the space of a heartbeat.

There was a time I thought that moment, for me, was remembering who I was…until the first time I looked at Ziyah and realized that my life changed the second I looked into her eyes for the first time.

This child we’re having, it’s everything we are to each other. Every time I touch her, every time she touches me…that’s got a form now, and soon it’ll have a face, a name. It’s gonna grow up and walk the streets and leave some mark on the world. It’s love made manifest, and I can’t think of any more precious gift than that. Thing is, though…this kid is love made manifest. Our love.

What if I screw it up? This kid, I mean. What if I’m a sucky dad?

Nothing scares me worse than that…nothing on the planet scares me worse than the idea that I’m gonna be blessed with this miracle of human life, the both of us together in a single living person, and that I might end up failing her…or him.

So even though I ain’t real religious? Every day since she told me she was knocked up, I pray the same damn prayer: “Please, God, don’t let me fuck this shit up.”

[/locked]

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 338

[jp] tired

Sep. 18th, 2008 05:56 pm
magic_fratboy: (lifetimes before - the word)
NOTE: Bendy time to tomorrow morning.

In another life, anonymity was a dream. In this one, it was a reality he relished beyond description.

The Rest Stop )

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 489

[jp] Red

Aug. 21st, 2008 06:35 am
magic_fratboy: (dark power - shhhhhh...)
He doesn’t realize the red he’s seeing is in his eyes until he passes a store window and sees himself.

He doesn’t recognize the image before him in dark, reflective glass…worn jeans, black tank top ripped at the collar, and too-short hair making him seem thinner than usual. The sun is lightening his nearly jet black hair with streaks of caramel, his cheeks shadowed by stubble he can’t be bothered to shave.

And his dark eyes are blazing red coals, reflecting the power he feels boiling in his blood.

Moving closer to the window, transfixed, he remembers the initial surge of fury that carried magic on its back, a blast of power like he’d never felt in all the weeks since he’d entered into the Fraternity. It’s more still than that, it’s a touch of the divine…it belongs to him alone and no one else, but in spite of its intoxicating nature he feels no jealousy for it.

He remembers the rush of satisfaction that came from laying hands on Farah, blessing her with hope in its truest form…

All at once the fire in his irises dies, leaving them dark again. Dark, hollow, empty. Useless.

He understands, then, what the legends and tales about diminishing elves and faeries that fade and die with a lack of faith are really all about as he sinks to his knees on the busy city street. Hope is leaving him, bleeding through his pores and into the world around him. He can feel it working, the smiles and the deep breaths of fresh air coming off that second wind sustaining the humans surrounding him.

It leaves him and goes back to them…humanity. The thing he’s never actually been a part of.

Hope has a source, though, and faces of its own, just like the Darkness. Even now, one bares its face to him as he shuts his eyes and sinks back against the cool, slick pane pressing into the newly bared nape of his neck. He shivers and wishes for his hair back.

He wishes for Zee back.

Shutting his eyes, Tommy holds on to the vision of that face, praying it will sustain him. Bring back the fury, the white-hot rage that was keeping him on his feet. White hot rage, red hot coals where eyes should be. See the world through a veil of fire…

…the fires of the first dawn…

Bloody irises face the world again as his eyes slide open.

He ignores the chaos of a blown out six block power grid as he gets to his feet and starts moving again.

He has work to do…he has to find Zee.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 447
magic_fratboy: (dark power - shhhhhh...)
Who's there knocking at my window?
The owl and the Dead Boy
This night whispers my name
All the dying children



“You’re doing far better today, son.”


Tommy dealt the new hand, frowning a little as he did. “So far, I guess. How long’s it been? I...can’t keep track here.”

Conversations With Dead People...Namely Myself... )

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 816
magic_fratboy: (close - beaten down)
He couldn’t decide what was worse, the hot water or the cold as he stood under the shower head, letting the gentle spray fall on his bruised and beaten face. In the same thread, he still wasn’t sure which was worse: the Bringers of the Darkness that had the means to wound his soul, or the human servants that had more than enough ability to kick his ass all over the concrete.

Tonight, it had been the human servants that wanted him... )

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 486
magic_fratboy: (emote - hard look)
I want to pull away when the dream dies
The pain sets it and I don't cry
I only feel gravity and I wonder why


* * * * *


She really should have been here.

I remember thinking that when I went to the Weiss family plot back in the day. I was twenty years old and just overwhelmed by the whole experience. I just sat at Houdini’s grave for a good three hours…doing nothing. The sun was on my face and I was dressed in black, but I didn’t get hot. I was warm, comfortable, almost sleepy. I was that comfortable, that content.

I left flowers for Houdini, and his whole family…I visited each grave in turn, and it was really almost a religious experience for me. That might sound kind of crazy, but how else can you explain the things I felt? There was just so much emotion, so much love there. Cecilia and Mayer Samuel were the man and woman who made Houdini great, his siblings were his compatriots, his charges…

…and Bess wasn’t there.

I was disappointed I didn’t get to see her grave, but before I left? translation: when Bela and Boney dragged me off kicking and screaming, just in case you two losers are reading this I was just overwhelmed by that. She wasn’t there, wasn’t allowed to be buried there, and thinking about it brought tears to my eyes.

It almost hurt.

She really should have been here. That’s what I remember thinking, and it’s true. She should have been there. Houdini loved his wife, almost as much as his magic. Kinda sad, but I understand it now: nothing can ever make you give up that first mistress.

Still, Bess came close, and that says a lot about the kind of woman she was, about the way her husband loved her. They set aside a plot for her, and she should have been able to use it.

She really should have been there.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 301
magic_fratboy: (magic - surrender to the power)
There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying...


In her arms, he understood. In her care, he would be whole again.

He didn’t understand about the blade that cut into him days before, the poison that lived in the metal forged by the Darkness itself. The young warrior with the uncorrupted heart didn’t know he’d been infected with the essence of human isolation, nor that it was killing him from the inside out.

She had to call him home for healing before it was too late...regrettably, he was in a public place and had no idea what to do as she pulled him from the world. When he realized it was her touch he felt, however, he was no longer afraid...perhaps the others had explained to him that she knew about her keepers, the ones who fought so hard to protect her.

She was more than an idea, just as the Darkness was more than evil itself.

Even in his confusion, he laid himself at her feet. He calmed his heart, relaxed his body, and fell into darkness to find her. With words he wouldn’t remember later, she explained how close he was to death. He told her in thought what had happened that night and she smiled on him...so skilled with his power, he thought to help himself by healing himself with magic, not knowing he was closing an infected wound.

He gave to her perfect love and trust, and so she gave to him his life again. With her touch, the poison left his soul and in his mind she put the things he’d need to survive his next fight without her direct intervention.

Tommy Karras was going to be a fine soldier against all those the Darkness had at his disposal.

And Hope would make sure that her newest fighter would live to see enough battles to make the Darkness fear her for many generations to come.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 315 (w/o lyrics)
magic_fratboy: (close - hard look)
"Everything you can imagine is real."

It’s really not such a huge leap, believing. The mugging was the worst part, catching the bullet that would have ended his life the hard part. Believing...that’s easy. It’s all faith and acceptance of something bigger than he is, something that’s ultimately good, beautiful.

When he gets the facts, learns the truth, understands the nature of what he’s hearing...only then does he realize that he’s always known. Somewhere, secretly, he’s always been sure that the things living in his head were as real as darkness and light.

His hand is still sore, that’s his proof. What’s more, according to Jay it shouldn’t hurt. It won’t hurt, not once he figures out how to use his powers. That’s almost as hard as the bullet catch itself, because it’s hard for him to imagine. Jay and Mike, sure...they’re confident and charismatic in their own right, they own the world without power. Ben, too...he was born into the world of the Fraternity, but even without magic at his call he’s got more knowledge and self-awareness than Tommy could ever dream of having.

He can imagine the reality of magic and monsters...he can accept the mystery and put total faith in the world under the world, but he can’t imagine or quite accept that he has any claim to it.

That’s wrong, though...because he caught that bullet. A man meant to shoot him, and he caught the bullet in front of his own face. His hand is still throbbing...seeing, feeling, these are real things that require no blind faith. These are facts, amazing and painful.

He doesn’t believe these things are real, he didn’t imagine them. He experienced them...so maybe he can imagine the rest. Not now, but later...maybe with time, he’ll be good enough to belong to this larger scope of life that he’s suddenly been dropped into.

And with that thought, with that first step...the pain in his hand is gone.

Only when he closes his fingers does the bruise on his palm ache...only when he remembers the heat of ignited lead and tries to feel the curvature of that tiny weight cradled in his hand does he feel the echo of that agonizing impact and believe, just for a moment, that the magic is actually alive inside of him.

And a moment to imagine is all the magic needs.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 399

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