January 22, 2020, 09:29:05 AM

Author Topic:  [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie  (Read 103 times)

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Kate Baker [ Ilvermorny Adult ]
145 Posts  •  Twenty  •  Bisexual  •  played by Ashton
[upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« on: January 15, 2020, 05:45:21 AM »
Her fingers shook like leaves in winter Brooklyn air.  All the trees were regrowing and blooming around her, and that concept of newness refreshed her soul in a way even the most beautiful snowfall could not.

Her fingers… that looked decidedly naked. Kate only wore her wedding rings in the house now--to twirl them ‘round and reminisce when she felt especially distraught, and now, she was trying to reduce even that. Pictures of Charlie’s arm she’d seen in tabloids told her he hadn’t taken off his marriage vow--the one of her name--that was so visible for others to see. Even more than her gigantic rock and the ring that had been made, specially, for her.

Maybe if she hadn’t been so attached to the idea that he’d certainly come after her, she would have left her rings on the counter the way she had a few times before. Maybe it would have been more obvious what her intentions in leaving were; she’d rehashed the past over and over in her head to try and process what might have made him want to fight for her. But then, hadn’t they fought enough? Wasn’t it due to rest?

None of her introspecting and poring over what else had gone wrong had made anything make sense. She knew the woman he was being pictured with in the newspapers was probably nothing more than a distraction from whatever else was going on in his life (contact had been limited and through attorneys since final proceedings had begun, so she didn’t know), but that didn’t mean it didn’t stab into her heart like a bunch of tiny push pins at once to see him with somebody else.

And now, he was coming here. To New York, to her temporary apartment that she was temporarily sharing with her messy sister while they were both doing temporary work here in the city. Everything was temporary.

 Nevertheless, he was coming. To give her a box of valuables she’d left, she supposed. Letters, pictures, and tiny sentimental trinkets. Kate wasn’t sure whether or not it had helped not to have those things in the first couple of months following their “decision” to divorce. Kate itched her ear mindlessly as she sat, rigid, at the dining room table. She felt like such a joke, to feel tense and jittery around a person who had seen every single part of her soul and crevice of her humanity. None of that could ever be undone.

A tap at the door bolted her completely upright to her feet. “Come in,” She shouted a little too shrilly.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 07:41:22 PM by Ashton »


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Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
658 Posts  •  27  •  babes and batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 08:01:46 PM »
She had asked him to come early afternoon New York time, which meant leaving London around teatime. Charlie had booked himself the return portkey already to rule out any need to stay overnight (in a hotel), and paid a premium for needing all of this last minute -- up until this morning he’d still been unsure if he could do this, or wanted to.

Just over a week ago Charlie had moved from where he had been living in a short-stay hotel (stupid, expensive, but better than moving in with his parents or asking one of the many other people he had let down if he could crash) into a mews house, back in Maida Vale. His things had come out of storage and he’d unpacked -- and in doing so found a box of Kate’s that had somehow been mixed in with his. When he’d opened it Charlie had been winded; he thought it might be better to just throw it all out, but in with photographs of them and letters from him were owls from her family too, and other bits and pieces they had sent her while she had been living across the ocean -- and he had no right to those.

So he had written to her, brief and to the point, to ask where she wanted them posted to -- then she’d thrown him a curveball and explained the contents were too valuable to risk being lost, or (if they were being paranoid about the tabloids) intercepted. Much as he hated the prospect of having to deliver it himself, she was right. And maybe a very small part of him wanted to see her.

He turned down another of New York’s grid-system streets, trying to find the address where Kate was living with her sister. If he could manage it, he would be in and out and he could wait at the New York station for his departure time rather than be in her presence any longer than necessary -- it would only provide opportunity to make poor decisions.

Charlie stopped in the street when he saw the number he’d been looking for. He looked up at the building, closed his eyes and frowned. He’d come this far, only a little further to go. He jostled the box in his arms to be able to open the door, then headed up to her floor, stopping again outside the apartment number she’d given. Under any other circumstances he might’ve checked his reflection in something shiny (elevator?) or ran a hand through his hair (a little windswept from the spring breeze) to fix it, but if anything maybe it would be better if he didn’t look too put together. He didn’t want to look like shit either, because that presented its own risks, but somewhere in the middle: average. He had recently had a haircut, had foregone the hair gel, was in jeans and boots and a plain white t-shirt under a denim sherpa jacket. Average.

He knocked, had barely placed his hand back under the box he was cradling when he heard Come in shouted from inside -- from Kate. Charlie hesitated. Had she forgotten he was coming, expecting someone else? He shifted the box again to knock a second time, but before knuckles hit wood his fingers drifted down to the knob and he let himself in.

“Hello?” he called out, rather unnecessarily he realised when his eyes fell upon her. Charlie stood there dumbly for a moment before he regained his wits. He chewed on the inside of his cheek as the only betrayal of his thoughts and turned to close the door behind him before facing her again, not stepping any further into the apartment. It was light and airy and he wasn’t looking at any of it because he was stuck looking at her. He swallowed. “Hi,” he said, his voice a little gruff and low. He wet his lips. “Where d’you want this?”
 

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Kate Baker [ Ilvermorny Adult ]
145 Posts  •  Twenty  •  Bisexual  •  played by Ashton
Re: [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 07:44:26 AM »
Seeing him affected her most definitively, more than she’d thought. The way he looked to her was impossible to notice: product-free hair, no leather, no gel. He didn’t look particularly sallow (the way she probably did), but he appeared a little slimmer than she’d left him. Why was she angry that he wasn’t being properly nourished? Alcohol and TV dinners were not acceptable choices. Surely little miss famous wasn’t concerned with his wellbeing, apart, of course, from the only part of his health Charlie was routinely fixated upon. So fixated that it had torn them apart again.

“On the table is fine,” Kate said quietly, and had to clear her throat immediately after because of a frog that had randomly materialized in the one second she’d spoken. Making him do these small things: let himself in, draw closer to her to put the box down--she knew he wouldn’t really want to, but if he was going to come all the way over here to New York to drop it off instead of working it out some back-end way with the attorneys, she might as well try to get some kind of interaction out of it. Gauge where he was.

There were two wolves within her, and maybe a third smaller one. The third smaller one was content to let him go without another word. The other two were fighting: between wanting to passionately embrace him, and passionately lash out about what an idiot he’d been. Neither of these seemed to be composed or rational reactions, but this was the first time she’d laid her own two brown eyes upon him since packing her shit and leaving. For good, it was seeming. How could a person(either of them) start over, “clean slate” and all that--when she’d devoted nearly every waking moment to him in the last several years of her life--and in that, all of her adult life?

Plenty of people wanted to talk to Kate about what had happened with Charlie, but it never seemed like they wanted to listen. Even being associated with somebody famous and having money that resulted from that made it hard to make friends who weren’t interested in anything lasting apart from a weird status symbol. She missed being able to be herself, no strings, in vulnerable environments with people--her husband and her family--who would protect her and make her comfortable.

Of course she still loved him. That trickled down her back and through her fingertips like icy rain. What a harrowing and simultaneously refreshing emotion to feel in front of this person, after everything he had done. After everything he’d thrown away, seemingly at the drop of a hat. How was she supposed to act around him? Kate’s eyes filled with tears.

“I don’t know what I should say.” She began, eyes darting between two random spots on the floor, before they settled back on his face. He was still so handsome. “But what I’m going to say…. Is that I’m very. Very angry. With you.” Her fists balled at her sides and her shoulders trembled. Kate didn’t know how she felt about being visibly overcome with emotion in front of him, but here she was, being that. It was safe to say that she hadn’t expected such a strong, quick reaction, but on the other hand, she wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting. So much unfinished business to be brushed off amicably and for them to go their separate ways for the rest of forever?


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Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
658 Posts  •  27  •  babes and batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 10:59:13 PM »
On the table. Charlie looked around the apartment, only now noticing the view of the city beyond -- and his piano, over near the lounge. His lips pressed firmer together, the corners downturned. It wasn’t his anymore, of course, but it had been once, briefly. Kate had surprised him with it for Christmas -- the first in the townhouse and their second living together -- and he’d been bowled over by it. But it wouldn’t have been right to keep it, nor would he have had anywhere to put the bloody thing -- his new place was much smaller; sufficient for a bachelor, or a divorcee. Still, it was another reminder of where they had been, of what he had thrown away. He hadn’t honestly expected her to keep it, but then he hadn’t had very long to tarnish it, had he?

Charlie moved towards the dining table and, in doing so, closer to Kate, all the while avoiding looking her directly in the eye. They hadn’t seen each other in over a month -- he hadn’t thought he would see her again for much longer, and maybe that would have been better. She had always been petite, but she looked especially skinny now. Painful, almost. But Kate had her sister to look out for her, and it wasn’t his responsibility nor his concern if she was taking care of herself -- just as it was none of her business if he was doing so.

Charlie set the box down and pushed it in a little from the edge, then stood back and turned to look at Kate (because where else was he supposed to look?). Immediately, he regretted doing so; her eyes were wet and the urge to comfort her was almost powerful enough to test his resolve, but he wouldn’t be helping either of them if he gave in (and would she even want him to?). He found, the more he thought about it, that he didn’t want to. He wanted to leave, get back to London and how it had all been before. Get rid of having to feel like this: guilty.

He kept his eyes on her. He didn’t know what to say either, and he thought about suggesting they say nothing and that he just go-- then Kate’s eyes met his again and he was frozen to the spot. Charlie watched her warily; a moment ago she had been meek and unassuming, suddenly she was filled with an inexplicable (to him) rage. Obviously she was mad, he thought as his attention was drawn down to her little fists, but he got a feeling that this was for something other than the divorce and the events that had led up to it. “Why?” he asked, before he could help himself or think of a better way to ask.
 

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Kate Baker [ Ilvermorny Adult ]
145 Posts  •  Twenty  •  Bisexual  •  played by Ashton
Re: [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 07:30:02 AM »
“Because,” She exclaimed on her first exhale following the outburst, and she was embarrassed of her feelings. Kate’s therapist had been encouraging her to let the feelings make their appearance and then to dismiss them, not to let them consume her--but what else was more consuming than the sight of him, right in front of her? All of the heartbreak she’d worked tirelessly for weeks to banish came rushing back in an instant. It was more than infuriating that he could reduce her to tears in three seconds and unravel her without saying three words.

“I’m angry with you because you’ve been--gallivanting around with some random woman, haven’t made any effort to make yourself scarce, and haven’t thought to ask me how I am! Especially since now, I’m drowning in interrogations and people with cameras!” Kate’s shoulders heaved gently, and it was liberating that this was one of the only times they’d have an argument she didn’t have to punctuate with an apology for her tone or makeup sex. Was this what agency felt like? Or boundaries? She was sick of his actions affecting the way she saw herself. “I know it isn’t my business who you see, but couldn’t you have at least tried to keep that away from the paparazzi? It feels like. All of this. Just meant nothing to you.”

All of this meaning their relationship, their marriage, and how long it took them to get here. Her hands gestured circular motions in front of her as she spoke, trying to illustrate what she meant by all of this without having to go into too much detail. Melting into a nostalgic puddle on the floor was another switch rapidly threatening to flip itself and she wasn’t going to look it in the eye to convince it any further.

“How would you feel.” She swallowed, and hot tears spilled in rivulets down the pronounced apples of her cheeks, over and over. “If you saw pictures of me. With my tattoos about you all over my body just out for everybody to see--and another guy on my arm? This soon after the divorce?” Her lips smashed together. She could taste blood from the amount of force she was using to keep them shut and mask their quivering. “I know we aren’t together anymore. But I thought you thought more of me and my feelings than this.”


a l l   m y   b l o o d   f o r   t h e   s w e e t n e s s   o f   h e r   l a u g h t e r
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Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
658 Posts  •  27  •  babes and batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: [upper east side] pink moon, light the darkest room | charlie
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:30:02 AM »
Charlie almost flinched at her sharp Because -- almost. He recovered quickly, his features drawn into a scowl as Kate flung accusations at him. He had intended to come here and not cause any more hurt, but the likelihood of that being the case was diminishing by the minute. Maybe it would be better if she saw him as the villain -- it would be easier to stay apart, wouldn’t it?

“Gallivanting?” he repeated, his tone somewhere between offended and amused. He didn’t know for certain who she was referring to, but he had a pretty good idea. He was confident enough to run with it, anyway; Charlie had seen Alannah Dupont a grand total of two times, and as far as he was aware they had managed to somehow fly completely under the radar the first time. The second, well, he’d gone to a Quidditch match with Sam, and Alannah just happened to be playing for the opposing team (what a coincidence). He might have ended up in Alannah’s apartment by the end of the night, but he doubted there would be any proof of that (apparating a county over would have slipped any tail), so the most scandalous thing he’d done was be seen outside the Griffins changing rooms, along with members of the public -- nothing for which he could be lynched. Kate wasn’t the first person he knew to have put two and two together, but -- like Kate -- they’d somehow ended up at a number other than four as well.

But she wasn’t done. “Why should I have to make myself scarce?” he bit back. “I’m meant to hole myself up and not see anyone?” She was being ridiculous. “If I wanted to do that I would have stayed--” He inhaled abruptly, aware he was taking his frustrations out on her again and that she didn’t deserve it. He could admit -- to himself, at least -- that he felt for Kate. She had known entering his world that she was subjecting herself to public interest, but she hadn’t bargained for being hounded about the other women he was seen with -- or the onslaught not lessening any when they were no longer together. Charlie had allowed himself to believe that in New York, away from the British media, it wouldn’t be so bad for her. Obviously, he was wrong.

He wanted to repeat that back to her -- that it wasn’t her business who he saw -- but he was distracted by the insinuation that he was unfazed by everything that had happened. He scoffed. “Right, because I call a press conference every time I leave the bloody house,” he snapped at her. “You think I like them writing all that shit about us?” he asked her, his ‘us’ easily applicable to his ‘relationships’ with both (and other) women.

His frown faltered briefly as he watched tears stream down her cheeks. It was with less ferocity than before that his anger returned, but it came back all the same; “She wasn’t--” he started, biting his lip to stop himself from saying anything incriminating -- but she hadn’t been on his arm. Not as far as anyone had seen. Charlie’s emotions bubbled over unwarranted, an unintended reaction to being confronted by Kate crying in front of him and knowing that he was the cause of it, again. “Is this why you wanted me to bring your shit here? So you could get all self-righteous?” He turned away from her and threaded his fingers together at the crown of his skull; frustrated.

In for a penny, in for a pound. “Ask me what you really want to ask me,” he dared her, dropping his hands to his sides and facing her again. “I’m not fucking her,” he answered before Kate got a chance to ask what he assumed was on her mind; he wasn’t fucking anyone, yet. “Not that it’s any of your business,” he said, echoing her earlier sentiment.
 

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Kate Baker [ Ilvermorny Adult ]
145 Posts  •  Twenty  •  Bisexual  •  played by Ashton
It was true that in London, the paparazzi had been much worse and much more overwhelming when news of their divorce had made public. She wasn’t spending any more time there than she had to, but some of her work and events overlapped between locations. In New York, there were still people with cameras, though--the wizarding world was not as large a place as the no-maj, and thus, when a musician became famous in one part of the wizarding world, he was basically famous in all parts. Kate had grown up in this kind of environment her whole life, and her secluded home in the sunset cliffs had sheltered her some, but she was not a stranger to how things worked. The initial bombardment had not been as bad or as painful as the stories that were breaking now--of her very, very recent ex husband and his new slice.

Humans were complex, her therapist would tell her. Even if one didn’t want a relationship back or miss that person, they were bound to be affected by such a thing. Seeing someone else (even just in pictures) walking around in the shoes she used to wear made her feel displaced and a nasty wave of jealousy washed over her each time she considered the photos of them together. Kate didn’t even know her name. Did it matter?

“No, I didn’t ask you over here to be self-righteous,” Kate breathed, feeling more overwhelmed as the seconds passed. Her stomach turned violently and she felt anxiety creeping its way down her neck and spine, all the way to her fingertips and toes. God damn it, she was shaking. The situation wasn’t even close to the same severity as some of the other fights they’d had, but this time, he could walk out and not come back. Before, Kate had never really worried that such a thing would happen--idly, and because of her irrational fear that someone better would always exist, maybe--but not seriously. This was a legitimate possibility now. The tiny woman attempted some deep breaths from her gut to calm herself. That was her responsibility--no one else’s. Not to fix her, not to save her, not to teach her how to love herself. None of this was a process that could come full circle overnight, especially with such an enmeshed childhood, but god, she was trying. And Charlie was serving as a giant trigger.

“I wasn’t going to ask you that!” If she looked astounded, that was an honest emotion. And, on a second thought, if she were being honest with herself, she’d already completely assumed they were having sex. That wasn’t her concern. “Fucking somebody doesn’t mean you’ve moved on. Allowing your picture to be taken with her when you wouldn’t with me for months on end, even though we were living together, and looking like you’re dating--that kind of does.” Her slight chest heaved with the effort of disclosing those words. Kate felt shame, both for expressing how she felt with words, irrational and misplaced as it were, and for looking exactly how she felt. “It hurts to think you’ve moved on. It’s different to… watch your loved one move on alone than it is to see them find it in somebody else.”

Her lips pressed together again. Perhaps she’d revealed too much. Kate’s legs were concerningly wobbly, so she pulled a chair back from the table with an uncomfortable squeak to sit down.


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i t ' s   n e v e r   o v e r ,   s h e  ' s   t h e   t e a r   t h a t   h a n g s   i n s i d e   m y   s o u l   f o r e v e r

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