[Master Post – Glass]
Title: A Glass Splinter
Fandom: Viridian Legacy: Glass
Characters: Arkady, Betty
Warnings: Expletives in abundance
Notes: Betty's just moved down to the city, and she thinks she's got everything under control. Time to set aside childish things and behave like an adult, just like her mother expects her to… and to drag Evan kicking and screaming into 'responsible adulthood' with her. We all know she doesn't win this fight. *grins*
Liz had been living in that house for a little more than a semester. It wasn't much, really — two bedrooms, two bathrooms, tiny back yard — but it was hers. Well, technically, she supposed, it was her mother's, but her mother was never going to come down from the lab, so it didn't really matter. She could do with it as she pleased.
She'd let Evan set up his drums in the garage, because if they were going to be in a band, they needed to practise somewhere, and his apartment … well, it was the kind of place she doubted she'd be visiting him in. Her house was good enough. He could come see her. Sometimes she wondered how he could tolerate living there — living like that — but she supposed that was the point he was currently in the middle of making. He couldn't handle it, and for once, she wasn't really inclined to bail him out. At some point, he needed to learn to handle his own mistakes, and not to go charging into things he couldn't back out of.
"Oh, come on, Liz! You have a house, for shit's sake! Why can't I live with you?" Evan could whine like a pro, when he put his mind to it.
"Well, there's that little thing we like to refer to as 'personal responsibility', and you'll never get it until you live on your own." Liz smiled haughtily. "And I know you, Evan. If I let you move in, you're going to be out in the garage, all hours of the day and night, playing the drums. I let you keep them in my garage because you don't live here, and I don't want your neighbours to kill you."
"I can't believe you said that. I can not fucking believe you said that." He gaped at her, dumbly for a long several seconds. "I mean, yeah, you're probably right about the drums — hell, I know you're right about the drums — but personal responsibility? You — you of all people are going to pull that on me? I have a job. I'm trying to save up enough money so I can go to college."
"I have a job, too. My job will pay for college easily. You're just not trying hard enough, dearling."
"You have a mother who would also pay for college, and who bought you this house. You're not even paying for it." He blinked and stared at the wall a moment. "That's it, isn't it. Your mom doesn't like me, again. She's doing that thing where I'm not worth your time because my mom doesn't work and my dad's not a rocket scientist."
"My mom doesn't like anyone. It's hardly news," Liz laughed. "But, it's not why. You're a manic-depressive, with a shitty income, who is physically incapable of not tapping on everything in sight constantly. I love you, sweetie, but no. Absolutely not."
"How is this even about my income, when you're not even paying for the house? Jesus, Liz, at least try to make sense! And if I make enough to pay for that shithole I live in, I sure as hell make enough to pay the gas and electric, here. And then I'd have enough left to, I don't know, at least go half-time." Evan stared down at her in horror, remembering once again how vicious his best friend could get, with nothing to stop her. "Jesus fuck, Liz. Jesus fucking fuck. And I'm not manic-depressive. Might be a little high-strung, but I am not manic-depressive."
"So, you're not going to argue the tapping."
"No, I'm not going to argue the tapping. Why would I argue about something true?" He shoved one hand through his hair, then tried to untangle his fingers from the ends. "I tap on shit. World needs rhythm."
"Truth doesn't seem to stop you from arguing other things." Liz shrugged, watching Evan from the corner of her eye.
He stopped cold, one fingernail still caught in his hair. "What did you just say to me? What the fuck did you just say to me?" His eyes narrowed slowly. "Nobody talks to me like that. Not even you. You get away with a lot, but no. Not even you. Fuck you. This — No. Fuck you. Really."
"You've already done it, once." She smiled a smug and chilly smile.
"And given half a chance, I'd do it again," he snapped, fingers finally coming free from his hair as he turned around and stormed toward the door. "That's insanity. That's the kind of crazy I am. Jesus. Might as well just set my own dick on fire and save myself the trouble."
She stared after him, finally stunned into silence, as he stalked out the door and slammed it behind him, hard enough that the dishes rattled in the kitchen. She wondered if maybe she hadn't been too hard on him, but no, if she went easy, he'd get the wrong idea.
He was her best friend — perfect best friend material, really, but she couldn't let it be more than that. He just wasn't stable. He'd always been exactly the sort of guy her mother had warned her about — beautiful and vulgar, but unable to keep his shit together. It was really a pity — she had such a soft spot for him, just like she always had, but she couldn't let him bring his chaos any farther into her life. If he'd just apply himself, the world wouldn't be so hard. Of course, maybe that was what came of having parents who weren't genius material. Maybe her mother was right, after all. He couldn't see farther than tomorrow, and she was planning for next year.
So, yeah, he left. He did that, sometimes — just stalked off in a huff, until he got his head screwed back on. He'd go sulk for a week, but he'd see she was right. Besides, he'd left his drums. He'd be back.
He had to come back…
For all that she couldn't bring herself to live with him, she just couldn't imagine trying to live without him.