[Master Post – Glass]
Title: Become Stone
Fandom: Viridian Legacy: Glass
Characters: Arkady, Baron, Some girl
Rating: M (L2 N1 S3 V1 D3)
Warnings: Drink, drugs, VD
Notes: I know some of you are going to recognise parts of this story. I know this isn’t how it went, but that’s the thing about being a writer of fiction. It’s none of it quite how it went. If you really need to say something about this, leave out the names. No one needs to be throwing that shit around after all these years.
Arkady wasn’t even sure how he’d ended up with the girl. He thought maybe she’d been one of Baron’s infinite fangirl following. Maybe he’d picked her up at a party they’d had. The first time he remembered seeing her was when he woke up next to her, in his own bed. That happened, sometimes, and looking back, he couldn’t remember what had come before that. He’d probably been even more drunk than usual, but she was pretty and she didn’t seem to have too much of an interest in smacking him around or telling him he’d be better looking if. A decent girl, he thought.
So, yeah, maybe she was a little dramatic, but so was he, and he knew it. Nothing wrong with a little drama, now and again. It just served to remind him that he was human. He’d been counting on Severen for that, and Sev was right there with him, when the shit hit the fan, but the man had never really been single. Not when he hadn’t wanted to be, which left something of a gap between them, sometimes. But, this girl, Talia? She knew what it was like.
They weren’t perfect together; they never would be. But, they were good enough for now, and that was enough for them. He was a drunk; she was a cokehead. Everyone’s got problems, he told himself. But, every time they got together with Baron, he’d end up back on the coke by the next night. That was something Arkady had a problem with. Baron wasn’t holding up quite as well as he once had — had that look about him like Bowie had in the mid-80s. Off again, on again, and Liz was furious, because every time, she was the one to clean it up. She cleaned up after all of them, really, because she could. He was pretty sure herding cats would be easier, but Liz was just that way.
But, one night, Talia pushed too far. She’d gone out to see Baron and Arkady had gone over to relieve Liz of some brownies. When his spoon-bruised fingers found the phone, the next morning, it was Baron calling in a panic, to apologise.
"Shit, man, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. There was just so much… I forgot. I don’t know. I’m sorry. Please don’t kill me," Baron yammered.
"What? Jesus, man, slow down. What did you do?" Arkady rubbed his eyes, further smearing the liner from the night before.
"Your girlfriend," came the preternaturally calm answer.
"Wait, what?" Arkady sat bolt upright, the room spinning around his head as he reached for the cup of coffee he knew he’d left out the night before. "Of course you did. I’m pretty sure that’s how I met her," he dodged, fairly sure that wasn’t what Baron meant, but trying to avoid the obvious.
"No, no. Just listen to me. She came here, last night. She came here with more snow than I’ve seen on anyone that wasn’t either me or dealing. She said just a few lines, and you know, I did a few lines with her, but it’s gone, man. I can’t find it. Any of it. And she’s in the shower. And I just started to come down. Just a little. And she’s… I mean, she’s your girlfriend." It was pretty obvious that if this was Baron starting to come down, he might not have been kidding about the amount of coke involved.
"You’re telling me my girlfriend got you high and then you made a move on her?" Arkady asked, knowing that didn’t quite sound like Baron, but sometimes when Baron got really high, he did really stupid shit. It wasn’t that far out.
"No, I mean, yes, I mean… Holy shit, man. I didn’t mean to. She just started and I just forgot. I forgot who she was, because it didn’t matter. Shit, that sounds wrong. If it didn’t matter, I wouldn’t be calling you. Look, I don’t want to talk shit about your lady, Ebony, but I think she came here with something in mind, and I think she got it. And I just wanted you to hear it from me, because I don’t know what crazy shit comes next." Baron sounded frightened and tired, which was an odd offset to the speed at which he was talking.
Anyone but Baron, and Arkady probably would have called bullshit on them, but it being Baron made it all the more believable. Who else but Baron would have even gotten into this situation? Maybe Sin. He could see it being Sin on a really bad day, but Sin could also have just made the problem go away. He had this uncanny knack for defusing shit like this. What did this actually come down to, regardless of who started it? he asked himself, and decided that there was a pretty good chance Baron was telling the truth about the coke, at least. That made sense. And the more he thought it over, the more he thought she’d probably done something similar to him, the first night, not that he could remember it, but having watched her at other parties, she’d pick out the best looking person who looked like they had a nasty case of the sniffles and go introduce herself. He’d always figured it was because he wasn’t into coke and she didn’t want to do it alone. Besides, Baron. She’d been there and done that, as far as he knew. Why would she do it again? But, he had even less reason, since he never spent a night alone unless he wanted to… Which reminded him…
"I’m going to ask you something really fucked up. Don’t hang up on me. It’s really important. Have you got the clap again?" Arkady asked, still trying to put the pieces together.
"Shit, I really hope not," Baron answered, a little surprised. "Oh, shit, man. I’ll check. Don’t, you know, do anything stupid for a while. Oh, shit, if I gave your girlfriend the clap, oh shit…"
"I’d kind of rather you did, for a change. She’s going to find it really hard to bullshit me if you did, and I have no idea what’s going to come out of her mouth when I tell her I know. And I will be telling her." Arkady slammed the cold cup of coffee, with a grimace, and put the cup back on the nightstand. "I don’t think I’m mad at you. I don’t know yet, but I don’t think I am. You do some incredibly stupid shit, and sleeping with Sin still tops my list." He paused. "Straight? My ass. But, I do know you don’t go out of your way to do dumb shit. Or dumb girls. You just wait until they fall into your lap and giggle. And I know she was yours first. She was, wasn’t she? I always assume that."
"I don’t know. Probably. I don’t remember," Baron admitted. "I still didn’t … Man, I didn’t mean to. I forgot who she was. She was just some girl. She was some girl and she was kind of hot and she just kept … I don’t want to tell you this, man, I feel horrible and telling you is just gross."
"You remember that time in Boston?" Arkady asked. "When you gave me those pills, and I started feeling up Sev?"
Baron nearly choked on his tongue. "I feel bad enough! Did you have to remind me?"
"You and me, we both know I’d never do that, sober. We know I’d never do that drunk. It’s not just disgusting, it’s practically incestuous. And that was an accident. I mean, you thought I ate, I didn’t even know it was possible," Arkady went on, trying to convince himself he wasn’t pissed at Baron. "But, this is kind of like that. Except you know what you’re like when you get all coked up, but you didn’t know she was going to… Why would she even do that? It doesn’t make any sense! But, you doing it to her, or you just doing this to piss me off makes even less sense."
"Shit, the water stopped. I don’t want this to start here. I’m just going to hang up and throw her out. Is that ok with you?" Baron asked, panicked again.
"No, hang up and make her breakfast. I want to be there when she leaves. I’ll be like …" Arkady looked around the room. "Fuck it, make it twenty minutes. I’m not coming in, just give me twenty to get there."
"Yeah," Baron answered quickly and put down the phone.
Arkady threw his clothes on, not bothering with his face, for a change. It was almost a statement on his displeasure that he looked less than perfect. It only took him fifteen minutes to get there, but it took her thirty to come out. He was leaning on her car, smoking, when she appeared.
"You’ve got the clap," he told her.
"What!?" She slapped him. "Why didn’t you tell me?"
"Because I don’t have it. You do." Arkady blew smoke in her face and pointed at the apartments behind her. "He’s got it, not me."
Talia looked astonished, glancing back over her shoulder. "Why would you think I’d do that? With Barry, even? That’s not what’s going on at all, and you know it! You know why I come here!"
"I know why you used to. I thought I knew why you’d go off with other people at all those parties that Sev hates. I could see not wanting to listen to Sev talk shit about everything in the room, and just wanting to go and suck up the glamour and the snow." He stood up straight and looked the few inches down at her. "What I don’t get is why, when you know he’s trying to get straight, you’d show up here with that much, and then get him too high to care so you could fuck him."
"I don’t know what you’re talking about," she insisted.
"Really? Take two weeks, then come back and prove to me you don’t have the clap." He flicked the last of his cigarette up the street. "And that you haven’t had it. He goes six months without, and it’s a minor miracle. A different three girls every night, for years now."
"That’s disgusting! Why would you even say that to me, Evan?" she raged.
"Ask yourself why my friend would call me and tell me it happened, if it didn’t. You have the clap. I’ll drop off whatever you left at my house, tomorrow. Don’t call me; don’t call him." He took his keys out of his pocket. "We’re done. We’re all done. You could have talked your way out of this, but you fucking lied to me. There could have been a reason. You could have told me you were drunk or I wasn’t paying enough attention to you or — something! But, you fucking lied to me! I’m not taking this shit from you. I’m not taking this shit from anyone."
"Goddammit, Evan, you disgusting pig! How dare you say that to my face!" She slapped him again, as the tears welled up in her eyes. "You’re just like everyone else…"
"Maybe they were right, for a change," he said, blandly, walking back to his car. He’d seen all he needed to. It was over. There was nothing to salvage, except maybe his face, and that would look better after he washed and shaved.
Weeks passed. Talia called Baron a few times, but he knew her number and he stopped picking up the phone. He drank more Jack, but he looked better as time passed without her. Arkady looked the same as he always had, beautiful and vaguely distressed. He stayed about as drunk as he’d always been as well.
Arkady called Baron after a few weeks, when he’d decided that, no, he really wasn’t angry. He was glad Baron had been able to stand up and tell him, They got drunk together and Arkady told a few stories that only Liz had heard, and Baron got to know exactly why Arkady couldn’t be pissed. He told a few of his own, and Arkady decided to join him in intoxicated singlehood, for a few months, just to get out of the repetition of one girl after another, each driving him madder than the last.
Finally, months later, Talia came banging at Arkady’s door again. He answered, half-dressed, unsure who would be looking for him at that hour, and there she was, red-eyed and sobbing.
"Oh, Evan!" she cried, trying to throw her arms around him.
He blocked her with one hand, keeping her outside the door. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, Evan, I’ve done too much coke, and I don’t know what to do!" she wailed.
He stared in amazement. He blinked, but she was still there. His face looked sick and grim, but a flash of wild amusement danced in his eyes as he choked back panicked laughter. "Do more," he breathed, tauntingly, and shut the door in her face. He waited five minutes for her to leave, and when she hadn’t, he called the police. There was nothing more he would do for her. Maybe it was for the best, he told himself. Maybe she’d get clean.