Author Topic:  ocean | fire for you { callum }  (Read 604 times)

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ocean | fire for you { callum }
« on: August 02, 2020, 05:43:57 PM »
SEPTEMBER 2003


The water was surprisingly still, and only the gentlest of breezes blew across its surface. The sky was gorgeously, magnificently clear. She was a little chilly unprotected from the wind, but her thick, puffy jacket ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ the one enchanted to retain warmth ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ had been too warm, so it was currently set on the boat?óÔé¼Ôäós roof beside her. She had her wand, anyway if she really needed to adjust her temperature?óÔé¼?ª not that she should really be doing much magic right now.

It was always like this after one of her dreams. Dash took a drag from her hastily-rolled joint, not really enjoying the flavour at all, but glad for the calmness her mind was shifting towards, slowly. She hadn?óÔé¼Ôäót had a vision in what, a year? And now she?óÔé¼Ôäód just had one here, on the research trip that she was leading? She turned her face to the sky, blowing smoke into the night air gently, feeling a little frustrated at herself. Really, she should have predicted it.

The past few days had been exhausting. The trip had only just started, but there had been a ridiculous amount of work to do in the lead up, and once they?óÔé¼Ôäód actually set sail there had been a lot to do before everyone got into a good rhythm. Periods of intense emotion always made her sleep?óÔé¼?ª worse. And then sometimes she?óÔé¼Ôäód have those kinds of dreams, and wake up sweating and breathless, her thoughts scattered and her hands shaking. When she tried to do magic in that state, she usually broke things. And it was almost impossible to go back to sleep again, after.

So here she was, at some ungodly hour ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ she hadn?óÔé¼Ôäót checked the time as she?óÔé¼Ôäód crept out of her room ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ sitting on the roof of the boat, smoking a joint and staring at the stars. They were particularly beautiful, she thought distantly, taking another drag. Nothing stripped back that ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ very human ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ sense of self-importance quite like being so far away from other people that cities could crumble without you noticing for weeks. And nothing calmed the mind like solitude.

15 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 06:15:39 PM »
The ebb and flow of the waves stirred him awake in the late hours of the night. He laid in the lower bunk of a surprisingly spacious room, turning onto his side, his knuckles brushing against the wall as he stretched. The dull creaking of bones accompanied the low snoring and light breathing of his resting roommate. He envied them. For a few minutes, Callum remained still, eyes shut like he hadn’t woken up, as if keeping them closed would call the sleep back to him. When nothing changed, he sat up slowly and blinked. There was a yawn, a reach for his wand in the darkness, a swear word when it dropped off the end-table, and finally, a low sigh. Callum cast the covers off himself and slung his legs over the edge of the bed.

His hair had been tied back with a satin scarf and he fiddled with the knot at the nape of his neck before giving up and yanking it off his head. Fingers raked through his dreadlocks, which were sticking up and pointing in different directions. He stretched again. Squinting in the dark, he tried to look around the room and gather his bearings so he could figure out his next move. First, he needed some water. Cal rested his hands on his knees, still blinking – still waking up really – and pulled himself up. Still fuzzy, he stumbled a bit, but managed to catch himself. He threw an apologetic glance in his bunkmate’s direction for the disruption, but they remained unmoving. The corners of Cal’s mouth curved into a small smile. When Shay had said they slept like the dead, they weren’t joking.

Callum retrieved his wand from its space on the floor, then grabbed a glass of water he’d left on the table prior to going to bed. He took a swig and moved to the door, where he paused to slip on some shoes. When he left, he shut it slowly behind him, flinching at the quiet creak despite knowing the sound would not affect his roommate. Once the door was shut, he turned around. It led out into a small corridor. The boat they were on looked no different from a regular sailboat externally, but had been charmed to be much more expansive on the inside. The research leader had her own room, while the students shared bunks. Only two second years were on the trip, so they’d been put together automatically, but Callum hadn’t minded. Shay was vivacious and excited to learn, and that energy was contagious.

For a while, he shuffled around aimlessly, taking occasional sips of his water. Now that he was up and moving, he felt a sudden rush of inexplicable restlessness. Maybe he should study? Write a letter? He hadn’t spoken to Indy since the day before they’d left. His friend was on a trip of his own, and their schedules didn’t really align. He could send a gentle reminder to his flatmate, too. Rent was due soon. Callum frowned, hoping he wouldn’t have the put up for the other boy’s portion again; it was becoming too common of a practice. His mind returned to Indy, wondering if it would be okay to push for a new place sooner rather than later. Indiana would probably be ecstatic, too; he wasn’t the biggest fan of Cal’s current flatmate.

As his thoughts wandered, so did he, and it wasn’t until he was at the end of the hall leading up to the cockpit that he realised he’d been ambling. Callum entered the main area, stretching once more as the cool breeze brushed against his skin. It felt nice. He looked up at the clear sky, eyes widening. “Wow,” he murmured, turning his head to be struck by the realisation that he wasn’t alone. Atop the deck sat the research leader, Dash, with wind-tousled hair and the moon illuminating her skin. Cal felt winded, and then – agitated. They locked eyes and he wished he’d fallen through the hatch. It’d be too obviously awkward if he ducked out now. “Sorry,” he said. “Uh, I can go. You seem… busy?” His gaze lingered on the joint in her hand and amusement mingled with his nerves.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 11:03:28 AM by Callum Kirk »

314 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 06:42:18 PM »
She heard movement, and waited quietly as he came out onto the deck. Should she say something? If she stayed still, would he not notice her? She watched him turn his gaze skyward, and she resisted the urge to copy him; it was such a beautiful night. Dash steadied herself mentally; she hadn?óÔé¼Ôäót been expecting to have to talk to anyone tonight. And she wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót entirely in her right mind, for more than one reason. Their eyes met and she gave a bit of a well-natured half-smile. Her knees were bent, bare feet resting flat on the metal, but she sat a little straighter as they locked eyes, trying to seem a little more put together than she felt.

Dash raised her eyebrows then, amused. She blew smoke from the corner of her mouth, waving her free hand to disperse the smoke more quickly. She shook her head a little, belatedly, after he offered to leave. ?óÔé¼?ôCan?óÔé¼Ôäót sleep??óÔé¼?Ø she asked softly, unwilling to disturb the sense of quiet and stillness with her voice. What was more calming than being here, in the middle of nowhere, with the gentlest watery and windy sounds and nothing else? She wondered if he felt the same.

Choosing to ignore the busy comment, Dash moved her hand to her mouth again, about to take another drag, but hesitated with it just at her lips. ?óÔé¼?ôI don?óÔé¼Ôäót mind,?óÔé¼?Ø she added. She wasn't really expecting the company, and sure it was a little unwelcome, but she wasn't about to banish him back to his room, was she? Maybe he needed to be outside as much as she did. She was quiet for a little bit, unsure whether she should keep talking or let him do his thing. After a moment, she said, ?óÔé¼?ôwanna sit??óÔé¼?Ø

15 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 07:05:23 PM »
“Something like that,” he explained. “I actually just woke up.” Callum was tempted to rub his eyes. With moonlight on her skin and threads of smoke coiling in the surrounding space, she looked ethereal. The distant lapping of the soft sea only added to the otherworldly atmosphere. Cal’s eyes diverted from the scene. He could feel his heartbeat quickening.

Hastily, he tried to form an excuse, and there were a few at his disposal; he needed to study, he should try to get back to sleep in order to prepare for the early rise the following morning, he didn’t want to get back too late and disturb Shay… Callum swallowed and hesitated where he stood, fingers folding and unfolding at his sides. The wind picked up slightly, billowing his shirt.

Evasions were on his tongue, but he couldn’t force them forward. Although he worried he was intruding, he wanted to accept her invitation. Slowly, Cal nodded. With a few steps, he made his way over to her, laying his hands flat on the deck and pulling himself up to sit beside her. He left a place for another person to fit between them, noting boundaries. Momentarily, they sat without speaking, and he found comfort in the silence. The scent of the smoke merged with the brininess of the air, and as he inhaled, he turned to her, eyes landing on the joint again.

“That,” he said with a smile, “looks terrible.”
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 11:03:43 AM by Callum Kirk »

314 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 07:50:55 PM »
She didn?óÔé¼Ôäót say anything when he said he?óÔé¼Ôäód just woken up. She wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót really interested in his answer, though the fact that that thought even made it into her head just signaled to her that she was a bit?óÔé¼?ª not quite here. She didn?óÔé¼Ôäót usually not care. Her dreams always did this to her, she thought. Not make her uncaring, that was, but they made her thoughts all scattered, made her emotional. She almost always cried afterward too. It put her in a weird headspace.

She smiled a little when he sat beside her, then folded her arms across her knees, turning her eyes up to the sky again as she watched the stars. They were silent for a while and she took a couple more lungfuls of smoke, trying to exhale away from him; the breeze didn?óÔé¼Ôäót seem to care for her preferences, though. Her gaze drew patterns in the sky. She'd learned all of the constellations in school, first in astronomy, and then when she'd dropped that, divination. She could name a lot of the stars she could see at the moment... not that any of those names were coming to mind right at this second.

She felt his eyes on her, but didn?óÔé¼Ôäót turn until he spoke. For a moment, she thought he'd meant the sky, and she blinked at him, a little confused. Then she got it, and she smiled back, one eyebrow quirking just a touch. ?óÔé¼?ôYou mean the illicit drugs or the shoddy craftsmanship??óÔé¼?Ø she replied, amused. After a beat, she held the half-joint out to him, an offering. ?óÔé¼?ôIf you?óÔé¼?ª??óÔé¼?Ø If he partook. If he wanted. She looked back up at the sky again, taking a deep breath, then sighing. ?óÔé¼?ôGorgeous, isn?óÔé¼Ôäót it??óÔé¼?Ø she asked, meaning for her sentence to stop there. Her thoughts were a little more free-flowing than usual, though, and the rest came out as a gentle stream. ?óÔé¼?ôWe?óÔé¼Ôäóre so far away from everything, you know... have you ever been so far away from a city before?" she shook her head. "Do you like it, Callum? The remoteness? Some people find it scary."

15 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 06:16:18 PM »
“The assembly,” he replied, nodding.

Cal surveyed her extended hand, the strangeness of the situation not lost on him. If Dash were another teacher, he’d suspect this was a test and decline without a beat of hesitation. Only metal and glass separated them from the others. She wasn’t worried about getting caught? He watched her quizzically, yet amused, voicing the question, “What if someone else comes up?” Nevertheless, he accepted the extended offering. Callum held it carefully between his thumb and his forefinger and took a slow hit.

He followed her gaze to the inky sky, quietly agreeing but reticent. He listened closely as she spoke. Her words were framed by a reflective tone that gave him a gentle push towards his own thoughts and feelings. “No, it’s my first time this far away.” Callum shook his head, eyes widening a little at this realisation. He took a moment to process how he felt about this; immediately, a thrilling jolt had raced through him, but it was shadowed by a small pang of shame. When he’d taken his first solo trip last summer, he had felt a wicked sense of freedom, but moreover, he’d been keen to add to his list of experiences. He struggled with the thought that it was not much of a change from his ordinary routine.

“It doesn’t scare me,” he answered, taking another smoke. His brow furrowed while he reassessed his answer, and he made an adjustment: “It doesn’t scare me much,” he corrected. “It’s different, but that’s the cool part, isn’t it?” He returned the joint to her, watching the wisps of smoke that were carried away by the wind. His attention found her again, and he attempted to read the expression on her face. When she turned to look at him, he asked another question.

“What brought you out here tonight?”
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 11:05:27 AM by Callum Kirk »

314 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2020, 06:21:48 PM »

What if someone else came up? Well, she thought, the team was only made up of ten people, and most of them were people she?óÔé¼Ôäód known for years. But she supposed he didn?óÔé¼Ôäót really know that, did he? He and Shay were the babies here; new to the culture of this group, new to the university, new to everything. ?óÔé¼?ôDon?óÔé¼Ôäót tell my advisor,?óÔé¼?Ø she teased. Maybe Dash wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót be up here, doing this, if Claudia was actually on this trip.

She waved her hand dismissively when he went to pass the joint back to her, instead reaching for her jacket pocket. It was almost finished anyway, she thought, untucking a small pouch and a packet of papers before she started rolling another one. She shivered a bit as another breeze blew, and she thought about putting her jacket back on, though the thought was gone as quickly as it had come.

?óÔé¼?ôI like it,?óÔé¼?Ø she said quietly as she started rolling, ?óÔé¼?ôI like how being out here strips away your sense of self-importance, reminds you of how small you are ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ I mean, look.?óÔé¼?Ø She paused what he was doing to look upward. ?óÔé¼?ôStars from horizon to horizon in all directions,?óÔé¼?Ø She said, a little breathless. Reluctantly, she went back to her task, ?óÔé¼?ôBut it?óÔé¼Ôäós not empty, either, there are a lot of things bigger than us under the surface,?óÔé¼?Ø she added, ?óÔé¼?ôimportant things. Beautiful things.?óÔé¼?Ø She was mildly aware that she was monologuing, but he didn?óÔé¼Ôäót interrupt her so the words just flowed out gently.

She put the new joint in between her lips and lit it with the tip of her wand, which she then dropped back onto her jacket. She stretched her legs out in front of her, leaning back on one hand.

Their eyes met, a slight frown above her hazel ones. ?óÔé¼?ôI?óÔé¼?ª?óÔé¼?Ø her expression softened a bit, and that nagging part of her that wanted to just spill all of her thoughts out into the night air pulled at her. She shook her head, reminding herself where she was, plucked the joint from her lips with a thumb and index finger. ?óÔé¼?ôA sleeping thing,?óÔé¼?Ø she murmured, after a moment, smoke lingering at her lips before she exhaled properly. ?óÔé¼?ôNightmares, or whatever.?óÔé¼?Ø A bit of an understatement, but whatever.

15 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2020, 08:41:01 PM »
Callum retracted his hand and returned the joint to his lips, listening closely. He looked above when she did, and as she spoke, he tried to focus on her words and the scene overhead that they referenced. Stars from horizon to horizon. His head turned as he took in the endless sky. While his eyes were following hers, his mind was following what she was saying, trying to view through her lens.

There was a sentimental hint to her tone. A corner of his mouth hooked up into a crooked smile. He understood her place, and appreciated the concept. But beneath the stars, rocked gently by the boat, the whisper of the wind in his ears, he couldn't exactly feel small.

He took a last hit and snuffed it out with his wand. Cal remained quiet for a while, nodding when she admitted nightmares. It seemed like there was more to it, more to say, but he worried about pushing the topic. So far, she'd been speaking freely. He faced her, noting the soft expression she had, the tendrils of smoke at her lips. Cal's eyes found hers and he frowned. "I'm sorry about the nightmares," he said sincerely. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but are you feeling okay?"

The last time he'd had nightmares, really bad ones, had been a little after the Battle of Hogwarts.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 11:06:45 AM by Callum Kirk »

314 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2020, 09:12:09 PM »
I'm sorry about the nightmares.

She glanced away, then, not particularly enjoying the dishonesty, but knowing that that was just how things were. She couldn't go around telling people she'd been having visions of the future; the mainstream consensus always leaned towards skepticism when it came to seers. He'd probably just ask her to predict something on the spot or whatever. And if word got out at her university, she knew that people would treat her differently. That was just how it was.

Dash sighed, then lowered herself down onto the metal, so she could just stare up at the sky on her back and relax. She took another deep lungful of smoke, exhaling slowly into the breeze. ?óÔé¼?ôSort of,?óÔé¼?Ø she said, her answer honest. She paused. ?óÔé¼?ôBetter now than before,?óÔé¼?Ø she added, also honest. She was quiet for a little bit, but the words were on the tip of her tongue. She didn?óÔé¼Ôäót look at him, her eyes drawing patterns in the pinpricks of light in the sky instead. Forming ordered, familiar pictures out of what first appeared to be chaotic. She liked the metaphor. Her thoughts were rambling too, she thought.

?óÔé¼?ôWhat do you think about fate, Callum??óÔé¼?Ø she asked, once more meaning to stop there, and once more finding her thoughts drifting out freely in between them. She realised that she probably sounded a little crazy, or far more stoned than she was, but the thought was distant. ?óÔé¼?ôWhat do you think about things like predicting the future, and divination and stuff like that?" Her eyes were drawn to the lit tip of her joint, and she compared the orangey glow to the blueness of everything else around her right now.

15 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2020, 09:11:15 PM »
Callum frowned, eyebrows knitting together slowly as he contemplated her question. He wanted to be careful about the way he answered. There was danger in immediate dismissal or approval, Callum knew. If it was something Dash was interested in, he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by deriding the divine. At school, the general consensus seemed to be that Divination was at worst, a heinous lie, and at best, nonsense. Cal had never paid much attention; he’d opted to take the class simply because he thought it would’ve been interesting, whether what he learned was true or not.

“I’ve never really thought about it,” he answered slowly. Then he shook his head. “I mean I took the class because it sounded interesting. I don’t know how much of it was true, but…” Cal chuckled, sliding a leg up to rest his arm on his knee. He leaned forward. “I think if we can take the goo out of an erumpent horn to blow up things, and if moonwhales can influence our emotions, and if…” Callum paused, knowing that if he continued, the topic of discussion would easily turn from predictions to properties of magical creatures; he often got caught up in it if he wasn’t careful. “What I’m trying to say is, if so much is possible, why can’t that stuff be? I’ve never experienced it myself, but I don’t want to say it’s not true.”

His head dipped, fingers pushing the front of his hair back as he smiled sheepishly. “Sorry ’bout that,” he said, “didn’t mean to give you an entire speech.” His gaze flickered to her again. He was still smiling, the dimples in his cheeks prominent. “What do you think?”
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 11:07:53 AM by Callum Kirk »

314 Posts
ocean | fire for you { callum }
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2020, 09:18:41 PM »
?óÔé¼?ôYou took divination??óÔé¼?Ø she asked curiously. She wondered if he meant he?óÔé¼Ôäód tried it at all, or that he?óÔé¼Ôäód actually taken it all the way through school. Hogwarts felt like a long time ago these days; she wondered how long ago it felt to him. Dash fell quiet as he continued, smiling just a little at the way he was speaking. She could speak like that, too, sometimes. It was easy to get caught up in the things you loved, and easy to forget that not everyone else loved them too. She wondered if he was speaking like this because it was her that he was speaking to, or if he just always let himself ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ Ah.

Dash smiled as he paused. She watched the thought process in his expression, the way he caught himself. She glanced away, back at the stars, but then turned her gaze back to his face as actually apologised. Hmm. Dimples. ?óÔé¼?ôA lot is possible,?óÔé¼?Ø she agreed, nodding as she looked away again, a smile on her lips. She was quiet for a moment before she spoke again. ?óÔé¼?ôYou?óÔé¼Ôäóre right, though,?óÔé¼?Ø she started softly. ?óÔé¼?ôMoonwhales are really fucking something, aren?óÔé¼Ôäót they??óÔé¼?Ø She turned her head to look up at him, sitting there next to her. Perhaps it was a bit unprofessional to be up here after all, she thought.

?óÔé¼?ôEver seen one??óÔé¼?Ø she asked, genuinely curious, even though she was clearly swerving away from the question he?óÔé¼Ôäód asked her.

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