Author Topic:  August (Ricky)  (Read 1609 times)

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40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« on: June 21, 2020, 10:57:44 AM »
How had this all gone downhill so fast! Ten minutes ago they were greeting each other and Ricky was looking through the basket of Italian treats, and now he was wishing they were somewhere else. Or perhaps that he could just erase the whole conversation and they could start over...though what would that achieve? Ricky knew the theory of obliviation spells but had never tried one himself, nor would he want to, and not only because there wre strict penalties for using such a spell without permission or good reason. He wouldn't want to actually alter someone else's memories and anyway, what would have had done differently? There was no way to just offer such news and he supposed he might have pretended to know nothing about it and acted surprised to see Dottie there...but that wouldn't work. Selena and Addie knew each other and wouldn't understand why they neede to act like they didn't...and it was dishonest, anyway. All these thoughts flew through his mind in fractions of a second, because what matter was that Gideon was upset. Upset and angry.

"We're not making plans..." he protested, his voice sounding as if came from far away and belonged to someone else.?á This scenario had never occurred to him and he had no idea how to deal with it. As Gideon raised the liquor glass to his lips he almost protested, and then fell silent again. Maybe if his friend drank something like that it would make him feel calmer...but then what?

"I was wrong. I'm sorry. I should have..." but he didn't know what he should have done. They all had their own lives, they were adults, and really, Ricky wrote to a lot of people. He was still in contact with several of the friends they'd made in Europe, much the same as Gideon worked with Ennio, and they didn't...oh. Gideon did talk about when he was going to be meeting with his Italian friend and mentor. But this was different, all three of them had been friends, and honestly, other than the fact they'd had a fight eleven or so years back, Ricky didn't know what had caused the pair to separate. And he genuinely hadn't realised that they had apparently held a grudge all these years. "I knew you guys had fought, but I didn't...I figured you'd have made up. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to interfere..."

Maybe he should have interfered. maybe he should have forced them into a room together and insisted that they talk over whatever their differences had been. Goodness knows, Ricky had had enough experience trying to sort out problems with a former partner and he felt a twinge of annoyance. Whatever Dottie and Gideon had dealt with was nothing compared with divorce from a wife who denied what you were and wanted to stop you from ever seeing your kids again. If he'd just stopped talking about the situation...well, it didn't bear thinking about. He took another drink and looked across the table to where Gideon was staring at his own glass, feeling annoyed.

"What does it matter whether I'm happy or not? She doesn't need my permission to get a job" he snapped, and then shook his head. THis wasn't going to do anyone any good. In a more controlled voice he asked "Will it be better if I just...go?"

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 05:22:17 PM »
Pleasantly surprised that Gideon had chosen to order a coffee instead of more alcohol, Ricky went ahead and ordered a second butterbeer. Unlike his friend, this was about as strong as he liked his alcohol to be and anyway, he enjoyed the taste. Perhaps in that respect Ricky was still stuck in their young teens even though he was the one who spent his time raising a family.

He had to bite his lip at Gideon's comment, though. Can we all say irony, children? he thought, amazed that his friend couldn't see that his suggestion might be just a tiny bit hypocritical. Sure, because you clearly talked through your relationship issues he thought, but that would have been unkind and besides, the situations were entirely different. Gideon and Dottie had never been more than a youthful fling in his eyes - they were too volatile, their personalities both dynamic in a way that was sure to cause problems in a relationship. Clearly there were still some unresolved issues going on there still, at least on Gideon's side, but it was hardly comparable to a relationship where children were involved.

Ricky wondered if it would do any good to talk with Mariana. he didn't feel comfortable with the idea, but Gideon did have a point. "It's hardly going to be a comfortable conversation, but I think you're right" he said, even though he wasn't sure he did think that "She's bound to be feeling uncomfortable and she probably does feel like she'll be losing her daughter. Maybe if I can reassure her at least a little, things will be easier..." His ex-wife wasn't a bad person, far from it. She was still one of the most caring and interesting women he'd ever met; it was just her horror of anything magical that had driven such a rift between them. He ate another couple of mouthfuls of the rapidly-cooling food as he considered it.

"Yeah. I will talk with her. Maybe it'll be better if we all talk as a family, you know? So Little Ricky know's he's not being left behind, and Mariana knows that her daughter will still be writing to least I can make sure she does write!" he added with a laugh. Suddenly things felt a little brighter and what had seemed as if it would be a difficult few weeks before the start of term now promised to be something else. He could make sure Selena was prepared - properly prepared - for Ilvermorny and at the same time reassure those they were leaving behind. There was still a niggle of doubt in his mind, because he was worried about those accidental displays of magic that no child could help...but he didn't want Gideon to feel his advice hadn't helped. "Maybe you're right" he said, managing to sound reassured.

Their drinks arrived and Ricky realised this was potentially the end of their meeting. If the earlier conversation had gone differently he wouldn't have minded - they'd only ever had time for lunch and a chat today, after all - but he felt slightly concerned about the question. "I've got to visit a couple of shops, but I don't think the kids will forgive me if I don't go and join them first" he said. And then, feeling that it could salvage the whole situation, added "want to walk with me once we've finished up here? We could take the scenic route...we've still got nearly a half hour yet before I said I'd meet them."

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 05:42:41 PM »
Ricky might as well have been eating cardboard. He was lifting the food to his lips, chewing and swallowing, but tasting nothing. If he was blindfolded right now, he would be completely clueless about what he was eating. The only upside was that at least he hadn't drunk any firewhisky, so his tastebuds would at least function again at some point in the future. Probably after the meal was finished, he suspected. So he managed a grin and even a small chuckle when Gideon said the food was as good as ever; because he couldn't remember it being flavourless and sticking in his throat like dry oatmeal.

"Yeah." he took another drink of butterbeer, which at least tasted of something, and then ate one of the fries, holding it between thumb and forefinger. Somehow, in Ricky's head, the fries had taken on the form of a peace offering. If they shared the same side dish, everything was going to be okay. He resumed his cardboard meal, forcing himself to swallow mouthfuls of whatever it was he'd ordered. But at least they were eating, and the crisis was over... wasn't over, and if Ricky didn't lie to other people, he certainly wasn't going to lie to himself. But the initial shock was over, so perhaps it wasn't going to get any worse than this. He put the knife and fork down and wiped his hands on the paper napkin as he started to relax a little once again. The next bite had the faint and familiar tinge of caribbean spices, and Ricky smiled involuntarily. His earlier thoughts of how the trio could resume their former friendship seemed childish now, and he realised the sharpness of the conversation had settled into a pit of dread in his chest. If Gideon could barely even hear Dottie's name, how could they hope to work together?

Maybe he should have just told her it was a bad idea, that she wasn't cut out to be a professor, and he would look out for Addie in her place. Knowing what he knew now, it might have been the logical thing to do and yet...he genuinely thought she was going to do a good job, and Ricky selfishly wanted to have another of his friends on the Ilvermorny staff. Even if it did man he would have to talk with each of them separately and... No. That wasn't going to happen. He wasn't going to start spending his life sneaking around and trying to remember what he could and couldn't say to each of them.

"Yeah, it would have been enough of a shock even if you'd been talking, I guess" he offered "I was kinda surprised when she said she was going for the job..." was it okay to talk about it now, or should he just keep his mouth shut and change the subject? And with that thought, he remembered what he'd brought with him, tucked into an inside pocket that was charmed to hold rather more than a regular pants pocket. It was wrapped in plain midnight blue paper, book-sized and shaped because that was exactly what it was. A first edition of "Have Yourself a Fiesta in a Bottle!" that he had located in a secondhand bookstore inSweetwater, Texas several weeks earlier. He'd meant to give it to Gideon earlier, but the right moment hadn't presented itself. Obviously.

"Happy Birthday" he said with a wry smile as he laid it on the table betwen them.?á

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 09:37:28 AM »
August was a special month. On the one hand was Gideon's birth month and somehow he definitely thought more about his life, his past and future around that time. It was also the month before the next school year would start and the man always felt excited when he thought of getting back to Ilvermorny. The anticipation a week before the start of term was one of his favourite feelings.

He had spent the last few weeks in Italy working on new potions and had clearly enjoyed that. Now, however, he had enough of that and was eager to get back to normality. As a professor he felt that every day life was more exciting than holidays anyway. Working with students, teaching them, supporting them with whatever they needed was more than a job, it rather felt like a vocation.

To Gideon his students were more than just that, they mattered to him almost as though they were his own children. Sometimes he wished he had a family of his own but the only one who he had ever seriously considered as a life partner had been Dottie and their relationship had not ended well. There were moments when he wondered how things could have been if they hadn't had this fight and hadn't separated... it was a futile thought though. He couldn't change the past, couldn't take back the things he said.

Nonetheless this kind of thought occurred to him more frequently in August. He somehow envied his best mate Ricky even though his marriage had failed - he still had his children whom he loved and who loved him unconditionally. How wonderful that must feel. Selena was also starting school now so Gideon assumed that Ricky go shopping for school supplies with his daughter.

What an exciting time that was for a family. A child turning into a student, a teenager. He could still remember his first days at Ilvermorny. How amazing that had been and he had made a friend who was like a brother now.

On the day of their shared birthday Gideon had still been in Italy. He had sent an owl to congratulate and had also asked Ricky to meet up in Shackamaxon once he'd be back in the United States. They had decided to grab some food at Grann Sosseh's Traditional Caribbean Bakery and Dessert Cafe.

Excited to see his best friend again, Gideon had arrived early and already taken a seat at a table by the window. He placed a basket with original Tuscan foods (including olive oil, herbs and limoncello) on the table - a belated birthday present for Ricky - and waited for the other man's arrival.;u=25787' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>@Ricky Cortes

[OOC: I know he is still in sorting but Gideon didn't want to wait...]

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 10:12:35 AM »
Ricky had intended to travel alone to Shackamaxon to meet up with Gideon , but intentions often counted for little when one had children. Particularly when one of those children was a daughter who was so intensely excited at the prospect of starting at Ilvermorny that she had created a calendar upon which she wasn't just ticking off the days, but the hours as well. Trying to explain to Selena that she didn't need to come with him today had been like trying to explain to a poltergeist that it didn't need to cause trouble today. And of course, where Selena wanted to go, Little Ricky wanted to follow, even though it would be another three years before he was old enough for the school.

Privately, Ricky worried about how his son would feel once he was the only child at home with their mother. She loved them dearly, but would never feel comfortable with magic and with only one child at home whose magic was very much at the unpredictable stage... Ricky was glad that his uncle and grandparents would be around to keep an eye on things.

Back to the present though, and thankfully his sister been able to take a day off from her own business in order for them to make a family trip to Shackamaxon. Stephanie was currently single and had no kids of her own so was happy to fulfil her Aunt-duties for an afternoon. The four of them took the floo network to the village, it being too far away for comfortable apparition, let alone with children in tow, arriving early enough that Ricky was able to see leave enough galleons at the Toad and Bone to pay for his daughter's alchemy ingredients. That would keep them occupied for an hour or so, he imagined as he bid them farewell and too the short trip walk to the Caribbean bakery.

The smell of the food brought back memories as he approached. Ricky had been here many times, but he still remembered the first time he, Dottie and Gideon had gone in there for a meal during their third year as if it had been only last week. He spotted his friend easily from outside, waving as he entered the cafe and crossing straight to the table.

?óÔé¼?ôHey man, I've missed you!?óÔé¼?Ø he exclaimed, pulling his friend to his feet for a quick hug, during which he spotted the basket waiting at his place at the table... ?óÔé¼?ôis that for me??óÔé¼?Ø?á  Without waiting to be told Ricky sat down and started examining the contents, pulling out a brown-paper wrapped bag and opening the top to smell the freshly-dried basil inside ?óÔé¼?ôso how was Italy? Learn any new potions out there??óÔé¼?Ø

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 12:34:14 PM »
Ricky didn't need to pull him up . As his friend approached, Gideon didn't hesitate long before getting to his feet. The brief hug might look rushed to the outsider but it was enough to make them show one another how happy they were to see each other after not having met for a few weeks.

"Missed you too, mate," Gideon was quick to respond and his face clearly showed that he meant it. They were best friends for such a long time already and Gideon could not imagine his life without having?áRicky to talk to. In the best as well as worst moments of his life Ricky had been there for him and the other way around.

"Yes! Happy belated birthday," he responded cheerfully. "I thought you might need some original Italian herbs and oil and all this again." He knew that Ricky liked to cook and they had enjoyed Italian food during their stay abroad a lot. Besides, even if these items were all from a Tuscan deli, the products could as well be used for other than solely Italian food. "I thought I'd be back in the USA by our birthday but you know Ennio. We forgot time while working on Potions and drinking wine and limoncello."

He nodded as he watched Ricky examine the gift basket. "It was amazing. The weather was great and I absolutely enjoyed experimenting with Ennio. We have worked on a potion that makes you weightless. I think we'll call it 'Astronaut' or 'Space' potion. It needs some tweaks still but overall it already works well. You need a safe and secluded room for that and it will surely only be sold to those of age who have signed a form that they read and understood how it works. It's definitely something I'll sell to the joke shop and, possibly, let students try it in class when I can watch them and step in if needed." A laugh escaped him as a thought came to his mind. "Or do you think things like that are too risky now that Selena is going to attend school too? Where is she anyway? Did you bring her here today?" Gideon knew Selena from her birth on. He was looking forward to teaching her and also felt a little bit sentimental - how nice it would have been if he, too, had a child who would also start school now. Overall, though, he was content playing the role of an uncle for Selena.

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2020, 06:20:54 PM »
Re-wrapping one bag, Ricky opened the next and repeated the process. "Oregano, right?" he asked, half to himself as he checked the label in the bag. Of course, he could have just done that in the first place, but he liked to identify ingredients by their smell or texture, making it a kind of competition with himself and making certain that he didn't forget anything. He lifted out a bottle of herb-infused oil and examined the label, kidding himself that he knew what it said when really, he could do no more than pick out a couple of words here and there, and only then because they were similar to French or Spanish. "Its perfect, thank you..." he replaced the bottle and looked directly at his friend.

"Limoncello? Is this something I've tried before..?" Ricky didn't drink much alcohol at all, the odd beer on occasion, and it was something of a joke between the two men that Gideon liked to widen and encourage his tastes in that regard. Even the mention of wine had brought back memories he would really rather forget. "I know Ennio" he agreed "and it's not a problem. I took the kids to see my parents for my birthday, and we stayed over for a couple of days. They loved seeing each other and it was good to have a break as well" Ricky would never complain about his situation, but it was tiring to watch both kids full-time. He was full of admiration for all the parents who managed to do that while they worked as well. At least his job allowed him to spend several weeks with them at a time when he didn't need to focus his attention elsewhere, other than to make sure lessons for the new semester were planned.

Ricky shook his head and grinned as his friend described the new potion. It was just the sort of thing Gideon loved - innovative, exciting...and almost entirely useless. Already Ricky could see the dangers inherent in such a potion. What if someone drank it while they were outside? "It sounds great" was what he said though, not sure how he could voice his misgivings "and the kids...well, they'll love it. Just...take care if you let them try it. The last thing you'd want is to have someone sneak in to try and take a sample to try out on their own. I guess you'll put a warning on the bottle so people don't try and take it while they're outside without proper precautions?" Ricky wasn't sure what those precautions might be...a rope tied around someone's waist? A friend standing by to grab onto their ankles when they begain floating into the air?

"Selena would love it, I'm sure. And Dottie's kid - you know she's starting this year too?' he added as an afterthought. The girls already knew each other so hopefully they would be friends in the same way that Ricky and Gideon were friends. "it's okay, I haven't abandoned her in the street" he grinned "Stephanie took the day off and came along, so she's got both kids for a couple of hours while we meet up, and..." he broke off and reached for a menu as a server aproached, quickly scanning the options. It had been a coupl of years since he'd last eaten here, after all.

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 09:05:35 AM »
Gideon laughed as his friend asked about the limoncello. ?óÔé¼?ôHonestly? I went into that shop in Volterra and started packing things into the basket when the owner approached me, making suggestions as to what I should add. He suggested a bottle of Chianti and, well, I explained that the person the basket is for did not like wine. Then he said that I'd have to get the Limoncello instead.?óÔé¼?Ø He shrugged. ?óÔé¼?ôI drank some with Ennio and it's really tasty. We could try it together at our first evening back at Ilvermorny,?óÔé¼?Ø he suggested before looking at his mate thoughtfully. ?óÔé¼?ôUnless you won't have time for me then now that Selena is starting at school.?óÔé¼?Ø

He nodded as his friend told him about how he had spent his birthday. In the past they had usually spent the special day together. This year though Gideon hadn't even been aware that it had been his birthday until an owl with birthday wishes had reached him. He had been preoccupied with the potion and had drunk so much every night while discussing more fun potion ideas with Ennio that time had only been secondary then.

?óÔé¼?ôRicky!?óÔé¼?Ø Gideon exclaimed, feeling both amused and slightly affronted. ?óÔé¼?ôThey won't get to take the potion anywhere. They'll either get to try it in my classroom with me watching or they won't try it at all. As I said, only those who are of age will be allowed to buy it once it's on the market and they'll have to sign that they understood how it works and where it can be used. Wouldn't want to be held responsible for any abuse of the potion.?óÔé¼?Ø

At the mention of Dottie, Gideon felt somewhat strange. He knew that Ricky had kept in touch with?á her but they weren't a trio anymore like in their school days. Back in their last year at Ilvermorny Dottie had been his girlfriend, they had even considered moving in together at some point after Gideon had returned from his travels. He hadn't heard a word from her since their breakup. Ricky had mentioned her having a child at some point and Selena had excitedly told him about her Canadian friend but he had always tried to avoid the topic. Although the pair had broken up a decade ago it was still hurtful and unpleasant to think about her.

?óÔé¼?ôDottie's kid is starting at Ilvermorny too?!?óÔé¼?Ø he still repeated, struggling to work out how he felt about that. He only half listened to Ricky stating that his sister was looking after his kids today. Selena and Dottie's child might have a friendship at school comparable to theirs and, once again, he felt that it would be nice to be a part of this.

He followed Ricky's example and took a menu himself. He couldn't properly focus on the writing on it though. Why did he feel like his school friends had ganged up on him? They were keeping in touch, they both had a child starting school this year?óÔé¼?ª He felt strangely left out. ?óÔé¼?ôI guess, I'll take dish number 12, in old tradition,?óÔé¼?Ø he muttered. He didn't even check if number 12 was still the same after all these years.

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2020, 05:43:56 PM »
Ricky grinned and shook his head as he replaced the bottle in the basket. He'd practically sworn off alcohol some thirteen years ago but still his friend seemed certain that it was just a question of finding the right drink. Usually this meant Ricky tasting a few sips and pouring the rest into the nearest plant pot and pretending he liked it, but... "Sure, it's a date" he joked, though he grew thoughtful again almost immediately. It would be wonderful and strange having Selena so close all the time. Part of him desperately wanted her to be sorted into his house, even though he knew it really didn't matter, because she would be meeting new friends and spending most of her time with them anyway. Probably he wouldn't see her much at all, except in his classes... but he would know she was there.

"She won't want to spend all her time in my office" he said, truthfully, though really he had no idea how the family dynamic would work once they were both living full time under the same roof for the first time in years. "Yours, maybe, if you're going to offer potion samples..." He left the comments on the space potion without adding anything else. Probably Gideon had already considered the implications of a student stealing a bottle, but if not...well, now he was going to be sure to take every possible precaution, It wasn't that Ricky didn't trust his friend, far from it. He just knew that on occasion Gideon tended to get a bit carried away with his ideas and forgot to think about what might happen if something went wrong.

Anyway, it seemed that the potion was the least of what they needed to talk about today, given Gideon's reaction to the news about Addie also starting at Ilvermorny. Ricky felt suddenly uncomfortable. He'd assumed that Dottie and Gideon were talking again, though he realised with a chill that he'd based that assumption purely on the fact that she had stopped asking how Gideon was in her letter quite some years earlier. Ricky had interpreted that to mean they were talking again but apparently that wasn't the case. And if that was true, then it meant he was going to have to break some other news as well.

The worry quite took his appetite away, though he managed to smile at the server. "I'll have the same, a medium butterbeer, and a side of fried plantain" he said, his mind barely on what he was saying. He was quiet as the server left to relay their order, trying to order his thoughts.

"So you and uh... you and Dottie don't write each other?" he said, though it came out more like a question as he tried to flounder his way through the next revelation "Because she told me that she's...well, she's got a job at the school too, starting next month" he looked uncomfortable, even embarrassed. "I'm sorry" he said more quietly still "I figured you were talking again by now..." he stared at the table, feeling guilty and for once at a loss for words.

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2020, 02:47:14 PM »
Ricky agreed to meet on their first evening back at school and Gideon was rather pleased about that. While it was never boring at Ilvermorny and he'd find a different way to busy himself easily, he preferred the prospect of spending time with his best mate to celebrate their first day of term.

He nodded as Ricky said that his daughter would not want to spend all the time at his office. That was probably true and yet it felt odd to know that he did not only have his students but also his own child around. Somehow this felt odd to Gideon. It had been the same after Selena's birth and sometimes when he had seen Ricky with the girl ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ he felt like he was missing out on something himself, that he was inferior. He knew that his feelings were silly but he couldn't deny them despite the fact that he truly liked the little girl.

?óÔé¼?ôWell, you know that I will always have my office open for students but the potions are really only for the classroom environment and I will check most carefully that nobody gets a vial of anything dangerous outside.?óÔé¼?Ø He grinned at that, knowing that he didn't need to tell his friend that he would have no problem to let his students get away with a vial of an entirely harmless potion.

As Ricky placed his order, Gideon nodded along. ?óÔé¼?ôI'll also take a butterbeer,?óÔé¼?Ø he added. He was not exactly a fan of butterbeer but that didn't matter. He liked it when Ricky and he were acting a little like twins, even if it was just the order that was more or less identical.

Then Ricky mentioned Dottie again and Gideon immediately felt tense again. The man looked at his friend, willing him to stop. Dottie and their former relationship were a soft spot he'd rather not talk about. However, the words were out before he could stop his mate. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened. For a moment he was speechlessly staring at Ricky. His heart was beating quickly and he even felt a little dizzy as he tried to process the information.

?óÔé¼?ôWhat??óÔé¼?Ø was the first thing he said and his voice did not sound like his at all. He shook his head in disbelief.

?óÔé¼?ôDottie is what??óÔé¼?Ø He still stared at Ricky incredulously. ?óÔé¼?ôYou?óÔé¼?ª You knew and did not think of telling me at once??óÔé¼?Ø The fact that Ricky had believed that Dottie would have told him herself did not really sink in.

?óÔé¼?ôSo you two are talking,?óÔé¼?Ø he stated, sounding a little bitter but at least a bit more like himself. ?óÔé¼?ôGood for you.?óÔé¼?Ø He felt anger building up inside of him but he tried to stay calm. It was not the right place or time to pick up a fight. Besides he tried to convince himself that Ricky had not meant to hurt him. Nonetheless he felt more left out than ever. His best mate and his former girlfriend both had a child starting at Ilvermorny this year, they were both teaching at the school and were talking while nobody had considered informing him as well. Suddenly the thought that they might actually be dating occurred to him. It seemed to be a logical explanation for everything.

?óÔé¼?ôAre you two dating??óÔé¼?Ø He blurted out, looking straight at Ricky. If he said they were he'd leave the caf?â?® immediately. It would be just too much to process. While he clearly hoped to hear that they weren't dating he also hoped that his friend would not lie to him just to spare his feelings as, in the end, that would make things just more complicated.

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2020, 05:26:01 PM »
They used to do that at school, Ricky remembered suddenly. Eat exactly the same meals to add to the claim that they were twins, order the same drink in cafes, buy the same kind of quills... it made him smile anew, though that was short-lived. They'd been friends for so long that Ricky knew his friend's moods well, and he felt sure that the rest of their meeting today wasn't going to be as relaxed as it had promised to begin with. It was only a single word, but it spoke volumes.

Ricky felt guilty, as if he'd been keeping a secret or actually been lying, when nothing could have been further form the truth. Certainly he and Dottie had kept in touch, though there had been a period of several years when his children had been very small when their contact had been limited to little more than birthday and Christmas cards. But there had never been any deception, he hadn't told Gideon because...well, honestly, he didn't think there was anything to tell. Already he was upset with himself, the familiar self-critical voice telling him that he should have said something. What though, he had no idea. "Oh, by the way, are you and Dottie talking to each other again?" or something that one couldn't exactly slip into a casual conversation.

"I didn't..." he began, and then stopped again, trying to figure out if he even could have said anything earlier. Dottie had mentioned in a letter a couple of months ago that she was thinking of applying for the position and he'd replied, saying that it would be great that all three of them would be together again. Now, he wondered whether Dottie had even known that Gideon was also a professor before receiving that letter. He felt confused, and suddenly had the uncomfortable sensation that he and his best friend weren't as close as they once had been. "She wrote and said she was considering a career change and asked whether I thought she'd make a good professor. I assumed you knew about it or I'd have said something then. And I found out that she'd got the job precisely four days ago, while you were still in Italy. I didn't realise..."

He stopped abruptly, his voice having been taking on an edge and firmness that he didn't like. "I didn't realise it was such a big deal" was what he had been on the verge of saying, and he'd stopped himself in time. Of course it was important, any new professor meant a potential change in the school dynamic, particularly if there was a clash of personalities. But this was much more, and Ricky berated himself inwardly for not realising. He should have broken the news more gradually, he should have written to Gideon as soon as Dottie had menetioned she might apply for the position....

"What? No!' he was shocked by the question, but at least his friend's reaction made a bit more sense now. Ricky wondered fleetingly if it meant that perhaps the former couple still had feeling for each other that they didn't want to admit, but the thought vanished before he had even given it conscious consideration. The server returned with their drinks, and he automatically offered his thanks, reaching for the glass and then withdrawing his hand. "I haven't even seen her since...for a long while" he amended, because he had a feeling that Gideon had assumed that there had been no contact between him and the woman since they'd graduated.

Ricky hated to lie, and he hated the feeling that he had unwittingly done exactly that. "She's like my sister. I just...never saw her in that way" he said, and then, because he couldn't think of anything else just then "I thought she'd have told you as well."

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 09:13:34 AM »
Gideon felt like in a daze, he stared at his friend, heard that he spoke but he wasn't actually listening. Dottie would start teaching at Ilvermorny. He couldn't believe it. After all these years that he had tried to forget her because, obviously, she had done the same with him, she was now intruding his sphere.

He was mad, mad at Ricky for not telling him at once, mad at Dottie for suddenly turning up again in his life messing everything up when he had just got used to having lost her. He half listened as Ricky said that Dottie had asked him if she'd make a good professor and for a moment he was focused on the here and now rather than on his feelings that he couldn't make sense of anyway.

?óÔé¼?ôAnd you said, yes??óÔé¼?Ø he asked in a strangely hoarse voice accompanied from a humourless laugh. Admittedly, if one said that Dottie would not make a good professor neither of them would. They had got along so well back at school for a reason. However, it vaguely occurred to Gideon that Ricky had almost criticised his idea of the weightless potion while he was now telling that a pyromaniac would make a good professor.

It irritated Gideon that Ricky's voice had changed as though he was just going through a challenge similar to his own. That was ridiculous. Ricky did not just hear life changing news. He didn't have to hear that his former girlfriend would soon be a co-worker and thus mess with his everyday life. He was seemingly mad at Gideon now but right now Gideon could not understand why. He had not kept vital information from his friend, after all.

He looked at Ricky with raised eyebrows, trying to figure out if he believed his friend that there was nothing between him and Dottie. As he did that he wondered if it would actually matter if they were a couple. He shook his head as if to shake off all these poisonous thoughts.

He barely noticed that the drinks had been served by now and he clearly didn't feel like drinking butterbeer any more. This situation called for something a lot stronger. Belatedly he turned to face the waiter who had already turned their back on them. ?óÔé¼?ôI'd like a firewhisky,?óÔé¼?Ø he announced. ?óÔé¼?ôBetter make it a double,?óÔé¼?Ø he added bitterly.

Gideon felt hot now, he'd have liked to get out of the situation and clear his mind but escaping the scene now would hardly be helping and he knew it. He stared at some distant point in the caf?â?® and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down. ?óÔé¼?ôWell, she hasn't.?óÔé¼?Ø He stated after a while, his voice not as loud as before but still sounding bitter. ?óÔé¼?ôAnd it's all official already?!?óÔé¼?Ø He asked, feeling certain that the answer to this question would be yes.

?óÔé¼?ôDoes she know that...?óÔé¼?Ø he paused as the waiter served the firewhisky and offered them a forced smile. ?óÔé¼?ôDoes she know that I'm a professor too??óÔé¼?Ø He wondered if Dottie was aware of them seeing each other at Ilvermorny and, if she did, if she liked the idea of that.

40 Posts 34 Bisexual he/him played by Carys
August (Ricky)
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2020, 02:10:06 PM »
Whenever he was in trouble as a little kid, Ricky had wanted to just run away from the situation. He hated it when someone was mad with him, especially when he thought he had't done anything wrong but then the other person made it clear they thought he had. he was an adult now though, and he couldn't get up and walk away even if he wanted to. Gideon was his best friend and walking away wasn't an option, besides, he would then have to spend the next hour hiding out somewhere so he didn't have to explain to Stephanie and his children why he was back with them so soon. Stephanie had known Gideon practically her whole life as well and she would hate the thought of them falling out. So he sat there as his hands grew gradually more sweaty and uncomfortable, and the back if his neck became hot and his heart raced, and he couldn't quite look his best friend in the eye.

"I said..." he hesitated. What did Gideon want to hear? But that was a pointless thought, because Ricky barely knew how to lie, and the few times he'd tried as a child he'd been caught out almost immediately. "I said that if that was what she wanted to do, I thought she should definitely give it her best shot." He'd also said that he thought she would be great, given that children loved her and she loved them right back, but omitting something from a statement wasn't lying and he didn't think he should mention that right now. "She's going to teach Charms" he added. Maybe if he volunteered as much infornation as possible now, it would make things better.

Or maybe it wouldn't. Ricky's eyes flicked up as his fellow professor ordered the strong liquor. On another occasion he would have said something, advised against drinking this early in the day, or suggested waiting until after dinner, but he said nothing today. Almost, he felt like opening that bottle of limoncello right now and sampling some straight from the bottle. Anything to make this situation more comfortable.

"She got the confirmation earlier this week...I think" he said. At least, the tone of her letter had been so exuberant that Ricky had assumed that she had received the news that day. He'd written back to congratulate her, though it had been more of a brief note. There was always so much to do in the summer when he had both Selena and Little Ricky full time. He offered his own smile to the waiter who left, doubtless to tell everyone else who worked there that there was drama going on at table number seven.

"Yeah. When I first got the job I wrote and told her we'd both be working there..." he paused, trying to remember how often he mentioned Gideon in his letters. Not that often, because he was aware of their shared past and it felt uncomfortable to be talking about one behind the other's back. So it was possible that Dottie thought Gideon was working somewhere else now...but he didn't think so. "She used to ask how you were when she wrote, but a few years back, she stopped, so I thought that meant..." he swallowed hard "I thought it meant you guys were talking again." He didn't want to think of the alternative, that Dottie just wasn't bothered any more. Lifting his glass, he took a sip without tasting the butterbeer, wanting to wet his suddenly parched throat. "I think...maybe she's working there so she can keep an eye on Addie. You know, her...daughter" he added, staring down at the table once again.

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2020, 02:59:45 PM »
?óÔé¼?ôHmph,?óÔé¼?Ø Gideon didn't want to argue and tried to keep himself from lashing out again but it was hard to compose himself. He knew that it would not be fair on Ricky even though he clearly felt that his friend had not acted loyally. In Gideon's opinion Ricky should have reached out to him to ask what he thought of Dottie applying for a professor position instead of just telling her that it was a good idea. And was it even a good idea?

?óÔé¼?ôCharms,?óÔé¼?Ø Gideon echoed. It did not matter much what Dottie would teach. She'd be at Ilvermorny, with him. He felt how his heartbeat was quickening again. He'd see her again after all this time. Had she changed a lot? Had he changed? Subconsciously he lifted his hand to run it over his head and check if his hair was still as full as it had been all these years ago.

So she knew that he, too, was teaching at Ilvermorny or so it seemed at least. Maybe Ricky was holding back more information though. Maybe she was not aware he still was a professor. Maybe she came for Ricky's sake, maybe?óÔé¼?ª His head was spinning. There were too many uncertainties, too many question marks. He felt almost sick and instinctively he reached out for the glass filled with a good amount of firewhisky. He took a sip, trying to sort his feelings out some more but it was impossible.

Then Ricky mentioned that Dottie had stopped asking about him and he nodded, his expression looking a little pained again. ?óÔé¼?ôWell, obviously it did not mean that we are talking again,?óÔé¼?Ø he said, his voice trembling dangerously. ?óÔé¼?ôIt's good to know, though, that Dottie and you are talking and making career plans.?óÔé¼?Ø He exhaled loudly and took a bigger sip from his whisky. Why did his formerly best friends scheme behind his back without even considering to involve him at all?

?óÔé¼?ôAddie?óÔé¼?ª yeah?óÔé¼?ª of course,?óÔé¼?Ø he said, sounding more confused than angry now. The daughter. Dottie had a daughter. She might indeed be her reason for joining the staff. It could not be him because, as Ricky had just confirmed, a few years ago Dottie had stopped enquiring about him. She did not care about him anymore and he could not blame her. They had broken up about a decade again. Then again if every parent would apply as a professor there would never be a staff shortage anywhere. In fact, classes could be as small as two or three people then. He shook his head. Nothing of this made any sense to him.

?óÔé¼?ôSo you're happy she joins the staff then??óÔé¼?Ø He asked, trying to let his voice sound casual but failing. He could not bear looking at Ricky now. He just stared at the liquid in the glass that he held in his hand, observing the slight movement in there that happened due to his hand trembling ever so slightly.

43 Posts 3
August (Ricky)
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2020, 01:41:03 PM »
His knuckles were almost white from clenching the glass of firewhisky so tightly. Gideon's instinct was to run for it but he figured it would not lead anywhere if he fled from the situation now. He'd just postpone the confrontation that way, he could not avoid it forever. No matter how disappointed, hurt, irritated and confused he now felt, he knew that this conflict would not resolve itself. If he didn't face it today, he'd have to face it at the beginning of term and suffer all they way till then.

He took another big sip from his drink, staring into the glass that was not offering a lot of the brown liquid any more now. He wondered if he should ask for another one but then again he figured that would not help either. One drink usually helped him to relax and clear his mind, a lot more than that had the contrary effect.

So they were not making plans. By the sound of Ricky's voice Gideon could tell that his mate was struggling with the situation as well. His sighed, why did this have to happen? Why were they in a situation that was this screwed up? Well, the answer was easy, at least to Gideon. It was all Dottie's fault and Ricky had just been thoughtless.

?óÔé¼?ô...talked to me,?óÔé¼?Ø Gideon quietly finished the sentence. ?óÔé¼?ôYou should just have talked to me.?óÔé¼?Ø He wanted to add that Ricky should have checked if his assumptions were facts rather than just wishful thinking. However, this conversation was draining and the man didn't feel like stirring up even more conflict.

?óÔé¼?ôWe didn't make up. I never heard a word from her since that day.?óÔé¼?Ø A pained expression spread across his face and he tried to hide it by putting the glass down and covering his face with his hands, rubbing his temples. Then his hands sank down on the table again and he shook his head. He didn't want to look like Dottie still had power over him after all this time. However, in the course of this conversation he realised that he had never got over her properly. No other woman had ever been this close to him, had ever understood him as well as he had always thought Dottie understood him.

He was tempted to say that Ricky should perhaps have interfered all these years ago but he didn't want to make this concession. Didn't want to admit that they might have needed the help of an outsider. Maybe things would have been different if Ricky as their close friend had tried to get them to talk after their break up. Thinking about this, Gideon wondered how different his life would have been if his friend had made this step.

?óÔé¼?ôNo, I suppose she doesn't need it,?óÔé¼?Ø Gideon said bitterly but much calmer than he had been before. He wondered though if Ricky couldn't have influenced Dottie in a way, could have talked her out of applying for this job that, in Gideon's opinion, was not really suited to her anyway.

The food was served right when Ricky had offered that he could leave, giving Gideon a few more seconds to consider this option. He thanked the waiter and turned to look at his friend again. ?óÔé¼?ôNo, don't be ridiculous. We should probably eat...?óÔé¼?Ø and stop talking for a while he wanted to add but bit his tongue before he could voice this thought.


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