fourknives: (Default)
Robert Small [ "knife dad" ] ([personal profile] fourknives) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden2017-07-28 04:17 pm

open post: Robert Small


by ariphyll @ tumblr




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margaritadad: (Default)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-30 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
[Joseph's been expecting barbs all night. He's gotten them almost every time, but he's also gotten inside Robert's house. It's a feat he hasn't managed since the first and only time.

He hadn't needed to directly ask to come in, that time. Well-placed lines of intent had had Robert inviting him, under the guise of something else.

Talking around what they really want. That's what they're both actually good at, isn't it?

Joseph holds out one of the margarita glasses. It's topped with a lime wedge and already has a straw.
]

Just used to playing host, Robert.
margaritadad: (pic#11611025)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-30 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
I suppose you do prefer your life more saturated. [It's instinctive banter. The smile that touches Joseph's mouth, just barely turns up the edges with something earnest and almost vulnerable, is unplanned. For just a fleeting second, right there, as Robert's face catches the light (he won't look at Joseph, but Joseph gets to look at him) and his profile illuminates-- it's there. Right here in the room with them.

Paradise.

And then it's fanned away like the smoke Robert breathes out.
]

The silver kind you like.

[Joseph's gotten good - excellent, even - at smiling through pain.]

I know you don't just drink whiskey, Robert.

[Joseph tilts the drink forward a bit more, a little closer without forcing his way into Robert's personal space. This will only be a win if Robert is the one to breach that bubble himself.

Like last time.
] I guess you might have preferred white zinfandel, though?
Edited 2017-07-30 02:34 (UTC)
margaritadad: (Default)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-30 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
[Isn't that true? Joseph thinks back to a church function in Pamela Johnson's backyard, how they'd had an array of wines to choose from. He thinks of selecting one of the palest ones they had, thinks of the look on Mary's face when she'd seen him, the way she'd slid right from disinterested to furious to sad, all at once, before smoothing it down again.

Joseph knows he deserved that, that time. It was still worth it to taste something that reminded him of Robert.
]

Cheers, Robert.

[And they both sip their drinks - well. One of them sips, one of them gulps, although to be honest the only difference is the stance. Both of them are greedy for the alcohol, for the excuses it brings.

If Robert isn't going to comment on how it's more tequila than margarita mix, Joseph won't explain why. They clearly both know.

Joseph comes over to the table Robert has been pacing near, places a hand lightly on the back of a chair. His eyes are sheepish, skipping down to his hand in between glances up at Robert. He looks up only through his lashes.
]

Could we both sit down for this, please? I'd like for this to be as comfortable as possible.
margaritadad: (pic#11611025)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-30 01:20 pm (UTC)(link)
[Joseph still pulls out his chair in one fluid motion, but there's a moment where his entire face pauses in quiet surprise.

It's a moment that's as familiar as it is painful, once it passes and Joseph can register it for what it was. He fades into a soft chuckle, eyes flitting down to the tabletop again.
]

You know, for a moment there, I thought you were trying to pull one over on me again.

[All the joking, all the elaborate words - Robert's always gotten more verbose once he's got his heart set on the play. He's too nervous to sink his teeth into reality, but he has life beating through him in his fantasies.

Joseph can't help but feel that pull. He watches Robert for a heartbeat, lips just barely parted--

And then brings the margarita back up to his mouth and takes a long swallow.
]
Edited 2017-07-30 13:22 (UTC)
margaritadad: (pic#11611025)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-31 12:48 am (UTC)(link)
[...Ouch. Joseph's a good actor, but the flinch that echoes through him is real. His shoulders tense, his entire face slackens with surprised pain, and he looks away, charisma charm temporarily disabled.

Don't engage. Change the subject. Move it along.
]

I never lied to you about how I felt, Robert.

[It sticks to his throat, but evidently not enough to stay unspoken. Joseph looks back up, meeting Robert's stare. He swallows but stays firm, sitting up straighter. He can't quite think about how to make this about Mary, to switch away from this track. He's too focused on them and their shared pain.]
Edited 2017-07-31 00:49 (UTC)
margaritadad: (pic#11611025)

joseph 'how dare you bring up my wife while you're my side hoe' christiansen, reporting for duty

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-07-31 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I came here to talk about how to help someone I care about, Robert.

[Ambiguity. Potential double-talk. It's the only tool Joseph reliably has going for him right now.

Joseph swallows down some glass-shaped reservations about having come over, carefully tries to shelve his pain behind the drink he returns to. After a few swallows, he puts the cup down on the table. It's mostly gone, by now, the lime capsized into the ice.
]

I'm perfectly happy to leave the pain behind us and just live in the moment, for tonight.

[Isn't that what you just asked for, Robert? He's the one who keeps alluding to past pain, and now he's accusing Joseph of wanting to talk about that pain - not true at all. Let Joseph steer this towards calmer waters, Robert. Let Joseph take care of the mood.]
margaritadad: (pic#11611025)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-08-01 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
I care about other people, Robert.

[Joseph doesn't just believe that - it's true. His eyes go wide at the insinuation, again momentarily losing his control over himself. The hurt is real and tender, two vulnerable heartbeats passing before Joseph glances away to regather himself.

The alcohol might be helping him feel bolder about being inside Robert's house, but it isn't helping Joseph stay unmoved by what the owner has to say.
]

I'm not alone in struggling with how to...convey that to others, though.

[Is he, Robert.

His face still pointed at the table, Joseph's eyes come up to look at Robert. Carefully, shaded by his eyelashes, he watches him.

It's nice, being this close. Being able to see him in person.
]
margaritadad: (pic#11611026)

[personal profile] margaritadad 2017-08-07 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)
[Joseph's pulse goes up immediately. Adrenaline hits like a wall, and Joseph's never been good at acting unaffected by other people's-- intensity. He always wants it - wants to cause it, wants to see it. Wants to be the epicenter of someone else's loss of control.

His hand is on Robert's quicker than considering it. Joseph's too drunk to worry about tomorrow. He's always wanted to be able to lose himself in now, and alcohol just makes that easier.

'...the only person you really care about is yourself.'
]

Dammit, Robert. [Robert's wrist is about the same size as his own. Here, both of them stretched and crouched across the table, they're about the same height. Joseph smells tequila on Robert's breath and wants to taste it.

Joseph's other hand goes up, grips the point where Robert's neck and shoulder connect with bruising force.
] Why do you think I wanted to see you? You know I care about you.