Log:Thoughts and Prayers
The morning after. Jade has barely slept, and what little rest he's gotten has come courtesy an ill-gotten valium. Coffee is the only thing keeping him awake. He's still in bed, in his summery pajamas of blue shorts and a white tank top. Propped up by pillows, he sits in the middle of that king-sized sprawl, Meezer resting against his thigh. He strokes the cat absently with one hand and holds a coffee cup in the other.
There are circles under Jade's eyes, and he's got a thousand yard stare. His hair is disheveled and still manages to look fantastic. He must have made a deal with the devil for that hair. He looks frail, like a stiff wind might blow him away.
Cash knocks and waits a moment. When no one tells him to immediately leave, he cracks the door. "Jaden?" Cash looks just as awful. His fair complexion almost looks gray. He's wearing a shirt that has to be Hector's. It's a size too small. He has on his same shorts from last night and no shoes. Just socks. His hair is untamed and messy, the shorter cut curls up without product. "Hey. I know I've not been a good friend to you. I get upset and say things I don't mean. Say things because I know they will hurt, not because I actually think it. I-I'm a shitty person. But...we are going through the same thing right now. We both love Spear. He's yours now but...I still love him dearly. So, if you want to talk about it or just talk about something else or just want a comforting presence...I can do comforting."
He steps in a bit and closes the down behind him. "Hector is livid. I can't reach him. Felicity is a problem solver and not a great comforter. And...when I think about you sitting here alone to deal with this, my whole chest aches. No one should hurt alone."
Jade looks over at Cash, and kicked puppies could take lessons on looking sad from him. Meezer looks over and meows lowly in greeting, then rolls over on his back. He clears his voice, then speaks softly, "Come here." His voice is raw and sounds sore. He sets his coffee down and pats the bed, indicating he wants Cash to sit.
Should Cash do so, Jade wraps his arms around him and hides his face against his chest. No words for the moment, just clinging to the bigger youth. Jade is thin, so light. Moments like these highlight just how much. All his strength comes from force of personality, and without it, he's breakable.
Cash always flinches when touched, just a little and he apologizes quickly. It's a reflex he can't seem to help but he doesn't mind physical touch at all. He doubles down on the assurance by scooting closer and more or less, taking the thin, fragile Jade into his arms fully. He lets him hold on to him in silence. There really are no words for this right now. The redness of his eyes might mean he's cried out. He rubs Jade's back and smooths his hair a little. Soon, there is a subtle, gentle rocking motion and soft, musical humming. Like a lullaby. The song is a classic, sung famously by his namesake. 'You Are My Sunshine.'
Jade sniffles, but he too is cried out. He's spent, and in some not too distant future he will be back on his feet and flippant, and he would deny he's ever been so weak, but right now, he's all out of everything. It's not hard to imagine him struggling all those years just to see another sunrise. He takes refuge in Cash's embrace without reservation. Meezer shifts a little and squeezes out from between them, curling up closeby. He hasn't left Jade's side. Good boy.
It isn't until the song is over that Jade speaks. "At least they're alive." His tone is dull, but there's a small kernel of hope. "We could get them back if we just..." His voice breaks. He has no ideas, no energy to execute them.
"Shh." Cash shakes his head. "I've listened to all the ideas all night. Hector's raging ones. Felicity's well thought out ones. I'm tired of ideas. I'm tired of thinking, you know? I'm tired of worry. The moment I let my guard down for too long...that hurt as much as anything. Living your life like nothing is wrong until it is." Cash will keep holding Jade until he pulls away. Until then, he just hangs on. "We have the luxury of a little time. And...I think the upset and scared and afford a day of whatever the fuck they want to cope. So, if it's you, Meez and cuddles with Cash? That's fine with me." He pauses a moment, and swallows. "Ashley is my twin and I think that if something happened, I'd know. I haven't...so...plus, they need the leverage." He stops and shakes his head. "No more of that. We need to heal a little. We'll think better that way."
Jade sags as he lets go of the last of his oomph. It's a relief, really, not to have to think. "Cuddles with Cash sounds pretty good," he murmurs, and he doesn't pull away. It's a comfortable embrace. "We'll get them back," he murmurs. He doesn't know how, he has no plan, but he has that kernel of hope. He swallows and says, "Ashley's a fighter. Spear's got a strong spirit. They'll be okay. We just need to have faith in them." One might or might not notice the rosary on his bedside. That's new.
Cash is full of little surprises. Odd bits on knowledge picked up when others think he was in his own world. He looks at the rosary. He holds his comment. A miracle there. "Hope is all we have now. We'll hang on tight. We hang on for ourselves. It's selfish on its face to say that but you have to be strong /if/ you want to be strong for others. But now of that is required either." He glances back at the rosary. "After Hector and I broke up, I ended up on a 5150 hold. 72 hours because I couldn't calm down and I had hurt myself. Not on purpose but when I meltdown like that, all bets are off. Anyway, I learned to pray the rosary from a patient. She was obsessed and she did it a lot. Aloud. I learn best that way so...I'll pray with you. If you want."
Jade lifts his head and looks at the rosary with a sniffle. "My family isn't all that religious, but we go through the motions, I've been confirmed. Sometimes when I was in the hospital alone, I'd go to the chapel. I liked the quiet, but lately, even before all this, I guess I've been trying to use less, and prayer helps. I want to believe there's a God. That if there's this kind of evil in the world, there's something else, you know?" He looks up at Cash. "I'd like that. To pray with you."
Cash nods, picking up the rosary, gently. He looks at it, counting the beads. "It's Monday so...Joyful. That's uh, like, Jesus' birth and, uh, conception. Nice bible things. We meditate on that." He says, the last sentence with his chin raised slightly. "I'm thinking of her. Nadine." He hands the rosary to Jade. "My family isn't religious at all. So, I just sponge up everything. Catholics have ritual and I like that. So, sign of the cross." Cash does that with a little hesitation. "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." Cash offers his hand. "I'll lead. I'm slightly less of a heathen than you are." He smiles, warmly and squeezes his hand. And slowly, as the memory returns to him, he prays the rosary. It's the same wiring he uses as a musician. Repetition. Three Hail Marys and a Glory Be. First Mystery. Tell Hail Marys. Glory Be. And on and on, through each mystery, only pausing to recall it. When he isn't sure of the exact word, he wings it 'The uh...other thing in the temple.". It's not perfect but impressive for a kid not raised in it. He stumbles through Hail Holy Queen but bring it home for the final prayer.
"Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Am--wait, while I have you on the line? Holy Mary, please, keep our loved ones safe and in your loving care until we meet them again. Now. Amen."
"Woah. People wonder why I never struggled with lines. I retain like a mo--I retain well."
Jade clasps the rosary in his thin hands, long fingers twining in the black, onyx beads. The silver crucifix rests against his knuckles. "I like the rituals," he says softly. He bows his head and lets Cash lead the prayer. He has clearly paid attention to the few masses he has woken up in time to attend. He murmurs his hail Marys and speaks his amens. The ritual is soothing, not unlike the way a downer or opiod is soothing. It comforts him enough he can find tears again, and they roll down his pale cheeks.
Jade sniffles. and he releases the rosary, setting it on the bedside table again, and he makes sure the crucifix is right side up. No faceplanting Jesus. He wipes his tears on his forearm. "Fuck," he mumbles, ever holy. He at least has the grace to look remorseful. "I'm going to light a candle for him. And I'm going to go to the cemetery to our spot by the mausoleum and just... I don't know, feel closer to him, I think."
"That's a good idea. I'd like to like a candle for Ashley..." Cash's voice, clear and strong while praying, wavers. He clears his throat. "And Art too. And then, I'll leave you to the cemetery." He squeezes Jade, tightly. "No matter what happens, we have each other to lean on now. We need not suffer alone, Jaden. It's like poisoning your blood. Let go from time to time. It doesn't have to be me but a human. Meez is amazing but not a proper confidant, ya know? Feedback is critical." He kisses Jade's messy hair. "Go clean up so we can get to the church. I'm going to leave now and cruise past my house. If no one's home, I'll chan--" He pauses and a distant gaze comes over him. "What do I tell my parents?" He shakes his head. "Not now. Not now." Deep breath. "Are you okay for me to head out? Or do you want to stay in? Whatever you want, man."
Jade looks to Meezer, who is asleep on his back, curled into a J shape. "Meezer hasn't left me since I got back," he says. "He's not like having people around, but he's been a good boy." He sniffles, and he scoots out of bed, which prompts the Siamese to open his blue eyes to slits and utter a mew of protest, but then he goes back to dozing, letting one hind paw press against Cash's leg.
"Maybe tell them she went on a trip," he says, "to exert her newfound independence. Or that she needed to clear her head, and she'll be back." He sits back down and crumples into Cash's arms. "I'll be okay," he says. "It's going to be okay, Cash. I'm glad you're here. No one gives hugs like you do."
Cash flinches but laughs a little. "Only because I filled out last year." He nuzzles against Jade's hair. "It'll be okay. It's the not knowing that'll kill you. But they are alive, where ever they are. We'll figure it out once we shake loose the shock of it all." He nods. "I really...I really am sorry for being unkind. I lash out and and lash out hard. People have hurt me...and I know I'm easily hurt but I just dish it out tenfold. Like a hedgehog. I curl up and stick you. I'm trying to watch my reactions, release the guilt of the past and act of my heart. And my heart said you needed someone. Someone with a little bit of distance but the same sort that loved Spear the same way you love him now. You are lucky to have one another." One more peck on her head and squeeze and Cash lets go to get to his feet. "You are doing so good, Jade. You are still clean and not drowning in drugs to ease the hurt. If something happened to Hector or Felicity...Oh, I'd been in a locked psych facility until I'm 60. I'm proud of you." He pauses. "Too much? It's how I feel but..." He can't read people he never really looks at.
Jade murmurs, "I don't want you to feel bad, Cash. I don't like being hurt, but I don't want you to beat yourself up. I want you to grow and learn and be happy." He squeezes a little harder, not that he can actually hug hard. "You're my friend, and you're always going to be my friend. I know I'm shitty sometimes, too, so, you know, I can't really talk." He draws back and watches Cash get to his feet. "I don't think it's fully hit me yet, but I know I have to stay alive for him. I have to be there when he comes back, so I'll be careful. I'm just going to use what I need to to sleep. But I'll be okay. Tell Hector and Felicity hey, okay?"
"Okay. Take care, Jade. We won't be far, I'm sure so...find us if you need." Cash takes a deep breath. "I'm trying not to think too hard about it. Thanks for the brief reprieve from my...husband and girlfriend. I thought one was a handful. See you around and find me when you light the candle, okay?" And with that, Cash lets himself out.