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Private The Ten Plagues of Jimmy

Discussion in 'Residences' started by Charles McGill, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.

    November 20th Year 6

    Chuck felt a sense of guilt for not being able to truly visit Jimmy in the hospital. He had tried though. Entering the room had been too much...too many whirring and buzzing sounds, too much heat, even if they stopped the inessential machines for his visit. Jimmy had to see that he tried, right? Still, when his brother had come home, the place was spotless and Jimmy's linens cleaned and bed made for his arrival.

    He ignored Irene completely as they arrived and used the groceries their new assistant had brought to made dinner for two then pretended as if he hadn't understood that Irene expected to stay as well. Apologizing profusely, the awkwardness that he'd wanted had definitely been achieved. Irene felt unwelcome and shunned, despite hiding it well.

    That was two days ago and it hadn't stopped her from visiting constantly. They tried to stay out of the path of the other as much as they could and Chuck acted as malleable as he could. Jimmy had been shot. He needed time, not baring the fact that he'd already been gone a week, not thinking of the fact that he'd been in trouble again. Chuck tried to keep his opinion to himself, he even kept passive aggressive comments to himself. However, Irene got barbs out of Jimmy's sight.

    In any case, Chuck thought things needed to change. He thought it was time to approach Jimmy about exactly how. Swallowing, he knew it was about the end of Jimmy's work day and Irene was likely to show up soon. Now was the best time, "Jimmy, can we talk?"
     
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  2. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    Chuck had tried to visit James, but it only had wracked him with guilt and reminded him that, although Charles had been working on his condition and had improved quite a bit-- he was still sick. Hospitals were the worst place for him to visit, Jimmy understood, but he couldn't help hoping, just hoping, that Chuck was well enough to act like a brother again.

    He hated to ask Irene to keep tabs on him, if he made it home safe, if he was alright. She was healing too, and she was not his brother's keeper. The visit had also only reminded James that he had been neglecting Charles, had been choosing not to take care of him anymore. He had managed to live his life relatively guilt-free for so long since Irene had hired help for the man, but during that week in the hospital it had all caught up to him. Chuck was still sick, and James hadn't been there for him nor given any help to improve his condition over the past couple months.

    When Jimmy was released to return home, trying to hide his winces at each step while migrating from a place of extreme sin-exposing light to a cave of lamp-lit darkness, he had noticed the warm welcome of the clean linens and apartment. He instantly knew his shirts and sheets had been folded by Charles, and not the caretaker. Chuck always folded fabric like their father did, mathematically perfect. No matter how many times Jimmy would fold fabric, one shirt sleeve would always poke out just a tad, or the bed sheets would always end up lying crooked.

    The gesture seemed to display that Chuck had actually cared for him. Jimmy was hesitant to really believe that, though he so badly wanted to. It was a gesture of affection that was so vastly different than what he had expected and grown accustomed to, growing up with the brother who had always argued with their parents that, 'Jimmy's not sick, he's faking it for attention, to get out of school'-- even though James did fake a lot of his childhood illnesses for those very reasons. But nonetheless, it was nice to be subjected to a more concerned gaze than a jealous one, for once.

    He had been shot, so. Kinda hard to fake that ailment. Jimmy supposed it just took him getting shot to evoke a glimmer of compassion from his brother. Should have thought of that years ago.

    James had held Irene's hand tightly as they rested upon his freshly made bed, glad to be somewhere that resembled a little more of a home than the atrocious hospital. He had never wanted her to leave, had asked her to stay there with them for the night, and then the timely awkwardness at the dinner mix-up had to happen. The fact that Chuck had made a mistake almost made up for the uncomfortable situation, but of course, a simple 'You should have told me Irene was staying.' cleared that right up and Charles had effortlessly removed the blame from himself once again.

    It was a rough time, being unfit to really work and having to drop a few clients because of his physical inability to show up to represent them in court. James called each and every one of his clients from that bed, assuring them that he was fine and then making small talk, cracking good-natured jokes, then giving them a warm goodbye-- stressing the 'for now!' aspect of it. It was painful to send other lawyers their documents, not only to his pride but also because it required extra work in reviewing his tracks and crossing his T's and dotting his I's. James pushed deadlines as much as he could to retain the clients he could and protect his less-than-legal methods of work.

    It was exhausting. Jimmy was pretty sure he had an earned an ulcer, but he was too stressed and sore to notice. At least he was financially alright. At least he had that going for him right now, for once.

    Being sentenced to rest for so long was agonizing in itself. He wondered if the feeling of a literal hole in his chest cavity would ever go away, or if there would always be that sensation of stitched tissue remaining in each layer of his body beneath that one spot, a constant reminder of that day. As if Eurus still lived, inside his own body, until the day he joined her in death. Her last gift to him had been an eternal reminder of her influence in his life.

    James was thinking such haunting thoughts, sitting on the edge of his bed and having just replaced his bandage after a changing the gauze, when Charles visited his room. "Hey, Chuck." Jimmy greeted, immediately reverting to the age-old habit of donning a smile and starting any exchange off in a good light, whether it was artificial or not. He wadded up the old gauze so that the pieces with dried blood were tucked deep inside the clump and tossed the ball into the nearby trash bin, erasing the evidence of anything being less than fine-and-dandy or possessing a weakness.

    He didn't really want to talk to Charles. Not if it was going to be a scolding, a barrage of questions he would evade to answer, or a conversation about his disapproval of Irene. What else did Charles ever want to talk about? Why couldn't they just laugh together, for once? How long had it been since they'd just been able to relax and laugh around each other?

    He honestly couldn't remember. "Sure." Rubbing his hands on the soft fabric of his dark plaid shorts, he maintained his false smile and tried to prepare himself for the usual assault of accusations. "What do you, uh.... Need?"


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~




    @Charles McGill
     
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  3. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    Chuck drew the chair in the corner near Jimmy's bedside, noting that it had not already been there which made him envision Irene not visiting with bedside manner but inbed manner. The beauty he saw in her physical form the first time they met had completely faded and now, he cringed at the mere sight of her.

    If he was truly honest with himself, it had a lot to do with Jimmy's success. Chuck was always happier to know that Jimmy struggled as a near punishment for all his years of screwing up. But, more than that, he wanted Jimmy to figure out that it took work and not short cuts to get what he wanted. Here in Pandora, however, he had found easy success and this beautiful woman who was clearly devoted to him. Jimmy had all the puzzle pieces for true happiness and Chuck begrudged him, especially when he had lost it all after earning it with hard work and elbow grease.

    These thoughts were almost unconscious, however, buried too deep for Jimmy to see and sometimes, even for Chuck to see.

    "I just had a suggestion, really." Chuck began, "I know you've had to scale back your practice cause of this and I think there's an obvious solution here." He cleared his throat, "Put me to work. I know it's been sorta buried but I am still a lawyer. I could pick up some of the slack and we both know I owe you." He finished, knowing it was a perfect lead up to make Jimmy feel grateful and maybe even a little guilty.
     
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  4. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    James wished that he was able to believe that Charles really did intend to help him out, but he was doubtful. The good-natured reminder that Charles still was a lawyer stirred a pot of mixed feelings within James' healing chest, and it didn't help that he had to sneer through a wince of pain as he settled back to sit against his pillow. While Jimmy had once seen his brother as nothing but a reputable and great lawyer, he now couldn't really see him as that kind of man anymore. He'd been sick for so long-- grumpy and weak and kind of pathetic-- for so long.

    Chuck once ruled over a kingdom of attorneys and paralegals. He had been a legal titan and Jimmy had enjoyed delivering the mail throughout his brother's massive office building-- doing his small part to keep the machine running like clockwork, helping his brother continue to succeed while also studying on his own for the bar exam in pursuit of Charles' footsteps. That felt like a century ago.

    But kings step down, and princes step up. That was how monarchies worked. In fact, that turntable was often fueled by blood relation, so it only made sense to Jimmy that he was now the one who operated a machine of law-- and he oiled it well. A little too well where it even created some slippery puddles, but at least it wasn't buried in dust like Charles'.

    Internally, James knew he would never be satisfied with his work until he had earned all that Charles had earned. An entire firm with his name ironed upon it, a talented and loyal partner, a fucking fortune. He was working his way there, little by little. It was just too bad that the place where he'd found the most success was a place as surreal as Pandora. It just denied even more credibility to his efforts. Good thing James had always known how to make the best of the shit he had to work with.

    The truth was that Chuck wasn't a lawyer anymore. He probably would never be again-- which was something Jimmy also had conflicted feelings about. There was so much about law in Pandora that was different from the States. For Chuck to do what he was offering to do, James would have to teach him a lot, and the curriculum would make for very bad conversations that would quickly turn to arguments. Charles would feel like a professor being taught by a kindergartner, despite how false that depiction would be.

    "I could pick up some of the slack and we both know I owe you."

    "Nah, you don't 'owe me' Chuck. Not for a damn thing." Jimmy muttered in his slightly hoarse throat, waving the silly and slightly guilt-inducing comment away before lifting his eyebrows and expressing as earnestly as he could, "I appreciate the offer, I really do. But... it's all so complicated, here. You know."

    Charles didn't want a dismissal, like always. He didn't deserve that. James quickly found some optimism, and even started to convince himself of the possibility. "But! One day, if you want to... practice law again... here, you know... It might be good for you to... get accustomed to this craziness, heh." He tried to keep his small laugh and grin honest and good-natured. It was truly quite troubling, thinking of Charles in that courtroom on Tower Hill... at the prosecutor's table. He didn't want that day to ever come, but he also hated seeing Charles so unhappy and wretched here, like an old hermit. He looked so much older holed up in this shitty apartment, being taken care of like he was a wrinkled turtle on the brink of death.

    James never wanted to see him truly weakened and decrepit like those sweet old people in the nursing homes. His brother was stronger than that, younger than that. Jimmy wished Charles always would be. With a sigh, Jimmy relinquished an offer to help Chuck get his strength back, his power back-- if he would accept it and agree to be taught by a kindergartner. "We could look at some cases together. I've got a quite a colorful collection. A lot of the supernatural sort, tons of property damage, and uh... murder trials. One thing's for sure, it's never dull in good ol' Pandora!" He laughed, simply wanting nothing more than to just sit and joke and laugh with his brother again, before their chances to had all faded away for good.

    Nearly dying sure made you think about everything you'd miss when you or those you cared about were dead.

    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~




    @Charles McGill
     
    Charles McGill and Irene Adler like this.
  5. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    Chuck had other bones to pick with Jimmy but this was a good start. Trying to bring himself back to at least equal, at least in Jimmy's eyes, it was time he had a say in his own life, in how things were run. This was the beginning of an uphill battle, but a battle that would take him uphill nonetheless. All in all, he was feeling pretty optimistic. Jimmy had helped him this far, surely this would be a good thing that Chuck wanted to help him out, earn his keep, work again.

    Even when Jimmy droned out his typical martyr line about Chuck not owing him anything, Chuck waved it away, still confident in his plan. Just wait till he told Jimmy what he had been doing in his spare time.

    "But... it's all so complicated, here. You know."

    Chuck tried not to take offense to the implication that he couldn't handle 'complicated' but his skin itched with irritation. Did Jimmy really fancy himself the only adaptable MctGill? Chuck's whole life was complicated and he made a diamond out of coal dust anyway.

    "But! One day, if you want to... practice law again... here, you know... It might be good for you to... get accustomed to this craziness, heh."

    The patronizing a second time was what turned Chuck. One day? Chuck was clearly ready to practice law now, not some day, "If I didn't know any better I'd say you were trying to discourage me." He commented, wondering at Jimmy's state of mind and direction with this.

    His tone was offended but measured, however his mind was seething and he hardly heard Jimmy's offer for them to look at a few cases together. It was too little too late at that point. Jimmy was clearly trying to keep Chuck down. Was he intimidated? "Huh, don't do me any favors." He put his hands up in surrender, "I thought you'd think it was a good idea, that you'd want me to start working again, get back on my feet, obviously I was far from correct."

    Jimmy desire for good humor was also lost on Chuck. Chuck wasn't a complete sourpuss, but Jimmy clearly didn't see the look on his audience's face. "I mean, I did note some differences in the laws here as well, but I didn't find them all that complicated. In fact, it's fairly straightforward and, in many aspects, similar to the United States. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks." He huffed, "Well, some reading isn't all that new at all really and that's all it took. I don't know what you find complicated about that. Unless you were trying to put me off this idea altogether to keep me where I am..." His blue eyes narrowed, "In that case, your argument makes sense." He bit on the words hostilely. Did Jimmy know him at all? Did he truly think that calling it complicated would get him off the scent of a challenge, of succeeding?

     
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  6. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    "If I didn't know any better I'd say you were trying to discourage me."

    Discourage? That was the complete opposite of what Jimmy was trying to do. Jimmy almost scoffed 'Well, good thing you do know better!' Because he always did. Chuck always knew better. But Jimmy was too caught off-guard to really react at first.

    "Huh, don't do me any favors. I thought you'd think it was a good idea, that you'd want me to start working again, get back on my feet, obviously I was far from correct."

    "Wha--? Chuck, I.." Jimmy croaked, dumbfounded by his reaction. Of course, once again, they couldn't even just talk without misunderstanding each other. No, without Chuck misunderstanding Jimmy's perfectly good intentions. Why did he even try anymore? James rubbed his temples as Charles went on. He paused to glare at Chuck in confusion. Reading? "Have... have you been going to the library?" He almost included 'On your own?' but god forbid that set his brother off on another rampage of offense.

    "I don't know what you find complicated about that. Unless you were trying to put me off this idea altogether to keep me where I am... In that case, your argument makes sense."

    Accusing him of maliciousness and belittling his argumentation skills. He should be used to this by now, but Jimmy wasn't. He was only fed up with it. "Oh my God, Chuck, I'm not-- Why are you so convinced that I'm some complete jackass?" He snarled, gripping the open air before mocking theatrically, "I was genuinely offering to help you, but, noooo, apparently I was just kicking dirt in your face, like I always do-- isn't that right, Chuck?"

    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~




    @Charles McGill
     
    #6 James McGill, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Irene Adler likes this.
  7. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    Chuck ignored Jimmy's objections, the patronizing so clear in his voice before that he wasn't about to weasel his way out of it with talk. "Have... have you been going to the library?" Finally, Chuck paused at those words, "Not that you asked or wondered what I've been doing on a daily basis, but yes." He said, smoothly, having the higher ground again as the flood waters seeped through the walls, intending on drowning one of them. He had also implied that Jimmy was absent from his life, just to add more accusation and guilt. Sending some stranger to care for him was an insult, a way to not worry about him other than his daily physical needs. Jimmy didn't care if Chuck was lonely or bored, just that he was kept alive. Otherwise, he could brush him off.

    "Why are you so convinced that I'm some complete jackass? I was genuinely offering to help you, but, noooo, apparently I was just kicking dirt in your face, like I always do-- isn't that right, Chuck?"

    Chuck scoffed, "You were brushing me off, trying to tell me it was too complicated. Your offer for me to look over one of your cases was backtracking at best. It just so happens I have one consulting client already." It wasn't a complete lie, but the client had been very short lived and their advise easy enough to give quickly. "Don't treat me like I'm helpless or too old to learn something new or adapt, Jimmy." He scolded.

    "And why do I think you're a jackass? How about that you hired some stranger, a veritable dog sitter, for my daily needs and then disappear? You seem to want my positive attention and time only when you have a spare minute which has been never, especially lately. Then, what, you wanna throw me this bone when I come forward and offer to help you retain some clients? I've practiced law far longer than you, Jimmy, don't talk down to me. I wasn't asking for your help, I was offering mine to you." He pointed out, climbing that high ground even more, trying to gain back dominance in their relationship, dominance he hadn't realized had deteriorated so much.

    "And, then you come home at least once a month with injuries and don't tell me what's going on. But, it's clearly escalating. And, it's not just you, Irene comes here with with injuries too." He added, his true reason for starting this discussion. "Last month, you came home with broken ribs and now you've been shot!" He shook his head, "But, you both blow me off as if I'm too fragile to know the details. Or, you just know I'll point out the obvious truth."

     
    #7 Charles McGill, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  8. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    "You were brushing me off, trying to tell me it was too complicated." James protested under his brother's voice, "I wasn't brushing you off!" He had been trying to make an effort not to brush him off by making an offer to look at some cases with him, but Charles was just so convinced that, "Your offer for me to look over one of your cases was backtracking at best." Again fighting to be heard under his older brother's words, James denied, "It wasn't backtracking!" but it was no use.

    He paused in his defense once more when Charles mentioned a client. "Wha...? Who?!" He asked in mild exasperation, wondering how on God's Earth Charles, the hermit who stayed huddled in this apartment 100% of this time (a statistic which Jimmy now knew was false) and couldn't bear to be in the same room as anything electronic could acquire a client. James' exasperation probably came across as 'who would want you as their lawyer?' but again, he hadn't meant it to be interpreted that way.

    "And why do I think you're a jackass? How about that you hired some stranger, a veritable dog sitter, for my daily needs and then disappear? "

    Jimmy didn't really have a defense to that. Well, he did, but he didn't jump to defend himself out of sheer guilt, afraid-- knowing that he was right. "I--" He tried to tell Chuck that he had done that for him, because James was too busy to take care of his brother himself. It was not a dick headed effort to get rid of his responsibilities, it had been an effort to fulfill them, albeit an undesirable one. An undesirable one for Charles, at least. It had actually really relieved a lot of stress and depression from Jimmy.

    "You seem to want my positive attention and time only when you have a spare minute which has been never, especially lately..... I wasn't asking for your help, I was offering mine to you."

    Jimmy remained silenced during the man's brutal rant, feeling what little structure of himself he had left start to crack, while Charles only seemed to blow up like a balloon, soaking in all the power in their fucked-up relationship. His dominance was very obviously being reclaimed, and it didn't help that Jimmy was injured and lying down. Firming his expression and hauling himself forward, James bore through a twitch and tug of pain in his muscle tissue and sat up again, probably more roughly than was healthy for him. He was not going to take tall this literally lying down.

    Sitting on the edge of the bed once again, James glared at his brother as he continued his rant, simultaneously appreciating the pain medication he was nearly-wasted with and also trying very hard to forget about his injury entirely so he could face this asshole as an equal. It was Charles who had always, always, talked down to Jimmy, and he was sick of it.

    "And, then you come home at least once a month with injuries and don't tell me what's going on. But, it's clearly escalating. And, it's not just you, Irene comes here with with injuries too." James lifted his brows briefly and tilted his head to himself, but kept his ground. Yeah, she did come home (which he had noticed Charles use the word 'here' instead) with injuries, and most of them were indirectly Jimmy's fault. That wasn't news. Jimmy remained focused on the issue he was having between himself and his brother, not Irene.

    "Last month, you came home with broken ribs and now you've been shot!" James studied his brother's body language and expressions, looking for something specific. Some rare glimmer of anything other than anger and blame.

    It seemed the old geezer had run out of steam, and James let the air settle with the absence of angry voices for a minute. Taking control again in a low and calm voice, he asked casually, "Are you, somehow, trying to say that you're concerned about us when that happens? That you actually even give a shit?" He opened his hands in a small shrug.

    "Because usually when someone comes home injured, you know, people ask if they're okay, 'Oh, thank god you're safe,' or 'What would I do without you, I'm so glad I didn't lose you..." Jimmy gestured back and forth, lifting his pitch to a mockingly caring one before dropping it back down to a very neutral and blunt tone. "Not-- 'What did you do this time?' 'Oh, my shit-ass little brother and his whore probably did something to deserve it.'" He finished with at he slightest twist of his verbal knife, resting his jaw so that a bit of his teeth were still visible in an almost grimace.

    Charles never actually said any of that when they came home in a wretched state, good or bad. But it was very clear that he felt more of the latter attitude than the former attitude. "Are those what you think, when you see us come home like that? Is that the 'obvious truth?'" James asked, expecting Chuck to evade the question and claim that Jimmy was crafting a red herring or another logical fallacy. Of course he would. Charles always accused him of that.

    Honestly, all James cared about was finding one sliver of actual compassion in that old man's heart for his little brother. Jimmy couldn't live the rest of his life giving him the benefit of the doubt or assuming it was there. It had been, once. A long, long time ago. He needed to know that it still was in there.

    If it was, then you know what, maybe he'd actually want to be around Charles again. Perhaps he would want to tell him what horrible adventures he and Irene have suffered through together. Relationships were a two way street, and Jimmy hadn't seen anything come his direction for an excruciatingly long time.


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~




    @Charles McGill
     
  9. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    Chuck huffed about the question with the client, "It was a correspondence client. They came here, dropped off some legal paperwork and I completed it for them." He said patiently, slowly, and proudly.

    "Are you, somehow, trying to say that you're concerned about us when that happens? That you actually even give a shit?"

    Chuck leaned back, his hands raised slightly in frustration and exasperation, "Well, of course I'm concerned. I came to the hospital, I have been cleaning and making dinner and making sure you didn't have to worry about anything, I just offered to help you with you work load. But, my concern is tempered with worry for my own safety as well as yours and the frustration of you always keeping me in the dark." He said pointedly, waiting for that to sink in.

    But Jimmy wasn't done. "'Oh, my shit-ass little brother and his whore probably did something to deserve it.'"

    "Jimmy!"

    "Are those what you think, when you see us come home like that? Is that the 'obvious truth?'"

    Chuck was silent for a long moment and decided it was high time for him to tell what he knew, "I think that of Irene, yes." He said plainly but softly, the same tone he had used when first revealing that he thought Jimmy wasn't a real lawyer, "But it was your secrets that have brought us here. From the moment I met her, you've been lying to me. Irene who?" He said intensely, "Just Irene, huh? Or is is actually Irene Adler?" He nearly hissed her last name, "Who was arrested for extortion, fraud, manslaughter and a barrage of other offenses. Even if there was an explanation for it all, I was never given the chance to hear it. But, I'm just sure you blame me judging it anyway. You like to blame people for the problems you created."

    He took a breath, trying to calm down, "I know I'm not easy to live with Jimmy and I know you're busy, which is why I don't complain, but it's a waste for me to sit around and do nothing. I saw a perfect opportunity to help us both out. Get me in a working schedule again and help you retain some clients. I saw an opportunity for us to work together for once rather than opposing."

    "But, Jimmy, your lying fills me with suspicion and distrust and then you turn around and accuse me of being a suspicious and bitter. But, the more I discover on my own, the more I find out how much you've been keeping from me and the more I understand that you don't trust me and you don't think I can handle it." He stood now, seeing that Jimmy was sitting up, trying to give him room, "But I have been, silently. I've done more here than you've notice or are willing to give me credit for." He huffed, "And yes, I think Irene is bad for you. You're literally putting your life on the line and she keeps getting you into trouble...at least, that's all I see because you tell me nothing."


     
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  10. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    "It was a correspondence client. They came here, dropped off some legal paperwork and I completed it for them." Oh, so not an actual client, with an actual case. James tried to hide his smirking grin. No, actually, he did not try to hide it. That was a pathetic 'accomplishment' for the once great and mighty Charles McGill. A correspondence client? That was rich. Perhaps if Jimmy hadn't been so viciously attacked two minutes ago, he would have been uplifted by his brother's small step towards getting back in the game.

    In the silence after his digging demands, James maintained a challenging and truth-seeking eye contact with his brother. "I think that of Irene, yes." Of course he did. That wasn't news. James narrowed his gaze slightly as Charles turned the blame back on him, and hissed her last name as if it was an insult or a curse, which it was nothing of the sort.

    When he started listing her charges, however, that was what really made Jimmy's body temperature rise. "She never--!!" He began to argue, but Chuck kept at it. "Even if there was an explanation for it all, I was never given the chance to hear it. But, I'm just sure you blame me judging it anyway. You like to blame people for the problems you created."

    Jimmy opened his mouth again to continue the battle, and found himself so overcome with frustration that he struggled for a complete word. Gathering his senses again and tilting his head, he growled a warning, "Chuck..."

    "I know I'm not easy to live with Jimmy and I know you're busy, which is why I don't complain, but it's a waste for me to sit around and do nothing... I saw an opportunity for us to work together for once rather than opposing."

    "Yeah, I did too. But you blew it to Timbuktu." James smiled with a heated mockery. "--your lying fills me with suspicion and distrust and then you turn around and accuse me of being a suspicious and bitter. But, the more I discover on my own, the more I find out how much you've been keeping from me and the more I understand that you don't trust me and you don't think I can handle it."


    "I've done more here than you've notice or are willing to give me credit for. And yes, I think Irene is bad for you." James glared at him and emphasized for the hundredth time, "She's not!"


    "You're literally putting your life on the line and she keeps getting you into trouble...at least, that's all I see because you tell me nothing."



    Inhaling an inflating breath, James ran his tensed fingers across his knees and spat, "Fine." before throwing his hands up in surrender. "Fine!" He kept his voice low and more-or-less calm. "You want me to tell you something, Chuck? I'll tell you something. I'll throw you a bone, cause all you are is just a neglected starving mutt under the table, is that right?" He asked slightly mockingly. Always the victim, Chuck was. After holding his gaze for a second, James tilted his head and then came to a realization. "Forced to dig through the trash when I'm not home... for anything to keep you alive?"

    Charles had indeed looked through something, a folder James must have left out, to find out all that information on Irene. He wouldn't have found that at the library. And yeah, Jimmy hadn't noticed or given him credit for that. He didn't know exactly how, but Charles had definitely done some digging through Jimmy's trash, like a bloodhound determined to find every tiny mistake, willing to go to the ends of the earth to find dirt on his brother.

    Jimmy stood from the bed as if he wasn't injured at all, meeting Charles as an equal. "It's not that I don't think you can handle it. It's that I don't want you fucking around with my business." He spat calmly before placing his fingers on his own chest. "The way I run it, which I know isn't the way you would run it." He pointed at his brother's chest, but didn't touch him, before air quoting and gesturing away the details of his next words. "The 'right way,' as you would put it."

    He nodded to himself and admitted without shame, keeping his brother's gaze the entire time. "You know what, Chuck? Yeah, I've got some skeletons in my closet. Yeah, I've broken some rules." It was time to tell him. Everything.

    "I put a bad man in prison to protect a prostitute. And when he got out and threatened Irene and I, we set him up again! Irene stabbed him with a pair of scissors so he didn't rape her. Justified murder, self defense, yet Irene still received a load a' shit about it, which I cleared up for her-- in my own way."

    James kept a mockingly cheery attitude about this next bit, which he remembered so fondly. "Then we had a nice little get-together in a horror house from Hell. You know Sherlock Holmes, right? And John Watson. Irene's friends. Book characters, yeah? That all they are to you?" He paused in his bubbly spirit to really ponder if Charles had a heart before dropping the act and recalling the events with a quelled anger and hate.

    "I met them. They saved my life. I was forced into a little water tank like a goldfish-- 'cept without gills-- and after being rescued and watching John get shot because of it, I was lucky enough to make it home with only a head cold-- no, I meant pneumonia. Had a real bad case of PTSD when it came to that goddamned shower too, for a couple months, but you didn't notice that, did you? No, you only noticed that Irene was constantly over here, crowding your space."

    His tone grew more mocking and bitter as his volume rose, staying close in front of Charles as he let it all out. "And I don't mean to sound like a crazy person, but we were also attacked by a Kraken out on the ocean blue! Which I fired a bullet into-- like an idiot!"

    Jutting a thumb arbitrarily behind him and tilting his head, he remembered, "Oh, and speaking of that, the psycho bitch who tried to drown me, who murdered those two 'book characters' and who had been stalking me and Irene for months threatening our lives, who shot me...!?"

    He grew still and serious once more as he honestly admitted, though without any remorse, "I killed her, Chuck. Your little brother killed another human being." For a second he feared Charles wouldn't comprehend that, wouldn't believe him, or would't understand the full scope of that sentence. James stepped to the side and threw open his nightstand drawer to pick up and display the weapon between them. "With this knife, and a bullet to the head." He emphasized, rotating the closed murder weapon like it was a prized possession, which it was. No pride was in his face, only cold stern truth.

    "What do you think about that, Chuck?" Jimmy asked with a quiet and almost forlorn voice, expecting the expression of disgust, doubt, or dread to smear across his brother's face. Then he held up another finger and tossed the pocket knife onto the bed behind him, donning his salesman voice. "Oh, but don't dial the cops just yet! It was in self-defense-- I'm not some monster!"

    He muttered with a low bitterness as he turned back to face Chuck, "Not as much as you think I am."

    "You happy now, Chuck? Knowing the whole story?" Jimmy asked, putting his hands on his hips. "Is that what you've wanted?"


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~




    @Charles McGill
     
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  11. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

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    Male
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    Human
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    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    Jimmy’s mocking grin only served to incite Charles more and his stubbornness and impatience rose greatly. Jimmy stayed silent until he began to charge Irene with crimes, which was no shock, he’d been hiding her crimes and defending her questionable actions since Charles had met her.

    "Yeah, I did too. But you blew it to Timbuktu."

    “Please, you tried to discourage me first.” Charles pointed out with his palm upwards for emphasis, “You have been hiding things from me since I got here. All I want is for you to stop trying to protect me, Jimmy. I want to get better, and I never will if you keep protecting me.”

    "Fine."

    Chuck looked up sharply. Fine? He felt warily victorious. Jimmy was still clearly agitated but was seemingly about to give Chuck exactly what he’d asked for; truth, all of it. Jimmy’s dog metaphor made Chuck sag his shoulders, “Yes, Jimmy, you lying to me and keeping things from me makes me a dog. How dare I insist on truth.” He droned, flatly as Jimmy stood, “Jimmy, lie back down.”

    But, he couldn’t stop him, Jimmy just went on about how he wanted to run his business a certain way and didn’t want Chuck involved because he would call him out.

    “You don’t want to be held accountable, you mean.” He snipped as Jimmy was still talking. "You know what, Chuck? Yeah, I've got some skeletons in my closet. Yeah, I've broken some rules." This was no shock to Charles and he almost said so until this story came spilling out of his brother.

    "I put a bad man in prison to protect a prostitute…Irene stabbed him with a pair of scissors so he didn't rape her. Justified murder, self defense, yet Irene still received a load a' shit about it, which I cleared up for her-- in my own way." 'A prostitute' must refer to Irene, Chuck thought.

    This made Charles pause, stunned. His little brother had gotten tangled up in some very dangerous shit, but it all still pointed to Irene front and center of Jimmy’s misfortune. “…Book characters, yeah? That all they are to you?"

    “Jimmy, stop, I didn’t know…” But Jimmy didn’t stop.

    “…but you didn't notice that, did you?”

    “You were so secretive, Jimmy, how could I?” Jimmy still wasn’t done. A Kraken, a Hydra, or a Siren, Chuck wondered, thinking of Irene.

    "I killed her, Chuck. Your little brother killed another human being."

    Now Chuck really was stunned into silence. Jimmy truly had been through so much. "What do you think about that, Chuck?" Chuck opened his mouth to talk but found no words.

    "You happy now, Chuck…Is that what you've wanted?"

    “Yes, it is, but no, I’m not happy. I’m sorry you’ve been through all that, Jimmy.” He sighed, sitting back down, trying to get Jimmy to sit as well, “I would have helped you.” He said after a long moment of silence, “If Irene killed that man in self-defense, I would have helped you put together a case to defend her.” He thought back to a time with Jimmy stressed and not sleeping where Irene had disappeared. He would have helped, “I would have helped you after that house, I would have helped you get through it.” His blue eyes searched the carpet for answers, for something to say, “Jimmy…How could you think I would judge Irene for defending herself? Or you?” He looked into James’ face, looking for any sign that he believed him. None of this changed anything. Irene was to blame for Jimmy’s trauma, for this killing. How could he convince him of this?

     
    #11 Charles McGill, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  12. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

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    Westcourt, Pandora Town
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    Human
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    True Neutral
    Directory:
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    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    James calmed down a bit when Charles was stunned into silence. The expression on his older brother's face was probably the closest thing Jimmy would ever see to guilt. “Yes, it is, but no, I’m not happy. I’m sorry you’ve been through all that, Jimmy.”

    James took his words with a grain of salt as he remained standing, content to have their positions switched. Finally. He stood in that silence and turned to watch his brother processing all the information that had just been dumped on him-- information that Jimmy had been piling up inside him like a dump truck that refused to go to the landfill.

    It felt good to get it all of his chest. It felt good to throw it all to somebody who wasn't Irene, because God knew she had her own hands full with secrets, pains, regrets, and fears. “I would have helped you.”

    James softened further and really held onto that phrase, hesitant to examine it for truth in case none was to be found. Or in case it was riddled with truth, and he'd simply been too accusatory and blind to it based off his own ignorance and pride this entire time. As Charles spoke, touching upon each memory as if they were now his own nightmares, James set his jaw tightly. He re-imagined each step in his life in Pandora with Chuck at his side, helping him, not being shoved into the darkness.

    Maybe things really would have been better if he had told Charles all of this as it came. If Jimmy didn't hoard all the guilt, blame, and responsibility to fix it on his own shoulders.

    “Jimmy…How could you think I would judge Irene for defending herself? Or you?” Jimmy slowly met his eyes, still wary but hopeful and guilty.

    He should have told him a long time ago.

    "I dunno, I just..." He rasped before clearing his throat and shaking his head to rattle the correct words into his mouth. "...You don't always agree with my side of the argument Chuck." Even when his side was right. Which was rarely, but still...

    "...I'm sorry I kept you in the dark." He slowly spoke, giving in to his guilt only because of the enticement of what their lives could have been for the past few months if he had chosen to trust his brother.


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~



    @Charles McGill
     
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  13. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

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    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.


    "I dunno, I just...You don't always agree with my side of the argument Chuck."

    Chuck scoffed gently, "First of all, sit the hell down before you tear a stitch." The big brother insisted. But, it wasn't in adult Chuck way, it was in the firm way he used to when they were kids, the tone that meant I'm teaching you to be tough by telling you no and not being nice about it, but also telling you, in a boy's way, that I care enough to look out for you, "Secondly, Jimmy, you're right, we don't always agree on method but if Irene acted in self defense, then how could I not help? And, I certainly know you well enough to be certain you'd never harm another human being unless it was absolutely necessary. In fact, I'm surprised you did it at all. You must have been driven further than even I've ever seen you." He said somberly.

    "...I'm sorry I kept you in the dark."

    "I just want to move forward, Jimmy. I don't want to dwell on apologies or the past." He said, trying to excuse the apology away as unnecessary, "This place is insane, there is no rule book, but we're stuck here, together. And, I want figure out how to be stuck here. I want to start living again, leave all this behind us." He paused for a long while, his suggestion of exactly how they do that one Jimmy would not like.

    "Jimmy, I know you love her." It was a statement, simple and concise with no tone behind it, "I was waiting for it, I thought it was going to be Kim." He chuckled, soberly, "And I can see why. Irene's one of the most outstanding women I've ever met. Smart, ambitious, not to mention quite possibly one of the most captivatingly beautiful women I've ever seen in real life. And, she clearly cares for you very much. I wish the three of us had gotten off on a better foot." He said, as if he meant it, "I understand why you're so loyal to her."

    "Sometimes, the things that destroy us are the most attractive." He let that sink in, "Jimmy, I'm on the outside looking in and she's literally nearly destroyed you a few times over. You can't deny she is the common denominator of your worst troubles. The way to move on is to leave her behind, start a life that doesn't pull in the danger and the drama." He put a hand up to stop him from talking back, "I know that's hard to hear but think logically, Jimmy. Leave emotion on your side plate for once."

     
    #13 Charles McGill, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  14. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

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    Male
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    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~


    "First of all, sit the hell down before you tear a stitch." Jimmy smiled in one corner of his mouth, and didn't linger for long before obeying his big brother. It had been a while since he'd heard that tone, which so reminded him of when they were young. When Charles warned him not to climb on to of the tall framing of the playground slide, or he'd fall off-- which he did shortly after firing a snarky retort to his brother's warning.

    James slowly eased himself onto the bed beside him, keeping his spine straight and his stitched muscle and skin in tact. "Secondly, Jimmy, you're right--" Holy shit, someone get this on tape, pronto! "--we don't always agree on method but if Irene acted in self defense, then how could I not help?" The 'if' was a little disheartening, but Jimmy only nodded alongside his words it to solidify it.

    He looked up at his brother, finding some solace in his next words. "And, I certainly know you well enough to be certain you'd never harm another human being unless it was absolutely necessary." Yeah. That was for sure. Jimmy lifted his brows briefly in a 'no shit' expression and thought back on the dark memory, slightly traumatized by it... the feeling of hot wet blood on his hand like it was simply warm yet slightly sticky coffee. Her ribs had grated against the blade of the pocket knife as he stuck it into her side, like the bones in a Thanksgiving turkey. He wasn't going to be doing any carving of poultry for a long time.

    "In fact, I'm surprised you did it at all. You must have been driven further than even I've ever seen you."

    "....Yeah. I was surprised too." He swallowed and looked at his now-clean hands. An illusion? He hadn't really felt bad about committing murder before, even if it was truly justified. Maybe he'd subconsciously buried his fear and shock towards himself with that word. Justified. At this moment, under his brother's gentle judgement, his already flimsy moral compass wavered. Killing was so wrong, even in self defense. But Eurus had pushed him over that line-- an line he never thought he'd have to cross. But he did have to cross it that day, or he and Irene would be dead right now. He had no regrets.

    Jimmy found himself breathing easier, even under the binding of the bandage, as his brother proposed moving forward from it all. Something he so wanted to do, yet didn't know how.

    "Jimmy, I know you love her." James looked back at him, prepared to hear a 'but' at the end of that statement. None came, and as Chuck continued, Jimmy calmed down again, hesitant to believe there would be no judgement in his mention of Irene, for once. The sound of another human being saying Kim's name-- of knowing who Kim was-- pained him, and he glanced to the floor after hearing it.

    He missed her, and he frequently found himself reminded of her, thinking about her. Irene helped him forget, but that was not why he loved Irene. James loved Irene because of all the very valid and true points Charles was hitting upon, and James' smile returned and grew as he shared in his compliments of her. Compliments that she so deserved, especially from Charles. "I wish the three of us had gotten off on a better foot. I understand why you're so loyal to her."

    James met his eyes and maintained his smile, about to thank him, before Chuck finally came to the 'but' that he had been hiding so well. "Sometimes, the things that destroy us are the most attractive." As it sunk in, Jimmy's smile fell, and he rolled his eyes and sighed deeply through his nose as his hopes for a healthy relationship between the two people he cared about most in his life was dashed. "Jesus."


    "Jimmy, I'm on the outside looking in and she's literally nearly destroyed you a few times over." James rested an elbow on his knee and held his head in his palm, as if he could covertly block out Charles poor sales pitch in one ear. The things he was saying were valid, but that didn't mean James agreed with them. He opened his mouth to fire up their argument again, but Charles' hand successfully stopped him. "I know that's hard to hear but think logically, Jimmy. Leave emotion on your side plate for once."

    James eyed him with a defensive and tired gaze. Tired of fighting, tired of hearing shit about Irene... even though Chuck had complimented her beforehand. Earnest compliments, real compliments. He understood their relationship, their love, at least a little. He was not harping on her this time. As James searched his face, he did think about his words. Charles was being much kinder and understanding than Jimmy thought he would be. About everything. And he did regret keeping all of this from his brother.

    He was trying to help.

    Jimmy sighed through his nose again and dropped his hand to study the floor for a moment. She was the common denominator to his darkest nightmares in Pandora. But she was also the light of his life. They canceled each other out, and he replied evenly and with calm certainty. "...She's worth it, Chuck. She's worth all of it, ten times over." He meant every syllable. Memories of the break-up phone call that he had attempted to fabricate to evade a bad situation-- breaking her heart as if it was easily reparable... that remained one of the biggest mistakes of his life, and it caused him physical pain to recall it. "I'm not leaving her." Not in the cruel hands of another, not underneath the threat of jail, not alone in recovery, nor deceased in a burning building.


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~



    @Charles McGill
     
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  15. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
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    Male
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    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.

    Chuck sighed deeply, expecting an argument, expecting yelling, expecting defense. "...She's worth it, Chuck. She's worth all of it, ten times over. I'm not leaving her." Chuck had a choice then. A pivotal choice. He could trust Jimmy's judgement and try and understand Irene. He could promise Jimmy to accept her and he could truly try and care for her. Or, he could refuse, make Jimmy choose between them, force him all the way in...or all the way out.

    "Have I ever been in danger by association?" To this day, Chuck never knew that it was Eurus Holmes who came to visit him that day all those months ago. He didn't know, but he wanted to make Jimmy think about how his actions and keeping Irene close could do.

    "Look, I want to try and make this work. I also want us all to be safe. You've made a choice and I can't change it, so I'm going to adapt." He finalized, "I imagine she's on her way over soon. Why don't you lie back down and we'll cook dinner....together." He said, his mind working on another plan. If he couldn't convince Jimmy, then maybe he could make Irene see that she was a danger to Jimmy and if she truly cared for him, she'd walk away.

    A few minutes after they spoke a little more, he heard the door open and she walked in. He gave her a tight lipped smile, "Look, uh, Irene, Jimmy and I have been talking. I really want us all to start over." He said, before she could glare at him coldly. Her look back was anything but cold. It was surprised and there was no small amount of relief in her face. The three of them simply relished the moment for a few minutes together before Irene and Chuck both told Jimmy to rest since he'd been working all day and went out to make dinner.

    Chuck made small talk to a cheerful Irene until, "Look, I know we haven't been the best of friends, but I just want what's right for Jimmy. He nearly died and it makes one rethink things, doesn't it?" He waited for this to sink in, "I truly have nothing against you...except, I know you don't mean to, but I think you're smart enough to know that underneath all the mess and courts and danger and bullets and knives...that all the arrows point back to you." He let that sink in, "Jimmy almost died." He kept his voice low, trying to keep it from traveling to the bedroom, "What next? When will you see the big picture. Jimmy's lovable and charismatic, but he's not a super hero, he's no action star and yet he keeps being put into these situations, situations where he's thrown in a water tank, where he beaten, and now shot. Irene, can you honestly say any of that would have happened if you and Jimmy weren't close?" He watched her eyes become more haunted and horrified, "Isn't it selfish to know what you've caused but stay anyway? Are your troubles over? Is there anyone else that's going to shoot my brother for your sake?"

    "Look, Irene, as a person, I have nothing against you. My problem with you is that you're putting Jimmy in danger over and over. I know what I would do if I were in your shoes. Neither of you can see it because you have emotions all tied up into it, but I don't I'm the only one who can see the forest for the trees. Please, try to see it too."


     
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  16. Irene Adler

    Irene Adler BBC Sherlock

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    [​IMG]



    Irene was not looking forward to another awkward night avoiding Charles, but she was looking forward to watching James recover for another day. His progress was fast but too slow for him. Still, taking care of him made her feel less like the receiver in their relationship. For once, she could make sure his needs and want were met.

    Walking into his bedroom she was surprised to see Charles and paused, wondering if she should walk out and wait for them to finish their conversation. However, she was slightly annoyed to find James not reclining. "Look, uh, Irene, Jimmy and I have been talking. I really want us all to start over." This gave her pause, far more unexpected than finding Charles in James' room.

    Her eyes softened and she looked at James, "Yes, of course." Dinner was suggested and Irene gave James a beaming smile before saying, "If you've torn one of your stitches out, then I'm done with you. Now, lie down."

    They began dinner and it was like a yolk was taken from her, the fog lifted and Charles was talking to her, not about her. Talking about nothing really, James, and the weather, and James..."I truly have nothing against you...except..."

    Irene froze as the horrible truths came spilling out.

    "Jimmy almost died."

    "Isn't it selfish to know what you've caused but stay anyway?"

    "...you're putting Jimmy in danger over and over."

    "I know what I would do if I were in your shoes."


    "You didn't bring me out here to make amends." She said, her voice small, "You did this so you could corner me." That much was clear but she couldn't deny the truth of what he said.

    "So I could convince you to do the right thing."
    Chuck said and Irene put the knife down which she had been using to cut vegetables.

    "How do you know that I'm not the right thing for him?" She clearly sounded unconvinced but was trying to hold onto the perfect moment where the three of them were in harmony, where she could finally give James what he wanted; a love for Charles, "I didn't do any of those things you say, I'm not what you think." But she knew she was at the root of all the horrible life altering and life threatening things behind what happened to James, even if she could never admit it to Charles.

    "Charles, I truly love him. I don't ever want him to be harmed."

    Then walk away. Charles didn't even have to say it, she knew his next words and deep down, she knew that he was probably right.


     
    #16 Irene Adler, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  17. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

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    Race:
    Human
    Age:
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    True Neutral
    Directory:
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    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    Charles' next question gave Jimmy's unwavering certainty a good shake, and he had to physically resist the urge to immediately answer dishonestly. Instead, he stuck his tongue in his cheek and thought, then nodded and admitted guiltily. "Yeah."

    Chuck seemed to appreciate his honesty, and he took the news quite well, most likely because of the fact that he already knew the answer before he asked which was a little troublesome to Jimmy. He listened to his next words and nodded again, gaze to the floor. "I also want us all to be safe. You've made a choice and I can't change it, so I'm going to adapt."

    Jimmy wanted them all to be safe too, and even though Charles hadn't mentioned that in a necessarily accusatory way, Jimmy did feel a little guilty about the choices he'd made that put them all at risk. That guilt distracted him from the interesting choice of word Chuck used, 'adapt.' The offer to collaborate with Irene on dinner also was hope-raising enough for James to regard his speech with a distant acceptance.

    When she entered, James looked up and greeted her with a faintly displaced smile, still lost in his thoughts about his mistakes-- none of which included dating her, but rather how he had handled his secrecy with Charles and made other daily choices at work that were more than a little risky. It seemed that a majority of Chuck and Irene's relationship problems had stemmed from Jimmy and his secrecy, and now that all the cats were out of the bag, things could start to heal between them. Yet another reason for more guilt eating at the back of James' mind.

    He did as he was told and lied back as the two of them left, reminded of how tired his body was as it was still moving at a glacier pace through recovery. He lay there for a while, rubbing his face and trying to feel some kind of comfort at the fact that everything was going to be okay now. Charles knew everything, and he hadn't been a prick about it. He was making steps towards actually accepting Irene's good influence in their life.

    James smiled to himself as he thought about future dinners together, where everyone was talking easily and laughing again. He wanted that. He wanted Irene to feel welcome here, and God-forbid, if anything ever happened to him, he wanted Charles to be there to help her through it and make sure she was taken care of.

    His hopes began to turn into worries as his thoughts danced on the border of too-good-to-be-true, and he slowly hauled himself up again to move over to the door, interested to listen in on their conversation in hopes that it would be everything he imagined.

    It was not.

    It was a very quiet conversation, and that made Jimmy concerned. Pressing against the small crack in his door, he made out, "...you're putting Jimmy in danger over and over. I know what I would do if I were in your shoes."

    What the fuck was he saying?

    Irene's small voice then made the situation very clear. "You didn't bring me out here to make amends. You did this so you could corner me." Growing defensive for Irene, Jimmy moved a hand to the doorknob, waiting to open it until he had just a little more information.

    "So I could convince you to do the right thing."

    Which was what? Jimmy grew more and more alarmed as the seconds ticked by, but he hesitated just a moment longer to hear her response, which tugged at his heart. "How do you know that I'm not the right thing for him? Charles, I truly love him. I don't ever want him to be harmed."

    A silence followed-- a silence spoken by Charles, which held a looming message that James did not like the sound of. With a pressed grimace, James then smoothly wrenched open the door to cut that silence off. After a moment of directly meeting Chuck's eyes with a heated curiosity, he asked with a court room voice, "'The right thing,' Chuck? Care to elaborate?"

    Jimmy calmly stepped out into the main room to confront him, keeping his tone relatively even despite the anger brimming under his glare. "You're trying to make her leave." He accused out loud, disbelief and disgust fringing every syllable. "You couldn't get me to make her go, so you're trying to drive her away yourself." He analyzed, piecing the nightmarish trick together. "That's sick, Chuck."

    He turned his attention to Irene, his hardened gaze softening only sightly to apologize for his dick headed brother. She didn't have to go through Chuck's guilt-trip gauntlet. She had enough guilt about all of this. Jimmy was infuriated, and he advanced towards Chuck with a firm point of his finger. "You know what, man, how about you leave? Huh? How about you do 'the right thing' and leave us the fuck alone?"


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~



    @Charles McGill
     
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  18. Charles McGill

    Charles McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    56

    [​IMG]
    My evidence is knowing my brother for his entire life.

    Chuck knew she was thinking now. He could see her consider his words and might, in the end agree with and act on them. He lifted his eyebrows, about to speak when his little brother’s voice interrupted him. Jimmy rarely admonished Chuck, it was almost always the other way around but the former’s voice was scolding and authoritative.

    Chuck turned to him, his own eyes hard, knowing he would have to argue his case again and wondering whose side Irene would eventually land on. All three of them knew he was right, that much was clear. Unfortunately, Jimmy was letting his heart come before his head but, from what he knew of Irene, she was more logical and rational.

    “Jimmy, deep down, you both know I’m right.” He insisted, “Y-you don’t see from the outside like I do, you’re only thinking from your heart.” He finalized as if he still had the high ground.

    "You're trying to make her leave. You couldn't get me to make her go, so you're trying to drive her away yourself."

    Chuck kept talking, trying to gain control again, “I’m trying to protect you.”

    "That's sick, Chuck."

    “Jimmy...” Chuck sighed and turned to Irene when Jimmy did, pleading with her to see his side.

    "You know what, man, how about you leave? Huh? How about you do 'the right thing' and leave us the fuck alone?"

    Chuck turned to Jimmy again sharply, with wide eyes. Another thing all three of them knew was that Chuck couldn’t just leave, and if he did, he wouldn’t last long. Chuck’s prompt mind went through the gauntlet of what he could do to rewind Jimmy’s temper. He could actually leave and cause Jimmy so much worry in the end that his guilt would make beg Chuck to come back. But, that would be at the expense of great pain for Chuck. They were at an impasse and Chuck was frozen, a panic attacking on the edge.

     
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  19. Irene Adler

    Irene Adler BBC Sherlock

    Posts:
    1,034
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Dominatrix
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    33
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]



    Irene was focused on Charles, on her own inner turmoil with what he was saying and how he was constructing a wall between James’ safety and Irene herself. The wall was solid and strong, except it was ugly and grim. The sun didn’t shine on it and nothing grew near it. Jimmy might be safe behind the wall but it would be under its ugly shadow. Knowing that she wouldn’t trade her own safety for the happiness that James brought her, she was about to reply when James’ voice startled her.

    "'The right thing,' Chuck? Care to elaborate?"

    Both would be dinner preparers turned toward the younger McGill, Irene full of trepidation, indecision, and of course, guilt. The brothers began speaking very quickly then, almost over one another, Chuck pleading for Jimmy to think rationally and James expressing his disgust at Charles going behind his back.

    "You're trying to make her leave. You couldn't get me to make her go, so you're trying to drive her away yourself."

    Irene felt a mixture of betrayal and horrible responsibility as she realized that Charles had tried to convince James to leave her and he had refused. Irene took one step toward her best and only friend, her love, her sexual desire, confidant, and partner. Whether Irene had caused James danger or not was between them, not Charles, they would work it out without outside opinions. They were not children caught making out in the basement and Charles had no sway over them. James was no longer mischievous little Jimmy getting his hands slapped by his big brother, he was a successful lawyer and businessman unable to be shamed into living his brother’s way. There was no way in the world, or Pandora, that Irene wouldn’t back him up in this moment.

    "You know what, man, how about you leave? Huh? How about you do 'the right thing' and leave us the fuck alone?"

    This startled even Irene and Charles looked absolutely dumbstruck, even on the verge of panic, “Look, no one is going anywhere tonight.” She began, “It’s clear that there is nothing more to talk about, however. The two of us will be the deciders in our relationship and we’ll live our lives as we see fit...with or without you, Charles.” Irene wasn’t about to say explicitly that it was time someone moved out of this house, “He cares for your every need, the least you owe him is control over his own life without guilt and fear of disappointing you. It’s long past time you accept and love James for the man he is instead of passively aggressively reminding him of the man you want him to be.” She stood a little taller, her blue eyes blazing, “Envy is poisonous, Charles. Purge yourself.” It was the only explanation. How could James ever feel inadequate with their current positions? He had what Charles wanted, that much was clear to Irene, “Now, I don’t want to hear another word from either of you. You have thoughtlessly risked James’ health by bringing all this up right now.” She shot back at him, well aware of the irony.

    She turned to James, her hard expression falling to tender and sorrowful. She knew she was seeing a break in the brothers’ relationship, “I’ll order in some food for the three of us. Please rest.” She said, stepping close to offer him comfort in what must be a very difficult moment. With both hands on either of his arms, she spoke softly against the skin of his neck and cheek, “We’ll figure this out later but you need to be in bed, love.”


     
    #19 Irene Adler, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  20. James McGill

    James McGill Better Call Saul

    Posts:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Independent Lawyer
    Location:
    Westcourt, Pandora Town
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    42
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~Our house on fire and big brother, brother tried to put the blame on me.~
    ~I am related to my enemy.~

    Jimmy's anger was nearly at a boiling point, internally furious that Charles, his own brother, had dared corner Irene into making a decision that neither of them wanted and that benefited no one-- except Chuck. He was selfish, he was conniving, and he constantly hid behind a facade of innocence and victimization. The fact that they shared the same blood was sickening and shameful.

    Maybe it was dark to feel some pride at the sight of Charles scared. Truly scared, not feigning it to guilt-trip Jimmy into complying with his requests. The older man may have been throwing a fit about Irene putting them all in danger, but for a brief moment, Jimmy was the one who posed the real threat to Chuck, a threat of throwing him out on the electricity-laced street, all by himself without a house over his head or a family member to lean on.

    The sight of his expression made Jimmy want to go through with it, just to gain some damned respect from his brother and make him genuinely apologize for once, heaven forbid. Maybe it would have ended with him worrying and eventually revoking his punishment, and they'd be back at square one. But maybe, just maybe, Chuck would be the one to fold first and come crawling back begging for James' compassion that he had taken advantage of for so long.

    James held his ground throughout this brief and intense thought process, ready at any moment to go through with the demand and take his chances in the twisted game of poker, determined not to fold first, determined to win.

    If Irene hadn't been here, if she hadn't been part of this equation, he would have never threatened to kick Chuck out. Perhaps that only solidified Charles' entire point, but James didn't care. He was loyal to her, and Charles had threatened her first, as far as he was concerned. Jimmy could stand up to his brother on her behalf, if never on his own. Perhaps that was proof enough that she was good for him, and gave him the strength to do what he needed to do a long time ago-- get out of this toxic relationship with his kin.

    Irene's voice broke the tension and soothed some of his flaring anger. Though he didn't particularly agree with her words in the heat of the moment, it was clear she was on his side. He kept his accusatory glare on Charles through her whole speech, intent on preserving the fact that it was two against one by denying Irene another subject to turn her attention to.

    "It’s long past time you accept and love James for the man he is instead of passively aggressively reminding him of the man you want him to be.” Her words made him reluctantly abandon the staring contest. Though he was not a stranger to the concept, it felt like this was the first time he was actually hearing it through cleared ears, and hopefully Charles would feel the same.

    “Envy is poisonous, Charles. Purge yourself.”

    Envy? James looked to his brother again, knowing what to search for now. Did Chuck, of all people, actually envy him now? Jimmy's mouth twitched in a smile as he detected the answer, and he unashamedly felt a sparkle of triumph. He allowed Irene to end the confrontation like the diplomat she was, and gave her his full attention. Charles didn't deserve it anymore.

    Her suggestion was well intentioned, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Jimmy felt a simmering heat still permeating through his skin, hissing under her cooling touch. He glanced over her expression intently as she made herself welcome in his space, which she was welcome in. Still absorbed in an angered disbelief that Chuck had actually tried to drive her out of his apartment like a damned fox in a hen house, he began shaking his head with a contemplative rigidness. "No."

    This apartment was not his home. James felt as if he'd just stepped up to challenge an alpha for territory that was not his. Territory that he'd been led to falsely believe was his all this time. "I think I'm the one who needs to purge myself." He murmured to her, discovering the words as he spoke them but speaking with a low certainty.

    "I don't wanna stay here anymore." He realized out loud with a newfound peace, no longer as angry. He had his sights set on new horizons. A life with her, and not with Chuck. A nice electricity-powered hotel, not this shit hole apartment. "Let's go." James genuinely focused on her for the first time since the confrontation, making a plan of action with his words yet asking her with his hardened eyes if she'd help him with that plan. After all the shit they'd been through together, Charles did not have to be another item on the list.

    After spending a moment immersed in her peaceful eyes, he turned to give Chuck a gaze that spoke volumes of 'I couldn't care less about you' while shrugging. "You wanted her gone, Chuck?" He paused just long enough to allow him the chance to stutter out a denial or some other bullshit, but was quick to continue with a mockingly cheerful, "You got it!"

    And I'm going with her. And I'm not coming back.

    Starting the journey back towards his room to get on a jacket and shoes, he threw back a parting wish. "Enjoy your dinner," with a muttered "cockface."


    ~Oh, little sister, you and me can rise above.~
    ~You and me can walk alone.~


    @Charles McGill
    @Irene Adler
     
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