First Covenant fic. I do not own any of the Sons of Ipswich, even though I might want to, one in particular. So don't sue, ya hear?
Caleb Ascended first, then it was Pogue's turn. Now Reid's Ascension is imminent. Will he become what everyone seems to think he will, or will he rise above it?
It was late October, and the wind whipped at the coats of the four Sons of Ipswich as they reluctantly walked back to the dorm where everyone but Caleb lived during the school year. They were joking about something Reid had said in class earlier that day, something Caleb didn't approve of but the others had found hilarious. Suddenly the object of their conversation froze, disrupting Pogue's imitation of the teacher.
"Reid. Reid!" Pogue shouted, concerned about his friend's sudden silence. He snapped his fingers in front of his face, which usually got his attention, but it was no use. Reid suddenly slumped to the ground, grabbing at his stomach, in obvious pain. Pogue noticed the trail of power flowing into Reid, cursing himself that he hadn't noticed it earlier. Today was Reid's eighteenth birthday, and it was 10:48 PM, the exact time of his birth. He was Ascending.
It was the moment that would forever shape who he was, determining whether he would fall victim to the Power and follow where so many of their ancestors had tread, becoming addicted to it and aging prematurely, or using wisely and living out a normal lifespan. They all feared that for Reid it would be the former, considering his behavior in the past. Reid was always the first to use, seemingly looking for any excuse, be it creating a breeze to expose an unsuspecting girl's underwear, or lack thereof, or cheating at pool, or levitating a pencil during class. They worried that he was already addicted, despite his assurances that everything was fine and that they should just stay out of it.
His eyes went black, but this time it wasn't voluntary; there was no way it could be, since he was too busy writhing on the ground to have the focus to use. The others rushed over to where Pogue was standing, intently watching Reid. "He's going to be okay, right?" Asked Tyler, now the only one who hadn't Ascended. "Yeah, definitely," Pogue assured him. "It won't be too much longer, and then he'll be fine." I hope, he mentally added.
God, this hurts, Reid thought dimly. Wonder when it'll be over. All he knew was the pain; it had been there forever, and it seemed like it would go on for even longer. His carefully constructed bad boy image had been completely torn apart the minute the pain hit, and it didn't seem like it was coming back any time soon. He could feel the Power coursing through him, crackling and hissing as it did, like it was lightning instead of magic. Finally it let up, leaving him curled up on the ground, gasping. He slowly sat up, trying unsuccessfully to brush off the hands pulling him to a standing position. "I've got it," he mumbled to no one in particular.
They all were looking at him anxiously. "What?" He asked, irritated. "I'm fine, honest. Scout's honor, and all that crap."
They continued looking at him, noticing that his eyes were still black. "Someone say something already; I'm starting to feel like I'm in a silent movie and one of you is going to tie me to the railroad tracks."
"Are his eyes supposed to be black still?" Whispered Tyler to Caleb. "I know yours took a while to go back, but you were fighting Chase. Pogue's went back pretty quickly. Why aren't Reid's?"
"I'm right here, idiot. I can hear you," Reid said venomously. What was the big deal? It wasn't like he was using, he was just adjusting. And what an adjustment; he could feel the power, at least three times what he had been able to access before. And it was just sitting there, waiting to be used. Asking to be used. It was tempting, he had to admit. More tempting than he was willing to acknowledge. But he couldn't; that way would lead to trouble. But, maybe just a little. Just to try it out. How bad could that be? He reached out with his hand to concentrate the flow, and lifted a rock. He could do better than that. He formed two balls of energy and began to juggle them, adding more balls as he mastered it. He had gotten up to five grapefruit-sized balls of pulsating light when Caleb touched his shoulder. "That's enough."
He was jerked out of his pattern, and nearly dropped a ball when he realized he could just call it back to his hand. With a blink they were all gone. "What? I'm just having some fun. I am allowed that, right?"
"Sure, but not when it could kill you."
"Yeah, Caleb, like juggling light is really going to kill me."
"That might not, but if you keep it up, your damn pride is going to get you killed. You can't just use like that, Reid. I've tried to get you to realize that, but this time it's for real; if you keep using like you have been, you're going to be dead by the time you're thirty. And while you may not care, the rest of us do."
Reid walked towards Caleb until they stood almost nose to nose. "You don't scare me, Caleb. You may scare Pogue and Tyler, but you don't scare me. I'm stronger now, and I think I might actually be able to kick your ass now." He grinned, his usual mischievous smirk looking downright evil in the moonlight. The others backed up, leaving Caleb and Reid standing in the middle of the quad by themselves. "Want to try, if you're so sure?" Asked Caleb. He knew for a fact that he could still counter whatever Reid decided to throw at him, but, as always, he wasn't going to flaunt it. That had never made Reid back down, and if he ever needed Reid to back down, now was the time. He was still a good kid; he just liked the power more than was good for him. Caleb needed him to come to his senses before he did anything stupid. You can cut the act, Reid, Caleb thought at him. Drop it now, and I'll leave it alone. Keep pushing, and it's going to end the way it did last time, with you hitting a wall. You don't need this; I know you can hold your own in a fight. Let it go.
Get out of my head, Caleb, Reid thought back. Don't try to psychoanalyze me; I know what you're doing, and it won't work.
Caleb sighed. It was going to take more than he thought to bring Reid to his senses. "Fine. You want a fight, I'll give you a fight." He took hold of the Power and threw a concentrated ball of force at Reid, who caught it. Reid threw it back, adding more force as he did so. Caleb dodged, and launched himself at Reid, pinning him to the ground. "You can beat this, Reid. I know you can. Don't let it define you; it's only a tool." Reid struggled, trying to push Caleb off of him, and eventually gave it up as hopeless. Caleb stared him in his black eyes, willing him to understand. Come on. Don't give in. I know you don't want this. You keep telling me you're not addicted, right?
'Cuz I'm not, Reid shot back, annoyed that Caleb still thought he was.
Then prove me wrong. Ignore it.
Caleb finally got through. Reid closed his eyes, focusing on his inner battle. He wanted to give in so badly, but he knew he couldn't. His friends were counting on him, and, more importantly, he wanted to show Caleb that he was wrong. He wasn't addicted, and not giving in was the best way he knew how to prove that. I don't need this; I'm bigger than it. The Power doesn't control me, I control the Power. He pushed it away, clenching his fists in the effort. The others watched him, hoping that when he opened his eyes he would be back to the old Reid. He started shaking, beginning to think that maybe everyone was right, maybe he was addicted. It shouldn't take this long; why isn't it receding? With a final shove he forced it back to wherever it went when it wasn't being used. The effort left him tired, and he sunk back to the ground, his eyes still closed. After what seemed like ages he opened his eyes slowly. The black had retreated to his pupils, revealing the blue that had been hidden underneath. He shook his head, clearing it of the empty promises the Power offered and flinging off blood droplets from a nosebleed that had been prompted by his effort. He offered Caleb a smirk, wiping the rest of the blood from his nose. "See? Told ya."
Caleb nodded, giving a smile in return. The others looked at each other, grinning in relief. He was going to be okay; he had fought his demons, and made it through in one piece. Thank God.
He was still shaky; he may not be addicted, but he was damn close. He would have to keep a better handle on it from now on, or else he would end up like every other male member of his family, needing to use to get a fix and eventually becoming little more than a living corpse by the time he was thirty. At least he had people who wouldn't write him off as a lost cause, like his mother had. These guys were like brothers to him; they had been there every step of the way since they had gotten the Power five years ago, and as long as he didn't alienate them completely they would be there for the rest of his life.
So that's it. Or is it? I've got another chapter, but unless you review I won't put it up; I want to make sure I've got interest before I finish it up. Insert evil laugh here