jacqueline & maixent
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Posted: Jan 23 2015, 12:58 PM
Dominic Elijah Brooks
Alcoholism is above all a disease of denial.
alcoholic — depressed — sarcastic — unexpectedly considerate — damaged - good sense of humour
is extremely wary of frying anything after an unfortunate nude cooking incident
You’re a man with a lot to deny.
Born in Limerick, Ireland in 1985, you were thrust into a world of noise and violence from your first breath. It wasn’t altogether unusual- it is a well-known stereotype of the Irish to have fiery tempers and both of your parents fit the bill. Your father drank, and your mother didn’t cope well with the pressures of raising a child in such a volatile environment. You never saw anything wrong or out of the norm with your family life until you were older, up until then it was perfectly ordinary and expected that a father would regularly beat their son senseless- that parents would have screaming matches at three in the morning and fight most evenings over dinner.
It was just how families worked, in your experience. Never mind the fact that little Desmond O’Rourke from down the road didn’t seem to go through the same things- never mind the fact that his father never touched a drop and was only ever friendly to the pair of you, warm and welcoming; never mind the fact that his mother was always smiling. As far as you were concerned, they were the break from the norm. You didn’t really have many other friends, after all.
The flat is cold, or he is - at this point he is not entirely certain. He sits huddled in a battered, worn leather armchair with his fingertips worrying at the frayed seams, eyes fixed on a point on the far wall yet seeing nothing. It almost feels as if the world is closing in on him, threatening to smother him: stifling, leaving him claustrophobic in an empty space. One hand continues to pick at loose threats and tattered leather whilst the other grips his flask so tight his knuckles are white under the strain. His jaw is set, teeth grit against each other as he continues to stare, brows furrowed, eyes never once wavering from that spot on the wall.
He ignores the voice, doesn’t seem to notice the level of concern in the tone of it, nor did he incline his head to show he’d heard them at all. The only movement made was one hand lifting, a slight tremble to it as the flask met with his lip, clear liquid flowing from the neck of the container into dry, cracked lips. There’s a sigh from behind him, but silence prevailed still.
“Dominic, listen to me. It wasn’t your fault. It was an accident.”
This time he responds, or seems to. The flask is brought back down to rest against the arm of the chair and he turns his head, just a fraction- enough to finally tear his eyes from the wall and fix them upon his companion. Once a bright blue, his eyes are somehow faded… and bloodshot, rimmed with dark shadows as he scowls wordlessly at the other man and finally, he speaks- with a voice hoarse from lack of use.
When you were growing up, you went to church often. Your father and mother were catholic, but not particularly invested in practising their religion and thus it fell to your paternal grandmother to ensure you followed the ‘right’ path. She’d collect you every Sunday morning without fail, at an hour you often protested was ‘ungodly’ (and got a stinging swat to your backside or a pinched ear for your efforts) and take you to church, followed by lunch at her house, and she’d take you back that evening. These days with your grandmother were both a blessing and a curse; you found church dull, though it was brightened considerably by Desmond’s presence- the two of you would fool around when able, and play the dutiful altar boys when required… you still know most of the hymns and scripture off by heart, though you’d deny it if asked.
The main benefit of staying with your grandmother for the day was the escape it provided from your father. The older you got, the more you two found yourselves at odds… and so when you turned ten and your small family uprooted to London, leaving your Grandmother and Desmond behind… you were devastated.
It was really no surprise that you began to act out.
“Shannon’s my girl you know, we’re going out.”
The two boys stood opposite one another, one calm and casual as he leaned against the bar and the other with his shoulders squared and feet set apart, fists clenched in the pockets of his leather jacket. The rest of their group was littered about two of the booths further down the pub, waiting for the two with fake ID’s to bring them their ill-gotten alcohol. Jason’s lips were curled in a smirk as he regarded Dominic, the other boy regarding him with a steadily darkening glare.
“It’s true. We slept together the other night. So you better back off her, you hear me?”
Jason was full of drunken bravado, and likely talking out of his ass- Dominic knew he shouldn’t rise to it, should have shrugged him off and chosen to ignore it. Yet somehow, the claims were getting under his skin, and what happened next happened so fast he couldn’t stop himself, even if he’d wanted to.
In two quick movements, Dominic had closed the gap between them and reached out for Jason’s collar, gripping it tight and using the momentum and that hold to swing him bodily into the bar. The resounding crash and the yelp of pain from Jason had the two of them surrounded in moments; by their peers, and the bar staff. Somewhere in the resulting chaos Jason accepted Dominic’s unspoken challenge and a combination of excited teenage jostling and the angry shouting of the pub’s landlord had their fight spilling out into the alley beside the building.
Once again they stood opposite one another, a makeshift coliseum of curious onlookers and jeering ‘friends’ forming around them. For a moment they just stared, Jason seeming to come to the slow realisation that he’d made a poor decision, and Dominic seeming all the more alive, his eyes bright and his lips curled into something close to triumph. It was only when someone in the crowd shouted at them to fight that they moved, colliding with each other in a violent scuffle- fists thrown and kicks aimed until a sudden scream tore through the silence.
To this day Dominic doesn’t know for sure if it was her who screamed, but when he was hauled back off of Jason, knife in hand- the first person he saw was Shannon. His eyes locked with hers, and though his expression remained blank, almost emotionless; he felt a spike of shame and regret to see such utter horror and fear reflected back at him. Jason remained standing for a few moments before he suddenly dropped, leaving Dominic the victor, held back by two police officers and holding the murder weapon.
He got eight years.
Being sixteen years old and not legally considered to be an adult at the time, you spent the first few years of your sentence in a facility catered toward young offenders. While significantly less harrowing than an adult prison would have been at your age, you don’t have many fond memories of the place. It was too strict, too regimented- and due to the severity of your crime, you didn’t have many freedoms. While somewhere deep down you knew you didn’t deserve any privileges, you’d murdered someone in cold blood after all… you were resentful, and made no attempt to adhere to the rules and routines. Perhaps, had you not insisted on picking fights and challenging authority, you might have been released halfway through your sentence or offered early parole. As it was, when you hit eighteen two years later… you were shipped off to actual prison following a short-lived review.
Prison shaped you into the man you are today, it hardened you more than your father’s fists or belt ever could, more than your mother’s cold indifference on the day of your trial. You learned quickly who the top dogs were, and who you could get away with beating on. Steadily, you worked your way up the rungs of the prison hierarchy and while you never came close to the coveted position of ‘top dog’, you were certainly not one to cross. Your determination to become a force to be reckoned with had the unfortunate side-effect of prolonging your sentence, and while with good behaviour you might have been released a mere four years into your imprisonment; you didn’t see the outside world again until you were twenty four.
Nobody came to collect you.
He slams the glass down on the bar with a wide grin, amid the cheers of his newfound companions in drink. The bar keeper gives him a wary glance, clearly thinking he’s already had enough. Dominic, surprisingly, catches and understands the look sent his way and laughs aloud, swaying slightly in place as he raises a hand, palm open and facing the other man.
“S’alright… m’fine… come on, let a man enjoy his freedom.”
It was all over, it was finally all over. He was out of prison, no longer had to see his parole officer- and he still had a few years of his twenties left to enjoy. He was going to drink tonight, indulge himself in everything he’d missed of his teenage years; he was going to find a pretty girl, get just as drunk as she would likely be at this time of night… and they’d go home and fuck. That was the plan.
For now, all he wanted was a drink, and a good time.
It takes a few more moments for the bar keeper to relent, but another shot is passed into Dominic’s hand and he cheers aloud, raising it in salute to the man before downing it. A cry for a keg stand is heard, and he turns about with one hand raised: “I accept that fuckin’ challenge!”
He doesn’t remember the night in the morning, but with his arm around a slender brunette- he doesn’t much care.
When you met Isaac Irving, things were going well. After finding it almost impossible to find legitimate work what with your criminal record still being so fresh, you opted out of the benefits scheme and had set about earning your keep another way: by means of criminal endeavours. At first you were little more than a surprisingly talented sneak thief, but as time wore on you became more refined, more inventive until at last- you found your niche as a con artist. You even had a partner, by name of Harrison Kelly, a man you’d met on the inside and bonded with- you two were as close as brothers, inseparable.
You didn’t like Isaac at first, homophobia too ingrained into your system by Catholicism and the nature of your family by that point. You were introduced through a mutual friend and while at first the insults were entirely genuine, they have since softened into playful banter in the time you've known the man. In many ways Isaac has become as close a friend as Harry, though you've certainly never told him.
Yet Isaac was there for you at your lowest point, was the one to find you and bring you home after you’d run into Shannon again- saw how broken you became from that point, and stood by you as your life slowly began to unravel and fracture about you.
Without Isaac Irving, Dominic Brooks would not be here today.
“Not one fucking word, alright? Don’t scream, don’t make a sound- and we’ll both get out of this without a problem.”
Her nod was more of a relief than he let on, and he nodded in return- showing that he understood and accepted her silent promise to remain just that, and he released his grip on her mouth ever so slightly. Not enough for her to really make any sound still, aside from a muffled cry, but enough so that it wouldn’t be so painful. It was a very small gesture but one she could potentially read into, if the fear wasn’t so great it had stifled any capacity she may have for deductive reasoning. Even Dominic didn’t fully register it, too wrapped up in his anger at whoever had called the police on him- likely the client he was supposed to be meeting with, the rat bastard probably got himself caught for all he fucking knew- and irritation that he’d run into Shannon again (what was she even doing on the docks, at this time of night?). After all these years, the past had finally come back to haunt him. While Shannon was scared shitless, and while he was doing absolutely nothing to abate that fear he knew, without a shadow of a doubt;
He could not harm her.
Shannon had been a weak spot, then and even now- though to a far, far lesser extent. Back then he had loved her, or at least- he’d felt what he assumed to be love. His parents hadn’t exactly provided a stellar model to work off of and attempt to emulate. Hell, if he’d used his father’s examples of wooing a woman he’d probably have punched Shannon in the mouth then kissed her roughly before fucking her wherever they happened to be. Of course, he’d followed nearly that exactly same pattern with most other girls and women in his time (though, it must be noted; he very rarely struck a woman) - but never Shannon. He’d kissed her roughly, yes, but with passion rather than any need to dominate, and they’d never slept together. He had treated her with respect- entirely out of character for the Irish boy with his rough manner and dark personality, but he had. She’d been special to him, he’d genuinely cared for her. And what heart he possessed had been broken when she’d gone with Jason, when she’d testified against him. Anyone else… he’d have sought revenge- and he had, on the others; he hadn’t killed any of them but they’d all got theirs in one way or another. Not her. Never her.
Even now, he couldn’t bring himself to harm her. Though he told himself he hated her with every fibre of his being.
Being so close to her was painful, he wanted to shove her away from him- to get as physically far from her as possible before he began to remember how it felt to be around her before, how he wanted to be this close to her all the time. How he’d even considered asking her out, giving monogamy a try, actually attempting a proper relationship. No. He didn’t want to remember that, he wanted that gone, drowned beneath shots and pints and swigs and gallons and bottle after bottle until he didn’t remember anything anymore but the thrill of a fight and the burn of alcohol. Until all that mattered again was the next excitement, the next fuck, the next drink, the next laugh with harry and the next night out. That was his comfort zone. That was where he belonged. Not here, holding a woman and losing himself in memories of what might have been if he’d been able to accept his own feelings and give them voice all those years ago.
Eventually the torch lights faded and the sounds of retreating footsteps could be heard- they’d given up, evidently not giving too much credit to the ‘tip off’ of an addict. Only when he heard the cars pull away, straining his ears until silence fell about them once more, thick, and heavy in its relief- did he release her, pushing her away from him. Hard, but not hard enough to cause her to fall.
“Go home, Shannon. It’s dangerous out here at night.” He said bitterly, though there was a trace of weariness to his tone, a tired strain in his face as he turned away, pulling a flask from his jacket pocket and taking a long, deep drink from it, grimacing at the burn of vodka as it coursed down his throat. “Go home.”
It was unavoidable, really. After you bumped into Shannon again, everything from your past that you’d tried to smother and kill was brought back in vivid Technicolor. There was no running from it, no hiding it, and over the following months you were forced to come to terms with what you’d done. Your mood darkened by the day, and as the weeks passed you were drinking as much as your father had, if not more. Slowly but surely you drove people away, burning bridges as you walked down the path to your own destruction. Even your relationship with Harry suffered, the two of you regularly engaging in fights and arguments as you grew more self-deprecating and he grew more frustrated with his efforts to help seemingly made in vain.
Things came to a head after a particularly nasty fight- and you broke his arm. He’d slept with Shannon, you’d found out- unknowingly, neither of them had known of your connection to the other; yet you felt the betrayal all the same. You were irrational, your better judgement clouded by anger and you lay into him. The fight was brutal, you were both in very bad shape once the blows ceased and you were both too tired to move. Yet move he did, staggering to his feet and throwing one last disgusted look your way as he stumbled out the door.
That was the last time you saw Harrison Kelly.
A few days later, you heard that he’d died- and while the details never did reach you, while the authorities seemed fairly sure it was an accident (or at least, nobody came knocking to question you)- you’re fairly sure it was your fault.
You’d killed over her once, after all.
After that, it was a slow and steady spiral down to rock bottom, and you no longer cared enough to try and claw your way out.
He’d always been one to fight his own battles- to grab the proverbial bull by the horns and slam it into the ground. If he had a problem with a boy in his youth, he’d seek them out and challenge them to a fight, and if he had a problem with a man in the present? He’d follow the same routine. It was a method that had never failed him, but what did he do now? Who was there to fight when the enemy was himself? When the battle was within his mind? You could not fight depression in the same way Dominic had been fighting his entire life, and slowly but surely he found his spirit crushed beneath the weight of it.
The alcohol had helped him for a time, had assisted in dulling the pain and with its aide Dominic had found himself able to ignore the root of the problem, and the symptoms. Those around him had noted the change, but the seriousness of the situation had escaped detection. Few of them seemed to realise how delicate his condition had become, how fragile- and Dominic himself was steeped in denial.
Slowly he’d withdrawn from society, visiting the bars less and less and drinking at home more often. He’d become unreliable at answering texts or calls, interacting infrequently with those he called his friends. The drive to socialise simply wasn’t there anymore, and he’d thought little of it at first; he’d never quite been what you might call a ‘social butterfly’, more often referred to as a ‘grumpy bastard’ or some other variant. While he’d been quite vibrant, quite charming in his youth- things had certainly changed after Shannon had come back into his life, after Harry’s death… he had changed. Significantly.
The thought had crossed his mind before, he’d come close- the fading scars were proof enough- and yet with the weather in London falling back into its schizophrenic mayhem between Summer and Autumn, nobody had questioned his preference for longer sleeves in the past few weeks. Not that he’d left the flat all that often.
Still he’d fought against it- refused to admit that he’d sunk that low. While the majority of his Catholic upbringing had fallen into disuse and while he was undoubtedly already a sinner… he abhorred the concept of suicide. It was one of worst sins, the ultimate snub to the almighty- to take the precious life he’d given you. And while Dominic might have questioned his faith, might have wondered if God truly did exist… it was hard to shake off the stigma, the fear and the judgement that rose in his heart and mind whenever he thought of ending it.
Yet as time wore on, he found himself thinking on it more and more. He was destined for Hell no matter what he did now… no amount of praying could offer him forgiveness. He had sinned too freely, too willingly… had taken lives without a second thought. No, there was no seat in Heaven reserved for him. And the more he came to terms with this, the more inviting it became to simply put a stop to it all, and leave early.
Night had long since fallen and the clock showed only zeroes: midnight. Dominic sighed, reaching up a hand to rub between his eyes, the other lifting a flask to his lips, drinking the clear liquid within. It was soon lowered but not released, and the fingers of his free hand ghosting briefly over the screen of his phone. He knew at least one other would be awake at this time, but he lacked the drive to call him. What would he say? What could he say? He’d been absent from all their lives for the better part of a week. Who’s to say Isaac would even appreciate a call at this time? He might have a client.
Sighing heavily, he downed the rest of the flasks contents and rose unsteadily to his feet, moving across the room and glancing out of the window down onto the street. Taking in the sight of the dimly lit pavement, he paused for just a moment, looking up at the moon before pulling the curtains tightly shut. The only light left in the room was the flickering glow of the lamp in the corner, casting a grim shadow across the doorway.
As he took a step forward his mind drifted briefly to his mother, but squashed the need before it had time to grow. It was better that he didn’t contact her; she didn’t need the torment that knowing of his passing would cause her. Better he remain out of her life- a stranger to her…
A name passed over in the obituaries.
The dizziness was beginning to take hold and he glanced down, staring blankly at the stains on the carpet beneath him, a subtle yet no less macabre trail from the armchair to the window, to his current position. Red.
“Don’t you look pretty? Red suits you.”
He staggered, a hand reaching up to his temple, cursing softly under his breath. No. He didn’t want that- he didn’t want those memories.
“I hate you.”
“Don't give me that shit! I'm fucking tired of it, Brooks!”
Both hands gripped the sides of his head as he stepped up onto the chair, nearly shaking as he tried to force the unwanted thoughts from his mind, tried to quieten the voices of the past as they strengthened his resolve.
His quiet refusal to hear herwas the only sound in the flat after what seemed like an age of silence, and he slipped the rope about his neck with shaking hands, a strange calm settling over him once the deed was done, standing precariously atop the chair with his eyes fixed straight ahead at the wall.
“I wish that I could have been there earlier, that's all. I'm worried, Dom.”
"When you left, I wrote to you. Every month for eight years. You stopped returning my letters. I was convinced you were-"
He leaned forward, deaf to the sound of knocking on his door, hearing only the quiet, sombre voice in his mind;
“You can’t do this to us Dominic. We’re your friends, and we love you. We need you.”
His breath left him in a slow, quiet exhale and he bowed his head, eyes slowly closing as he took in one final, deep breath.
“Nobody needs me.”
He kicked the chair out from beneath him.
eve — 22 — gmt — pm/aim — judas, jack, antoinette, aubrey
Posted: Mar 14 2015, 12:30 PM
Dominic is such a complex character with a lot of depth to him. This app hurt me a lot >< I am really looking forward to seeing what you do with him from here on out.