mountain bombing

Giving Gavin Jeremy was more dangerous than Geoff had anticipated. He hadn’t meant to, exactly, had only needed someone to show the new kid the ropes, had trusted that Gavin would throw on his polished shine for long enough to go through the basics before ditching him somewhere. He hadn’t anticipated coming back hours later and seeing the two of them still together, loud and animated in their excitement, Jeremy bright eyed and overeager, Gavin more himself than he normally allowed around strangers.

Maybe that should have set off alarm bells, maybe Geoff should have stepped in and done something about it, but honestly he’d just been feeling fucking relieved. Falling into the highly selective pool of people Gavin has claimed as his own is intense, but it’s better than the alternative, better than unworkable aloofness, awkwardness masked by cold disinterest, or worse, active dislike. Dislike which wouldn’t be expressed, would be kept hidden behind false pleasantry and left festering for months before manifesting in malfunctions and incidents, jammed weapons and disabled break lines. A messy end.

And god it’s not like Geoff had known how far it would go, how one good start would grow into burning buildings and wicked laughter, how the seemingly calm and level-headed Jeremy would only amplify the calamity of Gavin at his most dangerous. The way Jeremy would provide enthusiastic encouragement, an ardent defender for when things got violent, a sounding board for bad ideas, a willing volunteer, and how in return Gavin would lavish him with praise and affection, stolen trinkets and his most dazzling megawatt smile.

They have something like Gavin and Michael’s dynamic, but where Michael draws lines, hauls Gavin back down to earth, tells him to piss off and go do his own thing for a while, Jeremy will bring Gavin the sun. Listens to every madcap idea with a delighted look on his face, as keen to participate as he was the day Geoff hired him, be it a plot to teach a violent rival crew a lesson with a firehose or the unnecessarily risky decision to rob a target while they attend the LSPD’s police ball. Regardless of how badly their last endeavour ended it never takes much more than one of Gavin’s wild grins to have Jeremy dropping whatever he’s doing and following him out the door, the rest of the crew watching on in despair as disturbing phrases like “trained alligator” and “confetti canon bloodbath” drift down the hall.  

Geoff worried. He adores Gavin but he knows him better than anyone, knows it’s his job to read people, to push their buttons and draw out the exact responses he’s looking for; he wouldn’t mess with a crew-mate on purpose but Geoff isn’t entirely sure he’s always conscious of it anymore, and Jeremy is still trying to find his place. Having all of Gavin’s attention is a bit like getting struck by lightning, awesome and terrible and utterly overwhelming, far too easy to lose yourself in. So Geoff has to ask, check a dozen times, determined to make sure his newest hire doesn’t feel compelled, knows his place within the crew doesn’t hinge on his participation in Gavin’s extracurricular activities, that Geoff was the only one who’s orders he actually had to follow.

Every attempt is met with amusement, Jeremy quietly pleased by the concern but firm in his assurance that he’s only playing along because he wants to, that this is all a part of what attracted him to the FAHC in the first place. It took a while for Geoff to see that his fears were unfounded, or at the very least misguided. To recognise that for all Jeremy’s apparent eager naivety in leaping to play a part in the allure of one of Gavin’s plans there was nothing at all innocent about the gleeful look in his eyes, the dark edge in his laugh, the way he pushed and prodded Gavin into plotting bigger and more daring escapades. As much the corruptor as he was the corrupted, an equal partner in the mayhem. And, well. Isn’t that worrying.

Some history-making is intentional; much of it is accidental. People make history when they scale a mountain, ignite a bomb, or refuse to move to the back of the bus. But they also make history by keeping diaries, writing letters, or embroidering initials on linen sheets. History is a conversation and sometimes a shouting match between present and past, though often the voices we most want to hear are barely audible. People make history by passing on gossip, saving old records, and by naming rivers, mountains, and children. Some people leave only their bones, though bones too make a history when someone notices.
—  Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History