They Understand, Like No One Else Ever Could.Characters:
All of them. All of the vessels, that is.Rating:
One of the meetings at Vessels Anonymous.
"We don't have to go to this," he repeats, hand on the door. "We can turn around and go home."
After a long pause, long enough for Ingvar to see that without some pushing that Donnie might just actually walk away, Ingvar acts. "In," he says, and steps closer. He doesn't touch, and doesn't reach out to even pretend that he might shove, but it's enough.
Donnie folds and walks in, looking around with nervous, darting movements as Ingvar holds the door to let Ashley follow them in.
Ashley, for his part, doesn't try to be difficult like Donnie. It's obvious that he's reluctant to come in, and even more obvious that he doesn't like the crate of booze he's carrying in, but he doesn't bother complaining or subtly dropping the crate instead of putting it down gently when he reaches the room they've made their own for these little get togethers.
"Everyone here?" Ingvar asks, before closing the door behind him and making a beeline for his usual spot on the couch. They've got two beaten up couches in here, a table, and numerous folding chairs. (If anyone asked Jimmy - which they won't - it reminds him of one of those back rooms in the church he used to go to, where the AA group met. The only things that are missing from the room are a stack of bibles and cheerful paintings on the wall with bible quotes on them.)
Nick is the one to clear his throat and stand up. He's clearly uncomfortable about this, but someone
has to call roll-call.
"Er, hi. We've got some new people here today...so. Um. Names?" Nick looks around, hoping someone will take the hint.
"Ingvar," Ingvar says, and thank god for him. He might be already popping open a bottle, but the only person in here who cares about drinking too much is Ashley. "My horson was Gabriel," he says, and takes a drink.
Which is a fair enough introduction, Jimmy figures, and decides that since he's to the left of Ingvar he'll go next. "I'm Jimmy. Jimmy Novak. And mine was Castiel." It's bitter but immensely satisfying to emphasize the 'was' in that sentence.
It goes like this: "Nick. Ah...Lucifer." "Robin. Raphael." "I am Ashley. Can I not say his name?...Oh, fine. Balthazar. May he rot in Hell." "This is really cheesy, guys. I'm Adam, it was Michael, please pass one of those bottles over here." "Adam, behave. [...] I'm Reginald. I had Uriel."
And it ends with: "...Donnie. It was, was Raphael." No one comments on his pauses, or on how long it takes for him to finally say Raphael's name.
Ingvar immediately gets a bottle to him. They're not here to talk about it. They're not here to tell stories. Not unless they want to.
"...Don't offer any, please," Ashley says. "I know what alcohol tastes like."
"But how long has it been since you've been drunk?" Adam presses, and doesn't lower the bottle he's holding out. "Trust me, it helps."
?" There's scorn in his voice, a hint of the barbed words he will probably say next, but before anything can come of it, Nick takes the bottle and sets it down.
"Turn it down, fine," He says. "But don't say anything about trust. We all made mistakes to get here, and yours wasn't the worst. Believe me."
Adam pats Nick's shoulder and lifts his hand, leaning back into the couch, giving Ashley a look. "I won't hold it against you. We're not perfect now, either."
Reginald snorts (visions of a potato still in his basement floating through his mind) and raises his bottle. "I'll drink to that."
There are nods, and Jimmy strikes up a conversation with Robin about her living arrangements, and Ashley gets some water, and it's not particularly eventful after that, but -
Donnie's nervous jerks have calmed down some by the time he leaves with Ingvar and Ashley, and the haunted look in everyone's eyes has lightened some. Probably due mostly to the beer, but there's something to be said for companionship.
That, and for being in the company of people who have been there, with people who understand, like no one else ever could.