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Episode 01: Pilot
« On: February 13, 2018, 04:34:20 PM »
Episode 01: Pilot

Monday, June 27th, 2016
Verona, Oregon, USA
1 hour northwest of Portland on the Columbia River
A street downtown

KIVER ROSE, age 15, sits in a parked red SUV, drumming his fingers on his knee. He is tall, thoroughly mixed race but predominantly black, with lighter brown skin and messy brown hair that half sticks out and falls in coils around his overlarge ears. A wide, rough, pale scar runs diagonally down his freckled face and disappears into the collar of his t-shirt. Heís bored. His uncle, ELIJAH NAISMITH, 36, is in the automotive parts store, getting a letís face it Kiver doesnít care.

MORGAN PATRICK, 16, tall, lanky, pale, mixed white and Latino, with shoulder-length brown hair and dressed in jeans and a Oasis t-shirt, comes running around the corner, half panicked, half laughing, looking over his shoulder.

Morgan: Hide me.

Kiver freezes for a moment. Morgan makes a motion like hurry it up.

Kiver: Back footwell, the door's unlocked.

Morgan dives into the car, shutting the door behind him quietly as three large guys in flannel shirts and jeans come tearing around the corner. One's carrying a pool queue. They look angry. They stop and look around and see Kiver sitting in his car. Kiver eyes them warily and slumps into the shadow of the seat.

The three big guys look up and down the street before approaching the car. In the back, Morgan slips Elijahís discarded jacket over himself. It doesnít cover very much of him. He curls up in a ball. It still doesnít cover him entirely.

One of the guys approaches Kiverís open window. Just then Elijah comes out of the store. Heís an average height guy, mixed black and white, with medium brown skin, floppy brown curls, and a Van Dyke. Heís wearing an orange Hawaiian shirt, tan cargo shorts, and socks with sandals. Heís fairly cute but the outfit undermines any cool factor he might have otherwise had.

Elijah: Something wrong, fellas?

Flannel Shirt Guy 1: No, sir.

Elijah nods, puts his items in the trunk. Gives the guys a pointed look. They move on. Elijah gets in and starts the car.

Elijah: Those guys giving you trouble, Kiver?

Kiver: No!

Morgan doesnít know whether to roll his eyes or laugh. Covers his mouth. OMG is this guy a rotten sneak.

Elijah looks at Kiver a little apprehensively, but smiles.

Elijah: Okay.

Elijah starts the car. Morgan is hoping they don't live in Portland, though is kind of laughing to himself about it. Itís an adventure. He can always hitch a ride home.

Elijah: Chili okay for lunch?

Kiver: Yeah thatís. That's fine that's good.

Elijah: Okay. My chili is legendary. Well, okay, semi-legendary.

Kiver, panicking: I'm sure.

Elijah: You'll love it.

Kiver nods.

Elijah: Electra says I make it too spicy but I think you can handle it. You liked those tacos the other night.

Kiver: Yeah.

Elijah: Sure you're okay?

Kiver, currently staring at Elijah like a rabbit in headlights: Yeah.

Elijah: You look a little . . . sweaty.

Kiver: Yes. What no.

Elijah laughs.

Kiver: It's summer. It's... sweaty out.

Elijah: I suppose it's warmer here than in England.

Kiver: Yeah.

Elijah: Well, as long as you're not coming down with something.

Kiver: No, I'm not.

Elijah: Good.

They arrive back at Elijahís cabin in the woods. Elijah drives the car down the long bumpy driveway and parks it in front of the garage. He gets his bags out of the trunk.

Elijah: I'll just start lunch.

Kiver has spun around to see if Morgan is still there, looks up sharply.

Kiver, louder as Elijah is now outside the car: Okay!

Elijah: You want to help?

Kiver: No!

Elijah: Suit yourself. You'll never learn the secrets of chili that way, but your funeral. (He winces at his choice of words.)

Elijah goes inside, beating himself up mentally.

Morgan slides up, peeks out, slips out of the car. Kiver gets out too. Standing face to face theyíre about the same height, a couple inches above six feet.

Kiver: Holy shit I'm so sorry.

Morgan is laughing. Kiverís looking at him in horror.

Morgan: It's fine. Where the hell are we?

Kiver: Uh. My uncle's cabin. We're not that far from town. But I don't know how to walk there.

Morgan: Do you know the route number? Hey, you're British.

Kiver: Uh. Yeah?

Morgan: Cool. What are you doing in the middle of buttfuck nowhere?

Kiver, laughing: Uh. Staying with my uncle.

Morgan: Yeah. That's what you said.
Kiver nods, feeling stupid. They hear the inside door open. Morgan ducks behind the car.

Kiver: Shit shit shit hide.

Elijah sticks his head out.

Elijah: Kiver? Are you talking to someone?

Kiver: No. There's no-one here.

Elijah: Okay. (He wants to say more, but decides against it.) Lunch will be ready in about an hour.

Kiver: Okay. I'm gonna. Go for a walk.

Elijah: Don't go too far. But don't worry if you're not back in time. This stuff is better if it sits anyway.

Kiver nods.

Elijah goes back inside. Kiver turns back to Morgan once the door shuts. Heís laughing again. He clearly thinks this is all a good joke.

Kiver, whispering: He's gonna hear us, let's go.

He nods at the woods, still kind of freaking out. Morgan nods and crouch-follows him for a bit, then stands up and sidles from tree to tree like heís in a Monty Python sketch about spies.

Kiver laughs a little and catches up with Morgan just inside the tree line.

Morgan: I think I've seen your uncle in town before.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: I think he's friends with my dad's uncle Liam.

Kiver, shrugging awkwardly: Probably? I don't know what he gets up to.

Morgan: I think they drag race together. Which totally sounds like they dress up as women first. You know, drag race.

Morgan laughs. Kiver kind of doesn't quite laugh, but breathes a sound like one and nods.

Morgan: Morgan.

He holds out his hand. The fingers are long and bony and elegant.

Kiver: Oh, uh. Kiver.

Shakes his hand, and feels like his are slabs of meat by comparison.

Morgan, smiling: Cool name.

Kiver, still feeling nervous: Thanks. (He lets out a breath.) Holy shit I can't believe I just kidnapped someone.

Morgan cracks up.

Morgan: I don't think it counts when they ask you to. Besides, I can always walk home.

Kiver: Okay. If you think you know the way, that's... that's fine then.

Morgan: Unless you're going to tie me up or something, which don't get me wrong, could be fun.

Kiver blushes. Morgan swings from a tree branch by his extended arms.

Kiver: Not this early in the relationship.

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: The riverís that way, right? (He points.) I can smell it.

Kiver: Yeah.

Morgan: So, easy. If we're on this side of it I can figure out how to get home. Iím in no rush, though. Unless you're really hungry for some of that chili.

Kiver laughs. No, I'm-- this is way more interesting.

Morgan: I'm flattered. I hear the chili is legendary.

Kiver laughs, his first real laugh in a while.

Morgan: I like your laugh.

Kiver blushes. Morgan stretches up his arms again. He seems to be constantly in motion.

Kiver: Thanks.

Kiver's walking along beside his companion, a pleased little smile on his face.

Morgan, swinging from another tree branch: So, visiting your uncle. What do you think of our fair town so far?

Kiver: I haven't seen much of it, to be honest. Mostly the coffee shop and the grocery store. We don't get wifi out here.

Morgan: Ouch. That must suck.

Kiver: Yeah. Hence the coffee shop.

Morgan: Yeah, well, some people would tell you there's a lot to see, but once you've seen it . . . well, it's just a town.

Kiver, nodding: A lot of places are like that. People think they're so special but they're all just the same.

Morgan smiles a bit at that.

Morgan: Verona has a reputation for being a little different, of course. We have waaaay more than our share of hippy dippy types and guys in flannel shirts, for starters. Oh, and foodies.

Kiver, smiling: I noticed the coffee shop was hipster as fuck, at least.

Morgan: Yep. Hipster beards have been in since before they were a thing. (He laughs.) I guess you could say they're hipster hipster beards.

Kiver: Oh my god. Hipster squared.

Morgan: I think you just divided by zero. Square hipsters are hipsters squared. World explodes. (Makes exploding noise.)

Kiver: All hipsters are square. It's an inherent oxymoron of their being.

Morgan: That is true, young padawan.

Kiver: Uh, who was getting chased by random thugs earlier? You're the padawan.

Morgan: Not exactly random thugs. Specific, purposeful thugs.

Kiver, laughing: Are you in trouble with the mob?

Morgan laughs too.

Morgan: I'd tell you, but you know . . .

Kiver: Oh, please tell me.

Morgan, with a wicked grin: Some guys just can't take a joke. Or a five hundred dollar hustle.

Kiver, who had meant that as a suicide joke rather than a legitimate question, stares.

Kiver: Wait, seriously? Holy shit.

Morgan: I beat them at pool. They must be from out of town. No one here will play me anymore.

Kiver: Because you hustled them?

Morgan, with a sly smile: Well, yeah. Also, I usually win. I've been accused of cheating, but honestly. How do you cheat at pool? People are just sore losers.

Kiver: You could probably cheat at pool if you tried hard enough.

Morgan, winking at him: Probably.

Kiver giggles.

Morgan, smiling: You're adorable.

Kiver goes pink, making his face a blotchy mess due to his bad complexion.

Kiver: Thanks. You're nice.

Morgan's smile gets bigger. He laughs.

Morgan: Wow. It's been a while since I've been called that.

Kiver laughs too.

Morgan: I'll have to write that one in my diary. Dear Diary, Kiver thinks I'm nice.

Morgan smiles. It's a nice smile.

Kiver: Shut up.

He's blushing more. Morgan laughs.

Kiver: Is you're dashingly rebellious better?

Morgan: Wow, you'll sweep me off my feet if you're not careful.

They're at the river. Thereís a small, rocky beach. Morgan sits down on a big rock. There's room for two. Kiver shyly sits down next to him.

Kiver: Well, I don't get called adorable that much either. Or like, ever.

Morgan: Clearly, you know some very obtuse people.

Kiver, blushing furiously: Oh, come on.

He indicates his visage with a wave of his hand.

Morgan: You're empirically adorable.

Kiver: I'm an overgrown bat.

Morgan, laughing: I like your looks.

Kiver: I. Thanks. I like yours, too.

Morgan: Thanks. Interesting is so much better than merely handsome. Ken dolls are handsome. My sister has one that's been in a box for years. Too boring to play with.

He imitates a Ken doll, glassy eyes and straight arms. Kiver laughs.

Kiver, still smiling: So, did you get that line off a suburban mom's facebook feed, or...?

Morgan, choking a bit: Burn.

Kiver: I'm just saying.

Morgan: My brother is handsome. People always tell him how handsome he is. Even when we were little.

Kiver: Jeez, I don't even have a brother and it was bad enough.

Morgan: I would say I don't resent him but that's a lie.

Kiver smiles darkly.

Morgan: Anyway, the point is, I learned to dislike handsome a long time ago. At least his variety. Golden boy variety.

Kiver: Okay, maybe I am the padawan. I just get jealous.

Morgan: Life is sooo easy for him, and not just because of his looks. But they certainly don't hurt.

Kiver: He sounds like my cousin.

Morgan: Yeah?

Kiver: Yeah. At least we don't live together, but we're in the same year at school, and... Everyone just loves Ripley. Why can't you be more like Ripley. You can't even see the resemblance.

Morgan: I get it. Life is easy for them in a way it just isn't for you. It's not fair that the world only prizes one variety of beauty.

Kiver: Yeah.

Morgan: Lucky you met me, then.

Kiver smiles, just a little smile, but a pleased one.

Kiver: Yeah.

Morgan: So, when you're not kidnapping complete strangers, what do you do for fun, Kiver?

Kiver, laughing: Uh, not much, these days. Try to waste time, mostly. I go on a lot of walks.

Morgan: Wasting time is something I excel at.

Kiver: I like drawing?

Morgan, laughing: You're not sure?

Kiver: Oh, I just. I don't really. Do it that much anymore. Not as much as I used to.

Morgan: I'll bet you're good at it. My little brother is the artist in our family.

Kiver: Empty flattery will get you nowhere, I could be terrible all you know.

Morgan: Yes. Now you'll have to show me.

Kiver: Okay but I don't have any on me and. Y'know. Uncle.

Morgan: Ah, yes. You could just tell him you found me wandering in the woods. (He makes a face like a little puppy.)

Kiver: Or, that. I suppose going in, getting my sketchbook, and leaving again wouldn't be the weirdest thing I've done. Or. That he's seen me do.

Morgan, amused: I see.

Kiver: I just mean. That's all that counts.

Morgan: What is the weirdest thing you've done, then?

Kiver: Oh, god. Uh. That's hard. I've done a lot of weird shit.

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: I once tried on my aunt's clothes and when she came into the room for something I hid in her closet. She took a bath and I was afraid to sneak by because she had the door ajar. I think I was in there for hours.

Kiver laughs.

Morgan: I was like, six. I still like her clothes. They just don't fit anymore, since Iím like seven inches taller than she is.

Kiver, blushing: I mean. I may have permanently borrowed some of my friend's old skirts.

Morgan: Skirts are so naughty on a guy, I think. (He shimmies.) Make me feel all schmexy.

Kiver blushes more.

Morgan: But borrowing my mom's would just be weird and both of my aunts are too small. So now I just buy my own at the thrift store.

Kiver: Don't you have any girl friends? Friends who are girls.

Morgan: Yes. But they're all midgets. Except my sister and cousin and I'd rather shoot myself.

Kiver: See, I've got the opposite problem. Jane's the only person I know who's bigger than me.

Morgan: They'd be cool but Dante would find out and . . .

Kiver: Oh, jeez, yeah.

Morgan: So, yeah, thrift store. I found this rocking skirt that's leather with zippers all over it. That's my favorite.

Kiver: Where's the thrift store?

Morgan: I will totally show you if you text me next time your uncle takes you to town. Or I could pick you up myself. (He takes out his phone.) Tell me your number and I'll send you mine. I have my license. (He waggles his eyebrows.)

Kiver: Well now.

He tries a bit of return eyebrow waggling but is is not particularly skilled at it. He gives up after a couple moments and just tells Morgan his number. Morgan enters them, texts him back.

Morgan: There. Now we're phone buddies.

Kiver gets out his phone, sees that he got the number, smiles.

Kiver: I'll let you know next time my uncle goes out for a few hours.

Morgan: OK. Or I could meet him and you could say we met in the woods. I give good parent. That way he might let you come whenever.

Kiver, nodding: That. Might be good, yeah.

Morgan: Nice to meet you, Mr. Kiver's Uncle.

Kiver, laughing: I'm really bad at sneaking anyway.

Morgan: You don't say. I never would have guessed, you were so smooth when I was hiding in your car.

Kiver blushes, smiling nervously.

Kiver: I. What was I supposed to tell him?

Morgan: Nothing. I'm just teasing. He's like, ďHi,Ē and you're like, ďNo one hiding in the backseat, nope!Ē

Kiver: I wasn't THAT bad!

Morgan, grinning: You really are an only child.

Kiver: He may have been suspicious but he didn't find you.

Morgan: That's true. I'm just teasing. You're not used to being teased, are you.

Kiver: I. Not. Really. I just don't talk to people very much.

Morgan, grinning evilly: Get used to it.

Kiver side-eyes him.

Kiver: I liked the flirting better.

Morgan laughs out loud.

Morgan: I like you. You're ... I don't know the word. Honest? Yeah, maybe that's it.

Kiver, smiling shyly: Honestly I just don't know how not to be. Like I said, I don't talk to people very much.

Morgan: That's refreshing. Really. I sometimes know how to be anything but. Usually, in fact. But not with you.

Kiver: That's cool though. You're all mysterious and shit.

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: So, wait, something just registered. You know a female person who's bigger than you? Holy shit. She must be a giant.

Kiver: Yeah, she gets a lot of comments.

Morgan: People be stupid, yo.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: I mean, my sister and cousin are tall, but they're still shorter than I am.

Kiver: I mean, I think I'm catching her up. But I'll probably get back and she'll have grown too.

Morgan: Probably. That's usually how it works. People eat, they grow.

Kiver: Continually. If you never stop eating you can turn into godzilla.

Morgan, laughing: It's sad, but true.

Kiver: Unfortunately if you don't eat you don't shrink. You just get hungry and die. There's no going back.

Morgan: Who'd want to shrink? I like being tall.

Kiver, shrugging: I wouldn't mind like. Maybe not being so tall that's all people notice. That you're all big and gawkish.

Morgan: Yeah, I can understand that.

Kiver, blushing: I want to be like. Small. And dainty.

Morgan: Sorry to tell you, but that probably won't happen, bud.

Kiver breathes a laugh.

Kiver: Yeah, I know. I just wish I wasn't so damn noticeable, you know?

Morgan: I always wanted to be taller than my dad, personally. Just two more inches and I will be. But yeah, I get that.

Kiver: Like you're at least all skinny and elegant and shit.

Morgan: Wow, I'm blushing. (He isnít, but itís the spirit of the thing.) I know about wanting to be able to be invisible, though. When I was younger one of my cousins used to point out how awkward I was, like watch out, he'll break everything in the room, folks! He thought he was so clever. I just wanted to break his head.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: I wished I could turn invisible so I could avoid him.

Kiver: I just. Everyone always looks at me when I enter a room. Or do anything. I hate being looked at.

Morgan: I get it. I do like your looks, though.

He puts his hand on top of his. It's warm and dry.

Kiver: I. I don't mind you looking at me.

Morgan: Well, good. Ditto.

Kiver hasn't actually been looking at Morgan that much; he naturally looks at the ground. But he but looks up now, thinking about this fact. Morgan has a great face: You could study that face for hours. It's not your usual kind of face. He has high cheekbones, a longish nose, kind eyes, and a smile that promises good things to come. Kiver has the sudden thought that heíd like to draw him. But it doesn't feel natural for him to hold his head like this, so he looks at their hands instead.

Morgan squeezes Kiverís hand. His hands are smaller than Kiver's, but almost as long. Kiver has stupidly big hands, kind of knobbly, bony. They've got an elegance about them, though.

Morgan: I like your hands. They look . . . capable.

Kiver: Heh. Never thought about it that way.

Morgan: Like I said, lucky you met me. A fresh perspective.

Kiver: Your hands look like. The kind of hands people always write about in stories.

Morgan: Didn't realize hands played such a big part in stories.

Kiver: Long, elegant. Pianist's hands. (He laughs a little.) No, I mean. Yeah.

Morgan: Heh. I play guitar.

Kiver: They're romantic hands.

Morgan smiles.

Morgan: Hey, not to kill this moment, but I'm starving. Do you think your uncle would mind a dinner guest?

Kiver: No, probably not. What do I tell him, though? That I met you in the woods? That sounds kinda fake but I don't know what else.

Morgan: We met in the woods. Just now. And hit it off. Not a lie. I go for walks all the time. Part of my weird behavior.

He grins. Kiver smiles.

Kiver: Okay.

Morgan: After dinner I could pretend to leave and sneak up to your room instead.

Kiver: Or something.

Morgan: Or, maybe he'd just let me stay?

Kiverís face kind of lights up a little, just a little, at the thought that someone wants to continue spending time with him. The half too-good-to-be-true hope of friendship.

Kiver: I mean. He might. He's pretty good about that stuff. About letting me do stuff, I mean.

Morgan: Cool. I'll bet he has a sensible bedtime.

Kiver: Uh, he came home from drag racing at like two in the morning one time, and other than that I haven't observed, so I don't know about that, but yeah.

Morgan: I was just thinking we could probably outlast him and his grownup talk. (He smiles. Continues in a stuffy accent:) So, where do you go to school, Morgan? Really. How interesting. What does your father do?

Kiver, laughing a bit: He lets me go as soon as I want, usually, but yeah I don't know he might be all like. Hostly.

Morgan: S'OK. My parents host dinner parties all the time and we kids need to act nice. I've got it down.

Kiver: Okay cool.

Morgan, miming Dudley Dursley: Let me take your coat, Mr. and Mrs. Mason.

Kiver laughs. Morgan gets up off of the rock and Kiver follows.

Kiver: See, I'm terrible at that stuff.

Morgan: Just takes practice and a willingness to be a phony piece of shit for two hours.

Kiver: I, yeah. I actually do have that first thing but not that second.

Morgan: This way? (He starts walking.)

Kiver, walking with him: Yeah, pretty sure. That's the way we came, at least.

Morgan: I think it's right. The road is this way, since the riverís behind us.

Kiver: Yeah. I'm better at navigating when there's like. Streets and stuff. But I'm getting better.

Morgan: What's that like? Streets? What are those?

They both laugh.

Kiver: I mean like, I'm really good at remembering directions but I need landmarks.

Morgan: Just kidding, of course, but I think we've got like, ten of those.

Kiver: I haven't memorized enough trees yet.

Morgan: Never fear. I know these woods pretty well. Anyway, like I said, I'm pretty sure your uncle knows my family, so it's not like I'm a complete stranger.

Kiver: Yeah. And he's like. Friendly and nice and stuff. So. It should be okay.

Morgan: Yeah. So, no worries.

Kiver nods. As they approach the cabin they can smell something great.

Kiver: Are you sure you're not just in this for the chili? It's legendary, apparently.

Morgan: Well, it is a powerful incentive. (He smiles.) But, no. It's really the company that sealed the deal for me.

Elijah: Kiver? That you?

Kiver, shouting, and blushing at what Morgan just said: Uh, yeah! I uh. I met someone!

Elijah comes to the door.

Kiver: In the woods!

Elijah: I see.

Kiver: This is Morgan.

Elijah smiles. The teenagers walk up onto the porch. Morgan holds out his hand.

Morgan: Sir.

They shake hands.

Elijah: You look familiar.

Morgan: You've probably met my dad. Connor Patrick.

Elijah: Oh, yes. Yes, I have. Would you like to stay for dinner?

Morgan: I'd like that, sir, thanks.

Morgan winks at Kiver as they go inside. Kiver's expression is openly awed. He didnít even have to ask if Morgan could stay.

Elijah goes back to the kitchen.
Elijah: Hope you like chili, Morgan.

Morgan: Kiver tells me it's legendary.

Elijah, laughing: I didn't think he was listening.

Kiver's blushing.

Morgan: Honestly, sir, I'm a teenage boy. There's very little I won't eat.

Elijah laughs again.

Morgan: But that chili smells amazing.

Elijah: Maybe you should call your family. (He brings out plates and hands them to Kiver.) Kiver, can you set the table?

Kiver nods, takes the plates, vanishes off to the side. Morgan takes out his phone and walks off to a corner.

Morgan: Mom? Hi. I'm at a friend's house for dinner. What? No. No, that wasn't me. Yes, I swear. OK. OK. Sure. Bye. (Louder:) She says it's fine.
He finds Kiver.

Morgan: Can I help?

Kiver: Uh, yeah, here. (He's getting cups out, hands them to Morgan. Quietly:) You're really good at that.

Morgan, quiet to match: What? Lying to my mom? (He smiles.)

Kiver: Well. That too. Adulting.

Morgan: She heard someone got in trouble for hustling. And, oh, that. Yeah. Told you I was. My dad is the chief of police. I spend a lot of dinners acting like a model citizen while secretly laughing my ass off.

Kiver giggles.

Morgan, mock serious: That must be terrible, sir. (Normal voice now.) The only one I can't fool is my great-great-grandfather. He's older than dirt and he's seen it all, and he sees right through me. Heís been the town lawyer as long as anyoneís been alive.

Elijah: Ready to eat, guys? (He brings out the chili.) Kiver, help me get a couple of things?

Morgan: I can help, too, sir.

Elijah: Oh, no, you're the guest. Have a seat.

Kiver follows Elijah, who goes into the kitchen and turns to Kiver. Kiver is instantly terrified.

Elijah: I've heard about this kid. He's a bit of a troublemaker. Just thought you should know.

Kiverís relieved. Itís just standard delinquency talk.

Kiver: I know. Like I'm not?

Elijah: I figured that makes him your type, yes. I'm sure you two will be fine. Just, don't let him suck you into anything illegal. I'd hate to explain that to your mom.

Kiver nods again. Elijah hands him the salad and dressing. Kiver takes them.

Kiver: I. I won't.

Elijah: Good. I trust you to be sensible.

Kiver nods, knowing full well that sensible is the last thing he is at any given time, and goes to put the items heís holding on the table. Elijah follows him out.

Elijah: Let's eat.

The chili is indeed legendary. At least, it's very good. Morgan says as much. He's a good guest. Kiver mostly keeps quiet. Elijah doesn't make them agonize through parent talk after dinner. He asks the boys to wash the dishes while he goes to work on his car.

Morgan: So, alone at last.

Kiver: Yeah. I'm glad he just didn't go all parent mode with a guest over.

Morgan: He's remarkably sensitive for a parental type.

Kiver: Yeah, he's. He's okay.

Morgan: Think he saw through my bullshit?

Kiver: Yeah. He warned me when we were in the kitchen about how much of a troublemaker you were. (Snorts.) Yeah, he really gets his fucking hopes up where I'm concerned.

Morgan snorts too.

Morgan: I figured something like that. As long as he doesn't try to keep you from hanging out with me, it's fine.

Kiver: I told him I wouldn't get up to anything. He just said not to break the law.

Morgan: I think we can fit within those parameters.

Kiver: I don't know, I'm a repeat jaywalker. (Grins.)

Morgan: Shocking. I am shocked. Ever shoplift?

Kiver shakes his head.

Morgan: I have. It's such a rush. I just did it to see if I could.

Kiverís looking at Morgan with a particularly intent sort of awe.

Morgan: Also, because they overcharge for their stuff. Like crazy over the top too much. Those boots clearly were meant to be mine. They go great with my skirt. I told my folks I got them from the thrift store. Sometimes rich people donate stuff there.

Kiver: Did you only ever do it the once?

Morgan: Well, a couple of candy bars when I was little. But otherwise, no. My dad's a really good cop. I'd hate to have him catch on. It's not like I need to. I can always hustle idiots for money and just pay for things with it like a respectable citizen. (Grins.)

Kiver: Yeah, uh. My family's kind of rich.

Morgan: Huh. What's that like?

Kiver, shrugging: I don't know, I've never been not rich. It's not like I get to spend money willy nilly though. I have to ask for stuff and my parents are pretty judicious about it.

Morgan: I've never been not not rich. (Smiles.) And oddly, my parents are also judicious about how I spend their money.

Kiver: Well, if you wanna save your hustling money, Uncle Elijah has been letting me buy stuff, so like. Yeah.

Morgan: That's mighty generous. Will you be expecting sexual favors in return? (Waggles his eyebrows.)

Kiver: What? No.

Morgan cracks up. Kivers blushing, though smiling given that he knows that was a joke.

Morgan: Not saying I'd necessarily mind.

Kiver blushes deeper.

Morgan: I just like to know the terms of my agreements.

Kiver: It's not like it's my money anyway.

Morgan: Well, there is that. (Mock horror.) Do you think Elijah will expect, you know . . . (He mimes kissing.)

Kiver, laughing: That's not what I meant!

Morgan cackles.

Kiver: Eeew.

Morgan is breathless with laughter.

Morgan: Your face. Oh my god.

Kiver: Well, it's gross!

Morgan, still laughing: You are so easy.

Kiver: Maybe.

Morgan: Oooh, who's flirting now?

Morgan flicks him with the towel. Kiver recoils.

Kiver: I didn't even think of it that way.

Morgan: Ok, if you say so.

Kiver: I'm just bad at comebacks.

Morgan: Yes, I can see that. That's OK, you know. Part of your charm, actually.

Kiver blushes, hides his lower face in his hand. Heís smiling behind it.

Morgan: You make me want to say nice things to you all day long, which isn't like me at all.

Kiver: I just. You know. I don't really. Have charm.

Morgan: Wow, are you wrong about that.

Kiver: I'm all. (Waves his hand.) You're so smooth, jesus fuck.

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: I'm really not.

Kiver: If I'm charming then you're smooth, them's the breaks.

Morgan: OK. (He holds up his hands.) You win. I'm a smooth smoothy. Smooth as glass.

Kiver: Fucking soft serve ice cream.

Morgan guffaws.

Morgan: I'm so tempted to say something that would make you blush your socks off right now.

Kiver: Try me.

Morgan: Nothing soft about me, actually.

Kiver: Pfft. (Laughs.) Okay, that was just cheesy.

Morgan: Pfft? PFFT?

Kiver nods.

Morgan: Yeah, OK. Fair point.

Kiver: Honestly I thought you were gonna be like, ďThat's not the only thing I could be fucking.Ē That was way tamer.

Morgan: Says the guy who's bad at comebacks.

Kiver: That's a come on, not a comeback.

Morgan: Hah.

They finish the dishes.

Morgan: So.

Kiver: Uh. My room's upstairs. It's kind of a mess.

Morgan: That's OK. Wait until you see mine.

Kiver: Do you have a floor that isn't made of clothes? And like. Books and stuff and basically all your possessions?

Morgan: No. But I share with my older brother, so itís not all my fault. Heís neater than me.

Kiver: How many brothers do you have?

Morgan: Six.

Kiver: Holy fuck.

Morgan: I should qualify that. Only three are my brothers. The other three are my cousins, who live in the same house. So, basically my brothers.

Kiver, nodding: That's. Slightly more reasonable. Still though.

Morgan: And three sisters-slash-cousins. Kiblings. One sister, two female cousins.

Kiver: Kiblings.

Morgan: Yes. Lily came up with it. So, yeah, the cousin who used to torment me? He lives in my house. He's best friends with Golden Boy, though not so much anymore.

Kiver: Ugh. That sucks.

Morgan: Yep. But Edward's awesome and so is his twin, Tori. She and I are tight. And Stone is super sweet. Actually, all three of the youngest boys are. It's just two of the oldest three I have problems with. So, that's not so bad. My sisters and I all get along, though Mallory's kind of a pain. She gets away with shit I could never get away at her age. I think my parents are getting tired.

Kiver: Okay, she sounds even more like Ripley.

Morgan: Is Ripley a jock with a wicked left hook?

Kiver: More or less.

Morgan: God. Let's never introduce them.

Kiver: But she's like, a jock who's a nerd, so she's not even popular enough for people to hate her.

Morgan: Mallory's like a puppy whose feet are too big. She's an outdoor person. Get her in a room and she knocks everything over. Edward won't even let her in his robotics shop. Which of course makes her even more likeable. So, are you a wizard like your uncle?

Kiver: What? Oh, yeah.

Morgan: Cool.

Kiver: Oh, cool. I had no idea how to ask you if you were. (He laughs.) We could've cleaned those dishes by magic.

Morgan: Oh, man. I'm used to doing them by hand, anyway. One too many broken dishes at my house led Mom to make that rule. Weíre all wizards on both sides, though my grandma is more into kicking ass with a sword. Some people's grandmas just bake cookies. Not mine.

Kiver: My grandparents are dead.

Morgan: I'm sorry.

Kiver, shrugging: I never knew them. I'm just saying, I don't have a point of comparison.

Morgan: Me, either, actually, since both of mine are ass kickers.

Kiver: Heh.

Morgan: Grandma Montague has an eyepatch. She lost her eye fighting a vampire. And no one fucks with Grandma Patrick. So, do I get to see this mythical room?

Kiver: Oh, yeah. Sorry, got distracted.

He leads him upstairs. The house is open plan, and itís not far, just up an L-shaped staircase, round a corner, and down a short hallway. They enter Kiverís room. The wallpaper is olive green and thereís a dresser lying face down on the floor off to one side and a single bed in the corner. He wasn't kidding about the floor. There is no floor, only clothes.

Morgan: Well, this is . . . cozy.

Kiver: Uh. Yeah. I tried to warn you.

Morgan: Sorry, I actually meant that. I feel right at home. Iím a slob, too. That did not come out right.

Kiver, shrugging: Really not that bad, as grammar goes. I'm not an English teacher.

Morgan: Not what I meant, doofus.

Kiver, taking another guess: I missed the innuendo.

Morgan: I didn't mean to call you a slob, is all.

Kiver: Oh. (He shrugs.) It's okay, I am a slob. I didn't even notice, tbh.

Morgan: Good that you own it. (Beat.) So . . . your inner sanctum.

Kiver: Kind of, I guess. I've only been here a couple of weeks.

Morgan: Which always sounds much dirtier than it is.

Kiver snorts and goes to sit down on the bed, which doesn't have sheets on it.

Morgan: Yeah, so your inner sanctum away from home that would give Mom palpitations. (He plops down next to him. In a falsetto:) Has he never heard of sheets?

Kiver laughs.

Kiver: They're over there. (He points at the tipped over dresser. There's a balled up fitted sheet on top of it. Itís pink and floral.) Putting them on the bed is... (He gestures vaguely.) Effort.

Morgan: Well, then. Good enough for me. Though I do have a solution if you want.

Kiver: What?

Morgan: Set Ďem on fire.

Kiver, laughing: I mean. That would hide the evidence.

Morgan, laughing too: Exactly.

Kiver: I feel like my uncle would get mad though. He doesn't get mad about very much, but... maybe I should do it just to see if he would. Is property damage the line to cross?

Morgan, with a wicked smile: Only one way to tell.

Kiver, eyes lighting up: I didn't think you were serious.

Morgan: I wasn't at first but this idea has its appeal.

Kiver: Let's do it.

They both get up.

Kiver: Outside, though, I don't want to catch all my stuff on fire.

Morgan grabs the sheet.

Kiver: Or like. In the bathtub. But I like outside better.

Morgan: Outside is better. We can dance around the symbol of our burning oppression.

Kiver, laughing a little: Let's go, let's go back to the shore. All the rocks will be good for it.

Morgan: Sheets? I don't THINK so. Let's go.

He runs downstairs and out the door with the sheet streaming behind him. Kiver's running after him, laughing. They head for the river. It's dusk. A large wading bird takes flight at their approach. Morgan drops the sheets on the shore and dances around them, laughing still.

Kiver: Okay, okay, I'm gonna do it.

Morgan: Go for it.

Kiver draws his wand from his pocket, kneels in front of the sheets.

Kiver: Incendio.

Morgan watches, hands on his head. Kiver lights them right in the middle and backs off a few steps. The sheets smolder and smoke. Kiver's watching them intently. It's a little disappointing.

Morgan: Maybe it needs some help.

Kiver, shouting, with a sudden vicious arm movement: Incendio!

A fireball shoots out of his wand at the sheet. Voom! A chimney of flame. Kiver's grinning. Morgan whoops. Kiver laughs, runs his hands through his hair, watching the fire. Morgan raises his hands to the sky.

Morgan: Yes! Yes!

Kiver laughs.

Morgan: Burn, sucker!

Kiver laughs, long and happy.

Kiver: Oh my god, I'm never. I'm never gonna get sheets on that damn bed all summer now.

Morgan does a crazy dance. Kiver cartwheels.

Morgan: Who cares? So worth it. (Shouts:) Sheets are a tool of the oppressors!

Kiver cracks up.

Kiver: They are! I'll sleep in a pile of clothes on the floor! I'll sleep in a tree!

Morgan: I'll sleep where and how I want!

Kiver: I'll sleep in the goddamn river!

Morgan cracks up now.

Morgan: I'll sleep hanging upside down!

Kiver: I'll sleep under my bed!

Morgan: I'll sleep under your bed!

Kiver, laughing wildly: I'll be the monster under my own fucking bed! I'll sleep on the roof! I'll sleep on the washing machine! I'll sleep in my own closed trunk!

Morgan: I'll sleep in the middle of the highway!

Kiver: I'll sleep in a rowboat pushed off into the ocean!

The flame is dying down.

Morgan: What do you think? Should we light something else?

Kiver: Fuck, yeah, what?

Morgan takes off his shirt and tosses it on the flames. Heís skinny underneath, but in good shape.

Kiver: Holy fuck I was going to go get a tree branch!

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: Never liked that shirt anyway.

Kiver: See now I want to burn mine but I do like this shirt. (He looks down at it; it bears the Linkin Park logo.)

Morgan: That's OK. I wouldn't burn one I liked either. I mean, that band isn't even touring anymore. Didn't one of them punch the other one?

Kiver: I don't know, I don't follow the people. Just the music. I mean, probably. I'm sure lots of bandmates punch each other.

Morgan: Not that that'd be a reason for me to leave. I mean, things just got interesting. But yeah, musicians. My uncle's one so I know the drama.

Kiver pulls off his shirt so they match and tucks it into the back of his waistband. He's a lot broader than Morgan, more muscular, with big round shoulders. The scar on his face continues down his neck and across his shoulder, getting increasingly wider and nastier looking. He also has a large circular scar on his side. There are dottings of dark freckles on his chest like the ones spattered across his face.

Morgan: Anyway, burn, baby, burn!

The shirt goes pretty quick. The fire's hot.

Kiver: Tree branch?

Morgan: Yeah, OK.

He catches a better look at Kiver in the firelight.

Morgan: Holy fuck, dude. Looks like someone tried to open you with a can opener.

Kiver: What? Oh.

He blushes. Morgan walks over.

Morgan: Can I touch it?

Kiver pauses in going over to the treeline to get a branch, turns back to face him.

Kiver: I. Yeah. Okay.

Morgan runs his finger gently down the scar, firm enough that it doesn't tickle.

Morgan: Ouch. That's . . . wow. You are one badass motherfucker to survive something like that.

Kiver: Heh. Yeah.

Thereís a small smile a his face. He was looking away while Morgan ran his finger down it, but looks back at his face now. Morgan takes his hand back slowly, like he doesn't really want to. Morganís expression is unreadable. Sad, maybe.

Kiver: I. They. Didn't know what kind of magic the guy used, it wouldn't seal clean.

Morgan: It wasn't an accident, then.

Kiver: Oh. Uh. No.

Morgan: Asshole. I mean, putting it mildly.

Kiver, breathing a sound almost like a laugh: Yeah, it's--

He lifts his arm to show him the scar on his side. Itís puckered, centered on his lower ribs, diameter wider than a dinner plateís, wider than one of Kiverís own huge handspans.

Morgan: Jesus fucking christ. I hate this dude.

Kiver, dryly: Funnily enough, so do I.

Morgan: Is he dead?

Kiver: No.

Morgan gives a humorless laugh.

Kiver: He's in prison.

Morgan: Well, that's something. Hope he rots.

He reaches up and touches Kiver's face. Kiver stills.

Kiver: I shouldn't've-- I, you had your shirt off.

Morgan: S'ok. I'm glad I saw.

Kiver nods. Morgan takes his hand and leads him to the big rock, sits down. Kiver sits down next to him; doesn't let go of his hand. Morgan strokes his hand with his thumb and sits very close, arm to arm.

Kiver: I. That's. Why. I'm out here. I-- after it, I-- I wasn't really. Doing that well at being around other people. My parents thought I. Some time away. Off in the woods, like some. Fairytale monster.

Morgan: I can't imagine why you'd have a problem after that.

Kiver laughs bleakly.

Morgan: I mean, come on, the dude only tried to turn you inside out. I'm glad you're here, though. I feel like we were supposed to meet.

Kiver, nodding: I'm glad you're here too. I. Believe it or not, being away from everybody is kinda. Lonely. (He laughs nervously.)

Morgan: I get that. I'm kind of my family's monster, too. My magic gets kind of . . . intense when I'm upset.

Kiver looks at him, nods.

Kiver: Mine too.

Morgan: I started a tornado once.

Kiver: Holy shit.

Morgan: I was four. It was a small tornado but I accidentally hurt Edward. I felt awful. Also, stupid. (Looks at him.) I was aiming for Seth.

Kiver smiles a small, bleak smile.

Kiver: I break things. On purpose, a lot of the time. I just. Don't know what else to do with myself.

Morgan: Hey, stop stealing my act. (He puts his arm around him.) This OK?

Kiver: Yeah. (He scoots a little closer.) That's why my room's like that, though. How it got so messy so quickly.

Morgan: All the shit you broke?

Kiver: Or. Y'know. Threw. Clothes aren't that breakable, lucky for them.

Morgan laughs.

Morgan: Unless you've got a fire handy.

Kiver laughs, just a little.

Kiver: That does make it easier. Don't give me ideas, I like my clothes.

Morgan: Yeah, I like most of mine, too. That one happened to be Dante's.

Kiver giggles. Morgan does too.

Kiver: Oh, good. Iím glad you donít actually like Oasis.

Morgan: Nope. They kind of suck. Itís laundry day.

They laugh.

Kiver: Yeah, there's some things my parents bought me I wouldn't mind if they caught fire. School stuff, mostly. Y'know. (Pulls a face.) Business casual.

Morgan: Yeah. (Shivers.) Yuck. The worst.

Kiver: I know. I hate that there's a uniform.

Morgan: No one ever got laid in business casual. At least, not because of it.

Kiver laughs.

Morgan: Ooh, baby, look at those khakis.

More laughter.

Kiver: At least I have enough black stuff to never have to wear anything else.

Morgan: Yep. Though I do like flannel. Call me grunge throwback baby. Our school doesn't have a uniform.

Kiver: Lucky you.

Morgan: Unless you count flower child clothing and an aura of superiority.

Kiver, laughing: Okay, not so lucky you.

Morgan: Yeah. I mean, I'm glad I'm a wizard but I wish some of them weren't. Soooo superior to everyone else. I mean, practically asking to get hexed. (He shivers.) Hey, why don't we go in? (Jamaican accent:) Beginning to regret burning me only shirt.

Kiver, who doesn't get the reference but thinks itís funny: Okay, yeah. You can borrow mine if you want.

Morgan: Yeah, that'd be nice.

Kiver hands it to him. Itís a bit big. Kiver's shoulders are much broader than Morgan's. Morgan takes his hand and heads for the cabin.

Morgan: I feel like a girl wearing one of those boyfriend sweaters.

Kiver: Heh.

Morgan: It's so big because I'm so dainty.

Kiver: Oh, shit, I just realised though, what if Uncle Elijah's in the living room or something?

Morgan: So, what? We went for a walk.

Kiver: And you lost your shirt?

Morgan: My shirt got eaten by a wild hyena.

Kiver laughs.

Morgan: Or that heron. He looked shifty.

Kiverís laughter turns to giggling.

Kiver: I mean, an outright lie would still obfuscate the truth.

Morgan: Or, I lost it in the dark after we went swimming.

Kiver: We're not wet.

Morgan: And I'll look for it in the morning. We're wizards.

Kiver: Oh yeah.

Morgan: Doofus.

Kiver, blushing: I keep forgetting I'm allowed to use magic.

Morgan: Oh, right. That's a thing. So freaking weird.

Kiver: Yeah.

Morgan: We couldn't have that rule. Kids get in danger all the time. Who wants their kid dead because of a stupid rule? We don't have the luxury of a closed society. This country's too big.

Kiver, nodding: I've only got a year left til I'm free of it.

Morgan: Then, watch out, baby.

Kiver: Heh. Yeah. Bedsheets beware.

Morgan cracks up. He lets go of Kiverís hand when they reach the yard.

Morgan: None of the grownups' business, right?

Kiver nods. Right.

Morgan: Are you out to your uncle?

Kiver: No. But I don't think he'd be a dick about it. It just. Hasn't come up, you know.

Morgan: But still, just wanted to know if I should you know, behave. Or if like, flirting is OK.

Kiver: I mean. I don't want him prying.

Morgan: Understood. It took me a long time to tell my folks. And I didn't exactly tell them. Yeah. It just became obvious when they caught me with my tongue down a boyís throat. Can't really play that one off.

Kiver laughs.

Kiver: I don't feel like. It's something mine need to know. It's not really any of their business. The less they know about me the less they can use it against me.

Morgan: I get it. Past the door, we are straight-seeming humans.

Kiver nods.

Kiver: Thanks. I mean. It's gonna look like it anyway. What with the. Clothes. But we don't have to be overt.

Morgan: I was cold. You are manlier than me.

Kiver: I sincerely doubt that but yes. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Morgan: I could give it back. Laughs.

Kiver: I mean. That might raise less questions.

Morgan takes it off, hands it back.

Morgan: Ready?

They're at the door. Kiver finishes putting the shirt back on.

Kiver: Yeah.

As they come in they hear a wrench fall in the garage.

Kiver: Oh hey.

Morgan: Right.

Kiver: Upstairs, quick.

They sneak upstairs, giggling.

Morgan: I feel like a little kid who stole some cookies.

Kiver: I mean. I did kind of steal you. Accidentally.

Morgan: Maybe. but I chose to stay.

Kiver, smiling to himself: Yeah. Uh, if you want to... (He waves vaguely at the floor.) Pick a shirt.

Morgan rummages around, grabs one, gives it a sniff, shrugs.

Morgan: This one ok?

Kiver, looking at the one he picked: Yeah, that's fine.

It's black, like 95% of the clothes here. It has a skull and roses printed on the front.

Morgan: Black. Quel surprise.

Kiver: Heh. That's one of my favourites, actually.

Morgan: I'll be sure to return it, then. Gives me an excuse to see you again.

Kiver gets a dorky pleased smile on. Morgan flops onto the bed, leaving plenty of room.

Kiver: Oh, hey, uh, turn around a moment, okay? Or like shut your eyes or something.

Morgan covers his eyes.

Morgan: Feeling shy?

Kiver: Maybe a little.

A short time later there's the creak of bedsprings as Kiver sits down next to him.

Kiver: Okay.

Morgan opens his eyes. Kiver's wearing a short black skirt made up of many folds. It looks vaguely schoolgirlish. His wand, which has a crossguard like a sword, is stuck through a little loop on the belt.

Morgan, with a low whistle: Kind of making it hard for me to be a gentleman.

Kiver, blushing: I just. Y'know. I don't get to wear it very much. Around other people.

Theyíre sitting crossways so their legs are a little tangled.

Morgan: Did it sound like I minded? Because I really, really don't.

Kiver, shyly: I just mean like... I'm not wearing it to be sexy.

Morgan: I know. That's just a lovely side effect.

Kiver: Heh.

He looks up at him. He's still blushing, smiling shyly. Morgan reaches over and brushes Kiverís hair from his forehead.

Morgan: I have a feeling I'm a lot less innocent than you are.

Kiver: I. Probably. I've never even kissed anybody.

Morgan: I don't want to rush this, whatever this is. How long are you here for?

Kiver: Til the end of the summer. Well, one week short of.

Morgan: So, two months. More or less.

Kiver nods.

Morgan, doing a Mr. Burns impersonation: Excellent.

Kiver laughs. Itís a giggly laugh. Morgan laughs, too. It's hard not to.

Morgan: So, what kind of music do you like?

Kiver: Oh, all sorts of stuff! Mostly modern rock.

Morgan scoots in closer so they're sort of cuddling.

Kiver: And heavy metal.

Morgan, in a German accent: So, play some of this metal that is heavy.

Kiver, laughing: Okay but I have to get up, hang on.

He goes and gets his mp3 player from his backpack. Morgan's phone rings.

Kiver: Oh shit.

Morgan looks at it, makes a face, answers.

Morgan: He asked me to spend the night. Yeah.

Kiver looks terrified.

Morgan: Elijah's nephew. You know, the drag race guy. Yes. Ok. Sorry. (He hangs up.) Hey, what's wrong?

Kiver: Oh, sorry, I-- parents. I thought you were going to be in trouble.

Morgan: Oh. Yeah. I just forgot to call. I am, sort of, but I'm always in trouble. It's kind of normal.

Kiver nods, comes back over with his mp3 player, sits down close. Morgan smiles and moves in closer so he has to put one arm behind Kiver.

Kiver: I have earbuds but I don't like them. If I went and asked Uncle Elijah if you could stay we could probably play without headphones.

Morgan: Think he'd be cool with it?

Kiver: Uh. Probably? He's. Been pretty good. About that sort of thing.

Morgan: He does seem cool.

Kiver: I mean, I haven't had a chance to really see where he stands re: company. But like, he lets me buy dumb shit and eat junk food, so?

Morgan: Maybe he'll be glad you made a friend.

Kiver: Yeah. Yeah, adults. Do seem surprised when that happens.

Morgan: Lucky you on the junk food. Uber Mom would have a cow.

Kiver: Uber mom?

Morgan: I've got three moms.

Kiver: Right, cause of your-- (He gestures vaguely.)

Morgan: Yeah. My real mom is just Mom. Aunt Cecily is Aunt Cecily, though she's known to be a mom on occasion, and Madison is Uber Mom. She's the one who cares about sheets. And junk food.

Kiver: So is she like, totally bullshit, or just momly? Which is like, a kind of bullshit on its own, but...

Morgan: She's actually amazing. She runs the house and makes us all feel . . . I dunno. Special. Good. I know that's corny. Hard to believe she's Seth's actual mom.

Kiver: No, that. Sounds really cool, actually.

Morgan: She makes these awesome cookies. When you come over I'll see if I can get her to make them. Not for you, just you know, casually, like hey, I'd really like cookies . . . don't want to put you on the spot.

Kiver, nodding: Thanks. Mostly for the spot thing, but cookies are good too.

Morgan: I got your back.

Kiver: Literally, as it is. (He snuggles a little closer, grinning.)

Morgan: Heh.

He rubs his back for a bit.

Kiver: Okay I should go ask though.

Morgan: Right.

Kiver: Or. Or not.

Morgan: I can do this when you get back.

Kiver: Yeah, okay.

Morgan: It's not just a one-time thing.

Kiver: Heh. Okay, I'm getting up.

Morgan: Do you need a push? (He laughs.)

Kiver: No. (He gets up.)

Morgan: I know. You never hit the same comfort spot once you leave. We could, you know, not ask and just be like, hey hope that's OK if he like, stops by. But, now you're up. Maybe you could bring a snack back with you?

Kiver: Yeah, okay. Do you care what?

Morgan: Like I told Elijah, I will eat literally anything.

Kiver: I mean. Fair.

Morgan: As long as it's meant to be eaten. Just wanted to qualify. But, like, you know, something in a bag that there's more than one of.

Kiver: So, like, a single fork is out.

Morgan: (Laughs.) Yeah, probably.

Kiver: Probably. Now I want to find out.

Morgan: If it were made of chocolate or something.

Kiver: Oh.

Morgan: I'm not a robot. Though Edward said he's working on a way for people to be cyborgs. He's 17 so that's a long ways off, of course. College first, then turn your friends into robots.

Kiver, laughing a little: Okay, I'm going.

Morgan: Hurry back. (He grins.)

Kiver: Oh wait shit! I can't believe I almost left wearing a skirt. Fuck.

Morgan: What? Oh. Yikes. I could go.

Kiver: No, just cover your eyes again.

Morgan does. Kiver puts his jeans back on. Morgan pretends to peek.

Kiver: Are you peeking?

Morgan: Nah. Just teasing. I want to. But as mentioned, I am a gentleman. Sort of.

Kiver: Okay. Going.

Elijah's making himself some tea in the kitchen.

Elijah: Oh, hi, Kiver.

Kiver: Uh. Hi.

Elijah: Your friend still here?

Kiver: Yes. Can he spend the night? He already asked his parents and they said yes.

Elijah: Yes, of course. I can drive him home tomorrow.

Kiver: (Nods.) Uh. Thanks.

Elijah: Sure. I need some more car parts. We could go sometime around lunch? Unless he needs to be home earlier.

Kiver: No, that's fine. I'll tell him.

Elijah: OK. Kiver?

Kiver, nervously: Yeah?

Elijah: I'm glad you made a friend. He seems . . . interesting. (He smiles, thinking of someone else he knew.)

Kiver nods.

Elijah: Do you two want some snacks? I know a trick.

Kiver: Yeah, I was gonna... (He jerks his head at the cupboard.) What?

Elijah: Want to see?

He takes out his wand and waves it at the fridge. Kiver immediately backs away a couple of steps. Bacon and little wieners fly out of the fridge and Elijah changes them into instantly cooked yummy treats. Elijah pretends not to notice that Kiver backed off. The treats fly onto a plate.

Kiver, woodenly, staring: Okay thanks.

Elijah: Sorry, did I freak you out? I just thought these would be better than chips. You don't have to eat them.

Kiver: I. It's. Fine these are fine.

Elijah: It's my one party trick. People coming over, make weenie wraps.

Kiver nods, still wooden, and takes the plate.

Kiver: I'm going back upstairs now.

Elijah: (Nods.) Have fun.

Kiver absconds, hackles raised. Morgan's lying on the bed, looks up, frowns.

Morgan: Dude, you are sparking all sorts of mojo right now.

Kiver: So he said it was okay and then made us some goddamn snacks without me even asking.

He shoves some stuff off the bedside table and sets the plate down.

Morgan: Well, we could burn them. But they do smell good.

Kiver laughs briefly, weakly.

Kiver: I mean we might as well just eat them.

Morgan: You remind me of my cat. Sit.
Kiver: I mean. They're not. Bad.

He sits. Morgan sits up and rubs his back, leans against him.

Morgan: Breathe.

Kiver slowly relaxes against him, breathes deeply.

Morgan: He was trying to be nice. He's not that other dude.

Kiver: I just... fuck he was just like, ďWanna see a trick?Ē And pulled his wand out and I just-- I just fucking--

Morgan: Yeah. Normal people forget that maybe your experiences aren't so normal. He probably feels bad, and won't do it again.

Kiver: Shit, how do you get it so quick when my own damn family members don't.

Morgan: My brother is a lot like you. Stone, I mean.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: He's autistic and . . . super gifted, magically. Bad combination.

Kiver: (Nods.) He's never... been attacked, though, right?

Morgan: Not by anyone else, no. By his own demons, yes. Literally.

Kiver: Oh. Huh.

Morgan: He's psychic. He dreams the future, and when it's too scary he transfers his visions to his paintings. So he can forget. But they don't. They fester. And one time he . . . tried to burn them. They didn't like that.

Kiver: Oh, shit.

Morgan: Yeah.

Kiver: Shit that sounds terrifying.

Morgan: He was like, ten. So, yeah. He's almost 12 now. But he still has bad dreams about it. (Laughs, not really funny.) So more stuff to paint.

Kiver: Ironic.

Morgan: Yep. Anyway, the point of all this is, you two are affected differently but I've learned to listen to what he's really saying. And I guess that helps me understand you. So, have I ruined my mystique? (He waggles his eyebrows.)

Kiver, laughing a bit: No.

Morgan: I'm the one he usually turns to. He has a twin, but Jace is . . . way too uncomplicated for what Stone's dealing with. I don't mean he's dumb, he's just . . . really normal. In a good way. I have no problems with Jace. It'd be like disliking a really nice dog.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: He's a lot like Mallory, actually, but doesn't go out of his way to annoy me.

Kiver laughs a little.

Morgan: Stone and I look like Dad. Tall, light brown haired, and interesting looking. The other three sibs all look like Mom. Tall, good looking, athletic, Latino. Well, half.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: Hope I'm not being boring.

Kiver: Not really. (Kind of teasingly:) But like, have I completely ruined my chances now that I remind you of your kid brother?

Morgan laughs: You know, I thought you might pick up on that but no, absolutely not.

Kiver: Okay, good.

Morgan: You asked why I get you and I was feeling uncharacteristically honest. You tend to bring that out in me. But no, just because I understand your pain, and his . . . I mean, you have other things in common, but you're hardly the same person.

Kiver: (Nods, smiling a little.) Just don't tell me anything else about it, okay? I wouldn't. Feel right hearing it from someone other than him, y'know? At least I wouldn't want other people talking about. What happened to me. Other than. Y'know. Basic facts.

Morgan: OK. I will say this, though: if someone did to him what that creepoid did to you, there wouldn't be anything left of him to go to prison. When my dad fought that painting he was fucking terrifying. I've never seen anything like it. Anyway, I should probably drop the subject, huh.

Kiver: (Nods.) I. I mean I would say I don't like to think about it, but I end up thinking about it a lot anyway, so y'know. This is better than just. Me.

Morgan: How could you not? I realized that maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but good.

Kiver: Throwing a fucking screaming fit or whatever because I don't know how to emote like a real goddamn person.

Morgan: You are a real goddamned person. (Looking a little angry.) You're realer than most.

Kiver cows a little.

Morgan: Not mad at you. Just mad that someone made you feel that way.

Kiver: I'm not though. I'm like. Part of me feels like I'm already dead. And all of this is fake. And I don't know how to act like a real person. I don't fucking-- (He hides his lower face in his hand.) I just don't. I don't work.

Morgan rubs his back, doesn't speak. Waiting. Thereís a long pause.

Kiver: I don't-- I don't talk to people, you don't even know how rare this is, and I can't-- I can't go like, one day without throwing a fucking tantrum. And I don't-- I don't move like a real person, I don't talk like a real person, I don't think like a real person, I don't feel like a real person.

Morgan, after another pause: I don't want to give you some glib answer, but it seems to me you're the one judging you the most harshly.

Kiver bursts out laughing.

Kiver: Fucking hell. No, seriously, where do you get all these? Is it cause you have three moms?

Morgan: All what?

Kiver: Okay that actually made me feel better by comparison at least I don't say shit like that. Like, I mean like earlier you had that bit about like, the Ken dolls.

Morgan: I don't follow.

Kiver: You know, stuff that like. I don't know, crops up on facebook feeds screenshotted from tumblr where it's like a poorly graphic designed hipster photo with like you're the one who judges you most harshly written on it or whatever.

Morgan: I wasn't trying to feed you some bullshit.

Kiver: Shit, I'm not trying to be mean, it's just funny. You've gotta admit it sounds a lot like bullshit. Even if it's not.

Morgan: Maybe, but I meant it. It just seems you're, I don't know, judging yourself based on what you imagine everyone else is thinking. And they're probably thinking about toast or something.

Kiver: Dante's still Dante when he's thinking about toast. Or like. Whoever.

Morgan: Yes. But Dante has the emotional range of a teaspoon.

Kiver, laughing a little: Okay but like, my only emotions are suicidal, breaking stuff, and someone said something funny.

Morgan: That's total bullshit. I've known you one day and you're way more than that.

Kiver: I mean, it's a simplification.

Morgan: You think?

Kiver rolls his eyes.

Morgan: I'd tell you what I think but I don't want to be accused of being a Hallmark card.

Kiver: Hallmark card is the words I was looking for, thanks. But like. I just thought you'd know what I mean. Feeling like you're not real. Like you already died and all of this is fake.

Morgan: I get that part, yeah. Get it, but don't share it. I feel like a lot of my life is bullshit, but I don't doubt that I'm real.

Kiver: I mean. Real doesn't mean anything, not really. The whole concept of real doesn't feel real. It's like I spend most of my time dreaming.

Morgan: Maybe we have different definitions. I was thinking you felt like that guy in Plato's allegory who's really just looking at shadows on a wall.

Kiver: Today felt real.

Morgan: Yeah, it did. It was. I don't feel like I died. I feel like, this is just killing time until my real life can begin. Somewhere else. But I think that's called being a kid from a small town.

Kiver: I mean. I wouldn't know. But I can imagine.

Morgan: Being from the big city and all.

Kiver, shrugging: We moved around a lot when I was growing up. So that kind of took care of that particular desire.

Morgan: Sounds great. I've looked at the same scenery my entire life. Though Grandma and Grandpa Montague did take us to the seaside once. That was cool. (Pause.) I don't mean to change the subject.

Kiver: No, it's okay.

Morgan: Iím cool with topics I don't fully understand.

Kiver: I just. That's what I mean, you know. You sound real.

Morgan: I want to, though. Understand. (Beat.) You make it sound like an insult. (Laughs.)

Kiver: I don't mean it that way.

Morgan: That's why I like sex. I feel real. In the moment. No bullshit.

Kiver: I liked burning things, earlier. That was real. Like I said, today was real.

Morgan: Yeah. That was the same sort of thing.

Kiver: (Nods.) Today's been really rare, for me. I don't usually talk to people this much.

Morgan: Me, either. At least, not the truth.

Kiver: I mean, I have friends. Two of them. I talk to them. But I don't remember how I got them. I mean, I remember how I met them, but like... y'know.

Morgan: I've got friends like that.

Kiver: How friendship occurred.

Morgan: I've known them forever. Yeah, I know what you mean.

Kiver: I've only known them like, a couple of years, but it feels so long. It feels like the me who met them was someone completely different. Entirely different.

Morgan: I think I went to nursery school with some of mine.

Kiver: And now I'm his ghost.

Morgan looks at him.

Kiver: Walking around, wearing his clothes, hanging out with his friends who are still with me for some reason.

Morgan's listening.

Kiver: I mean, I like them. I love them so much. That makes it sound like I don't. But they feel real. They feel real like you do, like... I get to be real too, for a while, like it rubs off. And then I go back to being a ghost again. A glitch in the system. I feel like I was supposed to have died, back when. (He mimes a slash across his body.)

Morgan: I understand. God.

Kiver: I don't know why he didn't kill me.

Morgan: I have never hated anyone so much, ever.

Kiver's tearing up.

Morgan: I'd like to feed him his own entrails.

Kiver: Sorry, this is. Probably too much information, isn't it.

Morgan: No. (He takes his hands.) I can't fix things for you. I hope that you can, eventually, find a way to deal with it. But right now, right here, I want to . . . I don't know, just be here.

Kiver, smiling weakly: I. Thanks. That's. Really nice, actually. That's lame but I mean it.

Morgan smiles, but his eyes are serious.

Morgan: It matters a great deal to me whether you live or die. So, if you feel like it's all too much, promise me you'll call me. (Looks grim for a minute, remembering something, but then smiles. Itís perhaps just a little forced.)

Kiver: Okay.

Morgan: Wow. I can't believe this has been just one day.

Kiver: Just don't. Get all Hallmark about the suicide, okay? Hallmark about other stuff is fine.

Morgan: Understood. I hope that wasn't Hallmarky, just now.

Kiver: It's just. Y'know. I don't usually. Mention that part. (He shrugs.) Not that bad.

Morgan: I meant it.

Kiver: It's just. People treat you like blown glass, you know?

Morgan: I know. Stone hates that.

Kiver: They get so scared and it's your fault.

Morgan: I'm not scared. I just don't want you to feel like you're alone.

Kiver: Okay. Good. About the not being scared part. And, y'know. The other part too.

Morgan, smiling: Wow. OK.

Kiver: Heh. Yeah.

Morgan eats a weenie wrap.

Kiver: That was a bit much, wasn't it.

Morgan: These are pretty good.

Kiver: (Reaches for one too.) Shit, yeah, they are. I'm. I'm gonna. Put my skirt back on. While I have the chance.

He gets up.

Morgan: You do that. (He closes his eyes.) Not peeking.

Kiver, teasingly: Are you sure?

Morgan: Pretty sure. You know, with six brothers I've pretty much seen it all.

Kiver: I mean. It's not like I'm taking my underwear off or anything. It just. Feels immodest. Okay, you can look now.

He sits down next to him.

Morgan: You'd never survive in my house. (Opens his eyes.) I mean, it's a good day if I don't see Dante's willy more than twice. Though if company is there it's better. I mean, Uber Mom would kill him. She hates being called that, by the way. So, when you meet her tomorrow, it's Madison. Or Mrs. Patrick.

Kiver: Okay.

Morgan: You do want to come to my house, right? Or, did you need a break? I understand if you do. It's been a little intense.

Kiver: No, I do. I mean, tomorrow, I assume. Which reminds me, Uncle Elijah said he'd drive you home. Said he wanted to get a couple things from town anyway.

Morgan: Yes. It's not a one-time offer -- cool. It's a bit of a walk. That'd be cool of him. Tomorrow, then. You can meet everyone.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: Or we can ignore them and hang out in the treehouse.

Kiver: Or that.

Morgan: Don't want to scare you off. Or share you, actually.

Kiver smiles, kind of a stupid smile.

Morgan: At the risk of boringly repeating myself, I really like your smile.

Kiver, blushing: No you can repeat that as much as you want. (Heís still smiling.)

Morgan, grinning: Let's snuggle and listen to bad metal.

Kiver: It's not bad!

Morgan: Oh, sorry, good metal. Very good metal that is heavy.

Kiver: Mm-hmm.

Morgan: I don't care what we listen to, tbh.

Kiver: I can just put it on random.

Morgan: Sounds good.

Kiver gets his mp3 player again, takes out the headphones, puts it on random and sets it next to the weenie plate.

Morgan: Tomorrow we can listen to my music. I hope you like Celine Dion. (Little smile.)

Kiver smiles a bit back, blushes a little.

Kiver: I mean. I may have a few incriminating songs on here.

Morgan: You do know I was kidding, right?

Kiver: Yes.

Morgan: I'm more into Cage the Elephant.

Kiver: Oh, I love them!

Morgan: But I do like that Gloria Gaynor song. I Will Survive.

Kiver: (Stupid smile.) Heh. Gaynor.

Morgan: Yeah. She's so gay her name is gay. And there's this Britney Spears song I actually like. If we're being honest.

Kiver: Oh, I like her. I like her sound.

Morgan: Yeah. She's not much of a singer but she's very well produced. (He makes a gesture for boobs. Laughs.)

Kiver: (Snorts.) Toxic is legit one of my favourite songs though.

Morgan: Yeah. That, and Stronger, for me.

Kiver nods: I really like the lyrics, for Stronger, I mean.

Morgan: Yep. They helped me through a breakup. You may ask how many I've had, since I'm all of 16. Too many. (Laughs again.)

Kiver, shrugging: I'm. Really not a person who has ideas about what's realistic for that.

Morgan: Yeah, I suppose not.

Kiver: Fuck that was an awkward sentence. You know what I mean.

Morgan: I'm honest with everyone up front. I tell them what I want from them. Some people think I don't mean it and then they get mad when they find out I do. It's different with you.

Kiver: (Tilts his head.) Oh, I was about to ask.

Morgan: I know that sounds like a line, but it isn't.

Kiver: I'm getting used to the lines.

Morgan: Wow. I think that one actually hurt. (He smiles, though.)

Kiver, smiling a little: No, they're growing on me.

Morgan: Oh, really?  (Puts his hand on his chest, mock touched.)

Kiver: Kind of... dashingly endearing.

Morgan: Wow. (Pause.) Yeah, I don't really know what I want from you. I do know I don't want to blow this by rushing you into anything.

Kiver: (Nods.) Honestly I'm just glad a person wants to spend time with me and like not a weird adult.

Morgan: Well, yeah, wiener breath, I like you.

Kiver: (Laughs.) I mean like, I do like you. I like you.

Morgan: Despite the three moms Hallmark bullshit?
Kiver: It's not that you could be anyone. This wouldn't happen with anyone. (He nods.) Including the three moms Hallmark bullshit.

Morgan: No, I get that. I will warn you, though. I'm different around my family.

Kiver: I mean. I am too. It'd be weird if you weren't.

Morgan: Yeah, suppose so. I'm the family delinquent.

Kiver: See, I'm known as (Sigh. Disappointed mom voice:) Kiver.

Morgan laughs out loud.

Kiver: Though like, actually they keep fucking deadnaming me but, yeah. Didn't wanna say it.

Morgan: I understand. Are you trans? Because as big as you are, I assumed you were born male.

Kiver: Uh, I was born male, yeah.

Morgan: Thought so. Just changed your name?

Kiver: Not so sure about the. Trans part.

Morgan: My sister's dating a trans guy. Tori.

Kiver: I know a bunch of trans people but I don't want to out them specifically. Though like, I know like, 2 people, so. Not hard to guess.

Morgan: Hah, no. Tori is like, the most popular person in town. Even more than Golden Boy.

Kiver: Oh wow. Is she obnoxious?

Morgan: No. She's a little awe inspiring, but not obnoxious. She's not afraid to say what she thinks, so not everyone loves her. Her feeling is, she doesn't want that kind of approval.

Kiver nods.

Morgan: And Roryís the town hero. Stands up for the little guy, knows where all the bodies are hidden. Theyíre quite a pair.

Kiver: Wow.

Morgan: Yeah, Rory's awesome. And yes, their names rhyme.

Kiver: I was going to ask about that.

Morgan: We call them Trory.

Kiver laughs a little. Total Eclipse of the Heart comes up on shuffle.

Kiver: Oh no. (Blushes.) This is what I was talking about.

Morgan: I love this song.

Kiver: Okay good.

Morgan sings along. He has a nice deep singing voice, even though heís hamming it up. Kiver joins in after a moment. Kiverís voice is deep and rocky. Morgan does an admirable falsetto. Thereís lots of giggling when it's done.

They fall asleep with the player on repeat, having talked about music a lot, and about stupid shit, and falling asleep vaguely tangled together.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 04:07:44 PM by stormie »
heavenly bodies make the devil a little uncomfortable


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Re: Episode 01: Pilot
« Reply #1 On: February 15, 2018, 09:35:20 AM »
Best line, made me laugh out loud:

Morgan: Nothing. I'm just teasing. He's like, ďHi,Ē and you're like, ďNo one hiding in the backseat, nope!Ē

Fascinating introduction to these two. I'm looking forward to where you go from here with them. :)
Be polite, or I may put you in a book and kill you.

Young at heart, old everywhere else.

Not doing things is my new superpower. Iím not doing an infinite number of things as we speak.


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Re: Episode 01: Pilot
« Reply #2 On: February 15, 2018, 12:30:08 PM »
Thanks for reading! Yeah, I like that line too.  :)