damncompass: Arms crossed (Don't like your shit)
It wasn’t something that Joshua dreamed about much, but suddenly being in the apartment his parents had before Claudia arrived wasn’t too far off the map.

Smelling a very familiar scent, Joshua wandered into the kitchen to find his father at the table smoking a joint.

“You sure you don’t want one? I have extra.”

Joshua rolled his eyes and walked over to the table. “If it was something other than a dream joint, then perhaps I would, but it would probably just frustrate me more.” He paused. “Hi Dad.”

“Hey, you.” Before Joshua could sit down, Peter got up and pulled him into a hug. “I’m sorry I fucked up.”

Joshua hugged his father back, clinging a bit. “I should have been there. It was my own damn procrastination that kept me in Lincoln that weekend. I should have been there, and then I could have helped, or reminded you, or something.”

Peter sighed. “Oh, stop blaming yourself, you dumbshit. We were on a date, and you stopped wanting to tag along on those when you were five. And it’s not like either of us had a phone handy - and even if we did, I wouldn’t have thought being tired was worth bugging you. If you’d been there, I might have plowed the damn car into a tree anyway. It’s not your fucking fault. This one’s all on me.”

“Yeah, well. I...” He shook his head, and plunked down on one of the chairs. “I still feel like I should have been there, should have done something to help.”

“And that is because you never did deal with anything unless you were high.” Peter rolled his eyes. “Get on that, kid, seriously. Besides, you did what you needed to. You took care of Claud. Couldn’t ask for more than that.”

“Yeah, well. You tell me how to get some fucking pot in buttfuck South Dakota. I remember you had it bad in Sioux Falls sometimes.” Joshua sighed. “And, I did to a point. And then I fucked up again and left her.”

“You didn’t fuck up, you had an accident. There’s a difference.” Peter pulled the ashtray closer and stubbed out his joint. “As for the pot, let your girlfriend do the driving, keep an eye on the landscape until you spot some, buy some seeds from the owner and grow your own. Problem solved. You have a fucking satellite interference machine, don’t you? Not to mention there’s enough badges around that damn place to deal with anyone who came prying.”

“Damnit, Dad, why do you have to be so logical when it comes to pot?” He leaned back in his chair. “Maybe I will. Besides, I could always say that it’s just a plant-based Artifact that I’m fucking around with. Honestly, the only person who’d care would be Artie, and he can shove it.” He pauses. “And… I knew what I was getting myself into. It wasn’t just an accident. I knew I might be leaving Claudia behind, and I didn’t care.”

“Yes, you did. You wouldn’t be beating yourself up over it fifteen years later if you didn’t care.”

“That’s not the point, Dad. I care now, I cared before. I just… in that moment, I didn’t.”

“The Donovans, way too fucking hard on ourselves since 1954.” Peter rolled his eyes. “You cared even then, and I bet some part of you knew Claud would be fine. She’s resilient. So are you. And it all worked out in the end. Get yourself stoned and let it the fuck go, kid.”

“You do realize, Dad, that most parents would be telling me the exact opposite.” He shook his head, laughing a bit to himself. “Donovans, doing what people least expect since… who the fuck knows when.”

“And since when were Claire and I most parents? You won’t relax enough to get anything really useful done if you don’t. Let go of all the baggage that’s weighing you down and trust your instincts. You got this.”

“If it was anyone other than you, Dad, I think I’d tell them off for shit advice.” Joshua shook his head. “It’s just with you and Mom somehow it all worked out. How the hell’d you pull that off?”

“Hard work and dumb luck. Me knowing how to balance a budget and her being smarter than me. You guys completely outclassed me.” Peter smiled. “I’m proud of you, though. You and Claud. You both turned out great.”

“You’re pretty damn smart yourself, Dad. Don’t try to say you aren’t. You kept up with Mom and Claudia and I pretty damn well.” Joshua shrugged. “Besides, finance isn’t easy.”

“Never said I wasn’t, but you guys had me beat by miles. I’m just glad you and Claud found a good use for your talents. You two are good for that place, and it’s good for you.”

“Well, I know it’s good for Claud, at any rate.” Joshua shrugged. “I’m still not completely certain that I won’t fuck it up, though.”

Peter raised his eyebrows. “As I recall, the debate team problems came from the people who gave a shit not having the time and the people who had the time not giving a shit, and you still took that clusterfuck and won nationals. You’re a leader, Joshua, whether you like it or not. And you’re not going to fuck it up any more than Claud will.”

He made a grumpy face, shaking his head. “Damn it, Dad, why can’t you be as illogical as people think you are? It’s awkward sometimes.”

“Because I don’t believe in lying to my kids. You’d figure it out sooner or later. Your heart’s already there, we just need to get your head in the game. That’ll come with time, though.”

“We’ll see.” Joshua paused, and poked at the joint in the ash tray. “I miss you, Dad. I don’t think I realized how much until lately.”

Peter sighed. “I miss you too, kid.” He reached across the table and ruffled Joshua’s hair. “But we’re still with you, and you damn well know it.”

“Heeeeeeeey.” Joshua made a face and fussed with his hair. “You know how terrible my hair gets when you do that.” He smiled, though, and took a deep breath. “I know you’re with me. Even more when I see Mom in Claudia.”

“And you’re too much like me for your own good.” Peter smiled. “But you’ll be fine. Trust yourself, Joshua. You got this.”

“Thanks, Dad.”
damncompass: concerned face (oh dear)
It had been a long weekend, but somehow he'd found it cathartic. So once he got home, he grabbed a quick sandwich (stealing the last of the cheese which he was certain he'd hear about the next morning) and snuck upstairs. Putting his suitcase beside the door, he stripped into just his boxers and climbed into bed beside Helena.
damncompass: Eye of Horus Pin (Regentface)
A few days ago, Joshua's boss had rung him up and told him that one of his fellow Regents had died in a boating accident, and everyone was going to New Hampshire for the funeral. Halfway there on the plane, Artie (seated beside him because he refused to upgrade to first class, and Joshua was the one who bought the tickets) started chattering about the case he had sent Claudia on, and his intention of going to check up on her after the funeral.

"Bad idea, Artie." Joshua shook his head. "She doesn't take that shit well."

"Oh, she'll be fine. I just want to see how she's doing."

"Bad idea theater. Honestly."

With another shake of his head, Joshua fell silent again and the rest of the flight was uneventful. At the airport, they met up with his boss and Jane. Artie wandered off to rent a car mumbling something about driving to Boston. After even more admonitions about how bad of an idea driving in Boston would be, the Regent trio shook their heads and drove off to the service.

Joshua was quiet during the entire thing, which seemed so out of place, all of the loud and emotional prayers, all of the gospel singing, and the tributes to the dead woman that made Jane roll her eyes and mutter things under her breath that Joshua never really caught.

Eventually, the service was over, and they proceeded to the cemetery. Everything was fine until the minister started talking about ashes and dust, and something caught in Joshua's throat. Closing his eyes, he quietly backed up and walked away from the group at the grave.

A moment to himself would be enough. He just needed a moment. Really.
damncompass: Computer generated Warehouse logo (Warehouse Logo)
If there was ever a time for the phrase 'perfect storm', this was it. There was a storm around the Ancient Archives, something was going on in the Ovoid, and to top it off, his 'hey, there's something going on in Denver' ping pinged.

Artie packed Pete and Steve off to Denver, somewhat to Joshua's relief (because if anyone could remind Myka of the Warehouse, it would be Pete), and sent Claud to the Ovoid to help Leena. That left him to deal with the Ancient Archives along with Artie.

The walk down was quiet, if a bit steamy and punctuated by lightning. Once they got in, among the chaos was a statue of Zeus spewing lightning around the room.

"Oh, is that all?"

"All? Joshua, do you know what you're saying?"

"It's just a statue of...."

"Get me some goo."

Begrudgingly, he ran out to the nearest station and got a bucket of goo. Coming back in, he handed it to Artie who threw it on the statue. It smoldered a bit and disappeared.

"Shit. We need to go back and..."

"Artie, if you want to research, that's fine, but shouldn't we at least see what's up in the Ovoid?"

Begrudgingly, Artie nodded and stomped out of the Archives.

Eventually, they turn a corner, and go into the Ovoid. Claudia was backing up a machine with a crate on the front.

Artie blustered. "Who told you that you could drive that thing?"

"I did, Artie." Joshua sighed. Maybe he didn't, but that's not the point. "What's going on, Claudia?"
damncompass: '...hey!' face (bitches be stealin' my antimatter!)
Joshua has been a huge ball of stress lately. He's been going back and forth from his lab to Milliways, to a few meetings, and back to bed, only to flop down and not really talk to much of anyone.

Today, however, most people are out, and he's on the couch with a mystery book and a cup of tea.

It's been a long month or so.
damncompass: concerned face (oh dear)
Waking up on Sunday morning, way before anyone should be up, Joshua stared at his ceiling, sighing and trying to process everything that had happened in the past few days. None of it was really all that pretty, not to mention that it just wasn’t the best time of year anyway. Getting up, he had an idea, and grabbed his phone to find something.

Before he could change his mind, he changed into a tie and nice pants and ran out the front door to catch a bus into town. Twenty minutes later, he was seated on a bench in a church probably older than America. Sure, most of the people at work rolled their eyes at him when he went to church, but Joshua didn’t care. Church was always the one place he got clarity, could think without anyone or anything confusing him. The actual religion or the words didn’t matter. If you actually asked him what he believed, he’d probably just shrug and try and change the subject, however church itself, that place, that experience was still sacred to him no matter the rest of his beliefs.

He closed his eyes, and just let everything wash over him. The church was doing a Requiem mass for some reason, probably the death of a prominent parishioner, and the strains of music were more than a little familiar from his altar boy days.

Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictus.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis:
Gere curam mei finis.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla.
Iudicandus homo reus:
Huic ergo parce, Deus.
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen.


He’d heard this particular setting a million times before, it was oddly one of his mother’s favourite ‘leave me alone, I’m doing something’ pieces, but now that he’d studied Latin, somehow it really hit him all the more. Dona eis requiem. Grant them rest. All of them, all who were gone, everything that he’d lost, everything that he couldn’t figure out. Rest. Let it rest, let it go.

He sank into the hard-backed bench a bit, closing his eyes, and finally letting the tears come that had been held back for so long.

Joshua, you have to deal with this. Don’t bottle it up for twenty years…
You’re allowed to break, you know. You knew them better than I did.
Artie! Make him stop!
It’s killing her, Artie. You have to overload the circuit, shut her down…
Claudia… look at you. Just… look at you….


The rest of the Mass went by, the last song bringing a few of the tears back in force. Shakily, he got up at the end, wiped his face, and turned to go. As he was leaving the church, one of the priests caught his arm. “Comment ca va, Monsieur?” Joshua waved him off. “Ca va, mon père”.

Twenty minutes later, he was back in his apartment, curled up on his sofa with his familiarly-dilapidated copy of Time Machine, doing much more sniffling than reading.

[ooc: Translation of Requiem test: When the accused are confounded,
and doomed to flames of woe,
call me among the blessed.
I kneel with submissive heart,
my contrition is like ashes,
help me in my final condition.
That day of tears and mourning,
when from the ashes shall arise,
all humanity to be judged.
Spare us by your mercy, Lord,
gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.]

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Joshua Donovan

July 2014

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