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In Another Life - Part V

Title: In Another Life - Part V
Fandom: the Covenant
Pairings: Chase/Caleb, minor Caleb/Sarah, Pogue/Kate
Rating/Warnings: violence
Word Count: 4486 (43,183 total)
Disclaimer: If I owned the Covenant, they would all be naked.
Summary: Caleb hates his life; he buries the truth in lies and secrets until Chase Collins blows into town and changes everything.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV


Instead of going to school, Caleb spends the day having as much sex as possible, he and Chase fucking in every position that the teen can think of and a few more besides. Because the warlock wants to try everything at least once and his looming fight with Sarah adds an edge of desperation to each touch. If this turns out to be the last time that Caleb gets to do this, he wants to go out knowing that he made every second count.

Around one o’clock the need to eat something finally gets Caleb to put on some clothes, the warlock running out to grab some food while his boyfriend starts a load of wash. Once in the restaurant, Caleb texts Tyler while waiting for his order to be ready, asking the other teen to pick up four tickets to Fall Fest this afternoon.

Tyler agrees and by then his food is ready so Caleb pays for his order and heads back to school again. He and Chase eat Chinese takeout on the floor of his boyfriend's dorm room and when the conversation turns to Caleb's powers, the warlock explains all about the Covenant to the other teen’s delight.

His boyfriend is fascinated by Caleb's magic and the most basic demonstration of his abilities is met with loud applause. At least until the warlock finally mentions the consequences of over-Using and Chase tells him to stop immediately.

“I don’t need you killing yourself to impress me with flying tofu,” the other teen says, snatching the takeout carton from the air. “I’m perfectly capable of walking three feet to pick up something and I’d rather have you than any fancy pyrotechnic show. I mean, you know your limits better than I do so if you think it’s safe then go for it, but you don’t have to Use on my account. I liked you just fine before and that’s not gonna change just because I know that you can move things with your mind.”

Caleb seriously has the best boyfriend ever. No teenager should be this well-adjusted and while the warlock knows most people don’t date their high school sweethearts forever, he’s determined not to give Chase up without a fight.

Yup, I’m keeping this one, the teen thinks when he makes a joke and Chase laughs so hard that he falls over, barely managing to keep the carton of chow mein that he’s holding from spilling on the floor. Life needs more days like this.

Only a few months ago Caleb was alone and hiding and largely miserable and the warlock can hardly believe how much his life has changed. He’s lost his mother but gained a boyfriend; he told the truth and his friends stood by him anyway. The teen feels so much lighter now, so much freer, and if he does die tomorrow, he’s glad that he actually tried his hand at living first.

Honestly, the only thing that could make this day better would be having Pogue there with him when he and Chase meet their friends for dinner or knowing that Sarah had decided to leave Ipswich peacefully. But Caleb has never been one for pointless wishing and he’s already so happy that he can’t stop smiling.

The warlock manages to put his duel with Sarah from his mind until Friday afternoon when he starts getting ready to go out. Chase borrowed his car to rent a suit in town so Caleb is alone as he makes his own preparations in the dorms. He lays out his own suit – the one his mother bought him for a funeral just last year – and then a change of clothes for later on. The teen doesn’t want to ruin his suit by fighting in it since he plans on going right back to Fall Fest if he wins and it’s not exactly designed for sprinting anyway.

So Caleb puts his spare clothes in his backpack and then takes a shower before putting on his suit. The warlock tucks Tyler's charms into his pocket in case Sarah decides to ambush him instead of playing fair and he’s just straightening his tie when someone knocks on the door.

It’s Reid and Tyler, both dressed in suits as well, although the blond’s jacket is currently tossed over his shoulder like some kind of bad boy parody. Neither of them have dates to Fall Fest; plenty of girls would have been willing to date a Son of Ipswich but the other warlocks decided that being unattached would make this easier. There's no point in taking someone just to ditch them later on.

“Damn, Caleb; you look snazzy,” Reid says. “Where's your boy toy? It's almost time to go.”

“Chase went to get his suit. He'll be back soon,” the warlock tells him. “Not everyone has a suit hanging in their closet, you know.”

“All right. You ready for this? You remember the plan?”

“Of course, I do. And I've got your charms as well. The second I Ascend, I'll funnel Sarah's power into the protections around Ipswich, and if that doesn't work, I'll light the bitch on fire and run like hell.”

“Good man. And remember, if you need help, just call.”

“Right, speaking of calling... Here, you need to wear this,” Tyler says, giving Caleb another small charm on a leather cord. “We've both got one too and together they should increase our range to cover all of Ipswich. If you need more power, we'll be there.”

“Thanks. I'll remember that,” Caleb replies, taking the charm. He pulls the cord over his head and tucks the charm under his shirt so that it isn't visible. He's just got it settled when his phone buzzes, the warlock opening it up to see a text from Chase.

“Okay, he's on his way back up. So we can head to dinner as soon as… holy shit, you look amazing.”

Chase really does. His suit fits him to a tee despite being rented, the fabric a dark navy that brings out his eyes. He even did his hair, his bangs slicked back away from his face, and Caleb is honestly having a little trouble breathing now.

“You look pretty damn good yourself. I always knew you'd clean up nice," Chase says, looking the warlock up and down. “So are you guys ready to go? I'm freaking starving.”

“Yeah, of course,” Caleb answers, shaking himself out of his stupor. “If we leave now we'll get to the restaurant right on time. Do you need anything before we go?”

“Nah, we're golden. I left my bag in your car,” the other teen says with an airy wave before offering his arm. “Shall we?”

“Sure thing,” Caleb replies, taking his boyfriend's arm with a laugh. Chase leads the warlock to his car, opening the door for him and everything. Reid and Tyler follow a step behind the couple, hopping in the back seat before the four teens drive to town. Caleb figured that they might as well do this thing with style so he made reservations at one of the nicest restaurants in downtown Ipswich, the kind with tiny plates and a fancy atmosphere.

However, while the portions are small, the food is amazing and Caleb considers his money well spent by the time they're done. Not that the others let him pay the bill without a fight, but he talks them around eventually. It's not like the warlock will need money if he loses his duel with Sarah and if he wins, his inheritance will more than cover one night's extravagance. Besides, the white chocolate cheesecake is literally the best thing that Caleb has ever tasted and he might have to come back to this restaurant just for that.

Once the teens have finished their meal, scraping their plates clean and washing down dessert with a dash of coffee, they pile back in the car to drive over to the dance. Fall Fest is being held in the community center next to the church and every window is glowing with light when they arrive.

“Are you ready?” Caleb asks once he's found an open parking spot and he's answered with two murmurs of assent and one, “Let's crash this thing.”

Not that they're actually crashing since they all have tickets and no one tries to stop the quartet as they make their way inside. Most of the senior class is there already and a murmur runs through the crowd when they realize who's walked in. Caleb and Chase receive the majority of the sidelong glances but the warlock takes his boyfriend's hand and holds his head up proudly just as he said he would. He has nothing to be ashamed of and indeed, most of the looks are tinged with jealousy.

So the four of them head to the buffet tables to grab some drinks, the other students parting before them like they're royalty. However, Caleb has barely taken a sip of his drink before Chase hears a song he recognizes and pulls him to the floor.

His boyfriend wraps his arms around the warlock's neck, pressing them together tightly as he moves with the beat. Honesty, his dancing is almost indecent and Caleb is half expecting one of the chaperones to make them stop. But no one does so the teen lets go, losing himself in the rhythm until his phone buzzes in his coat.

'The old Putnam Barn. 10:30 PM', the text reads and while Caleb doesn't recognize the number, there's only one person it could be.

“Is it her?” Chase whispers, his expression tightening when the warlock says it is. But he doesn't protest when Caleb leads him over to Reid and Tyler on the edge of the dance floor.

“Take care of him for me,” the teen says and his friends nod their agreement, moving to flank his boyfriend protectively. “I'll be back as soon as I can.”

However, when he tries to let go of Chase's hand, the other boy just reels him in instead. Chase kisses him fiercely, stealing the air from his lungs and replacing it with need. All Caleb can do is pull him closer, returning his boyfriend's kiss ardently.

“If you don't come back, I'll kill you,” the other teen murmurs when he finally pulls away. “Honestly, I still don't like this at all, but I trust you. So you better kick her ass for me.”

“I will. I promise,” Caleb replies and this is a vow he plans to keep. He's going to win this fight or die trying and he really hopes that Sarah doesn't make him a liar before the night is done.

“He knows? Caleb! What were you thinking?!”

When the warlock looks over at Reid, the blond is glaring at him and this isn't exactly how he wanted to tell his friends that he broke their Covenant. But he doesn't have time to let the other warlock yell at him right now.

“Uh, yeah. I told him. But he really didn't care so everything is fine,” Caleb says, holding up his hands placatingly. “And as much as I'd love to talk about it, I kind of have to go. You can chew me out if I survive.”

The mention of his possible demise deflates Reid's anger nicely, the blond letting out an irritated sigh. “Fine, fine. You're still an idiot but I guess I can understand why you did it. So I forgive you this time. But that doesn't mean I'm going to protect you when Pogue decides to kick your ass.”

“Fine by me,” Caleb agrees before clapping his friends on the shoulders and heading to the door. When he gets outside, he discovers that it's started raining and he's definitely glad that he brought different clothes to fight in now. The warlock changes in his car, transferring Tyler's charms to the pocket of his raincoat before tossing his suit jacket in the back.

As soon as he's finished, Caleb starts driving since it takes about ten minutes to get to Putnam Barn and it's already 10:15 PM. He doesn't want to keep Sarah waiting; the teen needs her to think that he's cooperating for as long as possible.

However, when the warlock arrives at the barn, Sarah is nowhere to be seen. Caleb parks his car in front of the barn and then goes inside, but the building is empty too.

At a loss, he pulls out his phone and writes a reply to Sarah. 'I'm here. Where are you?' Caleb presses send and then walks back outside, figuring that he might as well wait in his car. At least it's warmer there. But the warlock has barely pulled out his keys when he hears a bright laugh behind him and he spins around to see Sarah floating near the top of the barn.

“I'm right here, Caleb. You know I wouldn't miss this for the world,” the witch says, jumping lightly to the ground. “But I had to make sure that you'd cooperate. So I went to get some leverage; did you really think a crowd of people and your pathetic little friends could hold me back?”

Sarah snaps her fingers and Chase appears behind her, the other teen spelled asleep and floating a few feet off the ground.

“Chase!” Caleb reaches out, taking one step forward before Sarah stops him with a glare.

“Now, now. None of that,” she tells him. “Touch him and he dies. Defy me and he dies. The only way your little boyfriend is getting out of here is if you do exactly what I say. And just in case you're thinking about escaping...”

Sarah waves a hand and all four of Caleb's tires explode. The warlock won't be going anywhere, not that he would have left while Chase was in trouble anyway. As far as he's concerned, running is no longer an option; Caleb will win or die right here.

So the teen reaches out for his friends to tell them about the change in plans and to make sure that Sarah didn't hurt anyone while grabbing Chase. Thankfully, when their minds touch, Caleb feels worry and guilt but no actual injuries. And he would have felt them because Tyler's spell works just as the other teen had advertised, their connection stronger than it's ever been before.

'Chase! Is he...?'

'He just disappeared. We couldn't stop it.'

'It's all right. Sarah has him. But I never much liked the thought of running. Stay with me and we'll finish this for good.'

“Caleb! Aren't you listening?!”

The warlock loses his connection with Reid and Tyler when a bolt of magic slams into his side and he tumbles to the ground. He manages to deflect the witch's next attack but he's barely gained his knees before a third bolt slams him down again.

“What the hell?!” he groans when Sarah leans over him. “I wasn't doing anything.”

“You were ignoring me,” she replies like that logic makes any freaking sense at all. “And I was bored. Why couldn't you have been born at a more normal hour instead of 10:42 at night?”

“Well, sorry, but it's not like it was my idea,” Caleb retorts a little testily. “And how do you know the exact time of my birth anyway?”

“Kate, of course. The poor girl was so willing to tell me all about her beloved Sons of Ipswich when I asked. It's a pity that I had to hurt her in order to draw Pogue out but Kate was his biggest weakness and she did say that she'd do anything to help a friend in need.”

“I'm pretty sure that's not what she meant.”

“Then she should have been more specific. You know there's nothing more dangerous than an open promise, except perhaps that bleeding heart of yours.”

“I'd rather be a bleeding heart than a psycho bitch like you,” the warlock growls. It may not be a good idea to antagonize her but Caleb would prefer Sarah hurting him over this damn monologue. Besides, if the witch Uses enough, maybe she'll tip over the edge of no return without Caleb doing anything.

But Sarah just laughs, patting the teen on the cheek before standing up again. “Don't worry, Caleb. You won't have to listen to me for much longer.”

She glances up at the sky where the storm clouds have started deepening. The wind has picked up as well, swirling around Caleb as though he's the eye of some great hurricane.

“It's time.”

The moment that Sarah finishes speaking, lightning splits the sky wide open, the bolt striking Caleb in the heart. But there's no pain, only a rush of power sizzling through his veins. More power than the warlock has ever felt before. Because his mother was right; the magic that Caleb gained when he was thirteen is nothing next to this. This is fire and need and endless possibility and the warlock throws back his head and screams.

When that first rush of magic finally passes, Caleb feels like he's been made anew. His every cell has been reborn as someone stronger, someone faster, someone who can do anything. But before the warlock can even think to challenge Sarah, her power throws him down in the mud again.

“Say it!” she hisses. “Say that your magic is mine.”

“I...” the teen says slowly, reaching into his jacket pocket.

“Give you...”

Sarah leans in closer, her eyes alight with anticipation.

“Nothing!” Caleb shouts, pulling out one of Tyler's charms. Sarah's expression twists with fury but before she can do anything, the warlock slams the charm against her chest.

He wasn't sure which one he'd grabbed and it turns out to be blindness, Sarah reeling back with threads of magic stabbing at her eyes. She curses viciously, shredding Caleb's curse to pieces with her hands. Sarah will be able to see again in seconds so the warlock pulls out two more charms – pain and suffocation this time – and activates them too. Then Caleb throws the charms at Sarah, the spell of pain turned to ashes by her magic even as suffocation latches on.

The additional curse knocks the witch to her knees, giving the warlock space to breathe. He starts the protection spell while Sarah is still choking; six short lines building power underneath his skin. But Caleb's magic won't be enough to defeat the witch even though he's finally Ascended so he reaches out for Reid and Tyler now. His friends answer his call, their power flooding through him and into the warlock's spell.

Then Caleb lunges forward, grabbing Sarah's shoulders just as she tosses his broken charms aside. He shouts the last word of the protection spell and reaches for Sarah's magic, pulling her power into the circle that he's built. The witch tries to resist but she's still reeling from Tyler's curses and she dropped her shields in anticipation of stealing Caleb's gifts.

Sarah is caught with the rest of them, her shriek echoing through his mind as Ipswich accepts the warlock's offering. The protection spell takes everything that Caleb has gathered and demands more strength to feed it, a living hungry thing that the warlock has unleashed.

Tyler was right. Without the usual shields in place, the protections around Ipswich will drain the warlocks dry. There is no mercy, no leniency, just a raw and wild energy as magic roars through pathways carved over centuries. No wonder their bodies give out from too much Using, the warlocks might as well be trying to catch lightning in their hands and no one can hope to channel such power for very long.

So Caleb severs his link with Reid and Tyler even though it weakens his position; he has to protect his friends before this spell destroys them all. Then it's only him and Sarah, the two teens struggling for position on the plane of magic even as their bodies tumble across the rain-soaked ground. Caleb can't get free; Ipswich has its claws in Sarah but she is holding onto him too tightly and his strength is already fading. He's not used to Using on this scale and Ipswich isn't draining the witch's magic fast enough. Not fast enough to save Caleb from sharing in her fate.

And that should be okay.

As long as Sarah can't threaten the people that he cares about, the teen should be able to live with this outcome – or die as that may be. Because Pogue and Kate will recover, Reid and Tyler will be safe from Sarah's endless hunger and Chase will go on to better things. They'll live and love and forget about him eventually. They'll be happy and that's the only thing that Caleb, the Caleb that he used to be, could ever want.

Well, fuck that shit, the warlock thinks instead.

This is his eighteenth birthday and instead of spending it with his boyfriend – his ridiculously attractive boyfriend who seems to like him for some reason and can do things with his tongue that are actually obscene – he's rolling around in the mud with a demented witch who is intent on killing him. The whole thing is ridiculous and now that the moment is here, Caleb really doesn't want to die.

The warlock doesn't want to be a martyr. There are too many things that he still wants to do, too much that he still wants to experience, and he promised Chase that he'd come back. The thought of his boyfriend gives Caleb a burst of strength, just enough for him to grab the rest of Tyler's charms from his pocket while fending Sarah off. The warlock activates them all: weakness, spiders, another pain and fire, and then he shoves them into the witch's gasping mouth.

For one brief second the world goes still in breathless anticipation and then Caleb screams as agony explodes through the link they share. The warlock's spells throw Sarah backwards toward the barn, slamming her into the wood with a violent crack. Then the witch dissolves into flame, burning from the inside out as Caleb watches horrified.

Everything hurts, the warlock's mind burned raw and bleeding with Sarah's pain even as Ipswich tears at the magic in his heart. But Caleb can't collapse yet, not when Putnam Barn is on fire and Chase is still inside.

So he digs his hands into his palms and forces himself to focus, transferring the anchor of his spell to Sarah while she can't fight back. The witch will power Ipswich while Ipswich steals her power, the magic twisting back into itself until it collapses into nothingness. Caleb honestly doesn't know if the protections on the town will survive this or if his spell will devour them just as Ouroboros, the World Snake, devours its own tail.

However, at the moment, the warlock really doesn't give a damn. If the protections break then the Sons of Ipswich will replace them; all that matters is that Sarah breaks as well. So Caleb ties the witch to the spell as tightly as he can and then, with the last of his strength, he cuts the link between their minds.

The sudden silence is almost more than the teen can handle, the shrieking in his head replaced with emptiness. Sarah is too far gone to scream now – the witch nothing but a dark shape ringed with fire – and Caleb knows that the sight will haunt him for a long, long time. In a better world, he would have found a way to stop Sarah without killing her and the teen wants to puke when he thinks about the blood that's on his hands.

But he can't freak out yet. His boyfriend needs him and he can't allow himself to lose it until Chase is safe and sound. So Caleb fights back his nausea before pushing himself to his feet unsteadily.

The warlock staggers into Putnam Barn just as the fire reaches the roof, the entire barn like a matchstick ready to ignite. He finds Chase leaning against one of the support beams, the other boy looking around groggily. A warlock's spells never last beyond their lifetime without a separate focus and Sarah wasn't well-trained enough for that. Chase isn't the only one who should be waking up now; Pogue and Kate and anyone else that Sarah cursed along the way will recover and even if Caleb has nightmares for the rest of his life, he would make that trade again.

“Come on, Chase. We need to go,” the teen says, kneeling at his boyfriend's side. He helps Chase to his feet and the two of them stagger toward the exit, leaning on each other since neither of them can stand upright on their own.

Sparks and debris are falling down around them, Caleb flinching whenever a bit of ash touches his bare skin. But these burns are minor and the rain soothes them quickly once the teens make it outside. He and Chase walk about ten feet from the barn and then collapse, Caleb taking his boyfriend down with him when his knees give out.

“Shit! Are you okay?” Chase asks, holding the warlock up out of the mud as best he can.

“I'm fine. Just tired,” Caleb murmurs. He leans against his boyfriend's shoulder and looks back at Putnam Barn. The building is still burning brightly, the ongoing drizzle doing nothing to stop the flames until the roof collapses with a crash. Then the fire finally starts to die.

“So I guess this means you won?”

“Yeah, I won. It's over,” the warlock replies absently. He's trying to decide if he has the energy to get his phone out of the car or if he should try to call Reid and Tyler via magic – his friends must be going mad with worry – when what he's just said actually registers.

Holy shit; it's over. Sarah is gone and Caleb survived the struggle along with everyone he loves. Sarah is gone and no one else wants to kill him. Except maybe his mother and the teen is free of her as well.

Caleb's life is his own now; no one has the right to tell him what to do or what to think or who to love, and if they try, he'll soon be rich enough that he won't have to care. Caleb is free now, freer than he's ever been, and while the warlock may not know exactly what will make him happiest, the boy sitting in the mud beside him seems like the place to start.

So the teen wraps his arms around his boyfriend and laughs for the sheer joy of living; he laughs until he cries and then lets Chase hold him tight.


End



Is it weird that of all the ridiculous plot holes in this movie, what bothers me the most is the fact that Caleb’s car magically transforms into a convertible during the final fight? Even if it was a convertible to start with, when the hell did the roof come off?

Also, what is going on with these people's parents? Do the other Sons of Ipswich also have an old dude hidden in their attics or what? Clearly there aren't any other warlocks around or Caleb would have had some backup and Sarah doesn't seem to have parental oversight at all.