#01 – Blend
Ronan doesn't blend, he stands out; he's a wizard, he's a punk, he's mouthy, he's Irish through and through, and he's safeguarding two secrets that might save the universe.
#02 – Stain
At first the Defender's presence in his mind feels like a stain, like something he should scrub out; and then it's a trusted friend, a voice he depends on to keep him stable.
#03 – Island
Ronan can't imagine ever not having Ireland to return to at the end of the day, even if the overlays make magic more difficult for him than it is for Nita and her kin in the States.
#04 – Apple
Nita stood in the middle of the kitchen, staring down at an apple in her hands with a stricken look; Ronan deftly snatched it out of her hands and took a bite, talking quickly so that she could stop thinking about whatever she was thinking about.
#05 – Paper
Carmela's skin feels papery and dry, but he keeps talking to her about what a fantastic job she did, non-wizard or not, and she tells him that he scared her to death and why does he have to be such a punk, and they don't let each other go for a while.
#06 – Relax
"Relax, Ronan," and that's Kit's voice talking to him through the haze, "It's okay, you did good, we won."
#07 – Leaves
He walked out on Nita and Kit and Dairine and the rest, not able to take their need for him to be responsible anymore, and found Carmela waiting outside for him, no need, just want.
#08 – Proof
Scars don't prove anything; he bleeds and then gets up to keep fighting, because that's who he is.
#09 – Ugly
Ronan knew that the angry, sullen, ugly part of his personality made Nita despair, but he couldn't stop it coming out.
#10 – Book
To this day he can't get over his disgust that American wizards get their wizardry out of books…how incredibly lazy!
#11 – Brood
He fantasizes about having a brood of kids someday, but almost on a daily basis who their mother is changes in his head.
#12 – Mesh
They don't mesh, he and Nita; he's too abrasive, she's too impatient, but God when they kiss…
#13 – Soft
Ronan couldn't be soft, he didn't know how to be, because if he let go of his prickly, angry exterior, he might get hurt.
#14 – Shelf
Johnny dragged him down to Castle Matrix one day to put up shelves, and oh-so-innocently inquired as to how he was functioning without the Defender; Ronan was tempted to throw the hammer at him, but you just don't do that to an Area Senior.
#15 – Alone
Ronan knows what it feels like to be alone, probably better than anyone else around him.
#16 – Fall
He wasn't totally sure of the moment that he first started falling for Mela Rodriguez, and that annoyed him greatly.
#17 – Knot
After finding out about the Defender, his thoughts and emotions were all in a knot: he couldn't accept the responsibility, he couldn't deny the truth.
#18 – Crowd
Sometimes it was way too crowded in his head, with himself, the Defender trying to be 'unobtrusive', and Nita brushing up against his thoughts.
#19 – Denial
Nita insisted that he was in denial about the impact of having one of the Powers That Be reside in his head, but if he didn't want to think about it then he didn't think he should have to think about it.
#20 – Train
He lost his train of thought, trying desperately not to stare at Nita and Mela talking in the corner.
#21 – Fur
Ronan quite liked Ponch, really, but was still stunned to find that the little furball was a major Power.
#22 – Chrome
The car shines, inviting thoughts of freedom and wanderlust; but he's been to the edges of the universe, he's died and come back to life, and he's shared a body with the Winged Defender, and the car just can't compete.
#23 – Heart
He died for life, for the universe, for the Hespar; as the spear tore through his heart like a pen through paper, he prayed to the One that it was worth it.
#24 – Intention
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, someone had once told Ronan, and he replied, "Then how do you get to heaven, bad ones?"
#25 – Push
He pushes Kit, taunts him, mocks him, but only because they've made up, their own pax, and they can be friends now, right?
#26 – Look
"Look at me: I can't do it all, Nita; but I can do this much."
#27 – Weight
They seek out the Hespar, and the whole time it feels like a weight on his shoulders, like he knows what's coming and it's going to be bad.
#28 – Spider
Mela has issues with Terran bugs, especially spiders, which amuses Ronan to no end; he loves to taunt her about her friendship with Sker'ret in light of that.
#29 – Robe
It's not fair, Ronan thought, glaring a hole into Kit Rodriguez's robe.
#30 – Umbrella
It surprised him to realize that he liked the feeling of being involved in an umbrella spell, joining forces with others to make the magic stronger instead of working alone.
#31 – Surface
On the surface, Ronan Nolan was an arrogant, angry teenager; below the surface, Ronan Nolan was deeper but not much different.
#32 – Idea
It was hard to tell which idea annoyed him more, that one of the Powers had taken up residence in him without his permission, or that the last body this particular Power had resided in had been female…and a bird.
#33 – Diamond
"You could shine like a diamond if you wanted to," Majella told him, "But you don't want to, do you?"
#34 – Blind
He blinded himself willfully to the Defender's presence for so damn long, and it took one little (inexplicable/unexplainable/infuriating/appealing) American girl to break his denial wide open with one kiss, one whispered name.
#35 – Flow
Magic flows through him, pulsing through every nerve ending, and he loves it; he will never let go of it.
#36 – Movement
Ronan was not watching Kit Rodriguez's sister sauntering through the crowd, he wasn't.
#37 – More
I don't want to be more than I am, he thought viciously at the Power that lurked in his head.
#38 – Honey
Mela only calls him by petnames over text messages and e-mails; in person, he is no one but Ronan.
#39 – Weather
It was raining and dark and cold and he forgot all of that as he took the sea in.
#40 – Blue
He sang a snatch of the Pogues' Blue Heaven under his breath, and then promptly had to turn his darkest glare on Kit and Darryl to get them to stop sniggering.
#41 – Double
The world swam sickeningly in front of his eyes, and there was two sets of everything; it took several minutes before it settled down and he didn't feel like throwing up.
#42 – Braid
Nita had her hair pulled back in a braid today, and Ronan had an irresistible urge to tug on it.
#43 – Thread
His leather jacket was beginning to fray, and he couldn't stop himself from tugging at the loose threads; there was a part of him that reveled in seeing the thing begin to come apart.
#44 – Angles
"You're all sharp angles, aren't you, Irish?" Mela asked, and grinned: "I like that."
#45 – Daydream
He reflected to himself in bewildered amusement that if the scene before him were in a movie, it would be shot in soft focus like a dream: Nita laughing helplessly, Dairine bent over Spot and conferring in a quiet voice, Kit and Mela fighting good-naturedly, Sker'ret and his baseball cap attempting to make Nita laugh even more, and Ronan himself on the outside, watching and not participating.
#46 – Nightmare
The Defender is gone, wreaking (his/her/its/theirs) destruction on the Lone Power, and Ronan is dying, and it just doesn't feel real, it's supposed to feel real, isn't it?
#47 – Honor
It's an honor, you know, the Defender said, sounding put-out; Ronan's scowl just deepened.
#48 – Palm
His palms are sweating like mad, his heart wants to jump out of his chest, and his voice is just cool as can be as he taunts the Lone Power some more.
#49 – Screen
He screened his calls for over a month so that he wouldn't have to face talking to Nita.