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Drink to Remember

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He drinks to forget. There's so much from that first week in Santa Carla that he's desperate to forget, to pretend none of it ever happened. Sometimes when he's drunk enough, he can almost pretend that he doesn't remember a thing. He can pretend that their arrival was uneventful and boring. There are times when his tongue is so dulled by the burn of cheap, rotgut whiskey that Michael can't quite recall the taste of the blood-tainted wine as it slid down his throat, the way it seemed to set fire to every cell in his body or how it made him feel like a god instead of a pathetic loser.

Although he'll drink whatever he can get his hands on, Tequila is the best for forgetting. It dulls everything in him so that the anxious looks on the faces of his family don't make him think of why he's on this downward spiral. It doesn't let him remember the cold and hard press of David's body against his, the feel of David's mouth when he claimed Michael for his own. Tequila lets him relax in Star's fragile yet warm embrace, if even for a moment. When he's drinking Tequila Michael can pretend that it was always been about Star.

Despite the fact that he enjoys life better when he's drunk, he does his best to try to be sober for his mother and Sam at times. (He could care less about his grandfather because he blames him for letting them come here when he knew the truth about Santa Carla.) So on occasion, he will avoid alcohol even though his body burns for it. He come down to dinner after sleeping off a hang over, trembling with the need for just one drop. He will pretend that he's normal, that he doesn't lay awake at night trembling for what almost was. Those are the nights when Star avoids him. Not because he's cruel to her - that only happens when he drowns himself in whatever alcohol he can to forget it all - but because the memories eat at them both.

Star doesn't know if he stays with her because he feels like has to or because she's all that he has left of David. Truth be told, Star doesn't know why she stays. There's nothing stopping her from shoving her meagre wardrobe into a backpack and slipping away one night and heading towards LA or somewhere else. All she knows is that when Michael's desperate to forget, she can believe that he wants to be with her because of some deeper connection. A connection that in the cold hard light of dawn, they know is nothing but a false dream.

What Star doesn't say to him, his family or even herself, she stays because she'd rather hold on to a false dream of Michael being her knight in shining armour because when she's with him, she can almost recall what it was like when she was first with her lost boys. When she first pretended to be Wendy to David's diabolic Peter Pan. She'd rather stay and put up with it all just to be able to revel in the dream that she's saving him even while she follows him down the dark spiral of his self destruction. She doesn't know how to tell him that David and his boys weren't the only vampires that lurked in Santa Carla's shadows.

Michael's favourite moments are when he's alone when Star's asleep in their bed at his grandfather's home, his mother is off at work, and Sammy is doing whatever he does and he's alone from all of them. He'll slip from his bed and make his way to the beach, getting drunker and drunker as he gets closer to the quiet and empty beach. He's just drunk enough that he can pretend things are different.

This time instead of pretending he never met David, he can forget everything bad that happened in that fucked up first week. He can forget that David is dead, destroyed and gone. On these nights, when he walks alone on the sandy beach, he can picture David beside him (while Michael stumbles, David seems to glide along the sand with feline grace.) They can talk about everything and everything but the two of them is forgotten.

Michael has forgotten how much being human hurts when he grasped that taste of immortality in his hands. In this stolen moment, he no longer has to pretend to be the good son supporting his mother's decision to move them from home to California, he doesn't have to be the good older brother looking out for Sammy. He can just pretend that he's David's Michael.

The moment is always too short because he's too drunk to walk on the sandy beach for too long without stumbling one too many time and he can't pick himself up as dawn paints the sky into sharp fragments of sickly pink and gold and David is banished to his memory as Michael lies in the sand wishing for complete oblivion but too afraid to actually seek it.

((END))