laniew1: (MCR)
[personal profile] laniew1
I may have mentioned this felt like part of a bigger universe. Have the first chapter of said universe.

If you read the short piece that I put up earlier you should read this again as it is slightly different.


Summary: Psychics were few and far between. For every one there was at least 150 trained Constants (that wasn’t counting the untrained Constants that could sometimes sneak in and lure a Psychic away).

TITLE: Constants
PAIRING: Pete/Patrick, Gerard/Frank, Ryan/Bob
AUTHOR: Melanie
SUMMARY: Psychics were few and far between. For every one there was at least 150 trained Constants (that wasn’t counting the untrained Constants that could sometimes sneak in and lure a Psychic away).
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own any of these boys and I’m pretty sure that this has never happened.

Constants 1/8

Bob went to the Mid-West Institute when he was seven. It was close to his home and that had been his mom’ sole criteria.

Close to home, no cost to her. She wanted him trained, had seen what being an untrained Constant had done to his father. Driving him slowly insane until he’d finally vanished. Bob was pretty sure that he was dead.

Constants were low-level Psychics. So low that when tested they wouldn’t even test as Psychic. But they were.

They were used to stabilize Psychics; to give them a person who could feel what they felt and could ground them when needed.

By the time that Bob entered the Mid-West Institute Psychics were a dying breed. It didn’t always used to be that way, it used to be that Constants were rare and Psychics were in abundance. The strongest Psychics survived, the others died. Most by suicide.

Bob knew that the chances of him getting chosen were slim, for every Psychic that was discovered there were at least 150 trained Constants (and that wasn’t counting the untrained Constants that could sometimes sneak in and lure a Psychic away) vying to serve alongside them.

There’d been violence known to occur when a Psychic was close to choosing their Constant. It was typically a long process from the point that a Psychic was brought in til when they selected their Constant. It could take anywhere from weeks to months to Bob remembered hearing one had taken over a year.

There were twelve Institutes, the more Psychics an Institute had in their programs the more money they would get from the Government in forms of grants.

So the Institutes wooed Psychics like sports teams used to woo their players. With money and promises. If he’d been a Psychic his mom would have thousands of dollars thrown at her.

But he wasn’t a Psychic, he was a Constant and Constants didn’t get a damn thing but the training, if he was chosen though…

If he was chosen there would be money and a steady paycheck, there would also be someone that would live in the back of his mind for the rest of his life.

He thought he could handle that if it meant that his mom didn’t need to work three jobs just to survive.

He wouldn’t get chosen but he knew if he did that the tests they underwent as Constants wouldn’t end. In fact they would intensify becoming harder and more focused.

Because the bond between Psychic and Constant was closer then the bonds of marriage, 95% of the time the pair would become lovers, would marry. And once the bond was in place there was no way to remove it, there was no divorce or trial separation if they decided they could no longer work together.

The only way to remove the bond was death.

He’d been part of Gerard’s group, one of 175 trained Constants vying to be Gerard’s.

Gerard had chosen Frankie, Bob had thought that would be the likely outcome from the first time that they met.

Sparks had flown (literally at that, Frank had blown up a computer just as Gerard had been led in, Bob could never figure out if he’d done it on purpose or not, but it had definitely kept Gerard’s focus on Frank) when they’d met.

It had taken almost eight months for Gerard to choose (Bob half thought that was Gerard’s handlers not Gerard, Gerard would have chosen that first day) once he’d chosen though Bob had thought he’d be free to go.

But he hadn’t been released; he and ten others from Gerard’s group had been held back. None of them had been told why.

They would most likely be the very last ones to know.

Bob had been looking forward to leaving the Institute; the knowledge that he wouldn’t be called back had filled him with some small measure of relief. He could leave and start trying to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Except he was still at the Institute and rumors had been flying that a mostly untrained Psychic had been found half-dead at his fathers hands. Pete had found him, had heard his Psi-Screams and went to him; Patrick, who was Pete’s Constant, would neither confirm nor deny.

Bob met Ryan because Patrick insisted, Patrick who didn’t insist on anything except that Pete needed to eat more and that possibly Pete’s meds were wrong.

Patrick had met him in the hallway when Bob was on his way back to the dorms (the only good thing about the fact that all but eleven of them from Gerard’s group had been released was the privacy that had brought with it) and insisted that Bob come with him to find Pete.

Bob had raised an eyebrow and Patrick had stared at him until he’d agreed, Bob wasn’t sure why Patrick required Bob’s presence to track down Pete, Patrick was Pete’s Constant. Patrick would know where Pete was for every second of every day for the rest of their lives.

Pete was in the Infirmary, sitting by the bed of boy who was covered in bruises and bandages and looked at first glance to be sleeping.

Pete had looked up when they entered. Had smiled when he’d seen Patrick and didn’t look confused at seeing Bob there behind Patrick.

He just squeezed the hand that he was holding and the boy opened his eyes. Bob could tell just from looking at him that he was on the good drugs, the stuff you only got when you were really hurt and could prove it.

He looked at Pete and then Patrick and then his eyes locked on Bob and they didn’t move again.

Bob felt something pricking against the back of his mind, he was a Constant, he knew what it felt like when a Psychic was probing. He didn’t raise the shields that he’d been taught to construct when he was nine, he just stood there and let the boy look his fill.

Let him see every memory that he had and could feel the second that the boys’ shields lowered; he remembered that it had surprised him that the boy could still shield with the drugs that had to be pumping through his system.

He would learn later that Ryan tested high enough that Institute didn’t really have the capability to label him at any particular level.

The boys’ lips quirked into something like a smile. Not enough to count as one, but close enough.

“Hi,” Bob said for lack of anything better. Pete and Patrick had moved off to the side, Bob could see them from the corner of his eye, Pete standing behind Patrick, chin resting on his shoulder.

Patrick looked bored but Pete was watching with interest.

“Hi,” the boy said, his eyes were bright and knowing. Bob had seen Gerard look at Frank like that and in the back of his mind he could still feel the boy. He was curled up in there, making himself at home.

“Bob,” he said, even though the boy already knew. Just like he knew the boys name was Ryan, his favorite flavor of ice cream was Vanilla with hot fudge, that he was not a morning person and that he’d begged his father to stop.

“I know.”


When Bob woke in the morning there was a new uniform hanging from the hook on his locker and Patrick was sitting in the chair beside his bed.

His hat was pulled low on his head and he looked to be engrossed in the magazine that he was reading.

“You sleep really deeply,” Patrick said, it sounded like an accusation.

“No I don’t,” at least not normally, he thought. The night before had been an oddity as Bob had spent the majority of it locked in his own mind, holding on to a Ryan that hurt with every breath and continually murmuring variations of ‘it’s okay’, ‘you’re safe now’, ‘not alone, not alone’ until Ryan had fallen asleep.

He made a mental note to talk to someone about Ryan’s medications, because they were obviously not doing anything for the pain that Ryan’s injuries were causing him.

Bob tossed back his covers, stretched his arms over his head and flexed his toes.

He could feel Ryan curled up in a ball in the back of his mind, still sound asleep. When he went to poke at him, to urge him to wakefulness the Ryan in his mind opened one eye and glared at him. Made a sound that could only be qualified as a growl, then closed his eyes again.

“He’s still asleep,” Patrick said.

“I know,” Bob said. Patrick just looked at him, studying him in a manner that Bob found slightly disconcerting.

Patrick had been Pete’s Constant for four years, chosen when he was fifteen and Pete was nineteen. Pete had gone through three groups of 150 Constants before he found Patrick. Bob knew this because Patrick had been in his preliminary Constant courses, the mandatory ones that every hopeful Constant had to take before the Institute would allow them to be split off into groups and allowed access to the Psychics in residence.

It had caused a huge what to do because Patrick hadn’t even been close to finished with his mandatory courses before Pete had chosen him. Patrick hadn’t even been in one of the three groups that had been vying for Pete, he’d run into Pete in the hallway and that was it.

“You’ll be working with me and Frank until things settle down,” Patrick said, he stood, tossed the magazine on the chair and stretched. “I brought you a new uniform and I talked to housing about a permanent room because I figured that you probably didn’t do it yesterday.”

“I was a bit busy yesterday,” Bob agreed. He’d spent most of the day in the medical wing sitting by Ryan’s bed watching him sleep and feeling him curled up inside the back of his head. It had been slightly disconcerting.

He was a little more relaxed about having Ryan in his head today, there was a sense of ‘this is how things were supposed to be’ now.

“Hmm,” Patrick said, he had hint of a smile on his face.

“Was I even supposed to be there?” Bob asked. Because he’d gotten that impression when the head of the Institute, Director Herbitzer had been surprised (and Bob thought, not pleased at all) when he’d come to check on Ryan and found that the boy had already chosen a Constant in the few hours that he’d been there.

Bob hadn’t cared.

There was no undoing it, whatever criteria Ryan had needed filled before choosing a Constant had obviously been met in Bob and Bob had no plans in disappointing him. Bob had a feeling that Ryan had already been disappointed way too much already.

“Does it matter?” Patrick asked. From his tone he obviously didn’t think so.

Bob thought about it, thought about having just left the Institute and Ryan choosing someone else or never choosing anyone and going slowly insane and he scowled.

“That’s what I thought.”


The uniform was identical to the ones that he’d worn when he’d been one of Gerard’s potential Constants; except it had better fabric, his last name was embroidered over the pocket on the left side and there was a patch on the right shoulder that denoted that he was a chosen Constant affiliated with the Mid-West Institute.

He ran his fingers over it after his shower. The patch that meant that he was getting a paycheck now, money that could be sent to his mother so she could quit one of her jobs if she wanted to.

He made a mental reminder to call her after his 10 A.M. meeting with the Institute’s Payroll department.

She’d be pleased, he hoped, this is what she’d wanted for him.

Ryan’s lips quirked slightly at him as he hung a picture of a seascape up in the area of Bob’s mind that he’d designated as his.


The rooms were big and airy. Two bedrooms each with a private bathroom, a small living room and a small kitchen area that Bob hoped Ryan would know how to use because while there had been a beginners cooking course that was required, he hadn’t exactly passed that class with flying colors.

By the time Bob got out of the round of meetings in the morning, it was completely furnished and he was totally moved in, he realized this when he went back to the dorms and all of his stuff was gone. If Patrick hadn’t shown up at his elbow he probably would have had some choice words for someone. He just wasn’t sure who he would have blamed.

The clothes that had been hanging in his small metal closet in the dorms were now hanging in much larger one and he thought it might be time to go shopping, especially since his new uniforms now made up more then half his wardrobe.

His toiletries were in the bathroom, there was a TV in the living room pre-programmed with his and what he assumed were Ryan’s favorite channels.

He settled himself on the sofa, which was more comfortable then it looked and turned the TV on. It had been a number of years since he’d had total control over the TV remote.

Ryan, it seemed, liked the History Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN and MTV.

He relaxed and opened the bottle of water he’d found in the refrigerator and settled on an old sitcom that didn’t require any sort of thought to follow.

Ryan was working with Pete and there was a barrier where Ryan should be in his mind (though Ryan had tacked a piece of paper up on the wall beside the painting he’d hung and scrawled ‘be back soon’ across it. There was a smiley face and a little scribble that Bob couldn’t decipher underneath it.

The door opened and Frank came in, followed closely by Patrick.

Frank threw himself at him and Bob allowed himself to be climbed like a jungle gym before he got Frank settled on the couch beside him.

“Is he nice? I hope he’s nice, Bob deserves someone nice,” Frank was saying. Bob didn’t say anything because he thought he might be a little biased when it came to Ryan.

“I don’t really know, he tends to be asleep when I go retrieve Pete,” Patrick said. “Pete likes him though.”

“Pete likes everyone,” Frank scoffed.

“Pete doesn’t like Director Herbitzer,” Patrick said.

Nobody likes Director Herbitzer,” Frank stated. He lounged back on the couch next to Bob, laid his head on his shoulder and rested his feet on the coffee table. Bob knocked them off and ignored Frank’s pout.

“I want to meet him, Patrick’s already met him and you managed to snag him before anyone even knew he was here and Pete went and brought him here and Gee is working with them… when do I get to meet him?”


The sessions that Bob went through on a daily basis with Patrick and Frank were exhausting as much as they were annoying.

He thought that Ryan’s sessions might not be much better; Ryan radiated annoyance for the tiny amounts of time that he was conscious. He seemed to sleep a lot, the doctors kept assuring him that was normal.

Bob wasn’t feeling very reassured. He wanted to spend time with Ryan awake, wanted to talk to him, get to know him before they would end up living together.

But for the last three days, every time that he’d gone to the Infirmary Ryan had been sound asleep. Bob would complain, would probably be vicious in his complaints if he could figure out who to blame, then he would see that the bruises were almost gone and most of his bandages had been removed and the dark circles under his eyes had faded away to practically nothing.

Ryan was getting better, visibly at least, Bob thought that mentally they might have a bit of work to do before Ryan was 100% again. The doctors had even pulled him aside and told him that he would most likely be released into Bob’s care at some point in the very near future, though they wouldn’t be any more specific then that.

He really hated doctors sometimes.

Bob would sit with him at night, for as long as the night staff would allow him and then he’d go home and sit in a space that was overly quiet and wonder how he could miss the sounds and activity of the dorms.


They released Ryan on a Friday three weeks after he came to the Institute and completely rewrote the fabric of Bob’s life.

Bob was ready for him, there was food in the refrigerator and Patrick had given him some quick cooking lessons so Bob wouldn’t manage to send Ryan right back into the Infirmary with food poisoning.

There were fresh sheets on Ryan’s bed and he’d tried to make the space they would be sharing as warm and homey as he possibly could.

He couldn’t even pretend that he knew what the hell he was doing when it came to that. He just moved furniture around and put up curtains in the bedrooms and living room and picked out sheets for both beds and dishes for the kitchen and basically worried about things that he’d never had to worry about because he’d lived in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria.

His mom had laughed at him the second time he’d called and asked whether this shade of blue really went with that shade of brown and if he sent a picture could she tell him whether the throw rug by the door looked okay or if it just looked like someone’d had an accident on the floor.

By the time he was done he was irritated and frustrated and worried that Ryan would hate it even thought he liked their space just fine and Patrick and Pete and Frank and Gerard had all assured him that it was perfect.

Of course then they ruined it by telling him that Ryan wouldn’t have cared what the apartment looked like as long as he got out of the Infirmary.

When they said that Bob wondered why he’d done anything in the first place.

Then he would remember the first glimpses that he’d gotten from Ryan’s mind at their first joint training session one week prior and he’d remember that he wanted Ryan to have things that he’d very obviously not had before.

Like a home and friends and family that cared about him. Bob didn’t think he was that great a catch but Ryan seemed to see something in him that reassured him so…

He really just wanted Ryan to have things, and to be relaxed and happy.

He didn’t want anything that he said or did to remind Ryan of his father, especially since Ryan hid it really well, but he was afraid of the man, and was terrified that he would be found and be forced to leave.

Even though there was Bob now and Bob would let Ryan leave or be taken from him over his dead body (he really hoped it wouldn’t come to that).

Ryan’s father was still out there, had eluded both the authorities and those the Institute had hired to track him down.

Bob buried it deep down where Ryan wouldn’t even think of looking, but he hoped the man was dead.

He was pretty sure they weren’t going to be that lucky.


Bob had every intention of being good. There were two bedrooms and just because Ryan was his Psychic didn’t mean that he wanted anything more from Bob then friendship.

There weren’t many instances of it, but he knew that some Psychics and Constants never became anything more then the best of friends.

So Bob had every intention of staying in his room, in his own bed and making sure he was up before Ryan to cobble together some breakfast (he was better at dinners, Ryan had eaten two helpings of the stir fry that he’d managed the night before and Pete had begged until Bob had sent the leftovers home with him and Patrick).

Then Ryan had a nightmare, Bob could hear him screaming in his mind even though when he woke the screaming didn’t follow.

It took him seconds to get to Ryan’s room, to wrap around him and murmur ‘it’s a dream, not real, it’s a dream’ until Ryan woke up.

He was a sweaty mess and Bob ignored the fact that there were tears streaming down his face and he was shaking as if having a seizure. Just held him and kept murmuring in a low voice until he stopped shaking and relaxed back into Bob’s arms.

He urged him to his feet, and maneuvered him into Bob’s room, settling him in Bob’s bed with the blankets tucked around him like Bob’s mom had done when Bob had been a child and still living at home.

He ran his fingertips across Ryan’s forehead and was gratified to see some of the haziness and fear leave Ryan’s eyes, to see Ryan’s lips quirk into what Bob had learned was Ryan’s smile.

Some day he’d get a full smile, with teeth and happiness, he was sure it would be amazing when it happened.

He turned to go into the living room, the couch was comfortable, he’d actually fallen asleep in front of the TV on it several times. But Ryan grabbed his wrist and held on, staring at Bob until Bob gave up his good intentions and settled in the bed beside Ryan. Wrapping his arms around him and letting Ryan lay his head on his chest.

Ryan was asleep in minutes.

Bob stared at the ceiling and thought of the maiming that Pete had promised if he thought Bob was trying anything untoward with Ryan before Ryan was ready.

Bob was unworried; he thought he could take Pete if it came down to it. So he slept.


Bob determined that Ryan leaving the Institute without him was going to be a problem. Bob realized this when Ryan went to DC to shadow Pete on a high profile court case involving corporate espionage, it was part of his training or so everyone assured him.

He wasn’t the primary Psychic, he wouldn’t even be doing anything strenuous or stressful, he’d be sitting and watching and Pete said that it would be the most boring thing that Ryan would ever do.

Bob hadn’t thought anything about it at the time, just thought that he’d miss not!cuddling with Ryan on the couch while they watched American Justice and America’s Next Top Model; it would happen frequently, after all, once Ryan was deemed fully healed and Bob would very rarely be able to go with him.

Psychics were often called on in high profile cases to sit on the side of the Judge. To give insights to the Jury when asked.

Pete had been doing it for years and Patrick had never seemed to fall to pieces the minute that Pete stepped outside the walls of the Institute.

Bob helped Ryan pack his bags; made sure that he had his toiletry kit and enough changes of underwear; he ‘reminded’ Zack several times that if Ryan came back any skinnier then he was the day he left that he did believe in violence, no matter what Ryan believed.

Zack didn’t seem scared. But he’d probably been facing similar threats from Patrick for years so Bob didn’t take exception to the lack of fear.

He was fine all through the goodbyes; he smirked at the sight of Pete clinging to Patrick like he would never see him again and Ryan staring at his feet like the toes of his shoes would disappear if he wasn’t watching them intently.

Ryan had been the one to kiss him on the cheek; Bob had been the one to hug him tightly. He only let go of him when Zack started making impatient noises and Ryan had drawn away. Pressed his lips against Bob’s so quickly and softly that Bob half thought he’d imagined it.

Then he’d turned bright red and ducked his head and turned to follow Pete and Zack out the door.

Bob ignored Patrick smirking at him and Frank smirking at him from over Gerard’s shoulder and Gerard staring at him knowingly; instead he watched Ryan turn around, watched the shy quirk of Ryan’s lips and returned the little wave before he disappeared through the doorway.

The Ryan in his mind was blushing and toeing the ground with the tip of his shoe. He was looking everywhere except at Bob, which was pretty amazing considering he lived in Bob’s mind.

It had happened before, Ryan fading away when he was putting up shields and working with Pete and Gerard. It had never before seemed to hold the feeling of loneliness that Bob could feel running up and down his spine.

It was a couple of days, it would be fine… It was just a couple of days.


When Patrick showed up at the door to his apartment that night Bob thought he might be about 30 minutes away from losing his mind.

Patrick just looked at him and shook his head.

“Did you listen at all during those last few joint sessions?” Patrick asked as he pushed Bob in the general direction of the couch.

He allowed himself to be pushed down on it and watched while Patrick pulled stuff out of his cabinets.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Bob rubbed at his head. Ryan’s picture was still there, the little sketch that had appeared when Ryan had disappeared; but there was no Ryan. Nothing, not a whisper of a sound, it was like he was completely and utterly gone… except if something had happened to Ryan the picture and the sketch should both have gone away.

They were still there though.

So Ryan was still there, out there, somewhere… without him.

“I think I’m going crazy,” he said when Patrick sat down next to him. Patrick snorted and rolled his eyes, Bob thought about hitting him but Patrick wrapped his hands around the cup he’d brought over.

“What’s this?” he asked suspiciously.

“Its tea,” Patrick said, Bob peered into the cup, then took a sip and promptly choked. “I put in some sugar to help combat the shock,” he continued.

“I’m not in shock,” Bob managed. He put the cup down and glared at it.

“Yes you are,” Patrick picked the cup up and wrapped Bob’s hands around it again. “It’s a form of shock anyway, or maybe just stupidity, because why the hell wouldn’t you put up shields when Pete and Ryan left? You’ve been at this longer then Ryan and Ryan knew to put up his shields. I wouldn’t even have thought to check on you if Pete hadn’t called and said Ryan was a bit freaked out from what he was managing to pick up from you even though he’s completely shielded and shouldn’t be able to feel anything.”

“Ryan can still feel me?” Bob asked, he wanted to smile but he was slowly constructing a barrier between Ryan’s part of Bob’s mind and the rest. It should have been easy, probably would have been earlier. Now he had to think about each individual brick being put into place. He made sure to keep Ryan’s painting and the little B.R.B. with a sketch of what Bob thought was supposed to represent a dog, on the side that he could see.

“Director Herbitzer is ecstatic,” Patrick rolled his eyes.

“How high does he test?” Bob asked, he looked over at Patrick and felt calm for the first time in hours; he still took another sip of the tea when Patrick glanced at the cup.

“Ryan? Nobody knows yet, he’ll probably end up testing higher then Pete and Gerard though, if anyone can find a test that’ll actually accurately test his levels.”

Bob blinked and wondered, not for the first time, what the hell Patrick had gotten him into when he’d taken him to the Infirmary.


(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-01 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, huh. This is really kind of fascinating. I like it.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-03 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked this a lot and hope to see more of it!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-12 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ohhhhh, hey, this wonderful! i'm definitely looking forward to more!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-28 05:59 pm (UTC)
ext_979: (ryan - guitar)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my, this is completely awesome! I really hope you'll end up writing more in this verse :) . Thanks for writing and sharing this!


laniew1: (Default)

September 2016


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