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an exercise in the love of words

(Disclaimer: I don't own any characters and am not profitting from this)

Recidivism- habitual or chronic relapse or tendency to relapse
If Sean (Sean in an affectionate, charitable mood, not the judgmental Sean who often took over) was asked to put forth a theory, he’d say something like, “If something becomes meaningless, it loses its power to hurt you.”
It’s a good guess, really.  It would make sense—Christian fucks around because if sex means nothing, then what happened to him was really nothing, was just that casual.  Of course, if Christian were trying to do this, it would never work since it’s a stupid plan, so it’s a good thing that Sean is wrong.
If you asked Julia, she’d probably tell you it was a status thing, that Christian sleeps with as many women as possible because knowing he can get them makes him feel good about himself.  This is true on some level, but it’s not the real reason.  Matt wouldn’t answer your question; he’d be too busy thinking up some other thing wrong with his relatively pleasant life to talk to you.  Annie knows nothing of Christian’s sexual habits.  Kimber thinks that Christian is afraid of commitment.  Gina thinks he’s just an asshole.  These are both valid points.
The truth of the matter is this—Christian is starving to be loved.  He isn’t stupid enough to mix up love and sex, it’s not like that.  It’s just that sex, seduction, the power of the orgasm is strong enough to distract him from the hole inside of him, the ache waiting to be fulfilled.  No one has ever loved Christian the way he needs.  Not his foster parents, certainly.  Not Sean, for all of his claim to love Christian most.  Christian needs consistent love, and Sean’s depends on a thousand factors, most of which Christian has no control over.  Julia’s love could never be given only to him, and Matt’s love had been tainted by the awful mess of paternity.  Wilber had loved him unconditionally, but Wilbur was gone.
But, you ask, what about Kimber?  She certainly does love Christian, and it has taken both of them far too long to realize that it is a genuine sort of love, not just a girlish attachment.  No, Kimber does love him; the problem is that Christian cannot accept it.  Love is a tremendous vulnerability, and that is something he cannot stand.  He spent his childhood an open target and he is terrified of going back to that, especially considering the event he only calls That Thing, the night that ultimately brought Kit into his life, digging the hole of his fear and anger that much deeper, the night that reunited him with his mother only to have her reject him just as all others had. 
So Christian ruins love where he can find it, dances a dangerous dance with Kimber, wondering how far he can push her before she leaves him for good.  He has lost everyone—Matt, Sean (Sean, God, Sean, he had trusted him, told him the secrets he could not tell any other, and Sean had decided Christian wasn’t good enough and walked away) and he doesn’t want to see how many more he can add to the list. 
There is a part of him, though, that hopes she can outlast him, wear him down until the aching overpowers the fear and he can accept the love that is freely given, finally fill the void rather than just finding new ways to pretend it isn’t there. 
In the meantime, though, his door is always open and his bed never empty.

Plurality- the condition of being plural or numerous  

Timothy McGee has always watched a lot of television.  He has never been the couch potato type, it’s not just laziness or a need to zone out that leads him to the TV.  It’s just part of the geekiness.  He has to watch his sci-fi and true crime shows.  It’s who he is.   Sci-fi is by and large a medium dominated by males, and thus the commercials are usually aimed at young men, trying to sell beer and Mountain Dew and cars.  And, with the current political and economic system, there are a lot of commercials trying to sell the military.
McGee never really paid attention to those commercials before he joined NCIS.  He was slow and soft and didn’t take well to being yelled at.  What would the Army ever want with him?  It was only after NCIS that he realized what, exactly, the commercials were trying to say.  They were stressing teamwork, companionship, being part of something larger than yourself.
McGee had never felt so alone.
It was like, pardon the metaphor, the cool kids at lunch had invited him to sit with them, but only on the far end of the table where you can’t really hear everyone’s conversations.  Abby has always liked him well enough, and he adores her but she flusters him, sets him just enough off-balance so that he goes reeling with the slightest push.  Abby, though, is not the problem.
It’s everyone else.  It was Kate while she was alive.  Kate tried to be nice to him, but he was never privy to the antagonism between her and Tony.  He stood on the outside watching them.  Occasionally he was stuck in the middle, usually to the annoyance of both.
And then there was Tony.  Tony who had never liked him, who had seen him as a threat.  Quite frankly, McGee found the idea laughable.  There was something special between Gibbs and Tony, something no one else could really touch.  They fit each other, filled each other’s needs.  It wasn’t at all that McGee resented it. It was just that he was so unlike either of them that their interactions seemed foreign to him.  He had eventually gotten provisional acceptance as a teammate, but he would never be a friend, and he knew it was work and not high school and he had never expected everyone to like him, but mostly NCIS made him altogether too aware that he was a computer nerd in a land of profilers and investigators.
Gibbs he didn’t even think about.  He was never going to gain Gibbs’ approval because the approval was not there to be given.  Gibbs treated pretty much everyone with the same scorn, but there was something in his eyes when he was focused on Tony, something that said he was pushing just to see how quickly Tony could climb to the next level.  That look was not there when he talked to McGee.  When Gibbs looked at McGee, it was only to see what McGee could do for him in that particular situation. 
He told Ziva once that he was glad she’d joined the team because it made her the Probie, not him.  But then he saw how quickly she endeared herself to Tony, how well she fit with him and Gibbs, and he realized that it didn’t matter how long he was there or how many more new people joined the team, he was always going to be the Probie.

Schadenfreude- pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others

“You know what I like to see on a Sunday?”
Casey sighed from his spot next to Dan in Makeup.  “Unless the answer is my foot kicking your ass, I would suggest you do not answer that question.”
Dan, as expected, carried on oblivious.  “I like to see Vikings lowlights. I especially like to see them when they come at the hands of a team as woeful as the Green Bay Packers have been this year.”
Casey got out of his chair and started to walk away.  “I don’t want to hear it.  I actually watched the game, isn’t that enough pain for you?”
Dan hurried to catch up.  “No, not really.  Not after I had to spend last season listening to you crow about the Vikings making it into the playoffs with their oh-so-stellar 8-8 record.”
“They made it, and that’s all that matters.”  Casey shook his head.  “Why are you so excited about the downfall of Minnesota anyway?  Shouldn’t the magnitude of suck of the NFC North upset you as a sports fan?”
Dan shrugged.  “Not really.  It gives us something to talk about in the show.”  He paused.  “Did you say ‘magnitude of suck’?”
Casey straightened a bit.  “Indeed I did.”
“Do you realize that the phrase is both ridiculous and pretentious?”  They walked into the studio and Dan took his seat behind the desk.  “You simply cannot use those words together.  It just doesn’t work.”
Casey rolled his eyes.  “In this case?  Considering the quality of play?  Yes it does.”
Dana leaned forward, turning on her microphone.  “Dan, stop antagonizing Casey.”
Dan crossed his arms in mock disgust.  “Why are you taking his side?” 
Dana shrugged.  “I flipped a coin.  It’s his turn today.” 
Casey beamed.  “Thank you, Dana.”
She returned his smile.  “No problem.  And hey, great games by the Vikings today.”
Casey could only sigh with disgust.