Kaitlyn and Gabriel
The Dark Visions trilogy by LJ Smith is my favorite. Kaitlyn Fairchild and Gabriel Wolfe are the reason. From the moment of their first exchange, it became apparent that these two were alike and destined to be together. It also became apparent that it was their similarities that had the largest chance of keeping them apart...
Kaitlyn and Gabriel are used to being outsiders. They have each learned over time to be independent. Trust is something neither has in much abundance. Other personality traits they share are bad tempers and a lean toward sarcasm that makes for great exchanges.
At nine Kaitlyn drew a picture, “a picture of trees and a bridge . . . and something square.” The square turned out to be a packing crate in which the body of a missing boy from Kaitlyn’s neighborhood was found. That was a turning point in Kaitlyns life. People realized she was different. They became afraid of her and began to shun her. They changed and Kaitlyn was forced to change with them.
When Gabriel was fourteen he fell in love for the first time. He had a “gift” and was at a center to learn to control it. Ironically it’s here that he lost control of it. Consequently his “gift” became his nightmare. By accident, Gabriel killed the girl he loved. The body was found and he was accused of murder. Fourteen years old and I suspect grieving and cursing his powers, he went on the run.
At sixteen, Kaitlyn and Gabriel meet each other. Kaitlyn has been living as an outcast in her hometown. Gabriel just got out of lockup. Kaitlyn views the center as an opportunity, a fresh start. Gabriel views it as an escape from being behind bars. Despite this, their original responses to Mr. Zetes are the same. They are weary. While the other psychics don’t seem to suspect anything, Gabriel and Kaitlyn are both suspicious. It’s the first thing that ties them together.
Kaitlyn and Gabriel have a chemistry that’s as apparent to them as to the reader, at least to Gabriel who lectures himself that if he gets involved with Kait he’d “have to make sure it was just a diversion. That kind of girl might be too interesting, might tempt you to get involved. . .” Kaitlyn might see this as well except that she’s already become enamored by Rob, probably because he’s so non threatening and she’s used to being suspicious of guys. Still, it’s Gabriel that she keeps going back to, Gabriel that she understands and with whom she can discuss her uneasiness about the Institute. There’s a bonding going on here even before they end up in a psychic link, even before Kaitlyn gives Gabriel her energy. Kaitlyn’s prime example is this:
“‘He’s an idiot,’ Gabriel said, as if reading her thought. He did that too much; it bothered Kaitlyn.”
What is Gabriel’s example? How about this one:
“A girl who interfered with him, trying to get inside his guard. . .
Whose spirit is like yours.
Oh, shut up, Gabriel told his brain, and stared broodingly into the darkness beyond the study window.”
I find it rather funny that Kait and Gabriel, being so similar, are always telling themselves that they’re not matched. Gabriel finds her stubbornness and suspicion annoying. These are two of his largest traits as well. Kaitlyn doesn’t understand why he won’t give the rest of them a chance, why he has to be so antisocial. When Kait first arrived at the Institute and a few times before that, she acted the same way. So it took Gabriel more time to get over it. It’s a learned behavior and his lessons had been more intense.
In book two the bond becomes more visible, from Gabriel laying his hand on Kaitlyn’s arm when she’s become agitated and worried about leaving (a cementing of the strides they made in book one), to the transference of energy which inevitably binds them. It’s a mix of the mind connection of soul mates and of the feelings that arise when a human donates blood to a vampire in the Night World series. By this time, the bond is no longer subtle. Just about any reader is aware of it and probably annoyed that Kaitlyn insists on staying with Rob. I will give this to L.J. though, she doesn’t make the relationship with Rob too casual or incidental. We know that Kaitlyn cares for Rob. We also know that she’s falling in love with Gabriel and that it’s Gabriel who needs her love the most.
In book three Kaitlyn realizes this for herself but still thinks she’s in love with Rob. I say thinks because it’s my belief that although Kait did care for Rob, she wasn’t truly in love with him. She was in awe of him. Their relationship was too unbalanced to last. We can see Gabriel changing in this book more than any other and we know that a lot of the changes come from his relationship with Kaitlyn. We may understand why Kaitlyn does it, but we still experience Gabriel’s hurt and betrayal and if the average reader is anything like me, they’re a bit amazed themselves when he risks so much to help her in the end. And yet, when I look back I know it was right. Gabriel was not a bad guy. He was a tortured soul who when worse came to worse and so much was at stake, had no choice but to do the right thing. In the end he says to Kaitlyn, via the psychic link, “I don’t know how you can love me.” He follows it with “You’ve seen what I am.” Kaitlyn’s response? “That’s why I do love you,” and the reader knows it’s true because by now they know and love him too. The evolution has been just right. These two are equals and connected together in a way that I, for one, wouldn’t dare to question.
The Dark Visions trilogy by L.J Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith