Reality Wishes [Redsun Criminal and Clyde M]

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Clyde, Apr 23, 2016.

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  1. Rated M: Might have some slight language, themes of death, and mild mild drug use

    Reality Wishes

    “Maybe, we should meet up, at the cemetery for Domino’s anniversary,” he suggested about a week ago. He was surprised she even agreed to it. As the week shredded by he had consider maybe not going was a better idea. He’d be surprised if she didn’t ditch either. It was July 12th, 2015 the fateful day for the fateful meeting. He couldn’t sleep all last night because he was worried about today of all days to be worried about. He ended up scratching his arm till it bled last night instead and he couldn’t stay online Sacred Sword and speak with her.
    It just be really awkward for him. He didn’t really want to get out of bed. Because he felt sick. Then again even on a normal day he would have felt sick. He tried to not curl over on his side, because that was uncomfortable.
    Finally gaining the courage or even the strength to do so, he lifted himself off the bed. He gave a hollow sigh.
    “Okay,” he said, “Let’s go.”
    The main island of Regira had smaller little coastal islands floating around in a ring. Their town, which he was even surprised she even lived in the same town as him. Was the main island. Sonoka. And it was pretty much a metropolis.
    Though Regira still tried to respects some elements of nature into the city. You could find a green peaceful place somewhere and the cemetery was quite large due to ancient ancestors also resting beside their descendants. It was kind of eerie and kind of creepy to consider. Though honestly, it was their history.
    Which seemed to have been completely abolished by the advancing industrialization. He didn’t like being outside much. Because he was always unsure or concerned someone was going to recognize him. He’s been in the news once, last year. He always felt other people staring at him.
    He could almost hear their thoughts and he rubbed his neck, his hand sliding across plastic as well.
    Just look at him.
    What’s with the emo fag look?
    What’s with him? He’s a real creep.
    What an idiot?
    I know what you did to yourself
    You’re selfish
    He was only able to get away from it by entering the transit station. To get to what was nicknamed in the city of Sonoka, the Flower Wall District, from his neighborhood. It take him maybe half an hour to get there. He had her number. In order to make it easier to contact her. Considering you couldn’t log onto Sacred Sword from your phone.
    He sent the text message: On my way. Will be there in 30 minutes.
    They had agreed at around 12 pm to 1 pm would be a good timeframe. Considering it be busy, bright in the day. And probably to get rid of the uneasy creep factor. He wasn’t even sure if she were really a she in the real world. And the spiraling anxiety was coming back. So he began to pick at his scabs instead to occupy himself in the least crowded car.

    Show Spoiler
  2. "Esper: Maybe, we should meet up, at the cemetery for Domino’s anniversary".

    She remembered receiving Esper's message in an empty tavern during the small hours of the morning. A lone message that managed to break its way through the thick veil of awkwardness and silence they tended to suffer between quests. She remembered the way she stared for a while without replying, the way she didn't move from her slouched position in the chair, letting the words burn into her retinas before slowly typing her response.

    "GreyGuardian_Lorryth: Yeah, we should. The 12th okay?"

    She had responded after several minutes, yet so very casually. Her answer was made in a calm zen-like state, seeing Domino was something that just made sense, something that had to be done.

    Maybe it was because neither of them attended the funeral, they weren't even aware of his death until afterwards. In fact, she didn't even know he lived and died right here in Sonoka until later on. Although the two of them never talked about Domino's passing more than once, there was an unspoken need shared between them to pay their respects, a feeling that he deserved more from them after everything they've been through together.

    They further discussed the details of the meeting, sharing their information without a hint of emotion, exchanged a brief 'goodbye/see you then' and that was that. Sacred Sword could use a break from her anyways.

    The next week went by in a haze of calm, quiet, and monotony; mainly spent alone, as she distanced herself even further from her family than usual. She only played games that offered instant gratification, walked the dog more often than she needed to for the sake of getting out of the house, and found herself napping quite often in the forgettable days leading up to July 12th.

    On my way. Will be there in 30 minutes.-->

    <-- Kay, see you at the tram station.

    Looking up at the cracked screen of her dilapidated old phone from where she lied on the sofa, she sighed a long sigh. A strange series of emotion poured through her in rapid succession, a sense of excitment, apprehension, obligation, then lethargy.

    Forcing herself up, she toiled in front of the mirror for a whole three seconds before losing her nerve and making her way to the front door. Inhale. Exhale. Here we go, she thought, as she equipped her boots of stamina and teal hoodie of concealing.

    Before stepping out for good, she debated bringing Lord, the family dog. Sure she trusted Esper, but whoever controlled him was still a complete stranger until proven otherwise...
    #2 Redsun_Criminal, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  3. The Flower Wall district was called so because when the underground tram station finally crawled up to it, it was the place with the most green. The tram station was met by a large park, that had several walkways that guided tourist and even those who lived in Sonoka alike to the different areas. In the Flower Wall district the large park, known as Owlfeather Gardens, would stretch two three important places. First was the Shopping Corner, where everyone did a lot of shopping in Sonoka. It was the biggest area to go to. The Shopping Corner was jammed pack with street food, fun games, action picture books, clothing centers, even the biggest mall ever built in Sonoka.

    While there was a cemetery that the park was built into and built around North Park Memorial. It was actually well taken grounds both the cemetery and the park. Everything seemed so alive even in the spring. Respecting nature was still a part of their culture, even if they now had large skyscraper malls.

    The third area was of course the tram courtyard. Which was also decorated with small little food stands. Most of them were ice cream or crepes. Sweet things like that. Though sometimes on Thursdays a man would sell hotdogs.

    He leaned his head on the window of the tram. His phone went off twice. Taking out his phone once again, he saw 2 Unread Messages.

    GreyGuardian_Lorryth: Kay, see you at the tram station

    Me: I’ll be there shortly. We stopped at The Business District. Lots of business people going back to work.

    He moved onto the next. Though he always dreaded the big S word.

    Sister: Where the hell are you?

    Me: I explained yesterday. I am off to meet someone today.

    He understood her concern. Honestly he had made a lot of mistakes in his life. A lot of mistakes that negatively impacted her and her family and his family. He wasn’t sure if he wished he hadn’t or if he wished he had succeeded. He was honestly mustering all of his strength to even go here. He once again rubbed his hand around his neck. His thin fingers sliding across plastic and the collar of his clothing. He tended to wear layers.

    Because he was often cold. Especially in the spring time, where there was still the pull of winter chill and the warmth of summer coming in the future. He tried to ignore all the stares. His phone went off once again.

    Sister: You could have told us when you left.

    Me: Sorry.

    He wasn’t as sorry as he wished he was. He understood her position, why she was checking up on him. He didn’t say goodbye the last time. But he could have said goodbye metaphorically. He simply picked at one of his many scabs instead, and peeled the scab off only to restart bleeding again. It was a nervous habit of his, he tried to stop.

    He was going to look like he had gotten mauled before meeting Grey.
  4. Places Mentioned

    Tram Station Courtyard

    Show Spoiler

    If you go Right. You enter the shopping district. If you go left, you end up in a pathway towards

    Owlfeather Gardens

    Show Spoiler

    and there is a path that leads you to North Park Memorial

    Show Spoiler
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Another message:

    On my way. Will be there in 30 minutes. -->

    <-- Kay, see you at the tram station.

    I’ll be there shortly. We stopped at The Business District. Lots of business people going back to work. -->

    <-- The tram tends 2 b pretty busy this time of day.

    <-- When you arrive at the courtyard, look for the sizeable dog with shaggy white/brown fur.

    Stopping at the end of her street, she stared down at her smartphone, gripping the plastic pinkish case with both hands, while Lord's leash remained tied around her wrist. She stood, half-leaning against a traffic light, as she sent her message, just before a light prompted her to cross onto the next street.

    The sky above them was unbelievably clear, she mused, especially considering it was expected to rain sometime in the afternoon. She stared up at a lone cloud, trying to divert her thoughts away from the encroaching mysterious meeting, as a gentle wind blew across Lord's glorious coat of hair. He was a St. Bernard, 13 months young. You can actually see how much the dog loved the outdoors, the way he basked in the wind with his head up high, and frankly, she was the only one who cared enough to take him for walks. Or at least, that's what she told herself, everyone else in the family had a life to deal with after all.

    Stepping onto the cobbled pathway of the station courtyard, an iron weight seemed to creep up from her lower body and into her chest. She hadn't really anticipated how this meeting would go through, and she didn't spend any time really worrying about it until now.

    Here goes nothing, she thought to herself, zipping her teal hoodie up from the halfway point to two-thirds up, straightening her faded skinny jeans, and adjusting her fingerless grey gloves. She stood near the back of a large crowd of commuters waiting for the tram to arrive, so he wouldn't notice her right away.

    A strange and unexpected thought intruded her mind, He's going to think I'm ugly. Her ego retorted with, No no no, he's the one that's going to be ugly. As much as she was self-conscious about her appearance, this was the least of her worries right now, first she had to get the possibility that this guy might be a psycho out of the way.

    She took a deep breath... Alright, Esper, I'm ready
  6. GreyGuardian_Lorryth: When you arrive at the courtyard, look for the sizeable dog with shaggy white/brown fur.

    He stared at the second message for a long time. A dog? It wasn’t that he was terrified of the idea of dogs. He was just wondering what kind of dog. I mean dog could mean anything. It could be an attack dog for all he knew. Now he was getting carried away like his sister tended to tell him he did. He overreacts and tends to get carried away with his imagination.

    She was going to hate him. Esper in the game was, not him in real life. Esper was….mystical. And enigmatic. He was not a liar. He was not someone who hid and buried his feelings away. When the tram finally creeped up. The brakes squeaking, he was starting to get cold feet. He swallow hard and stepped out of the metro substation.

    It was so crowded this time of day. Everyone wanted to go to the Shopping District for lunch.

    Oh he forgot to respond. Err, how should he describe himself?

    Me: I am out of the tram heading to the surface now. I am wearing a black sweater.

    It was beginning to get hard to breathe though. His chest was hurting and he was getting dizzy from anxiety. He felt like he was going to puke. He couldn’t puke, not before the meeting. That would be an embarrassment.

    Oh my god. He really did look like an emo fag. He should have brushed his hair better. Maybe look less of a raccoon. Shit. He’s going to look like he didn’t put any effort into this. But any more effort would make it look like he was trying to impress her. But now he looked like he wasn’t trying to impress her. You know, not looking like a freak.

    He headed up the stairs and came outside once again. The sun was bright and the courtyard was pretty pack. She said dog. She said dog. He was looking around for a dog. What kind of dog? There’s a dog. A skinny dog. There’s another dog. A husky. There’s another dog. What if she wasn’t a she after all?

    Should he walk up to the man with the poodle?

    But there was a girl wearing some jeans. But then there was a woman in a jogging outfit. This sucked when he hyperfocused on something.

    Me: I’m outside. I’m lost. *nervous sweat drop*
  7. Hang on.

    Her response came quickly, as she felt a sudden wave of determination. If it wasn't for that message, she'd have thought he was having second thoughts about the meeting. Not just that, but it was also infinitely comforting to know that she wasn't the only one who was nervous. She wondered if he might be younger, or worse, older than he told her... she remembered telling him not long ago that she was 22, and now she was worried he would recognize the fact that she turned 20 just this year, not to mention she looked even younger.

    Shaking her head, she resolved to wander around the perimeter of the crowd, looking for anyone who looks completely clueless. She tapped the shoulder of a man in a black jacket, "excuse me, um", she started mumbling as the asian tourist-looking man turned around. "Onward we g- oh uh... nevermind" , she stopped reciting the guild's tell-tale motto as soon as she caught glimpse of the terribly confused look on his face.

    She tried a few others, feeling a little less determined and more nervous each time.


    Lord made a sort of half bark in the direction of a black sweatered man in the middle of the square, who was looking around in the opposite direction. Deciding to give him a shot, she wandered over to him cautiously and recited the motto to his back in somewhat of a low uncertain voice, and as a question,

    "Onward we go, blades raging 'til Time's End?"

    She ended in an upwards inflection, and just sort of stood there, half trying to peer around the man's hoodie, but not wanting to invade his space...
    #7 Redsun_Criminal, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  8. "Onward we go, blades raging 'til Time's End?"

    He quickly turned around. Big bushels of hair, that hadn’t been combed in what seemed like days. His sister was always complaining he should get a haircut, but he never had the motivation to do so. Pale skin, you know the kind that was both sick and someone who hadn’t been in the sun in a while. Wearing what appeared to be a black, heavy winter sweater, over a blue collared shirt, and a bandanna over his neck.

    An oxygen tube in his nose and a few scrapes on his face. A ton of freckles migrated on his face like it was the African Savannah. With his dark circled eyes, he really did look like a raccoon. Wearing black cargos pants and black tennis shoes. He stared at her, not sure what to expect. Not sure how yet to take in everything. He stood at 5’7” and he just tried to smile.

    Show Spoiler

    “Grey?” he asked, he pointed to himself, “It’s me Esper.” he said.

    Except that he looked nothing like Esper. Esper was far more attractive than he was. He wouldn’t expect if she thought he was as hideous as he was.

  9. He turned around. She wasn't sure whether it was the pale skin, scars or the black patches under his eyes that set her off first, but she took a step back, and just stared at him wide-eyed while Lord sniffed up his leg. Speaking of which, Lord seemed unusually warm around him, as he wagged his tail excitedly. Then again, he might just have bad BO or something.

    It never really bothered her, but she never knew why he insisted on calling her grey all of these years, even noobs knew to call her 'Lorryth'. Grey did sound kind of fitting though, almost ominous.

    Somehow, his hair was even more under-kept than her own. So at least they have that in common...

    Her (open)
    Soft-stuff-winter-hoodies-for-girls-4.jpg ri.jpg

    "Espr...?", she hardly finished whispering his name, and just sort of stood there analysing him. Her fear blossoming into curiosity.

    ={(.{A Song}.)}=

    (more for the feeling of the song than the lyrics)
  10. He noticed her sudden uncomfortableness. She was a pretty vanilla looking girl, he was surprised, she kind of looked like her avatar almost. He heard the bow wow of the dog and that’s when he backed up a little. He tried to smile, but dogs sometimes made him uncomfortable. His sister dog wasn’t too fond of him, wasn’t very friendly either. Then again neither was her husband. So, the cat was out of the bag. He couldn’t really physically lie to her, seeing as she was staring at him. He just went with omitting the truth.

    “Sorry about the,” he kind of gestured to about everything about himself, “I told you I was at the hospital a few months ago. Been in and out of the doctors.”

    He frowned. And bit his lip, precisely where his scab was. He realized he was doing this in front of her. He finally looked at her dog again.

    “Is...your...puppy friendly?” he asked nervously, “Oh I guess it be weird if we continued calling ourselves….Esper and Grey. I’m Alton. Well more precisely, Alton Hart. You’ll hear some people call me Teddie though.”

    That’s because his middle name was Theodore. Except she didn’t have to call him Teddie or Theodore. Actually he prefer people did not.

    “Please don’t call me Teddie,” he told her or added more in thought.

    God he was talking because he was nervous so he was vomiting words all over.
  11. There's no way she could be expected to speak first, right? He wouldn't just leave her stranded out in the conversational void of awkw-. He spoke, promptly breaking her train of thought.

    Hospital. Right. It looked more like he had escaped out a hospital, or an asylum for that matter...

    She nodded, imperceptibly at first, then a little faster. That wasn't enough, she could feel it, a tension created by silence told her it was her turn to say something. "y-yeah, yeah you... told me about that", she stammered, her voice remaining calm, but certainly hinted with concern.

    "Oh", as she realized having a dog nearly climb him would probably be disrupting to their first meeting. She pulled the brown leather leash closer, wrapped more of it around her wrist and stuffed her hands back into her hoodie's pockets. "Lord here, he's... harmless. He's more of a pillow than a guard dog", she remarked, it would come across as a joke, but she was absolutely serious.

    Alton Hart. She's never heard a name like that before, well obviously, how could she? It's not like she just went out and met new people every day. Or any day. Alton went on about how he didn't want to be called Teddie for some reason, and she just sort of nodded and stared as she always did.

    She could tell he was struggling, the two of them clearly dealt with awkwardness differently, and for her, it was reticence.

    Deciding to save him from his verbal free-fall by speaking up. "I'm Johnson", she stated in a neutral tone, pausing, then shaking her head and adding, "Riley, Johnson. Riley, that's my first name, yeah". She nodded slowly after speaking, she felt like a handshake would be appropriate, but she wasn't nearly brazen enough to initiate such a forward action.
  12. Lord and Riley, huh? He kind of bent down to pet the dog, but the over excitement of attention from the dog had him back up a little. He came out with a half grimace, “He’ nice.”

    Riley. Such a strange name. Strange in the context that they both sounded so plain out in the real world. They sounded ordinary. Yes, like ordinary people might meet. Ordinary people might walk out and see each other. This felt new. Different for him. He shifted. He had forgotten the etiquette of the handshake because he added, “Domino was buried in the North Park Memorial. His...I into contact with his family. His name is Trevor Lewis.”

    That was really awkward transition. He shifted uncomfortably for a second. Rubbing his neck, fingers sliding across plastic. His phone went off again.

    “So...sorry,” Alton told her. He looked at the phone.

    Sister: Did you even bring any money?

    Hastily writing the reply, “Yes.”

    “Should….we start heading that way?” Alton asked putting his phone away.
  13. "Yeah"

    Her agreement was plain, and thin as paper. Though, just like last week, beneath her nonchalant answer was a stronger underlying initiative to visit Domino Trevor, that is.

    Riley had never measured her own height, or at least not any time recently, but she suspected she was somewhere around Alton's. Her hoodie and his hair, not to mention her perspective, made it difficult to discern exactly which of them was taller. Not that she really cared, anyhow.

    The first words that came to her head when she saw Alton's injuries were, 'hit by a truck', but she honestly never got him to tell her what specifically happened. Maybe she would ask him about it again... but not now. She looked up at the approaching clouds as she wandered off towards one of the cobbled pathways out of the square, Lord in tow.

    "We have to head left over through the Owlfeather gardens", she offered guidance idly, though she was fairly sure he must have searched up how to get there on his own.
  14. He always liked that name. Owlfeather, sounded soft. And owls were his favorite animal. He wondered if she even remember that conversation. Guess he was pretty awkward and random online too.

    “Owls are my favorite animal,” he said in thought.

    Goddamn it. He was slowly beating himself up about that. He needed to speak his thoughts without thinking too much about it. He came off really weird. Out of habit, he began to pick at his scab or was it a fresh wound at this point. He tried to stop himself in front of Gre-Riley. He didn’t want her first impression of him was that he was a freak.

    Look at him though. He was. He was not the typical male and he looked so sick. He felt so sick. He wasn’t sure if it was the anxiety draining him and making him so tired. Or that he hadn’t been out in a while. His sister often was breathing down his neck. She was older than him.

    Always bossy. Always pushing him around. She never treated him like a person before. In Sacred Sword, he felt somewhat more liked than in person. In Sacred Sword, his character was beautiful and people treated beautiful people well.

    He was ugly. Ugly and there was something off about him. He saw it with Gre-Riley’s earlier reaction. He’d been in enough hospitals. He’d been in enough mental institutions that he started to believe there was something more than seriously wrong with him. As much as he liked Gre-Riley. Dom-Trevor and him were more than friends.

    They were closer. And when Dom-Trevor had left. A part of Alton had left. He realized he might be wearing a gloomy expression. But he stopped midway.

    “I...forgot...about flowers or something to put by his gravestone,” Alton told her embarrassingly, he probably felt his face go flush too with red. The only color left to his skin. It was kind of rude to go to someone’s grave and not give them some kind of offering. He was so nervous about their meeting he had forgotten to stop along the way in one of the tram stations many shopping underground centers.

    Often most of the stations were like mini malls inside. With all kinds of things to do when waiting for the tram. Still though. He felt like an idiot. He always felt like an idiot.
  15. Owlfeather, she had been through here innumerable times. The two of them walked together quietly for a while, with Lord (apparently much more relaxed than both of them) in between. To him, this was quite literally a walk in the park.

    She stared forward throughout the walk, not looking over to him or making eye contact. Though this was mostly a habit of hers, a product of her own anxiety, and not a result of his appearance.

    "Hmm", she made a meagre effort to acknowledge what he said, but decided not to comment. Esper had told her about that before, she always found owls to be fitting companions for magic users, world-famous novels aside. She was going to ask if he remembered her favourite animal, the lynx, but once again decided against it, this time for fear of sounding too selfish.

    Esper knew her as something of a warrior... and now here she was hardly providing feedback, showing almost no initiative and not being assertive what so ever. On most occasions, Lorryth was far more serious, stern, and sure of herself than Riley could ever hope to be. She was far from being the leader, but she damn well kept everyone in one piece. Domino, the risk-taker that he was, always needed more healing; while Esper, with his lack of defence, often had her tank hits for him. They were an unstoppable force when they worked as a unit, and now, in real life, a strong gust of wind could topple them over.

    For Alton, she thought, that would almost apply literally. He looked terrible, not quite repulsive, but terrible. She felt bad for him, and more than anything, she was curious to know what happened to him... but again, there was no way she could just ask that so suddenly, not when both of them had their defences up and on high alert.

    If Trevor was anything like Domino, he would easily break down the barriers her and Alton had set up around themselves. They would start by connecting with Dom individually, then he would eventually make them comfortable enough to talk to each other. Of course, Domino wasn't coming back, and now, it was fairly safe to say there really wasn't a guild anymore. All that was left was a title, a hollow shell, two players desperately clinging to what once was.

    "I have something", she replied inadvertently, instantly regretting bringing it up. "Well- nevermind", she made a last-ditch effort to avoid embarrassing herself.
    #15 Redsun_Criminal, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  16. He wasn’t very self assured, though he sounded like it coming up with the topic at hands to talk about. Though honestly he was just trying to prove he was not a bad person. Like he was hiding a knife and luring her to some dark creepy alleyway. To be fair he just would never be able to be a serial murder. Despite being thin and looking quite fit, he was finding himself short of breath from just a simple walk.

    It confirmed he didn’t get out a lot, but it also confirmed how much he had fucked himself over. He was also already overloaded socially. Like all he wanted to do was find a corner to crawl into and just stay in the corner for the rest of the day. Maybe play Sacred Sword, but now that would be weird. Considering he played with Grey. And he didn’t know if he could face her any more.

    Now that he knew her outside. He felt like an idiot to think that way. Dom-Trevor would have known what to do.

    He gave out a breathy sigh. As if trying to relieve himself of his throaty ailment. His nostrils burned though. These tubes were always awfully dry and nothing really work. He tried to put vaseline on them, but they ended rubbing the inside dry to the point that it sometimes make his nose bleed.

    “This could have been different if Domino was here,” there he went thinking out loud again.

    Everything would have been different if Domino was still around. The guild would have been still together. He would have clearly known what to do. He could almost imagine his assertive confident energy coming in and wrapping his arms around them. Laugh it off. Tell them they were both being idiots.

    He would have forced a smile out of them eventually in the sense that Domino was the life of party. Yet, it made Alton think about, how much did they really know Domino?

    Grey was a lot more self assured in the game. Confident. That’s why he felt comfortable with her. Or that he felt comfortable meeting with her offline. The person he was seeing though, was nowhere near the person he had met. He wasn’t sure how to address her. Speak to her.

    Their relationship was starting all over again. In a new way. He knew he certainly wasn’t anything like Esper.

    “No….that isn’t true,” he thought out loud, “he might have been just as fucked as the both of us.” His face went flush.

    “O….I am so...sorry…..I didn’t mean to suggest…..I just….you seem so different…..and I….” he couldn’t back pedal out of what he just said now though.
  17. 'This could have been different if Domino were here', the words sunk into her head, Alton pretty much summed up her thoughts in a single sentence. Except she didn't even make a sound this time, and let her gaze drop to the cobbled path before them as they continued forward. Lord scurried a few feet ahead of them, sniffing every bench and garbage can they passed.

    She considered the possibility that Alton might actually be more anxious than she was, considering his words sounded like he's somewhat short of breath. It was a comforting thought, one she decided to cling onto. The thought that somewhere inside she's still the incorruptible, resolute warrior, Lorryth. Now she was imagining her hoodie was actually full-plate armour, as she often did whenever she was around strangers in a crowd.

    After a few more moments of silence he changed his mind...

    A massive dent was made on her metaphorical armour.

    Fucked up. She knew it. She was doing something wrong, she wasn't caring enough, not contributing enough. Did he notice something wrong about her face? Was it her voice? He tried to take back his words, but instead he went on stumbling over new ones. Different. Right. Well the two of them definitely did act a little out of place... but to group her into the same category as himself was a bit of a stretch. Surely she couldn't be that unsettling, maybe a little difficult to approach, quiet, nervous, but when did that ever constitute as 'fucked'?

    Maybe he really didn't mean anything by it. Sure she was 'weird' by society's standards, but he was just as weird, if not even more so. A small flame whispered inside of her, telling her to fight against his words, but more than anything she wanted to get this out of the way and move on. That whispering flame, after all, had been reduced to embers long ago. Defeated in a sense, she commented wearily, "It's fine, we're both.... different, I guess".

    She used to hate herself for being different, and hate herself for all the time she spent lost in her own little world. Remembering the long hours spent in the bathroom of her high school, the guilt, the longing. Though recently she's been trying to embrace her own weirdness, let go of the self-depreciating thoughts and stop fearing the judgement of others. It's working so far, she assured herself, albeit very slowly.

    They were almost at the memorial now, the weather seemed to be holding up, and hopefully they've already endured the worst their meeting would have to survive through.
  18. “I’m sooooo sorry,” he kind of pleaded with her to understand and forgive him, “Please, I do that often. I often speak out my thoughts and they come off very rude. I meant something completely different than what I said.”

    He began to pick at his scab, except the blood running down his chin told him that it was no longer a scab, but a gaping wound. He was trying to fight off the compulsion to keep picking. His sister would always bitch that he was going to get an infection. Technically, he already had once and his sister was not happy with him that year.

    He tried to remove his hands from his scab, at least Gre-Riley wouldn’t see what he did to his arms yesterday. He didn’t keep his nails very sharp, but he still managed to have scratch marks like he was mauled in his sleep by a sleeping demon next to him. That only woke up when he was about to fall asleep.

    He tried to take in a deep breath. They were coming up towards the memorial park, and he had to explain what he meant.

    “Please let me explain,” Alton told her, “What I meant to say is that Domino was a really confident person and he was someone to admire and appreciate. He was a good person, who showed us a lot of stuff. But….what if, the person he was online, wasn’t the same person in the real world? Like us.”

    Errr, how much further should he go?

    “I’m not saying that you’re a bad person or that you….are doing anything wrong,” Alton paused, “What I was saying is our online personas gave us different expectations of each other.” Alton wandered how much further he could push this.

    He was wandering if his explanation was coming off rude or understandable. He could never tell. Then again he had been socially isolated for so long.

    “I’ll begin first,” he said, “My expectation of the Grey, in the real world was someone collected and poised. Probably was going to look totally better than me. And I was feeling inferior to this expectation. It’s nice to know you’re a normal person, and not… idealistic representation of my expectation of who you were in real life.”

    Did that sound insulting or encouraging? Like he was trying to break the ice? Or more like he was digging himself into a metaphorical grave? He was staring at the archways. For a cemetery it was very lush and very green. Very pretty. Calm. In his mind. His idealistic expectation of Domino, this would be a place Domino would like.

    “And I guess my expectation for Domino if I ever had the chance to meet him, was someone who didn’t flounder about like me. I’m always concerned about the people who are better than me because….well…” Alton shifted uncomfortable, “hate a lot of things about myself.”

    He didn’t know if this made her uncomfortable. Or if this made her feel more human with him.

    “I was taking this like….we’re strangers and know nothing about each other, which is true for the most part, but,” Alton paused finding his footing with his words, “it’s not like we’re one hundred percent strangers. You might be what I expected. But you still feel familiar and I feel comfortable enough with that.”

    He guessed.

    He took the lead to where Trevor was buried, because he knew she probably didn’t know how to navigate the plots. This place had an ancient magic about it. As tombstones from the pass were covered in moss and trees brushed across cracked stone with faded names you couldn’t read.

    The more modern and more well taken care of tombstones, many of them had incense candles to light next to them, and even pictures of the deceased before them. He finally found Trevor’s tombstone, and his stomach churned a little uncomfortably.

    There was someone he did not know just staring directly at him. A man in his thirties, far older than either of them. Staring at them with glasses and thinning hair. Who was this person in the photo? Who was he compared to Domino? None of them would really know.

    Alton didn’t smoke so he didn’t have a lighter with him, he stared at Gre-Riley.

    “Can you light the incense?” he asked her.
  19. "That's okay, really", she spoke softly as he pleaded, already over the insult as she assured herself being different is a good thing. When he stated he meant something completely different, however, the whole ordeal did in fact became far easier for her to swallow.

    Alton explained, in a sort of rant-like way, the possibility that Trevor might have radically defied expectation if they were to meet him in person.

    It wasn't something she cared to consider much. Whoever Domino was offline, no strangeness in his appearance or behaviour would change how she felt about him. Even if Trevor was absolutely nothing like Domino, the value of his words, the value of his deeds, and most importantly, the value of the friendship he provided couldn't ever be diminished. The same goes for Esper. No matter how... off he might be in real life, the experiences they shared couldn't be taken away, and she was grateful for them... Except, of course, for the one fight they had.

    He also explained the expectation he had for her. 'Probably going to look totally better than me'? That irked her slightly, but she brushed it off as nothing. I do look better than him, her ego whispered. She used to feel a need to look superior to others, it was to cope with her feelings of inadequacy, but that was behind her now. Riley was better than that, she thought to herself, not realizing the hypocrisy in her word choice.

    Coincidently, just after the thought, Alton mentioned how he often compares himself to others, and hates things about himself. He then spoke about how they were strangers to one another, but he still felt comforted by the fact that they've shared experiences and thoughts. In a way, they were far from being strangers. It was obvious he was trying to break through the veil of uneasiness between them, and appreciated his attempts at doing so. Even envied them.

    Alton might not have a silver tongue in the slightest, but Riley couldn't even begin to articulate her mind's wanderings into coherent sentences, let alone speak them out loud.

    Onto another matter, she thought, what about her expectation of him? Peeking over with her only exposed eye, she once again took in Mr. Hart's exterior. If there was anything he shared with Esper, it would be that they both had lean and youthful features. Though Alton's were overridden with plastic tubes, sick pallid skin and scars, one of which was now apparently fresh...

    "Oh! You're bleeding, uh... Here", she reached for the bottom of her dark blue t-shirt from beneath her hoodie. Holding onto the shirt with both hands, Lord's leash still tied around her wrist, she ripped a small patch off of the bottom of the shirt. She could tell by the way he looked at her that this was probably an unusual response, but she handed him the fabric regardless, and adjusted the bottom of her hoodie to make sure the torn section was covered.

    "Don't worry it's... it's cheap material", she reassured him, waving her hand away in a 'no big deal' motion. What she failed to provide in conversation, she was hopefully able to provide through this gesture of generosity. At least, that's how she saw it...

    North Park Memorial. Here it was. The one place she never expected Domino would be buried. She didn't consider this place much before Trevor's information came in, even walked Lord through here a few times. Once they reached the front entrance, she slowed her pace ever-so-slightly, allowing Alton to take the lead.

    When they reached the tombstone, a photo of an older man, apparently Trevor, was displayed there. Despite how unexpected it was, his appearance didn't bother her all that much. This was about Domino, the man they respected and loved, a subset of Trevor's mind. This wasn't about Domino's fleshy prison. Riley began to reminisce on some of the things she shared with Domino, all of memories that were be buried with him. Like the 'Forlorn Talisman', she deliberated, squeezing something in her hoodie's pocket.

    "Light the...? Oh, uh. I don't have a lighter or anything", she said in somewhat of a deliberately dismissive way.

    Standing there silently for a while, she debated between placing the offering covertly, or just telling Alton about it...
  20. “Oh wow I guess we’re doing this all kinds of wrong,” Alton gave a breathy laugh.

    Alton sat on the ground in front of the tombstone. This seemed weird, but he decided this was for the best. He didn’t really wait for Gre-Riley to sit down. He just stared up at her. How to channel his inner confident spirit? He was unsure. He gave Gre-Riley a serious look.

    Did he look serious or foolish?

    “Err, should we say a few words and then, um I tell you why I asked you here…..the …..second reason why I asked you here?” Alton asked her.
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