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/qst/ - Quests

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=Thread 13=

You are Delilah, a young girl in a hapless world. It hasn't always been that way for you, but life has taken a turn for bleak and miserable. Events and circumstances that you can't explain have fallen upon you, and though you want to be a good person, there is plenty of resentment and hatred twisting around inside.

Will you be able to push past all of this, or will you succumb to a heartless and treacherous society?

=Important Information=

Story Thus Far (Raw and a mess, will work on cleaned up versions.):

http://pastebin.com/WnGZwK04 Part 1
http://pastebin.com/eGfGW8jV Part 2 (Part two seems to be somewhat messed up in addition to not being caught up. I will attempt to fix, but archives seem to be your better option for catch up)



Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.:


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/0107qV9kiFDlUH9nY
Text chat with me and some other players. I post up silly sketches and answer some questions related to the quest. I mostly act cheeky though.

Last Thread;
It's tempting, and you really do want to go. If you were just grounded or something along those lines then you would have more likely gave her a yes.

"I'm...not sure that's good idea...what if I pass out again...even if it's not serious then I'll end up as an inconvenience on the group. I'll stay here and just...watch the fireworks from here. Maybe. Hopefully I'll be able to go next year..."

Will...you still be here next year? With the group? Will...they still be here? All of them?

"I figured so, I just didn't want you to feel left out. I'll try to bring you back something, okay?" Jessica seems like she anticipated such an answer, that doesn't change her mild disappointment anyways. You finish your food, though reluctantly. It doesn't feel like you'll throw up, but your stomach doesn't feel all that great either. When you reach the bottom of the bowl it has settled some though and you feel mildly better.

Physically, anyways. You're still bummed.

You only pay a tiny amount of attention to Jessica's conversation with the kids, going over their plans for the day. Seems like they will head out as a group around 3...not that it matters to you. Well, except that once again you'll be left behind and lonely. You look over and see that Lisa is pouting too.

"What're you upset about?" You ask her, deciding to think about anything other then tonight.

"Can't go." Well, there goes that plan.

"Why not?"

"Jess says I'm too little." Lisa has her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. "But I can stay up that late! I can!"

She doesn't help her case any when she lets out a big yawn, oblivious that she has just betrayed her own words.

"It's alright, I can't go out tonight either."

"That means we have to stay here with Sam and the baby and um..." Lisa tries to think about who else will be staying behind. "John but I think fireworks scares him."

John, afraid of fireworks? Well, Lawrence is afraid of heights...

Oh, right...is Lawrence going out tonight...?

You look over and see that he's talking with Sam at the moment.

"We'll like...have our own party!" Lisa exclaims,disdain about being left behind fueling her determination. "We'll have so much fun too! They'll be sorry they um...they left me behind! Princess Lisa will be Party Lisa!"

You smile a bit at her, giving the approval she is seeking.

"Um...excuse me for a second, Party Princess Lisa. I'll be right back..." You get up and catch Lawrence before he walks out of the room.

"Hey...you um...you know I can't go out tonight...right?"

Lawrence nods and you bet that Sam warned him about your grounded condition.

"What are your uh...plans...?"

You first attempt to keep yourself from looking too excited as you wait for an answer, then you try to keep yourself from looking let down as you read the note.

Going out to meet a friend for now. Will probably be gone most of today and then tonight I have plans.

"Oh...alright, I um...I hope you have fun then." Your hair is ruffled through once and Lawrence leaves.

Try not to feel upset...bite your lip and keep back those tears.

Well...if everyone is going to go and have fun without you...then you'll just have to make your own fun here.

You return back to Lisa who seems to be stewing in her own sour mood too.

"Party Princess Lisa." She looks up at you, loving her new title. "Let's plan an amazing New Year's Eve party."

Lisa gives you a wide toothy grin at this.

Your family had a New Year's Eve tradition, what was it and who's side of the family did it come from?
your dad used to dive into a mountain of what you thought was sugar.
Mom's side had this weird tradition about a tall, dark stranger bringing food as a sign of good fortune. Mostly it was just dad, though... but he did bring cake of confection.

She also had this thing where we were supposed to write down a wish and throw it out a window for the new year to carry to fruition, and something we were afraid of and burn it to keep it from the new year.
gotta take care of moving some stuff, will be back in a few, my bad my bad.
"sugar" mountain on dad's side
getting fucking shitfaced on mom's side
"So um...I am the Party Princess but what are you supposed to do?" Lisa asks you, lost.

"Well, I usually watched the Time Square ball drop on TV...the uh, the count down in New York every year." You elaborate, though Lisa still doesn't seem to know what you're talking about.

"Anyways, before the countdown you have like, music playing and you do fun stuff with friends before hand. Then when it's time you all gather around and count down from ten all together."

"Oh...and then what?"

"Um...I usually ended up going to sleep a little bit before that. I usually ate till I was stuffed anyways, and being that late always meant I was super sleepy."

You watch as Lisa thinks about the plans when you remember something else to add.

"Ah! Also! You're like...supposed to do New Year tradition. There's like, ones you do the night of and then some you're supposed to do the day after-"

"John said we have to...have to eat something called uhh....black eyes please tomorrow." Lisa wrinkles her nose at this.

It sounds like...oh, does she mean black eyed peas? You've heard of them but you never really tried them before.

"Well maybe that means we'll get good luck. Oh! My mom used to do this thing..." You remember back to it, though the memories do make you sad now. You're trying to keep Lisa cheerful though, so you don a smile and explain it to her.

"See like, ah how did it go...um...something about like...a stranger bringing food...it was usually cake my dad would buy and bring home to try and make her happy though. Oh! And then there was this other thing, we can do this one. So like, she would write down something she was wishing for right? Then she would throw it out the window so that it would come true. And then she would...ah she would write something else down and then burn it...um, I think it's supposed to be like...a fear you have. You write it down and burn it so you keep it away for the New Year. I remember once when I was like, five, she accidentally made a burn in the carpet. Dad was so mad."

"Does it really work? Will it keep the bad things away?"

"It...should, yeah."

Lisa looks excited to start the planning.

"Kay kay! We have to get started then! Ah wait! We um...we have to look like Party Princesses though! Umm...umm...hold on!" Lisa jumps up and runs over to Jessica, pulling her down to whisper into her ear. She waits eagerly as Jessica digs through her purse, pulling out what looks like some basic make-up before sending Lisa back, her tiny hands attempting to keep hold of the supplies. She drops them in front of you, running back and grabbing a compact mirror and a magazine.

"Okay, Princess Bunny! We need to look ready, like real Party Princesses! So um..." Lisa flips through the fashion magazine, stopping and showing a picture of...it looks like Madonna showing off some eye makeup in an advertisement.

"Like this! Make me look like this!"

"Alright." You'll just do some light stuff on her, you doubt she would notice the difference between her and the page. Lisa brushes her hair away from her face, closing her eyes tight and puckering her lips. You finish moving away stray brunette strands and decide to take the...wow...Jessica has this color? Well...it's bright...

Anyways, you start making bright marks of green eyeshadow on Lisa's eyes.

You begin thinking back to your previous New Years. It's true that you remember those traditions you told Lisa, but that of course was the nice stuff. You didn't mention how your mother would get drunk off her ass every year...less in celebration and more as a means to escape her worries. Dad...what did he do? It feels like he went into the bedroom a lot but only for short periods of time...wait...didn't he rub his nose a lot too? Like how John does?

You realize that you went off the mark with the makeup, taking a tissue to wipe away your mistake and starting over again.

What would you like to talk to Lisa about while you do her makeup?
Silly princess stuff
annnnd I took a nap, once again sorry sorry am here now.
Supporting this.
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Make up a princess story, with adventure and drama.

Then write it down and sell it to Disney, get that mouse dosh.

Use it to make everyone not poor and become a cashmere Delito.
So Claire's dead right?
voting for this
No but seriously, I probably missed it confirmation, but after the flags back at the school, I don't recall much referring to her.
Word of God

It has not been confirmed nor denied, but you will know I promise.
Like what, tea droughts? Crumpet famines? Unicorns eating all of Wizard John's herbs?

Threadly reminder that Delilah is NOT:

...capable of going toe-to-toe with grown special forces
...a shonen protagonist
...prepared to commit unwanton murder
...skilled with any form of espionage
...older than 13 years
...secretly hiding some innate superpower or something
...a vampire, despite prior coincidences
...sexually active

Also, we're in the state of Montana, in the 80's—not modern Japan.

"So um...are you ready to throw the best Princess party ever?" You were going to be subtle, but you figured a child would have trouble with that. The color on her eyes are caked on, and while it doesn't really look great it should do more then enough to rock her world for now.

"Yep! And then everyone will wished they had stayed here with us stead!" Lisa is excitable, though she does her best to hold still while you apply her makeup. Eventually you finish and display the compact mirror to her. Lisa squeals, wanting to both touch her face and not ruin the hard work you have done.

"Lemme do yo-"
"NO!" Jessica runs over, shaking her head. Seeing the concern on her face, she corrects herself to a softer appearance and adds on. "You should let her do her own makeup, that way you can go ahead and make the super special crowns for tonight. I'll even let you use the shiny paper."

Lisa's eyes light up at and she jumps to her feet, bouncing up and down. Jessica points her over to the right direction and the child scrambles over for her supplies. You look up at Jessica for an answer, which she is more then willing to whisper to you.

"She doesn't know how or when to stop. Let her do your makeup and you'll end up with empty lipstick tubes and eyeliner in places you didn't even know she got to."


Lisa walks back carefully, holding sparkly paper in one arm and safety scissors outstretched away from her body in the other hand.

"You don't mind hanging out with her, right?" Jessica asks before Lisa comes back, whispering to keep the Party Princess from hearing.

"It's fine...better then me sulking her alone..."

Jessica has an understanding look to your plight.

"Well, you should be able to hang out with Lawrence when he comes back...right?"

You can't help put puff out your cheek in annoyance, your voice matching your mood.

"Jerk said he had plans tonight. I don't care."

"Oh, he must be out meeting that girl friend of his he mentioned."

...you do care.

"D-Did you um...c-catch a name...?"

"I didn't, just overheard him talking with Eric. He was asking where to get flowers...I think he mentioned two different girls though. It sounded like it anyways but I mean, good for him then, right? Ah! I just hope he isn't like...dating two of them at once or something...that would be awful. But still, you figured a guy at his age w-...you feeling alright?"

"I'm fine." You smile behind gritted teeth. "I'm glad he's going out then. At least he'll be having fun..."

You mumble the last part, turning your attention back to Lisa making the new crowns. Jessica seems surprised by your sudden change in attitude, and to be honest you are too. Not that it helps you feel any better about it.

Stupid jerk running off and getting to enjoy New Years without you was bad enough...

Jessica looks ready to ask you about this further when the sounds of Thompson bullying Clark draws her attention away.

"I just...behave okay Lisa? THOMPSON!" Jessica rushes over to pull the bigger boy away from the crying Clark. You take the mirror and look over your face. There's a nudge of something pressed against your leg...oh, it looks like Lisa is offering you another page in the magazine to use.

It seems like she took the time to flip through and find someone with shorter hair...the lady actually looks...well, like a beautiful woman.

"Do yours like this! It'll look pretty!" Lisa encourages and you nod at her. There's no way yo can get yours looking this nice, but you can try for her sake. As you work on getting the lines around your eyes just right, you can hear Mable and Aria talk.

"-gonna do it on time this year, promise babe."

"You aren't going to throw up, are you? That's why we didn't get to kiss on the countdown."

"Nah nah, I'll handle my booze better this time-"

"Or you could keep from drinking yourself into the hospital."

"Listen, when it gets time to, I'll grab you, dip you down all lady-like, and kiss you into the New Year. Those other couples will be jealous of my kissin' skills, you got i-"

You stop listening and talk to Lisa again.

"My country is going through a drought."

"Oh no! What of!" Lisa is quick to get into character, trying to adjust the new crown to Buttercup's little head.

"Kis-...tea. We are having a terrible tea drought. We have been stuck drinking milk this whole time."

"...I like milk though..."

"Yes, but this milk is spoiled! All sour! Hardly any good for our cookie crops!"

You continue to talk to Lisa on the possibility of her country importing tea in in exchange for you giving her ten percent of all cookies and pies harvested. You're a little embarrassed by how much you end up getting into it, actually.

"Psst, Bunny..." Marilyn crouches up behind you, a worried look on her face.

"What's up?"

"I heard Law is out with two girls."

"...p-please. I am trying to be a Party Princess right now." You go back to your makeup, putting on your finishing touches. Marilyn looks like she wants to say more, but it seems like she can tell you're already done talking about this.

"Um...just make sure you bully him later for doing that, okay?"

You act as if you are working on your hair and Marilyn leaves you alone, Lisa looking up at you confused.

"...um...s-so about that unicorn herd eating up all your candy corn..."


You help Lisa make decorations to put on the wall, crayon and pencil scribbles the best way to describe them. As you help her adhere them to the wall you can hear Betty speaking with Jessica.

"Kinda surprised to see you going out too."

"Oh I wouldn't miss it. I need to see if the young men are as fresh now as they were forty years ago, d'ohoho."

You crinkle your face at this, pushing the thumbtack harder into the wall.

Even the old lady is going out to have fun tonight...


You and Lisa are busy making your 'party' food, crackers with a little bit of jam spread on the top and a peanut in the middle. John found you a jar to use when you asked if there was anything you could have for Lisa's sake.

John seemed pretty excited about the idea that you two were working towards something like that, and offered to bring you back more supplies to help make your party better.

As you place another one of your cracker creations on the plate and push Buttercup away with your foot you can see that Jessica is bundling up all the kids and speaking with Sam.

"Don't stray from the crowds."

"Yes sir."

"Make sure all the kids stick around with you."

"Yes sir."

"No accepting open drinks or food from anyone."

"Yes sir."

"And make sure people don't know that you're homeless, alright" This time, this is less of common knowledge and more of a grim warning.

"Yes sir. We'll be careful."

"Alright, we'll be anticipating you coming back then. If there's any kind of trouble, you know what to do."

Jessica nods and zips up her coat. She gives a wave to Lisa, who responds with an unladylike poke of her tongue, before escorting Marilyn and the boys out. Mabel and Aria are already outside waiting for them, and soon enough the door closes.

Despite the fact that you're supposed to be totally stoked for your own party, you can't help but feel left behind anyways. You just finish your cracker creations when John arrives, a big paper sack in his arms.

"Alright girls, I got somethin' for ya. But it's gonna be a surprise. I'll show ya how to make some fancy lil' sandwiches for now though, okay?"

Lisa is more then happy with that idea, John coming to sit with the three of you as he sets down some white bread, lettuce, ham, and some sort of spread you're unfamiliar with.

From the other side of the room you can hear Sam has fallen asleep in his chair, Cecilia tucked away safely in a box beside him.

What would you like to talk about while you prepare for your party?
Try not to think about Lawrence going out with anyone. Try not to think about Lawrence going out with anyone

... so Lawrence is going out with two girls, huh. Is it... someone we know?
Talk about the princes from other kingdoms that we want to marry
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But that's silly, isn't it?He he he he heHAHAHAHAHAHA.

In actuality, maybe we can see what John used to work as or what plans he has after this rough spot is over. Or just princess time.

No anon, we cannot go full yandere. At least not until we have mastered our dark vampire powers.

But she's not an anime, just jealous.
As John shows Lisa how to cut the meat carefully with a plastic knife you can't help but think back to what Lawrence is doing.

He's...never mentioned any girls before...but it might make sense...right?

After all, he's got a life beyond you, no matter how much you try to trail along. He's got those other friends...well...kinda...

What if he does start dating though? He'll want to spend time with that other woman and not you...

Wait, Jessica mentioned two women. Oh jeez...that just means like...double the chances of one of them dating him. Or...getting married...

"Do you know who Lawrence is out seeing?" You ask John, slacking on your task of pulling and cutting the lettuce apart.

"Law? Ah, could be anybody with that guy. Heard he was out seeing some chick though, sounded like someone he knew fairly well. Hopefully she's someone honest and all...don't need Law to fall again...ah, anyways. I bet you could ask him when he comes back from his date."

...don't call it a date.

"Or, from the sounds of it...dates."

Oh god, that's worse.

You can't help but be reminded of Marilyn's own smugness when John smirks at you trying not muse over this. Is he teasing you or is he just being weird? It's so confusing...

Don't think about it...

"So um...what...was your time like with the military?" You aren't sure this is the best question to ask John, especially with Lisa sitting here. Before John can speak though the Part Princess speaks up.

"Gasp...your country has a um...a mid-terry?"

John looks up at you for clarity on the question.

"Um...Princess...sorry, Party Princess Lisa wants to know if uh...your country has um...armed forces." You try to make it sound softer...hopefully Lisa doesn't fully pick up on the severity of the situation. "You can uh...tell us um...Sir Knight John...of Not-enough-Ham."

You're a bit worried if John would be able to handle the role-play, but he adapts easily enough.

"Ah so...I actually served more then once. Served the uh...King. Anyways, finished my first round of service easy enough and I went to school afterward. Went for culinary, paid for mostly by the g-...King. Graduated easily enough, but unfortunately for me there just didn't seem to be any where that wanted a chef, ended up going back. Back in as a uh, knight. Welcomed me back in easy enough, I'd actually earned a medal from before. Was easy enough work, but then I ended up deployed to...sent to the country of...um...Uk-...Ukra-...uh, Ukraine. The magical land of Ukraine." John gives up trying to rename it, doesn't seem to bother Lisa any. You pay close attention to his story despite the fluff.

"You're a knight!" Lisa squeaks at this, honored to meet such a brave man. John grins at this. After her giggling dies down enough Lisa gasps again.

"Does that mean you have your own princess?"

John keeps his grin for her, but the rest of his face falters at this.

t-testing again
"I uh...thought I did. Turned out, despite everything, I simply wasn't a good enough knight for her." The memory of this cuts John deep, despite all of his efforts to hide it. You feel awkward, not sure what to do. It seems like even Lisa can tell his mood has fallen, though she also looks confused about if she asked the wrong question.

"Um...emergency Party Princess meeting." You announce, pulling Lisa over a few feet away. You whisper to her your super secret amazing plan, something that she looks excited to accomplish with you. John is sitting in his spot, confused at why you two walked away.

He's unprepared when Lisa runs over and jumps at him with open arms.

You were unprepared for that too. You told her to surprise him with a hug, but you didn't expect her to actually attack him.

"John!" She cries out, and you quickly come over to join the premature hugging attack.

"What? Ah jeez what is it you two?"

"It's okay! You don't need a dumb stupid princess! Wait...no, you need two! Us two! Be our knight! I'll um...pay you! With...with Bunny's cookie harvest! And then you can keep the stink bugs away!"

John briefly looks over at you, your arms around his shoulders much lighter then Lisa's near death grip around his neck. You mouth the words 'roll with it' and he does.

"Alright missy...but you'll need to add something else to that..."

"What! Anything for a big strong knight!"

"Gotta not choke your knight before he can defend your kingdom."

Lisa looks confused till John points down to her arms wrapped around his neck.

"Oh. OH! Right um..." She releases herself and allows John to breathe normally once again. "Okay so now that you're my knight, we need to uh..we need to test your strength!"

John jumps up to his feet and offers his arm for Lisa to grab, easily hoisting her up in the air just by standing up. She giggles and holds on easily enough, though you notice there is a slight look of pain on his face. He's got back pains, doesn't he? Man, that must hurt.

Lisa finally lets go, landing to her feet and thinks about more trials to put her new knight through. You finish preparing the delicate sandwiches with his help, and Lisa becomes distracted when she finds the radio.

"Ah! Music! Party Princesses and Knights must have music!" Lisa only manages to find static, and so you are appointed a dual title.

Party Princess and part-time DJ Bunny.

You manage to tune in to a station that seems to be taking place downtown. Music plays in between covering the event. It does feel bad knowing you're not there but...doesn't feel as bad as before.

...unless Lawrence is down there with a woman...

Eventually you guys manage to finish the food, Sam waking up to Lisa's excited cries of joy when John presents that he found sparkling grape juice for you two. Even though you have to drink it from plastic cups with convenience store ice, you are pretty happy about it too.

Lisa appoints Sam as the honorary King for now, Honorary Party King Sam. He chuckles as the name and gives in to her fantasy too. He compliments the assortment of food you managed to make, and you all gather around the radio, listening to the coverage about the block party down town and how much longer it will be till the count down.

At only 10:20 Lisa begins to yawn and struggle to keep her eyes awake, you on the other hand being interested in the interview the reporter is currently giving to a visiting pop star. Sam breaks away from his card game with John, easily noticing when a young girl is awake past her bedtime.

"Now, uh...Pretty Princess Lisa-"


"Ah, excused me. Pretty Party Lisa. It looks like you're about to lose your crown to that pup in your lap."

Lisa's hands are soon to come up and reposition her crown.

"Can...stay up."

"Can you?"


"Can you?"

"...no." Lisa yawns in defeat again, curling up on the ground where she is. "I mean, I can. Am going to take a nap now, and you'll see. Will count...do-..."

She's quick to fall asleep, her crown half off from her head and Buttercup gripping it in her teeth and pulling it away to join her slowly growing pile of previously made crowns.

"Ah...I'm afraid I should go to sleep too. Before the uh...you know..." John rubs his neck uncomfortably, Sam nodding knowingly.

"Think you'll be alright this year?"

"Yeah...yeah...should be, I think..." John doesn't look too sure of himself.

"Well, I know what to do if you one of your panic attacks. You know that."

John nods and sets down his cards, apologizing for leaving soon and heading out. Once the door shuts Sam sighs, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes.

"Poor boy. Wish there was more I could do for him. Not much you can do about that though..." It feels like you weren't supposed to hear that, so you don't try to question further. At least Sam will stay up with y-

There's a knock at the door and, somewhat grumpily, Sam gets up and answers it.

"Oh, you're back already? Ah well, come in." You're just as surprised when Sam lets Lawrence in, a bag in his arm. Rather then greeting you, Lawrence begins a back and forth with Sam, leaving you only to guess what is being discussed.

[3/4] dammit, barely too long.
"I dunno...how far is it?"
"Makes me a bit nervous...how sure are you?"
"Right right...and ah, how was she?"
"I see...hmm...we'll have to talk about this later but uh...alright. You can do this, but only if she wants to and only if you come back right away. Understand?" Sam turns to you, and you try to play it off as if you hadn't been listening.

"It seems here that Law wants to borrow ya for a bit. As long as you feel well enough...I suppose I can allow for a short leave. You won't be going to the block party or nothing though, so don't get your hopes up."

Would you like to stay here or go with Lawrence?
Try not being too excited when we say yes to Lawrence's invitation.
Hmph. So he only wants to be with us when he needs us. He should ask one of his girl friends instead
Act huffy because everyone said he was on dates? I can get behind that.
But don't really ask someone else because we really wanna go.
Take the Law to the swankiest club in town and get funky.
"Why doesn't he just...just take one of his dates." You turn your nose up and away from the men, arms crossed.

On the inside you're screaming yes, please take me somewhere.

Lawrence's heavy footsteps come near and you rise to your feet, keeping your nose up and acting interested in the wall instead.

"I thought you had plans for tonight, wouldn't you rather go out and do that? It seemed rather important."

You glance over as a note is passed over your shoulder, acting cool and calm as you take it. You're quick to read over his words though.

You were part of tonight's plans

Before you can ask what, Sam speaks up from the door, still as grumpy as when he first got up.

"Listen, are you gonna git or not? If I wanted to stand here and watch people being wishy washy I would go up to D.C."

"I...will grace you with my presence tonight." You speak quickly, not wanting to lose your chance to go out. Pulling on an extra layer of clothes you try not too look too excited, even though you really are. As you prepare yourself Sam is giving a small lecture to Lawrence.

"Bring her back right away if she experiences any pain, or if she grows pale, or experiences any nausea or anything at all like that, understand? And don't you think I won't hobble my way over there and beat you over the head if you stay out too late, I've managed more with less. Do I make myself clear?"

Lawrence looks somewhat overwhelmed by the sudden and intense speech, but nods to show he understands. You come up, ready to head out, though you force yourself to appear standoffish.

"Now, little lady. You feel anything wrong while you're out, come back right away. Understand? I don't care if Micheal Whatsits is out giving his fancy limousine rides, anything feels wrong with your body and you come straight back." Sam isn't speaking as roughly with you, but it's all the same stern.

"Yes sir."

"Good, now keep all that in mind first...but try to have fun."

You wave off to Sam as Lawrence leads you out, the door closing behind. Of course you have no idea where you guys are going and don't really expect an answer yet, but it feels good just to have the chance to go out. Through the hallway you go, once again strange men gathered who are no longer sober and their own radio playing loudly. Lawrence grabs your hand and doesn't stop here, though you don't really mind the reason to have your hand held.

Right...don't act too excited though. This jerk made you think you were going to spend tonight alone...he was with other...other girls...

...you're still excited to be out though.

Onto the sidewalk you two go, the streets slightly more busy then usual. Cars and people are passing by the same, increasing in number as you leave from the neighborhood and into the better lit and safer blocks behind it. You guys walk past a closed down office complex and into a more lively street. There's a hotel just a bit down the ways, the lights bright and welcoming.

You feel a tad bit nervous when you realize that this is where you guys are going, but you remain quiet. As you come in closer you can see the bridge off in the distance. This street is slightly elevated compared to where you were, though you can only just see the tops of the beams.

The hotel's lobby is packed, and whereas it might have been a grand place before it certainly isn't now. Not that it's anywhere near as bad as the apartments are, you don't feel like you need to worry about accidentally stabbing yourself with a stray needle.

You're expecting to go to the front desk but Lawrence pushes you past groups of loud people, towards the stairs. Making sure no one else is watching he leads you up the several flights.
Both of you end up needing to stop half way to catch your breath. Lawrence offers you his hand again, but this time you turn it down.

"A lady like myself can manage stairs just fine, thank you."

Still...right now 10 flights of stairs leaves your legs and lungs on fire. You worry when you feel light headed but push through it anyhow. You let Lawrence take you up to the top, reaching a door that reads ROOF ACCESS.

"Aren't these usually locked though?"

Lawrence pulls out a keyring that is around his hand, giving a smirk before unlocking the door.

It's chilly, but the roof gives you a much better view of the bridge. You walk out, looking over the sight. You can't see everything, not even close...but it's still a good view. A little bit away from the bridge you can see the part of town that is lit up brighter then usual. Right, that must be where the event is.

There's the sound of radio static and tuning, Lawrence trying to find the correct station. You are once again greeted with the female reporter, talking about how there is now about an hour and a half till the countdown.

Not a chair or table, but the air conditioning unit serves as both as you sit down, Lawrence setting the bag down next to you and pulling out a small white box. Incredibly small...

"What inside?" He hands it over for you to discover for yourself instead. Slowly you open up the box, an equally small cake resting inside. Rather then being cheap it looks like something that came from a real fancy bakery. Chocolate icing covers it, white frosting giving small decals on the edge. There's a small rose made of icing in the corner.

"Is this for-" You're cut short when a plastic fork is passed over to you.

"Eh...do you think I can eat this all by myself?" Well...you probably could actually. But that isn't very ladylike...

[2/3] whoops.
You listen to songs from this year play over the radio as you take small careful bites into the cake, passing the fork back occasionally so Lawrence can eat a bite too. You keep the flower all to yourself, eating it in one bite. It's almost too sweet and you almost regret doing it, even more so when you discover that your teeth have been stained red. You're offered water to wash away the taste and stains, though you're not entirely certain how well it worked.

The little white box soon contains nothing more than crumbs now, set away as you look back towards the bridge. There is still time before the fireworks will go off...

Ah...you should be able to see them from here then, right?

You feel excited, but still try to hide it. With the cake gone you aren't entirely sure what to do...

The reporter once again switches out for another stream of music. This time they're much slower selections...

Did someone ever teach you how to dance?
Grandpa tried, not that we were really old enough to pick much of it up. Mostly just.. balancing on his feet and holding his hands.

We'd watch him dance with gram gram, though.
This, they danced to Italian music though because we're Italian
Bit late and really tangential, but the mention of Buttercup's pile of crowns reminded me of one of my own dogs. He's probably the most laid-back dog to ever live (he had a toddler hang off his ears and didn't whine or growl even once despite the weight of the kid damn near tearing one ear OFF) but he has an obsession with toilet paper tubes to the point where he's bitten my hand bloody for trying to take one away from him.
Animal hoarding is a serious issue anon. We need to schedule an intervention.


You bastard I love this song
"Um..." You look down at your feet as you speak, thinking back to when you were younger. "This song kinda reminds me of when grandpa was alive...I was really little so I don't remember much but he tried to teach me how to dance. I mean, the music he listened to was in Italian so it's not really the same I guess but um...um..."

You feel a bit embarrassed about going off a strange tangent like this, though you continue to do so anyways.

"He would say, um...[/i]piccola[/i], watch how papa steps! And he would take my hands and try to show me...I always moved too slow of course so he let me stand on his shoes instead. And then, when I got too tired of...well, letting him do all the work, I would sit down and watch him dance with grandma instead. She always said she didn't want to, but as soon as he took her hands she would just...really get into it. I wanted to get better at it but he died before I could stop being his piccola...ah that means um...uh, little."

"Still...little now. Always a...piccola."

"No way! I'm like a uh...well I wouldn't say um...grande now...a-anyways! It was just a nickname he gave me." You look down at your hands, trying to figure out how to ask this next part. "I um...I brought up that story cause I wanted to know if um...if you knew how to dance..."

"Bit. Not too...good though."

"Oh well...i-if you didn't mind...I mean it might be dumb of me to ask but um..i-if you wanted to...er..just...I thought it would b-be nice while these kind of songs were playing..."

"No stepping...on my...feet though, okay?"

You feel speechless when Lawrence gets up, extending a hand towards you. This will be the first time you danced with someone like this...suddenly you feel all nervous...

Taking his hand anyways, you try to push away those thoughts and nod at him.

Lawrence balances a cigarette in between his lips as he shows you the proper way to put your hands. As proper as you can, anyways. Your left hand has to rest a little bit below his shoulder in order to keep yourself at a comfortable position. Your right hand goes in his, and you do your best to keep from fidgeting as his other hand rests at your waist.

Right, you remember seeing this in the movie. This is how adults dance with each other. It's a bit awkward though...just relax. If grandpa was alive you would probably be the best dancer ever...it's time for you to make up for all the practice you lost.

You watch carefully as Lawrence tries to show you the proper way to step, the first song leaving you both somewhat moving about in a clunky way as Lawrence remembers the proper way to move while you try to imitate his mess ups.

Half way through the second song though he seems to have remembered the proper movements and you are able to follow them much better. You come to realize that these songs might not be the best for this kind of dancing after all...but you still enjoy learning how to do this.

Unfortunately, as with the stairs, you become a bit too winded a bit too soon and are forced to stop and catch your breath.

Through rough breaths you hear the songs switch back to the event down town. There's only a short amount of time before the fireworks now.

"We'll um...we'll be able to see them all from here, won't w-" You stand up straight in an attempt to look over at the bridge. You stand up a bit too fast, the edge of your vision fading and your head feeling light.

This is just like when you stand up too quickly though...sure enough, the feeling is gone just as quickly as it came. This doesn't stop Lawrence from sweeping you up off your feet, though you can see this is due to worry then any other kind of gesture.

Right...he's probably scared because of last time.

"Ah..s-sorry. I'm fine now, I promise. Just moved too suddenly for myself is all...I really want to see the fireworks though so...please don't make me go back yet." You really do feel fine, but you still put all the effort you can into making your voice match this.


"I promise. But uh...you can keep holding me to um...make up for making me think you had other plans tonight." You expect him to set you back down on your feet in retaliation, but to your surprise he just adjusts his grip so that it's easier to carry you.

Eheh...this is called a princess carry...isn't it?

You wrap an arm around his neck for support and look out towards the streets, over to where all the lights are. The woman on the radio announces that there are only five minutes left till the new year. From the sounds of it there is a big clock set up down town, similar to the one in New York. It might have been nice to see, but you doubt you would have gotten the chance to be held up like this. You enjoy this moment for what it's worth, leaning your head against his shoulder as you look out at the sprawling buildings and streets before you.

As you wait for the final moments you think about what everyone else must be doing right now. Jessica is probably getting the kids ready to watch the timer and shout out those final seconds at the top of their lungs...Marilyn probably will join them, even if she doesn't try to out yell the boys. Mabel is going to kiss Aria when the last few seconds remain...Eric and Sarah will too. That's what most couples do, right? You remember seeing a bunch of them do it as the camera panned over the crowds.

You glance up at Lawrence and see him staring over at the bridge, and you do the same.

Three minutes remaining.

Jeez...how should you enter the New Year...

What would you like to do before/during the countdown?

Last update for tonight, take care yall
Ask Lawrence if he will be our prince tonight. Then kiss him when the countdown finishes
Enter the new year with a kiss. If Lawrence wants, that's what Aria said.

It should be fine, right? Even grandma and grandpa did it, and mom and dad once or twice when they were... familial.
Remember the song our grandpa tried to teach us to dance.


Enter the new year with that song.
We need to do all of this.
Why would a northern Italian man striving to be American listen to a south Italian song mocking such behavior? It's not even self-deprecating.
As the time begins to trickle by, you think back to the song your grandfather would play when he tried to teach you how to dance. Of course it was in Italian and being so young at the time you don't remember the lyrics, but the tune comes easy enough. You can't help but hum it yourself, allowing the notes to bring back more memories.

Your grandfather and grandmother dancing, them kissing and being so in love with each other till the day he died.

The times when your mother and father would kiss, as rare as it was for you to see.

The song keeps playing in your head after you stop humming it and you think about how you want to greet the new year.

It would be something special to enter it with a kiss, right? It should be okay too...right? As long as Lawrence wants to do it too...you shouldn't try to steal one again...

"Would it be okay..." You can feel Lawrence's eyes move to look down at you, though you're too shy to meet his gaze back.

"If just for tonight..you could um...b-be...be my prince?" It feels like your face is on fire when you ask this, wanting to bury yourself away and never have to see what the answer will be.

Slowly you are set back to your feet and left standing there as Lawrence walks off a few feet away, his back towards you. His hand comes up and runs over his head, as if he is thinking.

Did the question make him feel that weird?

"You can forget I a-asked. It was d-dumb..." You feel ashamed that you're brought to tears by this. It feels like you've been shattered rather then simply rejected. It's stupid to feel like this, and you know that. Those stupid pills must really be messing with things, as you bring your hands up to wipe away your cheeks only to discover that there is an outright stream of tears rushing down.

Only a minute and a half left and you are a mess.

"I'm d-dumb..." Your words waver and break, all strength going into keeping yourself from breaking down sobbing. Not that you're doing a good job about that either.

The first time you'll get to see fireworks in person, and you're bawling your eyes out over something so stupid.

When Lawrence walks back you feel humiliated by your display. A spoiled brat...you must look like a completely spoiled brat right now.

Your feeling of disgrace grows when he kneels down to match face level with you, watching as you fail to stop weeping.

There's a strong urge to fight back and turn away as Lawrence gently moves your hands away.

[1/3] Having a wee bit of posting difficulties, had to use a different browser. There is a chance that all my other posts will attempt to show up delayed? So uh, fingers crossed.
From the radio it's announced that there is only one minute remaining.

With nothing to hide your face with you try to look at Lawrence, though that courage is fleeting and you face away again. A hand comes up slowly and cups the side of your chin and cheek, encouraging you to look forward again.

It feels like your chest could burst, your breathing quick and shallow, anticipation and fear causing your heart to beat like crazy. The hand to your face is warm, but right now your face is burning.

You attempt to focus on the sounds of cars and people in the streets below but none of that helps to distract you from the fact that Lawrence is staring at you the whole time. While the flight feeling inside it trying to take over you push yourself to look at him.

Thirty seconds remaining. You can hear the crowd growing lively through the speakers.

Lawrence pushes himself closer and you come to realize what is about to happen.

Fight instincts take over and you put your hands up and push him away. Anything he was doing comes to a stop and you feel him release your face. Not that he was holding you captive in the first place, you're just scared. You wouldn't call it actual fear though...or at least, not one that you're used to. Bashfulness...maybe that's a better word to use?

Lawrence begins to back away from you, an array of voices chanting over the radio as they count down the last half minute.

Why did you push him away? This is what you asked for, right?

He does his best to offer you a small smirk to let you know that it's okay.

"No...please..I...I do want it..."

You don't expect him to, but Lawrence does comes back to face you. He allows some time to pass before he makes his move again.


You try to keep calm as you look at him back, hoping that he doesn't hear the pounding in your chest.


His hand slowly reaches back up to hold your face again, Lawrence watching carefully to make sure you don't flinch away.


You don't, and feel his fingers glide over your chin and to your cheek. To keep yourself as calm as possible you bite at your bottom lip again.


It'll be fine...you wanted this, and you're about to get this.


He's just wanting to make you happy, that's all.


As it gets closer to time you try to keep your breathing regular, though it feels impossible to at this point. You promise yourself you won't turn away again as Lawrence moves his face closer to yours.


Dammit...you flinched while there is only a few inches between you. Lawrence stops right away, pulling back only enough to look at your face. He's probably expecting you to freak out again, ready to push him back again.


You try to take a breath to say something but any possible words catch in your chest. It's fine...right? You trust him, you asked him to do this and now that he actually is...


You close your eyes and take a deep breath. Maybe not watching will help calm you. You keep your eyes closed even as you feel your head being tilted slightly to the side. Right...you remember, you need to do that...


There's a slight moment where you feel breathing against your face and only an inch of space between you. The lingering smell of cigarettes is there, and for whatever reason that makes you feel comfortable, as if this is a normal thing.

There are cheers and calls of Happy New Year from both the radio and from places down below. You hardly give them any attention as you receive your long awaited kiss.

It's different from the times when you led into it, more work then simply pressing up lips going into it. Not that you are sure what you should be doing in it, but there are tingles and warmth traveling from your chest and to the rest of your body.

The kiss only lasts a few brief seconds and you feel Lawrence pull away, his hand traveling from your cheek to your forehead, brushing away the hair in your face. You open your eyes again, the distant sound of popping mixing in with the cheering. Over at the bridge you can catch the glimpses of bright colors traveling and exploding into the night sky. You watch the colors shoot up and spray out in the air, appreciating how much nicer the colors look in person.

You glance back and see that Lawrence is watching them too, and you notice that all the previous fear and worry you had just moments before have vanished. Your head feels like it's buzzing, but not in that dirty way...not from doing something awful.

You feel wonderful and floating, despite everything else.

What would you like to do with your prince now?
File: HYPE.gif (2.72 MB, 520x292)
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Hug him tight and don't let go. Tell him you want this moment to last forever
Grab hold of Lawrence's hand and lean against him, enjoying the... everything. The fireworks, the warmth, the intimacy.

The moment we know will be over much too soon.
Ride him like a pony.
You throw your arms and yourself against Lawrence, holding onto him tightly as your bury your face against his chest. Your heart is beating so incredibly fast right now, but you enjoy it.

It feels like you want to stay like this forever, so it's all the more confusing when Lawrence pushes you back.

"Can't I-" You start to ask, but you see that he's moving you away so he can stand up straight again. He's been kneeling down this whole time...duh...his legs are probably all wobbly now.

Yours are, but for an entirely different reason.

Lawrence sits back down, stretching his legs out from their cramped position. You want to hug him again but you also don't want to scare him off. You're content with just sitting next to him when he motions for you to come near.


It feels a bit strange at first, but you quickly appreciate sitting in his lap, getting to face the bridge and lean against his shoulder as you do. Lawrence takes out and finishes smoking a half burnt cigarette he saved, the smell from it the same tobacco he had on his breath earlier.

The firework show is still going on when he finally flicks away the spent butt, and in a moment of compulsiveness you grab his free hand. He doesn't pull it away and you get to hold his hand in both of yours, feeling even better now as you get to watch yet another burst of color in the air.

As the array of colors and shapes flash between one another your hand travels over Lawrence's much larger one, and you can't help but slide your fingers between his. The air may be cold but sitting here is warm enough.

Well...maybe you're shivering more then you thought, as suddenly your hand is empty again and instead you're enveloped into the fuzzy interior of Lawrence's coat. Rather then just draping it around your shoulders the two of you are sharing the coat, his arms coming around in both a hug and as a means to keep you wrapped inside. This is a new kind of pressing closeness, feeling his chest rise and fall with each breath against you, and while a new wave of red comes to your cheeks you enjoy the situation anyways.

Soon the fireworks fill the night sky with such a wide array of color and with hardly any pause between them, and you know that the show is coming to an end all too soon. You're sad to see them go, but the end of their show means the end to something else too.

You keep hoping that each new firework that shoots up into the air won't be the last one, feeling relieved yet scared for the next one to come up. Soon, there are multiple swirls and bursts in the air, each one branching out to cause another splash of color and becoming a bigger tangle of wonderful hues. They hang in the air silently, their brightness beginning to fade and so does your hope. The sky is the usual shade of dark blue as any other night, a full moon providing light where the city fails to. You can feel Lawrence shift and in instinct you wrap your arms around his shoulders and bury your face against his chest.
"I don't want it to end." You mumble behind his shirt, holding on like he is going to remove you.

"Have to...take you...back."

"I feel fine, don't take me back...n-not yet please..." If you go back now, then you'll no longer have your prince. You will have to go back to the scared girl everyone pities once again. The frightened girl who's scared of herself and doesn't even understand what is going on with her own body. The sorry girl who isn't fit to become a princess or a bride or anything else wonderful.

Lawrence doesn't try to move you again, but you know that you're going to have to. Sam is going to be waiting for your return after all...it'll make everyone worry if you stay out too late. It was probably a miracle that you could even go out like this at all.

"Okay...I'm sorry...we should go back now..." You push yourself off, waiting for Lawrence to release you. A hand from around your body comes up and moves the hair out of your face and there is the press of a kiss on your forehead again.

"As...you wish."

You want to call him out on quoting the movie, and while you do crinkle your nose at him for it there's more of you that enjoys it instead.


Back down the stairs and past all the rowdy people, you walk out from the busy lobby and onto a busier street. Lawrence takes your hand, and while you want to move your fingers between his again you simply let him grip your hand. You find yourself walking with a bigger step and with your chin up, well, more then before anyways. There's that lasting feeling of giddiness in your chest the entire time. It remains there even as you have to travel to the darker and grayer streets, getting ever to close to that dreadful apartment.

Just a few streets down though Lawrence stops and pulls you aside, allowing the very few people who are out to pass. From the looks of it, the two of you are lone once again, and you turn to face him. He's doing his best to hide the look of...is it guilt?

"Don't...go telling...others that...I did...that...okay?"

Is there anything you to do before you go back inside?
Flat coloring is my fetish.
You're my fetish, anon.
Look disappointed and ask him when will you be old enough to not have to hide your love for each other
Have a moment of existential dread concerning ourselves and Lawrence.
Don't tell the others what? That he took us out to see the fireworks and that's it? Did anything else happen?

Promise. Even if it was wonderful, everyone else might think Lawrence is being untoward toward us and... we can't have that. Won't have that.

Maybe in a few years we don't have to hide...
You can't help but feel your face droop down at the need for a promise.

"I don't need to hide anything...all you did was take me to see fireworks. And...and that's all." You look away as you say this.


"I promise not to tell." You look down at your feet, feeling like a child being scolded. "But um...w-when...when do you think I'll be old enough so I don't have to hide something like that any more?"

The quiet that follows does nothing for reassurance, and you're much too afraid to look up at Lawrence.

"I don't...know if...you could...call this...a thing..."

You can't help but look up at him with a look of pure agony on your face.

Did...you misread all of this? Looking too much into something as simple as a kiss? It...would make sense, you guess. Kisses can just be kisses...right? You're the one who asked him for it, you doubt he would have just turned it down. It's such an easy thing to do...just a simple act.

How stupid of you to put so much thought and hope into a little thing.

Lawrence sees this written on your face and remorse fills his own. You're pulled tightly towards him, held close to his body and a hand against the back of your head.

"Did I do something wrong?" You barely speak up enough for him to hear.


"Then why does it feel like I've done something wrong...it...it feels like I'm going to get you in trouble n-now..."


"But it'll be b-bad if anyone else knew y-you did that...r-right?"


"Then I made you do s-something bad...it's my fault..."

"It's...complicated. Not your...fault. Need to...think about...it though." Lawrence squeezes you tighter as he says this, and while he's attempting to stay sure and strong, there is that sign of doubt in his rusty voice.

"We can...talk about...this later. Now you...need to...sleep."

"I'm sorry..."

"Don't be."

His hand trails through your hair in an attempt to offer you some extra comfort, but you still feel awful about all of this. And now you just feel even more confused about everything...

You're also exhausted. Way too exhausted to be thinking about something like this. Pulling away from his hold, your rub at your eye both in an attempt to keep awake and hide any stray tears. He offers his hand out once again, and though you are in sights of the apartments you take it anyways. Even though you have done it plenty of times before, now it feels much more distant.

The men in the lobby are as rowdy as ever, one in a drunken stupor attempting to call Lawrence over to them. He leads you past the commotion and back down the hall, standing in front of the almost familiar door.

You keep holding Lawrence's hand as he knocks, earning one more squeeze before Sam lets you in.

"Bout time." It sounds like Sam is much past his bedtime, but there is also the hints of worry with his words. "You feel alright?"

You nod and walk past, going into the restroom once more and leaving the two at the doorway.

Jessica is talking with a Marilyn struggling to keep her eyes open, the other kids long since asleep. You offer a wave before disappearing into the restroom.


You take the time to wash your face, the remnants of makeup from earlier going down the drain. As you rub your face the tips of your fingers brush over your lips.

Should you feel excited or upset by all of this?

You go back out and join the others in bed.

"So? Where'd ya go?" Jessica asks, propping herself up on one arm. Even though Marilyn is using all possible effort to stay awake it seems like she's interested in where you were too.

"Lawrence came by and took me to a hotel, an actual hotel, to watch the fireworks from the roof. He had the keys to the roof...I have no idea how but he did. I got to watch them from there." You, of course, leave out all other events.

"So you did get to see them? Sweet. It's a shame they weren't as big as last year."

"I thought they yawn...um...were pretty..." Marilyn is rubbing her eyes in attempts to wake herself up.

"Oh no doubt about that. Just compared to the amount last year...well, it's great you got to see them anyways. Kinda surprised Law took you though, figured he'd be busy all night."

"Yeah..." What was he doing before then? There was something about flowers, but you didn't see any of those...and two women?

You don't want to but you fume over this.

That jerk wouldn't have kissed you if there were other girls on the side...would he?

Unless...that kiss really didn't mean as much as you thought it did...

This is...frustrating...

Is there anything you would like to talk about before going to sleep?
New Year's Resolutions and Lawrence's girlfriends
Ask if they've made resolutions.

Ours is probably to try and become more confident, maybe we'll be able to buy underwear and tampons without making a big deal out of it.

Maybe learn practical stuff from John, Sam, and the others. John still needs to pick up where we left off at the school, and we could probably learn a thing or two about cooking.
"So um...did you guys make any New Year's resolutions?" You roll on to your stomach, stretching out as you ask this.

"Gonna um...gonna be a better help for Pappy...gonna do better with homework..." Marilyn yawns as she says this, sounding proud of her choices of resolution.

"For me, I think I'm going to look at getting my GED or something. If anything, I want to at least get a real job, even if it's just part time." Jessica smiles as she thinks about her goals. "What about you?"

"Ah..." You hadn't even thought about that yet. You quickly try to come up with an answer. "I think I wanna be like...confident about stuff...you know? And uh...maybe learn stuff too. Stuff like...how to cook and clean...maybe Sam can teach me some of his stuff too. Just...useful things, so I can be useful too."

Marilyn is home-schooled and Jessica is looking towards getting the closest thing to a diploma as she can...what about you? What should you be doing...even Mabel is going to college like this...what do the boys do, anyways? Lisa is too young...maybe you should ask sometime...

What about you? What about your education...you don't feel like you're actually dumb, at least when it comes to school stuff, but you also doubt that you know enough yet.

Jessica pokes you out of your thoughts, a finger at her lips before pointing at Marilyn. She's asleep on her back, mouth open and drooling. You help her out, closing her mouth for her.

"Mmm...Bun..." She's talking in her sleep again...

You turn back to Jessica, seeing that she is trying not to laugh. It might be best to ask her this now...

"Um...do you know anything about uh...Lawrence's girl...um...friends?" You make sure to put a space between the two words, if only for your sake.

"Hm? Oh right, well I kinda poked Eric for a little more info..."

You feel yourself hanging on to each word now, hopefully she doesn't notice...

"Apparently, he was going to see um...you know who, at the hospital earlier today."


You glance back to make sure Marilyn is still asleep before looking back towards Jessica.

"He was getting some flowers for her so he could like...pose as her boyfriend or something and just, as a gift to her just in case she was like...up. She was pretty bad when they took her, if she was in critical condition still they wouldn't be able to let anyone who isn't family see her. Don't know if it worked, but hopefully it did."

"Is...is she still...um..."

Jessica, thankfully, catches on your difficult question.

"Seems to be alive, at least. Don't nothing anything beyond that."

Jeez...maybe you can ask Lawrence about it later...

"DO you um...know about the other girl?"

"I tried to ask, but Eric didn't know either. Just...seemed like a girl he's known and hadn't seen in a while. Wanted to get her flowers too. Maybe an old girlfriend?"

You think back to the date he mentioned at the Plaza. That woman is married though...but...could there be other girls? Ones he hasn't told you about?
Jessica seems a bit surprised at your fuming over this.

"Eh but, if he came back to take you out to fireworks then maybe it didn't go well."

"Isn't that just called like...a rebound?"

"Well...ah well, it's time for sleep, don't ya think?" Jessica is quick to turn around, avoiding your question. You settle down in the blankets, trying to get the thought out of your head.


You wake up, but because Sam is nudging you. Looking around you can see that the others are still asleep. Rising up, you rub your eyes and try to get steady to your feet.

"Um...what's up?"

"It's time."

"For...? Oh...the other pill..."

Sam nods and you go to the bathroom.


It seems your bleeding has slowed down somewhat...it's only going to get worse though...isn't it?

You try to prepare yourself for this...after today it should all be over.

Out of the bathroom and into Sam's room. He once again sits you down to discuss the process with you.

"This is where it gets a bit...hellish. You'll take this, and your bleeding will get worse. It'll be fairly heavy for a few hours, but by tonight you should be back to your normal flow. Cramping and all that jazz again. But after this you shouldn't need to worry again."

You nod, trying to prep yourself. Sam pulls out the pills and places them in your hand, a glass of water ready.

"Hold them under your tongue till I tell you so. Then you spit out what's rest. After that I highly recommend you lay down till it's all over."

It's hard to not gag at the bitter taste, but you do as told and keep the two large pills under your tongue. The time can not past quickly enough before you're allowed to spit out the much smaller remains, washing the taste out with the water.

"It will take some time to take effect, but you'll know what it does. I asked Lawrence if he would stay with you during this however, if that's alright with you. Being around all the kids won't help you any."

"Oh...yeah. That's fine."

"Good, let me go see if he's ready for you. Just stay put for the time being." Sam gets up to his crutch, walking out of the room.

This will be your chance to talk with Lawrence...about everything that has happened.

A hand comes up and rubs over your stomach. Unless...you're in too much pain...maybe it might be a bad idea...

You sit there, waiting much longer then you thought you would. Should Sam just be checking to see if Lawrence is up? What gives...even Lawrence wouldn't sleep through the constant knocking.

It begins to worry you, and you all but jump to your feet when the door opens. It's Sam, of course, but...

"It seems like Lawrence is out...if you don't mind then please stay with John for now." Sam says this calmly, as if it's no big deal. John's face doesn't really reflect this notion however.

"Um...okay, sure." Part of you wants to press the issue, but the pain in your stomach is beginning to rise.

"Come on missy, got a spot for you all set up."

Sam follows behind as you go to John's room, blankets from Lawrence's room piled up and Buttercup sitting ready and waiting on top of all them.

John listens to Sam's lecture as to what he should watch out for while you bury yourself in the pile, trying to avoid thinking about the pain you will be going through.

Set aside you can see there is a book laying waiting for you, a post-it note on top.

Found this for you at the library, I hope you enjoy! Let me know if there are any others you would be interested in!

What nice girly handwriting, did Aria get this for you or someth-

From- Eric


You see that the book is Man of la Mancha, you're pretty excited to get the chance to read it now.

Sam finally leaves, the door shutting and John comes back over, plopping down to the ground. A well used pack of playing cards are pulled out and he sets up a game of Solitaire.

You don't say much as you open the book, reading through the first couple of pages easily enough.

As the time begins to pass your pain begins to grow. It gets to the point where you constantly reread over the same passage numerous times, unable to properly focus. You set down the book for now, and unfortunately notice that pain isn't the only thing you're feeling either.


You try to push it away and think about something else.

Maybe you can talk with John for now...
Learn about the war now that he doesn't have to be Sir John.
Ask if other girls go through this, 'cause we'd prefer not. How many feel forced to run away from home because... something reprehensible happens? Does everyone have to worry about a stalker and having their underwear stolen?

... if he doesn't mind, why is he afraid of fireworks?
You sit up, keeping yourself wrapped up tightly in the blankets. It's chilly, but your body feels colder then usual right now.

"Hey, John?"


"I...this might be a um...weird question..."

You don't really see him as a replacement for one, but John is...would have been, your father's age. It might be good to take the chance and ask him about something like this.

"Ask away."

"Um...most girls don't go through this kind of thing...right? Or like...what about running away from home? Do...a lot of kids do that? Like...because they were forced to...?"

You watch as John scraps his current setup and shuffles them back in. Must have been a losing hand.

"Well..." The cards are shuffled and pushes between one another. You notice that, oddly, many of them have creases down the center.

"I can't say that a majority of them go through somethin this...extreme. But don't think that just because you see a family with smiles everywhere they go that it means they are like that behind closed doors. Course there are plenty of kids who go through a normal enough life, but you might be surprised by how many of them don't. It's like a mask they put on to look normal when they go out, but really they're just hiding those cracks underneath."

The cards are laid out in formation again ans a new game starts up.

"You'll have kids runnin' off for different reasons. Course there will be those spoiled brats who ran off cause they couldn't handle bein' told 'no', but a lot of the others will have a good reason. Maybe ma and pa like to drink too much, or they talk with their fists, maybe it's the fourth week in a row that the electricity is out and there ain't food in the fridge, or maybe the house is too dangerous to stick around in. Drugs and alcohol will do that...it's a shame. Ain't the kids fault, but they don't feel safe stayin' there either and it doesn't feel like there's anyone else around to help. Maybe they aren't sure they can handle the streets, most of 'em are probably scared to hell and back...but they feel like there ain't no choice. Stuck between a rock n a hard spot."

"What...about stalkers? Do a lot of those kids have to worry about that too? Or like..having their stuff stolen...stuff like underwear..."

"Heavy question missy...but, I would have to say no. Most don't have to deal with stalkers. Not that the alternative is much better..."

"What...is that?"

John's face twists up at the thought of explain, gathering up his cards again and shuffling.

"Sure you want to hear?"


"Alright, this ain't goin' to be pretty but..." The cards are set down and John pulls out a cigarette, placing it in his mouth. He points at it for permission to light up and you comply.

The normal sent of tobacco begins to fill the room and John lets out a sizable cloud of smoke.

"I'm not going to say that you're lucky or anythin' like that. No way am I tryin' to like...say your situation was good at all. But for a lot of kids that run off...specially girls...it hardly ends well. They're out lost, confused, and penniless. Some guy...hell, even a woman, will come up and offer 'em work. Desperate, they'll agree. And then..." John stares off at the wall, cigarette hanging from his mouth limply.

"And then what?"

"...they earn money. They sell their bodies. Sometimes...they aren't asked...just...just taken. People know you ain't got a home to go back to and they assume you're just...free game. Just a few weeks ago they stormed into this guys house...sick fucker had girls chained up in his basement. Was sellin' em off and earnin' dirty money. Course, no one likes to hear about terrible things happening to good people so after the first week no one cared any more. Lisa..." John trails off, unsure if he should continue. He looks over at you, a somber look on his face.

"This ain't scarin' you too much, is it? Should I stop?"

Of course there's a large part of you that is frightened, but at the same time it feels like something you should know.

"You can keep going."

"Don't go repeatin' this round, but Lisa was almost like that."

"But...but she's so little..."

"Doesn't matter to some people. Was walking back one night, some shady fucker came up and asked me if I was interested in some of his wares. Told him to shove off till I heard this...just this tiny whimpering. Looked behind him and there's just this...itty bitty child curled up tryin' to warm up against a dumpster. Nearly got the cops called on me, but I broke his nose and took her outta that situation. I don't think anyone had actually...well, from the looks of it she just needed a few good meals and a bath. Used to be so skittish, would flinch anytime someone came near. Bruises all over her body...was awful."

"So...he was...was trying to offer her?" It hurts you to think about, it hurts you down badly.

"Yeah, seemed like it. I considered takin' her in to the police, but that would mean either her goin' back to her home or gettin' put in the system. I know the system enough to know that wasn't an option."

"Wait, you were-"

"Foster kid. Ma couldn't afford to keep me and my brothers, so since I was the youngest she gave me up. Can't say it was a good experience..." John is shuffling the cards over and over in his hands, thinking back to those times. "I wasn't in it for longer then four years...but it was a rough four years. I uh...I haven't told too many people bout this but, well...I trust ya enough missy. Secret 'tween the two of us, got it?"

"Yeah, I promise."

"I bounced between a few families. Most of them just saw me as a paycheck. But there was this one house...stayed there for six months. Everyone told me that the woman there was the sweetest thing ever, that I would love being there with my new foster sisters. It was pretty nice...but that woman? She was a monster. Strict rules, and even stricter punishments. Once I came home late from a baseball game, and even though my coach called up to let her know that I was goin' to be late she brought the fury of hell down on me anyways. Beat my ass raw and made me sleep out in the backyard in my uniform for a week. And then..."

Still shuffling.

"There were these nights...see, I was the only boy in the house so I actually had my own room. Couldn't lock or shut my door, but there were these nights were she would come in and...and..." You can see that John is choking up at this, but he takes some calming drags of his cigarette before continuing.

"She always blamed it on me...and for a long time I really did think it was my fault. Even after my pa found me and took back custody...it was my fault. My fault that she came in and touched me like that. Never told anyone about it and just...just thought about how I had to become good at something. At anything. Discovered I liked cooking, but dad never liked that option for me. Told me I might as well be a fag. When I told my friend in high school about what happened to me with that woman and how I hated it, he asked me the same thing. Just, 'what are you, gay man?'. So I just kept pushing myself to become better. Pushed aside the cookin' and tried to do better, better in sports, in school...even got accepted into a nice college. Dad never appreciated any of that though, kept askin' me when I was goin' to make something of myself, when I was goin' to become a man. So I dropped out and joined the military."

By the end it feels like John has gone off on a rant, but one that he so desperately needed. You let him speak freely, taking in everything he says.

"So..wait...you were...a woman t-touched you?"

"I know, I shouldn't be complainin'. Should be happy that I got a woman's attention." Ire drips in his words, none of it towards you. If anything it seems like self hate.

"N-No, I mean...that's awful. You should have been able to trust her and she just...took advantage of you and made you feel like that. It's terrible. I'm...I'm sorry you had to go through that."

The shuffling stops finally and John looks over at you. There's a glimmer of hope on his face and you can see his eyes had started to become misty.

"Ah...it's alright. Happened over twenty years ago...just need to learn to let go."

You remain silent at this. Are you really supposed to just...let these kind of things go? You rub Buttercup's tummy in the meantime, grimacing at the knots in your stomach.

"I know you just told me about all of that but..."

"Ask away. I'm here to keep you company."

You bite your lip, thinking about if you really should ask this question or not.

"The fireworks last night...they um...they...scare you...right? Why?"

"Ah that, seems pretty pathetic, don't it? Grown man scared of a little bit of flashing lights-"

"I don't think it's pathetic. It's nice knowing adults are scared of stuff too...well no I mean, I'm sorry that you're afraid of things but um...oh jeez..."

"Nah, I understand missy. You'd be surprised, adults have their own share of fears. The thing with the fireworks is a bit different though."

"How so?"

"Sam calls it PTSD. Figures I got it over in Ukraine."


"Yeah, stands for uh...lesse...post-traumatic stress disorder. Somethin' like that. It's not so much that fireworks scare me...used to love 'em. But...eh, this might get kinda down again..."

"You can tell me...I mean, only if you wanna tell me."

"Probably good to get it out. Well, you know I served my second service over in Ukraine. Was stationed in a little village over there for a long time. Little farmin' place. Folks were really glad I was over there with my troop. Couldn't hardly communicate with 'em at the beginning though. Had this one guy, Denys. He was a solider there, spoke English just well enough to help translate. Real swell guy, pretty funny. Had a daughter, but he lost his wife to some previous fighting-...ah, I'm going off here. Anyways, I was over there and we were actually preparing to evacuate the people to this other village couple miles over. Heard there was going to possibly be a strike in that place and we wanted to avoid casualties. Tip told us it would come in the afternoon of the next day. That was wrong though, and we woke up to gunfire in the middle of the night. They didn't wanna waste fuel on us, so they sent their own soldiers to do the job instead. A...a lot of good people didn't m-...make it out that day..."

The card in John's hand is fiddled with, and you can see how the large creases had formed over time.

"Lots of gun fire...lot of dodging bullets in the dark. Tried to help this one family evacuate to the jeep, went back for Denys. He gave me Nadia and said, 'No friend, go. Live another day. I must stay here and fight for my people.' I wish I could have convinced him to come with, but these...these bastards came up and tried to rush up to where we were. Denys gave us the chance to escape...his daughter is just bawling her eyes out the whole time...got her to the jeep with the family though and was ready to get the hell outta there. We had backup coming but there was no way they would get there soon enough. I was tryin' to save who I could. We only managed a little bit of distance but the bridge we needed to take...those bastards blocked it off with a tree log. Got out to move it, turns out it was a trap. More of these guys come out with guns they barely know how to handle. Knew how to operate them enough to...to open fire...Nadia was the only one who survived the first rounds of shooting...p-poor girl...had to cut the throat out of one of the guys...they didn't even have men fighting this battle. I killed this teenage boy...p-probably just one tryin' to feed his family...couldn't think about that though...had to save Denys's daughter. Took the dead boy's gun and hightailed it outta there. We didn't make it far. Caught a couple of rounds in my back and I just...just couldn't keep running any longer...they caught up to where we were and...and p-poor Nadia just...just put a bullet in her head without another thought about it. Was ready for one too but...turned out, the American symbol on my jacket saved me. They could use me as tradin' fodder...took me back to the village where it was...was just a slaughter. Course the only ones kept alive were us good ole boys in green. They were ready to cart us off, didn't realize we had backup comin'. They didn't stand a chance against our soldiers but...too late..it was...way too late..."

The card is bent in half in John's shaking hand, a tear running down his face.

"Made sure Denys was buried with his daughter. M-made sure he heard me tell him I was so...so sorry. Forced myself to dig their graves, even with metal still in my back. Nearly bled out...was the reason I was brought back. Was awarded a purple heart for my efforts. My failed efforts..."

The bent card drops out of his hand and to the floor.

"And...ever since then I've just been...not okay. Nightmares...terrible awful nightmares. Anything...anything that was even a little bit loud or sudden would set me off...i-it was terrible...couldn't hold down a regular job after that...I've uh...I've gotten better at it but...fireworks are still too much for me to handle..."

You have long since felt regret for asking John about this. He's staring off at the wall again and you're unsure how to help him.

"I'm...I'm sorry for asking..."


"I really am..."

"Huh...oh, right sorry...sorry, I'm fine now." It seems like John couldn't even remember what you just said, wiping his. The cigarette has long since died out and he tried to relight it again, hand shaking.

It...might be good to get him thinking about something else...

What would you like to do?

>It...might be good to get him thinking about something else...

Tell him that we'll be his Nadia for tonight ;)

The time is now, anon :^)

Push through our pain and hug John in an attempt to soothe his.

Since he did confide in us, we could tell him why we ran away. Why we're in the situation we are right now and needed Sam's help. How, some time after dad died, one of his colleagues showed up and convinced mom that we needed treatment for some disorder, but he used the opportunity to... rape us.

For weeks.

But John cannot tell anyone. Only Lawrence has known this much thus far.
Supporting this.
Seems mom was too deep in sorrow and the sauce to have been aware of what was happening or she made the mistake of plain trusting doctor Bower
We should be as honest as possible.
You hope that this is an okay thing to do, you never know with grown men...

Freeing yourself from the amass of blankets you crawl over to John as he manages to finally revive his smoke. You let him take a moment to settle his nerves with nicotine before trying to put your arms around him. It's a little unclear if he's letting you hug him or if he's too tired to try and deny it. You don't hug too tightly, afraid that he may realize what you're doing and feel weird about it.

"That was a lot to hear...I um...I appreciate that you were honest with me..." You speak slowly and softly, hoping that even if he's not paying attention to your words then the sound of your voice will be calming. "I really do...I hate when people assume that I can't h-handle stuff like that..."

This man you're hugging was abused as a kid...hurt similar to the way you were. The thoughts and images begin to bubble up but you do everything you can to push them away. John was honest with you, telling you the awful and personal experiences he went through. Even if he didn't mean to do it...even if it doesn't mean that he trusts you as much as you think he does...

You release your grip from John, not wanting to make him feel like he's trapped.

"I ran away from home b-because...something awful happened to me there." You place a hand over your stomach. "And it's the reason I had to get h-help from Sam and have to go through this right now..."

"W-Wait, little missy." John pulls his cigarette away with concern written on his face. "It's fine, you don't need to feel like you have to tell me-"

"No, it's fine. I don't mind...you told me about what happened to you and it...it feels like I should offer the same." You take slow breaths to steady yourself, allowing you the chance to gather your thoughts.

"My dad died a few years ago, so it's just been me and mom. She drank before but after his death it just kinda...sent her further into this depression I think. And so she was just...kinda unstable. We ended up picking up and moving her so suddenly a few months ago and I didn't find out why till recently. Dad was a doctor and one of his fr-...acquaintances...convinced mom that he could like...help me. She was worried that I was sick or something and he told her that he could fix me. I don't think she realized what he was doing...she was just always at the bottom of a bottle. Or maybe she made a mistake in trusting him or...something...I don't know. But I don't think she realizes that during those weeks...when she was putting medicine in my food so I would stay asleep all the time that um...t-that..."

Come on, you can do this.

"That man was...taking advantage of the situation...he um...he raped m-me. Constantly...and I didn't know it till o-one night when I w-was able to stay up. He came in and...and still t-took what he th-thought was his...afterward when he wasn't paying a-attention I hurt him and...and just ran out...and t-that's why I'm sitting h-here...g-getting rid of a...a b-...this...t-thing inside of me..." You're trying to keep from crying again, trying to keep strong and thick skinned.

"Some...sonofabitch...did that to you?"

"Yes...that man hurt me."

You're shocked when the cigarette in John's hand is bent in half, his hand shaking again but this time it's not in fear.

"Missy...if...if I ever..." John's voice is attempting to hold in a rage that you have never experienced from him, you almost feel afraid. "If I ever come across a bastard who's done that...the bastard who did that...I'd make sure that he faces a hell that the devil himself would cower at."


"There ain't nothing...nothing that makes my blood boil more then some smug bastards who think they can go around doin' that sorta thing...get off without punishment...hurt people how they want...hurt little kids-"

"The um...the ash is getting everywhere..." You point out that his cigarette is still lit and, now bent in half, is leaking tobacco out all over. John is quick to put it out, trying to keep from creating a larger mess then he already has. Once the ruined smoke has been taken care of, John comes back and kneels down in front of you. He takes your hand in both of his, grit and valor driving his words.

"Listen here, I know how awful people can make you feel. People you should have been able to trust, and how they'll try to make it seem like it's your fault. It's not, no matter what anyone else says. I can't take away what's already happened to you, but I can promise that when you're around me, there ain't no bastard who can lay a hand on ya. I sure as hell don't need a gun to keep that promise."

You're almost too startled to say anything and hastily try to find the words to say.

"I um...um...t-thank you..."

Was that the right response? You're not confident, but you can see the usual grin John has return on his face.

"You can count on me missy, I promise. If there's anything you need or anything you need to know, you can just come to me and ole John will take care of it."

The pain in your stomach reminds you of what's happening to your body right now, and while not intense there is still that craving feeling. It's annoying but you might be able to ignore it.

Despite all the pain you do feel somewhat sleepy, but you're unsure if you'll actually be able to fall asleep through all of this.

What do you want to do?
See what the others are doing.
Go to Bower's fortress of evil with John and end his reign of terror. John still has the gun by the way
Ignore the craving for now, we have no idea if it'll interfere with the effects of the medication. If it gets worse, we can ask for Sam and hear if he's heard back from anyone about our... other condition.

Offer to play cassino with John to pass time. If we win, he'll teach us to cook, if he wins, we'll be his sous-chef.

It's totally not rigged in our favor.
"Um...in that case will you show me how to play..?" You point at the pile of cards on the ground.

"What? You wanna learn to play poker missy?"

"Um...if that's what grown-ups play. I only know Go-Fish and War and stuff..."

"Not a problem! Always good to get another partner, ya know?" John motions for you to sit in front of him, gathering the deck in his hands again.

"Ah but...I prefer poker with more people...I'll still teach ya anyways but how bout I teach you another game I learned recently?"

"Oh, sure...what is it?" You watch as John deals out the cards, five of them being placed face up.

"Buddy taught me this after a trip to Nevada. He called it Texas Hold-em. Pretty similar to poker." You've never heard that name before but you are excited all the same.

John explains the rules and though you feel a little overwhelmed in the beginning he helps you out with a couple practice rounds.

"Startin' to get the hang of it?"

"Yeah. No...wait, yes. I think I got it." You watch as a new round is dealt out.

"Sweet, let's play for real. Lemme tell ya missy, there are a few things I don't hold back on. Cards are one of 'em. Hope you're ready."

"Yeah I am- wait, aren't you supposed to like...gamble something?"

"Used to use cigarettes and other commodities but I uh, don't think we really need to worry bout that here missy."

"Well um...if I like...win then you have to teach me how to cook."

"Yeah? And what about when I win?"

"Then I'll uh...be your helper in the kitchen...your um...zoo chef."


"Y-yeah, that's what I said! Anyways it's um...on the table now." You stand firm with your choice of collateral, giving John a look that shows you will absolutely not back down on it. It doesn't help when you giggle as Buttercup nudges her nose against your side, but your tactic is effective enough.


Wow...you're pretty bad at this.

You lose yet another hand to John and toss the cards.

"Ah! This is too hard-! I um...I mean, you win." You try to recover from your mini-tantrum, John enjoying his victory.



"You're goin' to help me wash soooo many dishes."


Sam knocks on the door, asking for you to come over to his room. John is 'dismissed' from his duty, but not before reminding you of the game victory he has.

You sit down and Sam asks you general questions, pain and nausea and if anything feels wrong.

"I have that cramping...it's pretty bad but I don't think I'll like...die or anything. I think that's the worst right now..."

"Good good. You should be back to normal, or at least close enough, by morning. Just stick around with me for another couple of hours and then I'll let you go join the others again."

You nod and begin eating the soup.

The chicken...

You watch as Sam tries to keep down Buttercup, who is leaping excitedly at him. You brought the book along to read if you get bored, but it seems like you'll be able to go see everyone else soon enough.

You settle down and begin reading, but once again the pain makes it a little difficult to concentrate. That and your craving...

What would you like to talk to Sam about?
Ask if he's heard anything about our other condition.

We got it from mom, she told us that much in the hospital, and we remember mom and dad yelling at each other over it some years ago. While it was... dormant?
And ask if the bite is related
You set the book in your lap, looking over at Sam as he reads a newspaper. You're a little scared to, but you know that you should ask him about your condition.

"Um...thanks, by the way...for getting the pills..." It would be smart to let him know you're grateful first.

"It's not a problem. Took a bit of poking around and pullin' some strings, but I managed them just fine."

"I hope that this hasn't been too much of a bother either but um...were you able to ask around about my...my condition?"

Sam looks up from the paper, and though it doesn't show on his face you can't help but feel a little bit intimidated.

"You mean the blood thing...right?"

You nod and the newspaper is set aside.

"Well...I did my best to ask around. Course there were a couple of other conditions that had similar symptoms that you mentioned, but none of them really seemed to line up with what you told me. That doesn't mean it isn't one of them, but with out testing with equipment and labs I just don't have access to it may be a long time before I figure it out...is there anything else you can tell me about it?"

"Um...mom mentioned that I was sick because of her when I went to see her recently. And...and I think I remember mom and dad fighting over it a few years ago too but...I can't be positive on that. Is...is it possible for something like a sickness to just kinda...stay in you before doing anything?"

"There's a term we use called remission. Now we usually use that only if a present illness regresses and the patient is not currently showing signs or symptoms. However, it is possible that you could have a hereditary disease that had not yet shown signs yet, and if your mother had the same then she might have known that it would begin affecting you later in life."

You feel like this can kinda make sense...sorta. Maybe. But there's still that spot on your stomach...

"What about those scars I showed you? Could they have anything to do with it?"

"Called them bites...didn't you?"

"Yes sir."

"I've thought about it, and the more I try to think about what could have bit you the less sense it makes. Why wouldn't there be other signs of teeth around? They're pretty far apart too, so I doubt it was something like a snake. Didn't look like they were that big either but rather..."

"But what?"

"Now, this is just speculation. It's all I can go on. When you showed me the marks they were already too healed up for me to make a proper examination , but if I had to guess I would say two things about them. One, that they aren't bite marks. I'm fairly certain on that, it just doesn't line up with any others I've seen. Now, and this is just a guess too, but I would wager that they're as large as they are because it's a repeated puncture. I doubt that they would look so prominent from a one time occurrence, especially if you didn't notice them at all." It sounds like Sam is pondering on all of this still. You just feel...confused.

"So then...what's wrong with me...am I just...some kind of freak or something?"

"Nah, don't say that. The human body is strange, it may be something simple and I'm just not seeing it right now..."

For some reason, you highly doubt that.

"But don't worry. I'm still going to ask around. I'm meeting up with a buddy from my time in the service soon, I'll grill him a bit and see if he's heard anything similar to this too."

"Alright...thanks..." Before you can think of any more questions a frantic knocking echoes from the door. You watch as Sam gets up to answer it, John on the other side.

He looks...extremely worried.

"Sam...man, this is serious." John whispers something that you can't quite make out next.

"What...are you sure? I...wait..." Sam motions for you to come over. You grab Buttercup in your arms for a sense of security, coming over to where the men stand.

"You said you were feeling alright, correct?" Sam is speaking so seriously, it feels almost as if you are being grilled.

"Yes sir."

"I'd like to keep watch over you for a few more hours but...something has come up. You can go join the others, if anything feels wrong to be afraid to let us know though." Sam is speaking in a rush, guiding you out of the door and towards Jessica's room. As you look back you can see John is holding something in his hands...

Is that Lawrence's notebook?

Before you can ask anything you are pushed inside.

In the room you can see Marilyn, Lisa, Clark, and Thompson are gathered around the radio, listening to a show. Betty is in a chair in the corner, working on another knitting project, Cecilia asleep in her shoe box.

What do you want to do?
Join the crowd around the radio.
Goddamnit Law drew us kissing didn't he.


>in her shoebox

How tiny is the baby? Fuck.
Pace. Try sitting down and not being worried. Struggle.
Check how tiny the baby is to sate our curiosity.
Big ole shoe boxes for boots had one right next to me when I typed;_; and an itty bitty wee lass that is not even 3 weeks old.
My vote still stands

>Pace. Try sitting down and not being worried. Struggle.
Started reading through archives yesterday, finally caught up. The Description at the top doesn't really seem to fit with the quest too well; and was why I held off on reading it for so long. Glad I decided too though, not a bad way to sate my Sadism.
Sue here, grocery shopping. Making a nicer OP paste is a goal of mine, but I do a lot of IRL stuff on the side of updates so I apologize.
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Naaah, don't apologize. Just give me more debilitating moral choices through struggling with Vampirism
What's going on...? You feel even more confused right now, and with the pain in your stomach...

You pet Buttercup as you pace the room, trying not to think too much about the situation. Try not to panic too much about it. What's wrong with your body...what's your sickness...why did John have Lawrence's notebook?

This is way too much for you to think about...

You release Buttercup to the room, trying to gain a better hold of yourself. Everything is just...confusing right now.

Cecelia's cries come out from the box, and Betty is quick to set aside her work and pick up the baby.

"There there, hungry right now I bet...ah, would you grab her bottle? There should be some formula inside already, it's over by the counter."

Ah, she's talking to you.

You go and find the room temperature milk and bring it over to Betty, watching as she silences Cecelia's fussiness with it.

"There we go, all happy now. And how have you been?" She looks up at you, Cecilia drinking happily enough from the bottle.

"Um..o-okay...shouldn't that be warm?" You point at the milk and Betty chuckles a bit.

"Maybe if it was icy, but the way it is now is fine. She's eating it well enough. Most babies are fine with warm, cold, whatever, so long as they're getting dinner."

You watch as the milk slowly drains away, Cecelia's wrinkled hands balled up near her face.

"Really, she needs her mother's milk but...ah, maybe eventually."

She needs her mother, is what you want to say. You continue to watch the baby feed, listening in to the radio. It sounds like they're listening to some sci-fi show, a pretty kiddish one too. Doesn't stop the boys from gasping and getting excited every time the hero says something.

There's a pop and you can see that Cecilia has had her fill from formula.

"Would you like to burp her?" Betty asks, wiping away remaining milk from her mouth.

"I um...s-sure...I'll try...how do I do it?"

A small towel is draped over your shoulder and Betty shows you how to hold up Cecilia against your body. One hand holds her up while you use the other to pat at her back, scared of going too hard.

"Ah you can put some more force into it. I know she may seem little, but babies are much more fragile then you think. She'll let you know if it's too much."

"Um...o-okay..." You go just a smudge harder, but you soon find the just right amount of force to use. As you continue to do this you keep looking up at Betty, as if trying to make sure that you're doing this right. All she does is smile and nod, and you continue your work.

Finally you hear a small burp from the infant on your shoulder, it almost startles you.

"Is she good now...?"

"Sounds like it. If she isn't fussing too much you can just lay her down again. Make sure it's on her back though, never place a baby on their stomach."

You carefully handle Cecilia down from your shoulder and to the box again. She wriggles about, sounding like she's ready to cry. For some reason you think it's due to the mess around her mouth, and apologizing you wipe her clean. Of course you realize how silly this is, but she quiets down all the same. You watch as she begins to settle down, her soft hair sticking up all over and bright blue eyes hiding behind fluttering eyelids.

"Did they find Lawrence?"

"Huh?" You look away from Cecilia, a bit embarrassed by how fixated by her you were.

"Sam had came by earlier, saying he was looking for Lawrence. Did he ever find him?"

"I don't th-...know."

"Hm, well maybe Jessica will see him on her way back."

"Where is she anyways?"

"From what I heard she was meeting up with someone...family, I think."

"Oh...?" Family? Like...her parents? Would she really go up and meet with them?

"Yes, she seemed pretty excited about it too. I think she went with Aria."

"Will they be back tonight?"

"I think so, but not for a while."

"AH man! It's over! I don't wanna wait for next weeeeek!" Thompson rolls about on the ground in a fit, the credits playing for their now finished show.

"It was dumb." Marilyn retorts matter of factually, arms crossed. Lisa looks over and follows her actions, regardless if she enjoyed it or not.

"No way! You're dumb! It was like...super cool!"

"All he did was shoot everything in the face and then got all these girls following him! It's so unrealistic!"

"Whatever! It's fun!"

"It's dumb."

"Nu uh! You are!"

You can only watch as the two kids battle it out, Clark watching helplessly as Lisa mimics all of Marilyn's actions.

...where is Lawrence at...why did John have his notebook? It worries you but you really aren't sure what to do about it...he isn't in his room, right? Would he have left the notebook in there or something? John mentions the doors can't be locked when you leave...you're just not sure what to think of all this.

It's about 3 in the afternoon right now, what would you like to do?
Try and find someone to eavesdrop off of for information, or sneak into Lawrence's room for clues on the matter.
Talk to the kids, see if Marilyn knows whats up
Let's stick to the kid's room and help Betty keep order. We can't go in there and start going through his stuff, he'd probably get angry and disappointed.

Maybe press our ear against the wall and listen for Lawrence. If he's asleep, we should be able to hear him snore, right? We'd recognize that anywhere.
I think the implication is that He's gone and in trouble
He could just be passed out drunk in his room, though. That wouldn't exactly be unlike him.

Yes, but gotta be IC.
>Ah you can put some more force into it. I know she may seem little, but babies are much more fragile then you think.
Ah fucking hell my words are running together again my bad, my bad. Aren't man. Babies are so fucking versatile, you could use those fuckers like basketballs.
>It's about 3 in the afternoon right now, what would you like to do?
Let's put that mouth to work and suck some bDICK
fukking hell, a combination of exhaustion and stupid fingers has left the first post a mess. It wont lemme delete to fix so please make due.
Fucking hell, a couple spelling/word mistakes here. It is 3 in the morning here, am tired. My bad, my bad. Will see yall in the morning ;_;
SHit, fuck. everything a mess hol up.
See if you can't make out what it is through the bag, without opening it.
You leave Betty to return back to her work and head over to the bickering kids. Clark notices your presence immediately and grabs at Thompson, hushing him and trying to get him to stay silent.

"Hey guys. What's going on?" You come to realize that you are the oldest one of the group now and it's somewhat of a strange feeling. As if you need to act like a grown up even though they are only a few years younger then you.

"Bored. It's so boring here." Thompson says, releasing himself from Clark's grip. "There ain't nothing to do inside, and we can't play outside. Jessica left us here and there's just-"

"Eric brought you books! You were the one who said books were stupid!" Marilyn is quick to point over at a pile of children novels.

"They are! There's not enough pictures in them and they're just about borin-"

"Cool! Cool adventures!"

"Whatever. We've been stuck here, that's it." Thompson crosses his arms and lays back, bored of everything around him.

"Uh...yeah. It's boring..." Clark adds in, looking every which way but at you.

"Well um...here lemme see this..." You take the radio, tuning it to different stations. Eventually you come to one that is partially stuck on someone talking, the majority of their words covered up by static.

-her King Jr-....-admitted into hos-...-expected to re-...

"Here, Clark." You address the younger boy, passing him the radio. Thompson looks just as surprised to see that you have put him in charge.

"This station is holding some super secret government messages, I need you to decode the secret message. Listen...uh...between the lines."

Thompson looks like he's about to respond about how ridiculous that sounds, but Clark speaks up first.

"Ah y-yeah! We can do that! I'll have this figured out for you! C-C'mon Tommy..." Clark grabs Thompson away, pulling him to a corner so that he can focus.

"Good, they were annoying." Marilyn comments, adjusting her bangs. Lisa watches as she does this and tries to copy it with her own hair.

"I needed them away cause I need to ask you something..."

"Me? What is it?"

"It's about Lawrence, do you know what's going on with him?"

"Um..." Marilyn looks back to make sure the boys are busy before turning back to you. She covers Lisa's ears up before speaking again, softly.

"I know he was supposed to stay here today. Pappy asked him to and it sounded like he said yes. It...sounded like he was supposed to stay here with you for the um...pills or whatever. I wasn't supposed to know that...I'm sorry..."

"It's fine...is there anything else?"
"Um...Pappy searched all over for Law, but he isn't anywhere around it seems like. He talked to that guy up front, um...Wally? Warren? He said that Law had gone out this morning but that he never came back in. Pappy thought that like...maybe he had left for good or something but like...all of his stuff is still here and he wasn't carrying anything on him. I mean, nothing like a bag I think. There might have been more but I didn't want Pappy to know I was listening, sorry..."

"No that's okay...that's more then I knew before." It sounds like Lawrence was just walking out for something...like he was supposed to come back soon.

"Did he mention anything last night?"

"N-...no, not to me anywa-"

"Lemme listen!" Lisa breaks away from Marilyn's hands, upset that she has not been included into the conversation.

"S-sorry!" Marilyn backs away enough, giving Lisa room to fume.

"Talking about Lawrence, right?" Lisa asks, looking up at you.

"Um...y-yeah but don't mention i-"

"John um...John found his book thingy."

The notebook?

"What? Where?"

"Um...um..." Lisa tries to think, wracking her brain over this hard. "I heard John, he talks loud sometimes. Was in the bathroom and um...he talked with Sam and said umm...um the book was...outside. Yeah! Outside! Sidewalk!"

"Wait, he wouldn't drop something like that, would he? How would he like...talk to people?" Marilyn asks, Lisa only offering a shrug.

Lawrence has dropped it before but it always had been when he was doing something or was distracted, you doubt that he wouldn't have noticed if he was just walking down the street.

"And he's not in his room, right?" You look up at Marilyn, and this time she is the one to give you an unknowing shrug. You figured that John and Sam would check inside there but on the off chance they hadn't...

"I want to make sure he isn't like...passed out drunk or something but I would feel bad going through his things..." You murmur, mainly trying to think to yourself.

"Well you don't have to go through his things, just make sure he's not in there, you know? Nothing wrong with just standing in there, right?" Marilyn whispers, the suggesting sounding both enticing and wrong.

"I don't know..."

"Just a quick look. It'll be fine...what if he's in there? Or like, maybe he's left you a note or something! What if your...your prince needs you!" Despite the words, Marilyn sounds so serious at this last part.

"I uhh...o-okay...just a quick look...just to make sure he isn't in his room." You rise up, Marilyn quick to follow.

"I'll go with you!"


"It's kinda scary out there, plus if he did leave you a note what if it's like...hidden?"

"We aren't digging through his stuff-"

"I know! Just looking!"

"I wanna come!" Lisa looks angry and confused, once again excluded.

"No! I mean, no. I have a super secret job for you too, alright? Can you handle that?"

Lisa nods quickly to show her determination to the task.

"Go over to granny Betty and keep her busy, alright? Just have her tell you stories or something, but don't let her know we snuck out, okay? If you do then um...then they'll lock me in a dungeon!"



"Kay! Can count on me!" Lisa gives you a princess curtsy, and you do your best to return it. You watch carefully as she runs up to Betty, speaking a mile a minute and with just as much enthusiasm. With Marilyn quick in tow you slip out into the hallway and move over to Lawrence's door.

You offer a courtesy knock.

As expected, nothing.

You still feel unsure of this, but Marilyn encourages you to go ahead and enter. Slowly you swing the door open, bracing yourself for whatever may be inside. To your relief and disappointment it's nothing. Well, just not Lawrence. All of his stuff is in here still.

"Remember...not digging through his stuff!" You whisper to Marilyn before beginning your search.


It's hard, not wanting to touch anything, but you can't find anything out of the ordinary. No note, nothing big missing, nothing broken, just...a whole lot of nothing.

"Maybe he fell asleep drunk outside again..." Marilyn whispers, looking over at the blankets.

You really doubt it, but at this point you would prefer any kind of answer. You once again look over the box of junk, desperate for any kind of clue.

"What's in here?" You look over to where Marilyn is kneeling, among Lawrence's bags. She's pointing at something behind the duffel bag...

Wait, that's the plastic bag.

"You really shouldn't b-"

"There's like...a stuffed animal in here though."

Your heart beats quickly at the sound of that.

Is it...really Ms Buttons?

What would you like to do?
Get back to the kid's room. There's nothing for us here and Lawrence probably has his reasons. We can't just go betraying his trust.
This is an emergency, we need to figure out how to save our prince, so dig through all his shit. Lawrence will understand
"D-...don't touch it. Just let me um...here, let me take a look." It shouldn't be so bad if you just take a quick look, right?

Marilyn takes a few steps back and allows you to examine the plastic bag. It's yellow and there's a logo on the side...looks like one of the dollar stores. You're reluctant to, but decide that just picking it up won't do any harm. If Lawrence finds out that you moved it you'll just have to apologize a thousand times and express your worry and concern about him.

Holding it up, you can tell for sure now that there is a stuffed animal inside.

A bunny.

One that...looks exactly like yours does.

Did Lawrence have it all this time? Why would he lie about it...

From the way it's tied you can just pull on one of the sides and look in...no need to open it completely.

You just...need to be sure.

From the outside it looks just like Ms Button, her bead eyes and button nose pressed against the side.

How awful...being forced into something that cramped...

Your heart races as you peek through the gap in the bag, peek at your bunn-


No...this isn't Ms Buttons.

It...looks so much like her. The stitching on the ears is the same as how your grandmother does it...

Wait...this isn't a rabbit either...it's a dog...it looks so much like Ms Buttons though...

A dog...?

It looks familiar...the more you look at it...

Your...dad's was a dog...wasn't it?

You try to remember...you saw it only a few times as a child. It was kept in your father's room before he died, but you think grandmother might have moved it at some point after he died. You had your own toy so you never bothered with trying to see his.

The stitches look just like the ones on Ms Buttons though...the fabric on this is a faded blue. Light sure, but not the cream color of your animal.

You pull the bag open a tad more to look inside. If you recall there was something about the doll...yeah, there it is. A large patch on the tummy, from where your father must have mishandled it at some point.

There is no doubt about it now. It looks similar to Ms Buttons, but this is not your doll.

This was your father's.

You're trying to think of how Lawrence would have this when you notice something odd on the stomach. There's another patch, right above the original. You say patch, but it looks like another piece of fabric just sewn on top of the original. It's so much newer looking then the rest too...your grandmother wouldn't add something like that just willy-nilly. Why is there a tiny bow on the fabric too? That's weird...

Actually, it looks kind of familiar too.

What an odd choice of fabric though...it looks kind of like...


Isn't this a piece of fabric from one of your missing panties?

"Bunny, we should head back..." Marilyn whispers.

You feel rather sick.

"Ah-...y-yeah, we should..." You hastily put the bag back to where it was before, hoping it doesn't look too out of place.

Over at the door you're ready to head out, but there's the sound of men outside. Just two of them...they sound weird. Not drunk but...man...they are talking about some pretty obscene things.

As they begin to describe some pretty gross sounding things they would like to do with a woman you are hoping that Marilyn doesn't understand any of it. You can't help but move her behind you when the word 'Asian' pops up, along with a strewn of acts they would like to do...

You can feel Marilyn clutch to your arm, but you are filled with relief when their voices begin to travel away and down the hall. For a few moments you wait to make sure they are actually gone before leading Marilyn back to the kid's room.

As you enter you can see that Lisa has kept Betty's attention the whole time, though when you come back she stops all speech and gives you a big thumbs up.

"I'm sorry we didn't find anything..." Marilyn broods.

"It's fine, I didn't actually expect much. It was good to check anyways though."

You try to reassure Marilyn, but it doesn't seem to help her mood much.

It looks like Clark is still determined to find the imaginary message, Thompson just sitting there bored.

You just...don't know how to think about any of this...

An energetic knock at the door pulls you out of your thoughts and you go to check it for Betty. Standing on your tiptoes, you can just barely see through the peephole, just enough to see the cluster of black.

"Hi Sarah." You greet her, swinging open the door. Mabel is right behind her, aprons in her arms. Sarah is carrying a large pizza box in one hand, the smell from it wafting in.

"Hope you guys like discount pizza that was five minutes away from being thrown out." She says, the two women walking inside.

"Is that pizza? Ah yeah!" Thompson is quick to lighten up, jumping to his feet. Clark doesn't want to break away from his decoding, but the prospect of pizza makes him scramble to his feet.

"Yeah, don't go too crazy." Mabel warns as Sarah sets the box down, opening it and grabbing paper plates. She serves a slice to each of the children, allowing you and Marilyn to grab your own.

"So, how's it goin'?" Mabel drops to the ground, balancing two slices in her hands. Sarah takes a seat next to you, Marilyn looking unsure if she should be sitting with the adults or the children.

"Um...fine, I guess..." You say, taking a bite.

"Yeah, same here. Work s u c k s." Mabel bemoans, stuffing her mouth full shortly after.

"Wouldn't be so bad if the cook could read your handwriting."

"I write fine, thank you very much."

Sarah can only give Mabel a look that tells you this is not true in the slightest.

What would you like to talk about?
Ask about the gross sounding things those guys were talking about, and why they would want to do them
Ask her if there's anything cool about her work
Ask if they saw Lawrence this morning. He's just up and disappeared without his notebook.

Could we not, though. There's a time and place for gross things, and it's not when eating.
Seconding on both points
Not to mention that Marilyn is right there and we did get rather protective during the incident
True, and it's not exactly news to us that some men to want fucked up sex shit. We kinda have personal experience with that.
Do cute things with Marylin
You decide not to mention that you and Marilyn had been snooping around in Lawrence's room. It might make you sound like a creep, plus it would be good to try and distract yourself for now.

"Does anything cool happen at work?" You direct the question at both of them, taking another bite of pizza. It's somewhat harrowing to notice that the pepperoni tastes...off.

"Nah, it's either boring or you deal with some real jerks. I hate it." Mabel is quick to answer, and it sounds like she is letting out some pent up frustration at the same time.

"I wouldn't call it boring, but I sure as hel-...heck, don't want to do it forever either." Sarah puts in a piercing on her nose, a small stud on the side. "Mainly just serving old people and businessmen on lunch-"

"Man, I can't wait till I'm the one walking in with a suit. I hate these stupid things!" Mabel tosses her balled up apron across the room, Buttercup rushing over to roll around in it and drag it off to her hoard.

"Good luck trying to get that back." Marilyn says. "She guards those things with her life. Pretty much belongs to her now."

"She can do that crummy job for me then. I don't even good tips."

"That's cause it takes you three tries before you get an order right." Sarah says between bites.

"Just that once!"

"Anyways, to answer your question. Nah, waitressing is pretty boring. At that place anyways, now if it was a bar or something...speaking of that, I actually have a gig coming up. A real one." Sarah sounds proud of herself.

"You mean your band?"

"Kinda, kinda. Not as cool as my whole band playing, but I have a friend from college, plays piano. She's playing for this gathering for like a country club or something. Saw her the other day and she asked if I wanted to play bass with her. I don't usual do jazz, but I can swing it for this. Course Eric is excited about it. Damn near shrieked my ears off when I told him." Sarah messes with a piercing in her ear as she says this, and you can easily imagine Eric's reaction. "Got a couple tickets for it though. It's Saturday, at like...5 I think. Gotta dress up nice, but you'll at least get dinner if any of you guys wanted to come out."

"Man, Aria would love that I bet. Still kinda sore at me..."

"I bet so, never thought I could see a prep get so pissed."

"Could I go too?" Marilyn speaks up, and from the way she is speaking it's obvious that she doesn't feel comfortable trying to speak past the adults.

"Yeah, I don't care. You guys can be my fans and cheer. 'slong as you're cool bout it."

Marilyn lights up at the prospect of getting to tag along, though she tries to stifle it to remain mature looking.

As you finish your slice of pizza you can't but think back to Lawrence again.

"You guys didn't see Lawrence this morning, did you?" You do your best to not sound too upset or concerned, even though you so desperately are.

"Law? Yeah, I saw him." Mabel pushes her empty plate away, stretching her legs out on the floor. "Way earlier this morning. Don't go tellin' her, but Aria thinks I quit smokin', so I had to sneak out for a quickie. Didn't wanna be around those jackasses that love to hang out up front and stood out by the door. Law walked by just as I was headin' in, said he was just goin' for a walk or something. Looked pretty tired and like he'd been steaming over something, but it was also like six in the morning and I was freezing my ass off so I didn't pester him or nothin'. Why you ask?"

"He...was supposed to stay here today."

"That guy always runs off though. Maybe he went and found some work."

"They found his notebook out on the sidewalk though..." Marilyn says this for you and Mabel looks somewhat surprised.

"Really? I didn't see him drop it. Maybe I didn't see it but that'd be weird for him not to notice. Dude hates using his voice, makes him nervous and I think it embarrasses him too. Only heard him use it like, twice and both times it just made him a wreck."

"I'm sure he's fine. He's a grown man, I don't think you need to worry about him getting into trouble or anything." Sarah adds this in quickly and it feels like she's just trying to keep you calm. Maybe you are freaking out over nothing...

"I um...I need to wash off..." You excuse yourself, getting up and locking yourself in the restroom. You set up your extra source of light and stand there for a bit, trying to calm yourself down.

He'll be back.

It'll be fine.

Lawrence will come back...maybe a bit hung-over or something, and then you can bully him for making you so scared.

Yeah, that's what will happen. He'll apologize and you'll feel silly about getting so worked up.

Now, you just need to try and get through a freezing shower.


Second time around, it hasn't gotten any easier. You are relieved to notice that the blood has slowed down significantly from earlier and that your cramping has gone down. Your craving is still there, but it's nothing too terrible at the moment either.

You dress up in fresh clothes, wishing you had a towel of some sort. You come back out, trying to run your hand through short choppy hair and see that Aria has joined the group. Jessica is now where around though...

You join the girls back in your little group, trying not to shiver.

"How was your day?" You ask between chattering teeth.

"It was fine, Jessica just wanted someone to go with her while she saw her aunt." It looks like Aria has just gotten back, removing her coat as she speaks and holding it in her lap.

"Not to be nosy or any-"

"I'll be nosy. How'd it go?" Sarah interrupts you, excited to hear the news.

"Pretty well, actually. Her aunt is only a bit older then me. And of course she was like, over the moon to see Jessica. She's staying the night at her place, I'm going back to get her in the morning."

"Aw man, that means I gotta deal with those brats..." Marilyn laments as she glances over to the boys stuffing their faces and trying to talk at the same time.

"She'll be back tomorrow though, wanted me to tell you 'sorry' bout leaving them with you."

"I hope she has a good time." You say, thankful that you at least know Jessica is safe.

That still leaves Lawrence though...

"Jessica looked excited to see her aunt. The way they talked and stuff made it look like they were sisters or something."

As Aria talks you can't help but continue to shiver. Marilyn must notice as she offers you a quick hug, her body much warmer then yours. She doesn't say anything, but you can tell she feels a bit wary about doing it. Maybe not wary but more like, shy?

"Thanks." You say and Marilyn nods, letting you go quickly and looking away. Maybe she feels bad that she couldn't do anything to help you find out where Lawrence is.


Sarah tells Aria about the country club event, and as expected she gets excited. Mabel becomes subjected to Aria's gushing over getting ready for it and surprisingly Mabel puts up with it fairly well. After a bit Sarah gets up and leaves, saying that Eric should be back soon.

You listen as Mabel complains about her day at work to Aria, who tries to tell her that it's fine and that she won't be there forever. They talk like they usually do, but there's a look in Mabel's face that tells you that it's not the exactly the same as before. They excuse themselves to their own room just a bit later.

Lisa comes over to you at one point, holding one of the books in her hands.

"Can you read?" She asks, presenting the book to you. "I like the picture."


There's a drawing of a little girl surrounded by more books she's reading, you're a bit surprised that Lisa would want a chapter book like this. You agree to this and Lisa goes over to the blankets, nestling down and preparing for you.

Sitting down by her, Marilyn coming to join with Buttercup in hand. You start, feeling a little shy by reading out loud. As you go through the pages you get better, even donning voices for the different characters. When the boys come over, (mostly) Clark interested in hearing you read, you keep it up, doing your best to be entertaining with it. Betty listens in as she rocks and feeds Cecilia in her arms.

By the time you're fully warmed up to having an audience, Lisa yawns loudly and flops over.

"Sleepy. Finish later please."

"But she was about to go to the Ms Honey's hous-"


Clark looks rather upset at being shut down, but Lisa is stern with her decision. You fold the corner of the page down to mark your spot and assure him that you'll finish the story later.


With Betty's help, you manage to get the kids ready for bed. They ask you where Jessica is, Lisa being the most upset at hearing that she'll be gone for the night. She throws a temper tantrum and hides herself underneath the covers, trying to cover her sobbing. You have no idea how to handle the situation, but Betty tells you to let her work it out and just be there for her once she calms down.

You help Marilyn put her hair in the bun, though not very well.

"Gotta stay awake till Pappy comes and tells me good night..." She yawns, letting you know that she won't be falling asleep.

She is, of course, wrong, and asleep soon after laying down. You read more of La Mancha by flash light, waiting for all the kids to fall asleep. Betty is staying in the room tonight, taking a spot nearby. You're ready to turn in for the night, however yo feel Lisa turn from her spot and hold you tightly.

"Jess will be back...right?" She whispers, trying to hold back tears.

"Yeah, she will."


"I promise."

"Princess promise?"

"Party Princess promise."

Lisa seems satisfied with this answer, even if her eyes are still teary. You let her grip tightly to your body for comfort, you brushing your hand over her hair till she's asleep. You hold her too, thinking about how Lawrence is still missing. You feel anxious, a terrible worry sinking in your stomach.

It takes some time, but you manage to sleep.


"-sus Christ..!"

You open your eyes, hearing muffled words from Sam's room. You can't help but sit up, adjusting your eyes to the dark.

Maybe Sam just tripped over something in the dark. You stretch and hear the sound of John's voice this time, from the hallway and entering Sam's room.

"-hell...Lawrence? What the hell happened? What the hell happened to you?"

You feel yourself jump to attention immediately.

What do you do?
Rush to see what happened to Lawrence D:
Quickly stir Betty so she can watch the door, then catch Lawrence. Why do they sound like something bad happened...
Run to Lawrence's side but make sure someone locks the door behind you
>inb4 trying to run to Lawrence just gets us fainting with a bunch of blood gushing down our legs
Okay, but is that your suggestion?
Your heart is racing when you turn over to Marilyn, trying to gently shake her awake.

"Nff...whu-...Bunny? What's wrong...?" Marilyn groggily raises up, rubbing her eyes as she tries to adjust to the dark.

"I need you t-"

"-otta stop the bleedi-"

"Lock the door behind me!" You pull Marilyn to her feet and over to the door. In your rush it's difficult to unlock the door but you manage it, leaving Marilyn confused in the room as you stumble out into the hallway.

There are drops of blood leading up to Sam's slightly opened door, and your breath catches.

You can't help yourself when you push through the door, taking a look at the scene before you.

The blood drops lead up to where Lawrence is on the floor, collapsed as John holds up his body from behind. Sam is knelt down in front of Lawrence, a growing pile of bloodied tissues at his side.

"I need a cloth, just...Jesus...hold on a moment." Sam pushes himself up, over to an opened case. Once he is out of the way the source of all the blood is painfully obvious.

Blood has absolutely stained the front of Lawrence's shirt, a steady stream coming down from his neck to add to the growing red. The rest of the clothes not drenched in blood are a filthy, dirt covered mess, his shirt ripped up near the collar. Looking up at his face, you can't help but gasp and cry out.


"What? You shouldn't be in here!" Sam notices you standing there, trying to come over to block the way.

"Sam! You need to do somethin', quick...ah, c'mon Law, stay awake..." John brings Sam back over, but the image of Lawrence is already burnt into your mind.

It wouldn't be so terrible if it was just the bruises and cuts, if it was just a swollen left eye and a bruised up face. The blood on his shirt is all from one spot, from the right side of his face.

It appears like someone has sliced Lawrence's cheek open, trailing from the corner of his mouth and towards his ear.

"Gonna need to sew this up..." Sam sounds frustrated, and understandably so. When his hand pulls back it is drenched in blood.


Amazingly sweet blood...


Just think of it as his...as Lawrence's blood.

Lawrence who is semi-conscious and in a terrible condition.

"Can you fix him! You have to!" You try to keep from shouting but your voice comes out loudly anyways.

"Quiet...just need to...shut that door please..."

You're quick to follow Sam's order, though you come back over even though he doesn't want you to. Keeping a few feet back you try to watch as he works.

The cut travels only partially across his cheek, not that it makes it any less awful. Sam applies some chemicals to a rag and presses it against the wound. Instantly Lawrence struggles against it, twisting and turning in John's arms as he keeps a firm hold on him.

"Shit just try and take it Law, gotta do it." John has his arms wrapped underneath Lawrence's, and you can see the purpose is more to hold him still rather then up.

Sam once against presses the rag against the cut and while Lawrence doesn't try to pull away as fiercely this time there is the sound of a desperate and raspy cry of pain. You want to help, but there's nothing you can do right now but watch.

Watch and try to ignore the smell, though watching Lawrence being brought to tears is more then enough to ruin your appetite.

"Just hold on, I have to get this shut now...just...dammit boy..." Sam goes back to his supplies, preparing to close the wound.

"Lawrence..." You cry softly, his one good eye darting up to look at you. His hand rushes up to cover his cheek, flinching as soon he touches it.

"Stop it man! You gotta keep it clean!" John pulls Lawrence's hand away and instead he looks away from you, trying to hide his wound.

Sam comes back with a needle, thread, and what appears to be pliers. Threading the needle he looks over at you, his face twisted up at what is about to happen.

"I don't suggest you watch, this might get pretty grisly for you."

"I just want him to be better! Please! Fix him! F-Fix Lawrence..." Your hands are clutched at your chest, trying and failing to keep calm.

"He'll live, don't you worry." Sam takes Lawrence's chin in his hand and turns him to look forward. Lawrence tries to hide his face again and Sam has to jerk him back.

"Dammit boy...hold still..."

"Y'gotta hold still Law. We're fixin' you up...you're going to scare the girly."

Lawrence is reluctant, but allows Sam to do his work.

Each time the needle enters his skin, you try not to flinch. Each time there's a new cry of pain from Lawrence you force yourself to not reach out and hold him.

Seven stitches line up his cheek. The wound is closed and has begun to clot finally though, and the biggest concern is taken care of.

You sit by silently, watching as Sam patches up the rest of his face, it being much easier then his cheek was. Lawrence is struggling to stay awake, keeping his gaze away from you. John notices that the bruises continue down past Lawrence's neck and assists in removing his clothes.
In just his undershirt and boxers you can see that his entire body has been put through hell and back.

"How bad did they get you..." Sam is just as astonished by the marks as you are. You stay idly by as he attempts to treat him. After some time has passes Sam backs away, wiping his hands clean.

"There ain't much I can do about these...you're just going to have to ride them out till they heal up."

John releases Lawrence and helps him to unsteady feet. He tries to offer a hand but Lawrence stumbles off, leaving his clothes behind and going to the door.

"Lawrence, you really should stay here. It w-" Sam's warning goes unheeded and Lawrence leaves the three of you behind.

Sam lets out a frustrated sigh, John starts cleaning his own hands.

"Where is he going?" You ask, no longer trying to hide your fear and concern.

"Probably his room, damn boy is so stubborn sometimes." Sam begins to gather up the bloodied mess around him and you do your best to keep your eyes off them.

"What happened to him? Why was he so...so.."

"Dunno, he just staggered to my door like that. Couldn't get an answer out of him, but I also needed to get him fixed up right away. I doubt he'll be giving me a good answer tomorrow either..."

"Missy, you really outta head back to bed now."


"Don't you worry about him, he'll be fine. Guy can take a hit...or several..." John grimaces at this a bit. "We need to get this cleaned up though, so head on to bed."

John begins to help Sam clean up the blood, you can tell they're waiting to talk about things after you leave. Slowly you leave the room and go out to the hallway, closing the door behind. Going towards the kid's room you can see that Lawrence's door isn't closed all the way.

What do you do?
Cuddle the law and give his wounds the succ so they heal faster.
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Tell Lawrence we're coming in.

And to not hide.

... offer to clean and mend his wounds since it'd benefit the both of us.
We're not scared
Go make sure Lawrence is okay
No words only hugs
Lick is body all over
Lick his throat too or try spitting in his mouth and have him breathe it in, we keep forgetting to fix his voice
We wouldn't fix it, though. We'd just be spitting him in the mouth.
Tounge his throat box
>not wanting to make-out with Lawrence
Gotta go slow, fag. He's not comfortable with it.

We'd be no better than John's foster mom.
Yea I guess now isn't the time. Still gotta clean dem wounds tho
Of course, but also gotta ask permission.
And tell him it's okay to pop a chub
No one ever asked our permission, so why should we?
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You can't just leave Lawrence alone like this.

To his door you sneak over, pushing it open slightly and whisper:

"Lawrence...it's me."

The bathroom door is also open, light spilling out. You walk in, closing and locking the door behind you. You're not sure if he's ignoring you or just too out of it to notice your entrance, and you carefully walk to the door way.

He's looking over his cheek in the mirror and it doesn't seem like he's taking to it well at all.

"Lawrence..." He nearly jumps at the sound of your voice, his hand coming up to cover his stitches. There's fright in his eyes that quickly melt away to desolation. Lawrence walks past you, flashlight in hand and sits down at his bed. His back is facing you, a hand coming up to touch over the stitches again.

You tiptoe over carefully, kneeling down behind him and placing a hand on his shoulder. You retract as soon as you feel him flinch, his palm completely covering up his cheek now. He must still be skiddish after what's happened to him, you doubt many people could bounce back easily from that. You press your cheek and hands against his back, letting him feel your warmth instead. His shoulders begin to shake as time passes by, but only just enough for you to feel.

"You can tell me no but...if you want I can help you take care of your cuts real quick..." You offer, speaking as softly as you can. There's not a response, and you begin to fear that Lawrence may have a break down.

"O-...-kay..." That quiet and shaky rust gives you the permission you've been waiting for. You pull up his shirt from where you are, looking over his back. It looks like he took the majority of the blows here, the light sweet scent coming up to meet you.

"I promise to be careful...I really do."

No answer, you wonder if Lawrence is too out of it to even stop you.

That just means you'll have to be extra careful then.


You find yourself surprisingly in control, not allowing yourself to spend too much time on one spot. That much needed rush fills your head but you keep reminding yourself to stay focus.

"Um, could you lay down please? I need to get these lower ones..."

Lawrence moves into position, hiding his face away with his arm. You focus on his lower back now, the sweetness lingering on your tongue. You stop once you get to the last one, a laceration that travels dangerously close to the band of his boxers. You push through and finish your task, sitting up as you give your tongue a rest.

"Um you need to uh...lets see..." You make a motion for him to flip over but realize that he can't see it right now. "Turn over, yeah. Please do that."

At first there is no movement, and you consider the idea of flipping him over yourself. Lawrence manages to turn over, sitting up slightly and flinching as his body comes to rest. He's still not looking at you, hiding his messed up cheek.

"Ah, shirt. You should take it off, it'll be easier for me to do me uh, thing." The amount of blood you've managed to get from his back has certainly helped you calm down, though you wish you could help Lawrence feel the same.

He has some trouble trying to pull it off, flinching when he raises his arms. Lawrence manages to remove it though, tossing it aside and laying back down, his face once against covered. You look over his body, spotting the healed scar on his stomach. It's now surrounded by other marks, and you decide to start there.

Kneeling down, you find yourself facing his bellybutton, dark hair gathered around and trailing down his stomach and beyond. Your chest tightens a bit, but no where near as bad as the first time. Is it because you're so relaxed from the blood already? Maybe it's because it's Lawrence...you can't really tell.

It helps that it's dark though, and you keep your eyes focused straight in front of you.


Working up this time, you come up to his shoulders and sit up to give yourself a quick break. Your head is floating even more then before, part of you wants to be glad for this chance. It only this feeling didn't have to involve something so awful...

You take Lawrence's free arm, licking up from his wrist and meeting up to where you've already been on his shoulder.

"I need your other one."

Another pause in action yet again, but Lawrence passes you the arm hiding his face away. You hold his wrist in both of your hands and continue your job, noticing that the back of his forearms are the most bruised up spot.

Back up to his shoulder you travel, going ahead and taking care of his neck. Not much there, not compared to his face.

Your hand reaches up to hold his uninjured cheek but Lawrence sits up, grabbing and putting your hand down.

"Hm? What's wrong? Almost done." Your mind feels somewhat hazy now, your jaw is starting to feel sore and you're ready to be finished.

Lawrence is still looking away and covering up his offensive cheek, looking ashamed of himself.

"Lemme do it, you'll be fine then." You yawn a bit before reaching up for his face again. You can see that he's trying to pull away and while you pull your hand away you remain concentrated on your goal.

"I won't touch your cheek first, promise. Will start here, kay?" You point to a laceration on his forehead, moving forward again. Lawrence doesn't pull away this time, and you can feel him close his eyes. You put a hand on his left cheek, your other hand on his forehead to hold him in place, your grip loose enough to have him pull away if needed.

The sweet cut on his forehead, the bruising on his left eye and cheek, down to the slight cut from his chin to the bottom of his lip. You take care of all of these with ease, moving slowly and towards your real goal.

"Mm...okay, one last spot now." You already know he's not just going to give you access, but you also know this is the most important place you need to take care of too.

Still, you want to be slow with him.

You move your hand over his, signaling that you're ready. You patiently wait, not wanting to rush him.

"It's alright, I'll be careful." You're pretty sure that's not why Lawrence is hiding it away from you, but right now those are the only words you can think to say. Gradually his hand pulls away and moves to the floor and you have silent permission to continue.

You turn his head to face his cheek towards you, looking over the stitches all lined up in a row.

"Aw-...ful..." Lawrence whispers as you lean down, starting near his ear.

"Fucking...look like...creep." You work your way down to the next stitch.

"Going...to scare...people..." Carefully you avoid licking over the knots, not wanting to cause any extra pain.

"Deserve this...I deserved...this..." Little breather, your tongue is starting to feel a bit raw.

"Freak...ugly ass...freak..." You finally come to the point on the edge of his mouth, finishing your work with one final lick. You lean up a bit, looking over your work. While this isn't as full as you can be...

You feel content.

There's a warm feeling on your fingers, and instinct of thinking it's blood you lick it away.

This is salty, not sweet.

You look up and see that, while not sobbing, there are stray tears of frustration running down Lawrence's cheeks. You put your hand up to stop any from seeping into his cut, trying to wipe them away before they can hurt.

What do you want to do?[/
Stay with the big lug. If he wants to talk he'll talk, otherwise just cuddle and comfort.
Tell him that he doesn't scare you. Tell him that he's a beautiful mothman trapped in a werewolf's body, and that you'll be his butterfly tonight ;)
Try to reassure him. Figure out what happened, but don't pry too hard. He's still a little out of it.
Supporting the cuddle / comfort votes

we are a good lickitung
Stay and try to comfort him. Show him we're not scared of him.

He doesn't look like a creep. We know what a creep looks like, and he doesn't. He just... looks tough as fuck, like someone a creep wouldn't fuck with.

Why he thinks he deserved... this done to him, we have no idea. Maybe he can tell us.
Tell him it's all good
He's still our handsome devil

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