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/qst/ - Quests

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"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"

You play as Delilah, a young girl going through tough times.

=Links and Information=


Thanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:
Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmd
Melancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9
Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv
Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt
Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc
Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6
Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0

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


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/0107qV9kiFDlUH9nY
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
Better to just get it out of the way, it's going to sting the same either way. You'd save the surprise for last normally, but what you have can't possible make up for the rest.

"Stay put." It's too late to back out of it, despite what you try to convince yourself as you get up. Towards the cardboard against the wall, the makeshift portfolio that you fastened together hastily. The picture that lays inside feels like a pathetic way to make up for everything, but with nothing else to offer you return to kneel in front of Delilah. Her hooded over eyes watch carefully, the same weight as standing below the spot light. Even now your heart beats painfully quick but you make damn sure that your hands don't shake this time.

"...ah..." Delilah's face perks up some when she realizes what the paper is as you set up against the cardboard. As her eyes scan over the paper you can't help but to look away, like you're in damn high school again. Still getting stage fright at this age, at a time like this? Pretty sad of you, just be thankful that Delilah can't notice.

"Is it done then?" she asks, looking over the picture she hasn't seen since the school.

"Not yet. Still need...go in. Touch up." You point out all the areas still left unfinished, glaring oversights that need correcting.

"Really? It looks so n-nice already..." Delilah holds it carefully in her hands, with light and shaky touches. "I still th-think it's too pretty to be me though."

"Saying I'm...bad artist?" Instantly she looks up, ready to apologize for the assertion she never made.

"I didn't mean it like tha-...L-Lawrence, you're an amazing artist...!"

"You were...model. I drew...model." Delilah doesn't try to refute this point, stopping before she says anything.

"It won't take long to finish, right?"

"Shouldn't." You wait as Delilah takes some last looks of the picture, handing it back and holding it delicately, afraid to ruin it. Back into your makeshift portfolio it goes, nestled safely between the two pieces of cardboard. She seems more lively now, at least by some amount. But now you'll have to watch that glimmer of comfort fade away once more. Delilah seems prepared for that to happen, and you aren't sure if that is really a good thing.

"So if this was the surprise, I guess you're going to tell me the um...the other thing, right?"

"Yeah." you say, leaning the cardboard against the wall and sitting next to her once more. "Have to."

You really don't want to.


The silence while you write drives Delilah up the wall; you can notice all her little fidgets and movements as she waits to see what the bad news could be. You don't need to stop and think about how to put it down, you've spent plenty of time on that. Not that it makes this any easier, and you almost consider crumbling up the words and tossing them away.

Doing that wouldn't help anyone, and so you pass on the note with regret.

I said that I wouldn't let anything happen to you, and I plan on keeping that promise. Whatever it takes, I'll do it.
But because of that, there's just one thing I need to do. Just this one thing, and then I'll stay till you don't need me anymore.

I need to go see my parents and tell them about Michele.

I thought about writing to them, but I don't think I'd be able to feel good about it. I need to do it in person, and I need to get it out of the way.
It's been a huge weight on my shoulder, one that I need to let go of.
When I get it out of the way, I'm prepared for anything that will happen. But the only way I can do that is if I go and see them.
That means I'll have to leave, at least for a bit. I can't just stop on their porch and tell them the news, it would break them.
I won't be gone long, a few days at most. I won't leave unless I know you're safe here though, and I promise to come back as soon as I can.

It's something you've thought long and hard about, and no lie you attempt to swallow could keep the guilt from eating you alive.

You prepare for protest, for begging to tag along, but it's surprisingly quiet. Thinking that she's having trouble reading right now, you're ready to take the note back and come up with a new plan, but the tears building up and leaving trails down Delilah's cheek let you know there's no need for that.

"I u-understand. They n-need to know about M-...Mich-..." The paper crumples as Delilah's body curls up, choking on the name. It's put aside as she tries to wipe her face dry, eyes unfocused as she looks towards the scratched floor. The apology she mutters is barely audible and now you aren't sure what else to say.

"Don't want...to leave. But need...to d-"

For someone much smaller than you, Delilah hangs on tightly and you can only return the gesture.

"Wh-When do you plan on g-going?" she asks in your ear, voice barely above a whisper.

"When weather...better. After storm...is done." You keep an eye on the door, looking for any uninvited guests.

"And you p-promise to be q-quick?"

"Back as...soon as...ca-" The stairs creak and you push Delilah away, much to her horror. You stop to listen, hearing the steps go from the stairs to the nursery and back again.

"What w-was that for...d-did I do something...?" Her hands come to rest against her chest, afraid to touch you now. And so to add salt to the wound, you tell Delilah your fear.

John has a lot going on right now, and he might have gotten the wrong idea about what I'm doing

"And it's my f-fault..."

"It's not."

"You don't have to l-lie to me, I know b-better." Delilah says bitterly and you find yourself at a loss again. As you try to grasp the right words to say Delilah sighs, burying her face in the blanket. "Can I sleep again...I don't feel good..."


You'd waited for Delilah to fall asleep before leaving again, but you don't leave the room feeling any better. Sitting on the top steps again, you feel yourself itching for a smoke. Or rather, maybe some-

"Jesus CHRIST! It's freezing out there!"


There's the sound of bags rustling and Aria helping her girlfriend inside as she brings the provisions in, the window soon closing after.

"Hey babe, I'll help you with this stuff in a bit. I need to go put something up first." Mabel says as she walks out of the kitchen, doing her best to conceal the bottle wrapped up in paper. When she sees you, Mabel wordlessly points to the nursery and you go ahead and wait for her inside. She doesn't say a word when she comes up, closing the door behind and presenting the bottle to you.

"This is what I got. Cheap and heavy. It's going to taste like shit but it'll knock you out. Y'know, in case a certain vato was planning on doing something..." Mabel holds the bottle out of the way, watching your face with scrutiny. "Why'd you want this so badly?" You reach for the bottle once more but Mabel keeps it hidden away.

"Hey, you can tell me. I just gotta know if you're about to be reckless, y'know? Just let me know why you want it and I'll give it to you, no matter what weird thing you might be doing."

>Tell Mabel that you're going to stitch yourself up
>Tell Mabel that you're going to stitch yourself up, ask her for help
>Tell Mabel that you're going to stitch yourself up
If she offers to help, just accept it. Not in the mood to argue.

Might even be a cleaner job.
who is this slut
>Tell Mabel that you're going to stitch yourself up, ask her for help
You only need to point at the empty bumps on your cheek, and Mabel's eyes widen.

"Yooo...you're going to stitch yourself up? For real?" Mabel becomes off guard and you swipe the bottle away from her, looking over the label. You've experience the bottom of this bottle plenty of times, and if the needle doesn't hurt you this sure as hell will.

"Hey! Tell me you aren't really going to consider doing that alone!" She's not going to leave without an answer, and you let fume as you write.

I am. We don't know where Sam is, and as much as I'd like to let him do it I can't risk waiting around either.
It needs to get done, and it's going to be today

Mabel grimaces while reading, shooting you an anxious look.

"Do you think you can do this? For real?"

No, but it has to get done. I can't keep walking around with a hole in my cheek.

I'm not going to beg for your help, but if you'd like to give me a hand, I'd appreciate it

There's a sense of humility in asking for help like that, so much so that you almost pull the note from her hand. Looking between the paper and the bottle, Mabel gives a distressed sigh.
"Okay. Don't think I could sit by knowing that you're jamming a needle into yourself like that. But dammit, you owe me a couple cases of the good stuff."

I appreciate it.
When did you want to do it?

"Unless you're doing something now, let's get it over with. We still have light and I'm awake enough to handle it. Plus if you're going to be drinking that, I don't think I'd trust you to tie your own shoes." Mabel looks to the door, making sure no one else is walking in. "You got the right supplies though?"

I have everything else

"Alright. Let's not tell Aria or John, not till it's done anyways. I don't think they'd approve, but if it's already done what are they gonna do? Take the stitches back out?" There's a shake in her confidence when she looks around, turning back to you and asking; "But where? Not a lot of private places."

You gesture to the room.

"Here....? I don-...okay. Fine. Guess we don't have a lot of options. We have to do what, three? Four stitches? That's nothing, we can get that done pretty quick." You're thankful that Mabel is confident, one of you need to be. It doesn't take long to gather your supplies and prepare again, Mabel taking the initiative and sanitizing the needle.

"Daaaamn, you sure this is the smallest you could find?" she asks, looking over the needle carefully. "I mean, it'll work, but it's gonna sting like hell."

You know that already though, there's a reason your hands were so damn shaky last time. Instead of giving an answer you open the bottle, taking two generous gulps of the bitter and warming liquid. For now you stop at that, praying that it's enough to at least settle your nerves. When you watch the thread pass through the eye you take one more drink, just to be safe.

"It's a good thing you asked me, y'know that?" Mabel says, coming over to examine her work space, hands holding your chin as she looks over your cheek. "I haven't done this myself, but I've watched my tía patch up the family. Doctors are expensive, and she believed that anything could be fixed either with soup or a band-aid. And if a bandage didn't work, she'd slap some superglue on and let that do its thing. But this one time, one of my cousins came home after he got jumped. They broke his nose and cut him up real good. Had this nasty gash on his back,that's the first time I watched her put in stitches. What you got here? Way little compared to that, doesn't smell like death either. Shouldn't be no problem."

She may have started saying this to try and help you relax, but it's obvious she's nervous too. The creeping feeling on numbness spreads from the warmth in your chest and you try not to think about what's about to happen too much.

"I think we can start. I was worried we'd have to uh, scrape the inside to make it all raw. Learned that from tía, sometimes the skin won't hold or heal properly unless it's touching raw against raw- eh, sorry. Just hold tight and, shoot I dunno, close your eyes or something." You may not close your eyes but you do look away from the needle, taking deep and shaky breaths. Mabel isn't fairing much better, holding still as she attempts to calm her hands. The needle presses up against your cheek and you promise yourself that it's okay, that you can do it.

Then the tip pierces your skin and the pain brings back all your fear.

You push away from Mabel, heart racing and she takes a step back.

"Oi! Law what are you doing!" she looks over at the needle and back at you, breathing nearly as quickly as you are. "You gotta hold still man, I know it hurts but I can't get it done if you keep moving! Besides, you let Sam put them in last time!"

At that time you were barely conscious too.
You might be buzzed right now but your brain is still firing off, not yet dulled enough.

"Listen, if you want this done, then we need to do this now. I'll give you a bit to calm down or whatever but, you said so yourself. It has to get done."
>Drink some more to calm yourself down first, roll 1d100 for self control while drinking

>Try it again, think of something to distract yourself. Roll 1d100 to try and keep calm

>You've got some Valium in your possessions. Mabel might judge you, but at least you won't feel the needle.

Rolled 81 (1d100)

>Try it again, think of something to distract yourself. Roll 1d100 to try and keep calm
A different time, before everything went down the drain. Way different time.
Rolled 69 (1d100)

>Try it again, think of something to distract yourself. Roll 1d100 to try and keep calm
Finger yourself to calm down
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>Try it again, think of something to distract yourself. Roll 1d100 to try and keep calm
Rolling for the hell of it.
Very rare when we get to use dice
Rolled 13 (1d100)

It's like we're playing a rousing game of Who can roll the lowest.
Rolled 66 (1d100)

>>Try it again, think of something to distract yourself. Roll 1d100 to try and keep calm
Just close your eyes for a second, take time to get your breathing down.

Doesn't help that it feels like Mabel is starring at you, probably trying to figure out why the big tough guy is such a baby around a needle like this. The distorted memories of a hospital come surging up and you reach for the bottle again. The buzz and warmth in your head says you've already had enough, that anymore would just be causing trouble. And with Delilah the way she is right now...

"You going to let me do it this time?" Mabel holds the needle carefully between her fingers, thread dangling off as she waits for your decision. A nod is all you can give, sitting back down to give her easy access. You don't try to look at her as she approaches, ignoring the sliver of metal as she holds up your chin again.

"Fucking scared the hell out of me last time," she scolds, "If I do this again, you gotta promise to not hit me or whatever. I know it hurts, but...well, you just gotta grin and bear it..."

You don't bother with any kind of response. All your focus is elsewhere, anything to not think about the metal entering your skin. Staying quiet isn't an issue, and you only need to be composed enough to hold still and let her do it.

"Yo vato, you're shaking..." Mabel mumbles, her hand holding still much better than you are. "I know we said you'd need three but, eh. I think you'll be fine with two. Just two, and we're done. You can do that, it ain't shit. I've seen you handle worse, just let yourself melt in my hands. Or y'know, maybe something a bit less gay than that..." The point is pressed against again you again and your chest seizes up.

No, it's fine. You can do this, it's no big deal.

You wince all the same when the needle pushes it's way through flesh, the pain fighting your buzz for attention. But you held still, you're not moving away as the needle pulls through, thread following behind. This is fine, everything is fine.

Except you have to feel the needle go in at least three more times.

The next entry into your skin hurts more; the needle slips as Mabel tries to push it past what it wasn't built for.

"Shit, shit...! I'm sorry, fuck....this is hard for me too..." she apologizes, all of her fear channeled in her voice. She readjusts the aim this time, taking longer to push and pull through. The thought of the skin being pulled with the needle makes you feel sick-

You need to not think about the needle.
You need a distraction, something to think about instead.


The only thought that comes up right now is Michele.

A time when you were in high school, when she was still home. You came home after dark, sporting a busted up lip and a bruised cheek. There was a fight, and while you didn't lose you didn't really win either. Those guys were talking shit and you weren't going to take it laying down any longer. Their opinion of you changed, of course.

You went from being the tall weirdo in class to the angry monster willing to start a fight over 'nothing'.

Something you should have been used to. Being picked on was normal, something every kid goes through. But today was different. If they had just taunted you, then maybe you'd have came home through the front door. But when they called Michele a whore...well, that's the reason you needed to sneak into the house through the garage. If your parents saw that you got into a another scrap, it'll just be a longer night. Mom would fuss over you, threatening to call the school and asking if she should try to talk to their parents. Dad would either berate you for getting your ass kicked or for getting into a fight in the first place. You just needed to get inside, clean yourself up, skip dinner and go to bed early cause you aren't feeling well. No reason to see anyone.

Except for the fact that Michele was just as surprised as you are when you enter the garage. Out of her mouth hung a cigarette, lighter in hand.

"I won't tell Mom and Dad if you won't." she proposed and you were more than willing to take that offer. In the garage she helped clean up your face, the smoke from her cigarette drifting out of the open window. Occasionally she would pass it over, letting you hold it when she needed both hands. This was the first time you smoke, you remember that clearly. When you took a hit it made you choke, Michele trying to hide her giggles.

"Tastes awful, doesn't it? Imagine wanting to taste that." She tried to use that as a warning, but you shared the rest of the cigarette with her. By the time the cherry reached the filter your lungs had grown more accustomed to the harsh smoke, Michele taking and hiding the butt away in a can.

"Okay, but now you know you're gonna have to tell me what happened, right?" As much as you hated to admit it, Michele could drag out the truth from you too easily. You told her about the boys in class and how you got into a fight. You mentioned the comment about her, but not the nitty gritty details of it. And like always, Michele sat and listened to it all. She didn't get worked up and try to offer advice every two words like Mom would do, and she actually listened unlike Dad.

"Look at you, being a knight for your sister like that. Used to have to do the same for you, way before you had to duck to walk through the halls." Michele teased, looking over her handiwork. "But you gettin' in fights like this isn't too good, you know? Gotta be careful, you're going to end up tusslin' with some dudes who don't like to play fair. I don't want to end up seein' you in the hospital. Not unless I send you there." You couldn't help but smile, when Michele was happy she could bring you out of any dreary mood. But you were seeing less and less of that the past few weeks, when she was even around the house. Her boyfriend was eating up all her time and, something you didn't want to admit, her happiness. You couldn't understand why she stayed with him, but was afraid of bringing it up. Yet the idea of losing one of the few friends you had was terrible.

"Hey, cheer up. Head to bed like you planned to, but when Mom and Dad are asleep I'll sneak you out and we can go grab burgers or something, alright?" Michele smiled, and you could only see the faded bruise on the side of her neck.

[3/4lets try that again]


You look over to Mabel, noticing the needle being set down.

"Are you...are you okay? Jesus man you look like you're about to pass out-....it done. Two of them in, it's finished. Just...just relax or something."

There's a feeling of nausea rising up and your chest and throat feel tight. You'd meant to think of something else, but your distraction may have caused more of a problem than the stitches. You kneel over, trying to get your breathing proper. Head spinning and light, it's not an easy task to do.

"...th-...thank you." The words are forced out, but with Mabel watching in fear of a panic attack you needed to say something.

"Uh..." she looks surprised at hearing you, unsure if she actually had. "It's uh, no problem." Mabel waits by, trying not to watch as you recover. You finally feel the burn in your cheek, fingers brushing over the new thread holding it together now. Moving them makes some pain shoot through, and you still feel the effects of your previous alcohol.

"Ah, here. Take this..." Mabel passes over a paper towel, letting you clean up what little blood has been seeping out. "I think I did this right. Just need to keep an eye on it, I guess. So uh, since you're done with 'surgery' now, what are you going to do?"

>Stay in here till your buzz is gone

>Stay in the nursery till your buzz is gone

>Go downstairs. Better to act like nothing is wrong or happen
>Stay in here till your buzz is gone
Just easier that way. Hopefully have the redness and burning sensation settle down before we venture downstairs, that's a bigger concern.
>>Stay in the nursery till your buzz is gone
>Stay in here till your buzz is gone
It'd be for the best if I stayed here in the meantime. Not sure if I can make it down right now you write, trying to ignore your messy handwriting.

"Yeah, that would be the smart thing. I don't think I'd be able to catch if you ended up falling down the stairs," Mabel says, gathering up the supplies of the hasty work. She looks ready to take the liquor away, but changes her mind and retracts her hand back. "You could use the quiet and rest anyways. Take 10 minutes, or like an hour. Whatever till I don't have to worry about you passing out, alright? I'm going to head down before Aria starts poking around. And uh, think you could do me a favor?"

After what she just did for you, it would be selfish to think you could turn that down.

"Okay so like, if they start getting all up in your business about it then you can say I helped you, that way they don't think you were going to be reckless and do it yourself. But if it doesn't need to come up, could you keep it on the down low and not say anything? Rather not have the old lady thinking I'm being shifty..." An easy request, and one that you accept readily. Mabel thanks you, a wave of relief washing over her face before she slips out of the room.

You just need to rest now. Just need to recover for a bit, and go about like nothing is wrong. Shouldn't be hard, you've been doing that your whole life.

Just sit back and think about...nothing. There's no reason to always stress over one thing or another. You can just lay back, close your eyes for a few minutes, and then go about your day. There's even mattresses to lay on and lord know just how tired you really are.

It should be easy, but it's not.

There's just too much going on, too much that makes your mind buzz about with discerning thoughts. Knowing it's in vain you try anyways, taking deep breaths and drawing attention away from the feeling ebbing back to your face. You wish that the snow would just come and go already, so you could take care of your parents and get it over with. The longer you wait the more you'll end up stressing over it, and it'll make it even harder to knock on the door you used to return to every day.

You have only a vague idea on how to approach them with the news. Already you can guess what their reactions might be, neither of them are something you look forward to. Staying a night there would be ideal, so you can ease them in to it. But if it comes to it, maybe you really can stand to just come and go. Hell, you wouldn't even need to go in the house in that case. Doesn't make it right though, to stand on their doorstep like that after being gone for years, just to tell them their first born is dead. And then they'll want to know what's going on with you-

Too much thought into this, when you should be resting. After that memory of Michele you can't help but feel a cold bitterness linger behind. They used to push you, to tell you that things could be better again. But now they only serve as a reminder of how you failed. The feeling of defeat grows when you realize, only a few short weeks after that day, you ended up in the hospital and Michele was gone. Without a thought you reach for the bottle, bringing it up for a mind numbing drink. You flinch, not even having a sip yet. Instead it dips into your coat. Out of sight, out of mind. As much as you can manage that, anyways.


There's little indication of how much time has passed when your eyes open. It would be nice to fall back asleep again, your mind finally relaxed enough to rest, but that's not a luxury you can take. It's just as light as before and when you peer through the window there's not much more snow on the ground. Shaking yourself awake and the last of your buzz away, you try to find proper footing as you approach the door. You make sure that your damn well and steady before going into the bedroom. Delilah still sleeps, or at least pretends to. She keeps her back towards you, and wrapped up in herself. She needs to eat, but that can wait till later.

Double checking to make sure everything is staying together with a quick brush over you move down move down the stairs. You keep your eyes to the living room, John slowly coming into view. He's sitting up, awake now. Lisa still sleeps on the couch nearby, meaning you couldn't have been gone for too long. Hopefully. It was in your plan to walk down there confidently, but as his eyes flicker up you can't help but cover the side of your face.

"Psst, Law." he whispers sharply and raising dread in your chest. "Get over here real quick, if you don't mind." Almost unwillingly you make your way over, noticing that none of the other girls are around. He attempts to sit himself up better, body jerking up in pain at the slightly wrong movement.

"Ah shit, that stings..." he mutters, grabbing the painful region. "Was hopin' you'd stop by. She still doin' alright?" He sounds thirsty, in pain that he's trying to hide. You only nod.

"That's good. Maybe she'll be back with us in the mornin'. Anyways, I was wantin' to ask you-" John pauses for a moment, eyes closing as he bears through a surge of pain. "Fu-..., I wanted to ask you a favor. Eric just got here about twenty minutes ago, he had both the boys with him. They needed help bringing back some of the supplies they got for the -dammit-...the storm. The girls went to help bring 'em back, so they ought to be back soon. Trouble is ah, pain don't care when they come back. Been sayin' I could ignore it for another hour, but I've been sayin' that since this morning. What I'm tryin' to get at is...I'm hurtin'. I'm hurtin' something fierce. Your girl's got my medicine for me, but I don't really wanna go disturbin' her right now. And listen, guess what I got saved in here-"

Pulling out the carton and a flick of his wrist, John displays a pitiful amount of cigarettes. Among them two stand out, hand rolled and thicker than the others.

"Still got two of 'em left, and I know you'd appreciate some. I'd share now, but we can't really light up here. But later, when you take me out for a smoke. But in the mean time you uh, you got anythin' to stop the pain a bit? I'll take anythin' at this point..."

Offer John
>Some of your alcohol

>Some of your Valium. You got it from William, you know it's safe.

>Offer to go up and look for his medication

>Don't tell him about the alcohol or Valium, don't try to go through Delilah's stuff

>Offer to go up and look for his medication
>Offer to go up and look for his medication
Going through Delilah's stuff is gonna feel wrong, but better he actually get painkillers than something else that might not solve anything.

... maybe Delilah'll wake up for a bit and we can ask her for it.
Hold on, let me go see if I can find your pills. They should have your name on them, right?

"Ah wait, you don't have t-" John tries to protest but you don't bother to stick around, turning away and towards the stairs. A groan of pain mixed in with the failure to rise and stand, you only give the quickest of glances before ducking out of view. Maybe all John needs is some sedation, and then things won't be so heated, not between you two. One less person that you'll have to walk on eggshells around, and maybe things will finally start going your way.

Delilah doesn't move any when you come in, aside from the small up and down motions from breathing. If sleeping is the best thing for her right now then you'd rather not ruin it, and as much as you hate the idea of rummaging through her bag without permission, John still needs his pills. With a careful glance over you check to make sure she isn't looking over before unzipping the bag. Neatly packed clothes stare back at you, organized recently. Hiding them at the bottom would have been the smartest decision for her, and regretfully you begin to dig through the clothes. You make attempts to keep them tidy, to not make your entry obvious. As you fail to find the pills your attempts to be neat are pushed aside, now just wanting to get out of her bag.

Finally, your fingers brush against the familiar tube shaped plastic. Looking to see if it's the correct bottle you are stopped in place by weak hands grabbing your shoulders.

"What are y-you..." Delilah asks, trying to shake away her daze. She sounds concerned, scared even, yet you can't figure out why.

"What's wrong?"

"A-...are you d-digging through my c-clothes?" It takes longer than it should have for you to realize what her fear is, to see that along with the pills Delilah has hidden her underclothes deep inside. Rather than trip over the words while trying to explain you quickly pull out the bottle, pills rattling around inside as you show her. The panic fades to apathy, though the tears building up remain.

"I'm sorry, I got sc-scared..." she admits, letting you go. "All I did was l-look over and...and I didn't even think it was y-you for a second, just that a m-man was digging through my cl-clothes...l-...looking for something."

"No! No...just needed...this." The bottle rattles in your hand, realizing that you could have sent her into an episode again. "John needs."

"Oh, oh right. That's m-my job..."

"Is fine." Not wanting to carry around the whole bottle you pour some of the pills out, pocketing the two that feel into your palm. "What about...you?"

"I'm okay, I guess. M-Maybe I'm hungry? But it feels like it'll make me sick too...I don't know."

"Can see...what have." The bottle returned and the bag zipped up again, you turn to face Delilah. "Eric back. Boys too. Bringing...supplies. Should return...soon."

"Are they? That's good," Delilah sounds almost cheerful but it falls and she instead just stares at the floor. "...I don't have to see them right now, do I?"


"Good..." she laments, hands covering her head as she curls up. "I don't want anyone seeing me like this..." As you sit with Delilah you don't dare to even glance back at the bag, fearing the worst now. It may be overcautious, but that feels impossible around her. You can't ever be careful enough, you can never let your guard down.

Even with the chilly air trying to bite at her skin Delilah manages to stay warm, the amass of blankets she clutches providing an enormous help. Still, she insists of cuddling with you for a bit and you can't tell her no. It's quiet and peaceful, almost enough to make you nod off. You're reminded that you needed to come up here, and with a heavy heart separate from Delilah to return downstairs. Her small hand poking out gives an even smaller wave, but you see it as permission to go.

This time you don't bother to mask your footsteps, now just wanting to hurry up and get it over with. Digging in your pocket you pull out and hand over the pills, presenting them to John. Where you expected some sort of appreciation you were instead met with something closer to a scowl. He snatches the pills from your hands, swallowing one and pocketing the other for later. You just did him a favor, yet it feels like you've just stepped on his toes more.

"Thank you." Two words have never sounded so insincere, biting in a way you never expected. Silence does nothing to soothe the edge and you are once again lost. There's no hints as to what you could say right now, what can be done to diffuse the tension. Not to mention the fear of being wrong and only escalating things further-

"Where's Jess...?" The tiny voice brings relief, breaking away the ice that threatened to hold you under. Lisa sits up, rubbing her eyes as she attempts to see what's going on.

"Ah jeez...you up now, missy?" A complete change in how he was before, the light and softness in how John talks makes it hard to believe how he just was. "C'mon over here for a second." You step back, letting her waddle over and crawl on to the couch next to John.

"Where's um..." Lisa tries to remember who all is actually here, her thoughts still foggy from sleep.

"Guess who dropped by?" John doesn't wait long to answer his own question, knowing better than to let her hopes get up. "Tom and Clark are here."

"Where?" she asks, looking around.

"Outside, with the girls. They're bringing supplies in, they should be back soon. Or, they should have been..."


"Nothin' missy. Just thinkin'...Law, why don't you head out and see if they need any help? Been a bit since they left, maybe an extra pair of hands would help." John is only able to keep his voice warm, and all for the sake of not scaring Lisa. But if it gets you out of the house and away for a bit, so be it. Leaving Delilah here alone doesn't sit well with you, but she seemed okay, at least for twenty minutes. Just go out, look for them and come back to check in at the house. That's probably what John really wants from this anyways and at this point you'd be willing to do damn near anything.

"Keepin' the window unlocked for now. Figured it'd be easier if they were bringin' all that stuff in. Don't worry, I'm carryin' some heat, 'case we end up with an unwanted visitor. I'll keep an ear open for girly upstairs, just go make sure they haven't got themselves in trouble. And don't you go landin' in any trouble either, hear me?" Sounding more genuine and concerned, it makes you feel slightly better with leaving the house.


Once you've made it past the backyard and into the alley it feels like you can breathe again. You don't know how much longer you can stand it but you don't have any solutions either. Without thinking you pull out the cigarette from earlier, resuming your half finished smoke as you walk to the street. It burns your cheek, not enough to stop but just as a reminder that your cheek is done. Out on the corner, you come to see that you don't have the foggiest idea where they could be. Stumped, you only stand on the corner and let your cigarette burn itself shorter.

The feeling of being lost and unsure of what to do next isn't new to you. Ever since you first came here, it's always been a question of 'what should you do?' or 'what now?', the answers hardly ever coming easily- if ever.

You needed to get out of the house, and you are right now. Wandering around the neighborhood wouldn't be the best idea, so you instead treat this as a smoke break. Finishing the first you take out another, ready to light as you notice a pair walking down this way. You're ready to duck inside, but past the boxes that fill their arms you can recognize Mabel and Thomson coming down this way.

"-...it's heeeavy..." Thompson complains, readjusting his grip.

"Mine is too, you can make it a bit longer!"


"Yo, stop complaining. Look up there." Mabel motions to where you stand.

"What, at that gu-oh shit, it's Law-"

"What'd they tell you about cussing?"

"You do it!" Thompson tries to defend himself and the two begin arguing, going back and forth like siblings. The others can't be too far behind, and even if they were you'd now have a way to find them.

And you have a chance to talk to them away from the house...

>Tell them about John's hostile behavior, it worries you

>Don't bring it up, better to just let things settle
>Don't bring it up, better to just let things settle
>Don't bring it up, better to just let things settle
Best to let sleeping dogs lie, even if they're growling the entire time.
Rolled 91 (1d100)

>Don't bring it up, better to just let things settle
We can mention it to Mabel so she's not surprised if John is still weird when we get back inside
Nice accidental roll.

But yeah, I'm willing to go with telling Mabel John's seeming awfully cross with us.
No need to stir up trouble, too much talk without proof would just be gossip. John was just in serious pain now, and with the stress of everything going on around him it would feel wrong to pin everyone against him. Despite how right you might feel about something, there's always the looming guilt of potentially being wrong. Again.

"I'm dropping this." Thompson announces, his arms shaking when the two come to a stop in front of you.

"Okay. Wait, no don't drop-" Mabel doesn't have time to finish her sentence as the heavy load is dropped carelessly to the ground. "Ay, what the hell chico, you know we have food in there!"

"Yeah. The canned stuff. My arms hurt, and the stupid carrots will taste the same if the can's a bit bent." Thomson isn't apologetic in the slightest, only relieved to have his burden relieved. Mabel bites her tongue, holding back any remark she has in an attempt to not start another petty argument.

"Aaa-aanyways," Mabel shoots one last glare at him, placing her own box only slightly more gentle on top of his, "What're you doing out here Law? Needed a smoke break that bad? Ah, speaking of, and you know I hate bumming them, but if you wouldn't mind sharing a bit..." You offer the newly lit cigarette to share, Mabel taking it eagerly.

"I'm gonna tell her." Thompson threatens, covering his nose from the smoke.

"Do that and I'll tell her where you two keep the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated." A threat that works too well, and Mabel is allowed to exhale her smoke in peace.

John was worried you guys were taking too long and wanted me to see if everything was okay

Or get you out of the house.

"Yeah, kinda took longer than we thought. Eric had a buddy at work drive some boxes down, but can't really pull up to the house. He just had him dump them off at that park up a ways, bit more than I expected. Others should be coming down soon enough, trying to stagger it out a bit though. How's the house, holding down everything okay?"

It was fine when I left. John was hurting pretty bad early. I got him some of those painkillers, but he might be a bit sore and crabby right now

"Ah yeah, we'll try to stay quiet then. Hope it isn't bothering him too much, had a cousin who got shot once. That shit suuuucks."

"See, you do swear..." Thompson mumbles, and rather than a remark Mabel instead delivers her guardianship skills with a swift knock to the back of his head.

"And uh, how was upstairs?"

She's feeling better I think. I'm hoping that she'll sleep through the night and feel better by morning

"Yeah, that'd be nice. Tough seeing someone go through that and knowing that you can't just, fix it. Ah, sorry man, I probably don't need to tell you. Er, I mean...dammit. You know what I mean." Mabel turns to the cigarette bitterly, words failing her. You can't help but feel the same way, and decide to move on rather than linger.

Is Sam still around then?

"Nah, dropped them off with Eric like yesterday. They helped gather all this stuff, don't know if it would last us all winter but it's a good amount," Mabel ashes the cigarette, handing it back over. "Jeez, how much did you drink earlier? I swear I can taste it on the filter."

Only what you saw me drink

"God, that stuff tastes like shit but I guess it gets the job done. Speaking of," she picks up her box again, pushing the over one back to the boy. "C'mon, pick yours up."
Much to Thompson's joy you take the box instead, holding it much better than he could. From the weight alone it's easy to tell that it's packed full, but you know better than to get your hopes up. It may look like a lot, but it can be easily depleted before you're prepared. Hopefully this means the others are bringing just as much but you can't hold your breath on it.


Sneaking in with boxes is a bit daunting, a car simply pulling into one of the nearby driveways nearly gives you a heart attack. It's difficult to remember that even if the group is trying to hide, the neighbors aren't just willingly out to get you. Still, there's no use in trying to waste time standing out in the open. Even when you finally step through the window and get it closed again, you can't help but feel on constant watch. That's a good thing, you remind yourself. Can't be too careful, can't ever stop watching.

You leave the box of canned food on the table, noticing that Mabel's contains a just as stuffed box full of other nonperishable. For a brief moment you remember a similar scene, of you and Michele helping to bring in groceries on Sundays.

"Yeah, Law came back with us." Mabel says in the living room, going in to check in.

"Lisa here?" Thompson asks, trying to act like he isn't too concerned.

"She's upstairs right now."

"Oh, cool. Cool. I'm going to go check on he-"

"Nope. Gotta stay down here for a bit." John stops the boy before he can go towards the stairs. "Afraid it'd be best for you to hang down here for a while."

"What? Why?"

"Girl time champ," Mabel says, swooping in to help. "Her and Bunny are probably up there working on important girl stuff, unless you want your nails painted or something."

"Maybe I do..! I mean, whatever. I don't care. Why do I wanna hang out with some stupid girls anyways?" A tough guy act to hide his disappointment, Thompson shuffles out of the living room to come sulk in the kitchen instead. From the living room it sounds like Mabel is filling John in on what's happening, what's being brought in, the sort. Hearing that Delilah isn't alone upstairs makes you feel better, as much as it can. Having the house suddenly full of people again might make her skittish, but if she can just ease her way back in that might be for the best.

>Go up and check on Delilah
>Go out and see about helping the others
>Go to the living room and try to join the conversation
>Talk to Thompson
Finally getting caught up on schoolwork and the like, my bad. My bad.
>Go to the living room and try to join the conversation
At least we'd be nearby when the others show up, and maybe Mabel will see John being... unusual.
>Go to the living room and try to join the conversation
Gotta pick up my brother today, new thread should be up tomorrow!

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