cheeseburger_backpack: (uke - jamming)
[personal profile] cheeseburger_backpack
New York City is a pretty cool place to be stuck. It's a little disconcerting that the other Crystal Gems haven't managed to reach him, yet, but Steven isn't worried. There are lots of good reasons it could be taking so long, and why should he be in a hurry? This place is awesome!

The Balladeer is being really nice to him, letting him stay in his apartment and borrow his ukulele. He's introduced Steven to some of the other Rifties in the building ('Rifties' isn't a very inspiring team name; Steven's gonna have to come up with a better one). He has this cool phone that was sent to him by a real angel, and the angel even texted him! And the biggest relief of all: no one's making him go to school or expecting him to be like other kids. That makes things a lot easier.

He's out busking with the Balladeer today, snug in a new coat and hat. He could have stayed in the apartment - he would have been fine without the Balladeer keeping an eye on him - but this is more fun. Other people seem to like it, too; they're getting a lot of smiles, and there are plenty of crumpled bills in the Balladeer's guitar case. Steven's not sure what a normal day's take is, so it doesn't occur to him that they might be making more than the Balladeer would on his own. But he's not at all surprised that no one can resist their sweet jams. They're good at this.

They're moving around the Park a bit already, but the itch to explore is still there. So, after they've been playing a while and are starting to get hungry, Steven volunteers to go find some food. There are still plenty of street vendors around, and if he wanders a bit farther than necessary to scope out his options, that's okay. He has his phone in case he gets lost.


[ooc: so, we have two potential scenarios here. Scenario 1: you could run into the Balladeer and Steven jamming somewhere in the Park. Scenario 2: you could bump into Steven while he's looking for snacks. He probably makes more than one foray, so multiple people could do either scenario without issue. Just specify which one you want to go with in the subject line.]
etherthief: (heart powers | super srs)
[personal profile] etherthief
She tells herself this is fine, she doesn't need to run, and probably shouldn't because who knows what condition she's really in after being in the rift so long, but she's barely out the door before she figures she should stop lying to herself and she breaks into a sprint. She doesn't want to get on a fucking train and she can't run the whole damn way, so she runs until she spots an unoccupied cab and flags it down with breathless gusto.

She feels like she's going to throw up.

Once she's in the back of the cab, once she's blurted out the address she still remembers, she fumbles out her phone and scrolls back through the texts that all came at once. It's too much, all of it. They might as well be in another language. They start off so normal, become so desperate, and then something else. It's awful. She feels like she's watching Greta's heart break.

I wish, Greta had finished one message.

You wish what?

What does she 'finally understand'?

Iman rocks feverishly, turning her phone over and over in her hands. She stares out the window hard enough to break the glass.

And then it pulls up, and she gives the driver an absurd tip and stumbles out.

Greta's there. She can see her just inside the front door. Iman hears herself make a sound she didn't expect, a little whimper. She's there, waiting. Their eyes meet. She runs.
lonelyghost: (oh)
[personal profile] lonelyghost
He counts his steps. Everything here is very big. Too easy to get lost. So many people, so much hurt - too much. Cole wants to help, but he also wants to find somewhere quiet. Harder to bear alone, without friends to help him bear it, help him help.

People like to go to the Park. It's quieter there. Cole likes it better there. It's more like home.

Two hundred and thirty-seven steps, and he's made friends with a little bird. She's a sparrow, and she likes riding in his hand. He carries her gently along to where she wants to go. A friend of hers is hurting. He doesn't know if he can help, but he can try.

As they get closer she gets excited, because someone else is already helping. She loves them. He knows them. Her.

He observes Daine from a short distance as she heals the fallen bird. Will she remember him? Usually when he meets people in dreams they don't remember him later.

He steps a little closer and allows himself to be seen. The sparrow is already talking to her. He'll let her do the talking.
cheeseburger_backpack: (amazed - absorbed)
[personal profile] cheeseburger_backpack
"Whoooah," Steven says as he stares at the New York City skyline. He's splayed on his back - on his backpack, if you want to get technical - and his palms are being tickled by... grass. Which is not the warp pad he should be feeling.

This is weird. He's good at warping, now. He's the Warp Master! He knows better than to mess around while they're all on the move. What went wrong?

Steven wiggles for a moment like an upended beetle, then rolls over onto his stomach. "Pearl?" he calls out experimentally. Maybe the warp pad they were aiming for got broken. Maybe it scattered them. "Garnet? Amethyst?" He pushes himself upright, then shivers. Wherever he is, it's colder than Beach City. Good thing he came prepared! He unzips his backpack, and a few moments' rummaging produces a hoodie. He pulls it on, puts up the hood, and gives the strings a good jerk to tighten it.

Much better. Now, he can find his friends.

That turns out to be much easier said than done. There are loads of people here. It's like six or seven Beach Cities combined, at least. Usually, warp pads take them to out-of-the-way places where people don't live, not huge, bustling spots like this.

Steven makes his way to the edge of the park, then stops, frowning at the heavy foot traffic. None of the Gems would be able to spot him in that crowd, or hear him over the rest of the noise. There are fewer people back the way he came. Maybe he should retrace his steps to where he arrived, in case his friends land in the same spot. Maybe it was the timing that got messed up, not the location. Maybe the warp pad was buried under the grass! Can that happen?

He'll ask the others when he finds them.

It's good to have a mission, even if it's not the one they originally set out on. Steven starts off at a purposeful march, backpack bouncing, eyes and ears peeled for any sign of Garnet, Pearl, or Amethyst. Or Lion. Hey, maybe Lion will show up!

He's been wandering long enough to start feeling a little apprehensive when he hears the familiar sound of someone playing a guitar. He knows it's not his dad - or at least he's pretty sure (could he have used the warp whistle again?) - but he wanders toward the sound, anyway. He likes music, and the Gems know he likes music. Maybe, if they can hear it, they'll head towards it, too.

Sure enough, the guy playing the guitar is a stranger. But he's playing really well! And he seems approachable, so Steven goes right on ahead and approaches. He doesn't intend to interrupt the performance, but the song is catchy, and the chorus is easy to pick up on, and before he can stop himself, he's singing along in harmony. If only he had his ukulele; then they could really jam.
james_t: (??????!?)
[personal profile] james_t
Following the events on Sarpeidon, he'd been relieved that the next few days had been relatively quiet. Their next assignment had involved checking progress of a new colony station on planet Bilaren. It looks as if the colonists' efforts at growing crops has been successful, which is promising. In the next five years, more people might be able to join the colony, and humanity can spread a little further out into the stars.

At the end of shift, he is smiling as he makes his way back to his quarters.

And then- a lurch. Like an explosion on the ship.

His body slams down hard against the ground. Bright light temporally whites out his vision and he rolls halfway down a hill before he can gain purchase and stop himself. With one hand he reaches out, noting grass. He's been transported somewhere. He pushes himself roughly up and takes a hurried breath- an oxygen rich environment. When he turns, he squints against the harsh sunlight to see tall buildings visible beyond the trees.

He needs to figure out where he is, but first things first. The most important thing to him is establishing that the ship and its crew are safe. He flips open his communicator. "Spock. Come in. Come in, Spock." No response. "Enterprise, come in. Come in, this is Captain Kirk." No response again. He frowns at the device. He's not even sure if it's working. As he replaces the communicator, he finds himself looking up at the sky, as if it might be possible to see the Enterprise circling the planet from here.
biscuit_powered: (human | smile | quiet amusement)
[personal profile] biscuit_powered
She's let the whole money thing slide for a while now. There was that time she did some magic work, but she never got around to advertising her services again that well dried up, and Asmodia and Biscuit have been subsisting on their angelic allowance ever since. That's fine; it's enough for the necessities and for exploring the city, and that's all they really need, isn't it? Most of the things she'd be interested in buying don't exist here anyway, and she doesn't really need amulets and the like when she hasn't been in a fight in two months new.

But then it turns out Manhattan has entire museums devoted to art, and an entire boulevard devoted to theater. Tickets cost money, but so does food, and she's lived on the edge of society long enough to know better than to prioritize the former over the latter. Clearly she's going to need more money if she's to indulge in the arts. Clearly, also, getting an actual job is out of the question. Just thinking about working at some eatery where she'd have to wear a uniform, show up at an appointed time, follow orders and kowtow to customers -- it's enough to make her want to puke.

Where there's money, though, there's always some roundabout way to get at it. That's what has her and Biscuit in the Diamond District today, armed with a butter knife and a cup from 'her' kitchenette. Either she's about to strike it rich or the person who mentioned finding jewelry debris here is playing a really thorough practical joke on her.

"Come on, Biscuit," she says, dropping into a crouch and picking a place to start prying mud out from between the cracks in the pavement. "We're going to archaeology the shit out of this sidewalk."

She'll...well, she'll be here a while, once she sees that she is indeed finding some worthwhile bits and pieces. Why doesn't everyone do this?
singthesong: (Alone Man)
[personal profile] singthesong
Iman is gone.

The Balladeer found out yesterday, and spent most of the rest of the day with Greta. The poor woman - she's taking it hard. He and Gabriel had done what they could, but he suspects it wasn't enough. The two of them were close, in ways he's not entirely sure he grasps. He never really got to know Iman very well, did he? He regrets that.

As the night wore on, eventually they had both left. That stung; he was worried about her. But he'd promised to return in the morning at least.

And so he has, rising early as usual and going to knock on her door. Lily's staying somewhere else for now, and he's not too worried about waking Greta. Did she even sleep last night?
andhiswife: (it's not okay)
[personal profile] andhiswife
It's not like Iman to ignore her. She's given Greta space before, left her be, but never ignored her outright. Not on purpose, anyway. But too much time has passed since her texts for Greta to convince herself that Iman is just napping or doing chores or absorbed in some project or other. There must be some other reason she's gone quiet, and none of the potential causes that Greta can think of bring her any comfort.

She's ill. She's injured herself, somehow. The Devil has lost patience with her. Something terrible must have happened, because only something terrible would keep Iman from acknowledging her.

Greta makes her way to Iman's building. There are costumed people on the streets - some sort of festival, she's been given to understand. The sight of them does nothing for her growing conviction that everything has gone wrong, that something has been broken beyond repair.

What if she is just ignoring her? What if she knows, and is trying to find some way to let her down gently? That fear, more than any of the others, is what has her stomach in knots. It's hard enough for her to even acknowledge what she wants, let alone dream of asking for it. She certainly doesn't expect anything more than what she already has.

Well, if they have to--to talk about... that... then they will. The thought makes her flush with utter humiliation, but she thinks she could bear that conversation better than she can bear all this uncertainty.

She knocks on Iman's door, but doesn't announce herself, lips pressed together as she strains to hear any sound from inside. There is nothing, even after she knocks again. Even after she quietly says, "Iman?"

The door opens beneath her hand before she makes any conscious decision to try it.

Greta knows the apartment is empty the moment she steps inside, the door swinging shut behind her. Despite that, despite the feeling that she is trespassing in this place she's visited so many times, she steps forward to check each room. The bathroom light is on, an ostensible sign of life that fails to reassure her. She can't stand the faint hum of the florescent bulb; she turns it off with an unsteady, impulsive swat, then flinches back as if the light switch might retaliate.

She finds Iman's phone on the bedside table. For a few moments, she just stares at it; then, she reaches forward to press the home button. She expects the screen to light up with half a dozen text alerts, but it doesn't light up at all. The battery is dead, and the glossy black screen is flecked with dust.

No. No, no.

By the time she stumbles back out into the living room, she's trembling too much to do anything with her own phone except fumble it onto the carpet. It's too far away, now; if she bends to retrieve it she might not be able to get back up again. Out of options, out of desperation, she prays.
singthesong: (Tracks)
[personal profile] singthesong
The Balladeer goes to Wilmot's half an hour early.

The theory is that the noise of other people will make it easier to tune out the echoes of Gabriel. The bar isn't busy at this time of day, but it's not empty. It'll do. He takes a seat at the end of the bar and gets some water. After last night he's not really up to drinking much else.

It does help a bit to have other songs to focus on. It's a bit of a balancing act; he doesn't care to get the bartender's life story in addition to everything else, so even while trying to drown out the rest he has to try not to tune in too much. It's still better than sitting alone in his apartment. The song isn't insidious in that Johnny way but it's not a lot of fun to listen to for hours on end either.

God, he's lucky that was only a dream. He's not sure what would have happened if he'd done that while he was awake.

He can tell when Gabriel enters. Hell, he could tell when Gabriel was approaching from outside. Turning, he locates the source of the sound easily - wow, he'd have never known what he was just from looking at him - and lifts a hand in greeting.
literatimariano: (Surprised)
[personal profile] literatimariano
Jess needs to get out of this damn city.

Historically speaking, Manhattan has been his playground. (Literally, if you go enough years back.) He's always known the ropes, where to go, where not to go, where you could find something exciting happening. Now it's already starting to get stale. It's been almost three years since he moved away, and a lot has changed in that time. He's changed. His friends have changed - moved on, or simply moved away. Meanwhile, Jess feels stuck, and he hasn't even been back all that long.

It's probably those self-help books Luke got him to read. How can he move on if he's just going back to what's familiar? Furthermore, how can he pursue the things he wants if he's barely making ends meet? Self-actualisation is practically impossible when survival and safety isn't guaranteed. He works too much and he's living in a dump, but New York's gotten expensive, so there's not much choice. He tried LA, but it's just not his scene. Chicago, maybe? Or perhaps Philly...

The subway train comes to a screeching stop, pulling him out of his reverie with a jolt.

He sighs and heads out, up the stairs, taking two steps at a time as he shrugs back on his leather jacket. Too stuffy and humid underground to wear it. It's starting to get that way outside too, but it hasn't quite reached it, the air dusty and crisp.

Chilly for May actually, which seems fitting. Supposedly April is the cruellest month, but Jess wouldn't mind contesting TS Eliot on that. All this evolution and momentum around him, and for all his travelling, Jess is standing still. What he needs is a change.

This is probably one of those 'careful what you wish for' moments. )
spiritofwinter: (mischeivous | snowball)
[personal profile] spiritofwinter
It's been a few days since Jack was suddenly transported from Queenstown to Manhattan without an explanation. He knows people who can do that kind of stuff, but he didn't see any magic portals when it happened. More worryingly, the season is all wrong, autumn when the northern hemisphere should be in the throes of late spring.

Most worryingly, he can't leave. As in the wind won't work with him when he tries to fly away from the island of Manhattan, buffeting him back in instead of carrying him where he wants to go. As in not knowing how he can get back to anyone who might have answers for him -- the Man in the Moon isn't any more talkative than he's ever been, and Jack doesn't have any way of contacting the guardians when he can't fly to the North Pole...and when Sandy doesn't show up at bedtime. That's the part that came as the worst blow: he'd sat up through the entire first night waiting to see the dream sand, sure he could go to his friend and find out what was happening and why he's suddenly here instead of back in New Zealand, and whether he really did lose a year when it happened (the newspapers say it's 2013, and while he's pretty sure it was 2012 the last time he checked, once a couple centuries go by the years all blur together).

He's lonely here without anyone who can see him, and he's a little scared all the time from not knowing what brought him here or what's keeping him in and the other guardians out. Lonely isn't new, but it still hurts after things had been so good for a little while. Now that it's been a few days without any hint of what he should be doing to fix whatever happened, he's coping with it the same way he always has, if with less joyful abandon than before. It's cold enough for a little snow, which means it's cold enough to send people slipping on the ice -- and cold enough for a game of Snowballs From Nowhere. If there's one good thing about being unseen, it's the look on people's faces when he beans someone with a snowball and they can't figure out where it came from. He's been at it a while, and it's actually working to take his mind off of things, for now, to judge by his laughter when he lands a snowball right on the back of a random woman's neck.

[OOC: While this post is for introducing Jack to Greta, please feel free to assume he's lobbed snowballs at any characters who can't see him yet.]

[cw references to character death in comments]
lonelyghost: (what was his name)
[personal profile] lonelyghost
There is something he's forgotten, isn't there. Isn't there? Darkness where there used to be light, nothing where there was something, but now who's to say what it was. The sky is scarred but healed and quiet, and everyone is glad they are safe and you helped and you should be happy, but there is that itch of forgetting, like before, when you forgot yourself.

Can't keep the thread of that now, slipping through your fingers like fine sands, like a dream. The Inquisitor is here. Your friend.

"There've been some reports of Fade rifts in the Hissing Wastes," he says. "Would you like to go with us?"

"I've never been to the Hissing Wastes," says Cole. "Do they actually hiss?"

"I don't know about that," says the Inquisitor with a little smile. Cole likes his smile. It's friendly, and isn't forced. "Harding called it the worst place in the world, but I don't know if I agree with her on that. It's all quiet desert. I thought it was rather nice, myself. You might like it."

He asks when he doesn't have to. He is the Inquisitor, he can make anyone go with him at a word, but he always asks. He is a good friend. Cole hopes he never forgets.

The Hissing Wastes do hiss a little, wind whistling woefully over the sand. Cole does like it there, dark and cool and mostly quiet, traveling with Varric and The Iron Bull, neither of whom call him 'it' or 'thing', or seem to mind what he is. When they come upon the Fade rift The Iron Bull laughs and Varric says something funny, in the wrong order, and Cole's mind is mired elsewhere because this one does not feel right. The others don't notice, can't feel it, but this rift is two rifts, one inside the other, something else beyond, reaching and grasping.

He shouldn't, knows he shouldn't. Nobody should. But Cole reaches back.

It's what he does; he helps people. The others can't sense it, don't see that this rift wants more than to let demons out. It wants to pull them in. He can't let that happen to his friends. He won't. There is no time to warn them and no time to stop it so Cole pushes forward and offers himself, gives up himself gladly, to save them all.

"Cole!" the Inquisitor cries out, startled, confused, why is he going, why is he doing this, but Cole can't answer him now, can't turn back; if he were more like a spirit he could fight it, but he's not, and so he can't. He lets it swallow him up, and he is afraid: he doesn't want to go to the Fade, he doesn't want to be alone.

It is over very quickly. But it is not the Fade where he finds himself. This place is real. Whole. But it is not the world he knows. It is something different.

He is sitting in grass, real grass but different grass, feels different, remembers hundreds of different years, and millions of lives, nothing Cole's ever felt before. This is somewhere new. Not Thedas and not the Fade.

He does not move, sitting in the middle of the grass, surrounded by people who ignore him, even though he is wearing his hat and he just appeared, no one sees him, nobody sees. He's like he was.

Afraid and alone, adrift, absent. Cole curls inward and tells himself to wake up. It will not work. It never works. This is no dream.

Wake up, please.



[OOC: Please note Cole's permissions page and the abilities section of his app. It is possible that your character can meet him and then forget the encounter afterward, if you like. This means there could be multiple encounters. Feel free to tag in setting your character up as minding their own business, and Cole can approach them, as he is not easily noticed (not by the average person, anyway). Hit me up if you wanna run something by me.]
erratic_hematic: (siiigh)
[personal profile] erratic_hematic
Spike looks down at his phone and sighs. "Well, that went well." He's still getting used to not being so defensive around Sunshine, and obviously this wasn't the best of efforts on his part. At all.

He toys with the idea of texting back for a minute or so, but in the end he decides to go see her in person instead. This might be more than he can fix without her seeing his face. If he goes up to her, she'll be able to see how he feels instead of assuming the wrong thing from his texts.

He trudges up the stairs to her floor, then hesitates at her door for a moment before he knocks. "Hey, it's me."
singthesong: (Alone Man)
[personal profile] singthesong
Well, that got out of hand.

The Balladeer doesn't return to bed that night. He putters around the apartment instead, trying to while away the time until morning. It's rare that he spends so much time here - most days he wanders around the city until dark. Unfortunately, that means he hasn't really left himself much to do. Not much that won't wake the neighbors, at least. So he just bundles up on the couch and tries not to kick himself too much as he watches the light break outside.

These things do happen, after all. How was he to know it would all head south like that?

The dreams where he loses himself are the worst. He can still faintly remember the mindset he'd slipped into: cold and alien, caring for nothing. Yeeeeah, he definitely owes some apologies around here.

He knows Greta's an early riser, so once he figures she's probably up he gets dressed and walks down the hall to rap on her door. He can text Gabriel, but he'd rather speak with her.
has_a_horn: (suit)
[personal profile] has_a_horn
It's early in the morning, and Gabriel is debating with himself about whether Johnny will be up yet.

He's probably not up. )
postictal: (the shadows are long)
[personal profile] postictal
This is still a bad idea. That hasn't changed. But just because they have no idea what the hell happened a few nights prior doesn't mean he should be putting his whole life on hold, right? Once it would have. If he'd never come to Manhattan, never ended up in this place with Jay - he doesn't doubt that he'd be doing exactly that. It's still his first instinct.

No matter what he does with his waking moments, the problem in his head isn't going anywhere. The most he can do is pursue something he thinks he'll enjoy pursuing. Which is, at the moment - hopefully learning to actually read music, and learn to play something that wasn't self-taught by ear. The ukulele is an unfamiliar weight at his side as he carries it into the apartment building.

It's only a few minutes before Tim finds the indicated apartment and knocks on the door.
has_a_horn: (look at the mask | smile)
[personal profile] has_a_horn
Gabriel has been feeling listless. The days are getting a little bit colder and, with the drop in temperature, the city seems to close in on him incrementally. He's reminded more and more that he's approaching a full year trapped here in this city without making any real progress in fighting the rift. The rift giving him the flu had felt like a jab to let him know how powerless he really is here.

In the week since that, he's kept to himself more often than not. Monday rolls around again and he notices a pattern forming that he doesn't want to let continue. He's got to get out and talk to someone that's not rattling around in his own head.

He pushes himself up and pulls on his jacket, but instead of flying himself out of the apartment, he walks down the stairs. He pauses, momentarily on the landing that leads to Johnny's door before continuing down once again to knock loudly at Mako's door. He hasn't really taken the time to get to know her one-on-one yet, and there's no reason to put it off any longer. He's interested in her, this is a perfect opportunity to found out more about her.

It's fairly early in the morning, but that just means that it's the perfect time to go grab some breakfast. He hasn't gotten breakfast with anyone since Seth disappeared, and he finds that he misses it a lot.

"Mako!" He knocks again, then simply teleports himself into the apartment. "Come to breakfast with me. I need to make up for you seeing me groaning on the floor like a dying yak." He grins at her. "Come on. I'll introduce you to the concept of layering syrups."
biscuit_powered: (human | thoughtful | chewing on thumb)
[personal profile] biscuit_powered
Though Asmodia's first foray into the life of an adventurer-for-hire was a resounding success, she's struggled since then to find something to do with herself. Life is...easy here, in many ways. She has a small box apartment in which to live, a pleasant rooftop garden in which to celebrate the sunrise on those mornings when she doesn't fail her goddess by sleeping through it, and an allowance that trickles down to her from the supposedly angelic (she seriously doubts it, but she's still waiting for causes and evidence to dispute it) owner of the building. What's hard isn't providing for herself. What's hard is finding a reason to drag herself out of bed in the mornings (or the afternoon, or evening, or middle of the night -- her sleep patterns haven't become the slightest bit more regular than they were back in Absalom). So far as she can tell there's no way home, where she tries to convince herself she's needed, and the bustling city around her is so far out of step with what she knows that she doesn't know where to begin to pick up the pieces. It's been a long time since she just lived for the sake of living, and what felt like freedom a decade ago in Nirmathas feels like purgatory now that she's had a taste of life as part of something bigger.

There is something happening around the city, though. Lately she's heard rumors from the neighbors of 'monsters' coming through the rift, though she has her doubts about some of these people when she's heard at least one of them use the words 'monster' and 'demon' interchangeably. She doesn't have any leads on where these purported monsters might be found, but if they're coming through the rift, Central Park is a decent bet -- and today, at least, her logic has paid off. All one needs do is follow the sounds of screaming, right? Or more like go the opposite direction of the people running away yammering about a 'floating worm' swimming through the air somewhere near the Sheep Meadow.

When she gets there, she's surprised to find that it is, indeed, a floating worm. Or a floating...squirmy thing. It looks almost aquatic, and despite hanging in midair and possessing a mouth that looks like something out of the Abyssal Plane, it doesn't seem to actually be doing much of anything. She edges nearer, casting a quick spell so she can check its aura -- there's a hint of enchantment magic here, but she can't make out what -- and after a moment's thought, she preemptively lays a hex of retribution on it before stepping closer, reasoning that the hex will only hurt it if it hurts her first. Biscuit hangs back as his mistress steps nearer, chittering uneasily.

"It's alright," she assures him, eyes fixed on the...thing. "I don't think it's even doing anything, it's probably just an animal from one of the outer -- GAK!!"

She probably shouldn't have gotten so close to it. That's the thought that goes through her head as it suddenly squirms forward through the air with a hitherto unseen speed. Her next thought, as it latches onto her neck, is that this is a really lovely day and that she really ought to remind Biscuit that she loves him more often.
postictal: (i hope something crawls up ur ass)
[personal profile] postictal
He wakes roughly, fingers digging clods of dirt from the ground as they rip grass from the roots. He tries to roll over. Parathesias have long since claimed his legs, his chest heavy with the leaden soreness clamped over his lungs. He runs fingers through his hair, tangled with twigs and leaves and grit as he tries to comb the worst of it out.

He tenses each of his limbs habitually, experimentally, then runs hands over his back, down his sides in a brisk, repetitive motion that's become too routine for him to be entirely comfortable with it. Nothing broken. Nothing bleeding. He blows out a slow, calming breath. The mess of cuts along his arms are little more than superficial scrapes, but the place where his memories typically reside yawns mockingly at him when he tries, stupidly, to think back. All that's there is the inky black of unconsciousness as his body went and did whatever it is it likes to do when he's not in it. He grimaces, the hairs on the back of his neck prickling.

Tim paws his phone out of his pocket, staggers to his feet, darts a furtive glance at his surroundings. Green and unremarkable, and vaguely forestlike. His guess? Central Park. With the absence of any looming threat to run from, his lesser half must be getting more predictable.

He punches a rattled text to Jay and starts walking.
andhiswife: (serious)
[personal profile] andhiswife
It's not that she's been avoiding Iman, exactly. Greta's had good reason to leave her be - several good reasons.

Lilly would be the big one. The child has kept Greta busier than she has been since before ROMAC's fall. She might not be quite as demanding as the twins, at least. She's old enough to entertain herself (though what she tends to find 'entertaining' are the sorts of things that leave large messes behind). It's her limited vocabulary and almost nonexistent manners that have presented the biggest challenge. Granted, they've both been improving, especially since the dog arrived (she even got Lilly to submit to a bath after coaxing an unenthusiastic but cooperative Ruckus into the tub, first), but she still has a long way to go.

All things considered, there might not have been much point in reaching out to Iman before now. Lilly hadn't been ready to meet her, and Greta hadn't been willing to push the girl back to Aziraphale for minding while she visited Iman on her own. They'd needed time to settle in, and for Greta to get a better sense of what she's dealing with, before worrying about anyone else.

Not that she hasn't been worrying, anyway. Their last conversation - if you could even call it that - consisted of Iman objecting to the idea of her taking Lilly in, and Greta brushing her off as if her opinion didn't even matter. Never mind that Iman offered to bring Greta home with her, an offer that doesn't necessarily extend to any children Greta might take in. Never mind that she can't even excuse the whole thing as temporary when Lilly's in the same unfortunate boat as herself. She had no business taking in a child without at least talking with Iman about what it might mean for both of them. Yet, here they are.

What if Iman doesn't like her? What if Lilly doesn't like Iman? What if it doesn't matter? Even the most charming child in the world would be more responsibility than Iman signed on for, and she'd have every right to declare it 'too much,' and… and be done with it all.

She doesn't know what she'll do if that happens.

At least Iman seems to respond well to the only somewhat desperate invitation Greta works up the nerve to send her. This might not be so bad. Still, she impresses upon both Lilly and Ruckus that they're to be on their best behavior (it feels a bit silly, dropping into a crouch and addressing them both, not least of all because Ruckus listens with as much solemn, close attention as Lilly does - if not more). Iman is a dear friend, and they'll hopefully probably be seeing a lot of her, and this is important.

And then she makes tea, because she needs to do something besides anxiously pace while she awaits Iman's arrival. When the knock finally comes, Greta swipes her palms nervously down her skirt and makes a deliberate effort to not hustle too quickly over to the door. Ruckus lets out a quiet cough, more acknowledgment than alarm, and sits down next to Lilly as Greta swings the door open.

"Hello," she says, her smile a little anxious, but warm. It really is good to see Iman again. Her arms twitch in an aborted move to hug her before it occurs to her that Lilly might find it alarming, so she steps back instead, ducking her head sheepishly. "Come in, please."

Door shut, she turns to her charges. "Lilly, this is Iman, the friend I told you about." She raises her eyebrows meaningfully. "Iman, this is Lilly. And Ruckus," she adds, prompting the dog to open her mouth in a broad, relaxed grin.

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The Big Applesauce

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