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.
postictal: (that boy needs therapy)
[personal profile] postictal
[ooc: lots of violence and emotional distress to follow in the thread within. Ye have been warned.]

Tim shakes a white capsule from the bottle with the deft jerk of a wrist and dry-swallows it cleanly, flipping the back of the DVD case over to peer at the blocky white text as best as he can in the semidarkness.

"Troll 2," he picks out slowly. "You wanna explain that? Is it like a sequel or something? Kinda outta my depth, here."

It's actually been - he almost doesn't dare think it, but - nice? Complicated, yeah, and not without the bumps and twists in the road, but they're acting more and more like how he'd imagine friends would act. Smoothing things over. Living with the everything they don't talk about.

Almost normal.

A subtle thrill shoots up his spine, prickling the hairs on the back of his neck. He almost sighs.

He just had to think it, didn't he?

His grip tightens around the bottle as he half-turns and thinks better of it.

"Keep walking," he says, his voice pitched low, "but I think - there's something behind us."
deadeyedchild: (ugh FINE)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
It's been a couple days now since Jay narrowly avoided another gruesome death, and he's starting to feel normal again. He's been avoiding Tim for the most part, and for no real good reason - just embarrassment at how much he fell apart, as if that's something Tim's never witnessed before.

It's stupid.

It's been even longer since Tim impulse-bought him Plan 9 From Outer Space, but that's what's now sticking in his head. That was nice. A little overture of normal friendship behavior. Tim's been doing a lot of that lately, asking Jay about himself, getting him things... patching him up isn't very normal but it was nice of him. What's Jay done?

So it is that on his way home from work he finds himself making an impulsive purchase of his own.

This is, also, possibly, stupid.

He doesn't exactly have a lot of loose cash hanging around, even with Aziraphale's generous wages. So much of it will always go into food and transit money and the stash in his sock drawer for tapes, just in case, for old time's sake, there's not much left over for non-necessities.

But this might be constrewn as a necessity.

It's something worthwhile, at least.

He lets himself into the apartment building, aggressively not regretting the purchase. He rides up the elevator alone, the musty scent of Aziraphale's shop still stuck in his nostrils. He hope it doesn't linger too noticeably on him.

He gets out on his floor and heads straight to Tim's place.

May as well just get this over with. Maybe Tim will think it's stupid. Maybe he'll like it. It'll get the reaction it gets.

He knocks.
lottawork: (distrust)
[personal profile] lottawork
[ooc: warning for violence, body horror, and mentions of gore; this thread will probably contain a lot of that]

He has required a cigarette, fucking required one, for hours, possibly days. The smoke burns thick and heavy in his throat, the tip a glowing point in the cool predawn dark.

He finds himself predisposed to noctivagant perambulations, particularly considering the nature of the latest dream into which the Rift had seen fit to deposit him. Rush hisses a low breath of smoke from between his teeth in an inaudible scoff. The alleged necessities of circadian rhythms mean fuck all to him. He has made this repeatedly and abundantly transparent to all relevant parties. Regardless of the time, he's run out of fucking coffee and that would necessitate an expedition to retrieve more.

Thank fuck for the nicotine. He feels better than he has in days. Sharp. Clean.

The low-pitched clatter of upended trashcans would not in any other instance be noteworthy, but he stops and regards the narrow slash of alleyway with trepidation.

"Hold still," whispers a voice, distorted beyond the how the limits of the human voice should sound. "I'm gonna - gonna make y'better. Gonna fix ya."

The words are rough, harsh, the low grind of stone over stone. He can catch, in the moonlight filtered between the dark blots of clouds, the hunched, distorted silhouette of a thing to which he is uninterested in ascribing a name. Something about it is not right. Fundamentally misshapen, or wrong in some way he does not care to define.

It does not concern him.

"Ya got pretty eyes," it coos. "Just lemme fix 'em. Lemme have a look, would ya please. Would ya HOLD STILL!"

There is a noise, doubtless that of the victim in question.

He discards his cigarette and extinguishes it with the press of heel to concrete and moves smoothly forward. There is a certain amount of debris scattered in a semi-circle around the scene shrouded in darkness, the byproduct of the apparent struggle, and he stoops to lift what appears to be a long fragment of pipe. He advances slowly, calmly, and if the thing hears the weighted scrape of metal over asphalt it does not question it. Its attention is fixed entirely on the poor bastard it seems rather intent on dismembering.

"I'm try'na fix ya!" the thing screeches, unholy and inhuman.

"Pardon," Rush interjects coolly, "but I don't believe your services will be required. Good day."

He smashes the pipe into the indistinct side of the thing's head.
postictal: (bullshit detecting meter)
[personal profile] postictal
Three and a half days flat on his back and out like a light, and you'd think he wouldn't feel so exhausted all hours of the night. Walking a few steps in any direction is like slogging through mud, and he's probably slept more in these past twenty-four hours than he has his entire damn life. Jay leaves for work, which leaves Tim climbing the walls. Not literally, at least.

It's stupid, going out when he can barely walk, but they've got money now so he can take a cab down Columbus in hopes of begging for his job back. He's just some dumb, flaky guy with a mental health file the size of a small encyclopedia, not that anyone here would know it, and there's no reason for them to want him back, but they give him their best professional smiles and say he's free to re-apply and he does, shrugging off questions about comas and hospital bills. Comas, Jay? Really? They've built their lives off lies - he couldn't have thought of something more plausible than the truth?

The truth is pretty unbelievable too, come to think of it.

He walks home. It's a few blocks more than he should probably be shouldering since he's technically still in recovery, but the thought of sandwiching himself inside a cab is even less desirable a prospect. When he passes some old video store, he stops instead of shuffling past like he usually would en route to work. They've got the money now, and fuck it, they've earned themselves a break. They earned themselves a break years ago.

No paychecks or concrete job offers, but Tim comes home with an old DVD case in hand, the filmy plastic covering crackling beneath his fingers. He has no idea what Jay's taste in film is, but he has a feeling he might've made a pretty solid guess.
postictal: (look at all this bullshit)
[personal profile] postictal
In the time between one thing and the next, Tim snaps awake.

The back of his throat tastes sour and dry, his eyes sticky with sleep. He stares at the blackness behind shut lids in swelling, swirling confusion. He never felt his body hit carpet. He just remembers the tearing, rending sensation as he was pulled apart and -

And nothing. Not even the usual scatter of static-torn images that normally accompany his fits and blackouts. No stretches of nothing. He’s just been displaced, snapped effortlessly from waking to waking again, and no amount of straining to remember will fill the gap in between. He wouldn’t have any concept of there even being a gap at all if he didn’t have such a clear idea of what happened in the first place.

So question of the hour, why is he awake?

His arms shifts lightly, fingers wrapped loosely around - something.

Okay, so next question: why is someone holding his hand.

Tim blinks his eyes open, lungs seizing in a series of sputtering coughs. The brightness of the hospital blazes in glaring contrast to the darkness of closed lids. Hospital - he can recognize it immediately for what it is. He’s always been able to. Comes with the territory of being raised in one. Not so surprising, really.

Right now, he’s less concerned about that and more concerned about the fact that Jay is seated next to him, slump-keeled halfway against the hospital bed, cheek to white sheets, apparently asleep for once in his life, and, most bizarrely, holding his hand.

“So,” says Tim slowly, bemusedly, and somewhat groggily. “Hi.”
deadeyedchild: (surveillance)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
The list of things Jay can do is becoming frighteningly short.

Can't stay in the hospital. The nurses start to glare and resent him if he lingers too long, past the allowable time, reminding him passive aggressively that they can't provide him meals, reminding him that he's not family.

Can't keep staring at Tim's deathly still face. Can't keep gripping his cold hand wishing the fingers would twitch.

Can't stay at home all by himself, sitting on the floor, staring at the wall, out the window, at books without being able to read them.

Can't bear to trouble Greta or Daine or Bee, again.

Can't cry. Can't sleep.

And he knows, after a nervous, cursory glance at the online checking account the Rebels had set up for him, he's fast-approaching 'can't afford groceries'.

So he finds himself knocking on Aziraphale's door, confronting the apparently perpetually harried angel with awkwardly indirect questions about money. It isn't a vague wave of the hand, a magical handout that he's after, even though he had no idea what else he could possibly be asking for.

It catches him wholly off guard when Aziraphale offered him a job.

Now he stands outside the truly terrible-looking storefront, checking and re-checking the notecard on which the address had been scrawled. The bakery next door is right. This is the place.

He swallows and steps inside. He has no idea what to expect - if Aziraphale will even be in. He'd made brief mention of another employee, and that was it. Nothing about what Jay was going to do.

Apart from sell books, he supposes. That's probably obvious.

The door opens with a nasty creak and he steps into the dim, dusty, damp-smelling little hole.

"Uh..." He glances around, his stomach unsettled, his skin prickling. "Hello?"
andhiswife: (serious)
[personal profile] andhiswife
Greta sets down her phone and twists her hands together. Jay's back. He's back, and he needs her help, and--and he will have it. It feels like the least she can do, after the embarrassing misunderstanding in her dream, and after all the trouble he and Tim have had lately (which doesn't seem to be letting up, from the sound of things). It feels, a little, like penance for the ill treatment she gave another lad who was far younger but not quite so sad. But mostly it feels like the right thing to do, something she can do. Granted, she'll have to see just what sort of shape Tim is in with her own eyes before she makes any promises, but maybe it won't be so bad. Like a--like an oversized infant who only sleeps and never cries. That sounds manageable, right?

She might be a little too invigorated by this sudden rush of people needing her help and asking for it so plainly.

Jay didn't make any mention of needing food, but she has some freshly made apple turnovers, so she wraps up a couple of them and tucks some teabags into the bundle for good measure. He could probably use something sweet - and something he doesn't have to worry about preparing himself, when he has so much else to worry about.

It's not a long journey to their apartment building, but it feels long, and it's hard not to spend all of it fidgeting. Half a block away, she has her phone out, and she nearly walks into a stranger as she texts him to let him know she's arrived. Then she shoulders her bag, absently patting it to make sure the pastries haven't been crushed, and waits.
deadeyedchild: this is the best part (be silent)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
[Immediately following this.]

Jay moves Tim's body to his bed. It's hard. He feels exhausted, like his body has been on ice the whole time he was 'dead', muscles needing to learn again how to work. Tim's heavy and Jay can't really lift him, can only sort of roll him awkwardly up onto the bed. It's absurd and undignified and he doesn't give a fuck.

In fact he feels incredibly numb. The initial shock and rage and sadness has fizzled down into nothing. He's running on autopilot, auxiliary power. He finds Tim's keys and takes the one for his apartment. He finds Tim's phone and calls in to his workplace. They actually remember him from that one time he called in for Tim before.

He tells them the truth this time: Tim is in a coma. He's being cared for at home.

They tell him they're going to have to let Tim go, but that, if things look up, he's welcome to re-apply. They seem like good people. Understanding enough.

Tim's phone ends up in his pocket. May as well.

He stands there staring at Tim for too long, until he realizes he feels like he's going to faint. He's hungry, thirsty, he feels sick. His body is both catching up to him and rejecting all of this. He doesn't want to leave Tim, not ever, but he has to. Just for a bit.

He stumbles out of the apartment, locks it behind him, sweaty and cold. He stares at his hands, which are visible and solid and pale and shuddering.

He staggers down a few flights and into the hallway, moving down it like he's in a trance, stopping finally outside Daine's door. He lifts a trembling hand and knocks.
postictal: (barely got a lid on it)
[personal profile] postictal
His head throbs, a single continuous pulse feathering into variations on the same painful theme.

Tim groans and feels his muscles clench as he tries to roll over. A familiar soreness suffuses his entire body, the kind of soreness that takes its sweet goddamn time fading out after -

After -

Well, shit.

All it takes is a cursory glance at his phone for Tim to groan again and slap the device down as he gets slowly, agonizingly, to his feet. He runs fingers over his clothes, through his hair. No twigs and leaves, no mat of mud and blood drying in stiff clumps. His skin remains unscuffed from the phantom tug of undergrowth, his clothing miraculously clean and whole.

And, most importantly - no mask.

Tim breathes out, long and slow, and tries to suppress the faint prickle of relief. Unless his less agreeable self has suddenly gotten way more meticulous about cleaning up after its habitual wrecking of shit, an eerie number-laden message on the network is all he's got to worry about. That'd be a first. He'd almost be grateful for the little bastard if it wasn't set on making his life fucking miserable every chance it got. Regardless, he'll count himself lucky when he can.

Everything still hurts by the time noon hits him square in the face with a bright burst of sunlight through the slats in the shades, and the hiss of crisp fall air. It's surreal that Tim has to remind himself that time is still a thing that exists; absurd as it is, the existence of anything outside his own problems always comes to him as a shock. Like, you know, the weather.

So Tim goes out and buys a Ouija board.

This is - so goddamn stupid, he doesn't think he has a word for it. It's stupidly optimistic. It's a stupid idea, period. But he's out of options, and he feels like an idiot buying something like this, some plastic board at the cheapest magical bullshit place he could find. It's this or ask Asmodia to play telephone every day, and he's about had it with dragging other people into his and Jay's collective shit. She's got better things to do - safer people to spend her time with, no doubt, who are less liable to catapult her life into a complete sanity-draining nightmare.

He enters the apartment, keys rattling over the door, and jiggles the wide, flat box with faux enthusiasm.

"Bought you something," he deadpans.

As usual, the apartment doesn't answer. He pauses in hopes for a gust of chill wind to stab at his shoulder, or for the roll of paper towels to dislodge themselves from the counter - anything that would confirm that he didn't just announce his stupid impulsive baseless purchase to an empty fucking apartment. Like a moron.
deadeyedchild: so is this where Alex... (you are distorted)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
Jay doesn't bother trying to follow Tim closely - he knows where he's going, and he doesn't want to have to hash out the whole elevator thing again. He focuses on allowing himself to sink down through several floors of hallway, before finally he's hovering outside Tim's door just as Tim's coming up to it. Jay wonders uneasily if Tim had tried to talk to him while he was in the elevator. It's creepy enough that he can spy on people without this additional factor of being able to just vanish while someone presumes him present. This whole situation is unsettling and awkward as hell.

But he is glad to be back, even if it's only sort of.

He drifts into Tim's apartment, where he's spent very little time. Tim had only moved out pretty recently before he re-died, and they'd been sort of avoiding each other. Trying to give space. Something.

Now Jay is pretty desperate for company, and he can't really get it.

What now?

He brushes Tim's shoulder lightly. Just a nudge. Tim has to lead the conversation, here. Won't this be fun for the whole family.
deadeyedchild: I haven't been as paranoid (hide behind the lens)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
He can feel Tim leaving him, waking up, and he tries to follow. He doesn't know how. This is all new territory, following someone from one plane of existence to another. He tries to visualize himself holding onto Tim's hand. It's embarrassing but it works.

He thinks it works.

He feels different.

The world feels familiar - not the empty void he'd been inhabiting, but the world, solid and real, tangible. He's here. He's back.

He still feels like he's looking at it through glass, though. He looks down at his hands, which are - sort of there, at least, he knows they're there. He can almost see them. Except not quite.

"Oh come on," he mutters, and no sound comes out. He knows he's spoken but he can't quite hear it. He tries to lay a hand on his own arm and he feels a buzz of static as his fingers pass through himself. Oh, god.

He's a fucking ghost.

This is not quite what he had in mind. He knows it's not what Tim had in mind.

It's better than nothing.

He takes a moment to try and figure out where he is. He finds that he can move, not exactly by walking, but sort of drifting along the ground. He accidentally passes through someone, who shivers violently and looks thoroughly spooked for a few seconds. He is unable to get anyone's attention, or interact with anything.

He has to get to Tim somehow, but he can't really take a train, can he? He's not even sure what part of the city he's in.

So he rambles. After a while he finds it's easier to just move through walls than to try to go about things the normal way. Shortly after that revelation he starts picking up the very bizarre skill of moving up through a building, in and out of offices and apartments.

Travel is easy, but communication is nearly impossible.

He searches, having nothing else he can do, for someone he knows.


[[Jay is wandering all over kingdom come today so if you want your character to have a weird ghost encounter, pick a location and we'll see what happens. It's going to be super hard to notice him if you don't have any kind of telepathic/other helpful powers, but that's okay, we can do short shenanigan threads if you're into that. A quick little ghost encounter! Hey, maybe Jay can overhear some awkward dialogue or embarrassing secrets. Maybe he'll accidentally figure out how to knock something off a counter and then go nuts trying to do it again. The sky is the limit. Have fun!]]

UPDATE: as often happens with this kind of thing we have Jay on a pretty tight schedule now. The Balladeer meets him around lunchtime, and then the line of Rush/Iman - Daniel - Greta gets set into motion sometime after. Greta will be taking Jay back to his building in the late afternoon. If you want to meet him when he's out and about it'll now have to be prior to lunch or snuck in between lunch and his adventure through the former ROMAC apartments. There is still plenty of room in there for nonsense, it just won't be able to lead to Jay actually getting home. SHENANIGANS!
deadeyedchild: we need to keep going (this is your last chance)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
[OOC: Whooooo sorry this is so long. It is also spoilerific, if that matters to anyone haha.

Overall TW for gun violence and blood (in the main post), and pain, panic, PTSD, emotional surrender and coping with assumed impending death.]



Get back here! screams Alex, his voice reverberating, crackling, distorting through the woods.

Jay runs.

What! Alex shouts, challenging, it always sounded a little silly when Jay first heard it, this awkward nerd posturing in the woods to forces stronger than him, sure, it sounded silly before he'd seen, felt, what Alex was capable of.

The next time I see you I'll kill you!

Jay runs, frantic, his breathing labored, darting haphazardly between trees, he has to keep moving because it'll find him if he stands still for an instant, it will or Alex will, either way, he'll be dead.

He takes a sharp turn through branches that seem to be reaching out to seize him, and suddenly there it is, the gaping, glowing mouth of the tunnel where nothing good ever happened, he skids to a halt and he doesn't want to turn back but going forward is not an option, not here; he turns, out of the tunnel, into

into

a hallway

lower level of Benedict Hall, where everything is dirty and cracked with water damage, and at the end of the hall stands Alex, staring him down, gun in hand, gun raised and turned on him but Jay doesn't run, doesn't cower; this is the first time, he realizes, the first time he's seen Alex since before this began, the first time he remembers, because every meeting in between has been scraped out of his memory. This is it, the endgame, all he ever really wanted was to find Alex and help him, like he wanted, like he asked.

"Alex," he says softly, taking a shaky step forward. "Alex?"

The gun goes off and everything splits, the hiss of static filling his head, blurring his vision (or are those tears), it hurts so much, so fucking much, he can't - he has to - he staggers away, no clear aim, just away, into that little room, the little room with basement windows, blood all over his hand, oh god, he's going to die here, he's going to die without knowing he forgave Tim, without Tim knowing it alone

not alone

it's there, in the corner, watching, waiting, reaching out to take him, no no no no



He wakes up, abruptly, soaked in sweat, his chest seizing up. Can't breathe, he can't breathe. It's okay, it's all right, calm down, just a dream, just the same fucking dream you've been having every night, with only minor variations

why does he still hurt so much?

He struggles to get out of bed, twisted up in his sheets, falls face-first onto the floor. He curls inward, oh god it hurts so much, it hurts just like it did but it shouldn't, he's awake now, he's - his hand is warm and wet, he looks at it expecting blood, but there's nothing. Just sweat there too.

Rise above it, asshole. Stand up. Take a shower. Make some coffee. What time is it even?

The blinking light of his clock tells him it's just after three in the morning. He struggles to get up and he can't oh god what is wrong with him, what is wrong?!

"Tim?" he gasps, frantic and scared, but Tim isn't here anymore, he moved out, remember?

He's bleeding, maybe internally, something's wrong, something has to be wrong, because he can't breathe right, can't move, can't - he's dying, he knows he is because he remembers dying, remembers every second of it, it was lonely and frightening and now it's happening again and he doesn't understand why.

He gropes desperately for his phone and fires off a text.
postictal: (yeah charlie we can be sneaky)
[personal profile] postictal
[tw: blood and bodily injury. This post is the aftermath of the events that occurred over yonder, which means Tim might need some help getting home.]

The lurching sensation of waking suffuses Tim’s body with a hollow ache, leaving him feeling roughly like he just went ten rounds with a cement truck.

While being dragged through the woods.

And on fire.

The rich smell of torn-up earth fills his nostrils with the first shaky indrawn breath, hands fisted into the grass. He’s face-down. God, but he’s face-down. Lying in the grass and the dirt with a pounding headache and a swelling soreness in his lungs, in his side.

Doesn’t take a goddamn genius.

His eyes slit open. There's a dull, scabbed red crusted over the ridges of his knuckles. Just beside him, a shallow mound of smooth white. He reaches carefully with one hand, fingertips running over the cool pale edge of the mask, that old familiarity. He doesn't need to see the empty eyes, the taunting curve of its motionless smile, to know what he's done.

With the bracing flex of fingers pushing against loose-packed dirt, Tim forces himself painfully upright and immediately sinks back to his knees, breathing out a low, agonized hiss. His fingers creep over the sharp stab of pain through his abdomen, and through the tear in his shirt he can see the red puckered skin of - Jesus, did someone stab him?

Yeah, so take the cement truck analogy and add to it, something like triple the magnitude, because that’s about what it feels like.

His legs shake beneath him when he half-crawls, half-drags himself to the nearest tree and plants one hand against it, sucking in deep, slow lungfuls of air between ragged coughs. He tries to swipe a hand through his hair to push it from his face, but his fingers tangle into the clinging mat of - oh, wonderful. Twigs and leaves in his hair. Blood in his hair. The dark stain stretching of his side is unmistakeable; peeling back the blood-dampened layers of clothing doesn't make the sight any easier to stomach. Something pitted in his chest jolts as he grimaces and quickly looks away, breathing heavy and fast through his nose.

Still, and he summons up his bitter sense of not-optimism, it could be worse. He could be waking up with a broken leg. He could be waking up miles out of the state. So, sure, he has no idea how he's getting home like this when he can barely even walk - at least when his leg was broken he could still drive, he still had a car, and it might have been painful as fuck but he'd managed it. Teeth gritted against the agony buried in every tiny movement, he fishes out the phone that is thank god still in his pocket, but the sheer number of text notifications plunges his flicker of relief into ice. Even panicked, Jay wouldn’t send him so many -

Oh.

Oh god damn it.

Fuming, Tim thrusts the phone into his pocket and hopes to god that he's not about to be sick.
postictal: (not all there | masked)
[personal profile] postictal
[tw: weird formatting, dissociation]

When did they last - ?

They cannot remember. This body has not been theirs in so long.

w     e  w  i ll wait for you no more                              

It is theirs again. They have slid the familiar pale disc of their face to shroud the one belonging to the skin they wear, wrapped in their old, familiar mantle. There was a window, and they climbed out of it. They are awake for the first time in -

control is being ta  ke n away from y  o   u                                                                      

No matter.

They do not exist in that limbo of chemical suppression, not any longer. They could not have been muzzled by that chemical impulse forever. He should have known that. Their skin. The liar. Scared little boy. He is quiet now, and they are awake in his head. They flex fingers. They move silently but for the scrape of their leg dragging behind them in dead weight. They pull in breath, crisp and cold. The mechanics of existence are difficult. Half-remembered. Familiar again.

f   ro  m the sta rt it's been a game for us                                    

Quiet. Ahead, the woods. It is to them they creep. Tall things, slender trees, trunks stark and reaching to a sky fuzzy with stars. Wind stirs leaves, sending the curled husks of those dead things whispering over carpeted grass and sticks. They trace the skeleton claws of branches scratching the sky, and wonder if it is waiting for them. It always is.

Always watches. No eyes.

not anym o r  e                                                  
I'm coming for you                                   

Noise. Snap-twigs and rustled underbrush. They still, fall silent, scanning the place to which they've come. Something nearer? Something close? Something moving. Something here. Something they can find. Something they will find.

There's a trickle of code in their head.

and you will l e  ad me                

They remember. It is where they go. It is where everyone goes.

to t h   e      a    r           k

[ooc: so just after the fallout of the Rebel Base debacle, Tim ran out of medication and has masked out. The masked man is an alternate persona entirely - they don't have any of Tim's memories and are a very underdeveloped, generally aggressive consciousness. They don't talk, and basically look like this. Their instinct upon coming across anyone is mostly going to fall in the 'tackle and abduct' category, though reactions can and will vary. If you want to read more about their deal I've put info here and here. They'll be roaming Central Park all evening/night until the sun comes up again, at which point Tim will wake up and proceed to remember nothing of it.]
postictal: (behind you)
[personal profile] postictal
[tw: some brutality and beating, later some panic and flashbacking to hospitalization]

Keep your head down, stay off the radar, just act like the normal person you aren't, and everything will be fine.

That was the general idea.

Was.

But then, he should've expected something like this. When you come home from work and the door's not been open a minute before a couple ominously stone-faced guys come striding in, it generally throws up a few warning flags. And when opening your mouth to ask um sorry, but what the hell incites one of them to bring you down in a hard tackle that sends your cheek stinging against the carpet and your knees scraping along the ground, pure fight-or-flight impulse kicks in. Fight and flight, actually, and Tim manages to crack one of them a solid right hook across the jaw that leaves a darkening bruise before they wrestle him into submission. Maybe if he wasn't him right now - fuck.

In the end, there isn't much he can do against two guys who look to have something like six inches on him, and a few minutes of hopeless thrashing and several well-placed kicks to his ribs later, it's pretty much a lost cause. The apartment interior's a wreck; Tim definitely heard something shatter on his way to the ground, and he feels the distant, bizarre urge the apologize to Jay for being responsible for fucking things up yet again. He's sorry, Jay, really he is. He didn't mean to this time, honestly.

And that's when one of the guys sinks a fist into his stomach, and Tim loses track of things for a little while as his entire respiratory system promptly goes to shit.

He wakes in a little square room of concrete walls and windowless gloom.

Fuck. Fuck no. He lurches to his feet, all dizziness and nausea, and pounds at the door that looks more solid than any locked hospital door fuck, and he screams let him out and is anyone there? and please I need help please until his voice rasps into hoarseness and his vocal chords feel wet, as if they're torn and bleeding. His fists sting from banging against the door, its impassively hollow tone drumming against his ears. His jacket's gone. His medication. They fucking took it off him, they took everything, they took him away, and if there's anything he can do to help his situation, it's think and be calm and be compliant and be cooperative and not panic right now, which he isn't, who would even think that?

Because he's not a scared little kid anymore. He's not, he swears he's not. There's nothing tall and specter-like in the room with him, and he's not curled in the corner with his knees drawn up and his arms wrapped around them and he's not huddled like he's eight years old again, because he's not the lost little boy crammed into a hospital room with a plethora of confusing and contradictory symptoms. He's not.

It's just a dream, and any moment he's going to wake up.

Shitfit!

Apr. 26th, 2015 07:28 pm
applesaucemod: (Default)
[personal profile] applesaucemod
All is right in Manhattan this week.

It is a week like any other. The little creatures that dot the surface of the land scuttle to and fro about their business, each amusingly convinced of its own importance. A number of them relocate themselves with an unusual degree of difficulty. Some die. Some do not die. One or two new ones, the special kind, arrive.

And then…and then something is not right in Manhattan. Something is, in fact, wrong, incorrect, and unacceptable. Two -- no, four -- no, two of the little scuttling things --

-- THEY HAVE NO RIGHT --

-- WHY CAN'T IT --

-- CAN'T CLOSE, CAN'T STOP THEM --

GONE!


Gone!! The Rift claps furiously closed, but too late. Too late! They're gone, they've left, and they had no right! It did not permit them! Two they took with them only even existed thanks to the Rift, and those -- THOSE UPSTARTS --

It can't reach the ones who caused the superficial injury that's already healing (that's scarring over, it will NEVER AGAIN ALLOW THIS), and so the Rift lashes out at the ones who remain in their place. It can feel the little pets that remain, all of them, and it will remind them who owns them.


[OOC: Right! Andrew and James have escaped from New York just like Snake Plissken and the Rift is having a shitfit over it. Tag into this post for general Rift-related shenanigans; there will be a separate post for characters who want to attack ROMAC.

The Rift will inflict a wide variety of little inconveniences and torments on the people it considers its own, and players can choose what their characters will face. These should be things that could more or less go unnoticed by the population at large (so no city-wide effects, and please be careful to avoid anything that would effectively godmode other people's characters). Anything that's happened in a past Rift event is fair game, as are personal rainclouds, randomly appearing objects and animals, involuntary transformations, and just about anything else on the personal level. On a somewhat broader level, expect to find random acres of the Ramble transformed into jungle, redwood forest, wintery pines, and various other types of Incorrect Wilderness.]
postictal: (rethink that move son | smoking)
[personal profile] postictal
He spends the entire day and night off, out. He has no goal in mind, no place to stay; he simply meanders, directionless, and steadily burns his way through an entire pack. He doesn't want to see Jay. He doesn't want to talk to him, or anyone, preferably again.

But like it or not, Tim's dependent on him for shelter - sort of, anyway, but he's not about to bother Johnny with his problems again no matter how much he's tempted. He misses the pattern of quiet simplicity he and Johnny fell into, no needing to talk over their shit so much as let it hover unaddressed, or barely addressed, and that suited them both just fine. Johnny never pried anything out of him, just urged him gently. Never used him. Never left him behind. Never took advantage of who and what Tim is.

Maybe it would have been a matter of time. Isn't it usually. Tim's the common variable in everything that's gone horribly, irreversibly wrong in his life. He knows it's on him. Usually. And the few times it isn't -

His last cigarette's smoldering stump is extinguished under the grind of a heel as he stamps into the building, shoulders up and hunched almost to his ears, hands jammed uncomfortably into his pockets. The rattle of pills in his jacket pocket is too high-pitched, too few objects rolling around in their orange bottle with the shredded label. He should be worried about that. But he isn't.

The door's locked, but Tim had the forethought to grab keys, if only out of impulse. He hadn't thought he would be coming back at the time - or, no, really he hadn't been thinking at all, period, simply tore open the door with the mindless, infuriated yank of an arm, spilled out of the building and onto the street, and there he'd stayed. Walking and smoking and not thinking.

But he had to come back sometime. No more running and hiding, remember, Tim? Or had he resolved to only ever run and hide, never confront things brazenly, because isn't that what Jay made a habit of doing and look where it got him - but he's made so many pointless resolutions and so many of them have failed that he frankly can't remember what he's meant to be doing anymore.

So he comes back. He lets the door swing shut behind him, neither slamming nor closing but snapping shut with frosty neutrality while Tim pins down the apartment's sole tenant with a glare.
deadeyedchild: we need to keep going (this is your last chance)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
He wakes up engulfed in a hot, smothering prison with no distinguishing qualities. Everything is white, mostly dark with some light seeping through, everything is uneven and collapsing. Fabric? He scrambles and can't find any edges, any way to breach the coverings. Where is he?!

He flails around wildly, trying to fight his way out but he can't seem to push any of it back. It's definitely fabric but it's too heavy for him, and the strangely cushiony surface he's on is vast and difficult to navigate.

Distantly, muffled, he can hear Tim calling his name. "Tim?" he answers, but his voice must be so dampened by everything on top of him, can Tim even hear him? He tries again, desperate: "Tim, help me!"

Nothing. He keeps struggling, having picked a direction that seems right somehow, crawling and fighting his way through. He can barely breathe in here. He has to get out. He has to.

There's a harder line of light up ahead. Escape. He scrambles for it like he's coming up for air, almost there, almost-

The air is suddenly a little cold on his sweat-soaked skin as he breaks free, though he's still on this same surface, something huge and equally, abnormally soft in front of him. He's not covered up anymore but he's still - wait, what the fuck is-

He can hear Tim a little more clearly now, but his voice is all wrong, deeper maybe, or just more resonating? He clambers awkwardly toward the edge of the surface and peeks over it.

Like a cliff's drop. He jerks back quickly, gasping for breath.

That was the floor. That was the floor.

He's on his bed.

"Tim!" he cries. He stands up awkwardly, shaking, wobbling unsteadily on the mattress, waving his arms and bouncing slightly. "Tim, I'm here!"

Everything's starting to make more sense now. Well, a certain level of 'sense'. He can see the rest of the room looming around him, his bedside table and his - that must be his phone. The pile of cameras, the windows. He can see Tim, too, looking like a fucking giant.

"TIM!" he yells again, enough that he hurts his voice and starts coughing a little. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

He's about the length of Tim's palm and he has no idea why.

Must be Tuesday.
deadeyedchild: the number you have dialed (look closely)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
So. Tim is coming here.

Tim is going to crash here.

Tim is going to stay here. For the time being.

Jay looks at his phone, sitting dormant on the bed, no more texts after his last one. He wants to pick it up and fidget with it, but he's learning not to fidget with things unnecessarily (his growing collection of curiously labeled cameras all piled up in the corner is a constant reminder), and anyway there's nothing more to say. Tim needs a place to stay, he's not going to throw his lot in with any organization, and this is his only option.

He looks up suddenly, looks around the apartment. Is it even ready to have two people living in it? The kitchen is barely stocked, there's this stiff-backed couch and the bed, which might be large enough for two people if those two people were in a fucking relationship, not... two distrustful assholes thrown together by circumstances, once, twice, and now again.

He gets up abruptly, filled with the absurd desire to clean. There is not much to clean. Some arbitrary litter, some half-eaten food, some clothes. Does Tim have any extra clothes? How's he been getting by with nothing?

Why didn't Jay offer this before?

Because he's a shit, and because last time they saw each other Tim punched him deservingly in the face.

He paces briefly, and then ends up sitting on the bed, his knees pulled up, back against the wall, fiddling with his phone after all. He needs something to do, and Tim will surely text again when he gets here. For now he focuses his attention elsewhere, refusing to wait for the little typing indicator like a desperate boyfriend. He thumbs absently through the app store, comes upon an app for YouTube, and hesitates for a long time, knowing he shouldn't, knowing he will. And he does, and watches it download. Just, he thinks, just in case.

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