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.
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.”
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.
postictal: (uh huh sure | smoking)
[personal profile] postictal
This is a bad idea.

Then again, that's kind of his specialty. Bad ideas, and making the best of them. Well, that's really more Jay's specialty, but - Tim's not thinking about Jay. He has a policy where he doesn't think about Jay unless it's the staunch reminder that he's getting him back. He just - needs to find him first. Somehow.

Tim sighs.

'Rates negotiable'. What does that even mean? It's not like the vague label of 'adventurer' is much of a reliable job description. This is the kind of shitty idea tantamount to Jay's late night expeditions in the middle of creepy nightmare-infested woods. Meeting a self-described 'adventurer' because he's desperate, because he felt something work when he woke up this morning and Jay must've gotten out, he must have, he's just - he's just not here. He's lost. He's always lost. He gets lost in woods he's never been in. It's what he does.

Tim swirls his glass of water, the soft clink of ice cubes against glass barely audible over the low drone of the other patrons. He doesn't really know what to make of this place with its weird-as-fuck old-timey feel, and the irregular surges of people spilling in and out aren't doing much to put his jangling nerves at ease. He hunches over his water, knuckles blanching as his grip tightens over the glass. Too many people. Too many goddamn people, and not enough space.

There's an all-too-familiar tightness in his lungs. He digs out his phone and taps out a message - seeking adventurer - and lays it out flat on the table in front of him with a muted click. Is that a thing people do? Is that a good indication of who he is and who he's looking for? Fuck, as if he couldn't have been more vague.

With a loose, fuck it shrug of his shoulders, Tim drains his water and puts his head in his hands. Definitely a bad idea.
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!
postictal: (hundred yard stare)
[personal profile] postictal
[tw: grief, depression, and internalized self-loathing, lots of mentions of death]

Days pass. It's what they do.

Time crawls along with agonizing, sludgelike uncertainty, and Tim will never scrub himself clean of the sensation of the fragile, trembling man dying beneath his hands as he faded away to nothing. Gone again, like he was never here. He told him, he kept telling him he would stop it, he'd haul Jay back from the brink like he always had and like he failed to, but ignoring the inescapable never made it go away. It was a logical progression. It's been -

He doesn't know how long it's been. He's stopped keeping track. He's let himself crumble, and he knows it. It was easy. Work has been put on hold. He hasn't called in sick. He hasn't eaten, or slept, or done much of anything. Just existed in his shell of self-imposed apathy, because slamming up walls is easier than looking his own failures square in their looming, faceless faces.

And Tim waits.

And Tim waits.

And Tim waits.

Eventually it occurs to him that Jay's stuff is still just - sitting there, pasta box and all those sets of keys and everything, and he's been putting that inevitability off because he doesn't want to look at it (childish), he doesn't want to address it (deluded), he doesn't want to shroud himself in grief again (pathetic), because he already did this. It isn't fair.

When has his life ever cared about fair. Really, now.

So morning finds Tim unlocking the door to Jay's apartment with a hollow feeling constricting his chest, steadily loading the dead man's meager belongings into cardboard boxes. He compartmentalizes everything with manufactured indifference, squeezing it down the smallest possible denominator. Maybe he'll throw the boxes over the bridge. Maybe he'll burn every last one of them. Except - Tim doesn't burn things. That's not him.

'You don't even like me.'

Tim grimaces. He piles the boxes into the hallway with utter disregard for anyone who might be passing through, a miniature cairn of discarded items and cardboard.

Fuck you, Jay, he thinks with vehement, abrupt outrage, feeling a sick surge of satisfaction with snapping the door shut behind him. Fuck him, fuck him, for leaving, again. Fuck him for leaving Tim to clean up his goddamn mess, again.

Fuck him for thinking he could just die and Tim wouldn't grieve over him, even a little bit.
waymoremysterious: (pic#7828797)
[personal profile] waymoremysterious
There are very few moments in Raven's relatively young life that she can remember being truly stunned by something to such an extent that it literally changed everything, aside from one. The night she met Charles, when she was just a girl. She was shocked to discover she wasn't alone. There were others who could do things – special things – just like she could. It had given her a feeling in her stomach as though she'd been punched and had caused the world to seem to tilt a bit as hope exploded within her. Everything changed for her. It had been life-altering.

Now, however, she realizes she's going to have to add another time to that very short, extremely exclusive list. Because right now, she's feeling that same way again. Something huge is happening that is changing her entire perspective on life as she's always understood it. This time, however, it isn't because of what she can do but rather where she's wound up. Or, more importantly, when.

New York City in 2013. New York City she can handle. She's spent plenty of time in the city and knows how to survive just fine. But fifty years into the future in the blink of an eye? It's enough to make her wonder what else, exactly, is possible. Because even for someone who can change her shape to look like anyone she wants, time travel is a tough pill to swallow.

Not impossible, though. So while the situation is a heady one, it isn't enough to steal her composure for long. After a few heartbeats of staring with a somewhat slack-jawed expression at the date on the newspaper in a corner stand, she pulls herself together and turns to take in her surroundings more fully with a raised chin and speculative look. She isn't blue, as much as she longs to shed her "normal" human guise and return to her truly natural look. For the time being, though, she isn't trying to draw attention to herself. She just wants to blend in and figure out what in the hell is going on.

That's the last thought that goes through her mind as she moves away from the newspaper stand and, with her gaze still flickering from the shops to the people around her, Raven absently steps off the curb and directly toward oncoming traffic.
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


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 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.


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.


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 --


-- WHY CAN'T IT --



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.


bigapplesauce: (Default)
The Big Applesauce


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