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.
rae_of_sun: (tapped out)
[personal profile] rae_of_sun
Is she getting too settled? Maybe that's the problem. Maybe 'I'm doing okay here' is too close to 'I could stay here forever.' Add that to the awareness that her feelings on the matter don't even rate - because if the Rift was going to do her any favors, it would have before now (right?) - and maybe it's no surprise that she's feeling a bit... bogged.

Sunshine looks around her apartment in vague, general discontent. It's too neat to warrant a tidying, and she lacks the requisite inspiration for a more desperate deep-clean. She doesn't really want to make anything, regardless of whether the sliding scale of difficulty is set to 'tea' or 'toxic experimental sugar concoction.'

She doesn't really want to do anything. But she doesn't want to just sit around by herself, either.

After a long, self-deprecating groan, Sunshine picks up her keys and trudges out into the hallway. She'll go see Spike. He'll make her feel better (or at least he probably won't make her feel worse). And he has a kitten, presuming he hasn't eaten it. Hey, she's checking on the kitten; that's practical. Look at her, accomplishing things. You're welcome, kitten.

By the time she reaches Spike's door, she can tell he's inside. That's a relief; she didn't walk all the way down here for nothing. She lifts a hand and raps a knuckle against the door, then leans against the wall while she waits for a response.
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.
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.
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.
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.
bibliophale: (excuse you | no)
[personal profile] bibliophale
Aziraphale is up bright and early, in that he has been up for several days straight, finally having a bit more luck not getting trapped in the Rift's infernal dreamspace. Melanie is still asleep and he doesn't want to disturb her, so he miracles himself some tea silently and drinks it just as silently, mentally preparing himself for the task that awaits him. He promised to help Gabriel with this new child, and he will help. Melanie had seemed both excited and a little daunted by the prospect of having a real human child around, but he isn't terribly worried about how she'll get on. It's himself he isn't so sure about.

Well, nothing for it but to get on. He'd been directed to the apartment below Gabriel's - the evident home of his so-called "boytoy" - to retrieve the girl, so he focuses in on the place and the minds therein (odd little minds, both of them) and departs.

He arrives to find the young man sitting at his desk with a cup of coffee, smiling faintly at the little girl, who appears to be playing with a rabbit. Johnny startles slightly to see the new presence, looking vaguely annoyed. Perhaps he should have knocked.

"Sorry," he says. "Er, Johnny, right? I'm here for Lilly?" He looks at the little girl and offers an uncertain smile. "Hallo."

The childish crayon drawings that cover the wall have certainly not gone unnoticed. Such behavior will not be allowed at his house. That will have to be corrected.

"Nice to meet you," says Johnny in a tone that makes it very clear it isn't. What an unpleasant little man. When he addresses the girl, however, his tone becomes completely different: soft and gentle. Hrmph. Why isn't he good enough to keep the child around?

Perhaps because he allows her to draw on walls.

"Lilly," says Johnny. "This is the guy we told you about. He's gonna take you somewhere nice that you can stay, okay?" He glances up at Aziraphale. "Is there anything she can call you that isn't that many syllables?"

"There is not," says Aziraphale, mildly affronted at the suggestion.

Johnny stares coldly at him, then says pointedly to the girl, "This is Greg."

A very unpleasant little man.
fucking_ebay: (misc | pouring a drink)
[personal profile] fucking_ebay
It's tempting -- maybe surprisingly tempting to anyone who doesn't know Peter as well as he knows himself -- to just burn it all and start over. A penthouse (not to mention an actual fucking return to the stage) should mean matching furniture and built-ins, shiny new fixtures, and all the details and decorations planned and picked down to the silk sheets and the display cases he's sure to start filling with spooky crap and detritus rare supernatural artifacts and top of the line weapons.

Unfortunately, his time in New York has made him unpleasantly practical. The rickety bed, the ratty couch, the TV Gabe brought him (alright, that's at least decent) will all have to do, at least to start with. He's not a headliner again yet, and he's starved himself enough months to finally start relearning how to live on a budget. That includes not taking the lazy way out and hiring movers to get his stuff from one place to another literally within a few blocks (he seriously considered it), so this morning he's boxing up the last of the odds and ends that make up his life and stinking up his old apartment with a celebratory cigar for good measure. At least there's not much -- it's a tiny apartment and he never had money, so the problem is going to be less one of bulk and more one of the penthouse probably looking fucking empty even once he's unpacked again.

Bee's due any minute, insistent as she is on helping despite it being unclear to Peter what she's getting out of it. That probably means the cigar is a bit ill-advised (he's fairly sure they're not allowed to smoke indoors at all), but he'd come across it while packing and it seemed stupid to put a lone cigar in one of the boxes. Anyway, it's not his apartment anymore, and not his problem.
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.
erratic_hematic: (THE CLAW)
[personal profile] erratic_hematic
After his strange encounter with a masked figure in the park, Spike limps back to his apartment with a fractured leg. He knows that Sunshine is going to be angry at him for getting himself hurt, and that she'll want to see him, but it's still too early to disturb her.

He sleeps, and wakes up a few hours later - too late to have caught Sunshine before she leaves for the bake shop. So he makes himself breakfast (ostrich blood is surprisingly good) then props his leg up on the coffee table and starts reading the first trashy romance novel within reach.

He does want to tell Sunshine about the masked man. It's been one of the most unusual things that's happened to him here since satan punched a hole through his chest. It hadn't been nearly as challenging a fight as he'd have liked it to be, but if whoever that was is out there wandering around, maybe there's something worse that he can dig up.

Once he's sure Sunshine is home, he limps up and knocks at her door. When she answers, he smiles and shifts his weight onto his sturdier leg. "Hey. You've gotta hear about what I ran into last night. Or who. I'm pretty sure it was a who. Can I come in?" Maybe if he gets her interested she won't get mad about the leg.
wildmage_daine: (wolf alert or curious)
[personal profile] wildmage_daine
Daine leaves the remains of the base in crow shape, surrounded by other birds, buzzing with adrenaline and borrowed strength. She and her friends have destroyed all the records they could find, left the labs in ruins, smashed computers and other expensive-looking things to pieces. The only things left intact are the tunnels themselves, because she hadn't wanted to risk collapsing the ground up above, and the food. Both belong to the rats, now, and she wishes them joy of it.

She's not sorry. She's not sorry.

The dogs are a bright, familiar cluster in her mind's eye, and she wings her way towards them. That's where Peeta will be. He's not as far from the base itself as she'd like him to be, but it doesn't matter anymore. If any stragglers tried to take him, they'd have nowhere to go.

The cold, furious part of her thinks: if any stragglers tried to take him, I'd kill them.

But there's no one suspicious around when she finally spies him and the others. Maybe Peeta knows her crow shape well enough to recognize her among the other birds as she swoops towards them. Regardless, she doesn't stay crow for long: once she hits the ground, she lapses into wolf shape, the only one she can count on herself to hold for any length of time. Maybe it's too noticeable, but there are far more noticeable things happening back near Columbus Circle. She could just be an overlarge dog.

Daine moves toward him, her gait somewhere between a trot and a stagger, hackles raised in lingering anger, but tail wagging. He's alive, he's in one piece, and they're free.
peacefulexplorer: (Ascended | Sad | ultimately helpless)
[personal profile] peacefulexplorer
Existence without form or breath or shape is disorienting, the spread of atoms over a plane he doesn't recognize, with the repeated dissolutions and reshapings of an indistinct self. At one point there was pain, and the unspooling of himself into light and purpose, and for a long while there is only amorphous drifting. He hits barriers, dissonant and frequent, where once he should have crossed from one plane to another, one reality to the next, in an effortless slide of energy across the universal boundaries. It is difficult to define emotional state outside of the human context - he only knows that he is not human - but it is a state of affairs that generates confused distress.

Temporal sequencing becomes a problem.

Awareness, too, is difficult to achieve. Gradually he is able to pull together the various components that comprise himself and reshape them into something capable of perception, but doing so strikes him with a revelation disconsolate, and that is that there are no Others here - no Ancients, nothing, simply an empty plane of shifting light and bottomless dark. And he is alone.

He knows he did this, and it was for a reason. But he finds he cannot remember anything, not immediately, and when the memories trickle back with his concentrated effort they are unfiltered and unstructured and unordered until finally he can impose the alien concept of linear time upon the thing, and fully interpret what he is in comparison to what he was.

Daniel Jackson.

The name is the linchpin that generates the outward ripples, spreading from that singular point of origin. It triggers the flood of remembrance, the 'gate, Manhattan, the locked-away knowledge that was once sealed in his head but now coalesces seamlessly into the whole of him now. He cannot delineate his form by shape or size or mass, not any longer, but now he remembers, he remembers what it is he can do and how it is he can do it.

He starts small because he must, drifting as a pair of hydrogen atoms while he glimpses the city on a reduced scale. Then he builds to it, the recollection of his shape. Spectrally manifesting was never truly allowed before, but if there are no Others then he is not bound by their laws. He assembles a body that resembles the one that was human and familiar, and projects it. It takes two tries to succeed, three to sustain it for longer than a meaningless collection of seconds, and no matter what he tries he cannot force his shape to manifest with glasses. Apparently his inner self, or however he chooses to define it, does not need them.

He loses track of how many attempts he makes before he can maintain his form visibly for any significant length of time. But finally, in a ragged burst of energy, the bewildered shape of Daniel Jackson reappears in Manhattan, and there he stays.

[ooc: Daniel Ascended back during the Rift Shitfit of September 4th, and he's only just figured out how to Do Things in his new state of being. Right now he's completely intangible and frequently phasing in and out of visible existence. I've added to his handy-dandy reference post as to what he can and can't do in this state. He can also show up LITERALLY ANYWHERE so if you want in on Ascended funtimes just pick a date and a location, or Daniel can pick one, or whatever.]


bigapplesauce: (Default)
The Big Applesauce


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