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/qst/ - Quests

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

A young girl with a terrible affliction and a miserable fate, Delilah is flung into an uncaring world. A monster of a man gives an unrelentless chase and burdens too heavy for her shoulders make a difficult life even harder to bear. Will you be able to find happiness, or be swallowed up by the misery and hate twisting up inside?

=Links and Information=


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


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/0107qV9kiFDlUH9nY
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.

Previous Thread:
"Um, if it's not too far out of the way do you think I could get a ride somewhere?" you ask and Sharron agrees to, "Can I borrow the phone for a second too then?"

"Tim, pick your toys up. I'm going to show her the phone then we're heading out, alright?" Timothy doesn't look too pleased about putting away the city he worked so hard to create, but begrudgingly agrees as Sharron leads you to a phone by the front counter. You call the number to the hospital you found in the phone book, thanking the front desk and writing down the address. The entire time Sharron waits patiently by, not speaking till you hang up the phone. "It's pretty rough out there, isn't it?"

"Er, yeah. It can be. But um, it's honestly not too bad when I'm with other people. I've met some good people, but um...it sucks that I had to meet them this way, you know?" Instead, you would have just made friends at school, probably just girls your age who have no idea how bad things can get.

"I know how that can be, making friends in unsavory places..." Sharron muses, looking off for a moment before returning all attention to you. "I know this might sound a bit strange, but let me give you what little advice I can offer."

"What is it?"

"I'm not sure if now is the time to tell you, or if I should be the one to do it, but try not to give your last name out too much, alright?"

"I usually don't."

"Right, but there might be a few people who might be rubbed the wrong way by it. Not that you've done anything, but...," Sharron pauses, deliberating on the next part. "That might not be attention you want in your current situation."

"I'm...not in danger, am I?"

"No, oh no! Just ah, it's a bit of a difficult subject," she glances over to her son, as if she doesn't want to explain it in front of him, "It's just that some names carry more weight around here, not all of it good. Of course it would be a petty thing for someone to actually try to start something over it...try not to think about it too much, I'm just fear mongering at this point."

Wide eyed, you nod but feel like your head is starting to spin.

"Hey, you feeling alright? You look a little pale." Sharron sounds worry, and reaches out to touch your forehead. "And running a little warm there too..."

"It's fine, just a bit of a headache." You pull back from her touch, trying to give a reassuring smile. The familiar pain is returning, and she must be able to tell it's bothering you.

"If you say so. I've got some aspirin in my car, maybe that'll help. But if you have the address then let's head out, Tim will be furious if I get him to the birthday party late."


Sharron's car is the only one in the parking lot now, and you can't recall anyone coming and going. Then again, this place holds a lot more then you could have ever expected. Timothy begs you to sit in the back with him, but Sharron shushes him.

"She's got a headache sweety, let her rest up while she can." Timothy looks downtrodden by this, but you know it would be the best if you sat right next to the window with minimum distraction. Not a long enough drive to sleep, but you can maybe close your eyes.

"Right, now let's see...where is that aspirin at..." Sharron searches the car for the bottle, and you reach for the glove compartment.

"Is it here-"

"Ah no!" Sharron's voice is loud and catches both Timothy and you off guard, and she does her best to come back from her little outburst. "S-Sorry, the stupid thing is so frustrating. Full of junk, but it takes me forever to shut it. I'm afraid if you opened it then I wouldn't be able to get it to hold close again...and uh, here we go. I found the bottle anyways."

Her behavior makes you feel nervous, but she passes over the white tablets you've seen many times before. You feel scared to the glove compartment popping open and the terrible awful thing inside jumping out at you, gripping the strap of the seat belt tightly.

The entire drive you can feel Timothy looking over at you, and what Sharron mentioned earlier about his bounces between the aches in your head. Occasionally you look back to offer him a grin, and Timothy returns it for a moment before going back to studying you. You do your best to look out the window, but the movements and stopping motion of the car makes you feel sick. Well, you know it's not just because of the car, but it doesn't help. The thought of getting through the next few days like this isn't appealing in the slightest, though the aspirin does what it can to cull your current pain. It feels a bit warm, but when you press your forehead against the chilly window it's a comfortable kind of warmth. The kind for taking a nap, and you close your eyes.


"Pst, hey. We're here." Sharron's voice rouses you gently, and you blink yourself awake. You would love to turn over and go back to sleep, but with the large building across the street you know this isn't an option. A faded sign near the drive way spells out the letters VFW enough to confirm where you are.

"Oh, thanks..." You mumble, trying to shake yourself awake.

"It's not a problem, let me help you grab your bag." Sharron parks and steps out of the car with you, popping the trunk and helping you bring out the duffel bag. Her hands rest on your shoulders and she leans down to whisper in your ear. "Can you do me a favor?" You nod, and she continues.

"I don't mind you using the theater as a meet up point, but there are some days where that isn't doable. Tomorrow, for example. I guess if it's an absolute emergency, but do your best to keep your distance for me, alright?"

"O-Oh, okay. I can do that easy, n-no problem." you agree, and Sharron lets you go and stands back.

"Thank you. Now I have to head out, take care. And try your best to not walk out alone too much, alright? As a mother it worries me." You nod and say your goodbyes, waving to Timothy as the car drives off. Yawning, you walk into the hospital. It's a bit cheaper then the one your mother is at, and you instantly feel out of place with all the adults. It feels embarrassing lugging the bag around too, awkwardly trying to hold onto it as you wait for the front desk.

"Can I help you?" The man asks when it's finally your turn, and you set down the bag to talk to him.

"I was hoping to see someone staying here. Or, I think they are anyways...I'm not sure how many other um...VFW? Hospitals there are here..."

"We're the only one now. Can I get a name for the patient?"

"Oh um, John. John B-...Boseman. M-My dad." you pray that you remembered his name correctly, but the instant you say it the man makes a face.

"Blonde guy? Kinda tall and skinny? " he asks, and you nod in confirmation. "There's a bit of a problem with that."

At this, your stomach lurches. "What is it...?"

"I'm afraid we don't know where he is-"

"You lost him?!" You didn't mean to shout, but you can't believe what you just heard. "How can you lose a man?"

"It seems like your father had been giving trouble to some of the nurses and doctors. He kept trying to leave before we could release him, was acting erratically. When they checked him earlier it seems like he had taken off all his IV's and just..."

"Just left? How?! I...dammit..." You scratch at your head, frustrated.

"I am so sorry about this, we are doing our best to fix the issue. If you like, you can stay in the waiting room till we figure out the situation."

"How long ago did he leave?"

"Only about...actually I think it's only been thirty minutes. They are searching the hospital frantically for him though, I promise."

With a loss of words, you back away from the desk and let the next person step up, trying to figure out how they could have lost a grown man.

You could sit in the waiting room. Maybe they will find John and everything will be fine. You doubt it will be that easy, but there's not much you can do in this situation.

But then again, he only just left. He didn't seem to be in the best condition either, and wouldn't have much on him. There's no way he could have gotten far. You wouldn't have to stray too much, just go out and look for him for a bit maybe, try to find him. If things get too scary then you could just duck back inside of here. If John was weak and ended up collapsing somewhere, then there's no way he could get help...

Or maybe this is a lost cause, and you should figure out somewhere else to go. But where...

Should you stay here and wait, try to go out and find John, or think of a new plan?
With us lugging around this heavy bag of ours, John would probably get farther than us, even injured.

Maybe he's just being obstinate and went for a walk to get some fresh air. Or a cigarette.

Let's wait for now.
>stay here and wait
You feel sore about this whole situation, but waiting here is probably the best course of action. John might come back, or Sam might come by to pick him up, or both will be here and you can just leave with them and everything will be fine. Over at the waiting room, just an area of the place set aside with plastic chairs and benches strewn about and a fuzzy TV trying to play a movie through static, you find a corner of the room to sit alone. It's mostly older people waiting about, a child here and there clinging to the leg of their parent as they wait to see their patient or to hear back results.

There are other people waiting alone, but you're the only child without someone near by. Hoping no one takes notice, you sit in your own little spot and try to take up the least amount of room. This was your best bet, you can always go to Claire but that may mean waiting for who knows how long. Her condition isn't going to get better any time soon, and you doubt they would let you stay the night there freely. John just needs to come back already, and then you can let him handle all these decisions and plan making. You hate being in charge like this, all the weight resting on your shoulders like this. It's too much responsibility for you or anyone to handle, doing nothing to help your head feel better. For now you settle down in the chair, glad that you can at least be inside for the mean time. You watch as people come and go, patients and visitors, occasionally a nurse or doctor. All these people and none of them are here for you.

At one point you get up to get food from a vending machine, but for the majority of the time you remain in your seat. It's boring waiting here, but you're scared that you'll nod off if you close your eyes. The aspirin from earlier has begun to wear off, that or the florescence lights are making the pain worse. You don't feel as nauseous after eating and getting water from the fountain, and you remind yourself that a headache is nothing compared to what some of your friends have been through.

The little hand inches further and further on the clock, making you bite your nails. Most of the people who were here with you have gone, new people taking their places soon enough. But as the end of visitation hours comes closer the room becomes more empty, and your anxiety rises. Only just about to be five, if they kicked you out now then at least it won't be dark, but you won't have the slightest idea about what to do next. Maybe you can make it over to Sharron's house again before dark, but going over to her place makes you feel uneasy now.

"Excuse me, Ms. Boseman?" A woman's voice calls out and it takes her repeating it twice before you realize she is talking to you.

"O-Oh, um yes?" you sit on the edge of your chair, waiting for her to say that you must leave now.

"We found your father. I apologize for making you worry like that, it seems like he had been hanging about in the stairwells before trying to make it into the alleys. We have him back in a room now if you would like to come to me," she says, motioning for you to follow her. You jump up, heart beating quickly. As you follow her upstairs she continues speaking, "I don't know if you've dealt with this before, but I must warn you that Mr. Boseman is rather on edge right now. He's rather agitated from being kept here it seems, but we just need to check his condition tomorrow before we release him."

You nod, just thankful that he came back at all.

"We have him set aside in one of a private room so he doesn't bother the other patients. He's been doing alright, but ever since this morning he's been rather uh, cranky..."

"That's fine. I just want to see him again." The nurse nods and opens the door, letting you walk in.Two doctors stand by the bedside, John laying there in street clothes. A tube leads out of his arm and to an IV, an otherwise usual scene. John has a peeved off expression though, and you catch the very tail end of a scolding from the doctors.

"Excuse me? Mr. Boseman's daughter is here to see him." The nurse announces, and John looks over with a surprised look.

"Right. I already gave you an earful then. Don't you think about moving now, understand? You nearly gave our dear nurses a heart attack," the other doctor warns, but John barely acknowledges him. As the they turn to leave, he whispers to you. "If anything happens, or if he attempts to leave then please, hit that red button by his bed. It'll alarm the staff and we'll be down here."

You just nod and the doctors walk out, discussing matters under their breath. The nurse checks over John's charts as she talks to you.

"Now, normally I would have to kick you out in about fifteen minutes. Since you are Mr. Boseman's daughter though you are allowed to stay in the room with him. Now before I head out, is there anything you need sir?" the nurse is polite, offering a warm smile to John.

"I'd like it if the white coat fuckers would let me leave already." The crudeness makes both the nurse and you cringe, but she tries to keep her warm and friendly demeanor.

"I'm afraid I don't have any say in that. Dinner should be brought to you in an hour or so. Do you want me to bring you something?" This last question is directed to you, and you only nod. She does some last checks on the machines and drip before leaving the two of you alone.

"Glad to see ya kid," John says once you two have privacy, forcing a smirk on his face for a moment, "Guess you're here alone."

"No one came by to get me. Um, I'd been staying at this hotel while Sam was moving everyone, and I was supposed to get picked up there. I couldn't stay any longer though, and um...here I am." It's just a short explanation, but it's good enough for John.

"Shit, not even Law came by?" It's weird hearing him curse so freely like this, and you notice a certain urgency in his voice.

"He's out, and um...he's trying to make some money. I can't go out with him though, they'll recognize me with him. I'm pretty sure he knows where the new place is, but I have no idea what he's doing now. I couldn't stay at the hotel though, and I just...I just didn't know where else to go."

"Fuck. Alright, let's get going then." John sits up as he says this, and starts messing with the IV in his arm.

"Wait, what do you think you're doing?"

"Ain't no one coming to get me. They probably think I'm dead weight now, but I can at least help you look for them." John flinches in pain, stopping to catch his breath.

"You can't leave yet, the hospital said so!" you don't know where all this anger is coming from, you weren't expecting it out of him like this.

"Like hell I can't. I was doin' fine earlier. Longer I stay the longer my bill will be anyways." At this John gets up, dragging the IV with him over to the sink in the room. He's limping slightly, obviously in pain with each step.

"They'll come for you, I don't think they'd want to abandon you-"

"Didn't you think the same thing for yourself?" John sounds annoyed, and his words cut you.

"Th-...there's no way they would abandon us just like that! Something...something must have c-came up or...or something...!"

"Exactly. Either they left you out to dry or something is keepin' them from gettin' to ya. Either way, sitting here on our asses ain't going to help us, is it? The sooner we leave the better." With a swift motion, John pulls the needle from his skin, leaving it in the sink as he washes the area clean and wraps it up with paper towels.

You look over to the red button by his bed, the one that will bring the doctors. You can try to convince John to stay, keep out the staff. But if you can't do it yourself then you'll need to call them in to help...John will be pissed by that though.

But maybe he's right. Maybe you two should leave. But would leaving now even be smart? It's still kind of light outside, but they will probably be keeping an eye out. Maybe you can convince him to wait till later tonight...

Talking him down, calling the doctors in, or agreeing to leave with him...another choice resting on your shoulders...

[try to convince john to stay, leave with him, inform the staff so he has to stay]

SOrry about the wait and messiness of everything. Not only dealing with car troubles, but now my gram is in the hospital. I may have to put the quest on hiatus for a few days to visit her, but I will try to post that before hand.
Tell him we don't want to see him hurting himself, 'cause right now it looks like he's walking on lego with every step. It'll probably just get worse.

We can get something to eat, and talk. If he's only been like this since this morning, it could be a reaction to a change in his medication, so try to assuage his bitterness by claiming that we could always sneak out come nightfall, under the cover of darkness.

Maybe insist that we'll find a way to pay his medical bills.
"I really don't think it's a good idea for you to go out in your condition right now," you keep an eye on the door, waiting for him to either bolt out or for someone to come in. "You should eat first, and then we can sit down and like...like think this through better. Don't you think they'll end up trying to come after you again if they see you left?"

"Are you actually trying to suggest that we just wait around here? And what is that going to do?" John sounds annoyed now, this time directed at you. It hurts, but you try to remind yourself that this isn't the usual, that he's just cranky from all the medicine, being in the hospital, and probably in pain from getting shot.

"It's better then just running out there blindly, right? I have no idea where everyone is, do you?"

"No, I don't. But sitting here isn't exactly going to help us find them, is it?" In the mirror, you can see that John is focused, his eyebrows furrowed and a hand coming to rest over his wound. "Waiting around ain't getting us anywhere, and the sooner we get back to the group the better."

"But what if someone comes after we leave?"

"If they haven't came now then they aren't coming later. You can't just expect someone to always swoop in and save you." John walks over to the window, looking out as if searching for someone. He's gritting his teeth as he walks, his words stinging.

"I don't just expect someone to come in and save me..." you mumble, trying to remind yourself that this isn't how he really is, "A-Anyways, where would we even go right now? Have you thought about that?"

"I've got place..."

"And? What then? I don't just want to rush out there blindly." You'll have to hold your ground on this and try to do your best at not making John any more peeved off.

"Better then sitting here and just waiting for something to happen."

"We're not just waiting for something to happen. We're making sure no one comes by and then discussing a plan where we know it's safe. And after that then um, maybe we can talk about how to pay your medical expenses too. Or at least what that'll mean...but running out like this is um...it's scary John," you look down at the floor as you say this, admitting the other reason you want to stay, "I'm scared. I don't want to rush out there like that."

John continues to look out the window, remaining silent. You sneak some peeks over to the button, hoping you don't have to resort to calling in the doctors. He allows the blinds to fall close, but John doesn't turn to look back at you when he finally speaks.

"Of course you're scared," His voice is tired now, his anger falling to exhaustion as he taps at his temple, "Anyone that isn't all messed up here would be in your situation. Guess I really am the messed up one, ain't I?" Giving up, John walks back and sits on the edge of the bed, hiding his face away in his hand.

"It's okay. I know you don't want to be here-"

"I need to be here."

"So you can get better, yeah."

"And me running off like that would just be another mistake." John speaks annoyed with himself. The aggression hasn’t left, only changed its focus.

“Um, hospitals are pretty scary to be in,” you doubt that’s why John wants to leave so bad, but you want to do your best to reassure him that things are fine, “I wouldn’t like to be in one either. But uh…at least from the looks of it, you’re going to be…alright.”

“They told me I probably won’t be able to walk like I was able to before. Maybe if it was just my hip that was screwed up, but my back is all kinds of messed up too. Everything just hurts…or it should. They got me on some of the good stuff, but I know that ain’t going to last me long. I’ll be discharged, and then left to deal with this on my own. Just another beating I’ve got to take I guess,” John reaches into his pocket, pulling out a crumpled pack of cigarettes. He pulls one out, ready to light it as you stand there nervously. Realizing where he is again, John dejectedly saves his smoke for another time, rolling it between his fingers. “Wasn’t expecting to pull through that, you know?”

“You’ve been through worse. I’m sure that was nothing for you.” You hope your words will encourage him, raise him up when he needs it.

“Maybe I was just kinda hopin’ I didn’t make it then.” As John puts the cigarette back in its place you feel a stone drop in the pit of your stomach.


“I’m just kidding,” John says, but you aren’t really sure if he means that, “Well, maybe not when I was laying there on the ground covered in my own blood. It hurts, but then you kinda get cold and tired and just…you kinda start to lose hope in that moment.”

“We shouldn’t have left you alone.”

“We all made it out alright, didn’t we?” At this you nod, but you have no idea what happened between Sam and you leaving John behind and him being brought to the hospital. You have no idea what happened to Warren, or if any of his friends came by or what. All you know is that John made it, and maybe it’s okay that that’s all you know. “Sam doin’ alright?”

“Yeah. He’s been really busy though, he needs a break…”

“Bet Marilyn misses him somethin’ fierce too. Maybe things will finally start goin’ our way, and stop going so shitty- er, sorry ‘bout the language there missy.” John offers you a tired grin, and while you offer one back it feels like he’s only putting this on as a façade.

“The nurse is going to be mad that you took that out.” You say, pointing at the stand.

“Eh, not the worse thing I’ve done to them today.” John kicks off his shoes, making you feel more relaxed. For now you sit down in the chair, setting your bag under the provided table.

“I hope the food here is alright, I’m starving.” You want to bring attention away from the heavy subject, unsure if you’re capable of handling it. John doesn’t answer, starring off at the wall. “Um, did you hear me?”

“…sorry, what?” John shakes his head, focusing himself, “Sorry, sorry. My head has been kinda in a jumbled mess lately. More so then usual, anyways.”

“It’s fine.” You say, watching through the clouded window of the door. The shadow of a person passes by occasionally, but no one stopping by to check on you guys yet.

You think back to Lawrence, and feel…weird knowing about what it is he’s doing right now. You don’t like it, and it makes you stomach turn. Maybe you can talk about it with John, but then that means more people will know what Lawrence has been doing. But it may also give you a chance to ask for advice on the drugs you’re carrying…you’re sure John would know something, but you aren’t sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Thinking about what happened at the field doesn’t make you feel much better either. If something bad happened, you doubt Lawrence would tell you everything just for the sake of keeping you from feeling bad. Maybe you can talk to John about that, but if it turns out Warren did die…then you’ll know for sure, and have to live with that fact forever.

Planning what to do right now is an option, but it could just stress John out more right now. It feels like he might not be thinking quite right, and with him wanting to get out of here that badly it may just make him more anxious. If you don’t talk about it now, then you can save it for later when you think he’s a bit calmer.

If anything, maybe talking about the group or something like that would be good, even if it doesn’t accomplish much.

>What do you want to talk about?

locked out of my house, posting from school computers
We promised Lawrence not to talk to anyone about the drugs, and we can at least keep that when it involves anyone from the group.

It might... feel better to know about Warren for sure, rather than letting the uncertainty eat us up inside. Maybe asking John if uncertainty is better.

... there's still the very real chance that we just messed Warren's face up real bad.
It's not something you really want to do, but you know that you might never rest properly unless you know what happened after you left the field. Even if the answer is the one you fear most...you just have to know, or else you'll end up spending the rest of your life just speculating.

"John, will you be honest with me about something?"

"What is it, missy?"

"I don't want you to sugarcoat it or anything, alright? Just tell me the truth, I can handle it," you take a breath to calm yourself before finally asking, "What happened after Sam and I left? What happened to...to Warren."

"Was thinkin' about when you'd get around to asking me that," John stops as the door opens, a different nurse wheeling in a cart with food, "I'll tell ya in a bit."

John tries to chat up the nurse for now, probably attempting to seem friendly after his outbursts from earlier. It's obvious that she is either on edge or had been warned about his behavior before, keeping a careful eye on him. She treats you warmly, handing over a plate of chicken and rice and asking if there's anything else you need. You decline any other service, wanting to get her out of her quickly so you can finally learn what happened. The food sits idly on the table in front of you, and while your stomach growls it also twists itself up into terrible knots.

"Oh, darnit! You took the IV off again..." she exclaims, noticing the missing needle, "You really should put the clothes we gave you back on too..."

"I'm fine like this. Sorry for causin' you trouble like this," John smirks at her, "Pretty sure I don't need it any more though."

"The doctor will be the judge of that. You just hold tight and I'll figure this out." she says, doing her best to hide the annoyance with the situation. Not soon enough she leaves the two of you alove, John picking at his food while you merely sit there and watch him.

"For the record, I didn't try to leave the shack. I wasn't gonna get anywhere, and that would have torn me up more. And that to the fact that I was inches from blacking out, there really wasn't a whole lot that I was hearing or seein'. I couldn't hear Law come up, and I nearly didn't see him till he was pickin' me up. But no one else tried to come inside, and when we went outside," John takes a drink before continuing, but your stomach churns at the thought of food now, "Warren was still there. Not in the same spot as before I don't think. There was a trail, leading like he was tryin' to crawl out to the road or somethin'. And like you asked, I won't lie to you missy. Unless someone came to get him right there, it didn't look like he was going to make it. But he was wigglin' about when we left. But we did leave a dying man behind, and didn't see no one comin' for him. You take that for what it is."

"Th-...thank you," you look to the floor, biting the tip of your thumb, "I killed him."

"If you did, you were just tryin' to defend yourself. Bastard shot me too. Don't think he's innocent in all this. He would have killed me and Sam if he felt it was needed, " John's face falters to a sympathetic one as your body shakes and a hiccup leaves your lips, "Not that I suppose that helps you feel any better bout it."

You try to speak, but your stomach tightens up and you run to the toilet. Nothing comes out but hitched sobs, and you only kneel there crying as John comes over and attempts to help you calm down. Wash off your face, wipe away the tears that keep escaping, and the subject is dropped for now. John encourages you to eat, bringing you back to the seat. Following orders, you take a few shaky bites of the chicken, but grimace at the off-taste it leaves in your mouth. The headache from before has grown, impossible to ignore now and the food does nothing to settle your stomach. Nothing feels good or right now, and in this moment you regret everything you've done.

The plate is half empty before you give up on the idea of forcing any more down, pushing it out of your way. You want to remind yourself that there's a chance Warren survived all that, and that you didn't end up killing him. When those thoughts fail you try to remind yourself that he beat up Sam, shot John, was going to give you over. You know that you were just defending yourself, yet you still feel terrible about everything in life.

"If you keep that up, then you'll end up leaving marks." At John's voice you realize that you've been scratching furiously at your neck, leaving bright red and raw marks behind when you finally pull your hand away.


"Don't need to apologize to me for nothin'. I know it may not seem like it, but you'll get through this."

You nod, but only out of politeness. Hands shaking, you aren't sure if it's from learning about Warren or from not having any of that for so long. Maybe a mix of both, that wouldn't be hard to believe. Jesus, if you're this bad now then you can't imagine how much worse it will be these next few days.

Looks like you're going to be with John during this, that is till you find the group. Do you want to tell him about the withdrawals? Maybe he has some advice for them, but it'll probably make him worry too, and he already has enough stress...

Or maybe you should ask about this terrible feeling you have about Warren and...and all the other people you've hurt. None of them have been malicious, so why does it hurt you so bad? But it feels like you just want to push that out of the way now, it'll just make you feel worse.

Maybe you should just talk about something nice for now. Nothing important, but it'll get your mind off of things in the mean time...or should you just try to sleep this all off. That seems rather appealing too...

Finally getting this car problem fixed, and gram is going into surgery. Once that's all out of the way I can be more consistent, sorry.
>sleep this all off
However awful it may be, it'd probably be best to try and sleep through it. That's what Sam suggested, anyway. Stay hydrated, remember to eat, and get some rest.

Maybe just tell John we're feeling unwell as an excuse if we suddenly need to hurl.
Once again I apologize for the wait. I go to see my grandmother in the hospital before they perform her surgery, and then we will have another car handy so I won't have to give rides constantly. I will try to work out a bunch of updates when I return, so thank you for sticking by!
that's fine sue, sending good vibes :)
come to my house and fight me
>capitalizing words
now who's gay?
you want me to suck your dick too?
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"Is it okay if I just um, sleep for a little bit?" you ask, looking towards John but not at his face. You'd rather not let him see how bothered you are by this, even if your voice gives it away.

"Should we call that nurse back? Maybe they have one of those fold up beds or something."

"It's okay, I just need to shut my eyes for a few seconds..." you remove your shoes, curling up awkwardly in the one chair provided in the room. Burrowing away in the coat, it's like you have disappeared from the rest of the world. The occasional coughs from John remind you that you haven't really, and that you are very much so still here. At least when you wake up it won't be alone. Or rather, shouldn't be anyways. You take a peek at John to make sure he's still in bed, repeating to yourself mentally that he will still be there when you wake up. He's not going to die and he's not going to leave you behind. Even if you're lost outside, you have an adult you can trust and that's fine.

It's strange to think that you're fine like this, being alone in a room with a man. Then again, you know John enough at this point. You know what kind of person he is, and you know that he's been through similar as you. Sam and Eric are the same too; the idea that either of those could be the type of person to take advantage of you while alone seems ridiculous. You hope that's the case anyways, you don't want to distrust any of them but there's still that shadow of fear in the back of your mind. Putting that aside for now, you decide to sleep. Anything to help get rid of this headache, or at least to ignore it for some time.

Falling asleep is difficult with the way your head is, but you manage to doze off. There are times when the sound of doctors or nurses talking to John disturb your sleep, but you don't look up. At some point a nurse tosses a blanket around you, not that you really needed it right now but it's a gesture you appreciate. She might just be acting nice because it's her job, but that's fine. Even if it's fake, you'll take any niceness that is given to you at this point.


The next time your eyes open, the lights in the room are off. The only illumination comes from beneath the door, seeping in from the still lit up hallway. Looking through the window, you can confirm that it's well past the evening now. John lays in his bed still, IV in his arm and fast asleep. It's good that he's resting up, that means when no one comes for you tomorrow John will have plenty of energy to think of a new plan.

Sitting up, you scold yourself for being so pessimistic. Not that you should get your hopes up, but being negative about all this constantly won't help either. Of course after napping for so long, you can't find yourself falling back asleep any time soon. On the table rests a juice box, presumably left for you. Apple juice that you'll happily take, you attempt to keep as silent as you can as to not disturb John. He may seem...kinda sort of okay, but his leg will be bothering him for a while. Walking around will be hell for him, and you have no idea how you guys will deal with it. Add that on top of carrying your bag around and the weather outside turning worse, you guys don't have a lot going for you at the moment.

You're disappointed when you find the box empty much too fast for your liking, tossing it away. The idea of walking out in the hallway comes to you, but then you remember where you are. The chance of coming across blood may be too great, and even the thought of it clenches up your insides. Staying in here would be safest for everyone involved. As you sit there, head against the cool table and eyes shut, you remember that your mother is still in the hospital, way across town from here. Seeing her again is still on your list, even if that is still some time away. Your father's side of the family seems so involved with the town now, you've been so focused on that you almost forgot about your mother. Not that you've seen much of her family, in fact you can only remember one of them clearly from when you were younger...

Which of your mother's family members do you remember meeting?
Her older sister
Her older sister. Thinking back, it seems like she'd been dealt a much better hand than mum. She looked... healthier, almost taller and full of life, and she didn't drink, at least not from what we saw.

Whatever mom and us have, she probably doesn't.

She seemed... protective of mom, getting in dad's face about anything she deemed wasn't him doing right by her sister, which in turn didn't sit right with grandma...
Looking out in front of you, watching nothing in particular you think back to the hazy memories. There's not a lot of family you really saw. Never did you go on extended family outings, hang around with cousins and second cousins and the like. Dad was an only child, and mom never really spoke about her side. Maybe it's from not getting along with them or maybe they weren't around or just weren't good people, you have no idea. It's been years, so long ago that you can only remember bits and pieces of the meetings, but you do have an aunt. Mom has an older sister, the only aunt you know about. You remember meeting her, but you can't remember much past that. The lack of remembrance bothers you, and so you begin to rack your brain over any and all details that you can pick back up.

They were sisters after all, so you remember them looking fairly similar. Same straight blonde hair, matching blue eyes, the way they walked...if your mother was a little bit taller then maybe they could have been twins. Visits from her weren't too often, and if you recall correctly they weren't too long either. As you imagine the face mentally you try to place a name too.


Juliet...it wasn't that. Ju-something. Julia? That feels about right...maybe.

Aunt Julia, a few years older then mom. They looked similar, but there was actually a big difference between them too. Aunt Julia seemed more together and cleaned up then mom. Healthier too, and not like she was fit and worked out but like she didn't constantly look sick...or hung over. It's harder to imagine mom without a glass or bottle in hand, but Aunt Julia never smelt like alcohol. Never did you recall her drinking when she was visiting or ever having a bad temper with you. Maybe not what everyone would call successful, she always visited along so you doubt she was married and she was probably working some standard 9-to-5 in order to pay the bills, but she was living well enough. She would usually bring you a gift of some sort, and your stomach churns when you realize anything she gave you would have been ruined in the fire.

Not that you remember any of that though. Memories of her are distant, and you can only recall a few instances with her. There has to be a reason why she didn't come around again, and you do your best to recall all of it correctly. Her and mom got along fine it seemed, even if she did seem to scold mom often as a big sister is prone to do. That must mean the problem was with dad. Those two never talked to each other, and when they did it was barely civil. Aunt Julia wanted her sister to be taken care of properly, and dad wasn't used to being scolded. Grandma must have gotten involved once before too...maybe it was an Easter or Thanksgiving visit, but the one time the two were in a room together was also the last time you saw Aunt Julia. Dad must have done something that upset Aunt Julia, something like talking down to mom or insulting her and she got up in his face about this.
And of course grandma had to come up to defend her son, and two headstrong women trying to out intimidate each other didn't bode well. Mom must have gotten involved too, it turned into a screaming match between the sisters as you hid away in the safety of your room. Something about how mom didn't need anyone defending her like a child anymore, and then Aunt Julia pointing out the poor choices mom had made in life, followed by the sound of a slap. You have no idea who slapped who, just that your aunt left soon after that, and you hadn't seen her since. How awful is it that your clearest memory of her was something so terrible?

You wonder where Aunt Julia is now, and what it is she's doing. What would she think about the mess her sister got in to? Maybe she was right about being so defensive about everything mom did, she obviously wasn't good at making right choices...

For now, you push Aunt Julia out of mind. Thinking of her now won't help, and all it does is make you feel down. She obviously didn't like dad, so that means she probably wouldn't like you either. Wrapping the blanket back around, you sit there alone with the pain in your head. It's obviously not going to go away any time soon, and all you can do is try to prepare for the worst. The chair isn't too comfortable, but after only a few minutes you manage to fall back asleep.


It's early in the morning when the nurse gently shakes you awake. He steps back to allow you the chance to sit up and try to figure out what's going on. For a moment you are filled with panic to see John's bed empty.


"Your father is just getting some last tests done before we can discharge him. He didn't want to do it in here, he mentioned that you were rather squeamish around blood and didn't want to scare you in case you woke up while they looked him over." he says, obviously not knowing the real reason John would have them do it out of the room. You don't think you'd just lose control or anything, but the smell of blood certainly wouldn't do anything to help your condition either.

"He's fine though, right?"
"Looks to be. They just have to look over to make sure he's stable enough to leave, easy enough stuff. Have they talked to you about what changes there might be for him now?" he asks, and you shake your head. Leaning up against the table, the nurse begins to explain it to you. "Due to the risk of nerve damage, the bullet was left where it was. It seems like your father has been through the wringer a few times already though, eh? Burns and previous gunshot wounds, but I guess we should be used to that here. He's going to have trouble walking for a while, and he shouldn't walk too much at once. Might not want to, but make sure he drinks plenty of water when he goes out and takes plenty of breaks. Might be smart to look into getting him a cane or a crutch for the mean time, especially if he's got to make a lot of distance. Going to be plenty sore too, so they're going to give him some pain reliever in the mean time. Make sure he follows the instructions on there carefully, alright? I'm sure if it's you then Mr. Boseman will listen." The nurse smiles at you warmly, but you wish someone else was in here with you, or that a female nurse had came instead.

"Um, alright. I'll try my best...is that all you wanted to tell me...?"

"Oh! No, that's right. I came in here for something else actually, should have saved that lecture for later. Since your father is busy, I figured it would be okay to ask you. It's technically before visiting hours, but since your family it's fine. However there seems to be a gentleman out in the waiting room wondering if he could come visit your father. We're not supposed to let visitors in during after hours except on special requests, but I figured I should let you know in case you wanted to go out and see him. He seemed to have gotten his last name wrong though, what a good friend. "

"Oh uh...d-did you get the guy's name?"

"I didn't ask, sorry about that."

"What did he look like?"

"Let's see. A white guy, probably just a bit younger then your dad. Dark hair, looked pretty rough, like he'd been running around all night. Was making my rounds so I didn't really get too good of a look, sorry."

"He wasn't like, way tall and have a messed up cheek did he?" you try not to get your hopes up at it being Lawrence, but you can't hide the glimmer of excitement in your voice.

"No?" The answer crumbles your hope, and the nurse looks at you confused as you try to think about who it might be. Doesn't sound like anyone else from the group, but you have to stop yourself from gasping when you manage to come up with some matching faces.

[3/4 whoops]
That investigator guy, Crockett or whatever could fit that...

But so could that guy from the Faraway's apartment, the one who was trying to drag you off to Bower. Richard or whatever his stupid name was.

You could refuse to let the guy come in here easily enough. When John gets back you can tell him the situation and you guys can try to leave here as carefully as possible.

But that means you have no idea who may be waiting outside the hospital. If it's that Crockett guy, then there's nothing to worry about. If it's Richard then he might have those other guys in the Mercedes waiting outside. You don't have to let them in, but you might want to take a peek the best you can, so long as you try your best to not let them see you.

Or maybe even...just let them in? You guys are in a hospital, what are they going to do? You could hide in the bathroom or something and listen to the conversation if they come and talk to John.It sounds pretty risky though, and the idea makes you nervous...

Or, dammit...what else could you do. What should you do?
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Drawing with a mouse is a pain in the ass. In the ass!
Avoid being seen or heard by them, it could be dangerous.
Ask the nurse if he can show us the guy. If it's not that Richard guy, then maybe it'd be fine? We can at least tell John that the guy doesn't look like the ones chasing us...
Can we ask the nurse to ask the guy for his name? Otherwise >>515091
You must have been thinking over this for a long time, as the man has to call you back to attention.

"Miss Boseman?"

"Oh um, sorry about that..." you try to hide the crack in your voice, hoping he doesn't notice that anything is wrong, "Do you um...can you do me a favor? I'm sorry about asking."

"Here to help, what do you need?" he asks, peering over the chart on John's bed.

"That guy wanting to visit, could you try to get his name or something? I'm...shy. R-Really shy, and I don't do w-well around new people and um..."

"Oh, sure. Just give me some time, alright? We're a little understaffed right now and I'm kinda being stretched all over the place. Hold on, it might take me a couple of minutes but I'll get back to you as soon as I can alright?" he promises, and you nod. As he cleans up the room you notice a covered up platter waiting for you on the table. Pancakes with scrambled eggs, you force yourself to eat as much as you can. The eggs taste weird, and not just because they are the premade ones. The pancakes are alright, but you can't help but feel somewhat nauseous anyways.

You do your best to clean up in the bathroom, trying to make yourself look presentable for the outside world. Wash your face, fix the mess that your hair is, put on the reading glasses to help conceal you, and adjust your clothing. Not going too far out of the way, but it would be best if people passing by saw you as a boy. With the reflection in the mirror, you doubt that would be a hard thing to accomplish.

As you wait for the nurse to come back, John is led back in by one of the doctors from last night.

"Just stay here Mr. Boseman. We're just going to look over everything one last time and then we'll see about getting you out of here, alright?" he says, tired and more then ready for his shift to be over. John nods at him, sitting on the edge of the bed and waiting for the doctor to leave.

"I could really go for a smoke right now. Only got bout three of them left right now though, gotta make sure I don't burn through them too fast." John doesn't sound too worried about anything other then his nearly empty pack.

"There's apparently someone waiting to see you. That's what I was told anyways..."

"Wait, really? Is it Sam? Why aint' he in here?"

"I'm pretty sure it's not him. Someone is getting me a name right now, but from what they told me it um...it doesn't sound like it would be someone we really want to see..." you make a face at this, feeling guilty even though there's no way of knowing if they came here because of you.

"Who do you think it could be?"

"I think it might be one of the guys following me or um, this other guy...I'm not really sure what's up with that guy though. I don't think he's part of the group that drives with the tinted windows, but...I just don't know. He says he's a PI or something and that he knows my grandma, but I've never seen or heard of him before. I'd rather not take any chances finding out if he's friendly either though..." as you say this John is thinking over the possible plans of action carefully, not speaking till he has his thoughts lined up.

"Shit. We should try to find out for sure, but if that's the case then we need to leave here without letting him see us either way. I think we could go out the south exit easily enough, but if it's the bastards with the car then we really need to make sure that we keep an eye outside. Maybe we can make them think that we're still in here after we leave, give us some time to get some traction between us and them." For now, you can only nod in agreement to John's plan. If you don't recognize the name, then you can go and try to get a peek. You only know the name of one of those guys anyways, but that means if it isn't Crockett or Richard then it has to be one of the guys in Richard's group. Or...well, maybe John could have someone actually visiting him. He didn't bring that up as an option though, and so you doubt that as a possibility.

"Maybe I can go take a look too? Maybe have a nurse come down with me or something so we can know for sure?"

"That might be fine, yeah. Try not to worry too much about it, not like they can carry you off here. Hell, they end up bothering us too much then maybe it'll get caught on one of the cameras and we can use that to our advantage, you know?" John is starting to sound more optimistic about this and you can't help but agree. If it is one of Bower's men then getting recorded evidence of them trying to take you away could help a whole lot, could be the thing you need right now. Still, the wait only makes you more nervous, much more then it should. It nearly makes your heart stop when the nurse pops his head back in finally, obviously trying to hurry to go take care of his other tasks.

"Sorry bout the wait folks. Still bout an hour till visiting hours," as he talks you look over to John nervously, trying to calm your breathing, "Seems like the man outside who wants to see you is a Mr. Sean Ber-"

"I don't want that son of a bitch anywhere near me." You don't recognize the name, but John obviously does. His sudden outburst catches both you and the nurse off guard, and you can see his hands clenching up painfully.

"Er, alright. I'll just uh, let him know you aren't accepting any visitors right now..." The nurse can't leave fast enough, leaving you to deal with John alone.

"Fucking hell..." John mutters, pulling out his pack of cigarettes and holding it tightly in his hands, "Like I fucking needed this right now..."

"Uh..." you are at a loss of words, not expecting this outcome in the slightest.

"Relax. Sonuvabitch ain't here for you," John practically spits the words out, redirecting your worry to him now, "Bastard has some gall, tryin' to come up here and see me."

It doesn't sound like you're in danger now, but whoever it is outside has a bad history with John. You kind of want to know what's going on, but asking him might just bring up more bad memories.

If you don't want to ask him about it, then maybe you can go sneak a peek at the waiting room and just confirm that you don't recognize who's out there. But maybe you shouldn't leave John alone right now. If you stay here with him and decide not to ask about the guy, then maybe you should find something else to talk about...
ask about the guy
Ask why the guy outside does not like John
Ask John if he wants to talk about it. Like, why does the guy want to see him?

Or we could play cards, if he has any. But we're not going to be betting anything this time.
You look around the room, trying to think of the best way to word this. Someone smarter and with better experience would probably go at this better or not at all, but this sudden shift is troubling, similar to how John was yesterday. Maybe he's more prone to being cranky because of his condition, but this isn't normal grouchiness. This is anger, all of it boiling inside him with no escape and only you here to witness it.

"...if you don't want to talk about it, that's fine. But wh-..." you pause for a moment, making sure you really want to ask this question, "...who is that man?"

The poor cigarette pulled out and held between John's fingers buckles as it's crushed, his hand clenching by instinct. The now loose tobacco falls to the once clean tile and you consider walking out to give John some time alone. John's body seizes up, as if ready for a fight and you worry about him dashing out of here to go find the mentioned man. Instead, the crumbled paper and yellow filter falls to the ground, joining the lost filling as first his hand becomes limp. The rest of his body follows, the lines on his face fading as anger is replaced with apathy. You're prepared to find something else to talk about, anything at all at this point.

"Do you think it's right for a person to stay with someone after they've changed? Or turned out to be something they weren't prepared to deal with?" John asks, the words raspy and breaking apart.

"I'm not sure I understand what you're asking me exactly, I'm sorry..." you're not sure how this relates to the man outside, but you aren't going to do anything to further provoke this.

"If something breaks, you're supposed to fix it, right?" John isn't waiting for you to answer, not that you feel like you could right now, "And if you don't, then what do you do? You throw it out. No use dragging around something that don't work the way it's supposed to. Just a burden then, when it ain't worth the time and effort. Don't think I could blame someone for doing that, you know? Try as hard as they can to fix the broken pieces, and when they just crumble further in their hands then what the hell are you supposed to do? Gotta find something to replace that. Have to find someone who can be better for it..."

"I promise, I'm trying my best to understand what you're saying to me. But maybe I'm not smart enough too-"

"You're plenty smart. Don't let no one tell ya otherwise, got that? You aren't all broken up, unlike some people here," John says, finger thumping against his forehead, "I ain't seen no one your age go through what you have and kept going. Some of us just ain't strong enough I guess."

"It doesn't feel like that a lot though," you confess, unsure where or how the conversation got to where it is now, "There's a lot of times where I just want to go to sleep and just never wake up again, or where I get too scared to do something properly. I...I still feel so scared around strangers too..."

"You're doin' an amazing job missy, let me tell you. Can't expect to get back 100%, but you're a fighter and you're gonna make it some how. Unlike me, that is. Let me serve as an example of what you shouldn't become. A broken and mangled mess of a person, who just keeps getting his parts fucked up more and more every day. Maybe I made the wrong decisions some where in life, should have done things differently. Might have been able to call Sean a friend, but now it's all too late for me. Hell, maybe tossin' me to the curb was the best choice she ever made...look at me. Can't hold down a job, can't get through the night without cryin' like some sorta child scared of the dark, can't be a proper man," John tries to offer you a sideways grin, but the years of built up misery and regret show past, "Make sure you find you a good man, alright? Or a woman, supposing you go that way. But find you someone proper, someone good, someone who can work and take care of your problems. Been through enough as it is, you just need an easy life now. Don't take the same path my wife did, don't try to fix something that's beyond broken. No one will be happy, and you might just regret it for the rest of your life," John is looking past your face and through the window, his unfocused eyes watching something unseen. You try to piece together what John had told you before about his wife, trying to figure out where Sean fits in to all this. As you get a sneaking suspicion John speaks up again, breaking his gaze to the floor before looking at you, "Guess I didn't really answer your question, did I? Depending who you ask, Sean is either the guy who ruined my life or made my wife's better. I haven't got the slightest idea why he'd be down here to see me, and to be frank I don't care either. Best if I don't meet up with him and try to push that all behind me. Already know what it's like to wallow in that, and it ain't great. Gotta keep movin' on, or I'll just fall again."

"I'm so sorry about asking you that."

"Don't be. Course you'd want to know what's happening, specially with everythin' going on, you're just trying to be safe and I can't get mad at you for that. I'm just...I'm fine. I promise." John says this, but he doesn't feel the same. It's like he's just masking everything right now, and not wanting to disturb you further with his problem. But the words he leaves behind makes you feel scared about yourself. He said you're smart and that you can do okay despite everything that's happened, but it feels like he should have too. John tried his best to have a normal life, and his best wasn't good enough. What if you turn out that way?

"I-...D-Do you have a p-pack of cards? I'd love to p-play a game while we wait. But I um, there's no way I'm betting this time! I lost last time, and n-now I have to do all the dishes, r-remember?" you try to grin, but it's made up of a heart pounding nervousness. The future scared you before, but right now the idea that you could end up tossed aside strikes a new fear in your heart, sending shakes and shivers to your hands. John produces the pack of cards, and as you try to hold them steadily in your hands you can't help but notice the many worn out creases down the center from John's previous fidgetiness.

"Good thing all them got bent at some point, used to be able to cheat by memorizing which card had what crease." John tries to joke, but it falls flat to you. If anything the cards are a reminder of how John tries to cope with himself and how he fails at it. You want to get better, but that goal seems so far away now.


The game is played mostly in silence, interrupted only when a new doctor comes to talk with John.

"You're almost set to leave now, Mr. Boseman," the older man is cheerful, probably unaware of all the problems John caused yesterday, "We just need to go over some 'ground rules' for you, alright?"

"Yeah." John gives a lackluster response, gathering the cards to stow away.

"Now I'm about to go over some rather ah, sensitive information with you. Not that I'm saying he-...she has to leave, but it might be easier for me to discuss this with you alone in private."

Rather then answering for you, John looks over at you instead.

"Up to you missy. Wanna stay here and listen to your...your dad's boring medical junk, or you want to go out and get yourself from the snack machine down the hall?"

John doesn't seem to care if you listen, but there has to be a reason why the doctor was advising you step out for a moment. It could be crucial information for John, but it might turn out to be something he doesn't want you to know about. Then again, it might be good for you to know...

Maybe if you don't stay in here, then you can try to listen from outside the door...or maybe you should just follow John's advice and just go get a snack?
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>go get a snack
Maybe if we actually were related to John it'd feel more proper to stay and listen, so let's step outside.

We can always listen at the door after we've grabbed something to snack on.
The doctor seems to think it would be a good idea for you to step out, and since you aren't actually John's daughter...

"Right. I'll um, be back in a minute." you say, grabbing some of the loose change you have and leaving the men alone. Grab a few things to carry around, and if they're still talking when you return then maybe you can try to listen in on what's being said. That nurse from earlier already told you what to look out for, it's not like there's much more that you need to know right?

It takes some wandering about to find the machine. Turns out it was located closer to the waiting room then you expected, but this just gives them more time to talk. A boy just a few years younger then you stands in front of the machine, trying to feed his crumpled up bill into the slot. Seeing you wait for him makes him nervous, and he steps back to allow you to go as he attempts to smooth out the wrinkles. As you gather the food you can't help but notice him struggling, surprised to see him misty eyed behind dirty blonde hair.

"You might just have to try a different dollar, that one might be too wrinkled to work." you offer as advice.

"Th-this is the o-o-only one I h-have...d-dad gave it to m-me..." he mutters, his words stuttering painfully.

"Erm, if you don't mind then let me see it for a moment. I can try to fix it." The boy is reluctant, but he hands over the crumbled bill. He watches as you use the edge of the machine to rub it down flat, his eyes lighting up when the machine finally accepts him money. "Alright, see? No big deal."

"Th-Thanks...!" You back up and allow him to finally choose what he wants, standing about just in case he needs help with something else.

"So um, are you here to visit someone?" you ask, hoping not to sound too awkward. You don't want to return too soon, and getting to talk with someone close to your age is always nice, even if he's a nervous wreck.

"Y-Yeah..." he answers while trying to fish out his snack from the machine, "Dad b-brought me h-here to meet my um...m-my real dad..."

"Your 'real' dad?" you ask, but the blanks fill themselves, "Oh you mean like, your biological dad then right?" The boy nods, trying to rip into his cinnamon roll.

"I h-haven't m-met him before, b-but I want to. I j-just hope he w-wants to see me too..." he doesn't sound too confident about this, and you can see why he would be so scared.

"Oh wow, that sounds exciting though," you want to try and keep him positive about this, even if you have no clue who this kid is, "So um, what's your name?"

"J-...Jeremy." He doesn't sound scared of you, just incredibly shy. If he stutters like this all the time then you can't imagine the other kids being too nice to him.

"Well Jeremy, I'm sure your dad will be excited to see you. He's um, probably just as nervous to meet you as you are. Just try to relax, it'll be fine." you aren't sure if these 'words of wisdom' are actually helpful, but you don't have a clue on what else you say, "I have to get going now, try and take care alright?" You say goodbye to Jeremy and try to figure out which way to get back to John's room. It takes some searching and backtracking, but you manage to find the room again. The door cracked open just the slightest bit, you press your ear towards the room to listen in.

"...-keep at this, you're not going to see that little girl grow up." The doctor is talking about you, from what you can guess. It sounds more like a scolding then just a talk, and you think that maybe it's a good thing you left the room.

"I...know that."

"I'm serious. We've heard about your little problem, and normally I wouldn't say anything. It's your life and all that, but you got that little girl with you and no ring on your finger. If she's all you got then you need to stop being so reckless. That girl ends up without a mom or dad and you know where she'll end up? In care of the system, do I need to tell you how bad it can get in there?"

"...really need to work on your bedside manners there, doc."

"Harsh, I know, Mr. Boseman. But I know how it can get for you guys returning home, and I see how it can affect your family too. Don't put them through all that." You feel guilty that John is getting this lecture right now. Not like he doesn't know all of this anyways, the doctor is just preaching to the choir. Before he can further scold John you enter the room, as if you hadn't been listening the whole time.

"Back dad! Brought a bunch of stuff..." you make sure the doctor sees you smiling before dropping off your haul on the table. There's an uncomfortable silence, and the ruined cigarette still laying on the floor reminds you that it's been a tough couple of days for John, and that you both have a quite a few more in front of you.


It takes some time, but John finally manages to get cleared to leave. Warnings that he needs to eat and drink, rest and keep off his feet as much as possible. Already you know that won't be happening any time soon, not till you find the group again. There's a mention of having to stop at a pharmacy to pick up a prescription, more warnings, and you guys are sent out. You try to look out for Jeremy, trying to find him in the waiting room as you pass by. There's no sign of him, and you hope that means he got to see his dad.

While walking out and down the street, you have to make sure to keep pace with John. Usually you have to hurry to keep stride with the adults, but now you have to try and not walk past him. The bill comes up to mind, trying to imagine how much it must be. John doesn't bring it up, and you don't either. You're not sure where he's leading you right now, but you just follow for now. Only a few blocks down and John already needs a breather, taking a seat on a near empty bus bench. Knowing he's still going to be sore, you sit next to him and look as his hand comes over the covered up wound.

"It'll be better when we get those painkillers for you, right?" you ask, thinking that's where you guys are going.

"Not gonna get them."

"...what?" you can't imagine a reason why he would refuse them, except for the possibility of cost, "If it's like, about the cash then I...I have Eric's credit card. We can use that and I'm sure he won't mind, we can pay him back later."

"That's not the reason," John glances over, making sure that the people actually waiting for the bus can't hear him, "...I can't trust myself with them."

"Trust yourse-....oh." as you realize what he means, John looks down at the cement in shame.

John being in constant pain isn't going to good, and there's a reason the doctors wanted him to take it. But if he ends up slipping and using them wrong again that could be trouble...then again, so could having him travel around in his condition. You were warned by that nurse that he needs to follow instructions carefully, and these painkillers are part of them. You could try putting your foot down and try to convince John that he has to take them, and that you'll keep an eye on him. It might even be worth getting them, and if the pain gets too bad he can just take them then instead of constantly. They could just be there when things get too rough, that should be fine right?

But then again, maybe John knows himself better then you do. If he doesn't think he can handle himself around them, then maybe you should listen and not try to not force him...

What do you try to tell him?
Just a heads up, Mondays and Wednesdays are busy with classes, but the rest of the days should be cleared! Once I get better in my school schedule then there will be more updates!
If he's in too much pain, though, if he's unable to rest, then that'd have repercussions for the healing process, wouldn't it? Does he trust us? Like, would he trust us to give him however many pills the prescription states when he's in too much pain? Because we could totally do that.

At least until we catch up with the others, then Sam can take over or something.

... it probably won't help all that much if it's anything like when we finally get to... feed, but it's sort of moral support?
"We're going to be running around all over the place when the doctors said you should be resting. It already looks like you're in pain, but what are you going to do if it gets worse? You're going to need something, right? I don't think that Tylenol will help you, and having you walk around in pain isn't going to be good...if um, if you can trust me then uh..." you look at your bag nervously, know what is already inside, "Then maybe...maybe I could hold it for you? And then like, when it gets bad enough I'll like, give you the stuff you need to feel better. Does that sound okay?"

"Are you really okay with carrying those around? I don't want to make you feel scared about it."

"They're just over-the-counter painkillers, right?" which means they're legal and John is supposed to have them, compared to everything else these aren't anything. You offer him a small grin, "It's no problem. I'll make sure everything is fine, so don't worry about it."

"You have to promise me that you won't let me hold on to the bottle then, got it? No matter how much I ask you to, you keep hold to those. Toss 'em away if you have to. I've been promisin' myself that I'd do better, and I had been but right now I'm...I'm kinda at my weak point."

"Don't worry about it. I'll hold on to them, we'll find the group, and then you have to cook and let me help." you offer a more genuine smile this time, and John halfheartedly returns it.

"Hope you're good at washin' dishes then, missy."


John takes a little more time to rest up, though you doubt it's been long enough. You aren't going to force him to rest longer, time is important right now and it's already a little past noon. Following John is difficult at his pace, but not knowing where the pharmacy is forces you to wait for him. A long hour of walking, John leads you to a small building with bars over the window. Family owned, to your surprise, but upon entering you see the expected half empty shelves.

You wait patiently behind John as he gets the medication, the bottle places inside a white paper bag. It's handed over to you almost immediately, as if John is afraid to hold it for even a second. Waiting till you're back outside, you nestle the bag safely among your other items, zipping it back up tightly. The duffel bag is starting to become dirty and worn thin in some areas, and you know that it won't be long before you'll have to use something else.

"And you're sure you're fine with carrying it around for me?" John asks, leaning against a wall as you secure the bag around your shoulders again.

"Yeah. I mean, it's not like illegal for me to hold them for you like this...is it?"

"No just...guess I'm just being overly careful, you know?"

"I understand...you don't need one right now, do you?" Something you probably should have asked first, but John shakes his head.

"Still riding on what they gave me this morning. Everything should be fine. But now we gotta focus on how we're goin' to find everyone. I need you to tell me everythin' you know right now, maybe I can try and figure us out a starting point." You repeat everything that Sam had told you, how the house the group is going to be using is empty and not going to be looked at till summer, and how a friend of Sam's gave him 'permission' to use it. "I think I know who you're talking about. Bit of a skeevy guy, but alright enough. Wouldn't know where he is though..."

"Me either," you worry that this information was practically useless, but after a moment of thinking John's face turns sour, "What is it?"

"I might know how to find him. A er...I guess you could say a friend of a friend kind of deal..." John doesn't sound at all enthusiastic about this, but anything that will help you is good, "Well, I hope this will work anyways. I know a...guy who might know where he is."

"That's good though, right?"

"Yeah, if he can help. And we'll just have to put up with him..." John doesn't look thrilled by this at all, and you can imagine that he really doesn't like this person.

"He's not like, an awful guy or anything is he?"

"He's just...somethin'. Not that he's an asshole or anythin' just, ah...you'll see if we find him. Pretty sure I know where he's at too. Only problem is, I don't think we'll be findin' him till around evening, that's when he's usually hanging about...gives us plenty of time to head over there. Don't really wanna take you over there, but...if we ain't got a choice, that's just how it's gonna be I guess. When we're over there, you have to stick right next to me, understand? No wanderin' off, you stick to my side like glue, got it?" You nod in agreement, but John still doesn't look too pleased about any of this, "I don't have anythin' on me right now as a weapon. Might be fine without one, but with where we're goin', sometimes it's just good to have somethin' to show off and threaten with, ya know?"

You nod, remembering that John no longer has the gun on him. You, on the other hand, have both the knife and pepper spray. Parting with either doesn't settle well with you, but letting John have one might be better then you holding on to both. Then again, maybe you guys should try to find John his own thing, but that means spending the rest of your cash or using Eric's credit card.

But John is a grown man, maybe he's just being on edge about this. In fact, if he's overly paranoid about all this, giving him one of your weapons may be asking for trouble...

What do you do?
John's a... relatively rational and capable person, and he's a lot more adapt with a knife than us, so it should be fine for him to hold it.

... Hell, he trusted us with a knife in the first place.
Reaching into your pocket, the knife is held tightly in your fist for just a moment before presenting it to John.

"Now missy, I gave that to you-"

"And I'm just letting you borrow it," you force it into John's hand, feeling flustered about being so pushy with an adult, "You can give it back to me later. But I think I trust you with it more then me right now." John looks at the knife, and for a moment you're afraid he's going to give the knife back. Instead he flicks it open, running a finger down the smooth edge as he examines it and sighs, flicking it shut and pocketing it.

"That the only thing you had on you?"

"No. I have pepper spray too-"

"Still got stuff in it?" John asks, and it never occurred that it could run out. Pulling out quickly, you shake it and feel the liquid inside move about.

"Yeah...it's not full but there's enough in there."

"Let's hope we don't have to use it, but keep it handy. You sure you're fine with carrying all that stuff?" John gestures at the bag, and you grip it tightly.

"Better me carrying it then you right now. It's fine," You'd love for someone stronger to carry it, but with his hip in the condition it's in there's no way you're going to let John burden himself further. You just hope that whatever has been causing him gripe won't lead to more trouble, but with passing the knife over you've shown that there's trust in him. "Where are we going anyways?"

"You're probably not going to like it. Ever been to the south side? Well, of course you have. That's kind of where the apartment was."

"We're going back that way?"

"Not quite," John doesn't look enthusiastic at all as he explains this, "That area was just kind of on the edge of everything. That neighborhood was pretty bad, but a lot of that comes from the lack of care. We have to go a bit out of the way of that, past all the residential blocks. Lotta businesses there, none of them good. Whole bunch of abandoned buildings, lotta them occupied by people either shootin' up or sellin' something they shouldn't. Not too good, cops like to point bums on the street that direction since no one but other seedy folks go down there."

"And...that's where we have to go?" you have a sinking feeling in your stomach as he describes it, remembering the time you walked on the very edge of it a few days before Christmas, "I've seen a bit of it before..."

"So then you understand why it's important you stay right next to me the whole time, right?" At this you nod again and John sighs, trying to prepare himself for what might happen soon, "Used to spend a lotta time down there. Least we won't have to worry bout gettin' lost, I always hoped that I wouldn't end up back there but...well, I guess it won't be so bad this time." You're tempted to ask him about his time there before, but there's no possible way that you could conceive that as being a good experience of any kind.

"We can at least catch a bus down there, right?"

"Easily enough. The problem is going to be when we're there but...eh, we'll have to deal with it as it comes."

The walk to a bus stop that should have only taken about twenty minutes takes nearly a full hour, John unable to walk his full speed and needing to stop three times in pain. You wait patiently each time, unsure if the medication from the hospital is already wearing off or if the pain is just that bad. Either way, it doesn't look good for the future and you worry about making him take his pills at the right time. He's probably not going to ask for them, so that means keeping an even more careful eye. The air is chilly, and while parts of your face feel numb from the cold you can't help but notice how warm your body feels. The headache persists, but you have become accustomed to it enough at this moment that it isn't too terrible. If anything, the lights of passing cars are what causes a huge bother, making you squint each time one comes close. Overcast clouds keep the sun hidden, and you're prepared to deal with snow over what would be terrible sunlight.

The near empty benches are a huge relief to see coming up, and you try to hurry John to them. His messed up steps and you trying to lug around an overstuffed bag have garnered you enough stares of strangers passing by, and a rest is just what the two of you need. John nearly falls on to the empty seat, wincing at the sudden movement. Off his feet finally, you hope this will give him the rest he needs to get through tonight. You highly doubt it, but hope for that anyways. Sitting next to him, you keep the scuffed bag at your feet and a tight hold on the straps. It's fairly quiet, light traffic passing by and a simple conversation being held by two men over at the other bench.

"You alright missy? Lookin' kinda sick there." John asks, and you realize that discomfort you're feeling must be coming to surface.

You didn't tell him before, but now might be the chance to let him know what's what's wrong. Sam asked you not to mess around with blood, and you haven't and that is making you feel sick. Also makes you sound like a freak...

But maybe it's best not to worry him. Just brush it off as feeling tired and find something else to talk about right now, get his mind off of things...

Maybe you can ask about his pain, see if he needs to take any pills yet...

What do you say?
Admit that we've been avoiding blood for the sake of Sam so he can get an idea of how it affects us, so he has an idea of what to do to help. Hopefully.

... it might've been better if we'd been doing it with Sam around instead of like this.
New Thread will be up tomorrow!
Making sure the conversation won't be eavesdropped on, you decide to confess the source of your pain right now.

"So um, you know the whole thing with me and the uh, the blood...?" John nods and you continue, "Course now Sam knows about it now. He doesn't want me to um, do that anymore, at least for a while. Wants me to hold back and just...see what happens I guess..."

"Got a headache?" John asks knowingly.


"Feel sick?"

"A bit..."

"Yeah, I know how all that goes. It's not gonna be a fun ride," John's face looks grim at this, "And it never gets easier. Let's ah, just hope we get to where we need to be. Might have to hold on with them cookin' lessons for a little bit, y'know? Till you're...and me...start feelin' better. Kinda hard to cook when you got the shakes...or do a lot of things really. Just trust me on that."

"It's going to suck, isn't it?"

"It is, missy. It is." John doesn't sugarcoat it, which is better then you going into this unprepared. Scratching at your cheek, your skin feels almost unnaturally warm for the cold air. Maybe you're just dressed extra well for the weather, but you'd rather not test it. Just find the group and see about sleeping all this off or...or something anyways. Anything that isn't just you wandering the streets confused and lost.

Maybe the dread of what's to come has both of you shaken up, but the conversation ends and nothing else is said till the bus comes. Climbing up the steps looks too painful for John, and you have to witness as he grips the handrail for dear life just to pull himself up.

"How long till we get there, you think?" You ask, sliding the bag in front of your seat before crawling in. John right next to you, he insists that you two take seats at the very rear of the bus.

"Won't take too long..." John says between heavy breaths, "But we aren't gonna get off right away."

"Wait, why not?"

"Ain't gonna find our guy walkin' around at this time. We need to get in there before dark, but the bus will come back 'round there in a bit. We can ride along for now and get off when it swings by again. Lot better to sit in here then out there in the cold, yeah? Just try to relax while we're in here, it might be a long night." John tries to settle down in the seat, but these aren't exactly the kind for getting comfortable in.

"I can't wait to go to sleep." you confess, hoping to not sound whiny.

"You can nap here if you like."

"Maybe." The bus starts up, rocking back and forth gently as it begins to make its rounds. You try to look out the window, but this quickly proves to be a bad idea when you get a surge of motion sickness. Not something you usually feel, you easily chalk this up with everything else you feel right now.
The warmth you were feeling earlier has turned into an uncomfortable heat, no longer having cold air to help combat it. Not yet bad enough to make you remove layers, but just enough to make you feel a little more miserable. You'd rather not remove anything either, not till your inside somewhere safe and preferably with people you know. Each time people pass by you can't but eye them, wondering who they might be. Being on edge like this isn't fun and it probably isn't good for you, but it's needed. Looking over to John, you can see that his eyes are shut and tuned out to the world.

"Are you asleep?" you whisper, not wanting to wake him if he is.

"Hm? Somethin' wrong...?" John mumbles, probably only just about to drift off.

"Nothing. I mean besides...um, you know."

"Yeah. I know," John's eyes open a bit, only looking at the seat in front of him, "Trust me. I know."

"Were you wanting to nap? I'm bothering you then, aren't I?"

"Just restin' my eyes, that's all." John yawns.

You wouldn't mind letting John sleep, but a few things about that worry you. He's the one that knows where and when to get off the bus, if he sleeps through it that could make things harder later tonight. Not to mention, if he ends up waking up in one of his episodes....you're not sure how well that would do on a bus like this. But if he needs rest...

Then again, maybe you can try to keep him awake. Talk to him about something. You could always try to ask him about how he deals with all this, his experiences with it...but that's probably a sensitive topic. If you're worried about that, then maybe you can just talk to him about something that doesn't really matter to help keep him awake for now.

Or maybe you should just trust John to know what he's doing. You've trusted him so far, and it could be good for you to get some rest too. Who knows when a chance for that will come again?
I lied, new thread tomorrow. Four day weekend, woo!
>try to keep him awake
Try keeping him awake, asking about the guilt over Warren. Or that guy in the alley. Or that woman from the store. How to deal with the guilt of it, of losing control.

... that malignant knot of hatred in the pit of our stomach every time.

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