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/qst/ - Quests

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

You play as Delilah, a young girl going through tough times.

=Links and Information=


Thanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:
Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmd
Melancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9
Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv
Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt
Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc
Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6
Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0

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.
"Alright, Princess Lisa..." You turn towards her, a specific goal in mind. "I believe the two of us should have a conversation, um...princess to princess."

"Really?!" Lisa tries to keep her voice down, but her excitement is almost too much to keep in.

"Yep, just you and me." Away from the door you take a seat, patting the floor in front of you. Lisa is quick to take the spot, kneeling in front of you and excited about what you might have to offer. It feels somewhat like an interrogation, even if she's unaware of it. When her toothy grin doesn't fade you can't help but feel wrong for using her trust in you for this.

"What's wrong?" she asks and you work on making yourself look more friendly and warm.

"Nothing, I um..I'm just a little sleepy is all. But I bet you aren't, you were asleep on the couch earlier, weren't you?"

"Um...yep!" Lisa gasps and adds, "Did I snore?"

"No, I don't think you were. Did someone wake you up because of it?"

"Nope. John was coughing and loud and woke me up."

"Right, he was trying to sleep there too." You think it over, trying to figure out the best way to approach this question. "So, you woke up and...?"

"And, and um..." Lisa takes a moment, either to remember or decide if she should say this. You wait by patiently, knowing better than to try to rush her or force the answer out. "And then um, I was supposed to come up here and check on you."

"Oh! You did say someone sent you up here. And so um, who did that?" At the question Lisa covers her mouth, trying to keep the answer to herself. In the pause you try to listen downstairs and figure out what's happening. Not as loud as it was before, figments of Aria's voice pop up, muffled between the floor and space between her and you. Still enough time to get an answer, even if you have to ease it out.

"Please? You can tell me, princess-to-princess secret, right?" You say with all the warmth and friendliness your voice can muster, giving a grin with each word.

"Um...I don't know if I'm supposed to..." Lisa speaks with an anxious and unsure tone, looking anywhere but at you as she fiddles with her fingers. She doesn't want to get in trouble, probably something she learned long ago in her original home, and talks as if stepping over landmines. It would be better if you didn't have to force it out, and you take a moment before trying a different approach.

"It's alright, you won't get in trouble I promise." Her bottom lip trembles at the prospect of punishment and you hesitantly move forward. "Remember what John said, earlier? I'm sure you remember what he told you, I remember how happy you were."

"That I was...um...that I was the Princess...?"

"Of the house! Which means you're in charge of this place, right?"

"I um...y-yes?"

"Yep!" You pull back the enthusiasm in an attempt to not scare her off, but continuing on without missing a beat. "So that means you can tell me if you want to, at least since I'm also a princess. So please? I um...I beg you...!" It seems that Lisa is going to carry the secret a bit longer, but starts nodding as she rationalizes everything you've said.

"Okay. But princess promise you can't tell..."

"I won't!" At your promise Lisa beckons you to lean down, her small hands cupping around your ear as she whispers.

"John said it was an order for the King."

"Who's the King...?"

Lisa shrugs at this, only offering; "Elvis?" You doubt that question really has an answer, but you've gotten all you can from Lisa in the mean time. No use in trying to push her, you only thank her for what she's given. To her discomfort you remain silent, trying to think over this. From downstairs Aria's voice is covered briefly by the baby's cry before her own frustration can be heard again, traveling to the kitchen to help with the baby.

You'd hate to bring up anything unnecessary and stir up trouble, but you feel oddly watched.

Do you want to try talking about this with someone else when the opportunity comes?
Maybe we've just been spending more time with Lawrence than... seems reasonable, and it's made John a little suspicious.

... maybe just mention it to Lawrence and keep calm for now. We'll figure something out, hopefully not involving spending even less time with Lawrence.
This. Maybe ask Lawrence if he's noticed anything weird with John lately, or if John knows something's up.
This is something you definitely need to bring up to Lawrence, even if it turns out to be nothing. If you lose getting to be with him in private here, then you don't have anywhere else you could go, not for the time being. The sluggish pressure at the back of your head reminds you that it's an even more important issue than just getting to hold his hand.

"Alright, thank you Princess Lisa..." You double check to make sure the halls are empty and that this information stayed in this room. With a pinky extended you take one last measure to assure this. "Now, we have to promise to not tell anyone you told me. Super-secret princess promise, okay?" And trusting of you as always, Lisa finishes the pinky-promise with you and with no thought of any ill intentions from her fellow princess. It feels wrong abusing her trust in you like this, but you are beginning to understand what an evil necessity is.

You have Lisa play with the dog in the meantime, listening as the baby's cries are quickly hushed down. Letting Cecilia cry too much would be a problem, one that if the neighbors acted on there's no way it could end well. Aria, though sounding stressed, seems able to manage this well enough.

"I didn't do something wrong, did I?" Marilyn asks, undoubtedly right behind Aria.

"No, you were doing a good job...shh shh, you're fine..." Aria coos, gently bringing a silence to the frustrated cries coming from Cecilia.

"What was wrong? She's not hungry or something, is she?"

"No, I don't think so. Maybe she was cold, or maybe she just wanted held."

"Really? She was making all that fuss just so someone would pick her up?"

"Sure. Babies get lonely too. Besides, everyone needs to be held a little bit sometimes, it's good for them. Here, let me show you what I did-"

Talk of babies makes your stomach hurt, and you change position from the door to the window instead. The glass frosts up easily with your breath as you lean in and try to look out. The view of the street in front of the house is blocked, no matter how hard you try to get a good look. You wonder what good this window could be for, hardly taking notice of the car sitting idle halfway to the other house. The longer it sits the more it draws your attention, finally earning a proper look over. Not that there's much you can see, someone a bit taller would have a better look. Not a car you recognize, the slightly darkened windows do make you feel uneasy. The feeling remains when the car drives away, no one coming or going from the inside. You can't pinpoint why it makes you nervous, but you can't shake the feeling either.

"What's out there?" Lisa asks, failing to get anywhere near the window as she attempts to investigate with you.

"Nothing, was just checking to see if the weather was getting bad."

"Oh. Is it?"

"I think it's supposed to get colder later on. Are you staying warm enough?" You ask, peeling yourself away from the window to kneel down and meet Lisa at eye level. She nods, wiping away at her face with the end of her sleeve.

"Yep. Um, sometimes my toes and fingers get cold. And my nose runs but um, its okay."

"Good, as long as you aren't freezing. Maybe you should put some more layers on if it snows though, okay?" Lisa nods and you're thankful that she's easier to deal with than Cecilia. Or rather, Lisa isn't in the mood to cause trouble right now. You have her follow behind when you go to the hallway, figuring that it should be safe enough for you to come down. A few steps down the smell of earth wafts past and you freeze in place, arm covering your face as eyes scan the floor below. It seems to be coming from a dark spot on the last step, but looking closer you realize that if it is blood than it dried much earlier than today. Removing your hand you breathe in unhindered, worried about catching the same scent. It doesn't come, and you finish leading a confused Lisa the rest of the way down.

"Think I could take a quick smoke?" John asks from the couch, moved back and laying across the length.

"Um, I'm not sure if that would be a good idea-" Aria stops herself, cleaning up the bloody mess from the bathroom once again. "But! You don't need to ask permission from me, if you want to just go ahead-"

"Nah, you're probably right. Wouldn't be nice of me to stink up the place..."John eyes the open pack of cigarettes, shuffling the few remaining about. "Seems like I don't have as many left as I thought anyways. Should save them for when the painkillers don't work."

"You still haven't told me how you messed up your leg-"

"I caught myself on the furniture and slipped."

"I meant this morning. If it's not closing up, then we need to do something about it..." Aria travels to the kitchen, hiding the bloody towels away beneath the sink. You look away, not wanting to tempt yourself with the alluring color.

"Ain't a big deal. Just thought I could do more than I should be doing right now, overworked it. Was running around the streets just a few nights ago, don't think that helped me too much." The cigarettes are replaced and John offers a pained smile. You nearly stumble and find Lisa clutching your leg, watching with uncertain concern.

"Just try to keep the bleeding down, okay? I'm not sure how much you can keep on losing. Oh, shoot!" Aria looks down at her shirt in dismay, Marilyn looking on from where she sits at the kitchen table. "I think I got some of my shirt..."

"Real sorry bout that, missy."

"It's okay, just an old one anyways. I'm going to go up and change real quick-" With a yawn that she attempts to hide, Aria heads up to go change. From the bathroom Lawrence emerges, bringing out the slightly emptier first-aid kit to put away.

"Are you feeling okay? Do you need a pill?" you ask John, watching as he winces settling in to the couch.

"Nah, not quite yet missy. Try askin' me in an hour though, if you would."

You only nod, watching from the corner of your eyes as Lawrence cleans up at the bathroom sink. Back in the kitchen, your heart catches when you realize what still lies beneath the sink, bloodied and waiting to be taken away. Resorting to towels like this doesn't make you feel great in the slightest bit, but it almost feels like the appeal is too much. If you really wanted to, you're sure there'd be a way to sneak at least one away...

Shaking the thought out, you try to take a step forward and are reminded that Lisa is still clinging to you.

It might be good to talk to someone. It seems like all the adults are alone, at least enough for a somewhat private conversation. And while it may be a rude thing to do, you could probably convince Lisa to hang around Marilyn for a bit, if you don't want her tagging along anyways.

What would you like to do?

Let's see how Aria is doing. She's been handling a lot recently and she seems pretty worn out. Maybe some conversation would helps her out.
Let's see how Aria is holding up. Can let Lisa tag along, shouldn't be a problem.
"Come on, lets go check on Aria." you say, looking up to the second floor as you approach the stairs.

"But we just came dooown..." Lisa whines, following you anyways when she realizes that you're going up regardless. With the nursery door shut, you approach it slowly and press an ear against it. From below Lisa follows the same motion even though she's not sure why you're doing it. You allow her to continue mimicking and hold your breath, trying to listen for whatever is happening on the other side. It feels sneaky, but you'd rather be prepared if you have to walk in on someone crying. There doesn't seem to much happening on the other side, nothing to cause a ruckus, and you deem it safe enough to open the door.

The sullied shirt on a crumpled pile on the ground and Aria laying down and with her eyes covered, you start to back out and come back at another time.

"What is it...?" she asks, looking up to catch you before an escape can be made. "Oh hey, what's up?"

"Nothing, I mean we don't need anything..." you step in, knowing that leaving is not an option right now. "We just wanted to see how you're doing."

"That's what I'm supposed to be asking," Aria says, sitting up. "How's this new shirt look, okay? Guess anything is better than 'blood-soaked'."

"Yeah...way better than that." You walk past the shirt without another glance, coming to sit on the mattress next to Aria. Up close to her, you notice the lack of the usual makeup and that what little is on her face is incredibly messy. Not that a girl like her would need to put it on, you decide. Someone like her would probably look good no matter what, and you can't imagine why she would need to spend so much time and money covering up a pretty face.

You doubt that makeup could ever fix what is wrong with you
If anything, it'd only be a desperate move to cover up
Even if Aria was a terrible person
You're sure that someone would still love her regardless

You don't have the same luxury
You're just an ugly whor-

"Hey, you alright?" A gentle hand is placed on your forehead, soft and warm. You hope that the awful thoughts stayed with you alone, and you quickly nod.

"I'm okay, sorry...you already have a lot to handle right now."

"Ew..." Lisa investigates the shirt on the floor, nudging it over with a careful poke of her foot. You once again look away, hoping Aria doesn't notice your aversion.

"I know, yucky blood. I'll clean it up, don't worry." With a sigh Aria flops back on the bed, eyes closed and holding back a yawn.

"There's a lot for you to do, isn't there?" You ask, wondering if it would be best to leave her to rest.

"It's not that bad. At least there's a roof over our head. When I thought of homeless people, I never imagined them living in a house. Guess it's not really a home though, is it?" Aria smiles at this, it remaining on her tired face. "You should have seen me when Aria first said we might have to live on the streets..."

"Were you scared?"

"Out of my mind. Not having somewhere to live never really crossed my mind growing up. If something did happen, I always figured 'Oh, Daddy's credit card can help'. But I guess family is allowed to put a price on love."

"What about Mabel, was she scared?"

"Kind of? Not nearly as much as I was, she'd been used to couch surfing and all that. But the idea of living on the streets is always terrifying, especially for girls-" Aria stops herself too late, giving a warning that has long ago became useless. She shifts about uncomfortably before moving up again, sitting even with you.
"It's been kind of stressful the last few days. More so than usual I mean, but it's okay. I never really had to deal with like, responsibility like this before. Or really at all, I guess. You know, I was a bit of a spoiled brat."

"You think so?"

"Yep." Aria nods, motioning Lisa to come over so she can be held. "I had an older sister growing up, but I had a nanny watch me. That's the kind of kid I was growing up. I'm mean, I'm sure I wasn't the worst kid alive, but I don't think I was going to be winning any 'Well Behaved Child' awards either."

"Were you a mean kid, or what?" It's hard to imagine Aria being misbehaved, especially with how she is now.

"I didn't bully anyone, if that's what you mean. It was more like, I got everything I wanted. And if I didn't, then I threw a tantrum till I did. Just that kind of spoiled brat. Course I cut school a few times to go waste time in town, hung out with some guys that would make my parents freak...I still never told them about the time I got my ears pierced again. But otherwise they kind of just let me do and get what I wanted, as long as they didn't think I was getting into trouble. I don't think they really had any big plans for me either though. Daddy was planning on getting me an easy job at his company. I wouldn't have to do much, but I wouldn't have to worry about looking for a job either."

"But you didn't take that up, right? Mabel said you guys met at college?"

"Yep. One night, getting close to graduation I just kind of had this thought...I didn't have anything useful to give, you know? But also people didn't expect me to give anything either, and I just felt kind of useless. My older sister graduated and four months later was married to some rich guy that probably has wives in other towns too. She didn't care though, cause she wouldn't have to work or put out effort to support herself. I was thinking about it and thought, I don't want to be like that. I want to offer something, even if it's not important. But I didn't have great grades, I wasn't in any clubs or sports. Graduation was coming up and I hadn't really learnt anything."

You almost speak up, asking if you have to worry about that. With a shiver down your spine and frozen fingertips you remember that high school is something that you might only experience from a distance.

"But you ended up going anyways..." you say instead, hoping your voice doesn't sound green.

"Yeah. I was stressing out so much during the next few days, I hadn't even began applying to colleges yet. One night I was flipping through channels on TV, way late at night cause I couldn't sleep. I ended up coming across this documentary or something about professional makeup artists...and hearing them get called artist made something click in me I guess. I could do makeup, but what they were doing on those girls was really like art, I mean as cheesy as that sounds. I told my parents what I wanted to do that morning, and while Daddy tried to get me to change my mind they ended up glad that I was finally applying myself."

"But then you met Mabel..."

"And it turns out, Daddy's Little Girl is a delinquent going through a phase. Mabel warned me about telling them, but I thought it'd be okay. We were only the Christmas and Easter kind of church people, and it's not like we prayed before meals or anything. I'm sure if I came up to their door and begged to be let in they'd let me in, but I wouldn't be able to take Mabel with me. And at least I know she loves me, and I don't need to jump through hoops for it."

"A real bed would be nice though..." you murmurer, running a hand over the lumpy mattress.

"Yeah, but sleeping on the bed isn't so bad as long as you got someone to cuddle with." Aria looks over from where she's been braiding Lisa's hair, her smile falling at the corners when she sees you. Undoing the work she's done so far, she helps Lisa to stand up. "Hey cutie, will you do me a favor? Lyn is downstairs with the baby, will you go down and make sure she's fine? Just stay with her and I'll be right down, pretty please?"

The little girl nods, looking over to see if you're coming. Aria places a hand over yours, keeping you in place as she waits for Lisa to leave.

"Could you get the door too?" Aria asks as she slips out, Lisa coming down to pull it close.

"Is there something wrong?" you ask, getting the same feeling as you would before getting a lecture.

"No, nothing wrong with me."

"Then, is there something wrong with...me?" Your eyes dart over to the shirt again and back to her face, avoiding direct eye contact.

"You trust me, right?"

"I do..."

"Then you should really know that if something is bothering you, it's alright to tell me. You just look like something is troubling you, anything you want to share?"
Ask about Wisteria and if it's okay to ask for help from her.
It's just... everything's broken and wrong. We don't get to be... normal and we just want something that'll take our mind off of it even if it's just for five minutes. Make us forget we don't get to have a special first time, how it's all ruined. Cheapened, even. Worthless.

... or how the idea of children makes us nauseous.



Man you gotta stop trying to push the cameo thing
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Fan art
Giving away everything to Aria isn't an option, but sharing some of your worries shouldn't be too bad.

"I guess everything just...it all just feels so..." you struggle to come up with more appropriate words, but let what comes to mind flow freely instead.
"Everything feels so broken and wrong. And if it isn't, then it ends up that way. And...um..." You sigh,unsure if continuing would be smart. Aria places a hand on your shoulder, pulling you in for comfort and encouraging you to continue.

"Just let it all out, it'll be good for you." She says softly, and already you can feel yourself on the edge of tears.

"I um, I know it's probably stupid and selfish of me but...but I want to feel normal, do normal things, e-even for just a bit. Just to take my mind off of things, all the awful things..."

"Like what?" A question with good intentions but the answer makes your body shake in fear and shame.

"L-Like...like how I don't get a special f-first time..." You huddle in close to yourself, trying to withdraw away from the world. The warm hold of Aria around your shoulder reminds you that it's safe, and she stays silent as she allows you to spill the sorrow you hold.

"I k-know it's s-stupid for me to be so sad about it..."

"It's not. Just let it out, whatever you need to say." Aria continues to hold you as she speaks, enough for you to tear away if needed but enough to make you feel close. With a sleeve your wipe away stray tears on your cheek before speaking again, feeling your chest tighten as you do.

"It was just t-taken away, and it hurt and...and it was terrible. I-It's like they didn't see me as a p-person, just as a thing they can...that they did use. I w-was just a thing they could th-throw away, they didn't c-care how it f-felt for me, or how I didn't w-want it, or how I b-begged them to stop. They just took it cause they c-could, and they didn't care wh-what happened to me. A-And now this thing that everyone s-says is s-so amazing and wonderful is...it's r-ruined for me..." It doesn't take long to bury your face in the overhanging sleeves of your sweater, hiding away from the world as you cry your heart out. With heavy and shallow breaths, your shoulders begin to shake.

"It's okay, please don't be scared. There's no one here who would dare to let that happen to you again."

"But it's already h-happened to me. A-And I remember it...the times I was a-awake, I remember what they did to me and I wish I didn't. But wh-...but i-if I do anything even kind of like the s-stuff that happened to me, even if I wanted it to happen I can't forget it...I c-can't forget how they hurt me. And now I even..." A free hand clutches your stomach, a reminder of what used to be there. "I...I even get sick when I think about kids...like b-babies. One of them put a b-baby in m-me and now even that's r-ruined for me and...and I h-hate it. I hate feeling sick around the baby..."

"Oh my God..." Aria's other hand comes to cup her mouth at hearing this, shocked with herself. "I'm so sorry, I've made you help with Cecilia and...and I didn't even think about that. Oh god, I'm so sorry about that-"

"It's my fault for not being n-normal." You lean in more, clutching at your head as you wish for a shell to envelope and protect you from the world. "I can't be a proper w-wife now. Anything I have to give is...is w-worthless. I'm worthless. I'm a stupid worthless wh-whore..." Every part of you shakes, tears falling freely down your face.

Whatever good and pure you had to give is gone
You probably weren't even awake when it happened
You'll never know how it went, and that's probably for the best
Not that it matters now, you've been used up
There's been others inside of you
Others that have made you tainted and dirty
No matter how hot the water is or how much you scrub away at your skin
It's a stain that will always be there
You'll always feel how they grabbed you
How you were shoved down and torn at
How everything they did to you hurt
How you were spread open, and it felt like everything inside you was on fire
Those times you couldn't breathe and thought you'd die with a man forcing his way inside
Not like it mattered to them
They weren't the ones who was in pain
They weren't the ones who were ruined before they realized they could be ruined that way
They weren't the ones to find out there was a baby growing inside them
Or had to deal with the pain of getting rid of it
They took their fun and left you with the aftermath
You became used goods before you even knew what that meant
And no amount of tearing away at your skin will change that
You can't get rid of the filthy feeling inside
You can't be a proper wife-

"Who the hell told you that?" The new severity in Aria's voice catches your attention, though you refuse to lift your face from the sleeves.

"The m-men at the store...they said I was a wh-whore, that it was my fault I e-ended up like that-"

"Men...? More than one-...like HELL it's your fault!" The hold on your shoulder tightens and the hand in front of you tightens into a fist. "Those...those b a s t a r d s had the fucking nerve to hurt you like that, and then they call you a...I swear, if you ever end up pointing them out to me, I'll show them hell. I don't care who they are, I-...dammit. Dammit! Don't you dare think for a moment that you're worthless, or a...or a whore! Who the hell tells a girl that? ESPECIALLY a sweet girl like you? I swear to God..." She doesn't force you too close, but Aria brings you in for a tighter hug, hands firmly against your shoulder and back.

"I j-just want to be a n-normal wife...a good wife...a good m-...mo-..." you stumble with the words, fingers shaking as you try to hold on to Aria.

"You can be, nothing those men can do to you would change that. You're still such a good girl, you aren't ruined, you aren't tainted. All I've ever seen from you is a sweet and loving girl scared out of her mind, and you deserve every right to be scared. People haven't been kind to you, and it's not your fault."

Past Aria's shoulder you look at the wall behind teary eyes, letting them drip down your cheek and to her shoulder.

"I...I want to be h-happy..." you cry, voice shaking with each word, "E-Even for a l-little bit..."

"And you deserve that much and more."

"N-No I don't..."

"You do. You've gone through enough hardships, things need to go your way now."

Bile rises in your throat as memories flash by, grainy and faded as you try to forget them.
But you won't.
You never will.

One in particular comes up, the one from the first night. The night were you stayed up, from when you found out you could be hurt this way. The man's face comes up easily, every detail of his grotesque face etched into your mind. When you were pushed to the bed, nightgown and underwear torn away as if they were nothing. His actions were rough and so were his voice. Yet, that monster of a man attempted to talk to you nicer, at least after he was done calling you a bitch for trying to fight back.

"Th-The first man...the o-one in my b-bedroom..." You choke back tears, failing to do so as the wet warmth continues to coat your cheeks.

"Take your time, you don't have to say it if you don't want to."

"That f-first time that...that I can remember...that man, B-....B-Bower....he came in. He hit me and...and was doing...doing that to me but...but he d-didn't call me a whore..."

One of many memories you've tried to push away, his voice plays over and over in your mind.

I'm glad you've finally stopped trying to fight me, things will go a lot quicker this way

You wince, hands unable to grasp Aria anymore.

You feel amazing, did you know that? I bet not, you're something special for me. Just for me, you were made just for me, did you know that? You have to be, you're perfect.

You'd close your eyes, but it feels like you'd just see his face even better that way.

Only someone like me should get to experience you, but it would be selfish to keep it all to myself. I'm a generous man.

"He...that first man, he h-hurt me so much...."

Feeling you move beneath me like this, it's wonderful...!

"I d-didn't know that could h-happen...r-right there in my bed..."

I'm so sorry you couldn't have experienced this sooner!"

"In my room, wh-where I was supposed to b-be safe...my m-mom was just in the o-other room..."

I love you Delilah! Even when you kick and scream, I love the way you feel!

"Why didn't she help m-me...? Why...why did..." It feels like there's not enough oxygen right now, like you're drowning and all the air is being crushed out of your lungs. Aria keeps you grounded for the time being as you try to voice the buried away memory.

That bastard called you something that night, and the thought of it makes you retch now.

Your father had a nickname for you, something he'd called you a lot when you were younger.
What was it?

If you've read Keychain of Creation, it fits her
We wanted a cat, but dad said no. Why should we get a cat when there was already one mischievous gattina in the house.

He kept calling us gattina after that.
I have spent 45 mins trying to think of this.
cucciolo ragazza
Its puppy girl in Italian.
I would think Delilah would be a bit of a daddies girl when she was younger, following him around and seeking his affection as often as she could.
She would grow out of the habit but not the name.
Backing because it hurts
Who's this slut
For a moment you forget how to breathe, and if you suffocated right there it would have been okay.

"Daaad!" you whined, tugging at his pants as the poor man tried to make coffee. "Why can't we get a kitty?"

"Because." A flash of a white smile. "We already have one mischievous 'gattina' in the house."

"But a ga-...gatt-...kitty...would be really cuuute!" Mom stumbled to the table, just to pick up a half empty bottle and retreat back to the bedroom. She went back to drinking and sleeping alone, not that it was too different from most days.

"Ah, but don't you know?" In one smooth motion you were lifted high up in the air, held up in arms that would never let you fall.

"What? What do I know?" you ask, finally done giggling.

"You're just as cute as any 'gattina' I've seen." Dad always knew the right words to butter you up, walking you over to the table where breakfast waited. You sit down to a plate, ready to eat. The other chairs are left undisturbed as Dad returned to the coffee pot.

"Ah but! But..!"

"Ay, look at the 'gattina' sinking her claws in again." Dad laughed, looking down at you clutching his leg once more.

"You said no kitty, but what about a puppy? Do you like doggys more?"

"Ah but you know? You follow me around enough to be a little 'cucciolo'..."

"Gattina..." Throat dried and the words trying to get stuck, every part of your body freezes in place.

"What was that?"

"That night when B-...B-Bower came into my room and...and h-hurt me..."

The name used to make you happy, it made you feel loved. Hearing it was just like being praised.

The side of your mouth had been pinched painfully, held in place by his pudgy fingers. His mouth came up against your ear, his heavy chest and stomach pressed up against your back.

"You know what you are, Delilah?" That terrible voice, full of pride and greed, panted in your ear. The free hand on your neck was no longer choking, but there was no will or strength to speak. That man had silenced you, and not even the pain of being torn open inside could muster a peep. "Guess! It's not fun if you don't put some effort in, Lord knows you aren't right now." The pain you'd been feeling began to numb, not that it didn't hurt. He was holding still, waiting for an answer. Glancing over, you say where Ms. Buttons stayed on the ground, her beady eyes looking up at you in pity and helplessness.

"P-...Pl-...-eeeaase..." The words hurt, everything hurt. You just wanted it to stop, you wanted to go back to sleep and wake up for the worst nightmare.

"No answer? So it is from a feisty little gattina like yourself."

And so the pain began anew, the rest of your breath was being squeezed out, and all you could do before shutting down was pray that the roof would collapse and kill everyone in the apartment.

It only took one person saying the name to ruin it forever.
Now, even when you try to remember Dad saying it, only Bower's voice comes to mind.

"My d-dad used to call me that...but that B-..man s-said it...why d-did he call me that...?!" Your nails dig into Aria's back, her shirt being the only thing preventing pain. "Why does e-everything I like get...get ruined?! Why does everything get so...so fucked up?! Why?!" This time you shake with anger, a red heat running through your body.

"Try to calm down, you're okay her-"

"He's ruined EVERYTHING? Why me..?! What did I ever do to him? Why did he choose meeee....? Why did he c-call me that? Why...why is he still a-alive?! I should have...should have kept hitting him! Till his stupid face was mashed into the floor! That disgusting man, thinking he can...that HE is allowed to c-call me th-that...I..I can't breathe..." You struggle and then push away from Aria, crawling away only a few feet on the floor. Air is flowing through but it feels like you're being held under, it feels like his hand is pressing against your neck again. Or when the cashier -the man you ran to for help, the one that made you believe there was hope-, sat on your chest and just squeezed at your throat. You had to watch his face, he was doing it just to watch you squirm.
That's right, he was the one who said it.

Beg for it, whore

You'd wish he hadn't stopped squeezing.
You could have faded away completely and never wake up again.
And that would be okay.

"Oh god, are you okay-" Aria reaches out but you smack her hands away, moving towards the wall.

"D-Don't touch me...! N-No one...no one is going to t-touch me..." A splitting pain through your head makes the words hard to come by and you gasp for air. The nails on your hand tear away at your chest, hoping to rip the hole inside your chest and let you breathe again.

"I-...I don't know what to-...what do you need? Please, j-just tell me what you need, I'll do it!" Aria is scared by your sudden episode and she has every right to be. Like a feral animal caught in a trap, your eyes dart about the room, trying to look away from the shirt. "Please, Bunny just...just tell me what you need right now!"

We need Lawrence
"Law" and Justice.
We need Lawrence. The embodiment of someone who loves, wants and is willing to protect us no matter how broken and fucked up we are. Nobody will touch us if Lawrence is around and Lawrence cant hurt us, its against his nature. He needs us as much as we need him, two broken people struggling to live lives they dont deserve to be living. That's the closest thing to true love we are gonna get, and we can really use some lovin right now.

We need Justice. It wont change what happened, it wont bring back our purity, and it may hurt innocent people in the process but Bower and the other men that hurt us must suffer like we had. In this unfair world its up to the wronged to make our own justice. And we've seen enough of this dirty world to know that the service of ending men like Bower is a justice that out weighs any unforeseen consequences.
A bit heavy handed but ill take back this.
Revenge is important.
File: Spoiler Image (78 KB, 803x526)
78 KB
"I-...I need-...!"





"Pst! Lawrence! Can you hear me?"

You slam the needle down to the counter again, hand shaking as the breath you were holding is released. The tips of your fingers drag across your stubble cheek, your heart racing in your chest. It needs to be sewn back together, like Sam did. Or maybe if you let Delilah try that again...

Can't do this the easy way, you shouldn't. Even considering that an option right now is unacceptable, you just need to man up and patch yourself up.
It's a little needle, how cad could it hurt? You need to get this done, it needs to heal up as much as possible before you-

"Hey, Law?" The needle disappears under your hand easily while Marilyn looks in from the door, the baby nearly too big for her arms to carry. You might need to try and get this done later, when you can be alone. A couple sips of something hard, anything, should be enough encouragement for you.

"John wants you..." You nod and she backs away, keeping her averted. Not that you meant to scare her off, but it's for the best. Would be better if you could hide the fact that you were about to stitch up your own cheek. Spent all that time preparing yourself, and now your relieved there's someone calling you away, even if it is John. It'd be easier to face his odd coldness than to deal with this pain, and you're a fucking coward for it. For now just put up the supplies, and you can try again later.

If you don't pussy out of it.

John remains where you placed him, and sure as hell in no condition to get up and move around. You can't figure out how a man like him can bleed so much, but you're more interested in how he got hurt this morning. He was quick to say he tripped this time, but keeps skirting around the question of this morning. You'd rather not have a reason to distrust John, but taking chances aren't an option either. If there's anything out of the ordinary you need to investigate; letting anything slip past would be another mistake you'll have to carry.

"There you are, sorry to bother ya. Got a sec?" John speaks to you like he normally would, but warmth is missing from his voice. Not completely, just a lukewarm attitude.

It scares the hell out of you.

But him asking for help must mean he doesn't absolutely loathe you for whatever crime it was you committed. Then again, you're sure it wouldn't be hard to dig up some skeletons on you.

Taking the armchair across from the couch, you take a seat and nod. John's hand is resting over his chest pocket, fingers itching towards the same rectangle that sits in your own pocket. Doesn't matter how many times either of you say 'this one will be the last pack', you've dug through ashtrays to find butts enough times to know this addiction is going to stay a while.

"Just a quick question pal. Been hankering for a cigarette, but I'd rather not smoke 'round the girls. Don't go tellin' Aria, but you mind takin' me out later so I can sneak a couple cigarettes?" You wish his friendliness wasn't so halfhearted, but you ought to be damn thankful for a chance to fix things up. On paper you begin to write, wanting to ask when he'd want to go. From upstairs a muted cry travels down, bringing you to attention.

"Think that was Aria? I can't tell if that was a yell or-" John becomes silent when the door upstairs flings open, Aria nearly throwing herself down the stairs.
"What's goin' on up there miss-"

"L-Law! Lawrence!" Aria cries out and your heart skips a beat. "She -B-Bunny- ...she needs you...!"

The notebook lays on the armrest as you run upstairs, rushing past Aria and to where cries and hiccups travel out of the open door. Inside, your own breath catches when you see Delilah bent over on the floor. Her pink cheeks have turned wet and red, a constant steam of tears dripping as she grasps at her chest.

"L-Laaawrence..." She calls your name so pitifully, it squeezes at your heart just hear it."I c-c-can't breathe...! I c-...c-can't...p-please help me..." Her face disappears behind a clutching hand, lithe shoulders shaking as Delilah attempts to keep her sobs hushed. You force yourself to walk, kneeling down and extending a hand out to he-

"D-Don't touch me!" Her voice shrieks, sitting up on her knees and slapping away your hand. Either she recognizes who it is or she's frightened out of her mind, but it doesn't matter. You can only watch as Delilah pushes herself against the wall and dresser, huddling in the meager corner it provides. "I d-don't want to be hurt...please don't...don't hurt me...I-..." Her slender fingers grab at her chest again, inching towards her throat. Risking an inch forward, you try to push closer to Delilah without startling her. Easier said than done, you watch where her nails go carefully.

"I..I want him dead...!" Delilah buries her face away in the sleeves of her sweater and the corner, refusing to show herself. "I want the b-bastard that h-hurt me dead! Why should HE get to w-walk around like...like he didn't r-rape me? H-he's out there sm-smiling and getting to do wh-whatever he wants but...but what about me..?!I c-can't walk around without l-looking over my shoulder constantly! I c-can't sleep! He t-took away my-...he fuc-...I had to c-...had to c-cut my haaair..."

She further collapses against the dresser, only ragged and heavy breathes escaping her now.

"I c-can't even l-l-love you the way I sh-shouuuld..."

You don't even feel angry right now.
No, instead it feels like you should be mourning something lost.

"I w-want to be a good w-wife for you and I...I can't..."

You need to
>Approach her slowly, ease your way in
>Try to be gentle, but you need to make sure Delilah doesn't hurt herself. Hold on to her.
>Let her come to you when she's ready, give space
>Approach her slowly, ease your way in
>>Approach her slowly, ease your way in
Dont touch her
Just get really close then wait.
>Approach her slowly, ease your way in

>Approach her slowly, ease your way in
>Approach her slowly, ease your way in
Try to seem as unimposing as possible, though that's easier said than done. Sit down if need be, and let her close the distance.
Delilah doesn't realize that she's somewhere safe, that no one around wants to hurt her. All she can remember now is the pain she'd felt before, and every move she makes is a despondent attempt to protect herself. If you could scoop her up and say everything would be okay, things might be easier.

But they can't be that easy, not with her.

She's someone who needs time and patience, who can't be rushed or forced into things anymore.

You're someone with only time to give, not much more useful than that.

So instead of hurrying things, you wait by painfully, watching each of her moves careful. It takes so long for her erratic sobs to find a pattern, a dwindling down and winding one as Delilah begins to calm down. All the while you move forward, careful to not be too fast or too loud. Despite how she'd been crying her heart out only seconds before, it feels like you were to touch her even slightly too hard her fragile frame would just shatter.

You risk a hand to her shoulder but Delilah shrinks away from the touch, her cry coming to a sudden halt in her chest as she holds completely still.

Don't fuck this up.
Delilah can't be afraid of you.
You couldn't live with yourself if that happened, could you?

Of course you can't.

"...just me." Not that reminding her will do much, but watching her like this is too much for you to bear. Too much longer and your heartache will melt to something worse. And honestly, you're not sure if you could contain 'worse'. Last time you barely managed to do so, and you've already been on edge for far too long. Eventually that anger is going to need to come out, and when it does it won't be pretty.

"Not going...hurt you."

But right now is not that time.

Delilah's shaking begins to calm down, if only slightly. It'd be nice if she looked at you, but baby steps have to be taken. When the back of your fingers brush against her shoulders there's no pulling away, an invitation for you to move in. With a small space separating her away, you're able to sit next to Delilah now. From her you can see the red marks against her throat, lines where her fingers had scratched away. Nothing to break the skin, but makes you reach for your own neck all the same.

It takes more time for her body to relax, her arms and hands leaning against the wall limply now. The crying has turned to heavy and hitched breathes, sniffling and trying to dry off her face. This time your hand rests on her shoulder, testing the waters. Yet again you're allowed to stay, and with carefully slow motions you move Delilah away from the wall and against you. She accepts this, but still hides behind her sleeves.

"I'm s-....sooorryyy..." A voice dripping with tears, speaking makes her shake once again.

"Shh shh. Okay. You're okay." Nothing great and amazing from you, but there's sure as hell not a lot you can offer. There are probably a hundred different ways you could have done this better, but for now this is what you give. Even as Delilah finally holds on to you for support and hides her face away in the side of your shirt, you let your hold be light, something that she can tear herself away from when needed.

Gentle isn't something that you're used to being, and you can only hope that you get better at it.


She ends up resting against your lap, sniffling and trying to steady her breath as you brush back strands of her hair. Just along the scalp you can barely begin to notice blonde popping up against the black. It's obvious that Delilah hates 'losing' her hair, and you hope there's a day she can grow out how she likes again. You take the chance to check her neck again, to really make sure she didn't draw blood. Aside from raised skin, the only thing you notice is the chain the ducks behind her shirt.

"It's c-cold in here..." The first thing she's said in a while and you feel her body shiver.

"Should sleep. Use blankets." It's nothing to pick her up, holding her close as a means to share warmth. And as much as you'd hate to admit it, feeling Delilah's arms hug around your neck makes your heart skip a beat in a warm way.

"Will you st-stay with me? At least t-till I fall asleep...?"
You nod and feel her nose and cheek press against your throat next, still shaky breath exhaling on your skin. Having her try to do anything else today would be cruel, and after her episode some rest would do her good.

Where ever she sleeps right now will probably be where she stays the rest of the day.
It'd be best to let her sleep in the;
>Nursery. She can stay with the girls tonight.
>Bedroom. It would be best if she wasn't around too many people right now.
Pick one from here and one from the next one.

It'll be good to go down and let them know what's going on, but for now you'll stay with Delilah till she falls asleep.
You should;
>Stay quiet. Let Delilah enjoy some silence
>Try to talk to her, make Delilah feel more at ease.
>Nursery. She can stay with the girls tonight.
We're unlikely to fall asleep at this rate which would likely stress Delilah out, but don't deny her if she wants to sleep in the bedroom with us. She has to feel her decisions matter.

>Stay quiet. Let Delilah enjoy some silence
If she wants to talk, she will. Just be reassuring for now, make sure she feels safe.
>Bedroom. It would be best if she wasn't around too many people right now.
>Stay quiet. Let Delilah enjoy some silence

It would be a problem if the girls start asking questions
She needs god forgive me a safe space to calm down in for a bit before shes ready for social interaction.
>Nursery. She can stay with the girls tonight.
>Stay quiet. Let Delilah enjoy some silence
>Bedroom. It would be best if she wasn't around too many people right now.
>Stay quiet. Let Delilah enjoy some silence
Rolled 1 (1d2)

Writing before I go kill my liver tonight at a party

Be willing to let her choose though
Privacy is something that Delilah needs right now, and you take her to the other room. For now you borrow all the blankets between the two, trying to make the spot as comfortable as cold wooden floors can be. You make sure she's tucked away in the swarm of blankets, though she still shivers in the middle of the warmth. She's not just shaking from the cold though, and the only you can do is wait for it to stop. In the meantime you take a seat behind her.

You sure as hell don't know what you should say right now, much less what you should be doing. Lay with her so she doesn't feel alone? Sit away to give her space? It's a tricky problem, but where you are now seems to be the safest option. The notebook is downstairs, and making Delilah read right now wouldn't be easy. The thought of asking if there's anything she wants right now comes up, but silence seems to be working well for her. If she needs something she'll ask, and you should just perform your duty of being available.

"I w-wish the ring you g-got me fit right n-now..." Talking causes her breathing to become uneven again and you rub up and down her back to help calm it back down. The feeling of déjà vu comes about as you do this, and it takes time to place how.

Being the comforter is still a new feeling, most everything you've done has been an imitation of what Michele had done for you. There would be times when she would be lost or ended up doing the wrong thing to help, but you can't remember ever holding it against her.
Hopefully, that means Delilah will do the same if you have been messing up this whole time.


It doesn't take long for her body to relax and breathing to become slow and rhythmic, but the minutes trickle by slowly. Moving your palm away from her back, you wait. Delilah doesn't stir, and you stand while keeping a eye on her. She's asleep for now, and as much as you'd like to stay longer there are things that need to get done. Even when you tread lightly the floorboards creak beneath your feet, but Delilah has tired herself out enough to be dead to the world.

A choice of phrase that you immediately regret, but you force yourself to accept that she's fine. As fine as someone like her can be right now, and that after resting she'll be feeling better.
Or maybe that's what you're telling yourself so you don't feel bad about running away.

You aren't just running away, there's other things that need to be done. The tear in your cheek isn't going to take care of itself, as much as you'd like it to. Keeping watch is still a priority, Delilah having a breakdown here is bad enough. Dealing with this out on the streets? That can't happen, even if it means always having to stay on watch.

Though, if things go the way you hope, then she shouldn't have to worry about that soon.

Leaving one silence for another you move downstairs. The younger girls have been herded away to the kitchen, away and back from the ruckus. Aria stands at the doorway, arms crossed as she tries not to nod off. Seeing you perks her up instantly, but you already know the question she has to ask.

"How is she? Is there anything I need to do?"

You ask for a second and look for the book, noticing that it's lays on the floor by the couch now. Counting on it merely slipping, you can't help but to throw a cautionary eye over to John.

"Well? How is she? Sounded pretty bad." John asks and you push away the paranoia for now. As you write Aria comes over to get an answer, all the while you keep an ear towards the upstairs.

She's asleep right now. I think it'd just be easier to let her sleep for the rest of today, or at least till she feels better

"I don't know what happened. God, I feel so bad...I was just trying to ask if anything was bothering her. I just wanted to help." The guilt is written all over Aria's face, and maybe any other day you'd try to pin the blame on her. Not cause it's her fault, but it feels like you need something to focus your anger on. You need to remain calm though, getting all heated up isn't going to help anyone right now.

"Try not to worry 'bout it. You were just tryin' to help, but trauma like that ain't easy to live with," John says grimly, "Hell, just be glad that she hasn't had that happen to her out of the blue. Cause you think this was awful? Imagine tryin' to calm her down when you can't even tell what's wrong."

"Will it be fine if I check up on her? Or do I need to stay away now...?"

"Doubt that it's you that got her worked up like that."

"I just feel so bad for it..."

She's done this before. And it's not nearly as bad as the time before Christmas, and you were a big help then

"...yeah. I guess." Aria still doesn't feel right about this, but once again you don't have the right things to say.

I put her in the other bedroom for now, it'd be best if the girls left her alone

"I figured so. They're worried sick about her, and it's kind of hard to explain it to them but, well I can at least handle them." Not that Aria doesn't try to be helpful, but seeing her actively take charge and not just following orders or someone else is rather new for her, as far as you know anyways.

"Ain't any easy thing for anyone-" In the kitchen, Cecilia begins to make a fuss and forces Aria to try and calm her before it becomes a cry. You look up to the railing, expecting to hear Delilah again. It remains as quiet as you left it and you'll take it as a good sign.

"Ah, by the way Law..." John calls to your attention again, speaker softer like he doesn't want anyone else to hear. "If we could have our little 'get-together' tonight, that'd be nice. Dyin' for that smoke right now, y'know? No rush or nothin'."

You nod but don't look forward to it either.

"Sam really needs to redo them stitches for you. Looks like it'd be healin' up just fine if the rest of it was held close. Doin' a lot better than I thought it would, actually."

While you write, John's eyes remain fixated not on just your face but the cut specifically. The extra attention does nothing but make you feel miserable about it, even though you should have long ago accepted that it's part of you now. And perhaps you're more vain than you thought, but you can't help but to hide it away when you pass the note over.

Could be more of a mess. I'm just glad it didn't end up infected

You dutifully leave out the plans to put the stitches back in yourself, waiting for Sam is something you want to risk. Not that you'd be returning back there the way you left-

"Say, did you happen to get a little...'help' with it?" John motions towards upstairs when he asks. "Noticed that my cuts closed up rather nicely after she's done her ah, thing. Imagine it might even help with somethin' like that."

>Tell him Delilah did help, but there's no reason to explain past that.

>Say you haven't thought of it, but that it could maybe be an option if it doesn't heal

>Lie and say she hasn't, and that you'll let it heal on it's own

>Tell him Delilah did help, but there's no reason to explain past that.
No sense in lying, but no reason to tell the whole truth. John knows what Del can do so there's no hiding it, and even if he remains suspicious, Sam would be able to corroborate that the interior of the cheek hasn't healed nearly as well.

I left at around Thread 14 because life and hasn't been able to catch up. But nice to see we are running strong.

So from the looks of it: are we still doing homeless stuff with the New Hope gang? Are we a vampire yet?
Yes, sorta. No.

Archived threads on suptg have brief descriptions, though some insipid fucker misarchived #29..
Have we found new characters? Or the drive is just dead?

And the most important thing: have we done cute things with the Law?
We've encountered a couple of people with some relevance since #14, including one suggesting grandma is okay.

Little bit, yes.
No use in trying to lie with John, you know better than that.

After the stitches were put in she wanted to make sure it'd heal up fine. Only let her do it once though

But you sure as hell don't need to tell him everything.
Not that you could forget what happened already, and sitting here only makes you feel more scrutinized.

"Can't imagine it was too fun for her. Bit awkward of a spot, ain't it?"

I would never have asked her, but she insisted on doing it.
Besides, it needs all the help it can get. Does this look 'healing' to you?

And to illustrate the point, you barely spread open the part of the gash still missing its stitches. There's no longer the gap that used to be there, but you wince at the pain of exposing it anyways. The faint taste of iron presses against your tongue, the inside still struggling to mend.

"Least it looks clean. Could have been closing up while the wound is festerin', and trust me that's not a good sight to see. And don't worry. I believe you," John hands back the notepad, not looking at you as he rests back against the couch. "That girl adores you. Sure she'd be willin' to trek through hell and back for you at this point."

You begin to write a note to excuse yourself, unable and not wanting to continue the conversation any further.

"Course that's not always a good thing..."
No fingers pointed at you, yet it still feels as if there is going to be some sort of conviction. You can't leave soon enough, not even bothering to ask John if he needs anything else. For now you go to the bathroom, straight to the sink and bringing handfuls of water to your mouth. No matter how you look at it, you can't explain the recent coldness from him. You can't figure out where exactly you've crossed a line, not around him anyways.

Knocks from the window bring you to attention, ready to run out and see who it is. Aria has it covered, and from in here you can tell that Mabel has returned.

"I thought you had a full shift today?" Aria asks from the kitchen. You can't help but look at your cheek in the mirror again, knowing that the needle and thread are waiting.

"Closed early today, they always freak out when there's a chance of snow-" There's whispering next, most likely to fill Mabel in on what she's missed. You look closer at where the previous threads had been.

Just three stitches, you can handle three. The needle isn't even that big, stop thinking about it.

"Jeez, good thing I came when I did I guess...oh, but babe. I'm going to stop at that one corner store nearby, came here first in case you guys needed anything."

"Oh, not that I know of...oh! Maybe blankets? Think you could bring some more back?"

A random surge of pain runs through your body, in places you can't quite pinpoint. Annoying, but nothing that you feel too concerned about. Then again, it's not really helping when you're already on edge like this. Once more you listen for upstairs, but hear nothing unusual. Hopefully that means Delilah is resting, you can check on her soon.

But for now, you should busy yourself;
>Just keep watch around the house for now
>Go with Mabel to the store, ask if she knows what's up with John
>Try to get Aria alone and ask if she knows anything wrong
>Just keep watch around the house for now
On the off-chance that Delilah wakes up.

>Try to get Aria alone and ask if she knows anything wrong
>Just keep watch around the house for now
Delilah ill want us around when she wakes.

No use in running around outside. You'd be more useful here and it's not like there's anything you need to get.

Well, there is one thing you need. All because you're scared of one little needle. Mabel can grab it for you, and when she returns you can make preparations once more. Hopefully with a little more courage this time, because lord knows you need it. You go ahead and write down the simple request, listening to the sounds of the stairs creaking. Stepping out, you can see Mabel trying to make a quiet ascent up the stairs. It looks like everyone is going to be walking on eggshells now, afraid of making the wrong move and causing Delilah to go into a panic once more.

You wait for Mabel to slip into the nursery before going up to the second floor. Taking a quick glance to the living room, you aren't sure if it was a glimpse of John watching you or something in your imagination, but you move out of his sights before it can come into question again. Mabel must be changing, so you take the chance to pop into the other room.

Delilah remains curled up in place, blankets swarmed around her. The dog must have managed to lug herself up the stairs, taking a spot nestled against her slumbering owner. Best to leave them both alone, you back out and wait by the nursery door. It doesn't take long for Mabel to pop out, covered head to toe in everything she could manage to put on for her adventure out.

"Ah, jeez!" Mabel nearly shouts, jumping back and forcing herself to lower her voice. "You scared me man, I swear we need to get you a bell or something..." You apologize the best you can and hand over the note, watching her dark eyes scan over it.

"Eh...you sure you need this?" she asks tentatively, giving you a cautionary look. "I mean, I know I could use a drink but...well, for once I think I'd rather buy instant ramen with that money instead-"

From a pocket you pull out a few crumpled bills, placing them in her palm. Mabel eyes the money carefully, then back up at you. Either ready to lecture you or ask why you want it so bad, she takes the easy route and pockets the cash instead.

"Fine, got it. Gonna get you the cheapest shit they have then, just like you want." Ready to leave, she takes one last look over to the bedroom door ajar. "You aren't planning on getting plastered anytime soon, are you man? Cause, I know it's tough bu-" When her gaze comes back to yours, Mabel quickly shuts up and walks towards the stairs.

"Don't worry. I'll bring it back man."

You watch as she goes down the stairs, out of sight and away. Intuitively your hand comes up to cover the cut, but you know damn well you would have scared her without it.

It doesn't even feel like you were trying to bully her down, but for fucks sake.

You need to work on that.


The hallway is freezing, suffering from numerous drafts. Not much you can do about it, except pray that the house somehow manages to hold on to what little heat it has. You're ready to head downstairs and wait for the chance to talk to Aria, but stop before moving down the first step. The tension in the living room felt suffocating enough earlier and you don't really look forward to experiencing it again. And though your plan was to go and be useful, you instead find yourself sitting on the top step, head resting in your hands. The stress is eating away at you, and no amount of saying otherwise will change that. Exhausted yet too wound up to fall asleep, you also know that it's just going to continue.

That's fine, you probably deserved to be worked to death anyways. And once you cross of the one thing remaining from your list, then you'll be fully prepared to do it.

Of course no one is going to be happy about it. Delilah will no doubt freak out, not to mention the fact that you'll have to prepare to talk to yo-

"Law? Everything okay?" Aria whispers, a few steps down. And you just nod, because taking the time to explain everything would take much longer than you have.

"That's good. I'm putting Lisa down for a nap downstairs, but I'm just grabbing her another coat to put on for now. I'm pretty sure it's getting colder..." Aria shivers as she walks past and you take this as an opportunity. You follow her into the nursery, pulling the door shut just to be safe.

"Are you sure everything is fine?" Aria asks, noting the closed door as she pulls out clothes. "There's not something wrong with her, is there?"

No, not with her. I was going to ask if you've noticed anything strange with John. He's been standoffish lately but I can't figure out why

"Are you sure it's not just him being cranky? Guy did just come out of the hospital, and I'm sure he's in pain still."

He's been acting different around me. Almost feels like I've done something to step on his toes

"Oh. Well, I guess I've noticed that's been awfully um...quiet around you recently, I guess." As Aria admits this you can't help but look through the window, getting a view of the backyard. There's plenty of things to be on the lookout for, but right now there's one car in particular you keep searching for. At first you considered it a neighbors, but after seeing it park at different houses and always running you start to have doubts about it. Not that you recognize it either, but it's more than enough to send you into overdrive.

"Hey? Did you hear me?" Pulling yourself away, you let Aria know she has your attention once more. "I asked, do you think he's mad at you? It's usually not hard to tell with him."

That's the thing, I haven't really seen him like this and I sure as hell can't figure out if I've done something wrong
'Something that he knows about', but you'll keep that part to yourself.

"I'll try to keep an eye out, bu-...well, actually. John has been acting a little strange, especially about this morning. When I was helping with his hip, I couldn't help but noticed he had a lot of dried blood on his leg and pants. I thought that maybe it was from when he was walking through town, but I don't think the blood was that old either..." Aria ponders, thinking it over. "It's like he hurt himself earlier and didn't tell anyone about it. I wouldn't say for sure, but I'll see what I can find out."

You nod in thanks, and hear the sound of shuffling from the other room. Aria looks petrified, holding still and waiting for something bad to happen. When she doesn't hear crying or screaming or whatever else she was expecting, Aria looks slightly relieved.

"Maybe she's up? I think you should be the one to check on her though, I still feel a little skittish about it..."

Not that you mind. You listen through the bedroom door, greeting with silence before entering the room. Buttercup has begun scratching at the floor, nails clicking against the wood as she tries to make herself a better burrow. Delilah raises herself up on an elbow, rubbing a still red eye as she looks out groggily.

"Is that you Lawrence...?" she sniffles, and you waste no time in confirming her guess. You try to get her to lay back down, but Delilah insists that she wants to sit up. For now you let her, but notice that she's still not completely back. Unable to hold herself up properly Delilah rests her weight against you, trying to curl up as much as she can in the blankets. Not much time passes before she fails to conceal her yawn, but once against insists on being up.

"Y-You're not busy right now, are you?"


"Then um...if you w-want to, c-could you tell me a-about the thing you mentioned? What you w-wanted to tell me later?" Delilah rubs her eyes more, trying to appear more awake. "It's f-fine, you c-can tell me. If you w-want to, I mean..."

You'd planned to tell her later, but whatever you choose to do, it must get done today.
>Show Delilah the surprise and tell her the bad news now
>Save it for later
>Show Delilah the surprise and tell her the bad news now
Bad news, Del. John thinks we're badtouching you.

You fucking tease, Sue
>Show Delilah the surprise and tell her the bad news now

>Show Delilah the surprise and tell her the bad news now
Sorry about the delay guys, stomach bug really had me these past few days. Update and new thread tomorrow.

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