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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, an unfortunate 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/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be working
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.

Since I had taken a long hiatus, here's a tl:dr of some current things;
>you and Lawrence have made it to Granny's safehome
>the same place your grandfather had built when he was hustling drugs
>Your mother is being held at the hospital after testing positive for 'street rot'
>Your grandmother is bedridden thanks to her bad heart
>Dr. Rizzo and his assistant Camilla are around the safehouse to aid her
>Camilla has helped with your use of guns, giving you several holsters for when you go out
You take a spot on the edge of the bed, trying not to take up much room but still making Lawrence give you extra space.

"At the hospital today," you speak slowly as you recollect the events from earlier, "I talked to my mom and it was um, it was a weird visit."

Lawrence nods, waiting patiently for you to continue. In the few moments of passing silence you realize just how quiet the whole building, feeling like you two really are sectioned off from the rest of the world.

"I had to talk to her alone for a couple of minutes." As soon as you mention this Lawrence looks concerned and you're quick to address it. "Nothing bad really happened. She didn't look all sick and gross like I thought she would, mom looked like she usually does. Maybe a little thinner than usual, but she didn't really look sick. I asked a nurse why she had to stay there, and she said that they didn't have to keep her there. The nurse said they weren't um, legally obligated to cause there wasn't enough against her in the investigation or something like that. And they weren't keeping her there cause she was has that street rot stuff, even though it doesn't even look like she has it..."

With a curious look on his face Lawrence begins tapping against his temple, wordlessly asking his question.

"Yeah," you answer while trying not to chock on the nervous lump in your throat, "they're keeping her over there because she's cra-...she's not thinking okay. Apparently she attacked a nurse at some point, so anytime she has visitors they handcuff her to the bed. Is that normal?" He shrugs for an answer, but Lawrence is bad at hiding the doubt on his face. "I guess that would make sense. She wouldn't be able to do anything if she was out of the hospital right now, her head is all cloudy. That's how she said it anyways. There were a couple of times when she almost seemed normal though. Couldn't remember how old I was but then was trying to tell me that I was too young to get um, to get married..." You let out a nervous laugh but the gravity of everything cuts it short, and you mumble "I hope she won't be messed up like that forever..."

You leave out the part that happened when you left Crockett and your mother alone and you try to hide the red rising on your face from remembering it as Lawrence stands and searches the room for something suitable to write on.

maybe she still adjusting to hospital?
could be on mess of new meds

"Medication..." you repeat out loud, face scrunching up at the word. Maybe not in quite the same way, but weeks ago you would have described your head as feeling cloudy. When all you could do was sleep and sleep, unaware of how many days were passing by and being unable to do anything about it. Without a word you stand up, shoving the note away into your sleeve.
"I think Camilla is going to start looking for me if I don't get back out there," you tell Lawrence as you stand in front of the bed, "You just stay here and rest. I'll be mad if you're not in bed when I get back." He exaggerates an eye roll, telling you that he's okay even if he doesn't try to fight your orders.

"I'll be back soon, I promise. Just take a quick nap, I'll wake you up as soon as I get back," you lie. "And if there's anything bothering you then you can tell me, okay? I don't mind."

Before Lawrence can question where your sudden concern comes from you leave him behind in the room, giving him a quick wave goodbye before slipping out into the hall. You just stand there, alone in the empty gray hall in absolute silence.

You know that you're open with Lawrence, but you worry if he's just as honest with you.

He is an adult though, so maybe it's fine for him to lie to a kid like you.

The thought still makes you bite anxiously at your bottom lip as you push away from the doorframe, trying not to think about how worrying that is while you go off to find Camilla.


The wind nips at your face and ears as you stand outside with Camilla, who doesn't seem to mind the chilly wind. She's much too focused on watching you, watching to make sure your stance is correctly, that you're aiming correctly, and on top of all that making sure you actually hit the target. It's a lot of pressure, since you know she's looking at every little move and judging how well you're doing. Already she had to warn you about having your elbows locked up while aiming, even asking if the session needed to stop early.

You insist on staying and practising, reminding yourself that doing well out here could be the difference between life and death. That kind of motivation must be what it takes to get your aim proper, as you soon leave two smoking holes right in the center of the paper man you'd been shooting at. Camilla keeps from cheering too loud, allowing you to empty the rest of the bullets in his crudely drawn body.
"You're a natural at this!" she claps, barely able to wait for you to put the gun down before grabbing the prize. "Wait till we try the pigeons, those will be-"

"Wait, I have to shoot birds?" you ask, trying not to grimace as you look at the gun.

"Clay pigeons, don't worry. I wouldn't take you out hunting. Unless you wanted to go hunting, though that kind of trip may have to wait." As Camilla is thinking about whatever a hunting trip means for her you begin to place the gun back in its holster but she stops you. "Uh uh cucciola, reload it first. You don't want to be caught with an empty gun."

"Right-" you quickly move to fix the mistake, feeling embarrassed to have done so in the first place, "I won't forget anymore, sorry."

"You're still learning. Don't feel bad about the little things."

She says that, but you still feel mortified when you manage to drop one of the new bullets and scramble to pick it up, your already cold fingers scrapping against the ground.

"Um, Ms. Camilla..." you stumble with the words for a bit, unable to look up at her as you finally get the gun fully loaded again.

"What is it?" she asks, sounding more than ready to answer whatever question you might have. And to be honest, you have several.

Is Lawrence okay?
Is your mother going to be okay?
Or your grandmother for that matter, you haven't seen her today but you still worry about her and her heart.
A knot forms in your stomach when you remember that you have no idea how any of your friends are either, the only thing you had heard last was that John was in jail. But who knows if that's still the case, or where the others may be. You sure as hell don't, but maybe Camilla would.

"I was just wanted to ask..." you start to say, trying to decide on a question for now.
Ferret out any information she might have on the Good Hope group, if she thinks, or even knows, John is safe. Anything we don't already know would be nice.

If it's a barren topic, we can always ask how Lawrence is doing.
"Do you know anything about what's happened to the people that I was with before?"

"Before?" Camilla asks, "You mean people you were staying with?"

"Yes ma'am," you nod. "The last I heard there was a man named John in jail. He's my friend though and probably got put in there because of me. I wanted to know if he was out yet, or if any of the others I was with were...anything. Any news about any of them?" You try not to sound desperate but the more you plead for information the more you fail at keeping composed. "Besides John there was a married couple, Sarah and Eric Du- um, DuBois is their last name I think. And there's two college girls, and an old man and his granddaughter-"

Remembering Marilyn is what brings the tears almost running down and you have to stop, biting your lip in an attempt not to cry as Camilla thinks to herself.

"Hmm... Well, I know Ace has mentioned being in talks with some of the employees of the local jail. Many of them were his past coworkers however, so I do not know if that would have anything to do with your friend. But for the rest of the people you mentioned, I can't recall hearing anything about them." You try not to look too troubled by the news, but the gentle hand on your shoulders tells just how bad you are at keeping it a secret. "But if this John is stuck in jail from helping you, then Ace won't let him stay there. He might already be out anyway, do you know what he was in for?"

"No, I have no idea."

"Then maybe he just had to spend a few nights in there. Like what they do with the drunks?" Camilla laughs quickly, hoping to cheer you up too. She stops suddenly as a thought strikes her. "I'm sorry I could not tell you more about the people you asked. Of course I do my best to keep up with what is going on, but not even I know all the little details. Unless it directly involves Mrs. Esposito or you then I usually hear about things in bits and pieces. Does the name ah, Faraway? Does that sound familiar?"

"Yes!" you practically shout, reeling it back when you take Camilla by surprise. "I mean, yes. I know a Faraway... I heard he was dead though."

"Ah..." Camilla begins to realize that the titbit of information she gave out might have been too much, but maybe she thinks it's too late to back off from it now. Or maybe she's far too kind and finds your sulking to be far too pathetic to leave just like that. "I can't say anything for sure, since I've only seen the name written down or over the phone... but Ace has been talking to someone Faraway. It would be hard to have a conversation with a dead man, no?"
"So, you think that maybe he's...?" you don't want to say it aloud but Camilla nods along.

"Please do not take this as any sort of definite news, but Ace has been in contacts with a Faraway. It may very well be your friend." Camilla is whispering to you by the end of it but your heart is already racing from the news. Faraway had been so nice to you too, news that he might be alive is more than enough to ignite a fire of hope. A small and cautious one, but it's better than you thinking that he is for sure dead.

"It's starting to get rather cold out here, would you like to head back now?" she asks, breaking you out of thought. You nod, pushing your freezing hands away in the warm material of the dress and walking alongside Camilla.

"And if you don't mind me asking..." you speak up against the wind now starting to push harder against you both.


"Lawrence is doing okay, right?"

"It's sweet how you worry about him so much," Camilla giggles, "He seems to be doing well. Lawrence is a tough man, even if he doesn't like letting me or the doctor near him with a needle."

"Right, I just want to make sure he isn't hiding anything important from me."

"I can't tell you anything I don't know," she shrugs, "Just that Lawrence should be recovering just fine. And that he needs to listen to my advice and cut out that dirty smoking habit of his."

"Did you tell him that?" you ask, "I've mentioned it to him before, but sometimes he doesn't listen to me."

"I told him no smoking inside, and that he shouldn't be standing outside just because of it. Of course as a nurse I can't say that I approve of the habit much anyways."

You nod along approvingly, and agree to Camilla's request for help upon getting back inside. "We will just be unpacking some of the boxes we got pulled from storage," she had explained. The two of you sit in the kitchen, boxes stacked by the table. Old and dusty, you try not to sneeze too much as Camilla opens the first.
Surprisingly you find that it is full of blankets, folded up and packed in tight. With instructions and the tools to do so you begin opening the box closest to you, finding it full of pillows. You write the corresponding label on top and move on to the next one, discovering it to be full of older books. "Where did all of this stuff come from?" you're quick to ask, taking a look at the hardcovers.

"Some are from Mrs. Esposito's house, from things she had packed away long ago. A few of the others are from Ace, I do not know where they came from exactly."

It's a slow process, neither of you can resist the urge to dig through and inspect the items in the boxes closer. At some point Camilla stands, pager in hand. She excuses herself. promising to come back in about ten minutes. She dashes off towards you assume Crockett's office, leaving you feeling terribly alone with all the boxes now. You continue the task anyway, surprised and excited as you come across some jewelry packed away.

A few short minutes pass and the kitchen doors open, making you think that Camilla's task wasn't as long as she had thought. It's a pleasant surprise to look up and see Lawrence standing there instead, who you assumed had fallen asleep.

"Hey," you wave from behind the stacks of boxes. He greets you back, looking around the room as if surprised you're alone in here. "Oh, Ms. Camilla was in here. She's taking care of something for Mr. Crockett though, I think."

Lawrence nods in understanding and you escape from the small maze, stepping up and seeing a small carton in his hand. "What are you up to? Ms. Camilla said we'll be cooking dinner later, but if you need a snack now I could help you find something."

With a short grin he shakes his head, holding up a pack of smokes while pointing at the door outside with a sheepish look. For some reason you have the urge to tattle on him, especially if that would get him to stop. That feels a little cruel though, even if it's for the sake of his health. Besides, if you don't then Camilla will scold him for it if she catches him.

Tattle on Lawrence since it's for his own good, cover for him, or go outside with him?
Just scold him ourselves, throw some pillows at him if he don't listen.
Why get some other woman to scold him?
Law is our man, if we can't give him a proper earful, what type of wife would we be?
Squaring up your shoulders and puffing out your chest, you decide that this is a matter that can be solved by yourself.

"And what do you think you're doing?" you speak firmly, with hands resting on your hips so he knows you're serious right now. "You're supposed to be resting right now, not sneaking out in the cold for a smoke! Besides, I heard you were advised from a medical professional to stop."

In response Lawrence pulls out one of the cigarettes, holding it up and trying to tell you that it's just one. You're sure that if he could Lawrence would be trying to tell you that it will only take a few minutes, that he would be in and out in no time. During the entire silent spiel you just shake your head, unwilling to budge on the stance. "It would be better for you to quit anyways, so why not start now?"

You can see that he considers it for a second, but discards what you've said and starts to head back to the door. The urge to just pick up some of the pillows and toss them at his head is strong, but you try to remain ladylike and stomp over to him instead. With a tug on his sleeve you stop Lawrence in place, who looks over with the unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth.

"You are not about to go stand out there in the wind right now," you snap while reaching up for the cigarette. When he easily keeps it out of reach you pout just a moment, spotting the yellow carton sticking out of his pocket. You take that instead, holding it behind your back and taking a few steps away before Lawrence can even react to the theft. "Fine, if you want to smoke that one then it's fine. But that'll be your last one."

It looks like Lawrence is stuck seriously considering it, but the very few that he has left in the box must be worth having over one smoke break now. He concedes and passes back the single one, stuffing in his hands deep in the jean pockets as he quietly and patiently waits for you to return the rest. You consider tossing them in the sink and getting them soaked, but that feels far too cruel. Besides, from the grooves that his anxious grip left on the box and the very few cigarettes that roll around inside you can guess that there have been plenty of times when he just needed a smoke. Your mother was the same way, though her relief came in a bottle instead. Not that you're any better, even if being around Lawrence makes you forget about whatever budding headache may be coming.

"You can have these back, but please wait a while longer before you go out in the cold like that." The cigarettes get handed back to him, even if you know that this means he'll find some other way to sneak off and have one. "Holding off might help you recover quicker too. Just don't be getting yourself all banged up anymore, got it?"
Lawrence nods, securing his prize safely in the confines of his pocket. You start to feel a little bad for being so harsh with him, and turn towards the stack of boxes again. "If you're not sleeping though and want something to do then you can help me and Ms. Camilla with this stuff. Or if you just want to hang out too, that's fine."

You're sort of expecting Lawrence to decline the offer and recede back to his room, but when he walks back over to the table instead you feel giddy that he's hanging out with you. He's curious about the boxes and you're quick to explain what you and Camilla had been doing, showing him the contents of already opened boxes.

"We haven't gotten very far yet," you explain while holding up a small, wooden box from the packed away jewelry. "There's some pretty cool stuff in here. Like I think grandma used to wear these-" you hold up a long silver necklace, letting it fall down your front as you try to see how it would look. "I think some of these are really old, they might have belonged to her mother. I don't think I could make it work though."

When he reaches into the box and pulls out a different necklace for you to try you can't resist the urge, slipping on what is probably a piece of jewelry even older than your grandmother. "How's this?" you try asking but Lawrence shakes his head, pointing at the first one instead.

By the time Camilla comes back into the kitchen apologizing for being gone so long you've accomplished nothing in her absence. Nothing aside from emptying the contents of the box onto the table and going through them with Lawrence. Between the two of you you're far more embarrassed, quickly taking off what you tried on during this sudden session of dress up.

"No no! You should show your grandmother!" Camilla attempts to dissuade you from removing the items, the wide smile not leaving her face from the moment she had spotted you. "I think she would agree that you should at least keep the earrings."

"These?" you ask, picking up the pair from the table. The sharp shapes and bright color glint in the light as you try to think about how they would actually look on you. "I can't wear these, they're like, for real adults and stuff..."

"I don't know, I think they would really bring out the color in your eyes nicely." Camilla seems intent with staring at you now, no doubt trying to imagine you wearing them. Embarrased by the sudden attention you duck your face down, looking to Lawrence and hoping for help. When you catch him staring too you can feel even the tip of your ears go red as he nods in approval.

Too much attention isn't good, you remind yourself. Even if compliments feel nice, you really shouldn't be trying to stand out. You quickly pack away everything back into the box, giving the earrings one last long look before putting them in their place.

The time manages to slip by without you really noticing, not that being without windows helps. You only realize so many hours have passed after Lawrence ends up nodding off at the table, slipping into a nap when you and Camilla were too busy fawning over a set of photos taken from your grandmother's wedding. After a few short seconds of convincing him to go lay down Lawrence heads back to his room alone, groggy and only half awake the whole time.

After the two of you eat a lonely but friendly dinner together you realize that you still haven't seen your grandmother or Dr. Rizzo today yet, and secretly hope that she will end up calling her to your room at some point. When the dishes are all cleaned up and the last of the boxes have been gone through and you realize that you still haven't been given an invitation over yet you can't help but feel a bit jilted.

Crockett hadn't come back by that time either and you became extremely crestfallen to learn that Camilla was about to leave too.

"I must go into town," she barely explained.

"And leave me here alone?"

Camilla chuckles at the question. "Don't be silly, you're not alone. If something happens you have both Lawrence and my uncle here. He'll be either in his office or with Mrs. Esposito if you need him. Don't be afraid to ask if you need help with something. Also, on Ace's desk there is a phone with a list of numbers written on the front. If things really begin to go south then start calling those numbers, someone will answer."

"If you say so..." you mutter, following Camilla as she fastens the buttons on her coat.
"I do. But you will not any of that, because you are safe out here. Besides, I will be back early in the morning. And no matter what, if push comes to shove then you always have your way to fight back."

You pray that no matter what happens, it won't put you in a situation where you will have to use Camilla's gun training. After seeing her off you walk back, wandering through the empty hallways and the windowless doors as you promise to be productive in her absence. When you stumble across your room all that motivation has already left and you fall onto the poofy bed instead. Besides being cold and dreary walking around the place alone is scary, even if you know that there are other people here. Lawrence and your grandmother aren't really in any condition to be keeping you entertained and you can't imagine approaching the doctor for a casual conversation.

Instead you decide to close your eyes just for a second, relaxing for only a minute and then promising to find something better to do.

When you finally wake up from your nap nearly five hours later you feel dazed and confused. It's more than frustrating for you to wake up and find out that it's the time you're supposed to go to bed, but while pushing back a yawn you realize that falling back asleep again shouldn't be a problem. Just a quick snack from the kitchen and hopefully there will be someone around for you to talk to in the morning.

Shivering just from looking at the dark hallway you have to keep a hand on the wall, guiding you with the low light coming far away. It only gets a little brighter the closer you get, the source coming from a lamp in the main room. You're grateful for not having to traverse this in complete darkness but nearly jump out of your skin upon entering the space.

The body slumped over on the couch scares the hell out of you, but does less so when you see that it's just Crockett passed out. You feel a little guilty about eating dinner without him, knowing that he had mentioned coming back in time for that. He didn't, so it's not really your fault, but you can't help but think about how lonely he must feel sleeping out here.

You look at Crockett and wonder if you should wake him up for a midnight snack or let the guy keep sleeping...
Eh, leave em.
A man needs his beauty sleep.
Let's get this snack and head to bed ourselves.
You might have had a rough morning but you can imagine Crockett's entire day being like that. Better to leave him to what little sleep he gets. Besides, despite being on what you consider a generally uncomfortable couch he doesn't seem to have any problems on it. Sneaking past even though you don't feel worried about accidentally waking him up you slip into the kitchen, getting to work on finding something quick and easy.

After picking through the sparse containers of left overs and fresh ingredients you manage to snack enough to feel full, finishing it off with a glass of juice. You resist the urge to take a swig straight from the container, something your grandmother would always scold you for. As you clean up your eyes wander over to the boxes now stacked up and pushed against the wall, much tidier than when you had been going through them. The scrawled out Blankets written on the box reminds you that Crockett is still asleep, and you feel that a giving him something to cover up with would at least be a nice courtesy.

Taking the time to shake out any dust that might be hidden away in the fabric you fold the blanket back up and walk out with it under your arms, still trying to keep quiet. You could probably go stomping through the place and Crockett still wouldn't budge- you can't help but wonder if all men are terribly heavy sleepers like that. At least there's no snoring, even though that would help cover the sounds of your footsteps.

With precise movements you unfold the blanket and approach the sleeping man, trying not to listen to the words he occasionally mumbles in his sleep. Eavesdropping is something you should try to do less of, you remind yourself, but you mostly fear hearing him whisper sweet anythings about your mother.

Counting mentally, you make the move to throw the blanket over Crockett. For a brief moment it looks like he's going to wake up, but instead his hand comes to clutch the material closer to him as he tosses over in his sleep. With a sigh of relief you're ready to go head back but a folded up newspaper on the floor catches your sight. Holding your breath for extra measure you kneel down and slowly and ever so carefully slide it over.

It's been folded over plenty, several creases going in both directions over the text and images. The date on top tells you that it's relatively new though, nearly a week old. Mildly curious, you take a look over the front page.
The small corner picture of a blonde girl catches your heart in your throat, but the shock wears off when upon a closer inspection you find that it is not you. The girl in the picture has much lighter hair than you anyways and, if the caption underneath is correct, than this Cheryl person is about a year older than you. Right away you remember the radio station from earlier, about the girl who ran away from home. They can't be the same person though, you think as you scan the date on top of the paper again. The girl mentioned on the radio went missing yesterday, while this girl has apparently been gone for over a week now-

"What's up, Buttercup?"

Crockett's scratchy voice sends your heart racing in your throat and you barely manage to keep the squeak of surprise down. Instinctively you hold the newspaper behind your back, trying to raise back up to your feet.

"I didn't mean to wake you up, I'm sorry-" you pause, realizing what he just said. "Hold on, what did you call me?"

"Hmm...?" He adjusts himself on the couch, sitting up more and feeling the blanket that's been draped over him. "What's wrong, don't like that one movie? Ah what's it, Princess Bride?"

"I know it," you nod, "I love that movie. I had a dog named Buttercup, once..."

"Ah, sorry. Didn't mean to bring up any bad memories. I won't go calling you that again." Instead of getting up Crockett seems more content with snuggling back into the couch now, barely able to keep his eyes open while he speaks. "Oh wait, did you need something?"

You don't know if he realizes that you have the newspaper or not, but guessing from his reaction with the radio earlier he probably doesn't want you to find it out. Suddenly your heart starts to beat faster as you continue to clutch the newspaper behind your back, wondering if you're getting worked up over nothing.

Show Crockett the newspaper?
In case Hirooooo does break the site, I'm over at Akun too with the same name
I literally see no reason not to show him.
Then again I'm not a homeless loli.

Fucking god save us from that fate.
You feel bad for hiding it in the first place, but you pull the newspaper out and hold it out for him.

"I think this dropped out of your pocket." It's hard not to sound guilty but Crockett doesn't looked alarmed at all. He just reaches out for it normally, till whatever part of him snaps into place and he snatches the paper from your hand.

"Thank you- wasn't done with this one yet." He's obviously trying not to sound anxious but his actions give it away, you know something is up just by how he's frantically trying to shove it away under his arm. "Did you want something to read? I could find you one of the other papers that I'm done with-"

"No," you shake your head, "I was just going to bed. It's-" For a second you consider lamenting over the girl in the paper but you stop yourself short, remembering his actions with the radio before. "You just looked cold, that's all."

"Well I appreciate the gesture. Was there a reason you were up, I can help-" He stops with a loud yawn, all while keeping his careful grip on the folded up newspaper.

Your head shakes again. "I already got what I needed, I was just heading back." Crockett nods as you stand and try to ignore the light headed rush that comes with. "Sorry for waking you up, good night."

"Night. Ah, and Delilah-" Crockett sounds like he regrets calling out to you like that, but as you stop and look back at him he decides to finish his thought anyways. "Look... I know things have been scary for the past few weeks. You don't have to worry about anything, I'll take care of it."

He's making you a promise without letting you actually know what it's for yet you don't want to let him know that you can tell something is up. Crockett is working hard enough as it is, and it would be selfish to add any more burdens to him as it is.

"I'm not worried about anything," you lie with a grin, trying to convince him otherwise. Trying to inch towards the hallway now as you feel the air between you two grow more awkward, it's become near unbearable for you to stand through another a second. With a quick turn on your heel and without looking back you drop another quick good night on him and leave.

Back in the safety of the bedroom you lean against the door, noticing that your breathing has become heavier and the beating of your heart pounds in your ears. The shock over the girl in the paper has stayed with you, even though you only briefly looked over the text. It takes a long time to get her face out of your mind, making you toss and turn in bed as you try not to think about it. Eventually the need for sleep becomes greater than the worry and your head finally goes quiet, thinking only briefly about the soft pain in your head before finally drifting back to sleep.

The sheets and blankets become more tangled up as you roll around in bed, feeling grumpy. Three days have passed, and already you have grown stir-crazy here. Having little to do might not be so bad if you weren't so isolated here, the listlessness becoming even more grating with every passing hour. Anything interesting to explore was kept locked away and there was few things around to keep you occupied otherwise. You've been trying not to hound Camilla and Lawrence for too much attention, not wanting to become a nuisance despite desperately wanting any kind of attention. Not that it matters, since both turn out to have many more things to do. And you can forget about Crockett having too much time to spare. The talks you two have are always short and in passing, and despite never able to keep the promise he always manages to bring up that he'll try to return back in time for dinner.

Being like this reminds you of the boring parts of summer, the times when you had already gone through all your plans and just had to wait for school to start. This time you have far fewer options and nothing in particular to look forward to, and so far it's been driving you crazy.

In the time that had passed you'd only gotten a couple of short conversations in with your grandmother. They were always school related, with her asking how your grades and classes had been. During those talks Dr. Rizzo was always in the room with, sitting aside and keeping quiet. It still made it feel awkward for you when you talked, knowing that he was listening to every word too.
Your grandmother never said much during those times, trying to conserve what little energy she had. You'd never seen her sleep so much, but you had never seen her in such poor health either.

"I'm sorry, hopefully I won't...be like this for much longer," she had wheezed at the end, "After the surgery...I won't be so pitiful."

"Just focus on getting better," you told her, giving a kiss on her cheek before letting her rest again.

That last conversation was yesterday, and as painful as it is to admit it was also the most interesting thing to happen that day. It feels like you're going crazy, and waking up with a looming headache and the familiar feeling of wanting doesn't help either.

It's always impossible for you to tell what time it is in this place, having to fully rely on the various clocks scattered around to be correct. According to the one in your room it's early in the morning, not that it really matters. The only thing you have to look forward to today is a visit with Dr. Rizzo, and that's one of the last things you want right now.

You try to forget about all that and go back to sleep, if only because it will waste some more time. To no avail your eyes don't want to stay shut, your head too busy focusing on the pain trying to ebb through it.

The bratty part of your brain is telling you to just stay in bed today, that someone will notice when you don't come out and maybe then you'll get the attention you crave right now. The more mature half is telling you to try exploring again, maybe doing it in the dark will make it exciting. And then you remember that Lawrence keeps his door unlocked for you, and that he has yet to say that you're too annoying...
See how Law is doing I guess.
Even if it's boring and he doesn't fell like doing much, being alone together is better than just sitting by yourself all day.
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You're not going to resort to acting pitiful, not yet anyways. As early as it is you decide that paying a visit over to Lawrence would be for the best, maybe if you're lucky then he won't ditch you too much.

Slipping on boots so your feet don't freeze on the smooth floors you only take a few seconds to make sure you're presentable, taking a quick brush through your hair before calling it quits. Chances are he's barely going to even notice that you've crawled into bed, much less entered the room still in your pajamas.

In the hallway you move quick, dreading how dark and creepy it is to go through alone. When you get to his door you pause, pressing your ear against the wood. A thin ray of light escapes from the gap below, and from inside you can pick up the sounds of slow, heavy steps. As far as you can tell they're going back and forth, pacing in the short amount of space available.

Holding your breath, you ever so carefully turn the knob. With the door unlatched you press it open, allowing a crack just big enough for you to peer in.

Sure enough you can easily see Lawrence as he walks to one end of the room, stop to do whatever with his back facing you, then turn right back around and do the same thing on the other side. You can barely catch glimpses of his hands, noticing the movement of his fingers against one another. It's strange, but you can't quite place what's wrong. When he finally takes a seat on the edge of the bed you decide to shut the door again, coming up to stand before giving a gentle knock.

"It's me-" you try to whisper, absolutely hating how the words seem to echo down the hall. Not really wanting to stand out there for much longer you let yourself in shortly, walking in just past the door so you can close out the creepy atmosphere behind. Lawrence greets you from over on the bed and as you walk up you begin to notice the spaced out look on his face. If you hadn't just seen him pacing you'd have sworn that he had just woken up to the sound of your knocking, certainly not walking around like he had been.

"I just couldn't go back to sleep." You waste no time going over to his bed, climbing up on the mattress before he can suggest that you go back to your own room. Lawrence still tries to wake himself up, probably not even thinking about kicking you out.

You point to the jeans Lawrence is currently wearing. "Did you fall asleep in your clothes?" He starts nodding before the question is finished, but the evidence is obvious enough for you to know that it's the correct answer. "You shouldn't do that. Don't you think you'd sleep better if you changed?"

Lawrence must have finally realized what question you just asked, as he snaps awake and looks to see what he's wearing. He looks confused, like he hadn't realized it before.
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"Maybe you fell asleep by accident?" you offer up as a solution, not really caring either way. Right now you're just glad he's awake, meaning that two will at least get to hang out for a while today. From behind you come up and hug him, your arms coming to rest under his chin. You keep aware of the bandages wrapped around his arm, careful not to bump against the tender area. "You better wear the sling today," you warn, "Or else Ms. Camilla will scold you. So will I."

He gives you a halfhearted nod. Lawrence had made it clear from the first day it was given to him that he detested wearing the sling, more often than not removing his arm from it the moment everyone turned away.

You continue holding him from behind, the hair on the back of his head tickling your face. "Do you have things to do for Mr. Crockett today?"

When he nods you can't stop the sigh from escaping. "Which means I have to find something else to do, doesn't it?" Lawrence gestures with his hands that it will only be for a little while, but you've discovered that that means a few hours without him. "I don't know why I can't just hang out with you then, I promise not to get in the way and let you do your work..."

Crockett was actually the one to tell you that, warning that Lawrence needed full concentration and that it would be easier for you to do something else in the mean time. It usually meant that he would spend time in the office, sometimes with Crockett working right in there too. Camilla was the only one allowed to check on them during that time, very rarely allowing you to help her bring anything they needed over.

Without his notebook handy to try and give you any explanation or excuse Lawrence is left with placing his hands overtop your arms, returning the gesture of affection back. You remain quiet, trying not to feel too bitter about knowing that you're going to be left alone later today. In that case you'll just try to stick around Lawrence as long as you can today, hopefully not getting on his nerves too much.

A yawn manages to escape and you realize that the pain in your head is mostly gone. It would be a pleasant surprise if you still weren't having a needing feeling. Instantly you're reminded of denying Lawrence his cigarettes and how he must have felt this way. You wish something as simple as a quick smoke break would clear this feeling, but the desire you feel right now is something you hate taking care of. Maybe you can ignore it for a while longer, as scary as that might seem.

Bring it up with Lawrence or ignore the feeling for now?
Ignore the feeling for now.
Don't want to give him the wrong idea, we are here for his love and affection, not his blud.
Ignore it. Do our damnedest.

Worst-case scenario, the doc has our supply. Assuming we even dare fess up.
You bite at your lip and wait for the urge to ask him to pass, instead focussing on counting to the rhythm of his breathing. So far you've been doing fine, no need to inconvenience Lawrence when you don't need to. Eventually he makes the first move, making you let go so that he can actually turn around and face towards you. He fishes around in the drawer of the nightstand next to him, pulling out a small pack of notepads.

going back to sleep?

The wide scrawling letters barely fit on the tiny square of paper, but with a little bit of squinting you manage to read it just fine.

"I don't think I can fall asleep yet." A smile comes up on your face as you come up with a plan to keep him awake with you a bit longer. "But maybe, since you're kinda having trouble writing stuff down right now, maybe you could teach me a little more sign language?"

You hope that he doesn't think that you're being too devious right now, but just as you expected he doesn't say no. Instead Lawrence seems to be trying to think of what would be best to teach you right now, a lesson that would be easy to teach right now from what little he knows himself.

He manages to think of something, sitting up straight as he doesn't bother to hide the yawn that escapes him. The movements of his hands are slow, both from being tired and so that you can catch the correct pattern. Lawrence repeats each part, mouthing the word that it represents till you catch on and mimic it back to him.


You can't help but smile upon signing the sentence back to him, even if it's a not so subtle clue for you.

"That was too easy!" you say with a sly grin as you choose to ignore the hint, "Give me another."

Lawrence only has to think about this one for a second before going at it again.

"Don't...l-...that means loud, right?" you ask, reflecting the motion of placing a finger by your ear like Lawrence is doing. He nods and repeats the sentence again, doing so till you pick up on what he's saying. "Don't loud... Oh! You mean like, don't be loud, right?" This seems correct and he moves on the next part, the message being much easier to understand.
"I'm...sleeping-" Just as you say it out loud Lawrence turns over in bed, dragging the blanket over himself and leaving you to sit there feeling baffled till you realize that he's ditched you to go to sleep. "Hey! Wait a second!" You clamber over top of him, embarrassed about how whiny you sound but doing nothing to change it. "You can't just leave me alone like this!"

Lawrence doesn't get up but he also doesn't push you off either, instead holding down the blanket tighter so you can't try pulling it away. Just a little bit he mouths, holding his fingers just an inch apart. You make sure that he can still see the sulk in your face, but you won't be that mean to him.

"Fine, but only if I can still hang out in here. And I get to wake you up when it's time for breakfast."

He'd probably agree to anything if it meant a little more sleep, but you aren't going to try to push your luck with it either. You settle in the spot behind him, curling up and feeling the warmth of his back against you.


You don't fall back asleep, but hanging out with Lawrence even while he's asleep puts you in a better mood. Just as you had promised you wake him up a little while later, under the pretense that it's time to eat. Not that there's been a set time for that, but you're determined to get to the kitchen first. Not bothering to change out of your pajamas or letting Lawrence change you practically drag him down the hall, suppressing the urge to cheer when you see that Camilla hadn't come in and started making anything yet.

"I'm making breakfast for us!" you announce a little too quickly, feeling embarrassed by how loud you got. "Just g-go have a seat over, I'll get something ready."

The apron that Camilla sometimes wears hangs from the handle of the oven. You hope that she doesn't mind you borrowing it as you tie the white material around your waist, unsure if you look stupid wearing it and your pajamas.
Trying to figure out where to start first, you grab a mug and rush over to the table. "You want coffee, right?"

Lawrence nods and you're struck with the realization that you barely know how the coffee maker works. If you've been watching Camilla do it as well as you think you have been then it shouldn't be that hard, that's what you think to yourself anyways. She's going to be gone for a few more hours though, if you remember what she had told you correctly the day before. It was another night where she had to go out, this time for a personal trip. It's hard to remember that someone like her has a life outside of being here, and you can't help but feel a little jealous of it.

As you pour the water in and pray that it's the correct step you remember that Crockett should still be here. You were actually awake when he came in last night, though he had long since missed dinner for that night as usual. You can't actually recall him saying that he would be out today, and if you were to guess you'd say that he was already up and about in his office.

You look over at the extra mugs, wondering if you should try bringing Crockett a coffee or if he would even accept the offer to eat breakfast with you and Lawrence. He doesn't really seem to like you busting into his office though, even if he hasn't said it aloud.

Offer him coffee or breakfast?
Don't offer, just make some extra in case he comes by.
You set aside an extra coffee mug and pour out more pancake mix just in case but otherwise you'll wait for him to come to you. Crockett usually swings by to grab something to drink anyways, he's bound to stop by at some point and then you ask him to join.

By the time Lawrence stops accepting the food you give him there's still a nice pile of pancakes left on the platter. "Come on, not just a little more?" you try to push one over to him, making sure to avoid any of the slightly burnt ones. He's adamant on the fact that he's just too full to have anymore and as sad as it is to see so much of your work go to waste you can't force another bite either. Not really because you ate a lot, but because the taste didn't settle quite right with you. Lawrence never acted like anything was wrong so you just started to assume he was just being nice, even if he would never admit something like that.

Either way you feel stupid for thinking that the passive gesture would work and you quickly set to work with getting the extra food put away.

"I guess I measure the stuff out wrong..." you mumble, answering the question Lawrence never asked. There's no real good reason to feel so embarrassed and the grouchiness you felt before starts to creep back up. Your sullen behavior isn't easy to hide and you see Lawrence stand and walk over, grabbing a dish rag in an effort to help.

"Hold on a second-" your hands push out against him, stopping Lawrence in his tracks, "You aren't supposed to be doing stuff like anyways, Ms. Camilla said so. In fact, aren't you supposed to be wearing the sling right now?"

Lawrence looks down at you for a second before ignoring your efforts, instead reaching over top of you to get to the sink behind. With a stamp of your foot and bracing your stance you begin to push against the solid bulk behind your palms. "You don't...even like...doing them!" With each word you manage a step forward but instead of going anywhere you find that he's an unmovable object while you are a very easy to stop force.

Without any other choice you begin to fish into his pockets, aiming to play dirty.

"Fine! I'll just take your cigarettes again-"

To your dismay you discovered that Lawrence hadn't kept them with and probably hasn't ever since you first tried to take them away. That squashed up box has to be kept hidden somewhere in his room, waiting for when he really needs it. As you keep searching through his pockets for anything else to use as leverage you're lifted off your feet, swung around and lead away from the sink all together.
"Eee!" Partially a shriek and partially laughing as your feet kick below, your hands grabbing at his shoulders. "Put me back down!" you can't stop giggling, even though you want to act mad at him now. Eventually your feet find solid ground but instead of the kitchen floor you're standing on one of the chairs, hands still on Lawrence's shoulders for balance.

You start to forget why you were feeling so grouchy in the first place. "Look, I'm as tall as you now."

Lawrence scoffs and shows you the several inches he still has above you, nothing that the top of your head barely rests at his chin.

"No look, I can reach-" Holding on to him for dear life now you carefully start to rise up on your tip toes, still leaving you quite a bit short of being even with him. "This is close enough," you beam while trying to ignore the shake in your legs. It's a victory Lawrence gives to you, agreeing with a nod. You try to work up the courage to ask for quick kiss but come to find out that you don't have nearly as much strength left in your legs as you thought. After nearly losing your balance you're too embarrassed to try again and instead opt for getting back down.

"I have to finish the dishes," you explain it with red hot cheeks, "Just sit tight and I'll be done really soon. I don't want you to go running off yet."

Lawrence listens to you this time, waiting patiently instead of doing everything that he had been specifically told to avoid. You rush through the job, figuring that the sooner you get done then the longer you'll get to be around him. Just as you start drying the last of the dishes all your plans go out the window with the arrival of Dr. Rizzo, shuffling in as he usually does.

"Busy?" he asks you upon entering the room, voice sounding gruffer than usual.

"Um, n-no sir..." you decide not to lie, "I'm almost done here."

"Good," he hobbles over to the coffee pot, taking the unused cup that had been sitting there. "If you would then, please come see me when you are done here."

You just nod, remaining quiet as he leaves just as quickly as he came.

"If um-" you sniffle, trying not to let too many tears well up, "If you're n-not busy when I get done then lets hang o-out some more, okay?"

He agrees to, but you just know that he's going to have his hands full by the time you get done with this stupid appointment.


"...now, please breathe out."
The stethoscope on your back stays in place as you exhale, Dr. Rizzo listening in carefully. You really wish Camilla was here to do all this work for him instead and you didn't really feel okay with asking Lawrence to sit in with you either. It has been nothing but similar to a standard check up that you would have gotten in the past, and the doctor has been nothing to polite to you. But as his hand travels and moves the cold metal against your skin you can't help but feel a tremble in your hands.

It's a huge relief when he pulls away. You breathe a sigh of relief as he sits down and you eagerly pull your shirt back down into place. A few minutes pass and the only sound in the room comes from the alternating tapping and scratching noises of his pen. Feeling uncomfortable and scared by the silence you try to think of something to ask him.

"Delilah." he calls your name to attention, not allowing you the chance to speak up first.

"Yes sir?"

You watch as he rises up, taking slow and heavy steps over to where he's dedicated the room to storage. He returns back with a closed jar in his hands, just about palm size. When he places it on the counter beside you the dark red contents inside become obvious and you feel a beat skip in your heart.

"Wh-what's that for...?" you ask, not recalling ever having that much taken. It's too normal looking to be yours anyways, which makes you worry why he brought something like this out in the first place.

"Do you need it?" Dr. Rizzo asks instead, settling back down in his chair.

"Do...do you mean like...?" Pointing to your mouth instead of saying it out loud you start to feel a bit queasy.

"If you need it," he nods, "But if you do then you have to continue to let me document what happens. That means I would like to retest some of the records I just took a few new ones. I do not approve of something like this, but I do not mind if it means helping you get better."

His words still sound ominous enough to send you into a sweat and you stare at the pooled up red.

Take it?
Hmmm I don't know, old girl seems to be doing fine for now.
Maybe later, for now agree to his examination if he keeps the blood save for us later.
It's a dangerously tempting offer, but your hands stay firmly at your lap. Your actions come before the words and you vehemently shake your head.

"Thank you for offering," you say while trying not to grimace at the idea that this is happening to you in the first place, "But I've gone a few days without and I'd like to keep it that way, j-just a little bit longer. I've been scolding Lawrence about wanting to go out and smoke and I figured that it would be kind of um, two faced of me to give in so easy."

"I see." Dr. Rizzo takes back the jar, and for a moment you feel a tingle in your brain as the content inside catches the light.

"But uh-" you start to reach out for it, stopping and pulling your hand back quickly, "If um, i-if it's okay though, I'll let you do the tests or whatever. But w-would it be okay if I got some of um, some of that later if I n-need it?"

His dark eyes shift between the container and you, his face giving you no indication of what he's thinking of.

"Only if you need it, then yes." Dr. Rizzo goes to return the blood back into it's cold storage, a lock keeping it all shut away. "I would advise you to only get it from here. It is safer that way, you understand?"

"Safer for the people around me?" you ask, looking down at your feet in shame.

"For you." His voice snaps before he enters a coughing fit, returning with a much more gentle tone. "Having you run around and do this without know it is safe, it makes me scared for you. If you come here then I can make sure whatever you get is clean, that there is no worry for you to get sick from it."

"That makes sense." Once again you feel stupid, like a child who really doesn't know anything. "I understand."

"I did not mean to yell at you like that," he sighs. "It is just me being worried about your safety, that is all."

You nod but bite your lip, worried about saying anything else dumb.

"And you have been feeling fine, correct?" he doesn't dwell on it for long, moving on the conversation for you. "You have not been feeling more sluggish than usual, or thrown up for no reason?"

"Lately? No, not that I can think of. It's mostly just my head hurting a bit, and sometimes I feel a little sick. But nothing scary I think."

"Hmm..." Dr. Rizzo draws out the syllables as he thinks to himself, pen tapping against the counter. "If any of that changes, please let me know right away. Do you have any questions for me?"

"No sir."

"Okay, then I am done with you for today. Thank you for your time."

You slide off the table just thankful that this is over and you can do literally anything else. As you're about to escape the small hell his room has provided Dr. Rizzo calls out to you once more, stopping you at the door.

"I just noticed what was written down here in your information-" he says, some of the somber tone missing from his voice now, "If I had known before then I would not have made you go through this on your birthday."
"My...?" As you try to think of the date you come to realize that you've lost track of the days, only remembering that it had been drawing close. "Is it really the twenty-first?"

Dr. Rizzo nods. "I know your grandmother wanted to see you today. If you do not mind, I am about to go check on her. If she is up and able to then I think it would be good for you to see her now rather than later."

You're still reeling from the fact that the day had managed to sneak up on you, even if there was no way you could have planned anything for it. When you realize that the doctor is staring at you and waiting for an answer you just manage to nod.

"If you just give me about half an hour, I will come and let you know if she is ready for you." Pushing himself up with a grunt Dr. Rizzo hobbles pass you, putting a firm but friendly hand on your shoulder to lead you out. "Happy birthday."

"Thank you..." The words come out empty as you follow him into the hallway, being let go once he has the door shut behind you both. The doctor makes his way down the hall, leaving you alone soon enough. With a gasp you remember that you were trying to see Lawrence before he got dragged into work and, after initially slipping on the floor, you run back to where you had left him on the couch.

"Lawrence!" you call out, sliding into the room. Your heart sinks once you see that he's already gone, leaving a hollow feeling in your chest. With your bottom lip shaking and your eyes feeling hot you meander over to the empty couch, curling up in the corner of it as you sit alone in the room. Only a few tears slip out as you pull up your legs close, burying your face against your knees as you hide away from no one.

As the minutes pass you somehow don't end up sobbing, just sitting there alone and trying not to think too hard about how you're probably going to end up spending your birthday alone. It then leads you to think about how you should just be glad that you even made it to another year like this, and the bitterness in your chest spreads.

Soft hiccups start to escape your chest and your lip trembles harder, your body trying to cry harder even if you try your best not too.

When you just bury your face away you let out silent sobs for just a few moments, suddenly feeling a delicate touch against your shoulder. It's obviously a man's hand, just the ends of his fingers pressing against you. Expecting the doctor to have came back you sluggishly look up, strands of hair carelessly falling in your face.

Crockett looks back down at you, pulling away his hand before he talks. "What's wrong kiddo? What are you doing in here?"
"Um-!" Rushing to wipe your face dry with your shirt, you look away from him and try to calm down. "Nothing, I'm j-just having a bad day is all..."

"Ah," he frowns, "I am really sorry to hear that."

"Yeah um..." your mind goes blank and the pitiful feelings from before start to come back. "Do you um...do you know how old I am?"

"Hm?" Crocket looks taken aback by the sudden question but his warm chuckle comes through. "Course I do. You're fourteen."

You nod but there's still remains of a pout on your face. "Lucky guess."

"I wouldn't call it a guess!" he laughs again, "If you asked me yesterday then I'd have said thirteen."

"So then you know that...?"

"Today's your birthday? Of course I do." Crockett knew that better than you did apparently, and you can't even try to act mad at him for not knowing something so petty anyways. You pout some more though, just looking for a reason to feel anything but sad right now.

"Lawrence forgot about it..." you mumble, neglecting to mention that you had to.

Crockett walks over and takes the other side of the couch, leaving plenty of open space between the two of you. "Aw, can't you give the guy a break? I've been making him help me even though he should just be relaxing for a bit."

"Well would I be able to hang around him for a little bit while he works? I promise I won't distract him or anything." When he shakes his head you feel let down again, sulking while facing away from him.

"If I was better at planning I wouldn't have sent him out for me today-"

"Sent him out?" You hadn't realized that Lawrence wasn't even in the building right now, there had been no mention of him leaving. "What do you mean, what's he doing? When is he coming back?"

"Don't worry, he's in safe hands. Remember Officer Palmer?"

"The lady who helped bring us here," you nod.
"Exactly. She's taking care of something for me today, and needed someone trustworthy to go with. But I was supposed to go meet someone today and couldn't be in both places, so he offered to help." Crockett can read the anxiety painted all across your face, moving on quickly to reassure you. "It's nothing dangerous, I would not have sent him in my place if that were the case. And while Palmer is more than capable of handling herself, having someone as intimidating as Law there can just help a trade like that go through with less chances of someone trying to play cheeky."

"But you promise he will be back, right?"

"In a few short hours. Me and Palmer are good at keeping communication, and besides, I couldn't think of a better officer to send your friend."

"Okay..." you begrudgingly accept it, not happy about it in the slightest. "And I guess that means you have to run off now too."

"Actually, and I feel so bad for it..." he gives a sheepish smile now, looking a bit flustered, "I'd messed up with my meeting today, so it ended up called off. If I'd known that before he left then I wouldn't have sent him out either. But that means I've got some free time today. If you're bored we could find something to do or, if you don't mind anyways, you can come chill with me in my office for a little bit while I catch up on some things." Crockett says this with a bit of a guilty grin, shaking his head. "But you're the birthday girl, I'll leave it up to you. Unless you want me to just give you some alone time, I can do that too."

It's not a lot, but it's the little bit of power you've had in a while. Crockett even said so himself, you can make him skip out on work entirely today if you wanted to. You never get invited into his office though, and the offer to go there with him is becoming a creeping temptation. Or if you'd really just prefer to sulk alone for now...
>We missed her birthday
You got me in tears Sue. I can't believe it's been a year, it doesn't feel like a year (shorter not longer). Then again it could just be me misremembering events.

The Doc should be coming soon to bring us to grandma, so we shouldn't make Ace stop working for our sake. Not to mention his sloppy makeouts with our mom is still fucking with me.
Just sit for a bit, and contemplate being that bit closer to "legal".
Just hang with Ace until Rizzo comes around. Maybe we can snoop a little.
"Dr. Rizzo is supposed to be coming over to get me in a little bit. Grandma wants to see me today-" A hiccup escapes and you cover your face, hoping he didn't notice. "I um, I think I should wait for him here."

"Smart idea." Crockett nods.

You start to wonder who else remembered that today was your birthday, not that you would really have any way of knowing. When you try to think if Lawrence had made any mention of it earlier you begin to sulk despite also reminding yourself that it isn't his fault if he didn't know. It's not like you had remembered, so you should just consider yourself lucky to have even found on when you did.

"Well if you're still up for it after you're done then just come give me a knock..." When Crockett begins to stand you look to see that the doctor still hasn't arrived yet and in a panic you grab at his sleeve, stopping him from leaving you alone.

"Um..." as you stammer for words the memory of the kiss from the hospital flashes by and the uneasy feeling returns to your stomach. Instantly let go of Crockett, hands returning tightly pressed against your lap. Without the courage to look him in the face you decide to look everywhere else in the room, trying to find something to put your attention on. "Do you have a lot of work today?"

"Originally was gonna end up taking all day," he scratches at his moustache some, "I can't lie though, got thrown through a loop there for a bit so I'm kind of scrambling to figure out what I should do now. But I guess to give you the short answer, not really."

"Oh. I was just curious." Sneaking a peek over you can see the grin that lights up his face.

"I see. If you end up feeling lonely then my door will be open today. Ah, actually I'll be heading outside for maybe half an hour. Don't be too concerned about it, but part of the fence a little ways down is a bit of a mess right now. The snow we've been getting broke off some of the branches of a tree nearby and broke through some of the chain link, he explains. "Not really concerned about anyone sneaking through, but I'd rather get it fixed right away."

"It's awfully cold out there though, isn't it?" Sometimes in the night you can hear the wind outside, loud and unrelenting as it tries to shake the building. You can't feel it, but just hearing how harsh it must be outside was enough to send chills down your spine.

"Oh sure it is." Pulling on his sleeves first Crockett begins to show off different parts of his coat. "You won't believe how warm this is. Had for years now and I wouldn't even dream about replacing it yet. Actually-" Bringing a finger to his mouth he stops short, giving a quiet chuckle as he shakes his head. "...I'll save that for later. Looks like it's time for you to go."
Crockett nods to behind you and before going to look you can already tell who is walking this way. "Nice to see you, Rizzo."

With a grunt and a nod the doctor gives him the barest acknowledgement, reminding you of the distrust he has for the former cop.

"Your grandmother is ready for you now." Dr. Rizzo motions at you, leading you to finally get off the couch.

"See ya later Del." Crockett says goodbye first, a soft smile still on his face. You give him a quick wave back, trying not to outwalk Dr. Rizzo. He leads you to your grandmother's room, giving you a quick reminder that she might be a little out of it right now. The doctor stays outside, right by the door, leaving you to speak with her alone.

"I'm here." you announce upon walking into the room, your grandmother looking over as you do.

"Delilah," she greets with open arms, giving you a weak hug. "Happy birthday."

"Thank you." You make sure not to hold on too tight, scared to even touch her frail frame in the first place. "To be honest I didn't realize what day it was till a little while ago."

"I'm sorry I don't have more prepared for you. I hadn't expected my health to take such a toll like this." She's working hard to speak to you normally, without pauses for breath like she had been lately.

You take a seat next to her bed, drawing it close. "Don't even worry about it, it's not a big deal." Somehow you manage to say that while ignoring the events that had just happened before coming in here, hoping that your eyes still aren't red and watery.

"Fourteen already," she sighs, "and here I'm still remembering you crawling around in diapers."

You smile with her at the memory, but it's hard to think about how much has changed in your life. It's nothing you or anyone around you could have planned for, you'd hope so anyway.

"But now I'm almost an adult now, huh?" you expect her to refute the idea but she actually gives a small nod instead.

"Very close."
"It's just four more years," you have to keep the excitement in your voice down after you do the math in your head. "I'll be an adult in four more years, right?"

"Give or take. They always say girls mature sooner than boys..." Her eyes flutter shut for a moment, giving her a few seconds rest before opening up as she speaks again. "I think you are very mature already."

You're quick to think about the possibilities of what that means. If your grandmother think you're mature enough than maybe Lawrence would too, but knowing him it will take some convincing-

A thin hand grabs yours, her other one balled up and resting against your palm. "That's why I wanted to give you this today." Making sure that you have a good hold on it your grandmother leaves a ring in your hand, the old silver metal weaving intricate designs as diamonds sparkle in the small gaps between.

"It's so pretty..." you hold it up to the light, tempted to try it on but already able to tell that it's a bit too big.

"That was my mother's. And now, for your birthday Delilah, I want you to have it."

You try not to gasp, clutching it tightly in your palm. "Wait, are you sure?"

She nods. "If there's one thing I would like to leave with you, then it's that."

"But I don't know if I should have this yet, it's such a nice ring..." As you look it over you're reminded of the ring already hanging from your neck, reaching up to feel it through your shirt.

"I can trust you with it dear." Once again she stops to catch her breath, but somehow manages a smile when she speaks up. "Maybe it'll bring enough luck so that I can see you find a nice husband before I'm gone. Someone kind, who will treat you good and make sure you're well taken care of. I pray that I'm lucky enough to see that too."

You want to reassure her that you've already found someone like that, but you bite your tongue and clutch at the ring Lawrence gave you. As much as you'd like to make her happy right now, you aren't sure that it's a good idea to bring up your secret marriage proposal...
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Last update for the thread, I'm going to be gone for a few days. Next thread should be up around Monday or Tuesday, will post in general!
Bring it up as a hypothetical, see what she thinks about the possibility, but keep the actuality of the proposal secret.

Thanks for the thread Sue
Quality work as always.

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