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/qst/ - Quests

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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
Thread 29 (Misarchived as Gorgon Child) http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/700562/

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.
>Camilla takes Delilah to town due to a request from her mother, Camilla had her own task at the hospital
>A visit to Denise leaves Delilah with a handful of pills and a source for her mother’s cloudiness
>Despite being scolded by a doctor for trying to go against orders, nurse Scarlett has agreed to help Denise at the hospital the best she can
>After giving Camilla the news about Denise, Delilah is taken to go meet an old friend of her grandfather, Mariano
>Mariano has just asked Delilah if the two could speak alone
“Um,” your eyes flick between Camilla and Mariano. The old man would look fast asleep if not for the steady nod of his head and the long grin against his aged face. “If it’s alright, Mr. Mariano, can she stay nearby?”

“I see, not trusting me yet?” He gives a breathy chuckle that wheezes out into a cough and your face starts to burn red. Your frazzled brain is too slow to come up with an apology before Mariano catches his breath again. “She can stay, I do not mind. I know it’s been a bit of time since she has last seen Alonzo, but there might be other times for a reunion.”

Camilla turns her face away before you can get a look at it and it looks like Alonzo has long since stepped out of the room. You take a few steps towards her and say, “At least stay close enough so that I know where you are. As long as I know that you’re nearby, that’s all I’d like.”

You keep looking to the door and back until she catches on. A bit bewildered she backs towards it slowly and nods at you, “Yes, I will be right over here until you need me.”

The click of her heels quicken once you turn back to Mariano and you hope this is enough for her to speak as freely as she needs. As you take the seat before him the curled arms of your chair remind you of claws, and the straight back towers taller than you once you settle down. As uneasy as it feels, the welcoming smile on Mariano’s face leaves you with a familiar comfort., enough to look at him straight in the eyes.

“I, I-...” your voice shakes as the courage has to catch up to the rest of your body. It’s nothing you ever thought about before, but right now you’re representing your family. As heavy aws that weight feels it’s something you must do and you move forward without another thought. “I w-wanted to thank you for helping my grandma and me. If you hadn’t offered us help than I’m afraid I would have lost her.”

“I hope you are not offended that I called you here first. Back in the day, I would have made up for the trouble by having you meet me somewhere nicer, not so out of the way.” Mariano’s bumpy, boney fingers unfold so he can adjust the oxygen tube. “Years ago, when I did not need so much help to get around.”

“That’s fine, I’d rather avoid being in public too much anyways.”

“So I have heard.” Milky eyes squint at you, a body you couldn’t imagine moving managing to creak forward ever so slightly. “Though, maybe I should not be paying too much mind to rumors. I was expecting bionda, ah, blonde hair.”

“I had to change it,” you answer with a bitter glare at your hands, “Black was the only option I had at the time.”
Hearing Mariano laugh makes you look up in shock to watch his frail body move and shakes with more breath than laughter. “Don’t be so sad by it! There were a few times we had to bleach our hair for the sake of disguising ourselves. Don refused to let us keep any photos of him like that, he said we looked like jackasses. But you? It makes you look strong.”

Right away you think of the family photo of your grandfather in his den and wonder how much you actually look like him. It wasn’t a comment you got often but it makes sense, your grandfather and father were spitting images of one another.

“I wish I felt strong,” you admit with a shaky laugh. “Then maybe I wouldn’t need to drag someone around to escort me everywhere I go.”

“It’s always good to have someone watch your back,” he nods with a wrinkled grin. “You should appreciate the luxury while you have it.”

“Oh, I wasn’t trying to sound ungrateful or anything!” Embarrassed as you feel, Mariano keeps such a friendly face that you feel bad for assuming he was being harsh. In a softer, calmer voicer you force your eyes up to look at him while you speak again. “It does feel a little suffocating being followed everywhere but it also scares me. I know why they have to be there and that means cause of me they could get hurt or w-worse…:

There’s a blue drop in his face when you say that, his eyes almost completely covered by wispy, gray eyebrows as he looks towards the door. You sneak a glance over enough to see Camilla’s back facing you, and the murmur of a conversation spoken too softly for you to hear.

“That is a heavy burden for the heart,” he gives a downward sigh. “I can’t speak for everyone, but the worst is when you have to see the consequence of it each day. But choosing a life like this, it means that you have to accept it for what it is. Don’t be worried if it takes you some time to adjust to it-”
The click of Camilla’s heels as she turns to march over makes you jump in the seat. Manners take her over and she stops only a few feet away, standing at attention with a worried expression fighting on her face. “Forgive me for interrupting, but can’t you agree that she is too young to hear scary stories like this? Why put them in her head when she has so much to worry about as is? I don’t mean to speak over or tell you what to do, but Delilah is only fourteen.”

Out of the corner of your eyes you can see Alonzo edge up to the door, looking in with a worried but lost expression as Camilla speaks against his boss in a language he can’t fully understand.

“I did not mean to step over any boundaries, sometimes I say whatever comes to mind without another thought of it.” Once Mariano says hat Camilla lets out a sigh in relief.

With her face down and her voice low, she begins to step away. “Thank you for understanding, please continue your conversation.”

Mariano gives a dry but earnest chuckle, “I understand her concerns. Loved him like a brother, but I wasn’t able to keep in close enough contact with Don before he passed. I had known he had a grandchild, but I has assumed you were older. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine,” you jump to answer. “I don’t mind, honest. It’s actually nice being treated like an adult sometimes…” You’re too scared to look over and see if Camilla heard what you said or not, if you hurt her feelings you can apologize for it later.

“I don’t think you would,” he shakes his head. “I know that this was one of Don’s wishes, to keep you out of this life. Forcing this onto your children, he spoke of it like it was a curse. And I can’t say he’s wrong in that regard, there are times when I wish I followed his path.”

“I’m not disrespecting him by being here, am I?” The question slips out before you know for sure that you want to say it but you still feel glad that you asked.

“No, I am sure it was inevitable. Wanting to cut yourself free from this life doesn’t mean it will let go of you so willingly.”

“Does that mean things would be the same now?” You try keep your voice from cracking, the tightness in your chest making it hard.

“I wouldn’t say that things would be the way they are now,” his head shakes. “And I can not say for certain where they would be if Don was still here. I never married, never had children, no one to drag into this unwillingly. Big part of me wanted your grandfather to get lucky, but I must admit, I missed Don too. He was amazing, I thought that even when we were children.”

Swallowing the lump in your throat you ask, “You two knew each other that long?”
“Yes,” the smile strains to remain on his face. “Before the money, before the power, before all the danger. Our little group, we banded together for survival. We reached the goal we wanted but, ah… it was not quite as easy to be there as we thought.”

“I can imagine,” you answer with your fingers digging into the bottom of your shirt. “I think I know all about… about fear and danger now. I kind of understand what it’s like to have money and I really, really understand what it’s like to have nothing out on the street. But right now I’m stuck hiding behind other people or forced to bring a gun with me everywhere I go. I wish I didn’t feel so helpless!”

“Helpless?” he manages to chuckle. “No no, I can not imagine one of Don’s feeling helpless. After all, you have survived for this long already.”

“By the skin of my teeth.”

“And what matters is that you made it.” The sadness from Mariano’s face melts away now as he sits upright again to look you in the eyes. “You only feel this way because you are little, but you won’t be forever. I know I had felt the same before at your age.”

“But you manage to become something big, didn’t you?” you try not to sound desperate as you ask. “I can’t pull off what you or my grandpa became, there’s no way someone like me could.”

“You can,” he corrects with a deep breath. “Even if you did not already have a path for it made already, you are Don’s blood, of course you could make it. What you should really be asking though, is if you want to follow in his footsteps.”
Got Del's grandfather's name all mixed up like an idiot in this post, pls be kind I'm a dummy
Grandpa likely did everything in his power to keep us safe from the life he cut ties with, but he couldn't have foreseen what happened, and he couldn't have wanted us to live in fear.
Following in his footsteps would be contrary to his wishes, but those were his wishes when we were safe.
Now we're anything but...
“Grandpa would have wanted me to be safe, I’m sure about that.”

While so many things in your life have been turned upside down, this is one shreds of hope that you can still hold on to. No matter what kind of stories you might hear about him, there’s no way your grandfather didn’t love you with all his heart.

Mariano nods in slow agreement, “He would have given up the world for that.”
“So it would have been the thing he’d want most for me. Even if it meant doing things he was trying to run away from…” The more you rationalize the choice the faster your heart begins to beat. “I bet he wouldn’t have given anyone the chance to do what they did, he wouldn’t let anyone hurt me like they did.”

How could he have known this fate was waiting for you after his death? If he had any idea that something so horrid could happen, there’s no way you would have ended where you are now. The words begin to catch in your throat as you try not to think about how life would be like with him still around.

“Forgive me for bringing him up, but I know of the man you speak of.” When neither you or Mariano are speaking the whole room falls silent, and you are certain the pair at the door are listening, “I don’t wish to bring up unpleasant memories, that is not my intention. Only that I have heard stories of his behaviors and ah, my heart weeps for you.”

“I won’t be backed into a corner.” Your hands hold to each other tightly as you struggle to remain seated. “I don’t want him, or any of the monsters like him to think they can hurt who ever they want. My grandpa wouldn’t have let it happen, he would have done what ever it took, wouldn’t he?”

“He would have gone through hell and back.”

You nod eagerly, “Right! And since he’s not here then I need to do whatever I can. And if doing what he did is the best way to protect myself…”

Camilla must be dying to run over here and stop this conversation, it honestly surprised you that she hasn’t yet. You’re also amazed that you manage to speak past the burn in your throat and chest, but that’s part of being the adult you want to be.

It’s hard to tell if you want to cry because of how much he loved you, or because that love is gone now.

“I don’t want to feel weak and helpless anymore, I don’t want to be the one always praying and waiting for help to come.” That burn turns into a fire that leaps up into your chest and words, your voice becoming louder as you speak. “I still think my grandpa was a great man and if doing what he did will make me like him, then please. Please show me how to be like him.”
“If only you were a little taller and waving a gun around as you said that,” Mariano chuckles. “It would be like I was back in Italy with Daniele.”

“Does that mean you think I can do it?” you have to remind yourself to breathe calmly now. “Even though I still cry a lot and get scared, I don’t want to be pushed around anymore.”

“I know you can do it,” his head droops with a sad smile. “And I know your guardian over there wants to cut out my tongue right now. But if it makes her feel any better, I do not think this is quite the right time yet. Soon though, and when that time comes I shall be here to help.”

All you do is nod as you calm the rapid beating in your chest, only now realizing how fast the blood is coursing through your veins. Your head is still in a rush after that and you barely remember to loosen the hold of your hands. While he might have technically told you ‘no’ just now, he also told you ‘yes’ for the future.

Camilla must be absolutely seething right now.

“Thank you so much,” you say with a quick gasp of air. “There’s no way I could pay you back, just thank you.”

“Anything for my dear Esposito’s,” he reaches out a hand towards you and manages a firm shake when you meet it.

A coughing fit right after cuts the conversation short, not that you had much else left to say to the man. You thank him for his time, rejoining Camilla’s side while being careful not to look up at her face. She remains tight lipped and quiet, not speaking a word to Alonzo as he goes to stand by Mariano again. What little looks you do take at the two of them don’t show any signs of happiness and you feel awkward returning Marian’s cheerful words.

“Take care, until the next time I see you Delilah,” he says as his eyes go from you to Camilla. “And thank you for accepting my favor, I know it was last minute.”

It makes you nervous walking back to the car with her, neither of you speaking a word to the other. Alonzo guides you to the door but doesn’t take a step past it nor stay around to watch.

You really wish he had stayed to see you off. Maybe then you wouldn’t have to watch as Camilla gets into the front seat and her head falls to the steering wheel in tears.

Snow starts to collect on the windshield as she lets out frustrated sobs, leaving you to sit there trying to figure out what to say.
“Are you okay?” you ask after Camilla mostly calms down, propping herself up and clearing her face.

“It’s been so long since I’ve seen him,” she mumbles. With a hand motioning at her face Camilla adds, “Back when all of this was still, when it was fresh and we were in Italy. I wish I could have seen him under better circumstances. Or at least…”

Her palm strikes the steering wheel as she lets go a frustrated sigh, only for her to reach for the key and turn the car on.That still leaves a long car ride for the two of you.

“I didn’t really help, did I?” you only give her quick looks over, Camilla keeps her eyes on the road ahead.

“...I don’t think you’re quite old enough to understand what he was talking about back there.” The hands wrapped around the steering wheel grip it tighter as she speaks, “I didn’t want you to getting any wrong ideas, I didn’t want you to be afraid or thinking this is glamorous. Please, forget about it for now. Can you do that for me?”

You remain quiet and so does she. While you don’t agree with how she treats you like a child who can’t do anything, you know how lucky you are to have someone like her around.

With the mood Camilla is in, you aren’t sure if talking would make her feel better or silence…

Do you want to ask Camilla if she will stay with you despite the path you choose? You’re also curious about that man working for Mariano and how she knows him, maybe figure out why the two didn’t say a word to each other by the end of the visit there.

How do you spend the car ride back with Camilla?
Stay silent, I use this time to think about this decision.

On one hand Mariano and those who work for him are criminals of one variety or another. Would we really be safe with them? They must have enemies who would love nothing more than a new target.

On the other hand, is what we have now any better? Always wary and on guard, every time we're outside. On the lookout for when and where the next attack will come.

Either way Mariano said we're too young. That means we have plenty of time to think it over and get a second opinion.

As for Camilla, we can't ask her to stay she should make that choice on her own
You shoulder the silence between you. The rush from earlier still leaves a tingle in your fingertips, heart still beating like you’d been holding your breath the whole time.

The offer Mariano was giving you already felt like a lot in the moment, but now you really have time to think about what it would mean.

Living a normal life would be impossible. No matter how you look at it, your grandfather was a criminal. The people that you’d have to consort with would be criminals and, more importantly, you’d become one too.

You’d become an opposition to the law, you’d become a target for anyone wanting to get you out of the way- you’d still have to watch your back.

But these would be people you’d accept as enemies, ones you’d willingly take on rather than being hunted like easy game.

Honestly, the heft of this decision scares you. It makes your hands tremble and your head spin, it really is a mercy to be told not yet. As enthusiastic as you were about it earlier, it now feels like you’re looking down a long, dark tunnel. No idea of what’s on the other side and no way to go back if you don’t like it. Someone like Mariano survived so long but how many don’t? Would you even be able to stomach the work?

Your desire to take control over your life struggles against the fear of what direction you might take it.

The car reaches halfway around road that wraps around town before Camilla says anything, and the cold monotony in her voice makes you shrink away.

“Lawrence isn’t like that all the time, is he?” When you don’t initially answer Camilla must realize how out of place and strange her question sounded. Forcing a happier face she adds, “I’ve been meaning to ask you that, it’s just always slipped my mind.”

“Oh uh…” While she doesn’t feel angry at you there’s something strange that still keeps you wary. “I don’t think I know what you mean. Like what?”

“I know he’s usually nice around you, and not that I would say he’s a mean man or anything like that,” she taps her fingers along the wheel with a rhythmic fidgeting. “But I was wondering if he, i was going to say ‘snap’ at you but that’s not quite right. Does he become cross with you? I’ve noticed that he gets a little short tempered at times. And with how stressful things have been I can’t blame him but sometimes…”
“He’s never been mean to me,” you answer a little too quickly. “I know he sometimes has problems getting angry but he’s a good guy, I swear.”

“Never?” She sounds almost pleasantly surprised by this. “I see, you two always get along?”

“I’m sure I get on his nerves sometimes and I know I can really needy too,” you confess. “But he’s my best friend and I’ll always vouch for him. He didn’t say anything like, really awful or anything did he?”

“No, nothing in particular really. I’m just not sure what kind of person he is yet…” More of the tension leaves Camilla’s face as she looks over perplexed. “You have stayed the same since I’ve met you, more or less. But with Lawrence… it is like I have to guess which one I am about to see.”

“Eh?” you can really only look back at her just as confused. “If you just mean that he’s grumpy sometimes-”

Camilla’s head shakes, “I understand that, but this is different. When he is around you the man is smiles, he laughs. And even the past few mornings, he feels approachable.”

You start to sweat in anticipation of Camilla revealing that she knew you didn’t stay in your room on those days but luckily, you avoid that conversation with her for now.

“When he is coming back from somewhere, that’s when I feel the need to avoid him. I know that he is tired at those times but it feels worse than that. He doesn’t try to be rude, I don’t think so anyways. It’s more like he’s on edge and kind of nervous. Talking to him like that is kind of like…” with a laugh Camilla looks forward again. “Don’t tell him I said this, it’s silly. But I feel like I am poking a stick at a great big bear.”

“I can see that,” you nod. “The first time I ever saw him I just froze. I was looking up at him and thought how frightening he was. But he was nice to me since the very beginning, he’s been absolutely amazing. Even when he gets angry I don’t feel afraid of him at all, I’m scared for him. He’s my friend and I lo-”

You bite your tongue before saying more than needed. While you haven’t seen the other behavior she’s talking about you feel confident in standing up for him, it’s the least you can do after all.

“I can tell you really care for him.” Camilla’s face might be forward but her eyes are definitely looking at you, making you feel hot under her stare. “I don’t know what I was expecting when he came along, but I am glad he makes you happy. Despite what I said about him, he is a huge help. I hope you don’t think I was trying to gossip about him.”

“It’s okay.” You’d be fine with the conversation ending here, with the mood lighter than it was before. The houses start to become sporadic as urban turns into rural and you get closer to the long, thin road back. You should have noticed that something was up when you notice Camilla takes several tries to speak up.
“It’s okay if not, but have you ever heard about the story of Bonnie and Clyde?”

“Um…” The image of a man and woman standing with tommy guns and big cigars hanging out of their mouths comes to mind but not much beyond that. “Kinda? I’ve heard them mentioned in books and movies before.”

“They were a couple who went around robbing banks, stores, the like.”

“Yeah,” you nod, “That sounds familiar.”

“Yes, they just ran around doing whatever they pleased. There’s a reason they left behind a legacy…” Camilla looks over at you with the smallest smile that doesn’t set well with you at all. “Do you know how their story ends?”

“I’m um, I don’t know. They died, right?” When you look back at her she’s facing the road again. The road that feels longer and lonelier than it had before, the featureless snow around making sure to remind you that there’s no one else around right now.

“I have a favor to ask of you,” she answers. “When Crockett is asking you about visiting your mother, and he will be asking, go ahead and ask him how that story ends.”

You quietly agree and keep to yourself for the rest of the drive. Walking into the compound feels more welcoming than the car ride did and you stand next to Camilla, pulling off your coat and knocking the snow off your boots and just trying not to look at her or get in the way.

She takes the coat from your hands and hangs it up, taking time to straighten out the sleeves and brush off any lingering snow. “And another thing. Mariano asked if our guest could stay with us in the meantime, for her own safety. I’m still going to be keeping an eye on her, but you might see her going to the kitchen or bathroom alone. If you see or think anything strange is going on, please do not wait to come tell me.”
“Oh, Brandi?” It almost feels like a normal conversation with her again, though ‘almost’ is the keyword. “Is she going to be staying in the study still?”

“For now anyways. Mariano should have explained the situation to her over the phone while we were on our way back and I will ask her to keep to herself.”

“If she’s not a threat then I don’t mind, I get really lonely.” A frown pulls on Camilla’s face as she looks down at you. It may have came out more dismal than you intended but you still mean it, one more person to talk to can’t be a bad thing.

“I believe after talking with Mariano she will be less of a handful. But please, still be cautious-”

“I know,” you answer bluntly. The lightheaded feeling has ebbed closer to something painful and you can really feel how stressful your little day outside has been.

“Okay,” she turns away. “Thank you, I will be getting dinner ready if you need me.”

Not quite evening yet, you find that neither Lawrence or Crockett are here yet. Camilla has already dashed off into the kitchen, informing you that Dr. Rizzo should be wandering around somewhere. And now, so long as Brandi doesn’t throw a fit about it, you can go into your grandfather’s study without sneaking around.

With your free time before dinner, do you want to try talking with anyone? Or do you want to lay down and think about everything that’s happened today?
Lay down. It's been a busy day, and we could use some rest
Let's just have a lie-down, there's a lot to process.
You go and find comfort in Lawrence’s bed for now. Bury yourself beneath the grow of blankets and pillows and make a warm burrow. Not as safe and warm as it could be, but it’ll do for now. The pillow in your arms would usually serve as a poor substitute for him, but knowing he’ll be here tonight makes it easier.

The gun you wore out today rests on the dresser, allowing you to stare at it from your hiding place. Without thinking about it, your hands move in front of you as if holding it. Your index finger remains straight, like it would be resting against the trigger guard. It curls around, stopping right where it would first meet the curve of the trigger.

You wouldn’t say it felt natural, but this pose starts to feel normal. If needed to defend yourself, you could jump to this in an instant. Was your grandfather like this too?

No, you can’t imagine that. You just can’t imagine him shaking in his boots like you, he wouldn't have to struggle with keeping his hands steady or being afraid to pull.

Why should you be afraid to shoot? You’ve hurt people already, you’ve defended yourself when you could. Yet when you think of someone looking down the barrel in fear you gasp and let go of the imaginary gun. Done with this stupid game of pretend you turn away and lose yourself in the comfort of the warm bed instead.

You did manage something kind of good today too, didn’t you? Your mother was able to give you her message and you were able to deliver it to someone who can do something . Not to mention the nurse you convinced to lend a hand, it’s all pretty good for just a ‘little girl’. That’s what you tell yourself to fall asleep, anyways.
It’s not Camilla or Lawrence who wakes you up, but yelling that remains muffled by the door. While it’s scary that you woke up alone you don’t wait too long before rushing to the dresser and grabbing the gun. You wait next to the door, trying to listen better.

It’s seems to be further down the hallway than you thought, so you risk putting your ear against the wood.

”-said you would not-”

When you hold your breath to listen, it’s clear enough to hear the louder parts of Rizzo’s words.You look towards the clock and notice that it’s only about an hour past the time dinner usually is with Camilla, something must have happened.

”-always running off doing what you want-”
”-do not let her see you like this-

You lower the gun, whatever is going on doesn’t seem like the kind of threat that requires that. But you keep it at hand while you backup to the bed, sitting on the mattress with your eyes glued to the door.

The yelling dies down quickly, or at least moved far enough way so you can’t hear, and you wait. No one comes to the door and you weren’t sure who you’d be expecting anyways. Rizzo was yelling at somebody though, and Camilla hasn’t grabbed you for supper. Just in case you keep the gun with you butt hidden and slip out of the room.

You had only waited a few minutes but the hall is the same deathly quiet that it always is. Cautiously you move forward, peeking around the corner before walking into the open main room. No one around either, and you go to the kitchen.

While you find the pot of soup she had been making in the fridge the cutting boards and knives still lay out on the counter. Despite the yelling things don’t feel dangerous, and you grab yourself a bowl in hopes that someone will walk in.

That doesn’t happen and you end up washing the dishes alone too. It’s still supposed to be some time before Lawrence is back but now you feel the need to see anyone now. They probably won’t want to tell you, but you should do your best to figure out what that yelling was about. The less in the dark you are the better, though you know deep down that you’ll be ready to run off if needed.

Since you can’t find Camilla and she didn’t come find you like she said, then she must be busy right now. You try poking around Rizzo’s office but can’t hear hear him through the door, nor do you see any lights shining underneath.

You remember what you talked about in the car with Camilla, what she told you to go talk about with Crockett. It’s a good enough reason for you to go poke your nose around, you’d like to know why things feel calm yet wrong.

As expected you find his office door closed, but you once again find your ear pressed against it. Rather than yelling you hear some pretty off-key strumming, which means things are okay doesn’t it?
It still makes you hesitate to knock and when you finally manage to it’s softer than the music inside. You try again louder and don’t get any response, only the sound of guitar strings being picked. When you try turning the door handle it’s with the expectation that it wouldn’t budge but sure enough you find the office opening for you.

“Um, Mr. Crockett?” you call out in a quiet voice, hand itching to where your gun is tucked away. “It’s just me, is it okay if I come in? I just want someone to talk to…”

“Uh oh, is that Delilah I hear?” his voice hiccups and you open the door enough to look in. Within the disaster that is the stacks of boxes and binders and papers, Crockett has fallen back into a collapsed pile of them. Loose sheets are crumpled beneath his body, the box beneath him squashed beneath his weight, and his shirt and tie half undone and hanging off his body limply. An acoustic guitar rests in his hands as his fingers pluck at the strings in a melody too slow to properly listen.

You rush closer, “Oh jeez, are you okay?”

“Jus’ taking a lil’ breather is all, that’s all.” If Crockett’s slurring didn’t tip you off than the empty bottles of Wild Turkey would have, the nose making your nose scrunch up once it hits you.

“But aren’t you going to ruin the stuff you’re sitting on?” You flinch upon noticing the pages beneath his shoe that get wrinkled and torn more when he moves. “I can help you up if that’s the problem.”

“Is fine, is fine!” His hand leaves the strings and reaches out beside him, spreading more of the paper around. “They’re copies. Copies of copies and copies of those… I made so many Del, these are the extras.”

“Extras of what?” You slowly reach for one closest on the ground to you. Crockett doesn’t snap at you or snatch it away, and you’re allowed to pick it up and look it over. The ink is dark and smudged, but you quickly see that it’s a missing person’s report.

“Notes,” he idly strums the guitar again. “Copies of notes and copies of my evidence. Made so many just in case. Went crazy with it last night, don’t know how pages I ended up wastin’. Couldn’t lose anything I could lose, couldn’t make that mistake.”

You can’t read and concentrate on him at the same time. The page falls to the ground in the meantime as you check out the bottles on the ground. While you could be wrong, the size of the bottles make you think that they’d been nursed on for a few days.

“Why are you drinking?” You try a taste of what little remains and shudder. Crockett wasn’t drinking light, that’s for sure. “...were you the one getting yelled at earlier?”

“I know I shouldn't have.” His head falls back to look up at the ceiling, his toe tapping along with a nonexistent song. “Doc had -hic- every right to yell at me. I really look like a ah, a jackass right now don’t I? Ahaha, I am. Promised I wouldn’t and here I am, a shitfaced jackass with an outta tuned guitar.”
The stings start to change in tone as he adjusts them, though you don’t he’s really able to hear how well he’s actually doing. “What’s wrong, why were you drinking?”

“Didn’t mean to,” he shakes his head. “Was just sippin’ on it like I do in the evenings and, well you can tell I got stupid with it.”

“Well, if I help you get there will you at least sleep this off on the couch?” You’d hope that if he got too drunk, he’d at least be somewhere he could be found easier. If Camilla or Rizzo are here anyways, you don’t know why they would leave you alone with him in this state.

“Couch?” he starts to nod. “Couch is softer yes. Better than sleepin’ at the desk again.”

“I hope you can still stand…” you mumble with your hand held out. Crockett takes it and you struggle to help him up to his drunken legs He insists on being able to walk on his own but one step forwards forces you to hold him up.

An arm around your shoulder and his body leaning slightly against yours, it’s a bit too close for your liking. Crockett does his best to alleviate your burden by sporting himself up against the wall instead, which gives you the precious inches of breathing room you need. When he stumbles you are at least there to catch and help him upright again, the last time his hand catching your eyes as it ducks into his shirt pocket.

“Need to lock up…” he mumbles, pulling out the ring of keys. Crockett comes to a complete stop to look through them, almost leaning over and falling just from standing there. He holds up the correct one and you have to help him from dropping the whole bunch to the ground. “Office, always gotta keep it lock. Can’t risk losing everythin’ just cause I left the door open…”

“After we get you settled, I’ll go and lock it up for you.” Even if he didn’t want to give you the keys Crockett doesn’t struggle against you taking them either. Anything that helps get him off his feet the quickest it seems, and you waste no more time getting him to fall onto the couch.

“So sorry you had to see this-” he holds the guitar close to him. “Doc said you didn’t need ta see a drunkard like me right now’n I know he’s right.”

“It’s fine, I’ll uh… I’ll forgive you if you answer a question for me here in a second.” You hold on to the keys tightly as you leave Crockett laying on the couch so you can go lock his office.

You don’t know where Camilla or Rizzo is, but you do know that Crockett has copies of his notes in the office. He didn’t fight you for the keys either, so you figure he shouldn’t be sneaking up on you any time soon.

Do you want to try and look through his office while you have the chance? When you return to Crockett, do you wish to spend some time talking with him right now or head back to bed as soon as possible? You still have about an hour or so before Lawrence is supposed to come back.

Son of a bitch I messed up italics in the other post, sorry for the formatting mess ;_;
Take a quick look inside before locking the office.
Go ahead and take a look.
Shouldn't be any harm in it.
You enter the room with little guilt and manage to ignore it more as you start digging through the fallen boxes. A glance shows that there are indeed copies upon copies, many done with such haste that their ink has smeared and bled. Affording yourself only a cursory look over the information you try to pick out the ones that are legible and pray that you aren’t grabbing repeats.

The whole time you’re left checking behind, holding your breath in anticipation of Crockett standing there. You remain alone by the time you’re stuffed the inside of your shirt with the pages, your arms hugging across to keep them from slipping.

You even risk a quick look around the office, though don’t find much out of place beside one or two more knocked over boxes. The picture frame from his desk had fallen to the floor and you take the time to pick it up. Flipping it around to check the glass, you see that the charred photo of you and your mother had been removed.

The frame remains in its original spot on the floor as you leave the office, locking the door behind.

Mellow strumming leads you back down to where Crockett remains collapsed on the couch. The instrument rests on his body at an angle yet the awkward pose doesn’t bother him any.

“...-said he wouldn’t find a friend at the bottom of the glass, so he took the whole bottle like a jackass.”

There’s a type of misery weaved between the monotone draw of his slurring that tells you that it’s going to be absolute hell when he wakes up. You’re not sure how else to help him beyond the usual hospitalities so you go to fetch a blanket and water, all while keeping one arm around yourself.

“Took one sip then another more…” Crockett’s foot taps along almost in beat with the mostly correct chords and nearly speaking in time with all of it. “Kept takin’ them after he fell to the floor.”

“Is that a song?” With how drunk he is your heart is only racing a little bit right now, there’s no way he can tell what you’ve got hidden. You keep an eye looking around in case anyone who can handle him instead comes over.

“Not a good one, but I was never good bout coming up with ‘em on the spot.”

“I can imagine that would be pretty hard to do,” you pull off his boots one at a time. “You want me to put your guitar away so it’s safe?”

“Not yet,” he whispers and continues to play. You kneel beside the couch and watch as he adjusts his grip, somehow managing a rather nice tune. Slow, steady and sad, Crockett keeps quiet as he plays.

You take a moment to listen, watching as his fingers move between the tabs. If he insists on being awake right now you might as well get Camilla’s favor out of the way.

“Mr. Crockett?” you speak just above the music.
“Please call me-” He stops playing for a brief moment before his head droops down and he resumes. “...Ace is fine. If you’re fine with it.”

It’s not what he was originally going to say but you nod along anyways, “Ace, can you tell me a story?”

“Story?” he laughs and shakes his head. “I’d do a worse job comin’ up with one of those.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to make this one up. Someone told me to ask you…” He doesn’t look over but you’re certain that he’s listening. Your throat tightens as you finish, “Can you tell me how Bonnie and Clyde d-... died.”

“Bonnie ‘n Clyde, huh?” Crockett’s head nods along with the song that shifts to something a bit deeper, rougher and heavy. “You ah, watch a movie bout ‘em or something? Seems a bit violent for a young lady to watch.”

“I wanted to know how accurate the movie was,” you give a soft, painful smile. “You can remember how it goes, right?”

“Of course.” He waves a finger gun in the air for a moment, “That fella went and brought his lady everywhere with him, shootin’ and stealin’ and murdering.”

“Right,” you try not to frown. “I guess they got famous for a lot of bad things, huh?”

“Such a shame,” he tunes one of the strings and tries the notes again. “Wonder if that guy ever thought about sayin’ sorry to her when they were getting shot at.”

“So they were shot down?”

Crockett nods, “Going down the highway, the two of ‘em. About six cops waitin’ for their chance… you know how many rounds they fired?” He only waits a second before answering, “Over a hundred, they just shot n’ shot everything they had. A pair of thugs who thought they could live life doin’ anything they’d please only to get shot down when they weren’t expectin’ it.”

You can’t really visualize what a hundred rounds going off would look like, or the damage it would cause, but the image that comes up are guns endlessly firing. Your stomach twists at trying to think about what the bodies would have looked like, “...that’s really gruesome Mr-, I mean, Ace.”
He looks over the guitar at you, “Isn’t it? Did all that bad shit as a duo and in the end they weren’t even buried together- might’ve well been for nothing.”

“Oh…” Your chest starts to hurt after he says that, “I know they weren’t good people, but isn’t that still a little bit sad?”

“I guess’n if you’ve got a bleedin’ heart for that type of thing.” Crockett makes you feel strange about feeling that way for a few seconds before sighing deeply, “...it is a bit sad, isn’t it? I guess if’n it makes you feel any better, they were together till at the end there”

“Yeah…” You wonder if this is how Camilla wanted you to feel, she was the one who brought this up after talking about Lawrence. Thinking about his face and the row of guns going off makes you jump up, throat feeling tight again.

“Thank y-you, that’s all I wanted.” You reach for the guitar again, “I’m about to go to bed now, is there anything else you need?”

Crockett can no longer keep his eyes open and you it away from him easily, no longer keeping up your fake smile. The instrument is set away safely from him and he finally looks to relax into the couch as he should. You start to back away from him.

“Don’t need anythin’ else…” The misery in his voice rises as he speaks, “I’m so sorry Del. You shouldn’t have to bother with me like this.”

“It’s okay, I’ve done this kind of thing enough times before.” Slowly, closer and closer you move to the hallway and your freedom.

When you look back to Crockett his hand covers his face and his body trembles beneath the blanket. “I wanted to be better for you two. Take care of everything ya needed, m-make sure Denise n-never has to worry again…”

He only sounds partially aware that you’re still there and you’re sure a few moments more and he’d forget that you had been around. While you might feel find jumping in to really make sure he was okay, hearing him talk about your mother feels weird.

Do you want to turn back for your room or stay with Crockett a while longer?
Stay with him, not like we have anything better to do
While you return to Crockett there’s a few feet of distance between you. He doesn’t look a threat at all but being alone with a man like this makes you uneasy anyways.

“It’s okay, you’ll be better tomorrow,” you look at his guitar while he talks. The wood no longer shines like it should ane the scuffs and marks make you think this is much older than you thought. Black marker catches your eye on the side but you can’t quite read it without picking it up. “Just try to get through the night for me, okay?”
“I never used to drink like this,” he shudders beneath the blankets. “Always had t’carry it around but I also had to drive everywhere, funny huh?”

Crockett holds the blanket closer around himself and the lines in his face deepen and scrunch. “Me ‘n your mom used to sip on that stuff all day. Was buzzed plenty the time but she was usually finishin’ it herself. Ahah...never got like this though, don’t know how she did it.”

With nothing else to say you ask, “She never got drunk?”

“She did,” he gives a weak chuckle. “I knew she’d been doing it for a long time but Denise knew how to hold her liquor- Sorry Del. Shouldn’t be talkin’ like that to you.”

“It’s fine. I’ve never really heard much about mom from before… well um, I guess any time before me really.” Unlike your father, there's not much you know about your mother unless you’ve seen it for yourself or it involved your father. Hardly anything about her parents, barely anything about your aunt, and very little about your mother growing up. It feels a little strange thinking about it now, but you wonder if she would have even told you anything had you asked.
“Don’t go tellin’ on me now, but we used to go drinkin’ and driving all over the place when we were kids. Piece a shit car broke down on us couple times we needed it not to, but it usually ran and sure as hell could blast the music loud for us.”

It’s weird talking about this but far better than him having a breakdown, you just have to keep it up for a while longer. “Did you guys do that a lot?”

“Spent a whole lotta our money on fuel,” he confesses. “Denise was the only girl who’d give me a second look and we’d end up spendin’ our weekends driving around. Checking out the different places inside ‘n outside of town, trying not to get caught trespassin’. Managed to find some great places for picnics, those days we were really great we would…”

He falls silent, most likely for the best, and you try to smile at him anyways. A little while longer and he’s bound to just nod off right then and there, then you can be free.


You left Crockett dozing on the couch and you were free to add the papers to the rest of your evidence. Or whatever you should call it, but you’ve got a handful of information at least. With plans to read what you grabbed tomorrow, you returned to Lawrence’s room and waited.

It wasn’t a long wait, and as soon as he entered the room you finally felt at ease.

“Did you see Crockett?” you asked and he nodded in disbelief, mostly just tired after his day. You don’t bother him till later, when the room is dark and you are trying to sleep.

“Today was a weird day…” you whisper behind the broad of his back, with your forehead burning warm where it rests against him. It lets you feel Lawrence’s body shift as he tries to look back at you in response right away, proving that neither of you were asleep yet.
You tell him about the hospital and your mother, your hands holding on to his shirt as you do. And you tell him about Mariano, though you leave out many of the details about the offer he made you.

“It’ll be nice when I can go out like normal” you try to smile. “I wanna see more movies with you and visit photo booths and all that.” Lawrence nods, on the edge of falling asleep but still listening.

“I hope your day was easier,” you tell him and he nods. He turns to his back and takes your hand, gently holding you as his finger slowly writes each letter in your palm.


“Like boxes?” you ask and he nods. As he starts to write out the next message you remember what Camilla had brought up in the car earlier, about how she was worried about Lawrence.


It’s hard to imagine someone like him being mean, at least to someone like Camilla. You always figured he was pretty good around people he could relax around but now you have to wonder if that’s true. “Oh yeah, I bet that’s exhausting though. Where are you doing that?”

Lawrence just shakes his head at that question and writes out, CANT-SAY-YET

There’s a couple reasons for that, but you can’t stop thinking about the car ride with Camilla. You really wonder if she was being serious about the stuff she said about Lawrence, or if she’s just misunderstanding. If it’s that simple then maybe just telling him could clear some trouble up and you won’t have to worry about everyone getting along.

Do you want to bring up the conversation you had earlier with Camilla?
Tell him. There shouldn't be any harm in doing so.
Like Camilla said, maybe he's just on edge.

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