Midnight Shadows Guided Games GENEsis: DOFP Genesis In Character Days of Future Past [SentS] It's a long way down. [Ericka / Sebastian]


03-12-2019
08:17 PM
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03-12-2019, 08:17 PM
[In-Character] [Post #51]
The left corner of her mouth quirked slightly when he named himself an asshole, something she had assigned to him months previously in order to somehow make herself feel better. It had only somewhat worked, because she knew he was extremely capable of being exactly that, even if he had curbed that component to his personality in the moments that he had ever offered her. Until his awful decision to cut himself free of her through a ridiculous text message. The thought sobered her and her features realigned.

What any mutant thought about him did not directly pertain to the fact that he was a mutant, more so what he did to them. What he, as a supposedly human lawyer, brought to their lives, the threat that loomed in the sound of his name. Now he was one of them, and struggling to grapple with an ability, something he had faulted others for in a courtroom to deem them guilty of simply being what they were.

She swallowed, and then her eyes locked directly onto him in response to three words that seemed oddly shaped in the moment. It still did something to her, still knocked against the walls she had lifted about herself, forced them to shudder and prompted her pulse to accelerate. Three words threatened to crack the façade of indifference she had struggled to craft for herself in regard to anything having to do with him. And a part of her hated the fact that he could offer her something so small and that it could have such an effect. The motion of him drawing his hand across his face seemed to break the spell and she exhaled, folded her arms.

He seemed to dismiss the idea of a telepath interfering in his life, unsure how to accept whatever she might be able to offer because he likely didn’t completely understand the ability scope.

When he looked back up at her and held her gaze, she returned it and listed between keeping that way and turning away. She was aware of the bottle in his hand, the contents he had already taken down, but he was in fact holding the item in his hand and it retained its form. She had been aware of him setting it down, and then plucking it back up again, giving no thought to it himself, it seemed.

He brought up his children and the fingernails of one hand pressed into the skin of the arm her hand sat cradled against. There was a shift in his voice, a pinch to the skin between his eyes as he dropped his gaze away from her. He was afraid of losing them, his twins, losing contact, because he was so sure that his ex would rip them right out of his reach. That was if he went ‘off the grid’, as he put it.

“You have options.” She told him, eyeing the bottle and realizing its lacking contents, she turned back towards the fridge and drew out a second bottle. “If you continue the ruse, nothing changes. If you choose to deviate,” she unscrewed the bottle and hesitated on lifting it to her lips, “I told you, there’s a telepath.” She looked at the bottle in her hand again. “She’s a bit soft in regard to anything having to do with children.”

The idea to make anything to eat once more was abandoned. Maybe a pizza later. Or grilled cheese. “I’d tell you that you have time to figure things out,” she swallowed again and glanced at the clock on the wall, “but you really only have about two days since it’s Friday.” He needed to learn some form of control of his abilities if he was going to keep them, or he needed to figure out how to suppress himself once more if he wanted to go back. “What you choose to do affects Andy and Lauren regardless of their mother’s actions or decisions.”
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03-22-2019
11:18 AM
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03-22-2019, 11:18 AM
[In-Character] [Post #52]
Sebastian looked up at Ericka as she told him that he had options. He pulled air into his lungs, and tried to focus, tried to force his own mind out of its frenzy. If he was losing it now, he was bound to make mistakes. More air, in and out, in and out. He tried to calm himself down. Easier said than done, he decided, his eyes following Ericka to the fridge as she drew out another bottle.

He nodded, feeling the pleasant buzz in his mind, aiding him a little in pushing the mental frenzy back. In a way, if one removed all the crying over things that might be lost now, it did become simple. If he allowed the concept of his life changing on a fundamental level, it stopped being overwhelming and began being nothing more than action and reaction. And yet, Sebastian was grateful that Ericka was here, humouring him to an extent. He doubted that he was able to really see all that clearly just yet.

Again the mentioning of the telepath. Sebastian could not fathom what a person like that could do for him – would want to do for him. Children or not. Not so long ago, the Services had been on an outright manhunt for men and women with any kind of powers relating to the reading and altering of the mind. Sebastian had spent months on aiding the tactical units in finding the subjects, bringing them in and then had created the paperwork required to keep them locked up.

Maybe that was what made him nervous. He would now depend on help by those he had had a hand in locking up and possibly killing.

Ericka pointed out the time issue they had and Sebastian nodded, his gaze following hers towards the clock. The weekend. He basically had the weekend to seriously figure out where he wanted the rest of his life to go.

“So what would the telepath do?” he asked. The idea to have anyone look into his mind still chased apprehension through his heart but even Sebastian knew the age old saying. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

His mind went to Andy and Lauren for a moment. Their small little faces. In his mind they were so often still younger. Chubbier, smaller. Their little faces tilted upwards, looking to him for guidance and love and protection. And now? Now their father had become the single most serious source of danger for them. Sebastian pushed air out through his nose.

Rising suddenly, Sebastian felt the alcohol latch onto him. His mind appeared to move slower than the rest of his body and that made for the strangest kind of sensations. Taking first one, then another step forward, towards Ericka he wanted to reach out his hands, to gently pry the bottle she still held without drinking from it from her hands. He pulled them back at the last moment, looking spooked for a moment.

“Shit”, he murmured, pushing his hands against his own mid-section as if holding them flat against it somehow prevented him of touching things he ought not touch. He clenched his jaws, his gaze slipping off into a non-existent point somewhere between them. Sebastian exhaled, then shook his head. “Do you think gloves would work?” he wondered out loud. Then he let his hands drop to his side, remaining there, a step away from the couch and barely more than an arm’s length from Ericka.

“Tell me …” he said, his voice dropped to a soft but sad murmur. “What do you think I should do?”
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03-27-2019
04:48 AM
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03-27-2019, 04:48 AM
[In-Character] [Post #53]
His apparent desperation finally seemed to take hold, and he pressed about the telepath she referenced. And then he stood, seemingly too quickly for his own tampered equilibrium.

“Help you see your children.” She told him, something gentle in her tone when he asked what exactly the ‘telepath’ would do for him. That was his greatest fear that he was putting forth in the moment, not seeing them, no longer having any sort of contact. She imagined if she had her own that they would be her primary focus. Nothing else would or should matter before them. “Just because she may be willing to help you does not mean she won’t poke around your head.” That was something that could not be promised, complete privacy, not in regard to who he was. She would prod at his memories and thoughts, seeking the truth, seeking the hint of a lie.

He took a single step towards her and her heart stuttered in her chest when he took a second. There was a split urging that shook her from the inside out, part of her wanting to allow him closer, and the other wanting to tell him to stop where he already was. That his proximity was already a perceived threat.

She watched him reach briefly towards the bottle that she still held before he recoiled and pressed his hands against himself, wondering about gloves. That had the potential to work for some people, and she thought about Rogue once more. Her head tilted slightly as she considered it a possibility, then her left eye squinted slightly, and then she gave a single shake of her head. Doubt. If he destroyed what he touched, he could just as easily disintegrate the gloves he sought to cover himself with. She still didn’t believe that his mutation lived solely in his hands anyway.

She took half a step forward and pushed the bottle against his chest. The contact allowed her the feel of his heart racing behind his ribs.

“I can’t tell you what to do.” Because she couldn’t decide this for him, she would not be who he blamed when his future hit something jagged and threw him astray. She wouldn’t be able to stomach the guilt. If she had never given in, never pursued him, she often wondered if he would have ever truly left Sarah. Perhaps that was giving herself too much credit. But the fact that his separation from his ex strained his ability to see his children cut like a knife straight through the chest. “You have to make this choice yourself.” She shifted her weight slightly to one hip and waited for him to reach up to clutch the bottle. He still hadn’t seemed to have taken notice at the other bottle left on the table still held its full shape.

“I said I would help you.” She reminded him and her eyes slid down to the center of his chest where the bottle neck was pressed. “I’ll arrange for you to meet the telepath if that’s what you want. I’ll figure out the paperwork necessary to gloss over your missed injections.” She lifted her gaze to meet him. “But I cannot make this decision for you.” The support was what she would offer if he chose to accept what he was. If he fear got the better of him and he doubled back to suppression, she would support that choice as well, but she would not help him hide himself.

“If it’s an energy thing,” she looked at his hands once more, “I think I know someone that can figure that out.” There was always the Witch, as well. Even in her fracture mental state, she imagined she could rally herself to some form of assistance. She had yet to destroy the world, so her mind had to be somewhat still intact, old Detroit notwithstanding. “Tell me what you want.”
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03-30-2019
07:33 AM
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03-30-2019, 07:33 AM
[In-Character] [Post #54]
It was too much. Too many variables, in a plane of existence he had only ever looked in on from the outside. He was now one of them. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, no longer baseline. There was no point pretending he was. The man he had been had stopped existing this morning. No matter how threatening and how looming the thought was, it was the only truth Sebastian could accept.

Especially when facing the woman now standing in front of him, pressing a bottle of wine to his chest. In this moment, he realised that this was closer than she had been to him in a long time. He had breached that range of private space around her, much like she now stood in his.

But her words held no guidance, only truth. She could not make this decision for him. Of course not. Ericka had never been the kind of woman to do things for him, not in this regard anyway. She was someone he had been drawn to because she knew herself, knew her way and she made her choices. She had demanded the same of him.

Sebastian once more felt something stir in his chest. Something that had been there for a long time, pushed under the surface of tears and struggle and personal drama. Something that when he had locked it away, at the time, had felt like cutting off his own limb. The kind of familiarity that he still felt between them, no matter how carefully she was treading the waters with him around … it burned right now. And yet, Sebastian didn’t trust himself. He had hurt her enough. So what if this now was just a man whose life was taking a mighty turn seeking something he knew, something he could hold on to?

“I want that telepath”, he said, nodded as if doing so would further convince him. “I don’t like the idea of someone in my head, but if she can help … then…” he nodded again, not sure what to say exactly. He breathed in deeply, his eyes searching hers. Why was he agreeing to this? Yes, that off chance that a telepath could indeed help him see his kids? But was it not also a back-door approach to try and win Ericka’s trust back?

Sebastian didn’t know. He hardly trusted his own emotions in this moment.

“I don’t know how to … spy? on the Services? But if you think it’ll work, then yes to forging those papers.” He pushed air out through his nose, his gaze dropping to a point below her neck, but went unfocussed. “I’m not ready to dark …” The idea to just up and leave everything, join an underground that he had so long worked against. None of those people would welcome him with open arms. He would likely end up dead before finding allies.

Sebastian did not really notice when his hands came up, fingers pushing over hers. Half he accepted the wine, half he accepted the human touch as a form of comfort. Neither did he notice, when he touch harmed neither Ericka nor melted it glass.

“And yes to the energy-thing someone.” He said, realising he was ready to try anything that helped him understand and possibly control what he could do. The idea to live like Anna Beauford had for so long of her life, it threatened to shake him to the core if he thought about it for too long. “I want to figure this out”, he eventually said, his eyes shifting back and forth between hers. “And I don’t ever want one of those shots again”, he added. It was not that forgoing them had made his life that much easier, but even just the prospect of having the same substance pushed back into his veins, or possibly something stronger, it made him want to run for the hills.

Then he looked down, and realised where his hands were.

“Shit”, he exclaimed, flinging his arms outward in a gesture not unlike when facing the barrel of a gun and being told to freeze. The bottle of wine dropped between them, and Sebastian’s eyes frantically scanned Ericka’s hands for signs of disintegration.

But there was nothing.

The only small crisis currently in existence here was the open bottle of red now on the floor. But Sebastian had no eyes for it, as he stepped forward once more to take a closer look at Ericka’s hands. “Wait, there’s …” He reached out, like a man trapped in a dream, following the urge to inspect closely and ensure that he was seeing was reality.

His fingers found her hand, pushed into her palm and turned it about.

The tingle came almost instantly. He could feel her skin disintegrate under his fingertips. Sebastian pulled his hand away in utter terror, a breathless no escaping him.
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04-05-2019
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04-05-2019, 06:05 AM
[In-Character] [Post #55]
She gave a nod of agreement, of understanding, when he decided he wanted the telepath, and apparently whatever it was she could offer regardless of the side effects. It was the tipping point, where acceptance was taken in, where he decided what he wanted to be. Accepted the potential direction his life could turn towards. There were so many possibilities and she was exceedingly aware of each and every one of them.

He confessed he had no idea how to play spy, but she wasn’t asking him to fully immerse himself. It was a learning curve that allowed varied depth. The offer to help him remained regardless of component faced. She didn’t want to admit to the way that it made her feel with it allowing her to keep eyes on him and giving reason for her to be within a similar vicinity. If she could kill the way that she felt, she would have smothered the emotion long ago.

“I said I would help you.” She repeated, reminded him quietly.

It was relieving to truly hear him say he never wanted another injection. It was, in a sense, a self-poisoning that he allowed. If he refused to allow himself to be suppressed, then surely he would not allow the twins to suffer them either. Apparently lost in the moment of confession, he seemed oblivious to the fact that he had loosely set his hand around hers, and all she felt was the heat of it, the familiarity. It took a great manner of will to allow his hand to remain where it was without either allowing his fingers to braid with hers or pushing his away entirely.

There was more than the warmth, though.

She felt it the moment her skin gave. It was so subtle at first that she likened it to nerves attempting to fire to stay away in the wake of lacking oxygen delivery. It was similar to how embers burned, something small, something simple, the surface of the fuel source began to break down first. He caught himself and threw his hands back, and her own body compensated the sudden loss, smoothing over her hand and allotting for little if any visual change. The bottle dislodged form her grip and shattered against the floor. She kept her mouth shut, her teeth pressed together, and her gaze lingered on the hollow of his throat.

There would be red everywhere, all over the floor, potentially the floorboards nearby. Fermented fruit rather than blood. Perhaps had he touched another person, there may have been blood. So, then, it was better for him that she was the first living thing he had made contact with, or maybe it was worse. Her body would regenerate itself and likely not allow for the full range of his ability’s destructive potential. It was something twisted of her to find herself curious.

Sebastian stepped closer. His attention taken. Half a thought uttered before it broke apart. He was far from stupid. Even when she wanted him to be.

It appeared the way someone moving through a pool might, motions slowed for perfect perception. She watched him reach back towards her and the rational part of her brain told her to draw back, to deflect any potential interest, any questions he could conjure.

And yet.

His touch made contact once more and she remained still. She let him watch, let him feel it. Let some manner of realization sink its claws deep within his mind. There was no use hiding it, not now, not when he had already inched himself so close to an edge that she could only guess at two smaller forms being what held him back from jumping. So it happened again. The tingling set it, nipping at the nerve endings sitting just beneath the surface of her knuckles, his ability creating a microscopic war with the cellular structure of her skin. She could feel it give. And then he drew back as thought burned, whether it was him or her on the receiving end in his opinion, she wasn’t sure.

She remained where she was, her arm, wrist, and hand in the exact placement he had left them, her palm turned slightly upward. He had created a sort of chaos, his ability eating away at the living part of her that he had both accidentally and then intentionally touched. Even in the deterioration she had fixated more solidly on the feeling of his fingers against her. There was no reason to take stock of her hand to know that whatever harm he had caused was already repairing itself, already complete.

How many times had she had to restrain herself when she had set her fingertips against his face, how much conscious effort had she had to exude each time she had leaned in to press her lips against his. How many times had she had to make up some excuse for her lacking injuries in the wake of an accident. “It’s okay.” She whispered when she lifted her eyes up to meet his. How often had she been terrified of slipping up and giving herself away to a human employed by the Services just because she hadn’t been able to create distance, hadn’t wanted to. For once in the span of life that she could actually recall, she had wanted something and someone for herself, and she had courted potential disaster.

“I’m fine.” She assured him, her voice little more than an affirmative breath, and she moved her arm slowly so that he could see. And then she held her hand out to him. When he hesitated, she reached up quickly and pressed it against the side of his face. The walls she had built up high shuddered in the wake of it. “You can’t hurt me.” Was the simplest explanation, the most cohesive admittance.
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05-12-2019
01:55 PM
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05-12-2019, 01:55 PM
[In-Character] [Post #56]
The entire scene playing out in front of him was a comedic tragedy at best. Or so Sebastian thought. He stared down at the hand he had just held. He had seen the effect his fingers could cause eat into her skin. Into it. His eyes frantically scanned her hands, the expanse of soft skin across muscle and bone but there was nothing.

Sebastian could not hear anything, the thunder in his ears was simply too loud. He kept blinking, kept willing his brain to show him the truth. The true devastation he had caused. But there was nothing. Not even a scar or a discoloration of her skin. Sebastian’s breathing came rapidly and he was beginning to feel lightheaded. His entire upper body was moving with his efforts to breathe in and out.

He did not understand but knew that the ludicrous thought that his touch was possibly not fatal to a human being was not proper means to explain what was happening.

Instead, another thought slipped through the chaos in his mind.
She was not human.

The thought would have been crazy in any other setting. But in this world, in this time? Sebastian was quite sure anything was possible.

Ericka spoke, and Sebastian’s eyes found her lips, a longing darkening his eye colours and he willed for himself to hear what she was saying. But instead, his brain pieced it together from the movement of her lips.

The world around him was about to go into a spin when her hand came up. And with terror and relief mixed into one, Sebastian felt her palm against his cheek. His breath came out in a shudder and without thinking, his own hand covered hers. This time, his touch had no effect.

You can’t hurt me.
“But I did”, he responded breathlessly, noting how her touch seemed to somewhat ground him for the moment. The spinning around him was subsiding and he let his fingers follow the line of her outstretched arm to her shoulder. His fingers were hungry, greedy as they trailed a path over her shoulders and down her back. Sebastian closed his eyes, stepping into the spilled wine – having completely forgotten about it – and closer to her.

Then his other hand found her mid-section, and he pulled Ericka to him.

For a moment, a rational part of his brain wanted to write off the effect to that natural effect human contact had on anyone. But that wasn’t true. This was Ericka. This was the woman who’d stolen his heart in a storm when he had been certain that he had settled for life. Sebastian swallowed, a large lump appeared to be lodged firmly in his throat. He gasped as he pulled her body against his – this woman into his crushing embrace.

A little like a man drowning. If his touch had no effect right now, then he simply would not let go.

Not again.

He breathed in deeply, pushed his face against the side of her neck, forcing his tall form to hunch forward a little.

“What is happening here?” was all he asked. “What … what are we?” Her scent was so familiar. The shape of her body against his. It drew on memories, on images and sensations he had worked so hard to bury, to lock away where not even he could find them. But things like this just had a habit of resurfacing, didn’t they? Emotions locked away rather than worked through … emotions he had forced himself to give up when all he had wanted to do was be with her.
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05-14-2019
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05-14-2019, 02:40 AM
[In-Character] [Post #57]
Underwater.

That was what he was feeling.

The sensation of being cast out into the wide open depth of the ocean and left to flail in a storm. It was difficult to move, hesitance ruled, it was difficult to hear beyond the suffocating waves, and it was difficult to breathe with the sea churning the body down within it. There was a jolt of fear when he raised his hand in an almost unthought out response to grasp at hers that she had set against his face. But when his fingers framed her own, there was no pull, no char or tingling sensation that had accompanied the contact prior when her skin threatened to come apart.

But I did.

She pressed her teeth together to keep from raising a rebuttal. Three words had never sat so heavy in her ears or against her chest. But I did, because he had. Because he had hurt her more than anyone in her life prior had that she could remember. Even with the inability to recall beyond the last decade of her life, she was sure the organ in her chest would have recalled the sensation of being wounded so if it had ever experienced such before. Muscle memory. And worst of all, she had let it happen, watched it sit along the edge of their relationship like a snake ready to strike. The inevitable fallout.

But I did.

His hand skimmed away from her knuckles, from her wrist, it meandered haphazardly down the length of her arm and towards her shoulder. His palm splayed out against her shoulder blade, and with her attention fixated there, his other curled about her waist, chasing a cast of goose flesh up from the point and across her skin towards her neck. And she allowed it all to happen. Her traitorous heart so greedy for the feel of him against her, the smell that peeled away from his skin, no matter how much it threatened to rip everything she had tried to patch up right back open again.

His nose skimmed the side of her neck and she forced herself to remain standing, to keep her knees and ankles from buckling beneath the weight of him and the sensation of being so close. Reaching across him when she had ushered him into the cab had been fleeting. Standing within the circle of his embrace was wholly other.

The question he offered against her ear lobe had her struggling between drawing back and sinking in. She had no idea how to answer him, or what to say in response. So when he angled his question in another direction, she swallowed. “You’re a mutant.” She replied, because it was the truth, and it stood reason against his question. “We’ve already established that.” Because it had been at the root of seemingly pushing them back together once more.

“I’m…not.” She confessed. But she wasn’t human either. Both of her parents had died in the crash.

He was asking what they were, but she couldn’t manage an answer without riling her recollections further. It was easy to want to comfort him simply because it was him and he still owned a part of her regardless of how hard she fought against the line and hook that was still sunk so deep into her.

“You’re standing in wine.” Her voice threatened to stick in her throat as she finally made her arms moved, hooked her hand about one of his wrists and tried to draw it away from her. “You’re going to ruin your shoes.” She didn’t care as much about the hard wood. Him remaining that close to him was drawing too much familiarity to the forefront.

And she wanted it too much.
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06-07-2019
09:58 AM
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06-07-2019, 09:58 AM
[In-Character] [Post #58]
Sebastian drank in the sensation of Ericka pressed against him like this. In this moment, how long it had been bore no significance. He found himself right back where he had left off. As if no time had passed at all. If anything, the amount of things connected to Ericka he had locked behind that door had grown over time – and now, that door threatened to burst open; threatened to bury him.

He was no longer in control. He just followed, allowed matters to unfold as he found himself face to face with the emotions he still felt for the woman now somewhat in his arms.

Sebastian’s mind tried to decide what had been the straw to break the camel’s back. It was like a carousel of incredibly unlikely things all occurring at once. His own fear to never be able to touch anything or anyone? The fact that he was no longer baseline, that there was no longer a point in denying it. The fact that she was not human either? That she could recover from his touch? Some small, wicked voice in the back of his mind insisted that this had to be a sign. He could not harm her. Perfect match.

He wanted to laugh and cry at this at the same time.

Her fingers locked around one of his wrists and Sebastian stood up just a bit, watching with hurt realisation as she was trying to move it away. His eyes narrowed and his expression was pained as for a moment he simply stared at how her fingers wrapped around his lower arm. Ericka spoke of wine, spoke of his shoes. It was such an odd statement in this moment. He had all but forgotten about the wine … did not give a damn about his shoes.

Sebastian swallowed, his gaze dropping down for a moment before he looked back up at Ericka. He knew in that moment that there was nothing to say to undo what he had done. All he could do was acknowledge what he had done.

But I did.

There was nothing he could do now to change that past. With his future hanging in the balance, all he had was this moment. Standing in wine, ruining a perfectly good and almost new pair of tan-coloured To Boot New York boots. The leather would not survive the red wine. But what did a pair of shoes mean when everything else suddenly bore a huge question mark.

The constant he could see in any of it, for some reason, was Ericka. After everything, she still stood here, helping him when he had nowhere else to turn.

Sebastian swallowed as he slowly turned his hand in the grip of her fingers. Something told him that if he were to put it to the test, she would probably overpower him. Drawing in a deep breath through his nose, he wondered what exactly he was supposed to do now. Every up was down, every left was suddenly right. So of course, the woman he had loved, had pushed away, now helping him turned out to not be human either.

He moved his hand, turned his fingers and his palm covered the back of her hand as he took it. Gentle. Slow. Careful. Partially due to the lack of trust in what he could and could not do. Partially to give her opportunity to object.

God he prayed she wouldn’t.

He pulled her hand down a little, thus bringing her closer and she ended up standing in the wine with both her feet as well. “So are you”, he murmured before he swallowed, letting his gaze drop to her mouth before he closed the last gap between them and let his lips graze hers.

Sebastian pushed no further. His tongue darted out to lick the taste of her off his upper lip, then the lower one. He barely managed to breathe as something inside of him – finally freed – admitted to having missed this woman; admitted to the idiocy that had gotten into him when he had let her go back then.

Why was hindsight always 20/20?
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06-12-2019
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06-12-2019, 05:32 AM
[In-Character] [Post #59]
There was no way that she could look at him as she tried to draw his hand away from her. She could feel the tension in the tendons of his wrist, the hesitating will to counter her efforts. It was like trying to draw her own appendage away form herself when she wanted to curl it right back inward. Whether or not its return was inevitable, she could not yet say or perceive. Perhaps fighting back was a losing battle, trying to push away what it seemed the universe intended to shove her towards. Weeks and months she had manage to untangle and distance herself, to the point where she had almost felt whole. Then he had to have been assigned to her debriefing. A tap against a crack that was already still so fragile.

His presence there, the familiarity, the want for so much more, baited everything behind her right to the forefront. The feel of his skin, the scent that lifted away from his collar, the heat that had filled her chest. But light drew shadows and she could just as quickly recall the ravine torn through her emotions that a singular text message could have offered, the absence that followed, the complete and utter severance. It wrought a physical manifestation of despair in the thrum of a cold pit just beneath her sternum.

She had offered to help him be what he was, to tuck it away from SentS’ prying. He would register to Sentinels, to drones, but his catalogued suppression would keep him dimmed from their perception as a problem. She could make that happen. She had done it before.

Why did it-

He turned his arm in her grip and she swallowed. If she flexed her fingers ever so slightly, she could lock him back into place. She chanced lifting her eyes, let it settle on his chest and watched it rise and fall with every breath, tried to tie her own pace to his even as her pulse skated well passed normal.

Time suspended and she let her mind home in on the contact, skin against skin, him turning out of her hold to reverse the position. It was created a sensation she couldn’t name, the edge of his thumb across the thin skin of her wrist. Slowly, so slowly, the way one might manage the handling of something wild that seemed ready to bolt. That was how she felt, every nerve on edge, every urge to run trying to push her from beneath her ribs. She made herself focus once more on the rise and fall of his chest. The draw, the pull, to bring her hand forward enough to rouse her into stepping forward went almost unnoticed.

So are you.

She lifted her gaze to settle on his chin, the line of his lower lip. She swallowed when she realized that he was leaning towards her, and for a moment she stopped breathing when the lips she became briefly entirely fixated on moved out of her view and she instead felt them. Her own parted and she waited, her patience and anxiety poised on the head of a pin while she listed in flux. He exhaled against her cheek but seemingly resigned himself to remaining a fixed point, fingers through the bars of a gate, waiting to see if it would open.

For a moment she thought that that was it, that that was the height of the emotional trek she would be forced to make for the night. When she tilted her head just enough to look up at him, she hadn’t even registered the blur in her vision before a solitary tear tracked quickly from the corner of her left eye and down the line of her cheek. She compelled her lungs to work, prompted them to take a breath inward and her form tipped forward enough touch the tip of her nose against the line of his jaw.

She felt split directly in two, one half of her wanting to fall forward, to let everything she had struggled to bury so deeply inside of herself she was sure no one would ever discover it all out. He was right in front of her. He was other than human. He wasn’t something so delicate that she might break him with a slip of control. And he caused destruction with his touch, and she could weather against it. She had already seen it, already felt it. Like she was put in his path for a reason. And yet. One half wanted to rally her defenses, push away what had left a scar cut so thoroughly through the traitorous organ beating wildly about beneath her throat.

She loved him.

Had loved him.

Putting it into present tense was a threatening thing.

It could hurt again.

“I need…” her voice broke and she swallowed, drew on the strength that sat quietly in wait and used to make herself stand. She cleared her throat and conducted herself into motion. It was like moving through gel, a trance, stepping out of his direct sphere of influence to move towards the linen closet just to their left and drawing out a sheet, a few blankets. She set them on the sofa, returned to the closet for a pair of pillows that she added to the pile.

She opened her mouth to say something further, her lips worked, her tongue readied itself. His dark eyes seemed to hover about her in anticipation and she swallowed again, her mouth dry. “I need…” she struggled to put a name to exactly what it was she was trying to say. Shower, her mind supplied, and she abruptly turned towards the single bedroom and made a beeline directly for the smaller room within. She locked the door behind her and took some measure of relief in the makeshift safety the button lock offered. It was a cowardly thing to run, some thread or her thoughts tried to prod at her. Self-preservation, she reasoned back.
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07-27-2019
08:11 PM
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07-27-2019, 08:11 PM
FF / After "The Devil & The Hunters" & Nuke!Benji [In-Character] [Post #60]
Everything smelled so new.

Like a new, never before lived in apartment. Unfamiliar. Space that had not yet become his.

Sebastian sat in the large armchair, staring at the card bearing his name. Sebastian Strucker. Attorney at law. He tossed it onto the desk, then picked his coffee mug back up. The brew had gone cold. He swallowed it anyway but not without dismay.

There had been times in his life when Sebastian had considered starting his own firm. But now that he actually had it, Sebastian wasn’t sure it really was what he wanted. And it had nothing to do with the fact that his firm did alright for a new place. Jaxon had done quite the job. He had lifted a construct out of the ground that looked as real and as serious as a law firm ought to. There was a paper trail leading back several months. For all intents and purposes, Sebastian had been building this place for almost a year.

Of course reality looked different. The firm had not existed until a few weeks ago. Jaxon had gone to work on it the night Ericka and him had arrived at the theatre. Sebastian would probably remember that odd conversation in one of the labs including not only Ericka but Jaxon and his girlfriend for a long time. He had felt like Alice, like he had gone straight through the looking glass.

And now here he was. Building contracts with Sentinel Services rather than being employed by them. He could pick and choose his cases. The only tricky issue still remaining was having to still go in every few weeks to get a shot of suppressant. Or so it looked. The plan was to not let it come to that. Beth wanted to make it look like the suppressant had a lasting effect on his x-gene. The question was just whether the illusion would be good enough to fool the Services.

Sebastian had another week and a half, another three meetings with Beth to set up the mirage. To say it was making him uneasy was an understatement.

Picking up his phone, Sebastian unlocked the screen. He had another half hour until his next and last phone call for the day. He opened contacts and swiped down until he got to “E”.

For a few moments, he just stared at her name, at her number. She had remained her distanced, cool self towards him. There was a barrier she continued to maintain and Sebastian had no idea how to break through it. While she had most certainly made true on her words, not leaving him alone, and helping him to rebuild a life if he was to accept who and especially what he was, Ericka had not let him any closer to her.

He sighed, then tapped her name and opened the messenger screen.

[Have dinner with me? Got something to show you.]

Sebastian typed out the words. He stared at them for a moment before he hit send. Her response couldn’t be worse than a flat out no, right? He sighed, then put the phone face-up back on the table, and leaned back. He moved the computer mouse, and watched the large screen flicker to life. Twelve new emails. Yes, business was definitely flourishing, he decided. Almost more so than he needed it to right now.
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