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Kháos
07:59:46 Kaos || Khaos
Thank you for the warning in advance. :> I have avoided a possible Rick Roll.
Saint
07:58:20 
My girlfriend is not here. I am sad
The Draconians
07:57:07 Draco, Chat Killer
@Somber
Doing good. Celebrating the fact that my school computer hating links means that I can't get rickrolled. I'm assuming that's what these Valentines links are?
Kháos
07:57:03 Kaos || Khaos
Ooh, I remember last year I got a We Don't Talk About Tuna message.
[email protected]
07:56:18 Somber
now its stuck in my head help me lmao
[email protected]
07:55:24 Somber
lol ikr
Saint
07:55:16 
Can't believe it
Saint
07:55:09 
That was traumatic lmao
Saint
07:55:00 
I'm crying
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07:54:50 Somber
LOL you got one too
[email protected]
07:54:31 Somber
lol i just got a never gonna give you up valentine card?
\_Asclepius_/
07:54:30 Snek, Snake
-WP Click- still alive lol
Saint
07:53:42 
Who ever just sent that... how dare you. I can't believe I fell for it lmao. Never click the links...
Saint
07:50:44 
What if you put like 20 sands of times on a wolf? Would it be like 30? Or would it immediately die despite it not being momday?
[email protected]
07:49:23 Somber
food lol, good*
[email protected]
07:49:14 Somber
food enough how about you draco?
Willow Tribe
07:49:08 Willow
She lives another day!!
-WP Click-
The Draconians
07:48:31 Draco, Chat Killer
Morning people. How we all doing?
Saint
07:46:50 
Thanks, I missed a quiz and get 2 extra hours to study so I think it worked out lmao. Oh my parents will be getting a notice that I was late so that'll be fun to explain but it's fine. They are out of the country so mayb they won't know
[email protected]
07:45:50 Somber
:D

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Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 28, 2021 11:17 PM

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Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; Esta, others(ind).

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; Ambrose, others(ind)

--

If you'd like to help, that would be great! I would really appreciate it, actually!

--

Great, then I will.” Salen stood up and held her hand out to help Esta stand too so that the two could get started on the task. She was honestly just glad that Star seemed a little better at least. Maybe not fully okay yet, but getting there. That was always good.

*~*~*~*

El, listen to me, okay? Nothing is your fault, you can't control anything that happened, alright?

--

Illon, despite everything, leaned into the hug and tried to keep their tears as silent as possible. Esta was probably still awake, she rarely ever went to sleep without checking on them first, and the last thing they wanted to do was waste her time even more. Why couldn’t they just get over themselves- They were making Ambrose worried too now, wasting his time. Wasting all of the group’s time. They should’ve been left. They should’ve been.

--

I'm sorry, El, I'm sorry. I'm- I'm going to tell you the truth. I-I promised I wouldn't, but this isn't fair. I know that. I'm sorry. I just…

--

Illon was pulled back and in an instant they were expecting to just be left there, at that. Just like with their old colleague. Ambrose was about to say that yes, it was them. That they were too much. That they never helped. That they couldn’t fix their mistakes. That they weren’t worth the trouble. That they were too annoying and loud and selfish and energetic and lazy and stupid and- And- Illon shook, breath quick. They bit the tongue hard to keep from sobbing, though a small muffled one still managed it’s way out.

--

No one's blaming you, Illon, please understand that. No one is blaming you, you had no control over this situation. L-look, when you were... When you were taken, me and most of the group, we wanted to go after you. We wanted to save you, but- A-Amel, Karma, and Eni... They thought you were dead. T-they didn't want to go look for you because t-they didn't think you were still alive. I-Isabella and Amel... They got mad at each other because of it, there was... An argument. S-Salen stepped in though! She found a solution that allowed us to find any save you without going against Amel. El, we aren't mad at you. We aren't, I promise. We got you back and we're glad. I'm so glad. You aren't to blame. I'm so sorry, El, I'm so, so sorry. None of this is fair to you. Not a single bit of it, and I'm so sorry.

--

Illon hadn’t been expecting that, and for a second there was a lull in everything. Relief over being wrong flooding them until what had been said clicked. Their eyes stared forwards, not really looking at Ambrose, as they processed it. Amel, Karma, and Eni had thought they were dead. They had wanted to just… Leave them behind and move on. And if Amel had been okay with that, then that meant he’d already had a plan ready to go. One where the group would win and they’d be dead and lines would be shorter to see Esta. One where the group didn’t need Illon. The group never had.

--

Their hands slowly found purchase on Ambrose’s clothing and they pulled him into a hug. One that was tight enough to say that Illon was sure that he’d disappear if they let go. Or more likely, that they’d disappear if they let go. This time, the sob came up and Illon couldn’t muffle it with their tongue. They could only hope that Ambrose’s body and clothing, and their mask, was enough. They shook. They really should’ve been left. The group would probably already be back in the city if they were. Already would’ve won and gotten back and gotten close enough to never leave each other’s sides- Meanwhile the only reason anyone had ever stayed by their side was pity. And now? Pity would be the only reason anyone pretended to care at all.

--

They’d almost left them. Illon had almost been left for dead. They hadn’t revealed anything, they had refused. The entire time. The entire time. They’d been electrocuted how many times without giving the enemy an answer? They were deaf in an ear now because they hadn’t given them an answer. Their lower face was a mangled mess that no one could look at without risking losing their last meal. They’d been cut right down the middle- They’d been lashed how many times? How many times? They’d been willing to go through everything bad plus some just to keep information to themselves and they were going to get left behind?

--

Illon held Ambrose tighter. It wasn’t true, right? Just some cruel prank Ambrose was playing on them. The group wouldn’t- Eni wouldn’t- Amel- Amel was tough but he wouldn’t- He wouldn’t- They wouldn’t- Illon let out a guttural sob, not caring about muffling it anymore. They shouldn’t have been rescued- If Amel had thought it was better to leave them then it was- They should’ve been left. They should’ve died. Why couldn’t they die? Why hadn’t they died? How were they not dead? They should be. They shouldn’t have survived all of what they did. They were wasting Esta’s healing abilities. They should be dead. They shouldn’t be here.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 10:47 AM

Lost Memories
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: Salen
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: Illon, others(ind.)
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / Ranger / M: All (ind.)

Great, then I will.”

Esta smiled and took Salen's hand, starting on the dishes again. She'd have to remember to check on Illon again before she went to bed, but since they were with Ambrose, she wasn't super worried.

---

Ambrose watched as Illon seemed to collapse, and then pulled him forward into a tight hug, almost as though they thought he might disappear. Ambrose returned the hug and buried his face in Illon's hair. "I'm sorry." He whispered, holding onto them tightly. "I won't leave you, I promise. I'm glad you're here."

In all honesty, Ambrose wasn't sure what else he could say. Illon wouldn't believe him when he said it wasn't their fault. The only thing Ambrose could do was hold them, so that's what he did. He held them tightly and closed his eyes, wishing more than anything that he could take away all the pain Illon was feeling.

After a long moment, Ambrose started singing softly, a little bit of his power slipping into his voice. The song was quiet and calm, and despite Ambrose's tears, his voice was steady and warm. He made up the words as he went, but they sounded like they'd been written previously, flawless and beautiful. Later, he wouldn't remember exactly what he'd sung, but it was something about not being alone and staying together, it was calming and full of affection and comfort. What else could he do? Singing was his specialty, and Ambrose was never good at talking, so this was really the only way he could get his feelings across. Even if Illon didn't believe him, he wanted to get across that he would stay with them no matter what, and that he was glad that Illon was back, and, of course, alive.

He just hoped this helped at least a little bit.

---

After several minutes of standing watch, unable to do anything about his racing mind, Agnar grew restless. His head was pounding at this point, and he was getting annoyed.

Sighing, he grabbed his bow and carefully leaped down from his perch, landing gracefully. Eyes still searching, Agnar started walking around the perimeter of the camp, stretching his legs. At some point, he started jogging and then running. He was still fully focused on keeping watch, but his mind started calming down. The exercise gave his body something to focus on other than the pain and provided a rather comfortable burning in his muscles. He was healthy, so it took several minutes before he started to breathe more quickly. Still, he pushed forward, running at top speed until his vision blurred and he had to pause to catch his breath and look around again.

When his breath steadied and his heartbeat settled, Agnar started off again. Jogging, then running, then sprinting.

Eventually, he had to stop, forcing himself to calm down and look around again. He'd let down his guard, and that could be deadly. Taking several deep breaths and started walking again. This time, he controlled himself and focused on his job. He could run later. No, he had to focus.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 11:52 AM

Overthink101
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Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; Esta, others(ind).

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; Ambrose, others(ind)

--

They weren’t sure how long they sat there, clutching Ambrose as if he could stop the spinning, staggering spiral they could so clearly feel settling into their mind. But through their good ear, they could hear as Ambrose began singing. A steady and warm voice that contradicted his own tears. Illon hadn’t noticed that he was crying too, only that they were.

--

Steady. Illon never really knew that word before, did they? Their childhood was definitely everything but that. Their job was made off of unsteady ideas and promises and experiences. Even their whole person. Steady wasn’t a word that someone would use to describe anything about them. Sure, they were stubborn when they set their mind to something- But that was being stubborn, not steady. They weren’t steady, they were volatile. That was what people thought when they saw them.

--

But the words of the song were comforting, and it reminded them of the times they’d sing(Admittedly, not very well) to their past colleague, the one that had left. That leaving had taken the already less sociable Illon and turned them into a recluse. That by coming into their life had brought them into the sun, brought them into new experiences, brought them some kind of stability… Illon hadn’t seen it coming when they left. Had never thought that they would leave. Had thought that the two of them would always be by each other’s side, be a team. And look how that turned out.

--

It really made the singing rather bittersweet to them, but it did calm them enough to where they weren’t sobbing to the point where they couldn’t keep everything silent. To where they were able to stop clutching Ambrose. They pulled away slowly, not wanting to meet Ambrose’s eyes. “It’s, uh… It’s getting late… And we do have a long day tomorrow so…” Illon hated how hoarse their voice sounded now, wincing at the pain speaking caused. “Good night..? Thanks for uh, for telling me… And hey- I’ll be fine. I’m great at getting back up. Your spilling is safe with me, since I’m guessing you weren’t uh, supposed to tell me.

--

Were they actually fine after hearing this? No. Not even close. But Ambrose didn’t need to know, they would be fine eventually after all. They just wouldn’t tell anyone that Ambrose told them. See how long it took for everyone else to own up. See how okay they all were with lying to them. Though, to be fair? They almost wished that Ambrose hadn’t told them. They could already feel the heaviness seeping into their bones. Just like the night their colleague had left them. But now they risked slowing down the group.

--

They couldn’t worry about that though, so they pushed themself up and did finger guns at Ambrose as goodbye. Then, grabbing the bowl, they left the tent to see Salen and Esta cleaning dishes. They expertly rolled their dish over to the two, “I’m heading to bed, Esta! Have a good night you two and thanks for the delicious food.” And then they entered their tent, sitting on their bedding and sighing heavily. They leaned back until they were laying down, and felt their body sink as if under ten tons of weight.

--

Salen looked over as Illon spoke to the two before disappearing into their tent. She chuckled lightly and picked up the dish they’d rolled over to them. She looked at Esta, “See? They’re doing fine, they’ve made a lot of progress so far. I’m sure that they’ll only grow from here, nothing could go wrong now. I mean, we’re on our way back and everyone’s safe.

--

She paused and let it sit for a moment. They really were nearing the end, huh? She hoped the group, except for Amel, got together sometimes still after this. Including Karma even, because at least they weren’t like Amel in every way. But she could dwell on this later… “Now then, let’s finish up these dishes so we can get some sleep in before Bella wakes up everyone.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 08:30 PM

Lost Memories
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Posts: 6646
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

Isabella woke up with the sun. She changed quickly into a black tank top, black jeans that were ripped at the knees, and her army boots, throwing her hair up into a messy pony-tail before she trotted out of her tent to find Esta already awake, attempting (and failing) to properly collapse and put away her tent. Isabella smiled slightly before heading to the middle of the camp and raising her voice.

"Rise and shine everyone! If I don't see your face within ten minutes, I will collapse your tent on you! That goes for everyone! Up and at it, we gotta long day ahead of us!"

Esta jumped slightly when Bella started yelling and looked over, blushing a little as she realized her friend had probably seen her struggling with her tent. Her plan had been to get up in time to figure out how to put the stubborn thing away before the others got up. She'd been traveling for a while now, and she still couldn't seem to figure out how everything came down and fit into that ridiculously small bag.

"Uh, Isa, could you...?" The healer trailed off gesturing helplessly towards her tent and Isabella grinned.

"Sure, Star." She answered, walking over and collapsing the tent with ease, then proceeding to roll it up and hand it over to its owner with a slightly amused smile.

"Oh, thanks," Esta said, looking down at the thing with a mixture of awe and confusion. "I can never figure it out." Today, Esta was wearing a large gray hoodie with a white T-shirt underneath, she had on jeans and sneakers and her red hair was loosely braided over her shoulder. Somehow, she made the casual cloaths look beautiful.

Bella patted Esta's back. "That's alright, you've got other skills, like making amazing food!" The second in command said encouragingly and Esta smiled, placing her tent with the rest of her things and sitting down in the grass to wait for the rest of the group.

Ambrose appeared a few moments later, eyes still blurry with sleep. He was wearing a pastel blue knitted sweater that hung loosely but stylishly over his shoulders, a plain white shirt underneath, blue jeans, and white sneakers that were in surprisingly good shape. His guitar case was hanging across his chest, and his hair was frizzy from turning in his sleep.

He hadn't slept much, and he was still very worried about Illon. He didn't believe that they would be able to just 'get over' what he'd told them. He was wondering if he'd made the right decision. Everything was worrying Ambrose, actually, he was just a very worried person in general, and the fact that he'd spilled a secret wasn't helping much. He just hoped he could stick close to Illon today, keep them company if nothing else.

Esta smiled at Ambrose and waved, and Ambrose managed a warm smile back, waving as well. Today should be fun, he thought.

---

Karma rolled over in their sleeping bag, annoyed when they heard Isabella's voice. It was too early. They wanted to sleep. It was cozy in here.

Still, grumbling with annoyance, Karma found themselves crawling out of their bag, throwing their hair up in a ponytail, and shoving themselves into the first clean cloaths they found. An oversized, black MCR T-shirt, some sweatpants, and their tennis shoes.

Huffing, Karma gathered their things and threw them rather carelessly out of the tent before grabbing their jacket, wrapping it around their waist, and stepping outside. They didn't hesitate to collapse their tent and, like everything else, wrap it up in the messiest way possible before shoving it into its bag. Esta watched with an amused smile before calling out.

"Good morning, Karma."

"Oh, it's morning all right." Karma responded in their typical, Karma manner.

Esta laughed quietly. Karma was always stubborn in the mornings, they hated getting up.

"Wait, fuck-" Karma gasped, realizing with regret that they totally could have used their powers for this if they wanted to. "I'm stupid. That could have been easier."

Esta laughed again and Karma looked over, making a face. "Gee, thanks, Star. So kind." The words were sarcastic, but not really mean.

"Sorry, sorry!" Esta said quickly, still smiling, Karma rolled their eyes and shrugged, making a point to shift their stuff over with their power. There wasn't any reason for it, just Karma being Karma.

---

Agnar walked silently into camp and Isabella looked over, shooting him a smile. "Hey, nice work, I didn't notice you were there until just now!"

"Yeah, no hesitation, right?" Agnar answered without much enthusiasm. He looked rough, to say the least. His hair was a mess and his eyes were dark without their usual lively spark, he looked completely exhausted. Not to mention that his arm was bleeding a little bit from accidentally hitting a branch. His shirt was dark with still drying sweat.

Esta pursed her lips in concern, standing up. "Are you okay, Agnar, you look a little ill. And your arm is bleeding."

The young ranger waved Esta away with a half-hearted smile. "I'm fine, Esta, just tired. And it's just a scratch. I ran into a branch on accident."

Esta shook her head slightly and Isabella raised an eyebrow. Agnar generally had a really great sense of body and spatial awareness. Better than most, actually. He was the least likely person to run into a branch. The fact that he had was more worrying than the scratch on his arm.

"Did something happen that you aren't telling us, Agnar?" Isabella questioned, crossing her arms. "You don't typically walk around running into things."

"No, no, I promise. It's fine. I just got tired and lost a bit of focus. I'm okay, really."

Esta sighed. "Fine, but at least let me heal that scratch." She took Agnar's arm and he stood still while she worked her magic(literally).

"Thanks, Esta. I appreciate it." He stated, offering another strained smile as Esta let him go. Esta nodded uncertainly.

"Alright... Well, I guess you should go get your stuff." Isa said uncertainly. She hoped Agnar was okay, because he really didn't look like it.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 09:44 PM

Overthink101
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Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; Esta, others(ind).

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; Ambrose, others(ind)

--

Rise and shine everyone! If I don't see your face within ten minutes, I will collapse your tent on you! That goes for everyone! Up and at it, we got a long day ahead of us!

--

Amel blinked awake as Isabella started yelling, sitting up from his bedding and pushing himself up to stand. Amel got dressed in a white t-shirt, his orange jacket, black cargo pants, and his orange hiking shoes. Then he packed up the inside of his tent before going outside and collapsing his tent. He could see Esta, Ambrose, Isabella, Karma, and Agnar already up. He scoffed, of course they would let Illon slack off on guard duty and give it to someone else.

--

Salen stepped out a bit later, dressed in red flannel, blue jeans, and her sneakers. Her silver charoite necklace hung around her neck. She began to collapse her tent too, deciding not to speak if Amel got mad about the group deciding to let Illon sleep. She hoped he didn’t, but knowing Amel? He most likely would.

--

Eni stepped out of their shared tent with Agnar, both of the two’s bags packed. They looked at Agnar, smiling softly. “I packed your bag already, except for a change of clothes for you to put on today. Make sure to collapse the tent after you change.

--

And then they saw the bleeding arm. “What happened to your arm, Agnar? Do you need any bandages? I can grab the first aid kit from your bag if you want to dress it when you change.

*~*~*~*

“So, you have two options here. You can tell me what your team is planning, or I can just hit you with this rod again. Which do you prefer?”

--

Their breathing was odd, the pain and position they were forced to stay being the cause. Probably. Despite this, Illon knew that they weren’t going to say anything. Despite the threat, they couldn’t tell the enemy anything. They couldn’t be the cause for their team’s defeat. For their friends to lose. So they forced themself to meet the eyes of the one threatening them… And they spat into the person’s face.

--

The person cursed, and then composed themselves. “Alright then, not answering? Guess I’ll just have to pick for you.”

--

They felt the pain before the rod had even hit. Whether that was because of the electricity or just because of their brain deciding to focus on what hurt most- They weren’t sure. Their mind had blanked, their breath leaving them, and unable to focus on anything but the pain.

--

It was burning, and it was searing, and it was terrible. Terrible in every way. And then it stopped, as sudden as it’d begun. Their eyes burned with tears they hadn’t realized they had, and their head hung low, trying to catch their breath again.

--

“I’ll ask again. What is your team planning?”

--

Illon couldn’t look up this time, their breath too far gone. Their wrists ached from holding them up for so long, though they weren’t actually sure how long it had been. They still tried to look up, eyes narrowed towards the interrogator.

--

They didn’t know if the person had said anything this time, or just saw the look on their face… But they felt the pain as the rod came into contact with their torso again. Forget everything else they survived in their lifetime, this was the worst. Distantly, through the pain, they were glad Amel never used his power on any of them.

--

Illon had blinked awake as they heard Isabella starting to yell. Had they gotten up though? No. Not for a lack of trying, per say. But they still hadn’t gotten up. They weren’t sure how long it’d been yet but they weren’t sure if they cared either.

--

Even before being told the truth last night, Illon had always had days where things were harder to do than they should’ve been. They were just usually able to force themselves to do them anyway. But at least five minutes in and they had made no progress.

--

They were trying! They really were. But their body felt like lead and their eyes were heavy and breathing was hard. Especially after the dream they’d woken up from. But they didn’t even care about the dream- They had to get up, had to get ready, had to get moving. They were slowing down the group and wasting their time. The group would leave them if they wasted too much time- Either that or Isabella would collapse the tent on them and then they’d be forced to get up then… Maybe. If they could force themselves up even after that. They weren’t sure if they would be able to.

--

But they were trying. And they were failing. Getting up shouldn’t be hard, it wasn’t hard for anyone else. Why was it only ever hard for them? Why was it only when they had to do something? Why couldn’t they get up- Why couldn’t they stop wasting everyone’s time..?

--

Their vision was blurry, and their cheeks wet. But they weren’t crying. They didn’t feel like they were, at least. They weren’t shaking, at least. They weren’t sure if they would be able to, even if they wanted to. Not with how their bones felt like they were full of and made of lead, and they had fifteen hundred tons holding them down.

--

The group would leave them behind if they didn’t hurry. They’d realize that Amel was right, that they should’ve been left. That they should’ve forgotten about them. That they should’ve left them to die. That they were nothing but a liability, always slowing the group down and using up resources that would help the others more.

--

And yet they still couldn’t move, so they stayed laying there. Their gray-blue eyes staring at the wall opposite of the way in. Their black bangs sticking to their forehead in sweat that had been there since they’d woken up.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 10:38 PM

Lost Memories
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Posts: 6646
#2665710
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

I packed your bag already, except for a change of clothes for you to put on today. Make sure to collapse the tent after you change. What happened to your arm, Agnar? Do you need any bandages? I can grab the first aid kit from your bag if you want to dress it when you change.

Agnar looked over at Eni as they walked out with bags and paused, unsure of how to react at first. He knew the proper response, a smile, a thank you, a typical 'Agnar' joke, but his head felt fuzzy, and his vision seemed to blur a little when he looked at his parental figure.

"I'm okay, Eni. It's just a scratch. Thanks." His voice was quieter than normal and he brushed past Eni, slipping into his tent and changing into the outfit Eni had left him. Black sweatpants and a light gray T-shirt. He didn't take long to change, but he closed his eyes for a moment before actually stepping outside again and collapsing his tent. He really needed to get himself together, he was worrying people.

Once he'd packed up his tent, Agnar went over and put it with the rest of his things, then he hesitated for a long moment before turning to Eni and silently stepping into them, wrapping his arms around their waist and burying his face in their chest. He figured he must really look like a child right now, but he didn't care. He needed comfort. He needed to know that Eni hadn't meant what they'd said in the argument, and, more than anything, Agnar needed to know that he wasn't going to lose the only parental figure he'd ever had.

Isabella watched Agnar hug Eni and she smiled ever so slightly. Good. She thought. He needed that. They both did.

Then she looked over at Illon's tent and pursed her lips. They still weren't up and ten minutes had passed. "Illon! Get up! I've got to collapse the tent on you now!" She warned, starting to head that way. She was stopped, however, by Ambrose.

"Let me speak to them, please?" Isabella blinked in surprise. Out of everyone, she had not expected Ambrose to speak up.

"Me too!" Esta added, trotting over. "I should see if they're okay. I didn't fully talk to them last night like I usually do." She said, sounding worried. Ambrose, though, to both the girls' surprise, shook his head.

"Um, I wanted to talk to them alone, actually. Is that okay?"

Esta looked surprised and Isabella raised an eyebrow. Geez, the group was off this morning, she thought. "I mean, I guess..." She shrugged, not really sure what was going on.

"Okay, but promise to call me if they're hurt, alright?" Esta questioned, eyes filled with anxiety.

"Of course," Ambrose said quickly. "Thank you both." He dipped his head and then slipped inside Illon's tent, pausing when he saw his friend laying there, eyes glued to the tent wall. They looked completely... broken. Just as Eni had warned.

Ambrose's shoulders slumped. This was his fault.

Taking a deep breath, he crawled over to Illon and sat down carefully next to them. He'd taken his guitar case off and laid it next to the rest of his things before entering Illon's tent. Ambrose reached out and lightly brushed his fingers through Illon's bangs.

"Hey, El," He murmured, his voice quiet. He didn't put on a fake smile. That would be pointless, and it couldn't possibly do anything to help Illon. "You want to get up?" He hesitated. "I don't blame you if not." He sighed, his fingers mindlessly running through Illon's hair. He had a faint memory of his mother doing the same for him when he was sick, but he couldn't recall any details. "If you don't I'll stay with you. I don't mind too much, though Esta will probably be a bit upset." Ambrose allowed a very small but genuine smile to touch his lips. He followed Illon's gaze and stared at the wall as well.

"I'm sorry, Illon. Not for telling you the truth, but for how the truth hurts. I hope you know how much we need you, how much I do. If you don't believe me, that's okay too." His voice shook slightly, and Ambrose had to pause a moment to steady himself again. "We haven't given you much reason to trust us, huh? I guess I kind of failed there. I'm sorry for that too. I guess I'm sorry for a lot of things, because none of it is fair. But I also hope you know that even though I'm quiet, I can be stubborn. Once I decide I'm going to do something, I do it. I promised you I wasn't going to leave you again, and I meant that. That means, if you stay, I stay. If you go, I go. I may as well have shaken Salen's hand."

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 29, 2021 11:38 PM

Overthink101
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Amel Wyther | 26 | Male | Demisexual | Leader | Mentions; All

Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; All

Eni Vizin | 27 | Non-Binary | Demisexual | Mentor | Mentions; All

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; All

--

I'm okay, Eni. It's just a scratch. Thanks.” And just like that, Eni was more worried than they had been before. Who wouldn’t be? Their son had practically shied away from them. They assumed it was their own fault though, probably due to the argument…

--

What Eni wasn’t expecting was when Agnar went up to them and hugged them. They stood, hesitant for a second, and then wrapped their own arms around their child. Holding him close, one hand in his hair and the other across his back. Was this forgiveness about the argument? Eni hoped so, they didn’t want there to be any more tension between the two of them.

--

Illon! Get up! I've got to collapse the tent on you now!

--

Amel glanced at the last tent standing. Illon’s. Of course it was theirs. Why wouldn’t it be? They were always slacking off. At this point the group should just go, Illon could catch up if they really wanted to.

--

Let me speak to them, please?

--

Me too! I should see if they're okay. I didn't fully talk to them last night like I usually do.

--

Um, I wanted to talk to them alone, actually. Is that okay?

--

I mean, I guess…

--

Okay, but promise to call me if they're hurt, alright?

--

Of course. Thank you both.

--

Salen looked at the two as Ambrose walked towards and into Illon’s tent, all of his stuff being set down next to it. She was rather worried too, and went over to Esta and Isabella. “Do you think they’re alright?

--

Amel scoffed, staring at the group of three. “Who cares? We should just go. Ambrose can get Illon and the two can catch up. It’s not our problem how they’re doing. We’ve got to get going.

--

Illon heard when Isabella said they had to get up or get a tent collapsed on them. And yet their eyes stayed glued to the wall of the tent and they didn’t move. They tried to, for the umpteenth time, of course, but in the end? They hadn’t moved at all. All they could do was wait for when the tent would collapse on them. Only… It didn’t. Time passed without the tent falling onto them, and then they heard as someone entered.

--

Immediately, they guessed it was Esta. She had seen some of their worse days from before they had been taken, where conversation took everything from them and doing anything required energy that they just didn’t have. So maybe she had recognized it, and decided to check on them. Or she was still worried from last night.

--

And then a voice spoke and Illon knew that they had guessed wrong. “Hey, El.” Ambrose. His fingers ran through their bangs and yet they still couldn’t drag their eyes from the wall.

--

You want to get up? I don't blame you if not.

--

Illon did want to get up though. They just… Couldn’t. Their vision blurred more, certain that if Ambrose knew that then he’d see them as what they were for the group, for everyone… A liability. A disadvantage.

--

If you don't I'll stay with you. I don't mind too much, though Esta will probably be a bit upset.

--

Esta.. She was probably worried about them. Very worried. Extremely worried. They still couldn’t find it in them to get up though. And wasn’t that just terrible of them. Not even able to get up for their best friend… The best friend that they left drained, used, and feeling guilty… They sank further. If Esta wasn’t so blindingly kind then she would probably hate them… What kind of friend did what they did? Not any good ones. Esta would be so much better off if they hadn’t been saved. If the group had listened to Amel and Eni and Karma. If they were dead. If they had never came in the first place.

--

I'm sorry, Illon. Not for telling you the truth, but for how the truth hurts. I hope you know how much we need you, how much I do. If you don't believe me, that's okay too. We haven't given you much reason to trust us, huh? I guess I kind of failed there. I'm sorry for that too. I guess I'm sorry for a lot of things, because none of it is fair. But I also hope you know that even though I'm quiet, I can be stubborn. Once I decide I'm going to do something, I do it. I promised you I wasn't going to leave you again, and I meant that. That means, if you stay, I stay. If you go, I go. I may as well have shaken Salen's hand.

--

Illon wanted to say that no, none of the group had failed. That everyone was doing what they thought was right, even Amel and Karma and Eni. That he shouldn’t be sorry. That they trusted the group with their life, figuratively and literally. That they were sorry. For always messing up. But their voice wouldn't cooperate.

--

They wanted to get up, to look Ambrose in the eye and prove everything wrong. But their eyes stayed on the wall and their body was heavy. And the more they thought about how more than half the group had fought to get them back, the more they thought about how right Amel and Karma and Eni had been. And the more they thought about Esta and how upset she’d be if they didn’t come, the more they thought about how much better of Esta would be without them in her life. And the more they thought, the more they sunk into the ground, body heavier and breathing slower and yet shallower too.

--

They wanted to get up, they really did. But everyone would be better off if they just… Didn’t. If they just laid there and let some wild animal find them and eat them. If the group left them. The group wouldn’t have to worry about being slowed down, Esta wouldn’t be as tired all the time, the air wouldn’t be as tense- Everything would be so much better if they just… Stopped here. If they didn’t continue. And their body sunk lower as they thought, vision blurry and close to tears that they weren’t even sure really existed.


Edited at November 30, 2021 01:36 AM by Overthink101
Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 30, 2021 10:01 PM

Lost Memories
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

Do you think they’re alright?

Esta shook her head worriedly. "I don't know." She murmured, eyes filled with anxiety as she watched the tent.

Isabella put a comforting hand on Esta's shoulder and smiled lightly at Salen. "I'm sure they'll be fine. They're strong."

Karma, who had been listening from a little ways away, scoffed. "Of course they aren't fine. When were they ever?" They kicked a stray pebble and toyed with the sleeves of their jacket. Isabella shot them a warning look, but Karma, as usual, chose to ignore her. "What? I'm only telling the truth. We all know it. Half of us aren't fine, maybe more than that even. Are you that oblivious to it?"

"Shut it, Karma." Bella snapped while Esta looked over with wide eyes.

"Wait, really? Who's hurt? Can I help? What do you mean?"

"It's fine, Star, Karma's just being dramatic."

Karma rolled their eyes. They didn't understand why Isabella was pushing away the obvious truth. Illon had been even less talkative than usual since they got back, Esta was very clearly hurting herself, Agnar and Salen were both constantly pushing themselves past their limits, Ambrose was hiding something, though Karma wasn't sure what yet, and Karma was... Well, Karma didn't like to think of them.

"Why should I, this whole thing was a bad idea. And, no, for God's sake, Esta, Illon is not okay. Obviously."

Esta looked back towards the tent again, biting her cheek nervously. Isabella gave Karma a death glare. "I just got a great idea, Karma! Either you drop it and shut your mouth or you can deal with some flames, alright?'

Karma glared back for a moment before dropping their gaze and slipping back into the shadows. Bella sighed.

"Illon will be okay, Star, and Ambrose told you he would call if he needed anything."

"I guess..." Esta agreed reluctantly, looking back at Isabella and Salen. "You're right, I'm just worried."

---

Agnar stayed in Eni's grasp for a long moment, feeling tears rise in his eyes. He was so tired that he honestly didn't feel like he had the strength to stop them. Or any strength at all, for that matter. Truth be told, he'd started sprinting again after about an hour of controlling himself. He just couldn't help it, his mind was reeling, and the only way he'd figured out how to stop it was by pushing himself physically to the point of almost breaking. Then the physical pain was enough of a distraction for his brain to focus on that instead of the negative thoughts from before.

"Eni," He managed, his voice was quiet enough that only Eni could hear, and it sounded strained and hurt. "I'm tired. I don't want to do this anymore." He didn't try to control his tears or shaking, there was no point. His body and mind were both too exhausted at this point, and he was honestly amazed that his legs were still supporting him, they felt like they were going to give in. "I don't want to remember. I'm so tired."

---

Ambrose seemed to realize that his talking wasn't doing too much, so he fell silent. He wasn't really sure what to do, it felt like Illon was somehow getting farther and farther away. Not intentionally, more like they were being dragged, pulled away from Ambrose and everything else. Without really thinking, the traveler continued to toy gently with Illon's hair. He didn't really mean to, it just kind of happened. When Ambrose was nervous he had a habit of fidgeting his hands, but it wasn't usually a problem, because, more often than not, he had his guitar and could play a tune on it to calm himself. He was feeling very guilty about what was going on and he didn't know how to handle it. He hated seeing his friend so depressed and it upset him greatly.

He just sat there with Illon and started humming, another nervous habit. Ambrose hated silence, especially when it was uncomfortable. Now was definitely uncomfortable, but not because of Illon, more because Ambrose didn't know what to do.

---

Several minutes passed and Esta finally sighed. "Okay, I'm going to check on them. I can't take it anymore." She stated, gently pulling away from Isabella, who had wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and heading into Illon's tent.

Isabella watched Esta, knowing it was pointless to try to stop her. Esta wasn't stubborn about much, she was generally very 'go with the flow,' but when it came to medical stuff she didn't take any risks.

The ginger-headed girl paused just inside the tent, taking in the view. Her mouth made an 'oh' shape when she saw Illon still in their sleeping bag. They didn't look physically hurt, maybe a little pale, and their breathing seemed slightly off, but nothing super worrisome there. It was Illon's eyes that made Esta pause.

She knew that look, she'd been treating Illon for years, and they'd gone through several times like this, when their body seemed unable to move and they had no energy left to even speak. Esta did manage a smile, though, when she saw how Ambrose was taking everything. It was sweet, she thought, his hand gently running through Illon's hair and a quiet hum rising from his chest as he stared at the wall.

Taking a deep breath, the healer focused and allowed her power to come out, recognizing her friend's auras. They were both dark, Ambrose's more with guilt and worry, and Illon's with pain. Many different levels of pain. She softly let the air out and relaxed again, walking over and sitting across from the two, putting on her gentle doctor smile.

"Hey, guys."

Ambrose jumped a little when Esta spoke, not having realized she was there even when she sat in front of him.

"Oh... Hello, Esta." He murmured.

"Hey, Ambrose, could I feel Illon's forehead, if you don't mind?" Esta asked, her voice soft and gentle.

"Of course!" Ambrose said quickly, carefully pulling his hand away from Illon. Esta placed her hand lightly on Illon's forehead and nodded.

"Temperature is normal, as I thought. Stress and anxiety, huh, El?" She asked warmly, not expecting an answer. "That's completely fine, you need rest, and you need to try to calm down a little, okay? You don't have to talk, just breathe. We're here for you."

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesNovember 30, 2021 11:18 PM

Overthink101
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Amel Wyther | 26 | Male | Demisexual | Leader | Mentions; All

Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; All

Eni Vizin | 27 | Non-Binary | Demisexual | Mentor | Mentions; All

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; All

--

Eni, I'm tired. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to remember. I'm so tired.

--

Eni held Agnar, not sure what to say. This was definitely about the argument, about how Agnar was trying and couldn’t forgive them for saying that Illon was dead… Now was as good a time as any to apologize then, wasn’t it?

--

Agni… I’m so sorry for what I said. I shouldn’t have said any of it. I especially shouldn’t have urged you to give up. I’m so sorry, my adopted son.” Their own voice was quieter than it normally was, spoken only for Agnar to hear it. This was personal, after all. A moment meant only for a parent and their son.

*~*~*~*

I don't know.

--

Amel scoffed as he was ignored, rolling his eyes and deciding to sit by the place where the group had made the last fire of this camping place.

--

I'm sure they'll be fine. They're strong.

--

Of course they aren't fine. When were they ever? What? I'm only telling the truth. We all know it. Half of us aren't fine, maybe more than that even. Are you that oblivious to it?

--

Shut it, Karma.

--

Wait, really? Who's hurt? Can I help? What do you mean?

--

It's fine, Star, Karma's just being dramatic.

--

Why should I, this whole thing was a bad idea. And, no, for God's sake, Esta, Illon is not okay. Obviously.

--

I just got a great idea, Karma! Either you drop it and shut your mouth or you can deal with some flames, alright?

--

Salen was sure if that was necessary but it definitely seemed to do the trick on getting Karma to stop, So she supposed that everything was fine as long as it ended fine.

--

Illon will be okay, Star, and Ambrose told you he would call if he needed anything.

--

I guess… You're right, I'm just worried.

--

Salen gave the two her own small, confident smile. The group could really only wait for Ambrose and Illon. But the two would be fine, they were both stronger than they seemed.

*~*~*~*

Illon’s thoughts wouldn’t turn away from the fact that everything would be better without them. Just like always, just like before. Only now Illon didn’t feel like they were actually there. In the now.

--

They felt like they were twelve again, in one of their many childhood rooms. Staring at the millions of papers in front of them without being able to really commit. They felt like they were twenty-one again, sitting on a couch in the place that they shared with their colleague who had just left. Work strewn everywhere on the ground, tables, and counters. So many things they could do to take their mind off of it. And yet, they were unable to commit to any.

--

And they could practically feel as their eyes started to glaze over instead of blur, which was never good with them. Never when they were like this. So they fought against it, they couldn’t do that now. They couldn’t completely shut down. They couldn’t. And then they heard through their left as Ambrose began to hum quietly, still playing with their hair. It didn’t distract their thoughts for long, but long enough to stall the glazing.

*~*~*~*

Okay, I'm going to check on them. I can't take it anymore.

--

Salen nodded and watched as Esta went into Illon’s tent. She looked at Isabella, “You think letting her go in there is a good idea? I know she can handle herself and all, but quite frankly? She does tend to put everyone else too far above herself. I don’t want her doing that in this situation too and all…

--

Illon heard when another person entered, and this time they were completely sure it was Esta. No one else had any reason to come in here. And after a few seconds, they were proved right.

--

They could see her blurry outline sitting in front of the both of them. “Hey, guys.” And that was definitely Esta’s voice.

--

And despite how they were usually just always happy to see Esta… Their mood dipped in knowing that Esta would be better off without them in her life.

--

Oh... Hello, Esta.

--

Hey, Ambrose, could I feel Illon's forehead, if you don't mind?

--

And Illon felt even worse. She definitely knew what this was, she always made sure to cross out illness first if she knew her real theory was right… Esta shouldn’t be having to deal with this. No one should be having to deal with this. No one should be having to deal with them… Things would be better if they slipped away. Only Esta would never leave them to rot, no matter how much they deserved to be.

--

Of course!

--

The familiar feeling of Esta checking for a fever barely crossed their senses as they thought. If they slipped away then they wouldn’t have to deal with remembering… Well, anything. The only bad thing about slipping away now was that that meant that Esta wouldn’t know what was going on with them, that everyone else would still remember, that everyone else would then know, that they’d still be oh so relatively aware enough to see everyone else suffering, and that they wouldn’t remember the time between first slipping and when they came back.

--

Temperature is normal, as I thought. Stress and anxiety, huh, El? That's completely fine, you need rest, and you need to try to calm down a little, okay? You don't have to talk, just breathe. We're here for you.

--

Rest sounded good. But they didn’t want to sleep, not after the dream. No, the kind of rest that they thought of first was the state they’d be in if they allowed themselves to slip. That they’d be in if they allowed their eyes to glaze over. But then Esta would worry even more about them.

--

They tried to focus on their breathing, for Esta’s sake. Tried to think about something other than leaving. But the mask was making it a bit harder to get in the right amount of breath to do the breathing exercises that they’d learned when they were fifteen. Taught to them to help against the glazing and the overall extremely severe anxiety that they had. And their thoughts kept trying to turn themselves around.

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesDecember 1, 2021 10:39 AM

Lost Memories
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

Agni… I’m so sorry for what I said. I shouldn’t have said any of it. I especially shouldn’t have urged you to give up. I’m so sorry, my adopted son.

"I'm not mad," Agnar whispered, still clinging to his parental figure. "I-I forgive you, I just... I don't know. I just feel tired, like I can't stop thinking when I try, and I fight it, but it doesn't work. I can't sleep, I-I just want it to stop. I'm scared, Eni." He breathed. "I don't want to feel like this anymore."

---

You think letting her go in there is a good idea? I know she can handle herself and all, but quite frankly? She does tend to put everyone else too far above herself. I don’t want her doing that in this situation too and all…

Isabella shook her head. "I'm not sure. I feel like, even if I did stop her she'd still stress about it, you know she won't stop worrying." She sighed. "I'm worried about her too, though, you're right. Star does have a tendency to forget that her own health is just as important as everyone else's."

---

Karma walked back over to their stuff and sat down on the ground, rummaging through their bag and pulling out their notebook and pencil, starting to doodle again. They figured the group would probably be stuck here for a while. They were annoyed, but there was no point in complaining. Being set on fire wasn't really their ideal way to die.

---

Ambrose automatically started doing the breathing exercises as well, matching Illon without really thinking. He'd been doing breathing exercises since he was little, living with anxiety gave him reason to learn things like that.

After a few moments, however, he managed to calm himself slightly and looked back to Illon, who was obviously not doing as well.

Esta bit her cheek, worried that Illon was struggling. Ambrose met her eyes and managed a small smile, Esta smiled back, but it was half-hearted.

"I can grab my guitar," Ambrose suggested quietly, that had seemed to help Illon calm down earlier, and Esta enjoyed his music, so... Esta nodded.

"That could be good." She agreed.

Ambrose nodded and rose, slipping out of the tent for a moment to grab his guitar, then disappearing again. He settled down next to Illon again, taking his guitar out and starting to play, humming along with the tune. He felt more comfortable with his instrument in hand, having something he could control and understand.

Esta closed her eyes and listened to the music for a while before opening them again and looking towards Illon. Hopefully, this was helping her friend as well. She just hoped Amel wasn't too mad about being held up for a little.

---

Upon seeing Ambrose grab his guitar, Isabella let herself sit down, patting the ground next to her to signal Salen that she could sit as well. "I think they might be a while." She stated, not annoyed, but not necessarily happy either. "No point in standing the whole time. Hopefully, Ambrose and Esta can help Illon and we can get going, but I don't plan on leaving them behind."

---

Karma looked up from their notebook when Ambrose came out and silently shifted closer to Illon's tent. They wouldn't admit it out loud, but they loved listening to Ambrose's music. It was one of the only things that they could actually calmly focus on for more than a few minutes at a time.


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