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Well, that was another small step towards recovery. In any one of them might not seem much, but compared to the dreadful state the poor girl had been left in after such horrifying discovery, it was actually significant progress.
Smiling warmly in return, Caro said, "That's good ... It's perfectly understandable to still feel that. This will all probably take quite some time to process. But we will be able here to see you through it as much as we can."
Even though it was clearly not intended in the way she was used, Arf's comment on family almost made her heart sing. After everything that had happened, between the contest and the aftermath of Fate reading that book, it had seemed like she wouldn't be able to have a positive relationship with the two of them again. She yarned to be able to tell them just how much she really cared, but it was not meant to be yet. It would only add more confusion and complication. But if she was to do it at some point, this might help ease them into. Still, Sans was right. Forcing even this much on them would not be right. It had to come naturally, from time spent together and all ...
"Yeah, I suppose it kinda does, but only if you are comfortable with it," she said. About the matter of the suggestion of what to do next, she said, "Yeah, we should all try to enjoy as much as possible of it. I will admit that I never had the chance to do something whatever this place has become , but that sense of discovery will only add to it, right?"
Sans then left to talk to the man he had asked to wait until their ended. Soon after, Cole started to sort of freak out about Papyrus ... So he hadn't heard about the wish then. She had better go sort that out ...
She briefly said to Fate and Arf,
"Excuse me, I need to go to tend to that ..." before getting up and heading over to where Cole was still seated to on the floor. She then sat down on a spot next to him, close but not quite touching.
She then spoke reassuringly,
"Everything is alright, Cole. Yes, that was Papyrus. And until recently you would be right. But everything changed yesterday. A new friend of ours, Lucas, used the wish on Sans' world. Everything and everyone is back, nothing bad ever happened, including that awful war in the distant past. Humans and Monsters have now always co-exist peacefully on the surface ... And you know what else? You helped to make this all possible in a way too! You see, it was Lewis that asked Lucas to make that wish and he wouldn't have been able to do that if he hadn't heard about Sans' world from you."
STRE|Library|Yes, Ben, she's secretly royalty.
Train nodded when Ben asked if that was Eve. "It's a nickname for the princess" "Which is also a nickname."Rinslet butted in. In comparison to Sven, she was much more relaxed, but there was an undercurrent of...something under the smile. Similarly, a look crossed over Sven's face before he went back to his default expression when Ben mentioned being unable to tell. Train whispered something into Sven's ear which made him relax, but when Train spoke next, his tone was completely and utterly serious.
"She's hunching, slightly. There are bags around her eyes. Her hair is messier than usual, and she doesn't look like she's been eating nearly enough. Her right hand keeps lightly clenching, and her left hand keeps going to her right ribcage. She's in a library with all the books that exist in the multiverse, but she hasn't mentioned reading any. And there's a look in her eyes I never want to see on anyone, let alone the princess. So I ask again. What. Is. Wrong?"
edited 18th Mar '17 2:40:38 PM by secretlyasuperhero
When Train started to explain in great detail what exactly he was talking about, Ben winced. She had seemed for the most part fine today, but the way that they were explaining it they sounded like he was being a complete idiot for not noticing these things sooner. And maybe he was. He frowned, looking embarrassed and ashamed.
"I told you, I don't know. I saw her reading yesterday, she was reading a book on metals from her home universe. We've all been run ragged by this City so we're all pretty drained from that I guess. She seemed fine yesterday, I don't know what's wrong, I swear!" he told them. His emotions resurged from the conversation with Gwen and Max and he fought back more tears, shuddering slightly. "I wouldn't do anything to hurt her. Not on p-purpose. If I hurt her I'm sorry. I really am..."
Lewis - Library - Embarrassing childhood crushes, and angst
I was not giggling like a dork at Ben's flustered red face. Nor was I making a futile attempt to stifle any such laughter, being that there was nothing to repress. And I most certainly didn't discretely take a picture of him whilst internally squealing at the adorableness.
Okay, that last statement was actually true. What I actually did was discretely catch it on video, because clearly I'm a mature adult.
It was pretty funny until it wasn't.
No, of course it wouldn't stay cute. One of Eve's friends, the one who in effect called her his little princess, asked what was the matter with Eve, pointing out that she looked like shit when Ben missed the point in his nervousness. Oh boy. So she was still affected by what happened two days ago, and they could tell. Ohh...
Ben. No. Ben, you're gonna get yourself killed. No. Stop.
I quit goofing around and pulled him aside quickly just as he finished spilling the words out. "I'll just be a moment, you guys!"
I turned him to face me, holding him by the shoulders. "I'm going to stop you before you hurt yourself. I'm not sure how much she told you about two days ago, but she got stabbed and taken by an animatronic fox and bled out, and then the thing with Cole happened. That's what she told me. From the sound of it it's still affecting her even though y'all worked things out already. Now, look at me. I want you to take a moment to just calm down, take a deep breath, and then try again, this time with less panicking. Breathe..."
Lewis yanked him out of the way of the display, and explained to him what had really went on a couple days ago. Not only had Eve been forced to kill Cole, but she had actually died.
Why hadn't he noticed? Why couldn't he tell? Why was his mind so clouded that he couldn't see what was right in front of his face?
Ben's breathing hastened, staring glassy-eyed at Lewis and not moving a muscle, his skin tone turning pale as the implications came to him.
Ben had let Eve get hurt, and he couldn't have saved her. Ghostfreak was right. He couldn't protect people in the City. He couldn't protect Eve.
SRT|Library|It Was At The Moment Lewis Knew
Train and Sven shared a Look at what Ben said. In that Look, a million words were exchanged, while Rinslet, who was watching the conversation, but not actively taking part smiled reassuringly at the close to crying Ben. She then sent a Look of her own towards the two men, moving them out of the way with a firm push and seating herself in front of the screen. "Ben, you did nothing wrong."
She jumped slightly at the skeleton, beckoning Train and Sven back to the screen when Lewis began to talk. Train heard it, with a horrified expression on his face, quickly sharing it with the other two in hushed whispers.
"Skeleton person. What's"the thing with Cole"?"
Ara Haan (Streets) - Eric Search Party
Was it always that easy to tell I was nervous? Well... at least Jack didn't seem to be all that concerned. It did reassure me a little, and allowed me to focus a bit more in what I had to do... but not immediately.
It took me a couple of seconds to stop looking at him, even when he took off to find Eric. What managed to bring my attention back to the children was one of them suddenly giving everyone instructions. It reminded me a little of a certain someone I knew, standing so proudly even though he was so young.
And he also seemed to know what he was doing.
"Right, try not to split up," I warned all the children, trying my best to keep them all in my sight at all times. "So... what are your names?"
War, huh... This guy was clearly trying to be vague about things, which was something Sans could understand. He wasn't about to go digging for the guy's problems, today was really not the day to spend being a therapist.
"meh, i doubt you'll be able to ruin anything." Sans shrugged again. "listen, i know you probably have lots of serious problems to deal with, i know i did. but you just gotta take some day to let go of everything and just enjoy yourself. you'll have plenty of days to worry about all the stuff going on in your life, but this will probably be your only opportunity to have fun in whatever this city became today. i'm sure taking a day off won't make a difference."
Arcade frowned in thought as Sans spoke. From what he'd heard about Sans' world, he also had reason to be as moody. If he could find some peace of mind in the City, Arcade could at least try. He sighed and mumbled, "you're right, brooding hasn't solved any of my problems so far. I haven't left the library yet, what's so fun about today?"
Library ~ Mixed Feelings
"Well, I'm all right if it if my master is," Arf said, before turning to Fate. "So, Fate, what's it going to be?"
Fate gave Sans and Caro a look that was somewhere between uncertainty and gratefulness. Then she stared down at her lap again, before finally glancing between all three of Sans, Caro, and Arf.
"Well...I...." she started, "...that sounds wonderful. It's not like we had anything else planned for today, or perhaps the rest of our time here...."
Arf smiled before turning back to Sans and Caro. "And there you have it."
By that time the other two had gone to address the two newcomers. For the time being, they simply opted to listen to their conversations, although Caro's talk with the boy in the rabbit suit, who apparently was called "Cole," got their attention more simply because it was closer.
"i didn't get to see much yet, but remember how the city looked two days ago? think that, but with less trees, more properly built, more colorful and it doesn't suck. lots of fun looking structures, happy music, no stuff trying to kill us and not being able to get physically hurt in any possible way to begin with . so if you feel particularly daring you could do something rad like going to the top of big building and jumping off the roof and make a crater on the floor without getting injured."
Cole looked to Caro as she explained the situation to him. Lucas? He knew Lucas. ...it was good to know that he seemed to be a nice enough kid that he would use a wish to save Sans's world.
Still, he didn't look any less incredulous as Caro laid out all of it, including telling him that he had a part in this wish happening, indirect as it was. If anything, his face went from concerned to just looking deeply skeptical, though he was still hugging the stuffed rabbit tightly. He was quiet for a second, turning his gaze to the side, vaguely in the direction of the Tairees, frowning ever so slightly.
"...you...you think that's real, then?"
Lewis - Library - He dun goofed
Well that made it worse.
Shit. Damn it. Of fucking course it did. Ugh, what did I expect, fuck me.
"Oh, oh no, no, Ben. It's alright. Things happen, and sometimes there's nothing to be done to fix that. And that doesn't make you incapable, it just means life or death I guess sucks and the best you can do is move on and be ready for whatever might come in the future. If you need a few moments I can—"
Eve's friend began prying into the matter with Cole, which he'd apparently overheard me mention despite my best efforts to keep the volume down.
"...try taking the call from you."
I took the tablet. "Well uh, see, it's complicated. Ah, where do I start, Ben uh. Kinda flipped out when I first told him. Uh..."
Breathe. You can do this. It was about their little girl, they. Deserved to know.
"Well, there was this thing the other day, and it was armed and had this bullshit plot armor like your stereotypical horror villain because it sorta was one. And there was this fellow, Cole, he's a friend of ours, and it was mutilating him and she sorta...put him out of his misery? He's fine now due to the whole respawn thing, and they made up yesterday, but she was a wreck for a good deal of time and. It was bad."
I shrank away from the screen, afraid for Eve of how they would react. "Please don't hold it against her."
Arcade's face remained mostly impassive, considering what Sans was telling him. His eyes widened and he took a step back when Sans described something as 'rad,' but he realized the word was being used differently than he was used to.
Arcade took a deep breath and smiled slightly, if he was going to let loose, he would have to at least look the part. "That does sound fun," he said, "so, if you really want me to stick around, I guess I could oblige."
Ben continued to stare dumbfounded and horrified at what Lewis was saying, even after Rinslet tried to inform him that he had done nothing wrong. No, he had. A real hero would've kept her from getting hurt, kept Cole from getting hurt. Heroes don't let people die.
As if right on cue, a shadowy form descended from the upper floors, a purplish eye piercing from the darkness. The shadows faded and the pastel-colored form of Ghostfreak appeared. "And now you see the truth, Tennyson. It is typical of you. You talk like you are a great hero, yet you are not. You are simply a scared, small child in a world that is too large for you, too dangerous for you. You cannot save the ones you care about, the ones you love. A true hero would have saved Eve, a true hero would have saved Cole. But you didn't. Because you're not a true hero. You are a failure."
Ben started shaking. "N-no... I'm... I'm n-n-not a failure!" he told the ghostly alien. Ghostfreak's eye narrowed.
"You deceive yourself. That watch on your wrist does not make you a hero. Tell me, boy. How many people have you saved? Have you failed to save? And which number will continue to rise...?" Ghostfreak continued to sneer, in his same predatory voice that he was using before. "Once this day is over I will kill your precious City Knights, and Lewis, and everyone you care about in this City! But most of all I will kill Eve. Over, and over, and over, right in front of your eyes, so you will know what it is like to be a failure as a hero! And once you are broken I will break you further, and you will suffer as my puppet, trapped forever in the casing that makes you strong!" Ghostfreak stated, a snarl entering his voice.
Ben continued to shake. Finally, Ben started to wail, the sound of crying permeating through the library's first floor.
Once again, a silent conversation. Breaking apart from the group, Train kicked the wall nearby. There was a dent in it now. Sven muttered something about repair costs, patting Train on the back when he rejoined the group, and then went and deepened the dent himself. Meanwhile, Rinslet stayed at the monitor, mouthing thank you at Lewis.
And then Ghostfreak appeared. Eve, who had mostly been watching from afar, started to make her way back to the group then. Meanwhile, Train slowly went stiller, and stiller and stiller, and Rinslet used her grappling hook to unnessicarily restrain Sven. Eve arrived at the others, waving at the people in the monitor, and her face was utterly impassive at Ghostfreak's threats.
Ben starting to cry broke the dam. Eve bent down, patting him on the back reassuringly, and stood back up and faced Ghostfreak.
"Do you really think I'm afraid of you, Zs' Skayr?"
Back at the tablet, Train opened his eyes, seemingly calmer. He wasn't calmer.
Arcade had a rather odd reaction, was there something about what he said that was startling to him? Sans couldn't really tell, but it was better not to ask, at least he seemed more willing to go with them.
"all righty..." said Sans, then glancing around the library and taking notice of Tuudol amongst the crowd, "i need to take care of a few other things, so just wait a bit with the girls and fluffy bunny there," he said, pointing at Cole with his thumb.
With that, Sans walked over to Tuudol and the two headed guy whose name he couldn't remember. They must've been there to make calls home too so he didn't really want to intrude, but it was better to get all this out of the way.
"hey, you guys," he greeted them, waving.
Lewis - Library - Oh come on
Ben, unfortunately, was not snapping out of it. It seemed there was truly nothing to do but wait it out. Eve's friends flipped out, meanwhile, as expected, but the woman was apparently grateful that I'd been honest with them at least.
I nodded at her, bringing Ben closer are you fucking kidding me why now
Being that I'd intended to hug him anyway, I held him by my side, wrapping the cape the day gave me around him for good measure. It wouldn't accomplish anything since there was no physical threat and Ben was out of it as is, but the message was clear.
Eve, too, came to his defense, and looking at the tablet that friend of hers who'd called her princess had this look in his eyes.
I looked back at the alien.
"First of all, screw you, I'm invulnerable as is. And second, good fucking luck, because ah fuck it."
Deciding I didn't care to chew out a sadistic demon of an alien, I conjured a chair (that looked suspiciously like those big seats you see mall Santas sitting in) and threw it at him.
The plan of keeping Yoshika away from Seiga would be easier said than done, given the fact that every turn in this city could lead to her regardless of location relative to each other. But it was a start, Lucas supposed. Well, they should probably get to finding Jack. He started saying to Yoshika "Well, I guess it's better than nothing. Let's just find Jack so we can... Wait there he is!"
As he was talking, Lucas saw the person they were searching for swoop out of the sky and wave before flying past. This wouldn't do. As he started to follow, Lucas called out to Jack "Wait! We really need to talk to you! Yoshika needs help right now. She... She's like she was two days ago!" Hopefully Jack would deem this reason to come back to them.
Miss Tairee 1, at the central desks, looked over at Forrest Gump. "Sir? Here you are" Miss Tairee 1 said, and after a few taps on the keyboard a note appeared in front of Forrest with a blur. When he got around to reading it, he'd see...
Hello. Yes, I am the one "behind this" as you put it. The changes in clothes and such will be happening every few days or so, yes. I will take your suggestions into consideration. Thank you for the feedback.
Beneath that was of course the signature of Miss Tairee's boss, a multi-dimensional scribble that Forrest couldn't read and would slowly start to give him a headache if he tried to.
Elsewhere, Calvin would find that handing the phone back to be unnecessary, as it suddenly vanished from his hands only a moment after he hung up the call. Miss Tairee 4 looked down at him again and gave him an apologetic smile. "You'll all be sent home in two weeks at the latest. There's a chance you could get sent home before that, but... It is admittedly small" Miss Tairee 4 said to him.
It was not long after that that suddenly Ben started crying. All ten of Miss Tairee paused for a moment, all her expressions going a bit blank. Then some typing started.
With a brief blur, Zs' Skayr was suddenly in a bubble, Lewis' chair bouncing off it. Then said bubble contracted and forced him to coil around on himself; of course it wasn't painful due to the day but it would be rather awkward and probably a bit humiliating as he was forced to occupy a space about the size of a beach ball or so. Miss Tairee 7 marched over and grabbed the ball, pushing it towards the door as it floated off the ground.
"You sir, are being ejected from the library" Miss Tairee 7 told him in a harshly straightforward tone, and pushed his orb out through the revolving door. There she stopped, reeled her arm back, and then threw the orb up at an angle.
There was a sonic boom as the orb broke the sound barrier and promptly became a small dot in the sky, slowly falling towards the horizon.
Thomas, a barely-started letter to home in hand, rushed over to Ben. "Ben? Ben what's wrong?" Thomas asked. Miss Tairee 10 also approached but stood a little away, looking at the situation with a simple look of concern... Until she glanced her eyes up at Lewis and frowned slightly.
"Sir, please try not to swear in the library while children are present" Miss Tairee 10 reminded him.
Meanwhile, Tuudol and the other members of the NHA had looked with mixtures of confusion and concern as they heard Ben crying, but when Sans approached Tuudol glanced down at him. "Oh, hi Sans" Tuudol said with a clearly forced neutrality, folding his arms. "I suppose I can't blame you for how the wish got used, since it wasn't your idea, but I still think it was a waste to use it on just you" the wood elf admitted up front, but then added sincerely, "but I guess it's good what happened to your world. I can't say it's a bad thing to have a war prevented and lives saved that would've been wasted."
"Some people are a bit jealous too, you know" Del'Guk's left head mentioned. "Your world's now great and you didn't have to do nothin', but our worlds are still the same" his right head added; his tone suggested he too felt some of that jealousy, but didn't seem to be holding it against Sans. Perhaps because like Tuudol he knew the wish wasn't actually made by Sans.
"By the way, have you seen Silanea? Nobody's seen or heard from her since she left the stadium yesterday" Tuudol then asked Sans.
Over to one side of the lobby, Seriwuosuhr's mom was still yelling death threats at Miss Tairee 2 through the magic mirror.
Louie had just barely turned his walkie talkie back on after thinking about it, when he glanced up at the noise and the red dressed man smacking into one of the upper floor windows. "... Are you... What are you doing up there?" Louie asked. He'd paused his question of 'are you okay' after he remembered that of course the man was okay, since getting hurt was impossible today.
He then glanced a bit farther up as some kind of blast of air sounded from the other side of the library, and an orb went shooting upward at incredible speed. "Huh?" Louie muttered, a confused expression on his face.
edited 23rd Aug '17 7:11:55 PM by FirockFinion
Arcade nodded and walked over to the couch that was apparently the group's designated meet-up location. He didn't want to interrupt the conversation between Caro and Cole, so he simply stood awkwardly beside the couch. He looked for all the world like a man who expected to be turned away. Just because Sans was welcoming did not mean the others would be particularly thrilled to have a sudden hanger-on.
When the sudden expulsion of Ghostfreak occurred, Arcade could only stare in confusion. "That-" he started, not really speaking to anyone in particular, "that, doesn't happen often, does it?" He was told a few times that the library was safer. He wasn't sure whether he liked the reason it was.
Streets - Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's...!
"Hmm... Well I'll have to keep an eye out for something like that when we get there" Curly said in what was supposed to be a cheerful tone, but slightly subdued due to the effect it had on Silanea. She gave her a pat on the back as they kept going, though Curly paused for a moment to chuckle and wave at Jack flying somewhere overhead "Heh, and there goes Jack Frost, Guardian of Fun. Wonder what he's been up to lately..." Curly said idly before continuing on.
That ... was definitely not the kind of reaction she had been expecting from after she told him about the wish and all.
" ... You don't? You think that he is just pretending it all, including the call that we all just saw and heard loud and clear?" Caro then asked, now with a mix of surprise and concern, one eyebrow raised rather high.
Then suddenly, someone in one of Miss Tairee's patented bubbles was rather forcefully ejected from the premises. That must have been a really serious offense being commited ...
She heard the man closeby ask if that was supposed to be a common occurence, so even if it was seemingly made to no one in particularly, she turned around a bit towards him and said, "Fortunately not ... Whoever that was must have commited a really grave violation of Miss Tairee's rules ..."
edited 18th Mar '17 6:45:40 PM by JamesShields
"A few days ago, I was turned into a rabbit," Cole replied, looking at Caro with what was perhaps a bit of evident frustration. "There was a day where people became children when they weren't. The world went away and became places floating in a black void. And every time we die...we don't. Would making...that thing, with something in it that looked right and sounded right, be that hard?"
The two of them were trying not to hold anything against him, but it was pretty clear that they weren't entirely happy with how things turned out. Be it because of jealously or just thinking the wish could be used for better purposes. Still, they were being fair about the whole thing, which he could appreciate.
"sorry guys, i just got really lucky. wish i could do something to help y'all," he told them sincerely. The topic quickly changed to Silanea, which was what he had gone to talk about anyway. "as for the boss, i ran into her after she left the stadium and tried to cheer her up by watching a movie together, didn't work out." He shrugged.
He then paused and began scratching his head, or rather, the pumpkin on it as he began hesitating on whether he really should make the suggestion or not. It was something that could go either way, so he could only hope that the events of last night softened their opinion on humans a little bit.
"say, silanea feels really lonely here. she thinks that everyone hates her and now that she lost her chance at the wish, she's barely managing to keep going..." He trailed off for a bit. "there were a couple of humans in the cinema who watched the movie with us, they tried to help me cheer her up, but it didn't work. yesterday they showed up telling me that they wanted to throw a party for her to make her feel better. the people there seem to be mostly humans, so i thought gathering a few people from the group for it would be good. today is meant to be a day for us to let go of our worries and enjoy ourselves, so a party seems just perfect for that, right? so what do you say?" He asked them, bracing himself for the answer.
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