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Jay
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PostSubject: Tuesday   Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:25 pm

Through slitted eyes, she could see serpents. Snakes and griffin-beaked lizards, nurses with wrapped faces leaning over her, rubbing her forehead, her cheeks. Everything was dark, but she could make out their glossed reflections, the flits and murmurs of small beasts scurrying across the floor, peeking over the bedside. It would go black, and repeat, for an infinite amount of time. Time didn't seem to matter.

When she finally broke the loop, she shot up, the soft lamp glowing like the morning sun outside. Everything hurt, her right arm immobilized in a cast crossed over her stomach, rising and falling with slow breaths. The room was empty and cotton, the light candle-like in its glow around the infirmary. There were noises from the back room, but it was only her up front.

Madison looked up at the ceiling, and with a grunt, tried to pull herself up. It was difficult; she didn't notice the pain in her abdomen, the wrap-around cast brushing against her skin. She was able to rise, though, and made it to her feet, the weight of her injured arm apparent. She took one step, and immediately regretted it, stumbling backwards to land in her bed with a spring. The person in the other room seemed to take notice; there was the opening of a door, and a boy came out.

"Stop that," he said, "You're really hurt, you can't walk for a while. Go back to bed."

Despite the boy's firm tone, there was a warm parental glow to his eyes, enough for her to nod grimly. She threw the covers over with her good hands, and crawled back in slowly, sighing. The last night was a blur to her. Were her friends okay? The girl absentmindedly stroked her cheek, a rough scratch meeting her touch.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:15 pm

Owen hadn't slept a wink. He hadn't bothered changing, either. He sat on his bed, knees pulled up to his chest, staring at nothing in particular in his dark room. His dorm mates hadn't come to knock on the door, but he had heard them in the early morning getting ready for classes. Something inside of him distantly registered that he should go to classes to. Even after the silence fell again in the common room between their bedrooms, he didn't move, choosing instead to hug his knees tighter to him.

Nothing like that had ever happened to him. This was ten thousand times worse than the Pocky thing. Now he had a real reason to be upset, a real reason to worry about Madison, a real reason to feel angry about Nicola's actions. Instead, he was focused on the actual incident. His mind ran it over again and again, trying to see everything from an outside perspective, but it always ended up with him pinned to the floor by something he couldn't fight off, watching his friends try to fight on their own.

He had never felt so hopeless. Back home, he was always the hero of every situation, no matter how small it was. With his friends, he always joked around and acted his age, but when it came down to it, his friends always called him the mature one. But now? After yesterday afternoon? He wasn't any of that. He was no hero. He wasn't the mature one. If he was being honest, none of them were. Had any of them been a hero, Madison wouldn't have fallen out of the window, and he wouldn't be sitting here, questioning his entire being.

For the first time in hours, Owen shifted, turning to look at his clock. It was almost noon. Vaguely, he wondered where Nicola was and what she was doing. The way the weekend had gone, he bitterly thought she was sitting in her class, hardly sparing a thought for their friend. Would Madison even consider Nicola to be her friend at this point? Would Madison think of him as her friend? All Owen had done was screw up so far. All she knew about him was that he was a screw up. He had accidentally knocked her into a fountain the first time they had met. When Nicola brought up the Pocky game, he hadn't warned Madison, resulting in a tense weekend that had led to this. And now he had been unable to protect her or save her from injury. It was a miracle she was alive.

Abruptly, Owen swung his legs off the bed and stood, stretching in a way that was more habit than anything else. Mind still numb, he exited his room and entered the main area. It was almost untouched from the afternoon before, his book bag still resting on the couch and his jacket thrown over it. For a moment, he stood and stared at it, hopelessly wishing he could go back to the day before and change everything. He never would have pushed the visit to Madison. He wouldn't have invited Nicola to come along. And he almost definitely would not have wasted energy on a blast of light, especially now that he knew it would do absolutely nothing to stop the demon creatures.

They had come from Madison. The creatures that had attacked had crawled from the shadows and avoided her, targeting him and Nicola. Owen had never wondered what Madison's power was. It had never come up in conversation, never been much of an interest for him. As he thought about it, he realized he had never known Nicola's, either. They had both known about his power. It was one of the most obvious powers, something that little kids talked about when they played superhero. He wasn't special for it. He was just useful to them, something Madison could use to protect herself, an object for Nicola's jibes.

A surge of anger flashed through him. Uncharacteristically, Owen grabbed his book bag off the couch and threw it across the room, finding little satisfaction in the dull thud it made as it hit the wall. As the feeling wore off, he collapsed onto the couch, letting out a harsh rush of air as he did so, burying his face in his hands. He hadn't felt homesick until now. He hadn't wanted to be at home eating breakfast made by his mom and relaxing in his own bedroom so badly since he had left his home.

He wasn't supposed to be the negative one. With his limited friend groups, he'd always been the positive one, the one to try and cheer up the others, the one to lighten the mood when it needed lightening. And it had been the cause of this incident. Fear for Madison, worry, concern, feelings that surpassed any puppy love he had felt for her coursed through him.

Finally, he decided it would be better to distract himself with the life of someone else. With great effort, he pushed himself up off the couch. Knowing he must have looked like a mess, Owen popped into the bathroom to clean up, brushing his teeth and making sure his hair looked fine. Thin scratches covered his face, lining his cheeks and making his skin appear paler than usual. He would have gone to the infirmary for his wounds, but they weren't all that deep, and he worried that they would ask too many questions that he didn't want to answer.

A casual jacket over his uniform from the day before, Owen left his dorm, hoping he wouldn't be seen by a teacher. The walk to the infirmary was cold. It wasn't any different from the day before, but with the past twenty-four hours weighing on his mind, it felt icy and unwelcome. He tugged the jacket tighter around himself in response and walked faster.

The infirmary was quiet. He entered and paused, scanning for Madison's bed. When he spotted it, he walked slowly across to it, suddenly wondering if he really wanted to do this. As he got closer, he could see that Madison was awake. He approached the bed and grabbed a nearby chair, pulling it up to the edge of the bed before sitting down, his hands shoved into his jacket pockets.

"Hey."

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:28 pm

She was supposed to be familiar with facing nightmarish creatures. She was supposed to be familiar with the fact that consequences and accidents could happen. She was supposed to be. Supposed to? But she wasn't. Once Owen had gone to get assistance for Madison and she was taken to the infirmary, Nicola didn't even bother going back into the Summer dormitory. With her sword in hand, ankle draining the blood out of her veins, blue eyes scanned the vicinity of the courtyard. This was where she first ran into the Summer girl not too long ago and met the tall boy who rivaled Owen in height - D'Angelo, was it? It wasn't that long ago since they had encountered one another, perhaps a few months, and yet her mind was straying and she couldn't even bother to check if that was his name or not.

Things didn't go well the first time they met either. Because of a silly gift mishap by one of the newer students, cicadas had ravaged the tranquil courtyard, disturbing it of its still atmosphere. Nicola could faintly recall teasing Madison just a bit for how boring she seemed before D'Angelo bumped into them; he was certainly helpful, teleporting them to the Lounge to escape the rampaging mob trying to flee from harmless but annoying insects. And it went rolling down the slope from there, scaring the other girl off after she forgot how much demonic energy she was still carrying on her. To say that the school faculty was happy with her mistake would be a complete overstatement. They were utterly enraged and had told her off.

Everything about the campus seemed to mock her. From the smiling bed of flowers to the rising burst of water, its surface reflecting the sparkling moonlight that beamed from above in the starry night sky; the sweet aroma that lingered in the air and complete serenity. Maybe she would've relaxed around this kind of sight and drawn in how scenic Beata truly was and stopped to take a good look at all of it, but right now, it seemed to be taunting her for her failure. Failure to protect peace, failure to protect Owen, failure to protect herself... Failure to protect Madison. She had done the stupidest thing possible in that scenario. Why did she let Hieta convince her to go through with it? Why did she follow after Owen after silently rejecting him? Why had she been so straightforward with Madison? Because of her... this went downhill.

And so she left the academy, wandering aimlessly and hopelessly lost out of the towering metal gates, into the forest, as far away as possible from the school grounds without leaving the general vicinity. Diane's hill was the only place that seemed fit. Filled with spiritual energy, it seemed to be the perfect hunting zone for demons. Leo's influence couldn't spread this far, and without it, she felt naked. She was out of practice, wounded, and mentally destroyed. This was a death sentence, and she couldn't fathom what had drawn her out to do this. One mistake would risk her own life. Maybe it was better that way. Madison wouldn't be bothered by her stupid antics and maybe Owen would be able to push her out of her shell; hell, neither of them would have to deal with her constant teasing.

It all felt superficial - their friendship. They couldn't be considered friends. They shouldn't be. If they were here, would they try and stop her? Heh, no. Nicola was sure they hated her. They must loathe her. She hated herself right now. How had she been so confident and sure of herself, only to lose it... just like that?

Perhaps it had something to do with contracting with a demon.

A contract. There was always a price to pay to gain benefits. Something she had to sacrifice. Was this it?

Her breath was ragged, exhausted, her heart squeezing itself to try and pump enough blood through her veins. Nicola shot up from her slumped position, readying her sword in front of her as she heard a distinct, faint holler in the distance, blinking the bleariness out of her eyes. Wings beat themselves in the air in a staccato rhythm, feet scattering and stampeding themselves. A few tails disturbed the bushes, leaves rustling. Rubbing her fingers against her palm, the feather slipped out of her grasp, floating in front of her. Holding the blade behind her, a massive swing forward cut the feather cleanly in two, a burst of red and black circulated around her, crimson turning the cold metal white.

Charcoal black ate away at her white strands of hair, turning it completely black. Once Nicola looked up, her eyes were glowing a deep vermilion and blade-like wings, structured in an almost skeletal manner, emerged from her back, hovering away from her body. Her heart was pounding now, threatening near heart attack, a cold bead of sweat falling down her forehead. Turning into a demon now would guarantee losing. Her body couldn't take the energy at the moment, yet for some reason, a voice in her mind was telling her something. It was faint and quiet, and she ignored it. Her consciousness or whatever it was, she was going through with this.

Standing out in the middle of the open, she was a magnet, attracting demons left and right. Whether it was out of vengeance purposes, to steal her power, or simply burn her on a stake as though it was a crucifixion, there was no way of escape. The flood came and even if she wanted to die, Nicola didn't want to go down without a fight. There was always that thrill that kept her alive and if she was going to die, might as well try and live it down to her very last breath, right?

They wanted to come after her, she knew that much. Then let's see how great they were at disposing trash into the dumpster.

The first few came, a lazy grin etched on her face. Her free hand had readjusted itself into a gun-like gesture, blasts of energy exploding from her finger and bursting like shrapnel. It was the same every time. Demons would plan a raid, the easily defeated ones coming in as a distraction before stronger ones swarmed in, sometimes in groups, sometimes alone. Nicola stormed forward, thrusting her sword into one's gut, her blade-like wings acting as turrets as they shot down those in the distance.

Her foot kicked itself upward and smashed right down, sending another demon to the ground as it cracked under pressure. The next thing she knew, bodies were sprawled on the ground. Her grip was too loose, it wasn't in the right position, and she was constantly staggering. Kill one, twenty more were sure to take its place. Some oozed a green liquid substance that could only be identified as blood while others would stretch into red dust. Keep fighting. Keep it together for as long as possible.

If things went wrong... she'd be the one killed.

That would be alright, but something in her mind resisted that kind of thinking. What happens if the strongest demon here took all of her strength and energy, leaving her body as just a lifeless and dull doll laying on the ground? It'd risk the safety of everyone else. It meant sacrificing the academy for her death. It'd risk Madison and Owen's safety again. This was only a hypothetical situation, but even then, her rational side knew that, she couldn't lose.

Don't die. Don't give up!

Easier said than done.

The voice in her head was unidentifiable. Nicola couldn't pin it down as her own and she didn't have enough time to sit down and think about who it was. Slash after slash, strike after strike, attack after attack. A tiny mistake had sent her crashing into the tree, another sent her rolling on the ground and hacking up blood. Determination welled up within her, guiding her every movement as time quickened its pace, sprinting across the finish line. With the rising sun came less spawn, and once she was sure she was finished, she had collapsed on the ground, trying to catch her breath. Sunrise was almost upon them. Her clothes were tattered, hair a complete mess with twigs and blades of grass clinging onto her form - there were a few holes in her shoes as she reverted back to human.

Closing her eyes, she immediately detected another demonic force within the area, drawing her blade up and holding it right at the opponent's neck only to realize it was Hieta. Her brother. The one who had caused her to lose control of herself, the one that made her risk everything, the one who was at fault for Madison's near-death. An annoyed hiss escaped between her clenched teeth, deep blue eyes staring into the blood-red eyes of her brother, whose expression remained impassive, emotionless. "What do you want now?"

The way her brother responded only pissed her off more. "To discuss what happened at night." She knew that he was practically heartless now, but to go to this degree? What. The. Fuck.

"Yeah? The thing that you made me do? Thanks to you, people nearly died!" Her hands curled into fists, and she had to resist every urge within her to punch the ghost standing in front of her or to lash at him. She had to stay calm. Somehow. Wait, what? Stay calm in this situation? "I did not make you do anything. That was your assumption alone."

"You were the one who fucking told me to go talk to her!"

"Did I tell you to confront her about what she was doing?"

Nicola was lost for words at the moment, trying to grasp onto something to say, something to counter her brother with. Anything that would prove his argument wrong was good, but nothing. Instead, she rashly replied, "I wouldn't have if you didn't convince me to go. I could've just stayed in my dorm, but no. Apparently I had to fix things. So I was the good little sister who tried to listen to her older bro."

"Look where that got me." Even after insulting him, spitting whatever bitter words she could think of, mocking, taunting, anything, Hieta wouldn't even do anything so much as flinch from her sharp voice. Nothing, no reaction. He was standing there and reeling it in as if it were nothing. How could he... How could... That was it. Even her own brother wouldn't help her. Without thinking, her fist went flying through the air and hit him square on the cheek, sending him to the ground. Constantly swinging it wouldn't do her any good, but that was what she did. He was a ghost. She couldn't land a blow unless he wanted to be hit. He wasn't fighting back.

Her attacks kept getting weaker as she pounded at his chest, tears springing from her eyes before her attack completely faltered. Hieta had sat up, embracing her, and she couldn't help but clutch him, mumbling apologies under her breath. She was broken, defeated, and scarred. "Calm down." Those words alone had shaken her entire body, and she managed to say something coherent with effort. "I'm... sorry... I don't want... her... them... to die."

"You made a mistake. Learn from it instead of trying to solve it this way." Slowly, he got up, taking her hand, and helped her back to the academy. The entire walk there was silent, and by the time Nicola realized where they were going, it was too late. They were at the infirmary. And Hieta was leaving her. "Confront your problems."

. . .

Hieta had good advice every now and then, but he was like a robot. Somehow, Nicola doubted anything that could happen, reassurance leaving her once he had let go of her hand.

Was this really his way of making her go through with things? To force her to go through with something again? Yeah, that ended swell last time. Very, very swell. Taking a deep breath, she slowly drew her sword back into her arm, hair transitioning slowly to a smooth white, and her hand reached for the door handle. It was shaking, trembling, and she couldn't calm herself down. Every fiber in her body had to be forced to get it to open, but by the time she had gotten it creaking just a bit, blue eyes caught sight of another figure sitting beside Madison's cob. Owen. No, no, no. If she went in, it wasn't... going to... end well.

Nicola shut the door, whisps of white floating in front, and she slumped against the wall outside, her legs breaking like lead. Heavy, shaky breaths escaped her, her hand clutching close to her chest as she felt the erratic rhythm of her heart between her palm. Too quick, way too quick. Yeah, she couldn't go in. Let them have their privacy first. Good gods, she didn't close the door too loudly did she? Hell, had they even caught a glimpse of her?

"Calm down... calm down..."

What was she even supposed to say to Madison anyway? This was a futile effort. She should leave them alone.

You can do it. Would Madison even forgive her? That was a question she didn't want answered.

OOC;; Sorry. I'm trash for taking so long with this.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:28 pm

Madison had not realized how much she was out of it until someone entered her frame, until she was given something to interact with and her vision fought with black fatigued spots. She rubbed her right eye, then her left, chasing the germy splotches away. "Hey...," she said with a murmur, a hmph, a quick and light disperse of air as her voice slid from her mouth, an unraveling box. She looked at him with one eye, the other still covered by her balled fist; "What happened...?"

How long was she out? The pain in her ribs seemed fresh, the pinprick dapples along her back still intruding on her mind. But all pain was fresh when first felt. Her heart leapt at the thought of what it could have been. If it has ever been worse. She looked down at the cast on her right arm and wondered if it was the only cast she had worn.

She brushed the black hair from her bangs aside, focusing on Owen, too dizzy and accustomed to him for any difficult blush. Owen. What was he? She only remembered him in faint embarrassed dizzy spells, in the corners of her eyes as she walked with him nervously. He was always a transit. Human Flashlight. She was pathetic. He didn't deserve her. Why was he here?

The click of the door did not register with her. She opened her mouth, as if to speak, but nothing came, and she closed it once more.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:45 pm

What happened..? She was joking, right? For a brief moment, Owen scanned her face, hoping that she was messing with him. How could she not remember? Memories of a brief psychology unit in his first year of high school came to mind. Traumatic experiences and head injuries caused memory loss, he remembered that. The air left his lungs as he realized, once again, just how close Madison had come to dying.

He opened his mouth to answer, the corners of his mouth pulling up in a smile, but a sound at the door caught his attention. Looking over his shoulder, he studied it for a moment, almost certain that he had seen it close despite nobody coming in or leaving, but when nothing else happened, he decided it had been his imagination. Owen had been awake for over 24 hours now, surely he was hallucinating.

"Look, maybe it's better to not talk about what happened," he said. His voice was raspy from misuse and exhaustion. He didn't want to think anymore about what had happened. He knew that Madison would have to find out at some point, but he desperately didn't want to tell her.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:41 pm

She hated waiting, hated having to stop herself from working around and thinking before she went through with something. The whole fun of everything was simply testing it out, doing whatever you wanted and if there was a mistake, then oh well - there were always second chances, right? That was the mentality that she had held for so long and a maelstrom of unrest stirred in her chest, making her heart beat faster than she could remember. It dominated over any fuel and energy she could feel during battles, dominated over the constrains and restrictions she felt when her lungs decided to try and shut down on her, it dominated over the casualness and flippant nature she held, holding her by strings and controlling all of her movements.

Back then, back in the arcade, it was curiosity that drove her to do everything - to see how Madison would react to a playful prank. Curiosity over her morals, leading to consequences that would last forever. It wasn't like a test where you get a bad grade and can ask to retake it, it wasn't a story that you could rewrite the lines and pretend that nothing ever happened; life wasn't some kind of machine where, if there was a faulty part that made everything fall apart, then you could replace it. If things weren't that simple, she wouldn't have been making the same mistakes. How many deaths had she become responsible for now? Near deaths? Severe injuries? Good god...

Nicola couldn't help but grimace at the thought of their first encounter. She had foolishly held onto all of that demonic energy and let it loose in a public area. The creature that had come forth had ravaged half of the school campus and while she had assumed that she was the only person injured at the time, the sudden realization struck her that, as heroic and courageous as she first assumed, other students could've been hit by debris, from attacks that she dodged, from falling parts, from her own attacks. Why hadn't she been more cautious? If she had, then... then...

Then what? Would it have kept Madison out of the messes she had? Would their friendship have been better? Would Owen be more at ease around her? Would he not loathe her the same way she loathed herself? Yes. Holding her head in her hands, she took deep breaths, trying to dismiss these thoughts. Right, right. Time to think about what to say to Madison and Owen. Just had to stay calm, right. Of course. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

Shakily, she got up, her legs feeling like jelly, supporting herself against the wall. Her ear leaned in to try and eavesdrop on the conversation, as immorally wrong as it was, to get a better sense of what she should say. The words seemed distorted and difficult to hear, too hard to make it to a comprehensible level, but she took her guess. Madison didn't remember what happened... Seriously? As relieved as she wanted to be, it wasn't right. For all the talk and thought she had about not getting a second chance, for it to be granted so easily - there had to be a catch.  There just had to be.

Madison would know something was off if there was antipathy between her and Owen. They wouldn't be able to hide it forever - wasn't it wrong to keep secrets like this? But then again, hell, what did she know? Being direct and just telling the truth never seemed to get her anywhere. Maybe it was better to pretend all of this never happened. Or tried to. She got a fresh start, and somehow, Nicola didn't want to take it.

In all of her stupor, she didn't realize she had been leaning on the door handle and pushed it too far down until she fell back, the impact making her more sore and beaten down than she had already felt. With a soft groan, the pain crawling down her spine and through her body, her eyes first glanced towards her probably-infected ankle and then at the two people she had been trying to focus on finding something to say and figure out a decent solution for their predicament. Looks like that wasn't happening.

"Ah... I'm interruptin' something, aren't I?"

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:06 pm

Better not to talk. Madison gave him a shy smile and a nod, an exhale of semi-relief as she agreed. Perhaps it was for the best. It was all a blur, but what she remembered wasn't too great. The girl squeezed her eyes shut, the sudden dryness of the air apparent, stinging and caustic. When she opened them, Nicola stood a few meters away.

She stared for a few moments, her face being something of a curse. It had brought all the chaos of the last few days, those bitter eyes, those lips. The tired girl flirted with a frown, but her mouth stayed neutral, and her eyes showed no resentment in their bright orange reflection. "No..." She had given Nicola so many chances. Her face was blank with ambivalence.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:51 pm

Owen stiffened, sitting up straighter in his seat and removing his hands from his pockets. He didn't want to act cold or distant, but he felt uncomfortable being around Nicola, and he wasn't sure he would be able to act normally.

"Nothing important," he said, eyeing her carefully. His eyes searched Nicola's face, looking for some kind of sign that maybe, just maybe, she truly was remorseful for her actions. Owen knew that she wasn't entirely responsible for what had followed, but it had incited a reaction in Madison that neither could have predicted. Resentfully, he corrected himself; Nicola probably could have predicted it. She knew Madison better than he did.
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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:51 pm

Being faced with the stares of the two people who probably hated her more than anyone else in the world, more than any demon or creature, Nicola suddenly felt the heavy weight dropping straight onto her shoulders and let out an exasperated sigh. Perhaps it was that or maybe it was the actual pain from slamming straight into the ground uninvited. She didn't know or bother to care about those trivial facts right now, right then and there. There wasn't any time to plan this out, but she couldn't act rashly. What should she say then? What should she do? Sheepishly, she stood up, her hand resting on the nearest desk - bless the fact that she her head didn't hit the corner - for balance, and she at least didn't have the audacity to meet their eyes. What would a normal person say in this kind of situation? Wait, no. They weren't normal, right... So what would an abnormal person say?

A simple sorry didn't seem enough to suffice and rambling on and on about how she didn't mean for anything to happen would come off as an excuse more than anything; it wouldn't seem sincere enough and then they'd just dismiss her as toying around with them, holding the strings to each of their limbs between her fingers and controlling them like puppets on a stage, forced to perform some shameful theatrical. Her usual behavior wouldn't help. She would come off as someone who didn't care that she just killed someone. A hand came to the back of her neck, rubbing it as she tried to keep thinking. Think, think, think.

One part of her wanted to scold Owen, who more or less blamed her for the entire thing, when he couldn't defend himself and she at least attempted to save their lives during the rampage. Another told her that it was completely her fault for being so careless. And yet another said that she had done a terrible job in protecting everyone. Maybe she was apathetic for being so rational and logical, playing devil's advocate to spark and see what kind of reaction there would be, to widen her perspective on one situation. Yet, it was lashing back at her, curiosity leading to more accidents than any other.

Another sigh left her. How much time had passed since she crashed their party? How much time since the last word was spoken?

Her hands felt tense, a bead of sweat trickling down from her forehead, and she wiped her palms at her sides, forcing them into her pockets. She could feel the heat crawling up to her ears, and she wasn't sure if it was because of embarrassment or shame or guilt. Did that even matter? Just say something. Right, right, right. God, these past few days had made her more lost for words than she had ever felt before and she hated not having an immediate answer. It made her feel stupid. She probably was dumb and pathetic socially; intellectually, that was fine; mentally... questionable.

Another minute passed.

And yet another.

The silence was gnawing at her, pleading for her to say something and break it free from its chains, from its prison in the depths of hell. Nicola swallowed down all of her nervousness, trying to maintain a calm expression as she pulled on her collar, as though it was becoming difficult for her to breath. "Right, my bad." she started, slowly turning her blue gaze to meet their resentful and blank expressions, her mind grasping at every stronghold she had left. "I'm err... sorry about... everything. I've been pretty awful." Shaking her head, Nicola quickly readjusted her words, correcting herself. "No, I've been really awful and terrible."

She never formally apologized for anything before, the words feeling tight on her tongue and rolling off a bumpy road. This probably wasn't the way to do it. But it was the best and only thing she could manage.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:36 pm

Madison watched her fumble, her try to find the words to choke out in a difficult apology. Nicola wasn't one to apologize. Madison knew this, and what once was an unfavorable feature became a reason for Nicola herself to be unfavorable. But Nicola succeeded in getting out a sort of apology, a coherent one with no lash-out or asterisks, no trailing set of words that absolved herself. Madison's face didn't twitch, but she cleared her throat.

"You want to sit down...?" She eyed an empty seat beside the adjacent bed. There weren't many patients in the infirmary, especially considering the early hour. She didn't expect anybody to come. She didn't know why they were there, both at the same time, but she was glad in a certain way. For the first time in days, she was glad to be with people.

She sat up among her friends.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:03 pm

A sigh of relief that Owen hadn't known he'd been holding in let itself out. A true apology from Nicola. He could feel the muscles in his face straining from misuse as he smiled up at Nicola. Truth was, he felt just as responsible as she did. Wordlessly, he stood from the seat he had been sitting in and gestured to it, offering it to her. He walked around the end of the bed and Nicola to get the next chair over, pulling it up to the other side of Madison and sitting down in it.

They seemed to sit in silence a while before Owen spoke again.
"So is it safe to say none of us are going to Formal?" he asked, a short chuckle coming up from his chest. When he had first heard about the dance, he had been excited, even going so far as to plan on asking someone to go with him. But now that Madison was in the infirmary and he hadn't got himself a suit for it, he didn't feel very up to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:39 pm

Nicola gave a small nod of gratitude when Owen offered his seat, an internal sigh of relief sounding within her when it seemed that they weren't going to kick her out yet. Her foot was dragging itself across the floor and she was growing to the point where she was very tempted to amputate it herself to get rid of the crawling pain. Plopping onto the chair, her arms reached up as she stretched, her eyes closing as she suppressed a yawn. Hieta could've at least given her the liberty to sleep, but maybe it was better that she had come now. Everything seemed to have worked out so far. That was a plus. Sort of. It was a lucky break that they had accepted her god-awful apology and if anything, it seemed like things were going in the right direction for the three of them. A tired smile laced its way around her features and she would've opted to fall asleep if Owen's next question didn't perk her interest.

The Formal, huh? That was something that she wouldn't have minded to go to. It was a party and as boring and stiff as it seemed, to be one of those rich parties that her parents might've hosted at one point or another, it meant getting out and talking to a few more people. Those plans were ruined now, shredded. "I was just plannin' to swing by the infirmary that day to grab some antibiotics." Her eyes fell back to her ankle, and she couldn't help but grimace. They hadn't even questioned her dirty state in any manner, and somehow, she was kind of glad for that. Maybe it just passed them and they wouldn't think anything of it.

"Word of advice, don't fight demons and monsters all in the same night~"

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:49 pm

"You're hurt?" Madison's gaze dropped to peek behind her bed, where she looked at Nicola's ankle. It didn't look incredibly messed up, but no injury usually did. Madison smiled hesitantly, almost attempting to combat it, the corners of her mouth giving way to a wiggly upturn as she said, "You're always getting hurt." She was one to talk, her right arm feeble and stiff under the cast. The thought brought an itch along, and she pushed it to the back of her mind by readjusting in the bed, wincing with rigid movements. Maybe she'd ask one of them to help her stand up. She was already tired of immobility.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:01 pm

"I figured that was kind of a given," Owen said, shrugging a shoulder as he tried to joke. "I mean, that can't be healthy. Especially if you're fond of being alive and all that." He absentmindedly touched his face and quickly retracted his hand. The cuts on his face paled in comparison to Madison's broken arm and Nicola's apparently hurt ankle. Sheepishly, he pulled his hands into his lap, hunching his shoulders slightly.

The exhaustion suddenly started to hit him. No sleep and a near-death experience weighed on his shoulders and he blinked hard, sighing heavily in an effort to fight off the urge to yawn.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuesday   Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:07 pm

Always getting hurt? Fond of being alive? It was literally a few hours ago when she had been fighting for her own life and half-hoping she'd get herself killed in that instance. Nicola let out a nervous laugh, and shrugged. "Yup. Looks like I need to get better at defense and stop going all-in." She shook her head, grimacing a bit as she tried to twist her ankle in a few ways that didn't come off as natural to her and made everything ache more. God, she shouldn't have done that. But in the spur of the moment, it was what she'd gone with and had to deal with now. It wasn't like she thought she was above consequences... that was a lesson that she'd learned the hard way.

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