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 Feel and Conquer

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Echo
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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:58 pm

A small yawn escaped her, her hand covering her mouth for a few moments as sleepiness appeared over her features. Maybe she shouldn't have waken up so early today. It felt too early to be up. Nicola glanced tiredly at the two of them, receiving negative answers to both of her questions that she had originally addressed. The loud scratching noise of the pencil tip hitting the paper in irritation from Madison's direction. She certainly tensed up now, didn't she? With a dismissive gesture, a quiet mumble spilled past her lips. "I wasn't going to say anythin', jeez."  Her interest only slightly perked up at the mention of another name - Lotte Redwaltz. What was Madison doing training with a--- oh, yeah. She had mentioned this before. Training with a guardian over her gift, to control it better and such.

But what kind of gift would Lotte have so that she'd be able to help with one as interesting as Madison's? Perhaps they were both special cases, something relating to the mind or mental state. Certainly seemed possible. She made a mental note to herself to check up this guardian's profile later in the office or ask Hieta about her. Even if Madison didn't train like that anymore, did she really think dropping combative training was a good idea? Never mind that. It wasn't any of her concern in the end. Madison could do whatever the hell she wanted to do with herself.

Owen's suggestion came out as a bit of a surprise, her eyebrows taut in bewilderment. Go. Together. Wait, there was no way Owen was implying that she was coming along, right? The two of them practically hated her and asking that she come along with them to the gym where there were weapons seemed like the worst possible idea that could come to mind for them. Nicola rolled her eyes. "Huh, maybe we can." She wasn't expecting them to let her tag along, Madison especially. "Whatever you guys wanna do."

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:54 am

Madison nodded absentmindedly to Owen's suggestion. She didn't really want to do that. Training with Nicola wasn't too fun the first time, and it was half the reason she never returned. But, if Owen was there, maybe it wouldn't be too bad. Maybe. She didn't talk to Owen much recently, and he felt like stranger again, a stranger she didn't want to embarrass herself in front of. She drew his jaw. She gave him a timid upward glance from over her sketchbook. If she were to ever get in an inescapable fight with one of her hallucinations, she'd just die. It wasn't like she'd ever recover from her injury anyway, despite what Logan or Ethan said about her chances. They were all lying to her. She could see it in their thin-lipped smiles.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:45 pm

So they had agreed. Owen smiled at the two, appearing more eager than he felt.
"Then it's a date," he said happily. A date? There were three of them and he sounded like his mother. With a nearly inaudible sigh, he sat back again in the chair, wondering if this was how Madison had felt moments ago.

Truth was, he felt as though none of them had anything in common anymore. They had never had anything in common in the first place. All the history any of them shared seemed to revolve around Madison, the girl who had demons Owen hadn't known before he met them. Half the reason for going to the gym was to find something in common with Nicola. She seemed the athletic type.

But Madison was something else. She was a mystery shrouded in darkness, and he had yet to break through the shadows that surrounded her. He wanted to. For now, the gym would have to do.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:50 am

The silent answer that Madison gave only confirmed Nicola's suspicions. She wasn't the most enthusiastic about it, was she? Of course she wasn't. Her off-handed drunk comment and jumping in when she was about to land a direct hit only to ramble about all of the mistakes she had made. But that was the way it had went and she didn't quite regret it or try to linger on the past. The fun she had was at Madison's expense. At least watching the two of them spar was more entertaining than she would've expected in the beginning. They weren't that bad... sort of. No, they were pretty bad actually. And this was why she couldn't share Owen's eagerness on the whole thing.

A hand came up, pulling the bill of her cap down as she leaned back further. Lulu nudged its cheeks against her arm, begging for the attention it had lost with the ongoing conversation, to which Nicola complied to. She needed a distraction right about now. Her mouth opened to say something, to immediately agree to Owen's idea, but it shut closed as she began to think twice about her word choice or decision. "On second thought, I won't be goin'." Her eyes traveled back towards the silent girl before switching back to the other student here. As much as she didn't mind going, there were better things to do then go to the gym and practice with someone who was unwilling to participate. It was a complete waste of time. "Don't feel up to it anymore." That was one way to put it.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:23 pm

"Me neither." and that was it, and before they knew it, they'd achieved nothing with that conversation. Owen was going to work out alone, as he already had been doing anyway. It was funny, really. The girl closed her sketchbook. "Let's, um..." She moved her bangs and looked out the window. "I'm going to--um, you can too, but I wanna, want to go back before it's dark." She announced this as she slowly swung around to stand, like an old lady, bending down to slip her shoes on. She grabbed onto her cane. "Can someone...help, I, oh..." She could get up on her own, but her face was burning red and she didn't want to spend an embarrassingly long minute trying to haul herself up. It wasn't even too difficult walking; it was long movements like this that killed her.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:16 pm

He had intended the gym visit to happen later, perhaps sometime in the near future, but the two girls seemed disinterested suddenly. Vaguely, Owen wondered if he had missed something between them. He'd been sitting there the whole time, watching them carefully, and they were the same as before. His only conclusion was that they were somehow communicating telepathically.

As Madison moved to stand up, Owen jumped to his feet, ready to help her before she had said anything. He gripped her hand gently, providing support and handing her the cane so she could stand on her own. The moment he was sure she was balanced and stable, he stepped away, smiling at her. He could see that her face was red, almost as though she was embarrassed, whether from speaking too much or something else, he wasn't sure.

He hadn't even noticed what time it was. A glance out the window told him it was beginning to darken already.
"We could all go back together," he suggested, returning to the chair to grab his sweatshirt.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:32 pm

Before it's dark? Wasn't it still really early? Nicola's eyes wandered around, searching for a clock that must be hanging on one of the walls somewhere in the lounge. Not over there, not over here, and oh! There it was. With its stubby arm approaching the fifth mark and the longer piece inching closer to the twelfth hour, that could only mean the sun was setting soon. The last time she was with Madison and enshrouded by complete darkness, they had to deal with that monster mash and a repeat of that didn't sound very appealing. Then again, emotions had taken the spotlight and she was pretty sure Madison wasn't quite in control of herself that day. With a small nod, she swung her feet and hopped up, cradling Lulu in her arms.

Owen was already helping Madison up before she could've done much. Whether it was her own lack of attention span or her trying to pass it off as nothing or maybe a mix of both and a few other things, she wasn't sure. But she had called it back in the infirmary. Nicola had to resist every urge to spitefully say, Serves you right. It wasn't even completely Madison's fault back then. Bits of it were hers, bits of it were Owen's - not really, the more thought she put into it -, bits of it were Madison's, and bits of it were due to chance alone. The way the other girl was trying to hide her embarrassment was pointless; her face was as red as a tomato and it was glowing brightly. Pointless, but it was one of the attributes that attracted other people in. One... or maybe it was the only one.

Her hand reached for the door knob, turning it and swinging the door open. Immediately, a harsh and bitter breeze entered the room, causing her to flinch back a bit. Glancing over her shoulder towards the two other people who had been inside with her, Nicola's eyes dropped to the stairway to the bottom floor to Owen and Madison and back again. Would she even be able to walk all the way back up? There was always the possibility that she could slip and fall back and injure herself even more or maybe not even attempt to leave and make herself cozy and warm in the lobby. Sighing, she rested herself onto the stairway rail and slid down as though it were a slide in a children's playground, hopping back onto her feet at the bottom.

Back together. As if they could be considered all "together" now. Haha... friends. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to try and get on their good side for once. "Will you be able to make it all the way up?" The idea of offering help, especially if it was unwanted, wouldn't seem good. If Madison wanted more help than what her trusty cane and Flashlight could, then Nicola would lend a hand. If she didn't, then she didn't.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:50 pm

Madison had definitely gotten up there herself. It was through the elevator, however, an elevator across the floor and a long way's away. An elevator that she didn't even know was working at the moment. They shut it down a lot, for it was pretty old. The girl felt the breeze of an unheated stairwell on her face, and the stress of the various embarrassing situations was giving her a headache. "It would take a while, me, not--um...can you, maybe, if you could, carry me...?" She definitely didn't look at Owen as she said this, instead somewhere in Nicola's direction, though it was obvious who it was directed at. Nicola boasted of gyms and training, but she was still tiny. Upon saying this, she began to backtrack. "I could maybe go down these, yeah, I could, it's no problem, it would take a while, but--and it's cold, it's cold, err, I could, you don't need to..." Who was she even talking to at this point? What was she even talking about. Her eyes were practically shut at the overwhelming shittiness of her ultimatum. "Hm."

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:27 pm

A rush of cold air made Owen shiver. He had cooled down enough from his run that his skin erupted in goosebumps at this unwelcome intrusion. With a joking glare at Nicola for opening the door, he pulled his sweatshirt on over his head, almost missing what Madison asked him. He raised his eyebrows, glancing at Nicola again, this time bemused at the request.

"Uh, if you want," he said, feeling simultaneously confused and fluttery that she had asked him. If he had paused to take a look at the situation, he was the more logical choice, and she just wanted help. But he refused to let that stop him. "Here, just hop on my back."

Once he was positive Madison was on his back, he brushed past Nicola to the stairs and made his way to the door, focusing on not bouncing too much so as not to aggravate her back injury. At the door, he glanced behind him to make sure Nicola was following.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:57 pm

Watching Madison roll around and fumble with her words was more entertaining than she would've thought. Heh, so she wasn't able to get up after all. Blue eyes met bluer for a few seconds. What did she say? Everything around was coming off as background noise instead of actual words, her mind scarcely registering that someone's lips were moving and trying to tell her something of some sorts. Nicola tiredly rubbed one eye and her brain finally caught up. Carry? Carry Madison up? A small frown etched across her features. She could if she wanted to, but Madison was about the same size as her. There might be a little trouble here and there. Maybe she could handle it. Or maybe her own pride would get hurt. Ah, no. Her pride was couldn't be hurt by something as simple and silly as that.

Owen getting flustered about it made her eye him curiously all the while a twinge of jealousy rose. He was tall and large and bigger and easily strong with his build. The fact that he could go through with these kinds of actions yet have the audacity to feel embarrassed over such a favor being asked was annoying. At least he had height and naturally lift weights without people looking at him weirdly or having to worry about snapping like a twig. Nicola crossed her arms across her chest with a small 'hmph!', her cheeks puffing up in minor annoyance. It really didn't help his case that he casually passed by her with Madison enjoying the ride he was providing.

Under her breath, words quietly rolled off her tongue that transitioned from confusion to irritation to grateful all at once that she was sure that it was simply an unintelligible string of phrases that couldn't be deciphered 'lest she stumbled upon the foreign language of aliens that could translate this for her. Nicola shook her head, sprinting towards the door after the two again with a slight skip to her jump - after all, they weren't looking or anything so maybe a little hop wouldn't hurt -, Lulu padding along beside her with lithe, prideful strides.

Maybe she shouldn't have done that. Catching the wind was making it colder than it should've been and the breeze was too much that her hand was forced to hold the cap sitting on her head down. Flinching back a bit with a sideways glance towards Owen and Madison, she suppressed a chill that threatened to crawl down her spine. Russian blood wasn't help her case; being born in America sucked sometimes. Nicola looked up, watching the dreary grey clouds begin to cover up the sky, the sun beginning to kiss the earth good night and sink beneath the horizon, giving the atmosphere a pretty orange-y purple color. Snowflakes were drifting down with the grace of a ballerina, landing everywhere in sight.

It'd be best to head straight to the summer dormitory with Madison around. Darkness was her worst nightmare in a literal manner and Nicola felt too drained to grab her sword and fight if anything bad happened. And she doubted Owen's ability to defend himself in the face of danger; he was borderline-heart attack in the last little incident they were involved in.

Heh, well, if they were involved in another one, this was the time to prevent it from happening. The odds of that taking place again didn't seem too high at the moment.

Time to get going then.

A snowflake nipped at her nose. "Got 'bout five or so minutes before the sun sets. Think we'll make it?"

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:18 pm

Madison accepted the ride, clawing onto his back like a small child, looking forward and upward and anywhere that did not have a face. Eyes were her weakness. She never liked looking at them, especially in moments like this, where she could catch expressions and look into them too thoroughly, like some sort of cryptic lost document. She took the ride silently, bobbing up and down with the motion until they had reached the door. Numb explosions popped up her back like landmines, but they did not hurt. They just concerned her. The brace that held it seemed to do its job well enough.

A sunset was dipping into a valley of clouds on the auburn sky, and Madison watched it with eyes shining in mimicry of its splendor, watery from the cold that flowed around her cheeks. "Can you go the rest of the way...?" She was scared she wouldn't make it. It was a long walk, and shadows jumped from their daytime realms, crawling down trees and scaling buildings. A creature she could not distinguish put its hands to the extents of the shade like a mime, and the glint of its pearl back eyes met hers, matched hers. It made it all the real. "Let's go," she said, snowflakes resting in her hair softly. "Let's go." Her gaze was pasted around the outdoor scene. She was looking at something, or many things. The Red Sea was descending from the sunlight.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:35 pm

Madison was light, easy to carry, and they reached the outdoors with no problems. It was snowing, however, and Owen could see that the sunlight was slowly fading beyond the trees, the last fiery rays illuminating the clouds in a natural glow. His breath clouded in front of his face and he desperately wanted to turn back inside the building to where it was warm. He wouldn't have to face the icy cold in there, and there was no fear of the darkness indoors as long as a light was on.

Taking a deep breath, Owen nodded at both Madison and Nicola's remarks. Their dorm wasn't far from the lounge. If they ran, they would make it just fine.
"Hold on," he told Madison, readjusting his hold. Feeling like he was back on the track team at home, he started to jog, doing his best to hold his torso still in an effort to not upset Madison's back. The snow wasn't too high, but it was enough that his feet had trouble lifting from the ground as they sunk below the powder. Rounding a corner, he was relieved to see the door to the Summer dorms, and he put an extra spurt of energy into making it there faster.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:05 pm

"Honestly, you two..."

Nicola rolled her eyes, shifting her leg and position to prepare for a sprint. Lift your arm a little here, have the other one forward, and make sure it's opposite to your legs for maximum speed. Look forward, back straight. Easy enough. Owen had already taken a headstart in his run, Madison bobbling along on his back and clinging on for dear life with her arms wrapped around his neck like a boa in hopes of not falling off halfway through the ride. She could see with her own eyes the darkness that loomed over the world with the sun sinking deeper and deeper into the never-ending snow, shadows began to spread everywhere and dye the white wonderland into the black depths of hell. Five, four, three, two, one... Go!

Her hands reached down and snatched her kitten up and into the air as she began a mad dash back, the wind biting at her skin the more speed she put into her steps. Longer strides were impossible with her short stature and a sizzling resentment at Owen's height was beginning to blossom even more than ever. He was lucky enough in the genetics pool to get long legs and that kind of build, but ugh... He was actually pretty athletic. Considering how much snowfall there had been lately and the way he managed to trudge through as though it was little to nothing with a person weighing down on his back wasn't fair at all. If he had tripped or something, she'd have a bit of an easier time believing he was a human rather than a Flashlight. Flashlight, flashlight, flashlight... a new nickname was needed. Something... fancier maybe.

Skidding to a halt at the front of the Summer dormitory, she swung the door open, white particles filling the floor as the three of them made it inside, just in time as the moon made its appearance in the sky, substituting the cheerful sun of day. Lulu struggled free from her grasp, padding onto the floor and shaking his fur dry. Her hands now rested on her knees, shaky shallow breaths escaping her. Fuck asthma, she hated it. It was her fault for not using her inhaler today, but she rarely had to run or anything. This was a bit unexpected. Maybe she should prepare for emergencies like this to happen more often.

Lungs, pain, hurt. Goddamn. Nicola suppressed a cough, leaning against the wall for support and glanced over at the two. The way it looked, the snow wouldn't be coming down that hard, right? Did the forecast say anything about the chances of a snowstorm? She completely forgot. If the lights went out now, that'd be terrible. Dear god, don't let a power outage exist now. She was not in the mood to fight anything and certainly out of shape. Why did Madison have to have such a dangerous gift? Why couldn't she turn sweet dreams to reality instead of nightmares and hallucinations?

The key in her pocket was taken out, spinning on her index finger. "You guys can get into your rooms, right?" Flopping onto the couch sounded like the first thing she wanted to do the moment she got back. That and study for that dumb English test that was coming up... or maybe she'll slack off on that. Who needs studying, amirite?

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:47 am

Through that run, Madison saw her nightmares converge. They were waves, purple waves, shadows flooding the sunset courtyard in orange splatter, and Madison shut her eyes, gripped Owen's chest tighter as they rounded the corner, and when she opened her eyes, she was there. Madison jumped down when they made it to their dorms, balancing with the cane propped tightly to the floor. At Nicola's question, she dug into her pocket. What if it wasn't there? What if she dropped it? The horror stories painted themselves before she actually reached in, where she thankfully uncovered it. "Yeah," she said, holding up the key, before prompty losing grip and juggling it, the small device dropping and jingling onto the floor.

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PostSubject: Re: Feel and Conquer   Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:53 pm

With Madison off his back, Owen brushed the snow out of his hair, glancing up and down the hallway for other people. The dorm was fairly quiet aside from various sounds coming from behind doors. Students no doubt studying, settling down in front of the television, getting ready to relax for the night. Another shiver ran through him, and Owen wanted nothing more than to take a hot shower.

He quickly stooped down and grabbed Madison's key, straightening up to hand it to her.
"Yep, I can get into my own," he said, digging into his pockets. His heart skipped a beat as he realized he couldn't feel his lanyard in his pockets, there were no jingling sounds or metal objects touching his hand, and he wondered if he had left it in the dorm or if he had dropped it somewhere else. He pretended not to panic, continuing to smile at the girls. He could wait it out by the door, Gabe was sure to come by at some point to let him in. He might even be in the dorm already.

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