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Introduction

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A young, single father to a five year old girl had been managing to get by. Ever since his wife left him and their daughter five years ago, it's only been the two of them. He works as a full time photographer, doing everything he can to give his little girl the life she deserves. After many months of desperation, heartbreak and struggle, he's finally living comfortably once again. His and his daughter's relationship would be envied by many parents, and their future looks bright. However, all that changes with one single word.

Cancer

A life sucking illness had taken over his little girl's body, with little hopes of recovery. The doctors estimate she's got about a month left before it's too late. The only chance of survival is a very costly, very complicated operation with no guarantees that it will turn out well. Many doctors have tried and failed. Only one doctor, among them all, has ever succeeded with the surgery, making him the little girl's last and only lifeline. The only problem is, said doctor hasn't been seen for years. Rumor is, he quit the medicine field, though nobody knows why. But the younger father is determined to find him, and do whatever he can to save his little girl's life.




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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman
Ben Chapman played by iCat
Somebody make me feel alive and shatter me.

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BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
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xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be

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A lot of the time, Ben felt like he didn't fit into this small town. On the surface, he did. He fit in with the peace and quiet exactly. He got up, went to work, sometimes went for a drink with his co-workers, more often went for a drink by himself, then went home. He had a routine, a place. He was the quiet guy in the bookstore, the one who specialised in academic books, the one who drank alone and who people knew not to question.

But he also had secrets, more secrets than felt right for this quiet, peaceful place. Everyone else he knew seemed to live a peaceful life. He wondered if he'd ruined the peace just by showing up. From the first moment he'd asked for a job and had been vague about his last job, he had started tainting the town. He knew they'd all seen the shake in his hands, how it worsened when someone mentioned it or when he was stressed, how even the whiskey he nursed at the bar did nothing to ease it. He knew they knew he had secrets. He knew that people were curious about him. But they didn't want to disrupt the peace, and so they left him to his whiskey and his books.

He wondered if anyone missed him back home. His family had been the only ones he'd even told that he was moving here. They were the only ones with any clue of where he was. To everyone else, he'd just disappeared. Sometimes he'd log into his old social media accounts and see the messages from friends asking him if he was okay, if he was alive, talking about rumours they'd heard. Apparently a popular one was that he was actually missing in action in Iraq, presumed dead, but that everyone had just kept it covered up.

There were nights like this when he longed for some excitement, for something to break him out of his mundane life. Had he not already been drinking, he might have travelled a few towns over and found some handsome stranger to distract him for a night. But the bus had stopped running and he wasn't enough of an idiot to want to drive. So instead he drank and challenged himself to practice suturing on a piece of cloth. If he could do something this simple, maybe there was still hope for him.

His hand slipped and ruined the near perfect stitching. He stopped practicing and started drinking even more.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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【 JACOB ✧ SONG 】
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"When you've got nowhere to go,
I'll be your home"

photographer ✧ #228B22outfit
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【 AUTUMN ✧ SONG 】
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"I have the best dad in the entire world"
pre-schooler ✧ #00FF00outfit
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"Appa..." the sound of Autumn's delicate voice traveled down the narrow hallway into the living room where Jacob had been all of his daughter's belongings into the suitcase she had decided to use. His brows scrunched in frustration, pondering on how he would explain to his little girl that she either needed to take less clothes or choose a bigger suitcase. "Hmm?" it was silent for a couple of seconds until tiny footsteps could be heard against the polished wood floors. The young father lifted his head to the view of Autumn walking into the living room, small white chihuahua in her hands. He already knew what she would ask even before she spoke. "Where is Chloe going to go? Does she fit in your bags?". Jacob let a wide smile spread on his face before kneeling down in front of his daughter and freeing the small dog from her grasp. "Chloe is staying with aunt Jazz for a few days." The disappointment immediately shows on the small girl's face, but she doesn't argue. Instead she takes a few steps over and places a gentle kiss on the dog's coat. "Don't worry Chloe, we'll be back."

After much needed rearranging and negotiating, father and daughter finally agree on leaving a few items behind, and fitting a few into Jacob's own luggage so that Autumn could keep her favorite suitcase. After all, Jake had no way of knowing how long they would be staying in England. As long as necessary, that was his current resolution, however that was easier said than done. England was a large country, and Jacob had not a single clue where to start looking. When he'd spoken to the doctors, they had been very vague. No one knew where this infamous doctor had ran off to. Most didn't even know if he was still alive. Jacob had barely managed to get a tip from an anonymous family member about his being somewhere in England. So here he was, bags packed and a pair of one way tickets to London, his starting point. Maybe it was a reckless move. Maybe he'd be wasting his time and money for nothing, but he wasn't going to sit back and wonder what if. He would find this doctor at whatever the cost.

Autumn slept most of the flight, while Jake watched her. One month. He had one month to find this doctor before Autumn's condition got out of hand and too extensive to operate. The thought of losing his one and only daughter, the most important thing in his life, brought a heavy feeling to his chest. He closed his eyes, letting his head rest on the back of the seat, and swallowed down the lump in his throat. He was going to cry. Not while there was still hope.

Somewhere along the flight, Jacob drifted off to sleep. His dreams in the form on memories combined with nightmares. He woke to the sound of Autumn's voice calling for him as she pointed out the small window to their left. Jake blinked the sleep from his eyes, just in time to hear the captain announcing that their would be arriving shortly. Suddenly, all the nerves he had been pushing back jumped into his stomach. What if he couldn't find the doctor? Or what if he did find the doctor but the man refused to help them? What if the doctor was physically unable to operate now? All the doubts clouded his head, muting everything around him to the point where he missed the first few times Autumn called him. "Appaaa, are you falling asleep again? We're here!" The man looked from her daughter to the seat belt sign that had already been turned off and immediately got to his feet. He could see Autumn squirming in her seat with excitement ad he pulled their bags down from the overhead compartment before extending a hand for her to take. "Let's go!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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Image
BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
Image
Image
Image
xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be

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"The government," David said, startling Ben out of his reverie. He looked at David as he reached down to grab a book from the pile by his feet. "What?" Ben asked, frowning. "You used to work for the government. That's why you're so vague about your past and why you came all the way here to hide from it. You were like the American James Bond." So close and yet so far. Ben shook his head. "Nope. I'm flattered, though."

This was a game his coworkers liked to play with him. Try and figure out who he used to be. It was a game they could easily end by just looking him up, but they seemed to enjoy it too much to just try and find the easy answer. He wasn't convinced that none of them had ever tried searching him, but either they weren't clicking into the news stories, or they weren't saying anything. Either way, he was glad for it.

"I'm going to get you really drunk one night, and I'm going to get you to tell me then," David declared, and Ben just smirked. "Good luck with that, Dave."

That night was a rare disruption in Ben's usual routine, and an oddly welcoming one. He'd been dreading the event- some children's author launching their book and throwing a party for the local kids to promote it. The author herself was charming and had the children enraptured the whole time, while the adults enjoyed their complimentary glass of bubbles and the staff laughed at Frank and Suzanne, who had drawn the short straws and who now had to dress up as some of the children's characters. Ben had a tendency to volunteer to take the photos for an excuse not to be in any of them- but the local paper had sent a photographer, meaning that Ben inevitably got dragged into some of them. He forced a smile and simply hoped that the local paper was so obscure he wouldn't be seen or noticed. He didn't realise that the author herself tweeted a photo of her and the staff, making him just that little bit easier to find than he would have liked.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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【 JACOB ✧ SONG 】
‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

"When you've got nowhere to go,
I'll be your home"

photographer ✧ #228B22outfit
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【 AUTUMN ✧ SONG 】
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"I have the best dad in the entire world"
pre-schooler ✧ #00FF00outfit
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London wa
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London was much quieter than Jacob expected it to be. Perhaps it was the time of day, the season, maybe the fact that it was in the middle of the week instead of a weekend, but he and Autumn had virtually no trouble making it to their hotel room. Save the few minutes they had to stop for ice cream because the girl simply could not go on without it. Her over dramatic gestures and facial expressions often reminded him of his mother and as much as he didn't have feelings for the woman anymore, it certainly still stung a bit.

"Izzy, you hungry?" he asked, eyes flicking over tot he toddler who was sprawled out on the hospital bed playing some sort of game on Jacob's phone. She nodded enthusiastically before sitting up. "Let's get McDonald's!" Jake chuckled, pulling out a new pair of clothes for her to wear after her bath. "McDonald's? We can eat that at home. Don't you wanna try something else?" the girl brought a small hand to her chin as if pondering his offer, a frown very visible on her face. "But...what f it makes my tummy hurt like last time?" Jake's lips pressed into a thin line, a small lump forming in his throat as he recalled the terrible night they had just a week or so ago when Autumn woke up crying in pain. How was he to explain to her that her stomach ache wasn't because of something she ate? There was really no point. "I'll find you something good, I promise." he responded with a somewhat forced smile before handing her the clean clothes. "Now hurry up, the water is going to get cold!" he watched her take off towards the bathroom, reminding her to call for him when she was finished. Once she was out of sight, Jake sat on the bed, PC in his lap and pulled up every search engine he could think of.

He had a name, Benjamin Chapman. And somewhat of an idea of what this man was supposed to look like. Perhaps if he just type in his name in every search engine and hoped for the best, something would come up. And the man came up indeed, except not with the information she needed to know. All articles talked about how this doctor had vanished into thin air, so to speak. There were many that claimed he had died, but the family member Jake spoke to assured him that he was very much still alive. Time and time again, the same information came up. Jake could feel his resolve slowly crumbling to nothing as he stared at the articles. There was a high possibility that he would never find this man, and that alone made his insides turn in fear. Just as he was about to give up, he come across a local news page. There was some sort of book launching party for a children's book at a store about an hour away from their hotel. But that's not what caught his attention, it was a picture of the bookstore employees. One in particular stood out. "No way..." a huge part of him told him not to get his hopes up. As much as the man matched the description he had been given, it was also a bit of a stretch and there was no way in hell he had found the doctor that easily. Still, the optimist in him lead him to look up cab fairs and possible ubers that would be willing to take him that far.

"Appa, I'm done!" Jake quickly took down the bookstore address and shut the laptop before rushing over to get Autumn dressed. He decided to skip his shower all together. If he wanted to make it to the place before it closed, he would need to hurry. He just hoped he didn't look too rumpled from the flight. The last thing he needed was to scare off this man that could possibly be his little's girl's saving grace.

In the end, they stopped to get McDonald's on their drive over. Needless to say, Autumn was thrilled. She ate her meal in a happy bliss and spent the rest of the time playing "I Spy" with the cab driver. The young dad kept his gaze glued on the passing scenery. Every mile adding more to his doubts and fears, until eventually they made it. The cab parked across the street, where Jake could see the book store and the bustle of the parents and their children. At least he'd be fitting right in. He helped Autumn out of the car, payed his fees, and immediately made his way over to the place. He continued to tell himself not to get his hopes up, but that didn't do much good. The moment they stepped inside, Autumn gave a little gasp as she took in the scene. If the doctor wasn't here, at the very least Autumn would have something nice to remember.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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Image
BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
Image
Image
Image
xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be


Hanging with the grown-ups had originally seemed like a more preferable idea to hanging with the children, but now one of the single mothers had taken to flirting with him, and didn't seem to be able to take a hint that he wasn't interested. He was relieved when he saw somebody entering the store and was able to excuse himself, making his way over to the newcomer and grabbing some of the goodie bags on his way. "Hey there. You're just on time, I hear the good fairy Suzie is about to start telling a story. Run on over to her there, there's still a few beanbags left for you to sit on," He said, dropping to the little girl's height and handing her a goodie bag. He straightened up to look at her dad. He was the type of person that Ben might have once bought a drink if he'd encountered him in a bar. He was the type of person Ben would still consider buying a drink.

"There's a goodie bag for you too if you want one," he said, raising an eyebrow. "We packed loads, so don't worry about some poor kid going without. Some kids have already wrangled two out of David, he's a sucker for puppy eyes. There's also some grown up snacks over here if you want them. And, more importantly, grown-up drinks. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic, we're aware you're still supervising your kids and might have to drive." Apparently the publishers had sponsored the event and had spared no event. Ben just hoped they'd let the staff keep the excess.

"Oh, and I'm Ben by the way. If you need or want anything, just ask," he said with a smile.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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【 JACOB ✧ SONG 】
‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

"When you've got nowhere to go,
I'll be your home"

photographer ✧ #228B22outfit
‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

Image
【 AUTUMN ✧ SONG 】
‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

"I have the best dad in the entire world"
pre-schooler ✧ #00FF00outfit
‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

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For a good minute, Jacob's eyes were focused on his little girl and the way her eyes sparkled at the abundance of treats, fairy costumes and other children. He smiled subconsciously, the sight of her being happy was all he needed. He'd been so caught up in the sight that he didn't see the man approach them. "Hello there-" Jake lifted his gaze just in time to see the man kneeling in front of Autumn. She watched him in amazement, and so did Jacob, but not particularly for the same reasons. "A fairy?" Autumn lifted her hopeful gaze to her father as if asking for permission, to which he responded with a smile. "Go on!". With Jacob's encouragement, the small girl took off to join the crowd.

The man then turned his attention to Jacob. Maybe it was his strong will, his delusional mind, he desperation to save his daughter, but one look at the man's face and Jake knew it was him. This is who he was looking for. "There's a goodie bag for you too if you want one," The man continued to speak, and though half of Jacob's mind was listening, the other half couldn't stop wondering "what if". What if it's not him? What if he's just desperate? Or what if it is him but he doesn't want to help? The man paused for a moment, and Jake thought about asking him right then and there, but he decided against it. If this really is him, if it really is the doctor Jake is looking for, then he has to approach the situation with caution. There's got to be a reason why the man vanished the way he did, and is hiding out here so far from home, on his own. Perhaps the best move was to figure out why first, though Jake had no idea how he would go about it.

"Oh, and I'm Ben by the way. If you need or want anything, just ask," Ben...Benjamin. There's no doubt in his mind now, it has to be him. Jacob didn't mean to stare at the man, but his mind attempted to match what he was seeing with what he remembered from the photograph and the descriptions he was given by others. Once he realized Ben was waiting for his reply, Jacob returned a dimpled smile with its usual warmth. "I'm Jacob, or Jake." he said, gently shaking Ben's hand before gesturing towards Autumn whom had already made a couple of friends among the children. "That's my daughter Autumn." he added with a fond smile before turning his attention back to Ben. The nervous feeling settled into his stomach and made a home there, but Jacob managed to continue as if nothing. "We're actually not from around here." Jacob's lips pressed into a thin line as he tried to think of the best way to explain why he was here without giving away the actual reasons. At least, not yet. "Autumn and I are taking a little vacation and she wanted to explore." though that wasn't the main reason they were here, it also wasn't a lie.

"I haven't been able to eat anything though...maybe later you could show us a good place to eat? If it's not too much trouble" he asked, adding in a polite smile. He could hear Autumn's voice coming from behind Ben, her little laugh still his favorite sound in the entire world. He kept his face neutral, so as to not tip off the doctor, but if the man refused his request Jacob would have to start from square one and think of a better way and time to get the man alone so they could talk about what brought him here. A room full of people, half of them being children is most definitely no it.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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Image
BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
Image
Image
Image
xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be
There was a moment where the man stared too long, and Ben thought he saw a spark of... something in the man's eye. But then he recovered before Ben had much of a chance to dwell on it too long. He had a nice smile, one that made Ben's own smile widen a little more and feel a little more genuine. Ben returned the handshake, suddenly paranoid that Jake would somehow be able to feel the slight shake in it. Instinctively, he folded his arms. The shake wasn't something he exactly liked being brought up in this type of conversation.

There was something about this man, something that Ben couldn't quite put his finger on. He was hiding something, but Ben sure as hell couldn't judge him for that. He also wasn't going to pry. If Jake was running from something or trying to hide something, then the last thing he wanted was total strangers questioning it. Coming up with lie after lie was hard, so it was easier to just not be asked.

Ben barely managed to cover his surprise when the man asked him if he could show them somewhere for dinner, and then had to mentally chastise himself for jumping to conclusions. "Absolutely. There's a nice place not too far from here, there's always families with kids there as well. Are you staying in town this evening?" Ben asked. Inside, he had so many questions about this man and his adorable daughter. Why was he here? Was he hiding from something? Did he just want to disappear, just like Ben had? Or was he really just here on vacation with his daughter? And had there actually been anything to that offer of dinner, or was he genuinely just looking for somewhere to eat while also being friendly? Ben didn't know why he cared- realistically, Jake would probably move on to somewhere else tomorrow or the day after and forget all about Ben. Or maybe that was exactly why he cared.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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【 JACOB ✧ SONG 】

Image
"When you've got nowhere to go,
I'll be your home"

photographer ✧ #228B22outfit
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At this moment in time, Jake had no idea how he was going to bring up the subject of his daughter in a casual conversation. Granted, there was absolutely nothing casual about it. His little girl was having the life sucked out of her, bit by bit. That was as far from casual as it got, but bringing it up here, and talking about Jacob's hope that this doctor would help them, was not the best idea. Not to mention, he didn't want to scare off the man before even getting the chance to properly talk to him, and telling him that father and daughter flew all the way from San Francisco to here just to find him might do just that.

"Are you staying in town this evening?" Jake glanced in Autumn's direction, who was very occupied with the costumed characters and new friends, and nodded slightly. "I didn't plan on staying long but it looks like Autumn might have other plans." he almost chuckled, and added. "I know she'll be hungry again soon." Jake thought about Ben's suggestion, wondering if it would be a good place to talk. Would it maybe be too crowded? But how could Jacob tell him he preferred somewhere with less people without explaining why? This was proving to be a lot more difficult than he originally planned on. He would just have to make do with what he got. "Thank you for the suggestion, oh, Um- and I'm sorry." he almost muttered, coupled with an apologetic little smile. "You're obviously working and here I am asking you for favors and wasting your time. Don't mind me." he ran his hand through his dark hair, gently scratching at the back of his hair. It was a nervous habit he'd picked up over the years when he wasn't sure what to say or what to do with his hands. "I'll just wait over here for Autumn. I mean, she would love the company but....I don't want to trouble you. I'm sure we could find the place on our own."

As much as he needed to talk to this doctor, he realized that asking a man he'd just met all of two minutes ago to join him and his daughter for dinner might have seemed a little odd, or maybe even given Ben the idea that Jake had other intentions. Though he silently hoped the man would insist on showing them. Not only would it save him the trip back to find him later, but it would also give Jacob and Autumn their much needed company. Not to mention the fact that Jake found the doctor to be very handsome, but that was neither here nor there.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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Image
BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
Image
Image
Image
xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be

xxx
xxx
xxx
xxx
xxx
xxx
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”I didn’t plan on staying long but it looks like Autumn has other plans.” The amount of love that was evident in just that one glance at Autumn spoke volumes about Jake to Ben. Some of the parents here treated their kids like burdens. Even when he’d been working as a doctor, he’d seen the frustration parents treated their kids with when the kids were genuinely sick and unwell. Most of them showed genuine concern, but it was always the nasty few that stuck in your mind. And the ones like Jake, the ones who Ben got the impression would do anything for their kids.

Then Jake seemed to catch himself and realize where they were, apologizing for taking up Ben’s time. Ben shook his head as Jake said they could probably find their way there. “Not at all. I like talking to you. Between you and me, Rose over there has been trying to flirt with me since the moment she came in, and she really can’t seem to take a hint that I’m not interested. You’re much nicer ,” Jake said, lowering his voice and smirking a little. “And honestly, if you guys are okay with having me tag along, I’d be only too happy to come along. I live a very boring and lonely life,” he added, shrugging.

Part of him wondered what the hell he was doing. The more people he let in, the more questions he was susceptible to, and the more answers he’d have to give. Jake wasn’t even going to be sticking around for a while. He’d be gone, and things wouldn’t have changed in the slightest for Ben, but there would be another person who knew his face, knew his name, knew where he was. He didn’t want to make room for two more people only for them to leave another gaping hole in his life.

Because that was it, wasn’t it? He was so desperately lonely that he saw one pretty face, one caring soul, and something in him wanted to let it in. He wanted to break the monotony, to have something and someone different in his life for once. He’d never been terribly good at letting his head choose instead of his heart. But now he had to. It would be dinner, and that was all. They’d move on and he’d stay here, go back to normality and everything it entailed. Loneliness was better than the alternative.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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【 JACOB ✧ SONG 】

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"When you've got nowhere to go,
I'll be your home"

photographer ✧ #228B22outfit
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Much to Jacob’s surprise, and delight, Ben insisted on accompanying them to dinner. There was a minuscule feeling of hope in the pit of Jake’s stomach that this man was the kindest person he’d ever met and would agree to helping Autumn. However, a lot of factors tied into that so, as he’d been doing, Jake pushes all of his hopes down and focused on simply having dinner. At least for the time being. His smile grew a bit as he nodded at the doctor’s answer. ”Well in that case, we’d be happy to be your decoy family.” he joked, sparing a glance in Rose’s direction. It looked like Autumn and her son had become good friends.

For the duration of the time, Jake sat back and watched Autumn play around with the other children, every once in a while stealing a glance of Ben who was busily doing his job. There was still that uneasy, nervous feeling in Jake’s stomach anytime he thought about what was to come, but he managed to remain calm and wait patiently. A couple of single moms that noticed his lack of spouse took to flirting with him, asking if he and Autumn would like to go to dinner afterwards. Thankfully, he could now say he already had plans without the need to lie about it. Eventually the customers began to leave, bit by bit and Jake guessed the event was nearing its end. Autumn and Ben had already become fairly acquainted w0ithout the need of his input which was a very good start. Unfortunately for Ben, Rose still hadn’t gotten the not so subtle hints he’d been giving her.

Jacob took a moment to asses the scene before approaching the two, giving Rose a warm smile. ”Hello.” jacob wasn’t sure how Ben would react to his joining the conversation, but judging by the looks on the man’s face and how hard he’d been trying to get rid of this woman, Jake guesses he wouldn’t mind too terribly. As if on cue, Autumn also joined them the moment she spotted her dad, happily grabbing onto his hand. ”Appa are you going to play with me too?”. Jake crouched down to his daughter’s eye level, removing a string of hair from her face. ”Actually I was going to ask if you’re hungry.” The small girl squealed in excitement as she nodded, taking hold of her father’s cheeks with her glitter adorned hands. ”Can we have some ice cream?” The young father chuckled and gently tapped her nose. ”Sure, but food first.” He got to his feet, running a sleeve over his face in an attempt to wipe away the glitter he knew had been left on his face, and turned to Ben. ”We’ll wait for you by the front desk.” It's not that Jake was in any hurry, he'd gladly wait for Ben as long as needed. He just thought he'd give the man a little help in hopes that Rose would get the hint.

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Character Portrait: Ben Chapman Character Portrait: Jacob Song
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BEN CHAPMAN
the doctor- #bbc89c - outfit
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xxxi feel so damn worthless
xxxanother day is gone
xxxand all my faces are alibis
xxxand me, I'm half the man I wanted to be

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Ben would have happily stayed and talked to Jake all night, but unfortunately duty called. He managed to avoid being roped in to Suzie's reading to play the Young King, but instead was collared again by Rose as he just tried to restack the tower of books that had been knocked. No matter how busy he tried to look or actually was, she just didn't seem to get the hint, and persistently followed him around, her flirting becoming more and more blatant as time went on.

Eventually, the children started getting tired and grumpy, and the store started to empty out. Some parents seemed glad to escape the place, probably afraid that if they stayed any longer, their children would become glitter-covered, sugar-fueled monsters. He couldn't blame them, to be honest. Some parents were hanging around, probably not wanting to deal with the glitter-covered, sugar-fueled monsters their children had already become. One parent was notably still hanging around. Rose. And now she nearly had him cornered. His patience had almost snapped when suddenly, Jake appeared with the adorable Autumn. Autumn even managed to distract Rose for a second, giving Ben a chance to shoot Jake a grateful smile.

The interaction seemed to make Rose finally hesitate as she looked between Ben and Jake. Her hesitation finally gave Ben the chance to escape. "I'll be there in a minute, I just need to grab my jacket," he replied as Jake said where they'd be waiting. Ben turned to Rose. "Lovely talking to you this evening, Rose, but I've got to run, I'm afraid." She still seemed to be working something through in her head as Ben smirked and headed to the cloakroom to grab his jacket and quickly check he didn't have any glitter on his face.

"Thanks for that. Jesus, that woman is persistent. And completely oblivious," Ben said quietly as he caught up to Jake. "Hey, honey, did you have a good time? You wanna go get some food?" He asked, again ducking briefly to Autumn's level. She was adorable, and seemed like a sweet kid as well. She was easy to spend time with, much like her dad. "It's just about five minutes away, and it should be quiet this time of evening," Ben said, straightening up again. "So, what about you? We didn't bore you out of your mind, did we?"

43800: Out Of Character (OOC)

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