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Season of Giving 2020

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Snippet #2509938

located in Raven Institute for Speciality Teens, a part of The Ravens Nest, one of the many universes on RPG.

Raven Institute for Speciality Teens



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Character Portrait: Roman Augustine Character Portrait: Jae Jun Chambers
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Jae Jun Chambers

The nightmares were getting worse. They'd started a year ago, when he first arrived at this place, and they often wavered in intensity, but the last few nights had found him wide eyed, drenched in sweat for endless hours, unwilling to let the night take over again. It was always the worst when they conducted physical tests. Yesterday had been blood testing, and his arms were scarred up from the several times they'd had to needle him to find the vein, since he kept disappearing the moment the needle came close. Today would be another blood day, since they hadn't gotten enough to run everything they wanted to. They kept coming up with new ideas, new chemicals to mix to see what qualities of his organic make-up caused him to go invisible as he did. To see if they could take his cloaking abilities and use them for other things. J was afraid of what would happen once they figured out how to take his ability from him. Would they farm him for the organic material that made him so special, or would they produce it synthetically and kill him? When they weren't running physical tests they were trying to scare the living daylight out of him to see how he reacted. And then they wondered why he was so jumpy all the time. J squinted into the darkness, trying to see the time. It was three in the morning. He scrubbed his eyes and sighed. His heart was pounding like a rabbit's, there was no way he was going back to sleep. It wasn't worth his time to try.

His fingers found the groove left on his cheek from the metal circlet on his wrist, and he tried to rub the mark away. He slept curled on his side, hands under his head, but his wafer pillow wasn't enough to protect his delicate skin. Once upon a time he'd looked soft and healthy, but now his face was lean and gaunt, deep circles under his eyes. He tried to smile as much as possible, look like he was okay, like he had been taught to, but as the days past it became harder and harder. Even when he wasn't in testing situations sometimes he broke down. It was embarrassing, but he couldn't help it. He just had to laugh it off and take a few deep breaths to make his heart rate drop again. At this rate he was going to have a heart attack at twenty and die. Ha ha.

The dark haired boy felt his ways across his small, dark room, unwilling to turn a light on. He managed to procure some jeans and a t-shirt and hastily pull them on. Wearing day clothes made him a feel a little better, separated him from the breathless fear of his night terrors. He couldn't tell how he looked, because his body, still tense, refused to become visible again, so he just assumed he was fine and poked his head out the door. Because he was a good kid, never argued or struggled or tried to escape, some of the guards were willing to let him get by with wandering the halls at night. After all, how likely was it that the small, easily frightened boy would try something funny?

J squinted through the light outside, and glanced at the guard, who's eyes were trained on his cuff. "You be back soon, kid." The guard told the cuff, reaching out and managing catch the arm that belonged to the cuff in a tight grip. the boy managed to fizzle back into full visibility at the contact, and dipped his head. "Yessir." He mumbled, staring at the floor until he was released. It was a common ritual. Only once had the guard needed to come down and find him, and J took the scolding silently.

Silently he stole down the halls, managing to stay visible for the majority of the time. Usually at this hour he wandered into the music room to service the instruments. Whoever was supposed to take care of the room did an exceedingly poor job tuning everything, and Jae was thankful for it. He could lose himself for hours plucking strings and twisting knobs, tightening and loosening, cleaning pipes and adjusting slides, wiping away oil and shining smooth surfaces. He was at home in this room. It made him feel useful, contributing to something beautiful like this.

Somehow, exhaustion eventually overtook him, and he ended up drifting off, he always slept invisible, just in case, in the corner of the room by the extra sheet music. Several hours later he awoke to sound, a thrill of fear shivering down his spine and resting heavily in his. If he hadn't already been invisible, he certainly would have disappeared then. He bolted upright, pressing the back of a fist against his lips to prevent a sound of startlement from leaking from his teeth. His eyes took a moment to adjust, and they settled on a figure seated at the piano. Oh. It was just Roman. J sighed internally, his body relaxing. Now, if he could only get away without her noticing him. Or just as quickly as possible. He rose quietly, debating as to whether he should become visible again or not. If he didn't and got caught it would be worse than appearing, saying something polite and hurrying out, he decided, and let his cloaking fall from him.

Anxiety still burbled low in his belly, so he took his time straightening the stacks of paper and adjusting an askew violin on it's stand. She was a good player, the music rolled of her fingers. It must be a practiced song, he couldn't see any music sitting in front of her. And she seemed so absorbed in what she was doing. If only he could just slip away, unnoticed.

But he had to say something. He had to be polite. He affixed a smile to his face, and moved around her quietly, trying to fix his sleep mussed hair at the same time. "I...uh...You play well. I didn't know you played classical." He said, forcing himself to look her in the eye. His cuffed hand aimlessly scratched at one of the needle scars on the soft part of his other forearm. He stood halfway between the piano and the door. He never came in if someone else was in the music room, and suddenly he was feeling just as uncomfortable in here as he did elsewhere in their prison. His gaunt face was flushed, but he had to stay a little longer. He didn't want to be rude. And her playing was beautiful. His oil slick eyes flicked from her to the door, and he swallowed.

"Do you mind if I listen for a little?" He managed to gt out. She was so nice to him, he had to be polite to her. While part of him wished she'd say no, he did want to listen to her play. She added soul to Debussy he'd never heard before. He favored playing the violin and it's family to the piano, but her talent on the keys was obvious.