Snippet #2628969

located in Laurea, New York, a part of Laurel, one of the many universes on RPG.

Laurea, New York

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Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn
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Typically, the Knight may have signed up to take MMA alongside the Queen. He had done so previous summers and proved himself quite capable, perhaps thanks to a good base athleticism and a knack for catching moments of weakness in other people. Typically, he would be by Nina's side. However, given the incident last night, Daniel had decided that taking the class to do with physical contact would be a poor choice on his part. Besides, if word had gotten back to Mr. Smalley -Daniel stubbornly refuses to call him by his first name because he finds that in poor taste- that Daniel had acted in such a manner, the class would have been less than enjoyable for him. He would have been praised for protecting Mr. Smalley's darling Miss Romanov, and Mr. Smalley is one teacher whom Daniel has never really had any desire to be favored by. He is grisly, unprofessional, and in general not someone that Daniel can ever imagine himself respecting. The Queen may bestow her favor, but the Knight reserves judgment on the issue.

Thus, Daniel is not by Nina's side to stand as a barrier between her and Sterling, though he does not know this. He is instead preoccupied with a no-contact choice, free to jog as he pleases. Jogging offers two options: to run in a group or alone, the latter being so long as the runner selects a specific jogging course. Daniel immediately chose the one that only one or two other runners, slower than he, had picked, allowing himself to be virtually alone. The running is mechanical, each movement and breath not requiring any higher mental use, and typically this is what Daniel likes about it. He can think while his body moves, the two entities becoming separate. But, perhaps today that is not the most desirable aspect to running. There are many things to process, and while he has never had difficulty sifting through information, these things are too sticky to be fed through the normal machinery. It requires being processed by hand.

For example, his difficulty sleeping last night. This had not been exclusively due to the discomfort of the chair. He felt uncomfortable sleeping so close to Nina, despite the fact that this makes no logical sense. What had there been to fear, when she herself was fast asleep? It was not fear which kept him up. He would wake up and simply sit there, in the darkness, silent. One one instance, there had been a slight pause in her breathing and it felt as though someone had rapidly wound a rope around his entire body, pulling tighter until her breathing became regular once more. He then realized the downright creepiness of remaining awake, and attempted to fall back asleep. The results were somewhat unsatisfactory.

Last night, of course, is in general something so tangled that he is concerned about making the knots tighter in any attempt to form reason from the madness. The anger, he had known about. He has always known about it, about the fierce emotion he keeps caged up. One must know a thing in order to control it, after all. He does not understand the intensity, does not understand the source of it, but knows the situations in which he must tread lightly. He remembers not coming out of his room for two months. He remembers the last days he had seen Sam, strange nights with just the two of them, doing nothing but reading and talking and watching those war documentaries that his friend had been so obsessed with. He remembers smiling, laughing, in a way that he rarely does anymore. Nina is precious, and yet still pales in comparison to the one he lost. She is not Sam.

She is something else. Daniel cannot imagine simply staying up reading and talking, lit by images of maps and soldiers. Perhaps it is merely age which has removed such nights from his reach. Instead he stays up, unable to sleep, tense in an uncomfortable chair, listening. Nina is not Sam. The light touches her in a different way it did Sam. She is better suited to the stars and the moon. Sam had been warm in a way which almost melted Daniel's cage. Nina is cold in a way which reaches out to soothe. But cold can freeze, bring temperatures down until metal bars are brittle. Easily shattered.

Daniel turns right where he ought to turn left.

Nina is not the electricity of Sam. She is a shiver, Khione reincarnated. But goddesses are immortal, unchanging. Nina is falling back to earth at rapid speed, gaining a velocity to set fire to the land she hits. Like lightning. Like electricity. Daniel skids to a halt, and leans against a tree to catch his breath. He had run faster than intended, had forgotten to regulate his pace. His heart is beating rapidly, following a chaotic drumline. If he does not run, Daniel forgets what it feels like to have that motion in his chest. He can almost fall victim to the rumors that there is nothing but gears within him, one of that Erin girl's robotic toys. Even when running, he will keep his pace even enough so that the heart beat moves up steadily, so that he will not notice it.

He remembers how even his thoughts could not be heard over the sound the organ made when Sam died. He had not cried, or screamed. He had shut himself away to be in the company of that impossibly loud drum. Now in the presence of this old companion, he has cause to wonder if he had remembered to shut the door to his bedroom behind him after leaving. A maid might have done it for him.

Daniel's breathing has returned to normal but he can still hear the pounding. He remembers Nina's speech. She had become so vulnerable, it frightened him. Daniel knows what it is to open himself fully and be devoted, but he'd never wish a revisitation of that on her. Sterling exists nonetheless.

Still beating.

Who could have hurt her while he wasn't looking? Even Sterling had seemed shocked at her words. Daniel refuses to allow anything to slip out of the cage, wondering what could have happened. How he could have failed. He will not allow ice to melt and slip away, as fire had burnt out before.

Still pounding.

How had he allowed someone to scar his Queen?

Mine.

Daniel is shocked by his own word, but does not deny it. He had denied it in regards to Sam, that fierce possessiveness, that need to have something, someone. He is older now. Nina is not Sam. She is different. She is a shiver, not electricity.

Daniel begins running again, as if to justify the organ in his chest.

Still racing.