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"There's a reason they call it 'Frankenstein's Monster'." WIP.

0 · 875 views · located in The Earth, 2017

a character in “A Tale of Seven Children//Rebirth”, as played by zody



"The Doctor is in."

~ Physical Profile ~

- Name -
    + Frankenstein, name unknown.
- Physical Age -
    + Early to mid twenties.
- True Age -
    + Mid twenties(?)
- Gender -
    + Male.
- Race -
    + Human(?)
- Subspecies -
    + N/A(?)
- Description -
    + Standing 5 feet 11 inches tall, Frankenstein's pale skin versus his dark garments makes him come across as somewhat of a ghost. His body is quite thin, and several places have what seem to be stitches on them. His neck, his wrists, just above his elbows, just below his knees, the top of his thighs.. Any part of his body that isn't visible is likely to have some sort of stitching on it.

    + His eyes glow a worrying golden hue, and his hair is almost as white as his skin. Slightly sharper canines make his smiles look menacing, and his eyes actually glow in the dark due to his self-experimentation. His eye sockets have bags under them, and are a bit redder than usual due to his unnatural skin tone.

    + His outfit never changes- a white shirt with black dress pants, worn under a black vest, worn under a black dress jacket, worn under a black cloak. His attire allows him ample resistance to the cold, and he barely feels the heat. It also allows him to blend into the dark, making only his glowing eyes visible. He alternates between white and black gloves, and wears typical dress shoes to match his outfit. However, he does rarely change his outfit for a white scientists' coat instead of his black one, and when going undercover is usually caught wearing a long-sleeved black shirt under another dress jacket. He always seems so formal, but for what reason is unknown.

- Any differences from your provided image/s -
    + You can't see his stitching in his pictures.

~ Psychological Profile ~


- Personality -
    + ?

- Likes -
    + ?
- Dislikes -
    + ?
- Strengths -
    + ?
- Fears -
    + ?
- Hobbies -
    + ?
- Secrets? -
    + ?
- Outlook on Life -
    + ""

- Affiliation -
    + ?

- Moral Alignment -
    + ?

~ Combat Profile ~


- Major Abilities -
    + Living Conductor - Frankenstein is a living conductor, and no, not the train type. His body absorbs and redirects electricity through any region of it. He's completely immune to lightning-based anything, and is capable of absorbing the lightning and using it to 'charge' himself. He can erect a lightning barrier around himself, and anything his lightning touches will be effected as if it were hit with regular lightning, such as bullets being exploded and electronics being shut down..

    + He can also use his personal lightning to enhance his physical abilities, giving his punches and kicks a stun effect upon contact with the enemy. This will also transfer electricity into the targets he touches, acting like a taser as the volts course through their bodies. He's able to manipulate the lightning like an extra limb, and his most powerful use of this ability is channeling the entirety of his electrical charge for use in a sort of area bomb.

    + The only real downside to this ability are lightning-resistant things, and when Frankenstein 'runs out of charge'. He can't summon lightning from anywhere but his body, so he has to regularly recharge once he's run out of juice- stealing from electronics, being struck by lightning or lightning-based attacks and also generating his own static electricity (he usually shuffles his feet on the carpet for a while before leaving for a task.) through various means are all ways he can 'charge'.
    "Shocking, isn't it?"
    + Anti-You - Frankenstein is an incredibly skilled man- a Doctor, a Scientist, and a madman. He's also a very, very quick learner. That's why he's particularly dangerous- his power varies on those fighting him. How, you ask? Well, he has a counter button. Frankenstein is able to, after witnessing an ability several times, effectively counter it. This happens faster if it's actually used on him, and even more so if Frankenstein is already aware of similar techniques. However, Special abilities are impossible for him to read.

    + Frankenstein's counter activates when an ability hits him, and it's simply reflected at the owner of said ability. It's still under their control, just reflected back at them. This is particularly dangerous if the skill involves metals, which Frankenstein can imbue with lightning before countering it. Essentially, think of this as a reflection spell.

    +In terms of downsides, it requires his attention to be focused on that one attack completely, both before and during his counter phase. However, when countered, he can freely lock on to someone else. On top of this, he has to touch the move with either of his hands for it to work. Mental abilities are unable to be countered due to a lack of touch, but any psychic abilities that interact with the physical world will be countered if he 'catches' them.
    "You can't use the same trick twice. Much."
    + Mad Scientist - Creating monstrosities is Frankenstein's claim to fame, after all.

- Minor Abilities -
    + Braindead -
    + Silent Night - Frankenstein is someone who much prefers the dark of night to the light of, well, anything. And training his natural abilities has allowed him to become quite the danger when the sun sets. Upon contact with a shadow, Frankenstein will become completely silent, and this applies to anything he comes into contact with- guns, vehicles, and even people. He's killed many a target by touching a shadow and grabbing them, silently electrocuting them just out of sight with nobody ever able to discern why. Oddly, he also uses this to deliver presents to children.

    + His silence lasts up to 15 minutes, and is refreshed every time he steps into a shadow. On top of this, it allows him to use shadows for stealth, although he can't move a muscle while hidden. Anyone proficient if shadow magic would sense him and forcibly eject him with ease, and he can't melt into them completely- his eyes will always be visible.
    + ? -

- Special Ability -
    + Frankenstein's Monster -

- Equipment -
    + ?

- Minor Skills -
    + ?

~ Faction Profile ~


- Faction -
    + ?
- Rank -
    + ?
- Class -
    + ?
- Title/s -
    + The Executioner.
    + Living Lightning Rod.
    + Viktor.
- Loyalty Level -
    + ?

~ Miscellaneous ~


- Biography/History -
    + "Ha, ha, ha."
- Other -
    + Frankenstein speaks with Hex Code #777777.

~ Bonus Gallery ~

"Memories are the worst."

So begins...

Frankenstein's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Eine Minerva
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by zody
-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image

Jojo stepped out of the building, humming to himself softly. The staff had been nice enough, taking his confusion in stride as he'd helped the poor, confused Jojo out. His wallet was fairly full now, and he'd been lucky enough to find an atm that let him withdraw dollars in the exchange. Taking a few steps, he paused for a moment a little down the street. He spun around, coming face-to-air with Illusion. He looked down, raising an eyebrow. She held out a letter, grinning widely. "Lusy forgot to mention this, but we issue standard cards to our staff that acts as a credit card- all funds given per month and per hunt are automatically put onto this card, so be careful with it. You lose it, you're broke~" A playful smirk sat on her porcelain face, and Jojo reached over to grab the envelope. Illusion pulled it back, smirking, and giving Jojo a wink. "Buy Lusy dinner, first~" Jojo's eyebrow went up, and the vampire floated up in front of him and flicked his nose. "Lusy's just messing around, onii-chan." Her grin was sly, and Jojo took the envelope from her and she floated a bit around him. "Y'know, for someone who got in a brawl with a Tsuchigumo, you got out pretty good. You're alive, for one. Lusy thinks it'd be bad for you to get any more spider scares, though." Jojo narrowed his eyes, starting to walk. His assumption was right- she hovered beside him as he walked. "Anyway, now that you've got your cash settled, you're going shopping, right? Dinner preparations?" She grinned. Jojo had a bad feeling about what she was leading up to.

"So you're sharing your apartment with Dawn."

"I called it."

Illusion shrugged. "She came outta nowhere, y'know? So for now she'll be sharing your apartment. I'd suggest taking your little sister elsewhere. Or not. Up to you, but.." She grinned awfully wide. "Nevermind, your choice. Anyways, Lusy'll leave you alone now. Although.." She pushed her hand into a portal and withdrew it, pulling out a small yet thick, leatherbound book. It was locked with an odd contraption, a mix of key lock, combination lock and some other lock with a sharp pin in the middle of it. She offered it to Jojo, who took it. "You went through my stuff?"

Illusion laughed, sitting cross-legged midair and rolling her eyes. "Um, nooooo~ Lusy swears she didn't. Lusy doesn't swear she didn't catch the book when someone else dropped it while lookin' through your stuff- that person most definitely was not Lusy, mind chu!." Giving the floating vampire a somewhat stern look, only to be met with her trademark cheshire grin in return, Jojo sighed and smiled. "Thank you. Is everything else in my room, though? No more.. missing objects?" Illusion shook her head, spinning midair to sit upside down- defying gravity seemed to be her forte at this point. "Nuh uh. Everything's in your room. We have.. friends.. who move the.. thingies."

She waved her hand dismissively, her grin changing into the slightest of smiles. "Remember, it's my job to take care of you guys, so if you need anything," she pointed her hands at him, giving him fingerguns and an upside-down wink, "let Mama Lusy know, mhm mhm?" Jojo put his hand on his hip, nodding. "Thank you, Illusion. I'll keep that in mind. Oh, and, uh, thank you for the food earlier." Illusion shook her head. "Nono no no. Lusy. Call me Lusy!" She pouted, rotating midair so she was sitting the right way up again. "L-u-s-y. I'm too cute not to have a nickname, you baka, onii-chan. O-n-i-i-c-h-a-n~ Vesper is so cute when she speaks Japanese, right? Lusy was surprised that she even had emotions!"

Jojo laughed. "She's really got that kuudere reputation going on, huh? It's nice to see her again. It's been years, after all. I learned a bit of Japanese from her way back when, but it's been a long while, so I'm super rusty with it." Illusion put her hand in her palm, giving him a look. "Dun'chya think it's weird that you know two of these peoples, though?" Jojo nodded. "Definitely. But it's a good excuse to see them again, anyway. And the others seem like pretty alright people. I think I'll enjoy my time here, honestly. Although, if Dawn is staying, will Iggy be coming along too, I wonder?" Illusion raised an eyebrow. "Another harem member, huh?" Jojo blinked and gave her a look. "Huh?" The loli vampire just giggled and waved her hand again. "It's a joke, Jojojo, but pets are allowed. Might wanna inform your roommate of that."

Jojo nodded, before pausing. "Wait, aren't you in a meeting right now?" Illusion grinned and clicked her fingers, another copy of her popping into existence out of literal thin air. Jojo blinked, shaking his head and pouting. "Holy shitballs.. How do you even do that? More importantly, can I do that?" Illusion just shrugged. "Lusy's an amazing multitasker and no~" Jojo gave a disappointed click of the tongue, before coughing softly. "Well, it's been nice chatting, but I should probably go hunt down a supermarket before it gets dark. Gotta get some dinner, then I gotta hunt down Vesper.. Plus I also need to set up some stuff before I decide to sleep." Illusion shrugged, doing a flip midair before grinning. "I'm getting a few weird looks because I'm spacing out just a little in the meeting. So, so boring, y'know? No? Good. Don't do meetings, kid. Anyways, Lusy says take care, so take care~!" With that, her copy vanished before she herself floated downwards, dropping into the ground and vanishing into the cement path before vanishing completely. Jojo stood there for a moment, confused about what he'd just seen. Did she.. really just sink into the ground? Jesus Christ that's weird and cool at once.

Jojo lay on his bed, eyes closed. He hadn't specified anything about the meeting with Vesper- and later meant, well, any time. At least where he came from. A pang of hurt hit him in the chest- 'catch up later' was something.. He shook his head, exhaling hard. He'd originally intended on having Vesper over for dinner, but he hadn't been able to find her. Admittedly, he hadn't looked very hard. The more time he spent alone, the more he felt the need to just sit back and.. think things over. He'd already text Dawn to let her know that she was apparently sharing his room, so he could sit back and relaxed, think about everything, and then probably sleep.

"Okay.. let's order this.. First thing's first, I got attacked by a creepy spider lady who thought I was basically the Devil incarnate- and she was right, apparently. I could've died there, but instead I almost killed her?" He paused his inner monologue, biting his lip slightly. He hoped she'd gotten away safely- sure, she tried to kill him, but it was just a misunderstanding. Not to mention that she'd eventually given up and let him survive. He had no doubts in his mind that she could've killed him when she had the chance, but for some reason she chose to escape.

It might've been wishful thinking, but he hoped she actually held back on killing him for more of a reason than just 'kill him and die versus let him live and kill him later'. Illusion had brought up a valid point about there possibly being more, or another visit from the last spider lady he'd met.

Secondly, he'd met both Vesper and Caius again in the same day- in the span of less than ten minutes, no less, and they were all tied together by this 'Devil's Blood' deal. What did that even mean? What did that entail? He knew that he wasn't human- he'd proven that when he somehow managed to fight off the spider lady. On top of that, he was now across the entire country in a place where the supernatural was commonplace and apparently magic was an everyday thing-


Resurrection magic.

Jojo's eyes opened and he shot up from his laying down position, immediately rocketing off of his bed and blasting out of his room. It'd been so long, far too long, but if he looked, it was possible, surely. The door to his apartment slammed loudly as he practically sprinted down the hall. The elevators were in use, so he took the stairs instead, leaping down them at the risk of tripping and hurting himself. It was a few hours since lunch was over, now, the sun starting to vanish below the horizon. An expression of determination was etched onto Jojo's face, the thought of his younger self and the bogus ritual spurring him on. If he ran into any of the other Seven or Dawn, he'd slow down only a little and give them an acknowledging nod before rushing off again.

Jojo'd been jogging for about 10 minutes when he found the library. It was still open, apparently being open 24/7. He leaped up the steps, taking three at a time before slowing down as he walked into the library. He looked around it, biting his lip. The library was divided into two sections- 'human' and 'supernatural'. Jojo browsed the human section for a few moments before realising that was the 'regular' portion of the library. Almost jogging, his hurried pace was probably quite noticeable. He made his way over to the 'supernatural' section, looking at the aisles for anything related to 'necromancy' or 'resurrection'- anything to do with spirits would do, actually.

He'd been in there for easily 10 minutes, frantically browsing every shelf he saw for something, anything, related to what he sought. His eyes darted from book to book, and he bit his lip. Sure, what happened happened a long, long time ago, but he wanted to see. Wanted to make sure..
His activities had undoubtedly not gone unnoticed by other residents in the library, and Jojo was far too absorbed in his search to really notice anyone calling to him. His attention completely absorbed by his anxious searching, he scanned bookshelf after bookshelf.

Rick had been sitting at a table, one hand on a book regarding the topic of necromancy, particularly the binding of souls. Having learned of several methods he might go about trapping the souls of the freshly departed he had stood and was on his way out when he noticed JoJo slip into an isle of bookshelves. It piqued his curiosity since it was an isle he had procured some of his reading material from, not to mention JoJo did not seem calm in his mannerisms.

Following up behind him he could see the man pouring over the spines of various books. Sidling almost silent he approached JoJo from behind, casting a glance over the titles he was going over.

"I'd say given your vivacious searching you are looking for a title on a particular subject, no?"

Jojo jumped. The sound of a voice signalled that someone had found him at least a little suspicious, and while he didn't particularly mind conversation, he didn't really want to waste any time when he had books to find. He whirled around, an excuse on his tongue before he realised it was Rick, in fact, who had spoken. A sheepish grin sliding across his face, Jojo reached up and scratched the back of his head. "Ah.. Yeah. A thought just hit me so I kinda, uh, ran over here to see if there was anything on the.. subject.. here." As he spoke to Rick, he looked to the side, reading the names on the spines of the books on the other shelf- he could chat, but he really needed to see if there was anything relevant to his search. Inwardly, he wondered. Sure, Rick seemed like a hardworking, studious person, but how silly was it that they'd met out of chance? For a moment, Jojo wondered if every one of the Seven had some sort of psychic link that drew them together- it'd explain how he'd met both Caius and Vesper, and how he seemed to keep running into people.

He grinned a little wider, turning to Rick. "What're you doing here, anyways? Working, I assume?" His sheepish grin shrank a little, turning into a small, warm smile. Rick was his sibling after all, so being warm and courteous was a given. However, Jojo did have one bone to pick with him, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.

"Your paper. I still want an explanation." His smile was still sincere, but his eyes were narrowed slightly. He wanted answers.

Rick listened with care as JoJo spoke, moving through questions at a steady pace.

"Firstly I'm here reading up on spectral restraint and confinement." He answered frankly, making a fine effort of making a dubious topic sound unnecessarily arcane.

"To answer your second question..."

With a gesture of his hand several of the books JoJo had been looking over lifted from the shelf, suspended before Rick as he looked over the titles. Necromantic spells and rituals, forms of spirit conjuration. The mystery to Jojo's visit was starting to lift, albeit not with haste.

"The power I wield is the very same which you used to slay the Tsuchigumo."

Moving one finger forward after another Rick set each of the five books he removed back upon the shelf they once rested upon.

"What binds us together is also what makes us different. My affinity is paper. You will discover yours tomorrow."

With that he calmly folded his hands behind his back, his face cool but with the slight hints of a pleasant smile.

"I can see you are looking to deal with the dead. Might I ask who?"

He could only refrain so much from keeping his question from sounding accusatory, even with his intent being entirely benign.

Jojo stared in wonder at the magical floating books. He blinked, narrowing his eyes as they casually floated in front of his eyes. "Whoa.. Paper, huh?" He would've commented further, but by the time he'd actually spoken the books were already back in place. He shook his head, fixing Rick with a look. "I didn't slay anything. She decided to run away, although.." his worried look wasn't at all subtle, giving away his emotions freely. "I did hurt her pretty bad, so.. I guess she might have died later on. But it's not like I meant to kill her, y'know? Self defence and.. sudden superstrength?" He hadn't exactly figured out what had happened that night himself, and he let out a hard sigh.

Rick's next question caught his breath in his throat. Being asked about communing with the dead so openly wasn't exactly on his agenda, and Jojo swallowed before replying. He hadn't considered how Necromancy was viewed here at all, so perhaps openly searching wasnt' the greatest idea he'd had. Too late now, in any case. "I, uh.." Still, Rick's question had hit a mark he'd much rather have been left alone.

He half considered ignoring the question altogether, but.. Rick seemed alright enough, and they were family now, after all. Taking a breath to steady himself, he reached over to grab one of the books Rick had levitated and put back. "When I was younger a good friend of mine, uh, passed away. I got really into magic- well, fake magic- and tried to find something to bring him back. It was so unfair, y'know? He was, like.. still a kid and he.." Jojo paused, idly opening the book and scanning through it. His warm smile had disappeared, replaced with a surprisingly melancholy look for someone who, until that moment, seemed like a rather happy and bubbly person.

"Cancer took him way too early, so my younger self tried to bring him back." There was a slight hollowness to his words, a result of his realisation- he could've done it if he'd had the right spell or tools. "But.. I don't want to bring him back, no, just.. I wanted to know if it was possible. He's been gone for years. I wouldn't bring him back just out of my own selfishness, and I doubt he'd recognise me, regardless." His curiosity sated, Jojo placed the book back on the shelf. He turned back to Rick, the smile reappearing on his face, alhough his eyes betrayed his hidden sadness.

"Anyways, souls? That's a pretty interesting topic to be researching. Can I ask why?" His polite, happy tone had returned, and he faced Rick fully. It seemed his momentary sadness has outright vanished.

Rick was not deaf to his concerns. Ultimately he was happy that Jojo was taking the topic with good consideration since pulling up the souls of the dead was not to be taken lightly. As he finished talking Jojo changed the topic back towards him, something becoming an apparent defense mechanism of his.

"Not a topic far off from your own interests to be sure. I'm researching the means of confining spectral entities so as to prevent them from escaping and continuing to harm the living."

As of yet he had not lied but the whole truth was not a toothless subject to approach quite yet.

"For demons death is not so much an end as it is an inconvenience. Their forms can be destroyed and they simply return as their soul need not inhabit the physical form they control in this plane of existence. We have means of drawing the soul out but without a method of keeping them from returning to hell they simply replenish their forces whilst cutting away at the fine men and women you see about here along with any number of bystanders. With their safety at mind containing our spectral foes is a necessity in the long term."

Jojo nodded. "Makes sense. It's a stupidly uphill battle if your enemies just keep returning time after time. Hopefully the whole soul-catching thing becomes prevalent so we can go without many losses. Although.. I figured the WDL must've had some way to outright kill demons. They wouldn't be very worried of Exorcists if that wasn't the case.. Illusion seemed awfully scared of Arthur, but if it just means she gets sent back to Hell, I don't see why she would be." He shrugged, chuckling softly. “Probably just reading into things too much, but you'd assume the WDL being the, well, only Exorcist organisation as far as I know of would've developed some sort of anti-Demon weapons."

Giving Rick a look, Jojo nodded. "Well, let me know if you figure out anything cool. I figure it'd be useful knowledge for our, um, assignments? Attacks? Missions? Not sure what they're called, but I assume that we're gonna be dragged into 'em, since.. y'know." Speaking openly about their blood was probably not the best idea in a library- who knows who could hear them?

"Well, now that I've gotten the knowledge I was looking for, I should probably head back to my apartment. And I promised Sis that I'd catch up with her, too, so I should hunt her down." He gave Rick a grin, before pausing. "So, uh, Boot Camp- what're we expecting, exactly? You've gone before, I assume, so do they change it every time, or..?" The sadness from before had vanished completely, and Jojo had settled back into his usual friendly, cheerful, informal demeanour.

As opposed to Jojo's informal demeanor Rick wasn't entirely able to drop his air of formality. Still, his pleasant smile helped to keep his occasionaly military posture and measured motions from coming across as too awkward.

"One thing I'd suggest in preparation is to acquire some holy water, though take care not to get any on yourself... It'd be wasteful"

Much like Jojo he took care not to speak directly of the subject that is their demonic heritage. He infused his last word with a certain emphasis which implied a rather negative result.

"As for Boot Camp it is changed each time so students cannot learn the trials that await them. There are certain factors that remain as a constant such as the matter that it is going to be primarily outdoors. I'd invest in some decent boots before then if I were you."

Rick began to walk, beckoning Jojo to follow him.

"I was on my way back to the dormatories myself. Let's talk for the while since our destinations are coterminous."

Jojo nodded. "Holy water seems like a good idea for sure." He took Rick's warning and made a mental note- if Holy water hurt Demons, it probably hurt them too, so he'd have to be extra careful with it. For one, it'd burn the shit outta him, and secondly he somehow doubted his skin burning away would go unnoticed by anyone nearby. He nodded to himself, affirming his thoughts, before looking back at Rick. "I.. see. So basically a glorified camping trip slash survival test or something? I'll go around tomorrow and see if there's any place I can grab a pair- although I noticed my wardrobe had some uniforms in there already. Are those mandatory for the trip or..?" As Rick moved, Jojo followed. He walked alongside Rick, listening as he spoke. "You use a fair few big words, y'know? It gives your studious nature away a bit. I enjoy reading, myself, but not enough to call myself a scholar or anything." His tone was joking and light, and he kept an even stride with Rick.

"So how long have you been here, if that's not too much to ask? You seem super knowledgeable about, well, everything, so I'd say a fair amount of time." He looked up at the now black sky, the street they walked down lit by rather bright street lamps. "Did you get dragged here after something decided to attack-" He paused for a moment. "Let me know if I'm pushing too far, yeah? I don't wanna cross a line.” He gave Rick a courteous smile and changed the subject. If Rick wanted to answer his question, he would, but Jojo wouldn't foce him to. "I really just remember getting chased by this crazy spider lady, then getting tossed in the back of a jeep and waking up in the infirmary this morning. I'm honestly still a little out of it, haha." He chuckled to himself, reaching down with his left hand into his gloved right hand and scratching under it. If Rick looked closely, he'd noticed a bit of black under the glove.

"I just wanna know my new family, y'know? Seems nice to get to know everyone since we'll be here for, uh, forever?"

They made good time in returning from the library, speaking as they walked. "That is fair. I've been quite curious about my recently discovered siblings myself."

Passing under street lights Rick could gleam the hint of something under the glove, possibly a tattoo.

"All I can really say is that few join the WDL without learning of demons first hand. Given the requisites for our sibling's detection there's not one among us who hasn't come here in pleasant circumstances."

Rick sounded more serious as opposed to his earlier manner. It was evident that it was a topic without levity for him.

"I've been here for eleven years. Trained and taught under Arthur, with Candice filling in the gaps. Before long you should get to know them. They are good people, as are many who put their lives on the line in this order."

Rather than let the seriousness of the topic weigh the conversation down he decided to lean it towards more positive aspects, let Jojo appreciate what good the WDL offered.

"Our tasks aren't solely centered around combat either. Any means of helping to prevent demons from hurting the populations of humanity is a valuable, be it through combat, research, healing the wounded or even through diplomacy with the non-demonic entities we share this world with."

He took in a deep breath of the crisp fresh air, a cool breeze flowing past.

"Generally uniforms are required for most formal WDL business. You should have some measure of leeway since you are new recruits so bringing along some non-standard gear won't be too harshly measured, though they will go through your pack prior to leaving. Mainly it's a precaution, keeping recruits from bringing unprescribed weapons and phones. As they say, one bad apple ruins the bunch."

As they walked on they were soon approaching the front door to their dormatories.

Jojo nodded to himself. "So Rick's been here for eleven whole years.. No wonder he's so knowledgeable. And Arthur giving him the leader position makes sense, now. Although.. I wonder what it's like to be trained by the guy? I know he mentioned training us, but his training regime is pretty strict, I imagine. Hopefully it gives me enough time to slack off.. Hah, as if."

Jojo listened in as Rick continued. He briefly wondered who Candice was, but didn't bring it up. Nodding in response to Rick's explaination, he paused. "Non-Demonic Entities..?" Jojo figured everything not human was a Demon, but apparently he was wrong. Although, when he thought about it, why would that spider lady have attacked him for being the Devil if she was a part of his own forces? Inwardly, Jojo nodded to himself. It made sense, now. The world was full of supernatural things, and Jojo had be, erm, 'lucky' enough to get dragged into it. Briefly he wondered if that had anything to do with the mark on his hand, or his mother's sudden..-

Jojo paused, gasping in pain as he reached up and grasped his head, doubling over a little and clenching the fist that wasn't holding his head tightly. He needed to stop.
Stop thinking.
Stop. Thinking.

A few moments later, Jojo let out a long, heavy sigh and straightened up. He looked over at Rick, a small smile on his face, before he spoke. "Migraines. Someone totally put a seal on my memories." It was meant as a joke, but his delivery was off, so it came out only half-joking. He'd heard what Rick had said before his head exploded, and replied, albeit a bit late. "Makes sense that they'd be pretty strict. I imagine the supervision out there isn't exactly the best, so they'd need to be careful.. Although if we have magical powers, weapons, uh, don't seem too useful, y'know? I guess they just don't want any newbies waving around sharp objects around, heh."

Only shortly after Rick spoke he heard Jojo suddenly in the throes of pain. As he keeled forward in pain, clutching his head, Rick's first instinct was to reach for his phone to call for medical assistance. Before his hand could reach his phone however a thought reoccured to him. The mark on his hand. With the possibility of Jojo's pain being magical in origin Rick instead pulled out his new magnifying glass. It was finally time to take this enchanted item for a field test.

However there was nothing. He could see Jojo however there was no aura present around him. Rick pulled away from the glass tool a moment, a confused look on his face. "Hm? I could of sworn this thing was operating earlier." He turned and lifted the magnifying glass in front of the building to see if he could pick up anything. He spotted numerous human aura's, gentle in their emotional color spectrums. In one particular area there were a number of auras closely lumped together, some of them not human in origin.

"It does work... Then what? Could it be-" Before he could continue he heard Jojo speak up behind him. As it was made apparent after Rick turned on his heels to face him Jojo was now fine, having recovered from his sudden pain. Rick reassumed his mask of general friendly professionalism however a hint of confusion still remained.

"... Yes. We do recieve live weapons for training out in Boot Camp but I can suspect they don't want their recruits injuring each other outside of supervision."

Still keeping a bit of an eye on Jojo he opened the front door, stepping through and holding it open for Jojo since he was right behind him.

Jojo raised an eyebrow at Rick, yet said nothing until he was inside. He swore under his breath, reaching up to touch his nose and pulling his finger away. His fingertip was coated in blood, and he swore again. "Jesus Christ, I must be super stressed." He turned to Rick, a sheepish grin on his face.

"Never had a nosebleed before. Uh, anyways, I should probably get this cleaned up.. We'll catch up tomorrow, yeah? I figure we're all supposed to meet here to go to Boot Camp or something." He shrugged, before a bit of blood dripped onto his shirt. "Shit, I got no tissues. I'll catch you later, yeah? Have a good night!" He turned on his heel and jogged over to the elevator, hammering the button a few times.

It was starting to be rather concerning, Jojo's state. Rick could extrapolate that the bleeding might be in connection to some form of magic plighting Jojo but with his aura mysteriously hidden there was little way to identify it. He strolled over beside Jojo as the elevator started to descend. He wanted to inquire about his incident but given his increasingly erratic behaviour Rick deemed a lighter handed approach to be better suiting this situation. He simply produced a blank sheet of paper, one of the few he had remaining in his clip board out of the many notes and pictures he had saved of both Asmodeus and now Jojo, and offered it to him.

"Here. It's not ideal but it's a fair deal more disposable than your shirt."

Jojo gave Rick a thankful smile, taking the paper and immediately turning away and wiping his nose with it. After a few moments he turned back and gave Rick a smile. "Thanks, and sorry. It's a bit embarrassing just casually starting to bleed everywhere, ha." The bleeding seemed to have stopped, but Jojo narrowed his eyes. A migraine, then nosebleed, both occurring when he tried to think-

He mentally stopped himself. He'd already bled enough for that one night. For every night in his life, actually. When the elevator doors openeed, Jojo let Rick move inside first, then followed. He pressed the for the 7th floor and the doors shut. With a groan he cracked his neck, closing his eyes. "What a day, though. Waking up in the infirmary because of last night's spider lady special, then spendng my entire day meeting a family I never even knew I had. Reuniting with two people I haven't seen in years and then suddenly getting a nosebleed. Great time. I'll be leaving a 1 star on Yelp for sure." He grinned, silently hoping Rick got his joke. If there was a time for Rick to ask questions, it'd be now for sure.

Rick ushered a light chuckle at Jojo's summation. "Yes..." He responded in turn. Despite the humour to it there was a fair amount to his summation which was a fair amount of Rick's concern.

"It has been a noteworthy day. I do not prescribe to the frame of thought that coincidences happen simply by happenstance however. In this world of magic and mystery I find most unlikely events are the result of synchronous actions occuring unseen before the naked eye."

Rick looked directly over to Jojo, a mild show of concern as he continued.

"If something is happening and you do not understand it it is highly likely that there is someone that can. Never be afraid to ask people when you lack answers. It could save your life some day."

Sound advice for anyone really. Given the scenario however he hoped Jojo would not see harm in his warning as opposed to taking it as pressure from him to open up more. Just as he finished they reached the floor, the doors sliding open to reveal the hallway beyond.

Jojo nodded, stepping through the elevator doors and giving Rick a small smile. "No point dying when information is right there to be given, right? I'll ask if I ever need anything. No reason to really seclude myself, honestly." He bowed to Rick at the waist a little. "Thanks for chatting with me. It was good. I should probably be going now, though. Got a lot to do before the night is over, haha." He reached over and gave Rick a firm pat on the shoulder and a warm grin. "Have a good night, Rick. Don't stay up too late, yeah?"

With that, he moved to his room and opened the door, giving Rick a nod as he vanished inside and the door locked.

"I shall not. Same to you of course, and good night." He bid Jojo farewell before he disappeared behind his door. Rick himself continued on to his room. His night was not over but he knew not to leave himself exhausted for tomorrow.

Jojo had spent at least 10 minutes cleaning himself up. He glared at himself in the mirror, wiping at the bloody stain below his nose with the wet tissue. With a loud sigh, he tossed the paper into the bin across the room, fist pumping when he got it in. Giving himself one more look in the mirror, Jojo's eyes narrowed.

In one day, he'd met Vesper again, recovered from being attacked by a spider lady, found the weird book that he'd been keeping in his junk box his entire life, and suddenly started getting nosebleeds out of nowhere. Leaving the bathroom, Jojo reached up and rubbed the back of his neck. He felt a little faint, but he figured that was just a side effect of suddenly having your nose shoot out blood. He looked down, noticing the bloodstain on his shirt, and grumbling. Of course he had to get some on his shirt now of all times..

Five minutes later Jojo had changed into a different shirt. A long sleeved, button-up shirt. It was much fancier than what he was wearing before, and it still managed to go with his jeans and shoes. He figured he'd wear white, but he didn't want to stain another shirt, so he chose a dark grey- not quite black, but still fairly dark.

He closed the door to his apartment behind him, pausing for a moment to make sure he locked the door this time. The sky was completely black by now, the sun having set a while ago, maybe half an hour or so? It was going down when he entered the library, and was already down almost fully when he'd left. Moving down the hall, he looked at the names on the walls. He hoped everyone was doing okay. He wasn't the only fish out of water here, so he was a little concerned. Actually, he hadn't seen anyone since lunch aside from Rick.

He knocked on Vesper's door gently, waiting for her to answer it. Admittedly, he should've probably told her he was coming, but.. well, he couldn't really find her when he looked, and he needed to go buy food for dinner. A short walk and maybe a snack while they caught up couldn't hurt, so he figured he'd save dinner for a little later.

Looking up from the book she was reading, Vesper pondered for a moment whether to answer it or to ignore it. She was actually at a good part within the world of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her face had a notable crease in her deliberation, but her manners won in the end as she placed a rather odd-looking stick of silver as a bookmark and closed it. She then stood from her chair after putting the book at the nearby table.

Her eyes momentarily glance at the wall clock as if asserting that it was rather uncommon for her to have a visitor at this time. Well, actually she was already done with her evening preparations and was now donned in a rather elegant nightdress. Her hair was lightly bound as she positioned its trail over her shoulder and with that appearance, she answered the knock not minding how she would be viewed in her current attire. In the first place, she had been the kind to never bother about such trivial matters.Thus, it was nothing to her as the door to her room opened.

And as if lightning struck, she stood there with her eyes blinking a few times. "...JoJo?" Her head tilted a bit to the side, before she caught herself once more. "Ah, Good evening." Straightening herself, she delivered a graceful half-bow.

Jojo's eyes widened as the door opened and Vesper appeared, dressing in nothing but a nightgown. His cheeks reddened slightly and he turned away, coughing a bit. "Oh, um, heya.." He paused for a moment, turning back to her and throwing caution to the winds. He stepped forward, wrapping Vesper in a tight hug for a few moments before stepping back, and giving her a grin. "I was, uh, gonna see if you wanted to go for a walk and get something to snack on, but you look like you're ready for bed." He chuckled softly, hooking his thumbs into his pockets and looking to the side a little.

The last he remembered Vesper, she was this absolutely adorable little girl- the type whose cheeks you just really wanted to pinch. And now, looking at her, he felt.. strange. She'd grown up for sure, and Jojo caught his grin widening just a little before he coughed again. "Sorry, sorry, it's just surprising to see you in a nightdress." He paused, trying to navigate the waters without making it awkward. He thought about it for a while, and then just mentally gave up and spoke. "You grew up into a beautiful woman, Sis. I figured that'd be the case, but actually seeing you.. well, it's good to see you again." Despite complimenting her in that sentence, the warm smile on his face let Vesper know that he really was happy to see her again, and not just peppering her with sweet words.

"Um, so.. I know I mentioned later and all but.. is this a bad time? I probably should've asked first, but.. I might not have made it obvious, but I've been super keen to catch up with you. Um.. I don't really know where to go from here, though, since you're already ready for bed." His smile turned into a somewhat goofy grin as he stood in front of her. He'd wanted a chance to chat with her, but it seemed like he might've missed that chance..

It was in all a haze for Vesper from the moment Jonathan embraced her. The warmth that she held on in a past time pulled her into a dream. Then somehow, she felt something inside of her resisting to what exactly? She cannot say or even affirm to know it, but the words being uttered by him were like bubbles. He said she was beautiful. There was a prick of a poisonous needle present deep in her consciousness, but none of that showed. Then, he said that he was glad to see her. The needle-like pain dissipated and she could feel that her lips wanted to move.

What was happening with her? It seemed she was in a twisted loop and there was no end in sight. These emotions as they are called play with her as he spoke out of consideration for her desire to sleep due to her current choice of clothes. That goofy smile of his made her feel really fuzzy and without much control, her hand reached out him. This time, it did not stop as it landed on his chest which was followed by another. Then soon enough, she closed the gap between their bodies and her face buried on his chest. "Don't go. Please. Don't go."

Jojo's eyes widened as Vesper touched his chest, and they widened further as she pressed her face into his chest as well. He stood there for a few moments before, with his goofy grin returning, he wrapped her in another tight hug. He sighed softly, putting his chin on top of her head gently as he held her. His voice dropped down to a whisper as he spoke. "I won't, Vesper. I promise that I won't leave you again, okay?" His grip on her tightened a little and he inhaled hard as he clutched her close. Even after all this time, he still felt terrible about leaving. If he could go back in time and stop what had happened-

He stopped himself. He almost thought about that thing again, and by now he knew that that was why he'd gotten his sudden nosebleed earlier. He might've made a joke to Rick about a seal on his memories earlier, but as far as he knew he was actually right. But why now? Why now when he'd thought about it for years? Had her final words to him before she.. left.. recorded on his phone, yet he hadn't gotten nosebleeds then. He couldn't remember his mother at all, yet somehow she still haunted him even this far down the track.

Banishing the thoughts in his head lest he risk bleeding all over his sister, Jojo pulled away slightly. Not far, but enough so that he could look down at Vesper. He smiled lightly, idly stroking her back as she hugged him. "Hey.. Did you wanna go grab a bite to eat..? I know it's late, but.. I'd like to buy you some dinner and chat." His smile grew slightly, not into his usual grin, but a wider, warmer smile.

Promise... That word indeed have a lot of varying meanings for Vesper, but she locked it away. The warmth was more important to her right now. It made her wonder if she was that cold to seek this heat when before, she was never concerned about it. Nevermind, she just wanted to stay this way even for a bit and when he asked her to accompany him, she looked up at him. Those amethyst-colored eyes glittered and her lips freely displayed that innocent smile. "Yes. It would be my pleasure."

Reluctant as it is, she pulled away. It seemed her current attire was not fit for a dinner this night. But, she did not want to waste time. The solution, she reached for a trench coat that was hanging at the rack by her door and then wore a simple lace sandals. There should be no issue if her dress is not seen. She once more presented herself to Jonathan, once more catching herself from her rather unbecoming self. "My apologies for my actions. Should we go?" With that said, the door behind her was closed and locked until she returned.

Jojo raised an eyebrow as she simply shrugged on a trenchcoat and sandals. "You're gonna be alright in that?" He was a little worried about something happening, but he wouldn't say anything more. It was obvious Vesper was intent on leaving immediately, something that brought a grin to his face. He'd missed her so, so much, and it was nice to know that she'd missed him too.

When the question about her choice of clothes was asked in worry, she looked at them again. She wore a black full-length trench coat which reached up to her feet, making it look like a gown that hugged her form perfectly while her white lace sandals add a hint of curiosity underneath the coat when she walks. Generally speaking, she definitely looked like a noble lady of London which was not really a surprise to begin with. After all, her clothes had always been catered to fashion and to the exquisite taste of the rich. Well, it was a gift from her father, all of her clothes were.

"It is fine." She answered simply as she followed him and was glad to be with him. But, it was not easily translated as she remained quiet.

Walking beside her to the elevators, Jojo tapped his pockets. Phone, some tissues, wallet in his back pocket, he was set. The elevator doors opened, and he stepped to the side slightly, letting Vesper go in first before moving in after her and pressing the ground floor button. He turned to her, looking her up and down with a smile. She'd gotten almost as tall as he had, which was weird for him. He remembered her being quite a bit shorter than he was, although she was a few years his junior.

He reached out and paused for a moment; he automatically went to ruffle her hair, but that meant he had to raise his arm. Plus he didn't exactly want to mess up her hair when it looked so good, especially just before they went out. Instead, he put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed softly. It wasn't anything big, but there was affection in that touch, and after a moment he dropped his arm back to his side. "When I was running around earlier I spotted a nice ramen shop. I haven't had ramen for years.. wanna go there? I'll pay, of course." Jojo had every intention of using the funds on his card- although he'd totally by saving up to order stuff later on.

She was kept inside of her once more and was only brought back to the world with his touch and words of ramen. "Ramen?" The said food brought the hymns of a history that weaved between the two of them as she nodded in agreement. "Yes, I would like that." She stood beside him and observed him for a while. "You look good."

Jojo raised an eyebrow at her comment. "I do? Ah, I don't really notice much. I actually put this shirt on because I got blood on my last one. Got a nosebleed a little while ago." He smiled at her, bowing his head slightly. "Thank you, Vesper, you look good too." As the elevator doors opened, he once again let her go first and followed. He wasn't a fancy nor upper-class person by any means, but he knew basic manners were essential to, well, everything.

"So, how've you been? I've noticed you've gotten awfully quiet since we last met." Gazing at her, there was a bit of pain in his eyes, and he reached over and hooked his arm through hers. "Um, actually.. While I'm on this topic.." They'd almost reached the exit from the dormitory building before he stopped, unhooking his arm from her and turning to face her. There was an expression on his face- one Vesper had probably only seen once before when he left her- and he looked down. "I'm sorry." The words were barely audible, and Jojo's entire frame seemed to go stiff. "I.. should've stayed. I should've not let my uncle break my phone or stop me from contacting people. I.. should've done a lot of things that I couldn't.."

He paused for a while, then looked up at her and grabbed her hands tightly with his own. His eyes was a little wet, and he gave her a sad smile. "But now I won't be dragged away again. Now I won't leave you unless.. I won't leave you unless I die." There was a seriousness to his words, a promise not only to Vesper but also to himself. His eyes, although wet, were set in determination. He'd never forgiven himself for having to leave her when she needed him, and he never would, but at least now he could try and make things right.

She looked at their hands, as he held onto hers. His feelings were filtering through it. He had gone through a lot whether she was there or she was not. That was something she knew without a doubt. There was a moment of silence before, she lifted her eyes and met his. "There is nothing to apologize for." She raised her hands which made his as well and half-way, her lips touched his knuckles like a fluttering drop of rain. "We have our own trials. We must get through on our own." She then raised her head while tiptoeing in order to at least level her head with his.

Her face had indeed lost its capacity to express her emotions so freely. It was indeed a definition of a pristine expression carved in porcelain. But, her eyes held that emptiness. Then again, there was a sparkle filled with sincerity. "It is impossible to come out of it unchanged. But, I never once blamed you for not being there." She then closed the gap by pressing her forehead against his, but instead of that, she was only able to make their noses to touch by their tips. There was still a relative difference of height after all. "This time, let us not let go of each other, Onii-chan." Her voice delivered that sweet serenity and that endearing tone as a smile once again was present on her lips.

Then, she pulled back regaining her proper stand. Her smile becoming a dream. "That is why do not die, because I will do too." Somehow, there was something eerie in those words, but whether she meant something about it or a simple deliveration of her honest desire. That was left up to the wind.

His smile widening, Jojo hooked his arm in hers once more and began leading her out of the building. He had so much to ask her, to talk about.. He wouldn't let this chance go to waste. Going silent for a little while, he looked over at her, before speaking again. "Say, Vesper, what's your relationship with Rick? Sorry if I'm being awfully blunt, but I'm curious." There as nothing in his voice but curiosity, and was seemed to be happiness? If Vesper had indeed found love, he was happy for her.

He ignored the voice in the back of his head reminding him that he was a failure.

"Rick?" She looked at Jonathan as her head was in a state of wonder. The facts were being pieced together before she answered. "He is my senior and much like you and the others. He welcomed me when I came here." Her arm linked with his was a nice gesture as she pushed a bit closer to him, for the warmth she wanted was with him. "He was tolerant of me. I feel safe with him."

Jojo nodded, smiling. "I noticed you holding his arm earlier. I, uh, kind of assumed you two were, erm.. intimate." A sly grin formed on his face as he lead her to the Ramen bar, his arm hooked around hers the entire way. Every now and then he looked over at her, his smile growing for a few moments before he looked back. He didn't at all mind how close she was, and after so long of not being able to cuddle with anyone, he wasn't in a position to deny her.

She blinked her eyes as she heard the word intimate. The definition of the word echoed inside her head and she stopped on her tracks as she assessed the proper meaning being relayed to her. There was a slight crease on her forehead, but only for a moment. It then made her lower her head as to hide her face from his eyes. Her free hand reached for the collar of her coat and gripped on it. "We are not like that." Her voice did not reflect a strong vindication, though it held a deep tone of resistance. "He... He is Rick." There was not much of a difference from her seemingly known indifference, but if one looks at her ears. They were like blooming madly in crimson.

"I only did that, because I did not want to intervene between you and Dawn." She was still not lifting her head, but the crimson color was reaching her neck now which was peeking through the collar and her hair. "She is important to you. I know my place." Her voice returned to its placid tone as she began to cut off the colors brandishing itselves inside of her. "Is it fine for me to have you right now?" Still, she was not looking at him, but the red is receding to a pink hue.

Jojo paused for a moment- he'd stopped when she had, and he reached out and touched her shoulders. He gripped them firmly, looking at her. "Oi. Listen here, Vesper." His tone was awfully serious, and he gave her a stern look. "You're important to me too, you know. Dawn and I are just friends. I owe her because she got me off of the streets- that's all. Don't talk about 'knowing your place' when you've got it wrong, okay? Jeez.." He paused, letting out a sigh. "And yes, you're allowed to have me right now. Dawn doesn't own me, y'know? You're free to spend time with me whenever you want unless I already have plans, okay?" A small smirk spread across his face. "Also, your ears turn red when you blush, just an fyi, Sis."

The carnation bloom of her skin darkened once more. This time, she raised her head and without a word, her hands moved to cover his face. "Do not look! It is shameful!" There was the tint of panic in her voice as she scrambled to make sure he would not see her face that was now the epitome of a blooming spider lily. "You are not allowed to see me like this." She then quickly turned to only have him see her back with a synchronize gesture of removing her hands from his face. Now, this time it was over hers.

Jojo grinned widely. A laugh left his lips, and he took a few moments to let it out. Considering he'd almost been murdered last night, laughing was good. He stopped eventually, though, wiping his eyes and reaching over to put a hand on Vesper's shoulder. He squeezed tighlty, then pulled her into a tight hug. There was a huge, happy grin on his face. "It's good to see your adorable self again, Sis, I've missed you so much." He let go of her a few moments later, eyes shining a little. Seeing her lose her composure was possibly the greatest thing ever- although he was worried she'd decide to tackle him again. Hooking his arm in hers again, he dragged her along a little, humming softly as he looked away- he'd give her enough time to lose her blush before he interacted with her again, he wasn't mean.

His embrace managed to settle down her emotions that were throwing her to the depths of confusion. His words were also effective to make her focus solely on that and it did not take too long for the red tint to subside, revealing once more her skin white as the snow. When she had regained control of herself, she removed her hands from her face as he took her arm once more. Straightening herself, she returned to her placid outlook. Then, she glanced at him and saw he was looking away. Much have indeed changed, but much have stayed the same. His words. His laughter. They still give that resonating warmth, so comfortable. "We can be together as much as you want." She squeezed his arm in a gentle manner. "So, we can make up for the lost time." For now, she can only think of this, right? Let herself immerse in this, until, the next chapter begins.

Jojo smiled, turning to face Vesper. "Not on fire anymore?" He joked, pulling her a tiny bit closer with a grin. "It's been.. four years, now? Too long, in any case." He gave her a goofy grin and kept moving, slowly making his way down the streets with her until they arrived at the street he remembered the Ramen bar being on.

"Oh, Sis, how's Hiro? I only met him a few times, but he seemed pretty nice. He doing okay?" He'd only met Vesper's father.. twice? Back then, Jojo thought of him as this super fancy, super cool figure who seemed to have everything set up- ironically how Jojo figured his dad should've been. He respected the man, considering he was a.. a.. It took Jojo a few moments to remember that he'd completely forgotten what Vesper's father was in regards to employment. He slapped himself mentally, and chuckled softly.

"Father is well." It was her simple answer to the query. The memory that flashed within her head composed the last time they have seen each other. Her Father's eyes were filled with that horror while her form was reflected in it. "He sends me things like my clothes." She touched her coat and then looked back at him. "He still tries to be there as well." Her fingers then reached for his cheek, gently tapping it. "You two are similar."

Jojo never met the other members of her family, and he got this.. weird feeling about them. He never pried, and he figured if Vesper wanted to mention them, she would. Shaking his head slightly, he turned his head a little and awaited her reply. He stopped eventually, however, outside the Ramen bar.

"This place is safe. That is what Father said when they took me." Vesper's words held that monochromatic tone and her calm appearance were rather unnerving and both enviable as she looked at the Ramen bar briefly before looking back at Jonathan. "It is warm now as well. Shall we eat?"

Jojo nodded in response, smiling. "I missed dinner last night, so I'm extra hungry tonight." He pushed the door open, smiling as he let Vesper move inside first. Briefly he wondered what Hiro had meant by safe. He probably meant from Demons, and Jojo hmph'd to himself in affirmation.

It was a somewhat small establishment, the room beyond, with one corner being devoted to a kitchen and both walls lined with chairs and tables. Touching Vesper's arm again, Jojo made his way over to a table for two in the corner, a little out of sight of everyone else, but not terribly hidden. He had a few reasons for doing but- the most prevalent being his newfound need for secrecy. In a place full of religious fanatics who spend their days killing demons, he sure as hell wasn't going to let himself be found out, especially with Vesper with him.
The lighting was warm, and on the table was a bunch of menus. Smiling, he grabbed two, taking one for himself and sliding the other one over to Vesper. "Don't worry about the prices, yeah? I got my card earlier, so apparently that has a fair amount of funds on it. Illusion gave me a quick brief about it." He smiled over at her, before looking down to his menu,

It had been a while since she entered an establishment like this one. Accurately, it has been a while since she even ate ramen. She had always been mechanically fed as indicated in a menu suited for the palate of the upper echelons. But, she only wanted simple meals shared with simple people. Somehow, wishes of the simplest origins are the hardest to obtain. In any case, she followed after Jonathan not minding the gazes set on them from the other present patrons. Well, she had been used to it and as per reaction of some, there were whisperings about the 'White Doll' as what those who have unsavory feelings for her would call her. Such were the nature of humans as well, they will without doubt seek the black to prove their worth.

Alas, she was getting off-hand here and only returned to the present situation when a menu was given to her. She took it and then looked at Jonathan who would be paying for the food. That is right, she only need to fill her senses of her companion's presence. "Thank you. It is good to hear Ms. Illusion had explained it.If you require anything or information about this place, I can offer what little I know." It was only proper for her to say that. After all, she had been here longer than the others except for Rick. She opened the menu and began to see what she would have for dinner. Although, she had a light meal earlier. It was not a terrible for her to eat again. "I would like to have a Tottemo Yasai Ramen and water." Then, she closed her menu and placed it down on the table.

Jojo hmmm'd to himself as he looked over the menu, reading through it and nodding to himself. Eventually, he looked up as a waitress moved over to them. Giving her a polite smile, he spoke. "Evening. I'd like to get just the regular beef ramen with.. udon noodles, please. Can I also grab a pot of tea?" The girl nodded, asking what type of tea he'd like. Pausing for a moment, Jojo considered it. "Green tea, thank you. Could I also grab the Tottemo Yasai Ramen and a water, please?" He looked over at Vesper, smiling still, and, taking their order, the waitress moved away. Putting his menu to the side, Jojo leaned his elbows on the table, putting his chin in his hands. He was silent, staring at Vesper for a while with the warm smile on his face. He wasn't lost in though, as his eyes didn't glaze over, and he stared at her. His smile grew just a tiny bit.

Vesper met his eyes and was not bothered by his stare. Though, she was curious as to why he was not speaking. Is it because, there was nothing else to talk about? She contemplated on that and remembered that in the past, it had always been Jonathan who took the lead into anything. She followed after him, though she remembered causing a bit of woes due to her recklessness. There was nothing to fret about it in her opinion, but it was unsightly for her to act like that as she had been told countless of times. She must be prim and proper, perhaps that is why she stopped moving. Speaking of which, maybe there was something wrong, "Excuse me, but is there something on my face?" She asked towards him.

Jojo cracked an even bigger grin, chuckle to himself. "About time..~ I was almost worried you weren't going to fall for my trick." The edges of his mouth turned up a bit more than they were, and he continued. "And yes, you do have something on your face, Vespy." He reached over and gentle tapped the tip of her nose, grinning. "It's called a nose~". Leaning back in his chair, it was obvious he was enjoying his time with her. A soft chuckle left his mouth, and he exhaled. "By the way.. you don't need to be super formal with me, y'know? I told you this back in school, but you totally forgot, huh?" He looked her in the eyes, smiling. "Hey, you can let your guard down around me, just like old times." His words were kind, and there was a genuine feeling to them. He clasped his hands together, looking around the restaurant slowly. "Not much traffic here, but it seems like a nice place to come every now and then- hopefully the food is good." He paused. "I want to apologise in advance for my horrible table manners." He gave Vesper a sheepish grin.

Instinctively, she touched her nose after he tapped it and looked back at him after recalling those lost days. "Yes, that you did." Then, she looked around the establishment for a bit to concur with his description of it. "I believe they prefer the Capelli D'angelo or at this time the bar establishments for liquor." In regards to the food, she recalled that an fellow trainee once brought her a ramen from here as a gift. She was not sure why that was. But, she did gain insight about something. "It tastes like home." She then looked back at him and shook her head lightly. "I am used to it. So, there is no need for apologies. But, truly, I am glad to see you are doing well."

"Well, I have this really bad itch in my side that I've been trying to ignore this entire trip, actually, but other than that I'm doing well, yep~" He narrowed his eyes as he looked down at his side. "Right where that spider lady hit me, actually. Probably just a graze or something." He chuckled softly, looking back up at Vesper. "I remember the first time you convinced me to eat Ramen, and I ended up spilling it everywhere, even on myself.." A warm laugh left Jojo's lungs, and he leaned on his elbow a bit more heavily. "So how long have you been here, Vespy? People seem to know you, so it must be a bit of a while, yeah?"

"An itch? You should consult the doctor if it continues." She was concerned, however, she also knew that he was aware of his own limitations. That is why a reminder would be enough. "Jorōgumo is a dangerous creature. So, be wary." Then, the conversation lightened as memories were put forward." "Yes, but I believe it is an honor to eat it messily and you earned the praise of the chef for a wonderful slurping." Her face remained stoic, but her eyes held a small light akin to her own form of gentle remembrance. "It would be my sixth month week. Though if longest, it would be Rick."

Jojo nodded. "Yeah, I was chatting to Rick earlier. He's.. been here for a while." He paused. "Jorogumo? Is that what the spider people are called? I swear Rick called it a Tsuchigumo, though, but.. eh, spiders are spiders." He shuddered visibly. "Six months next week, huh..?" Jojo tried to remember where he was six weeks ago, but something made him pause. Rick mentioned earlier that he doubted that any of the Seven had arrived without some sort of interaction with Demons..

He was concerned. Vesper seemed fine now, but six months ago.. Jojo's hands subconsciously balled into fists, and he let out a hard sigh. "Sorry, Vespy." he muttered under his breath, looking down a little. A few moments later, though, food arrived- both his ramen and Vesper's own were piping hot, and Jojo happily licked his lips. Eagerly grabbing the chopsticks given alongside the meal, he snapped them and picked them up, going to grab some of the noodles.

He dropped the chopsticks. He'd spent so long not using them that he'd completely forgotten how. Picking them up again, Jojo, now a little red faced, leaning down so his embarrassment was a little more difficult to see. It took him a few tries to grab anything, and he eagerly stuffed everything into his mouth before chowing down and swallowing. He looked over at Vesper, he cheeks reddening further, and he gave her a sheepish smile and look away awkwardly.

"Yes, indeed. There are variations of the spider kin. Jorōgumo are known for the ability to turn into beautiful women to attract prey while Tsuchigumo mostly appear much like giants with the faces of an Oni or other beasts. But..." Vesper stopped there as she noticed the discomfort that Jonathan had about the topic. It would better to not continue about it. Then, he apologized once more. It made her wonder what for exactly, but she could assume it had a connection about her being here almost for six months. Did he feel responsible? "Do not apologize too much. It is no one's fault."

Then, the food arrived and flawlessly as she had always been. She picked her chopsticks with her inherent grace. "Itadakimasu." She spoke as she prayed before eating her portion. Although, there was a bit of clutter coming from Jonathan. He seemed to have forgotten how to use it, but that was fine. Somehow, there was a fitting word for this display of his. "You look adorable." That was the word is it not? After saying that, she continued her meal as such.

Jojo almost choked on his ramen as Vesper called him adorable. He wasn't expecting it at all, and instead of replying, he stuffed his mouth full of ramen as fast as possible. His red cheeks stayed red, getting redder, even.

A while later, Jojo put down his cup of tea and smile, letting out a contented 'ah~' and sitting back in his seat, closing his eyes. Opening them a little while later, he looked over at Vesper. "Was it good? I completely forgot how to use chopsticks, so it took me a little while to get back into things." He paused for a moment, looking away as he blushed again. "Buuut.. you totally noticed that, so I don't need to tell you again." He chuckled softly, his usual warm, somewhat goofy smile being directed at Vesper. "Shall we go? I'll pay, then come back okay?" After waiting for her reply, he left the table for a moment and, eventually, came back with a receipt. "Ready?" He held out his hand for Vesper to take.

The meal was good. No, it was quite nice. It had been a very long time since she felt that heartful peace. After putting down her chopsticks properly, she closed her hands together in a prayer. "Gochisousama deshita." Once that was done, she looked at Jonathan and gave a nod of satisfaction. "Yes.Thank you for the dinner." She tilted her head to the side much like a curious child. It was not known to her as to why he would blush about something that was adorable. Well, she didn't linger on that and gave a nod as he stated that he would pay now.

When it was done, he returned and held out his hand to her. She looked at it for a good while before taking it. "Yes. Let us." She stood from her seat and followed him.

The walk back to the dormitories was nice, and Jojo smiled as he hooked his arm with Vesper's again. Pulling her close, he chuckled. "Dinner was nice. It was nice to spend time with you again, Vespy." He chuckled softly. "And getting to see you turn into a blushing mess was an added bonus~" He poked her cheek slyly, grinning. "Still, though, it's really good to see you again.. But I think you know how I feel in that regard."

"Please forget my blushing episode." She held her cheek with her free hand. It was certainly a shameful sight to have. Then, she settled herself once more as Jonathan stated again that he was glad to see her. "It is the same for me. I am very glad to meet you again." Her words were relayed flawlessly, but underlying it, if one would be very mindful, there was a tinge of melancholy. Though, nothing else would represent that on her outwardly.

Continuing to walk, Jojo retreated into comfortable silence. It was probably.. 8ish by now? He'd gone over to Vesper's just after sundown- he briefly wondered if she spent a lot of time in her room and that's why she was already going to bed. He hummed to himself softly, a tune that Vesper would recognise as a tune he'd hummed to her before- the 'Calm Song' he called it, taught to him by his mother, with the obvious pitch differences that came from their opposite genders. Jojo's mind was elsewhere, however, purposefully avoiding that subject out of fear of bleeding everywhere.

She closed her eyes for a moment as the tune enveloped her in a haze of once was. This was the melody of a song that he told her was taught by his mother. It was soothing which was perfect for its name, the Calm Song. "That is a nice tune as always." She noted as she raised her head to look at the sky which lacked the glittering dust of stars. The moon was only the source of light this evening. "It is a starless night."

Jojo looked up as well, staring at the empty sky. He hummed a little louder, reaching the end of the song and stopping before replying. "Yeah.. All we have to rely on is the moon. The moon is so pretty, though, so that's fine with me." He chuckled softly. "I prefer the moon to the sun, actually. You can look at the moon and see its beauty, for one." He paused, turning back into the street that the dormitory building was on. "But the sun gives us life, and even though it's so bright, it's also beautiful- just.. a beauty you can't really appreciate, which is sad." He sighed softly, lifting up his right hand. The glove at a little loosely, showing off a bit of something black underneath. He quickly stuffed his hand into his pocket, mumbling something to himself.

She listened to every word coming from him. It was the words she had heard many times among various scenarios. This make it ache a bit, yes, just a little bit. But of course, it did not show on her face at all. "People tend to appreciate beauty when it fades." She also noticed his slight apprehension about his gloved hand, but she did not say anything about it. After all, if he did not see the meaning to tell her, then, it is fine for her not to speak about it. "Nights like this are omens whether good or bad. It depends on the outcome." She instead continued the conversation at that point and also ended it.

"I'm glad I learned the Calm Song off by heart. It always makes me feel good, and helps me relax." He purposefully avoided mention of his mother, as per usual, and smiled slightly. It hadn't taken them long at all to get back. It always seemed to be the case with trips- the way there was always double the way back. Jojo thought about that for a moment, trying to get some obscure, sagacious meaning out of it. In the end he just gave up and figured it was literal, and it was. In no time at all, they stood in the foyer, in front of the elevators.

He turned to Vesper, smiling. "Thanks for having dinner with me, Vespy. I know it wasn't something super fancy but.. I've never really been a fancy pants, have I?" He smiled his warm smile at her yet again, the grin having not once fell from his face or vanished into less than a small smile during their entire outing.

Vesper looked at him with that beautiful smile. She gave a small nod, before speaking forth. "It is the same with me. I truly had a wonderful time." There was a brief silence from her part before she placed her hands upon his cheeks, effectively cupping them. "This time. Make it count. Onii-chan." She tiptoed and gave him a fleeting forehead kiss, before gracefully pulling away. "Good night. I pray for good dreams for you to have tonight." She delivered a half-bow with that straight and elegant posture. "I would see you tomorrow. Until then, please excuse me." Then, she turned her back on him and walked away. Her destination however was not elevators, but somewhere else. While the meaning behind her words were something only for her to know.

Jojo watched Vesper leave, eyebrow raised. "This time..?" He figured she meant this time they'd run into each other again, but he got this.. strange feeling. He brushed it off, watching her vanish, before stepping into the elevator. As the doors closed, he narrowed his eyes.

He felt.. weird.

-| 'Illusion' |-Image

By the time the meeting had ended, the sun had long since vanished under the horizon. Groaning softly, Illusion stretched in her chair. The others had already left, and she closed her eyes for a moment. Only Arthur remained in the meeting room, the door shutting behind the last person to leave. Illusion stayed dead still, her eyes shut. "It's too late to cook now, Arty." A long, hard sigh left the man as Illusion spoke. A dry chuckle followed. "Yes. Of course your mind is on food." Illusion giggled to herself, smiling. "Eye closed." Arthur kept his eye shut- he'd be killed if he didn't. Or, well, that was the threat, anyway.

"How are they?"
A soft sigh left Illusion's lips. "Well. They're getting along well. Jonathan and Vesper are out at dinner as we speak." Arthur made a noise, nodding to himself in satisfaction. "And Boot Camp preparations?" Illusion chuckled to herself softly, crossing her legs in her seat. "Some poor fool got stuck doing Hallows' work for her, I'd say. With our.. special guest.. in town she couldn't help but ditch her duties." Arthur nodded once again, chuckling softly. "Not much gets by you, does it?"

The fact that Illusion's voice and way of speaking changed did not escape Arthur. It meant only one thing, and one thing only.

Standing up from her chair, Illusion towered over it. Her curvaceous, lithe figure stood, and she idly checked her crimson nails before smiling. "Of course not. Asmodeus, nor Miss Lucalia, are not the only beings present skilled in information gathering." Taking a few steps, she rolled her eyes- just because her body changed didn't mean her clothing did. "So tight.." And it was true- her body caused her clothing to strain considerably around her.. assets. Clothing meant for a flat, thin child was near impossible to wear as an adult for her. "And the.. tag-along?" Arthur's tone was harsh, and Illusion answered with a soft, sensuous voice, yet the venomous edge in her tone was unmistakable. "She has been.. dealt with accordingly."

Arthur sighed. "It couldn't have been avoided?" Illusion crossed her arms, watching her top practically burst and smirking. "No. She had to be taken care of. Too much of a.. risk." Arthur couldn't help but feel like Illusion could've avoided it, and she'd simply chosen not to. Sighing, he stood up. Something sharp was at his throat in less than a second. "Uh, uh, uh. Naughty little boy. Sit." Arthur sat back in his chair, sighing hard. "There's more?"

Illusion smiled, looking up at the camera in the corner of the room. "Two demons. One has left the facility, the other is imprisoned just as Angela said." Arthur narrowed his brow.
"Angela D'Brightass, yes."
'"Do you have no respect for the man?"
He felt Illusion lean down, her lips brushing against his earlobe.

"I want you to leave Brenhin alone."
Arthur raised an eyebrow. "So you're the reason he was able to enter the compound, then? Why he somehow managed to evade ORIN's sight until he was already here?" Illusion nodded, making an affirmative sound.
"He'll be useful to us, I believe. I have reason to believe he has something planned for our new arrivals- how convenient that he arrives the same day they all do, no? Besides, it'll be fun to drop some holy water on him every now and then, as I'm sure you'll agree."
"Wanton torture is not my style, and I doubt Madison would approve."
"Well.. what Maddie doesn't know won't hurt him. We've given him enough kindnesses letting him.. avoid detection."
"Having his parents as the two most senior authorities in the organisation must be very handy indeed."

A soft chuckle.

Two claps broke through the silence, and Arthur opened his eye. Illusion's smaller, lolita form stood before him, a sly smirk on her face. "Why do you always keep that form hidden?" Illusion rolled her eyes. "Well, for one I prefer this form, and secondly.. Actually, no reason, really. I can push myself to any age, after all." With a soft smirk, Illusion spun in place. "Taa daa~ Look, Arty, Lusy can spins!" Arthur slowly stood from his chair, letting out a sigh. "Shall I call Madison for dinner?" Illusion hovered off of the floor slightly, smirking. "Iunno, do ya wanna call 'im up or nahs? Actually.. Don't."

"I don't want to reveal anything too prematurely, Arty farty, so I expect silence from you, mhm mhm~" She nodded to herself, closing her eyes and crossing her arms. She smirked softly, carelessly raising her hand to block the blade to swung at her neck. The sword, effortlessly caught, was then quite easily yanked from Arthur's hand and sent flying across the room. Illusion showed no effort in doing her little disarming trick. Opening her eyes, she noticed Arthur nodding. "Still as difficult as ever." Illusion rolled her eyes, giggling. "You might've killed me, Arthur." Arthur chuckled. "Not likely." Sighing and letting her shoulders slump, Illusion turned to him as he strode across the room and retrieved his blade.

"I have no doubts in my mind that you'll be able to fend off anyone who tries to use this sword against you." Illusion rolled her eyes, chuckling. "Please, Arthur, you don't need to test my reflexes. If you have worries, act on them." Arthur shook his head. "I have faith. And I refuse to take up arms against one of my own." Illusion scoffed, and Arthur sheathed Excalibur. "I'm going to go grab some dinner, Arthur. I'll be accompanying the Seven to boot camp tomorrow morning, so I need to wake them early." Arthur, nodding, moved over to the room behind the council's meeting room, pushing the door open slightly.

"I know."
"Don't be surprised."

Before stepping into the room, Arthur turned to Illusion and went to speak.
She was already gone.

-| Frank N. Stein |-Image

Sitting at the desk, Frankenstein looked over the photo in his hand, a dark expression on his face. His memories of that day were some of the darkest he had.

They'd carted him in on a stretcher in the middle of the night, eyes closed and body drenched in sweat and blood. He could barely see or hear what was going on despite the people screaming around him, his senses taken away almost to the point of being nonexistent. Taken by that thing. Upon analyzing him, they'd found out something absolutely terrifying- something even a monster like Frank couldn't exactly handle.

Frank grit his teeth, slamming his fist down on the table. Despite generally being an aloof person, those memories drew out a rage inside of him unlike any other. Yet he couldn't stop his thoughts as much as he tried.

He'd figured it would happen, but the other one had left in a hurry, saying nothing to no one. Usually they were capable of keeping their cool, but that night their enemy had crossed a line- so long after the conflict had ended, they'd crossed a line.

The infirmary was filled with another body only a few hours later, after he'd rescued the would-be avenger from their own death- the thing they'd fought was.. a monster, no, not even that. It destroyed the two of them with absolutely no remorse or control. It was a miracle they'd survived, but even so.. Frank had to wonder if it had let them survive.

Frankie put the photo down, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. 20 years was finally up. It would all be fixed, now. It would all be done. All he had to do..

Frank rocketed out of his chair, giving the picture one last look. He never let it show, but those four were a family to him. Comrades, companions, even, Frank thought, friends.. except maybe that one. Electricity crackled around him as his anger flared, arcing out around the room as he bowed his head and grit his teeth. Flexed fingers almost becoming claws, Frank took a deep breath and calmed himself. The electricity abated, and he sighed softly. Anger wouldn't do him any good, now, and he needed to do good.

20 years and something even more important were on his shoulders. He nodded, restoring his resolution as he repeated it just as he had many times before.

"Forgive me, Boss."

Frankenstein grabbed the photo and put it into his pocket, leaving the room.
The body of the owner lay in their bed, faint static electricity arcing between their gaping, screaming lips.

-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image

Jojo collaped onto the couch, groaning loudly. He layed down and closed his eyes, putting his hands on his chest as he let out a long sigh. What a day.. First of all he'd met-

He paused. "This is, like, the tenth time I started listing all of the shit that's gone down today.." He chuckled to himself softly, before opening his eyes again as a thought hit him. "Yo, Dawn, you wanna go grab a snack?" He called from the lounge, then went silent. Briefly he wondered where Vesper had wandered off to after they'd come back. Her words echoed through his head, and he couldn't help but get a bad feeling in his gut. This time. Make it count. Onii-chan.

Whatever she meant by that, it escaped him. In fact, looking back at a lot of the things he'd written off as just little quirky things she said, his bad feeling got even more intense. After just a few moments of thinking, he was actually seriously worried about her. He figured it was just his nerves and his guilt mixing, but something just.. didn't sit right with him. His brow furrowed in frustration as he tried to figure out what and couldn't. Finally, with a loud, frustrated sigh, he tossed his hands up in anger and gave up. "It doesn't matter.. I'll protect her no matter what. I promised her I'd never leave, and I sure as hell won't let anyone hurt her. I won't forgive myself again if I do that.."

Jojo slowly sat up, pulling the glove off of his right hand. It felt good to free it, but he was ashamed of the dark mark that ruined his skin. Pitch black and almost burnt looking, the mark sat as an ugly reminder of.. something. Whenever he'd looked at it, it made him feel uneasy. Worried. Sometimes outright sick.

Rick's reaction to his earlier headache worried him- Rick must've seen something in the magnifying glass. Jojo pausing, reconsidering his words. "If it worked, then.. A magnifying glass lets you see things, so maybe there's something he.. didn't see with me?" Jojo was more than a little worried about everything going on. The bad feeling in his gut didn't abate, and he felt himself getting a little nauseous.

He decided to put his mind on something else, grabbing the leatherbound book Illusion had handed to him earlier and eyeing it. Of all the things for the creepy lolita vampire to personally hand to him, it had to be the silly book. The three locks all looked at him, taunting him, and he'd only a little while ago realised why his attempts to open the book with force were unsuccessful- it was sealed with some sort of magic. And, from what he could tell, it was strong. Holding the book in his hand, her turned it over.

Something caught his eye, however, and he raised his right hand. He pushed his fingers together, watching the black marks combine into one mass of darkness, and a drop of sweat fell down his face.

He'd somehow never noticed that the mark on his hand was the same as the marking on the back of the book. It was like a haze was lifting from his memories, somehow, and he briefly wondered why he'd never noticed it before. Something felt.. off.

As it turned out, by the time that Dawn had arrived, practically all dorms had been taken, with the only remaining set being closed off for renovations. It wasn't much of a surprise- after all, her appearance at the WDL had been a bit...unexpected, to say the least. It also wasn't too much of a surprise that she ended up being assigned to live at Jojo's apartment until another room opened up. They had been roommates before this, after all.

She had situated herself in the apartment's office, and was pleased to find that some of her own belongings had been transferred over as well. Her computer, her bed, a few knick-knacks that she had collected over the years- all there. There were a few things that would have to be replaced, but they were nothing that Dawn was overly concerned about. Especially following her recent expedition to the WDL's gate to pick up a very important package.

Said package was now lying on the floor of her room, gnawing on a duck-flavored dog bone that Dawn had picked up an hour ago. Iggy had been somewhat tense upon his arrival, having traveled halfway across the world and brought into a brand new environment in nearly the same day. He had spent a few minutes sniffing about the place, poking his nose into as many cupboards and crannies and corners as possible, whimpering with his tail tucked between his legs. After a few tummy-rubs and treats, however, Iggy had calmed down- although he would still jump a bit at any sound that was too loud or sudden.

Dawn was currently sitting on the floor beside Iggy, scratching at a spot just behind his ear and reading something on her phone before Jojo called over. Closing whatever window she had been in, she stood, giving Iggy a fond pat on the head on her way up. "That's fine," she called back. "I can go pick something up from McDonalds right now. Would you want anything?" She had taken her purse from whatever chair she had tossed it on, and was rifling through it when she heard a loud, almost angry sigh from the other room, and some mumbling that she couldn't quite pick out. Frowning, Dawn entered the living room, walking over and sitting down in a seat opposite Jojo's. Iggy, seeing that all the activity was elsewhere, followed on her heels. A thin trail of drool puddled behind him.

"Are you okay, Jojo?" Dawn asked. She gave Iggy an absentminded scratch beneath the chin as he settled beside her, but her focus was largely on her roommate. "You seem stressed. Did something happen while you were out?" Her eyes found the marking upon Jojo's hand for a few seconds before looking away, refocusing back onto his face. Given how often he kept it hidden, it was clear that he didn't enjoy having it seen.

As soon as Dawn looked at the mark, Jojo stuffed his hand into his pocket. He cursed himself for being so damn careless, and looked away. "Just.. got a bad feeling is all, Got a nosebleed for the first time ever, so I'm, uh, a little on edge." He turned to her and gave her a smile, then slowly pulled his hand out of his pocket. He reached over to Dawn, offering his hand for her to touch. "Touch it. Trust me."

As soon as her fingers touched it, they became as cold as ice, and even turned a little pale. As soon as he noticed it, Jojo yanked his hand away, nodding. "And that's why I keep my glove on. No clue what it is or what it does, but.. it's.. not normal. I've kept it hidden until now but, uh, well.. we're not in normal land anymore so I don't see a reason to keep it hidden.. Heh." He watched her face closely as she touched it, and afterwards, settling into a little silence.

"A nosebleed?" From what she could see, there was no sign of a bruise or the like- it must have been spontaneous, then. "You, um, want any vaseline? I read somewhere that putting some inside your nose can keep it from getting irritated, so it might help." The air wasn't particularly dry here, but that was the only thing that Dawn could think of that could have caused something so sudden. The nosebleed issue was soon pushed to the side, however, as Jojo pulled his hand into the open and offered it to her. Offered the mark, really.

Without much though, Dawn reached forward, laying a few fingers upon the skin there. She blinked in surprise, and after a few seconds of contact Jojo jerked back. Another blink, glancing down at her now-reddened fingers, before she looked up again and smiled. "Well. Out of everything that's happened today, I, um, think this is one of the least weirdest, honestly." She rubbed her fingertips, coaxing some warmth back into them. "How long have you had it? If you, um, don't mind me asking, of course."

Jojo shrugged to himself. "As long as I can remember, actually.. I figure it must've happened during my childhood. If I can find my mum I can-" He paused in his tracks, eyes widening as he waited for something to happen. "Huh.. I guess I must've been wrong.." He waited a few moments, leaning back and closing his eyes before he sat up and sighed. "I'll come with you to McDonald's if you want. I've got my card now so I can pay, but also I need some fresh air- I.. feel a bit sick, honestly."

Dawn's brow rose, quirking in silent question. She offered no comment, however, instead standing and adjusting her purse. The strap had begun to dig uncomfortably into her shoulder. "I think the closest one is a few blocks away, if you're alright with walking that much right now. I can pay." It felt a big wrong to make Jojo pay when he seemed so...drained. It was worrying. "Would you want a coffee or anything when we're there?"

Jojo shook his head. "No, no, I'm paying. I got a ton of cash on my card so it's fine." He slowly stood up, cracking his neck and groaning. There were slight bags under his eyes. Sitting at home and thinking about things had caused the reality of his situation to hit him like a truck- everything he'd ever known was getting tossed upside down and from now on he was.. being trained in combat? Magic? What the hell, even? Jojo really just wanted to sit down and, well, live his normal life.

Except he was the damn Child of fucking Satan. He'd been fine with everything until now, but, like, really, what the fuck? A perfectly normal life, with perfectly normal people- Jojo paused. Didn't that sound.. weird? Sure, he had that mark on his hand and that book, but.. How did he know that half his friends weren't secretly fucking fairies? He had nothing against fairies, but, like..

He was tired. He'd barely gotten any sleep last night due to travel time and on top of that he'd been doing stuff all day- he was tired. And that begged the question.. What about Dawn? She must've been tired too, although he figured she'd probably slept on the plane here. Shaking his head and dismissing the questions, he groaned and stretched his arms. "I think I'll have about.. ten coffees? Twenty, maybe." He gave Dawn a tired grin, moving over and petting her head. He moved away quickly, moving to the door to the apartment. "We should go now, though. It's, like, almost 9 o'clock and we probably have to get up early tomorrow."

"Alright," Dawn said, although there was an obvious amount of hesitance in doing so. "I'll pay next time, though. So you don't have to spend that much too often." Evidently, she seemed to be forgetting that a McDonalds wasn't the most lavish place to eat at, or at the very least seemed to be disregarding it. She sighed, running a hand through her hair and smiling. It was a bit weary, but still genuine in its intent.

"I, uh, I think I'll be having that, too. Coffee for dinner, and maybe more for breakfast- I have the feeling that we'll end up needing it." Dawn gave a faint chuckle, then did her best to look affronted as Jojo reached over to pat her on the head- an effort that was rendered somewhat ineffective by the half-smile that managed to crack through as she followed him to the door. On her way, however, she stooped, placing both hands on Iggy's neck and ruffling the fur lining it. Couldn't go anywhere without saying anything to her baby, after all.

"Are you going to be a good boy for us while we're gone?" She asked, staring the collie right in the eyes. "Are you gonna be a good Iggy Wiggy? Are you?" Dawn scratched more vigorously, craning her face away from Iggy's as he started trying to lap his tongue across her cheek. "Who's the bestest boy in the whole world? It's you! It's the Biggle Iggle Wiggle boy!" She devolved into nonsensical baby talk for a minute or so before standing, brushing some of the fur from her coat, and casually turning on her feel to face Jojo. "Okay, let's go." With that, she stepped out into the hall, waiting for Jojo to join her before going on.

Jojo stood there, a small smile on his face. He had a habit of zoning out whenever Dawn started babytalking Iggy. A blank yet pleasant smile adorned his face until Dawn eventually turned to him. "Yes. Let's." The blank smile didn't fade as he shuffled sideways- he was going to be like this for a while, a little.. thing he did. Overplaying stuff was something he enjoyed, honestly.

"I wish that they weren't sending us out right away," Dawn said, walking in stride with her roommate. "I mean. Magic was supposed to be Disneyland and Tolkien, and, um, all that. know. Life." She shook her head. "Would've liked a few days to kind of...get settled, I guess? I don't know." Dawn wiped at her lips, glancing up at a particularly interesting shape that the dried paint formed above them.

"And Rowling." Jojo nodded, moving to the elevators and pressing the button. "Yeah. It'd be nice to, um.. y'know.. settle in intead of suddenly getting weapons shoved into our hands." He paused. "Hat?" It was dark outside, so Jojo was wondering why the hat was still affixed to Dawn's head. Before he could say anything else, though, the elevator door opened and, letting Dawn go first, he stepped inside. "Heh. It's almost like we're finishing up the introduction and jumping right in to chapter one, right?" He chuckled to himself, crossing his arms. "Second anime reference I've made today.. I must be the protagonist for sure." There was a joking tone to his words despite his tired appearance, and he grinned at Dawn. "You're definitely a minor background character. Yup. 100%" His joking tone was still there, of course, just a little jab at his housemate.

Dawn shrugged. "Well," she began. "Maybe it'll be like...camping? Just with, um. More guns." She wasn't being serious, of course- with a name like "Boot Camp", it seemed as if they were going to be thrown into military training right away. To what extent, however, she wasn't quite sure. As they stepped into the elevator, Dawn's fingers moved to the brim of her hat, pulling it down to its usual angle.

"Oh. I, um. Forgot it was there, actually." She laughed, rubbing sheepishly at her shoulder. "I'll take it off once we get back. It's not as bad as wearing sunglasses out right now, at least." Dawn had known someone like that while at her university- her old university, now. She had been somewhat impressed by how well he was able to navigate at night, with only half of the lamps working. Less so when she was partnered with the man and discovered the reason he wore sunglasses was because, as it turned out, he was high as a kite in nearly all of his classes.

The elevator pinged quietly, descending smoothly down the building. It seemed as if most recruits were asleep or elsewhere, as the travel hadn't faced interruption so far. "It seems like it," Dawn admitted. "I mean, there's been a few twists already. With...well. Everything, really. And you definitely have the whole 'protagonist hair' thing." She briefly considered trying to pat Jojo's own hair as retribution, but decided against it, seeing as she would have to reach a bit to actually get there herself. Dawn gave a somewhat unamused look at the "background character" comment, before sighing and shaking her head.

"You might be right there, Jojo," she said, gravely. "Black hair, and no special eye color or anything- I was doomed to be a side character from the start." Then Dawn lightened, giving Jojo a playful nudge. "At least I know how to shoot. Should spare me for a few chapters until I, um, 'pass my wisdom down'. Or something." While not as well acquainted with anime as Jonathan was, she had been sat down in front of enough shows by this point that she had some grasp of a few reoccurring tropes.

Jojo grinned. "Protagonist hair? Jeez, next you'll be saying that I'll be surrounded by fifty attractive girls who all want to date me." Jojo paused, his grin turning into a sly smirk as he chuckled softly. "Dawn Memoli, one episode of appearance before her untimely demise. One of those tearjerker scenes where I'm holding your cold, lifeless body and going 'oh nooooooo!'" He poked her shoulder with a grin. "You've got more skills then me, so maybe you're, like, the mentor or something." Jojo paused, looking at her. "Dawn, you have that hair oh my God. Dawn, the tropes- the memes-" He grabbed her shoulders, a mock look of terror spreading across his face. "The memes, Dawn! The memes are real!"

Dawn was definitely used to his.. goofiness.. by now. He let go of her, smirking as he pet her head again. "Lucky for us we're not in an anime. I don't have to deal with protagonist angst and an army of waifus-to-be, and you don't die because of a hairstyle despite being completely capable of surviving longer." Jojo turned to the mirror behind them, glaring slightly. "Protagonist.. fuck, I really do. Damnit." With a smirk, he turned back around and struck a pose with his hands on his hips. "I, Jonathan Black, will not rest until the forces of evil perish!" As the last words left his mouth, he cocked his hips and flung a hand into the air, pointing to the skies. "I will survive, hey, hey!" Jojo's choked on his own breath and burst into laughter. "Jesus fucking Christ I almost sang in the elevator." He paused.

He was humming the song under his breath and slightly tapping his foot, still in his pose.

"I guess that just makes me sad backstory fuel, then," Dawn mused. "Hopefully my death will end up a little interesting, at least. Maybe I'll get to fight off a wave of sea monsters by myself so I can give everyone time to escape. Give a, uh, witty one-liner before I'm taken out." She smiled apologetically over in the other's direction, rolling her sleeves into neat cuffs at the wrist. "Sorry, Jojo. Guess I won't be teaching you that special gun technique anytime soon. I, um, kind of like being alive." At Jojo's sudden grabbing, surprise flashed across her face- replaced with a steady realization as Dawn lifted her plait for inspection.

"Oh. I have the, um. What was it called? The 'Doomed Mom Hairstyle'?" She laughed, letting the braid fall back against her chest. "Well. As long as I don't have a kid anytime soon, I'll be fine, I think. Unless everyone with this hair ends up, uh, dead." An air of exaggerated shock fell upon her, and she grinned over at Jojo. "I would've thought that an army of, uh...waifus? I would've thought that you'd like the idea of an army of those." Dawn's eyes were light with mischief, at Jonathan's dramatic, she let out a rather unseemly snort and pressed her face into her palm. "Okay, settle down there, Jojo," she smiled. "You haven't even found any weapons of friendship and strength yet. And that's usually the first step to taking down the evil emperor-king, isn't it?"

Jojo seemed much happier than he had been in the apartment. That was good. Even if it also involved spontaneous bursts into song during elevator rides, it was still a good thing.

"Dawn, I have some bad news.. That hairstyle is for everyone. I recommend a haircut, but as long as you avoid all of the flags you should be fine.. I think." The elevator door opened and he quickly returned to his normal stance, cheeks reddening slightly as he rushed past the girl standing there. As soon as he was behind her, he turned to Dawn and mouthed 'OH MY GOD' before turning away and laughing. Waiting for her to also leave the elevator, he grinned. "But Dawn, the harem protagonist is really in a bad situation, y'know? So many girls and by society's standards he can only choose one- so I personally like to imagine that-" He paused. "Okay so like, there's this one anime, right, and the protag is legitimately a rock- but like there's just teensy little hints, and I like to think in my headcanon that he's actually a super genius and is just avoiding everything because he knows how silly it is and he doesn't want to upset anyone. Makes sense, right?"

"Fun theory. Probably not true, though, sadly. Rocks get more attention than me, awww yisss." He paused, looking around the room for a moment, searching for something. He quickly went back to his usual demeanour, though, resuming his march to McNotDonald's. "Evil Emperor-King, psh. We're totally gonna be fighting God like in, um, Knifearella. Also, your totally snorted before. Not gonna get away with that, Dawn. You can't fool me." The smile on Jojo's face was warm as ever, however, as he walked beside Dawn.

In response to Jojo's warning, Dawn sighed loudly, lifting her plait again and giving it a wistful stare. "It took me a year to grow all this out. Would I be spared if I just put it up in a ponytail for the rest of my life, or would the curse stick?" At the sound of the doors sliding open, she dropped her hair, folding her hands against her skirt and giving the woman a polite nod as she strode out to follow Jojo. The "professional" expression didn't last long, however, and Dawn had to clasp her hand against her mouth to stifle her own laughter.

"Well," she said, once she had composed herself, "I can't blame him. Some of the girls in those shows are very...determined, honestly. Especially in the ones where they start trying to kill everyone after they're turned down. For a bunch of skinny teenagers, they tend to end up being really skilled in tossing chainsaws around." Of course, as far as anime character strength went, it wasn't uncommon to the odd nine-going-on-ten year old casually taking down a giant with a sword as twice as large as they were, so Dawn supposed it wasn't too overly large of a sin if the teenage girls managed to put pro-lifters to shame on a regular basis. She cracked her knuckles, letting the sound echo nicely around them.

"I think it's sort of the reverse of trophy wives. They find someone attractive and not all too bright, so they try to have them as a sort of 'low-maintenance' boyfriend while they take over the world or become class president or, you know. Although, since there's usually, um, five other girls going after the same person, that doesn't make much sense, either." She paused.

"Which God?" Dawn asked. "The ones that have five pairs of wings and look like supermodels? And I don't know what you're talking about, Jojo." At that, her face went perfectly stoic- except for the corners of her mouth, which were twitching slightly. "You're probably just hearing things."

Another quirk. She wasn't making too much of an effort to hide it.

"No, no, there was a snort. Like a really loud one- super loud, shook the entire elevator, actually." He grinned at her widely. "And, well, I hope we don't have to fight a supermodel God- I'd be distracted the whole fight. Although maybe my protagonist powers would help us save the day anyway~" He listened to Dawn crack her knuckles loudly, narrowing his eyes. "Was that, like, a secret superhero signal or something? Are you secretly BatDawn?"

Jojo gave a shrug. "And I've got no real idea how harems work, legit. And, well, you were right earlier, it'd be sweet as having a group of girls all vying for my affections and all, but, like, the stress of not breaking any hearts would probably kill me." He smirked. "Dawn Memoli, harem girl?" He waggled his eyebrows, then cracked up. "I'm worried about all the Yaoi shippers, honestly.."

"If I could snort loud enough to shake an elevator, I would've tried going for a world record by now," Dawn replied. "It would be my claim to fame. Put it on my resume, maybe." She laughed. "If we're going by anime rules, you'll end up redeeming God by making her...him? You'll redeem them by making them fall helplessly in love with you and helping them see the good in the world again. Something like that." At Jojo's question, she smiled, raising her hands palm-up.

"You caught me. 'BatDawn, fighter of unnaturally strong teenagers, defender of justice. Catcher of arthritis.' That's what they called me in my heyday." She rubbed her knuckles, letting them fall to her sides.

"I guess it's like you said. It's a good thing that we're not living in an anime. I would love to have the weapons from a couple of those, but I don't think that all the, ah, talking animals and giant robots are worth it." She smiled, and, still smiling, gave her reply to Jojo's next comment.


Then her face straightened out to its usual expression, and she plucked at a string that had come loose from her sweater cuff.

"Well, I'm sorry to tell you this, Jojo. But if you breathed in the direction of any other man in the past twenty four hours, then you'd probably already be paired with them. Sorry."

"BatDawn, jesus christ. Do you stand on the tops of buildings being super broody and talking about your parental issues when I'm asleep, by any chance? Also! How the hell are giant robots ever a bad thing?!" He paused. "Except, um, in that one anime.. Neon... That one. Copyright. Whew, almost screwed us up, there." He chuckled softly, before turning to Dawn with an expression of mock insult, his eyes wide and watering.

If this were an anime, he'd totally have those big circles of water near his eyes. His lip trembled and he brought his hands up to his chin, clasping them together as he spoke, his voice shaking in an over the top way. "B-B-B-But D-Dawn-c-chan... Aishiteru yo..!" He sniffed super loudly, then cringed. "Ow, fuck, that actually hurt, jesus christ, nose, why, no, ow, fuck." Lifting up his hand to rub his nose, he chuckled. "I think I share an infirmary with Caius for a while, too, so the fangirls.. damnit."

Dawn chuckled. "Why do you think I spend so much time awake at night?" She asked mischeviously. "And, um. Considering that giant robots usually end up levelling cities, I think that they, um. Cause a bit more harm than good." The 'copyright' remark had her raising a brow, but then Jojo was putting on his best 'kicked puppy' look. And "shy anime girl" impression, apparently. Dawn gave another snort, although his wincing prompted her to start pawing through her purse and toss something over at him. A tiny bottle of nasal spray.

"I'd rather you didn't end up popping a blood vessel there," she said. "We've, um, referenced enough anime cliches already." Dawn turned to look over at Jojo again, curious. "Caius? Was he the one who didn't go on the tour?"

Jojo caught the bottle and immediately sprayed right up his nose.
He sneezed.
Giving Dawn a grin, he handed the bottle back to her and spoke. "I have no idea how to use that but it said nasal spray so I think I did the thing." He looked up, opening the door to the McDonald's they were conveniently at, and let Dawn go first before he did. "Giant robots would be so fun, though! Like legit! Just firing giant lasers and stuff would be awesome." He gave Dawn a sly smirk. "Snorty McUm~"

Jojo moved over to the counter with ungodly speed- nothing kept a hungry Jonathan Black from food. Nothing. "And yeah, that's him." He figured mentioning names was not a good idea now that they were in a public place.. with a surprisingly large amount of people, too. Standing in line, the girl in front of them turned around and grinned. Her black hair had several colourful streaks in it, and she was wearing a tank top with a hoodie tied around her waist. Cargo pants and some sneakers, along with what seemed to be some goggles around her neck and two leather yet fingerless gloves were her only accessories. She briefly looked them up and down, then turned away again.

Jojo raised an eyebrow, then shrugged and turned to Dawn. "What're you getting, anyways?"

"That you did," Dawn replied. She took the spray back with one hand, and with the other, fished out a small alcohol wipe and deftly cleaned the top before putting it back. The wipe disappeared inside the maw of a nearby wastebin as she stepped inside, basking in the aroma of salt and grease. Given that they were in the Vatican itself, perhaps it would have been more fitting to go find somewhere new to eat. Try something more local. However, they would have plenty of time while there to do just that, and Dawn was in the mood for something quick and generally unhealthy.

She followed Jojo over to the counter, taking her time so she didn't accidentally bump into anything, and talking on the way. "I'm guessing that you'd also want to punch Godzilla, too?" Dawn responded to Jojo's smirk with a frown, although there wasn't much offense taken. "It's a tic," she said. She didn't prod further on the topic of Caius and the tour, aware that the middle of a fast food restaurant wasn't quite the place to be discussing the day's events. The McDonalds was fairly empty, given the time, but not isolated. One of their fellow patrons, the girl standing in line, glanced at them for a bit. Smiling before turning back around.
They were certainly not unobserved, either.

Dawn eyed the woman's back for a moment before casting her gaze up to the overhead menu. "I, um, think I'll get a quarter pounder. With cheese. What about you?"

Jojo grinned. "I'd totally K.O Godzilla with an uppercut to the face and you know it." His grin didn't drop one bit as she frowned at him. "Um, a tic, um, it's kinda, um, cute, um, though, um um~" He gave her an over the top wink on top of his grin. Jojo didn't mention the girl, but he noticed that she'd gone up to order while they stood behind her. "I think I'll get an, uh.. Hmm.. Uh, Dawn, decide for me. I have no clue and I'm lazy and I trust your judgement." His grin settled down into a small smile, but Dawn knew he was thinking of something.

"I wonder.."

"Well, if I, um, ever get the keys to a giant robot, remind me to let you take it out for a spin." Dawn gave a little roll of her eyes at Jojo's teasing, lightly smacking his arm as she continued to examine the list of burgers and ice creams and other junk foods. She was smiling, though.
"You could try what I'm getting," she suggested. "The quarter pounder. As long as you don't dislike onions, everything okay? You look like you're thinking hard about something." Dawn had turned completely away from the menu after the first or second scroll-through, attention almost entirely back on Jojo- the remainder was on the cashier and the woman, so that she would know when it was their turn instead of standing around, chatting obliviously.

Jojo grinned. "Just recalling something I spoke to someone earlier about, is all." She'd outright turned around to them and given them a grin.. what the hell was that about? He shook his head and gave Dawn a wide grin. "Ow, Dawn, you broke my arm. How could you?" He let his arm go limp, grinning widely. "Oooh, if this were an anime, this would totally be some super subtle foreshadowing. Well, until I mentioned it, anyway. Shit... aki mushrooms." He shook his arm a little, then crossed them. "Quarter Pounder.. wait, shouldn't we be avoiding the brand names? Like.. Half-Half Pounder? McDolan's? Big Mook? McRooster? Fillet o' Salmon?" He smirked, turning to the counter. "Wait, we're ordering separately, ha, you almost got me, Dawn. You sneaky, sneaky sneaker snooker snake, you."

"I was thinking about, um, the, um, um, okay, I'll, um, stop." His smirk widened. "I was thinking about the, uh, stuff I learned earlier today. Y'know." He gestured with his crossed arms, and paused for a moment. The girl had grabbed her food and walked past him, a small smirk on her face as she touched his shoulder ever so slightly. Jojo felt.. something odd. He had no clue what it was, but it felt..

Dawn took a moment to scan Jojo's face, before giving a wry grin. "Well, I did shake the elevator, apparently. Maybe I ate a, um, meteor shard at the restaurant and got superpowers. Don't know my strength anymore." She stretched her arms above her head, working out some of the stiffness before lowering them again. A genuinely confused look came across her face at Jojo's insistence on avoiding 'brand names', and she was about to comment before Jojo spoke again. Dawn shrugged, smiled. "It was worth a shot."

Unsurprisingly, he brought up her "um"ing one last time before giving a proper explanation as to what was on his mind. "It's been...a lot, hasn't it?" Dawn remarked. From where she was standing, she noted that the woman had wrapped up her order by this point, and was heading out the door with her meal. Nothing conspicuous, really- if it wasn't for the fact that, after brushing her way past Jojo, he seemed to...lock up, staring off into nothing. Dawn frowned, facing him, watching as the woman left from the corner of her eye. "Jojo?" She asked. "Are you okay, Jojo?"

Dawn took a step forward- towards Jojo? The woman?- when the distinctly bored tone of the cashier called out. "Ma'am? Would you like to order now?" She paused, then turned on her heel. The dead, soulless eyes of the teenager at the counter stared back at her. Dawn laughed sheepishly, running a hand through her hair. "Oh, sorry about that, sir." She gave out both hers and Jojo's orders, drawing the appropriate amount of money from her wallet and handing it over without much thought. Her attention was elsewhere.

Once that was through, Dawn turned, placing a hand on Jojo's shoulder and giving it a gentle shake. "Hey, are you alright?"

The woman was out of sight.

Jojo narrowed his eyes, not phased out anymore but instead deep in thought. He didn't respond immediately, instead nodding to himself. When he did answer, he looked up and turned around, looking for the girl. "That was.. a weird feeling. I'm not sure what it was at all. I might have to go for another walk sometime and hunt her down." He decided to keep what he'd heard secret for now, instead looking over at Dawn and giving her a small smile. "I'm just a little tired still, y'know?"

Dawn's brows furrowed in concern. "Okay," she said, although she seemed to be taking the explanation with a grain of salt. Her eyes cast back towards the entrance, then back to Jojo. "Hey, um, do you know who that girl was? She seemed like she knew you."

Given the lack of activity in the food joint, the meals came surprisingly fast- within the span of a few minutes, the teenager with the "someone please put me out of my misery" face had returned to the counter, placing a neatly rolled paper bag and pair of coffees down and pushing them over. "Order is ready, ma'am," he droned. "Have a good night." Perking up, Dawn smiled politely at the boy, thanking him and grabbing their meals. The bag was tucked into the crook of her arm, allowing her to hold both coffees without much trouble as she turned to Jojo.

"Oh, and I, um, ordered dinner while you were spacing out. Hope you don't mind."

She seemed mildly pleased with herself.

Jojo nodded. "It was weird, that's for sure.. And no, I've never met her before. It's just.. weird." He grinned, then gave Dawn a blank stare. "Dawn, I will cut you." Despite that, he gave her a grin. "But what if I secretly wanted you to buy it for me while I was distracted so I can spend no money guilt-free?" He gave her an over the top anime villain chuckle, before reaching over and taking his coffee from her. "I might've let you get away with paying, but I won't let you carry my stuff. Gimme foods."

"We gonna eat here or back at the apartment?"

"Hm." While the odds had been slim as it was, given Jojo's bewilderment at the woman's knowing grin, that confirmed it. Neither of them knew who she was. However, the stranger seemed to know them well enough. Pursing her lips for a second, Dawn smiled, taking a sip from her coffee. "Well. Maybe she was checking you out." An attempt to lighten the mood somewhat. Jojo's suggestion had her raising a brow, amused by the thought. "Then I'm, uh, sorry to tell you that all of your, um, devious plotting was a bit...unnecessary. Would've paid anyway, after all." She handed the untouched coffee over to Jojo willingly, taking another hearty swig from her own.

"I think we should eat here. So we both have some caffeine in us before heading back."

Jojo nodded, grinning. "Sure thing." Leading Dawn over to a table in the restaurant, Jojo sat down and took a swig of coffee. "I am pretty attractive. Must be my protagonist charms shining through, eh?" He chuckled to himself softly, leaning his elbows on the table and taking another sip of his coffee. "I, uh, burnt my tongue. Ow."

"I'm a super evil genius, Dawn, all my devious, devilish, evil, dark, mischievous, villainous, another villainous adjective here plotting will never be stopped." He put his coffee down, leaning back and cracking his back, letting out a groan before sitting back normally. "Half-Half Pounders, huh?" Reaching over to the bag, Jojo quickly stole one of the burgers and opened up the packaging, sinking his teeth into it greedily. "Ish good fud, McDolansh. Tashty." Jojo was comfortable enough around Dawn to eat with his mouthful, and the girl seated across from him was, by now, a master of deciphering his muffled words for sure.

"Very suave," Dawn said. She drew a burger and packet of fries from the bag and took a seat at the table, unwrapping her meal as she went. Instead of immediately digging in, however, she flipped the bun over, and methodically piled the fries atop the cheese inside. By the time she had finished, the burger had grown several inches taller, looking lopsided even after she pressed the top back down and took a bite. It was, as Jojo had put it, quite "tashty". Dawn took her time in chewing, nodding her assent before washing it down with more coffee.

"Sorry, Jojo. If you're a 'super evil genius', then I don't think I can lend you any giant fighting robots in good conscience." Another bite, another swig. It was good that they had chosen to go here instead of elsewhere; Dawn doubted that they would be eating many meals like this at Boot Camp, after all. It was a pleasant send-off of sorts.

Jojo simply chuckled. "Oh no, I've given my evil plans away! Whatever shall I dooo?" Smiling widely, Jojo got into his burger, practically devouring it before moving on to his fries.

Nothing particularly special happened during their meal, aside from Jojo looking just a little.. sick. He didn't say anything to Dawn, but it was obvious that something ailing him.

Around halfway there, Jojo collapsed. His face was red, and his body was cold. His breathing came in short breaths, and he bit his lip as he sunk down to one knee. He was struggling to stay conscious, and that was obvious, but the situation worsened when he hit the floor with a thud, some blood trickling from his nose.

He was alive, but.. barely.

While the rest of their dinner passed without much event, it didn't take long for Dawn to notice that there was something wrong with Jojo. Of course, with him being...well, himself, he didn't mention it, but she had known him long enough to have some indications of when he was under the weather.

Even then, however, she wasn't expecting for him to collapse on their walk back to base.

Seeing him fall from the corner of her eye, Dawn immediately darted forward to catch him, although he had already made contact with the cement beneath him by the time she reached him. A thin stream of blood had begun to slip down his upper lip. Eyes wide, Dawn pulled him into a sitting position, fingers brushing the side of his neck for a pulse. "Jojo?"

There was one, yes, but considerably faint. "Jojo, can you hear me?" It was an unnecessary question; even with a brief look-over, she could see that he was completely out of it. She hissed under her breath, then glanced over her shoulder- there was no one around. Turning back, Dawn wrapped her arm around Jojo, hefting him up with little effort. The other reached for his hand, pulling it around her shoulders and holding it there. To the standpoint of an observer, it would appear that he had merely been leaning on her for some time, while also allowing her to support Jojo's weight with her own. Grim, Dawn began a quickened walk back to the base and the infirmary within.

Upon arrival, she would appear properly winded by the effort.

A lady sat at the desk in the entrance of the infirmary, humming to herself softly as she looked through a book. Adjusting her glasses, she looked up and blinked. Her eyes, landing on Dawn, then on Jojo, widened as she rocketed out of her chair. Rushing over to the pair with immense speed, the look of worry on her face was immense. Wordlessly, she carted the collapsed Jojo into the next room, immediately laying him down on a bed and leaning down.

Within a few seconds her hand was on his head, and she narrowed her eyes. "Not a fever, his temperature isn't high.." She reached down, tracing down Jojo's shirt's side, causing it to rip open at her touch. Tracing down his side again, she reached a mark on his body.

Huge. Swollen. Bruised. It looked like someone had stabbed him and twisted the knife, then wrenched it out. The lady nodded to herself, steadying her gloved hands and quickly swiping across the injury, and causing it to open up. "Yes, it's as I thought.." The skin around her finger moved outwards as she reached into the hole in Jojo's side and plucked something from it.

A long, yet incredibly thin hair was in her fingers. Turning to Dawn, she smiled. "A hair from a Tsuchigumo, carries a very potent venom that's injected into the bloodstream. It doesn't take action immediately, but.. it can kill a man in a few days. It's a slow one." The hair exploded in her fingers, turning into literally nothingness before she turned back to Jojo. She moved her hands again, his wound closing up before she placed her entire palm over the wound.

Pulling back a few moments later, all that was left was a small mark on his side. "Unfortunately, it killed some of the cells in his skin. I can't heal those.. But he'll be fine. In fact, giving him.." She reached into her jacket and pulled out a small flask, pulling Jojo's mouth open a little unceremoniously and dropping a few, well, drops of the liquid into his mouth.

"He'll be fine enough to get back to his apartment in a little while. You can stay, or you can leave, it's your choice." She turned to Dawn, and held her hands behind her back, bowing respectfully.

A hint of surprise flitted through Dawn's eyes as she stepped into the infirmary, although it did not last long- replaced by a steady focus as she passed Jojo over to the woman, and followed her into neighboring room. She stood close by as the nurse examined her newest patient, giving her diagnosis, and watched. Even as the skin split and the woman drew a hair from the wound, it was at the thread that Dawn frowned, and not the ease in which the nurse pried flesh apart. She was there for a reason, after all, and Dawn had little intention of interrupting her work.

"It's good that it's out now, then," she said. "A scar is better than any permanent damage, I think." Dawn smiled, face softening now that there was no imminent danger. "I hope you don't mind if I stay for a while longer? I wouldn't want to get in the way of anything while I'm here." She gave a short bow in response to the nurse's, and briefly reached for her hat before lowering her hands and folding them politely against her skirt.

Eine nodded and smiled at Dawn, motioning to the door to the room. "It's not at all a problem if you stay. I'm sure he'd much rather you be here when he wakes up in any case. If you'd like, I could go get some nice chamomile tea for us, und we can have a chat while we wait?" Eine looked Dawn up and down, nodding to herself, and awaiting the girl's reply. Before that, however, she leaned in close to Dawn's ear with a smirk. "I know."

Taking a step back, Eine nodded. "I know how scary it can be to see someone you care about in pain."

Dawn's own smile grew. "That would be nice. Thank you." She gave little outward response to Eine's whisper, eyes flashing with...something, but still retaining the gentleness in her expression. "I'm just glad to hear that he'll be alright."

Eine nodded, grabbing Dawn's hand and leading her from the room with a smile.

A concerned look shot over Eine's face, and she stood from her chair at the table. Marching into the room, she noticed Jojo stirring slightly. Narrowing her eyes, she moved over to him, placing her hand on his head. "Interesting.." Reaching into her jacket pocket, she pulled out a tissue and wiped the blood from his nose. "Hm.. It seems that the Tsuchigumo's poison has almost worn off completely, however.. His nosebleeds aren't a typical sign of the poisoning- in fact-" She paused, her eyes narrowing. "... I see."

She turned around to Dawn, giving her an odd look. "Somebody has used some sort of mental block on him. I can't remove it myself, but.. it seems to be causing his nosebleeds. I hypothesize that it's linked to certain memories he's started trying to access."

Seeing Eine rising and making her way to the other room, Dawn moved to follow, swiping her hat from its place on the table and bringing it home. Despite the barb's removal, the bleeding had returned- something which Eine was quick to explain. A mental block. Dawn pressed her lips together, frowning as she looked over at Jojo. "That's...well. Is there anything that we could do to lessen the symptoms, at least? Until he can, um, get past it." While the faint seemed to have resulted from the venom flowing through his veins, there was still the matter of Jojo losing blood every time he tried to break past the wall in his mind.

Eine shook her head. "I'm not sure. We could theoretically.. no, in his current state, that could hurt him." Eine sighed, turning to Dawn and causing the bloody tissue in her hand to explode into nothingness. "Besides, he'd have to be asleep for us to do anything, and he's waking up. Plus I doubt he'd let a random lady he's never met get another person to mess around with his head." Eine chuckled.

"I'd suggest helping him walk home. If he collapses again, give me a call. Here." She handed Dawn a small business card, smiling. 'Eine Minerva, Chief Nurse' was printed on the card along with her mobile and her WDL email.

Jojo groaned, opening his eyes slowly. "What.." Eine rushed over to him, grabbing his hand and smiling. "]Shhh, shhh, it's okay. You're fine. I removed the barb and the poison from your system." Jojo blinked, looking around the room before grumbling. "... This is where I woke up this morning.." Despite his state, he already had a small grin on his face. "Did the McDolan's give me diabetes or something? I feel like I've been run over.. twice.." He slowly sat up, cringing slightly, and letting out a groan. "Ah, shit, Boot Camp tomorrow, too.." He looked up, then looked over to Dawn. "Heya, Dawn.. sorry for the scare. I guess I got messed up more than I expected to." He grinned.

Eine gave him a nod. "Ja, ze- there was a poison barb from a Tsuchigumo embedded in your side. It spread the poison through your body, which eventually caused you to collapse." Eine's smile was warm and kind, and she held Jojo's hand in both of hers. Jojo blinked, finding himself just a little flustered. "Ah, um, thank you, Miss..?" Eine let go of his hand, taking a step back and bowing. "Eine. Ich bin Frau Eine Minerva." Jojo nodded.. "Miss.. Eine Minerva. Got it." He gave her a smile. "Thanks for the help, Miss. I might've died if you hadn't gotten the barb out." Eine chuckled softly. "Please, please, don't thank me. I'm simply doing my job. You, however, need to go back home- erm, to your apartment, zhat- that is- and get some rest."

In a few minutes, Jojo was back on his feet. He was a little unsteady, and Eine constantly fawned and worried over him. "Boot Kampf zhis und Boot Kampf zhat, mein Gott, it's just so rude of zhem- them- to be making a small Junge like yourself go after such an experience!" Obviously Eine was not happy with Boot Camp happening so fast. She paused for a moment, cheeks flushing red. "I, erm, tend to revert back into German sometimes. Apologies."

"That's probably true," Dawn admitted. She took the card, scanned it for a moment, then tucked it safely into her pocket. "Thank you, Eine. I really do appreciate what you've done for us." She paused, as if she wanted to say more, but then Jojo was stirring, returning to conciousness. Hearing his grumbling, Dawn approached his cot, a relieved smile spreading across her face. "Hey, Jojo. It's, um. Nice to see you back with the living again." Her brow rose. "You don't have to apologize." She said. "I mean, you didn't pass out on your own back there. It's not your fault."

Eine had done an excellent job of healing her patient. Within the span of minutes, Jojo was walking, as healthy as he had been earlier that day. Well. Almost, Dawn amended. He was still stumbling, but that was to be expected. She stationed herself close by in case he fell over, but her assistance proved unnecessary so far. "It seems like they're, um, very eager to get us out already," Dawn noted. "Considering that they're sending us off the day after we here." She smiled, shrugging as Eine excused herself. "It's fine. Not a big deal or anything. My dad used to do the same thing."

Eine had seen them off, giving Jojo a card with her number and email and making him promise to take breaks often, especially if he began to feel ill. "The poison is not completely gone, so be careful, ja?" Jojo had promised to be careful, and within about ten minutes her was stepping into his apartment, collapsing on the couch and groaning loudly.


Minutes within them stepping into the apartment, a certain border collie had burst out of Dawn's room, claws scratching against the hardwood floor in an effort to stop himself as he skidded into the opposite wall and crashed against it. Iggy, however, was not fazed, and after taking a moment to shake himself off, immediately launched himself into the living room, hopping about and barking his head off. He stood on his hind quarters, front paws pressed against Dawn's stomach until she gave him the customary head pats and "good boys" (for that he was. Iggy had resisted all temptations to drink from the magic water bowl and pull a new soft thing under the bed for proper inspection), then padded over to Jojo and began to sniff his hand expectantly, nudging it a bit. Iggy's owner, on the other hand, settled herself on a nearby armchair, removing her hat and placing it on her knees for the time being.

"Are you okay?" Dawn asked. "Well. I mean. Are you feeling better?" Given that Jojo had just recovered from an emergency poison removal, she highly doubted that he was completely peachy at the moment.

Jojo was silent as he reached over and scratched Iggy's head. He didn't reply for a while, eyes closed on the lounge. However, eventually he spoke up.

"... I could go for some McDolan's."