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Don't Panic

Washington, D.C.

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a part of Don't Panic, by Simple_Imperfections.

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Simple_Imperfections holds sovereignty over Washington, D.C., giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for Don't Panic
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Minimap

Washington, D.C. is a part of Don't Panic.

2 Characters Here

Kairo Choi [50]
Ethan Alexander [50] "I am not overreacting."

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Be Gentle With Me
{ethan 'clark' alexander}

Image
{dialogue : #FFAC33 | thoughts: grey }
Don't Break Me

Warmth. The feeling of Kairo's arms around Ehtan. A stark contrast to cold he feels when he is alone or about to go into a panic. Something he hasn't felt since he was kid. Before the anxiety. Safe. The sound of Kairo's heart beat. The sound of the slow and steady breaths the music teacher makes as he held him. Something he doesn't feel anymore. Ethan was looking for these things. He wanted keep hold of them, but they were in the body of someone that didn't belong to him. Someone that he couldn't have. But he wasn't thinking about that. Not at the moment. At the moment, he wasn't thinking. His mind clear for the first time in a long time. The hug ended, the cold returned, and the thoughts flooded. You can't have him. He doesn't want you. It's his job to make you feel safe.

”I promise nothing bad can happen to you here.” Empty promises Clark just nodded with a soft smile to show Kai that he heard what said. Only for the day, would this bring him comfort. Ethan didn't know what he was going to do when he got back home. The comfort of safety would vanish. His sense of control only being found in a stiff drink and the occasional blade. His wrapped his arms around himself. ...then I’ll find you some comfortable clothes to change into.” He was pulled from his thoughts. Ethan raised an eyebrow. "N-no..You have already don't so much for me..." Clark grabbed his plate off the counter so that he could eat. "I don't want to take up more of your time..." Ethan couldn't even bring himself to ask for a ride home after dinner. He could just Uber, but he kept that to himself for now.

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Outfit ✧ Here
Dialogue ✧ 400E15
──────────────────────────
A protest on Ethan's part was expected, after all, no professional therapist would ask their client to spend the night at their personal studio apartment. In hindsight, Kairo realized how unprofessional that sounded, and the last thing he wanted was to scare Ethan away after all the progress he had made. He carefully calculated his next words, so as to not make Ethan feel like he was being forced to do anything. However, he wanted the boy to feel welcomed. To feel like he could spend the night without any worries. He first decided to respond to Ethan's statement before bringing up the idea of spending the night again.

"It's not a problem at all, I promise." he began, taking his plate with him as he settled in one of the empty couches. He gave Ethan an encouraging smile before continuing. "I actually really enjoyed having company here." This wasn't a lie. Although Kairo originally bought this apartment with the idea of spending some alone time, away from everything and everyone, having Ethan here felt...comforting in a sense. He took a bite of his food as he thought about what to say next. "I'm usually here by myself." he admitted. "It's nice and all, but it can get lonely." With that, he took a sip of his drink as he glanced at Ethan.

"Anyways, you're not obligated to stay. I can drive you home whenever you're ready." he added, making sure Ethan knew he had the choice. No one was going to force him to do anything he wasn't comfortable with. "But...as a friend, I'm offering my place. It may not be the biggest, but you can at least spend some peaceful time away from everything for a while."

He sat his empty plate down and took one last sip of his drink before doing the same with it. "There's a small waterfall just down the road." he explains, thinking of the first time he had found it and decided that this would be his safe space. "It always helps me relax. I can show it to you if you'd like." he said, laying down his final offer. It was up to Ethan now to decide whether he wanted to take him up on it, or still have Kairo take him home. Whatever his choice, Kairo would respect it. He only hoped that his words had been comforting enough to make Ethan at ease if he did, in fact, want to stay.

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Be Gentle With Me
{ethan 'clark' alexander}

Image
{dialogue : #FFAC33 | thoughts: grey }
Don't Break Me

Ethan was determined to put his foot down about this. He couldn’t stay here. Not with Kairo. He almost had two panic attacks in front of this man. He was intruding on the private part of his life. Kai had to cancel the appointments for the rest of the day and he banned his fiance from coming to the studio without permission. Ethan was the cause of that and quickly becoming a nuisance to someone that was supposed to be helping him. After this he was probably going to have to find a new therapist or just stick with the one he has now. Talk therapy wasn’t his favorite, but music therapy was proving to become complicated. On top of all that, everytime Kai smiled Ethan felt his heart jump and it needed to stop. Starting today.

”I actually enjoyed having company here.” All of Ethan’s racing thoughts about being a bother and needed to get away came to a halt. Kai liked having the company. He didn’t specifically say YOUR company Ethan ignored that thought. His company was apparently still company enough. After a few more moments of hesitating, Clark made his way back to the empty spot on the couch so that he could eat the dinner before it got cold. He settled easily, making sure there was a comfortable distance between the two of them prior to taking a bite of his food. Ethan had to fight back the moan that threatened to escape. The food was amazing. It has been a while since he has had a home cooked meal. A lot of his stuff is pre-made or frozen. This was heaven to him.

Ethan continued to eat, focusing on Kai’s words, still determined to go home after dinner. Even if he was good company, he couldn’t stay any longer. It was going to kill him. ...as a friend.. He basically tuned out after that. Kairo considered him to be a friend. The handsome music therapist considered him - a bundle of nerves and panic - a friend. Ethan just let that play around in his head for a moment. How was he supposed to reject Kai now? Going home almost seemed wrong especially after he shared this special place with him. Ethan had to spend the night. But this would be the only time. Kai even threw a cherry on top with an offer to take him to see the waterfall down the road.

For a moment, he let silence fall between them as he took more bites of food. You can’t stay. You have to stay. You can’t stay. You have to stay. You can’t stay. You have to stay. You can’t stay. You have to stay. You can't- ”O-okay, I will stay.” He assured Kairo. He pushed away any thoughts screaming at him that it was a terrible idea. ”B-but only because you made me dinner and I want to see the waterfall.” Ethan smiled a bit and finished up the food before him. ”Also, that was the best dinner I have had in awhile.”

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Image
──────────────────────────
K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Outfit ✧ Here
Dialogue ✧ 400E15
──────────────────────────
Kairo remained quiet for a bit, wondering if perhaps he had talked too much. He had decided to honor whatever Ethan wanted to do but was pleasantly surprised when the younger boy said he would stay. He felt more relieved and happy than he cared to admit but he decided to ignore that for the time being. He gave Ethan a quick smile, chuckling a bit when the boy brought up the reason for his choice to stay. "Fair enough." he gets to his feet once he's made sure Ethan finished his food. The comment on said food surprised him a bit, mostly because within his family, Kairo had always been one of the worst at cooking. He wasn't bad at it by any means, but certainly nowhere near the level of culinary skills his sister and mother had.

"Really? That's the first time anyone has said that to me." he states, a bit of a playful tone in his voice. "I hope you're not just saying that to make me feel better." he adds, making sure to add a smile to let Ethan know he's only messing with him. There aren't many dishes, so he decides to give them a quick wash before giving Ethan the royal tour of the layout. Once the dishes are set to dry, Kairo washes his hands, making sure to give Ethan time to do the same.

"It's a bit of a long walk." Kairo says as a disclaimer, realizing he probably should have state4d that first. He just hoped that the scenery on the way there would make up for it. "Just let me know if you get tired." he adds as the two head out of the apartment.l Kairo makes sure to lock the door behind, taking his phone with him in order to keep an eye on the apartment. When he'd first bought it, a few cameras had been placed around the outside as well as at the door. It was clear that whoever owned it before him did not want to be found either. Kairo decided to keep the cameras and told the landlord to install them once again.

He could now use his phone for alerts should anyone try to visit. He slipped the device in his pocket and led Ethan around the building to a small dirt road that would ultimately lead them right to the waterfall. "I really like it here because it's so peaceful." he says, his voice lower than it had been in the apartment. It was a quiet afternoon, and he didn't want to ruin the serenity by speaking too loud. "Surrounded by nothing but nature."

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Be Gentle With Me
{ethan 'clark' alexander}
Image
{dialogue : #FFAC33 | thoughts: grey }
Don't Break Me
Ethan could not imagine someone not telling Kairo how amazing his food is. He was so used to heating up dinners or picking up takeout. There were some days where he wouldn’t really eat at all. The last time he had a home cooked meal was several months ago when he spent the weekend with his parents for his mother’s birthday. It was his most consistent meal and best meal he had in a long time. He knew it would be selfish of himself to ask if Kairo could bring him a meal whenever they had their appointments. Ethan almost never ate before them, his nerves always kicked in. Although comfortable with his music therapist, it wasn’t easy talking about your day with a stranger. He was definity going to be more nervous now, considering that his last appointment led to a panic attack.

Dishes were washed and hands were clean. He was waiting for Kairo to take the lead for their journey. Ethan wasn’t exactly dressed for a long walk, but he was still willing to go. During stressful moments he liked being outside. He felt like he could breathe and that his thoughts weren’t as loud. However, he is usually alone when outside. He wasn’t sure what was going to happen walking around with just Kairo. ”I don’t mind the walk.” He finally said with a soft smile.

The two of them made their way out of the apartment and out onto the streets. His arms were wrapped around himself. His steps felt like they were loud against the dirt path as the two of them mostly walked in silence. Ethan allowed his eyes to wander around as the comforts of the city were completely replaced with unfamiliarity of nature. The air was fresher and easier to breathe in. It was a bit cooler, but it felt good in his lungs. As they continued down the dirt path, the sounds of the waterfall grew louder. Before he knew it, the waterfall was in clear view. Ethan was in awe. It was beautiful. The way it cascaded into the lake below was so calming. ”This is beautiful.” He stated, his eyes never leaving the waterfall. Finally he managed to turn and look at Kai. ”How did you find this place? How often do you come here?” He asked, fascinated that he even had the luxury of being so close to this place.

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Image
──────────────────────────
K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Outfit ✧ Here
Dialogue ✧ 400E15
──────────────────────────
The walk to the lake was rather quiet, not that Kairo particularly minded, he just hoped Ethan didn't feel uncomfortable with the silence. He did make small talk every now and then, pointing out some of his favorite things on the way. It was nothing but nature, a complete contrast to the bustling city both he and Ethan were accustomed to. It was nice. Always a welcomed change of pace for the music therapist. Soon enough, they reached the waterfall. Kairo was satisfied with Ethan's reaction. It was very similar to his own once he'd found it, though he'd been alone and had no choice but to express his excitement to the wind. Thankfully no one had been around, otherwise, they may have found him strange for talking to himself.

"How did I find it? Hmm..." Kairo had to pause for a second, his mind taking him back tot he first day he'd learned about the waterfall. "I think it was actually my landlord that told me about it." the young man noted, his eyes following the cascading lines of the clear water. "He said he didn't share it with most people because he knew they wouldn't appreciate or take care of it, but somehow he trusted me enough to." he added, a slight smile gracing his lips. "So because of that, usually it's only me here." He concluded, making sure to include that not to boast, but mostly to let Ethan know that no one would be coming to interrupt their tranquil time.

Kairo's gaze continued to follow the water as it blended into the river. The current looked calm, and from experience, Kairo knew it was deep enough to swim but shallow enough to be safe. He pondered his next sentence for a moment before looking over at Ethan, a playful smirk on his face. "Whataya say...? Fancy a swim?"

He hoped Ethan knew how to swim, and that his question wouldn't make him feel self-conscious. However, even if the boy knew nothing more than a weak doggy paddle, the waters were shallow enough for him to stand. deciding he wouldn't wait for an answer this time, but instead would take the lead, Kairo quickly stripped off his shirt and placed it on a rock nearby. A genuine smile of joy took over his features as he exchanged glances with Ethan one last time before jumping into the clear waters. His head peaked out after a couple of seconds, strands of dark brown falling over his eyes. "Come on in! It feels great!"

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Be Gentle With Me
{ethan 'clark' alexander}
Image
{dialogue : #FFAC33 | thoughts: grey }
Don't Break Me
Ethan was still amazed by the beauty of the waterfall. Its serene appearance and soft sounds eased his nerves almost immediately. His body was almost fully relaxed from head to toe. He could probably sit and listen to the cascading waters of the waterfall for the rest of the night if Kai had let him. What made this place much better was that it was for the most part a secret. Its location and waters can’t be tainted with overpopulation. Even more so, it was like it belonged to Kai. Ethan was trying to tear himself away from the waterfall long enough to look at his music therapist to actually focus on what he was saying.

"Whataya say...? Fancy a swim?" That quickly grabbed his attention. They were allowed to swim in it? It looked as though it shouldn’t be touched. But Ethan was truly tempted. Though panic set in when Kai removed his shirt. Ethan blushed and looked down at his feet. He could not go in that water. Not with a very attractive and shirtless Kairo. He wasn’t supposed to find his therapist attractive in the first place. ”You will get caught out here.” Just because no one had been told about it doesn’t mean someone couldn’t walk by. What if it was someone that knew Kairo? ”They could tell his wife.” He could feel his heart racing a bit.

His thoughts were interrupted with the sounds of a large splash. Kairo was already in the water and looked genuinely happy to be there. Ethan desperately wanted to join him. ”Don’t get in the water. ”"Come on in! It feels great!" He was convinced. Ethan removed his shirt and placed it on the same rock that Kai used before jumping in. He sunk a bit to the bottom and allowed himself to truly be in the moment before coming up for air. Ethan pushed the hair out of his eyes and smiled brightly for the first time in a while. ”You were right. It does feel great.” ”This is a terrible idea.” Ethan ignored that thought.

He dipped back under the water and swam in circles around his music therapist for a bit, occasionally splashing him when he could. Ethan hasn’t been this relaxed in a long time. And he was going to milk every second of it while he could. ”This is the most fun I have had in a long time.” He managed to say in between his laughter. His words were unwavering and came out more confidently than they had when he was in the apartment.

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Image
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K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Dialogue ✧ #400E15
──────────────────────────
A small part of Kairo had expected Ethan to reject his invitation to join him, and the young boy's features did appear to be preparing for that for a split second, however, without much hesitation, Ethan catapulted himself into the crystal waters. Kairo couldn't help but chuckle as he did so, deciding to completely toss aside their professional relationship and just enjoy this moment as friends. Truth be told, Kairo hadn't had a friend willing to do these kinds of things with him in a long time, and as he returned Ethan's scattered water attacks, he was reminded of how much he missed it. At Ethan's statement he paused, not because he was surprised, but because he realized that he could relate. He chuckled softly, splashing Ethan with a small amount of water before responding. "I told you." he spoke as he swam lazily around Ethan. "This waterfall is magical."

As far as he could recall, there wasn't a single heartache or worry that this place hadn't been ab;e to cure for Kairo. After a few more water attacks and shared laughs, Kairo brought himself to face Ethan, he opened his mouth to speak but a single raindrop landing on his nose brought his thoughts to a pause. The young therapist's gaze turned upwards, only now having realized the clouds that had quickly gathered. A couple more drops fell on his face, as well as Ethan's. Kairo's eyes widened slightly at the sound of faint rumbling. "Uh oh...we should probably start heading back." he suggested, though he wasn't too ecstatic about having to leave the falls, he also didn't want them getting caught in a thunderstorm.

The two swam to the edge as Ethan pulled himself up onto the dry ground. He let his body air cry before pulling his shirt back on and allowing Ethan enough time to do the same. Though they hadn't been able to stay for as long as he'd hoped, Kairo could see the significant difference in Ethan's features. He was much more relaxed, almost carefree, and Kai hoped to keep it that way. At least for the remainder of the night. The air on the way back felt a bit chilly due to being wet, however, Kairo was thankful the water hadn't caught up to them At least not until they were halfway there. However, when they were most confident they'd make it, the sky crackled and the drops began to fall in a fury.

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Character Portrait: Ethan Alexander Character Portrait: Kairo Choi
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Be Gentle With Me

{ethan clark alexander}
Image
{dialogue : #FFAC33 | thoughts: grey }
Don't Break Me
Ethan couldn’t hear his heartbeat in his ears. He couldn’t feel each muscle tensing up on their own accord. He could feel the butterflies fighting one another in his stomach. He couldn’t feel the blood rushing to his head. For the first time in a long time, Ethan was truly relaxed in the presence of another. Not just another. Kairo. His beautiful music therapist. They were swimming around beneath a waterfall enjoying the moment as the seconds passed. Ethan would have given anything and everything to be able to live like this for a long time. To capture this moment in time and be able to relive it for the rest of his days was an unrealistic dream. He can only hope that this moment will revisit him in his dreams and remind him that life isn’t so bad. Unfortunately, like most good things in his life, this moment has come to an end.

The first raindrop was easy to ignore, but the second and third were well placed on his cheeks. The ari changed and the clouds were slowly rolling in. A storm was coming and the two of them didn’t need to be caught in it while in the middle of the woods. Kairo didn’t even need to tell Ethan that it was time to head back. He would prefer to be out of the rain. They made it back to the edge and climbed out. He pulled his shirt back on, but it didn’t help warm him up. It was cooler and being wet was making him shiver. The two of them started making their way back to the condo. Raindrops continued to drop one by one on his exposed body parts, but it was hard to tell the difference between the rain and the remnants of the river. The blue sky quickly morphed into shades of gray as the clouds darkened and took over, but the condo was in sights. They were so close, but close wasn’t enough. The rain began to pour and thunder shook the ground.

By the time the two were able to reach the doors of the building, they were drenched from head to toe. Ethan wrapped his arms tightly around himself, attempting to hold onto the little heat he had left. He trailed behind Kai as he led him up to the door. Once they were inside, more panic set in. Ethan didn’t have a second pair of clothes nor a towel. Any hopes of being able to get back home tonight died off as lightning lit up the sky. He wouldn’t ask for a ride home in this kind of weather. For a moment he stood in silence, looking to Kai who was equally wet and cold. ”I-I..I hate to ask...but I need a towel…” You are using all of his resources. Overstaying your welcome of a married man. Ethan knew his anxious thoughts couldn’t stay away for long. ”And uh..clothes...please..” This whole day has taken Ethan further out of his comfort zone than he had ever wanted to go, but he had no choice. Standing in the middle of the living room, dripping water all over the place was worse.

Once he was able to get the clothes and towel, he quickly disappeared into the bathroom that he was directed too. Ethan locked the door behind him and took a moment to catch his breath. He took his time drying off and getting changed. Ethan wouldn’t mind hiding out in the bathroom for the rest of the evening, but he was sure Kairo would fetch him so he tried to take his time.

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K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Dialogue ✧ #400E15
──────────────────────────
the sky crackled loudly, lights flickering across the clouds. By the time they’d reached the apartment, Kaito and Ethan were just as drenched as they were the moment they stepped out of the River. Droplets of water drifted off their bodies and bounced against the wooden floors. The apartment was quiet, and so was Kairo. His focus was mostly on Ethan, observing his movements and subtle change in mood. He could almost sense the young boy’s anxiety rising. They paused for a moment at the entrance, and Ethan quietly asked for towels and a change of clothes. Kairo smiled softly. [color=]”Of course.”[/color] he already planned on giving Ethan clothes and a towel.

Once he handed it off and Ethan disappeared into the bathroom to change, Kairo grabbed a fresh towel for himself and a pair of sweatpants and tshirt. He quickly hurried to dry off and change clothes, tossing the damp clothes in the laundry basket. Kairo had never had anyone spend the night over at his apartment, but there was no chance of Ethan going home tonight. The storm outside was raging, and Kairo wasn’t going to make Ethan go back with anyone other than himself.

He made his way to the hallway closet, rummaging through until he found a thick enough comforter and a blanket. He quickly grabbed an extra pillow from the bed and tossed it onto the couch. It wasn’t the biggest couch, but it would be comfortable enough to spend one night. He set the comforter down, plus the pillow and the blanket to cover himself. He knew Ethan was going to argue, but as the guest, Ethan should stay on the bed. Kairo didn’t mind spending one night on the couch.

After a few minutes, Ethan walked back out of the restroom in the dry clothes. Kairo watched him from the couch, getting to his feet only when the boy walked closer. ”I’ll take those” he said before taking Ethan’s wet clothes from him. ”We can dry them overnight and I’ll put them in a bag for you tomorrow.” he explained, hoping Ethan wouldn’t try to change back into his dirty clothes. Kairo had no attachment to the pair of sweats and shirt he’d given Ethan, so he’d be fine with him going home in them.

After tossing the clothes into the dryer and giving it a good fourth minutes, Kairo returned to the living room. ”You can take my bed for the night.” he said, gesturing towards the bed. It’s not like they’d be very far from each other, considering the bedroom and living room were one in the same. Even on the couch, Kairo could keep an eye on Ethan and make sure he was okay.