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Phoenix Woods

"this thing could get the better of us if we let it."

0 · 1,717 views · located in Greythorne

a character in “greythorne”, as played by partially-stars

Description



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this thing could get the better of us if we let it.
give me a minute - the coronas
somebody to love - queen
hopeless - halsey



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F U L LXN A M E
Phoenix James Woods

N I C K N A M E (S)
Nix, Phee-Phee (jokingly).

B I R T H D A Y
January 13.

A G E
24

S E X U A L I T Y
Asexual homoromantic

E T H N I C I T Y
White Canadian

H O M E T O W N
Greythorne

H E X
#c4a7be



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S T Y L E
Phoenix describes his style as “the emo who grew up”. Primarily, he sticks to a spectrum of black, white, and grey, with the occasional pop of colour coming from band t-shirts. Business school changed him a little, in that it introduced him to button down shirts and jackets. When he’s working or presenting himself professionally, he tends to dress up a little more in that his jeans aren’t (usually) ripped and he makes sure his Vans or Converse are clean. When he’s going out with friends, he’s been known to embrace eyeliner and even occasionally eyeshadow, but day to day, he keeps things a little more conservative.

H E I G H T & W E I G H T
5’11”, 150lb

A P P E A R A N C E
With those blue eyes and a huge, slightly lopsided grin, Phoenix charms people easily. Naturally, his hair is dark, but in search of a change he decided to bleach it and hasn’t looked back. He’s a little taller than average and an average build, in good physical shape thanks to early morning runs. He has a couple of piercings, namely helix, daith , and rook in his left ear. He’s got his fair share of scars, mostly from childhood accidents or dumb teenage stunts, but noticeably there is a jagged scar just above his left collar bone where he was stabbed in the shoulder with a silver knife. It’s still healing but there’s already some scarring from the burns. He has a few tattoos- a forget-me-not on his right wrist, a paper airplane on his ribs, and a tiny tree behind his right ear.



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L I K E S
Unsurprisingly, Phoenix adores coffee, the stronger the better. He took up running a few years ago and finds it does wonders to clear his head. He loves plants, especially herbs and scented flowers. Rock and metal are his favourite types of music. He adores summer and autumn, when the weather is warm and the days are long. Baking is perhaps his favourite pastime and there’s pretty much always freshly baked goods and bread in his apartment.

D I S L I K E S
Phoenix hates winter, the days are too short and he hates the cold. He hates people making assumptions about him. He has developed an aversion to blackberries. He’s a terrible patient and hates being sick. He’d deathly allergic to peanuts and even the smell of them makes him nauseous. Classical literature is a surefire way to put him to sleep.


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P E R S O N A L I T Y
Many seem to think that Phoenix is a little naive. They wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Phoenix trusts easily, and loves even easier. When he falls, he falls hard, regardless of the consequences. As a teenager, it seemed that he was in love with just about everyone he met. And then he experienced real, raw love, and experienced exactly how much it hurts. And yet that hope still thrived within him. Perhaps naive is the wrong word for Phoenix. He’s just eternally, utterly, unbreakably hopeful. Even when he forced himself to come to terms with the realisation that his love was unrequited, he found hope elsewhere. Even at the worst of times, Phoenix finds hope. He sees the best in people and desperately wants to believe in that good.

But doing that has also hurt him. An abusive relationship in his late teens lasted far longer than it should have done, because he wanted to believe that there was still good there. That he could help the boy, that the boy loved him really. Phoenix holds on to hope far longer than he should, even when holding on is hurting him, even when he needs to give up on somebody for his own good, or even for their own good. He believes that he can fix everyone, fix everything, if he just finds the right way of doing it.

From the outside, it could seem that Phoenix was the more mature, less chaotic one of his friends. But ask his eleventh grade French teacher and she’d tell you he’s just as bad, if not sometimes worse. He was practically raised by Alex’s abuela, so perhaps it’s no surprise they rubbed off on each other. It was just that Phoenix was better at hiding it. He claims they’ve grown out of it for the most part, but leave him and his friends alone for long enough and you might just find the opposite to be true.

But despite all of this, Phoenix isn’t naive or immature. He can read when somebody is attempting to use him, and day by day, he’s getting better at standing up for himself. He’s experienced so much hurt and pain that he knows it’s out there... he just wants to ignore it. He’s business savvy, having already set up his own business at a relatively young age. Some shook their heads at some of the decisions he made, and presumed that it was just that old naivety coming out again, because they cost him money at first. Quite a significant amount of money. But now, he’s making it back. Perhaps not as quickly as he’d like, as he’s scraping pennies together at times, but he’s getting there. He’s intelligent and personable, the perfect balance for the job he’s in. Many underestimate Phoenix, because of his soft nature. But cross anyone he cares about, and he’ll show you otherwise.

He doesn’t talk about the night of the attack, but it affected him more than he’ll admit. He made bad decisions and is afraid that his hope, his determination to see the best in people may have contributed to the events of the night. Nearly losing his best friend terrified him and still terrifies him. The burn in his shoulder every time he moves too fast is already penance for what he’s done, but he’s determined to try and make things better. No matter the cost.



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H I S T O R Y
Phoenix’s family had lived in Greythorne for generations. Magic ran in their blood, and they never left. Often they were too powerful, and couldn’t live among the humans. But with time came control, and Phoenix’s parents decided that they would leave and find their fortunes elsewhere. They were powerful but could easily hide their magic, and they longed to see the world. And then they discovered their two year old son could restore life to flowers with a single touch and made poppies and daisies grow as he played in the garden, without even having to try. Phoenix was powerful at a young age- and would not be able to live among humans.

It wasn’t Phoenix’s fault, and deep down, they knew that. But growing up, Phoenix knew that resentment was there and it was clear. It was only worsened when they’d go on holidays for two, three weeks at a time and leave Phoenix with his grandparents, or when his grandmother became too unwell to look after him, with a neighbour. The one good thing that came of this was Phoenix’s friendship with the neighbour’s grandson, Alex. Phoenix considered them his second, and often preferred, family.

There was no dramatic coming-out speech for Phoenix. He knew, everyone else knew, he didn’t see the point. At the age of fourteen, he got his first boyfriend, and it was public. And so began Phoenix’s long streak of unsuccessful relationships. Phoenix fell in love at the slightest smile, a kind gesture, and it never ended well. By the time he reached senior year, he’d been cheated on twice by different people and had been the result of several pranks. But at the start of senior year, he had started dating Will, and things finally seemed to be going right for him. He didn’t notice the slow descent into manipulative and downright abusive behaviour until it was too late. And even then he stayed, hoping that maybe he could fix it. But when Will went to hit him, less than a week before they graduated, Phoenix stopped him and broke up with him there and then, cutting off all contact.

Leaving to go to college wasn’t really an option, so he enrolled in online classes and worked in a local coffee shop. He learned quickly and before long, was the best damn barista they had. He took on a managerial position and was doing pretty well for himself. Things started to go wrong shortly after that. His parents decided to up and move to follow their dreams. Which was fine, except they told Phoenix this two days before they intended to leave. Their relationship had never been good, but announcing they were selling his childhood home to fund it didn’t exactly make things any better. They gave him some money to try and make him feel better, and he moved into an apartment in town. He met his downstairs neighbour, Matt, and the two of them became friends. And, as often happened, Phoenix fell in love. Their banter often took a veer into the flirty and teasing. They’d been friends for years, with Matt throwing Phoenix a surprise graduation party when he finally finished his degree. And then, out of the blue, Matt introduced Phoenix to his girlfriend. It broke his heart, but what truly smashed it was when Matt confessed he was thinking of proposing.

Phoenix was destroyed. He couldn’t let himself believe he’d been so blind. Suddenly his life felt empty and dull, and he needed a change. So when a local cafe went up for sale, Phoenix went for it. Every penny he had was funneled into the business. He moved into the small apartment above the cafe and spent every waking hour renovating it. It took almost a year, but it was successful from the moment it opened. Things seemed to be going well- and then the attack happened, and it feels like nothing can ever be the same again.


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A B I L I T I E S
Phoenix's magic allows him to manipulate the earth, specifically plants and flowers. As a child, flowers would grow behind him as he ran, and even today, if his emotions are particularly strong, it's been known for flowers to sprout through concrete behind him. He can restore a flower to peak health with only a touch, and he can cause a seed to grow into a fully mature plant with only a little bit of energy. He can also manipulate the movement of plants, including trees. This is the only element of his magic that is potentially offensive, as he causes tree branches to wrap around his target or causes vines to sprout from nowhere and attack or restrain. For the most part, he actually uses his magic to help heal. The plants he grows hold some of his magic. This means that simply adding some raspberries from the bush on his balcony can save a batch of cupcakes about to go wrong, or basil from his windowsill can bring together a dish. If someone is tired, injured, or just not feeling themselves, a batch of his own blend tea and a cookie can do wonders. Of course, with this amount of power comes a number of downsides. Phoenix is extremely sensitive to silver. Momentary contact results in a nasty first degree burn, while prolonged contact can lead to second degree burns. His piercings are in fact stainless steel, not silver. Solid silver causes more damage than silver plating. His powers are intrinsically linked to his emotions, which he has always been terrible at controlling. And despite the fact he can't control it, it still drains him significantly. There are some days where he has no idea why he's so tired, only to discover the plants in his apartment are looking particularly healthy.

T A L E N T S
baking - making coffee - diy - cooking - gardening - business savvy - persuasive - picks up languages easily

S T R E N G T H S
he can add up long strings up numbers in his head and is a budgeting genius at times. he's able to handle incredible amounts of stress and can continue working even while under these conditions. he's an incredible multi-tasker. he's loving and reliable and the friend you can ring or text at any point and he'll answer.

W E A K N E S S E S
while he's great at simple maths, throw in algebra or geometry or anything more complicated and he's lost. he's sometimes too easily pulled in to trouble or lets something go too far. while he works extremely well under pressure, don't expect anything from him for a day or two after the pressure is removed because that's when he'll crash and have to take a while to recover.


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So begins...

Phoenix Woods's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood Character Portrait: Camila De Santo Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxsome things have changed
xxxwe don't fit like we used to
xxxit's hard to ignore if it's worth the wait
xxxit might just fool you
“Two lattes, a grilled chicken, chorizo and red pepper sandwich, and the Woods Special. Can I get my two favourite customers anything else?” Phoenix asked, provoking a giggle from the two old ladies in front of him. They confirmed that no, they were perfectly happy, and Phoenix told them to call him over if they did need anything. They were approaching closing time, but he knew that Daisy and Phyllis would be out well in time for them to close up. They came in at the same time every day, like clockwork, and always ordered a latte each. Sometimes they would treat themselves to a pastry or a cookie, other times, they would stick with a sandwich, others, just the coffee. But they’d been coming since he opened, and they had stayed coming, even after the attack. And that meant a lot.

And, bang on time, Daisy and Phyllis left, leaving them with plenty of time to clean up. Usually, Phoenix took as much time as he and the staff needed clearing up, but tonight was different. He didn’t rush anyone, but it seemed they were out in record time. Later that evening, there was going to be a town meeting of some kind to try and put a plan in place to prevent something like the festival attack happening again.

Phoenix would have been lying if he had said that the thought of it didn’t make him more than a little nervous. Following the attack, people had stopped gathering in public. The most people he’d seen in one place was his daily lunchtime rush, and even then, he could see the look of anxiety on their faces, the way they looked over their shoulders any time the bell on the door rang. People were afraid. But apparently this was a call to action. An attempt to try and take things into their own hands. And after everything that had happened, he couldn’t blame them.

In an attempt to distract himself, he’d spent the night before baking. He had filled a tray with his ultimate comfort food brownies to bring to the meeting with him, but he also had a smaller box balanced on top. Phoenix had said he’d swing by Alex’s with them to drop them in to his abuela, but in reality he didn’t want Alex to have to walk through town alone. Phoenix had been finding it hard, but it was nothing compared to Alex. And probably understandably so. Phoenix didn’t like to dwell on that night. The memory of seeing his best friend on the ground, covered in his own blood and the way that Phoenix had just… left still haunted him. He could only imagine what it was like to have been the one on the ground.

He called his goodbyes to the rest of the staff as they locked up, pulling his coat on and tucking his scarf into it. Winter had fallen as harsh as ever, and he knew it was a matter of time before it began to snow. At least this winter, he lived right above the cafe and had a functional heating system, meaning he didn’t have to venture too far into the cold every morning. He didn’t waste time walking the familiar path back to the house, eager both to keep warm and get out of the dark. He’d never been afraid of the dark. The things that went bump in the night were commonplace in this town and often showed up first thing to his cafe in search of their usual coffee and croissant, before going home to bed. But all that had changed now.

¡Hola, Abuela! Te traje unos brownies!” He called as he let himself in to Alex’s house. “I’ll leave them in the kitchen!” he added, switching back to English. He’d picked up a decent level of Spanish having spent a significant portion of his childhood in their house, but Abuela frequently bemoaned his grasp of grammar. He left the box of brownies into the kitchen and stopped to kiss the old lady on the cheek as he did so. The old lady chuckled and called out in Spanish, telling Alex that Phoenix was here.



ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxshe's a killer queen
xxxgunpowder, gelatine
xxxdynamite with a laser beam
xxxguaranteed to blow your mind
Rosie had gone straight from class to the town hall to help set things up. She hadn't organised the meeting, hut she'd been spreading the word and encouraging people to come, despite how afraid they are. She'd drawn the line at telling her students, though. She wasn't risking any of them getting hurt if anything did go wrong. They were kids. This wasn't their fight, as much as they might have wanted it to be.

And even if she hadn't organised it, she'd somehow found herself being asked to speak. Maybe it was just because, if she could control a class of rowdy freshmen, she could control a crowd of scared townspeople. Or at least that was what she told herself to calm the slight anxiety. She dug her phone out of her bag and sent a few texts.

To: Markus
you better get your ass here tonight because i've somehow been roped in to speak

To: Zada
babe apparently i have to talk at this thing so you better be coming


Things had been rough on everyone since the attack. But sitting at the top of a classroom, staring down at the empty chairs of students who had been murdered... she'd gotten her freshmen to rearrange the classroom so those empty seats weren't there and so their classmates wouldn't feel as they were sitting in their fallen classmates' seats. Rosie had wondered if she would have been able to make a difference if she had gone. If she could have saved even one of their lives, would it have been better? Or would she have been beating herself up that she hadn't done enough? She took a deep breath and took her seat on the stage as people began to trickle into the hall. She couldn't dwell on that now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson
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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson
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TRAVIS GRAVESON
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #8B4513
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xxx Older than water, stubborn as stone
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for all that you've known
xxx Oh these days, oh these days get heavy
xxx Hotter than friction, subtle as sound
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for you to come around

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Since the attack, Travis had only reported back to the organization once, and he wasn’t exactly happy with what happened, telling off people and throwing a few chairs as some people tried to make excuses while others weren’t sorry for what they did, one of his more spoken out coworkers bragging about how she easily killed a fae and enjoyed the scent of their mystical blood. He was quickly promised it wouldn’t happen again by his supervisors and to just continue gathering information, that they need to do more and that his job wasn't done yet. As he was walking out one of the higher ups stopped Travis and reminded him why he was doing this, these creatures were monsters, and they killed innocents, including his parents. Trav just nodded and headed back to Greythorne.

Over the time Travis spent many nights at the pub after closing up his store, along with many other people trying to grieve over what had happened and most days helping clean up the chaos from the festival and offering help whenever he can, though some people that would previous shop at his store were now weary of him, not because they suspected him, but because the attackers were humans, and so was he; guilty by association. Though after a couple weeks people tended to stop giving him a side look and continue their business at his and him trying to just be kind and nice, not caring about gathering much information over the last couple weeks, but he did know about a town meeting happening.

The night of the meeting Travis had started closing shop early, it didn’t matter too much as business has been slower since the attack. He finished sweeping and put his broom back in the closet and started locking everything up, double checking his apartment before throwing on a jacket and heading to town hall.

While walking Travis pulled out his trusty silver flask that he kept on him and took a swing before tucking it back into his inside jacket pocket. Though as he did so he stopped and took a look around, he felt as if someone, or rather in the town of Greythorne’s case, something was watching him. He scanned between buildings and bushes but couldn’t spot anything, but could've been any sort of supernatural. Trav sighed and just continued walking before getting to town hall a little early from the meeting and going in through the side door.

When he entered the room he snuck around to the back wall to just observe and see what was going on, as well as minimize eyes on him, alot of the creatures here are on edge and with it not many humans came to the town meeting in fear of being possibly targeted or discriminated against. He noticed certain people were already here, Rosie on stage and giving a slight wave, the two were on good terms and he had offered to help set up but she politely declined. And by the amount of floral jewelry and nature trinkets people were wearing assumed the little half-elf Kaylessa was somewhere, always trying to cheer people up.

When he leaned against the back wall he did notice another familiar face across the way also sticking to the back, Neden, and watching them out of the corner of their eye digging through their pockets. Trav quickly assumed one of two things, either something to fidget with, or some sort of weapon. Which if the town wasn’t already on edge he would’ve also been carrying something to protect himself, but for now all he had was his silver flask, which he took another swig out while crossing his arms, smirking when he saw Kaylessa run in and quickly go up front, chuckling a little bit to himself.



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KAYLESSA VALVEN
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #FF4500
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xxx If I'm a bad person, you don't like me
xxx Well, I guess I'll make my own way
xxx It's a circle, a mean cycle
xxx Sometimes I wanna fuckin' scream or run away,
xxxI can't excite you anymore

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The night of the attack Kaylessa was scrambling, trying to help as many people she could and used up a majority of her energy doing so. She spent the next two days in a deep sleep that left some people worried for her, but when she woke up, she still had a smile on her face, even though she did feel sad for not saving more people. Over the weeks she tried cheering up people of the village but for once people wouldn’t smile due to their grieving and Kaylessa became a little secluded, spending most of her time in the surrounding woods and just taking time to think to herself and figure out what she would do.

When the information came out about a town meeting, Kaylessa spent the whole day collecting various flowers, leaves and other things from the surrounding area and making crafts that she would try to hand out at the meeting, maybe the slightest gift petting smiles on faces.

Kay arrived at the front of the building with a small table littered with trinkets made from feathers, necklaces with numerous rocks, colorful flower crowns and other small handmade knick-knacks about 30 minutes before people were going to arrive to get ready. While most people had jackets and other pieces of clothing to keep them warm in the colder weather, Kaylessa just wore a simple dress with numerous handmade jewelry and a pink and blue flower crown, another benefit of her heritage and powers is that most weather effects don;t bother her like others.

As people started to arrive Kay insisted them taking whatever they want and was glad to see a few smiles were made by her gifts. Though when she saw Violet she let out a little squeak and stopped her from taking one of the flower crowns on the table. “Wait! I made a special one for you!” She just about shouted as she turned around and dug through her small cart of boxes before pulling out a special crown she made just for Violet. It was made out of mainly violets and other small trinkets and held together by a woven thread of twigs and grass. “Here, I thought you would like it.” Kay said with a bright smile on her face holding out the crown to Violet.

Kaylessa was running low and about to head inside when she heard a familiar voice approaching and turning to see her favorite witch, Alex, also walking with Phoenix. “Alex!” She said as she ran around the table and hugged Alex. She hadn’t seen him in awhile and only heard about what happened to him at the festival. “Glad you’re okay and made it.” She said as she let go and took a step back. She quickly blushed and giggled as he complimented and flirted with her. “Well you’re looking great, would look even cuter wearing this." Kay said as she quickly grabbed a flower crown and jumped up putting the crown on Alex's head, taking a couple tries.

Kaylessa packed up her remaining thinks and pulled them closer to the building before walking in. She quickly skipped to the front and waved over Rosie and tossed her a necklace made with feathers from numerous birds and flowers. Flashing her a smile and turning around and taking one of the few remaining seats left, meeting starting soon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven
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A l e x Garcia

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Outfit - #3a0a4d

After the attack, Alex spent a solid three days alone; he'd locked himself away in his bedroom, let his phone die, and only came out when he could no longer take the silence and solitude of his own grief and fear. Though he couldn't clearly remember much of what had happened between the attack and waking up the next morning. He vaguely remembered the text messages and calls he received, and ignored, between the attack and his phone dying; but when he finally charged it back up after those few days, he'd been completely overwhelmed. He'd only sent a message of any kind to three people: Phoenix, Jaiden, and his boss. In that order. His parents had clearly been updated by his abuela, and only his father bothered trying to reach out to him again in the weeks after the attack, though Alex wasn't sure if he found it comforting or not.

Alex returned to work faster than most of the people in his life would have liked. There was a lot of work to do after the attack, and as difficult as it was, Alex threw himself into it, working hard to give everyone they'd lost the best care he could. He felt a certain amount of guilt: he'd been having dreams and feelings about something terrible for weeks leading up to the attack, but he'd never thought anything like that would happen. Who would have?

He hadn't been sleeping well, not that it was unusual for Alex to not be sleeping, but every time he closed his eyes, he found himself back there. Somewhere between alive and dead, and running for his life. That he could remember clearly, and the dreams were so vivid he wondered if they weren't real, if he was going back there in his sleep. It seemed impossible, but impossible things happened every day in Greythorne.

Now Alex sat on his bed, half-dressed, thinking up excuses to get himself out of going to the assembly. On one hand, he genuinely wanted to hear what the others in the town had thought up to prevent another attack; it was an obvious concern of his, but he didn't know if he could handle it. He'd had a full-blow panic attack the day before when his abuela had touched his arm to try and get his attention. He didn't want to have yet another public incident. He didn't want to be that person.

He heard the front door open. Phoenix was there. Alex wondered if he just ignored him, if he would leave. Somehow, Alex doubted it. He stood up, and pulled a tee shirt over his head, calling out, "¡Espérame! Voy enseguida." After his grandmother. As soon as he opened his door his puppy, (who seemed to not understand that he was a ghost, though Alex couldn't blame the dog for not grasping the concept) dashed down the hall, straight towards Phoenix. "He can't pet you, you know." He called after the ghost, who ignored him in favor of barking and running between- and through- Phoenix's feet, which Phoenix was blissfully unaware of. Alex smiled at Phoenix, though it didn't reach his eyes, and said "I'm almost ready to go, just let me-" He gestured vaguely at himself as he walked into the kitchen, grabbing a sweatshirt that he shouldn't have left on the table, and pulled it over his head. He turned and kissed Abuela on the cheek, before turning for the door, calling, "We'll see you there, right? You're just waiting on Louise?" Over his shoulder. The woman shot Phoenix a quick look, as if to say 'good luck', but she didn't say anything other than to briefly confirm that was the case.

Alex grabbed his keys and his coat, and headed out the door, shrugging on his coat as he walked down the sidewalk. He only spared a sideways glance to make sure Phoenix was following behind, but he knew he would be. He didn't have much to say, so he shoved his hands into his pockets as they walked. He kept an eye out, scanning for anything unusual in the growing darkness. He had tried to avoid going out after dark since the attack, though he had found himself braving the dark to go to the bar a few times, almost more in an attempt to pretend things were normal.

At one point, once they had nearly arrived, Alex reached out and grabbed Phoenix's arm, pulling them both to a halt. It was only Carl Peters, crossing in front of them. Alex had known the older man his entire life. Alex quickly dropped his death grip on Phoenix's bicep, "Sorry," He quickly mumbled, hardly loud enough for even Phoenix to hear, "I don't know what I... I panicked." He didn't dwell on it, picking up the pace to the building. He couldn't wait to be back indoors.

He finally seemed to find his voice on that last leg of their walk, clearing his throat, "Sorry I haven't..." He trailed off, as if unsure of what exactly he was apologizing for, before saying, "Things in town are just so weird, now. You know?" He glanced over at Phoenix, they'd seen each other since the attack, of course, but most of the effort had been delegated to Phoenix's shoulders. Alex felt like a shell of himself, and maybe he looked like it, too. He didn't know.

Kay's voice calling his name made Alex smile, it was bright and genuine, and he returned her hug enthusiastically. His face fell slightly when she said she was glad he was okay, but he recovered quickly, flashing her a charming smile and saying, "How could I be anything but perfect with you around?" He took a short moment to take in her appearance before leaning in slightly, as if to tell some sort of secret, "You look fantastic, as always." He couldn't help but laugh as she struggled to put the flower crown on his head, and leaned in to kiss her cheek before saying, "Thank you. I love it."

He would ditch the thing as soon as he could without hurting her feelings, but it didn't hurt anything to leave it on for now.

As they walked inside, Alex suddenly realized that he desperately didn't want to be stuck sitting in a crowd of people, and turned to look at Phoenix, "Where do you want to-" He stopped, seeing a seat towards the back, on the end of a row, and changed his mind about asking Phoenix's opinion, "Here okay?" He asked, as he sat down, clearly not overly concerned with his friend's opinion.




Z a d a min Albahr

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Outfit & jewelry - #78b0ad

After the attack, Zada hadn't known what to do. She hadn't lost anyone she was particularly close to, though her neighbor's house was now vacant, and seeing the dark windows every evening was occasionally heartbreaking, so she just carried on her life like normal. The only notable additions to her daily routine were helping to clean up the town, and trying to become more a part of it. Greythorne was her home, no matter how she felt about some of it's residents, and she didn't want to lose it. She hadn't felt so at home since she left the ocean, all those years ago, and she wasn't willing to lose it.

She'd kept herself busy that day with chores around the house, and an extra long bath. She was going to have to skip out on her swim because of the meeting, but she didn't mind, she wanted to find a way to help the town, even if her contributions were small. Especially if she got to kill more hunters, or even if it just let to their demise. Perhaps vengeance wasn't the most helpful motivator, but Zada had found that it served humans perfectly well, so she had never once felt guilty for it.

She was just getting ready to head to the meeting when she read Rosie's text, and didn't bother to reply, instead opting to perfect her lipstick. It would be more helpful if she arrived early enough to get a good seat, where Rosie could maybe easily glance on a friendly, and hopefully reassuring face. For all her flaws, Zada was nothing if not supportive of those she cared about, and she cared deeply for Rosie.

It wasn't a long walk to town hall (it wasn't a long walk to most places in town), but Zada still found others shuffling inside ahead of her. She smiled at Kaylessa, who was handing out trinkets by the door. It seemed trivial, and somewhat childish, but Zada knew she had good intentions. The people of this town could use some cheering up, and there was probably no better person for the job. Zada really had no use for any of it, but picked up a little trinket, ensuring it wasn't something meant to be worn, and thanked the girl as genuinely as she could.

Once she made it inside, she quickly pushed her way up to the front, taking a seat and looking up at Rosie. She flashed her friend a hopefully reassuring smile, she could never tell, as she had been told that she looked somewhat terrifying when she smiled with her teeth. She settled in, knowing she would have to wait a few moments while people trickled in, and she hoped that no one would talk her her. Her general vibe was normally enough to deter people from her presence, but this town had done nothing if not surprise her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood Character Portrait: Camila De Santo Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxsome things have changed
xxxwe don't fit like we used to
xxxit's hard to ignore if it's worth the wait
xxxit might just fool you
Alex had been like this for weeks but it didn’t hurt any less to see him like this. The hollow smile did nothing to reassure Phoenix, but he returned the smile anyway. Phoenix returned the look that Abuela gave him with a small reassuring smile, promising to look after him.

Alex didn’t wait particularly for Phoenix, only glancing to make sure he was following, but Phoenix caught up easily. It was like being with somebody else entirely as they walked in silence. Before the attack, there had seldom been a silence between them, always filled with laughter or teasing. Now, Phoenix knew not to try and fill the space with noise. Even he found it hard to know what to say.

The contact of Alex’s arm pulling him to a stop shocked Phoenix out of his thoughts as he mentally prepared himself for an attack, but he saw nothing. Just Carl. Phoenix took one look at Alex’s face and thought for a moment about suggesting they ditched the meeting and went back to his apartment instead. And then Alex started moving again, apologizing in more of a mumble than anything. Alex actually spoke as they reached the town hall. Phoenix just shrugged. “It’s okay. I get it. Everything’s different and weird and… Just… know I’m always here, okay? Even if you just want to get drunk or drink tea, or… I dunno, sit in silence on the floor. Any time of day or night.” They’d been friends long enough that he knew he didn’t have to say it, but sometimes a reminder was needed. Alex clearly wasn’t in a great frame of mind right now. And besides, there was plenty of nights when Phoenix found himself awake at three, four, five in the morning, unable or unwilling to go back to sleep.

Phoenix was glad that the first person they ran into was Kay. It was hard not to smile in her presence, and her energy was practically infectious. Her outfit put them all to shame as they huddled in their jackets and scarves. He left the two of them for a moment as he went to put the tray of brownies down for people to take as they pleased. He got back just as Kay put a flower crown on Alex’s head, struggling to balance it on his curls, and Phoenix couldn’t help but laugh. Then she bounded away, and Phoenix could see the slight change in Alex’s expression. He wasn’t in a flower crown mood, but Phoenix knew he didn’t want to hurt Kay’s feelings. And so Phoenix very obviously reached over and stole the flower crown from his head, balancing it on top of his hair instead.“Bullshit, we all know I’m the cuter one wearing this,” he declared.

Alex started to ask wear Phoenix wanted to sit, before darting to an unoccupied seat.“This is perfect. I’m afraid if we sit any closer to Rosie’s skirt without sunglasses, we might do permanent damage,” he joked. The exact location of the seat hadn’t escaped Phoenix either, but if he was being honest, he was happier here too.

He caught that familiar, sickening scent before he saw her. He didn’t even turn around to acknowledge her, not wanting to grace her with a reaction. But he could feel her eyes on him, see her out of the corner of his eye. But instead he kept his eyes forward, trying desperately to keep his expression neutral despite the twisting in his stomach and the anger that rose within him. The only outward reaction was a clenching of his jaw as Camila kissed Alex’s jaw. She slunk away and Phoenix had to resist the temptation to glare at her as she did so. Thankfully, a distraction came in the form of Rosie getting to her feet and walking to the podium, the room starting to fall silent at that single action.



ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxshe's a killer queen
xxxgunpowder, gelatine
xxxdynamite with a laser beam
xxxguaranteed to blow your mind
The hall filled up relatively quickly, which Rosie was pleasantly surprised by. She spotted Kay bounding around, handing out flower crowns and trinkets. The small smiles they produced didn’t escape her notice, and that meant a lot. People looked scared, and confused, and angry. A smile wouldn’t change or erase any of that, but it was a start. It made things seem a little less terrible. Kay quickly ran up to the front and threw her a necklace, which Rosie caught and pulled it over her head, before going to stand at the podium as the last few stragglers came in.

“Good evening, everyone,” she said, and silence fell over the room. “Okay, wow. This isn’t high school English, don’t worry, guys, you can relax,” she added, getting a few giggles out of the crowd. “It’s wonderful to see so many of you guys here. Thank you to the wonderful Kaylessa for these trinkets and to everyone who brought anything. I know that things have been scary… and I know people are afraid. But we rallied around tonight, and that’s a good start. We fought them off once and we can fight them off again. So, let’s get this started. First, Chief Kaner is going to discuss what the police force is doing and what volunteers are needed for them, then I’ll open the floor back up for a discussion. So please welcome Chief Kaner to the stage and hold any questions until the end.”

Rosie took her seat as the police chief stood up to drone on about increased vigilance and whatever. He had never been the most engaging of speakers, but Rosie had long ago perfected the art of listening to boring speakers. Her students tried, but some were always more engaging than others. It was only as the crowd gave polite applause that she came back to herself, getting to her feet. "Thank you, Chief Kaner. So, now that we're aware what the police are doing, it's time to discuss what we can do. So, first up is... voluntary patrols. I'm aware some have already been running, so would anybody like to fill us in and let us know what we can do to help?" She asked, glancing down towards Markus. She highly doubted he would speak up, but maybe someone else might.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood Character Portrait: Camila De Santo Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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#, as written by mombie
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e l i j a h x p a t r o v

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t h e x v a m p i r e
#7B5653 || Outfit || townhall

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The man was typically known for his punctuality, but he was late tonight. His broad frame wandered down the street; his figure moving along like a shadow floating quietly and darkly beneath the soft light of the moon. His hands were in his pockets and strking blue eyes flitting from here to there. Another black figure dashed in the dark, but he knew it to be the Demon's Hell Hound, so he pressed on and continued down the pathway down these lonlier town streets to the slightly busier townhall.

Since the attack, he has felt very much the same. When one is such a hunted species as he, there is no surprise that the Mortals always came. They destroyed everything, and it was only ever a matter of time. The Supernatural were never safe - not in a thousand years past, not in a hundred - not in this modern day. This was the life he was used to, and he has grown understandably callous to the casualties that come with this. It wasn't his fault. It was simply that life was so tragic that tragedy has become his sense of normalcy, thus this, to him, was the way of the world. For others, however, perhaps it was not. Everyone thought this would remain their home unscathed by mortal persecution, and that was their own fault. He felt bad for them, sure, but there was nothing he could do to ease anyone's pain. Not that they'd listen given his rather unearned reputation.

Just as the townhall came into view, though the humdrum inside has been playing into his acute sense of hearing for a while now, he noticed Markus and Jai outside. He pulled his hands from his pockets and braced their lower backs, some strange gust of wind parting the doors. Elijah always had this gravely calm tone of voice; masculine and gutturally harsh with notes of his mother-tongue. It resonated gruffly, yet strangely... melodic and calming. There were many ways to describe his voice, but confidence, command, and ease were the easiest to remember. "Going in?" It was one of those inquiries that might normally be accompanied by a smile, but instead, he gently guided them both through the doors with the placement of his hands. Was it one of those strange protective things that were subtle in nature? Perhaps. It was dark outside, and the streets were dismal as the town gathered.

Once the trio made their way into the Hall, the Vampire took a moment to take in Rosie's words. After the blurbs by the Chief and Rosie were done, he simply walked down the aisle. His eyes hardly met anyone else's, and he continued because who was going to stop him? No one. No one really liked him. Everyone stayed away from him. He liked it that way. It could stay. They could be afraid of him or call him what they will, but he didn't care about any of it. He's too old for the petty drama. Though he did sneak a side-peek toward Zada, but swiftly drew it away. He was just checking to make sure she was still there, even though he could smell her. Everyone has their own unique smell.

His steps ceased in front of Rosie, and two hands were placed upon her as gentle as a man could be; one of her elbow and another at her shoulder. He didn't smile, there was no expression to his otherwise serious features, but he tugged at her with something that could be easily misconstrued as asserting his masculinity over her. He never thought about it that way, but he was an old fart and she knew that he didn't mean any ill by it. There was the slightest hint of a smile for her in that fleeting second he believed no one was looking, however.

Once she was out of his way, he took his place in the front of the Hall. His hands grasped either side of the podium and he finally looked at each and every being in the room. He stopped at no one in particular as he commenced to speak with his deeply rumbling and harsh Slavic tongue, "They will come again - we know this because history always repeats itself. This is nothing new to some of us, but it is always tragic. This would be the time to put aside petty differences and settle the feuds in our community - to stop being each other's enemies." This time, his gaze falls pointedly on Camila. He likes her, but damn - she's such a handful and she's grown particularly less manageable and more agitating.

"We have many tools at our expense - more than our enemies if you ask me. They are stronger than mortals, but we are stronger. It is in our nature. There is a power-imbalance, and we hold the advantage. The problem is that we didn't know they were coming, but now we know. If you think you can't help, then you're going to die. You're going to cause someone else to die. Everyone in this town is a cog in the machine that runs it, and it's our duty to defend it."

He shifts away from the podium for a moment and then steps beside it, "If you own a business, perhaps you can help create a rallying point as a place of safety for those who can't fight. The town hall, for one, is easy to secure with the proper people. The bar and other stores - use them to stow weapons or tools that will assist us in fighting back. You may think that these people are gone, but I can assure you that they will return. These are zealous people that can trace their legacies spent persecuting others back centuries. But they do not always win, and we do persist. Speak up. I, for one, am out from sundown to dawn. Camila has her dogs on patrol day and night. There are people that will protect you even if you think they will not. A little less self-pity and more preparation will judge whether Greythorne will persist, too. So even if you don't think you have anything to contribute - search deep. Everyone can." He looked to Rosie for some sense of affirmation or something, and then just dipped to a seat someplace in the middle by himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Camila De Santo
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TRAVIS GRAVESON
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #8B4513
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xxx Older than water, stubborn as stone
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for all that you've known
xxx Oh these days, oh these days get heavy
xxx Hotter than friction, subtle as sound
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for you to come around

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As more and more people came in, Travis started taking note of was and wasn’t there, as well as what type of attitude their body language gave off. Most people were slow and hesitant, alot of darty eyes, and a couple long stares at him. He saw two of the witches, Alex and Phoenix, Alex looking paranoid and scared of being here, and Phoenix wearing a flower crown, and seeming more of a caregiver in his movements and how he spoke. . Trav hadn’t seen much of Alex since the attack, hearing he was injured but miraculously survived, he was curious about what happened but hadn’t figured it out yet and knew now wasn’t a good time to ask questions.

Travis ignored most of the others coming in, taking small notes in his head and just acknowledging their presence whenever they would look at him, it wasn’t until a specific demon walked in that caught his eye. Camila. He watched out of the corner of his eye as she walked over and teased Alex, mostly ignoring Phoenix. He knew about her behavior and how she interacted with some of the other beings in Greythorne, but she still intrigued her. Most demons he faced served someone or something, but she more so served herself and her own wild fantasies. He didn’t turn to face her as she walked up to him but knew she knew he knew she was coming.

Camila commented on him smelling differently than before, a little like hell. “Well you know better than everyone we all have our sins. And I might be able to smell the difference in people, but it’s safe to bet most people smell different after the attacks. Fear, paranoia. I might not be able to smell it, but its there.” Travis was a little surprised when she kissed him and walked away, though it wasn’t the first time she had done so, especially in a teasing manner, but still left him wanting more. As she walked away he turned his focus back on the crowd and finally up onto Rosie as she began to speak.

Travis listened carefully, keeping mostly a serious face shown while others relaxed and gave lighthearted laughs to her jokes. Next was Chief Kaner, a Druid, and Trav rolled his eyes at his generic talk about vigilance, looking out for each other, and not being afraid to speak up. Basic stuff that he had heard numerous times throughout his military career. Though what caught Travis’ attention was when the vampire Elijah stood up and gave a speech to the crowd. Trav actually perked up and listened to what the man had to say, curious and fascinated by how he went on and his words, but for a vampire that is a few hundred years old, Travis knew he had some practice. As Elijah finished, he took his seat and the room was quiet.

Travis straightened up his jacket and pushed himself off the wall before starting to walk down the middle. “Well, while Chief’s and Elijah’s speeches were great, thank you you two. I gotta point out something Elijah had said. ‘put aside petty differences and settle the feuds in our community’ to quote him directly.” Travis said as he turned around as he got to the stage and leaned against it. “Look around. We’re suppose to be a community, but the few humans like myself that live in Greythorne, most aren’t here. And it’s because they are scared and afraid, even some of have left Greythorne because some of their close friends wouldn’t talk to them anymore. I’ve heard talk at the bar about how ‘we should kick all the humans out of Greythorne' just because the people who attacked us were humans.” He paused for a second, taking off part of his jacket to reveal his left arm and a healing bullet wound. “But they attacked all of us, not just the ones that aren’t the same as them.” Travis pulled his jacket over. Though the bullet wound was from that night of the attack, it was self-inflicted so he could have a cover story. He wore a sling for a little bit and had to refuse Kaylessa’s many offers to just heal him.

“I got nothing else to say besides that. And I, as well as the few other human’s left in Greythorne, would appreciate it if they were stalked each night by Nymphs and Shapeshifters.” Travis said as he started walking back to his seat. He could feel the eyes staring him down, but as well as some of the guilty looks from supernatural’s that felt bad. He wasn't sure why he even spoke up as it would put more eyes on him, but he felt like he needed to say something, he had seen first hand some of the humans being treated like they were the ones who shot attacked their neighbors, and heard some nasty things at Camila's pub.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Camila De Santo Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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0000P H O E N I X 0 W O O D S 000000000000000000|000000000000000000000 A L E X 0 G A R C I A
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hexcode
#c4a7be 0 | 0 #3a0a4d

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phoenix 0 | 0 alex






If Alex hadn’t heard her coming, he may have jumped when Camila touched him, but her the sound of her heels was impossible to miss, and he would know her voice anywhere. When she spoke directly to him, greeting him, he smiled, "Gracias,” His voice was low, almost a purr of appreciation, and he continued to speak as she tilted his head (he never minded her taking charge), "Te ves hermosa hoy." He hadn’t seen her yet and wasn’t rushing to get a look, either. He didn’t even turn to look as she walked away, though he did cast a sideways glance at Phoenix, almost as if to check if he was still there.

The beginning of the meeting was boring enough, just like every speech or update Chief Kaner had ever given. Alex tried to listen closely, but found his mind wandering, mostly with the realisation that enough wasn’t being done, and the idea that half the residents of this town may never be prepared for another attack, himself included. Almost all at once, it seemed, the chief finished his update, and Elijah took the podium.

Alex didn’t have anything personal against Elijah, but found the vampire’s distaste of Phoenix unsavory. Still, his words pricked at Alex’s ears, and he was right. Alex knew it all too well. The hunters would be back, and if they caught the town off guard again, more would die. Maybe all of them. They knew what they were up against now, no doubt the hunters would come more prepared next time. The speech was meant to be inspiring, and it probably was, but Alex didn’t hear much of it past the ringing in his ears. He took in a few snippets, though. He needed to get it together, and fast.

Suddenly Alex felt like his head was swimming, and he felt like he was going to cry- or die. He didn’t know for sure. Coming to this meeting had been a mistake. He thought getting out might be good for him, he wanted to know what was happening, how he could help, but he obviously wasn’t ready for this. He needed some space, some air. A moment to think. Maybe he should go home.

He stood up, fairly abruptly, scooting his chair back behind him. The sudden movement and noise was slightly startling to the people around him; though most of them thought nothing of it when they saw who it was suddenly jumping up out of his chair. Alex had a long history of being impulsive and jumpy, and given his recent experiences, no one in town could really blame him for being more on edge than usual. Everyone knew what had happened, after all; news travels fast in a small town, and everyone was a little worried of what Alex would do if he never mentally recovered from the attack. Or, now, what he may not be able to do.

Without apologising or saying a word to Phoenix, he turned and all but ran out the doors, desperately hoping that no one would follow him. He just needed a minute, needed to clear his head, then he could go back inside. Or maybe he needed to go home. He had a cigarette lit (no small task, thanks to his hands that wouldn’t stop shaking) almost the moment he walked through the doors; he’d never smoked consistently, it was always a crutch in times of stress, and he’d quit ‘for good’ nearly two years ago. Lately he had found old habits creeping back in, settling in as if they’d never left. As if he hadn’t spent the last two years of his life playing catch-up, trying to grow up and become an adult.

Out in the cold air, he swore he could hear voices carried on the wind, calling out his name. As if to beckon him forward into the darkness, to his end. Calling him home. He knew that the spirits wanted him back, they’d nearly had him once before, and if he didn’t get a grip soon they might just catch up to him, after all. He didn’t slow down for a moment, having decided to just go home. He come to the meeting, he’d tried. He couldn’t do it. He needed to calm down, then he could figure out how he could help. He could do something.

Phoenix knew this meeting was important, but he found himself struggling to concentrate on anything anyone was saying. Even as Elijah stood up to give a grandiose speech, possibly meant to inspire them all to stand up and fight, he instead found himself watching Alex out of the corner of his eye. Coming here might have been a mistake. Maybe they should have just stayed in Abuela’s, or gone back to Phoenix’s instead and drank tea and talked shit for a while. This had been a bad idea, and the guilt of getting Alex to come was beginning to settle in to his stomach.

And then, suddenly, Alex shoved himself to his feet and practically ran out of the hall without a word. A few people around them turned to look, and Phoenix instinctively shot them an apologetic half-smile as he got to his feet and silently pushed their chairs back into place. A distraction arrived in the form of Travis standing up to make a speech, just in time for Phoenix to follow Alex out, his heart in his chest. Things had been worse than he’d imagined. This had been a mistake. They shouldn’t have come.

“Alex,” he called, but Alex didn’t turn or otherwise respond. Phoenix strode after him, catching up easily, just like he always did, just like he always had, even when they were kids. “Alex,” he called again as he got closer, but Alex was lost in his thoughts. So Phoenix reached out and grabbed his arm, pulling him to a stop as he reached him. “Alex. It’s okay, you’re okay, you’re safe. Come on. Talk to me. What’s wrong?” He asked, stepping as close as he dared and lowering his voice to speak softly, keeping his hand on Alex’s arm.

Alex felt his chest tighten, and panic flared back up in his mind. It was just Phoenix, and rationally he understood that, but he was already on edge, and Phoenix grabbing his arm like that, it just set him off. He froze, only for a moment, as if his brain just couldn’t fully process what was happening. He felt frustration rise in his chest; he was frustrated that he couldn’t handle the meeting, that Phoenix had followed him out, but mostly he felt himself growing increasingly frustrated by his own panic and fear. He felt like his life was falling apart, and that he was just getting in the way everywhere he went. He felt the panic and frustration meld into a frantic sort of anger, not unlike a wounded, cornered animal. He flinched away from Phoenix, ripping his arm away from his friend’s touch, and turned to face him, “Don’t touch me.” He spat, voice dripping with venom. He hadn’t meant to snap at Phoenix, but he didn’t stop there. “You wanna know what’s wrong?” He lowered his voice, but nothing in his tone was soft. He’d never spoken particularly harshly to Phoenix, not even when they’d disagreed. There had always been some sort of affection, or humor, to cut the sting of his words. He didn’t try to keep the anger out of his voice this time.

“I have been there for you through everything. Every pain, every heartbreak, every stupid decision. Even when I was hurting, or lost, or… Whatever. I have always dropped everything to be there for you.” He held up a finger, as if daring Phoenix not to say a word, “I… I practically died, Phoenix! I was alone, and you left me there. All for what? Some asshole who left you heartbroken the next day!” He shook his head, he knew he should stop, but his heart was pounding in his chest, his ears were ringing, and he felt completely out of control, “And you’d known him, what? Two weeks?” He scoffed, “And now look at you. Now you’re… You’re blond now? Trying to look like him?” Alex rolled his eyes, his tone would’ve been condescending if he didn’t sound so furious, “What a pathetic attempt to hold onto someone that didn’t even care about you enough to say a proper goodbye.”

Alex shrugged and took a step backwards, as if he suddenly couldn’t stand to be so close to Phoenix, “I really hope it was all worth it. I certainly learned a very valuable lesson about what kind of person I should be putting my trust in.”

Phoenix stumbled back the moment Alex pulled his arm away, realising that he’d made a mistake. And then Alex started speaking, and Phoenix just stared at him in confusion. He’d never heard Alex speak to… anyone like that. It felt like he was listening to somebody else in Alex’s body.

Phoenix wanted to comfort Alex. He wanted to ignore everything he was saying and drag him home, make him hot chocolate, and tell him to sleep it off and he’d feel better in the morning. He wanted this to be something they could move past. But every word felt like a kick to the chest. And what hurt the most? It was true. It would have been easier to dismiss it if it had been empty, if it had been just delusions. But it explained so much. It explained the distance that Phoenix had started to feel ever since the attack. It drove home the guilt that Phoenix had felt for weeks now as well as the heartbreak of being abandoned again. That look of disgust as Alex stepped away from him felt like somebody had driven a knife between his ribs and there was a moment where he felt like he couldn’t breathe.

“You ungrateful asshole,” Phoenix choked out, not realising he was crying until the tears were streaming down his cheeks. “Are you forgetting all the times I fucking talked you down after a nightmare? I let you pass out on my couch because you got too drunk? Pulled you away when somebody was about to kick your face in because you flirted with somebody you shouldn’t have?” He was yelling now, and he wasn’t going to be able to control it. It was a defense mechanism, kicking in so nobody would see the pain and the hurt. “I make one mistake, one mistake I have regretted ever since, and I’m the monster?” He could feel a familiar tug somewhere in the back of his mind, the tug that meant he was losing control of his abilities. He couldn’t let that happen, not here. He needed to get out of here, needed to go. He ripped the flower crown from his head and hurled it at Alex. “Go fuck yourself, Alex.” He turned and stormed away, the tears still streaming down his face.

Phoenix’s words didn’t hurt. They were true, and Alex hadn’t forgotten any of it, he just didn’t care. The things Phoenix had done right in the past just couldn’t erase the pain and betrayal he felt. He let the flower crown hit him, not caring enough to move or even try to stop it, and when Phoenix turned to leave found himself calling out, “We’re all monsters, Phoenix! But you’re a fucking coward!” The words left his mouth before he’d even stopped to consider what he was saying, just like everything else he’d said that night. He found himself beginning to tremble; so he turned, and started walking home. This was the last place he wanted to be. If Phoenix was a coward, Alex didn’t know what that made him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxsome things have changed
xxxwe don't fit like we used to
xxxit's hard to ignore if it's worth the wait
xxxit might just fool you
Phoenix didn't know what he wanted to do. He didn't know where he wanted to go. No, it was that he knew exactly where he wanted to go. He wanted to go to the same place he always went when he was hurting this much, where he knew it wouldn't hurt quite as bad. He wanted to go to Alex's. But that option was gone.

Oh, the irony.

It was only when Violet gently put a hand on his shoulder that he realised he hadn't gone anywhere at all. He jumped a little. Her being able to touch him was... weird. Wrong, almost. She'd changed too, since that night. Well, they'd all changed. But Violet more so than most. Why? What had happened? Why did nothing make sense any more? What had that attack done to the town?

Her words were firm, but not harsh or uncaring. He wanted to explain. He couldn't just go back inside. He couldn't just pretend everything was fine because it wasn't. The flowers that had begun to grow through the concrete, unaffected by the bitter cold, their bright colours almost an insult, was a testament to that. Everything wasn't fine. He wasn't fine.

"You're a fucking coward." The words echoed in his head, made the lump in his throat feel like it was smothering him. All he wanted to do was run and hide. That was all he had ever wanted to do and it hadn't served him well so far. So why was he still so afraid?

But somehow, somehow, he found it in himself to turn and go back inside, stopping only to wipe the last of the tears from his cheeks. He stood at the back of the hall as Neden made their grand entrance, flanked by two Spriggans. Their dramatic flair would have usually made him smile, but not tonight. Tonight, he could barely muster a half smirk. Part of him wanted to prove Alex wrong. Prove he wasn't a coward and sign up to protect the town. But no, he couldn't do that either. Instead, he stared at his feet, trying and failing to calm down even just a little bit.



ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxshe's a killer queen
xxxgunpowder, gelatine
xxxdynamite with a laser beam
xxxguaranteed to blow your mind
The silence that hung in the air as she asked if anyone would like to speak lasted just a second too long, and Rosie knew it. But then Elijah made his grand entrance and made his way to the stage. She let him move her, ever so gently, forever the gentleman, but his glancing smile was met with an eyebrow raised just a little. It was gentle and gentlemanly and entirely innocent, and they both knew that, but also she would have stepped aside without having to be moved.

His speech was intended to rouse and bring hope, and while it may have been best delivered to a group of soldiers instead of a group of terrified but angry townspeople, it seemed to rouse a few and comfort a few others. She gave him a nod and a smile as he looked at her for confirmation. Before she could step back up to the podium, however, Travis got up.

His speech was... slightly less well received. Rosie could hear the angry mutterings from the crowd. Travis had a point, she had to admit. The town was showing signs of division, and while she was quelling it as fast as she could in her classes, she couldn't do much about the rest of the town. But the town was angry, and they were scared. They were afraid of humans, especially of newcomers who didn't have any link to anyone in the town. Fear did bad things to people, and people did bad things because of fear. Showing off his injury wouldn't gain him any sympathy. Everyone in this room had either been injured themselves or had lost somebody in the attack.

The angry mutterings continued, and Rosie was about to take back control of the crowd when Markus spoke up. Almost reflexively, she raised her eyebrows. He barely liked talking to people one on one, let alone in front of a crowd this big. It was brief, but did the job, and it seemed to quiet the crowd a little, or at least turn the murmurs a little more positive. He shot her a look that she understood all too well. He was done talking now and needed somebody to take over. Rosie stepped up to the podium- but before she could say anything, the doors swung open, and in walked Neden. There was a brief moment of confusion as people realised that there appeared to be two of them- and then one of them revealed themselves to be a spriggan. The real Neden, with their usual overdramatic flair, added on that anybody was welcome to join the patrols. Rosie just raised an eyebrow and smirked a little as they assured her that the town was perfectly safe. She doubted it, but at least Neden and Markus appeared to have the whole thing under control and were competent. She cleared her throat as Neden and their group of spriggans took their seats.

"Alright then. So, thank you all for your speeches and your contributions to the safety of the town. If nobody has anything else to contribute, I think we'll wrap it up there for tonight. I understand there's some refreshments down the back. Thank you," she said. The crowd began to chatter, a mix of emotions filling the room as she headed towards Markus.

"Hey. Thanks for that, I think we, uh, needed a change of tone after Trav's speech." She said, raising her eyebrows knowingly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood Character Portrait: Camila De Santo Character Portrait: Elijah Patrov
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ROSIE THOMPSON
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Image
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxshe's a killer queen
xxxgunpowder, gelatine
xxxdynamite with a laser beam
xxxguaranteed to blow your mind
Rosie just raised an eyebrow and shook her head a little as Markus asked if his speech was any less awkward. “It was fine, not shitty at all, Markus. You need to give yourself a little more credit,” she said, with a half grin. The update at least put her at ease. She couldn’t go on the patrols, what with having to mark papers and prepare for her classes, but Markus had at least been keeping her in the loop. In a time like this, she'd found herself taking some degree of leadership on this thing. Mostly, she used the information to advise her students to stay away, or to answer any questions they did have. She couldn't do much, but she could try to protect them. Markus turned to walk away, having updated her in his usual brief manner, but instead Neden reappeared in their usual energetic manner.

The grin on Rosie's face rapidly disappeared as Neden mentioned what they’d found during the week. “No. No, he didn’t.” She said, turning to stare down Markus. She just sighed as Neden explained that they’d had a hiccup. And that they now had a guest. She knew exactly what that meant, unfortunately. It meant things were now more complicated than they had been two minutes ago. Neden disappeared as quickly as they’d appeared under the pretense of getting food. Rosie turned fully to Markus.

“Were you going to bring this up?” She asked, folding her arms and raising an eyebrow. “Markus, if there’s one of them, there could be more. What are you going to do with our little… problem?” She asked, keeping her voice low, little more than a hiss to prevent anyone overhearing. “We need to deal with this.” She glanced around and saw Travis looking at her, giving a wave. She smiled back and return the wave, before turning back to Markus. “As quietly and as quickly as possible.”

To give Markus his credit, he told Rosie the full story once they left, away from where they might be overheard and cause a panic. They thought the hunter might be a valuable source of information, but he hadn’t said anything yet. His training was surprisingly good, and he hadn't cracked yet. But he couldn’t stay locked up in Markus’ basement forever, and they needed to do something with him. They spent the next few days trying to hatch a plan. Rosie could use her abilities to get him to talk, reveal everything him knew. But she wasn’t eager to do that. If he escaped, her giving away an element of her ability could potentially be used against them. It was only when she was in Travis’ shop, picking up a few things for dinner, that she had her brainwave. Getting a human to talk to the hunter could work. Let them think there was somebody on their side. Someone who could help. And they wouldn’t be giving away a tactical advantage.

Their plan came together relatively quickly after that. Rosie made a stop into Phoenix's café on her way home from class and managed to talk him into bringing Jaiden and Violet out for drinks. Markus and Rosie had both agreed that they needed to get Jaiden and Violet out of the house, just in case things went wrong. And a third party would keep them accountable. That and, well, from what Rosie could see, they all needed a night out with friends. She hadn't seen Jaiden that withdrawn since she'd first arrived in Greythorne, and now she was possibly worse than she had been then. And as much as Phoenix was pretending that everything was fine, Rosie knew it wasn't. She didn't know the details, but the marked absence of Alex from Phoenix's surroundings seemed to be part of the problem. And Violet had changed too, but possibly the least. Rosie could still see the old Violet every time she went to Markus'. She'd changed, of course she had. They all had. But Rosie could still get a smile out of her, which was more than she could say for some of the others.

She headed straight over to Markus' after class. Travis wasn't going to be finished for another while, but Rosie wanted to be there early in case Violet and Jaiden needed more persuasion, and because, as ever, she had essays to be marking. She wasn't sure whether or not Neden would be coming or if they were doing patrols that evening.



PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxsome things have changed
xxxwe don't fit like we used to
xxxit's hard to ignore if it's worth the wait
xxxit might just fool you
When he'd woken up the morning after the meeting, everything had felt like a horrible dream. And then it hit him again. None of it had been a nightmare. It had happened. And it felt like somebody was kicking him in the chest all over again. But he'd gotten up, as normal. He'd gone for his run, taking a different and slightly harsher path, but one that he knew meant would pose less of a risk of running into Alex. He'd gone home, showered, and gone to work.

And that had been his routine. Pretend everything was normal. Pretend that he didn't stare at his phone, waiting for a text that didn't come, writing texts he'd never send. Pretend that it didn't feel like somebody had cut off his left arm. Sure, he didn't need it, but not having it made things so much harder.

Abuela still came in, like she always did. Phoenix couldn't lie to her, couldn't tell her everything was fine. He gave her her usual supplies of bread and pastries when she came in instead of dropping them over before or after work.

"He misses you too, Phoenix, querido. He just can't say it." He didn't need to say anything. Abuela could always read him like a book, and lying would be a waste of time. He just smiled sadly and handed her the bag of baked goods.

Get up. Go for a run. Go to work. Pretend like the dark circles under his eyes didn't give away the fact he was snatching only a few hours of sleep every night and that that sleep was seldom restful. Nightmares plagued him from the moment he closed his eyes. And it wasn't like he had anyone to talk to them about.

He knew from the moment he saw Rosie's face that she was back into "caring english teacher" mode, and it at least gave him a couple of seconds to brace himself. But she didn't mention him, just said that she'd been around at Markus' and thought Jaiden and Violet needed a night out. He didn't know how she managed to talk him into agreeing to bring them out. But she had always been extraordinarily persuasive, even without having to use her abilities, so he found himself having committed to the plans.

He'd taken his time getting ready, waiting for an excuse to arise that would mean he didn't have to go. Going would just be a few more hours of pretending that everything was fine. It was bullshit, everyone knew it, but Jaiden didn't need his stupid crap on top of everything she was dealing with. He'd even put on eyeshadow and eyeliner to stretch it out, but eventually, there came a time when he had to leave to go meet Jaiden and Violet at Markus'. Shoving his phone in to his pocket, he turned and left, making his way across town.

He knocked on the Markus' door and was let in by Rosie, who chattered in her usual charming way, giving out about her freshmen. He just smiled and nodded, forcing a laugh at appropriate points, and mostly just prayed that Violet and Jaiden would appear soon. He loved Rosie, but he just... wasn't in the mood for that constant chatter right now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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TRAVIS GRAVESON
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #8B4513
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xxx Older than water, stubborn as stone
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for all that you've known
xxx Oh these days, oh these days get heavy
xxx Hotter than friction, subtle as sound
xxx There'll be no forgiveness for you to come around

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Travis thanked Neden for even thinking about it and said he’d be waiting and they know where to find him before they walked off, watching as they wont over and talked to Rosie and Markus. He gave a wave over to Rosie before leaving, as well as flashing a smile to Kaylessa and telling her to stay safe out here, she just nodded and ran off to do whatever Kaylessa was going to do, not many people can tell her what to do, and even if they do she probably wouldn’t listen half the time.

The next day wasn’t anything special then the last, the meeting didn’t really cause people to act differently or change their feelings about how safe or unsafe Greythorne was. Travis was actually going to head back into town to resupply and get an update with his supervisor as well as tell them what he’s learned, which he didn’t get much since the attack. Was this because he honestly couldn’t find out much information besides the patrol, or because he didn’t want to and almost felt betrayed by his organization, he wasn’t even sure.

But when Rosie came in and told Travis about how Markus and Neden’s group had caught someone, he knew he couldn’t head back yet. He had to find out who it was and make sure they wouldn’t rat him out. Thankful with Rosie asking for help Trav knew they hadn’t broke him, yet. But knew it was only a matter of time, especially with some of the powers these monsters had. He agreed and told her he would come over after he closed up shop for the night.

For most of the day Travis was distracted with what Rosie had told him, trying to figure out what he was going to do. They expected him to interrogate the other human, get whatever information out of him, thinking a human might be more relaxed with someone they could relate to. It made sense, good plan, but Travis couldn’t risk this guy possibly giving information that could expose him. But then it hit Travis what he had to do. He could control what type of information the monsters would receive, be a man on the inside, feeding both sides information that he felt they would need to know, but then there was still the loose end of the man who had gotten himself captured…

Travis finally finished closing up shop and grabbed some things from his small apartment before heading over to Markus’, a place he hasn’t been to but scooped out a few times when he first arrived to Greythorne. The walk was quiet and Travis could once again feel like someone, or something, was following him. He knocked twice before little Rosie opened the door and let him in, he thanked her and walked in, chuckling at Rosie's outfit of choice. “You look nice tonight, glad you’re not letting all this damper who you are Rosie.” Trav said with a smile as he walked into the main room, seeing Neden and Markus already there along with a few others, though he was surprised Alex wasn't here with Phoenix. “I’m assuming this means my application was accepted Neden?” He said with a light chuckle trying to lighten the mood, and probably failing. “Well, when do we get started?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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PHOENIX WOODS
Image
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxtell me what i'm gonna do now
xxxcause i feel a little lost without you
xxxi'm a little bit lost without you
xxxhear me, hear me out.
There was more people here than Phoenix had been expecting. A plate of baked goods was handed around, somebody explaining that Violet and Jaiden had been baking. The atmosphere was familiar and warm. It might have been comforting at any other time, but now, more than ever, Phoenix felt that absence, that feeling of nothing where usually there was something. His half smile felt more forced than ever.

And then Travis arrived. The shift in the atmosphere was considerable as people regarded him with considerable, and perhaps justified wariness. His joke fell flat and did nothing to reduce the tension. Phoenix spotted Jaiden slipping out of the room, and silently followed her out, slipping in to the kitchen after her. Being away from the crowd was an odd relief, feeling like tension had been removed from his chest.

"Hey," he said quietly, careful not to scare her. He wasn't entirely sure what to say. He knew not to ask her if she was okay. None of them were okay. Asking what was wrong was a stupid question, he knew exactly what was wrong.

"You did a good job on the baking," he said with a small smile. "Listen, we don't have to go to the bar or whatever. We can just go back to mine and do whatever. Sit in silence and stare into space. Watch a movie. Whatever. I think Markus and Rosie just want us out of the way... just in case." He didn't know exactly what was going on, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that they seemed to be the ones everyone else turned to.


ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxwho's a heretic now
xxxam i making it sense
xxxhow can you make it stick
xxxwaiting till the beat comes out
Rosie smiled as Travis complimented her outfit. "Thank you. In terrible times, someone's got to bring the colour, right?" She said, before heading back into the sitting room where the others were. She could feel the shift in atmosphere the moment the others saw him, and internally, she prepared herself. Markus hadn't been terribly receptive to the idea, and she was pretty sure Neden had only agreed because, tactically, it made sense.

Travis' quip about being accepted on to the patrols fell about as flat as Rosie had been anticipating, and she just internally winced. She knew why the others were hesitant, but they needed to be able to work together if this was going to work. She ran a hand through her hair as Markus clarified that she would be starting things moving. She cleared her throat, not willing to give anyone a chance to ask any questions.

"So far, our house guest has been pretty unwilling to talk. He's also been pretty damn stubborn and has put up a fight. But he seems to recognise us as "monsters" which is why he's been so stubborn. But he might be a little more receptive to another human, which is where you come in. Pretend to be his friend. Pretend to sympathise. I don't care what you have to tell him to get information out of him, just do it. And if he's not talking, we'll... figure something else out." They didn't want to just kill him, not when he could potentially provide information, but he was also a liability. If he escaped, they could have a real issue on their hands. "One thing that opinions have been divided on. Do you want one of us down there in case he does put up a fight? I don't think he's seen me yet, I can go down with you. I'm... probably the least threatening." She said with a small smirk, glancing at Neden and Markus.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven
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KAYLESSA VALVEN
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #FF4500
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xxx If I'm a bad person, you don't like me
xxx Well, I guess I'll make my own way
xxx It's a circle, a mean cycle
xxx Sometimes I wanna fuckin' scream or run away,
xxxI can't excite you anymore

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Kaylessa kept her eyes on the lake, watching the moonlight shimmers off of the ripples of the water as Zada talked, though she did notice her pick up the flower crown. Listening closely as she described what little she knew of Alex, as well as men as a whole, though ending on the note that maybe Alex isn’t good enough for her creative nature to be wasted on and doesn’t deserve her kindness.

“But Zada, I enjoy it. Most people just say thank you and move on, he would always say nice remarks. Compliment me. Not just Rosie saying I look nice today, but more personal.” Kay said as her eyes floated from the river over to the crown in Zada’s hands. Thinking back to what he had said to her when she saw him at the town meeting. ”How could I be anything but perfect with you around? You look fantastic as always.” They felt like more than a typical compliment, like they had feelings behind the words.

And it wasn’t just then, the two always had an interesting dynamic while in school and close friendship. Kaylessa always felt like there was something else and assumed with how Alex treated her that they were the same, but right now Kay felt like he just hated her. “Should I say something to him? Maybe say something to Phoenix or Rosie? They know how he is and might know. Though Phoenix wouldn’t answer the door… Maybe he doesn’t like me either… I guess you are right Zada. Thank you.” She said before leaning over and giving Zada a hug, not really asking first nor caring. Kay quickly stood up and ran back into town, leaving the flower crown with Zada.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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PHOENIX WOODS
Image
Image
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxtell me what i'm gonna do now
xxxcause i feel a little lost without you
xxxi'm a little bit lost without you
xxxhear me, hear me out.
Phoenix held his hands up in apology as Jaiden jumped with fright. It was easier to scare all of them now, but especially people like Jaiden. People who had lost somebody special to that attack. He still felt a little bit of guilt that after... well, that he hadn't been totally there himself in the days following. He should have been there for her, should have been there for everyone. And he'd tried but... his heart, his mind hadn't been in it.

He just smiled as she said going to his apartment sounded better. He couldn't help but agree. At first, it had seemed like a good idea but now, he realised his mind wasn't in the right place for partying or drinking. Going back to his and doing nothing and not having to do it alone sounded like the best option. "It's fine, I get it. We all... we all had stuff to deal with. And besides, we're here now, right?" He said with a slightly forced smile. "That counts for something." There was no point in pretending things were normal. They weren't, they were so very far from normal. And they both knew it. But at least they weren't totally alone.

"Well, then, we better go before Rosie chases us out with a threat of a Hamlet essay or something," He joked. "Do you wanna go see if Violet's coming or not? I'll see you guys outside," he said. When he stepped outside, it was cold enough that he could see his breath in the air. He'd always hated winter. It was too cold and the days were too short, with never enough sunshine. No amount of snow or frozen clouds of breath would make him change his mind on that.

He frowned as he swore he could hear footsteps, feel another presence, just out of sight. He took a step or two away from the house. "Hello?" He called, starting to wonder if his imagination was beginning to play tricks on him.


ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxwho's a heretic now
xxxam i making it sense
xxxhow can you make it stick
xxxwaiting till the beat comes out
Travis insisted on going down alone. He did have a point however, so Rosie just smiled and nodded. Waiting was easier said than one, however. The whole time, she felt like... something was wrong. Like something was going to happen. Travis seemed to be gone a while, and it was putting Rosie on edge. Then she sighed and got to her feet. "Screw this, I'm going to check on them."

The minute she was within sight of the hunter, he lurched out of his seat. She didn't have time to do anything more than scream before he had grabbed her, something sharp pressed against her neck, and his hand clamped firmly over her mouth. Her blood ran cold as he called her a siren. He already knew what she was. They'd already lost their element of surprise. Then two gunshots rang out and the hands grasping her fell limp as the hunter fell to the ground.

"It's... It's fine," she said as she stared at the body. She also was okay with him being dead if it meant she didn't get a nail driven in to her neck, but they'd just lost a valuable source of information. Especially considering he already had information on them. Then Markus burst in. Rosie caught the look at her, but before she could move to stop him, Markus had Travis pinned to the wall. "Markus-" she warned, but a distraction arrived in the form of Neden. "I'm fine," she said, folding her arms as they asked her if she was okay. Then she separated Markus and Travis, ordering Markus to go cool down. Rosie led the way upstairs, flopping down onto the couch again as they reached the living room.

"Leave him out in the woods, someone or something will deal with him," Rosie suggested as a way of dealing with the hunter. She raised an eyebrow as she noticed Travis was limping slightly as he entered. "Is your leg okay? He threw you over that chair pretty hard," she remarked with a small smirk.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden
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0000P H O E N I X 0 W O O D S 000000000000000000|00000000000000000 K A Y L E S S A 0 V A L V E N
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hexcode
#c4a7be 0 | 0 #FF4500

outfit
phoenix 0 | 0 kay







Kaylessa skipped from the grass that was between the lake and the town until she got back into town, holding on the destroyed flower crown, looking through some of the shop windows until she got more towards the outskirts, where most of the residents lived, cutting through the woods to admire the plants and to enjoy some time away from the bustling town. Kay loved all the seasons, and besides spring when all sorts of flowers, trees, and fruits would bloom, but she really enjoyed the calmness and how everything shined in the winter. Plus the coldness didn’t really affect her.

While walking closer to the edge of the forests met a clearing, she heard someone talking out loud, saying hello. Kay peaked through some branches and saw it was Phoenix and darted out towards him. “Phoenix!” Kaylessa just about shouted with a smile and went to hug him, but then remembered the conversation she had with Zada and what she had told her, and just backed off Phoenix and her frown slowly dissipated. “Sorry…” She apologized, holding the crown close to her chest and not making eye contact with Phoenix.

Phoenix jumped a little as somebody ran out from the trees, relaxing a little bit when he saw that it was just Kay. He smiled and held out his arms to match her hug, raising an eyebrow a little when she stopped short, pulling away. “It’s fine. Everything okay?” He asked, noticing the way her eyes didn’t meet his and the way she cradled something to her chest. It was after a moment he realised that it was a flower crown, a little battered and the flowers a little wilted. He knew immediately what it was. Alex’s flower crown, the one Phoenix had hurled at him when… Just thinking of what had happened made it feel like somebody was kicking him in the chest. He held out a hand. “I can fix that for you if you want,” he said softly, guilt settling into his stomach like a weight.

“No!” Kaylessa just about shouted, pulling the crown away from Phoenix as he reached for the crown. She stared down at it, now thinking about the question he asked her before offering to fix it. Wanting to bring up the reason she was upset, that she liked Alex and thought he liked her back as well, and how she’s hurt by what he did to the gift she gave to him. “Everything s not okay.” Kay bursted out after the pause of silence between the two. “I like Alex, and he did this! And I thought he liked me but then he hurts me by doing this. And then you ignore me by not answering the door.” She continued, no longer with the expression of sadness or gloom, but a little bit of annoyance and spark in her words. “Zada told me the truth, about how men are.”

Phoenix quickly withdrew his hand as Kay snapped at him. This wasn’t like Kay. He didn’t think he’d ever seen her so angry and upset in all the years he’d known her. He wasn’t even entirely sure he’d even seen her even the slightest bit angry. There was a moment where neither of them said anything… and then Kay began ranting. The minute she said Alex’s name, it felt like a punch to the gut. He found himself glancing away, not quite able to look her in the face. The thought of Kay liking Alex… it didn’t sit right with him, and he didn’t know why. Then she accused him of ignoring her, and he turned back. “Kay, I wasn’t home, that was why I didn’t answer the door.” He snapped, perhaps a little too harshly. He took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair, trying to get his thoughts in order. I thought he liked me. Why was that sentence weighing so heavily? Why did the whole rant feel too heavy, too uncomfortable?

“I should… probably be honest. I… I damaged the flower crown. I stole it from Alex during the meeting to tease him. Then… we argued, and I got angry, and I… threw it on the ground. I’m sorry. I was upset, and I wasn’t thinking straight. So… let me fix it?” He asked again. “And for what it’s worth, Kay, I know exactly how exactly how men are.” He said with a knowing smile. It was forced and it didn’t quite meet his eyes. He forced the smile to stay in place, even as it hurt.

Kay’s eyebrows stayed scrunched you as she had a look of annoyance on her face, and it didn’t seem to change much when Phoenix said he wasn’t home, if anything she just looked more pouty as she exhaled through her nose. He should have been home. She wanted to talk to him, it wasn’t until he spoke again that her expression actually changed. She was confused. So Alex didn’t hate her, but Phoenix destroyed the crown. And the two friends were shouting and mad at each other? Something she’s never seen or heard of between the two. “Why?” Kaylessa asked bluntly, not saying much else. Phoenix quickly asked her to clarify what she meant. “Why were you and Alex arguing? You two are like, super friends.” She asked again, curious about what was going on, moving on about the flower crown.

Phoenix just frowned as Kay asked why, before she elaborated that she wanted to know why they were arguing. He sighed, having to take a moment to get the words straight. To figure out what he wanted to say. To wonder if he should say anything. It was between him and Alex but… she probably deserved something in response to him damaging the crown.

“It’s… it’s complicated, Kay,” he eventually got out. “I… Alex is dealing with a lot right now, Kay. He’s hurting. And… I messed up during the attack, and that hurt him, and… I was only going to make things worse. So… we’re not really talking right now, I guess.” He explained, shrugging a little. He couldn’t look her in the eyes, and there was a lump in his throat that was slowly making it harder to breathe. “So are you going to let me fix that flower crown or not?” He asked, holding out his hand.

Kaylessa turned her head and had a confused look on her face as Phoenix said it was complicated. She never understood why people said that, always confused her. But as Phoenix continued about him messing up and then not talking, a frown came across her face. “Oh.” Is all Kay said, only sort of understanding what he was saying, but felt like she shouldn’t ask anymore.

When Phoenix spoke up again about fixing the crown a smile came across Kay’s face. “Yes!” She exclaimed and handed it to him. “But you keep it. Give it to him when you talk again.” She said with a smile and shine back on her face. “Wait.” Kaylessa said out loud before thinking for a second. “Does Alex like me then?” She asked, looking up and Phoenix, genuinely wondering and since the two were such close friends Kay thought he would obviously know. “He’s always giving me really nice compliments. Not like Rosie or Travis saying stuff, but ones that meant a lot…”

Phoenix managed a smile as she handed the crown back to him. The minute his hand touched it, the flowers began to bloom again, their colour returning and their leaves returning to strength. It only took another minute or two before the whole thing was back to its former glory, a few more brightly coloured flowers having grown around the frame. He went to hand it back to her, but she insisted he keep it and give it back to him. His smile slipped. She made it sound like that was a given. The way Alex had acted that night, Phoenix wasn’t sure he’d ever want to talk to Phoenix again. Her next question made his gaze drop to his feet, the lump in his throat threatening to close off his breathing.

“Kay… I’m not saying he doesn’t. But… Alex is like that with everyone. He’s always giving compliments and he flirts with everyone he talks to.” Everyone except me. “Just… I don’t know. He’s… I don’t think he’s in a place for anything like that right now, okay? I… I don’t want you getting hurt over this.” But what did he know? Alex had been like that with everyone but him. And now look where he was. Maybe Alex had never really cared for him at all and had only put up with him, desperately searching for an excuse to get rid of him.

Kaylessa stayed quiet as Phoenix spoke, not entirely sure how to feel with what he was saying, if it was true or not. He would never lie to her, but what if he was just wrong about Alex’s feelings towards her. She felt something special between the two. Maybe just like with the two arguing, Alex’s feelings were complicated and Phoenix didn’t understand them. Though before Kay and Phoenix could continue, Jaiden and Violet showed up. Kaylessa had a smile come across her face as she saw the two girls. “Hi!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxtell me what i'm gonna do now
xxxcause i feel a little lost without you
xxxi'm a little bit lost without you
xxxhear me, hear me out.
Kay's bright "hi!" was an abrupt change in tone, and Phoenix turned to see Jaiden and Violet were back. Their presence was a welcome distraction. He'd told Kay the truth and... he could tell she didn't want to believe it. He didn't want to see her get hurt, but if she wasn't going to listen to him, there wasn't much else he could do. Not now, at least. He didn't want to continue with this conversation either. All of the guilt, the anger, the pain of the past few days was sitting in his chest like a physical weight.

He forced a smile as Violet asked Kay if she was coming with them. "Yeah, we're going back to mine, just to relax for a while. I've got brownies and we're probably going to make some hot chocolate and find something dumb on TV to watch. You want to come?" He asked. He liked Kay, he really did, but the thought that she might keep asking questions and talking about Alex wasn't exactly one he was totally okay with. But he wasn't going to just walk away and not say anything. And besides, she might cheer Jaiden and Violet up a little. That would be worth it.

"I also have that tea you love," he said with a raised eyebrow and a smile. "Come on, it'll be nice." Being in groups like this made the absence of Alex feel all the worse. He had always just been there. It had been said more than once about them that they practically came as a pair. Phoenix could handle being alone. It was when it felt like he should have been there that the hole was felt. But what could he do? He wasn't going to risk making things worse. As much as he wanted to, he knew he wasn't the right person right now. So he'd just have to... wait and hope. Just like he always did.

"Come on then, let's go. It's too cold to be standing around like this," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets and heading back towards his apartment.


ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxwho's a heretic now
xxxam i making it sense
xxxhow can you make it stick
xxxwaiting till the beat comes out
Rosie just nodded as Neden said they were going to deal with the body. Rosie had learned that when it came to Neden, it was generally better not to ask too many questions. She didn't react, simply stared at her shoes as Trav asked them all to at least listen to him. And then Neden left, leaving the two of them alone for a few minutes.

"I'll tell them you did it to save me," she said quietly. "They'll... they'll respect that much. But I need you to tell me something, and I need you to tell me the truth," she said, sitting forward and holding his gaze. "Travis, how did he know I was a siren? He called me pretty little siren and knew to cover my mouth. I don't look like a siren from mythology."

But before Travis could answer, Markus came back in. He still looked deep in thought, and Rosie looked at Trav. Don't say anything. She got to her feet. "I think we could all do with tea, yes?" She said in her usual bright banner, brushing herself down and heading out to the kitchen. She pulled down a few mugs and put some water on to boil, leaning against the counter as she did so. Suddenly, things seemed much more dangerous. Things had felt... wrong since the first attack, but the feeling was worse than ever. Nothing like this had ever happened before. She knew that much. And she'd heard the stories, of towns like this that were destroyed and its surviving inhabitants forced to move and scattered across the world. She didn't want that to happen again. She wouldn't let it happen again, not if she could do anything to stop it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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KAYLESSA VALVEN
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outfit xxxxxxx hex; #FF4500
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xxx If I'm a bad person, you don't like me
xxx Well, I guess I'll make my own way
xxx It's a circle, a mean cycle
xxx Sometimes I wanna fuckin' scream or run away,
xxxI can't excite you anymore

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“I’ve been good, better now after talking to Phoenix. And he fixed the crown!” Kaylessa said in response to Jaiden asking how she was, and holding up the crown before putting it on her own head with a smile. Then Violet asked if she would be joining them, Kay turned her head not knowing what she was talking about as Phoenix hadn’t said yet, but right when she thought that Phoenix explained they were going back to his place. She was thinking of saying no and going back to show Zada the fixed crown and tell her what Phoenix had said, but then he brought up tea. “Oh! Yeah I’ll come! Sounds like fun.” She said smiling before he continued saying they should get of the cold. “It’s not that cold, last year was worse, the lake froze over night and Zada wasn’t too happy about it.”

Kaylessa skipped along side the group, often getting ahead and then skipping back to them. “So I heard that Markus had some new guest over recently, though Neden won’t let me meet them. Like, why? I love meeting new people. I even heard he’s a human like Travis, and sorta like me. Ish.” She brought up. She overheard it between Neden and Rosie but as soon as Kay started asking questions she was told not to worry about it and Rosie tried changing the subject. And Neden wouldn’t even tell her when Kay put on the fake frowny face Zada had taught her to try to use when told no. “It’s weird.”

As the group continued, Kaylessa led most of the conversations with the group, though as they got closer she grabbed onto Phoenix’s hand. “Hey Phoenix. I have a question.” She stopped skipping and matched his walking speed. “Should I get Alex something? Maybe flowers or something? There’s this grotto I found in the woods with these really cool brown flowers, they would match his eyes you know.” Kay asked with a smile. She wanted to get Alex something to show how much she matters to her and she loved making crafts with flowers. So many options and she was really interested in using the flowers from the grotto she found.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Kaylessa Valven Character Portrait: Violet Marsden Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Markus Valegood
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxno i've got nothing to lose
xxxexcept everything you are
xxxi'm not looking at the moon
xxxi'm staring at the stars.
Even if it had been the last thing he’d wanted to do at one stage, he was glad he brought the others round. It made him feel a little less alone for a while. It made things feel a little more normal. Made it a little easier to deal with. But it couldn’t last forever, and all too soon, he was alone again. He went back to his repetitive routine. Run, work, sleep. Repeat, repeat, rinse and repeat, over and over again. Sometimes he went to Markus’ to see Jaiden and Violet. He perfected his Opera Cake recipe at 3AM one morning. Abuela still came for her bread and pastries, and Phoenix pretended he was more okay than he actually was. She’d always been able to see right through him, and her sad smile as she left told him that that hadn’t changed. But it was either that or probably end up crying at work when he spoke to her, and he refused to give in to that.

Kay appeared to have forgiven him, at least. She still asked if he’d spoken to Alex again, and he’d force a smile and shake his head and say no, they were just too busy. The flower crown still sat on a bookshelf in Phoenix’s apartment, the only place he could find for it where it wasn’t going to be staring him in the face every time he walked into the apartment. She still seemed convinced that Alex had genuinely meant the flirting, and he wasn’t sure what else he could do or say to convince her otherwise. How could she not have known that he was like that with everyone? Was it because she’d only ever really seen him with Phoenix, and he had never been like that with him? Or did she just really believe that he was different with her? He’d told her to bring him the brown flowers she mentioned. Maybe the flowers might make him smile and it would be worth it.

He didn’t want to leave his apartment, but his cupboards and fridge were so low that he really needed to get groceries. Travis always stayed open a little later to serve the night-dwellers, which meant that Phoenix was able to call in after work. Travis was pleasant as always, but Phoenix wasn’t particularly in the mood for a chat. He took his groceries and left again.

There was a strange energy in the air as he walked back to his apartment. He couldn’t explain it, but it was… oddly familiar, and not in a good way. It was a tension, as if something bad was about to happen.

He’d just gotten back into his apartment and put the groceries down on the counter when he heard the first scream. Something told him to slam the door and lock it, told him to hide. But instead, he sprinted back down the stairs, back into town. The hunters were back. He met one almost at his door, but before he could react, a vampire appeared from nowhere and tackled the hunter, their teeth already in the hunter’s neck. Phoenix turned and ran, running back towards town.

He didn’t expect to see Abuela there. He wasn’t, however, surprised to see her punch a hunter who was at least a foot taller than her in the face and knee him in the groin. “Abuela! Where’s Alex?” He called. He didn’t give a damn about their fight, he needed to make sure he was safe. He hadn’t dealt well with the first attack, so if they were going to be attacked again, he had to try and help. “He went to the graveyard!” Abuela called back, and Phoenix took off running again, avoiding the hunters as best he could.


ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxi'd sit alone and watch your light
xxxmy only friend through teenage nights
xxxand everything i had to know
xxxi heard on the radio
Rosie and Travis excused themselves from Markus'. He insisted on walking her home to make sure she got home safe. And it was there that he told her the truth of why the hunter had known who she was. She wasn't exactly happy about it, but it did make sense at least. It was an answer.

The next few days were quiet. Too quiet. Neden and Travis stayed passing on the information from the patrols, and everything was quiet. Considering they'd captured and killed one of the hunters, Rosie knew that quiet was certainly not a good thing. It was a matter of time before they retaliated. And they needed to be prepared. The patrols got bigger and patrolled for longer. She and a few of the other teachers stayed after hours to make sure the kids who stayed late got home safe, walking or driving them home themselves if needed. They were preparing for an attack, if they couldn't make it obvious.

So when she heard the screaming start from town, she knew exactly what it was. She'd stayed after school to make sure the drama kids got home from rehearsal safe. When they'd announced they were doing a production of Macbeth, Rosie had gotten roped in as director. It was turning out better than she'd imagined, but that afternoon, she hadn't been able to focus on any of it. She was just getting her stuff ready to leave when the screaming started. She and the others had prepared for this. Their first priority was to get the kids home safely.

She and half a dozen sophomores had ended up too close to the centre of town, where the worst of the attacks seem to be concentrated. She'd decided that it wasn't worth getting them all home, and instead was going to bring them back to hers. There was enough room and she could keep them safe. And then a hunter ambushed them. Her kids were ready to fight, but not as ready as Rosie. He hadn't expected her to take flight and kick him in the face from the air. But he recovered quickly and grabbed her ankles, yanking them towards her. She leaned into it and drove the force of her weight into it, knocking him out. She hit the ground and yelled for her students to run. And they ran, just like she'd told them to. They were kids. They didn't need to fight this fight, they needed to be safe. She got to her feet and started following them, catching up to them easily. She was going to protect these kids, no matter what. No matter what she had to do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Neden Isimir
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A l e x Garcia

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Outfit - #3a0a4d
Without Phoenix, Alex was lonely. It wasn’t as if he’d shut himself up and away from the world, but everywhere he went, everyone he saw, it all reminded him of Phoenix and how easily their entire friendship had fallen apart. The entire town reminded him of all the time they’d spent together, and when his father called to try to convince Alex (and Abuela, surprisingly enough) to move in with him to escape the hunters, Alex might have done it if Abuela hadn’t stubbornly refused. He wasn’t going to leave her alone. Besides, Greythorne was their home. Alex just didn’t feel safe anymore, and he wasn’t so sure he ever would. His dreams were extremely troubling, and it was becoming more difficult to interpret them by the day. He didn’t know if it was the spirits, or if it was him, but he didn’t understand what he was seeing, even if the contents of the visions were largely the same every night.

He’d decided to put his fear aside and seek out some clarity, but he wasn’t about to go out alone, not to the graveyard, and certainly not at night. The dark made him uncomfortable now, so he was glad to have someone to be there with him, even if he and Neden weren’t particularly close. They were mostly just there to step in if things went horribly wrong, and to keep Alex from feeling so… Nervous.

Really, everything about necromancy had made Alex nervous since his first real encounter with what he could do. He tried to push his childhood failures from his mind as he set up for what he was attempting; this would be different. It had to be. He could stay calm this time. He could control it. He didn’t see any other option.

The setup was easy enough: pick a spot he liked, light the candles, double check that everything was there. ”That should be everything…” He muttered, more to himself than anything. He sat down on the ground, legs crossed, and leaned back against a weather-worn gravestone, and shot Neden a small, and completely fake, smile, ”I’m not really sure what any of this is supposed to look like, but I’ll probably be fine. So just... “ He shrugged, ”Sit tight.”

He had two wine glasses and a dark red wine set in front of him. Getting the spirits of the dead to come and grant him a clearer vision should be easy enough. He filled both glasses, and set one aside; he drank his own glass in one go, and sat back to wait. He crossed his arms in front of him, to keep from fidgeting, and closed his eyes. The worst part was the waiting, and he began to think he hadn’t done enough, the spirits could be so difficult to please. So he grabbed the bottle and began to drink directly from it for a time, then waited a while more. He was just about to drink a little more when he heard a sound like a distant church bell ringing. He shot a glance at Neden, then set the bottle aside to wait.

It took a few minutes, and there were more spirits than he expected, but Alex was relieved that it seemed to have worked. As the group of spirits settled in a semi-circle around him, Alex felt compelled to stand, though he suddenly felt a little lightheaded as he did. He felt icy hands grabbing him; pushing and pulling him until he was surrounded. He felt his heart begin to race, but he closed his eyes and suddenly felt very, very tired.

When he opened his eyes, he was laying in a bed of wildflowers. The moon was hung impossibly low in the sky, and he thought, for a moment, that if he tried, he could reach out and touch it. He didn’t have time to be mesmerized, however, because he started to hear the sound of screaming. Someone was scared. Terrified. The flowers around him began to die; slowly, at first, and then faster, almost too quickly to take in. He sat up, and then quickly stood; he was in a field of flowers, and they were rapidly dying around him in all directions. He started walking, and then a sense of dread and desperation gripped him, and he broke out in a sprint, though he didn’t seem able to actually go anywhere. Suddenly, and all at once, he came upon a horrible scene.

It was eerily familiar, just like what he often saw in his nightmares; but he wasn’t looking at himself laying on the ground. He knelt down in the already-cold blood that was quickly expanding from the body, and seemed to be the source of whatever was killing the flowers. He knew who it was, but he didn’t want to believe it. It didn’t help that nothing was clear, here. Everything seemed so hazy. As he reached out, the entire scene changed. He was kneeling in a dark alley, Phoenix’s lifeless face staring up at him, even as insects and animals began to claim him. Suddenly, he heard his own voice echoing above him You’re a coward, you’re a coward, you’re a coward Over and over again, even as he grabbed onto Phoenix’s shoulders, as he shook his friend. Phoenix was so cold, and Alex watched in horror as his body began to fade away like smoke in the wind. He started to scramble away as he just heard the word coward repeated again and again.

”No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. This couldn’t happen. He heard the screaming again, it sounded louder this time. He felt like he was going to be sick. Darkness began to engulf him, or maybe he’d just closed his eyes. He needed to wake up. He wanted this to end.

He woke up when he felt his head hit the ground, and quickly scrambled to his knees to empty the contents of his stomach. In the moonlight, he swore the liquid looked like blood.

As he stood, he realized that the screaming was real. What was happening? He didn’t know if Neden was speaking or not; he didn’t hear anything beside the screaming and his own thoughts, but he managed to say, ”I-I’m fine. You should probably…” He gestured vaguely towards the town, he was desperately trying to reel in his thoughts, trying to make sense of everything he’d just seen, and what he was hearing, and what he knew to be true. They were back. He needed to find Phoenix.

He stood up and started to run, he hoped he wasn’t too late. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to stop it, but he at least needed to be there. He couldn’t stomach the thought of Phoenix being all alone, scared and in pain. Something in his gut told him that he didn’t have much time, and he didn’t even know where he was going, but he didn’t have enough time to really consider a plan. He didn’t even see the hunter until they were right there, and he found himself stumbling over an old footstone when he tried to change direction and run away. He suddenly felt very defeated, as if even trying to find Phoenix had been pointless anyway. Alex couldn’t even protect himself, how was he supposed to save anyone else?

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxno i've got nothing to lose
xxxexcept everything you are
xxxi'm not looking at the moon
xxxi'm staring at the stars.
The screaming only seemed to get worse as Phoenix sprinted through town, heading towards the graveyard. This attack seemed to be worse than the last. Or maybe it just seemed that way, maybe their own ghosts from that night were still lingering in their brain. He couldn’t let it happen again, he wouldn’t let it happen again. He didn’t care what it took. He wasn’t going to let anything happen to Alex.

A hunter stepped into his path, something dangerous gleaming in his hand. Phoenix didn’t think, didn’t stop to examine what it was. He reacted instinctively and punched the man in the face, hearing a satisfying crunching sound. The man cried out and dropped the gun. Phoenix drove an elbow into his stomach for good measure, before smacking the man across the head with the gun. The hunter sank to the ground, and Phoenix hurled the gun as far away from the unconscious body as he could. Another scream, sounding too close. Phoenix took into a sprint again. It wasn’t far now, he could see the shadows of the headstones between the trees.

Getting to the graveyard was one thing, finding Alex among the rows of headstones would be another. But Phoenix’s gut told him where to start searching. He’d been here once or twice with Alex and Abuela, knew roughly where to find it. There was only one reason Alex would come to the graveyard, only one person’s grave he was interested in.

Phoenix saw the hunter first. Saw the glint of a silver knife, felt his shoulder burn with the memory. And then he saw Alex, stumbling over a foot stone-

And then there was that knife, moving as if in slow motion-

And Phoenix was running, throwing himself between the hunter and Alex. Vines wrapped around the hunter’s hand, but the woman wasn’t phased, simply yanked her hand free-

And embedded the knife between two of Phoenix’s ribs. He cried out, he couldn’t stop himself, all he could feel or focus on was the pain, the burning pain. She wrenched the knife out, moments before vines wrapped around her head and neck and twisted, snapping her neck. Phoenix hadn’t meant to do that, but everything seemed to be going into overdrive now, fighting to protect him.

He looked dumbly down at the wound, where one hand was already pressing to it, red seeping through his fingers. And then looked back at Alex. “I’m sorry-” he choked out, his knees giving way. He instinctively reached out, clung to Alex to hold himself up. “I’m so sorry.”