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greythorne

Greythorne

2 INK

a part of greythorne, by partially-stars.

A small town located somewhere in British Columbia which is known as a safe place for supernatural creatures of all kinds.

partially-stars holds sovereignty over Greythorne, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

3,792 readers have been here.

Setting

A small town located in BC, Canada, which is notoriously difficult to find and a safe haven for all supernaturals.
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Greythorne

A small town located somewhere in British Columbia which is known as a safe place for supernatural creatures of all kinds.

Minimap

Greythorne is a part of greythorne.

16 Characters Here

Phoenix Woods [120] "this thing could get the better of us if we let it."
Alex Garcia [115] "I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been."
Rosie Thompson [104] "wish I could see what it's like to be the blood in my veins."
Zada min Albahr [100] I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.
Neden Isimir [96] "Cause I could touch a hundred thousand souls, but none of them would ever feel like home."
Travis Graveson [95] "We all regrets, I'm willing to die to make up for mine."
Kaylessa Valven [80] "Happiness and kindness. The true currencies of our worlds."
Jaiden Price [68] "A set of empty bones."
Trisstana Glasser [67] "The only thing you can trust, is the flow of a river."
Violet Marsden [44] (Deceased...Again.)

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir
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0000Neden0Isimir 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000|Rosie0 Thompson

Angel | Attirex|x#a39d9d 0000000000000000000000000000000000Siren | Attire |x #cc0460

Image000000000000000000000000000000 Image




To say that the past few weeks had been some of the most stressful days in their life, would have been an understatement. Neden had been given a task unlike any other than they ever had in their entire existence. While it wasn't the worst, given the exact circumstances involving it, that didn't stop it from leaving a bitter taste in their mouth. This entire ordeal, would involve them to go into and behind enemy lines, directly collecting information and resources for this trial they'd be having for Travis. Which, in and of itself was already hard enough. Neden had never once needed to do something along this nature, and while it was an odd feeling, they couldn't deny a part of them was curious for what it would be like once it came to pass. But on the other hand, the more they focused on it, Neden could feel a pit form in their stomach whenever they thought about it. But after they gathered their things, had a small, last conversation with both Evelyn and Rosie, Neden parted ways and left Greythorne once more. But with an entirely different motive than their previous adventure outside of the town.

Tracking down and locating certain members and bases for the Branded weren't even an issue for Neden. From their memories of passed experiences, they knew where to look. Who to go for, and what to ask without arousing any suspicions upon themself or anyone else for that matter. It was almost as if deeply buried, previous memories and instincts took over the entire time that Neden was searching for memories. In fact, Neden couldn't help but realize this was almost like their days when they were a part of the Branded, all those years ago. Sneaking behind enemy lines, obtaining information, and then eventually going back to report their findings. As easy as it was to do, the reality of their past actions came rushing back in bursts. Which often led to constant nightmares and night-terrors when they slept while they traveled about, to even small bouts of panic attacks when certain situations started to become too much for them. But Neden carried on. They had a task at hand to complete. A whole town of supernaturals were relying on them, Neden couldn't let them down. No matter how easy it may have been to turn back and forget the whole mess. Or how easy it would have been to leave Travis high and dry, fending for himself-They made a promise. That they'd help with this trial. Not just to Travis. Or Evelyn, but Rosie as well. And everyone else. If the angel was being honest with themself, thinking about letting down Rosie, hurt them the most, out of all of them. Something Nenden didn't want to think about. It was more than just letting her down with the trial, more than betraying their word to her. But they didn't like focusing on the why behind it. This wasn't about them, never was.




It was only once Neden had rounded up all the information that they knew they needed, that they had decided to head back to Greythorne. Even though Neden still had three days before the trial, they wanted to get back. Clear their head, and then work on everything that would come afterwards. But what Neden had come across on their way back to the small town, or more precisely, who they ran into, had caused a short delay in getting back. It wasn't a face that Neden had ever expected to see ever again, not since that day. The day where their entire existence had become what it is now. When they were given a choice, forget a mortal, or be cast down to earth. Well, by now it was all too obvious what their choice was all those years ago.

To say that they weren't ready to confront this exact 'demon from their past' well, Neden wasn't sure what left more of a bitter taste in their mouth. The truth they were being forced to face once more, or the taste of iron and blood that they had tasted on their tongue during the conflict. All that they knew, was that they were letting him go. But not before making sure he knew what kind of hell Neden had gone through, partially because of him. While it would have been so easy to have killed him, seeing as only a Celestial being can kill another one. Would have been so easy, they thought over and over again as they stood over the blonde male. His blue eyes stared up into Neden's hazel eyes as they stared back at him. Towering over him as a sword was clasped tightly in their hand. Would be so easy, they repeated over again in their mind. All Neden remembered from that encounter, was a soft and gentle voice in their ear telling them that it wasn't worth it. Killing him like that, wouldn't solve anything. It wouldn't bring Sarah back, nor Markus, or Violet. Hating him any more would only bring them down a dark path further, and if they continued, there'd be no coming back from it...




Neden had closed their eyes as they stared down at him, and the next moment they opened their eyes. To see above them, nothing more than the circulating ceiling fan of the small bedroom back in the home that they called their own. It had been about two days since they had gotten back into Greythorne, keeping their initial presence unknown before it would be the next morning and the trial would begin. Neden let out a soft sigh as they slowly sat up, their body still aching from the few previous days. Bruising covered their body in multiple areas, a few scattered cuts and bruises covered their face, but it wasn't terribly worrisome. But it would be rather obvious that they had delt with something during their time outside of Greythorne.

The angel slowly began to get dressed in a fresh set of clothes when what sounded like something hitting the glass of the window. Neden stopped for a moment, gripping the cane that they kept next to the bed. While they didn't have a reason to continue using it anymore, as their leg had since long healed by now, they had it refurbished into a hidden sabre. The blade residing within the length of the cane. With a single flick of a finger, the top hand grip could pop off, and be pulled out to reveal a long, thin blade. Looking back over to the window, Neden had walked over slowly, cane still gripped in their hand.

They would have entirely overlooked it, if they hadn't heard something coming from the bushes and what sounded like pained animal sounds. The angel sighed and exited the home, walking over to the back of the house where they heard the sounds coming from. Once rounding the house, Neden saw what it was. A small, black crow, was on the ground. With what seemed like metal chains around both feet. Their brows furrowed and within seconds, Neden had helped free the creature from its confines. "There ya go, little guy.." they said softly. The crow looked up at the angel with a tilted head, before letting out a soft caw. With further inspection, Neden noted that the bird seemed to have a slightly injured wing. Scooping the avian up, they placed him gently on their right shoulder. "You can stay up there, and I'll figure out how to help with that wing, alright?" they gave the crow a small smile. "I know what its like to have your wings...well...'clipped', shall we say? I'll find a way to get you right as rain again, lil' fella-" Neden stopped as they heard the familiar sound of their phone going off.

With furrowed brows, Neden checked and saw that it was Rosie, asking if they could talk. For a moment, immense panic filtered through them. Had something bad happened? Or were they just over thinking things again? Probably the latter, if they had to guess. Knowing Rosie, she'd be there within a few short moments, quickly sending a 'Sure! Be there in a bit!' text, Neden began the walk back to the meeting place within the woods...




It didn't take very long before Neden had arrived at the meeting spot, leaning against a few trees as they waited for Rosie to arrive. Occasionally petting the crow that had taken up temporary residence on their shoulder. It was only when the sound of encroaching footsteps that Neden finally spoke up once more, "...Rosie? Is that-" before they even finished, they saw the all too familiar form of Rosie walking over to them. A genuine smile overtook them, their expression was incredibly soft as they stepped forward a few feet before stopping. "Everything okay, Rosie? I got here as soon as I could." they asked softly, combing their fingers through their once again platinum blond, almost white hair.

Rosie’s face broke into what felt like the first genuine smile in a while as she saw Neden. And then she got a proper look at Neden, and her expression faltered for a second. “Yeah I’m fine, just wanted to check in. Jesus Christ Neden, what happened to you?” She asked. “Did the hunters catch you?” She was glad that Neden had at least made it back safe, but she couldn’t help but wonder what exactly they’d been up to while they were gone.

Neden returned that all too familiar smile with one of their own for a moment. Their expression changing for a moment as their brows furrowed, "Is it the hair? It's the hair, isn't it?" they questioned, combing their hair once more, with a chuckle at their lame attempt at a joke. "But..really, no. It...It wasn't anyone from the Branded." they began, clearing their throat.

They looked around for a moment, eyes carefully scanning around the two of them. "Walk with me…" they said softly, before nodding with their head for a moment before they began to walk. "I did meet with some Hunters though...But, it's fine. I took care of it all. It was just...Weird. being on...that side again." Neden stopped for a moment before taking a deep breath, "I didn't realize how fucking terrible that life was...Until now. Which is why I'm more than happy to say that...I think I have enough of a defense for...You Know Who."

Rosie laughed and just shook her head slightly as Neden made the joke about their hair. She was glad at least to hear that they hadn’t been caught by the Branded. They began to walk slowly, Rosie with her hands in her pockets. She genuinely had no idea what that must have been like, interacting with hunters after all this time. Weird seemed like an understatement, but Rosie wasn’t going to press or comment on that. That wasn’t why they were here. She sighed with relief as Neden confirmed that they had a defence for Trav. “God, Neden, he’s not Voldemort,” she joked, but it felt a little forced. “Evelyn says she’s got something as well, something she thinks should really help. I can only hope it’s enough to convince everyone. They’re… they’re really angry. Not sure I can blame them.”

Neden chuckled at Rosie's retort for their nickname for Travis. "You're entirely right...Too much hair….and a nose." They nervously chuckled once more, before composing themself as matters became serious again. Neden sighed with relief when Rosie confirmed that Evelyn had found something at the very least on her end. "Good. Good, I...I was worried about that actually, I-" it was only at the mention of Evelyn and Travis, that the crow that had been perched on their shoulder seemed to stir awake. But not before pecking the angel's cheek, "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Neden bit back, which caused the Crow to retort back with some chirps of its own. Neden shook their head, "Well I'm not fluent in Avian, I'm sorry-" the Crow cawed once more at Neden, immediately shutting them up as they rolled their eyes, "Yeah fuck you too."They grumbled.

Neden blinked and looked back at Rosie, chuckling nervously for a moment, "Sorry, new guy here and... Haven't really figured out what his issue is just yet. But he won't be too much of a distraction, promise." They gave her a reassuring smile, "Promised you all I'd have something when I came back, and I think I do...At the very least we have a fighting chance now. I promise you that, Rosie.." their expression softened tremendously for a moment, their eyes scanning over Rosie for a moment, before stepping forwards and giving the shorter woman a tight hug. If Neden was being honest, they missed her terribly. Rosie seemed to be the only real friend they still had in this town, and they'd be lying if they said they weren't scared of losing her too. "I missed you, Rosie…" Neden said softly, before pulling a bit away from the hug.

Rosie laughed as Neden and the crow on their shoulder seemed to engage in some sort of stand off. Rosie couldn’t say she’d seen Neden with the crow before, but she also couldn’t say she was surprised. Neden had a habit of collecting the weird and wonderful creatures around them as friends, so a surprisingly animated crow was just another creature to add to that last. Although Rosie swore there was something almost familiar about that crow, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

“I dunno, if things go wrong, we could use him as some sort of distraction,” she joked as Neden promised he wouldn’t interfere. She swallowed and nodded as Neden promised that they had a fighting chance. Rosie hadn’t realised how much she’d needed that hug until Neden already had their arms around her. She somehow managed to maintain her composure, but she wasn’t quite sure how. “I missed you too, Neden. It’s been boring without you around the place,” she added with a wry smile, before sighing. “It’s nearly time. I should probably go, make sure everything’s set up and I’ve got everything prepared.”

Neden grinned back at their friend as they looked down at her, "Oh of course it was boring without me." they joked, before sighing and nodding their head in agreeance. Realizing they'd have just roughly under a few hours to prepare everything, it all began to close in around them. Their chest tightened a bit, and their throat and mouth went dry. Neden simply nodded again, "I'll be there soon and, it'll be okay. We got this." the angel gently patted Rosie's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze before they turned and began to walk back home before getting their supplies and everything they'd need for this trial. It was going to be a literal trial of life and death, and they'd be damned if they didn't try.





Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Zoe Peña Character Portrait: Trisstana Glasser
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ZADA min ALBAHR
zzzzzoutfit - #78B0AD


her liquid gaze held fated depths, her full lips invited touch. there was power, too, in her air of stillness: she might have been an Archangel, something winged and terrible come to rest.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

With Triss back in her own body, she and Zada were more than happy to go back to Zada’s home to celebrate. The next morning, Triss found a letter as Zada sat on the couch, calmly sipping a cup of tea. Zada asked Trisstana to read it, and the nixie sprawled across the couch to rest her head on Zada’s lap.

Some hunter was to be put to trial. Zada didn’t really care, they could all rot as far as she was concerned. Still, she was a little curious. ”Anyone you know?” It was half joke, half serious. If the person on trial was anyone who’d ever hurt Trisstana, she’d gladly go to watch them suffer. But when Triss said that name, Travis Graveson, Zada sat up a little straighter and reached for the paper in Trisstana’s hand.

”Why would he come back here…?” She mused. Most of the town wanted him dead on the basis of being a hunter, he’d betrayed all of them, and he’d hurt Rosie in the process. Zada decided then that she was going to be at that trial.

When the day came, she was ready. A large part of her wanted to see him suffer, not just die. Zada didn’t believe in second chances for crimes like his, how could he make up for the lives the town had lost? He couldn’t. But she glanced over at Triss before rolling out of bed, and Zada wished her lover could have seen the town before the attacks. It had been so vibrant and wonderful before, but humans came in and ruined it all. She dressed, went to get breakfast started, and when she heard Triss rummaging around in the spare room Zada went to go check on the other woman. ”New dress?” She asked, referencing the one laid out in the room. Zada raised an eyebrow at the explanation, and followed it with, ”Would you like tea, or coffee?”

Later, as they sat at the table, Zada looked over at Triss, ”I’m going to the trial today. I am interested in seeing what becomes of Mr. Graveson.” She tilted her head ever-so-slightly to the side, as if to manually indicate that she was going to ask a question, ”Were you interested in joining me? I know attending the trial of a man you’ve not met isn’t exciting, so if you had other plans I’d understand.”

Genuinely, she wouldn’t have been upset if Trisstana chose not to go, though she had no clue what she’d do if she didn’t.





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ZOE PEÑA
zoutfit - #6E9ECF


she let herself drift along the meanders of melancholy, her ear attuned to the music of harps echoing over lakes, to all the songs of dying swans, to all the falling leaves,
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Zoe had spent most of her time over the past few weeks settling into her life above the flower shop. She loved it there, felt truly at peace among the different plants. They’d only recently opened back up for business, and every day seemed like an adventure. Zoe was meeting new people every day, it seemed, and had gotten to the point where she’d started to recognize familiar faces. Something about all of it was really empowering to her.

She knew there was some kind of trial, but she wasn’t invested. She hadn’t been in town long enough to know what was big or important; of course, hunters were a big deal, but Zoe couldn’t fathom the thought that they hadn’t had to deal with them before. She preferred to spend her day much like she’d been spending all her days lately: tending to, and getting to know the plants that were quickly sprawling through the ground floor of the shop. She’d started learning how plants almost have personalities, and she certainly had more to talk about with Phoenix anymore.

There was a sort of lingering magic there, in the flower shop. Not the kind that helped plants grow, as much as Zoe may have wished for that, but the sort of magic that made you feel calmer, more real. She figured that Aurora must have been a special person, for her magic to still have that effect on the building after her death. Zoe wondered, sometimes, if it was alright that she was there. She’d thought about whether or not she was interrupting something and had considered asking Alex for some guidance there, but she figured he wouldn’t be much help, so she hadn’t bothered.

Zoe saved a lot of watering time by using her powers; a gentle mist often wafted across the shop in the mornings, and when necessary she’d hit other plants again later in the day. Zoe was anticipating Jaiden coming by, she often did. They’d been spending even more time together since Zoe moved into the apartment above the flower shop, and she looked forward to it in earnest.

So when she heard the door open, Zoe turned around with a bright grin to see Jaiden, ”Good morning!” She said, chipper as ever. The two got to working, chatting idly as they went. The time she spend with Jaiden had quickly been shaping up to be the best parts of her days.

”Thanks again,” She said as they went, ”You know, for all of this. Taking a chance on me, being such a good friend, coming by to help. It all means so much.” Zoe was sure Jaiden was sick and tired of her thanks by now, but she didn’t know how else to express how grateful she was. Truly, this had been one of the most fulfilling experiences of her life, being able to do something for herself that she could be proud of, totally separate from her family name and expectations. How do you properly thank someone for that? She wasn’t sure.





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ALEX GARCIA
zzzzoutfit - #3A0A4D


but the past is a closed door, and she can’t see any future. maybe she’ll go on from day to day and year to year until she simply withers, folds in on herself, shrivels up like an old spider.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
There was a sort of tension, the morning after the swap, when Alex wasn’t sure he was going to wake up in his own body or somebody else’s, so when he woke up in that familiar cocoon of blankets he tended to make on stressful nights, he felt more relieved than even the night he’d nearly died. True to his word, he’d gone straight to his abuela’s house, came home with a whole stack of books. Ancient things, some of them, hand-written and hardly any of it in English. He put long hours into studying, phone calls and visits with Abuela. He hadn’t poured himself into something like that since he first started collecting rocks and crystals.

He didn’t particularly enjoy it; he’d always struggled with the nature of his abilities, they scared him. He knew it was long past time he learned to properly utilize them, though.

When they’d found the note about the trial, Alex wasn’t initially sure what to think. Yeah, Travis had been a hunter, but Alex also remembered him fighting hunters at the last attack. Ultimately, like with many things Alex felt conflicted about, Alex decided to just stay out of it and hope it resolved itself.

There was one other thing weighing on Alex’s mind: the flower shop. Or, rather, the person who used to own it. Jaiden had fixed the place up, and nearly every day Alex saw the building, felt almost compelled to go inside, see how the place had changed. He’d spent a lot of time there before Rory had died, but that felt a lifetime away now. Sometimes he wondered if he would’ve gone with her to the festival like she wanted, if things would have been different. He was perfectly happy with Phoenix, but he felt an immense sense of guilt for Aurora’s death. If he’d just listened and been careful…

Thinking like that wasn’t helpful, though.

Instead, he was sitting at the table leafing through one of many books he’d borrowed that probably should have fallen apart years ago. He’d not been sleeping much lately. He’d been having nearly the same dream every night, and he was trying to figure out just what that might mean. Going to someone and saying “hey, I had a nightmare, something bad is going to happen.” historically didn’t work out very well, though Rosie might be more willing to listen than people had in the past.

He shut the book and sighed loudly, hoping to catch Phoenix’s attention without having to ask for it. ”I was thinking,” He called out, as if vaguely hoping he’d be told his idea was a bad one, ”I think I’m gonna head over to the flower shop today, say hi.” He paused for a second, ”I, uh, I’m interested in seeing what Jaiden’s done with the place… You know?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Trisstana Glasser Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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And with a smile like an ocean wave
You catapult around the Sun
To meet me at the other side
To tell me that you've found it fun

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxOutfit ║ Hex: #D4AF37

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After the Zada and Triss got back home, the two spent the rest of the day close to each other, starting with a much needed bath and then embracing each other before falling asleep.

The next morning, Trisstana was relieved to wake up and see she was still in her own body, that Seterah hadn’t gone back on her word. She booped Zada on the nose as she said she was hungry and quickly got out of bed and headed into the kitchen, grabbing a pastry out of the cupboard, by this time Zada was already behind her making herself some tea. As Triss was about to follow Zada to the couch, she noticed some envelope on the ground addressed to her and Zada. “Hey Seafish, some letter here. For us.” She said as she picked it up and used one of her claws to cut the top of it open cleanly. Zada beckoned Triss over as she asked the nixie to read it.

As Triss got to the couch, she laid her head down in Zada’s lap and her legs stretched across the rest of it, one hanging off the edge and the other ending up on the opposite arm of the couch. “Hmm… some trial going on in two weeks. For a hunter!” Her voice popped as she scanned the letter and focused on some points more than others. “Oh Rosie is in here too, that’s the siren you’re friends with right? I guess she’s in charge of it.” She continued to talk, reading more of the letter to herself and giving the short and important parts to Zada.

Trisstana was a bit confused when Zada asked if the hunter was anyone she knew, obviously she didn’t know any hunters by name, so how would she know the one in the letter. “Uh, oh! Here it is. Travis Graveson? Sounds like a hunter name.” Triss could barely get the name out of her mouth before Zada snatched the letter and read it herself, leaving Triss just staring up at her partner. She listened carefully as she ate her pasty as Zada told Triss about this hunter, not having any nice things to say about him.


The next few weeks went by smoothly, the two of them mostly went out for some time in the lake or when Zada needed to pick up some things and Trisstana would follow along. Back at the house Triss tended to either staying close to Zada’s side or doing the occasional cleaning around the house. When the day of the trial finally came, Zada seemed prepared and ready to go. Zada looked over and gave Triss a smile before getting out of bed and mentioning breakfast, Triss just nodded and headed into the bathroom to start getting ready.

When Triss exited the bathroom she went over to the closet to pick something out, but then heard a noise like something flopping down on the bed and turned around to see what it was. One the bed was the outfit she wore when she made the deal with Seterah. This spooked her for a second as she stumbled into the dresser and made some noise. Zada quickly came in, presumably to see what the noise was about, and asked about the dress. “Uh… yeah. Just got it recently from the delivery store.” Trisstana felt bad for lying to Zada, something she’d never done before, but wasn’t sure what else to say. Zada seemed to leave the dress at that as she asked what she would like. “Tea would be fine.”

Trisstana sat at the table in the dress Seterah had dropped off, obviously wanting her to wear it and be reminded of her deal. Thankfully Zada quickly spoke up and took Triss’ mind away from the demon. She turned to look at her partner as she spoke and asked her if she would be interested in joining. “I have no other plans seafish.” She said shortly, as she finished her tea and went to put her now empty cup in the sink. "Is it soon?"

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Many men, many, many, many, many men
Wish death 'pon me
Lord I don't cry no more
Don't look to the sky no more
Have mercy on me

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Outfit ║ Hex: #8B4513

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Travis’ rest wasn’t completely uninterrupted, too many nerves going on from the trial as well as what had happened the previous night with Evelyn at the cemetery; his mind was a mess. He woke up early before the sun could fully rise, but just stayed in the room for a bit. Usually when he woke up he’d go downstairs to take his mind off things, but knew he would need all the energy he could use to get through today and what all would happen. Trav grabbed some nicer looking clothes he had planned to wear and headed to the guest bathroom to get ready, hanging up the jacket to let the steam from the shower get out any wrinkles he might have missed.

As Trav was getting ready he heard some noise and assumed it was Rosie and quickly threw his shirt on and fastened his belt before walking out. “Hey Rosie, I wa-” He began talking but was interrupted when the door shut. Either Rosie was ignoring him or just didn’t hear him before she left. He let out a sigh as he walked back into the bathroom to finish up getting ready.

Shortly after fixing his hair and made himself a bit more presentable, Travis headed back into the living room and into the kitchen to get himself some breakfast. It was more of a habit than any actual hunger for something to eat. Travis quickly pulled a bowl and a box of Apple Jacks out of the cupboard and a carton of milk out of the fridge. He whistled a tune to himself as he poured the milk into the bowl and then the cereal before leaning on the kitchen island as he began to eat.

Not before he got two bites into his food there was a knock on the door and Travis leaned over to see who it was through the window, and was relieved it was someone he knew, though felt a bit awkward seeing it was Eve. “Door’s unlocked!” He said loudly, though not sure how much of it was understandable as he said with it with a mouth full of food. “Sorry, was mid bite.” He said as Evelyn opened the door and walked in.

“You know… you don’t have to eat shit like that anymore. Just some of the good stuff will keep you going.” Evelyn teased Trav with a smile as she walked over, getting herself some breakfast of her own before pulling up a stole. “Where’s Rosie at? She still getting ready?” She asked. Travis let out a chuckle as he swallowed another bite. “First off, it’s just what I do, still adjusting to all of this, sorry I’m not pure like you yet.” He said with a smirk, and then letting out a sigh. “I think she left to go somewhere. I tried to catch her before she left, but not sure if she didn’t hear me, or didn’t want to talk to me. We haven't really talked much since you and Neden left. She’s been focused on this trial.” He said, before finishing his cereal and tilting the bowl up to drink the milk that was left.

“Speaking of which Eve, about last night…” Travis started to talk, but could tell Evelyn was about to interrupt him. “Wait, let me finish please,” He quickly said cutting her off before she could speak. “Sorry if I stepped over a boundary. Not entirely sure what came over me.” He continued, looking across over at Evelyn. “It’s fine, Trav. I didn’t mind honestly.” She said with a smirk as she got up to place her dishes in the sink. Travis got up quickly and helped her, taking the dish out of her hand gently, saying he would deal with it and walking up beside her.

It wasn’t long until the front door opened and Rosie and Neden walked, Travis shot them a wave and a smile. “Morning to you both.” He said as he walked away from Evelyn be back to the counter as they made their way in and the three of them spoke for a moment, Travis excused himself for a moment, saying he had to get his jacket form the room and he would be right back, leaving the three to talk among themselves.

“Hey Rosie, before we leave. Can I talk to you?” Travis asked as they spoke about getting ready to go. “Just us two.” He added on at the end. Rosie agreed after the two of them headed into her master bedroom to get some privacy to speak.

Travis shut the door gently as Rosie entered the room, her taking a seat on the edge of the bed. Travis let out a sign and rubbed his hands together anxiously and nervously before speaking. “I just, want to say Rosie. Don’t do anything just for me.” He said shortly. Taking a moment to pause, kneeling down in front of her and slowly taking her hands and looking at her, giving a look as if it was okay he held her hands. Shenodded before he spoke again. “You get to make the final decision it seems, but don’t choose to save me to rescue me just because you feel like you have to or because of our past, whether what you believe what we had was real or not.” He spoke slowly, keeping his composure. “I don’t want you, or Neden, or Eve to risk yourself for me. What’s coming, no matter what it is, I don’t know if I deserve forgiveness. But I know I tried my best to remedy what I have done, and I’ll continue to do that.” He paused for a moment, looking back at the siren.

Rosie softly spoke, saying it would be fine and not to worry too much. Travis let out a slight chuckle under his breath. Of Course Rosie would say not to worry, she had everything under control. “Rosie… I-” Travis began to speak, but was interrupted when someone from the other room called out for them. “Well, I guess we should get going then.” He said, not going back to try to repeat what he was going to say, standing up and dusting off his pants before opening the door and holding it open for Rosie.

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Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxi fought all through the night
xxxoh, oh, but i made it alive
xxxthe sun's starting to rise
xxxoh, oh, these are beautiful times
Phoenix was more relieved than he could put into words when things were normal the following morning, and the morning after that. Phoenix knew that their dealings with the demon weren't likely to be done. But as things settled into their new normal, it was easy to put that to the backs of their mind. Alex was spending more time with Abuela, learning about necromancy and demons. Some visits, Phoenix went. Others, he left Alex to go alone. He knew tat as they learned about demons and dark magic, it should have been stressful, scary. Phoenix knew that it unsettled Alex sometimes, that it was frightening. But they were in it together. And they were finally coming to terms with this thing that had haunted Alex for so long, a bittersweet feeling.

But it came with the caveat that Alex hadn't been sleeping. Phoenix could tell that something was weighing on his mind. He trusted Alex to talk to him about it whenever he was ready, or at least, if it was related to necromancy, that he'd tell Abuela. Now, he knew that Alex would talk about it. Phoenix wondered if it was the trial. The trial had been sticking in Phoenix's mind more than he'd expected. Maybe it was because Trav had helped them, had saved them. But at the same time, it was hard to reconcile what he'd done. Phoenix had decided almost as soon as they'd gotten the invitation that he wasn't going, but there was the occasional moment when he wondered if he should. But on the morning of the trial, it was the last place he wanted to be. He was sprawled across their couch, flicking through one of the many books they'd gotten from Abuela. It was one about protective charms, one Abuela had mentioned to him many times before, but it was only now he was getting to read it. Abuela had given it to Phoenix, knowing that Phoenix had a knack for managing to work protective charms in using plants and teas, but it was old fashioned and difficult to work his way through.

So when Alex sighed and shut his book, Phoenix gladly looked up. He wasn't quite sure what to expect, but honestly, he thought it was a good idea. He'd been meaning to drop in himself, but just hadn't gotten around to it. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Can I come?" He asked, stretching. In reality, the question was, "Do you want me to come?" He didn't want to overstep the mark if Alex wanted to talk to Zoe or Jaiden himself, but also knew that Alex might appreciate the moral support

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Zoe Peña Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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Neden Isimir
outfit | Angel | #a39d9d
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xxxI'll be good, I'll be good
xxxAnd I'll love the world, like I should
xxxYeah, I'll be good, I'll be good
xxxFor all of the times that I never could

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x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x


After shortly departing from Rosie, Neden nearly high-tailed it back to their house to gather up their things. Which was only a messenger bag that they had meant to take with them. Stuffing a few papers, a notebook, and binder into it, they slung it over their shoulder and rather literally ran out the door, closing it behind them. Using their unfurled wings, Neden was able to get back to Rosie's house a few short minutes later. Their crow companion was nestled gently in their hands, before propping him back on their right shoulder. Letting the bird perch on them, as they had no issue with it.

Neden had followed Rosie into the house, knowing they'd need to regroup and probably go over a few things first before heading over to begin the trial. They hadn't realized exactly how sweaty their hands were, until they fidgeted with them a bit out of instinct. They gave Travis a small smile and nod as he greeted them, giving Evelyn a small nod of greeting as well.

The angel didn't expect Travis to immediately ask for a moment to speak with Rosie, but they also weren't going to deny him that. It was simple enough. "Of course, Travis. Take all the time you need." they gave him a small smile, before turning to look around. It was only then that they realized they had been left alone with Evelyn. Neden didn't think about that, until after they were alone, immediately wishing they hadn't told Travis to take their time with things.

To even attempt trying to distract themself from the ever growing anxiety, Neden silently pet the crow on their shoulder every few seconds. Occasionally talking to the bird as it communicated with small low rumbles. It was only when the crow looked over at Evelyn for a moment, then back at Neden, that it pecked their cheek. Once. Then twice. Neden flinched their face away, furrowing both eyebrows, "What is your problem?" they questioned the crow. Which only resulted in another rumble.

The angel rolled their eyes, "Then stop pecking me, you asshole. It's not my fault you're grumpy." Neden retorted. Looking up awkwardly in Evelyn's direction, "Sorry...Lil' man here is new and, I don't know what his problem is. Probably not used to so many people in a short time.." Neden cleared their throat once more, "We...We should probably get going, yeah? Should get there a little bit early, get everything sorted..."






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Jaiden price
outfit | Witch | #800000
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xxxI'm way too young to lie here forever
xxxI'm way too old to try so whatever
xxxCome hang
xxxLet's go out with a bang

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x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x


In the following weeks, Jaiden had spent much of her time helping Zoe get everything squared away and sorted since getting her moved in. Outside of that, Jaiden didn't have much else going on, even after being informed about Travis' trial. She didn't exactly care to go, nor did she plan to. Sure, being there to support her friends would have been the right thing to do, sure. But Jaiden knew if she went, it wouldn't end well. So, she decided instead to go over to the flow shop and see how Zoe was coming along with things.

Even in such a short amount of time, Zoe was already doing a better job than Jaiden had been expecting. Sure, it was just flowers and plants, but it was a relief to see that Jaiden's instinct was correct. Not only was Zoe doing a good job with customers, but having her around the town helped Jaiden feel oddly less alone. Like she had someone who she was able to talk to. Someone who didn't know her past, or who she used to be. Someone with an outsider's view.

By the time that Jaiden arrived to the store, Zoe was already well into her work. Another thing that impressed Jaiden. No matter how early or late Jaiden was arriving to the shop, Zoe already had everything on lockdown. If she was already doing this well within a few weeks, Jaiden doubted Zoe would have any issues in the future.

"Morning'!" Jaiden responded as she entered the store, side stepping the customer as they exited the store. Thankfully, work wasn't too intense at the store. They were able to take everything as easily and slow as they could, all things considered they did just sell flowers and other plants. But with the store finally being opened again, people tended to come in droves.

Jaiden was in the middle of tending to a few withering plants when Zoe thanked her again. Which, honestly seemed to be more of a routine than the actual work was, by this point. And everytime, Jaiden's response was the same. There really wasn't much to be thanking her for. She just did what any decent person would do, or at least she was doing what she hoped someone else would do in return for her, if she was in the opposite woman's shoes. "Like I've said before, Zoe. You don't need to thank me." Jaiden started, standing back up and turning around as she disposed of the withered remains of the plant into the bin. "If you're gonna make a new life here, it's only fair that you get a chance at making it happen." she said with a small smile.

"Besides, I think you're the only person in this town who'd be able to handle this. Aside from Phoenix of course, but I honestly think his true love is caffeine." Jaiden joked.





Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxthough the pressure's hard to take
xxxit's the only way i can escape
xxxit seems a heavy choice to make
xxxand now i am under all
Rosie was glad of the short walk back to the house. The quiet gave her a little while to think and to start to mentally prepare herself for what was to come. She wasn’t particularly in the mood for conversation, so when she walked in to see Evelyn and Travis out and about, she had to force a smile. When Travis asked to talk to her by herself, she nodded, her smile slipping a little.

She wasn’t totally sure how to react as Travis told her not to make any decisions based on their history. A part of her was hurt that he thought she would, especially after everything he’d done. She’d been blatantly ignoring their past ever since he’d gotten back.

She sighed and shook her head. “Travis… it’ll all work out. Don’t worry about it, we’ve got it in hand,” she said. Then Evelyn called out, asking if they were ready to go, and the conversation was over.

She walked out to the kitchen and looked at the three gathered. The moment was finally here, where everything came together. She cleared her throat. “Alright, before we go… I just want to say thank you. These past few weeks haven’t been easy for any of you, but you’ve all… you’ve all been great. And no matter what way today goes… you should be proud of yourselves. You’ve done your best, and that’s what matters. Now, let’s do this thing,” she said with a smile, before picking up her bag.

The town hall had been set up for the trial. People were already in and seated by the time she arrived, gossiping among themselves. She could feel eyes on her and see people whispering to each other as she took her seat, scanning through the papers in front of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zada min Albahr Character Portrait: Zoe Peña Character Portrait: Trisstana Glasser
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ZADA min ALBAHR
zzzzzoutfit - #78B0AD


her liquid gaze held fated depths, her full lips invited touch. there was power, too, in her air of stillness: she might have been an Archangel, something winged and terrible come to rest.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Zada nodded as Triss said she had no plans for the day. That seemed to be the trend. ”Well,” Zada started, getting up to clear the table, ”I would love to have you join me.” She stopped to plant a kiss on Triss’ cheek, ”I believe it’s going to be starting before too much longer.” She said, as she loaded their few dishes in the dishwasher (she loved that thing), ”I hope they find him guilty, Trisstana. Men like him have no business walking around free.” Zada took all that Travis had done very personally. Hunters killed people like her, and on top of that he’d hurt Rosie. Some things just weren’t forgivable.

After she finished with the dishes, Zada turned to Triss and looked her over, eyebrow raised. This new dress was nice, she liked it. She reached out and grabbed at some of the fabric, feeling the texture on her hand, before letting it slip from between her fingers to drape back over Triss’ body. ”I like this,” She said, voice dripping with approval, and maybe something else, ”You’ll have to wear it again.” It was a suggestion, not a demand. Zada knew she wouldn’t have the time to properly appreciate the garment until later, and even then it might have to be put off until later.

It wasn’t long before she was pulling on a coat (she didn’t really need it, she didn’t get cold very easily, but it tied the whole outfit together) and running her fingers through her hair, making sure she looked perfect. She nearly always did, she made sure of it. ”Are you ready?” She called out as she applied a layer of red lipstick, slowly fixing herself up to the level of perfection she expected to see looking back from the other side of the mirror. A light spray of the same perfume she’d been wearing for the past twenty years and she was ready.

She and Trisstana walked arm-in-arm towards the town; Zada had enjoyed the closeness of another person. Even since opening up her home and her heart to Triss, she’d felt more… At home in the town. She may never be able to return to the sea, but maybe she could create her own pod here, in some way.







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ALEX GARCIA
zzzzoutfit - #3A0A4D


but the past is a closed door, and she can’t see any future. maybe she’ll go on from day to day and year to year until she simply withers, folds in on herself, shrivels up like an old spider.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
”Can I come?"

As far as Alex was concerned, Phoenix could follow him just about anywhere. He knew the hidden meaning behind Phoenix’s words, though. You don’t know someone as closely as they’d known one another for as long as they had without learning how they think.

Alex nodded, ”Actually,” He started, speaking even as he got up from the table and made his way over to the couch, ”I was wondering if you’d do me a little favor.” He held out a hand, a silent offer to help hoist Phoenix up off the couch, ”I need a cup of green tea to take over, with so much honey that it’s absolutely sickeningly sweet.” Alex paused, wondering if Phoenix would recognize the tea he used to get for Aurora in that short span between Phoenix opening his cafe and Rory’s death. He almost hoped Phoenix wouldn’t make the connection. ” And then I guess it’d only be fair to let you tag along, too.” He rolled his eyes, feigning like it would be some burden if the absolute love of his life joined him on a little trip to the nearby flower shop. He’d need moral support, anyway. He didn’t talk about it much, but Alex knew that Nix knew how guilty he felt.

The whole thing would be a nice distraction from the trial, anyway. Alex wasn’t interested in it, really. He knew he probably should care more, but he couldn’t bring himself to.

As they made the- admittedly short- walk over to the flower shop, Alex decided to confide in Phoenix. ”I’ve been having nightmares again,” Phoenix knew that, of course. They shared a bed. ”I’m not sure what they mean, but I keep having the same one, so I’m sure it’s… Something.” There wasn’t much else to say, really, ”I’ll spare you the details. They’re often more gruesome than they really need to be.” He’d never told Phoenix details about his dreams, just what he thought they’d meant sometimes. Sometimes interpreting vague prophecies was harder than others.

As they got to the flower shop, Alex got the door, holding it open for Phoenix to go in ahead of him. This was a twofold kind of situation; it gave him a chance to be nice to Phoenix, and it gave him a chance to hang back for a moment, hesitate at the door without it looking like hesitation. This might not seem like the biggest deal, but Alex was afraid of what he might find waiting for him inside. Aurora might not have died in the shop, but she’d spent time there, her spirit would be comfortable. Alex could have easily avoided the place for the rest of his life and been happy, but he knew he needed some sort of closure, so he was forcing himself to do the difficult thing and face the feelings he was afraid of.






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ZOE PEÑA
zoutfit - #6E9ECF


she let herself drift along the meanders of melancholy, her ear attuned to the music of harps echoing over lakes, to all the songs of dying swans, to all the falling leaves,
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Zoe had known that Jaiden would brush off her thanks, but she continued to be of the opinion that Jaiden simply didn’t understand just how much this all meant to her. If she hadn’t been given this opportunity, Zoe would be back in Arizona, teaching piano and babysitting the coven’s children. While Zoe loved the coven she’d grown up in, and she was so thankful for all they’d all done to raise her, it had never felt like her life. It had always felt like her parent’s life.

"Besides, I think you're the only person in this town who'd be able to handle this. Aside from Phoenix of course, but I honestly think his true love is caffeine."

Zoe had to smile at Jaiden’s joke, ”I think he’d literally die without it at this point.” Something about bringing Phoenix up reminded Zoe of something she’d wanted to talk to Jaiden about, ”Jaiden,” She started, a little unsure of how to broach the subject, ”I was wondering if,” She broke off her train of thought as the door opened up again, but instead of the “typical” customers walking in, Phoenix and Alex came through the doors. Zoe grinned at the two of them, ”Hey guys!” She shot a glance at Jaiden, a silent promise to finish up that thought later, and then turned back to Phoenix, ”Good to see you. Is there anything I can help you find?”

”We wanted to come in, check the place out, see what you’ve done with it.”

Zoe shot Jaiden a look; she didn’t know if Alex had been close to Aurora, and she never knew how to gauge his mood, but Phoenix was there, which was typically a good sign as far as she was concerned. ”Well, Jaiden and I would be happy to-”

Alex cut her off, ”Is there somewhere I can put this?” He held up the cup in his hand, indicating that’s what he was referring to, ”I brought it for Rory,” He’d said that to Jaiden, and Zoe had to admit that was the most sincere she thought she’d ever heard him, ”I wanted to, umm…” Alex shrugged, not finishing his own thought.

Zoe walked out from behind the counter, gingerly taking the paper cup from his hand, ”I’ll find somewhere out of the way for this, where nobody’ll bother it.” She offered a gentle smile, and Alex nodded in return. For a brief moment, she could tell they understood one another. Then she turned to go find a spot for… Whatever this was. She wasn’t going to ask.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zoe Peña
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxi fought all through the night
xxxoh, oh, but i made it alive
xxxthe sun's starting to rise
xxxoh, oh, these are beautiful times

xxx
xxx
Phoenix raised an eyebrow as Alex asked for a favour, taking his hand and the offer of help getting off the couch. He’d been lying there for long enough that he was already starting to get stiff. He nodded at the order. He hadn’t made it in a while, but it rang a bell of familiarity. It didn’t take long for the pieces to fall together about why it was so familiar and why Alex was requesting it now of all times. But the minute that Phoenix realised what- who- it was for, he immediately made the decision to not acknowledge the fact that he knew. Alex didn’t need that today.

He made the tea in a to-go cup, and gave it to Alex to carry on the short walk over to the shop. It seemed like something he wanted to do and Phoenix figured it was important that he was the one to handle it and to… do whatever it was he wanted to do with it. When Alex mentioned the dreams, Phoenix just nodded. He didn’t claim to know much about the dreams or even to understand them, but he did know that repetitive, graphic dreams were seldom a good sign. He wasn’t sure what to say in response to it. This wasn’t something he could really help with, as much as he might have wanted to. So instead, he offered the only support he could. “You know, if they’re bad, you can wake me up. I don’t mind. You don’t have to deal with them by yourself.”

Phoenix’s emotions tended to have an effect on plants, but the opposite was true too. Just walking into the shop, filled with plants and flowers of all kinds, seemed to be enough to lift his spirits even more. Phoenix would have liked to have said that his decision to give Alex and Jaiden some space to talk after Zoe left to leave the tea somewhere safe was a conscious one, but truth be told, some succulents caught his attention and he wandered over to examine the display without even thinking.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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Many men, many, many, many, many men
Wish death 'pon me
Lord I don't cry no more
Don't look to the sky no more
Have mercy on me

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Outfit ║ Hex: #8B4513

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Travis followed behind Rosie into the kitchen where Neden and Evelyn still were, speaking about what they’ve done and thanking them. Travis only nodded in response before the four of them left and headed to the town hall.

As they approached, Evelyn led Travis through the back of the town hall while Rosie went through the front. This would give Travis a bit more time to get a hold of his thoughts before being brought forward in front of the town, seeing most of them for the first time since the meeting where Rosie read the note out about there being a hunter among them. Where Rosie lied and gave him a chance to save himself, wondering if she would do the same again.

“Hey, can you give me a minute? Just to freshen up and get a hold of my nerves.” Travis said to Eve as they were in the back. “Sure, it’ll be alright Trav.” He opened the door and headed into the bathroom, taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves. Travis splashed some water on his face and leaned against the sink. He let out a deep breath as he let the water run, staring just down at the sink. “Hello Mr. Graveson.” A voice came from in front of him. Trav quickly looked up and instead of seeing his reflection in the mirror, he saw a dark haired woman. She was more than fairly attractive, a sort of divine beautiful she held in the way she stood and presented herself.

Travis was taken back for a second, not entirely understanding what he was looking at, trying to think of the types of creatures that would present themselves to him like this. “Excuse me?” He spoke, more of a question rather than trying to leave. He turned off the water as he straightened his posture. “You’re excused, but don’t leave yet. I see this is a major day in your life, potentially one of your last, which would be a waste of an... Immortal creature like yourself.” The woman continued to speak. “Can I help you?” Trav asked, slowly trying to piece everything together.

“No. But I can help you. The odds aren’t in your favor Travis, and you’re worried about the outcome of this trial led by these mortals. We can make a deal to get what we both want.” The woman, or creature, leaned in close as if she was going to come through the mirror as she spoke. There was something about her words that kept Travis intrigued, not wanting to leave. “I can give you your freedom and clear your worries about your friends, all it ta-” She started to speak again, but Travis interrupted her. “Demon.” He said out loud, finally piecing it together. “I don’t have time t-”

Travis himself was interrupted by sharp words from the demon. “Don’t interrupt me. You may be immortal, but you’re nothing compared to me. You may address me as Annanza.” Her tone shifted for a moment, showing annoyance. “Don’t call me demon, it’s vulgar. You may address me as Annanza and nothing else.”

Travis was taken back by the shift in tone to serious and back to a seductive tone. He knew he had to be careful, he had interacted with his fair share of demons over the years and knew what they were capable of. “I’m listening to Annanza.” “Good. Now, a being like yourself would be wasted if found guilty, but finding you innocent might not look good for Miss Thompson, the one who now calls themself Neden, and your current vampiric interest-” “Don’t invol-” Trav interrupted Annanza again, but this time was met with her hand coming through the mirror and gripping his collar tightly and pulling them face to face. Her beauty shifted, sharp teeth behind her lips and an anger hiding behind her dark eyes, her nails feeling more like claws at the moment. “I said. Don’t interrupt me. If you do it a third time, the trial will be the least of your worries.” Annanza shoved Travis back.

Not many things intimated Travis, but an angry demon that he didn’t know would scare most people. “My apologies.” Travis spoke, just met with a mumble from the demon woman. “Now, I can use my powers to assist in this trial. I know you’re not afraid of being found guilty and given death, but you have so much more potential. But one thing you are afraid of is the people you care about being hurt.” Travis wanted to speak up, but was met with another glance from Annanza. “I can help shield them from public opinion. Protection is easy enough, after all. All I ask in exchange is a little… Devotion.” She smiled seductively, but let her sharp teeth show through her disguise, “I don’t want much, Travis, just someone to rely on, to tether me to this mortal coil.” She was almost certainly not telling Travis everything.

Travis listened as the demon named Annanza put out her terms, terms he wanted to accept but he was skeptical of what she wanted exactly among her vagueness. The smile she put on sent a feeling through his body, but not one of chillness through his bones, but of confidence and lust through his veins. “Annanza-” “Yes?” She purred, drawing out the ‘s.’ “I’m skeptical of our deal, I-” Travis was interrupted by a knock at the door, followed by Evelyn mentioning they should get going soon. Travis sighed, of course he wouldn’t have time to take this deal into consideration. “So what, you say you’ll protect them and I say I will be devoted to you?”

“I’ll protect them like I would my own children,” The demon tilted her head, looking at Travis through her eyelashes, “You just need to sign,” She reached out, through the mirror, holding what appeared to be an ancient scroll. Travis watched the scroll come through the mirror, still curled a bit, he reached forward to flatten it out to get a better look at it when Annanza grabbed his arm. She quickly pulled him closer, inches between their faces, her hand gently rose up his arm and caressed behind his ear. “I just need one more thing, little one. Some ink for my pen.” She spoke softly, her nails then cutting into his skin tracing a sort of outline over his old Branded tattoo.

As Annaza leaned back, she must have used some sort of magic, causing a sort of burning, tingling sensation behind Travis’ ear. He felt some sort of liquid bubbling up, and Annaza let him reach up to feel it, leaving deep black ink on his fingertips. The demon quickly produced an old fountain pen and dipped it into the ink, not wasting a drop, and handed the pen over to Travis, “You’ve signed contracts before, I assume.”

“Of course.” Travis replied, holding the pin, his other hand reaching back behind his ear and the ink already dried. He turned his attention back to the contract, starting to read it. “You good in there?” Neden asked through the door, Annanza let out a light laugh as Travis turned back to the door. “One second!” He shouted in Neden’s direction, and Neden mentioned they would be out there waiting. “Tick tock, little one. Not much time left, it seems.” She spoke, Travis looking back to her and down at the contract, debating whether to sign or not. “Fine.”


Travis put on his jacket and fixed his cuffs as he walked out, being met with the angel and fellow vampire. “Sorry.” He glanced between the two and then they headed into the main room of the city hall, eyes of most of the town on them.

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Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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ROSIE THOMPSON
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outfit : herex|xhex: #cc0460
xxxthough the pressure's hard to take
xxxit's the only way i can escape
xxxit seems a heavy choice to make
xxxand now i am under all
Rosie was ready to begin, and frankly, she probably would have preferred to just get started. But she looked up to discovered that Trav still wasn't there. She went to shoot a look at Evelyn, but both she and Neden were absent, presumably looking for Trav. She sighed and anxiously tapped her pen on the table a few times. She knew by the atmosphere in the room that it would be hard to turn the room in Trav's favour. She shot a glance towards the front two rows, where she'd asked the jury to sit. They didn't look particularly happy.

She sighed a little with relief as Trav finally appeared in the room. The atmosphere seemed to become even icier as Travis, Neden, and Evelyn made their way in. As they took their seats, Rosie got to her feet and stood at the podium. The eyes of the town were on her, and she could almost feel their doubts about whether or not she was the right person for this. But she couldn't let that worm its way into her head. She cleared her throat.

"People of Greythorne, it is my honor and my privilege to welcome you here today. I could only wish that it was for a slightly more pleasant purpose. Today, we will decide the fate of Travis Graveson, who has been declared a traitor to our town after being discovered to be a member of the Hunting group known as the Branded. I know that many of you are angry and hurt, that you have lost people in the attacks on our town or have been injured yourselves. But I ask that you listen to the evidence put before us with an open mind, and make your decision based on that. I have asked a number of you to form a jury who will represent the town people and make the final decision; so the decision will come from the people and not from me. First, we will hear a representative of our town's elders to describe the course of events and the evidence implicating Mr. Graveson."


She took her seat as the old man stood up. He was old and for a second, Rosie dared to hope that he might be boring and monotonous. He wasn't. Instead, he gave an impassioned account of the evidence they had and the damage that the Branded had caused to the town, and Rosie could tell just by looking at the crowd that they were siding with him. "Thank you. We will now hear from representatives for Mr. Graveson, Ms. Evelyn Fox and Mx. Neden Isimir."

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Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Alex Garcia
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Jaiden
outfit | #800000

and

Alex
outfit | #3A0A4D
x
xxxxxwhat happens when people open their hearts?
xxxxxthey get better.
x
The shop felt almost like it did when she was alive. Alex could imagine her standing there behind the counter, thanking him for the tea, joking about bribery and the cost of lilies. He knew this would happen, how coming in here would dredge up memories of the first person who seemed to think he was worthy of more than just her passing interest. He thought of the laughter, the talks, the kisses on his cheek, and he turned to look at Phoenix. A part of him was happy things had turned out how they did, he just wished Rory could still be there with them. He loved her once, in his own way. He didn’t think she’d known.

Zoe was off finding a place for the tea. Alex hoped she knew to take the lid off. She was a witch, of course she did.

Phoenix was drawn to the plants. If Alex didn’t have an ulterior motive to be here, he would have enjoyed watching the way Phoenix was so taken by the succulents in the corner.

He shifted his weight, turned to Jaiden, awkwardly cleared his throat, “It’s great, Jai,” Aurora had meant a lot to Jaiden, too. That probably would have ruined their friendship eventually, “I think she’d be happy you’re not letting the place rot.” He had to remind himself to keep his tone cool, even. He didn’t want to get too emotional, if he started crying here he was sure the spirits would come to swarm the place and start killing the plants.

Jaiden was about to answer Zoe when she heard her name called, but by the time she had turned, the front door opened and Alex and Phoenix had walked in. It wasn’t something Jaiden had been exactly expecting but, it wasn’t disliked either. Jaiden took note, and would talk to Zoe later about what she wanted. But right now, she had to deal with two of her friends.

The moment that Alex began to talk to Zoe, asking for her to find a place for a random cup, she immediately knew what this was about. Or, she at least had a feeling for what this was about. Jaiden took a deep breath as Zoe left to find a spot, turning to look at Alex, giving him the faintest of a smile. She cleared her throat when Alex said that the place looked great and how he was glad she didn’t just let the place fall to ruin, like she so easily could have.

“Well...I like to think it’s something she would have liked, ya know? At least I hope it is anyway.” Jaiden chuckled bitterly. This wasn’t a topic she ever planned or expected to have, nevermind it being with Alex of all people. But, there was something oddly comforting of it being Alex? Jaiden couldn’t explain it, but it somehow made sense. “Uhm...I appreciate you..Stopping by. It...It’s nice to see you around here again...Ya know?” she gave him the faintest of a smile again. She didn’t think this must have been easy for Alex, it wasn’t any easier for her, so why should it have been any different for him, right?

Alex nodded, a disarmingly serious expression on his face. He’d come in here so much more often than necessary before, but now he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do. “I’ve been putting it off,” He said, in response to Jaiden saying it was good to see him in the shop again, “I was worried it would be…” He shrugged, not finishing the thought.

He was worried it would be too different, worried it wouldn’t be different enough, worried his guilt would tear a hole in his stomach lining and his body would slowly eat itself to death.

“It is what she would have wanted, you know.” He bobbled his head side to side for a second, as if to demonstrate that he wasn’t fully comfortable with the conversation, “You know how she wanted everyone to be happy, and she wanted to share all the happiness she could. I think the plants and flowers were a part of that.” He shrugged, brushing off his own thoughts as if they were nothing. “She’d be glad to know you’re carrying on for her. She’d be glad to know it was you, too, I think.”

A lump rose in his throat, and he looked up at the ceiling to try to force it down, “There were times when this was the only place I felt anything other than fear.” That felt like a lifetime ago, “It’s weird, you know. You can almost still feel her, almost expect she’ll come running in from the back apologizing for taking too long with her yoga or some shit.”

He turned to look at Jaiden, his gaze more intense and serious than she was probably used to from him, “How are you holding up with… all this?” Was it too hard? Grief was a funny thing, he knew that. Sometimes people took on more than they could handle because they felt like they needed to.

Jaiden stood there patiently, listening to Alex slowly piece sentences and questions together, as well as clearly trying to carry on a conversation. She could tell this was just as hard on him to talk about and ask, as it was to be the one that everything was targeted towards. A small lump formed in her throat as he finally came down to the real question, the one she could tell he wanted to ask. How was she dealing with everything? Truth be told, Jaiden tried not to think about things too much. Anything pertaining to Aurora, she tried burying deeply. If she could avoid thinking on her feelings and thoughts, it’d be easier to manage all of this. But it didn’t work.

Her darkened eyes trailed along the room for a moment, as if trying to grasp proper words she so searched for. Able to form them in some form of a sentence. Jaiden initially gave a small shrug of her shoulders, licking her lips as she kept her eyes currently anchored to the floor.

Out of habit, Jaiden found herself tracing the tattoo along her left wrist, her fingertips gently hovering over the ink covered skin. The tattoo was in the shape of a heart that wrapped around her wrist fully, which tied neatly into what appeared to be an A along the underside of her wrist that faced her palm. Beside it were two semi translucent pink fairy wings pointed upwards into the air. She had gotten it shortly after Rory’s passing, it was just a way for Jaiden to just maybe hold onto a part of the fairy she had lost during the first attack. Her most cherished friend, and dare Jaiden even say person she ever loved, and she failed her.

Finally after a moment, Jaiden was able to look back up at Alex, giving him a faint, but genuine smile as she tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear, “I...I’m doing okay, all things considered. I just…” Jaiden paused, taking a deep breath before she let it finish as a sigh.

“I dunno. It’s just…a lot, ya know? Like...Things are just now settling in for me and...I’m managing. It feels like forever ago but, at the same time, it feels like no time has passed since...Well, you know..” her voice was low, but she was able to keep it together as she pressed on. “Sometimes I do think, for just a moment, she’ll be right there waiting and...Then reality hits me but, I think I’m finally coming to terms with it all and…” Jaiden took another deep breath, fidgeting with her hands as she could feel her eyes beginning to burn some.

“-I think I’m finally able to move on, ya know? Never forget her but, I can rest easy knowing she’s at peace, somewhat at least. I like to think some part of her is here like you said, and that she’s not truly gone. She loved this place too much to say goodbye…” a small chuckle escaped her lips, Jaiden wiped away whatever beginning of tears started to come over her eyes.

Jaiden cleared her throat some as she shifted awkwardly on her feet, “Your uh...Your sister she...She’s been a big help, with everything. She’s doing a real good job and, I think Rory would have been happy to know someone is able to look after this place properly, even if I’m just a small portion of it.” she chuckled softly, biting her lip for a moment, looking back up at Alex.

“How are you handling everything? I...I know she meant a lot to you too..” she asked softly.

Alex watched Jaiden carefully as she spoke, nodding intently as he listened along. It was hard to talk about Aurora, or even think about her. When Jaiden mentioned Zoe, Alex turned his head to find her. Zoe was politely minding her own business, tending to something off in the other corner of the store. She looked so natural there, like she truly belonged. It was nice, and it broke his heart.

He shook his head when Jaiden asked how he was handling things. “It’s… You know, I’ve been fine.” That was a lie. He knew, Jaiden knew it. He looked around the shop, “I wanted to, I don’t know, see for myself, or try to make amends, or…” He shrugged, “I don’t know. And I don’t know what I expected to find but,” He paused, feeling tears start to form in his eyes, “She’s not here. I feel the magic she left behind, and the happiness and love she left everywhere she went, but she’s moved on to… Wherever fairies go after they die.”

He reached up to wipe at the tears pooling under his eyes, “And somehow that’s worse. I think I wanted to find out that she was angry at me, or she hated me, so I could carry on not forgiving myself.” He looked up, as if he were suddenly very interested in the paint on the ceiling, “She’d wanted me to go with her to the festival,” Aurora had matching costumes in mind and everything. She’d played it off as a joke at the time, but Alex knew- even then- that she meant it. “Sometimes I can’t help but think of the million things I could have done differently that night, and how she’d still be here if I’d done any one of them.”

He shook his head, absently clutching at his side. Sometimes the scar almost still hurt when he thought about that night. It was a cruel and ugly reminder of what he’d lost since that night. “I miss her. I know you do too.” He felt like people kept dying, or nearly dying, because of him and he didn’t know how he was supposed to start letting that go.

He took a deep breath and roughly wiped under his eyes. He needed to calm down or he’d dry out his contacts and have to wear his glasses for the rest of his day. “Thanks for keeping this place alive, Jai. If it’s running, Rory’ll always kind of be here, you know?”

Jaiden remained silent all the while, for what was the second time this day. Normally, Jaiden would have next to no patience with Alex, and would stand with her arms crossed and an annoyed look on her face as she rolled her eyes so hard they’d be threatening to roll out of her head. But right now, she held no such bitterness or annoyance. Her expressions were soft and worried even, which was such a stark contrast of how she normally looked at Alex.

Her eyes remained transfixed on him the entire time, her own eyes further tearing up as Alex finally came to an end once more, explaining that Rory was gone, only thing remaining was whatever magic and energy she had somehow housed within this place while she was still alive. Jaiden had figured as much, but she’d be lying if she had hoped that there was some part of the fairy still here, so she had an official goodbye. But life wasn’t that generous.

As much as Jaiden didn’t want to admit it, she knew exactly how Alex felt with all of this. The guilt and anger he held towards himself, is exactly how she felt. Jaiden had spent, and still spent nights looking up at the ceiling of her room, wondering if she could have, should have done something that night. If she had, maybe Aurora would still be alive. But she had to live with the guilt of knowing she was too slow, and had to watch someone she cared for so much, die.

Jaiden didn’t even know what was happening until it already took place. She stepped forward, and wrapped her arms around Alex, pulling him into a hug. It was a bit awkward for the near full foot of height between them, but she didn’t care. This was probably the first time she ever truly hugged Alex, and would more than likely be the only time she ever hugged him.

“Alex...No.” she started softly, tears streaming down her cheeks as she held the embrace a bit more. “It’s...it’s not your fault, okay?” she said softly, pulling away from the hug as she looked at him. “I couldn’t even do anything and...I was right there. I froze and...It cost Rory her life and...I can’t ever forgive myself for that. I know there were things I could have done but, I was a coward then, and I think I still am now.” she swallowed the lump in her throat as she looked down.

Taking a deep breath she continued, “I don’t think she’d be mad or angry with either of us. I honestly don’t think she was capable of hatred. She was too good like that, ya know?” a small chuckle escaped her lips, as Jaiden wiped her own tears from her eyes. Finally looking around the room before she looked back at Alex, a small sliver of a smile on her face, “For what it’s worth? You’re not a total asshole. And I do appreciate you...You coming out here and checking up on things, it...It really does mean a lot to me, Alex.” she said softly. Pausing for a moment before she looked back up at him, “...I know we...I know we’ve fallen a bit apart recently with…everything that has gone on lately but…” she paused for a moment, biting her lip as she thought on the next few words carefully, “-If there is anything you ever need...Let me know, yeah? I think it’s the least I could do...For her.” Jaiden gave a small smile to Alex as she spoke

Alex was fully taken aback by the hug, but god, he needed it, so he wrapped his arms tightly around Jaiden. He couldn’t bear the thought of Jaiden blaming herself for what happened, and wanted to argue that Aurora would have been able to make it to safety if she hadn’t gone back to find someone to help him, but he didn’t. Instead he decided to say, “It’s no one’s fault but the assholes that killed her, Jaiden. We were victims, too.” It wasn’t long ago that he wouldn’t have been able to say that, and he may not have believed it for himself, but it was important he said it for Jaiden.

He nodded when she said Aurora probably wasn’t capable of hating anyone. That was probably true. “I am a total asshole. Don’t go ruining my reputation by making me look soft.” He gently, and very awkwardly, punched Jaiden’s arm. “You’ll be, like, the third person on my list if I need help.” He smiled, “And, hey, I’m always here if you need me, okay?” He shrugged, “Like if you need someone to reach something on the top shelf or something.”

Then he cleared his throat, “And, uh, I have something for you, actually.” He reached in his pocket, pulling out a shiny new hag stone with a nice deep red cord. It was a common gift he gave to people he cared about, especially when they started new chapters in their lives, like reopening a flower shop. “It’s for protection.” He handed it to Jaiden, “Hang it over the door, keeps bad spirits out.”

Jaiden slowly nodded when he said they had been victims as well. As much as she knew it to have been true, there was a part of her that felt like she was still to blame, but she wouldn’t continue to push it. Neither one needed that right now. Instead, she simply nodded at his words

A small chuckle escaped her lips, Jaiden slipped one of her hands into her pant’s pockets as she looked at him, rolling her eyes once again, just like she knew she would at some point. “Yeah yeah, there’s the asshole I was expecting.” she chuckled, shaking her head as she did so. Running a hand through her short, curly hair for a moment. “You’ll be the last person I ask for help getting something from the top shelf, trust me-” she teased, hitting him on the arm playfully in return.

Jaiden looked at him with a raised eyebrow for a moment as he handed her something, she looked at it curiously as he explained what it was. Nodding solemnly. “I...I appreciate it, Alex. I’ll for sure put it up later. It’s great. Uhm..Actually-” she paused for a moment, “Let me go get something real quick-” she motioned for him to stay put, as she turned and disappeared into the back room for a moment, coming back with something in her hands.

This was actually something I found when clearing up the loft and...It looks like it was something she had in mind for a certain someone as it had a four letter name on it, and I took the liberty upon myself to...see it through. So..Here-” with extended hands, Jaiden handed over a small, dark navy blue painted pot, with a small budding flower. The petals were a dark, deep purple, with black streaks towards the center. Jaiden wasn’t exactly sure what type of flower it was, but it was clear the moment it began to bloom that it was something specially made for the necromancer in question.

“I know I don’t have the same magical touch as she did but...I think it came out rather nicely..” Jaiden said with a small smirk that she gave Alex.

Alex was baffled when Jaiden disappeared into the back room, but he couldn’t have possibly prepared himself for what she presented him with. For a long moment, he didn’t say a word, just carefully looked over the flower. This was certainly something he never would have known about if Jaiden hadn’t taken it upon herself to finish what Rory had started. He didn’t know how he could possibly express what this meant to him, so he didn’t try.

Instead, he reached out and wrapped Jaiden in an incredibly awkward, but no less heartfelt, one-armed hug. Bending down to mush his cheek up against hers. “Thank you,” He mumbled, as if he were afraid of saying it loud enough for anyone else to hear, “This means a lot to me.” He stood up straight again after a moment, holding the plant up to take another look at it, “I’d kill this thing for sure, but luckily I have Phoenix to help me keep it alive.” Something about that tugged at Alex’s heart, but that was something to think about later.

Alex cleared his throat and gently kicked at the ground, “Not that I don’t love this, but Phoenix is going to buy your entire inventory if I don’t get back to him.” He chuckled, shrugging, “We should hang out another day, though.” He meant that. As much as he and Jaiden didn’t always get along, they understood one another deeply, and he thought that- maybe- they needed one another so they could really heal from what happened.

Jaiden smirked a bit at first, but was genuinely surprised when Alex had taken her in for a hug, and by the gods it was as awkward as she expected it to be. And normally, she’d push away, but for now, she’d allow it. Chuckling softly as Alex spoke, “Don’t mention it.” she replied.

Taking a step back, she nodded again, rubbing the back of her neck as she spoke, “Well, good thing your boyfriend is one of the best plant witches Greythorne has ever seen.” she mused, a genuine smile appeared on her face as she glanced over at Phoenix. “And uhm...Don’t worry. Whatever we set his eyes on, consider it on the house. I think she’d want that, or well, I’ll allow it anyway.” she chuckled a bit. Jaiden nodded once more, “Yeah uh....I can...We can hang out for sure sometime. I’m kinda busy with next few weeks, seeing as Spring just started but uh, yeah. Sounds like a plan sometime, Alex.”

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Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia
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PHOENIX WOODS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #c4a7be
xxxi fought all through the night
xxxoh, oh, but i made it alive
xxxthe sun's starting to rise
xxxoh, oh, these are beautiful times

xxx
xxx
Phoenix was engrossed in the plants while Jaiden and Alex spoke. He was glad that they were talking, and that they were talking here of all places. It felt right. To Phoenix, the place felt exactly the same now as it had when Aurora was alive; and maybe that was the point. Jaiden and Zoe had done an amazing job, and even Phoenix was impressed with their range of plants. For the most part, that was all that held Phoenix's attention. But he shot the occasional glance towards Alex and Jaiden to make sure that everything was okay.

He knew it was an emotional conversation, and so he made sure to watch to see if everything was okay. He was almost surprised when they hugged, as neither of them had ever particularly been huggers. It was usually Phoenix hugging them, if anything. He took a moment to appreciate it, before slowly fishing out his phone and taking a picture of it to tease them with later, before going back to examining the succulents. It was only when he heard his name being mentioned that he glanced back at them again, seeing Alex holding a flower, one he didn't recognise. Well, if Alex was also getting flowers, Phoenix figured that it was fine for him to get a few plants. He picked up the couple of plants that had caught his interest and that he hadn't seen before, and turned back around to head back towards Phoenix.

As he reached them with an armful of pots, he overheard them agreeing to meet up. "You're coming to ours, for dinner, no questions asked. And Zoe. Next week," he announced. "Whatever night you're least busy. It's been too long and frankly it's weird not having food stolen out of my fridge and cupboards because you're not around as much." He adjusted the plants in his arms as he spoke. "And we've got to celebrate the good work you guys have done on the store too. Sound good?"

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Character Portrait: Jaiden Price Character Portrait: Phoenix Woods Character Portrait: Alex Garcia Character Portrait: Zoe Peña
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Jaiden Price
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Witch | outfit | #800000
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I'm way too young to lie here forever
I'm way too old to try so whatever come hang
Let's go out with a bang
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Jaiden's head turned when she saw Phoenix making his way over to them, countless plant pots in hand. She side-eyed Alex with a I told you so look, before turning back to look at Phoenix. An exasperated sigh escaped her lips as Jaiden placed her hands on her hips for a moment, "Fine. You win, Woods. You win." Jaiden finally said with mock surrender. As long as she knew Phoenix, there was no arguing with him. He'd get what wanted in one way or another. There was a brief pause when Phoenix had also mentioned Zoe going too. Her hands getting a bit more sweaty than normal. Usually she would have questioned him, but as he continued, it made sense. He wasn't assuming anything, but wanting to give the both of them a break and bit of a thank you.

Clearing her throat as she shuffled on her feet for a moment. Jaiden finally nodded again, "Yeah uhm, sure. Whatever uh, whatever day works with Zoe, I can probably make it work. We'll figure something out I'm sure." Jaiden said with a small smile. It was really only now, that Jaiden had realized it. This was the first time, in a long time that she genuinely felt happy and that things were going to be okay. Hell, she hadn't even realized how long it had been since she really found herself looking forward to her friends. She had spent almost the entirety of last year, in such a dark ad gloomy place, that she didn't think she'd ever get out of it. And the only possible solution that did come to her mind, wasn't a good one. So to say. So, the fact she was still here now, talking with her friends on when a damn dinner sounded good? It was little things like this that made Jaiden remember that there were still good parts and small moments of life to stick around for.

Jaiden finally blinked out of her thoughts as heard the small chime of the front door again. Signalling another customer had come in. She turned to her friends for a moment again, "Look, I gotta get back to work but, like I told Alex. Those plants are on the house, Phoenix. Consider them a small thank you, for everything." she gave them both a small nod and smile, before turning on her heels and made her way over to the customer who had walked in, seeing as they had motioned for some help.



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Character Portrait: Rosie Thompson Character Portrait: Neden Isimir Character Portrait: Travis Graveson Character Portrait: Evelyn Fox
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Neden Isimir
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Angel | outfit | #a39d9d
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I'll be good, I'll be good
And I'll love the world, like I should
Yeah, I'll be good, I'll be good
For all of the times that I never could
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When it was finally time to leave, Neden had followed Rosie and the others to the Court House, anxiety had taken over them from the inside out, but they managed to contain it. Somehow. Neden knew it would take some time for the townspeople to all gather, take their seats, and for the entire trial to begin. And seeing as how Neden would now be needing to defend Travis in a trial, they had to stay close enough by him until the time came. They watched as he excused himself to the bathroom, and waited for a few minutes until Evie would give them the cue for when it was time for them. And eventually, it came. The female vampire returned to where Neden was, and gestured it was time. Neden stood up from their seat and walked over to the bathroom where Travis was, and knocked lightly. "You good in there" they questioned, and waited for his reply.

Neden waited patiently for the door to unlock, and watched as Travis emerged. Apologizing. "Don't be. I'd give you more time if I could but..It's time." the angel gave him a bit of a sorrowful look before turning on their heels and motioned for him to walk ahead of them. The three finally took their seats within the main room, Neden shooting Rosie a look to signal they were ready when she was. Anxiety still running deep through their body. Their heart was racing heavily, it would be surprising if no one else could hear it.

They watched as Rosie got up, gave her speech and then next was the representative of the town elders. Neden sat in their seat entirely still as the man spoke. They even half hoped he'd keel over, but no such luck. Instead, he gave a suprisingly well spoken speech, giving reasons and examples of why Travis should face the punishments for his crimes. And while Neden did agree to a degree, they knew their purpose in all of this. And they just hoped what information they garnered was enough for the people to at the very least, consider their punishment for him in the end.

Finally, Rosie got back up and addressed those who would be acting as defense for Travis. Evelyn and Neden. The angel took a deep breath and rose to their feet, clutching the messenger page they had with them closely. Slowly Neden made their way up to the podium, gave Rosie a small nod and turned to the courtroom. Neden took yet another deep breath, "Fair people of Greythorne. I am both honored to be able to stand before you today to bring evidence in hopes of aiding Mr. Graveson here. But on the same hand, I am also regretful for what I learned in my time away from Greythorne." Neden began, their eyes scanning over the room as they spoke. Neden removed the bag and carefully placed it beside the podium, retrieving folders from within.

Neden looked back around, "I have spent the past two weeks, largely scouting for any outposts and hideouts for The Branded. As I knew what I'd need would be within at least one of their compounds." Neden began, shuffling through the folders on the podium. "I won't lie, I did almost give up towards the end. I had managed to look through at least four different compounds, just outside of Greythorne borders. And I will give you the coordinates of each one. Know where to avoid and keep your eyes on." they said with a small nod before continuing.

"But I am thankful to say that I did find information for Mr. Graveson here." Neden began, swallowing the lump in their throat, "I'm just not sure how he will react with what I bring to you." their eyes flitted over to Travis for a moment. Gauging his reaction so far. They knew what information they had would most likely destroy him. He'd feel betrayed and angry. But he deserved every right to know what they found.

Neden retrieved one of the folders, removing a few papers that they removed from within. Scanning it for a moment as they took a deep breath. "While I am here to defend Mr. Graveson, I also can't help but try to remain unbiased here. We all know what he's guilty of. Slaughtering countless Supernaturals throughout his course within The Branded. We all know that. And there is no denying that fact. We ignore that, then what are we really here for?" Neden asked with raised eyebrows. They took another deep breath, "But what we didn't know, was why. Why was Mr. Graveson apart of all of this to even begin with? What motivated him to do what he did? To get involved with all of it to begin with? Because there most be a trigger to that, right?" Neden's eyes moved around the room, taking in how the jury acted.

"I found several documents pertaining to Mr. Graveson. Those that were his entry forms, documents about his progress and activities out in the field when he was apart of The Branded. And the last one, was his discharge form from their side." Neden cleared their throat before continuing. "I discovered, that upon Mr. Graveson joining The Branded, he joined under the pretense that his family had been killed due to Supernaturals. All he wanted was justice for his family, that he believed were killed by the Supernatural. But with what I had found out as well, everything that Travis was told and made to believe-" Neden paused for a moment, not able to look at Travis as the following left their lips, "-was all based on a lie." Neden finished as they placed two folders on the table that sat in front of the Elders.

Neden turned back to face them, "The reality was, Mr. Graveson's parents were killed by the monsters he was led to believe. If anything, the monsters in question were the ones who lied to him in the first place. No supernatural forces were involved in their deaths. Only humans." Neden looked away for a moment, making the briefest eye-contact with Rosie before continuing. "Within those folders, you will see the fabricated story that the recruiting officers of The Branded forged, to gain Mr. Graveson's loyalty. Like most of those who get involved with The Branded, are lied to and deceived to bolster their ranks. They have one goal in mind, to wipe out the supernatural, not caring what means they must take to achieve it. Even killing innocent people to accomplish their goals." Neden finally looked at Travis, a sorrowful look overcame their face for a moment.

There was silence that filled the room for a moment as Neden took a moment to let it all settle in everyone's mind for what was revealed. "While it does not excuse Travis of his actions while within The Branded, and it never will pardon him for his actions. At the very least it explains why he did the things he did. At least consider it in your decision. While it is unforgivable, it is at the very least understandable. A young kid wanting justice for his parents murder." Neden took another moment as they walked back up to the podium. "Retrieving this evidence nearly cost me my life. The last document, which is The Branded's claim for what happened to Travis. They have it documented that he betrayed them and was killed in combat. They believe him to be dead, as that was what a few of their own Hunters claimed during the last attack." Neden held up another folder, and gave it to the Elder's Representative.

"What I will say, to finish this off. Is that while Mr. Graveson here is responsible for dozens of deaths of innocent Supernaturals. He is also responsible for the deaths of dozens of Hunters that belong to The Branded. He's fought just as hard for us, if not even harder than he ever has. And that at the very least has to count for something. We don't expect nor want you to forgive and pardon his past actions. but to acknowledge them, and at the very most, be willing to consider giving him a second chance to prove himself." Neden's eyes flickered around the room one last time, before giving a small nod, "That is all." Neden retrieved their things and made their way back to their seat. Awaiting for whatever evidence Evelyn had to report for Travis' case. Neden's eyes kept grounded to the court-room's floor. They didn't know if they truly aided Travis and is cause, or only made things worse. All they could do was hope they'd at least head him out and decide based on evidence alone.



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