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Desmond "Des" Shepard

The sweetest cyborg you will ever meet.

0 · 722 views · located in A Not-Too-Distant Future

a character in “Plumeria Research Facility”, as played by Demai




ID Number: #66666
Informal Name: Desmond “Des” Shepard
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Floor: 12


From the neck up, Desmond resembles a fluffy duckling when he first wakes up in the morning. All newborn blinking innocence and messy hair. As the day goes on, depending on the company, that will either remain or change to something far harder and sharper. There is exactly one person that he is a fluffy duckling around, which is why the two of them are allowed to be together.

More on that later.

When angered or focusing, Desmond doesn't so much walk as prowl, and his walk is better described as a murder strut. He has a strong core, with his shoulders tilted a little forward and his chin slightly down, hips swaying and shoulders moving a little with them when he moves. He walks with a slight forward tilt, as if he's going to reach out and grab you. It also works to conceal his true height, which is 6'3. Despite his footsteps often being silent, he has a presence that few fail to notice. His expressions are usually in the realm of soft and earnest and genuine, though. He has heartbreaking puppy dog eyes, and often appears somewhat like a kicked puppy. He can also move his eyebrows individually, so sometimes that will catch people off guard, which will make him laugh. Normally, he walks as if terrified that he'll scare the dust particles in the air. He's very careful in how he steps.

Desmond's eyes are a bright icy blue that occasionally change color in the light and with his mood, turning flinty when he's angry and more watery when he's laughing. He has long eyelashes, set above has high, chiseled cheekbones. He has red, pouty lips and a strong jaw, with a cleft in his chin and three-day stubble, because he is a lazy butt and doesn't want to shave nearly as often as he should. Speaking of his mouth, he has a soft accent that turns to into ta and you into ya and sometimes drops G's off the ends of words and occasionally just kind of throws words together. He hates his voice, to be honest. It's deep and should be smooth, something that would be sweet and good for crooning love songs deep into the night. However, what throws it off is the metallic sound that echoes beneath it. Sometimes, when he gets angry or close to tears, speaking hurts, as his vocal chords have been replaced partly with metal that doesn't quite fit right. He was created for utility, the only purpose his voice would have had would be mission reports.

Desmond's hair is dark, and far too soft for his own good. He keeps that kind of long too, down to his shoulders. Inevitably, every morning, it will be sticking up literally everywhere. It feathers out a little at the ends, though it falls straight for the most part. His greatest weakness is likely his hair, as it happens. Whenever someone plays with it or scratches his scalp, he just kind of... melts into their arms. It feels far too good, and it is the most sensitive area of his body, besides the seams where his metal limbs and plates meet flesh.

Desmond's most noticeable feature, though, is not his hair or his eyes or that jaw of his. About half of his body is made of a shiny, non-corrosive alloy that employs both hardness and strength to make him into a weapon of great potential. His left arm as well as his right leg are constructed entirely of this metal, along with most of his torso and neck, as well as his right ear. As lightweight as it is, it is still heavier than a human arm, and as such most of his bones are also made of metal to anchor his limbs and keep them from actually falling off. He still has many of his original organs, but he also has wires laced throughout him, as well as general things to make working on him easier. He can open the metal parts of his body to care for them and attempt to fix any glitches. In order to achieve the ability to move about perfectly, his metal parts are made of plates that allow him to move, bend, and otherwise act normally.

Each of the metal limbs and areas on his body are connected to his brain, and have artificial nerves. He has a full range of motion, as well as full access to the immensely important sense of touch. Which, of course, means that he can feel pain as well. Sparking or moving wires wrong inside of him can hurt immensely. He is waterproof, of course, and his eyes are also implanted with a chip that allows him to either view the world normally or as if looking through a computer interface, assessing threats and accessing the programming that is a part of him. Part of his mind is computer, and sometimes, he catches viruses, which is immensely annoying. Imagine him to be partly like Buzz Lightyear. The viruses don't exactly hurt him, but he may start wooing people in Spanish.

Desmond was created for usefulness as well, and much of his physique reflects that. In his right elbow, there is a place created specifically for a needle to go in, if drugs of any sort must be administered. There are various compartments in his sides, leg, and arm that can be adjusted to hold all sorts of things, from kill switches to weapons. He also responds to various code words, each with a different purpose. They are seldom-used words, such as "otsukaresama", which is an untranslatable Japanese word that is used to tell someone that you recognize their work and are thankful for it. This word acts as a sleeping switch, and he will pass out and remain still and malleable for a period of 24 hours and 15 minutes, exactly. Previously, it was used to transport him. Recently, as he gains more self awareness, he has been revolting against these words. He will dream during this period of rest, and sometimes cries out. The word "demesne" can be used in times of great distress, to force him to calm down for a short period of time. He is rumored to have a kill switch, but whatever that may have been, only he knows it now.

Desmond dresses for comfort, partly because he was never permitted to in his old world. He was used to restrains and straps, and now that he's been offered something soft, he takes every chance he has to wear hoodies or sweatpants or soft fabrics in general. He is almost always warm to the touch, but he sometimes still feels cold, so he will often be found wearing long sleeves. His weight is mostly muscle and metal, and so he is immensely hard to actually pick up. He has very nice arms, and sometimes distractedly will pinch himself to leave bruises on his flesh, hoping to remind himself of reality or to punish himself in cases where he believes he has done wrong. He has thick thighs and broad shoulders, paired with a small waist.

Abilities & Mutations

Description: Subject #66666 is the result of experiment in creating the perfect soldier. It has strength and speed greater than peak human performance, emphasized and added to by the metal implants and parts that it has. It can crack concrete with only its fingers, and pass cars on a highway with ease. It heals at a rate much faster than a regular human. It can observe reality through a computer interface connected to its eyes, and normally, it is able to extend its consciousness and explore other computers, gathering data and probably occasionally implanting viruses. However, there is currently a block on that ability. Subject #66666 has lasers as well as powerful electromagnets in its metal hand, enabling it to defend itself outside of hand-to-hand combat. It has incredible combat skills, and has dozens of recorded kills to its name.

Potential Uses for Mutation: Combat, for the most part. Death, potentially, through its codewords.

Flaws or Defects in Subject: Subject is meant to respond to a series of codewords, but as it gains agency, it rebels against them further. Subject #66666 must always follow direct orders, though. Subject #66666 glitches on occasion and catches viruses. There have been two incidents in the past month where its internal functions caught fire from overheating. Subject overworks itself and will not answer when asked about its physical state. Hypothesis states that it does not wish to worry subject #31235. When apart from #31235, it grows increasingly angry and agitated.
*Note: Do NOT Separate


Otsukaresama: Used to make the subject "sleep" for a period of 24 hours and 15 minutes exactly. It will not respond during this time, making transport convenient and easy. This word can be used consecutively, but only once the subject regains consciousness will it have any effect.

Demesne: Used in cases of great distress to force the subject to calm down immediately; slows breathing and reduced heart rate.

Aubergine: Used to restrict breathing; acts as a punishment. Ends with repetition of the word.

The Sound of Silence: The actual song has been programmed into the subject's mind. When hummed or sung for upwards of four seconds, it will cause the subject to lose its voice for two hours and three minutes, exactly.

Kuebiko: This word, when used, disables the use of all functioning metal limbs and parts visible on the surface of the subject for a period of 15 hours and 7 minutes, with a leeway of 10 seconds. Bones and organs will still work, as well as the extremities still constructed of flesh.

Noctivagus: In Latin, literally, wandering in the night. This inspires in the subject a need to return to the base, to return home, so to speak.
*Notes: This was the most commonly known and used codeword, as it caused little harm. However, as the base no longer exists, this codeword now will inspire a deep and instinctive nostalgia in him that he cannot ignore nor rid himself of, and he will wander, searching for the home that he destroyed himself and knowing all the while that he will never find it.

Inretio: In Latin, this word means trap. When used, this word restricts the subject's ability to access other computers or technology using his mind.
*Currently in use, unsure of how to remove this block.

Symperiféromai: Used when the subject is being particularly rebellious. This will force it to respond to and obey any order given, without any resistance whatsoever.
*Known only to Desmond and Meadow.

Mnemosyne: Used in cases of extreme need only. Wipes the subject of all of its memories, causing it to become a clean slate once more. It will recall its utilities and function, as well as skills learned, but personhood and any affections gained will be forgotten.
*Known only to Desmond and Meadow.

Hygge: Ironically used to describe peace and enjoying life's simple pleasures in Denmark, this codeword will cause the subject immense pain. It can be ended by a repetition of this word. Otherwise, it can go on for an unlimited amount of time. The longest recorded test of this was exactly 48 hours, 51 minutes, and 34.2 seconds.
*Known only to Desmond and Meadow.

Psūkhē: Perhaps the most dangerous of these codewords. This is the subject's kill switch. The utterance of this word will release chemicals hidden in compartments inside of the subject's metal parts, as well as cause its internal functions to glitch and destroy themselves from the inside out. Death will be swift and painful.
*Known only to Desmond and Meadow.

Desmond is constantly being torn between two different sides of himself. The first is instinctively violent, a little animalistic, accustomed to killing. The second is one of the kindest people you will ever meet, and that is who he truly is. Years of conditioning has gotten to him, and he reacts very badly to being scared or being pushed into doing anything he doesn't want to. It takes a gentle, familiar hand to get him to calm down, but it does take a little while.

Desmond was the sweetest child in the world, with a head of fluffy hair and a habit of walking up to people in the supermarket and very gently stroking their hands, gazing up at them with his big blue eyes and declaring the scariest looking of people his very best friends. His mother informed him that he could only be friends with them if he knew something about them, and so he would ask for their middle name or favorite color and then give her a very smug look. He annoyed some people, endeared himself to others, and that seems to still be how it is today. He's eager to befriend people, though he is often terrified of new people. It takes him a while to get comfortable around them, to get used to them. As soon as he gets used to them, he's entirely fine. He'll dance with them, laugh with them. He knows a lot of very lame puns, and sometimes makes up new ones.

Desmond is very honest, in all of his dealings. He's the sort of person that you want to consult for fashion advice, because he will tell you if that dress actually goes with your hair. In general, though, particularly as he meets new people, he wants them to like him. When they act standoffish to him, he wants to wrap them up in his arms and get them to like him again. He's very stubborn, he's got a head like an ox. He's also a gentle giant, in all definitions of the word. He loves soft, delicate things, and he has not once broken one. He cries very easily as well, despite his harsh and hard background. If something's really happy or really sad, he will cry. He cannot physically make it through half of the Disney movies that people watch.

Everything that Desmond feels, he feels poignantly. The serum did something to him, increasing how sensitive he is to literally everything. He feels pain at a greater scale, he feels emotion at an immense rate. He's immensely empathetic, and he wants to comfort everyone he possibly can. Despite being made partly of metal, he gives excellent hugs. Desmond notices things and he feels things, and that is part of what makes him unique. When he loves, he loves with his whole being. Despite and perhaps because he is so sensitive, though, he is selfish. He is terribly bad at giving things up, at losing things. He's kind of a hoarder, too. Whenever someone gives him something at all, whether it's a pretty marble or a piece of paper, he will keep it forever and ever. Desmond treasures everything that he is given, from food to trinkets. He loves food, also. He savors everything he is given, because someone put work into it.

Desmond loves cuddles, and he's kind of immensely sassy. He's got a way with words, and occasionally he writes poetry or random snippets. He loves words, and he doesn't know it, but his mother was a writer. He's most like his mother, in appearance and mannerisms, and if they ever meet, they will recognize that. Particularly when he's mad, though, he'll take his way with words and twist it, his usually helpful honesty turning angry and frustrated. When he's mad, often, he will isolate himself, drawing away from everyone. When he gets attached to people, he will rarely become angry with them.

Desmond, though, for all of his kindness and love and sensitivity, is a human weapon. Death is something normal to him, having his hands stained with blood is something that he has grown up with. He's used to being given a mission, a target, and then going and killing whoever he is told to kill. He's used to following orders, and without a mission, he's often a little lost. Desmond is creative, both with his hands and in general, but sometimes that creativity is put to use in killing someone in an immensely painful way. He's got an ability to shut out screaming or loud noises in general, just because he's so used to them. Sometimes, he'll sink into his programming again, and he'll be a threat to most, if not all, around him. It's hard for him not to think of himself as a monster, and he'll beg people not to touch him sometimes. For all of his good, Desmond sees himself as a murderer, and cannot think well of himself. He relies on others for any form of self esteem, because if he's left to his own devices, he will sink into self hate. He's killed so many and done so much bad, and even if it was because he was forced to, his agency removed, it was still his hands. His palms are still stained with blood.

Desmond is not easily angered, but he sometimes reacts instinctively violently in general. If someone tries to take something from or hurt someone that he loves, he will push them away or pick them up and move them away. Often, people are a little like spiders to him. He doesn't really want to kill them, but he will pick them up and set them outside the door and hope that they don't come back. He also often doesn't mean to hurt people, but sometimes he does on accident. He'll apologize a thousand times over for that. However, when he's sunk into his programming, he'll prowl around like a wolf, he'll snap at everything he sees. He's a weapon, he's a hunter, and he certainly acts the part.

When it comes down to it, Desmond is a wonderful person. He's often content to watch the sunrise or lay with his head in Meadow's lap and watch her play video games. He loves having his hair played with, and he's kind of a flirt. He loves to dance, and he hates his voice because of the metallic scraping that accompanies it. He's not used to having a lot or being shown affection or gratitude, so when someone compliments him or says he did a good job, he will actually preen. He's a full body blusher as well, and he's very bashful. He loves being called pet names, though he rarely calls others by them. He's partial towards calling others sweetheart or sweetie, but other than that, he does use their names. He's more used to the world than some of the inmates, but even so, he's still separated from it. He loves sweets, he loves sugar of any and all kinds, and he is very good at fixing things. He's kind of the mom friend as well, he's very bad at not worrying. He's very physically affectionate to those he's close to, and he likes to always be touching them in some way, if it's hand holding or hugging or even just comforting touches on the shoulder. He loves being touched, and he loves to sing, though he will never, ever do it when others are around. He only sings to Meadow when he thinks that she's asleep.

Notable Skills: Subject has great physical strength, while retaining an almost predator-like grace. It was created to be a hunter, and can move silently and fight with nearly perfect form. It is also excellent at knitting, singing, anything involving heavy lifting, and ballet. It enjoys dancing. It keeps trying to persuade Dr. Reid to dance with it.
*Note: Get him to make Dr. Neill a scarf, the AC's been freezing lately

Notable Disadvantages: It responds to a series of codewords that can be utilized in various ways, and are listed below. It has various glitches in its machinery that range from amusing to dangerous, such as its occasional catching of viruses (amusing) and its occasional overheating (dangerous). It is also unable to access other technology using its mind, as one of the aforementioned codewords is currently in effect.

Subject #66666 is the lone survivor of an experiment in creating the perfect soldier. He was born to a normal family, with parents and an older sister. However, a terrible drunk driving accident caused him to be taken from his family. They were all safe, for the most part, but they were told that he was dead. The paramedics were bribed into taking him, as the program needed subjects. Tiny and broken, they brought the child back to their labs to study him. He would be trained, assuming that this actually worked. Those in charge of this project were praying for a miracle, and this fluffy-haired child was exactly what they were looking for.

The child responded well to each of the treatments. That is, save for one. It would become absolute perfection, it would respond to programming and to instructions, and they hoped to keep him human as long as they could and push the limits. They only got half of a chance to do so, though, because the serum they injected into him caused an adverse effect. Burn marks and terrible scarring appeared on his left arm, the product beginning to eat and burn away at him from the inside out, just as it had for every other subject. This time was different, though, it didn't instantly blow through him and leave him a charred piece of dust on a lab table. It was slow-working, and its hunger seemed sated after it took his arm and leg and chunks out of him. It wasn't enough to kill him like it had all the others.

The child sobbed and screamed for its mother all throughout, and they put it into a medically induced coma to get it to be quiet. While it was asleep, they replaced its limbs and parts of its body and mind with metal. The serum worked, besides those stupid side effects, and the child would be able to lift things more than five times his weight even at such a young age. So, they fixed what they could, and knew that as he grew older, they would have to replace and better his metal parts.

When the child awoke from his coma, he panicked, and destroyed half of the lab. So, of course, the solution was to gather a series of other great minds and begin to turn this child into an avenging angel that would obey their every word. It was a chance at playing god, and they leapt at it. The parts that the serum had not eaten were strengthened, far beyond normal human capacity, and his mind was malleable, now. They were able to program him through trial and error, using a mix of punishments and the computer in his mind to slowly change his nature. They took his memories of his family and of all that he had used to be. His home consisted of a base with shiny walls and technology that they often hooked him up to.

They named him Cobalt, and he was their favorite tool. He made his first kill when he was eight, and only stopped six months ago. When he wasn't in use, they'd put him to sleep. He was subhuman, he was more machine than person, and they felt little guilt over abandoning him for a couple months and then coming back. He felt little attachment to them, but he had little choice but to obey. Over time, they broke every bone in his body, injected him with who knows what, testing him and trying him. He was the only survivor, and they had to test his limits.

Their breaking of his skin and bone didn't affect him much. He cried and screamed and then healed quickly. It was when they started to tinker with his metal parts, trying to improve them, that they actually began to destroy him. He began to overheat. They replaced his vocal chords and they hurt. Everything that they tried to fix, they only made worse. And still, they sent him on missions. They had the perfect soldier, why not use it? But in seeking perfection, they broke him.

Finally, they realized that as useful as he had been, that he was no longer the perfect weapon they wanted him to be. He was no longer a gun, to be pointed and used. Cobalt became aggressive towards them as well, trying to assert himself. He made multiple escape attempts. So, of course, they decided that the best course of action was to decommission him. They were going to wipe his memories and take his abilities and turn him into a husk. He knew this. He heard them. Maybe they'd take him apart slowly, while he was still alive. He was a thing to them, nothing mortal or human any longer. Maybe they'd use parts of him to create other soldiers. Maybe they'd unwind him slowly, take his skin and his blood and his metal limbs... He was particularly attached to his metal limbs. They were the only things he could call his.

And when they came for him, he was ready. He killed all of them before they could take him apart. All of them save for one, who knocked him out, who knew that he would have no chance at containing this force of nature on his own.

Six months ago, he was brought to the facility, covered in blood and guts. When he woke up, he successfully killed something like a dozen guards in under three minutes with his bare hands. It was then that he met a tiny, tiny woman with feathers and huge eyes that took his too-big hand and promised him that he'd be okay. There was no fear in her eyes, and that was initially what drew him to her. He was so, so used to fear or fascination. She just looked... excited to meet him. And even though he left a trail of blood and red was still drying all across him, she introduced herself as Meadow and squeezed his hand and then led him off. He tried to hide it, but he was terrified of this place. She promised him that he didn't need to be scared, and it only took another day for him to start associating her with safety and home. She was delicate and small, but she was... Goodness. She became his whole world. They were put in separate rooms at first, but every night and most of the day, she'd come to him. He wasn't allowed to leave his room just yet, and he missed sunlight and music so, so badly. But her eyes were just like the sun and her voice was better than his favorite song. So he was okay.

Cobalt became Desmond about a month after he was introduced to the facility. His hair was braided, and he had his head resting in Meadow's lap as he watched her play a game involving assassins. He chose his name because Altair felt a little too fancy, and Desmond Miles had a fabulous hoodie. Later, he chose Shepard for a last name, as a result of the Mass Effect games. He liked those names far better than the codename he had been given, and he permanently abandoned it as soon as he had a name of his own. He and Meadow share a room now, which is both absolutely wonderful, because he can't imagine being away from her, and absolutely terrible, because he has somehow managed to fall head over heels in love with her. And he can't tell her, and he knows she doesn't feel the same way. So he's doing his very best to be content with just being her friend. He's dependent on her almost to a dangerous level, and the doctors fear separating them. All in all, though, he's got more agency than he did. He has people who love him. He's happy. And that's more than he had ever hoped for.

Actions of Note within Facility: There are rumors of him, Caspian, Guinevere, and Dr. Reid forming a quartet. When he first arrived, he was a great danger, and now is placid as can be.

So begins...

Desmond "Des" Shepard's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meadow Character Portrait: Desmond "Des" Shepard
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#, as written by Inuiri
A collab between Demai and Inuiri

If there was one thing that Des had noticed about sharing a room with Meadow, it was that he slept far better than he did alone. He actually had time to dream in between the night terrors and the insomnia that hit him hard on the worst possible days. He’d had wonderful dreams that night, and he wasn’t used to waking up smiling.
“Dezzy..” The little voice beside him mewled, shifting and getting on her knees, bouncing and shaking the bed, making it thump over and over. “Wake up!” Meadow chirped, hugging him tight as she kept it up. “Wake up wake up wake up!”
That was the second thing that he had noticed. He tended to wake up plenty earlier than he normally did. “Meadoooow,” He complained in a mumble, his voice made hoarse from sleep. “‘M busy.” He protested, wrapping the tiny woman up in his arms and rolling over to trap her in them, effectively preventing her from escaping and continuing to disturb his slow awakening. The little girl squealed delightfully in reply as he moved, hugging his neck tight and grinning from ear to ear, yelping in pain when she laid on her back, the weight agitating her wings. She gasped and clung tight to him like a cat that had been thrown in water, keeping her back off the bed.
Alright, not busy any more. Worry immediately struck at his chest, a flood of guilt immediately filling the hole it left. He gasped a soft apology, gently lifting her off it a little, keeping her off the sheets easily. She was light as a feather in his arms, and perhaps that was an apt comparison.
“I’m ok.” She assured him quietly, calmed by his arms around her despite the constant ache in her shoulder blades. “See? Promise.” Meadow assured brightly, nuzzling his shoulder.
Des mumbled another apology in response, careful to move his hands just so, hoping to avoid hurting her further. He knew she wasn’t alright, she was in pain, she was... She was likely going to need surgery at some point, and he couldn’t even hug her tighter, because he would crush her. He put on a brave face, smiling and nudging at her gently in response. “So I can go back to sleep?” He teased softly.
“Noo!” She squeaked indignantly, squeezing him tight to compensate for how he couldn’t. “You have to be up! Up up up!!” The girl cheered gleefully.
“Down down down.” Des grumbled good-naturedly, shifting to place her atop him with gentle hands. “Better?” He asked quietly.
Meadow giggled brightly, kissing his nose when she was in place. “Uh huh.” She hummed, hugging him tight and hiding away in his chest. “But up!” She insisted once more, tugging him towards the edge of the bed.

Des gave her a terribly amused look, sighing at last and then letting her tug him along, slowly sitting up. He yawned, reaching up to scrub at his eyes with mismatched hands. He mentally told the computer that attempted to analyze his current state of sleep deprivation to shut up, and dragged one hand down his face. “‘M tired.” He mumbled, pillowing his head on her shoulder.
She grinned and hugged him tight still, “But it’s morning!” She whined with a grin, just as much of a bird like this as in every other way, with the need to wake up everyone.
“And I’m Des.” The cyborg teased a little, dropping a kiss onto her hair and then curling up, small as he could get with his size, pillowing his head on her lap. “Five more minutes?” He pled, peering up at her and giving her a pair of pathetic puppy dog eyes.
Meadow pouted and laid across him too, hugging his waist and nuzzling his metal shoulder. “But it’s time to be up!” She cried again.
Des was losing this battle, and finally, he surrendered, gently picking her up and setting her on his shoulders. “What are we doing today?” He asked, tapping his metal fingers on her knee. So far as he knew, they were just going to be meeting with Lottie--Dr. Reid, he reminded himself.
“I dunno!” She hummed with a grin, resting her chin on his head and hugging his neck tight, petting his locks back into place, still crazy from sleep. “Can we go outside?” She asked innocently, just like every day.
“We can ask,” Des answered softly, a gentle answer that came most days around this time in the morning. But the answer was always no, no, the director says no, the doctors say no... He didn’t blame them, really. Not for him and Cas, anyway. But Meadow deserved better.
Meadow grinned brightly at the prospect, hugging him tighter and squealing his name happily. “Ask!” She repeated gleefully. “When we see Lottie.”
“What time is she coming here?” Des asked. He considered amending his sentence, adding an over right before the word here, but it was really all one giant compound. They were an elevator away from her, but getting to that elevator, well... He’d rather not risk it.
“3.” She hummed in reply, kicking her legs as she sat on his shoulders, repeating the number a few times with a smile, playing with his hair once it was all fixed.
“And what time is it now?” Des nuzzled into her hands gently, tipping his head back to look at her. Time for you to get a watch, he thought, but there were no watches to be found easily accessible around there.
“9!” The girl answered happily, crawling her way to his front, hugging to him like a koala and gazing up at him with her excited golden eyes.
Des was relatively confident that he could feel his heart melting at her response and then at her embrace. He hugged her carefully, humming softly to her. “Six hours is a long time to practice dancing.” He teased a little, swaying in a circle with her.
She gasped at the idea. “We can dance! And then do other stuff too!” Meadow chirped hurriedly, slipping from his arms and landing silently on her toes, grabbing his hands.
Des couldn't help but smile at her excitement. He leaned down, gently setting her on her feet. “Like what?” He prompted gently, raising his hands to let her have them.
The ginger squeezed his hands and released one to twirl, hugging him when she returned to his chest. “Like stuff with you.” She cooed in earnest, gazing up at him with a soft smile.Image
“Like drawing, or singing? We could make frosting,” Des hugged her gently, dropping a kiss onto her head. He loved frosting. “And something to eat with the frosting.” He teased a little. But of course, that was second on the list of priorities when it came to that.
“Sing!” She gasped immediately, jumping and hugging his hands to her chest. “We should sing.” She murmured quieter, smiling brightly. She didn’t get to hear his voice a lot… He thought she was asleep. But she never really was.
Des hesitated at that, biting his bottom lip out of habit. His brain was moving a mile a minute, though, apparently determined to inform him of all the bad things that could happen. “I--” He started, and nervousness made his vocal chords scrape together. His cheeks flushed, and he ducked his head down, as if he were a turtle and could hide in his shell, earning a gasp from Meadow at the metallic grating. Assuming he was hurt like he normally was from such a sound, she leaned up on her tiptoes and pet his throat in a soothing motion, trying to fix it. Des’ cheeks only got darker at her actions, and he leaned down a little to accommodate her better, not wanting her to have to strain herself.
“Better?” She inquired in a small voice, hugging him tight, seemingly never getting off her toes as she stroked his hair. “We don’t have to sing that’s ok, we can do other stuff.” Meadow assured him gently.
“You wanted to sing,” Des whispered, trying to get the frustrating pieces of metal that let him speak to work. He hesitated a little, giving them another few moments to soothe themselves. “You’re awake when I sing to you?” He asked, a little shyly, as soon as they felt well enough to work.
Her already pink cheeks burned bright red as her eyes widened. “I.. Y-Yeah..” She mumbled bashfully, ducking her head down and kicking the ground with her toe. “‘M sorry I can stop.” She whispered, peeking up beneath her curls.
Des quickly shook his head, squeezing her hands gently, hoping to comfort her somewhat. “It’s okay,” He promised softly. “Does it help you sleep at all?” He asked after a moment of hesitancy, afraid that the scraping would keep her awake rather than help her fall asleep.
Her cheerful grin returned in a millisecond at his question, nodding hurriedly and hugging him tight. “Lots.” she mused, rocking on the balls of her feet, unable to be sad for more than a moment.
The cyborg was rather relieved that he hadn’t caused any lasting damage, and he smiled. He hugged her back in a moment, careful as always. “Lots and lots?” He teased, nudging at her curls gently.
“Yeah!” Meadow chirped in reply, kissing his cheek and becoming distracted quickly as her stomach growled, her insatiable metabolism rearing it's ugly head. “Do we have more animal crackers?” She inquired sweetly, pulling from his embrace and wandering about their room on her tiptoes, heading for the cabinets too high for her. The snacks were one of the easy things for Lottie to sneak in for her.
Des went after her, resting his metal hand on the doorway briefly, just gazing at her with a soft little smile on his face. He was just happy to know her, to be able to spend his time with her. “I think we do,” He answered, reaching down to gently lift her up so that she could reach. “We should still have the ones with icing too.” He added with a bright smile.
“Yay!” She giggled, clapping and hugging to his arm as she was lifted, kissing his cheek and reaching up. Almost falling from his arms as she reached for the door, she pulled it open and grabbing the tiny box, hugging it to her chest and swinging her legs.
He breathed in sharply when she just about fell, gathering her back to him with gentle fingers in moments, making sure that she was safe and secure. Then, he set her down on the counter. “You okay?” He asked softly. She nodded firmly and opened the box like nothing was wrong, humming quietly as she worked on it, pulling one out and kneeling up, putting the cracker in front of his mouth. Des took the spare moment to try to still his flyaway heart, soothing it with reassurances that she was okay and he hadn't yet dropped her. He came back to himself a moment later, and then he purposely crossed his eyes to look at the cracker, a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.
Meadow giggled and poked him in the mouth with it, “Eat!” She ordered happily. “Breakfast time,” She clarified further.
“I like breakfast,” Des teased a little, and then nudged at her hand playfully before delicately taking the cracker from her hand, thanking her as soon as he swallowed.
A grin split across her features as she hugged his neck, “Go get breakfast!” She suggested. “With everyone else. Down in the cafeteria.” The ginger hummed as she crawled onto his back again, voice muffled by the crackers in her mouth.
“As you wish,” He answered with a soft little smile, shifting to help support her as she climbed over again. His whole chest felt warm just being around her, and he resisted the urge to turn his head and gaze after her. “Cas might be down there.” He hummed in thought, smiling a little at the remembrance of their friend.
She pouted a little but nodded. “Ok.” She grumbled, her voice too soft and sweet to convey any real negative emotion. “Go!” She chirped, pointing to the door and kissing a metal spot on his shoulder as they headed out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meadow Character Portrait: David Graham Character Portrait: Desmond "Des" Shepard
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#, as written by Demai
A collab between Demai and Inuiri

As the two continued down the hall, Meadow sang quietly to her beloved, giant, bodyguard. Des didn’t wanna sing. That was ok. She would do it for him. She kissed his locks, though there was more behind the affectionate gesture. TV said when someone makes your heart feel all funny that’s what love was. And that’s what Desmond felt like… So she loved him then. But she didn’t get the difference between the way they said I love you, things that were and weren’t ok. They always said I love you. But Dezzy couldn’t always have loved her. It made her head hurt thinking about it. So she pushed it aside and leaned over, kissing his nose and hugging his neck tight.
Des’ mind was on the same general topic, though a slightly different branch of it. Hearing her sing made every atom in his body, flesh and metal, want to stand up and twirl around. He felt so, so happy... Meadow was the light of his life, to be entirely honest, and he wished he could give her the world, despite knowing that that wasn’t a possibility right then. Someday. He hummed softly along with her, smiling at the song that he recognized. He chuckled softly, and gently squeezed her calves, nuzzling at her knee gently.

She squeaked a little at the feeling and giggled, “Hey~” She scolded gently, kissing his metal palm and hugging it to her chest, crawling to his chest and curling up there. “Don’t squishy me!”

Des tipped his head up at that, offering her an entirely innocent look as he surrendered his hand to her. He couldn’t help but smile, helping to keep her steady as she migrated down to his chest. He cradled her there, letting her listen to his metallic heart. “Why would I do that?” He teased gently.

She giggled, kissing his nose as she leaned up. “You’re a meanie.” She cooed lovingly, nuzzling his chest and squeezing him tight. “Meanie Des.” She hummed.

There had to be some reasonable combination of the words Meanie and Des, but he couldn’t easily think of one. He laughed softly, and pressed a kiss to her hair in response. “Am not.”

“Yeah.” She chirped softly, grabbing his hand with both of hers, nuzzling his wrist and smiling. “I love you.” The little birdie hummed, peering up at him with her bright golden eyes, full of nothing but love.

Des felt his whole chest light up at her words, as if her voice had turned on a light switch inside of him. He attempted to quiet the butterflies that appeared along with it, and it was a practiced act by then. If only your heart was supposed to do funny things when you were in love, he was in trouble, because loving Meadow was a full body experience. “I love you too,” he whispered affectionately, condensing the light in his chest and the butterflies in his stomach and the warmth everywhere else into three words that he meant, and hoped that she might eventually.

Her eyes lit up at that, giggling gleefully and hugging him tight, kissing his cheek as she latched onto his neck. “Yay!!” She cheered, kicking her feathered feet happily as she ran her talons over his scalp.

The cyborg couldn’t help but laugh, finding her joy contagious and needing an outlet for all the warmth that had welled up inside of him. He hugged her gently, cradling her to him and rocking her gently in his arms. Then, as if another switch had been pulled in him, all the tension went straight out of his shoulders when she touched his hair, his eyes closing briefly. If a man could purr, he certainly was as he nuzzled into her hands.

The tiny experiment giggled at his reaction, keeping it up and continuing her singing as she swung her legs. “Don’t fall asleep.” She cooed playfully.

“Meadooow, you’re gonna make me melt.” Des protested softly, smiling a little. He gave her a petulant look, peering up at her through his lashes before she hit a particularly sensitive spot and there he went again.

She bit her lip to suppress a grin and pulled her hands away with a little laugh. “Ok, no more.” Meadow vowed playfully, tucking her hands behind her back and smiling smugly.

It took him a moment to get his center of gravity back in the right place, and he successfully found one of her hands afterwards. Out of habit, he gently ran his thumb over the feathers on her wrist, and ached to kiss them. But he gazed at her instead, with a soft look in his eyes and a little smile. “Once we sit down?” He suggested softly.

Meadow nodded firmly in reply and hugged his neck again. “Uh huh.” She hummed softly, nuzzling her nose against his jaw, too naive to understand the intimacy of it as she let her eyes flutter shut.

Des’ cheeks flushed softly at her actions, and he ducked his head down a little, unable to keep from leaning into her touch. Guilt soon stabbed at his chest, though, because he knew she didn’t know. And he himself only had some vague idea... What a pair they were, really. He dropped a kiss onto her temple in response as they came up to the elevator doors.

The girl giggled in reply and squished her burning cheeks with glee, feathers puffing out a bit as she poked his nose with her talon, opening her mouth the speak only for them to almost slam into David and Margot as they stepped from the elevator.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meadow Character Portrait: David Graham Character Portrait: Desmond "Des" Shepard
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"Do you suppose we could visit Meadow first?"

David looked up from the clipboard on his lap, which he'd balanced on the suitcase that rested on his thighs. He'd checked Margot into the facility multiple times, and each time, he had another stack of paperwork to file. He knew it was only a matter of time before he could no longer get his daughter below the lobby, but until that day, he'd continue filing as many medical forms as he had to.
"Yeah...uh...are you on any new medicines?" he asked, looking up briefly from his form and looking around for Margot. The young girl had taken to walking in a slow circle around his wheelchair, swinging her arms back and forth impatiently.

"Dunno," she mumbled, coming to a stop now as she looked at David in exasperation. This happened every time. Why couldn't he do this before she got here? He was wasting the time she got to spend exploring. "You could ask Mom." David made a face, tapping the pen against his packet of papers.

"Let's not bring your mother into this, got it?" He filled in "unknown" for now, telling himself he'd go back and fix that when he knew. With that, he slammed his pen down on the paper and smiled down at Margot. ”Come on then, you. We’ve got to turn this in.”

David wheeled himself over to the front desk and dropped the papers off before any questions could be asked. Margot trailed behind, slinging her backpack onto her shoulders as her father continued making his way towards the elevator. Truly, she loved these visits here - even if she could never speak of it when she went back home. Long ago, her father had fabricated stories she'd be able to tell when her mother asked. And, boy, did she ask.

But Margot wouldn't tell, she couldn't tell. Then she wouldn't be able to come back, and God knew when she'd next see her father. She'd asked her mother once why Dad didn't visit them, and Adele had just laughed to herself before cutting off. She wouldn't sink so low as to insult David in front of her daughter. And yet sometimes she couldn't help herself.
"Well, we'll drop your bags off and then-" David began to speak as they entered the elevator, after he'd scanned his ID.

"You said I could see Meadow," Margot shot back, crossing her arms over her chest now.

"I did?" Oh God, what else did I agree to? "Uh, yeah, I did. Let's go drop off-" But Margot had already pressed the button to Meadow's floor, determined to reclaim as much of her visit as he'd stolen while completing the paperwork. David sighed and rubbed at his temple. "You can't do this, Margot. Things are different here now - I'm in charge of you, damn it." His Scottish accent grew more intense as his voice raised in pitch slightly, sounding more like a complaint than scolding.

When the doors opened, she started to step out, but he wheeled in front of her, sliding out an arm to push her slightly back behind him. But she stopped moving without his guidance and, instead, David rolled himself into Des.

"Ah, good morning, you two," he greeted, grinning up at the pair as Margot watched from behind the wheelchair. He moved back slightly and turned in his seat to look at Margot. "Margot, this is Desmond." Now, he looked back up at the metallic man. "And this is Margot, my daughter."

"Uh...hi," the young girl said quickly, slowly stepping out front behind the wheelchair. "Nice you." She held out a hand for a moment and then pulled it back, not entirely sure she wanted to shake his metallic hand.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meadow Character Portrait: David Graham Character Portrait: Desmond "Des" Shepard
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#, as written by Inuiri
A collab between Demai and Inuiri

As soon as the elevator doors opened, Des had taken a step forward--only to quickly take three back, not wanting to accidentally crush the staffmember and the child he assumed was his daughter. An apology immediately slipped out, and he shifted Meadow a little. She was better with people than he was, and on instinct, he did his best to make himself a little smaller. That want was exacerbated by how the little girl looked at him.
Meadow, on the other hand, had the exact opposite reaction, lurching forward at the sight of them. “Margot!” She squealed gleefully, slipping from Des’ arms and holding his hand, leading him forward with a smile, bumping his arm with her forehead to get him to shake her hand.
Des was terribly torn, between the fact that Margot was literally sidling behind the wheelchair to avoid him and Meadow’s exuberance. The girl did not want to shake his hand, and Meadow was now nudging him. He looked at the latter with a helpless expression, and then hesitated before offering his normal hand as Margot reached forward, a little hope rising up in his chest. She took her hand back quickly, and that hope fizzled out promptly. He drew his back before he could touch her, whispering an apology. “Nice to meet you too.” He said softly, smiling a little at her. And for once, his voice didn’t scrape or anything
Meadow frowned a tiny bit at the awkwardness, hugging his metal arm tight to show him how much she loved it if Margot didn’t. She reached forward a little so she didn’t have to release Des, hugging Margot with one arm and grinning. “I missed you!” The ginger chirped happily. “Dezzy is the best in the world and he’s the sweetest.” She declared.
Des’ chest warmed at Meadow’s actions, and he was terribly grateful for her. He leaned down, resting his head on hers for a moment before straightening a little once more, blushing at Meadow’s response. She thought he was the sweetest? He curled his metal fingers a little, squeezing her hand gently. His actions earned a little giggle from the hybrid, leaning up to bump her forehead to his, nuzzling their noses together and tucking herself into his side as she looked back to David and Margot expectantly.