Nico considered that for a moment. Myrnin never seemed to do something unless he had a very specific reason, so it seemed unlikely that he would just be pretending not to know Sam for the fun of it. There were a lot of things Nico could picture Myrnin doing just for fun, but that wasn’t one of them. His frown deepened as Sam went on. Nico couldn’t pretend to know everything about Myrnin’s world, but he knew enough about it, and none of those names had ever come up. The Doctor? Missy? It was possible that the Doctor was a pseudonym for someone that Nico was aware of, but… then why wouldn’t Sam just use the proper name if he expects Nico to know it? “That doesn’t sound like him,” he murmured after a while. “The pretending not to know you.” Unless whoever they were with were dangerous and Myrnin didn’t want them knowing about the House? It was a lot to think about, and Nico doubted he would ever have an actual answer for Sam unless he were to ask Myrnin himself about it. “I… also have never heard him talk about The Doctor or Missy at all. But other people’s worlds seem to move at a much different pace than mine, so what do I know?” He shook his head ruefully. “We… we talk about a lot, I guess. Usually about each other’s worlds, because that’s… well, that’s a common topic when there’s nothing else to talk about. We tend to be a good team in rooms… really, he’s just someone I can trust, and who understands.” He didn’t know if that would make sense to Sam. Nico let himself smile just a little as Sam flopped back into the beanbag. He couldn’t recall if they had been there the first time Nico had blinked in, but he was getting used to them. It seemed like the House changed itself up every so often but you were never really sure if it had changed at all or if you had just been really unobservant the first few dozen times you blinked in.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 28, 2019 23:33:20 GMT -5
Sam hadn't considered the fact that maybe Myrnin was blinking in and meeting Nico at a different time then when Nico was interacting with him. But in that case, did that mean that the Myrnin in his world hadn't started blinking in yet? He didn't really know if there was a way to figure it out. He thought the rest of what Nico said made sense, though he hadn't gotten to know Myrnin well enough right now to figure out the rest of it. "I see," he said, and meant it. "I'm still getting to know him ..." He wasn't sure if he should mention the rest of it, but it came out in an almost rush, "I'm ... I'm not sure what's going to happen or where I'm going to stay - where I'm going to go." Then he bit back the words. He took a breath, then tried again. "I'm ... currently in Morganville, staying with Myrnin." He looked down at his shoes. "But I'm not stupid. I know I can't stay there. But I'm not sure where I'm going to be able to go." Maybe there was an orphanage for wayward vampires who happened to be almost-thirteen, he thought cynically. He reached up, playing with the charm on his necklace, and looked away. "So I'm not exactly sure I'm going to be hanging out with Myrnin that long either." He shifted on the beanbag, looking up at the ceiling. He sounded like he was stressing over all of this, but after several long breaths, he closed his eyes and tried to think of what to say. "Do you want to just ... go in a room or something?" he asked. He needed to blow off steam.
It was interesting, Nico thought, that he seemed to know someone from Sam’s world much better than Sam himself knew him. The House made such things possible, he knew, but that didn’t make it any less odd when it came to pass. Although the topic of Myrnin seemed to be drawing to a close, and it had upset Sam more than Nico had intended. He didn’t know the extent of the situation, of course, but it didn’t sound good. It was just… there was nothing Nico could do about it from here, and he so desperately wished he could tell Sam that it would be fine, just come to Camp Half-blood and they would find a place for him, that he would be welcomed no matter what was happening to the boy, but Nico couldn’t guarantee that. Not only was he uncertain about whether they were in the same world, but he had no idea how Camp Half-blood would take to a vampire. They certainly had never taken too well to a son of Hades, but that was his own doing. “Why can’t you stay there?” Nico asked, his voice soft. Because he knew that Morganville was a vampire town, and he knew that Myrnin had at least some leverage over who was allowed to stay, but if Sam didn’t know him all that well yet… it seemed like it would be difficult to persuade Sam to tell Myrnin what he was telling Nico. “Myrnin’s old enough that a few years of hospitality towards someone who deserves it is nothing to him. If he doesn’t let you stay… well, I’ll have some words for him.” And he would, seriously, but Nico had a feeling that such a promise was next to worthless to Sam now. There was no use getting mad about it either, Nico realized with a frustrated sigh. There was no guarantee that he’d even see Myrnin before Sam was kicked out, and even if he did, there was no way of knowing which point of his timeline he’d be on, because the House could blink you in from any time. For all Nico knew, Myrnin had kicked Sam out long before he’d met Nico. Or maybe the event lay far in the future for the Myrnin that blinked in. The whole thing almost hurt to wrap one’s head around. Frustrated by his inability to do anything but make hollow promises, Nico was grateful for the subject change. He had enough nervous energy from his own world that he almost leapt at the suggestion. “I’d love a room,” he admitted. He desperately needed something to fight that he could win against. He needed a way to expel his nervous energy and gain back some sort of confidence in his abilities. He’d been beaten down far too much by the events of the past several days. A room would be good for him. Almost without thinking, he extended a hand to Sam to help the other boy up.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 3, 2019 22:07:25 GMT -5
In some respects, Nico's words were very comforting. If he really did know Myrnin better than Samuel did then maybe there was something he could say on the matter which might at least give Samuel a chance in this whole chaos. "Alright," he said, unwilling to admit he was too much of a coward to ask. He didn't know how well Myrnin would even find the opinion. Sam could figure out pretty easily that the vampire wasn't good with children. But it was something that at least gave him pause. He didn't even think of the chaotic time possibilities anymore. It was just enough, he supposed, that here he could relax. Here he didn't have to worry if he had a roof over his head (though he had a low and distant fear that he might have need of food). A room was the only thing he could think of for a distraction. And then Nico had his hand extended and Sam was very distracted. He looked at it, remembering Nico saying he didn't like being touched. Then Sam noticed the small pulse at his wrist. Then he was taking the hand and ignoring both of the things, being helped up. He could feel the life under Nico's hand and he felt his palm tingle, and for some reason he couldn't think straight. Should he say thank you? Or was this too small a gesture to say thank you for? Should he at least smile? Or was that too much too? Several flustered thoughts flew through his head and by the time he decided on smiling he also realized he'd held onto Nico's hand for about three seconds too long. He let it go and instead turned to head for the hallway. Then glanced back, to check that Nico was following. The palms of his hands looked a bit red. He really hoped he wasn't blushing. He didn't trust his tongue to work (Gosh Sam, it was just hand ... but that hadn't stopped him from being simulationiusly happy that Nico had offered it and terrified that he'd wished to bite him). So instead he just found a door and pushed it open. He hoped Nico didn't think he was brushing him off. He hoped Nico would follow. The scent of dust and mice and corn hit him at once, full in the face, and Sam nearly took a step back when he ran up against it. (Even the smell of mice blood made him hungry.) But Sam had to blink several times so his eyes would adjust. The light had dropped to. The House had at least been decent enough to not roast him alive. Instead, he looked up to see that the sun was setting and mostly obscured by clouds. He could feel it against his hands a bit - a painful stinging - but not a lot. A couple more minutes and he'd be fine. And then he noticed, rather than his surroundings, that he was missing the t-shirt he'd been wearing. "What," he said slowly. "Am I wearing?" He turned slowly, looking down at the clear costume. When he looked down, he could almost feel the weight on his head almost fall. He reached up, taking what was on his head off ... It was a crown. Which fit, considering he appeared to be wearing clothing fit for a medieval king. He was almost prepared to call them robes. And that meant the crown fit with the rest of the attire. Halloween? Was that what the House was celebrating?
Nico couldn’t stop the way his heart seemed to pick up when Sam took his hand. It was a normal gesture, wasn’t it? What normal people did when they were friends. So why did it feel like more than that? Why did he not want to let go, even though fear threatened to kick in, even though… even though when most other people took his hand it felt like an attack? This felt like an attack, but in a very different way. Normally he was relieved when people let his hand drop – it usually didn’t take too long, his hands were too cold for people to like holding onto a handshake or anything else for too long. But Sam couldn’t feel the heat, so maybe this was just a normal handshake length and Nico was thinking too far into it. He wanted to run and hide and stop the heat from rising to his cheeks, to stop from feeling a pit open in his stomach when Sam dropped his hand and turned towards the hallway. If Sam was blushing, Nico was too busy hiding his own blush to notice. It didn’t even cross his mind that the vampire might be, because what reason could he possibly have? Nico wasn’t stupid. He knew what a crush felt like. He knew what it was like when he fell, and as much as he hated it, he could feel himself teetering on that precipice. Or maybe he was fooling himself and he truly had already fallen. What would Sam think about that? Not that Nico would ever tell him. Too much could go wrong, and Sam was a friend that Nico didn’t think he was willing to lose yet. So he followed, hands tucked into his pockets and cheeks bright red. He really needed to get this under control – neither of them could afford Nico’s heart doing something stupid. Sam was going through enough in his world, and Nico wasn’t going to live much longer, if he was right. He was facing an unwinnable war, but gods be damned if he wasn’t going to fight until it was won or until he was dead. A room was just what he needed to get his mind off all of this. Stepping in to the room was like… well, nothing Nico had ever experienced. Logically he knew about corn mazes, but he had never been in one. They hadn’t really celebrated Halloween in Italy, and since coming to the States he hadn’t ever had a chance. He’d always wanted to, he thought. And then he saw Sam’s costumes and a grin broke across his face. It looked good on him. Which, of course meant that he must have been wearing a costume as well. He looked down, pleasantly surprised to see that the color, at least, hadn’t changed. It was still the same edgy black he always liked to wear, but… different, it seemed. There was a silver breastplate instead of his usual black t-shirt, and a large black cape trailed out behind him. His hand rested not on his familiar blade, but on the gilded handle of an ornate – but fake – medieval sword. It was much heavier than anything he usually wore – the shoulder plates and chainmail ensured that – but at least it was comfortable, though a further glance revealed a crest of some sort emblazoned on the thin black fabric that rested over his armor and at the start of the sword’s blade. It was all fake, but higher quality than Nico had seen on most Halloween costumes in his world. The House had really outdone itself, even though Halloween was still months away. “You look great,” he told Sam, gaze flickering over the other boy once. A half smile spread across his face as he knelt down, dipping his head in playful reverence, “my liege.” What? If the House was going to give him a fun room with someone he cared about… well, he was going to play along. He stood back up, dusting some of the dirt off of his knees, before looking around. “I always liked the idea of corn mazes,” he admitted. “And Demeter can’t influence the House, so I don’t have to worry about her disliking me in her domain,” he added, rubbing at the back of his neck. It was then that he noticed a knight’s helmet on the ground, which he picked up and tucked under his arm. “I’m not sure this would’ve been my first costume choice, but I don’t hate it.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 9, 2019 4:03:00 GMT -5
There would have had to have been something pretty unusual going on for Sam not to notice all the very telling signs of Nico's attention. As it was, this information was shoved to the back of his head in favor of paying far too much attention to Nico's outfit. It ... was rather stunning. And then Sam was just stunned. "What ..." he started, about to ask what Nico was doing. He could almost feel his face burning, though this time it was almost with embarrassment. Part of him wasn't sure what to think and the other part - well, the other part almost liked the playfulness and wanted to go along with it. That part did not win out. Instead, it was the part which really, really wasn't sure if it wanted to deal with what was going on but had a very real feeling that he would have to soon. "Demeter?" he asked instead, looking out at the corn maze just in case Nico could see his expression. He assumed she had something to do with corn. He was also assuming that she wasn't part of the reason that Nico's heart was currently all he could think about and certainly not the reason that Nico was dressed how he was dressed. I don't need this shoved down my throat, House, he thought, his own mental voice whining in his head. He felt like he was in far to much in his own world to really give this the attention it deserved ... He wondered if Nico was thinking the same thing. What could he say, anyway? What could he possibly think of that wouldn't sound awkward or wouldn't be a clear change of subject. Because how would that look, honestly? Obvious, that's what. And Sam ... he didn't want to hurt Nico. The mere idea of it made his hands visibly tremble. He swallowed again, then said, voice wavering up about six pitches and then down deeper than it had ever gone before on the very last word, "Do ... do you like me?" The words had all the appropriate implications to it.
“Demeter’s the goddess of the harvest,” Nico replied, glancing at Sam. “A job which, on a good day, my father picks up, but usually it’s on Demeter. Also Hades kidnapped Demeter’s daughter and married her, which… isn’t as creepy as it sounds, but Demeter still wasn’t super happy about it. She doesn’t like me much,” he explained, glancing off into the distance. He wondered how big the maze was. The ones he had seen in his various exploits throughout the country had been huge – some even spelled things out or made giant images – but he couldn’t tell with this one. All he knew was that it really wasn’t helpful that they had been placed right in the middle of one, and not at an end where the map was. Sam was being oddly quiet, and it was hard for Nico to look at him. The House had surely chosen the costumes for a reason, and it didn’t have to be one that Nico appreciated. He shook his head of the thoughts, recalling what Bianca had said to him in a time that had long since past. It was okay, she had said, that he wanted to give flowers to and hug the floppy haired boy in his second-grade class, but that he could never tell anyone that, least of all the boy himself. And not their mother either. She had said the same thing when he had fixated on a fourth grade boy a few weeks later, teasing him lightly about the fact that he seemed to fall so easily and so hard. He had been young then, hadn’t really known what it meant, but he did now. They had been feelings he didn’t understand – especially with Percy – but they had come on far faster than he had ever anticipated. He needed to be okay with appreciating Sam from afar without making it obvious to the vampire that there was any sort of an issue. Which, given the next words, which froze Nico in place, was a decision that came far too late. His heartrate picked up, but this time more from fear than from… well, whatever it was before. He knew times were better, but he didn’t know what Sam thought about any of it, didn’t know if Sam was even capable of feeling anything like that for him. He knew it was too soon, really, to like someone, but he couldn’t control the way his heart seemed to inconvenience him at the least opportune moments. “No,” he replied, the word hard and sheltered and thrown, almost like a weapon. “I mean yes, but not like that.” To anyone but a vampire, Nico would’ve been seen as a good liar. “I don’t…” he couldn’t think of any words to make the situation better. He knew people were more accepting of the idea, but even if Sam was okay with it, the fact that any feelings existed at all could ruin their friendship. “I said you looked good in your costume, that’s it. Don’t let it go to your head too much.” The words were hard, and he turned away before he could add anything else. If they were going to have to find their way out, he might as well start now. Either direction could work.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 9, 2019 5:36:01 GMT -5
It was like there was a small earthquake within Sam's chest, where each wave shook him to the core in unpredictable jerks and dips, nearly rocking him off his feet. There was very little he could do to keep his lips from pressing together and showing his distress. It took even more effort to stop from having his own emotions spill out from his mouth, with his own feelings (however confusing they may be) spilling out with them. He felt like he'd been punched. No. Of course not. He must have read things wrong ... Why would Nico like him? That's what he wanted to think. He wanted to have this all just be some silly mistake that could be brushed aside. But that would have been very foolish. He didn't know what else to do - he hadn't exactly ever been in a situation where someone might actually care about him - even just the beginnings of it - like that and him be there to witness it. Crushes weren't exactly something he saw from the other end. He'd never been forced to hear every beat of another person's heart. And the shock Nico had within his eyes when Sam confronted him hurt Sam too. "I'm sorry," he said instead, trying to will the dryness from his words. If he had ever planned on talking about the gods that were in Nico's world than that was out the window now. He could hear Nico lying. But what was he supposed to do about it? What could he say? Would saying nothing just be better? "I didn't want to make you uncomfortable," he said, trying to figure out if there were any right words to say around now. "But if ... if ... it's alright ... you don't have to ..." What was he even trying to say? There was so much moving around in his brain that he honestly couldn't begin to think about this and a room. (And the roar that told him he needed food. Pounding in his ears and his chest and his throat like someone had set up a drum set.) "You don't have to lie," he breathed. This was a confirmation that he reciprocated anything, but he wanted Nico to be free to respond how he felt ... so maybe Sam could start figuring it out himself.
Nico paused, unable to quite force himself to turn around. He had forgotten that vampires could tell truth from lies, for the most part. He didn’t want to answer. He wanted to keep walking and not turn around, find his way out of this corn maze by himself, but he didn’t know. He couldn’t exactly control his feelings, it wasn’t like Sam could blame him for having them. Right? He had always been able to suppress feelings like that, at least until Cupid. But this… this was a chance to be honest of his own volition, not because he was forced to be. “I don’t know,” he admitted quietly, and it was the truth. “When I grew up I thought… I was told that I could never have anyone because of who I liked. And then the next person I fell for… well, I blamed him for my sister’s death. I have a remarkable track record of meeting someone, falling for them too quickly, and then regretting it. The difference is nobody ever could tell and I could… fix it before they were ever likely to find out. Time to process it.” He had been younger then, too. He hadn’t ever thought he needed to process it. Finally, he turned around to look at Sam. “The truth is I… yes, if you look at feelings, it would seem that I,” he paused, struggling with the words. “Like you,” he finished, unable to meet Sam’s gaze. “But you have things going on in your world and I have things going on in mine, and it’s not like it could work out anyway, even if it were requited. So don’t worry about it. I wasn’t lying when I said I liked you but not like that. I mean. Friendship. Underneath actually feelings, I want to…” the words weren’t coming easily, but he tried to power through. “and…” he wasn’t good with feelings. He didn’t know how to articulate them well. Awkwardly, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I don’t know.” He shook his head, firmly aware of the inadequacy of the words. “Look, I… I’m fighting a war, in my world. There’s plenty going on there without this on top of it, and… can we just forget it?” He sounded frustrated, but not with Sam. “I wish you weren’t a vampire,” he added quietly. “I… I still don’t think it’s a bad thing, but I wish you didn’t know, okay? About me or… or my feelings, or any of this. I wish you didn’t have a way to find that sh*t out.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 9, 2019 19:43:51 GMT -5
Sam wished that he didn't have a way to figure any of Nico's personal feelings out either. He looked away, out at the corn maze, and was unable to keep the feeling of sorrow out of his eyes. He wanted to change, wanted to be able to fix what was wrong with himself ... But he couldn't. He pressed a hand to his mouth, almost like he was holding in a sob. There was a pounding in his chest and in his head, and it wasn't his heart. It was a darker, wilder feeling that had nothing to do with how he felt about Nico or even what he had said. It was perfectly in-tune with the rhyme in Nico's own chest. "I didn't mean ..." he started and wanted to say more. He wanted to say something ... something that wasn't just an agreement with Nico to forget it and that they could move on. "I never told you how I feel about it," Sam said, through his hand. "You ... never even gave me a chance. I get why - But ... You assume ..." He didn't sound angry, but he did sound conflicted. He could hear how difficult this was for Nico and he couldn't breath. He pressed his hand further over his mouth. He took a shaky step closer to Nico, leaning forward as if he was trying to catch the demigod's eye. In the darkening room, it was almost impossible to tell that Sam's eyes were different colors. Brown and red wasn't that far off in the dark. The small vampire looked concerned, but he was also trembling. There were small instances where he almost looked like he was going to cry. Wasn't what Nico wanted important? Sam believed it was. But what he wanted was important too. Pity he didn't know what either of those things were. Nico had said two very different things. Sam didn't even know what he wanted, other than he wanted both of them to be happy. But what did that even mean? His hand still over his mouth, he said, "I don't know -" He started, but the pounding in his ears was too loud to even hear himself say anything. When had Nico gotten so close? Sam didn't remember moving closer to him. He didn't say anything. He didn't breath. Something happened regardless. He didn't give in, but something in him broke. It was so easy to break. There wasn't even time for him to look sorry. The pounding in his head had reached an all-time high and it overwhelmed him, rushing through him like an oncoming wave. And if there was some control that Sam still held, it was tossed aside. Sam was hunched over, shaking a little ... and then moving so fast that he barreled into Nico at full force. It was hard to tell how long Sam had been covering his face and if he had been trying to hide his fangs, but now they were out and Sam seemed to have full intention of using them. It took him less than a second to find a part of Nico's skin which wasn't covered by the costume, but when he did there was no hesitation. The fangs met Nico's skin and bit down. Sam was a vampire, but he was also very, very new. There were some tricks which vampires innately had to aid in hunting, but Sam was like a predictor that hadn't quiet learned to hunt. Around Nico, there would have been a sense of haziness, but it would have cut in and out like a badly tuned radio. Myrnin could have lulled someone to sleep with his hypnosis. Sam would have been lucky if he could have gotten someone to yawn. But it still would have dulled Nico's reaction time. Sam was very young by vampire standards. But he had a grip like iron and seemed to have the full intention of feeding off Nico's blood for as long as he needed to. But by his side, his free hand trembled and he almost seemed like he was about to cry, the corners of his eyes gaining small dots of blood for tears.
Nico turned, frowning. Of course Sam hadn’t said how he felt about it, but why should he? Nico knew that he would never have a chance with Sam, and the truth was he wasn’t even sure he wanted to. There was too much on his plate as it was. He had enough to worry about fighting a war without adding in a relationship in the House. If it turned out that Sam liked him back, and… it seemed, almost in the way he had said it that there might be the smallest of chances. Which was scarier than Sam rejecting him outright. “We don’t have a chance,” he admitted, and as hard as it was, it was the truth he felt. “You’ve got things in your world to deal with, and I don’t think I’m going to survive to the end of the year. We don’t have a chance even if by some strange miracle you like me as well. Which is why I didn’t ask. And I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.” Sam was upset about something. There was something in his aura that was flaring, brightening and then darkening in a way that Nico didn’t think he’d ever seen before. Nothing else about the vampire seemed unusual except that he was covering his mouth, and Nico… well, he hadn’t thought much about it. People around him did strange things all the time, and he knew better than anyone that people dealt with emotions in different ways, so he wasn’t going to judge Sam for hiding his emotions behind his hand if that was what he wanted to do. And then Sam was close. Nico took a step backwards, uncomfortable with how suddenly Sam had encroached on his personal space, his heart beat flaring up, this time with fear. Not because of Sam, but because of the signal his brain sent to his body that now was the time to flee, don’t let anyone get too close because then the walls would start closing in, and he wouldn’t be able to breathe, and… Sam was too close for comfort. If Nico hadn’t been having his own reaction to Sam’s proximity to him, he may have been more aware of the fact that something was acutely wrong with the other boy. Nico thought it was because of what he had said. He really could see no other explanation, after all. It was the only thing that had changed since they had entered the room, and as much as he wanted to apologize, he knew that he had to get a few steps away before he could. And then something was very wrong. It was like he was moving through liquid, his limbs clumsy and his brain several steps behind. He could feel his body being slammed into, his fingers fumbling in vain for his sword, almost dropping the fake one that had been given him. His breath came in ragged, confused gasps as he struggled, his brain going into survival mode. Nico wished he had learned to use his powers without letting emotions influence them, but it was far too late for that. Now even as he reached for them he couldn’t summon them, and the truth was he didn’t want to hurt Sam. But he couldn’t move and whatever was attacking him wasn’t Sam. Not anymore. There was something hard in his neck, and though Nico was aware of what it was, his brain was having a hard time making the connection. It felt like needles, almost, but not quite. His body was reacting out of his control. It wasn’t fighting back, instead paralyzed by… by what? Fear? It was like his body was shutting down the same way it had under the influence of the pomegranate seeds, like that was the only way it knew to stay safe in a situation like this. He couldn’t even bat Sam away. Not that it would work even if he could, but being able to push back would have been better than being frozen in place, half aware of what was happening, his heart pounding. As though that would help. He couldn’t breathe. His chest felt tight and he was aware that he was getting more and more lightheaded as Sam took his fill, but it was like he was trapped. Even forcing himself to take an even breath felt outside of his body’s capability. It was no longer listening to logical thoughts, instead relying only on what had kept him alive before. Which, naturally, was sure to kill him now. If he could have, he would have cried out for help. Help that wouldn’t come.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 10, 2019 4:07:05 GMT -5
There was a long, desperate heartbeat from the creature that Sam was feeding off. And in his current state, those descriptions were the best he had. It was simply a heartbeat of a living creature that would die so that Sam could continue existing. It was a principle that many humans lived on, only the difference was the creatures they fed upon were four legged and incapable of speaking in the same language as them. But the primary similarity was the same. Sam wanted to survive, and as far as his own body was concerned he hadn't been doing so very well. Days without food and he had held on as long as possible. There had been nothing standing in his way. He had been surrounding by Time Lords with poisonous blood and other vampires whose blood was less than ideal. And then there was Nico, his heartbeat tantalizing and close and completely unaware of the danger. Trusting was something for humans. Sam had bigger priorities. At least, he did in this state of mind. And this state of mind was just as much a part of him as the part that Nico had been talking to a second ago. That didn't mean, however, that Sam wasn't feeling - that this didn't hurt him. Because it did. But it was blotted out by the white noise of surviving. Surviving was the reason that he was a vampire. Surviving meant this. It meant that, some times ... sometimes you killed. There was a hazy feeling of awareness coming back to Sam as well. There was the taste of blood in his mouth and he had tasted it before, but never this. It was human and whole and was richer than chocolate and brighter than neon and if he could have found a way to describe it better than that he would have ... and then he would have spent the remainder of the awareness feeling guilty for it. It didn't taste like metal, at least not how humans tasted it. And he could still remember. And what he remembered was he was hungry. And what he remembered was ... Nico. He blinked several times, eyes focusing on his surroundings in bursts of recognition. What was ...? Part of his brain revolted just at the thought of what he was doing, what was going on. He couldn't honestly wrap his head around it. Then he had to, was forced to, as he reflexively swallowed and was reminded of what was real and what wasn't. He almost pulled back without thinking. Then, arms now holding Nico in a grip that was still just as strong but wouldn't actually bruise or break anything, he eased away. He still didn't know how to retract his fangs on command. They were muscles he still hadn't worked out. If he was honestly, his movement was still quick, but shaky. Then he stumbled away, hands and arms trembling (and licked his lips of the taste of blood). He was crying. He wasn't sure when he had started. But his body was wracked in great, heaving sobs and he could only just see through his lashes. Both of his arms wrapped around his body, hugging his midsection. He'd backed up, nearly running into the stalks of the corn maze, but then he moved forward again and almost walked back to Nico again. Almost. Sam's world felt shattered, and he was sure it wasn't the only thing. There was nothing here which he could say now. No difference to what he had done. But Nico was alive. He knew that much. But even Sam could tell that his heart had slowed too much for the sort of stress he should be under ... and there was a warm feeling in Sam's chest that made him feel sick. What had he done? But he knew. He knew it as well as he knew his own name. He had bitten Nico. Had drunk his blood. Had hurt him in more ways then one. And nothing ... nothing was going to be the same.
Realization and awareness came back to Nico as Sam eased away, backing up, recoiling, almost… It was still hard to move, but as the weight on him eased, the iron grip leaving him enough room to breathe again; to feel and know and accept that he wasn’t dying, Nico forced himself to get over it. That was what he did, wasn’t it? Survive in spite of everything? And it wasn’t that he hadn’t been betrayed before, it was just that he had never felt like this while it happened. He had never wanted to trust the person who had done it, never felt this shattered. Percy had never really betrayed him – he had just failed at keeping an impossible promise. Minos had betrayed him, but Nico had known that was coming for a long time. And when Nico had betrayed Percy? The situation had gotten out of his hands. He hadn’t meant it to go as far as it had. Did that make him a worse person than Sam? Because he had intended to both help and trap Percy, while it was obvious that this had been far from Sam’s intention? Brain racing a thousand miles a minute but fingers sluggish and slow from blood loss, Nico reached under his cape, feeling for the bag he always carried with him. It wasn’t there. Of course it wasn’t there, because this room had taken away everything useful. Suddenly Nico regretted the joke he had made, the moment of levity between him and Sam because… well, shouldn’t he have sensed that something was going to go wrong? He squeezed his eyes shut, pushing himself to a seated position. Which he immediately regretted. He felt so lightheaded he almost collapsed, but managed to stay up, arms trembling with the effort of it. Trembling fingers reached up to his neck to feel where Sam’s fangs had gone in, and for the first time Nico wondered what really separated the monsters in his world from the people he met in the House. Because Ella the harpy… she was technically a monster, as was Tyson, as was Iapetus (now Bob), but they were harmless to the people they had chosen to side with. They had morals and ideals and they felt very human. What was to separate Sam from some of them? Nico couldn’t pretend, least of all now, that Sam was intrinsically better than them. But… in that case, what made Nico better? Nothing. As shaky as Nico still was, as difficult as it still was to breathe as he held memory at bay, he knew that Sam’s attack had been understandable, at the very least. More justified than most of the atrocities Nico had committed. He had killed someone because he was angry. Sam had only attacked because… well, Nico could only assume he was hungry. He had never said it, but Nico couldn’t reconcile the Sam he knew with one that would attack for the sport of it when he didn’t absolutely need to. Especially not given how much abhorrence Sam had shown to the idea of being a vampire. Unless it was all an act? But no, Nico wasn’t that bad a judge of character. But he was angry. He was angry and hurt and it was harder than it seemed to hold back the memories that would arrest him and make him incapable of any normal way of functioning. He didn’t want to blame Sam, logically knew he couldn’t, but he didn’t have any options. He needed to be alone. “What?” He questioned, voice hard and hurt and dangerous, something panicked still flashing in his gaze. The words were hurled at Sam like cannonballs. “Not going to finish off your little snack?” The quaver in his voice gave away the fact that he didn’t entirely mean the words, but he spat them anyway. He needed Sam to go away so he could process, so he could force his head to think rationally, so he wouldn’t have to lose it completely in front of Sam. The words were cruel and unnecessary. Nico knew that. And as awful as it seemed, in the moment he didn’t care.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 11, 2019 0:34:44 GMT -5
If there was something more painful than anything Sam could remember, it was the barbed words which had just been directed at him. He slowly sunk to the ground, covering his mouth again only this time it was to try and hold in a sob. Slim trails of blood danced at the edges of his eyes and then feel past the edge and onto the sides of his hands. Once the tears started, they wouldn't stop. He didn't feel full, he wasn't able to push away the final vestiges of hunger. If he payed attention, he could still smell the blood pulsing through Nico's neck (still remember the taste of it). But he wasn't capable of paying attention. Fractured pieces of memories and awareness were brightly arrayed in his own head. Nico's words were stakes. Fitting. Since Sam wished he was dead. Wished that he could have death just so he blank out and escape. So Nico didn't have to look at the monster. "No," he whimpered. "No, no, no. Never. No." The words rolled over and over across his tongue and each time the words made less sense until he'd devolved into sobbing again. He couldn't leave Nico alone. He couldn't have even moved. He was well aware that the tears he was crying right now had been Nico's blood. Now it was some corrupted form of it, but Nico's blood nonetheless. Stolen, betrayed, taken from its original owner and Sam couldn't even bring himself to notice the brief relief from the white-noise of his own hunger. He had nearly killed Nico. He had, he was certain. And even just looking in that direction of the fraction of knowledge was enough to make the sobs redouble. Sorry would never fix it. He knew nothing ever was. Nico hated him. And Sam didn't blame him at all.
Maybe it was some mercy of the House or maybe it just wanted more chaos in a room that already included too much of it. Either way, someone else blinked in. His hair was cropped short, which was probably one of the biggest changes that he had undergone in the whole three years he had known Nico. His hair was still the same dark brown, though thanks to the length it included several small curls that almost looked as bad as Sam's hair. Even he had gotten the Halloween costume treatment, though that might have been debatable since there wasn't much the House could dress him in that wasn't something he'd wear on every other regular day. So he was dressed in a lab coat and was wearing a pare of safety googles over his eyes. This magnified them just a bit. He was also wearing Strider's shoes. You know. The red ones with the stripes. Which was probably the only part of the outfit that might have possibly come from his own world. The rest of it just had him looking like a mad scientist, including a bubbling beaker that seemed to have replaced something else he had been holding in his hands, since he waved it around a bit before he caught onto what had happened. Then he looked over at Nico and Sam and half froze. "Ooooookay," he said, hesitantly, worry masking every part of his voice. The beaker dropped and rolled away, what looked like dry ice rolling out of it as it ended up in some part of the corn. The vampire didn't exactly seem that conflicted to who he went to first. He would have liked to assist both the boys at once, but Nico was the one with the injury on his neck. Myrnin leaned toward him, looking like he was about to fuss over him, but hesitated. "What happen?" he asked instead. If he was surprised about Sam, he was keeping that for later.
Nico regretted his words, but he didn’t take them back. He didn’t stand up and apologize, he just let them hang in the air between them. Because that was the kind of person he was. The sort that pushed people away when he was in pain, and didn’t make enough room to let them back in. Did that make him a bad person? In this case, Nico thought it might, but he still couldn’t entirely think straight. He was still having trouble breathing, though whether that was caused by impending panic or mere blood loss was a little… well, hazy. Sam’s words pushed into his head, making him want to reach out and tell him that it was okay, but it wasn’t. How could it be okay? Nico could still feel Sam’s grip on him like a vice, despite the other boy now being much farther away. And Sam was crying and all Nico felt was numb. Like his body was still protecting him from something it knew he wouldn’t be able to process. Why hadn’t Sam left? Nico’s words had been harsh enough that by all means Sam should have, but he hadn’t. Nico couldn’t understand. He needed Sam to get away, to just let him process and regain some strength because he knew he wasn’t feeling too great after. It would have been one thing had Sam asked. Nico’s answer most likely would have been no, but he would have considered. But Sam hadn’t asked, and he had kept taking and taking and Nico was still too woozy to stand. He didn’t dare try to shadow travel, well aware that he was already too close to passing out for that to be a viable option. And then they weren’t alone. At first Nico didn’t recognize the older vampire with the new hair. It felt… well, very unMyrnin in a way Nico didn’t like. The truth was, though, that he was too grateful to see him to really care about something as frivolous as a haircut. At Myrnin’s question, though, he stared at the ground. What had happened? Had Sam’s attack on him been his fault? Did it have anything to do with the conversation they’d been having before? Nico hoped not, but there was really no way of knowing. Even if he did ask Sam, how could he know for sure whether to trust the other boy’s answers, especially when he wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. At least when it came to Sam’s intentions. Almost without thinking, Nico grabbed Myrnin’s hand for stability. It was a grounding force, a tie to reality that Nico found he needed, especially with other thoughts pressing down on him with such force. His heart was still racing, he knew, and even as he tried to steady his breathing, he couldn’t quite manage it. The easiest way to describe his current state was ‘terrified.’ Not of or because of Sam – though his fear could easily be mistaken for that – but because of the sickening, all too familiar feeling of being held down, of knowing that death was coming, of being alone and unable to breathe, unable to strike out, overpowered. “I’m fine,” he whispered, and you didn’t need to be able to hear his heartbeat to know that it was a lie. He was missing an unhealthy amount of blood in his body, for starters. Nico was about as far from fine as they came, though he still hadn’t shed a single tear. Was something wrong with him? It was a thought that only occurred very distantly. He kept his voice lowered in the hopes that Sam wouldn’t hear him, but the other boy was still so close and vampire hearing ruined any chance Nico had of having a private conversation. “We were just talking, and… and I don’t know if I said something wrong, or…” why did his voice break on that thought? Why did it matter? Why couldn’t his stupid crush on Sam have just disappeared with this? Did he hate him? No, Nico didn’t think he did. “Or if it was something else, but I… I was on the ground, and…” and Myrnin could probably finish up the rest of the thought himself. How many people had Myrnin put in the same situation as he grew through the vampire learning curve? “And I haven’t been that helpless since…” the words were so quiet that he hoped Sam didn’t pick up on them. He didn’t need Sam to feel worse than he did. Although the other boy wouldn’t have known about Tartarus… it was still obviously something bad just by the way Nico was implying it. He just hoped Myrnin understood what he meant without him actually saying it out loud. “And the House took my ambrosia. And my sword. I couldn’t…” would he have killed Sam if he’d had his sword? The question burned at him, his heart going up in flames when he realized he didn’t know the answer to that question. How could he? How could he even contemplate the idea of killing Sam? And would it even count as an accident if it had happened while Sam was feeding?
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 11, 2019 15:07:38 GMT -5
The pain that Sam felt was all emotional. By all accounts, he was healthy. This Myrnin knew. But that didn't mean that both boys weren't broken from whatever their previous interaction had been. As if Myrnin needed to guess what that interaction had been. He didn't even need to guess what had happened though. The evidence was clear enough. Myrnin sighed and lowered himself to Nico's level, letting the demigod grip his hand. He knew what had happened. While he couldn't go so far as to say he knew what the conversation had been about, he did realize that there were a few things that he could tell. The bite on Nico's neck. Nico was right about Myrnin having been in that position before. He didn't think he'd ever loose those vivid memories. But he could take care of only one thing at a time. He had bandages on him, and he reached out, thought better of it, and then brought a couple bandages out of a pocket. "Stay," he suggested, but very firmly. "I know." His voice softened for a fraction, then Myrnin admitted, "I have no magic cure to regain the blood you lost, but if you stay still for a while longer than you will be fine." Myrnin would probably know, since it was basically the species he was. "It was an accident," he added, not a single bit of hesitation in his voice. "I know Sam." He also knew a Sam who wasn't like the one who was collapsed just a yard away. Myrnin knew that Sam hadn't lost control for a while. So maybe a Sam from an earlier time? He didn't question too deeply into it. He also knew his answer wasn't satisfactory. But he left Nico for a second to scurry over to Sam. After a quick physical examination, where Myrnin looked Sam up and down, he was left to give his handkerchief. Sam took a very long time to respond, in which time Myrnin said, "If this is a situation about the bite, then you both ... have been through a lot." The statements he already knew the answer to. He could reprimand Sam until the cows came home, but he found himself ever so slightly surprised at Nico's reaction. He had known about vampires. But clearly the effects of Tartarus had been far more of a factor than the actual bite. Not that Sam would know that. Myrnin hardly did - he couldn't image horrors like Nico had seen, but that was just the reason why he was like this. He briefly got up, afraid to let go of Nico's hand but also knowing that Sam was crying not far away and he glanced over, his expression conflicted. He said, voice gentle to Nico, "He went - goes - on hunger strikes. It was just the wrong place and the wrong time." He wasn't sure if Nico would believe him on that, but he wanted the demigod to know anyway. "It was nothing you said." He used both of his hands to clasp the one Nico had given him. "I will be right back, I promise." His words were awkward, but gently. Then he very slowly pried his hands out of Nico's.
Sam was still sobbing, but quietly. When Myrnin came over, he didn't even register it. When Myrnin placed a hand on his shoulder, he finally looked up. Myrnin looked disappointed ... and very different ... Something about his eyes too made Sam hesitate. They didn't seem right. They were the same color, but held far less awkwardness than the Myrnin back in his world. Myrnin found a tissue in a lab coat pocket - somehow the labcoat still contained a lot of his stuff so long as it might possibly be someone who was wearing an actual lab coat. He scrubbed at Sam's eyes without any prompting, saying lightly, "Stop crying. It isn't doing anyone any good." It sounded bad, but right now it was practical. Sam had damaged whatever relationship he'd had with Nico by biting him and if that meant that the boy was just going to cry for a while then there wasn't much use in anything which had happened. Myrnin didn't want Sam attacking Nico again just because he'd cried himself out. Sam didn't stop, but he did swallow down more and more sobs. They choked his throat and clogged his vocal cords, making it impossible to speak. But Myrnin stayed next to him, carefully waiting for the tears to stop. They did after a second, Sam clutching at his knees and looking at Myrnin with what might have been blame and pure hopelessness. Both of them knew why. Sam was blaming Myrnin for not being there, for not stopping him from hurting Nico. Myrnin knew that there wasn't much way he could have controlled that, but he still understood. Then there was the fact that Sam was blaming himself. He had lost control. He had refused food until he had snapped. It was his fault. But that didn't change the fact that being a vampire was abhorrent to him. And Myrnin couldn't change that either. "Please," hiccuped Sam. "Please." But neither of them really knew what he was asking for. Maybe just asking the world to be fair. Myrnin squeezed his shoulder and muttered, "Look ... I need you to hang in there." Sam's fangs had retracted at some point, which was a good sign. He wasn't starving. But Myrnin still said, "Stay over here." He didn't want Sam to attack Nico again. He also didn't want to risk his charge getting attacked either. Nico was weak, but he was capable. Both the boys needed space, though he doubted in a room much space could really be provided. He didn't need to say a thing to Sam. Didn't need to chastise him. Sam would already be aware of the consequences. It was just a good thing that he hadn't killed Nico. Myrnin made no comment on the fact that, by rights, Sam should have killed Nico. Sam was a young vampire and they usually didn't stop feeding until they had killed someone. There must have been one pretty impressive conversation going on before Sam had attacked Nico if Sam had been able to stop himself so quickly. Myrnin would have to ask what had been going on later. "You need to breath," he said to Sam, aware that this comforted humans and that Sam still had a clear memory of humans to take comfort in it. Then he moved back to Nico. He sat down beside the demigod, glanced at Sam, and then leaned toward his friend instead. "Alright," he said. He rested one hand near Nico's in case he wanted to take it again. "I wouldn't blame you for defending yourself ... but I would have you know that Sam ... For lack of a better explanation he was turned against his will. He is a vampire only because he did not want to die, not because he could deal with it. That doesn't make what happened right, but I know he had very little control over it. Yet. I am sorry. Is there anything I can do?"
Nico frowned at Myrnin’s words. They were helpful he knew, but also incredibly frustrating. “I wish I were back in my normal clothes,” he admitted softly. The costumes had been fun for a few minutes before everything had been turned upside down. Nico had some ambrosia in the bag he always kept fastened tightly over one shoulder and across his chest. It would have helped with recovery from the blood loss, but that was unfortunately not an option right now. Truly, he was worried about blinking back into his world like this. They had… well, they had found their destination, which was a good sign, but he really needed to be in a place to fight whatever came their way, and he wasn’t right now. He’d be less than useless if he blinked back before he recovered, and ‘staying still’ was easier said than done. He wanted to get away from Sam. Not because he hated him, but because, in spite of the bite, he didn’t, and he didn’t have a clue how to deal with something as complicated as that. Besides, his breathing was only just beginning to return to normal. An accident. Fine, fine Nico could understand accidents. But he also knew that it was easy to claim that something was an accident when really it had been an impulsive decision that was made without thinking it through. Those were not accidents, those were merely bad decisions that had been made. And Nico didn’t know if Sam attacking him had just been a momentary lapse in judgement or truly an accident. He didn’t think Sam was capable of attacking him like that in a premeditated way. It was impossible to think of Sam sitting somewhere plotting exactly how would be the best way to bite Nico. Which conversation would be the best to interrupt. It seemed this blink had been one of surprises for the both of them. Eventually, Nico knew Sam would need to know about Tartarus. He would probably need to know sooner rather than later so he wouldn’t be hurt by whatever had happened here, but the selfish part of Nico railed against the idea. Sam didn’t get to be hurt by this, it said. He hadn’t had his blood drained out. He hadn’t been the one attacked. But Nico knew better than that. Sometimes the most aggressive was the one who wanted to be anywhere else the most. The most dangerous could be those that had been forced into the situation, where each move caused them pain but they had to do it anyway. Still, it was hard to muster up much sympathy. And Sam went on hunger strikes. It changed a lot, but it didn’t change the fact that Nico had been bitten and it wasn’t so much the bite that mattered, it was everything it brought back that Sam could have no way of knowing. He sat, glaring at the ground, hands at his sides, for a few moments as Myrnin went to talk to Sam. Nico couldn’t listen in. He didn’t have vampire hearing, but he could guess a lot of what was being said. He hoped that Sam wasn’t being berated. All of them were aware that Sam knew what he had done wrong. He didn’t need to be chewed out for doing something that he already felt guilty enough for doing. And then Myrnin came back and was saying things that Nico wasn’t sure he wanted to hear. He knew Sam didn’t want to be a vampire. He knew if Sam weren’t a vampire, then they would never have had their awkward conversation. They never would have been here, and maybe Nico’s crush would have grown into something real and full and maybe even possible instead of some unattainable stupid dream that he daren’t even give a name to. As stupid as it was, the feelings he had for Sam didn’t die, they just got crushed down a little bit. Like they had seen the reality of what Sam could be and were just biding time to see which version of Sam was going to be the one who was there most often. The one who attacked because he had been starving himself, or the one who was willing to let Nico teach him how to use a sword. “I wish he weren’t a vampire.” The words were coated with bitterness, and the words were perhaps the most selfish thing Nico had ever voiced in front of Myrnin. He had a tendency to be selfish sometimes, he just wasn’t sure whether Myrnin had seen that part of him before. It might have come as a surprise if not. “I wish he were human still.” Nico shifted, taking Myrnin’s hand back. It was still a life line. “I’m going to have to tell Sam about Tartarus,” he said, voice far away. “I don’t want to, and I don’t want him knowing, honestly, but I’ll have to tell him.” He shuddered. “Right now I don’t want to even see him,” Nico admitted, voice cracking. “I won’t attack him, I promise, but… I can’t think straight and I don’t…” his heartrate was picking up again, and he wanted to tell Myrnin everything. How could he, though? “How do you fix feelings?” he asked suddenly, the jolting question almost enough to make anyone normal question his lucidity. “I don’t want them anymore.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 15, 2019 5:07:45 GMT -5
"He wishes the same," said Myrnin, his voice quiet. But that was a useless endeavor. Sam would be able to hear. Myrnin just scooted closer to Nico and let his shoulder (though he was about a head and a half taller than the boy by his estimation) bump into Nico's and stay there for a second. It was meant to be friendly, or at the very least reassuring. He didn't know if he'd succeeded. But even still ... "He can't change though," he said, glad that Nico couldn't tell the difference between a good lie and the truth. The fact was ... Sam could ... but then Sam might die. And Myrnin was already dealing with that as a problem in his own world without setting off whatever version this was. "Even if he wants to. And he does." He squeezed Nico's hand and added, "I know this is about Tartarus more than anything. But Sam being a vampire is a state of fact. You have to learn how to be one just like you have to learn how to be human. He will." He didn't know if Nico understood what that meant, but it wasn't a promise. It was simply fact. If this Sam had any sort of guidance, then he would learn in time. Possibly in more time than Nico would notice. He could hear Nico's heart accelerating and he hesitated, not checking on Sam with his eyes, but using his ears instead. But the boy had remained where he was. Hesitantly, Myrnin reached out, his free hand pressing against Nico's chest. He knew the boy didn't like to be touched, so the contact was light and could easily be pushed away. His eyes were soft as he acknowledged what Nico said. Something, however, seemed to happen with Myrnin. Like a warm was spreading from his hand, but not exactly like that. "Feelings are needed," he said. "They're what makes you human." His voice didn't hitch, but it did wax melancholy. The warm feeling spread around Nico, comforting. It didn't get rid of his feelings. But it did, somehow, alleviate them. It was the closest thing Myrnin had to mimicking a hug, when he know the demigod didn't want to be touched or feel trapped. "And it is so important for you to be human right now, Nico. If you need to tell Sam anything, let it be in your own time. There are a lot of things that are between you. A long story. But right now, just focus on keeping your mind safe." Myrnin's eyes remained green, but they had lightened several shades. Not that this was easy to see behind the reflective coating that made vampire eyes almost catlike. Myrnin's hand remained where it was, still keeping up whatever emotions he was twisting from Nico. He probably should have asked permission, but Nico had sounded so panicked and Myrnin honestly couldn't think of anything else. Emotions were difficult. He knew that he shouldn't change them, because people needed to handle them, but he wasn't above offering some assistance. Some dullness to the pain and the dizziness. He breathed out slowly, then said, "Nico ... do you want me to take away your memories of Tartarus?" The offer hung in the air, like a fragile bird. Myrnin seemed far more hesitant than he probably should have. What he was offering might help Nico - but it would hurt himself. He hoped he wasn't alluding to that. He wanted it to be Nico's choice. But he also didn't think he could physically take a piece of Nico away. Well ... he knew that he could, but should he? He knew the answer to that one too.
Was it selfish to want something for someone that they also wanted? If it meant changing them forever? Nico thought it probably was, but that didn’t mean it was easy to shake the thoughts from his head. Sam was a vampire and that was something they were both going to have to deal with. It was something that hadn’t really meant anything different until Nico was sitting there, his body going into overdrive to recreate the blood he had lost. He knew he was supposed to have died, he wasn’t stupid. Myrnin had seemed concerned enough when he had blinked in, and the way Sam was cowering and sobbing a short distance away made that clear enough. Nico was lucky to have his life and it was because Sam hadn’t wanted to hurt anyone. It physically hurt Nico to think that Sam had been forced into this life that he didn’t want, that he would have to have forever. It hurt that Nico’s defenses had gone up and some of the things he said had been downright cruel. Because the weight of everything was still too much, and his heartrate was still skyrocketing and he was afraid. Not of Sam, not really. But Sam didn’t know that. And then the hurt eased, and under other circumstances Nico would have pulled away, ready to fight Myrnin for daring to control what he felt. But he was so tired of being lost and angry and afraid and hurting all the time that this small bit of relief was like breathing fresh air for the first time in years. It almost felt like all of that belonged to someone else, and Nico wanted it to stay like that. He wanted to let everything drift off away, let Myrnin take it for good, but Myrnin was right. He was a force to be reckoned with even when he wasn’t dealing with everything that had built up in him over the years. That anger and pain honed him, sure, but they made him feel lighter when good things happened, helped him appreciate the way he felt like falling when he was with Sam, the way he felt around Myrnin – he would be worse without it all. He’d seen what apathy could do, and as much as it hurt, he knew he needed everything that Myrnin had just lightened. He just wished he didn’t have to bear them all at full weight. And then Myrnin’s offer hit him like a slap in the face. “Yes,” he said, too quickly, then shook his head like his words had frightened him. “I mean… no, I…” Would he still be so desperate to rescue Percy and Annabeth if he didn’t know what they were facing down there? Would he understand why his friendship with Myrnin was special? Would he understand the feeling of being able to breathe normally? Would he question the scars that laced his body, or the importance of the war they were fighting? No, none of that would be the same, he thought. But he’d be able to breathe more often, and he would be able to touch and share and not live on the brink of insanity every day, memories crowing at his brain. He’d not have to tell Sam because he wouldn’t even remember it. Saying yes would be the selfish thing. Saying yes would stop the hurting and the pain and maybe he’d let himself think things would be alright. He thought he was beginning to heal, but deep down he knew he would never be able to fully close the wounds Tartarus had created. “I don’t know,” he admitted, voice cracking. “Myrnin, I… I’m tired of everything relying on me. I just want to make the selfish choice.” There it was, out in plain air. “I just want a normal life and a sister and a boyfriend and I don’t want to wake up every night because I can’t get away from the nightmares, and I want to blink in and hug my friends without feeling like I’m back there… I don’t want to save the world anymore.” He sucked in a breath, uncertain why all of it had just spilled out. Maybe whatever Myrnin was doing made it easier to come clean. Maybe it was easier to see how heavy it was when it was all lightened for a moment. “I’m sorry.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 19, 2019 17:40:04 GMT -5
The hand that Myrnin had against Nico's chest slowly moved up to his shoulder and then further up until it was resting on the top of his head. It was a gesture that Myrnin seemed to find awkward, but one he might have only recently learned (perhaps directed toward a different Sam). He ruffled Nico's hair just a little, and a small smile - a sad smile - brushed his lips. "We can understand that," he said. Maybe Myrnin could understand it anyway. There was a lot of things which had happened in his life and not all of them were things he wanted to remember. The warmth from his hand had shifted, like a light breeze was blowing against Nico's face even though there would have been no pressure of air. "I'm sorry you don't know," Myrnin said, sounding slightly at a loss as to what to say about that. He refused to make Nico's choices for him ... even if that was what Nico might want him to do. This was an offer too important for such a thing. He also didn't think he could really, with a clear conscious, offer more information for if Nico did say yes. Or if he did say no. Big decisions though they were, Myrnin knew that his own personal ... complications ... would also cloud the choice. "Please don't be sorry. I would ..." Myrnin couldn't meet Nico's eyes and he cast a glance around. Then let one shoulder rise a bit in a shrug. "I would be sad if you apologized for speaking your mind." He had briefly glanced at Sam. He was sure the boy was listening. The crying had ceased and now the boy was huddled just out of the way, his head braced against his knees and his hands holding the back of his neck. He rocked gently. Myrnin glanced at Nico again and murmured, "I can't give you your sister back. And the other part, the boyfriend, isn't in my hands either." Not like he'd ever want it to be. He wouldn't have made a very good ... what was the word? Was 'match-maker' still in style or would that have given the wrong impression? He pushed the thought away. It was only there so he didn't have to think about what he had said to Nico. "But ... I do believe you would be without nightmares for a while." He rubbed at Nico's head again, though it was really clear he had no practice in this. The whole ... being reassuring and ... parent-y. "But that's up to you. Selfish or selfless ... I would hold neither choice against you." But would Nico hold it against himself? Myrnin really couldn't say. There was too much about Nico's world for Myrnin to know for sure - too much to truly see all the variables. But he didn't think ... he didn't think Nico would change that much. He was confident that he could ensure that much, with the abilities he had. He just wasn't confident if Nico wanted that. "Or would you prefer," he said, voice lilting a bit as he thought about it more. "If I simply ... lightened the weight. Left you with the ability to face your own fears on your own time." He inclined his head. "Left you with a small fraction of your memories of Tartarus. Simply ... place them in a box you would be unable to find until you were ready." His eyes seemed tired, even though his expression hadn't changed. He'd intended to do the latter part anyway, though far more completely than this new suggestion. "I am sorry, Nico," he added. "That there are some things in life that seem impossible to handle. And, very often, make it very difficult to work out a way to handle them at all." His throat almost closed up at the own bile to his words. They were words he found difficult to say because there were so many things in his past which he could not face. There were memories he had boxed away as only the owner of memories could. They were in boxes that were quickly reaching bursting point and threatening him daily. Sometimes ... Sometimes he wished he could reach the point where emotions couldn't touch him anymore just a little bit faster.
If the gesture was awkward, Nico didn’t notice. There was more on his mind than whether Myrnin had learned how to be comforting, because the truth was a lot of what others found comforting set his heart beating into overdrive and his adrenaline kicking in, the fight or flight response at full force. It would have been so much easier if Myrnin just did it without asking permission. That was what Hades had done the first time, right? With the memories Nico actually wanted. “It’s cruel of you to offer,” he admitted, shaking his head. Because he knew the right thing would be to say no. The thing was he wanted to say yes, to let them fade away to be able to go to Sam and apologize and hold him close and not be afraid, for once. To tell him that he wasn’t afraid. Because right now, he was afraid. He couldn’t even look at Sam without feeling like he couldn’t breathe, like he was choking, because that was what the memories did to him. And it wasn’t fair, and Nico wanted them gone, but he knew it was a bad idea. But it was tempting, and all Nico wanted to do was give in. To live without the pain and the fear that accompanied every day. And then a third option was opened, and Nico shook his head almost instantly. “Either you take them away completely or you leave them.” He didn’t want to be adjusted to living without them with the knowledge that there was more that he couldn’t remember always hanging over him. He didn’t want the box to burst when he least expected it, to take over his life and return everything to how it was now. Because there was no ‘ready’ to deal with Tartarus. Myrnin hadn’t been there, it was a wonder Nico was still even sane. He was used to not having touch right now, he had been used to it before he’d been afraid of it. If he was accustomed to holding onto his loved ones when the memories returned… that would impact more than just him. “I don’t want an in between. It’s not fair to me or anyone else.” His words weren’t meant to be accusatory, but it was a lot to think over. Would he start healing if he let the memories stay? He hoped so, but there was no guarantee of it. How much easier would life be if he could escape the nightmares? It ached to think about, to think what a full night asleep might look like, to know he could have that, to know he would be able to feel as human as the people around him. He had been creepy in their eyes before Tartarus, but at least he had been somewhat human. Now he felt too many degrees of separation from them. And it shouldn’t have been a big deal, but he’d been alone and the Mist hadn’t worked down there. Not for him. “It’s not yours to apologize for,” he replied, a little too sharply. It seemed as though he was beginning to recover a little bit from the attack. At least he was okay enough to get angry instead of just hurt and afraid. “It’s not yours to fix or even have to help with and I’m sorry that I can’t deal with it on my own.” He wanted to tell Sam he was sorry that it had impacted them, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t think about Sam because the feeling came back and he wanted it to stop. Deep down he knew he couldn’t let it unless Myrnin just did it. Then if things went wrong, if he failed to save his world because he couldn’t remember what it was like, it wouldn’t have been because of his selfishness. But he wouldn’t remember enough to blame Myrnin. It was just that he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt of saying yes directly. “You can’t fix my family or my messed up habit of forming crushes on the kind of people I can’t have. But not remembering would make it all so much easier.” It was hard to admit that. “I can’t do that to my world, though, can I?” It was a desperate sort of question. “I can’t not remember while there are people living through it right now. I have to save them first.” He could protest it all he wanted, but Nico, at heart, was a hero. A hero with selfish intents and a propensity towards grudges, but a hero nonetheless. And he was fighting the most selfish decision he could make. It hurt to say no, to know that he would have to live with the memories forever, to find some way to get around them. Besides, he was probably going to die in the war, so wouldn’t it be a waste of Myrnin’s energy to help him for such a short period of time? “Thank you, but I can’t.” The words were almost silent, like he dreaded having to say them.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 20, 2019 23:43:03 GMT -5
There was a soft smile to Myrnin's lip and he dipped his head. As he had promised, he had no intention of going against what he had told Nico. "Alright," he said, his words were almost a whisper. He knew how difficult this choice had been for Nico. How unimaginably so. He squeezed the demigod's hand. He hoped - but he also knew - that Nico would make it through this anyway. There was no way that he didn't know that Nico was thinking of the fact that he might die soon. But Myrnin didn't believe that either. He remembered what it felt like to think your world was going to crumble into nothing. He didn't think that was how Nico's life would meet its end. But he had no way to prove that. Instead he dipped his head and sat back. He wanted to say sorry again, but instead he just allowed himself to send (or rather manipulate Nico's own emotions enough to send) another fluttering of peace through the boy. "Do you need me to keep doing this?" the vampire asked softly. His eyes were another shade lightly, but he was still willing to stay where he was. He breathed slowly, his own heart calm even when Nico's wasn't. But it wasn't like he had to work at it. He just had to focus his own heart to beat at that rhyme. It didn't reflect how he actually felt. "Or do you think we can stand up and get out of this room?" His voice was neutral enough that even if Nico wanted to remain here, there would be no blame in Myrnin's voice. He simply wanted to know what was best for Nico, that was all. It was Sam who seemed to be done. He had been in the background, quiet and just as quietly biting his lip and seeming caught up in his own head. But now he glanced over. But he knew not to approach. Instead, he finally seemed capable enough of understanding his surroundings to want to run. He wasn't completely up to running, however. Instead, he shakily got to his feet and stumbled off in another direction, away from Myrnin and Nico into one of the paths of the corn maze. Myrnin stiffened and looked at Nico. He couldn't split himself in two. Instead, he called after Sam, "Samuel!" But the boy was already gone ... Myrnin looked back at Nico, a look of hopelessness in his eyes. What was he supposed to do? There were things in the House that could kill a vampire. And Samuel wasn't in a very good place right now either.
Nico took a deep breath in. He couldn’t afford to let this decision affect the rest of his life. The opportunity had been in front of him, and he had rejected it. He would have to live with the consequences of that now, whatever that meant. He let his hand fall from Myrnin’s after the vampire squeezed it, forcing himself to pay attention to his surroundings again. He felt better than he had before – it seemed that at least a little bit of his strength was returning to him. Not all of it, not yet, but enough that he could control his breathing at least. He breathed in the last little wave of peace before shaking his head firmly. “Thank you,” he whispered, knowing what Myrnin had done for him without truly knowing it. He didn’t know what it was taking out of the vampire, but he understood powers well enough to know that it was probably taking something. “I think I’m alright now.” It was a lie. He wasn’t alright, and as far as he knew it was going to be a long time before he’d be able to say he was alright and mean it, but he was okay. He didn’t need Myrnin’s help anymore with this. “We should try to solve the maze,” he answered, wishing he could just shadow travel to the end and be done with it. But it wasn’t that simple, because he didn’t know what the end looked like. He stood up – shakily, at first, and then with more strength – and adjusted the cape that hung around his armor. What hurt wasn’t that he still had his memories. It wasn’t that he had been bitten, or that he had to sacrifice peace for what was best for his world, it was that Sam had heard every word. He knew how close Nico had come, he knew that there were secrets between them, ones that Nico didn’t know if he would ever be strong enough to talk about. And now Sam was gone. He cursed under his breath, recovered at least enough that he was able to spurt out bad language as much as he usually did. He didn’t know or care if the House bothered to translate this one – Myrnin probably knew what it meant anyway. At least he had never said anything about Nico’s unfortunate swearing habits. “I’ll find him,” Nico whispered, and just like that he was gone. Because vampires, being at least a little bit alive, if not in the traditional sense, had auras. And Sam’s wasn’t terribly difficult to track. He didn’t want to talk to Sam or see him or face what had just happened, or admit to him that it hadn’t been Sam’s fault, but he wasn’t sure he could trust himself to touch Sam again for a while… but the fact remained that Sam was in danger. There were plenty of shadows to travel through, and Nico hadn’t quite yet learned the side effects of travelling through them as often as he tended to. He did feel the toll it took on what little energy he had left. “Sam!” He gasped, stumbling a few feet in front of the young vampire. He hadn’t anticipated how hard shadow travelling would be when he was already this weakened from blood loss. “You can’t just… wander off like that.” He couldn’t look at Sam. That was obvious. And he was sorry about it, but he couldn’t… and that meant there would be no reason for Sam to come back with him. He was already failing at this.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 24, 2019 22:42:27 GMT -5
Stumbling to a complete halt, Sam looked at Nico in what might have been horror. He stumbled back a bit, looked down at his feet, and half covered his face with a hand. One eye looked at Nico, wide and very brown. He wasn't crying anymore, but there was a hint of red color where he hadn't completely wiped the passage of them away. "Go away," he whispered. Isn't that what Nico wanted him to do? Why would Nico run after him if he really hadn't wanted him around. Sam didn't blame him. There was no way that he could blame him. Part of him, however, did feel like Nico should have known this would happen. There was nothing that Sam had kep hidden. He had said that he was a monster. It was Nico who hadn't realized. But having Nico believe it ... that hurt more than Sam believing it. Sam swallowed, though this time it had nothing to do with being hungry. Instead, it had everything to do with holding back tears. "I ..." he shook his head. "I think if you just let me leave ..." Maybe then Nico didn't have to deal with him. It was then that Myrnin caught up. He wasn't breathing hard, but he was walking with a purpose. His steps were light, as if he was approaching a skittish animal. That, Sam supposed, was him. And he wanted to run, but he didn't. "Really doubt that would be a good idea," Myrnin contradicted. "I think it would be better if we both went that way." He pointed off in the direction that Sam hadn't been heading in. But what did it really matter? It was a maze. They couldn't actually avoid getting lost. Sam glared at Myrnin. The vampire, particularly an alternate version of him, had no right to talk to him like that. If he wanted to do everyone the favor of leaving, then couldn't he? Myrnin stepped past Sam and looked down at Nico, sighing a bit. "And you need to stop shadow-traveling when you're not ..." He waved a hand about, mostly meaning healthy, but also 'not thinking straight' could have applied. Sam winced. He hadn't even thought about the fact that Nico had appeared out of thin air. At some point, he had just stopped being surprised. How could he? Emotionally, he had bigger issues. "Just ..." Myrnin said, still waving his hand. "One of you on that side and one of you on that side." He indicated opposite sides of himself. "Or do I have to carry both of you." He looked at Nico and Sam in turn. Sam wanted to hit him. He also wanted to start crying again. Instead he settled for looking in the direction of one of the openings between the corn.
“No, I won’t go away,” Nico replied, voice like lead. He might have been unable to meet Sam’s gaze, might have a million thoughts flooding through his head, might have had a hard time breathing when he thought too carefully about what had just happened, but he wasn’t going to leave. Because he knew what Sam was doing. He had done the same thing when he was lost and scared and hurt and didn’t trust his powers. He had pushed everyone out of his life, had tried to isolate himself from the people he had needed most. He had secretly hoped, the entire time, that they would push back, that they wouldn’t let him. But they had, and he had been content with it at the time. At least they were safe from him, he had told himself. At least he was alone. He wasn’t going to let Sam go down the same miserable route, not if he could help it. Even if Sam hated him for it, even if it took a while to be able to look at him again, even if he had to fight to breathe, he would do it. “You’re not going anywhere either,” he added, seeming like he was about to say more when Myrnin arrived. Frankly, Nico was fairly confident it may have been easier to deal with the Sam situation if Myrnin hadn’t shown up just then, but he bit his tongue. Myrnin meant to help, and maybe he was right that this was the only way to get Sam to leave the room with them. On the other hand, they weren’t children, and part of him felt that Myrnin should have known better than to treat them as such. “I’m fine, Myrnin,” Nico retorted, arms crossing. “A little jump like that was nothing. I’ve got a lot more ahead of me than that.” He was annoyed that Myrnin seemed to care about how he shadow travelled, but he had to let it slide. If he wanted people to care about him, he supposed he also had to deal with them fussing over him. Besides, he owed Myrnin a lot for the offer he had made. Myrnin understood better than most what the bad parts of Nico’s world looked like. He, of anyone, had the right to coddle Nico. That didn’t mean Nico had to like it, though. Myrnin also should have known that Nico was capable of dealing with his own issues. He could survive perfectly well without Myrnin reprimanding him for doing something simple and not particularly dangerous. “Not funny,” he added, voice low at the comment about carrying. He sent a look in Myrnin’s direction that very clearly said ‘if you even think about carrying me you’ll end up with whatever soul you have deep in the ground.’ Nico’s limits had been pushed enough for the day, he wasn’t just going to let Myrnin push them more, even if he was joking. They were getting closer and closer to the Nico who could be dangerous on accident. The one who lived entirely in survival mode and wasn’t afraid to lash out if it meant he’d see another day. Distantly, Nico realized that maybe it was smart to keep him and Sam separated. As adamant as he was about not letting Sam isolate himself, there was part of him that… well, it wasn’t angry, but it was annoyed… at Sam. What right did the other boy have to be crying and pushing himself away when he wasn’t the one who had been bitten? Nico knew that was unfair, but still. He’d been on both sides now, and part of him understood why Percy had let him push himself away. Distantly Nico wondered if that was actually true. How much had Percy fought for him? Embarrassingly, Nico found he didn’t know. He had just assumed they’d all let him go, let him distance himself, let him believe himself a traitor because most of the world seemed to believe that. The people who had fought for him… who had fought with him in his world had been thrown into another prophesy almost immediately. And he had been gone long enough that they didn’t know where to find him. It wasn’t his friends’ fault that he had managed to isolate himself. It wasn’t his friends’ fault that he was now feared and given sideways glances. How did he prevent Sam from doing the same thing? Was it even possible? Doubt rose in his stomach. “Perhaps,” he managed, “It would be best if we split up. We can signal if we find an exit.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Dec 1, 2019 5:00:33 GMT -5
There was a stiffness in Myrnin's shoulders that he didn't seem able to shake. There was nothing much that he could say, knowing already what Nico and Sam were not in the best state of mind to keep up with his attitude. He wasn't even sure if splitting up would work either. Would the House even allow it? Sam wasn't completely aware of Nico's feelings on the matter, but if he was he would have understood. But he didn't, and Myrnin was distracting enough without Sam needing to. Instead he just glanced at the corn field, cut up into branching paths. The room had started out so light-hearted, and now here they were. "I'm fine," Sam said instead. He clearly wasn't and Nico clearly wasn't, but he said it anyway. He didn't try to run away again, but he did still take several swift steps forward, shoes crunching against the wheat and corn stalks along the ground. He was making no effort to be quiet. Instead, he was just making sure that he could still hear Nico and Myrnin behind him. If they were going to split up that was fine. He couldn't deal with it anyway. He tuned them out, instead focusing on where they were going, glancing this way and that. He turned into a fork, not for any particular reason other than the fact that it looked shorter than the other turn off. Myrnin had stopped speaking, so that was a change of pace. Instead he just glanced to his left, looking a bit awkward. He even scratched at his neck, as if that would do something. "There's something up here," said Sam. Myrnin blinked. He hadn't expected that. He honestly hoped it was the exit. It would probably be easier. But Sam's voice seemed to quiet for that. Too full of emotions of someone who really didn't want to be dealing with this mess right now. Myrnin took several steps forward down the fork in the maze and then noticed what Sam was talking about. "Weird," he said. He wasn't actually sure if it meant anything. He looked down, then over at Nico and then Sam, trying to see if Nico still wanted to split up again. Then he looked down again. A single set of glowing red footprints, singed into the grass. Leading nowhere and starting nowhere. Myrnin wasn't sure what to make of them.
Nico wanted to call Sam back, to tell him it would be dangerous to walk too far ahead alone, but the words wouldn’t come. If Sam didn’t want to believe him that he didn’t hate him, fine. Nico wasn’t going to make himself uncomfortable to prove that… he just didn’t want Sam to be alone. It was one thing to help a vampire feel less like a freak, it was another thing to complete that same task when looking at said vampire brought back upon him every crushing feeling of almost dying and very nearly losing himself of insanity. It seemed Nico just had a penchant for getting himself into impossible situations. There was no other word for this one, at least. So he remained silent, even trailing a little bit behind Myrnin because he didn’t want Myrnin reading his expression. The vampire had the ability to do that all too well, and Nico would rather Myrnin not know his thoughts at this particular moment. It didn’t take Myrnin’s mind reading abilities to know what he was thinking. And then there was something ahead and Nico forgot about staying behind Myrnin, instead finding himself up front near Sam. A single set of footprints. He hardly even looked at Sam as he approached him, too curious about whatever they were… especially if they meant a way out. Sam probably wouldn’t take it that way, but the fact that Nico was willing to have his back so openly exposed to Sam without even having a hand on the hilt of his sword spoke volumes about the level of trust he still had for the other boy in spite of everything that had just happened. Without taking a moment to think better about it, Nico placed his foot in one of the singed footprints. It was cool underfoot, which was far from Nico’s expectations. Then, with a glance at the others that said ‘what else could possibly go wrong?’ he lined his other foot up with the second footprint. They were both much larger than his feet. Nothing seemed to happen for several long seconds, and then something did. Nico’s eyes widened and he was mentally thrown into a version of the corn maze that wasn’t exactly the one they were in now. For one, the sun was high in the sky, and Nico could feel himself beginning to sweat with the heat of an early autumn day. Another Sam barreled past him, still wearing the now seemingly ridiculous regalia the room had put him in. Another Nico sprinted after, laughing as he chased the other Sam through the maze. He too wore the costume, but this Nico looked comfortable in it. This Nico wasn’t all bones and sharp angles and fear so acrid you could touch it. The smile on the other Nico’s face hurt to look at. Nico didn’t think he’d been that happy since he was ten, before everything had started. “This way!” Other Sam gasped with delight, turning long enough to see Nico before sprinting down the path to their left. “If you’re wrong about this,” Other Nico called, “You’re never gonna live it down!” Still he followed, and Nico felt like the air had been completely knocked out of him. When his eyes opened again it was dark once more and Sam and Myrnin were nearby. The real Sam, not the other, unfamiliar one. He was on his knees, and though he couldn’t quite remember how that had happened, Nico forced himself to stand back up. “That way,” he murmured, pointing towards the turn Other Sam had taken. It looked much different in the dark, but it was still definitely the same turn. “I think. Unless it’s a death trap of some sort.” The truth was… he thought he wanted to see that other Sam and Nico again. He wanted to know what was going to happen… what was different for them than it was for the real versions.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 7, 2020 7:02:02 GMT -5
There was the moment where Nico looked like he had been struck by lightning and all Sam could do was watch him, too afraid to really approach in case something bad happened. And there were several ways that something bad could happen. Then Nico was on his knees and Sam half fell with him, though the distance between them was at least eight feet. Myrnin had leaned forward a little, though he seemed less worried than Sam was. His expression was one of almost one of curiosity. Then he looked off in the way that Nico was pointing. "Alright," he said, not pressing Nico on what had happened. Sam looked like he wanted to, but was already swept up in the flood of what was happening. In this case, it was Myrnin walking off in the direction of the new fork that Nico had pointed to. Sam hesitated, tension in his arms, before he started following as well. The turn off wasn't was dark, or at least dim in the case of the vampires. Myrnin was walking a bit ahead, turning his head this way and that as if he was trying to listen to something as he went. This stiooed fairly soon after he got half way down the path, yet another turn off ahead of them. He glanced back at Nico then, one finger raising to point at the corn around them. It was shifting, as if there was a wind which couldn't be felt going through it. It was almost horror movie worthy, if it wasn't for the fact that Sam could see everything so clearly. "Maybe that should be worrying?" wondered Myrnin, though he didn't sound that worried. Instead he inclined his head, still listening to the stalks hit into each other over and over again. Sam was the one who saw the small shapes between the plants. He squinted, trying to see what they might be. Because he was so focused on these shapes he didn't notice the other things which were going on on the actual path that they were on. Another set of glowing footprints had appeared, slightly spread apart as if the markers had been swiftly walking. Sam didn't notice, still squinting at the corn stalks and the dirt below them. It was Myrnin who cautioned, "Nico ..." As he too tried to spread his attention between the two things.
Nico wasn’t really sure he’d be willing to step into any other mysterious footprints after that, but if they needed to in order to get out… well, he was willing to do almost anything for that. So they could all just move on with their lives and work on getting out of this situation – so they could forget this ever happened and Nico wouldn’t have to keep asking himself what could have happened had he accepted Myrnin’s offer. He had to come to terms with what had happened to him, with what it had made him. He couldn’t just get rid of it, but part of him had wanted to. Part of him still wanted to. The maze was just given him a bad feeling in general. Maybe it was just the aftermath of everything that had happened, but this was the House and it wasn’t used to giving them breaks. For all he knew this was some new terrible thing they had to deal with on top of everything else. Unlike the vampires, he couldn’t see very far ahead of him. He had to rely on the feeling of trace amounts of metal under the ground to guide him, the very faint shimmering – so like to death – of Myrnin and Sam’s auras. “What can you see?” He asked lightly. He didn’t feel anything else alive, but… that didn’t really mean much. His powers were always a bit dodgy when it came to things that weren’t mortal, or that weren’t absolutely flooded with life. Even the vampires were hard to see right now, though Nico assumed that was at least some drain on his powers from having to recover after… well, it was better not to think about it. And then there were more footprints, only slightly illuminating the ground around them. Nico’s eyes strained to see better, but the dim light wasn’t anything more than a painful reminder that he was all but blind here. “Last time it showed us where to go,” he murmured, though even he didn’t know if that was a good enough reason to risk it. He wanted to borrow either Myrnin or Sam’s strength, wanted to ask to hold their hands to steady himself if he were going to try again, but he couldn’t. He wasn’t sure he could manage that, manage dealing with physical contact on top of everything else. “I’ll be fine,” he said instead, taking a hesitant step forward and matching his feet up with the footprints. It was harder now, since they were more spread apart. Since whoever had made them had been running.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 3, 2020 22:40:24 GMT -5
Sam willed Nico away from the footprints, his heart not really into what might happen. This wasn't where they needed to be. He didn't think any of this was going to get them out of there and he particularly didn't like that something might be stalking them in the cornstalks while Nico did … the thing he had done before. Sam didn't want to see Nico hurt. Either way, no matter what was happening to Nico, Sam and Myrnin had their own things to worry about. The shapes in the corn slowly moved into view, twisting and turning like loose, black snakes. The difference was they were floating close to shin height and each slight breeze rippled these "bodies". Like cloth. Exactly like cloth. Whatever this was, it wasn't living and it wasn't looking friendly. Maybe Sam was biased, but he had a strong enough grasp of the House that he didn't trust it not to completely ruin his life here. "Any suggestions?" Myrnin said nonchalantly. "Not really," said Sam, backing up. The serpentine pieces of cloth drew nearer. If Nico just had a place they could go next they could run ...
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