Baby Steps

Newlight
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Newlight
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Joined: July 7th, 2011, 4:39 pm

January 29th, 2015, 2:55 am #1

Thump.

Roma dropped a cardboard box on the floor and leaned against the wall. Zoe was moving into Roma's dorm today, and while boxes might have seemed a little unnecessary for moving things from one room to another of the same building, Zoe's dorm had been on the opposite side of the building and two floors above Roma's. Packing things was supposed to make it easier, to minimize the number of trips they'd have to take back and forth. But Roma hadn't expected them to be so damn heavy.

"Good God, Zoe. What the hell are you putting in these boxes? A fucking rock collection?"

Roma bent down and pulled open the flap. She was expecting to see a pile of books. Maybe some bricks or cinder-blocks. But what did she find? Clothes. Obviously expensive, designer clothes that were folded neatly and packed to brim.

"Oh, you gotta be kidding me." Roma said, shaking her head. She huffed an incredulous, self-deprecating chuckle. Was she really that out of shape? She had prided herself in being in peak physical condition before. Her training was going along well, and her strength and stamina had significantly improved. Roma didn't compete in anything, but she pushed her swordsman training like any athlete. She had been working out almost daily before the attack. Now, after being laid up for so long, her hard work went straight into reverse. She hadn't gained weight, but she would have preferred dealing with that than getting set back in her power and endurance. It was going to take her forever to make up for that.

...But oh well. It's not like she had to answer for Tengoku for her lousy condition. Not for a while anyway. Roma took an easy breath. Thoughts of Tengoku angered. Well...pretty much everything angered her these days. She was pretty good at being pissed at everything, but now there was so much to be angry about that she didn't even know where to start. The way Tengoku lectured her every time she fell asleep. The helpless state she was in without the sword by her side. The frustrating effort it was taking to locate it, and the sheer impossibility of the search. Roma knew were to go, she felt it. Finding it wasn't that big of a problem. But the weather was chilly, and she was afraid to be outside. Afraid. Roma was afraid of a little Jack Frost, and it was absolutely humiliating. She couldn't leave without Zoe, and there was no way she could bring the damaged girl even close to the area of the lab site.

That was another thing to be pissed over. She had been lied to about the curse her entire life, and now she had to tote around a leech with her wherever she went just to make sure she didn't drop dead. It wasn't that Roma didn't enjoy said leech's company, but Roma was one who fancied herself independent. She hated the idea of Zoe hovering around her, babysitting her, and neither of them really having any other choice. Roma and Zoe were close, especially now, but Roma still preferred to live alone. And it wasn't like Zoe was moving in because she and Roma were good friends and would make good roommates. Nope, she was moving in because Roma couldn't be left un-succubus-supervised, lest the curse be triggered in her sleep...which had happened. Granted, Zoe's own recovery from the trauma would probably help a lot by staying with Roma. But Roma wasn't optimistic enough to think that Zoe was moving in here because she needed to. She was doing it out of care and concern because Roma needed her to.

Roma wasn't stupid enough to think that she was a burden to Zoe, but she hated that such responsibility was placed on her. Until Roma could get that damn sword back, Zoe was the only thing standing between Roma and the curse. She didn't ask for such a job, and Roma wouldn't have wanted to put it on her. But now, because of those damn fucking humans messing with their shit, they didn't have any other choice. Roma clenched her fist. Humans. Fucking sapiens. She shouldn't that way. She knew better. Akane was human. Nori was human. But you know what? Akane and Nori ran with metas, and they didn't blow up schools, or experiment on teenagers, or discriminate on anything that they didn't think was worthy of being "normal." They didn't beat Zoe into a trembling shadow of who she used to be. They didn't traumatized her, fill her and Roma's minds with nightmares, make her suspicious of the world around her. Humans did that. Scientists did that. Sapiens did that. Akane and Nori could hardly fit in the same category.

"How many more boxes? We should be close to done by now."
Last edited by Newlight on January 29th, 2015, 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
"My brain makes the best decisions for everyone except me."

~ The Dude
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Aithne
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Aithne
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Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:54 am

January 29th, 2015, 7:24 am #2

Cardboard boxes? Who was this girl with the horns carting around Zoe Dygalo's clothing? Her precious, designer wares were stuffed tighter than a tuna can. She hadn't even bothered folding them, they had been that way when she shoved them from the closet into the boxes. None of this stuff mattered. She knew she had to give up the life she had been living, that much was very clear. She couldn't wander off with the richest, cutest guy any more. No more messing with Ken, simply for the sake of revenge. All that pettiness had to stop. She was presented with a very real, life-or-death situation. When death's dark gaze is upon you, the newest boots from the spring session or New York fashion week seemed like the most worthless things in the world. Worse even, it wasn't her own life in jeopardy, Zoe could feed from anyone. No, it was someone she loved dearly, Roma.

That was a huge weight on her shoulders...and yet one she was very willing to carry. She loved Roma, even if Roma didn't remotely think of her that way. Perhaps their bond went beyond her unrequited love, and touched on their sharing that trauma together. Roma seemed to be the only one she trusted any more, being there for her on that cold icy floor. Zoe felt safe around Roma, whereas anyone else she looked at with suspicion and doubt. Even if Roma's curse hadn't been triggered, the disturbed girl would have needed Roma, needed her reassurance that they had gotten out and this wasn't imaginary.

Zoe hadn't had any of those moments today, which was good. They put her on at least a dozen different medications. Most of them mood stabilizers. They were toying with her medication, having her report to the school's guidance counsel to go over her dosages and how she was feeling. Today's cocktail seemed to be working. She was mellow without being catatonic. Eventually, they'd ween her off of them, but for now, it kept the fits and nervous twitching to a minimum.

"How many more boxes? We should be close to done by now."

"Hm?" Zoe had been texting on her phone. They had only given it back to her a few days ago. The whole thing had blown up with messages from various guys she had been seeing since the incident. She didn't even bother reading them, just going through and deleting them one by one. One she did pause to reply to. It seemed pretty enthralling because she barely heard what Roma had said.

"Oh, um...I think just two more...and I just had something dropped off..." She said, her eyes locked on her phone, before she pushed the button and the screen shut off. The phone was deposited into the pocket of her long braided-wool hoodie. It was fitted around the bust, yet came down to about mid-thigh. It was a cream color, which complimented her umber brown fleece leggings. They tucked into Ugg boots. Zoe had dressed for comfort. She hadn't touched a high heel since before the boat. Also, anything that zipped in the front was better for the girl with the fresh horns.

"I wanted to get you something, for...helping me move in?" She said, shrugging. Her hands reached up to pull at the messy braid of white hair over her shoulder. She nudged her head in the way back to her dorm. Once they were in the hallway, Zoe spoke again.

"And the boxes be gone soon, I've got one of IT nerds to help me organize for eBay." This meant she was going to start selling off her clothing. Boots, shoes, jackets, dresses, tons of stuff. She could get quite a bit of money for most of it. She couldn't get a job, couldn't mooch off her grandfather, and no more rich boyfriends. None of that was in the cards when she couldn't leave Roma's side...unless she and Roma got a job together...but she didn't think that was an option. Especially not on her current 'happy pill' regimen.

"So...if anything I do offends." Her Japanese wasn't so good these days. Her English wasn't too good either. No matter the dosage, whatever anti-anxiety pill they gave her made her hazy in the language department. "It was your room first, let me know?" She knew Roma was uncomfortable with this situation, and Zoe wanted to try and alleviate that. Her hand reached out and touched Roma's hand, taking it if she let her. Zoe even attempted a smile, before her eyes darted away.
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Newlight
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Newlight
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Joined: July 7th, 2011, 4:39 pm

January 30th, 2015, 4:32 am #3

wrote:"Oh, um...I think just two more...and I just had something dropped off..."
Roma stretched and nodded. Two more, one for each. Just one more trip and they could finally be done. Wait...dropped off? She had something else brought in? Why didn't she just have it brought to Roma's dorm? Roma took a breath, prepared to start being naggy and annoying about it, but then...
wrote:"I wanted to get you something, for...helping me move in?"
...Oh. Well damn, now she felt kind of bad. Good thing she hadn't said anything. She gave Zoe a look of surprise as they headed out to the hallway. "You didn't have to get me anything, Zoe." Roma said. And she meant it. She sighed, not really sure how to receive the gesture. She didn't deserve it, and didn't want Zoe to feel like she owed her anything for any reason. Her entire life was put on hold to keep Roma's life from ending. Roma owed Zoe more than she could figure. She owed her life to her several times over. Helping her moving in was just...could it really be counted a favor? "You're moving in here to keep me from dropping dead...I don't have any reason not to help you do it." Maybe Zoe wanted to get her something just...to get her something. Roma wasn't used to that either, but she didn't want to act weird about it.
wrote:"And the boxes be gone soon, I've got one of IT nerds to help me organize for eBay."
Roma bristled and nodded. Zoe had sold her clothes before, and she always made good money at it. But that was in-between her break-up with Ken and her adjustment to her first mutations. It was before she had a lot rich boys at her beck and call, and before she had Ken back to use and abuse in every sense of the phrase, monetarily included. If Zoe was going back to selling her things for money, it meant that she was in another rut where she couldn't sponge money off of guys. Fucking shit. If she didn't have to float around and babysit Roma all the damn time then maybe she could get back out there and chill herself out through feeding and dating again. She could cheer herself up, get back into a normal routine. Maybe it would be hard with the pills and shit but...damnit fucking all. It wasn't just because she had no choice but to hang around Roma. It was because she didn't want to go out and date anymore. She was afraid of every damn fucking shadow, and it was all because of those freaking sapiens. Roma imagined them burning in hell. Yeah, that made her feel a bit better. Actually, no it didn't. It made her want to pull them out and torture them on her own.

Roma was so angry that it hurt. She was livid, absolutely livid. It was all she could do to distract herself from the frustration before her mind yanked her back to it. Zoe had no resting moment that wasn't filled with fear, not if she wasn't distracted or looped up. Roma had no resting moment where she didn't feel so incredibly furious that she wanted to tear herself apart, not unless she was distracted or looped up. And that latter part? Well, the German prick tried to put Roma on her own round of happy pills, but she was too stubborn. She refused to take any of her medications. She didn't toss them because...well, once in a while they might be kind of fun. But she wasn't going to turn herself into a zombie all the time to numb away problems she didn't think she had. Roma opted to treat whatever issues she had her own way. The tried and true way. Alcohol and being angry about it. There were some pills he put her on experimentally to try to handle the curse, and she gave those a try for a few days at a time. But the side-effects were always so unbearable that she could never handle them longer than a week. She didn't care if anyone thought she was pussying out. Let them try forgetting their own name and picking fights with inanimate objects once in a while, then maybe they'd change their tune.

Roma gave Zoe a sideways glanced then side, turning a heated, angry gaze towards the wall. They had that girl on so many pills she could open her own pharmacy. She hated seeing it. What exactly had she slept through in that room? What all did they make her do that traumatized her so much? Roma wondered if she would have been as messed up if she had been awake to see it. It wasn't like what happened hadn't shaken her. She still had nightmares, was still afraid to ride the boat, still couldn't stand to be outside where the cold could affect her, or out in an area where she knew humans were watching. The idea that they had just...turned their powers off, that metas really could be reduced and overpowered so easily...it was horrifying and humiliating. The whole thing was just one big, horrible nightmare. But Roma had spent the majority of her childhood living out one extended nightmare, and perhaps that had toughened her to where new bouts of trauma were easier to take. She wondered if Zoe had ever experienced anything traumatic before the first school attacks. Did the panic attacks start before or after the first time AHS was bombed?
wrote:"So...if anything I do offends. It was your room first, let me know?"
Zoe's Japanese used to lyrical. Her voice alluring and coaxing with that Russian accent woven in. Now her words were slurred and her grammar was broken. Roma tried talking to her in English, but she thought it was even worse there. She wanted to condemn those quacks for screwing with the girl's head, but she knew better of it. Sadly, Zoe needed the downers. Language was a reasonable trade-off for it. Zoe reached and took Roma's hand. Roma swallowed, wanting badly to resist the high. She never had any resistance for it. Not before, not now. Maybe she had been better about pulling away before, but now she was so dependent on the transfer that she craved it if she went too long. She knew Zoe's powers could be addictive, and that honestly did bother her. But with all the other shit going on...she didn't think being a succubus junkie should be counted among any of her highest concerns.

"Look," Roma said, giving Zoe's hand a squeeze. The transfer calmed her considerably, but she was still mildly irritated. The anger from the recent events was just too intense to be completely erased, but the touch did help. "I'm not really in a position to be offended by anything. You're the one making sacrifices here. So just don't worry about it."

She looked off at the wall, hating that her irritation was making Zoe uncomfortable in making such great sacrifices for her. At least she knew that the transfer helped her too, and that made her feel like she was at least helping. Like this was at least somewhat mutual. The two of them made their way down the hall, holding hands and looking in different directions. Roma tried to focus on the feeling, tried to let it wipe her fury away. But there was just too much of it, and it felt like it ran into the coding of her DNA.

Roma took a deep breath and sighed. "I'm just angry, Zoe. I'm angry about what happened. I'm not mad that I have to live with you, I'm mad that you have no choice but live with me." She really hoped she was making sense here. She knew that Zoe was trying to help her adjust, and that she could tell that she wasn't happy about any of it. But Roma didn't want to add to Zoe's hell just because she was in a perpetual bitchy mood. She wanted to make it clear that her anger wasn't even remotely directed at Zoe. Most of it was for her, because of what they had done to her, in fact.
"My brain makes the best decisions for everyone except me."

~ The Dude
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Aithne
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Aithne
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Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:54 am

February 2nd, 2015, 8:12 am #4

"You didn't have to get me anything, Zoe. You're moving in here to keep me from dropping dead...I don't have any reason not to help you do it."

Zoe shrugged in response. She wasn't going to take no for an answer, Roma would take the damn gift. Giving Roma this gift was mutually beneficial to both of them. It'd make sense when she got it.

Zoe had a bit of anxiety growing up, but it was never anything like what Roma had seen. She never had that thick skin. Everyone always catered to the pretty Russian girl. Her grandfather, though gruff, couldn't even refuse his sweet grandchild. Then again, not many people are equip to handle a terrorist attack, let alone two. What truly messed with Zoe was what they wanted her to do in that cell. They wanted her to suck Roma dry of her life's energy. The humans coerced Zoe into doing their little experiment against her will, holding their both their lives hostage. Zoe might have been a sly fox with a mean streak, but when had she ever physically hurt another person, especially one she loved? Part of her felt like this new knowledge of being an actual demon spawn, was her penance for hurting the innocent girl and bringing her curse to fruition, despite that being illogically impossible. The illusion of her worse fear back in those pods ended with her sprouting a tail and claws...and now it was all coming true.

So yes, Zoe needed pills.

"Look, I'm not really in a position to be offended by anything. You're the one making sacrifices here. So just don't worry about it. I'm just angry, Zoe. I'm angry about what happened. I'm not mad that I have to live with you, I'm mad that you have no choice but live with me."


Zoe made a hum sound in acknowledgement of what Roma said.

"You should stop thinking that way." She said simply. Zoe wanted to live with Roma, she wanted to help. Nothing held her to that dorm, so it wouldn't be an issue. Eventually, they'd have to figure out how to control Roma's power. If not, they'd be stuck together for the rest of Roma's life. That was a heavy thought.

They wandered up to Zoe's old dorm. She opened the door. There were a couple boxes...and a long wrapped package. It was simple brown packing paper with twine around its center. Zoe parted from Roma to reach for it. Picking it up, she turned around to Roma.

"You are angry but you do not need be. It is mutual dependance. You need me to live...so do I." Her eyes had been shifting along the ground suddenly raised. With almost anyone but Roma, Zoe had a wandering, shifting glance. Zoe could look Roma in the eye.

"Not just...food...but," She reached forward with the gift. Roma would unwrap the package. The paper wrapping was discarded to the side. Roma would find a brand new katana. It was the same length as Tengoku, which Zoe had just luckily guessed properly. The hilt had white binding around the sleek, black handle. The sheath was simple, yet polished black wood. the blade gleamed in the light. Zoe knew Roma had lost her sword in the kidnapping. Going to retrieve it right now seemed impossible. This one might not be possessed by a spirit and alive, but it could still kill someone.

"We are not safe." Her voice had lowered to a murmur. Her fearful eyes stared into Roma's with conviction. "Even here, we are not safe." Roma's hands on the katana were cupped by Zoe's. She gave them a gentle squeeze.

"This gift is a necessity until we can retrieve your blade."
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Newlight
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February 3rd, 2015, 5:52 am #5

wrote:"You should stop thinking that way."
Roma gave a small, defeated sigh. Zoe's powers took some of the bite out of her. While it couldn't take away all of the anger, it calmed her to the point where she wouldn't waste energy arguing over little things. She didn't agree or disagree with the Russian girl, she just gave up. Let her have her own opinion unchallenged. Roma didn't care if Zoe would have needed to move in for her own mental health if the curse hadn't been triggered. She didn't care if Zoe wanted to live with her, or if either of them wouldn't have had any problem rooming together before the whole scientist fiasco. She understood, and she didn't care. It was the fact that they didn't have a choice. It didn't matter to Roma if Zoe would have made the same choice regardless. The choice had still been taken from her. Even if moving in together was an extra precaution, and Zoe didn't feel like any real necessity held her to that room, there was still the fact of Zoe's life being flipped over to revolve around Roma's curse. Not that Zoe really would have had much luck readjusting for a while anyway, but at least she would have had the option to try to get her life back to normal. But no, now she had to babysit Roma. Even if she would have chosen to hang around Roma regardless, it didn't matter. Because in that sense, she would have chosen.

The humans had taken away Zoe's choices, her state of mind, and any feeling of security. And they had somehow managed to do it through Roma. Roma was pissed about it, and she was probably going to stay pissed about it. Anger had always been her worst vice and her greatest drive. She had always been angry, and she would always be angry. She chose to be that way, to use it to pull herself through whatever came at her. Did it really even matter what she was specifically pissed at? If it wasn't one thing, then it would be another. But somehow this one seeming different. No anger had ever felt as right and justified as this did, and none had ever been so heated and frustrating. Roma was angry for Zoe, herself, her friends, her family, and every meta there was. She wanted to keep that anger, and she couldn't think of any way to get rid of it if she ever wanted to. How do you tell a fish to stop swimming?

They made their way back up to Zoe's room, and Roma couldn't help but let out another small sigh. The room looked so barren and stripped. Like every piece of Zoe's previous normal life had been peeled away, muscle scrapped off of bone. Sure, it was all going to be moved into Roma's room, but would it have the same energy that it did before? After all the fight and comfort had been beaten out of the poor girl? All the signs of a typical highschool girl's life had been cleared out. No papers spread over the desks. No disheveled blankets. The closet door was open, but not to a colorful array of expensive clothing. It was open to a dry, empty wooden backwall.

Zoe broke away from Roma to pick up the long box, and Roma released a somewhat shaky breath. Even in small doses, that power of hers was intense. It was soothing, pleasurable, and addicting. Halting it could come as something as a shock when you weren't used to it. There were a few immediate seconds following that left Roma craving more, like the way someone starving feels after taking the first bite of food.
wrote:"You are angry but you do not need be. It is mutual dependance. You need me to live...so do I. Not just...food...but,"
Roma raised an eyebrow, unsure of just what she might mean. It couldn't be the energy transfer, because Zoe could suck off of anyone if she wanted to. That, and she had just said that Roma was more than food...thankfully. And as evident as it was that Zoe emotionally depended on Roma now, that couldn't necessarily be a support that she needed to *live,* could it? She was making eye contact with her, and her expression was quite serious. She was being rather sincere, but about what exactly? What was it that she need Roma for? Zoe handed the long box over to Roma...and Roma had a pretty good idea of what it could be. She took a deep breath, not sure what mix of emotions she should go with as she unwrapped the package.

Roma let out a steady breath, then a small, disbelieving chuckle. "Wow...well, damn, Zoe." She took it from the box and unsheathed it slightly, just to examine the sharp, gleaming blade. That was sharp, and Roma realized quite suddenly that this was a blade that could cut her. Startling realization, actually, no matter how obvious it seemed. Because when Roma was wielding Tengoku, there was no possibly way the blade could hurt her. It was loyal to the point of being incapable of cutting its master's flesh. It couldn't even draw blood. But that that inherent trust and security that came with holding a blade that Roma knew wouldn't cut her...the absence was much more baffling than she thought it would be.

Roma couldn't help but notice how much heavier a blade felt when it was lifeless, nothing but dead weight. It was weird having no spiritual link to make it feel like an appendage of her own. It was like seeing a loved one's copy in a wax museum and trying to hug it. A small tinge of longing ran through her, as the lack of connection made her miss what she had with Tengoku. But it was quickly overpowered by a wash of other, much more positive emotions. Huh, imagine that. Furious Roma feeling positive emotions after all that bull they had to go through. Zoe had managed to get the exact length that Roma was accustomed to. Roma had told Zoe about Tengoku and the bond and that sort of thing, but she had never really gotten into the sword as an object, figuring that Zoe had no interest in weaponry and fighting styles. Had Zoe known more about swords to begin with, or had she researched it for Roma? Did she just...notice things without Roma having to explain it?

Roma smiled softly as she traced her thumb against the smooth, black sheath and clicked the blade back into it. In spite of it all, it just felt so good to hold a sword again. "I might catch hell for this one later," Roma said, chuckling softly before looking back at Zoe. "Tengoku is...stingy. Possessive, jealous bitch. But she'll get over it." Yeah, Tengoku would NOT be happy if she ever found out about this. And Roma did feel kind of rebellious accepting it, like she was sleeping around on a spouse and fully confident in getting away with it. But technically the agreement didn't prohibit Roma from using other weapons. She just wasn't allowed to contract herself to any other sentient object, nor could she engage in pacts of any kind with other spirits. Tengoku would be pissy about Roma using another blade, but Roma was ready to endure that kind of lecture. "This is great, really. Thank you."
wrote: "We are not safe. Even here, we are not safe. This gift is a necessity until we can retrieve your blade."
...That happy moment could only last so long. Zoe cupped her hands over Roma's, and Roma instantly found herself caught back up in the transfer. It was a slight buzz, not too dazing. But she couldn't help but hum softly when Zoe squeezed her hands. Roma was used to it, but she still had no defense for it. How much conversation did Zoe really hope to accomplish when she was doing that?

But after a moment or so, Roma's mind collected itself to sort out what it had heard. She looked at Zoe for a while, then her gaze softened and she sighed. "Zoe..." Zoe wanted Roma to protect her. That's what she needed Roma for. Zoe was scared, and she didn't feel safe. Not here, not anywhere. And that gave Roma a better appreciation for the gift. Because honestly? Roma would be the first to admit that fighting with a sword was way past outdated. If she tried to go up against a armed anti-meta gunman with a normal blade and he had favoring distance? She'd be toast. It was the fact that Tengoku wasn't a normal blade that made her so much more powerful and useful than any modern weapon. Typically, if Zoe wanted Roma to be her protector, you'd think she'd buy her a gun.

But no...she bought her another sword. Even though she knew good and well that a normal sword wouldn't stand a chance against modern weapons, she still chose to get a sword. And that spoke volumes of the faith she had in Roma. She wasn't worried that a blade wouldn't be good enough against any enemy. She believed Roma's skill and adequacy as a swordswoman would compensate for that. It shouldn't have seemed logical, but to Zoe, it was. She trusted Roma's skill so strongly that she believed a sword would make her the best protector. Zoe trusted her. Fully, completely, almost beyond reason. There was a weight that came with that kind of trust that should have been intimidating...but it wasn't. Roma looked into those fearful, purple orbs...and for the life of her, she couldn't feel anything but determination and pride in knowing that Zoe's faith had been placed in her.

"You are safe, Zoe," Roma said at last, giving Zoe's hands a little squeeze. The pleasure of the transfer increased just a bit, and she hoped that it was as soothing for Zoe as it was for her. "You're safe with me. I promise." She spoke with a strong conviction, but with much less force than she usually did. Mostly because Zoe's powers took so much bite out of her, but also because of a tenderness in the promise. Roma was trying to be gentle and reassuring. The fear in Zoe's eyes saddened her. She gave her a small smile and slipped one of her hands from the embrace to brush a lose strand out of the girl's face...and then for no particular reason, she paused for a moment and just looked at her. Nothing about the gesture felt odd or uncalled for, but something about the gaze they held now sparked a feeling in her that she couldn't quite recognize.

"You believe me, right?"
"My brain makes the best decisions for everyone except me."

~ The Dude
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Aithne
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Aithne
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Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:54 am

February 5th, 2015, 4:26 am #6

"You're safe with me. I promise." Roma assuaged Zoe's fear with these words. It seemed like a weight was lifted from her shoulders. Perhaps only half the burden shifted to Roma, seeing as Zoe was way-off from being remotely calm without the pills. A day without medication caused that delusional paranoia to surface. The way Roma stated that, she knew the world wasn't safe, agreeing with Zoe even though though everyone else thought her crazy. It was nice to be agreed with for once, even if they were talking life and death situations. Roma promised to keep her safe, something Zoe immediately took to heart. It certainly helped with Roma's small gesture of affection. Her fingers lightly brushed across Zoe's skin as she smoothed a long strange of white hair from her sight.

"You believe me, right?" Zoe allowed a smile to sheepishly sneak onto her lips. A small nod as she looked between Roma's eyes.

"Then...we have an accord..." Zoe said, with a small hint of humor gracing her lips. It was odd how much better Zoe felt when Roma had a weapon in her hand. Zoe looked like she physically relaxed just by this small conversation.

She disposed of the packaging in the trash, they'd let the next school deal with cleaning up the dorm before the next girl moved in. There was a small strap around the top of the sheath that Roma could tie into her belt. Zoe picked up on of the last boxes, and waited for Roma to pick up the other. With that, she'd be officially moved out of her dorm.

They wandered back in silence for a moment before Zoe piped up. "At least we were in most of the same classes together already..." This situation would have sucked much more if the two girls were in different grades. Obviously Roma couldn't be half way across campus for long periods, so a bit of rearranging went into their school schedule too. The guidance counselor was very understanding, having heard hundreds of metaphysical handicaps of all varieties. Two completely unrelated individuals needing to be pair for the benefit of one's life was a new one. Zoe remembered the woman trying to jigsaw the two's schedule together without creating too much chaos.
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Newlight
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February 16th, 2015, 10:11 am #7

Zoe wrote:"Then...we have an accord..."
Roma smiled a little. "Shit, I wish," she said, giving Zoe a playful nudge. "Hondas were never my favorite, but they sure as hell beat Eric's junkyard reject." Get it? Accord? Hahaha...yeah, as lame and misplaced as it was, Roma would brave making a joke for Zoe. Zoe needed every bit of cheering-up that she could get, and none of it really seemed to do much good if it wasn't coming from Roma. Now that was a difficult responsibility. Roma hadn't been intimidated by the expectations of protection that Zoe had for her. She could do fighting and protection, that was her thing. But consoling people and cheering them up? Roma wasn't very good at that. She was capable, as her presence obviously seemed to put Zoe at some level of ease. But it just wasn't something that she did well. Roma was confident in her ability to eliminate anything that threatened Zoe's safety, but if the girl skipped a few pills and started hallucinating and panicking, Roma had no idea how to console her. She did her best to be comforting and reassuring, but it was...weird. Different. Out of her element. Roma just wasn't used to solving peoples' problems the sensitive way.

But that small, sincere reassurance had seemed to help Zoe just now, so maybe it wasn't as difficult as Roma imagined it to be. Maybe it was just easier for her to figure out what Zoe needed to hear. Roma cared enough for the girl to try anything to ease her fears. She didn't remember when that care came to be, but it was more than something that just recently developed from a shared horror. The two of them had already built up a fairly strong friendship during their scheming, and the torture they shared had catapulted that good friendship into something much deeper.

Once the chuckles or eye-rolls were out of the way, the two girls parted and gathered the last two boxes. Roma tied the strap on the sheath to her belt and picked up the other box. She could find a good sword frog to hold it more securely when she was back at her dorm. Roma had several, and enough of a variety so that she could always have Tengoku securely at her side, no matter what she wore. The packaging was disposed of and the two headed out. Roma listened as the door shut behind them. That was the last time it would shut behind Zoe. That room, as well as the bold, carefree lifestyle she enjoyed with it before, might never open to her again.
Zoe wrote:"At least we were in most of the same classes together already..."
...Roma withheld a sigh. Of all the things that she could be thinking about, classes were not what she wanted on her mind. She grumbled something unintelligible as she remembered having the guidance counselor work out their schedule. Poor woman. As difficult as it was to piece the two schedules together, it definitely didn't help that the two girls in question were so...uncooperative. Well, Zoe was as cooperative as she could be, but she had been looped up and most likely very uncomfortable and nervous. Roma had been uncooperative. She had been impatient and irritable with the whole damn ordeal, even if Zoe reached out with a calming touch for her. The most she gave the counselor was a nod, a shrug, or a short, snippy answer. She suggested nothing and offered no opinions.

What irritated her most about having to go through the schedule fiasco was that, for all the trouble they went through, Roma STILL couldn't get out of that godforsaken math class. There was only one Remedial Math class, and Roma was given no alternative for it. Zoe's final class had simply been switched to one in the same hall.

"Fuck classes," Roma said finally as they set the boxes down on her floor. "I'm probably going to skip most of them when they start back up anyway. For the first week or so, at least." What were they going to say? It wasn't like Roma had any shortage of reliable excuses. 'Sorry I'm missing so much class. I'm on some tricky medication. And I was in a coma for a few days. And I'm recovering from being kidnapped. And experimented on. And I'm cursed and dying. I'll try to do better.'

Roma sighed and took a seat on the edge of the bed. She took a good long look at all the boxes. There was quite a lot, and they had just finished carrying them up. Now came they had to work to put everything away.

Roma raised an eyebrow and glanced over at Zoe. "Do you feel like unpacking anything?" Roma was quiet for a minute. Regardless of the answer, she was going to find an alternative to this. Roma didn't like to think of herself as lazy, but she wasn't above avoiding boring work. They could use a break after so much of it anyway. After a moment or so, she looked back at Zoe and sort of...sized her up, wondering what all she'd be up for.

"It's a little warmer outside, today." Roma said, cautiously setting things up for a suggestion Zoe might not like. Zoe didn't seem to be keen on going out anyway, but with the cold air putting Roma at risk, it was even harder to make her comfortable with leaving. "Come to the gym with me. We'll find something to do."
"My brain makes the best decisions for everyone except me."

~ The Dude
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Aithne
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Aithne
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Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:54 am

February 22nd, 2015, 11:02 pm #8

"Shit, I wish, Hondas were never my favorite, but they sure as hell beat Eric's junkyard reject." Zoe was a little confused by what Roma said. Had she forgotten Zoe owned a car? Slowly, it dawned on the white-haired girl that Roma was trying to make a joke. Apparently, it was a bit lost on the Russian speaking girl, so she responded only with a small smile. Roma was awkward when she was trying to help the girl, but it was the thought that counted.

"Fuck classes, I'm probably going to skip most of them when they start back up anyway. For the first week or so, at least." Zoe didn't respond to that either. Whatever Roma wanted to do, Zoe was fine with. She never really thought much of schooling anyway. Perhaps she should, considering she could no longer fall back on her looks. What rich millionaire was going to marry a demon? It was a bit shallow to most people, having one's plan be 'I want to be a trophy wife', but when one practically had men fall at one's feet, it's an acceptable possibility. Not anymore. Still, if Roma wanted to skip, they both had legitimate excuses. Most of the students who went through that ordeal would not be held accountable for some time. There were support groups that many students were urged to go to, but Roma had been in the hospital and showed no desire to share feelings.

They arrived at the room. All Zoe's stuff was successfully moved in. "Do you feel like unpacking anything?" Zoe shrugged, sitting on her own bare bed. Even if she didn't feel like unpacking today, she'd at least need to find her sheets and pillow among the boxes.

"It's a little warmer outside, today. Come to the gym with me. We'll find something to do." Zoe's eyes were on the ground before they lifted to meet Roma's eye.

Zoe's eyes shifted to the window. Despite Roma's curse, the cold was something Zoe was still weary of. Roma might have gone unconscious, but Zoe's power was capable of lengthening her agony. Yes, it kept her alive, but sitting there on that habitat floor, feeling every extremity slowly grow cold and numb had not been fun. Still, they were on an island in the pacific. It might be a bit colder this time of year, but it would never get to the freezing temperatures like it had then.

Her attention turned to Roma again. She was trying, she really was. Zoe didn't want to frustrate the girl. All Zoe wanted was to barricade the door and read a book. Literally barricade. She didn't feel much safe here either. Still, the school was standing...they were alive...they wouldn't get caught with their pants down again.

Hopefully.

"Okay." Was all she said as she stood. There was a box nearby that she started digging through. Her work out gear. Zoe always did enjoy working out, even though her powers kept her in perfect health.

~~~~~~~~~

The two of them wandered hand in hand to the gym. Zoe had on a pair of pink yoga pants and a fitted tank top with a sports bra poking out underneath. She had pulled her hair into a pony tail. That had been difficult, given the new demon horns. She'd get use to it, but for now, she tried to leave her hair loose. She had on a tan leather jacket on. A water bottle in her free hand.

"Zoe~" She heard. Her head turned to see a male students jog to come up along side them. He walked with them. His eyes lifted to see the horns.

"Whoa, new addition." Zoe's hand softly tightened around Roma. Neither of them stopped walking.

"Well, I was wondering---"

"No." Zoe stated. The boy looked a bit startled. He was going to ask Zoe to go to the Red Stars. A bar that Zoe frequented when Ken wasn't around while Operation Addict was in action. Ken might have been Zoe's boyfriend in title, but seeing as she had no interest in actually being with him and more just to manipulate him, she still flirted and partied on the side.

"Okay...um...well..." He looked flustered. His eyes shifted past her to see Roma on the other side. Why was Zoe hanging out with her? Wasn't she some kind of loner. Their peers didn't think much of Roma's social skills it seemed. Zoe, the little social butterfly she was, turning down a date to hangout with...Roma Mariano? Weird.

"I guess I'll see you later." Zoe didn't say anything. The boy just kind of scratched his head and wandered off in a different direction.
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Newlight
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Newlight
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Joined: July 7th, 2011, 4:39 pm

February 23rd, 2015, 12:03 am #9

God, this being supportive and helpful stuff really was difficult. It seemed that every attempt Roma made to bring Zoe out of her shell just made her more nervous. Oh well, it had to get worse before it got better, right? That was how it was with most things. You just had to push through the grit of it and then you'd find some relief.

At least Zoe caved into Roma's coaxing this time. Well, not that she could ever really refuse Roma these days, but the point was that she didn't seemed to be passionately opposed. That was good enough for Roma. For their little exercise trip, Roma opted to wear what she usually did when she worked out. The track suit that the school issued for gym class with a black tank top underneath. Her tennis shoes were so worn that they were probably the most comfortable she'd ever wear. They were mud-stained and roughed-up from countless hours of training. Her long, green hair was pulled into a high ponytail that would hopefully stay off her neck and not overheat her...ha. Roma usually wore shorts instead of the track pants, but she didn't want to risk bare legs in nippy weather. It was a lot warmer today than it had been, and much warmer than it was back on the mainland. But still...it wasn't exactly summertime either.

Roma was used to seeing Zoe in tight, form-fitting clothes. That was all Roma had really ever seen her wear except for the night she had a panic attack in the girl's lounge. But lately, Zoe had been opting out of her usual style for more loose clothing, clothing that was easier to work with given her knew horns. It was nice to see her dressing more like herself again. Well, at least Roma figured that's how the inner Zoe dressed. Maybe she didn't really enjoy dressing to impress after all. Maybe it was all an attraction ploy, like bright feathers on birds.

It still looked pretty nice, whether Zoe preferred it or not. And Roma wasn't the only one to notice, either. Just when things seemed to be going so well, here came the testosterone monkeys. Roma figured that Zoe might have fed off of the boy once or twice. Red Stars was one of Roma's haunts, but the antisocial Italian was rarely noticed there, as she hardly interacted with anyone save some specific drinking buddies and the bartenders. She had seen the boy hanging around Red Stars--and Zoe--more than a few times. There was a time when Zoe might have regarded that boy as a meal, but now it seemed like she was the one fearing him. Or at least she was unsettled by him, and that seemed to annoy her.

Roma squeezed Zoe's hand back and muttered, "We're alright," in English. She knew the boy was upsetting her, even if he was just mildly getting on her nerves. When he aimed a confused look at her, she glared back. What was his problem, huh? He should mind his own damn business.

"Aww. Look at that. You hurt his feelings," Roma mused. "Pussy." She spared the boy a half glance over her shoulder and snickered. If Catch had caught her taking joy in the guy's hurt feelings like that, she would have been written up in that stupid notebook for sure. For now, she had gotten away with it. Like a child that had finally managed to successfully raid the cookie-jar. But there was also another kind of triumph that came with his defeated departure. It was so easy for Zoe to chose her over him...well, what did she expect? Zoe wasn't exactly up for a chat right now. Still, it was nice being favored. Roma would take the victory and pretend it was personal. She was just conceited like that.

Roma led Zoe to one of the padded areas in the back. There were mirrors on one wall, and a handle-bar on the other, like those ballet chicks held onto in movies. It was probably used for the any dance practice that wasn't held in the Dance Club building. But judging by the cluster of punching bags, Kendo sticks, padded vests, and kickboxing gear in the corner, the martial arts kids had plenty of use for it too. Roma used to come to this area to practice her swordsmanship when the weather was unfavorable outside. It was usually pretty secluded this time of day.

Roma set their stuff down and took a drink of water. As she did, she motioned for Zoe to turn around. Once she placed the bottle down, she started tightening her ponytail for her. The hair tie was hardly even doubled. How did Zoe expect to get anything done with that floppy mess falling in her eyes? Oh well, Roma understood. A chick typically didn't have to deal with demon horns to tie her hair up.

"Don't let me rip your hair out or anything. I'm rough, so I don't know if I'm pulling or not," she told her as she worked her fingers through the soft, white threads. Her fingers traced along Zoe's scalp, gathering the strands and keeping them in order. Roma figured that the delicate Zoe was tender-headed, especially after sprouting horns. She tried to be gentle, but alas, Roma sucked at gentle. "You know, he wasn't that insufferable. Dumb enough to take advantage of. Probably would have made a good feeding. Might have even bought you something later." Maybe tempting and teasing Zoe like that would remind her of normalcy. Jokes about the gullible guys that Zoe supped off of used to be commonplace between the two confident girls. Now it could either fondly remind her what normal life used to be and could be again, or send a stabbing reminder that such normalcy was lost forever. Roma was counting on the former.

"There," Roma said, turning Zoe by her shoulders so that the two of them faced the mirror. Roma nodded approvingly. A successful ponytail, and no hair was ripped out. Very nice. Roma had never actually done another girl's hair. The closest she had came was tying up their hair when they were vomiting after a party. Go figure. She patted Zoe's shoulders, punctuating her success. "That's a ponytail. Now then..."

Roma parted from Zoe and sat cross-legged against the mirrored wall. She folded her arms and leaned back against the glass, giving Zoe what she hoped was an encouraging smile. "Go. Go on," she said expectantly, as if Zoe was just supposed to know what she meant.
Last edited by Newlight on February 23rd, 2015, 12:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
"My brain makes the best decisions for everyone except me."

~ The Dude
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Aithne
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Aithne
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Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:54 am

March 4th, 2015, 2:36 am #10

They arrived at the gym. Zoe's eyes glanced over the area. It felt like forever since she had set foot in the place. While those purple eyes lingered, Roma drew her attention back. Following her instructions, Zoe's confusion was quickly clarified by Roma's hands in her hair. Zoe stood still, letting the other girl fix her ponytail mishap.

"Don't let me rip your hair out or anything. I'm rough, so I don't know if I'm pulling or not," Zoe might be tender-headed temporarily, but growing up, she had enough dance mother's wrangling her hair into tight, immobile buns. She could grin and bare. "You know, he wasn't that insufferable. Dumb enough to take advantage of. Probably would have made a good feeding. Might have even bought you something later." Zoe shrugged her shoulders. When she had been in that pod, that habitat, did her gifts and material possessions do anything to save her? Did her Gucci bag protect her? Or those Prada shoes? No. This seemed to be a case for Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Zoe was back to seeking safety and security in life. Other things didn't seem to matter if she was fearful for her life constantly.

"There," Zoe turned to look into a mirror. Did she always have those dark circles under her eyes? The doctors said she was in perfect health because of her powers, so why did she look like hell? "That's a ponytail. Now then..." Roma did do a nice job on the hair though. She nodded with a weak smile. That smile slowly wilted when Roma sat on the mats.

"Go. Go on," Go on...what? Zoe stared at her, and then to the area around them. Did she come in this entrance of the gym so she could be...in the dancing area? Zoe hadn't been in the Dance Club for some time...remember that compound fracture when the school was bombed? She stopped after that. With her new succubus healing abilities any lingering effects of the break were gone, but she was sorely out of practice.

"I...I can't." Zoe said, looking this way and that as she shifted between her feet. "Can't we go on treadmill? We can talk and I teach you Russian?" She had wanted to offer and she thought it was a good diversion from what she was trying to make her do.
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