12 May 2023
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Elijah McMurran John Crowley Adam McMurran Julius Larson Middler Blaydow Nathaniel Larson

Elijah: Visiting J.N. with Adam in tow!
J.N.: Visited. Oh joy.
Adam: Tugs on Elijah's shirt. Softly. I wanna go to the park.
Elijah: …Do you wanna go to the park, Mr. John?
J.N.: Sure.
Elijah: You wanna walk? It's not too far.
Adam: Stares at J.N.
J.N.: Either way.
Elijah: Walking it is. Heads out the front door.

Adam: Just stares at J.N. with big eyes… He's like some kind of wondrous giant… and… giants eat people.
J.N.: Follows. Something on my face, Adam?
Adam: Eyes widen. J.N. saw him staring at him. Embarrassed. Shakes his head "no" and runs up to grab Elijah's hand.
J.N.: I frighten children. I remember when you used to like me. Just barely though.
Elijah: What's wrong?
Adam: Looks back at J.N.
Elijah: What about him?
Adam: Very softly. 'Member that story… Jack 'n the Beanstalk?
Elijah: Hehehe… Mr. John's not a giant. He's a… secret agent. Smiles.
J.N.: Yep. I quit being a giant a long time ago.
Adam: Stares at J.N.

Julius: Looking for Middler.
Middler: Can be easily found! He actually knows his way around the castle, so he's not lost, at least. He's just staring out a window in the hall.
Julius: Hey Middler. Holding Nathaniel.
Middler: Hi Julius. Turns form the window. And Nathan.
Nathaniel : Hi!
Julius: What're you up to?
Middler: Oh, nothing at all really. How about you?
Julius: Nothing… I finished my paperwork.
Nathaniel: Mid…rer.
Middler: That's right, Nathaniel. I'm glad to hear that, Julius.
Julius: Where's Natey?
Nathaniel: Nay-tee.
Middler: He's outside, actually. I'm keeping an eye on him from the window.
Julius: …You sound sad.
Middler: I do? Ah… I'm not. Just thought I'd try not to be too loud indoors is all.
Nathaniel: Midrer!
Julius: Visited J.N. at all?
Middler: Not recently.
Julius: Well, I can see why you might not… But I haven't seen him around at all lately.
Middler: I can check up on him some time if you'd like. I do miss seeing Elijah and Adam… and John too.
Julius: Smiles a bit at Middler's awkward lying.
Middler: Does miss John very slightly. John doesn't really make it a secret of disliking him though.
Nathaniel: Middrer hat!
Middler: Smiles and takes the hat off his head. Would you like to wear it, Nathan? Looks to Julius, just in case it wasn't a good idea.
Julius: Nods.
Nathaniel: Yes! Reaches for the hat.
Middler: Gingerly hands the hat to him. There you go.
Nathaniel: Digs around, looking in it. Bunny? Disappointed when he can't find a bunny and can't wear the hat on his head 'cause it's far too big.
Middler: Chuckles. May I have my hat back for a moment, please?
Nathaniel: Gives it back since it does nothing for him.
Middler: Flips the hat between his fingers so the inside is facing them, showing nothing inside of the hat. Then reaches into the hat with one arm, up to his shoulder.
Nathaniel: Watches unblinkingly.
Middler: Finds what he's looking for and, slowly and carefully, begins to pull Natey, the huge, listless, but surprisingly cooperative bunny, from the hat. Not by his ears, either.
Nathaniel: Mouth agape.
Middler: Puts his hat back on his head and scoops up Natey, with a bit of difficulty due to his size.
Nathaniel: Stare! Toddles over to the window. Daddy, up!
Julius: Picks Nathan up.
Nathaniel: Plants his hands to the glass looking for Natey outside.
Outside: Natey is naught to be found!
Nathaniel: Gasps. Looks at Natey in the hall. Squirms down and runs over. Stares. Pets the bunny. Naytee.
Natey: Placid as always.
Nathaniel: Looks at Middler. Hat! Reaches for Middler's hat.
Middler: Smiles and takes the hat off of his head and offers it again.
Nathaniel: Takes it and thoroughly investigates it. Then tries to put Natey back in the hat. First tries with Natey's head, then his back end, then one of his legs.
Natey: Is much too big to fit into the hat, apparently. Being pushed and pulled doesn't seem to bother Natey too much, though.
Nathaniel: Trying his hardest to figure it out. Pokes the bottom of the hat.
Hat: Does indeed have a bottom.
Nathaniel: Frowns. Midrer how?
Middler: Magic.
Nathaniel: Me wanna!
Middler: You should talk to your father about it, Nathan.
Nathaniel: Dadee, I can?
Julius: Um, you're a little young.
Nathaniel: Pouts. Pets Natey. Bunny bunny bunny Naytee bunny Naytee bunny.
Middler: So, things going well between you and Gwendolyn these days?
Julius: Shrugs. As good as always. She's really overprotective of Nathan, though.
Middler: That's not unnatural… I think. I haven't seen Gwen in a long time. Does she still hate me?
Julius: Um… Well… Probably.
Middler: Er… Forget I asked. No need to put him that position.
Julius: Laughs nervously.
Nathaniel: Laughs, too!
Natey: Doesn't laugh. 'Cause he's a bunny.

Adam: Gets to the park! Runs to the swings!
Elijah: Sits on a bench. Stay where I can see you!
Adam: Okay!
Elijah: So, do you like being assistant manager?
J.N.: It pays the bills.
Elijah: Do you want to be manager someday? Smiles.
J.N.: Not in particular. It's good for discount food. So it cuts down the cost of my living by quite a bit.
Elijah: Nods. Sounds like a good deal.
J.N.: And I'm working with people I can tolerate.
Elijah: Not Ernest anymore, though? Isn't he your best friend?
J.N.: I suppose I don't work with him anymore.
Elijah: Do you miss him?
J.N.: I see him often enough not to miss him.
Elijah: I kinda miss Demi… You sorta start to appreciate your friends more when they're not around.
J.N.: Nods a bit. Kind of understands that.
Adam: Comes back over and shyly sets several dandelions on J.N.'s lap. …Sorry for calling you a giant.
J.N.: It's alright, Adam. Picks up one of the dandelions. Thanks.
Adam: He's still so scary. Nods and runs over to the slide.
Elijah: I think he likes you. He's so quiet and serious and solemn. I wonder if he'd be like that if Aunt Bridget and Uncle Eric hadn't raised him.
J.N.: Hm… You think so?
Elijah: Mm. I wish my dad were still around…
J.N.: …I see. Very subtly spoken kind of as agreement.
Elijah: …I wonder if he'd be ashamed of me…
J.N.: What would he have to be ashamed of?
Elijah: I dunno, I've done some stuff I'm not proud of. Sighs. Watches Adam pick flowers.
J.N.: …Like what?
Elijah: Long silence.
J.N.: Doesn't break this particular silence.
Elijah: …My friend does drugs and sometimes I hold them for him and I get drunk at parties sometimes…
J.N.: I see. Do you do drugs yourself?
Elijah: No… though I've thought about it.
J.N.: Hm. I see. Anything else?
Elijah: I gave into having sex with my friend when I was drunk a couple times.
J.N.: …The same friend that called you yesterday?
Elijah: Yeah.
J.N.: So… he's your boyfriend?
Elijah: Makes a face.
J.N.: Or not.
Elijah: I dunno. Puts his head in his hands.
J.N.: I barely even knew these kind of problems existed when I was your age.
Elijah: I just feel really bad sometimes. Like, I start remembering things I don't want to. I can't even quite place them, but… I don't want to remember them. So I get drunk… but it doesn't exactly make me feel better… and I feel like I'm worthless, so it doesn't matter. Or I want to feel worthless… so I have sex with him.
J.N.: Can't say I empathize here. What do you remember?
Elijah: Not knowing where I am. Barely feeling like I know who I am. There's voices and I'm always in pain and I can't move or see… and someone's talking to me, but I can't make out the words. Looking pale. Afterwards, I feel ashamed of myself. I know my father would be ashamed of me. I say I won't do it again, but the memories crop up and I do.
J.N.: Nods his head. Doesn't really understand too much, but does remember Daniel mentioning something about him being tortured. I think Daniel would understand.
Elijah: You're ashamed of me, too. You should be… I just feel like I'm drowning and no one is noticing.
J.N.: Elijah is unlucky in talking to one of the people who does care, but has trouble expressing so. I'm not ashamed of you. Everyone makes mistakes.
Elijah: Looks at J.N. I'm sorry for telling you all this.
J.N.: Very awkwardly puts a hand on Elijah's shoulder. Guess it's easier than hugging a guy in the lingerie section. I'm glad you did.
Elijah: I don't meant to just dump all my problems on you. You shouldn't have to worry about this stuff.
J.N.: But I do worry. I hadn't guessed that you were helping traffic drugs or being manipulated by some guy that uses you for your body.
Elijah: Smiles a bit, though still looking pale. You told me that last night.
J.N.: Yeah, I guess I did. That hasn't changed, though.
Elijah: …Thank you, Mr. John. You really think my dad would understand?
J.N.: I think he would. That might be a stretch.
Elijah: …You're not going to tell my mom?
J.N.: Do you want me to?
Elijah: No.
J.N.: Then I won't. It's not my place to tell your mother, but I did promise that I'd look after you and I want to do what's best for you.
Elijah: You think telling her would be best for me?
J.N.: I guess it might not be for the best, but do you really want me to lie to your mother by telling her, "everything is alright"?
Elijah: She'll go into hysterics. Well, it's not like I know what's best for me, either. You don't have to lie to my mom, Mr. John.
J.N.: Maybe your mom will know what the hell to do. I certainly don't. Tries to give him kind of a one-armed consolation hug. Daniel made caring look easy.
Elijah: Hugs J.N.
J.N.: Pats his back lightly.
Elijah: Thankfully, lets go after a very brief hug since he knows it'd just make J.N. feel awkward. Especially in public.
J.N.: Turns an eye to Adam to make sure he hasn't gone too far off.
Adam: Swinging. Though the sun is going down.
J.N.: Hm… It's getting late.
Elijah: Yeah. Calls. Adaaam! It's time to go!
Adam: Hops off the swing and comes running. Hands Elijah a bouquet of dandelions, clover, and primroses.
J.N.: At least he didn't make a big deal out of having to go.
Elijah: Thank you, Adam. Hugs him. You're… a great little brother. Thinks better than saying best 'cause of Feemy.
Adam: Can we get ice cream?
Elijah: Sighs. Looks to see how much money he has in his wallet. Five dollars! Yeah…
J.N.: I'll treat.
Adam: Smiles shyly at J.N. May I have vanilla please? Really wants chocolate chip cookie dough, but figures he shouldn't push his luck with J.N.
J.N.: Yeah, you can have vanilla… Anything on top of that?
Adam: As though he is asking J.N. to put his life on the line. Sprinkles?
J.N.: Alright, anything else?
Adam: …A waffle cone?
J.N.: Alright. That all?
Adam: Nods. Thank you.
J.N.: You, Elijah?
Elijah: Nothing for me, thanks.
J.N.: Alright. To the poor fellow who serves the ice cream. I'd like to get two scoops of chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone with sprinkles… and a single scoop of vanilla in a waffle cone with sprinkles on top.
Not So Cheery Ice Cream Slave: Sighs. Frowns. Gets to work.
J.N.: Soon has the ice cream and hands over the money. Hands Adam the vanilla.
Adam: Thank you, Mr. Crowley.
J.N.: You're welcome.
Elijah: Cell phone rings.
J.N.: Glances to Elijah, then to Adam.
Adam: Eating his ice cream.
J.N.: Nudges Adam's shoulder lightly.
Adam: Blinks at J.N.
Elijah: Hello?
J.N.: Feel like trading? Doesn't really like ice cream that much at all.
Adam: I already licked it.
J.N.: I don't care. Not even going to eat the ice cream anyhow.
Elijah: Walks away a few steps. Don't chew me out, I said I'd see you on Friday and I told you I gave it to Sean… I don't care if he lost it.
Adam: O-kay… You won't get germs?
J.N.: Nope.
Adam: Exchanges ice creams with him.
J.N.: Exchange accomplished. It was only his assumption, but when he was a kid, and whenever he'd seen kids, they never just wanted vanilla. Con. Now he has to carry around a licked, melted ice cream cone. Bogus.
Elijah: Low-voiced. …Yeah, go to hell.
Adam: Licks the chocolate ice cream contentedly.
J.N.: Glances over his shoulder, not listening to Elijah's conversation, anyhow. Let's give your brother some privacy while he's on his phone.
Adam: Whispers. He said a bad word.
J.N.: He did? Wonder which one it was. I see. C'mon. Doesn't grab Adam or anything, just steps a bit more away and hopes he follows him.
Adam: Follows. Your ice cream's melting.
J.N.: Yep. Uses his giant limbs to reach over and grab some napkins.
Adam: Aren'tcha gonna eat it?
J.N.: Yeah.
Adam: Eats his own ice cream.
Elijah: Comes back over once his call is finished, looking unhappy.
J.N.: That's a good sign. Hm.
Elijah: Ready to head back?
Adam: Mm-hm.
J.N.: Lets those two walk ahead so he can discretely dispose of his ice cream.
Elijah: Walks ahead, holding Adam's sticky hand.

Adam: Finishes his ice cream cone as he enters J.N.'s house. Wanders to the couch, curls up and sleeps.
J.N.: Sleepy, eh? You staying here for the night? Or are you going to take Adam home?
Elijah: Aunt Bridget's mom is still there and isn't leaving 'til tomorrow morning… So… Only if it's okay with you.
J.N.: I don't mind. Eat whatever is in the fridge.
Elijah: I'll need a ride to school, though. I guess I could walk if I woke up early enough. I'm not really hungry…
J.N.: I'll give a ride. Then off to visit your mom.
Elijah: You don't have work?
J.N.: I do. I'll just call in and say I'll be late.
Elijah: Okay… You are assistant manager! Adam has to go to preschool, too.
J.N.: Alright.
Elijah: Sorry, guess I'm inconveniencing you.
J.N.: Not really.
Elijah: Isaac says he's going to school tomorrow, too. Gets a glass of water.
J.N.: Isaac?
Elijah: My friend. Sighs. He always grabs me in public, too, it's really annoying.
J.N.: Grabs you?
Elijah: You know. Gulps water.
J.N.: No. I don't. Actually sounds pretty severe in this case.
Elijah: Blinks since he thought J.N. understood the connotations. Sorry… grabs my behind. Since he makes him spell it out, looks embarrassed.
J.N.: Did understand the connotations. He just wanted to hear him say it. Hm. I see.
Elijah: Pours himself another glass of water, still looking embarrassed.
J.N.: Didn't meant to embarrass him. Frowning.
Elijah: Gulps it down and goes into the living room to take Adam to bed. Comes back in a bit. Sits on the couch and looks through Murder Weekly.
J.N.: Sits in his arm chair.
Elijah: Sighs. I want to go home.
J.N.: I thought your aunt was there.
Elijah: I meant home home.
J.N.: Oh.
Elijah: …Get away from Isaac and all that mess… have a clean slate… sword practice… my mom… Feemy and Demi and Julius and everyone.
J.N.: Miss how things used to be?
Elijah: Nods. Don't you?
J.N.: Yeah.
Elijah: Looks at J.N. and drops his eyes.
J.N.: …What?
Elijah: I dunno. We used to all hang out here… do you miss that?
J.N.: Yeah, I do.
Elijah: Even Gwen and Middler? Smiles a bit.
J.N.: To an extent.
Elijah: Laughs. Are you lonely?
J.N.: I don't know.
Elijah: …Sorry. Didn't meant to pry.
J.N.: It's okay.
Elijah: …I'd better get to bed. Stands. Thanks for listening to me, Mr. John.
J.N.: Any time.
Elijah: … Hugs him again.
J.N.: Hugs back. It's getting a tiny fraction easier to do this each time it happens.
Elijah: Lets go. Bows. Good night. Goes to bed.
J.N.: Good night.