13 September 2037
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Vladimer McMurran John Crowley Adam Crowley Aidae McMurran Islywyn Price Peter Crowley Elijah McMurran Jessica Crowley
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Joel Marsetti Trajedie Remourna Nicholas Romolo Rosemary Crowley Danielle Crowley Gabriel Nathaniel Larson Daniel McMurran

Vladora: Hey Grandpa! Why're you sleeping?!
John: Awakens, but pretends he's asleep.
Vladora: Graaandpaaa! Are you dead?
John: …
Vladora: Pulls on his nose! Grandpa!
John: Eyes snap open! Blaaargh!
Vladora: Jumps, falling out of his lap.
John: …Scared you.
Vladora: Laughs, picking himself up off the floor. That was good, Grandpa.
John: Smiles a little. Glad you thought so.
Vladora: Why were you sleeping?
John: I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.
Vladora: Why not? Were you and grandma doing the hanky panky? Doesn't know what this means, but has heard Aidae and Izzy say it!
John: Raises an eyebrow. …Where did you hear that?
Vladora: Aidae and Izzy.
John: Should have known.
Vladora: Well, were you?
John: Not in my dream.
Vladora: Last night?
John: I had a bad one when I went to sleep.
Vladora: About what?
John: …Zombies everywhere and you weren't around to show them who was boss.
Vladora: I would'a whooped 'em.
John: I know, which was why I was looking everywhere for you. I just couldn't find you, is all.
Vladora: You just call me next time and I'll come running and show those zombies who's boss.
John: Scruffs up his hair. Of course.
Vladora: Grandpa?
John: Yes Vladimer?
Vladora: It's Vladora.
John: Alright. Yes, Vladora?
Vladora: What's hanky panky?
John: Ask your father.
Vladora: He won't ever tell me. He's not cool like you.
John: I'm cool? I don't know what I do to get my accolades. I can't say. It's secret adult stuff.
Vladora: Blinks. Well now I just wanna know more.
John: Whoops.
Adam: Enters. …What is?
John: Hanky panky.
Vladora: Smiles. An opportunist. Uncle Adam, what's hanky panky?
Adam: Blinks. I thought it was a dance or something.
John: That it is.
Vladora: Looks disappointed… …A dance…?
John: Mm-hm. Is your friend still at work, Adam?
Adam: Probably. I don't think she gets off until the evening.
John: Nods. She seems nice.
Adam: Smiles. She is.
Vladora: Is she your giiirlfriiieeend?
Adam: …No.
Vladora: Shouldn't you be married already? You're really old.
Adam: …I'm 18.
Vladora: That's pretty old.
John: I must be ancient now.
Vladora: Yup! But you still look good.
Adam: …I guess I'm just an old maid. Sorry, Vladora.
John: You're still a young man.
Adam: No, Father, really… It's too late. I've just passed my prime.
John: That is most unfortunate. Something of an exaggerated frown.
Vladora: S'okay Uncle Adam. You'll find someone someday.
John: What'd he say? I couldn't hear him.
Adam: Thank you, Vladora. Now I have the courage to go on and live another day.
Vladora: Smiles. I'm a good person.
John: My hearing has left me. I can't understand a word you whipper snappers are saying.
Vladora: Uncle Adam said he loves me.
John: Whaaat? Puts a hand to his ear.
Vladora: Uncle Adam said he loves me!!!
John: Winces. …Okay, I heard you.
Vladora: Grins.
John: Stands, all stooped over with a hand on his 'failing' hip.
Aidae & Izzy: Enter!
Izzy: Holding a brown paper bag.
John: Who are those two? I'm afraid my sight has left me too. Squints.
Vladora: It's Aidae and Izzy!!! Hi!!!
Aidae: Frowns. Mutters. Oh great…
John: Hobbles on over and holds out his arms. Aidae, give your old grampa a hug. Actually enjoying this.
Aidae: Don't be stupid Grandpa. You were fine yesterday.
John: What was that? Grinning a little now.
Aidae: You heard me.
John: Unstoops and arches his back, cracking it.
Izzy: Munches on jelly beans out of the brown paper bag.
Aidae: Hey! Don't eat 'em all!
John: So how have you two been?
Aidae: Reaching for the bag.
Izzy: Playing keep away. Is taller!
Aidae & Izzy: Fine…
John: No talk of hanky panky I would assume.
Aidae: Give iiit… Not really listening to John. What?
John: Don't mind me.
Izzy: What do you saaay?
Aidae: Punches him!
Izzy: Owww… Now you're really not getting it! Runs.
John: You two are so adorable.
Aidae: Chases and tackles him. Is stronger! They're soon wrestling.
John: …My money is on Aidae.
Adam: Returns from the kitchen with a cup of coffee.
Vladora: Can I have some?
John: Alright you two, enough roughhousing indoors.
Aidae: Has Izzy's arm pulled behind his back, knee on him, pinning him down.
Izzy: Uncle! Uncle!!!
Adam: You won't like it…
Vladora: Please?
Adam: It's black.
Vladora: Please?
Adam: It's really bitter and gross.
Vladora: Why're you drinking it then?
Adam: It's an acquired taste.
Vladora: Adults are dumb.
Aidae: Lets him go and grabs the bag of jelly beans.
Vladora: Hey guys! Can I play?
Aidae: No.
Izzy: Gets up and rubs his arm.
Vladora: Pleeeaaase?
Aidae: No!
Vladora: I'm telling Daaad!
Aidae: Go ahead! Cry baby.
Vladora: I'm not!
John: I'll play with you.
Vladora: Frowns. Sorry Grandpa, you're not as cool as Aidae and Izzy.
Aidae: Yeah, go play with Grandpa.
Vladora: I will! And we'll have lots more fun than you!
Aidae: Rolls her eyes and shrugs then walks away with Izzy.
Izzy: …Sir… Runs off with Aidae.
John: Nods to him as he departs.
Vladora: Pouts.
Adam: …I need to get back to work. See you at dinner. Nods to them both and departs.
John: See you at dinner.
Vladora: They never wanna play with me… and when they do, they just treat me like a slave. Frowns.
John: That's not fair. We can have fun without them. Just name what you want to do.
Vladora: I dunno… Kicks at the carpet.
John: I'm just a boring old man. Concentrates a little and they lights the candles in the dining room. Pretty pathetic when you have to try and impress your grandchild.
Vladora: Parlor trick. …Why'd you do that?
John: Shrugs. I could do more, but not inside.
Vladora: I wanna see that guy.
John: Which one?
Vladora: Your grandpa.
John: Oh, Dad? Sure.
Vladora: Oh, I thought he was your grandpa.
John: You did? Why?
Vladora: I dunno. He's real old.
John: He is getting there. Let's go, then. Concentrates a little to put out his silly little parlor trick.

Vladora: …Grandpa? Walks along.
John: Yes, Vladora?
Vladora: You and Grandma aren't ever gonna die, right?
John: Tricky question to answer. What brings this about?
Vladora: I was just wondering. My mommy died when I was born… I killed her. Frowns.
John: You didn't kill her, honey.
Vladora: I did too. She died cause I was born.
John: It wasn't any fault of yours.
Vladora: Aidae said so.
John: Did she now?
Vladora: Yeah.
John: Aidae is wrong.
Vladora: Why?
John: Because you aren't the one that made your mom pass away.
Vladora: Who did then?
John: Nobody did. It's like when you get ill sometimes. No one is to blame, it just occurs.
Vladora: I guess…
John: Your father and I are going to have some words about what Aidae has said.
Vladora: Why?
John: What Aidae said is hurtful and completely uncalled for.
Vladora: She'll hate me more for getting her in trouble.

John: Knocks upon Peter's door.
Vladora: Scratches his nose.
Peter: Who is it?
John: It's me, Dad.
Vladora: And Vladora!
Peter: Come on in. Without opening the door for them.
John: Opens the door and steps inside.
Peter: Emptying his pipe and opening a window.
Vladora: Enters. Hi Big Grandpa. Coughs.
Peter: Hello, Vladora. Porcelain animals are everywhere. Among them are some flower pots, vacant of flowers. Otherwise, a rather bare room.
Vladora: Coughs and sneezes.
Peter: I'm sorry. I wasn't expecting guests.
Vladora: Why's your room all smokey?
Peter: I was smoking my pipe.
Vladora: Why?
Peter: It's relaxing to me and I've been doing it since before John was born.
Vladora: Can I try?
Peter: Sure, why not? Offers him the pipe. You have to light the other end.
John: Dad!
Vladora: Takes the pipe!
Peter: Here, let me help you. Withdraws a matchbook from his pocket and a bit of tobacco from the other. Fills the bowl of the pipe and lights the match. When I say so, inhale. You put that end in your mouth and suck on it.
John: Staring. Dad, what the hell do you think you're doing?
Peter: Vladora is a big boy now. I think he can try it if he wants to.
Vladora: Puts it in his mouth!
Peter: And lights it up for him. Suck on the end.
Vladora: Does so like he's drinking fast through a straw… Starts to cough a lot!
Peter: Gently removes the pipe from his grasp. How was that?
Vladora: Still coughing.
Peter: Lightly pats him on the back, trying to help him through it at least.
Vladora: More coughing.
John: Grabs a nearby pitcher that's used for watering the plants.
Peter: Keeps patting his back. I don't imagine that felt very good. That's why you should never smoke.
Vladora: Still coughing.
John: Pours Vlad a glass of water, frowning. Here… Drink this if you can…
Vladora: Thankfully drinks, which seems to calm his coughing. Wipes the tears from his eyes.
John: I don't know what the hell has gotten into you, Dad. Angry tone. Rarely used, too.
Vladora: After drinking the glass of water. …That was awful.
Peter: Do you want to try that again?
Vladora: No. Frowns.
Peter: Good… Now, what brings you two here? Fanning the smoke out to the window, knees creaking when he stands.
Vladora: …My head hurts.
John: Vladora wanted to visit you. Now I think it's best that he lie down. Curtly said.
Vladora: I don't need to lay down.
John: Are you sure? Fussing over him.
Vladora: Yeah.
John: Alright then…
Vladora: Not looking very happy 'cause of his headache. Why do you smoke then if it's that bad?
Peter: I got addicted to it. I tried to quit awhile back, but something came up.
Vladora: I mean, how can you do it at all?
Peter: I've learned how to.
Vladora: So I just wasn't doing it right?
Peter: You were doing it well enough. It's just always something like that. Enough about that. How are you doing, big guy?
Vladora: Not so good anymore…
Peter: I'm sorry to hear that.
Vladora: Just stares at him. I wanna lie down, Grandpa.
John: Alright, Vladora. Bye Father.
Vladora: Bye Big Grandpa.
Peter: Good bye, Big Guy, Son. Visit anytime.
Vladora: Tugs on John. Pick me up…
John: Does so, setting him on his shoulders.
Vladora: I dun wanna be up here…
John: Lowers him and just holds him in his arms. Like this, then?
Vladora: Yeah. Wraps his arms around John's neck.
John: Carries him away from his father's room.

Vladora: I hafta go to sword practice…
John: Elijah certainly is starting you guys young. Alright, then.
Vladora: Closes his eyes.
John: …I'm sorry for what my dad did, Vladora.
Vladora: It was pretty mean.
John: …He was just trying to show you that smoking is bad… but he should have just said so.
Vladora: He shouldn't smoke if it's bad.
John: Mom was on his case about it a lot.
Vladora: Stays quiet for once.
John: Carries him in silence to the training hall.

Elijah: Standing around.
John: Hello, son.
Elijah: Hey Dad… Vladora. You want some sword practice too? Grins.
John: Couldn't hurt. Grins a little, despite what transpired.
Vladora: I dun wanna sword practice…
Elijah: Blinks. Vladora… You said you wanted to do this. You should finish the things you start.
John: Frowns. My dad let him try his pipe when he asked for it.
Elijah: What?
John: When Vladora asked if he could try using my father's pipe, he let him.
Vladora: My head hurts…
Elijah: That's not good… Takes Vladora from John and holds him for a bit. You wanna go to bed and rest?
John: Relieved to see that Elijah isn't furious.
Vladora: Yeah…
Elijah: Mm-kay then… You coming, Dad?
John: Of course.

Elijah: To Vladora's room they go. Puts Vladora in bed and gives him a glass of water and a kiss on the forehead. Just rest until dinner, alright? Love you…
Vladora: Love you too… Sips the water.
John: Love you, Vladora. I hope you feel better soon.
Vladora: Thank you, Grandpa. Bye-bye.

Elijah: Leaves the room.
John: Leaves as well. Sorry about that, Elijah.
Elijah: It's not your fault.
John: I know, but still, I would have thought my father had more sense then that.
Elijah: I understand that he was trying to teach him a lesson…
John: If anything, I hope Vladimer learned not to ever try smoking and my father doesn't pull a stunt like that one again.
Elijah: I don't think so… The kid's got allergies like his mom.
John: Nods. That just makes what my dad did even worse… and worse yet, Aidae told Vlad that he killed his mother.
Elijah: …What?
John: Perhaps not in those words exactly, but she told Vladora that he was the reason Bara is dead.
Elijah: Frowns and sighs. …I'm going to have a talk with her…
John: I hope so… Vlad doesn't deserve that being thrown in his face.
Elijah: They've never gotten along very well… Frowns.
John: Nods. Seems like we know the cause now, at least.
Elijah: Shakes his head. …I sometimes think I'm not cut out for this job.
John: I used to think the same way.
Elijah: You never seemed like it…
John: All I could do was try my best and with a stroke of luck, it happened to be enough. Chuckles a bit dryly.
Elijah: Smiles a little, but sadly. You had Mom to help you, too.
John: …I did. Kind of knows where that one is coming from.
Elijah: I don't know if I'm doing anything right…
John: It's hard to tell sometimes… but I think you're doing just fine, Elijah.
Elijah: Thank you… I think I've had good role models in my life, though. Smiles at him.
John: Smiles as well. It's quite a good feeling to have that said of him, at least he thinks he is. Pats his shoulder lightly, squeezing it as well.
Elijah: Hugs John.
John: Hugs back. It's good to know that he can still hug his eldest son.
Elijah: How's Mom?
John: She's doing well.
Elijah: That's good…
John: The irony of being able to lie quite well while being, at heart, an honest person is not completely lost on me. Do you have any plans for the immediate present?
Elijah: No… I know there's something going on… Stares John in the eyes.
John: Stares right back into them. We're trying to have another kid.
Elijah: Blinks. Oh… Smiles. Well, why didn't you just say so?
John: To be honest, I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be mum or not. She never said that it was supposed to be secret or really made a move to make it known.
Elijah: No, I mean… I understand why you might not want to make it widely known…
John: Why do you say that?
Elijah: I mean… If you told everyone you were trying to have a child and then you had trouble getting pregnant or something, then it would be more painful to have to deal with that and everyone else asking about it than just by yourselves.
John: Nods a little.
Elijah: Not that I think you and Mom would have trouble with it… but Mom is kinda older… well…. uh… Yeah. Realizes he's digging himself into a hole.
John: Raises his eyebrows a little.
Elijah: …Is it dinner time already? I better go and wash my hands…
John: Elijah.
Elijah: Yes?
John: Puts his arm around his shoulder for a kind of half-hug. Your concern is appreciated, really. Could you keep this on the down-low, though? If it was supposed to be secret, your mother would have my hide.
Elijah: Of course… I'll keep it mum.
John: Thank you. Oh… and I'd still like to practice sometime if you're up to it.
Elijah: Grins. I don't think you need my help.
John: I'm sure you could teach an old dog new tricks.
Elijah: Laughs. I'll try to go easy on you, old man.
John: Ha, I'll try not to break a hip.
Elijah: What are you, 41? Come on… I really do need to wash my hands. Vlad's not the cleanest little kid. And good luck. It'll be cool having a new little brother or sister. Said in a softer voice. Smiles and to the bathroom he goes.
John: Smiles and nods to him as he goes. Speaking of which, time to visit my beautiful wife. Even if she is a little busy, I can at least say 'Hi'.

Jessica: Everything's coming off at once, so is a bit distracted.
John: Just another distraction. Does just peek his head into the kitchen, instead of just barging in. Hello, Honey.
Jessica: Hello John. Stirring sauce.
John: Smells good.
Jessica: I hope it tastes good…
John: I'm sure it will.
Jessica: Smiles at him and continues stirring.
John: Smiles back. I'll stop bothering you while you work and see you at dinner.
Jessica: It'll be on the table in five minutes…
John: Nods and goes over and kisses her on the top of the head, not wanting to distract her too much from her cooking. Been affectionate lately.
Jessica: Turns her mouth up for him to kiss.
John: Leans down and kisses her gently at the invitation.
Jessica: Kisses back, but it's a short one. Go sit down… Smiles at him.
John: Smiles and nods. I'll be saving a seat beside me.
Jessica: Smiles.
John: Leaves to take a seat at the table.

Joel: So then, I asked him how he would get along without his foot! Laughs.
Trajedie: 'No, tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man'.
Nick: Stares at Trajedie.
Joel: Also stares.
Nick: …Relevancy?
Trajedie: It's speaking of a wound that will do them in, even if someone is making light of it.
Nick: Do you have some bed pans to clean?
Trajedie: …No… I got done… Stares down at the food.
Nick: …Sorry.
Trajedie: Nods a little. I tried, at least.
Nick: Eats the pasta!

Adam: Smiles at his sisters across the table.
Rose & Dani: Smile back!
Adam: Let's go into town sometime together, alright?
Rose: Nods!
Dani: Cool, you're usually busy.
Adam: I've found myself with a lot more free time lately.
Dani: Why's that?
Adam: Well, I feel a lot better, so my head's a lot clearer and I'm getting my work done faster and I still have a lot of energy when I'm done. And what better way to spend my time than with my favorite little sisters? Smiles.
Dani & Rose: That always gets them smiling, though they certainly didn't need any help after it's known that Adam wants to hang out with them.
Elijah: Smiles at his mom.
Jessica: Smiles back.
Elijah: Smiles more.
Jessica: Smiles more back.
Elijah: Grins.
Jessica: Smiles questioningly.
John: Smiles at Elijah.
Jessica: Looks to John and Elijah. …What?
Elijah: Just grins at her.
John: Grins a little more, though it has a bit of a threatening edge to it.
Elijah: Just laughs.
Jessica: Laughs a little. …You're too much like your father.
Peter: Enters the dining room late. Knees creak when he seats himself wherever there is an opening.
Luke: Stares at him.
Peter: …Can I help you? Not sarcastically.
Luke: No.
Gabriel: Enters late as well, looking distressed.
John: Something on your mind? Don't mind me, I'm just prying.
Gabriel: Stares at John. …I was just summoned to the Angelic Court.
John: What does that entail?
Gabriel: I'm in trouble.
John: That is bad news. What have you done wrong?
Gabriel: Given the time it takes them to get around to things… probably reincarnating myself.
John: I see. When are you expected to arrive?
Gabriel: Tomorrow. I have no idea if or when I'll return. If someone could look after Nathaniel?
John: Not sure if it would even be proper if he offered.
Gabriel: He's fairly sensible. I'm sure he can take care of himself, but you never know.
John: I'll do it anyway. I can keep an eye on him, just in case, if that is alright.
Gabriel: Thank you, John. Actually sounds appreciative.
John: Wow. It isn't a problem. I doubt he'll need it, but as you said, one never knows.
Gabriel: I'd just find it comforting to know he's being looked after, in case something happens to him.
John: Rest assured, I'll make sure nothing goes awry.
Gabriel: Smiles a little and looks relieved. Softly mumbles, looking down. …I couldn't bear to lose him.
John: It's a relief to know that he actually cares.
Gabriel: He hasn't been well since we returned from that trip to Lousmon.
John: I'm sorry to hear that. Is it serious?
Gabriel: He just seems to have no energy for the past few days and he acquired a fever yesterday.
John: Perhaps it is best that he is moved to the infirmary.
Gabriel: Nods. I'd rather stay… but if I don't go, I'm sure Cherubim will come and drag me up there.
John: I understand. There won't be any need for your apprehension, I will make sure Nathaniel is cared for.
Gabriel: Thank you, John. That's kind of you.
John: Nods. No thanks is needed.
Gabriel: Smiles a bit at him shyly…
John: I suppose I should be used to my sincerity eliciting this sort of reaction.
Gabriel: Finally sits down and sorta picks at his food.
John: Tries for a bit of compassion himself. Which, at least to Gabriel,would actually be a first. I am sure that Nathaniel will be fine and you can see so for yourself when you return.
Gabriel: Heh.
John: That reaction speaks quite a bit to John, even if it is assumption. Like if Gabriel is coming back anytime soon, if at all.
Gabriel: If you see Middler, please give him my regards.
John: I will.
Gabriel: Nods to them all and stands. I'll excuse myself then. I have not much of an appetite. Leaves to take Nathaniel to the infirmary.

Nick: That's is an unusual sight.
Trajedie: Bowed a little at the arrival and helped accommodate Nathaniel at least.
Nathaniel: Very white and running a fever, but acting more as though he's in pain than ill.
Trajedie: That's confusing…
Nathaniel: Turns on his side and curls up into a ball.
Trajedie: Um… Ni…er… Doctor?
Nick: I'm coming… Over he goes. What's going on?
Trajedie: I don't know… He's running a fever, but… look at how he's balled up. Implying the theory that he's in pain.
Nick: …Um? Can't remember this kid's name. Doesn't see him much.
Nathaniel: Looks over at Nick.
Gabriel: He's been weak ever since we returned from Lousmon five days ago… He passed out two days ago and began running a fever yesterday. He's been complaining that his back hurts.
Nick: …I see. To Nathaniel. Your back hurts? Does it ache? Throb?
Nathaniel: I-It… feels like… 's… on… fire…
Trajedie: Frowns. Not used to seeing this sort of illness at all. Steps back and just pays close attention.
Nick: If you'd let me remove your shirt… The boy loosens up a bit and he removes Nathaniel's shirt. And turn on your stomach… Nathaniel does so, revealing that his back looks rather red and splotchy. …Hm. That's odd. How long has your back been hurting?
Nathaniel: Five… da…y…s… Grown in pa…in.
Nick: Do you know how long you've had this rash?
Nathaniel: I… didn't know I had a ra…sh.
Nick: Is the pain only on the skin? Or is it a deeper pain, in the muscles?
Nathaniel: …Deeper…
Nick: …Hm. Do you know of anything that might have caused this?
Nathaniel: …No.
Nick: Do you mind if I touch your back?
Nathaniel: …Please don't…
Nick: Is it sensitive to touch?
Nathaniel: V-Very…
Trajedie: Frowning deeper, now just lightly stroking Nathaniel's hair. Trying to help, at least a little. It's even worse that he's so young.
Nick: Is it a constant pain?
Nathaniel: …Yes…
Nick: Do you mind if I try a spell?
Nathaniel: …No…
Nick: Tries a healing spell….to no affect… Hm… Do you have any other symptoms? Do you feel hot? Cold?
Nathaniel: M-My back feels… hot… The rest of me… cold… 'm… tired… weak…
Nick: Your breathing?
Nathaniel: …Normal…
Nick: Takes his pulse. …Hm… It's fast… If you could help him sit up, Trajedie…? Try not to touch his back… I'd like to do a physical examination.
Trajedie: Does her best to sit him up without touching his back. Her hands are shaky as is though.
Nick: Removes Nathaniel's pants, but leaves his underwear on. Looks him over closely. Tests his reflexes… Checks his fever… Looks in his mouth, ears, nose, and eyes. Examines the rash. …Are you allergic to anything?
Nathaniel: N-Not that I… know… of…
Trajedie: Speaks out of turn. …Is there any known dangerous flora in Lousmon? Catchers herself only afterwards and looks awfully focused on assisting Nathaniel.
Nick: Lousmon is a large city… Seems unlikely… You were in the city, correct?
Nathaniel: Y-Yes…
Nick: Joel… If you could perform a blood test…?
Joel: Of course. Gets the needle. You may wish to hold your father's hand, Nathaniel.
Gabriel: Takes Nathaniel's hand in both of his own.
Nick: Hopes Trajedie isn't the type to be squeamish with blood and needles.
Trajedie: Not so much, but the seeming severity of the situation is obviously making her quite shaky.
Joel: Nathaniel, I'm curious… Do you know how to say the alphabet backwards?
Nathaniel: W-What? Y-Y-Yes…
Joel: Could you say it for me, please?
Nathaniel: …Z…Y…X…W…V…U…
Joel: Good. I could never get the hang of it. Keep at it, alright? Nathaniel soon feels the needle poking into his skin.
Nathaniel: …T…S…R…Q…P…O…N…M…L…
Joel: The needle goes further in. Excellent. You're a very smart boy. Soothingly and when the needle finds it's mark, he draws the blood.
Nathaniel: K…J…I…H…G…F…E…D…C…B…A….
Joel: Is indeed finished by the time he gets to A. Looks a bit skeptical. Wonderful job, Nathaniel.
Nick: We'll analyze this… You can rest now, Nathaniel… Trajedie, if you could help him lie down…?
Trajedie: Yes, Doctor… Lay him down gently.
Joel: If I may just double check… Lightly touches Nathaniel's arm. You can feel that, correct?
Nathaniel: …Yes…
Joel: Nods. Then you are a very brave young man. That's a relief. Thought you were losing tactile feeling in your extremities but were still feeling pain, which may indicate a direct nerve problem.
Nick: To the lab!
Joel: Halts for a moment. Trajedie, stay with Nathaniel and inform us of any changes in his condition immediately. Off again.
Gabriel: Still holding Nathaniel's hand, stroking his fingers a bit.
Trajedie: Feels like she should say something. …We're going to take good care of him, Sir.
Gabriel: Nods. …Thank you.
Trajedie: Attempts a reassuring smile and just stands by.

Nick: Blinks. It seems to be a bacterial infection… That's odd…
Joel: What have you discovered?
Nick: Just seems odd that it's on his back… Well, he has the rash, but says the pain isn't just on his skin… I examined his back thoroughly and there didn't seem to be any cuts, either…
Joel: Nods. Judging by how he's curled up, the pain is indeed deeper, as he mentioned… and it is odd that he has no lacerations in that area indeed.
Nick: Doesn't seem to be a problem with a specific organ… Scratches his head, stumped.
Joel: Frowns. That does make it difficult to come up with an accurate diagnosis… Hm… Rubs his chin. …Adam. Continues rubbing his chin. Adam was plagued by an unconventional illness as well. Because he is a Riser.
Nick: …Do you know what this kid is?
Joel: Do you?
Nick: …No, that's why I was asking you.
Joel: I've heard things, being around the castle, but it is best to confirm. Shall we?
Nick: Nods and reenters the infirmary.
Joel: Renters with him.

Nick: …He seems to have a bacterial infection… We're a bit stumped as to where, though… He seems to have no abrasions or lacerations on his back and he said the pain was deeper than simply his skin, where the rash is… Joel and I were just wondering… What race is your child, exactly?
Gabriel: …He's half Angel, half Fae.
Joel: Well, that makes it complicated.
Nick: To Joel. …Does that… ring any bells?
Joel: Frowns. Not about to tell Nick in front of the father that he doesn't have anything in mind. Perhaps. For now, it seems as though we have to rule out the possibility of a race-specific ailment.
Nick: Thinking. We certainly know little enough about Fae.
Joel: Regrettably. Is there perhaps any text in the castle or local library that could assist us in our endeavor? To Nick.
Nick: Silent as he thinks, picking at his beard a bit.
Joel: Perhaps if Hana were here…
Nick: …Does your son have wings?
Gabriel: He does.
Nick: What kind?
Gabriel: Half Angel…
Nick: …They're in his back, aren't they?
Gabriel: …Yes…
Joel: Getting a few ideas as to what Nick could be getting at now.
Nick: Could you release your wings, Nathaniel?
Nathaniel: That sounds very painful.
Nick: Please, Nathaniel?
Nathaniel: …I'd rather… not…
Joel: Trust Nick, Nathaniel. He knows what he is doing. He only wants to help you get better.
Nathaniel: P…Please…
Nick: I'm not trying to cause you unnecessary pain… Joel and I just want to make a diagnoses so we can treat you.
Joel: We just need you to be brave like you were before, okay?
Nathaniel: …A…Alright… Lets his wings out… most unnaturally… You can see them bulging through the skin at first, as though his back isn't willing to compensate. They do break out and spread very slowly, causing him to scream in pain. It is not a nice smell… or a pretty sight… His wings are decaying…
Joel: It's fascinating, albeit morbid, and a little frightening.
Gabriel: Puts a hand over his mouth.
Trajedie: Thinks she's going to be ill.
Nick: W-Well… Fairly disgusted.
Joel: Keeps his mind on track. Nathaniel, does your back hurt now or is it just in your wings? Said very, very soothingly and softly. Nick would most likely recognize this voice as being the one used for patients that he has serious doubts about.
Nathaniel: Trembling violently. …E-Everywhere…
Joel: Leans in to get a closer look at the wings, covering his mouth and nose, just in case… and to preserve his senses. …You can feel your wings? Looks back at Nick, hoping he has something to add. Maybe he's had a breakthrough.
Nathaniel: …They… hurt…
Nick: Looking closer as well, despite his disgust. …Looks like gangrene…
Joel: In a low tone, for Nick's ear only. …If that is the case, then halting it from spreading…
Nick: …It hasn't seemed to have spread to his back yet… Also a low voice to Joel.
Joel: Keeps quiet. Unsure if revascularization is an option at this stage…
Nick: Whispers. …Do you think they'll need to be amputated?
Joel: …I cannot see another option, Nick.
Nick: Nods. It seems that way to me, too…
Joel: Shakes his head. Not disagreeing, but as if to express that this is a shame.
Nick: Nods sympathetically.
Joel: Leans back from the wings, thankfully. ..Sir? To Gabriel.
Gabriel: Looking distraught. Yes…?
Joel: If you would come with us, please? Not going to say it in front of the child.
Gabriel: Nods.
Joel: Come on, Nick. Let's do the part of the job we, 'love' best. Not moving very far, just out of Nathaniel's earshot.
Nick: Follows Joel and Gabriel over.

Joel: …It seems as though your son is suffering from an advanced stage of necrosis, specifically gangrene.
Gabriel: Nods, looking pale.
Joel: Gangrene will spread if it is not treated soon… Considering it's location, were it to travel too far into his back, I am afraid there would not be much we could do for him.
Gabriel: Nods. Will you treat it then?
Joel: Yes… You must understand that removing the necrosized tissue, debridement… is not an option at this stage.
Gabriel: Then what can be done?
Joel: Complete amputation.
Gabriel: Looks absolutely horrified, disgusted, and sickened. Just stares at Joel like a snake just popped out of his mouth.
Joel: …I am afraid it is the only option. I'm sorry.
Gabriel: Looks like he's going to faint.
Joel: Sir… Please, take a seat. Actually offers a hand to him, in order to lead him to a chair.
Gabriel: Takes a seat, still looking horrified.
Joel: Nick and I will make the process as painless as possible.
Gabriel: P-Painless? Only a Demon would remove an Angel's wings…
Joel: If the gangrene spreads much further, he will die.
Gabriel: I-It's like a part of your soul… or… Simply horrified.
Joel: …Please, Sir. If it spreads, then even if it does not cause his death, we will only have to remove that much more flesh.
Gabriel: Very long silence, face in his hands. …Do what must be done to save him…
Joel: Nods. Very well…
Nick: Whispers to Joel. Do you even know how to remove an Angel's wings?
Joel: Whispers. Only in theory… I know the anatomical structure of wings.
Nick: It'll be risky… but so would be leaving him like this…
Joel: It will be… but at least he will have a chance.
Nick: If what Gabriel says is true, he'll be missing a part of his soul…
Joel: If we don't operate, he will die. I don't think I would blame you if you didn't want a part in this.
Nick: I'll assist you… It just feels… evil… Like he said… Demons… but I don't want to involve the poor girl in it… We should dismiss her for tonight.
Joel: Nods. Believe you me, this is not something I am going to forget…
Nick: I'll talk to Trajedie and set things up… I guess you can talk to Nathaniel…?
Joel: Nods once more and to Nathaniel's side he goes.

Nick: To Trajedie he goes. Ms. Remorena…
Trajedie: Just pale. Looks up at him wide-eyed, but composes herself as best she can. Y…Yes, Doctor?
Nick: You're dismissed for tonight… If you could lead Gabriel out…?
Trajedie: Feels even more guilty of the fact that she is glad that she can go. Stands and bows. Alright… Doctor?
Nick: Yes?
Trajedie: What's to become of Nathaniel?
Nick: In a low voice. His wings are to be amputated.
Trajedie: Urk… Shouldn't have asked… Just nods quickly. I'll… I'll escort Gabriel.
Nick: Nods. I'll see you tomorrow. Leaves her to prepare for the surgery.

Trajedie: Ashen-faced, approaches Gabriel. …Sir…?
Gabriel: Looks up from his hands, eyes red.
Trajedie: I'm to lead you from the infirmary… For lack of any other gesture she could possibly offer, she proffers her hand. Not as though she'd have the physical strength to even help him from his seat.
Gabriel: Doesn't take her hand, but gets up and leaves the infirmary.
Trajedie: So much for leading him out… but departs as well.

Joel: Nathaniel.
Nathaniel: Looks to him.
Joel: We're going to have to ask you to be brave again…
Nathaniel: Shivering… Continues to make eye contact, meaning he's listening.
Joel: …Your wings have advanced gangrene, Nathaniel. If we do nothing about it now, it will spread to your back.
Nathaniel: Continues eye contact.
Joel: If it spreads to your back… the chances are against you. We can stop it at the wings, but that means… removing them.
Nathaniel: Begins to cry.
Joel: The worst part of the job. Nothing he really can say, though he does offer his hand, the same one that is going to assist in removing his beloved wings, for him to hold, as little as the gesture might mean to Nathaniel.
Nathaniel: Takes it… crying… and not someone who cries very often.
Joel: Squeezes it with one hand, patting it lightly with the other.
Nick: Nearly finished preparing.
Joel: Remains there to comfort Nathaniel until Nick is fully prepared.
Nathaniel: Sobbing quietly.
Nick: Fully prepared! Everything sterilized, lit, and he's suited up.
Joel: Lets go of Nathaniel's hand and gets prepared to the extent that is required of him.
Nick: Puts Nathaniel under the anesthetic, so he goes to sleep.
Joel: Time to do the devil's work.
Nick: Not a fun job!
Joel: Not at all!
Nick: Leaves a big hole in his back, too!
Joel: And two rotting wings and other such dead flesh to dispose of.
Nathaniel: At least he survives?
Joel: At least he does. I still feel like I've done something quite awful though.
Nick: I feel like I assisted you in doing something quite awful!
Joel: I think I need a drink. Or two. Dozen.
Nick: Gotta watch the kid and make sure he doesn't die on us.
Nathaniel: Breathing shallow. Barely alive, but begins to wake up.
Joel: Standing by.
Nathaniel: Eyes look unfocused and dead.
Joel: Nathaniel…?
Nathaniel: Makes no eye contact.
Joel: Can you hear me?
Nathaniel: Blinks. Eyes slowly move over to Joel.
Joel: Okay, he can hear me at least.
Nathaniel: Looks like… a different person than he did a few hours ago.
Joel: Nathaniel, can you count backwards from 10 for me? Seeing if he's still all there.
Nathaniel: Stares a bit. Who the hell is Nathaniel?
Joel: Can you?
Nathaniel: Just stares blankly.
Joel: Oh dear. …Can you tell me what year it is?
Nathaniel: Blank stare.
Joel: Your name?
Nathaniel: Blank stare.
Joel: …Even speak?
Nathaniel: …'lo.
Joel: There's that, at least. Nick.
Nick: Yes?
Joel: Nathaniel is showing signs of memory loss.
Nick: …He's not brain dead, is he?
Joel: He barely responds to my questions. Back to Nathaniel. Repeat after me. Hello.
Nathaniel: …Hullo…
Joel: Repeat after me again. Gabriel.
Nathaniel: Gabriel…
Joel: Sighs. …Would you please stay with him? I should inform Gabriel.
Nick: Sure.

Gabriel: Sitting outside the infirmary.
Joel: And outside of the infirmary he goes. He's not carrying the, 'I have great news' expression on his face.
Gabriel: Looks to him. …Did he make it?
Joel: Yes… The operation was a success…
Gabriel: Doesn't look overjoyed at this. …How is he?
Joel: We're trying to evaluate that now… Would you like to see him?
Gabriel: Nods and stands.

Joel: And back to the infirmary. To Nick and Nathaniel he goes and, of course, braces for the worst possible reaction that he can conceive.
Gabriel: Nathaniel…? Strokes his son's cheek.
Nathaniel: Stares blankly at his father.
Gabriel: Tried to prepare himself for this but… The tears come anyway…
Joel: Glances at Nick from the corner of his eye to gauge how he's reacting to this, at the very least.
Nick: Frowning deeply.
Joel: Turns his head to look at his colleague and makes a subtle jerk of his head to the door. …If you would like, we can give you two time alone, if you inform us immediately of any changes, Sir.
Gabriel: Nods.
Nick: Heads for the door.
Joel: Also heads to the door, leaving the father and son to themselves.

Daniel: Got your hands full again, eh John?
John: Why do you say that?
Daniel: Nathaniel.
John: I'm going to watch him, yes. I don't see how he's going to be a handful.
Daniel: He just had his wings removed.
John: Frowns. I see.
Daniel: You just get yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire.
John: I've never see him fly about, though I suppose if my legs got chopped off, I wouldn't be in any better of a state.
Daniel: An Angel's wings are like their soul… Are their soul… Part of it…
John: …I see. Actually, no. I don't.
Daniel: What are you not seeing?
John: I'm not going to be so arrogant as to assume that I can fully grasp what it is like to have a part of your soul cut from you, is what I am saying.
Daniel: Oh… Yes… It's not fun…
John: Regardless, I will watch over Nathaniel.
Daniel: That's really sweet of you.
John: At least I'll try. That's all I can do.
Daniel: You're a supremely nice guy.
John: It's nothing to thank me over.
Daniel: …Yeah it is.
John: At least… Frowns.
Daniel: What?
John: Nothing.
Daniel: What?
John: I said nothing.
Daniel: Rolls his eyes. You don't even know if Gabriel's ever going to come back.
John: I'm aware of that.
Daniel: You could have to take care of Nathaniel forever under obligation to him.
John: I'm not obligated to do anything. I'm doing this because I chose to.
Daniel: Are you figuring he was going to marry one of your daughters anyway?
John: Not that I know of.
Daniel: I thought at least one of them was in love with him.
John: They're young. They don't even know what that kind of love is.
Daniel: So you basically made the decision to possibly adopt Nathaniel in like five seconds?
John: I'm not about to forsake Nathaniel just because I've found out it's going to inconvenience me.
Daniel: Sighs. Well, it was nice of you.
John: I didn't see anyone else stepping up to do so either.
Daniel: I just hope you're not biting off more than you can chew.
John: I hope I'm not either. I have a nasty habit of doing so, it seems.
Daniel: You've got Jessica to take care of.
John: I've got everyone to take care of.
Daniel: Everyone? In the world?
John: Just in my world. Though I do sometimes feel like Atlas.
Daniel: Shakes his head and sighs.
John: What now?
Daniel: I'mma ask you some questions.
John: Go for it.
Daniel: They're going to rock your world.
John: I'll believe that when I hear it.
Daniel: Dai yai, dai yai, yai yai, da da, yai ohhh….
John: Don't do that again. Ever.
Daniel: Why?
John: It honestly makes me worry about your mental well-being.
Daniel: I'm dead.
John: Your meta-mental well being, then.
Daniel: Thank you for your concern.
John: No problem.
Daniel: What's you favorite holiday?
John: My anniversary. Excluding that, I guess Halloween.
Daniel: Why Halloween?
John: Because it conceals my secret love for costume design.
Daniel: Laughs.
John: Honestly, I like it more these days because it makes me feel young and I like seeing my kids dressing up and acting silly or trying to be scary.
Daniel: Aww. Have you ever shaved your head?
John: I haven't. Holds his arms out unsteadily to the sides.
Daniel: What're you doing?
John: I think that question just offically rocked my world.
Daniel: Would you ever shave your head?
John: Not without reason, no.
Daniel: Has your hair ever been a crayon color?
John: Does the top being blonde count?
Daniel: I dunno. How much do you weigh?
John: Haven't checked recently, so I don't know.
Daniel: Have you ever done yoga?
John: No.
Daniel: Do you like rain?
John: Yes.
Daniel: Have you ever danced in the rain?
John: Given the chance, I would. I'd just need a partner.
Daniel: Do you sing in the shower?
John: No.
Daniel: Do you sing when you know people can hear you?
John: I really don't sing much, period.
Daniel: Do you have any stuffed animals?
John: No.
Daniel: Were you born in wedlock?
John: Not that I know of.
Daniel: …Have you ever done illegal drugs?
John: No, but I drank underage.
Daniel: Have you ever drunk a bunch of cough syrup to get messed up?
John: No.
Daniel: Have you ever danced on your bed to really loud techno?
John: I didn't really listen much to music either.
Daniel: Have you ever ditched class?
John: Rarely.
Daniel: Can you hula hoop?
John: I haven't the foggiest.
Daniel: What's your favorite season?
John: Winter.
Daniel: What's your favorite kind of weather?
John: Summer rain, almost ironically enough.
Daniel: What's your favorite month?
John: December.
Daniel: Day of the week?
John: I don't have one.
Daniel: Time of day?
John: Early morning-late night.
Daniel: Flower?
John: Violets.
Daniel: Superhero?
John: Didn't really read comics when I was a kid.
Daniel: Form of government?
John: Iron-fisted tyranny instated by a military coup started by me. In all actuality, I find that Atlantis' form of government works quite well.
Daniel: Aww. Form of religion?
John: None in particular. I leave people to their beliefs.
Daniel: Drink?
John: Pomegranate juice.
Daniel: Fruit?
John: Said fruit.
Daniel: Vegetable?
John: Carrots.
Daniel: Person?
John: I have a multitude.
Daniel: Mythical animal?
John: Never thought of it.
Daniel: Utensil?
John: Be a little more specific.
Daniel: You know… Fork, knife, spoon… spork?
John: Ah. Knife.
Daniel: Type of dog?
John: The kind that don't bark and crap indoors.
Daniel: Type of food?
John: Italian.
Daniel: Type of cat?
John: The kind that doesn't scratch up everything and shed pounds of fur by the minute.
Daniel: …Type of rodent?
John: The kind that isn't either gargantuan or spread genocidal disease.
Daniel: …Type of bird?
John: Vulture.
Daniel: Type of reptile?
John: Iguana.
Daniel: Type of insect?
John: Grins. Mosquito.
Daniel: How?
John: I'm not allergic.
Daniel: Everyone's allergic to mosquito saliva.
John: I don't see why I don't break out into bumps when they bite me then.
Daniel: You're a freak.
John: I guess so. But really, I don't have a favorite. Something that isn't going to sting or bite me as means to inject me with loads of harmful toxins is a start though.
Daniel: …Underwater animal?
John: Angler fish.
Daniel: Should'a known. Work or school?
John: Tough choice, but I'd say school in the end.
Daniel: Day or night?
John: That small increment of time wherein it's kind of both.
Daniel: Red or green?
John: Red.
Daniel: Cats or dogs?
John: Do I have to choose?
Daniel: No. Birds or fish?
John: Ditto.
Daniel: Spring or Autumn?
John: Autumn.
Daniel: Dusk or dawn?
John: Dawn.
Daniel: Comedy or drama?
John: Drama.
Daniel: Big or small?
John: Not inclined one way or another.
Daniel: Flying or breathing underwater?
John: Flying.
Daniel: Realism or surrealism?
John: I go through both every night for the most part.
Daniel: Laughs. Winter or Summer Olympics?
John: Don't care either way.
Daniel: Kittens or puppies?
John: Kittens.
Daniel: Aww. Action or romance?
John: Romance.
Daniel: Up or down?
John: No preference.
Daniel: Black or white?
John: Same.
Daniel: Left or right?
John: Same.
Daniel: Tall or short?
John: Same again.
Daniel: Chocolate or vanilla?
John: Vanilla.
Daniel: Cloudy or clear skies?
John: Depends on what the weather is like.
Daniel: Fire or water?
John: Water.
Daniel: Air or earth?
John: Air.
Daniel: Chinese or western Zodiac?
John: No preference either way
Daniel: Glasses or no glasses?
John: I don't need them.
Daniel: Tattoos or no?
John: No.
Daniel: Hair dye or no?
John: No.
Daniel: Naked or clothed?
John: Depends.
Daniel: Purple or yellow?
John: Yellow.
Daniel: Blue or orange?
John: Orange.
Daniel: Pink or silver?
John: Silver.
Daniel: Late or early?
John: No preference.
Daniel: Young or old?
John: No preference.
Daniel: Alone or in a crowd?
John: Depends.
Daniel: Philosophy or government?
John: Government.
Daniel: Math or English?
John: English.
Daniel: Mayo or mustard?
John: Neither.
Daniel: Salt or pepper?
John: Pepper.
Daniel: Cold or hot?
John: Cold, mostly.
Daniel: Coughing or sneezing?
John: Coughing.
Daniel: Do you like salad?
John: Yes.
Daniel: Bananas?
John: Not in particular.
Daniel: Milk?
John: Sure.
Daniel: Strawberries?
John: They're not bad.
Daniel: Watermelon?
John: A little messy, but alright.
Daniel: Gold?
John: Idly runs a hand along his ring. Sure. Though I prefer my payment in silver. Twenty pieces of it is my price.
Daniel: Blinks. Colored contacts?
John: Laughs. No. Ernest used to wear those. Wanted his eyes to be blue.
Daniel: Fake nails?
John: …Definitely not.
Daniel: Unnaturally colored hair?
John: Doesn't bother me. Not gonna say that Demi's hair is absolutely smashing though.
Daniel: …Freckles?
John: No real opinion on them.
Daniel: Picket fences?
John: They seem appealing after awhile.
Daniel: Skinny jeans?
John: I'd look awful in them.
Daniel: Math?
John: I'm angry at numbers. There are too many of them.
Daniel: …Skirts?
John: Would you slap me if I said, 'easy access'?
Daniel: Ew… Short-shorts?
John: Ha, no real opinion on either of them actually. Except some look good in them, some don't.
Daniel: Leather jackets?
John: They're warm. Are my simple answers getting on your nerves yet?
Daniel: Nah. Feel free to ask me annoying questions, if you want.
John: I have no clue what to ask.
Daniel: Anything stupid that comes to your head.
John: If confronted by ninja and you have the choice between a spoon and a whisk, which would you choose?
Daniel: A spoon. Whiskeseses are kinda flimsy but you could gouge somebody's eyes out with a spoon.
John: I see. Surprise scorpions or soggy wafers?
Daniel: Soggy wafers are less painful, I guess.
John: Biscuit raft or french fry skis?
Daniel: French fry skiiis… Less of a chance of me drowning. Oh yeah.
John: Earring or no?
Daniel: Pulls at his pierced-less lobes. None for me. I don't mind them on other people, though.
John: I see. Serious questions or whimiscal ones off the top of my head?
Daniel: I don't mind either, but I think serious questions would be interesting. Laughs.
John: Tell me something you've done then. We can swap stories, ha.
Daniel: Something I've done?
John: Something about you, whatever.
Daniel: Did I tell you about that time I pushed Jessica off a bridge?
John: Nein.
Daniel: Alright, well… I told you how we started hanging out in middle school. Well, she used to not stand me but she started to warm up to me a bit by the end of 7th grade or so, so I would invite her to go places with Julius and me sometimes and she would tag along "begrudgingly" or "because she was a masochist" but I think she was just lonely. Anyways… The town we lived in had this fair every year and it was pretty boring but everyone went anyway because there was nothing else to do and I guess it was an excuse to eat funnel cake. Anyway, it was at the waterfront with the bay and everything and there was this small bridge with a boardwalk for people and a lane for cars and stuff and the middle and high school kids would jump off of it. So Julius and I decided we were going to and Jessica tagged along and she was wearing her bathing suit and everything but she wouldn't jump off the bridge 'cause she said the water was icky. So I pushed her off. She was really mad at me. That was an interesting story.
John: It was. I don't have interesting friend stories to tell of my youth. I wish I did, though.
Daniel: Mm. Thinks of a question to ask John. I know, like… nearly everything about you…
John: You've probably seen a lot of my good memories.
Daniel: Well… Tell me about something then, I guess.
John: I remember when you stuffed Elijah down into a vent head first.
Daniel: Smiles. I'm a good father.
John: Yes, you are.
Daniel: Does it bother you that Feemy's gay?
John: The only thing that would really bother me is if he was with someone that wasn't treating him right. I have a good feeling about Renasi, though.
Daniel: Aww… Your turn… I guess.
John: This one is a little centered around me, so please bear with me. Do you think my dreams are frightening or mean anything?
Daniel: Frightening or mean?
John: If there is any substance to them and if they're worrisome.
Daniel: Well, I thought your last one kinda was. I mean… I don't think you should kill yourself trying to take Price down.
John: I don't plan on it. Though I suppose things don't always go as planned. I certainly can't predict the future.
Daniel: Well, try to be good. Thinks of a question to ask John. Did you have any romantic feelings for Jessica while I was still alive?
John: I thought she was attractive and nice, but no, not any romatnic feelings.
Daniel: Aww…. That's niiice… Your turn, I guess.
John: Was all that you've ever done for me part of your facade? Or really, just the 'you' you were when we used to all hang out.
Daniel: …No… That's a bit heavy for just keeping up appearances.
John: That's nice to know.
Daniel: Not to say my facade was never up around you. It definitely was. To deflect all that crap you'd say about me and my family and my lifestyle and friends and stuff.
John: Ever wanted to smack me? Laughs.
Daniel: Oh yeah.
John: How often?
Daniel: I dunno, I'm kinda slow to anger, but when you were hitting on Jessica or calling Elijah gay… Yeah.
John: I don't blame you. I was a prick back then and I still kind of am now.
Daniel: I was a prick too.
John: True enough.
Daniel: Does it bother you that I'm Adam's biological father?
John: Not really, though I actually used to be quite jealous of you.
Daniel: For really?
John: Yes, really.
Daniel: When?
John: When I first really knew I'd fallen for Jessica, truth be told.
Daniel: Not much competition, being dead.
John: You might be surprised at how daunting it actually was.
Daniel: I guess I sorta get where you're coming from.
John: You two pretty much spent your lives together. I just couldn't see how she could have ever felt the same for me. You may laugh at me, but I was afraid of her rejecting me, too.
Daniel: Well, she thought she was being there for you those years after I died but you were actually kinda being there for her, too. She got to depend on you, I think.
John: I didn't see that at the time. I was still mostly a hermit compared to how I am now. The thought that I'd reach out for someone and get pushed away was pretty intimidating. Especially since I don't think I would have known how to handle it back then.
Daniel: You mean when you told Jessica you had feelings for her?
John: Nods.
Daniel: Laughs. It wasn't long after that you got her pregnant.
John: I was still largely insecure about it then, too. I just usually don't let it show. I let it slip a little bit though, unfortunately.
Daniel: When she was unhappy about getting rid of my crap?
John: Yeah. It was just kind of a reminder of all the memories and good times she'd already had with you. I hadn't meant for her to lock everything away, though.
Daniel: Laughs.
John: Frowns. She was just that dead set on making sure I was happy.
Daniel: She's sweet.
John: She is.
Daniel: You'll be married to her exactly as long as I was. Isn't that depressing? Frowns.
John: I look at it as the happiest years of my life.
Daniel: Aww.
John: And at least they're not over quite yet.
Daniel: Yeah.
John: And maybe we'll have a son we can both care for before she passes.
Daniel: Why do you want a son?
John: I don't quite understand it myself, really. I'd be perfectly happy with another girl.
Daniel: Boys're a bunch'a trouble… You like Vladora?
John: I do.
Daniel: Like raising your very own Elijah. Laughs.
John: Heheh… Time has passed me right by.
Daniel: A morbid Elijah.
John: A morbid Elijah?
Daniel: Kid's like… fascinated by death or something.
John: True… and I just realized… I have to find a new tutor for Danielle and Rose.
Daniel: 'Cause Gabriel left town?
John: Indeed.
Daniel: And Katen kicked the bucket. Send them to Academy. That's what normal people do.
John: That's the plan now.
Daniel: If you can stand your precious darlings being away from home.
John: Though I think those two were the best teachers I could have found. Frowns a little. I'd miss them.
Daniel: Good life experience for them.
John: True.
Daniel: Though Adam's supposed to be trying to build an academy in Atlantis.
John: Things are a little busy… Now on the thought of Gabriel, I'm wondering how Nathaniel is doing.
Daniel: Do you wanna wake up and check on him?
John: I suppose I should. It's a pleasure talking to you, as always.
Daniel: Yep. See you later.
John: See you later. Opens his eyes.

Jessica: Sleeping quietly beside him, naked after the hanky-panky.
John: Leans over and gives her a small kiss before trying to leave bed without awakening her.
Jessica: Deeply asleep, so it's no trouble.
John: Throws on some clothes and it's down to the infirmary.

Nick: Gone to sleep in his chair like a good doctor.
John: At least tries to be quiet in that case. Approuches Nathaniel, wondering if he's even awake.
Nathaniel: Eyes are closed and breathing shallow, looking very pale. Not clear if he's asleep though… Breathing seems uneven.
John: Takes a seat, wondering even what he should do in that case. It's not like he figures Nathaniel would appreciate someone besides his real father trying to soothe him. …Nathaniel?
Nathaniel: Has begun to recognize this as his name. Opens his eyes… His usually amiable face and bright eyes look expressionless and dull.
John: That's hard to see, even for me. He was usually so bright and cheery, too. It's a shame. How are you feeling?
Nathaniel: …I don't know… Voice has little inflection.
John: Nods a little. …Are you thirsty? Hungry?
Nathaniel: …I don't know…
John: I'll get you food and water, just in case. I'll be back soon, alright? This is hitting certain chords within him.
Nathaniel: Who is this guy?
John: Stands and goes to the kitchen for a late night snack for Nathaniel. Endeavors of course to get the healthy kinds of food, as he's oft to do.
Nathaniel: Closes his eyes again but doesn't sleep.
John: Frowns to himself as he carries back the tray. Can only imagine how everyone is going to take this tragedy, though perhaps Nathaniel will enjoy having his friends and relatives at his bedside. Returns, bearing food, which he sets down for him. There you are.
Nathaniel: Opens his eyes again. …Who are you?
John: Blinks. …I'm John.
Nathaniel: …Are you related to me?
John: Frowns. …Do you know who your father is? Needs to double-check.
Nathaniel: …I don't remember his name, but I think he was in here awhile ago…
John: I see… What did he tell you?
Nathaniel: I don't know. He cried a lot. He said he loved me. He said good-bye and left. No emotion.
John: Even more pronounced frowning. Daniel was not exaggerating about his soul being shorn when his wings were cut off. I see… Your father had to go away. He entrusted you to my care.
Nathaniel: Just stares. Too weak to eat or do much of anything but lie down.
John: So if you ever need anything… just say so. I'll at try my best to take care of you.
Nathaniel: Blank.
John: He has memory loss… Wonderful. …Something wrong?
Nathaniel: …I don't know.
John: Reaches out and just very slightly scruffs his hair. Something he's done to Nathaniel before this particular surgery.
Nathaniel: Blinks. I don't remember anything.
John: Absolutely nothing?
Nathaniel: I don't know…
John: He's in worse shape then I'd feared.
Nathaniel: There's nothing there.
John: Frowns even more-so. So this is what Daniel probably meant.
Nathaniel: I don't know if there's supposed to be.
John: Not sure how to answer that… It might be very stressful if he's just recovering from something this traumatic. …There is. Honest route, as always.
Nathaniel: I'm empty.
John: …Do you know what happened, Nathaniel?
Nathaniel: No. I just woke up like this.
John: …You underwent surgery.
Nathaniel: Surgery?
John: Nods. …You don't know for what?
Nathaniel: No. I guess my back, because it hurts.
John: Give me a moment, Nathaniel. Stands and it's to Nick. Sorry, but I need more details.

Nick: Snoring softly.
John: Gently shakes him.
Nick: Snerk. Eh? Oh… John… It's not Adam, is it?
John: No… It's about Nathaniel. You're going to love this news.
Nick: Sits up. Is he alright? Ah! I didn't mean to go to sleep! Looks around for Joel.
John: He's… fine… I think. He's awake… I just wanted to know about his condition. What happened to him…? I'm going to be taking care of him until his father returns.
Nick: Oh, God. …I see… Hm. What happened to him? Well… His father brought him here and Joel and I tried to diagnose him… We had a blood test done and discovered he had a bacterial infection, which was confusing because he was complaining of deep pain in his back and had a rash there. We asked what race he was, which turned out to be Half Angel, Half Fae. I thought it might have to do with his wings if he was Half Angel and I was correct. When he let his wings out, they were well, rotting… Advanced stages of gangrene. The only thing that could be done was to amputate his wings. Though since… as Gabriel said… The wings were part of his soul… It's had adverse effects on his memory.
John: Frowning deeply, but nods. He can't remember anything at all.
Nick: We noticed.
John: Not even why he's here, except for observing that his back hurts.
Nick: Nods. Well, considering he can't even count backwards from 10… I don't find it surprising. Or remember his father or his own name for that matter.
John: Is there any estimate for a recovery?
Nick: It's hard to say… I mean… I can't say if this is partly due to trauma and he'll eventually recover his memories or if it's due to his soul… being cut away… In which case… Well, I really don't know. I wish I did.
John: I see.
Nick: I barely knew the kid when he came in here and even I can notice the difference in his personality.
John: It is obvious. I'm sure you did all you could.
Nick: He would have died if we hadn't amputated his wings… I have no idea which would have been the best decision… I suppose it's better to give life a chance.
John: Nods. I'm sure that is what Gabriel would have chose. Really, can't be so sure, but is mostly just projecting how he would feel about losing a child and what he would choose against its demise.
Nick: It's hard to say… He seemed horrified when we even mentioned removing his wings. He said it was something only Demons did.
John: Even more of a distressed and worried expression, though a small light of anger is present in his eyes. Not directed towards the doctor or even Gabriel. Just another fact stacked against Demon-kind.
Nick: How his wings got infected in the first place is what I'd like to know… I mean… How does a soul get infected? And only after he returned from Lousmon? I think there's something fishy. But I know nothing about Angels…
John: I don't believe Gabriel is going to be back anytime soon to ask that. He made it sound like he was leaving for good at dinner.
Nick: I guess not…
John: If I knew where Hana could be found, I could perhaps ask him via letter.
Nick: I don't know where Hana is… Did he tell anyone where he was going?
John: Not that I am aware of.
Nick: It's a shame he left. He was a valuable resource.
John: Gives a short, dry laugh at that. That wasn't lost on me.
Nick: But I guess there was nothing keeping him here. Of course once he left, Adam got better and got a girlfriend.
John: Blinks. The nurse is his girlfriend? Of course. They were together at the ball.
Nick: I thought they were dating.
John: Nods. It makes sense. They went to the ball together.
Nick: Yep. Poor Hana.
John: It is unfortunate what happened to Katen, indeed.
Nick: He was a good man.
John: He was indeed.
Joel: Finally comes in from outside.
Nick: I wish I could have saved him.
Joel: Saved who? Nathan's not…?
Nick: Katen…
Joel: Oh…
Nick: Nathaniel's fine… Well… Well, you know.
Joel: I know…
Nick: Puts a hand on Joel's shoulder.
Joel: Wouldn't want to work with anyone else. Thanks Nick.
Nick: What you did was for the best… If nothing else, maybe it can help us figure out how this happened and prevent it from occurring with any other Angels. They were the only reason the Demons lost when they attacked the castle.
Joel: Too true… Let us hope that we can make sure this never happens again.
Nick: Mm. Did Hana leave any word with you where he was going?
Joel: I am afraid not. Now that you mention it, his expertise would be most beneficial at this time.
Nick: Yep. Hopefully he's not working for the Demons again.
Joel: Hopefully not. I would not like to imagine what his knowledge could be used for.
Nick: Well, they never seemed to utilize it much the 20 years he was their slave.
Joel: We are lucky for that small concession.
Nick: Hopefully, he didn't throw himself off a cliff like Queen Gwen.
Joel: Dreadful way to go.
Nick: Mm-hm.
Joel: Indeed… Oh, did you bring food for Nathaniel, Nick?
Nick: No. John must have.
Joel: Turns. That was thoughtful of you.
John: I'm Nathaniel's guardian until Gabriel returns.
Joel: Blinks. That's… good.

Adam: Wakes up screaming.
Elijah: To Adam's room he goes. Adam? What's wrong? Turns the lights on.
Adam: Damp with sweat. Looks around, feeling his chest. …Just a nightmare…
Elijah: Oh, I know how that is. Oh… Well, guess I shouldn't burst into your room in case you're screaming for… other reasons…
Adam: …What?
Elijah: Well, you've got a girlfriend now… If that's the case, try to keep it down, because I sleep in my lonely bed at night in the next room.
Adam: …I wouldn't do that with Trajedie. Frowns. Looks awfully disturbed at the idea.
Elijah: Well good. Good night. Still half-asleep. Goes back to bed.
Adam: Doesn't even know what to make of all that. Tries his best to go back to sleep.