19 May 2023
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John Crowley Elijah McMurran Adam McMurran Jessica McMurran Julius Larson Nathaniel Larson Feemerson McMurran Demitrius Larson Celena McMurran Middler Blaydow Gwendolyn Larson

J.N.'s Door: Knocking
J.N.: Wakes up and answers the door.
Elijah: Hey Mr. John. Holding Adam's hand and looks like he's gonna drop.
J.N.: Hi Elijah.
Adam: Smiles a little at J.N.
Elijah: Are you busy?
J.N.: No, come in. Steps aside to let them in.
Elijah & Adam: Come in.
Elijah: Adam was begging to see you.
Adam: Looks at J.N. shyly.
J.N.: …Is that so? Blinks.
Elijah: I think he wants to give you something.
Adam: Hands J.N. a sheet of construction paper.
J.N.: Accepts it and looks at it.
Construction paper: Upon it is a drawing. There is a big tall guy with a beard and a short person, both of them are holding ice cream cones. There is another figure with lots of black hair, sans ice cream cone, but with a bouquet of what seems to be flowers. At the top in big letters is "Adam McMurran".
Adam: Smiles.
J.N.: I look like Paul Bunyan? …Thanks.
Adam: Nods.
Elijah: Doesn't seem to be paying attention to the proceedings… Staring off into space.
J.N.: I'll put this on the fridge. If I have any magnets. Something wrong, Elijah?
Elijah: Huh? No… Voice sounds flat.
Adam: Goes to watch J.N. put it on the fridge.
J.N.: Has to tape it up, having no magnets, then goes back to Elijah. That so?
Elijah: Haven't been getting much sleep…
J.N.: Hm… bad dreams?
Elijah: Nods. How are things in Atlantis?
J.N.: Preparing for war, apparently.
Elijah: Eyes widen. Really?
Adam: Wanders off.
J.N.: Yeah.
Elijah: Hand clutches and relaxes.
J.N.: You and Adam are going to be whisked away to Atlantis soon, from what I hear.
Elijah: Really?! Looks up at J.N., smiling with a… strange look in his eyes, hand clutching again.
J.N.: To fight in the upcoming war.
Elijah: Actually looks pleased about this, smiling.
J.N.: Doesn't look pleased at all.
Elijah: Are you unhappy about something, Mr. John?
J.N.: No. Lying, of course.
Elijah: Looks at his grumpier face. It's fine with me if you don't want to tell me, though you don't have to lie.
Adam: Searching J.N.'s house for toys.
J.N.: The result is the same regardless given those options.
Elijah: Just a matter of my feelings, I guess. I'm going to get Lonan… I'm going to make him pay for what he's done… what he did to my father.
J.N.: I see.
Elijah: …What he did to me…
J.N.: And you know where to find him, then?
Elijah: …Not exactly.
J.N.: Shakes his head a bit and sighs.
Elijah: What?
J.N.: Nothing. Looks around to make sure Adam hasn't gotten into any of the cupboards, since he hasn't childproofed the house.
Adam: Is no where to be seen.
J.N.: Lets out an irritated breath and gets up to search for Adam.
Adam: Sleeping on J.N.'s bed.
J.N.: Closes the door and shuts out the light and returns to where he was sitting.
Elijah: Looking away from J.N. purposefully… and unhappily.
J.N.: …So what about that job and college?
Elijah: Says nothing while he thinks about this and his frown deepens. Starting to look conflicted. This is what I've trained my entire life for… I'm a good sword fighter.
J.N.: And is that all you are?
Elijah: Somewhat angrily, since he's kinda grumpy from not having slept. You're just like my dad.
J.N.: And is that a bad thing?
Elijah: It's the one thing I'm really talented at… I don't know if it's true, but Katen said I'm a prodigy. But my dad couldn't ever let himself be proud of me about it.
J.N.: Probably because it meant this would inevitably happen.
Elijah: Then he's a hypocrite because he'd fight in the war too. You don't understand… I have to kill Lonan. Stares at J.N. with that look he previously had in his eyes.
J.N.: Yeah, that's noble and all, but there's a chance that you're not even going to succeed.
Elijah: Then I'll die gladly.
J.N.: I'm glad you planned out such a fulfilling life for yourself.
Elijah: You don't know what Lonan did to me… I won't have peace of mind until he's dead.
J.N.: Hm… Looks to the side, pointedly avoiding Elijah's face.
Elijah: I'm not scared… not of Lonan… but of myself.
J.N.: Yourself?
Elijah: It's not entirely clear to me…
J.N.: And killing Lonan will change this.
Elijah: …I hope so.
J.N.: And if it doesn't?
Elijah: I don't know, Mr. John. Lays his head on J.N.'s shoulder.
J.N.: Lightly pats his arm. Kind of hard to be angry at Elijah for too long.
Elijah: …I'm starting to feel like my father, too… Keeps his head there.
J.N.: How so…? Keeps his hand on his arm.
Elijah: I guess I'm starting to see greater possibilities for me than fighting in a war…
J.N.: There are.
Elijah: …I'm sorry, Mr. John.
J.N.: There's nothing to be sorry about.
Elijah: I've been dumping a lot of my problems on you lately.
J.N.: I don't mind.
Elijah: …I think you'd make a good father, Mr. John.
J.N.: …I'm glad you got that off your chest.
Elijah: Laughs a bit, though he's crying.
J.N.: Can't really tell if he's laughing or crying, but guesses the latter, and turns and hugs him.
Elijah: Managing to do it pretty quietly, at least. Hugs back. Whispers. I'm sorry.
J.N.: Doesn't really know what to say, so says nothing.
Elijah: …I just want to get through this week.
J.N.: You will.
Elijah: I'm so… tired. I just feel irritable all the time.
J.N.: You should sleep then.
Elijah: I just have nightmares all the time…
J.N.: Maybe sleep aids will help you?
Elijah: You mean like drugs…?
J.N.: …Yeah, like Tylenol.
Elijah: Those make you stop dreaming? I thought they were just pain relievers.
J.N.: There is stronger stuff. I'd just have to buy it is all.
Elijah: Why you?
J.N.: So you can get some sleep now.
Elijah: My uncle Eric said I should see a therapist…
J.N.: Do you have time for that?
Elijah: I told him a therapist would put me in a mental hospital 'cause I can't possibly explain what's the matter with me without telling them about Atlantis.
J.N.: Makes sense.
Elijah: Sighs and keeps his head firmly planted on J.N.'s shoulder. This is harder than I thought…
J.N.: Dealing with all of this?
Elijah: Yeah… You stopped smoking.
J.N.: …Yeah.
Elijah: …How did you do it?
J.N.: Cold turkey.
Elijah: Nods.
Adam: Has come out of J.N.'s room and is staring at his brother in J.N.'s arms.
J.N.: Great, now take a picture. Hello Adam. Tries to motion Adam to come over with a jerk of his head.
Adam: Comes over.
Elijah: Removes himself from J.N.'s arms in embarrassment.
J.N.: Pats a spot on the couch for Adam to sit with them.
Adam: Sits down and kinda looks at J.N. strangely.
J.N.: Says nothing.
Adam: 'Lijah, I'm hungry.
Elijah: Forgot that he forgot to feed Adam. Right. Wanders off to the kitchen.
Adam: Stares at J.N. with that very serious four-year-old look.
J.N.: Looks back at him. Something on your mind?
Adam: …How'd you get so tall?
J.N.: My mother is very tall. I got it from her.
Adam: …Are you and Elijah in love?
J.N.: Would laugh if he wasn't in a bad mood. That's a serious question to ask. Why would you ask?
Adam: You were hugging like you were in love. Nods solemnly. Stares at J.N. with big green eyes.
J.N.: Nods a bit. I see. Well, no. I'm not in love with your brother.
Adam: Oh. In a tone that says, "Well that explains it." You don't have any toys.
J.N.: No, I don't.
Adam: Why?
Elijah: The smell of Kraft Mac n' Cheese begins to waft in the air.
J.N.: I am a bit hungry. I'll make dinner later. I don't have kids.
Adam: I don't have parents.
J.N.: Sure you do. Bridget and Eric.
Elijah: From the kitchen. You do too!
Adam: …They're my aunt and uncle.
J.N.: Well, Daniel and Jessica are your parents.
Adam: Cocks his head to the side. I never met 'em.
J.N.: Oh boy. I shouldn't have said anything.
Elijah: Frowns at Adam and gives him a heaping bowl of mac 'n cheese and a glass of milk. Do you want some, Mr. John?
J.N.: No thanks.
Elijah: I told you about Mom before.
Adam: I've never met her.
Elijah: Yes. You. Have.
J.N.: When you were young.
Adam: Eats the mac 'n cheese.
Elijah: Rolls his eyes. It's just 'cause they had Parent's Day at preschool.
J.N.: I can see that.
Elijah: Was Uncle Eric somehow unsatisfactory? Mom can't come all the way from Atlantis and Dad can't come back from the dead to come to Parent's Day.
J.N.: Where's Middler when you need him?
Adam: Mrs. Pope says Atlantis isn't real. So maybe my parents aren't real either.
Elijah: Don't be stupid, Adam.
Adam: At least I'm not a liar. Frowns at his mac 'n cheese.
Elijah: Oh, shut up.
J.N.: A liar?
Adam: He's always making up stories about Atlantis like I'm too dumb to tell the truth.
Elijah : You are being dumb.
Adam: Am not!
J.N.: …Adam, people don't often go to Atlantis.
Adam: He's always mean to me now… Looks on the verge of tears. You're so mean! I bet Mom and Dad didn't want me at all and that's why… Sniffs.
Elijah: Who would want you when you're acting like this?
Adam: Who would want you? You're just a big fat meanie.
Elijah: And you're an annoying little brat.
J.N.: Enough of that, you two. Not feeling particularly empathetic. Was just getting annoyed by the bickering.
Adam: Sets his food aside and cries.
Elijah: Oh man, I'm name-calling with a kid 15 years younger than me, I really do need sleep. Picks Adam up. Pats. I didn't mean it, Adam… Look… We'll even be going home soon and then you can see Mommy and Atlantis for yourself, huh? I promise I'm not lying. Mr. John's been there, too… Right, Mr. John? Does he look like a liar to you?
Adam: Stares at J.N. with a red face.
J.N.: I have… I can go there now.
Adam: Sniffs. How?
J.N.: Stands up and fetches a potion.
Adam: Looks. It's just water in a funny bottle.
J.N.: …Hm. Want to see your mother ahead of schedule?
Adam: Nods, but looks skeptical.
Elijah: I guess it's alright…
J.N.: …So, do I have to touch you for it to work? For you to come with, that is?
Elijah: We'd all have to drink a potion unless you just want to bring Adam and not me.
J.N.: Gets two more then.
Elijah: Sets Adam down and hands one to him. You just drink it, okay?
Adam: Nods, thinking this is all kind of silly.
Elijah: Cheers. Drinks his.
J.N.: Drinks.
Adam: Drinks.

Jessica: Jumps nearly a foot. Doing late-night paperwork. John?! And a… handsome young man and small child?
J.N.: Boo. Say "hi" to your mom. Decides right now would be the best time to exit stage left.
Jessica: Stares at Elijah and Adam agape. John Nathan Crowley!
J.N.: Stops in his tracks. What?
Jessica: Just point sat Elijah and Adam.
Elijah: Hey Mom…
J.N.: They wanted to see you. Adam thought you didn't exist.
Adam: Stares at his mom shyly.
Jessica: Doesn't know which one of them to look at! Oh my God…
Elijah: Pushes Adam forward.
J.N.: Continues his journey out of the room so they may talk.
Jessica: Adam… Tears. You're so beautiful! Motherly hug of squeezing to death.
Adam: Hugs back shyly.
Jessica: Looks at him again. You look like your faaather. And you have such pretty eyes and you're so cute… Squeezes him.
Adam: …Thanks… You're pretty too.
Jessica: Turns her motherly loving wrath on Elijah.
Elijah: Here it comes.
Jessica: I barely recognize youuuu… Look at you all tall and handsome. Pinches his cheek. Frowns. What've you got in your ear?
Elijah: An earring?
Jessica: You got your cartilage pierced? It looks silly. And what's all this about drinking? Pokes him in the chest?
Elijah: …Don't I get hugs? Smiles.
Jessica: Looks at Elijah's smile. …You look like your father. Hugs him.

J.N.: Hey Julius.
Julius: Blinks. Hey John… Didn't know you were around.
Nathaniel: John!
J.N.: Just got here.
Julius: That's… Mr. Crowley.
Nathaniel: Misrer Crowreree.
J.N.: …Your kid, I take it?
Julius: You've seen him before, haven't you?
J.N.: Yeah, but I just need to make sure… Decides to end the phrase there, since his his last words were going to have to do with Gwen having litters.
Julius: Hmm? Are you hungry?
J.N.: A bit.
Julius: Hold on… Carries Nathaniel to the kitchen. Comes back with a plate of delicious hot food for J.N.
J.N.: Thanks.
Julius: What would you like to drink? Wine?
Nathaniel: Whine.
J.N.: Water. I'm dry.
Julius: Shrugs and fetches him a glass of water and gratefully sits down again.
J.N.: Eats… slowly. Kind of just picking at the food.
Julius: Apparently you weren't hungry.
Nathaniel: Weren't hungwy!
J.N.: I said "a bit". I don't think I should be held to your definitions of hunger.
Julius: Shrugs.
Feemy: Passes them on his way to his mother's room.
Julius: Feemy. Smiles.
Nathaniel: Feemy.
Feemy: Halts. Hi Julius! And Nathan! Turns. And Mr. John.
Nathaniel: Misrer Crowree.
Julius: What're you up to, Feemy?
Feemy: Gonna… Er, going to visit Mom.
Julius: She should be pleased to see you. Smiles. Looks kinda weird though with bags under his eyes and sunken cheeks and thinner than usual.
Feemy: Does look concerned. Are you sick, Julius?
Julius: Yes… Not sure how to explain this to an 8-9 year old.
Nathaniel: Sick!
Feemy: You should sleep and drink a lot of water then.
Julius: Smiles endearingly at Feemy. I will, thank you, Feemy.
Feemy: Smiles back at him, seeing as he's going to get better with rest and water, apparently. I should get to Mom. Bye Nathan! Bye Julius! Bye Mister Jo… Crowrey!
Julius: Laughs. Bye Feemy.
Nathaniel: Bye-bye.
J.N.: Well, he grew up some. Bye.
Nathaniel: Looks at J.N. Big man! Offers J.N. a soggy cracker.
J.N.: Accepts. …Thanks.
Cracker: Drooled and chewed on.
J.N.: Ew… Sets it on his plate where it doesn't touch the rest of his good food that he plans on eating.
Nathaniel: Welcome! Want 'nother? Holds out another cracker.
Julius: Nathaniel, Mr. Crowley has enough food, those are for you to eat.
J.N.: So. You're really sick, eh?
Julius: Yes… Blinks. I thought I explained that to you the last time we saw each other. Smiles.
J.N.: Yeah, I know. So, how long?
Julius: How long?
Nathaniel: How long!
J.N.: Are you going to be around? You just look worse and worse each time I see you.
Julius: What a question to ask. Laughs. As long as I hold out, I guess.
J.N.: I see.

Feemy: Walks right on to his Mother's door and knocks.
Elijah: I haven't drunk in a long time either?
Jessica: Haven't eaten either, by the looks of it… Come in!
Feemy: Hears voices, so he just pokes his head in. Are you busy, Mom?
Jessica: No, come in, Sweetheart!
Feemy: Steps in and shuts the door.
Elijah: Grins. Feemy!
Feemy: Shocked. …Elijah?
Elijah: Look-it you! You've gotten big! Goes over and hugs.
Feemy: Hugs back tight. You're back! You got taller!
Elijah: Yeah… Laughs. Not back for good quite yet, though. Soon, though, I think.
Feemy: Not back for good…? Aw… when? You hafta… uh… have to teach me to sword-fight!
Elijah: Why don't you ask Katen to teach you to sword fight?
Feemy: Because I wanna learn from you.
Elijah: Flattered. Smiles. Well, I'm sure I'm a bit rusty. I haven't practiced in four years.
Feemy: I bet you're still really good! Glances to Adam… and wonders if that is Adam. Elijah and this possible Adam do look a lot alike.
Adam: Feeling a little bit of jealousy watching Elijah and Feemy's proceedings.
Jessica: Feemy… you remember Adam? Your little brother? Adam, this is your older brother, Feemy.
Feemy: Hi Adam! …Er, we only met when you were really little. Doesn't look anything like you or your parents! And has horns!
Adam: Hello Feemy… Stares at him… especially at the word "brother"… and the horns… and the generally blonde-haired and blue-eyed.
Feemy: Well, it's Feemerson, but everyone calls me Feemy. So you can too, since you're my little brother… You got big!
Adam: Wonders if his father looks like this? But everyone is saying he and Elijah look like their father… So confused. Nods at Feemy.
Elijah: Well, I bet you two could go exploring vents together now.
Adam: Wonders why in the world anyone would want to explore a vent.
Feemy: Laughs, a bit embarrassed.
Elijah: Aw, come on, Feemy… No more exploring the inner sanctums of the vents of J.N.'s house?
Feemy: I'm too big for that… remember when you got stuck?!
Elijah: Don't remind me.
Feemy: Okaaay… er… didn't I just remind you?
Elijah: Grins at him.
Jessica: Any other piercings?
Elijah: No, Mom.
Jessica: Frowns. This happy family is missing Celena. I'll go get her. Sighs. You all stay here.

Demi: Enters the dining room and stares at J.N.
Julius: Demitrius. Smiles.
Nathaniel: Brozzer!
Demi: Darn, was hoping to make a quick exit.
J.N.: Hello.
Demi: Hello Mr. Crowley… Dad. Hugs his father. Nathaniel. Kisses Nathan and ruffles his hair a bit.
J.N.: How's life?
Demi: Fair. How are things in your household, Mr. Crowley?
J.N.: Quiet.
Demi. Nods.
J.N.: Elijah's in his mom's room.
Demi: Blinks. Elijah?
Julius: Elijah's here? Really?
Nathaniel: Erwrijwah.
J.N.: No. I'm lying.
Julius: Sighs.
J.N.: Yes. He's here. Go see for yourself. And so is Adam.
Demi: Smiles. Excuse me. Bows to J.N. and departs.
Julius: Does not.
J.N.: Don't feel like seeing them?
Julius: I'm too tired. I know I've been kind of a jerk to you in the past.
J.N.: Yeah. It happens.
Julius: You're not a bad guy and I won't blame you if you still can't forgive me.
J.N.: I've already forgiven you… Guess I never got around to saying it.
Julius: Smiles genuinely. Thank you, John.
Nathaniel: Daddy sick?
Julius: Yes, Nathaniel. Hugs him.
Nathaniel: Get better soon?
Julius: Don't worry about it, Nathaniel… Daddy will always be looking after you, hm?
J.N.: Hm…
Julius: Looks at J.N. Hmm?
Nathaniel: Mm-hm. Hugs Julius.
J.N.: Nothing.

Demi: Enters the room, which must be getting crowded. Elijah?
Elijah: Demi! Hugs!
Jessica: Comes back with Celena!
Feemy: Loud whisper to Elijah. She L-I-K-E-S Middler.
Elijah: Still?!
Celena: Heard! Scowls at Feemy, though retains the composure of a well-bred young woman. So good to see you again, Elijah. Would have hugged him, but the comment from Feemy… Holds out a hand.
Elijah: Takes her hand and pulls her into a hug. Hey 'Lena.
Celena: Half-smile. Kisses Elijah's cheek.
Feemy: Snickers.
Celena: Shoots Feemy a look which could kill.
Jessica: Adam… Your sister, Celena.
Feemy: Shuts up immediately.
Celena: Oh, Adam! You're so cute. Hugs him.
Adam: Hello Celena… Hugs her.
Celena: Kisses him on the cheek.

Julius: Um, John…?
J.N.: Yeah?
Julius: I'd like to see Elijah. Could you please come with me?
J.N.: I can come with. Why do you need me to visit him?
Julius: Stands. A little help, just in case? Smiles.
J.N.: Oh. Stands up and offers a hand.
Julius: Steadies himself on J.N.'s arm and walks with Nathaniel toddling along.
J.N.: Keeps in pace with Julius so he doesn't just topple over.

Elijah: Where is Middler?
Jessica: Middler sort of wanders the halls like a ghost.
Feemy: Middler's not a ghooost. He's a doppelganger and a bird person.
Jessica: Maybe he's unhappy about Julius.
Feemy: Or he's a doppelganger that looks like a bird person.
Adam: Blinks at Feemy.
Feemy: Turns to face Adam. You look a lot like Dad.
Adam: Stares at Feemy. Where's he?
Feemy: He's… Frowns. He's dead.
Adam: Oh… Guesses Elijah wasn't lying.
Jessica & Celena: …
Elijah: Picks Adam up. Silly kid.
Feemy: But he came back for awhile as an Angel and said he was watching over us!
Elijah: H-He did?
Feemy: Nods vigorously. And he said I should watch over Adam and be nice to Cel— Sorry Celena.
Celena: Crosses her arms.
Feemy: Pouts. I said "sorry"!
Celena: Haven't kept your promise, though.
Jessica: Please don't bicker.
Feemy: She started it. Quietly.
Celena: I did not!
Feemy: Did so!
Celena: You're deluded.
Feemy: I bet Middler is gonna eat you anyhow, cuz doppelgangers are monsters that like to eat people. Firm nod.
Celena: Middler is a wonderful man and you're just jealous of him!
Feemy: I am not jealous.
Celena: You are! Because he's 1000 times the man you'll ever be!
Feemy: Nuh-uh! You know he can look like whatever he wants, so I bet he's just all gooey and gray, like clay or play-doh.
Celena: You're all gooey gray inside! Middler is a perfect sparkling diamond on the inside no matter what he looks like!
Feemy: Nuh-uh! I have organs and they're red. All Middler does is eat organs.
Julius: Enters the room with J.N.
Celena: He does not. You don't have any proof! That's liable and I'm gonna sue you!
Elijah: Libel?
Demi: Turns and smiles at his father. Picks his brother up who's started tugging at him.
J.N.: Supports Julius.
Julius: Elijah: Smiles.
Elijah: Smiles! Julius! You look… um…
Feemy: You can't sue me because you don't have a lawler!
Julius: Bad… You look well, though. Finds a chair so he doesn't have to keep leaning on J.N. Is that Adam?
Elijah: Mm-hm! Adam, this is Julius… Our father's cousin.
J.N.: Steps out of the large gathering.
Julius: You look a lot like your father… Hugs Adam and Elijah.
Celena: I can hire one!
Jessica: You two are going to bed is what's going to happen. I don't know why you can't be nice to each other.
Feemy: Sorry Mom…
Jessica: Mm-hm. Both of you to bed, then.
Celena: I didn't even start it!
Jessica: To bed.
Celena: Frowns. Stalks off huffily to bed.
Feemy: Sniffs. Slumps to bed.
Elijah: Stops Feemy on his way out and gives him a big hug.
Feemy: Kinda gives a halfhearted hug because he's in trouble and can't stay up because of his mom.
Elijah: I'll teach you sword fighting when I get home, okay? Smiles. I know it's hard, but don't pick on Celena too much. Winks at him.
Feemy: Oookay. Smiles a bit.
Elijah: Smiles. Love you, Feemz. I've missed you a bunch. Hugs. Lets go. 'Night.
Feemy: Missed you too and I love you, Brother. One last hug and goes to bed.
Elijah: Looks around for J.N. in the room. Where'd Mr. John go, Julius?
Julius: Looks about. I didn't see him leave.
Elijah: Frowns, thinking of lonely J.N. wandering the halls since pretty much everyone he knows is in here. Then feels bad since he was distracted by everyone and ignored the one guy who's hung around with him faithfully for years. Goes to search for him after excusing himself.

J.N.: Spotted immediately.
Elijah: Hey, Mr. John. Hugs him.
J.N.: Hugged. Still not used to that… but hugs back. Hey.
Elijah: Sorry I kinda forgot about you. Ashamed. Thinks he hurt J.N.'s feelings and that's why he wandered off.
J.N.: Hm? What are you talking about? You were visiting your mother. You haven't seen her in four years.
Elijah: I know, but that doesn't mean I should forget about you.
J.N.: Well, apparently you didn't. You're here aren't you? You should visit your mom and just be thankful I didn't get in trouble for bringing you two here before schedule.
Elijah: If Katen was around… I guess it's not really the same… a family reunion without you. You're like family to me. Smiles.
J.N.: …I can go back in if you want.
Elijah: I mean you don't have to if you don't want to… I was just worried that you felt like you weren't included or something… I um… Love you… like an… older brother or something… Blushes.
J.N.: …Thanks. That means a lot. Stands up.
Elijah: Smiles. Refrains from hugging him since he doesn't want to make J.N. more uncomfortable than he's probably already made him. Returns with J.N. to his mother's study.

Julius: Somehow managed to fall asleep on the easy chair with both Adam and Nathaniel on his lap, also asleep.
J.N.: That was fast.
Elijah: He's good with kids, I guess?
J.N.: I guess.
Jessica: Well, where did you wander off to, John?
J.N.: Just outside the room. Eavesdropping, you know. In case you guys were talking about me.
Jessica: Laughs. You're so cute, John. Pats him. Now what's this about drug trafficking, Elijah?
J.N.: Patted. Cute? More surprised at her choice of words than anything.
Demi: Stares at Elijah with raised eyebrows.
J.N.: That's behind him now.
Elijah: You gotta mention it in front of everyone, Mom?
Jessica: It's just Demi. You'll tell him all about it later anyway, I'm sure.
Elijah: I'm also graduating Friday. Top ten percent.
Jessica: Really?! Well, I'm very proud of you! Hugs him.
Julius: Mmm…. Wakens from his slumber!
Middler: Enters the office without knocking. A bit unusual, but he's distracted. Hey, Jessica… and John? Glances around the room.
Elijah: Hey Middler.
Jessica: Takes Adam from Julius' lap. Hello Middler. Smiles.
Middler: Smiles a bit. Elijah! I haven't seen you in a long time. You've grown quite a bit… but you're so skinny. Are you eating right?
Elijah: Yeah, I ate a pint of ice cream yesterday… but it's good to see you again, Middler. Smiles.
Middler: Steps forward and hugs him!
Elijah: Hugs back a bit uncomfortably.
Middler: Releases him shortly, since he learned that most guys really don't like hugs from other guys.
J.N.: Hi Middler. Don't hug me.
Middler: Stops mid-hug.
Jessica: Sorry, he's asleep, Middler… but this is Adam… I don't know if you've seen him at all recently.
Middler: Oh, that's alright. Quiets down a bit. I remember when he was just a baby.
Jessica: He's a bit bigger now. Smiles. You can't see his pretty green eyes, either.
Middler: I'm sure he'll grow up to be very handsome.
Jessica: Smiles and nods.
Julius: Hey Middler.
Middler: Looks to Julius and his smile falters a little, but he plasters it back on. Hello Julius… You're looking better…
Julius: Laughs quite a bit.
Middler: Chuckles a bit and mumbles, "It's not funny" very quietly.
Julius: I'm sorry, Middler… Smiles at him gently. How have you been doing?
Middler: Better than some.
Julius: Good to know.
Middler: Better than most, really. You should rest and try to get better. Doesn't sound convinced that's going to work.
Julius: That's rather futile, Middler.
Middler: I know…
Julius: I don't get a hug? Smiles.
Middler: Of course you do. You just kind of look fragile. Gives him a hug anyhow.
Julius: Hugs back surprisingly tightly.
Middler: Maybe he's not as unhealthy as I thought. Smiles and hugs a bit tighter as well, though not too tight.
Julius: I don't see you much anymore, Middler. You're always wandering about, I can't put in the energy to find you.
Middler: Maybe John could bring you a wheelchair and I could just push you along places?
Julius: Laughs. If you could just stick around every now and then, I'd appreciate it.
Middler: I could do that too… It's kind of hard to watch you waste away though.
Julius: Squeezes his hand. Not all the time… just… sometimes? You're a really good friend, Middler. I don't want to inconvenience you or anything. Looks at Middler with some worry in his eyes.
Middler: Feels bad that he's being worried for when it's Julius that's kind of… fading. I can do that. I don't have much to do around the castle anyhow.
Gwen: Enters! In a robe! Looks at Middler, but doesn't really seem to notice him. Eyes lock onto Julius. Good God!
Julius: Blinks at Gwen.
Gwen: Don't you ever come to bed? I thought you were dead in the hallway.
J.N.: Hello Gwendolyn. It's been so long since I've seen you, I feared you wouldn't stop in and see Elijah and myself.
Gwen: Completely ignores J.N. Looks nearly in tears. Hugs Julius.
Middler: Backs away from the two, as to not be in the way.
Julius: Hugs back. I'm sorry… I'm okay.
Gwen: Stupid… foolish… worried me half to death.
Julius: I'm sorry…
Gwen: Well, come to bed. You're sick and you're sitting around chatting. You'll never get better like this.
Julius: Sighs. Yes, my love. Stands uneasily. Good night all. Smiles.
Middler: Good night Gwen and Julius. Do try to get better. Says the last words with a bit of resignation.
Julius: Thank you, Middler. Smiles.
J.N.: Bye.
Julius: Smiles at J.N., too.
Jessica: Good night, Julius.
Julius: 'Night Jessica. Makes his way to his room with the help of Gwen.
Jessica: Shakes her head at J.N.
Demi: Goes to put Nathaniel to bed.
Jessica: Pats Middler and hugs him!
Middler: Patted and hugged. Hugs back… very tightly.
Jessica: It's okay, Middler. Softly.
Middler: Nods his head a bit and lets go.
Jessica: Rubs his back.
Middler: Thank you, Jessica. Spoken very quietly. Even he has a bit of pride and wouldn't really want John, or anyone else, to hear his voice breaking a bit.
Jessica: Smiles softly at him. You're a sweet man, Middler.
Middler: Forces a smile to her. I really appreciate that, Jessica.