20 May 2023
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Gwendolyn Larson Middler Blaydow Julius Larson Michael Demitrius Larson Nathaniel Larson Jessica McMurran Gabriel John Crowley Feemerson McMurran Celena McMurran Eric McMurran
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Elijah McMurran Bridget McMurran

Gwen: Middler.
Middler: Spotted. …Oh. Hi Gwen.
Gwen: Julius wants you.
Middler: I will be right there. Thank you for telling me, Gwen. Is he in his office?
Gwen: He's in our room.
Middler: I do not know where that is.
Gwen: Sighs. Turns and walks off, expecting Middler to follow her.
Middler: Indeed does follow her, figuring that if she'd go through the trouble of finding him and delivering that message, she wouldn't just lead him astray or not even bother leading him anywhere.
Gwen: Goes up several flights of stairs and down a few hallways and opens the door to her room and goes through.
Middler: Stops at the door for a moment, then steps through.

Gwen & Julius' Room: There is a big bed and a window and some paintings of Julius' and a lot of books… and some of Gwen's weapons. There is also Julius laying in bed, propped up on some pillows. A Demitrius, Nathaniel, and Michael. Gwen leads Demitrius, holding Nathaniel, out of the room. Michael stays, looking utterly bored.
Middler: …You have a lot of guests, Julius.
Julius: Smiles. I'm glad you're one of them.
Middler: So am I… Smiles at Julius and the bored-looking Michael.
Michael: Wonders who the heck this freak is, but makes no comment.
Middler: Being polite, he holds out a hand to Michael to introduce himself. I don't believe we've met. I'm Middler, one of his… er, Julius' friends.
Michael: Shakes his hands. Hello. I'm Michael, Gabriel's brother.
Middler: Grip tightens a bit, hearing Gabriel's name. I see. A pleasure to meet you.
Michael: Wonders why he squeezes his hand, but doesn't think about it very long because he's incredibly bored. Indeed.
Julius: Coughs.
Middler: Averts attention from Michael and resumes standing at the bedside.
Julius: Smiles a bit at Middler. Coughs. How's Natey?
Middler: He's doing well… I guess I should have brought him.
Julius: It's alright… Well, this is the last time we'll be seeing each other, Middler.
Middler: …What do you mean?
Julius: I don't feel I can hold out much longer like this… I'm causing a lot of trouble for my family, besides. It'd seem best to get this over with today. Looks unhappy.
Middler: That doesn't make any sense.
Julius: Looks at him. What doesn't?
Middler: I think your family would just want you to be around… Since once you're gone, you're gone forever.
Julius: Softly. I'm in a lot of pain, Middler… and I feel like I'm causing my family more pain the longer I'm around.
Middler: Opens his mouth as if to say something, but closes it when he realized that there's not much to say and that he's just wanting Julius to stay.
Julius: Smiles. And I'd rather leave with a sound enough mind to bid you all farewell properly.
Michael: Yawns. Looks at the clock. Sighs.
Middler: Chews his bottom lip and nods.
Julius: Holds out his hand to Middler. Please don't be sad…
Middler: Takes his hand and forces a smile to his face. At least you get to say good-bye…
Julius: You've been a good friend, Middler… Better than I could ask for.
Michael: Rolls his eyes.
Middler: That's not true… but at least you'll get to see Dan again…
Julius: I… won't be going to an afterlife… but it is true. You have been a good friend. Smiles at him.
Middler: …What do you mean? No afterlife…?
Julius: I'm not sure how to explain… I'm not really dying in the sense that my soul is leaving my body… it's just that my consciousness will be replaced by Gabriel's. If that makes sense… Looks a bit confused himself.
Middler: I… don't know… you mean no Heaven? You don't get to see Daniel…? Or anyone else when they pass…?
Julius: Shakes his head "no".
Middler: That's not fair.
Julius: I know, Middler.
Middler: But why…?
Julius: My soul is Gabriel's, it's only my memories that are my own.
Middler: Has kind of a confused, and frightened, expression. If change and death frightens him, the thought of just being phased out is absolutely terrifying.
Julius: Squeezes Middler's hands. I'm sorry. It may be selfish of me, but I'm still glad we were friends.
Middler: It's kind of hard to think of you as selfish right now. Squeezes his hands tightly.
Michael: Slightly audible groan.
Middler: Turns his head and shoots a glare at Michael.
Michael: Looks hardly affronted. Just stares at him with boredom.
Middler: That's even worse than if he'd looked indignant. Why are you here?
Michael: Raises an eyebrow. I'm the one who has to awaken Gabriel in him.
Middler: That means you could leave until it's that time, doesn't it? Said with quite a bit of an edge to his tone.
Michael: No. Your dear friend has waited until it looks like he could drop dead at any moment, so I'd rather not risk it.
Middler: …Would it kill you to show Julius some respect? He's not even trying to escape it…
Michael: I suppose it is nice of him to choose becoming Gabriel over having an afterlife, though he's waited to the point to where he's weak enough that he could die in the process of being awakened. So that was rather foolish.
Middler: Looks quite on the verge of losing his usually non-existent temper, but decides it wouldn't help anyone. Should I go, Julius?
Julius: If you don't wish to watch, you may.
Middler: Steps back from the bedside and nods. Figures if he can be any comfort, he could at least be with Julius until he's gone.
Julius: Holds out arms to Middler.
Middler: Steps forward and indeed hugs Julius very, very tightly.
Julius: Hugs back, not so tightly because he hasn't the strength, but warmly enough. If you could get Gwendolyn, Demitrius, and Nathaniel, Middler?
Middler: Unclasps from him and nods, almost walking into the door in haste to go get them.
Gwen, Demi, & Nate: Standing around outside the door looking unhappy… Except Nathaniel who's two and doesn't really understand what's going on.
Middler: Empathizes with them, even if he isn't as sad as they are since he's not family, as he reasons it. He wants his family with him now.
Those Three: Enter. They've already said their good-byes, so Middler is welcome too.
Middler: That's good, because he was going to walk back in anyways. Wipes his eyes before doing so though.
Jessica: Puts an arm around Middler and also enters.
Middler: May have never been so happy to see Jessica, if he wasn't so sad to see Julius leave.
Demi: Hugs his father one last time, trying to hold back tears but failing rather miserably. I love you…
Julius: I love you too, Demitrius… I'm sorry we didn't have more time together…
Middler: Just chews on his lip to stay quiet.
Demi: Separates himself from his father with some difficulty and steps back away.
Gwen: Sobs. Hugs him. Very quietly. Don't leave me…
Julius: I'm sorry, Gwen… Passionate kiss.
Gwen: Sobs. I love you, I love you…
Julius: I love you, too. And you… Holds Nathaniel and kisses him.
Nathaniel: No idea what's going on. Luv yoo daddee.
Gwen: Somehow finds the strength of will to separate herself from him and backs off, holding Nathan.
Middler: Now feels awful for every bad thing he's said about Gwen.
Jessica: Hugs Julius. I'm going to miss you, Julius. You've been a good friend.
Julius: Hugs her back tightly. So have you.
Jessica: And cousin… in law… well, you're like a brother to me. Tears.
Julius: Smiles. Thank you, Jessica.
Jessica: Kisses him on the cheek and backs away.
Michael: Any other last words?
Middler: …It's not going to hurt him, is it?
Michael: I haven't a clue. Removes a blue spherical stone from his pocket.
Middler: You're real compassionate, Michael.
Michael: One of my better points. Sits on Julius' bed and puts an arm around him for support. Your necklace?
Julius: Unclasps his necklace and pulls it out from under his shirt, has a blue stone pendant on it. Hands it to Michael.
Michael: Turns the stone around to where there is a piece missing from it, where he sets Julius' necklace.
Stone: Glows a bit faintly now.
Julius: Tentatively puts his hand on the stone and… gasps and convulses.
Middler: Closes his eyes so he doesn't have to watch.
Julius: Body relaxes and his eyes close.
Michael: Frowns since nothing is happening.
Jessica: Holds Middler's hand.
Middler: Squeezes his hand, not very tightly at least.
Julius: Stays limp for awhile, though it does seem his hair's getting a bit lighter and his cheeks have color returning to them.
Gabriel: Gasps! And wakes up, panting.
Middler: Kind of hopes that the process might have failed.
Gabriel: Eyes are indeed a nice sky blue. Sits gasping in Michael's arms, as though he's just been saved from drowning.
Michael: Holds him much more affectionately than he did Julius.
Middler: May as well take his chances. Julius?
Gabriel: Blinks around the room at all the people staring at him. Only finds Jessica vaguely familiar.
Michael: It's Gabriel.
Middler: I see… I… think I should be going now. Kind of awkwardly leaves the room.
Everyone Else: Follows him a bit reluctantly.
Michael: Not very popular, are you?
Gabriel: Still in a bit of shock.

Middler: Wasn't expecting to be followed in the least.
Gwen: Doesn't want to go through the awkwardness of the guy she's married to not even knowing who she is.
Jessica: Doesn't particularly like Gabriel or Michael and is more concerned for Middler's feelings.
Middler: Actually more concerned for Demi and Gwen than anyone. Not that Jessica's feelings aren't important… but those two were closest.
Gwen & Demi: Just standing around looking kind of lost and empty.
Middler: Like this is going to be any help. …If… you two need someone to talk to… Looses his nerve and hopes they just understand.
Demi: Nods at Middler politely, but doesn't really want to talk to anyone right now.
Jessica: Softly to Middler. Let's let them be for now… Takes his arm.
Middler: Nods a bit. Yes… of course. Would like to help… but not much he can do.
Jessica: I'll make you something nice to eat, hmm?
Middler: That would be lovely… Smiles a bit and wipes his eyes.

J.N.: In the dining hall, actually. Just since it's close to Jessica's office and he doesn't feel like getting lost in the castle.
Jessica: Hello John. Trying to look cheery.
J.N.: Hello. You two look just lovely today.
Jessica: Thank you, so do you.
J.N.: Thanks. I try.
Jessica: Gives J.N. a look, though it's not really discernible what it means… just a motherly sort of look that means you're gonna get in trouble if you don't watch where you step.
J.N.: Blinks at the look, since she didn't get on his case for making fun of Gwen yesterday. …Hm. Does kind of notice that Middler is red-eyed.
Jessica: What are you up to, John? Motions with her head that she wants him and Middler to follow her to the kitchen.
J.N.: Not much. Indeed follows.
Middler: As does he.
Jessica: Wonders what he's hanging around for, seemingly alone and not doing anything, but isn't going to ask since she doesn't want to make it seem like she's asking him to leave since she does enjoy his company and he's not broken up about Julius. Starts to make dinner. Hands J.N. quite a few potatoes. Could you wash these for me, please?
J.N.: Yeah. Does so.
Middler: Kind of just stands around uselessly.
Jessica: Doesn't want to make Middler do stuff, does make Middler some tea. You can go back to the dining room and relax or you can stay here if you'd like… There's a chair around here somewhere…
Middler: I can sit in here… Thank you, Jessica. Smiles genuinely and does take a seat in a chair that he eventually finds.
Jessica: Once J.N. has washed the potatoes to her liking, gives him some asparagus to wash.
J.N.: Vegetable washing master. So. How was your day?
Jessica: Alright… Julius became Gabriel… How was yours? Gets out some chicken she marinated earlier, Swiss cheese, and ham.
J.N.: At least registers some shock at that. Not as eventful.
Jessica: What've you been doing all day? Puts the potatoes in the oven to bake.
J.N.: Thinking. I certainly am a productive member of society.
Jessica: What were you thinking about?
J.N.: There's a lot to think about. Just a bit of everything.
Jessica: Being assistant manager? Lays a piece of chicken on a plate and places slices of ham on it, then chicken, then rolls the piece of chicken, placing toothpicks in it so it stays. Ernest? Elijah drinking and drug trafficking? Stabs the chicken with some vigor.
J.N.: All of the above.
Jessica: You and Ernest are getting along, aren't you? Stares at Middler with a look on her face.
Middler: Staring a bit listlessly of, but does catch her eye.
Jessica: Just remembered that Middler does not like to eat poultry and here she is stabbing it with toothpicks.
J.N.: Looks over to Middler, then to Jessica. Fights the urge to grin, since Middler's friend did just die, or… something similar.
Jessica: Gives J.N. a look. Coughs. Wouldn't you like to sit in the dining room, Middler? It's cooler in there.
Middler: Oh, sure. Nods. Alright, I'll see you two in there.
Jessica: Mm-hm! Makes a mental note to prepare Middler a salad.
Middler: Walks to the dining room and seats himself in the closest spot.
Jessica: I'm a horribly insensitive person.
J.N.: I wouldn't say that.
Jessica: Sighs. Julius just died.
J.N.: Yeah… you told me.
Jessica: And I'm stabbing pieces of chicken in front of Middler!
J.N.: He didn't seem to notice.
Jessica: Still…
J.N.: Are you cooking his relatives or something? Looks to the chicken with a bit of unease.
Jessica: It's just chicken… they weren't even inhumanely treated.
J.N.: Seems relieved. Since he wouldn't want to eat giant bird monster. I guess that's good to know.
Jessica: Goodness, John.
J.N.: What?
Jessica: Why would I cook his relatives?
J.N.: I don't know the customs… Maybe it was an accident? Maybe people eat giant bird mo… things? Far as I knew, years ago, there wasn't even a Heaven or Hell. I think just about anything is plausible at this point.
Jessica: We don't eat giant bird creatures. Puts the chicken in another oven.
J.N.: Sighs a bit.
Jessica: What's the matter, John? Starts to steam the asparagus.
J.N.: Years from now, I'm just going to think those vials you gave me were full of LSD.
Jessica: Why?
J.N.: I don't imagine I'm going to be able to keep returning to Atlantis for the rest of my days and without the lot of you, I really wouldn't want to anyway.
Jessica: Oh, John! Throws the fork down on the counter.
J.N.: Looks at her as if she'd just overreacted. What now?
Jessica: I don't appreciate you saying that. Looks at him angrily.
J.N.: Why is that?
Jessica: Oh, I don't know. Maybe I don't want to be reminded how you think we're all going to end up in a shallow grave.
J.N.: It's not that. If it's not that, then it's age.
Jessica: I'm sorry if I look so very old to you.
J.N.: You know what I mean…
Jessica: No, I don't.
J.N.: …I'm saying that, barring the war, what am I supposed to do when you all are gone? In Atlantis, that is.
Jessica: I don't get what you mean. You can still come visit us.
J.N.: Even during and after the war?
Jessica: If you want to… you could even stay here if you wanted to.
J.N.: How did you decide?
Jessica: Stares at him. Decide what?
J.N.: One world or the other. Shrugs. How did you decide?
Jessica: Well, I was chosen to be the queen… and… I had the opportunity to marry Daniel.
J.N.: I see.
Jessica: Well, I wasn't like you… I didn't have a steady career… or a house or anything.
J.N.: Not much of a trying choice then, I suppose.
Jessica: I didn't really think so at the time…
J.N.: At the time?
Jessica: I guess you could say I've given up the security of my family in some way… but if I'd stayed… I wouldn't have a family. Or at least not this family.
J.N.: Makes sense.
Jessica: Are you being sarcastic?
J.N.: No. I make it hard to tell sometimes.
Jessica: I certainly can't ask you to stay here and give up your house, your comfortable job, your friends, seeing your parents as often…
J.N.: You wouldn't have reason to ask me.
Jessica: Clears her throat and makes no comment. Uncomfortable silence ans she takes the potatoes out of the oven. Cuts them in half and scoops out their fleshy innards. Mixes the potato's innards with sour cream, milk, butter, and salt, then spoons then back into the potato's desecrated corpses and puts them back in the oven.
J.N.: I'd like to stay around. Visit for as long as I can.
Jessica: Today? Don't you have work?
J.N.: Did. It's over by now. I meant over a span of time.
Jessica: Oh, well, yes… Elijah's gotten so handsome. Smiles.
J.N.: That was sudden.
Jessica: Yes, I know. He just reminds me of his father.
J.N.: Except with the drugs and being gay.
Jessica: I didn't know he was taking drugs? Is he gay?
J.N.: No, he carries them and since his "girlfriend's" name is Isaac, I'd say, yeah. Unless Ernest was right and it's just an "experimental phase". Shrugs.
Jessica: Well he really is gay. What do you know?
J.N.: What?
Jessica: What?
J.N.: …Oh you meant "whaddya know" as that cute saying?
Jessica: Yeah.
J.N.: Ah. So, besides the drugs, drinking, and being gay, he's a lot like his father.
Jessica: I said he looks like his father.
J.N.: Hm… in that case, he looks like his father except skinnier and less strung out from not having slept.
Jessica: Not having slept?
J.N.: He told me couldn't sleep. This was before I took him to Atlantis… I thought it would help him. Not to mention that Adam wanted to meet you. Underneath my cold, prickly exterior, I'm much like Saint Nick.
Jessica: Well I do appreciate you taking them to visit me. I hope Elijah did get some sleep.
J.N.: Don't mention it. Adam thought I was in love with your son.
Jessica: …Why?
J.N.: I hugged him.
Jessica: Oh.
J.N.: Thinks better than to make a joke of it.
Jessica: Well, you seem rather disenchanted with him. I'm kind of surprised.
J.N.: Disenchanted with who?
Jessica: Elijah.
J.N.: Heh heh…
Jessica: What?
J.N.: Do I have to ooze affection and constantly fret about him in order to appear like I care?
Jessica: No. It just seems like you're making fun of him.
J.N.: I do that to everyone. It's why I have so many friends. They find it charming.
Jessica: Oh really? Well I am full of curiosity of what you say about me when I'm not around. I didn't think you were two-faced.
J.N.: Do you really think I meant what I said about Elijah? Sighs heavily.
Jessica: I find it really hard to tell when you're joking or not. I'm sorry. You have a good poker face, I guess.
J.N.: It's a lot easier to act like you don't care than to really care. Batter phrased, it's easier for me to be a jerk than to admit that I'm worried about Elijah.
Jessica: You said last night that he's not drug trafficking or drinking anymore when I was getting on his case about it.
J.N.: He's not, as far as I know. But I apparently know very little about Elijah's personal life, seeing as I only found out… three, four years too late?
Jessica: Takes the chicken out of the oven and puts cheese on top of it, then puts it back in with the broiler on. How long do you think he's been doing this?
J.N.: I don't know. I didn't even think to ask.
Jessica: Did he seem troubled when he first came to live there? Starts to make Middler a salad.
J.N.: I don't think so.
Jessica: You didn't notice any change in him? Do you think you could set the table? And get Feemy? And Celena?
J.N.: I don't know where the hell they are and I have. He got less… bubbly, I think.
Jessica: Bubbly? Could you set the table?
J.N.: Yeah. Grabs the plates required and silverware.
Jessica: Tries to get everything off at once.
J.N.: Jessica, we have a man down. Motions to a sleeping Middler.
Jessica: Aww, and I made him this nice salad…
J.N.: Shakes Middler a bit. Hey.
Middler: Nrfmble… Raises his head.
Jessica: Places the salad in front of Middler and the rest of the food on the table and goes to round up Feemy and Celena.
Feemy: Hey Ceeeleeena…?
Celena: Scowls at him.
Feemy: I wanted to say sorry… really sorry… and I'll apologize to Middler, too.
Celena: Hmph… Apology accepted. Sits next to Middler.
Middler: Doesn't look so good or happy.
Feemy: Sits next to the other side of Middler.
Middler: Slaps on a kind of weak smile for Celena and Feemy and Jessica. Hello you two and thanks, Jessica.
Jessica: Serves everyone. You're quite welcome, Middler.
Celena: Is something bothering you, Middler? Lilting voice.
Middler: Ah… there's someone I miss a lot is all, Celena.
Celena: A bit too quickly and vehemently. Thanasi?
Middler: Shakes his head. The one I miss is… This isn't really table conversation. We should eat.
Feemy: Where's Julius?
Jessica: …Um… Julius isn't… with us anymore, Feemy…
Feemy: Frowns. I know, he's not at the table. So where is he?
Jessica: He's not going to be with us anymore, Feemy…
Feemy: Kind of starting to get it now. He's dead? Like… Dad.
Jessica: Nods slowly. Yes, Feemy.
Feemy: Oh… Quiet.
Jessica: I'm sorry, Feemy… he was really sick.
Feemy: Nods. Isn't crying, just very quiet and not eating.
Jessica: Probably not the best night to make a big dinner.
J.N.: Eating.
Middler: Eating too, but very slowly. He doesn't want to be ungrateful.
Jessica: Sighs and eats as well.
Celena: Worried about Middler.
Jessica: Are you staying here tonight, John?
J.N.: I probably shouldn't.
Jessica: Hm? Got work in the morning?
J.N.: Yeah. And Elijah.
Jessica: What about him?
J.N.: Fine, make me say it in front of a bunch of children. I want to make sure he's okay.
Feemy: I did really good in class today.
Jessica: Did you? Smiles at him proudly.
Feemy: Nods. Though Katen didn't say anything. He never does.
Jessica: Will you be staying for dessert, John?
J.N.: Sure.
Celena: Underneath the table… very shyly takes Middler's hand.
Jessica: We have apple pie.
Middler: Takes this as kind of a way to comfort him and squeezes the hand gently.
Celena: Blushes. Squeezes back.
Jessica: Is it good, John?
J.N.: Nods. Yeah. You did really well.
Jessica: Blushes a bit with pride. Though feels bad for being in such a good mood when Gwen and Demi are probably weeping in their beds and Julius is gone. When everyone is through with their dinner comes back with pie and ice cream.
Feemy: Eats some pie and ice cream!
Michael: Has somehow made his way to the dining room.
Jessica: Stares at Michael. Yes?
Michael: Swallows. I see you are serving pie there.
Jessica: …Would you like some?
Michael: …Yes.
Jessica: Looks at him oddly.
Middler: If looks could kill.
Michael: Is not looking at Middler, is looking at the pie.
Jessica: Serves him a slice. Would you like ice cream with that? Some coffee, perhaps?
Middler: That's fine, I'm not very menacing. Lets go of Celena's hand. If you will excuse me.
Jessica: Frowns. You don't want any, Middler?
Celena: Frowns too.
Middler: No thank you, Jessica. It smells lovely though.
Jessica: Not even to take with you?
Michael: Frowning because this is delaying his pie getting.
Middler: No. Kind of a firm tone, too. Leaves the table.
Jessica: Take care, Middler. Sighs unhappily and goes back to serving Michael.
J.N.: Raises a brow. I don't think he likes him. Can I have his slice?
Jessica: Of course… Gives him the slice she was fixing for Michael.
J.N.: Thank you.
Jessica: Finally serves Michael his pie. So, how is Gabriel?
Michael: Not as good as he could have been if your dear friend hadn't procrastinated so.
Jessica: Gives J.N. his second and the last slice of pie.
Michael: Frowns.
J.N.: I didn't know if I could fit another slice… but I guess this one time wouldn't hurt. Starts to eat.
Michael: Frowns and sips coffee.
J.N.: This pie is very good.
Jessica: Thank you. Lingers over coffee after Celena's wandered off to her room. Going to head back now, John?
J.N.: I suppose I should. Eating all that pie has made me want to sleep.
Jessica: Stands and hugs him. Take care… Get a good night's sleep.
J.N.: Hugs and takes a potion.

Eric: Calling J.N.'s phone.
J.N.'s Answering Machine: 10 messages.
J.N.: Answers the phone. What?
Eric: John? Voice filled with relief.
J.N.: Yeah… Who is this? Eric?
Eric: Yes, this is Eric McMurran… I was wondering if Elijah was there?
J.N.: …No.
Eric: …Oh… Do you know where he might be?
J.N.: Thinks on that and does come to a conclusion. Yeah… does he do after school activities?
Eric: Not that I know of. Even if he did, it's kinda late. He usually walks home, is all, and well… He's not here… and his cell phone seems to be off when I try to call him.
J.N.: I'll call you back. Johnmobile.
Eric: Hung up on!

J.N.: Drives through the night and tries the address given to him and hopes that's Isaac's house and not that Joel guy. Knocks on the door.
Joel: Takes him awhile to answer the door. 'Sup?
J.N.: Hey. Isaac around?
Joel: Nah, man… Haven't seen him in awhile. High.
J.N.: Who the hell is this guy? Could you tell me his address? I owe him money.
Joel: You're not a cop, are ya? Laughs.
J.N.: Nah. I just owe him some money. Get him off my back, you know?
Joel: Yeah, I know… Gives him Isaac's address. Good luck, man. Shuts the door.
J.N.: Reads the address and soon he is driving there!

J.N.: Finds the apartment and knocks on the door.
Isaac: Takes him a long time to get up and put his pants on and answer the door.
J.N.: Hello sunshine. Puts a foot in the door, just in case he tries to shut it.
Isaac: Frowns at him. What the fuck, man?
J.N.: Is Elijah there?
Isaac: No. Get the hell out of here.
J.N.: Takes out his cell phone and calls Elijah's, just to see if it rings.
Elijah's Cell Phone: Still turned off.
Isaac: Tries to close the door.
J.N.: Keeps his foot firmly in place, though he doesn't have any proof Elijah is there.
Isaac: Fuck man, I said he's not here.
J.N.: What if I said I don't believe you?
Isaac: I don't give a fuck. Why would I hang out with that pussy? The fucker punched me in the face, man.
J.N.: Hm… Not much of a pussy if he kicked your ass, I'd say. Kind of starting to get an inkling of doubt here, though.
Isaac: Not really any of your business.
J.N.: I guess not. Hm… Looks like we're going to have to call in that missing person's report then.
Isaac: Yeah, he's a slut. Sorry if you were fucking him.
J.N.: He's not really my type. Mind if I call the police now? They'll want to talk to you, since you two were real close.
Isaac: Hey, man… I don't have anything to do with him.
J.N.: Presses the 9. So, can I just step in and see he's not here? I don't think I can legally arrest you like the others who'll just bust down the door.
Isaac: Don't call the police, man.
J.N.: Going to let me in, then?
Isaac: Fuck. Moves aside from the door to his nasty apartment.
J.N.: Much appreciated. This is bad, even for a high school-er.
Isaac's Apartment: Beer cans and bottles! And drugs! And other random mess!
Isaac: You a fucking cop, man?
J.N.: Better. I'm a secret agent. Tries the nearest room.
Room: Bathroom.
J.N.: Checks it!
Room: There's nothing of interest.
Isaac: Fucking hell.
J.N.: Not deep checking, but kind of hard to miss a person. Tries the next room.
Isaac's Bedroom: There is indeed someone in his bed!
J.N.: Searches for a light switch. I would actually feel pretty dumb if that's a chick or guy that he was just sleeping with.
Light Switch: By the door. Fortunately for you, it's Elijah.
J.N.: Calls someone else, namely, Eric.
Eric: Hello?
J.N.: Hey. Leans over and nudges Elijah.
Elijah: Curls up more.
J.N.: Away from the phone. Elijah, it's me, John. Wake up.
Eric: John?
J.N.: Yeah. Found him.
Elijah: Very deeply asleep after four days of non-sleep.
Eric: That's good… Where?
J.N.: Just pulls the covers off of him and says the address.
Elijah: Naked.
J.N.: Speechless.
Eric: …You want me to come and get him?
J.N.: Yeah. Come on by.
Eric: I'll be right there. Bye. Hangs up.
J.N.: I could have lived without seeing that. Hangs up the phone and quite audibly walks through the house, now in search of Isaac.
Isaac: Just sitting in the living room. You didn't call the police did you?
J.N.: Does look pretty angry. Probably not very intimidating to drugged teenagers. No. Least of your problems, though. Goes back to Elijah.
Isaac: Fucking freak.
J.N.: Burrito wraps Elijah, so he isn't nude when Eric arrives. Even if the blanket isn't sanitary. Sorry, Elijah.
Elijah: Trembling and sweating anyway.
J.N.: That's not normal. Checks his forehead. Elijah? Can you hear me?
Elijah: Seems feverish.
J.N.: Ew, he's sweaty. Gets an arguably clean glass of cold water to dump on him.
Elijah: Wakes slightly.
J.N.: We're taking you home. Sorry if we ruined your little get together.
Elijah: Not even sure where he is. J.N.'s swinging like a pendulum over him and it isn't make him feel very well.
J.N.: I thought you said you were through drinking and this crap with Isaac.
Elijah: Stares at J.N., trying to decipher his words… Still only half-awake and looks like he's drifting back.
J.N.: Gives Elijah the benefit of the doubt and leans in so very close to his face… and sniffs it. Weird, yes, but if he had been drinking, his breath would at least have beer on it.
Elijah: Has not been drinking.
J.N.: I am not liking what this is equating to.
Isaac's Door: There is another knock on it.
Isaac: Fuck man…
J.N.: Walks to the door.
Isaac: You fucking called the police, didn't you?
J.N.: Shut up. Opens the door.
Eric: John?
J.N.: Hey. No smart remarks. Opens the door so he can come inside.
Eric: Comes in a bit warily. Is Elijah here? Looks at Isaac.
Isaac: Relieved it's not a police officer.
Eric: Looks at all the… paraphernalia.
J.N.: Yeah. Elijah is in the back, naked, in a strange boy's house.
Eric: Raises an eyebrow.
J.N.: I'm not joking.
Eric: Enters the room with the light on. Elijah? Does shake him awake. Elijah?
J.N.: Quite purposefully leaning against he door. The only exit John knows of, that is.
Eric: Elijah?
Elijah: Daaad? Bleary-eyed.
Eric: It's your uncle, Eric… Shakes him a bit more until he finally gets Elijah fully conscious.
Elijah: Fully conscious is hardly an improvement.
Eric: Feels his forehead and pulse. Have you been drinking? Doing drugs?
Elijah: Takes him awhile to comprehend this, going back to sleep rather rapidly. No…
Eric: Stay with me, Elijah.
J.N.: Kind of useless in this case. Glad Eric called him so he could get a doctor over, since it looks kind of like Elijah was melting, what with the sweat.
Elijah: Stop it… don… Sleep.
Eric: Sighs. Looks around the floor for Elijah's clothes. At least gets Elijah's pants on. Then looks for John.
John: Still in the living room.
Eric: Could you help me with him, John? I can't get him to stay awake.
J.N.: Yeah. Goes to Eric's aid. Lifts Elijah into his arms.
Elijah: Mmm…
Eric: Opens the doors for J.N.
J.N.: Yeah, it's the least you could do for me since I'm carrying him.
Eric: I'm going to take him to the clinic. Are you coming?
J.N.: Nods.
Eric: I guess you can follow me. Doesn't think J.N. should leave such a nice car in what's not a good part of town.
J.N.: You can bet your ass I'm not going to. You want me take Elijah in my car or you in yours?
Eric: Whichever is easiest for you…
Elijah: Starting to actually wake up in the fresh air and not covered in blankets in a stuffy room.
J.N.: My car it is. Sorry, should have spoken up if you wanted to ride with him.
Eric: Nods. Gets in his own car.
J.N.: With a bit of fan-dangling and not dropping Elijah to the ground, he manages to get Elijah into the front seat and buckled up and is soon manning his own vehicle.
Elijah: Starting to gain his barrings. …Mr. John?
Eric: Pulls away from the curb.

J.N.: Hey Elijah… Are you alright?
Elijah: Fairly wondering how he ended up shirtless in J.N.'s car. …I don't feel that great…
J.N.: I don't imagine you do. I thought you broke up with Isaac or something.
Elijah: Doesn't say anything as he tries to remember what happened. I was feeling kind of dizzy walking home…
J.N.: From school, right?
Elijah: Yeah… Isaac offered me a ride… I don't really remember after that… I was in his apartment… I was really sleepy…
J.N.: …You don't?
Elijah: Making an effort to remember. I might've fallen asleep in his car.
J.N.: After school…? It's late now…
Elijah: I'm not drunk… I woke up in his apartment… I can't really remember if I was dreaming or not, though.
J.N.: I know you're not drunk… We found you in his apartment without your clothes on.
Elijah: Oh… I guess it wasn't a dream, then. Though it kinda was… Sort of both. I'm not drunk.
J.N.: I believe you. What did Isaac give you? I couldn't even wake you up.
Elijah: I don't know… I'm really tried… I told him I didn't want to… I did… I didn't… but he kept turning into Lonan.
J.N.: Didn't want to what?
Elijah: …Have sex with him.
J.N.: Hm. Well. He's getting locked up… I'm sorry, Elijah.
Elijah: Locked up?
J.N.: I'm calling the police right now.
Elijah: Looks over at him. Blinks. Mind is pretty foggy.
J.N.: I'm guessing you "didn't" want to have sex with him and he did anyways?
Elijah: Yes. I don't really like Isaac anymore. Sleep deprived.
J.N: You're not going to see him again. Looks over to Elijah.
Elijah: That's good… I guess I shouldn't have rode home with him… but… I wasn't really thinking… Still isn't really thinking.
J.N.: It's fine… You didn't do anything wrong. Maybe he should have rode with Eric. He's probably better at this. We're taking you to the clinic… You can get some rest in peace there.
Elijah: Am I sick?
J.N.: Your forehead was pretty warm… You… I guess seemed like you were sick… Your uncle knows more than I do about that, sorry.
Elijah: …I have finals tomorrow…
Eric: Pulls into the clinic and parks.
Elijah: You're following that car?
J.N.: That's your uncle. Parks next to it.

Eric: Gets out of the car.
J.N.: Gets out and even opens the door for Elijah too.
Eric: You're awake? Smiles at Elijah gently. I'm going to get a wheelchair… or do you think you can make it?
Elijah: Not really… Sorry for the trouble…
Eric: Don't worry about it. I'll be right back. Comes back with a wheelchair and helps Elijah into it. Are you staying?
J.N.: Nods once more. Yes.
Eric: Nods and wheels Elijah into the clinic and they have to wait.
Nurse: After 20 minutes. McMurran, Elijah?
Eric: Stands and wheels Elijah away… Guesses if J.N. wants to come, he'll come.
J.N.: And he does indeed follow.
Elijah: Quite thankful for that.
Nurse: Checks Elijah's vitals and then leaves so they can wait another 20 minutes for the doctor to show up.
J.N.: I love the hospital. How are you feeling? Dumb question.
Elijah: Kinda nauseated… Sits on the bed thing with the paper on it.
Doctor: Appears. Hello… What seems to be the problem? Peers at Elijah.
Elijah: …I think I'm sick.
J.N.: Being the least qualified to make a diagnosis, stays out of it for now.
Eric: He's been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately… How long has it been since you had a full night's sleep, Elijah?
Elijah: Four days, I guess.
Doctor: Raises his brows. Mm-hm.
Eric: He's been under a lot of stress lately… He's about to graduate. I think he needs a urine analysis and blood test and a physical examination.
J.N.: …I don't think he's used drugs.
Doctor: Just kinda stares at Eric.
J.N.: Does know what a urine test is used for. …He's a doctor.
Doctor: Laughs. Well, what do you need me for?
Eric: …
Doctor: Joking, joking… Examines Elijah just to figure out what illness he has. Have you seen a psychologist? Does he have depression or anything?
Elijah: Shakes his head, "no."
Eric: He hasn't seen a psychologist. He has some trauma from his childhood, though.
Doctor: Does that account for his sleep disorder?
Eric: I think so.
J.N.: Just listens and looks over to see if Elijah's still awake every now and again.
Elijah: Is, but pretty dreamy.
Doctor: Have you got any nasal congestion?
Elijah: Nods.
Doctor: Coughing.
Elijah: Shrugs.
Doctor: Yes or no?
Elijah: I don't think so…
Doctor: Nods. Excuse me… Leaves.
Other Medical Professionals: Do the urine analysis and blood testing.
J.N.: …So. This might come as a shock, Eric.
Eric: What?
J.N.: This entire ordeal.
Eric: Well, yes… Is generally a very calm person. I certainly didn't know he was hanging around that sort of crowd. Did you?
Doctor: Comes in for a more thorough physical examination, so boots Eric and J.N. out.
J.N.: That's fine. I already saw him naked. Now I need to get a prescription to forget it. No. Not until recently.
Eric: He didn't tell me he was having this sort of trouble. I guess I should have noticed though.
J.N.: Yeah, that's what I said. Also, as far as I can tell, his ex-boyfriend sexually abused him then and before I picked him up. Spoken quietly at least.
Eric: How do you know he was abusing him? Thought Elijah was doing it with consent.
J.N.: Did what we probably should have done from the start. Asked.
Eric: Nods. They are presently allowed to go back to sitting around with Elijah while his results come back. …Do you think you might like to see a psychologist, Elijah?
Elijah: …No…
Eric: Are you sure? You seem to be suffering a lot mentally and it looks like it's driving you to do things that aren't very healthy.
Elijah: …I just want to do nothing for awhile.
J.N.: Staying overnight?
Eric: That's the doctor's decision…
Elijah: I have a final tomorrow.
Eric: Don't worry about it… I'll talk to your teacher.
Doctor: Comes back in!
J.N.: Pats Elijah on the shoulder and steps aside.
Doctor: Seems a bit concerned about Elijah's scars. Um… Mr. McMurran? Is there a history of abuse in your family?
Eric: Doesn't know how to explain this one. I'm sorry. It's a personal matter and it's already been dealt with. I assure you neither my wife and I, nor his parents, have ever abused him.
Doctor: Looks a bit skeptical, but doesn't push the subject. He tested negative for any drugs or alcohol in his system. Tested negative for all sexually transmitted diseases.
J.N.: That's a relief.
Doctor: He seems to have a rather bad case of flu. I'm prescribing him an antiviral drug… He needs a lot of rest.
J.N.: Nods.
Doctor: His immune system's been weakened by not having enough sleep and being under stress… If this continues, he could develop pneumonia.
J.N.: I should have mentioned this earlier, but Elijah has trouble sleeping… Is there a sleep aid he could take?
Doctor: I'm a bit reluctant to prescribe any since they can be addictive…
J.N.: Nods. Didn't really know that last part.
Doctor: They're very easy to gain a psychological dependence. If you said his nightmares are caused by some sort of childhood trauma, then I'd suggest a psychologist.
J.N.: That's more of the parental guardian's bag there.
Eric: You haven't always been having nightmares like this, though Elijah… Maybe it's just a phase…
Elijah: Shrugs and stands, steadying himself on J.N.'s arm.
Eric: Turns to the doctor and takes the prescription. Thank you.
Doctor: Hope you feel better soon. Nods. Leaves.
J.N.: Helps Elijah stand the best he can. Nice guy.
Eric: Can't tell if J.N.'s being sarcastic or not. Can you walk, Elijah?
Elijah: Nods. At least feels somewhat more awake.
Eric: Goes to the front desk to deal with insurance.
Elijah: Are you going home Mr. John?
J.N.: Yeah. …Do you want me to stick around?
Elijah: Nods.
J.N.: Then I will. Ruffles Elijah's hair again.
Elijah: You probably have work tomorrow.
J.N.: This is more important. I'll call in.
Elijah: Thank you Mr. John. I'm always getting into trouble… Even when I don't want to.
J.N.: Hard to come by some wise words that might make him feel better. Doesn't have a clue what to say to him, beyond the obvious. I know you don't.
Eric: Comes back over. Thank you so much John. I was really worried about him.
J.N.: You're welcome. Eric…? Could I ask you a favor?
Eric: Shoot.
J.N.: So Elijah doesn't have to ask. You're taking him home, to your house, right?
Eric: I plan to, yes. After I pick up his prescription.
J.N.: …He asked me if I would stay around him, but I can't just expect to walk into your home without your say.
Eric: Oh! Of course. You're quite welcome.
J.N.: Thank you. Finding Elijah… That reminds me. Dials the happy 9-1-1 number on his cellular phone.
Eric: Raises an eyebrow at him.
J.N.: It's not legal for me to just kick his ass. This is more permanent anyhow.
Elijah: Decides to take a seat if J.N.'s gonna be on the phone.
J.N.: Mentions the address, the suspect, being Isaac, and his description. The drugs/paraphernalia and the abuse inflicted upon Elijah, as far as John knows it.
Elijah: …I hope he doesn't kill himself…
Eric: Kinda stares at Elijah. Let's go get your prescription, hm? Helps him up.
J.N.: Follows them.
Eric: They get his prescription filled and go back to his house.

Bridget: Sitting up. You're back! Elijah! Hugs him. Stares at J.N.
Elijah: Hugs back.
Bridget: Hello John.
J.N.: Hello Bridget.
Eric: John's wanting to stay with Elijah.
Bridget: Raises an eyebrow.
Eric: I'll explain in a bit. Can you make it up the stairs, Elijah?
Elijah: …I'll go with Mr. John.
J.N.: Stops being distantly polite with Bridget and walks to Elijah.
Elijah: Makes it up the stairs with J.N.'s assistance… is actually feeling a bit stronger, so doesn't have much difficulty. Enters his room and turns on a lamp. Adam, who he shares a bed with, is sleeping.
J.N.: …Think you can handle getting into bed?
Elijah: I'm just going to get changed… I'll come back to the den.
J.N.: Nods.
Elijah: Does so and returns. Now has a shirt. Sits down on a sofa. How'd you find me?
J.N.: Your uncle called. We didn't know where you were… so I thought that maybe you went to visit Isaac, since you're usually concerned with him committing suicide. Doesn't bother tying to sound compassionate for Isaac. I didn't have his address, just that one you gave me last time I picked you up. Some dopey kid told me where to find Isaac and that's where I found you.
Elijah: Nods and sighs. Thank you.
J.N.: You don't have to thank me. Thank your uncle… if he hadn't called, I wouldn't know where you were.
Elijah: Well, I'm grateful to both of you… He wouldn't know where to look for me.
J.N.: Nods and sighs. Sorry about taking our time.
Elijah: Taking your time?
J.N.: By the time we got there, he'd already… done it.
Elijah: Oh… Well, you couldn't help it.
J.N.: It's kind of strange being consoled by the victim. Sits down on the sofa as well.
Elijah: You were staying at the castle, right? Is my mom still doing well?
J.N.: Yeah… Julius is gone.
Elijah: Frowns.
J.N.: I wasn't being sarcastic… She's holding up pretty well in light of that.
Elijah: Just sad about Julius. Moment of silence. That's good.
J.N.: …I guess I could have said that tomorrow… Frowns as well.
Elijah: Don't worry about it.
Eric: Comes upstairs with water and medicine and some soda crackers and cheese. Hands all of this to Elijah. do you need anything else?
Elijah: No, thank you.
Eric: Can I get anything for you, John?
J.N.: No thanks.
Eric: The guest room is right there. Points. If you need anything, I'm downstairs. Looks to Elijah. Are you alright?
Elijah: Nods. Thank you, Uncle Eric. Smiles at him.
Eric: Hugs him. Eat that and try to get some sleep, okay? Feels his cheeks and forehead. Come and get me if you need anything.
J.N.: Wonders if all of that just came naturally or if it's as awkward when does it himself.
Elijah: I will, thank you again Uncle Eric… Really. Smiles.
Eric: Rubs his arm. Love you. Sweet dreams. Heads downstairs.
Elijah: Eats his cheese and crackers like a good boy.
J.N.: Do you need to talk? Or anything?
Elijah: I don't know… Sorry… If you feel like I'm wasting your time or something. I just kind of… feel better with you around.
J.N.: Shakes his head. I don't think you're wasting my time… I'll stick around as long as you'd like.
Elijah: Smiles at him, but… looks at him curiously. Why? I mean…
J.N.: If it makes you feel better, I don't mind… What's best for you, if that makes sense.
Elijah: …I know I'm kind of annoying sometimes… and I get into trouble a lot… Obviously.
J.N.: I told you… You don't annoy me.
Elijah: Smiles at him. You're just…
J.N.: …?
Elijah: You're really smart…? And I've always kind of admired you… so… I don't know. I never thought you'd like me very much, so I'm kind of surprised you do, is all.
J.N.: …Well, I'm surprised you admire me.
Elijah: Smiles. It was pretty easy to do.
J.N.: I don't see why, really. I lied to you for a long time, telling you I was a secret agent.
Elijah: Laughs. I was kinda stupid for believing you. Grins.
J.N.: Chuckles a bit in spite of it. Just a little naive… You weren't stupid.
Elijah: Smiles and shrugs. You still seemed like a secret agent even though you weren't, if that makes any sense.
J.N.: Chuckles once more and shakes his head. Having a bit of a time wrapping my head around that one.
Elijah: You seem like a cool guy and you're kinda secretive and you had these um… amazing skills… I thought then… Like shooting a gun. And you were smart and quick-witted. You never treated me like a child or like I was somehow inferior to you.
J.N.: Nods, at least understanding a bit what he meant. Who treated you like you were inferior?
Elijah: Well, Katen… and most adults… who like to act important. Like they know more than you. I guess they do, but they're pompous about it, I guess.
J.N.: I can see that.
Elijah: You never act pompous. And I guess in some ways… you always sorta believed in me? You showed me how to shoot a rifle on my 15th birthday.
J.N.: I certainly didn't think you were going to shoot me or anyone. I just thought you were smarter than that or at least smarter than people seemed to give you credit for. That… might have come out wrong.
Elijah: Laughs. No, I know what you mean… My parents've always been really overprotective of me. Especially my dad… and no one really expected more out of me than being a good sword fighter. Except my dad.
J.N.: I could see your dad being that way.
Elijah: Yeah? It seemed like he was always the one who had to go and rescue men… and now you're doing that. Sighs.
J.N.: Your dad helped you because he loved you.
Elijah: Nods.
J.N.: I guess you don't need me to state the obvious. Shakes his head, not really knowing what to say.
Elijah: It's alright… I guess he liked you too, huh?
J.N.: He did… That still confused me, but he trusted me enough to look after you.
Elijah: Smiles. I guess he didn't misplace it, then. Hugs J.N.
J.N.: Hugs back.
Elijah: Lets go. Sorry, I know you don't like being hugged. Smiles.
J.N.: I'm getting used to it…
Elijah: Smiles. Looks tired, but wanting to keep himself distracted so he doesn't have to go to his bedroom and think about what happened today.
J.N.: Think you should get some sleep? You look exhausted.
Elijah: Yeah… though it's never very restful… and… I don't really want to have to think about it.
J.N.: I see. I'll just stay up with you then.
Elijah: Looks conflicted. I want to get better, though… and I don't want to keep you up. And… I need to sleep or I'll die.
J.N.: That's true.
Elijah: Laughs a bit uneasily.
J.N.: You really should rest… I'm not going anywhere for now and your uncle and aunt are here too.
Elijah: I know… I guess I will… Hugs him again briefly and stands. Good night, Mr. John.
J.N.: Stands and hugs him… since it just feels right. Just yell if you need something.
Elijah: Smiles and nods. Hugs back. Thank you…
J.N.: It's not a problem.
Elijah: Waves and goes to his room, shutting the door.
J.N.: Goes to the guest room.