24 July 2023
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John Crowley Jessica McMurran Katen Tanek Feemerson McMurran Celena McMurran Middler Blaydow Elijah McMurran Adam McMurran Hana Tanek

J.N: Sallies forth to speak with Jessica!
Jessica: In her office.
J.N: Knocks first.
Jessica: Come in
J.N: Enters.
Jessica: Smiles. John… You don't have to knock.
J.N: Smiles a bit. It's best to. Closes the door the behind him.
Jessica: Sorry… I fell asleep last night. How did it go with Elijah?
J.N: …There's a lot I need to tell you about that.
Jessica: Pulls a chair over for him to sit next to her. Sighs. I'm ready to hear it.
J.N: Sits down. …He did try to kill himself. With the drugs he was holding for Isaac.
Jessica: Looks like she's going to cry.
J.N: Takes her hand. …He thinks he can't stop Lonan from controlling him. That he's going to end up hurting or killing us.
Jessica: What do you mean Lonan's controlling him?
J.N: It barely makes sense to me, Jessica… He told me that Lonan was experimenting on him… and that the experiment isn't through.
Jessica: Experimenting on him? Why?
J.N: To use him as a weapon. He can manipulate light and shadows.
Jessica: Stares. You mean he wasn't just torturing him then?
J.N: I'm not certain, Jessica… a lot of this is above my head… but I think that he wasn't, if Elijah is talking about experimentation.
Jessica: …My poor baby.
J.N: He didn't tell you all of this because he thought that you would think he was a monster.
Jessica: Looks up. Why?
J.N: …Because he's being controlled by the same person who killed Daniel.
Jessica: Frowns and shakes her head.
J.N: I know you never would… and he told me not to tell you, but I couldn't keep this from you.
Jessica: Sighs. None of my children seem to trust me. Puts a hand on her stomach unconsciously.
J.N: Elijah's just… confused… He needs our help… but I don't even know how to help him. He wants to kill Lonan.
Jessica: Keeps her hand there. I wish we could just leave this all behind… Go back the the U.S…
J.N: Places his hand over her own. The thought is a little enticing… but there's no way.
Jessica: This war just keeps breaking my family apart.
J.N: We'll make it through. Remembers and is relieved that she can't fight now that she's pregnant.
Jessica: Tears. I've been lucky enough to find you and I'm so happy again… but how long will this last? How many people I love do I have to sacrifice to this cause?
J.N: I'm not going anywhere. I promise.
Jessica: Except I've just brought you into danger. You're even learning how to fight now.
J.N: And magic and soon I'm going to be hitting the books about this country's history. I think I should be prepared to protect you if and when the time comes.
Jessica: I don't want to lose you, John… I can't…
J.N: Though you're probably more qualified to protect me than vice-versa. Rubs her hand gently. You're not going to, Jessica… Though maybe making this promise might be a bad idea. If I do die, then I'll be dead and a liar.
Jessica: I want… A nice long life with you… and my children… and our children.
J.N: We've got a wonderful future ahead of us.
Jessica: I hope so…
J.N: I know so. I really don't though, sorry to say. It's just a feeling.
Jessica: Sighs. Let's… Talk about something else.
J.N: Alright, Jess. Anything you'd like.
Jessica: …Our wedding?
J.N: A bit of a smile returns to his face. Is actually looking forward to that. Do you have a dress?
Jessica: Well… Has one from her first wedding.
J.N: The wedding is happening in the U.S still?
Jessica: Nods. I think that would be best. I'd like all your family to be able to attend.
J.N: And your parents too, right?
Jessica: Nods. Of course. When do you want the wedding to be?
J.N: I'd like it to be soon… but a date that's good for you. We could talk to our parents and see what's good for them too?
Jessica: Sighs. I'd like it to be before I start showing a lot…
J.N: Then soon. Is within a week fine? …I'd say sooner, but I still have to get a ring… and tell everyone on my side the date… Getting everything arranged.
Jessica: A week from now?
J.N: Is a week from now fine with you?
Jessica: I just don't know if it's possible, I mean… Where are we going to have the wedding? Is there going to be a reception afterwards? What kind of reception is it going to be? And the dress… and the cake… and if there's going to be dinner and a wedding rehearsal and if the guests live far away… and the invitations…
J.N: Nods. There is a lot to prepare… A week doesn't seem feasible… Seems like it'd take a week just for all of that.
Jessica: Can we make some decisions now?
J.N: Certainly.
Jessica: Well, um… Where would you like to get married?
J.N: I don't even know what places are feasible… There's a church in the town where I live.
Jessica: Do you want to get married in a church? Doesn't know if J.N. is religious.
J.N: Not in particular… but I don't know where else we could get married.
Jessica: …Neither do I… Well, um… Would you like a reception afterwards?
J.N: I would. For some reason, thinks of Celena as a flower girl.
Jessica: What kind of reception?
J.N: What kinds are there?
Jessica: Well, do you want to serve food or dinner at the reception? Do you want there to be dancing?
J.N: Thinks. I think there should be dinner and I'd like there to be dancing. Mostly just wants to dance with Jessica afterwards.
Jessica: Smiles. Wonders if John knows how to dance. What about the wedding party?
J.N: What do you think it should be like?
Jessica: What do you mean?
J.N: I don't know what should be in a wedding party…
Jessica: Well… You'll probably need a best man and probably an usher or so… Whatever close male friends you have. I have no idea about bridesmaids.
J.N: Thana could be a bridesmaid? Who to be my best man.
Jessica: Nods.
J.N: Smirks a bit. So could Middler.
Jessica: I… guess he could. Looks a bit disturbed.
J.N: I'll stop picking on him. What other bridesmaids are there?
Jessica: Celena, I think… Though I don't know if she'd want to.
J.N: Why not?
Jessica: Shrugs. What about your side?
J.N: I was thinking Ernest could be my best man… Elijah really can't, since he's body guarding Adam. Curtis could… help… somehow and Eugene could be an usher.
Jessica: I've never met Curtis or Eugene…
J.N: I can introduce you before the wedding. They're my friends.
Jessica: Smiles. I'd really like that.
J.N: They'd like that too. I'm sure they're going to love you. Not literally, but you're great, so they will.
Jessica: Smiles and blushes. Who are you planning on inviting?
J.N: Chuckles a bit. …They're about it… I didn't have many friends.
Jessica: Well… your family? I don't know how big of an extended family you have. Most of my family is in Mexico.
J.N: I don't know where most of my extended family is. I'd presume England.
Jessica: Oh yeah…
J.N:You're welcome to invite any of your family that's willing to show up.
Jessica: Nods. I will… and Eric and Bridget, too. Um… Why don't we get married on my birthday? Then we could honeymoon in Astohnika… Unless you have other plans.
J.N: …You really are the brains of this operation. Smiles.
Jessica: Smiles. Nooo.
J.N: Yes. Leans in and kisses her on the cheek, on the corner of her lips.
Jessica: Smiles. I'll be 43… That's a scary thought.
J.N: Why is that?
Jessica: Getting older… Won't you be 28 in December?
J.N: That's right.
Jessica: Laughs.
J.N: I don't care how much younger I am…
Jessica: I don't care, either. You're very mature. Smiles.
J.N: Smiles as well. Though would like to be older.
Jessica: And you'll be adopting Adam…
J.N: Nods. I get to be a father soon.
Jessica: Smiles and laughs. I had a four-year-old when I was 28, too.
J.N: Chuckles as well.
Jessica: I think you'll do great.
J.N: Thank you, Jess.
Jessica: I'm starting to look forward to having our baby.
J.N: I am too. It's going to be interesting raising a daughter. Doesn't really know it'll be a girl, but knows she wants a daughter.
Jessica: Laughs. How do you know it'll be a girl?
J.N: Would you believe me if I said I just had a feeling?
Jessica: Laughs. I think you just have a feeling that I want a girl.
J.N: And I also have a feeling that I'd be right.
Jessica: Smiles. Well, I have an ultrasound scheduled for the ninth of August.
J.N: We'll find out then. You might just have four boys when the time comes. I think Celena would like a sister too, though.
Jessica: Smiles. I think that'll be a little soon. I don't think you can determine gender until the second trimester.
J.N: We'll know for sure when it's born, though.
Jessica: Nods.
J.N: A lot to look forward to…
Jessica: Morning sickness? Smiles at him.
Katen: Enters Jessica's office. Hello John. Carrying a box.
J.N: Hello Katen. Morning sickness isn't something to look forward to.
Jessica: Looks at the box. A present?
Katen: Sets the box down at her desk and opens it up to reveal a pile of knives. Also holding Elijah's sword. I don't know what to do with all of these knives.
J.N: …Is there something you want us to do with them?
Jessica: Picks one up. Aren't these Elijah's?
Katen: Your son is mentally ill. I don't think he should be allowed access to things he can harm himself with.
J.N: He has a good point, but frowns at the comment about mental illness.
Katen: I'm also discontinuing his sword practice.
Jessica: Looks quite surprised.
J.N: Also looks shocked. …In light of what has happened?
Katen: Nods. Indeed. I won't have a student who engages in self-destructive tendencies. I've confiscated his sword.
J.N: …How is he taking it?
Katen: He doesn't yet know.
J.N: I see.
Jessica: Looks unhappy about this. Can't you give him a second chance?
Katen: This was his second chance… He's fainted and fell on his blade before due to lack of sleep. He's talented with a blade, but he's more of a liability now than an asset.
J.N: Does he have a chance of continuing his practice when he gets better?
Katen: Not with me.
J.N: I see… When are you going to tell him?
Katen: Next I see him and he is conscious, I suppose.
J.N: Nods. Would like for Elijah to have another chance, but it's Katen's choice… and he agrees that sharp objects should be kept away from Elijah while he's in this state.
Jessica: You've been training him since he was four… You've said he was a prodigy before… So what, now he's got a lame leg, you're going to shoot him?
Katen: Looks quite surprised. Goodness, Jessica, I thought you would be the first person to feel relief hearing this news. I don't believe you ever wanted your son to be trained in swordplay to start.
Jessica: It's important to him and maybe it's the only thing keeping him sane.
J.N: She has a point about it being important to him.
Jessica: It's something for him to focus on besides being depressed.
Katen: It's also another way for him to hurt himself.
Jessica: Sighs. You can't give him another chance?
Katen: Another chance to kill himself? I don't know about you, Jessica, but I happen to like your son a little more than that.
J.N: Frowns. You have no right to say that to Jessica. She just wants what is best for her son.
Katen: And what's best for him now isn't access to things which can be used to harm himself.
J.N: Mollified by that.
Katen: He needs help. Not sword training.
J.N: I agree, but I don't see why he can't continue his training when he's well again.
Katen: Sighs. I suppose when he's well again.
J.N: Thank you.

Feemy: Knocks on Celena's door.
Celena: Who is it?
Feemy: Meee.
Celena: What do you want?
Feemy: I have to tell you something.
Celena: What?
Feemy: Um… It might be best that the door separates them. …I was talking to Middler… and… I accidentally let something slip.
Celena: …What?
Feemy: The… uh… thing… about Natey… That you asked me to keep Natey in my room. So… yeah… You're never going to talk to me again.
Celena: What?! Why did you tell him?! Opens her door.
Feemy: I didn't even mean too… It just kinda slipped out.
Celena: Slaps him!
Feemy: Sniffles, tears springing to his eyes.
Celena: I hate you! I wish you'd leave me alone forever!
Feemy: Just starts wailing, even worse than when he hit Middler. Tries to speak through all his incomprehensible sobbing. I didn' m-m-m-mean tooo!
Celena: Tears. Just go away! I don't ever want to see you again! Slams her door in his face.
Feemy: Wails even more.
Celena: Ignores.
Feemy: Just cries all the way to his room.
Celena: Lays on her bed, holds her stomach, and cries.
Middler: Missed the wailing, fortunately. Knocks on Celena's door.
Celena: Go away…
Middler: Well, Alright. I can come back later.
Celena: M-Middler?
Middler: May I come in?
Celena: …C-Could you get my mom?
Middler: Blinks. Yes, of course. Are you alright, Celena?
Celena: …Yes…
Middler: Alright… Sounds worried.
Celena: Thank you…
Middler: I'll be right back with your mother. Hurries off to get Jessica!

Jessica: Looking unhappy again. Holds her hand to her stomach.
Katen: Are you ill? Doesn't know she's pregnant.
Jessica: No… I'm fine.
J.N: Supplicates! This has all been very stressful.
Katen: I understand… Looks at J.N. a bit oddly. Are you living here now?
J.N: Not yet, but soon I will be. I have some obligations back home first…
Katen: Nods. Well then, I will be seeing you around. Since my schedule is now cleared of training Elijah, I should be able to fit you in.
J.N: Nods, though that's not much consolation.
Katen: Picks up the box of knives… including the one J.N. gave Elijah for Christmas so long ago.
J.N: Sighs a bit. It's for his own good.
Katen: Nods to them both and heads out the door, bumping into Middler. Thankfully has the box for shielding. Oof… Excuse me.
Middler: At least I didn't run full into you. Ack… Oh, I'm sorry!
Katen: Nods to Middler, a bit perturbed and carries on his way.
Middler: Nods back. Um… Jessica?
Jessica: Yes, Middler?
Middler: Celena needs to talk to you… or… not… I mean, she asked that I get you. I don't know why.
Jessica: Is something wrong…?
Middler: I think so… She told me to go away before she realized it was me.
Jessica: Sighs. Just one thing after another. Nods. Thank you, Middler. Looks to John. Are you coming?
J.N: I would like to.

Jessica: Goes to Celena's room with John. Knocks on the door. Honey?
Middler: Followed.
Celena: Come in…
Jessica: Enters.
J.N: Enters after.
Celena: Frowns, seeing John. Make him go away.
J.N: Raises an eyebrow. I'll go.
Jessica: That's not very nice.
J.N: Not terribly miffed. Middler had mentioned wanting to see Jessica, not John and Jessica.
Middler: Hearing that, doesn't even come in.
Jessica: Sighs and closes the door.
Middler: Blinks. I hope she's alright.
J.N: Just walks from the door.
Jessica: Emerges 20 minutes later.
Middler: Wasn't listening in, but only a bit away… Trying to chat up J.N.
J.N: Not very receptive.
Jessica: Smiles at them both.
J.N & Middler: How is she?
J.N: Frowns a little.
Middler: Smiles a little! Hah, we said it at the same time!
Jessica: She's just fine, no need to worry…
J.N: What… Stops. Continues. What was wrong?
Jessica: …Looks at Middler… Coughs a bit. Nothing much.
Middler: Blinks. So she's alright?
Jessica: Nods. Perfectly.
Middler: I'm glad to hear! Do you think I could talk with her?
Jessica: Um… I think you'd better not right now.
Middler: Frowns. What…? Why?
Jessica: Because… she's sleeping.
Middler: Oh. Well, I can always talk to her tomorrow. I just wanted to get Natey. I don't think it was fair of me to ask if she would keep him company.
Jessica: Blinks. I'm sure she doesn't mind. He doesn't seem to be too much of a handful…
Middler: He can be a little bit of one. Feemy mentioned that she asked if he would keep him in his room for awhile.
Jessica: Well, um… Just let her be right now, Middler… You can bring it up with her tomorrow, I'm sure.
Middler: Of course. If you see her before I do, please tell her that I'm glad that she is alright. Bows.
Jessica: I will… I'm sure she'll appreciate your concern.
Middler: Thank you. Takes his leave!
Jessica: Looks at John when Middler's gone.
J.N: …So, what was that all about?
Jessica: First period.
J.N: Ah.
Jessica: Coughs. Well, um…
J.N: She is alright, though?
Jessica: Nods. She's fine.
J.N: I'm glad to hear that.
Jessica: Would you mind checking on Elijah? I'd like to see Feemy.
J.N: Is there something wrong with Feemy?
Jessica: Celena sort of gave me an idea that something happened.
J.N: Alright… I'll check on Elijah. I should tell him the news.
Jessica: Nods and hugs him.
J.N: Hugs back and departs.

Jessica: Knocks on Feemy's door. Honey?
Feemy: C-Come in. Sniffs.
Jessica: Enters. Are you alright, sweety?
Feemy: Just sitting on his bed. No. I'm a s-screw up…
Jessica: Sits down next to him and strokes his pretty sheepy hair. You're not a screw up. Why would you think that?
Feemy: Because… I keep making Celena m…mad… and I don't try to… but it happens…
Jessica: Puts her arms around him. I'm sure you don't mean to, sweetheart.
Feemy: Clings to her. I don't… but it happens and… and she hates me…
Jessica: Celena doesn't hate you, honey… She's just going through a bit of a difficult time.
Feemy: Yes she does… Might actually have a red mark on his face where he was slapped. She even said so… Sniffles.
Jessica: Sometimes people say things they don't mean… What happened to your cheek, sweetie?
Feemy: She hit me before saying it. Sobs and clings tighter.
Jessica: Frowns. She hit you?
Feemy: Nods 'yes'.
Jessica: Well she shouldn't have done that. Holds him close.
Feemy: The slap hurt, but it's mostly being hit that's upsetting. Calming down. And she said she didn't…didn'… Sniffs. Didn't wanna see me again.
Jessica: And why did she say all these things?
Feemy: Because I accidentally told Middler that she wanted to me to k…keep Natey in my room… but he hogged the bed…
Jessica: Why was she so upset about that?
Feemy: I don't knooow… Cuz she likes him?
Jessica: Sighs. Celena's growing up… She's going through some changes and it's a difficult time in any child's life. She may be a lot more sensitive about little things and blow things out of proportion and just generally be more irritable and emotional. I'm sorry to say that that's a part of growing up and coming into yourself. It'll happen to you one day, too. For now, just give her some space. I'll talk to her about what she did, it's not right to hit your siblings.
Feemy: Sniffles and rubs his eyes. I'm gonna give her give a lot of space… She's never gonna see me again.
Jessica: Hm. And how are you going to manage that? You live in the same home.
Feemy: I… I can eat dinner in my room…
Jessica: You're not eating dinner in your room, Feemy. Turns his chin up to look at him, a bit worriedly. …Are you alright with all of this? Not just with Celena, but with me and John…?
Feemy: Sniffs and wipes at his teary eyes again. I liked my old dad more… but he's gone… and you like John… and it's not up to me anyways… Didn't have a very long time with Daniel, either.
Jessica: But you're a part of this family… and I would like to hear your opinion…
Feemy: I thought he was kinda mean… but… I guess he's not anymore… Looks thoughtful. …Is he not mean anymore? I don't want a mean teacher, sister, and dad…
Jessica: Mr. John isn't mean… I wouldn't want to be with a mean man. I think if you got to know him, you'd like him… Maybe you'd even be able to see him as a father…
Feemy: That's not much of a stretch, as it happened with Daniel. …What does Elijah think?
Jessica: Does it matter what Elijah thinks? You need to form your own opinions sweety. No one can make them for you.
Feemy: Frowns. …I can give John a try… I gave D…Dad a try. Sniffs.
Jessica: Strokes his cheek. Do you miss Daniel?
Feemy: Yes… I didn't know Dad as long as everyone else though… I've known John longer, but he was nicer.
Jessica: I don't think that makes him any less your father. Strokes his hair.
Feemy: Nods. The adoption discussion has probably happened a few times and it's sunk in. I know…
Jessica: Though she sort of realizes that Daniel was only his father for a short period of time when he was four or five years old and in the coming years, Feemy's memory of Daniel will probably fade quite a bit.
Feemy: Doesn't seem nearly as distraught as he was when it had happened and isn't nearly as attached as Celena was.
Jessica: Can I tell you something?
Feemy: Nods 'yes'.
Jessica: John and I are getting married.
Feemy: …You are?
Jessica: Nods. Next month, I think.
Feemy: Does that mean John is going to be my dad?
Jessica: Your stepdad.
Feemy: What does that mean?
Jessica: What do you mean?
Feemy: Does that mean "new dad"?
Jessica: You don't have to call him 'dad' if you don't want to and you'll still be Feemy McMurran.
Feemy: Oh… Adam calls him "dad" though.
Jessica: Adam never knew his real father and John plans on adopting him after we get married since Adam wants him to be his father and John wants him to be his son. So Adam will be Adam Crowley. Knows this is all a bit confusing.
Feemy: Looks lost, but nods anyway.
Jessica: It's your own decision whether you want John to be your "new dad" or not.
Feemy: ..If I say 'yes', Celena will hate me more.
Jessica: Why do you think Celena would hate you more?
Feemy: Because… Can't think of a reason.
Jessica: Sighs. Celena's the one who most needs to work things out with John… I'm just hoping you won't all feel divided after this.
Feemy: Adam'll still be my brother. Has calmed down a lot, thankfully.
Jessica: Nods. Yes he will be… Though we'll all have different last names after this, we'll still all be one family. And you'll soon have a new little sister or brother.
Feemy: And it'll be a Crowley?
Jessica: Nods. Yes, since John'll be it's father.
Feemy: Nods. Kind of indifferent.
Jessica: …Has your guardian angel visited recently?
Feemy: Frowns. No, Dad only visited that one time.
Jessica: Nods. Couldn't help her curiosity.
Feemy: Maybe it's busy in Heaven.
Jessica: Hugs. I'm sure he still has time to watch over us all.
Feemy: I bet he visits Celena more…
Jessica: Why would you think that?
Feemy: Because… Frowns a bit. No reason comes to mind.
Jessica: Your father doesn't play favorites, Feemy. And neither do I.
Feemy: I know… but… I don't think I've been good like Dad asked me too…
Jessica: I think you've been trying hard and that's what counts.

Elijah: In his own room, resting lightly.
J.N: Knocks on the door.
Elijah: Awakens. Come in…
J.N: Comes in. Hello Elijah…
Elijah: Smiles. Hello Mr. John.
J.N: Smiles a little. How are you feeling?
Elijah: Sort of like I've been hit by a bus.
J.N: That good, huh?
Elijah: Yeah… Y'know near death experiences?
J.N: Just once. Smiles fade a bit. I have… unfortunate news, though.
Elijah: What's up?
J.N: Katen is discontinuing your training for the time being.
Elijah: Frowns.
J.N: He was going to permanently cease them… but your mother and I convinced him to give you another chance when you've recovered… Well, just your mother, mostly.
Elijah: You mean when I'm feeling better?
J.N: If you feeling better means you've put injuring yourself behind you.
Elijah: I told you I didn't do it because I wanted to.
J.N: I'm not sure if Katen knows all the details. He said that he couldn't train you while you were engaging in self-destructive activities.
Elijah: Sighs. I guess it runs in the family… I'll talk to Katen. I'll tell him the truth if I have to… I need to defeat Lonan and I can't when I can't train.
J.N: You'll have to if you want to train. He confiscated all of your weapons.
Elijah: Nods. I'll talk to him.
J.N: When you're feeling better.
Elijah: Yes… Did you tell my mom?
J.N: I did.
Elijah: …What did she say?
J.N: She just wants the war to be over. She's doesn't want to lose anyone else… and she doesn't think you're a monster. She was close to tears when I told her.
Elijah: Looks a bit relieved. Sighs. …Speaking of self destructive tendencies…
J.N: Looks at him with a furrowed brow.
Elijah: Can I talk to you about Adam since you're going to be adopting him?
J.N: Of course.
Elijah: …He's kind of weird. States the obvious.
J.N: He's not like some children.
Elijah: …Uncle Eric thought he was kind of depressive.
J.N: I can see that. Nods and just listens.
Elijah: And he sometimes seems to be self-destructive.
J.N: Self-destructive..?
Elijah: I mean… I doubt he really understands… He just seems to have a disregard for it. I've seen him just sort of sitting there poking himself with a pin and he doesn't seem to care too much when he gets hurt. I dunno… There's something the matter with him.
J.N: Frowns. I see… Maybe I can help him.
Elijah: …Can you relate to that or something? Aunt Bridget thought he was autistic.
J.N: …No, I can't relate. But I want to help regardless.
Elijah: Smiles. You really do want to be his dad.
J.N: I really do.
Elijah: You're wonderful, Mr. John.
J.N: Smiles a little. I'm not.
Elijah: Takes J.N.'s hand. You are. If you think you don't deserve this, I really think you do.
J.N: Squeezes his hand. ..That's something I needed to hear.
Elijah You've gone above-and-beyond. Anyone could've just half-assedly checked up on us every month or so, just for my mom's benefit, but you actually cared about us and got involved in our lives… and made them better.
J.N: It's not fair to give me all the credit… You all helped me first and most when I needed it…
Elijah: Smiles. I don't really think I did much but bother you…
J.N: …At first, you kind of did. I'll admit… I as a bitter, loathsome person… and I'm ashamed of how I used to be. You all just kept trying and didn't give up on me… You especially. And Dan, of course.
Elijah: Smiles. You changed… and I admire that. It sort of surprises me, looking back… How much you changed… Well, I thought you were great back then, too… Of course I was pretty naive… but you definitely are great now… You've been more than just a friend… I said it yesterday and I meant it… You've been like a father to me.
J.N: I… Seems to be at something of a loss for words. This has indeed been quite a week. …Thank you, Elijah… I really do care for you… and it means a lot that you would say that and mean it…
Elijah: Smiles. It's just the truth. Doubts he's been anything like a son to J.N., but oh well.
J.N: In a way, may have been treating him like a son more than a good friend. …I'm sorry for yelling at you yesterday.
Elijah: I do think you've been acting fatherly. It's alright… I know you just did it because you care about me.
J.N: That's true… but it didn't help. Reaches over and scruffs up his hair, albeit gently.
Elijah: Smiles.
Adam: Creeps into the room.
J.N: You already had bed hair anyway.
Elijah: Grins. You have perpetual bed hair.
J.N: Looks up at his hair as best as he can. Think I should grow it out?
Elijah: How long?
J.N: Shrugs. Until it looks good? Hasn't noticed Adam yet.
Adam: Standing silently behind J.N.
Elijah: It looks alright now… But I've never seen you with longer hair… It might look good too…
J.N: I can always cut it if it doesn't look good.
Elijah: Try it out.
J.N: Grins a bit. Alright then. Isn't getting his hopes up, thinks it's more funny than anything.
Elijah: Course my mom'll have the last say.
J.N: That's true.
Elijah: Do you bleach the top of your head?
J.N: Why do you ask?
Elijah: 'Cause the sides are brown and the top is blonde.
J.N: I was struck by lightning.
Elijah: Really?
J.N: Oh, yeah. Grinning still, obviously joking.
Elijah: Frowns. You know I'm gullible.
J.N: You're not gullible, you're trusting… Yes, I do.
Elijah: …So your hair's really brown?
J.N: Yeah, pretty much.
Elijah: That's cool. So's mine.
J.N: Rubs the top of his head a bit self consciously.
Elijah: Got some lighter brown streaks somewhere… but those are natural… This lady said they were my birthmark. Your mom's hair is blonde, so I thought yours was natural… Maybe your mom dyes hers too?
J.N: It's graying.
Elijah: Shrugs.
Adam: Stands there. Has the utmost patience for a four-year-old.
J.N: So, she probably does dye her hair.
Elijah: Your mom's nice. I wish she could be my grandma.
J.N: Heh. She'd love to hear that.
Elijah: My real grandma's not so nice.
J.N: Why?
Elijah: I don't really know the full story… Not even my uncle Eric likes her too much… Apparently after her husband died… My grandad, she just decided to pretend he didn't exist anymore. 'Cept my dad looked a lot like my grandad and she didn't like that very much, so she could be sorta cold to him. It apparently didn't bug my dad too much, but it bugged my uncle Eric that she treated my dad that way, so they had a bit of a falling out after she married my step grandpa. I think the story pretty much was that she didn't want my dad much at all…. Like he was an accident… and she probably wished he had died in the car accident instead of her husband, so she probably resented him for that too. Anyway, my dad's dead too now, but she was still pretty icy to me and Adam too.
J.N: Frowns. …Well, I know who not to invite to the wedding, at least.
Elijah: Nods, then rests his eyes a bit.
J.N: I should let you get some rest.
Elijah: …I am kinda tired. Hugs J.N.
J.N: Hugs back. Take care, Elijah.
Elijah: Thanks… 'Night Mr. John. Lays back down. Love you.
J.N: I love you too. Even with how much I've been saying it these days, it still sounds a bit strange to hear myself say that.
Elijah: Smiles and closes his eyes.
J.N: Turns and… trips over Adam.
Adam: Ouch.
J.N: Ouch too. …What the— …Adam? Sits up. Are you alright?
Adam: Laying face down on his stomach.
Elijah: Sitting up now too. Are you alright, Mr. John?
J.N: I'm fine. Said quickly, as he's too busy going to Adam's aid to note that his head hurts a little from the fall, but overall, he's well.
Adam: Sits up blearily and rubs his leg.
J.N: I'm so sorry, Adam… I didn't see you there… Are you alright?
Adam: …Yes… Sorry for making you fall.
J.N: I'm fine… Does your leg hurt? You are rubbing it.
Adam: Stands and tests it. Yes… It's gonna have a bruise.
J.N: Opens his arms for him, offering him a lift.
Adam: Wraps his arms around J.N.'s neck.
Elijah: Just stares at them both.
J.N: Hugs and picks him up. Is gonna have a lump on his head, but certainly didn't get it as bad as Adam.
Adam: Sorry 'Lijah.
Elijah: It's… fine… Lays back down. …Good night again… You too, Adam… Try to make your presence known next time you come into a room.
Adam: Yes… 'Night.
J.N: Goodnight, Elijah. C'mon Adam… Let's have Jess take a look at your leg. Still worried. Maybe there's something we can put on it.
Adam: It's okay, really.
J.N: No harm in double checking. Leaves with Adam in tow!

Adam: …Can't I just go to bed?
J.N: Blinks. Oh, you're tired?
Adam: No…
J.N: Then why would you want to go to bed?
Adam: I don't wanna see Mommy.
J.N: You don't…? Why?
Adam: …I dunno… I just don't feel like it.
J.N: That is unsettling. Well, what do you want to do?
Adam: Be with you.
J.N: Alright, though you have to tell me if your leg starts hurting again, alright?
Adam: Yes. Mommy will just call me "sweetie pie" and say she's sorry and kiss me an' stuff and I don't like that.
J.N: Nods and walks down the hall. Why don't you like that?
Adam: You probably don't deserve attention just for getting hurt.
J.N: She'd just want to make sure you're alright and show you that she cares.
Adam: Stays silent.
J.N: So what did you do today?
Adam: …I wanna go back to my room.
J.N: …Alright then. Frowns a bit, but walks that way.
Adam: Clinging to John tightly.

J.N: Soon arrives at Adam's room.
Adam: Clinging to John very tightly.
J.N: …Is something wrong, Adam?
Adam: Says nothing.
J.N: …Fathers and sons talk to each other…
Adam: …Sorry, I was listening to someone else.
J.N: Someone else? Looks around, to see if there is someone else.
Adam: A man.
J.N: Where?
Adam: You didn't hear him?
J.N: I don't see a man, Adam. Only us. Unless there is a man around that I didn't notice.
Adam: He said, "Don't be a mart-er. Your life is in my hands." And he shouted it…
J.N: Frowns. …I didn't hear him.
Adam: Struggles out of J.N.'s arms to be set down on his bed.
J.N: Sets him down. …If you ask, I'll set you down.
Adam: Looks unhappy and worried.
J.N: What's wrong, Adam…?
Adam: …I was just kidding about hearing that.
J.N: Raises an eyebrow. Are you being honest?
Adam: Doesn't answer, but is a pretty bad liar.
J.N: Doesn't have to be Jessica to tell that he is lying. …Have you heard anything else, Adam?
Adam: …No…
J.N: Tries to give him "the look", though probably isn't very good at it. Hasn't been a father before. Adam. Are you being honest with me?
Adam: Tears.
J.N: I made him cry. It's alright, Adam… You're not in trouble or anything… I just want to know what you've been hearing.
Adam: You're not gonna want me if I'm crazy.
J.N: I don't think you're crazy, Adam.
Adam: I mostly hear voices when I'm going to sleep
J.N: And what do they say?
Adam: I don't know… There's a lot of different ones… Sometimes they're mean and sometimes they're nice… Sometimes a guy yells at me and tells me I'm worthless and sometimes a lady says she loves me and sometimes a whole bunch of people are shouting or cheering and sometimes people are singing.
J.N: Nods. Making very careful note of this, as he's going to repeat this to his mother.
Adam: And sometimes I see a man… but no one else ever seems to notice him.
J.N: What does he look like?
Adam: He's dressed all in red and he has white hair, but he's not old. He always looks really calm. He never does anything or says anything, he just stands there.
J.N: I see.
Adam: And sometimes I see a book… but I'm too scared to look in it.
J.N: Does it have a title? If this were five years ago, I would say this kid is crazy.
Adam: No. It looks sorta like a diary. Oh. It has a symbol on it… and then sometimes it has another symbol on it.
J.N: Now I'm rationalizing that it has something to do with magic. Not that I have any clue, but I'd choose a 'blame it on magic' theory before the 'Adam is crazy' theory any time.
Adam: I can draw them… Gets out his practicing letters book.
J.N: That'd be great. Notes to ask about how his letters are doing later.
Adam: Draws, then shows him.
J.N: Why are you afraid to look in the book?
Adam: I dunno… It's just like I wouldn't want to touch a hot pan.
J.N: Nods. Have you always seen these things?
Adam: No. Just since I came here.
J.N: Kind of cements in his head that this is magical or at least makes that delusion stronger. That doesn't change that he used to poke himself with a pin, though.
Adam: Sometimes, I see the man outside… near the woods… and I want to go with him…
J.N: Frowns. …But you know better than that.
Adam: I do. But sometimes, my legs wanna move anyway.
J.N: Nods… this is going to be a long story for Jessica.
Adam: And… There's a bug underneath my skin.
J.N: What do you mean…? Though it sounds painfully obvious.
Adam: There's a bug, a silver bug, and it itches. Sometimes its in my hands or my arms or my legs or my chest or my back. Sometimes it hurts.
J.N: Does the bug just go away on it's own?
Adam: No. It's right there. Shows him his left hand, which looks normal.
J.N: Point to the bug.
Adam: Points to the center of his hand… which looks normal. It likes to eat my blood, I think.
J.N: Reaches out to touch the very same spot he pointed to.
Adam: Winces quite severely. It does feel as though there is something hard underneath his skin.
J.N: Furrows his brows and frowns deeply and gingerly takes his hand away, not wanting to hurt him further. I didn't mean for it to hurt… I'm sorry.
Adam: It's okay… It's going somewhere else…
J.N: Where?
Adam: I dunno, somewhere else in me. It doesn't like when you touch it.
J.N: …My poor boy. Though he's not 'mine'.
Adam: Anyway… I'm crazy. So you don't want me anymore.
J.N: …In about a month, you're going to be my son, if you still want to be, Adam.
Adam: I said I do.
J.N: And I said that I want you to be my son. My mind hasn't changed.
Jessica: Enters the room. Smiles at them both. Hello there.
J.N: Looks to Jessica and gives her a very strained smile. Hello Jess.
Jessica: Blinks at the strained smile.
Adam: Holds his arms out to his mom for a hug.
Jessica: Hugs and kisses him. How're you doing, sweety?
Adam: Okay.
Jessica: That's good to hear… and it's your bed time.
Adam: Clings to her more. Yes…
J.N: Glad to see them hugging at the very least.
Jessica: You're already in your jammies… All that's left is to tuck you in.
Adam: Smiles at her. Seems to have gotten over his anxiety about seeing her. Lets Jessica tuck him in and kisses her good night.
Jessica: Good night, baby, I love you…
Adam: 'Night Mommy… Daddy… Love you, too.
J.N: I love you too, Adam. Leans in and gives him a hug.
Adam: Hugs back tightly.
J.N: Tight hugs for Adam, but no crushing.
Adam: Lays his head down to sleep.
Jessica: Quietly leaves the room.
J.N: Leaves as well.

Jessica: Heads for the dining room. What's the matter?
J.N: Follows. It's Adam.
Jessica: Did you get in an argument?
J.N: No. He told me… things.
Jessica: Blinks. What did he tell you?
J.N: Ever since he's gotten here, he's heard voices.
Jessica: Frowns. Voices?
J.N: They say different things to him. He told me one shouted at him saying, 'Don't be a martyr. Your life is in my hands'… or 'You're worthless' and hearing a lady tell him that she loves him.
Jessica: Stares.
J.N: …And he sometimes hears people cheering and sometimes he hears people singing. He sometimes also sees a man dressed in red, with white hair… but he's not old. Adam saw him when I was taking him to his room… but I didn't see anybody at all.
Jessica: Stares. He's psychotic?
J.N: He said this only started happening when he came to Atlantis. …So… I thought… Hoped. That maybe it had to do with… magic… or something… Kind of weak. He also said that there's a silver… bug under his skin… and when he pointed out where it was… I felt something there.
Jessica: …Did you see it?
J.N: Well… No… but I felt something… hard under his skin.
Jessica: Stares.
J.N: And it looked like just touching the spot hurt Adam. Frowns deeper.
Jessica: Sighs. I don't know… The truth is… We don't know much about Risers…
J.N: …Adam is a Riser… It's hard to keep that in mind…
Jessica: Just shakes her head.
J.N: …I don't know what to do, Jessica.
Jessica: Neither do I… I suppose we can only ask Hana about it… He's been researching the Risers.
J.N: Where is he? We can ask him now…
Jessica: Probably asleep. It's late…
J.N: …It'll have to wait then… I guess…
Jessica: I guess we could wake him up…
J.N: …I think we should… This is important. To me.
Jessica: Alright then… Heads in the opposite direction, to Hana's room.
J.N: Follows.
Jessica: Knocks on Hana's door.
Hana: Answers eventually. Um… Yes?
J.N: Wonders if he should let Jessica do the talking.
Jessica: Looks to John since he knows more details than her.
J.N: Me it is then. We'd like to talk to you about Adam.
Hana: …Adam…?
J.N: My… Jessica's son. Not my son yet.
Hana: …Oh… The High Riser? Looks interested now and more awake.
J.N: Really has to get himself together. …Yes, Adam.
Hana: What would you like to talk about?
J.N: The fact that he's been hearing voices ever since he got to Atlantis.
Hana: Voices?
J.N: There's more than that. He sees things, too. A person in red, with white hair. And a book with… designs on it. Would have mentioned the book to Jessica, but they made the decision to visit Hana before he could.
Hana: Designs? Do tell! Looks happy, excited, fascinated!
J.N: Doesn't look at all pleased with his enthusiasm.
Hana: Come in! Turns the lights in his room on. And please, elaborate!

J.N: Enters the room.
Hana: Starts pulling books off his shelves… He has a lot of them… Then looks around. He's not with you? Disappointed.
J.N: It's Adam's bed time.
Hana: Frowns. Well, I could help you most if I knew better what you were talking about.
J.N: Then I'll explain as best as I can. Adam told me he sometimes hears angry voices and sometimes he hears nice voices. That sometimes a guy yells at him and tells him he's worthless and other times there's a lady that tells him she loves him. Sometimes it's a lot of people shouting or cheering and other times it's singing.
Hana: Nods, flipping through the pages of a book.
J.N: Continues. The man in red I mentioned, with white hair. He's not old, his hair is just white and… Adam said that he sees him standing at the edge of the forest… and he feels compelled to go with him. Only he sees this man.
Hana: Is he wearing this? Shows him a drawing of a man wearing red, though not white-haired.
J.N: I don't know. I can't see the man… and he didn't describe how he dressed.
Hana: Well, that's why I asked you to bring him here. Smiles.
J.N: Half-glares at him, though he is right.
Hana: Looks a bit confused by J.N.'s glaring at him.
J.N: Isn't very empathetic towards the fact that, to Hana, this could be some great and major breakthrough. Just sees someone who kind of talks about Adam as if he were a specimen rather than a child.
Jessica: Sighs. What if I go and get Adam? Wants to know what's going on with Adam. Is that alright, John?
Hana: Please do! Smiles.
J.N: Yeah…
Jessica: Pats J.N. on the arm and goes to get Adam.
J.N: Glare softens when Jessica leaves… since he trusts her more than himself to do what's right for Adam.
Hana: Now what did the designs on the book look like?
J.N: If you get me something to write with, I'll show you.
Hana: Hands him paper and pen presently.
J.N: Draws down the designs that Adam had shown him. Pretty spot on. It's quite fortunate that they decided to do this now.
Hana: Looks. Oh! Points to the spiral with the arrow. That is the symbol of the Risers… It signifies reincarnation. The one that looks like a butterfly is a symbol of the High Riser specifically… There is some argument over what it signifies… Though I theorize that it's a knot of the threads of fate. Nods.
J.N: Stares.
Hana: The Risers are descendants of Fate, you see. The red robes were ceremonial garments of the High Riser… I even understood that the late King Daniel was wearing them upon his death.
J.N: I see…
Hana: You're saying he sees a man and hears voices, yes? Fascinating.
J.N: He also sees a book. With those symbols on them. He won't open it though.
Hana: Eyes light up! I wonder if it's The Book of Fate…
J.N: He has a learned fear of it. He said it was like knowing you're not supposed to touch a hot pan.
Hana: Oh this is exciting. Is there anything else?
J.N: I'm glad to see you're so enthusiastic. Dryly. He says there's a silver bug under his skin. That it itches and sometimes it hurts. It also moves and doesn't like being touched. He thinks it likes his blood.
Hana: …Fascinating…
J.N: Just remembers that they need to know what's wrong with Adam and keeps unneeded sarcastic comments to himself.
Jessica: Enters with a sleepy-looking Adam who she brings reluctantly over to Hana.
Hana: Hello!
Adam: …Hi…
Hana: I've heard some interesting things about you!
Adam: Blinks at J.N.
J.N: Looks back to Adam.
Hana: You've been seeing a man in red with white hair, yes?
Adam: …Yes…
Hana: Was he wearing this? Points to the drawing.
Adam: Blinks and nods.
Hana: What about the 'bug' you have inside you?
Adam: Um… What about it?
Hana: May I see it?
J.N: Looks to Jessica.
Jessica: Looks back.
J.N: Pensive.
Adam: …I guess… Pulls up his shirt and points to a spot on his chest.
Hana: Looks closely. Do you mind if I touch?
Adam: …I guess not.
Hana: Touches it.
Adam: Cries out in pain this time and convulses.
J.N: Enough! Not really knowing what to do, interposes himself, a bit forcibly if he has to, between Adam and Hana.
Hana: Sorry.
J.N: Shoots a glare at Hana and kneels down and hugs Adam. Not a trained father or doctor or whatever. Doesn't know what else he should have done.
Adam: Hugs J.N. back.
J.N: Probably irritating Jessica with all his interference too.
Jessica: Has stepped over beside him with worry… Does not like seeing her son in pain.
Hana: Well, ah… Even being the last of his kind, your son is very unique… He seems to be extremely in tune with his past lives. It's not unheard of among High Risers, of course… He very well may be a summoner and able to call upon the consciousness of his past lives for wisdom or strength. Of course, the art of controlling it may be lost…
J.N: And what exactly does that all mean, even? Much calmer… as Hana is shedding light on the situation, even if he did hurt Adam.
Hana: …What do you mean?
J.N: …I'm not from Atlantis, I don't know about High Risers or Summoners. I just want to know if Adam will be alright.
Hana: The ability to summon shouldn't harm him… He just needs to get it under control… He's a child of course, which is probably the reason why it's sporadic. As his mind develops and he matures, the voices and visions should decrease.
J.N: I see… Thank you, then.
Hana: The bug on the other hand….
J.N …Yes?
Hana: Well… It's sort of a disease specific only to Risers… A parasite, if you may.
J.N: And what can be done about it?
Hana: Very little, I'm afraid…
J.N: …I see.
Hana: The bug regenerates the High Riser's blood and prevents wounds from healing.
J.N: …And nothing can be done about it?
Hana: Well, um… There only seems to be one right now… So he seems to be able to heal and isn't bleeding… but they do tend to multiply, so I'd say… It's only a matter of time. Um…
J.N: …Can't we remove it?
Hana: I'm afraid that would kill him.
J.N: That's what I was afraid of.
Hana: I have heard of recoveries though… If I could think back… They've sometimes been known to leave the body of their own accord… Without resulting in death.
J.N: Statistically speaking, what are the chances of that?
Hana: Well… it's hard to say… There's also a chance of him going blind…
J.N: Better blind than dead. Then the recoveries?
Hana: Oh yes… Recoveries were only possible in High Risers. When they sire the next one, I do believe!
J.N: …You mean when Adam has a child. Seems to stress "Adam" in the sentence.
Hana: Well, three children.
J.N: Why three?
Hana: I'm not sure… but it's always been three. I'm sure Adam's the third child of his parents… and I'm sure his father was the third child… and his father… and his father… on and on, until Fate.
J.N: …Can Adam go back to bed, now?
Hana: Um… Certainly.
J.N: Picks Adam up.
Adam: Just staring at Hana.
Jessica: Um… Thank you, Hana.
Hana: You're quite welcome! Take care!
J.N: Not feeling very gracious, so is glad Jessica thanked Hana for them.

Adam: …Can I sleep in your bed tonight?
J.N: It's not fully my decision. It's actually Jessica's bed. Glances to her.
Jessica: Looking sort of numb. Nods.
J.N: Yes you can, Adam.
Adam: …Thanks…
J.N: One hell of a week… and there's still three more days in it too.

Jessica: Opens the door to her room for John.
J.N: Enters her room.
Adam: Clings to J.N.
J.N: Hugs him tight. If he was crazy, they could have gotten therapy…
Jessica: Sits down on her bed.
J.N: Sits as well.
Adam: …You wanna talk to each other without me, I bet.
J.N: Glances to Jessica on that. While it would be nice to talk to her, on the other hand, he doesn't want Adam to leave.
Jessica: Looks at John unhappily. …Are you alright, Adam?
Adam: Yes. I'm not crazy.
J.N: We know you're not.