Ztip5sb.pngAlicenne Danyel O'Malley
Nickname(s): Firecracker, 'O'Malley', Coach, 'Parole Officer Jolly Rancher', Twinkle Toes
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Nationality/Languages: Irish/English
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Age: 25 -Stunned- [Chronically: 26]
Birthday: October 29th
Zodiac:
 Born: Scorpio Claimed: Leo
Occupation: Supernatural Hunter
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Status:
Jason: Hamptons, NY - Buckley's In Between -- "Haven't heard that name in years."
Apollo (In POV of Holly): Dublin Uni Campus-Ireland-1980's -- "I should have never come."
Dracula: Kidnapped-Unknown --
"Why?"
Rudolf (In POV of 14yo Alice): All Hallow's Eve Carnival-Ireland-2008 -- "I'll keep it ferever."
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4355540.png7142952460?profile=RESIZE_710xAlice was born into your average family. Mom, dad, sister, chocolate lab named Hershey in the colorful language lands of Ireland. It was on her fourth birthday year when her crazy started. It was hitting ten o'clock one night, and the two sisters were in the bath. Samantha and Alice having a grand ol time when they heard screaming from their mother and father outside the bathroom door; as well as snarls and barking not just from their dog. After hours they got out, and on the floor was their mother, Holly, dead. And on the mother was a beast. A monstrous dog that was unforgivingly devouring their parents. She crept back into the bathroom to protect her sister, dressing her then only leaving the bathroom when the dog was gone. Alice hid with her sister under their late parents' bed. Not long after, several figures dressed in black cloaks stormed the house and searched for them, when they did they wretched Samantha from the crying Alice's hands. Pleading for them to leave them alone. Atlas Samantha was then dragged away screaming. Her screaming soon vanished, and so did she.

3717697131?profile=RESIZE_710xAlice was then entirely alone, crying over her dead mother and fathers’ bodies. Her parents were dead, her sister was gone. She ran over, crying and pounding on the neighbor's doors for help. They answered to her yelling that a ghost dog with red eyes killed her parents and a cloaked people took her sister away. They were suspicious and investigated, finding her parents ripped apart. Of course, they didn't believe this girl. With blood covering her they could only guess the worse and why was she the only one alive. So, instead of believing her, they undoubtedly thought she was a killer.

*****

With no other living relatives, Alice was sent to the Saint John of God Mental Institution for the orphaned clinically insane. Years in the mental institution served Alice well. Instead of helping her, they made her crazy, diagnosing her schizophrenic among other things. They drove that sweet little girl into a life of hatred and isolation. She saw what she saw, she knew it was real, so why didn't they believe her?

For years they kept her there before deciding she was well enough to find a family. So they started to put her into foster care. But those families didn't last long at all, they all became scared her. Of what she spoke and what she planned to do, they thought she was crazy. So bouncing from family to asylum, to family, and back was messing her up. She didn't want a new family, she wanted her old one with her mom, dad, and little sister.

At twelve Alice's being a ping-pong dug deep into her pending insanity. She became violent and merciless. She began hurting people. All but one, her friend and in the beginning fellow punching bag, Rudolf Sobszak to whom she confided her entire life into, and would never give up. So much so that on days they contemplated the world they decided to hell with it and would run away, far away from Ireland and rules and find a place to be on their own. It was obvious that they wouldn't find a lasting family, and with the horror of murder sprung on them it would likely never happen, so when she was fourteen they ran away. Or tried to. The law got caught up with Rudolf and Alice snuck onto the boat herself. Waiting for him to come, but as it set off from the docks she knew that she likely lost her best friend forever. The boat was headed to America, and from there she tried to find her place in the world no matter how broken her own head was.

*****

When she first landed in Delaware she did anything and everything to fend for herself. And on a night she got particularly hurt, it was none other than her sister, Samantha, who came to her aid. At first happy, Alice soon realized the horror of the revelation, that that was not the sister she remembered. Her little sister was one of them, she was a monster. Sam refused to tell Alice what truly happened that night and why she was a demon.  And out of hate, betrayal, grief, and sorrow, Alice banished her sister, told her to never come near her, again and disowned her. Ending the loving relationship of the girl who drove her mad from never giving up hope that her sister was still alive.

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She departed with her sister with a few words,"Sam, ya better hightail yer ass back to Hell 'cause if I get me hands on ya I'll do worse." Sam tried to change her mind, tried to make Alice take her back but Alice stabbed her instead. Sam disappeared, and Alice left with more hate than she ever had for someone before. This plummeted Alice into a world of loneliness. The big question of why and how very nearly taking her over. She would find out. But she could trust only herself. And anyone who tried to change her mind? Kill them all. Monsters and humans alike.

It didn't take long for her to get noticed by many people. One, in particular, being the Hunter Society for a teenage girl who was taking down vampires herself. One man was sent to find her by the name of Jorgan Belikov. It took him a few times but eventually, he subdued her and brought her to the HSHQ where he gave her the ultimatum that would forever change her life. Join the Hunter Society, become a hunter with a cleared name and a clean slate to live off of; put that anger and strength into a reason to live and fight not just for herself but for others that suffered the same sort of terror she did as a child in losing her family, or lie endlessly in her madness and likely die from her stubborn ego.

Rightfully, Alice chose to become a Hunter. And from there Jorgan personally trained her, she passed and heightened in ranks then as soon as her 18th birthday she became a full-fledged hunter. And continues to do that to this day.

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Have you ever loved someone so much that you want to rip their heart out? Welcome to Alice-Land. Having had her sister turn herself into a demon really put the psycho into the hunter. And a good reason. Alice put the tears and time into endlessly worrying about her little sister, and suddenly when she finally comes to her she was a fucking demon the entire time. That put a new level of hate in Alice. Not only was her sister chilling with the enemy, she never did a damn thing to recognize that they killed her parents and left her big sister stranded in an insane asylum. So what a better way to fill the anger than to murder the person who caused it? Alice is out for blood with Samantha, and won't drop dead until she is dead. This is a reason why Alice fights so that one day she can be strong enough to kill her sister. Both in heart and body.

Currently, Alice has a lead on Sam. She had been at a war with herself on if she was going to kill her little sister or not. It's a thought that brings a strange sense of peace as well as fear. Can she kill her only living relative? Minus the fact that she is a monster? Either she can end Samantha O'Malley, or find a reason for her.

 

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 3824633715?profile=RESIZE_710xAlice was the definition of crazy, so it would be easy that she herself looked the part. Alice got her mother's chocolate brown hair genes and her father's brown eyes; she is a cutie with an attitude of a Tasmanian devil. She has a healthy body, standing at the height of 5'5, Alice is slim and toned from her training and battles she couldn't be happier with herself at the weight of 125lbs. She changes her head of brown wavy ringlet hair often, going for colors that make her pop. Currently, her hair is silver; it has grown and continues to grow from the holy presence of the goddess. Along with the healthy head of hair, she also doesn't allow herself to miss a beat. She eats healthy to maintain a good and strong body and hair.

As far as clothing goes Alice is not at all shy about letting people know her dripping good looks. She has a body and she wields it, putting a cloth on it only amplifies it. She sports skinny jeans, leather, hoodies, boots, whatever she likes. You'll rarely find her in a dress though she is not opposed to wearing them if she feels sexy enough that day or if the occasion calls for it. Her choice of colors are always often dark. And for an odd reason that her birthday month is near Halloween, she enjoys the scent of pumpkin spice. She is always doused in the smell and carries it with pride. She's not scared to be a girl and refuses to wear dresses, high heels, or make-up. She's more than happy with herself to know that whatever she does that she's going to look hot while doing it. As far as piercings go her belly button has a simple silver ball and diamond.

 *****

6567044052?profile=RESIZE_584xAlice has two tattoos. One of an 'anti-possession tattoo' on her wrist. Then a swirl pattern tattoo from her right hip to the top of her back. The tattoo is a symbol, every hunter has it. Each is different and their own design, but each means the same. It's for honor, it's for protection, and as long as it's there, it's to now that each hunter is each other's family. They protect each other and they love each other. They fight to live, they live to protect.

 The tattoo itself is coated in magic. Used from the blood of supernaturals it has many different wards and hexes to prevent harm to come to the hunters. The higher the level of the hunter, the more warding for different sorts of monsters. Alice has most of them and some. Being the rank that she's at she has lots of warnings, able to feel a tingle from the certain blood that is connected to the particular monster.

Even Alice is not without scars. Through her hunting, she has managed some scrapes and bruises, but none that are as deep as the one ones made by a demon. Alice has three diagonally parallel gashed scars on her back. They reach from the back of her left shoulder to the end of her right shoulder blade. Another being a still tender round scar in the middle top of her right hand as well as her palm. Her back one was received by a demon attacking her, and the hand by an angel blade.

Page-Divider.png4356043.png6223255654?profile=RESIZE_400xAlice has an interesting personality. She's quick to anger but quick to help anyone who calls for it. Being a hard head she does not go down with anything without a fight. Sadly this could be bad for the other if they bump her wrong that day. She has a hard time trusting people. To see how she is that day it frankly depends on what side the person gets on, and how she woke up that morning. Alice is unpredictable, cocky, loud, and atrociously proud. She is guarded, headstrong, stubborn as hell and easily agitated if she is triggered. She can be sweet or deadly. Having her as a friend is a bittersweet feeling. Foul-mouthed and bitter most the time, she gets annoyed with humanity rather quickly because in her mind she has no limits if she's pushed she will go all out.

 Once she is used to a person enough to open up, one can find that she is silly, rather mellow, and a jokester. She's a down to earth person who thinks greatly of life and what people think of it around her. She's even got a caring side. No ones really took the time to see that part of her, so it is still a mystery. Especially with the matter that she was born a Scorpio, but true to nature she is a Leo.

||Likes: Sushi, Outer space, Scary Movies, Tea, Cats, Rainy Days, classic 80's music.| Dislikes: People with bad breath, people in general, You.||

 

 

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Alice is insane. As explained many times before, but what is the total extent to that? What makes her insane? Well, when she was taken away that day to the mental institution they tried to calm her down, thinking that she was the one who had done it but she was putting the blame on 'monsters'. They put Alice into a mental institution to try and help her with her vivid imagination, but the more they did that the more she realized that they could not be trusted. Explaining her story only made it worse. She started to lose herself. She became a loose cannon. Becoming violent and dangerous she would hurt whoever told her that she was wrong and harmed whoever tried to come close. She followed this up to her current age and is not good at getting along with people for that matter.

Alice suffers from antisocial personality disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and bipolar disorder (which causes her to suffer episodes of manic depression). She is also sociopathic, has chronic anger, and minor ADHD. She will get hit by anxiety from time to time as well to top it all off.

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♥♥♥: As far as relationships go, Alice hasn't even made it past first base. She's a workaholic, who has time for affection and romance when the world is plagued by monsters? Alice isn't easy to tie down nor does she want to be. She's too selfish and emotionally damaged to care about anyone else. But there are ways; you just have to learn how to handle her.

|| Status: The Ultimate Single. || Interests: One numpy fookin' cat. ||

"I'll never lose meself, cause I never lose."

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[Back]

*****

4358085.png6223614891?profile=RESIZE_584xAlice has a strong set of wit as well as skills about her. Training at the HSHQ was nothing sweet and innocent. Alice put blood sweat and tears into her training and it was a lot of hard work. In her time there Alice became highly skilled in martial arts and hand to hand combat (she is particularly skilled in the art of assassination, having mastered arts such as karate, judo, boxing, wrestling and many styles of kung fu, incorporating gymnastics and acrobatics into her fighting style as she battles monsters), she also possesses computer hacking skills (she can hack into most computer systems without tripping any firewalls or security), skilled marksman (well versed in conventional firearms and has an uncanny knack for using miscellaneous hand-held objects as projectile weapons, and a sharpshooter) and ability to process lots of information in a short time (she studies for fun, learning all she can about a monster and what makes them tick. Finding weak spots on how to kill them and what they are as a whole.)

  *****
Inventory wise Alice will almost always have her backpack with her. A leather bag with various departments on it. In there could be pistol bullets, hex bags, first-aid kit, clothing, as well as a couple of explosives for just in case situations. Lots of things that she has made herself but mostly she will pack it with things that are needed for her hunt. Always with her, she will be wearing her combat boots which have departments in them for her items. In her left boot is her wooden stake which she has many of them. In her right is her dagger. Her dagger is a jagdkommando integral tri-dagger. The dagger itself is fully silver and is blessed periodically.

 Keepsakes:

Over the course of years, Alice has been given things that she just cannot part with. As a child, she was given a red leather-bound book that she's filled with her upbringing in the Hunter Society as well as monsters that she's encountered or studied. Along these lines, she was given a Christmas gift being a mug given to her by Kei. Along those lines there's also a necklace she gave him, she having the other side.

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I7iedRR.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710xOne hunt gone wrong changed the entire outcome of Alice's life forever.

Alice and Jason were in Egypt going after some supposed unresting spirits that were beginning to trouble the people. Only when they got there they found out that it was an ancient lost pyramid they were going to, not only that but it was a long since hidden third one that had had been undocumented and undisturbed since the time of the gods that had sunken deep below the Earth's crust. People found it after tunneling and in the process broke a few things. What they broke was important though they did not know that or why the spirits were so angry, as though they wished to get out... or to keep something in. 

Bring in Alice, Jason, a witch named Bobbet, Egyptian brothers Vaabren and Jabari, and the Egyptian soldier Jethro who were to go in and solve the reason for the spiritual disturbances. While they all attempted to clear the dust persae they ended up getting trapped inside and unwillingly forced on the path of the Book of the Dead where they would have to fight for their mortal souls. All the supernatural forces were against them, be it Apep who attempted to kill them, being falsely judged by the goddess Ma'at who threw them down to the Hellish levels of the pyramid to be judged by Anubis himself. 

With one already dead Anubis took Bobbet and Jason and judged their lives. One passed, while Jason died. All along it was a plan by Bastet, the Cat Goddess in order to gain a host; who came in the form of Alice who gave herself up to allow Jason to live again. 

Upon waking up from it, Alice realized her mistake, that her body was no longer her own. It is something that she is still coping with, and not entirely happy with herself about, either. She has noticed some things that have changed about herself. Be it her ability to hear and see better. Her body is far more flexible, and senses peaked. More things unveil themselves, and she might never be happy about it until she learns to accept the Goddess and the gifts that come with her.

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3716982529?profile=RESIZE_710xAt times, the goddess will make herself present, switching to control Alice's body and do as she pleases. Bastet presents herself with a high head and an even higher ego. She fancies formalities and pet names as well as cavity worthy tea and sweets. The tail-tale signs that she is present is the change of Alice's brown eyes to Bastet's blue. Along with her softer voice and loss of the Irish accent. She finds most things amusing and finds the lack of worship of humans to her most infuriating. She adores loud clothing, cats, and being doted on (even if most of it is commanded by her in the first place.) Not entirely lost to the current world from watching the world through her children's eyes, she understands most of it. Technology and most modern things still baffle her and she finds great fun by figuring it out. Curiosity killed the cat after all.

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She's not all heartless, well. She probably is actually.

Affiliations:

  • 7443478074?profile=RESIZE_584xJason (Grasshopper): Oh look, a kitty that she can't kill. (Though she has tried. Twice.) Alice can fully admit that Jason is her best friend. He's been there more than others and taken as many hits as she can throw and he's still around. She trained him to be a Hunter, and it was a hell of a year for them while they did it. He learned several morals and lessons. In the meantime, he was teaching something else to Alice that she thought not possible, the ability and want to care for someone. For him. He's her closest friend, and frankly as of now the only person that holds a personal key to her heart. While She might not accept it right now due to how terrified she is to accept her feelings in the first place, she allows him to stick around. Not that he would willingly want to leave anyway. It's hard to shake the cat. Honestly, Alice doesn't want to.

 

  • Samantha Megra O'Malley 6543078657?profile=RESIZE_584x(Hacket): Alice's younger sister. Taken as a kid by hooded figures, she underwent a traumatic and traumatizing experience and came out a demon. Unaware of her whereabouts and honestly terrified of them, Alice tracks her sister to kill her when the time comes. Strangely enough, there is a hidden truth to why she was taken by demons and why her parents were killed. She refuses to tell Alice outright, but it is another reason why Alice must find her. 

 

  • 4887831469?profile=RESIZE_180x180Agnes (Miss Skellington): The daughter of her best friend, and the killer to Alice's one and only accepted father figure. For the longest time, Alice was angry about it. She took that anger out on Agnes in several ways as far as killing her to torturing her, to locking her in the HSHQ for a year to get her head back right on her shoulders. Alice doesn't like to say that she cares for Agnes. Yet the actions she's done to protect and make Agnes see wrong in the path that she had taken in life. She hopes that Agnes can find a path to be proud of.

  • 497924566?profile=RESIZE_180x180The HSHQ: Alice is ranked in a high spot for her sheer determination as well as knowledge and skill to get the job done without letting feelings get into it. She's a killing machine, and they know that. They love her for her talents but hate for her lack of remorse. She loves them and treats them, and any other hunter with respect until proven otherwise.

  • rhqTCgs.gif?profile=RESIZE_710xApollo (Q-Tip): Any vampire is bad news. Q-tip here is no better, possibly just better company. If he is a means to an end then so be it, but Alice can't deny that she finds some strange interest in him. Be it he looks like a bloody Q-tip with that bleached head of his or that he challenges her, and well, she challenges him right back. She doesn't need him around but perhaps the fact that they fought together there is some found respect there, but only time can tell how far it will go and how many threads are pulled to unravel the true secret to their past and relationship.

  • 127533021?profile=RESIZE_180x180Neseva (Kid): Alice sees Neseva as a necessary evil. You can't live with her or without her. Alice grew up with Nes and now views her as a good friend and partner after having trained her and in turn graduating her into the line of being a Hunter. Nes is thin and frail but packs a punch in being able to read minds. Alice enjoys her, sometimes, others she wants to rip her head off, but she's one of the closest friends the huntress has and intends to keep her.

  • 3716804611?profile=RESIZE_710xRudolf (Red): Alice was twelve when she met Rudy at the Saint John of God Mental Hospital in Ireland. It was a pleasant meeting of cursing and fighting that raged on until they eventually settled their differences and decided to become friends. From there, the two became inseparable and no one at the asylum would dare try and take them apart either. They were two peas in a pod, one half to another; they'd kill for each other if they had to. One day, when the life of being a foster kid became too much they decided to run away. Sadly, when Alice was at the boat ready to go, Rudy was not. He'd gotten held up and the two ended up becoming separated for the first and last time. At the current moment, it is unknown where he is, but Alice hopes that wherever he is that he is living a better life than they had as tweens.

Page-Divider.png4358185.pngAlice is a clean-freak.
Stylish on her clothing choices, she tends to stay pretty while being deadly.
She's a monster nerd. (Has a big book of supernaturals she writes in to better know them.)
She would love to have a pet cat but with her hunting it's impossible.
She loves midnight swims.
She fears one day she may be put back into the asylum.
She is oddly nice to other hunters until they piss her off.
She's practically asexual. But it's best to say she's demisexual.
Kids freak her out.

She has a photographic memory.

All the songs on her page represent her, her attitude and her all-out thoughts on life.

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Blogs:

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

"Why'd Ya Have To Go?"

[Bonus: Sam POV]

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Credits for references go to Supernatural, The Fever Series, and the Bloodline Series. A lot of others might be thrown in but those are the main spots.
Been Roleplaying since 2008; trust me I know what I'm doing.
Alice Danyel O'Malley© is copyrighted. Every personal detail of her has come out of my head, as well as any other characters I decide to bring in.
Alice D. O'Malley is portrayed by Lauren Calaway. I do not own her. But the pictures I edited, credit goes to me.
My go-to voice actress for Alice is Sarah Greene. I do not own her.

I am slightly selective in the sense that I reply to what I have more inspiration for first. But I do eventually get to all of them.

As The Co-Owner:
Feel free to joke, bullshit, or complain to me about anything that is going on with the site. I am happy to help and here for the people, or just a shoulder to laugh or cry on.

That being said, le rules:
1. Don't rush me
2. Expect mature writing
3. Stuff, I guess, I dunno. Don't be a creep
4. Enjoy

_____

Threads [Open]:

| Jason |  |

| Apollo [Inbox] | |

| Dracula| 

|Open | - |

Open | - 

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Key: Replied: • | Owe: ○ | Intermission: ◙/◘

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[Updated: October 19th]

☕☕☕

_____

A case and point to add also is that I have a few other accounts on here as well. I cycle through replies for each account most of the time according to when they were sent. That being said, I work two jobs. I am free to reply at night most days of the week, but fully free Thursday-Sunday, you can expect replies in these timeframes.

__________________________________________________________

I am open to new roleplay threads

Threads are Selective/Open


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  • There was no time for Robin to offer up any sort of answer to her question as to why he choose to help her, no momentary reprieve from the madness surrounding them, because just as he grasped for words to say the thick wooden door separating him and her from the iron fist of the chief finally began to cave in, as enough continuous force had been placed upon it that cracks had begun to show, spreading outwards over its surface like a wicked spider web. And these crevices only deepened and split further and further away from one another as more and more brutish strength was thrown against it, until the door was visibly bulging inwards pushing up into the bookshelf which had been tipped over, it now leaning against the door while its bottom was up against the wall. Not for long however, as this too began immediately to buckle and bend until finally, in a cacophony of pangs and cracks, both wooden objects were smashed inwards in a violent explosion of wooden splinters as the man rammed head first like some frenzied bull.

    The chiefs entire massive frame was now encased on all sides with planks and wood, and here and there nails had dug deep into flesh, yet he seemed to pay it no mind, or even showing signs that his mind had registered the injuries because he simply took a step back, allowing the mess to gather at his feet while he stood tall, his head only an inch away from the ceiling and a few slabs of wood sticking to him.

     

    In his hand was what remained, a handle made out of brass which was twisted and bent like clay by his grasp, which clearly was anything but human. 

    “May I come in?” He said, mockingly, and with a wide grin plastered on to his lips as the object rolled casually out of his fingers and landed on the floor with a metallic thud.

    He sighed, and brushed himself clear of small wooden shards, save perhaps a few lodged still in his burly black beard, and removed with a sickeningly cracking noise a wooden plank that had stuck to his skull by way of a iron nail, inch deep into the cranium.

     

    “The Lord has given you a chance to repent for your crimes against him...” he began, taking a step forward that caused the floor to quake and the boards to move about.

    “You turned your back once to him, and he graciously offers you clemency by way of simply guarding this filth while he visits with Kakistos. Yet you now what, having finally found the right hole to stick your dick in? Pathetic little man. Why ever you should have the gift of immortality, and not me...why it will remain a mystery to me.” Another step, now soon within an arm's distance from Robin. 

    “I will perhaps have the village men have their way with your newfound woman, oh they would slobber very much like ravenous dogs, and in their giddiness rip her into tiny pieces.” He mused, looking now directly at her, still very much smiling.



    “You won’t fucking touch her.” Robin shot at him, hoping to God the woman had enough sense to do what he was about to tell her.

    “ALICE. RUN! I’ll catch up to you, just GO!”” He yelled suddenly, throwing the first punch. And as the knuckle made contact with the lower chin of this beast of a man, a wave of hurt spread out from there and it felt as though he’d shattered every bone in his hand. 

    Now perhaps if the sun had been down, then maybe Robin would have had use of his full power, but as it was...he was half a vamp.

    He could hold him off, maybe, just maybe...long enough for Alice to escape. And if he made enough noise, the approaching villagers who no doubt were on their way would hopefully converge around him and leave a window of escape for her. Maybe, just maybe.

  • "That part doesn't get old," Jason murmured almost as an afterthought on his breath. His age hadn’t fully paused until the last of his nine lives when the curse became flexible and control was in his hands… over everything but the point in time his body would lie. Immortality was understood in the demon’s mind, at least, it was until he might hit the century mark that first time around. It wasn't like he had kept enough people around in his life to watch them pass him by though, no. His father had been one of the few old ghosts he still knew from his youth, and the most shocking to his system. It reminded him of everything he had missed in those years after he had walked out the door one night when he was young. Agnes’ sudden appearance in her teens was another story altogether, and not far from his mind that evening. 

    What about her?

    The thought alone of what’s next? had him studying Alice on occasion ever since they had left the HS paintball field. Something had changed whether he could place it or not. Everything they had been through warranted it enough. Knowing that the goddess he had encountered firsthand that was dormant somewhere in there was another thing altogether. He could never read her mind, and just when he thought he could read her actions, he was no longer so sure. Jason shook aside the topic for the sake of searching the menu of what sounded good for the evening out he’d never expected to take in the first place. The beer in front of him was taking his attention away on occasion for a sip before he’d set it down. Their cheerful waitress seemed ever-pleased with Alice’s presence, which was all the more helpful with keeping him in the moment. A part of him was still one step away from a bottle of bourbon and another unanticipated breakdown; he was better off in his seat in the restaurant than sulking in a hotel room or burying himself in the thoughts.

    That was, until the table erupted into the abrupt chaos that it was sending the waitress gasping, Alice choking, tea flying, and Jason flinching on the other end of the table to it all, trying to get his gloomy train of thought back up to speed. The music and game playing in the background faded in the moment, where he would have thought it impossible when they first walked in.

    What had he said? Or was it the waitress? Jason was looking back and forth from the bar area to their table like it would give reasoning out of thin air. He was left eyeing the table and waiting for Dee to scurry from the table to go process it in her own space behind a kitchen door somewhere.

    The snap of Alice came from Jason’s questioning soon enough, but it was a risk he’d been willing to take for long enough now. His lips pursed, while blues watched on with skepticism while Alice pulled herself back together both physically and mentally. He didn’t blame her for snapping when the question was borderline prompt. Maybe he’d been around her long enough by now, or maybe he was wary enough that he’d never seen something like that come from her. Jason was quiet, even drinking to it for a moment when he brought the pint up once more and cleared his throat with it. Meanwhile, his thoughts still spun on the matter that wasn’t his own, which left him calmer than his dwelling had been earlier that evening. Her facial expressions as she thought it over after were just as precarious as they came and went.

    The apprehension and questioning that kept his brow furrowed released, and it showed on the man’s face. Blue hues softened in intensity just a tad. Her answer didn’t mean the questions were any simpler nor any easier to go asking, but the woman’s tone wasn’t the growl that had been. 

    Rodan O’Malley… Hollene O’Malley. Alicenne O’Malley. 

    He tested the ring of it in his thoughts, he was imagining blurry silhouettes at best. The ghost of a frown tugged at his lips as he remembered just who else was missing from that picture. Jason cleared his throat. “I know you don’t talk much about it, and… I know I wouldn’ blame you. It ain’t easy when it's not a happy ending.” Jason glanced down to the table briefly where a ring of condensation had been left from his mug.”-And I know it's none of my business, but I’m listening if you want to talk about it.”

  • What was this… acceptance? From her? Change had always been an open challenge met with the heels of her boots dug in for as long as he had known Alice. Something about her tone kept his eyes glued to her when she spoke. He was looking for what he recognized, and what he didn’t.

    “There’s nothing to lose,” Jason echoed her words just as simply. He knew that one by heart from times he hadn’t appreciated the fact, up till now. Despite all hell, he was still there. He wasn’t about to bring up the drawbacks of it now; his mind was on something entirely different for that matter. Things were different. Things were possible that might have never been, and he had his favored things among that list. Aside from those thoughts weighing heavy on his head and heart, there was curiosity. How different? How far did that vision of hers go? What else could there be from the goddess? A wayward glance to his once bloodied hand was made to the thought. It all came with an answer that tested Jason’s patience over and over: only time would tell. 

    It was the first time they had spoken of it since the incident in Egypt. If they were going to, it might as well be on Alice’s terms. Jason knew he had far less ground to stand on and no stance he could rightfully justify whether the damage caused underground had been done inadvertently or not. “You’re still you. At least, to me you are. I don’t think any amount of change could change that.” He left the statement right there at the door of the pub. Whether it was to be brushed off or not? He had said it. Nothing to lose after all, right?

    -/-

    The jovial music once inside had a way of shedding those thoughts. The booth welcomed them and drinks were ordered promptly by either, sending their waitress off and leaving them with the main menu to decide. Had he eaten today? He couldn’t remember that morning, and he knew he hadn’t following the pit in his stomach from the visit. The menu was picked up with a blank expression for a moment as he traced back how the hell he had ended up here of all places after it. Jason’s thoughts hadn’t processed earlier, let alone had they now, so he left it be and gave the menu a second sweep, this time catching the words on the page. 

    When drinks were delivered, he knew it beat the atmosphere of the sterile hotel bar he had tried to hull up in not long before. If the last few years had taught the cat anything, he was better off occupied. An empty hotel room did no more good to him than the city had those years prior. The thought dwelled in the back of his head but wouldn’t slow him down any when he went to take a drink and set the mug back down again. It took him back to a bar years ago. “Fine, have your plant water then,” was what he had told her so brazenly back when he was half the man, and if there was anything that wasn’t going to change about Alice (Bastet-be-damned), it was that.

    “I’ll do the shepherd’s pie with a side of colcannon. Potato bites for an appetizer,” Jason responded. He had scrapped the fish and chips order from his list while the woman lit up to Alice's tone. Something new wouldn’t kill him, at least not with food.

    The white noise around the restaurant had been drowned out since entering when the music greeted and his attention was on the pint he was raising to his lips once more. The longer they sat there the more the inside was coming to life, from glasses being jostled in the back to what was playing on the TV’s at the bar. Then, there was the man’s holler. He didn’t think much of it at first with his head turned to take another sweep around the room. He set the pint back down on the table and-

    His eyes snapped back to the table and widened from the sound that escaped the Huntress across from him. His attention was stuck on her while he processed what had just happened for sure, flickering a glance from the mug, back to Alice, and once or twice to the waitress that seemed just as shocked as he was at what the last five seconds entailed. Jason was on standby as he watched the two go back and forth, his brow knitting together while the waitress was consoled to leave her be. His gaze chose to follow their server back to the bar for a moment while she sorted herself out, studying what the disturbance had been.

    “Hey... you alright?” Jason pried once the storm of it had passed and he shifted to see her gaze down on the table. A hand coiled around his glass for the time being with a forearm propped on the table’s edge.

     

  • “You don’t hit once when you meet the pavement, y’know that right?” The corner of his mouth tugged for a humorless smirk but he wouldn’t refute it any further when he knew he was getting on the damned bike. It fell into the ‘old demons’ category. He knew how certain types of trauma felt firsthand, and he didn’t have to use his imagination for this one when apprehension was giving him all the time to process that he needed. Fuck it, so he did or didn’t. She was driving after all, it wasn’t him.

    The man’s saving grace from true panic was not being able to see the speedometer. It wouldn’t have changed his stakes regardless, but holding on and keeping his hopes for a stable ride were better left without any numbers to startle. It wouldn’t stop his heart pounding, or how strangely time seemed to pass on the back of the bike without a signal for where they were or how long it had been. The closest he would have was counting the cars that they would streak past, if only he had kept a count, to begin with. What the hell was it about everything he didn’t trust? Was it her, or the bike? The traffic that they were weaving through with one car passed after another? It could have been his own fears of mishap that kept him human, despite how many times he was discouraged that it mattered.

    Regardless, his pulse rang through, likely to be picked up by her senses with the pounding of his heart likewise while the bike’s engine did nothing but drown it out. It brought adrenaline that was better spent once the tires had started to slow, and he could register where their drive had even left them. His heart was still pounding. He felt the numbness that was endorphins working their way through his system following the ride. He felt the high by the time the bike settled and he glanced up to none other than the Irish pub’s sign looming overhead. Had he missed that in his haze of thoughts earlier? Had he not been listening to her? Regardless he stared up at it incredulously now, like he couldn’t expect anything from the rest of the day after the visit to the Dawn Greene Hospice.

    “A test, huh? Of the bike or was it your driving?” Jason mused aloud like it even mattered. He was back to his old smart ass responses like the thrill of the ride had brought it back out of him, pulling him from the depression of a hotel bar or whatever else could have been. It felt good no matter how many times he worried about the bike’s angle or the speed; his heart was pounding and his chest was lifted of the heaviness he couldn’t let go of mere hours before. It was a sense of ease he might have never achieved on his own, and it was a hard fact to dwell on, should he later on. The night could have taken him anywhere; because he was with her, it had taken him here.

    His head canted toward the pub then after she spoke, the grin of sorts still on his face, bringing a liveliness to it that hadn’t been there before. “They probably have a burger or two on the menu… I’ll give it to you.” Promise granted indeed, not that he’d be taking her up on it. A burger at a pub seemed like a crime, so long as there were other options. That was a touch of growth if anything was; he’d broadened his horizons with food at every step of the way. By the time she pulled a leg up and over the bike, Jason seemed to settle into the seat for a moment before he shifted to do the same. His legs felt weak for the moment from growing accustomed to the ride but got back under him soon enough. He watched the leather top leave Alice’s shoulders and with surprise, she had what she had been wearing before handy on the bike and ready to be switched out. Little more than unbuttoning the denim jacket was done, sliding it off his shoulders to rest under an arm for the meantime.

    -/-

    “I might even like it,” Jason prompted with a quirk of his brow her way, not bothering on subtlety when both their attention was turned toward the door soon enough. His weight rolled off his heels by the time it was time to get walking, heading toward the front door of the busy pub that was already humming with activity from the exterior. The smell of warm cooked food and the glow of the interior matched the sound that had come from the outside once the door was pushed open, the inside clad with decorations to the theme, from clovers down to the green and orange display of the flags hung proudly. He felt his stomach respond within moments of stepping through the threshold, finding sudden relief at where the bike had stopped that evening. 

    They wouldn’t be left to glance around for long before their hostess was on their way to the front with a pep in her step that couldn’t be matched and an enthusiasm that Jason couldn’t even fake on a good day. A booth awaited them soon enough as they trailed past the young woman toward the seating, giving a wayward glance to the bustle at the bar none too far away before their hostess stopped and offered up a booth with menus set out for them. Jason picked a side and let himself slide into the seat, dropping his jacket a little further in. He settled for a moment before looking to the menu. 

    A smaller folded menu was picked up first and scanned over, searching for something of familiar that the bar would offer. Ride or not, he hadn’t left his mood towards drinking behind. “I’ll have Smithwick’s, in a pint.” The menu was abandoned afterward, and he watched the woman skip off to who-knows-where after taking the order.

  • “That’s advice for people with boring lives, ain’t it?” Jason retorted, but it was a hollow sentiment to be lost by the wind if even that was listening to it. He was at the mercy of the ride and whether or not she had handled a bike like this ever before before. He knew better than to question, but could anyone blame the wondering once they were looking at the upper end of the speedometer? One he should have been glad he couldn’t see. 

    If the city had anything to offer for a Hunter or supernatural, it was cover. The freeway was no different with enough cars to detour a follower, working to Alice’s advantage and Jason’s nightmares alike as the bike banked ever so slightly on each maneuver to put one side or another closer to the road. The maneuvers felt drastic when he was waiting for the impact on each one while Alice handled her driving like it was no different than movements all her own. He was waiting to hear the sirens nonetheless, knowing she wouldn’t stop if there were and wondering just what happened then. Just how much could a Hunter get away with, where did the limits lie anyway? Not here, if there were any.

    How long had it been? It was one of those instances where time had been lost in his panic and he sure as hell couldn’t tell where they were now without the landmarks in clear vision. All he had were the flashes and the sounds as each car was passed, some with the blaring of horns that faded off into the distance quicker than he could have expected. When an ample amount of time had passed without a death-causing instance, by some miracle he could start to feel his anxiety level out even as his clinging and heart-racing wouldn’t. He wanted to trust she would get them thereHe was a fool to get comfortable even for a second.

    The moment the bike’s balance shifted Jason was clinging with a death grip, holding his breath like even that could offset their ride and send them across the pavement. She was fucking insane, wasn’t she? It was a theory he’d held all along but it took occasions like this to remind himself of who he was dealing with. The laughter ahead of him was the only thing he’d hear clearly over the humming of the engine that was being pushed at every turn. The bike slammed back down and Jason’s body behind her seemed to jolt on its own, his nerves not finding relief to the fact when maybe they should have.

    Coming down from the speed was a different feeling altogether. It took them actually reaching the parking lot before his arms let go, and possibly even Alice’s boots catching the concrete before they slipped away entirely, his hands resting on either side of her waist with an ache to them he didn’t remember before getting on the bike.

    The helmet had been shed after a moment or so of stillness where he could still feel movement if he thought about it. He took it in his left hand and swept his hair back into some type of order with the right. “Yeah, sure...” Jason responded with a breath that was in progress, heartrate still at its peak that might diminish with the return of some color to his face. Bright blues looked as if they had seen a ghost that might as well have been his own. If there had been any sorrow on his face walking out from the hotel, it was replaced by a residual fear that was as good of a sign as any that he was living. If his head ever stopped spinning it might even turn back to adrenaline, who knew. 

    He took the time to breathe and gather the surroundings that had been granted back to him. Jason’s hues went from the flick of her braid being freed back into a mane, to the parking lot of the building that had a sense of activity coming from what he could see of the windows. What it was clicked in his head just a moment after, and he leaned back himself on the bike just ever so slightly and let a laugh leave his chest that was a pure sound. It was one part relief and the other part amusement to the pub’s sign lingering overhead. “Still breathing… and I see what the rush was,” Jason teased  It could have been the adrenaline, or his nerves finally calling it quits. It might’ve been the fact that it was the most Alice thing that she could have done that afternoon.

  • A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth when he didn’t know quite what the right answer was. “You know I always do, doesn’t mean I always want to...” That was as close to the damn truth as he could get it. If Hell was their destination and she had her hand out, there was only so much restraint he had to stop from taking it and walking. Just like now, helmet in hand like a foreign object but he also wasn’t letting it go. Jason had little experience with street bikes. His driving record was slim and, while technically ‘safe’, still had a streak of recklessness to it that may never leave. Still. Something about the way she was perched with the full confidence he knew her for said he wouldn’t have to worry about driving anyway. Falling off, on the other hand, was a relevant and personal fear all his own.

    Those fears were… clouded, to say the very least. He hadn’t blinked more than necessary since finding her in the parking lot and from the bike to the outfit, there wasn’t a single thing that wasn’t new or polished. New bike, new hair, new Alice even at times… new to him, at least when she had surprised him on a few occasions now. Fuck it all to Hell, he was walking closer. The jacket found its way over his shoulders, should he be speaking the truth about the speed in-store, and the helmet was secured after a moment’s pause whether he felt it would do him any good or not. Jason drew in a breath and slid down to take a seat on the bike. Best behavior, he thought, but it was a hollow one to be had. He was going to fall right off for his own reasons, if they didn’t get moving.

    Soon enough they were leaving the parking lot behind and to his surprise, without the peel out his head had expected following letting his thoughts run rampant. His arms went around her when they picked up some speed on the street, loosely in comparison to what was coming. The Manhattan streets flew by even at their current speed, the traffic not given near the luxury of keeping up with the bike that could weave as it liked. How it would handle the highway was another worry altogether as they headed for the tunnel.

    “-Y’know you were a goddess before it, you just wouldn’t believe me,” Jason spoke up loud enough to be heard, whether he’d registered those fine-tuned senses of hers yet or not. Would she have to put up with his shouting in contrast for the rest of their days or would he learn in time? Meanwhile, he was listening thereafter with an ominous feeling settling in his chest that change was around the corner. “You’ve got yourself soundin’ more like a cat than me, O’Malley!” Jason mused from behind with a hint of anxiety to its pitch, and it was bound to be the last of his humor once the throttle was given another hard jolt, kicking it up another ten miles per hour with each turn.

    He could start to imagine the bike’s wobbling. Like every breath could cause it, every wrong tilt, Alice would feel the man lean in heavier as his arms tightened. The drumming in his chest was on the rise at a less-than-comfortable rate, and hell knew it was a blessing in disguise that he couldn’t see the odometer anyway. Fuck. There wasn’t a person in this world he wouldn’t call a bluff from but her, and there he was clinging to the Huntress with all the regret that he had left the hotel room (the bar, even). He was trying to keep his heart in his chest and his eyes off the speeding sets of headlights that moved in slow motion beside them and occasionally in front as she took to the other side of the freeway lines like they were hers for the taking.

    “Alice- fucking hell!?” Jason shouted when a maneuver felt a touch too close for his poor nerves that hadn't acclimated one bit. He finally let some of the breath he was holding in leave his chest to the anxious tune of ‘please don’t fucking kill me’ as the landscape around them moved too swiftly to process. It was fear, genuine fear where he didn't fear his death but feared the process of dying itself. Instinctively there was no fathoming the crash at this point, just waiting for it and clinging to her just about as tight as the outfit was, in hopes that she knew what she was doing.

  • He caught view of her soon enough and directed his wandering towards the back of the parking lot where speculative eyes were already trying to pick apart what he was seeing. Trying was the keyword; if only he could get his brain past just what he saw and what his thoughts were saying about it. His expression was blank for a good moment as his eyes trailed from the hair she’d just done up, to the outfit that was a bit more than what he’d even expect out of hunting attire or her in general. Maybe a few sweeps to be fair, like he might not see her put something on as close to her skin again. It kept his eyes on her until there were a few feet of distance between them. As if he’d spent too much time processing that, the bike she was propped against came next and begged twice as many questions. He didn’t know what the hell he was in for, but it looked like trouble to come. Hell, from the view, he had his own ideas in mind, that were better left in mind.

    “Looks like you did more with your time than I did, O’Malley,” Jason mumbled when he didn’t know what else to say about it. The last-name basis returned like it was a figurative step back from whatever she was scheming. he already questioned how much energy he had to spare. Whatever that would keep him from turning around and hulling back up in the hotel until the weekend was over… he was sure he’d find out.

    His eyes shifted to the bike’s seat behind her as she started speaking and it was starting to dawn on him what he was in for. They flitted back up when she swung a leg over to take a seat and his consciousness was shaking its own head. She didn’t give the option to speak or shake his head when she continued on, his eyes trailing over the bike once again… 218 miles an hour? He wouldn’t turn pale but his expression wasn’t thrilled either. The helmet was handed to him and he took it regardless for some reason.

    “You… want to drive to Hampton… on the fastest street bike you could find in the last few hours,” Jason’s brow was raised like he was still trying to process what he had walked out to. The insanity of it was off the charts, It was the last thing he could have expected. Still, he knew better than to doubt the wicked smile on the Huntress’ face when he saw it. The worst part was? He couldn’t find a valid enough excuse to say no, not quick enough, and nothing that would hold water when the key was in the engine, and the damn helmet was in his hand. 

    After a few solid seconds of nothing from the man, he still hadn’t answered but was slipping on the denim jacket over his shoulders. “Get us there in one piece, will ya?” It was Jason’s sigh of defeat, maybe even trust no matter how hesitant. He wasn’t inclined to heights anymore than the notion of tumbling horizontally off a moving vehicle at four times the speed limit. The helmet came next, buckled under his chin before he closed the gap to take a seat behind her on the narrow fender.

  • Following the moments after his promising, Jason let his eyes flicker down to the hand over his. He felt the weight of what he’d done, all the same, casting acknowledgment down to the marks he had left without any thought at all. Jason’s head nodded once or twice slowly. He didn’t know just what he needed but time as a start. “Thank you,” He started. His mouth seemed to open and close before he pursed his lips shut without deciding what came after it. “I’ll be fine.”

    Where burgers should have at least sparked some joy, Jason had turned to leave without another word. His hands found his pockets and his eyes kept to the sidewalk with no hurry on getting to his destination- not anymore in the least. Back to the room was the plan. What reality brought was a sudden left turn past the hotel lobby where the amber lights of the bar were waiting. He had caught an unsuspecting hotel worker on their way out of stocking the bar who stood up and seemed to give the man a once-over, bloody shirt and all. Whether his face was enough to tell a story or whether Jason had pulled bribery to get a drink in his hand? Who knew. Either way, he ordered something strong and what he thought might be the first of many. It took two glasses to start to feel warm enough to regulate his breathing and un-tense his shoulders. 

    Seldom did the man’s eye leave the countertop or the bottles across from it, lost in his thoughts and despair. On occasion, they traced the glass in his hand as the ice cubes settled long after he’d finished what was on the inside. His brow furrowed just as soon as his gaze traced over his knuckles for the first time closely since leaving Alice behind. Jason’s lips pursed. He knew what he had done, he had felt it. He knew how fast his body handled injury, so where was it..? His eyes traced the bruising left behind for a moment in silence and the drinks were losing their warmth by the minute.

    “...Jesus Christ,” Jason murmured under his breath quiet enough that his bartender wouldn’t look up. He Loosened his grip around the glass. His hand rose to rub his face and sweep his hair back in fatigue afterward. After a little while, he couldn’t shake the feeling. He knew she wouldn’t have wanted to see him there. It was nagging to turn a glance over his shoulder aimlessly as if he might see her, arms crossed with disdain. The thought was enough for his shoulders to slump forward as a heavy breath left his chest. He was losing it. What the fuck was he doing here? For the first time since walking in with his nose to the floor, the man looked around pitifully. Within the next few minutes, he decided. The glass was left empty on the counter with a bill underneath as he peeled himself off the bar seat and made his way back to the room.

    -/-

    When the door to their room shut Jason went in for a shower, coming out to a change of shirt from the one dappled with blood at its edge. Once out, a spot was taken up on the bed where he looked up to the ceiling and let the last couple hours play over and over like a broken film reel. He let his eyes close in between, letting go one by one all the remarks. The scenarios. Anything he could have thought about the meeting, and begrudgingly, anything he had suspected out of facing the man. His jaw tightened with every thought, the more reluctant he was to let these things pass. Some evoked tears that stung now tired eyes, while others curled his hands back into fists. It all put a dull ache in his chest he thought he had let go of long ago.

    Just as his eyes closed with a little more certainty, he heard the ring. When his run-in with Pam’s phone call was still fresh in his mind, Jason didn’t hesitate in seeking out his phone where he’d left it. “Hey.” It wasn’t the most enthusiastic sound, but at the least, it was calm on Jason’s end. He’d sat up groggily in his seat anticipating whatever came next. To his surprise, the call ended just as soon as it began. Pulling the phone from his ear, Jason stared at the timer for how many seconds had even passed.

    Although part of him debated, he wouldn’t make her drag him out. Jason pulled himself back onto his feet, grabbed his wallet, slipped on his shoes, and made his way down. The back door adjacent to the lobby was taken to navigate his way toward the parking lot, pulling himself together as he went. The doors pushed open and out Jason went. The white shirt had been replaced with a light blue one, the denim jacket carried in one hand as he went out.

  • The energy around the demon was as black as it could be for the time being. It was a feeling he had little experience in actually dealing with, when, half his life or more had been spent wearing it like a cloak over his shoulders. It was different now. He wasn’t who he had been years ago, and in ways he hadn’t fully figured out yet. That gave him the patience to still be standing there, even if he wasn’t sure where he’d go in broad daylight. His mind was on the next safe space: their room at the hotel, one that he’d at least get to close it comfortably unlike the ones he had just passed through.

    Alice’s presence was felt over his shoulder when the door opened; it had been long enough. What had held her up, anyway? He didn’t stop to think about it while he was charging out of the place. His eyes were still rimmed with red pitifully whether he was trying to move on from what caused it or not. With a tightness lingering in his chest he spat out his plans to follow: the only plan he really had at that point. 

    When his hand was taken, his fingers gave a flinch subconsciously. It might’ve been the sting of knuckles that were partially split after the impact, a tab of blood on the bottom of a white shirt testament that he had taken the time to look for himself. I could have been the tension in his body that was still reactive and looking to lash out. He wouldn’t. Not toward her, no matter the rage or grief he knew better. While Jason studied the grasp her hands took on his, he seemed avoidant of eye contact. When she spoke, he didn’t know what to say. For himself, for her. There was relief in the way that she carried on whether he answered or not.

    She had his attention when the question came, pulling his eyes upward slowly but surely whether they had a spark missing or not. Jason seemed to deliberate for a moment, pulling his eyes away briefly as he did so. Why? Few people had come around to talk him down when he needed it. They were foreign words to deal with and took a second to register. “I’ll... be fine. I just need some time.” He answered when he’d left her in silence for long enough. He wasn’t convinced but he needed time. Many of his worst actions had been a product of acting before he processed or fully come to peace with it. 

    His thoughts hadn’t slowed down since he charged out of the room the first time, and he was no more certain on what to do with them. This wasn’t anger or rage, it was grief. It was grief he needed to figure out how to carry when it was coming from old baggage he didn’t think could grow heavier. Bruised knuckles were a reminder again when her fingertips were felt tracing. He swallowed and looked up. “Yeah… I’ll be fine. I promise.”

  • The man was gone. He had been gone. The further Jason started to wrap his head around it, the less he could handle that information. It was like drawing in a breath all these years in preparation only to have it betray him when it left his chest. It wasn’t the sigh of relief he had hoped for or the gentle closing of a door that had nagged at the back of his mind after all those years. No, it didn’t close quietly nor gently, but it was closing nonetheless. There he was, trying to jam his foot into it with attempt after attempt, searching for something that simply wasn’t there. He didn’t see his father in front of him, he saw a shell. Now and then the determination in his eyes was something that could be imagined but that’s all it was.

    And so, the melody left Jason’s lips almost as unfamiliarly. He’d done his best, and that’s what he might tell himself by the time they’d leave the space. He’d done what he could. Would his mother have been proud of him? He wasn’t so sure with the way his last words had resonated with the woman so full of rage and spite, but that door was long, long shut. What was more? Jason couldn’t hold himself accountable for the misfortunes of the old man like Alan had always told him. The man was damned if he was there, and damned if he wasn’t.

    While Alice had reminisced in the space, making the best of the hell that Jason had dragged her into, the man was learning how to let go. It was time to leave, and he knew it. Still, it took a few minutes of being frozen in his seat trying to control what he was keeping back, what he didn’t want to outright give the man that wasn’t even in the room any longer. It didn’t matter what Jason wanted. When that breath he had been keeping in was finally let loose there was no stopping it. The man shook, and his lungs had forgotten how to breathe in the air when it all came rushing. 

    The next several minutes were spent crumpled over with his hands to his face as he worked to rein it in. His chest ached, but his breathing slowed from the haphazard sense it had been. He had wiped his cheeks enough to warrant getting out of the damned place without any questioning and that’s all he could truly work toward at the moment. It was then Jason rose and walked out of the room, heading toward the way they had come.

    -/-

    In the man’s presence, Alan Hale was drifting in and out of his sleep by the time the woman’s voice reached him. Haunting blues fluttered open, ones that showed he could do no harm and hadn’t for some time. With a nearly startled gaze, they shifted toward Alice as she approached. Opal blue eyes wouldn’t catch the man’s recognition in the least, not that it was something to be expected. The same man could once seek out even the most microscopic elements to berate his son, lover, or anyone else that stood in the line of aggression. For now, he simply blinked. 

    “W...Wha? I.. No thank you Sarah I am fine, I..” 

    Alan's words grew thin at the end when his chest couldn’t find the breath. It was what stopped all questioning when the woman’s hand raised to his forehead, and there wouldn’t be any afterward. It was like the man’s muscles eased. From his face, to his shoulders, to that chest of his that was used to being racked with coughing and sore from what time had done. All tension went slack as he settled into another light slumber.

    -/-

    “Goddammit!”  The shout was followed by the sound of metal being stuck, resonating as the side of Jason’s fist connected with the elevator wall. He had been pacing for a floor or two now, his thoughts spinning on what came next. He was working to hold back what tears were left while figuring out how to move forward. In the past, he would have handled it through the very worst of solutions, but that wasn’t an option now. It wasn’t one he was comfortable with anymore. Grief was something always better left shoved aside in the past but what about this? With Alice’s presence not in sight, she must have missed the doors closing with his sudden storm out of the place. Two floors later someone was walking in. He’d stopped his pacing and contained himself in once more. It was a long and silent ride to the ground floor until finally, the lobby entrance was visible when the doors parted. 

    -/-

    Alice would find him outside if she wandered for long enough. With her being a few minutes behind him, Jason had stationed himself in front of the building with his shoulders leaned to the concrete just outside the building’s entryway. His eyes were cast out to the street, a little distant in their stare for whatever reason, and about equally as defeated. When the door opened and closed behind him he wouldn’t give a glance until something about it was familiar from the corner of his eye. Jason drew in a deep breath and let it out. “I’m going back to the hotel.”

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