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Title: The Wizard And The Harlequin
Description: gee, is rose feeling better...?

ectoBiologist - June 17, 2011 04:51 PM (GMT)

EB: hey, rose, are you there?
EB: i'm hanging out on the battlefield.
EB: do you think we could touch face?
EB: i mean, not in the literal sense again, but just figuratively! haha.
EB: i just want to see if you're doing okay!

John bit his lips at the sequence of messages he just sent, a tingle running though his spine. It felt almost like his head was stuck high up in the clouds in terms of thought, as they had been for a short amount of time. That much was a little ridiculous, he knew, but regardless it still felt weird just sitting around waiting for his friend. is friend the right title anymore? is something he liked to ask himself in the time he took to just wait. Waiting, at this point, seemed almost like a meditative exercise. Breathe in, breathe out. Shove all thoughts to the side. Clear your head, focus only on the matters at hand.

He ran his fingers idly across his shirt, brushing an area where his wound had once been very gingerly. What was now a cheerful and pure blue, excluding the white and friendly logo of a wind breeze, had once been a deeply stained and rather alarming blood red. He was glad that the wound and the blood had faded. It wasn't something he wanted to remember.

The battlefield around him was exactly as he had remembered; the ground was still covered in its distinctive black and white chessboard pattern, spotted with occasional trees, terrain, and suchlike, bringing forth the image of a rather strange combination of chess, Stratego, and Age of Empires with the way that he once witnessed the units moving. It was just as sunny as it was before, and he picked a rather quiet spot, surrounded by a few rocks and trees, to rest in wait. He was sure that he wouldn't be hard to find.

tentacleTherapist - June 20, 2011 11:07 PM (GMT)
If there was anything to say about the battlefield, it was sure a messy place. The centerpoint for the clashing of two massive armies, determining the fate of Skaia and the universe in which this session was created. But not here. Rolling checkered plains, dotted with the occasional tree and rocks, with a small brook of running water to break the wind and silence.

Rose Lalonde walked alone, her lavender belt blowing in the wind. It was strange. Only a short time ago this area was decorated with the scars of battle fought between two great powers. Not the ones between Prospit and Derse, mind you. These was a battle between two much more personal powers. The Slayer and the Seer.

Of course, that battle didn't exactly end well in her favor, her blackened, bloody corpse decorating the battlefield with a new shade of woegothics, which was obviously a color. Didn't you know?

Strange feelings aside, Rose did in fact have business here. When John says that he wants to "touch face", Rose knew that something was up. So she would arrive, as a show of good faith and friendship. She equipped her hubtopband, noticing the new messages.

TT: In some cultures, it would be considered offensive for a lady to be summoned in this way.
TT: You're lucky our friendship allows this level of familiarity.
TT: I might have had to find someone to duel you.

Unequipping her portable computing device, she ascended to the top of a hill, noticing the windy boy relaxed down in the center. Making her way to the bottom, she stood a few meters behind her friend.

"I never pegged you the meditative type."

ectoBiologist - June 20, 2011 11:36 PM (GMT)
EB: well, gee, i don't know how i'd feel about fighting off another one of your suitors here.
EB: i don't even know if i really want to fight anyone right now!

Carefully, John set his commandeered computer down beside him, taking a gaze up at the sky. It was as it always was. The clouds drifted above with strange visions among them. He waved his hand along, breezing the clouds aside until he could get a clear view of the blue sky and the sun above. It was nice to be able to control that little aspect of the scene, and now the area he sat in was delightfully illuminated, with him sitting in the center of the beam, almost as if he was under a natural spotlight.

After a bit, he let the small breeze he had allowed to grow taper off, leaving only the occasional sound of ambiance to ring out now and then in lieu of the wind. He then heard the sound of footsteps, then a familiar voice behind him. He turned around with a somewhat shaky smile on his face. "i guess sometimes we all need to think, right? i mean, i haven't had much of a chance to sit and just... consider things. figure out what to do next."

His finger tapped the hubtopband that lay beside him. "i sort of got a huge amount of planning information dumped on me, so i have to think through it really quickly." The Heir let off somewhat of an empty laugh, running his fingers through his hair. Afterwards, he stood, shuffling to meet his companion as previous thoughts still coursed through his head. "are you doing alright? i mean, i guess it was a little, uh, jarring to be dead and then suddenly alive somewhere else and all. gosh. i can't really imagine that."

tentacleTherapist - June 22, 2011 12:21 AM (GMT)
"I didn't know you did that. Thinking, I mean." Rose joked, approaching the windy boy with less caution now as he stood to meet her, stopping only when they were face to face. She looked into John's face. This was probably the first time ever she was able to get a good look at the actual face of John Egbert, their previous meeting being rather rushed. She considered for a moment how sad it was that her three only friends were made over the internet, before remembering how they actually survived humanity's destruction.

Oh well. It didn't matter now. They were too well-entrenched in this game to worry about the past. Only the future remained uncertain. As seer, this was Rose's job to to interpret and put into action."Since when did you ever take the time to consider what you were doing?" She said, allowing herself the briefest if smiles. "In my experience, you've gotten pretty far by doing just the opposite. She folded her arms. "And I'm not the one you should worry about, John. You died too, remember?"

ectoBiologist - June 22, 2011 01:23 AM (GMT)
"that's kinda harsh!" John kept a serious face on through her jibe, gaining a comically stern eyebrow. "rose lalonde, don't you know to respect the gods? i'd think working with the horrorterrors would teach you that much! murr murr murr." After that, he could hold it no longer, and laughed a bit, partly out of relief and partly from joking around for a little while. Everything had been rather serious up to that point, so it was nice to have a reprieve from taking everything entirely face value. His fingers drifted idly to his lips, brushing them as he still remembered a while ago, not sure whether or not to fondly regard the past. He pushed that thought to the back of his head while he considered her next comment.

"i did die, didn't i?" His visage darkened slightly at that. "but... i mean, i think i've died twice now. that's more than, uh, i guess we're normally given." John's hand moved from his lips to his coarse black hair, brushing it back nervously. "i mean, the rest of you... you, dave, jade, you all just, uh... died. i don't think you all have any more chances. so, i have to protect you all, right?" At this point, he put his fist firmly into his hand. "as friendleader, dang it, i will protect everyone!"

tentacleTherapist - June 22, 2011 03:29 PM (GMT)
"You'll forgive me if I don't bow to your divinity." Rose responded, putting a hand on her hip. The thought of John ascending to the level of a worshipful deity was kind of silly. But then again, time after time, John showed the most potential out of all four of them, rising through his echeladder faster than any of them, and being the only player to take advantage of the opportunity to reach the god teirs. An opportunity that Rose would now never be able to do. His progress was indeed commendable.

"Yes." She replied. "The most dedicated and glorious palhoncho must protect all of his friends from harm, while requesting in a friendly, yet authoritatively manner that we throw ourselves in harms way." She turned her gaze to the checkered floor, her face somber. "Even the dead ones."

ectoBiologist - June 22, 2011 03:53 PM (GMT)
He bit his lip at that last comment. It was true, as much as he wanted to keep everyone safe, the plans that were made meant that he would have to put them back in harm's way as well. That was really, as much as he hated it, all there was to say on the matter. Still, he sat, trying to think of a way around it. "... as much as i hate to think about it, i guess that's just the way that things are going, isn't it." John sighed, rubbing his head in thought. "there really is no way around it." He shook his head. "then, i just want to keep everyone out of harm's way as much as i possibly can then. hopefully it'll work out that way." He directed his gaze back up to the Seer's, putting on a smile to level out his earlier seriousness.

"so, no aftereffects from death, right? you're feeling alright now?" He carefully pushed his glasses up, making sure to tread himself back to a somewhat lighter train of thought. "i mean... i can speak from experience when i say it sucks to be, uh, stabbed like that." His hands traced through his hair again, and he looked pretty tense though his expression still lay in relaxed contrast. He opened his mouth to say a few more words, but then paused and closed it, making a shrug as he let off a mildly nervous laugh.

tentacleTherapist - June 22, 2011 10:15 PM (GMT)
Rose frowned at the somber attitude that John was displaying. While normally such negative, dark, and otherwise sad emotions would be a wellspring of her to feed off of, these did not sustain her. She took a seat in the checkered grass by her friend. Poor John. He was too innocent to be faced with the problems relayed against him. She pitied him, but envied that he was able to stay the same throughout all the trials he was faced with. She knew first hand that she was not, turning to the darkest of powers for even a chance of victory.

"Everyone has an important job to do." She explained, placing a hand on John's shoulder. "That's what my troll told me, anyway. But now I'm starting to believe her." She looked up into the sky, narrowing her eyes in the sunlight. "Defeating Jack was never my purpose, even with the darkest and most terribad of power at my disposal. I realize now that honor will fall to another." She brightened up, a small smile beginning to form across one of the edges of her mouth. "And I actually feel pretty good. There was the whole part of excruciating, eternal pain as I walked the balance between life and death, but you shouldn't worry about that."

ectoBiologist - June 23, 2011 12:17 AM (GMT)
John shifted slightly to allow his friend more room, then let his legs sprawl out in front of him as he leaned onto his arms, keeping his eyes to the skies. He relaxed slightly, letting a scenic wind blow as it had once before while he took a few moments to think about every event before hand. It was hard to believe that within two or three short days, he had entered this crazy session, died twice, and ascended to god tier with the trolls guiding him only lightly here and there to make sure he was on the right track. All of the gaming abstractions, the consorts, and the information he had sorted through on its own. What was the end result? Would they win, or were they destined for failure? He didn't like thinking about that too often, but the other thought was something much more childish and would likely make him even more jittery and awkward.

"I can tell you that i had to do that twice, so no complaining, right?" The current thoughts that flew through his head were endlessly important, yet... he changed the track and shifted his train of thought right back to the idea hanging around the back of his head. It would help him out to think about something a little less important for the time being, to let his other thoughts simmer carefully as he unconsciously planned out what to do next. His hand slowly crept its way over to Rose's, as he let out a small whistling sound to signify the progress, to himself if not to her. Gently, he placed his hand over hers. He then turned, closing his eyes, and cracked a grin, not really sure of what else to respond with.

tentacleTherapist - June 23, 2011 04:51 PM (GMT)
Rose turned again to stare at the ground as John placed his hand over hers. It was clammy, she thought, and a little moist, but she supposed she should have expected this from the John Egbert, Heir of Breadth. "I guess you did." She said quietly, almost a whisper. He was right. Who was she to whine while this boy had braved more then she ever did. Dying twice, mastering his element and rising to the level of god.

She was quiet for awhile as her and John wondered over where their paths had led them. Only a few days ago, her biggest concern was how to increase her chances of receiving a beta version of Sburb, the lauded game of the year. Now, her biggest concern was not only how to defeat an unbeatable boss, but how to successfully reset a broken session so that it will not destroy all existence as they knew it. She shook her head.

"Thanks, by the way." She said abruptly. "For not leaving me for dead, I mean."

ectoBiologist - June 24, 2011 12:43 AM (GMT)
"well... i mean, i guess you can't thank just me, right?" John curled his hand slightly around hers in thought, thinking about that moment. "i mean, at that moment, i wasn't really sure about what to do. but then i got a message that told me to go for it and, well, put really plainly, i went for it! so, i guess you're here because of the message i got, too." John rubbed his head slightly, then paused and reached into what seemed to be mid-air before pulling out a very slightly bloodied needlekind strife deck, examining it end to end, both sides. "i'm guessing you have a spare one of these, so... i'll hang onto it for now, but you also kinda dropped your needlekind card." At this point, he held it out for a moment to allow her verification, then carefully tucked it away into his strife portfolio.

He then turned back to the matter at hand. "but, i mean, i can't just leave you there for dead, right? that's not... what a friend does, i mean. a friend of any kind. close or not. it just doesn't make any sense." With that said, he directed his gaze skywards again, watching the clouds blow by in the light breeze. "i think... we could take a break from it for a little bit. you've probably already done this, but, uh..." For a second, his voice caught as there was a mild lump in his throat, but he swallowed and went on.

"do you want to go flying with me?"

tentacleTherapist - June 24, 2011 11:35 PM (GMT)
Rose looked up as John held up her specibus card, a frown stretching across her features, taking note of the single drop of blood. A poetic end to a valiant struggle, she thought. Yes. It was so valiant that she couldn't land a single blow. She shook her head of the thought, pushing those memories into a dark place for later perusal as he pushed the card neatly into his portfolio. She looked on as John elaborated on his thought process, which is to say there wasn't any, and someone told him what to do. Still, whatever he did at the time had certainly paid off.

"Talking about this seems very distressing for you.." She commented, stretching her free arm. "What happened after I lost consciousness?" Embarrassingly, she admitted that she knew next to nothing about the concept of player death. It wasn't exactly something she had prepared for. Well, she supposed all her questions would be answered in time. A seer was ever patient.

"do you want to go flying with me?"

Rose smiled. "Oh? Would you like that? Whisking me off my feet as we propel through the clouds? I thought I heard it right when you proposed to me earlier, but my suspicions had yet to be confirmed." She withdrew her hand gently from John's shoulder. "Come, I have a better idea." She stood up, equipping the Thorns of Oglogoth. She rose into the air, one of her many abilities granting her flight as a means of easy transport. She looked across the scenery, pointing to a location in the distance.

"The first to that mountain and back, wins."

ectoBiologist - June 25, 2011 12:57 AM (GMT)
His thoughts drifted somewhat as Rose asked about what happened directly in between her death and her revival. He bit his lip lightly, then turned to Rose, looking pretty helpless and unsure of what exactly to tell her. He then heard her next idea. A race? That seemed like a good motivator. "hmm. ... tell you what!" John cracked a grin again, floating into the air as his comrade did, then spun to face the mountain as they both kept eyes on the mountain. He would lose this race on purpose... but that would obligate him to answer the question. Inwardly, he laughed a bit, quietly apologetic for getting his friend to jump through a hoop before he told her anything.

"if you beat me in that race, then... i'll tell you. it's kind of embarrassing for me, what happened, but i'll spill everything." He clicked his heels together, keeping his eyes on the mountain ahead, before spreading his arms out to his sides and doing a barrel roll, just to get himself back into the routine of flying again. It was nice to feel the breeze, flowing all around him as it caressed him with gentle fingers of wind. His skin pricked up a little bit as he shivered a bit. It was cold. "so, does that sound like a deal, ms. lalonde?" He turned, crossing his arms and sticking his tongue out at her in jest, keeping a grin on his face.

tentacleTherapist - June 25, 2011 11:20 AM (GMT)
Ms. Lalonde folded her arms, watching as John pressed Z or R twice to preform important mid-air maneuvers. It was, of course, a very important part of pre-flight preparations. She readied herself for high-speed shenanigans, dark power beginning to course around her body. She didn't feel as is she would have to exert herself very much, but at least it would be fun.

"I had no idea we were on such formal basis, Mr. Egbert." She commented. "Why do I get the feeling that you're going to tell me anyway, despite the initial embarrassment?" Rose continued, a smirk forming. "Is this race merely a facade to put off the admittance of some long-winded secret that you have been hiding? I had no idea you were so beset with such personal issues, John. You should have come to me sooner."

ectoBiologist - June 25, 2011 09:39 PM (GMT)
Though he cringed inside a bit at having been guessed so easily, he still kept on a masterfully placed grin and prepared to launch into his bluff. "if you want to know, then beat me!" With that said, he quickly whipped into position. At a high speed, he shouted, "three-two-one-go!!", and true to his trickster nature, he launched off to give himself a strong headstart, putting full speed on in order to keep up the appearance of a challenge. Flying at high speed like this was fun, so it wasn't that hard, really. The clouds whipped by, and John could feel his hood flapping out behind him like a wild windsock. He kept his arms out to his sides, laughing a bit as he threw little flourishes into his flight; a roll here, a swoop there.

Every once and a while in his flight, in an almost unconscious manner to keep the illusion of a challenge going, John would zip carelessly into a wind current, either blowing him a little too far up, slowing him, tossing him to the side, or zipping him forward in speed. To him, the entire ride was exciting. His clothes whipped around as he pulled hard turns, and every once in a while he would stop and give a taunting gesture to Rose, flying backwards and upside-down while sticking his tongue out and waving his fingers around, or just floating around in the air, pretending to doze until she got within a close enough distance. Sure, he was playing to lose, but why not have a little fun all the way through?

tentacleTherapist - June 25, 2011 10:55 PM (GMT)
Rose shook her head slowly, not one bit surprised as John took off at full speed, soaring through the air with reckless abandon, turning and taunting his way across the battlefield. Ever the serious one, Rose took off calmly, relatively slow at first, but quickly accelerating her way towards the goal, a serious look on her face. She was ever focused on the task at hand, as usual. Her black clothing fluttered in the wind, while her lavender belt tailed behind her. She said nothing as John turned around to taunt her with his silly faces, noting that the distance was slowly closing each time he did. She smirked as she closed the gap, the wind whipping by her face as the checkered landscape dizzyingly blurred by. John reckless actions would be his downfall, and Rose would make sure of it.

ectoBiologist - June 26, 2011 02:38 AM (GMT)
Realizing that he was probably messing around too much (which fell exactly into his master plan, hehehe), John whipped back around and 'got serious', sticking his arms stiffly to his sides in order to make his flight as aerodynamic as possible. He blasted himself forward with a strong breeze, then stuck his arms out to his sides and dipped from side to side, as if he were an airplane pilot giving acknowledgment to a fellow pilot. With that done, he resumed keeping his arms to his sides to promote his speed a bit, and cut through the air, right to the mountain picked. When he reached his destination, he delivered a pseudo-flying kick to a cliff on the mountain, absorbing the impact roughly with a strong bend of the knees, then used the solid surface below to launch himself in the other direction, diving down in order to speed up before he blasted himself back into the correct flightpath.

He zipped along for a while, then after he went for what he felt like was long enough, cruised at a steady speed towards the meeting place and finish line. About a few miles away from victory, he brought himself to a sudden halt, grinning, then flipped around to watch his friend's progress. John was determined to make the finish as close as he possibly could while maintaining a losing status. It was almost more fun like this, leading her on and ultimately taking the fall. He leaned back, gently waving his legs back and forth as if he was paddling backwards through water, propelling himself softly along at about the speed that would match the motion.

tentacleTherapist - June 26, 2011 02:48 PM (GMT)
Rose said nothing as John passed her by on the way back, the windy boy shooting her an overly-confident look of goofiness as he kicked off from the mountainside, the gust of his passing blowing her downwards several feet. Say what you will about John, but that boy didn't yet know the extent of his own power. Probably for the better, at this point. There was no telling what he could accomplish, once he realized his full potential. Recovering to her previous altitude, Rose went straight for the mountainside, moving full speed until she was mere inches from the rocky cliff. Instead of slamming herself into a second death, she threw herself upward, flying parallel to the rock as she ascended the mountain into it's snowy peaks. The mountain whizzed by, moving from black and white rock formations to snowy peaks. She remained silent as she quickly reached the peak, clearing it and being greeted by clear blue sky and bright sun. Narrowing her eyes, she quickly preformed a mid-air loop, putting her in the direction of the finish line. John, a blue dot a few miles ahead, floated happily, watching contently at his friends progress.

Rose smirked. Was he really so sure of his own victory? He was in for a surprise, then. She wasn't without her own array of tricks. Her needles coursing with dark energy, she brought her arms up. Purple electricity flowed from one Thorn to another, until a flash of lavender encased them in black-and-purple flame. She swung her right hand in the air, crafting an ancient and dark rune in the air. Every line and contour must match perfectly, as any sort of mishap would send the caster's soul into pure oblivion. And Rose wasn't too keen on having that happen again. Moving quickly, the finished rune glowed with black energy, rotating in the air. Flying backwards a few meters, Rose gave herself a flying start, hitting the rune at full speed. Dark energy again encased her body, a black aura forming around her otherwise light skin. Propelling herself with dark power, she flew at blinding speed towards the waiting John and the finish line.

ectoBiologist - June 26, 2011 06:18 PM (GMT)
For a scant few seconds, John watched the formation of the rune. He swallowed a lump in his throat when he realized that Rose was probably going to use her dark powers to get a boost in the race. He saw Rose use her dark powers to get a boost in the race. Realizing that this would probably be his cue to stop fooling around, flipped turnways deftly towards the finish line, then forced his right foot out, sending himself speeding towards the finish with about as much speed as he could make. However, his attempt, much to his inward glee but outer scorn, ended in failure. The Seer was simply too fast. He watched as she blasted past him, ahead by a few seconds in the finish. With all of that mess done and over with, he landed, sighing, and put his hands up. "alright, alright. looks like i lost that one, hehe!"

He looked back idly, making sure to cut the breezes again so that he was able to hear his friend speak as clearly as possible. After silencing the winds for a short amount of time, he took a seat and a chance to rest for a minute or so before standing again, with a more somber expression on his face. "so, the first thing you'll probably want to know is that, well, yeah, the entire race i was pretty much leading you on." He rubbed his head. "uh, i'll.... get to the reason for that in a bit. what did you want to know, first? i mean, i guess a deal's a deal, even when i play to lose." John crossed his arms behind his head, looking up at the sky to let off another nervous laugh. He brought this one upon himself, and now he was obligated to say what made him so nervous. His thoughts protested, telling him that he should just make something up, but he pushed them away, knowing that he would probably be picked out if he tried to lie anyway.

tentacleTherapist - June 26, 2011 10:38 PM (GMT)
Eyes closed, Rose took a deep breath, coming to a full stop just past the mark she designated the finish line, her feet lightly laying themselves back on solid ground. The black energy dissipated into the air, her aura and skin complexion returning to their normal colors. Opening her eyes, she took a look behind her, noticing John approaching her slowly. She smiled slightly, secure in the knowledge of her victory. Despite her level of maturity and power, she still felt that pang of delight all kids got when she beat one of her friends in a childish game. Imagine her disappointment (however disguised it may have been) when she was informed that her friend had played to lose. Instead of showing irritation, however, she simply nodded knowingly.

"So you let me win. She said, folding her arms. "You let me win a race where the terms of victory were set by you." She blinked, her deep lavender eyes shining in the light. "You set the terms knowing you will lose, so you will have no choice but to answer my questions." She deduced. "Don't worry, I'll try to make them as embarrassing for you as possible. She put her hands behind her back. "My first one should be obvious: what happened after I lost consciousness?"

ectoBiologist - June 26, 2011 11:10 PM (GMT)
"yeah, it was really mean to put you through all that, i'm sure." John rubbed his head. "and as much as i didn't want to, uh, i did because i knew that... yeah, i'd have to answer what you asked. it was sort of to push myself into doing something i had to do, there." He let off a small smile, nervous as he was. "to tell the whole truth, you know?" With that, he put his finger to his chin, taking a few moments to think out his next words carefully.

"to be honest, i don't know exactly when you went out. all i know is that i got back up from death and saw that you were dead yourself. imagine my dismay!" His expression became somber, and he bit his lip. "i noticed that you had your computer on, though, so i took a look at it and found a bunch of messages from vriska. so, i read through them and followed her advice really quickly and i revived you by what she said."

He nodded, turning around while placing his hands behind his back and facing the sky yet again. "a little after that, i got a message from karkat, and he told me about a little plan. i guess we might have derived a teeny bit by me asking you to come out here; i dunno if that'll affect everything! i just needed to take a break between here and there, though, and i'm waiting for his first message to me anyway, the time where he forced himself into trolling me backwards until i had my first conversation with him." The Heir laughed a bit.

"so, that's... pretty much what happened right after you went down. at least, that's what i know happened from directly after i got up. ... is there anything you want to know more about?"

tentacleTherapist - June 27, 2011 02:03 PM (GMT)
"You're missing the most important part." Rose commented. She didn't have to be a budding psychologist, nor an emerging seer to know that John was dancing around the subject he really wanted to talk about. Making plans was all well and good, and it was certainly somewhat comforting to know that he has been busy putting in place the final pieces that would bring their journey to a close. Or so she would tend to think. There was a lot of work still left to be done, and her part in it was not over just yet.

But that was going to come later. She had an opportunity to grill John and she was going to take it. He's been skipping over it for a reason, and he was gonna find out why. "More specifically, about the part where I stopped being dead and started being alive again."

ectoBiologist - June 27, 2011 03:57 PM (GMT)
"ulp. uh. eee. ha. haha. yeah, i, uh, i am, aren't i?" He paused for a while, making small gestures to himself, having a debate of some manner, and rather seeming like a character having an aside to a nonexistent audience for the moment as he debated what to say. It ended up catching a gigantic lump in his throat, and he had no clue about where to go from there except to say it. He was probably being a little dramatic about the situation, and, well, he was about to find out. C'est la vie. Time to take the drop. "when i got up, i picked up your computer, the hubtopband thing, and i took a good look at it for a while, reading through a bunch of messages that i got from vriska. she said a lot of words in there, and, uh, mentioned along the way how to revive you. so, to revive you.... uhm."

He pressed his index fingers together. He laughed, opening his mouth to let out a few words then closing it again. Finally, he decided to get completely over himself and just blurt it out, half anecdote, half statement. "you know what happened in sleeping beauty with the apple and all of that and wow that really isn't important i should probably just say that it was kind of like that and i revived you by kissing you and uh." John paused. He was assured by this point that his words weren't coming out correctly. Rather, they were out and he had said them, but he hadn't said them clearly enough. In his opinion, at least. His face went flush red as a result. "uh. the point is, i, uh, kissed you. and, uh, that's how i revived you. um. i, haha, i hope you don't mind, or, uh, anything, that kind of sounds.... really, really creepy! i mean, it does to me and, yeah, i'm just going to stop rambling now."

tentacleTherapist - June 28, 2011 12:42 AM (GMT)
A slight flash of a grin and amusement flying across her face was all Rose's reaction to John's rather abrupt and erstwhile confession. His face bright red and arguing with himself over how to word it, it was rather funny to watch him start explaining, then stop explaining, then start explaining, then throw all caution to the wind and speak really fast, climaxing in a miraculous confession. She had to admit though, it wasn't what she was expecting. However romanticized her literature had made the fabled revival kiss out to be, she didn't actually think it could happen. And let's not forget the part where John kisses her. She wondered what it must have been like, John staring over her broken and bloody corpse, leaning in closely, his breath warming her clammy, cold face before making the final lip-to-lip contact. He must have been nervous.

"Oh." She said nonchalantly. "Is that how we're doing it these days? I didn't know sloppy corpse makeouts were the revival option of choice."

ectoBiologist - June 28, 2011 01:44 AM (GMT)
John, understandably, sputtered a bit. Well, to be honest, it was... a lot more than a bit. He wasn't really sure how to react to Rose's comment. His head was also still heavily bouncing off of the gray area between "is she a friend" and "is she my girlfriend or something now, whoa, hang on, what" as it struggled for some manner of classification. His thoughts weren't coming out in the right order at all. "well, i mean, u-uh, gosh, it was kind of, uh, a difficult decision! i mean, uh, well, you know, i'm, uh, sort of doing that to a friend of mine and, uh..." He was tripping over his words worse than a Toreadork. The speak-y thing just was not going his way, so he merely stood in a frustrated silence for a few moments while his thoughts corrected and collected themselves. Or was that the other way around? He didn't really know.

"it.... it wasn't like you were cold or anything. i mean, i'm pretty sure that when i woke up, you, uh, just went, uh... down. you know." He gestured with his hands slightly, as if he was trying to make a very concise point, but his expression was that of a speaker afflicted with minor word salad. "i mean, it, it was kind of the only option i really had, you know?"

tentacleTherapist - June 28, 2011 04:52 PM (GMT)
"I wonder if we get bonus experience for multiple revivals." Rose commented "A corpsesmooch combo, if you will. But that's beside the point." She could see why John was taking this so seriously. In his eyes, kissing her on the lips, necrophilia aside, was probably more than just a physical move of player revival. She wondered for a moment if that's how Sburb worked. Developing adolescent players would realize whatever hidden feelings they harbored for the players of the opposing gender by being forced to revive them in such a method. It certainly seemed like a viable option of game mechanics. Perhaps she was on to something. Maybe a re-opening of her walkthrough was in order, a chapter dedicated to relationships and how the game will force you to consider them. Were there a multiversal demand for such an information repository, Rose wouldn't mind taking up the task of it's custodian. But that would have to come later. There were important matters to attend to in the here and now.

"There's no need to be nervous, John. She said finally. Rose wasn't stupid. She knew John was taking this as a very serious discussion, one pertaining to their relationship as friends and it's current status. But as the patient, John would have to bring that topic up himself. "You followed the only option available to you to facilitate my revival. She smiled. "Thank you."

ectoBiologist - June 29, 2011 02:22 AM (GMT)
He shuffled a bit, stepping side to side from his foot and looking down. More and more, it felt to him that he was overthinking the situation, but even if it was a personal thing, it still drove him up the wall not being able to talk freely about it. Almost as if he was a gush of wind caught inside a bottle. He shivered at that thought; lack of freedom. Something he was slowly getting away from. He realized that all throughout the game, he had been... growing. Aging mentally, though not physically. He had died twice, and ascended to the topmost level of his position that he possibly could, and his thoughts were at least slightly darker, for how silly he liked to pass himself off to be. He noticed himself being almost... self-conscious? He wasn't sure. It just felt weird talking about the subject of a possible crush that might have sprung up. He raised his gaze to meet hers again, only reaffirming his thoughts.

Maybe it was rose glasses (he laughed mildly at the slightly ironic pun) but the Seer in front of him almost seemed to change entirely herself with the simple gesture of a smile. He felt a warm sensation shoot through his veins for a second, and nervous as he was, he did smile back, taking a second to scan her more thoroughly. He noted, rather amused at himself, that the only detail he picked up when talking to her before the race was her rather stunning lavender eye-color. Then again, that's usually where he kept his eyes; stuck to hers, in hopes of projecting an image of confidence but compassion. He noted that her appearance remained the same as he remembered it, except that she seemed to have been cured of her grimdark status. Her features came across to him as less harsh than before, and the dark presence and color she had no longer seemed to swarm around her, allowing her a gentler appearance than when he first saw her.

It occurred to him that he was spacing out and that she was saying something. He heard the end of a thank you before snapping fully back to attention. "oh, uh, gosh, it was, uh, nothing, right?" He paused for a bit, then laughed helplessly, pressing his palm to his face. "but, i mean, well, uhmmmm..." He kicked the ground a little bit, knotting his fingers together behind his back as he looked back down.

"this seems really, uh, really awkward to say, but... then, does that mean we're..." He swallowed a bit, throat somewhat dry. "...uh, we're still just, friends then?"

tentacleTherapist - June 29, 2011 10:25 AM (GMT)
A long silence crept over the two, leaving the pair alone with their individual thoughts. Rose watched casually as John looked down at the floor, up at her, down at the floor again, up at her eyes, before finally locking into a staring contest with the floor, shuffling nervously and giggling to himself. It was strange, she never expected John to be so silly in person, but she supposed such were the confines of a relationship built almost entirely over the internet. Some personal quips get left out. Oh well, it's not like it changed anything anyway. Rose kept her gaze on the Heir, watching as he mulled something over before slowly putting it into words. His mental acuity, coupled with the extreme tact he demonstrated never ceased to amaze her.

"...uh, we're still just, friends then?"

"Why, whatever do you mean?" Rose asked, eyebrows raised, mouth open in an over-exaggerated and sarcastic feign of ignorance. "What can you possibly be suggesting?

ectoBiologist - June 29, 2011 04:14 PM (GMT)
"it's... uh, nothing." John shook his head. "wait, no, it's not nothing, it's just.... ghh... work with me here a bit!" He laughed a bit, against with the same helpless tone he used earlier. The words were certainly bouncing around in his head, but saying them was no easy task. It was much like blasting at a rock with a breeze until it slowly eroded away, and the rate that he was able to put the words together in his thoughts and send them out, he felt, was maddeningly slow. He bit his lip tightly again, sweating a bit as he slowly felt more awkward with each second's passing.

After a few short seconds, all of which felt rather like an hour to him, he raised his gaze again, carefully hooking it to Rose's again. "i know that you have a penchant for sarcasm and everything, but... i'm pretty sure you already picked up on what i mean." His eyes almost seemed to flash a bit, showing almost slight remorse, and his expression hardened as he picked up a serious quality once more. "and, i can't... directly... say it easily, but... this once, can't you just meet me halfway here?" He straightened his posture at this moment, keeping a rather strong but, yet, still troubled expression. At that moment, he decided to put it into slightly different terms, into that of a dialogue between a psychologist and their patient. "i mean... i guess in other terms, the way you're questioning your... 'patient', i guess, isn't exactly urging him to come out with it, you know? he isn't very comfortable as it is." After having said that, he looked down, kicking his feet again as he sighed lightly, unconsciously letting the winds blow in the same downward manner around him.

tentacleTherapist - June 29, 2011 06:39 PM (GMT)
"Unfounded accusations!" Rose replied, folding her arms once again. There was no way she was actually going to make this easy for him. She rocked forwards and backwards on her feet, smiling inconspicuously. It was obvious at this point that she was clearly amusing herself

"I have no idea what you're talking about." She stated. "Are you suggesting that my personal quips of sarcasm and wanton need to psychoanalyze everything and everyone I come across (publications forthcoming) is forcing me to take this situation less than the serious overtones you expected?

ectoBiologist - June 29, 2011 07:10 PM (GMT)
Though his eyes remained glued to the ground, something of a fighter' expression came to ignite itself deep within them. He responded with the natural reaction that had been pressing itself at him the entire time, everytime he suspected that saying something wasn't working. He swiftly moved over to a rock, taking a seat on it, then framed his face in his hands and remained perfectly and stubbornly silent, in a tactic of mild exasperation. He took the time between his silence and her next response, or the possible lack thereof, to run his thoughts over again.

So, simply saying something just wouldn't work, unless he could somehow force himself to say something that was frankly terribly difficult and, judging by what reactions he was getting, seemed increasingly less like it would be a reciprocated statement. That only made him more reluctant to blurt such a thought out. So, therein lay the silence. He would wait to see if there wasn't something else to the teasing demeanor his friend took to his words. It was a strange game, he judged, and the winning move seemed to be not to play.

tentacleTherapist - June 29, 2011 10:57 PM (GMT)
Watching the young Egbert pace over and plant his behind on a rock, apparently very uncomfortable with himself. Rose frowned, a little crestfallen that John was not acting as she expected him to. Did she go too far? Did she cull him into silence with her sarcastic jibes, meant to push him into admitting something he has been hiding for some time? Did she do something wrong? She sighed. It seemed Rose had misjudged her friend's capacity to operate under conditions of shenanigans, and would have to resort to other methods to extract further information. She walked over to where John was seated, placing her hand on his back.

"Do you remember the last conversation we had before you died? Rose asked, looking up into the sky. "The first time, I mean. The one where you told me you were going to release me from the clutches of stubborn throeship, while I basically saved your life?"

ectoBiologist - June 30, 2011 03:46 AM (GMT)
The boy opened his mouth carefully, making sure regardless that his words were a little firmer in tone. His thoughts zipped through his head a little faster now that he was able to get a more solemn and somber tone from his companion, as ill-defined as she remained in relationship terms with his head. It wasn't as if he had much to say, anyway, responding only with a rather quiet and almost wounded-sounding "it's not like i could really forget something like that." The winds around the battlefield almost seemed to build up once more, as John let his control of the breezes go.

The winds whistled and howled softly through the trees, seeming to accentuate his silence, speaking to his ears that he was doing the right thing. He reached up with the hand furthest from Rose, brushing his hands through his hair quietly, as he waited for her next response, and after that, probably her next question. He bit his lip again, slumping a little more as he remembered the moments just before his death, only to wake up to see that his friend had lost her battle. He relived the moments quickly, remembering each one as it flashed by in his memory, his heart pounding especially as he remembered his resurrection and moved in to revive his friend.

His thoughts then flashed back to the moments before and after his first death, completely unsure of whether or not he wanted to follow Vriska's advice and shaky regardless regarding the game, even through the routine he had picked up throughout. Shaking those thoughts away, he raised his head slightly, meeting the girl's gaze through the corner of his eye.

"what about that conversation?"

tentacleTherapist - June 30, 2011 03:30 PM (GMT)
The wind howled through her ears, whistling around the few scattered trees and shrubs that surrounded the area, as if it was doing all of John's talking for him. Rose reached up, brushing a few strands of blonde hair up and away from her eyes. Her belt fluttered and blew in the changing gusts. She supposed John's current state of mind was accurately reflected in this manner. Rapidly changing direction with each exchange of dialogue, varying in intensity at every turn. She considered for a second how poetic it sounded. Perhaps a later chapter in her journals would be in order. The Windy Boy. Or something like that. Title ongoing, of course. Rose pushed that back into her mind. At this time, there were boys to console.

"You probably don't remember this part, because you were busy talking to trolls and trying to avoid being burned to death in a giant green fire. She took a seat on the checkered grass, smoothing the ruffles in her clothing, leaning her back against John's rock. "But you made a big point of about how you were worried I was, what did you call it? 'Getting away from us.'"

ectoBiologist - June 30, 2011 10:18 PM (GMT)
John mulled that next thought over in his head heavily. He hadn't really forgotten, it's just that he hadn't really cared to remember that when more impending and important thoughts were to be thought of in its place. That's right. He was a little put off by the sudden gap in between them, at the time. It hadn't occurred to him, but what she had described earlier on had later actually happened. He witnessed it. When he arrived, on the battlefield in that certain castle, she had the strange, grimdark aura around him that they had joked about right then. He brought the conversation up using the hubtopband he had claimed, looking over the log once again. "... i did, didn't i? i mean, i guess i sort of held this sort of unconscious worry thing the entire time."

He carefully tugged the hubtopband off of his head, tucking it into his sylladex. "i hadn't thought about it the entire time, but... what you said then, it happened. you told the future without even trying." John sat up straight again, squinting up at the clouds above with no real intention of reading them, but moreso just with watching all of the images flash by, each one almost soothing no matter what each cloud told him. "and then, there too... you sort of drifted off of the path, it almost seemed like. away from guidance. but i guess that was just fate too, wasn't it?" He sprawled himself out over the rock, making sure to drape his hood carefully so not to cause a tear but still so it served as an impromptu head support.

tentacleTherapist - June 30, 2011 11:15 PM (GMT)
Rose made something of a chuckle, stealing a quick glance behind her at the young Egbert, clearly amused at something. "I didn't know you were capable of such morbid outlooks, John. She smiled, her expression brightening. "I must be rubbing off on you. Soon I will be teaching you the finer points of my stubborn throes, while instructing you how to communicate fluently in the broodfester tongues. She turned her attention back towards the sky, watching as the clouds drifted by. "I was just going to say I thought it was nice that you cared. She sighed. "But maybe you're right. I guess I'm a better seer then I made myself out to be.

ectoBiologist - July 1, 2011 05:47 PM (GMT)
"don't get me wrong! i mean, sure, everything leads to here and everything goes from here, the present, but..." The boy drummed his fingers against the rock he had chosen as a resting place, thinking of what exactly to say. "... it's just that... what is it.... having the trolls out there, telling us a lot of things about our future and past don't exactly help with that sort of train of thought, i guess." He huffed a bit. "all i know is that if they tell me something that i'm going to do, one way or another i'm going to end up doing that somehow. it's a really weird feeling! knowing that you're fated to do something. i guess that's just the curse of knowing the future as it's told to you by a bunch of aliens, right?"

After saying that, he chose to sit up, then to slide down off of the rock and take a seat by Rose. "of course i cared, it's just that overall i was just worried by the gigantic colossus of information that came over my head due to weird time and space shenanigans. plus there is no way i'm ever speaking your weird eldritch babble because that stuff is close to unpronounceable and i'd be tripping over every other syllable."

tentacleTherapist - July 1, 2011 10:35 PM (GMT)
Rose blinked, allowing herself a short breath of comfort as John slid down next to her. She smiled, pleased that John was able to make an astute observation about the operations of the timelines. She always managed to be impressed whenever John managed to make an astute observation about anything, really. It proved to her that her choice of friends weren't totally unfounded. Well, it's not like she had a choice, considering she only really had three friends. But what were friends aside from sentimental bonds of companionship formed between two living beings? She looked over at John, considering this quietly. Is that what she really thought about him? A sentimental attachment she could be better off without? Rose frowned. If it was a silly attachment, she had gone too far down the path to turn back now. She blinked again, coming to that realization in her mind, hitting her like a ton of bricks. She actually cared about him. More then just the surprising distress that shot through her when Jack Noir stabbed him through the chest. His thoughts, feelings, and observations actually made a difference to her. Now that was a scary thought.

"But think of it this way, John. She responded with interest. "If our blithering friends from another universe didn't tell you, would you have done it anyway?"

ectoBiologist - July 2, 2011 02:41 AM (GMT)
He thought about it for a second, blowing up a leaf that had drifted his way to push it back up into the winds. "no, i guess not. but..." John dragged his fingers through his locks yet again, trying to figure out what to say in response. "what about the concept of an alpha timeline, anyway? ... that sort of implies that we're locked into one course of action, even if we don't know. offshoot timelines, every possibility; one word that i say could even drive us into a little offshoot. that's such a weird and kind of scary thought! it makes the phrase 'act natural' seem like the worst mind game ever. ... i hate paradox space like that." The boy sighed, looking down for a second, then back up in a determined manner. "but that's just all theory anyway, and it's not like it's really happening now, right? so...."

The Heir looked out through the side of his face, where he could see only Rose clearly and not much else. He attempted to wrangle the subject back to what it was previously, only with him asking the questions. "i'm just going to ask you, do you get why i was so, well... worried, then? if i try to say what i mean directly then.... i'm just going to trip over my words again. and, don't get me wrong, i know that you're really smart! it just.... doesn't seem like it would take that much thinking to know what exactly i'm getting at."

tentacleTherapist - July 2, 2011 10:19 PM (GMT)
Rose pushed backwards in her seat, switching to a cross-legged style of rest, while resting her chin in her hands, listening to John make his points adequately. He did indeed carry a genuine concern in his argument. How did we know whatever choice we would make is the right one? How did we know we weren't living in an alternate timeline at this minute, waiting for the curtain to close on the sad ending that would be their failed session? As the group's Seer, part of Rose's job would be to understand the differences between the alpha and offshoot timelines, and understand the disturbances that would create them. It was actually kind of complicated. For every decision made, there is at least one timeline spawned where the alternate path is chosen. However, since those timelines are always shackled to the alpha, Rose never really concerned herself with them. As long as everyone kept doing what they were supposed to be doing (herself included), they didn't seem in any immediate danger of alternate shenanigans. Besides, despite his initial misgivings, Strider kept a tight lid on all forms of timeline and universe shenanigans. He would know if something was up.

"i'm just going to ask you, do you get why i was so, well... worried...

Rose allowed her expression to visibly brighten (if only for a few moments), picking her head up from her hands. He did get points for persistence. She turned her head, meeting John's gaze with her own. Of course she knew what he was talking about. This is because, at this point, it was painfully obvious to anyone with a brain what he wanted to say. And Rose would make him say it.

She gave off a small grin. "It seems my small minded stubborn throes cannot possibly determine what you mean, John. Perhaps you should attempt to explain it in ways only my small brain can comprehend.

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