panacea
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 16
Played by: Honey Offline
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#15
Vervain
Vai frowns gently, thinking better than to try and draw anything further out of Nate - he was deceptively put together, for someone so clearly unwell. Only when peeling back the layers of conversation could she see the sense fall away, and that only served to frustrate and confuse. ”I’m not pretending,” she says slowly, only able to offer reassurance. ”I’m just here to help, if you need it.” Would he even say so, if he did? Part of her hopes so, remembering their meeting on the roof just a short season ago.

She can’t help but smile, to hear him speak about such ordinary things, though the way he seizes her hand makes her jump in response. Vai doesn’t let go, though, squeezing his hand back and following his gaze to the kitchen (just to make sure anything else hasn’t caught fire). ”You should write them down, the recipes,” she suggests.

What he says about Hotaru is worrying, given how much has happened since then and now. ”Do you want to go and check on her?” she asks.
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Mastered) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
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Nate Wren
Director of Social Affairs / "Doctor"

Age: 30 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 6 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 21
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal)
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 1,255
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#16
I know that Most feelings are fleeting, but I could make a home from this one
Scoffing again, Nate shakes his head. "You are. Acting like things are just... normal. Like... Like I'm the problem." There's a bitter streak a mile wide in Nate's voice, his nose wrinkling as he speaks, as he works himself up inside his head, a storm churning and swirling. It only grows darker at the offer of help, shining behind Nate's eye, threatening to break. "Why now? Why... why not before?" He did need help, but not the kind he knew how to ask for, not the kind he was willing to speak into reality, if the woman across from him proved to be what he thought.

Talk of recipes is far easier, a gentler sea to rock upon, though even now the dinghy is taking on water. "That's... a good idea." Transcribing barely remembered recipes into a book would at least fill a few lonely nights, and give him something tangible, something to add to the feeling of home. "I guess you don't, um... don't have your copy's here, do you?" He'd brought very little into Caido, it only made sense that others had the same limitations. As if suddenly blown by a gentle breeze, Nate's head tips, away from the kitchen, towards the opposite wall, the window, then, just as carelessly, he looks up, as if he could see through the floors from where they sit to where his lovers slumber the day away.

"No. We can't bother them. She's... they're both in a bad way." Even he can tell his voice is too sharp, his denial too immediate. It's suspicious, and that's the last thing he wants to be at the moment. "The door, it should stay closed. It's a um," Waving his hand, Nate tries to bring the word to mind, so close to the tip of his tongue, "a clementine? No, fuck." His chin drops against his chest hard, his lap catching the mumbles that dribble from his lips as he struggles for a word that just seems to drift further and further away.
NATE
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Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 16
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,010
MP:
#17
Vervain
Inhaling deeply, her hand still grasped in Nate’s, Vai has to take a moment that feels longer than a lifetime to try and navigate these new waters. “I don’t think you’re the problem,” she says slowly. ”I just think you’re worn out, with all of this.” And sick as a dog and more feverish than a man without blood has any right to be. ”Does that sound about right?” she asks, trying to coax some sort of affirmation (or the contrary) out of him.

”I... I got here as soon as I could,” Vai begins, and it’s only until the sway and pull of delirium rears its ugly head that she realises that Nate’s caught her again, in a pretence of sanity that has proven itself to be untenable. Blinking, she manages a quick shake of her head. ”I don’t, Nate. Sorry.” Vai nibbles at the inside of her cheek. ”Maybe you could make something new, and write it down as you go?”

She glances over to the door at the mention of it, and the slip of a wrong word is like a contagion (is that the one he was thinking of?) and Vai can’t come up with it either, for the life of her. Still, Nate’s mumbling brings her attention back, and she gives his hand another squeeze to try and draw his attention back. ”Maybe you should go and be with them,” she suggests gently. ”I’ll look after things here for a bit, I don’t mind.”
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Mastered) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
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Nate Wren
Director of Social Affairs / "Doctor"

Age: 30 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 6 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 21
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal)
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 1,255
MP:
#18
I know that Most feelings are fleeting, but I could make a home from this one
This time, the reassurance seems to work the way it's meant to, Nate letting his shoulders drop, his gaze breaking away from Vai, dropping back to the ground. "I'm... worn-out sounds right." He acquiesces, nodding sheepishly. Her hands are still grasped in his, Nate squeezing like it's a lifeline, while his eye chases a circle around the floor, his head following the motion after a moment. "Is it that easy to see?" He's always prided himself on his ability to keep things under control, to keep them wrapped up tight, but if anyone could see him, well, it made sense to be her.

For the first time, it seems to register to Nate that they're having different conversations, his head snapping back up so he can squint across at the witch, not understanding what she means. "You're... here every time?" He tries to lead, like she's the one following strange paths, and he needs to guide her back to sense. They come back to sense quickly though, Nate smiling crookedly at her apology, but nodding his understanding. "I didn't bring much with me either." Reassurance doesn't seem to be his strong suit, but there's something decidedly earnest in his voice, a chime that only continues as he does. "A new cookbook might good out here. There's a few things I don't think I'll find again. And-" A warm laugh leaves him here, his head shaking, "things that I've never seen too."  

"V-Vai?" Nate's fingers twitch like he wants to pull his hands away, as he skips confusion and goes straight to upset worry. "Where did... whe-when did..?" The suggestion to go and join his lovers quarantine (there's that word) seems to have missed him comepletely, but the offer to take care of things hits him like a wall, his back straightening as he tries to wrap his mind around her words, tries to figure out what he's missing from this conversation.
NATE
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Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 16
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,010
MP:
#19
Vervain
”No, not that easy to see. But I know what I’m looking for - it helps,” Vai says softly, wishing she could do something to cool off a mind that shouldn’t be capable of overheating in the first place. Still, she supposes it’s an idea, if nothing else, though quite how she’ll be able to implement it is another thing altogether. Her brow furrows as she tries to follow the pathways his delirium takes them down, and her shoulders relax when he hinges on something relatively innocuous.

”Things you’ve never seen?” She smiles. ”I feel like that, too. There are a lot of new things here, aren’t there?” Not just food either; perhaps Vai is trying to keep him talking at this point, because at least that’s less likely to lead to any upset like what comes over Nate just a moment afterwards.

Still, the witch seizes on the opportunity, trying to catch his eye. ”Nate? You’re unwell - I don’t know how, but we’re going to try and figure it out. I just need you to trust me, okay?”
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Mastered) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
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Nate Wren
Director of Social Affairs / "Doctor"

Age: 30 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 6 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 21
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal)
Played by: Johnny Offline
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#20
I know that Most feelings are fleeting, but I could make a home from this one
Nate nods, accepting her words easily, a slow smile spreading over his face. "'Course you do." He murmurs, blinking hard and fast for a moment. "Guess you always could, huh?" But then they're shifting, following his words about cooking, and his grin just keeps growing, unchecked now. "There's so much. Things I thought weren't real, too. I can... if you want, I'll show you. And... maybe I'll introduce you to someone, too." It's clear even in this state there's a touch of hesitation, of trepidation that accompanies the words, though it vanishes, fading from his face as the delusion fades and he's left grasping at what he'd believed so fervently.

He's still stiff, still ramrod straight and confused, clearly. His eye makes one final trip around the room, searching for something, for someone, and when he doesn't Nate finally looks up at Vai. There's so much trying to assault him, a rare moment of clarity becoming muddled, overwhelmed, but if he just looks at the woman, perhaps he can quiet some of the voices screaming at him in favour of hers. "I... trust you." Sure, it might come almost reluctantly, after a moment of hesitation, but it comes nontheless, his hands squeezing hers now in a passive desperation, a plea for help that he can't voice in any other way. "What... who's we?"
NATE
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Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 16
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,010
MP:
#21
Vervain
It isn’t healthy, to keep feeding into the mirage of Nate’s thoughts, not when they weave into moments of clarity that only serve to confuse him further. So however sweet his smile is, and however desperately nice it might be to see him sound like himself (sort of, even if the cracks in the facade are visible), Vai can’t commit to it any more. So when he squeezes her hands she holds them in return, nodding and smiling he thanks. ”We... At the moment, I suppose it’s just Ronin and I. A lot of people are getting sick. Ascended, too.”

Vai rises to her feet, though she keeps hold of Nate - she’s torn between trying to help in a practical sense and keeping him company. Eventually she settles for perching on the arm of his chair, one of her hands slipping out of his so she can rest the back of her palm against his forehead. ”You’re really burning up,” she mutters. There’s no cold compress to hand, so the witch reaches out with her magic to stir up the air currents around them, directing a cool breeze over him instead.
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Mastered) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
Reply
Nate Wren
Director of Social Affairs / "Doctor"

Age: 30 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 6 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 21
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal)
Played by: Johnny Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,255
MP:
#22
I know that Most feelings are fleeting, but I could make a home from this one
”You and Ronin... must be hard. Lonely.” Nate’s still drifting, but just under the surface now, things making just enough sense to overwhelm him, with guilt, with sadness. There’s a tremble in his jaw, a crack in his voice when he says ”I’m sorry I can’t help, that... that I was too late.” He sniffles, head snapping up to watch her rise, eye watery and hands suddenly holding her tight.

There’s still something he can do, he can still help, and even with the way her shape shifts, confuses him, Nate wants her here. ”W-wait, I... Sam is sick too, and... Amalia and...” Who else, who else, who else? His fingers squeeze and scrabble, hands pulling in, but it’s not enough, Vai taking her hand away.

And settling close beside him, above him, though he knows in some way that doesn’t quite make sense. What makes sense stops mattering though, as a hand presses against his forehead, the feeling so familiar he doesn’t even hesitate to lean against her, shivering as a cool breeze flows around him. ”Can I stay home from school then?” The words are small, hesitant, Nate wrapped up tightly in the swaddle of delusions again.
NATE
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Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 16
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,010
MP:
#23
Vervain
”It’s certainly an experience.” Vai smiles softly to Nate, feeling her own eyes start to prickle just to see him acting a little more like himself. She respects him too much to pretend it’s all fine, running her thumb over the back of his hand. ”You’ve got nothing to apologise for. Besides, you can run the clinic for a bit when you’re feeling better, and I’ll take a vacation. Sound like a plan?” The attempt at levity is as much for herself as it is for Nate, and she tilts her head as he tries to give her as much information as he can.

Packing all of that away for later contemplation - Amalia, and Sam, maybe others - as she feels the heat from his forehead and tries to whip up a breeze to cool him off, Vai can’t help but think that it’s going to do the opposite as he leans against her. But to hear Nate, and to realise that she’s lost him again, the witch sighs softly and wraps an arm around his shoulders, her free hand still holding onto his. ”I think you should stay off today,” she says. ”Maybe even tomorrow, too.”
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Mastered) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
Reply
Nate Wren
Director of Social Affairs / "Doctor"

Age: 30 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 6 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 21
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal)
Played by: Johnny Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,255
MP:
#24
I know that Most feelings are fleeting, but I could make a home from this one
Even loopy as he is, even missing one eye, Nate can see the toll this is taking on Vai, the way she’s struggling. He’s looking out from a mirror though, struggling desperately to reach out and help her, but unable to do anything but stare, brows furrowed. ”Sounds like a plan.” He agrees easily, a smile tugging his lips up but flagging before it reaches his eyes, before his brows can unfurrow. He needs to be focused, needs to be paying attention, but the more he tries to hold on, the more things slip away from him, keeping himself together a Sisyphean task.

And when he loses things completely, when they swirl around him, the worry he’d picked up lingers, pressing in at the edges of his vision.

Nate nods, as Vai’s arm winds around him, and he presses in closer, his arm wrapping around her in a clingy hug. ”Will you stay with me?” Nate hates, hates with every fibre of his being, how small he sounds, how small he feels. ”I don’t,” his voice breaks, his face pressing into her side, muffling the rest of his weepy words, ”wanna be alone.” A shuddering breath that shouldn’t be shakes his shoulders. He never thought he’d miss this, that exact thought struggling to make it out of him as he interrupts himself again and again with barely stifled sobs.
NATE
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