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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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By the time Alex looked up and started to address Isaiah, the runner was fifty feet away and not slowing down.

It was... well, no way around it, he wasn't really being brave or helping anyone. Thing was, as soon as the fists had started to fly, it became pretty clear that nobody here wanted or needed his help. The swearing, the punching, the blood, it was all the worst of everything Isaiah had ever thought about his classmates, come true before his eyes. This was what he'd feared, what he'd expected to meet everywhere, what he'd been so pleased to momentarily escape.

The absolutely brutal part of this situation was that it wasn't anyone's fault. Alex had goaded Jimmy. That was wrong. Jimmy had retaliated through escalation. That was wrong. Isaiah hadn't been able to do anything to stop it, had actually helped it along with a little cutting remark of his own. That was wrong.

But if three wrongs didn't make a right, layering on a fourth wasn't going to bring them any closer. The only way to break the fight up now would be violence. The two boys hadn't seemed super thrilled with Isaiah to begin with, and while the thought of unifying them in brotherhood and a common goal was wonderful and touching, the fact that that goal would almost certainly be beating the stuffing out of Isaiah for interrupting their little dance removed the luster of the plan pretty quick. So Isaiah had taken a second to watch, making sure they weren't throwing around anything that looked like it'd actually get one of them killed, and then he'd split. He was pretty sure he was making the right choice. Pretty sure his mission here, whatever it was, involved actually accomplishing something instead of preaching to a brick wall.

He heard Alex's question from somewhere behind him: "...Isaiah, right? Want to answer a question for me?"

Lord help him, but he couldn't just bail on a line like that. Slowing for just a second, he tossed back over his shoulder, "I'll give it a pass today, but thanks for the offer. Maybe a rain check?"

And with that, he kept going, hopping over the logs, hoping he wasn't going to be chased down and clobbered, hoping he could find some people who actually wanted a hand instead of spinning his wheels like he'd done so far.

((Isaiah Garvey continued in Aimless))
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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Late Dawns and Early Sunsets · The Felled Forest: North