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Bump in the Night
Topic Started: Aug 20 2010, 09:16 AM (4,277 Views)
Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
(Julian Avery continued from Resolve)

It was a weird feeling, being so damn messianic. Julian had only been awake for a few hours in this game, and he'd already saved multiple people's lives multiple times. He briefly considered keeping a mental list of all the lives he'd saved on the island, but realized that it'd most likely balloon out of control and get hard to remember very, very quickly. Julian decided instead to compromise, and just do his best to remember the fact that he was awesome. This was the kind of difficult compromise that a messiah had to make on a daily basis.

Julian was starting to wonder if he'd ever catch up with Claire, or if he was just blatantly going in the wrong direction. He'd been doing his best to follow a trail that looked pretty clear to him- Claire didn't seem to be giving a shit about stealth- but there was also the fact that his tracking skills amounted to jack shit and he could've easily made a mistake and veered off half an hour ago. But Julian decided to keep heading down this same path, since it wasn't like he had anywhere else he needed to be.

Which was more of an unsettling thought than Julian initially gave it credit for. It wasn't like he had anywhere else he needed to be. To be honest, Julian hadn't given much thought to the idea of what he was actually gonna be doing on this island. Surviving would be... nice. But the most apparent way to ensure his survival would be to go around killing people, which was completely out of the question. He could keep on wandering around and being a freelance messiah, but it seemed a little pointless. Julian hadn't really watched SotF in the past, but the impression he got was that eventually, people were gonna start killing each other no matter how hilarious Julian Avery was. Sad ending for everyone.

But... not necessarily? After all, Julian's current mission was to help Claire reunite with her friend Aislyn, which... well, it'd make Claire happier than she would have been otherwise, even if she got shot the day after. So he could go and do that, and keep on doing it as many times as possible. Reuniting friends and couples, getting people to laugh a bit, making sure that as many people as possible got a happy moment or two before this game came crashing down on them.

Not such a bad goal to have.

Julian heard a small "... Hello? as he trudged through the brush. Claire's voice. Hey, right on cue.

"Claire? It's Julian. I ain't here to hurt you. I'mma step out where we can see each other, and I'mma be dangling my sword as non-threateningly as I can. That okay with you?"
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
"...Thanks, for earlier."

Mmm. Gratitude was nice. It was certainly miles ahead of the oh God, you seriously followed me, get the fuck away from me you creep that he'd been worrying, just a little, he might receive. After all, Claire could be a little abrasive at times, particularly on the subject of boys giving her unwanted attention. But she was also a good person, at least as far as Julian was concerned. Which was a big part why he'd decided to follow her in the first place.

"Looks like some people are already out for blood."

Julian let out a relaxed laugh and lowered his arms as he took a few steps towards Claire. The edge of his sword scraped gently against the ground, picking up a little dirt. "Yeah, I know. But we all just got to keep our heads level is all. I bet that right now, those crazy kids back at the church are holding hands and riding off into the sun-"

Oh fuck gun..

Gun. Raised. Aimed. Jesus fuck, had she been holding it the whole time? And he didn't even notice- fuck, so that meant she had it back at the church, so- awful clever of her to- No not now. Think later. Act stupidly now.

A quick dash towards Claire. A few sharp strides and a bit of a skidding halt that buried his loafers an inch into the ground. Julian was in front of Claire by a few feet, back turned to her, his body blocking any shot that Claire might take at the newcomer. He awkwardly flailed of his left arm a little to regain his balance. Made a gesture to Claire with his left hand- stay back- and hoped she saw it. Tightened his grip on the jian and raised it up. Took a posture that he hoped said 'defensive but confident' rather than 'freaked the fuck out'. Swallowed hard. Squinted. Tried to make out who the newcomer was.

Hoped to God that nobody picked up on the fact that he was, ever so slightly, shaking.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
The most immediate downside of being such a badass is that people have a tendency to prostrate themselves in abject terror whenever you show up. Do something as simple as walk into a room, everyone snaps into reverent silence and bows their heads (for they are not worthy). Do something as simple as jump out of nowhere at a defenseless boy and brandish your sword as him, and he falls over and begs for his life. It was a burden, this aura of booming majesty that he dragged around with him wherever he went, but one he had to shoulder. It was a curse. It was a crippling character defect.

And Julian was, if nothing else, acutely aware of his crippling character defects.

"...Pick it up, Dave. We're not going to kill you ...as long as you don't do anything stupid."

Julian glanced back at Claire- lowered her gun, good- and relaxed himself. Shook the tension out of his shoulders, dropped to one knee, and shoved his sword a few inches to the ground. "And even if you do anything stupid, we only gonna kill you a little bit." His words and face were friendly, his eyes mostly focused on David but occasionally tracking the shallow wobbling of the sword's hilt. "And I'm sorry I spooked you, man, it's just that I'm with Samurai Club and we're all practicing for our big recital."

"...So, did you follow me here? ...If you don't mind me asking, why...?"

Julian rose back to his feet, turning to one Claire and leaning his left leg slightly on the sword. To make sure it was still there. To make sure he still had his power, his control, his trump card. To make sure he could still protect her. To protect her- was that the answer he was gonna give Claire? Little paternalistic. Little condescending. Little stupid, now that he knew she had a gun and was in the habit of pointing it at squawky little guys. But a gun is a dishonorable weapon of cowards, Claire, you need a brave samurai to protect you and that is final.

"Yeah, I followed-"

"Hey! Is everything okay?"

Oh for fuck's sake. It was almost like these folks- Julian whirled his head around, how many of them were there?- weren't entirely aware that they were dealing with a freelance messiah. But... well, they seemed well-intentioned enough. Certainly better for them to ask a silly question or two than for them to try and start some shit. So he couldn't get legitimately mad at them, and in the absence of legitimate anger there was exactly one tone Julian had at his disposal:

"Y'all want in on Samurai Club or somethin'?" He turned his head slowly and surveyed the little crowd of people who'd come to this spot- whether they consciously knew it or not- to bask in Julian's booming majesty. "Sorry guys, I can't help you out. Treasurer's office is that way," a random way, a random place that wasn't here, "and she can hook you up with membership cards if you're interested. Five bucks, plus the cost of a badass sword."

An aside glance to Claire. Goofy, cheerful, but a little exasperated. These crazy kids, no respect for privacy. He shook his head and turned back to her. He lowered his voice. Almost sounded serious.

"Claire, I followed you because I wanna protect you. I wanna make sure you find Aislyn, and that you don't get hurt on the way," his eyes flickered towards her gun for a split second, "and, well, that you don't hurt anyone yourself. You can take it or leave it. But you deserve to see your friend again. And I'mma stay by your side till you tell me to go."
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
And she said yes. Well, of course she did. Thank you for accepting my protection, Claire. Now I can teach you the way of the samurai, which in Japanese is called "kawaii". And with that, the two of them set off skipping into the setting sun, holding hands. And before they knew it, they'd fallen in love, and the power of their love was so great that it turned their collars into dust (fairy dust, to be specific). And it was right about then that they realized they could fly (all they had to do was believe in themselves), so they took off soaring into the setting sun and zoomed their way back to Minnesota. And they got married and had seven babies and they lived happily ever after.

Or at least, that was what Claire obviously wanted. From the way she was checking Julian out, he could tell that she wanted at least four babies. But you could hardly blame her, especially considering- Wait, no. No no no. Shut up, be serious for a moment. Put on your serious face, Julian Avery. She actually was, maybe, just a little, just a teensy bit, checking him out. Which was appreciated, no doubt. But it was also... fuck. He had no idea whether she was actually starting to get attached to him, or how much, but that would not be a good thing. He'd help her find Aislyn to the best of his ability, sure. And he'd give her all the protection and emotional support she wanted on the way. But after that? Gone. Good luck, you two, but I've got some more worlds to save. More work to do. More people to reunite. More conflicts to defuse. And so he'd have to turn and leave. Gone. With a witty phrase and a charming smile, gone. Just like with Marybeth.

Well, no, not exactly. The key difference with Marybeth was that Marybeth was dumb as shit. And so messing with her head could only ever be a good thing, because the new mental course that your dickery nudged her towards was almost undoubtedly better than her previous one. Claire was... different. Claire was a good kid. Claire had, if Julian's memory of the grapevine served him well, had troubles with the wrong kind of boy in the past. And then a nice boy comes along and seems like he might be different, and then he turns around and leaves as soon as he's done with his obligation to her. Gone.

Julian didn't like it. But what the fuck else was he supposed to do?

"But you have to trust me a little more. I'm not planning on using this unless I really have to."

That was what she had told him, and it looked like she was expecting an answer. Something more substantial than the nod and the understanding look he'd given so far. "I gotcha, Claire. It's just... I dunno. When I seen your gun, something just came over me. I got a little crazy." He shrugged. "I ain't really used to it, y'know? So what you gotta do is pull your gun on me randomly while we're walking. Just point it at my face outta nowhere. Get me nice and conditioned to it."

There was more truth to Julian's confession than he would have liked to admit. What he'd done was nice and gallant, but it was also stupid and crazy and it wasn't even remotely necessary. If he'd stopped and thought about it a second more (what was that thought he'd been holding? Something about her being clever?), he'd have realized she wasn't going to shoot anyone. She pretty much had every opportunity to do it back at the church. Put a bullet in Teo's head while Julian was distracting him, pop Nick before he figured out what the fuck was going on. And then Julian himself would have been easy. Execution-style, maybe. She could have forced him onto his knees and snapped off a shitty one-liner of some sort.

But she hadn't.

So maybe he should trust her.

"Listen, though, Claire... I do trust you, a hundred percent. You tell me to stand down, I will. You tell me to watch your back, I will. Whatever you need. And I really mean it." Julian lifted his hand to cover his face and then lowered it again. "See? This is my serious face."

It was pretty much the same face as before.

He picked up his sword, picked up his bag, gave Claire a nod, and started to follow her. Wherever she would go.

(Julian Avery continued in Can't Fall Down)
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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