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Blood Spilled, Blood Bound; Private
Topic Started: Feb 25 2012, 03:54 AM (1,650 Views)
Solomir
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Marcus never saw the punch coming.

He had just been sitting down with some books, working on some math homework that had been assigned in the morning. Getting the work done early gave him more time to study for next week's test. It would also give him a little more spare time he could spend on a couple of sketches he'd been working on at home. Of course, the homework and studying was still top priority, and he needed to put all his attention into it. Naturally, this meant that Marcus really couldn't care less about who else was hanging around the lockers.

"Hey, you!" someone yelled from somewhere nearby. That had been enough to catch Marcus' attention. He looked up just as the fist connected.

There was a loud crash as the other boy reeled from the impact right into a locker a few feet away. That definitely looked like it hurt. The boy, Marcus recognized as a junior, crumpled to the ground, blood streaming from his nose and from what was probably a cut on his lip. The attacker, another junior, stood over him, and continued yelling something about a girl.

Marcus really couldn't care much about their little corner of teen drama. He definitely wasn't looking to getting his own beatdown for trying to get involved. He looked around; there were a few other students that had seen the initial attack. Somebody had already run off to find a teacher or security. Which probably meant that Marcus didn't need to do anything else at this point. That was good, since it might be a bit embarrassing if Marcus let this continue for too long without doing something. He closed his textbook and pushed it to the side as he stood up from his seat. They were a little close for comfort, and he decided to back off to give them some room. He could still keep an eye on things, just in case things got out of hand.

After all, this was a bit interesting to watch, even if he wasn't really supposed to care.

V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Violent-Medic
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((Joe Carrasco: Commence.))

When the nearby argument started, Joe was grabbing books from his locker and trying to memorize the stages of lung cancer. He didn't need to know those stages for school, at least not right now, but his father kept quizzing him on random medical information, as well as general schoolwork questions, and that morning Joe had gotten the stages wrong. He couldn't remember the difference between stage 3A and 3B. He'd looked it up afterwards and was now constantly repeating it in his head.

Stage 3A is when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the same side as where the cancer started and it can be treated with surgery. 3B has spread to the opposite side of the chest and cannot be surgically removed. Why is that so hard to remember?

When it came to rattling the stages off for his father, however, Joe often got tongue-tied or blanked in some way. And then he wouldn't be allowed to do anything after school but return home and study. No time for a smoke. Pity, because Joe really could have used one... but someone would probably notice if he turned up at home half-baked.

He'd been too caught up in these thoughts to notice the argument nearby until the loud "Hey, you!" When he heard that, he instinctively flinched (yelling was not a good sign) and turned around in time to see a kid punch another kid and send him slamming into a locker.

The kid that had gotten punched was bleeding from the nose and from his split lip. As soon as Joe saw the blood, it was all he could focus on. The thoughts of lymph nodes and surgery trickled out of his head to be replaced by a number of conflicting thoughts.

Oh god, he's bleeding, oh god oh god oh god...
Look away, you dope.
No, you need to help him, that guy just got punched and that's bad!
I feel all shaky...
Look away, dammit!
But I'm stuck. Feet won't move. Shaky.
I wonder what the medical term for a nosebleed is.
Brain, this is not the time! Look it up later!
Whoa, grab something!


Joe had wobbled and grabbed the top of the locker for stability. The sight of blood always made him feel weak and shaky, and he always felt scared even if the injury wasn't that bad. It was just a nosebleed, and it was probably just as well. He had fainted a couple of times in the past, but only when the bleeding was really, really bad.

As he tried to regain the use of his feet and stop staring at the blood (oh god it's everywhere why isn't anyone doing something?) he tried to express his concern without betraying how terrified and shaky he was.

'Stop hitting him! Are you alright?' That had been the intended phrase. What came out was an eloquent "gaaaaarblah." He was fairly sure that neither had heard him, and he saw a teacher appear out of the corner of his eye and head towards the two kids. The situation was under control. He could leave.

Dammit, feet, why won't you move?

It took him a few more tries. He only managed to move once the teacher had moved between him and the two boys, so that he could no longer see the blood. He knew it was there, of course, but not being able to see it returned function to his feet. He quickly grabbed the books he'd needed and hurried further away. His feet couldn't carry him too far yet and so he tumbled into a chair.

Dropping his books into a stack on the table in front of him, Joe quickly hid his face in his hands and tried to regain his train of thought and shove away the mental image of that kid bleeding heavily from the face.
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Solomir
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The bigger boy had managed to get in an extra kick or two before a teacher showed up to break up the fight. Not that Marcus would have really called it a fight: it was a bit too one-sided to warrant that description. Not in any way the biggest or most violent fight he'd seen at Aurora either. Not only a month ago, Marcus had heard of one particularly bad fight that had erupted between some other juniors. Supposedly, one kid had gotten hit bad enough to have to go to the hospital, but that was probably an exaggeration. Nobody had gotten expelled over it after all.

It still nagged at Marcus a bit that he hadn't done anything to stop the fight himself. Granted, he wasn't the biggest or strongest boy around; he wasn't even involved in whatever relationship drama had sparked it. At best, he'd have gotten shoved aside if he'd tried to do anything. Not much he could really change even if he tried.

Still, maybe he should've tried.

Some clattering from behind caught Marcus' attention. He turned and saw a familiar face, Joe Carrasco, taking a seat and dropping his books onto the table. Even though Marcus and Joe had attended mass at the same parish for a long time now, they'd never really formed a close friendship. Primarily, it was because they rarely had the same classes together, and Marcus often preferred studying alone anyway. Or it could be that Joe's family and Marcus' family rarely interacted at church since they were from different cultural backgrounds. Or maybe it was because Joe wasn't a really outgoing kind of guy either. Marcus had never really thought much about it.

Now that he was thinking about it, Joe really didn't look all that okay. He'd just stared blankly at his books for a moment before burying his face in his hands. Marcus didn't know Joe very well, but he'd never seemed like the guy to what would amount to having a mental breakdown in school. It wasn't like he'd be stressed from school; he got better grades than Marcus in pretty much everything. There were a lot of other possibilities for this kind of behavior, but many of them weren't likely for a guy like Joe.

Maybe Marcus couldn't do anything for the boy that had gotten a fist to the face, but he could try to help Joe. There wasn't much he could do, but he was always good enough at lending a supportive shoulder and a listening ear. Those were things Joe looked like he needed right now.

"Hey Joe, you don't look so good. Are you okay?"
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Violent-Medic
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Joe's head jerked up again as someone spoke to him. He looked up to see Marcus Leung looking down at him, looking concerned and questioning as to whether he was okay.

Joe didn't really know Marcus that well. Not that it was unusual; Joe barely knew anyone that well. He barely remembered anyone's face because he spent most of his time gazing at his shoes. He could probably count on his fingers the amount of people he could manage a conversation of not mumbling with. The only reason he knew of Marcus at all was because they went to the same parish, and that wasn't enough for Joe to manage conversation.

'I am fine. It's just my hemophobia, but it isn't a problem.' Those were the words in Joe's head.

What came out was, "Er... m'fiee." Joe shook his head afterwards, going bright red. Why were words so hard? He gave it another go.

"I... I'm... fine," he said slowly. "Juh... juh... hemo... thing. Nopobbem."

Not much better. Maybe it would be enough.

Joe quickly looked down again, picking up his biology textbook. If only because it felt like he should be doing something with his hands. Or doing anything besides sitting there and mumbling only half-understandable phrases.

As he started going through some of the information from last class, he kept glancing upwards at Marcus. Like any of the rare times that people talked to him, Joe was torn between wanting him to talk more and wanting him to leave. A conflict of loneliness versus comfortability, as it were.

He was also curious as to why Marcus was bothering to ask. Wouldn't it make more sense to question the boy that got punched as to his state of well-being? Though, Joe supposed that was what the teacher was for. Maybe Joe was just surprised that this guy had even noticed any signs of distress, much less bothered to do something about it.
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Solomir
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Whatever Joe had mumbled back to him were definitely not words. At least not English words. The only word he could make out was "fine" and by the looks of it, that was the one word he probably wasn't using to describe himself. Except maybe if he were saying he wasn't fine.

Of course, now Joe was trying to bury his nose into his biology textbook. Keyword: trying. Given the way he kept looking up from the pages, Marcus was fairly sure that Joe wasn't trying to make him go away. Marcus watched for a few moments, then sighed to himself as he reached out and gently pushed the book back onto the table.

"Dude, Joe, you don't look okay. You look more like your dog just got run over." He kept his hand firmly pressing the textbook against the table, just in case Joe tried to pull it back up in front of his face. "I don't think studying is really gonna make you feel better," Marcus continued, keeping his voice soft enough to not draw any attention from whoever else was wandering around the room. "I'd say you should go see the nurse, but she probably has her hands full with that kid who just got his face smashed in. Maybe take a walk and get some fresh air or some water." He shrugged absently. Hard to say the right things to make people feel better when he didn't know what was wrong. "Or you could talk about it. Talking about stuff usually helps."
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Violent-Medic
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Marcus didn't seem content with Joe's incomprehensible explanation, seeing as he was now preventing Joe from using the textbook as a shield to deflect conversation with. He probably wouldn't have done that if his interest in how Joe was doing was just out of politeness.

"Uhh... uhm."

Just say you're scared of blood. It's four syllables. Can't you manage that much?

"Iscarrobluh."

You suck.
I know, I know.


Joe looked down at his book again out of embarrassment, although he still couldn't use it to deflect conversation. He didn't really want to deflect the conversation that badly, despite the general terror he was feeling at actually having to converse. It'd be nice to have someone else to talk to. Still, it didn't stop him from half-wishing he could pull the book back up again.

Wait a second. A book might help explain.

Joe raised his hands in a 'give me a second' gesture before he started going through his bag. He had a book on phobias in there, because he'd been researching more on how to get over them. It was becoming more urgent that he do so, what with the end of high school approaching and all. Revealing that he was afraid of blood in a pre-med college course could be... well, a pretty big problem.

He located the book he was looking for and flicked through it, quickly locating the definition of hemophobia. He turned the book around, pointing at the definition so that Marcus could see it.

Books were the best for talking with. They didn't mumble.
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Solomir
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At first, Marcus thought Joe was just going to use his newly procured book to pull the same stunt of covering up his face. Given the skittishness of Joe at the moment, it was a wonder he hadn't run off already. Which at least meant that Marcus was making progress somewhat. Always a good sign. Joe flipped through the book, the title of which Marcus hadn't been able to catch, and then turned the book over to show Marcus a particular entry.

Hemophobia.

"Oh." That made sense. Well, as much sense as phobias could make. Phobias weren't something Marcus knew how to handle, but that would imply that he knew how to handle any of the issues he'd encountered with David. Truth be told, he only did whatever he thought would help people feel better. There wasn't any specific method to things before, and the same for right now. "Hey, don't feel bad about it. Some people are just more sensitive to certain things. I knew a guy who pretty much curled into a ball when someone touched him. And then there was this other guy who would just start crying whenever the words 'pink' and 'underpants' were said."

Marcus smiled at Joe, hoping the slightly exaggerated example was crazy enough to at least help Joe lighten up. "Okay, I was joking about that last one," he said with a laugh, "but some people have issues. Doesn't make you any less a person." Marcus sighed and looked down. "When I was younger, people yelling would always freak me out. Reminded me too much of my parents sometimes. They'd just say things, and they were angry and didn't really mean the things they said." He shrugged and looked back up at Joe. "But I got over it. Kinda. Now instead of freaking out and freezing up, I just get the urge to break up the arguments and fix things. Except I've also learned that can be a terrible idea."

Marcus reached behind him and picked up his math text along with the workbook under it and put it in front of him on his new table. "I'm sure you'll get over it, this blood thing. Until then, if you need somebody to talk to or whatever...." he trailed off with a shrug. He shifted the books in front of him idly, but kept his eyes on Joe, just to make sure he got through. There were times when he'd screwed things up by saying the wrong things or not pushed hard enough.

He hated himself for those times.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Violent-Medic
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Joe tried to keep his gaze focused on Marcus as he talked about how it was okay to be afraid of things, but he still felt too jumpy and kept staring downwards, but glancing up every few seconds in an attempt to show that he was listening. It was difficult, because Marcus was keeping his eyes on him and eye contact just made things even more uncomfortable.

Still, Marcus seemed like he was trying to be understanding. The natural pessimist inside Joe was still half-expecting Marcus to suddenly go 'hurr, got your hopes up' and then dump a bucket of pig's blood on him.

Where did that thought even come from? ...Dammit, probably Travis and all his talk about horror films. Ick.

Silly thought, anyway. Marcus was clearly not that kind of guy. Quite the opposite. It was rare that Joe talked to anyone so nice, although to be fair Joe could count the people he could fluently talk to in this school on one hand.

When Marcus got to the part about the guy with the horrible fear of pink underpants, Joe let out a small snort of laughter and his level of skittishness did drop a few millimeters. The rest of what Marcus said was kind, and it made sense. Especially the part about once being afraid of people yelling at each other. That was always kind of scary, especially if it got vicious.

The only part that made him twitch just a little was when Marcus told him he'd get over it. But that was more because it reminded him just how far he was from getting over it. Plus, he just remembered his father saying that he'd get over it, albeit in a less sympathetic manner.

<You'll get over it when you work on the cadavers. Everyone's a bit afraid of blood, stop overreacting and behaving like it's a huge deal. These are just pictures! Now stop looking away and read this section on bedsores. If you can't recite this section for me tomorrow morning then you can't go play with that weird kid that never stops whistling.>

Joe raised a hand to cover the small frown that had appeared at these thoughts, though perhaps just a little too late. Still, he was feeling less jumpy and nervous than before. He still kind of wanted to leave, but it was a much weaker urge than before.

Marcus was waiting for him to say something. Joe stopped covering his mouth and tried to speak a couple of times. Nothing came out at first, he just flapped his mouth wordlessly for a bit. Joe paused for a bit, drumming his fingers on the page of his book. He looked up again at Marcus, but then ended up looking down again almost immediately.

"It's... it's..." Joe shut his eyes. It made things a little easier. "I... I'm... I'm trying to... to get over it. But... but, uh..."

He clasped his hands together in an effort to stop himself from drumming his fingers on the pages. That had to be annoying. He wasn't sure if he could manage the rest of what he was trying to say.

He managed to look up again. Marcus was still waiting. He hadn't waved his hands and left out of frustration at Joe's incoherency. That was something. More than something. That was huge to Joe.

He wanted to talk.

"But... but..."

Then all the words just flooded out at once.

"But-talking-sort-of-helps-even-though-it-doesn't-really-help-me-be-less-scared-but-it's-nice-to-talk-to-someone-and-so-thank-you-for-that-seriously."

That was said in one breath. Joe immediately clammed his mouth shut afterwards and went bright red.

"Uh. S... s'rry," he mumbled.
Edited by Violent-Medic, Apr 25 2012, 01:25 AM.
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Solomir
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There wasn't much Marcus could do to make somebody really open up to him. Being a patient and supportive guy only went so far; the rest was really up to the other person. There were some people that were introspective enough to handle themselves mostly without outside intervention. It was something that Marcus was quite familiar with. Not everyone was like him though.

He smiled back at Joe as the torrent of words came spilling out. Success came in little steps. Even if it took a few moments to make out exactly what was being said. Which was of course, when Joe realized how much he had said (or maybe just how fast) and his mouth snapped close like a mousetrap. It was adorable like a child, and Marcus couldn't help but laugh.

"No, no, keep talking," he said as the laughter in him died down, "it helps, right?" He reached over and gave Joe a pat on the arm. "And really, it's no big problem. Just doing what I can. Least I can do is listen, right?" Marcus picked up his pencil and scribbled his phone number onto the corner in his open notebook. Neatly ripping out a rectangular section with the scribbles, he passed it over to Joe. "Just in case another junior decides to make mashed potatoes out of his classmates when I'm not around."

Marcus threw a glance around the room, then down at his watch. Still another half hour before next period. Still time to chat and make sure Joe was calmed down for class. "So," Marcus said as he closed his textbook, "tell me a bit about what it's like when you see blood."

Math homework could wait.

((Marcus Leung continued elsewhere))
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Violent-Medic
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Joe went even brighter red and buried his face in his hands when Marcus started laughing. That was so rarely a good sign. Open his mouth finally and they laugh. It was a little bit like when he started school and kids laughed because he didn't know English too well, having only been taught the basics off his not-completely-fluent father.

He wasn't sure what Marcus found so funny, exactly, but he eventually stopped laughing and offered to listen to Joe more. His laughter hadn't been malicious or anything... not like the children who were all 'you're pronouncing your name wrong, stupid, that's not how you say a J.' Joe still felt embarrassed, though.

Maybe he'd just found something behind him funny? Joe stopped covering his face as Marcus scribbled down his number, saying it was just in case more fights happened around him. He blinked a couple of times, gazing down at the numbers. He had very few numbers in his phone. Besides that of his family for emergencies, he only had Travis' number and a couple of other friends. Someone he just met handing him a phone number confused him a little.

Not in a bad way, though. Joe honestly wasn't sure why he was still expecting this 'I'll listen to you' thing to be a mean joke, but giving him a phone number was far, far beyond the minimum 'polite sympathy' requirement, and definitely beyond what was required for a 'psyche, got you, pig's blood' prank.

Joe fiddled with the piece of paper for a few seconds, still trying to get his head around it, before smiling. It was still a nervous smile, but he so rarely managed smiling around strangers.

"Th... th... thanks."

Joe removed his phone from his pocket and typed the number in. He saw that there was a message from Travis, but he didn't want to look rude by getting too distracted by his phone mid-conversation, so he quickly shoved the phone back in his pocket again.

Marcus checked his watch and Joe expected the excuse to leave to come next ('oh, I have to leave and... shave my dog, bye.') But Marcus stayed. He kept talking to Joe. And Joe tried his best to raise his voice above incomprehensible mumbles.

It was easier than at the beginning of the conversation.

"Um, well... it's... it's sort of luh... like a... it's n... n... not that bad... just-kinda-annoying-when-you're-trying-to-become-a-doctor-and-all... Um. S'rry. That... was too... too fast, wasn't it?"

((Joe Carrasco continued in Daily Exam.))
Edited by Violent-Medic, May 11 2012, 05:59 AM.
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