Log:Another Reunion

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Another Reunion
Characters  •   The Addict  •  The Martyr  •  The Penitent  •  The Competitor  •  The Crusader  •
Location  •  Parlor
Date  •  2019-03-03
Summary  •  Another gathering in the Parlor as old acquaintances and new friends meet up after another successful(?) lifetime.

The Addict comes out of the dining hall, and they've got a chocolate croissant on a plate, with a cup of coffee in their other hand. They're wearing a turquoise skirt over black leggings, with a thin pullover of fine pink wool. They've shaven, and their hair is braided. They're eyes are lined and they're wearing their familiar strawberry lipgloss.

With food in hand, they come into the parlor and look around. It's homier in here than the dining hall, after all, and it never hurts to get a look at the landscape before trundling in.

The Martyr returns to the parlor dressed as he was earlier. He has books and notebook under his arm and looks unsettled. He brightens a bit on seeing Briar, "You have the most amazing wardrobe, Love." He sets his things on the coffee table, and says in a grave tne, "Christine is back. And Em."

"This old thing?" Briar says with a glance down at themselves, though there's a pleased smile on their lips. They come over to give Dare a kiss on the cheek, then set their croissant and coffee beside his things. "Oh, good. How are they adjusting? It can be difficult. I don't remember seeing Christine here before."

The Penitent arrives from The Facility - Hall of Rooms.

The Competitor arrives from The Facility - Hall of Rooms.

The Martyr fondles a braid breifly as Briar kisses his cheek. "Christine's new. Em is... one of the older ones." He settles on the sofa, "It's probably my fault. I should have asked questions about Emily from the others. I didn't know enough to warn christine. I barely knew anything."

The Addict's hair is, as ever, sleek and dark and healthy. "Oh, yes. Emily was Miss Nettie in Prosperity. I didn't know her very much then." They take a seat beside Dare and take up their coffee for a sip. "You need to give me context, sweetheart. What's your fault? What happened?"

Speaking of Miss Nettie, and/or Emily, here comes the Penitent once again. Dressed in her grey slacks and a maroon singlet top, barefoot, she's wandering in with the Competitor, once Christine, hand in hand. "I'm actually really curious what'll happen, now," she admits to the other woman, stopping just a moment when she spies Martyr and Addict there in the parlour, eyes lifting up a little. That easygoing, lighthearted innocent smile comes to her lips as she just changes direction slightly. "Hello!" She offers, somewhat enthusiastically, to the pair of them. It's rather childlike, really. "Danny, huh?" The smile becomes something of a grin instead as she compares the two versions of the Addict she knows. Three, really, counting the one in front of her right now.

Yes, Penitent and Competitor are holding hands, so Martyr can rest easier. "Everything new is a challenge" the Artist Formerly Known As Christine nods to Penitent. "That's what makes it exciting. Is that Danny?" She offers a wave with her free hand to the Addict. "It's Briar now?" A smile for Martyr. "We've talked" she explains about the situation with Penitent. "Things will be different...but things are better."

The Martyr curls sideways, the better to watch Briar's much admired profile. He still can't get enough of looking at them. "Em-Oh!" He turns, surprised at the enthusiam after hours of quiet fretting. It's Christine he's studying though, trying to guage her mood and thus figure out where things stand. His shoulders relax a little. He returns Christine's smile, glad for the improvement in things. "I'm glad. So are you keeping Star?"

The Addict turns to look at the Penitent and the Competitor. Their expression brightens, and they set their coffee aside so they can stand up. "Hello!" They step out from behind the couch to approach the pair. They're in black leggings under a turquoise skirt, with a thin pink pullover. Not something Danny would've worn, not to mention the light makeup.

Their arms come up as if to hug, but then they hesitate. "How are you doing? I heard you guys made it." They tuck a stray lock of hair behind their ear and glance to the Martyr. "I feel like I'm only catching a third of this conversation. Star?"

"Oh, I'm fine. Figuring everything out again, as usual. Emily was quite different to Anette. She had more in common with Madison, really, but that's something else entirely." Penitent will slip a hand free from Christine for just a moment in order to make to accept that hug from Addict, absolutely. "There's a lot of things to figure out. Roxie and Cillian and Christine here, for one." She gives a small little smile, shrugging her shoulders. "And how ... Eilis," she decides to use Laine's other name, "fits into all of that as well."

Competitor has no issue with losing Penitent's hand as she intends joining in those hugs too. "I'm so happy to see you again, Danny" she sighs as she gives him a squeeze. When she pulls back, she nods towards Penitent. "Is anyone surprised she's popular" she giggles. "I have to get used to the new reality. You never know, I could be in the same boat after the next 'story'." A firm side hug and kiss to Penitent's temple. A slight blush as she tries to explain 'Star'. "Well, when Dare mentioned he had a name for here, which Max found rather pointless for some reason, I decided I should be Star." She screws up her nose as she looks at Penitent. "Stupid idea?"

The Martyr says, “Who are Cillian and Eilis?" Rses and attempts toget in on the hugging if hugs are on offer. "Max is Max. Maybe I'll feel different when I'm less new, but this feelsright for now."”

The Addict hugs the Penitent dearly, and does the same with the Competitor. "I'm so glad to see you," they say. "Star's a lovely name. I picked Briar, because at least for a little bit, I was a thorn in Mahoney's side." The Addict formerly known as Danny has a somewhat more restrained nature than the rockstar, but there are similarities in the glint in their eyes (and that fantastic hair). Gone is the Cali boy accent, though. They sound like they're from Jersey with a detour through Brooklyn. Say good-bye to 'r' sounds at the end of words. "Joshua and Laine," they tell the Martyr. They claim another hug from each of the women before gesturing for them to come sit. "Do you want anything while I'm up?"

"Not ... stupid, no. I never was able to find a name that really felt like me, so I never bothered. No name has explicity felt like mine. Some of you seem to be able to pick something and make it work. I never could." Penitent says, her hug far more comfortable and gentle and friendly than something Emily might have provided. Then she's moving over to sit nearby, shaking her head at the offer of getting anything. Instead she glances at Martyr, nodding.

"Cillian was yes, Joshua, who you know. But when he was Cillian McTavish, he was my husband. After surviving Prosperity we lived a life together and had a child together, only to wake up here." There's a soft little sigh there, some sadness that comes over her once again. "So you can see why things are a little confusing for me to see Christine here again, and why things aren't so simple as you'd like them to be."

"I'm fine" Competitor smiles to Addict's offer before offering him a teasing look that glances downwards. "You're up? Same old Danny" she winks before a hug for Martyr too. Then she moves to sit next to Penitent, eyebrows rising and falling in a 'see' expression for Martyr as the other woman explains her convoluted history. "And that's only one of the complications" she points out before shrugging. "I know she is not Emily, not completely, she is not /exactly/ the woman I fell in love with but, if I'm honest, she seems even better here. Which might be a horrible thing to say but it's not really. I'm meeting all of her for the first time." At that sad sigh she reaches over to give Penitent's hand a consoling squeeze and hold it there if wanted.

The Martyr makes a little 'Ah' sound, "I'm looking forward to seeing who they are now." He gets the abstracted look he often used to when taking in new information, then gives The Penitant a crooked smile, "I may be new, but I'm aware of complicated. I've been here long enough to see some things and get a hint of how complicated it might get after a few times around. I'm sorry about... all sorts of things really." He grins at Christine and settles back down, reaching for Briar's hand, "It's not horrible. I feel the same. But then I've different too even if not as different as most."

The Addict grins at the Competitor and says, "Danny was such a boy, but he had his moments." They brush their skirt smooth and add, "I might be swinging feminine to make up for him. I'm so sorry if I was inappropriate to either of you." They retake their spot beside the Martyr and take his hand. "It can get so complicated, I can't imagine," they say to the Penitent. "I remember you and Cillian together. I was always half-afraid he was going to shoot me for being a Munson." They smiles a little. "Common sentiment, back then."

Her hand taken and Penitent just nods a little at Competitor. "There's a lot to unpack, really," she agrees with a small little nod. "Emily didn't mind Danny's style, but Danny was easy to hang around with and pretend because he didn't have any real expectations. So in a way you kind of kept Emily sane, really." She says to Addict, nodding a little. "And for that, I'm really grateful." There's a little laugh at that. "He had a lot more on his mind to worry about than shooting some random Munson. But yeah." She glances sidelong at Martyr, tilting her head a little. "Well, to give you a taste of my own complications, before he was my husband that I would have given everything I had for, he was my brother. Back when he was Conrad Wellson. So you know. It's ... weird."

No matter the seriousness, silliness, or sexiness of what all is going down in the Fac parlor. In dances The Crusader. Socks sliding on the floor, glow-in-the-dark Yoda boxers showing off some pale thighs, his Star Trek pajama red-shirt all stressed by his musculature. He pauses. Turns his head to face /everybody/ in the room. Very serious features. Chin tilted down. Then he finishes his dance over to the dispensary and orders 'Crusader Coffee'. It does not do a thing. He clears his throat. "Crusader Cofffee." With a grunting stutter, the machine finally emits the crude, thick cowboy coffee the Crusader has ordered.

"You weren't inappropriate to me, Briar. Though I did think I'd lost Emily to you" Competitor admits with a shrug. "Before I'd tried to talk to her about such things. Thought it was over before it began. Swinging feminine? You mean here?" The man may be wearing a dress but she lived through Boy George and he was totally straight. Just like Freddie Mercury. "That Old West story sounds like quite the adventure. Shame we can't choose where we want to go. Oh, Dare, your time travel theory wouldn't work. I'll explain later. Well...not without some twists and turns." And then there is a Tom Cruise wannabe sliding in. Competitor's brow furrows. "Do I know this guy" she asides to Penitent.

The Martyr is still trying to track all the complicated relationships. He winces at the husband/brother thing, "Oh wow, that must have been a strange waking. A lot of things to work through." He is startled by the new arrival, turning to stare and then smile, "Someone shares my dress sense..." He squints and finally places the new arrival as the Bigfoot Guy. "I'm interested to hear it, Star. I'm still trying to get the basics down. It's driving me spare that all the notes reset."

The Martyr is sitting on the sofa, holding hands with the Addict. He's is wearing a purple linen poet shirt with a lot of neck and wrist ruffles open to display a bit of pasty chest and tight black on black paisley trousers with purple high top sneakers. The differences between the Martyr and Finn are subtle. He is the same age, with very similar hair, though slightly longer and in a slightly different cut, and is still long limbed and gangling. Though he is still very thin, he is wiry with it instead of borderline emaciated.

The Addict's hair is back in a braid, and they're wearing leggings under a turquoise skirt, with a thin pink pullover. They've got light makeup on, just a little liner on their eyes and strawberry lipgloss. They smile at Emily as they say, "I'm glad. He genuinely liked people, and I think that's rubbing off on me. Martin liked people, but he was scared of them." Not something Danny ever suffered from. They then tell Competitor, "Oh, Danny never stood a chance, and when he saw you two together, he wouldn't have it any other way." Then they watch Crusader, and they perk up. "Heck! You made it back."

With Crusader sliding on through and getting his 'coffee', if you can even use the term, Penny shakes her head a little at Competitor. "I have no idea who he was at the lodge," she confesses, but then still calls out at him, "Hector Dewitt! Don't tell me you're still drinking that nonsense." It's fond, and it's almost bordering on the old west drawl that would slip out whenever she's feeling especially close to Nettie. There's a grin though, as she looks back at the others. "It was a weird time in general, yes, and I'm still not sure where he and I actually stand. We only had a brief chat so far. I'll wait until he's ready to talk to me. I think it's fine. And we can go wherever we can think of, remember." There's a little smile for Addict though, and she nods. "I didn't get to know Martin very well though. Maybe I should have. I guess Nettie was rather ... preoccupied."

The Crusader pads over to the couch and everyone there and if he can, finds a way to friendly wedge his way onto soft furniture with the mix of friends, strangers, former family and sometimes lovers. "Well howdy. And good morning. If it's morning." He sips his coffee and winces hard, his eyes pained as he swallows. He's just about as he's ever been. In the Fac he seems more in touch with his nerdom and both more relaxed and level headed than he was at the lodge... and a /lot/ more relaxed, chill and funny than he was as the Sheriff of Prosperity.

He grins at the Addict, "I didn't even die this time! That's a bad habit... I gotta say brother... I feel /a lot/ better this go around. Like. Rug still pulled out from under me. But I figured out, when I woke up today, why to live. People. We're all in this same, strange scenario. And there's no shaking that. The only consistent is that we're here. You know? Happiness. That's my cause."

He cheers his steaming cup of sludge towards Emily and smiles fondly. "Nonsense? It's taken /maybe months/ to master that broken coffee machine into coming up with something you can drink. Want some?" He seems /very/ willing to pass off his mug to her. Or anyone.

The Competitor formerly known as Christine is a little older than in the Lodge and has brunette hair rather then the black of before. She may not remember Crusader but she was hard to miss at the Eager Beaver; self-appointed leader with the annoying peptalks. A fond smile for Addict at his words before she nods to Penitent's concerns about 'Joshua/Christian/Capitalist'. "I'm sure he's as confused as you" she shrugs; if that was an example of her peptalks then how did they get out alive? Competitor peers at the strange coffee being thrust at Penitent. "Is he trustworthy?" she stage whispers before offering Crusader a sweet smile. "I'll try it."

The Martyr is pretty relaxed himself, now he's not trying to ward off doom with excellent notetaking and a mountain of fax paper handouts. "Weren't you the Bigfoot Guy? Film Kirk wasn't it? Or was that someone else? I was Finn the handout guy, I'm Dare now." He offers his hand to shake and definately not for taking the coffee.

The Addict shakes their head and says, "The only blessing to come from having everything turn to ashes in my mouth was not having to taste that coffee, Heck." They take a sip of their own coffee, a much milder brew. "I think we were in competition for the same ladylove, weren't we?" they ask Crusader. "Has anyone seen her? Llesenia, or Misty I guess?" There's a fragile sense of hopefulness there. "I've got so much to apologize for."

"Absolutely, he's trustworthy!" The Crusader, called by some 'Kirk', hands over his mug of thick black brew to the Competitor. "I mean, I remember speeches but yeah..." He nods to her and Finn-Dare, "Dare! I was pretty much mostly in the woods somehow not getting axe murdered while collecting my own arm hair on accident as fur traps for sasquatch. Who. Guys. Let's be /real/ here. Definitely exists somewhere. We are in a bubble of surreality with gateways to imagination and nothing we do lasts. I've tattooed myself every day I've been here and it's never lasted. So. If this is our /real/." He pauses for effect and delivers, "/Sasquatch/." He laughs lightly at/with Danny and says, "I gotta admit, not being able to taste my own coffee may not have helped my barista skills. I... think so? Yeah, I mean... maybe. Heck-me was very stuck on Llesenia's sister. Worst not-a-year? of my not-a-life?"

Penitent lifts her hands up like it's a crazy idea to accept that mug, shaking her head. "No, thank you." She eyes Christine dubiously, and then laughs. "Not at all," she teases on Crusaders trustworthyness, "But when he was the Sheriff he was nice enough not to bring me in, so you know." She winks a little. She peers at Martyr, inclining her head. She never knew a bigfoot guy. She shakes her head at Addict's question though. "I haven't seen her yet, no." She says quietly.

Crusader winks right back at Penitent, "You were fantastic." His southern slur slipping in as well.

Competitor takes the mug and stares into the inky blackness, moving the cup from side to side a little to see how viscous the liquid is. It barely moves. A deep inhale of its aroma gets Competitor's eyes blinking and generating tears. "Nice bouquet" she squeaks before a nervous swallow and a look at Penitent. "Can we die in here?" She does no have high hopes for the coffee but she never gives up! "Wish me luck." Competitor blows over the liquid and then takes a sip. Her face creasing as continues to try and drink enough down to get a proper, and honest, appraisal. That's enough! "Smooth" she croaks, doing her best not to retch. "It has a very...umm...vegemite taste." The vomit aftertaste she will keep to herself. "You should market that..." she offers to Crusader, holding out the mug for him. "...as a weed killer. Was that brewed from coffee beans passed through a sasquatch by any chance?"

The Martyr says, “Misty made it. We've had some good talks. She really did help me when I first came, Briar.... Was this when you and Max were outlaws, Em?" He smiles at Star, "They tell me we just wake up again at reset."”

The Addict tells Crusader, "Given everything else we've experienced and will no doubt experience in the future, I can't deny that, somewhere out there, there must be Sasquatch. Maybe many sasquatches. Maybe there's a place in the cosmos where sasquatches dominate Earth and we're the oddities." Hell, why not? Some of these people lived in space, and that still seems just as plausible to Briar. They nod to Penitent and say, "I suppose I'll see her when I see her."

After another drink of the milder coffee, they tell Competitor, "We can die here, but we just wake up the same as ever, perfectly whole. Injuries don't remain either, and though I still don't know why someone felt the need ot test this, cracking open a durian in the dispensary doesn't remain, either." Not that they're holding a grudge about that one. To Dare, they say, "The first time I saw Miss Nettie, I realized that I was in fact attracted to women, I was just terrified of them."

The Penitent nods at Competitor. "We can die, yeah, but you'll wake up again." She assures, inclining her head. "Well, you're braver than I am," she says with a laugh, grinning at Crusader a moment before nodding to the Martyr. "Yeah. We actually defended Prosperity every Reaping from the forces of Hell that'd come to claim souls -- and no, that's not a metaphor or anything. But when we had our downtime, we had to keep ourselves sharp and ready to fight, so yeah. Outlaws." She shrugs a little. "Besides, I liked to live free."

A glance at Addict again, and she gives a soft little chuckle. "I did try to convince you to go into the Sidewinder Saloon that one time. Vie would've looked after you; though in retrospect knowing who Vie was, it's probably a good thing that you-as-Martin was a bit too terrified to even think of actually doing such a thing."

Crusader raises his hand humbly and says to the Competitor, "Keep it, keep it. I'll make myself another. You know, I /hope/ it's what bonds me with my first big foot encounter. Now that we have these magic doors and can't die forever... which by the way, yeah you can totally die. I've died. Um. Well, a lot." He hops up to get more coffee. "But you wake back up in the morning!"

Competitor has survived the coffee...barely. She looks very pale and queasy though but can still manage a smile for Briar. "I think she's pretty irresistible too" she winks about Penitent before closing her eyes and clutching her stomach. "I think I need to go lie down." Competitor leans over to kiss Penitent on the cheek. "I can't wait to meet this Nettie. And if you need me for anything, do that whistle thing. Good night, all. Keep working on that coffee, Hector." She gets to keep it. A mild panic on her face before she looks to those remaining. "Our pipes well-maintained?" Competitor staggers off towards her room; yet another sacrifice she has undergone for the group's safety.

The Martyr wwrinkles his nose, "Isn't the deployment of Durian a violation of the Geneva convention?" He flashes the Penitent a sad smile, "Don't we all like to live free when it comes down to it? Did you see the mud people then?" He is watching Briar's profile again, thinking of the version of Martin he breifly met earlier and doing his best to picture the rest, "Who was Vie?" he asks instead. He waves at the departing Sasquatch enthusiast. He looks a bit alarmed at star's reaction, "The bathrooms are very nice here."

The Addict grins at Penitent. "It worked out well. I held out for Fleur, and she showed me there was nothing to be afraid of." With a small roll of their eyes, they add, "Then there was Danny." It's not without fondness that they say it, but, well. Danny and his Cupcake Theory will live in infamny in Briar's brain. They wince when Competitor gets up to go. "Oh, no. Feel better."

Looking to Dare, they say, "It should be. The dispensary smelled like sewage, and there were broken plates all over. Frustration is no excuse to live like animals." After a sip of coffee, they say, "Vie was one of the demons. She ran the brothel."

Offering a brief squeeze to Competitor's shoulder, Penitent nods a little. "I'll do that, for sure. And we'll go to all sorts of places, you'll see. Rest well, okay?" She watches the other woman with a little laugh, shaking her head somewhat. "Well, the mud people," she glances at Martyr there, wiggling a hand. "Sort of. You really only ever saw their hands. Wendigo on the other hand, phew. Saw enough of those to last me a life time and yeah. The demons. I'm guessing you've heard the basics of the story?"

A glance over to Addict and she grins a little further. "Then there was Danny. You ever wanna deliver me a tray of cupcakes, I wouldn't say no." She gives a little wink of her own there." Thankfully, she missed this thing with the durian, so she doesn't offer any comment on it.

The Martyr lightly toys with one of Briar's braids when Danny is mentioned. His eyes say he's happy with now in all it's Briarih complexity. He is oblivious to any sort of cupcake theory. "I admit I get throwing a cup or something for the momentary relief, but I do think shared space should be shareable." More softly, "I'm glad your first time wasn't with some demon Madame, Love. I'm glad you got better memories of that at least." He nods yes to Emily's question, "I have now. It doesn't make sense to me as eiher a former lawyer or a human being with a shred of decency, but I got the demon deals and the human sacrifices and more random reaping part. I'm hapy to learn more. I feel like I'm endlessly trying to catch up on a class I skipped and now need to take a final exam in."

The Addict laughs when Penitent mentions cupcakes, and there's a touch of color in their cheeks as Danny's antics mesh with Martin's sensibilities. "Careful, I just might. Besides, he wasn't wrong. About the cupcakes." They give Dare's hand a squeeze. "So am I," they say. Then, to Penitent, "I took him to the old Munson Estate last night. Apparently, there are people and animals in the rooms now, though we didn't run into anyone. I told him what I could remember, but I was pretty sheltered from the worst of it."

"It was a different life, Finn," Penitent says with a nod, automatically using that name without even thinking about it. "For several generations now the people of Prosperity had been raised around this stuff as though it were normal. Even as people fought against it, some of them still made deals with demons anyway, for their own gain." She looks quiet and thoughtful for a moment, after that. "And it was a time around eighty years before your only real memories of existing. Life was different then, you know? You can't judge people by whatever standards you have now. You didn't live it thinking you had always known it." She shrugs her shoulders a little.

She glances back at Addict and snickers. "Well." She says with a laugh, "I will be careful. But I also warned you." There's a slow nod. "I heard there were people and stuff, yeah. Bella and I are gonna rob a train, one of these days, for the nostalgia of it, I guess."

The Martyr looks between them, trying to figure out why cpcakes would get quite this reaction. "What about cupcakes exactly? I feel like I'm missing something." his expression darkens as he thinks of the recklessness and crulty of people who would make such bargains and leave their decendants to pay the price." He really doesn't seem to mind the old name, so perhaps he really doesn't have sand in any of his cravasses. "I just can't imagine anything one could gain that would be worth a price so high."

The Addict nods to Penitent and says, "Hindsight is perfect, but when you're in it, it's different. My Papa tried to raise me outside of it, so it seemed a little odd to me, but there was this pull. It's hard to describe. I was of the blood, and that changed you." They shake their head. Bad times, those. "You've lived in a world of relative security," they say. "You've never been faced with that kind if deprivation, standing on the edge of miles of nothing being asked to trade ancestors you've never met to save the starving children you've got now. I'm not excusing it, but I'm saying that being able to look at it the way you do is a luxury they didn't have." They give Dare's hand a squeeze, then on a lighter note, they say, "Danny used to discuss his love of women in terms of cupcakes and how, uh, licking off the frosting was the best part."

Penny gestures at what Addict has to say, "Right. I agree with you really, that it's too high a price. That's why I fought against it, and why we freed ourselves from the blood debt and banished the demons back to Hell. But, on the other hand, I also understood it. People died a lot back then. Somewhere along the line someone was given the opportunity to save three of their children by sacrificing one of them. Or just losing them all. Or even better, people they didn't even know but just happened to be related to them, yes." She nods. "It was a different time." She climbs up to her feet after that, giving a little smile. "I'm sorry, yes, we've been a little bit half flirting around you right in front of you. That's rude. Anyway I'm gonna go back to my room for a bit and read."

The Martyr nods, accepting that he really can't see it the way someone born into it would. Then he's contemplating the cupcake metaphore with brow furrowed as he tries to figure out how to apply to the expremely limitted experience he's had. Clearly it's not sparking any useful visuals. It's possile he's imagining something entirely too metaphorical from the level of puzzled he clearly is exhibiting. he peers at the Penitant confused, "That was flirting?" how, he wonders. "I really don't mind at all. We weren't exclusive before; we certainly aren't now, even if I've never met Arthur."

The Addict smiles at Penny and says, "It was so good to see you again." Dare gets a pat on his hand. "It was flirting," they confirm. "Goodness, what did you miss having your nose buried in all those law books?" They pause, then admits, "and Martin never would've noticed, either. So I guess you get a pass. And you will get to meet Arthur. Soon, I hope."

"It's kind of a 'Danny and Emily' flirting, thing." Penny allows with a smile, and then gives her little Emily-style finger-wiggle of a wave. "At least I know that there is an Arthur around here now and that you didn't just dream him up." She grins at Addict again, and then turns about to slink off and back down the hallway, humming something light and merry to herself.

The Martyr waggles his fingers at Emily in return, smiling at her. He watches her go, still wildly relieved that things worked out. When he turns back to Danny, he asks with real confusion, "Is this like an artichoke where you have to take a lot of time peeling layers to get to the heart of who she is as a person?"

"A lady reserves the right to be complex," Briar tells Dare, being of no help at all. "I think it's that way with most people, isn't it? And especially given the number of lifetimes we've lived, some more than others. I've only lived two and I feel so confused trying to sort them out. Though I think Danny nicely resolved Martin's feelings from his first impressions of Miss Nettie."

The Martyr nods, taking it at face value. He turns more serious as Briar continues, "How are you doing with that? Fitting the peices together. It's okay if you don't want to talk about it, but if you do, I want to listen. I know i don't have the perspective to actually help or advise, but I... want to be there. If you want me to be."

The Addict thinks about the question, taking a moment of silent inventory before they say, "I'm doing all right. I know I'm not the same as I was, but I still feel like it's me. Nothing happened I'm too mortified by, except I do want to apologize to poor Misty for some of Danny's obtuseness. Mostly, I just want to see people I've missed, and to make sure Arthur does come back. Sometimes they don't.

The Martyr nods, "I'd been warned that sometimes they don't. I will hope with you. There are people I'd like to apologiseto myself, though I've had a chance to do that with most of them." He studies his Lover, "You are very different, but definately still you in a way I can't explain, but feel in my bones. I'm not sure how that can be rationally, but it doesn't change how it feels."

The Addict smiles softly and curls up close to Dare. "Maybe there are some fundamentals that stay with us. I haven't been in some of the situations others have been in. I haven't had to make some of the same choices they've had to make. The only answer I can give you is perhaps I've been lucky. I try not to take it for granted, because you never know what's coming up."

The Martyr curls his arms around Briar. He really never seems to have enough of this casual comfort of touch. "I admit that worries me. It's hard not to worry that I'll come back next time so different I won't recognise myself or find... how I felt about the people I care about most. Earlier really freaked me out. I'm glad it worked out all right, but it really scared me as much as it hurt to watch Christine being hurt like that. I never want to not care that you're here."

The Addict murmurs, "That's why it's important to seize every moment. Because it won't last. It can't. The only constant is change." They tilt their head to plant a kiss on Dare's lips. "Live every second you're alive. One of the reasons I don't worry so much about why or what or how is because I don't want to become obsessed and miss out on the things I do have."

The Martyr kisses them as if this really might be the last time. "I don't want to miss any of this either. I admit, I do want to figure it out, but I want this more. Eating good food and being with people I care about and just enjoying the now now."