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 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)

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ConfusedShipper123

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Location : Chrom

PostSubject: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:26 am



The shining metropolis of Chrom is divided by social classes. Bright colors have become a luxury only attainable by the opulent. Here, the colors in which one dresses does not indicate a change in season nor a preference in hue, but the size of one's income. Even those with desirably-tinted hair, blondes and redheads, are sometimes driven by pay to chop off their locks.

Colors are faded, washed out, at the beginning of the city, growing progressively brilliant until the other edge of a highway. The richest neighborhoods, are suburbs just a short drive away from the city's most impoverished citizens, are slathered in brilliant colors, bright, undeniable reds, deep blues, yellows, violets, and more.

The poorer district at the beginning of Chrom's linear arrangement is known as Mono, for its distinct greys and washed-out blues. Prismas, the city's brutal color-discerning police force often roam the streets for violators of the now-enforced color determinations. But their presence does not obscure the ever-growing crime rate. Individual and collective incidences of violence and illicit drug creation and distribution are everyday occurrences in Mono.

The city's youths, regardless of the hues of their clothing, the tints of their skin, their hair, their eyes, all struggle with their identity. While still often defined by these, most still strive to find something true about themselves--whatever way they go about this. Through Chrom's drugs, through education, through work, through each other. Everyone has their own traumas from life and the city they live in. And everyone copes differently. But in a place where suffering and prejudiced is enforced, coping often turns into a matter of survival.

Welcome to young adulthood in Chrom.

Character Sheet
Name:
Age:
Profession:
Appearance:
Other:
(History and Personality optional.)

Rules

THERE ARE NO RULES.

Two paragraph minimum, maybe?

Personal message if you want to join?


Last edited by ConfusedShipper123 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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ConfusedShipper123

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Age : 22
Location : Chrom

PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:11 am

Name: Damir Pax
Age: 22
Profession: N/A; works at a restaurant and gas station.
Apperance:
Other: Has the tendency to slightly abuse prescription pain medication, as well as the significantly more obvious inclination to abuse alcohol.
History: ---

Name: Amira Senela
Age: 20
Profession: College Student
Appearance:
Amira in Color, but with a slightly uncharacteristic outfit Long, dark blonde hair, usually pulled back, but nearly always falling into her face, to her chagrin. Rather slender, of average height (about 5'4"); typically dresses in light, flowery shades, reflecting her usual hobbies and activities.
Other: Gardens in most of her free time.

Name: John ___
Age: 22
Profession: Entrepreneur, city-improvement council chairman, non-profit organization volunteer, activist, rooftop gardener, occasional journalist, dabbler in home brewing, blogger, marathon runner, vegan extraordinaire (orsohewritesofhimselfonhisblog)
Appearance: (*his face does not have facial hair, but my mechanical pencils skills are lacking. also, camera flash) Tall, leanly muscular, just light enough to obtain equal parts sunburn, equal parts tan in a long outdoor excursion (which he takes often, with just the right amount of sunscreen. usually.). Wears black-rimmed glasses and has light brown hair, cropped just above his eyebrows. Dresses in trendy, brightly colored clothing, but often found wearing faded jeans, perhaps in some sort of protest.
Other: Amira's fiance/boyfriend.

Name: Kameran Glass
Age: 14
Profession: Student/dealer
Appearance: Kameran and Lane. Kameran is small, often mistaken for being at least two years younger than her actual age, not helped by her tendency to wear oversized men's clothing and keep her shaggy, brown wavy hair short; she occasionally colors it blonde (however illegal) in order to cut it for profit.
Other: Graffiti artist; her most common images are brilliant, orange-gradient fires on prominent abandoned (and a few occupied) buildings.


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Toph13139



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Age : 22
Location : Your face

PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:54 pm

Name: Maximillian Coel
Age: 23
Profession: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Appearance: He’s albino, and luckily enough, he was born in a poor family, thus relieving his parents from the worry of having to hide whatever colorful trait he had been born with from the Prisma (the Police). The only outstanding feature in Maximillian is the red color of his eyes, result of his albinism, and with a pair of black contacts they are easy to hide.



Name: Emilia Bonnaire
Age: 19
Profession: Leach. Living off her parents’ money.
Appearance: Always wears bright red lipstick (the most expensive color there is) and is always dressing in deep purples, bright yellows and royal blues. Her hair is black and her eyes are dull brown, therefore she always uses a blond wig and bright green contacts.


Name: Ginou (Allan Art Miller)
Age: 18-25, no one’s really sure.
Profession: Prostitute.
Appearance: Also wears bright red lipstick, but only when he’s out to work. His uniform consists of a dark gray trench coat, underneath is a black dress and black pantyhose with low heel white shoes. He completes the outfit with a black wig that covers his brown hair. Normally, and to not be recognized, he wears his striped gray tee shirt and washed out blue jeans.



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Abeiya



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Location : Vulcan- the land of Pointy Ears.

PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:07 am

Name: Callan Kanicus
Age: 19
Profession: College Student
Appearance: Tall for a girl. Has a very feminine figure and long legs, but is deceptively strong. Her hair is blue-black and waist-length, but is usually kept up. She has dark olive skin. Her eyes are large, amber flecked with gold and fringed with thick, black lashes. She has full lips and high, but not prominent, cheekbones. She usually wears dark or muted colors with one bright piece of clothing to complete an outfit.
Other: She comes from money, but hasn’t come home since she started school. She prefers her colors muted.


Name: Ares Pembroke
Age: 23
Profession: Advertisement Creator/Dealer
Appearance: Broad-shouldered and muscular physique, taller stature. Long, black, well-coiffed hair. His eyes are blue, icy around the pupils and navy on the edges of the irises. While working, his dresses in deep blues and regal purples, but when dealing he dresses in greys and blacks.
Other: He keeps his two lives well-separated when he is away from home. But as soon as he needs to live with both of them at the same time, he becomes unstable.



Name: Gale Agni
Age: 21
Profession: Mechanic
Appearance: Long and elegantly built, but still well-muscled. He has prominent cheekbones and a strong jaw. Short dark hair and deep grey eyes. He usually wears shades of grey and black.
Other:

Name: Peris Leon
Age: 20
Profession: Book Store clerk
Appearance: Average height, lean figure. Fiery red hair, which she often dyes brighter. Emerald green eyes, with a feline smile to them and a pale, clear complexion. She wears pastels.
Other:


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ConfusedShipper123

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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:10 am

((I love all the characters, guys. <3))

"Damir, do you have a moment?"

The young man nearly dropped the entire tray of dishes he'd been carrying at the sound of his supervisor's voice, the clatter of a single piece of silverware following immediately after the sound. He set down the rest of the tray on a kitchen counter before leaning down cautiously, in order to prevent his own discomfort, avoid increasingly noticeable pain from the day's constant movement, to retrieve the fork, knowing he was only causing the impatience of the man before him to increase. The man's tone had begun to worry him incessantly.

Slowly, he straightened, setting the piece back on what he'd collected from the tables just fifteen feet and two swinging doors away.

"Yes?" he finally replied. Whatever the man had been intending so say must have solidified, Damir was certain.

"Would you mind coming to the back with me?" he said.

Those words came to him in an agonizing echo. Not again.

"Sure," he replied, meekly, and so followed the man through a doorless frame, into a dark, windowless, crowded space, more like a closet with a desk than an office.

"Take a seat."

He complied, more than willing to get off his feet, especially with the knowledge that he would be standing again soon enough.

"I've been very disturbed by your recent absences. Twice this week and four times last, and I've noted that you haven't been on time..."

Time. The office chair was far too large for the space, high-backed and black leather over thick padding; it was far too comfortable for its scarce use. He looked at the walls. The photographs they lacked, the stains where spray cleaner blanched the slate-colored walls from nightly washes, in spite of the office's generally minimal occupancy. The bright red tie on the man's starched white shirt and the deep blue of his jacket. His spotless black shoes.

"...It pains me to say this, it really does. But I think I'm going to have to let you go."

For as many times as he'd heard those words, this occasion seemed particularly harsh. He swallowed, keeping his eyes to the spotless floor.

"Okay," he replied, quietly. "That's... totally understandable. I'll be going then."

Grasping the arms of the chair for support as he stood, hoping it wouldn't roll away too quickly when he released himself from it. It did, however, nearly sending him to the floor, but he caught the corner edge of the desk, as he tilted backward, still unsteady. The supervisor took his arm a moment to prevent the fall.

"Are you going to be alright, Damir?"

No.

"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine."

"Alright. Well, I do have your last paycheck prepared, as it is Friday."

The man awkwardly passed his former employee to retrieve the check in the cabinet behind the desk. Damir took it with the hand not on the desk. He stared down at the envelope, the tremor that had begun in that hand being his only movement, his eyes fixed upon the coffee-stained ivory rectangle.

"Damir?"

"Huh? Oh..."

"Again, I'm very sorry."

You're glad, or at least relieved your least competent, apparently least committed, slowest worker is no longer going to be here.

"It's... alright."

It's been a year, and I'm still paying my parents' medical bills.

The thought stung. The falsehoods pierced him. Heightened the agony in each step from that office. Through the kitchen, where the cook had returned, where the teenage girl hired just a week ago cleaned the dishes he had been assigned to clean that night. Past tables, oblivious diners, some of them perhaps just as miserable as he, even with their likely feigned smiles and their laughter like dissonant bells in an abandoned church. It always seemed to end like that.

The buildings on the restaurant's street were painted with every shade of blue, garish greens, subtler olives, cherry reds. The buildings looked like tall, smashed watermelons in the ocean, rising out of the checkerboard that was the street. In his green uniform, he blended in. He would have preferred his usual greys.

When he finally reached his bus stop, Damir pulled on a grey sweatshirt, and turned from any curious faces, pulling out the container of painkillers he was running out of, and took his personally revised dosage, swallowing them with nothing but saliva. He'd have something to drink when he got home, anyway.
----------
Amira placed her bag of textbooks on the floor, hanging up her orange lanyard with her keys on a crowded rack beside the door of her shared apartment. It always amazed her, to come home after classes, finding such a place through that door. Where another person, so passionate about so many things, would eagerly put away his laptop on the thrift store end table and get up from their antique chair, or bike through an apartment hallway, just to kiss her, and say

"Welcome home."

She smiled as she closed her eyes and pressed her lips back to the stunning young man that had greeted her, just to ensure the reality before her. It seemed impossible that anything or anyone could be this wonderful, could keep her mind from a haunted history. When they finally pulled away, and she looked into his eyes again, she was amazed to see the truth before her again. It was hard to trust the good that was happening in her life, but here it was.
---
John pulled Amira closer, just staring into her light cerulean eyes, all the stories that they held, all the love he had for her reciprocated. Anything that had once clouded them with tears, he wanted to steal away. But right now, he was so consumed by her beauty. He had loved before--the work that he did, the groups he interacted with, the worlds he'd seen, the words he'd written. He had been filled with passion, with zeal, for these things--but they were only things. Amira lived and breathed and walked with such a subtle kindness, wonder, care.

He loved everything about her.

"Amira, would you mind going somewhere tonight?" he requested, smiling. The botanical gardens in the center of the city, three blocks from Tulip Park. Where she had first agreed to go out with him.

"No, of course not. Where are we going?"

He had the tiny box stashed away where she would never find it, until he opened it for her.

"You'll see."

She smiled, and he couldn't help but do the same.
----
Kameran finished the marker sketch she'd been doing for an hour, using her characteristic child-drawing-disturbing-comic style for the note to her neighbor. This one had a cracked bottle on a piece of pavement, fire rising from the liquid that had once been within. She wasn't sure why she was giving him this particular image, but she hoped it freaked him out. Perhaps lure him out of the apartment, to tell her how aggravated he was with her and her brother, though Lane had done nothing to provoke such ire.

It was getting boring in the building. Her fires on the south wall hadn't even been washed away yet. Her deals had been ordinary in the past few weeks, the level of danger incredibly low. She was anxious.

Looking around the grey, musky apartment, she found a pack of cigarettes lying on the table. Lane had said it was the last one he'd buy for either of them until they had enough for two months' rent. That had been two months ago. She pulled one and the lighter in her pocket, opening the window to look at the blackened streets. The sky looked like the buildings, but rounder, heavier, thicker.

The smoke was pleasant to her, but she wanted more. It was the look of sparks, the tiny flame on the lighter, which had given her both terror and excitement. She was enthralled by the look of the small flame, by the smoldering orange that she knew was at the end of the thin roll of tobacco and whatever other substances within it.

It was so hard, not to set that lighter down on the rotting wooden floor, with its scratched grey paint. So hard not to watch it consume the room and the walls, and run down the hall, leap from the second floor onto the fire escape and descend its stairs two by two, to watch the whole building be consumed by orange and red and even electric blue.

She closed her eyes, picturing the image in the clarity that only a long-kept memory could hold.
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Toph13139



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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:06 am

With a black cap covering his taintless hair and black shades hiding his eyes from the world, Maximillian watched as one of the waiters left the establishment with obviously crushed spirits. Judging by the color of the young man’s clothes he probably didn’t live to far away from here, and the way he moved, the dark circle under his eyes, the limp with which he walked already suggested the kid had access to medication; he was vulnerable. Max sipped on his coffee as he watched the waiter leave the room. So far his scouting mission had been unfruitful. He’d only been lucky enough to find a couple of twins that were recently kicked out of the Blue Ivy, but Max knew better than to trust recent rejects. There was always an issue and someone always became a snitch, and killing newcomers was becoming bothersome; hiding the red blood from the streets wasn’t easy.

Max set down the empty cup of coffee and took the neglected dark chocolate cookie from the small plate. He ate it in two bites and threw the coins that added to the exact change of his order. No tip, though, as his waiter had recently been fired. Max stood up and promptly left the small establishment. He made the mental note to send one of his people there to collect the rent; after all, this was a dangerous neighborhood and no business could survive without the unique protection service that the Red Eye group oh-so-kindly offered by a nice, accessible price.

He walked down the streets of the Berry district without minding the looks that the “Berrians” threw at him. No one was stupid enough to wear blacks and grays when they were in the Berry district. Those people were known for being even more stuck up than the ones that live in the suburbs, near the Sunshine Medley (an arbitrary name given the fact that you didn’t see a single black outfit in that place). Max shrugged all the whispers and eventual mean comments off. He wasn’t a resentful guy. He knew what was happening behind the curtains. The Berry district was already claimed by the Red Eye group, a group that he almost led himself. True, he had a long way to go before he reached the top, but already at this point, if he said so, this entire place could be demolished.

He took a bus in the cherry red station, close to the district’s end, and it was the only gray bus that would take him back to Mono. That’s where Max had lived for as long as he remembered, and he wasn’t about to change that just because he suddenly had money. People of Mono needed his presence, after all. One could go crazy with the lack of color in their lives. Once they’ve seen colors beyond the deep grey of the walls they’re forced to live in because of the bad luck of being born poor. It didn’t make sense. It was unfair. But that’s how it was. And he was ready to take matters into his own hands.

After two hours of the most exhausting ride of his life, Max was finally back home. Merely asking one of his employees to gather information about the laid off waiter would be enough to find him. It was worth a shot. They needed people for the group; it was always good to have new apprentices. It secured their loyalty from day one and you could easily mold their minds into your own work ethic. After all, gangs are like vegetables; it’s better when you keep them fresh.

-------------------------------------------

An obnoxiously yellow Volkswagen parked in the front door of the Brecht building. A crimson red high heel was the first thing to touch the pavement, followed by its identical copy. A young woman, seemingly in her late teens, stepped out of the car. Her hair as yellow as the car she rode, wore a dress made of the brightest violet fabric money could afford and her lips were as red as her shoes. A few people would stop their tracks to admire the vehicle she owned, as they had never seen a yellow so bright; others would just gape at the woman’s dress. There was not an inch of her that didn’t scream “absurdly rich”.

The young woman climbed the seven steps that led to the entrance of the building and pressed her friend’s intercom number several times, the grin on her face never fading. “Amira!” Her voice rang through the empty streets. “Amira, it’s me, Emilia! I’m downstairs!”

----------------------------------------------------------

Allan hid further into his coat as he walked back to his apartment in Mono. Last night had been a rough night. A couple of the newer gangs started a shooting without a warning, cutting his shift short, and thus his earnings. The heels of the white shoes echoed through the empty streets, and every now and then he’d look behind him to look with dread at the trail of blood drops he was leaving behind. With one hand, he began to clean off the red lipstick, smearing it all over his face until it was just a pink shadow of what it was. He propped the collar of his coat to hide his face, and its new pink coloring from the Prismas that were hanging out in the corner of his street.

He hated it. He hated every second of it. The clients, the running, the hiding, the shame, the insults, the walk, the praise, everything. Every part of his body twitched in disgust at the thought of going back to that place again. Every night he cursed his family for leaving him alone with so many debts on their shoulders that were quickly passed onto him as soon as his parents died. If he didn’t find a way to earn that money, he might’ve as well died himself. Ignoring and disobeying the Black Dunes when you were living in their territory was the same as signing your suicide note.

The scent of recently brewed coffee and pancakes flooded the 169th avenue, and Allan felt his stomach growl. He quickened his pace and soon enough he found himself in front of his apartment building. He looked around to make sure no neighbors would be nearby to recognize him and he took off the white wig, promptly hiding it inside his coat. Once inside, he removed his shoes and ran up the stairs until he reached the 15th floor. His apartment was the one closest to the stairs, so it wasn’t long until he was finally safe inside his own little sanctuary.

It wasn’t big, and yes, it was awfully monochromatic, but it was what he could afford. Allan threw the heels next to the door and left the wig on the wooden kitchen table. There were no walls to divide the kitchen from the living room (if you could call an old gray couch and a black portable T.V on a stand a living room) and right behind the T.V were two doors: one that led to the only restroom of the house and another one that led to his own bedroom.

His room had nothing but a full body mirror in a corner, next to the window with white, semitransparent curtains, a black bed with a used mattress he had found on the flea market and a small built-in closet with only one working door; the other one, Allan had promised he’d fix when he’d have the time. Turns out he doesn’t. The restroom wasn’t that big either. Just the toilet and a shower. The sink was left outside, in what is supposed to be the living room, which was a very questionable decision from the engineer’s side.

Allan took a deep breath and moved towards his bedroom. Once there, he sat on the mattress, making it sound as if a thousand rats and monsters living in there were suddenly bothered by his presence. And his body. Oh, how his body ached. As if he had broken his ribs, Allan took off his coat with extreme care, causing the wig to fall on the floor, and removed his dress shirt and short black skirt. He wasn’t sure why this was the uniform, he didn’t bother to ask, but he enjoyed how it made him feel invisible at least for a while. Without it, he was once again Allan Miller, the son of Alexander Miller, the old drug addict that led his family to bankrupt.

He took yet another breath and began to peel off the bloody pantyhose. He had underestimated his internal injury, and it didn’t hurt that much… Yet. What irked him the most is that he’d probably have to spend the savings of the past month to visit the doctor. Allan stood from the bed, promising he’d clean the blood stains once he was out of the shower, and head to the bathroom. The blood wasn’t coming from one place only, and Allan was able to see it now. A quick glimpse in the mirror and he was able to discern a bruise in his lower lip—in fact, it was tore open—and his right cheekbone swelling and slightly red. Someone had punched him and he didn’t remember when.

His shower revealed that he had more bruises on his back, thighs and inner calves. He tried his best to ignore the pain, he was becoming good at it, after all. He washed away the dried out blood from the side of his face and his shoulders, and tried to clean the other bruises with the utmost care possible. It was routine. Mono was becoming more and more dangerous, so he had to be prepared for this kind of treatment. He had no choice after all. He took the pantyhose from the floor and began to scrub it against his knuckles, watching the blood fall free down his hands and arm, tainting his feet and the white tiles.

He hated everything. He hated every single second of it.


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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:56 am

Damir could not find the energy to even stare out of his window, the route he'd memorized over the past four years. The Berry district fading into even more muted greens, olives, blues that turned darker before lightening into slate-shades then his home's greys. Even in the Steel district, just a few neighborhoods away from Mono, he hadn't expected to end up here. All his years in Glacial and Sky schools, on their soccer fields, in his parents' emerald lawn, on his ex's peach-colored couch, he had never expected to land himself here. Four years was not enough to adjust.

When he finally reached his stop, he pulled his grey hood over his face, straining to ignore the usual eyes at the hue of his uniform. Two days before, his second to last day at the restaurant now, a Prisma had approached him. He parked his black, white, and red vehicle at a grey curb and walked out in his light blue uniform.

"Sir, do you live here?"

Half the occupants of the street stared them down, silent rage burning in their eyes that their neighbor had attracted the attention of an officer.

"N-No, sir," he replied. "I... I'm here to visit... um... my parents."

"They live here?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well. You might want to wear something a little... subtler... next time you come to visit. You must know the standard consequences for Inaccurate Coloration."

"Yes, I do, sir. It's a very high offense. So sorry for the confusion."

"No problem, young man. You take care now. Maybe you ought to take your parents out of... well, they call it Mono."

"That's what I'm here for."

The residents of his neighborhood didn't hesitate to approach him, one man taking him behind a grey building, shoving him against the wall; he felt not only pain, but it disturbing wetness on his back. When the man pressed Damir's face to it, he felt fresh paint sink into his pores. He squinted his eyes shut, as the man began asking him what the hell was he thinking, and if he showed his face around her again, if he brought that goddamn prisma back to this part of town again, he'd better bring a rag and some bleach for the blood he'd be spilling on the ground. The encounter made the two blocks to his house unbearable. He didn't even try to wash the paint from his face and his uniform until an entire day had passed, calling into work half-heartedly. They would not have accepted his showing up in a grey-stained uniform, with grey paint chipping from hair and skin. And the ache from the shove which had started from his back had resonated through the rest of him, leaving him in bed with only pills and the sound of his neighbor's incessant typing.

His apartment building's side wall was still occupied by flames crawling like vines in Emerald, sparks reaching the highest windows, the only color in an otherwise monochromatic universe. He was ready to collapse when he reached the elevator, pressed the faded grey button. The reflective black glass sent back an image of someone exhausted. He saw that man every day and every day he wondered if it would ever shatter.
---
Amira tried to smile at John when she answered her friend from the lowest floor, sighing before she replied.

"Hi, Emilia, I'll be down in just a minute!" she said, aiming for enthusiasm, as she slipped on her shoes again to leave.

"Do you mind?" she said.

"Not at all. We have time," John replied, the grin still planted on his face. She hoped to see it when she came back to him, whenever that would be. Soon, she arrived at the bottom of the stairs.

Emilia was every color of the suburbs, of Sunshine, of the brightest, richest places in or near Chrom. It was not at all shocking to Amira.

"Hey, Emilia," she greeted again, embracing her as if she hadn't seen her friend since last year's New Year celebration, when she'd actually seen her just the day before.

---
The halting footsteps of her neighbor was like the sound of everyone else's favorite song. Swiftly as possible, Kameran rushed to the wall, listening as he stepped inside. She could tell when he saw the drawing, pausing for longer than usual before continuing. The sound of the freezer's hum enhanced by the open door, the small sound of the cabinet's door slamming, the bottle pulled out, the glass on the counter just against the wall. She smirked to herself.

"Hey," she said to the wall.

"My God."

She knew he'd almost jumped.

"Do you not have..."

His muffled voice sounded exasperated.

"Anything better to do?"

"I can get you something stronger."

"No."

"I promise, it's better than the shit from the pharmacy..."

She listened through the wall as he paused to take a long swig of his drink.

"Too much."

Kameran glowered through the wall.

"You know, you already spend quite enough on alcohol."

"Well?"

"Like I said_"

"No, Kameran, damnit, why can't you leave me alone?"

"You're a very self-destructive young man, I'm concerned, Damir."

"I'll come over there."

"You'll leave your apartment for something other than work? I'm so proud of you! This is a positive step!"

The pause in his speech was too long this time. Sighing, she opened her door and jostled his doorknob to get into his; he was horrific at securing this place, especially after work. He was sitting on the floor by his cracked grey plastic counter, pouring another drink.

"Again?" she said, standing just above him. He never kept his uniform on when he got home from a job.

His jaw clenched a second, before he turned toward the counter, and nodded.

"My offer still stands..."

"Why are you here, Kameran."

"I'm the cartoon devil on your shoulder. I'm your Id. I will encourage you to serve yourself alone and especially to continue to do so through the things that kill your liver and other essential organs."

"I've had enough organ damage."

She stared down at him, how he was slouched on the scuffed floor, by broken counters, drinking a liquid definitely not the colors permitted in Mono.

"Could you... please go? And stop sending those weird drawings underneath my door."

He was so utterly pathetic.

"Sure, Vanilla Pharmaceutical. I'll leave you to your exclusive misery party and crash a few others while you're down there. If you really don't mind."

The man finally looked up to glare at her. She smirked. When she turned to leave, she leaned down to pick up her drawing, placing it on his desk where the rest of her drawings were set.

"I'll try to be in to interrupt your nightly suicide contemplation later, if Lane's too busy studying. Don't try anything until I come back." Her voice took on authority, as she exited his apartment, locking his door before she shut it.

Kameran stopped into the apartment she shared with her brother, taking the back of an envelope, tearing it open and taking a thick red marker, writing her brother a note in large, neat lettering, her two small sentences taking up almost the entire makeshift page.

"6:07 PM. Out. Check next door."

She knew he'd know what she meant. With the torn up paper on the clearest space, where she knew he'd see it, right next to the notices from their landlord and the magnifying glass on the charred kitchen table that served as her brother's desk.

With this, she took off down the hall, stopping into the elevator and pressing every single floor's button and hurrying out to the stairs.

When she reached the street, she gazed upon her work on the apartment building, smirking to herself before bringing herself to her next destination. The head of Red Eye itself. The payphone outside of his building was unoccupied. It was so dirty that it seemed to be a rectangular prism of smog on the Mono street; every street was nearly identical here. She stuck in two coins that looked more like graphite-tinted buttons than the shimmering pinks and yellows of more central and "greater" Chrom county's currency.

She spoke the second she knew he was on the line.

"Hey. Any news?" she said casually into the receiver, as if she were his equal and not just one more faceless provider of profit for the man and his gang.
---
The young man squinted at the board from the second row as his instructor changed the slide on his Power Point. He had been ignoring a headache for the past three hours, and he needed to pick up a few files for work in just under an hour.

"And that's all I have for you today. Do not forget to report the results from your social experiment on Monday. If you have anything to discuss about today's content or the upcoming midterm exam, feel free to visit my office."

With this, every student began to follow the man at the front's lead and packed up whatever they'd taken out, if they'd done anything of the sort. He was always amazed at the ones who simply stared ahead, never writing down a single word. He sympathized with the sleepers and the occasional attenders who studied enough outside of class to make up for the half who came because they wanted to kill an hour and a half.

Sighing, Lane put away his pens and his notebook, and closed the window of his online Sociology textbook zoomed in enough for students at least five rows behind him to see. They probably never looked that closely, anyway. He saved a document after three clicks of the mouse and decided to take the short way to shut it down, pressing the off button in thickly veiled frustration. The bulky device was slid gently as possible into his backpack, joining the company of three equally enormous specimens of study material and two thin notebooks.

His head pounded as he stood, the slightly nearer exposure to the garish bright lighting of the lecture hall only serving to blur the room further. The instructor had left. At least the entire room wasn't monochromatic. His home streets looked like black-faded watercolor, like rain clouds, but everywhere. He pressed a button on his silver watch, pressing it to his ear as subtly as possible.

"6:09 PM."

The bus left in five minutes. He thought through his options for transportation, but his mind went straight to his last resort. Kameran.

No. He wasn't that desperate yet.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:40 pm

Peris slid the ladder across a few rows of shelves until she reached the “S” fantasy books. She climbed about ten feet, a stack of books resting comfortably in the crook of her arm as she ascended.

“Stevens, Stevens, Stevens,” she muttered. It became her mantra until she found was she was looking for. She slid the volumes of the series neatly into their places on the shelf and double-checked her work, running a manicured nail across the spines of the books. Everything was in order.

She climbed down the ladder, carefully and swiftly. Just as her foot touched the ground, she heard the tied bell to the front door ring as someone opened it. “Hello?” she called.

“Hello!” a voice called back. It was the voice of a young woman. Peris jogged to the front desk. “Hi!” she said, “How can I help you today?”

“I’m looking for books about nanotechnology. My teacher gave me a few titles..” the girl, dressed in pretty, mixed tones of coral handed her a slip of paper. Obviously a student at the university.

Peris read them, nodding in recognition of a few of them. “We definitely have the first three, so I’ll get you started with those. They’re this way,” she said, motioning for the girl to follow her as she wove back into the bookshelves in the middle of the store. She bared right and found a corner with many books about technology. “Down here, near the programming section is all we have on nanotech. But let me know if you need anything more, alright? I’ll be around. Just holler, my name’s Peris. And if you can’t find something here, I’ll see if we can get a hold of it from a different store, O.K.?”

“Alright! Thank you, Peris.”

“You’re welcome, hun.” And with that, Peris was off again, the top of her fiery hair just visible over the shelves as she rushed to go file away more books. It was nearly time to close up shop, but she wanted to stay late. There wasn’t much to go home to. Maybe coffee later..

When she reached the boxes of new books, she rolled up the sleeves of her mint green tunic and got to work.

---
Gale rolled out from underneath a minivan, wiping his brow with his wrist, since his hand was occupied with a rather large wrench. “You should be all set to go, Mrs. Robinson,” he said, smiling crookedly at her. “She shouldn’t give you any more trouble for now. The noise may come and go, but if it’s really persistent, just bring her back.”

The frumpy mother of three sighed in relief, “Oh, thank goodness. Thank you so much, Gale. Really. You’ve been great.”

“Not a problem. Leroy will ring you up out front.” The woman handed him a wad of bills, which he accepted with a smile and bowed head. “Thank you very much.” She walked away, toward the building attached to the garage.

His uniform was covered in grease and grime. His face was tinted grey with it. He wanted to go home and lay down. Every muscle ached. He had been working since before sun up and hadn’t taken a break to eat since he came to work. He was fatigued. He started to put away his tools and made sure that everything was tidy. “Mr. Leroy!” he called, “I’m headin’ home! I’ll see you tomorrow, ‘kay?”

“Alright, Gale! I’ll see you then,” came the coarse voice of the old man inside.

“Thanks, Mr. Leroy!”

Gale used a rag to wipe the excess dirt off of his face for the trek home. He kept a wrench with him for the journey. His district was no longer a safe place to walk around. Not with all the gang activity.

---


Callan’s black luxury sedan purred at her touch. She loved her car. The lack of color did not draw attention to it, but it drove like a dream. Ares bought it for her when they moved in together, so that she would never need to take public transportation anywhere. He was worried about her safety.

The car traveled quickly, its engine quiet and running smoothly as she cruised toward home. The bright blue xenon headlights and sleek, aerodynamic build of the vehicle gave away its quality. As did the supple leather interior and the rainbow of gradient lights softly illuminating the inside.

Callan hummed softly to the music drifting from the radio when she came across a familiar figure waiting at a bus stop. She slowed the car and pulled it over to the curb, stopping it in front of the young man.

“Lane?” she asked, before leaning sideways to peer up at his face. “Lane!” she said, affirming his identity. She had seen him in a few classes at the university, but her primary contact with him was at Ares’ office. He was a secretary. Or rather, an assistant. She did her best to be politically correct. “Hey, do you need a ride home?”
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:28 pm

((hahabeingPC.also.loveyourcharacters,Abbey.<3))

Lane waited for the bus to arrive, although he knew he'd be later than expected. He didn't really even have to work that night, but it was all a matter of accomplishing what was required of him. Those files were needed immediately, he'd been told, in order to proceed with a new campaign about something being opened downtown. It was his responsibility to ensure that the little things were taken care of for those who actually made the company function.

The street, all the sharp lines of the buildings faded, the cars speeding by like brush strokes, looked like a mess of violet and pink and orange, like a bruised sunset.

Smoothly gliding tires had begun to slow, and a black vehicle with blue lights shooting out of it paused in front of him.

"Lane?... Lane!"
The voice was familiar, and looking closer did not give him too much clarification at this time. But he knew who she was. She was at the office every so often, and in several of his classes, the halls of the college.

"Hey, do you need a ride home?"

Was she really offering him a ride? Did she know where he lived?

"Oh... Oh, no, that's alright! I'll just wait for the bus... um... no, actually. The office isn't too far for you, is it?"
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:19 pm

((Thankyou,Ilovebothyourcharacters.))

Callan smiled at him, trying to look less intimidating. She threw the car into park. She considered letting him take the bus, but the setting sun caught her eye. "It's alright, really. I'm headed in that direction, anyway. It's no trouble." The car doors clicked as she unlocked them.

She was looking forward to going to the office, actually. Maybe a surprise would put Ares into a better mood. He'd been in a dark place, lately. He hadn't shut her out yet, but she could see it coming on the horizon. It always got to that point when he was too unhappy. And nothing hurt her more than to be ignored by him.

She pushed the thought away and focused on her classmate again. "Hop in."

She was actually pretty relieved that Lane was not going home. She could tell by the way he dressed that his neighborhood was not somewhere she wanted to be at this hour.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:42 pm

((<3))

"Okay, great. Thank you so much," Lane replied. He would have added, "You didn't have to do this, really," or something of the like, but it was heavily implied by the shades of her clothing and her potential ownership of this vehicle. The school they attended was fairly well-integrated, and it cost too much to feign one's status. He saw Monochromatics, as they were called, clothed in higher colors, and he could only assume that what it cost to purchase them required more than he would ever be willing to pay.

"You're... Callan, right? Ares' girlfriend?"
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:59 pm

Max took out his cellphone while still walking down the Mono streets. He knew very well that people in Mono usually couldn’t afford a light green shirt, let alone a cellphone with yellow buttons such as his. But everyone knew who he was. It made sense for him to have the things he had, no one dared to ask; even the Primas knew better.

“Well, good evening.” The young man took a turn in the 75th and headed towards the 156th, walking past the Prismas who turned a blind eye to his cellphone. “Good news is you can officially join the Red Eye, you passed the test, people like you, people like your contacts. We don’t wanna lose you, lady.” Max smiled in satisfaction; he had gotten a new recruit out of nowhere. The young man had completely forgotten about the girl’s existence, let alone that he had given her his contact number. But the need for new gang members was growing every day, since the numbers of dead work mates was growing as well.

“There’s a thing I need you to do for me, though…” Max stopped at the 9th and 10th transversal and waited for the black luxurious car—one that clearly didn’t belong here—made its way to the street’s end. Odd. “Do you know anything about that restaurant in the Berry district? It’s called ‘Grape’.”

----------------------------

The suburban girl hugged back her friend with just as much enthusiasm as shown in her voice. She took off the brown shades that covered her eyes and batted her long, black, fake eyelashes, giving Amira a red-white grin. “It’s good to see you again! Today we’re gonna have so much fun!” Emilia dragged Amira down the entrance stairs and practically pushed her into the yellow vehicle. The Sunshiner took her place next to Amira in the car and turned on the engine.

“So, I was thinking that maybe we should go to the shore. I know, I know, you don’t have a bathing suit on you, but we can buy one on the way! It’s on me!”

------------------------------------

Allan stepped out of the shower holding the pantyhose tight in his fist with one hand and keeping the white towel in place with the other. He walked the five steps it took him to reach the far end of the living room and hung the clothing garment on the window pane, next to his other shirts and pants. He looked up at the sky; it was timberwolf, which meant it wouldn’t rain any time soon.

He walked back to his room and got himself into his charcoal colored pajama pants. That was it. There was nothing left for him to do but go to sleep and maybe get something to eat later. All to wake up in a few hours only to dress up like “Ginou” again, wait in a corner until his first client picked him up and then who knew what would happen. The gangs were out of control. Blue Ivy had taken over one third of Mono, while Red Eye controlled the rest. Black Dunes only had power over certain avenues and blocks, his building being in that unfortunate place. Maybe he’d die tonight. Perhaps they’d recognize his black tattoo and kill him. Maybe. He certainly hoped so.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:21 am

Callan smiled, looking a little embarrassed. "Um, yeah," she replied, as she shifted the car into drive, "That's me." As she pulled away from the curb and locked the doors, she made sure to turn off the lighting effects inside the car. It seemed to be a bit.. much. Her car was enough on its own. She didn't like to flaunt when it was unnecessary.

The bright yellow jacket trimmed with red said enough on its own. Ares liked to clothe her in expensive things. He liked to show off their opulence. And she made a point to wear what he bought her when she knew he was going to see her. But when she went to school, she dressed like a college kid. Someone who lived paycheck to paycheck.

Soon, the office building rose up in the distance. It loomed, tall and transparent. She parked the car near the entrance. "Here we are," she said. She got out of the car and walked toward the building, flashing a visitor's badge at the scanner on the door. She held it open for Lane.

And then her eyes lit up. Ares was walking down, ready to head home.

---

The first thing he saw was Callan, looking fashionable and pretty in her new jacket. And the second was a secretary at her flank. Why were they together. After giving Lane a very brief, but ferocious glare, he smiled at Callan. Took her into his arms and kissed her softly.

She fell easily into his grasp. "Hey," he murmured, "What are you doing here?"

"Just wanted to drop by and say hello," she replied, still up against his chest.

"And what," Ares asked, his voice taking on a hard, authoritarian tone, "Is he doing with you?" Callan could practically hear him spitting the words. She could see the anger. He was keeping himself composed in the office.

"He needed a ride here and we go to school togeth--" she was cut off by Ares taking her elbow and turning her around so that she was pulled up against his side. Hard. She stopped talking immediately, eyes on the floor.

"I see," he said. Almost growled. "Well, Lane. Thank you for escorting Ms. Kanicus here."
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:16 am

Kameran's smirk grew wider at the mention of her acceptance into Red Eye. Her home was in Black Dune territory, but she didn't give a damn what they did, no matter how arrogant such an attitude might be judged.

"Great. Oh, I know the place. My neighbor was just axed there. Why do you ask?"
---
Lane noted the ferocity ((somuchferocityEVERYWHERE)) of Ares' expression without the usual clarity; it was a common one, especially prominent in his voice. Everything the creative seemed to do was in a thinly veiled rage. Even the extravagant greeting of his girlfriend seemed a similarly elaborate cover to whatever was dissatisfying to him now.

He hissed when he acknowledged Lane. Immediately, the other man tensed, as if he would say anything in his own defense. It was the way he interacted with Callan, however, that disturbed him the most. How her entire person seemed to fade into him when she was with him.

"Not a problem, Ares. It was very generous of her to offer a ride in the first place. You and your girlfriend seem like very charitable people... I hope you both have a nice evening."

His place in the building was about sixty steps away from the spot they'd entered. Something about the couple made Lane uneasy. When he'd noted them together before, they'd seemed like any other young pair, smiling and even displaying their affection publicly. Only this particular display seemed different. Ares' actions were not displaying affection to Callan, but claiming her. Like the scarlet stains in Red Eye territory.

The files he needed were still upon his desk. Quickly, he dropped them in the proper area for their delivery and started for the nearest exist. Something wasn't right here.

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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:50 am

Max grinned as he crossed the street to go to the 14th and take a bus from there to the 170th. He looked at the area code in his phone, he was certain it was from Mono, and he remembered how many times Kameran had asked to meet him near the 169th avenue to get the merchandise. "Just axed? You mean, like, he was fired today? What's his name?"
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:57 am

"Yup. Damir Pax. No family, no connections. Other than his Berry district pharmacist. Definitely hooked on something. Are you... interested in him?" she asked, dubiously. Damir wasn't the type to do the kind of work she and the Red Eyes did. He was so resigned, to everything. But maybe that was just the kind of desperation that would drive him to this. And he was certainly in need of a new provider of income.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:03 am

Max laughed. "Yes, I am. I saw him when he got fired today at the restaurant. He's not a very cheerful guy, is he?" He got to the bus station and leaned against the map panel on one of the columns. The map, though, was now hidden under a thick layer of spray paint. Paints that went from black to white, and Max could see there was a little shade of blue hidden in there. A little bit of hope. Nice touch, he thought. He saw the bus come from the furthest corner of the street. "I'm taking a bus in the 78th. Where are you and where does he live?"
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:24 am

"Ha, that is the most terrific understatement I have heard all day."

Kameran deliberated very briefly before confidently replying.

"He lives on 169th Avenue. I'm in 76th, I'll meet you."

With this, she hung up the phone and continued down the streets to meet the man on the end of the line.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:29 am

Max waited for the girl to meet him at the station. He saved his phone in his pocket and took off his jet black sunglasses, revealing for the first time in months his red eyes. It was a scare tactic, after all. And a very effective one. People would usually look to his eyes and immediately think he was a being from out of this world, skipping all logical conclusions. He preferred it that way though. Fear equaled respect, did it not? He saw the new member of the Red Eye gang approach him with a quick pace. On time, just how I like it. He greeted her with a silent smile.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:33 am

Callan sounded a bit choked when said, "You, too, Lane. Bye."

Ares merely nodded, a grin spread across his face, "See you tomorrow, Lane." Then he turned to Callan. "Come on. Let's go home, Cal."

"Okay," came her quiet reply. Ares kept a strong grip on her elbow all the way out to her car. He kissed her forehead before she stepped back in it, ready to go meet him at their apartment in the lower streets.

For a while, she considered not going. Driving somewhere else. Anywhere else. She didn't want to be alone with him tonight.

But there was nowhere else to go.

---

Gale took the bus into his small grey apartment building. He rode the elevator up to the 18th floor and entered the apartment. All of the furniture was some dingy shade of grey. It was really all he could afford with the meager pay from his job at the garage. But he enjoyed his job. He sacrificed color and prosperity for it.

He stripped off his clothes and took a shower, then put on some fresher clothes. And then he decided he would check up on Allan. He picked up his phone and dialed the number, waiting for it to stop buzzing and hoping that his friend would answer.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:41 am

The phone's incessant ringing was what managed to wake Allan from his sleepless dream. With deeply dark circles under his eyes that matched his pajama pants, the young man groaned as he sat up on the couch and stretched his hand to grab the neglected phone from the floor. Funny how he hand't had a phone bill in over a year. With his throat still heavy with sleep, he picked up the phone. "Who is it?"

---

Page claim to the utter sadness that this is meant to be.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:49 am

Gale pinched the bridge of his nose, his thumb ran over the bump on it from when he wore corrective lenses as a child. "It's me, Gale," he said, into the receiver, trying to hide the relief. He was glad that Allan had answered the phone. He worried when he didn't. "How are you?" he asked, as he laid down on the small slate couch, propping himself up on his elbow.

((Wheeeeewww!))
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:00 am

Allan looked at the ceiling with half-lidded eyes. He wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone right now. He was too tired, to exhausted. His body was screaming and begging him for a few hours of rest. The couch wasn't made for the kind of rest that he needed, though. Allan strangled a yawn in his throat. "I'm fine... I was sleeping... You woke me up." Allan fell on his knees and practically dragged himself towards the kitchen, the chord of the phone stretching as he got further from the dial. He opened the small fridge door with his free hand and took the jug of milk from inside. About a single glass was left, so he opened the lid with his teeth and drank directly from the bottle in less than 20 seconds. Allan then remembered that Gale was on the other line. "What do you want?"
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:11 am

Gale was quietly amused by Allan. "I'm sorry," he said laughingly, "I didn't expect you to be asleep." He shifted, laying on his back and staring up at the stark white ceiling. It was so plain. "I didn't want anything in particular. Just checking up on you. Making sure you're still there, man." Making sure you're okay. Gale didn't want to seem like a worried mother, but that was what he felt like. He didn't like the condition Allan would be in when they met sometimes. He always felt like this was the only thing he could do to help without being invasive.

He never did like getting too involved with anyone.
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PostSubject: Re: 169 Shades of Grey(Abeiya, Toph13139, and CS123)   Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:20 am

Well, nothing's fine.

That's what he wanted to tell him. He wanted to tell him so many other things, he almost felt the words choke up in his throat and had to swallow them back in. This wasn't the time to go cry to Gale. This wasn't the time to go cry to anyway. That's what he always told himself, at least. It was easier—not better—to cry alone in his house. He didn't like being a burden to anyone. He had too much weight on his shoulder, too much weight that no one else deserved to carry. Let alone Gale. Allan left the empty jug on the floor, a few droplets of milk finding their way out and onto the gray-scaled mosaic tiles of the kitchen space. He closed the fridge door and laid on his back in front of it, his gaze fixated on the white heels he had left neglected next to the door. They still had blood in them.

"I'm fine, Gale. Really. Is that all?"
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