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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:10 pm 
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Seeing Lucas so comfortably settled, Shift moved with greater ease, quickly taking his seat at the table and addressing his host. "This is more than enough." Picking off a piece of the bread, he methodically began working away at it. After a few bites, and hearing Lucas highlight the amenities, Shift began to feel their arrangement was decidedly one-sided. Here he was, a largely successful merchant, doing nothing but take from the man before him. From a business perspective, it was great; he gained shelter and food at no real cost. The thing is, he didn't become a merchant for material gain.

Glancing up from his food, and meeting the eyes of his host, Shift calmly declares, "After exploring town tomorrow, and securing things of interest, I'll be taking my leave. Before that time comes though, I'd like to repay your kindness. Would you be willing to join me as I stock up? I'll happily pay you for guiding and advising me." As those words end, another piece of bread plops into his mouth, deliberately chewed and swallowed.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:10 am 
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Lucas blinked, knowing that Shift wouldn't take all his stuff for free and is probably feeling heavily obliged to repay him back. As much as he wanted to politely refuse, he already had more than enough and was making plenty to pay for food, he didn't want to refuse someone's gift.
"I'd be happy to join you."

Setting his empty cup down, he swung his feet off the table. Standing up to take it over to his dirty dishes.
"I'll be heading off to bed, it's pretty late out."
Stretching he turned to Shift, watching as he thoughtfully pulled of a piece of bread. And chewed it carefully. Lucas deemed from experiences with him, that he was a logical person.
"Don't feel rushed, I'll probably be up in my room for another half-hour or so. Knock if you need anything"
He felt Shift's eyes on his back as he headed to his room, shutting the door carefully before flopping on his bed, staring at the ceiling.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Watching until Lucas was out of sight, Shift stared back at his plate with rising frustration. Letting out a long sigh, he gazed up at the ceiling, wondering why his plans for tomorrow were eating away at him so fiercely. It would prove ideal for all parties, but the mere thought seemed to stir latent fears...the mystery of which only furthered his aggrevation. Stuffing down the remainder of his meal, Shift collected his plate, adding it to the pile of unwashed dishes.

Hoping to taking his mind off things, and do his part as a guest, Shift located the supplies he needed and began washing. At first, things went smoothly. Bread crumbs gave little trouble when cleaning dishes, but a bit more strength was needed for some of the older plates. Gradually adding pressure, Shift remained diligent, but to no avail. Getting nowhere with this approach, an impulsive burst of strength pushed through, fracturing the plate in every direction.

Freezing up at the sight, Shift simply stared at the plate - at the damage he'd done. It should've been a simple task, but...now he needed to abandon it. More damage seemed sure to follow if he continued. Returning the item to rest, Shift quickly gathered his clothes and left for the stream out back. More than getting clean, he felt a desperate need to cool off and unwind. A restless spirit was sure to bring ruin.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:55 pm 
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Lucas listened to the familiar, yet old, sound of washing dishes. Something he himself never bothered to do until he himself got tired of eating with his hands, or a messenger subtly comments about it. He was about to go out and tell Shift he didn't have to do it, but a thought struck him right as he touched the handle. If Shift did it, he wouldn't have to do it and Shift would feel better about crashing with him.
Perfect.

Getting ready for bed, Lucas pulled off his boots and socks, as well as his gloves. He never really took off his gloves, but they were getting rather dry. Hurting more than usual.
He was in the middle of applying lotion to them, grimacing at the grotesque look, when a piercing shatter caused him to inhale sharply. Head spinning to the direction.
Hands forgotten, he peeked out the door. Expecting the worse. Instead he got...Nothing. No Shift... Nothing.
Deciding to investigate further, he moved to the kitchen. Eyes darting around for anything that seemed to of place.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Pressing past the stables, where his horses slept silently, Shift locked on to the water ahead. It wouldn't be long now. Once he had the chance to cool off, these feelings would fade, then he'd regain control and apologize for what he'd done. He thought this, but...every step that failed to land him at the stream only hastened his descent. As though it were all he could see, and desperately needed, he fought to steady himself and struggle forward.

By the time he arrived at the water's edge, a pair of shadow gauntlets had taken full form, releasing a trail of dark mist in the air. At times like this, Shift wondered if he had any sense at all. From seemingly nothing, he'd started losing his grip, and was now fighting just to keep things in check. What would happen if things continued? What would become of his surroundings? These questions raced in his mind, but valid as they were, they only seemed to fuel the fire. He needed to find the source of the problem, yet he had no clue what that was! As the dark armor steadily wrapped around his shoulders, then weaved its way across his neck and torso, Shift let out a visceral scream, falling helplessly into the water; his ever-growing armor dragging him to the bottom.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:46 pm 
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Lucas's eyes locked on the plate, a confused yet upset look on his plate. How did Shift manage to break a plate, when he himself had dropped them many times?
"Aww come-on."
Annoyed, and a bit frustrated with his guest, be began to pick up the shards and throw them into a nearby trash bin.
"How did he even manage this?"
He murmured to himself, inspecting a shard with a **** off yet inquisitive expression. It's not like he purposely would have broken it, but dropping it on the floor doesn't exactly cause it to shatter like it did. Just how strong was he?

Deciding he probably needed to go look for his guest, to convince him that it was alright and tell him that he's broken many before (Although he hasn't) Lucas finished sweeping the rest into the bin and headed for the door. Completely forgetting about his shoes and the likes.
" Shift? I'm not mad about the plate-"
Yes he was,
" You just sorta disappeared without telling me soo...I thought I'd-"
In that very moment he was interrupted by a guttural scream, startling him to his very core. It seemed as if the very forest had been frightened, the quiet sounds of night nowhere to be heard.
Shaken, Lucas called out Shift's name quietly. Staring wide-eyed over where he heard the demonic cry.

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View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:10 pm 
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All was quiet, if only for a moment. Anxiety and fear having peaked, both Shift's body and mind fell silent, the world drifting into a haze. Staring blankly at the water bed, current rushing past, but unable to touch, was a being coated in armor; one that left very little. From outside, nothing could harm, or reach, it. And from within, only vague vision suggested there was an observer - a subject that waded in the darkness, numb to all else. As it lay on the ground, unfeeling and uncaring, there was nothing to act on. No reason to move. But as the faint whispers of moonlight trickled through the water's depths, its body began to act.

Pushing up from its short slumber, with an air far too gentle for its entrance, the dark figure reared its head, silently searching for the moon. As specks of light filtered down from the trees, landing gently on its hardened shell, the creature sat quietly, inexplicably drawn to the sight, and longingly gazing beyond the branches.

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View Likes PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:14 am 
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Mustering up what little amount of courage he had left, Lucas moved (even if it was incredibly slow) to the stream.
At first glance he couldn't tell anything was wrong, but terror made him hyper-sensitive to his surroundings. Every sound was being analyzed repeatedly until another sound caught his attention. The loudest sound being his own heartbeat. He couldn't breathe, it felt as if someone was choking him. Yet something deep down told him he was being irrational. That something wasn't right and it was affecting his emotions. But for some reason, he felt compelled to go to it.

It seemed like an eternity, but it had only been a few seconds when he made it to the waters edge.
Something...Something was in there. Lucas bent down slowly, reaching out a hand hesitantly before dipping it in.
Instantly, pain and sorrow shot through his fingertips. The misery flying over his veins like a bird in the sky, but yet he couldn't move a single muscle, not even to scream. Paralyzed, Lucas stared wide eyed at the water. The more he thought about fighting...about running away... the harder he found it was to move. Even to breathe.
Whatever was in there was threatening, and it didn't belong.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:44 pm 
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While the surrounding world was struck by fear, the creature remained enthralled, the glow of lunar light slowly pulling it back to another time. One when it had first surfaced. But as emotions began pouring in, the steadfast armor began to shake from its solid shape. With every feeling that washed over it, bringing it closer to its original state, a wave of restlessness would follow. Before long, a sense of yearning was clear. The creature felt...incomplete. And since these feelings could not be undone, it instinctively set its gaze on the moon, hastily shooting dark blades from its sides.

In an instant, everything that blocked its view was sliced apart, branches raining down into the water before breaking the silence with a deafening crash.

As the moon sat alone in the sky, shining down without mercy, the creature began to stir; its body rising from the water as it gazed from afar. Yet as it did so, the dark armor struggled to keep its form. It had already been thinned by the far-reaching attack, but the now fading stability left its center exposed - enough that, if one looked closely, they would find a silhouette at its core. One in the shape of a human.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Lucas could feel the sweat dripping into his eyes, heart banging against his chest as if his heart was locked up and it was desperately trying to get out. He was so busy looking in the water, that he didn't notice the dark form cut down branches.
It was when they hit the ground that his lips betrayed him, letting out a small shriek upon being surprised. His legs gave way under him, his body falling back onto small twigs that snapped under the impact. He was unable to hear his rapid breathing, the only tell-tale sign that he actually was was the oxygen moving in and out his lungs. Nails digged into his soft palms, leaving marks.
The fear was overwhelming, pushing any thought or energy aside so that it was the only emotion that he felt. Subconsciously the stream moved towards him, water beginning to swirl around him. Unlike how it normally was, smooth and tranquil, it was rough and irritated. Like a cobra rearing up its head.

He hadn't noticed he was looking away until a shadow cast over him, causing him to hesitantly look towards it. He wasn't sure what he was expecting, probably some terrible demon or monster, but when he looked upon it he was surprised. It wasn't human...But it wasn't exactly a monster. Lucas was really only able to deduce that in his small moment of clarity, before the fear ebbed back. Causing him to shrink away.

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Last edited by NightRider68 on Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:24 pm 
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While its attention had long been turned to the sky, and its mind too dazed to note much else, that lulling trance was no more. Bathing in the memories of tragedy past, the being now drew on its basest instinct: destroy all threats. Loosening its stance, and readying for the hunt, it sharply gazed at where the water had begun to flow. With narrowed white eyes, it locked on to the growing torrent, and the caster wielding it with hostile intent.

The outstretched blades quickly receded into the being's body, fully masking any trace of humanity as it glared past the wall of water, into Lucas's eyes, with unbridled violence. Quickly raising its claw to the sky, the being poured darkness into a massive version of the original, blotting out the moon in its wake, and leaving little more than black film around its body.

Within moments of taking shape, the conjured claw swung down with immense force, aiming to crush Lucas in a single, overwhelming blow.

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View Likes PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Adrenaline floods Lucas's system like a title wave, smashing unmercifully into his veins. His heart pumping so hard he thought it might explode. Eyes wide to take in every last ounce of fading light, as the darkness surrounded everything. Eating up anything that dared get in its path. Any remaining color was soon drained from his face as his mouth dropped open in pure terror.
It's eyes were cold, empty. Starting upon him like he was a small pest to get ride of. Was that the last thing we was to see before being killed. Death was not kind. Snatching up anything it could get its hands on without a single shred of remorse for the pain it causes.

It would seem as if time was punishing him for all the mistakes he had made, the world slowing down just so he could take in every last detail about the being that was soon to end his life. He shut his eyes, curling away from the blow that was soon to come.
...But it never came.

Lucas opened his eyes, expecting to see his smashed corpse beneath him as he started floating away. After all, it didn't hurt.
He wasn't expecting him to be several yards away from it. It's fist creating a large crater in the ground. Then it hit him.
His eyes looked around his body, tentacles of water swirling around his body while a sheen of water covered his body. The water had pushed him away at the last moment, protecting him when he had given up. A small giggle escaped him,mind unable to comprehend the fact that he was indeed alive.
This was it, this was his chance!

Lucas stood up shakily, forcing his legs that felt as if they were filled with lead to move. To fight. He rose his hands up, looking like he was to conduct a symphony, and the water rose in the stream rose with it. With a sudden jerky motion he brought the water crashing down hard on the darkness. And he ran. He turned and ran hard deeper into the forest, desperate to get to safety and away.
Unbeknownst to him, a small trail of blood trickled behind him. Leaving blood splatters on the ground.

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View Likes PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:12 pm 
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As the earth rumbled and broke apart, terror and dust filled the air, the massive claw resting quietly on the broken ground. Though unable to confirm its kill through touch, the being sensed Lucas's panic just moments prior, and had eased its guard once the attack crashed down. So by the time it noticed Lucas take his stance, and launch a powerful strike of his own, it was too late to recall the shadows. With less than a tenth of its usual strength, the water blasted the being back into the stream, peeling away the paper-thin layer of defense, and ramming its back into the floor.

In that instant, Shift flashed back into being, flooded with waves of pain and panic as he raced to make sense of his situation. Everything was cold, hazy, and overwhelming. It'd all feel too surreal if not for the agonizing pain shooting through his back, and the rapid escape of oxygen from his lungs - every ounce blasted out without any hope of replacement. These brief moments felt like an eternity, during which death seemed to finally offer appeal. But just as Shift was about to give up the ghost, the pressure suddenly stopped. The stream slowly, but surely, resuming its natural pace as Shift floated to the top.

Desperately gasping for air, Shift continued to feed it in and out of his lungs for a full minute. During which, the rest of his mind and body caught up, accounting for injuries and searching for answers. Unable to find much of the latter, he made his way to the water's edge and slowly struggled onto land before limping his way back to the cabin. But only moments into that endeavor, the crater before him scattered his thoughts, and displaced them with grave concern. Something big had happened here, and he wasn't far from it - whatever "it" was. Scanning around for more clues, he spots a trail of blood and begins to panic. Fighting through the pain, Shift drags himself along the trail, forcing himself to stay alert while on the verge of collapsing.

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View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:00 am 
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Lucas's feet pounded against the hard ground, raspy breathing being the only noise he could hear. Every time he started to slow down, his paranoid brain would taunt him. Flashing images of his mangled, twisted dead corpse between his eyes. And so he ran. And ran. And ran.
He ran until his legs gave out, and his chest heaved for air that it couldn't pull in due to pure exhaustion. Next thing he was able to decipher was that he was on the ground, flopping like a fish and inhaling dirt in his attempts for air.
It took a few seconds, but then something clicked. He was having a panic attack.
Lucas was no stranger to panic attacks, with the childhood he had, he had to deal many on his own. He would occasionally be able to recognize one, and then try to calm himself down, but the other times he would simply pass out, or be incapable to move from the ground. Drifting in and out of consciousness.
Still, it never got any better.

The world blurred together, casting everything in a hazy fog. The soft sounds of the forest beginning to fade while the sounds of his rapid heartbeat seemed to grow and grow. Lucas looked at his hands, everything blurring in and out of focus. His hands shook violently, body sending tremors down his spine. The only thing he could manage to do was count to five in his head, and even that was difficult.

It took some time, but he finally managed to calm himself down. The tremors remained, as if to mock him for his weakness, and his body felt heavier than ever. But he was ok.
Lucas slowly got to his knees, adrenaline seemingly gone, and inspected himself. Otherwise than the cut on his leg and his shoulder (that he suspected he dislocated), he was fine. Though not much could be said for his mental state.
"You're ok. Get up. Go home. You're fine."
He chanted this to himself countless time, pushing his weary body up back from where he ran. He pushed the thoughts of It out of his mind so he could just focus of getting home. Luckily for him, he knew the woods like the backside of his palm and his house shouldn't be too far from where he was currently limping.
"Go home, you can do this. There's a bed at home. It's safe. It's ok."
The water tentacles surrounding him seemed to help him move, pushing him up if he ever tripped and moving things gently out of his way.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:00 am 
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Shift trudged along for what felt like hours, his body begging him to rest. But every time he looked at the blood trail, he gathered the strength to keep pushing forward. It may have just belonged to some animal, yet that theory was quickly falling from favor. Between the crater, trail of blood, and his own injuries, it seemed there was something wreaking havoc on what should've been a peaceful night. Whatever it was though, it was unlikely that any creature would escape, or make it so far away. And since the blood wasn't his own, the only remaining fighter, at least from his own telling, was Lucas.

Pressing on, he peered through the darkness with what little aid the moon offered, searching for any sign of his host. Within moments, he began muttering, assuring himself that Lucas wouldn't die now. He hadn't gotten the chance to ask much about him, or the number of things their meeting brought to mind...to propose his grand plans in the morning...to pay him back in the slightest. All these thoughts and desires had filled Shift with panic only hours ago, but somehow, in this harrowing silence, he was learning what it meant to regret.

For the next few minutes, the world was painfully quiet. Being left alone with his thoughts often proved useful for Shift, even therapeutic; but on this night that connection seemed a lifetime away. It was only after catching the faintest hints of movement that Shift found relief, and moments later, Lucas.

Not wishing to startle him, and unable to limp quietly, Shift took slow and deliberate steps - the pain now fading, if only briefly.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:58 am 
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Mind dulled, Lucas continued to trudge on. Later, he would be surprised that he was able to keep the water up for so long, being it drains much of his energy in the process. It was either that the fear buzzing in the back of his mind, or the fact that he had been practicing when alone that he could hold it for so long. He blamed the former.
Lucas kept his eyes pried open, mind Paranoid that every moving thing was dangerous. He was ashamed, but a little while back a bunny ran infront of him. By the time his mind was able to comprehend was it was it was already dead. Cut down the middle by his water.

Lucas had been starting to relax when something caught his eye. He reared back, the figure for a split second looking like...It.
Except smaller...And slower...And not it.

Upon closer inspection Lucas realized it wasn't what his mind had been paranoid of, but a man he thought was dead.
There was no way he could actually survive that thing after all. But here he was..Alive and...Limping?
Panic pushed away the relief, and he moved as fast a he could to the figure. Talking a mile a minute.
"Oh my gosh, you're alive! I thought It had killed you! Are you ok? You look horrible, that thing could've killed you! It almost got me too!"
The water swirling around him was the least of his worries, his calloused hands grabbing Shift by the shoulders eyes darting around to inspect him. Eyes shining with panic and relief.


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View Likes PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:39 pm 
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Seeing Lucas rush towards him, especially with his injuries, was reassuring; and as he energetically raced through his worries, Shift found himself letting out a long, heavy sigh. With his goal in sight, the strings holding him up were slowly coming undone, his mind and body competing to fall first. Even so, the excitement of seeing Lucas alive and well kept him going for the moment. Once Lucas finished speaking, he looked over the panicked man and laughed, "You look pretty bad yourself, but it's good to see you. I'm not someone who dies easily, but wasn't sure if you were quite as stubborn." Smiling widely, without so much as a thought, he continues, "Looks like you're a survivor, too."

Letting his laughter last a little while longer, Shift catches his breath and glances toward the floating water - seemingly losing himself at the sight of it. As his mind wandered, and fatigue struck back, he quickly shook his head and refocused on Lucas; the water-wielder who seemed to be the only thing keeping him here. Lucas had proven far more capable, and caring, than he could've hoped. More than ever, Shift wanted to present the 'gift' he'd promised earlier. He'd been worried to do so before, and was scheming on how to best present it, if to do so at all; but given their current crisis, and how everything had unfolded, Shift was unwilling to waste this chance, "Lucas, once we make it through this, would you like to join me on my travels?"

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Too busy worried about how Shift leaned into his hold, as if it was the only thing keeping him standing, Lucas failed to realize that Shift noticed the water. Still, it was a relief when Shift started laughing. A genuine laugh.
"Good thing you're not dead, you broke my plate."
The mood was lighter, his paranoia not the first thought on his mind. Joking made everything better. Though he was still kinda irritated about the plate. It was a good plate.

Shift probably saw the shock register on his face before he could hide it. Every muscle in his body freezing before a grin stretched on his face, soon spreading from one side to another showing every single tooth.
"Really?"
His voice was breathless, words like a whisper as his mind fought to comprehend it the selflessness in those words. Would he really?
A small voice rose up from the back of his mind, cynical and condescending. How dumb was he, to think Shift really meant it? After all, he was hurt and probably not in his right mind. But before the words could say any more, Lucas had already blurted out his answer.
"Yes!"

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:21 am 
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Having finally set the words free, Shift patiently watched Lucas as he recoiled in surprise, even though inside he eagerly awaited the answer. For a moment, the surprise seemed so great that Shift wondered if they'd have to trade places - his fellow survivor looking petrified. But as a wide smile spread across Lucas's face, beaming at the prospect and speaking his heart, Shift felt a surge of joy. It'd been a long time since someone inspired that feeling, and he wanted to enjoy it for as long as he could. Giving back a wide smile, eyes closed as he spoke, Shift's tone was unusually heartfelt. "Thank you," he breathed out, clearly convinced the pleasure was his own.

And just like that, the strings finally cut loose, granting his descent into a welcoming darkness. He'd spoken of overcoming their current crisis, but given the field day his emotions were having, and the mess his body was in, there was nothing else he could do. Now bearing his full weight on Lucas, and simply causing him more trouble, the smiling warrior slept soundly, already dreaming of what the future might bring. Yet unknown to Shift, one more oddity took place that night. One that he'd never recall. Before everything hit him in a flash, his body claiming its rest, tears began falling from his left eye. A subtle stream that hinted at something far below the surface. If only one could see it.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:20 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Texas
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There's a tiredness that needs a good night sleep, and a tiredness that needs much more. Lucas supposed that Shift felt the tiredness just as he did, if not more by the fact that he fell asleep on him.
"Hnnngg, oh!"
He staggered under his full weight, eyes wide at the passed out man.
"Haha, guess we'd better get back huh."
Lucas laughed, slinging Shift's arm around his shoulders. Taking a few wobbly steps forward,. It wasn't as bad as it could be, but it was definitely difficult.

As Lucas was making his way back home, he took time to quietly reflect. The Thing hadn't come back, now would be the perfect time, so he supposed it wasn't coming back. And about his offer. It was overwhelming, the sincerity of the offer and the thank you. Lucas had never experienced that before. It baffling him to no end.
Subconsciously, Lucas held tighter to Shift. As if he were afraid that the gift would disappear if he were disappear.

By the time he had made it home, Lucas was a sweating, shaking mess. The water had long since then disappeared, his body unable to keep it going. Lucas only hoped that thing didn't show up, in this state he wouldn't even make it a second. His legs threatened to give out, yet he wasn't going to give up yet.
It was when he laid Shift down on the guest bed that everything got much harder. He let out a loud sigh, and managed to pull a blanket around him before his body demanded him to get back to his own bed. Or it was going to pass out as well.
And so he did just that, leaving the room quickly only to enter his own room and flop onto the bed.
Passing out as soon as his head hit the pillow.



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