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<h2> Daniel crosses the room and carefully closes the window Dongirm has just left through.</h2> "He's a good dog," Daniel sighs, whispering gently to your sleeping form. "But he's rather masochistic." He comes over to fill to place on the bed beside you that Dongrim has only just vacated, moving gently so as not to disturb you. He props himself up on your pillows and smiles down at you as he goes on, "Me? I like to keep things simple. I don't go sticking my nose in the fire when someone drops in a bit of steak."\n\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/6ddcb9cf62ac9eb7a7213111441731d1/tumblr_n4cxp41wke1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left">He settles himself on his side, facing you in the dimming light of evening. "It was better when everything was simple, you know?" He moves his hand to the side of your face and brushes his thumb over your cheek. "It was always so hard to follow the rules, but we managed. Don't touch, don't tamper, don't get attached, don't let go; never hurt your feelings, but never get involved; pretend Inati's not a rutting hound, that Simon's not a bully, that Dongrim's not already hopeless. Jeesu is the only sane one, and he wants you just as much as I do."\n\n"Maybe things weren't so simple," he says, a chagrined smile pulling across his features. You respond to the discomfort in his voice and snuggle closer. "You're so sweet, Milly; so kind and gentle. I hope that you'll remember that." He rolls away from you for a moment, collecting himself by tracing the pattern of the tiles on the far wall. "We can't win this one, Milly, not bound the way we are. If there was any other way, I'd take it. Inati's trying to think of a battle plan, but we're outmatched. Even on a good day, winning this one would be hard. And we haven't had a good day in a while."\n\nLapsing into silence and turning back to face you, Daniel just stares for a while. For so long their only creed had been to protect you, to keep you from getting hurt at all costs. And now, in order to save you, Daniel has to hurt you. "Like a bandage, quick and clean," he whispers to himself unconvincingly. He lifts himself up and rolls on top of you, holding his frame mere inches above yours. He lowers his face to put his cheek next to yours, the sparks of your energy making his skin tingle. Dropping his voice to dip into the power stores he could still access despite the bindings, Daniel whispers in your ear, "<b><i>Milly, wake up</i></b>." \n\n<h2> [[Your reaction is immediate]]. </h2>
<h2> Simon guessed Inati's destination correctly.</h2> But the Aplha isn't the only pack member to have come to see you in the aftermath of the conflict they'd kept hidden from you. You'd finsihed up with the busicuits and had passed the baskets of them up to Sister Beatrice. She'd thanked your for your hard work, as she always did, and then left you to see to your other chores at your own leisure. The trust the nuns had in you as far as getting your work done properly and on time was enough to warm your heart. In some ways, the lack of continuous oversight made you feel a bit left out and lonely, but at the same time it allowed you to have a beautiful breath of freedom that was an oddity for anyone your age.\n\nBy the time Inati made it to your side of the castle, you are working away in the launrdy room across the bright quad from your kitchen. You're holed up as usual, knee deep in sudsy water with your skirt hiked up to keep it dry. Inati watches you from the doorway for a while, simply unobtrusively watching you work, before you notice him.\n\n<h2> He may be [[the one you noticed]], but he is not the only one to come by.\n[[Jeesu|Jeesu2]], [[Daniel]], and [[Dongrim|Dongrim2]] each make a point of coming to check on you.</h2>
<h2> You throw down the dough and give Simon an exasperated look.</h2> "You're making it awfully hard to concentrate, here," you chastise. Your flour-coated hands are on your hips and your expression is stern, though most of your anger is teasing. You've gotten used to Simon's habit of letting his shirt hang open. Well, you've gotten as used to it as you can be expected to. It's hard to keep your stance firm as your eyes are drawn to the smooth lines of muscle and the intricate tattooing on his chest and neck. You had always been fascinated by the array of ink, and also vaguely unsettled by the dark swirls. They call to you like the tempting language inside a book store, and yet nauseate you like you were trying to read the story through a thick slant of glass.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/9b4b017a49ec6d76415d7de0a2156777/tumblr_n3ogrdZINh1qfh8beo1_500.jpg" align="left" width="400" height="220" hspace="20"> Simon could see the gears turning inside your head, whirring away as you tried to rationalize your feelings. He smirks again and tells you, "I'm not even doing anything." <i><b>Yet.</b></i> The word hangs unspoken in the air, implied in the way he steps towards you as you roll your eyes and try to turn back to your work. He knows about the latent power hidden inside of you; the one you felt purring away late at night, humming in the space your heart should be, the one could never remember the taste of once you'd woken up. He knows the feelings stirring inside of you are the result of that power sensing his own. It is attracted to the bright thrill of energy inside him, and repulsed by the black ooze of the binding spells inlaid into his skin. The sunlight streaming in through the window is warm and bright, highlighting the dark contours etched on Simon's body and suspending the moment in a breathless drop of time.\n\nSimon knows all about the struggle going on inside you during this drawn out instant, and he knows why you haven't noticed that you are now almost openly staring. He notices and he knows, but he doesn't say anything. To be honest, he <i>can't</i> say anything. It is part of the bindings tying him to St. Aggie’s. He is little more than a guard dog, bound by the will of a power far greator than his own.\nHe, like the others, has no choice but to keep you in the dark.\n\nEven if he had been able to explain it, he wouldn't have. You were too much fun to mess with, too amusing to watch as your body's mixed reactions to him drove you insane. He was just flirty enough, just cold enough, just aggressive and shy and sweet and suggestive enough to keep you right on the edge of horrifically muddled. His favorite little game with his favorite little toy. A twitch in his grin wakes you up and you realize that the dough you're pounding is well past mixed enough. You pull youself away from Simon and set about ripping off chunks of dough and arranging them on the baking tray behind you on the table. You finish up and slide the tray into the oven before crossing the kitchen to wash up. You can feel Simon's eyes tracing your movement as you try to keep yourself completely calm.\n\n"Stop staring at me," you tell him sternly. "It makes it hard to think straight. I know you're trying to distract me." You don't hear him moving behind you. You jump when his finger brush the back of your neck, lightly teasing at the bright red strands of your hair had had escaped their tie. Your movement allows Simon to pull the tie from your hair altogether and the short strands puff out around your face like a lions mane: fierce and dripping with regal power yet cute and fluffy at once. Simon chuckles at the thought as you turn around. He moves his hand to cup the side of her face.\n\n"I guess it's working," he croons, adding, "You missed a spot." His rubs his thumb over your cheekbone, sweeping off the streak of flour with a sensousness disguised as helpfulness. It has the reaction he'd been hoping for and you practically shiver at his touch.\n\nYou pout breifly and then flick your eyes up to meet his. You search Simon's dark eyes for the answer to a question you don't know how to ask. Simon's eyes are intense, filled with swirls of something far deeper than mere emotion. You feel like you could lose herself completely in them. And Simon knows it. For his part, Simon hid behind his eyes. Opening his soul, or rather the black boil that barely qualified as a 'soul', to you was not an option for him. If he looked into your eyes, really looked, you could have destroyed him. Your innocence, your kindness, your genuine concern . . . it sears the writhing black inside him; the hate, the pain, the anger, your heartfelt attentions make it all burn.\n\n\t<h2>“[[Simon | the Pack]].” </h2>
<h2> You notice Inati standing in your doorway looking lost like an abused puppy. </h2> <img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/e74af587bc3a91905a77ef685d35a345/tumblr_n3qgfaruXY1qfh8beo1_400.jpg" align="left" hspace="20"> You see the reddish-brown splotches on his skin and clothes you've come to recognize as drying blood. “Inati? What happened?" you ask worriedly. You grab one of the cloths you'd just finished cleaning and rush over to him, setting straight to wiping gingerly at the scratches you can see on his chest. Inati shivered under your touch. It isn’t something you would have guessed causing the reaction, not the chill of the damp cloth but rather the tingle of your power reaching out to his own. \n\n"How did this happen?" you ask quietly, tenderly cleaning up what you can see of his wounds. Fortunately, they all seem fairly shallow. Still, you can't help but to worry for his sake. Even small injuries can get infected.\n\n"It's nothing," Inati says stiffly. He doesn't flinch away from you but his tone tells you that he's been in more comfortable situations than the current one, where he was subject to your ministrations. You try to be even more gentle, but you can't bring yourself to fully step away. "Fights happen in this line of work."\n\n“Shouldn’t you go to the infirmary?” you ask him quietly. You don't want him to snap at you for asking a stupid question. You know that fights happen in his line of work. You know that he and the others have gotten hurt before, hurt much worse than this, but knowing they get injured and seeing the injuries are very different things. This is the first time you've ever seen any of them so battered, and the fact that it's <i><b>Inati</b></i> in this sort of shape drives home the fact that your closest friends put their lives on the line to protect St. Aggie's.\n\n"I needed to check on you." You freeze at his words. His curtness had been softened as much as he could will it to, but your reaction makes him think it wasn't enough. "The intrusion was near this side of the school. I needed to make sure it hadn't frightened you."\n\nYour mind is whirring away. Inati had never seemed the sort of person to worry about others, aside from his squad-mates. He had his job and he did it, but not out of concern for the people he ended up protecting. You'd thought that it had seemed like more of a side-effect to him, rather than the main goal. You're happy to see that it isn't.\n\nSatisfied for the moment that Inati wasn’t going to bleed to death, you put the bloody cloth in the 'dirty water' pool to soak so it doesn't stain. Then you scurry over to the basket you'd packed for lunch and pull out the honey-baked biscuit you’d tucked inside. Shyly coming back to Inati, you proffer it up to him. “Thank you.” \n\nInati's reply is flatly dismissive of your implied praise, "It's my job."\n\n"I mean, for being concerned about me," you clarify, coaxing Inati to take the biscuit from you. He awkwardly lifts it from your hand, marveling at the freshness of it and wondering if he ought to eat it right away. It smells amazing. Daniel had always brought him one of the things that you make each day, knowing that Inati would never come ask for one himself. But this biscuit is fresh, only a few hours out of the oven. Taking a cautious bite, Inati practically melts at the sudden burst of bliss. At least, Inati thinks it might be bliss; having never experienced the sensation, he can't be sure of his accuracy in naming it.\n\nIt is a short lived experience as a shadow catches his eye. Simon is standing outside the window, hidden from the eyes of any human. His presence is so distracting Inati almost misses your question, “Is everyone else okay?”\n\n"Everyone’s fine. Simon was a little beat-up, but he’ll recover in a few hours,” Inati responds belatedly, looking over your shoulder directly into Simon’s eyes. Your demeanor instantly takes up the conflicted vibe Simon always provoked. Inati regrets mentioning him immediately. Attempting to salvage your mood, he says, "I can leave if don't want me here."\n\n"No. Stay." You say quickly, much more sharply than you mean to. Softening quickly you add, "You really shouldn't be walking around at all. I'm happy to have you here. I'm just... worried. About Simon. He... he doesn't seem very happy here."\n\n"I can try talking to him about it later," Inati promises coolly, intending to do nothing of the sort. Outside, Simon bristles. He glares at Inati and vanishes into the shadows. Inati calms down quickly once he senses that Simon had truly moved off.\n\n"Thanks," you tell him. You feel him relax suddenly and you sieze the chance to say, "Why don't you make yourself comfortable? I like having people around to talk with while I work." You watch Inati's face as he hesitates. He has a job to do; things to take care of, places to go, people to see. But he thinks about what Simon said, about how you wouldn't let him in. Simon was wrong. You leave the door open every night, Inati's the one who never steps through it. He would deal with Simon later, with all the problems that Simon represented. For now, Inati decides to tackle his own problem. Though he's spent years protecting you, getting to know all of your little quirks, Inati has hardly spent any time at all actually talking with you. He nods curtly and accepts your invitation.\n\n<h2> You smile and help him find a place to sit down before you turn [[back to your work]].</h2>
<h2> The liberties that Simon takes with you are indignities that Inati shouldn't have to bear.</h2> He should have been able to put Simon in his place for harrassing you, for practically forcing himself on you. And yet, since you never resist, Inati's power is limited. You practically leap into his arms when he stops by. Like you do today. It's hardly been three days since Simon last harrassed you in your kitchen. He hasn't visited at all since then. The last you'd seen of him had been the glimpse you'd caught from across the courtyard. You'd been worried that Inati hadn't been truthful about the severity of his wounds. It's a relief to see him well.\n\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/27d360a1557fa5fd6b9972f76b9744ef/tumblr_n3uny7P7hD1qfh8beo1_500.png" hspace="20" align="right" height="260" width="410"> He'd snuck up on you today. Inati, watching from the far end of the courtyard where you were busy hanging a day's worth of laundry, had seen Simon drop in behind you from a second story window. The Alpha is crouching under the courtyard's arched main entryway, hidden from you by the shadows and downwind from Simon's notice, but close enough to see your smile. And to see his. Inati knows how much you worry about Simon. He can feel the leap of happiness that rises in your chest as Simon matierializes beside you. Inati bristles when you leap at him and Simon takes advantage to wrap his arms around you. He pulls you closer in and lifts your off your feet, swining you around amid the sheets. Your skrit twirls out, a bright swath of green in the billowing forest of white. He keeps an arm at your waist as he sets you down and you slide away from the hug, keeping you close. \n\nYou lift you hand to his face. You skim over his sharp features with your trademark concern. His constant close contact was something that you're not entirely comfortable with, but the smile on his face makes up for your slight unease. It's an expression you never see on him unless you're in physical contact: genuine happiness. He practically lights up under the brush of your fingertips.\n\nYour hand falls from his face to rest lightly on his chest. It's bare as usual and marked with the tattoos that tamped down his power. You fingers trace the outline of the ink that that wraps around his neck and hangs low and heavy on his chest, the collar that keeps him tied under Inati's thumb. You're fascinated by it. You've always been fascinated by it. You can't remember when he got it. And you can never seem to remember it quite correctly, your memory conjures up subtle details that don't match what your eyes observe.\n\nSimon would have been drawn to you, regardless of the servitude to the pack leader. But the bindings burned into his skin had made you into the forbidden fruit draped in temptation. As a member of the pack he was ordered to guard you, but merely as a Dog from the Pit, your powers are an intoxicating lure. Under you intense scrutiny, Simon would have been powerless to push you away had he wanted to try. The thought doesn't even cross his mind as you get lost in your examination of the mesmerizing swirl.\n\n"Are you okay?"\n\nYour question surpises him. He retaliates by letting his hand creep lower across your back, his fingers tapping at your hip. Your breath stills, catching in your chest as he replies in a deep thrum, "Why shouldn't I be?" Simon knows you're drawn to him. His pull on her is almost as forceful as yours is to him, he tries to use it to distract you. The only difference is the black ooze of binding spells that had been worked into his skin, those repulse you on some deep level with enough force to nauseate you despite your fascination.\n\nYour expression changes at Simon's response. He knows what you meant and you know that he's just trying to avoid giving you a real answer. You're about to sass him for being obnoxious when he shifts his hips against you in a way that makes you lose your train of thought. He brings his free hand to your neck, brushing along your collarbone. Your eyes stare into his searchingly and he thinks for an instant about just how easy it would be to snap you in half. "Don't you have work to do?" Simon gives a noncomittal shrug and you sigh into him with emphatic tenderness. "I don't want Inati to get mad at you again. You know how he feels about you taking breaks like this."\n\nSimon stiffens at the mention of Inati. Simon knows <i><b>exactly</b></i> how Inati felt about the breaks he take to visit you. He knows how much the leader hates it. That alone is one of the main reasons he does it. In the shadows looking on, Inati feels a small burst of satisfaction: he was going to be able to rip into Simon for this later. It would to be a bloodbath, and he would be entirely justified in it. \n\nA quiet sound behind him announces Daniel arriving on the scene. The Beta eyes are trained on Simon, his fists balled in barely contained rage at the way Simon blatantly disregards the Laws of the Pack. There are some things that even the Hellborn count as sacred.\n<h2>Inati stands. He gives Daniel a nod and the Beta shoots forward [[into the light]].</h2>
<h2>Blacknss closes in around you and your body simply shuts down.</h2> Inati is on you in a second, catching your weight easily before you even come close to hitting the floor. For a moment nothing happens. Then, as the power you'd tapped into tries to find an outlet, you begin to seize. Inati cradles you to his chest, holding you firmly but not restrictively as he rides out the seizure. With you safely in his arms, Inati commands, "Daniel, alert the Infirmary." He doesn't even look up as he speaks. He knows that Daniel will do as told. Without hesitation the Beta falls back into the shadows, using the quickest method of transit available to him. You need medical help and you are going to get it far faster than would be humanly possible.\n\nAs you seizure pleateaues, the Hounds collectively give a sigh of relief. Dongrim is kicking himself so hard internally that he's surprised it doesn't cause physical damage. This is entirely his fault. And everyone knows it.\n\n"Dongrim. Rounds." Inati's bark is short and effecient. He's saving his fury for a moment after you've been placed in the capable healing hands of St. Aggie's best medics. He does spare a moment for venom though, adding, "You are <i><b>banned</b></i> from entering the Infirmary." Dongrim shudders as the command falls into place. Before he can move to leave, Inati levels additional blame on the bystander. "Jeesu, you too."\nThe pair flee the unpleasant atmosphere; Dongrim trying to figure out if something that wasn't even technically alive can commit ritual suicide and Jeesu trying to assure him that it isn't necessary.\n\nMeanwhile, Inati lifts you into his arms. He stands to carry you to the Infirmary. He walks by Simon with determined steps, you are his first priority. But as he passes Simon he can't help but call out over his shoulder, "We are not done."\n\n<h2>Simon just gloweres after him and limps back to the kennel to [[lick his wounds]].</h2>
<h2> You hear Simon calling out for you and, frantic, you try to find the source of the sound. </h2> You see no trace of your friend and once the echo dies away you begin to doubt that you'd ever even heard it. Just because you hope that Simon has learned that he can come to you for help, it doesn't mean either than he's come to accept your continual offers, nor does it mean that he's currently in need of anything you can provide. You want it so badly that you probably imagined it.\n\nThen you hear your name again.\n\nBut it's not Simon. It's Jeesu calling for you as he barrels down the stairs and tumbles recklessly into the courtyard. You laugh as he almost skids into the wall and then over corrects so badly that he nearly falls into the well. "Jeesu! What are you doing here?"\n\n\n\n\n<p>"I finished early!" Jeesu yipped happily, shaking the water from his hair like an over grown dog. "And Dongrim's not done yet, so I came to play with you!"</p><p>Smiling at the infectious cheer Jeesu carried with him, Milly said, "I still have work to do!"</p><p>"Just for a little bit! You never take any breaks," Jeesu complained, tugging on her hand. Milly resisted only for a moment before following out of the courtyard towards the stables to Jeesu's excitedly voiced delight.</p>
<h1> House of Saints </h1> <h2> Alexandra Swords </h2>\nThis is a multimedia interactive fiction game. There is a way to win, and several ways to lose. There are also multiple neutral endings.\nThe choices you make while you read the story matter. Every single choice you make will lead to an entirely distinct and viable ending.\n\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/fb89c15b2eac16577e2b866964eb7333/tumblr_n3ndnvnR1g1qfh8beo1_500.png" align="left" hspace="20"> You are about to join the student body of Saint Agatha Buronach of Eusebia's School for Extraordinary. St. Aggie's is a very special school that caters to a particular breed Gifted Student, whose bloodlines can be traced back to a time from before Language separated man from beast. The Staff of St. Aggie's is capable of providing for the safety, comfort, and education of a wide array students with rather unconventional needs. The isolated Abbey provides its students with security and privacy as they grow into their birthrights. Students are given freedom with which to experiment with and explore every aspect of themselves as they come understand and control what makes them extraordinary. Students with all backgrounds and all manner of natural Gifts are welcome inside the walls of St Aggie's, where they will be educated and raised into the exclusive status of the world's truly elite. You will be walking among the <i>point</i> one percent. As you ought to be.\n\nIf you lose track of anything, there are links to a glossary, a Story Map, and a character list in the sidebar. Undoing a decision without starting over is possible, simply use your backspace key or click your browser's back button. This operation is primairly recommended in relation to navigating to and from links in the sidebar menu, as it will allow you to view information and resume the game without starting over.\n<h2>[[START]]</h2>
<h2> Inati's voice booms the order, sounding right behind Jeesu.</h2> The distorted echo of it bounces around the courtyard as Jeesu jumps away. The command had spooked all of the others as well, but Jeesu had been the closest to its epicenter. Silver haired and steely eyed, Inati steps onto the scene with a terrifying calm, towering over his squadron’s squabbling members. He doesn't hesitate an instant in dealing out a sharp blow to the back of Jeesu's head. The punishment for his pointless howling makes him whine in a brief moment of fear and agony. He skitters across the courtyard in complete submission, taking up a post beside Dongrim as Inati stares his pack down. “That is enough,” Inati says slowly, his voice quiet and filled with an alpha’s full power and fury. He stares each of them down, making each member of his unruly pack flinch in turn. \n\n“Jeesu. Dongrim. Perimeter,” he commands. The two in question dip their heads. Jeesu slinks by the leader untouched, but when Dongrim passed, Inati lashes out at him. Two sharp blows, extremely painful but not even slightly disabling, meet Dongrim under Inati’s castigation. After a moment of panic fueled short-stride scampering, Dongrim is perfectly able to lope easily beside Jeesu to carry out their patrol mission.\n\n“Daniel.” At the Beta's look to him, Inati continues, "Search Milly’s wing for black magic; there’ve been intrusion reports,” Inati commanded. As Daniel dips his head and moves to slip by the leader, Inati grabs his arm tightly. “Stay out of sight.” Daniel nods; just once, just to show that he'd accepted the order. There is a moment when Inati squeezes Daniel’s arm hard enough to make a normal person wince. Daniel stands his ground. He may have had disagreements with Inati, but he is not disloyal and he will not be guilt-tripped. “Good boy.” Daniel is off and running immediately when Inati releases him, needing to blow off steam before he goes into stealth mode for his mission. Inati could really do with some lessons in healthy interpersonal relationships. If it wasn’t for his unquestionable power and his deep down well-meaning, Daniel himself might be to to rip the leader’s face off.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/0de7b54e10eac621f225eebf9ba527d2/tumblr_n3q8yzwoxH1qfh8beo2_r1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left"> Once Daniel disappears, Inati is left alone with Simon in the courtyard. The pair stare each down as they let the tension pull even tighter between them. Inati makes his move in a burst of violent movement as Simon chokes on the blood Daniel’s pounding had made well up in his mouth. In a flash, Inati has Simon pined up against a wall by painfully firm hands pressing back on his biceps with Simon's heels lifting slightly off the ground. Simon laughs, more of a cough than not, and spits blood over Inati’s shoulder as the leader puts his teeth right by Simon’s ear. "<i><b>She's mine,</b></i>" Inati growls.\n\n“You just <i><b>love</b></i> saying that, don’t you?”\n\nInati noses at Simon’s throat, reminding him that life and death here could be decided with less than eleven pounds of bite-force. Simon laughs, rolling his head back to give Inati all the access he could ask for. His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows tightly. “It just kills you, doesn’t it? <i><b>She’s yours, she’s yours,</b></i> but she doesn’t trust you. She won’t let you in, will she? You’re the big black dog in her backyard, Inati. She’ll leave you food out for you every night, but she’ll never leave the door open.”\n\n“Then tell me, Simon,” Inati says, his teeth scraping against Simon’s cheek. “How come she's so unsettled by you? If you’re the family pet, how come you’re so hell bent on trying to bite the hand that feeds? If you bite too hard or too often you'll just be put down.”\n\n“Don’t tell me you’re concerned about her, Inati,” Simon crooned, amused. “Who’s the bitch I smell all over you? Hmm?” Inati adjusts his hold to slam Simon into the stone wall again. Simon just laughs as his back pounds into the unforgiving stone. “What? You can have your fun, but the rest of us aren’t allowed to play around? How is that any sort of fair?”\n\n“Not with her,” Inati snarls imediately, "None of us are allowed to play with her." He presses harder into his hold on Simon, litfting his heels higer and wrenching his arms up at an awkward and painful angle. “It’s in the job description, remember?”\n\nSimon shrugged. “Why is that again?” His bored voice is meant to antagonize Inati in every possible way.\n\nInati’s nails dug into the skin on Simon’s arms. “Why her?” Simon pretends not to have heard an with a quipy, sardonic, 'pardon' he forces Inati to repeat himself and clarify, "Why <i><b>her</b></i>? Of all the rules you could break, of all the ways you could try to piss me off, <i><b>why her</b></i>?” <h2>"Because it [[<i><b>hurts</b></i>|because it hurts]]." </h2>
<h2> You scoot over and pat the bed beside you. </h2> He's been craning to hold you by leaning over the bed at an awkward angle. At your invitation, Dongrim settles himself carefully beside you. He tries to make it like any other day of lying out on the grass with you watching the clouds as you wait for the laundry to dry. It's different though, too different to pretend it's not. He decides that he ought to confess, at least as much as he can without breakin the Rules. As hard as it is to sit with you under false pretenses, secrecy was a crucial part of Dongrim's daily life. Keeping you in the dark is his job.\n\n"I hurt you, Milly," he says quietly, staring up at the ceiling. "Whether you remember it or not, I hurt you."\n\n"Dongrim. It's okay. I'm okay, whatever you did, or more likely just think you did, you can't beat yourself up for it," you instruct firmly. "You look like you haven't slept in a week, Inati didn't look any better and he actually smiled, and Simon . . ." Dongrim looks at you with a carefully controlled reactio, encouraging you to keep talking. "He just seemed . . . off." You relax into his shoulder.\n\n"You understand him better than any of us do," Dongrim says. "He hardly even talks to us."\n\n"I don't know why he fights you so hard, why he purposefully breaks so many rules. All he wants is to be recognized, valued. And he's really good at making you all angry, I mean the way he reads people . . . if he just used that talent to actually be helpful . . . He could be a really important part of the team." You shake your head and let the subject drop.\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/cd1caf8f6064352f60fd36bb0e2d8e5c/tumblr_n4cqpz2HjM1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="right">\nYou close your eyes and let your head fall to Dongrim's shoulder. "I've missed you." Your words have a ring of time about them, as if you're talking about having been away for years rather than just asleep for a week. As you let yourself fall alseep beside Dongrim, the entire pack is washed in a feeling of relief. You're finally comfortable, and that alone provides comfort to the Pack. Inati is hovering just outside the door. Dongrim breifly wonders if you've ordered him out, knowing that almost nothing could make him willingly leave your side. At the moment, none of them wanted to be very far away from you. Dongrim lets himself fall alseep beside you, his body aching to catch up on all his missed hours of sleep. As mid morning turns over into afternoon, we wakes to find that you're protectively curled around him. The irony is bitter.\n\nThe quiet of the moment is soothing in a way that nothing else could ever compare to. Dongrim seriously considers staying with you, at least until you wake up again. Waking up alone might ruin your mood, you could be worried about him or feel like he'd abandonded you. On the other hand, he does have rounds to do, and that is a duty he has been severly neglecting in the past week.\n\n<h2> Should Dongrim [[stay with you|stay2]] or should he go [[do his job]]?</h2>
<h2> There is something coming for you. </h2> You can feel it shifting in the distance, a dark ripple in the shadows of the black inside your mind. You feel it edging closer, moving at an almost imperceptible rate. It rumbles like a summer storm and you know that there is nothing that can stop it from coming. You aren't worried though. You're calm. There's almost an anticipation on your tongue and you smile as you float in the darkness. The black inside your head is waking up. Nothing can stop that either. Right now, you're sluggish and groggy and you can't understand what's happening, but you roll over and fall deeper into your sleep. It's only a matter of time before you finally wake up.\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/580d842e97ce6195fc96de6fe1ca8aad/tumblr_n4csbxSaE81qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="right"> \nJeesu is the Hound that finds it, the seeping intrusion of a dark influence foreign to St Aggie's. He had almost missed it entirely. It take several close inspections to confirm it even after Jeesu developes a suspicion. It's such a slow and creeping thing that even if they'd been on high alert it would have taken three or four passes to catch the intrusion. As it is, with everyone antsy and sleep-deprived, it's a near miraculous catch. Jeesu couldn't howl an immediate alert, that would tip off the thing that was trying to get inside. That might provoke it into attacking immediately and Jeesu knows that in their current state the Hounds of St Aggie's have no hope of fighting it off. They needed to regroup and plan a counter attack carefully. The best Jeesu can do is to finish up his rounds with the slightest burst of acceleration. He knows the rest of the Pack can feel his urgency, they can even tell exactly what he's thinking if any of them are actually paying attention. With things as they are, Jeesu isn't surprised to find that no one notices his attempts to contact them until he shows up beside Inti at the infirmary. Dongrim is still beside you in bed. You're cuddled up next to him and he's caught in a doze. Inati is in a holding pattern; furious, but resigned to allowing Dongrim to comfort you. That doesn't change when Jeesu tells his story.\n\nDongrim is left in bed with you while the others convene at their barracks. A mental message from Inati is not nearly as easily ignored as one from Jeesu. The four hounds able to assess the challenge of the fight are not nearly as capable of doing so as they would have hoped. Jeesu is run ragged and needs sleep immediately if he's to be any use in the upcoming battle. Inati can't leave the bounds of St. Aggie's and he doesn't trust Simon nearly enough to send him out scouting. That leaves Daniel. The Beta agrees quickly, having been frustrated by the lack of information he'd found when looking for a clue as to what had happened. He'd found jsut enough not to be surprised that there was something coming. When you had given Dongrim the command that had cracked your wall, the resulting burst of power hadn't been contained by St. Aggie's walls. It had shaken the fabric of the whole of reality, and the things that go bump in the night had noticed.\n\nDongrim is informed the moment he wakes up enough to hear Inati in his head. Unless you specifically order him to stay when you open your eyes, he will be slotted into the routine of double shifts and extra vigilance. As it is at the moment, with your arms holding him securely in place, Inati can't order Dongrim away. Even with Daniel away on a scoutting mission that could take anywhere from two hours to two weeks, if you want him to stay, Dongrim will stay. And Inati will have to make due. Dongrim knows he should be out there helping though, and after several hours of peace his anxiety works it's way into you, pulling you drowsily from your dreams. <h2>"[[What's going on]]?"</h2>
<h2> You're sitting at the edge of the well, \nstaring into the watery depths in search of your relefection. All you see is Black. </h2> <img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/a44de7292f23574051ed89e3226e4983/tumblr_n4d1nkAS2A1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left"> <p>There is a phrase that people use to describe the immoral man.</p><p>'<em>His soul is blacker than the Night',</em> they say.</p><p>But they're wrong.</p><p>There is nothing blacker than the Night.</p><p>Human kind has lit its fires, shone it's little lights into the dark.</p><p>They've made the nighttime sparkle, to twinkle with the glitter of false security. The eye lights of the nighttime creatures assure them that the black is filled with life, familiar somehow because of it.</p><p>They don't know that the creatures they see are just the small and fragile ones, little life forms on the run from bigger things. The things that humans don't see are the things so black their eyes don't shine, things so cruel and vile they can't be named. They drip with the very essence of the night, the black and creeping ooze of nightmares that humanity has shied away from since the beginning, pretending them out of the human reality. But the Night lives on in the background.</p><p>In the dim corners of the mind a bit of blackness can take root. The seep and spawn of searing ink burns, charring away at everything good and light as it corrodes the human soul from within. The darkness twists motives, warps values, delicately deteriorates the ability of people to understand the fault of sin. It tempts them into the black, as willing victims make the sweetest prey, and it swells with their freely given lifeblood. There is nothing darker than Night. You are Millicent LeBourghe and you are the daughter of Darkness, the unholy offspring of the Fallen Bearer of Light and the Black of Endless Night.</p><p>The power welled within you is that of humans' lost potential, the life and hope and heart they've signed away wholesale. It's raw and violent and yearning, and so unbearably <em>human</em>. It calls out to the dumb beasts of the Black like a beacon of salvation, jeers at the higher beings that had already tasted the bitter false promises and sought revenge. And it calls to the Night itself, the Black that always wanted more.</p><p>But you are not an undefended existence.</p><p>From the very fiber of your power, beings were amassed; melded out of the blackest of the damned, the worst of humanity so twisted that the result was hardly human, and glued together by the indisputable influence of your will into Dogs to serve and stand guard. They were designed to be your workers; hounds to stand at your heel, and to take on all of your woes. Your Dogs are made of humanity's darkest days. They were never supposed to be your friends, but they were created in the sea of humanity and all its complexities. They were bred to be loyal, to love you unconditionally, and to serve beyond expectation.</p><p>You had ended up as a mere maid at St Aggie's because when you'd first been unleashed upon the world, you hadn't been able to handle your power. The St. Aggie's staff <em>had</em>. You had been bound, your memories of Hell suppressed behind a wall inside your head, and your powers siphoned through your protectors and recycled into the very Pit from which your well of black drew up energy to replace what you lost. The excess of energy, the leftover residue that couldn't be drained by your Dogs, was funneled into physical labor. The services you've provided to St Aggie's over the years have been entirely superfluous and meant only to give your an outlet of activity. In truth you're was an honored guest, insulated by your place in St Aggie's for your own protection, with your entourage extending to protect the school in turn.</p><p>You are the only one who has forgotten.</p><p>You've been steered away from certain things; razors that could bleed into sigils and seals and call up memories, tempting attire that might drive the Dogs around your to step above their bounds as your grew up and your hormones overwhelmed their senses, and books that told black fables that might make your recall the truth of Night. Your entire life has been an elaborate dance designed to keep you safe and happy, beneficent in all things. And now the charade that had made that life possible has been consumed by the sludge of the Night coming up to fill the emptiness you'd been able to hide from the Dogs you love more than anything. It's overwhelming; the rush is suffocating, drowning you within yourself.</p><p>Unable to breathe, unable to scream, unable to cry or laugh or //''feel''//; you are lost. Lying on your back, you are floating away in the black. Alone in the dark, you don't know where you're going, where you even <em>could</em> be going. You are alone and you are lonely, missing the friends around you with the same visceral longing of a person missing their limbs. Breathing in without taking in any air, you wonder how long you've been floating here, in this strange, silent abyss in the black behind a wall. It might have been a day, or two, or two hundred and two.</p><p>. . . <em>''Milly''</em></p><p>There are echoes in the black, echos of a life half lived, of a recent past half remembered, of a distant memory half forgotten. It's your fault somehow, all of this. You ccan feel your friends hurting, just as you always can. You'd sent them all away somehow. You are to blame for how they were always hurting, and how you yourself had been hurting. You had never cried in front of them; not really at least, not for this horrible loneliness you felt, how could you? You're not alone, you've never been alone. Your friends would support your through anything; thunderstorms, bellyaches, boredom, anything. How unfair would it be to them if you tried to explain that despite it all, you felt an acute disconnect to them. Your love all of them so dearly, and yet every time you meet with them, speak with them, play around and laugh with them, it feels like something's wrong, something's missing.</p><p>It's just so frustrating. You can't remember when you'd started to feel off around them, like something had been stuck between them all. You'd tamped the feeling down and had been able to make yourself have fun, but the tickle in the back of your mind had never gone away entirely. You feel cold, numb. There's a dull pain in your chest, heartache caused by cardiac arrest. Or maybe it's the other way around, your heart had stopped beating because it hurt too much to carry on.</p><p>You can just barely remember Daniel, talking to you before you opened your eyes to look out on the black of Night. He'd been talking to you, but the memory was muddled, muffled by distance like you'd been underwater as he'd spoken. And you remembered that first shot of pain in your chest, the heat and fury from just before she went numb.</p><p><em>Milly</em>.</p><p>When you opened your eyes the world is slightly fuzzy, hazy with the warmth of a half-remembered summer afternoon. The breeze blows lightly through the courtyard, the trickle of clear water into the well's deep pool echoes around you. You're sitting on the edge of the stone yellowed with age. You can't see your reflection. You can't see anything. </p><p><em>Milly</em>.</p><p>Looking up to find the source of her echoed name, she found that the courtyard was empty of anyone who could have called it.</p> You hear your name again and fight to identify the voice.\n<h2> Who do you hear calling? Is it [[Simon|Simon2]], [[Inati]], [[Jeesu|Jeesu3]], [[Daniel|Daniel3]], or [[Dongrim|Dongrim3]]? </h2>
<h2> "I'll be fine," you promise. </h2> You don't think they find you terribly convincing. You go on and insist that they all focus on finishing their work up as well and early as they can. They deserve a break, you tell them, but they also need to earn the right to take one.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/e95fcd2a3b4c123fd9152884cb0f8789/tumblr_n3oyud4qKO1qfh8beo1_500.png" align="right"> “We’ll come back this afternoon,” Jeesu promised. Dongrim agreed immediately, “It’ll be fun!” You wriggle out of their hold and tell them that you'll be waiting. Free of their hugs, you reach into a basket you've tucked under the table and pull out two of your special biscuits. You hand one to each of them, enjoying their smiles at the little presents. There's a fold of honey baked into the center of them, but only in the one from your special batch for the guardian's of St. Aggie's. Simon would have had his own if he ever bothered to announce himself before he started eating. You also give Dongrim two more, knowing that he won't eat them himself sine you've asked him to make sure that Inati and Daniel get their treats. He's honest and reliable, so you don't hesitate. You're sure that your presents will reach their intended recipients.\n\nThe cuddly behavior of Dongrim and Jeesu has successfully distracted you from the fact that Daniel had stopped smiling. He had latched onto the back of Simon’s shirt collar and dragged him from the kitchen with no small amount of force. \n<h2> You sigh as Jeesu and Dongrim [[follow quickly after them]]. </h2>
<h2> "Can I walk you back to your room?" </h2> "No, silly," You reply sweetly, laughing again. "You have a job to do and if Inati catches you sneaking out again to be with me, he's gonna make you run so many extra shifts that I won't see you again 'till I'm an old lady!" You're concerned for his health at this point. Inati had caught him loafing around on the job before and now Daniel could almost exclusively come see her in the early mornings before he went to bed. You can't believe that it's a healthy lifestyle. "Get some sleep tonight, okay?" you tell him quietly.\n\nHe takes your light comand with a smile. "Only if you do," he returns. You nod and wave him off, following him to the door and watching to make sure that he heads off in the direction of his room. He disappears into the purple seep of late evening before he even turns the corner.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/24a10fe5b84a9bdbc99a5678b775f8dd/tumblr_n3sek8zmW21qfh8beo1_400.png" align="left" hspace="25">You stand at the door for a long while after Daniel leaves, watching the shadows of evening morph into the dark of night. Your hands curl up at your sides with an odd tension running through them, a lingering worry, a niggling suspicion that something isn't right. You can't make any sense of the feeling so you try your best to push it down. Worrying for nothing could never help anyone.\n\nYou turn back inside and collect all the little things you'd spread about the room while you'd been working and put them in the basket you'd brought for lunch. You'd spent the afternoon nibbling as usual because you could never be bothered to sit down to make a proper meal of it. The individual containers of your snacks and sweets had, as usual, ended up scattered about the Laundry. Your mess had never bothered anyone because there was typically no one around to be bothered. You're the only person who ever uses this particular Laundry. The Castle of St. Aggie's has several others. You don't remember even being assigned to this one, but you're very glad you can work here. It's open and quiet and nice and bright during the day. And it's accessible in a way that allows your friends to drop by whenever they take a quick break from their Watchdog duties. The route to your little corner of the Castle isn't at all out of their way and you're always glad to see them.\n\nLately, though, something has been different about their visits. You don't know exactly when it started and you can't quite identify what the oddness is, but you can tell it's there. And with each visit it gets harder and harder to watch them leave: for some reason a bubble of fear builds inside you each time you wave them off and you can't help wondering whether or not it will be the last time you ever see them.\n\nThis unhappy feeling makes an effort to settle over your good mood, but you refuse to let it. Inati's visit was a wonderful thing, even if it hadn't worked out to be everything you'd hoped it could be, and Daniel's visit had been pleasant if breif. You finish collecting your things, resolved to make tonight lovely. You pause at the door. <h2> Do you go [[straight to your room]] or do you make a visit [[St Aggie's Main Fountain]]?</h2>\n\n
<h2> You can remember the Darkness breathing around you. </h2> You close your eyes and you're right back inside of it. It's groggy and slow, and your whole body suddenly aches with the feeling of having been very deeply asleep for a very long time. You've forgotten what you were trying to remember. You feel so sleepy, but you don't think that taking a nap just yet will really help anything. You open your eyes and try to shrug off the feeling. You frown when you realize that Inati is with you, looking intently at your features, eyes filled with questions he isn't asking. You're making him worry, and you're annoyed at yourself for it.\n\n"I remember Dongrim bring hurt," you mumble, hoping that you can somehow soothe Inati's worries. "And I remember Jeesu being there, and everyone was upset . . . and then . . . I woke up here."\n\n"Are you sure?" That is what Inati desparately hopes you remember, and that you've forgotten anything that Dongrim may have told you to trigger the event in the first place, but the fact that you remember things you shouldn't, like your name, leads him to believe otherwise. The stilted way you nod in confrimation makes him certain that you're keeping something from him. He can't pry though, it's not allowed. Besides, he wants to avoid triggering another fit at all costs. When you smile at him, even though it's not a terribly convincing ruse of reassurance, it makes the bubbles of relief he'd been feelin flood through him. "I'm just glad that you're alright."\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/6af5aba6533db549d335138391704b73/tumblr_n48ti7nqNI1qfh8beo1_250.png" hspace="20" align="right">\nYou smile at him, trying to assure him that you really are alright. A quiet call attracts your attention, "Inati." He doesn't turn around, but you look past him to see a Healer standing at the door. "Miss Milly would probably some time to herself, to rest." Inati doesn't move at all beyond a twitch in his jaw muscle. He's wondering how anyone could possibly think that he'd be willing to leave you alone after everything that's happened. He could never feel comfortable with leaving you.\n\nThe Healer hesitates before looking to you. "Can you tell this big bad puppy dog that he needs to take care of himself? If he doesn't get some rest soon, he's going to be the next one I put in a hospital bed!" You can tell that she just wants to get Inati out of the room. She wants to talk to him about something but doesn't want to do it in front of you. It's an easy guess to make that what she wants is to talk <b><i>about</i></b> you. The adults had always been like that. Only Sister Beatrice had ever seemed willing to include you in discussions about you. You'd gotten used to it.\n\nYou pull up an expression of surprise, and say, "Inati! I'm glad you were here when I woke up, but you have to take care of yourself!" It was obvious to you that Inati hadn't been taking care of himself for a while now. It was also obvious that none of St Aggie's Healers would be able to make him. You didn't think you could make him either, but you didn't think it could do any harm to try. "Go!" you tell him with a soft sterness in your tone, "Go, right now, get something good to eat and then get some sleep!"\n\nInati shivers as your order takes root. He tries for a moment to resist, reasoning that it was in your best interest for him to stay. Your powers have bubbled up inside of you though and are resting much closer to the surface of your consciousness. Now, even the Commands you make without being aware of them are utterly undenaiable. Inati sighs heavily and pulls himself away from you. As he tramps towards the door, the Healer mentions, "Bath's over there, Love. Fresh towels and a nice clean slip, are waitin' if you want 'em."\n\n<h2> You smile your thanks and watch as [[she closes your door]] behind Inti. </h2>
<h2> On a good day, Simon could put up a decent fight against Inati. </h2> Sometimes he could land a few good blows of his own, he could make inati <i><b>work</b></i> for his win. But today, as worn down as he already is from facing Dongrim and Daniel, Simon doesn't even have a chance of giving Inati a scratch before the Alpha killed him. Simon had dared Inati to kill him a thousand times before now, but he had never really been suicidal and he'd certianly never thought Inati would actually do it. This time was different. This time Inati is staring into the black of Simon's soul fully prepared to send it back to Hell in tatters.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/83c1050e9d37ef9e7214d6abddeca985/tumblr_n42taiOaMD1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left"> Inati shifts until he has Simon pinned to the wall by a hand at his throat, pressing into it hard enough to lift Simon to his toes. The ability to breathe is far beyond Simon's reach at this point. Another shift of Inati's hand leaves Simon's toes scrabbling. This is going to be slow end, a painful and drawn out affair befitting of Inati's smoldering rage. An undignified death for a black hound that didn't belong outside of Hell's hold, a lose canon that smeared the Guard's name in the dirt simply for the fun of it by upsetting the one thing they had been created to please.\n\n<i><b>"Inati."</b></i> \n\nDaniel's shout reaches Inati's ears just as his grip shifts again. His claws dig though the congealing blood on Simon's neck to fit snugly inside the wounds that Dongrim had left. New wells of red-black ooze spring to life under the assault. Inati didn't turn around but he bristles in annoyance. "I sent you to the infirmary with Dongrim." The hum of his anger vibrates through Simon.\n\n"I have higher orders," Daniel maintained firmly. He didn't need to say what those orders were. Knowing who they had come from was enough.\n\nSimon cackles as best he can from his position. "The little princess seems to like me, Inati," he spits. "Too bad for you." The sound of his taunt is thin and wheezing, but it rakes across Inati's nerves.\n\nInati pauses, seething. He's unwilling to let Simon live a moment more, but there's nothing he can do against an order from you. A moment more of hesitation and Inati throws Simon across the garden antechamber by the grip on his throat. It's an act of pure rage. Daniel has never seen him give into his emotions with such abandon. Inati is unstable, practically wild. The bindings inked onto his skin boil red against Inati's disobedient violence, searing him with an intensity that makes the steely leader of St. Aggie's grit his teeth in pain. Daniel steps between his packmates, keeping his eyes on Inati more so than on Simon. At this point, Simon is so battered he couldn't do much damage even if he does attack. Inati though, as unpredictably as he has been acting these days, might actually try something. The standoff is charged with thick waves of fierce power.\n\n<h2> Meanwhile, on the other side of the school, \nDongrim and Jeesu find themselves at an [[impasse]] of their own.</h2>\n\n\n\n
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<img src="http://willhagle.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/ngm-nationalgeographic.jpeg" width="304" height="202.5" hspace="15">\n\nSOUND CLOUD\n<embed height="50" width="100" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136675367&auto_play=true&">\n\n\nUMW BLOGS MEDIA HOST\n<embed width="400" height="27" src="http://aswords.umwblogs.org/files/2014/04/Eminem-ft-Rihanna-Monster.mp3" auto_play="true" type="audio/mpeg">\n\nUse Audacity to cut tracks to points of interest?\n\n\n<h1>headings</h>\n\n[[fear|The Nature Of Fear] will create a link that appears as “fear” linking to a lexia named “The Nature of Fear.”\n\nIndents =      \n\nCreate conditional text with <<if $variable>>Text to show if $variable is true<<else>>Text to show otherwise<<endif>>.\nSet variables with <<set $variable = true>>.\nVariable names must begin with $ sign, can’t contain spaces or special characters, are case sensitive.
<h2> "I'll be fine," you tell them, "I promise. Go do whatever you need to."</h2> Simon practically freezes solid his demeanor cools so quickly. His hand falls away from you and he gives a quick goodbye before turning on his heel and heading out the narrow passage on the side of the courtyard that Daniel hadn't come from. Daniel reeks of Inati's scent and the Alpha is someone that Simon is decidedly not interested in stumbling across in the near future.\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/66f3e360c124911c5aa09cb530bc89a9/tumblr_n40yym2gWm1qfh8beo1_250.png" hspace="20" align="right">\nDaniel is about to charge after him when he feels your hand catch his. He turns back to your with a bright and cheery grin. Letting Simon get away for now is nothing to Daniel if you want something from him.\n\n"Don't let Inati be too hard on him, okay?" you ask, knowing full well that there's no possibility that Inati won't find out about Simon sneaking out to find you. You know how Inati hates how he shirks his duties. But you also know that there's more to the story. Simon is in some serious pain and it's leading him to make poor choices. He needs help, not harrassment. But this is all you can think of to do for him.\n\n"Of course not, Milly!" Daniel assures you, "I won't let either of them do anything too stupid. But Simon knows exactly what he's getting into when he takes breaks like this, and Inati has to keep him in line somehow. We all have our roles to play here."\n\n"I know, I just . . . I worry about them," you tell him, "both of them. This can't be easy for Inati either."\n\n"It's not," Daniel admits. "But my job is to make sure that they don't go overboard so that you don't have to worry about them so much." At your unconvinced expression, Daniel leans closer and pokes gently at your forehead. "You know if you keep worrying so much, you're going to get wrinkles!"\n\n"Meanie!" you shout, swatting him away. Then you sigh, ceeding to the point that you're not going to be able to win this argument the way you want to. "I'll try not to worry about them," you say. Then you turn teasing, "But that'll only give me more time to worry about you!"\n\nDaniel grins, adopting a comical farse of innocence. "What's there to worry about with me?"\n\nYou cross your arms and give him a sassy, "You're becoming a kleptomaniac. This theivery thing is becoming a serious problem."\n\nWith a shrug, Daniel replies, "It's only a problem if yo get caught."\n\n"One of these days, I'm going to turn you in for it," you tell him. Then you shake your head, letting it drop for the moment. "Just make sure to take care of yourself, and the others. I want all of you to be happy and healthy. Alright?"\n\n"We'll be fine," he promises, feeling your heart sink as you send him on his way. He leaves you staring after him as he trots off in the direction Simon had gone. Then he loops back around to come to Inati's side. It is not his place to speak, but he does so anyway, "You should go to her." You would accept his appearance, welcome it even. Daniel is sure of it.\n\n"Find Dongrim," Inati replies, ignoring Daniel completely. "His morning patrol today was the South Wing." The edge of that patrol route took Dongrim through one of the buildings that over looks this courtyard. It's less likely that he somehow didn't see Simon's encounter with you that it is that he did see, dramatically so. If Dongrim is allowed to confront Simon alone after this, one of the two won't be coming out of the fight. Approaching you without an invitation is one thing, but trying to persuade you unknowingly give an Order is something enirely different. Simon had tried to make you utilize a power that had been sealed away inside of you for a reason; a power that they had been commanded to protect you from. This was more than disobedience. This time, Simon had put you in danger.\n\nWhen Inti shifts, dismissin him, Daniel hesitates for a heartbeat before sprinting away.\nHe knows that Inati should go to you. What he doesn't know is if the Alpha actually will.\n<h2> He could continue to guard you from [[the shadows]], or he could try standing [[in your light]]. </h2>
<h2> "Tell me how to help you, Dongrim," you plead.</h2> You've unknowingly given him a command he cannot disobey and his jealousy and angst and pain warps it to his own purposes. As your order settles into place, Dongrim shudders. This is wrong, and he knows it as well as anyone. It broke all the Rules, but it was your order and it would help him so much in so many ways.\n\n"Hold still."\n\nYou're confused by what he's asking of you, but you can tell that he's being truthful with you. The thing he thinks you can do that will be most beneficial to him at the moment is to hold stil. So you do. You hold perfectly still as Dongrim lifts himself up and presses his lips to yours. He can taste the sweetness of your breath as you gasp, and he can feel the sparks of your powers. There is a hum of energy rising around the two of you as your body kicks into high gear from the sensation of the kiss and your powers react to your worry and the proximity of Dongrim's wounds. Your heart pounds in your chest as Dongirm breaks the kiss and pulls back a few inches.\n\n"What was that for," you ask, with wide eyes and breathy words. You're surprised at him, and confused by him, but you're not angry at him or frightened of him. Your fingers drift up to touch your lips, still warm and tingly from his kiss.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/bf218c6715a335c8f5809ade77066020/tumblr_n43lq9Hfzn1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left"> Dongrim can't look at you. He's still sitting with his face mere inches from yours, but his eyes are drawn to the floor. "I'm sorry," he says hurriedly, his voice filled with deep regret for his recklessness. He was horrified at himself. All he had really needed was continued contact with you. Just having your hands on his chest was enough to boost his healing power. The kiss was too much and more. It pushed boundraries and crossed lines that even Simon hadn't managed to get you to allow. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"\n\nHe's interupted by your shout. "Your wounds!"\n\nYou're staring at Dongrim's chest, more specifically at the receding purple of his bruises. There is a sudden flex of skin as a fractured rib resets itself with a loud crack and Dongrim grunts at the blunt ripple of receding pain. This was something he had never expected. A bit of contact could help spark his powers into over-drive. A kiss though...\n\nCurling away from him in no small amount of terror, you squeak, "How are you doing that?"\n\n"It's not me," Dongrim tells her, watching himself heal in amazement.\n\n"Well it's not me," you reply, so quiet that Dongrim nearly doesn't hear it over the thoughts running through his mind. Somewhere deep down, you're connecting the dots, unconsciously realizing that it is. "What's happening?"\n\nDongrim shakes his head. Jeesu suddenly realizes that he's about to answer your question, as truthfully as he can. If what he says soothes you then this might turn out alright. But if what he says frightens you, or makes your realize something you shouldn't know, than this situation could quickly sprial away into a fiasco. Jeesu has to decide quickly.\n\n<h2> He can [[maintain his silence]], trusting Dongrim to continue handling the situation. \nOr he can speak up and [[distract you]] long enough to figure out how to explain. </h2>\n
<h2>Inati watches from afar as you refocus and settle back into your work.</h2> He senses your unease slowly disapate as you focus on the task at hand. His meanwhile is only growing as he senses how things are sliding out of control inside his pack. Simon had maintained a casual loping pace only so long as it took to get out of you direct eyeline. The moment he'd turned the corner he'd broken into a sprint. He's made it back to the edge of the Orchard by the time he dares to slow down. He's hoping that the last place Daniel would look for him would be at the post he had abandoned, and he thinks that he can mix up his current scent-trails with the ones he'd laid down earlier in the line of active patrol. \n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/c02a6be3d089604b44b478ee4353fb46/tumblr_n41qj5RdPT1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="right">\nHe only makes it as far as the Orchard's antechamber when Dongrim catapults out of nowhere at him, slamming into him sidelong with a snarl so vicious it wasn't hard to believe that it was a sound only an animal dredged up from the belly of Hell itself could make. Simon is blown completely off his base, and his feet scrabble for purchase on the slick path of grass and gravel as he fights to regain his balance. Simon is cackling with laughter as he slides into the courtyard's wall with a heavy thud, watching as Dongrim pants heavily, his teeth bared and his shoulders hunched with his claws ready to slash Simon to ribbons. Under normal circumstances, Dongrim could take Simon on alone and win with relative ease; but he got sloppy when he got angry and nothing made him angrier than when Simon messed around with his 'little Miss Milly'. "So, here he is," Simon taunts, his own chest heaving from the efforts of his run and the winding Dongrim had just inflicted. "Milly's little lap dog." Dongrim snarls again, but he doesn't lunge at Simon. It is as close as he could get to cognate thought while he's in this state; so riled up, that he's much more beast than man. Simon smirks down at him, exposing his throat and daring Dongrim to go for it. "Oh look, the lap doggie's lost his bite," Simon sneered when Dongrim didn't fall for his bait, "next thing you know, all you'll have left of Hell is a yappie little bark that irritates the neighbors." Simon lets his head loll to one side as Dongrim begins to stalk around him in a predatory circle.\n\nDongrim's attack is a sudden leap that's overwhelmingly ferocious. If it had contained any of the usual power Dongrim could siphon into his movements, Simon might have been forced to yield here and now. As it is, Dongrim is attacking on brute strength and nothing more. The power bubbling beneath Simon's skin allows him to sidestep fast enough to catch only a glancing blow as Dongrim's nails rake across his shoulder. Simon twists around and slams his elbow into Dongrim's back, kicking his feet up and flipping away from Dongrim's teeth as they snap around to meet him. He manages to land his own slashing blow on Dongrim's shoulder, a far deeper wound than Dongrim had achieved.\n\nSliding away from Dongrim, Simon launches his counter attack before his opponent manages to recover his feet. Simon slams forward, barreling into Dongrim with his shoulder and knocking the warrior from his feet entirely. It's like ramming his shoulder into an unyielding slab of frozen meat, dead and cold and heavy enough to fracture bone. Dongrim retaliates instantly with a sharp series of kicks to Simon's abdomen, scrabbling against him to wriggle away on his back. He's just managed to kick Simon off of him and spring unsteadily to his feet when Daniel storms in. The seep of his power is diluted only in the slightest degree by Inati's bindings of black sludge. Daniel grabs onto Dongrim's shoulder the moment he's within reach and flings him backwards so that he crashes into the antechamber's masonry. \n\n<h2>"[[Stay]]."</h2>
<h2>“Simon.”</h2> Simon’s teeth clicked together as his mouth snapped shut and his lips pressed together in a tight line. You could feel his frustration radiating off of him, though you didn't understand it. You had given into him, so close to completely that Simon was practically incensed with the interruption. Just a few more bloated seconds stolen from reality and he would have had you entirely. He steps away from you and you suddenly realize how close to you he'd gotten. Even now that he'd stepped back a bit, he was still less than an arm's length away.\n\nSimon meanwhile was looking over your shoulder, towards the scullery stairs. He knew the oh-so friendly bark that had shattered the breathless silence all too well. Eyeing Daniel as he steps fully into the room, Simon lets his hand fall away. His fingers brush along the bare skin of your arm as they leave your face. Daniel isn’t top dog in this neck of the woods, but he is much higher up the ladder than Simon. Disobeying him outright was never an option.\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/a149622c0dd0688ab90365fdf06f31ff/tumblr_n3out17wsl1qfh8beo1_500.png" align="left" hspace="20">You look between Simon and Daniel, feeling the tension rising in the air between them. It's odd, you think, almost tangible. Battle lines have been drawn and you're standing right in the middle of No Man's Land. You spy Jeesu and Dongrim on the stairs behind Daniel and you brighten despite the dank gloom brought on by Simon's reaction to their arrival. Simon glared over your head at the trio, holdin back a snarl. They always came trotting by just in time to ruin his fun.\n\n“Inati wants to see you,” Daniel barks, his voice controlled but obviously furious. Even you can feel his anger, though he makes a special point of giving you a smile. He's wearing that smile like a mask as he moves towards you. You notice how his approach pushes Simon backwards and you have to work to return Daniel's easy smile. Simon looks on at Daniel's sweetness with his lip tweaked up in disgust. Still, there are fights Simon knows he can’t win and he isn’t suicidal. With Dongrim and Jeesu here to back Daniel up, Simon pushes down his resentment and resists the urge to lunge for Daniel’s throat the moment he looks away.\n\nDaniel is still smiling at you, even as you feel Simon seething behind you. Daniel's signature expression was filled with a soothing sweetness that could make the knees of any girl on earth go weak with ease. “We have to steal him away for a little while, Milly,” he coos. There's no apology in what he's saying and his words are as close to a lie as the truth can come. You've spent years learning to navigate the finer points of Daniel's unique honesty, it was meant to charm and distract and still speak to the core of what he really meant.\n\n“It’s okay,” you tell him. You know that he has to take Simon with him regardless of whether or not it's okay with you, but you also know how much he hates to upset you in anyway. "You guys have even more work than I do," you comment, just to make sure that Daniel felt your sincerity. You honestly were okay with the fact that Simon had to leave. You couldn't think straight around him and you could never quite figure out why. Already, you can feel your heart beat slowing down to a more normal rate as Simon edges away from you.\n\n"You'll be alright, now, won't you?" Daniel asks sweetly. It isn't an order, not a <i>take care now, Milly</i>. It's a question, an opinion you can give if you deign to. Because Daniel never told you to do anything, he never even asked you to do anything. He simply asked your opinion on the currently unfolding events of a given situation. "I think we might be able to spare Jeesu or Dongrim, if you'd like."\n\nJeesu and Dongrim pounce on you, giving you tight hugs and smiles like lost little puppies that had found their owner. They warm you up, bringing back the vibrancy of life in motion that Simon somehow always manages to set on pause. You remember you biscuits in the over and think about how nice it would be to have someone to chat with while they bake. But you know that the Watchdogs have so much work to do that you think you might feel too guilty in asking for someone to hang around with you because you're bored.\n\n<h2> Do you ask someone to [[stay with you]] or do you tell them [[you'll be fine alone]]?</h2>\n
<h2> "What happend?"</h2> "I don't know," Inati replies, his voice controlled and quiet. It's also rough with disuse. He truly has no idea what happened. Or how to fix it.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/4a5b4623a28ea3c77015be80bdbd304b/tumblr_n47137LfXa1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="left"> He feels like a complete failure of a guard. Inati hadn't been able to keep Simon away from you, hadn't been able to make Dongrim keep his mouth shut, hadn't been able to help you at all when you needed it most. He hadn't been able to wake you up.\n\n"What do you remember?" he asks gently. He's walking on eggshells, terrified that he might end up sparking another fit, but desperate to know what's going on inside your head.\n\n"I . . . I can't remember anything," you tell him, looking down. You're trying to remember, but when you poke around inside your memory, all you see is black.\n\nInati's worried expression pulls at your heartstrings. He's desparate to reassure you and says, "The Healers said you might experience some memory loss. You experienced trauma, and they can't know exactly how it affected you." At your questioning look he adds, "You had a seizure, just a small one, but we don't know what caused it."\n\nYou know that the key to figuring out what had happened is probably somewhere inside your head, locked away in the dark with whatever it is you can't remember. You decide to start from the beginning, with the last thing you're sure you remember. "I was hanging laundry. Simon came to visit. And Daniel, he said he'd gotten me a book. You were there too." You don't miss the surprise that crosses Inati's features when you mention his presence, but you ignore it because you can tell he doesn't want you to see it. Instead you focus on trying to remember. "Daniel was upset. And Dongrim . . . Dongrim was too," in a sudden flash of memory, you recall that he was injured. You can't remember exactly what his injuries were, but you definitely remember seein lots of his blood. "Dongrim was hurt! Is he okay? Where is he?"\n\n"Dongrim's wounds from that day are fully healed," Inati promises you. His voice has lost some of the warmth from earlier, but not all of it. He's still furious with Dongrim, but he understands why you would be worried about him. "He's out on his rounds." Internally, Inati pleads with you to let it go. If you ask for Dongrim to come by after he's finished with his work, there will be nothing Inati can do to keep him out.\n\nInati knows that you're not entirely satisfied by his explanation. You can tell there's more to the story. 'Wounds from that day' makes it sound distinctly like he's suffered several more since, and you really don't want to think about the possible implications of the sudden chill in Inati's demeanor. You shake off your misgivings and try again to remember.\n\n<h2> The black behind your eyes shifts slowly [[inside your head]]. </h2>
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<h2> Watching you, watching <i><b>over</b></i> you, had been the sole purpose for Dongrim's existence.</h2> To be ordered away from you is the worst torment Dongrim can imagine. He can hardly tolerate it when his Alpha takes your attention away from him, he's nver really learned to deal with the fact that the pack's Gamma has insinuated himself into your daily life; but being ordered to stay away from you hurts in a way that nothing else possibly can. Especailly while you're hurting.\n\n<Img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/16a238a84f193091df1a6913d17b6a9c/tumblr_n45muc6WDJ1qfh8beo1_250.png" hspace="20" align="left">In the week that have now been lying unconscious in your private suite of the infirmary, Dongrim has worn a hole in the grass four stories below your window from his frequent pacing. He isn't allowed inside, but he can't bear to stay away. He's a nearly constant spectre haunting the doorways that lead into the Infirmary, his ears itching for any whisper of news about your condition. You're stable. That's all anyone really knows at this point. No one understand why you haven't woken up yet.\n\nJeesu has told him over and over that the Healers are certain that you'll would wake up and be completely fine. It's possible that you won't even remember the event that had triggered the trauma. But that doesn't change the fact that Dongrim is entirely responsible for what's happened to you. The weight of the guilt nearly kills him everytime he accidentally lets himself think about it.\n\nYou've been under a 24 hour watch. You've had either Daniel or Inati by your bedside every moment since you fell unconscious. You haven't been aware of any of it, not consciously at least. But having a Hound available to stand beside you provided comfort on a deeper level and the Hounds could sense you relax slightly into their presence; and they could feel you tense when the shifts changed.\n\nSimon is lurking around somewhere.\nHe, like Dongrim, has been banned from entering the infirmary by Inti. He's been just as antsy about it. Dongrim can occasionally catch his scent on the wind, but he's never spotted the packmate he loathes above any other creature in existence. Simon knows well that it's in his best interest to avoid him, and all of the others too. He may have boasted in the past about pushing Inati far enough so that the Alpha would just have to kill him, but having almost managed the feat has given Simon a new sense of fierce possessiveness over his life. He no longer has much of a desire to tempt Fate by openly disobeying Inati's orders, but old habbits die hard and he feels the compulsion to be near you as acutely as any of his packmates. It had taken a few days for him to discover the way to climb silently over the rooftops until he could perch within a few feet of your window. None of the others have ever found it, and no one who's allowed inside with you bothers to look away from you long enough to notice Simon looking on from just out of reach.\n\n<h2> Simon is there, watching, when you [[finally wake up]].</h2>
<h3> House of Saints </h3>
The Hounds are aspects of people, not complete individuals on their own. They are comprised of human vices and defined by the Seven Sins, manifestations of warped humanity. They are all entirely selfish and thoroughly obessive. They all contain a thread of carnal Lust and unconquerable Greed, in addition to their other sins.\n\n - type, sin, worst feature, \n\nInati - Sado-Masochist. Vanity. Aggressive. \n\nDaniel - Pacifist-ish. Indulgence. Liar. \n\nDongrim - Masochist. Evny. Dependent.\n\nJeeesu - Sado-Masochist. Sloth. Spineless.\n\nSimon - Sadist. Wrath. Misanthropy.
<h2> Daniel turns his attention to Simon. </h2> Daniel is a threat that was not to be taken lightly. Under normal circumstances Simon had no hope of beating him, but while his attention is divided between himself and Dongrim . . . so long as Inati doesn't show up to spoil the fun, Simon might have a chance at winning this fight. He could at least be sure of his ability to inflict a good deal of damage. The first move is Simon's. He bolts sideways, as if to escape, before skidding around suddenly and leaping for Daniel's midsection. It's a foolish battle plan, but an unexpected one and Daniel is knocked to the ground as Simon hits him. Simon clambers on top of his superior, struggling to keep Daniel from turning the tide as he wraps his hands around Daniel's throat and Daniel claws at his face. Then Daniel kicks up with his legs, bucking his entire body with enough force to unseat Simon. Daniel flips them over and wrenches Simon's hands over his head. Once Daneil has him secured like this, they're both left panting from the exertion. Simon knows he won't be the first to recover; his Power is far more tightly bound than Daniel's. \nBut they'd both forgotten about Dongrim.\n\n<img src="http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pixies/2013/7/28/1375041954356/Blood-and-flowers-near-Ra-008.jpg" hspace="20" align="left" height="170" width="330"> The Beta's command is forceful a forceful thing, undeniable by any of the pack members save Inati. But it is only effective so long as it is a maintained thought in the Beta's head. The moment that Daniel forgot about Dongrim, he freed him. Dongrim lunges at the pair, careening into Daniel to push him away and go for Simon's throat. Daniel had scrambled to his feet by the time that Dongrim had his hands around Simon's neck, his claws digging into the skin and drawing blood. He increases the pressure of his grip, leaning into his hold with the intent to rip Simon's throat out.\n\nAnd then Inati arrived. <i><b>"Enough."</b></i> Inati's command echoes through the antechamber with enough force to make Dongrim cry out in pain, and to send him skittering away from Simon. Simon coughs heavily and Daniel could have sighed with relief if he hadn't been commanded into stillness. The booming voice of their leader makes all of his subordinates quake, even Jeesu, the one who'd come to tell Inati that Dongrim had made it to Simon before Daniel had. Inati is furious in a way he has never been before, and with how unpredictable he has been lately, his fury frightens everyone close enough to feel the rage seething beneath his skin. The sheer presence with which Inati arrived pushes the entire pack into complete submission. The Alpha looks to Dongrim, who is still too incensed to do more than cower. Simon meanwhile has dragged himself to his feet and he holds Inati's stare. The defiance shoots him through with pain as Inati's bindings burn into his skin, holding in the boil of his black power. Inati ignores him for the moment, turning to Daniel for his first command. "Get Dongrim to the infirmary."\n\nDaniel moves slowly, approaching Dongrim with caution. It's unlikely that he would attack, but the scenario is not an impossible one. Daniel helps Dongrim to his feet and leads him past Inati to the antechamber door before handing him off to Jeesu, instructing with a look that Inati's command to him is now Daniel's to Jeesu. Shouldering Dongrim's weight with solemn silence, Jeesu nods to show that he accepts the order. By the time Daniel has turned around, Inati has Simon slammed up against the wall, his forearm pressing down firmly against the Gamma's breastbone with such force that it would have cracked were Simon any other sort of creature. Daniel hangs back by the antechamber's entrance; his orders from you aren't very specific, but they are the highest power acting in their universe and he could not disobey. <i><b>'Don't let Inati be too hard on him,'</b></i> you'd said. Well, 'too hard' is a very relative term when considering the fact that Daniel himself thinks that having him die 50 times over would be going easy on him.\n\n"I will not let you continue to upset order in my pack," Inati whispers virulently. The sentiment is one that Daniel more than empathizes with. \n\nSimon tries to laugh, but it comes out more as a strained cough than anything cocky or confident. "I wouldn't kill me if I were you," Simon manages to wheeze out under Inati's pressure on his airways. "Imagine what Milly might think when the big black dog comes to see her, covered in the life-blood of her friend. I'm sure that'll just make her day." The only response Inati gives is a slight increase of pressure on his arm. This time, Inati is not planning on pulling any punches. This time, he won't be letting Simon walk away. Inati won't stay short-handed for long, he can drag another Dog up from the Pit if he really needs to. He might have to borrow some of your power, might have to come to you bleeding and bloody, but he could make you understand. Or he could make you forget. \n\nHe had done it before. \nHe had made you forget everything. <h2> Making you forget about him [[killing Simon]] would be nothing.</h2>
<h2> You decide that it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.</h2> But you still want to give Simon something to encourage him to keep opening up to you like this. "I don't really remember anything," you tell him, "Just black." It doesn't satisfy his curiosity but it doesn't make his frustration flare. Even that little detail caught in Simon's mind. He knows of the Hell behind his eyes at night, the Black that recharges his powers and the regenerates his body. But you don't need that. The well inside of you comes from a much broaders swath of humanity and your power can latch onto ever temptation the human soul can offer up. Hell probably isn't the same sort of torment for you as it is for him. For you, it might beven be a pleasant experience.\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/7e3c197457cc796d92a3dcf068052be8/tumblr_n4caixjlfx1qfh8beo1_250.jpg" hspace="10" align="left">\nYou have the black blood of a fallen angel pumping through your veins. You have every ounce of the affecting power that made the light-bearer such a danger. Simon can feel your power, sparking and vicious, just beneath the surface. It much closer than it had been before, a viscous roil bubbling reluctantly in your core. There's a crack in the wall inside your head. Just how big those cracks are, and just how fragile the rest of the wall is, are things that Simon can't even begin to guess. But he knows that it's a problem he can't risk making worse. "Inati's been giving us all extra rounds," Simon says, sitting up suddenly. For the first time in his history, Simon was trying to get himself <b><i>out</i></b> of your presence. Inati feels the little ripple of power that comes when you sigh. Your power is reacting to Simon and Inati is just itching to get Simon alone to end him once and for all. Simon hesitates, letting his hand brush over the skin on your thigh as he sits up. Your ease with the contact unnerves him. Whatever happened inside your head has done something to you and Simon does <b><i>not</i></b> know how to handle it. But, whether he likes it or not, you're his first priority. He can play around and make youuncomfrotable all he likes, but he can't actively make you sad. Leaving when you don't want him to is at the limit of his power. "I'll come back this evening," he promises. \n\nIt soothes you enough to willingly let him go.\nSimon makes it out the window and all the way down to the grass before he's able to relax. He exhales heavily, his heart pounding.\n\nAnd then he realizes that Dongrim is watching him. Dongrim is absolutely livid. But, he's also utterly desparate. Simon had been with you, he'd gotten around Inati's creed of banishment. Dongrim needs to know how. Simon grits his teeth together, thinking about not telling him. But with your instability affecting them all severely, Simon does something unexpected, he explains. "Milly's room is special, a private suite. It's not technically part of the infirmary." His words are curt, cool and uncaring, but they aren't mocking, and they aren't lies. <img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/2109c8fae236a9334c0282b6a563af4a/tumblr_n4caixjlfx1qfh8beo2_250.png" hspace="10" align="right"> \n\nIt's the most helpful thing that Simon has ever done for Dongrim. Though he can't bring himself to actually feel grateful or say thanks, Dongrim can force himself to acknowledge the favor with a cant of his head. The two part ways on better terms than than they'd ever been on before. It would have bothered Dongrim, but he needs to get in to see you more than he needs to let Simon under his skin.\n\nDongrim quickly follows Simon's scent trail up the winding path over rooftops that led to the ledge outside your window. He leaps one last gap and turns around the last corner and suddenly he can see you through your window. He feels a flood of relief. After so long away from you, while you were unconscious no less, seeing you from even this close, awake and as well as could be hoped for, is a huge weight off his shoulders. The frown on your face worries him, your confusion and uncertainty. But still, you're alive and you're awake. As long as okay will be able to make you happy again, eventually. Another heavy sigh from you draws him to the window. You're wondering if you made the right decision in not telling Simon everything. Telling him might have helped you figure out what was going on inside your head. Hovering halfway through the window, Dongrim calls quietly, "Hey, Milly. How're you holding up?"\n\n"Dongrim!" You gasp, turning abruptly to face him in surprise. Then you soften, not wanting to make it seem like your surprise means he is unwelcome. "Aren't you going to come inside?" You hold your hand out as an invitation when he hesitates. Dongrim practically melts. Resolve, self-respect, cognitive reasoning, all of it dissolves in an instant an he steps through the window. "Is everything okay?" You ask deeply concerned by the way he's looking at you. Inati and Simon had both been far from peak condition, but Dongrim is positively harrowed. The guilt in his eyes makes your heart clench tightly in your chest. "Come here," you plead quietly.\n\nIn the space of a breath Dongrim is on you, enveloping you in the tightest hug your body can withstand without harm. "I am so sorry, Milly," he says. As you hug him back as tightly as you can manage, he promises, "I didn't mean to hurt you." His forehead is pressed to the curve of your neck, and the sound his words is just short of a sob. You promise him that everything is okay, that <i><b>you</b></i> are okay, but Dongrim knows better than to believe you. After what he'd done, things could never just be okay. He loosens his hold on you just enough to lift his head and look you in the eye. "Milly, what do you remember?" he asks, urgently.\n\nHuffing, you push lightly out of Dongrim's hold. "That's what <i><b>everyone</b></i> keeps asking me."\n\n"It's important, Milly," Dongrim tells you, pulling himself up to press his forehead to yours like he could read your thoughts by contact alone. "It's so important." You can't look him in the eye. You don't want to explain, but you can't lie, not to him. You resist a moment longer and then end up telling him the same thing you told Simon. It's much closer to what Dongrim wants to hear than it had been to what Simon wanted.\n\nYou feel Dongrim hesitate again. You worry that he might be thinking about leaving. You don't want to be alone right now, you've decided, and you really don't want Dongrim to be alone. He's guilt-ridden and anguished in a way that frightens you.\n\n<h2> Do you ask him about [[what's on his mind]], or do you [[invite him onto the bed]] with you?</h2>\n
<h2> Your room is a lovely tower chamber on the Northeast side of the Castle.</h2> St. Aggie's has dozens of buildings and too many towers to count, but your tower is by itself on the far side of the Castle from the main gate, where most of the splendid architechture was clustered together to impress visitors. You like having your own private little point-of-interest to ogle. There's at least a dozen ways to get from the Laundry to your room, but you never take any of the routes that keep you inside the Castle itself unless it's raining. You far prefer to walk outside and see your room's outer-architechture rising up through the fog in all it's glory.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/3df739128f834b710011b453db7ff865/tumblr_n3tqsqeN1M1qfh8beo1_400.png" align="right" hspace="20"> You aren't scared of walking home alone in the dark. You have five good friends working tirelessly to protect the Castle and keep everyone inside its walls safe. All of them are strong and brave and capable, and you know that as long as they're the ones guarding your home, you have nothing to worry about. They will always keep you safe.\n\nYou round one last corner and the building that your tower is attached to finally comes into view. It's not the only thing you see though, and what else you see makes you stop in your tracks. Simon is leaning against the building on the far side of the quad, fully visible in the fuzzy grey light of the moon shinging through the fog. You can tell that he knows you've seen him; his posture tightens up and he curls slightly into himself as he stares at you. Your stomach flips inside of you, and you feel the strange buzz of tension Simon always provokes in you rise up. His job is to lurk.\n\nYou tell yourself that you shouldn't be surprised to see him loitering in the dark corner of the Castle grounds. His whole job is dependant on the fact that he lurk around the darkest corners of the Castle. His whole purpose in existing at all was to lurk. You couldn't know it but the entire point of his existence was to watch from the shadows to protect a girl who couldn't even remember her own name. Simon blamed you for it. You're so fragile, so easily unsettled, that Simon finds it incredibly hard to believe that it's <b><i>your</i></b> power that bound and blunted the black fangs of his vile energies. Your innocence make Simon bitter. Inati's orders keep Simon bound to his task, but he makes sure to retaliate by making you as uncomfortable as possible. He wants to make sure that everyday he does his job, everyone else involved has to live through the same Hell that he does. He's aware that you can't understand his suffering, but he still blames you for it.\n\nYou're still standing across the quad, staring at him as you wonder if you should try to go talk to him. You're concerned about how he's doing. Inati had said that he'd been rather beat up due to whatever ruckus had occured that morning. Despite your concern though, you have no idea what to say to him and you're fairly sure that he wouldn't admit to an injury if you asked. He doesn't give you the chance to try. Before you can make up your mind he stands up off the wall abruptly and spins away, runing off to vanish in the night.\n\nYou sigh heavily. You feel like you don't understand him at all. Looking back up at your building, you know that Sister Beatrice will be in the fourth floor refectory. She eats dinner there by herself every night and she's always telling you to come talk to her if anything's bothering you. "Things can be difficult for a girl of your age," she says. You've never really taken up the offer. You wonder if now might be the time to start.\n\n<h2> Do you go [[talk to Sister Beatrice]] or simply [[head to bed]]?</h2>
<h2> The Alpha ends up staying with you for hours. </h2> He doesn't say very much and after a while you give up on trying to coax him into speaking more. He sits as out of the way as possible, in a little nook on the far side of the laundry. Everything is as it should be: peaceful, calm, and you are perfectly safe and happy. The early afternoon is lovely and warm as you work, humming quietly as you find a rhythm in your washing. Inati watches over you, entirely content. Every so often you smile sweetly at him, having spotted him after forgetting he was there and then feeling guilty for it. Inati forces himself to return the smile. His unease with it isn’t that he was hurt by your forgetfulness, but unease with the fact that you had smiled at him at all. Inati counts himself as an existence that you was not meant to be close to, one that you are not even required to acknowledge. Your warmth towards him is startling. \n\nAs evening approaches and the shadows lengthen, Inati makes to slip away. He means to go unnoticed, but his movement catches your eye. To prevent you from feeling guilty, and also from trying to stop him, Inati makes a quick excuse and slips out the door. He vanishes into the ether of the night the moment he is out of your line of sight. You sigh heavily as if you can sense just how completely he has left you.\n\n<img src="http://static3.allkpop.com/upload/af/DMTN-Daniel_1370355517_af.jpg" height="300" Width="300" hspace="20" align="right"> Daniel is watching you through the window from the blackness across the courtyard. He'd seen a significant portion of your time with Inati, and he'd seen Inati's rushed exit. He just doesn’t know what to do about. You are perturbed by it all, that much is obvious. You’d never spent so much time with Inati before and yet you hardly know him any better for it now. You wanted to embrace his presence, like you had done long ago with his subordinates, but something keeps stoping you from managing the feat. Daniel wants to help you somehow, but he doesn’t know what you need let alone if he is capable of giving it to you. But he has to do something to help settle your nerves.\n\n"Hey, Milly," he calls, materializing just outside the doorway. You shout his name in surprise, whipping around to see him standing at the door. He smiles sweetly at your surprise and asks, "Did I startle you?"\n\nYou sigh. Of course he'd startled you. He loved to startle you. "At least you did it from the door," you tell him, a grin tugging at your lips. "It was almost a knock, which is more than I can say for most of you Watchdogs."\n\n"Inati's trying to pound some manners into them," Daniel says lightly, his joking manner easily concealing how accurate his word choice was for the situation. It was a rare day that had passed lately without Inati doling out brutal punishments at every turn.\n\nYou smile softly at the thought of Inati. "He was here this afternoon, you know," you tell Daniel, taking a moment to fold up the last of the cleaning rags. Even though you don't feel like you know him any better, you reflect that it was nice having him near while you worked.\n\n"I had no idea," Daniel lies smoothly. "He must have a soft spot for you." Your attention drifts absently out the window, wondering if what Daniel was saying could be true. While you're lost in thought Daniel comes to stand beside you at the sink-counter below window. You relax into his presence, leaning against his shoulder without a thought. You trust Daniel completely, utterly without question. "Is everything alright, Milly?" You're barely breathing by the time he asks the question. You nod and try to reassure him, but he can see what's caught your eye. Simon is outside, leaning up against the wall on the far side of the quad. Daniel knows that you can't actually see him, hidden in the shadows as he is, but he can't know what the curve of darkness might be reminding you of. Daniel is too well trained to bristle while standing right beside you, even where Simon was involved. He keeps his tone cool and calm as he asks, "You know that you can talk to us, right? About anything. I mean it. Anything at all."\n\nYou turn to face him, taking your weight off of him to stand fully under your own power in exactly the way he doesn't want you to. He wants you to lean on him, to depend on him. Metaphorically and literally. You smile at him, a genuinely appreciative and trusting smile, and you promise, "I know." He lowers his head slightly, to touch his forehead to yours. He looks you stright in the eye and practically begs you not to forget it. He's never gotten so close to you before, not like this, at least. It makes your breath catch in your chest.\n\nThen Daniel scoops you up and gives you a tight hug. It's quick and warm and it completely diffuses the tension that had sprung up at his previous nearness. "We just want you to be safe and happy," he tells you, setting you carefully back on your feet.\n\n"I know," you promise again. You try to show him that you can feel the warmth in his concern and that you appreciate it.\n\n"Can I walk you back to your room?"\n\nYou laugh. "Don't you have a job to do?"\n\nWith a sweetly sheepish shrug, Daniel replies, "Maybe."\n\n"The boss needs take a break now and then so I'm glad he stopped by for once, but you take far too many," You chide cheerfully, smacking lightly at his shoulder. "You hang around here so much I'm surprised Inati hasn't fired you."\n\nShrugging again, Daniel replied, "My contract won't expire for a good long while, so I'm pretty safe. Besides, I like hanging out with you."\n\n"Is that because I give you food?"\n\n"Maybe."\n\nYou laugh again and Daniel repeats his question.\n<h2> Do you [[go with Daniel]] or [[send him off]] alone?</h2>
<h2> Daniel is the only one who can feel a hint of resignation in you.</h2> <img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/7464ffc5b73913cb6be50628b8c3a2ca/tumblr_n4001iH9kX1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="right"> He resists rejoycing in the momentary triumph. He keeps his face smoothe and his expression pleasant even when Simon's confidence disappears as you tell them, "That's fine with me, I promise. I wouldn't want to keep you from your duties." \n\nSimon slinks around behind you, shifting to use you as a human shield as Daniel starts to move around your other side. Simon's fingers brush along your back in such an audacious gesture of familiarity that it makes Daniel and Inati alike bristle with rage. The only reason you don't see the fury in Daniel is that your eyes are on Simon as he says, "Are you sure? I highy doubt they <b><i>need</i></b> me, and I know how much you like to have people around while you work." He lets his fingers trail down your arm, brushing brazenly along your bare skin, as he adds, "If you'd like me to stay, I can stay."\n\nThis is the first time Simon has ever tried to persuade you into unknowingly giving an order that none of the Pack could defy. If you want Simon to stay nothing could make him leave. There is something behind the sound of his words that worries you, it's not quite fear and there's definitely anger buried in it, but it's not the sharp sort of rage you've heard flare in him before. You hesitate, wondering what exactly he's asking.\n\n"Dongrim should be off the clock in the next ten minutes or so," Daniel mentions suddenly. The smoothe lie makes you pause. "If you want someone here while you work, I can tell him to drop by," he goes on, scrambling to convince you that sending Simon away is the best plan.\n\nYou can feel an urgency in their words, a sort of pleading hidden behind both of their casual tones. They both desparately want something from you, but you hardly know what you want, let alone what they want and you have no idea how to fix a problem when you don't know what's wrong. Daniel might be able to help you sort yourself out, Dongrim could be helpful as well. And Simon had almost opened up to you, which you've been working for since you met him. But all four of you have jobs to do . . .\n\n<h2> Do you ask [[Simon]] or [[Daniel|Daniel 2]] to stay? Do you [[wait for Dongrim]]? \nOr do you [[send them all away]]?</h2>
\n[[Glossary]]\n\n[[Character List]]\n\n[Story Map]\n\n\n\n
<h2> You are Millicent LeBourghe. And you are awake.</h2>\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/793ef521541df2d2ba39b53682d427cc/tumblr_n34ydsrygC1t0k45mo1_500.gif" hspace="200">\n\nYou stare at Daniel for half a second; at your disobedient dog, trying to give an order to its mistress. You smirk.\n<h2 align="middle">"Off."</h2> The wave of power has such force to it that Daniel is launched into the air and sent sliding across the floor. The windows are blown out. The wind inside the hospital room begins to pick up, swirling around your figure. You shift slightly, lifting yourself up off the bed while remaining perfectly rigid. You rotate in the air, pulling your feet downward and twisting around to stare due West. You black eyes look through the wall, past the bounds of St. Aggie's, and stare directly at the thing that is coming to challenge your authority. The winds rage around you, sparking with the charge of your power coming back to life. You lift towards the ceiling, and dematierialize to pass through it. You rise until you're stationed above St. Aggie's tallest tower, fully visible as you laugh tauntingly at the beast of the black.\n\nBack inside your hospital suite, the winds evaporate the moment you're no longer present. The only breeze now is what wind comes drifting in through the window that your power shattered. Daniel is winded and he barely has time to recover his feet before Inati arrives.\n\n<b><i> "What did you do?" </i></b>\n\n"It doesn't matter," Daniel replies coolly. The charcoal ooze of the binding insignias on their skin heat up and then swirl into nothingness as the entrapments melt away. Power surges through them as their limits are released and they get a straight-shot of power fresh from the depths of Hell. Daniel's plan had worked, even better than he'd hoped it would. <h2> "[[We're off the leash]]."</h2>\n\n
<h2> "I've never had enough power to do anything like this before."</h2> Jeesu regrets his decisionto stay silent the moment the words leave Dongrim's mouth. The situation was devolving rapidly as your confusion condenses into something you can pull a conclusion from. With such limited information available, there's only one question you can latch onto. \n\n"<i><b>Power</b></i>? You have <i><b>power</b></i>?"\n\nJeesu jumps out of the shadows, shouting Dongrim's name in warning. At this point even if he has to drag Dongrim away kicking and screaming in front of you, which would be enough of a shock on its own, Jeesu needs to get him out of there before. Dongrim suddenly realizes what he'd said and clamps a hand over his mouth, wishing he could take it back.\n\nBut it's already too late, you've made a connection.\n\n"What <i><b>sort</b></i> of power," you ask quietly. You're frightened in a way you've never thought you could be, you're thinking back over your relationship with Dongrim and realizing that you know almost nothing about him. You're realizing that he can't possibly be human. "What <i><b>are</b></i> you?"\n\nDongrim looks frantically to Jeesu who is helpless to do anything. Your voice drops instinctively into the tone of Command, tapping in to the wells of power stored inside you without your notice. \n<h2>"[[Tell me]]."</h2>
<h2> You pretend he doesn't bother you. </h2> He does though, and he knows it. He can feel your eyes combing over him in subtle sweeps as you work. A normal person would have missed your small attentions. Simon feels your every hurried heartbeat and revels in the jumps it makes as he shifts ever closer. You look him over as you work, your eyes drawn to the smooth lines of muscle and the intricate tattooing on his chest and neck. You had always been fascinated by the array of ink, and also vaguely unsettled by the dark swirls. They call to you like the tempting language inside a book store, and yet nauseate you like you were trying to read the story through a thick slant of glass.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/9b4b017a49ec6d76415d7de0a2156777/tumblr_n3ogrdZINh1qfh8beo1_500.jpg" align="left" width="400" height="220" hspace="15"> Simon could see the gears turning inside your head, whirring away as you tried to rationalize your feelings. He knows about the latent power hidden inside of you; the one you felt purring away late at night, humming in the space your heart should be, the one could never remember the taste of once you'd woken up. He knows the feelings stirring inside of you are the result of that power sensing his own. It is attracted to the bright thrill of energy inside him, and repulsed by the black ooze of the binding spells inlaid into his skin. The sunlight streaming in through the window is warm and bright, highlighting the dark contours etched on Simon's body and suspending the moment in a breathless drop of time.\n\nSimon knows all about the struggle going on inside you during this drawn out instant, and he knows why you haven't noticed that you are now almost openly staring. He notices and he knows, but he doesn't say anything. To be honest, he <i>can't</i> say anything. It is part of the bindings tying him to St. Aggie’s. He is little more than a guard dog, bound by the will of a power far greator than his own.\nHe, like the others, has no choice but to keep you in the dark.\n\nEven if he had been able to explain it, he wouldn't have. You were too much fun to mess with, too amusing to watch as your body's mixed reactions to him drove you insane. He was just flirty enough, just cold enough, just aggressive and shy and sweet and suggestive enough to keep you right on the edge of horrifically muddled. His favorite little game with his favorite little toy. A twitch in his grin wakes you up and you realize that the dough you're pounding is well past mixed enough. You pull youself away from Simon and set about ripping off chunks of dough and arranging them on the baking tray behind you on the table. You finish up and slide the tray into the oven before crossing the kitchen to wash up. You can feel Simon's eyes tracing your movement as you try to keep yourself completely calm.\n\nYou have to fight for it as you hear Simon come over to stand behind you, your heart pounds as you sense him hovering within arm's reach. You jump when his finger brush the back of your neck, lightly teasing at the bright red strands of your hair had had escaped their tie. Your movement allows Simon to pull the tie from your hair altogether and the short strands puff out around your face like a lions mane: fierce and dripping with regal power yet cute and fluffy at once. Simon chuckles at the thought as you turn around. He moves his hand to cup the side of her face. His thumb runs over your cheekbone. “You missed a spot,” he croons, sweeping the streak of flour off of your face with a sensuousness disguised as helpfulness. It has the reaction he'd been hoping for and you practically shiver at his touch.\n\n“Thanks.” Your voice is a carefully controlled sound, forced away from being breathy by sheer will-power.\n\nYou look up into Simon's dark eyes, searching for the answer to a question you don't know how to ask. Simon's eyes are intense, filled with swirls of something far deeper than mere emotion. You feel like you could lose herself completely in them. And Simon knows it. For his part, Simon hid behind his eyes. Opening his soul, or rather the black boil that barely qualified as a 'soul', to you was not an option for him. If he looked into your eyes, really looked, you could have destroyed him. Your innocence, your kindness, your genuine concern . . . it seared the writhing black inside him; the hate, the pain, the anger, your heartfelt attentions made it all burn.\n\n\t<h2>“[[Simon | the Pack]].” </h2>\n
<h2> Inati is with you when you start to wake up.</h2> It's the middle of the afternoon and he's resting with his head on the edge of you bed and his hand lying lightly over top of yours. The sun is streaming in, warm and bright, and the main Infirmary beyond the door to your suite is empty and quiet. Everything is as comfortable for him as it could ever be expected to be, under the current circumstances at least. With you lying unconscious in a hospital bed for just over a week, life for the Hounds has been anything but comfortable.\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/317b4db98482757ece60ef0d7879e78d/tumblr_n46sjxaEuo1qfh8beo1_500.png" hspace="20" align="right"> \nInati is as close to sleeping peacefully as a creature like him can get when your fingers twitch slightly benath his hand. The sensation brings him back to total awareness as quickly as if you'd dumped a bucket of cold water on his head. He stands suddenly, leaning across the bed to hover over you, and whispers your name. Had you been conscious enough to recognize the soun, its gentleness would have surprised you. It's such a gentle sound that it surprises even him. As it is, you can only respond with an incoherent murmur. Still, it's more than you've done in a while and it gives Inati a rush of relief.\n\nAfter a few more moments of sluggishness, of shifting and stretching and resisitng the quiet hopes of those around you, at last your eyes flutter open. They widen dramatically when you register the sight of Inati leaning over you. The great warrior you've come to respect as the captain of St Aggie's Guard is holding himself mere inches above you. This is the closest you've ever been to him outside of a few quick hugs when you were much younger. Inati sense your surprise, and your discomfort, and slowly leans back from you until he's at a more appropriate distance. He's still quite close, but you would have to reach out to touch his face.\n\nYou don't have time to dwell on Inati's close proximity. A from the hall beyond the main Infrimary had noticed Inati's sudden movement. She'd guessed that you had been stirring and she'd sent someone to alert Sister Beatrice as she went in to check on you. She comes to stand on the side of your bed across from Inati and pulls your attention away from him. "There's a good girl. You'll feel right as rain in no time," she promises, adding, "Can you tell me where you are, sweetheart?"\n\n"The Infirmary."\n\n"Good, love, can you tell me which one?"\n\n"The one in St. Aggie's East Wing," you reply, bubbling with confusion.\n\n"Can you tell me his name?" You don't have to look where she's pointing to know she means Inati. At your response she coos, "Very good, and how about your own."\n\n"Millicent LeBourghe."\n\nYou're not supposed to know that. Better than anyone, Inati knows that you're not supposed to know that. You feel a shock ripple through Inati, as if he's been struck by something. You can't look over to him because the nurse is holding you still and shining a bright light in your eyes. "Very good, dear," the nurse says, at last releasing you. She gives you a quick pat on the head and then shuffles out to confer with her collegues, closing the door behind her. You stare after her for a moment before turning your attention back to Inati.\n\nHe looks tired and drawn, his brilliant white hair has dulled to a flat grey with neglect. You eyes drop to the tattoo circling his neck, the star that dips beneath it to his chest at the V of his throat. The little black tendrils that snake out from underneath the star, swirling underneath his skin, look like blood vessels pumping black ooze as if the brand had injected him with a sluice of charcoal. It's captivating. You've never been close enough to see it like this, not that you remember anyway. \n\nYou lose youself in looking at the myscterious swirl of ink. You stare openly at it, looking at it move with his breath for far longer than would have been tolerated by almsot any other creature. Inati is bound to you, however, in a way that almost no other create in existance is. He will sit paitently to be stared at for as long as you would like to study him. Shivering for some reason you can't explain to yourself, and can never hope to articulate, you look back to Inati's face. It's still the stoic visage of the great warrior, even as tired as it is, but there is something soft about it as well. There's a shadow of concern visible in his features, of caring, that's normally hidden away under the thick skin of being the Leader. You've always known it was there, somewhere deep down. You can almost smile at seeing it now.\n\n<h2>"[[What happened]]?"</h2>
<h2> You jump in surpise at the noise and scrape your leg against a broken tile.</h2> A thin line of red bubbles up from the scratch. You marvel at the look of it against your pale skin. Blood is a strange thing, so foreign and odd when you look at it, and yet so vital to your existence that nothing could be more normal. You would be content to stare at the small cut for a while more, but you hear the sounds of movement outside the bathroom door and prioritize an investigation of them.\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/60cfbc6f6a24e63f544114d5f7555a7b/tumblr_n4c67naZkM1qfh8beo1_250.png" hspace="20" align="left">\nYou open the door and see that Simon has clambered in through the window and is in the midst of locking the main door to your suite. You call his name as you take in the situation. "Hey, Milly," he calls back, straightening into a relaxed posture once he's sure he's locked the door. He turns to you and looks you over with his usual mix of dark emotions swirling in his eyes. He takes in the swaths of skin your slip exposes. Your conservative uniform had been an effort on part of St Aggie's to reign in the attraction your Hounds felt for you. Simon hadn't thought the effort had been very successful, but seeing you now makes him think otherwise. \n\nWhat Inati wouldn't kill to see you like this.\n\n"How are you feeling?" he asks. The gentleness in his voice surprises him. He isn't supposed to actually care about you. This whole thing has been one big convaluted game to piss of Inati, hasn't it? The shakiness of your reply makes him forget about that and he moves immediately to sweep you off your feet. He notices the scratch on your thigh as he sets you down in your bed. Without thinking, he licks his thumb and drags it over the minor wound sweeping up every available drop of you life blood. He licks it off as and you squeak in protest. "It helps the healing," he responds cooly.\n\nThe sparks of power trapped inside your life blood react to the black energy inside of him, supercharging his own power. With his senses heightened, he can feel Inati's return from the moment the Alpha reaches the East Wing. He's smirking by the time Inati reaches the door. Realizing that it's been lockd, Inati seethes. He could easily break the door down, but that would frighten you, and if he proceeded to rip Simon's throat out as he would like to, you might even relapse. Simon's won this round and he relishes the victory. Inati would probably kill him this time, but for now, Simon is safe and he chooses to enjoy the moment as he feels the wash of Inati's fury and frustration as the Alpha is forced to stand and watch from behind the door.\n\n"What do you remember?" Simon asks, hungrily taking in the sight if your skin as you settle youself on the bed. All of his teasing over the years had culminated in an effort to make you feel half as uncomfortable as you are effortlessly making him feel now.\n\nYou pout and reply, "Everyone keeps asking me that." His reply that it's important makes you sigh. He leans over you on the bed but it doesn't bother you in the way it normally would. You register a blip of surprise at that fact, seeing as the way you're feeling exposed in the slip should have amplified your unease with Simon's proximity. You don't dwell on it and instead return to thinking about things you can't remember. You feel the black inside your head twitch. It doesn't want to be poked and prodded.\n\nLeaning even lower over you, with a hand proping him up on either side of your waist, Simon says, "You can tell me anything, you know. I won't tell anyone." Simon shifts again until he's sitting of the bed beside you. Inati stands, leering outside the door. With his power he can trace every detail of the scene as easily as if the door were made of glass. It gives him the confidence to ask, "What do you remember?" There's a more than morbid curiosity in him. He remembers <i><b>exactly</b></i> what Hell was like for him. But he knows that it's different for you. <i><b>You're</b></i> different. You're more than a resident of the Pit, you're one of it's black-blooded Rulers.\n\nYou can sense that Simon's curious. The interest is deep-seeded in a way that you've never seen in him before. It makes you want to reach out and latch onto it. This is the first time that you've seen something real in Simon, something that he wasn't trying to hide from you. But the black inside your head is frightening. It doesn't want to be disturbed.\n\n<h2> Do you [[tell Simon]] what you're thinking, or [[keep quiet]] until you understand it better? </h2>
<h2> Life Inside Saint Aggie's \n{聖人の家: 奈落の番犬} </h2> <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Ambronay-cloitre.jpg/320px-Ambronay-cloitre.jpg" align="right" hspace="20">            You have lived inside the elegant walls of St. Aggie's all of your life, at least that you can remember. You don't know who your parents are, or <i>where</i> they are. You don't know how you came to be living at St Aggie's or how you met the people that you consider dear friends. You don't know that your full name is Millicent LeBourghe or that you are one of the School's most precious residents. You don't know a thing about the power locked deep inside of you, the swirl of energy that demanded attention from those who can feel it. You don't know why you don't live with the other Maids at St Aggie's and you don't know why that's never surprised you. All you know is that the sun is up and the morning is warm, and that breakfast needs to be ready in an hour.\n\n           You're up to your elbows in flour when Simon pads silently into the room. You don't notice his entrance and you didn't feel him staring at you as you got to work. As a Watchdog of St Aggie's it was always his job to go unnoticed through the passageways, to lurk sliently in the shadows and watch over the students in St Aggie's care. You don't know that he spends the vast majority of his time watching you.\n\n           You're pounding out the morning's last batch of biscuits when Simon reaches into a basket holding a previous batch and steals one for himself. It blows warm steam across his face as he rips it in half and takes a bite. You hear the slight crunch of it between his teeth and he suddenly materializes in your range of awareness. You yelp at the sudden proximity to another living creature. "Geez, Simon!" You chastise,"You almost gave me a heart attack!"\n\n           He smirks at you, his teeth unnaturally white and gleaming in the fuzzy golden light of early morning. Completely unapologetic, Simon teases, "We wouldn't want that now, would we, Milly?" He leans his hips back against the counter as you turn back to your work. He makes sure to angle himself towards you as he shiifts a bit closer. With Simon less than a foot away, and with his black button-up hanging open across his chest as usual, you find it difficult to concentrate.\n\nSimon unnerves you.\n\n<h2>Do you [[Pretend]] not to be flustered, or [[Call Him Out]] for purposefully distracting you? </h2>
<h2> You pull Dongrim closer to you and groggily repeat your question. </h2> "We don't know," he admits.\n\n"Somthing is coming," you mention, the upswing of your tone makes it a question.\n\n"Yeah, something is," Dongrim admits, rolling over so that he can look you in the eye. "It'll be okay."\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/54f09e1127a1c0ff0f91ecccc80b6d05/tumblr_n4cvmtQT0O1qfh8beo1_250.png" hspace="25" align="left"> "I'm worried about you guys," you return. "All of you. Why does it have to be you? Shouldn't there be other ways to guard the school than by having just you five watch over everything?"\n\n"We're very good at our jobs," Dongrim counters. "Nothing else in the world is a more efficient system to keep a place like this safe. We'll be fine. And you'll be safe." You don't look very assured and Dongrim pulls you into a hold, holding you as close as he can ever hope to and resting his chin on your hair. "As long as you still want us here, we will always be next to you."\n\n"I hate it when you're hurting," you tell him suddenly. Uncurling you hand from your chest, you press it to Dongrim's. Your fingers feel out the contours of his muscles over his heart. "I feel it, you know. I can always feel it when you're upset. All of you; when you're hurting, or angry . . . scared." Dongrim makes to apologize, but you silence him. "I just wish I could fix it." You snuggle closer to him and fall silent.\n\nYou fall alseep eventually. Dongrim knows he should leave you. You've let go of him in yor sleep and you didn't order him to stay, so he should head out to join the rest of the pack. He doesn't. He stays right where he is for far longer than her should. Eventually, the worry about the outside threat became too much to bear and Dongrim slips carefully out of bed.\n\nDaniel is standing in the doorway.\n\nGuilt-ridden, Dongrim freezes. "You have rounds." Daniel's voice is cool and quiet. It's distant in a way that's almost dangerous. He's staring at your sleeping form, as he had been for twenty minutes before Dongrim deigned to pull himself away. As Dongrim moves towards the window to make his guilty escape, Daniel adds, "I won't tell Inati." Dongrim recognized the dismissal, and the weight of the favor Daneil was doing him by not telling Inati that he'd stayed even though you had let him go. He flees out the window without a word.\n\n<h2> The moment he's gone, [[Daniel sighs]].</h2>
<h2> Daniel keeps his hand on Simon's collar until he's been dragged around several corners. </h2> Simon isn't exactly struggling, but he certainly isn't going easy either. He is quiet though, and that is certainly something for Daniel to appreciate. Had Simon made any sort of strangled protest, it would have attracted your attention. Daniel knew it would have upset you to see his rough treatment of Simon, but getting him out of your kitchen had been the priorty, and anyway that doesn't matter because they can tell you're unaware of how Daniel literally dragged Simon away. <img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/4e73094d6f81d679abd04439bf37a3ce/tumblr_n3pud3yPum1qfh8beo1_500.png" align="left" hspace="20">                                           The courtyard Daniel drags Simon to is secluded. It's quiet and the vibrant matte of moss worked into the cracks between the cobblestones and the masonry work declare that hardly anyone vists. All of the doors and windows are shuttered and the twisting passage that Simon was dragged down to reach here ensures that none of the ensuing sounds will reach back to trouble your kitchen's pleasant atmosphere. The courtyard is more like a pen than any sort of open air garden, enclosed on all sides with the entrance being the narrow gap. The twinsting passage behind it is guarded by Jeesu as Daniel releases Simon from his hold by throwing him towards the wall. \n\n"She's off limits," Daniel says sternly. The reminder hangs in the air as Simon's back slams against the sturdy stonework of the wall and his feet scrabble for purchase on the mossy cobbles beneath them. Daniel heaves a sigh at Simon's ridiculous excuse of 'I forgot'. He knows it's not true. Their pack has commandments seared into their skin and those laws are not something that could ever be forgotten.\n\nSimon looks again to Jeesu, breifly contemplating how hard it would be to make an escape. Then his attention is brought back to Daniel and Dongrim, the latter of which is circling in on antsy feet with fangs itching to attack. They won’t kill him, Simon knows, their leader wouldn't quite allow that. Even so, Simon is sure that a maiming might certainly be in store if he doesn’t keep on his toes. His thoughts are interupted by Daniel's questioning voice, "Why do you try so hard to get in trouble?" A bit the genuine sweet side he'd shown to you in the kitchen leaks into his words. He doesn't want to hurt any of his packmates, but there are Rules that have to be followed.\n\n"Milly's a nice girl," Dongrim adds with a snarl. His own natural sweetness has been twisted into a violent protectiveness and a seeping hatred colored his words. He holds an acute and smarting grudge against Simon's very existence.\n\n"Aw, is the big bad wolf caught up in some puppy love?" Simon asks with a sarcastic snort. Dongrim bristles at his smirk. "Too bad you can't have her," he snips nastily, flexing his claws at his side. In a fraction of a second Dongrim lunges at him, teeth bared, claws reaching for the soft skin of Simon’s throat. Simon retaliates instantly, having known that Dongrim would be the easiest to bait into attacking. He'd been halfway there before Simon had even opened his mouth. Simon doges Dongrim's first lunge and latches onto his hair, tearing plainfully at it to drag Dongrim within reach of his knees. Simon's knee jab's up into Dongrim's gut as the later's claws rake over Simon's exposed arms.\n\nAt the only entrance to the courtyard, Jeesu falters as Simon wrestles violently with Dongrim. A look from Daniel roots him to his post. Dongim and Jeesu might have been closer than brothers, but that was no excuse for disobedience. Daniel had told Jeesu to guard the entrance, and he could not leave his post. The pack's hierarchy was very strict and if Dongrim couldn't take care of himself alone in a scuffle like this then he didn't deserve his rank. Dongrim was able to manueve himself to shoulder Simon in the center of his chest, causing him to hit the wall at an odd angle with his back. It caused enough of a delay in Simon's reactions to allow Dongrim to land a smarting blow and break free.\n\nAt that moment, Daniel steps in to send Simon careening back into the wall with a heavy thud. The two combatants stand opposite each other, panting heavily and glaring daggers across the neutral zone. Daniel smacks Simon again, harder than strictly necessary to subdue him, as punishment for baiting Dongrim. As hard as Daniel is on his members with continually earning their rank, he is sympathetic to the affections Dongrim hold for you. With a girl like you hovering at the center of their universe, it was hard not to get too attached even if it meant that doing their jobs properly got a lot harder. The Job still had to be done, and Inati was not to be defied.\n\nSimon could read Daniel's moment of internal conflict, his sympathies for Dongrim in contention with his understanding of Inati's Rules. “So, how about it, <i><b>Beta</b></i>,” Simon goads. “You really just content to let Inati call the shots?” Daniel doesn't react. He's used to Simon's snide comments regarding his compliance. Inati is a good leader, he always puts the job first. Sometimes that means he has to make unpleasant calls and in general it means he lacks a certain something that could be called <i><b>humanizing</b></i>. \n\n<h2>You're moderately terrified of [[him]].</h2>
<h2> Alexandra Swords </h2>
\nan looks right passed Inati and Daniel. Simon has her whole focus and he fights to hide from it.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/f9cce524c36b054641404dc9e8f47a2e/tumblr_n3q7vhaD741qfh8beo1_r1_500.png" hspace="250">
<h2>Inati frightens you.</h2> For good reason, certainly. First of all his size alone is enough to be imposing. He's easily strong enough to snap you in two accidentally. Beyond that, his quiet reserve makes it hard for you to guess what he's thinking and his neutral expression seems to you more like suppressed anger or vague dissapoinment than it does like quiet calm. \nThere's an ice inside his eyes and it's brought out even more by the white of his hair.<img src="http://cmsimg.global.mnet.com/clipimage/artist/240/000/180/180220.jpg" align="right" hspace="20">\n\nEven though you've always been willing to spend time alone with him, it's always been clear that he makes you uncomfortable in a way that even Simon doesn't. It's made life for the pack rather complicated as Inati accepts your vague fear without question and works tirelessly enough to rip the world in two in order to complete his duties without upsetting you.\n\nAnd yet, Daniel knows that doesn't help Dongrim at all. Regardless of the fact that Dongrim would take good care of you or that he could spend hours with you without any unease rising between you, despite the fact that Daniel knows that Dongrim would keep you perfectly safe and happy, Daniel also knows that Dongrim has no legitimate claim to the space by your side. The right to that space was reserved for Inati. And even if the Alpha never laid claim to it, there was no question that the honor could belong to anyone else.\n\nSimon laughs harshly, recognizing the malcontent resolve in Daniel's face. “Where is our fearless leader, anyway?” he asks. With the fury of his packmates pressing down on him and clouding up his mind, he can't seem to sense Inati’s location. At Daniel's cool return of the matter being 'none of your concern', Simon's grin widens. His teeth are bared and threatening as genuine amusement slides through his features. "So, <i><b>not</b></i> with Milly, then?" There's no real question in his words, he already knows the answer and he knows what it implies. Simon’s head lolls back a bit, as he's overcome with the biting hilarity of the situation. “You’re all so gung-ho, here, ready to rip me to shreds for playing with Inati’s chew toy, and the boss-man’s off messing around with some other little plaything! Inati’s good little soldiers, you three are.”\n\nDaniel grabs Simon’s shoulder and flings him at the opposite wall, rising to his provocation for the first time in a long while. With all the excess tension that has been building between the pack members these past few weeks, even Daniel's tolerance is running low. He is not just a mindless servant, he's never been a mere dog Inanti had dominated. Daniel follows in Inati’s line because he trusts the leader. Inati has his faults, a whole list of them to be sure, but he's still the best there is at the job. He's a good leader, and truly good and kind under the thick layers of steely disregard that covered his tough love.\n\nThe brief attack winds Simon, but Daniel doesn’t engage him like Dongrim did. Daniel's too good for that. Simon coughs and rubs the blood from his chin with the back of his hand. “You look bothered, Jeesu,” Simon calls, looking smugly over Daniel’s shoulder. “Why don’t you come and play?” Out of all of them it's Jeesu who most hates to see his packmates at each other’s throats like this. Even Daniel and Dongrim had been testy with him lately and he never did anything to truly deserve their ire.\n\nHe has his orders though, and he does not disobey. He does snarl though. Jeesu would voice his distaste for Simon’s actions, for his own limited position, and for Inati’s absence until the world came crashing down. Daniel’s look doesn’t silence him, but it does subdue him to a quieter discontent. Dongrim glares sideways at his superior, throwing in his lot with Jeesu. Daniel bristles at the insubordination. This whole confrontation was devolving, sliding quickly out of hand.\n\n\t<h2>“[[Enough]].”</h2>
<h2> You're in the midst of cleaning the laundry room when Dongrim arrives at your door.</h2> You're contentedly scrubbing away at the grime coating the bottom of the stone basin you usually keep filled with hot water. Jeesu tires to coax Dongrim away before you look up at the sound of his arrival, but he takes no aggressive action to keep you from seeing his packmate.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/55da9bed1ce8d6cb30f4e1e40f73da0d/tumblr_n432gqWco91qfh8beo1_400.jpg" hspace="20" align="left" width="201" height="318"> Seeing who it is, you smile at him. It takes you a moment you realize the shape he's in, but the instant you do you're on your feet. You rush to his side, trying to find a way to help support him. "Dongrim, what happened?" you ask helplessly. You prod gently at his body and try to help him over to a seat by the window. The stonework isn't exactly soft, but there's a layer of clean laundry for him to rest on. Under your careful ministrations, Dongrim is powerless to resist as you wheedle him into letting you examin his injuries. You nurse him out of his ripped and bloodied shirt, being especially careful of his shoulder, to expose the full extent of the damage. Even under the myriad of tattoos painted on his skin, you can see the blooming bruises that speak of intense trauma. It's the deep cuts on his shoulder that currently have you most concerned though. You grab one of the extra rags you have with her, unused and entirely clean. With it, you begin to tenderly see to cleaning up the worst of the wounds to keep them from getting infected. You wet the rag with the clean water flowing in, crisp and cool, from a fountain head on the far side of the room and wrap it gingerly around the array of cuts on Dongrim's shoulder. You hold yourself together as you eye the brugeoning marks of blunt-force trauma covering his body. You feel the urge to cry welling up inside you but you tamp it down without allowing it to be a distraction. You're the only one here who can help him and you are <i><b>not</b></i> about to let him die.\n\nDongrim pushes himself up into a halfway sitting position. "<i><b>Don't move,</b></i>" you command suddenly, softening to explain, "You might have internal bleeding." It's a command from you, so Dongrim cannot disobey.\n\n"It's nothing," Dongrim wheezes, doing his best to wrest free of your creed of stillness. Small movements were possible, particularly those meant to reassure you. "I'll be fine," he promises. "We've all been hurt worse than this before." None of his words act to significantly soothe you. In fact, hearing about worse injuries only makes your worry harder to push down.\n\n"Is everyone else okay?" Dongrim grits his teeth and answers honestly that as far as he knows everyone else is fine. You gingerly run your fingers over the painful looking splotches on his chest as you listen to him. As he struggles to speak, struggles even to breathe, your fingers are tracing over the distortions that the swelling made under Dongrim's taught muscles. "What's been happening lately?" You ask, sadness dripping in her quiet voice. Dongrim asks what you mean as your hand comes to rest on his chest while your dark eyes continue to comb over his injuries. "Everyone's been getting hurt more and more often, it seems. It makes a girl wonder about what's out there, you know?" You can feel the pain he's in. It seeps into you with an acute awareness of the fact that it goes deeper than his physical wounds.\n\nDonrim manages to wrestle free of your command for stillness just enough to lift a hand to the side of your face. Assuring and protecting you is a duty ingrained in the Hounds so deeply that it can override even your own commands, at least the ones you make without knowing of them. "Milly, please, I want you to look at me." You do and he goes on, "I need you to listen to me very carefully. You will always be safe. Even if we start ripping each other's throats out, we will <i><b>always</b></i> keep you safe."\n\nYou lift one of your hands to his, the other is still settled on his ribcage. "I know," you say softly. Then pulling his hand away from her face so that you can hold onto it tightly in your lap, you add in a forcibly lighter tone, "I couldn't imagine you guys fighting like that, though I suppose that living in such way, with them constantly, and on high-alert all the time . . . I guess it would be ridiculous to think that you never get into spats." Dongrim doesn't notice how forced your tone sounds, he's too distracted with the swell of bitterness that rises in him at the thought life with the Pack. He tries not to let on to his state of mind, knowing that it would upset you further to know his feelings on the matter. Letting you see him beat and bloodied like this was enough of a failure in the way of not making you worry.\n\n"The others do get on my nerves some times," Dongrim admits slowly. Then he adds, "But Jeesu's always been a really good friend."\n\nFrom his post still hidden in the shadows, Jeesu reflects privately on the fact that he must really be a fairly aweful friend. He continually stood by and let Dongrim torture himself. Jeesu has always beeen a fairly willing facilitator of Dongrim's relationship with you, having more than once taken on an extra patrol shift to allow Dongrim to play hookie with you. Dongrim could never be with you, not the way that Dongrim wants at least. By their Rules, only Inati had a right to you and even Simon usurped that position, your attentions were divided between the two of them rather than free to fall on the ever-loyal and loving Dongrim. You smile down at Dongrim as Jeesu frowns in the shadows. \n\nYou brush the long auburn strands of his hair out of his eyes, wishing that you could have somehow prevented them from becoming matted with blood. "Out of all of you, I can only imagine Inati and Simon fighting, the rest of you are so sweet," you mention suddenly, an uneasiness bubbling in your stomach that you can't quite rationalize. Dongrim hardens instantly. You don't connect his reactio to your comment. Instead you conclude that it must be one of his injuries causing him renewed pain. You lean over him, fingers ghosting over his wounds in search of the one responsible for this current burst of pain.\n\nGrabbing hold of you hands gently and pulling them to his chest, Dongrim looks at you with a pained expression. He can feel your anxiety and it torments him. You look him right in the eyes and beg, "Please, let me help you."\n\nThe order takes root and Jeesu feels the idea bubble up inside of Dongrim. If Simon can try to manipulate you to his own ends, maybe Dongrim can as well. And since you just gave him an order that put you in a passive role, maybe he could do something than none of the other Hounds could ever do. Maybe Dongrim could give <i><b>you</b></i> an order. In the shadows Jeesu waivers. Jumping out now will surely give you a scare, but frightening you might be worth it if Dongrim really wants to do what Jeesu fears.\n\n<h2> Jeesu has only a moment to decide, he can [[Hold Still]] and hope that Dongrim doesn't make a horrible decision or he can [[Step In]] and prevent the choice.</h2>\n
\n\n\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/cf3867703e0c2fc1088f915d734cd1dd/tumblr_n3tzun2aHn1qfh8beo2_250.jpg" align="left" hspace="20">
<h2> As soon as the Healer has the door closed, she let her cheery facade fall.</h2> "She really remembers?" the Healer asks, looking carefully over Inati's features for a clue to his thoughts. The Healer had heard that you remember things she shouldn't from the Nurse who'd checked your vitals when you woke up.\n\n"Not exactly," Inati responds curtly. He's not pleased with the Healer for making you order him away from your side, and he's antsy because your order involves going 'right now' to get food and the Healer is kpping him close for an interrogation. "She remembers things she shouldn't, but she definitely doesn't remember everything."\n\n"How can you be sure?"\n\n"There's a barrier inside her head," Inati explains. "It separates her from us. That barrier is stil in tact."\n\nThe Healer isn't entirely satisfied by his answer, but she lets the matter rest for the moment.\nShe sighs heavily and asks, "Then why can she remember?"\n\n"I don't know," Inati admits. "This shouldn't be possible."\n\nThe Healer shivers, recognizing how serious the situation in. It's more than unnerving to see a Hell Hound so in the dark about his mistress, it's downright frightening. The Hounds are beings created from the very power that hides within their mistress. They are literally a part of you and they should know everything there is to know about you. They had all thought they'd known, and it was disturbing to be proved wrong. \n\nThe Healer is about to ask Inati something else, but he can no longer bear to be still. Your order weighs down on him and he has to go satisfy your demands. Inati walks away from the healer, hoping to find Daniel en route to a place with a good meal. If anyone can find out what's happening to you, it's Daniel. While Inati is forced to sleep, Daniel can look into resources accessible only to the Hounds.\n\n<h2>Your Hounds will take care of you. [[No matter the cost]].</h2>
<h2> When you give Dongrim an Order, a lot of things happen very quickly.</h2>The ripple that your command causes in the fabric of reality spreads out with the speed and undiluted intensity of light, reaching the small garden antechamber that contained the standoff between Daniel, Inati, and Simon in less than a second.\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/bbdce400ea4a27cfc309d3b46d9a1493/tumblr_n43o5gp9KO1qfh8beo1_400.png" hspace="20" align="right">\n"Something's wrong," Daniel says, breaking the spell of stillness that struck the antechamber. It's an unnecessary comment, the obvious nature of the situation is that something is horribly wrong. Even Simon has lost his cockiness in the face of how utterly <i><b>wrong</b></i> the situation is. The comment's use comes in the speaking of it: Daniel's voice breaks through the shock that had washed over the trio and brings back their ability to respond to what's happening.\n\nInati bolts away from the scene. Daniel is a breath behind him. He had looked to Simon to for an instant to see if he could manage on his own and then decided it didn't matter. Getting to you is the most important thing.\n\nDaniel's arrival on the scene comes just as Dongrim is compelled to respond to you question with the full honesty you've commanded. He does admirably to sugar coat it, but it is a rather miserable title to try and lighten. "A servant of the black queen and guard dog of the damned," he admits sullenly, regreting every breath he's drawn since he'd been created. His explanation to you is slightly better than saying 'the amalgamated souls of tortured men condemned to Hell, risen from the Pit to serve and guard the offspring of Satan', but only by a very little. You can sense the truth in his words, recognizing instinctively that he cannot lie to you.\n\nThe Hounds stare at you in horror as you struggle to process the declaration. You're staring at Dongrim in shock, a chill creeping up your shoulders. You haven't even noticed that the others have arrived. The stilted silence lasts until even Simon manages to make it to the Laundry. The unlucky little room might not have the good fortune of coninuing to exist through the next few minutes.\n\nYou're in a very fragile state of mind, and you have more power thanyou can possibly understand bubling up inside of you. If this goes the wrong way, you could blast the room out of existence enirely, along with a good chunk of the rest of St. Aggie's.\n\nYou're still staring at Dongrim. Suddenly, the cloth you'd used to cover the wound on his should slips free as the congealing blood it had been stuck to dissolves into nothingness. The cloth, still wet with blood, falls heavily to the floor. It reveals Dongrim's shoulder, as smoothe as it had been before Simon had scratched him. The sight pushes you over the edge. \n\n<h2>[[You faint]].</h2>\n\n\n\n
<h2>"Because it [[<i><b>hurts</b></i>|because it hurts]]." </h2> Laughing again, Simon whips his legs up, wrapping them around Inati’s waist and pushing off the wall. In the tussle that follows as the pair falls to the ground, both sides received painful blows. Inati ends up pinning Simon below him, a fact that surprises neither of them. With his back on the ground and his whole body being twisted in Inati's hold, Simon spat, “It <i><b>hurts</b></i> you that I can waltz in and toy with her all I like, while you have to stay at arm’s length."<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/63ac4ddcdecdeb19c8e170de44926902/tumblr_n3qc5fVU5t1qfh8beo1_500.png" hspace="20" align="right"> \n\nLetting his weight settle on Simon’s chest and watching as Simon’s cockiness wilts slightly as he has to fight to breathe, Inati rumbles above him, “Should I hurt you then? Do you want me to tell you about all the little things I can do with her in the dark? Things you’re not allowed to even dream of.”\n\n“She won’t let you in,” Simon insists. The sound of his voice is strained with Inati's weight on his chest. A shift of his weight implies his meaning as Inati counters, “She won’t be able to keep me out.” As Inati's smug grin broadens and the pressure of his claws digging into Simon's skin increases, Simon howls tightly, “You wanna bet on that?”\n\n“She won’t fight me, not like she fights you,” Inati growls, his voice low and level.\n\n“She fights <i><b>herself</b></i> with me,” Simon spits back, bucking his hips up to unseat Inati. The pair roll over each other again in a struggle of teeth and claws and blood-boiling fury. Pinning Simon down again, Inati demands, “Why do you waste so much effort on doing that to her?”\n\n“You really don’t get it, do you? It’s not about her. It was <i><b>never</b></i> about her,” Simon replies. “It’s always been about big bad <i><b>you</b></i>.” He watchs his words slide over Inati without making any real impact and wants to scream. Inati's weight prevents the action and Simon settles for explaining, “For every bit <i><b>she's</b></i> disturbed, <i><b>you</b></i> start climbing walls all the sooner. Make her feel a little bit eerie, like someone’s watching, and you suddenly get so pissy, it’s a wonder that even sweet little Danny-boy doesn’t tear you to pieces.” Simon coughs at the end of his speech, but he manages to finish up smugly by choking out, “It’s hilarious.”\n\nInati lifts one of his hand from restraining Simon, dragging his nails along his arm just forcefully enough to cause pain without drawing blood as he ponders Simon's words. At Simon’s collarbone, Inati presses harder, scratching a deep red score-line along the sensitive skin. It makes Simon writhe in pain beneath him, refusing to cry out. When Inati returns his hand to its place on Simon's arm, Simon spits up at him and the bloody spray lands on Inati's cheek. “You have no idea how much I hate you,” Simon tells him. Simon stares stonily up at Inati, falling silent for once. No longer smug or superior, the only emotion in his eyes is rage. It's like he hasn’t been called up from the Pit, as if every day at St Aggie’s is just another day in Hell. The energies roiling beneath the containments inked onto Simon’s skin tell the same story. Inati lets go of him, sliding off his body in a heavy, weary motion. Simon doesn’t move. “You should just kill me now,” Simon manages as Inati drags himself to his feet.\n\n“No.” Inati's short response is quiet, filled with war-bred weariness.\n\n“I’ll push you to it eventually,” Simon coughs as Inati turns away. Maybe it was that Simon had been the last created, maybe it was that his rank left him the closest to destruction, but it is suddenly quite clear to Inati that Simon is standing on the surface with a part of him left in Hell. Maybe it was Inati's fault, maybe it was St. Aggie's, it might have even been your's on some level, but regardless, it's now obvious that the pseudo-life Simon has been given is not one he wants to keep.\n\n“I won’t kill you, Simon.”\n\n“Everything you do kills me.” Inati ignores him left Simon alone in the courtyard.\n\n<h2>"Have fun with [[Milly]]," Simon huffs with a tinge of dark, sardonic humor.</h2>
\n\n\nMilly\n\n\nSimon\n\n\nDaniel\n\n\nJeesu\n\n\nDongrim\n\n\nInati\n\n\nSister Beatrice
<h2> The hot water of the bath in your suite washes over you with healing minerals. </h2> You let yourself sink into the feeling of pure bliss. You relax into a sigh and let your eyes close. The black behind your eyes is still disgruntled, sluggish an grumpy after too long asleep. Bright blips of anxiety blink in the distant shadows of your mind. You open your eyes under the water and stare up at the ceiling. Everything is muffled and muddled from under the water. It doesn't seem all that different when you lift your head into the open air. You take a deep breath, it feels good to completely filling your lungs after having held your breath. In the back of your mind you think that you still feel like your holding something in, but you push the sensation aside and look around.\n\n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/a25a66621fc507d21f87aa158e56e03c/tumblr_n4c4pazuSc1qfh8beo1_500.png" hspace="20" align="left">The bathroom itself is the perfect picture of opulence. Actually, it's very much like the one at the base of your tower. You've always apreciated the beautiful blue tile mosaics of your tower's bathroom, and the bright light that found its way in on lazy afternoons and early mornings. The Infirmary bath isn't blue, but the mosaics are just as beautiful and you spend a long few hours soaking. Eventually, you decide that if you spend any more time in the hot water you'll never be able to get out. Hauling yourself out, you step carefully backwards down the pool's steps so you can use the edge as a support. The cool air feels refreshing as it flits over your body. You find the towels the Healer mentioned and set about drying off. \n\nThe blue slip slides over your shoulders like cool foam. It barely comes down to cover your thighs. You feel rather exposed in gauzy fabric, but you reason that it's mainly because your usual uniform is so conservative. Still, it feels awfully short and the fabric is so insubstantial. You console yourself by thinking that it's not like you'll be going outside or doing any physical labor in this slip.\n\n<h2>You're just about finished drying your hair as best you can with just a towel when you hear [[a heavy thud]] outside your door.</h2>
<h2> Daniel had arrived just in time to see your hand fall to Simmon's chest.</h2> \n<img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/c10a0aac317c7f046250d80391de6933/tumblr_n3zphvfhcu1qfh8beo1_400.jpg" hspace="20" align="left">Daniel's pace drops to a casual stroll as he approaches, giving him a quick moment to adopt a cheerful and relaxed expression. Your acceptance of Simon's ill-advised actions is why Inati hadn't intervened. Simon might make you uncomfortable, and all the Hounds might know that without a drop of doubt, but until you decide that you don't want him to take such liberties with you the Hounds are limited in how they can react. Until you tell one of them that you don't like it, or that you want it to stop, even Inati can't just attack him. The Hound's current permissions could allow Daniel to step in and finagle Simon away from you, but only if he did so in a way that wouldn't upset you more than leaving you alone with him. Inati couldn't have managed the feat. Had he steped in, the scene it created would have been horrific.\n\n"Milly! I thought you might be here," Daniel calls while he was still far enough away to make it seem casual. He comes up to you slowly, taking his time to round the corner of the hanging laundry you're mostly hidden behind. He forces himself to ignore the thrill of fear he feels in you as you realize how close Simon's holding you and frantically push yourself out of his arms. "Oh, Simon. I didn't expect you to be here," his words are sweet-sounding, tempered by his tone. But Simon can feel the fury and the threat that hides beneath the surface. Out of all the Hounds, Daniel can hide his emotions most convincingly, but Simon thinks that even he might not be able to tamp down this much rage enough to hide it from you. Your heart is pounding in your chest as you wonder if Daniel had seen how Simon had been holding you.\n\nSimon shrugs. "I had a little time to swing by on my way back from the orchard," he replies.\n\nDaniel stares blankly at him for a heartbeat, a glare hidden under his flat expression. Then he warms dramatically and turns his full attention to you. "I have a present for you, Milly," he coos. His smile strengthens when he feels your unease evaporate.\n\n"You should have," you tell him, smiling all the same. You're glad he was thinking of you. Then you sigh, "Did you steal it from the teachers?"\n\nDaniel's smile turns a bit sheepish as he admits, "No one's going to miss it. I doubt they'll even notice it's gone." At your stern expression, he adds, "It's just one book, and there were more copies. It's more of those fairytales you were telling us about last week. Dongrim and Jeesu would love to listen to you read them. Especially if you do all the character voices."\n\nHe winks at you, feeling your resolve to be angry at him slowly melting away. You can never resist his sweet charm. "At the risk of condoning your sticky fingers," you say, a chagrined smile sliding over your features, "Thank you."\n\n"I left it on your desk, but I wanted to tell you about it before I had to get back to work," Daniel explains as you accept his gift and jump to give him a hug. Then, without turning away from you as you slowly release him from your hug, Daniel's attention shifts to Simon. "Actually, finding Simon here will really be a great help. If you don't mind me stealing him away from you, that is." It was always a risk asking if you minded the loss of company. You do, you always do; the Hounds can feel your dissappointment at the prospect of being left alone. Eventually, there might come a time when you say that you don't want them to go. But they have to ask, because if they don't get your explicit permission, there's no posibility of Daniel being able to drag Simon away.\n<h2> The Hounds [[hold their breath]] as they feel your sadness settle in.</h2>
<h2> Dongrim is running himself ragged. </h2> He isn't sure he can do this anymore, isn't sure he wants to. He hates Simon with everything his is because of what Simon does to you, what you <i><b>let</b></i> him do to you. He hates Inati for almost the same reason. He can't bring himself to hate you, but he hates himself for wanting to. And he hates himself for causing you endless worry and for not being able to protect you from his packmates and the things your don't even realize that they're doing. His existence is meant to keep you happy, but the Rules mean he has to keep you wondering. It hurts him hurting you.\n\n He's trying to find a way to make it all just stop. Dongrim's intent is to simply run himself into the ground, to call oblivion up to meet him. But then the light trill of humming catches in his ears. His aimless wanderings have brought him to your side of the castle. He isn't steady enough to have truly out run Jeesu, but out of all his packmates, Jeesu is most empathetic to what he was going through. Jeesu has kept pace, but stayed back while Dongrim has been running himself out. But now that your presence in coming into play, Jeesu make a quick decision.\n\nAs Dongrim falls into the familiar tread that leads to your door, Jeesu wonders if he should be allowed to see you. He has orders to take Dongrim to the Infirmary, but he knows that it will do Donrim good to be near you. And yet, with him in this state, seeing Dongrim might not be good for you. As Jeesu makes up his mind, Dongrim arrives at the Laundry door. He's forced by his condition to lean against the door frame, making it squeak. Jeesu's time to decide is up.\n\n<H2> He can [[pull Dongrim away]] and into the shadows and let you wonder what had caused the sound, Or he can [[let Dongrim stay]] as he is and keep close to make sure things go well. </H2>\n\n
/* Your story will use the CSS in this passage to style the page.\nGive this passage more tags, and it will only affect passages with those tags.\nExample selectors: */\n\nbody {\n\tbackground-color:#F2D152\n\t\n\t\n\t\n}\nh2 {\n\n\tcolor:#7A7A7A\n\n\n}\n.passage {\n\t\n\t\n\t \n}\n.passage a {\n\tcolor:#924B4B\n\t\n\t\n}\n.passage a:hover {\n\t/* This affects links while the cursor is over them */\n\t\n\t\n}
\nmeets Dongrim
<h2> You are surrounded by Darkness. You can't tell if you're lying down or standing up. </h2> <h3>You don't know how long you've been here, or even where here is for that matter. You can't even tell <i><b>what</b></i> here is.\n\nYou can feel the hum of energy buzzing around you. It's familar, comforting. The blackness is breathing around you.\n\nThere's a warmth in the Dark that envelopes you. Your face feels damp. Tears. You wonder where they came from.\n\nYou feel very much alone in the dark. But for once in a long, <i><b>long</b></i> while you don't feel lonely.\n\nThere are five heartbeats pounding away in the dark, five little points of distant light that you can't see, but you can feel. Their hearts beat in sync with yours. You are lost in the Darkness and scared by the things you can't remember, but as long as you can feel <i><b>them</b></i>, you think you'll be alright. It's been forever and a day since you felt this close to them. They used to be like pieces of your own soul. Now it feels like you haven't met them yet, like they're familiar to you as phantasms from a distant dream. You've known them for an eternity, but this doesn't quite feel like comming home. You let yourself sink into the blackness, relishing the feel of life hiding just beneath your fingertips. You let the Darkness wash over you in the quiet rush of having always been there. </h3>\n                                                                 <img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/827b8f2dfbf6984d955b186fabc76a2f/tumblr_n43rt2C6971qfh8beo1_400.png">\n\n<h2> And then you [[wake up]].</h2> \n\n\n\n(background = black, h2=grey, h3=ligeter grey, link = milly's pink).
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<h2> You head up to your room and do your best to get some sleep.</h2> You toss and turn for a long while before you settle into pleasant dreams. You know that you'll be safe while you sleep, the worries that disturb you aren't ones carried for your own sake. You worry for your friends, and you worry about what the horribly slow twist of forboding you've been feeling means for them. But your worries can be easily soothed by the simple nearness of one of the very people you're concerned for. You're unaware of it, but as you settle into sleep Inati comes to stand guard outside yor door. He acts like a dream-catcher, hanging close by to keep at the nasty dreams at bay. The proximity to you soothes him, particularly as he feels you relax into slumber.\n\n<img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/a70f74577e05b068ec813305809245a2/tumblr_n3tzun2aHn1qfh8beo1_250.png" align="left" hspace="20"> Inati is Bound to you, inextricably linked on a level that defies all words. Underneath all the layers of not knowing, you are immensely powerful and as your power is siphoned though the Pack it stands as the Lifeblood keeping them inside this world. Your emotions mingle with your power and filter with it into the Watchdogs of St. Aggie's. For Inati, feeling that you are upset is impacting as a physical blow. Your well-being, on a physical and emotional level, is the Pack's highest priority. As the Watchdogs of St. Aggie's the protect the Castle, but you are the only person inside it that they actually have any concern for. Inati, as the Alpha, the one who most acutely feel every twinge of anxiety that crosses your mind, takes his role very seriously. There is no one more entitled to be near to you than him. And someone must <b><i>always</i></b> be near you.\n\nHowever, despite Inati's right to stand beside you, of all his pack members, he's the one least frequently spotted at the station. Well, he's the one least frequently spotted there by <b><i>you</i></b>. He's actually near you quite often, you just never notice. Inati is your guard dog and he is nothing if not well behaved. He never begged for handouts or keened after your attention like the others, but he was never very far away from you. He was always watching over you; and sometimes he would watch from the shadows, while you were sleeping or while you were working. Most of his happiest moments involved seeing you with a smile on your face while you were blissfully unaware of his presence.\n\nHe didn't need your praise to keep doing his job. He didn't need extra assurances or moments of your attention you'd rather focus elsewhere. It was natural after all, that a Dog be treated as such by their master. Dogs aren't on the same level, they shouldn't expect to be treated as anything more than the servants they are. A working hound is left outside at night, possibly caged in a kennel or, if lucky, let to lay outside the master's door. Inati had been content with his place at your feet.\n\nUntil the day that Simon had taken to standing at your side.\n\nInati could tolerate the puppy-like incursions of Dongrim and Jeesu, he could accept you welcoming of them into your arms. You attentions towards them are coddling, instinctive reactions to their inexperience and inelegance. Inati fully accepts how adorable you find puppies that haven't yet grown into their feet. Even your acceptance of Daniel's friendly advances is nothing more than the welcoming in of a house pet, and Inati could tolerate that. But Simon was different. He wasn't invited in, and what he demands from you is far more than his station could ever deserve. Simon has taken to standing brazenly at your side, to courting you with sly touches that are anything but innocent.\n\n\n<h2> That is a blatent [[usurpation]] of Inati's position, one he shouldn't have to bear.</h2>
\n\n\n\n<h2>Would you like [[Jeesu]] or [[Dongrim]]?</h2>