Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of posting. Taben's death took a lot out of me last night and we had a bunch of Slender Man problems over the weekend that I will recount at a later date (meaning probably over this weekend). Aiden and I met the day before yesterday in the evening. I was worried about going out at night, but I figured it would be okay since we met up at the Rose Garden again, which is a fairly busy part of the city. I was relieved to see him again, honestly. He looked so much better than he did when we were last together (which feels like a long time ago now...).
Aiden sat at one of the tables working on his current project and keeping an eye on his surroundings as if looking for me, frowning slightly and appearing to ponder how he'd look and be and react after all that had happened in the past few weeks.
Me: (I spotted him sitting and waiting for me and rushed over to him.) Aiden! I've been looking all over here for you.
Aiden: (He looked up and stood, a slight smirk on his face as I approached.) What, did your eye sight get ruined by my psychotic ass along with everything else? (He looked him over, frowning with worry.) It's good to see you... how...are you holding up?
Me: I'm fine. I'm healing, at least. (I gestured to my broken arm and nose.) These are a bitch, but nothing I can't deal with.
Aiden: Mmm... (He sighed heavily and shook his head before hugging me, being careful to avoid my hurt arm.) I'm glad you're okay... And I still feel awful... I just…wasn't myself... at all. I was horrible...I'm so sorry I did this to you...How... (He stuttered.) How's Chastin?
Me: He's fine. (I glared at him in mock anger.) But, I told you not to worry about what happened. I forgave you a long time ago and I understand. Please don't worry about it.
Aiden: Yeah yeah... (He sighed and sat down gesturing for me to join him.) I know. I know... I'm sorry but, I'm always gonna worry. No way around it. I caused a lot of hell to you guys... I'm still expecting Chastin to show up and beat the shit out of me. You know he could...
Me: (I sat.) He won't, don't worry. I won't let him. I just don't want you to let this bother you, especially since I don't hate you for it. You've got too much to deal with right now besides that.
Aiden: (He shrugged, getting back to work on his project.) I'm not that busy... just finally settling in... it's kinda nice... I've come to terms with a lot this past weekend... I just... I dunno it's a matter of seeing how things go from here. I'm kind of nervous about talking to them in person about my…err... feelings. (He seemed to concentrate harder as though trying to hide his feelings, his face flushing a deep red.)
Me: (I nodded.) I'm glad you've been able to find some peace. That's mostly why I had been so concerned about chasing after you. I didn't want you to do anything drastic...I'm happy KK was willing to show you compassion.
Aiden: (He snorted before bursting out laughing.) Compassion? I guess... maybe. If that's what you want to call the lump on my head. (He chuckled a bit more light heartedly.) It's just... I don't know it's nice. It's hard to explain, y'know? After all the shit we've been through? I mean fuck, to think it was all a fucked up illusion. Sure as hell felt real.
Me: I know...I'm just as amazed as you are. I saw these wounds heal. I felt like I had enhanced senses. It's scary to think he was able to manipulate us like that. I mean...dude...we were proxies. (I sighed.) At least we knew he wouldn't kill us during that time period.
Aiden: I guess... (He frowned sitting back and looking to him.) ...what do you guys plan on doing...? I mean…are you going to leave and head home? Or are you going to stay around the area?
Me: We'll probably stay here for the time being. I don't think we have the option of going back anymore. (I looked around nervously and wrung my hands.) He won't leave us alone, you see.
Aiden: ....He's been bothering you? (He frowned, looking at me worriedly.) Where have you been staying? Find one of the larger hotels if you can... ask for a room up on a high floor. I can't break KK's trust. I can't bring you home. It'd only exacerbate things anyways. I don't want to cause any hurt, to her or Derek. She's been...well I don't want her any worse...I want her safe....I want you guys safe but... (He sighed, shaking his head and running his hands through his hair in frustration.) I'm so confused; I don't even know what to do anymore. I know what I want to do but... it's hard to keep an eye on you all and keep you all happy.
Me: Don't worry about us. We move hotels every night and we'll go to a different city nearby if we have to. I wouldn't ask you to take us back with you, especially not after talking to KK. (I smiled.) Just keep worrying about KK. Hell, I'm worried about her too. You have a better chance of making a difference in her life than me, obviously.
Aiden: (He smirked.) Right... I guess we'll see how that goes when it gets there... (He chuckled.) I never expected to feel like this. I damn near thought I was imagining it honestly. Going crazy. I didn't want to betray Brennon... I loved him... I still love him. I'll never stop. But I can't stay sad and mopey. The way I see it, we're all fucked, and we're all going to die. So we need to concentrate on living. So... let's live... (He shrugged simply.)
Me: I'm happy you were able to come to that conclusion. I was afraid for a long while there that you'd just give up. So, I'm guessing you want to stay and try to help KK as much as you can? I don't mind.
Aiden: (He nodded.) That was kinda the idea. I don't want to leave here and Derek alone. I owe them a lot. If it weren't for the tough love, I'd probably be dead… (He chuckled and smirked lightly.) You're not jealous, are you?
Me: (I laughed.) I'm so jealous. You're a tease… (My voice took on a more solemn tone.) I understand your desire to stay here and make it up to them. I'll be around here if you ever need me, at least. Chas and I won't abandon you, I promise.
Aiden: Better not, I don't want to have to find you and kick your asses. (He chuckled again, a playful smirk playing on his lips.) So... when does Chastin expect you back?
Me: He should be back from work by now. Is it really dark already? I didn't even notice. Shit...I wanted to avoid walking in the dark...I'm gonna run into him for certain.
Aiden: ...I'll walk with you... it's fine… (He frowned.) I was going to ask if you guys wanted to like…get dinner together and catch up or something…I don't have to be home right away, Derek's with KK right now.
Me: Chas won't want to go out right now. He and I try to avoid going out at night nowadays. It'd be awesome if you'd walk back with me, though. I'd rather not take my chances right now...
Aiden: I don't mind, it's fine. (He frowned.) Safety in numbers, right?
Me: Yeah, thanks. (I laughed nervously and stood up, scanning the area all the while.) I'm sorry if I'm a little paranoid. We've had some bad luck recently.
Aiden: (He packed up his things, got up, and nodded.) It's fine... I understand. I've been reading... he's still pestering you eh?
Me: (I shook my head and sighed.) God, he's become completely ruthless. We were in the same hotel for two days. TWO fucking days and we're greeted by a group of proxies breaking into our room and trying to murder us. (I hear a noise behind us and turn around suddenly.) Sorry...just about everything looks like him staring at us right now.
Aiden: It's alright. (He looked around cautiously as we walked and then looked to me, smirking and chuckling playfully.) You want me to hold your hand and make you feel better? (He winked at me, grinning.)
Me: (I grinned and burst out laughing.) I'd take you up on that, but I think Chas would break my other arm.
Aiden: (He chuckled.) Sure he wouldn't go at me? Remember how he got when I got touchy when I was drunk that one time? (He paused and flushed bright red.) Yeah... I was wasted...
Me: It was funny at least. (I chuckled.) I think he'd hurt us both in some way. Wow...I haven't laughed like this in a long time. It's good to have this sense of normalcy for once.
Aiden: Well, you have my number and as long as you stay around here, I'll be here... maybe I can get KK and Derek and we can all figure out something just...take a day with the group of us doing something. Might be good to have some normalcy...even if it's false.
Me: Pretending to be normal keeps me from thinking about Slender Man, at least. I'd like a chance to work something out for all of us.
Aiden: (He nodded.) Yeah, it'd be nice... maybe it'd help KK out…she stays mostly locked in the apartment all day. I really worry about her...she was nearly suicidal the other day and I ended up heading back to the house earlier than intended... I'm glad I did though... I think it helped me realize a lot of what I... feel isn't false.
Me: She as good as told me outright that she's ready to give up...I'm just as worried as you are.
Aiden: (He frowned and nodded.) Don't worry, I'll do what I can. I mean…she’ll probably kick my ass for assuming she's weak. I know she's not but... well yeah... (He flushed and looked away.) You know...she...helped me and stuff... I'm protective of Derek and her or what they did for me... (He smiled, looking to me.) Besides...Derek's quite a looker and KK's my type of girl, I mean if you take Taben into consideration... (He sighed frowning.)
Me: I hope you can be of some help. Like I said, as much as I'd like to help too, you can help her a lot more than I can. (I looked down at my feet.) What...should we do about Taben? Should we just let it go?
Aiden: We don't need her knocking you out and duct taping you to a chair....And... I don't know what we can do about Taben...I think he's lost. He lost Ryan and Allen.... It destroyed him.
Me: (We reached the door to the hotel and I stopped and turned to face him.) You're probably right...I just don't want to abandon him.
Aiden: Neither do I... but... what can we do? He's with Andromeda... and I think you and I both know where that's going to lead...
Me: I guess we can't do anything...as much as I'd like to help, I don't think he'll listen to us anymore. I'm happy, at least, that you're safe. I was afraid I'd lose both of my friends.
Aiden: (He managed a light smile and patted my shoulder.) Nah, you're not gonna get rid of me... I'm like a roach. I'm hard as hell to kill. (He grinned and then looked to the hotel.) Well... looks like you're home for the night? ....do... do you need any cash to help you? I still have some from…well... everything...
Me: Keep it. We'll get by. (I shrugged.)
Aiden: ...if you say so... (He frowned.) If you need anything you know how to get in touch with me.
Me: We should do this again. (I laughed and hugged him.) I missed hanging out.
Aiden: (He smiled and returned the hug.) Yeah, we do. Next time it'll have to be a date. (He grinned playfully.) I'll take you out to dinner, maybe a moonlit walk on the beach... (He grinned teasingly and winked. ) Maybe Chastin could even join in.
Me: That sounds saucy. (I grinned broadly.) We might just have to take you up on that.
Aiden: (He chuckled.) Live in the moment. (He shrugged.) I'll catch you later, I had better get home. I don't want to be out too late. No telling when slenderpy will try and go after me.
Me: Now I feel bad making you walk back by yourself. (I frowned.) I'm sorry, here I was all worried about him jumping out from behind a bush at me and now it could happen to you.
Aiden: Bah, don't worry about it... besides, I have money, I'll hail a cab... and if he still comes at me, well, I'll just giggle at teh ghosties. (He chuckled and shook his head.) Really, I'll be fine. Besides, I'm short; I can slink under his radar easier... I don't identify with the Jird for nothing. (He grinned wide.)
Me: I believe you. (I smiled sheepishly.) I'm glad I got to see you again. This has helped a lot.
Aiden: (He nodded.) We'll do it again, don't worry. You have my number. I do mean anytime. (He looked around before turning away and starting off, waving to me over his shoulder as he walked his way home.)
Looking back, Aiden was certainly right about Taben. There was nothing we could have done... Wow, I'm sure it's obvious that I'm still upset over this.
Anyway, given KK most recent post, Aiden was right to be worried about her. I'm absolutely sure there's nothing I can do in this situation either, which pretty much makes me feel totally helpless and useless. All I can really do is survive and help Chastin do the same right now. Aiden, I hope you can help her. If you ever need me, I'll be here.
On another note, I haven't slept properly in days. Chas and I take turns keeping watch at night, and even when I'm sleeping I feel Slender Man watching us. Chas never says anything, so either he can't see him or he's trying to protect me. When I'm awake he's never there and I feel nothing. I don't really know what to make of what's been going on. I'm reluctant to let Chastin stay up alone given my recent paranoia.
Aiden, keep me updated on what's going on. We're just...surviving right now, as I mentioned before.