Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Housework for the Soul

    Share
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:18 pm

    Well...this was very much not happening the way Kev had thought it would. Of course, what did he expect? To wipe away every little issue Mortis had with his little Kevvy face? Not so realistic. All the same, the sight of the strong former Judge sobbing and and tensing beneath the small alien's stare and words...the way he grasped his skull. Whether he anticipated it or not, could he be blamed for being shocked by this behavior? By this rampant breakdown as the ghoul sank lower and lower. Stepping back to give Mortis space, he could only shake his head. "What happened with Fear and what happened with Lunette are unrelated. I'd say you took a while to learn anything from what happened with Fear... But being careful and attentive weren't the issues there like they were with Lunette. They are...separate mistakes. Linked only by...well, your feelings for them." As for the lessons learned from these unfortunate occurrences? All self-loathing, depressing and pitiful words to describe himself. "Mortis..." Kev kept his voice gentle this time, and soothing.

    "None of that is what you were supposed to learn from this. Being neglectful and dangerous may be causes, but in order to learn you must change. Use that knowledge to be better in the future! Less neglectful and dangerous. You are definitely not stupid and as for being unworthy...perhaps you should let her decide if you are unworthy. Same for Fear. You can't decide for them that you're unworthy of their care." For who was Mortis to take their choices, their decisions in friends, and decide 'you cannot think for yourself, I'm unworthy and that is that'?

    "And what, exactly, was most important to you at that time?" Hindsight was cruel, unyielding. Of course the ghoul could now say what he needed to do, what he should have done. But what would he have done at the time, especially considering what he thought was important? Was it Fear, his lawless brother who dared to date a sinner, or was it his job? Which was more important for him, a beacon of light and direction without the added benefit of hindsight? "Everyone is weak now and again...even you guys. You are not blameless but...you understand what you did wrong. You will strive to be better, and make amends. You do not need to punish yourself like this." The hand upon Mortis' shoulder continued to rub, knowing he was pushing things as it was now. Otherwise, he would have caressed the skeletal snout and tried to look him in the eye sockets. Only his worsening state stayed his hand, not wishing to make things worse as Mortis expressed his apparent relief and happiness that Fear had Kev to care for him in his time of need. An awkward shrug and tilt of the head. Eyes squinted as he wondered how to respond. At this point it felt very much like treading tightrope. There was only so much rope to step on. Anything else might lead to a hefty tumble. Only made sadder of course, by the fact that there were those out there who might insist Fear (and Mortis by extension) didn't deserve anything, much less a devoted lover.

    "He deserves what anyone else here deserves. What you deserve..." Kev's look turned soft, a little beseeching. "And that is help." Damn to the idea that these men were monsters, creatures, undeserving of basic kindness. Mortis' broken form only solidified the feeling. Truthfully, the undead man was correct on his insistence that he brought about his own misery. Here he was now, sobbing and beating himself up. Still Kev felt compassion for the curled up figure before him.

    "It isss n-not my place to burden you with my troublesss."

    Gods, that sounded familiar. "You are a guest, family, and a friend. Burden away. The chores can wait, they will be waiting for you." Those dishes weren't going to scuttle away! "What about your worth to me?" He was so stubborn, so set on thinking that nobody cared about him, that Fear was the only one who wanted to be around him and even then Mortis thought himself unworthy of his brother. As Kev's outburst caused the man to cringe and curl, sobbing even more, the scaly man went quiet. His large eyes merely watched him, helpless as one who seemed so strong for so long, could only whimper his rebuttals. What was he to do...? Or say? It felt as if nothing was going to help. Seeing his boyfriend's brother like this...it made him sad. Kev remained respectfully quiet, allowing the words to spill from the former Judge like blood from a wound. Until it came the time for him to speak once again.

    "If you kept your distance, you would have hurt her feelings. She wanted to get to know you, and pulling away from her would have made her feel as if she did something wrong to insult you or make you hate her." As for them never working out... Well, Kev was not psychic. He could see some potential however, as both sides had real emotions for the other. After what had happened with Veskur though... The alien winced. "Maybe...it doesn't mean a lot coming from somebody who's in a committed relationship, but you won't be alone even if you aren't dating somebody. We'll be here for you." Not being meant for anyone didn't mean Mortis would die alone!

    As for the rain, Mortis insisted that his body was too decayed to bloat, hollow and lacking in flesh. It was definitely a stark contrast to Fear's own body. Unwilling to argue with the man over a body he'd know more about, Kev nodded his head lightly. "Mm." Geez, he was stubborn on this. Not much else to say to that, the ghoul effectively tying Kev's arms behind his back by refusing to budge. Instead he busied himself with readying the tea, nodding as Mortis told him that the water was done. Allowing the tea to seep, he pulled out a tea tray and collected a bottle of honey and a little bowl of sugar. Glancing back to Mortis, a hand gestured to the tray. "Want any biscuits?"


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:41 am

    Alas, Mortis' issues were numerous, and they weighted upon his immortal spirit like a palette of boulders. Kev stepped back as he grew more shocked at the superfiend's sobbing, his weakness. His host shuddered again with a forlorn whimper, and perhaps Kev would count himself lucky that the ghoul was incapable of producing tears. With all his weeping surely there would have been a growing puddle on the floor should Mortis have possessed more flesh. Yet, the undead still managed to hiccup every so often between the mournful sounds.

    Fear and Lunette were separate mistakes, of course, Mortis could not deny. But neither could it be denied that his brother had his points when he had ripped into him on that fateful January evening. His folly may as well been as heinous as his treatment of his brother, for both were forced to suffer a loss that could have been avoided with a little more thought, he had made both ill from his idiocy. "T-they are more alike than you think..." Mortis softly wavered through another sullen sob.

    It may not have been what he was supposed to have learned, but it was what he had gained from that long year of suffering, and making others suffering in turn. Yet, Kev did have a point... true learning came with change. Though the only change the ghoul thought to have was to be more vigilant about his aura, and to be mindful about how close he grew towards someone, if he ever did. Distance was safety, as was vigilance. All he had to do was remain aware of who he decided to grow close to, if it would be harmful... or perhaps merely a neutral sort of meeting. That said, it created a stark set of categories; the living being vulnerable, a risk for repeated history, and the nonliving far more safe in their inability to grow ill from their auras.

    "...You are definitely not stupid and as for being unworthy...perhaps you should let her decide if you are unworthy. Same for Fear. You can't decide for them that you're unworthy of their care."

    He heard the alien's words as well as his thoughts. It was not his place to decide that he was unworthy for them, to think in their stead. However, with Lunette's decision... Mortis was not about to give up his hopes."Vessskur ssuffered greatly, Kev. Asss did Lunette. I-I need not hear it from her own lipsss to kn-know what her verdict of my perssson will be. He sssaved her from my idiocy at the cossst of hisss life, and my brother h-had to ssstand in while ssshe grieved..." Another sob wracked him, and threatened to swallow his words, "W-while I laid in the wildernesss a-and ssstupidly sssought an anssswer to an already ss-sssolved quesstion! I-iss that not enough to... To d-decide?" He broke into another bout of weeping, an ache growing in his chest that he was becoming far more familiar with each passing day.

    As for what was important at the time, a shaky escaped him, claws tensing and relaxing against the bone of his sheep's-skull. It was a mixture of things in the end, no true black or white to be seen in the situation. Between his feelings and his duty, it all melded into a muddy grey. "Ssss... d-debating which w-wasss higher, the law or my brother... My insssipid f-feelingsss... D-doing w-what I knew..." Another pathetic weep escaped him, and his hollow body shivered. "My place asss a brother, a good brother, ssshould have been at the forefront... I-I failed him, Kev..." He disappointed his fellow Judge, shattered his hopes and dreams twice over, perhaps even more.  Yet Kev, stubbornly, refused to back down from his kind yet firm words. He was not blameless, yet the self-loathing, Mortis' harshness was also unnecessary, said the green alien. Mortis glanced towards the hand that remained upon his shoulder, another sob quivering from his hollow chest and shaking the diminutive appendage.

    Though from Kev's perspective the ghoul was still looking at the floor.

    Apprehension mingled with his growing sorrow, it was prolonged closeness, contact that lead to Lunette's near corruption and Veskur's demise.  Kev may not be sitting on him, or cuddling with him, but as of the ghoul's current mindset, contact was contact. While the ghoul might have craved it at some point, now it made him uneasy, as if he had to avoid it. Fear took hold of what enjoyment or comfort he gained from it.The only exception of course was his brother, who could not be made ill by his aura. A cold, green hand reached down from his skull and gently wrapped around Kev's hand, dwarfing it. He then lifted and moved it back towards Kev. "M-my apologiesss... I ss-ssshould be mindful of our contact, les-sst you meet the ss-ssame end asss... a-asss Vesskur." He shakily hissed between sobs. For all Kev may have felt regarding the sheep-skulled superfiend, his wish to try and give more contact... In the end he was attuned to Fear's aura not his own. Mortis did not spend thirteen weeks with the alien training, or helping him grow more acclimated to his corrupting nature to where it did not affect him.

    It was safer if Kev kept his hands to himself, if he kept his distance.

    After all, Lunette herself had claimed to be strong herself, given her reassurances...

    Again...

    "... I would be more worried about yourssself, attempting thosse featss, attempting to connect with our mindsss. Kev hasss grown usssed to it from hisss expossure with Fear."
    "Being psychic already probably helped a lot, too."
    "Hm, he wasss an experienced telepath, but not in the way we are."
    "I'm like you, I don't really think too much about myself because I'm usually strong enough to handle it."

    And again...

    "It hasss been a few monthsss that we have sspent long periodsss of time together in the sssame room, yesss? Ussually, our presssence can corrupt within a few daysss or a week of consstant exposssure."
    "So soon?"
    "We can be very powerful."
    "... Did you... only interact with other humans, though?"
    "Hm... I doubt that isss a factor. But yesss, only humansss."
    "Why do you doubt that?"
    "Both you and a human have sssentience, you think beyond basse insstinct. In that sssensse, you are both very sssimilar. But, your background isss varied. Being a half demon may have sssome role to play."
    "A lot of people here do, too. Kev's race might not be as subjective to it--or they have a will to fight through it."
    "Yesss."
    "I don't know diddly about humans except they're strange, but I'm very certain your abilities would vary on other species~. The only thing I think I've gained from spending time with you is not being bothered too much by terrible smells anymore."

    Yet it meant nothing, in the end.

    People said many things, but it never made what they said true. He blinded himself, he did not let himself think deeper on the matter. He should have investigated how she was able to withstand him so, instead of simply assuming that her supernatural nature would make her more resilient or immune. It was not strength that had kept her safe, it was not a kinship she shared with his brother and Mortis... It was all Veskur's work to keep her safe. Mortis would never make that mistake again, especially not with one that was so dear to his brother.

    "He deserves what anyone else here deserves. What you deserve... And that is help."

    His head tilted up from staring at the white tiling, another sob shaking him. Empty sockets looked into Kev's beseeching gaze, and his talons came to rest once more upon his knees. He... Deserving help? The ghoul  remained silent, staying with Kev's gaze for a moment. Kev damned the thought that he and his brother were not deserving of kindness, that they were merely monsters and creatures. It was a touching sentiment and yet... Yet Mortis found his host shaking again as his sorrow overtook him once more, weeping as he dipped his head down into his hands. Not in the sense that the alien had gone too far, but that he had not expected Kev to think that way about someone like him. A betrayer, a murderer, bane to stranger and loved one alike. Through the shuddering and sobbing however, one statement managed to make its way out, though muted to a hoarse whisper:

    "T-thank you..."

    Only for it to be silenced again by another bout of hiccups and sobs. Though it seemed to be lessening as Kev continued to talk. He was a friend, he was family, he meant something to Kev. The last part made his head tilt back up again, albeit slightly. Though to be called a friend and family gave his thoughts pause as well. "Y-you mean that? T-truthfully?" He rasped, as if he had trouble believing it to be true, and yet, reaching out. The ghoul's voice sounded small in the face of Kev's statement. How could he still be considered those things after everything that had happened to them both? His feet shifted upon the floor, mummified flesh creaking and crackling with the motion. "I-I... I did not th-think I wasss w-worth.. worth anything t-to you." He sullenly replied, disbelief mingling with his rough, hiccuping tones. At least not directly. Kev had already made it clear that he wanted Mortis around for the happiness it granted his brother... What little there was. Therein was his worth to Kev.

    Otherwise... What was there to bother caring about?

    As for whether or not distance would have been bad... The ghoul shook his head, another shudder shivering up his spine. Distance would have hurt her feelings, that she did something wrong and made him hate her. "P-perhapsss... But ss-sshe would have found sssomeone elssse. Sss-sssomeone better for her. It would have been a minor pain... In the f-face of a long term benefit." He hissed lowly, melancholy still dripping from his voice. "N-no one would have had to die... Ssshe would not have felt ss-ssself loathing, or... or h-had to grieve. If it meant a-avoiding th-thisss outcome for her I... I would have done ss-ssso r-readily... gladly!" He curled in on himself once again, gasping sobs turning into a low keen. Talons grasped at his face, their tips lightly digging into the crown of his forehead. The ache in his chest grew, like a jagged knife slowly being twisted. It was his fault she hated herself, his fault that she had to suffer. Veskur could have easily made a better partner for her, or even that awkward bird; Shaiamils. He knew at one point he liked her, though he never expressed it, he read it within his thoughts. And Veskur... The man was willing to give his life for her, he cared so deeply. It took a certain personality to be so committed, if anyone should have been deserving of her care and love, it was him, not Mortis.

    The undead's bawling continued for a few minutes, audible but not loud enough to drown out Kev's sympathies. "I-I d-don't want to date a-anyone..." He brokenly rasped, and even if he did, who would return the affections of a creature so disgusting as he? No one would want to share their existence with a shambling corpse. People wanted warmth, softness, someone who was just as alive as they were. To them, he was merely some monstrosity out of a movie, or even fodder meant to be put down with a bullet to the head or a silver crucifix. Kev was a rarity in his own right, someone who was so genuine and committed to his brother. Fear was lucky.

    Mortis, however, knew he would never be privy to anything like that. He was fully aware of his place in the world even before Lunette was involved... What happened was merely a reminder as to why.

    However, Kev assured him that he would be there, that Fear would be there. They both would be there for him, he nodded, grateful for that at least. Alas, he was still stubborn about his host being able to weather the elements, to the point where Kev finally gave up on the discussion. While he busied himself with the tea, Mortis watched the tiles from where he sat on the floor, a small sigh puffing from him as his sobs abated for the moment. In their wake was that aching feeling, which ebbed and grew as he pondered. From the corner of a dark eye socket, he watched as Kev prepared the tea tray, steeping the tea and getting out the sugar and honey. "...B-bisscuitss would be fine, th-thank you." He rasped quietly. From where Kev stood he might be able to see the tremors that danced along the leather of his uniform and disturbed the chain that hung from his neck.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:09 pm

    Just as it was for Fear, even though Mortis certainly sounded like he was crying, no tears had fallen. Due to their undead nature the former Judges could not cry like an organic. At least in Fear's case, Kev could cry for him and provide a bit of relief and catharsis because of their mental bond. But for Mortis...? The two of them weren't bonded in the same way. Perhaps the scaly man could try to cry for Mortis, but then that'd be two sobbing people for Fear to contend with. It probably wouldn't really help matters to get down on the floor and weep anyway. The best Kev could do was to stand there with a sympathetic gaze.

    More alike than he thought? "Hm...true." Kev shifted his weight onto one hip, a hand grasping the counter for support. "Your feelings for them and...how you reacted. With both of them you tried to forget and ignore those emotions and... Well, as you saw, ignoring them meant that they both..." There was no easy way to say it, and his head bobbed downwards. Gaze to the floor, he spoke as if balancing on a tightrope. "They both became...lost to you. If only for a while... Fear still cares for you, and I'm sure Lunette does too! But I guess now you see the importance of your emotions." The alien cringed, as if bracing himself for more sobs. It was a lesson to be learned though, Mortis was hardly the only offender.

    Veskur and Lunette had both suffered, yes. Thinking about it made Kev himself feel uncomfortable and even a bit saddened. He had tried to be there for them as much as he could, helping to rid any lasting energies in the Tavern and providing support. It was about all he could do, though it didn't feel like it was enough. Answering was hard, as Mortis seemed to jab his claw into a scabbed wound and wrench it about, spilling new 'tears' from this entire debacle. Kev was quiet and thoughtful, words more carefully picked, now. "If you decide for her and cut off all contact...you'll just keep hurting her. You might make the situation worse. Until you both give up, there is still a chance! And you can't know if she's given up on you, unless you talk to her eventually." Assuming at this point might exacerbate the situation.

    Indeed, Mortis had failed Fear. It was perhaps what had made the scaly man most upset, when the two brothers had their issues. The ghoul had failed, seemed not to understand where he'd gone wrong or even IF he had! In some ways, the failure in brotherhood had struck close to home. Yet, Kev kept a steady look on Mortis, not condemning him and no sign of anger. "It is a shame that you had to go through all of this to learn and understand how important Fear was to you. I do wish it had been...easier, both for you and him. But you know better now. It's at the forefront now, isn't it?" At the very least, neither Fear nor Kev had to worry about being slaughtered for dating. Well...not at Mortis' talons at least.

    As the slightly familiar sensation of a corpse hand clasped over his own, Kev thought for a moment that maybe he was getting somewhere. A little sparkle shined in his eyes, staring at their joined hands...only to blink in confusion as the former Judge lifted Kev's hand off of his person, and released it. Pulling his hands in towards his chest, the alien's shoulders sagged. "Oh...right." The sentiment was...nice. Understood, too. He appreciated that Mortis simply didn't wanna give Kev a nice dose of the rotsies. Still, he couldn't help but feel dejected, if only so slightly. He was just so used to being able to touch Fear, and being a rather touchy feely person in general. Placing a supportive hand on Mortis felt...natural! Maybe it was safer this way.

    Eye contact was held, Mortis' posture shifting into an attentive one, and again, just when he felt like he was getting somewhere...the ghoul began to sob again. Only the expression of gratitude informed the man that perhaps this was...a happy crying? Craning his head down at Mortis, he nodded confidently. "I do mean it!" Again, Kev was reminded of how cruel a world these Judges had come from. Why would anyone care about them? Why would anyone fall in love with them? "When I made my bed with your brother a year or two ago, I had made it with you two. Ever since the both of you came to visit me, I had wanted some sort of relationship with you two!" He insisted, before giving a slightly awkward look. A hand rubbed the back of his own neck, gaze turning sheepish. "I just...grew feelings for your brother, and that made things...strange for the both of us. You know? And I may have been upset on his behalf but I can count on one hand how many people I've actually ever hated. And you aren't on there, mister." Exposing a palm and wriggling his fingers demonstratively, he then pointed right for Mortis. The message was communicated, that so long as he was welcome here, Kev had wanted to nurture a friendship of some kind with him.

    Such optimism didn't linger long, the skull faced man soon bringing up how much better things would have been for Lunette, if he had shunned her. Severed the connection while it was young, so that she could go be with Veskur, and give no second thought to the Dark Judge. It was...something, that's for sure. Kev's face twisted up, squinting skeptically down at Mortis. "Why can people just...never talk about these kinds of things? It doesn't always have to be so extreme...either friends or no friends, all in or all out." Mortis was hardly the only person on the man's mind. A new breakdown began anew, and with their 'no touching' rule, Kev was left standing there, staring down at his guest and temporary housemate. "Maybe something else would have happened, even if you cut things off. Maybe without her to distract you, things between the three of us would have gotten worse. I don't know, and neither do you." Lingering on such things was unhealthy. "I'm not saying it was right that she suffered, same for Veskur, Fear, myself, you, and anyone else who was hurt. It was bad, yes. But cutting ties with Lunette early wouldn't have fixed things any better than if I had cut things off with Sonia before she fell in love with me. People should only be cut out if they are being harmful. Emotionally, abusively...what happened with you was unintentional. And you're trying to get better. That's the best anyone can ask of you." There was still hope. Mortis needed only to find that hope, grasp it, and use it as a flotation device. "Plus, that would get rid of all the good times you two had." No matter what happened, such good times ought not be erased so callously.

    "I-I d-don't want to date a-anyone..."

    That was...perhaps for the best. Kev nodded his solemn agreement, guilty to admit such a thing. But, sometimes it was better not to date. He knew so many who would have been better off not dating someone. Like Mortis, sometimes one needs some 'single' time. Being eager for a relationship...sometimes lead to bad choices. His gaze turned away, quite sober as he tended to the tray. A brief silence was broken by Mortis' answer that he'd like biscuits. The scaly man nodded, stepping to the cabinet and reaching a hand in. Pulling out a small cardboard box, he arranged the biscuits on their own little plate. Stacking a few on top of the other in the middle of the circle of biscuits, Kev found his plating to be pleasing. Stashing the box away again, he looked to Mortis. "Anything else? Cream, maybe?"


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:40 pm

    Alas, crying for Mortis did little when the ghoul was not an empath like his brother. Not to mention, the superfiend would find the situation more confusing than anything since Kev was not the one who did wrong. If anything he had expected Kev to be more harsh, to want to rip into him for what Mortis had done not only to Fear, but to Lunette, Veskur and even Kev himself.

    Mortis shuddered once again, a small sob escaping him before he replied, "I had not thought... That ssshe would develop a-anything for me." After all, he was an undead monstrosity, essentially a freak. He enjoyed killing, maiming, rotting living things to dust. How could anyone have developed any sort of feelings for anyone like himself? Now, he should have thought of it as anything else that looked far too good to be true. He should have been more skeptical, cautious. As for losing them, the ghoul kept his gaze on the floor. "It isss w-what I desserve..." Mortis rasped distantly. He deserved to feel pain, to suffer for what he did.

    The superfiend accepted the burning ache in his chest as he was meant for it since the beginning.

    "If you decide for her and cut off all contact...you'll just keep hurting her. You might make the situation worse. Until you both give up, there is still a chance! And you can't know if she's given up on you, unless you talk to her eventually."

    He still intended on talking to Lunette, when he was healed, or at least better than what he was currently. But after that... "I intend to apologize, Kev... But after that, w-what am I to do?" he hissed, his sobbing starting to abate for the moment, but his voice still held all the weight of a dark storm cloud hovering over his head. "My aura isss deadly, Kev. Ss-she still lacks protection from it and when I offered ssshe refusssed t-training... I-I cannot be around her. I don't want to... to put her in danger like that again." It would only be a matter of time before she withered and died under his corrupting presence, just like Veskur.

    Mortis would only be failing her as much as he failed his brother. Though Kev's look only remained steady, the ghoul wished he would condemn him, he wanted the green alien to rip him apart. It would be right, it would be deserved after that long year of suffering that he was made to suffer as equally as Kev had, as his brother had. Alas, such wrath never came to the sobbing undead. Mortis only nodded in return at Kev's statements, as the remnants of his throat were too clogged up with his sobs and keening to say anything. Alas, his interest to keep the alien safe from possibly being corrupted did little, as he soon felt dejected, but at the same time... He seemed to understand why. "It isss ss-ssafer thisss way..." He assured, certain of it despite the quake in his voice.

    After all, Kev would not want to go through training a second time just for the sake of being able to pat him on the shoulder. That would be silly.

    No, for this superfiend, distance was the safest way to deal with him. Regardless of whether one wanted to touch or hold him, or not. Though as Kev gave his reassurances, part of the curled up superfiend wanted to reach out and grasp him, embrace him. However, he stayed his hands, all too aware of the consequences. Kev would not rot instantaneously in his grasp, but his aura would start to seep into him, and then... Sooner or later he would be the one curled up beneath a desk, suffering, dying.

    Mortis refused to repeat history.

    He had wanted a relationship with the both of them, although he had grown feelings for Fear, said Kev. Now, things were strange between him and the green alien because of their respective feelings. "I-I had grown attached becausse... Becausse I t-thought no one elsse w-would be able to... underssstand. W-what we are, h-how we think... V-very few would ever want to underssstand usss, l-let alone be f-friendsss." Fear was the only one like him, who went through the same upbringing he had, who knew what it was like to be one of them; a Judge. Kev wanted to understand them both, he genuinely wanted to be friends... Fear was incredibly fortunate to find someone like him. Even so, the ghoul found it hard to believe that anyone would want to be friends with someone like himself after what had happened.

    His earlier warmth faded to a skeptical stare, squinting down at the superfiend that was tucked in on himself on the floor. His talons trailed down the side of his skull, a low sigh escaping him as he let his gnarled hands rest on his knees. Why did it have to be so black and white, he asked, why could they not just talk? Questions, that the superfiend remained silent over for a long while, his host shuddering with soft sobbing."You sssuffered jussst asss m-much asss ssshe did, Kev... Would you not agree that ssshe would have been better off with ss-sssomeone elssse, at l-leasst once? I had talked with her about my aura, I had notified her of my dangersss and yet..." The undead curled in on himself a little more, crossing his arms over his knees and resting his jaw upon them, still staring at the floor. "Talking doesss nothing... w-without action to go with it. I did not keep my d-disstance after I had told her, and sshe did not pay it much mind. S-sshe did not think ssshe would be a-affected. I ssshould have argued it further... But I had... I absstained." Another shaky sigh esceped him, leather scuffing softly upon bone as he moved his hand to cover his face, his talons curling against the bone of his brow once again. "I thought maybe... Maybe ss-sshe wasss right. But... Th-that meanss nothing, it alwaysss meant nothing. I w-wasss ssstupid to believe her and not invessstigate the matter further..." In trusting that she knew herself more then he did, all he had done was cause more strife, more unwarranted suffering. Though Kev may have said that he should make decisions for others, in this case it was exactly what he should have done, and decided that Lunette did not know a damn what she was talking about or doing in regards to him.

    Perhaps it would have been better, and maybe things would have been worse. But, the important thing was that his brother would never have had to step in for him, Veskur would never had died, and Lunette would have never fell into self loathing because of his actions. Stubborn was Mortis' nature, and thus, so was a tendency to linger. Perhaps it was unhealthy, but the superfiend decided he was destined to suffer for his actions, all of his pain he had sowed, and in turn, reaped. "It isss right that I sssuffer, Kev. I desserve to be removed, cut-out... It isss w-what I have earned." He quietly hissed, sorrow heavy upon his shoulders and thick on his tone.

    "Plus, that would get rid of all the good times you two had."

    His talons grasped tighter at his skull. Good times... Good times... What good were they, now that he knew Veskur was suffering in the background the whole time? He was dying while Lunette spent her evenings in the Sanctuary with Mortis. He died for her because she started to suffer from the visits, from him! There were no good times. Merely two poor souls suffering and dying with a smile upon their faces. It was not worth saving, remembering. The only thing he found out of everything to keep was the outcome of his folly. Their pain was worth keeping, his consequences worth remembering; over and over until it permanently stuck. Until he never tried anything so insipid like that ever again.

    He could not pretend that it was not happening. Maybe Kev could, but not Mortis.

    "...Vessskur had been dying, painfully, for over a month." The ghoul hissed finally, after a long silence. Sorrow still dripped from his words. "I-I cannot find enjoyment in our time ssspent with that knowledge." After, he lapsed back into silence, staring at the floor. Kev thought of single time like it was temporary... Yet to the superfiend, he knew it would be far longer. He would never find someone, and he did not want to find anyone either. He was grateful he still had a brother, and that Kev wished to be his friend. That was all he needed.

    Still staring down at the floor, Mortis gave a small shake of his head as Kev asked about the cream for his tea. "I do not put anything in my tea, but thank you." He quietly replied.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:25 am

    "I never thought that Fear would ever develop any feelings for me." Kev admitted softly, shrugging his scaly shoulders. Confessing to the ghoul, the purpose had not been to romance the Judge and live happily ever after. It seemed impossible, though...any sort of romantic future seemed far and away back then. "I never would have thought Sonia would fall in love with me." He added after a moment, turning back to the sheep skull and staring into those empty sockets. "Sometimes, you never think anybody could love you and...you get surprised. It isn't always nice. That's why you must face it head on. When you leave things ambiguous and murky... It hurts people." Kev spoke from the heart, using what he knew of unrequited feelings. Blade as a whole had been murky, and then Sonia...? Time kept passing, and he accidentally hurt her with his friendship. "Even if you didn't think she'd fall in love with you, it would have been better to deal with the possibility." Setting some boundaries would have been a huge plus. Alas, hindsight was awful that way. A huff escaped him, eyes squinting at the ghoul. "No you don't." Kev knew a lot about having an awful self worth but...wow did Mortis have an awful self worth! His gaze scanned him, looking the former Judge over as bit by bit, his sobs began to fade.

    "You can still be around her...in smaller amounts, right? It's still something. You don't have to sever the connection entirely, just see her...less and with more space. I'm telling you, it'll be better than not seeing her at all." Surely there was still something there, right? Mortis' friendship with Lunette was still worth cultivating, they didn't split over irreconcilable differences. As bad as things were, it could still be mended. Veskur's death did make it clear for them though, the aura of Fear and Mortis was deadly. An accident had happened, and a man was killed. But the important thing was to learn from it, and be more careful. 'How' was...still a bit murky. For now, the alien offered a small nod and did not push himself onto the former Judge. The contact he'd already initiated had been something of a first for them, and Mortis was uncomfortable and scared. Dejected or no, Kev could swallow that up and heed his warning. For now...it was indeed safer this way.

    "I-I had grown attached becausse... Becausse I t-thought no one elsse w-would be able to... underssstand. W-what we are, h-how we think... V-very few would ever want to underssstand usss, l-let alone be f-friendsss."

    "I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why you like a guy like him. I mean he's trying to kill us, he's killed other people, and he's going to try and kill you maybe."

    A silent understanding flickered through Kev's eyes, a sober nod of agreement. How many people could embrace the Judges? How many would even try to understand? The scaly alien and the young femme were a minority, as was Lunette. Organic and living in the case of two of them, willing to get close and talk. Companionship didn't come easy to the ghouls, so of course they would latch to each other. And Fear was the only brother Mortis had left. "I understand. I'm sorry for making you feel like I was...taking him away." Clasping his hands together, Kev held them close to his chest. "That's why it's so important that you two are together. Even though I love him very much...there's some things I just cannot understand. Not like you can." Perhaps Kev could understand, but he couldn't understand certain aspects of their form and immortality. That made sense, right? As much as he could emphasize, he could not directly feel the things Fear did, nor what he went through.

    Better off, shoulda woulda coulda. The silence was broken by the ghoul's insistence that just maybe, if they parted ways early on, Lunette would have been better in the long run. Kev avoided Mortis' eye sockets, brows furrowing. When he did speak again, it started with an annoyed grunt. "Neither of us have precognition, so we cannot say for sure. When you start thinking that way, you get stuck. Maybe Lunette would be better without you, maybe Fear would be better without me. Think about it, Mortis; if Veskur was willing to die to protect Lunette, he'd probably have died in some way to protect her from harm in other situations. It doesn't erase the harm that was done, but you'll only poison yourself pondering how much 'better' you think people would be without you." At times, it seemed that consequences and certain actions were simply hard to stop. The alien had wasted a lot of breath in his time, trying to change things. But in the end, sometimes there was nothing he could do. And thinking too much on how much better people would be, how things could have changed...it drove a man mad.

    "If that is what you deserve, why would Fear embrace you again? Why are you a guest in our house? If you truly deserved it, you wouldn't be here, Mortis." Again, it felt as if Fear's love for his brother wasn't enough. His forgiveness wasn't enough. Kev's head quirked, finally locking eyes with him again. "Do you think you aren't deserving of this chance? Do you think he should kick you out of his life for good? Is it really what you want?" It couldn't possibly be what the ghoul preferred, surely he wanted things to be fixed with his brother? How could he deserve something like that? Poisonous people must be removed, yes. But Mortis was only removed temporarily. He was back now. Re-absorbed.

    This time, Kev could not so easily argue away Mortis' point. In fact, the alien dipped his head as if ashamed, eyes focused squarely on the ground. Dying slowly for a month, agonized and tortured, finally given a mercy kill...dully, Kev realized he knew exactly how Veskur felt. The rabbit man had been through Hell, and it had been indirectly because of Mortis. Because he grew close to Lunette. Telling the former Judge to 'focus on the good times' when those good times lead to that...no, he could not argue that point. "...You are right." It would be insensitive to celebrate like that and ignore Veskur's pain. The ghoul's rejection there felt solemn. Genuine. There was only one counterpoint he could offer. "Just...remember that it cannot be changed. And to regret it would be to regret her...okay?" No ignorance of Veskur's dying, his pain and suffering, merely an acknowledgement that Lunette mattered to him for a reason. It really was a very good reason, if surrounded by so much agony and...unintended consequences. Attention shifted fully to the tea tray, arranging the honey bottle and bowl of sugar in a pleasing manner. The mugs were added as well, the plate of biscuits centered between them. Lastly was the tea pot and cozy, also in the center. "Okay." With nothing else to add, Kev hefted up the tray in both hands and easily carried it to the bar counter. Sliding the tray onto the marble, the scaly man hopped up into one of the chairs and motioned for Mortis to join him. "Might as well wait here for the tea to seep." He suggested, a hand patting the seat. An open invitation off of the floor.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:48 am

    Mortis glanced up from where he stared at the floor, listening, observing. Kev did not think his brother would have fallen for him, and he would not have thought Sonia would have either. Truly, he never expected any sort of future with either of them... And yet here they were. The undead's snout turned back to the floor, as if counting the tiles on the floor before he quietly hissed; "I am... S-ssorry." The conflict, that sickening feeling that the ghoul had likely doubled. It was bad enough to deal with jealousy from a long time friend, but from him as well...

    "Sometimes, you never think anybody could love you and...you get surprised. It isn't always nice. That's why you must face it head on. When you leave things ambiguous and murky... It hurts people."

    "I sssee that now... I-I jussst wisssh that I wass not ssso... ssso ssstupid." He choked back another sob. "You were the firssst my brother fell in love with, and-and he ssstill wasss wissser than me. He knew what to do, he knew how to do everything right." He shuddered and shook his head, keeping his gaze upon the floor, the depths of eye sockets as fathomless as an abyss. "I know nothing. All I know isss our law, our doctrine and rulesss that belong to an outdated, antiquated sssyssstem that no longer mattersss... What good am I?" What good is his knowledge, his training as a Judge in the face of something so- unbound? He knew how to hurt people, he knew how to kill, to maim, to purge. Mortis knew how to be a Lieutenant, how to take orders and follow them, he knew how to carry out their chief's goals.

    Falling in love, the possibility of love... Even if he had kept his feelings hidden for years from Fear, in keeping them hidden and never putting anything to practice, he only knew as much as he did if he never loved at all. Deal with the possibility, go with your feelings and express them; How? The one question that kept tumbling in the ghoul's mind, always with no clear answer. His job was to find answers, to analyze and calculate, whether it be in a lab or out on patrol. Yet even when he still had his badge, he failed at answering anything regarding this emotion.

    "Why?" He hissed quietly, more of a whisper than his usual gravely croak. He could hear the alien's thoughts, how his self worth was... surprisingly low. The ghoul sighed, "Ssss... Isss it a-any sssurprissse? I have proven to m-myssself, to you, to F-Fear time and time again t-that I am not worth your time. That I am l-like Sssonia, that I am unfit to be a Judge, to be a brother, to be anything." Did he think that it would not catch up to him, that he would continue to decide he was worth something when for the past year it was clear he was hardly worth a parting glance from either of them? Perhaps back then it was easier, when he still had a goal and an ideal to hang onto, to say that the ends would be worth the means. "I-I jussst... sssee it now." He confessed, looking up to the squinting alien.

    Kev however, did have a point regarding whether or not he could be around her. In Mega City One, their leader was allowed visits, sparse ones, moitored and careful ones, but visits all the same. "I-I could..." Came a whisper of a reply. It would be better than nothing at all, encouraged the green alien. Slowly, Mortis' bleached skull nodded. "The Judgesss allowed usss visssitation, while we were in containment... Death wasss the only one who received vissitorss; sparssse, breif, but vissitsss all the sssame." A few minutes annually from Dredd, that was the safest amount of exposure. Dr. Graiman, however... Weekly visits that lasted into the hours proved to be enough for their leader's influence to connect, to stick, and of course corrupt. "...It will have to be a very limited visssit, over a month of ssspace between each." He added thoughtfully, hesitantly. His own aura was possibly near Death's potency, while Fear's was decidedly more... tame, in comparison. It could be that they met every few months, or only once a year.

    Silently the superfiend was grateful that Kev was willing to keep his distance, in the wake of this new discovery Mortis was uncomfortable with most physical contact with the living. Though Kev was dejected, he could still have contact with Fear, after all he was attuned to him. He earned the right to be able to touch him without worrying about his own well-being. At Kev's apology, the undead shook his skeletal head once more, tilting it towards the floor. "I-I am sss-sssory I thought you would take him away. He enjoyed your company ssso much and I... I only gave him more reasssonsss to go to you." More reasons to be annoyed at his presence, to grow distrustful and wary. A low sigh escaped the undead, heavy with sorrow, with shame. "And you underssstand thingsss that I ssstruggle to comprehend." He replied to Kev's statement, his tail curling tighter around his hollow middle. "I undersstand what it isss like to be a Judge, to be undead... But in thisss part of hisss unlife, I would have thought you to be far more important. You have helped him integrate into thisss sssociety, to remember what it isss like to be human. All I would be good for isss remembering what we usssed to be, and a world we can never return to. We may be all that isss left... But he hasss already begun building a home and future for himssself here, with you. In time what you cannot underssstand will not matter, it will be too far in the passst worth disscussing, remembering." And there would be where Mortis would outlive his usefulness.

    But such thinking would only annoy the alien, as did his insistence that things would have been better if he left Lunette alone.

    "...Think about it, Mortis; if Veskur was willing to die to protect Lunette, he'd probably have died in some way to protect her from harm in other situations. It doesn't erase the harm that was done, but you'll only poison yourself pondering how much 'better' you think people would be without you."

    Mortis opened his skeletal maw to speak, only to slowly close it again. How many times had he poisoned himself thinking similar things, when he had found out his brother liked Kev, and he had taken his first trek into the wilds. Then, again after he left for a second time, and prior when he debated which was more important. Mortis' arms folded over his knees once more, and his posture sank in remission. By now his sobbing had ceased for the most part, save for a few minute shivers that shook his spine. "...You are correct." He rasped after a period of silence. It was an utterance that came out like an admittance of shame; quiet, defeated, and resigned. Yet it was a habit Mortis found himself slipping into frequently, even more so after the fateful evening between him and Fear. Both looked away from each other now, as Kev's furrowed brow looked elsewhere while Mortis tilted his head to look over at the cabinets on the far wall. What he deserved and did not deserve... Fear's love and forgiveness, or being cast aside for his crimes."I don't want to be kicked out, no. I want to mend thingsss with my brother, with you... But it feelsss like a proper ss-ssentence, what would be expected for my failuresss." He returned his gaze to settle upon Kev's own, yet the alien would be able to find little in the superfiend's eye sockets except the same blank, empty void that his skull perpetually wore.

    As a Judge it was only befitting that he be given a proper punishment for his short-comings, for the ways he repeatedly hurt his brother and the one he loved. But... Neither he nor his brother were Judges anymore, were they? The ghoul sighed and he looked away, two fingers coming to pinch at the bridge of his snout before the hand flexed open to rest over his face. "I-I feel worthlesss, I feel like I ssshould be cassst assside, dessstroyed... But there isss no point. Nothing would be fixed. You want me here, Fear wantsss me here." That familiar ache welled up in his chest once more and a new bout of sobs escaped him. "I-I find it hard to... to accept." He hissed between his keening, "That you both would want me around after t-thisss passst year."

    But Kev was not right about everything, it seemed. Veskur's death and suffering tainted the memories he had created with Lunette. While Kev now understood what the rabbit-man may have felt, after suffering so much, because Lunette had decided she fancied a creature that had no business being worthy of her affection. To be proven right in the fact that Mortis really was unworthy. To regret the experiences would be to regret her... But all the same there were some experiences he already regretted. Visiting the tavern that one November afternoon, for one, and still going ahead with spending time in the Sanctuary. The signs were already there, the runes on the tavern, the way Veskur stared at him while he was in there... It was smart that the superfiend left when he did.

    When Mortis looked up at Kev again, removing his clawed hand from his face, the alien had finished preparing the tray, and moved it to the counter. He watched as he hopped up onto a seat, and patted the one next to him, offering an invitation. With a series of loud pops and creaks, he rose to his feet, his spine still hunched over as he came to sit on one of the chairs. Conscientious of his proximity, the undead ensured there was a chair between him and Kev, to prevent any accidental contact. Just an idle nudge or bump could transfer his toxic energies to the smaller alien, thus the added space, while small, was of some comfort. "Thank you." He rasped, his skull tilting to look over at the scaly man.

    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:10 am

    Kev shook his head lightly. "It's alright. I've never held that against you." How could he? Could Mortis be considered 'at fault' for the feelings he had for Fear? And what of Sonia? While the way they handled those emotions had been flawed, definitely not what Kev would have done... He couldn't browbeat the skull headed man for feeling hurt. The important thing, was that both of them moved on and felt better about his relationship with Fear. No more jealousy, no more pain. Though the scaly man wasn't sure how he'd react if ever there was a third jealous party. He'd had  more than enough in his lifetime.

    So much regret in Mortis' heart, the corpse berating himself for not being as smart as Fear was regarding his emotions. Fingers tapping against his knuckles thoughtfully, he listened to everything Mortis said. He ended it with an open wondering, of what he could be good for if all he was good for was being a Judge. If all he knew was outdated laws. Sighing softly, Kev shook his head. "The things he did right, he probably knew better or knew what to do because he is an empath. Emotions come a little easier to him...and even then, it isn't like he's done everything right. Neither have I. We've both made mistakes, especially early on. Relationships are...two people learning about each other and learning more about each other. It doesn't start out perfect, you just learn together." Leaning closer to Mortis, he held a hand out to him. "There's more to you than just being a Judge. You just have to find out what that is." The Dark Judges had been forced into one small role, one little job. One goal for hundreds of years, without it they felt lost. He couldn't condemn them for that. All Kev could hope was...that with a bit of time to get to know themselves, they could learn what 'good' they were.

    Alas, the former Judge was staring down a dark abyss of self-worth, hating himself and all that he was. Thinking his mistakes were proof that he wasn't worth a thing to them. To anyone. "Mortis, you may have made mistakes...but Sonia did too, and she is still my friend. I still care about her, and I care about you." As good as it was for Mortis to recognize his mistakes, it seems that it came with hating himself. No wonder he resisted seeing all that he had caused... "None of that means you aren't worthy of our time." At least the suggestion regarding Lunette had been considered, Mortis admitting that Judges received visitors while in containment. More accurately, Death did and Kev's sympathy for the former Judges seemed to pang. Death, who received all the attention. The leader who misused his disciples. And now he got visitors where they didn't? Peh...at least Mortis took to the idea. The alien nodded his agreement, "A month will go by faster than you think it will."

    "I-I am sss-sssory I thought you would take him away. He enjoyed your company ssso much and I... I only gave him more reasssonsss to go to you."

    Well, that part could be argued with. In fact, he'd hit it right on the head right there. Whether Mortis meant to or not, his actions only made Fear seek comfort from Kev even more. It was strange how things worked out that way. The apology was appreciated, even if it took a while, and the mouthless man gave him a small nod. "Apology accepted." No doubt, Fear would be proud of how they were finally talking things out. As far as Fear needing them both, the ghoul insisted that Kev was more important. That eventually, the information of their world would be inconsequential. To him, he was merely a symbol of a long gone past. With Fear looking to the future, where would Mortis be needed? "It will always be important for him to have someone from home. You have been with him for hundreds of years. Even if I'm with him for hundreds of years, the time you two were together will always be important. Take it from me; having somebody from your world means a lot." At times, it could hurt that he was the last of his kind. No other Kyptonistanians existed here, and it used to hurt, to feel as if he was losing his culture. Mortis was always going to be essential.

    The admission was important, if full of shame and defeat. It was a first step! Kev's words were sinking in, and maybe he could help Mortis after all. The thought made him optimistic, even as he kept his gaze off of the ghoul. Only when he spoke did dark blue eyes meet blank sockets, his eyes lightly trailing down the bare boned snout of Mortis. "I think everything that has happened to you so far is a proper sentence. Especially regarding Fear. The time that you two spent apart is punishment for you enough." It had been quite painful, if earned. It was what opened his eyes in the end, and time away lead to them coming together with a better understanding. Yet the realization wasn't completely positive, a large corpse hand resting over his snout as new sobs shook out of the former Judge. Between them, he admitted to feeling worthless. No longer a Judge, not even a good brother. He wanted nothing more than to disappear, feeling as if it was all he was worth. Indeed, nothing would be fixed if Mortis was cast to the winds, and it would only hurt Fear to do so. In the end, he found it hard to accept that they wanted him back. "Maybe in time, you will find it easier to accept. You like being here, right? That is...it's much better then when you were alone. The same is true for Fear. I think he likes knowing where you are and that you're okay." Perhaps knowing such a thing would help him accept it.

    Silence took over the moment, and the alien focused on getting the tray ready. The subject at hand was...not exactly the happiest one to think about. Poor Veskur...poor Lunette. Such an awful situation, and now here was the man involved, ashamed and filled with regret. An awful incident for everyone involved, and it hurt to agree with what Mortis had insisted. It was like giving up, and it likely made him feel worse. He just...didn't know what to say. The best thing to do was to say nothing at all, or else he might make it worse. The tray moved and his new seat taken at the bar counter, his eyes moved to observe the former Judge. Body making lots of noise, the corpse stood as best he could. The sounds were familiar, as Fear's body was just as vocal. When Mortis took his seat, it was with a chair between them, still hunched over. Pressing his fingertips against the tray, the alien pushed it so that it 'took' that seat that was smack dab between them. That way, neither of them had to stretch their arms too far for their cuppa. "You're welcome, Mortis." Deeming the tea ready, Kev lifted the pot and poured the tea into Mortis' doggy mug first. Scooping a bit of sugar into his mug, along with a squeeze of honey, his tea was stirred until all of the sugar had dissolved. It made for a lovely brown drink, a bit of steam still rising.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:49 pm

    Of course, feelings were never held against someone, but when they manifested into action... That was where they began to have impact. It was there that the undead abomination that sat within Kev's kitchen felt the most guilt. Kev may not have held Mortis' feelings against him, but Mortis held his feelings against himself.

    Perhaps the tiny green alien was right, after all, Fear was far more perceptive than the sheep-skulled ghoul was. Even in the forest of thorns, Fear saw and realized many things that Mortis could not. Weaknesses, details that lay in hiding... Even the living which Mortis had overlooked, as was demonstrated during their brief trip to the Mega City's massive greenhouse. At times it was as if Fear held the proverbial 'third-eye'. "...It isss true, he hasss alwaysss been the more perceptive member of our group." The morose undead hissed, a low sigh escaped his skeletal snout as he continued to stare down at the tiles. "But my missstakess are far greater than yoursss, Kev. Have you ever been resssponssible for the illnesss of your loved one? Of another'sss unintended demissse?" He highly doubted the green alien was ever responsible for these things, he need not even take a peek inside his thoughts to know this. Kev may have been here for a long while, but he was nothing like them, he did not share their origins, their methods and the often left unchecked murderous behavior that brought a Dark Judge like himself so much pleasure. Likely he knew not a thing about how deadly an aura of all things could be until Mortis and his brother came to pass.

    Though, that all put into consideration, Mortis could only slowly shake his head at one particular notion.

    "...Relationships are...two people learning about each other and learning more about each other. It doesn't start out perfect, you just learn together."

    If such a chance had not already slipped through his fingers, it certainly had now that Veskur had died. "My apologiesss, Kev. Your advice isss sssound, but perhapsss given far too late." He quietly rasped. From the depths of his empty sockets, he glanced up at Kev as he heard a rustle of fabric, a small hand held out to him. He had to find out what was more to himself, and yet, the ghoul had nary a clue where to start looking. Perhaps after he apologized to Lunette and Veskur, things would be clearer, but until then... Mortis simply felt lost.

    Lost and full of self-loathing. Although with a track-record like his, what being who was conscientious of their actions not feel a great amount of self loathing as they considered it all? Though the alien's sentiments were starting to take some effect, though small. Despite his mistakes, somehow Kev and his brother still felt that he was worthy of their time. His brother still wanted him around, and Kev was willing to keep him in his house for the time it took for the undead to feel better about himself. Something about it made a strong feeling well up inside of him, threatening to seep from his empty ribs should he not contain it. Alas, it emerged in another small shiver and a sob. "T-thank you, Kev." He shakily replied, though the scaly alien had iterated a number of times he was welcome to be worth their time, it was still hard enough to believe with all that happened.

    Crimes that he never wished to repeat again, as Kev mentioned a month of time would go by quickly."...I had been thinking perhapsss a year would be ssafesst." Mortis slowly replied, once the strong emotions started to ebb away enough. "A month will be bearable, but I worry that might not be enough time. Judge Dredd had only vissited our leader annually, and even then his visssitsss were very brief, merely check-upsss that lasssted a few minutess. He ssshowed no sssignsss of ill effectsss." He admitted. Granted, Dredd had no presence of psychic ability whatsoever, but neither did the historian. She still fell to Death's 'charms' in the end. His skull turned to face Kev fully, his sobs starting to cease. Would Kev be the same way? though he was attuned to fear's aura through weeks of training, Mortis feared what may befall the small green alien should he linger too closely around him.

    Would he grow corrupted, just like Veskur had?

    All the more Mortis was thankful he would only be here for two weeks, or maybe less if he pushed his recovery. His skeletal tail flexed a little closer around his hollow middle at the thought. Kev may accept his apology now, for his past sins against both his brother and  the one he called his lover, but there was no peace to be found in Mortis' empty skull. His gaze, albeit unseen, returned to the white tiles upon the floor.

    "It will always be important for him to have someone from home. You have been with him for hundreds of years. Even if I'm with him for hundreds of years, the time you two were together will always be important. Take it from me; having somebody from your world means a lot."

    The time they were together... Mortis sighed, anxiety mixing with his morose thoughts. From what Kev suggested, verbally and mentally, it seemed the only thing that kept Fear wanting Mortis around was mere history. But all the same... perhaps that was indeed the case, as his fellow former Judge of the law did not exactly have a fondness for Death, or Fire, and lately Mortis had been the subject of his ire as well. A hiss escaped him, though it sounded more like a sad sigh. As depressing as the thought was, the sheep-skulled undead could not help but find such a fate befitting him. To be sought out only to remember where they came from, what the used to be.

    Even then, there was little worth remembering to begin with.

    "Ssss... I think you are making thissss out to be more important than it actually isss. Why would he bother ssseeking me out to reminisssce when he isss happiessst with you, with the memoriesss he hasss made with you?" It simply made no sense. One could only shoot the breeze about how poor of a leader Death had been, or about how they managed to eradicate all life on an entire world so many times before it grew completely stale. And Mortis certainly knew that Fear was not about to go make any new memories with his brother for the sake of it. Not when he has something, someone far more... fulfilling. That familiar ache returned.

    Indeed, Kev would agree everything that had happened to him was punishment enough. Though he doubted the alien considered exactly how much that actually was. He barely gave a nod when the alien suggested that maybe in time he would grow to accept that they both wanted him around. "Ssso long asss Fear wisshesss for me to remain, I ssshall." He repeated hollowly. As a brother it was his duty to remain, regardless of a willful desire to or not. It would be irresponsible to take his final leave when Fear still had some use for him, and when he still had his own wrongs to right. For now Fear was content with Mortis still existing and knowing where he was, for now he wanted to know he was 'okay'. Though it did little to abate that aching feeling his chest. How long would it be before he made another mistake that decidedly made his brother regret taking him in off the street?

    It was all temporary, impermanent. Sooner or later there would be a rehash of that talk in January, perhaps over a different person, a different abhorrent crime. For to exist was to know long stretches of despair with brief, happy pauses. How long would this one last?

    Not long enough, it would never last long enough.

    "It isss good to hear my brother feelsss better, knowing where I am." Though Mortis did not exactly sound good himself, or all that accepting. But so long as he was concerned, his brother's welfare was all that mattered, as was his well-being. Sitting hunched over at the counter, the undead superfiend watched out of a single eye socket as Kev pushed the tea-tray closer to him, filling the space where the empty seat had been left. his cup was poured, and a large, rotted hand reached with a few protesting crackles for it.

    sssshhhhhhrrrrrrk...

    The dog mug was pulled closer to him, his snout pointing at the dark, steaming liquid within while Kev prepared his cuppa. After Kev gave his response, there were a few more moments of silence between them, as the unliving corpse seemed to just stare at his tea.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:03 pm

    As if they had started a little debate of 'who made the biggest mistake', Mortis insisted that Kev's mistakes were small compared to the former Judge's. Indeed, the examples Mortis brought up were...very narrow. Not to mention hefty when it came to consequences... The alien averted his eyes awkwardly. "Well...I have given Fear more than a few good headaches before. It's why we had to train. I wasn't disciplined with my emotions and it bled over to him. It may not have been a lobotomy but...it still had some blow back. And...yes. I have caused an unintended demise before." New Year's had been a difficult day for them last year, and of course something that occurred a few days prior to that. And as for unintended deaths, well, look no further than Kev's murder of Nyreena. Brainwashed by Sirens, he beat her to death with his very fists! An argument could be made for Bonkers' death during the Phazon Crisis ultimately landing upon the scaly man's shoulders. Even if the scale of their deeds was not the same, there was still a fraction of similarity. Greater or not, the two of them were fallible and neither were any better than the other for it. Kev sighed softly, with his admission given he turned to look at Mortis once again. The ghoul was shaking his head, but he was surprised to hear an apology rather than skepticism. Alas, the advise was tempered by good old hindsight. Even if Kev was right, there was no use for it in the situation with Lunette now. Nodding lightly, the alien almost seemed to whisper. "I'm sorry."

    Gratitude came from the ghoul, in the form of a shudder and a sob. Kev winced, feeling guilty. Had he hurt Mortis' feelings? Even though he'd been thanked, the sob made the alien concerned. Swallowing it down, he dipped his head to the corpse instead. "You're welcome." It was the right thing, after all. Everyone deserves a second chance to prove themselves and to change. The former Judge was still somebody important to Fear, and thus to Kev as well. A surprised blink came, the alien pulling back lightly as he mouthlessly gawked. "A year?!" That was so long...! So much could happen in a year! Mortis insisted that even Dredd barely stayed during his monthly visits to Death, and surely Mortis and Lunette would spend at least an extended amount of time together whenever they met up. Definitely not just a few sparse minutes. He pulled back, turning away as he tried to consider what the ghoul was saying. A year... A hand planted itself upon his own cheek, eyes slitted. It was a long time to be away from a friend, and yet there was a real worry for her safety here. After what happened last time... And yet such an absence could be so harmful! Stuck between a rock and a hard place, they were. A defeated sigh came from the alien, briefly closing his eyes. "I'd let Lunette know why your...visitations will be so infrequent. Maybe...you can keep in touch in other ways. Phone, letters..." Surely a phone call would be fine?

    "Ssss... I think you are making thissss out to be more important than it actually isss. Why would he bother ssseeking me out to reminisssce when he isss happiessst with you, with the memoriesss he hasss made with you?"

    "Because you are important to him. Because even if he gets upset with Death's leadership, or Fire's attitude, he still considers them brothers, just as he does you. It does...hurt him I think, to have lost them. And he doesn't want to lose you too." Kev turned back to look at Mortis once again, speaking as if it was obvious. "Granted, I think Death is a complete chump and a bell-end. I think you both are better off without him and if he ever came here I'd try to protect you both from him. I don't see you as being like Death." And thus, Mortis was the best and only brother for his partner. The alien seemed to hesitate for a moment, waffling over what to say before finally speaking his mind. "He may be happy with me, and we've made great memories, but he's been saddened because of the rift that grew between you two. I love him very much, but I can't make things better alone. That's why you're here, because together, we can make Fear happy! You just...have to trust that he does think you are important." The more he allowed the doubts to bite at him, the more he'd become paranoid all over again.

    Empty, hollow. Automatic, depressed. Kev's shoulders slumped, unsure if he was going to get any further here. Quietly he stirred his drink with a spoon, peering down into it. It swirled about, moving with the steam and scooping a bit of tea only to pour it gently back in. The two stared into their tea quietly, Kev almost at a loss for what to say. Eventually he extended a pointer finger and slipped it into the tea to absorb his drink. Glancing up over the kitty mug, he sounded almost tired, yet insistent. "I do not think he will ever wish for you to leave like that. Even when he separated from you he didn't want you to leave this Gamma. He loves you, even if...I don't think you're in the place to believe that just yet."


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:48 pm

    Before Kev's training, evidently he had caused a number of headaches for his brother to deal with, emotions that were not put under control... A mental bleed that affected Fear. He nodded in understanding, his brother had wrestled in the past with this humanity that they had not needed to deal with prior. As for the unintended deaths, Mortis glanced up at the scaly alien, his side-long gaze rendered invisible in his empty eye sockets. He had killed Nyreena, along with an officer named Bonkers, while under the effects of a substance called Phazon. Indeed, both of their consequences were unintentional, but for Mortis... It could have been easily avoided if he placed distance between himself and the two Anitra.

    Regarding the Phazon, there was little that Kev could have done to keep away from it as the substance corrupted everything it touched. A clawed hand rested upon his bleached forehead, then moved upward and back to rest on the back of his skull. "Agreed, we are sssimilar in our... missstakesss. But you had no control over your actionsss, you were corrupted through the actionsss of another. In all honesssty, Kev, you were innocent in that the deathsss you caussed, were done while in a mental ssstate that wass not your own." The ghoul replied, solemn. "I could have prevented Vessskur'sss death. I could have prevented everything." He hissed, loathing evident in his voice. Not towards Kev, but towards himself, for not being firmer towards Lunette about the dangers posed, for not keeping his distance like he should have done, and for deciding to so stupidly go forth with what he had thought would be a treatment for his own emotions.

    Kev's mental voice was reduced to a whisper, an apology in his thoughts. "It isss not your fault." He rasped, sighing. All of it was Mortis' fault, he need not say it for the green alien to know. Perhaps everyone deserved a second chance in the alien's mind, though the world where Mortis came from was vastly different. There were no second chances, life held no value, the iniquitous were punished through death no matter the crime. Thus, it was only fitting that the second chance Mortis was given was going to be spent ensuring he stayed as far as he possibly could away from anything that could lead to another disaster like the past year had wrought. "Yesss, Kev. A year isss the sssafessst amount of time. If I musst expossse her to my corrupting presssence, it mussst be asss minimal asss posssible." He insisted. Spending time with him, as they both had learned, was like spending time with a chunk of un-shielded, raw plutonium. He knew that perhaps the distance would be trying, but the Anitra woman had other tasks to keep her busy. There was the tavern, for one. Owning a business and running it was a full time job that required attentiveness and diligence. Veskur would keep her company, along with the many friends she had that could not kill her by simply sitting the same room for more than ten minutes.

    Much could happen in the span of a year, yes. Perhaps she could even move on and find someone she liked that was not a risk to her health.

    "When the time comessss, I sshall." He assured. There was no reason to leave Lunette in the dark as to why he would not be seeing her except for perhaps only one day out of the year. Though the undead was hesitant to distract the lady from her work, a year of complete silence might be too much for Lunette to bear... Or more, too much for Kev to fret about. "I can ssspeak to her over the phone if ssshe would be comfortable with it." He hissed finally. A letter, while more tangible and eternal so long as the receiver kept it in a safe place, could easily transmit his aura by accident.

    Though as for being important to Fear... Alas, he hated to break it to Kev, but he was more important than the sheep-skulled superfiend could ever be. Fear may not have wanted to lose Mortis, but the reasoning behind it was more due to their history than any happiness. He was happy with Mortis when they were both Judges, when they were purging side-by-side on Deadworld, in Mega City One. Here, the ex-lieutenant was merely a disappointment and a liability... As he had proven himself to be for the past year, maybe longer. But, so long as Mortis remained, Fear would be happy, somehow.

    "If you believe it ssso, Kev... Then very well." He distantly replied. But, when it came down to seeking his brother choosing to reminisce over a vexing, failed crusade and an extermination that had occurred centuries ago... Or spend time with a man he loved, going out on his picnics by the sea, an afternoon at the carnival, and spending bonding time with a young girl that could just as easily be called his adoptive daughter...

    Well, there was no guess work as to what he would decide, was there? Mortis knew which one would likely be the most enriching for Fear when it came down to it, but for the sake of Kev's waning energy, he did not voice it. He merely continued staring into the dark, steaming liquid. On the surface, the light managed to catch the undead's skull just so, and it's shadowy reflection stared up at him from the depths of the cup. His own decaying a visage, a shadow of what it once was, looked far less imposing with the removal of his mantle, and the silvery chain hanging loosely from his neck where it would have once connected to a badge.

    "I do not think he will ever wish for you to leave like that. Even when he separated from you he didn't want you to leave this Gamma. He loves you, even if...I don't think you're in the place to believe that just yet."

    He sighed, the chilled, stale air of his host disturbing the image in the tea and making it looked far more broken and disheveled than the real undead that stared into it. "You are correct, Kev. I find it hard to be in a place to believe it." He quietly hissed, before taking up his tea cup in one hand, easily encircling the whole vessel in his long fingers, and taking a small sip. It was hard to believe, when he had heard him voice it, think it before.

    Once, in the dark depths of a basement, and the second on the very front step of this house.

    Likely if any more mistakes were made, regardless of how remorseful the ghoul was now, he would hear it again. It was only a matter of time. But, that was not what Kev wanted to hear, was it? "...But he hasss sssaid he wantsss me to ssstay. Fear hass not been the type to lie." If anything he was the exact opposite, the zealous personality that he was. Fire would lie, Death would lie, but Fear? It was a bloody trial to get him to even lay low for a half hour.

    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:25 pm

    Corruption and mind control... Yes, in the state that Kev was in, those deaths couldn't rightfully be called his kills. Bonkers had been delayed, ultimately dying from other means even though he was slowly dying from the infection of Phazon. Nyreena had been brutalized by Kev's own fists, though he had not been aware of it due to the sirens. Glancing away, the alien shook his head. "I still should have known better. If I hadn't touched Bonkers in the first place, he wouldn't have been infected. I wasn't gone at that point..." Getting infected at all had been a result of a mistake. Because Kev couldn't leave well enough alone, because he just had to protect Blade like he always did. And for what? For him to die off, be replaced by a doppelganger, and disappear altogether. "I have made...many mistakes. Just because no one died due to them doesn't make them any less..." A hand clenched. "...regrettable." As for Mortis? Perhaps he could have prevented it, by being more mindful. "At least you will remember for the future, yes? Now you can definitely prevent that from ever happening again. We all make mistakes, Mortis. We just...need to learn from them." Gradually he turned his gaze back to the former Judge, a bit saddened that it was all he could offer on the subject. To outright deny that Veskur's death could have been prevented would be dishonest. The skull headed corpse was right, and he hated himself for it. Kev only wished he could take away that loathing.

    Assuring the scaly alien that it was not his fault, Mortis insisted that a year was the safest option. Huffing to himself softly, he found he could not argue the point. Especially when the undead man knew his powers better than Kev did. A year...Gods if it didn't sound impossible. Going a year without seeing someone was almost unthinkable! Hunching his shoulders, the Kryptonistanian reluctantly relented. "It's better than a decade." Besides, Kev told himself, Mortis was trying to do the right thing. As long as he was doing what he felt was right and neither of them had any sort of miscommunication, it would work out better for them.

    His shoulders relaxed as Mortis agreed to talk to Lunette eventually, particularly over the phone. It was the safest option, and perhaps a bit more space would be needed before they discuss this. Mortis was still waist deep in his own self-loathing. He still had some recovering to do. "The phone, that should work!" Phones were always a bit...well, tricky for the alien. With his telepathy, all Kev could do was hear someone on the receiver, he couldn't transmit through the machine. Only with the use of a TTY device could Kev really 'talk'. "Do you think you'll get a cellphone, or just a normal phone?" He asked, head cocked curiously. Imagining a small cellphone in those large hands was a bit amusing, he'd no doubt have as much trouble as Fear might! "Perhaps a normal phone would be best... And if you get a phone, you could always call us!" Always looking on the bright side.

    "Why can't you believe it, too?" Kev didn't sound as though he was accusing the corpse, but he did sound bewildered. After everything they had been through, the scaly man had been given a front row seat with which to see just how much Fear cared for his brother. He saw how being at odds made him upset, and how cutting his ties with the ghoul had made his boyfriend unhappy. Mortis wasn't exactly a stranger to this either, and yet here he was basically admitting to not thinking Fear cared for him as much as he did Kev. He should believe it as Kev did, maybe even more! But, one could not lead a horse to water. Mortis still had a ways to go and...he was simply not in the state of mind to realize his brother, or anyone, could love someone like himself. A frustrating if familiar state of mind. With a small nod, the alien draw shapes over the surface of his drink, swirling the liquid and causing small ripples to lap against the edge of his mug.

    Thankfully, Mortis gave him a bit of wiggle room by admitting that Fear wanted Mortis to stay, and that wasn't something he would lie about. It wasn't a lot but it was a better way of looking at the situation. Looking back at the ghoul with brighter blue eyes, Kev tilted his head to him. "Perhaps for now, that can be enough." Enough to hold onto for support, to remind himself that he was wanted and loved.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:12 pm

    "I still should have known better. If I hadn't touched Bonkers in the first place, he wouldn't have been infected. I wasn't gone at that point..."

    Oh... Well that certainly changed things. the ghoul glanced up from his tea cup, looking over at Kev with a creak of leathery flesh."I sssuppossse in that ressspect, we are not ssso different." He admitted quietly, all the while reading the diminutive green alien's thoughts. He regretted protecting Blade, for it all amounting to him simply being replaced and then disappearing. There was a low hiss, and the ghoul looked back to his cuppa again, staring into the dark liquid silently. Kev had many regrets, made plenty of mistakes even if they did not end in someone's demise.

    As for Mortis, he would ensure that his mistakes would never be repeated, no matter the cost. Therein, it was odd how Kev seemed so apprehensive about Mortis wanting to limit his contact with the Anitra lady to once a year. He sighed, blowing the steam away from the surface of his cuppa with an icy breath. "You and my brother want me to prevent passst missstakesss. I do not wisssh to repeat another year like the lassst all the sssame." He reminded. The undead superfiend looked up from his cuppa, looking the alien in his dark blue eyes with his empty, dark eye sockets. "Ssss...Our aurasss are potent, Kev. It isss sssurprissing that ssshe and vessskur lassted asss long asss they did, given the usssual rate of affliction. Do you know how long it took for a perssson to be corrupted by sssimply staying in a room where our presssence took hold, Kev?" He did not expect his brother to have told him the details, though the fellow superfiend was honest and zealous, he also tended to be the quieter part of their quartet. "Five daysss. In five daysss of conssisstent exposssure a sssimple, average citizen wasss turned into a killing machine, a masss murderer. Sssometimesss they become sssuicidal or sssimply go mad." He warned, his melancholic demeanor faded to something more stern, a grave adamance and conviction to his plan to keep this event from happening again.

    "There isss no cure for the effectsss of our aurasss. Would you want to risssk any unnecesssary exposssure, Kev, knowing thisss?" If he were in Mortis' decayed, leather bound position, what would the lesser evil be? A broken heart, or watching as history repeated itself, from beginning to tragic end. Hearts could be mended with time, lovers and friends could be easily replaced, but lives? There was no telling if someone could simply go to the pool and come back if Lunette succumbed and went ax-crazy, or if it would be their last day on this miserable little rock. And do not think he did not hear that thought about having to go a year without seeing him impossible. "If thiss isss what it takesss for her to be sssafe, I would rather ssshe think a visssit once per year imposssible and give up... Than to learn that a month between visssitsss isss too conssisstent, and for her to posssibly become corrupted, and loathe herssself for more than one death."

    There was no use bringing feelings or sentimentality into the equation, not when the alternative was not only the possible demise of the Anitra lady, but perhaps those she held dear. Would Kev think all his huffing and puffing and irritation worth it, or in vain, if the past ended up repeating itself in the name of emotional sensitivity? Alas, Kev was more of a sensitive soul himself. Perhaps he simply was incapable of imagining the sacrifices needed to keep someone safe in the face of a deadly, incurable, corrupting presence.

    However, talking on a phone seemed to be enough for the alien to lift his spirits somewhat, although the more Mortis thought about the whole ordeal, the more he wondered what point there was in all this, what worth there was to be found. After all, if Kev thought that in-person interactions were the only worthwhile sorts of friendships, and that the Anitra lady likely would not be able to go a year without visiting... He sighed, sorrow filling his chest as he looked back to his cuppa. It was necessary to remain distant, to put as much space between her and him as possible, and yet he knew that if he did the cat-lady would not be able to take it. She would give up and look for someone else within the month, or outright reject the proposal of an annual visit the moment it was presented.

    Regardless, he played along.

    "A normal, houssse phone would be bessst, yesss." He solemnly agreed. Kev suggested he could always call their house if he wanted to. Indeed, he could call them, especially since his own aura could stick to the house if he came and visited Fear and Kev's family often. It could not harm the animals, but the excess psychic energy could manifest more shades than they would like. In fact, staying here for two weeks as it is was likely staying overlong. Mortis hunched over a little further in his heat, plucking up the tea cup gingerly and taking a sip.

    The Kryptonistanian now was bewildered, unable to comprehend why the undead did not believe himself to be loved. "I am not worth the effort, Kev. I am not worth the energy he had poured into trying to maintain hisss connection with me. Or perhapsss you did not overhear my brother lassst month when I had initially returned." He hissed quietly, putting down his tea cup and watching the ripples within the dark liquid. "I have made him sssuffer far greater in a sssingle year, than in hisss entire exissstence." He hissed, his voice starting to quake as a sob threatened to overtake him. If anything, Mortis thought, he should have been destroyed, he should have met his demise at the ISOs and spare his brother any further torment by the sheep-headed undead's existence.

    But all the same... His brother wanted him on this dimension, Kev wanted him here because his brother wanted him. Mortis sighed once more and brought a hand up to rest on his skeletal face. Kev may have wanted to convince him that he was loved, that his brother wanted him around, but it was still incredibly hard to believe. "Y-yesss. For now I sssuppossse..." He whispered.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:42 pm

    "I sssuppossse in that ressspect, we are not ssso different."

    There we are. It took a bit of clarification to finally get across, but Mortis had finally admitted that they may be similar in their mistakes. The scaly alien nodded his head in approval, eyes bright and optimistic even with such a bleary topic. "If I can learn from my past mistakes, I know you can too. And at least, you don't have to feel alone." There was no need for Mortis to feel lesser when they carried similar regrets and missteps. With forgiveness already given from Fear and Kev, all that was left was for the former Judge to forgive himself. Easier said than done. A hiss came from the ghoul, and Kev cocked his head at him with a worried gaze. Had he been wrong to bring up mistakes? Did Kev unintentionally insult Mortis?

    Eye contact held, the scaly man sighed softly. "No, no, I understand. I know you want to prevent past mistakes, and you want to protect her. I know that your auras can corrupt and if you slip..." Kev waved his hand with a wince, almost unwilling to finish that sentence. "Point being, I know why this is important to you. I understand you want to make up for the past. I just worry you might...hurt yourself." Thoughts turned to the Phazon, Kev's own unstable thoughts of deciding that the only way to prevent anyone from leaving him, was to leave them all first. People were untrustworthy, and he shouldn't make any connections! Or so he thought at the time. "I just...don't want her to be alone, and I don't want you to be alone either." Sheepish, the toe of Kev's foot rubbed into the tile. His sock was quite slick on the surface of it. "Sometimes we try to protect ourselves, and we think that means withdrawing from everybody. I don't want that to happen to you. You've still got...us." Voice dropping to a softer tone, the alien shrugged slim shoulders. "As for me risking exposure...I sort of did, didn't I? By letting myself get close to you and your brother." Kev had been willing to stick to them, although further training had been needed with Fear.

    "The phone will be perfect." Though Kev now sounded at peace with the idea, it seemed Mortis was not of the same mind. A scaly brow arched, confused by his solemn tone. "The important thing is to keep in contact." Face-to-face was important, though mostly because Kev himself liked getting to see and hug his friends. If one was obviously unable to do such a thing, other interactions were also good. It was better than being alone in the dark, yes?

    "I am not worth the effort, Kev. I am not worth the energy he had poured into trying to maintain hisss connection with me. Or perhapsss you did not overhear my brother lassst month when I had initially returned."

    Gently and slowly, the alien mimicked Mortis. Fingers still in his drink and sampling the beverage, Kev pulled them out and slid the drink a bit further from himself on the counter. He clasped his hands together in front of himself, large eyes watching the former Judge owlishly. More sobbing was close to coming for the ghoul, he sounded as if he were choking them down. "I overheard." He spoke stiffly. "And I felt it. I was upstairs in the bathroom when you came. I heard and felt enough of what happened between you two that night. And you know what?" Head cocking to the side, he didn't give Mortis a chance to answer. "You are right. At that point in time, you weren't worth the energy. You were wrapped up in yourself, leaving your brother to think you were gone forever. We tried to help but you were struck deaf and blind to us. But you aren't like that now. You're stubborn, yes, and you think you aren't worth anything, but you are. You want to know why you are worth the energy now?"

    "Because you realize you were wrong, and you wish to make up for it. Before, you didn't think you had done anything wrong. That, and you doubt in your brother, were why I felt like you weren't worth the effort. And you may still have some doubt in you, but it's because you hate yourself. That will be a hard thing to overcome, feeling like you aren't worth his love. But you have to, because the more you deny his love thinking it's better for him to be away from you, the more you hurt him. That was why I was upset with you, because you were hurting him and...maybe I was projecting a little." The admission came softly, as if it just occurred to the alien. Watching his boyfriend struggle with a brother figure, it...brought back some feelings. Kev shuffled in his chair as if suddenly uncomfortable. Not important right now. He shrugged it off and continued. "You are getting better. You have improved and risen above where you were then. You are worth it now. Have faith, Mortis... Have faith."


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Mortis on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:29 am

    The green alien seemed to grow more optimistic, his eyes bright as he nodded at the towering superfiend next to him. Indeed, learning was key. Although the sheep-skull headed undead doubted it would make a lick of difference, given the damage that was already done. Still, Kev insisted that he at least did not have to feel alone. For that, Mortis was thankful. Even though Fear and Kev were around, given that Mortis was staying in their house for two weeks, there was still a sense of isolation that he could not shake. Not in the way that either of them made him feel alone, but a sense of isolation from his past deeds and the way they lingered. Thank you, Kev. It meansss sssomething to hear that from you." His gratitude was quieted, a subdued murmur yet loud enough to be heard clearly.

    Perhaps the alien was familiar with this sense of loneliness, and perhaps he was not.

    Alas, without a face, the ghoul was a hard one to read, and even harder still without a mental connection. He soothed the worries that Kev held within his mind with a single utterance. "You have done nothing wrong, Kev. I merely agree with the sssentiment." And inwardly hoped he never would have to experience that kind of loss. He would not be able to bear the thought of having his brother being replaced by some doppleganger and then disappearing forever, or anyone else that he cared about. He was relieved to know that Kev understood his plight, however. Granted, Fear had done a good job ensuring the scaly person had not suffered the way Lunette and Veskur had. Certainly Kev may have been aware somewhat of what could occur prior to that disaster.

    "...I understand you want to make up for the past. I just worry you might...hurt yourself."

    Hurt himself? That was a new one. The ghoul tilted his skull at the notion, but remained silent as Kev went on. He was worried about Lunette ending up alone, about him ending up alone... Admittedly, the ghoul never considered keeping his distance and staying alone to be a form of hurting himself. He thought it was necessary, a small price to pay for a greater good. And while Kev was indeed attuned to Fear, remaining with him despite the risks and even going insofar as to train with him. Though it was there that Mortis grew uneasy. To train and move past one's fears was something that could be done, fear could be overcome with work and diligence. Decay was a different matter entirely. Decay was not psychological; it was a force, it was physical, and if given time, unstoppable. Even if Lunette did agree to training, the way of going about it were uncertain, as the ghoul was unsure if his aura was one that could be attuned to the point where one was immune. Yet, if his brother could manage it, there was a small part of Mortis that still wanted to believe the same could be attempted and succeed with him.

    "Yesss, I ssstill have you, and Fear." He replied, a small sigh following. "The phone will have to do, if ssshe isss willing. I worry ssshe may not take to the idea, that maybe it isss too much." He knew that Lunette was a loving woman, but he also remembered her being a touchy-feely person. She liked to hug, she liked to give little pecks on the cheek, maybe the lack of being able to see him and the lack of tactile contact would turn her away. Yet, Mortis could not ignore the other possible outcome, history repeated, healing wounds reopened and made fresh once more. "You alssso had more groundss to build immunity, Kev. Fear alssso made arrangementsss to ensssure you were not affected. You are psssychic by nature, you know how to keep thingsss out to an extent. Lunette and Vessskur are not, they rely on magic to keep my aura out... And even then it sstill managed to ssstick." mortis hissed a sigh upon uttering the last part, the whole situation looking rather bleak. The exorcism that needed to be performed upon the Tavern was evidence enough of the case that was Mortis and Fear's aura.

    However, even if Lunette was unable to keep contact via phone, he doubted the anitra lady could ever be completely alone.

    She did not exude a deadly aura like Mortis did, she was allowed to be tactile with her loved ones. She did not have to worry about how many times she visited a place lest a malignant presence sticks and supernatural phenomena occur as a result. Veskur supported her immensely, and there were numerous friends and acquaintances that would dive down at her feet if given the opportunity to make her smile. What loneliness did she have to worry about? She was a bubbly, cheerful, fluffy personality who resembled a loved companion in many households. She need only look at someone to make a new friend, and maybe a new admirer. Mortis did not worry about her being alone by any means.

    By comparison, the sheep-skull headed superfiend sooner saw isolation and loneliness in his future than Lunette's. Unless of course, the entirety of the gamma suddenly turned undead or became mechanical, but that was impossible and completely silly.

    As for the events of that one fateful evening in January, Kev's tone stiffened, and his eyes stared widely at the superfiend sitting next to him. not only had he overheard the conversation he felt it from his bubble-bath upstairs. his host curled inward on itself further, sinew crackling and bone popping as his spine curved. All of it, of course, was true. Mortis had been blind, he had been deaf, and he had abandoned his brother for a cause that no longer was worth the time or energy. He too no longer was worth his brother's time or energy, and even now he still believed that was the case.

    He still believed it even though it hurt his brother. Mortis stared into the remaining liquid at the bottom his tea cup; it hurt him, to know that he was still hurting his brother. Yet the undead found it a nigh impossible challenge to learn to not hate himself, to genuinely believe he was worth being loved, that was worth the effort. It was enough that the undead superfiend felt distress well up inside of him like a lump of lead, and the sobs he held back escaped in low, gasping keening. Even as Kev admitted that perhaps he had been projecting during that evening, the undead could not manage to find the words to form a response. He merely touched his snout nest to his cuppa on the counter top, before his talons came up to grasp at his skull again.

    What was he to do? The undead could not find a reason to love himself, even with all that Kev stated about his improvement. Yet, to despise himself was pushing his brother away and hurting him just as he did last year. Beside him, the green alien assured once again that he was indeed worth it, even though Mortis did not feel as if he were.

    Faith, however... Faith would take work for the ghoul. The reason why had already been said numerous times, to repeat it would be to irritate an already strained stripey green alien further.

    ...Maybe it would be best if he just took his cuppa to the sink and returned to the basement. At least there he would not be bothering Kev any longer. Mortis was just wasting his time, being an irritant and point of stress in an otherwise happy household. It was best he left the alien alone before he upset him any further than he already did. "I am ss-ssorry, Kev." He rasped from beneath his large clawed hands. "I am sssorry for being an irritant, for upsssetting you. I-I'll take care of my cup and return downssstairsss." He brokenly graveled, removing his hands from his head and taking the dog mug from the counter and over to the sink. The thought of doing the rest of the chores he had set for himself today was far from his mind. He wanted to gain distance, he wanted to go back into the dark, dank depths below the house. He wanted to curl up in the corner of it that he called his own and rot. To decay until he was out of their minds as well as the world and no longer a dark, foul stain upon their psyches. After taking a moment to rinse it out and set it to be washed, he would make his way back down to the basement and out of Kev's business.

    Out of sight, out of mind as the saying went.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2422
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Housework for the Soul

    Post by Kev on Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:55 am

    "You're welcome. I really do mean it." Kev inclined his head back to Mortis, feeling a calm sort of peace. It was as if they had finally found some understanding now! He couldn't find it within himself to be too pleased though, the ghoul's subdued tone made him nervous. Taking a deep breath, he tried to wave away such worries. Mortis was likely tired, in more ways than one. Confidence could not be easily rebuilt once lost, the scaly man knew all about that! Time was key to healing. A single conversation less than a month after the initial talk between the ghouls wasn't going to melt away Mortis' feelings. Kev understood that, honest he did. It didn't change the fact that he still wished he could help Mortis though. It wasn't in his nature to exist in the same house as somebody and ignore their pain. Especially not someone who was like family. Thanks to telepathy of course, the skull faced man was privy to Kev's worries and soothed them easily. Insisting that Kev had done nothing wrong, Mortis said that he really did agree with the sentiment. His shoulders became less tense as a sigh huffed out of him. "Thank you, Mortis. Sorry about being such a worrywart..." He chuckled sheepishly, hoping he was not too overbearing.

    For a while, the ghoul's only response was a tilt of his head, otherwise remaining quiet as Kev laid his thoughts bare. Truthfully, the former Judges were a more solitary type. They seemed to prefer the company of each other. Things change however, and bit by bit the ghouls had found more people to interact with on the Breach, Fear more than Mortis. Perhaps being alone would not hurt him at all. Maybe time alone would help him to heal in silence and assurance that nobody would be hurt. The alien was a social creature by nature, and it made his chest clench at the very thought of leaving somebody alone like that. Mortis would know what was best for himself, but Kev had thought such things in the past before...and not just about the corpse. More than anything, he simply wished to prevent anymore pain and suffering. He didn't want Mortis to hide himself away, and become eaten up by loneliness and despair. The phone was better than nothing. It was a start, and a connection still. Yet he could not help but to tilt his head as if puzzled. "Too much?" That was a good consideration...what if it was too soon?

    Indeed, it was interesting how the telepathic alien seemed to attract the attention of two psychic Judges. Perhaps it was due to his powers. More likely, it was his emotional state at the time. "I'm not sure how much I was able to keep it out..." Kev admitted, gaze falling to the marble counter. "Obviously, I didn't go out and slaughter people, and I didn't kill myself. But it was...a hard time. I felt very low...mm, though perhaps that was for other reasons." He propped his chin up in the palm of a hand, huffing lightly. Alas, it was like the age old question of the chicken and the egg. What had caused Kev's suffering and depression in those months before his training? Was it A) the dark influences of a Dark Judge's aura? B) various trauma he had been suppressing? C) the reactions certain friends had to Kev's relationship with the Judges? D) Sonia's growing jealousy and his eventual discovery of her feelings for him? The most likely answer was likely E) all of the above. "Still, I am very good at keeping things out. Almost too good, Fear's mentioned me being a terrible psychic." The scaly man snickered lightly, head shaking in fond memory of such moments with the ghoul. "Ah, that was the way of my people though... Anybody who was too stupid to figure out how to block out other thoughts, was kicked out of the village and shunned. The Elders thought it...dangerous, to let someone roam about who could be overloaded by the thoughts of everyone around them. You and Fear know better than anyone how disorienting that can be." The magic of the Anitra wasn't very effective either, unfortunately. The Judges really were a strong force that few could match.

    Mortis curled in on himself tightly, like a dying insect. It made Kev blink, a bit stunned even though it was not the first time he had seen the ghoul so distraught today. Still, this was new for him. He was so used to the sheep skulled man being immune to anything he said, able to shrug off Kev's words as if they were mere flies to be swatted. Getting a reaction like this had been so difficult, to suddenly have this sort of power thrust into his arms made Kev feel rather...dumbfounded. Even while trying to help, it seems he only hurt the former Judge, if those keens were anything to go by! Scales bristled, though not in anger. The sound was almost frightening, like red hot metal being poured in his veins. Too blunt, too honest, whatever it was, it had been at Kev's hands and he had hurt the very person he was trying to help! "Wait, Mortis, no!" Drink now forgotten, Kev slipped out of his chair in a fluid motion. Hands reached out, before remembering the ghoul's hesitation. He brought them close to his own chest instead. "You aren't an irritant, I'm sorry."

    Taking a step closer to the sink, Kev stared into Mortis' bony back. "I wasn't trying to make you feel bad, please. I'm glad we're talking, I just... I wanted to lay my feelings and thoughts on that night down on the table. Since we haven't really talked about it..." Presumably, the brothers had spoken together at length. The scaly alien hadn't been present however, and instead found a new guest in their house. There had been tension when Kev had first seen Mortis there, and he only wanted to explain himself. Explain why he was resistant, how he felt them that night. "Most importantly, I just wanted you to know that I think better of you now. That I...understand you better now too." Arms clenched tightly to his narrow chest before the muscles relaxed, hands dangling down by his sides languidly. "I understand if...you are tired and don't want to talk to me about this anymore. I didn't mean to ruin your day... Even if what you're saying is hard for me to grasp and making me a little annoyed sometimes, I do prefer it to just ignoring your presence. I just want to help. It is...all I have wanted to do, all this time." To help settle the tensions between two brothers. His gaze dropped to the tile, waiting to hear the ghoul's opinion.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:30 am