DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 45: Sun Room
you watched over me
notthistrain wrote in damned
Despite the bit of bravado he'd displayed for Yuffie's sake, seeing her that way really had done a number on him. It was a good thing he'd found the bulletin board afterward. Having it confirmed that this state wasn't normal (was, in fact, new as of that morning) made it much easier to think positive. They'd get back the Yuffie they knew one way or another.

The girl had gone into the other activity room, so when Cloud was offered a choice he picked the room she wasn't in. He wouldn't be able to keep a watch on her this way, but neither would she be able to throw another fit over being stalked. This also gave him a chance to keep an eye on the board for anything else important that might show up.

Sighing, the blond made himself comfortable on one of the sofas, watching both the nurses and the cats roaming the floor. What were the people in charge of this place trying to accomplish?

[free]

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Spending lunch with Scar had been nice, but...memories. Memories of Leo, memories of Robert, memories that belonged to Airi. It made her feel more and more like Airi, more anxious, more worried, and that perpetual dull throb on her heart and invaded the rest of her body and made her movements sluggish—

She'd thought she'd gotten rid of it all.

Flopping onto a couch, Airi stared up at the ceiling, trying to regain the sense of Mele she'd had at the beginning of the day—she wanted to be able to do that, at least, just for reassurance that this place didn't drive Mele completely from her. And she really hated that doctor.

[For the Scarecrow]

The Scarecrow declined a trip to the 'Game Room,' deciding he'd be able to think better in the Sun Room. This day had certainly been strange- that Abe fellow at breakfast had seemed normal enough, but the conversation with Scourge had been a little troubling. He had been so adamant about his life as a robot just a few days before! Why would he change his mind and decide that it had all been some sort of a delusion, like it never existed? It wasn't as though the former strawman hadn't been having thoughts like this, but he'd not been able to convince himself that his memories as a scarecrow and Oz were just fantasies of a sick mind.

It certainly was troubling. Doubly troubling was that witch, the dark-haired one from the second floor. He kept seeing her out of the corner of his eye, and that itchiness in his throat had yet to leave him. He thought he'd found some of her own dark hair mixed with his own at lunch, but the nurse ignored his concerns. Maybe his brainless mind really was sick.

He spotted Mele from across the room as he entered, and headed for her. "Hey there," he said with a wave, taking a seat on the floor near the couch. "Hope I'm not bothering you- I could use a familiar face for now."

Airi looked up and nodded in greeting.

"That doctor," she said, "one of these days he's going to get murdered by rusty fork. 'Today is a day that should be celebrated'," she mocked, hating that she even knew what he was even talking about. She couldn't imagine Mele would have understood it.

"...By the way," she said off-handedly, finally sitting up, "Could you sit in a...chair, maybe?" She hated for anyone to look up at her unless she was on a cliff or something and they had no choice. Having someone looking up her reminded her way too much of Robert's habit of ducking to look up into people's faces and she didn't—well, he had been doing it to Leo even when she was right there, but she didn't want to think about him doing anything to Leo. Maybe when she could do something, she'd think about it.

"Of course," the Scarecrow said as he clumsily got to his feet, turning a complete circle before spotting an empty chair. He pulled it toward the couch, hoping no one minded if he moved the furniture.

He wrung the edge of his shirt for a moment. "As for the Wizard Landel... I'm not really sure what he's been going on about," he admitted. "Is there some reason today is so special? Nothing seems different, though a few people are acting a little strangely."

Huh, that was fast. And a little cute, too. Airi turned away to hide her amused smile, and then turned back, leaning her elbow on an arm of the couch.

"Today? Umm." Airi thought a moment, then decided on the truth—Mele wouldn't know what the doctor was talking about, but just pretending to be Mele...that was just...stupid. Somehow.

"Seems like a bunch of people are getting...we talked about this, right? About getting 'better'? And your roommate going home? That's what he's talking about."

The Scarecrow sat up straighter, thinking, his hands still fiddling with the front of his shirt. "Is that so?" He frowned, thinking of home and the friends he'd left behind. Oh, curse that Landel! He'd find a way home even if he had to face a thousand witches.

"How is it that people are getting 'better,' though?" he asked. "Is that why folks are acting funny?"

Airi paused for a long moment, staring at some spot on the floor, before responding. "It's...remember that visitor you had? If you can go along with that real life, you can go home."

...Now this was odd; they'd had this conversation yesterday, when Mele had had no idea. Airi remembered that Airi had been confused about it. Denial, she supposed. Stubbornly, she clung to the idea that it would be better to be Mele. She hadn't managed to convince Leo, though, and that made her sad a little, but if she could just get out and show him, it would be all right again.

"'Acting funny'?" Airi repeated as the words registered. "Funny how?"

"Well, it's like he's forgotten who he is or something," the Scarecrow started with a wave of his hand. "This robot fellow I met on the trip a few days ago now acts like it was all some sort of a dream or something, like he's lost his mind worse than I have."

He crossed his arms, feeling stiff. "Maybe he's just 'going along' with what the people here have told him in the hopes of going home. I mean, I'd like to believe what I've been told, too, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pretend everything I've ever known is some sort of figment of my imagination. It's not that easy!"

"Dream? Maybe he's just a regular crazy," Airi dismissed.

Airi actually smiled at Scarecrow's rationalization of robot-guy's actions. "Maybe he can just lie better than you can," she suggested. "And can't let up because the nurses might be listening." She paused. "If you could lie like that...would you?"

"Well... I suppose not," the Scarecrow said, putting some thought into the question. "It's not that I don't want to go home, or I don't want to go to this place where my home supposedly is. I just don't see myself trying to deceive anyone like that by pretending I'm something that I'm not."

He brought his eyes to meet hers. "What about yourself, Mele? Could you do it?"

The warmth of Rio Leo's embrace mesmerized by his intensity unconscious smiles watching Rio Leo Rio Leo's grace and beauty as he went through his forms

"...No." Mele Airi folded her hands. "But I don't know which I am." She paused, staring at a spot on the floor, and then continued hesitantly, "Yesterday, Mele was more real. Today, Airi is. What happens if...?" Airi trailed off, unable to verbalize the fear that one day, Mele would be gone, shorn away from her by the scissors of the Institute. It would be like chopping off a limb.

"Wait, you don't know which you are?" the Scarecrow said, his posture straightening in surprise. "What does-- you mean you've forgotten who you are, too?"

This was a disturbing phenomenon! First Scourge, now Mele- what was happening to his friends? "How is it that you've forgotten?" he asked, leaning forward in his chair as he looked at her with genuine concern. "One doesn't just wake up one day and not know a thing about themselves, surely!"

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