corvidly: (♦ 12)
Mᴏʀɢᴀɴ Bʟᴀᴋᴇ; ʀᴀᴠᴇɴ ᴛᴏᴛᴇᴍ ([personal profile] corvidly) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden2015-10-19 10:03 pm
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Open Post: Morgan Blake (OC)

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asanctuary: (∫ divination)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-06 03:03 am (UTC)(link)
Moritz has always had a damningly good read of people, a trait that his mother has always praised for reasons that make his heart feel like it might turn to lead or shatter if he thinks of too hard. For himself, what had been a help in elementary school had rapidly become more and more of a curse as years went on.

This stranger looks at him with wide, bothered eyes and a crooked smile that Moritz thinks would look nicer if it was genuine. He wants something, and it's like his entire world deflates a little. He's not interested in me, he's in a hurry about...something. What terrible hope might have leapt into his throat at an interruption is destroyed, shameful and hot.

"No problem." He has to physically bite back the 'sir' that wants to slink after that dismissal, tail between its legs.

But he isn't let away yet. Moritz blinks, confusion lining between his eyebrows. "'M from-- Holland. K'ntucky." The first syllable almost, but doesn't quite, rhyme with the word 'pin'. "'Sa small town, don't have a...a town hall or anything." He's so desperate to jump away, and yet a tiny, secret part of him is longing for a reason not to. He glances behind, to where the crowd is beginning to shuffle across the street, the crossing sign white with permission. "Wh...why, 'ryou from, uh...yer not from here either."
asanctuary: (∫ undetectable alignment)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-06 02:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, Lafayette strikes memory better than Humboldt. If Moritz was thinking more clearly - if his autopilot was working a little better, even - he'd have remembered to say that Holland is part of Allen County, specifically that it's near Scottsville (which is the only incorporated town in Allen County). But his mind is buzzing, a high-pitched warning that exists only between his ears. He wishes, for the first time, that he was every bit as invisible as he feels, that this man with the familiar accent would stop talking to him.

Moritz looks down when there's an absence of words back to him, no answer for his question, wondering if it means he can hightail it across the street during the last seconds of the light indicating it's okay to cross. Instead he has to double-take to process the visual information, halfway through a pathetic "Well it was nice talkin'--" Because the stranger's head is bent down and his upper half waves, leans, as if he might be sick or faint. Moritz is given a small flash of insight to a career fair he'd been dragged to in senior year, of the EMTs that had seemed so oddly-entrancing and yet which he'd been ushered away from on account of it requiring 'too strong a stomach' for him. The wasted possible usefulness of himself releases a spike of self-hatred, more potent than the vodka in his belly, and Moritz takes a half-step towards the man on guilty instinct. He looks wholly uncomfortable to close the gap at all, reluctant but transfixed.

(He's useless. Should he even try? Is it possible to ever be useful again when he's starting from so low?)

There's a pause, a long awkward pause, long enough that it's very possible Moritz interrupts the stranger trying to start up a conversation again. "Y'alright, sir?" Nervous tic - Moritz frowns, because it's obvious this guy is about his age, but the words spit themselves out before he can stop them. He shifts and fidgets, guilt written plain across his face, and fixates on the dented cigarette case in the stranger's breast pocket.
asanctuary: (∫ owls wisdom)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-07 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
This guy's breathing funny. Moritz reluctantly plucks facts off this man, an unwilling victim of his own instinct to notice other people. This guy's acting weird enough that he kinda demands his attention, anyway, and while Moritz looks friendly and unassuming enough to get hassled on the street more than most guys his size would, he's still starting to find it a little bizarre beyond the straight discomfort he feels--

"A-- a drink?" This get a drink with him? Moritz looks behind himself fully this time, and then over and behind the slightly-shorter man's shoulder. There's no immediate view of a camera, but Moritz has the distinct feeling he's being mocked, and it's crushing. "N-n-no, no, I'm gonna hafta pass on that one, I'm--" He feels a flush creeping up his neck and the edges of his cheeks, humiliated before he's even had anything confirmed. Just the idea that someone might mock him by offering friendship and a willing ear right before he-- he--

"...What?" He asks miserably when the hand is offered. So many years of good ol' fashioned Southern hospitality make his hand twitch up in response, large fingers skirting over the almost-delicate bones of the stranger's - Morgan's - hand. Moritz poorly masks a small, broken sound with a cough, and gives a shake that's rougher than intended with his rush to let go. "I--" He doesn't want to share his name, he can't he can't he can't--

But at the heart of it all, the truth is that he wants it so badly he can barely breathe. Aware of how insane he looks, he still shamefully, desperately blurts out: "Moritz. 'M Moritz."
asanctuary: (∫ divination)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-07 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Moritz can hear the practiced apologies in his head; yeah, it's a weird name, my parents're from Germany but not since like, the 1800s, it's just that my ma was feeling like a big stickler for tradition by the time she was havin' me, so I got the weird name outta the five of us. But Morgan's repetition doesn't come packaged with the expected lifting tone or questioning eyebrow. He's just nailing down something unfamiliar, it seems, without commentary.

Why's this stranger so invested in where he's from that he wants to go get drinks, then, if he doesn't hang up on anything else happening, not the weird name or the aggressive handshake or the sweaty, nearly-neurotic way Moritz is staring at him, like he's expecting to get spit on at any second? It's too many questions for a brain that's been nothing but tunneled self-focus for...months.

Don't wanna intrude. Isn't that the truth, with everyone? Moritz's burning, sore sense of self-pity is striped through with desperation, though - is this guy genuine about wanting to

"'Mnot...hungry, but-- but okay. Sure, we can...drinks're fine." He can't bring himself to say, 'I'm not busy', can't even start that lie, but he can waver the ghost of a smile. It looks more like a pained wince. "Lead the way, then, I guess." He runs a hand against the grain of his stubble-like hair, barely affecting the lay of it - it's short enough that it just stands up no matter what.

"You, uh-- don't often run into other southerners, but d'you often go to bars with strangers?"
asanctuary: (∫ silence)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-12 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
Oh. Well, that's not...what Moritz was expecting, in information collected or the fact that it was offered at all. He shifts uncomfortably, glad to be walking. There's a crinkled, rusted fluttering in his chest, of something sick and weak that's trying to see if it can still walk. When was the last time he just went out for drinks with someone and felt like they might actually be interested in what he was saying?

There's a desperation for connection, but it's doused constantly and immediately with shame and dreading expectation, and Moritz feels anxious about what this stranger thinks of him almost as soon as he grows excited at the idea of connection. His head buzzes with alcohol and terror. "--Huh?" He processes the question again and feels it whack hard against his heart. It feels like a bruise.

"Yeah, yeah I'd...I'd say so." Tough to talk to people sums up the past few years pretty well, but the last six months spent up here perfectly. This is hard, harder in a lot of ways than anything Moritz has ever done, which is why it's going to be the last--

the last--

He clears his throat and looks away, blinking at hysterical tears. Thankfully, they leave almost as soon as they came. "It's not so...easy to talk to people up here, yeah."
asanctuary: (∫ find traps)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-11-12 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
It's like there's a physical wall slicing up between the two of them, with Moritz shrinking away from its size and violent emergence. He's terrified, and in turn alarmed at his own terror; he's so despairingly negative about this that it takes on a life of its own, and that side of him is winning. Has been for months.

Moritz barely hears Morgan over the roaring in his ears, and the guilty reminder of what he'd decided to do. The desperate reminder. Wouldn't that be simpler than watching this stranger realize what a mistake he'd made? All those other strangers that this Morgan has apparently approached over his short life, and Moritz is ready to bet his life savings that he's about to be the most disappointing.

His breathing is staccato, ragged, keeping time like a middle school band. When he reaches up to brush a bead of sweat back from his right temple, his fingers are practically vibrating. "It's-- Ah-- listen, Ah gotta-- Ah've got somethin' Ah should be doin', so I-I-- Ah'm just gonna--" Throughout the stammering, Moritz gestures vaguely away, even though they've almost exactly followed the route back to his own dorm. He's begun to back up, back towards the corner that lead them almost-there, and it's only those damnable polite habits that keep him from outright turning and running.
asanctuary: (∫ divination)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2015-12-19 01:52 pm (UTC)(link)
It's not that he doesn't want to go for 'just one drink'. It's that Moritz wants it so completely that it's painful, sharp, and knowing that he can't actually have it the way he wants it is worse than it never being offered at all. Now he can't shrink away from the truth that no one will be invested in him - if he spends enough one-on-one time with a new person, they'll dismiss him as boring, too tightly-wound, dull, or any of the scores of other suggestions piping up in the back of Moritz's head.

There's a breath of time between Morgan protesting and switching tactics, a heartbeat where Morgan looks annoyed and frustrated and confused, and Moritz is so tunneled into himself that the only thing he can come up with is a torrential wave of shame for causing that reaction. Moritz is two breaths away from a full-blown anxiety attack when Morgan continues actually speaking.

--At which point he freezes, everything in him going as still as a deer in headlights. The urge to run, but the confusion about what exactly the threat is, matches up exactly. Moritz pauses for entirely too long before answering. "You-- really?" There's clear hope in his words, embarrassingly naked. Moritz blushes after asking, shaking his head, backing away. "No-- no, no I can't." He knows better. He made a decision. This is just going to go the same way this sort of thing always goes - the parade of negativity continues on wordlessly in his head, Moritz so familiar with this dance of logic that it's run grooves into his mind. "Look, that's nice'a you, but I--" I know better. I know where this will end up, and I won't let it start again. I can't let it start again. Just thinking about getting drinks with you is so exciting that it makes me want to do it, despite everything that I know will happen, but I made a promise and I'm not gonna keep disappointing people anymore. You, and I, don't deserve that.

But oh lord, does Moritz want to. He's so close to spilling it all, suddenly, on this sidewalk that's surprisingly thinned-out, to this stranger with a familiar accent and a weird penchant for grabbing other strangers. "G-- Goodbye," he can muster, before turning and walking away, his knees stinging with the force of his hurried steps on the pavement.
asanctuary: (∫ find traps)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-05 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
Moritz is utterly swept away by his own mind, mired by fear and fenced in by regrets. He's intent on leaving even though so much of his soul screams to spill itself to someone, anyone who will listen, but Moritz won't let himself foolishly unload to a stranger. He's tried, so many times, and it's going to have to stop somewhere. He'll save them all the trouble of it. That, at least, is a decision that Moritz can make all on his own, that can carry its weight somewhere final and decisive. The firmest decision he'll ever have made.

So the first words - and the tone - strike Moritz hard. Fearful, confused, he nearly trips while almost-jogging away, head turning only halfway - he can't see Morgan or where he's going, unable to commit to a single direction until:

'You're...gonna die.'

Moritz pulls up short and spins on his heel, terror plain as day on his face. "What?!"

His voice cracks when his throat constricts on him. "How-- H-h-h-h-how do you know that I'm gonna-- What--?!" Painfully aware of the possibility of being overheard, humiliated and horrified, Moritz is rapidly coming back over, legs that've run up and down football fields for the past decade making short work of it.

'But you're not supposed to yet.' It's there, but barely, drowned out by the cacophony of someone just shouting out Moritz's biggest secret into a city block - no matter how empty. Moritz stands there, in Morgan's personal space, breath heaving but shallow, pupils wide and frightened. There's barely six inches separating them, and yet despite his size, Moritz isn't consciously trying to intimidate. At least not until all the fear that's been burning him from the inside out for weeks starts to turn to anger. "What're you-- what're you talking about-- Why, why do you--" Why do you know, why do you care?

A lot quieter: "What is this?" A trick? A lucky guess? Something...else?
asanctuary: (∫ undetectable alignment)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-05 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
It isn't until Morgan leans back a little from him that Moritz realizes the way he's looming, but he's stretched too thin for more guilt to be properly added to the mix. Still, he stands temporarily down - he steps back as well, shifting weight from foot to foot, anxious like a caged animal. The revelation that this guy shared after just meeting him is too spot-on to escape suspicion, but it also somehow...vaults over that suspicion, because how could something like that be faked? Unless this Morgan guy is a great fucking actor. And even Moritz, at his current height of self-interest, can't imagine anyone who hates him so much that they'd put up a stranger to this sort of act.

So, that leaves him with, what...this being true?

Moritz watches Morgan, wary. "I...dunno that I need a beer right now, but-- but sure, let's go somewhere private, I don't wanna get overheard eith--" And then he stops, because his entire fucking world happens to stop with the rest of Morgan's words. His lungs empty as if he was punched in the stomach, and everything in him feels like it's bruised, so maybe he just missed someone knocking him in the solar plexus.

"You--" It comes out as a wheeze. "What? You what?" The tears that had taken a short vacation over the past few days of numbness are finally, suddenly welling at the corners of his eyes, just shy of falling down his cheeks. "You-- you aren't shitting me, are you, you do know, how could you know--" Moritz is taking one, two steps away, one fist going up to hover in front of his mouth.

"W-why would you say that to me?" Is spat, high and fearful and suddenly angry as well. Self-hatred kicks in protectively, defensively, terrified he's being lied to. Even as his eyebrows crumple down, something desperately livid in his expression, several tears start to track down Moritz's face.
asanctuary: (∫ silence)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-07 11:11 pm (UTC)(link)
How does this man know? He looks so sincere, even though his clear frustration, like the fact of knowing about Moritz's impending death is not in question at all. But then how--?

There's a tiny little light in the back of his head, a lot of vague whispers at the backs of taverns and pubs and behind little wrinkled hands at church - magic - but the sense-memory is gone almost as soon as it begins.

This guy just said that he doesn't want to see him die today, words that are burning themselves into Moritz's brain, and then he goes ahead and says he wants to 'keep anything from happenin' to you'. Moritz just stares, a rapid staccato of tears blinked out of his eyes - it's just the first wave, just what was welling at the corners, but the tracks down his pale face are obvious even though he tilts his chin down as though he's trying to hide.

And he realizes he saw something on Morgan's face that he recognizes, in between those things. Morgan...looked...strangely out of it. Unbalanced, distracted - upset, even. For just a moment. Now he looks fine, just as determined as before - the loose edge of maybe-anger seems to be back. Moritz's head is spinning with all of it. "Look," he begins, voice shaky but low and firm. "I...dunno what's goin' on right now, but I'd appreciate it if you'd just tell me now how you know I'm gonna--"

Moritz trails off, staring at Morgan's chest. His pocket, specifically. There's a cigarette sticking out of it, of course, but there's also just the tiny sliver of tin-and-cheap-colored-plastic poking over the edge that means lighter.

"You." Moritz looks back up at Morgan's face, eyes wild. He isn't crying anymore, his voice doesn't crack, but he looks as frenzied as he feels. "You-- you lied, you didn't want a lighter from me, you just wanted--" He runs back through the odd exchange, cheeks flushing with embarrassment and frustration. " just wanted my attention. To make me follow you." This man wasn't interested in him for him, there really was no connection over a mutual homeland. Betrayal is clear on Moritz's face.

But through it all, he starts mechanically nodding. "Okay. Okay, then. Let's just...go. Let's get this over with." He can't imagine what the explanation might be, but at this point, Moritz feels exhausted and on-edge enough that he wants it.

He'll let this loose end tie itself up before he goes home and finishes his plans.
asanctuary: (∫ undetectable alignment)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-08 03:29 am (UTC)(link)
This guy is seriously starting to stomp on the scarce remains of Moritz's patience for other people. His jaw clenching is the only thing that keeps him from uselessly stammering in frustrated confusion at the utter flippancy of Morgan's initial response. Watching Morgan drag a hand through his hair - clearly frustrated in his own right - is almost surreal. Moritz has been so disconnected from others lately, that trying to understand what's going on here, it's...

It's distracting, if nothing else. Moritz just isn't sure if a distraction is what his mind really wants right now. He'd finally gotten up the determination to do it, and everyone will be better off once he's done it, why is he even indulging this guy who knows he's gonna kill himself if all he's going to do is tell him all the useless platitudes that the internet had insisted at him when Moritz was looking for ways to do this--

And yet off they go, Moritz dragging himself after him, obedient as always. He hates himself more with every step he takes into the bar, and just quietly nods at being shown where to go stand.

He's curiously numb by the time there's a beer being offered to him. Moritz takes it without looking at the label, brings it to his mouth, and proceeds to chug down half of it before Morgan starts his first full sentence. It sits with his soda-vodka with a comforting burn, too low of an alcohol content to be unpleasant. He downs the rest while Morgan continues, fully aware of how impolite it looks to shotgun an entire bottle, and miles away from being able to care. Right now, he sees it as getting a head start.

It ends up being lucky in its own way, because he's got nothing to choke on when Morgan offers up accidental overdose as a cause of death. So he just blinks, his heart rate skyrockets, and his eyes finally seek out Morgan's for the first time since he brought him a beer. "You-- see? you see me dying of an...overdose?" He feels his skin crawl. "This is normal for you? How often have you-- have you warned people? Is this like...your job?" If it had been off the mark on cause of death, Moritz would start thinking this guy was insane - but this is there, it's close, it sounds appropriate. So if he really...has this kind of power, then...

Moritz slowly lowers the beer bottle, depositing it on the wooden edge of the billiard table. "Listen. Okay, this must be-- real upsettin' for ya, or something. A-and I'm sorry I caught on and ruined your, uh, shift at work today. But I don't need any-- any help." He clears his throat. What a lie. He laughs, then, high and hysterical and sudden, and it hurts his stomach by the time he can stop. When he finally straightens back up again, there's tears at the corners of his eyes again. "There's nothing you can do, I mean. It's..." It's not 'fine', it hasn't been fine in weeks. Months. Years?

He thinks of what an uncle had told him, years ago, when explaining why some of the other kids picked on him at school. "It's just nature," he repeats, tone flat. After an awkward second, he adds all at once, "Thanks for lettin' me know it works." And before he can completely lose his nerve, he moves to rush out past Morgan, trying for an escape yet again.
asanctuary: (∫ remove blindness)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-08 06:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Moritz stops instinctively at the hand on his arm, because even years of sports haven't quite ingrained a hit-first mentality for him. He's large, sure, but he's self-aware enough to have seen the hand coming before it connected, and he's specifically large enough to know he has to watch out for others constantly to avoid collisions. Moritz stays put, eyes looking down and over, wide with surprise. His entire body is tense, shoulders rounding as if he can block out anything else but this one conversation.

His mouth dries out at the low question. This pause in momentum - literal and figurative - is forcing him to look at this in a way Moritz has been avoiding since he made the decision. He stares back, not daring to look away. There's some shame burning at the tips of his ears, but for the most part, he looks completely still.

Morgan, who Moritz realized so far seems to have not really understood what was going on, appears to have caught on fully. Having to meet that decision in front of someone else is...

"...Yeah." Is all he can manage.
asanctuary: (∫ undetectable alignment)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-09 08:09 pm (UTC)(link)
There. He's barely said anything, and yet this is by leaps and bounds the most that Moritz has addressed his problem, ever. He's said absolutely nothing to anyone about what it's been like, going downhill the past few months. He didn't know how to insist when feelings of inadequacy were first turned away by well-meaning family members, years ago. He didn't know how to argue against the common-sense-sounding 'it'll pass', until now. Now, Moritz can finally take action instead of uselessly treading water in a life that's trying to drown him - he can take it into his own hands, he can make it pass.

It had seemed like the only way out for so long--

Moritz can hardly believe how firmly gentle this practically-a-stranger is being now. All of Morgan's frustration at the misunderstandings seems to melt off and Moritz feels well and truly spoken to, not at, for the first time in weeks. Morgan doesn't shy away from what he's realized, doesn't brush him off - nor does he just call 911 without another word. This, whatever it is, it's just not what Moritz was expecting. (There's very little today that's resembled anything he might've been expecting, for that matter.)

In the wake of how he got here, Moritz is left feeling oddly still. He can reflect on things just a little easier, through the opposing combination of a sense of the surreal and the human contact of a conversation.

He feels, for the first time in his life, like he can speak about what's dark and wasteful inside himself. "This isn' me," he begins, voice barely above a whisper. "I don't..." He swallows, looks away for a few shy heartbeats and then back at Morgan's face. "I don't know what to do." There. He said it. It's the most honest, calm way he can explain what's happening, this confusion with only one imperfect solution.
Edited (icon) 2016-01-09 20:09 (UTC)
asanctuary: (∫ owls wisdom)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-12 05:28 pm (UTC)(link)
The first part that Morgan says is hard to hear, because it's exactly the sort of thing Moritz has been saying to himself; exactly the sort of thing he'd anticipated anyone he spoke to would say to him. The inability to help. The inadequacy of advice. The assertion that no one knows enough about Moritz to offer assistance, and doesn't Moritz know that one well. It's enough to have him feeling ever more downtrodden, even as he understands fundamentally that Morgan looks nonjudgmental about the whole affair.

And then he says 'something significant', and Moritz slowly looks back up at him, blinking dolefully. It should be encouraging. It should feel hopeful. Right now, though, all it does is feel like a terrible joke.

He coughs, just a little, at the smoke nearby - it's more of a nervous habit than a sensitivity to cigarettes, and Moritz doesn't look at all concerned about asking Morgan to stop. He's considering interrupting him - look, this is nice of you and all, but I've kinda already read enough self-help messages to know the platitudes by heart, it doesn't help when I've got no one t--

Morgan hits that right on the head, with no prompting. 'It's not going to just vanish as soon as I I right?/' Moritz suddenly feels very exposed and seen in a way that most people can't do. It's not common to have to confront someone who's suicidal, and emotions tend to run so high that the person in trouble can end up being buried underneath the tidal wave of every outsider's worry. But this is a calm look at what's happening, with no ego being shoved at Moritz alongside unsolicited advice. This is just an offer to be heard.

Whether it's his own fault for not knowing how to start that conversation and ask for that help, or other peoples' faults for never offering, Moritz doesn't know and doesn't care. It's just that it's left him with the fact that here, in this neon-sign-encrusted bar, is the first time someone's offered just to hear him.

He feels vulnerable under the attention, but it's also an attention that carries no oppressive weight. There's no threat to it, which is terrifying all on its own, but the offer itself isn't dangerous. The only thing Moritz is fearing now, he realizes, is himself.

He nods. "Yeah, y-yeah I'd-- I'd like that a lot, I think." The last part is said all on a sigh of relief. He looks down for a moment, a bashful half-smile flickering across his face. "If you've never had to do...this...with anyone else before, you're pretty good at it. For the record." He swallows down enough of his nerves to straighten up a bit, moves towards the tables at the far wall. If he's gonna start baring his soul to a stranger, he'd like to at least have a little privacy for them.
asanctuary: (∫ sanctuary)

[personal profile] asanctuary 2016-01-14 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Moritz just shrugs with a little smile, and follows over to the tables. He's not about to start an awkward 'no, you did fine' argument, because that's not really what's important right now. And, honestly, yeah, this might've been a little less weird if more information had happened more quickly, but there's really nothing left to argue with at this point.

Moritz slides into the booth - he's always liked booths more than tables with chairs, and he's privately relieved and pleased. He watches Morgan with rapt attention, like he isn't quite sure he's really there, or that he's going to stay. Morgan's words bring reality back just harshly enough that some of the wonderment dies. Moritz sits more upright, rocking back against the plastic-covered cushion. He's still sliding that backpack off his shoulders, and he sees Morgan's eyes track it. The dusty-tan bag gets dropped next to him on the bench.

"Uh, I guess the same thing that brings most people from Kentucky to other states. I'm goin' to college here." He says it with a tone that suggests a lot of rehearsal. It's the flat up-talk of someone who's said something they're not fond of too many times to strangers, but knows they're supposed to keep the conversation going rather than slow it down with any explanations. His eyebrows and the corners of his mouth both flick up in false cheer, and fade back away just as instantly.

It's so instinctive, he can't even stop it when they've explicitly gone into a booth to discuss him - Moritz immediately asks in return: "And you? What're you doing up here instead of Tennessee?"