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2/27/2021 6:18:12 PM

Canceled Days, Page 4: The Cure For Depression (This…is not it)

[url=]Table of Contents[/url] “WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU, GUARDIANS?” [i]Traveler, what a man![/i] It takes every ounce of control in my body not to swoon as Lord Shaxx turns to face us, his broad chest puffed out proudly and fists planted firmly on his hips. Romy was expecting this, and takes advantage of my moment of weakness. Her elbow drives straight into my diaphragm, knocking the wind out of my lungs. She would pull a move like that on her own boyfriend?! Never have I been so betrayed, so offend- [i]The heel of her boot smashes down on my toes.[/i] -dead. I am dead. Romy slips out of my grasp as I double over, attempting an escape, but is blocked by Asahi and Isabelle. The ensuing scuffle is short-lived and Romy is forced towards Shaxx. Shaxx, no doubt confused but as stoic as ever, just watches in silence as Romy surrenders. I’m still doubled over, clutching my poor foot and waiting until my breath finally comes back to me. When it does I gasp, greedy for oxygen. Nobody asks me if I’m alright as I straighten myself, wheezing hard. Not my accomplices, not my traitor gf, not Shaxx. Thanks for caring about my wellbeing, guys, really appreciate it. I’m really feeling the love today. In my foot. Now I can add my pride and trust to the ever-growing list of things that just got bruised. “Ghost, heal me,” I grunt under my breath. His mechanical laughter fills my helmet, “Heal what? Your feelings? Your foot’s gonna be fine, just walk it off.” I grit my teeth, burning with the rage of a…a- an angry Warbeast! A flea-ridden Warbeast! SHANKS, I’m too mad and in-pain for freakin’ analogies right now! Stupid Ghost! He doesn’t even know what it’s like to have feet! Or to walk! Stupid, footless, glorified lock-picker! “Go on,” Isabelle demands, shoving Romy right up in front of Shaxx. Romy cowers before the giant; a hollow, ragged shell of her old self (A.K.A. her self less than a month ago, before this Canceled Days idiocy). Shaxx leans forward and lowers his voice (slightly) to a more gentle tone, concerned by her haggard appearance. “ROMY?” If my mind wasn’t currently occupied with a certain crippling injury, I might’ve marveled at the care and attention he gives to Crucible regulars. She glances back at us, visibly caving in on herself under the pressure. There isn’t a shred of her characteristic charisma or confidence left in her body. Nuh-uh, don’t expect any emotional support from me after what you did! Isabelle cups her hands in front of her helmet, “Do it, coward!” Romy looks back up to Shaxx and whispers, “Sorry, Lord Shaxx.” “FOR WHA-“ Romy wraps her arms around him, pulling herself in for an abrupt hug. Shaxx straightens, stunned. Her face presses against his chest-plate, hidden under a mess of hair. Shaxx stares down at her, then looks to us. We all gesture at Romy desperately, silently pleading for him to play along. “UH…THERE, THERE, WARLOCK…” Shaxx hesitantly rests one hand on her shoulder and uses the other to pat her back. A muffled squeak escapes from the cradled Guardian. Shaxx tilts his helmeted head to get a better look at her, “ARE YOU- IS SHE CRYING?” I can’t blame her. I’d cry too if I ever received the blessing of a hug from Lord Shaxx. I’m already on the verge of a nosebleed just seeing them together. This might be the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. Shaxx could steal my girl right now and I wouldn’t even object. We wait for awhile, letting Romy sob into Shaxx’s comforting bosom. The Crucible Handler is helpless. Eventually she gets ahold of herself and releases him, sniffling and rubbing at her eyes. I step forward and wrap an arm around her shoulders, pulling her away, “Feeling better?” “Shut up, that was embarrassing,” Romy snaps, halfhearted and shallow. “WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT?” Shaxx questions, looming over us. I glance up at him and shrug, “It’s, uh, well, we’re trying to cheer her up. You don’t wanna know.” “I THINK I DO,” he insists. “Em,” I look around as if an excuse will magically appear, “Sorry, the character limit doesn’t leave us enough room for repeating exposition.” “WHAT?” “Don’t worry about it,” Isabelle intervenes, planting herself in front of him, “We’ll take care of Romy.” She looks him up and down, then springs into him, arms spread wide for a hug. “GUARDIAN!” Shaxx barks in his surprise. “Nope!” Asahi scolds, grabbing the hood of her cloak and tearing her away, “That’s enough of that!” “C’mon!” Isabelle whines, “Just for a minute!” Asahi and I herd our charges away from Shaxx. He doesn’t follow, but calls after us, “ROMY. YOU CAN ALWAYS SPEAK TO ME. JUST…DON’T BRING YOUR FRIENDS NEXT TIME.” We make our way around the corner and to a more secluded area of the Tower before coming to a stop. “Okay, now what?” I ask. This heroically foolhardy plan to cheer up Romy wasn’t my idea to begin with. As if I could think up something as ridiculous as [i]‘Cure depression by hugging Lord Shaxx.’[/i] But I’ll admit that I appreciate the help and it might have actually worked a little. “Next step is simple,” Asahi states, “We do our own Doubles. We start a private match in the Crucible, just the four of us, and give it a go like we’re doing real Doubles.” “But without the whole Light power boost thing,” Isabelle adds, “That was dumb to begin with.” [i]Not as dumb as this plan.[/i] “Not as dumb as this plan,” I criticize aloud, “Anyone could do that whenever.” Isabelle shrugs, “That’s what everyone did the first few days after they announced that it was canceled.” “It’ll give her closure,” Asahi says. I’m pretty sure only a psychiatrist would know that, and I’m also pretty sure he’s not a psychiatrist. But I really don’t care enough to debate it. I look to Romy. She’s just standing there, staring at her boots. Seems like she doesn’t want to bother arguing either; she’ll just let these two have their way. Traveler, what is this dumb canceled holiday [i]doing[/i] to us? All I can do is hope that this actually makes Romy feel better. “Fine,” I grunt, “So, what, now we go start a match?” Asahi and Isabelle exchange a look. Oh no. “Actually,” Asahi begins, “It wouldn’t be the full experience without one final touch…” Isabelle smirks wickedly, “Hope ya like pink.”



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