Overwrite Save?


devon5_icon.gif emily4_icon.gif

Scene Title Overwrite Save?
Synopsis A night of videogaming turns into the perfect opportunity for a prank spree across an empty Bastion.
Date October 31, 2020

The Bastion

It's quiet in the Bastion tonight.

It's one of the reasons Emily agreed to come around.

She's curled up in a one blanket wrapped around her torso and legs, while another sits around her shoulders. The lounge space has comfortable seating, even if the wide open spaces of brick, concrete, and wood don't exactly retain heat well. The lack of encroaching walls and the high ceiling reduce the feeling of claustrophobia that's occasionally plagued her lately, while the colorful screen in the dark before her draws her in and makes her forget about how simultaneously open and vulnerable she feels without a wall directly at her back.

In her lap, her hand is loosely curled around her phone only, the controller relinquished to Devon. She brought her games, tonight. Nostalgic RPGs a generation past the lower-bit games he normally played, ones she was just as happy to watch him explore. Final Fantasy seemed like a good way to spend the evening, she'd indicated.

He even looked like Tidus a little, she'd teased him.

But the signals used to express as much were mostly gestures and showing, the words themselves sparse. Speaking still felt wrong sometimes, for reasons she was having trouble articulating. Sometimes she'd text rather than risk it.

He could hear something in her voice shift when she was struggling— hear the extra weight to her words when it was plaguing her most. The transition back to being her hadn't just been a struggle physically to reclaim strength and dexterity— it went beyond. Whether the difficulty she was having with her ability was related to the ordeal of mentally readjusting, or something more, remained to be seen.

Emily leans to the side, her head resting on Devon's shoulder and her long hair shifting to pool against him. Her observation of his navigation lapses as her eyes drift shut, taking comfort in his closeness.

It was something Devon understood all too well, if from other sources. Trauma, no matter the cause, had a way of stripping one’s self and turning even the simplest tasks into the greatest challenges. His patience and understanding for Emily’s struggles seem limitless and balanced with gentle guidance to help her find words or make choices, with no judgement when she lapses into what's easier. It takes time to recover self and faculties. That is something he continues to work on himself, with Huruma’s guidance.

The gameplay, once under his control, has been fairly mundane. He's barely moved into the story, beyond the initial opening sequence, and has since spent much of his time talking to NPCs and examining everything for hidden treasures. One could accuse him of purposefully avoiding progression and they'd be right — however he'd shrug it off as a means of denial. It's his turn and he will play how he wants.

When Emily leans into him, he angles a look at her. A shift of his arm brings it around her shoulders, and an excuse to pause playing. “You okay?” Devon tucks a lock of hair behind Emily's ear.

"I'm fine," she promises with an airy lightness, her head beginning to lift in a proving of that fact before she simply resettles against his side. "Just…"

Her thoughts had started to roam. Nowhere bad, this time, but they had nonetheless. "Thinking," she admits cautiously. In the sudden silence in the lounge, in the building at large, she finds at once peace and hollowness.

"No fireworks this year," Emily notes in that same whispery tone.

“No,” Devon acknowledges quietly, after allowing a moment to pass in case there was more Emily had wanted to say. It also gives him a chance to gauge the weight and evenness of her tone. If there was anything troubling her now, he'd possibly hear it in her voice first.

“I looked to see if they were hosting anything this year, guess they're taking turns with Deveaux this year.” Speculation comes along with his character moving on the screen again. “They're hosting a gala tonight. Maybe we can go to the next one.”

The character on the screen wanders with that same aimless pattern. He's already visited everyone and everything he can, and the wobbling loop Devon makes eventually, finally, leads into a progression sequence. His eyes stray from the screen as the imagery changes and angle to look at Emily again.

“What were you thinking about?”

Emily lets out a huff of a laugh, a smile coming to her. Those were coming more easily now, even if she was just as easily liable to turn somber or anxious. After the initial joy, and then a period of shellshocked overwhelmedness, she was making good progress in expressing herself again— even if it came with nerves.

She lifts her head to glance at Devon out of the corner of her eye. "Halloween fireworks aren't…" With a shake of her head, the smile ticks a moment wider. "I meant, you— you didn't do fireworks this year." A moment of hesitation follows, an inhale of breath.

The world hasn't ended because she said more than five words. Maybe she's doing better? Her voice doesn't have the weight she's come to recognize as her when her ability is active, anyway.

That helps her relax some. Her arm loops around the crook of his. "But Liz is home now, isn't she. There's— you don't need to light a firework for her anymore." Her eyes drop down to her phone and she lets out a thoughtful hum at that.

Her thoughts go to the gala next, and she thumbs the screen of her phone active. "Halloween gala? That'll be hard to top."

“Oh.” That. He hadn't considered that's what Emily could have meant by fireworks. It's been two years since his last paper lantern had been sent to the sky, and for a brief second he wonders if the other him had sent one last year. “Yeah, with Liz back it's… it seems a little silly to keep doing.”

Following a tip of his head, and a quick press of his cheek to Emily’s hair, Dev returns his eyes to the screen. “It's some high society thing. I mean, most of Wolfhound is there, so it's not unattainable.” He shrugs slightly, glancing away from the animation on the screen. “Besides, I’d rather be here playing video games with you instead.”

Emily abruptly cracks a grin, a wry one. "Even if it's my shitty new-age games?" she teases him.

PlayStation 2 games were hardly new-age anymore, so maybe it's more a dig at him than her.

The smile persists as she looks down at her phone, letting out a chuckle. It holds even through a pang of guilt from taking him away from being with his teammates. He said he was fine here, after all. But… still.

"We should have planned better," she offers up loftily while thumbing her way through a message. "Could have— set up something fun for them when they got back. Saran wrap over doorways. Jumpscares. Something. Like a haunted house."

Emily says it all without a blink or so much as an ounce of glee. After the pranks she's used to having pulled on or near her, she's just being practical at this point.

“Even with your shitty new-age games,” Dev counters, grinning. “And for the record,” he goes on, teasing now, “you called them that first.” Just so they're clear.

Her idea earns a slow shrug and a stretch of silence. It's unusual to hear Emily suggest anything that could be considered shenanigans, and he needs a second to process. Pranks are something he's fond of, although he hasn't participated since Avi one-upped his last attempt.

Devon leans slightly to the side and looks at Emily trying to determine if she's actually considering or laying out the framework for a prank of her own. “There's still time,” he says slowly, like easing into a murky and unfamiliar pond. “I mean… it could still happen.” It's not like there aren't supplies around the Bastion that they couldn't pilfer from.

Emily elbows Devon when he ribs her over her games, giving him a dose of side eye in return before she looks down at her phone.

If she's playing a long game, she's got an excellent poker face for it.

"What's the over/under on murder as retaliation from the others?" she asks, too casual to be serious but too well-informed for it not to be. But either way, she's not deterred. She blinks languidly as she turns off the screen of the device in her hand, eyes flashing back to Devon. "I call dibs on his office."

It's on, now.

She surges to her feet, albeit unsteadily. A hand is pressed to the couch back to keep her balance when her coordination protests against the sudden movement. Once her feet are untangled, then she's off for the kitchen at the end of the lounge space. "There's plastic wrap, right? You guys eat take-out constantly, there's got to be."

“It's in the drawer,” Devon turns as he speaks, slow to leave the couch but curious to see how far Emily’s planning to go. Has he ever told her what happened the last time he messed with one of Avi’s spaces? “Next to the fridge.” He doesn't doubt the warning that came with that brand of payback, but that doesn't mean he hasn't wanted to get back at the gotten back either.

“There's probably some stuff we can use from the shop,” he goes on. The controller is set down, and he gets to his feet. “Make some spiders or…” He snaps his fingers.

“I think Rue left a mannequin head here.” He grins faintly, a familiar and mischievous glint in his look. “Grab the pickles, too. I've got some ideas.”

It's Emily's turn to be taken aback now. She pauses with the drawer open, looking over her shoulder with a furrowed brow. "… Pickles?" There's a vaguely horrified sweep over her expression, and then she's back to grabbing the plastic and aluminum wrap for herself, laying them on the counter.

"The fuck are we doing with pickles?"

“You ever looked inside the jar and saw how the silhouette of your fingers look like pickles?” Devon asks as he wanders toward the fridge to get the jar out himself. “Or realized how those pickles that you can’t quite see in detail look like fingers? Don’t worry, the pickles will be fine and no one’s going to be suddenly missing fingers.”

After pulling open the fridge, and finding the jar he’d requested, he nods his head toward the hallway. “There’s some oil based clay we use for the explosives. It’s harmless, but we’re going to make old, preserved fingers,” or he will, if Emily’s reluctance continues, “and put them in the jar.”

Emily slowly begins to squint one eye in skepticism, considering Devon and then the jar he produces. "That's a stretch," she pronounces, but she won't stop him. Her plans are more of the nuisance, in-your-face variety.

"If Scott is out in the garage, I'll just tell him the duct tape is needed for an important cause. He'll understand."

Given how frequently her ability has come into her voice recently, often without her realizing it… he might not have an option but to understand, with how strongly Emily feels about it. But she looks up with a small, sincere smile, holding up the containers of foil and plastic in a brief gesture. "I'm going to go check," she pronounces, then begins to head off for the door without anything to steady her. She keeps her free hand by the door, the boxes balanced in the other, ready for if she should falter again. But determinedly, off she zips.

He follows as far as the door, but from there watches Emily head down the hall. After a beat, he follows at a much slower pace. He still worries about her recovery, and it wouldn't take him long to catch up if she were to slip or stumble, but Devon makes it a point to hold himself back. No one regains what they lost if they're helped out all the time.

And besides, he's going to have to duck into Rue’s old room to get that mannequin head for his part in the pranks.

When Emily returns from the garage, she's a little breathless— from just a slip, she swears— and more importantly has a circle of electrical tape worn as a ring, with a bracelet of duct tape to boot. She's prepared, now.

And grinning besides, filled with mischief.

She's still hellbent on familiar targets first, though, and she stalks to the second story to find Avi's office. The door is pushed open with an elbow, the light flicked on with another, and she heads into the space fearlessly, dumping boxes right on top of the paperwork present without even the slightest bit of snooping or consideration for those contents. She works her way around the desk to the chair, the aluminum foil clattering as she pulls off a long strip of it.

For wrapping around the cushion.

Okay, her pranking may so far be more about tiny acts of inconvenience rather than legitimate griefing, but she's spirited about it.

Inconvenience can be just as amusing as griefing, which is why Devon doesn't even question what Emily is doing when he reappears at the office door with the bodiless mannequin head and an assortment of markers and a small lump of what is presumably clay. He must have done something with the pickle jar while he was missing from the scene because that's no longer in his possession.

He ducks through the doorway, intentionally, in case a sheet of plastic wrap has already been strung across it. Then he spends a moment surveying the space to find just the right spot.

“Should it be in a drawer?” The question is asked quietly, not exactly directed at Emily but wondered aloud. “Maybe on a shelf.” In plain sight or half hidden would be another consideration. But first…

Devon sets down on the floor to begin molding clay onto the head, elongating features to be filled in and detailed with marker.

As she finishes taping up the chair, Emily glances to see Devon's progress and pauses in her own. Drawer? she wonders. She reaches down to pull open the desk's large drawer, seeing what lies within. Unsurprisingly, bottles rattle as the container rolls forward, and she represses, barely, a frown. Her hand dips beneath the surface of the desk, fingertips brushing over the tops of both bottles she sees. One, a half-filled whiskey. Tipping the label up, it looks cheap.

The other, her touch leaves a trail of cleaned dust on it. It's smaller, and when she pulls it up to sit on the top of the desk, she sees it's still sealed. Bourbon. Her head tilts at it.

Maybe there's a story here, one behind both. She looks briefly to the instruments of mischief also on the desk, still uninterested in the paperwork that lies underneath it, and then back to the doorway.

"Not in here," she answers Devon's question to himself, quiet but very sure of it. "We're … Let's spread it around." Abruptly, she decided to take the second bottle as well, then closes the drawer again with her knee. "This is enough for him." A mild inconvenience, and a lack of alcohol to drink it away with. Emily looks back to where he sits, trying to determine if he's made enough progress— if he's ready to go yet, or he'd need longer still with his preparations.

Devon half looks up from shaping a heavy brow and deep set eye sockets to glance in acknowledgment of Emily's answer. Not here? He doesn't argue though, as he resumes work on forming the clay to enhance cheekbones, chin, and ears. Whatever else is happening at the desk, he pays no notice to until he's come to a pausing point to consider his art.

He raises the head to be eye level with himself. Some details are lacking, such as the eyes will be lost in a darkened room, but it's safe to bet on him having a plan for that. After a second he looks over at Emily — crafted head turns with him to look too — and lifts a single brow at the pair of bottles she's confiscating.

“You… might just want to hide those.” He nods toward the liquor, willing to go along with the pranks but offering an ounce of experience. Without explanation. “This is just about good to hide. I've got some glow tape. I wish Rue’d left a wig behind because with some hair on this thing…” Devon grins, a rare and mischievous look. “Where’re you thinking it should go?”

Emily looks down for a moment at the bottles, then offers a wordless shake of her head, without explanation for her part either. She wasn't entirely sure what she wanted to do with them yet, but she'd figure it out shortly. For now, she takes them into the hall, setting them down near the door. It frees up her hands to grab the plastic wrap, preparing to unspool it.

She looks to the mannequin head after with a thoughtful turn of her own. The sight of a smile on his face brings an unconscious, tiny echo of it on her own. "Honestly?" Blue eyes shift to Devon next with a quirk of her brow. "I would put duct tape on the bottom— slap it upside down inside the fridge or freezer. Maybe a cabinet— wherever the coffee is stored." It's only after she's said that much that she feels something trying to creep into her voice, unnatural convincingness threatening the edges of her words. Her grasp tightens around the box in her hand as she blinks hard, looking away.

"It's your choice, though," Emily emphasises, hoping she's not too late in saying so. "I just don't think you should leave it in here. If it's just me, then he should leave you alone." Because that's how this works, right? Maybe if they were dealing with sane and rational prankees. She chooses to overlook that truth in this moment, though, beginning to unravel some of the plastic as she lifts the box over her head to try and eyeball the needed length and best spot for placement.

"Which door belongs to Francis?" she asks absently. Even out of the loop for the better part of a year, she still knows who's on top of the give-grief-to list around here.

The coffee? That would be in, “Elliot’s room?” Devon might have phrased the idea as a question, but he's pretty sure that's where the good stuff, which is always available in the break room no matter the hour, is hidden. Since the hound returned to the pack, no one else has been allowed to make the coffee. But in the spirit of pranks, he's not opposed to leaving his creation someplace where it can watch Elliot.

“His office or his room,” Dev asks as he ducks through the doorway and back into the hall. He sets the head on the floor and then turns to help Emily with the plastic wrap. Once she's decided on the length of the piece needed, he can hold it in place for her taping, ensuring it's stretched tight enough to be easily missed.

A piece at head-height, and one low to the ground to trip over, and she's satisfied. Once done, Emily carefully balances the armful of boxes and alcohol, glancing back to Devon once she's upright again. "His room?" she decides, cautious in that.

But fuck it. Why not go directly for the door to his quarters.

The caution is mirrored, if briefly and because he's hesitant to vandalize someone’s living space. The office is different, and somehow Devon can rationalize the grief Emily has left for Avi as allowable. But if it's a room they're going to target, there's got to be some limits.

“Keep it simple.” The vague lilt in his tone hopefully softens the suggestion. “Just plastic wrap his door, maybe smear some hydraulic grease on his doorknob. We aren't going inside though.”

Emily nods her assent, brighter in mood than before. "Excellent." She even begins to smile again. There's a burst of energy in her, one that nearly leads her to declare she'll race him there. If she weren't carrying her spirited alcohol, maybe she even would. Otherwise, even tripping while she ran would still be worthwhile, something to hopefully laugh about.

"Come on," she encourages him, jogging ahead if only by a few steps before she slows again. A laugh bubbles from her after all in her excitement. There's nothing save from mischievous joy in the sound that carries down the hall.

At least instead of a ghostly thing, it sounds full of life once more.

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