Second Home



Scene Title Second Home
Synopsis In a terrible dream that feels all too real, Leroy's devotion to Yamagato is tested.
Date September 9, 2020

Leroy realizes he's nodded off only when his head lolls, jerking him back awake.

Everyone must have gone home for the night already. It's not unusual to find himself the last person on the floor. But all the lights are still on in the halls, and yet he's the only one around.

Not that it bothers him. Here is comfortable. Here, it might as well be home.

While there are a few places that Leroy could call his office, today he's working at the open office setup where he sometimes just decides to sleep under his desk.

When he wakes up, he's yawning and stretching, wearing his blue work Crocs, a pair of jeans that are far too baggy, and a company issued Yamagato t-shirt. "I'm stealing Jones' breakfast again, fuck that dickhead."

The walk to the floor's kitchenette is too quiet. So, music becomes his companion. It fills his ears while he makes his way, serves as company while he waits for the microwave timer to tick down.

It goes slowly, and focusing on the green numbers cycling down, the bright lights of the office building around him slowly dim at the edges of his perception. It becomes a nagging point only moments before the food is done, and with a blink, his vision's mostly restored.

He's free to head back to his home away from home to find a proper seat and to get back to work, then— scooping his prize up and a drink to accompany it.

But on the way back to his desk, he realizes he's no longer alone on the floor. To be precise, his space in particular his being occupied. The more unassuming looking white man in a suit sees sight of Leroy first on his return, Alvin Mott lifting a hand to tap the arm of Security Chief Eizen Erizawa to get his attention. When Eizen turns, he reveals a deskspace cleaned of personal effects, of the underdesk setup used when Leroy naps at work.

His project work is absent. All that remains is an empty box on top of the desk in front of the company-assigned computer, and the solemn look that Eizen gives Leroy as he approaches.

"What the fuck is this?" Leroy asks, surprised as he stares down at the box while holding his food. "Is this a joke? Am I being pranked? I'm pretty sure it's in my contract that I can't be pranked because I hate pranks, and I'm just trying to work and sleep." He stares at Eizen, as if there's some real audacity going on here.

"Yeah," Alvin says from Eizen's shoulder. "That's the problem."

Eizen himself gives Leroy a long look, trying to find the best way to phrase it. To give tact in a way his counterpart has not. "If we're being real about this…" he begins, the corners of his mouth turning back in a subtle frown. "It's not been working out for a while, Leroy."

The light on the floor seems so much more dim now. The office floor at once feels oceanic grades of vast and yet claustrophobic, each cubicle wall directly surrounding them looming closer and taller— until he turns to look.

But Eizen is shifting to hand Leroy the box, which turns out to have things in it after all, abruptly. It's not everything, but some of it's identifiably his. "It's time," he announces.

"I'm not going anywhere until I speak with Hachiro." Leroy crosses his arms and stands there, apparently choosing the confrontational approach. "If you want me out you'll have to move me out. I don't comply at all." He immediately moves from his position to go searching for the phone on his desk, apparently hellbent on calling Hachiro.

His phone isn't there, though. And the worst part is, he has an uncanny idea of where his phone is. Somewhere dark, cluttered, with the rest of his things… for all the good that detail does him.

Hidden out of sight, just like they'd like to do to him, apparently.

"I think you misunderstand," Eizen cautions. "You do have to comply, if you want this to…" He trails off, looking past Leroy's shoulder. The other people who work around him are here, suddenly, huddled away in a cluster and whispering to each other while waiting for the distraction of him to be cleared from the floor.

"Or we can do this the hard way."

The phone in its distant cluttered space suddenly sees light. Astonishingly bright, yellow

Fire. It sees fire. They put his stuff in an incinerator. What the fuck. What had that phone ever done to anyone? Furthermore, what had he ever done to them to deserve this?

Everything around Leroy feels dark except the spotlights of focus bathing around his desk space, and the murmuring gossipers of his coworkers. No one comes to his aid. Not even a wheelchair-bound man somewhere in that distant throng.


"What the fuck is your problem!" Leroy shouts, never one to hold back from what he's actually thinking and feeling. He suddenly charges Eizen to tackle him.

The thing is, Leroy is weak as shit and can't really fight even remotely, but he flings himself at Eizen like a useless sack of nerd anyway.

Everything feels dark, and strange, but Leroy is pissed, and it mostly fuels him to act and lash out than dwell on how depressing his situation is.

He worked hard to get here, contributed to society, and this is what he gets???

It's like hitting a brick wall. Worse, actually. Hitting a brick wall might make more sense as to why there's practically no reaction at all to charging Eizen. He doesn't even rock on being tackled, just— almost impossibly— reverses the energy thrown at him and brings Leroy down onto the desk.

It doesn't hurt, somehow, but it doesn't need to. The sting of the situation is enough on its own.

"I should've known." Eizen says from behind him in disdain. Pressure on Leroy's back keeps him flush with the desk while handcuffs are retrieved. In that time, someone else appears by his side; someone adorned in white.

"See how much they value you?" a pair of red-painted lips murmur into Leroy's ear. They smile, but it's a sad thing. The woman in white pushes herself onto the desk, leaning back in a sit so it's easier for her to see Leroy, and for him to see her. Eizen, Alvin, and the rest seem oblivious to her presence. "See what they will do to you?" Her dark hair is drawn back into a bun, short bangs framing the side of her face even still. Her skin is pale under the office lighting, highlighting the mournful curve of her mouth even more.


She brushes her fingertips through the ridges of Leroy's hair ever so gently. "They won't even remember your name when you are gone. 'Leroy who'?" The woman's sympathy breaks, dark brows pulling together over grey-toned eyes. "Your contributions mean everything to them," she whispers, her voice like smoke. "But you? You mean nothing to them."

"What the fuck is going on?" Leroy asks out of pure frustration and anger. If there's one thing he's known for other than being a nerd, it's being kind of grumpy and irritable when things aren't making sense, people are being stupid, or everything is just kind of frustrating.

"Who are you? What is happening?" He struggles, seemingly too frustrated to really think too deeply about things, he mostly seems ready to lash out at anyone and everyone in this aggressively grim situation. "Something's going on. This is bullshit! I don't care if I have to complain to President Nakamura herself!"

"What's going on is the inevitable," the woman with red-painted lips insinuates, her eyes never leaving Leroy's. She leans to the side, closer to him. With that closeness, her youth begins to peel back. Her hair begins to gray, her features begin to both smooth and sink— but her eyes never change.

Abruptly, the office space is gone. Around them is nothing but black— the pale office desk and the presence of Leroy and the woman the only thing that stands out. Whatever serves as the ground here doesn't appear to have anything to it at first— but then the shapes of Leroy's burned effects are notable.

"Nakamura's just like the rest. She and they will use you until they've taken too much…" The woman's eyes half-lid thoughtfully. When she slides off the desk to stand and begin wandering away, her youth returns. "And then—"

She holds up a hand, fingers snapping.

Leroy looks around when everything shifts so dramatically, and he shakes his head, closing his eyes for a moment. "Are you a telepath? An illusionist? What the fuck are you doing to my brain!?" he demands, realizing something is happening, but not sure what.

He immediately goes running for her, reaching for literally any part of her clothing to hold onto it tightly. "I'm here because I want to be, I'm doing the kind of work that I want to do, you don't know what you're talking about!"

He's distant and close all at the same time. Sense warps. When Leroy finally closes his hands around the white robes the woman wears, it's clear this can't be real at all— even paper he could imprint himself on.

And with her, nothing about her registers to his ability.

The darkness surrounding Leroy grows more oppressive, edging in around his view. When he looks up, the woman's face is impossible to make out.

All he can see is the smoke of her eyes, and all he can hear is multi-threaded laughter— the woman's voice both in its prime and at its most raspy, combined with something else…

Something demonic.

Yamagato Building

Yamagato Park

September 9, 2020

4:09 am

The lights are off when Leroy comes to at his desk with a start, drawing in a sudden breath to stave off the cloying darkness that had begun to pull at his mind. The act of just sitting up in his seat doesn't activate the motion sensors overhead right away.

It all still feels a little too much like the terrible dream he just woke from.

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