Just nod if you can hear me (open)

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Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Harold Masterson on Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:25 pm

From relaxed to tense in only a second, Harry jerked up from his slumped position and sat up at full attention. His left hand was closed in a tight fist and daring blue eyes darted around the room. He was ready to cause severe bodily harm to anyone who thought it wise to be within arm’s reach of him. But as the sudden start and fight instinct began to settle Harry slowly became aware of the fact that, not only was there no one close by, he was completely alone in the room. Breathing steadily returned to a relaxed rhythm and the young blond sunk back on the couch, his head rolling back on his neck. What the hell? Had he fallen asleep or had he been so out to lunch that he hadn’t noticed the passage of time? His eyes turned down from the ceiling above, once again sweeping the room around him. He was still in the second floor recreation room, the book he’d scrounged up still sitting on the coffee table before him. Nothing around him seemed to have changed aside from the clock. Its hands had slowly ticked away a half an hour since he last looked.

These drugs were going to be the fucking death of him. He wanted to be angry, to lash out at those who’d fucked everything up for him. But he felt like a man in a hamster ball of cotton and a brain made of slippery noodles. Half the time he didn’t know what he was saying nor could he remember what he’d done earlier in the day. His mind was in a washing machine on spin cycle and there was no sign of it stopping any time soon. He wanted off these pills. They were fucking with him far too much. Not to mention he knew what their other side effects were and even though an opportunity to get off hadn’t come up just the knowledge that it would be an uphill battle irritated him even more. He hadn’t seen Cecil since that moment in the hall where he’d used all his strength to push the boy. It had momentarily made him feel better but the moment he turned the corner he was back to the same annoyed, foggy minded boy he’d been before. At least the other students had been smart enough to give him a wide radius. He may be medicated but he wasn’t to be underestimated.

Breathing out a sigh Harry slid forward some, bringing himself back into a sitting position. He didn’t know what to do with himself at this point. He was far too angry to let these indiscretions on the part of Aubrey or Cecil slide but at the same time he did not want to be like this for the rest of his life. This was what Bjorgen had been talking about all along, hadn’t he? The whole weighing of his options and making conscious choices about what he wanted. Yes, beating the shit out of Aubrey and Cecil would make him feel amazing right now but he’d be hating life when they put him in a straight jacket and locked him in a cell. Maybe he really should make more of an effort to not be a dick. He wanted out and the only way to do that was to not cause problems.

Easier said than done.

Hearing footsteps in the hall Harry leaned forward to grab the book of the table, making another attempt to read it. He had no idea how far he’d gotten or if he’d even started it but he opened to a random page and stared at it. He was behaving, see? All was quiet and nothing was happening. Harry’s eyes glanced over the top of the book, watching to see if whoever was passing by would be stopping in. Odds were that whoever it was would back out the moment they saw him. His reputation had spread through the school and most weren’t willing to be in the same room with him any longer than they had to. Which was fine by Harry because at this point being around people and not getting to do as he wanted with them was driving him mad.
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Milton Wenceslaus on Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:41 pm

Milton thought back on his first day at Highgrove with some lingering confusion and, more than that, curiosity. Experiencing his first group therapy session barely thirty minutes after check in had spun his head around, and he was still trying to get the kinks out of his neck. What was everyone so angry about? Why had Cecil been so nervous? He reminded Milton of a rabbit: scared, twitchy, fidgety, never completely at rest. He liked him well enough though. He had seemed nice even if he hadn't been at his best at the time Milton had met him. Rueben, the boy who had sat on his other side for the duration of the session, had come across as being very different from Cecil. They were both dark-haired, slender, and attractive, but Rueben did not exhibit the same anxiety Cecil did. If he had seemed on edge at all, it was because he wasn't getting enough attention. Milton was pretty good at picking up on these sorts of things. Besides, it was pretty obvious in the way Rueben responded to him, before and after the compliment about his hair, that he didn't want much to do with you if you didn't make an effort to reach out or respond to him. To his mind, this made Rueben pretty straightforward and easy to deal with, but Milton had a feeling he still might be a handful to share a room with. Because much to his surprise, shortly after returning to his dorm, he had discovered that Rueben and Cecil were to be his roommates. It was a strange coincidence, but Milton couldn't say that he was disappointed when he was interested in learning more about both.

Cecil seemed like the one who was more in need of a friend, if he was honest with himself. With Rueben's confidence and easy charisma, it wasn't going to be hard for him to charm his way into anyone's good graces. Milton wouldn't be surprised if he was already stringing along a number of boys and girls, hopelessly enchanted by his smile. Admittedly, it took more than a nice smile to intrigue Milton. It took mystery and depth; it took mutual understanding. He didn't even care if someone was particularly nice as long as they had the capability to put up with, and didn't go out their way to be cruel to, him. Milton was possessed by a singularly gentle spirit. Patient and kind, he didn't realize that others envied him for it. Despite Milton's clingy, sometimes childish, behavior, his friends from home had loved him and kept him around because he was so patient and kind, because he'd forgive them anything as long as it meant he still got to hang around. They coveted these qualities, hoping to learn Milton's ways by studying him, trying to figure out what made him tick and how his mind worked. Milton was completely oblivious to it, of course, but it wouldn't have made a difference if he had known. He was just happy to feel included, as if he belonged somewhere, because it was what he wanted more than anything.

Now he didn't know where he belonged. He had been through three different foster homes over the course of the past four years, but though his family was always changing, at least his group of friends had remained the same. He considered it a blessing that he'd never had to change schools, that the system had been able to find placement for him in his hometown every time. Was that a common thing? He wasn't sure, but he saw it as a stroke of luck nonetheless, one that he'd never taken for granted. Being away from Petersfield for the first time in his life came as a shock, because now he had no family and was going to have to make new friends, but he was willing to do what it took to be successful at Highgrove, to get in good with staff and residents alike. He was determined that he was going to make them love him, but first he needed guidance, someone to take him under their wing and show him the kind of love and unconditional care that had evaded him ever since he was a child. Up to and including this point, Milton's existence could be summed up as one long search for identity, for acceptance and belonging, and if he didn't find it at Highgrove, he might lose hope for it altogether. This was his last chance to find his place, to set his world to rights, and he had to make it count.

With this resolution set firmly in his mind, Milton took to the corridors at any easy pace, undecided on where he was going and in no particular rush to get there. The days since his arrival had been such a relentless flurry of activity that he hadn't had much of a chance to get out on his own and explore. Now that he had some free time, he looked forward to getting better acquainted with the building and the recreational options it offered. It wasn't long until his feet carried him to the second floor rec room. Peeking inside, Milton spied the top of a blond head of hair settled on one of the couches, as well as various other pieces of furniture, games, and a television. He crept in quietly, not wanting to disturb the other boy at his reading. Standing by the chess board, he idly toyed with one of the red pawns, then took up a deck of cards and casually began to shuffle them from hand to hand. He couldn't shuffle in a way anyone would consider fancy, just slid the cards in and out of each other for something to do. What he really wanted to do was go over and turn the TV on, but he knew that when he was reading, he didn't want to be disturbed by outside noise, so he resisted for the blond's sake.
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Harold Masterson on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:37 am

It was useless. Focusing on the words on the page was next to impossible and Harry couldn’t actually bring himself to care about the fake reading thing more than a few seconds after he’d picked the book up. Why had he even bothered? What did it matter to anyone who walked in if he were busy or appeared to be occupied? Then again, with Harry’s reputation, if anyone who knew him and found him just sitting alone in the otherwise empty room they’d probably run in fear. In his state of mind he wasn’t connecting these dots and had for some reason thought he should be doing something. He let the book sink into his lap, eyes going out of focus as he stared through it and to the floor just beyond his feet. Somewhere through the fog he wanted to continue his war path for Audrey and Cecil but…why? Everything was fan-fucking-tastic at the moment. He was fine. He…he didn’t know. Nothing felt right these days…or did it? Was it right? Stupid medication. Harry had never been drugged until he’d come to Highgrove and still wasn’t used to the effects it had on him. He wanted to say that he’d behave and never go back on the shit again but he knew himself better. The moment he went off the meds he’d likely rush out to find a box cutter and drag Cecil back to the attic. Only this time he wouldn’t be a fucking idiot and turn himself in. If he got away with it, that was it.

The footsteps nearing reached his ears but he did not look back up right away. He was too lost in whatever was happening in his head. After a moment, as the footsteps entered the room and began a path through it, blue eyes turned up to settle on the figure. Harry wanted to kick himself for thinking before all else that it might be Cecil walking in. Why did it matter? Odds were it would be one of the pathetic little shits who-…well well well. The young man who entered was not Cecil or one of the other pathetic little shits whom had found themselves on Harry hit list. Harry had never seen this boy before and it was quite a shame. After this long at Highgrove Harry had gotten to know the faces of the other boys well and he was certain he would have remember this one. The only logical explanation to this would be that boy was new. Under any other, less medication circumstances Harry would have started formulating a plan and made a move on him. He probably would have inviting him to play chess and made a bet with him as to what they’d do when the other boy lost.

But none of that happened. Harry tossed the ignored book onto the coffee table in front of him and turned on the couch, getting a better look at the dark haired male.“Hey.” A hand raised and waved to the boy, inviting him over and onto the couch beside him. Harry didn’t quite sound all there but it was the medication talking. “Who are you?” The benefit to the boy potentially being new would be that he did not know Harry’s reputation. That should have been obvious to the blond given the fact that he walked in and stayed in when he saw Harry sitting there. Harry guessed most would have back peddled out and moved along or tried to take advantage of his drugged state and fight him. He didn’t greet Harry when he entered but that didn’t mean he was avoiding contact or conversation. He had holding a book after all. Maybe his half hearted attempt to look busy had worked better than he thought.

Harry had no idea who he was in the room with now nor did he know what the guy’s issues were but it was entertainment. It beat sitting alone with a book he had no intention of reading. Maybe he’d even play nice and try to make a friend. Or not. Harry just wanted something to do and right now the latest addition to the rec room was going to provide that whether he liked it or not.


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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Milton Wenceslaus on Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:31 pm

Being new, Milton had not yet heard the name "Harry" or learned of his reputation, but even if he had, he would have shown no fear by going into that rec room. Everyone deserved a chance, according to him, and he'd rather find out what a person was like for himself rather than rely on hearsay. Perhaps it was a fault of Milton's that he was so trusting; his experiences over time hadn't yet jaded him. The same couldn't be said for many of Highgrove's wards, young folks grown old far too fast. Aside from the occasional bout of melancholy, Milton was a serene pool of stillness in an otherwise chaotic world. He put his trust in the hands of those who cared for him, and even after they failed him, still felt the continued pangs of loyalty and devotion, each layer of experience adding new depth to his character, strenghtening his resolve to find a place he belonged, somewhere he wouldn't be shunned or misunderstood. Whether or not Highgrove could provide that had yet to be seen, but he hadn't written it off, and wouldn't unless it became clear that no one here was willing to help him either. His previous families had given up on him too early, too easily. They'd barely given him a chance to prove himself, and he supposed on some level he resented it, but there was another part of him that understood the whys of it all too well and, for that, he couldn't be mad. "Holding a grudge" wasn't part of his vocabulary.

Beneath the calm facade, there was an intensity to Milton that was frightening to those who didn't understand, and unfortunately, most fell into that category. It surfaced most often when he was feeling desperate or threatened: desperate not to be left behind, threatened with abandonment. Once the boy had formed an attachment, it was for life, and difficult for the offended party to be rid of. It made Milton feel bad to be so needy, but considering the way he'd been treated for most of his life, it was understandable, wasn't it? He was at Highgrove to get better, but what if he couldn't be fixed? What if the fault wasn't with him but with the families who had taken him in? He knew that if he could just find someone who wouldn't give up on him, who would stick by him even at his worst, he could get better. Every time someone came into his life he assumed it was forever, but if he kept getting burned, one day he might just...give up, and the thought scared him. He didn't want to give up, but sometimes it was so hard to keep going, especially when it seemed like history was doomed to repeat itself over and over again.

Milton felt Harry's eyes on his back before he heard him speak, and he turned slowly to see the other boy waving, a silent invitation to join him over on the couch. Guileless hazel eyes sparked, lit up like someone had pulled the cord on a single light bulb in a darkened room. He was glad to be acknowledged, unsure of how much longer he would have been content to stand there shuffling a lonely deck of cards. Returning the wave, he replaced the deck where he'd found it and let his hands hang loosely at his sides as he crossed the room and carefully sat himself on the edge of the couch beside the boy, keeping a polite but interested distance between them. He had a beautiful, cruel-looking face, his features so noble and haughty they were downright aristocratic in appearance. If not for the modern clothes, he could have been a transplant from 19th Century France, part of the privileged nobility. Milton smiled to himself at the comparison, silently wondering if the blond would like it if he told it to him. Maybe later, if the beginning of their conversation went well. It would be too weird to say that to a stranger before you'd even introduced yourself, and he didn't want to put him off right away, not if they had a chance of being friends.

"I'm Milton," he offered, his voice so soft and delicate it might have been a girl's. "You must not like your book very much if you want to talk to the new kid," he continued, gesturing at the volume. The laugh that followed was breathy, barely there, modest without being self-deprecating. He leaned forward on his elbows, the bridge of his interlaced hands supporting his chin, all his attention fixed on his new acquaintance. Milton was very good at paying attention as well as listening, and everyone found it flattering in the beginning. "What's your name?"
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Harold Masterson on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:23 pm

If Milton was a serene pool of stillness then Harry was the stone that were being cast into it. Or perhaps he was the fish that lurked deep below the pond, giving it the illusion of calm, and then rushed toward the surface after an insect. Whatever he was, Harry was the disturbance in the pool. He caused the ripples to form and grow, spreading out across the water until they crashed into the banks. Wherever he went he caused problems for someone in some way and his effects were usually still felt even after he’d gone. Coming to Highgrove took him away from his family and the country club where he caused the most damage but there was no doubt that he was still on the minds of the people he left behind. They were still remembering, still hurting. He suspected they were constantly glancing over their shoulders, wondering if he’d walk through the door. Harry could picture them tensing at the sight of a blond head over a hedge, fear growing in their bellies, until the rush of relief hit when they realized it was another man. This was what Harry wanted. He could kick, punch, and hit all he wanted. But real power was leaving that lasting impression in those you hurt. Making sure they do not close their eyes without checking to see if you were lurking nearby first.

It was very likely that Milton would be added to the list of victims if only he had the clarity of mind to see what he had before him. Right now, through the haze and the ‘everything is fine’ fog, he saw a naïve boy who’d just sat down with a monster. The lamb lying down with the lion, so to speak. Only the lamb and lion were not in peace in this scenario. The lion had been fed recently and his meat had been pumped full of drugs, keeping him sedate. Otherwise, he would have turned hungry eyes on the little lamb and eaten him alive. So, for now, Milton was as safe as one could be in the company of Harry. It was probably wise of the doctors to keep him drugged for now. Harry had previously been on a man hunt but with the lorazepam he could not be bothered. Every now and then the thoughts returned but…nah. Not now. Maybe later. He didn’t feel up to moving so Audrey and Cecil got to breathe another breath.

Tired eyes followed Milton as he moved around to perch on the side of the couch. He had enough wherewithal to see that the boy was completely focused on him. How polite of him. “Harry.” He responded to the name, his voice heavy with the influence of the medication. Fuck this shit. He wanted to hate everything, wanted to vent his anger on the boy across from him. But…he just couldn’t get there. He wasn’t pissed really at all. A sigh rushed from behind his lips as his head dropped back onto the couch, eyes turning up to the ceiling. This sucked.

Bored? Hell yes, he was bored. “You…have no idea. I can barely put two and two together anymore. It’s annoying as all fuck. So, make me less bored.” His head rolled to the side, bright blue eyes running along the other boy’s body. Not bad. He made a note to commit the name and face to whatever memory he had left, wanting to revisit this boy when he wasn’t drugged to the gills. “What are you in for?” He wasn’t concerned or anything, just curious. It seemed that a lot of the boys at Highgrove were as sick, if not worse, as him. Maybe the boy liked eating eyes or had a kink for urine. Not that it really mattered to him. Under most circumstances Harry wouldn’t have initiated conversation but this wasn’t anything resembling normal. He would have probably insulted the boy, put him down in any way he could. If he was in a bad mood he wouldn’t have bothered talking and gone right for the neck, perhaps pinning him to a wall and roughing him up so he could get off. But right now Milton had Harry in rare, talkative form. It was amazing that medication could do to a person.
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Milton Wenceslaus on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:02 am

Milton had no idea how lucky he was to catch Harry at a moment like this, dazed and disconnected by the meds he was on. It didn't even occur to Milton at first that he was medicated, just that he looked tired and sounded as if, in addition to the boredom, he hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before. However, when the boy stated that he could barely put two and two together, Milton decided it mustn't be that simple. He could always be an insomniac, but he didn't have that long-suffering look about him, the telltale shadows under the eyes. "Make me less bored." Well now... The statement was fairly demanding, and caught him by surprise, but it wasn't one he was unused to. Milton was accustomed to asking "how high?" when someone told him to jump, and felt terrible whenever his execution disappointed or, against his better judgement, he ignored the request. It was easier to give people what they wanted than deny them, to try his best to make them happy in any way he could, even if he only did it in the misguided, selfish interest of winning their affections. There was a limit to how far he was willing to go...unless under threat of physical violence or removal of those affections, and then he'd do what he had to in order to ensure his limbs and heart stayed intact. In the case of the latter, it hadn't worked out so well up until now. No matter how hard he tried, Milton seemed doomed to drift aimlessly around the planet without a home, forever without a family, without anything or anyone to call his own, and if it was something he was doing wrong, he hadn't figured it out yet.

Still thinking about how to accommodate Harry, Milton watched the other boy and noted how his eyes ran over his body, and coming from him it was a strange feeling, like a wire brush rasping over his skin, prickly and uncomfortable but not enough to make him squirm. His first instinct, rather, was to self-consciously wrap his arms around his torso, feeling naked and unsure of whether or not the other boy liked what he saw, but he suppressed the urge. Harry wasn't cringing to look at him, so that was a good sign. Then again, maybe he was too doped up to do anything about his facial expression, or lack thereof. Milton was consistently unnerved by people who didn't let their thoughts or feelings play on their face. Body language was a great indicator of how a person felt, and when he couldn't tell, he wasn't sure how he should act or what he should say. The smallest clue could set Milton's mind at ease, making any decision that much easier. At least for now, the question about what he was doing at Highgrove momentarily freed him from thinking up a cure for boredom. It still took him a moment to puzzle out how he should explain why he was there. He wasn't even sure that he should be there, so he thought back to what the others had said, why they had told him he needed Highgrove and how it could help him.

"Well, my therapist said that I depend on other people too much, and it hurts them, makes them uncomfortable. I don't understand it, honestly, but...I don't understood much of anything, including myself." Milton shrugged, the gesture and his expression vaguely apologetic, as if he already had something to be sorry for despite just having met this boy. He supposed it was a natural reflex, to apologize for any perceived or anticipated wrongs before they happened. "I've been in and out of foster homes since I was twelve. I guess they finally decided it wasn't working for me. I'm not sure, though, maybe I just haven't found the right home. My therapist told me I have to think of Highgrove as my home now, but it's not the same as having a real family." Again, a noncommittal shrug, as if he was waiting to hear Harry's thoughts on the matter before he said anything more decisive. Besides, he should give the other boy a chance to talk. He feared he'd said too much and bored the ever-living stuffing out of him when he was meant to be doing the opposite. Milton wasn't particularly verbose for a teenager, having always favored a quiet disposition, but in the right company, on a topic he was fond of, he could talk for ages. He liked sharing and communicating, but because the opportunities for it were few and far between - happily ceding group discussions to those who were best at it - it didn't often show. He was much more prone to expressing himself through acts of service rather than verbal affirmation. Freakishly loyal, Milton was the sort of boy who might not know what to say to ease your pain, but he'd stay by your side, steadfast and unwavering, throughout it.

"Anyway, what about you? And what do you like? If you're bored we should find something to do, right? It's your call. I was thinking about watching the telly earlier, but we don't have to." Milton smiled softly, ever obliging and completely unaware of what he might be getting himself into with those words. With Harry not exactly being himself, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. He certainly didn't have the forethought or knowledge to guess at where things could go wrong.
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Harold Masterson on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:00 pm

There would come a day when Milton saw the monster out of the cage and free to roam. It would just not be today. The young man was far more fortunate than Maggie or Cecil, having met the beast fairly early on. Would it surprise Milton to later find out that the relaxed, distant eyed boy sitting with him now was the same who’d raped and tortured a boy and beat a girl’s face in? Did he look like the same animal he was known to be? When conscious of himself and his actions Harry made sure everyone knew what they were getting in with, liking the air of power that radiated from his skin. People dodged out of his way when they saw him coming, backing behind corners to stay out of his line of sight. Those who thought they were big stood up to him, which always made his day more fun. Sooner or later they found themselves at eye level with this expensive boots. Dirt and blood swirled on their faces like some dark chocolate raspberry dessert and it always made him hungry for more. Harry loved watching the ‘big kids’ fall to their knees and beg for him to stop, pleading for him to have some mercy.

But now that boy was miles away and wrapped in the softest of cottons, cradled by the gentlest of clouds. There was nothing wrong with anything going on in the world around him. He just wanted something to do that didn’t involve staring through a wall. But was that really so bad? To sit and lull away the hours in a drug educed haze? Why was it a problem when the medication was forced on him but if he popped the pill recreationally he would have welcomed the clouds that would carry him away? That high he could come down from. The perpetual state of la la land wasn’t as enjoyable as it might have been otherwise. However, with Milton here now he might have a little more fun. The boy was pretty and seemed willing to talk at him.

Harry’s head rolled a little, his eyes moving in the same motion as he began. “You? Make people uncomfortable?” He breathed a disbelieving laugh at the very idea. “I seriously doubt you could scare a rabbit let alone hurt people…” Maybe if he tried really hard and had the element of surprise on his had he could scare the hiccups out of a person. Outside of that, Milton seemed about as harmless as Harry was dangerous. He wasn’t entirely listening as Milton went on to explain his living situation and how he bounced from home to home. That was boring. If he wanted a sappy story like that he’d have stayed with the book on the table. He once again became interested when the conversation turned back to himself. Now that was more like it. “I like to play the guitar…or piano. I’ve been told I have a gift for music. Most people think I’m nothing but a brute but there more to me than that. Well…not much more but there is something.” He had no idea what the hell he was saying so he just let it roll. “I like to cook. The shit our family cook made tasted like ass but for some reason my family at up like starving babies. I made my own food…”

But what to do now? He had no guitar or piano to play and he highly doubted anyone would let him within ten feet of the kitchen. Heavy eyes turned away from Milton and lazily slid over the room, trying to find something to do. His eyes settled on the cards that the boy had been shuffling. “Get the cards.” He said, motioning to them absently. “We’ll play a game.” He didn’t know if he had the mental capacity to play cards or keep a poker face but he’d sure as well try. What else would they do besides sit and make idle small talk?
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Re: Just nod if you can hear me (open)

Post  Milton Wenceslaus on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:35 pm

"I don't...hurt people physically..." Just the suggestion made Milton's insides squirm, as if he'd swallowed a handful of live eels. He twisted his fingers in his lap, trying to suppress the discomfort he felt at the thought. He would never hurt someone intentionally, and he'd never meant for his affections to make anyone uncomfortable, but it had happened anyway. He was misunderstood, but he wasn't a monster, not like the kids he heard about who beat up others or tortured animals for sport. That kind of behavior wasn't okay, and most people would agree to that, so why was his behavior wrong when it was done out of love? Surely there could be no such thing as loving too much. That was just ridiculous, preposterous, unfathomable. If hatred was a cancer, then it should stand to reason that love was the cure, and if that was indeed the case - as he firmly believed it to be - then how could it ever be wrong? It had been wrong of him to take others' things without permission, that much was true, but he'd apologized for it, and it wasn't as if he'd intended to sell their possessions for money or drugs or some other selfish gain. He just wanted something of the person to hold onto when he couldn't be with them. It didn't make him crazy...it didn't!

Milton was glad when the conversation moved on and Harry didn't seem to notice his internal conflict. As spacey as he was, it was likely he wasn't picking up on much of anything in the way of outer frequencies. Milton didn't know at the time that it was something to be grateful for, but he'd soon learn just how lucky he'd been to escape his first meeting with the infamous Harold Masterson unscathed. It was the least of his problems that the mysterious blond thought he was boring, and even if he'd known that he felt that way, he wouldn't have been offended. In fact, he might have even laughed, because although his life story wasn't particularly interesting, it wasn't as if Harry had the most winning personality he'd come across either. Milton was willing to blame that on whatever medication he was on, but still...better conversations had been held between him and his bedroom wall. It didn't mean he didn't deserve a chance, however. Harry shunned boredom but Milton knew that it was just a part of life, something that came and went as randomly as the changes in the weather. No use trying to resist it when rolling with it was bound to yield the better result. It was going to happen whether you liked it or not, so why not try to make the best of it?

Surprised to learn that Harry was a musician, Milton's hazel eyes popped, his cherub's lips parting in genuine interest. "Wow, that's brilliant. I always wanted to learn how to play an instrument. Do you have your own guitar here? I've seen some kids with instruments. They're nice to listen to. Doesn't seem to be a lot of music around here otherwise." Milton didn't have a laptop or MP3 player or any of the shiny, technological gadgets most kids his age did, but he wasn't about to bore Harry with the details. Unfortunately, he had no one to send him those things either. Maybe James would, if he wrote him and asked, but maybe he wouldn't; maybe the letter wouldn't even reach him. He'd heard that they read the mail here, inbound as well as outgoing, and Milton wasn't sure he wanted to risk disappointment either way. Luckily, his imagination was active enough that the fun mental fodder it provided could last him for hours before ennui inevitably set in and he had to go looking for entertainment elsewhere.

His eyes followed the motion of Harry's hand as it swept toward the deck of cards he'd abandoned several minutes prior. Milton didn't know a lot of card games except for what he'd been taught as a child, but he was always willing to learn. The games that he knew didn't require much more mental capacity than that a five-year-old could boast, but maybe that was exactly what they needed right now. Rising from the couch without protest, Milton raised his arms over his head and stretched languidly as he moved across the room. His body was young, but sometimes it felt so old. Sometimes he felt so old. The joints in his shoulders popped and creaked as they rotated, and Milton tried not to wince at how loud it sounded in the otherwise quiet of the room. It was empty but for the two of them, so still that he thought he could hear the other boy breathing from across the way. Releasing his arms back down to his sides, Milton swiped the deck of cards and beat a hasty retreat back to the couch, idly fanning them out on the coffee table in front of them. "So...what do you want to play?"
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Milton Wenceslaus

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