unpriest: (Glance)
Muroi Seishin ([personal profile] unpriest) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-08-02 10:04 am

Day 65: Arts & Crafts Room (Fourth Shift)

Seishin didn't have the opportunity to visit the arts and crafts room before, but handicraft wasn't something the former priest had ever been particularly skilled at. He would have been content with remaining in the library, but the nurse insisted that he'd pursue a more social activity than something so isolating as reading a book. Pushing one's own ideas of what was good for them onto others was not something limited to just Sotoba, he guessed, and in the end Seishin had little choice but to quietly follow along.

The room was still empty when Seishin entered, leaving him with little else to do but eying the materials with relative uncertainty.

[Dr. Facilier]
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
"I see," was Skulduggery's uncertain response to his nurse when she talked about an Arts and Crafts room. "I'm really not that handy with a pair of scissors." At least not in the usual fashion, he almost added, but a comment like that in a mental institute probably wouldn't go over too well. His protests fell on deaf ears besides, and after a very wary trek through the Sun Room he'd been attacked in, Skulduggery found himself in a place where Arts and Crafts certainly lent itself as an appropriate name.

What, exactly, was he supposed to do here?

Still slightly unnerved with his interesting lunch experience, Skulduggery picked a chair at random and sat down. The memory of that bloody fingernail, still much too fresh in his mind, had violently renewed his hyper-awareness of his body. Suddenly the slippers were too soft, the clothes too constricting, the hair too close on top of his head. Skulduggery managed to solve the first problem by gently kicking the slippers off under the table, but there wasn't much else he could do.

Before arriving here, Skulduggery couldn't even remember the last time he'd sat still for longer than five minutes - outside of meditation, of course. Now, it seemed to be all he was allowed to do, and - even worse - all he did. Just sit here and stare at copious amounts of glitter.

impudentsongbird: (i can shine)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-03 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
[from here.]

Ordinarily Gabriel would have been more than happy to be led to any room dedicated to Arts and Crafts, because such was the nature of those things that even Lucifer couldn't completely corrupt them. Right now, however, he was trying very hard not to feel too irritated with the nurse for insisting that he not linger too long in the sun-room. How was he meant to find his brother if he couldn't go where he knew Castiel might eventually be?

The Archangel took a deep breath and released it with a sigh, banishing his irritation at the same time. He had no proof the nurse was anything other than a manipulated soul, which meant it was hardly her fault; she was just doing her job. Besides, he hadn't been to this room yet and if everyone was meant to be there, then maybe Castiel would be as well.

The instant he was through the door Gabriel was already scanning those present, keenly aware and actively missing his extra senses for the first time since he'd arrived at the Institute. He couldn't see Castiel anywhere. Granted, it had been at least a century since he'd seen this particular little brother in person, but angels tended to stick with a chosen appearance.

Distracted and still getting used to the weight and balance of his human body, Gabriel misjudged the distance around him. He stumbled into an occupied chair, rescuing himself from falling by gripping the back of it and half trying to right it at the same time. "Oh! Forgive me, I was--I should have been paying better attention."
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery was beginning to suspect that Landel could read their thoughts, and had a vested interest in shocking Skulduggery out of those same important thoughts as much as possible. First, the hair-woman in the Sun Room. Then the hairball during lunch, which had caught him completely off-guard, as he was still getting used to breathing, let alone swallowing. Now, his chair had tipped quite suddenly to the side with no warning, which would barely have been an issue were it not for the extra body weight. And even then, Skulduggery might have been able to stand up in time - using the table for support, perhaps - but the man who knocked over the chair tried to pull it upright at the exact same time. The result was Skulduggery, arms flailing for extra balance he'd never be able to find, pitching off the chair and onto the floor.

His first, slightly embarrassing, thought was at least the floor is carpeted.

The offender, at least, seemed apologetic. "Probably," Skulduggery agreed cordially as he struggled to find his way into a sitting position. The side of his body that had been burned sent fresh lightning jabs of pain shooting up into his torso. "But, no harm done."
impudentsongbird: (since the very start)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-03 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
"That's good," Gabriel said, relieved and chagrined in equal measures, and leaned on the chair as he bent to help the man rise. The other patient seemed to be having some trouble, and especially was favouring his right side; Gabriel took note of this, but hid his reaction.

That didn't mean he didn't think anything, however. Damn you, Lucifer. Again!

The Archangel's expression showed nothing but apologetic concern while he planted his feet and dragged the chair around, situating it so the man could sit without having to stretch himself too far. "Are you ill?" he asked.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 03:31 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery accepted the help up to his feet, briefly wondering how a small amount of fire against his flesh could cause so much unnecessary pain long after the attack was over. For one dizzying moment, the detective almost took pity on everyone he'd ever hurled a fireball at; he quickly came back to his senses when he remembered that most of them had deserved far worse.

He took a moment before answering the man's question, head tilted in thought. "I don't think so." He'd been having an on-and-off-again headache for the past few days, but apart from that, Skulduggery wasn't really sure what being sick felt like. Not good, he imagined, but nothing really felt good like this. He'd coughed up a hairball a few minutes ago, for God's sake. "I'm just... not used to the balance quite yet. Thank you for your help."
impudentsongbird: (my angel gabriel)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-03 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
'Ill' wasn't the same as 'injured', but since Gabriel hadn't clarified he supposed the answer was to be expected. He'd been trying to be subtle; it wasn't one of his talents, it had to be said. Still, he could guess that although not 'ill', 'injured' was still a possibility--especially as the man had to think about it.

"You're quite welcome," he said, pulling the nearest chair closer and taking a seat himself. That was an interesting turn of phrase--not being used to the balance. Gabriel leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees and watching the man with unrestrained interest. "I'm finding it a bit difficult to get used to it myself," he said, and then realised he probably shouldn't have. So he changed the subject, adding, "I'm Gabe. What's your name?"
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery, for his part, didn't seem embarrassed to be watching Gabe either. And while his level of intense scrutiny was similar to Gabe's interest, it didn't quite show on his face. "Skulduggery Pleasant," he answered, somewhat more carefully than he'd introduced himself to anyone else so far. Something about this man reminded him more of home than anything else he'd encountered so far. That was... interesting, to say the least. Possibly worrying.

"Get used to the balance yourself?" he asked after another brief pause. It looked for a moment like Skulduggery might elaborate on the question, but then thought better of it. "That means you're new, I take it?"
impudentsongbird: (i can fly)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-03 04:31 am (UTC)(link)
That name was interesting. In fact this man in general struck Gabe as interesting, enough that he felt able to put aside some of his worry about Castiel. His Master had told him not to be so anxious, after all. Of course, it helped that the Archangel was situated to face the door; if Castiel came in, Gabriel would know it, and Castiel would see him.

"Where does your name come from?" he asked, fascination written in his expression; then he checked himself. "I'm sorry--yes, I am. I've been hearing a few things, though."

That reminded him about his brother, and automatically his gaze flickered sideways toward the door.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
"It's my taken name," Skulduggery explained, traversing back into the familiar territory with ease. "I chose it for myself." This time, he only hesitated a split second before launching into the full explanation. "Where I come from, it protects your given name from sorcerers who might otherwise be able to control you with it."

Either 'hearing a few things' meant Gabe just arrived last night and had a basic idea of what was going on, like the Once-ler, or he had no clue and nothing Skulduggery said would make any sense to him, anyway. It was mildly ironic that after only two nights, Skulduggery already considered himself a veteran of the place. But no one could get attacked by mounds of hair, rotting hands, and their own fire without claiming at least a little seniority privilege.

The sideways glance towards the door wasn't lost on Skulduggery. "Waiting for someone?" he asked without so much as craning his neck.
impudentsongbird: (revel in the songs that he sings)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-03 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
Gabriel's gaze snapped back and he smiled, but it was noticeably troubled. "I just found out one of my brothers is here, but the nurse is making it difficult for me to find him. He told me there's an illness that's been going around. And a couple of other patients mentioned some, er, entertainments at night."

And frankly, that was far more worrying now that he knew he had family here. Castiel had been here for two weeks; what manner of trials had he endured in that time? Alone, without being able to consult even his brothers? At least during the wager Gabe had had the option of speaking with Michael. Even if the Archangel had been aware of the worry on his face, he wouldn't have bothered to hide it. Still, when he realised his gaze was wandering back to the door again he very firmly pulled it back to Skulduggery's face. It was rude to be so distracted during a conversation.

"I'm familiar with that convention," he said with a sympathetic smile. He, of all people, knew how important names could be. People were blessed in God's name, in His angels' names; they were cursed in the names of the fallen. There was unbelievable power in words. "Is there a reason you chose that one?"
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah. Skulduggery could appreciate that desire to protect a loved one, especially in a place like this. He'd been relieved beyond measure yesterday when no one he recognized answered his bulletin post, and that relief was triple-fold after getting such an unpleasant glimpse into what could really happen at night. Out of a sympathetic respect, he didn't ask about Gabe's brother.

"Yes," was Skulduggery's simple reply to the question about his name. It wasn't angry or bewildered or even cautious; it was just stating a fact. Rather than explain, Skulduggery's head tilted slightly to the side. "Did they explain what they meant by 'entertainments?'"
impudentsongbird: (revel in the songs that he sings)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-05 05:19 am (UTC)(link)
Gabe waited a beat before realising that Skulduggery wasn't going to expand on the answer, which was perfectly fine; but the way he said it made the Archangel wonder if he didn't just because Gabriel hadn't asked directly enough. And he was curious. "Why did you choose it?" he asked, and then added, "If I may know. I have an interest in such things."

Someone had left some beads and twine on the table. Absently Gabriel picked them up and began stringing a rosary, half-formed ideas that Murphy might like one. It took a moment or two for his fingers to adapt, but it was easier to get used to this kind of nimbleness than it was to do so with his whole body. "Only one of them did," he said. "He told me the head doctor unlocks the doors and releases monsters and brainwashed patients into the grounds."
skeletonenigma: (pencilskul)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-05 02:44 pm (UTC)(link)
The day Skulduggery first chose his name burned brightly in his mind, clear and vivid among the surrounding memories, which had grown hazy over time. However, he hadn't even told Valkyrie about it, and this man - harmless though he seemed - was still somehow rubbing Skulduggery the wrong way. He just couldn't quite put his finger on it. "Well now," the detective replied good-naturedly, "sorry to disappoint you, but that's a secret."

So Gabe had heard of the true dangers, but hadn't encountered them yet. Skulduggery watched him start stringing some beads onto a length of twine as he spoke, his fingers clumsy for no more than a few seconds before the beads began slipping on with ease. "Then there isn't much left for me to warn you about," he answered. After a slight pause, during which the bloody fingernail crept unwelcome back into his mind, Skulduggery decided to give Gabe the same advice he'd given the Once-ler. "If you're ever in the Sun Room at night, and everything looks darker than it should be, just run. Trust me, the consequences aren't worth whatever you were searching for."

Watching the way Gabe almost had to practice the dexterity required, regardless of how short that practice was, reminded Skulduggery of his earlier comment, and now he was curious. "You said you were finding it a bit difficult to get used to it yourself," Skulduggery said. "What did you mean?"
impudentsongbird: (my angel gabriel)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-06 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
"Not a problem." Gabriel gave him a reassuring smile, entirely unoffended by the choice--even if Skulduggery had been rude about it, which he hadn't been. "The origin of your alias can be as important as the name you're choosing to hide."

That new piece of his advice made him frown, more in thought than anything else. The way he said it was very vague and not entirely helpful except to know that something would happen--and Gabe got the impression that 'things could happen' just about anywhere in the Institute. "Why?" he asked. "What would happen?"

The other man's question made Gabe look down. He found reason to do so by weaving several of the beads together into a cross, five down and three horizontal, the twine braided between each. He had nothing to represent a Saint, unfortunately, so he hoped Murphy would be content with just the basic rosary.

"That's something of a secret as well, I'm afraid," he said, a tad hesitantly, and glanced up to give Skulduggery a ruefully apologetic smile. He'd been careless all day. Granted, he had reason to be, but still.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-06 03:55 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery hesitated, half-expecting that dreadful death rattle to start ringing in his ears again. Thankfully, it stayed silent. Perhaps the hallucination was only an issue if he was physically in the Sun Room.

"There was a creature there last night," he explained. "Dead, most likely. It certainly felt dead. It could also control mounds of black hair, which isn't nearly as fun as it sounds." Skulduggery had faced far worse than zombies with unique magical powers, of course, but when those fights were over, they were over. Either the thing was dead, or behind bars, or otherwise incapacitated. This time, not only had it gotten away, but... "I don't think it's stopped attacking me yet," he added, sounding for all the world like that was a capitol offense.

Skulduggery's smile at Gabe's secrecy wasn't on his face, but in his voice. "Fair enough," he conceded. Everyone was permitted to keep secrets, particularly in a place like this. An absent-minded glance down at the beads, however, brought on a new question. "Are you religious?"
impudentsongbird: (i can fly)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-06 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
"An undead being?" Gabe asked, startled. They weren't common. Raising the dead--well, it wasn't exactly raising the dead. Mostly it was a case of a damned soul being shoved into a fleshly body that was already dead, usually to frighten, sometimes to afford a corrupted member of the blood an unkillable army. It wasn't a common tactic for Lucifer to take these days, but perhaps he'd chosen to make a revival.

"Do you require assistance?" he asked, and the worry for this man he hardly knew was clear in his voice. He was so focussed on Skul's problem, in fact, that when the man drew attention to the half-finished rosary in his hands, Gabriel glanced down at it before realising he'd stopped stringing the beads.

And wasn't that a loaded question. He wasn't religious, no. What he had wasn't a matter of religion, it was a matter of being; but that wasn't what Skul was asking, was it? After a few moments of contemplation Gabe decided to go with the truth, even as vague as it was, his fingers picking up the same rhythm as before. "No, I'm not ... religious."
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-06 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Well, the woman's flesh and her fingernails had certainly been undead. "I believe so," Skulduggery confirmed. "They're more common than you would think." Depending on your definition of 'undead,' but that was just a technicality. After all, there were people who would consider Skulduggery undead. Hadn't that been Rita's first conclusion this morning?

Rita's initial - and possibly ongoing - suspicion of Skulduggery had been a welcome breath of fresh air from the amount of people here who didn't seem too cautious with their information. Genuinely helpful people were a rarity; they simply weren't something Skulduggery was used to. So Gabe's obvious and immediate concern, distracting him even from the beads he was threading together in his hands, struck the detective completely speechless.

"No," he finally replied, his interest and distrust of the man both growing by the second. "Thank you. It's been relatively harmless so far."

That distrust outstripped the interest with Gabe's next answer. Skulduggery had met plenty of people during the war who had used that same tone of voice in their denial of association with Mevolent or the Faceless Ones, and it was usually followed by an attack. "So making rosaries is just an engaging hobby?" he asked, indicating the cross.
impudentsongbird: (i can love)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-06 07:06 am (UTC)(link)
"Or at least they were, once upon a time," Gabriel murmured thoughtfully. "But that doesn't mean they can't be, again." He gave Skul a quick look and then smiled gently. "Okay. Just let me know if that changes."

The Archangel glanced down at the rosary again, tying off the final knot, snipping the excess twine, and laughed as he set it aside. "Well, it is fun. But there was someone posting on the bulletin board who sounded like he could use the extra help. It's just a pity there's nothing here to represent the Saints, but I don't know which Saint is his, so it's probably just as well."

Gabriel picked another handful of beads. This time, he decided, he'd make it a combination of beads and braided knots. And then something occurred to him and he looked up at Skul again, his grin welcoming and encouraging and not in the least bit malicious. "I can teach you how to make them, if you like. If you don't already know, I mean." He'd recognised them as rosaries, after all.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-09 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
In Skulduggery's experience, undead things were still very much a problem. Well, more an annoying pack of pests than a real problem, but even so. His head tilted as he studied Gabe, trying to see if he recognized the mam from any work of fiction, the way he'd recognized the Once-ler and the Scarecrow. Nothing sprang instantly to mind, but it wasn't as if Skulduggery had read every book in existence. He was still working on that.

Either way, it was clear Gabe came from a different reality. A reality similar to Skulduggery's, but not exactly alike. That meant the rules he was governed by could be completely different, which in turn meant there was no way for Skulduggery to figure out what manner of creature he might be, not without Gabe revealing it himself.

Gabe certainly knew a lot about rosaries for a man claiming to be agnostic. Or atheist. "The person on the bulletin board needs more than one?" he asked skeptically, glancing from the tiny beads down to his own large, clumsy fingers. After a moment, the former skeleton let out a small sigh. "Why not? In a place like this, they might actually be useful. Small warding sigils, or..." He picked up a piece of string. "Tiny distractions."
impudentsongbird: (my angel gabriel)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-09 11:13 am (UTC)(link)
"You can never have too many rosaries," was Gabriel simple answer. Skul's acquiescence made the Archangel beam, as if the other man had just made his day. In a way, he had. It was always a pleasure to teach someone a new skill, and the distraction was proving very valuable in keeping his worry in check.

"They certainly have their uses," he said with a laugh, scraping a handful of beads closer. "I doubt the nurses would allow us anything so sharp as to carve sigils on the beads, though. Weaving it'll have to be." Weaves weren't as powerful without words to come with them, but they'd do--Gabriel's first rosary had been woven for guidance. He tilted his head for a moment, considering the beads and then Skul's awkward grip. "We can make knotted rosaries instead of beaded ones, if you like. They're easier."
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-09 02:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery had never been a very religious man, even back in the 1600's when everyone he knew was either Protestant or Catholic. He'd only recently acknowledged the existence of the Faceless Ones, and that was solely because they'd been trying to kill him for three years straight. Succeeded, in the end, but Skulduggery clamped down that thought before it could go anywhere else. Years of forcing his anger down had made controlling his thoughts almost too easy.

But the detective still prized himself on general knowledge of the world religions, and so while he wasn't completely in the dark facing the task of creating a Catholic rosary, he also had no clue where to start. "I must admit," he told Gabe while he absentmindedly practiced twirling the string in between his fingers, "I don't know much about rosary-making, and I don't have my normal dexterity." After a pause, Skulduggery's lips almost twitched up into a smile. "I am, however, a quick learner and a genius. That should more than make up for it."
impudentsongbird: (i can fly)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-10 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
"That's the spirit." Gabe grinned at him. "But there's no reason to jump ahead, if you're still getting used to things. Tying knots can be tricky, and the cross will be more so. Especially since we don't have any tools."

Really, if the beads here weren't so large he would have had more trouble with them. There were a few differently-coloured lengths of twine, but the only colour suitable for a rosary was the brown, so Gabe separated that out. "Are you familiar with the barrel knot?" he asked. "We can practise them a bit first before starting on the rosary proper, if you need to."
skeletonenigma: (closeup)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-10 07:39 pm (UTC)(link)
"The barrel knot?" Skulduggery asked, selecting another random bit of string. "That's similar to the blood knot, isn't it? I used to be quite the fisherman, back in the day. Let's see..."

His initial attempt, unsurprisingly, was just as slow and clumsy as Skulduggery's entire body had been when he first woke up here. He managed it in the end, but not without a grunt or two of minor frustration along the way. "It has been a while," he murmured, flexing and unflexing his hand. A couple of centuries, to be exact. That certainly wouldn't help the dexterity issue.
impudentsongbird: (i can love)

[personal profile] impudentsongbird 2012-08-11 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
"It has its similarities," Gabriel said, finding another shorter piece of string to have some practice for himself. He smiled encouragingly. "That's okay. That's what practice is for."

Beads were slightly different to knots, and again it took Gabe a moment to be able to keep the cord properly gathered. "You were a fisherman?" he asked with keen interest as he worked. "My--" 'Master' might be saying too much. Or at least raise questions; the word wasn't commonly used in modern times. Not for benign purposes, anyway. "--Father's a fisherman." The Archangel laughed a bit. "He's the one who taught me how to tie my knots, though I'm not as good at it as some of my brothers."
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-11 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Practice," Skulduggery contradicted Gabe, "doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice does. And perfect is unattainable for ordinary people, unfortunately."

It had been such a long time since Skulduggery even contemplated fishing. He hesitated, glancing up from his knot. "It really has been a while since I last dealt with fishing line," he emphasized. "Long enough that I don't even remember who taught me." It might have been his father. All that had really interested Skulduggery at the time was his early discovery of magic, and the following lies that had slowly poisoned his relationship with his family. It wasn't until later that fishing had become a peaceful reprieve for him.

"Are you the oldest in your family?" he asked, trying a second knot. This one went a little quicker, and looked noticeably better when it was finished.

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