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Alone Together

Discussion in 'AU Board' started by Qrow Branwen, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]

    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow dusted himself off as he rose, giving up on the stains upon his knees and the edges of his chain mail-like sweater. "Oh, bullshit. You can't even take down little old me." He sneered over his shoulder with a cruel look, deaf to her failing strategy to place some importance and value on herself in his mind. It would not work. She was not special to him and he didn't give a shit about her or her supposedly impressive abilities and powers. Fuck powers. Fuck Semblances. Fuck natural gifts and magical spells. he was sick of it all.

    He stood facing the house, his back partially to her-- though not as much to prevent him from keeping his senses alert and his guard up-- but he did not move towards the cabin. Not yet. He was too upset to go in there at the moment, and he tried to sigh out the heat in his lungs. Her words did not help cool him off in the slightest. So the other Qrow had put Gillian in danger because of the demon. Of course he had. It made his blood boil, but he couldn't say that he was surprised.

    He only closed his eyes to block out the flood of anger that washed over him, recalling the occasion that Yang had found him after a bar fight, drunk, upon one of his last nights in Blackhaven before leaving for Misty Hollow to take on his doomed personal mission to end the demon. She had looked upon him with fear, mistrust, and disgust and the alcohol had only done so much to blind him of what that caused him to feel. In his anger he'd yelled at her, told her things he knew should not have, about how her mother was better off without her, without begin tied down to living the rest of her life a family woman. But he'd also told her to stay away from Crowley. As her 'real' uncle should have done.

    He opened his eyes again and let such thoughts go. It didn't matter anymore. If this all went well, he would never need to fear the monster again. He could live recluse in the cabin for the rest of however long Pandora was determined to imprison him here, and he didn't have to worry about anybody else except himself. That was the goal, however impossible it was at this point.

    Toby told him that she wasn't going to tell Crowley or Qrow about him being there, but he did not believe her. How could he? There was no trust in his wilted soul reserved for her-- after all that she had done and shown of herself to him. Her whole gimmick was illusions and tricks, that much had been made clear. From her facade of a human appearance to her false fire to her very core beliefs and values as a person.

    He glared over his shoulder to her with a fire in his eyes, determined to set some things straight in her warped perception of the situation. "Look, for your information, I've killed exactly as many people as your Qrow has. Except for whatever the fuck we've done differently in Pandora." He faced her more, rotating his shoulder and clenching his fists before pointing at himself with each point in his speech. "We're not different people, Toby. I just never joined a cult. I never got the stupid idea of dating a psychopath. I am not he 'evil twin,' here, alright!?" If anybody was, it was undoubtedly the other one. "I'm just fucking trying not to let that monster get to me again!" He yelled with a thrash of his arm int he empty air.

    After huffing a recovery breath, he reminded her lowly, "You saw what he could do." When she'd found him in that field, twisted and broken and bleeding out. And again, when the demon had destroyed his hands, taken his eye, and finished him off in what was surely an unimaginable way. A way which Qrow did not remember, and did not want to remember. "You saw him... the exact same way that I saw him, Toby, and you trusted your stupid boyfriend instead of your own eyes." He snarled hatefully. "Hell, instead of the very same person as your boyfriend, just not the one who fell blindly in love with you!"

    How was that for bias? It made him sick. She made him sick, and her foolishness and pitiful judge of character was nauseating. Toby had left him to die in that factory. She had only ever cared for him to begin with because she'd mistaken him as his doppelganger. She had been on the other Qrow's side all along, and that had meant that she'd been on Crowley's side too.

    "You're just as bad as my double." He muttered breathlessly. Perhaps they were perfect for each other after all. Both complete morons who did nothing but harm the people who they claimed to care about, despite their 'best efforts.' Pathetic.

    "I am not the bad guy here, Toby." He came to his conclusion with a heavy tiredness laden through his tone, his eyes ripping away from her to wander over tow here he'd dropped his sickles, and where she'd dropped her guns. He meandered over to pick all four items up, holstering each one with some finagling to his belt. "And I'm not going to hurt your kid."

    Afterward, he stepped back towards her, snapping without kindness or patience, "Now are you ready to calm the fuck down and explain that everything is alright to your daughter?" The kid would believe her mother more than she would believe her non-Uncle. Even if what she'd tell her to believe was a lie. "...And whoever the hell this 'Tom' guy is?" He added with a growl, unhappy to have another kink in the chain to straighten out.

    Finally, he actually took in the sight of her, and his eyes flashed across her body for a brief moment before the tension in his muscles relaxed just a hair. After a moment, he reluctantly extended his hand to her. If she'd take it, he'd yank her up into a impolite grasp and either forcibly princess carry her to the front door or hook her arm around his shoulders and haul her up there while keeping her pressed against his side.


    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  2. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    It wasn't bullshit. Just because she couldn't win against Qrow didn't mean she couldn't win against Crowley. That was the part he didn't understand and he never would. Sure, Toby had lost against him today and perhaps she might have paid with her life for it, but she was alive. The danger... the danger she had thought was there had passed. There was still parts of her that rankled at the sight of him but was that because of the double or because of Qrow? She was confused in her own thoughts and she no longer trusted her judgement on certain matters. Or Qrow's judgement. The other Qrow.

    Had he killed the same amount of people? More? Less? Who had Qrow killed in Pandora? Toby had... killed a few people. Not a lot and never unless she knew exactly what she was doing, but her magic gave her a peek into someone's soul. She knew intent and that was all that mattered to her. Did either Qrow boast that sort of thing? Toby had killed in her own defense or others, that was about it. "They said you killed people in Pandora." Her glance was down at the ground as she spoke. "Caravans." But was that the truth? Toby had believed it because Qrow had believed it. She had trusted him. Where had he gotten his information from? Crowley. Did Toby trust Crowley's word anymore? Nope.

    Another heavy sigh escaped her as the double rattled on and lectured her about five thousand things she already knew. Just as bad as Qrow? Maybe worse. Probably worse. Maybe she could have stopped this in the beginning but Toby had been blind by the same love that he had been talking about. She was quiet in response and only half glared at him as he started to manhandle her weapons. Tucking them into his belt and keeping them away from her, probably, not that Toby was going to attack him at the moment. No, that would wait until... he actually did something to warrant it.

    And I'm not going to hurt your kid. She believed him. If anything the way he had reacted to Gilly's mere presence had been enough for that. Toby looked up at him with a frown on her lips and then chuckled slightly as he brought up Tom. Tom would be easier to convince than Gilly. Tom always believed her. Gilly... well, Gilly was a clever little four year old. Tom was a good young man though and Toby appreciated his loyalty. "It'll be fine." She dug out the last bit of iron. It burned against her fingers like acid but she took her time to flick it away, looking at the burns for a second before the double put his hand in front of her face.

    Toby took it and he jerked her up to her feet, but she refused to be carried in any manner. Instead the changeling moved forward on that busted leg, making it work as if there was nothing wrong with it. Limping slightly but it was healing as she went. The damage only being slow to repair because of the Dust and the iron. With her current level of faerie blood, it'd be gone by the next day. Once they had made it to the front door, Toby gave the handle a bit of a twist and smirked slightly at the locked door. Good girl. "Gilly, sweetie." She rapped a knuckle on the door with a slight smile on her lips. A smile meant for her daughter and no one else. "It's okay, honey. You can unlock the door and open up. Mommy and..." She glanced over her shoulder at the double for a second before grinding out the words that would make her daughter relax. "Mommy and Uncle Qrow are done... talking." Trying to keep her voice light but there was irony written into the tone that Toby couldn't quite help.

    The door unlocked a second later and the little four year old pulled it open while stretched onto her toes. Those big sapphire eyes looked up at the two adults with a frown that suggested Gilly was not happy with them. "Did you call--" Before Toby could finish her words, Gilly had something to say. In a tone that was a copy of her mother's own lectures she had given to quite a number of people while Gilly was around. "You said you weren't going to hit Uncle Qrow again." Toby bit down on her bottom lip and flicked her gaze up, over her daughter's head to stare at the wall. Of course. Gilly would never back down on a promise. Toby was supposed to always keep her promises to Gilly. "It's complicated sweetie. I..." Gilly looked at "Uncle Qrow" too and frowned. "You make Mommy cry too much." Toby's lungs rattled out another wheeze as the four year old lectured them both with those lines, then Gilly opened the door before making her final statement. "I couldn't find your phone!" So Tom had not been called. Well, one less thing to deal with. Toby shambled inside with one hand on her daughter's shoulder, carefully keeping hold of Gilly and keeping herself between the child and the double. Just in case.
     
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  3. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    "They said you killed people in Pandora. Caravans."

    There was clear doubt in her voice, even if she did try to disguise it. Qrow acted as if it didn't matter to him, even if that wasn't the truth. The fact that she was becoming aware of her flaws, second guessing herself, her ex-beau, and the devil on his shoulder-- it boded well for him. So he ran with that doubt that was sprouting up within her, willing to grow it like tending kindling to a fire. "And what did I say, Toby?" He asked, prompting her memory. Qrow reminded her, repeating what he had said to her that day; the story he'd come up with and stuck to ever since being caught in the act by that demon. "I was guarding the caravan. And then that demon showed up."

    It was a lie. But it was a necessary one. He needed her to trust him more than the other two, and if he had to lie a little to ensure that, then he would. She could chose who to believe, but it was beyond clear (to him at least) that she should definitely not trust anything her Qrow or his Crowley said. He was the lesser of two evils, he supposed, though he didn't consider himself evil.

    The truth was that he had killed those people and robbed that caravan. He hadn't thought it was all that big of a deal at the time. He could have used the excuse that he was thrown into this new world with strange lands and stranger people-- more unfamiliar and untrustworthy races than simply faunus and human. It was a pitiful excuse, but he simply hadn't cared at the time. He had been angry inside and had no one but himself to look after at the time, so he had been reckless with his actions and loose on his morals. But he did not consider the inhumane brutality that happened to his knee, his arm, his eye, his hands, (the list went on,) to be due karma that was coming his way for his actions.

    No, rather, it had just been very very bad luck.

    Qrow helped the woman walk for a short ways before she made it clear that she could function just fine on her own and didn't want his help, so he followed her the rest of the way to the door. He eyed the charred marks on the porch and the slight splintering from the Dust and iron he had shot, but nothing was damaged beyond repair, and the few charms and symbols he could see around the exterior of the house had not been disturbed. It was still functional as a safehouse, which was it's only purpose to him now.

    Except that it was also that child's home. Again, that complicated things greatly. On a lighter note, Qrow also noticed that Toby still had a great ass even when she limped. He watched her carefully from behind her right shoulder-- not just because she was attractive (even if he despised her)-- but also to ensure that she wasn't going to pull a fast one on him or suddenly whirl around with another surprise weapon in her hand. As the child opened the door, he tensed silently, ready to snap into action if Toby suddenly made a move to fly in there and then try to lock him out. But she didn't, and he resisted the instinct to hover a hand near his holstered weapons.

    He did not like being called Uncle Qrow by this stranger's kid. That was not who he was. He died not deserve that title, and the man she believed him to be didn't deserve the title either. As Toby spoke to her daughter, he watched her carefully, hoping the kid would believe her and hoping that the woman was done putting up a fight. He was exhausted and starving and he wanted nothing more than to finally be able to relax, alone, indoors, for the first time in weeks. But he was never that lucky. Regardless, Qrow remained patient and calm.

    The tainted huntsman couldn't help but break into a grin as the kid tattled on her mother. She'd hit the other Qrow? Hard? With her aura? Oh, he hoped so. Why did that thought make him so damn happy? And proud of her? His smile was wiped from his face when he was scolded next; for 'making mommy cry too much.' He knew he wasn't the individual who was guilty of that. It wasn't his blame to bear. But he felt a little awkward about it nonetheless. He couldn't defend himself, since the other Qrow was the persona he was trying to don.

    Whatever misplaced guilt he felt about the kid's accusation was disregarded soon after as it became known that Gilly couldn't find her mother's phone, which made Qrow want to find it first before either of them did. Just in case. He did not trust Toby to keep the secret of his existence and it would be moronic of her not to call in for backup at the soonest chance that he was distracted-- and that kid could be a great distraction if Toby believed that he wouldn't hurt her. If she left him alone with her daughter, occupied with her, knowing it would be okay to do so, and then made a move.

    Fuck, he was in a bad spot. That bitch had a certain level of power over him now and it required his guard to be constantly up.

    Qrow stepped inside right behind Toby, putting a hand on the door as soon as it was within his reach to take control of it remaining open for him, and closing behind him. The first floor was a relatively open floor plan, with room to move and fight if needed. His eyes scanned the area swiftly, noting the was a staircase and a smaller room, a bar counter, kitchen table, living room furniture, all of which could be places to take cover if need be. The windows were accessible but secured with strong framing. And above... the rafters were very interesting to him, as they provided wisely-placed structure for the roof, but also harbored great perching spots that were large enough for a man, but were also subtly concealed by the glass chandeliers-- offering even more space to move, hide, or fight. He couldn't have designed a better house, and for a moment he was met with a wave of admiration for it.

    Bringing his gaze back down to the floor, he noted the child's toys scattered about, noticed some old hooks and shadows of where tapestries and weapons used to hang on the walls, and eyed the kitchen longingly. "...Gilly, do you know where the first aid kit was placed? Can you bring it here for Mommy?" He asked, donning a slightly softer tone that he hadn't used in a long while. His question disguised the fact that he himself didn't know where the first aid kit was, and instead took the form of a request for the kid to fetch it for him. Simultaneously, his hand came up to rest on Toby's shoulder, guiding her to the couch to sit down in a gesture that looked caring, but truthfully wasn't. He had to put on a show and further convince the girl that everything was alright, and that Toby and him weren't fighting-- and the best way to do that and earn the kid's trust was to 'take care' of her mother. Toby probably needed a little bit of a gentle hint that he was in charge now as well.


    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  4. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Guarding the caravan. The downside of not trusting the other Qrow was the fact that Toby felt she couldn't trust this man either. Why trust one and not the other? It wasn't like he had done anything directly to her that she hadn't started. Hell, Toby had been the one to smack him in the head with a bottle that night he had started chatting her up at the bar. That had been... she had been drunk. Drunk enough to make bad choices and lonely enough to not second guess them until it had almost been too late. But would it have been a bad choice? Who the fuck knew. Toby didn't know up from down anymore. Her life was in shambles and her mind was in the same sort of state.

    They managed to get in the door and Gilly walked in front of her while glancing over at Uncle Qrow every chance she got. Gilly loved the man. She had loved all the joking, the conversations, the games, all of Uncle Qrow's promises. Going to work with him... and Toby's heart wrenched painfully because Qrow had broken her daughter's heart too. Making Toby cry was one thing but Gilly? Gilly had cried when she realized that Uncle Qrow wasn't coming back. That he wasn't going to live with him any more. And how was Toby supposed to tell Gilly that she didn't love Uncle Qrow anymore? Or rather, she wasn't going to. It was all too fucking complicated.

    Every step became a little easier but the brunette tensed the second that the double's hand suddenly touched her shoulder. It took everything inside of her not to whirl around to push him off of her. For more than one reason, because he obviously looked too much like her recent ex but also because she... didn't trust the man. As it was Gilly's large eyes were watching too carefully. She wanted to see the adults play nice and this was easily something that Toby could put up with for a little bit. Until Gilly... or until... Toby felt like growling in general but she just gritted her teeth instead.

    Gilly on the other hand seemed to enjoy the idea of Uncle Qrow taking care of Mommy because she beamed up at the dark haired man before running up the stairs to find the first aid kit. The biggest one was located in the bathroom that Gilly normally used. The little brunette was gone in a moment, eager to help out Uncle Qrow in taking care of her mother. Toby waited until Gilly was out of view and then shrugged her shoulder out of the double's grip in a rough movement. She then sat down on the couch because that was where she was supposed to go. Already a decent amount of her wounds had been healing. Her ribs and the iron damage would be the last things to go and really, Toby didn't need much help in getting that taken care of either. Just time, now that the iron was out of her system.

    But her head was whirling all the same and she was concentrating on breathing, no matter how painful the action seemed to be at the moment. All the changeling really wanted was for all of this to go away. For Qrow's double to go away. The world could leave her alone for all she cared and she certainly didn't want to have to deal with more Branwen drama than what she was already going through. But whatever hint that Joe had been trying to give her went sailing straight over Toby's head. He wasn't in charge, no matter what he thought on that matter, and Toby wasn't about to take any shit on that front either.

    "Pretend all you want but don't put your hands on me." She didn't like to be touched without permission. There were reasons for that, plenty of reasons, but there was no point in bringing that up here. What would he care anyways? No matter the touch, it would hurt. No matter the look, it would hurt. Everything about the man in front of her hurt Toby. She had been utterly in love with Qrow. Head over heels and trying to hold onto what she had thought had been a love like no other. Except she had been an idiot and now she had a giant ass reminder in her face. "Exactly what is it that you want here?" If he was trying to get away from Crowley then it would be the wards. That was fine. Toby's new place was almost up and running. Just another week or two, then the two ladies would be out of the place. Out and on their own in a new house in Pandopolis that was warded just as well.
     
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  5. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow was intent to take his hand off Toby's shoulder as soon as the kid was out of sight also, and so they both mutually parted from each other with an overabundance of eagerness as Gilly's charging form vanished into the hallway upstairs. Qrow glanced up after her, piecing together a vague idea of what the rest of the house's floor plan was from the sounds that her loud footsteps made through the hallway, singular, on the second floor. Judging from the space on either side of the staircase, it seemed that rooms lined both sides of the upstairs hallway, and what was under that second floor could only be the garage that he saw outside, matching walls with the back one of the first floor. A simple and effective layout indeed.

    He remained standing in front of her as she sat down on the couch, sliding his hands in his pockets and briefly studying her before turning his gaze around the large room again to take in more details. He didn't respond to her request not to touch her again, other than a distracted, "Gotta wrap your leg, don't I?" which she knew as well as he did that it was all part of the show for Gilly.

    When she asked him what exactly he wanted, he looked at her again, awaiting something harsh and witty to come to mind in response, but he found that his mind had only drawn a blank. So instead he remained silent and harnessed a faint glare before ripping his eyes off her again to look upon more appealing and attention-demanding things in the room. Like the child's toys. Not that they were important in the least bit.

    Qrow didn't know what he wanted.

    He wanted peace and quiet and solitude.

    It was quickly becoming apparent that he would get only one of those things here, if even that. It just so happened that all three of those things required the other.

    The troubles in his head were none of her business (even though they all greatly concerned her,) so finally, he murmured-- lowly so Gilly wouldn't hear, but with a impressive dose of defensive bitterness-- "I want you to shut up and do as I say." She wouldn't ask difficult questions if a sense of fear was placed into her. She wouldn't gain the upper hand on him and place him in a babysitter predicament with her kid if she feared him. He knew that giving in and being weak was what would be his downfall in this situation, and he would not fail after having come so far. If he dropped his tough guy act, he would die. If he cared about what happened to her or her daughter, he would die.

    This was not going to be easy and this was not going to be pleasant, but it was what he had to do.

    He just didn't know what, yet.

    But he had to come up with some kind of plan, and so when his eyes landed on a cell phone by the coffee maker, he came up with one fast. Pulling his eyes back onto her, he declared, "I'm staying here. You're staying here. And so is she." He nodded toward the stairs and then marched over towards the kitchen to retrieve the phone. "No one's leaving unless I say so." As he moved out of the living room, he noticed the stairway leading downstairs, blocked by a short gate. A basement?

    There was too much in this house that he needed to explore and learn about, but he couldn't leave either of them alone to do so. Already with the kid alone upstairs, even for a short amount of time and supposedly with a set task, he was anxious.

    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  6. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    I want you to shut up and do as I say. It was the wrong thing to say to October Daye. Her grey eyes narrowed dramatically at the double standing in front of her and the changeling gave him a look that suggested he could shove his order where the sun didn't shine. "Ain't gunna happen." She spoke calmly to show exactly what she thought of his order. Toby wasn't going to take his shit and since he had already shown that he wasn't going to hurt her daughter, Toby's opinion on this entire situation had skewed lightly. Who was he going to hurt? Toby. But he couldn't hurt Toby too much or he'd get uncomfortable questions from Gilly. He'd have to deal with Gilly being upset and really, that meant Toby had a lot more power in this situation than what this Qrow would likely want.

    Too bad for him.

    Toby watched as he moved to the kitchen and grabbed her cell phone off the counter. One way to communicate certainly but it wasn't the only device capable of talking to others. Toby still had her laptop tucked away and Gilly had a tablet she liked to watch cartoons on. Both could easily send off emails or texts or chats while it was connected to the internet and she quietly decided not to bring any of that up. Nor the fact that Toby could pick pocket with the best of them and easily knew how to use a scroll. She offered the double a tight lipped smile as he declared that no one was leaving unless he said so. Another bunch of bullshit because really, he'd have no say over this situation. Toby and Gilly would leave when they damn well pleased and there was very little he could do to stop them. He just didn't know it yet.

    "What are you going to do, watch us every second?" One eyebrow lifted as she spoke. Toby was making it clear that she thought his plan was shit with the slight mocking tone she had used but really there was still a lot that the double could use. The changeling just understood how bluffing went. She also knew that the instant her aura was recharged she could get out of this house in a second if she had to. It was all a matter of timing things right. He wouldn't be able to watch them when he was asleep and Toby doubted he was going to stay awake all hours of the day. She was use to going without sleep. Being awake during the day time was something she had cultivated as Gilly's mother, but there was a reason why she chugged so much coffee. Toby could get through this. Could he?

    Gilly had found the first aid kit by that point. She carried it carefully to her chest as she took the stairs down in a much calmer manner than she had going up. One step at a time. Careful not to fall and she was grinning still when she hit the first floor. Toby's heart twisted and broke further as she watched her daughter proudly march up to Qrow's double and hold the first aid kit up to him. Gilly was so happy that "Qrow" was home. She was smiling and bright eyed, but she was far quieter than she normally would have been. Because Qrow had hurt her and all she wanted was to keep her adoptive uncle home with them. This was going to hurt for more than one reason and Toby had to take a breath before the emotion fully showed on her face.

    "Do you need anything else?" Gilly seemed to twist slightly on the spot after Qrow had taken the first aid kit, almost as if she were shy and none of that was normal for Toby's daughter. [b]"No, that's enough honey. How about you color some pictures for Uncle Qrow while he helps Mommy?"[/b] Toby spoke up in the next instant. Quickly making sure that Gilly would be far enough away that the adults could speak quietly to each other if they needed to. Gilly hopped over to the kitchen table and climbed onto one of the seats, happily humming to herself as she started to color in the dinosaurs that waited in her coloring books.

    Toby looked back up at Qrow and waited for him to come over to wrap her leg. There was going to be a power struggle in this house. One way or another a new pecking order would be figured out. Toby just had to hold off until the new house was ready. They would be safe enough until then.
     
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  7. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow was very well aware of these issues and his disadvantages in this circumstance. Toby was aware of them too, and acting just as troublesome as ever. Her attitude needed to change. He needed it to change. The tainted huntsman couldn't watch them every second. He knew his limits and he knew what he could and couldn't do with them. To them. But those boundaries weren't carved into stone. Nothing in life was easy and no method of conflict resolution was perfectly peaceful.

    He couldn't afford to be afraid to do what he had to do. So he answered her with a dully sinister, "Nope." There were more efficient ways to keep them in line than being their watchdog. They were simply ways that he would prefer not to resort to, but if she was determined to make things difficult for him, then he would go to those dark places. Which dark places, he didn't know yet. It was a journey he did not want to take, but he would if he had to. "Do not push me, Toby." He warned with a serious glared pinned back in her direction. He was dangerous. He was not her friend, and he was not going to lose this war. If he was cornered, he would fight back, viciously, and he was not afraid to play dirty. "This does not have to be worse than it needs to b--."

    Gilly's footsteps thundered back down the upstairs hall, signifying that she was within earshot, and so he silenced himself, pocketing Toby's phone after having glanced through it briefly. He could fiddle with it later, gain more information, take down some numbers from her contacts list, do some more research about who would miss her if she vanished, take out her battery and data card. All later, once he had some time.

    Gilly brought the kit straight to him instead of her mother, which was surprising, but he stood before her and hesitated before stooping down to take the case from her small arms. "...Thanks, kiddo." He murmured, forced and awkward. He didn't look at her for very long, moving past her to return to the couch once the kit was in his grasp. Qrow didn't often say 'thanks.' He hated it, and he hated feeling like he was supposed to owe someone for their kindness, which was what a 'thanks' was, in a small sense. As petty and stupid and insignificant as the peeve was, it still ruffled his feathers the wrong way, feeling obliged to say such false gratitudes.

    Toby answered the child's question so Qrow didn't have to, and Gilly obeyed her mother much more placidly than expected, moving right tot eh table where her dino books lay. Not even scribbling on the polished cherry wood table.

    She was a good kid.

    Fuck.

    He pulled his gaze back to Toby and caught her look, keeping his expression cold and emotionless. Yeah, there'd be a power struggle alright, but he was already ahead in the scoreboard. He was determined to keep it that way.

    Kneeling in front of couch, Qrow remained aware of his own placement and ready if she made a move to grab or kick him. He wasn't going to assume that she would stay civil in front of her kid. He couldn't afford to give her the benefit of the doubt or place any faith in her. There was too much at stake. One careless mistake of his, one slip up of placing too much trust in her-- and all of his meticulous work and patient waiting and hiding would be for nothing.

    Qrow removed her shoe and sock before rolling her pant leg up, seeing that the wounds had already healed a little, even though her aura was broken. Contrary to her earlier request, he did touch her leg, firmly holding it in place at the ankle and absentmindedly going through the motions of soaking up the blood from her skin, running an alcohol swab over the speckled welts in her leg, drying them, and then packing some gauze over the largest ones. At least one of them probably should have been stitched up, but he ignored it, doing the bare minimum instead. She'd live. Maybe a bit of discomfort would do her ego some good.

    Speaking of... Qrow had discovered a fleck of iron that had been left embedded in her shoe, having picked it out when he removed the article of clothing from her foot and keeping the tiny piece of shrapnel hidden between his fingers during his work. When he began wrapping up her shin in a bandage at the end of his treatment, he allowed the fleck to poke out between his index and middle fingers, scratching it against her skin during one wrap. He eyed her reaction to the sudden experiment with a lift of his brows, though he whispered an innocent "Whoops." as if he was sorry, though he was definitely not.

    Toby was not invincible. And Qrow was a metalsmith.

    With his suspicions now confirmed, he knew exactly how he was going to keep her in line. He tucked the fleck back into the webbing of his fingers and finished off her bandage before standing with the first aid kit and giving her a dragging look of knowing, and warning. He knew her weakness, and it wasn't just her kid.

    "You wanna tell Gilly what we talked about, Toby?" He asked audibly, including Gilly in on the conversation with his raised pitch, as if they had good news for her to eavesdrop on. They were all staying home, no matter what. For whatever bogus reason Toby wanted to try to conjure. Or he could make up the story for them, if she didn't have the imagination for one. Qrow was mockingly giving her a chance to take 'charge' of the situation, even though it was all still part of the show. "Or should I?"

    As he spoke, he placed the kit on the couch's end table, putting away the supplies and then taking the five weapons off his belt in turn and releasing the ammunition from them, placing the rounds and dust capsules in the first aid kit. Once both his sickles, pistol, and Toby's gunblades were empty of firepower, he holstered them each again before swiftly opening the drawer of the end table, beginning his low key raid of the house for its valuable and dangerous wares such as ammunition, money, any digital devices he found, matches, lighters, charging cords to devices-- whatever he found that could potentially be used against him. Qrow busied himself with his search around the living room while staying vigilant to what Toby was doing and saying.

    Loading his 'loot' up in the first aid kit, he brought the concealing case to the kitchen and started to look through the cabinetry and drawers-- everything that he could open-- and not for the sole purpose of browsing what food was available. With the first aid kit as a opaque tote, he could dig around wherever he wanted in the house with an easy excuse of 'looking for something' necessary for the kit. It was a covert race that he had rigged to be in his favor from the start, especially after giving Toby the chance to distract herself and her daughter from the details of what he was doing.

    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  8. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Do not push him? Her grey eyes were locked onto him despite the fact that the sight of him hurt. This didn't have to be worse than... what? She studied him from where she was seated even as Gilly came down the stairs. Was there not a limit to what he would do? Or was he just bluffing some more? Her gut said he was bluffing and that she could push him as hard as she wanted but what did she know of this guy? She knew her own assumptions but hadn't her assumptions about Qrow been wrong? Toby's jaw set as she considered the details. Depending on what his requests were, there was likely no reason to make too much of a fuss. For the moment. Toby was just cranky for five thousand different understandable reasons. Understandable to most people.

    The awkward interaction between Gilly and the double wasn't missed either. He was not nearly as comfortable around Gilly as Qrow had been. Qrow had taken to her four year old in a magical sort of way and that was another reason why Toby had loved him. Because he had known how important Gilly was to her and he had never... well, no. He had mistreated her. He had put her in danger and had broken her heart. Even if Gilly didn't know all the details, it wouldn't matter. Maybe one day she'd ask about old Uncle Qrow and Toby would explain things calmly but that day wasn't anywhere close.

    Instead the changeling stopped talking for a moment as the double came over to wrap her leg. She was silent while he managed to almost look like he cared. Enough that Gilly would be fooled even if Toby wasn't. She just let him do whatever it was that he felt he needed to do. Her gaze had drifted back to her daughter when the iron speck touched her leg. There was an instant reaction. A hiss of pain, Toby jerking her gaze back to Qrow, and then their eyes locked. Toby's nostrils flared for a second as she took a large breath in response to what he had done, her eyes deadly serious.

    Whoops.

    That mother fucker. What a fucking tool. If he thought that pain was going to make her be "good" then he was barking up the wrong tree. Iron hurt and it hurt like a bitch but Toby had been through worse. There was nothing this Qrow could do to her that hadn't already been done. If her life couldn't break her then he had no chance in hell in really making her submissive. There was just too much anger in Toby to ever roll over and take whatever he was going to dish out. She could be smarter about it though and all things considered, it was probably best to pretend until something stupid was asked of her.

    So Toby glanced away from that warning look, ducking her head ever so slightly and looking like she was irritated enough to want to stab him. But biting her tongue. Supposedly. Toby knew how to play that game too. She knew what people looked for when they wanted to feel dominate over someone else and it easily played to this situation. How many times had she bit her tongue and bowed to the Queen? More times than she had ever wanted to but one had been too many after the fallout over finding the Queen's lost knowe to re-establish the kingdom.

    But what the fuck was she supposed to tell Gilly? Toby tried to keep an eye on the man as he started to rifle through the main room like he didn't know where anything was. Even Gilly glanced over with her crayon slowly skidding to a stop as she watched her supposed uncle act weird. "Uncle Qrow lost his job, honey." She offered Gilly a quick smile to get the four year old's attention back on her mother. "He doesn't have anywhere to stay and his other friends didn't want him. So he's staying with us again for a little bit." It was exactly the kind of thing that would give Qrow what he wanted while also attempting to make it sound like he was a complete and total loser to her daughter. One of the best ways to gain the most control in this situation was to turn her daughter's affections into something distant. So that when Toby finally decided to make a run for it, Gilly wouldn't be conflicted on the matter.

    Gilly loved the fact that Uncle Qrow was a teacher. She had enjoyed going to work with him. She had liked Uncle Qrow's friends. These were all key aspects of why a four year old would think he was fun. Toby glanced back over to the double and offered him a sweet smile, much like the ones that had been for the... other Qrow. "I moved the good whiskey to above the fridge." To make it seem like that was what he was looking for because why wouldn't it be? This one probably drank like a black hole too. "You're staying with us, Uncle Qrow?" There was a little trill of hope in Gilly's voice and Toby realized there was a part of her plan that might have back fired. Because if there was one thing Gilly wanted more than anything else, it was making sure that everyone was happy. And Toby had never been happier than how she had been with Qrow, until everything had crumbled. Even with Cliff, Toby hadn't been that happy. Despite the story, Gilly might decide all of this was a good thing, because it would give her a chance to play Parent Trap. Toby's stomach fell a little bit even though she kept that smile on her face. Hopefully the double wouldn't figure that part out. Oberon's balls, she hoped not!
     
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  9. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow hid his triumphant pride at the little test he'd performed on Toby's skin, his smirk only lasting for a moment as his back was turned to the kid. Everyone had their weaknesses, no matter how fucking powerful they were-- or thought they were. Even Crowley. It was just a shame that his wards in the factory had been damaged and broken. It was a shame that his trap bullet had been dug out of the son of a bitch before he could fire another shot at his head. It was a shame that he had been distracted at the most crucial moment, and it was a shame that he'd overall failed.

    That all was also Toby and the other Qrow's fault. He held back nothing in his bitter blame. He had done everything right, and they had fucked it all up. And he had suffered for it. Maybe now he could relate a little more to how Raven felt about him.

    Qrow ignored whatever jab to his pride that Toby tried to make claiming he lost his job, had nowhere to go, and his friends didn't want him. She could have broken him down in any verbal way she wanted to in front of her kid; he didn't care. He couldn't care less what the little tyke thought of him, because even if she held him in the highest regard, it would unnerve him. Perhaps it would feel more comfortable for him if she thought of him as a complete loser. Perhaps she would want to stay away from him and not talk to him if she was disgusted by him, and that would make things so much easier.

    He glanced back to Toby as she offered him guidance on what he was searching for, giving her a small hidden glare and then looking to the cupboards above the fridge. He didn't want to obey her direction-- his paranoia immediately making him mistrust that cupboard-- but it was all part of the show, and he should accept what little frivolous help she offered him just as she was scripted to accept his. So he carefully opened the cupboard at arm's length, ready to jump out of the way if something jumped out at him. But it was an ordinary cupboard, and there indeed was some fine whiskey sitting pretty in the space.

    So he threw a smirk of gratitude back at her and then bragged two bottles between the fingers of one hand. Bringing them to the bar counter top so he could face the rest of the open room (always hating having his back turned to threats) he began inspecting them quickly and then corked one open, exchanging the second already-opened one for another unopened one. As he marked his two fresh bottles with a deep nick of his nail in the glass rim, he looked up at Gilly's question. There was an eagerness and hope in her eyes, and it caught him off guard. Wasn't she angry at him just like her mother? Wasn't she on her mother's side in the couple's arguments?

    He came to realize that this kid liked her Uncle Qrow, and it made him smile with a borderline cruel expression, to which he flashed to Toby. "...If that's okay with you, Gilly." He offered in a sweet voice, still looking at Toby before drawing his puppy dog eyes back to the kid and leaning on his elbows on the counter, abandoning his bottles. "I don't think your mom really wants me around anymore." Qrow explained simply for her, his smile weakening to show his pain and hurt, though he tried to remain optimistic for her. "We've been arguing a lot lately, you know?" He winced empathetically. Of course she knew, and it was sad, but true.

    Qrow glanced to Toby again, innocence and companionship in his soft, sad smile. "Has your mom talked to ya about that recently?" What exactly had they been fighting about-- as far as Gilly understood-- and how could he manipulate the kid's perspective to pity him? Oh yes, Qrow could fight dirty. A battle was always in favor of those who had more troops on their side. Especially when one was a four year old girl.

    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


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  10. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    There was a few things that Toby was assuming incorrectly. Mostly on the idea of what kind of asshole the man was. She could have thought this through better but the brunette could have thought through a lot of things better. That was one of her downfalls in life when she was upset or emotional. Toby could just react. The brunette stared at the man in her kitchen with a little bit of horror building up inside of her. This absolute asshole was trying to use her own daughter against her. It was one thing for her to do it, this was her daughter and it would be much healthier for Gilly if she didn't get attached to Qrow's double.

    This bastard was going to be a real fucking problem and Toby didn't want to deal with any of it. She had already been through enough because of Branwens and she just... didn't want to fucking deal with any of this. Her emotions had been a little skewed before but now? Now she hated this Qrow too. And that soft, sweet voice burned her because it was the tone that Qrow had used with Toby before. In their gentle more romantic moments. He had a whole set of weapons he was using without even knowing it. Everything felt like it was slowly carving away at her soul in a few seconds and Toby had to fight off the glare that was building up inside of her.

    Because what he was saying was utterly true. Toby didn't want either Qrow around. They had been arguing far more than normal, even if Gilly had only been around for the first one. The four year old still slowly nodded when Uncle Qrow asked her that last question. Her mother had spoken to her about everything and Toby at least had that going for her. There had been a lot of open communication between Toby and Gilly since her daughter had shown up in Pandora. It was a mistake Toby had made in the past that she wasn't going to make again with Gilly.

    "Yeah." Gilly sounded almost sad, as if she were trying to fight off the tears she had felt when Mommy had told her about Uncle Qrow moving out, but she was trying not to cry. That broke Toby's heart all over again and she really started wondering how feasible it was going to be to slit the double's throat in his sleep. In the changeling's eyes he'd deserve it if he ever made Gilly cry. "Mommy said you were friends with bad people and you didn't want to stop being friends with those bad people." Gilly carefully picked her words to explain everything the way she remembered it. The way that Toby had talked to her about it. "Crowley is a bad man. He knows bad people too." Gilly had met Crowley and Toby had had bad instincts on that level too. Mother fucking shit.

    "You did something that made Mommy really mad and she hit you. She said she wasn't going to do that again." Gilly looked over at Toby and Toby winced. She had kept her promise but it would be too difficult to explain without blowing the double's cover. "Mommy said that you were too scared to love us anymore." Toby looked away from everything in the kitchen with a sudden surge of emotions. It was the goddamn truth even if the subtle differences had flown completely over Gilly's head. She understood being scared. She didn't understand why Uncle Qrow wouldn't be with them anymore. So Toby had explained it the best she could. Uncle Qrow was scared of everything that was going on and he had run away like a fucking coward.

    Toby got up at that point and walked into the kitchen. Completely ignoring the double to go to her daughter and pick her up, gently pressing a kiss to the four year old's forehead. "It's okay, sweetie." Gilly hiccuped with her emotions and stuffed her face into Toby's shoulder, clinging onto her mother in the next second. "Mommy's never going anywhere, okay?" Toby took a breath and then started to move out of the kitchen, whether or not the double wanted her too. "How about we go watch a movie upstairs so Uncle Qrow can have some peace and quiet, hmmm?" Because right now, Toby needed space. Otherwise she was going to claw the man's eyes out. Aura or no aura. Besides there was that tablet upstairs and her laptop. If Toby could find a hiding place for it because he had a chance to ransack the upstairs, she'd have a leg up.
     
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  11. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow had no idea of the extent to which he was hurting his double's ex. He was using the tools he had-- the gentle tone to his voice, the looks he gave, the mere presence of his impostor self-- as surface-level weapons. He didn't comprehend the emotional pain he was driving into Toby's heart, and if he had comprehended it, there was no telling whether or not he would have continued to drive the knife in deeper, or if he would have let up.

    His attention moved from low key taunting Toby to truly focusing on the girl for the first time that day, and his false smile faded as her voice struggled, bubbled, and cracked. But he steeled his neutral expression as she explained. The anger that rose again at his doppelganger aided in distracting his emotions. He hadn't wanted to stop being friends with bad people. Like Crowley.

    Qrow grit his teeth, hidden under his stone cold face as he felt a wave of nausea at the mere thought pass through him. What did Gilly know of Crowley? What had she seen of Crowley, and god forbid-- what had she done with Crowley? Had the bastard visited this very house? Had he been in the same room as her? Chills of angered flame ran down Qrow's spine. The other Qrow (and even Toby) had allowed that monster to be in Gilly's life?

    He glanced to Toby again as Gilly did, believing now that there was a great possibility that her hitting his double had been entirely justified-- regardless of the humor behind that thought. None of this was funny to him anymore. It was all incredibly wrong, and he would have felt far less sick at the thought of Salem near the child.

    "Mommy said that you were too scared to love us anymore."

    While Qrow had been intent on learning more from the child, he had not expected the rush of information and emotion that came from her. And children always spoke the truth. He could trust and believe what the girl said far more than he could trust whatever the hell Toby said. What could he say to that? That he did love them? That he wasn't scared? Neither of those things were true. And he couldn't lie to her. Not about those things.

    So Qrow stood there stunned as Toby got up and went to comfort her daughter. He didn't know how to react. He didn't know what to say. He didn't know how to play his role anymore, because he'd just learned that his role had been a complete douche bag fucker who had lost all of this--this family-- because of his friendship with bad people.

    He glared at Toby as Gilly buried her face in he mother's shoulder. If that fucked-up loyalty to bad people was Toby's only or/and biggest issue with his double-- it was an issue he clearly did not have. So why were they against each other at all? Because he looked like him? Because he reminded her of him? Qrow was not his double.

    He slowly straightened his back and left the counter top as Toby held her girl, promising that she would never leave her, and his heart clenched. He could have killed her outside just now. She could have left her daughter, and Gilly had no idea how close that ending had come to being a reality.

    Qrow felt as if he'd offered his hand to receive a book of knowledge-- except the book had been unexpectedly fucking massive and heavy and he did not have the capability to carry the damned thing, yet he was now stuck with it. He was harnessed with someone else's crimes and baggage now, condemned to pay the emotional consequences for their sins, and it was uncomfortable and unfair-- but he supposed he should have been used to that by now.

    He had to remind himself that he was not here to fix the damage done by his double. He was here to fix his problems, his issues-- not theirs. He would only bear the burden of this role for as long as it benefited him.

    "How about we go watch a movie upstairs so Uncle Qrow can have some peace and quiet, hmmm?"

    That sounded great, but he couldn't trust them alone and especially alone in a part of the house he was unfamiliar with. He didn't know what was upstairs, and he didn't trust Toby's unstable emotional state. She would stir up trouble, because women didn't think logically when they were irrational and upset. But did anybody? So he awkwardly followed Toby, pushing the boundary of what was an appropriate distance but still vigilant to keep some space between them-- probably mostly on account of Gilly as she cuddled her mother's shoulder. Toby may as well have been toting a gun on her shoulder, aimed back towards him.

    "Gilly, I ... " Knowing he had to respond somehow, both to give closure to the conversation he'd initiated and to give an excuse for why he was following them, he hesitated before speaking up in that same tone he used with the kid before, even if it was more strained and difficult. "...I do stupid sh--" He corrected himself in time. "... Stuff... when I'm scared, kiddo." It was the closest thing he could sculpt into an apology for her, for he could not apologize for what he had not done and he could rarely apologize for things he had done.

    Glancing nervously at the back of Toby's head, he then tried to really speak to Gilly, genuinely and whole heartedly, even if she didn't lift her head or want to listen to or believe him. "I'm not friends with those bad people anymore. I promise you." It was not an attempt to get her on his side, or to get her to trust him. It was true. She could think whatever she wanted about him or his double. But thinking he was friends with that monster? No. Not that. Anything but that.

    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


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  12. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    When Toby heard no objections to what she had said she felt a little relieved. Perhaps more than a little relieved. The double was here to cause problems, he was forcing them to stay in the house, and he would hurt them if they tried to leave. She didn't feel safe outside either. They were still targets for as long as a certain demon thought they should be targets and Toby didn't want to get stuck in the crossfire of any fall out that was going to happen. Qrow was no longer worth her loyalty, her affections, or her trust. So Toby was in a bit of a tough spot. Leaving could be dangerous, staying could be dangerous, and staying would certainly torment Toby. But it would be safer for Gilly, because the double wasn't nearly as dangerous as Crowley was. No matter how much of an asshole he happened to be.

    Except he was also following them upstairs and that wasn't a factor in Toby's plans. What really stopped her mid-step was Qrow. Saying something that almost sounded like it hurt him to say. Almost as if he was troubled by everything that had just been said by her daughter. Doubly so when he promised that he wasn't friends with those bad people anymore. Toby glanced over her shoulder at him and for a second, she looked more guarded than anything else. Weighing and judging. Not based on his face but on what he had just said. But that would have been weak of her to take to heart, wouldn't it? Making the same bad choices she had always made in her life. Always with men.

    Gilly looked over her shoulder at him while he spoke, hanging on every word the man said. She was still clinging to Toby but she nodded her head in response. Gilly believed him. She would always believe every word that Uncle Qrow said. Gilly still trusted the man despite the fact that Toby had asked her not to. After all Toby couldn't be sure that Qrow wouldn't show back up unpossessed. But Qrow had Gilly's heart in a way that Toby couldn't undo so quickly and with the double around it wasn't going to happen unless he started acting like an asshole around her daughter. Which... Toby didn't know if she wanted that or not at this stage. She just wanted to be left alone. She just wanted to be left alone with her daughter and her heartbreak.

    Once Toby got to the top of the stairs she set Gilly down in the hallway. "Go ahead to your room, Gilly. I'll be there in a minute." Gilly nodded again and then moved to the first door on the right. The door clicked softly behind her and Toby turned to look at the man that had invaded her home. Her grey eyes locking onto the man and she frowned slightly. "She still loves him." As if it really needed to be said at this stage but Toby didn't care if she was stating the obvious. She felt it needed to be said. Just to make it clear what kind of expectations the four year old had on anyone who happened to be Qrow Branwen. Even if it wasn't the same man Gilly had been living with.

    "Do you have any anti-possession things anymore?" If he was staying here then he was staying here but Toby knew that there would likely be times where Qrow would feel the need to leave. They would need more food before the end of the week and there wasn't nearly as much booze in the house as there had been before. Two bottles of good whiskey, some beer, vodka... and that wouldn't last the fucker more than a day. Two at max. But that meant he would be going outside and then returning. "I'm not letting you back in the house if you don't have a tattoo or a charm." Toby had gotten a tattoo, not that he needed to know any of those details. But it was a firm statement on the matter. Anyone without some sort of basic defense against demons wasn't going to be allowed under the same roof as Gilly. No ands, ifs, or butts on that subject matter. She may have made mistakes before but Toby didn't plan on making the same kind of mistakes moving forward. At least this bastard didn't owe his soul to anyone but himself. That was... a strange comfort in the middle of everything else that was going on. His actions may have been shitty but at least they were his own shitty actions.
     
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  13. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Qrow stopped at the top of the stairs when Toby did, flashing her a short glance before focusing again on Gilly. The look Toby had given him was not one he cared to dwell on. She could judge him any way she pleased for what he'd said, but for once he'd been truly talking to Gilly, and not to her, so he couldn't care less whether or not Toby believed his promise nor whatever she thought about what he said.

    It seemed that Gilly, at the very least, took his promise to heart, and it did unexpected wonders to soother his inner fire. Qrow watched her go in her room with another small wince of a smile if she saw it, and then sighed silently to prepare for another discussion with Toby, as it seemed was due. He rolled his eyes to her gaze, expecting a lecture about following her, or a lecture about how he was supposed to speak to her daughter, or some other silly rule of the house.

    But what she said was again unexpected. It seemed that most things today was falling under that category. So his guardedness-- at least that of his ears-- was lowered. He did not miss that she used the word 'him,' and not 'you.' And rightly so. They were different men. But he had a role to play, and he understood what she was telling him. To be good to Gilly, and to do things that made him deserve her love. The problem was that he didn't think he could. And he didn't believe that his double had to begin with. He made her no promises with his expression, rather turning it into something more unfortunate and forewarning of disappointment.

    Qrow glanced across her face at her question, unwilling to tell her what he did and did not have, yet also intrigued by what knowledge she had. There was a difficulty in asking her what she knew without revealing or appearing like he himself was at a loss on the subject. Back in the house? "... I told you, I'm not leaving." He reminded her, confused by her words and eager to move on from them and ignore whatever conversation she was attempting to start. She just wanted to trick him into revealing more of his weaknesses, trick him into prompting for more information and then being reliant on her to tell him. He would not fall for such tricks. Needing anything from her, especially information, would give her the upper hand over him and provide something to hold over his head and he would not allow her to do that.

    "Walk with me." He tilted his head towards the first door on the left, his distanced body language and curt tone resembling nothing of an invitation to go on a romantic stroll with him even if his choice of wording did. The room was a bedroom, adorned with dark wood furniture, a large bed, and crimson silken bed sheets. More abandoned hooks hung on the walls where weapons and tapestries used to reside. Examining the area nearest to the door first, he moved on to scour one half of the room, opening bedside table drawers and the large wardrobe in the corner to find a few remaining articles of men's clothing-- (His? What a strange thought.) along with some of Toby's. "Stand here." He asked calmly after establishing an approved zone for her with nothing she could use against him within it. "How does Gilly know Crowley?" He asked next as he continued thoroughly looking around the room.


    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  14. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Toby wasn't asking this Qrow to be good to her daughter in the same sense she had the other man. Instead she was warning him. What he said would be applied to both. If he promised he wasn't friends with Crowley anymore then Gilly would believe it for both Qrow Branwens. Which was complicated and confusing and not something a four year old would be able to figure out. Even if Toby explained that perhaps they were twins it still wouldn't solve the problem of having the same name, wearing the same clothing, the magic smelling the same... except that last one was her burden to bear and not Gilly's, wasn't it?

    He repeated the words about not leaving but he wasn't understanding what Toby was saying. That was alright. She'd explain it in simple terms so he could understand. She followed him into the master bedroom but didn't get more than a foot in before she stopped. Qrow told her to stand in a certain spot but Toby just stayed where she was, closing the door behind them. The last time she had been alone in this room with Qrow had been a much happier time. Coming upstairs after a long night, smiling down at her boyfriend in the bed, waking him up with affection. Sex before he had gotten up to go to work. A normal routine for the both of them at that stage and something that Toby missed.

    She didn't look at the bed. She didn't even look around the room. Toby already knew what was hidden here: nothing. The only clothing that remained in the closet was a few things that the other Qrow had left behind and things that Toby decided she didn't want anymore. That little red dress was hanging in the closet. Along with a tiny black dress and a long red dress that was red carpet worthy. All with plunging necklines and showing plenty of leg. The matching heels were lined up under the dresses, abandoned as well because all of it had been purchased for Qrow. To grab his attention and keep it on her... for once.

    But then he asked about Gilly and Crowley. Toby felt she was somehow the one being judged but there really wasn't any reason to keep it from him. He could ask Gilly and she would eagerly babble to her uncle. Any reason to talk to him. "Uncle Qrow's friend. Does magic. She really liked it when he made all her dinosaur toys fly around the living room like they had come to life." The demon could be quite charming when he wanted to be. He could be... a thousand different things to different people and Toby had thought she had understood. But she hadn't. She hadn't understood at all and she had been blind by her affections for Qrow. Scared to lose him. What a fucking idiot she had been.

    "He saved her life." That was fact and Toby wouldn't skirt around it. "The old wards weren't made for kids and a hag got in. Kidnapped her and tried to... tried to eat her." Toby trailed off for a second, remembering exactly what had happened that day. She had been so goddamn grateful to the demon at that stage. She had decided to trust him. "He won me over with that. I let my guard down." And why wouldn't she? Qrow's best goddamn friend in Pandora. Had saved Misty Hollow. Had saved Qrow's life. Had saved Gilly's life. Toby had trusted him far too much.

    "Most of the warding is his. Newest layer is to keep him out. Already had a wizard friend of mine check it out to confirm it'll keep everything out." There was a slight nod to the window to where the latest carvings had been made. "Radius of four miles around the house for him but Gilly's not really allowed outside anymore. An Eldritch spirit took a pot shot at her because it wanted to fuck with Crowley." Which was one of the ways her daughter had been put in danger. It wasn't safe out here, not really, and Gilly couldn't live her life the way she really needed to. The way kids were supposed to.

    She shifted slightly where she stood, watching him pick apart the already empty bedroom before leaning casually against the wall. Slightly to get weight off her leg but also because she didn't feel comfortable in this room. Toby hadn't been sleeping here. She had only slept here one night since the middle of November and she had regretted even that. "What I meant by the way, is that there is enough food for three people to last the end of the week and enough booze to last you maybe two days." Toby knew his drinking habits. They were likely worse than the other Qrow's, if his mood was anything to go by. "You'll go stir crazy soon enough without whiskey. So. If you don't have a tattoo or some sort of charm, I'm not letting you back into the house." Toby knew the other man's habits and so she knew this Qrow's habits too. He'd be drinking before too long. Drinking and trying to ignore the world as best he could because he was likely a coward too. All she had to do was wait until he was black out drunk. One day, it'd happen and then one day, Toby would be gone with her daughter.
     
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  15. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Toby didn't stand where he directed her to, and he acknowledged it with a look and then continued scouring the room, especially her area, and locking the bedroom door while he was there, just so she'd have more of an obstacle to fiddle with if she suddenly decided to slip away from him and go do something stupid.

    As she explained more of their family's sick, twisted, and complicated relationship with the demon, Qrow distracted himself from his burning anger by opening drawers harshly, slowly circling around towards the side of the room where a bathroom lay. He didn't like any of what he was hearing. He didn't like the idea of Crowley being anywhere near that girl and he didn't like the idea of him charming her with his telekinetic tricks. He didn't like thinking that the girl's very own mother was fooled by such a performance and he especially didn't like that his twin allowed such a performance knowing the truth, which was that Crowley was evil-- and there was no way that he wasn't, in this Qrow's understandable opinion.

    So what, he had saved her life? It had probably been part of a show he put on-- like the show that Qrow was putting on for her now, just on a much smaller scale. Qrow clenched his teeth under his tightened lips and glanced to the window, not knowing how it made him feel that the very protection around the house was placed there by the demon himself. If was legitimate, according to Toby and whatever wizard she may or may not have asked to come examine the dwelling. So much was hanging in a tentative balance. Qrow didn't know what to believe, who to trust, what made sense, and what didn't make sense, and he was starting to feel like he had indeed jumped out of a frying pan and into a fire, He had not wished to become involved in this family's drama nor its tangled history.

    Qrow culled through his thoughts and emotions to get to what mattered and what affected him in the midst of all this nonsense that tore at his mind and heart every which way. "Would Crowley ever come back for Gilly? Or that Eldritch spirit? Is there any way that you know of that he could get in through the wards?" He tore his gaze elsewhere and continued his search, poking his head into the bathroom and leaving the door open before searching through the drawers in there, taking some shaving razors and anything else that he could find that was worthy of a prison lock-down confiscation. Of course, the problem was that nearly anything could be made into a weapon (he would know) and he couldn't take everything. At this point, he was just occupying himself with something to do, really.

    As she brought up the topic of errand-running, he leaned back out of the doorway and sighed, keeping his patience tethered to his tone. "I told you, I'm not leaving." He shook his head and continued searching the last few places in the bathroom before coming back into the bedroom, stuffing a razor in his pocket. "Been meaning to quit drinking for years." He joked lightly, unable to care less about running out of anything in this place. He was not a stranger to living simply, of wanting, and not having.

    Perhaps he should have cared more for what the girls were comfortable living with, what they needed and wanted-- but they hadn't been a part of this whole plan. He had not entered this house expecting to become a provider for them. But how could he forbid them to leave and yet keep them here where they'd be unhappy and untaken-care-of?

    Glancing to Toby as he settled to stand in front of her, he took another deep breath. "Four mile radius?" He asked before nodding. "I can hunt. Set up some traps. There's a flock of wild chickens three miles to the south. I can take some of their eggs. We'll be fine." He gave her another look to advise her to drop this idea of 'letting him back into the house'-- she wasn't going to 'let' him do anything, he was simply going to do it-- and then he opened the door. "Next room." No excuse of hers to get him (or them) out of the house was going to work.


    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  16. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    What he thought he was doing was a mystery to Toby. She could pick locks with the best of them and she could certainly break into any place he put that shit whenever he decided to fall asleep. So unless the man was going to nest on all the possible weapons in the house Toby was pretty sure this wasn't going to go the way he wanted. But what was the point in telling him any of that? Was Crowley going to come back for Gilly? "Crowley, no. Spirit can't get in." Which was the best way to explain the situation in short terms. "I trust my friend, not my problem if you don't." Because really Harry Dresden knew his shit. Whether or not Qrow cared about that wasn't Toby's problem at all. He could be paranoid all he wanted. Toby slept as soundly as she could because of what Harry had said, so there was no point in fussing with it now.

    Been meaning to quit drinking for years. Toby snorted, dry laughter taking over in reaction to his words. That would be the goddamn day, wouldn't it? Qrow had... well, Qrow had always had his flask on him and had always been within reach of a bottle. Didn't mean he'd always be drinking but Toby had never got onto the man for it. Again it was something that she didn't think was an issue because he had always been so goddamn affectionate when he was drunk. Those had been some of the happier moments had been when they were both tipsy or sloshed. Qrow Branwen had taught her how to relax a little, to enjoy life a little more, and that only made her bitter in the end.

    Qrow went on about hunting and the sound of it all sounded like horse shit to her. "Gilly needs veggies, Qrow. Grains. Milk. All the little sections of the food pyramid. She's four." Her daughter was not going to eat on a diet of scrappy protein and eggs. But it was the first time that Toby had ever called the man by his actual name since... well, since she had discovered there were two of them. What else was she supposed to do at this stage? Piss him off by calling him Joe? Her aura wasn't up and running yet so Toby didn't feel like pushing back just yet. Or rather, pushing back on the same day. Lesson learned. She was going to pick and choose her battles with this man over the next two weeks until she found a way out. Maybe a bit sooner. She was sure Harry wouldn't mind them camping out in his living room.

    She looked up at him as he stopped in front of her talking about the next room. Her chin lifted slightly and she looked up at those red eyes, willing herself to keep in mind exactly how much of an asshole this one was. Just as much as the other. Maybe in similar ways, maybe in different ways, but she wasn't going to let him completely push her around. "I'm going to go into my daughter's room now and watch a movie with her. My four year old's room where there are no sharp objects or weapons of any kind because I love my daughter." There was a small smile on her lips as she finished off what she was saying. It was perfectly logical. There would be no hidden weapons of any kind in Gilly's room. The only thing in there Toby could even begin to use would be the tablet. "You have the laundry room, the guest bedroom, the basement, the second bathroom, and the garage left. My keys to the car are in my jacket pocket hanging in the closet downstairs." She laid it all out for him. Easily pointing out what he was doing and stating she didn't give a fuck. He could do what the fuck he wanted as far as that shit went.

    "The only thing in there I can use as a weapon is maybe the biggest plastic dinosaur she has but I feel like that wouldn't be satisfying to murder anyone with because it'd break first." Back to that cheery little tone. An honesty to it, without saying it was a direct threat to him at all. Just stating facts as she saw them. Really Toby would prefer a blunt, heavy object for that sort of thing. Like a brick. Or a mallet. Or maybe a crowbar. Yes, those were much better things to use when aggressively, emotionally killing someone. She would know. She had seen it hundreds of times in her line of work. Living through the memories of the dead. She knew what that felt like. Toby rarely got that angry but she would get that angry if he thought Gilly wasn't going to be fed right.

    Then she turned and unlocked the bedroom door, opening it and moving into the hallway. The brunette moved slowly though, watching him while she did, as if she didn't fully trust him not to lunge for a grab because she wasn't obeying his every order. Everything Toby had said was perfectly logical and Toby would be locked away with her daughter watching a movie for the better part of two hours. He would have more than enough time to ransack the place and find all the crowbar like potential murder weapons. Toby would use the coffee table if she had to. But she wasn't looking for a fight at the moment. Toby just wanted to lock herself and her daughter away for a bit, to try and recover from everything that had happened. To let Toby take a breath and calm herself. It would be best for both of them if they spent little time interacting. For more than one reason. But she had no idea if he would actually agree. Qrow had always had opposite thoughts on anything important. Why would this guy be any different?
     
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  17. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    Unfortunately, there was very little that Qrow could control (not only in this situation, but in life as well) and the tainted huntsman knew that. He just didn't want to acknowledge it. Searching through the house and confiscating whatever he could find that was deemed potentially problematic was more of an exercise that supposedly calmed and gave him peace of mind. It didn't seem to be working very well yet, but he wasn't going to stop because if (or when) something did go wrong, Qrow wanted to know that he had tried everything to prevent it, even if it would ultimately be out of his control. Such was the sad and futile story of his life.

    "Gilly needs veggies, Qrow. Grains. Milk. All the little sections of the food pyramid. She's four."

    He didn't really have anything to say to that, and so he peered at her spitefully and then drew his gaze elsewhere to search for solutions to more important issues that the kid's nutritional health-- which, yes, he was now apparently responsible for ruing. Whatever. They had acceptable food for a few days, according to Toby. Running out of healthy options for the little tyke was a problem for future Qrow.

    It was increasingly glaringly obvious that there was a direct contradiction in his plans, now that Gilly was a factor in them, and Toby was more than eager to point them out-- which he did not appreciate. The girls couldn't leave, but that made it so that they also couldn't remain living here. Qrow was faced with a wall, and he was stuck. Ironically, he'd trapped himself, and was now forcing the others to stay imprisoned with him because of his panic-induced paranoia.

    If they escaped, the hunter would come. If he escaped, the hunter would track him down. This trap was the only safe place for him, but it required them all to stay there and quietly hide. The girls would be miserable. There was no telling how long a wolf could stay peaceably caged with two rabbits, and as Toby so blatantly pointed out, the difference in diet alone was enough to do some damage.

    Qrow's stress level was nearing its peak, so when Toby began dictating what would happen next, he both grew infuriated at her gall and hung on every word, yearning for direction. Balancing out, his emotions simmered as he glared at her through her speech. Five rooms left. Six including Gilly's. A car. That was definitely a high priority item to address on his Lock Down list.

    Toby was such a snide bitch. Her sass reminded him of his sister, and not in any good way. Telling him how many rooms there were in this house and telling him where her keys were would earn zero trust points in his book. She just wanted to be freed of his hawk-eyed watch-- and what reason could she possibly want that for, other than to do something he'd disapprove of?

    "It's also the room you've been living in, Tobe." He snapped, reminding her of the fact as if she was stupid-- or at least stupid for thinking that he wouldn't have pieced that together after scouring a completely empty bedroom. "I trust your kid. I don't trust you." He hissed, lowering the volume of his voice and stepping up to her in front of Gilly's door. "So if you want the next room to be Gilly's, room, then by all means." Qrow mocked, gesturing for her to open the door. "You can be alone with her after I've searched it."


    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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  18. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Toby was normally, or had been, a sweet woman to Qrow Branwen. She had been understanding for the majority of their relationship. She had been his support, had dropped everything to be there for him, and all of that had been met with... bad attitude. Insincerity. Lies. It was more than enough to give her an attitude when it came to certain situations. To certain faces. Qrow Branwen had been hurting her for months. Ever since she moved into this stupid house with him he had spoken down to her, had treated her terribly, and then had broken her heart again and again and again. What else was she supposed to feel? Didn't matter this was a different Qrow. If they were the same person, as he had argued, then he likely would have done the same. Or more.

    "I'm not calling you Joe. Do not fucking call me Tobe." Her voice was ice again as she spoke. That was a nickname she never wanted to hear from that raspy ass voice ever again. Because it hurt. Because it burned. He was poking at a gaping wound he had no idea about. The issues in her relationship might have been tipped over and made worse by Crowley but there were other things that had started issues long before. His flirting with other women. The way he stared at them. The way she had felt like needed to dress like a whore just to get his attention. The way he spoke down to her any time he was stressed and... well, there were a ton of reasons. She could think of five new ones every time she looked at his double.

    But the fact he trusted Gilly? Probably not the smartest thing. Gilly was willing to tattle on her mother to Uncle Qrow but she was more than eager to tattle on Uncle Qrow to Mommy. Mommy would still win in the end. She just... fuck, Toby didn't want to think about that either. "Doesn't matter where I've been. I wouldn't..." She trailed off for a second as she looked away from him. I wouldn't put my daughter in danger. But that wasn't the case, was it? One hand lifted to go for the door handle to Gilly's room but faltered, dropping her hand as soon as she did. There was a wave of guilt, shame, anger, and instead of opening the door Toby gripped the door frame as she struggled through those emotions.

    Her blood was an issue at this stage. "You're such a fucking asshole. Doesn't matter which one you are." The words were said in a breath with all that rage just a touch behind. He wouldn't have cared what he was doing to hurt Toby. So it didn't matter if he realized it or not. "I have had enough of Qrow Branwen stomping all over my life and deciding what I get to do. What is right for me and my daughter." Her fingers dug into the frame more, splintering the wood where she gripped. Her aura still wasn't back so the wood dug into her skin but she didn't mind it. She never would. Pain was just part of her life and splinters were hardly that much of an issue.

    But it was her blood more than anything else, wasn't it? She was more faerie than human, more soulless than souled and Toby was having trouble figuring out what to do because of it. Because really she just wanted to leave at this stage. Take her chances with her friends and just take on Crowley herself if he ever actually became an issue. "We're not going to out you. I'm not going to put my daughter into any more danger with Branwens or Crowleys or any of that horseshit. I just want to keep her safe. I can't lose her again." She forgot for a second that this Qrow didn't know her past. That this Qrow wouldn't know that she had been rejected by her entire family. From everyone she had ever loved. That everyone... everyone was better off without her.

    Why wasn't Cliff in Pandora? Toby would have gladly handed Gilly to Cliff. Cliff had been a wonderful dad. Gilly would have been better off with her father than with Toby, obviously. Toby wasn't a good mother. She never would be. She was only a failure. As a mother, as a lover, as a girlfriend, as a person. Common factor was Toby in all her problems and she deserved nothing more than loneliness in her life. Obviously. Instead Toby shook her head and let go of the door frame, taking a step back. "Go on. Go search and see that I'm a woman of my word. I don't need to lie to you about anything, Branwen. The only one who's ever told lies between us was you." When he had lied about who he actually was. When he had taken advantage of her. Toby didn't need to lie about anything. About... fuck, she didn't care at this stage. She just... she was just tired of all this shit.
     
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  19. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~So break me down if it makes you feel right~
    ~And hate me now if it keeps you alright~
    ~I'm the one you can never trust~

    She really didn't like him calling her 'Tobe,' and it simultaneously made him want to hiss it in her face every chance he got-- but also she was right. If she wasn't going to call him the stupid nickname she had given him before, then it was only fair that he drop his own nickname for her. Even if he didn't mean a damned thing by it, originally. It was just a way to shorten her name into one easy syllable. But life wasn't fair, and they weren't aiming to balance a score for who was being more of an asshole to whom, so he would decide later if he'd continue to use the nickname or not.

    He watched her rage to herself, quietly enjoying it, but not eager to push her any further towards the end of her rope. They were both pissed off and stressed, and all he wanted was to ensure that there were no problems hiding in that room of theirs. Clearly all she wanted was to be alone with her kid, and Qrow wouldn't mind some time to himself as well once the bedroom was examined. For once, they had a mutual goal.

    She seethed about his double, causing a quirk of disgust to tug at his lip, but then she went on to reveal a small bit of information, and it banished his aggression towards her. Did the other Qrow, or Crowley, cause her to lose her daughter before? A flare of concern spiked through his cold dark heart, but it passed quickly. It didn't matter if they did or not. She was here now, and he wanted as little to do with their past drama as possible.

    He stood stoically with her in the small hallway, glancing past her and down towards the other rooms as he turned his mind to the tasks he had to do, and not their emotional issues. After a moment of silence, he murmured carelessly, and still with a layer of indefinite bitterness, "I haven't lied to you, Toby. I've been more truthful and genuine to you than he ever was." He had lied to her, once. So his first statement was in and of itself a second lie. But his following statement was clearly the truth, based off what she bitched about. Qrow was calling her out on taking her anger out on him. For directing all of her hatred at him for no reason other than the fact that he was a duplicate of the man she dated-- which had been her mistake, not either Qrow's.

    He couldn't exactly expect her to not see him as she saw her ex. That was unreasonable. If Crowley had a double who was kind and not a monster (as impossible as that was, even in Pandora) then Qrow would surely not give him any second thought and kill him on sight. So he couldn't blame Toby for how she felt when she looked at him. His existence here sucked for everyone.

    After a little while longer of waiting, he sighed deeply to exhale the heat in his body and cool off. They did not need to bring their baggage and shit into the child's room. Finally, he knocked lightly on Gilly's door and then opened it, giving her a dull and tired greeting of his usual, "Hey." He sounded ready to keel over with the utter lack of excitement and energy in his tone, but there was no anger or bitterness in it any longer.

    "You wanna watch a movie with your mom?" Her asked rhetorically, stepping inside and carefully over some toys to scan the room, paying the kid little attention. Some of Toby's stuff was by the bed, and there were some electronics that he made note of, for now, but there was little else that posed any kind of threat or hazard, as was expected in a child's room and as Toby had so rudely informed him.

    "Why don't you pick one out, kiddo, and we'll get it set up." He murmured, finishing the visual examination of the room from the center. There were wards by the window, and some scratch marks on the frame. His eyes lingered over those for a moment before moving over to check the security of the lock, tugging it lightly. He assumed they had physical disks, but of course digital movies were a thing too. He'd just have to disable the internet connection on that tablet or laptop, and then find where the modem was in the house and disconnect it. Just in case.

    ~And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us~
    ~But what a waste of my time~


    @Toby Daye
     
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