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Good, it seemed that Elliot was doing much better now. Whether it was an act or not, Asher wouldn't pry. But, anything was better than where he had been at, mentally, moments before. But, Elliot had way too much faith in the redhead, it seemed. There was no way that he was great how he was! Or at all! "There's always room for improvement," he smiled, reassuringly. Of course he wasn't going to admit there was nothing great about him!
Well, the movie was a bust. So, now Elliot wanted to play video games? He supposed he couldn't really complain. At least it wasn't more clattering pans. "I'm sure your room's not that bad," Asher insisted, adding, "it's nowhere near what my room looks like, I promise you! I almost lost Whiskers in the mess the other day!" Needless to say, Whiskers was not happy about that.
But, after watching Elliot gather everything up and prepare to walk off with it, the young man couldn't just let him continue. Rising to his feet, Asher swept around Elliot, pulling the tray from his hands as delicately as possible. "I'll help," he hummed, softly, "just show me where you want everything to go." Sure, Elliot wanted to be able to do everything himself, but Asher could hardly allow that!
"After all, I'm the reason a mess was made at all. I can't let you do all the work here!" Hopefully, that was a sufficient enough save!
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 5:19:45 GMT
Elliot blinked. "Wait, what? You lost Meicoomon?" he asked, trying to figure out how that even happened. Losing a normal animal was weird enough. A sapient one? How much of a disaster area was Asher's room? "How did you even do that?" he managed to ask as he started laughing. Of course, he couldn't be too merry. One of the pans was starting to slide away! He quickly leaned back, eyes wide with shock and pupils laser-focused on the sliding pan. It slid into place at an agonizingly slow pace, at which point Elliot let out a relieved huff.
Much less relieved was the indignant huff when Asher just started taking the mess from his hands. "No, you're the guest!" he protested, puffing slightly. "I should be the one doing everything I could to help you, right?" However, as he realized how much he had to look up to face Asher when they were standing, he started to wonder if that was a problem. "Although you are taller than me. And stronger than me." That hug was really nice. "Okay, okay. I'll let you help this time. But just this once, okay?" he made sure to state, not wanting Asher to be under the illusion that he'd need to work in this household.
Recovering his walking stick, he started heading to the kitchen at a much more natural pace. "Y'know, its probably best you're helping. Mom left those pans really high up. I almost fell trying to get 'em down last time, and this time would've been way harder." That explained the small chair scuffs leading from the floor to the nearby cabinet, at the very least. "So the pans were in the top shelf over there. The tea set was on the bottom shelf, though, and so was the tea kettle. Isaac can't get to the top shelf easily, after all. Although he has a better time than me at it." Well of course he did! He could at least balance on both legs!
That said, Elliot really wished he could be helping Asher out more. After all, there was always room for self improvement, right? "Do you dream?" he found himself asking as he looked around the kitchen, the question almost coming out unconsciously.
Smiling, the boy shrugged. He really didn't want to get into how he lost a talking cat in his bedroom! "That place is a mess, I tell you!" God forbid Elliot ever try to enter that room! The boy would never be seen again! The real problem was getting lost under the bed!
The redhead stuck his tongue out while Elliot fussed about him helping out. And, then seemed to change his mind. Huh, that was easy! "You've been doing plenty," he hummed. "Just this once," the young man also agreed. Of course, that was the agreement for now. If he saw Elliot trying to hard again, it would be 'just one more time,' instead! It wasn't like it was the first time Asher had lied today, alone! Whatever to make Elliot happy.
But, it was really concerning, the thought of Elliot falling down just to get some stupid pans. Still, Asher followed and placed them on the top shelf with ease. "I'd hate for you to get hurt." Especially over something that was for Asher! Without him even knowing! That was terrible!
Now, he moved to take care of the tea set and kettle, before pausing at the question. Wait, what? That felt really random. "I guess, yeah. Why?" Sure, Asher had dreams. After all, people often forgot that nightmares were dreams, too. And, even Asher's potentials for a future felt like nightmares just waiting for their opportunity. Dream-World or real life, it seemed that the answer was the same. How worrying. "Do you?"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 5:50:25 GMT
"Oh, don't worry, I do that all the time," Elliot said at Asher's expression of concern. "Besides, remember the whole Digital World thing? Trust me, I deal with way scarier stuff than a chair." Of course, that was starting to edge on the point of talking a little too much. Especially in the context of his earlier dream question. That just reminded him of Porcupamon, of Myotismon, of Omnimon Zwart, and all the other close calls that Elliot had experienced during his time in the Digital World so far. The number had actually been stable for quite a long time, recently. He'd been quite the little leader, and remained surprisingly strong in the face of tense incidents like the Trailmon derailment. Maybe he was really moving past those initial growing pains.
And yet his hand still floated up gingerly to where his scars from Myotismon were, as if making sure they were still there. He hoped Asher didn't see.
"Oh, me?" he asked, as if surprised his own question was being turned on him. Why did the worst of those nightmares have to be the ones to rise to the surface? "Sometimes," he admitted. "A lot more than usual, lately, but that's just because so much has been going on since moving to Japan." In both worlds, really! "Some good, some bad. I dunno. It complicated.
Anyway, when you're done, my room's upstairs. C'mon, lets go check it out!" With that Elliot started scooting off, gently tapping his way up the stairs and opening the first door on the right. Dear lord, it was a mess indeed! The sheets were somewhat tossed aside, and a pillow had fallen off of the bed. The rug was bunched up a little, a small lighter patch showing where shoes must've normally been put. A few scattered textbooks were left on the desk, one even still open. One of the clothes drawers slightly ajar.
"Oh, no, that's Isaac's half. My half's over to the right," Elliot corrected. He pointed to a much more pristine looking segment, dusted to perfection. The bed was so tucked in it didn't look like Elliot would even be able to fit in it. His clothes for tomorrow were folded in an orderly fashion and left on his nightstand, and his relatively small TV didn't even have a speck of dust on it. And yet Elliot still peered disapprovingly at it. "I would've put my-" Perfectly arranged and lined up, for that matter- "-shoes away if I knew we were having company, and I think the curtains are a bit wrinkly . . ." The fact that Elliot even had cute little curtains said a lot!
"But, yeah, that's my room! Anything you want to play?"
"I guess," the spirit user shrugged, not wanting to pry too heavily. After all, he was trying to keep Elliot happy! Was this kid always such a bundle of nerves? It couldn't be healthy! He needed to learn to just relax a little bit, and stop stressing about the real world!
With a small hum, the teen returned to placing the items where they belonged, while listening to Elliot. He really didn't want to poke around too much at the boy! And, for some reason, he was getting a big feeling that if he did, it would result in a lot more insecurities and tears. If Isaac walked in on Elliot crying, and Asher standing there, the redhead was as good as dead. Multiple times over.
Shoot. Isaac. What time did he get home, again? Eyes shifted around the room, looking for a clock. Not that it would do much good! He had no idea what shift his coworker had been assigned! What a problem. Asher didn't really want to still be here when he arrived! Or, even, walking out the door at perfect timing to barely cross paths.
It didn't take much time to follow Elliot up the stairs, and delicately entered the room. Oh, this wasn't messy at all! ...Wait. The 'messy' side wasn't even Elliot's? What the heck? "Dear God, you're worse that Piper," the teen mumbled under his breath, with eyes wide. And he thought his sister was a great housekeeper!
Oh no, do not imagine Elliot in a maid's dress. Isaac already made it clear that Elliot wasn't allowed to work in the cafe!
"I think your room looks fine." Note to self, never ever let Elliot in his bedroom. Looking around, he seemed a little too distracted to answer the question at first. "Hm? Oh! I don't know. What games do you have, that you feel like playing?"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 6:32:00 GMT
Worse than Piper? How was that even possible? "Oh, please, don't tell her you said that," Elliot warned. "I'm pretty sure she'd, like, bleach the whole house white or something trying to out-clean me." Something told Elliot that Piper wasn't really someone for second bests. She retook a test just to overturn a 99, for crying out loud! It was equal parts admirable and somewhat terrifying. It also made her a great study buddy, if not one impossible to keep pace with.
Still, Elliot wasn't one to talk about perfectionism, with the way he was currently fiddling with the curtains to try and smooth them out. Stupid curtains. "I'm glad you like it, though!" he chirped. "I always feel kinda grody when my room's too dirty for long. So I just started cleaning it regularly. Feels so much better that way." Then again, it also felt better when he did both morning and night showers, so who even wanted to listen to what Elliot had to say? This boy was way too clean for his own good. It was a wonder he'd adjusted to giant, world-spanning adventures so easily with how much of a mess they raised!
"I've got a lot of games. Kinda hard to pick from them all sometimes," he said. He had honestly been hoping Asher would've done the picking! "How about you try Roller Coaster Tycoon for a bit? I wanna see what you can come up with," Elliot quickly booted up his Steam account, taking a pillow off of his bed and putting it on the back of his computer chair for extra comfort. With that settled he flopped onto his bed, looking strangely tired for this early in the day. Then again, they had been spending a decent amount of time training, hadn't they?
"So, is this gonna be your first holiday season in Japan?" Elliot asked. "There's a lot of really cool traditions about that kind of thing here, from what I read. Like the first dream of the New Year hinting at what your luck's gonna be like next year." So that's why Elliot was asking earlier! Explained his somewhat distracted mumble. Maybe the boy was a little worried that he'd have a bad one then, too.
Hopefully, Piper wouldn't go too crazy if Asher mentioned anything about Elliot's room. Or, his half of the room, that is. She wasn't that obsessive, was she? Sure, GPA meant everything to that girl, but the cleanliness of a room? Maybe not so much. After all, she walked into Asher's room once every few days to forcibly wake him up! If Elliot saw that room, he'd probably pass out from terror!
Looking at the computer, the teen hesitated. "Why don't you?" Suddenly, he was understanding why Isaac was murdering virtual souls. "I'm not all that creative!" How was he supposed to make an amusement park?
Though, Elliot looked surprisingly tired. Maybe, if he just played the game a bit, the boy would fall asleep. It looked like he needed rest. "Alright," he agreed after a moment of debate, before sitting down and very cautiously trying to figure out the game. It had been a long time since he had played something like this! That, and he didn't want to actually kill a bunch of pixel-people! Unlike someone that he knew!
"Uh, yeah," the redhead nodded, "I think we moved here last January?" Then again, he wasn't so sure. But, it was after Christmas. That much, he knew. "You been talking to Pip about traditions, or something?" Apparently, it wasn't the first time he had heard something like that! Either way, he really hoped that the dream comment wasn't true. After all, most of his were nightmares. That would be terrible, terrible luck.
But, did he miss being home? What was there to miss? "Nah," Asher quickly answered. It wasn't like he had that many friends. Homeschooling really had damaged his chances at that! Entering high school at such a late point was a lot harder when it came to joining cliques. Especially when some people recognized him. And, beyond that, the holidays weren't anything special to him. "What about you?"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 7:32:39 GMT
Elliot was more than content to sit back and watch Asher kill some pixel people. Or not kill some pixel people. Or maybe extort a bunch of pixel people by making free water and expensive bathrooms. That was always Elliot's preferred strategy, really. Not because of the exploitation part! It was more just giggling at seeing games behaving just as intended even when that painted a really weird picture of reality. Just like flipping buckets on people's heads in Skyrim and them placidly standing there instead of ever taking them off. Or horses reporting their own thefts, also in Skyrim. Or arrowing a guy in the head and having him assume it was the wind just because he didn't see you, still in Skyrim.
Man, Skyrim was weird.
"Oh, I just did the research on my own once I found out we were moving here," Elliot responded. "I didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb when moving here. I mean, kinda hard not to, but it still wouldn't be right of me to go without learning the culture first. And there was so much interesting stuff to learn, too." The myth could be absolutely fascinating, and the history was really neat too. Even stuff like bowing when greeting someone and reading Japanese was starting to become less strained and more reflexive as he became more integrated with the country.
And Asher was so integrated he could answer without even a thought. Now, how was Elliot even supposed to answer that? "Well, I, um . . . yeah," he finally admitted, sighing and embedding himself a bit deeper into his bed. "Not that I'm not happy to be here! I really love it! But it just feels weird not being home for the holidays, you know? And there's my old friends from school, and my relatives, and my dad, and just-"
Elliot had fallen quiet again. "You should build a really tall coaster," he finally said, trying to keep his eyes focused on the screen.
"Huh," the redhead hummed, while sifting through the options of rides that he could pick from. "You should talk to her about cultures. She's big on that kind of thing." Then again, what wasn't she interested in? It seemed like everything caught the girl's interest! Where as, with Asher, he really had no idea what he was getting into, and spent an obnoxious amount of time just grasping the language, instead!
It really worked out better the day that Piper decided that, no, English just wasn't working, and that if Asher was going to understand her, it was going to be in Japanese. Makes someone learn fast when they have that kind of motivation!
"That makes sense," he murmured, as he decided that people in the game were going to have to pay a quarter every time they needed to pee. Buildings weren't cheap, after all! "Your dad's there, huh?" That seemed to catch the redhead's interest. "What's he like?"
Having a Christmas away from a loved parent. That must be hard.
Still, he began building as tall of a roller coaster as the game would permit, going as far as to adjusting the terrain levels to try to force it higher. And, hey, it kind of worked for a while! "Think this is tall enough?"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 7:54:52 GMT
"I'll be sure to bring it up to her next time I see her," Elliot said, grinning. "It'd be nice to see her talk about a topic that didn't involve my grades being on the line. And it means I get to learn cool stuff, too, so win-win!" Piper could be so serious business sometimes. This would at least be the more fun side of serious business. Business casual?
And then Asher raised the million dollar question. "He's-" Elliot started, thankful that Asher would be looking at the screen and not at him. The look on Elliot's face was equal parts happy, and longing, and worried, and confused. "He's my dad," was all Elliot could even think of for a start. "And he always cared a lot about me. He let me play whatever games he was playing, even the really hard ones I could never beat on my own. He always made sure I had my favorite food, and plenty of stuff to do, and took great care of me. And he worked really hard. Sometimes too hard. But . . ."
What was Elliot supposed to say? He fought with mom too much? He never liked Isaac? He could get tense and even violent when pushed too far? How could he admit all of those things about a man he dearly loved, who made up like 75% of his good childhood memories? Was he supposed to say the family had an impromptu move to Japan just because his mom never wanted to see his face again? Was he supposed to say that he still sometimes heard Isaac muttering angrily in his sleep about him? Deep in his heart, he knew all of it was true. Even the stuff everyone tried to hide from him for the sake of his happiness. Yet he just couldn't reconcile it, and if he couldn't reconcile it then he couldn't face it. And if he couldn't face it, then he had to run from it.
"He could be kinda angry sometimes."
He had tried to avoid even talking about it, but Asher coaxed it out of him. Why'd he have to feel so comfortably-uncomfortable around him? It sucked. But at least the roller coaster was really, really tall now. "I don't think its tall enough, but its as well as we can get it, I think," Elliot said. "Now what are you gonna do with it?"
Did Elliot actually enjoy spending time with Asher's sister? Or, was he simply doing it to humor her, at this point? The brother really had to wonder, but he certainly wasn't going to ask. If only the boy realized that Piper was actually a pretty normal girl, deep down. And, not nearly as abrasive as she let on! It seemed that everyone had their masks.
Yes, yes Asher was aware that Elliot's dad was his dad. That would only make sense. But, he continued to focus on trying to make this ride in the game look fun. Maybe he'd give it fun colors? Hm. What was Elliot's favorite color? "Working too much can make people angry," the teen tried to rationalize. Of course, there was a pause in his clicking, to fully register the statement. What kind of angry, though? "It sounds like he loves you, though," the redhead thought aloud. That must be nice.
"Isn't that what matters?"
Maybe. Or, maybe not. Either way, he returned to clicking, choosing not to look at the sleepy boy. "The birds are flying through the supports," he pointed out. That seemed plenty tall! What type of person would go on a ride like this?
"Hm," he hummed, "I think I can get part of the tracks to tunnel under the lake," he suggested, trying to mess with the settings. Oh, come on, he did this when he was a kid. He would figure it out now! "What do you think about that?"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Dec 31, 2016 18:02:40 GMT
Elliot really didn't want to keep talking about this. At the same time, he knew if he told Asher that the older teen would just start worrying about him again. And as much as he really liked being hugged and softly reassured by Asher, he really didn't like having to talk about topics this complicated. Maybe Asher would notice it a page taken out of his book when Elliot proceeded to ignore all of that conversation, almost as if in a daze, before finally turning lazily towards him. "Yeah. He does," Elliot finally said, trying to drag out a smile again.
Much better to focus on the roller coasters. "Building under stuff is really fun," he said, remembering that one time he built Happy Valley. Really chaotic mess of loop-de-loops, then raised the ground to cover it all up, and finally built a small, peaceful-looking circle loop connecting to the terrifying underground mess. People never knew what they were getting into when they approached Happy Valley! Although that might have been because people in Roller Coaster Tycoon never knew what they were getting into, and not any genius on Elliot's part. But deep in his heart, he knew Happy Valley was a smart plan.
"Y'know, I think Isaac took overtime today," Elliot said, surely marking a guest to be named Isaac and dipped slowly yet agonizingly into a lake. "He's been doing that a lot lately. Probably wants to make sure he has enough for the holiday rush. Good thing, huh? He probably would've been back by now otherwise." Wouldn't it have been great if he just ended up barging in through the front door in the middle of that hug? "He's really been working hard lately, though. I hope it doesn't tire him out too much. I think part of him's trying to take responsibility, too, since he's one of the only other people in the family working right now." Sure, Maia's gifts were important, but so was contributing to the household income. Maybe Isaac was gonna be spending a lot more time at this job than Elliot thought.
It was fairly clear that Elliot didn't want to continue having a conversation about his father. And, despite the desire to always press on awkward topics, this wasn't one that Asher was willing to pry with. After all, he knew the feeling of dysfunctional families all too well. That, and he didn't want Elliot to get distressed and almost cry again. The kid really didn't need more stress.
"Oh, yeah?" the redhead hummed, deciding that the entry fee for the park was just too cheap. How much could he make it before nobody wanted to enter the park? Oh, or should he lower it to get a good crowd going, and then block off the entrance so that they could never escape? Hm. Decisions. "If he can handle Digimon, I'm sure he can handle whatever work they give him." Then again, the Digital World still seemed of less consequence. Sure, it sounded like if you messed up, you could die. But, if you did something stupid, you could just avoid it for a couple weeks and people would probably forget what you had done.
He would only assume that it didn't work the other way around. Who would hide out in the Digital World and abandon their original life, after all?
Regardless, he was pretty glad that Isaac wasn't home yet. Asher really didn't want to face him, no matter what stupid thing the older of the brothers walked in to see him doing. Though, now Asher had to wonder how badly the family needed money. It wasn't really something that he had considered before.
"Customers, or coworkers?" Asher found himself inquiring, though he tried to keep his tone light. "I don't know. He seems to be getting along with everyone just fine!"
Post by Elliot and Isaac Sunderland on Jan 1, 2017 1:42:31 GMT
Elliot shrugged a little. "Its not really handling one or the other so much as handling both," he pointed out. "And I know, I know. He doesn't have to go to the Digital World too. But I get the feeling if we didn't schedule stuff he'd start sneaking out to do it, so by setting aside some time it makes everything smoother. And then there's also grades, and language-learning, and helping out around home.
It all just gets kinda busy sometimes,"
Of course, for now Elliot was just watching Asher fiddle with the price of admission, making it constantly swing between way too cheap and way too expensive. "Why don't you make it free, but then make all the food and water really expensive?" he suggested sleepily. By now, if Asher looked at him he'd see Elliot was hugging a pillow to his chest. "Or, like, have a giant roller coaster by the entrance, but the exit dumps them off clear on the other side of the park. And then they gotta find their way back." Such deviousness! It was clear Elliot had a lot of ideas when it came to gaming. Then again, this was also the guy who rigged his Minecraft homes with TNT in case anyone moved his bookshelves out of place.
Of course, he hadn't even been thinking customers. "Well, both," Elliot added, "But I was mostly thinking co-workers. He told me because of the high turnover rate people could be a little chilly at first, so I wanted to make sure things were going better for him now. But customers are important too. Wouldn't it be great if my big bro was already starting to get some regulars?"
The topic of customers was starting to get the gears in Elliot's head turning, too. "Any good customer stories lately? They don't have to be Isaac's. Although it'd be way funnier if they were," Elliot requested, rolling over onto his belly so he could get a better look of Asher. Looking at him while lying flat on his back was really starting to get straining!
Without even thinking about what he was saying, the teen found himself blurting, "why's the Digital World so great, anyway?" It really just seemed like a hassle, more than anything! After all, who wanted to take a trip on a talking train, just to go risk their lives for random people? That really didn't sound like a fun time!
"Isn't it mean to make people pay that much for food?" Asked the person who, thirty seconds ago, bumped the price of using the bathrooms to fifteen dollars. Well, people had to eat! Toilets could be a luxury, right? He had put down bushes and flowers near the bathrooms, anyway! Not that virtual people were literally going to consider that as an option.
Of course, with the idea of the giant roller coaster, the teen was quick to work on it! Elliot was a thinker! But, it might take a little while to get the funds to make the entire track. That's okay. He had time.
But, was Elliot really worried about the people at work liking his brother? "Nobody's said anything bad about him to me," then again, that might be because they didn't dare get an earful from Asher defending the newbies. "I wouldn't worry too much. Like I said earlier, he's a natural." A natural what, though? Pain in the ass?
Either way, nobody seemed to be talking poorly of the kid. Though, Asher hadn't really heard anyone excited about him, either. Not that it mattered much. Usually, the manager was too busy to listen to gossip from the other workers. So, maybe they loved Isaac. Or hated him. It was a mystery! "I'll check around, for you, next time I think of it."
But, as far as customer stories went? Well, Asher didn't usually try to remember what happened at work on a daily basis. "Let's see," the teen hummed, randomly picking up one of the visitors in the game and dropping them as far back on the map as he could. "Yesterday, a customer set one of the tablecloths on fire. Not really sure why," though, why would anyone want to do that? "It wasn't really big or anything. We caught it before it did any real damage." The singed table might try to say otherwise, though!