You're Not Mad, But The World Is

Cast: Wynn, Eugene
Date: March 3, 2013

Eugene discovers that his hallucinations are not hallucinations after an Other attack in a Tesco parking lot.

Tesco Parking Lot

It's long after dark, and the neighborhood Tesco supermarket seems almost abandoned, in spite of the bright, cheerfully colored signs and the almost too-bright lighting that emanates from the interior of the store. The parking lot is slightly less well-lit than the area directly around the store. The infrequent flickering orange street lamps only barely illuminate the darkness toward the edges of the parking lot where the store lights don't reach. Perhaps the lights just aren't seen as all that necessary… At this time of night, close to closing time, the parking lot is almost deserted. There are a few cars belonging to employees, and one or two vehicles belonging to customers rushing to make their purchases before the door are locked for the night, but that's it.

That is, of course, except for Eugene, who is just venturing into the darkness at the edge of the parking lot. Rather than heading for one of the parked cars, he crosses the parking lot, aiming for a bus stop near the street that consists of nothing more than a hard concrete bench and a small sign declaring which bus line serves this stop. As he walks, he stares blankly into space, with the tired, distant look about him of a man running on autopilot after a long, difficult day.

The only time of day when things get quiet for Wynn is when it's not day at all. By now, most of the residents of the Hollow Tree Hostel have bedded down, and those that haven't are out for the evening. It's very ill advised for him to be out by himself, but he's a pragmatist. Yes, it's dangerous, but the safehouses also need vital things like food and toilet paper. He's just finished loading things into his hatchback, but pauses to respond to a text. His car is on the edge of the lot, just where the light starts to fade off into darkness and near the path that Eugene is aiming for.

There's another man - a figure that seems in shadows no matter where the light falls. He's coming from the path that Eugene is heading towards. But rather than veer politely to the left or right, he comes straight for Eugene and stops. "Got a light, mate?" he rasps. He appears to be wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a long trenchcoat. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to realize that there is something…very strange and very wrong about this individual. For one, he seems to have left smoking footprints behind.

Eugene stops momentarily, dragging his gaze reluctantly to examine this figure. Everything seems slow about Eugene today. It takes him moments to focus on the stranger, moments more to comprehend the question, and finally he puts together an answer and starts patting his pockets for a lighter. Finally, he remembers that he doesn't smoke, and he smiles self-consciously. "I'm sorry, I don't…" he answers, quietly, but then his gaze drifts, and eventually settles on the smoking footprints. Yes, there is most decidedly something wrong about that, but he can't seem to immediately muster more than a kind of quiet concern about it, blinking rapidly. He smiles, a little more stiffly than before. "The store's open a few minutes, yet… They sell lighters," he offers, tentatively, while stepping aside to give the stranger plenty of room to pass and avoiding any kind of eye contact.

The man - if it is indeed a man, does not move. The longer he stands there, the more pungent the scent becomes. It's like standing by a recently-extinguished fire that was burning plastic or something artificial that's releasing toxic fumes. The man cants his head and lifts it slightly. His skin appears parched and cracked - almost burned, but not in any common way. He flexes his fingers and there's a pulling, cracking sound like every joint popping at once.

And then, there's something that flies across the parking lot and smacks off the man's head. Then another. And another. The last ricochets towards Eugene's leg. Cans. Mushy Peas. Baked Beans. Sweetcorn. There's Wynn at the edge of the parking lot. He's hovering another can in the air, then hauls back. The can goes hurtling towards the 'man' with the speed exceeding that of a Major League baseball pitcher. "Oy! Carmen San Diego!"

The creature whirls around, and its illusion of humanity drops in a piff of black smoke. The hat and jacket disappear, revealing a demonic creature with cracked skin that seems to smoulder from within. It has pale, misted-over white eyes and a gaping maw of razor-sharp teeth. It opens its mouth and lets out a howl of irritation.

Eugene doesn't seem able to dare to pass the smoking man, and so he stands there, awkwardly, looking down and to the side. His shoulders slowly hitch up with a growing tension that he tries to control with deep, measured breathing, but it's the throwing of cans that finally snaps him out of it. He cringes, ducking his head as though half expecting a can to be hurled at /him/.

With a distressed, confused expression, he looks toward the can-thrower, and by the time he looks back to the smoking man, it has….changed. For a moment, Eugene's eyes just bug out, and he hitches in a few quick, unsteady breaths as he stumbles back by a step or two. A normal person would run away at that point, but Eugene just stumbles backward until his back encounters one of those small, sad trees that architects universally seem to think will cheer up a parking lot, but which inevitably just make it more depressing than ever. With his back against the tree, looking like he might begin to hyperventilate at any moment, Eugene does the opposite of what a sane person would do: he digs in his pocket, pulls out his cell phone with visibly shaking hands, and starts to punch in a number.

The thing huffs and stomps as various groceries get hurled at him. A carton of eggs is hovered and each hits the creature's face in quick sucession like a breakfast gatling gun. They smoke as they hit the monster's face. Cooked egg mixed with acrid smoke is not a very pleasing sound. The creature is momentarily blinded and wipes a hand across its face. He swings an arm wildly, which smacks into Eugene's mobile and sends it skittering. If he's not exceptionally quick, he'll get three claw marks across the back of his hand from the passage of razor-hot claws. The wound cauterizes immediately, so there should be very little blood.

"Oh, I can't believe you're going to make me do this, beastie. I don't like doing this. It's hell on my back." He lifts a hand and swipes it left and right. The creature staggers as if hit by something invisible. Wynn makes a motion and bends down. The creature trips and slams to the pavement which starts to smoke.

Eugene was having some trouble with the phone number, having to reenter it thanks to his shaking hands, but he utters a stifled little noise of protest that's hardly more than a squeak as the phone is knocked from his hand. At first, he takes a step away from the tree in the direction the phone was knocked into, but then he notices the scratches on the back of his hand and his feet freeze to the pavement.

For a moment, he stands staring at it, slowly digesting the fact of it, until finally he looks up to see Wynn fighting the nightmare creature with… Well, some kind of psychic power. With another distressed little noise, one hand goes to his hair, as though pulling at it might somehow change anything. His breathing is dangerously fast and shallow now. So much for not hyperventilating. "Somebody…" he says, in what might be intended to be a call for help but is actually a breathless little whimper. His wide eyes dart to the left and right, searching for someone normal-looking. "Anyone…"

Once the thing is on the ground, Wynn charges forward and presses a hand against Eugene's shoulder. His eyes are wide and imploring. "Get back, mate! It's going to try and…"

And then Wynn is on the ground, his leg grabbed out from under him by the creature. It snarls and gets to its feet, maw open. A black mist starts to pool from its mouth, tendrils sneaking towards Wynn's eyes, nose and mouth. Once the mist touches, he starts to go pale and starts gasping. A feeling of nausea hits both of them right in the gut.

Eugene meets Wynn's gaze without the slightest iota of comprehension, seeming lost in terror and incapable of understanding anything beyond the subjective reality of that exact moment. It's the nausea that seems to be the final straw. Irrationally, it sinks Eugene to his knees, his hands covering the lower half of his face that's stretched into a grin of terror. The nausea evolves into pain, terror crumples into agony, and a moment later, Eugene's hands press to his temples. There's a moment of work up, as Eugene goes from a half-strangled moan of pain to an actual scream of pain, and then his eyes fly open and something is….released. There's no visual cue of what is happening, except that from one moment to the next, the creature is simply gone. Wynn may or may not feel that something has changed within him, but Eugene is left on his knees, pale as death with hands pressed to his temples and taking short, quick sips of air that can't be doing much to provide oxygen to his lungs.

Pale as death. That makes two of them. The creature managed to start feeding from Wynn before Eugene vanquished it. He rolls over onto his hands and knees and promptly empties his stomach onto the pavement. He looks around, wide-eyed and disoriented. The thing…is gone?

He's been an agent long enough to not look a gift horse in the mouth. "Come on, come on now. We've got to get out of here." He reaches for Eugene's arm. When he moves, he kicks something with his foot. It's an orb the size of a small melon, with a gold ring surrounding an onyx core. He immediately recognizes what it is and scoops it up, while reserving the other hand for the other man.

Eugene seems completely catatonic, staring without any sign of reason at a point somewhere around where the creature once was. When Wynn touches his arm, he slowly looks up, but he must have had about all he can handle. Without another sound, he collapses, falling sideways to the pavement to lay unconscious, passed out on the ground. How inconvenient of him.

"Christ," mutters Wynn when Eugene collapses. He tries to lift the man up using his telekinetic abilities, but finds he's unable to. Weird. He's exerted himself a lot more than that before without burning out. Must've been the energy sapping from the creature. He pulls out his mobile and fires off a text to Watch HQ, then goes over to his car. He pulls it closer, and then, manages to physically wrangle Eugene into the back seat.

Assuming he doesn't wake up en route, he'll find himself on a bed in a small, one-room studio flat that is clean, but worn. There's the scent of tea in the air and the radiators tick as they work at warming the previously cold room. Wynn is seated at the kitchen table. He's got his mobile in one hand, while the other works at putting salve on his burned leg. "…yeah, yeah. I don't know where the creature went. And yes I know it was bloody stupid for me to be out on my own. You don't need to berate me. Anyway. I'm just waiting for him to come to. The only injury I could find was the scratch on his hand."

Eugene comes to abruptly, but he doesn't move more than he eyes at first. He stares at the ceiling for several long moments, taking in the various smells, sounds, and memories, and trying to make them add up to something sensical. When that fails to happen, he glances to the side, tentatively looking around for something to explain where he is. Finally, he actually goes so far as he lift his hand and look at the scratch. What he makes of it is unclear, but he finally gets brave enough to try sitting up, though a slight cringe as he does so is reminiscent of a man with a really terrible hangover. In deference to the fact that Wynn is on the phone, he says nothing, but just sits on the bed with his back against the wall and knees pulled up in an unconsciously defensive posture, watching him warily.

Wynn fingers the artifact on the table. There appears to be runes engraved around a golden ring that surrounds an orb of onyx. "Seems like the others, yeah. Which makes me think our friend somehow killed it. He's Touched, but I don't know if he realizes it." He winces and shifts awkwardly to bandage his leg while pinching the mobile against his shoulder. "…yeah. Yeah. I want to stay until he's come 'round, though. If this was really his first Other encounter, giving him new people to talk to right not be wise. Oh," He looks over towards Eugene and notices that he's awake. "Right. He's up. I'll ring back later." He hangs up his mobile and stands, wincing a little. "All right? I've got some ointment here for that burn." He points towards the scratch. "I'm Wynn." And a Welshman, judging by the thickness of his accent.

Eugene nods a little, silently, and glances to his hand, but keeps it pressed against his chest, for now. He doesn't seem to know what to say at first, but when Wynn introduces himself, manners take over and he forces a vague smile. "…Hi…" He glances quickly aside, at the tiny flat, and tentatively offers, "My name is Eugene Roberts." He licks his lips, possibly a nervous gesture, and then adds, "You don't have to use euphemisms. I'm under Dr. Tim Walter's care. I can give you his number. Um…" But he still looks mildly confused and disoriented. Finally, he looks back to Wynn with a kind of helplessly confused expression, and says, "Th-this doesn't look like a hospital. Where am I?"

"You're at a safehouse for an organization called the Watch." Wynn moves a bit stiffly over to a small kitchenette. He pours a mug of tea and carries it over to Eugene. "I'm fairly certain you saved my life back there. I take it that was your first encounter with an Other?" He rolls a hand, "That's…what we call those creatures."

Eugene blinks a few times, surprisingly placid as he accepts the explanation, if only mildly surprised. "Oh." He wraps hands around the tea cup and gives a nervous little laugh. "Well, /that's/ new." He takes in the rest of what Wynn has to say while examining the cup of tea and then finally taking a cautious sip. Something about it seems to surprise him, but at least it's not an unpleasant surprise. "Mmm. I wouldn't say first… You seem very nice. Could I perhaps use your phone?" It seems to be a bit of a non sequitur, but it's accompanied by a polite and unassuming little smile.

Wynn pulls up a chair and sits near Eugene. He looks the other man in the eye. "You're not mad, you know. I know it can feel that way when you first see this. We all think we've lost our minds. But you're perfectly sane. All of the mad things are real. The monsters are real." He pulls out his mobile. "You'll forgive me if you let me dial rather than you poking about on my phone?"

Eugene meets Wynn's gaze, but seems mildly amused by it, in a slightly odd way. It's the look a person might wear when cracking a joke about their terminal cancer just to pretend everything is okay. "That's very kind of you to say, but I'm not sure that I should take the word of an hallucination. It's nothing against you, you understand… It's only that I've only just begun working again, and they're quite discriminatory against their employees having invisible friends. I'm sure you're lovely, otherwise." He glances to the mobile, his certainty wavering, but he nods slightly and rattles off a number for Wynn to dial.

A…what? Wynn cants his head. "I'm not an hallucination, mate. And that injury on your hand? Is very real." He looks at the number, then over at Eugene. "Is this your shrink?" He hits the call button, but holds it up to his ear instead of handing it over to Eugene.

"You just told me you belong to a super secret organization that fights…. creatures. That is textbook paranoid delusion, that is," Eugene says, but his tone is less argumentative than resigned as he looks down into his tea. Then Wynn guesses who Eugene was calling and he looks up with a slightly alarmed expression. "Please, it's very important that I call in…" He isn't bold enough to try to take the phone by force, however, and if anything just sinks further back against the wall, holding his tea in front of him like a shield. The phone line does in fact turn out to be the emergency line for a local psychiatric practice, and is answered by a bored-sounding after-hours secretary asking for the nature of the emergency.

"We don't fight monsters so much as try not to get killed by them. I was doing a rather rubbish job of monster fighting until you saved me, as a matter of fact. Not certain how, but…" And then the phone picks up. Wynn shifts the mobile to his other ear. "Yes, hello. I'm calling on behalf of a patient of yours. His name is Eugene Roberts. He thinks I'm an hallucination. If you could, I'd like to speak to his doctor so he can confirm I am in fact real. Ta."

"Oh, did I?" Eugene replies, mildly, and takes another comforting sip of tea. His brow furrows, and he points out, perhaps a bit too clever for his own good, "I'm not sure if phone calls on a hallucinated phone count…" but then he presses his lips together and lets Wynn continue the conversation.

The secretary replies in the same bored tone of voice. One can almost imagine her sitting over there filing her nails as she talks. "Does the patient in question pose an immediate danger to himself or others?"

"Not at the moment," says Wynn into the receuver. "But believing real people aren't real is not exactly a safe state of mind to be in." He covers up the receiver and looks to Eugene. "Let me ask you this, Eugene. If I am in fact real, what could I possibly do to convince you that I am in fact a physical person and not a figment of your imagination?" His brows go up. "Because I have to tell you, being thought to be imaginary is a tad insulting." He grins. That…is not strange in and of itself, but anyone who knows him knows he's usually quite slow to smile.

"Dr. Walters can only be reached after hours if the patient poses an immediate danger to himself or others," the secretary explains, sounding as though she's giving a memorized speech that she's given many times before. "Please call back tomorrow after 8am. Have a good night." And she hangs up. Talk about poor customer service.

Eugene smiles faintly in response to the grin, but at least its a genuine smile. He looks at the scratch on the back of his hand, assessing it thoughtfully, and finally says, "I don't know. I'm sorry. I just…" He glances up, humor fading as he says, "I can't afford to be sectioned. I was just getting back on my feet." He sighs and rubs at his eyebrows, as though fighting off a headache.

Wynn looks at the mobile when the woman hangs up. He shrugs and places it back in his pocket. "He sighs and looks at Eugene with a sympathetic expression. "Look. I understand what you're going through. I went through the same thing. I'd been gone a week when I came out. I was one of the lucky ones. The Watch found me because they'd already been watching me. I was investigating haunted houses. I was getting a bit too close to the truth." He reaches across to touch Eugene's hand gently. "You're not mad. What you saw tonight, what you've seen before? It was real. You were taken to another place. And you're not alone. There are hundreds of us in London alone. If you think this is all in your mind, I'm not certain how I can convince you otherwise."

Eugene's brow furrows, but he finishes the tea and hands the empty cup back to Wynn. "You've all been kidnapped by demons?" he asks, not exactly sounding credulous, but at least he's no longer trying to be funny. "I've never…" He glances around at the flat, perhaps looking for some flaw in the illusion, a crack that might prove it's not real, but obviously he doesn't find it. "Since that first time, I've never had an episode this… Um. Complete." He looks back to Wynn, still looking pretty lost and uncertain about the whole thing. "Let's assume for a moment that it's all true. H-how do you all function? Why doesn't everyone know about it? A…And why didn't someone tell me sooner?"

"There are hundreds of us, but London is a big city. And we've been dealing with some…issues lately that has drawn our attention away from finding lost souls such as yourself. But!" Wynn holds up a finger. He's talking quite rapidly. Again, out of character, but there's no one around to point that out. "We can identify each other if we look closely. It usually has some relation to our abilities. We all came back with them, but they come with a price." He inhales through his nose. "As to how we function, we-eell, how well we do that is a matter of debate." He rubs his chin and motions with his hand. "Banding together, mostly. I run our safehouse network. We help people find jobs, help them out financially, help them learn how to control their abilities."

Eugene takes this all in, and frowns slightly. "So… All those times when I…um… When people looked…" He waves a hand, apparently assuming that Wynn can fill in the blanks, "That was just you people, and not a problem with my medication?" Suddenly, he realizes that Wynn is talking about himself as one of the supernatural types, and he looks at the man closely for a moment, frowning. "If that's all true, why don't /you/ look strange?"

"I'm not certain. I've been trying to look at you, to see you, but it isn't working. I…" Wynn shakes his head and runs fingers through his hair. "It might have something to do with that creature. You…banished it? Something of the like." He nods towards the orb on the table. "That's a control device we've found in other creatures. It shouldn't be here without the creature being dead. So I'm guessing you killed it, somehow. Has anything like that ever happened to you before? Have yo been attacked by creatures that suddenly disappeared?"

Eugene looks more baffled than anything when Wynn claims that he banished it. "What do you mean I banished it? I didn't do anything…" He trails off and looks toward the orb, but mulls it over, thinking back and considering the situation in this new light. After a few moments, he answers slowly, "Well… I have episodes, now and then. I've never been hurt before… It's usually a bit hazy, but apparently I have a…a panic attack and black out," he admits, fairly matter-of-factly. Wynn is probably not the first person he's had to explain it to. "It's all very embarrassing. I try to ignore them, but it seems so very /real/ at the time."

"That's because they /are/ real," says Wynn. He looks Eugene in the eye. "I know it's rather hard to believe, and I know the people out there," he points to the window, "…will call you mad if you tell them what you've seen. Let me ask you this. Did your life completely go to shite after you blacked out and disappeared for several days? Were people suddenly very uneasy around you? Did you notice strange things happening? Because that happened to me, too. I was no longer attracted to my girlfriend. People crossed to the other side of the street to avoid me. But then the Watch found me, and things got better."

Eugene smiles uncertainly. "Well, that's… I mean, I can't expect people to behave differently. If it had been someone else, showing up telling me about demons and… Well, I would think the same thing everyone thinks about me," he explains, gently. He meets Wynn's gaze with sad eyes. "I really want to believe you," he admits, quietly. "But I lost everything that ever mattered to me because I wouldn't believe it wasn't real. All I have left is surviving, and if I lose my job, I don't know if I'll have that."

"You lost those things because of the Gloom, Eugene." Wynn's expresssion is entirely sympathetic. "If you continue trying to deny the evidence in front of you, you really will go mad. Or they'll put you on loads of medication because what they're trying to block out is /reality/. Let me ask you this," he stands. "…how good is your imagination?" He steps towards the orb and picks it up. "Are you a writer, or a good storyteller?"

Eugene gives a crooked smile, but doesn't argue. He does, however, observe, "I'm already on loads of medications." He glances to the orb, uncomfortably, and fidgets with the injured hand. "I… No, not particularly. I was a doctor, before…everything…"

"Good. This will make this easier. This," Wynn holds up the orb. "Is a control artifact inserted into an Other - a demon, a ghost, that sort of thing. The creatures then do the bidding of a man called Declan MacNamara. These creatures roam around and steal the energy from Touched like ourselves, who are alone. If allowed to feed completely, the Touched dies, left an empty husk. We believe he's gathering this energy to bring about the end of the world. We know this," he holds up a finger, "…because a viking made a deal with the Others to suck him up in around 900 AD and spit him out a few months back. He had a warning for us - that Ragnarok was coming. He was speaking a completely dead language, so I linked our minds together to act as a translator. But he somehow kept a link active with me. As he carved a message into the floor in runes, I carved the same message in my floor in English. That was a bugger to buff out." He lifts his chin. "Now. Tell me. Do you honestly believe you could have made all that up, being the logical man of science that you are? Or is it more likely that the story came from /outside/ of you and I am in fact, real?" His brows lift.

Eugene gets a little glassy-eyed by the end of that story. He's silent for a good long while, processing all of this. He looks at the covering of the bed, in deep contemplation, and then finally asks, "Can you… people. The T-Touched…" His brow furrows, and he adds, "I don't like that term. But can you keep these things away from me?"

"Yes," says Wynn, without hesitation. "We know that no one has been killed if they weren't alone. These creatures seem to be going after the outliers, the people on their own without backup. They are not especially strong and they know they can't withstand multiple people with abilities. And from what we understand, our enemy only has a limited number of these," he holds up an orb. "With each one killed, he has less creatures to draw energy with. We slow him down." He sits down on the chair across from Eugene again. "If you stay with other Touched, you will be safe."

Eugene nods a little, and smiles slightly. "Then that solves the problem. The whole argument is irrelevant. I'm so tired…" He wraps his arms around his knees, brows lifted. "I can't live like this, constantly under siege. Even if it's not real, I'd rather have hallucinations about…a…a…about having tea with friendly people than being attacked by demons." That seems to settle the question, and his eyes are drawn to his hand. "Did you say you had a salve?"

"We band together, Eugene. We've all had our lives taken away from us, but we make new ones. What happened to me was over ten years ago. My life isn't normal, but it isn't a bad one. I help people." Wynn stands and sets the orb down. He picks up a pot of salve and some bandages. "Give me your hand. Don't critique my doctoring too harshly," he smiles softly, "I've only got general first aid skills." But at least he seems to have a good bedside manner. If he's allowed, he'll clean the wound with a disinfecting cloth, then starts to apply the salve to the burns.

Eugene nods a little. "That's all I want," he admits, and lets Wynn start working on his hand, with only a slight cringe at the disinfectant. "I just want to build a new life, and not be constantly… afraid…" He stumbles over that last part, but smiles vaguely and glances down to watc Wynn work. "I don't know if there's an advanced technique for applying salve," he reassures, gently. "I'm sure you're fine."

Wynn is very careful and gentle both with the cleaning and the application of the salve. It's meant for burns and numbs and tingles as it's applied. "How long has it been?" he asks quietly. "On your own, thinking you were mad?"

Eugene watches Wynn work, very carefully not looking up to meet his gaze. "I was in hospital for six months," he says, slowly. "My wife moved out… I think nine months after that? I lose track of time since then, but it was… Well, it took me some time to sell the house before I could move to the city, and it took a couple of months to find a job… Two years maybe? Give or take? It might have been longer."

Wynn gently works the bandage over Eugene's hand in slow circles. When he hears how long it's been, he tenses and stops for a moment. Poor man. "I'm sorry." He murmurs, "…I'm sorry we didn't find you. I imagine others are in hospitals, thinking they've lost their minds." He secures the bandage. "We look out for each other. We'll help you. And we'll keep you safe."

Eugene lifts a shoulder, with a crooked smile. "I'm pretty sure that most of them are genuinely mad," he replies, gently. "Most of the ones I met, anyhow." He examines the bandaging job, but seems satisfied with it, and drops his hand into his lap. "Is… Is this what it's like for most of you? What happened to me?"

Wynn nods slowly. "More or less, yes. Some people were taken as children. Some people were gone months or years rather than just days. None of us remember what happened when we were taken, save a flash here or there, occasionally. I try not to think about it myself." He purses his lips. "Time…has no meaning in the Gloom. Just because we were sent back home days after we left doesn't mean we were only gone days. And we all come back…changed. With abilities that also have side effects."

Eugene looks slightly horrified. "/Children/?" He shakes his head, and shudders a little. "Th-that's… There aren't words…" Something clicks into place as Wynn explains the abilities, and his brows lift. "That's what you were doing. You were fighting that creature. That's your ability?"

"One of them, yes. Telekinesis. I'm also a telepath, but a rather unusual one." Wynn holds up a hand. "I can't read you right now, don't worry. It requires touching someone and a third party to ask questions. Then I respond as if I am that person. I uh, I don't use it very often. It tends to give me identity issues." He smiles a little tightly. "Do you…have any idea what it is you do? You killed that creature, somehow. Or banished it."

Eugene nods slowly, "I see…" He smiles, tentatively. "I don't, I'm sorry. I've never noticed anything unusual that I had control of, but… I also thought it was all in my head. I was just waiting to get the medications worked out. They kept telling me, sometimes it takes a long time to get the medicine just right." He makes an effort to remember something, if only to please Wynn, but then he gives a bit of a shiver as though chilled, and shakes his head. "I'm sorry. I was just…scared. If I really did what you said, I didn't do it on purpose."

"You do not apologize. You saved my life." Wynn gently touches Eugene's forearm. "You will also feel much better if you get off those medications. There's nothing wrong with you. Maybe you have some anxiety, but anti-psychotics will never help because you're not seeing things. You're a doctor. You can imagine the damage it could do to give a sane person those kinds of brain chemistry-altering meds."

Eugene nods a little, "Mm. You have a point," he replies, slowly, but then adds, "But you can't just stop taking that kind of medication. Even a sane person would have problems with that. I'll… think about what to do. But if they find out I'm not taking it, I could lose my job," he adds, a bit nervously. "And the only reason they let me out in the first place was because they believed I would cooperate with the treatment…"

"We…have allies. People who aren't like us who know about us. Usually it's family of Touched, or people who have experienced something strange." Wynn rubs his neck. "We have a psychiatrist ally. If we can get you transferred into her care, we can wean you off the medication safely and get her to give you a clean mental bill of health."

Eugene blinks, startled by that revelation. "That… That would be helpful," he admits, tentatively. "If you can… Do I have to be called Touched, though?" he finally asks, looking a little uncertain. "It just seems kind of…rude…"

That makes Wynn smile big and stifle a laugh with his hand. "Well, it's the term everyone uses. It might cause some confusion if you make up your own name for it." He shrugs. "We can also help with housing, with living expenses. For now, you really shouldn't be alone. Normally I wouldn't risk moving you in to a populated safehouse without knowing your ability. But, whatever it was, it was triggered by your mental distress. If we keep you calm, you shouldn't pose a danger." He hopes.

Eugene looks a little doubtful about all that. "Wait, you want me to move? I…I just got an apartment. You have no idea how hard I worked to get them to let me live independently," he protests, though as ever, even his protests are mild and tentative, with an undercurrent of mild anxiety that prevents him from ever being entirely forceful.

Wynn reaches out to set a hand on Eugene's shoulder. "That thing that attacked us? It goes after Touched who live alone. It's not permanent, just until we prevent doomsday." He can't help but crack a smile at the ridiculousness of that particular statement.

Eugene flinches at the touch, not looking particularly encouraged. "I…see…" His brow furrows a little. "Doomsday? This has to do with that man you were talking about. What are you doing to stop him?" he wonders, not having completely processed the whole story the first time around.

"I'm not a field agent. I hold down the fort. I make sure everyone is housed and safe. But I know they are working on it." Wynn withdraws his hand. "You saved more than just my life today, Eugene. Killing that creature means he's got one less agent out there to drain energy from Touched."

Eugene lifts his shoulder in a kind of anxious posture, but he nods a little. "Well, I meant 'you' more in the general sense…" he explains, and then gives a nervous jangly sort of laugh. "I suppose I'll have to get used to saying 'we'." He seems uncomfortable with the last, and just shakes his head. "I…I'm really glad if I helped, but I really didn't do anything that I know of." Suddenly, Eugene's watch beeps and he glances at it with mild consternation. "I'm sorry, could I perhaps…um. Trouble you for a glass of water?" He's already reaching for his jacket pocket to pull out a small pillbox.

Wynn looks at the box with a certain amount of disapproval, but he nods. Yes, it /is/ a bad idea to go cold turkey off any brain medications, but still. He crosses the room and fills a cup with water from the sink. "You can stay here for now, and I can have another agent sit with you. Or you can come back to my safehouse. There are a lot of other people there. We've been gathering up people living alone, for safety reasons."

Eugene wilts only slightly under Wynn's disapproval, but he doesn't offer any defense. He's probably used to people giving him weird looks when he takes his medicine in company. "I…I don't know. I should get some things from my apartment, at least. I can't just…stay here." He pauses to take a couple of pills, washing them down easily with a drink of the water. "I don't have any clothes. And all of my medications are there. I have a hermit crab. I can't just abandon it…" The whole thing seems to make him more anxious than ever, and he starts fidgeting with a corner of the blanket, twisting it and untwisting it and otherwise just worrying at it.

"We can do that. You can also go back to your flat tonight. We can send someone back to stay with you. You can take whatever you like with you. I promise it's not permanent, and it really is to keep you safe." Wynn has an urge to hold the other man's hand, but that's rather awkward, so he resists the urge. He purses his lips and arches his brows. "I wouldn't ask you to do this if it wasn't the way to keep you safe."

Eugene nods a little, and takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Alright. …Alright, okay. That's fine. I can do that." He smiles, crookedly, and there's an awkward silence as he finishes the water and then moves to sit on the edge of the bed instead of crouched against the wall. "I…I do appreciate it. I really do. I'm just… I'm trusting you, okay? I don't know if I should. I don't know you at all. I don't know if your judgment is better than mine, but… I don't know if it could be /worse/, so I'm trusting you."

"I know you are, Eugene. And I appreciate that, I really do. You saved my life. And I intend to do my best to repay something of that." Wynn smiles gently. "I was an idiot, out getting groceries by myself. I was one of the people who recommended no one go around by themselves. But I had a football team in my hostel, and they really /do/ go through the toilet paper."

Eugene gives a startled laugh at that, and though it may be a little weak, at least it's genuine. That's got to be progress. "If you can keep those monsters away from me, it will be more than anyone has been able to do for me in a very long time," he replies, quietly. "Perhaps I'm selfish, but if you can… Well, I will be glad you went out alone, that one time."

Wynn smiles gently. "Well, you're right. It's not often that foolishness helps anyone." He glances around, then back to Eugene. "You should get some rest. It's up to you where you go next. I can stay here with you until the morning, or another agent can stay with you at your flat. Or, you can come back with me to my hostel, and we'll go 'round and get your things in the morning."

Eugene smiles, slightly. "I really should go back to my own flat tonight. Even if it's just to get my things. I…um. I need my toothbrush. And other things. I've a rather strict routine," he admits, and his smile turns a bit self-depricating. "I won't rest otherwise. Would…Would it be a terrible burden?"

"Not at all," says Wynn. His smile is quite kind. "You've had enough upset for one night. No sense adding more on." He pulls out his mobile. "I'll call an agent to take you 'round. Will you be all right with that? I promise you that the agent will be trustworthy."

Eugene looks down and fidgets a little with the bandage on his hand, straightening the edge with a series of little tugs. "No, that would be fine. I'd be in a bit of a pickle if it weren't. I've no clue where we are," he points out, with another little small, nervous laugh.

"Well," says Wynn wryly, "it /is/ a safehouse." He grins, then turns to speak into his mobile. He sketches out the situation and asks for an agent to be sent over. He hangs up and slips the phone away. "Someone will be round shortly. They'll stay with you until morning."

Eugene nods a little, but his brow is still slightly creased with concern. No doubt already worrying over whether he has the appropriate things to make a guest comfortable at his flat. Rather than say anything, he just smiles in his more tentative way and says, "Thank you…"

"I'm going to do some reorganizing of beds at the hostel and make certain you'll have some private space. You're a grown man, after all. I can understand that a dorm room might feel slightly awkward. My flat's in the same building, and it's in a good location. You'll be safe there." Wynn goes to the small kitchen to start rinsing out the teapot and the used cups.

Eugene smiles faintly and admits, "It would be nice… I'm not sure it would feel so much like a dorm room as a… Um. The hospital ward." He smiles, and looks around, still looking a little bit lost. Apparently as Wynn starts to clean it gives Eugene permission to help, because he stands and starts to straighten the bed, that no doubt became at least a little rumpled with Eugene sitting on it. "But I'm sure however it is will be fine, of course. As long as it's safe."

"Entirely safe. The safehouse is connected to a 150-bed hostel. The hostel is at least half full most of the time. There are too many civilians and too many Touched in close proximity for anything to risk attacking us." Wynn gives Eugene a reassuring smile. "You won't find a safer spot in London."

Eugene nods a little, and smiles slightly, though he still seems a bit tense. It's probably just his baseline. "It sounds…good…" He gets the bed made, nicely, and without really seeming to realize what he's doing, he starts straightening up anything that wasn't neat before he even arrived.

There's a light rap at the door, and Wynn goes to let the person in. "Ah, hey. Eugene, this is Adam." He opens the door the rest of the way to reveal an unassuming man in his late twenties. Everything about him is quite average. Average height, average build, average attractiveness. But he has a kind smile.

"Hey," he says, lifting a hand to Eugene. "I'm going to take you home, all right? And I'll crash on your couch. Don't worry about me. I can sleep through anything."
Wynn pats Adam on the shoulder. "He's a good man, this one. He'll make sure you're all right."

Eugene realizes what he's doing at the knock on the door, and pulls his hands away from the task he'd been distracted with (probably something mostly innocuous, like making sure all the books on a shelf are lined up perfectly). He tucks his hands into his pockets, and smiles a little at the introduction. If he seems a little more nervous or uncomfortable with Adam in the room, that is easily attributable to the fact that this is another stranger he's trusting with his safety. "Hello, Adam," he offers, with a glance aside at Wynn. "T-Thanks… Both of you, of course."

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