Settling [Gerhard]

Where the medical staff of the base tends to roam. There is an Office hidden in the very back past the Laboratory, where a small number of tanks sit and bubble quietly.

Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:48 pm

Things hadn't gotten all that better since he'd respawned. 12 had since managed to adjust fairly well to the sudden removal of his hybrid features, but there were still a few things that he wasn't too good at. On top of this, the occasional bout of panic when he'd gotten distracted and his thoughts had wandered back to where they shouldn't was really not a good thing. He'd gotten himself to the infirmary this time, one hand clenched tightly around his collar as he tried calming himself down. The infirmary was a safe place. Gerhard wouldn't let things happen in there, no. 12 felt terrible about leaving Henry to go freak out somewhere, but it wouldn't do to let his handler see him like that. He'd done alright in hiding it before, but it was starting to wear on him, and he didn't want Henry to worry. There were plenty of important things the Engineer could be concerning himself with, and 12 wasn't anywhere near that list. He was just a stupid, panicky, expendable reject, currently curled up in a corner and trying not to get any worse. He needed to pull himself together and get back on duty as quickly as possible--he couldn't just leave Henry unprotected. If he would've been back with them, it would've been much worse, he knew.

The Scout gulped a few shaky breaths, only barely registering the fact that the edge of his nameplate was starting to cut into the palm of his hand. It didn't matter, really, he deserved it. He'd left his post, he was defective, and he knew it. They would've already destroyed his chip and put him down. All he could think about was them, and he hated it. If he could just distract himself, he could probably calm himself down, but he didn't seem to be able to.

And so he remained, eyes wide and shaking as his heart threatened to punch right through his chest. Some guard he was.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:19 pm

The TentaMedic had been roughly updated on the upset caused by the Respawn, and while he hadn't actually seen 12 since, he knew the boy was around somewhere, and kept an eye open. He knew the (now former) hybrid was skittish, well-meaning and loyal, but skittish, and after such a huge shift...
The fact that there hadn't been an immediate fit of panicked screaming had honestly been a surprise.

Gerhard strode into the Infirmary with a wide yawn, rubbing a hand across his eyes and straightening his glasses before taking a sip from the mug of fresh tea he'd gone to get. Well, 'tea' was a bit of a strong word for the drink, more like hot water with a bit of color from the old honey he'd melted into it. But it was warm, fluid, and a little sweet, and that's all he could really ask for.
He glanced up, and groaned.
God, for being damn near abandoned in this place, BLU sure had a way of tossing paperwork onto his desk when he was least expecting it. Hadn't those piles been smaller when he left...?
"Gott, zhey're breeding..."
Sighing, he moved to sit down at his desk again, only to pause as his sharp eyes caught sight of something in the far corner that had his head jerking up to see what it was. And he stilled, eyes widening as he recognized the face, but not the form.
It took him a second to properly process, and then the mug of tea was dropped with a clatter as the Medic rushed towards the Scout in a flurry of blue and white, crouching down next to the shuddering boy.
"12? 12, can you hear mich? 12, bitte, look at mich, it's Gerhard, are you alright?"
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:49 am

Okay, that was good. Gerhard was here. He mustered a quick jerk of a nod, though he still flinched away from the Medic, compressing into the corner as best he could. 12 knew this was stupid and pointless--he could think of something else that was as well right off the bat, and it happened to go by a number instead of a name. It had also registered that his teammate was trying to talk to him, yes, but he didn't answer. He wasn't entirely certain he would even make any sense if he did. As far as he knew, it could just come out as quickly-spoken gibberish, which would be pretty detrimental to letting Gerhard know what he was saying. Not only would that be bad, he would also be wasting the Medic's time, and 12 was pretty sure there were similarly a lot of important things that could be worried about right now.

He realized pretty quickly that he'd run out of room to retreat. That had him sitting stock-still, breathing as shallowly as possible so as to minimize his movement. Maybe if he just stayed still, Gerhard would figure out that he wasn't worth the bother and would go back to whatever he was doing? He'd have to make some more tea, though. That was entirely his fault. If he could just sink through the floor right now, he would've done it.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:54 am

Oh dear.
12 was having a panic attack.

Gerhard made himself take a deep breath to keep himself calm, wondering at the small note of irritation he felt in the back of his mind as he sidled a tad closer, off to one side so the boy wouldn't feel enclosed as he reached out a hand, slow and steady and hopefully soothing as it came to rest gently on 12's shoulder.
"12, junge, I need you to listen to mich, alright? I need you to take a deep breazh, ve need to get you to calm down, okay? 12?"
He knew the boy could hear him, but understand him... Maybe not so much.
Still, it was worth a shot, right?
A stray tentacle slipped around, cool and smooth as it draped across the Scout's knees, the end plucking at the hem of the boy's trousers.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:02 am

He flinched away from the touch with the little room he had left, shaking his head briefly in an attempt to get that across. After another second, he bit his lip, trying to think about something else for long enough to where he could handle talking. It didn't work too well at first, but he did eventually derail himself, getting a decent portion of his current focus off of what he shouldn't be thinking about and onto something else.

"P-please don't. I--Not--Please." 12 barely managed to get that out through clenched teeth, voice a glorified whisper and shaking more than usual. He stared straight down, not even thinking of looking up at Gerhard right now. He sounded worried. That meant he'd probably interrupted something, because he'd surprised him and now he was worried. Wait, that didn't make any sense. Fuck it, nothing really did right now. "Sorry. Sorry, sorry, I--should've been p-put down, can't even keep it together--" So much for not talking quickly. 12 glanced up at Gerhard for a half-second, though that didn't seem to do anything to help the current situation.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:37 pm

A moment of startled shock, and the doctor felt something inside him shatter as he realized what the young boy was struggling to say.
He didn't think, only acted, forgetting that he was supposed to be the medical professional and closing the short distance to pull the Scout into an almost motherly hug, perhaps a tad cooler than most due to the hybrid's body temperature, but still a gesture meant to comfort and calm. His tentacles wriggled about in agitation, curling around the Scout's legs and clinging to the wall and floor, fretting just as much as the Medic himself.
"Hush... Shh... It's alright, junge, it's alright..."
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:34 pm

12 froze entirely, holding his breath and resisting every urge to get out. He was caught, held in place, just like before-- This registered as exactly the same, though the scenery was mildly different. He was almost painfully aware of the tentacles curling around him, the additional restraints not even close to being though of as part of the hug right now. The Scout was more than on edge, tensed up in every possible way and absolutely ready to scramble up and bolt at the first opportunity he was given. The infirmary was not a safe zone like he'd thought--he'd been stupid to think it was. Things like that we're why he was fairly of the opinion that he shouldn't be allowed to do that. If he could, he would have fled to the rafters, but getting up there now wasn't easy. Neither was staying there. On the plus side, not a lot of people could get to them, and that was an attribute he was desperate for right now. The contact almost burned, though he couldn't tell if that was just a part of him freaking out or something else. The hand on his shoulder had been bad enough--such things seemed to have a tendency to lead to Bad Things in his experience.

His head felt abnormally light, and his vision swam a little as he stared up at Gerhard now. It felt like something was crushing his chest, like a weight that had simply been dropped on him. This was not good. The former hybrid remained perfectly still, already feeling the numbness in his fingertips as the nameplate cut off the blood flow. He hadn't taken that collar off--he was still following orders, still doing what he's been told. Maybe that would work in his favor somehow, and maybe this would end. He didn't really care how.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:51 am

It only took a moment for the doctor to register the stiffness of that frail body in his arms, a moment more to fully realize just what he was doing and how utterly and completely stupid it was for him to be doing so. His first thought was to jerk back and apologize, but he stopped himself before he could do so, thinking the sudden motion would do more harm than good.
"Ah... 12, junge, I am goingk to back avay slowly, okay? Bitte, I meant no harm..."
Taking a breath, the Medic wrangled in his tentacles first, then eased away from the frightened youth, shifting to one side to give a little extra space until it was only his hand on the boy's shoulders.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you, it vas stupid of me to act so rashly."
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:43 pm

12 just shut his eyes when he was released, death grip on his collar going slack for just a second. He took a few deeper breaths, curling and uncurling his fingers to try and release some of the tension. Bit by bit, he began to settle, frantic breathing easing down into a slower pace, though still with the same shuddering intake. It was okay, he had to remember that--this wasn't where he'd been, this was somewhere else. The former hybrid slumped slightly, head now resting against the wall behind him. He wasn't entirely calmed down yet, this much he knew--calm did not involve all these terrible feelings. Not that he'd really had a nice, solid experience with that feeling in a while, but.

After another few minutes, he opened his eyes again, looking up at the ceiling and mentally tracing patterns up there to help ease his mind. The facility had had smooth tiles on the ceiling; the fact that they weren't there was a bit reassuring. 12 didn't do much of anything for another period of time, too busy getting lost in his head again. This time, it had different results. He reached up slowly with both hands trembling, one securing the collar and the other undoing it for the first time in years. He froze again, weighing the action against what would happen if he was caught without it.

Seconds later, the collar was thrown quite forcibly to collide with the other wall.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:49 pm

Having back off beyond arm's reach to let the young man recover, Gerhard had to forcibly hold his tentacles in place, as they wanted desperately to reach and cuddle and soothe and there was no way in hell 12 would be able to deal with over-friendly prehensile limbs, even if they were doing their level best to be as non-threatening as physically possible.
Distracted by the task of keeping his lower limbs in check, the sudden clatter of the collar being flung into the wall, barely missing his head, had the doctor jerked up with a startled yelp. A moment to calm himself, and he turned to the former hybrid, worry plain in his eyes as he edged a little closer.
"Ah... 12...? Are you... Alright?"
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:26 pm

"N--Not really." He gave a weak little laugh, cracking a tired grin as he rubbed his eyes. "Can't do anythin'. Fuck." The slight movement didn't go unnoticed, but 12 didn't do anything in response to it this time. He stayed where he was, fidgeting a bit uncomfortably to get out of the cramped corner space.

"...didn't ask for any of this, y'know." he started after a long silence, dropping one hand to rest on his knee. "I--I know I wasn't always like...that? And I'm assumin' this is h-how it was before but--I don't--I don't remember. Anythin'." Not entirely true. He remembered some things, but nothing conclusive--really only brief flashes of vague things and feelings. It was impossible to base anything on that, especially something like an entire life. "Henry--He said this was his fault. His. W-what would that...why?" That was still something that confused him. 12 rubbed the side of his neck, the contact with something other than the collar feeling almost foreign. "Too much for me. Way too much."
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:10 am

"So you came to hide somevhere safe."
The Medic shuffled a little closer, keeping his hands and tentacles to himself and allowing enough space for the Scout to run off if he felt like he needed to. He hated not knowing what to do, his instincts screaming for him to do one thing while medical teaching warned him not to, leaving him fidgeting in place like a 6 year old told to sit still on their birthday.
Where the hell the energy was coming from...
"It's alright to be scared, mein freund, forced to change sehr suddenly und sviftly ist traumatizingk, especially vhen you haff just gotten used to vone state of being. Ah, I am sorry, about zhe touchingk. I didn't zhink..."
Gerhard cleared his throat, glancing over to the tossed collar before moving to stand, straightening his clothing in an almost nervous gesture.
"Uhm, you can schtay here, as long as you need. I von't bozzer you, okay?"
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:55 pm

"Should--be keepin' an eye on Henry. Ditched my post, but...h-he doesn't need to know. Won't help anythin'." Still, the fact that he'd just bolted out of the room was more than a bit suspicious. He didn't really look forward to having to explain that at all. "You're n--You're a Medic, but not one of...them. It helps." 12 continued, hoping that was somewhat helpful as to figuring out the reasoning behind his choice of locations. "It's not really easy to remember that they aren't coming after me. S--Not really sure they're not, though." Frustrating, that. They had to know he was gone; there was no way they didn't. Did they just not care enough? He wouldn't blame them.

Glancing up at Gerhard's apology, he bit his lip, now able to see just how wound up the Medic had gotten. Well, now he felt terrible. "T-Thanks. I--hm. Promise I won't be too long. Just have to, y'know. Get it together 'fore I go back." He shot another glare at the collar, a little bit proud of himself for actually throwing it. He didn't think he would, but apparently, he was wrong. It was nice to be surprised, sometimes.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:15 am

"Stop zhat."
The Medic frowned, but it was worried, brow furrowed and hands twisting together just like the ends of his tentacles.
"You should not blame yourself for zhe awfulness of ozzer people. Und you have been doingk very vell wizh Henry, I know he von't blame you for needingk some space. It's only natural, after all."
Considering the level of metal trauma combined with whatever training and conditioning the bird had gone through, Gerhard was impressed by the boy's strength, being able to hold together for as long as he had. He was damn sure he wouldn't have held out half so long. Or well.
"Take all zhe time you need, mein freund. You deserve zhat much, ja?"
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:42 am

"Ain't like I didn't deserve it. Still do." That was more mumbled than anything else, trying not to acknowledge the fact that he'd flinched. Even if it was Gerhard, it still had the same effect. He swallowed, looking around again before settling for staring at his shoes.

"You don't--d'you think this's permanent...?" The thought that maybe it was legitimately terrified him, though he knew that was probably some sort of manufactured response from his training. It wouldn't surprise him. "I dunno what to do 'f it is." To put it mildly. Hell, he didn't even know what he'd do without some form of chain of command. 12 had no desire to try and get all used to himself again; the process had taken a good long while the first time, and he still wasn't quite there with this time. If it wasn't permanent, that would be awesome.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:05 am

"Vell..."
The Medic struggled to ignore the flinch, knowing that fretting would only make the boy all the more flustered. If he could do so without causing 12 a panic attack, the tentacled doctor would have scooped the boy up in a blanket and plied him with hot chocolate (or something equally sweet and warm) until the Scout fell asleep and he was able to tuck the boy into bed.
That's how his own mother had tended to him after a scare...
"I vill have to talk vizh Henry, to determine vhat all caused zhis change, but from my experience, most Respawn incidents eizzer sort zhemselves out, or remain permanent. So, zhere's a chance you couldt be returned to dein feathered form. If zhat's really vhat you vant."
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:10 pm

"I don't even know what I want. Always just been whatever was ordered." 12 sighed, fidgeting again before resuming. "I've already been told this was a good thing." He snorted, not liking the brief shake in his voice. He was still all kinds of worked up, no matter how hard he was trying to show otherwise. "Never--I never liked respawn. I r'member gettin' dragged out, shot in the head, and then I came back through how you saw before...this. Tha--That'd be why I don't like it, I think?" Was that even a decent explanation? It didn't exactly seem like it to him, but there really wasn't much else to say. He knew what he knew, and that was pretty much all he could contribute.

"....m'sorry for comin' in and interruptin'. Also sorry 'bout the tea."
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:12 am

There was a quiet bit of shuffling, and Gerhard 'crouched' just out of arm's reach of the boy, leaning down level with his teammate.
"It doesn't feel like a gute zhing to you, does it."
Most would see the abrupt lack of feathers as a bonus, a return to normalcy, but the Medic had a feeling 'normal' was not a concept best applied to 12. Not by a long shot.
There was a part of him that raged and cursed over the mistreatment and brainwashing the normally feathery hybrid must have gone through to be put into such a state, wanting to find those responsible and give them what for, but he was more focused on getting his friend to calm down. A panicking 12 was not a happy 12, and 12 deserved to be happy. More than most, actually...
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby 12 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:58 pm

"I just--I know that some people think it's better? It's--I can't really deal with this. There's some, uh. Some things that I need to get worked out before I can even think about this." He didn't shrink away, instead watching with some remaining apprehension. "But who says this'd happen twice?" That was one of the most frustrating parts about this. Even if he managed to get everything under control again, who could say that he wouldn't just wind up being unlucky again and get put back to his hybrid state? Or, it this did get fixed, the opposite happened, and he would be set back to square one once more. Why did this need to be so complicated? "I just want things to stop being ridiculous and start gettin' back to stuff I can understand. All this respawn stuff just goes right over my head." That would be why they had Henry, but 12 wasn't quite ready to start asking the Engineer about this for fear of it still being a touchy subject. As far as he was concerned, he was already being enough of a bother how he currently was, and adding on to that by nagging him with questions was absolutely unthinkable.

"Y'know what's funny? I was s'posed to be one of the top subjects out of the line." 12 laughed a bit at that, giving a quickly-faltering grin that crumbled after a few short moments. "'Least, that's what I heard 'em say. Look at me now, huh." He wound the chain of his dog tags around his fingers, now appearing a mix of irritated and amused.
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Re: Settling [Gerhard]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:12 pm

"Vell..."
The Medic shifted over to lean against the wall, struggling to make the tension in the atmosphere ease up somewhat.
"I don't know too much about zhe Respawn or how it vorks, but... I zhink, perhaps, zhat I might be able to understand was you are goingk zhrough right now, at least a little."
He frowned a moment, collecting his thoughts before he spoke up again, his tentacles agitated wriggling slowing down to a more sedate pace as he put his brain to work.
"Zhough ve vere bozh transformed against our vills, ve haff bozh become accustomed to our functions, have adapted to zhe limitations of our altered states. It is... Normal, to us."
Gerhard sighed, twiddling his thumbs.
"Zhe ozzers- Zhey don't know vhat it is to adapt to somezhing, somezhing you cannot change, only do your best to become accustomed to. At least not zhe vay ve have."
Blue eyes looked up towards the ceiling, as if the tiles could help him put his thoughts into words more easily.
"I know... I know zhat if I vere in your state, returned to zhe humanity I had 4 years ago... I vould be panicking as vell. I- I don't remember vhat it vas like, not really. It's second nature now to have multiple prehensile attachments below zhe vaist, I vouldn't know vhat to do if zhey vere suddenly just legs."
He frowned, then looked over to 12.
"Am I rambling, or do you understand vhat I'm gettingk at?"
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