next to you :: axel, petra

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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:33 pm

    A week had passed since Poppy had been discharged from the hospital, and her parents had finally agreed to let her leave the estate alone. She'd heard various excuses from her mom over the last few days, many of which irritated Poppy, but she was ready to put that all behind her now that she was free.

    Now it didn't matter that her parents and Sansa were so over the top about Poppy talking about her thoughts and feelings, now she wouldn't be stuck in the house, listening to her parents and daemon rattle on about how she was deflecting her trauma to focus on Axel. It wasn't true--not at all. She couldn't help that she wasn't as affected by the night in the barn as they thought she should be. And she'd liked Axel before that night.

    It wasn't that she minded her parents feeling anxious over her (on the contrary, Poppy had always loved being coddled), but she was just so ready to go visit Axel.

    She'd snuck down to his room often while they were in the hospital together, but once they'd been discharged she hadn't been able to see him. He was still on the island though; he and his mom were staying at a hotel in town, close to his PT office. She'd spoken to him a few times on the phone, and she'd told him that her parents were finally letting her come visit. They'd decided that Poppy would take Axel on a little tour of her city, and she was excited. He'd told her before that he wanted to visit, and while she wished it was under different circumstances she was happy to show him around her home.

    So now here she was, a smile on her face, knocking on the door of his hotel.

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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:23 pm

    Axel was so fucking glad to finally be out of that hospital. The white, sterile environment been suffocating, the constant check-ins from doctors and nurses and been annoying and invasive, and worst of all, he hadn't been allowed to smoke. Now he and his mom were holed up in a hotel, and a nice one at that. So nice, in fact, that Axel wondered who was footing the bill for it. His mom was only just starting back up at work again after missing over a week, and he wouldn't be working again till his leg was better. How were they going to pay rent?

    He'd asked his mom this exact question, and every time she told him the same thing: "Don't worry about it." It was honestly getting on his nerves a little. He felt condescended to, like a little kid who had no business asking about adult matters. Just because he'd been through what he'd been through didn't mean he had to be coddled now. Now that he thought about it, there were a lot of things like that now, little things that just agitated him more than usual.

    Well, at least today he had something to be in a better mood about. Poppy was coming over, and then she was gonna show him around town a little bit. Maybe that was what he needed; to get out and do something finally. He was just going a little stir crazy.

    "So can you like, be nice to Poppy when she gets here?" he asked his mom. Though she hadn't said it out loud (yet), it was so, so obvious that she didn't like him being involved with Poppy.

    "She's not staying long, right?" she asked, not answering his request. "I don't need to have a conversation with her." Axel rolled his eyes, which in the past would have resulted in a rebuke or possibly a smack upside the head, but his mom had been trying to be nice (or as nice as she was capable of being) to him lately so she ignored it. There was a brief, awkward pause. "Listen, Axel--"

    There was a knock at the door.

    ---

    Petra nearly snapped at Axel when he rolled his eyes at her, but bit her tongue at the last second. She was still worried about his emotional state. Though he seemed to be acting normal, every once in a while he'd make a little comment, or get a look on his face that things weren't alright. He was also moody as fuck, but that was understandable, she supposed.

    They hadn't talked about what had happened, or what he was going through now. They had just never had the type of relationship where they talked openly about feelings or any of that crap. Even when he was little, she'd never been the one to comfort him when he'd been upset or hurt. That had been Pia.

    So what was she supposed to do now? He needed to know that he had one parent who loved him unconditionally and only wanted what was best for him, but she just didn't know how to express that. "Listen, Axel--"

    There was a knock at the door. Aaaaand the girl was here. Paisley's girl. If Petra was being honest, it wasn't the fact that it was Paisley's daughter that Axel was getting involved with (though of fucking course it would be.) It was the fact that she knew there was no way Axel was in a good mindset to jump into something with this, or any, girl right now. Hell, all his relationships had been disasters before going through hell in that barn. Like mother like son, hah.

    She opened the door, since Axel was still pretty limited when it came to moving around. Sure enough, Paisley's daughter was standing there smiling like a ray of goddamn sunshine. "Hey Popalop!" Axel called from the bed behind her. Petra stood to the side to let her come in.
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:01 pm

    "Hi!" Poppy said brightly as Axel's mom opened the door. "I'm Poppy--" she started to introduce herself before she heard Axel call her name from somewhere inside the hotel. Poppy looked around Axel's mom as she stepped to the side and smiled wide at Axel. He was already looking much better than he had the last time she'd seen him.

    "It's so good to see you outside of that hospital!" she told him, walking over to the couch where he was sitting and giving him a hug. "How is your leg?"

    She remembered suddenly that she hadn't really spoken to Axel's mom and turned back to her when she released Axel from the hug. "I'm so happy you guys decided to stay on Nadar while Axel goes to physical therapy!" She smiled at her.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:28 pm

    "Oh, you know. Still broken," Axel said, gesturing towards his useless lump of a leg after Poppy pulled back from their hug. "Doc says I can start putting weight on it soon."

    Poppy turned back towards his mom, all smiles. Oh, here we fucking go.

    Popalop wrote:"I'm so happy you guys decided to stay on Nadar while Axel goes to physical therapy!"

    "Not like we had a choice," his mom said shortly. Gods, it was like she was physically incapable of basic social niceties. "The day we leave this island can't come soon enough."

    "Well sorry that you're stuck here because of me," Axel said. His tone was joking but there was a slight edge to it. She looked at him but before she could say anything, he looked at Poppy and said, "You ready to go, Poppy?"
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:00 pm

    Poppy kept a smile on her face but couldn't helped be a little shocked by Axel's mom's cutting tone and flippant words. Had she said something wrong?

    Axel wrote:Well sorry that you're stuck here because of me. You ready to go, Poppy?

    Poppy turned back to Axel, choosing to carefully overlook the way Axel responded to his mother. "Yeah! You said you had a wheelchair somewhere, right?" She looked around and saw it in the corner, and then wheeled it over to him.

    "I get to be your chair chauffeur," she said happily. "I hope you're ready!" She was not-so-secretly giddy about the fact that she'd get to help him around. Obviously she wanted his leg to get better, but she liked that she would be part of the process of helping him travel in the meantime.
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Petra Lovison on Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:07 am

    So it turned out that Paisley's daughter was exactly like Paisley, right down to being way too happy and cheerful when there was little to be happy or cheerful about. Why. Although, Petra reminded herself, this Poppy girl had faced down Cillian in that barn alongside Axel and Elias, so maybe the nauseating cheeriness was just overcompensation.

    Axel wrote:"Well sorry that you're stuck here because of me."

    Petra went to retort but Axel immediately moved on from the comment and asked Poppy if she was ready to go. Goddammit. She really needed to have a talk with this kid, but now wasn't the time. So instead, as Poppy clumsily "helped" Axel into the wheelchair, she just said, "Don't do anything stupid while you're out."

    ---

    Popalop wrote:"I get to be your chair chauffeur. I hope you're ready!"

    Poppy was clearly way more enthusiastic about Axel being stuck in a wheelchair than he was. His physical therapist had said it wouldn't be too long before he could start getting around on crutches, and it couldn't happen soon enough. "Born ready," he said, as Poppy helped him awkwardly transition from the couch to the chair.

    Mom wrote:"Don't do anything stupid while you're out."

    "I'll try not to, but you know me," Axel said as Poppy started pushing him to the door. Man, what he wouldn't give to be in Dian right now so he could easily move the damn thing by himself.
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:12 am

    "It was nice meeting you!" Poppy said quickly as she rolled Axel to the door. "Bye!" It, of course, was not exactly as nice to meet her as it was awkward but whatever. They were FREE now.

    As soon as they got outside and away from whatever air conditioning Amelia uses, it got quite warm. Sure, it was nearing winter, but on Nadar that had never seemed to matter. Actually the winter months usually meant that island was more humid than normal if the trade winds weren't blowing.

    "So! What should do we first?" Poppy asked, wheeling him away from the hotel and down the path that led to city center. Most clio who came to Nadar were interested in the beaches or the jungle, but Axel had lived in Ughdarras with plenty of beaches (though they were not quite as nice as Nadar's, in Poppy's opinion) and also could not explore the jungle via a wheelchair.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:57 am

    Well, the meeting between Poppy and his mom could have gone worse. He was glad Poppy was as eager to get outta there as he was.

    "What? I dunno," Axel said with a slight laugh. Poppy had told him she would be showing him around, he didn't know what or where anything was. They were also pretty limited in what they could do because of his leg situation. No tree climbing or canopy walks for them. "Show me some of your favorite places, I guess.

    "And uh, I can push this," he said, gesturing to the wheels of the chair. He leaned back and looked up so that he was looking at Poppy upside-down and gave her a half-smile. "You don't hafta to all the hard work."

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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:18 pm

    Poppy frowned at the upside-down Axel. She'd wanted to push him. Oh well. She walked next to Axel as he wheeled himself and began giving him a tour. She pointed out an indoor ice arena she'd taken skating lessons at when she was younger, the entrance to a nursery she frequented with her mother over summer breaks, and then began to point to an art studio where she used to go with Aunt Estela before pausing.

    Damn it. Poppy closed her mouth and put her hand down, resting it on one of the handles to Axel's chair. Her aunt had been spending most of her time with Uncle Henri and Elias since the return, which Poppy didn't mind. It was giving her more time to pretend like the whole situation had never happened. Talking with Aunt Estela would make everything so much more...real.

    "Do you want to go get some ice cream?" Poppy asked, starting to walk again.

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    Axel Lovison
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    Age : 18
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:07 pm

    It was cute watching Poppy point out all the special places from her childhood. They were all very Poppyish things, like ice skating and flower shops. But then she started to point out a new building and stopped out of nowhere, before asking to go get ice cream instead. Huh. "Wait, what were you just pointing at? That studio?" he asked, before belatedly realizing that Poppy had probably changed the subject because she didn't want to talk about it. "Or, uh, yeah. Ice cream. Ice cream is good."
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:38 am

    Poppy kept walking. "Oh, it's just a place I used to take art lessons," she said, trying to keep her voice casual. It mostly worked, she thought.

    She'd spent so long trying to not think about Aunt Estela's kidnapping. She'd stopped her art, stopped going to their house (made easy by Elias' sudden lack of interest in all things Selway after his mom's disappearance). Now that she was back, Poppy felt sick with herself for a myriad of reasons. Mom wanted her to go to therapy, but Poppy had no interest in being made to think about the emotions she'd rather ignore.

    "Ice cream it is," she said, pulling a smile onto her face. "Hold on!" Poppy grabbed onto the back of Axel's wheelchair and began to run with it. She laughed as she ran, blowing past strangers who had to jump out of their way as she barreled down the sidewalk. "Sorry!" she called over her shoulder.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:49 am

    Axel didn't push the art studio thing a second time, despite Poppy's super forced tone of calm. He was curious, but it wasn't worth it if it meant dredging up any bad memories for Poppy. She already had enough bad memories to associate him with.

    Pop wrote:"Hold on!"

    "What?" he asked, not getting an answer before suddenly being pushed through the streets as fast as Poppy could go. He gripped the sides of the chair, heart rate speeding up as clio literally jumped out of the way seconds before he crashed into him. By the end of it, though, he was laughing right along with Poppy. "I think you almost ran over an old lady back there," he said breathlessly.
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:28 am

    Poppy collapsed onto a mesh bench when they arrived outside of the ice cream stand. Lots of clio were standing around enjoying their frozen treats, but Poppy didn't notice them staring at her.

    Axel wrote:I think you almost ran over an old lady back there.

    Poppy laughed again, causing a burning to erupt in her stomach and chest. "Too..much...laughing," she said breathlessly. "Ow, ow," but she couldn't stop. She wiped at her eyes when she realized she was laughing so hard she'd begun to cry a little. She forced herself to take deep breaths, but when she started to settle down she remembered the face of someone they'd all but pushed out of the way and then started to laugh again.

    It was agonizing but refreshing, laughing here with Axel. She looked at him through the tears in her eyes and felt an overwhelming sense of emotion toward him. This was not an average feeling, an average crush.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:59 am

    Axel laughed again too, but with a nervous edge this time. "Whoa, you okay there Popalop?" She was crying from laughing, right? Not, like, crying-crying? Because she kind of looked like she was crying-crying. She looked at him with glistening eyes and in that moment looked so intense and passionate. It was beautiful, and terrifying.

    Say something, Blue hissed. Say what? Axel never used to have trouble finding words like this. He suddenly became acutely aware of the clio staring at them. Did they think he had made her cry? Had he made her cry?

    "What...kind of ice cream do you want?" he finally asked, cringing inwardly. Oh, real fucking smooth, Axel.
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:23 pm

    Axel wrote:Whoa, you okay there Popalop?

    What...kind of ice cream do you want?

    Poppy was okay in a very "I am okay" type of way. In a, 'we were just running at top speed, careening past the elderly on a walk path in the middle of Nadar City, warm air in our lungs' type of way. In a 'we are about to get ice cream type of way. In a 'we are here and not there' type of way.

    She brushed a few remaining tears away and smiled. "Strawberry with sprinkles."

    Sansa felt sick.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:46 pm

    And so Poppy got her strawberry-with-sprinkles cone, and Axel got a chocolate-and-vanilla twist. Poppy paid for both.

    What is she thinking about? he wondered as Poppy licked her ice cream cone. Was she thinking about him? His father? Something totally different?

    Ask her! Blue encouraged.

    "Nadar doesn't seem half-bad," he said, instead making an attempt at a normal conversation. "Not sure what I was expecting after listening to my mom talk about how much she hates this place all the time. But then again she pretty much hates everything."
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:09 pm

    "Your mom hates Nadar?" Poppy asked curiously. She looked around as she ate her ice cream. Birds called from the air as they circled overhead--gulls mostly, this close to the shore. But the entire island was teaming with different types of animals, and even more types of plants. Even here in the city plants were everywhere. Nadar was not the typical city, not by a long shot. But what was there to hate about it?

    "I'm glad you don't hate it," Poppy said with a smile, looking back at Axel who was half-way through his twist cone. "It's one of my favorite places to be." Growing up Poppy had been lucky enough to be able to visit most corners of the globe, whether it was from Overloridian things with her parents or exploring with her uncle, but Nadar was home.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Age : 18
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:42 pm

    "Yeah, she wasn't joking when she said she couldn't wait to leave," Axel said. He shrugged. "Don't worry about it though. That's just how she is."

    He wasn't just saying he liked it here for Poppy's benefit. It really was unique, unlike anywhere else Axel had ever been. Some of the houses and structures were even built up in the trees, accessible via rope ladders and suspension bridges. If his fucking leg wasn't broken he'd be exploring this place from top to bottom. Anger and bitterness bubbled up inside him unexpectedly, and he had to push it back down and bury it before continuing.

    "I hope you're ready for me to visit you here all the time," he said, smiling at Poppy. "I'm already planning out a romantic date up in the canopy."

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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:45 pm

    Poppy had already forgotten the way that Petra had spoken about wanting to leave the island, and she didn't waste time thinking about it now either--because Axel said

    Axel wrote:I hope you're ready for me to visit you here all the time. I'm already planning out a romantic date up in the canopy.

    A flutter of butterflies erupted in her tummy. She wished his leg was better so she could explore with him right now. Take him into the trees and show him her real favorite places--ones she'd been to with her sister and mother or had discovered by exploring alone. The city was fun, but it wasn't the best part of Nadar.

    "Who says I'm going to let you take me on a date?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

    She was totally going to let him take her on a date.
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    Axel Lovison
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    Age : 18
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    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Axel Lovison on Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:58 pm

    "'Let me?'" Axel repeated with feigned incredulity. "Popalop, I am offering you the privilege of enjoying my company." He grinned at her. In reality, of course, the privilege was his. Poppy's company was a breath of fresh air in the dumpster fire that was his life. "C'mon, picture it. You 'n' me, watching the sunset from the tree tops, sharing a thermos filled with wine."
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
    Walkin' Horse Pig

    Posts : 119
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern

    Re: next to you :: axel, petra

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:19 pm

    Poppy did picture it, and she liked what she saw. She imagined the bright hues from dusk casting the tips of the trees in reds and oranges, imagined the sunset setting the sea on fire. And watching it all with Axel, from high above the jungle floor. She liked what imagining this did to her heart beat.

    She swiped some ice cream off her cone and touched it to the tip of Axel's nose with a mischievous smile. Before he had time to react she had slipped herself (careful not to put her weight on his hurt leg) onto his lap.

    "I think I'd like that," she told him before kissing his nose. She pulled back for a moment to smile once more before kissing him again, this time on his lips.

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