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May 29, 2020 2:54 PM
Baby Adrian and Anders meet in the psych ward
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"Yup."

He desperately wants to tell this guy to fuck off, but for some reason, he can't bring himself to.

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The boy tilts his head, like he's waiting for Adrian to say more, and then the corner of his mouth lifts, in a smirk that is somehow both superior and sympathetic.

"I have some knowledge of the matter," he says, conspiratorially. "And generally, people don't go straight to trying to chop their leg off. Unless they're proper mental. And you're not."

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"Thank you for that sterling observation, guy I don't know, but, as previously mentioned, I don't know you, thus you don't know me, so saying what I am and am not as if you're an authority on the subject isn't really any of your business. Now if you'll excuse me, I was busy staring into nothingness."

He turns pointedly back to the window.

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"Not trying to score points with you, matey, merely pointing out that I don't think you did that."

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His whole body tenses in fear at those words, his head turning slowly to look at this stranger in terrified awe. On one hand, someone who might actually believe him, on the other, someone who would know his father's secret.

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"Got your attention, did I?"

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His choice is made, he lands on outright denial, blood before self, as always.

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about."

He levers himself awkwardly up from the chair, trying to get away from this guy whose name he still doesn't know.

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"So, how does the leg match up with the bruising on your arms?"

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"My arms are from football, its a rough sport. My leg has nothing to do with it, I used a broken bottle to do it, relieving the pressure I was feeling from popularity and the need to win and succeed by making sure no one would ever rely on me like that again," his response is a little robotic, almost practised, but very believable.

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The boy turns around to look behind him. "Could've sworn there'd be a teleprompter there-" he turns back to face Adrian. "That sounded excellent, you campaigning for something?"

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"I'm going for the role of 'father's greatest failure', why the fuck do you care?"

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"Empathy, mostly."

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"Anselm!" Calls the nurse. 

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Anselm winces-

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"-sorry, Anders. I meant Anders." The nurse recollects herself. "If you can't be civil in the group areas, you need to go back to your room."

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"He's fine."

It's not exactly welcoming, but he doesn't want the dude to get in trouble.

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"Am I now."

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"Anders, you've been warned, all right?"

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"Yes, ma'am!"

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"Well, now we're almost properly introduced, nice to meet you Anders, my name is Adrian."

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"Oh, no, it's all right, really, we don't have to do that thing where we pretend we're going to stay in contact after we graduate."

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"Yeah, well, I don't like having a conversation with someone whose name I don't know."

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"Oh. Yeah. Right. That. Sorry, not used to having people not already know my name. I'm in and out of here, you see."

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"Wow, fame really goes to some guys' hea-" Adrian's witty comeback is clipped off by a wince of pain, his hand clutching at his thigh as tears come to his eyes. "Fuck."

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"Woah-" Anders is quick to stand, to hold Adrian's shoulders. "Chair- sit down, here-" 

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