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 Discovering the truth;, tagged: jack
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY31 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
Life had been going so smoothly that Celine had found herself almost carefree. She hadn’t felt such happiness since she was a young girl. Jack was to be credited for that. Since the two of them had admitted their feelings for each other, and the night they had shared since then, her days had been positively blissful. Though they kept their relationship pretty well under wraps because Celine was still his employee, she didn’t mind. It wouldn’t have been fair to expect him to gush about her and worry about his other employees thinking he would favor her over them. That wouldn’t be good for business, and not matter how much Celine wanted his attention all the time she wasn’t quite so immature to expect it. Still, there had been moments the two of them had sneaked looks and a quick kiss here or there. It was easier when it was just the two of them closing the bar and she could nab his attention once he was done with paperwork and numbers. Jack’s office was being used for more than just closing procedures as of late.

Though no matter how happy she was, how much Celine wanted to give Jack all of her, there was still one small hang up. He still didn’t know who she really was. It killed her a little inside each time he murmured the name “Ivy” into her ear instead of her given name. It was a harsh reminder that she was still lying to him. It never failed either. Any time things got hot and heavy, Jack would call her “Ivy” and it felt like hitting a brick wall at a hundred miles per hour. Celine played it off as though she just wasn’t ready but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. She absolutely was ready to give Jack her body if only she could get past her identity crisis. She also felt terrible about it because she knew it wasn’t fair to him. Celine would rile him up so much only to shut him down. But Jack had an unwavering patience with her that she appreciated more than she could ever truly realize. She knew she needed to tell him the truth. She’d been mulling it over in her head for days about how exactly she was going to bring it up. It never seemed the right time. How did one tell the person they were very well falling in love with that everything about them was a lie? Celine knew there was a very good chance that Jack would call it quits with her and she didn’t blame him. That was what concerned her the most.

Celine’s class that night was a late one and it was well past ten o’clock by the time she got to her apartment. It was an old building that didn’t have an elevator so she had to take the stairs to the third floor. Between classes and work she was tired and took her time getting up them. When she reached her door, nothing seemed out of place and it was still locked like it had been when she left. Celine inserted her key and entered the small apartment which was dark inside. She set down her backpack, purse, and keys on the small kitchen counter that was just inside the door. She flipped on the light above the stove so she could see and promptly removed the wig she wore. It got hot quickly and she was glad when she could pull off the wig cap and allow her natural red locks to spill free. Celine turned from the kitchen with the intent of going into the bathroom when she heard something that had her freeze. Someone was in her apartment and her heart began to race.

Slowly, Celine placed one foot in front of the other as she inched toward the door, peering around the wall that separated the kitchen from the main room. She could clearly see the window with the fire escape just outside had been smashed. Someone had broken into her place and immediately Celine knew it could only be someone hired by her father. It was the only thing that made sense to her in that moment. Somehow, her father had figured out that she hadn’t actually died. That she had faked her death and changed her identity and now he had sent someone for her. It was the one thing she feared above all else; being dragged back to the life she’d been forced to endure for so long. A shadow moved along the wall above her bed and Celine couldn’t help the tiny yelp that came from her voice, alerting the intruder that she’d seen him. Though her mind was racing, Celine could clearly see the man had been stuffing things into a bag. Wait. That didn’t seem right. Why would they come only to steal the few belongings she had? It didn’t matter. They had come for her and she was frozen in place.

The next few moments happened so quickly that Celine could barely register what was happened. There was the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked and a spark of light as it was shot in her direction. Celine screamed as she felt the heat of the bullet rip past her and hit the wall behind her. Three inches to the right and she’d have been dead on the floor. Celine shot into action and tore from the apartment, down the stairs, and out into the streets where it had begun to rain. She didn’t even stop to think about the fact that it was unusual for it to rain this time of year in New York, she was too terrified. There was no conscious thinking about where it was she was running either. Her feet were carrying her in the direction of Mister Unlucky’s. Celine didn’t look back to see if the intruder was following her. Tears streamed down her face and smeared her mascara down her cheeks. People were quick to jump out of her way as she tore through the streets.

Celine reached the back alley behind Mister Unlucky’s moments later, soaking wet and sobbing. She climbed the stairs leading to the apartment above the bar and pounded on the back door. She knew Jack wasn’t working tonight but she hoped to God that he was home. ”Jack!” she cried. ”Jack, please! Open the door!” When the door opened seconds later, Celine launched herself into his arms and buried her face into his chest and cried harder, great sobs racking her small frame.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious54 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
The past month had been one of the most blissful in recent memory. In the thirty years he'd been on this planet, perhaps even in the many years before he was here, Jack couldn't remember ever being so disgustingly happy. He'd always tried to be the carefree sort, the man that looked out for others before himself. Love was something he'd read about, something that he'd longed for even when he'd been a kid in foster care. He wanted family, people all around him who cared about him, who he could care about, too. He'd collected a lot of those people, found those from a time long ago and forged lasting bonds with them. There were a few people he knew with every fiber of his being that he'd give his life for, that would do the very same for him. Those thoughts warmed his soul, but until recently there had always been something missing.

When he'd first seen Ivy, something about her struck him. It wasn't like it had been with Kizzy or Tate or Mikey or Lalita. No, it was something different, but similar. He didn't know who she was, only... felt it. She was something, someone, but he'd be damned if he could figure it out. He'd hired her, both because she'd been so determined and because his curiosity had gotten the better of him. He was glad he'd taken the gamble because not too terribly long afterwards she'd pulled him into her arms, kissed his face, and asked to have him. He'd known even before the first time she'd kissed him that she would be the one to sink him. Kizzy, his doggedly determined best friend, still hadn't any idea he and Ivy were together and while it pained him to keep it from her, he didn't want her to sabotage this, either. Ivy was special, she wasn't just some girl that had fallen into his bed for a good time. When she spoke to him he couldn't help but admire her, how hard she worked for what she wanted, how much passion and drive he saw in her face. She was easily the most beautiful woman he'd ever met, even if she kept secrets from him. They all had secrets, didn't they? Jack was going to share his with her and soon, but how? How do you tell your girlfriend that you could walk through shadows? Manipulate the darkness around you into a physical thing? How to tell her that this life was an echo of your last, that once upon a time you'd been a walking, talking skeleton? Every time he thought of it he'd buried his face back into his pillows, knowing he'd sound like a lunatic. Those closest to him, those who knew the truth, they accepted because they were like him, they didn't have to go on faith, they knew it was true because they, too had lived it. What if Ivy, for all that he felt for her, all her familiarity and love, what if she thought him mad and left? Could he even blame her if she did?

Jack had been sitting on his sofa, feet propped up on an antique ottoman and a book in his hands that he hadn't actually read anything of for the past twenty minutes. He'd been lost in thought, gaze unfocused as his mind wandered to his current dilemmas. His life had always been strange and now was no different. Who the hell had to make the sort of decisions he did? He closed the book, tossing it onto the table beside him as he scrubbed at his face, groaning.

He didn't have a great deal of time afterward to contemplate further. He heard feet pounding along the steps towards his apartment before she'd ever reached the door. Jack turned to look at his front door, an eyebrow cocked. Fists banged against the door and he sprung up at the sound of his name cried through the wood. He crossed the living room in two steps, flinging the door open mere seconds afterward. Ivy threw herself into his arms and it was all he could do to catch her, gathering her into his arms as he leaned out of his apartment, looking down the stairway to see if anyone was with her. "Ivy! Ivy, what's the matter?" There was no one to be seen, but he pulled her inside anyway, kicking the door shut behind him, locking it for good measure. If there had been something chasing her, he could handle it. If someone had hurt her, he would handle it.

He'd looked away from her for only a second to lock the door, but when he'd looked down at her, her face buried in his chest, his breath caught it his throat. Red. Ivy's hair was red. He'd known the black she'd been sporting hadn't been the true color of her hair, suspected that she'd dyed it or wore a wig, but to see her vibrant red hair now was like an electric shock to his system. There were memories in his head, so many of them fighting for their position at the front of his mind. Sally. Sally.

Jack shook himself, sucking in a breath as her name, the name she'd once had, repeated over and over in his head. Later. He was going to have to deal with that later. Right now he had to deal with Ivy, whatever problem she had, whatever was terrifying her so deeply, he had to make the right first. Jack wrapped his arms around her, pressing her into his body. She was soaking wet. He leaned against the door, sliding down against it so that the two of them were sitting in a heap on the floor, Ivy gathered into his lap as he held her protectively. He leaned his face against her forehead, wiping damp hair from her cheeks. "Tell me what happened. I'll take care of it. I've got you, baby." His voice was soft as he tightened his hold on her, his legs bent at the knees, pressed close to her so that she was bound up in his arms. Whatever it was that had frightened her, whatever had brought her to him in such a state, it damn well better not let him find it.

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY31 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
Despite the fact she was in the safest place she could think of, her fear along with being soaked to the bone, left her shivering against Jack. As they sank to the floor, she clung to him tightly and eventually her sobs quieted to small hiccups. Celine waited for them to abate before she tried to speak and even then, her words came out soft and strained. ”He found me. They’ve come for me.” There was blatant terror in her voice. How long would it be before they found her once more to drag her back to her father. What would they do to Jack if he tried to protect her? It dawned on Celine that she was putting his life in danger just like she had that boy so many years ago. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself if someone harmed Jack because of her. Not him. Not the man she loved so deeply.

Celine’s hand curled into a fist against Jack’s chest, his shirt bunched in her fingers as she forced herself to stop and think. It was hard to clear her mind when all she could think about was keeping herself hidden away from the goons her father had sent to collect her and protecting Jack at the same time. This was a point of no return. Not only was she free of the black wig that covered her hair normally but she knew she couldn’t keep her secrets anymore. If Jack was going to try and protect her then he deserved to know who she was protecting. Celine sucked in a deep breath and though tears still streamed down her pale cheeks, she could finally speak without the hysteria. She leaned back so she could look at him. He was so perfect. So beautiful. She prayed that after this he didn’t turn his back on her. ”I’m sorry,” she sniffed, her voice shaky. ”I didn’t know where else to go. Someone broke into my apartment and shot at me. I just...I ran...because I think...I think…” Celine hesitated once more, unsure of how to continue. This would be the most truth she had spilled in a long, long time.

”Jack, I have to tell you something. A lot of things. I’m sorry and I hope that after you hear the truth you don’t hate me. I won’t blame you if you do but please...hear me out,” she began. Another deep breath to try and control the shakiness to her voice, which didn’t really help. This was it. The truth was going to come whether he was ready for it or not. ”My name isn’t Ivy. It’s Celine. Celine Delacroix. My father is a powerful man in Paris. A geneticist and a monster. He killed my mother when I was only a girl because she had an affair and since then he’s kept me under lock and key. I was never allowed to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything. If I acted out he would lock me away for days at a time until I complied with his demands. He told me it was for my own protection. So no the world wouldn’t taint me. I didn’t know about my mother at first. I had been told she died of cancer. It wasn’t until later, when my first boyfriend was murdered, that I got suspicious. I found out so many horrible things about my family, Jack. So many awful, terrible things.” Celine reached up to wipe the tears from her eyes though it only smeared her makeup further. Her throat was raw from sobbing and her chest hurt from the anxiety. She was tired. So tired all of a sudden.

Slumping forward slightly, she curled back up in Jack’s lap and rested her head against his chest on the good faith he wouldn’t reject her before she continued. ”I worked hard to be the ideal daughter he wanted just so I would have some freedoms. Enough freedom so I could plot running away. It took a long time...but I managed to figure it out with some help but no matter how far I went or how many identities I took on, he always found me. Finally, I got to Australia and staged my own death so he would think I was gone for real. I came here, changed my name to Ivy, and started a new life. A lie. I’m so sorry, Jack. I never meant to lie to you but I was so afraid he would find me again. I was so afraid he would hurt you and I couldn’t live with that. I would rather die than see you hurt because of me.” Celine squeezed her eyes shut to ward off a fresh round of tears. Even though she’d spoken the truth, it only left her feeling mildly relieved. There was still the intruders in her apartment who she wasn’t sure were because of her father. It had triggered the paranoia in her.

Celine fell silent for a moment before once again she leaned back so she could look at him. A small hand raised to cup his cheek and she moved her thumb against the apple of it. ”Please say you forgive me. I love you, Jack. I love you so much,” she whispered softly. Celine didn’t expect him to love her back. How could he? He didn’t know her as Celine but as Ivy.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious54 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
Jack held her tight as she cried into his arms, patiently waiting for her to find the breath to speak to him. Whatever had happened, whatever reason she'd come to him like this, he'd make it right. Jack was a patient, meticulous man and he could ruin lives if he so put his mind to it. In the time it took her to gather herself he smoothed her hair, all that beautiful red hair, and made soft shushing noises. They've come for me. Her words struck him to the core. Who? He bit back the question, not wanting to pressure her just yet. He had faith she'd tell him what was going on if he just gave her the time to do so.

Ivy's fingers curled into his shirt and he tightened his arms around her. Even though his own head was a mess right now, he pushed it all aside for her. There would be time to sort through such things later, together perhaps, but there was still so much he wasn't sure of. Did she know who she was? Did she knew of another life, of the Pumpkin King? He thought not. If he knew her, and he liked to think he did, he doubted she'd have been able to keep something like that from him for too long. She'd have dropped hints, much like he knew he might have had he actually remembered. God, how could he have not remembered? He'd beat himself up over it later, right now Ivy had finally gotten her breath back, though the tears were still streaming down her face. Even though she was soaked, her makeup a mess, she was still heartstoppingly gorgeous. She leaned away from him just enough so that she could look up into his face. Someone was coming, Jack felt it in his bones. Tonight, right now, was going to be a turning point in their life together.

She apologized to him then, Jack's brows creasing in mild confusion. Again, he bit back anything to interrupt her. She told him that someone had broken into her apartment and shot at her and his face tightened considerably. A frown pulled at his features, his body tensing as she spoke. Somehow though it seemed as if that wasn't the worst of it. Jack prepared himself for whatever it was she was going to say, the hesitation in her voice lending him some measure of anxiety. "You can tell me anything." He assured her softly.

She took a breath then and spilled what was probably the biggest secret she had. Ivy was not Ivy at all, but Celine. Celine Delacroix. The name struck a familiar chord in him, having heard the Delacroix name before, years ago when he was traveling. He'd been at a function hosted by the Delacroix family, hadn't he? He didn't remember it very well, but it was familiar at least. She told him then why she'd given him, given all of them, a false identity and his heart broke for her. He'd never known his parents, he'd grown up in an orphanage, bouncing through foster care as he'd gotten older but this? This chaos she's lived through, this torture... it killed him a little. He'd been nearly a man grown by the time these things had been happening to her and even though there was nothing he could have done he hated that he hadn't been there for her. Ivy, no Celine, wiped the tears from her face which only succeeded in further smearing her makeup. Jack raised a hand, wiping the tears from her cheek as she slumped forward into his chest once more. He wrapped his arms around her again, letting her find some form of comfort with him so she could continue.

In the end, who she really was didn't much matter to him. Ivy or Celine, he knew her soul unlike anyone else, especially now. Her past may have come back to haunt her, but he could be far more frightening than any mere man. Jack could be one's closest confidant, their dearest friend... or their worst enemy. There were simply things you didn't do and threaten those he cared for was at the top of his list. Jack wasn't a killer, but he knew he'd do anything in his power to keep Celine safe, to keep everyone in the strange little rag tag family safe. Anything that threatened her threatened them all and that was unacceptable. She apologize again, telling him she'd rather die than see him hurt because of her. He stiffened as she said those words, but she'd leaned back to look into his face once more. Her hand had come to his cheek and she asked him to forgive her, told him she loved him. Jack covered her hand with his much larger one, turning his face so he could press a kiss into her palm. "There is absolutely nothing to forgive." he said into her skin, kissing her palm once more. He pulled her hand from his face before her took hers in his hands. He brought her close to him, their faces only a breath away so she could look into his eyes as he spoke to her. "I'm yours. I've been yours since the moment you walked in here, I think," his smoothed her tears away with his thumbs. "You didn't lie out of malice, only to protect yourself and no one could blame you for that. Your past isn't who you are, it doesn't define you. It only makes you stronger. You're one of the bravest people I know, the most determined, ambitious, intelligent, beautiful," he let a bit of a smile come to his face, one of his hands sliding into her hair as he ran his fingers through its length. "I love you, Celine." Her true name felt strangely poetic on his tongue and he couldn't help but think that it finally felt right. The name Ivy, like her black hair, had never really fit and now that she'd revealed the truth of her identity he knew this was it. She was the one. Even if she wasn't his Sally, even if they'd never had lives before this one, Jack knew he belonged totally and completely to her, heart and soul.

"I love you and no matter what, I'll keep you safe. There's more to me than you know, more to a lot of us than you know. Nothing will ever hurt you as long as you're with me. We all have our secrets and I'll use every one of mine to protect you, Celine."

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY31 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
Though she was still shaken, the tears had mostly come to a stop and she was silent as he spoke. The entire time he was silent, Celine only hoped that he would forgive her for lying. She never would have if not for the fact she was terrified of being discovered. She had gone through so much just to get away from the one person who was supposed to love her most but only tormented her instead. Maybe she ought to have been more cautious with her heart and not fallen in love with Jack so easily but she knew in her very bones that he was right for her. That was only confirmed when he told her there was nothing to forgive and that he would do anything he could to protect her. Celine lifted her head and gave him a weak smile before pressing her forehead to his. ”Thank you,” she murmured softly. ”I don’t know what I would do without you, Jack.” If not for him, she would have already been in the process of fleeing from the state but she couldn’t leave him. Not now. Not when she had finally found someone in her life that she loved so completely.

A laugh, shaky and soft, left her and she nodded gently. ”I know there’s more to you. I know you can do something strange with shadows, Jack. Just like I know there’s something strange about Kizzy and about Lalita and her friends,” she admitted. All of her years on the run had left Celine an extremely observant person. She was always aware of her surroundings. Always aware of anything suspicious. The first time she had seen Jack manipulating shadows in her peripheral she had chalked it up to her imagination. But then it had happened again and again. Too many times for it to just be coincidence. Celine had realized that something like that should have concerned her but it didn’t. How could it when she could read people’s minds? Something she had yet to tell Jack but planned to do so. Raising a hand to his cheek, she cupped it gently and her thumb moved along his bottom lip gently. ”It’s alright. I’m not afraid. I could never be afraid of you.” She moved her thumb only so she could kiss him gently. ”And another reason I’m not afraid is because I have something strange about me too. I can read people’s minds. I can read your mind.” Celine well and truly hoped that didn’t freak Jack out. People didn’t like having their thoughts invaded. ”Not all the time,” she clarified. ”I don’t want to invade your privacy like that but sometimes when I’m distracted it happens. It’s why...well...it’s why I knew how you liked certains...things I would do to you…” Her cheeks turned pink with the admission but she had been grateful for her ability in those moments. Celine was wholly inexperienced and his brain and all those enticing thoughts had been a wonderful guide.

It didn’t matter to her if any of them were strange. She was strange too. Celine wanted some place to be where she didn’t have to run. She wanted a family unit and people who loved her. She wanted to love those people back. This was the first and only place she’d ever felt could give her that and she didn’t want to leave. Celine didn’t think Jack would want her to leave and she wouldn’t ask him to come with her. No, she would stay here because it was here that she was protected. It was with him that she was safe. The city was only a location but for the first time, in Jack’s arms, Celine well and truly felt like she was at home.

Finally her tears had stopped completely but Celine knew her eyes were still puffy and she must look a right mess. Her throat was raw from sobbing and all she wanted was to crawl into a bath. The hand that had been at Jack’s cheek dropped to rest against his chest. ”I don’t have anything with me but would you mind if I borrowed something of yours to wear. I know I’ll have to go back to my place and file a report but I just...I can’t right now.” The very idea just made her want to curl up and cry again, which she refused to do. Celine also knew she wouldn’t be staying at her apartment anymore but she wasn’t sure if asking Jack if she could move in with him was a good idea. Yes, they had admitted to loving the other but was it too soon? She wasn’t sure. ”And would you be terribly put out if I asked to stay a few days? Just while I found another place?” she asked, her voice hesitant. She realized she must seem horribly needy at this moment.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious54 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
A smile returned to his face despite the circumstances. Celine thanked him, her forehead pressed to his and then let out a soft laugh. Her tears were drying and her heartbeat was slowing. Jack would hold her all night if that's what it took for her to find solace once more. Celine was strong though, the strongest person he'd ever met. She'd get through this and more. In fact, she'd was already looking up into his face and telling him that she knew about his strange ways with shadows and darkness. His smile widened, turning almost into a grin. There was no fear in her voice as she told him that she'd noticed strange things with Kizzy, and the trio, too. "Somehow I knew my girl was smarter than me," he said, tucking a few strands of hair behind her ear as she assured him she could never be afraid of him. She sure was something, wasn't she? Her thumb moved across his lip, removed only so she could press a kiss to his mouth. He could drown in those kisses, sweet as they were. She pulled away much too soon, her next admission bringing a flush to her face.

Mind reading. Jack couldn't say that such an ability was strange, not like his shadow manipulation or Kizzy ghost physiology. No, Celine's ability was far more helpful in the real world, not to mention completely undetectable. Jack could be caught if he wasn't careful, evidenced just a moment ago when she called him out on it. Mind reading though? He settled against the door as she clarified that she couldn't do it all the time, that it only happened when she was particularly distracted. He could think of several times she'd been wholly distracted and ah, yes. He couldn't help the laugh that escaped him as her cheeks continued to pink, Celine obviously embarrassed by the whole scenario. "Why are you embarrassed? I'm the one with the filthy mind," he said, a little twinkle in his eye. His arms snaked back around her as he pulled her close to him again. Now that he was sure she was in immediate danger, he was slowly beginning to relax again. "Have to say though, not sure where the down side of your mind reading is for me. All together, it sounds like a win win situation in my book." He teased lightly as she settled against his chest. She was still cold to the touch, he was going to have to get her into some dry clothes at the very least. He had nothing here that would even remotely fit her, but he'd dig something out of his closet. On queue, she requested to borrow something and while he didn't think she'd been in his head, it did make him grin. The idea of her filing a police report though, he wasn't sure he liked the idea. "I'll find you somethin'. We'll hold off on the police report for now. I'll go out to your place tomorrow. I can get in and get out without being seen, pick up anything you might need and check it out. Not so sure we wanna involve the police just yet. If your dad's the sort of guy you're saying, it might be best to just lay low." Jack had no intention of letting whoever had shot at her get away with it, but he had his own idea of justice and his own contacts. The police were fine for burglaries and the like, but this was personal. Whoever had thought they could lay a finger on her and get away with it was about to find themselves in a whole new world. Jack was the sort of man that would give you the shirt off his back, but when crossed he was downright terrifying. He didn't play games and he absolutely meticulous. He'd find them and they would pay.

It was in this moment that he had to remind himself that they'd only been together, well and truly together, for about a month. A lifetime before this had been spent side by side, but this one, this life, there time together had been so much shorter. Celine asked him if she could stay for a few days, just until she could find another place and he had to reel himself in. He had no desire for her to find another place, to go somewhere that he'd not be at her beck and call. Moving her into his apartment would be a bold move on his behalf, it'd be an even bolder offer. Idly, he wondered if she'd accept or if that would be over reaching his bounds. "Just stay for now. We'll see how all this goes over, figure out what happened in your apartment and then go for there," he shifted then, gathering her up in his arms. "This is home until you decide otherwise, alright?" He scooped her up into his arms with little effort, then stood. He carried her to his room then before depositing her gently onto the bed. Jack moved to his dresser, pulling out a drawer as he rummaged through it. His wardrobe was mostly band tees and shirts with ripped out sleeves and the like. His fashion tended to make a statement, but he had a few old shirts he wore when he was slumming around his place. He pulled out an over sized t-shirt with Def Leppard emblazoned across the chest. It was worn, a few tears towards the bottom where his belt buckles had rubbed at it too long, but it was soft and comfortable. "We can toss your lacy underthings into the dryer," he said as he pushed the drawer in with his hip, the shirt in hand. He stopped then. "Wait, those things can't go in the dryer... can they?" he looked at her with an eyebrow raised. He distinctly remembered Kizzy nearly ripping his head off once over putting a bra in the dryer, but did that go for panties, too? Laundry wasn't exactly an exhilarating topic, but it felt normal. Jack's face was soft, but the underlying amusement at the conversation could be seen he was sure. It'd be a lie if he didn't say he'd be pleased to see said lacy under things, but he was sure that wasn't her top priority at the moment. Probably a hot bath and warm clothes would do her a world more good than him pawing at her, but he couldn't help but want to hear her laugh. He loved her laugh, loved it when he was the one to entice it out of her. The last hour had been terrifying and exhausting for her and then she'd come here only to have to spill all of her secrets. He couldn't imagine how she felt and all he wanted was to make it right.

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY31 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
It was such an indirect way of asking her to stay with him but Celine could read between the lines. Jack was trying not to push her into a decision one way or another and it only made her love him more. Even if she had told him it would only be a few days she knew that by the time those few days were up she wouldn’t want to leave. Jack didn’t seem to want her to leave either. It would likely end with Celine staying with him permanently but the thought didn’t worry her. In fact, that’s exactly what she wanted. After all, was it not Jack she’d run to in her time of need? Was it not Jack’s arms that she felt the safest? The only place she well and truly wanted to be was where he was.

Celine’s arms wrapped about his neck as he scooped her up off the floor and carried her over to his bed where he then put her down. Her clothes were still wet but Jack didn’t seem to care too much about that. Still, she didn’t want to get his bedding wet and slipped off the end of it. Celine stripped off the jacket she was wearing and then slipped out of her shoes. She wasn’t concerned about being naked in front of him. Not when she had been so more than once before but she did appreciate when he pulled a shirt from his drawer and handed it to her. ”No, they definitely can’t go into the dryer unless you never want to see them again,” she teased. Celine approached him and stretched up on her toes so she could place a gentle kiss against his mouth, smiling gently into it. ”I can wear a pair of your underwear as long as you don’t mind. It shouldn’t slip off.” At least she hoped they didn’t. ”I’ll see you in a little bit.”

She had the decency to wait before she was in the bathroom before stripping her clothes off. Celine didn’t want Jack to thinks she was being a tease when all she was currently was exhausted. She only closed the door halfway, still mildly paranoid to be alone, and started the bath to warm it up while she undressed. Celine was grateful for the moment she was able to slip into the hot water and let the tension out of her muscles. Jack had done a wonderful job of calming her down and the bath was leeching away the last of that fear. She was safe here and she knew that. She wasn’t going to have to worry about being in such a predicament again though it was hard not to think about what had occurred. Furthermore, she wanted to know if the people who had broken into her apartment were actually sent by her father or if they were simply criminals who had broken into her place. It was hard to tell. Not to mention if she was going to be staying with Jack she wanted to retrieve her belongings. Celine had worked hard for what she had regardless of how little it was. She wasn’t ready to part with it.

When the water finally began to chill, Celine drained the tub, showered, and got out to dry herself off and wrap a towel around her. Her face was blessedly free of smeared makeup and her damp hair was darker red than usual, which she brushed out and braided to keep it contained. There was a sense of relief that settled over her that she didn’t have to hide anymore. Celine didn’t have to be someone she wasn’t. It would be so pleasing to hear Jack whisper her real name into her ear instead of her alias. After a moment, she replaced the towel with the old band t-shirt Jack had given her and left the bathroom. A pair of boxer briefs had been laid on the bed for her and she tossed Jack a quick grin before sliding them onto her bod. They were loose but not so much that she worried about them falling off. Then she climbed into the bed and gestured for Jack to join her and when he did, she curled up against his side and placed her head on his chest. ”Sorry my hair’s still wet,” she murmured. Celine’s eyes closed and she heaved a sigh. Now that the adrenaline had settled she felt like she could sleep for days. ”Do you think someone could cover my shift tomorrow night?” she asked softly. She just needed a day to recover some from this and to get her things moved in here.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious54 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
He'd bent down to recieve her kiss, Celina standing on her toes to press her lips to his. She was easily almost half his height, but it was one of many things that endeared her to him. He watched her as she walked to the bathroom, only partially closing the door behind her. He heard the water turn on and he finally took a breath. He pulled a pair of underwear from another drawer, tossing them onto the bed before slipping silently out of the bedroom and into the living room. He wasted a few moments picking things up, tossing some of the laundry he'd not been assed to mess with since it had been a few days since Celine had been up to his apartment. He glanced back at his room as he did so, contemplating whether he wanted to slip through the shadows and check out her apartment on not. She was only a few blocks away, a distance he was certain he could travel through and not pull himself apart. He wanted to see if there was someone there, if they'd ransacked her place or had just been laying in wait for her. He put his laundry into the washer, but neglected to actually turn it on, lost in thought as he meandered back into his living room.

He sank into his sofa, crossing his arms over his chest and tilting his head back against the backrest. If someone was actually at Celine's, could he restrain himself? Would he be able to simply do recon if he was presented with an opportunity? He sighed, rubbing his face with his hands then. The simple answer was no. If he happened to catch someone in Celine's apartment, he knew he'd not be able to let it alone and he couldn't leave Celine here by herself. What if he ended up taking too long and she came out of the bathroom to his empty apartment? He couldn't do that to her, not after the night she'd had Despite every ounce of him wanting to go over to her place and figure this out tonight, he knew he was going to have to dredge up some patience. Whoever it was would have left something, even if it was just the bullet hole from where he'd missed his girl. Jack took another deep breath, trying to settle his racing thoughts. He'd figure this out. He'd find whoever had done this, figure out why and he'd go from there. Some part of him hoped it was Celine's father if only because Jack wanted him to pay for the things he'd done. Jack wasn't a fool, however. If it was the elder Delacroix, he was going to have his work cut out for him. He'd have to call in favors, he was sure. Life could get messy for a little while. Jack found he didn't really care. Anything to protect her, to keep her safe. He wasn't a killer by any means, but the idea of taking a life to keep Celine safe wasn't off the list of things he would do for her. Drastic, perhaps but her father had no qualms in murdering the innocent when it came to reeling her in, so Jack had to steel himself against such a villain. And if, by some chance, this was just a random act of crime? Well, they'd still pay. Not with their lives, but he'd make it so they thought twice about the next place they robbed at any rate.

He didn't know how long he'd been sitting there lost in thought, but he heard the small squeak of the bathroom door open. He sat up, pushing himself off of his sofa. He walked to his room, leaning in the doorway to catch sight of Celine sliding clean underwear on. He returned the little grin she'd shot him as she slid into his bed, beckoning him over. He pulled his shirt off as he made his way to her, unbuttoning his jeans and kicking them off before he tucked himself under the covers. He slid an arm beneath the pillows, his other reaching out to pull Celine close. She pillowed her head at his shoulder, small hands at his chest as he buried his face into her clean hair. She apologized for it still being wet and he couldn't help but give a mild chuckle. "It's fine," he murmured in return, his eyes already closing. He had a lot on his mind still, but having her so close, knowing she was safe in his arms, quieted some of the louder thoughts. "I'll take care of it." He pulled her closer then, her body enveloped easily by his. He brushed a kiss to the top of her head as he let himself relax. "Get some rest. I'll be right here when you wake up." Tomorrow morning, and every morning after.

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
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