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((ooc: Posting this now, with the knowledge that the scenes referenced will be elaborated upon later.))

A young man walks by, humming under his breath, his head buried in the sheaf of music clutched in his hand. Yet the memories, when the come, are not of that man a thousand years dead, images blurred by time an guilt, but rather the clear, pristine lies the community has spun for its game. Fifteen years of memories wrapped up in a single, true name: Elloran.

He, the watcher, will feel guilt later, when he revisits these addicting lies. He can wish his relationship with the younger man could have been so simple - even as the lies blur with reality and he mentally chronicles his true journey from mentor to friend. Would that his life were so simple, composed of Latin and History and a scholarly passion for tragedy. Would that the boy-turned-man before him remain forever locked in that moment of concentration, not yet realizing that he lived a lie. Let his innocence last.

How many dreams had been indirectly filled by this seemingly simple virus? Home, family, career - easy enough to achieve in such an 'alternate universe' yet nigh impossible in the twisted reality they called home. And what of harder wishes? Love, certanty, purpose...and harder still, that innocent simplicity that steals away the depth and distrust their respective pasts force upon them. To live so close to 'happy', with friends and family, lovers and ironically perfect careers, and for once to have a beautifully certain cruel it is, then, when the musician glances up and catches the Latin teachers eye and - in an instant - the virus is broken.

Time tears them apart, leaving behind only expressions and memories - expressions that will be branded in memories for years to come. From one there is confusion as a friend transforms into a scarred monster, impossibly alien, ancient and weathered, yet impossibly familiar. From the other the overwhelming pain of realization and acceptance of the pain that he is just beginning to realize. The expressions fade with the disappearing faces, leaving only the memories.

"Kaaree. Just the man I was looking for. This is Ellie. You know, the former Dean's boy? Terrible story, I know. But listen, would you be able to watch him for the weekend? I simply can't miss this conference. I knew you'd be the one to come to, old chap."

"I must admit, I do not like children much, despite the charity works they attribute to me. But I imagine we can both agree that your guardian is an ass, correct?"

"Shhh. It's alright. Your father cared very much for you. I'm sure he never meant for this to happen."

"Do you really mean it? I've got a good voice?"

"Ugh, even if I was castrated, its not like I would loose anything. At least, nothing as important as my voice."

"He wants me to go into Seminary. I guess that was your suggestion?"

"Certainly, you can sit in on one of my classes. Do try to be quiet, though. I'm afraid these students are not as advanced as you, despite their age."

"Karakael. I'm gay."

"Boy, do you think I didn't know?"

"What do you mean, your father kicked you out?"

"This is Steve. He's in my band."

"You can', you don't need to do this. I can pay my own way."

"I thought...maybe we were the same."

"I do not appreciate what you did to my translation. No, I am not laughing, why would you think that?"

"Why would I care what your former guardian thinks?"

"Of course I'll come to your concert. No, I will not need free tickets. I've already reserved mine."

"I thought I might take up teaching, like you."

"Please don't tell them. I don't...I don't want to be treated different because of what I am."

"I accept you. How many times do I have to say it, child? From the first damn time I picked you up and let you cry on my shoulder, you've been my responsibility. You think I'm going to let that go now? If you need to be with him, then go. I'll take your class."

"Dear sir, I will be resigning my tenure at this university, effective as of the end of this semester. While I have over looked slights to my honor and attacks on my dignity, I cannot idly stand by and accept the treatment of one of my students. Signed - Karakael. P.S. Be warned, I do not take lightly to threats leveled at those I consider my family. Expect the federal investigation to be occurring shortly."


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