forum “All my friends are demons, take it slow…” (romance oxo)
Started by @Tired-but-passionate
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@Carrots

If Lucas heard Bailey muttering to the demons he didn't make a comment, just simply led them up to his room and left it ajar when they were both inside. The space was of decent size, a grey feature wall above his bed with lots of shelves containing trophies from sporting events, books he'd never read, video game cases. His desk sat in one corner filled with pens and papers and overall the messiest part of his room, bed in the centre of the grey wall with his TV positioned opposite.
Lucas sat down on the floor, considering it was easier to work there than squished together on his small desk. It was barely large enough for one person let alone two, and it was always a struggle to study on the bed, at least for him, anyway. The large male leaned against the foot of the bed and opened his bag of crisps, crossing one leg underneath him, "I really do appreciate you helping me with this," He said, "I know we haven't- you know, talked before today but you're probably the smartest person in the class and English really goes over my head."

@Tired-but-passionate

Bailey looked around the room, then quickly shoved Azrith off of his shoulder again. At least feeling more tired made him less anxious. He decided to sit on the bed, near where Lucas was sitting. He could feel the demons grumbling around him, but he wanted to ignore them for now. He carefully balanced the cheese and water while shrugging his backpack off of him.
“Just tell me what you need help with,” he said, starting to nibble on a cheese slice. “It was the comparative essay, right?”
Sillmud stood next to him, apparently holding Azrith hostage again with a smile on her face. She really was the nicest demon he’s ever met, and he hasn’t met a lot of demons. Cedrak was also nice, but he was a rule follower and stickler. And sometimes he threatened to crush Bailey like a cockroach.
Speaking of which, Cedrak had decided to sit beside him. Bailey could practically feel the aura of his gaze, but he kept on eating the cheese and ignoring him.

@Carrots

(All good! I had work yesterday so I wasn't on anyway. see you soon!)

Lucas nodded, looking up at Bailey from his place on the floor, "Yeah. I can just never wrap my head around how to start or what to do," He sighed, "Like… I get I have to compare them, that's the point, but I just… can't actually get to writing it. What do I compare? How do I compare? I dunno it's a mess."
It was one of those parts of English that Lucas had never understood. Where to actually start writing the essay, what quotes to pick and how to explain them in ways that didn't use up the word count. His head hurt just looking at the blank screen on his laptop, the title bolded up the top with his name underneath. Maths made sense. It followed a logical pattern that was easy to understand. English was all interpretation and analysis and not being right but on the right track and ultimately ending up wrong even if there isn't 'wrong answers' in English.

@Tired-but-passionate

Bailey nodded. “Starting is hard,” he agreed. “Planning things out always helps, though. You’ve chosen two of the short stories we read, right? Have you done the outline? Outlines help give you an idea of what you’re writing.”
He finished the cheese easily enough, and switched to drinking the glass of water. Most of his classes were easy to him on some level, but when it came to English, essays in particular were a bore. It slightly differed from Lucas’s predicament in that he knew what he was supposed to say, but it was difficult to put his thoughts into words. Or, he had no energy to write, thanks to Azrith.

@Carrots

“I tried outlining…” Lucas smiled sheepishly, “I didn’t get very far though.” He did start in class trying to outline, he even had the two texts up to start but when it came time to pick out the techniques and explain how they might have been used in certain contexts Lucas turned out and closed the tabs. At this point he was ready to fail but he had Bailey here now, hopefully he would be able to help.
“It’s just so boring,” He said, shovelling crisps into his mouth a second later, “and anyway, I have no idea how to pick out or analyse the techniques. Like I have no clue what that metaphor means so how the hell am I gonna explain it?”

@Tired-but-passionate

(Hi! I’m back :)

Bailey raised an eyebrow at him. Typical. Bailey already had his outline done. He sighed and reached into his backpack, pulling out his laptop while holding the water glass with his other hand.
As he signed in and pulled up all of the necessary documents, he pondered. Biting his lip and a little reluctant, he said, “I guess… we could just talk through it. Discuss. That helps me sometimes. We can write down our conclusions.” Normally, he would either talk to himself or to the demons. With the demons, it was a little strange, since their line of reasoning was so different from a human’s. It usually made the discussion rather unproductive, but it fascinated Bailey, as it allowed him to gauge how they thought. From the very beginning, he had been fascinated with how they saw the world.
He sipped his water. Slowly, he was feeling more comfortable. Perhaps it was because Lucas was beneath him, for once, rather than above.

@Carrots

(Welcome back:))

"I did try!" Lucas bit his lip, offering a small smile, "I swear I did, I can even show you the start of the outline but yeah… I got distracted and bored I suppose." He didn't want Bailey to think he was like the other kids in their year, his friends. The students who wouldn't make the effort and then force other people to write the assignments for him. Lucas knew he wasn't like that, but he wanted to make sure Bailey knew that, too. Why he wanted him to think Lucas was a good person he didn't acknowledge at the moment.
"I've got the titles up and started making some notes," He sighed, pulling his laptop onto his lap before leaning back on his hands to look up at Bailey, "I mean, they're both murder mystery stories, they both don't follow the typical murder outline and use descriptive features and I can pick them out the majority of the time but it's more the actual writing of the piece. How am I supposed to say that both stories use imagery in different ways without writing a load of bull?"

@Tired-but-passionate

“Alright, alright,” Bailey said. “But I already have mine done, so…”
He skimmed through his outline document, seeing if there was anything he should change or revise. “Or you could go for a good, old fashioned Venn diagram,” he murmured under his breath, the thought coming to him a little randomly.
There wasn’t anything that needed to be changed except for some strangely typed sentences, with confusing grammar and spelling errors. Bailey suspected this might be due to Azrith feeding on him or garden variety sleep deprivation, though he also had no memory of typing some of them. As he fixed them, he listened to Lucas.
A frown tugged at his lips. “Hold on,” he said. He paused his editing, his gaze flickering to to the other boy. “Do you really want your essay to focus on the imagery? The essay prompt doesn’t specify that we have to. I’m focusing my essay on the themes of each story and the differences and similarities in how they approach them,” he explained. “If writing about the imagery is too difficult, you could try doing something else.”

@Carrots

Lucas ran a hand through his hair and sighed softly, "I was gonna try and do something where I explained how the stylistic features of the stories contribute to how they convey the themes. So like imagery, metaphors so on and so forth and then how the authors use them to get their theme across to the audience." A small shrug, "At the time it seemed easy enough. Pick out three features, compare how they're used and boom, done and dusted, but apparently not."
He looked back to his own screen to try and get something done while he spoke, but the more he stared at the page the more he dreaded actually starting to write. In his head, he knew where he wanted to take the essay, kind of, at least, it was turning thoughts into words and then writing them down in a way that made sense when they didn't even make sense to Lucas half the time.

@Tired-but-passionate

He went back to editing as Lucas began speaking. “So, do you think you need a topic change, or do you just need help with writing?”
When he was done, he switched over to the actual document he was going to write the essay on. He was going to start with setting up the format of the paper, but suddenly there was a strange feeling of numbness in his limbs. Dizziness came over him, and he shivered.
”Child. Please.”
Cedrak had appeared in front of his screen. His eyes danced and shifted, holding Bailey in a trance as he drained him of his strength and energy. Bailey often found it difficult to deal with whenever Cedrak fed, it was noticeable and hard to ignore. He tried to breathe, quickly nodding and close to feeling lightheaded. He felt Cedrak stop feeding, but it wasn’t like the discomfort and numbness immediately went away. Slowly, Bailey put a hand hand over his eyes.
“Um, Lucas?” He said softly. “I need to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”
He could still feel Cedrak’s gaze on him. Closing his laptop and setting it aside, he got up and walked out of the room.

@Carrots

Lucas hummed, "Just the actual writing. I know the feature I wanna use, I kinda know how they are used, but thoughts are hard to turn into words sometimes." He shrugged, going back to his document as he tried to write at least a few notes on what he was going to eventually continue writing his essay on. Maybe he should just drop english, at this point it was becoming the best option.
He looked up at Bailey when he spoke, concern flitting across his face, "Uh yeah, of course, take your time." He stared at his screen for a few moments before looking back to the door and the closed bathroom door from across the hall. Lucas wouldn't deny the concern he had for Bailey's sudden exit, as well as the discomfort he had shown as he left, too. He wasn't one to pry, especially since he wanted Bailey to like him and to think he was a nice, but Lucas' curiosity grew the longer he spent with him. Shaking his head, he returned back to his screen. He'd let Lucas do whatever he needed and maybe ask about it later.

@Tired-but-passionate

Finding the bathroom was easy enough. When Bailey shut the door behind him, he looked to find all of the demons assembled, looking at him expectantly. Cedrak was at the front, looking rather frustrated. Sillmud was off to the side, eyes wide and the crystals in her skin glimmering, with Azrith perched on their shoulder and looking bored. Marronae towered behind the others, smirking faintly, patronizing even when she wasn't speaking. Dirgan had his scaly arms crossed over his chest, looking grumpy.
Still feeling the effects of Cedrak's feeding, Bailey sank to the floor. His hair covered his face. "I'm not making him my friend," he said quietly.
Suprisingly, it was not Cedrak who spoke first. "Getting close to anyone else is dangerous, Bailey," Marronae drawled. "He hasn't become another bully yet, but there is your contract to think about."
"What do you mean, 'yet'?" Bailey asked, looking up. Marronae smirked, and he realized she was just trying to make him anxious again.
"I must agree with the cow lady on this," Cedrak said. Marronae gasped dramatically. "Cow lady!" Her eyes flashed dangerously and her tail swayed, but he silenced her with a finger. "Child, agreeing to come to this place was rather risky, don't you think? You've done so well staying away from others, keeping to yourself, why now must you go against it all?"
Before Bailey could respond, Sillmud put their hands on their hips, making her crystals flash. "Oh come now, the human boy is just being nice, that's all. I see no harm in this. He just needed help, right?"
Bailey made a small nod. Seeing them all together, moving in on him, was honestly kind of scary, but he found the courage to say, "Just because I've been avoiding people doesn't mean I have to be a jerk."
Dirgan laughed. "Oh, sure. So you're just being nice, too? Sounds like this was the result of desperation and selfishness."
Cedrak rolled his eyes. "You humans and your morals. And your need for mutual connection."
Bailey swallowed and looked to the floor again. "He's the first person who's been nice to me in… years. I just thought…"
The sound of laughter. Mainly from Marronae, Dirgan, and Azrith. Sillmud had put a hand to her mouth and looked off to the side. When she looked back, they said, "But Bailey, we've been nice to you, right? We're your friends!"
The look Bailey gave her made their wings shiver and her cheeks to turn pink with embarrassment. He then looked to Cedrak, who sighed exasperatedly.
"Will you at least promise to not do things like this again? You are to never go near that human boy after this."
Bailey furrowed his brow. "Fine. I won't, I promise."
"I'll hold you to it," Cedrak said.

@Carrots

It wasn't a surprise that while Bailey was away Lucas hadn't written anything. He was too busy getting lost in his thoughts about Bailey to think about the work. His fingers tapped against his keys, not pressing hard enough to make any words appear but at least it looked like he might be doing some work from an outside perspective.
What was it about Bailey that had Lucas so intrigued and curious? They hadn't spoken a word to each other before today and Lucas had only spared a few moments of thought over their few years of schooling together towards the boy, and yet he still found himself wishing that maybe he should have tried to be his friend before today. Not that one study session made them friends, but it was a step in that direction. Lucas had a strong feeling leap into his thought that the chances of Bailey wanting to see him again were going to be slim. Why he had agreed to help him in the first place baffled him more than Lucas let on. The small, quiet boy who didn't say a word to anyone and had no friends agreed to come over and help him with homework for, what Lucas presumed, was the first time in a long while.
He shook his head softly to himself. C'mon man, get some work done. There was time to question Bailey about his intentions and reasons to agreeing later.

@Tired-but-passionate

Soon his strength came back, and he went back into Lucas’s bedroom. Bailey avoided his gaze, just quietly sitting in his previous spot on the bed and opening his laptop again. He looked over his outline, and then the blank page on the other tab, and began doing some basic stuff like setting the font and font size.
“Turning thoughts into words,” he said slowly, “is also hard. That’s why talking about it out loud might help.”
He felt Sillmud next to him. Her crystals dug into his skin, but he appreciated it when they leaned against him affectionately. ”It’s okay, Bailey, I’ll be your friend. You don’t need him, you know.”
There was characteristic unease Bailey sometimes felt around the demon. She was nice, but Bailey knew there was something there underneath the niceness. She was a demon, after all.

@Carrots

Lucas smiled when Bailey returned, glad to be back in his company. The smile only faltered a little when he realised Bailey wasn't really looking at him. Had he done something wrong? Maybe he had been too forward earlier or said something to put him off which was why he went to the bathroom for a little space. Shaking those thoughts off, Lucas sighed, "Mmm yeah, I know. I mean, I was thinking about…" Lucas began to at least try and voice what he was thinking. About metaphors in both stories and how they conveyed the themes, along with the other features he'd chosen. It wasn't until a few minutes later that he stopped with an almost shy chuckle, "So yeah, I just don't know how to articulate that onto the page I suppose."

@Tired-but-passionate

As Lucas began to explain, Bailey turned his attention onto him. Sometimes he nodded here or there. When he finished, Bailey had a finger on his chin, looking thoughtful.
“Well, you already verbalized what was in your head, right?” He mused. “Perhaps just write it in the outline as it was so you can change it later in the actual writing bit.”
Looking back at his laptop screen, he started typing again. He felt Sillmud stop leaning on him, instead flopping onto the bed. ”This is kind of boring, Bailey. We should do something else. Like set something on fire. That’s always fun.”
Normally, Bailey would not be opposed, but it was not a good time. Lucas was here, and Bailey did not want to leave his homework unfinished. He didn’t think Sillmud understood that Lucas also probably would not want to set something on fire with him.

@Carrots

(Hey, sorry for disappearing, school and life really bombed for a sec there, forgive me)

The tall boy sighed softly with a nod, "Yeah, you're right, it's easier talking about it out loud than writing it down." Lucas shrugged, making an effort to start attempting to get the outline filled out. For a few minutes he worked in silence, unusual for someone so chatty but Lucas was holding back a little, maybe to prevent Bailey from running off. After a few glances his way, he cleared his throat to speak, though didn't look away from his laptop in an attempt to not look too eager, "So uh, I don't really know you all that well," A soft chuckle, "What are you interested in?" Maybe they could find something they both liked to chat about.

@Tired-but-passionate

Bailey nodded with agreement, then returned to his work. The quiet moment was nice, and the sound of clicking computer keys was oddly satisfying. He felt Sillmud looking over his shoulder.
”Ooh! Murder!” he heard them say, a bit too excitedly. ”Actually, maybe this isn’t so boring after all!”
Yes, Sill. Murder, Bailey thought to himself. He had decided to work on his body paragraphs first, since starting and ending things was always difficult for him. He had about finished the first one when he heard Lucas speak.
He paused his typing. “That’s true,” he said. He was quiet though, because he started to feel Cedrak’s presence behind him, and also it was difficult to think of something that he thought he wouldn’t be made fun of for. “Um. A lot of things,” he started vaguely. “Reading manga, I guess.”
It wasn’t something he did all the time, if he was being honest, but he did have a good sized collection of manga in his room. Sometimes he wished he could expand it and read more, but often he did not have the money.

@Carrots

Lucas hummed, not looking up from his keyboard still as Bailey replied, "That's cool," He sounded genuine when he said it, and the smile that seemed to grace his face confirmed it, too, "I've never really read any manga," He admitted, "I mean it looks interesting, but I've never been big into reading in the first place." Too busy wound up in sports to think about reading, manga or otherwise. He also knew that he was horrible with sitting down and focusing on one thing for long periods of time, "What else are you into besides that, then?" He really was curious, and Lucas felt comfortable enough around Bailey. He wanted to learn more and see what else the shy boy was into.