forum Bury Me Face Down - (O/O) STALKERS WELCOME
Started by @Exis

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Dante met her eyes again, this time keeping contact for several seconds before looking away as he answered. "Almost two years," he replied matter-of-factly, offering no further explanation. He didn't particularly feel like telling her that Reapers like her had murdered his family, and that he'd spent a year trying to find someone to take him only only to receive his mark and be forced to give it up. Maybe if he did she'd feel pity for him before she killed him. Would his body just mean another drink to her? Well isn't that a comforting thought.

He was distracted from his inner musings as he noticed the sign of an upcoming restaurant. His anxiety spiked at the sight, but he tried to focus on something a little more trivial—like the fact that it was Italian. "You didn't choose this place because of my name…did you?" he asked, adopting a somewhat forced expression of amusement as he knew it was unlikely.


Two years was a long time for someone as young as him to be out on the street, but she just nodded. Several of her victims had lived almost their entire lives on the street, or at least the ones she knew a little about. But it wasn't uncommon to see kids and teens out there, especially if their parents had been marked and killed. Isla went silent as her thoughts turned dark, only speaking again when he spoke once more.

More specifically, she laughed lightly at his question. "No, I didn't even think about it," She replied, shaking her head as they neared the door. Even if the laugh was mostly fake, it sounded real. A trait she had learned and perfected over the years. "Mostly I chose it because I'm craving enough pasta to render me unable to move, that and they have a wide selection for you to choose from for what you want to eat."

Isla stopped at the door, pulling her hand out of her pocket but taking her time to open the door, mostly because the handle was freezing and she had to force herself not to yank her hand away at the cold. It was the perfect time to think again, and that she did. Like always. This time her thoughts trailed to the fact that she was honestly answering any question Dante had. Answering truthfully instead of lying, giving away information no one would know about her. Things that she never did. Mostly because no one stuck around her long enough to know these things.


Dante hummed distractedly, eyes darting to the door handle as her hand met the metal. He glanced around the street, instinctively crossing his arms as his anxiety returned in full force. The first ten seconds after she opened the door would decide his fate. If he was asked to show his wrist and refused, Isla would know right away, and the only other alternatives—showing his wrist and running—would just get him killed faster.

He had no choice now but to go in and hope his company would keep watchful eyes away from him, including the people who worked there. Best to just get it over with.

At that sentiment, his eyes once again landed on the Reaper's hand, still wrapped around the handle. He quietly cleared his throat, meeting her eyes nervously as he gestured to the door in a silent question. You going to open it?


Isla glanced at him as he cleared his throat, snapping out of her thoughts, and opening the door quickly. She didn't speak as she did so, just smiled as she stepped inside. The restaurant not only was nice and warm compared to the cold outdoors, but it smelled amazing. Or at least to Isla it did. The smell of garlic bread, various pasta sauces and a variety of other smells greeted her easily, causing a tiny smile to appear on her face.

"Reaper Isla, nice to see you again," A deep voice called out through the barely busy restaurant, and instantly she smiled wider. The voice belonged to an older gentleman with a large gut and an equally as large smile. He sat at a table alone, an unlit cigarette in his hand. "Who is your friend, dear?"

She barely glanced at the few other older people in the building, all who gave her a wary look as she motioned for Dante to follow her when she walked towards the male.

"It's nice to see you again, Mattias. This is Dante. I brought him in to try some of your wive's amazing food," She replied, a slight grin on her face, "No new mark I should know about? Or any more regulars giving you trouble?"

Mattias just shook his head with a smile, motioning them away as he spoke, "No no, no mark yet. It's nice to meet you Dante, but don't believe Reaper Isla here, I make the best food. Now both of you, shoo. Go pick out what you want to eat. Marie will be out in a minute to take your order."

It was almost strange to see Isla with a slight grin on her face, and even weirder to see her shoulders drop in something similar to relief. She looked comfortable in the restaurant. Actually relaxed, not worried about anything. At the same time, she still held the proud and straight posture of a Reaper, so the change wasn't terribly noticeable, but it was visible in her eyes most of all.


If Dante lived to someday tell this story, he'd most definitely leave out how he tried to hide himself behind Isla as he walked in. As humiliating as it was, he was sure he could easily pass off his fear as nerves from his lack of exposure to people over the past two years. He was way more concerned about the man with the deep voice speaking to them.

He fought the urge to cradle his arm, instead offering a small wave and an uncertain smile. He slowly began to relax just the tiniest bit until Isla gestured for him to follow, disturbing the fragile peace in his head as they approached the supposed owner. This is it—they're going to check– He didn't even get to finish the thought before Mattius was already waving them away.

His shoulders began to relax again as he continued to follow Isla, sparing Mattius a polite smile despite his worry. He turned to look at Isla for the first time since entering, and he was confused to see the small smile on her face. Especially seeing as he wasn't as immune to the wary stares being directed towards them.

"He—Mattius seems nice," he observed quietly, still standing closer to the Reaper than he probably should.


"He is nice, Mattias runs the restaurant and has for close to …ten years now? I think," Isla spoke in reply as she glanced around, spotting a smaller table in the back of the restaurant. It was clearly meant for two, but she was happier that it was away from the other customers. All who she knew eavesdropped like no other.

With a simple nod of her head, she started that way, glancing down at Dante. He clearly was nervous, more looking on the verge of terrified, but nervous as well and she frowned slightly, saying in a softer tone, "They may look like they're going to fillet you alive, but trust me, none of them will do anything to you. They're just not a fan of newcomers."

She pulled his chair out for him as they reached the table, then walked to the other side and sat down. Well-loved menus already sat on the table and Isla didn't hesitate to pick one up, even though she knew her order off the top of her head. Out of everything they served, she had a deep love for their chicken alfredo. In her opinion, it was the most delicious thing - and that was after trying almost everything they served over years of coming to this restaurant whenever she was in the city.


"I understand… And ten years is a long time," Dante responded, giving a soft thanks as she pulled out a chair for him. He watched her grab a menu, spacing out for a moment before realizing he should follow her example. His eyes wandered the list aimlessly, his stomach growling now that he'd calmed down enough for the smell of the place to register. Suddenly he was so hungry he felt like he'd keel over, and his fingers shakily tightened around the menu.

"Anything you recommend?" he asked, glancing over the menu to see her still looking at her own. Some of his nervousness seemed to fade as he realized no one was about to seize his wrist, but the sound of plates clinking and people chatting in the background still had him on edge. Now that he was actually thinking about food, though, it was a lot easier to somewhat tune out.


She didn't respond right away as she looked over the choices, though quickly realized he was speaking and glanced up from her menu. "All of it is good…but if you want good pasta, I would go with the classic or the alfredo like I'm going to get. Otherwise…their soup is good, any kind," Isla replied, skimming over her menu again as she tried to pick out things she would recommend, "Anything is a good choice."

The reaper herself was actually quite hungry too as she continued looking over the choices. After an entire day of work with little to no food, a good meal was something she was looking forward to. Especially as she saw Marie walking over.

Marie was a shorter woman that always had a smile on her face, much like her husband Mattias did. Unlike him though, her voice wasn't deep, and she didn't hold as much boom in her voice either. "Nice to see you Reaper Isla, are you and your friend ready to order?" She said easily as she stopped at the pair, a small notepad and pencil already in her hands, "Before that, I suppose I should ask what you want to drink?"


Dante found himself nodding along at her suggestions, deciding he'd settle on the same thing she was having. He hadn't had chicken in years. It didn't keep well and had to be cooked, not to mention how hard it was to steal. The more he thought about it, the more he began to realize how much he missed it.

He found a picture of the meal on the menu, and his stomach gave another persistent twist as he made his final decision and gently set it back on the table. As he did so, he couldn't help but be distracted again by his surroundings, finding himself baffled at the familiarity of the setting. It was like an entirely different world from the one he'd been stuck living in the past two years. Even Isla seemed more at ease here.

He glanced at said Reaper before his attention was abruptly drawn to Marie. At her question he looked towards Isla with a somewhat panicked expression, then softly cleared his throat and replied with, "Um, I'm ready whenever. And I'll just have a water, if that's okay?"


Marie nodded, smiling despite the panic on Dante's face, "And for you?" She scribbled down the order of water, then glanced at Isla.

"I suppose I'll get water as well," She replied, quickly adding, "I think we're ready to order right away too." Isla glanced at Dante, then folded up her menu, smiling back at Marie, "I'll take the chicken alfredo, and a basket of breadsticks for the two of us."

Once again, the other woman just nodded, taking down the order before glancing at Dante again, "What would you like?"

Isla settled back in her seat once she finished ordering, sliding her menu to the edge of the table. Thankfully, her stomach didn't make any loud noises as she thought about the food again, and more specifically eating said food when it came. But she was very aware of how hungry she was.


(Sorry!! I explained a bit of why I've been gone on the Immortality thread, which I responded to first, but I'm back for now!)

"I'll, uh, also have the chicken alfredo, please," he answered, fumbling with the menu for a moment before giving up and just placing it on top of Isla's. "Thank you," he added awkwardly as Marie scribbled his order down.

He waited until she was gone to sink back into his chair, exhaling in relief. "I've barely spoken to anyone in the past two years; I forgot how ordering stuff worked," he mumbled in slight embarrassment, ducking his head and crossing his arms in a defensive manner.


"You know I could've ordered for you? All you had to do was ask," Isla said, a gentle smile on her face, "I don't think Marie would've minded." She watched as the woman disappeared with their menus and orders. If she was in charge of the kitchen today, their food would be out in minutes. That much she knew from many times coming here for food.

Tapping her fingers on the table in front of them, she sighed, looking towards Dante, asking calmly, "Well I suppose there's only so many things we can do while we wait for food…do you have any questions for me?" As long as his questions weren't terribly personal, she was willing to answer any that he had. She wouldn't bother him if he would prefer to sit in silence instead though.