After Release

This story is from the middle of a RP, so requires a bit of background. Short version: Vanyel (yes, named after that Vanyel) got himself stuck in an unpleasant Keeping (not awful, as these things go, just not great) and has just been released. He’s hiding in his room, like you do.

Addergoole, approximately 12 years after the apocalypse.

The teachers waited until Saturday morning, but when it became clear Van wasn’t coming out, Luke pounded on the door.

Vanyel opened the door, but kept his whole body carefully within the threshold. “I’m fine.”

“You can’t stay in there all weekend.”

“I’ve got-” he glanced at his kitchenette. “A bag of rice, a can of salsa, and two tins of fish. I could stay in here for days.”

Luke sighed. “But you can’t stay in there forever.”

“No.” Vanyel shook his head. “Of course I can’t.” He hadn’t taken the steel collar off. It had a lock, and he… probably could’ve Worked it. He just… hadn’t. IT was heavy against his neck, almost reassuring.

“At least let Dr. Caitrin take a look at you.”

“There’s nothing wrong with me.” He pulled the robe tighter around himself.

“You walked back to your room naked, son, there’s no use lying about it.”

Van sighed and stepped out of the way. “Fine. Dr. Caitrin, Luke, please come in if you mean me and mine no harm.” Better than standing in the doorway arguing; the second-year across the hallway had opened her door and two third-years were staring from the lounge.

The doctor started her Working before the door was shut, while Luke stood stoically. “She didn’t even take the collar off?” Almost stoically.

“I didn’t ask her do.” He touched it cautiously. “I didn’t give her time to.”

“May I?” It was the gentlest he had ever heard the gym teacher. Van nodded silently. It wasn’t like Ava’s collar could protect him anymore anyway. It wasn’t as if it had really protected him in the first place.

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