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by: Matthew Cox
May 12, 9:40pm

Matt tossed an empty water bottle behind himself into a pile of other discards and started searching around for another bottle of alcohol, but there wasn't any left in his room. He sighed heavily and laid back on his bed. He needed to slow down the drinking probably, but he didn't want to be sober today.

After all, six years ago, his friend and mentor died...and it was largely on Matt for why. Donny had been pet of a squad sent in to help Matt's pinned down group of SBS operatives. Shit happened, Matt got nearly gutted, Donny got shredded. Both of them were pulled out into a ship's hospital, but only one of them got to walk out alive.

On his radio, Ricky Martin enrolled the insanity of a woman with devil red lips and mocha colored skin. The best was catchy and it reminded Matt of better times.
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by: Coraline Larson
Cora padded silently up the stairs with another bottle of water, headed toward Matt's room. If the smell was any indication, the man was trying to drink himself into a stupor and had made a good show of it. Thankfully, she was fairly certain he had already found all her whiskey, so perhaps there was a chance he would be done with this nonsense soon.

Opening the door she winced at the volume of his music, using her wand to turn it down to a less deafening level as she knocked on the doorframe. She held out the large bottle of water to him silently.
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by: Matthew Cox
"What up, bitch?!"

Matt barked the inappropriate and uncharacteristic greeting from his prone position but made no move to sit up.

"That's water. 'S got no alcohol in it. Try again!"

He giggled to himself, but the sound trailed off into a pant of repressed emotions as he tried to keep everything locked away where it belonged.
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by: Coraline Larson
Cora sighed at his display of drunken assholishness, but didn't snap back at him. She entered the room gingerly and leaned the bottle of water against his side, leaning against the bedpost.

He'd really done a number on himself, hadn't he? There had to be a reason for the sudden desire to pickle himself from the inside out, Cora reasoned. But would he talk to her?

"Come on, Ricky Martin... what's going on?"
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by: Matthew Cox
Everything was made of curved and spiraling lines. He could see straight and he had a roaring case of the spins. Matt laid on the bed for safety's sake. Cora didn't flee from his crass, uninhibited greeting. She'd even brought water, so fuck...maybe she did care.

"...saw my close friend get dead six years ago today. Normally go and visit him but...heh. Well, I'm sure Gravestone understands why I couldn't stop by to say 'hi' today...I hope he does..."

He closed his eyes and dry sobbed twice before clamping back down on himself.
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by: Coraline Larson
/... saw my close friend get dead.../

A flash of genuine empathy and sadness washed over Cora at his confession. Why did that seem so... so familiar to her? The sheer volume of the emotion and the surety that she understood how he felt nearly set Cora off-balance literally. It took her a moment to be able to answer him as the unfamiliar feeling washed over her.

"I'm so sorry, Matt..." Uttering those words was almost a struggle, a headache starting up behind her eyes suddenly. "It's only..." she glanced at the clock, "...a little before 10. We can still go... if you'd like..."

Maybe she could trust him to go by himself. This headache was threatening to be a vicious one...
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by: Matthew Cox
Matt slung his head over to her and fixed his glassy gaze on her. A sweet smile bloomed on his face.

"I'd like that. Need help though. Everything is made of spirals right now and swirly."

He scooted so he could reach for an empty glass bottle and cap for the bottle.

"Refill this. I normally don't drink alone, so it wouldn't do to not bring Donny something. Also need a twenty five p to leave."
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by: Coraline Larson
His sweet, drunken, almost dopey smile had Cora returning it with a smile of her own as she took the bottle from him. She cast a Refilling Charm on the whiskey bottle and handed it back to Matt, now completely full again.

"If I gave you something to help sober you up a little, would you take it?"
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by: Matthew Cox

But he was totally going to drink this whiskey too, once they were at the cemetery. After all, it would be rude to drink alone. Maybe he could convince Cora to have some too. Help her relax, probably.
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by: Coraline Larson
"Alright, I'll be back in a minute. Just..." she grimaced at the pain in her head again. "Just don't try the stairs by yourself. Please?"

Checking the random change on her dresser she found a 25p like he asked for and headed downstairs. Cora went to her store of uncommon potions, pulling out a draught that would reduce his drunken stupor to a buzz rather than the helpless mess he was now. On her way back upstairs she wondered again at the feeling of almost deja vu she had. She didn't recall feeling anything like this feeling before... ugh, and that persistent headache wasn't helping. Cora rubbed her temple absently and entered his room again.

"Here, Matt. It's not goin' to kill your buzz, but it'll make you functional at least..." she held the vial out to him.
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by: Matthew Cox
Torn came on the radio and Matt just laid back and tried to remember the last time he had heard this song. His toe tapped along with the beat. Something about Plymouth. Was this on when he graduated from training? He thought maybe that was where he heard it from.

On an impulse, Matt rolled off the bed and pulled out a storage bin from under his bed and began to rifle through it by touch. There was the Tupperware that had his awards and decorations in it, the slim cardboard container that protected his beret, and here was the envelope with his pictures in them. He pulled out the photos, sitting on the floor, and started leading through them as he felt the notes on the backs that he had written back when he could see. Yay foresight. Here. Here was a picture of him and Donny that Dorito took.

He held the picture, imagining it as he stared at it, unable to see the taller, slimmer Sergeant and himself, younger and slimmer, standing on a mobile dock with the African coast behind them and the Fearless in the corner of the frame. The picture looked hot; it had been a hundred and thirteen in the shade even with the breeze. Still. Those were the days...
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by: Coraline Larson
/memories... ugh... why did it feel like there was something she just couldn't remember? And why was it happening now?/

Cora grabbed the doorframe to keep her balance as her head throbbed like someone had stuck an ice pick in her eye. She breathed deeply for a moment and didn't call out to Matt until the pain had subsided a bit.

"Hey... if you wanna make it before midnight, we should go..." She held out the potion vial again for him as she stood next to him.
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by: Matthew Cox
He made two aborted grabs before he made contact with the vial. He popped the cork and swigged the potion, noting that it immediately tamed the raging spiraling.

He stood and gathered his picture, the whiskey, and his courage. He had a shirt, pants and shoes. Good. Glasses. Can't forget those.

He slipped the red glasses on.

"I'm good. Let's go."

Without thinking, he slipped his arm around Cora's shoulder and started to drag her off to the front door.
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by: Coraline Larson
Cora immediately stiffened when Matt grabbed her, unsure of his intent. When he simply steered her toward the door she relaxed slightly, still uncomfortable with the contact but off-balanced enough to be at a loss what to do about it.
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by: Matthew Cox
Matt handed her the picture, upside down.

"Lookit. That's me and Graves. Gravestone, we called him. Dorito took the picture. Off the coast of Sierra Leone, probably...ninety five? I think? I wound up transferring out that fall. Went SBS. But Gravestone and I hooked back up six years ago in Kalinga...Phillippines."

He clarified, not meaning to talk down to her, but just out of an awareness that not everyone knew where places were.
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