At first, the warmth of hearing her name so casually said made her smile. Made her wanna talk and talk and talk, on and on. Then, the words processed through her rosy glasses, and her heart dropped a little. The animated movements that she had been exhibited seemed to just... still. Like someone had turned off a switch that fed her a constant stream of energy. After a moment of brown eyes going through the motions of glazing over one second, then clearing the next, she cleared her throat, nervous giggles following after. The last of her previous glee at their conversation.
Slowly, she lowered herself back onto the ground, this time legs crossed. Kneeling didn't bode well for her knees, and she could rock herself a little easier this way. It was just a nervous tic of hers, that's all. "I... Yeah! Yeah, I have. I ought to have, with how long I've been here," she joked, a half-smile popping up for a sore moment. But she knew what he was really asking. She could always give the bare details. Just skim over the unimportant parts. "I've... met a lot. In the Fog, in their domains, by the fire... lots of places." She started fussing with a frayed hem on her jeans, head tilted away and down.
Claudette looked happy- albeit for merely a fleeting moment. She looked… sad. Had something happened? He studied her features, admittedly curious. And, daresay… concerned? Evan wasn’t sure. She looked almost nervous, sitting and rocking uneasily. He supposed it would make sense that she would have bad run-ins with the others. They were Killers after all. Though… not all meetings had to be bad, he supposed. Like with Quentin, and Meg (at least their second meeting) and even Claudette. It was certainly not what he would’ve expected.
Evan nodded slightly. It made sense- she had been here a while. Her and Meg both. It seemed that, by Claudette’s behavior, she had experiences she would rather not talk about. That was fine. Evan certainly had plenty. However, what she said next caught him by surprise.
“Nice?” he scoffed, a low chuckle escaping him, “I don’t know about that.” What had he done that was nice? Not killing her and Ace? Evan wasn’t sure that counted as ‘being nice.’
“I just don’t see the point of killing Survivors outside of Trials. The Entity likes suffering. I’m not about to give it anything for free. The spider-bitch can go fuck off.” Evan quite liked Quentin’s nickname for it.
His eyes wandered a moment, before flicking back to Claudette, scanning her face.
“Besides,” he huffed, “...it’s not like you’d deserve that. Unless you tried to steal my shit.” Despite the grave implication his tone was jovial, a slight smirk on his face.
Claudette listens, with her eyes trained on the dark dirt below her. He acts as if it's a simple thing, to not continue the cycle of blood and violence. Maybe he doesn't consider this a diversion from their roles in the Entity's circle? Like this is just a pleasant encounter. That could be it. That, she thinks, wouldn't be bad. "See, though, that is nice! Y-You could just, I dunno, keep hurting us whenever you saw us! You didn't have to let me look at your stitches, or let me touch you or give you the bracelet or any of that!" Her voice is raised, and she realizes with a start that she's on her knees, staring at Evan with vision that's blurred, even with the glasses. She promptly sits herself back down, fussing at an errant curl as she allows her eyes to wander him, blinking away the heat behind them.
"You... Evan, you're kinder than you think," she mutters, as if it's an accusation, but she's not terribly worried about upsetting him. She's more focused on the fact that he had just called the Entity the 'spider-bitch', and isn't that Quentin's nickname for the deity? "What was it you said earlier?" she says quietly, tilting her head as she pauses for thought. "That you deserve a lotta sh- things?" It's a moment longer before she starts fiddling with the grass again, and this time it's with a small smile that she continues to say, "Well, I think you deserve that flower on your wrist. And a friend, and a home and happiness. Everyone deserves that." she finishes, and he can see she's making another bracelet.
Claudette then continues to thread and braid the strands for a good few minutes, a few tiny experimental designs being thrown into the patterns for good measure. "...what- what do I deserve then?" she asks, with a tone that's dangerously curious. Like the idea of what she, Claudette Morel, actually got and 'deserved' was foreign than previous thoughts of what had been right. Also, it does serve as a pretty nice distraction from the intensity of the previous conversation.
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 7, 2019 14:10:58 GMT
Claudette’s sudden reaction took him by surprise. He straightened, raising his eyebrows slightly as she spoke. She was just so… passionate. He couldn’t wrap his head around it, why she was so insistent on convincing him that he was… nice.
“Not attacking people on sight is just basic human decency,” he huffed. Then again, decency and niceness weren’t exactly the commonplace in the Entity’s realm. At least, not here. He wasn’t sure what it was like, at the Campfire. But whatever it was, it would always be disrupted by another Trial.
Claudette looked… embarrassed? She had most certainly surprised him. After all, it wasn’t often that Survivors raised their voices to Killers. It was a bold and brash thing to do. Though Claudette wasn’t angry- as Meg was in their first encounter. Claudette was… passionate? Worried?
Evan sighed, temporarily averting his gaze. It was just… so strange. Having a Survivor call him nice, after all the things he’s done.
He was once again caught by surprise, a jolt of shock zipping through him. His gaze fell on the bracelet, before flicking back to Claudette. Deserved of a home… happiness… it was just so eerily similar, so nauseating close to what he had heard so long ago. When he failed to hide the pain of his healing jaw from the miners he once considered friends, when they insisted he ‘deserved better…’ Evan shivered, then immediately tensed, grinding his teeth.
Evan was silent for a moment, his hands gripping his knees. He turned his head, looking away.
“You deserve better,” he grunted, his voice still tense. “You shouldn’t be here. None of you should be.”
"Basic dece- listen to yourself! That's not what a bad person says. That's not what an unkind person says!" she insisted, brows furrowing in a slight show of aggravation. She wasn't sure why she was getting so worked up. Maybe it was just knowing him better. Maybe it was just the fact that he did do bad things, and did them efficiently and worked hard on doing bad things. But that was the trap, wasn't it? That was what always got her in the end. The fact, the simple knowledge that they could be kind. The killers- which she abhorred calling them now, not all of them even deserved the blood on their hands. Evan sure didn't, and she knew that for a fact. Actions do not make a man. The whole world could disagree with her, but she wouldn't care. The one before her was so dismissive of the idea of him being a kind, decent person that it was startling. And it made her angry in ways she couldn't understand.
She stood, the thin reeds in her fingers turned about and knotted in complicated ways. Tensed hands grabbed for her satchel, but it was no plant that she retrieved from the bag. No, it was a journal, and she slipped the too-large bracelet on as she rifled through the papers. From the corner of her eye, she saw an odd rigidity go through his body, and flickered through the idea that maybe she had said something wrong. Claudette scowled as she heard the words of a man vexed, and huffed as she turned the journal, bending the worn spine to show off the open pages. "We don't deserve to be here? I deserve better? Look, Evan! This is what you are!"
And what she showed was a drawing.
A drawing of a man in a mask, looking up at the sky as charcoal blood dripped from steel, stars that didn't exist twinkling down upon fields of delicate, ruffled flowers and even tinier bunches of petals. Familiar metal teeth awaited sneakily amongst the artful strokes of graphite, rusted with age and blood. The curved and brutal spikes that jut out of the man's body are covered in small arms of ivy, rooting him down to the deadly field and its droves of flowers. In the bottom right corner, away from the sketchings, a sentence sits undecorated. "He stills, sometimes, and I wonder what he's thinking. Could he be angry? Upset? The blood cools on his fingers while the hot salt on his skin dries. I wonder, again, if it stings."
It's a drawing of him. She is not done, an accusing finger pointing to the petals on-page. "Sweet Briar! It stands for hopelessness! Rue, it- it stands for regret!" And it almost seems like she's going to show him more secrets, more taboo drawings that didn't fit with the rest of the flowers and roots and notes in her journal, but in a fit of exasperation the book hits the dirt. And when it does, her full visage is there, looking at him with an incredulous stare and with the mien of a force of nature.
"You shouldn't be here, Evan!" A flash of glass- she's moved closer, yanking off the bracelet with fury and she's leaning over him and-
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 8, 2019 14:03:34 GMT
Despite everything, she was still going at it. She was still determined, her passion not waning in the slightest. She looked upset by his continued assurance, by his dismissal and stubbornness. Still, he couldn’t understand- why.
Claudette stood boldly, grabbing something from her bag. A journal? He squinted at her, confused as he tried to parse what exactly she was up to. Her movements were quick, frustrated, unrelenting as a page was dramatically thrust toward him.
Evan froze, tense as a coiled spring. His eyes silently scanned the drawing. It was… him. She had drawn him. It was an admittedly skillful drawing, with surprising detail. And he was… covered in plants? But… why? And why him? A message lay at the bottom, a vague passage written like poetry. Had she really thought this deeply about him? About the man whose sole job it was to kill her? For years their only interaction was her running as he slaughtered both her and her friends. Why was she doing this?
The pointed enthusiastically at the drawing, proclaiming the… meaning?- of all the flowers present. He sat silently, tense as he watched her hands move. Before he could even think to respond, the book was thrust in the dirt.
A second passed, and she moved again. Evan’s breath caught, his grip on his knees tightening as the gap was so quickly closed between them. He grit his teeth, flinching slightly as he hands approached his head. It took every scrap of willpower to not slap them away.
Her second creation was upon his head. A silly thing, undoubtedly, but he couldn’t focus on that, not when her determined shouts rang through his head, sounding through and rattling his bones. His breath was quicker, heavier, rumbling in his throat as he ground his teeth.
Shut up. Shut up. She was saying the same things, the same damn things. And he hated it. What good did it get them- the miners? Nothing. They were corpses now, nothing more than rot. That was all their kindness earned them. And that was all her kindness would earn her. Sooner or later he’d be killing her again, and again. Watching as her legs were shredded by beartraps, holding her down as he turned her back into mincemeat. It was inevitable. And that’s how it always would be.
Evan flew to his feet. He balled his fists, his anger leaving them trembling.
“Don’t talk like you know anything about me!” he roared, “I’m here because I deserve to be! ‘Cause I led a hundred maggots into the mine and let them fucking suffocate! Does that sound like something a good guy would do?”
His tone was venomous, seething with frustration. Evan loomed over her, before roughly jabbing a finger to her chest, pushing her back.
“You’re here because the Entity likes to watch you suffer. I’m here because I’m good at making you scream. And if I wasn't here, I'd be in hell.”
Most people, seeing someone nearly twice their size and weight in muscle alone would feel fear, or move away, anything sensible or to denote that they had an iota of self preservation.
Claudette stood her ground, glaring at him like one would a particularly long-lived foe. Because, here was a man, raging at her and at the world, yelling his sins to the sky and whoever would listen, which conveniently only included her. Evan MacMillan shouted about how this cold metal throne of an estate was his because he had earned it, about how the workers that had trusted him were ultimately ended by that same trust. Then, he had the audacity to ask her, question her on her belief. As if her answer wavered, as if she ever wavered. Didn't he get it? Couldn't he understand? That she just couldn't see him as anything other than someone who had made a mistake?
And then, he went over the line.
She felt the push more than she should have, her stern posture only making her easier to tip over into a stumble, nearly falling over herself from the sheer strength of the one before her. The yelp that darted from her lungs was one of surprise, not pain or fear. And oh, Claudette knew fear. She knew fear, horror, absolute terror. This was none of those. This was pure, unadulterated rage. The second she managed to find her balance again, a horrible scream ripped from her throat as she charged him, pure fury as she beat on his chest, shouting back at him with a voice cracking with too much emotion, and halting with the breaths of one not used to being above the decibel of a lullaby.
"No! I'm here because I was a good-for-nothing NOBODY who loved plants more than people!I'm here because the only thing I'm able to do is fix the Entity's toys!" A hiccup broke the noise, and it was then that Claudette realized that there were tears streaming down her face, and that wouldn't do. No, she had to stop- "All I do is collect stupid fucking plants, and make everyone last a little longer so it can have leftovers!" The next hit fell softer, and so did the next. "Y-You're here because you did one bad thing! A b-big bad, but only one!" Finally, her forehead hit his chest with a soft 'thump', fists still and shoulders shaking. "You m-made a mistake, Evan" she sobbed, coughing pathetically as the damage of her fit reached her throat.
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 8, 2019 16:44:37 GMT
Evan expected her to turn and run, or at least show some scrap of fear. A part of him almost wished she had- it would be a welcome end to this mess. But no, she stood her ground, glaring with surprising intensity. Even as she stumbled back, nearly toppling into the grass, she regained herself. And as soon as she did, she charged.
Evan had half a mind to intercept her, but was so astonished by her brazen move that he simply froze. He stood unflinchingly as her fists pounded on his chest, his eyes wide as he stared down wordlessly at her. Evan had never before seen a Survivor filled with such rage.
He was stunned into silence as she roared at him, her shouts filling the clearing. And then came the tears, streaming uncontrollably as she continued her shouting. And when her strength finally waned, she slumped forward, resting her forehead on his chest. It was then that a shiver passed through him.
It was hard to process what he was hearing. So this was how she saw herself? Evan had, for a long time, assumed the Survivors were taken for a reason. Originally he had assumed for punishment, same as he, then instead their talents- such as Claudette’s medical knowledge. Though he couldn’t be sure. That line of thinking left Claudette so… distraught. Did she really think so little of herself?
There were a lot of things still on his mind. Angry rants and snappy retorts that bubbled just below the surface. But… what good would they do? Here she was, crying, pressing her face to him. God, was it bizarre. He had shoved her, yelled at her, tried to scare her away- yet she had only come closer. Why? Was she brave, stupid, desperate, determined?
For a moment he simply watched her, silent, mulling over his thoughts. It was strange, and admittedly saddening, seeing her grapple with such familiar worries. That of being a mistake, or more specifically, a failure.
“...Claudette,” he began, “You… you’ve got a talent. You should be proud of that. And you’re kind. That doesn’t sound like a mistake to me.” He paused again, briefly.
“Mistakes don’t go out of their way to be kind and patch people up. Or… hell, give them flower bracelets…” Evan regarded the thing on his wrist, an uneasy pang of guilt rising in his chest.
“...You’re not a mistake. Don’t let the Entity make you think otherwise.” He wasn't good at providing comfort, that much was for certain, but... he didn't want to see her like this. Disregarding her talents. Thats what the Entity wanted, more suffering. Besides, it was his fault she was so upset... so he supposed it was worth a try.
She sniffed miserably, glasses forgotten in the grass somewhere. "Practice what you preach, big guy," she mumbled, turning her head and letting her hands drop a little, fingers snagging at the straps. Claudette felt horrible. Who had expected her to say that? Not her, that's for sure. "Evan, I... I had an obsession. I wanted to live with just that purpose, to learn about and study plants my entire life. But something just... didn't feel right. I felt like I needed something more." She giggled a little hopelessly, a new tear trailing down her cheek. "Careful what you wish for, right?"
Slowly, and with caution, she let go of the cloth that she had been gripping, instead wrapping her arms around his torso. Or, rather, what she could reach of it. He was pretty big, after all. "I'm sorry, Evan. I'm really, really sorry. God, I came here to help you, and here I am. Crying like someone just took all of my flowers." She tilted her head up, chin on his chest as she blinked up at him, a rueful smile on her lips as the last of the hiccups left her. She'd never had the intention of making this visit stressful. Maybe talk to him a little. If she could hope to dream, maybe even make a friend. But nothing like this.
After a moment, and a very warm hug, she stepped away from him, using her shirt to wipe at her face with vague embarrassment. "Can- Can you forgive me?" she asked, a note of humor mixing with the low tone of anxiety. A survivor, asking for forgiveness from a killer? Unheard of. Even moreso because she had attacked him. Though Claudette knew he hadn't been hurt. If she had caused any damage, it was to his overalls with all her crying. She nudged her journal, peering down at the grass for any shine of metal or glint from glass to indicate her glasses.
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 8, 2019 20:55:39 GMT
Evan huffed, rolling his eyes. Did she have a point? Perhaps… His eyes flicked back to her when she gripped at his clothing, causing him to shift uneasily. He wasn’t used to this much… contact. Carrying Meg was already awkward enough. Evan squinted at Claudette. He supposed he could relate, somewhat. His obsession though hadn’t been a specific activity or field. And his pursuit of approval never seemed to bring the fulfillment he desired.
His breath caught as she wrapped her arms around him. She was hugging him. It was a strange sensation. When was the last time he had been hugged? He could only guess. It felt unusual, foreign, like something that didn’t belong in his life. Yet here he was. Being hugged. By a Survivor. He was stiff, unsure of what to do. So he remained still, looking lost. Slowly, awkwardly, he offered her a pat on the back.
Evan raised a brow at her, confused by her apologies. For a moment, he didn’t know what to say.
“Don’t apologize,” he insisted, “you helped.” She had tended to his wound after all.
She stepped away, and he offered another confused look.
“I don’t care. Really,” he insisted, “its fine.” He watched her eyes- she was looking at the ground. It didn’t take long for him to realize what she was doing. Evan scanned the ground, quickly spotting what she was looking for. He crouched down, picking up the pair of glasses- which were laughably tiny in his hand. He offered the thing to her. What would he do now? Evan glanced at the journal at her feet.
“The drawing you did,” he began, “...its nice. You're a good artist.”
He said he didn't care, but he had the air of a man who seemed much, much calmer and maybe even contemplative than before. She... she wasn't used to being like that in any regard, but somehow it had turned into something positive. Not like she intended to make hitting the killers a hobby or anything, but this encounter had gone through a roller coaster of topics and feelings, and Claudette wondered how much of that was because he let it go that way. He'd had plenty of opportunities to teach her just how much the one time interaction had been just that-- one time. But he hadn't, and it was with a great start that she realized that he was holding something out to her.
"If everything in the world was fine, this wouldn't exist, would it?" she jokes, only half-mirthful at the not-quite joke. Gently, she took her glasses back, brushing at them fondly to rid it of clinging grass and dirt granules. These things had been so battered and broken in the past, stained with incorrigible substances or some other. But, they were a part of her, and they would always come back. Eventually. Though, a small lull entered between them as she did, and for a moment, it seemed like they were both lost as to what would happen next.
...and then he said that.
The second that the notion of her pages being dirtied rushed through her head, she stooped down them, quickly examining the pages with intensity. This didn't reset, couldn't reset. Claudette tried to use it sparingly, but when she did, it was for good reason. "Y-You... I shouldn't have-" she stutters, and her face darkens with the rare show of embarrassment. Her book was private, it was special. And then, she had to go and shove a likeness of himself into his face with little regard as to what he might think of it, angry or otherwise. "Thank you," she manages, finally after a good moment of her trying to explain herself. He seemed more... more reserved about what he said than anything. Nothing negative. But still.
"I... I draw a lot of things. When I went to school, I would see old journals of when... there weren't any cameras or anything to take pictures of plants or discoveries, so they would draw everything they saw," she explains, quietly and haltingly. Next to no one knew she drew-- and it wasn't for shame, no. It was just that she wasn't certain she wanted any of the other survivors seeing her sketches of things and people that were definitely not medicine related. "I started... cataloging things, when I first came, because I was afraid that I would forget. I never did, though." They were both standing at this point, and Claudette shuffled a little closer, tentatively opening her journal for a second time. His mask stared up at the stars once more. "Then I started just-- writing everything I knew. In case- In case one day I didn't come back from the Fog. Or a Trial. So that the others wouldn't be vulnerable or un... unprotected." Why does it feel so much stranger to be the one telling information now? It wasn't like what she did was in any way taboo.
...Except for one part. "After a while, once everything settled in, and more people came in," she began, voice getting quieter and quieter as she drifted in her memories, "I couldn't stay at the fire anymore. They wanted t-to talk, and I was already doing so much more than I was used to. So I made a habit of, of going into the woods. Going for walks. Doing anything I could to still do what they wanted, but also be... alone. It's really, really hard to be alone in a small place like this, you know?" Calling the Entity's Realm small was a little bit of a stretch, but from what she was able to go to freely, it really was small. And it was filled to the brim with people, familiar or not.
She brushes a curl behind her ear, holding the book out to him without hesitance, but still with the timidness that came with the handing over of a newborn. "I saw more of you and the others than they saw of me, when I did go out. So, I cataloged."
And didn't that sound perfectly sane, when she said it that way?
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 15, 2019 15:54:36 GMT
Evan watched as she scrambled to collect the discarded journal. It had been pretty brash of her to toss away the thing so haphazardly, but he assumed it was simply the surge of emotion that caused it.
He tilted his head slightly. She shouldn’t have… shown it to him? Evan could relate, regarding that. He didn’t show anyone his drawings. Though, it wasn’t like he’d have any point to. Besides Claudette there were only two others that he had a somewhat decent relationship with. And his drawings were personal. Plus, how would people think of him, if they knew that he drew? Though perhaps Claudette had a similar worry… as odd as that was. Relating to a Survivor.
Evan listened with interest. She did art in school? His education lacked any art of that kind- there was dance and music and poetry, stuff like that, but no painting or illustration. He wondered what it would’ve been like, to be properly taught art… A thought came to mind, forming a heavy pit in his gut, and he was quick to get off that train of thought.
His attention was back on Claudette. She was… cataloging things? It certainly caught his interest.
“No,” he responded blankly to her statement about being alone, “I’m pretty used to it. I’d say I’m an expert.” Though cynical, it was half sarcastic, almost joking.
As she continued talking, his interest only increased. That, and his confusion.
“...you’ve been spying on me?” it was the first conclusion that came to mind. His eyes fell on the journal, regarding it half with suspicion and half with intrigue.
He shifted his weight and crossed his arms.
“So what have you got written about me?” he queried, half demanding and half curious, eyeing her through his mask.
"N-No! It's not spying if I happen to notice you first and don't wanna be seen!" Okay, that did sound a little suspicious. "I mean— Ugh. I'm in the forest a lot, okay? It's just... what I do." Flustered, she flipped past the drawing of Evan to another page, a very-much redrawn rendition of a bear trap in the corner edge. "It's not on purpose. But... I've been here for as long as... as everyone else has." As you have. "I ought to have learned something over the years, right?" She adjusted her glasses as she read over the page, a look of contentment crossing her face. The same look of a job-well-done. Fond. She turned the book to face him, glancing up at him with nervousness. "I've had a lot of time to write."
Indeed, the little sketch of his renowned namesake sat mostly unsmudged at the top right, lines and lines of words and bullet points framing the paper like an academic diary. A small list interrupted the center of words, but they themselves were curious all by their lonesome. And, oddly enough, a heavily-lined hatch of lines crossed out what one could guess what a particularly disliked set of words. The edges of words like 'sharp', 'metal', 'out', and tiny letters peeked out of the criss-cross of graphite.
"Tall, almost taller than the one the others call The Wraith. Machete— or is it a cleaver? Exhibits signs of low aggression when out of Trials. Nearly never seen without a trap or weapon in hand. Overalls, an odd design with a thick material. Physical strength is hypothesized to be the strongest out of all killers- debatable. Ask Jake more about the traps. Something off about his wounds. Doesn't heal, except for the ones caused by Trial. Does it hurt him to swing with his shoulder like that? Mask seems wooden in texture. Deep voice, from Trial experience only. Have to..." The rest of the words were either erased or lined heavily in black. What followed next were the bullet points, but...
—Entity —new thread sutures —blood loss —Pain? —got new bloodstains —figure out the solution
Not to mention the myriad of even more scribbled out blocks of text. She'd seemed to have recently erased (quite harshly, too, from the grains in the paper) another few annotations, but the majority of the lines after just didn't make grammatical sense. Words and latin and plant names that didn't seem to go together were cobbled onto the page like a road leading only to confusion. "I've tried to write down what I know about... about everyone. You've taken up a few, but this is the one that's got... facts." Well that was one way to say it. It wasn't like she wanted to admit that she wrote her own entries that were very much speculation, with notes to boot about scenarios that would never happen and she would like for them to never see the light of day, thank you.
"And it's not like I could've just walked up and asked about any of this. You were, uh, usually busy. Or in the Estate." Untouchable, essentially. That's what she was saying. She shifted in place, eyes firmly fixed on a point far in the distance. Claudette wasn't one to get embarrassed about her work or writing, but then again, she hadn't expected anyone to look at it either. And, she may have made some assumptions, but what else could one do? He was a person too, and she hadn't wanted to intrude on his space already more than she did. But the questions hadn't been going away, so when she did see the man... "Does this answer your question?
Post by Evan MacMillan on Dec 19, 2019 21:14:36 GMT
Evan raised a brow, but listened. What she described certainly sounded like spying, but he’d hear her out anyway. Besides, he couldn’t blame her for not wanting to be seen. Evan wasn’t exactly the friendly type. He turned his attention from her to her book, eyeing it closely.
There was a drawing of one of his beartraps, and a whole paragraph. It was impressive, really. And a little odd. But he went ahead and read it anyway. It was, admittedly, interesting to see how she thought of him. He huffed at the low aggression line, but said nothing of it. After all, it wasn’t false. And the recognition of his strength appealed to his pride. Hypothesized to be the strongest? Damn right. Or at least it’s what he liked to believe. She had noticed his wounds too. She was right- they didn’t heal, and they did hurt. The fact that she didn’t know whether or not they hurt though was a good sign. It meant he was still hiding it. After all, he’s had years to get used to it. Her extra notes had him perplexed, wondering as to what they meant. What about the Entity? He tilted his head slightly, mulling them over.
“...so there’s more?” he once again eyed her skeptically. What else had she written about him? She specified that this page was the ‘facts.’ More hypotheses? Or maybe more of that poetic stuff? But why would a Survivor be writing poetry about him anyway? What a ridiculous thought!
“...mm,” he shrugged, “I’m always at my estate. Besides, if you asked me about any of this a few weeks ago I would’ve thrown you off the property.” It was half a joke, half serious.
“Hell, I never went so in depth about you Survivors,” he admitted, “I just kept it all in here,” he tapped his head. “Just basic stuff. Trial behavior, benevolence, movement patterns, you know,” he shrugged, as if it weren’t a big deal. A part of him wondered if this was stuff he should’ve kept secret, but wasn’t it obvious, that he would study his prey? That’s what hunters did. Understand your target, find game trails, look for repeated behaviors, things like that.
"That's alright," she responded simply. "I only write it down because if I try to keep it in my head it gets... gets all mixed up sometimes. You'd think that I'd had time to work everything out, but you'd be surprised." How charming. She wasn't sure why that little head-tap was so funny, but it was. Casual. Calm. Something that one of her old professors used to do whenever someone would ask them a question that was less-than stellar in class. Evan seemed to hold that same sense of casuality, that same confidence in his posture. She'd never seen it in Trials before, of course, but this wasn't a life-or-death situation, was it?
And he seemed... done with her book. With only a hint of relief, she closed the journal, brushing the front of with care before taking up the strap of her satchel, slipping it over her shoulder with a hum. She had put all of her tools away already, and having that weight against her side was always comforting to have. "So, movements, behavior, and probably where we like to go..." she murmured, tilting her head back as she stared at the metal claws that domineered the top of the MacMillan Estate. A big building, as she had discovered all those years ago. She never liked going near it all that much, Trial or not. Had he noticed that too? "So, you did what I did then! You studied us and figured out what we were most likely to do."
Damn it all, she sounded impressed. Of course, most killers with mental acuity and the amount of time needed to do that type of thing probably had. The Doctor being an unsure outlier in that aspect. Claudette had a guess that he was like that before he entered the Realm. And Evan- Evan was a hunter. The traps said it all, really. He had been their first killer after all, from those bygone Trials ages ago. Had they... had she been his first kill? Or had he been here longer than she had thought? All things to write down for later, and to think about much later. It was a bit of a sensitive thing to ask about, you know.
Though, something that he said had caught her attention. And she mulled over the word for even longer than the others, shifting in place before looking back his way, glasses faintly flashing at the change of angle. "What do you mean by... benevolence?"