chaos theory

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»  I hate the mall, ft. seven
years old 67 posts
He didn't truly realize how difficult it was to live with another person until he was forced to do so. He was reminded of what it was like to live at home with his father before things turned sour, but he swore it had never been like this. He found himself thinking of his sister more and more often lately because of those memories he had associated with his father. They were intertwined in a way that he absolutely despised, but he couldn't block them out forever. He missed her. Eric was certain she would know what to do with Seven, and even though he didn't like it Eric also knew that she wouldn't want him to just toss the other man onto some stranger - let alone another hunter. It was..bothersome.

All that aside, there were certain things that he had been taking for granted that he now needed to fix. One of those things, was having his clothes be entirely his and his alone. He was having to do way more laundry than he would like to, as of late, so there was something he had to do about it and asap. Seven couldn't just wear the articles of clothing he'd been wearing when Eric first picked him up either. He detested the mere thought, but he was going to have to take the other man to the mall.

He sure as hell didn't want taking Seven anywhere still, but it had been a week or so and Eric couldn't be stubborn on it forever. Besides, he hadn't a clue what the other man's sizes were and he wasn't going to waste money on guesses. He had made this very clear to Seven when he'd brought it up that they weren't going out for fun, this was a mission. They were going on a mission to get him things to wear, and god forbid if he act weird in public- well, Eric was certain he was going to act strange either way, but he had made sure to warn him. "Try to act normal." Eric wasn't looking forward to any of this, but after he'd gotten Seven to get dressed and ready in more of his smaller clothes - even then- Eric just needed one look at him to know this was necessary.

He was sighing heavily once he got in the car. This time he didn't bother to force Cole in the back seat. They weren't taking his cruiser into town anyway. He had a shabby toyota in his garage, and after Seven took his seat he looked over at him to make sure he was 'prepared', looked as normal as possible, before they headed out. "If anyone sees us together and recognizes me, you're just going to be my cousin okay." That was probably a long shot since they looked nearly nothing alike, but a cousin seemed vague enough that it could pass, and his father was from the states - meaning he looked nothing like his mother with black hair and almond eyes.

"This is just going to be a quick trip. Nothing more, got it?"
years old 66 posts
Seven was used to not going out or doing anything for extended periods of time, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t getting a little restless hanging out in Eric’s home all day for the last week or so. He wasn’t exactly eager to go exploring on his own again though, not after all the nonsense he had encountered the last time he’d had the run of the city. He knew he needed to listen to the house rules Eric had laid out for him, and for the most part Seven felt like he was doing a decent job. He wanted the other man to trust him after all, so he didn’t complain about his boredom, though he was rather excited when Eric told him they were going out. It wasn’t supposed to be fun, but Seven was still excited. Exploring would be much safer if he were with Eric, after all, and while he knew this was more out of necessity than anything fun, Seven was just glad to be able to do something.

He’d asked where they were going and what they were doing, but really Seven didn’t know anything about clothes shopping. What was wrong with the current clothes he was wearing? Sure, they were a bit too big -- an understatement -- but did it matter what he wore? Eric seemed to think so, and suppose sharing his clothes with someone would get old after awhile. The cyborg simply smiled when Eric told him to act normal, making a note to do that even though he didn’t really think he acted that strange. Still, he didn’t fuss over it and was more than happy to climb into Eric’s car, curious as to why they were taking a different car than the one the man had picked him up in. Maybe that car wasn’t for errands? Seven didn’t really know, but after a few moments of hesitation, he climbed into the passenger seat before buckling himself in.

He glanced over at Eric as he spoke, frowning thoughtfully. Cousins? They looked nothing alike! The thought brought a bemused smile to Seven’s face, ”Okay.” He agreed with a little nod. Seven supposed it could work though, he didn’t know much about familial relations worked, but he knew cousins didn’t always look alike. At least...he figured as much, and if Eric believed the lie was passable then he wasn’t going to question it too much. ”I’ve never gotten to pick out my own clothes,” the cyborg mused, turning his head to look out the window nearest him once the car started moving. ”I’m excited~” Even if this wasn’t supposed to be a fun outing, he couldn’t help but be curious as to where Eric was taking him.

”Understood.” He was curious as to where they were going, but knowing wasn’t really that important he supposed. Eric knew where they were going, so...there was no reason for him to ask, instead Seven sat back in his seat before moving his attention away from the window to look at the dashboard of the car they were in, gaze moving over the radio. ”What does this thing do?” He asked, lifting a slender hand to point at the radio, though he was careful not to actually touch it.

years old 67 posts
He could hear the excitement in Seven's voice before he could glance over at him from the drivers seat. He was..ridiculous. Eric hated shopping, even for his own clothes. He couldn't imagine what would ever be exciting about something so trivial, but Sev clarified why for him. He never had the chance to get his own clothes before, and while it still seemed such a trivial thing to Eric a part of him felt sympathy for him. Of course, he promptly scolded him on it because in no way should he feel responsible for the things that happened to Seven, but even Eric was human. Those pesky parts of him that still cared were things that latched onto sentimental bullshit at the most inconvenient times. Now was one of those times.

The harsher frown on his face soften to one of idle annoyance. At least he wasn't arguing with him about the flimsy lie he had proposed. It was the only thing he could come up with that wouldn't need a long explanation. Seven was just going to be his cousin, visiting but staying with him for a short while. He wasn't sure how long he could maintain such a bluff if someone at work saw him, but it was what he was going with for now. He had little expectation that he would see anyone from the station at the mall though, especially not during the early afternoon.

He was stolen from further thoughts on the matter when he saw Seven reaching toward the radio. He frowned at him before he took a hand off the wheel to wave Sev's away from the device. Eric didn't want him to touch anything still. He'd still been having to teach the other man about simple appliances at home, and though they'd covered most of the bases it still made him paranoid whenever Sev got close to the stove or messed with the microwave - even after he had taught him how to at least reheat food. Eric heaved a sigh and shook his head, still finding it unbelievable that Sev knew so little, but this was his reality now - having to teach some ignorant cyborg about the real world.

"Nothing for you to touch, so it doesn't matter." Maybe he would let him listen to music on the way home, though. Eric shoved the thought aside, finding it silly to accomodate the other man's curiosity. On another note, if Seven had never been able to pick clothes for himself that might make this more tedious a trip than he'd thought. He looked him over before he returned his attention to the road, trying to guess Seven's sizes but in the end the reason why he was bringing him was because he didn't want to make a mistake. "I guess that means you don't know what size you wear either."

He could tell already that the day was going to be a long one. After he paused, thinking to himself, Eric took another brief peek over at the silver haired young man again. "I won't be able to call you Seven in public. People will think it's strange." Because it was. Seven wasn't a normal name in any sense, but was 'Sev' any better? "Is there another name you've gone by for instances like this? Like, when you were in public." Seven had hinted that he had gone out with his handlers, and if he had been dispatched to deal with a vampire or two surely he wasn't doing it in a lab...was he? There really was a lot that Eric didn't know about Seven either, and though it bothered him it was difficult to tackle it organically. Besides, he still was wary that Seven would just give him the entire truth.

"Maybe we should give you another name, a nickname - for when we're in public. What do you think?"
years old 66 posts
Seven wasn’t too hung up on the fact that this was a “first” experience for him. He knew never having picked out his own clothing before was odd, but it just made sense considering the type of upbringing he’d had. Choice was taken from him, any and all choices were left in the hands of people far smarter than him. He knew his lack of...experience with anything was odd, but rather than being sad or embarassed that he’d never done something as simple as picking out his own clothes he was just...excited. He had to keep reminding himself that this wasn’t supposed to be fun, but it was hard not to be at least a little excited, even if Eric was practically scowling in his own seat. Seven tried to tone down his own smiles, but found quickly that it was a losing battle.

The smile on his face did slip a little as Eric waved his hand away from the radio, but he didn’t fuss over it. Instead he chose to fold his hands neatly in his lap, tilting his head to actually look at Eric as the man told him it didn’t matter what it was because he wasn’t supposed to touch it. ”I won't touch it, I just want to know what it does.” There were lots of buttons on it, and little knobs, he wanted to push all of them just to see what they did but kept his hands in his lap despite how painful his curiosity was. He’d learn all these things eventually, and truthfully just learning how the appliances inside the house worked was overwhelming enough. The microwave freaked him out. There were so many buttons on it, some that he couldn’t even read, and the horrible noise it made when the timer reached zero still made him anxious, like the darn thing was going to just explode if he didn’t get the food out of it fast enough. When Eric moved the conversation along though, Seven was stolen from his thoughts. A thoughtful grown crept over his lips. ”I know I’m small,” he said, a bit apologetically. He didn’t know how clothing sizes worked, but he knew his build was rather petite, and he knew Eric’s clothes were much too big for him.

It couldn’t be that complicated though.

Seven kept his gaze on Eric as the man drove, occasionally glancing towards the road out of curiosity. He didn’t know where they were going, would be a fun surprise to see it when they got there. He did find himself blinking in confusion when Eric explained to him that they couldn’t use his real name in public. ”Is my name really that strange?” He knew his name wasn’t common or anything like that, he knew it was...a number that had been assigned to him, but it was still his name. It was what everyone had called him, heck, Seven itself was a nickname. Dr. Dragunov had told him to pick something else to go by once he’d reached America but...he couldn’t think of anything. He didn’t know names, he only knew a small handful, and he found himself tilting his head when Eric asked if there was another name he had used in public. ”No, not really. Normally I was called Specimen Seven, or just Seven. The people I interacted with knew what I was, so there was no need for...anything else.” It wasn’t like people had been asking him his name very often anyway, and he hadn’t been allowed to really...speak to people. ”I’ve never been outside of the facility for anything but field assignments. So…” His words trailed off, lips pursing thoughtfully as he finally pulled his gaze away from Eric to return to staring out the window nearest him.

He had seen what felt like the whole city during his little adventure a week or so ago, but this area was entirely different than the ones he had strolled through. There were so many buildings with names he couldn’t really pronounce, so many unfamiliar faces milling about in the street. It was strange how one place could be so big, be so busy. He wanted to go out and see everything, wanted to satisfy his curiosities, but...Seven was hesitant. The last time he had gone out it hadn’t been very fun. It had been...kind of terrifying. Not knowing where he was wasn’t an uncommon theme in his life but...he had always had someone to tell him where to go or what he was supposed to be doing. Being alone was scary.

”A nickname?” Seven murmured, only half listening to Eric before reminding himself that he should actually be tuned into this conversation, he forced his gaze away from the alien city outside, icy hues fixing themselves on Eric’s face as he pondered over what kind of nickname he would even use. ”Seven is a nickname.” He couldn’t use that though, so he found himself frowning thoughtfully, twiddling his thumbs in his lap before he smiled, ”What about Sev? I like that name.”

years old 67 posts
"It makes noise." Eric conceded, because the fact that Seven was behaving was at least some sort of testimate to his restraint. Ever since he'd gotten lost that one day Eric had noticed that the other man had been trying to put in a concerted effort to not cause him too much trouble. The curious questions and ignorance were things that he was beginning to get used to as well, he just disliked feeling guilty or sympathetic to the other man whenever the feeling arose. He wasn't human. In any case he shouldn't think of him as anything more than the other supernatuals in town, regardless of the fact that he wasn't 'supernatural' in nature. Seven was simply..a complication.

"I'll let you mess with it when we head back home." He shouldn't even be giving him that, but Eric was in less of a pissy mood. He'd had his breakfast and coffee this morning, and now that he was nearly finished with half his pack of cigarettes after having purchased it the night before his nerves were far less tense than what they normally were since he'd picked up Seven. On that note he told himself he would have to make a stop at the gas station - or something - before they got home because he was almost certain by the end of the night he was gonna need more cancer sticks. Just thinking about them had the raven haired man fishing the box out of the center console, and while they were at a red light he snuck a quick light and rolled his window down. He had no way of knowing whether the smoke would have any effect on Seven unless he flat out asked him, but his action was more or less automatic and not really thought out.

Was his name really strange? That got a smirk out of him. "Yes." Eric glanced at him after he blew a puff of cigarette smoke passed the crack in his window. "Normally parents don't name their kids numbers." Absently he wondered if Seven had parents, if he even knew who they were- but that was besides the point. He supposed he wasn't entirely surprised to hear that the people in charge of Seven in Russia hadn't bothered to give him a 'real name' when he'd been in public. Although it had been a thought, considering his impression of those people thus far it was safe to say they were digenerate scum and wouldn't make such consessions for something they had essentially created on their own.

That said it still felt strange to call Seven by his 'name'. Eric shouldn't care, considering he was supposed to be disconnecting himself from the other man, but...for this case he felt that it was at least reasonable they have something 'normal' to call him in case anyone asked. Eric took a decent drag from cigarette in his free hand, and after his breath was dispelled through the window - along with a bit of ashes that had collected at the tip- he glanced at Sev, then the road. "Sev.." Eric thought about it, and wondered to himself what some stranger might think of it if they heard. There were people in town with stranger names he supposed.."I guess it could work." It still sounded strange to Eric, but as long as it was 'passable' he couldn't entirely complain. He also didn't want to have to try and be creative with some new name for Seven because- he was terrible with names. It was why he didn't make his own fake ID's when it was necessary.

He tilted his head to look over at the silver haired man briefly again, and couldn't help another smirk after noticing the small smile on Sev's face. "You're a strange one." For him to like that name so much. Seven was certainly odd, but Eric's words were teasing if anything, and hardly spoken in harsh tones what with the small smile he had in his own features. "When we get to the mall stay with me, you remember? At least this time you don't have to stay in the car." He paused before he suddenly remembered something, "Have you ever had a phone before? I was thinking- If I got you one for emergencies and such, you could use it to call me if you get lost again or..whatever else. Would you do that if I got one for you?" Eric was sure he would have to teach Sev how to use it, but if he got a simple burner phone it wouldn't be too complicated for him.
years old 66 posts
”Noise?” Seven murmured, echoing Eric’s words to himself. Why would he want something that just made noise? It would get annoying after awhile, wouldn’t it? This radio didn’t look like the one he had in his other car, it didn’t look like there was a way to talk into this one. Pale brows pinched together as he stared at the radio again, trying to understand what it was for but admittedly coming up short with anything useful. It was when Eric told him he could mess around with it on the way home that he grinned. Maybe if he got to touch it and mess with the buttons he could figure out what they did. ”Okay~” If it made noise, he was curious as to what kinds of noises it made. Maybe they were just...annoying, and that was why Eric was keeping it off.

He had so many questions about something as seemingly simple as a car radio, but Seven kept them to himself. Lately he tried out when he asked things, tried not to pile on too many questions at once so he didn’t end up driving Eric insane. For the most part he had learned that if he gave Eric a bit of breathing room between questions he got better answers, and while someone else might have been embarrassed over not understanding such simple things...Seven just wanted to learn. He felt that he was picking up a lot of useful information, like how stop lights seemed to work. When he’d gotten lost, the cross walks had been...confusing, but the more he watched the people crossing the road he realized there seemed to be a button that they pushed that changed a little...light across the street. The more Seven thought about it, the more he realized how lucky he was that that woman hadn’t run him over on accident.

The thought had him frowning just a little to himself, gaze bouncing from the window to Eric when he heard the soft “click” of a lighter. Seven had seen cigarettes before, but he didn’t know much about them other than the fact that they smelled bad and hurt his nose to breathe it in, but he wasn’t going to complain to Eric about his habit. At least the other man was being considerate enough to blow the smoke out the window, and truthfully Seven found himself simply watching Eric with interest as he spoke, spoke spilling over his lips like some weird sort of waterfall. He had to remind himself to actually listen to what Eric was saying rather than stare at the smoke coming out of his mouth, and he blinked as the man’s words processed in his mind. ”Your parents name you?” It made sense, considering a baby couldn’t really pick a name out on its own, but it was still an interesting thought. ”What happens if there’s two people with the same name? Does that happen?” Seven knew his own name had been given to him to avoid such mixups. ”My name is a number because it’s practical.”

That said, in this situation it probably made sense to use some sort of nickname, even if Seven didn’t think his name was that outlandish. Surely if parents were naming their kids there were a few that had been gifted some rather strange names? Stranger than his own at least. Eric thought it was weird though, and he was the regular human here so it made sense to listen to him, even if Seven didn’t really know much about nicknames. At least his suggestion wasn’t terrible, and while he was paying attention to what Eric was saying he was more fascinated by the burning ash at the end of his cigarette. Didn’t it hurt to breathe that stuff in? It certainly didn’t smell nice. His thoughts were cut off as Eric repeated the nickname back to him, seeming to approve of it at least a little, and the cyborg grinned before giving a slight nod. The shorter version of his name would keep both of them from having to remember an entirely new one at least.

The smirk on Eric’s face only had Seven’s smile widening, the teasing tone of his words hardly a thing that bothered the cyborg. ”I suppose so,” he shrugged. Being strange could be a bad thing, but Eric wasn’t saying it in a rude or biting way so...Seven took the words for what they were. He listened attentively as Eric reminded him that they needed to stay together, ”I understand. Stay with you.” Hopefully repeating the instructions back to the other man would show that he really was listening, and he really had no intentions of wandering off. Being on his own in the city had been scary enough the first time, he was glad that Eric was taking him out at all considering how angry he had been when he’d wandered off the first time. He was also glad he didn’t have to stay in the car this time. When the conversation suddenly moved to cellphones, Seven was quiet as he listened to Eric speak, nodding along slowly before smiling ”I’ve never had a phone before,” the fact that Eric wanted to get him one was strange, but Seven could see it coming in handy, especially if he got lost again as the other man suggested. ”I think it’d be really useful if I had one.”

After he spoke he went back watching Eric take drags on his cigarette, admittedly transfixed by it. ”Doesn’t it hurt to breathe that in?” He asked, tone curious rather than patronizing. ”They don’t smell very good either…” Just mentioning it had his nose scrunching up just a bit.

years old 67 posts
"Yes they name you." Eric had replied, a thoughtful frown causing his brows to knit together so slightly while they drove. He supposed that was his answer on Seven's parents. They hadn't been in his life, or if they had it hadn't been long enough to matter. So how did he end up in the situation he had been? A plethora of scenarios began to form in his head, anything from adoption to kidnapping, or worse; planned breeding. It gave him the creeps to even think about, and though he knew humans could be vile human breeding felt like something a non human would do. Maybe Seven's doctors, whatever else they called themselves, weren't human. It made more sense to him, if they weren't just a part of the government but rather some wealthy sect of non humans, using people like Seven for strange experiments.

There was still so much he didn't understand, like the true motive for going to such great lengths to create something that could still fail...but he digressed. Thinking about these things objectively for too long with Seven right next to him made him feel weird.

"It does happen, but it's not a big deal when it does. It's not uncommon for people to have the same name, but lately parents name their kids weird enough things as it is." He glanced at Seven, wondering if anyone had ever named their kid a number before- now that it was a thought in his head. Honestly he wouldn't be entirely surprised. Humans could be just as bizarre sometimes.

At any rate he was pleased when Sev repeated back that he was going to listen and 'stay with him'. They weren't having a repeat of last time, even if it was mostly Eric's fault for being so naive. He felt more at ease having Seven with him anyway. He could keep an eye on him they could run this trivial errand and be home. He gave the other man a glance here and there after he had offered to get him a phone. Of course Seven would say that it would be 'useful'. Trying to comprehend why he wanted to be useful to Eric was still difficult for him to understand. He wasn't even sure if he could trust that, and there was still a voice in his head that told him if he gave Sev a phone he might try to contact his friends over seas. When he looked at the other man once more and saw the smile on his face, it just left him conficted as always.

Why did Seven always have to look so damn innocent? It was the shape of his face, that annoying smile he wore. It was a trick no doubt, in the end. It had to be.

He had to shake these thoughts from mind, and did it quicker with Seven's next question. He was just blowing a puff of smoke passed his lips and out the window when the other man asked him if it hurt. He gave him a confused look at first, but knowing that he was being genuinely curious it tempted another small smirk out of Eric. Alas he had to sigh at him for complaining about the smell. "I'm not blowing it towards you am I?" It couldn't be that bad, but the remark was duly noted. "No it doesn't hurt. You've never seen someone smoke before?" That struck him as odd, but the image of a Russian - even a Russian doctor- in his head was perhaps a little stereotypical. He gave Seven a sidelong glance before a mischivious smirk curled the corners of his lips.

"Do you want to try it?" He was terrible, but one little unhale wasn't going to kill the other guy. "You just inhale." Eric hadn't realized that the other man had been watching him smoke the whole time, or he would have offered him it sooner. Eric wasn't a good person.

He held the cigarette out to the other man when they got to another stop sign just before the parking garage.
years old 66 posts
It shouldn’t have been all that surprising to be told that it was the parents who named their children, but it still felt strange. In the end, he supposed it was just another privilege that was given to humans and not creatures like himself, families, parents, names that were actual names and not labels. It wasn’t something that upset him, it wasn’t really his place to be angry about it. He had been created for a purpose and that purpose didn’t involve a family. He was curious as to what Eric’s parents were like though, he must have them. The other man had made no mention of them though, and while Seven was curious he wasn’t sure if such questions would be taken well, or if they were things he had no right to know about Eric. Still, he couldn’t help wanting to know. Normal people had such interesting lives, far different than how he had been taken care of back home.

The idea of running into someone with the same name as him was strange though. Eric said it wasn’t a big deal but it just sounded so confusing to Seven, what if two people with the same were working together? How would they know when someone was speaking to them or the other them? It was all so confusing, and even though his own name was odd at least he wouldn’t be running into someone else who shared it, at least he hoped so. It’d just be so confusing. Perhaps he was putting more thought into this than he should be, but it was...kind of a fun thought experiment. He couldn’t imagine meeting another person named Eric, though he had no idea just how common the name actually was.

His train of thought moved on quickly enough, focusing instead on the cigarette Eric was currently smoking. The smoke wasn’t being blown into his face, but he could still smell it. He’d smelled...worse things he supposed, but it didn’t smell like something someone should be filling their lungs with. ”No, you’re not.” Complaining wasn’t what he was trying to do, but it seemed that Eric wasn’t taking his questions offensively, and he was at least happy enough that the smoke didn’t hurt to breathe in. He didn’t like the idea of Eric doing something to himself that could cause harm, and he supposed that if the smoke itself wasn’t hurting then...that was okay, even if the smell was kind of gross. ”I’ve seen people smoke before,”[b] Seven murmured idly, [b]”I just wasn’t allowed to talk to them, so I couldn’t ask them about it.” It wasn’t his business to ask such pointless questions, and while to some extent he felt that he should limit what he asked Eric...he was curious. There were so many things he didn’t know.

”I can ask you questions though!” He grinned widely as the words passed over his lips, though found himself surprised when Eric asked if he wanted to try it. He found himself squinting at the lit cigarette in the other man’s hand, a quiet hum resonated in his chest as he stared at it. Obviously he’d never tried it, but it felt kind of rude to just say no. When Eric actually held the cigarette out to him, Seven found himself frowning for a moment before shrugging, reaching out to gingerly take it from the other man’s hand. ”Just inhale?” It sounded like it should be more complicated than that, but he still pressed the tanner side of the cigarette to his lips before inhaling. It absolutely hurt! The smoke burned his throat, burned his nose, it tasted awful, and he barely got half a breath in before he was coughing and sputtering. ”Ew!” He wheezed, shaking his head furiously as if that would clear the horrible taste from his throat. ”It does hurt!” It felt like there was fire in his throat and lungs, and he was still coughing out tiny puffs of smoke as he held the cigarette back out to Eric, hoping he would take it away from him so he didn’t end up dropping it during his coughing fit. ”Why would you breathe something like that in?” Seven whined between a few sporadic little coughs.

years old 67 posts
"So I've noticed." Eric smirked in response to Seven's assurance that he could ask him questions. He wondered what made him so differrent that Seven felt so at ease to ask him things. Maybe it was simply because he wasn't one of the doctors that screwed him up. He never seemed afraid of him. Even when Eric had a gun on him. Eric thought it strange, but he also supposed that if he had arms that could turn to knives he wouldn't be afraid of some dumb human with a gun either. He shook the thought from mind, because it was creepy and he didn't like imagining Seven sneakily trying to kill him.

Watching the man take the cigarette from his hand, treating it as some sort of foreign object in its entirety, was another thing to help break that thought process. How could someone like Seven be plotting? Eric was trying not to smile just watching him as he brought the cigarette to his lips. The poor guy. He should have warned him that it was going to burn if he didn't exhale right, but Eric didn't know how to explain something as simple as smoking. He did it every day, but having to describe the process was just strange. He wasn't disappointed with the reaction he recieved from Sev.

The moment smoke started sputting out of Seven's mouth and through his nose he couldn't resist a smirk- before inevitably he laughed just a little. He was an ass, but it was kind of cute seeing the poor ignorant cyborg choking on a drag that he didn't know how to smoke. "Aah, you didn't do it right." He said, still through a mild fit of chuckles, but he gladly took back the cigarette from Seven before he dropped it. As he kept coughing Eric did feel a hint guilty. He bit his lips while trying to keep down any further laughter, and as he put the cigarette back in his mouth he reached out to ruffle Sev's hair. It was a gesture that he hadn't even thought about, just done, but after he breathed in his smoke, realized his fingers were in Seven's soft pale locks he snapped from the momentary slip up.

When he took his hand back, he set it on the wheel before raising the other to the stick in his mouth. He nearly apologized, before he caught himself and instead he shrugged. He afforded himself a small smile in response to Seven's whining nevertheless. "It's called an addiction. Most take to alcohol, or worse drugs, but I like to be able to think straight." It could be said that he was a contradiction, considering he did get a pretty cranky if he didn't have a smoke for more than a day but he saw it as a bright side. He only chainsmoked when he was stressed. Eric had met people who were worse with their habits.

"I wouldn't be a hunter if I didn't have one." Though the grin he gave Sev was hollow when he'd admitted it, Eric still believed it to be true. When they pulled into the parking garage he found a spot near the door that lead to the elevators. He parked and got out first, snuffing his cigarette out on the cement before he waited for Sev and locked the car. "You good?" He asked once they started walking, shoving his hands in his pockets.
years old 66 posts
Why on Earth would someone want to breathe that in? It was like fire in his throat, and then there was the taste that it left all along his tongue and throat, even just one little drag left his mouth feeling dry and ashy. To be told he hadn’t done right had him grimacing, free hand waving dismissively. He knew how to breathe! If nothing else, at least Eric thought it was funny to see him flounder, and he didn’t think the man’s laughing was malicious. Between his own coughing and huffing he could hear the man chuckling at his struggling, and if he were a poorer sport he could have gotten offended but...he hadn’t really heard Eric laugh at all since they’d met, so this was nice, even if his mouth currently felt dry and gross. He did have the good sense to at least start coughing into the crook of his elbow rather than just onto the dashboard of the car, grateful that Eric took the cigarette from him when he did. He wasn’t sure how flammable anything in the car was but he’d feel awful if he dropped it and ended up...ya know, catching the car on fire.

He nearly jumped when he felt Eric reach out to ruffle his hair, gaze snapping to look towards the other man to stare at him. It was strange to be...touched at all, and if Eric weren’t chuckling and smiling Seven might have thought he was in some sort of trouble but it wasn’t didn’t hurt. Erc’s fingers in his hair didn’t hurt, he just didn’t know why he was doing it. It didn’t seem like something he should question though, especially since Eric was quick to pull his hand away once he seemed to realize what he was doing. Honestly it made him a little...sad when Eric pulled his hand so hastily away from his hair, and even when the other man set his hand back on the steering wheel, Seven could still feel the warmth of his fingers against his skull. He decided he enjoyed the touch, decided it was something pleasant, and smiled widely at the other man, the worst of his coughing finally coming to a stop.

The taste in his mouth, on the other hand, was going to need to go away.

Once he got his coughing under control, Seven lowered his arm to return his hands to his lap, frowning curiously at Eric’s admittance to having an addiction. ”I see,” he murmured quietly, though he didn’t like the sound of it. Seven didn’t know much about drugs or alcohol, but he figured if Eric’s only “addiction” was smoking than...there were worse things he could be doing. It still made him a little sad that the man would breathe something like that in, considering how much it had hurt his own throat from just one simple drag. ”It’s bad for you, isn’t it?” Why would Eric do something that was bad for him? It...was an addiction he supposed, but that didn’t make him feel any better about it, but...Seven knew he had no right to tell the other man what to do or how to live his life, he just couldn’t help but worry a little bit.

Apparently it came with the “job” of being a hunter, and that thought had Seven frowning to himself, though he was honestly more perplexed by the information than judging it. He didn’t know what was normal for humans, and maybe having a mild addiction was normal? He thought to ask, but simply found himself nodding quietly, processing the information in silence before he realized the area around them had gotten...much darker. He pulled his attention away from the hollow grin on Eric’s face to peer outside again, gaze landing many cars in a strange building like structure. It felt strange that Eric was parking the car rather than simply passing through the strange structure, but once the darker haired man stepped out of the car, Seven figured he should do the same, and after struggling with his seatbelt for...perhaps a bit too long he hopped out of the car to follow along behind the other man.

Eric’s question did have him pausing for the briefest of moments before he simply grinned and shrugged. ”I got stuck in the seatbelt,” he admitted shamelessly, not really thinking that Eric would be asking him if he was okay because of his rather poor reaction to the cigarette. ”My mouth tastes gross now, but that’s okay.” It wasn’t the biggest inconvenience in the world, and he was distracted easily enough from the poor taste in his mouth when he and Eric came to a strange door with a few buttons on a panel beside it. He paused beside the other man, glancing between him and the door, and while he was pretty sure he saw Eric push one of the buttons on the panel it still didn’t open, ”it’s broken,” he mumbled quietly, before moving forward to try and pry the door open himself.

years old 67 posts
"Well it's not good for you." Eric had remarked when asked if the cigarette was bad for him. He didn't see the point in lying, but the truth of the matter was Eric was a hunter. There were worse things that could get to him before cancer even had the chance to catch up. He would be lucky if he died of natural causes considering his life decisions. Still, he was waiting to hear Seven go on another tangent of annoying questions about how he could use something that was going to hurt him in the long run. It would be annoying as hell, but in the end it never came. It was strange, that Seven didn't pester him about it, but he was glad he supposed. He didn't need a cyborg telling him how to run his life.

Getting stuck in his seatbelt was something only Seven could manage to do. Eric feigned the urge to roll his eyes, looking away from the other man for a brief moment as they made their way to the double doors of the elevator. He was glad that there weren't many cars on the floor they were on, but he could thank it being afternoon in the middle of the week for that. He couldn't imagine a more perfect time for them to shop, considering there really was none. He hated shopping, and shopping with others was even worse. Sev was lucky that this was necessary. He couldn't have the other man wearing his clothes. Eric was mentally counciling himself on the matter, trying to avoid thinking about how he could possibly let his guard down like he had.

Seven wasn't his friend, he wasn't even his 'cyborg' thing. He was just...He was a inomaly living in his house. Whatever had come over him he could just blame on his lack of real socializing lately. Going out wasn't an option anymore though. He couldn't be social while he had to keep an eye on Seven. At the thought his eyes followed the other man as he started toward the elevator doors. Eric frowned since they weren't open yet, but once he registered what the man had said - that he had practically missed - Eric quickly reached out to take Seven's wrist in his hand so he could tug him away from the door. "Hey don't" He urged, and pointed to the button with his free hand. "Do you see that, I already pushed the button. You just have to wait. It's not broken."

Did they not have elevators in Russia either?? Eric felt that he couldn't even scold Sev over it much more than he already had, because he would just be reminded that it wasn't his fault - not really anyway. "Look. Just watch." Eric let go of the other man, looked over at him to make sure he was going to do what he said then waited with him until a bing resounded and the double doors of the elevator opened for them to enter. Eric walked in pressing a hand to one of the sliding doors so Seven could follow and it wouldn't try to shut while he waited for him. Once inside he let it go, and as he spoke the doors closed. "Sometimes it pays to be patient."
years old 66 posts
It didn’t surprise Seven in the least that smoking wasn’t good for someone, breathing in anything that wasn’t actual oxygen was probably bad. He was curious about the effects it had on the human body though, he knew it certainly couldn’t be good considering people had been scolded for smoking in his presence in that past. He didn’t believe it was because they really cared, but simply that they didn’t want him getting injured or...sick from it. The little drag he had taken on the cigarette didn’t have him feeling great, but his vague feelings of discomfort were easily ignored, instead his attention fell to the strange unopening door. They were supposed to go through it, considering this was where Eric had brought him, but it was staying shut despite them standing here and despite the button Eric had pushed. At least, Seven was certain he had seen him push something so...he would open it on his own.

The cyborg dug his fingers into the small seam between where the doors met, getting a decent enough grip to start to pry it open and he could hear the shudder and shake of metal being pushed against its will when he felt Eric grip his wrist to tug him away. Whatever progress he’d made in opening the doors were last when Eric tugged him away, and he pouted, but didn’t try to go back and finish opening the door. It wouldn’t have taken him much longer to get it open all the way, but Eric was telling him to stop, so he did, tilting his head to look past the other man at the panel he was pointing at. ”Why do we have to wait?” If they pushed the button, the door should open right away, right? That was how buttons worked! It was how the remote to Eric’s television worked, it was how the buttons on the microwave worked, so why was this button so special that it got to take its time deciding when it wanted to work? He didn’t understand, and Seven found himself glaring at the buttons on the panel, but when he felt Eric let go of hi wrist he didn’t go back to trying to make the elevator bend to his will.

Seven wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be watching for, but he reminded himself to remain patient as he waited for...something to happen. Presumably for the doors to open. It was only after a little ding that the doors to the elevator opened, and Seven found his brows pinching together, but skipped into the elevator behind Eric. It was strange to find himself in a tiny box of a room rather than...somewhere else. It felt very...closed in, there were no windows, but now that he was actually inside the strange little box he kind of remembered being inside of something similar before. The memory was hazy at best.”I could have opened it,” Seven said idly, turning in a few little circled to get a complete view of the tiny little “room.” It didn’t seem dangerous at least, and after a moment he was satisfied enough with his observations, pausing in his twirling to stare at another panel of even more buttons. ”Do these open more doors?” Unfortunately before Eric could even answer he was already pushing some of the buttons, just to see what they would do.

years old 67 posts
Eric was beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea after all. He knew it would be bad, but he couldn't have Seven trying to screw with elevators. Eric had only gotten stuck in an elevator once in his life. It was during a hunt, and because of that tensions had been high, but he had figured out how to get himself out of it pretty quickly. Just because he knew how to get out of an elevator though, didn't mean that he wanted to test the damn thing once they were inside of it. The creaking of the metal doors was enough. He was just hoping that by teaching Sev these things now he would be less inclined to just mess with all the buttons. Oh how wrong he was.

"It doesn't matter if you can open it. You're not supposed to." Right..He was going to have to teach him how to be human, especially in public, if this was going to work. Eric should have prepped him better for this, but that was clearly his mistake. Eric glanced at the little diagram on the wall to the right of him. It had small map that directed them to which floor would get them where. The first floor was their best bet, with all the clothings stores mostly being located all in one general area. He looked to the button pad then, about to be the one to start pressing the right button- but he was too late. He looked in time to watch Seven start pressing away.

"S-stop!" He scolded him, walking around to stand in the way of the pad as he shooed the other man's hand away, only to nudge his shoulder to guide him to the opposite side of the elevator. "If you touch them all at once it'll take us to every floor." Eric scowled at him, heaving another one of his frustrated sighs. "Look, you're supposed to be trying to act normal remember?" Eric peered up at the digital display that told them what floor they were on as they headed down. At least they were on their way to the right floor. When he turned to Sev he gave him a look, then walked to stand in front of him and grabbed both of his arms.

Gently, yet firm, he pressed Seven's arms against his sides. "Keep your hands to yourself. Like this. Don't move, got it?" Eric let him go then, turning so he could stand beside the other man once more, looking up at the floor numbers and sighing as it slowly made its way down. "I'm not getting stuck in this thing with you." Although what with Seven's declaration he could probably open the doors with his robot arms far easier than Eric could try to pop out the hatch in the cieling, but he wasn't testing these theories. When they finally got to the first floor, and the elevator dinged again to announce the doors were opening, Eric glanced over his shoulder to make sure Seven was ready before he started out of the metal box.

"Remember, stay close."

Eric then started walking.
years old 66 posts
This was already overwhelming in a very strange way. Seven had been put into many extreme situations in his life, but for some reason this was difficult to wrap his head around. Maybe it was because Eric wasn’t...Eric wasn’t one of his handlers, he wasn’t someone with absolute authority over him, but at the same time...he kind of did. He didn’t know the nature of their relationship, and he wasn’t trying to misbehave or be annoying he had just never been given the opportunity to investigate much of anything back home. Back home he had strict goals whenever he went out, there was no time for him to push elevator buttons or ask questions about the cigarettes he sometimes saw people smoking. Those things didn’t matter, they weren’t questions he was supposed to ask but with Eric he felt like he didn’t have to be...entirely robotic. Seven wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Should he make himself that? He didn’t want to.

He didn’t want to just shut everything out that wasn’t Eric, because the more he saw things and the more he was able to explore the world -- albeit in tiny chunks -- it was fascinating. He knew that he had a lot to learn about being “normal” and he made note that he wasn’t supposed to just open the elevator doors before they were ready, because despite how annoying it was to wait, if that was what he was supposed to do to appear normal then he could do that. That being said, he didn’t really know how the buttons on the panel in front of him worked. Maybe if he pressed more than one it would work faster? That didn’t seem to be the case though, because he had pressed many of the buttons more than once and the elevator still had yet to register where it was supposed to go, and he frowned as he jabbed his finger at one of the buttons over and over again, so focused on his current task that he didn’t notice Eric scolding him until the taller man was standing between himself and the annoying panel of buttons.

A frown curled at the corners of the cyborgs lips, but he let himself be nudged to the other side of the elevator, unable to keep himself from glaring past Eric at the panel of buttons in annoyance. ”It’s not doing anything,” he muttered, knowing it was a weak explanation for what he was doing. He just wanted to know what would happen, and he hadn’t thought for a moment that they would end up getting stuck. He moved his gaze away from the buttons, icy hues flicking up to focus on Eric’s face and the annoyed scowl that had crept over his expression. He felt a little guilty, even more so when he was reminded that he was supposed to be acting normal. ”I’m sorry. I wanted to know what the buttons did.” Which was a flimsy excuse but at least if he could offer that maybe Eric would stop scowling at him so much, even if it was kind of deserved.

He blinked, wide eyed, when Eric gripped his arms to hold them at his sides, but again Seven simply let it happen. He knew Eric wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything like that, and he simply peered up at the man as he listened attentively to his instructions. ”Okay.” He could keep his hands at his sides, though admittedly the moment Eric released him to stand beside him Seven wanted to fidget, but his thoughts were quickly pulled from his own antsiness when he felt the elevator seem to jerk. Seven flinched, startled by the sudden dropping sensation he felt in his stomach, but it wasn’ wasn’t like a freefall or anything like felt controlled which made it even weirder, and after a few quick nervous glances at Eric he decided that the elevator was doing what it was supposed to do, since the other man didn’t look all that bothered by it. ”I could get us out,” the silver haired man muttered softly, though the idea of the strange box they were basically trapped inside getting stuck made him a bit anxious.

Eric didn’t seem bothered by it though. He didn’t seem too nervous, so Seven let his attention wander from the other man back to the strange panel near the door, before he found himself staring up at a display with numbers flashing across it. He watched it, transfixed as it seemed to count down. He wasn’t sure which floor they were getting off on, and relied on Eric to tell him when to get off. Eventually the elevator came to a shuddery stop, and Seven tilted his head to look towards the man beside him expectantly, following along behind him as he started forward. ”Stay close. Got it,” Seven said with a nod, arms still held firmly at his side.

years old 67 posts
He was learning that it was Seven's unending curiosity that was going to be the end of him and the cause of trouble. That was the reason he was giving in and trying to be more open in explaining things to the other man, but doing so as often as he had to whenever Sev asked him questions was exhausting. He was just so frustating, and when he refused to listen to minor things like 'no touching' it left Eric not knowing what the hell to do about it. He couldn't exactly cuff the man in public. Eric didn't want a scene, so he just had to deal with it - and once again, press and prep the man to mind his behavior before they were exposed to the rest of the public. In the car, and in the elevator was one thing, but once they stepped out into the mall Eric didn't want to have to explain away Seven doing something strange.

He'd noted the flimsy explanations Sev gave to his not listening. Either way it was unnacceptable, but Eric didn't glare at him as harshly. He could tell when someone was being intentionally malicious to drain his sanity. Seven, though he was testing, didn't seem the type to want Eric to get upset with him. Either way they didn't matter. "Let's just get this over with." He grumbled, glancing over his shoulder to see Seven with his arms stiff at his sides. Well, he was listening to him NOW. Too bad it just made him look like an actual robot.

Eric swore in korean under his breath and reached to take Seven by the wrist again. Honestly he felt like he was escorting a child, but he felt he had no choice. He didn't want to lost he other man, and secondly he couldn't have him walking like that or he'd look insane. He swore, Seven was going to send him to an early grave at this rate. If not for the death wish of keeping a cyborg in his home, it would be for the sheer anxiety of having to take care of him.

He scanned the names of shops as they passed them, keeping Seven in his hold while they walked. They needed clothes for him that screamed 'normal', or at least not homeless. Eric wasn't really one for fashion, but he knew what he liked if that mattered for anything. Briefly he wondered what kinds of things Seven liked, but the point of shopping wasn't necessarily to 'please' Seven with their choices. He glanced over at the silver haired young man, then before they could pass a shop that carried clothes for both genders he stepped inside with him. Seven had never been able to choose clothes for himself. Eric had to remind him of this before he even bothered to ask the other man what he liked. Would he even know what that meant?

After guiding the other man toward the mens side of the store, he walked around a few racks, where he could avoid the majority of the people shopping, and let go of Seven's wrist finally. Eric turned to the rack of shirts and started sifting through, pushing hangers back and forth until he found things that looked to be Seven's size. He pulled out a small black tshirt with a small logo he didn't recognize at the right side of the chest. It looked simple enough. Eric tilted his head and held it out to hang it in front of Seven's chest. It looked like it would fit, but the black was really harsh against his skin ton. It was weird..Eric wore black all the time and he didn't think it looked bad on him. Maybe it was Seven's hair. He was just so pale.

"If you were to be a normal person what do you think you'd wear?" He asked, partly as a joke but also genuinely curious. He wasn't really expecting Seven to answer him. Eric put the dark shirt back and went to sifting through the lot until he pulled out a couple shirts that were lighter. He held onto them so Seven could change once they got a pile going.
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