Such Sweet Sorrow or Dark Sherbet

Alex shifted on the bench, allowing himself to relax in the warm, healing sunlight. He smiled at Seren and Jada who were playing happily on the lush grass. Bingle the droopy beagle came and dropped a ball at his feet. Gods, this was it. This is what it was like to be...

He picked up the ball and threw it. It knocked a well-to-do looking lady's hat off and plopped into the lake.
Oh cr- "Sorry!" Yelled Alex, raising an apologetic arm.
"Never mind!" Called the lady as her husband picked up her hat. "These things happen. Lovely day, isn't it?"
"Sure is!" He replied. "Sure is..." he repeated to himself.
Bingle leaped past the older couple and their grandchildren, narrowly missing their model sailboat, and plunged into the water after the ball.
Some ducks quacked and flapped indignantly.
Everyone laughed.

"Daddy, Daddy..."
Seren tugged at Alex's sleeve. He looked down at him.
"Uh huh?"
Seren's little boy face, a miniature flop-haired version of Alex's own, cracked into a big smile.
"I lo-"

"PAUSE SIMULATION!" Alex bellowed.
It was suddenly too much. That.
Too perfect. Too precise. Too painful. Too "slam your soul into a juggernaut"y.

He wiped away a tear he hadn't known he'd been crying and coughed awkwardly.
"Right, yeah, whatever." He mumbled. Not that anyone was around, or in motion, to hear it.

He walked through the frozen scene to a line of trees and located a discreet door handle in one of them, then looked back to the empty spot where he'd just been sitting, Seren's little face still looking up. The couple were motionless, stuck mid grandchild swing. Their faces glowed. Alex cursed under his breath and exited.

The clean white decor the other side was both a relief and another pain in his gut. Phil was walking the other way.

Alex just grunted and continued to his room.
"Rude." Phil shook his head and strode on.

The doors hissed open like a pair of C7892s. Alex loved the sound of C7892s. Several skutters greeted him like loyal pups, but he couldn't bring himself to even offer them a nip of WD40. He stuck on a John Wayne movie instead.

He stalked to the bathroom, body thrumming with unbidden, unwelcome, unusual emotion. It was horrible. He glanced back, the skutters were now assembled in front of the huge screen and not paying him any attention. Good.

He closed the door and opened the cabinet above the sink. There was a ziplock bag there, as he knew there would be.
He slid it open and tipped a little powder onto the tiled surface, licked his finger, dipped it in and sucked it. "Mmfff."
One of the stronger narcotics available on the Mimian black market, nicknamed "Dark Sherbet" he'd been addicted to it, some years ago. It gave you a wonderful trip into the happier, gentler recesses of your mind but it had some strange post use side effects. Sometimes people's accents would change for hours at a time, occasionally they became deaf, sometimes permanently. Frequently users became incontinent and they would always become obnoxious, selfish smegheads, which is why he originally stopped taking it. That and the fact it made it impossible to hold down a job when you were out of your mind on DS. Aside from the drug-greedy selfishness, he'd suffered the accent problem and occasional bouts of deafness. Luckily the incontinence had never been an issue for him. Well, only a couple of times.

He knew he should have been concentrating, focused, wary of the odd stranger. He knew he should have been working through the nagging concern he had, regarding Beans's super strength back on the Dwarf. He knew he should have been gathering supplies and salvaging parts. He knew drugs were bad news, boy did he know. But most of all he knew he should never have gone to the Cyberpark.

But he had and now he hurt. Alex smeggin' hated hurting. Physical pain, he wasn't particularly fond of but could cope with. Emotional pain could go swivel.

He tipped some of the powder into his ear and, head on the side, stumbled onto the steps which lead up to the nut shaped hot tub. Already high he let out a hysterical laugh as he spotted the framed poster of two crossed spanners on the wall. His room was fantastic. Nothing he could complain about, right down to the freshly pressed dozen blue coveralls hanging in the wardrobe and collection of retro hard rock tapes stacked next to the equally retro hi fi. As for the selection of disassembled 'bots on the glowing table... So much goodness in the middle of so much smegged upness. If he could just stop feeling sad...

He poured the whole bag over his head and hiccuped, wasted. Yes. This was it.
He didn't care about the others any more. He didn't care about himself. He didn't care about the soul searing memories. He didn't care about anything. Slipping into a warm and welcoming semi consciousness he groped upwards at the spanners which now seemed to float and swim before him, purple outlines blurring and swinging.

After a timeless while he swore he could hear the hot tub speaking to him, and taste the soap from the edge of the sink.
This was because someone was standing over him, shouting at him and because, half out of his mind, he'd shoved the entire bar of soap into his own mouth.

The someone slapped him. He spat soap at them and laughed as bubbles floated from his mouth.
Next, cold water was tipped over his head.

The words started to make sense.

"Get up you [indecipherable], you've been out for hours. We need you down at [indecipherable] now because [indecipherable] and it's really [indecipherable] and [indecipherable]'s gone mental. So come ON!"

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