WELCOME TO DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH! WE ARE AN ANIMATION PERSONIFIED SITE SET IN BOTH THE ANIMATED WORLD AND PRESENT DAY NEW YORK CITY. A TERRIBLE DARKNESS IS SPREADING THROUGH THE ANIMATED REALM, DRIVING EVERYONE FROM THEIR HOMES AND ONTO THE COLD, UNFEELING STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY. NOW THEY FIND THEMSELVES AT A CROSSROADS: DO THEY FIGHT FOR THEIR WORLD OR DO THEY TURN THEIR BACKS ON IT AND MAKE NEW YORK THEIR HOME?
WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?
DISCLAIMER: DERP IS KNOWN TO CAUSE DEATH BY SOUL-CRUSHING FEELS. DON'T FORGET YOUR FEELS BUCKET.
NEW YORK: 2015. SWELTERING SUMMER HEAT RISES FROM THE PAVEMENT. THE SUN IS BLINDINGLY BRIGHT AND IT SEEMS EVERY WINDOW IN THE WHOLE CITY IS OPEN, EVERY FAN PUSHING THE HOT AIR AROUND BUT NEVER MAKING THINGS BETTER. THE CITY IS BOILING AND YOU'RE BOILING WITH IT.
ANIMATED REALM: THE HUMIDITY MAKES EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD SLUGGISH - EXCEPT THE DARKNESS AND ITS CREATURES, WHICH SEEM UNAFFECTED BY THE SUMMER HEAT. STAY HYDRATED - IF YOU FALL THE DARKNESS MAY JUST CATCH UP WITH YOU.
SOMETHING STRANGE HAS BEEN HAPPENING LATELY, AND YOU CAN FEEL IT IN YOUR BONES. PERHAPS YOU'VE TRIED YOUR BEST TO IGNORE IT, BUT THERE'S NO DENYING IT NOW... THERE HAVE BEEN WHISPERS OF DARKNESS LEAKING INTO THE CITY AND RUMORS OF DISAPPEARANCES. COULD THEY BE TRUE?
10/1 THE ACTIVITY CHECK HAS BEGUN AND ENDS ON 10/4. CONTACT AN ADMIN IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT SAVING YOUR CHARACTERS!
Rily is one of those people that never fails to bring a smile to your face. Since the moment she first appeared, she's been sparking life into characters that are often overlooked. From Bonejangles to a little star sweeper from the moon, she's brought new life and many wonderful new plots to our little corner of heaven. So here we'd like to take a moment to appreciate just how wonderfully amazing she is! Our DERP family would not be the same without her. Thank you Rily, for making us smile and for sticking with us through all the hard times.
To many, ballet was simply something to view, to watch. It was a form of dancing, one that seemed a bit painful and hard to study. Yet to others- especially those like Claire- ballet was a way of life. She couldn’t remember a time in her life where she didn’t dream of dancing, of wearing beautiful flowing tutus and tight leotards. She had always owned a closet full of ballet shoes, pointe shoes, even leg warmers. Her life had always been about the dance, and that was all she could truly focus on. In a world completely unlike the one she came from, Claire was still learning how to get by without the one person she could always rely on by her side. It may have been a bit silly to many, being so wrapped up in another person, but he was a missing piece of her soul. The climber- and his dog- were all too important to her. Their lives intertwined constantly, being together was truly only destiny. Even he believed so- he had told her before the darkness came, ripping their lives apart like they were only pages in a book.
After her months of sulking, crying, finding it impossible to move, Claire had been directed towards the theatre district of town- a place where ballets were put on almost monthly. Perhaps, they had thought, it would be good to put her somewhere surrounded by the art form she loved more than anything- even more than the boy she couldn’t ever seem to forget. The tickets to the dances were far from ridiculous, and Claire didn’t think it would hurt to go out and try to enjoy herself for once. Maybe the dance would take her thoughts away from the depressing corners they constantly lurked in. The show for this month happened to be one that Claire loved, and had even learned some of the dances from herself, so there was certainly one possibility of negative thoughts… But she would try. Anything was worth a try to return some sort of normalcy to her life.
Truly, the show was absolutely amazing. The orchestra was exquisite, and the dancing was fantastic. Claire had gone to practice her own dancing once or twice, but this made things so much better. Her need to dance was heightened, expanded. So many new ideas appeared in her mind- she had to get back out, she had to go dancing once again. Nothing was more important that that, not at this point in time. Maybe, just maybe, if she could distract herself from her thoughts of home, she could be happy once again, at least for a short time. Anything was worth a try.
With her face buried in the pamphlet from the show, Claire’s thoughts were back to her own dancing- from childhood until present day, it was always incredibly important to her, and that was where it would stay. Dancing was her passion, dancing was her life. Walking down a path to the door of the theatre, Claire’s foot found itself stuck on a crack and Claire went shooting down to the ground, landing painfully on her knees, ”Ouch…” she sat back, watching as a cut formed on one of her knees. Maybe today wasn’t the dream she wanted it to be, ”Damn…”
Ballet was something that was familiar, yet all too alien to the young British blonde as she stared up at the elegant theatre before her. Her parents would speak of them highly, often times venturing off for the evening to meander with her father's trading partners over a bottle of Sherry. Those were the evening she was left with her sister, which revolved around her being lectured on her current studies.
The memory brought a faint smile to her lips as her small hand brushed her fingertips against her pale lips. It felt good to smile of her own accord. Seven months since she was left alone, nothing more than an apology written in his elegant script that was tear-stained. Heavily she sighed as she gently shook her head, stray bits of blonde falling in her face as her headband rocked upon her head ever so lightly.
"No.," she stated firmly, giving a small stomp of her foot as her hands curled into fists at her sides, the sleeves of her sweater dress covering them ever so slightly. "I mustn't dwell in the past. What has come and gone has done just that: Gone. Besides," her voice fell as her heavy lined eyes fell to the ground below her. "He wouldn't want me to think as such..." Raising her head with a resounding feeling resonating from her chest, Dyann made her way closer to the bright lights that lit the theatre.
No plans were made as she looked at the times, mind still slightly lost in a distant memory filled with honey scented kisses. She was just a curious little blonde, wondering whatever could keep her attention as she pondered how to spend the start of her evening.
Still completely enthralled by the large poster before her, her arms were wrapped about her middle as a group of people ventured from he once closed doors of the theatre, the faint smell of over priced cigars reaching her nose and causing her to turn her head just as a young blonde tripped over a crack in the pavement before her. Inhaling sharply, she rushed over to the young girl, a hand reaching out to gently rest upon her shoulder. Her lower lip was sucked between her teeth as she bit down on the delicate flesh when she saw the red line of blood bubble to the surface.
"Oh goodness me, are you alright? Here," Kneeling down beside the young woman, she fussed with the small pocket in her dress before pulling out a small package of tissues. Opening the flap, she held the package out to the blonde before her, "I know it isn't much, but it should at least help slow the bleeding so it doesn't ruin your clothes." Smiling sweetly, she silently assured the girl that everything was going to be alright.
The art of the dance was wonderful, fantastic. It was a lifeline. Her parents often said they hadn’t given birth to a daughter- they gave birth to a bird. Sometimes it was a fish. Whatever they gave birth to, it would never stay still. Claire was always on her toes, moving, humming, dancing. Even during the darkest period of her life so far, the blonde would still find herself dancing without meaning to. She would simply be cooking her dinner and suddenly would be spinning around and humming, pretending to once again be on stage, in the spotlight. It was her home, it was where she felt calm. Claire needed a source of peace in her life, and it seemed as if only dance, only ballet, would stay constant. Even when everything else was a whirlwind, dancing was always around, a friend in even the strangest of places.
Perhaps one of the positives of this world was the spread of dance. It seemed as if every corner of the earth held some sort of dance, and each had a beautiful theatre to perform it in. She could only dream of visiting many of them- how was one supposed to leave New York when they didn’t know how long before their memories would run off? Claire could not imagine her life without the memories of the boy she loved so dearly, even if she would not know the memories ever existed. What if it took away her love of the dance? Then all of her travelling would have been for nothing, and she would be alone after all. That was certainly not what Claire wanted in her life at all, not at this point. She wanted to find her love, their dog, and simply be a family again. It seemed as if that would never be reached, however. She would just stay in the Complex, go back to dancing, and that would be that.
Even as a dancer, Claire still managed to find herself in more than a few uncomfortable situations. Tripping and falling? It was not as bad as it could be, but it still wasn’t somewhere she wanted to be. The blonde simply wanted to stand up and leave as quickly as she could, but the slice across her knee was more than certainly going to stop her for a short period of time. As long as fewer than a billion people noticed, she would get through the situation fine… Hopefully. Perhaps she could simply focus on the dance, on how beautiful the ballet was, and then she would get through a bit quicker. Staring at her knee, she couldn’t believe how bad it had been. And her tights, oh her poor new tights were ruined!
Letting go of her lip, Claire looked up at the blonde next to her. At least she was friendly- and able to help with the blood a bit, ”Thank you.” she spoke softly, taking a tissue out of the packet and holding it on the cut, ”I’m fine, I think, just a bit surprised. I didn’t see the step there.”
Ever since her adventures down the Rabbit Hole, Dyann had found herself always looking out for others. It became such a part of her life, that she found herself involuntarily reaching out to help others before her her mind had fully figured out what had transpired. It was strange, she felt at times, how finding oneself lost in a strange new world with no one to help could completely change one's outlook on life. So seeing the girl so helpless upon the cold ground, Dyann simply couldn't help herself in rushing over to make sure she was alright.
Offering a gentle smile, she gently nodded her head as the girl took her offer. "It isn't any trouble at all."
It was hard to actually trouble the blonde, unless someone were to suddenly appear at her door in the middle of a fresh cup of tea expecting her to be dressed to the nines to venture off somewhere. Or if she were in the middle of drawing a bath. Those were about the only times she found anything inconvenient. So taking a few minutes out of her evening, especially when she wasn't one hundred percent certain what she had planned, offered her no harm whatsoever.
Turning her head to look at the step the blonde was speaking of, Dyann silently nodding. "It seems almost an inconvenience to have such a dreadful step residing there." Turning her gentle blue gaze to the girl before her, her smile turned playful as a glint of playfulness sparkled in her eyes. "Especially for those of us who find ourselves in the clouds more than on the very ground we walk upon." It was a playful jest meant to ensure the girl she wasn't the only one to find herself in a much unwanted predicament because her head was so far up in the clouds.
Adjusting herself, she found a more comfortable position to kneel, which had her brushing her legs off before giving her attention back to the blonde. "My name's Dyann." Tilting her head as she gave her shoulder a gentle shrug, a small giggle escaped her lips. "If you'd like, I'd be more than willing to help you to a cafe or something of the other? Perhaps a cup of tea or coffee could help? At least allow you a more comfortable place to sit while you let your knee rest. Perhaps they would have band aids as well? Surely it would be better than sitting on the ground?" The smile that spread across her face reached her eyes as a gentle hand came to rest upon the girl's shoulder in assurance.
Claire was rarely so clumsy- her dancing feet normally kept her from taking tumbles such as this. She could keep herself fairly well balanced- except when she had to walk on her own two feet. Dancing was the easy part, walking was always more challenging. When she danced she could remember the moves, she knew how things were meant to be. Those sort of steps were something she practiced daily, even if she wasn’t at the studio. Her little apartment may have not had the room, but she would always figure things out. That was something she loved, after all, dancing was truly her passion.
The blonde smiled as she was given the help to stand, ”I really do appreciate it.” oftentimes it seemed as if people passed you by, almost if they were living in their own worlds. They walked in straight lines, ignoring others as they went on their own ways, focused on simply moving forward. It was a bit odd, but it was something the quiet girl noticed as she noticed how others moved around. It was similar to her own life- the one before she crossed the Portal. It seemed as if all she could possibly remember was the boy who would never stop appearing, even years after they first spotted one another. Things were always interesting for Claire, or so it seemed.
She nodded, completely in agreement with the blonde who helped her in her time of need. Sometimes it seemed as if steps were not put together well- nor were some buildings. It was silly, really. ”You think they would better place their stairs, just to make sure no one would end up terrible injured.” even if she had been watching out… Well, who could say whether or not she would end up hurting herself? Sometimes, things were just poorly designed. ”It is our fault if the clouds are a far more enjoyable place to be?” Claire did not like this world- she missed her climber, the dog, everything from her own world. This was not some place she felt safe, this was not where she was happy. She wanted to be back where she belonged, she did not want to have to deal with the darkness or anything else anymore.
Claire was not afraid to admit that she enjoyed her thoughts more than the world around her. For months she barely left her apartment, just thinking of home… It was just where she belonged, truly. Even if it was terrible and not productive… She was doing far better now, was she not? ”Claire. It’s wonderful to meet you.” she smiled a bit, ”That would be nice, anything would be better than the ground right now, and I haven’t gone to a nice cafe in a long while. Are there any you recommend?” the blonde had a small bit of money on her- more than enough to afford a drink and a snack. Besides, maybe she did need to pull herself from her thoughts for once.
A smile spread across her face as she offered another kind smile to the girl. She was pleased to know that her good deed wasn't being ignored, and that the person she was intending appreciated the help. There had been a couple times, in what feels like a long forgotten past, that she had been turned away in her attempts to help others. Yelled at and told to keep her nose out of her own business, but those were in the past. What was done, was done, and all she could do now was to continue what she felt to be right. Keeping a hand upon the other girl's, she gently placed her other hand on her shoulder, a quiet nod as she acknowledged the girl's concern.
The question that hung in the air left her stareing at the girl as she hid her blue eyes behind slowly blinking lids. Had she thougth she was insulting the girl? "O-Oh goodness no!" She hadn't meant that in the least. She had only meant that, well. Maybe what they chose to do wasn't a safe method, but it was something they simply couldn't help. "No. It isn't our fault, I assure you. Though, we must learn at a time, that there is a right time for getting lost in the clouds. Don't feel bad, for I often times find myself doing the very same thing." A warm smile followed her words, and she gave the blonde a reassuring wink as she nodded.
Dyann was known for being lost. There were stories written about how she stumbled through this or fell through that, all because she was lost in her own world. Even in Wonderland, she still found herself lost, oftentimes comparing her old home to the technicolor world that had captured her heart. So couldn't, not once, find fault in anyone else for doing that same exact thing. It would make her a hypocrite and that was one thing she chose not to be.
"Claire. That's a most wonderful name." Another smile as she turned her head in the general direction of the small cafe she had in mind. "I do, as it so happens, have a preferred spot to indulge myself. If you're able to walk, it won't take long."
Being treated so well by someone… Well, it was a situation Claire had not been in in a long while. Her apartment was her home- a home she never left. She was not forced to get to her feet herself, to clean herself up and try as hard as possible to ignore the looks of others. Normally, that was how things worked for Claire. She did not go out and meet others, choosing to instead stay indoors, where she could be safe, for the most part. Anything and everything else was foreign. Of course she smiled at the girl in front of her, the girl kind enough to help her when others would simply pass by. That meant she was something special, she was someone different. That… That was nice.
The sound of someone’s caring voice, being quite the change, would only lead her to speak a bit more than normal. Even if she was being a bit clumsy, she could try to speak up! After all, if someone was helping her, it was only right to be kind in return. Claire knew how to act no matter what world she was in, things did not differ much. She smiled at the other blonde- finding another dreamer was wonderful. The space in their minds was far more fulfilling, far more interesting than anything else around. There she could pretend she was home, she could imagine herself in such a wonderful and beautiful place once again. Not to say this world was terrible, of course. It had its positives… It just didn’t have her climber. ”That’s good.” she nodded. Claire loved that world, she loved her thoughts, although the darker ones that hung about were not as great. She laughed a small bit, ”Perhaps.”
After a pause, she spoke again, ”It’s hard, isn’t it, to just stay focused on the ground? Far more interesting to imagine other worlds and crazy lands.” Claire nodded as if she were affirming her own words. Yes, that was definitely it. The world up in the clouds was amazing, it truly was. Perhaps it would just be better if things changed for them? If the world could make itself easier to navigate for those who dreamed, she could only assume she would not have to deal with things like tripping. Or perhaps then everyone would be a dreamer and nothing would ever be fixed? She almost giggled at the thought. ”Thank you.” she smiled. A compliment was always wonderful to receive, especially after such an incident. ”I think I can walk- hopefully I won’t end up on the ground this time.” Claire replied, ”The walk will most certainly be worth the reward, after all.”
Quietly waiting upon the blonde to gather herself, she couldn't help but wonder if that's perhaps how others viewed her: aloof and lost in a world which wasn't their own. Did they look down upon her so with their noses held so high up to the sky that they couldn't even realize they were in fact dealing with a real human being? Was it possible that for other like herself, and Ms. Claire here, that they were the outcast of the world? Who were they to subject the rules to which everyone had to abide? Why, it made them no better than the tyrant Red Queen!
"You shouldn't worry about such trivial things as what others think of our wandering minds." Her smile brightened as she kept her eyes trained upon the girl. "For they are no Kings nor Queens with which to subject our minds. If we want to stay up in the clouds, then we must find a way to dance our way through the obstacles this world has to offer." She nodded her head once in affirmation of her statement, her blonde locks spilling from over her shoulder. "For no one can tell us where we can't or cannot be within our own minds."
There was a motherly sensation taking over her as she kept the girl in her arms. A desire to tuck her hair behind her ear and assure her that everything would be alright burned within her as she kept her hands at a friendly location. Perhaps she had been around Moira too long, but the thought caused her to silently smirk to herself. There was no such thing as being around her Darling Sister for too long. It was blasphemy to even think such a thing. How trivial of her, thinking such balderdash things- surely Moira would tap her nose and scold her for such a thing. No, she assured herself mentally, there was nothing wrong with wanting to help those that were in such a time of need; no matter how trivial the ordeal be.
"Very much so," she started as she stood up, allowing the girl some room as she held out her hand. "Rewards such as tea and sweets are something that are to be looked forward to!" Spacing her legs a proper distance apart, she nodded her head once more to the girl on the ground. "I promise you, Claire, that you shall not find yourself on the ground once more this evening. Unless it is something that you wish upon yourself."