Truth Hurts

University Park

One of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Dallas, University park is the perfect suburb. The homes in the area lean toward a lot of Spanish architectural designs and look to be extremely luxurious, and the yards are lush and green. Trees and lights line the sidewalks, making it extremely safe to walk the area at night. The sprawling neighborhood is also home to Southern Methodist University, and as a result many of the professors and research staff live in the area. Plenty of open-late restaurants can be found just on the outskirts of the neighborhood, as can a few nightclubs and the 24-hour Gym.

It's night. Hope should really be staying inside the Cornett residence. She really should. But Bobby has gone off somewhere, and Serenity wants to go out to piddle. Hope would /normally/ just tie the little beagle up out in the backyard, but with a wolf probably lurking in the area, the little puppy would just be easy food.

Thus, Hope is out! She's walking down the street very slowly. Trying to work her leg a bit as she walks the puppy along, letting the little thing stop and piddle wherever it wants to.

Tripp, naturally, had been worried about Hope, but he's also been keeping up on his own affairs. Luckily for him things have been getting easier for him, it's nice to be able to have a place to sleep/relax/think. Plus he has work, and has a little money in his pocket doing- Well. Things.

He's also been doing some people-watching, unable to help but drop by Cornett residence to see how Hope was doing; but to his dismay she wasn't there.

Having no idea where she went, he walked off, and it's actually a coincidence when he ends up walking up to her with the unfamiliar puppy. Steps impossibly silent, he might scare the bejesus out of her when he asks, "Hey, is that your dog?" He's clad in a shirt and jeans, grey hoodie over his shirt.

There is, of course, a loud shriek as she's come upon. Immediately, a shaky hand reaches for a can of silver-mace and she goes to spray it. Only to find it empty. Eyes widened with fear, she quickly leans down and grabs Serenity up. Snuggling the puppy to her chest, she shakes her head. "Nooo, you were a fever dream. You're not supposed to be here!"

Okay, truth is she knows he's not. Bobby told her. Still, she's not ready to accept that someone she loved has become a creature she hates.

"…" Blink. Blink.

Tripp stands there with a hand in his hoodie pocket, the other raised to Hope's mouth- trying to stiffle the scream as he looks from left to right. Whether it works or not, his hand is drawn back when she talks normally, and seems a little confused, "H- Hey calm down, I'm sorry, Hope," he replies genuinely, shaking his head.

"Anyway, I.. Um, yeah I guess I kinda know I'm not 'supposed' to be here, but.." … "Hope, can't an acception be made, here? Like, I dunno, like Casper the friendly ghost or something? Just.. Like a vampire or something."

OH MY GOD. There is a vampire touching her. All the color drains out of Hope's face, and she very nearly starts to scream again. When the hand is removed she takes a wary step back, and nearly falls. Stupid leg is far from being healed properly. "Bobby asked me that too… but it goes against… you wouldn't understand." To stop herself from falling, she just plunks herself down onto the curb, puppy still snuggled tightly to her like a shield. It makes a little growl noise at Tripp, but isn't trying to squiggle free.

"What do you want?" It's asked in a really quiet voice. Because she knows the incident was her fault, and that he's likely here for revenge of some sort.

Tripp looks to the puppy and frowns a little, "Sheesh." even dogs don't like him? What a world. WHAT A WORLD! He starts to move when Hope starts to fall, but stops himself as he catches on at last that she doesn't like him touching her.

Fair enough!

Meeting the two at their level, he drops to a squat, arms resting on his knees and gives a little chuckle, "What, are you expecting me to say 'your bloooooood, blah, blaah!' or something? Come on, you know I wouldn't do that, I'm still the same old Tripp, just.. You know, not quite human."

The teen is quiet for a moment, gaze averting to the side, "I'll be honest, I really didn't think far ahead on all of this, I just.. Wanted to be with you two again. I thought maybe that was where I belonged."

Serenity is just a puppy, who's feeding off the emotions of the very frightened young woman that's holding her. Hope shushes the dog, snuggling it closer and giving it a bunch of little puppy kisses. Trying to ignore Tripp while she calms herself down.

"Quite honestly? Yes. That's exactly what I'm expecting. That, or retribution for getting you killed." Hope looks down at her feet and then off at a car in the distance. "You're a demon. You look like my Tripp, and you talk like my Tripp, but you are the spawn of Satan. The bible says so."

"A -demon-?" Tripp replies, then mutters something to himself as he rubs the back of his neck, "Geez, well.. Ok, I suppose that isn't too far off, though I'm pretty sure I'm not, like, a full demon who wants souls and all of that. Not really sure I like the 'spawn of Satan' thing either. He's not really the kind of guy I'd like to hang with." he says with a weak laugh.

After a moment of silence, he then adds, "Don't be rediculous, Hope, it wasn't your fault.. I can't believe you've been beating yourself over that all of this time, you know that wouldn't have been what I wanted."

"I want you two to be happy. Always. I guess.. Maybe that's why I thought it was a good idea to come back."

"Of /course/ it's my fault! It's my fault for sending you two out that night, and it's my fault for having the jealousy that caused me to do so." Hope can at least be this apologetic, though it's honestly not going to be much more than this. He /is/ a demon, he is a child of darkness, and he is the enemy.

Fingers rub at the puppy's ears, and she blows out a small sigh. "Tripp, I'm going to try to make you understand, then I'm going to ask for some space. I'm the poster girl for the Fellowship of the Sun… do you know what that is?"

Tripp raises a brow, "Huh, is that so? So then I guess it's my fault that you ended up getting sent to the hospital when that creature bit your leg, right? Because I couldn't be there to protect you? I feel that way sometimes, but you have to come with the term that there are just some things that aren't under your control." he sighs, "Look.. You may blame yourself, but just know that -I- don't blame you, for what it's worth. All right, I'm listening."

Another glance goes to the pup, and then back to the woman, "Poster girl, huh? Cool.. Er, anyway I'm not really sure, it sounds familiar, just can't exactly recall why. I have a feeling I'm not going to like it though."

Hope peers up at the sky, praying to God that she's got the strength to get through this without another breakdown. She so very much wants to run to Bobby's and lock the door, but with her leg the way it is she wouldn't make it all that far. "The Fellowship of the Sun is a church that doesn't like vampires very much. We have a very strong belief that you're evil. You're demon spawn. You are the creatures of Satan, and that you're blood sucking leeches, using us only for food."

That being said, she stays silent for a very long while. Just making coo-coo noises at the puppy.

Tripp can pretty much say only one thing after all of that, ".. Oh."

Now he kind of has the puppy-eyes thing going on, but he raises his hand to his mouth and just seems to be thinking quietly. Then after that, "Well then, I can certainly see how this would be problematic. I.. Wow, talk about bad luck here."

Trip laces his fingers togeather, lightly tapping his thumbs as he falls quiet again. The problem here was that he couldn't put himself in Hope's shoes- Or rather he could but couldn't understand what kind of mental pressure Hope is under to truly understand why she couldn't accept him.

".. So we can't be friends anymore."

He still doesn't understand, but he will. Hope closes her eyes, still praying for the strength to carry on this conversation. "Tripp, a vampire /tore your throat out/ in front of me. You were /dead/." He was, they buried him and everything. "My whole life since then? It's been taking care of Faith, and hurting the creatures that killed the boy I love. Loved." The puppy makes a bit of a yip noise, since Hope just gave the poor thing a tight squeeze.

"So now… now that you're one of them… my entire life since then has been a lie. You're not dead. You're walking, and talking. A creature of the night — the very type of creature I hate for killing you."

Thumbs tap again, Tripp quietly listening to Hope; in a way wishing it were Faith but she was a considerably more troubled scenario. The whole thing is such a mess and it's.. Kind of heartbreaking. Yet at the same time as he thinks more about it, he starts to understand how troubling it is for the twin and how careless his own actions were.

Upon this realization he frowns at himself, then slowly stands up straight again, "You're squeezing the pup a little too tight," he starts, "I'm sorry, Hope. I didn't.. It wasn't my intent.. I mean.."

Tripp sighs, thumbs slipping into his pockets, "I get it."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Serenity!" Hope loosens her hold on the puppy, and then turns to face him. There's obvious tears in her eyes, as though she's doing her best not to shed the tears in them. "I know it wasn't, but things are different. Faith went insane when she saw your throat ripped out. She lost her mind. She was catatonic for a long while, and has only recently gotten better." Biting her lip, she shifts her gaze to the house, then back to the boy she once loved with all her heart. "I… I didn't think I'd ever get over losing you myself, but I had to be strong for her. Mom and dad forgot I existed. The church was the only thing I had… and now I feel like a blasphemer. I'm talking to a vampire. I'm willingly talking to a creature that wants to snack upon little babies."

Gulping a few times, she turns away. "You don't get it. You kissed Faith… you… you love her, don't you?"

Tripp cringes a little, the feeling of intensely rising awkwardness coming over him again and he rubs at the back of his neck with a quiet-ish hiss. "Well.. I've always said that nothing good comes from hate, Hope. I can understand why you'd be part of it but.. To me it's little blasphemous you're the -postergirl- of it. It's not really you. Well, not that I knew." … "Though, then again I guess I'm not really me either, it's such a headache."

And with that he turns a little to the side, going quiet about the last question. "You're right, I don't get it. I'm trying to.. But so much has changed that it's hard. And I.. Um. I don't know. It was just a silly crush, you know how teens are." He doesn't really believe that- But he's afraid of how Hope would react if he confessed otherwise.

"Oh for the love of…" Hope rubs a hand over her face. "You know what, Tripp? I wasn't stupid then. I /knew/. I saw the kiss. The only thing that I didn't see was her reaction to it. Her rejection." Which is why she was so upset that night. "I know better now… but she loves you like a brother, and you cared for me like a sister." Stupid triangle. Stupid, stupid triangle.

"And you know what? You're right. You don't know me at all anymore. I don't promote hate, but I'm not going to run out and hang around vampires either. You were a friend, and there's a part of me that's always going to love you." Her first real love and all that. "But there's a part of me, a much stronger part of me, that will never forgive the creature that did this to you. The one that left you for dead, or the one that made you into a monster. You can all say that you're just like us, and that you're undead American's or what have you, but the truth of it is, without you feeding off of /us/, you wouldn't be able to survive."

Tripp jerks back slighty, his hands raise about chest-level as a gesture of surrender. "H- Hey, I didn't forget that you saw! I just.. I mean, I don't know.. I don't know what I should or shouldn't say around you right now!" there's a bit of frustration in his tone, he briefly biting his lower lip.

"And you're wasting your time with debating with me, I don't care about the politics. Maybe I should but I don't right now, it's on the bottom of my list. I've always preferred things simple." Tripp lets out an agitated huff of air, "Looks, let's just get straight to the point, Hope. What would be best for us; you, me and Faith. Talking about the present, none of the past right now. Do we just go our seperate ways or what?"

"I don't know."

It's all she really /can/ say at this point. Hope is on the verge of crying. Tears of anger, fear, joy… they're all muddled at the moment, causing the young woman to be very confused. Blonde hair is tossed over her shoulder and she gently settles the puppy onto her lap. "I don't think she loves you the way you want her to. She's in love with /him/." There is no love between Hope and Ivan, that's for certain. She can barely tolerate the man. "Bobby says… he says I need to decide what I want. He's right… but I don't /want/ to decide. I just want… I don't even know what I /do/ want. Except him." A tiny smile forms. Nothing else matters, really.

She doesn't know? Well.. "Fair enough. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have put you on the spot like that," Tripp says, hands on his hips and glancing elsewhere still, "I'm just.. Frustrated. You probably feel worse.."

And then after that, ".. Yeah. Ivan. Not really a big fan of him," he admits, "And yeah I found out their relationship already. I.. It uh. 'Sucked' for the most part. Bobby seems like an all-right guy at least. Honestly, I'm glad that you moved on. .. Man.."

".. Man, I really messed up. Hope, God, I…" … "May I at least just help you to your feet?"

For Hope, it is a matter of faith versus a friend she thought long dead. It's honestly quite a bit for her to swallow. "I understand frustration. How do you think I feel having my current life ripped out from under me?" Were there any humor in the question, Hope would smile. As it is, the blonde Tyler twin just doesn't have it in her.

What she /does/ smile at though is the mention of Bobby. "He's not perfect, that's for sure." They've had their problems, and they've not yet worked them out fully. In fact, she's not even really with Bobby at the moment. "Just so you know, it wasn't an overnight thing either. Two years, Tripp. Two years it took me to get over you enough that I could accept that someone actually cared for me. You may have just had a crush on Faith, but I honestly loved you with all my heart, so I took your death pretty hard." Even though she didn't go crazy.

A glance is given both up and down the street. Assured that no one is around, she nods. "Alright. This once."

Tripp looks back to Hope, and then looks up and down the street as well picking up quickly enough why she'd be doing such a thing. Though afterward he does give a weak chuckle, "Y- Yeah, good point." about having life ripped from under themselves.

He doesn't want her to touch his hands, so he kneels, reaches for her waist, and would lift her to her feet. Wacky interferences notwithstnding.

Tripp doesn't seem really comfortable talking about relationships between themselves; and really as he understands the situation, the more he starts to understand how Faith felt about him. Ouch. .. Ouch.

"Hope, I, uh.. I really don't know what to say about your feelings. I mean, they're in the past and if you're really over me, like.. Um, I don't know, I just think it's a little awkward telling me that -now-."

"Well, no, that came out really really wrong. I don't know.." he glances to the side, "Well.. I should be getting to work. And you should be heading home, it's dangerous out here with that leg of yours."

"Awkward it may be," Hope says almost coolly, "but I had every intention of telling you, until I walked in on you kissing my sister." It is in the past, and that's where it's got to say. Hope cannot, and will not love a vampire. No matter if he was her first love or not. When her feet touch the sidewalk again, she exhales a long, slow sigh.

Tightening the leash in her hand, she nods. "It's fine. It was never meant to be, and I've accepted that. I've just got to try my best to fix things with Bobby, because I was really stupid in letting him go in the first place, and I should have fought for him." By now, she's just babbling, feeling not at all certain. "I think maybe you just need to give us both time. Ivan… won't want you around… but I don't know. Just time." It's a lot to take in, knowing that someone dead is no longer so.

There is a nod given to the house just a door down. "I don't have far to go."

"Oh.. I see now, that does explain why then.." Tripp replies, briefly rubbing his chin. As of now it's just awkward. But as of later, assuming he starts to get desperate- This would be the worst knowledge he's taken in yet. "Ugh.. Really embarrassing.."

"That aside, I can easily agree to that. Things are really complex; and I kind of have my own issues to work out too." Sounds like him and Ivan have somethign in common though- Neither of them want the other around. What this will mean in the future is beyond him. He knows it won't be pretty though.

"I have a job now, so.. I'll likely be around for a while I guess. Be careful then, heal up. I'll catch you sometime later. And best of luck working things out with Bobby."

He'll be around? That is quite possibly the worst news Hope could get. She just forces a smile, nods, and then moves as swiftly as she can with the poor puppy toward the Cornett house. "T-that's g-good I guess. G-good luck with that." Then she's just fumbling with her keys to get inside. Inside is safe. No one can enter unless they have permission. She can just curl up in a ball on the guest bed and cry herself to sleep while cuddling the puppy.

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