Smoke Break

Jan moved through the crowd and headed outside into the cool night air. This socializing thing was becoming too much very quickly. Bow, laugh, dance, smile. It wasn't him and he was beginning to feel the mask of good natured politeness cracking to reveal something more dark. Knowing himself, he knew that he just needed to get out. He could hope it would only take a few minutes to restore his good mood, otherwise his family would soon come looking for him.

Tapping the box of cloves hard against the heel of his hand a few times, Jan retrieved the lighter from inside and lit one of brown cylinders. He inhaled deeply, holding it a moment before letting it out with a sigh. Smoke and tension seemed to leave his body at the same time and he could not imagine what non smokers did for such a quick relaxation method. Imagining people meditating in full lotus in a bathroom stall caused him to smile and snort quietly to himself.

The balcony was not crowded at the moment with most everyone busy with dinner; Jan looked over the marble railing at the garden below. It looked inviting but he stayed where he was for the moment, taking another drag cigarette and looking up at the stars.

Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo slipped behind Dani and Christian as they entered the ballroom, peering around the shorter woman’s shoulder at the unbelievable crowd and giving a nervous tug to one of the strands of hair she’d left loose for that purpose.

The voices, still trying to get her attention and rise above the din, were trying to get her in trouble now. Suggesting things she could steal or set on fire, people that were nervous and could use a dose of glamour. She was good at knowing not to listen but the noise was annoying and she could feel a headache coming on, which always seemed to make her more vulnerable to giving in.

A waiter with a tray moved in their direction, and Theo stepped back to let him through, separating herself from Dani and Christian. By the time the waiter passed completely by, she was back in the foyer and opening the doors that led to the balcony.

She stepped out and closed her eyes, tugging at her hair until the voices faded to almost nothing, then opened her eyes again, breaking into a smile at the sight of a familiar head of hair. Cheered by the sight of her friend, she flounced over and hopped up onto the balcony ledge.

“You smell like cookies.”
Jan 18 years ago
Jan lowered his gaze and turned in surprise at the voice. He smiled when Theo hopped up onto the balcony railing and announced he smelled of baked goods.

"Really? Just so long as you like cookies. I'd hate to offend the prettiest girl in the place."Â?

He grinned at her. She looked beautiful in the halter dress. The flowers accentuated her apparent youth but the design looked sophisticated just the same. It was perfect for her, fun and fashionable all in the same dress.

"I was trying to be antisocial without getting caught but since you're out here with me that means you are a partner in crime... unless."Â?

Jan narrowed his eyes in mock suspicion.

"You're here to turn me into the politeness police. I warn you. I won't go quietly. You'll have to..."Â?

Hmm, he thought for a moment about how she could drag him successfully back into the ballroom.

"distract me but make it good. I'm dangerous!"Â?

He inhaled on the cigarette before looking at it and then holding it out in illustration.

"Want one?"Â?
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo grinned as she crossed her ankles, swinging her feet in the air.

“I like the way cookies smell…” she said with a shrug. She didn’t care for eating the things but they smelled like Dani’s candles and that was nice. She considered correcting Jan on the matter of who the prettiest girl was, but then realized he was probably right.

She giggled at the idea of being his ‘partner in crime’, but her face grew serious and she shook her head emphatically when he suggested she had ulterior motives.

“Very dangerous indeed, I’m sure. But it seems we are both fugitives from polite society and should be working together instead of apart.” She sighed a little sadly. “I always seem to want to misbehave at these things. It’s so hard to be good.” Well, really it was the voices that wanted to misbehave, but that didn’t seem to matter much when she was the only one anyone could blame.

She brightened at the offer of a cigarette, pleased at the prospect of a new treasure.

“For me?” Theo beamed and swung her heels again. “I’d be delighted.”
Jan 18 years ago
Jan laughed and reached into his pocket for the pack. Pulling out a cigarette, he handed it to her.

"Of course, I don't share these with just anyone though."Â?

Cloves seemed to be a popular indulgence among the smoking crowd and were something bummed with alarming frequency. He could go out for a smoke and come back with an empty pack at the clubs if he wasn't carefully stingy with them.

He thought the idea of them both being social fugitives was pretty amusing and probably correct. They were the pair that had no problems using their abilities in the opera house and throwing snowballs off the top of Meridian Towers.

Looking around to make sure no one of importance was listening too closely, he said.

"Misbehaving is the best reason to come to these events."Â?

Turning around and hopping up onto the railing with her, he pointed back inside where they could see the dinner in progress.

"Tell me that it wouldn't be funny to make someone think they were eating something gross. I mean asparagus is pretty funny looking all on its own but could you imagine the look on someone's face if it got up and started dancing on their plate? A few tied shoelaces wouldn't hurt the evening either."Â?

He grinned unrepentant and added quickly.

"To those in need of social lessons, of course. You know doing our part for the betterment of society and all that."Â?
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo beamed as she accepted the clearly very special present and held it in the palm of her hand, as though she were holding a baby bird. She regarded the cigarette carefully for a moment, interested to hear, not the usual voices, but music that faded in and out to a steady beat.

She carefully tucked the clove into her purse, where she was surprised to notice a small key already resting. She didn’t remember picking it up and would have to sense it later to make sure it was safe to keep.

“I shall take good care of it then.”

She giggled at Jan’s suggestions for mischief, trying to think of harmless ideas for fun and thinking that might be a good counter for her more destructive influences. She didn’t want to cause –bad- trouble but Jan’s sort of trouble was okay.

Paul was making disapproving noises but Theo suspected he couldn’t come up with much of an argument.

“We could play follow. That’s where you pick a person and wherever they go, you make something follow them. Every time they look over their shoulder, something is there…but they can’t quite figure out if they’re seeing things or not. You’d have to be very sneaky about it here, but that’s part of the fun.”

She nodded solemnly at Jan’s clarification.

“Of course…but wait, perhaps that makes us the politeness police after all!” She giggled at the thought. “No…politeness guerillas would be more apt, I think.”
Jan 18 years ago
Jan held the lighter up but slid it back in the pack when it was obvious that Theo didn't want to smoke the cigarette. He grinned at her holding it a moment before putting it away. Perhaps she wanted to save it for later.

He thought of her idea for 'follow' and nodded.

"So in all fairness we should probably choose the same object or same type of object. Like say a fork though that might be too subtle for some of these people. I think it would be funny to move one of the large plants around but that is probably too big and obvious for a place so crowded."Â?

Maybe a hat or something would work. Jan looked around the portion of the room that they could see through the doors.

He snorted at the idea that they were the politeness police; after their last outing he had really walked into that remark. Theo did not agree with her own assessment and he felt she was more accurate with her second title for their self appointed quest for teaching good manners.

"That makes sense. Do you think we could get camouflage, face paint and maybe those cool bandoleers?"Â?
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo considered various possible objects for their game, agreeing that a fork might be too subtle. The mental image of a large plant following someone around was quite funny but, like Jan, she thought there was little chance they would get away with that.

She crinkled her nose as an idea occurred to her.

“It should be something that smells funny. Can you imagine?”

She pretended to look around, confused. “Why do I smell shrimp wherever I go?”

She snickered at the thought.

Now that’s just malicious.

Somewhat chastened by Paul’s rebuke, she added:
“Though I suppose it might hurt the cook’s feelings if we use the food for such a purpose.”

She didn’t understand Paul’s groan of frustration and decided it was probably best to let the matter go. Instead, she considered Jan’s suggestion of uniforms and nodded slowly.

“Bandoleers would be okay. I’m not putting anything weird on my face though.” She made a face at the thought, but brightened at another idea. “We should make a secret code, so that if we see someone who needs a lesson, we can tell each other without anyone else knowing.” She pondered the matter for a moment, considering what would make a good code. “Like…oh, I don’t know…’Did you know that Butterflies taste with their feet?’” She tilted her head to one side. “I might not be very good at making up codes.”
Addison 18 years ago
Addison looked around as he left the bar. Jan wasn't at the tach table, so he didn't want to go there and just sit...Where did one go to smoke here? If he was much of a smoker himself, he'd know. Pursing his lips, Addison headed to the nearest exit, very nearly tripping into a woman who looked to want to rival the first he'd seen with gaudy jewlrey.

Aha...Jan was outside, but he was talking to someone. The red head paused in the doorway, debating if he should join them or not. Eh...he could always leave if it was something top secret. Addison moved forward to stand next to Jan, flashing him a smile.
"So this is where you've dissapeared to..."
Jan 18 years ago
Jan coughed as her statement caused him to inhale his cigarette the wrong way. Recovering quickly enough, he grinned.

"Something that smelled funny would be great. Or if it didn't we could make them -think- it did. Oooh what about the lady with the thing that looks like a dead animal around her shoulders? Something like that should smell as dead as it looks or at least dusty and old."Â?

He nodded at her decision to not use the food lest they give the cook a bad reputation. It was not something that concerned him but if it bothered her then he could still amuse himself while abiding by such a small rule.

"Face paint is out... secret hand sign is in... How about...?"Â?

Thinking a moment he had a hard time coming up with something that would not look totally foolish and yet would be unmistakable at the same time.

"We could just scratch the outside of our ear like this. " He demonstrated. "And look meaningfully in the direct of the person in need of a good lesson."Â?

He looked around the room and noticed someone watching him in return. Smiling, Jan reached out a hand to Addison in invitation, hoping the redhead would come closer and take it.

"Yes, this is where I ended up. It is nice out here and Theo managed to find me as well. Theo, this is Addison, Addison this is Theodosia of Evenhet."Â?

He mentioned her clan so that both of them would know it was safe to speak in front of the other.

"Addison is one of Tacharan's newest additions."Â?
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo wrinkled her nose when Jan mentioned the woman with the fur wrap and thought wearing such a thing in and of itself was a cry for their unique attention.

“I quite agree; I cannot –imagine- what she was thinking.”

She gave a light shrug at Jan’s suggestion, agreeing it was probably a better signal than saying something out of place. She doubted anyone would find it strange even if she suddenly started reciting nursery rhymes as a way of getting Jan’s attention but discretion was good too.

“Alright then, it’s settled,” she said with a grin.

She tilted her head, interested, when the man introduced as Addison joined them. Jan seemed pleased to see his clanmate and there was no real sense that the red head wanted to make him go back inside.

“Pleased to meet you, Addison.”

He’s very anxious.

Theo blinked and frowned, not comprehending at first, then looked toward the doors, where a waiter had just passed through and was lighting a cigarette.

He’s waiting for something. He’s anxiously awaiting –something- and he’s filled with wrath and someone is going to pay for it. Pay and pay and pay.

The voice was, for a moment, completely overwhelming, the emotions so strong and loud that all other senses were eliminated. When she got the noise under control, though the voice was still murmuring the waiter’s emotions, she was on her feet, holding onto the ledge with both hands, her eyes shut tight.

She couldn’t seem to speak above a whisper.

“I’d like to go inside now.” She opened her eyes and looked over at the waiter, who was still, for all appearances, simply taking a smoke break, leaning against the ledge further down the balcony. The hate she was hearing in each word was so overwhelming that she had thought there must be some physical sign, that a person couldn’t be that angry without blood running out of their pores.

She gave a strangled sort of laugh, sounding as insane as she felt, as insane as that man’s wrath, the veneer of a pretty dress and pleasant manners with a handsome boy slowly giving way to the black and the voices.
“I think he’ll kill them all if he can.” Shaking her head to negate what she was hearing, trying to separate her own thinking from that of the voices, she reached out for Jan’s hand. The waiter’s anger was screaming in her mind now, wanting to hurt something, everything, anything, wanting someone to pay, and still he just puffed at his cigarette.

“We need to go inside right now.”
Addison 18 years ago
Addison took Jan's offered hand and squeezed gently, smiling at his friend. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Theodosia of Evenhet." It was confusing though...with the Nic debacle, he'd gotten the opinion that it was ill advised for him to speak to another clan member even. But Jan seemed to encourage it, so he pressed up against the other tach and figured what the hell.

"Less than a year, in fact." That was the truth...though he wasn't the newest, or at least he didn't think he was. Addison looked over at Jan and raised an eyebrow...he smelled like gingerbread cookies... "The cloves smell good at least..." Though, he was eager to tell Jan he wanted a "taste," that would have just been an excuse to lip lock. Who knew what Jan's friend felt on that sort of thing, so he refrained.

Although she seemed to have strong opinions on something. The red head raised his eyebrows slightly as she muttered about killing and stared hard at a waiter nearby. He seemed harmless enough...he was just doing what Addison was, although they looked like normal cigarettes.

"With second hand smoke? He's already outside....the chances of him killing everyone is low...maybe take what...3 seconds off of your life expectancy or some such number..." He'd seen that on 60 minutes one night. Second hand smoke and what not...he didn't really care...he wasn't around it a whole lot.

"We need to go inside right now."Â?

"Erm..." That sort of statement was making him a little nervous. He came to the conclusion that Jan's friends were mentally least this one seemed to be. "Jan?"
Jan 18 years ago
Jan loosened his grasp from Addison's hand once he was close in order to wrap his arm around the redhead's waist instead. It was a good way to keep warm. He decided he should stand in the middle of two people more often during the winter months, though Nachton never really got as cold as his homeland.

He grinned at Addison and said

"I'm glad you agree. Theo says I smell like cookies."Â?

Turning back to her, he found that Theo was no longer paying them much attention. She had her eyes closed tightly and when she opened them she was staring hard at the waiter out on his smoke break.

Jan did not really give his actions much thought, instead he pulled Theodosia to him with the other arm. Deciding in a brief moment of self indulgence that ,yes, indeed this was nice, he pushed the thought away in concern for her and what she sensed about the man nearby.

He looked to Addison and answered quietly.

"Theo is...gifted. She senses things others don't. I don't have such a gift ,unfortunately, or perhaps I'd know something more."Â?

Jan frowned though, he hadn't noticed her touching anything other than the ledge. Did she get the information from that? Perhaps she would explain once they got inside.

Pulling the Evenhet close on one side and Addison to him on the other, Jan walked through the doors back into the dining hall and away from the waiter that alarmed her. He looked around automatically for Simon and Nova. The leader of Tacharan was standing next to Alfarinn but Nova was still at the table with the others. The two men looked busy with whatever they were talking about and it wouldn't do him any good to say my friend here heard something weird and thinks we're all going to die.

He steered their group towards the main entrance but stayed inside and just off to the side. It would allow them to get out quickly if something needed to be done but left them out of the way for the moment. Turning to Theo, Jan asked calmly.

"Can you explain what you're talking about? It might be important."Â?

He gave her a reassuring smile and hoped his tone helped to calm her down. Hearing things had to be a rough ability to stomach as it was but hearing violent things must be a nightmare. Jan gave Addison a comforting hug, pulling him closer now that they had stopped. This had to be difficult for the human who had yet to see many displays of vampiric talent. Theo probably looked delusional and more than a little creepy with that speech she gave.

((OOC: Theo grabbed and moved with permission. Addison lets me do that anyway. yay me! ))
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo tensed for a moment when Jan pulled her closer but she still had enough of her rational mind left to understand that he wasn’t going to hurt her. Addison didn’t seem to believe her though, or maybe he didn’t understand, but if they didn’t move soon she was just going to start screaming her head off and damn the consequences, so she was relieved when Jan explained and started moving before her control reached its end. By the time the trio stopped again her hand was fisted in her hair and she couldn’t even feel the pull against her scalp anymore. Her knees were getting watery and her head was pounding, but she was still fighting to stay calm and not let the voices consume her again.

When Jan asked her to explain, though, she simply froze and stared for a long moment before doing something that absolutely horrified her, though it was likely the most natural reaction in the world.

She started to cry. She simply –dreaded- being asked to explain herself because sometimes she just couldn’t do it, and when she could she was terrified that whoever was listening wouldn’t believe her. She buried her head in Jan’s shoulder, partly so that the two men couldn’t see her face and partly because it would be harder to grab her and shake her, an old habit from a time when that and worse was typical treatment when her empathy left her this way.

Jan is very calm and nobody is going to hurt you. You need to tell them what you heard.

Her breathing hitched as she tried to get it back under control and she tried to speak, only to break off into a sob.

Theo. It’s time to stop that.

She tried again, tugging hard on her hair and letting out a shaky breath, though she still wasn’t exactly calm. She did, however, begin speaking in a small voice.

“They said…he was anxious. Expectant. And that…he was…” She waved her hand, trying to explain the terrible wrath she had heard, the razor sharp hate tied to justifiable anger. Something she had felt often enough to understand; its nearly maddening quality that pushed aside normal rational thought, and the intoxicating power of that rage that might very well be insanity, or something close to it. “…so –angry-. They said…someone was going to pay.”
Jan 18 years ago
Jan leaned down in order to better hear what Theo had to say over the noise in the room. Only problem was she wasn't saying anything. Whatever it was really seemed to have really gotten to her and he winced inwardly as she tugged harder on her hair. He was somewhat surprised that she started to cry when he asked her what she heard but being somewhat emotionally driven himself, Jan could understand how they could over take you in difficult moments like this. He pulled her closer and spoke softly.

"Shhh, Liebling, Du bist sicher."Â?

He murmured more comforting words in German, gently rubbing her back in long even strokes, hoping his voice and his presence would eventually drown out whatever violent influence she was sensing.

"I am here. Its okay."Â?

Realistically speaking Theo could probably protect him better than he could protect her but that was not important. At the moment though she needed him and so he would do whatever he could for her. Eventually she managed to speak though he was not certain what it would tell him.

There was something wrong. She was older and wiser than he was and if she said there was something wrong then there was. That meant Tacharan needed to know. He wondered if his father had also noticed something and that was why he was standing. Looking around, he realized so where a lot of others.

Turning to Addison, He kissed the man lightly on the cheek and glanced at the Tacharan table.

"We need to convince them to get out of here but if they won't listen then I want you to leave. Okay? I'll come find you as soon as I haul my sister out of here kicking and screaming. Let's hope they don't decide to argue."Â?

Letting go of the redhead, he scooped up Theo with the other arm, leaving her head tucked against his shoulder, intending to carry her with him.

"We'll get out as soon as we tell the others, alright?"Â?

It had been the first statements by Theo that decided his actions...'I think he'll kill them all if he can.' That did not sound like someone just going to assassinate someone important or just generally angry with the world.

If they were wrong then there was no harm done in them all standing around on the front lawn and looking at him blankly. Jan could tell them all it was a practical joke... or a test of the Emergency Broadcast System -- this is only a test. Unfortunately, he doubted he'd be so lucky as to be standing there with all his kin mad at him for spoiling dinner.
Addison 18 years ago
Addison felt lost somehow...nothing seemed anything out of the ordinary to him...and looking around, all he could see were people enjoying themselves and the food. His stomach rumbled lightly and he pat it once, frowning. Jan sounded terribly serious - so odd for one who looked so young.

"Sure...I can do that." It was short, but he wasn't going to argue with his new master - especially not in public. He still thought the girl was...not of right mind, but Jan knew more about it than he did. He'd follow that for now. However, Jan'd be coming with him if he left, right? The red head nodded and turned, heading towards the tach table.

(OOC: Addison out of thread - moving to the other)
The Voice 18 years ago
The sudden blast originating from the corner of the room you entered and knocks everyone off their feet. Bits of wood, metal, and slivers of glass pelt the floor around the guests. An inferno has risen up in the corner. The only safe exit is the garden doors, and the entire room seems to be headed there at once.

The big bang.
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo nodded into Jan’s shoulder, trying to indicate that she was doing her best to pull it together without having to actually talk anymore. He seemed to believe her, or was at least willing to act on what she had told him. She couldn’t explain, though, why she felt so strongly that they needed to be inside. It wasn’t a voice telling her that, or at least she didn’t think it was, and she wondered if maybe she just wanted to get away from the waiter, but she found she was quite relieved when Jan decided to go further into the ballroom, apparently to get his sister. She wrapped her arms around Jan’s neck as he started after Addison, now battling against the voices blurring together in the ballroom proper.

While she couldn’t distinguish any one voice in this large a crowd, they came together in a kind of gestalt to form a single clear message, rising above the normal emotions of a room.


Theo shuddered and clung tightly to Jan, and still had her face buried in his shoulder when the blast hit, the sound so loud that, for once, the voices in her mind went deathly silent.

The next thing she knew she sprawled on the floor with a warm weight over top of her. She thought for a moment that she could hear again now, but realized that the sounds had no connection with the outside world; it was just the voices, and the sound was no longer that of fear, but one of panic.
Jan 18 years ago
Jan intended to follow after Addison and only paused long enough to adjust the weight of Theo in his arms. Then the room erupted into chaos and raining destruction. He slowly pulled himself up after the shock of the blast and realized he had been laying on top of the Evenhet.

Standing up, he pulled her with him. Intending to ask if she was okay, Jan was more annoyed than alarmed by not being able to hear his own voice over the ringing in his ears. Hopefully that would be over soon but in the meantime a silent fire was blazing and people were soundlessly running in every direction.

Taking Theo's hand, he looked towards where the Tacharan table had been trying to discern the health of his family and friends.
Theodosia 18 years ago
Theo wasn’t sure at what point it all became too much and she simply went into overload. Perhaps it was the light of the fire, that she couldn’t seem to stop staring at…or maybe it was the voices that were reducing her mind to a throbbing, relentless ache. She felt, with a detached interest, as though she were shutting down, as though her senses had had enough and were heading for the hills.

She hoped she wasn’t going to faint as Jan helped her up. She gave him an odd little smile as she took his hand, still half looking at the fire and the haze surrounding it, making everything look blurry and strange. The world was going an interesting shade of grey and everything felt slow and unreal, the edges of her vision turning black now…

Theo! Not now!

Paul’s voice shook her into awareness again, bringing back all the other voices to full volume but taking away that strange sleepy feeling. She pulled her eyes away from the fire and looked to Jan, concern in her expression, but he was looking toward the table he had nodded to earlier.

Well, what was left of the table, anyway.

It occurred to her, then, that Dani and Christian might be worried about her. It really was a mean trick she had played, escaping like that, and for a moment she imagined they might be quite frantic.

Then she realized the truth of the matter. They wouldn’t be worried, they would be –furious-. Not only had she wandered off on her own, but she’d also allowed the building to explode and she’d cried and almost fainted and those were all very bad things.

Especially the building blowing up. She shouldn’t have allowed that to happen, and while she had no idea how she might have stopped it she knew it was her fault. She was glad that Jan didn’t seem angry with her, though; even if it was her fault Jan was a good friend for not getting mad.

Realizing she was able to hear a little now, she turned to Jan, tugging lightly on his sleeve.

“I guess we weren’t supposed to go inside.”

She wasn’t sure if Jan could hear her, considering how small her voice sounded in her ears, but she went on gamely enough, tugging at his arm and walking toward the table.

“Let’s find your sister and Addison.”

Her reasoning at the time seemed quite sound to her; people might be less angry with her if she helped, and it was easier to help people who were nice to her.

/ooc Theo and Jan out