Sobering Up (attn Claire, Evans)
On her feet once more now that they were out on the side walk, Nova swaggered awkwardly next to Kyle as they walked away from the museum, pausing to wait at the crosswalk to go to the cafÃƒÂ©. Standing still should have been easier than walking but for some reason she felt just as teetery as ever. Somehow her earbuds had gotten loose again, though her Ipod remained firmly clipped to her belt, and they dangled at her knees, still blaring persistently.
'Drunk as a skunk,' she mused in the philosophical way of one who was, indeed, very drunk. 'But skunks aren't drunk. Why do people say that? Just because it rhymes? Stupid.'
Even as intoxicated as she was, she still felt that familiar 'something's wrong' buzzing while she watched the cars go by, though she could not place it. No cops...no roving gangs...hardly anyone walking the street at all. Her head was starting to ache now; too much thinking, she reckoned, trying to see things that maybe weren't even there.
Then she felt a brush against her shoulder, the swift movement of air going in the opposite direction, and stumbled, turning around.
"Where's the fire lady?"Â?
She frowned when she realized she was talking to shadows, and tripped over her own feet trying to look straight again, bumping heavily into Kyle as they made their way to the cafÃƒÂ© and grabbing his arm to steady herself. Fast or blended? Eh, fuck it, she was gone now, though how Nova was certain she'd seen a woman she couldn't say. Already mostly forgetting the entire incident, she raised her voice to reach ahead to Claire, who was leading the way.
"You been to this coffee shop before?"Â?
/ooc Permission to notice a certain mysterious blending woman walking by. I did assume Claire was continuing to lead, if not I can edit :X.
Nova had responded to the stumble with the usual drunk query. It couldn't have been her that caused herself to stumble, but a concerned look flashed across her face...then it was forgotten. Kyle looked around, but saw nothing. His watch beeped at him, singling that it was time to take another little, yellow pill from Nova. Kyle decided to wait till they sat down before letting go of Miss Intoxicated.
Instead it made her uneasy. Drunk people were not the most observant. They tended to miss things, not see things others could not. Nova had been at the Creation Ball. There were humans there but there was also a high likelihood that the inebriated individual was actually a vampire. There was a good chance then that both of her companions were.
The buildings seemed to have pulled in much closer with that realization and Claire felt her anxiety increase with each tall structure. She could be walking into a trap. Nova did appear actually drunk but what if it was merely a very convincing act with a lot of alcohol thrown in to make her smell the part? She was Sorin's child and therefore valuable for information. Normally she might have said ransom but her potential captors would not know their target very well if they thought Sorin would be the kind to make deals with them for her life. No, her dear sire would refuse to give in to any demands they had until they were forced to kill her and then he would hunt them down in revenge mostly for having the audacity to take someone that belonged to him and for trying to manipulate the Elder of the Night. She could hope, and truly felt, that deep down a part of him would be taking that revenge because he had cared, at least a little, for her as his child.
This line of thinking was very fatalistic and wholly unhelpful at the moment.
"No, I have not. I noticed it as I entered the museum."
Claire walked faster towards the cafe in hopes of escaping the looming silhouette of the museum and to get back into a more populated area. She had picked the diner, not them, therefore it was likely safe. Any move on her would probably happen in shadows on the street, quickly in the hopes that no one would notice a strangely dressed woman struggling with two...or more assailants.
Which led her to another thought. Nova had sensed someone but there was no one to be seen. Claire could do that, blend into the surroundings. Other vampires could do that. So going on the assumption that Nova wasn't crazy then who was nearby? If this were a trap and the other woman was not drunk then it would seem odd for her to mention someone unseen who was an ally. Was this simply another vampire in the mix then? Or Nova's wrong interpretation of something she thought she saw? Perhaps Claire was not the target, perhaps one of the others was. It happened from time to time that vampires met with no ulterior motive or even knowledge. So that being the case, maybe Nova or Kyle was in danger or no one at all.
Stepping up near the lighted cafe, she felt her initial panic and claustrophobia recede back to tolerable levels. Nothing reached out of the shadows to grab her and the others were behaving as they had been. Perhaps it was nothing after all.
Still, she looked both ways before opening the door for Kyle to help Nova inside.
Ellis stepped back against the darkness of the musem and watched them cross the street. It would have given her great pleasure to slit the throat of little miss Nova. Ellis' cup of hate spilled over onto his children...but she never liked that one anyway. The brown scientist. Ellis snorted unhappily and her eyes narrowed. Nova stumbled and smelled of liquor, even from her dark corner Ellis could smell it. The human was carrying her across the street, but the way he held her. It was...familiar. She wondered...Nova and the human.
Her eyes fell on the woman now. Dressed in old victorian and carrying herself in a manner that Ellis was most unpleasantly familiar with. Gothic 21st century human or...yes, another vampire. If she was one, she did not recognize her. Immediately that one was dismissed in Ellis' mind. Her eyes returned to the slobbering, drunk child of Simon. She blended back into the night with her angry, green eyes still on Nova.
((ooc - out))
Oblivious to the fact that it was the dead of night and maybe being loud wasn’t a good plan, she chatted merrily away, slurring every other word, until they made their way to the doors.
“I never even noticed this place but then I wasn’t noticing much of anything when I went in…” she waved her hand in the general direction of the museum “…whew! But anyways, I’m not really a big coffee drinker but I drink it sometimes, you know how you, like, wake up and are like ‘Jesus H. Christ, I need some coffee,’ even if you don’t really drink coffee? Yeah, I drink it then, and when I’ve been –drinking a lot- like tonight and someone says ‘golly Nova, maybe you’d like a cup of coffee’ but most people don’t pick me up to take me there because they’re probably scared I might beat them up. But Kyle’s brave like that, I’ve clobbered him loads of times and he still does whatever…oh look, we’re here!”
She gave Kyle an oddly affectionate grin and made a go at kissing his cheek, but missed completely and got him low on the neck instead. Claire was holding open the door and said something or other, but before she could say ‘eh?’ they were through the door and into the coffee shop.
Huh. There were computers here. Cool.
Not feeling much like drunkenly navigating one of the machines, she gave the lot a dismissive shrug and half stumbled, half dragged her way to the counter, where she slammed a hand down to get the clerk’s attention.
“We want some coffee!”
'I'm sorry. We're fresh out,' Ralphie said in a monotone voice. He inhaled deeply on his cigarette without using his hands and had the courtesy to blow the smoke away from the patrons. Ralphie had excellent customer service.
'I kid. I kid. Give me a minute, I just started yesterday.' Turning he started to fumble with the espresso machines, turning the steamer on and off and touching random buttons. 'The old guy had a heart attack after staying up for a week straight. Fuck-ing awesome,' he said.
'Whaddya want?' He asked looking over his stained polo shirt with the logo 'Qwerty with a Q' on the back.
She would bet she could kick his ass, but somehow a coffee bar fight wasn’t nearly as cool as a real bar fight. Just kind of embarrassing and sad. She rested her elbows on the counter while the coffee jerk fiddled with his machine, scowling at the cigarette smoke and considering telling him off for slowly killing himself.
Self righteous lectures on the dangers of drug abuse just didn’t come off as well when the person reading the riot act was drunk, though.
She didn’t, however, see much humor in his heart attack comment, and said as much.
‘Heart attacks are not ‘awesome’, you little piss ant.’
Or at least that was what she meant to say. What actually came out was a little different.
“Heart attacks are piss ants. And I take my coffee like I take my men!”
She blinked, having no idea what that meant, and decided, likely to the benefit of all, to shut the hell up.
"I do hear some find that enticing."Â?
Stepping inside, Claire looked about the place in total confusion. Where were the tables and what on earth were all these computers doing sitting around? Were there no waiters any more? Now they just punched in their order and someone brought it to them or was that automated as well?
It had said it was a cafe. She was about to turn to apologize when Nova took things embarrassingly in hand. Lovely, she wondered if they could manage to get thrown out of an establishment five minutes after they walked into it.
The name was beginning to make sense to her...Qwerty.. like the keyboard letters. So this was like a public library then? You could come and work on things if you did not own your own computer or if you were away from home. Well that made a certain sort of sense though these things did not look to have been donated which probably meant they were not free. The cafe portion and the obvious counter and menu suggested the reason for the other portion of the name.
Checking the list of available items caused Claire's eyebrows to raise upwards towards her hairline. Americans did not need a war, they were going to kill themselves on junk food and caffeine. One look around showed that nearly everyone had a beverage, with a few people here having several empty cups stacked up at their stations already and who were mindlessly sipping their latest as they stared intently at their screens.
After another look back at the menu, Claire gave a small sigh of relief. Chai sounded hopeful. It was one of those things that she was accustomed to looking up in many different countries through out her travels. Tea was a beverage that was, almost always, a staple in so many countries and though the flavors,strengths and serving styles differed from place to place, it was generally a safer bet than other mystery drinks on the menu.
Moving up to the counter and smiling pleasantly at the man... who was smoking while he spoke with them, Claire ordered quietly.
"A vanilla chai latte, please."Â?
It was incredibly rude, not to mention unhealthy and unsanitary to smoke while working in the food and drink industry. If the man wished to kill himself then he would simply have to do it after he made their drinks.
Using her telekinesis, Claire gently smothered his cigarette until it went out, all the while staring at him with a bland patient smile.
/ooc Ralphie's cigarette abused with permission
"Heart attacks are piss ants. And I take my coffee like I take my men!"Â?
Kyle gave her a big smile. She likes her coffee addicted to Eternity and on the wagon, just barely. He almost said it out loud but instead murmured a half chuckled response.
'I think she means black.' Letting go of his inebriated woman, he leaned an elbow on the counter and looked up at the menu behind the clerk. Just then Claire ordered and mentally he smacked his lips, chai lattes were quiet yummy, but instead he decided on an large americano with lots of cream and sugar.
He looked at the pair of women, they were a sight. A drunk...well another drunk, and a throw back to victorian times. The clerk didn't even seem to blink an eye, except when his cigarette went out.
'Those will kill ya, you know.' Kyle grinned and turned towards the rest of the cafe, waiting for his coffee.
'Not if the baddies don't get me first, brotha.' He handed the quiet one her chai latte and turned to finish the rest.
'Did you know,' he started as his hands whirred at a million miles per hour, expertly making their drinks, contrary to the random button pushing before, 'that the evils of alcohol and tobacco are the least of your worries?'
Finishing, he set down the two cups in front of the drunk and the man. Ralphie reached into his back pocket and pulled out a new cigarette, the one behind his ear forgotten. Inhaling deeply he blew the smoke away from the patrons and leaned forward, pointing at them with his cigarette burning in between his sooty fingers.
'Vampires, werewolves, zombies...fucking all sorts of shit out there, man. So this,' he raised his cigarette and again took a painfully deep drag and exhaled the smoke as he spoke. 'This bad boy I'm enjoying before they come and get me...and they will. This city is all sorts of fucking weird, I tell you. All sorts.'
Nodding, Ralphie returned to his dark little office in the back, puffing smoke as he walked away.
((Ralphie out - someone eat him!))
The clerk’s last comment really took the cake, and Nova widened her eyes in mock alarm, still leaning on the counter as she egged the poor guy on.
“Vampires and werewolves and zombies, oh my!”
She snorted as the clerk walked away, finding his declarations quite amusing considering Kyle was there.
“Why Evans, I do believe you have a fan.”
She picked up her coffee mug, hissing a little when some sloshed out and burned her fingers but managing not to drop the thing, and approached one of the round tables, talking loudly as she went.
“Can’t go anywhere without coming across an Evans fan, I tell you what. They’re everywhere; he’s got like this cult following…”
She interrupted her own ramble long enough to set down the coffee mug and pull out a chair. Unfortunately said chair somehow got caught on her own foot and the ensuing battle to get the damn thing upright and in position drove the topic of her latest ranting out of her mind completely.
Finally, she plunked down in the chair and took a tongue burning sip of coffee.
'So, sweet cheeks. What gives with the boozin'?' He sipped his coffe'd cream thoughtfully.
Her attention was turned back towards the clerk and the conversation when he asserted that he had a bigger problem than cigarettes and alcohol. Vampires, werewolves and zombies roamed the city apparently and they were a bigger threat than working a late night job in the city or dieing of cancer filled lungs.
Looking a the greasy man with distaste, she thought he had very little to worry about. No self respecting vampire would eat that. It was as close as they could come to eating greasy fast food and unlike their human counter parts, Claire had yet to meet a vampire who preferred unhealthy blood to the richer sources out there.
Still he was a potential problem if he kept spouting on about vampires and she had no reason to think that this was the first time he mentioned it. It probably would not be the last. The mention of the other myths like werewolves and zombies made him likely just a paranoid freak though she remembered all to well the times when the ordinary populace believed in such things. Those days of the past were more dangerous than today's scoffing disbelief. You had to be more careful to keep yourself above suspicion unless you wanted to be run out of town by an angry superstitious mob that claimed you were responsible for all the deaths of their children, their old, their sick, their cattle, or the well drying up and the crops going bad. It had never happened to her but she had seen it happen and had heard of it happening more than once, rare though it was. It was not long ago that people believed in things supernatural and she wondered how long this current age of reason and science would last.
Eyeing 'Ralphie' ,according to his name tag, one last time before turning to sit down, she pondered whether he needed to be taken care of later. Nova's comments caused her to look over at Kyle in surprise. So he was not a vampire? What vampire would openly claim that there were vampires unless he was crazy? Were they both human then? She did not think so.
Looking at Kyle, Claire raised both her eyebrows.
"You believe in zombies and monsters?"Â?
“Eh. You know. Rough day.” She gave a thoughtful pause, then met Kyle’s eyes. “Sweet cheeks?” While she attempted to decide if she would tolerate this development, she waved her hand in a gesture that could have lost someone an eye. “Sometimes…you just have one of those days.” She tilted her head to one side. “Of course, the drinking –usually- starts at the end of the day instead of the beginning but what’re you gonna do?”
At Claire’s question, she gave a light snicker and sipped her coffee, this time managing to avoid burning her tongue.
“Dude, Evans is –famous-. Writes all kinds of stuff; plots and secrets and shit.” Nodding firmly, she looked back to Evans. “Sweet cheeks?”
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the little pills Nova had given him to curb the withdrawls from Eternity. Kyle popped two into his mouth and chased it with a sip of hot coffee. Resetting his watch again he made himself comfortable in his chair and decided to wax poetic.
'I've made a rather good living at chasing after shadows, but zombies? Naw. Monsters? Well,' he thought back for a moment, remembering a bloody and burnt smile. 'Yes, I believe in monsters. Don't you?'
Claire was quiet, demure. Kyle didn't know one tenth of Nova's life, but looking at Claire now and her dated outfit...he wondered. Nova didn't seem to know her, but again he had no idea how big their small world probably is. The whole gothic, bloody underground world didn't always seem to fit. Simon seemed to be more refined than his wild Nova and then there was the rest of the clan. Then something occured to him.
'So Claire, did you happen to catch that Mayor's ball?'
She considered that information for a moment. Was he human then or just a stupid vampire? Was Nova human and she was wrong about that part all along? The woman did not matter unless she also published theories. Was Kyle her familiar? That made a sort of sense, he would know about vampires in that case but why publish stories about them and why would a vampire tolerate that and even... she cast a dubious glance at the redhead, seem to encourage it. Kyle's answer did not make her feel better about the situation. Did she believe in monsters? Yes, she had seen plenty.
Claire smiled and shrugged.
"I believe there is enough cruelty in the world without the boogey man."Â?
Kyle Evans would have to be investigated. She would see if Anantya already knew of him and would look for these famous writings. If he proved to be a threat then it was likely that someone from the Hunt would be sent to deal with him. Unfortunate, he seemed like a nice level headed guy.
She gave him a puzzled look and shook her head. Why did he ask her about the Mayor's dinner? He knew something about that...Something Claire did not. Sorin had been there and many of the important members of Anantya and Evenhet and quite likely others as well. Was it some plot by one clan against the other? Or a radical group of vampire hunters willing to go to extremes to kill her kind?
The room seemed to close in on her again and she once more began to wonder whether she had walked into a trap. There were so many people here; wasn't it safe? There had been more humans than vampires in the mayor's home. It had not been safe.
"No, were you? I heard what happened, of course. It was an awful tragedy."Â?
/ooc Her suspicion of Kyle and the assurance that he knows something about the event is only her own jumping to conclusions based on her interpretation of the conversation and bears no relation to the actual facts.
No animals were harmed in the making of this post.
Something about the question Kyle posed to Claire just straight up gave her the creeps and annoyed her at the same time. Was she one of Kyle’s ‘monsters’? She considered giving him a kick under the table but decided, in a line of thinking similar to Claire’s statement, that there was enough general hostility in her without pulling up more.
When the topic of conversation moved on, though, she cut out the brooding and tried to keep up.
“Yeah, that really sucked.” Okay, so she still wasn’t much for intelligent conversation, but at least she –realized- she was out of it, which was a step in the right direction…right? Realizing that Kyle could take her comment the wrong way, though, she considered whether she should just drop it or try to backpedal. “Er, the explosion thing. Sucked, I mean…yeah.”
/ooc I sacrificed twelve puppies in order to make this post.
'Just makes you wonder - why would someone want to hurt the mayor of all people? He was just a figure head for the most part, but then they might have been going for the ole 'two birds with one stone'. Either way, that entire night was enlightening to say the least.' Kyle nudged Nova with his elbow.
Disturbing to say the least.
Nova was eloquent. Claire smiled slightly and looked down at her lap in order to hide the amused expression. Sucked was probably a descriptive understatement as far as most people were concerned.
Looking over at Kyle, she frowned in confusion.
"I am sure there are a great many people who would want to hurt the Mayor. It is the risk one takes when being a political figure. Someone could have not agreed with his policy or perhaps it was a rival for the next election who felt he was a little too popular. Perhaps he had shady dealings that the press did not know about and those factions decided to make the Mayor into a message. Who really knows. We'll just have to wait and see if the police discover anything."Â?
The rest of the statement sounded like typical conspiracy theory. That there was some secret agency out there trying to do in the Mayor and his super secret supporters. She wondered what made the man think the Mayor was a figurehead and just who did he believe pulled the strings. Oh, but of course, the vampires.
Fighting the urge to roll her eyes, Claire felt that were nights when her clan's non-involvement with humans made perfect sense. This one was nosey and dangerous. She needed to find out whether Nova was a vampire. Was she Evenhet or clanless? Was she telling these things to this Evans or had he figured things out on his own? Again there was the thought that he was Nova's familiar. If so the woman really needed to keep a tighter leash on innuendo. You just never knew who you were talking to.
"I would say perhaps I should be sorry to have missed it but I am not one for loud riotous events."Â?
/ooc Poor Kyle, someone always seems to want him dead.
Geez, she was bad at this stuff, how the hell was she supposed to know how they were doing? Sex seemed as good a measuring stick as any and by that gauge they were all fine and dandy. Was there more to it than that?
Of course all the thinking about sex was giving her ideas. Kyle and Claire were having a very important conversation that she was sort of keeping up with. Claire seemed smart, or at least she spoke well. Even more rare, she seemed a decent sort, helping her out with the painting and all.
In any case, she wasn’t totally with it as far as the talk went but she sure as hell had something to say about the police.
“Bah, police! They don’t do nothing ‘round here, fuggin power trippers harassing innocent people and giving out jaywalking tickets instead of catching murderers and criminals!”
She realized after she spoke that if the police –were- catching criminals Tacharan might be sort of screwed. Maybe she would have spoken more coherently if her foot wasn’t busy poking at Kyle’s.
'Darlin are you wanting my attention or did you want to have sex or something because your foot seems a bit antsy.'
Kyle was never one for subtlety.
He imagined that their behavior was either annoying or comical to Claire. Kyle couldn't quite get her outfit - Victorian in Nachton? At least it looked Victorian and not Gothic. She didn't have the clown makeup or angsty attitude. She was polite and seemed concerned, at least that was the feeling he got.
'Claire, I gotta ask - mostly because I'm nosey but I am curious...your outfit. It's...unique, but why old Victorian?'