Alfarinn looked down at the sewer entrance and wondered like he did every time he came to the House of Pain just who's bright idea it had been to place the entrance through here. He sighed and tied his hair back lest it get dirty while climbing down.
Once at the bottom, he looked around for rats in the immediate area, not seeing any, he called up to Thaddeus.
"Its clear here."
He moved back a step or so and waited for his companion to make it down the ladder. They couldn't really afford to let Thaddeus go in as a dove if he wanted that form not to be associated with him. Alfarinn cursed himself for not thinking to bring a jacket. He could have brought Thaddeus in that way if he had to. You'd think an empath would be better at thinking of these things. He berated himself for his own forgetfulness. He had been far too concerned with making sure they would both fit in that he totally forgot the Anantya might have troubles just getting there.
Then he shook his head, unsure why such a thought mattered to him at all, and kept his eyes on the street. He suddenly felt exposed, up on the surface with Arin down below, and realized how vulnerable he was, crouched by the open manhole in an outfit that screamed "notice me, harass me, by all means don't pass by and leave me be."Â?
When at last the Evenhet called up and declared the entrance safe, Thaddeus couldn't scramble down quickly enough. He pulled the cover closed after him, then, more slowly and carefully in the darkness, climbed down to where Arin was waiting.
He had by no means become used to the smells, or, more revolting to him, the feel of the air and the grit of the ground down in the sewers, but the creak of the leather pants and his eagerness to get out of the open somehow made that part easier. And the lack of rats helped a good deal too.
Once at the bottom, though, it was time to face up to their destination, which gave Thaddeus pause. Fortunately, staying in the sewers was not an option, and the open air was no better. There was nowhere to go but forward.
Well. This is it then, best get this over with.
"Certainly" He began walking towards the entrance keeping an eye out for vermin.
"So, what kind of music do you prefer, Thaddeus? I doubt it will be found in the House of Pain but I am curious."
I have training in the piano, but no special gift with it. So I suppose that's what I appreciate in music, more than a specific style; listening to someone who has the gift is enjoyable to me, particularly on the piano.
"I never managed to find the time to pick up a skill in an instrument but I do enjoy listening to them. You're right talent is by far a bigger importance to music than the style itself."
He hoped that his companion would be focusing on the conversation and not his surroundings so Alfarinn continued to keep up the discussion. He remembered Thaddeus's ramblings about the mission last time and so did his best to give the man something else to think about, figuring Thaddeus wouldn't want to be caught chattering. It wasn't much but he hoped it helped.
"Perhaps you could get a piano or keyboard for the apartment? I'd love to hear you play sometime. While I have no talent for it I do enjoy music a great deal." He could pick up a keyboard easily enough and bring it by. Thaddeus might enjoy having it around and it would easily fit in the small place.
In all honesty, I think I am about the only one who enjoys my playing, and even I prefer to listen to those with more talent.
For a moment Thaddeus grew thoughtful, remembering his piano in the Manor suite. When he wanted to -hear- the piano, he went to the music room and hoped for someone to wander by, usually Sorin. There was a tranquility associated with that room that he never quite found anywhere else.
But sometimes he did feel compelled to play. In that case, he would stay in his quarters, away from prying ears, and lose himself for a time. He tended to feel more focused and relaxed afterwards, as if the inherent discipline of the instrument crept into him as he played. It gave him some measure of...clarity to play, though he couldn't imagine the resultant sounds were anything accomplished; he himself often played for hours, and realized afterward that he hadn't heard a note of his own playing.
Playing the piano, for me, is for an entirely different purpose I suppose. And what's a keyboard?
"I have no doubt you're being more critical of your talents than others would be."
He had a hard time imagining Thaddeus not being gifted at the instrument. Perhaps it was just the nature of the man. It would seem to him impossible for Thaddeus to do something and not try to be absolutely perfect at it. Alfarinn had to remind himself that he didn't know the Anantya all that well. For all he knew Thaddeus could be sloppy and enjoy drinking beer in front of a television. Though somehow it seemed very far from the image Thaddeus Grey presented. The apartment had been kept extraordinarily neat so far but there was still little inside it. Alfarinn figured he was correct in believing his companion was as strict with himself as it seemed.
He made a mental note to definitely get a keyboard for the apartment.
"It is like a piano but allows you to play various different sounds as well. It is smaller and therefore might be a better fit for such a place. You could always carry it with you when your done with the apartment."
When we're done. Just like that. Not if, but when. Like it was already a given thing. -You are way too over confident for your own good, Jarlsen. You'll end up getting someone killed if you aren't careful.- He frowned at himself. It was one thing to put his own life in danger with his blithe disregard for the danger of a situation but quite another to do the same to friends. Alfarinn promised himself that he would be more careful and went back to paying attention to the path ahead of him.
Thaddeus was hardly afflicted by -that- particular trait.
Interesting, though...this idea of having a piano you could carry. He wondered if it would be wise to invest in such a device; it would mean, in a way, accepting that it was going to be quite a while before he returned home. It was a fate he needed to come to terms with, though the uncertainty was hard for him. He suddenly felt as far from the Manor as he could possibly be; far from Sorin's music and Mai's quiet presence. Morrigan's kind and firm sternness. The Japanese Gardens with Mai, the English Gardens alone. Moving away had happened so abruptly, and he and Arin had jumped so rapidly on the trail.
And there was the fact that Arin might expect him to play. Thaddeus was unsure of how he felt about that; there had been few people in his life that had heard him play. The idea -should- bother him.
Odd that it didn't.
I shall look into such a device.
They walked for a time in silence, until the dankness of the sewers began to creep into him again; he had almost forgotten in the course of their conversation, caught up in memories of home, but now their precarious position was coming back to him full force. The quiet of this place, punctuated by an occasional scurrying noise that Thaddeus was trying very hard not to think about and the ever-present thumping of the club music, was unnerving, and so he picked up the conversation once more.
I suppose there is no harm in getting a few comforts for the apartment. Is there anything in particular -you- would be interested in obtaining for the space?
"A computer, I suppose. That should keep me entertained easily enough and I could do work for Meridian from the apartment. I will have to bring a laptop with me next time I come. "
It was quite probable that Thaddeus knew very little about what he was referring to. Still it was something to keep speaking of.
"I enjoy riding and sailing but neither of these pursuits are very practical these days. More's the pity, I would love to go sailing again. My Norse blood does miss the open sea." There were times when his age caught up with him. A longing for open country so fierce it was painful. In those times he had to get out of Nachton and let it run its course. Be alone, just himself and nature until hunger drove him back to civilization.
He shrugged the feeling off and continued walking.
Perhaps if he were able to retrieve needed documents for himself, he could be more efficient in his investigations. He wasn't sure why the thought had never occurred to him before; he supposed he had just felt that sort of thing was for other people to handle.
It's been years since I've done either, for much the same reasons. Though I suppose my interest faded for such activities...given the choice I would rather fence.
He would have continued, but by that point the two men had finally approached the club entrance. Complete with bouncers, including one who was all too familiar to Thaddeus, and he expected to Arin as well.
Great. Him again.
Thaddeus took a deep breath, or as deep as he could in the tight clothes, and steeled himself.
Max crossed his arms and sneered at Thaddeus, then turned his attention to Alfarinn.
Looks like you finally found your "friend." Should add a leash to that collar, less liable to lose him that way.
"Perhaps I should but you would do better to mind your own business."
With that, he set the man down on his feet again and walked into the club without another glance at him.
Once he was inside he had time to reflect on what just happened. He rarely lost his temper like that. Granted the guy certainly deserved a lesson in manners, it was not normally something he felt necessarily his job. Maybe it was that Thaddeus was trying so hard to get through this that really set him off. The Anantya was having a difficult time without being embarrassed by some half wit with a power complex. Perhaps his own actions didn't help that but there was no taking them back now. Alfarinn felt rather embarrassed himself.
He waited just inside the door for his companion.
Is this how we are intended to behave in this place?
Though Thaddeus had not known the Evenhet long, he did not seem like a quick tempered man; certainly it would have shown by now, Thaddeus had given him plenty of opportunities.
This must be part of the act, then. He had not expected this sort of raw violence, though perhaps he should have, given Arin's descriptions of the place. And the name.
Inside, the music pounded harder than ever. He did not meet Arin's eyes, fearing he would give himself away and crumble if he dared, the same way he did not dare look in Mai's direction when he was about to laugh; her serene expression tended to encourage him. Arin was just doing his part. And so would he.
In a slightly raised voice, so the bouncer could hear him as they walked toward the entrance, he spoke.
Really, a leash? Perhaps -some- he jerked his head in the direction of the bouncer, just in case they were being watched, need such devices to keep their...friends...from fleeing at the sight of them, I suppose.
He was also not to pleased with his own actions nor the quickness of that response. Alfarinn turned to his companion and heard his comment.
"No doubt he has to pay for the pleasure of such "friends." Alfarinn said acidly before lightly touching Thaddeus's arm, not trusting his ability to be heard clearly over the den. "Come lets head to the bar and get a few drinks from there we can find a booth."
Alfarinn weaved his way through the crowd towards the counter.