It was early evening and Alfarinn stood out in front of the of the Nachton Central Mall and waited for Thaddeus. He was looking the typical teenager today in a pair of faded blue jeans and a black t shirt. Smiling to himself he wondered if Thaddeus would be dressed like he was going to wedding. Probably.
It still amazed him that he was out here to do something as ordinary as shop with the Anantya. He would have to say that getting an apartment and then dating was an odd way of doing things. Though this whole situation was far from normal. Alfarinn was having a hard time being finding any problems with it.
He watched the cars come and go and the packs of teenagers as they wandered around laughing and chatting.
He smiled when he saw Alfarinn, and quickened his pace. It was a little odd to see him this way, when not so long ago he had woken up next to the man in his own bed. That thought brought another smile to his lips, and by the time he approached Alfarinn he was practically beaming.
He inclined his chin slightly, still smiling, and raised an eyebrow.
You look well.
And he did. The man had a way of looking good in anything he wore, of carrying the presence of someone in a power suit while wearing a pair of denim pants.
With that, he looked toward the mall entrance. It seemed to be a popular place for the younger crowd, which, Thaddeus reminded himself, would include him if one were judging by appearances. And while the mall was not the shock that the House of Pain had turned out to be, it was still so...different.
But Alfarinn was here. And Thaddeus was trying.
"So what would you like to pick up first? Essentials or extras?" Alfarinn resisted the urge to put an arm around the blonde's waist with difficulty but he figured he could at least try to behave in public.
Hopefully the mall scene wasn't too strange for the Anantya, though he knew Thaddeus could handle it perfectly well after seeing him deal with the House of Pain, he'd just rather him not be uncomfortable here.
Alfarinn took a moment to look around at the crowd of shoppers. The place was busy as always and there were people of all types wandering in and out of the stores. It might take some getting used to.
Propriety got the better of him before he could continue thinking 'inspired' thoughts.
Essentials. After that I suppose time and how much we can carry will be our guides.
And exactly how long I can tolerate this place.
Thaddeus looked around doubtfully as they walked.
We'll be able to find what we need here? This place is so -big-, I had no idea.
A nearby shop gave him pause before he could continue on with his opinion on the mall. Inside, several keyboards (ah, that's what he meant!) and pianos were on display, along with a variety of guitars hanging on the walls and other instruments scattered throughout the store. From somewhere within the store, piano music could be heard, though Thaddeus saw no one playing. He started to walk over, 'just to look for a moment,' when a small woman stepped out in front of him from behind a cart in the center of the mall. Thaddeus barely registered what was happening before she brandished a bottle of something called 'Polo' and sprayed him with it. The woman then walked off, smiling, as Thaddeus stood still in shock and disgust.
Arin...what in God's name just happened?
He moved closer to Thaddeus and took an experimental sniff. Not bad, certainly could have been worse.
"I'd say you were just attacked by a perfume lady." Alfarinn couldn't help but chuckle. "Let's move on. I hear they sense fear and look for the unwary."
He took Thaddeus by the arm and lead them further into the music shop looking for some of the better keyboards to be had on display.
Turning to his newly scented companion, he said. " Would you like to play one?"
Keeping his eyes open for more of these vicious "perfume ladies,"Â? lest he be accused of being unwary, something he rarely was, he followed Alfarinn into the music store.
It was less crowded inside, more peaceful and calm, and Thaddeus saw no harm in looking in spite of there being more important things to shop for. When Alfarinn asked him if he'd like to play, he simply nodded quietly and approached a keyboard. He was surprised to realize how much he wanted to play; he supposed it was simply because he'd nearly always had a piano to play when he felt compelled, and not having one was bothersome to him.
The first one he touched felt wrong to him even with his gloves still on, and he moved on, but the weight of the second keyboard's keys felt a bit more true to him. Deciding there was only one way to be sure, he stripped off his gloves and played a few chords. The weight felt about right, though the texture of the keys was somewhat off.
Close enough. Still, it was hard to be sure, and Thaddeus looked up for a moment, hesitating. When he saw there was no one nearby, save of course Alfarinn, he looked back at the keyboard, put his hands in position, and began to play.
Yes. This will do.
The fugue required enough concentration from Thaddeus to block out all else and simply feel the keys beneath his fingers, hear the melody they produced. When it was over, he looked to Alfarinn again.
I hope you are not too disappointed. He smiled sheepishly. I did try to warn you.
We should get going, finish our business.
/ooc here's what he played http://www.mfiles.co.uk/downloads/book1-fugue02.mid
It is by Bach.
For this reason he well understood that Thaddeus was good, certainly better than he admitted. He was also holding himself back and couldn't completely block out the fact that they were in a public area surrounded by others. Alfarinn longed to hear him play when Thaddeus was able to forget there was anyone else around. That assumed he'd be comfortable letting himself go and not worrying what Alfarinn thought of his technique but he hoped they'd come to that. It was all the more meaningful to him to feel Thaddeus simply enjoying the feel of the keys and the sound of the music. The Anantya was always so controlled and proper, it would be nice to see him abandon that for even a brief moment.
When Thaddeus turned Alfarinn opened his eyes and smiled.
"You under estimate yourself. It was beautiful. Will you play for me again sometime?"
He reached out a hand to stop Thaddeus from leaving and looked questioningly at the keyboard. "Is it suitable? Or would you like to try another?"
((OOC: Sensing Thaddeus with permission ))
While he felt somewhat guilty for wasting precious time on frivolities when there were important things to be done, he saw that Alfarinn had no wish to let the matter rest.
It is quite suitable, at that. And yes, I will play for you again.
Thaddeus frowned before continuing. He had once told Sorin that compliments directed at himself were merely stating the obvious so that he could hear it out loud. As such, he was typically terrible at taking them gracefully, though he could certainly fake it when required. He wasn't entirely sure if Alfarinn liked his playing for its own sake, or if he was merely humoring him, but the words were kind and he could not deny that they -did- mean something to him. Perhaps because this compliment was not obvious. But more likely, because of the source.
And...thank you. Moving on quickly, he continued. I suppose I could order it now, if you don't mind wasting a few more minutes on my little comforts?
He put a hand on Thaddeus's arm unable to stop himself from at least that small gesture of affection and sincerity. "You've got to live there, it should be as pleasant as possible."
Personally he was of the opinion that the apartment could contain nothing by Thaddeus and he'd be happy enough. Practical living suggested they needed a big more than that. He did really want to see it become as much like a home as possible for the Anantya. It was far different from the kind of place he was used to living in so if a keyboard made him happy then Alfarinn was more than willing to see that he got one. He'd have gotten a piano up the stairs if it had be requested.
Thaddeus did agree to play for him again so Alfarinn was mollified for the moment. Though he wasn't entirely certain that his statement was believed. He sighed, there was always time to point this out again later when they were alone and he could elaborate.
Thaddeus smiled warmly at Alfarinn and squeezed his upper arm in return.
See? The public displays of affection police are not jumping out from behind the counter. Relax.
And he did relax, at least a little, as he headed for the counter. Some paperwork, filled out with his own pen rather than the ballpoint offered him, and a credit card scan later, and the arrangements were made and the delivery set for the following evening.
As he put his wallet back into his jacket pocket, something fell out and fluttered to the ground. Seeing what it was, he picked it up hurriedly and put it back in its place, though not before a brief smile.
The keyboard distraction taken care of to Thaddeus's satisfaction, he turned to Alfarinn.
Where shall we be off to next?
He was amused that the Anantya had his own pen but Alfarinn also understood at least in part the why of this. Though Thaddeus wore gloves it was still possible sense things from objects if the impression made on it had been strong enough, best not to even take that chance.
When Thaddeus was done and asked what was next, Alfarinn grinned at him and said.
"I suppose I should get a hair dryer."
As long as I still get to comb out the tangles, I concur.
Feeling especially cheerful at the thought, he winked. Then, realizing that what he said could be taken the wrong way, he added:
Not, of course, that your hair really tangles. Either you just want an excuse, or I do.
With that, he stepped out of the music store and into the crowd of people.
Alfarinn followed Thaddeus out of the store with a pleased but distracted look on his face. He hadn't known that it was something that would have been of interest, though thinking back on it, Thaddeus did seem to enjoy his hair. Hmm, the things even an empath misses when they were caught up in new emotions.
He was still quite bemused and grinning slightly when he came up beside his companion.
'I had forgotten; he doesn't even know it.'
Thaddeus felt that the Evenhet must surely have an -idea- of just how attractive he was, how he turned heads as they passed through the crowd, how people seemed to notice his presence, to take it in to such an extent that they couldn't keep their eyes off of him.
'Perhaps you should look where you're going instead of gawking at Alfarinn, Thaddeus.'
They walked together, always close but not quite touching, and as they walked Thaddeus watched the people they passed. It was all a bit much to take in at once, a blur of odd clothing and busy shoppers and loiterers. He caught a whiff of a heavy, greasy smell that was, if the sign was any indication, the Food Court, where several people crowded around little tables to eat. Ahead there was a marble fountain, where a group of teenagers were talking and laughing. A boy of about 15 appeared to be attempting to throw a girl of the same age into the water as she screamed shrilly in mock protest, but he put her down on her feet and she punched his arm playfully.
A few more years and they'll be spending their evenings in the House of Pain. If they aren't already. And their games will look much different there.
The thought made him a little sad. Indeed, the group did look the part; black leather and bare skin, colorful hair and jewelry hanging from multiple piercings. He wondered what it would have been like to have been born in this time. Would he be in and amongst people like these now? Thaddeus had trouble imagining the idea, and shook it off.
The two men turned to the left of the fountain, opposite the food court, and walked into what was apparently a small salon. A woman at a counter surrounded by shelves of hair products looked up as they entered, then, when they did not immediately approach her, went back to loudly chewing her bubblegum and talking on the phone. On one rack were several hairdryers, and Thaddeus looked in interest at the various products while letting Alfarinn make his choice.
It was enough to bring him back to the mission at hand, quickly selecting a wide brush that looked sturdy enough to go through his mass of hair, he turned back towards the counter.
He should ask Thaddeus if there was anything he needed in here but the Anantya hadn't mentioned it. Thaddeus's hair was always neat, impecably so, which did give Alfarinn the perverse urge to run his fingers through it. Not simply because such as action would feel nice but a strange need to have some impact on his companion, to see a physical sign of a difference that he made in him. It was a war within himself however, because he liked Thaddeus the way he was and did not truly want to change that, Alfarinn supposed he just wanted to be sure he mattered.
Enough thinking, time to move on. Setting the stuff on the counter, he was mildly gratified that the woman had to tell whoever was on the phone that she would call them back later. He paid for his purchases and smiled at her.
Taking his bags, he turned to Thaddeus.
"Well, what next?"
Thaddeus grinded his teeth in irritation at the girl behind the counter, who was now making a show of blowing bubbles and popping them loudly. He turned his head the first time she did so, and caught a glimpse of her pink tongue working a quick circle around her lips to rid her face of the sticky stuff. The tongue was pierced with a metal stud, Thaddeus observed.
At last the items were paid for and they were ready to move on. Thaddeus was happily distracted once again at the thought of brushing out Alfarinn's long, silky hair, but pulled out of that fog when asked where to go next. Thaddeus hesitated, thinking of a tactful way to say what he wanted without hurting Alfarinn's feelings.
We will need to go back to the House of Pain, I suppose, while we wait for the other plan to turn something up. I would...rather like to select some suitable attire of my own for the purpose. There is, I am assuming, a store that would sell what I need?
Unsure of what else he might say to make Alfarinn understand his point of view, he fell quiet. While he truly did not mind the Evenhet selecting something for him that first night, it was not really a practice he wished to continue. He preferred to have the choice; he could not explain exactly why that was so important, but there it was. Wearing something picked out for him made him feel...dragged into a plan that he wanted to enter into willingly, hell, that he had -initiated-. Not to mention the fact that he was simply set in his ways to some extent; he picked out his own clothes, he always had, and even if the style was not one he cared for, he would do it in this situation as well.
He looked up at Alfarinn, hoping he understood.
Alfarinn's voice was quiet. Of course he'd want to pick these things out for himself. It shouldn't matter. He'd want to do the same if it were him. Alfarinn couldn't help but feel a bit of regret. It was something he was not needed for and in this case not wanted. The night club was very much a time when Thaddeus did not normally look like himself would it be so wrong to want his opinion?
"You like him the way he is and that has become independant. He doesn't need you and he shouldn't. Why would you want him to?" Alfarinn chided himself for putting too much time into even thinking about the matter. Get over it and move on.
"Its this way." He weaved his way silently through the mall, every now and then making sure Thaddeus was still with him.
Thaddeus walked quickly to keep up with Alfarinn's long strides through the mall. He was as far from an empath as one could get; he knew how to read motivations, intentions, those little social subtleties that cloaked people's real meanings, but feelings were often lost on him. He was, however, not so oblivious that he couldn't see Alfarinn was hurt. There had been a subtle chemistry in their walk through the mall, they way they almost but didn't quite touch, the most casual brush sending a little spark through him, that suddenly went cold after his comments. And Thaddeus was at a complete loss as far as how to make things right again.
He had thought that, at worst, Alfarinn would think he wasn't particularly fond of what he'd selected, and while in all fairness that was true enough, Thaddeus had never known the Evenhet to overreact.
Was it the way he said it? While not his greatest moment, Thaddeus didn't think he'd botched things -that- badly. It wasn't as if he were taking a shot at Alfarinn's taste; the situation was what it was, the Evenhet had done well by him, but he needed to do this for himself now. Thaddeus had hoped that Alfarinn would understand that...and then realized that outlook was unfair. It was appealing to be close to a person who could understand your feelings without having to voice them, but there were sometimes things that -needed- to be said, that you had to find the words for. Even if they were understood.
Caught in his brooding and hardly looking where he was going, he nearly walked right into Alfarinn's back when he stopped in front of what was obviously the clothing store. Inside were a few shoppers milling through racks of various items, mostly black and red, with a few other colors mixed in rarely. He took a moment to scan the store with his eyes, then reached out and touched Alfarinn's hand with the tips of his fingers. This tension between them came at a bad time; he could have used Alfarinn's eye for this sort of clothing, if for no other reason than because it was important that Thaddeus get the look right, but now he worried that he'd only make things worse by talking. Still, he turned to the Evenhet, if for no other reason than to ensure he was still beside him.
This is it then.
And with that, Thaddeus walked into the store, which blared thumping music not unlike the House of Pain.
He walked into the store and stood behind Thaddeus, putting a hand on his shoulder and squeezing it lightly under the cover of moving past him to stand next to a rack of clothes.
Alfarinn smiled and hoped it helped relieve the tension his brooding had caused.
"See anything you like?...or will at least wear?"
'Oh, I see something I like alright.'
He wondered briefly if he had simply misunderstood the situation; Sorin had reminded him enough times that paranoia was not the same as intuition, after all. He had been worried about offending Alfarinn, and then it appeared he was; perhaps his mind had made to fulfill its own prophecy.
'You could always ask him. Or you could stop grinning at him like an idiot and answer his question.'
That...might suit. Let me get a closer look...He pointed up at a handsomely cut trench coat, mandarin collared with small buttons going down the center. On his way to the wall the coat hung from, his eye caught a pair of slacks with no small amount of straps and buckles. They were flashy, but loose fitting, which Thaddeus thought he would perhaps prefer to the skin tight look, and of a fabric that went nicely with the coat. He found his size and draped the pants over his arm, then made his way over to the coats and retrieved one of those as well.
It took him a bit longer to find a shirt to finish the look; he wanted something that covered his neck and would conceal the necklace he wore underneath. He thought it would be nice to avoid wearing the collar again; something about it bothered him. Finally, he settled on a ribbed mock turtleneck in a slightly shiny fabric. It would be snug, but the material had some give to it. The entire look was more flashy than Thaddeus would have liked by far, but seemed practical and kept the attention on the clothes rather than himself.
Now to see what Alfarinn has to say about it. He raised an eyebrow questionably at the taller man.
Thoughts? Or would you rather I tried on first?
"I think it will probably look good together but I suggest you try it on for the fit if nothing else. Though you seem to have plenty of room in these." He couldn't help smirking at the Anantya.