The Dead Can't Dance

Evgeni had woken from his nightmare drenched in sweat. Sophia's face still loomed large in his mind's eye. She had been screaming at him, telling him that he had caused her pain, her death.

The dream had started in a cemetery. He had walked among the older graves, running his hand along the stones until he came to one that was new. Evgeni had thought it odd to place the new stone in this old section. He had taken a closer look and had stared in horror at the name carved in the marble. It couldn't be. She was ash on the bloody floor of a warehouse. She could not be here in this cemetery. A pale hand pushed up through the dirt and grabbed his ankle. It began to pull him downward with a terrifying strength. In his mind he could hear her voice accusing him of betraying her, of letting her die. He was the last evil man in her life. The last to hurt her, the last to disappoint her, the final one to not protect her. No one had ever protected her... Feebly he explained that Amrit was the one who had killed her, not him. It did not seem to matter. He was going to die with her, lay in this grave to keep her company and to atone for his many sins, chief among those to Sophia was having been born a man.

His head was just beginning to disappear into the freshly disturbed earth when he awoke. He turned to look at the bed beside him. Jan was gone. There was a note left on the nightstand. It said that the singer had to get ready for a gig and that Evgeni was welcome to join him when he woke.

He felt somehow, and admittedly unreasonably, betrayed by Jan's departure. Evgeni threw off the black silk comforter that had been tangled, along with the silver grey sheet, tightly around his body. Perhaps that had been the reason for the nightmare of being buried alive. He did not think his mind needed reasons. Every night without someone else was the same.

Padding across Jan's room, he tried to ignore the pile of clothes, sheets of music, empty cans of soda and the dangling cords of the video game his lover had been playing before they had gone to bed. His clan mate was not the messiest person he had ever seen but Jan would not be winning any house cleaning awards, if such things existed. Evgeni stepped into the shower and turned the faucet on. He pressed his forehead to the cool tile and waited for the scalding water to begin to help him feel clean.


It was a perverse personal challenge that brought him here after he had dressed and left the house. Evgeni looked around at the large oak trees and the long rows of silent stone markers. He should have gone to the club and met Jan. What was he going to do here, alone among the dead?

He picked a large old tree with a sturdy low hanging branch and hoisted himself and his violin case up onto it. Stretching out comfortably, Evgeni leaned against the trunk and settled his violin carefully in his lap, opening the lid. He lightly stroked the delicate wood of the Amati violin before taking it out of the case. It had been one of his only constant companions over the centuries. His most treasured gift from his life before immortality.

With a small sigh, he tucked the instrument under his chin and began to play. The first strong notes of Kalinka stretching out into the still night as if they could rouse the dead to dance.

Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian hadn't spent any of his day off at home. It didn't feel like home. It was a studio apartment that was his crash pad for now. Eventually he'd upgrade and maybe find something he really could call home.

He'd been out since he'd woken up shortly before noon. He'd seen everything he could see in Nachton. He'd met some guys his age and had hung out with them at a club where he'd had a little too much to drink but not so much that he was completely wasted, just pleasantly buzzed.

Now he was walking down past the cemetery, a place he normally would have avoided. It reminded him of grief still too fresh, of a little sister's headstone sitting alone in a plot that wasn't old enough to look like part of the landscape yet. He tried to ignore it. He turned his head away, tucked his hands in his pockets, and pretended he was too focused to care.

But eventually he heard the strains of a familiar Russian song, a cheerful song at odds with the scenery. What was more, it was a violin. How could he resist? He vaguely wondered if this was some sort of odd Twilight Zone thing; when he found the musician would he be staring at himself? Freaky.

He wandered into the graveyard but once he got close to the music he didn't show himself. He wanted to listen, so he leaned against a nearby row marker, respectful of the dead but curious about the one living. Perhaps he played for a dead relative. Julian wouldn't find that unusual.

Surprisingly, the violinist was up in a tree, and Julian tilted his head up to see him there, about ten feet away, reclined on a low-hanging branch. Maybe someone else would have found that unusual, but Julian thought it looked comfy. Still, he said nothing. It would be phenomenally rude to interrupt the player, so Julian just listened, looking at gravestones.
Evgeni 12 years ago
With one final flourish, Evgeni finished the song. Take that Dream Sophia! He raised his bow to play something else, perhaps Katyusha in keeping with his current national theme but he thought he had heard something while he had been playing. He paused and listened for a moment but there was nothing but the normal sounds of nature.

"I am not falling for your tricks.” He muttered to Sophia or his nightmares, or both. "Is just the wind.”

He began to play Katyusha despite the eerie feeling that he was being watched. Sophia would have hated this song and that made him smile. Yes, a woman who waits for and misses her love. She would have definitely hated it. Evgeni closed his eyes and continued the folk song with relish.

The song continued to gain momentum and stayed that way until the very end. After the last note sang out from the violin, he leaned back with a satisfied sigh and opened his eyes.

It was then, through a break in the trees that he could see the man near one of the grave markers quietly watching him.

"So I am not crazy. Is good to know.” He muttered to himself. Hanging the case on a branch, he collected both violin and bow in one hand and pushed himself out of the tree with the other. The drop was not significant to a vampire and he landed smoothly on his feet. Straightening himself, he flipped rebellious hair out of his face with an impatient jerk of his head. Then he turned a confident gaze on his audience; the man did not look like a security guard so it seemed unlikely that he was going to find any real trouble.

"Good Evening.” Evgeni looked around the graveyard and then back at the man. "I hope that I was not disturbing you.” The man might have wanted to quietly commune with a loved one. Perhaps he should have picked more cemetery appropriate music. Ah well, it was too late now so he chose not to worry about it.

((OOC: Evgeni is wearing a pair of faded black jeans, a light green very soft cotton shirt, cut like a henley but lightweight for summer. The buttons are all undone. He is wearing a black hoodie underneath a black suit jacket, both open. The hood of the inner piece is out over the jacket. He does have his saint necklace back on. Thank you, Sorcha. ))
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
The violinist didn't hear him, obviously, for he continued playing when he'd finished the first song. Julian still kept his distance; the music was nice and he recognized the second tune also.

He couldn't really see any of the details of the musician's face while he was up in the tree but after the second song the man dropped from his branch, bow and violin in hand. The jump made Julian wince; the slightest bobble and he could have hit his violin on something.

Everything worked out all right, though, and Julian observed the tall, skinny guy. He was blond-haired and quite pale, but he was polite enough. Julian smiled and shook his head.

"I was hoping I wouldn't disturb you," he said. "Your playing was wonderful. I just followed it in from the road."

He kept his hands stuffed in his pockets; there was nothing around but headstones, and he didn't want to touch any of them. But then, what did you really say when you wandered into a graveyard to randomly investigate the source of strange violin music? Maybe he should just be happy it wasn't his doppelganger playing after all.

"I didn't... did I? I can get lost," he offered. For all he knew this man was here because he wanted to be alone. There weren't many other reasons for such an audience. If he'd wanted a live one there was plenty of life just beyond the graveyard gates.
Evgeni 12 years ago
Evgeni got a better look at the man now that they were closer together. He thought he had seen him before, just once. The willingness to follow violin music into a cemetery helped along his suspicion that this was Jan's new violinist friend.

He ground his teeth together and worked up a smile. Jan could have tried harder to convince him to play. He would have done it eventually, probably. Instead his clan mate turned around and found someone else to do it for him. Didn't even try very hard to persuade him. Evgeni wouldn't admit it out loud but that was part of the reason he had been staying away from the band. It was hard to nonchalant about being so easily replaced.

"No, is compliment.” Evgeni smiled. "Here, hold her. I will be right back.” He handed his violin and the bow to the man. He was almost certain she was in good hands. Either way, only a complete fool would manage to drop the instrument while standing still and even if this was not Jan's Violinist, he didn't look like an idiot.

Hoisting himself back up onto the limb, he reached up and grabbed the case and then dropped back down.

"You were not here for strange reasons?” He grinned and looked out over the cemetery. It could be pointed out that he was the one who had been playing a violin out here. The man didn't look like a grave robber, if those existed these days, and he was alone so that made it unlikely that he was here for some kinky fetish...unless he was waiting for his date and wanted the musician out of the tree first. Of course, if that were the case then it would be easier to say he was communing with his long dead grandmother and could Evgeni please move on and play elsewhere.

Setting the case on the ground, he opened it and then took back his violin and bow. He sat down next to it on the ground and then looked up at the stranger. "You are music fan?”
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian took the man's violin and bow carefully and held them as he went back to the tree to retrieve his case. He handed them back and then tilted his head, trying to work out the meaning behind the accented words.

"Strange reasons?"

What kind of strange reasons would he have for wandering through a cemetery? Like, necrophilia or something? Julian raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

"No reason at all, aside from hearing Kalinka coming from a graveyard." He looked around them and shrugged his shoulders deeper into his unzippered coat. "Usually I avoid them."

When the guy sat back down, this time on the ground, Julian watched curiously to see if he would play again, or what. He nodded at the question.
"Yeah, I am. Do you play professionally?"

This person didn't look familiar to him but there were other organizations in Nachton aside from the Symphony. He could belong to one of those, or just perform freelance. He didn't tell him he was a performer as well, nor did he mention he played the violin. Musicians were a competitive lot and Julian was generally pretty modest. He didn't want to come across as a braggart or anything. He just liked getting to know people. So he wouldn't offer up that information unless it was asked for.

"Do you mind if I ask... why here?"
Evgeni 12 years ago
Evgeni was going to elaborate on what he meant by strange reasons but the man went on to say that he only came in because he heard the music. His words and manner afterward suggested that he did not wander cemeteries for fun. That was something Evgeni could understand.

He wondered why the guy wanted to know if he played professionally. Did he not sound good enough to play professionally? He had only been playing for several centuries now, plenty of practice. Evgeni could feel the inner makings of a righteous rage coming on and cautioned himself. There was probably no intended slight at all. The person he was hurt by was Jan and not this man. And truthfully he was the one who turned his clan mate down. Jan only called his bluff.

"No, I am forensic scientist.” Evgeni shrugged. "I am loving music for much longer but puzzles...” He spread his hands out wide. "I want to know why, yes? Solve mysteries.” His specialty was anything concerning poison. Evgeni loathed the stuff. "I am regular CSI.” He smiled at the term that had recently become very popular. He reached out his hand. "Evgeni Feodorovich Vasiliev”

Looking around the cemetery, he answered the other man's question. "I am banishing nightmares.” His face took on a stubborn cast as he mentally dared Sophia to come out and haunt him while he was awake. "Perhaps was successful.” He looked down at his violin and sighed. "To know would require sleeping. I am not so good at this.”
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
"Wow. Cool," Julian said. Forensic science, that was a fascinating subject. Julian knew very little about it but it always seemed cool on TV.

He reached out and shook the man's hand.
"Julian Stephenson," he said with a smile. "Nice to meet you Evgeni."

The name rag a distinct bell. It took Julian a second but he finally remembered why. His eyebrows rose in recognition and he snapped his fingers as he recalled the name of Jan's friend, a name he'd heard mentioned on a few occasions.
"You're Jan's friend. I remember now. But... why...?"

He bit off the question, shaking his head and smiling ruefully at himself. It wasn't any of his business; if Jan knew someone who played the violin as well as Evgeni why had he asked Julian to play with his band? The question could have so many answers; Evgeni didn't want to; Evgeni didn't want to play rock; Jan hadn't invited him to; the possibilities were limitless and Julian felt it would be rude to press.

Instead he tilted his head at the explanation of Evgeni's choice of setting. He gave a soft, dry laugh.
"I don't like sleeping either, and I also suck at it."

He looked around and shrugged. "That's why I'm out here, really."
Evgeni 12 years ago
Evgeni smiled. He loved the crime programs that were now on television. Before CSI, NCIS, Body of Proof and all the rest most people wouldn't have known what a forensic scientist was and it was rarely cool.

"A pleasure to meet you also, Julian.” He smiled and leaned back to look out over the cemetery. If you could get past all the stones, the place was actually quite beautiful. Evgeni wondered how many graves were actually empty and how many markers were for vampires. He had one himself, far away from Nachton. Evgeni's would have someone in it. He wondered when they would disturb his cousin's rest wishing to have DNA for his bloodline for the sake of history. At least someone related to him was actually buried there; he could imagine the mystery and urban legend that would come to life if they found some random person in his tomb.

Pushing that morbid but strangely fascinating topic aside, Evgeni gave Julian a smile when he mentioned Jan's name. "Da, is right.” The other violinist then started to ask a fairly obvious question. "I was being less than willing, yes?” He shrugged as if it did not concern him. "I am guessing he got tired of trying to convince me so he ask you.”

It would seem that he was not the only insomniac. According to Julian, inability to sleep had also brought him to this place. "You have strange woman in your dreams accusing you of her death?” He muttered before thinking that would be hard to explain. Perhaps the lack of sleep was catching up with him. "I promise. I am not murderer.” Of Sophia anyway. He could not claim to be totally innocent of the title, not after four hundred years.
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian stifled the knee-jerk reaction that had him chafing at the insinuation that he was second-string; no pun intended. Jealousy was something that could make any musician's life miserable. Of course Jan must have asked Evgeni first... but did this guy really need to make it sound like Jan had begged and pleaded until he'd had to scrape Julian off the bottom of a barrel somewhere?

Julian almost chuckled to himself at that mental image and the moment of almost-insult passed without a hitch. He did rock back on his heels a little bit at Evgeni's muttered question, though, which hit so close to home it was uncanny.

"She's not strange, and she's only mildly accusatory," he said, honesty still difficult to come by. But he had been told he shouldn't run away from the facts and he had gotten used to being candid when anyone asked about his past history or things like his scars. It didn't bother him that much anymore.

He shrugged at Evgeni's confession of innocence.
"I guess I can't say the same, though it depends on your definition of the word."

Was the accident his fault? No. He knew that. It could have happened to anyone. But he was at the wheel and that sort of did make him a murderer, even if by coincidence and circumstance.
Evgeni 12 years ago
Evgeni gave Julian a long searching look. He seemed to be serious about having a woman in his nightmares accusing him of her death. The comment had very little humor in the tone, despite the somewhat casual words. Or perhaps this was a subtlety of American humor that he had somehow missed learning. He had been in the country for a long time but nothing was impossible. After all he did not go out of his way to learn the idiosyncracies of the language.

Julian's response to his pointing out that he did not actually murder Sophia further suggested that there actually had been a woman in the man's past who haunted him. He tried to figure out why, if Julian had murdered her, that she would not be more accusatory. Sophia gave him hell whenever she found him drifting and he did not actually do the deed. Then again, Evgeni figured she was a twisted psychopath in life so he shouldn't expect death to change her. Obviously Julian's woman was at least somewhat more sane.

It occurred to him after a moment that he was thinking too much like a forensic scientist and less like an ordinary person with troubles. Julian would not be calmly telling him of an actual crime, at least he hoped not, so there must be a more mundane explaination. Perhaps he had given this woman a serious illness and she died from it while he lived? Leaping from the illness idea, Evgeni's mind went to third world countries. After all, it was harder to get a serious contagious illness in this one that medical science could not solve but some place without advanced medical care around every corner would give the theory more options. Maybe Julian was the one who asked her to go? Or maybe it was not an illness, maybe she fell while sight seeing? Was bitten by a snake or a spider? Evgeni stopped there, disliking the last thoughts and deciding there were plenty of reasons that Julian might feel guilty for someone dying that did not actually involve the man committing a crime.

"I am thinking of the word in traditional sense.” Evgeni said thoughtfully. "One that sends you to jail unless you are very very good, yes?” And every year it became harder and harder to be very very good. It was only a matter of time before they could pin point death by vampire with ease and then his kind would be in big trouble. Perhaps the Evenhet weren't so crazy after all.

"This woman who sounds much nicer than mine. Who is?” Perhaps he could help. In truth he knew that he could help as soon as Julian went to sleep. Talking about it while awake might be beneficial as well. He was not the best person for the job of counselor but Evgeni thought that it might help that at least he had personal experience to help him understand.
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian felt his face relax into a smile again. "In the traditional sense," he said, "I'm completely innocent of any wrongdoing."

He lifted his shoulders. He didn't mind explaining to Evgeni, who expressed his further curiosity.

"My sister," Julian said, casting his glance briefly over the headstones in the graveyard. Andrea had one of these, simple, engraved with her name and dates of birth and death in a plot reserved for their family in Catskill. Julian's parents hadn't expected to see their daughter's name there in their lifetime - and it was almost both of their children.

"I'm from New York, in the mountains. My sister and I were in a car accident. Hit some ice in a snowstorm. We went through a rusted out guard rail and over the edge of a cliff."

He looked back at Evgeni.
"I was driving."

Hence, the guilt. Yeah, technically it wasn't his fault but damn it had been a long battle to come to that conclusion and it didn't solve the fact that he still felt responsible for Andrea's death.

He continued to smile, though. This was a weighty topic they had fallen onto, although given the fact that they were standing in a graveyard death was bound to be at the fore of the conversation.

"It was a couple years ago now," he continued, "but you don't forget those things so quickly."

He turned his head, indicating the scars on his face, showed Evgeni the massive scarring on the side of his hand going up into the sleeve of his coat.
"I got off easy," he said. "Andrea died shortly after the car came to a halt. It was a while before the rescue squad found me."

Stuck in a car, suspended by his seat belt. Staring down at Andrea's nearly-unrecognizable face. Watching his own blood drip into her hair through a bright haze of pain. These images would never fade, could never be replaced. Julian knew that time might take the sharp edges off of them but in truth, he didn't want to forget. Andrea was the only sibling he had so he would keep her memory alive as long as he could. Julian didn't need closure anymore; that had happened a year ago. Now he only needed time.

He would have asked Evgeni about the strange woman in his own dreams but Julian as hesitant. Just because he didn't mind the questions didn't mean Evgeni didn't either, although he had brought it up. So he waited. Perhaps Evgeni would be in the mood for sharing.
Evgeni 12 years ago
Julian explained why he had a woman haunting him about her death and how he could feel responsible for her murder without having committed an actual crime. He then pointed out the scars that Evgeni had not given much thought to.

People were less likely to be injured in these modern times with jobs that involved nothing more physical than typing on a keyboard or walking to the water cooler. He was still used to a time when the lives of people were written on their hands, faces and arms and when you could tell what a person did for a living by the tracks it had made on their skin.

The ones on the side of Julian's hand were worse and it was obvious that the experience would have been harrowing and life altering even if the man's sister had not been in the vehicle with him when it went over the cliff.

"No, forgetting is not easy.” He shook his head. "Forgiving self is hard also.” There was nothing to be said that probably had not already been told to Julian. It was not his fault. Remember the good times and other such sentiments. Unfortunately they seemed to comfort the person saying them more than they actually comforted the person for whom they were intended.

"I am sorry. It is difficult to lose family.” Evgeni placed a hand on Julian's shoulder, giving it an understanding squeeze before letting go.

He turned to look out on the cemetery and tried to find a way to explain Sophia that did not involve explaining the unnatural nature of them both.

"This woman from my nightmares. She...had troubled life.” He frowned. "It twisted her. She believe that all men are bad.” Now how to explain his part in the situation. "She found me at my work...” Evgeni sighed softly and pulled his knees up to his chest and then wrapped his arms around them. "The body I was examining did not die of natural causes, yes? She had come to fix problem.”

He shrugged and went on with his story. "I was loose end. Instead of killing me. She take me hostage instead.” Evgeni refused to dwell on the many hours of sadistic torture that he had endured or the bond which had been forced upon him that made putting Sophia behind him difficult, even now. "People found her. I was rescued. I am not sure how they find her but she died then.” Evgeni could not explain that killing Sophia was vampire justice. "I am guessing she would not 'go peacefully'.” He knew that Amrit had not given Sophia a choice; however, she was torturing him at the time the other vampire arrived so the circumstances were special but he doubted she would have been cooperative either way.

"In my nightmares she tell me is my fault for her death. Last night I dream of." He pointed out toward the rows of grave markers. "She say I will come with her, keep her company since is my fault. In dream she pull with her. " Evgeni shrugged. "So I come here to show dream who is boss."
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian smiled sincerely at Evgeni's words. He nodded his head, agreeing with the fair-haired man. "You learn to deal with it," he said. Then he shrugged. "Then you accept it, and you move on."

His voice grew softer.
"I know I can't bring her back and I'm supposed to move forward. But sometimes I stop and go backwards a little, and wish that she were still here. I don't know if that will ever go away."

He liked that the man offered no false sympathy, no phony words of encouragement. It wasn't that Julian was jaded; just that he'd learned words were just words. Everyone was sorry but very few of them truly understood what it meant to lose someone in the tragic way that Andrea had died.

Evgeni's story, however, proved that he really did understand. Julian listened to it with raised eyebrows and wide eyes. It sounded like something out of a crime novel or a movie.

"That's incredible," he said when Evgeni was finished. "I'm sorry. She sounds like she was troubled. At the least, troubled."

He shook his head, looking at Evgeni.
"You do know it's not your fault, right?"

Certainly didn't sound like it was, judging from Evgeni's words. Then he turned to look out over the gravestones, following Evgeni's pointing finger.
"Do you think you won?"

Personally, he thought so. But it was hard to judge, having just met Evgeni. However, given the considerable strength of emotion and purity in the music he'd heard coming from Evgeni's violin Julian would say Evgeni was the boss. That lighthearted dance that had drawn Julian in was entirely at odds with any morbid graveyard setting. That, to Julian, said Evgeni was boss. To turn a graveyard into a cheerful place... win, right there.
Evgeni 12 years ago
Evgeni listened as Julian spoke. The man sounded as though he had come to terms with his sister's death, as best he could. No doubt it still haunted his dreams but in his waking life he had moved on from dwelling in the past or wallowing in guilt. That was commendable; it took a lot of strength.

He shook his head when Julian talked about revisiting the past. "No, it does not but the thoughts become...happier.” Evgeni shrugged. "Things you see or do remind you of better times.” He still remembered some of his family that way, especially his cousin.

Julian agreed that Sophia was troubled and he nodded. "She had difficult past. Perhaps good reason to believe men are evil. I think not this man though.” He smiled sadly and looked up through the tree branches and into the stars. "I am hoping that where ever she is now, she is at peace.” Whether that was an afterlife or simply blowing around as ash on the wind.

"No, is not my fault.” He turned to Julian and gave him a more cheerful grin. Had Sorcha and the Evenhet Security team found him and killed Sophia then perhaps it would have been his fault in some way for asking for help but he did not know Amrit before he attacked and killed Sophia. "I think she caused much pain, maybe more than she endured.” Quite likely, many men through out the centuries were past victims of Sophia. "But for her, was impossible to see.” Too bad they didn't have psychologists in ancient Greece.

When asked if he thought he had won, Evgeni shrugged. "For now.” The nightmares would come back but perhaps some day soon they would take a little longer before they re-emerged. "Is all that matters.”

Changing the subject, he asked. "How are you liking the rock band? Is good time?”
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Evgeni seemed to have come to terms with his demons for the night, much like Julian. Julian could only agree with Evgeni's words; only knowing part of the story, and that given to him very briefly just now, he had to assume Evgeni was right.

"It's sad," he said. "I don't think people are born bad. The ones who do go that way; the sick and the twisted... you can only pity them for never having had the chance to be better."

He knew that wasn't entirely true. Some people were simply mentally unstable and turned rotten no matter what chances they had, but not all cases. Julian really did believe in the goodness of people. Everyone was redeemable, or manageable, but too often they didn't get he help they needed when it would have made all the difference in the world. He wasn't excusing them or trying to write off their misdeeds as 'not their fault,' just making an observation.

Evgeni changed the subject and Julian smiled at the new topic. "It's a really good time," he said. "It's a break from the Symphony, a chance to do what I really have fun with. Jan's pretty brilliant."

Julian wrote his own music, and he knew he was no slouch, but that didn't mean he couldn't appreciate crazy levels of talent when he saw them. The same sort of appreciation had brought him wandering into the cemetery tonight. Musicians sought out musicians; plenty of times other people simply didn't know how to speak the language at the same level.

"If you don't mind my asking... why didn't you take Jan up on his offer? If he wanted you to play with him so badly? Are you just not interested in playing that sort of music?"

Julian couldn't help but wonder; Evgeni appeared to enjoy playing. Maybe it wasn't his style. Maybe his schedule wasn't open. Maybe he simply didn't get along with Jan. He considered the future; would he be annoyed if Evgeni changed his mind and did decide he wanted to play after all? He wasn't sure. He was a guest in Jan's band, so it wasn't his choice whether to stay or go, really. If Jan said he didn't need or want Julian anymore, Julian couldn't argue. He hoped that wouldn't be the case since he was enjoying himself, but Evgeni had made it clear that he, not Julian, had been Jan's first choice. So he couldn't really hold a grudge if it turned out that way. He'd be sorry though.
Evgeni 12 years ago
"Is true.” He agreed that most people were not born bad. It was a debate whether anyone was and sometimes he thought that maybe certain people were chemically and biologically more prone to aberrant behavior but he still thought that their experiences had a great deal of influence over them. It did not mean that a serial killer could not be raised in a perfectly normal home but something along the way caused that killer to choose to kill, what he killed and why.

Julian explained that he had a good time with the band and that he liked playing something different than what the symphony played. He nodded and agreed that his clan mate was brilliant. "Very creative...somewhat obsessive, but..”Evgeni shrugged his shoulders in a 'what can you do' gesture. "genius is sometimes difficult.” Jan could sometimes blank out in the middle of a sentence and then scramble for a piece of paper. He would then ignore who ever he had been talking to until he wrote down whatever it was he had to get down. Then he would go back to being social. It could be quite annoying.

Shaking his head, Evgeni hugged his knees tighter. "I am liking all kinds of music.” How did he explain that the House of Pain was crawling with vampires? Of all the places in Nachton, that one club was guaranteed to have some of his own kind lurking in the shadows. He sighed. "Is too soon.” Evgeni nodded out toward the graveyard beyond them and the nightmare woman that he was fighting to keep at bay. "I am not comfortable with attention just yet.” He was normally a confident and outgoing person. "Not so many.” Of the immortal variety.

"I am glad he found you.” Evgeni realized that after talking to Julian he meant it. It was hard to feel jealous of someone he now knew better. "It makes you happy and it makes him happy.” He smiled and finished "which makes me happy. We're all happy.”

Glancing down at his violin and then back over at Julian, he said. "Maybe I come practice with you and Jan. We can...jam.” He would like that even if he did not perform. They did not practice at the HoP which, like many things in Nachton, was open twenty four hours. Evgeni was not sure where Jan and his friends practiced but he thought it was a studio. "That would be nice. Less people.”
Julian Stephenson 12 years ago
Julian chuckled softly at the mention of Jan's being difficult. He had certainly noticed Jan's quirks but perhaps because he was used to being around musicians, who by nature seemed like a slightly more eccentric than usual bunch, it didn't bother him. Then again not many things bothered Julian.

When Evgeni explained why he didn't want to play in a band though, Julian nodded with sudden comprehension.
"Of course," he said, a touch of sympathy sneaking into his tone. "That's understandable."

The good wishes were appreciated; Julian thought Evgeni meant it, now that he understood why the other man didn't want to be part of the band. Apparently Evgeni simply liked to make people happy, something else that was understandable given his demons. He had no problem smiling and nodding.
"I'm glad it works out."

Then Evgeni came up with a compromise that had Julian perking up.
"You'd do that? That would be great. Two violins, we can steal the show."

He offered Evgeni a carefree, conspiratorial grin.
"I'd love it if you'd play with us. Jam with us," he amended, with a nod of his head. "It would be great."

Julian didn't try to hide his enthusiasm. He relished the thought of trading notes with a violinist who also enjoyed using his instrument for radical, modern sounds, which hopefully Evgeni did. If not, Julian could show him if he wanted to learn. The electric violin wasn't very much different at all in spite of its drastically altered appearance.
Evgeni 12 years ago
"Absolutely. They won't know what hit them.” Evgeni grinned. "Jan was making Russian inspired song. Perhaps we can practice this too.” His clan mate had taken what sounded like an eerie lullaby and fused it with a more upbeat folk tune and then added some modern instruments to it and some haunting lyrics. Jan had said it would be a hit and Evgeni did not doubt him. He wished for Jan's sake that the man could have the music career that he deserved. Perhaps there would be a way in the future.

"You know. I am thinking I am done battling demons.” Evgeni looked to Julian and then stubbornly stuck his chin out at the night, daring restless ghosts of psychotic women to say otherwise. "Let us get a drink, maybe two.”

He closed up his violin case and stood, reaching a hand down to Julian. They could find a bar within walking distance. Talking was so much better with drinking and sitting in comfortable chairs. It was just a little cold and damp out here. It was odd to think that he might have made a friend thanks to Sophia but Evgeni thought that it was true. Interesting, maybe good could come from anything bad. The deep philosophical thought ended when he mentally pointed out to himself that Sophia was the kind of awful that should win him the lotto, get him a raise and a new friend.

Maybe he should buy a ticket.

((OOC: Both out for a drink, maybe two. ))