Temper Temper (Attn: Tai)

Val was about two seconds from throwing the prepaid cell across the room. She was running out of both ideas and patience. And it was starting to show.

That damned box Giovanni sent had been so cryptic, so vague, she'd really had no idea what to do and had been playing all this by ear. She and Tai had gone to Chicago and nosed about Cicero and some of the other neighborhoods. Although, things had changed since her heyday, they weren't as corrupt, the families weren't that powerful, you could still find them if you know where and how to look. As they were both, however, outsiders at this point it had taken longer than usual to find what they had been looking for, and the what had turned out to be a who, David Brosco IV.

Brosco was the familiar of a Teo Breda. It was a name that had rather impressed Val, Breda was something of a myth. But he had connections to the Five Points out in Manhattan and Giovanni had told her he was one of the first of the blackhand when they arrived in America. If you needed something done, an edge, an ace in the hole it was Breda you called, but you didn't do it unless you had to being in his debt was being in his pocket. He hadn't, however, been seen in decades even though his influence was still felt.

It had quickly become clear that Brosco knew where to find his vampire and was rather desperate to get back to the man. When a vampire that old and that connected went underground no one found him without tracking or without him wanting to be found. Brosco had flat out rejected their offers to help. He was suspicious of them and had taken every opportunity to give them the slip. As they'd watched Val had started to think she understood why Giovanni was asking for her to intervene. Brosco was making a mess, he was calling attention to himself and the fact that Breda was missing. Trouble enough that she and Tai had found out someone had burned down the man's apartment building and they'd saved him from a drive by.

That was when Val had insisted Brosco come with them. He'd refused. She'd tried to reason. He'd refused, repeatedly and tried to run. They'd had the last word and hadn't damaged him... too much. He wasn't their property after all. Although they now had him being held, captive and against his will, he was being more compliant. Of all the dumb things, he'd recognized the hat in the box Giovanni had sent as belonging to Breda and so had accepted Val and Tai as his guardians and allowed Tai to stash him, locking away really.

In the mean time Val was trying to figure out what the fuck to do next. They couldn't keep Breda forever, that was stupid. Although, eventually the bond would weaken and they man could probably go free. However, no matter who she contacted, no one could give her anything on either Breda or Giovanni and she was less than happy.

Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
There were several ways to get into the townhouse Tai and Val shared; Tai rarely wanted to be seen coming or going, and since his floor was beneath the ground it was even easier to access unseen. He quietly came up the stairs, his keen ears picking up Val's voice as she cursed at someone - or something.

Opening the door into the living room his reflexes kicked in before anything else; he registered the movement as a small black object whizzed past his face, missing his nose by a hair's breadth. His hand snapped up and he caught it easily. It was a cell phone. He looked down at it, tilted his head slowly, then looked at Val and raised one eyebrow.

He had just returned from checking on their charge. After Brosco had affirmed that they were not, actually, working against his vampire he had settled down a little. Which was good, because Tai was going to eat him otherwise.

He had modified Ellis's old apartment beneath the opera house. There were no windows in it to begin with; now it was armed with steel reinforced entryways and, for extra precaution, UV capable lights that would burn any vampire passing through until disabled. And they weren't easy to disable. Brosco had a relatively comfortable witness protection confinement; the apartment itself was more than livable, with a full kitchen and bathroom and a comfortable bed and a sitting area.

It had been Tai's suggestion to keep watch on the human; it was unlikely that anyone looking for Val would assume Tai was involved. They kept their involvement on the down-low and covered up their business dealings together. Tai didn't have any official ID, either. He was almost untraceable. And he could get back and forth by way of the sewers and other underground passages he'd learned to navigate while living and working with Ellis.

He shook his head and held the phone out to Val. Obviously she was having a wonderful night.
Valentine 11 years ago
They'd been together as... whatever they were, lovers, roommates, business partner, all of the above, long enough that Val was no longer startled when Tai appeared like a ghost. He did it more often than not. He moved like a cat and had more ways in or out of the building than she did. Val was a little more brash, more cocky and tended to just use the front door. It was her home after all. She, however, had more weapons stashed through out the place than was strictly necessary. She was certain Tai did the same thing, what always puzzled her though was they almost never seemed to hide things in the same place. Some day someone was going to break in and boy were they in for a surprise.

He caught the phone though and she was somewhat impressed, but too irritated to show it. She snatched it back, checked to see if the call had ended and tossed it on the table. She'd thought about tossing it against the wall just out of spite, but she wasn't quite that angry just yet. While she'd mastered that bit of temper her accent, which tended to get thicker depending on how emotional she was, was extremely heavy just now.

"Fucking sons of bitches. Nice catch by the by lover."

Val snatched a bottle of whiskey from the kitchen cupboard and tossed back a shot, it was smooth but she still relished the burn as she swallowed. Feeling a bit braced she stalked back to the living room and tossed herself on the sofa.

"No one is willing to drop a dime on either Breda or Giovanni. We can't keep the little bastard forever. It was probably stupid to grab him in the first place but he was making a serious cock up of everything."

She was rather accustom to venting, rambling at Tai even when she didn't expect much of a response, if any. He might not say anything but the big assassin heard it all and occasionally had found something in her rambling that Val hadn't considered and was able to put it in perspective.

"How is he any way? Do we need to go grocery shopping yet? Take him out for a walk? Or his he being a good boy?"
Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
Tai crossed the room to the leather armchair and settled into it smoothly, listening to Val. When she asked after Brosco he lifted one shoulder noncommittally. The human was all right. He'd been a familiar for a very long time, apparently, and the longer he went without his vampire the more anxious he became.

He snorted at the idea that he might not have stocked the kitchen properly or that the man might need to go walking. The apartment was big enough for him to get some exercise even if it wasn't a leisurely stroll, and Tai wasn't so far removed from humanity that he'd forgotten how to keep a kitchen full.

"He'll live," Tai said shortly. "He has what he needs for now."

For now. If they kept him to long and his familiar bond began to weaken, Tai was pretty sure Brosco would flip out and lose it completely. They didn't know how long this situation would hold though, so there was no point in worrying about it yet. Besides, it took weeks to lose a bond like that. Brosco would be okay for the time being and if it lasted longer, hopefully his former master would want him back.
Valentine 11 years ago
Val snorted. Brosco didn't have -everything- he needed. He needed Breda and didn't have him. She wasn't sure if that was her problem or not either so the little human would just have to make do without his vampire for a bit.

"Maybe it was a stupid idea to take him." She mused at Tai. "We could have left him loose and just taken out anyone who tried to off him. He probably would have found Breda easier than any one."

For all Val knew familiars had homing beacons and could zero in on vampires. She'd never had a familiar, had never asked about it, and after this was fairly certain she didn't want one.

Brosco though, he was interesting. He wasn't just a familiar he was rather special. Apparently Breda had been taking the oldest son of the oldest son as his familiar for generations. Although it was a bit messed up to Val's way of thinking, almost slavery but not quite she was certain there was something to it, something more than just tradition. Humans didn't live that long and they could die unexpectedly they didn't seem sturdy enough or reliable enough for anything long term but why else would you be this fussy? A secret birthmark that told the way to massive treasures? A DNA sequenced lock (yeah that would have made sense a thousand years ago)? Maybe they just had six toes on each foot and Breda thought that was lucky? She was going to have to think about this more.

"Did he have any ideas what was going on tonight? Any idea why Breda left him high and dry?"

With Giovanni incommunicado Val was still half questioning what he wanted done and right now Brosco seemed the most likely source of information. Unfortunately, he seemed as clueless as everyone else.
Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
Tai raised both eyebrows at Val this time; he'd agreed to be the human's keeper for the time being, that was all. He wasn't Val's lackey and she hadn't even asked him for the favor of interrogation. So he'd mostly ignored Brosco while he'd been checking on him.

Tai had done a far more basic job than Val wanted, apparently. He'd just made sure the guy was breathing, had food and water, and no access to the outside. The apartment was sound, though. There wouldn't be much need for Tai to constantly check up on him. With only one exit, and that one heavily wired, alarmed, and armed, he didn't foresee Brosco going anywhere.

In case his skeptical look was unclear Tai shrugged his shoulders at Val as well.
"Ask him," he suggested, making it obvious that he hadn't done so.

Perhaps, when he'd been human, Tai would have understood inherently and been more helpful. Now, however, he saw things differently. Maybe he felt things differently. He wasn't sure; he didn't dwell on it.
Valentine 11 years ago
Apparently, for a second, she'd forgotten who she'd been talking too. Val looked at Tai's raised eyebrows and the quite shrug and she paused, wondering why he was looking at her like that. When it clicked she laughed. She wasn't laughing at Tai, far from it, but at herself. He could go for what seemed like days and utter less than a dozen words and he had a fantastic gift for ignoring the irrelevant. What in the world had she been thinking when she asked that question?

"Sorry lover. I don't know where my head is tonight. Still hung up on other details of this mess I guess."

The idea of asking Brosco directly appealed to Val. She was a bit loquacious by nature and put a great deal of stock in face to face dealings, there was more to listen to than just someone's words and really as much as she trusted Tai, they were things she'd rather hear for herself.

They'd agreed she should stay away as much as possible. The odds were good Asa was watching her and that he probably wanted Brosco as well. He might even know they had Brosco. So it had seemed unwise to tip him off as to -where- the familiar was being secured.

"Feel like smuggling me in tomorrow night... night after?"

The opera house was his gig and she didn't know exactly how he'd secured it. That meant it was probably a bad idea to try and get in on her own. She -might- be able to do it, or, knowing Tai's fondness for blades, she might wind up decapitated. It just didn't seem worth the risk and effort.
Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
Tai gave a small, satisfied nod at Val's apology. Being taken for granted was certain to irk him, although with Val the feeling was tempered by a measure of affection. They might not be 'lovers' in the emotional sense of the word as Val used it, but they lived and worked well together and Tai liked Val as much as he liked anyone. The fact that she interpreted his body language was a plus, too.

Val asked if he could get her in to the Opera house and Tai nodded.
"Whenever you want."

They could go immediately as far as he was concerned. The entrance and exit were now mostly underground, save a very short bit between the sewers and the Opera house itself and that part was heavily concealed. Ellis had always taken care to hide her comings and goings, and Tai had only increased the protection. Technically the place still belonged to Ellis, of course, but she hadn't been there in ages.

Tai was relatively sure this Asa would not find Brosco. He didn't think he needed to ask Val to consider what Asa would do to retaliate. It would depend on how badly he wanted the familiar, Tai supposed. With that thought process in mind he stood and began to examine the windows and doors of the room they were in. They were blocked against the sun of course, and, this being Tai and Val's home, they were also armed and alarmed. If Asa were truly determined, though, it would not hurt to consider some extra precautions. Tai considered those his job. He was expert at breaking and entering, and that gave him an edge when it came to guarding against the same. He was sure Val would understand what he was doing so, as usual, he didn't bother to explain himself. Not that he would have, anyway.

((ooc: It's pretty obvious that Tai is checking out their security measures and probably eyeballing measurements for new improved options))
Valentine 11 years ago
"Excellent. Let's plan on tomorrow night then, early. I don't want the little darling to be too sleepy. You are just the bee's knees ducky."

Val would admit to being a little curious to seeing the digs where they were stashing Brosco. It was all very Phantom of the Opera and how could you not be curious to see this particular apartment. She wondered how much time Tai had spent there and under what circumstances. Not that she was jealous, they just didn't have that kind of relationship, but how could you -not- think about it.

More important though she started organizing her thoughts, what they were going to need to ask Brosco. The biggest question was should they find Breda or just keep Brosco safe until Breda could take him back. And there was also the question of why Brosco was so damned valuable in the first place. Val very much hoped he had enough of his mind left that they could do this in a straight forward fashion. She was thoroughly sick of fishing for information.

As she thought Val let the conversation laps. It never seemed to bother Tai, sometimes she suspected he actually preferred it. Sitting up on the sofa she kicked off her heels and watched Tai's golden eyes flick about the room. It didn't take a psychic to guess where his thoughts were. Val wasn't afraid of Asa, although she probably should at least be concerned about him, but they'd be stupid not to consider the man some kind of threat. After all, some one broke into Julian's place and beat him to high heaven. And even if Julian's place wasn't as prepared as theirs, that still said something.

"He probably will do something to retaliate."

She said without bothering to transition or even preface that statement. Tai would probably understand.

"What else were you thinking? I'm flat against explosives. The property value is too good for that."

Although, she could rig a few small ones here and there. But they were -so- hard to explain to the neighbors if she or Tai accidentally tripped one. Sure the odds were low, but did you really want to take the chance?
Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
Tai continued his inspection as Val spoke. Their doors and windows were already trapped, as were the ducts and any other way someone could sneak a person or an item in. You could never be too careful, however.

"Lasers," he said succinctly when Val asked him directly. "UV. Intense."

A rig like that around a small portal like a door or a window could easily take out one of their kind. Or the pizza delivery guy. Or any errant mosquitoes. Probably make a great bug-zapper, come to think of it. Tai chuckled to himself, wondering if there would be a noticeable difference in sound between 'Zap, there goes a bug!' and 'Zap, there goes one of the neighbor's kids!'

That would be interesting to find out.

Oh, wait, that would be wrong. Some bugs ate other bugs, and that was helpful. Oh and someone might miss the kids eventually too. Tai sighed and resigned himself to being a bit more careful with whatever technology he installed.

He turned to Val and said, even though he realized she might not have followed his train of thought,
"Do the neighbors have kids?"

She was probably used to this kind of thing by now.
Valentine 11 years ago
That was a good idea, something she'd never even considered. She missed a blink as she turned the thought over, it should be a great deterrent for vampires, burn like a son of a bitch. Depending on how it was done it might even reduce an intruder to ash. The only real question was what it would do to humans. Probably a third degree sunburn or something dumb. Not that either of them had humans over too often. Besides, anyone breaking in deserved as good as they got. It would be a great science project, she wondered if Mr. Wizard was dead.

Val looked thoughtfully at the door frame wondering how it would be mounted. She wouldn't want to to be too obvious.

"Damned lover. You could patent that."

It didn't have to be too terribly bulky, you could fit a laser pointer in you pocket and you could use that to disrupt air travel.

Before she could consider if the FBI or TSA would show up if she started trying to hit inbound aircraft with a green laser Tai jumped topic. At least she thought it was a topic change at first and blinked at him. She quickly caught up with his thought process and burst out laughing.

"Two doors down has two and right next door on the other side has one. But I think they'll notice if any of them go missing. Think you could try it out with stray cats?"

Hell even if this didn't work she really wanted to try it out now. This could be more fun than bombs, quieter too and it wouldn't be so messy to clean up. The possibilities were really quite exciting. She might even be willing to risk one or two of the kids disappearing in the interest of science.

"We need new toys."

She agreed with a broad fangy grin.
Ichiro Taiji 11 years ago
Tai raised his eyebrows at Val. He hadn't been considering using the kids as test subjects... but maybe if they were willing... and the neighborhood would probably be a lot quieter during the afternoons without all of that supposedly cheerful screeching they did when they were playing outside. He gave a thoughtful hum.

He shook his head, though, at the notion of using cats. Poor cats never hurt anyone. Plus, they ate mice. Kids, on the other hand, were obnoxious and irritating and only good for putting up with because they would eventually be a decent blood supply.

Thoroughly distracted by the idea of implementing his Opera house alarm system on their apartment, Tai vanished downstairs quickly for a tape measure. When he returned upstairs he began to take measurements of not just the doors and windows, but the angles between the corners so he could figure out where his lasers would need to point to and shield those areas.

Totally into it, he appeared to have forgotten about Val's dilemma with Brosco.
Valentine 11 years ago
Apparently Tai agreed as he didn't take long before vanishing downstairs for some tools of one kind or another. It didn't bother Val that he had let the situation with Brosco and Breda drop. There really wasn't much more to talk about, not until they had some more info from either Brosco or Giovanni. Truly she was content to let the matter drop for now.

The sun was getting ready to come up she might get a bit of sleep before handling some of their business matters later in the afternoon. Or she could do some virtual snooping. She really should take a few computer classes, there was only so much you could learn by trail and error. Of course this sort of thing could bore her silly, results were great trudging through mountains of data and firewalls to get them, not so much.

Sleep won out, well calling it a night did any way. Val watched Tai putter for a bit before standing and collecting her heels and heading to the stairs.

"I'm going to do a bit more work on this upstairs maybe catch a few winks. Thanks for your help lover, we'll go visiting tomorrow maybe go out for a bite after."

The invitation for him to join her was implicit. If Val hadn't been receptive to the idea of company she would have just said a simple 'good night', but she wouldn't mind the distraction.

With any luck though tomorrow night could give them some answers.

((OOC... both out))