Second Chances (open)
Eiryk was busy, extremely busy in fact. It made him happy. Oh sure he got frustrated and overwhelmed from time to time but overall he really liked being able to bounce from project to project and always have something to do, especially as he found both of his businesses more play than work.
Tonight, well right now anyway, it was the design studio. He'd taken quite a step back from the design business but he wasn't totally abstinent. This was a midsized B&B. It wasn't his project either, it was Eve's. Eve had been with him for a number of years now but she had always done residential, this was her first bid for the studio on a commercial project. So he was reviewing it before she presented it.
Eiryk was really very pleased. For all she had purple hair (now... it had been an unnatural fire engine red when he'd hired her) and some very creative tattoos she didn't miss a trick. Eve was very professional and talented so he was only making a few little suggestions here and there. Just little things she wasn't used to not having done commercial work before so he couldn't even fault her.
Finishing up his notes he stretched, notice his coffee was empty, caught the eye of one of the Barny's staff smiled winningly and waggled his eyebrows. He was rewarded with a stuffed giggle and a nod and knew his coffee would be on its way. He would have gone back to his work but he accidentally made eye contact with a rather muscular blond. Eiryk wasn't partially fond of the man but the boy looked lost and possibly lonely. There were no open tables. He wasn't exactly sure why he did it, but Eiryk waved him over an offered one of the seats at his table.
As he was scanning, hoping someone would leave, his empathy turned itself up to eleven. He got a blast of jarring clashing unharmonious music from all directions. He winced and steadied himself. When it subsided he blinked and looked around and happened to make eye contact with a guy who had more table than he seemed to need.
Blaise was certain he'd seen this cat around. He couldn't place him but he was offering him room at the table. Blaise decided that was good enough. As he walked over he started to hear music. It was faint and he couldn't quite place the mood, other than not exactly cheerful, so he did his best to ignore it.
"Cheers. Appreciate the invite, a bit busy tonight."
He set his books and coffee down and offered his hand as he sat down.
The other man took his hand with a smile that wasn't quite a smile.
"Oh, I know. Nice to meet you."
And just the his empathy cut out entirely there was nothing but silence, an odd expression in the blonde's eye and something of a sinking feeling in his stomach
Eiryk was very protective of his friends. Oh certainly when you lived for hundreds of years at a time you couldn't be protective of everyone you'd ever called friend but some people ... some people were on his permanent Christmas card list and Blaise had fucked with one of them.
Now it had been a few years since he had and from their chats Eiryk had come to understand Pak kind of liked the man in front of him, but Eiryk was reserving judgment. He was willing to be persuaded though, one didn't get past Pak's walls lightly.
Any possible tension was broken when his fresh coffee arrived and Eiryk took a second to thank and flatter the staff who'd brought it.
"What at you studying?"
He asked politely as he nodded to the books, he couldn't see the titles just that there was a stack.
"European history. Pretty dull stuff if you ask me."
"Ah so you weren't there."
Eiryk asked even though he knew the answer.
Not that comments like that were helping him relax. If they'd been at the library or on the strip or something Blaise would laugh it off, but in the towers in the middle of the night with a guy who claimed to know who he was, it gave Blaise a few clues.
Well he wasn't going to cower or beg or anything. He'd just be square with this bloke and see what happened.
"Yeah I missed... all of it up to and including Thatcher and The EU.'
Not strictly true, he'd been around for both to one extent or another, he just remembered bugger all about them. No kid would really.
Now, how the question had been phrased Blaise had to assume his new buddy had been. He just wondered how much of it. The only thing Blaise really knew was he was stupid young by vampire standards.
"I'm not going to find you in any of these books am I?"
Not quite the right tone. There was a little more challenge in there than he'd intended. Half in apology and half to stave off any misunderstanding Blaise shrugged his broad shoulders.
"But if you are can I bring you in for show and tell?"
It wasn't the best joke ever but it took the edge off, well he hoped it would.
"Well look on the bright side you can stay current with the new stuff. Although come to think of it, I've read books about things that I was around for..."
Eiryk shrugged. It could be an odd experience. Sometimes it was an event he'd been totally unaware of, sometimes it was an interesting new perspective and sometimes they got it totally wrong.
While he had half raised an eyebrow at the tone he decided to give Blaise the benefit of the doubt, at least for now, especially when the man tried to modify or mitigate it. The question about being in the books made him laugh. It wasn't a stupid question.
"Oh I shouldn't think so, not by name at least."
Without being asked Eiryk picked up one of the books and studied it. Although he didn't do much as far as formal education it didn't take much to recognize this as a high school level book. As he skimmed through the table of contents he looked a Blaise again. He certainly would have thought a modern man of his age would have surpassed this level of education.
"Interesting class to be picking up."
"So what exactly were you around for?"
Blaise asked rather bluntly. He still wasn't sure if that was bad manners or not but he asked anyway. There was no reason not to.
He did his best not to bristle when the guy started messing with his books. Blaise was still a little embarrassed he didn't have a high school diploma, he was darn close to the equivalency but he was a bit old to be geito it. Hell he was the oldest (even if you didn't count 'vampire time) in his classes. Thank God most of them could be done at least mostly on line.
"It has its moments."
All of a sudden it clicked why this guy knew about him, at least it was probably why. He decided to take a stab at it.
"You know Pakpao then eh?"
Eiryk answered airily. He didn't advertise his age. Hell he'd even been a little vague with Alex when asked, although his husband had gotten one of his more accurate answers. But he didn't like hearing the number aloud it could make him feel old and/or removed from humanity and Eiryk didn't appreciate either of those things.
He wasn't really surprised Blaise had asked, but he also suspected the boy wouldn't really press him. And he was a boy too, for all Blaise looked older than he did, Eiryk couldn't think of him any other way. Blaise probably wouldn't appreciate that at all.
When Blaise got a teeny tiny evasive Eiryk looked up and raised an eyebrow.
"Funny that's how I remember it too. The history, not the class. What made you decide to take it?"
Yes he was sort of baiting Blaise a bit, or at least being nosey but Eiryk didn't really feel bad about it. He was trying to find out about this man after all.
Oh that wasn't a bad guess. Not exactly Holmesian deduction but he did appreciate Blaise rather cutting to the chase.
"Yes, we've known each other for a while."
He smiled, but there was just the slightest predatory edge to it. It wasn't intentional, not really. He still regretted that Pak hadn't realized he was able to track. Eiryk made damned sure Alex, Pak and Kem had knew now. Hell Rue and Cris knew. It was a gift that he didn't have much use for these days and would still rather trade it out for psychometry but as long as he had it, people should know. Not point having a repeat.
With a canvas bag over his shoulder, Rowan was meandering past the remaining stores. It was too warm for a hot drink, but he wasn't opposed to some kind of frothy caffeinated chilled beverage. He stopped at Barney's for said coffee-slushie, and upon exiting the cafÃ© saw a familiar blond head.
Eiryk was there, sitting and chatting with someone Rowan was unfamiliar with. He didn't get the impression from their body language that anything super private was going on; he figured private conversations should probably take place privately. Like, with your husband inside your head.
At any rate, Rowan didn't feel too bad about making his way to the table since it was busy as hell tonight and the area was crowded. Eiryk's table had a couple free seats still so Rowan gently lowered his bag to the floor next to one and folded himself into the other.
"Well good evening," he said cheerfully. "I haven't crashed a party in a while and I don't think Eiryk has either, so I'm going to break my streak before he does."
He grinned widely at Eiryk.
(ooc: Rue is wearing almost nothing because summer. Torn-up dark green tanktop that is almost nonexistent due to strategic slashes, dark green and gold plaid shorts, and flip flops.)
While unwelcome the question was more direct and harder to side step. What he was hearing and his own gut told him Eiryk wasn't going to mock him. Still he sort of side stepped
"Pakpao was pretty sure I should finish up my education. She can be hard to say no to."
Honestly Blaise wasn't sure how she did it. She just had away of insisting on things and badgering and just being Pakpao that when she'd set her mind on something it happened. Besides she was right if he was going to get a legit job his previous education and resume wasn't going to cut it. And he had a long future ahead of him.
And there it was. The music shifted and got more tense. He wasn't surprised, not really but it was what it was and as if he and Pak had come to an understanding well her pals could too.
"Then you're a brave man. You're not a ... thing are you?"
He didn't think so. Blaise had given up on any kind of relationship with her and he was glad he had she was way more valuable as a friend/mentor but he did wonder about who might turn her head.
And then they were joined by some one. Huh. You know just from the look of the two of them Blaise wouldn't have guessed they'd know each other at all. The red head had this rocker punk thing going on and Eiryk was pretty damned polished.
"Not enough drinks for a party so I'm not sure what you're crashing."
His posture relaxed and he sipped his coffee. Well he did right up until Blaise asked if he and Pak were an item. Eiryk burst out laughing. Oh Pak would probably be huffy that he thought it was funny, but it was. If nothing else it had been a while since anyone had thought he was straight.
"Hardly. She's a good egg but my husband would object I'm sure."
And then Rowan was there with that amazing look of his. Eiryk smiled hugely always pleased to see his friend.
"Rue! Just stepped out of surgery I see."
Eiryk teased easily before agreeing with Blaise.
"Quite right we'd need something stronger for a party, but that can be arranged if you'd like. This is Blaise you may or may not have heard Pak mention him."
As he'd just decided not to be an ass about Blaise, Eiryk didn't mention the past.
That sounded wrong.
More like very distant cousins than friends with benefits.
He grinned at Eiryk and swept his hand down his chest, puffing up a little. "Oh, aye, all the cool doctors are wearing this style. Very hygienic."
The man Eiryk was with said there was enough alcohol for a party and Rowan spoke at the same time as Eiryk.
"We can definitely fix that."
He laughed and listened to the rest of Eiryk's introduction, nodding to Blaise. "Nice to meet you. New to Nachton?"
Rowan made assumptions there, generally just because he saw people around the Towers on a pretty frequent basis. It came with the territory, being Cris's husband and the resident doctor. He saw a lot of faces.
"I'm Rowan. Professional band-aid sticker-onner here at the Towers. Hopefully we'll never meet in a professional capacity."
For a second he thought this Rowan guy might be the husband. They both seemed pleased to see each other. He listened to the music in his head again it wasn't great quality it kept dropping out and coming back, like a record skipping, it did that when he dealt with more than one person. Although he wasn't sure who he was picking up and he wasn't sure what exactly the tune was, it wasn't romantic. So just mates then? Probably.
A quick smile crossed his face when they both thought about fixing the lack of drinks at the same time. It sounded like a good idea. It also made him realize he had to stop keeping to himself so much. He missed having friends. He was tired of his shabby one bedroom apartment down the road he was tired of a lot of things. He was going to get this GED thing stop hanging around with kids doing the same find out if he could still get into any of Alfred or Jarrod's account get some scratch and get his life back. Well some kind of life.
"Sounds like you two have a plan then."
Doctor? Did vampires have doctors? Could they be doctors? Was Rowan human? Blaise didn't really know how to ask that. He did, for a hot second, think about being a doctor. He could do that now couldn't he? He had all the time in the world. And Rowan's style made him look positively bland. Maybe.
"I'm kind of hoping that part of my life has passed. Wouldn't have thought there'd be too much call for a doctor around here..."
He really did hope his rough past was behind him, no more drug deals no more thugging for money. He really wanted to be legit.
((OCC... Rowan may have inadvertently inspired Blaise.))
Eiryk teased his friend. He really loves having Rue about. It made him happy and just felt right. Who knew how long it would last though so he was enjoying it now.
He laughed when their thoughts both turned to drinks at the same time.
"You know me there are a few bottles already chilled and I think Alex has some leftover nibble as well."
Eiryk was a host at heart, he was always ready for just about anyone to pop by. Alex was no slouch as a host. As such people did drop by now and then and he was always ready to extend an invitation.
Ah, the who's a vampire dance. They'd all done it. Eiryk just made it a rule not to cut in, not directly, but he could help both Rue and Blaise save some time.
"He gets more work than you'd think and does a fine job of it."
Eiryk had seen Rue's work with both human and vampire patients and was impressed. He also had no issues letting his friend know. Nothing wrong with a well deserved pat on the back now and then.
"Honestly I'm still not sure how you got my elbow set right the first time. Especially as I don't think I had all the pieces."
That had been a bad fall even by Eiryk's standards, any time there were bits if bone sticking out it was significant. It was also the last time he was ever taking the stairs in the Towers, he didn't even want to know how he'd done it. He was also still amazed it had just been a broken elbow after a story and a half.
((OCC yes we took a liberty, shoot us or we can edit it.))
In the general chatter that followed, Blaise didn't answer Rowan's question about being new to Nachton but Rowan sort of read between the lines and assumed, like before, that he was more or less correct. The man seemed interested in his profession, and Rowan smiled cheerfully at his observation.
"It's the Clan, mate," he said, indicating the people around him with a swirl of his index finger in the air. "Plenty of humans with human viruses and human injuries. Of course we care for our own."
Familiars, too, could be ill or injured. Perhaps some Clans didn't care for their human familiars at all, but Evenhet strived for more. Their relationships with humans were real and deep and, whether familiar, friend, or family, they would always need care.
Then Eiryk mentioned his last really good fall and Rowan guffawed. "We care for our non-human members as well, though in that case there's not so much doctoring to do. It's more like just figuring out the best way to encourage healing to happen as fast and as painlessly as possible."
He shook his head at Eiryk. "How Alex hasn't managed to make you an armor-suit of bubble wrap by now, I don't know. But setting your radius was easy. Even with missing parts."
That one, he had simply set, stitched, and provided pain relief for - which had had the added effect of a painkiller-drunk Eiryk inventing new lines to old sea shanties. There had been other injuries in years past where Rowan had felt far more urgency, such as Cris taking a knife or security members being shot.
"Generally the faster we can have one of us back on their feet, the better," he said, now indicating the three of them at the table, who he assumed by now were all vampires. "The human medicine is what takes much longer to learn."
He reached down and patted the bag of books on the floor by his chair. "And you just keep learning and learning."
Rowan's odd accent sort of reminded him of home. Not because sounded at all like anything English just because it wasn't American. Funny he hadn't even thought about going back to England.
Rowan also brought up a good point. He hadn't thought about the humans. He wasn't that old, you'd think he'd considered humans more, apparently he was really isolating himself more than he thought.
"Huh. I guess I got used to being told to take a couple of aspirin and deal, should have thought of that."
Alfred hadn't been overly caring when he'd been a familiar. Sure anything broken got set and if it wouldn't stop bleeding it got stitches, he wasn't treated as totally disposable just not with kid gloves or with doctors if at all possible.
The discussion about a broken elbow made him dead curious. How the hell had Eiryk broken an elbow so badly and the fact that Rowan was treating it as an everyday occurrence was crazy. He looked at Eiryk again try to find signs of being a badass but the bubble wrap comment made Blaise that wasn't the case. Weird.
"So you just apply to med school and make sure to take night classes or what?"
He was finding he was better and more interested in school this time around. Other than not having the dough Blaise thought something like being a doctor might not be totally unobtainable. He might Pakpao and probably a couple of the advisors about it.
Eiryk allowed easily. Eiryk, himself, very rarely wore shorts but had to admit Rue had the legs for them.
He was happy to let Rowan do most of the talking about doctor things, he was after all, the doctor. Blaise's apparent interest though, that was unexpected. Maybe Pak saw it though. It soften and evolved his opinion of Blaise a bit.
"Well I'm glad it was easy for you. I ruined a perfectly good suit."
He sulked playfully. Eiryk had to admit he preferred healing as a vampire but felt he had more fun earning his injuries as a human, raiding versus tripping over air at least you stood a chance in a raid, air was invincible.
But he dragged his thoughts out of the past and back to the conversation. Although he had a fair bit of formal education through the centuries and the appropriate certifications for whatever job he was doing it was nothing like Rue. Eiryk did a lot of reading, attended lectures that interested him, and was finding he loved online classes. Remembering what Blaise had said about finishing his education and the high school textbooks Eiryk thought the man might need all the encouragement he could get if he were thinking about being a doctor.
He caught Rue's eye and nodded subtlety to the pile of text books.
"But you'll have the time and I'm fairly certain we can dig up some help for subjects you might get stuck on."
However, Rowan couldn't claim to have come by some of his degrees through strictly legal methods.
"Well, back in the day there wasn't exactly an application process, you know? You apprenticed with someone and they showed you where to put the leeches."
He wished he was joking, but no - and leeches were hardly the worst of the 'old timey' remedies he'd been party to.
"Modern times, eh, well at first yes I applied and took night classes as often as possible. Where it was always possible I may have ehm, used my natural advantages to perhaps smooth the way a little."
Rowan cleared his throat. "You know, cut through some red tape, made paperwork a bit easier, possibly made room in some sections that were full."
He shrugged. "After the fact, the residency and actual practice aren't hard at all. No one, I mean no one, wants the night shift. They all want cushy day shifts so they can work nine to five and go home to their spouses and kids. When you actively seek out the night shifts, you become very popular.
"The only drawback is when they keep you past time, you just have to suck it up and stay until the following night. I never really developed a good workaround for that. And that presents its own challenges, like lovely natural light in patient rooms, and family members who spontaneously 'brighten the place up' by opening the blinds when your back is turn and then bam, instant sunburn."
"Not sure about the leeches... or the natural light but it sure sounds like you enjoy it."
They had other options too didn't he. Blaise seemed to remember his sister talking about assistant doctors or doctors assistants or something and some nurse things. Blaise was actually rather surprised he'd latched onto this idea but he wasn't ready to let it go.
Eiryk was being supportive too. That sort of blew his mind. Maybe his reputation wasn't as bad as he thought. Maybe this whole clan thing wasn't as bad as Alfred said. He was so running this all by Pakpao later.
"Well I suppose if I can survive Pakpao helping me through calculus anything else should be easy."
She actually had really helped, she was just a bit... blunt was all; very supportive but very tough love.
He turned his attention back to Rowan for now though.
"So if you were thinking about picking it up these days where... how would you start?"
Seemed as good a time as any to ask a couple of basic questions. Sure the school had resources and advisiiand what not and he'd use them for more detail but one or two vampire related specifics wouldn't be bad.
Eiryk said as he swallowed some if his coffee wrong. Honestly he thought that was funny as hell, a very pirate thing to do. He also firmly believe that his friend wouldn't cheat to the detriment of his patients, he'd still be fully qualified and not have skimped in his studies, just bent the rules to suit those nature.
"And to think I let you give me all those pain killers."
There was absolutely no attempt to disguise the laughter in his voice. Oh me might needle Rue about this for a while. Not in a mean way of course!
He shuddered delicately at the sun burn comment. He had some very memorable experiences with people decided rooms should be cheery and bright. He still didn't know exactly why Alex hadn't run for the hills after that.
"Well I'm told vitamin D is good for some folks and sunlight is good for moral and all that? Or something... at least they have visitors?"
He shrugged. Eiryk, however, didn't mention the difficulties of catching a nap in a hospital situation for Rue. But it did cross his mind.
It was rather fascinating that Blaise was so interested. It was like someone had -just- asked him what he wanted to be when he few up. Well more power to the boy if he decided to travel that road.
He couldn't help but snicker at the idea of Pak being a tutor. She really was helpful and generous there was just a certain... je ne sais quoi to her aid.
"Well if you can survive that you have a good start."
He didn't really know Pakpao well enough to comment on her teaching ability, but he could imagine the feisty vampire was probably equally enthusiastic about her opinion on calculus as well. He grimaced at Blaise in sympathy.
"I'd start with applying at colleges that have a good night schedule. If you're really interested I can help you out. I'm pretty handy cutting through the red tape, too. I mean obviously you'd be on your own once classes begin but I can help get everything set up for sure."
Depending which school Blaise chose, Rowan could do it by reputation or with his abilities. He'd been working on Nachton long enough to have developed a decent rapport with many of the teaching schools. They knew his name, and if he recommended someone he was fairly certain they'd get decent consideration.
Rowan rolled his eyes when Eiryk needled him about 'cheating,' as he put it. He gestured to himself. "Hello, pirate. Of course I cheated. I wasn't about to attempt daytime classes. Even I'm not that brash."
Rowan had a decent pair on him, he'd admit, but they weren't stout enough to attempt that kind of college schedule. Any classwork could be accomplished by alternate means, if needed.
He knew one Cris. The man had been nice enough to help him with some of the basics of his empathy. He appreciated that, and might have asked if it was the same guy, but it was the other term that confused him.
The school thing didn't surprise him, a couple of his teachers were pushing him that way... pushing pretty hard in fact. He had been dragging his feet though, this was his last term for the GED once finals were over he'd have an actual diploma. Well if he had to take a gap term he'd take a gap term.
"Thanks. Is there a certain major or set of classes I should be looking at or just get started?"
Apparently Pakpao had a reputation. Blaise felt a little protective of her, but having seen Pakpao in action didn't think she needed the help. Besides these two didn't seem to be mean spirited about things.
The blonde and the redhead started goofing again and it was just nice to be around. He didn't attempt to participate though, he didn't know either well enough. Man did he want to ask about the pirate thing though
((OOC... I'm amused he's going to wind up in healthcare or a teacher. Did not see that coming.))