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Roleplaying / Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 15, 2019, 08:05:38 PM »
He was going to be smashed. It made Lukas's expression bright and amused -- and he seemed annoyingly fine, finishing off his taco and swiping his hands down. "I won't even charge you for the references."

It all seemed to hit him at once, because he folded his arms across the bar to lean heavily against them, head tipping at a lazy angle to look up at Lukas as he gave a pleased little hum at the offered freebie.

Lukas laughed at him, caught the bartender's attention for a piece of tres leche cake to go and the bill, obviously not too concerned about any of it. "I suggest staying home, at least tomorrow."

"That was the plan," he drawled back, brows pinching just a tiny bit.  "What's tres leche?"  He didn't exactly butcher the pronunciation but it was close.

"Milk and caramel." He looked down at Tucker, leaning in on the bar. "You should probably eat a slice."

"Hmm, probably," he agreed, smiling crookedly.  It did sound good.

"Soak up the alcohol." He stood as he said it, shrugging just one shoulder and smoothing his hair back.

It really wasn’t fair, how attractive he was.  Tucker rolled his eyes up as Lukas stood,  and at this point the admiring was fairly blatant.  "That's a good idea."

Lukas grinned down at him again, patting him on the shoulder. "You should probably call a friend to get you home safe."

His shoulder was warm where Lukas had touched it, or maybe that was his imagination.  "That's a good idea, too."

He grabbed his cake and dropped a couple of bills on the bar, swinging his bag up over his shoulder. "I'll call you when I have something."

"That sounds great."  He remembered not to say thank you, barely.  Offering a dopey grin to the older man as he hoisted up his bag to leave.

Lukas shook his head and left -- and as he did, Rabi caught the bartender's attention for another drink. "You're so transparent."

He watched Lukas leave because, well, why not, before turning to look back at Rabi with both brows lifted.  "About what?"

"Most things." He tipped his head, looking down at Tucker.

Tucker shrugged, nudging one of the empty shot glasses around before asking for a slice of cake from the bartender when he set Rabi's drink down in front of him.

"Two forks," Rabi added, as the guy started to pull away.

He'd shoot him a look, but didn't say anything.  "The margarita was better than the tequila."

"No shit," Rabi agreed, nudging his own glass away. "He was a mess."

Tucker's head tilted as he thought about that.  "Was he?"  It didn't seem like it to him.

"I think so." He shook his head, frowning across at the alcohol. "Doing tequila shots. Really."

He frowned, gaze flicking to Rabi's glass.  "What's wrong with that?"

"He was too old for it, and you're too young." He looked sour, attention flashing onto Tucker.

Tuck waited until the bartender had set the cake down in front of them and walked away before answering.  "Technically I'm too young for margaritas, but you ordered me one of those."  With a shrug he picked up one of the forks.  "He's helping, and he doesn't know any of the details.  Does it matter what he drinks?"

Rabi started to answer -- then swallowed it, annoyed, and huffed out a breath.

Cradling his cheek with one hand, he sank the tangs of his fork into the cake to separate a bite.  It was good, creamy and caramel.

Rabi reached out to stab one of his more roughly, taking a bigger bite -- and then sighing again. It was actually really good, especially considering how much of a dive place this was. "Shit. The tacos are probably good too..."

"They looked good."  From what he could see when he wasn't just staring.  He took another bite of cake with an appreciative hum, licking a bit caramel from the corner of his mouth.

It was strange that Rabi actually looked annoyed about the food being good. He stabbed another piece of cake roughly.

Pale eyes tracked the fork.  "It seemed like you were in a decent enough mood when I got here, what happened?"

"I don't know what you mean." He spoke around the bite of cake, leaning his elbows in on the table.

"So you're just stabbing that cake like it wronged you for no reason?" He gestured with the end of his fork.  "And you shoved the drink you just got away.”  Not to mention the huffing, the general feel of annoyance coming off him.


He looked aside at Tucker, eyes narrowed. "You made bad choices. I told you not to do that. I'm definitely going to have to walk you home, now."


Tucker snorted, helping himself to another bite.  "I can get an Uber.  Not like it's hard."


"You could. But maybe you get jumped and robbed, since you're so incredibly drunk." Rabi frowned down into his drink, then pulled it in again to take a long gulp.


"Uh huh."  He pulled the cake a little closer.  "Being sober wouldn't prevent that from happening.  It could have happened last night, or earlier today, or on my way here "


He swallowed, turning the fork in his grasp. "But being drunk, you might do something exceptionally stupid."


He took another bite, not watching Rabi now.  "Uh huh.  And what exceptionally stupid thing are you concerned about me doing?"


"Well, if he'd said "how about you come home with me and roll around a bit" I think you would have said, "yes sir," and then taken off all your clothes, left the pin laying around to be found. And then another crazy magician would have --" He bit down on the rest of that thought. Clenched his jaw. Stabbed more cake.


Another fork full of cake paused on the way to his mouth and lowered again.  "You think after doing all this I'd be that careless?"  Didn't matter that Lukas wouldn't have asked.


Rabi filled his own mouth and just looked at Tuck, flatly.


He set his fork down without taking that last bite, and grabbed up his napkin again to take care of any hint of caramel that might have been clinging.  Then he tossed it on the table and pulled his phone out of his pocket.


He stole the rest of the cake halfway out of spite, downed his drink, and then stood himself.


He he was up and out of his stool and heading for the bathroom as Rabi finished off the cake and his drink.

He paid for it all, so that was something at least. And he was still there to wait for Tucker, somewhat impatiently, when he came out.

It'd take a bit, almost ten minutes before Tucker emerged again with the borrowed pin making him look like the young, college aged woman.  And he only shot Rabi the briefest of glances as he walked past him, out the front door, where there was a car waiting.

Rabi grumbled under his breath, but let him go. He'd just head back to the dorm to wait and watch for him to get home safe.

He'd make it back to the dorms without incident, drunk or not, and as he left the car he'd move swiftly across the lawn and up the stairs to his room.

No one jumped out at him, right now; no one trailed along in his wake or attacked him on the way to the dorm. He was safe enough, apparently.

He didn't dawdle or slow down, just kept walking quickly until he reached his door, then unlocked it to let himself in.  And there, safe, he clicked the pen to drop the disguise.

If he expected Rabi to pop in and check on him, he'd be disappointed. Instead he was left to drink water or not, his choice, and deal with the hangover on his own.

He was honestly happier the other man hadn't popped in, and Rabi wouldn't hear from him the next morning.   Or that afternoon.  Or that evening.  Not until it was Rabi calling him.
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Roleplaying / Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 15, 2019, 08:04:42 PM »
A little pause -- maybe a place called Spanky's wasn't exactly Rabi's scene. "Are you asking me to come?"

He thought about that, fingertip tapping against the desk softly.  "A bit, yeah.  But you don't have to."

"If I come, I want to drink." He said it in a matter of fact, way.

"Yeah, I figured."  His desk chair creaked as he sat back in it, taking another drag.

He huffed out another sigh, rubbing a hand across his face. "When?"

"Meeting at ten thirty."  He glanced over at the clock, fingers brushing through his hair.

"Do you need me to walk you and hold your hand?" It was only a tiny bit mocking.

"No."  Defensive, but maybe a little amused.  "Do you think it's a good idea to carry the pin around, though?  Should I leave it here now that the rooms protected?"

Rabi went silent at that, finally: a long moment of silence that despite the difference still sounded chilly. "...it's your decision."

Tucker made a small sound in the middle of all that silence, like he regretted bringing it up at all.  "I can keep it with me, I just don't want anything to happen to it before..."  He trailed off, because what he meant to say stuck in his throat, and he sighed.

"If you take it with you, someone could maybe take it from you, or make you give it up. If you leave it behind, someone could potentially take it from you. So It's all about what you want to do." Just a little beat; he licked his lips. "Or you could give it to me and then you wouldn't have to worry about it at all."

Tucker's turn to be quiet, his free hand pulling the pin from his pocket to smooth his thumb along the jewels at the top.  Mulling over his words carefully.  "And you'll take care of John, and the cops, and make all of it just go away."  It was what he'd said the night before.

"That is the plan." He said it slow, carefully; maybe realizing he was getting through, some.

Tucker chewed at the inside of his cheek between hits, and then snubbed the tail of the joint out.  Thinking about it, obviously.  "Either way, Lukas needs to be paid tonight."

That took any excitement out of him and turned his tone flat. "Make up your mind, then."

Another sigh.  "I'll just bring it.  I'll be there a little before ten thirty."

"I'll hang out at the bar." He hung up on Tucker before he could say anything else. But he would go to the place -- a dive Mexican restaurant and bar that smelled really good.

He opened his mouth to say something, an apology maybe, but Rabi had already hung up.  He'd see him later, though.  Tucker would get there a little before ten thirty.  It looked like he'd taken another shower, because his hair wasn’t sticking all over the place now, and his clothes were considerably tidier from the night before.  With not only the pin but thousands of dollars in cash in his pocket he looked distinctly nervous as he walked in.

Rabi looked like himself, already nursing a gigantic, brightly-colored margarita at the bar, and a pile of chips and guacamole.

Tucker glanced around for Lukas, spotted Rabi at the bar, and headed over to climb up on the stool beside him.

Rabi shot him a look -- and huffed out a little breath, like he was annoyed by the nearness. "No magicians yet?"

A small, audible sigh before he managed to catch himself, and he set his elbow on the bar, chin cradled in his palm.  "Not yet."

Rabi tipped his drink to take a long sip and looked up toward the door, considering that. "You drinking?"

"Yeah."  It'd been a week, he thought he deserved a drink at that point.  "A bit."

That got a sideways look, just a bit sly, a bit amused. "I see. So long as it doesn't cause any bad decisions."

He wrinkled his nose, smiling faintly in a self deprecating way.  "Right."

He took another long gulp and leaned back just a little bit. "Of course, I can make all the bad decisions I'd like."

"Hmm."  It was true, technically.  He didn't bother reminding Rabi that he needed Tucker to trust him enough to hand over the pin at some point.  He knew, probably.

Another long swallow, his attention on the door. "He said ten thirty?"

Tucker turned at the question, looking back at the door as well.  "Yeah."

"Maybe he's running late." He looked back to Tuck then, an eyebrow raised. "what are you drinking?"

"Maybe..."  Chewing on his lip, Tuck checked the time on his phone before glancing at the door again.  "And I'm not sure yet.  I don't drink much.  What do you have?"

"Mango margarita." It came with a flicker of amusement, again. He raised a hand to get the bartender’s attention and order one for Tucker.

He thought about protesting the beverage choice for half a second but let it go.  He didn't really know what he liked, so why not try it.

Rabi got himself another one, while he was at it, downing the first quickly. Of course, he had some money, now. And Lukas would show up when Tucker was about a quarter of the way into his - not from the door but from the kitchen, laughing over his shoulder at someone.

It was good, easy to drink.  Tasted more fruity than boozy and that was sort of dangerous.  He was just starting to feel it in his legs when he saw Lukas pop in from the kitchen and he sat up a little straighter, smiling automatically.

Rabi shifted at the sound, to look over his shoulder -- and snorted a bit, looking back to the margarita. He didn't offer to help out, and Lukas didn't seem to notice Tucker; he was still talking back at someone in the kitchen, his own smile wide and slightly less dangerous.

Tucker wouldn't immediately try to call attention to himself. didn't want to interrupt, and maybe he was also fine with just admiring the view for a long moment as he took a drink of his margarita.  He'd wait until Lukas' attention turned outward, if it did, and lifted a hand to offer a small wave.

He blinked past Tucker blankly for a moment -- and then focused in on him, humming a bit. It took away the easy comfort of his smile, made it a bit sharp and a little less...easy. He approached absently to lean in against the bar, looking down at Tucker's drink and humming a bit.

The mood shift, however subtle it might have been, had the younger man blinking, head tilting as he followed Lukas' gaze down to the half finished margarita sitting on the bar in front of him.  A dark brow arched back at him curiously.  "Hi."

"I don't want to know what you're drinking." He raised a hand for the bartender to get service, and ordered something neat. And a plate of tacos, with a flicker of a smile at the bartender.

"It tastes good," he said with a shrug, using his straw to stir what was left of the drink before sipping at it again.

"It looks like candy." He was smiling still as he said it, though; grabbed a stool and slid up onto it. "What do you have for me?"

"Tastes like candy," he confirmed with a crooked grin.  At the question he resisted glancing back at Rabi, and instead reached for his pocket, only to pause as he lifted his gaze from Lukas to glance around the bar.  "Here?"  He wasn't sure if flashing around that much money was, well, safe.

"Sure." He grinned at Tucker, sharply. "It's fine, I can handle myself."

"Okay."  If Lukas said it was fine...

He pulled a thick fold of bills from his pocket, and started counting them under the counter.  A few were wrinkled, well worn, but the majority were crisp and new.  When he had enough to cover the protections in his room and the half down for the charm he slipped the rest in his pocket, double countered, and then offered them over to Lukas.

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He snorted a bit, shaking his head at Tucker -- and leaning in on the bar to count it in plain view, maybe just to tease. The bartender came over with his drink and food while he was still counting, and he grinned up at the man carelessly. "Some chips, too."

Tuck made a sound, head shaking slightly as he took a drink.  And he'd take that moment to flick a glance up at Rabi.

Rabi met his eyes with a flash of amusement, downing another long swallow of his drink. Somehow, it was mocking. Lukas didn't notice, just turned back to him as he tucked the money away. "At least a week, and itds be easier if I had some hair, but I understand why you might say no to that."

Pale eyes narrowed just a bit before he looked back at Lukas.  "What would having hair do that'd make it easier?"

"Tailor it to you, instead of making it something anyone can pick up and use." His response was easy and casual, but Rabi was watching out of the corner of his eye with a frown.

Tucker frowned thoughtfully, head dipping to take a drink from his straw, and chanced the tiniest glance towards Rabi.  Enough to see the frown on the other man's face.

He shook his head, absently, even as he held up a hand for another drink.

He gave a soft hum, head tipping as he lifted his head from his straw to look back up at Lukas.  "Not customized is fine I think."  He said it with a small smile.

He was a good bite into a taco, and he shrugged at Tucker as he chewed. "Your choice."

He nodded, glancing at the taco before taking a longer drink of the margarita.  Lukas could tease, but it was tasty.  "What will it be when it's done, the charm?"

"What do you want it to be?" He watched Tucker with a flicker of amusement, his gaze steady. "Something on the hands usually works best, I think."

He had to think about that, hadn't expected to get to pick, probably.  "What about something like a bracelet?  Something simple looking?"

"Sure. Or a ring. Or a pair of gloves - though I work better with metal." He swiped at his mouth with a napkin, shrugging easily at Tucker.

"Bracelet or a ring," he compromised with a shrug, the corners of his lips twitching up on one side.  "Something I don't have to think about remembering to put on all the time."

"Simple band, the. Which is good, because I'd charge you extra for a gem." Another smile full of teeth, and then he finished off the taco.

He chuckled, head shaking.  "Simple is great, no gems."  He was pretty sure the team would give him shit for anything ornate.  Assuming he could make it to practice before all this blew over.

Lukas hummed agreement around his taco, swiping sauce from the corner of his mouth. "No allergies?"

"No."  Nothing that would affect that, at least.  He didn't think.

"A week, then." He took a couple long swallow of his drink, still watching Tucker. "I still don't see it."

He blinked, eyes wide and thumb swiping at the corner of his mouth.  "See what?"

"You, with this much money in -- nearly -- sequential bills, ready to drop it on someone going after you." He grinned at Tucker, picking up the second taco.

He chewed at the inside of his cheek before taking a drink, finishing off what was left of the margarita to give himself time to figure out what to say to that.  "I’m not going to give him the opportunity to get me at his mercy."  His shoulders rolled in a small shrug.  "I don't know how stable he is, or how powerful."

"I just can't imagine how anyone would be bothered enough by your existence to waste power on you." It was mean, but it was so -- casually mean that it was almost not even insulting.

Tucker shrugged helplessly, pushing the empty glass away.  "I've always had really shitty luck."

He took a couple bites of his taco, eyes skating past Tucker down the bar -- over Rabi and beyond, his head cocked to the side. "Still. I can't imagine how you ended up here."

Another shrug.  "A long history of attracting bad attention?" He watched him looking down the bar, and licked his lips.  "Didn't you mention something about buying me a drink?"

It made amusement bloom in his expression again, eyebrows raised in question. "Shots?"

That was better.  Tucker smiled back, couldn't really help it.  "Sure."

Next to him, Rabi snorted into his drink, even as Lukas put a hand up to get tequila shots. And lime, of course.

Tuck didn't pay him any mind, attention on Lukas and the shots being placed in front of them.  Hesitating to follow the older man's lead.

He looked aside at Tuck as the drinks were set down, eyes flashing. He picked up his lime wedge. "Have you done this before?"

"Once," he admitted, picking up his own lime.  "There was salt involved."

"Yup." He grabbed the salt, too - licked the back of his hand with a grin at Tuck - and shook salt out onto the wet spot.

A little rise of pink in pale cheeks, but he licked the back of his own hand as well, holding it out for Lukas to shake salt on while he still held the shaker.

Lukas took the shot like a pro: down the hatch, salt and lime, glass raised to Tucker as he swallowed and grinned. It didn't exactly match the classy vibe he usually pushed.

Tucker followed a second after, and it wasn't as smooth.  He hissed softly, chuckling as he pulled a face and set the glass back on the counter.  But he was smiling, straightening up to grab for a napkin so he could wipe the back of his hand.
"Does that qualify as a drink?" He tipped his glass to look down into it, as if there might be something left -- licking the last of the salt from his own hand.

"Does it?"  Baby blues flicked up to watch Lukas lick the rest of the salt from his hand, lingering just a bit.  "You tell me.”

He grinned at Tucker again, scooping up the taco to polish it off and leaning back a bit. "You don't have school tomorrow?"

Tucker shrugged, nudging at the shot glass with his finger.  "I do, but it's kinda hard to get around campus when there's someone looking for you."

"Mmm. You've got the cash to bribe a doctor into saying you've got mono; that should last you a couple weeks," He raised a hand, though; he'd get them one more round of shots.

"I don't think we need doctor's notes.  Just have to email my teachers, let them know."  He wrinkled his nose, thinking about what his couch would say, and teammates.  They already weren't happy he'd missed practice.

"I mean, your other option is to risk it and go to class." He mulled it over a bit, licking salsa from the meat of his thumb. "Or hire a bodyguard, I guess."

"After I get the charm I think it'll be alright."  He sounded hopeful more than sure.  "I don't want to hire a bodyguard."

"I could probably toss you some names, if you did." He clicked their glasses together and then took the shot in that expert way again.

"Well if I change my mind, I know who to call."  He flashed a smile up at him as he salted the back of his hand again and tossed back the shot.  Which was probably not the best idea, because he could really feel the first two drinks at this point.
3
Roleplaying / Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 15, 2019, 07:08:54 PM »
"No."  It was firm, the most definitive statement he'd made so far.  "Thank you, but no.  I don't want a weapon in here that I don't know how to handle safely."

"Fair enough." He could respect that for sure. He shrugged just a tiny bit, crossing to the bathroom to dump out the bowl.

"I will be picking up some mace though."  Effective, not deadly.  He sank down on the edge of the bed again as he checked to see if his finger was still bleeding, then pressed the tissue to it again.

"Uh huh." He rinsed off his hands, too, combed back his hair, and came out looking fresh -- if just a bit tired. "You said end of the day?"

"Yeah, I need to get it together."  Dark brows creased thoughtfully.  "You said two grand for the room, right?  And either five hundred, or fifteen hundred for protective charms?"

"Uh huh." It was not bad for an hourish of work -- but also, he had the market cornered in his way. Lukas shrugged, swiping the bowl  dry to tuck it away. "Call me soon."

"I will."  He wanted to ask Rabi about charms first, to see if he thought they'd even be useful.  Tuck stood, palms pressing together before lowering to his sides as he followed Lukas towards the door.  "Thank you."

Lukas snorted at that, shooting a look back at Tucker. "You are green, aren't you?"

He blinked, frowning faintly.  "It's that obvious?"

"This was a business deal, but I'll give you free advice." He paused in the hall, head cocked. "Don't say thank you."

Tucker leaned against the door frame, hand resting just below the mark they'd just applied to it.  "Right."

Lukas paused to lean against the doorframe on the other side, still very close. "Take my word for it."

Too close.  Pale eyes lingered on his chest before rising up to his face.  "I do appreciate it."

He grinned down at Tucker again, all teeth, and bumped two fingers under his chin. "You're going to end up in some trouble, I dare say."

That was all it took for him to go pink again, and he swallowed.  "I dare say I'm already in trouble."

That widened his grin and Lukas straightened, all at once, rolling his shoulders and swinging the bag up. "Good luck."

It left him flustered and staring, and he felt the warmth of those strong fingers under his chin even after Lukas had pulled them away.  "Yeah..."

He was laughing again as he turned to go, with one hand raised in an absent goodbye. "Call me soon. I don't want to have to come back."

Tuck didn't even realize he'd lifted a hand to wave back, fingers curling in a distracted way.  "I will."

He was gone in just a moment -- and as soon as he was, Rabi showed up at the door, frowning up at the marks and shifting the bag on his shoulder. "Interesting. Not bad."

Tucker had lingered in the doorway, gaze flicking briefly to Rabi as he returned but stayed on Lukas until he'd turned the corner and was out of sight.  Then he turned looking back at the other man like maybe he hadn't heard him.  "Hmm?"  Focus returned in stages, starting with Tuck following Rabi's line of sight to the marks.  "Oh.  Yeah?  You think they'll be enough?"

He hesitated just a tiny bit, fingers sliding up the strap of the bag. "...yeah. Kept me from popping in, so not terrible."

That made him frown faintly, a hand reaching out to touch the dark spot of his own blood.  "I wasn't trying to keep you out, I didn't know it'd do that."  Was it supposed to do that?  "But if it keeps John from being able to force his way in again."  He checked his finger again as he crossed back over to the bed to sit on the edge of it.

Rabi lingered in the doorway instead of coming in, brushing a hand up the back of his neck, slowly. "I think it'll keep him out. Anything that can keep me from zapping in...."

The frown grew more pronounced as Rabi lingered in the hall instead of coming in, pale eyes watching the climb of his hand up the back of his neck.  "Can you...is it keeping you out?"

He blinked, looking back to Tucker, weighing his answer. "It'd take away the glamour, I think. Not sure how I feel about that right now."

"You've been here without it before."  He was watching him now, no longer distracted.  "And I'd rather not talk to you about this stuff with the door open for everyone passing in the hall to hear."

He huffed out just a little breath, chewing that over. "He did a good job. It's a good thing."

There was a wariness in the way he was watching Rabi that hadn't been there for the last few days, expression thoughtful, lips twisted on one side as he chewed at the inside of his cheek.

He raised both eyebrows as he looked back to Tucker, fingers lingering on his bag. "What?"

Brows pinched, slightly, and then smoothed as he shook his head.  "Your not just wearing student glamor," he answered, huffing softly.  "I forgot."  He sounded tired.  "You could cross, if you wanted to, right?"

"If I really had to, I could." He shifted, shrugging at Tucker uncomfortably. "I'm not going to, though."

"No, that's fine."  He'd thought the protections were keeping Rabi out, which would have complicated things for a number of reasons, least of all logistics.  But since Rabi was staying in the hall Tucker got up again to move closer so he could keep his voice low.  He looked up and down the hall as he settled against the doorframe.  "Two thousand for the room," he said unprompted.  "And he mentioned something about charms, I didn't know if they'd help or be worth it, so I told him I needed time to get the money together, so I could talk to you first."

"What kind of charms?" He shrugged the tiniest bit at Tucker, shifting to root around in the bag; counting out bills.

Half turning, he leaned back against the wall.  "He said he had a one time use one that emits...smoke?  I think.  For five hundred, and a reusable one for fifteen hundred."

"Like  a signal flare? Seems like you'd maybe be better off with an actual signal flare." Rabi shrugged, tapping fingers against his arm.

He shrugged, tipping his head back.  "I don't know, I should have asked him to elaborate on it a bit more, but I thought maybe you'd know something I didn't.  I could ask when I call him back."

Rabi dropped his chin and thought it over more thoroughly, staring down toward his feet. Eventually, he looked up again -- "If he can give you something that makes you physically strong, that might be worth it. People who rely on magic are often susceptible to a surprise physical attack."

He waited, and then perked up a bit at the suggestion.  "He really didn't like when I slammed my heel into the top of his foot."

"It's not like they're...extra susceptible, just...." He straightened away from the doorframe. "They don't expect it as often."

"I'll ask."  His hands slid into his pockets.  "What else can he do, John?  I could have gotten away from him without help but he did something, made it so I could lift my feet."

"Magic." Rabi shrugged just the tiniest bit, uncomfortably -- and held the money out toward Tucker. "A lot of it."

"Oh fun," he said sarcastically, tiredly.  "Well at least he can't get in here, now.  And I've got the pen."  He took the offered money, folded it together with what he already had.

"I can't be much more helpful than that, he's a magician, it's just..." He hesitated, spreading his hand. "He can do anything he's learned how to do. I got him a lot of books."

"You're helping a lot," he offered sincerely, waving the wade of bills.  "I'm just...tired, I guess."

"So I’ll go back to my office, and you can sleep." He shrugged, sideways, and nodded to the money. "He coming back for that?"

"I think so.  I have to call him later."  He tucked the money back into his pocket.  "Do you want me to let you know later if I get a charm?"

"Or if you want me to play backup, though he seemed alright." Not so dangerous as Beau had made him out to be. "You can always call"

Yeah, he actually seemed really nice.  Didn't cut me much of a deal, but was friendly."  And hot.  He reached up, rubbing the back of his hand under his chin, like he still felt the fingers there.

"He didn't rip you off on the work, if nothing else." He shrugged the bag higher and squinted at Tucker. "Just be careful."

"That's good.  When I touched the marks he painted I could feel there was something to them, but it's not like I know what I'm feeling."  He shrugged.  "I can walk you back down," he offered, turning to lean his shoulder on the wall.

"I'm not walking." He raised a hand in a wave, then, and disappeared from Tucker's door frame, with just a faint scent of smoke.

Tucker rolled his eyes, a faint smile playing on his lips as he closed the door.

He'd call Lukas back before eight.  He could have called sooner, but he'd wanted the chance to unwind a bit.  To just be in his own space again and know that no one was going to come barging in.  A lit joint was clasped between his fingers as he listened to the ringtone through his phone.

Lukas picked up, his tone warm; the number familiar now, perhaps. "Well well. Ready?"

It really wasn't fair how hot he was.  Even his voice.  It made Tucker pause, very briefly, before answering.  "Yeah.  Well, I had a question first about charms."

“Sure." Something creaked; his chair, maybe, leaning back where he sat. Amused.

"The ones you mentioned, with the smoke, are those the only ones you have, or could you do one that could make someone stronger, or faster?"  There was a soft tapping, his fingers against the desk probably, and then a soft inhale as he took a hit.

He had to pause over that, chew it over slowly while he considered. "What did you want?"

"Strength, I think.  He didn't handle it well when I smashed my heel into his foot, and I'm not that strong."  A little cough, half muffled behind his own arm.  "So, that amplified, seems maybe more effective than smoke."  There was a small pause.  "Was it just smoke?  Like a distress signal sort of deal, or..?"

"Make people cough, burn a little, but it's smoke." He frowned a little bit. "You want to be stronger? That's it?"

Not just smoke, but he wasn't sure if that would be that effective against someone used to dealing with Rabi.  "Yeah, I mean for now?  I'm assuming I could come to you again if I needed something else.  Assuming I had the money, of course."

"Harder, though." He said it more seriously, now, without that edge of flirting. "It'd probably take me a good week."

"If I have to wait that's fine."  Though he had to wonder if things were still going to be as chaotic in a week, as they were now.  "Would it still be fifteen?  I have the cash to pay that upfront."

"Twenty two." He said it unhesitatingly.

"I don't have that on hand, so I'd need time to get the rest."  He lay his hand on the stack of bills resting on his desk.  More money than he'd ever physically been in possession of.  And he was just handing it over.

"Shit, I should have asked for twenty five." Lukas was for sure laughing at him again, even if the sound only crinkled his voice a bit.

"Should have," he countered easily, amused, a little warm.  "Too late now."

"Next time." Cheerful, though -- he wasn't too worried. "Now that I know you're not a broke college student. I want half up front, though."

It made him pause, frowning as he flicked his thumb along the corner of the bills.  "It's not my money."  Too much banter, he'd talked himself into a corner.  "But I can do half upfront."

"Can you leave your little haven there, now? I'm headed out a bit later, but not to your neighborhood." He paused to check the time as he said it.

"Um, well..."  He glanced over at the pen sitting on the bed and then back.  "Maybe.  Where are you headed to?"

"Waterfront." He said it immediately, which probably meant he wasn't just fucking around. "There's a dive bar called Spanky's."

"I think I can manage that."  He didn't sound exactly eager about it.  Nervous, more like.

"I'll buy you a drink." Definitely laughter behind that. "Ten thirty."

Suddenly seemed a little more worth the risk.  "Well, if you're buying."  He took another hit.  "I'll see you there."

"Try not to get murdered by magicians along the way." He hung up on Tucker to go about whatever business it was he had.

Lukas wouldn't hear the humorless laugh that followed.

He'd call Rabi after changing into a nicer pair of jeans and dark plaid button down over a plain t-shirt.

Rabi answered with just a little huff of breath. "Problem already?"

"Not exactly."  It was a touch defensive.  "He can do a strength charm, but it'll take like a week to make."  His joint had gone out, he relit it with the harsh snick of a lighter before taking a drag.  "And he isn't coming here to get the money, he wants me to meet him at a bar."

Another little breath out. "If you're comfortable with that. Where?"

"A place called Spanky's, I've never heard of it, but it's a public place so it should be okay?"  But he obviously wasn't sure, or it wouldn't have been a question.  "Do you want to come too?"
4
Profiles / Re: Abbott (Beau) Eastoft
« Last post by blue on October 06, 2019, 02:05:04 PM »
FATHER: Montgomery Eastoft
MOTHER: Katherine (Kitty) Eastoft
5
Roleplaying / Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 06, 2019, 01:33:18 PM »
He was going to assume Lukas meant dorm.  "Yeah."  It wasn't big, but it was his own space, minus the bathroom he shared with his neighbor.

"This is a mess. I can protect the room, but the second you step into the hall you're screwed." He was frank about it, pausing at the doorway to look around. "Can I come in?"

He couldn't quite hide the disappointment and just a flicker of fear before the question made him realize Lukas was still standing in the hall.  "Yeah, of course."

He eased into the room and shrugged off the bag, eyes taking in Tucker's things -- the quality, the style, getting a feel for him -- "I'm not sure you can afford this."

His shoulders rolled in a small shrug.  "You said we could negotiate when your here, so..."

He hesitated again, eyes raking over Tucker -- the way he was holding himself, the movement of his shoulders -- and considered. "...what're you protecting against, exactly?"

There was a nervous energy to him that was just barely contained, like if he wasn't keeping his hands trapped between his knees he'd be fidgeting.  "Yesterday a very large man followed me here, cornered me in my room.  When I broke away he stopped me with some kind of magic, then tried to drag me into a waiting car."  His gaze flicked past Lukas and around the room before rolling back up.  "I'm trying to protect myself from that."

It was -- cagey, definitely. Lukas tipped his head, watching Tucker with just a brief flutter of amusement, making sure the door was firmly closed. "Human?"

"I think so, but I don't know how I'd be able to tell otherwise."  He'd thought Rabi was human.

All the more suspicious. Lukas cocked his head, torn between that amusement and exasperation. "Why'd he jump you? What's his problem?"

He mulled that over carefully.  "He thinks I have something that belongs to him.  I don't."  It wasn't John's.  Which made it the truth.

He turned to rifle through his bag on Tucker's bed. "The problem is that the strength of what I do depends on the strength of what you need protection from."

Tucker flicked a look up at him, then pointedly away as the heat started to return to his cheeks.  "He definitely knows magic, didn't seem like it was hard for him.  Pinned me down with a spell, or...whatever you'd call.  I couldn't move my feet."

"How'd he do a spell? Did he talk? Did he wave his hands? Wiggle his nose?" He raised an eyebrow, his own eyes still roaming over Tucker's face.

He could feel Lukas looking at him, and that didn't help.  "Hands, I don't know if he spoke, but if he did, he didn't raise his voice loud enough for me to hear it."

"He wasn't holding any object or something else that might have been a focus?" He held up something himself; a bracelet, which he slipped absently around his wrist.

He looked up at the bracelet and frowned, trying to remember.  "He didn't have anything in his hands, and I didn't--" He shook his head.  "I wasn't paying attention to his accessories.”

"So maybe he was tacit but he definitely had gestures. My guess would be human, or mostly human." He cocked his head again, shaking the bracelet down. "I don't suppose you have hair from him? Or blood?"

"Unfortunately no."  But how satisfying would it have been if he'd been able to elbow John right in his fuckin face...

"And you don't know his true name?" He shook his head just a bit, brushing hair back.

Tuck shook his head again.  "He wasn't exactly offering it, and I didn't ask."  A hand came up to rub at the back of his neck as he huffed out a small sigh.

He rumbled at that, chin tipped up, still watching Tuck with that flicker of amusement. "So I also can't protect you specifically from him, but I can smudge the apartment and ward it so no one with ill intent can enter."

That arm dropped, both elbows resting on his thighs so he could prop up his head in his hands.  "That's something, at least."  Better than nothing.

His reply was a shrug, slow and unapologetic. "I need more information to do more."

"I know."  The only other information he had was a first name, and he didn't know if that'd do anything or not.  He also didn't know how to explain why he knew it without giving anything else away.  "My dorm being safe would be a lot of help."

"I could probably sell you a charm for self-defense -- or you could just buy a can of mace." He shrugged, hands spread, and turned back to dig herbs out of his bag.

Mace wouldn't be a bad idea...  "How much would a charm be?"  Too much, probably, but worth asking.

"Depends what you want it to do." He smiled again, but it was a little less shark, this time ."You're way out of your depth, aren't you?"

That made him laugh, high and humorless, but it tapered off into something just shy of helpless.  "Yeah, a bit."

He rubbed at the line of his jaw, a day old stubble, like he was thinking it over. "Smudging and the protection's two grand. I could give you a charm that gives off smoke for another five hundred. Or one that's reusable for fifteen."

He pressed the curve of one finger to his mouth, teeth biting down on his knuckle as he thought it over.  They had the money, but that was still a lot, and who knew if they'd need it for anything else.  "Is that the lowest you could go?"

"You have someone else who can do it?" It made his smile bloom and spread, looking up at Tucker.

"N-no..."  Pale cheeks went pink at the smile.

"Then that's as low as I can go." He sounded positively chipper about it, shrugging down at Tucker. "The great thing about this business is setting your own prices."

"You mentioned something about trading over the phone," he started, looking away again.  "What did you mean?"

"I'm always happy to exchange favors, but you don't seem like you've got any pull at all, so your favors are next to worthless." He raised both eyebrows, bemused. "And I doubt you have anything magical to trade."

"No, nothing like that."  Which was what he'd thought Lukas had been talking about.  He bit at his knuckle again, thinking.

"Promises are valuable, but yours are shit." He said it brightly, comfortably, hands sliding into his pockets; his supplies arranged out. "You don't have it?"

He looked up.  "I have some of it, I can get the rest."

"Okay." He didn't threaten or waiver; just stood with hands in his pockets. "When?"

"By the end of the day."  He sat up a little straighter, letting his hands fall back between his knees.

He debated it, head cocked, like he was smelling for the truth -- and then he nodded, turning to light up a bundle of leaves. "You staying while I work?"

"Unless you need me to leave." But he was already looking at the leaves with open curiosity.

"No." Sage; the place would stink when he was done. There were no muttering incantations or hand gestures, aside from him carefully pushing smoke into every crevice of the room. "If you're going to stare, though, I could offer an up-charge to take my shirt off."

It'd make him choke, just a bit, baby blues going wide and face going red.

Lukas laughed at him -- shooting him just a brief look, and looking -- well. Smug. Just a bit.

"As nice an offer as that is," he managed, having to drop his gaze from the look on the other man's face.  "I don't think I could afford it."

"I don't think you'd know what to do with it." He turned back to the work. He wasn't fancy: he was straightforward, just pushed the smoke around, quickly and efficiently.

"I don't know about that..."  He said it on the quieter side, watching the smoke swirl along the ceiling.

It made Lukas laugh again, though, blowing smoke around the room. He seemed relaxed; no part of this got under his skin.

It smelled like really strong incense, but he could at least recognize it as sage.  "What does that do?"

"If there's any existing magics in here, it should scrub them clean." He cocked his head, looking back at Tucker again. "If you put the right kind of focus and energy into it."

He shifted back until he was sitting against the wall beside the window, watching Lukas work.  "So if he did anything while he was in here that might have lingered, this takes care of that."  It wasn't something Tucker would have thought to worry about.

"Or if anyone's watching." He rolled a hand dismissively. "Or if there's ghosts."

Ankles crossing, he gave an interested hum and let his gaze wander back to Lukas as he worked.

He'd stolen a sideways look at Tucker at the word ghost, maybe to see if it freaked him out -- but now he looked back to the work.

He was either unconcerned by the prospect, or distracted.  Either way, this was probably the calmest he'd been since Lukas had arrived.

Probably for the best. He wouldn't get in the way while Lukas finished smudging the place and put out the sage and herbs, swiping his hands (mostly) clean, and turning back to Tucker. "I need a drop of blood. You don't need to give it to me, just put it on the doorframe when I say so. And the window too, I suppose."

He was perfectly content to just sit back and watch the way Lukas' jacket moved along his shoulders.  Out of the way and quiet until the older man was talking to him again.  "That one too?"  He'd indicate the bathroom door with a tip of his head.  "It connects with the room next door."

"That one too, then." He fished in the bag to pull out a knife and flipped it around to offer Tucker the handle. It wasn't fancy or ritualistic; it looked like a switchblade.

He looked down at the blade as it was produced and slid to the edge of the bed so he could stand up to curl his fingers around the handle.  "Okay."

"Not yet. I have to do a bit first." He dug out a metal bowl and a small key as he said it. "Going to use your bathroom."

"It's shared, " he warned, turning the knife idly in his hands, fingers moving carefully along the flat of the blade.

"That could make it tricky, but it should be okay. Bathroom just won't be protected." He took the bowl into the bathroom to fill it up.

He tipped his head, following Lukas with his eyes as he walked into the bathroom.  "Okay."

Water in the bowl; the key in the water; he came out to set it on the desk and add herbs, too. It looked a mess, but Lukas was focused, now. "How much trouble will some marks on the door frame get you in?"

His lips pulled to the side as he thought it over.  "How much marker?"

"Ink." He fished it out of his bag, holding up the bottle. "And blood to tie it to you."

He blinked at the bottle in his hand.  "I mean how extensive do the marks need to be, cause I don't think anyone's going to bitch over a few small ones."  He thought about it though, glancing back at the door.  "Actually, it doesn't matter.  Just do what you have to do.  If I have to paint over it later so be it."

"We're going to paint a little pattern." He turned to drop several drips into the bowl as well.

Dark brows arched as the ink was added to the bowl.  "How did you learn to do all this?  Is it just something you're either born with or you're not?"

"You have to have...something." He shrugged a tiny bit, mixing it up carefully. "An aptitude. But this kind of magic is largely learned."

"How do you know if you have an aptitude?"  Probably he didn't, but if he did -- If he could learn how to defend himself instead of having to rely on everyone else to keep him safe.

"You ever see things, out of the corners of your eyes? Or get the sense that things are there you can't quite see?" He didn't look up at Tuck; he also doubted it. "Or can you do things other people can't?"

He shook his head, frowning.  "No, I don't think so."  Not that he could remember.

"I have my doubts, yeah." He shot a look toward Tucker then, scooping up the bowl. "Ready?"

He wrinkled his nose, but he nodded and stepped up closer with the knife, tip resting against his finger.  "Yeah."

"I'll draw the symbols -- "  He paused to grab a paintbrush out of his bag -- "And then you'll put the blood, just a dab, to activate."

"Any particular placement?"  A little nick, rather than just a prick, probably.  The knife seemed sharp, it wouldn't take much.

"Right over the ink." He dipped the brush and stepped on to paint the symbol in a very familiar way. It looked like a do not enter sign.

He'd wait until Lukas was painting the symbol before stepping in closer.  A small breath in through his teeth as he pressed his finger against the blade, and blood welled up easily.  He reached out as the other man finished to touch his finger to the mark.

"Very brave." His eyes were bright amused, as he said it - catching Tucker's hand to keep him there for a moment.

Not really, or Tucker didn't think so.  Certainly not the first leap of fate he'd had to take that week.  Not even the second.  He just made an agreeable rumble, hand stilling as Lukas caught it, and flicked a glance up at the other man's face.

He bowed his head, and maybe Tuck would feel... something. A prickle at the edges of his vision before Lukas let go and grabbed the bowl to head to the bathroom door.

Goosebumps spread across his arms, a chill at the nape of his neck making him twitch before Lukas let go.  Tucker followed a step behind him.

"You might need to prick it again." He painted the same symbol: small and quick and surprisingly modern. it didn't much look like a rune.

He flexed his fingers, looking down at the cut.  It oozed faintly, but he rolled his shoulders in a shrug and just opened the nick a little further.  It stung, but he didn't react much, just held his hand carefully to keep the welling drop from spilling before he could press it to the symbol on the bathroom door frame.

Lukas put his hand over Tucker's again -- to push energy into the mark, to make it work. There was that glimmer of almost-sensation and then it was gone. Lukas patted him on the shoulder. "Window, too, last one."

There was something about being a part of something magic, even if it was just supplying a few drops of blood.  Important, or impressive, he wasn't sure what.

He followed behind Lukas again, waiting for him to paint on the symbols.

The last one on the corner of the window frame and he dropped his paintbrush into the bowl, watching as Tucker put his finger to the spot. "It is possible to break it. But it'd take a lot."

He held his finger there without assistance this time, as long as Lukas had held him still the first two times, then looked down as pulled his hand back.  The cut still bled, he stepped to the side to grab a tissue to press against it.  "What sort of things could break it?"

"Someone with very strong magic could come through anyway." He hesitated a little bit, mulling it over. "Someone who only causes you a tiny bit of harm."

Tuck nodded, glancing around at the marks on the doorframes, thinking that over.  "Hopefully it's enough to keep him out."  Absolutely better than nothing.  He was definitely going to pick up some mace, though.

"I could sell you a gun, too." There was a flash of amusement as he said it; a joke, maybe.
6
Roleplaying / Out of the frying pan, into the fire [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 06, 2019, 11:58:40 AM »
He'd made it back to the hotel without incident, had used the pen between the empty parking lot and the lobby before going in.  Check in had been problem free, and he'd gotten to his room, showered, and crawled immediately into bed.

His alarm woke him in the morning, but since it wasn't safe for him to go to class he turned it off and got another couple of hours before getting up, grimacing at his clothes from the day before, and ignored them for now.

He'd call Rider first.  Worry about clean clothes after.  He dialed as he rubbed at the back of his neck, chewing on the inside of his cheek as he thought over what he was going to say.  It was all still so incredibly foreign to him.

It rang, and rang, and eventually went through to a voicemail -- a voicemail which was not for someone named Rider. Instead it was for James, and breezily said that he was out of town at the moment, but to leave a message and he'd get back as soon as he could.

Tucker pulled the phone away from his ear to frown down at it, rereading the number, and then sighed and hung up.  That wasn’t going to work.  Rabi had told him not to mess with the fae, so that ruled out the next safest, and left...

He sighed as he thumbed in Lukas' number, stomach already twisting anxiously.

Three rings on this one before he answered -- distracted and a bit unfocused. "I don't know this number."

Well at least he answered.  "I got it from Beau."  His voice came up at the end, questioning.  "I've got a magician stalking me, and I heard you could help with protection."

"Beau." He made just a faint disgusted sound, but at least he paused to listen. "How much protection?"

He had to think about that, because he didn't want to leave anything out.  "Making my dorm safe, first and foremost, but if you could make it so I can move around campus and get to my classes again that'd be amazing."

He paused, then, calculating. When he answered, there was just a faint mocking edge to his voice. "Got a trust fund?"

He blinked, frowning.  "N..no.  Um.  I think I was getting help with paying, but I don't know the specifics..."

Again, he paused and chewed it over. "Anything worth trading? I can lock up the dorm, I'd say, but...mobile protection is nuts."

Dark brows creased.  "I don't think so, I don't really have anything..."  He had the pin, but that was definitely not leaving his possession unless it was going into Rabi's, and he had Beau's pen, but that wasn't his.

"You're screwed, then, I think. You want your place buttoned up anyway?" Someone said something in the background and he put his hand over the phone to answer, muttering.

The knot in his stomach tightened, and he bit back a small noise. "Y-yeah.  At least that much."

"Where are you?" He was so casual, coming back on the phone, like this was normal for him; no big deal.

"I'm at the Baymont hotel."  He ran his hand back through his hair and down to rub at the back of his neck.

"Eighty bucks to come out there and look; we can negotiate from there." He sounded absent about it. "Unless you've got something else to offer."

Eighty...  He could do eighty.  "I don't know, but that's fine.  It's not here I need buttoned up, though.  It's my dorm at the college."  He could maybe get a hold of Rabi before he met Lukas...

He huffed out a sound, amused and annoyed both. "The address there, then, and I can meet you."

Well shit, he was going to have to get dressed, call am Uber.  "Do you want me to text it to you?"

"I don't care what you do, kid, just get me the address and I'll meet you there." He paused again, with a hand over the receiver, assessing. "I can get out of here in about two hours."

He bit back an apology, mostly because he wasn't sure what he would have been apologizing for.  "Okay, I'll send it to you."  Two hours gave him enough time to get back, to get clean clothes, to call Rabi.

Rabi would answer a little breathlessly, when he did call -- in the middle of something, or distracted. "Emergency?"

Tucker was buttoning his pants but he paused.  "No, but I have to go back to campus to meet that Lukas guy at the dorms.  I couldn't get ahold of Rider, his voicemail said his name is James and he's out of town."  He said it was a sigh, zipping up and grabbing his shirt.

Rabi drew in a couple deep breaths. "You're meeting him now? When?"

"Not now, like two hours."  He swiped his hand through his hair, trying to tame it and failing.  "He's charging eighty just to meet me, and I have no idea what he wants to just block the dorm.  He kept asking about trading, but I don't have anything to trade."  He sounded stressed, but all things considered that was reasonable.

"You could always try sexual favors." The sound behind him settled as Rabi paused somewhere, assessing. "If he wants money, though, that's easy enough."

Tucker stiffened, quiet for a moment.  "I didn't think that was what...I mean I assumed he wanted like, artifacts or something."  Rabi might have been able to hear the flush.  "I don't know what he wants.  He said we'd negotiate when he gets there."

He actually laughed at Tucker -- the tension in his voice like a balm to Rabi, anyway. "If he opened with cash he'll take cash."

"Yeah, but how much?"  It was mostly rhetorical, because how would Rabi know that.

"A lot, I'm sure." He yawned into the phone, face turned away to smother the sound. "I can probably be there in two hours."

Tucker made a strained noise on his side and then sighed.  "Okay."

"Maybe don't go over until close to that time, though." He hesitated, thinking. "And use the pen."

It made him slow down, sink down on the edge of the bed.  The urgency leaking out of the moment, and his voice.  "Okay, but I want enough time to change.  These clothes are filthy."

"If you'd like. I might cut it a little close, though." He checked the time as he said it. "I'll try to beat you there."

Tucker glanced at the clock next to the bed, chewing on the inside of his cheek.  "I'll do my best, I've got to get an Uber, makes things tricky."  There was a pause, like Tucker expected that to be the end of the call, but he spoke up again.  "Rabi?  Can you bring my books with you?"

It got a huff of breath, annoyed. "Maybe. I'm not sure yet."

"Okay."  No argument, just acceptance.  "I'll see you there, then."

"Yes." He hung up, back to whatever had him running around a bit. But he'd show up at the dorm around ten minutes before the two hour deadline. Not that he looked like himself, in this moment; instead he took on a college student, in battered jeans and a beanie.

Tucker wasn't long behind, but he'd set the pen to look like the young woman, the most college appropriate, he thought.  He hurried up to the building looking a bit skittish, gaze scanning the parking lot for cars that looked suspicious, but he hadn't seen John's, so he didn't know...

Inside, up the stairs, he probably walked right by Rabi without looking at him.

He fell in a step or two behind Tucker, shifting a bag up on his shoulder. "Cutting it close yourself."

Tucker jumped, hitting the wall as he jerked away from the voice, and stared wide eyed at the other kid.  Recognition came a second or two after, and he made an impatient huff as he pulled his keys from his pocket to unlock the door.  "You told me to cut it close."  He should have just enough time to change, hopefully.

"I didn't think you would, though." He said it absently; he still sounded like Rabi. Mostly.

He shouldered the door open as he turned the key, leaving he door for Rabi to close behind him.  "...we hit traffic.  I thought I was going to be late."  Which explained why he looked so annoyed a moment later as he clicked the pen to drop the disguise.  He didn't waste time though, just jerked the dirty shirt up over his head to throw it in his hamper.

Rabi dropped the bag on the bed and stretched -- and he kept the cute-but-unimposing college student look on. Safer that way, maybe. "I have enough cash to cover it, probably."

Safer, but distracting.  Tucker paused long enough to actually look at him, brows drawn, before turning to shove his jeans off slender hips.  He scooped them up, pulled the pin free, and tossed the pants in the hamper as well.  "I have some cash in the desk drawer, if we need more, but not a lot."

"I've got about twelve grand." He said it absently, looking down toward the bag -- and then blinking back up at Tucker. "How much do you have?"

"Not twelve grand."  His shoulders rounded, thumbs hooked in the waist of his boxers, but he stopped there.  Opened his drawers instead to pull out a white tee shirt and a pair of soccer pants.  "Maybe two hundred.  It's supposed to be for emergencies."  This counted, he supposed.

"It's fine." He dropped onto the bed, stretching out his legs: head tipped back a little while he considered. "Twelve grand should be more than enough."

Just being in clean clothes helped, a lot.   His hair was still a bit of a fluffy mess but he seemed less frazzled on a whole as he moved to sit on whatever bit of the bed Rabi wasn't currently taking over.  "Yeah."

"Unless he changes his mind about cash." Rabi shrugged, watching him with his eyes narrowed. "I don't think I should be here, or at least not visible, when he arrives."

He blinked, head turning to look back at Rabi.  "Why?"  Rabi being there made things...easier.  Like at the bar.

"Because, anyone who figures me out will be...." He flexed his hand a little, uncomfortably. "They'll try to steal it."

Tuck frowned thoughtfully.  "Oh, right."  That would have been bad, especially if it was anyone with magic.  "Can you make yourself unseen?"  He gave Rabi a puzzled look, like he was wondering just how many other tricks the man had up his sleeve.

He made a small sound. "Not reliably. He might see."

He glanced around, lips twisted to one side before dipping his head towards the bathroom.  "If he can't see through walls you could hide in there.  Or the closet."  Pale eyes flicked back to Rabi again.  "Or there's a common room down the hall?"  They were mundane suggestions, but they'd get the older man out of sight.

"Uh huh, I can go to the common room; I wasn't going to go far, but I'm definitely not staying here." He cocked his head just a bit toward the money. "You want me to leave that, or take it?"

"Take it, just in case."  They -- well, mostly Tucker, he didn't know if Rabi knew Lukas -- didn't know if they could trust him.  He hoped so.  Lukas probably wouldn't have been recommended to him if he ripped everyone off, but...

He still felt twitchy, nervous.

"Uh huh. You can just call me if you need it." He shrugged, scooping up the bag and swinging it over his shoulder -- and then paused. "You said you've got two hundred, in case he asks for up front?"

Tuck nodded, folding his hands together and tucking them between his knees.  This seemed somehow worse than meeting Beau, but he wasn't sure why.

Rabi paused, then to count out another handful of twenties and peel them off to hand to Tucker. "That makes five. Just in case."

He blinked as he moved to take it, and opened the desk drawer to dig out the two hundred he had to add to it.  His bills were wrinkly, old, worn, stained.  "Thanks."  All of it was tucked into his pocket.

A contrast to the nice crisp bank-fresh bills Rabi had given him, all tidy twenties. He hummed, looking Tucker over, and then shrugged. "Don't offer him all of it up front. Haggle, at least a little."

"Okay."  Like he had any sort of experience in that.  He glanced at the clock as he sat down again, then back at Rabi.  "I don't know how punctual this guy is."  They'd already been cutting it close to begin with.

"Is that you trying to throw me out?" It made him smile suddenly, all teeth.

Dark brows dipped, then smoothed as he cracked a small smile.  "Sort of."  Not that he wanted him to go, but if he was planning on keeping a low profile, standing in the middle of his door when Lukas walked up wasn't going to make that easy.

Rabi made a low sound of amusement and then just stepped back and disappeared, with the cash tucked over his shoulder, unconcerned. It left Tucker alone with his thoughts.

As ever, his thoughts weren't exactly kind ones.  Mostly he tried not to think of all the ways he could screw this up.  He slouched back against the wall, waiting.

Lukas showed up almost twenty minutes late -- pausing at the door to look around a bit, obviously not quite sure where he was supposed to be but also not worried about it. He had a briefcase thrown over one shoulder, the sleeves of a dark blue shirt rolled up over his arms, black slacks. The effect was almost professional, except he wore it more like a costume than like he belonged in the nice clothing.

The man in the hall stood out in a way that caught Tucker's attention immediately.  He didn't fit here.  Not a college kid, not a student.  Pale eyes were a touch wide as he sat up straighter, and a hand came up automatically to try to smooth out his hair, to no effect.  "Lukas?"  Had to be him.

It caught his attention, made his head turn to look Tucker over -- and he smiled, an easy smile like a shark, both eyebrows raised. "Really?"

The rise of color into pale cheeks was instantaneous.  "Really what?"  Unsure of if he should be defensive of that one word question or not it just came out puzzled.

He hummed just a bit, stepping into the doorway, then, to look around the place. "You have a single, at least?"
7
Roleplaying / Re: Divide and Conquer [Rabi x Tucker x John x Beau]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 05, 2019, 07:13:22 PM »
Tucker paused at the look, frowning a little helplessly.  Aware he'd said something wrong, but unsure as to what.

Beau flicked fingers at him, dismissively, half-turning to search for his own crew in the crowd. "Tab's only open twenty more minutes. Then I'm going to go get really high."

He walked away looking troubled and confused, towards the bar, but with no intention of taking Beau up on that begrudging offer.  He couldn't have anyways, didn't have a mark on his hand.

Instead he tried to find Rabi, but he'd only gotten a few steps from the table before he'd felt immediately exposed.

It was alright: Rabi was there in just a breath, with his second drink mostly empty. He also still seemed perfectly sober. Obviously he wasn't an easy drunk. Or he hid it well. "Luck?"

He blinked, looking a little like a deer caught in headlights before settling back into just looking tired.  "Sure?  He gave me a pen that'll make me look like other people, but he needs it back quick."  Pale eyes flicked down to the almost empty drink.

He looked mussed, too, just a bit -- his hair rumpled, his chin tipped up. Rabi thought that over. "That'd fetch a pretty penny if you made off with it."

"I'm sure it would, but that'd be shitty and probably stupid."  He was eyeing Rabi as he said it.  "Where'd you go?"

"Wandered a little."He shrugged a tiny bit, looking back toward Beau, as his compatriots filtered their way back. "He's a disaster, right now..."

"Uh huh."  Didn't sound like he believed him entirely, but he dropped it to look back at Beau.  "Yeah, he is."  Even not knowing anything about him, Tucker could tell something was off.  "You going to finish that?"  He pointed at the drink in Rabi's hand.

Rabi looked at him -- and then, somewhat pointedly, downed the rest of the drink, shaking his head as it went down. Too much, too fast.

The sigh that followed was heavy and resigned, eyes rolling upward before he just closed then for a moment.  "Can we just go now?"

"Uh huh." He licked his lips, swiped a finger across his mouth, and then started for the door. "I can't believe he just gave you the pen."

"Maybe he felt bad he couldn't do more," he said with a small shrug, glancing back towards the table as they headed to the door.

"I don't think he usually feels bad about much." He caught Tucker's arm to haul him out the side door again, just in case. "He has a reputation."

"You think he had an ulterior motive?" He made a small noise when he was pulled to the side, and as soon as he realized where they were going he made a move to draw his arm out if Rabi's grip.

"I don't know." In the relative quiet of the hallway out, he held out his hand in request. "Let me see it."

He'd hesitate, if only for a second, before pulling the pen out to set in Rabi's palm.

Rabi clicked it immediately -- and as he did, he changed, like switching the stations on a television. Instead, for the moment, he looked like a mousy brunette girl, who raised her eyebrow at Tucker.

He'd been expecting a change, but not to that and it made him crack a smile.  "Well it does what it's supposed to."

She tipped her head, loose hair falling over her shoulder, and then clicked it again. This time, he was middle aged and white and incredible average. He hummed a bit. "Well, it works, at least." The voice was even different, a bit lower and softer.

The smile brightened.  "Nothing else to it?"  It came as a relief.  Any little shift in his favor came with a bit of relief.

He clicked through two more shapes -- a hot but cookie cutter blonde woman and an androgynous person of coffee-and-cream skintone -- and then he was back to himself. "It definitely works."

"Good."  He looked amused now, at least.  Instead of just tired and cranky.

He passed the pen back, shaking his head just a bit. "Probably he can track it if he needs to, is the only problem."

He tucked it back in his pocket.  "Him I'm not too worried about though."  Not like John.

”He's from an extremely prominent magical family." He shrugged one shoulder, slowly, dragging a hand over his hair. "I don't know."

Rabi was looking at it from angles Tuck couldn't see, and his head tilted as he looked up at him.  "You think I should just give it back?"

"No, it'll help you." He sighed just a little bit, shoving the door open into the alley. "You should hold onto it. But watch for strings."

Just stepping out of the club made him feel better.  His shoulders loosened, posture relaxing a bit.  "Strings?"

"Anything that might put you at a disadvantage. Which would make you owe him." He sighed a bit, looking up. "Wish we could have paid better."

"Ah."  He looked thoughtful for a moment before pulling his phone out.  "I don't suppose any of these people take payment plans."  It was mostly a joke.  Mostly.  He scrolled through the names again before pulling up the Uber app.

"He wouldn't want money, anyway." Rabi shook his head, leaning back against the wall outside to look down the alley.

"What does he want?"  He'd started thumbing in info for a car but paused.  "Do you need a ride back to your office?  Cause I was just going to go straight to the hotel."  He'd worry about his books later.

He blinked up at Tucker, and then waved it off, absently. Straightening. "I can get myself home."

"Okay."  He finished punching in an address, but looked up again.  "Is there anything else that I should figure out or worry about before I go to bed?"

"Lock the door, I guess." He tipped his head, frowning a bit at Tucker. "Maybe use the pen when you go in."

"Yeah, I was planning it."  He hit send to summon a car, then lifted a hand to stifle the yawn that followed.  "The pen'll make it easy to get into my dorm tomorrow for fresh clothes, but I don't want to be there for any length of time until I know it's actually safe."

He chewed that over, his head tipped and eyes distant. "You going to call the wizard or the charm maker?"

He rubbed at his eyes, over his brow, before raking his fingers back through his hair to get it out of his face.  "Tomorrow, probably the wizard.  Abbott said he was the least dangerous, whatever that means."

"Probably means he's the least useful, too." But Rabi shrugged; it was up to Tucker.

"Maybe."  He shrugged too.  "But if he can't help I can call the charm maker."

Rabi made a little sound, agreeing, or maybe disagreeing, attention turned upward. "It's your choice, naturally."

He frowned.  "Yeah, but it still concerns you, and you definitely know this shit better than me."  It was just shy of impatient.  Exasperated maybe.  "If you have a better suggestion, I'm open to it."

"Give me the pin and it all goes away." It was his suggestion, and probably always would be

"It goes away for you," he snapped back, head shaking as he turned to walk towards the mouth of the alley to see if his car was there yet.

Rabi shrugged at him a little bit. "I could make it go away for you too."

He stopped, turning to frown up at Rabi with narrowed eyes.  "How?"

"Turn myself in, confess." He smiled at Tucker as he said it. "Not without it, though."

Pale eyes narrowed a little.  "And what about John?"

"Ideally they'd catch me having killed him red handed." He said it smoothly, unhesitating. And then pointed past Tucker down the alley. "That your car?"

He stared back as he thought about it--really thought about it--a muscle in his jaw jumping before Rabi was pointing over his shoulder.  Tuck turned to look.  "Y-yeah."

Rabi shrugged, hands slid into his pockets, and watched Tucker through narrow eyes. "I'll hold onto your stuff, I guess?"

"Yeah, please.  I'll get it tomorrow."  It was distracted, brows a little creased.

"Uh huh." But he didn't move yet. He still watched Tucker, strumming fingers against his side.

His phone buzzed, the driver letting him know he was there, and Tucker looked at the car again.  He seemed conflicted, which was better than the defiance, at least.

Rabi spread his hands a little, eyebrows raising. "You want me to come with you?"

”No.  I mean I don't need you to."  He was fairly certain he could make it to the hotel without incident, and he'd already offered the second bed to Rabi.  Brows twitched and he stepped back, towards the car.  "Bye."

Rabi watched him through narrowed eyes, a bit suspicious, but he'd let Tucker go -- only disappearing once the car'd pulled away.
8
Roleplaying / Re: Divide and Conquer [Rabi x Tucker x John x Beau]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 05, 2019, 07:12:51 PM »
Tuck gasped as he was pushed back against the wall, and gave a very startled nod to Rabi before the other man had disappeared.  He stayed still and waited, gaze glued down the alley the way they'd come until the door opened beside him.

Rabi -- now in black fitted slacks and a t-shirt that'd fit into the club a bit better -- gestured him in, somewhat impatiently. "You won't have a hand stamp, but it's okay."

It didn't matter how many times Tucker saw it, that quick change magic was still unexpected.  He spared Rabi a look of surprise before slipping past him through the door.

"Now maybe people won't look at you." He said it idly, leading Tucker back through a hall that was definitely staff only, toward the sound of blasting music.

He made a small, indignant sound as he followed.  "Maybe, but I still don't exactly blend."  He didn't sound too terribly bothered by it.  "Which is fine, I guess, I'm not here to mingle."

Rabi smoothed a hand over his hair to put some red in it: loose streaks that arced back over his head. "Just try not to look afraid."

Well that was easier said than done.  The laugh that followed was humorless, eyes rolling.

Rabi shook his head just a tiny bit, leading the way into the crowd -- and then through, toward the bar. He had to push a bit to get Tucker through, but he obviously didn't mind doing it.

Tucker just stayed close.  He was so outside his element on so many levels and at this point he just wanted to get this meeting over so he could figure out what where he was going from here.

He was awkward. He put a cramp in Rabi's style. But he leaned in against the bar to catch the bartender's attention, and shouted in search of Abbott. They were both pointed to a booth in the corner, with curtains half-pulled closed around it. And Rabi raised an eyebrow at Tucker, leaning in to be heard over the music. "Do you need hand holding?"

He gave Rabi a look, but also didn't say no.  Just glanced at the booth with a frown.  "Not yet," he answered honestly.  "Maybe stay close, though."

He made a sound, annoyed, then caught the bartenders attention to order something sweet and strong and brightly colored to take with him.

"You'd think you'd be more concerned about this going well," he commented drying after Rabi ordered.  "You don't want to babysit me constantly, and I can't exactly wander about safely at the moment."

"I also don't really want to get too close to anyone who knows magic and might recognise me." He shook his head at Tucker.

"I can appreciate the caution but you're familiar with this shit, not me.  I'm way out of my depth."  He said it back at him as he started for the booth.

Rabi blew out a sigh and grabbed his drink before following - back a few steps, out of the way. In the Boothe were three extremely hot girls, two very fit you men, and one guy who was drunk enough that he blinked up at Tucker and looked more confused than annoyed.

He wasn't expecting so many people and it showed in the widening of pale eyes, for just a moment, before Tucker managed to push back the nerves enough to speak levely.  "I'm here to talk to Abbott Eastoft."

The drunk stared at him for a moment, blinking slowly, trying to focus. it didn't make him intimidating, even in the expensive tie and fine cufflinks. "Why?"

Great...  "About protection."  His attention settled more firmly on the one that had spoken, but not before glancing around at the other people in the booth.

"What's your name?"  He leaned in, elbows on the counter, scraping at the mess of his hair.

"Tucker."  He wasn't sure if his last name was important, but he didn't want to give it if he didn't have to.

"Oh. You." He sat back for a moment, rubbing at his face - and then gestured at the hot girls blurrily. "Go away." They glared, but they did, taking the rest with them.

Tuck shifted back a step or two so he wasn't in the way, waiting for the rest of the booth to clear out before sliding in to take a seat opposite Abbott.

His eyes flicked up over Tucker and around, like he was looking for someone else. Probably, he was. "Give me details about what you need."

He resisted the urge to glance up at Rabi, and instead folded his arms on the table in front of him, leaning into them. "I've got the attention of someone that's shown they aren't above stalking and abduction in broad daylight.  I need my dorm to be inaccessible to anyone I haven't let in, and I need to be able to move around safely again."

He rubbed a thumb into his eye slowly, trying to think. "... I could have helped you, a couple months ago. The problem isn't that I won't, I swear..."

Tucker frowned thoughtfully.  "So what is the problem?"

"It's that I can't. I mean I really can't. I'm unable." As he spoke, he scratched around the cuffs of his shirt, uncomfortably.

Baby blues flicked down to the scratching and then up again.  "You said something about finding someone that could help, though."

"Yeah. Just." He paused, chewing it over. "You're looking for magic, not a gun, right?"

"Preferably, yeah."  He didn't want anything to do with a gun.

"Can you pay someone, or are you expecting me to front this?" He shook his head, just the tiniest bit.

More expenses.  Tucker drew in a breath and let it out, considering how much he could afford.  "You'd have to tell me how much before I'd know if I could afford it or not."

"If you're asking, you can't afford it." He looked upward, slowly, sagging in the chair. A prickle of dread under that drunken stupor.

Again that urge to look up at Rabi, and again he managed to resist it.  And since Abbott hadn't asked him a question he waited.

He chewed it over slowly, rubbed at his eyes, trying to decide what to do. "I can give you some names. And if you have trouble, some help, I guess...."

"Anything you could do would be appreciated."  He leaned in a little closer.  "He stalked me back to my room, threatened me, used magic on me, and tried to drag me back to his car."  He let the fear show in pale eyes, before giving the rest of the club a quick, nervous flick.

It probably wasn't reassuring that Beau just shrugged a bit in reply, fingers tapping against the table. "Give me your phone."

He pulled it out to offer it over slowly, brows drawn down into puzzled lines.  "What kind of help do you mean?"

"I don't know if you need it, if you've got info on everyone in town." He shrugged, just one shoulder, plugging contact info into Tucker's phone slowly.

"Everyone?"  Dark brows lifted, gaze dropping to the phone Abbott was adding contacts to.

"Got info about me, I guess." It was a little sharp. He'd put three names in there, and sat waffling over a fourth. "So who else?"

A small shake of his head.  "I don't know anyone else."

"Uh huh." He didn't look like he believed it. He punched one more number in then passed the phone back, leaning away. "Some of those people are safer than others."

"What do you mean?"  He took the phone back and looked down at the new contacts that had been added.  "Who's safe?  Who are these people?"

"Wizard, low fae, charm maker, high fae." He tapped each of the names in turn: Rider, Baird, Lukas, Rowan. "Also, least dangerous to most, in my opinion."

Tucker licked over his bottom lip as he looked over the names, and then back up to Abbott.  "What do I say when I contact them?"

"I don't know." He looked back at Tucker in a tired kind of way. "Tell them whatever you shoulda told me."

He looked through the names again before sitting back in the booth, finally.  Abbott wasn't the only one who looked tired.  It was late, and Tucker really just wanted to go home, but that wasn't an option, at least not tonight.  "Thank you."

He slumped out in the chair, mulling it over, just watching Tucker. And now his gaze was vaguely appraising, like he was searching for something in Tucker's face. "I think you're probably pretty fucked, huh?"

He didn't look up again until Abbott spoke, and his brows twitched, shoulders rolling in a small shrug.  "Probably."

He chewed on that, too, rubbing at his face and floundering. His eyes turned to his little fans in the crowd. "I can lend you something that makes you look like someone else. But I want it back."

He let that sink in for a moment, and it perked him up a bit, had him sitting up a little straighter.  "That'd be great.  And of course."

"Give me a minute." He rolled up to stand -- wobbled -- almost lost his balance -- and grumbling, he disappeared into the crowd. As soon as he did, Rabi dropped down next to Tucker, his drink already mostly empty.

He'd very nearly made an attempt to grab for Abbott to keep him from falling, but the moment passed and the other mean slipped away.  Tucker watched him go as Rabi dropped down next to him, glancing up at him only after he couldn't see Abbott in the crowd anymore.

"He look like a fucking wreck." It was thoughtful, straw stuttering as he took a long drink. "He was definitely the most powerful magician I could think of, off the top of my head."

"Did you hear all that?"  He wasn't going to repeat it all if he didn't have to.

He made a sound, agreeing, tapping fingers against the side of his glass. "Avoid the fae. They're too tricky for a novice."

"Rider or Lukas, then."  He sat back, hand coming up to rub at his eyes as he fought back a yawn.  "And something that'll let me move around a bit until then."  The hand dropped back to his lap, and he blinked blearily.

"Mhm." He thought about it, polishing off his drink and then sitting back. "Can you afford this?"

is gaze dipped down to the empty drink, and for a second or two that what he thought Rabi meant.  Then he shook his head, sighing as he looked up at the ceiling.  "I don't know, probably not.  Dunno what else to do, though."

He scraped the straw in the bottom of the glass and thought it over. "Okay. I can get some cash."

That'd earn the other man startled blink.  Either because it was just that unexpected, or because Tuck had been footing the food bill the whole time assuming Rabi had no access to money.

Or both.

That had, to be fair, been his assumption. Rabi leaned back, picking the fruit out of his drink and staring out into the crowd. "You don't want details, do you?"

Surprise melted into wary suspicion.  "Probably not."  Though he was curious.

"Uh huh." He stood, grabbing his glass. "Front me for another, now."

The wariness lingered as he finished out his wallet and handed over enough cash for another drink and a tip.

He could have asked for his own drink, too; Rabi didn't offer. Instead he slid through the crowd as Beau came back, holding a ballpoint pen in one hand. He offered it to Tucker.

Pale eyes shifted from Rabi's, back up to Abbott has he came back to offer over a pen.  "This makes me unrecognizable?  Is it to everyone, or...?"  He asked as he reached out to take it.

He made a pen clicking gesture with his empty hand, collapsing back into his seat. His hair looked rumpled, the suit a bit wrinkly. And he had another drink. "There's a couple looks in there."

His thumb slid over the end, pressing down almost enough to make it click, but  eased up just shy of it.  "Thank you, really.  This is a huge help."  It did seem to perk him up some.  "You've got my number now, you can get a hold of me if you need it back.  Right away, I mean."

"Soon as you can." He took a big swallow of his drink, grimacing a bit.

Tuck nodded, slipping the pen into the opposite pocket as the pin, just to be on the safe side.  He'd start making calls tomorrow, and hopefully get the pen back to Abbott within a couple of days.

He blinked at Tuck, then, seriously, tipping his glass vaguely in his direction. "That all you needed?"

Brows arched back at him.  "Um."  Was it?  "I think so?  Safety...or as close to as I can get."  His shoulders came up in a little shrug.  "Unless you're offering me a drink," he dipped his head towards the glass Abbott had tipped at him.  "Cause it's been a real hell of a day."

He drew in a breath and then blew it out, slightly annoyed. "Just go put it on my tab." He waved at the bar.

He hadn't expected him to actually say yes and it made him blink back at him.  "You really don't have to, you've already done a lot."  Maybe he looked flushed, maybe it was just the burns from earlier.  "I wasn't really being serious."

"Then don't ask." He threw back the rest of his own drink, leaning back slowly in the booth.

Whatever small sound he made in response was probably drowned out by the music.  He sat back, glancing towards the bar to see if he could spot Rabi.

There were too many people, right now; if he tipped his head a little, he might catch a glimpse of red hair that maybe was Rabi's.

Staying there, he felt like he was just preventing Abbott from enjoying his evening, but he didn't want to get pulled into the crowd, or noticed anymore than he already had.  His hand slid up his opposite arm, nervous.  Awkward.

He watched Tucker in a thoughtful sort of way, tapping fingers against the table. "...are you looking for something else?" He sat up, slowly, assessing. "You're not really my type."

He glanced back at him.  "No, I'm waiting for the person I came here with to get back.  I stand out in here like a sore thumb, so I don't want to go wandering around.  You can have your booth back soon.  Sorry for holding things up."

"Who'd you come with?" He turned the glass against the table, slowly, his attention turned out into the crowd.

He hesitated before answering, trying to decide what to say.  "Just a friend that's helping me keep an eye out."

"Uh huh." He was drunk enough that maybe he fell for that. "And what's he look like."

"Oh, ah.  Taller, you know.  Dark hair..."  He said it distractedly, like he was searching the crowd too.  "Actually, I think I see him.  So I'm just gonna go, and, uh.  Get out of your hair."  He was sliding out of the booth as he said it.  "Thank you though, for agreeing to talk to me, for helping as much as you could."

He stared up at Tucker like he resented that, weirdly, a frown pulling at the edges of his mouth. "Uh huh."

9
Roleplaying / Re: Divide and Conquer [Rabi x Tucker x John x Beau]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 05, 2019, 07:11:15 PM »
He'd be about halfway through punching in the number when he got a text back: I can't do shit for you.

It made him pause, switching over to the text and he made a noise somewhere between helpless and disappointed as he read it, shoulders sagging and all the bristliness evaporating.

"...what?" Rabi shot him a sharp look, like it annoyed him.

"Abbott got back to me."  Now he just seemed tired.  Too much dealt with in a single day.  "I can't do shit for you," he read back aloud, tone mildly sarcastic, like he didn't have the energy to put more into it.

Rabi thought about that for a long moment, and then held out his hand for the phone, the gesture sharp.

He dropped it into Rabi's hand, head tipping back to rest against the back of the chair.

Rabi sat back with the phone, considering, and then started texting with the guy on the other end. Back and forth.

He'd wait for a few moments before rolling up to his feet.  "I'm going to see if the pizzas here."  Because it was about that time, and there was nothing else he could do at the moment.

"He could be in the hall. Hopefully the pizza will come to the office." Rabi flicked a look up at him, quick.

Sighing, he sat back down.  Flopped, really, arms folding loosely over his stomach.

Rabi snorted at him, attention back on the phone. "He's going to find someone for you."

He glanced up, at the phone first and then up to Rabi.  "That's a relief."

"He hasn't promised yet, but...." He shifted a little where he sat, typing again. "He'll meet you."

A dark brow arched.  "When?"

"Ten thirty tonight." He shrugged just a tiny bit, crookedly, at Tucker. "You're not twenty one, are you?"

There was a part of him that didn't want to answer that if only because he'd been called a child twice in the same day.  It bothered him, if only because he'd been through more in his twenty years than most people went through in a lifetime.  "I have an ID that says I am, if the need calls for it.'

"Good, his preference is a bar." He shook his head just a little, watching Tucker over the phone.

He looked back, brows arched, before glancing around for a clock since Rabi still had his phone.  "What time is it now?"  Still a long way until ten thirty, probably.

"Little after six." He sighed like he knew what was coming next -- and waved it off a bit, hauling himself up to stand. He just paused to delete half the texts. "You need books?"

"I was wondering where our food was, actually."  Pale eyes rolled up to watch Rabi stand.  "And if you mean for homework, yeah, I guess.  Seems a little pointless though if I can't go to class tomorrow."  There were a lot of things he needed from his dorm, but he wasn't sure how much he wanted to ask Rabi to get them.  He already seemed put out enough without Tucker making requests.

"Which books?" He shrugged crookedly, tossing Tucker back his phone. Probably, somewhere in there, the pizza guy had called. He could call back while Rabi went, to get the guy to come in to the office.

He caught it, thinking over what classes he'd had earlier that day.  "English, biology, and trig."  He frowned down at a missed call, and hit the button to call back, bringing the phone up to his ear.   And before Rabi could head out of the office he'd add in, "the phone charger and shoes too, please?"

"Yeah." He hardly headed out so much as he disappeared; it was faster, and easier, and it was quick enough that when he returned a few minutes later, nothing was even singed. Just a little warm.

Rabi's reappearance made Tucker stutter to the poor pizza guy on the other end of the phone, but he recovered quickly and finished explaining how to get back to the office.  Then he hung up and made a move to collect the items from Rabi.

He dropped everything into Tucker's lap, rolling his shoulders -- eyes closed for a moment as he drew in a deep breath. "I'm really hungry now."

It made him grunt as everything landed on his lap, but he caught it all so nothing slipped off, and after a moment picked the lot up to set on the edge of the desk, pocketing the charger and pulling on his shoes.  "Pizzas here, the guy just has to make it back here."

"Small favors." He hesitated, pacing the room. "How much did you order?"

He watched him pace, waiting to hear the knock on the door that meant their dinner had arrived.  "Two pizzas."

"That's a relief." When it came, Rabi was on his feet, so he got the door -- reaching out to take the boxes and leaving any payment or tip in Tucker's hands. "I could eat a whole one."

Tucker stood as Rabi took the pizzas, offering a smile to the delivery guy as well as an apology for not answering the phone right away and making things complicated.  He compensated with a better than average tip before waving him off and shutting the door.  "I figured, that's why I got two."

He already had them open, with a slice in his mouth: working through it quickly, unhesitatingly. He looked up at Tucker and spoke around the mouthful. "Hopping around takes it out of me."

It was always just a little strange, watching Rabi eat.  It made Tucker hesitate if only for a second or two as he reached for a slice before sitting again.  "Thank you for grabbing me outside the dorms."

"You're very pink." He shoved the last bite into his mouth, reaching for another piece of pizza.

He blinked at that, slice lowering an inch before he'd even taken a bite.  "Pink?"

Rabi gestured loosely across his nose and face with his thumb.

Brows creased and he stood to move towards the mirror to look at himself in it.  Pink was exactly what he was -- across his face and his arms.  Somehow he hadn't noticed before, too much going on, probably.  "Shit."  It looked like he'd been sitting out in the sun all afternoon.

"Better than whatever John would have done, I hope." He shrugged, shoving another half a slice into his mouth.

He touched his own face to see if it was tender at all, and it wasn't too bad.  "Probably."  Dropping his hand he finally took a bite and sat down again, shrugging.  "Worth it to keep him from getting what he wanted."

"It'd be worth a lot more damage to prevent that." His tone was dry. Maybe it was a little mean. He downed the rest of the pizza.

He disregarded the tone.  "Of course it would."  He'd been expecting to get the shit beat out of him, and the only reason he hadn't was because he'd gotten really fucking lucky.  With a huff he went back to his slice of pizza.

Rabi flicked him a look, then, thoughtful.  Reading what he meant by that, maybe. Or trying to. "He's not immortal, or invincible, though."

"Well that's good to know, but at the time it didn't matter.  I didn't have anything to use against him except my keys."  He frowned, shrugging.  "And the pin, but bringing it out would have confirmed I had it."

"No. That's not a weapon." It was sharp, and immediate, sitting up straight. "So long as your blood's on it, it's yours, but...you don't want to transfer ownership."

He nodded as he chewed, swallowed.  "That too, I didn't know what it'd do, didn't want to take that chance.  Fuck, I wasn't even sure pricking my own finger was going to do anything, it was just a hunch."

Rabi made a very quiet sound and -- well, he didn't explain anything more, just nodded, grabbing more pizza. He really would eat one all by himself. Probably could have eaten two. "Pepper spray. That'd help."

Rabi had made it through half a pizza before Tuck had made it through his second piece, but that was fine.  He'd known the other man would eat at least the one, if not more.  "That's a good idea."  It wouldn't have occurred to him, but it was efficient.

He glanced down at the boxes on the desk, grabbed himself a third slice, and then sat back.  "You can have the rest.  Anything you don't eat now you can eat later."

That made him raise both eyebrows, already digging into another piece. "It won't make it to later, I guarantee. Do your homework."

Tucker shrugged as much as to say suit yourself, and slouched down in the chair to finish his pizza.  He'd worry about homework after, he had plenty of time.

Every speck of pizza'd be gone within the hour; Rabi settling in to poke through some work himself, flicking music -- something wild and noisy -- on in the background.

That would be distracting.  Tucker had settled into his trig homework but the music was making it hard to concentrate.  His foot bounced, pen tapping rapidly against the edge of the book.

It was Rabi's office, though, and it definitely made him relax -- leaning in on the desk to look through student work, his expression gone back toward serious.

Which was precisely why Tucker said nothing, did nothing.  Just tried to shut it out and focus.  Eventually he pulled earbuds out of his pocket and played something more mellow over them, and that helped.

It'd keep him going until the sun had set -- and Rabi huffed out a breath, looking up at him. "You need me to walk you out?"

He pulled an earbud out as he blinked across the desk at Rabi like a deer caught in headlights.  "You're not going to the bar too?"  He'd just assumed...

Rabi blinked at him, slowly -- leaned in against the desk. "Do you need a chaperone?"

He made a small, indignant noise.  "No, I just don't know who I'm looking for."  And it didn't seem to him like this Abbott guy wanted to help, and it'd taken Rabi interceding once already just to get a meeting.

"You need a babysitter, then." He reached back to flick off the music, thinking it over. "You'll have to buy me drinks."

Another indignant noise, and if he hadn't already been so pink there'd have been color in his cheeks.  With a huff he closed his book and dropped it back on the other two on the desk.  "Fine."

"Or you can go on your own." He shrugged, just the tiniest bit, leaning back in his chair. "Whichever you'd prefer."

"I said fine," he repeated, winding his earbuds to stuff them back in his pocket.  "I'll buy drinks."

Rabi considered it for another moment before he rolled up to stand. He was still wearing Tucker's mish-mash of clothing, for better or worse. "And drive? Or do you want to risk the flames again?"

The mish mash was probably better than the grass stains Tucker was sporting.  He got to his feet, giving Rabi a wary glance.  "Does it always burn like that?"

"Only if you're prone to burning." He shrugged at Tucker, swiping at the mess of his hair. Probably he needed a shower, too. Alas.

"Maybe an Uber this time, I'm already pink enough."  The flames were definitely faster, but in that moment between warmth and Rabi's office it had hurt.  He got to his feet too, pulling out his phone.  "Which bar is it?"

The place Rabi named was -- expensive. And both of them would stand out in their dressed down looks. Well, maybe not Rabi; he was attractive enough to make up for it. And had the attitude.

Tucker couldn't help a small sound as he put in the address for the Uber.  It was all going on a credit card, it'd be fine, but he was definitely spending a lot more than was normal.  He expected a phone call in the coming weeks.

Rabi didn't even seem to notice, or think about it, but -- then, maybe he didn't even actually have any money. He locked his office carefully, looking around them. On alert, really. "I don't think he'd follow us there."

Tucker stayed close, doing a fairly decent job of appearing less nervous than he felt.  He didn't want a repeat of earlier, but if Rabi was actually with him he didn't see that happening.  "Why not?"

He chewed over how to reply to that, head tilted just slightly. "People there might object."

He frowned, obviously puzzled.  "Wouldn't think objections would be enough to keep him from trying to get to what he wants."

"The ones who didn't object would probably be competition." And just saying that made him clench up.

Pale eyes flicked up to Rabi,  brows dipping just a bit.  He opened his mouth like he meant to say something then closed it, looking thoughtful.

Rabi flicked him a look in return, rolling his shoulders and adjusting his shirt. "That's why you can't mention the pin."

He was so far out of his depth in all this that he really didn't have any other choice but to believe him, so he just nodded.  "What do we say is the reason John is looking for me?"  That was a tame way of putting it.

"You stole something from him." That was accurate but not too detailed. He shrugged a little, grimacing. "I wasn't prepared to have to deal with all this aftermath."

Tucker frowned, sighing as he looked back down the hall.  He didn't like that, didn't think it was entirely accurate given the circumstances, but he let it go.

Rabi shrugged at him, scraping at his hair as he escorted Tucker out onto the street. John wasn't there lurking, which was both good and concerning, perhaps.

It was concerning.  Tuck hadn't wanted him to be there, but knowing where he was was better than speculating.

The car that pulled up a moment or two later was a newer looking hatchback, and Tucker double checked the make and color on the app before approaching.

And Rabi frowned back at something on the corner, arms crossed over his chest. It'd be a moment before he climbed in after Tuck.

There wasn't anything to see through the window, but that didn't keep Tucker from following the other man's line of sight towards the corner.  "You good?"  He said it quietly as Rabi got in, apparently finished with any obligatory greetings with the drive.  The car eased away from the curb as the door shut.

"No, everything is terrible." He shot Tucker a look as he said it, a bit exasperated.

"It just looked like you'd seen something," he snapped back, turning his attention out the window instead.

"A car." He shrugged, just one shoulder, half-turning his head to look again. "If it follows us, I'll worry."

That dragged his attention back towards the corner Rabi had been staring at, but he still couldn't really see.  "I didn't see the car earlier."  Now he sort of wished he had.  They'd know what to look out for.

He strummed fingers against the side of the car, still watching out the side. "It'll be fine, I'm sure."

Not much to say to that, at least nothing helpful, so he just settled back in the seat and tried not to look as nervous as he felt.  The subtle bounce of his left leg probably gave it away, though.

Rabi slouched, slowly, to settle his knee against Tucker's to make it relax. He looked thoughtful.

He blinked, glancing down at Rabi's leg, his own bouncing, and forced it still with a steadying sigh.

"If you want to seem like the good guy, say he had leverage on me." He said it slowly, after some time, looking up at Tucker. "And you wrecked that."

He looked up from their legs with a small, guarded frown.  "Okay."  It was better than painting him as some random delinquent, but it didn't do much to settle the nerves.

"Also a good reason not to give more details. It's not like you're going to hand someone else that leverage." His eyes flicked down as he said it like he was searching for the hair pin.

It was in his pocket still, but Tucker's hands didn't so much as twitch towards it.  He just shifted in the seat to rest his elbow against the door, propping his cheek on his knuckles.

"And a good excuse for me to stay by the bar and drink and look miserable." He said it smoothly, attention turned back out the window.

It couldn't be all that bad...  He didn't say it, just looked back out the window, watching the buildings they were passing.  Vaguely familiar, but hard to tell in the dark.

This part of town was swanky - not student bars, but nightclubs where people showed off new fashion, came to be seen, where lines went around corners. Lights flashed and the music thrummed even through the car and Rabi sat up a bit to look, brightening.

[
Tuck in his grass stained jeans and tee shirt certainly wouldn't fit in here, but there wasn't anything he could do about that.  Even in nicer clothes, he still probably would have stood out like a sore thumb.  Not his scene.  Not even close.  Interesting to see, though.  Pale eyes flicked across the fronts of the buildings and the lines.

The one they settled in front of had people in sleek suits and sparkling dresses, and they'd probably stand out even more. Rabi climbed out and cocked his head, looking from them back to Tuck. "I could blend, but I can't make you blend."

Tucker shrugged as he got out as well, and walked around to the sidewalk.  "There's not really a whole lot we can do about that now."  The nervous tension was back, it was visible in the set of his shoulders, the way he watched the people around them, but it wasn't in his voice, at least.

"I can get us in, at least." He gestured at Tucker, not toward the line but a back alley.

He'd go where directed.  If nothing else, at least he took directions well.  Usually.  He flicked a last look towards the front entrance before turning to head for the alley.

It took Rabi only a minute to find a door -- he pushed Tucker up against the wall, out of sight, with a hand in the middle of his chest. "You stay here." And before he could get a reply, he disappeared with a wash of heat. A moment later, the door opened.
10
Roleplaying / Re: Divide and Conquer [Rabi x Tucker x John]
« Last post by Beejoux on October 05, 2019, 03:17:37 PM »
Pricking his finger put that same tension in the air -- a thrumming of power that popped with a sense of warmth against his spine, Rabi carefully wrapping arms around him.

Then warmth turned to blazing heat, the world gone to fire. It was too hot; hot enough to hurt against Tucker's skin. And when the fire receded away to show them in Rabi's office, his skin would prickle with something like sunburn.

It did something. Tucker felt the air shift, and then warmth. Arms wrapping around him, there was a moment of relief, to sink into that comforting heat.  Then he was burning, heat rippling across his skin, and Tucker screamed.

When it receded he didn't immediately know where he was, just that he wasn’t at the dorms anymore.  A drastic shift, and between that, the burning, and the exertion from running his knees buckled.

Rabi caught him under the elbow, delicately, to settle him in a chair. And it was almost nice. Except he was also him. "What the fuck?"

He sagged in the chair, chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath, and it'd take a moment before he could answer.  "John."  He sucked at the poke on his thumb, it stung.  He'd been a little careless.  "He knew where I lived, or he followed me back to the dorm."  His head lifted to look up at Rabi standing next to him.

His eyes had gone yellow and his hair had a flash of red through it; the bruise and the split lip were gone. The burnished tones of his skin had gone toward gold, too, just the far side of human. Rabi didn't seem to notice. He scowled down at Tucker, all sharp cheekbones and wide mouth. "I can't kill him. He has to take the fall."

Blue eyes widened, but he didn't point out the change, too caught up in the otherness, and maybe a part of him didn't want to bring it up because he didn't want Rabi to realize just yet.  "He's got...magic, or something."  Tucker shook his head, pushing now sweaty bangs off his brow.  "He was dragging me to the parking lot, trying to get the pin back.  I didn't know what else to do."

He folded his arms over his chest, still scowling at Tucker. And he was warm, even this close, against Tucker's tender skin. "Well, that's not great."

The breathing was almost under control again, but as the adrenaline faded it left him shaky.  "He's not getting it back."  He said it resolutely, pale features hardening.

Rabi paused -- there was heat behind that, surprising, which made him raise an eyebrow. "The easiest way to keep him from getting it would be to give it to me, of course."

It was probably the closest he'd come yet to handing it over, because Rabi was right and Tucker knew it, agreed.  But then he frowned, a little of that fear coming back.  "And what happens when you disappear and he's still it there and pissed.  Free."  Now he knew where Tuck lived.

"I'll kill him, of course." He tapped fingertips against his elbow. "Painfully, probably."

"You gave them my name.  People probably saw him chasing me."  John dying didn't seem to bother him.  "He needs to go down for that fire."

Rabi breathed out, slowly, something sagging in his shoulders. Resigned, maybe. "Well, you'll need some protection, then. Besides me."

There was an apology in blue eyes.  "After he's convicted you can do whatever you want to him, I'll be in the clear."  Until then, if anything happened to John, Tucker was as much a person of interest as Rabi, but without the means to disappear.

"What kind of protection?" Dark brows arched.

"I can give you a name and number." But he didn't look at Tucker, now; a muscle jumped in his jaw as he went around the desk.

Tucker just frowned back at him as Rabi walked around the desk.  "My phones back at the dorms."  His everything was back at the dorms, and with that realization came the question of if he could safely go back there and,if not, where the fuck was he going to stay?  With a small, helpless groan he dropped his head to rest against the cradle of his fingers, arms braced against his knees.

He wrote the name down -- Abbott Eastoft -- with a number and an address after it, and then shifted a little, unhappily. "I can grab it."

Tucker just waited, spent.  Mind working to figure out what to do next, where to go.  "Wallet too?"  He looked up then.  "If the dorms not safe I can get a ride to a hotel maybe."  He licked his lips, thinking it over.  "You could come, so you wouldn't have to sleep here."

Rabi just shrugged, his eyes flicking up to the door. "It's safe, here. No one can come in unless I let them."

"Oh."  Disappointed, maybe.  His gaze skirting away.

"If you talk to him -- " He turned the note around, pushing it toward Tuck. "He can do the same for any room you'd like." And before Tucker could reply, he disappeared.

He sighed as he picked it up to look it over, slouching down in the chair again.

Rabi's handwriting was slanting and sharp: the same that had put all those medium grades on his work. After a moment, he was back, with the phone in hand and Tucker's wallet.

Rabi returning pulled his attention up and he'd hold a hand out for the phone and the wallet, a muscle jumping in the side of his jaw.  He looked down and away as something unhappy flowed across his face.  "Thank you."

Rabi flopped down into his chair, legs stretched out, and slid Tucker's things across his desk. "You can always say he attacked you."

He blinked, coming back from whatever unpleasant thoughts were circling in his head.  "Yeah, it'd definitely strengthen the case against him.  Him stalking and going after the guy that helped his battered ex escape."

"You'd have to prove it, though. A black eye would --" He leaned back as he said it, to look in his mirror -- and broke off into a grimace as he realized how he looked. "Shit."

He looked, for a moment, faintly amused.  "Yeah, you're a little shiny."  Phone and wallet were collected off the desk, Tucker shrugging.  "And your right, but I think he was being really careful.  I smashed his foot, even spit in his face, but he didn't do anything but grab my arm.  Might be bruises from that.  I think he was waiting until he got me in the car..."
Rabi nodded almost absently, watching himself in the mirror -- working slowly on putting himself back to rights. "...if you can, don't mention me."

It was impossible not to watch as the otherness faded and the Rabi he was used to seeing reemerged.  Magic.  His thumb slid over the paper in his hand as he looked back down at it.  "So who is this guy?"

"Magician." It was absent, without looking back at Tucker. "A very good one."

"And he can make it so John can't get in the dorms?"  That'd be better than a hotel.

"Into your room." He looked up, then, quickly. "The dorms are public territory. He'd need more permissions, for that."

"Oh."  A beat, and then he seemed to realize what that meant, and his shoulders sagged.  "How persistent do you think John'll be?"

"Persistent." The black eye was back, now just a little green around the edges; his hair darker again; his eyes more muted. "Talk to the magician, he'll help you out."

He turned his phone in his hand, started to dial and then paused before hitting the connect button.  "Can you do that on me, make it look like he roughed me up?"  He wasn't positive about going to the cops, yet.  Had to figure out what he'd tell them.
"No." He shrugged just a little bit, dragging a thumb down his jaw to put a slight bruising there, too. "But he might be able to."

Another moment to watch, then Tuck hit the button and brought the phone up to his ear.  And then looked at Rabi with a frown as it started to ring.  "What should I say?"

"That you need protection of a kind he's uniquely suited to offering." He shrugged just one shoulder as the phone rang -- and rang -- to voicemail. It's Beau. Fuck you if you leave a message, text me instead.

The voicemail was gruff, and Tuck hung up before it could beep at him to leave a message.  Frowning, he opened a text instead and tired in exactly what Rabi said before hitting send.

Rabi watched him, one arm folded over his chest and the other lingering against his throat. "Are you just going to stick around here?"

Tucker shrugged without looking up right away.  "Not if you don't want me to, but I don't know where it's safe right now.  You said he'd be persistent."

Rabi slid a hand across his face, then, rubbing at his eyes And he nodded just a tiny bit. "I need food. Any chance of you ordering something?"

It seemed to perk him up, just a bit.  "Do you like pizza?"

"I'll eat most things." He watched Tucker sideways through his fingers, frowning just a bit.

"Pizza it is, then."  He didn't notice, had already turned his attention back down to his phone to start the order.  And because Rabi seemed to be something of a bottomless pit he went with a buy-one-get-one special, two mediums, with pepperoni and green peppers.  "Thirty minutes."

Rabi just watched him, though -- sitting at the desk, looking battered and a bit tired, shoulders rolled in a shrug. "It could take a while to get a reply. He's a busy man."

Baby blues flicked up, then away.  "I guess I'll figure something out after we eat, if he hasn't gotten back to me by then."

"There's definitely not enough room for both of us to sleep in here." He said it idly, still watching Tucker. Unwavering.

He could feel Rabi staring at him, and quick, little glances confirmed it.  "Probably a hotel, then."  He had to resist the urge to squirm.

"Plus, I'm afraid what the police would think if they showed up again."  He looked away, finally, toward one of his paintings. Grimacing a bit.

As a distraction he'd pulled up local hotel listings to price things out, so he didn't notice the grimace.  "They'd probably assume an affair, and that John found out about it and that's why he's gone off the deep end."  It was idle, like he wasn't really thinking about it, just saying whatever came to mind.
"Except that -- " The rest of that statement was choked off, his eyes closed and attention turned upward. It left him looking pained.

Tucker rolled his eyes up, narrowed, to stare across the desk at him.  "And what, shy of that, would you care about the cops thinking?"

"The more innocent both of us look, the better." He shrugged, staring up at the ceiling still, while he worked out tension in his jaw.

"I wasn't suggesting we make them believe it, just that that's what they might think, given how much of a psycho he's being."  It was defensive, and Tuck had gone back to scrolling through hotel listings.  "Or not even them thinking it, but thinking John thinks it."  He shrugged too.

Rabi started to answer that, too, then bit down on it -- swallowing his words, again. He just sat, and twisted slightly, uncomfortably. "I'd rather not."

"Obviously."  There was a little bite behind it, something sharp.  His attention resolutely down on his phone.

"You're a child." That he could get out. Without looking at Tucker.

"I wasn't suggesting anything."  Defensive and bristly.  His thumb flicked against the phone screen jerkily.

Rabi let it go, then, rolling up to stand to look at himself better in the mirror, to make sure he'd gotten everything back together.

Tucker ignored him as he finally found a hotel with good reviews and a decent rate--or just got tired of looking.  He pulled a card from his wallet to plug numbers into a form along with a name and his phone number.
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