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New day [Ferris and Fletcher]
New day [Ferris and Fletcher]
New day [Ferris and Fletcher]
January 20, 2020, 07:18:57 AM »
Maybe Rowan slept -- if he did, he got in bed quietly and left quietly. When Fletcher woke up the next morning, it would be alone, sprawled out in the giant bed, with yesterday's clothes in a clean pile on a chair in one corner and any sign of the blankets from yesterday long gone.
He woke up with the sheet tangled around his legs and half curled around one of many pillows and didn't quite know where he was for a moment or two as he pushed himself up with a yawn. It came back to him quickly, fingertips coming up to brush the place on his shoulder where the bruise showed.
He got up, brushed his teeth and his hair, changed back into the clothes he'd had on the night before, and grabbed his phone(very nearly dead at this point). He also pulled the sheets and the blankets back up on the bed, straightening up before heading down stairs.
The place still had that strange emptiness to it -- no one
-- except that it also didn't quite. There was sound in the distance, like there was someone there, and movement at the edge of Fletcher's vision -- which vanished when he tried to look harder. He wouldn't see anyone until the smell of food drew him into the kitchen, where Ferris sat reading a newspaper.
It was a lot more noticeable with rowan gone, the big house seeming even bigger somehow. He was glad he'd paid attention to the small portion of the layout he'd walked through, it made it easier to find the kitchen, the smell of food a good draw.
Ferris' presence really wasn't a surprise, and the redhead lifted a hand in a small wave of greeting as he murmured a good morning, looking around.
Today, Ferris looked much more -- masculine, somehow, stretching legs out under the table and frowning across at Fletcher. There was a scattering of freckles over his nose and cheeks. "There's food. It's safe."
His head tilted as Ferris looked up, eyes lingering a second too long before he turned his attention to breakfast.
Maybe it'd been the lack of actual lighting the last two times...?
"Am I going to owe more if I eat again?" He flicked a look over to the fridge, debating looking for another bottle of water.
"No. That's what makes it safe." He twitched the newspaper to fold it over, head cocked to watch the way Fletcher moved. Maybe the freckles and the more masculine face did make him more approachable. Or at least easier to relate to.
"Oh." A thoughtful look. "Are the bottles of water in the fridge safe?" He grabbed a plate, helping himself to what he assumed to be stuffed French toast--a taste off the tip of one finger confirmed--and he loaded the three slices with strawberries and whipped cream. A few stipes of bacon, a sausage patty, and he set the plate on the counter where he'd eaten the night before.
"Yes. And the ones in the limo." Ferris watched him move around, his own plate empty in front of him next to a cup of coffee.
The bassist nodded, helping himself to one of those too. "And the coffee?" He looked over at Ferris' cup, then around the counter space for a coffee maker.
"I don't suppose you'd just tell me everything that
safe?" He really doubted it, but he asked anyways.
Ferris blew out a breath, trying to decide how to answer that. "Gifts aren't safe, because gifts aren't really gifts; they come with strings attached. Accepting a gift means you owe one. So, as long as it's not a gift, you're fine." He gestured toward the coffee pot.
"Th-er. Good to know." He reached for a mug, other hand on the handle of the coffee pot before pausing, looking thoughtful. "So the pajamas...?"
As if Ferris knew anything about the pajamas. But he paused, chewing it over, expression disapproving. "I wouldn't take them
He breathed out a little sigh and poured his coffee, adding cream and sugar until it was pale and sweet. "I left them folded on the bed upstairs." A pleased sound as he took a cautious sip and sat down to eat.
"That was probably wise." He tipped his head, though, eyes raking over Fletcher like he was trying to figure something out -- "I'm surprised pajamas were involved at all."
The feel of eyes raking over him had him looking up from a bite of French toast, and a faint flush crept over his cheeks at the comment. At the very least Ferris had to have an idea of what had been going on the night before, even if he hadn't seen with the partition up, it didn't take a genius to make that leap. "He asked me if I wore pajamas when we were in the car, and they were waiting for me in the bathroom when I got out of the shower." His free hand reached up to feel where the collar of his shirt lay, if it covered the mark. Probably not completely.
Better than the pajamas had, though; those had been
not to cover it up. Ferris just raised an eyebrow, picking up his cup of coffee. "I have a binder for you in the car."
Eyes steadfastly on his breakfast, Fletcher cleared his throat awkwardly and cut himself another bite of toast. "He mentioned there would be." And there again that thoughtful look crossed freckled features as he chewed. With distance came the ability to think clearly. "How much trouble am I in?"
"Your life is short; worst case, I'd say, eighty years of trouble." Ferris said it like that was nothing, of course, strumming his fingers against the cup. "...considering your lifestyle, probably less."
He almost dropped his fork, eyes wide. "You're serious?" It was a six month contract, or...agreement, rather.
"You don't strike me as very bright." He said it smoothly, sipping at the coffee. "Hand you a shovel and you'll dig your own grave."
It smacked very close to something Rowan had said the night before, and he lowered his eyes to his food again. "It doesn't seem like he's that interested in me." Interested enough, obviously, if he was here, but still.
"I don't know if you noticed, but he likes to collect things." Ferris gestured back out toward the hall, loosely, toward all the antiques and fine art. "But you're right. He might get bored. Then it'll be
He had noticed. Last night he'd wanted to tke time to look over some of the collection. A flick of blue eyes back on Ferris. "Why does that sound so ominous?"
"It's just how I talk." He spoke around the rim of the coffee cup.
Which wasn't comforting. Fletcher could feel his shoulders tightening as he continued eating.
It made Ferris smile a little, leaning in against the table. "You want me to go through the binder with you?"
He only lifted his eyes, taking his time to chew and swallow a bite before answering. Possibly to give himself a chance to think it through. "Are you trying to help me?"
It didn't feel fair to wonder about that, Ferris hadn't
anything to make him suspect his motives. But those disapproving looks, he hadn't missed those.
"What have I done that makes you think I'm not trying to help?" He raised both eyebrows, hands still wrapped around his cup. "It's my job to make sure you get home safe, today."
"N-nothing." Now he felt bad, and it showed. "Rowan implied that everyone was dangerous." Including himself. "You've been nothing but pleasant and accommodating, it’s just..." He nudged a strawberry across his place with his fork. "It doesn't seem like you approve of me being around, I guess."
"It's a terrible idea and it's going to end badly for someone." That was kind of like Ferris's version of agreeing. He shrugged. "I'm not going to take you out back and shoot you, though. Not unless you're
He stared for a long moment like he was wondering how serious that last comment was, then went back to eating, thinking. Finishing the last few bits of soggy French toast left on his plate so he could go and set it in the sink. He didn't sit again when he came back, but stood with his elbows resting on the counter and his hands around his coffee mug.
It was warm.
"I'd rather not fuck things up for myself or anyone else, so if you're willing to take the time to go over the binder with me than I'd appreciate the help." A beat. "And I'm sorry."
Ferris's reply was a long, slow, suffering kind of sigh. He set the cup down and leaned in a little bit more. "You're the kind of guy who opens up an interaction with
, aren't you?"
"No." But it was a little defensive. He took a drink of his coffee, found it'd cooled to an easily drinkable temperature and took a longer drink, draining the rest of it so he could put it with his plate.
He smoothed a thumb up the bridge of his nose, trying to figure out where to
with that. "We'll start simply, which is that we never do anything for free. And if you accept the favor before you negotiate the price, you lose your negotiating power."
"If that's the case, does this assistance have a price on it as well?" Now that his hands were free he crossed his arms over his chest, hip leaning on the counter.
"Of course it does." That was the
. Ferris puffed out a breath and looked upward, as if for help. "I'll do it for a fancy lunch."
He thought it over, then sighed softly. "Do you like sushi?" It wasn't a terribly high price.
"Sure. But it has to be
sushi." He smiled just a little, slowly.
"That's fine." He knew a place. "How long do you think it'll take to go over the binder?"
"An hour, at least." He sat back again, then, looking down at his coffee.
"What part of the city are we in?" Depending on where, it might make more sense to go through the binder at his apartment.
"Tideland." It was the
area, where there was enough room to expand, as opposed to the clustered-tight downtown or where apartment buildings flourished. Probably it was a decent ride home for Fletcher.
"The place I have in mind is closer to my place. We might as well go over the binder there, then we can get lunch when we're done." It was close enough they could have walked, if they were so inclined.
Ferris shrugged a little, slowly -- obviously it didn't much matter to him. "Drinks with lunch, too."
"Fine." He grabbed his bottle of water. "Whenever you're ready, then."
Ferris stood to dump out his cup in the sink and then wash it off, surprisingly thoroughly. When his jacket hitched just so, there was a bit of a bulge beneath; maybe the thing about taking him out back to shoot him hadn't entirely been a joke.
Fletcher straightened and adjusted his jacket but paused. "Should I wash my dishes? I was told not to last night, but that was last night."
"It's your choice. The brownies are reliable; I trust them. I just don't trust
half so much." He said it easily, leaning in to wash his hands too.
Not knowing exactly what to make of that Fletcher figured it was safer to just do them. So he waited for Ferris to get out of the way then washed his own dishes..
Not the desert, obviously..
Now they could leave.
Ferris dried off his hands and stood to watch Fletcher do it, somewhat bemused. "Do you read?"
Fletch shot him a look, lips pressed and brows drawn as he dried his hands off. "Yes, I read fine."
"I don't mean
you read. I mean
you read." He rolled a hand, leaning against the counter.
"Like recreationally?" His head tilted. "Sometimes."
Another of those disapproving little sounds. Ferris straightened to head toward the door. "He didn't tell you
Fletcher sighed as a result, a little frustrated. "Anything about
He was very vague on...pretty much everything."
"That sounds on par. He didn't want to deal with you being incredulous, I suspect." He shook his head -- not heading out through the main foyer but through a side door toward the garage.
Grabbing his bottle, Fletcher followed, making a mental note of the new route through the house; where it lead, what he saw along the way.
It was less carefully decorated, here; there were things in boxes in a room off to one side, a half-finished painting leaning against one wall, things that looked unready for company. This wasn't the way anyone who mattered came in. "Well, yes. You know, 'You're kidding me.' or 'That's not real.' "
"Are you going to be filling me in, then?" Blue eyes lingered on the painting, the boxes, his expression curious as he kept up with Ferris.
"Are you going to spout cliches when I do?" He shot a look back at Fletcher, one eyebrow raised.
"I can try not to. Consider my disbelief suspended." He looked back, both brows raised and looking earnest.
"Humans always say that, but I have my doubts. Maybe if we got high first, you'd be more inclined to explore it." Maybe that was teasing, though, joking.
It sounded appealing, it'd certainly been a while, and yet... "I don't think he'd like that."
It made Ferris smile: sharp and sudden and sardonic, like that was exactly what he'd expected Fletcher to say. "I won't tell."
"Maybe not, but I'm a terrible liar and have no poker face." And it was probably worse with Rowan. He shook his head, hands disappearing into the pockets of his jacket.
"You'll have to develop the poker face, but honestly, it's better not to lie here, anyway. I suspect that's in the binder." He got the car door for Fletcher.
He'd always worn his heart on his sleeve. Every emotion flashing across his face as he felt it. It wasn't going to be easy to change that...
He slid in, eyes landing on a binder that had to be the one they were talking about. He grabbed it as he tucked himself into a corner.
It was nice. Of course. Leather bound with gold-toned metal, with a tree on the cover -- a Rowan, probably. Ferris closed the door roughly behind him and got into the front. "I never much care if people lie; if you can, then it's an advantage you should take. But some of his kin get angry about it."
He traced his fingers over the branches of the tree on the cover before looking up at Ferris though the partition. "I can't." And he'd leave it at that, looking back down at the binder, flipping open the cover to the first page. "Do you need my address?"
"Yes." It was only about thirty pages long; it didn't
like that much. The first page was an affirmation for Fletcher to sign, stating he wouldn't pass the book around or show it to anyone who didn't already know its contents.
He gave it, rattling off the address to one of the higher end apartment buildings on the more pricey side of that part of town. Then settled in to read, knowing well enough from his experience in the music industry to know exactly what he was signing before he signed, but he'd save the actual signing for when he wasn't in a car.
As he reached the bottom he turned to the next page.
There was a lot of words, but the basics of the rules were outline clear enough:
1. Keep any promise you make.
2. Be polite. Do not insult, interrupt, or speak out of turn.
3. Never say "Thank you."
4. Never say "I'm sorry."
5. Never accept food without making sure it's safe.
6. Never accept gifts or favors before finding out what they might cost.
7. Never offer gifts or favors.
8. Never bring iron into the house.
9. Listen carefully when spoken to.
10. Do not go off alone with strangers.
11. Tell no one your real name. If they ask, tell them
There were a few things he'd already been told but he still read everything over carefully with the occasional pause to take a drink from his water. It seemed to him that most of the rules seemed to make a certain sort of sense, just applying what little Rowan had told him already, but there were a few that were met with confusion, and as he finished that page he looked up at Ferris. "Thrush?"
"A thrush is a bird." maybe Ferris had read it. Or maybe he just was quick to answer. "Songbird."
Well, the name fit, at least. He wondered if the bird on the shirt had been a thrush as well. "But why can't I tell anyone my real name? Wouldn't they already know it?" Rowan hadn't, but he had recognized him. It seemed odd. "Also, iron?"
"There's a difference between someone knowing your name and you telling it to them." He cocked his head a little bit, chewing it over. "Giving your name to someone gives them power over you."
Re: New day [Ferris and Fletcher]
Reply #1 on:
January 20, 2020, 07:20:25 AM »
"Is Rowan's name actually Rowan, then? Originally he had me call him Absinthe, but Cooper Cole called him Rowan last night, and that seemed to really piss him off." Another thought came to mind. "Are you really Ferris, or is that an...alias?"
Ferris smiled at him in the mirror, suddenly. "That's the first smart question you've asked. None of those names are people's true names."
So then he was at a disadvantage. Rowan and Ferris both knew his name, because he'd very easily offered it up in greeting. "Power..." It was soft, Fletcher laying his head back against the seat as he thought back to the night before and how almost euphoric it felt every time Rowan said his name when introducing him. "Why no iron?" It was the strangest of the rules he'd found in the first section.
"Makes us uncomfortable." He shrugged just a tiny bit, crookedly. "Burns, a bit. Some worse than others."
Strange. Not what he'd been expecting. "And when you say
, what do you mean? I tried to ask Rowan last night, but I didn't get a straight answer."
"The fae." He looked up again into the mirror, then, eyes bright. Waiting for cliches, probably.
He didn't say anything, seemed to be thinking it over as he ran his finger back and forth along the edge of the pages in the binder. It was certainly outside the scoop of his known reality, the idea of lore being real, magic, and maybe if he hadn't had that first night and the last it would have seemed silly. But he'd told Ferris he was going to keep an open mind, and when he applied that label to the more...
things he'd experienced, it wasn't so hard not dismissing it out of hand.
"Like from Gaelic folklore? Just not...lore." He glanced out the window, at the city drifting by. "The
comment makes sense now. Is that why his skin feels like that?"
He smiled again, a little quirk, amused. But maybe not displeased. For the first time. "The lore can be a sore spot."
"I can't imagine it's all entirely accurate, so I can see why it would be." On that first night Rowan had mentioned magic and Fletcher had just shrugged it off as something said in the moment. "The wine, it's not normal wine, is it?" Which would explain how he'd gotten
on two swallows.
Magic was heady shit.
"Depends what you mean by
, I suppose." Ferris sounded almost cheerful, now. "It's definitely his norm."
"Normal being..." It wasn't the best way to explain what he meant so he abandoned the terminology. "Is it..magic? It's stronger than any drink I've ever had before."
"It's fae food." He pulled around the corner onto Fletcher's block, shrugging a little bit. "As opposed to what you ate this morning."
"Is it all that
?" Familiar scenery outside the window had him sitting up, and capping his water bottle, closing the binder.
"For you, probably. Unless he gave you something to protect you...?" It lilted a little, questioning.
His head tilted, regarding Ferris in the mirror. "Like what?"
"Some kind of charm? Necklace? No? You'd know..." He pulled into a spot opposite Fletcher's building, leaning back to look at him through the divider. "In that case, you're sink or swim."
He shook his head as Ferris listed possibilities. "No, nothing like that." He slid to the edge of the seat, ready to get out into the mid morning Georgia heat. "Would that be a part of the 'is this food safe' thing, it being fae food?"
"That's most of it, yes." He raised an eyebrow, and then climbed out of the car to get the door for Fletcher.
"Good to know." Then he slid out.
It was already hot, and if he hadn't already had his hands full the bassist would have stripped off the jacket. That not being an option, he moved quickly across the street, leading Ferris into a modern, posh looking lobby and into an elevator.
Ferris seemed unbothered -- locking up the limo and just
leaving it there
, on the street, like nothing could happen, as he followed. "It's the gift problem, too."
"Magic in gifts," he repeated lowly, thumbing the button for the 12th floor. "Is it all just like walking carefully through a minefield?"
"You don't give away more than you're willing. It's not that complicated." Ferris leaned next to him, shrugging a bit.
"It's hard for me to say no to people." Which was something he probably should have kept to himself, but talking through the car ride over had lowered Fletcher's guard considerably. The elevator slowed to a stop, doors sliding open silently on a clean, monochromatic hallway with very few doors.
"Uh huh." Ferris was -- unsurprised. It was hardly enlightening. He gestured Fletcher along first.
He pushed away from the wall with his hips to lead the way down the hall and around the corner, all the way to the end. As he walked he popped the bottle end into his mouth to hold it so he could fish his keys out and unlock the door one handed, shouldering it open to let Ferris pass.
It was a spacious floor plan, very open, with living area to one side and a kitchen separated by a large island. The walls in here were shades of blues and greens and tans, and there were a
of windows. Hardwood floors were covered by numerous rugs, and there were instruments tucked away everywhere.
There was a beat before Ferris headed in before him -- just a bit tense, just a bit wary, eyes raking the place for trouble before the rest of him followed. He looked over the instruments in a cursory way, and then the windows in a more serious, slightly concerned way.
Emotional lability more often than not, Fletcher was very emphatic. He picked up on the changes in a person's mood and demeanor, however subtle they might be. Usually to effect of his own heightened anxiety, but every so often it actually proved useful. As he set the binder and bottle on the island he watched Ferris, the way his eyes slid over the apartment, lingering on the windows. "What?"
"I hate this apartment." His eyes were on the windows more than anything else; they put tension between his shoulders. "You must not be at risk in any way."
Keys were dropped into a basket beside the door as he locked it again. "We're on the twelfth floor, what are we at risk from?"
"Anything that can fly, to start." He moved around the place, carefully, until he found somewhere not too exposed to the windows to sit.
A challenge, that. The couch and the rest of the more comfortable seating was beside the biggest window. There were stools tucked under one side of the island, a bench at the keyboard, and a few others. The
were probably anything near the instruments. "Remembering for a moment that I'm just a measly human, what flying things should I be looking out for?"
"Dragons." He smiled just the tiniest bit at Fletcher, shoulders raised in a quick shrug. "Let's see the binder then."
He stopped short with a hand resting on the handle of the fridge. "Why hasn't anyone seen dragons...?" Not doubting their existence, though that was by far the hardest stretch of reality thus far.
"Um." He opened the door. "Do you want something to drink?"
Ferris leaned back with a sigh, slow. "At our fancy lunch, I'll drink plenty."
"Okay." The door closed without Fletcher having taken anything out. He scooped up the binder as he headed over to take a seat on the keyboard bench.
Ferris held out a hand to take it -- a little impatient -- and then went through it carefully, but quickly. An experienced skim. Searching. "Do you have questions?"
"The bits about rooms and things that are off limits is pretty straight forward, but I'd like to go over party etiquette, just to make sure I'm understanding it all properly." Hands on his thighs, he rubbed the heels of his palms along the thick denim.
"It's probably just easier if you try not to talk to anyone, and
don't go off alone with anyone." He mused, looking that page over with his head cocked. "I assume he'll boss you around a whole bunch, so that'll make it simpler."
"So can everyone....or does everyone," he floundered a bit, trying to figure out how to ask his question. "It feels almost like a low current of electricity coming off his skin, will that be the same for everyone? Can you do it?"
"I'm not....." Ferris brushed at his hair, brief, slightly annoyed. "I don't have a knack for glamour."
That's what it was called, then. "Do they?" It was the whole reason he'd followed Rowan in the first place, why he'd looked for him for so long. Why he'd made the deal. If there were other people he'd be interacting with that could do the same, it'd be good to know.
"It's most of what he does." Ferris turned the page, idly. "Which isn't to say it's not a
A relieved sigh, hands curling against the tops of his thighs. "Good, that's good." Baby blues flicked down to the book again, then up at Ferris. "How often does he host parties?"
"It's not parties." He cocked his head a little debating. "Or, I guess I wouldn't call them parties. It's diplomatic. Business."
One hand came up, waving vaguely. "Whatever they are, does it happen often? Am I meant to be there every time?"
"I don't know, you'd have to ask him that." Ferris looked down again, eyes skating down the page. "It seems likely, though. At least one a week."
He chewed on the side of his thumb before stopping himself and placing his hand back on his lap. "Is there anything else you think I should know? Any warnings?"
"You're already in up to your neck, so running isn't an option." He stretched his legs out, watching Fletcher's expression thoughtfully. "Do you actually like him? Or is it just the magic?"
The question made him blink, like he hadn't actually considered that until that moment. "I don't know." Brows creased, gaze sliding away as he thought it through. "I think so." Especially when Rowan showed interest. Fletcher was weak for that, always had been.
He crossed one leg over the other, and in this light, his features looked a little softer. A little finer. The freckles weren't visible, and his chin was delicately pointed like Rowan's. "You're into men, though."
He did a bit of a double take when he noticed the freckles, the shape of his chin, and it left him staring for a long moment before the question snapped him back to attention. "I like men and women..." Brows dipped. "You had freckles earlier, and your jaw was more square."
"This wasn't your first, then? With a man?" Ferris leaned in -- he definitely looked more like
, and maybe that would be attractive to Fletcher. Maybe that was the point.
Fletcher straightened, back hitting the keyboard as he stared at Ferris. "No." It was disconcerting looking at Rowan's face on Ferris' body, the latter's voice coming from that pretty mouth. "Is that your
"You'll need to be more specific." He smiled, rubbing a hand along his jaw. The hair was still short; it wrecked the effect a little.
"Changing your appearance. I wasn't sure at first if maybe I just hadn't remembered right, but you didn't have freckles that first night, and you look like Rowan now." There was wariness in his posture.
"Yes, that's my knack." He smoothed a finger down the length of his nose, still leaned in a bit toward Fletcher. "It makes for a useful bodyguard."
"I can see how that'd be useful, but why are you doing it now?" Unless he was just showing it off, but then why was he leaning in like that.
"Watching for signs of interest or arousal. I could go the rest of the way." As he said it, his skin lightened: it was like a mirage, impossible to tell when it happened, but he looked
like Rowan, slowly.
The flush was sudden and dark, eyes widening. "But why?" It wasn't quite the same as having Rowan sitting there talking to him. It wasn't his voice, it wasn't the way he talked.
"You wanted to know if it was just the magic." He reached up idly, to brush at his hair -- and it lengthened under his hand.
He made a sound at the back of his throat. "It's not just physical I'm into, though," he protested, gaze following the sway of that long, pale hair. "It's more than that."
Ferris closed his eyes for a moment, thinking -- and then opened them green. And the amount he looked like Rowan was almost uncomfortable, in that moment. He fumbled for the voice. "You don't say."
He pressed even farther back into the keyboard until it was digging into his spine. "Did he ask you to do this?"
"No, you did." Rowan's imperious tone broke into something distractedly annoyed, instead; Ferris tapped fingers against his knee.
That was just down right creepy. "Regardless, It's not just how he looks." Which was beautiful, undeniably so, but he needed more than that.
"Yes, I can do the rest of it. I can tell you to sit --" And his voice shifted, a good imitation of Rowan's as he tapped fingers against his knee again. "Stay."
disconcerting. Fletcher pulled his gaze away, looked down at the floor between his boots instead. "It takes more than
, too." Though he did
that, as evidenced by the darkening color in his face.
Ferris sat back, then -- and as he did, he folded back into his own shape. Not the one with the freckles, more masculine and matched to Fletcher, but the androgynous, hard to figure out one, skinny and long. Licking his -- his? -- lips, he thought that over. "Well, I mean, that seems to answer your question anyway. You know what you like."
He breathed out a sigh as Ferris sat back again, looking up almost cautiously, but once he had his head lifted, eyes widening again as he stared. "That really is incredible." A little frightening, but still incredible.
The color faded slowly, a hand coming up to to smooth his hair back only for it to fall into his face again. "Am I more or less fucked because I actually like him?"
The hair was still long; they grimaced as they shrugged it over one shoulder. "I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm about the only person I've ever met who didn't want to fuck him."
"Immune to his charms." Charms could have been--probably should have been--sarcastic but actually wasn't. Fletcher was too nice for that.
"No, it's not personal. I've never really been interested in anyone." Another shrug, leaning back a little. "Not in me, I guess."
"Ah." Nothing wrong with that. Fletcher'd wondered at one point if that might have been the case for him, but clearly not. It just took more than a pretty face.
He shifted, realized he still had the jacket on, and shrugged it off his shoulders to lay it over the bench beside him. "Any more advice or words of warning?"
Ferris closed green eyes, head cocked to think it over. It hadn't nearly been an hour yet; only fair to give Fletcher his full value. "He's mercurial. He can get angry."
His lips pressed, drawing back in almost a grimace. "I did notice that. Last night."
"Just follow your rules. Any rules." When those eyes opened again they were brown, dark and warm, assessing Fletcher. "And don't let your attention wander."
He did like rules. Rules made things uncomplicated. Fletch nodded, glancing down at the book on Ferris' lap, before looking up again. "It would have been nice to know them last night." He could have avoided pissing Rowan off about the tie, maybe. "And I don't think that'll be a problem."
"You say that now, but they just --" He paused, digging for some kind of explanation. "It's all games. And you're human, which makes you a pawn."
"Well, shit." Resigned, he got to his feet, stretching his arms up over his head with a yawn. The more they talked the more nervous he felt about the whole thing, and there was only so much preparing he was going to be able to do short of making sure he memorized to information in that binder.
"Rowan mentioned something about giving me a phone, do you know anything about that?"
"Oh." Ferris blinked, brushed at their hair, attention turning toward the door. "It's in the car. We can grab it when we go to lunch."
"That's fine. I want to change before we go. Whenever that happens to be." He glanced back down at the book and held a hand out for it. "I need to sign that first page, right? Do I get to hold onto the binder for a bit?"
"The binder's yours, but I'll take the first page back to him." Ferris refocused on Fletcher, thoughtfully. "Are you going to put something less...extreme on?"
He'd take the binder over to the counter, opening a drawer to dig out a pen as he flipped to the first page. His signature was sweeping and neat, and when he was finished he removed the page to slide it across the counter.
Only to look down at himself at the comment, frowning. "What's extreme about jeans and a tee shirt? It's a lot more tame than the pants I was wearing the first night." There was literal fetish gear less extreme than the stitched up leather pants he'd worn to the warehouse party...
Ferris hesitated over that, digging a little bit -- trying to put something in words -- "I don't like to get noticed."
Fletcher frowned, plucking at the shirt as he looked down at himself. "Well, what would you suggest, then?
Dark eyes raked up to the piercings, and the hair -- and with a grimace Ferris shrugged it off. "Wear whatever you'd like."
He waited, just in case Ferris had something more to add, then moved through the kitchen to head back to his room, drawing his shirt up over his head as he disappeared through the door.
He came back a few moments later in a very low-key pair of jeans, neat but ordinary, a plain great tee shirt, and a pair of black converse. The bruise on his neck peeked out now and again as he walked.
He still looked eminently fuckable; he was still going to turn heads, for sure. Ferris sighed, and for his part, he looked more...indistinct, now. Nothing that would stand out. Just a guy. He rolled up to stand. "Maybe everyone'll be too busy looking at you."
"I'd rather they didn't, but you're probably right." Now more than ever, if possible. Tuck Fhis breaking up had launched all of them further into the spotlight than success had. Gossip and social media. "There's probably not a lot of open parking, especially not for a limo. It might be easier to walk, it’s only a block away."
Ferris raised his eyebrows, looking aside -- and then nodded a little bit, agreeable enough. "I can walk. If it's safe here."
"It should be, not a lot of active crime around here." He grabbed his phone, still on the verge of dying, and his keys, and went to hold the door open. "Let's grab the phone out of the car, though." More just to have it than out of any fear of it getting stolen.
Ferris nodded a little, getting the door for Fletcher; he could lead the way out and down to the car, to fish the phone out of the cup holder to offer up.
Re: New day [Ferris and Fletcher]
Reply #2 on:
January 20, 2020, 07:22:32 AM »
He caught himself before a 'thank you' slipped out as Ferris got the door. That was going to be the hardest to break, he thought. That and apologizing. He was all about manners, and not saying either went so far against the grain for him.
"Shit, I think this is better than the phone I already have." Newer, for sure. He swiped it open, pulling up the contacts to find only one number, unsurprising.
There was a beat, at that, a hint of a frown. Ferris folded his arms. "I assumed you were independently wealthy as well."
Fletcher looked up. "I am, there's just nothing wrong with the phone I have so I haven't upgraded it yet." It came with a shrug.
"That's good. If you were reliant on the money as well, that'd put another hook in you." He blew out a breath, assessing. "Where's the restaurant?"
Made sense. "I get royalties from albums and stuff, so I'm fine." Like the recent attention, the break up had produced a surge of sales. He hated it, that that was why. It left a bad taste in his mouth if he dwelled on it too long.
"It's just down this street, at the corner." He gestured, slipping the new phone into his other pocket as he started walking.
Ferris walked silently along with him, head tipped and expression quiet. "You could do well for yourself. If you were smart."
"My manager agrees with you." It was neutral, came with a small roll of his shoulders.
"I mean with the Summer Princeling." He wavered a hand, back and forth, so so. "He has a wide reach."
"He told me he wasn’t going to invest, but he did hire me to write and perform..." Maybe he could change Rowan's mind.
"Wait. Do you mean that literally?"
"Which part?" He frowned, head cocked to look at Fletcher.
"Princeling. Is he actually royalty?" He stared sidelong at Ferris.
"Not human royalty." Ferris raised one eyebrow at Fletcher.
"Fae royalty?" He thought he already knew from the way Ferris had answered him already.
It got just a brief, amused flicker. "I mean, did you think he was
A look of almost panic fluttered through wide, blue eyes before something else took over. Something a little more thoughtful and almost pleased. Something that came with an odd little tug of his lips. "Definitely not average, but I didn't know what to think beyond that, and my frame of reference for Fae is pretty limited."
"He's a visiting diplomat, at the moment." Ferris shrugged, dragging his eyes off of Fletcher again. "But yes. As much as royalty means anything anymore."
"Visiting from where?" They'd reached their destination, and Fletcher stepped forward to pull the door open. The restaurant was small, but it was exceptionally neat with a modern furnish, and a nicely dressed hostess there to greet them.
"They're all English, but..." He paused at the door, considering, then went through first. Again. He still didn't like it. "It's a technical term. They've been here for a while."
"Ah." He'd lowered his voice as they walked in, but as they approached the hostess he flashed her a bright smile as she greeted them. "Two." Blue eyes flashed over the available tables. "Could we have that booth in the corner over there?" He gestured back towards a secluded table away from windows and other patrons.
Ferris followed his finger, looking across the room to the booth -- and then nodded just a bit, agreeable. It stole some of the tension from his shoulders.
The hostess grinned back as she let them know it'd be no problem, and grabbed a couple of menus as she lead the way back. Fletcher caught the nod out the corner of his eye as he followed after, and hesitated beside the table, waiting for Ferris to pick the side he wanted to sit at.
the corner, facing out, legs stretched under the table. he watched Fletcher, seriously. "You could probably still get out of it."
Fletcher sat opposite him, arms resting on the table and hands folded together. "I don't know that I want to. It
a lot to take in and remember, and you're not wrong about him having far reaching influence. I must have met a hundred people in the business last night." Of course that was only a part of it. "I just don't know."
"Hm." Ferris shrugged, like it didn't matter to him - and why should it. "It's your decision."
"If I did want to, how would I do that?" Just to know what his options where.
Their server brought them waters, asked if they wanted anything else to drink and Fletcher ordered a cocktail, something on the fruitier side.
"Make him break his end of the bargain." Ferris looked up and got a glass of wine. it was still lunch.
"That wouldn't be easy." He made a slight face. "He had me so flustered and buzzed by the time we made the deal his side is very win win." He pulled his glass over, nail tapping against the side of it as he frowned. "He's getting the better deal, it's beneficial for both of us."
"Did he promise not to hurt you?" Ferris said it with a grimace that implied he thought not.
His shoulder blades twitched with the question. "No." He wouldn't have thought to include it, it would have ruled out certain things he liked in the right situations. He thought back to the party, the deal. "He has to..." Fletcher blushed as he tried to find a way to say it that didn't make him sound as desperate as he'd felt in the moment he'd made the deal. "I get a guaranteed hour of his time every week." Just sticking to the basic facts.
"Then I guess your 'out' is rigging it so he doesn't show, at some. point." Ferris was still matter of fact, pouring over the menu.
The way Ferris said it sounded so simple. It wouldn't be, but it was
, if Fletcher found he ever did need the option.
He thought about it for another moment longer before taking a drink of his water and picking up his menu. Not that he needed to look at it to know what he wanted. "What are you thinking of getting?"
"Omakase." He dropped the menu decisively as he said it. "Chef always knows best." plus it had the benefit of being expensive.
"Good choice. Everything here is always really fresh." He set his menu on top of Ferris's, squaring up the corners. "Do you like eel?"
"I'll eat whatever he brings out." Ferris raised an eyebrow. "You should try it. as I understand, you like relinquishing control."
"I might, but I also want something with eel in it." Their server was back with drinks. Fletcher thanked her politely and slid his cocktail in to sip from the little black straw. "It's a lot to get both though. But if you wanted some of the eel that'd make it an easy choice."
"Honey." Ferris watched him bemusedly. "What kind of rock star are you? just say omaakse with eel in it. they'll oblige you."
By the look on Fletcher's face it was clear he hadn't thought of that. "Oh. I thought maybe that'd defeat the whole point of it being omakase." It did solve his menu dilemma nicely. "But that works."
"How do I know that and not you?" He turned the wine in his hand, definitely amused. it relaxed him.
Fletcher shrugged, straw caught and held between his teeth. "It seemed like an imposition."
"So impose." He lounged in the chair - leaned back with his wine, looking comfortable. "You have to ask for what you want."
He made a face like that was the last thing he'd want to do, like it was almost a foreign concept. "I'm not great at that." Except when it came to sex, he could ask for things then.
"Then you won't get what you want." He said it smoothly, easily, eyes raising as the waitress came back. Instead of flirting, it made him go quiet; he'd let Fletcher take the lead. A test maybe.
He made a sound that wasn't quite a protest, but before he could say anything their server came back. Fletcher smiled automatically, bashfully, blue eyes flicking to Ferris then up again. "I'd like the omakase, please." A pause, and then. "With eel."
Ferris held up two fingers to indicate he'd have the same, absent; didn't so much as open his mouth this time, not until the waitress was gone. "Not too hard?"
"No." But he glanced at their server as she walked away, gaze lingering like he was looking for any sign of annoyance. There didn't seem to be. He took another drink as he looked back across at Ferris.
Ferris was smiling again -- smirking, maybe more like, just a little twist of his lips. "Didn't kill you, anyway."
He huffed softly, lips twitching around his straw as he rolled it between his teeth. "No."
And Ferris actually laughed at that, head tipped back a little bit, to look around the place. "Okay."
And that'd make Fletcher laugh, relaxing back into the booth with his drink in his hand.
It was going to be a quiet lunch -- Ferris wasn't chatty, and mostly seemed interested in focusing on the food, in working through the mountain of fish brought out to them. He wasn't, apparently, particularly picky.
Quiet was fine now that it felt companionable. They could eat their way through it and anything left at the end Ferris could claim if he wanted, but it wouldn't go to waste.
He'd take it all with him, contentedly. It'd be several lunches, instead of just the one. "Do you need anything else?"
The bill had come at some point and Fletcher hadn't even looked at it when he set his card in the holder and slid it back to the edge of the table. "I don't...think so." He said it thoughtfully. "Do you need my number for anything, or do I need yours?"
Ferris flashed him a look, head cocked just slightly to one side. "Are you asking for my number?"
"Yeeees?" He elongated the vowels, voice questioning. "Unless that's not allowed. Or not safe."
"Give me your phone." He beckoned for it, casually.
"Which one?" He pulled out both and offered them over. "You mentioned dragons and seem on guard." Timid or not, he was observant. "What do I do if something happens if you or Rowan aren't around? Or do I even have to worry about that?"
"I have no idea. I don't know where you stand, or anything." He shrugged just one quick shoulder. taking Fletcher's phone to plug his number into it. "I don't know what you can do."
"Try to call Rowan, I guess?" He wouldn't even know what to watch out for. "Are dragons common?"
"No. Extremely rare. I've never seen one." He put
into the top, but didn't snap a picture for the contact info. "But I mean what can you
"Do? You mean against a threat?" He frowned, sipping at what was left of his drink. "Run quickly. I don't know how to fight, and I don't have a weapon."
"In a threat or, you know, any other time." He shook his head, sliding the phone back to Fletcher. "Do you have any magic at all?"
Fletch shook his head. "Not that I'm aware of." Which made him think, head tilting. "Is there a way to check that?"
Ferris just shrugged, somewhat helplessly, rolling up to stand. "I like to think you'd know."
Maybe Rowan would know. Fletcher could ask him later maybe. "Is this phone just for him to contact me, or can I text him with questions if I need to?" Or anything, really. He didn't want to be a bother, but it'd be nice to know one way or another.
Ferris shrugged again -- slowly, shoulders raised, still watching Fletcher in a bemused kind of way. "I'm not in charge here."
Lips twisted to the side as he got up finally, drinking the last of his cocktail and made sure he'd put his card back in his wallet. "I'll figure it out, you've already been a huge help."
"I would err on the side of
." He shrugged as he started for the door, gathering up the leftovers. "With fae in general, the high fae especially, and him in particular."
"Yeah, I mean I'll see him in a week anyways." He shrugged and started for the door.
"Or before that." Ferris shook his head again, phone tucked into his back pocket.
"Or before," he agreed, conceding that he didn't have a clue.
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