He didn’t want to be here. There were too many people he didn’t know, a few of them half haunted by half forgot ‘spirits’ too far gone to be more than a nuisance. He waves at them like he was whisking away the vape clouds that were being puffed out despite signs saying no to both that and more traditional smoking. It smelled of weed and things like candy floss and captain crunch. His friends whom had been the ones to drive him here, were already occupied, and had the keys, including the ones to his damn flat because Adam was an ass. At least he had his wallet, he edged his way to the bar and ordered the first drink that looked strong and tasty hand in hand, it’s likely girly presentation could be damned if it made the night even a little more tolerable.
It was loud, too, just to make it that much worse, perha pounding beat around the edges of things that blurred conversations together and turned the people around him into mumbles and buzzes. He could sit at the bar for a bit and consider the monstrosity of a tiki drink he'd ordered -- but just for a bit, before someone thudded down next to him, empty glass clinking against the counte. Fair-haired and distracted and maybe already a bit gone, he cocked his head, not quite looking at Varek.
The feel of 'dead' prickled over his skin, but a very strange kind of it. He glanced sideways at the fair haired interloper, hesitant at first to acknowledge that he even noticed. Fresh ghosts, they tended to become desperate, and problematic when they realized someone could see them 'at last'. But 'new dead' wasn't the right feeling either. it was...thicker somehow, and more than that, he wasn't the only person noticing him.He turned to give a proper look, arching an eyebrow, waiting for something to be said as he gave a quick glance over the well abused clothes and generally drunken demeanor. He glanced at the empty glass and then back up before taking a deliberate drink of his own. "I'll bite...what do you want?" His own drink thumping against the bar as he set it back down.
"That smells atrocious." He lookd young; too young to be here, certainly, maybe even too young to be out on his own -- but he rattled the glass against the bar with an expertise of familiarity, trying to get the bartender's attention, and he smelled strongly of cigarettes. "A crime against alcohol."
"So do you, I don't see that stopping you though." He pulled a face and took another deliberate sip. "What do you want." he repeated more firmly. Normally the dead were all too happy to divulge some scrap of desire that kept them clinging to the world, hoping someone would hear them, Then again, most of them didn't drink... or smoke. He clicked his rings against the edge of the bar, the clunk of them satisfying against the scared wood.
"Christ, that's a question, isn't it?" He was pale, tall -- standing up on the ring of the stool to wave at the bartender, and to get ignored again. With a little huffing sound, he fished out a couple of bills from his pocket, and fanned them out toward Varek. "Which of these is a twenty?"
The smoke smell, and the vape clouds were irritating his contacts, and he wanted to rub at them but he refused to risk dislodging the ridiculous red lenses he'd chosen to wear today. He arched an eyebrow at the bills being waved in his face before reaching out to delicately 'pinch' the twenty a bit higher than the others.
It got a little nod; he pried that one out and half-turned again, to wave it at the bartender -- and *finally* caught the guy's attention, to draw him over. It made him smile, quick and sharp, leaning in over the bar to order a vodka tonic. It also showed that other people could atually *see* him, the bill traded for the drink easily.
The fact that the bar tender responded, made him lean away slightly, frowning and now uncertain. He took a deeper drink after a moment of his 'tiki' beverage and grimaced as the flavor of it really hit home. "Mmm... what um." He hesitated, tapping his ring against the bar. "...what the hell?" He said at last.
"That's almost as complicated a question as *what do you want*." He sounded casual, though, settling back to sip at his drink, legs tangled around the barstools. He still hadn't fully turned to look at Varek. "But I agree. You smell off too."
He clicked his tongue and shook his head, swirling the drink in it's glass and lifting it, hesitating before he drank. "Maybe... but at least I'm not dead." He said and took a mouthful of his drink.
"I can see that much." It came with a flicker of a smile that was more teasing than anything else, one of his shoulders raised in a crooked shrug. "But you're sure something."
"I could say the same, besides drunk and dead I mean." He said, the latter more of a mutter into his cup.
That got a half a laugh into his drink, head half-turned again to consider Varek. "Why are you here?"
"A very literal case of being strong armed into being 'social', and you?"
"I'm trying to get laid." That came with a little toast, a tip of the glass -- and he downed it, with just a bit of a grimace.
That earned a pause and a half stifled laugh. "... drunk, dead.... and looking to get laid. Great night you're having. Do you need me to find another twenty?"
"You don't seem that cheap to me." It was faintly bemused, definitely teasing. And despite the fact he didn't quite look at Varek, he still seemed like he was watching.
"You hitting on me?" He asked, amusement in his voice. "That's ...new." He admitted.
"Because of your face?" He widened his eyes a bit, obviously mocking now. "I wouldn't hold that against you."
"I mean you'd have to find something. Rigor-mortis only lasts so long."
"My rigor-mortis lasts plenty long, I promise." another of this smileoo wide, too sharp, almost cutting, with a flash of too sharp canines in it.
"Oh great... because ghosts weren't enough. He rolled his eyes. "I was starting to wonder if Adam put you up to this somehow, but that explains a lot I think."
"Which part?" He tipped his glass a little, ice clinking around.
He gave a humorless grin, and tapped a fingernail against his own incisor. "You're just a new kinda spook."
"Spook?" It got a flicker of something through it, surprised or annoyed. "You're one to talk."
"I'm spooky, not a spook. Little difference."
He finally swiveled to turn and face Varek, a finger sliding around the edge of his glass. "You have no idea what you're talking about."
"Yeah? Enlighten me?" He rested his chin on his hand, rolling his drink about around the bottom edge of the glass.
Hair fell into his face, pale and messy, and now he was frowning a bit instead of smiling. It took some of the life out of his expression, left him cooler. "What are you?"
He shrugged, a tired expression at the question. "Spooky." He said with a wry smile. "I just said."
There was a moment of silence, thinking it over - his head cocked to listen a bit - and then he reached out to grab Varek's wrist, the tips of his fingers searching out his pulse. His hands were cool, but not cold. Just chilled.
Varek in turn was warm enough, there was a pulse there beneath the skin right before he twisted his hand to try and free himself with a frown. "Hey!' he protested. "What about you? hmm? Besides grabby." He said and frowned at the touch.
For a moment he just held on - stronger than he looked like he should be - and then he let Varek pull free. "Hungry. Tired. Not half as drunk as I'd like to be."
He rubbed at the wrist. "Great... order some food." He said with a new more cautious tone.
He probed at that canine with his tongue, thinking that over. "What's your name?"
He pointed, scowling. "That better not have anything to do with ordering dinner." He narrowed his eyes
"I can't eat anything they serve here." except, apparently, the vodka - which he finished all in one go.
He pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes. "...and just to be clear, what can you eat."
"What's your name?" He said it like a counterpoint, head cocked a little.
He drummed his fingers... and made a disapproving sound. "Varek."
"Varek." His tone went silky as he asked it, carefully light, like he was testing it out. Flirting, maybe. "I can't quite seem to leave you alone. How far away do you live?"
"I guess, I draw all kinds of the dead, even if they asked my name when I said...order, dinner."
"How far away do you live, Varek?" He leaned in just a bit closer, elbow on the countnd while maybe he wasn't as drunk as he *wanted*, that wasn't to say completely sober. "We could go back to your place and order dinner."
"No, we can't." He said shaking his head. "They took my keys to get me out here. So tragic."
"Adam?" That made him tilt his head a little bit, assessing, half-turning toward the dance floor. "Which one is he?"
"Oh my god, You're... what, a Ghoul? A... Wight? Why would I take you back to my flat?"
There was a long pause, frozen, and then he frowned back at Varek. "That's really insulting. Do you want your keys back or not?"
"And yet I don't hear a denial, which means I'm still on the dinner menu." He sighed and then pointed to a Tall blonde with a tyedye 'dark side of the moon' shirt dancing in the crowd.
He licked his lip, thinking it over -- and then polished off his drink, chewing on the ice as he rolled up to stand. "I'm not a spirit. But it's interesting you assumed I was."
"I've also 'assumed' you're dead this whole time, but you're in pretty good shape to be... a zombie and those feel different. Besides, most of them are in pretty specific places."
"I'm not a zombie, either, Christ. I definitely don't smell like I'm rotting." Frankly, he didn't smell much of anything; maybe some old beer. He took a step away toward the crowd. "You have anything distinctive on your keys?"
A chuckle of amusement. "If he didn't take it off, a little leather bag with some knuckle bones on it."
"Uh huh." He didn't ask anything else. Instead he moved through the crowd in the general direction Varek had pointed -- and not in a straight line toward Adam. Maybe he hadn't exactly tracked the pointing, because he brushed up against a couple people before colliding with the right one.
He could just let the Dead fellow get his keys, he could get an uber and go... somewhere. Get a locksmith tomorrow. He was running out of dead things that he could confirm existed. Though... to be fair, it didn't mean that this fellow knew what he was. It wasn't like... hm... He watched Adam stumble and nearly fall, bumping into someone else, he could almost hear the curses which, tended to be creative. He chewed on his thumbnail, thoughtful.
He reached out to catch Adam carefully, apologizing in a fumbling sort of way, hands on his hips and his chest and his back -- ostensibly to make sure that he was okay. He was playing drunker than he was, blinking lazily. And while he did it, he dug around to steal Varek's keys.
Varek was at least a little amused. It was a clever play, at least it meant there probably wasn't any brain rot, and it also meant it was unlikely he was stuck in a loop. He pulled out his phone and typed a few things into google., made a face at his phone and put it away.
He patted Adam on the face a couple times as he pocketed the little leather bag, feeling the bones out with his thumb. He was also *solid*, definitely. Solid enough to be annoying. To drink, and maybe eat. To knock people over. He licked his lips and took a step back.
Adam shook his head, clearly disgusted by the drunken impression he had clearly swallowed from the act. He waved the man off, blessedly he was not a confrontational type, at least when it came to clubs. He wasn't about to risk being thrown out when he could dance and drink, and he'd found a pretty enough partner.
Less than ten minutes, then, before he dropped gracelessly back down at the bar, ruffling at his hair. He didn't offer Varek his keys back, but raised both eyebrows. "So. How far away do you live?"
"Persistent." He said shaking his head. "clever, but persistent."Do you... need invited in if I tell you?" he tapped his heavy ring against the bar again
"It's definitely pretty rude to go into someone's home without an invitation." Idly, he pulled the little leather bag out of his pocket to play with it. "Are these human?"
"I'm going to dump the rest of my drink on you... " he said lifting the glass. "You should see what's inside." He added glancing at the leather bag.
"It's bones." That much he could tell, clearly; turning the little bag over with his head tilted to the side. "I mean, it smells like bones. And leather."
"That's a bit of it yeah." He nodded. "And some herbs, some graveyard dust." He held out a hand for the bag.
He thought that over -- without giving Varek his keys back. And why would he? Now he had possession of them. "What's it for?"
"I'll tell you what it is, if you tell me what you are."
He rumbled at that, thumb smoothing over the laces of the bag. His hands were scarred; old scars, pale slashes across his palms and fingers. "Gris gris?"
A slow blink was the only reply, the hand remaining outstretched.
It made him smile again, all at once. He leaned back away from Varek, undoing the laces. "Obviously it's not working very well."
"Hey...HEY!" He protested at the undoing of it. He growled in frustration, half leaning forward to try and wrest it free before it was undone entirely. "They serve specific purposes you know."
He moved too fap and out of Varek's reach, with one hand lightly on his chest to keep him back. "Yeah, except that if you're questioning if everyone's a spirit, then obviously they're not working."
"Not...everyone." He said sweeping his arm around to knock at the hand pressed to his chest. "JUST you. And generally speaking, zombie's aren't a spirit, just...dead."
He mused that over a little bit, the bag hanging from one finger. His hand was -- well, unmovable, it seemed. Stronger than Varek. "Have zombies been bothering you?"
He settled back into his seat and rolled his eyes. Whatever you are, it's obvious it's not what it's for. Give it, and my keys, back."
There was just a little shift, a lean in -- his movement slow, ponderous, with that edge of teasing fading away -- and then his expression shuttered and he stood fully to take a step back.
A curious look, a tilt of his head, chased by a hint of surprise. "... huh." He said. and set his hand back on the counter, Tap tap of the ring and then sliding to pick up his drink. "You ok there?" He asked arching his eyebrows
He closed his eyes for a moment, with another step back, and set to prying at the laces again. "I've been better."
Frustration returned just like that. "Would you -stop- that? It's for poltergeists!"
That made him relax through the shoulders again -- the control of it, maybe -- and crack his eyes. "I'm not a poltergeist."
"I know." Narrowed eyes with ridiculously vivid red contacts and drumming fingers. "That doesn't make me like them any better. Like so many things, they don't like to admit what they are until they are chucking a knife at your head."
"I don't have a knife, either." But at least he wasn't prying it open, now. "Are the bones human?"
"Do you care or are you just curious."
He pulled a little face , and it looked like genuine confusion. "What's the difference?"
"Pretty much how offended you might be." He shrugged.
"Ah. No. I wouldn't be offended." And, clearly, it answered his question enough. "Whose bones?"
"Hard to say, unmarked grave. Adult though." He shrugged. "I asked permission, they didn't remember their name either."
He made a little sound, assessing -- thinking it over. "...I don't want to talk to you more here. But I'm serious about heading somewhere else."
He sighed, glancing over at his friend Adam, and fished for his phone. Typing out a text message and hitting send after writing out what seemed like a sizable epistle. "Fine." He said putting it back in his pocket.
There was another long pause, assessing, chewing it over, and then he offered a hand. His other hand. The bag, he kept out of Varek's reach. "Ever."
"Interesting to make your acquaintance." He said glancing at the bag and then back with a small sigh. "Like the embodiment of an old Chinese proverb."
He wiggled his fingers meaningfully for a shake, waiting.
Reluctantly, the return handshake is offered. "Sorry, not a proverb. It's a curse." He added.
He tugged on it, then, to pull Varek in -- looking him over, except still he never quite seemed to meet his eyes. Ever's own eyes were dark, impossible to read. "You have no idea."
The easy going manner that he'd put on for when he was sitting at the bar slipped for a moment into tense suspicion when he was pulled forward. "I've a feeling I'll learn one way or another."
Another breath -- maybe Ever was *smelling him*, or looking him over in search of something -- and then he let go. "Don't guess you drove?"
"Good guess, what was the tip off?" He glanced over 'Ever' and shook his head. "...you don't especially look like you did either."
"I don't drive." He shrugged just a tiny bit, head tipped so that hair fell into his face. It obscured some of the strangeness of his eyes. It also made him seem younger.
"Uber then, where are you meaning to go? " He glanced at the keys and then back. "Or is just my place as the goal again?"
"I don't have a place, so...." He shrugged just the tiniest bit at Varek, both eyebrows raised.
Varek muttered something about a grave yard and reached for the keys again. "Keys." He said bluntly.
Ever thought it over for another moment -- and then held the keys out, hanging from his fingers. Varek would still have to grab for them.
He reached for them, pinching them between his fingers and sliding them free, slow and deliberate before standing up. "Well, come on before I get a hint of sense back."
That made him smile again, just a twitch -- he stooped to grab a bag out from under the bar, battered and heavy, and toss it over his shoulder. "Lead on."
He used the app to summon an uber as they walked towards the door, he also sent another message to Adam, not that it would probably do lick of good but, he just wanted them to know where he intended to go not just with who. "If you have a body in there, tell me now." - he wasn't entirely kidding.
A blink, and his hand went to his bag. For a moment, he looked surprised, and then it melted into amused teasing again. "Are you sure you want to know?"
"We're going past a grave yard, and it's not going into my Flat if it is. It...and potentially you, can find a nice crypt."
"How nice a crypt? Like I said, I don't currently have a place." It was quick, breezy. Amused.
"I'm sure you could do something very bo-ho with it. he quipped." He adjusted his own jacket and glanced at the app to see what direction the Uber was coming from, and then out to see if he could spot it. "Better yet, the rent is dirt cheep."
"My rent budget's about zero, so that works for me." Ever just stood next to him, surprisingly still -- hands tucked into his pockets and shoulders just a bit hunched.
The uber pulled up and He opened the door, nodding a greeting to the driver before turning to look back at 'Ever'. "After you."
He hesitated just a moment, like he was conisdering arguing, but before he could get the words out Ever climbed into the back.
He slid in after, eyes on Ever the whole time and closed the door. "Thanks" he said to the driver, and leaned back into the seat crossing one leg over the other and half closed his eyes. Just enough to look like he wasn't of a mood to talk after a long night at the bar.
Ever slumped back as well, bag across his knees, picking absently at a hole in the side of his pants. "How far is it?"
"10 minutes or so driving." He murmured after a moment. "I'm over a shop, in the 'hippy' part of town." He offered.
"Hmmm." It was hard to tell if that was agreeing or disagreeing or just thinking it over. He slouched, knees digging into the seat in front of him, and narrowed his eyes on the back of the driver's seat.
He let it stay with 'hmm...' rubbing at his eyes gently because they were dry and irritated from the smoke in the club. Adam hadn't texted, he wasn't shocked, but he looked all the same. A quiet ride till they pulled up, maybe 13 minutes later to the curb. "Wake up..." He said "or pay to go somewhere else. Ride stops here."
It made his head come up, slow, considering. He had been surprisingly still; maybe he *was* half asleep. "Lead the way, then."
Varik hesitated for a moment, considering and then turned and started walking towards a shop it seemed, shortly followed by an angle towards the alley beside it. Spinning the keyring around one finger and snagging one of the keys.
It was probably creepy, in its way, but -- Ever just followed behind him, fingers shifting around the strap of his bag. "How old are you?"
That earned a glance. "Legal." He said shortly. "You?" The tone suggested that, like others before him probably, he didn't think Ever looked it. Legal, anyhow.
It quirked his mouth a little, not quite smiling at that. "My ID says I'm 22."
"Good for the ID."he quipped and unlocked a side door, it was old, and rusted and made a shrieking sound when opened. He stepped inside, and flicked on a light, quietly waiting to see if Ever would still follow.
He flinched at the shrieking -- eyes closed and head tipped down and shoulders hiked -- but it was more like pain than fear.
"It's not so bad for the next door." - small comfort given the ear bleeding sound the outside door had made.
"You should oil that." He was still grimacing, rubbing at the line of his jaw like that ached too.
"Cheeper than an alarm." He said with a roll of his shoulders.
He made a small sound, agreeing maybe, as he followed Varek in. "A bell would do."
"I'd think it was the shop door." He said casually, and started up a flight of narrow stairs.
He shrugged, though, still shaking the buzzing out of his ears. "What's the shop?"
"Mystic clap trap, tarot readings, and exorcisms, very popular with teens to ...say thirty year olds, and a few grandmothers. Occasional lectures provided on how some people are in fact not, an unbroken line of modern witches."
He paused on the stairs, and his expression went peculiar. Trying not to laugh. "...what?"
"Summary - Teenagers want to be special, nothing new, They just don't want to do their research"
He followed again, more slowing, faintly bemused. "That's probably for the best, though. You should see the trouble they can cause when they take the time to do the researche."
"Probably, but I still wish they wouldn't all declare that they are speaking to the spirit of their dead great great grandmother whom was burned alive and somehow passed on her Grimoir, in the form of an eclectic journal from the local big bookstore."
"I don't know; that's pretty harmless. Imagine if they actually put the effort in to summon their great great grandmother." He tipped his head smoothing his thumb over the scars on one palm as he followed Varek. "Imagine if they *found* the grimoir."
"Well, if they did chances are their great great whomever wasn't burned, and they'd probably be here for the exorcism instead." He quipped - He undid the lock on his actual apartment at the top of the stairs, glancing back for a moment before letting the door swing.
Ever shook his head, though, that smile faded around the edges, now. It looked wilted. "You don't actually know much about this at all, do you?"
"I wasn't exactly supplied a teacher...no." the tone terse before he stepped inside "And most people at best half believe me."
"There's resources, if you look hard enough." But he waffled over that, pausing at the threshold to lean against the doorframe. "It's dangerous, though. Can I come in?"
He kept walking and opened the fridge, the kitchen being strangely close to the door. "I don't know...can you?" His expression said he knew exactly how obnoxious it was to say that.
"It's rude without permission." He half-turned his attention back down the hall, assessing.
"Old fashioned." He shook his head and then asked "Beer? Or do you only drink vodka."
"Beer makes me sick." He hesitated again, still leaning against the doorframe. "So does vodka, but it's not as bad when it comes back up."
"Okay...what doesn't make you sick." He closed the fridge and leaned against it, waiting.
That got an annoyed little huff. "Are you inviting me in, or are we having this conversation through the doorway?"
"So... Vampire?" He took a drink of beer.
He made a little sound, fingers curling against the wood, and shifted where he stood. "If you knew, why'd you fuck around?"
"I... wanted to see if the invite thing was true." He shrugged. "How do you think I found out about angry ghosts and knives. Are you going to kill me?" He turned and pulled a clear bottle out of a cupboard, sporting an illustration of geese and set it on the counter.
"Killing you definitely wasn't my intention." His hand dug into the wood just a bit, frustrated. "But it's not like I'm fae; I can definitely lie to you."
"Can I revoke the invitation?" He asked tipping his head.
"Not easily." He scowled at Varek.
"... honest answer, if you're probably here, for dinner, why the hell didn't you try anything in the hall, or when we stepped out of the bar? Why my place?"
Ever blinked at him a bit, trying to suss that out. "I mean, I'm not saying no to a nosh, but that's not why I'm here."
He hummed, thoughtful, muttered something and gazed heavenward as though the old low ceiling might provide answers. "What the hell..." He said and picked up the vodka tossing it towards Ever. "Come on in."
It seemed like he should have caught it, maybe. As he stepped in, he reached out for it, fingers almost brushing it -- and then it slipped out of his grasp to crash at his feet.
"...you are either more drunk than I thought, or... the movies portray the grace of vampires with the same accuracy as twilight... Broom is in the corner."
He blew out a litte noise, somewhat annoyed. "Why would you...that was a waste."
"Because even Adam can catch things I chuck at him, and he's got the grace of a drunken hippo if you didn't catch him dancing."
Another long pause -- he stood there, careful not to step on the glass. "I'm not great with inanimate objects."
"Mmm.... broom first, and then we see, how's that?"
He fidgeted, frowned, looking up toward Varek. "Why don't you hand me the broom."
A sigh, and he moved to grab the broom, grabbing it in his free hand and walking over to offer it, and the clipped on pan. "Was ...come on in not explicit enough or?"
He stepped in one step, carefully, licking his lips. "This is a mess."
"Yeah... broken glass is like that." He sighed and looked down at the vodka. "I suppose, it's not the best time to ask what you know about ghosts and witches and the like."
"I don't know a lot about ghosts. Magic, though, is a different story." He shrugged just a tiny bit, taking another step -- trying to work around the glass carefully, and not really succeeding.
"Mmm...well maybe you can teach me about vampires." He said and took the broom back, starting to sweep a path for Ever to get through.
"What do you want to know?" He shrugged a little, sliding the bag off his shoulder.
"Well... whatever you'll tell me. Sort of ...how much is real. Even a little is probably better groundwork than me learning about ghosts, like, 'no. most people can't see them, or at the least, not so clearly."
"I don't know." He shook his head just a tiny bit, reaching up to swipe at his hair. "Christ, this sucks. Push me toward the couch?"
That earned an odd look, but he put a hand on Ever and gave him a push in the right direction, taking it fairly literally. "Around the corner, kick your boots off if you're gonna put your feet on anything, it's already had a hard life."
He didn't stumble, at least, so he wasn't such a disaster as that. But he bumped into the couch before collapsing onto it, legs sprawled out. "Why don't you ask questions?"
"... about you? Or to the ghosts?" He asked shoveling glass and as much liquid as the broom would usher into the pan before turning to dump what he could into the bin and returning for round two. At least it hadn't been a -full- bottle.
"Whatever it is you want to know." He swiped at his hair, dumped the bag next to him on the couch. "I don't know what you think is true."
“Garlic? Crosses? That’s a lot of the first shit that pops up when you search”
"Not on me." He shrugged the tiniest bit, knees pulled up toward his chest.
"Do you kill people? On purpose or accident?"
"That's a really dark question." His eyes closed, Ever relaxed out on Varek's couch.
"Well... yes. But I talk to dead people."
"Being a vampire doesn't make me kill anyone." It was the first time he'd actually admitted to the vampirism. He shrugged.
He hesitated and then nodded. "... so... do vampire bites hurt or are they like they make them in most of the movies?"
That made him blink and then focus again, head tipped bak to look toward Varek. "Mine don't."
"Don't hurt? Huh... interesting." He mused. He got a towel and cleaned up more of the floor, tossing it in the bin too not trusting the tiny shards of glass not to show up and slice his hands when he least expected. "Have you met anyone like me before?"
He stretched his legs out, attention still turned toward Varek. "People who can sense spirits?"
"Yeah." He straitened slowly, stretching and fetching his beer from off the counter, taking a long drink.
"I've had a couple conversations." He shrugged a tiny bit, still watching Varek. "But not really. What's it like?"
He looked distracted, "... depends." he admitted after a moment. "People thought I was crazy, I thought it too... at least for a while. What's being a vampire like?"
"Hungry all the time. Can't get a tan. Don't age." He shrugged a tiny bit. "Alcohol doesn't work much, and drugs do almost nothing."
"... I think I'd miss food." He mused. "But, you wanted to hook up with someone, yeah?"
"Yeah, that still works." He raised his eyebrows, thoughtful. "What' you interested now?"
"Never said I wasn't... I just didn't want to be a corpse. "... I should warn you, I attract the dead. I'm not sure if that counts for you, but I
would feel pretty shitty not telling you."
He rumbled a little bit, sitting up slowly. "And are you attractedt to the dead?IS that the flip side?"
"Honestly, for most it would be like being attracted to an 8 track. So I'll hazard a no... but they know I can see them so... " He shrugged.
"Are you still freaked out?" He brushed at his hair a little, leaning in on his knees. "Is this shock?"
"Mmm..." He mused, really pondering it. "Not especially no. You?"
"I'm pretty fucked up, this is all par for the course for me." Another moment, assessing -- and then he patted the seat next to him, meaningfully.
"Do vampires get STD? Or... is it one? I'd rather not like...talk to ghosts and be after blood." Though he still moved to sit on the couch
"We can't get any disease." He held out one arm, then, hand up -- the inside of his palm *lined* with those fine scars, some angrier than others, some lacing up his wrist, as well. He took Varek's other hand to set a thumb over his pulse. It was quiet. "It doesn't stick."
"Good to know. " He said frowning slightly at the angry marks. "So... yeah, mmm Anything... I should know?"
"Just wait a minute," He cocked his head the tiniest bit, still holding Varek's hand there. And if he paid *attention*, eventually a beat would come through. Not completely dead, then.
"...huh." He said sounding genuinely surprised. "Not gonna lie, I was not expecting -anything."
He was still cool, though, attention sliding up toward Varek's face -- except his eyes still didn't quite settle properly. "It gets better after I eat. And worse when I don't."
"Makes sense, How long has it been?" his thumb rubbed absently against the cool wrist.
"Not long enough, I guess." He reached up, then, with his other hand, to brush back Varek's hair. Considering. There was another beat in there somewhere, maybe. "I don't know if control gets better or worse with time."
"mmm... the hunger or...the heart beat?
"Yeah." He caught a good handful of hair, then, to tilt Varek's head back with that surprising strength.
He gave a small half startled laugh, more nerves than anything intended to be demeaning, gripping the couch for something like balance. "You're stronger than you look, it keeps surprising me."
"I look like I might break, but trust me, it takes more than that." He smoothed his own thumb down the side of Varek's throat, to find his pulse.
"I'll keep that in mind. I can think of some times when being hard to break, would be really useful."
"Are you trying to flirt? Because if so, you're really bad at it." It made him smile just a little, looking Varek over.
"Yeah, I know... It's apparently a running joke." He admitted with a grimace, and tried to return to something more casual, running a hand against Ever's arm.
"I'm going to bite you." It was surprisingly honest; he licked his lips a little, considering. "Unless you object."
"I kinda got that impression, but, I appreciate the warning... I can't promise I'm not gonna be tense." He admitted.
"I'll be less tense after." He didn't dive in, though. Instead he tilted Varek's head carefully to kiss him, first.
"Hmm..." He said approving the kiss at least. It might have been a bit of a tease to brush his own teeth against Ever's lip,
A tease, but he was also probably way out of his league. Because once he bit, Ever bit back, just a scrape of sharpened canines over his lower lip, enough to sting. And he shifted to drag himself across Varek's knees.
He still slid a hand carefully around Ever's lower back, not 'holding' him per say, not that he likely stood a chance even if he wanted to.
He felt the same as anyone would have -- except for the slight chill of his skin, the stillness of his body. He dragged his mouth up off of Varek to take...not a deep *breath*, exactly, but to pause. "Consent. Explicit consent?"
"You can bite me, with the caveat... don't kill me, I will haunt you." It was half a tease. He was pretty sure he'd be an asshole of a ghost even if it was an accident.
"I never take too much. But you'll want a glass of orange juice after, maybe." He smoothed his thumb over Varek's pulse one more time before tipping his head down to bite him. Varek had asked if it hurt, and Ever'd said no, which -- was apparently not *entirely* true. The first press of teeth stung, scraped, as did the puncture. But once he broke through to blood, it came with a warm rush, melting away the rest of the pain into something much better.
He absolutely tensed at the sharp scrape and ting of teeth. After that though, not so bad at all. It felt... pretty damned nice despite trying to tell himself otherwise.
It was easy to see how vampires could get away with this, if it felt like tharm and relaxing even as he drained Varek, a finger caressing the edge of his jaw. As he promised, though, he wouldn't take too much. A pint, maybe a bit more, before he pulled his head up with one last wash of tongue over skin.It closed the wound with a tingle, pleasant.
He exhaled, honestly basking for a moment in the feeling. "Ok... so, that's not propaganda...good to know. I thought I'd regret saying yes... but, kinda don't." He ram his hand over Ever's back again to see if he could feel the difference his blood had made.
Warmer, definitely. He licked blood from the corner of his mouth and his skin seemed slightly more pink now, too, less sickly. He dragged his fingers over the spot, and then grabbed onto the back of the couch, considering Varek's expression. After a moment, he smiled. "I thought the next part might help with that."
"Yeah? What do I get permission to do? Or..what are you going to ask for permission for?"
"I'd assumed consent had already been given." It was idle, easy, tangling his hand in Varek's hair again.
"Well... yes, but sometimes you have to check in. hat if I introduced a new mechanic after all?
Ever shut him up with another kiss -- warmer this time, -- and this time it didn't stop. Instead, with blood in his veins, he could get Varek out of his clothes and make sure he'd enjoyed the whole experience enough not to *question it* later.
There were two echos in the apartment, nothing very strong, or hostile, but clear enough once you realized they were there, little motions still being gone through though they were old and faded. Varek skirted one without thinking when he'd led the way to the bedroom, it sported two layers of blackout curtains because of the odd hours, and because the heavy black fabric kept people from being able to see if 'the mystic' was home. Thumbtacks pinned them against the walls, though he showed the bathroom too, just in case. It was after Varek had gone to sleep, tired despite the orange juice that he drank after cleaning up. The third ghost... was a lot more active, it came for a moment through the wall, lingering for a long moment before its attention was clearly turned to Ever, and it retreated with a feral growl. Varek folded half the pillow over his head and muttered something half asleep.
He grumbled as well, a bit annoyed by the disturbance, but -- rolled over into Varek's side of the bed and pressed in against his back. Protective, maybe, or maybe it was that catnip-for-the-dead thing.
"MmmMmmyouarlgghht?" it was, almost words half mumbled into the pillow. "Smmater."
"Someone else in the apartment?" It was quiet -- not groggy, not yet, not until after the sun came up. Then he'd be out like a light.
Varek sat up, the pillow sliding to one side and he blinked groggily glancing around. ".... mm... they used to own the building." He said after a moment. "Didn't realize you could see them."
There was a beat, in which he could have said something - thought about it - and then dismissed it. "I don't think they liked me."
That earned a blink or three. "... shouldn't have an opinion, their just echos. They don't even notice if you walk through them, I just don't care to."
"I felt attention." He chewed it over and then sat up, extracting himself slowly. "Can I smoke a cigarette?"
"Yeah why not." He sighed and stretched, looking thoughtful. "I'll look and see if there were like, accidents or anything."
"It doesn't matter." He didn't bother grabbing clothes, just hauled himself out if the bed to fumble his way in the dark back to the couch, in search of his bag.
He started to rub his eyes, and then made a dissatisfied sound sound realizing he'd slept with the red contacts in. He bothered at least with sleep pants, sliding them on before following vaguely. It looked like he had something he almost said, but chose not to.
Ever cursed a bit as he fumbled around the couch and eventually came up with his bag. He dug out a battered pack of cigarettes and a cheap lighter. "How often do you get visited?"
He shrugged, wandering towards the fridge. "Depends, sometimes I get a couple a week if I pass by someone or someplace that has some fresh ones. They tend to be, confused or frustrated."
He perched on the edge of the couch as he pried out a cigarette, pale and thin, with hair falling into his face. "So you need to ward your apartment, not carry around some stupid little bag."
"I'll grab some white sage from the shop after work. " He yawned. Unless you know some better ways, I've tried a few."
"I can't do magic anymore." He spoke around the cigarette as he cradled the lighter between his hands to catch the end.
"Can you.. give instructions?" He pulled out the half loose hair tie that had held his hair back as best it could. ".... how much did you used to do?"
He shrugged, crookedly; the act of lighting up was familiar and easy. He reached out next to the couch to fumble for a side table, in search of some kind of ash tray. Or a cup. He'd settle on Varek's empty beer. "A lot. But not very well."
"Did someone teach you? Or just looked it up?"
Whether he breathed or not, he obviously *could*; drawing smoke into his lungs and tapping the cigarette off into Varek's beer. "I...figured out most of it myself."
"From digging up information? Seeing what worked?"
"Books. A couple reluctant teachers..." He hesitated, thinking that over. "Experimentation, yeah."
"Guess I should look harder for teachers." He murmured. "Most of the ones I've run into were fake as hell."
"I never....I kind of fell into it." He drew on the cigarette again, attention turned back toward Varek.
"Long story?" He tipped his head curious
"I was sleeping in a church." He blew out the smoke again, leaning back into the corner of the couch. "He was there."
"Your teacher? Was... running into all this how you ended up... " He waved a vague hand.
"It definitely....snowballs. Once you've collided with one part of this world, you definitely end up in more." He cleared his throat, cigarette burning down a bit between his fingers.
"Fair.... I met you, I guess that counts."
"Yeah, you're well and truly fucked now." He tapped the cigarette off again, licking the corner of his mouth. It was a joke, maybe, except it came out kind of hollow, lacked the zing of amusement.
"Mmmmm yeah it was pretty good." He said with a grin. "Not awful... takes dinner date to a whole new level."
He rubbed at the side of his jaw, watching Varek thoughtfully while he considered how to respond. "You should probably drink some orange juice."
he tipped his head back and forth, half affirming the statement. "Yeah, been a while since I donated blood, they don't like it right after you get a tattoo."
Ever leaned forward then, all at once, to poke around in his bag in search. "I might have some chocolates."
"I'm good, I'm good, I have... uh...Cranberry juice somewhere." He said shaking his head vigorously at the idea of chocolate.
Probably wise. When Ever came up again, it was with a massively melted, re-solidified, and mashed up snickers bar. "You sure?"
"Mmmyeahhhh It's, super tempting but I'm not super into chocolate." He half laughed
"Hm." He thought about it, flinching as ash caught him and leaning out immediately to tap off his cigarette again. "Well, eat something."
"Yeahyeah..." He said and started fishing in the fridge, pulling out a small bottle of 'cran grape' and pulling a few eggs out, tapping them on the counter.
While he did that, Ever put his candy bar back and snubbed out the cigarette, licking the spot where the ash had hit with a grimace. "I should take a shower. Will light get in here, in the morning?"
"No window, vent though but it bends. It's noisy as hell but if you don't turn it on it gets an awful smell from damp"
He waffled over that, digging a fresh pair of boxers out of his bag. They were...surprising, maybe, pink and covered with hearts. "Is there a window in the bathroom?"
"Nope... just on the side with the bedroom, there's another building abutting this one,
"So maybe I'll sleep in the tub." He dragged a hand over his hair as he stood. "You have a tub?"
"Mmm yeah, it's old... so you...might not like it. But I guess if sun is as bad as they say then it's safer than the bedroom."
"I've slept in bathtubs before." He blinked across at Varek -- and then smiled again, slowly, deliberately. "I won't ask you to join, though."
It took a moment but he returned the laugh. "No, I gotta go to work anyhow. I'll ...basically be right down stairs.
"I'll probably sleep til dark, but..." He waffled a bit, pondering. "If you shove me hard enough I can get out of the way so you can shower."
"It's fine, I can always wash my hair in the sink...shower tonight, somethin."
"Just shove me." Maybe Ever should have been more self conscious about his skinny shape, but he wasn't. He shrugged and started toward the bathroom with one hand on the wall.
"Will do." He said and ate what he could stomach for breakfast. He could open the shop just a bite late... he really could... but...
He'd be left to his own devices, anyway. The water ran and Ever wrapped himself up in a towel to pass out in the tub h til sunset.
Varek returned not too long after dark, punching in information onto his phone and dragging his feet on the stairs. "Still Here?" He called yawning because he'd done an open to close.
Still there - dressed, with his bag packed up and the lingering smell of cigarette smoke. He'd managed to get the TV on to snow and not much else. He leaned back on the couch to consider Varek. "You need a teacher."
"...what brought that on?" He paused, and then added "I'd ask if you wanted take out, but they don't have vodka on tap like that."
"I'm going to head out anyway. It's the weekend, maybe I can score something... Stronger." He swung the bag up onto his shoulder as he stood. "But I can ask around."
"...alright." He said, caution clearly on his face. "But, what brought that on? Did something else show up while I was out?"
"No, but..." he hesitated a little, scraping at his hair. Just another messy teenager again, it seemed. He still had more color in his cheeks this morning; the blood helped. "Trying to figure it up on your own can really fuck you up."
His turn to hesitate, looking away for a moment and letting out a breath. "...yeah." He said with a nod.
Ever shrugged again, twitchy, his attention raking over Varek in a thoughtful way. "You should be freaked out by it. A wrong step can blow up your life."
"I've been pretty freaked out by it since I was young, forgive me if I haven't mustered as much freak out as maybe I should." He rubbed the back of his neck.
"Yeah, I know. So I'll ask around." He scratched at the side of his neck, attention dipping to Varek's throat -- not that there was anything there to see.
"I appreciate that." He said and rubbed at his neck. "It's not been for utter lack of trying, I can at least say that, I've even moved a few times." He shrugged, and then seemed to remember he needed to submit the food order, added something and hit send.
"You don't know the right people." And then he hesitated again, chewing it over. "You don't *attract* the right people. Or teh wrong ones maybe."
"You...mean the mostly dead ones?" He gave a quirk of a smile.
"They're a good place to start, if you're trying to figure out how to talk to the dead." It was deadpan, eyebrows raised.
“Depends on who or what shows up, echos... not so helpful. Some are just mad or confused...I can’t blame them either. Some though... “
"Yeah. So I'll find someone for you to talk to." He took a shuffling step toward Varek and then paused with a grimace. Maybe it was awkward, like he didn't exactly know what to do the morning after. Evening after. Whatever.
"Sorry um, yeah. I appreciate it, do you... do you want me to like, give you a number to reach me at if you have to go... places and find them or... I don't, I don't know how this works, and you're the first person who didn't spot a ghost and run... sooo yeahhh..."
"I don't have a phone or anything." He fidgeted and shrugged a little, watching Varek still. "How about same bar, a week from now?"
"Cool, I...yeah. Yeah... I'll see you then. Be um,... be safe eh?"
"Stop being weird." He huffed out a breath and then stepped past Varek, gesturing at him vaguely. "I'd hit you again, you don't have to be nervous."
"You stop being weird too, you look like I'm, gonna exorcise you or something. I'll see you in a week."
"Same bar." He went down the stairs backwards, both eyebrows raised: hair in his face again as he went. "Same place. After dark."
"If I don't see you first, I'll order you a vodka." He gave a salute.