CC High Council
It was strange. Waking to silence.
That was Benny's first thought as he opened his eyes to stare at the blank ceiling of their new house. There was no running pats of feet on pavement, no barking dogs, no clanging of trash cans or distant screams as another ally was taken in to custody. There were no grunts of pain outside, no loud cackles.
There was only silence.
It unsettled him and made him strain his ears for a long few minutes before he could push aside his discomfort and turn his attention to the woman currently cradled in his arms. He smiled, looking at her sleeping face and let his fingers begin to idly stroke up and down her arm. If he had fangs, he was sure he'd be aware of them right now, thinking how he would rip the throat out of anyone who dared disturb their peace right now. He wasn't exactly long in waiting, though he let it go. In the hallway outside their room, he heard a door open, then close, and soft padded feet make their way to the bathroom. He frowned, listening. He knew who it probably was, and they weren't bothering them, so he saw no need to get on the defensive just yet. Instead, he lay there, holding Fox, enjoy that, for the first time in decades, they were safe for a moment.
Goose bumps rose all over Fox's body as Benny stroked her arm. Her eyes fluttered open, a bit blurry at first from sleeping. Glancing around the room she yawned gently before her eyes landed on the chest her head rested on. Instantly tears sprang to her eyes as she lifted her head, just enough to look down into Benny's beautiful eyes. Instead of speaking aloud she stared into his eyes, a soft smile spread across her face. "This is so... different... But so far, I'm not complaining. I could get used to waking up like this."
"It's perfect, if we were free,"
Benny agreed with a very slight smile. His hand lifted to her face and gently pushed a bit of hair away behind her ear. "What do you think we should do? Ean said people in Haven have to help repair the city. Did you have something in mind we should ask to do to pay our way?"
Fox shook her head gently as she nibbled on her bottom lip. "No... In fact that kind of worries me. Rafe knows what were capable of. What if he has other things in mind for us?"
Sighing heavily she shook her head. Turning her face up to look Benny in the eyes she smiled softly. "Think happy thoughts... Thats what I need to do. I can't worry all the time."
"Let's just find our way around today then," Benny said with a nod. He gave Fox a kiss to the forehead before carefully detaching himself so he could climb out of the blankets and put his trousers back on. "If Rafe tries to put us to work.. well, I won't let him. Not today." He shrugged and gave Fox a little smile. "Head on down, I need to use the restroom, then I'll be down for breakfast." He reached across the bed and touched her cheek, admiring her glowing face for a moment before he slipped away again and out of their chosen bedroom, a door down the hall closing a moment later after he entered the bathroom.
Brendan flushed with a sigh, glad to relieve himself, then went to wash his hand. He saw seven large toothbrushes and one small one in a cup by the sink and smiled at them. Picking out a plain black one he brushed his teeth then took it with him back to his room, a small space on the second floor, to leave it with his few other things. It was a temporary space, and he was sure everyone would rearrange themselves to more preferable lodging later, but for now, it would do. A small bag of clothes let him change and, after a few moments of rummaging, he simply took a pair of blue jeans and tugged them on, slipping on his shoes, and quietly made his way downstairs to the living room, rolling his shoulders and neck as he went to loosen up. A morning run.. or fly... sounded fantastic, and for the first time in... what had it been? Five years? He did not need to fear being poached.
Talia yawned lightly and slowly opened her eyes, fluttering her eyelashes as she tried to grow accustomed to the morning sun. A soft smile spread across her face when she realised she was nestled against Dash and her head was resting gently on his chest. She shifted slightly to look up at him and her smile widened when she saw how peaceful he was in sleep. Reaching up she lightly kissed his lips before slowly pushing herself up to sit, trying her best not to disturb him. I'll let him sleep. He deserves a rest.
She thought as she quietly climbed from the bed and began to creep towards the door, hoping that there would be something good to eat for breakfast. Once she had reached the hall outside the room she paused to stretched then readjust and fix the grey shorts and simple white vest she was wearing before happily padding down the stairs in search of the kitchen. "Oh! Good morning." She said when she spotted Brandon with her large black eyes and smiled at him brightly. "I didn't think anyone else would be awake."
The little pitter patter of feet heralded Kyrian's arrival moments before he burst out into the main room, wearing clean, blue clothes that fit quite nicely. Kyra was following at a more evened pace, not even attempting to keep up with the boy. The night has passed slowly for Kyra, who had slept on and off as usual. Kyrian on the other hand had slept so deeply that when he woke up, he was fully energized. Making it to the kitchen, Kyrian went straight to the table and sat down, looking around with interest. "You really do need to settle down a little," Kyra told him, to which he just smiled. "But I have never had so much space." With a fond expression on her face, Kyra stroked his hair. "I know, sweetie."
"Ah, I haven't been up long," Brandon replied to Talia with a friendly smile. He watched as Kyrian bolted down the stairs and into the kitchen with Kyra following him and chuckled. "Seems they're settling in," he said in amusement, but still kept his voice down, then looked at Talia, his smile much more inviting as he pointed to the door with a thumb. "Would you care to..."
"Talia?" Dash had come to the second story landing and was looking between the shirtless Brandon and the loosely dressed Talia with bleary eyes. He yawned, almost lion like, as he turned and continued down the stairs. "I wondered where you went. I noticed you got up but I thought you were just using the bathroom- What's going on?" he asked as he reached the bottom floor and looked between them again. He didn't look suspicious, perhaps just still a bit groggy from sleep.
"I was just about to ask Talia if she wished to go for a run with me," Brandon explained, motioning to the blood mage's girlfriend. "I did, after all, promise, did I not?" He chuckled again and Dash nodded in reply.
"Go ahead, go have fun," Dash told Talia with a nod of his head toward the door as he stepped over to her and smiled. "I'll make you some breakfast while you are gone, alright? It'll be ready when you two get back."
"I was going to surprise you with breakfast in bed." Talia replied as she turned to face Dash and wrapped an arm around his neck. "But I guess i'll let you do the cooking. You're probably much better at it than me." She chuckled lightly then leaned forward and kissed his lips affectionately before stepping back and grinning at him. "I'll just have to think of some other way to surprise you then.." Her tone was playful and she couldn't help but wink at him before turning to look at Brandon. "I'll just go get changed. I won't be long." She smiled at him then turned and disappeared back up the stairs to get dressed.
"She's a special girl," Brandon seemed to agree as he turned his attention away from where Talia had disappeared to look at the blush on Dash's face. "A bit like letting a bird out of its cage finally, isn't it," he smirked.
"Yeah..." Dash replied absently but his gaze moved to Brandon and it was far from distracted. "Don't try anything funny with her, you got it?" he said, pointing a finger at the male shifter, who held up his hands in a placating way. "I mean it Brandon. I hear you so much as thought
about her as another notch in your bedpost, I'm going to put more than a notch in you-"
"I value the function of my inner organs too much to cross you, Dashiell," Brandon swore in reply, but he smiled when Dash lowered his hand. "Don't worry, she's safe with me."
"You better pray you're safe with her," Dash replied simply, then gave a half hearted waved goodbye, disappearing in to the kitchen and completely ignoring the way Brandon chuckled. Talia was a strong girl, of course she could protect herself.
"What are you giggling at?" Talia remarked as she descended the stairs, smiling at Brandon. She was dressed now in a simple pair of denim shorts and plain black vest and still remained in her natural form. "It doesn't matter, I'm sure its something I won't approve of." She finally reached the bottom of the stairs then moved towards the door. "So shall we go then..stretch our legs and run?" She glanced over her shoulder at him, grinning as she did.
"My pleasure, my lady," Brandon answered with a bow, only half joking before he walked out with her, closing the door behind them.
Knocking lightly on the door, Quinn didn't wait for an answer before he opened it and let himself into Rafe's apartment. He had been out all night, doing checks on which creatures had made it here from the city after the raids. Some had followed those who lived here, and others had simply found their own way. Now with a list of those creatures, he knew Rafe would want to know as well. And anyone living in the city needed to know a few of the base rules. With that finished he was going to hopefully spend the day taking it a bit easier than he had, recharging his internal batteries.
Caiden had woke early, before the sun had even risen and no matter how hard he had tried he could not return to sleep. Finally with a frustrated sigh he crawled from his bed and quietly crept from his room still dressed in his pajama bottoms and loose top. He had fetched his morning mug of tea then spent the next hour or so just lounging on the couch, staring out the vast windows at the world outside, wondering what this new day was going to bring. He yawned lightly as the sun finally began to rise in the sky then jumped suddenly when he heard a knock at the door. Turning quickly to look, Caiden relaxed slightly when he found that it was just Quinn entering the apartment. "Uh..Rafe isn't awake yet." He said a little awkwardly as he watched the creature before him. "Y-you can wait if you like..would you like something to drink?"
"I applaud your courtesy, Caiden, but it won't be necessary," Rafe announced as he joined the living room. He let Ean's hand slip from his as the small boy went to make breakfast and the siren turned his attention fully to his mutant and Deiciden. "Quinn... Please, do come in, have a seat," he encouraged as he motioned for him to follow as he went to take his own seat. "Tell me, what brings you to my humble home so early this morning?" Rafe actually loved early morning visitors. The moment the sun rose it felt like being born, each evening a little like dying, but with those first rays of sunlight came a new hope each day, a renewed vigor, like a breath of fresh air, and he was always ready, eager even, to see what the world would try to give him each day.
"Late, actually," Quinn said quietly as he approached. He gave Caiden a small nod before sitting down in the closest seat to Rafe. "I have yet to sleep, not that I need to, just a formality at this point." He waved it off quickly as he reached into the pocket of his ubiquitous hoodie and extracted a rolled up sheet of paper. "I was down in the city taking count of the additions. Names and, if I knew them, what kind they are. Mostly creatures who fled after the raids and are searching for a safe place to stay." This was news that would surely interest Rafe. The influx had interested him as soon as his senses tingled with the addition of new and interesting etheria.
"I'm just going to get some breakfast.." Caiden muttered as he clambered from the couch, feeling that he wasn't really meant to be involved or wanted in the conversation happening between Rafe and Quinn. "Morning.." He said to Ean as he stepped into the kitchen and grabbed himself a glance of orange juice. "Can you tell me where the Dash and the others are living? I want to go down there.." He asked suddenly. "Maybe I could join them for breakfast."
Ean looked away from his pan of french toast to look at Caiden, and his face slid in to a gentle smile. "I think that is a good idea," he agreed, zero threat in the statement. It really would do Caiden some good to make more friends than simply Rafe, as well as expand his comfort outside the apartment. He turned and opened a drawer in the kitchen to pull out a notepad and a pen. "I'm sure they will be happy to see you. Don't let how they act fool you-" he added as he wrote and drew. "I have no doubt they like you Caiden, but anyone can be nervous when meeting someone new-" He carefully ripped out the piece of paper and returned his attention to Caiden, holding the paper out. On it was an address and a rudimentary map showing to step outside, how many blocks forward one should walk, as well as left and right. The simplest way to the new household. "As I'm sure you know well. Give them time, they will relax, and so will you."
"Hmm..." Rafe hummed thoughtfully as he took the paper from Quinn and leaned back in his chair to regard it. His glowing eyes flowed along the page, taking in more the creature type than the actual names, not that it showed at first. "Look how many new nymphs... the gardens will be more than sufficient to support our community once we get them settled," he said, half speaking to Quinn but also half thinking out loud. "A few trolls and orcs? I suppose demolition could always use more strength, so many buildings we simply can't repair..." He paused, taking in one specific name, frowned at it, then looked at Quinn with that same confused but interested expression. He pointed at the paper with his free hand. "A fae named Hassan? Are you sure of this?"
"Yes," was Quinn's automatic response. He remembered every face and name that was introduced to him. "She came in with the rest of those who escaped the underground raids. I take it you are acquainted with her." It wasn't a question, but Quinn wanted clarity. If he was going to go about his work of checking on these newcomers and maybe settling a few in, a self appointed job, he wanted to know if there were any special cases that needed delicate handling. "The majority of them came with just what they could carry, but most are eager to work and settle in."
Caiden took the piece of paper and thanked Ean with a big smile before turning and hurrying from the kitchen. He rushed past Rafe and Quinn not pausing to acknowledge them as he made his way to his room. He had a strange kind if excitement about going to visit the others. They seemed like a good group of people and most of all they acted like a family. Caiden smiled at this thought as he quickly dressed then ran back out of his room, the piece of paper still clutched in his hand. Finally he skid to a half in front of Rafe and couldn't help but keep the excited grin from his face. "I'm going out for a while..not sure when I'll be back,," he said interrupting his current conversation.
Rafe hummed distractedly at Caiden but nodded. "Yes, alright," he agreed, although Caiden didn't strictly need
his approval. "Do your best to be careful, and whistle if you need me," he added as a kind of farewell, but his mind was, for once, elsewhere. Once Caiden was gone, he stood from his chair. "I want you to find Hassan and bring her to me," he told Quinn. "If she resists.. as much as I am loathe to ask it, you will need to restrain her. She is quite old, you will perhaps not have such trouble with her, or at least over power her easily... However, Quinn, you are not to harm her, do I make myself clear?" He gave Quinn a pointed look, but didn't wait for an answer. "Please. Go now." He motioned to the door then brought his fingers to his lips, staring again at the piece of paper Quinn had given him. Hassan? In Haven? That could be immensely helpful...
Standing quickly, Quinn gave a nod and turned to the door, hurrying out towards the district where he knew that Hassan was. His perfect memory wasn't about to fail him here. Moving at a swift pace, he would arrive in a short period of time as long as nothing unforeseen happened. But even then, the Deiciden didn't relax until he was on the doorstep, knocking politely, even if that politeness wasn't going to last.
"So tell me..in which form would you like to run?" Talia asked Brandon with a grin. "We can be whatever we want to be now. Which makes me wonder why you're continuing to choose to remain in your human disguise. Why aren't you allowing yourself to be yourself. It feels wonderful!" She exclaimed outstretching her red arms before chuckling and looking at Brandon with her dark eyes. "So..what shall it be? Horse..Cheetah or shall we both just choose our own?"
Brandon chuckled, giving her a smile to match but his eyes were clearly hiding something. "You're kind of all over the place, Talia," he said as he stopped at the bottom of the steps to the townhouse. "Slow down, one inquire at a time. I believe I said horses yesterday?" HIs grin widened further, teasing her. "I'll ignore the implications of my being a stallion, for your benefit. Besides, there's no guarantee I'm even really a man, is there?" He winked and without waiting for a response he brought his arms out in front of him and arched his back, easily flowing and swelling to the form of a stunning black stallion that reared its head and whinnied loudly, tossing its mane as it did so. He was going to enjoy having Talia question him, have some
sort of interest in him, even if it was simply if Dash should
be concerned, or if he could just be another female friend for her. Oh yes, he wanted her interest very much.
Talia chuckled and even nodded in agreement when Brandon commented on how she was kind of all over the place. She watched as he transformed into the black stallion then to oppose him shifted into a beautiful white mare. She reared up on her hind legs before stamping her front hooves down on the ground. "I'm ready." She said in an excited tone as she looked towards Brandon. This is going to be so much fun!
Brandon took his time however. He stepped around her, his hooves clopping loudly on the pavement despite such slow foot steps, and obviously took in her form with an appreciative eye, obvious even in his current form. Once he had made it to her other side, he stopped and tossed his head again up and down, gave a half rear and whinny before his body flexed and he pushed off down the street, the striking of hoof on asphalt quickly filling the street as he dared her to keep up.
Talia flicked her tail at Brandon as he circled around her then let out a happy whinny when he suddenly took off. She followed after him quickly, her own hoof beats echoing off the surrounding buildings until finally she reached his side and they ran together. "I bet its been a while since you were able to have fun like this. Stuck in the police station and all.." She said breathlessly as she continued running. I can't remember the last time I had fun like this to be honest..
"Even before that," Brandon replied as he worked every kink out of himself as he ran. Perhaps flying would be a good exercise next... but could he trust Elvira not to try and shoot Talia out of the sky? No, most likely not. He'd have to get her alone to have a little chat... "When was your last time?" he panted as he pushed himself onward, slowing only to take turns. More than once they passed a started creature, some even trying to level a weapon against them but of course, it was too much of a surprise to see horses running through Haven for anyone to be prepared to shoot it.
"Last time I truly had fun? Hmm..thats a tough question." Talia replied thoughtfully as she ran. "I guess its been a while for me too. Its a hard being a shape shifter." She chuckled jokingly. "Though being Jake for a day was kinda fun..terrifying but exciting that I actually managed to fool the police chief and all the cops.." She skidded slightly as she quickly turned a corner then carried on running.
"My my, Talia... who knew such a seemingly sweet woman got a thrill from being so bad," Brandon teased and laughed. He was falling a bit behind, but what did he care? This wasn't truly a race to him. He was in it more for the conversation. It was many blocks before he called to her that they should call it quits, they had long since been able to hear the rage of disturbed patrons. So he slowed himself to a gallop and finally trotted to a halt in a deserted corner of the town. With a sigh, he rolled his shoulders so he was standing again, sweaty and still shirtless and still, very much, his Brandon persona. He rolled his neck and laughed. "Ah, Talia! Yes, yes, we definitely need to do this more often!"
Talia slowed down as Brandon did and finally stopped next to him. Shifting back into her natural form she grinned at Brandon as she panted slightly and wiped the sweat from her brow. "I agree." She replied with an eager nod before allowing her black eyes to scan the surrounding area. "Are we lost?" She asked more curiously than afraid. This would just be another adventure to her.
Brandon waved a dismissive hand. "Nah, I know where we are," he assured her, but made no move to head home, instead continuing to try and calm his breathing. "And even if we were, we could just-" he spread his arms and moved them slightly. "Fly up there and have a look around to get direction... and a bit of fun." He chuckled and dropped his arms. His dark blue eyes looked her over, but it was not as if he was picturing her naked. More simply taking in her physique. If he had to be stuck with a shape shifter... Well, she wasn't the worst one. He nodded his chin at her. "Enjoying being able to relax?" he asked in regards to her red skin and white hair. His breath was calmer, but his chest was still heaving slightly. It felt so good to stretch.
"More than enjoying..its amazing." Talia responded as she stretched her arms out and spun in a circle with a grin before stopping and tilting her head to the side slightly and watching Brandon curiously. "Which raises the question again why you're choosing to remain in that form? You can't lie to me. I know what it feels like, the control you have to maintain whilst shifting. Its not fun." She said before smiling. "So whats wrong? Whats your big deep dark secret that is stopping you being yourself?"
Brandon shrugged, his chest finally stilling. "Maybe I'm just so used to the mask, I don't remember how not to wear one," he said quietly and took a step closer to her, looking down at her big dark eyes. "Or maybe... I just like the challenge," he said, his voice soft, warm, and he smiled at her, held her eyes for a long moment. And then he stepped around her and the world came back. "We should get back, before Dash starts to worry I've run away with you," he called over his shoulder as he continued to walk.
It took Talia a few seconds to realise Brandon had moved round her and she found that she had been holding her breath as she had been listening to him speak. Exhaling quickly she shook her head then spun round and followed after him. "Why? Do you think I would run away with you or you could make me run away? I'd like to see you try." She teased playfully with a smile. "Dash has nothing to worry about."
"Ah, color me jealous, Miss Talia," Brandon replied offhandedly and gave her a shrug. He shoved his hands in his pockets. "Dash has himself a fine woman. Ah, but the very idea!" He shut his eyes, head back. "Freedom, to go when and where you want, be what you want, whenever you want and for however long. Gods, if only it weren't so lonely-" He opened his eyes and his smile was sad but he kept his face forward. "Dash is lucky to have you Talia-" He finally looked at her. "I hope he never stops appreciating it."
Talia frowned. She had only meant to joke with Brandon and now it seemed she had caused him some kind of sadness. "I'm sure you'll find someone just like me then you'll get to feel lucky too." She said jokingly with a smile. "Don't worry we're going to be great friends right? Us shifters have to stick together and help each other." She clasped her hands behind her back then looked at Brandon still smiling. "This whole thing is quite unbelievable isn't it? I mean coming here to this place that seems so perfect, i'm almost waiting for something to go wrong." She chuckled lightly then suddenly frowned. "It would be perfect if that shade wasn't here. If anything goes wrong it'll be because of her." She shook her head then looked back at Brandon with concern. "You didn't let her touch you when she followed you last night?"
If I thought for a second that she'd use it for something other than to brainwash me- "No," Brandon answered. "I like having control of my facilities, thanks. We just... talked, mostly. I could see that you weren't comfortable- well, that nobody besides that Rafe guy really is comfortable with her, so I figured I'd focus her hostile attention. I'm used to being the hated guy-" He pointed to himself. "Police officer, remember?" He shrugged and put his hand back in his pocket. "Why does she specifically have it in for you though? You seem to think of her as a personal enemy."
"I don't really know, I guess its maybe because i've made it pretty clear I don't trust her and I don't want her anywhere near my friends. But whatever it was she doesn't like me and I don't like her. But i'd rather never confront her..I know when i'm the weaker creature." Talia replied with a shrug. "I know i'm not the only one who doesn't like her though..Jake, Dash, Benny and Fox all do and that kid Caiden seemed to be very wary of her last night." She sighed then stretched. "You're best just staying away from her Brandon. Much safer if you avoid her." She nodded then smiled. "But enough of that scary topic, what are you going to do today?"
Brandon hummed thoughtfully. "I suppose simply walk around. Get to know the place. Find a place of my own to stay." Go home. "Get assigned a job. I wonder what they'll make me do..." He grinned at Talia. "I have a feeling you and I will be valuable commodities for rebuilding a city."
"How so?" Talia questioned curiously as she continued on walking back towards home. "I don't really see how I could be of any use around here. Though Rafe said I could teach dance classes which makes me happy. Do you think there will be other jobs for me?"
"Absolutely," Brandon replied with a grin and a light wrinkle of his nose. "What's a better look out than a hawk on a skyscraper? What better to haul around supplies than horses, hell, even elephants? We could tear down bad buildings as bulls. We could... hell we could carry supplies as dragons, Talia. Wait-" He paused and frowned, looking at her. "You're going to teach dance? Could I... could I get in on that?" One more way to irritate Elvira: strip tease.
Talia's mouth dropped open in surprise as she turned to face him. "You want to join my dance class? Why? Are you interesting in dancing? I mean i'll just be teaching things like ballet at first. Of course you'd be welcome if you wished to join."
Brandon stopped as well to look at her, eyebrows raised as if surprised by her surprise. "Well at least I know the dress code to start out with: five-eight, hundred and ten pounds, female, and a pink tutu." He grinned. "I'd show you, but-" he motioned to his bare chest. "I don't wish to be vulgar. But.. Talia.. Do you think i could get a few private lessons? Do you know.. tango? Or better yet.. pole dancing?"
Talia had laughed when Brandon spoke of what form he would take for the ballet lesson but she nearly choked when he suddenly requested private lessons. "I know how to tango but your other request..i'm sorry I can't say its one i've studied." She replied feeling embarrassed. "Whats with the interest in private lessons anyway?"
"Well.. there's..." This woman... "I've got my reasons," he said finally and shrugged. "I just don't want people knowing I was learning it. Trust me.. it would be a hoot. And I promise-" He put his hand on his heart and the other held up so she could see his palm. "I'd be a perfect gentleman. I just have a plan in mind and it would make me..." He stepped forward and took one of her hands in his and put another politely on her hip, keeping it in a safe place, though he was again leaning over her, overall in a vague dancing stance. He even swayed her slightly. "Very happy, Miss Talia." Rafe once tried to teach him to dance. He didn't remember much. It was a haze. The siren had hummed the music and the most Brandon could remember were smoldering eyes and an overall feeling of warmth. And- He had to force a mental clamp on to the urge to shut his eyes and blush at the pleasure he could remember and focus on simply being charming to Talia at this moment. He grinned and it was disarming. "Trust me... It's just.. a personal interest of mine."
"Well..okay then." Talia replied with a nod and a smile as she looked up into Brandon's face. "If you truly wish to learn then I will teach you whatever I can. And if you wish it to remain our secret then that's okay too." She continued knowing it was probably best Dash remained unaware anyway. She wasn't sure how he would react that she and Brandon's simple outings to exercise their shifting abilities had now progressed to private dance lessons as well.
Brandon's eyes lit up and he let go of her hand so he could wrap his arms around her waist and lift her, doing a little twirl. "Thank you Talia! You're the best!" he told her before putting her down. He could already imagine the horrors Elvira was going to hurl at him for trying to dance with her. The Hunt was on. "What could I do for you in return?"
Talia squealed when she was suddenly lifted off the ground but by the time Brandon was setting her on the ground again she was laughing. "In return?" She repeated as she smoothed her clothes down. "Hadn't really thought about wanting anything in return. What exactly could you offer me?" She didn't really plan on taking anything from him in exchange for the dance lessons but she guessed there was no harm in knowing what he would be willing to give in return for them. It'll show me how much he really wants them.
"Anything, just name it," Brandon said unwaveringly. "I'll figure out how to get it, or do it." It wasn't far from the truth. Rafe wanted him to sort of sway Talia, so Brandeis would run himself raw trying to do anything she asked. And, if by some unnatural request he couldn't do it, he could go to Rafe. One way or another, it would get done. "So what would you like? What does your heart desire? What is it I, as a... thing, that you know, can do for you, or acquire for you?"
Talia looked thoughtful for a moment then suddenly smiled. "Flowers. I've always wanted a bouquet of big beautiful flowers but they're so rare. Oh and chocolate! I love sweet things." She giggled looking embarrassed. "Is that a silly request? Did you expect me to say something more?"
Brandon shook his head, giving her his trademark grin. "Not at all, Talia. What girl doesn't want flowers and candy? As promised, your wish-" He placed a hand on his chest and bowed. "Is my command, my lady. For now though, let's get you back before Dash has a conniption." He held out the bend of his arm like a gentleman, waiting for her to take it before heading back to the house once more.
Fox watched Benny leave the room before she climbed out of bed and got dressed. Leaving the comfort of their room she headed downstairs and into the kitchen to find Dash. "Morning." Her brows were slightly furrowed as she crossed the room and began putting together something simple. She wasn't mad at Dash, she could never stay mad at him for long, she was just confused as to why he'd hidden this from them. Massaging her temples a moment she sighed. "Would you like some of this?" It was just an egg sandwich but it would fill them up quite a bit.
After leaving the apartment, Caiden had carefully followed the instructions Ean had given him and made his way quickly towards Benny and the others home. Finally he stood at the door of the house and after taking a small breath he raised a hand and knocked it loudly, hoping that they were awake and he wasn't disturbing them. I hope they let me in. He thought a little nervously as he waited for a response.
It took less than a second and the door swung open widely. There in the doorway stood Benny, looking at Caiden with a mix of hesitant curiosity and mild hostility. He had taken to jeans for the day, not unlike his old ones, except with a lot less tattering. He only had a white tank to cover his torso which left his 'thug', as the police had called them, tattoos on display, but he took no notice. For a moment, he only had eyes on the half human currently standing on his stoop. "Caiden, right?" he asked, the first sign that he wasn't going to outright attack the boy. He didn't have a reason. Yet. After all, he didn't know Caiden was here to spy for Rafe. "What do you want?"
Caiden gave an awkward smile to Benny when he opened the door and nodded when he enquired about his name. "Well I..uh..decided that I should get out of the apartment today." He said feeling suddenly embarrassed that he had assumed that these strangers would so openly invite him into their home to share their breakfast. "I don't really know many people..or really most people here don't actually like me so I thought that I would come and see how you and your friends are settling in. I thought it would be okay..though of course if you'd rather me go then I will respect your wishes. I don't mean any trouble, just hoping for some company."
Benny let go of the door, crossing his arms over his chest as he considered Caiden a moment longer. "That's awfully brave of you," he said finally. "Or it started as something brave. What makes you think we would like you any more than anyone else?" he asked, his tone perhaps not as cutting as it could have been. He was not new to this. Rafe still could be playing the 'innocent bystandard' act with this kid to get them to lower their defenses enough for him to slither in again. He barely bit off the huff of laughter that came with imagining the siren as something cold blooded. The man would be scandalized. He was quiet so long following his question, it almost seemed as if he were waiting for an answer, but at last he spoke again. "Jake's here," he pointed out and stepped out of the way finally. "Kyra, and Kyrian." He pointed toward the kitchen and held the door for the mutant. "Did you honestly think they'd be better company than Rafe? Or were you hoping to meet some people like us-" It was clear he meant creatures. "Who were better than him?"
"Well you accepted the other humans and half humans so why not me?" Caiden replied when Benny asked why he thought they would like him. He straightened up slightly and took a breath not wanting to appear weak or nervous in front of this man. "I never said that I was looking for someone better than Rafe..though honestly I don't rank my friends. Is that something you do frequently?" He asked with a raised eyebrow before shrugging. "Everyone is equal in my eyes. It wouldn't really be fair of me to choose between humans and creatures now that i'm technically both now right?" He tried to give his friendliest smile. "So are you inviting me in?"
Benny nodded to answer his final question, but spoke to comment on the rest. "I was not comparing humans to creatures," he pointed out. "I just want you to think very critically about who gets your loyalty Caiden, and why." It didn't sound quite like a warning, perhaps like he was tired. In any case, he waited until Caiden entered, then closed the door behind him. "Come on, let's get something to eat," he invited and motioned to the kitchen door for Caiden to take the lead. He didn't think the boy would do anything, but, nonetheless, he did not like people behind him.
In the kitchen Dash had shaken his head at Fox's offer as he started on some sausage at the stove. He opened his mouth to answer her but the knock on the door stopped him. He didn't even have time to check it before his brother's voice reached him and he let it go. Benny would deal with it. He returned his attention to Fox, letting his food simmer as he stepped closer to her, not wanting Kyra and Kyrian to over hear. "I'm sorry about yesterday," he apologized very quietly. "I know how you feel about him and I just... I didn't want you and my brother thinking I was trying to drag you two back in-" He cut himself off. "Not that I'm in!" he added in an insistent whisper, hoping Fox didn't think he had joined Rafe's life again. Yet. "I honestly didn't expect us all to be run over here. I don't know what's going on here yet, Fox, but I promise you..." He shook his head, but kept eye contact. "I'm not going to help him have you again."
Kyra wasn't even paying attention to those entering. She gave each a nod as they passed. Kyrian, on the other hand, was openly staring at everyone. Finally his eyes landed on Dash, focusing completely on the man. He tilted his head as he spoke quietly, as if listening to the man, but after a moment, he straightened and turned back to his mother. "Can I go outside?" he asked in a low tone. "Maybe," Kyra said, running a hand over his hair. "I'll have to ask."
Fox turned her attention to Dash and listened intently. Leaning her hips against the counter she smiled softly. "I know you wouldn't. And I wouldn't hold you back if you wanted to join him. I shouldn't have taken you away in the first place." Sighing she shook her head and hugged him tightly. "I'm sorry I was so angry." Kissing his cheek she pulled back at Kyrians question. Looking out the back door she smiled. "Kyra, he can go outside. Its fenced in and we can leave the door open to keep an eye out."
Caiden thanked Benny for allowing him to enter then stepped into the house and looked around curiously before moving to the kitchen when the other man indicated that is where he should go. He paused in the doorway and gave an awkward smile and a wave to Fox, Dash, Kyra and Kyrian who were gathered there. "Morning." He said unable to think of anything else to add. He stepped into the room and waited for Benny to join them.
Rather than wait for more of an answer Kyrian jumped off his stool, running full out towards the back door. Kyra took off after him, trying to be careful not to bump anyone. "Kyrian, slow down!" The boy didn't, though, nearly running poor Caiden over as he rushed past. Once he reached the door, he flung it open and hurried outside, his mother right behind him.
"It's good to see he's coming out of his police-station shaped shell," Benny commented to Kyrian's behavior as he entered the kitchen. He didn't hesitate to wrap an arm around Fox's waist and kiss her cheek, but he followed it with a civil nod to his brother, who couldn't help but avert his eyes. "Caiden wanted to stop by for a little bit," the elder of the two explained to Fox as he turned his attention back to her. He and Dash could speak, privately, another time. "He wanted to 'see how we were settling in'."
Fox's eyes peered across the room at Caiden. For a moment she was silent and very still before she nodded her head at him and a slow gentle smile spread across her face. "Morning Caiden, are you hungry? We're just making breakfast." Glancing back and forth between Dash and Benny, she elbowed Benny in the side. "How about you be useful and set the table for me?" Smiling lovingly up at Benny she kissed his chin before turning back to her work.
Caiden watched Fox a little nervously as she seemed to study him before finally relaxing when she smiled. "I'd love some breakfast thank you. Please let me help!" He said enthusiastically before glancing towards the door when he heard it open.
"We're home!" Talia called as she walked in, pulling Brandon in by the arm. She smiled at him one last time then let go of his arm and hurried into the kitchen. "Oh hello Caiden.." She said a little surprised when she saw him but quickly shook it off and moved to Dash's side. "Miss me?" She asked jokingly as she gripped his hand and pulled his arm around her shoulders.
"Deeply," Dash replied and kissed her hair, never taking his eyes off Caiden. He let his girlfriend man handle his arm, seeing no point in protesting. "Did you have a good run?" he asked, finally looking at the woman seemingly stuck to his side now. "Brandon didn't try to molest you did he?" He raised a quizzical eyebrow but had no true signs of concern on his face.
That did not keep Brandon from sulking. "I was a total gentleman, thank you very much!" he clipped at Dash, sticking out his bottom lip, but seeing he was going to get no sympathy he shook his head, instead turning his attention to the mutated human in the room. He pointed at him. "You're that kid from the apartment," he said, ignoring the way Benny rolled his eyes as he passed Fox and picked up the the necessary table things and began setting each place, counting, and double counting, he had the right number. "More the merrier and all that but- What are you doing here?" He titled his head, dark blue eyes meeting Caiden's without blinking. Rafe had let this kid out of the apartment? But why? Was his master that distracted? Did Rafe even know Caiden was out? He didn't look forward to the result if Rafe didn't know and came back to an apartment devoid of his little pet....
Caiden smiled as he watched Talia reassure Dash that the walk had went perfectly then blinked slightly when he heard Brandon address him. Turning to see him pointing at him he couldn't help but shrink back slightly, worried about what was going to happen. "M-my name's Caiden.." He corrected him. He didn't like the idea of being known as 'the kid from the apartment'. "..and I just wanted to come and see how everyone was settling in, that's all. I spend a lot of time shut up in that apartment.." He fidgeted nervously with the cuffs of his jacket as he kept his eyes fixed on Brandon. "..I-I thought it would be good for me to help you all out...because you're new here."
Fox had turned to watch the encounter when Brandon had spoken. She noticed Caiden become nervous and stepped forward. Placing a gentle hand on Brandon's shoulder she smiled softly at Caiden. "Brandon, behave." Running her hand on his shoulder slightly she moved to Caiden and set a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "No need to be nervous here, Caiden. We're the last people in this town that would hurt you... unless there was cause for it. Forgive us if were all a little... on edge. We're glad to have you here."
"'Glad' is a strong term," Benny pointed out as he set down the last plate and began work on forks and spoons. "We don't mind you being here, Caiden, so relax. Stop by any time as long as one of us is home. It's good you're here anyway, maybe you can tell us more about how people in this city get jobs. We were wondering about that..."
"Fill me in later. There is a kid in the backyard that's never had pets. Talia!" Brandon looked at his fellow shape shifter and jerked his head toward the back door before twisting toward it, shifting as he did into the body of a furry black mutt of a dog that skittered claws on tile before making it out the door, barking happily when he caught sight of the small boy outside and ignoring any protests his mother may have.
"... He's an odd man," Dash noted after Brandon exited the kitchen, frowning at the back door, then turned his attention to Talia. "He seems pretty comfortable with you now. Should I be worried?"
Kyra was outside, arms crossed against her stomach as she watched her son. When the dog came tearing out of the house, her first instinct was to protect her child. It took her a moment to realize the animal had no intentions of injuring Kyrian as the boy met the black creature with a sudden smile. There was no laugh, but there was the look of joy that came across the boy's face and a matching one, if a bit sad, on his mother's. Kyra hadn't had the chance to see Kyrian smile like that, and he was the only person who could make her feel anymore.
"Jobs?" Caiden repeated as he turned to look at Benny. "Well I don't have much experience myself but i'm nearly certain that most wanting work here in the city ask Rafe. He usually knows what jobs are available and would actually advise as to where he feels you would be best suited due to your own personal abilities. You know if someone had incredible strength Rafe would probably say they were best suited for work in helping build things in the city. But i'm sure if there was a specific area you wished to work in, Rafe would be happy to comply." He smiled hoping this was what the man wanted to hear.
Talia smiled as she watched Brandon disappear then turned to Dash when he addressed her. "No..you have no need to worry." She told him then kissed his cheek affectionately. "Please stop worrying. I am not interested in pursuing anything romantic with Brandon and I am sure he feels the same towards me. We're just friends, that's all."
Fox stiffend at the mention of personal abilities and Rafe placing them in particular jobs. The edges of her vision began to fade as memories flooded back to her. A soft gasp escaped her lips, bringing her back to the present. Looking down she realized she'd placed her hand on the edge of the hot frying pan. Cursing, she finished taking the sausage out of the pan and hurried over to the sink to douse her hand in cold water. Normally something like a burn wouldn't hurt her, but she most likely had laid her hand on the pan long enough that it effected her. "Breakfast is ready." She croaked, her throat tight.
"Dash," Benny urged, and that was all it took for his brother to understand and gently urge his girlfriend to help him move the food to the table for everyone. The elder brother set his attention on Fox. With a careful touch, he took her hand and examined the burn, seeing it already blister. With a frown, he brushed his fingers along the back of her hand, urging the blood to flow up and to the edges of the wound and watched as it quickly scabbed over. He closed her fingers over it. "Don't stretch it too much," he told her quietly. "It'll break open." He gave her a sad, but encouraging smile before wrapping her into a hug so he could whisper in her ear words of comfort meant only for her. "I'll make sure he doesn't use you Fox, I promised, I swore, and I meant it. We'll be happy here, I swear, until we can move on. I won't let us suffer because of the fall of Decamp."
"So, Caiden," Dash tried to pull conversation away from his brother comforting his soul mate. "If you don't really have a job here.. what do you do? Are you just.. like.. Rafe's company?" He set the plate of sausages down and looked at the human with a curious frown. He seemed more interested than disapproving, unlike Benny would be, but Fox and Benny were otherwise distracted for the moment. "Please don't be offended, I understand. He's a social guy, sometimes he really does just like having people around to talk to." He smiled, an honest smile. He really didn't want Caiden to feel like he was just another of Rafe's pets, even if, to the young blood mage, he pretty much was.
"I'm not really sure what I would be classed as." Caiden replied with an awkward shrug. "Rafe took me in when no one else would so I guess I could say he's my friend..and he's letting me stay with him for nothing so I owe him a lot. If it wasn't for him, who knows where I would be."
Talia gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder then started to pile food onto a plate. "So kid..you have powers right? What exactly can you do?" She asked curiously as she glanced at Caiden. This was the first human she'd ever heard of to develop abilities like she and the others had and she couldn't help but feel intrigued.
"Well I kinda have control over the elements..though I tend to lose control a lot." Caiden replied looking embarrassed. "I tend to set fires by accident and things like that. I'm hoping this will get better.."
"I'm sorry. Normally I'm not so careless." Looking up into Benny's eyes as he spoke, Fox nodded her head gently. "I know you did. But that doesn't really ease my nerves. Just knowing he's still alive stresses me out." Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and allowed happy thoughts to fill her mind and body. Rotating her shoulders she smiled softly and kissed Benny's cheek before turning to the rest of the people in the room. "Practice makes perfect. We can help you if you like." Fox chimed in as she caught the end of what Caiden was saying.
"Yeah I don't think we'd be any better off if we didn't have our abilities since birth," Dash replied as he pulled out a chair for Talia. "The strength grew as our control did. How did you just suddenly get them anyway?" He frowned at the human, the expression remarkably devoid of judgement. Despite the heavy subject matter, the young mage seemed to just be having a polite conversation.
"I can only imagine what would have happened if we had just suddenly gotten ours," Benny directed at his brother, but instead of being concerned, they shared a grin as the elder brother passed him to step outside to call Kyra, Kyrian, and Brandon inside. His efforts to stop Brandon from coming inside as a dog were met with barks followed shortly by the man's voice returning, but his protests obvious nonetheless, calling Benny unfair and no fun.
Kyrian went running along with Brandon, more than happy to follow the shifter around. Kyra watched her son with careful eyes, trying not to let her overprotective and suspicious nature get the best of her when her child seemed so happy. Although no words were spoken, she did give Benny a small nod as she followed along behind the other two.
"I don't know why it started. I was sixteen when I first noticed anything strange..it was appearance at first. My eyes used to be dark brown then they changed to the blue you see now which was a shock in itself..then the markings started to appear.." Caiden pushed up one of his sleeves to reveal intricate light markings the whole way up his arm. "I'm sure you can guess by this point I was really starting to panic.." Talia nodded quickly, her food abandoned before her as she listened to the story. "Then about a week before my seventeenth birthday I was at home waiting for my parents to get home. I decided to light the fire, get the place warmed up for them, you know." Caiden's expression grew sadder and sadder as he recounted the events as if this was the first time he'd had to tell them in a long time. "As I lit the match and threw it in the fire all I remember is the flames suddenly stopping and as if by some magnetic force it was zapped up into my hands. So there I was standing suddenly quite comfortably holding this fire..as you can imagine I panicked. I knew that something was wrong with me and that my only choice was to run..so I did and I haven't seen my family since." He gulped lightly as he stood fidgeting with the cuffs of his jacket, aware that everyone was looking at him.
Talia listened to him tell his story with a small frown then suddenly without a sound stood up and moved to stand in front of him. Without even a pause she wrapped her arms round him and pulled him into a tight and comforting hug. Caiden stood frozen for a few seconds before something suddenly changed in him and he found himself hugging her back, gripping tightly to her. Finally Talia stepped back and took a hold of Caiden's hand before turning and leading him to the chair she had been sitting in. "Sit down and eat some breakfast." She told him in a kind voice which he obeyed and did as she said, sliding into the chair and pulling a plate of food towards himself. "So what's the plans for today anyway?" Talia asked aloud as she moved back to Dash's side, trying to create a distraction from what had just happened.
"We were supposed to get the rest of our furniture today I believe. And then I guess we'll go exploring." Fox shrugged gently and slipped into the chair at the end of the table. She began putting food on empty plates until they were full and then finally served herself last. Glancing around at all the people in the room, she felt her heart tighten suddenly. The only that was missing to make this perfect, were the boys. Taking a deep breath she looked down at her plate and slowly began eating.
Seeming to read her mind, Benny reached across the table from where he sat next to her and took her free hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "We'll find them," he promised. "Just think of it this way.. they're apparently luckier than us... they're not in this city. Or, at least, not that we know of yet." He gave her a smile, but it was weak. Being in Rafe's city didn't seem as bad when one realized the other option might be that they were dead. No, they had to believe they had simply escaped elsewhere for now until they were certain otherwise. Hope and determination is what got them through the first escape, it would save them now.
"They gave us this house- food- furniture- We can't wait too long before paying it back," Dash pointed out with a small frown. It didn't sound like he was nagging them, more like his guilt was already eating at him. It felt wrong to receive so much when they had done nothing to earn it. Not yet anyway. At least when he and Benny last worked for Rafe, they were earning their lifestyle-
"I already have a job," Brandon interrupted Dash's thoughts as he joined them at the table after having cut up some fruit for a light salad. He speared a piece of melon. "So I'll be out today, but I can come back for like- say, dinner?" He looked around for confirmation as he put the bit of fruit in his mouth, seemingly oblivious to the questioning stares he was receiving. "Unless.. you dun' wan' me oo?" he said around his food before actually biting in to it.
Fox smiled softly at Benny and nodded her head. She just had to keep believing that they were alive. She listened to Dash and agreed with him completely. She didn't want to owe Rafe anything. "We could also go pay another visit to Rafe and see if there is any jobs around that fit our talents or any jobs at all." Finishing her breakfast she rose from the table and put her dishes in the sink.
"I already know what I'm going to be doing. Rafe said I could lead a dance class." Talia replied with a bright smile before finishing off her own breakfast and taking the dishes to the sink. "So you guys go on ahead, I think I'll take a nice hot shower and just relax here today." She continued as she moved back to Dash's side and looped her arm round his as Jake suddenly appeared in the doorway, yawning lightly and rubbing his tired eyes.
"Morning.." Jake croaked, giving a small embarrassed smile as he stepped into the kitchen causing Talia to giggle lightly. He moved to the counter and picked up a piece of toast and took a small bite. "Did you say we're going out?" He asked looking at Talia.
"You are. You're going to go visit Rafe." Talia replied with a nod before falling silent.
Kyrian had stopped in the kitchen, not coming up to where the others were as he gave them all a quietly shy look. Kyra looked down at her son and let out a breath. "You have to ask if you want something," she said in an almost whisper to the boy, and he looked up at his mother with what appeared to be almost disappointment before he looked towards the others. "May I come along with someone?" he asked, his voice not carrying very far.
Though his voice was quiet, Fox's excellent hearing picked up his question. "As long as its okay with your mother." Fox smiled softly as she watched the boy. She had once wanted children. With Rafe. Now that wasn't even an option. Decamp had been far too dangerous and here... she still didn't feel safe enough to relax and actually try for something like that. She didn't even know if Benny wanted children. Clearing her mind she shook her head. "We can ask about a school while we're with Rafe, if you'd like."
"I wonder if there are other offspring around the city," Benny spoke up thoughtfully. He would have asked Caiden but the boy didn't seem to get out much or do anything really. It made him vaguely wonder what Caiden did do if he wasn't out in the city helping. How did he pass the time? "I know a lot of creatures teach their own but that doesn't mean a daycare or something would be useless. Can you imagine-" He looked at Dash but his brother seemed to understand, judging by the way he let out a sharp laugh.
"Grandmother thought we were demonic enough! Bless the soul that somehow managed not to have to deal with us," Dash replied and laughed with his brother. "But yeah I can see how some creatures might benefit from having somewhere safe to keep their kids while they fix the city." He looked at Kyra and gave her a comforting smile. "We'll ask Rafe while we're there. Might be good for Kyrian to play with some... others, roughly his own age." He tried to choose the word very carefully, but he was pretty sure he failed at choosing something neutral.
"You're the reason Jake's with us," Benny added as he took his own plate to the sink, sure that Talia got the point. "So you may be taking the day off, but you're going to make sure he doesn't get himself hurt." He wasn't so much chastising her as teasing her, judging by the grin on his face. "So I guess Dash, Fox, and I are going to see Rafe. Brandon you... do whatever the hell it is you do when you go off by yourself-" He rolled his eyes at the salute and bright smile Brandon gave him. "Jake and Talia- And Kyra I assume you'll want to stay with Kyrian so I guess it's up to you-" He looked at Kyrian, giving the little boy an encouraging little smile. "And Caiden who you two would like to go with. So what'll it be?"
"I shall return home with you." Caiden replied with a nod as Talia pouted at Benny's words."So what are you saying? If Jake decides he wishes to go with you, I have to go as well?" Talia asked. She sighed and looked at Jake who was sitting glancing awkwardly between the group now. "What do you want to do today?" She asked him folding her arms lightly over his chest.
"I-uh..don't know.." Jake replied with a small shrug as he glanced around at the group. "But I don't need a babysitter whatever I decide to do." He continued in what he hoped would be a confident voice. "I'm perfectly fine on my own. I mean i'm going to have to get used to this place too..right?"
"That's true, but I'm not sure we need a human walking around unprotected our first day here without knowing how the creatures will react. Don't think of it like a babysitter. She'd just be tagging along wherever you went. So think of it as two friends hanging out." Leaning against the sink, Fox folded her arms over her chest and glanced around the room, letting her eyes fall on everyone for just a second.
Kyra knelt down and had a silent conversation with Kyrian, and the boy just nodded before running up to Fox and holding up his hand for her to take. "I can trust you," Kyra said to the woman, leveling her gaze at her. "I will stay here and sort through things. I trust you can protect him." It was a woman thing. Kyra wanted to trust Fox, so she decided to go for it rather than let anything stop it. She needed to trust someone.
"Jake is the one of only two regular humans in the city right now," Benny pointed out, giving Caiden a glance that he hoped conveyed that he only realized Jake was more unsafe than him, but didn't want to actually say he was weaker, and he apologized if the choice of words offended him. "I'm not worried about you breaking something or harassing creatures, but some of them will go out of their way to turn you into paste. So like Fox said, just think of it as hanging out with a friend. Besides, Talia's fun, I'm sure you two will have a great day."
"And I'll find you as soon as we're done," Dash promised Talia with a weak smile. Perhaps if they were closer and not still new to each other in 'that way' he might have given her a hug or kiss, but his dating skills were ancient, if they existed at all, so he would have to let her take the lead until they truly became one, at least where physical affection was concerned. Somewhere in his head he was worrying she might think he didn't like her (again) but he shushed it sternly. "Kyra," he added, looking at the other human. "You should stay in the house I think if you're not going with anybody. You and Jake are both at risk here until we're established as part of the city."
"So many security plans," Brandon interrupted everything with a sigh in his voice. He stood from the table and crossed his arms over his chest, looking around the room. "That Rafe guy seems pretty set on not letting bad stuff happen inside the city, so you might get battered a bit but I don't think anybody's going to die today. So Fox, Benny, Dash, Caiden, and Kyrian, you all go have fun getting jobs-" He waved a hand as if to shoo them. "Talia and Jake- consider me jealous of whatever you get up to-" He winked at his fellow shape shifter, letting out a short laugh at the way Dash simultaneously became worried and angry, and seemed to struggle with which to go with. "I will see everyone this evening." He twisted his hand and waved goodbye to everyone as he strode out of the kitchen.
"Wait! Where are you even-!" But any question Dash had was cut off. Brandon wasn't coming back. He huffed a sigh and turned back to everyone else. "Back here for dinner then?" he ended pathetically.
Talia couldn't help but chuckle as Brandon left the room then quickly moved to Dash's side and placed her hand on his arm. "Relax, he was only kidding." She told him. Jake and I are just going to hang out for the day..though I think I might teach him how to dance too." She joked causing Jake to nearly choke on the piece of toast he was eating. "I'm kidding!" She laughed again then looked round at the group. "I guess that's my way of agreeing to staying in with the humans. So its settled and I guess you can all leave now."
Fox watched as Kyrian ran up to her and offered his hand. Her chest instantly ached as she took it, a kind, soft smile spreading across her face. When Kyra walked up to her, the smile remained but Fox gave a firm nod of her head, placing her free hand over her heart. "I promise not to let anything happen to him." Fox would protect this child with her life. Not just because he was part creature but because he was just a little boy and it didn't matter that he had human blood.
Kyra turned as Brandon made to leave. "I want to talk to you-" She was cut off when he left and she looked over at Dash, who was likewise cut off. This was going great. Turning her eyes to Benny, she blinked a few times, the no nonsense look back. "I'm not stupid enough to go wandering the streets that are most likely full of creatures currently hating humans." It seemed like plain common sense. That said, she finally put a hand on Kyrian's head, causing the boy to look up at her. "You listen to whatever Miss Fox says," she instructed, and the boy only nodded at her.
It took a while before all the farewells were finished, but ultimately everyone got on their way. Benny glanced at Kyrian more than once as the little boy walked hand in hand with Fox. He didn't say anything, however, so it was hard to tell what he was thinking. It was only a few blocks to their destination. It could wait. (Continued at the bottom.)
Beyond the door Quinn had knocked on there was a thud as if a pile of boxes, or furniture, had fallen over, then some shuffling and finally, after a full minute, the door opened with a soft click. A woman, not unlike Fox, but with thinning golden hair and a few wrinkles hidden in the corners of her eyes and mouth, her slightly hunching, bony frame hidden under layers of bright fabric, met the Deiciden's eyes and were unreadable. She might be considered calm if not for the way she dreamily tilted her head, letting her hair fall over her face. "The one from yesterday," she breathed, almost whispered, as if speaking to an empty room. "The bright one, the sunshine that burns- He seeks me- he sent you, it sent you." She showed her teeth and it was not quite a smile. "Let him burn," she ended and promptly closed the door with a sharp thud.
Quinn didn't want to do it like this. He rolled his eyes and knocked once more on the door. "You can come willingly," he said quietly, leaning close to the door. "Or I can bring you there myself." It wasn't his favorite option, but he could easily subdue her, even if she didn't believe he could. "There are much easier ways to do this, and I prefer the one where I do not have to be forceful."
"I go either way," Hassan's voice answered him, surprisingly right on the other side of the door, without so much of a quiver in it. "But I will never go willingly back to the only monster I have ever known. Nor should you! One of grey and yet you stand on dark earth- You betray your heritage! For what, for love? You think you know and yet you have so much to learn-"
"You are correct," Quinn said quietly once more. There was no use arguing what he knew to be true. "So it will be by force, then?" He put a hand up to the door, feeling his powers seep into the material separating him from the woman. "You feel it, you know what I can do. What I am willing to do. There will come a time when I must chose my side, but for now I stand on the line. Should I follow one who is against my nature I would keep you alive. Should I follow my own path, then many of those here would be sentenced to execution." He blinked and looked up at the door where his hand was resting, knowing what would happen if she fought. "Which would you chose if the choice was to live and let live or kill indiscriminately?"
"Live and let live. It is you who is asking me otherwise," Hassan replied. There were soft thumps on the wood to either side of his hand, as if she had struck the wood with both of hers. "You who have not stood on the line for a very long time." The words were whispered, hushed, just beyond his hand as if speaking to his palm through the door made more sense to her than to speak to his ear. Then her hands slid of the door, making no effort to hide the sound, then almost distance little bumps as her feet struck the ground and she hurried toward her back door. She did not, however, lock her door, she rarely had a door, let alone a lock, so she did not bother, ever. She would go, she saw it, knew it, it was Truth, but she would not give herself away again. Memories and futures flashed past her eyes, ripping, nipping at what sanity she had left. No, just because she goes, does not mean she goes willingly, not eagerly, and certainly not voluntarily!
Quinn let out a small sigh and removed his hand from where it was. "I have not been in this world for a long time," he said quietly before opening the door and entering the house. He looked for a moment before he took several quick steps forward, not wanting a physical altercation in the least, but knowing he had to bring her. It was a simple matter of reaching out and taking her hand, or what he judged to be her hand, and stopping so she would be forced to stop as well. "Come. It is easier this way." He leveled his gaze at her. "Please."
Hassan had stopped, and pale blue eyes past a sheet of lanky hair met his, already watering. Her hand clasped his and for a moment it was uncertain who was leading. "You haven't the heart for this," she whispered, almost sad for him, and something about her wasn't in the moment anymore. Her eyes flickered upwards, alternating between looking at him and looking into her skull as her thumb brushed over his skin. "Why, why, why- Your heart, so pure, calm, whole, his- he taints it- darkness creeping in- love, love should not be so dark, but it's dark, dark and cold, cold fire- your life is burning- soon, all will be ashes-" Her eyelids flickered and she was actually looking at him again, her head tilting to the side. "Quiet you. Quiet Quinn. Quiet life. He is only noise," she told him as if it made perfect sense, like a mother to her daughter about some boy she was dating. She lifted her free hand and fingers that at first looked delicate and demure, but were nearly bony when looked at closely, came to her mouth, resting her index finger on her lips. "Shh..." she whispered, her voice quieting even further. "It is only the noisy people know, no one knows you, quiet. No, your own noise. Your own sound, resound, they will know you, when you speak." She dropped her hand, the one holding his tightening almost painfully as she leaned forward, almost nose to nose with Quinn, and despite her ruffled appearance, she smelled of fresh lilies and cool water, even her breath had the freshness of autumn. Powder blue met sapphire. "I wonder what you sound like."
Quinn tried to make sense of what she was saying. Only parts of it sounded like something he could comprehend, but even that was confusing. There was no love. He would deny it. There was no more purity in his heart. He was confused by her words. But none of that would cross his face. "Come on," he finally said, leading her now. "You should stop speaking nonsense." That's all it was to him. And that feeling inside him would easily be squashed. That unease that was starting to creep in. This woman would not cause uncertainty in him. Not now.
"I will stop a long time ago," Hassan replied, her voice airy as if trying to remember something. She let Quinn lead her, calmer now that her mind was distracted by something else. Well, at least her panicked madness was focused, even if her explanation of it wasn't. She hummed thoughtfully and watched the back of Quinn's head as they walked along back to Rafe's tower. "Quiet Quinn," she chirped, almost sing song. "Quiet Quinn, Quiet Quinn..."
She was unnerving at best. Quinn tried his hardest to ignore her voice as he walked, taking the shortest route to Rafe's apartment and hoping the siren was there so he wouldn't have to sit around with Hassan alone. He let out a breath as they neared the building and made a beeline for the front door, still desperately trying to ignore the woman behind him.
Hassan had quieted the second she stepped over the threshold, but her lack of words made her no less eery as she switched instead to humming a haunting tune, her eyes taking in every door, wall, and window as if looking for a weak spot, a crack that could lead to an escape, but despite the desperation in her eyes, her demeanor was rather calm. She stumbled along, her steps slow and careful as if afraid ice would break beneath her, but perhaps drowning would be kinder than what was about to happen. At Rafe's door, Hassan had stopped looking around, her humming cutting off abruptly mid-song to stare at the wood- No, beyond the wood, at something inside. She didn't blink, her body deathly still, and even as Quinn knocked, she barely dared to breath.
"Come in," came the regular greeting and the moment the door was opened Hassan gasped, as if life was forced back into her with the realization that she had known exactly what was in that room. She had not wanted to believe what she knew to be true and she had been battling it, but there, in the middle of the room, stood the tall, disarming gentleman that she knew had longer, sharper claws than any nightmare could ever show, though hers had tried for many years.
She hadn't aged a day. That was Rafe's first thought, but it took all of a few moments to realize it wasn't exactly true. The years had been kind was perhaps a better way to think of it, considering the fae's age. Or perhaps not, by fae standards. Was Fox not nearly the same age? This woman looked quailed but even as a smile crawled effortlessly to his face, so too did she straighten to meet him, eyes narrowed and looking down her nose despite their height difference.
"Quinn." It was remarkable how the siren was able to make one word sound like a pleased greeting and a command at the same time. Perhaps it was the offered hand that was causing the name to sound like 'come here' more than the tone. It didn't matter. Rafe had given the Deiciden a warm smile, making sure to pay him attention before his glowing eyes turned on Hassan. "Hassan." It was not a demand, it was like he was looking at a piece of art he never thought he'd see. Or, at least, not see again.
"Monster." Rafe's body stilled. She had said it almost completely without malice. That's what had floored him momentarily. She sounded like she was realizing something. Showing none of his internal struggle, he simply gave her a welcoming smile and used his arm he had not offered to Quinn to motion to the couch.
There was the command. It was hard to figure Hassan out, but she seemed to become a lot less dreamy around Rafe. Perhaps it was fear, perhaps anger, perhaps a deep rooted need for survival. Whatever it was, she simply kept her chin level with the floor and, with the grace of a noble woman, she glided across the floor, to the living room, and after assessing the few tasteful pieces of furniture, she, with an almost defiant air to her, sat in Rafe's usual chair, laid her arms along those of the seat, and crossed her legs, her eyes, meeting his, full of an unspoken dare.
Quinn promptly moved over to Rafe, not completely certain what was going on between these two. It was interesting to say the least, and he kept his gaze going from Rafe to Hassan as he stepped up next to the siren. It was warm at Rafe's side, and Quinn appreciated that warmth for a moment before he attempted to bury that sudden feeling down deep and wait for whatever was about to happen to happen.
"Thank you. You've done very well." Rafe's voice was warm, low, rough, but quiet, like a healthy fire on a wintery evening, the only thing lighting the room as he looked Quinn in the eyes and it seemed the world became dimmer, darker, leaving only the glowing embers of his eyes. It was a brief moment, but it seemed to linger as he kept his movements slow and purposeful, raising his chin and breaking eye contact like a snake that may have lost interest in a rabbit, and pressed a warm, lingering kiss to Quinn's forehead. He kept an arm around the Deiciden, holding him close and yet somehow absent-mindedly as he returned to the living room, taking a seat on the couch not only so Quinn would have room to sit next to him (an action that was not optional) but also because Hassan currently occupied his usual throne. "You've been hiding-" he started to the fae, his gaze as steady on her as his tone, broken only by her interruption.
"Perhaps you just haven't been looking," Hassan offered, her tone lofty, as if he were a waste of her time and at the same time something she felt she needed to deal with immediately. Her eyes, pale and tired, spoke very different words. 'What do you want?' 'Why am I here?' 'Why do you cause such suffering?' He was a problem she was trying to figure out, like a bomb she wanted very much to diffuse.
Rafe didn't explode, however. He always thought his attacks, if any, were swift and neat. Nothing so imprecise as an explosion. No, he had dogs for that. "I can be blind," he conceded finally, keeping his eyes still and choosing his words thoughtfully, as if using a code only they knew to encrypt them first, so only the true meaning, and nothing else, would be taken from them. "That is why I always had help to See."
"One can't see through a fog."
"They can if someone were to clear the fog for them, and light the path."
"No one can light the path with darkness."
"Fire is far from dark."
"Ashes are all that is left. Their darkness follows flames."
"Even ashes can be used to write a story not yet told."
"A story that need never be read."
"Want should not drive actions."
"Peace is what drives them this day."
"And of the days past?"
"Always." Hassan fell quiet, meeting and holding his eyes, as if reading this weird book they were speaking of when it was no where to be seen. Finally, her head tilted to the side and her eyes unfocused slightly. "For someone who has always been the darkness surrounded by light, you keep odd company," she commented softly.
Rafe's arm tightened slightly around Quinn and, without breaking eye contact with Hassan, brought his lips a breath away from the Deiciden's ear and murmured, "Everyone searches for warmth and light in a world full of darkness...."
"Light the way," Hassan said, a note of finality in her voice. "But know that shadows will follow."
"Follow, I do not fear," Rafe said happily and kissed Quinn's ear, finally allowing himself to smile again properly. It seemed some agreement had been made, but it didn't seem to involve anyone really but the two of them, but from the way Rafe had taken to rubbing Quinn's back, it was clear he wasn't yet allowed to leave. In fact, it seemed time to join the conversation. "Where did you find her?" he asked the Deiciden, half ignoring the 'in the gutter, where you left me' Hassan muttered as she leaned back in the chair, finally taking in the magnificence of the suite around her while the two men spoke.
Quinn didn't even attempt to follow the conversation. He knew that it wasn't for him. Not until Rafe came closer did Quinn react, and that was to lean into the touch. As loath as he was to admit it, he actually enjoyed the way Rafe treated him, as if he was special and not someone to be hated. "Traveling with the others from the undercity," Quinn responded, not sure exactly what Rafe was asking. Not that he was ever really certain. "She has taken up residence not far from where the other group is housed." He turned his head so he could see Rafe's torso at least, seeking approval of his answer or sign that he should elaborate further.
"I see... If I had known you were so close, I would have greeted you sooner," Rafe directed to Hassan. "In this instance, my manners were remiss, and for that, I apologize." He gave her a brief smile before turning his attention back to Quinn, leaning his forehead against the side of the Deiciden's head.
"You coddle him like some kind of lover," Hassan pointed out, seeming to completely ignore Rafe's words. Her diction was harsh but her tone was something else entirely. As if she were thinking again and no longer completely in the room. "But that's not what you are." It wasn't an accusation, it sounded like a statement of fact.
"It's good to see you haven't lost your touch, even if it is broken when delivered to others," Rafe said and turned his head to look at her, but did not disconnect from Quinn. "I treasure him," he stated simply.
"He's a person, not gold or jewels." She lifted a hand from the chair and motioned to the window. "They're all people, all living, breathing, creatures."
"And they are all to be treasured."
"You can't make them all think they are special to you."
"I can, and I have, and I will." Rafe's eyes flashed like a violent fire for a brief moment. She was annoying him and he didn't like it. "Because they all are."
"If they knew that about each other..." Hassan trailed her words as she decided to ignore the siren (which made him stiffen ever so slightly) and instead look at Quinn. "Many of them would not feel it so."
Rafe stopped rubbing Quinn's back and, with an almost noticeable effort, managed to compose himself. "Ean," The word was soft but it didn't appear to take much. In less than a minute the pale boy had made his way to the living room and- seeing Hassan- gave the woman a smile that seemed almost... relieved? Delighted? "Please escort Miss Hassan home," Rafe instructed Ean, who nodded but didn't take his eyes from Hassan. He did, however, offer his hand to help her up, which she took. Despite her flowing grace and youthful appearance, the fae moved at times as if she were an old woman.
"I will see to it immediately," Ean almost whispered, finally looking at Rafe. He gave a polite bow, seeming to know the siren was in no mood to be tending to him, and offered his arm to Hassan, which she took and they left together like old friends, the fae knowing she wouldn't be gone long.
Rafe was steaming inside. He knew it and while his outer self was a hard shell, he tried to cage his inner annoyance. It slammed against his skin like a feral beast desperate to break the bars. He leaned back on the couch and put his elbow on the arm so that his fingers came to his lips, looking thoughtfully out the large windows at the sun. He could not leave Quinn alone with that woman anymore. Not if she was going to be spewing such words. No, best he interact with her in private from now on. Finally, after a long moment of contemplation, he managed to hone his anger so it would not explode at his companion, and turned his attention back to Quinn, smiling when he looked at him. "So, sweet Quinn, what will you be doing today? I don't currently have any other tasks to give you, so what will you do with the time you will have free?" He lifted the hand that had rested behind Quinn and used it to stroke the Deiciden's hair back away from his face, warm fingertips leaving trails of heat against the small patch of skin he touched.
Outwardly Quinn didn't react at all to the words that were spoken. He was playing the dumb statue and not concerning himself with the fae's ramblings. Only when she left did he look at Rafe, no expression, simply waiting. The siren took a moment before speaking, and when he smiled, Quinn's eyes brightened ever so slightly. "I do not know. I have nothing planned for the day. As there are no tasks at hand I...I..." A confused expression came across the Deiciden's face and he looked down, his eyes unfocused and Quinn seemed mildly upset with himself. There had to be a reason he couldn't come up with anything to do, even in his own mind. There was no longer a real mission, no more jobs at the moment, and without a purpose, he was lost.
"Why don't you stay by my side today?" Rafe offered, his eyes following his own fingers as they played idly with small sections of Quinn's hair, as if admiring the texture. "It's been too long since we've spent proper time together, with you taking so many of requests- Not that I am ungrateful. You're very loyal, Quinn." He paused to give the Deiciden a fond smile, full of warm appreciation and glittered like sunshine on water. "I truly value that."
Quinn couldn't bring himself to smile. But there was a slight upturn to his eyes as he nodded at Rafe. It wasn't a proper job, but keeping him company was a job nonetheless. One he would fulfill to the best of his abilities. "I do not know many of your past times," he said honestly, trying to show some form of interest but coming off a little flat.
What round were they even on? It was the only thought in Brandon's head as he jogged to Rafe's building, shedding the human persona with a roll of his shoulders. Talia was right, it felt so good to shed the mask, like throwing off blankets after sex to let the chill of winter air cool you down. A chuckle shivered through his body. Probably best not to let her know he thought of her and analogies of sex in the same train of thought, lest the game get a little... too intense. He slowed as he came to Rafe's building and saluted other creatures as he passed them in the halls, meeting every dirty look with a charming grin. Several flights up. Several doors down. It screamed 'do not enter' regardless of signs but, without flinching, he simply took a deep breath and ran both hands through his hair, his pale skin and black hair falling away like a flowing cloak to reveal long white hair, black skin and, when he opened his eyes again, the color of blood. He smirked, rapped on the door twice with his knuckles, then stood formally, schooling his expression into that of a disappointed scowl that always graced the features of his "dear friend" and current target: Elvira.
Fox clutched the to small childs hand, openly happy to have such a small life to care for. Turning her eyes up to Benny her smile remained as she watched him walk. She knew the happiness wouldn't last long once they were inside Rafe's but, for now she wasn't going to worry and she was just going to enjoy her walk with this adorable child and her best friend. As she looked ahead she saw Rafe's building creep up on them. In no time at all they were in the elevator and climbing up to Rafe's apartment. Taking a deep breath, she looked down at Kyrian to see his reaction but wasn't willing to delve into his mind. Its only took moments before the elevator doors were opening up and Fox waited for Benny to step out first.
Kyrian followed along happily, watching Fox's face with some interest. The dampness from his hand was slowly (and somewhat soothingly) traveling upward from her fingers before he seemed to settle again and it stilled. His eyes followed the numbers in the elevator as they moved upward towards Rafe's apartment and he stood on tiptoes as if he could be the first to see out the door when it opened.
Benny looked at Kyrian oddly as he stood on his toes but when the door opened he just smiled a little and shook his head before leading the way out, followed by Fox and Kyrian, and his brother in the back. He always felt most comfortable that way, with him on one side and his brother on the other, protecting Fox and whatever she might hold dear, although the latter was less important to him. He barely contained his sigh as they came to the ornate door that marked Rafe's apartment. He squeezed his hand into a fist, braced himself, then lifted his hand and tapped a few times on the wood with his knuckles.
"Well, you are one," Rafe told Quinn while idly playing with the Deiciden's long hair. "But I spend my time attending to all of the residents of Haven. You are, of course, of the utmost priority and I-" His smile fell into a frown at a tapping on the door. He wasn't exactly expecting anyone but... A smile slid back into place on his face. Oh. He would bet good money he knew who was on the other side of that door. "Enter," he called out and leaned over to give Quinn a chaste kiss to the forehead. "Forgive me," he muttered apologetically as he stood from the couch and stepped around his precious treasure to greet their guests.
It was Benny who opened the door. Of course it was. The way his eyes darted around the room to make note of any and all occupants didn't go unnoticed but Rafe was careful not to let his smile widen. Once certain it was only the two creatures inside, he stepped back and held the door for Fox and Kyrian and then Dash. He was too busy staring down Rafe and keeping an eye on Quinn to notice the tiny wave of greeting Dash gave to their previous master.
"Ah, welcome, welcome," Rafe greeted them warmly and held out his arms to match. "I didn't expect you so soon but it's a pleasure nonetheless." He smiled at each person in turn before ending with Kyrian, whom he knelt for so he could make proper eye contact. "Hello again," he greeted the boy specifically. "Where might your mother be?" Eaten by a minotaur, perhaps? he thought pleasantly. Having some human be the bearer of such a precious treasure, it was like a speck on his window that simply would not come off. But one could always take advantage of an opportunity when it arose. He could be patient for now.
Quinn took a step back as the others entered, not wanting to be front and center at the moment. Especially not with Benny, who was still looking at him like he was a bug. His head bowed a little and he gave a small nod to Dash, hoping that the man wasn't too prejudiced against him.
Kyrian smiled shyly at Rafe, his eyes widening for a moment that the man would greet him as such. "She is at the house," he said, hoping inside that his mother was still alright. Looking at Rafe, he put his hand up again, the water on it glowing blue. He wouldn't touch unless given permission, but he could offer.
Fox stood there stiffly, still clutching to Kyrian's other hand. She watched his reaction to Rafe, her lips set in a tight, firm line. Glancing up at Quinn she nodded her head in hello. He'd never done anything to her so she wasn't uncomfortable with the creature, just Rafe. Her eyes feel back on the Siren. Clearing her throat, she spoke softly. "We--... We've come to see about jobs."
Rafe took a breath to speak but when Fox spoke before him, he raised his eyes to her and his smile was cold, as if to say 'it's rude to interrupt'. When he looked at Kyrian again, however, his face was kinder. He pointed at the little boy's raised hand, or more specifically the glowing water on it. "I don't think that's a good idea," he said gently. "Water, and fire-" he pointed to himself. "Don't usually mix well. Someone usually gets hurt." He gave the boy one last smile, to show he wasn't mad or threatening, simply cautious, and stood so he was eye to eye (well, slightly above eye level) with Benny and Fox. "Of course, jobs. Tell me, what exactly might you like to do?" he asked conversationally before stepping aside and motioning toward the living room so they knew they should have a seat.
Fox bent down and smiled at Kyrian. "I'm going to talk with Rafe. But no worries, you're perfectly safe with us here." Moving across the room with the boy she sat down on the couch, sitting stiffly. "Well... we've been a band for the past... for a long time. I owned a club and was pretty good at business. I'd like to do something I'm familiar with if possible." The next thing to pop into her mind was jobs for Benny and Dash. Her eyes widened as she turned her attention to Benny. What would Rafe have them do? An old image of Dash and Benny, covered in blood and bruised filtered into her mind. Her heart beat picked up considerably at the thought, her hands shaking slightly. It was who they were and she had to remember that, but it still scared her sometimes. Taking a steadying breath she returned her attention to Rafe.
"Haven has no real need of a place for social drinking or for live entertainment," Rafe replied and waited for Benny and Dash to take their seats on either side of her and help Kyrian onto the couch with them before he sat in his usual chair. He looked at Quinn and pointed to the arm of his chair to indicate he should sit before he returned his attention to his visitors. "They do well enough to entertain themselves. If, of course, we can expect more like Kyrian, however-" He smiled at the child again, glad he was there. "Then perhaps we will need a daycare. If that should interest you, then we will find you a suitable building and start the preparations." It would certainly free up some other parents that were currently forced to stay home to tend to their own children. They did not yet have a day care simply because the parents thus far had been unsuited to the position of caring for more children than their own. Fox, however...
Fox couldn't help it, but at the mention of tending to a daycare, her entire face lit up. She'd never even considered that. She wondered how many other creatures had children. Looking up into Rafes eyes, she blushed deeply. They'd talked about having children when they'd been an item. Now she never really thought about it. Things had been to hectic and dangerous. "That would be... wonderful." Averting her eyes she forced the flush from her cheeks and cleared her mind. She needed to stay focused. This what Rafe did... he got on your good side and then made you do something for him later on.
"Then that is what you shall do," Rafe agreed with a little nod of his head. "If you would like to take Kyrian with you, Quinn will escort you to find an appropriate building. Don't worry about Benny and Dash, I won't keep them long. It's just going to be a boring talk and I'm sure you'd like to get started-"
"If it won't take long, why can't she just wait. I'd rather her not go walking around here basically by herself," Benny interrupted, then glanced at Quinn. "No offense," he apologized but quickly turned his attention back to Rafe. "There's a lot of.. things... in this city that still don't know we're here. You can't guarantee that she'll be safe."
"Oh but I can," Rafe answered unwaveringly. "I have the utmost confidence in Quinn, and really our talk is going to be so boring. I'm sure we'll find something suitable to you but there are intricacies to what the stronger creatures do. Some work on rebuilding, others fix furniture or similar repairs, some are just for moving various choices into, well, places like Fox here will be getting." He gave her a brief smile before speaking to Benny again. "Newcomers arrive in Haven all the time. They all have to pick out furnishings same as you will be doing and others have to take those choices to the new residences. In addition there is general clean outs of abandoned buildings, city wide maintenence-"
"We get it," Dash cut him off, raising a hand to ask him to stop. He looked at Fox, doing his best to ignore Benny's pained look as he tried to figure it out. "Do you feel ok going on your own for a bit? We'll Step to you as soon as we're done. It's up to you."
Fox took a moment to think about it before nodding her head. Kissing Dash's cheek first she then turned to Benny and met his eyes, giving him a reassuring smile. "See you in a few minutes." Kissing his cheek as well, she stood and picked Kyrian up, and propped him on her hip. "We're going to go for another walk. Find me a good place to work. I think I'll need your help deciding. That sound fun?" Glancing at Rafe for a moment she forced a smile onto her face. "Thank you. Quinn-" Resting her attention on the silent...man... she smiled softly and nodded. "Let's go." Leading the way out of the apartment and to the elevator she glanced at Quinn. "You show people around all the time?"
Quinn gave Rafe a quick nod, a little disappointed that he was leaving, but heading out with the two anyway. Rafe was busy and it was a bit selfish to want to spend too much time with him. And Quinn knew he was getting dangerously close to having actual emotions connected with him. So leaving was probably a better option. As Kyrian wrapped his arms around Fox's neck, Quinn to the lead to the elevator and stepped on. "I do frequently escort people." It was the truth, at least, so he still wasn't lying.
As the elevator touched down on ground level and the doors slid open, Fox stepped out of the confined space and headed out of the building. Clutching Kyrian to her as they walked along, looking at different buildings. "Now, you tell me which one you like the best, okay? Because I'm terrible with choices." Chuckling softly, she kissed the top of Kyrian's head. She was very much enjoying her time with him and was going to cherish it.
Kyrian smiled and nodded. He was clearly pleased with being able to help in any way, so accustomed to people spitting on him or avoiding him altogether. He looked at her and gave a shy smile. "Will there be other children?" he asked quietly.
Being as he wasn't really asked to converse, Quinn just led the way towards some of the more useful empty buildings. There was even a schoolhouse that hadn't seen life in far too long. That was the first intended stop, as he wasn't sure what exactly she was looking for. He put a hand on the door, trying to sense anything beyond, and waited for Fox to say something.
Conflicted Rules, Conflicted, Conflicts