Elijah had gotten home from work early, though he was still nervous that the permission he’d been given would be held against him. He had almost passed out on one of the machines, which could have been dangerous for everyone involved. He’d been sent home and he still wasn’t entirely certain that he’d have a job if he managed to go back in the morning. The smell of smoke was enough to wake Elijah up from the nap he’d hoped would make him feel even a little bit better. He ran to his window, but relaxed when he realized how far away the fire was. It wouldn’t spread to his building. Though he still felt terrible for anyone who may have been caught in it, his family was safe. It was a selfish relief, but a relief nonetheless. -- If Ben had any doubts about finding Percival and Marcus, they were immediately erased with the rather immediate threat of fire. Like Elijah, he realized it wasn’t that close, but as it was it was much too close for comfort. Even though he didn’t have any information that could be relevant or helpful, he figured the least he could do was find Percival and Marcus and ask them what sort of information would be helpful. He wanted to make sure his family was safe. Not only that, he wanted to make sure everyone else was safe too.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jul 31, 2020 1:23:01 GMT -5
The place that Percival and Marcus resided in was nice, albeit fairly small. It looked normal enough, without the extra trimmings. It was a set of rooms without anything to add to the experience. The fact that two vampires lived there was something which easily escaped notice. Someone would have to be a bit more mindful to both Percival's and Marcus' day to day habits. Then they would have to be smart. Otherwise it was two people, sharing a building, and so far no one had actually noticed they worked for rival newspaper companies. Marcus was making bets to see if anyone would. That aside, there were several additions of the newspaper in a corner of the room, recounting the various fires. Percival paced the room, which wasn't unusual. Marcus flipped through a book. "You doing okay over there?" he asked after a short stretch of time. Percival hummed, which could have meant anything.
Benjamin looked at the building in front of him, and then he looked at the address on the sheet of paper he held in his hand. He had wanted to go tell them everything he knew, but the truth was he didn’t know much, and now he didn’t want to waste their time. He was just a kid getting into something so big it was over his head. Elijah hadn’t told them everything, he knew it. But what did Ben know that Elijah didn’t? He passed the door for about the fiftieth time, but he didn’t stop pacing. What if they were upset with him? What if they didn’t want him to intrude. Finally, Ben took a deep breath and knocked at the door. He almost fled as he waited, but he didn’t. He needed to talk to them, and at the very least he needed to promise that he would tell them everything that they knew from that moment on. He needed to tell them that he wanted to help more than anything else in the world, because both of his siblings had almost died in two separate fires. How was he supposed to live with that if these men thought the fires were arson?
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 3, 2020 2:11:42 GMT -5
"There's someone pacing outside," Marcus murmured down at what he was reading. Percival stopped his own pacing to look toward the door, then back at Marcus. He raised his eyebrows and then headed for the door, waiting directly by it and crouching to look through the keyhole. He didn't say anything allowed, but did comment, It's that boy. The younger brother of our new "friend." Marcus closed the book and set it aside, leaning forward. He was about to ask if Percival was going to let the boy in when the boy knocked. Percival straightened, humming under his breath, and opened the door. "Hello," he said brightly. Unsurprised only because there had been foreknowledge about who Benjamin was. He looked the boy over anyway and gestured inside. "Come in?" Heh, said Marcus. This looks interesting. He waved to Benjamin, smiling brightly.
Benjamin blinked as the door opened, surprised that it happened so soon after he knocked. He supposed it made sense, if the room was relatively small. Peering in, Ben could tell it was. “Thank you,” he murmured, not daring to forget his manners when these men could easily turn down his help and tell Elijah he’d been there. He couldn’t even imagine the kind of trouble he’d be in with his brother if Elijah found out. The only thing he could do, then, was make sure Elijah didn’t have to find out. “I want to help.” Those were the first words out of his lips, though they probably weren’t the most helpful ones. “Both my brother and sister were in danger from fires, and if you think someone’s causing them then… then I can be your eyes. I can help. Nobody looks twice at a kid, especially if that kid looks frightened by a fire. I don’t… I don’t know much, but I could help you find out more.” Was he making a good case? That remained to be seen. “I just… I just want to protect my family.” There was, of course, the inconvenient fact that placing himself quite literally in the line of fire might have the exact opposite effect. He glanced between Percival and Marcus, waiting for an answer.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 7, 2020 6:16:23 GMT -5
Well ... Both men looked at the small Benjamin with a slightly different set of expressions. Marcus was incredulous and Percival was slightly confused. For a second, they were quiet. "I need to sit down," Marcus said. He took several steps back and dragged one of the chairs away from the table so he could lower himself into it. Really? asked Percival, sarcasm dripping into his thoughts, though he just seemed to be clearing his face of his surprise. Marcus didn't respond. "Here," said Percival, waving his hand vaguely toward the spare chair around the table. He opted for leaning against the nearest wall as he pinched the bridge of his nose. We can't let him, Marcus said, while Percival tried to not draw attention to the fact his eyes hard darted around the room. You and I both know that. But it's a kid. Do you know how hard it is to tell them "no" when they think they're right? No. And neither do you. Exactly. So I'll get it wrong. Percival took a breath in and then dropped his hand. "This is very serious, Benjamin." He took several steps forward until the palms of his hands were placed on the wood of the table. "People have died in fires we've ... written about. Not necessarily these fires, but ones like them. We wouldn't want you to die." He glanced at Marcus. He wasn't sure how to deal with children. Had that been alright? Marcus leaned forward. "We understand you want to help, but your way will be too dangerous. That isn't to say we can't use your help." How? choked Percival. He doesn't know anything? He's scared, and he doesn't know what's going on! I'm thinking! Marcus shuffled and tried, "Have you noticed anyone turn up at the fires multiple times?" Percival had to exercise a lot of control not to stiffen. The boy wouldn't have been close enough. And if he had ... Percival had an alibi.
“I wasn’t going to run into any fires,” Benjamin protested, rolling his eyes. “I’m young, not stupid. But I could watch! I could go close enough to see if anyone suspicious is hanging around! Nobody would think anything of it, kids get scared all the time and stare at the scary thing rather than running away, right?” Benjamin wasn’t sure he knew what it was like to be paralyzed by fear, not yet, but he did know it was a thing that happened. He wasn’t backing down. He wanted to help, and if he could offer these men anything, anything that might help save his family, save other people’s families… “More people are gonna die if you don’t stop the fires. But you’re journalists, you’re gonna be noticed! People don’t want to acknowledge that a kid is seeing something awful, nobody will even look at my face, and if I helped… it could save lives, right?” It didn’t seem like the adults were going to budge on this, but Benjamin wasn’t going to budge either. “I could find out! But I haven’t been close enough to the ones that have impacted Ruth and…” he hesitated, almost forgetting Elijah’s fake name. “Louis,” he added a moment later. “Let me help!” He didn’t want to be pushed away. He also didn’t believe that they had another way for him to help, so he crossed his arms stubbornly and waited to hear. Finally, he gave a small sigh. “How close have you been able to get to the fires? Close enough to help my brother obviously, but not close enough to actually see who did it.” He looked between both of them. “Obviously you thought there was something my brother could help you with. That’s why you left your address with him… but I know my brother better than anyone. He won’t help you if he thinks it puts us in danger. I will help you. It’s not like I can be fired for it or anything.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 10, 2020 5:16:33 GMT -5
"Sometimes fires run into you," Marcus pointed out bluntly. "Things are not as always clear and simple as they first seem." This kid was dangerous. Not just to himself, but to them and others. Marcus didn't need to mentally communicate that to Percival for Percival to know. It was, however, Percival who weighed the pros and cons to discrediting something Benjamin said. "We don't usually both go as journalists." His eyes were narrowed. He didn't blink. But he wasn't angry either. Just ... calculating. "They don't notice us. They notice the one they need to notice." Human, bat, wolf, mist. Percival had found uses for all of them when around a fire like the ones currently plaguing the area. But Benjamin certainly didn't need to know that either. And there was also that fact that he was as dangerous as was possible in this situation. Marcus leaned forward. What do we give him? Percival didn't have an answer. He left it to Marcus. "It isn't as simple as that," said Marcus after a second. "This person is smart. They start the fire, but it's usually in empty buildings. No one around in the building to notice them. Then they get out. Blend in with the growing crowd. That's where they're likely to watch the show. And that's why we're in the crowd. Knowing before hand where the first would be is the biggest thing. But thus far, there really hasn't been luck predicting a fire." He tapped at the table. "The reason for giving something to Louis is that someone knew that people wouldn't be in the building he was working at. At least not yet. That isn't something we thought would be something stumbled across by luck. Not when employees like getting in early. It ... may have been someone who worked there." Telling a boy this was risky, but Marcus was trying to highlight the danger. Then again, he wasn't very good with dealing with children.
“You suspect him.” Benjamin’s voice was flat as the words came out. It was the obvious conclusion based on what they were saying, and Benjamin almost turned around and headed for the door. That was the easy solution. To tell Elijah that he was in danger and then pretend that none of this had ever happened. Or maybe he wouldn’t even tell Elijah, because once they realized he was innocent, they would stop suspecting him. That was how it worked, right? If not, that was how it should have worked. Yet there was something about the situation that didn’t seem as clear cut as Percival and Marcus were letting on. “Say Louis… or someone he knew… did tell the arsonist that the building was going to be empty. What if they didn’t want to? What if they were forced to?” He gave a sour expression before something dawned on him. “They could be used as a spy, couldn’t they? Because they know who set the fire. They might know where the next one is going to be!” He hesitated just a moment, thinking that through. It wasn’t likely, but it was still a possibility. “There’s no pattern or anything, is there?” It was like a puzzle. Ben was good at puzzles, he liked them a lot. He liked how they made him feel when he figured them out, and he liked the frustration that went along with solving them. It made it feel so much more real. “You said I could help,” he added after a moment, crossing his arms. “But you haven’t given me a way to help. You don’t have to…” he hesitated for a moment, trying to think of the word. It was one he had heard used once, but he couldn’t quite recall it. He had to stop himself from cursing under his breath, instead merely shaking his head and starting over. “Don’t tell me something unless you mean it. If I can help, I will. Fires are bad, people die, and I don’t want my family to get hurt. Louis doesn’t either, but he thinks he can protect us by sitting back and doing nothing. I don’t think that’s how it works.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 17, 2020 0:58:31 GMT -5
"No," said Percival flatly, in this case to Ben's back. "Though if that's what you want to think, I have no issue with it." He could tell Marcus was in agreement. There might have been reason to suspect Louis, but he didn't currently show any of the signs. His family was still safe, for one. That was important, however. Keeping the humans safe. Right? This is a grey line that we're walking. Humans are useful, but in the end its about keeping us safe, said Percival to Marcus. There was an almost imperceptible glance to the side from Marcus. This wasn't something he agreed with, but the principle was still sound. These sorts of fires would, in the long run, be more dangerous to vampires than humans. Particularly if too much was found out about them. "It's possible," said Marcus. "That a spy could work. But they would need to be in place far before the situation arose and there are many different ... factors around the situation." They had to give Benjamin something, but he wasn't sure what they could give him. "Fine," said Percival. He tapped his fingers against his arm and then contemplated what exactly he could get out of telling Benjamin. "There is a pattern. The arsonist tends to only burn buildings that are empty, even if they are very risky options. Usually the fire starts sometime at night or early morning. The buildings haven't been more than a couple hours walk from each other." Privately, Percival noted that it was too concentrated. That was the issue. The empty buildings that weren't always empty was also an issue. But there was nothing to be done in such a highly populated area. "There are other things, but I doubt you have all day to hear in vast detail the context a lot of the pattern would need," he added. Both to seem like they actually had more, to lead away from the supernatural angle, and, maybe, to show the boy that giving up would be easier. Even though the latter seemed futile.
Percival was right. Benjamin didn’t have that much time. Eventually Elijah would notice that he had disappeared and he’d get worried and go out looking, even if he wasn’t feeling well. An anxious feeling rose up in Ben’s stomach. He didn’t want to worry Elijah, but if Percival and Marcus didn’t give him anything he could do to help, then he was going to wind up worrying Elijah anyway. At least if he was helping Percival and Marcus he could claim he was doing something useful. He could tell Elijah he was helping, that he was safe because there were adults who knew what he was doing (even if the “safe” part was a lie). “So you don’t want help?” Ben asked, frowning. “Seems like a waste of time to give my brother your address, then. Has anyone told you that you don’t make very much sense?” Ben knew he was needling them a little bit, but he didn’t realize how dangerous that could be. “If there’s a pattern, then maybe there’s something you missed. Maybe a part of the pattern you haven’t noticed, or a break in the pattern. Maybe you need a fresh pair of eyes.” He looked between the two of them, something akin to a challenge in his eyes. They were right. He wasn’t going to back off, not if the fires were in a concentrated area. Not if that area was near his home. Not if his family could be impacted again. It didn’t matter if the fires were in empty buildings. They were still fires, and fires spread. People could still get hurt. Some people couldn’t run away if the fires spread. Ben did his best not to think of his mother, but his thoughts drifted there anyway. “Please,” he murmured after a moment, the word rather odd in his mouth. It wasn’t something he said very often. “Please let me help.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 22, 2020 5:15:30 GMT -5
At this point, Marcus thought, there was more purpose to laying their cards on the table than not. At least more of them. "Very well," he said. He hadn't risen to the needling, but he could see that in this case perhaps their cards had fallen into hands ill-suited for their use. But this was the best that they had. Percival sent some discontent down their mental feed, but stood and got something from a corner of the room. He came back with a stack of papers, which he unceremoniously dumped on the table. "I think you underestimate us, Master Benjamin," he said with an arched eyebrow. "But this is what we have." The stack was slowly spread out. It included some of their own newspaper stories, in two competing newspapers, as well as notes and observations. Sketches of the buildings which had burned, with details on exits. Small clips and interviews, published and not. Names, records, the moments of various workers. The exact dates and fairly accurate times when the fires were started, dating back longer than the newspapers seemed to record, starting with some fires that had been reported as "accidents." "You're welcome to come look, of course," Percival said. "Even though there are plenty of leads," said Marcus, leaning forward and shifting through the papers a bit, "it's hard to say that there's enough here to work out exactly where the arsonist will turn up again." "Most likely a place of work," Percival said with a humph. "But that hardly narrows down the list."
“I never said you weren’t smart or anything,” Benjamin retorted, shaking his head. “I was just suggesting that getting another perspective never hurt anyone.” He was close to quoting his mother at the two, but he figured that wouldn’t go over very well. It was one thing for a kid to be impertinent, and quite another for them to end up sounding condescending. Of course, Benjamin had no way of knowing just how much older than him Percival and Marcus actually were. With Percival’s permission, Benjamin edged forward, glancing over the stack of papers that they had been looking over. He didn’t expect to find anything at first – he wasn’t a genius or a detective, just a kid who was genuinely trying his hardest to protect his family. There was very little among the papers that made sense to Benjamin other than what the two already knew. It was a relief to see that many of the fires had been minor enough to be reported as accidents, but it also spoke worlds about the competency of the police. Or rather, that they weren’t competent. Or maybe… “Is it possible whoever’s doing it is working with the police or the firefighters?” Ben asked after a moment, looking between the two of them. “It took so long for anyone to notice there was a trend, isn’t it possible they were paid off so as not to cause a stir?” Ben was all to familiar with the way money ran the world. He was far too familiar with the fact that those with the means were able to buy off the people in power. If the arsonist were working with the police… then, it was likely they were upper class. “What’s the point of starting a fire?” Benjamin added, frowning over the clippings. “Why do it? And why wait until nobody is inside the building? Do you think the arsonist knows how many people are likely to lose their lives anyway if they lose their livelihoods?”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 5, 2020 0:39:35 GMT -5
He kept pressing closer to the real reasons and at some point Percival knew that they'd have to start lying a bit better. Marcus' frown deepened just a bit. But he nodded after a second. For starters, mentioning that they were paying off people likely wouldn't be something that they'd want to explain. There wasn't a lot that Percival was willing to mention anyway. Marcus could already tell that this wasn't included as one of those things. "They may be working for them," said Marcus. "But we wouldn't have a way to know just yet. There isn't enough of a connection other than the fact that they were slow to collect the same information that we have. We had the benefit of retrospect and researching backwards." That was the best explanation that he had without actually lying to the boy. He didn't like lying very much. It was at least something he had more practice doing than other vampires likely did. "We don't know why someone is starting the fires," he said simply. "We likely wont know the truth until we locate them. As for why wait for when no one is in the building ..." He didn't glance in the direction of Percival, but he knew that if he did he might see guilt in his eyes. So he didn't look. "The arsonist may know. They may not. It is a tricky situation regardless. I think they probably do know, if I could judge. They just might not have other options." It did seem to be the location which they were located in.
Benjamin was honestly surprised they had an answer of any sort for him. He had thought maybe they hadn’t thought everything through, had thought that maybe he could bring in fresh questions, but… it looked like they had already thought of almost everything he could ask. And there wasn’t much he could ascertain from the papers they had pulled together, either. “What sort of information did you think my brother might be able to find out that would’ve been helpful to you?” he asked after a moment, glancing up and trying to meet both Percival and Marcus’ gaze at the same time. It didn’t quite work. “I just… I don’t get why you gave him your information when you seem to have a handle on things already!” He was getting frustrated, which wasn’t good. He just… he wanted the fires to stop. Two of his family members had already been placed in danger, he didn’t want to have to worry about them anymore. He wanted to help these men and catch whoever it was who was going around setting fires and putting innocent people in danger. And those people were at risk, even if the buildings were empty before the fires were set. “What if they’re playing the long game?” Ben asked, his voice quiet. “What if… what if they’re setting fires that are mostly harmless because they’re trying to get people to look the other way? What if they’re practicing for a really big fire that’s going to hurt a lot of people?” Was he being paranoid? Possibly, but he didn’t see why that wasn’t a possibility. If you were willing to start fires and cause such damage, hurting people wasn’t terribly far out of your wheelhouse.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 8, 2021 3:23:39 GMT -5
Involving a child was still something both Percival and Marcus hesitated on. But finally Marcus said, "If anything goes wrong, I swear we will find them. But we are doing everything in our power to do that now. As for what we thought your brother could do ... watch for us. There are a lot of things which we can't do. Get into locations that we'd be noticed, get told things which others wouldn't say. There are a lot of uses for your eyes and ears and where you can be." He glanced briefly at the table they were working off of. "We're a bit more noticeable right now. People know our names. They don't want to approach us unless it's on their terms. I am hesitant to ask you to spy when we hardly know where to send you, never mind the risks, but that might be a possibility. If we find a place. If we know where you need to look." He turned back. "Would that be acceptable? You're more capable than us when to comes to what you can do. And you've already shown you're smart." Are we really above using children? Marcus asked, the first time doubt had creeped into his tone, even if it was telepathic. If we can avoid anyone dying, I'll try it, Percival said, but even he hesitated. It was a start. "We have other things we need to do," he said after a second. "If that's something you'd like to consider, then we can be in touch." It was an open offer to leave if Benjamin wanted to.
Benjamin nodded. That was understandable, what they wanted Elijah to do for them. Well… Ben could do it as well as Elijah. Maybe better, because he wasn’t tired all the time like Elijah was. And he didn’t have a job to worry about, for now. So… helping could be his job! A small smile spread across his features at the idea. “You’ll tell me if there’s somewhere you can send me to spy, right?” Ben crossed his arms. He didn’t want either of them to overlook him if he could help. Then again… he had already made quite a scene. They weren’t likely to forget him after he came demanding to help. It wasn’t like there were people lined up out the door to help. “That would be acceptable,” Ben managed after a moment, a thin smile pulling at his lips. “If you send for me, though… can you try to do it when Elijah’s not home, though? He wouldn’t like this very much.” Elijah wasn’t’ Benjamin’s father. He couldn’t stop him from helping with this.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 22, 2021 1:04:27 GMT -5
Both Percival and Marcus agreed to these conditions and Benjamin was shown the door. From there, it was assumed that that was that. That wasn't that ...
Two weeks passed. There were no new fires. Then there was one. There was one. A fateful fire. A fire which one could look at for hours and not understand what had happened. One where they could see the ashes and not really understand what was left.
It took a while for anyone to really reach out to Benjamin. Just a simple note, shoved under a window when Elijah wasn't at home. Hi. It's Percival. I need your help.
And on a different night, at a different time, in a different place, somewhere in the past, Cara pressed her back against the wall. Watch Elijah. Breathed in, breathed out. Then hurried after him before he got home from work. "E-Elijah ..." she said. Then she stopped. Hair brushing back and forth against her cheek at the movement. Eyes wide. Then she shook her head and turned away. Thinking better of interrupting him, maybe ... She didn't turn up for work the next day. Or any of the ones following.
Benjamin honestly thought Marcus and Percival had forgotten about him. That the parting words they had given him were just to get him out of their way and nothing more. He stole the morning papers from Elijah’s desk and scanned them for fires. There were none. Perhaps that was why he hadn’t been summoned. He was always careful to replace the paper exactly as it had been so Elijah wouldn’t get suspicious. It was on the front page, the ruins unrecognizable. Different from the other fires, if only in the destruction it caused. And then the note came. Benjamin took it, reading it over once, twice, three times before making sure he wouldn’t be noticed if he went out. Nobody was home other than Ruth, and Ruth was working on her embroidery, trying to impress the lady she had begun apprenticing with. Serving? Ben didn’t know the right word. Carefully, he knocked at the door he’d waited outside of weeks before. It felt like something was changing. ---- Elijah noticed Cara’s disappearance. It struck him as unusual, after the lunch they had shared, but not terribly so. Cara didn’t have a family to take care of. She didn’t have to worry about not having a job for a few days if she wanted to find a better one. And there truly were some better ones out there. Still, he found he missed her company. That alone was a reminder that getting attached to someone at work was a bad idea. Nine times out of ten, you didn’t work more than a week with them. Still, Elijah held out hope he might run into her at some point. If only to catch up for a few minutes. Or maybe to go get sandwiches again.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 23, 2021 4:57:22 GMT -5
The man who opened the door was not one of the same men who'd opened it before. Or rather, it was, but he wasn't at once recognizable as who he was supposed to be. In such a short amount of time, there wasn't a way for him to look much more scraggily than he already did when it came to, say, hair and sparse beard. But his hair was unkempt, clothing unwashed, and the most telling sign was the haunted look in his eyes. He looked at Benjamin for two seconds with no recognition at all. Then he just nodded once and stepped back, heading deeper into the room. "Come in," he said. His voice was a lot softer than it had been before. It wasn't the only thing about his actions which were ... almost old. Broken. The rooms were a mess. At least the one visible. It looked like before Percival had gotten ... whatever he was now ... he'd gotten angry. The room was tossed. From the fact the ink well, broken on the ground, had lost all but a thin layer of ink to the floor, it had probably been like that for a couple days. Percival looked absently around, as if he wasn't sure what he'd been going to say before inviting Benjamin in. Or what he'd invited him here for in the first place.
Benjamin could tell there was a difference. He couldn’t have pinpointed exactly what it was, only that there was one. He could tell that Percival was taking less care of himself – the hair and beard were evidence of that, though the dirty clothing was something Benjamin was used to. Clothes were hard to keep clean, even though soap was rather inexpensive. The difficult part was finding the time for washing them. Fortunately, Benjamin’s mother was still well enough that she could still do the washing. Percival, on the other hand, seemed well off enough that he would have hired someone to do his washing for him. Perhaps he merely hadn’t had time to do that, either. “This has to do with the most recent fire, doesn’t it?” he asked carefully, lifting his gaze up to meet Percival’s. “The one that was different.” He was aware that Marcus wasn’t there, but his first thought didn’t come close to the truth in the slightest. He thought Marcus was probably out investigating somewhere, trying to figure out why this one had been different. Marcus and Percival had seemed… well, untouchable in Ben’s mind. The sort of people who were in control of all of this, not the people who could be impacted by it. Almost without thinking, Ben moved forward and picked up the inkwell, ignoring the trace of ink it left on his fingers. He pieced it together, unable to hold it in one piece for more than a moment before the angle he was holding at shifted and it fell apart again. “Mother has some glue left at home, if you’d like to fix this,” he murmured. He was trying to be helpful, to fix whatever it was that was wrong, even if he was too young to really understand what that was.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 31, 2021 13:38:51 GMT -5
Ah yes. Responsibility. Percival ran a hand through his hair, swallowing dryly. There just wasn't any way to catch a break. No way that he could ... He pushed all that away. There wasn't anything he could deal with now. He couldn't. He just couldn't deal with it. "No, it's fine," he said, referring to the ink. It wasn't important. He found somewhere to rest his eyes. It was somewhere on another wall, resting there in the hope he could drill a hole into that part of the wall. "It does have something to do with the most recent fire," he murmured. He bit his lip. He knew that Benjamin didn't know. That he should say something, but he still couldn't say it. Couldn't. His eyes fell away from the wall and to Benjamin. "Yes," he said, with slightly more firmness. "I need your help. I ... I need you to go there. Please." The fact he was saying please would have clued the people who knew him onto the fact that he was very shaken. "To ... take notes for me," he said.
Benjamin set down the inkwell, frowning a little bit. He wanted to help. He wanted to make whatever had happened better, but he was well aware that wasn’t in his power. He couldn’t fix anything broken, no matter how much he wanted to. He didn’t know that Percival himself had been partially broken by whatever had happened, but part of him felt it. Part of him just wanted to help fix it. “I can go,” Ben replied, eyes widening just a little bit. He hadn’t actually expected Percival to need him to do something, but… if it could save more lives… He didn’t know Percival well enough to know what the please meant. He didn’t know how deeply Percival was hurting, but he could tell something was wrong. His expression faltered just a bit as he met Percival’s gaze. There was something painful there, and Benjamin didn’t think to stop his urge before it took over him. He stepped forward just a bit, throwing his arms around Percival in a bit of an awkward, albeit incredibly earnest, hug. “I’ll take notes. Just… tell me what to do. Tell me what to look for.” Ben stepped back, trying to smile. “I’ll try to do whatever I can to help you. And your friend.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 5, 2021 23:49:35 GMT -5
The term 'friend' didn't even register to Percival. It sailed past him for several seconds to the point where it was just him, watching this boy's arms around him, while his mind blanked out. There wasn't anything there. It was just the confusion that he didn't know what to do or what to tell this boy. Then it sunk in that 'friend' was ... was Marcus. That that was what the boy had seen the two of them as. Percival had to bite his tongue for several seconds. He just let the boy hug him. Melted into it just a little. But not too much. He couldn't weigh the boy down. How low he'd sunk to need the help of this human. Marcus' voice, missing from his head, hurt. A lot. Just the familiar presence of him. He shoved all that aside and stepped back, reaching toward one of the desks and finding a notebook. Then he held it out to Benjamin. "Do you know how to write?" he asked. Then he hesitated. "I ... I need you to look out for someone with gold eyes. If there's a fire at any point, look around and see if you can find someone with gold eyes." It was the most he'd ever told a human. "At the current site ... just ... find out if anyone is still hanging around. Take not of what they look like. Then bring it back to me." From how he made it sound, it was like he already had an idea of who was setting these fires. But he didn't. He just knew a pattern when he saw it.
Benjamin didn’t know what Percival and Marcus had been to each other. He saw them as… as colleagues. As friends. He had only met them together twice, only talked to them once. He had no way of knowing what, exactly Percival had lost, even if he had known that Marcus was gone. He didn’t know. He would probably find out soon enough. “I can write,” Ben confirmed, managing a tiny smile as he stepped back as well. “Elijah made sure I could. It’s a lot easier to get hired if you can, y’know...?” He was already thinking about how likely it was for him to get hired. Yet… he would rather be doing this than looking for a job. Elijah didn’t want him working yet, but the more sick their mother got, the sooner he would need to find work. At least Elijah still had his job. There was no money to be gained here. Benjamin found he didn’t care. He was missing out on his education, missing out on what could help him secure a job, and yet… this felt a lot more important. “Gold eyes?” he repeated, tilting his head ever so slightly. He hadn’t ever seen anyone with gold eyes, but… he supposed it was possible. “I’ll look,” he added, in case Percival thought he was questioning his instructions. “I’ll be back soon,” Ben exclaimed, looking at Percival for a few seconds to make sure there was nothing else before he dashed out the door, heading for the fire. If he could help… he would. That was what he had told them. He intended to keep his word.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 8, 2021 1:46:28 GMT -5
This left Percival. Alone. So very, very alone. Whether that was easier or harder was another matter. He doubted there would be any firestarters at the fire. Not anymore, if there had been in the first place. But he couldn't do his job. Not yet.
Clara found herself resting with her head against the cool part of the brickwork. It felt good against her head. It felt like she had a fever. She hadn't had a fever in ages. Her head felt hot - her brain felt hot - but her chest was cold. It sent chills throughout the rest of her body. She was trying to ignore it, but it was hard. It should have been easier. There wasn't any more fire left, but it should have been easier. Why was it like she was just as empty as before? She was waiting for Elijah. She needed a friend right now. That was the struggle. Needing someone around and not having anyone to talk to. She was all alone and she didn't like it. Not one bit. She was hungry. She was empty. She knew she'd bitten him, but right now what she wanted was conversation. Hopefully he hadn't realized what she was. Hopefully. She continued to watch his window from across the street, her head still pressed against the stone.
Elijah was tired. He always was, after work, but he’d managed to drag himself back to work that day for the first time since the nightmares, and the exhaustion, and the heaviness… it made it harder than usual, but he needed to keep his job. He didn’t have a choice. He needed to be there for Ben and Ruth… he needed to provide for their mother… there were thousands of reasons he had to keep going to work, no matter how hard it was. On his way back, he almost missed Cara. She was leaning against the brick, and he turned his head away. He figured it was someone looking for money, or trying to sell something, and he didn’t have anything to spare. It was only out of luck that he glanced at her in his periphery. He stumbled to a stop, eyes widening. “Cara?” He hadn’t expected to see her there, but a small smile worked its way onto his face. “It’s been a few days. Are you alright? I expected to see you at work, but…” he trailed off lamely.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 12, 2021 6:11:39 GMT -5
Cara hurriedly straightened and then got to her feet, brushing her clothing off as she did so. She looked Elijah up and down before sort of relaxing at the sight of him. A smile worked its way onto her face. "I'm alright," she said. Even if it was a lie. She remembered work. Heh. Yeah. Work. Her mind was almost fuzzy about that. But she remembered Elijah. "How is work?" she asked. She at least was sure that she looked mostly okay. There was a light to her eyes that seemed a bit broken, as if she'd seen something that was on her mind and worrying to her. But that was about all now that she'd stood up and was paying more attention to Elijah. "Can ... can I talk to you about something?" she added.
Elijah frowned a little bit, catching sight of the worry burning behind Cara’s eyes. They weren’t close enough that he felt he could ask about it – it wasn’t his place. They weren’t exactly strangers, but one time grabbing lunch with someone didn’t necessarily make you friends. If he could alleviate any of her worry, though… he would do his best. She had come here for a reason, probably. People didn’t generally tend to wander neighborhoods that weren’t theirs without reasons. He couldn’t help but wonder how she had found his address, though. It seemed unlikely that this was a coincidence. “Work is fine,” he replied easily, forcing his own smile, “It’s the same as always, I guess. But It’s what I need to do to support my family, and I have a job… I can’t complain.” He gave her another small smile, then let his expression settle into something more serious. “Of course,” he replied, tilting his head. “What’s on your mind?”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 15, 2021 0:29:32 GMT -5
Cara found her mouth opening, then closing. It was hard to compose herself. It felt hard, at any rate. But she managed after a second to work out her own metal train of thought. "I wanted to talk to you," she murmured. "Check that you were alright. I ..." She settled for something mildly related. "There was a fire near where I lived." A very wain smile flickered across her face. A worried smile, presumably directed at the fire that she'd witnessed. "And I didn't have ... anyone I knew to talk to. If that's inconvenient, I'll just ..." One of her hands vaguely gestured off in no direction in particular. She wanted to talk to Elijah. She found herself concerned about him. But she wasn't sure what to actually do. She wasn't sure what to say either, since she found a lot of her thoughts wandering more than she was used to.
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Cloudy Sky: Seeing the name gave me flashbacks to certain events that happened about two weeks ago.
Jun 22, 2021 4:51:35 GMT -5
Violetsky: Her name is Tika. She's a Cymric, or long-haired Manx.
Jun 22, 2021 6:27:08 GMT -5
Violetsky: I left the gel pack in the freezer overnight and now it's a solid thick sheet of ice.
Jun 22, 2021 6:32:05 GMT -5
Violetsky: Cymric is the technical term for a Manx cat that has long hair.
Jun 22, 2021 13:48:50 GMT -5
Violetsky: Technically they are Manx's as well; they are not a separate breed but an alternative variety of traditional Manx's, which are short-haired. They're also called longhair Manx's.
Jun 22, 2021 13:50:11 GMT -5
Violetsky: It's okay, I thought she was a traditional Manx for a while
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:13 GMT -5
Violetsky: Well, she is. It's like if brown bears that lived further up North had thicker and longer fur than their southern counterparts. If that was true, then they would be the same species and "breed", they just have different adaptations.
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:52 GMT -5