Title: Don't Think of Tomarrow Tonight
Description: Tag: Jennifer
Ben Honee - February 21, 2012 04:34 AM (GMT)
The caitiff had made certain agreements after the cab ride home. How could he not? Ben couldn't very well argue that he had owed the young woman for helping him and the kids get safely home. But still it made his stomach lurch. They had agreed to go for dinner some late night. He'd have to answer some questions, he didn't like that part of the equation, like lines of code that he used to mull over during his living days, he wished he could could hit the backspace before he had even nodded an affirmative of such damning activities.
But he had.
Maybe this wasn't a good idea, no...scratch that it was a terrible idea, but he had to go through with it, solely on the premise that A. He repaid his debts. B. She knew where he lived.
In all things in his life he was again drawing the short end of the stick. But that didn't mean he could stomach the idea. He had seen what happened to those who broke the rules, they ended up imprisoned, beheaded...or worse. But maybe he was over thinking things, maybe it was just a nice little meet up. Hell she probably didn't know he was a vampire...right? RIGHT?
Then Robert made the most horrible comment as he was shaving.
"Maybe it's a date."
He had nearly slit his own throat given the sudden jerk of horror he made- though he considered going the rest of the way just to get things over with. It would be so painless...then he remembered that it wasn't as though something like that would kill him. Ben barked for the cackling child to leave his room as he tried to find something in his wardrobe that was nice, but didn't make him look like a gay underwear model...he finally chose something in his own tastes, black slacks, black tie, and a white work shirt. Something simple and not nearly as gaudy in coloration as what Craig usually chose for him.
They had agreed on some little diner in the L, which was calming at least, nothing fancy about a diner, nothing...threatening. Comfortable and plain- not somewhere anyone would do anything but just talk. It wouldn't impress. At least he didn't think it would, Robbie's niggling little voice just kept gnawing at the back of Ben's mind, he really didn't go out. He certainly didn't go out with people. Not then, and certainly not now...the idea made him roll his head from shoulder to shoulder and groan.
This was going to be how he died. Craig would find out and kill him. Think he was cheating on the fabricated little Cleaver family facade he had going on. Or maybe he'd just die of embarrassment that he totally missed normal social cues that most people would take for granted. But he just pushed those thoughts from his mind. Besides, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure he was old enough to be the girl's father- it hardly took a computer programmer to guess that little chestnut. But he didn't like not knowing what he was getting into...hell he wasn't too certain he even knew her name. Which was...yet again another check in the box of things she had over him he was certain. He just kept telling himself to keep calm, least he stirred up his anxiety enough that he didn't even make it through the first cup of coffee.
Taxi rides were long, and Ben just shook and moaned like a dying man as his he paid his fare. For a good fifteen minutes he loitered in front of the diner, stepping forward to grab the handle of the door, recoiling like it was tinder, then trying it again. Each attempt met with a little stomping of feet and utterance of "Can't do this...can't do this, nope...can't can't can't..." But eventually he made it through the entrance and took a guarded seat before even a waitress could talk to him.
He was just going to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Think of the now, and not what could happen and stay calm...stay calm...stay calm...stay calm...
...hopefully stay calm...
Jennifer O'Connell - February 23, 2012 05:20 AM (GMT)
Who knew a good deed would be so rewarding? Although it cost her a wheelchair, the unusual vampire-father had agreed to the terms of a dinner with the young Visionary. This was her very first social encounter with a supernatural being where she could get some actual answers out of it (although she still thought about the former Professor Rain and their encounters), although she had to be careful not to do anything that would offend the man or get him into trouble. His red-headed children might come knocking down her door looking to get payback.
The real trick was explaining it all to her step-mother, who was curious to say the least about why she had a different wheelchair and the whole story behind that, but thankfully bought the abridged and definitely-not-supernatural version of events. The benefit of not being used to talking was that her awkwardness with stringing words together made it easier to lie (’Abridge facts not relevant to the listening party’). She even got the older woman’s help with picking out a suitable attire (whilst stressing this was strictly a friendly thing and there was no dating going on behind her step-mother’s back). Simply black pants with a light-blue button up shirt with a black blouse over it. Hopefully it wouldn’t look bad.
She was dropped off out front, wheeling to the door and spending a minute figuring out how to open it before someone was nice enough to open it for her, and she entered with a small thanks before surveying the area, spotting her partner for the evening and straightening out her top before wheeling over to him. ”H-eye,” she said, having to sound it out of awkwardness. ”Have you, bee-n wa…wa…here long?” Despite herself she started to trip over her words, before swallowing and trying to stop herself from fidgeting. It was so hard not to reach for the notebook in the storage pouch and just write out her end of the conversation.
Ben Honee - February 24, 2012 03:04 AM (GMT)
Ben had...for normalcy sake, ordered himself a coffee when the waitress had come by for his order. He could drink it just fine, but he didn't, because much like anything he consumed it had a nasty habit of coming back up. Given that he wasn't exactly certain of how long he was going to be there, and of course...running off to go all bulimic in a public restroom would just make him more anxious then he already was.
By the time the coffee had come he was already tearing at his hair in attempt to put it in place, or give his hands something to do...maybe both. But he was pretty sure he wasn't alright with this. The whole kit and caboodle. Even the oily black smell of the burnt bean juice was starting to make him nauseous and he hadn't even ventured a sip. He rolled his face into his hands and just sat there, quietly bemoaning his lot in life as his niggling little doubts started to flare up in little whispers that cropped up over his shoulder. It was almost as though he were trying to hide from them...
Then a voice peeped up over the others, and he jumped. hands clutching at the side of the booth like holding on to it would stop him from floating away. He looked up eyes frantically wide, but he pulled his lips back- an attempt at a toothy smile, which was pretty much awkward and horrific really. "HALLO!" Ben's voice cracked as he yelped a greeting at the girl, then gestured in front of himself as he took a few deep breaths out of comfort to steady himself. His nerves made his accent flare, and he only got more embarrassed as he tried to talk, sounding like...to him, a big yokel. "Naw...no I mean no... not waiting, not waiting long at all..."
'Could have waited a hell of a lot longer.' He thought to himself, 'would have been better if you had just stood me up actually. '
"YOU...you want something?"
Here he was, trying to be smooth on the verge of a fit, until he twisted his hand under the table, the pain just put him back on track, and he stopped his attempt at a smile- even he knew that was creepy, instead he kept a semi-pleasant neutral as he sighed in some relief. "Um...my treat."
Jennifer O'Connell - February 28, 2012 03:32 AM (GMT)
'He seems very stressed for a vampire' she thought, watching him like he was a puzzle to solve. At least he wasn't dressed elaborately, it would have made her feel quite foolish in comparison. "H-eye she sounded out again, wishing she could get the pronunciation down right. At least she hadn't kept him waiting long; poor thing would have run out of hair to pull out before too long.
The question was a bit unexpected, before she nodded and realised that was probably what people did in situations like these. She wheeled over to booth and tried to figure out the best way to take her place at the table. "Water 'lease." It took her a moment to realise she hadn't made a "p" sound to start with, and tried to hide her face behind some sort of menu before the vampire could see the blood rushing to her cheeks. It might make him hungry or something.
"SOoo." She started, fidgeting a bit and trying to skilfully change the topic. "H-ow are you-or chill-d-ren?" She remembered the little red-heads, and how the two boys had recruited her to safe their father. She wondered if they knew what he was or not; surely they would have figured out something was strange when their father didn't come out at night. Perhaps he told them that he suffered from Schere's Disease (something to ask him).
She sat there awkwardly, trying to keep her face hidden until she stopped blushing and the conversation kept going. She had read over the little menu at least 20 times by now, and was making a game of trying to guess how much profit they were making on each of these meals. Looking around to make sure nobody could overhear, she put the menu down and looked at him.
"Has the c-lown b-b-b-oth-ered you?"
Ben Honee - March 1, 2012 01:21 AM (GMT)
If he noticed the strangeness in the nuances of her speech, Ben was far too polite to correct or comment. He could understand the gist of what she meant if not the exact words. He pulled his hands out from under the table and put them on the table top- one of them sporting a bright red welt where he had twisted himself, but there was a reason he crossed his hands in front of her- part of him told himself 'Keep them where she can see them, you're harmless after all'
Of course this wasn't a negotiation, yet Ben had been used to such things in the last decade, it seemed every time he came to a table it was to plot something or other. He looked up, but it seemed the girl was talking to him, but her face was behind the menu. Oh. Ben pursed his lips in only vague annoyance for an instant before he reached forward to pull the menu down. If he was going to be asked to put forth the effort to speak to a complete stranger, said complete stranger could at least give him the time of day.
"They're shaken. But fine." There was a sharp focus in his eyes on the features of her face- before he released the menu, and then looked away. That was pretty much the rudest thing he could remember ever doing. Staring. Which made him slink down in his seat some. "I'm...no different really. Same as it ever was..." Paranoid? Anxiety prone? Delusional? All of that was par for the chorus. So it wasn't as though he were any better or worse for his run in with those strange kindred. "And things have been...quiet."
He sighed, staying out of his element for so long was starting to make him edgy over nervous- impatient and somewhat sassy given the circumstances. With a huff Ben was about fit to tear the menu out of her hand and give it a couple of stomps for good measure. Instead, he tapped it again. "...what is this all'bout?"
Jennifer O'Connell - March 4, 2012 02:32 AM (GMT)
She noticed the fresh welt on his hand, wondering what caused it and idly how his physiology differed from a normal human. Maybe that was one of the questions she could ask. Of course then the strange vampire had to pull the menu and forced her to look at him. She shrunk even further into her seat, cursing that her limited mobility stopped her from retreating further. She felt relieved when he stopped, although she put the menu firmly down and stared straight as his hands, hoping that stopped her cheeks from turning red.
”Th-at is good. They see-emed n-n-ice.” Granted, she wasn’t good with children, but they showed concern that the Harley Quinn-cosplayer was threating their father figure. And they didn’t even flinch one that voice from nowhere spoke to them. More questions for the vampire. She brought the menu up, hoping to hide the burning in her cheeks, but the vampire’s tap on it made her keep it down for good.
”Ah. I want-ed to…” now she started to feel awkward again, looking around to make sure nobody was listening in or was too close for comfort. ”Talk. A-bout….things. Lie-ke the clo-own la-dy. A-nn-d the jer-erk” And that you’re a vampire and I know that you’re a vampire and I want to learn all I can about that and anything else supernatural and you know about. She wanted to say all that, but she didn’t want to scare him off. After all, she couldn’t chase him down.
”So-oo…h-ave you liv-bee-ean in LA la-ong?” She tapped her fingers on the table to distract herself, hoping that the subtle change in wording didn’t freak him out. She moved her gaze up from his hands to his chest, peeking a look at his face every once in awhile. She remembered the folklore that vampires could control you by staring into your eyes, and wondered if that was true or not. Maybe she could ask him later. Instead she quickly looked off to the side to see what the waitress was doing, humming some tune before bring her gaze back to him.
”Jennifer.” She said suddenly, offering a hand for a handshake, hoping he didn’t notice how much she was shaking.
Ben Honee - June 6, 2012 03:01 AM (GMT)
Ben watched as Jennifer slinked back in her seat and he looked confused, if not a bit hurt that somehow she was...what? Scared of him? Well, that would make sense now wouldn't it? He sighed, and scratched at the back of his neck awkwardly. "Jeez...don't be like that, I'm..." Sorry? Well yes, for being what he was. That much was obvious. "I dunno, god..." His scratching grew a bit more furiously, leaving red scratches on his skin.
So far he had no reason to doubt his original theory to have not come at all. This was just a bad scene, but at the very least, it seemed that the girl was trying to be a bit less...wiggy, he could understand the wiggy part, but she wasn't the one sticking her neck out right about now. But it seemed that conversation was happening, albeit it more than a little bit obtusely. "They're good kids." Who deserved better than they got, but his hands were tied when it came down to that. Thinking about it made his voice come out a bit more gruff than intended.
"I didn't know them, if that's what you're asking." Cagey and just a touch defensive, even he was scoping the area out frantically as he spoke...the memory of the night at the carnival had made the hairs on his neck stand on end, "Just like me being a kid again- they found the nerd and gave him a hard time...is all." He gestured a bit with his hands as he rolled his eyes with a huff, soon he was scooping up his coffee mug and taking a long sip, even though it had grown more then a bit chilled as long as it waited, he grimaced, and put it back down...taking packets of sugar out of the tray, nearly ten of them and started to dump them into the drink.
He stirred it once or twice with a spoon, and tried again, this time finding it far more palatable, "Huh? Oh...no, but I've lived in California since...I guess I was eighteen or so." Ben looked over his cup and hummed along- some Joni Mitchell song that was playing in his head at the time. He tilted his brows slightly as he validated the hunter's question. Probably not an innocent one, but he answered it honestly. Honest was boring. But then again, the truth normally was. "Yourself?"
She seemed local, which was a pity, people from Los Angeles were, at least to him, uncouth, but you couldn't really pick where you lived when somebody else was calling the shots. So he was here against his wishes. Santa Monica would have been more fitting, or maybe something further upstate...somewhere they actually appreciated the arts...oh, and culture.
God he missed culture.
"Benjamin." The vampire had no issues returning the gesture, her hands were shaking and clammy, and he retracted quickly, not wanting to prolong the contact or cause her any more trauma. His nose wrinkled slightly in amusement, as he coughed an amused little chuckle. "...you're scared of me?" The lack of eye contact, the weird behavior...it was like looking through a mirror darkly, and to be perfectly frank, he found it rather humorous. She thought he was going to kill her...didn't she? "I mean I appreciate the sentiment, but I assure you...uh, I'm not exactly what you think I am."
Of course that him assuming she thought he was anything, but he had a sneaking suspicion he knew what was going on here. Ben rapped his fingers against the tabletop, sucking at the side of his cheek, there really wasn't anything he could really say to ease her mind. Or maybe that was to his advantage...he wasn't too sure by this point.
Jennifer O'Connell - June 9, 2012 07:39 AM (GMT)
Well he was clearly as awkward about this whole situation as she was, so that should help her feel just a tad bit better about things. This was why she was more comfortable speaking online; text made things less personal and was a lot more efficient. No long awkward silences as you avoided staring at the person across from you but found that there was literally nothing else interesting in sight and trying to avoid looking like you were avoiding looking at the other person. How did normal people stand this social nightmare?
”A-bit on thee…” she started, before realising she had no idea how she was going to finish that sentence. A bit wild? Weren’t all kids wild? If anything they were much better behaved than your usual child. The boys were very direct in asking for her help, but that wasn’t exactly a normal situation so it would be wrong to base her opinion of them entirely off of it. There was the fact that they thought a crippled woman would be the best pick for helping their father, which even in that desperate situation was a bit of a stretch. In hindsight it as a damn miracle that it even worked, although it cost her one of the wheels on her wheelchair, and it took her step-mother a few days to finally get it back from the circus’ lost property section.
And she just realised she never got around to finishing her sentence and starting blushing again, and dropped the subject hoping the older man/vampire would be kind enough not to pick it up again. ”You think s-o? The-y see-med to-be in-ter-est-ed in you ‘or some-thing.” She didn’t witness the start of it, but she highly doubted that two vampires harassing a third was a coincidence, although she had to admit to herself she couldn’t back that up with evidence. At least none that wouldn’t leave the other vampire questioning her sanity as soon as she mentioned hearing voices that told her who was a vampire.
She nodded to his guess that she was a LA native, not verbalising it because then the conversation would lead to why she was in a wheelchair and why she was almost 20 and couldn’t talk like a normal person. And the part where she spent her free time researching vampires and werewolves and other things that went bump in the night because the voices told her to (although she had a much more different reason for not sharing that last piece of information).
But still, Ben was kind enough to keep the conversation moving forward in spite of his company, even if he was wrong about her reasoning. ”Not scare-d. Jus-t caw-tious a-bout hyp-no-tisim. From your eyes.” And she realised just then that there was no way that sentence could have come across as normal even if she could speak correctly. She cleared her throat and mimic his fingers on the tabletop. “W-what do you thi-ink I thi-ink you a-r-e?”