Logs:A Fan with Fangs

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A Fan with Fangs


Characters: Buster and Tris
Date: 2019-12-30
Summary: D. Kesel, photographer, has a fan; it happens to be Buster.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

.oO( Future Store Front - Central City )Oo................................o.

This two-storey commercial building is not in the best condition, but nor is it terribly rundown. In a corner of Central City that nearly straddles into Milan and the Garden Districts, it has the classic 'Coming Soon..." sign with the words 'D. Kesel Photography' in elegant script in one of the wide glass windows that are largely brown-papered over.

Presently, the lights are on within and the door has been left ajar with a small piece of wood keeping it from closing entirely. Within, things are bare and in varying stages of remodeling prep (though no construction presently underway). On the whole, it's an open floor plan, though small enough to be cozy as retail spaces go, with a staircase at the back leading up to some upper room.


The two-storey brick building with the wide windows in the front could be one of any number of other stores in Central City, but this one has a sign in the mostly papered over window that says it's the future site of 'D. Kesel Photography.' Seeing as how it's still plainly not open to the public yet, it might well be the kind of place that one would readily pass by. Except that there's a stone in the door keeping it from closing entirely and from with and the door itself is haloed by florescent brilliance indicating someone is home within. This, in of itself, might not be even remotely notable either, except that it's past 11 o'clock in the evening and that's not a typical hour for a store front, any store front on this block.

Within there stands a man, facing an old built-in counter, with a laptop on its surface and a camera bag off to one side. He's cast mostly in silhouette thanks to the placement of one of the tripod-mounted work lights, the face of the Mask of the handsome man verging on 30 subtly lit by the laptop screen. For those supernaturals seeing through that Mask to the mien beneath, there's another source of light: the gossamer spun scars that trace around his left ear and down under his jaw and down the back of his neck. They're not glowing enough to cast off real light, but they gleam distinctively green, blue and violet as subtly as starlight.

--

The guy who walks in is dressed to the *nines*, in his black bespoke suit under his checked black and white coat. He's the sort of guy who looks damn near naked no matter what he's wearing though, like clothes are a politeness and not any sort of shieldd between him and the world. He pays no mind to the state of the shop but, seeing that the front door's open, he simply walks in with a folio in black leather tucked under his arm and lets himself in.

And to another supernatural being, he is plainly, obviously not human -- the Beast is with him wherever he goes, though his complexion is flushed and ruddy.

He lightly tosses the folio on the table, and says, "Holy shit. You're Demitrius Kesel?!" His eyes widen, and he says, with a hint of well-groomed and tamed Appalachian accent, "You're a fucking genius." He opens the folio, revealing that it's full of Tris's work -- both original photographs and well-kept cutouts from various rags and papers. "Your photographs of that disney celebrity kid -- you know, he does the horror TV show now -- with the cocaine and the call-girl... how did you get the lighting in that shot!?" He just... launches right into it.

--

Perhaps one predator can be forgiven for having a brief moment of instinctive reaction to another, no matter how well dressed. It's a stillness in body and demeanor as dark eyes that hold an edge of something feral that has this Beast regarding the other of a very different kind. After a beat, a single dark brow quirks up under the long fringe of brown hair that never fails to fall across his eyes and he turns, leaning one elbow on the counter. The turning reveals the stretch of woven gossamer scars from temple down the line of his face to his jaw and stretching in line glowing veins that seek to reach his cheek but don't quite manage to invade the space free of the not-quite-stubble beard that does nothing to hide the glimmering light that matches the rest of the exposed scarring. His lips pull at the edges into something like a wry smile. "Luck," isn't terribly revealing as answers go, but then magicians never like to reveal their tricks.

Demitrius Kesel's blue eyes drop to the folio of photographs, and his smile broadens a bit. Perhaps he doesn't get many fans because he doesn't seem to know quite how to react, or maybe that's just whatever it was that landed him with all the fancy scars under his Mask. Still, he doesn't hesitate to shift after a moment to step nearer to look at the photographs in that folio. Whatever he sees there, does prompt a grin. "Those take me back," is admitted ruefully with a follow-up, "I'm not sure I've ever met someone who knew my photographs." His first fan? "My friends call me Tris." Maybe being a fan is enough to qualify.

--

Buster turns photographs over and says, "I just love how you captured the raw... realness of life." He says, "Other photographers, they sanitize everything. Even your modeling shoots, you strived for a... realness of pose, of expression. You weren't afraid of a hardon or a hairy vagina--" His expression is damn near boyish enthusiasm as he goes through photos. "I hunted down and bought ALL the original prints of that series of photos you took of beautiful people on the street, I don't know how you persuaded that Mexican guy to strip down to his tighty-whities and read a porno magazine in front of you--"

Then he looks up, and says, "And then you vanished. And now I see why." He looks up, and at the studio, "And then I heard you were opening a studio, in New Orleans..." He pushes the folio at Tris. "And I wanted to give this to you."

--

"Hell, those are from college." Tris probably didn't mean to let that swear slip as the modeling shoots are pointed out, and there's laughter following as he reaches to pluck up one of the prints, only to end up with the folio in hand. "People just do what they want, man. I just take the photo." There's a smirk though, because Tris might be equal parts humble and self-aware that he's good at what he does. "Mostly, I wanted him reading the porno mag because my dad had gone a good tirade the week before about that particular kind of 'smut.'" That douses the good cheer pretty quickly, the man grimacing. If Buster has done his homework, the fact that Tris reappeared the same night that his parents, the media empire owners from NYC, died in a hunting accident, there's a pretty easy point to just why.

"Thanks," Tris lifts the folio a little to indicate what for before placing it beside the laptop and turning his attention more properly on the being that's followed his colorful career. One hand rises to scratch along his cheek, at those scars that don't glow any more or less for the touching, and he gives one shouldered shrug that agrees with the assumption about his time away. "Not sure the studio's going to be the kind of work you're most fond of, but I'm sure I'll manage something interesting from time to time. Care to share a name?"

--

If Buster knows, he doesn't tell -- instead the vampire perches, sitting on the edge of a counter with his hands braced on it before he says, "Art's not about fondness or about comfortability, it's about the capture. If art was only things we were comfortable with, there'd be no Degas' or von Stuck or Mapplethorpe, Picasso would paint still lives of fruit and the Scream would be the quiet murmur of discontent.

He gives a broad grin. "So if you're an artist, you'll challenge me. Right? Right. What I know was that your work spoke to me--and so I became a collector. That's not all I have, but it is my favorites, which is precisely why I'm giving them back to you." Then he tilts his head. "But honestly, I wasn't expecting you to be so fucking *cute*."

--

It's not that Tris has escaped every tabloid, but perhaps with his insider knowledge, he's always managed to be shadowed or helmeted when it came to the illegal races where he was participant, not photographer. But even a picture is different than seeing a person in the flesh. The Changeling's dark brows went up by small increments as Buster spoke about art, all the name drops making a smile touch his lips, but in a way that didn't broaden the look, merely made the edge twitch like they wanted to escape whatever hold Tris has on his expression to widen into a laugh. "Those are a lot of names, but none of them yours."

Tris' head tilts in mirror to the vampire's, adding, "I'm not sure if I'm an artist or not anymore, but the only way to find out is to try. And I've been dying to ask," hahaha, poor choice of words? Or entirely intentional. The edge of his lips twitches again, "Does your kind show up in a photo? There are all those rumors." From fictional sources, obviously. Tris might not have much experience beyond just enough to recognize one kind from another. He doesn't seem to be shying from the compliment since he moves to lean on the counter beside where the vampire has perched himself, but nor does he make obvious reply, unless it's within his thoughtful, "Maybe I'll ask you to model for me." That could be a line, after all, couldn't it?

--

"Call me Buster." Buster extends a hand, and he has a grip like a vise, though he keeps it relaxed. He shakes twice, firmly, then withdraws his hand -- which is warm, not icy or clammy -- and then he says, "Well that's an interesting question. The short answer is 'yes', but attempts to capture us in a still image tend to fail. You never get a clear look at our reflection, photos come out blurry or bad, cameras just can't get a good look at us." Buster gives a shrug. "If you ever run into a Kindred who flat out doesn't show up in a photograph, they're probably old as *fuck* and you should step lightly."

Buster muses over that, and then says, "Sure. Now? You might have to draw or paint me if you do that, not photograph me -- the photo thing." He muses over that.

--

Tris will meet that handshake, his hands as soft as one might expect from a one percenter not given to manual labor of any kind. That being said... it's hot. It's summer day in the scorching desert hot. He withdraws his hand when the gesture is completed and the heat goes with him, though standing as relatively close as he is, he still radiates a toasty heat.

"Interesting." There can be little doubt that Buster has peeked the photographer's interest with those tidbits, but then a photographer would be into just what happens when you try to photograph something never meant to be captured by the human eye. "With our kind it has to do with the mirrors. Digital catches the Mask just fine." Older cameras with mirrors... that's another story.

The photographer moves to close his laptop, the gesture more casual than one hiding anything, his eyes tracing the lines of Buster's face as he considers the problem. "I might be able to clean a blurry photo enough, with a subject to study. I've been tempted to use photo editing to make a photo of my kind match what I see, but I'm relatively sure that would go over very poorly." There's a wry resignation there. "But with all the photo editing that goes on these days, I still think it would make a hell of a gallery show. And probably flop for being 'too fake.'" The Changeling can't help but grin because that has to be funny, or else one might have the sudden need to burn something. Since he'd like his shop still intact and certain parties present might not be that keen on that form of expression, the Summer Changeling turns the topic, "Have you been in New Orleans long, Buster?"

--

"Only a little bit." Buster says, leaning in, curiously. "The problem is you got concerns about security. I mean, I don't give a fuck? And I mean there's some artistry in a blurry photo, too..." He tilts his head and gives Tris a curious look, "But you got people for whom paranoia equates to survival even here, in the magical land where everybody gets along. Which is such a ballsy fucking idea." He runs his hand down his face, and then he adds, "I'm working on some legitimate investments and plan to stay awhile. I just went in as half owner of Chubby's on Bourbon Street, though I'm gonna be the silent partner."

Buster gives a shrug. "Everyone always asks 'why haven't we been caught yet' and the truth is...? Technology fails. People don't want to believe. Who's gonna think to come after us with Kirlian Cameras and silver-backed mirrors? Lunatics nobody takes seriously, that's who."

--

"In some blurry photos, that's true. Some are just half your foot, part of the floor in motion." Tris studies the vampire another long moment or two. "I'm sure we could find something sufficiently artistic if we put the time in." That seems to resolve at least that part of the matter for Tris as he straightens up to start moving through the motions of packing up the laptop into a carry case fetched from the floor against the counter. "Getting along does offer a few advantages in directing one's attention to the dangers worth worrying over. Us against the world and all that shit." Tris doesn't really sound like he buys into the peace, love and flowers bit, but he does seem to see the tactical advantages the Accords can offer.

"I think I've walked past Chubby's, but never been in." Tris' eyes squint a little as if he's trying to remember something and comes up empty. "What's the business? Bar?" With a name like Chubby's... a man's imagination must spin. "Willful ignorance is as useful a tool as any other, really. I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything. Haven't been back very long, and of course, Before, I never knew the difference." One of the willfully ignorant. "Is it as rude to ask a Kindred their age as it is to ask a woman?" It might be asking Buster's age, but it might also be just a question regarding the whole kind.

--

"Ruder." Buster says. "But I'm still young, about forty-five." He seems not at all troubled by that fact. "I've packed a lot of un-living into my un-life, though..." He beams, brightly, and then says, "Honestly if you want me to pose with my shirt off--just ask! I love the togs," He looks down at his clothes, "But they're just accessories, I'm happy to go without 'em."

His grin widens. "And in this city, I can! I spent the last week running around as Bad Santa in my Calvins, my sneakers, and a santa coat. I'm thinking maybe I'll do that for every holiday except New Years', because wearing a diaper is WEIRD." Then he tilts his head at the Changeling. "Has anybody ever offered to photograph you?"

--

"Well, that makes me older then," Tris replies, the amusement lighting those dark blue eyes as he looks back to the young vampire. "If I'm going to photograph you, I'd prefer to know you. The shots come out better that way." Call it part of D. Kesel's artistic process. "The studio space won't be ready for a couple of weeks yet, but there's no reason you couldn't give me the highlights reel so I know where to start my questions when you come back." It's an invitation for all that it might sound a little more like an assumption of willingness. "Clothing only matters if it's the making of the shot. In your case, it might be interesting to see if the clothes blur as much as the rest of you." There's obviously artistic experiments being born inside that pretty head of his.

"I'd skip New Year's too, if I were you," if that's the dress code. "You could make a Kindred calendar with all the outfits." This suggestion might be a joke, but since Tris is watching the vampire again, his expression back to being thoughtful, it's hard to say. He shrugs and has a small smile in answer to Buster's question. "Sure. I get photographed. Sometimes with my cooperation and sometimes without." It doesn't seem to enamor him nor disgust him; perhaps he's never been photographed by an artist, perhaps he's never been vulnerable enough to get The Shot right.

--

"Mmmm-hmmm." Buster says, before he tilts his head. "Sorry, I just keep catching glimpses of the outline of your abs and I'm like 'this boy was made for pictures'. Nevermind." Then he snorts. "Kindred calendar?" He says, "Huh. You know what? If you can get the shots to come out artistically blurry, let's do it. I'll print out like a dozen of them and give them as gag gifts." An artistically blurry calendar of mostly naked pictures of Buster. It appeals to his ego -- and he has a lot of ego -- in the sickest of ways.

"Do you mind if I smoke?" He takes out a pack of cowboy-killers and an electric lighter. "You want one?"

--

"Maybe a Changeling calendar, too, then." Tris quips in regard to the observation about his own abs, the amusement still in his voice. Flashing a vampire wouldn't begin to touch the list of Tris' strangest moments, and yet his hands don't move to the hem of his shirt. "None of us look right in photos anymore, not when we know what's really there." He shrugs as though it doesn't matter - and maybe it doesn't. "By all means," is comes with an inviting lift of Tris hand.

"But you're going to have to give me more to go on than 'this is a Kindred called Buster and he likes to give gag gifts and be silent partner in legitimate business enterprises like Chubby's,' if you expect me to get anything worth keeping out of all this." Evidently the 'this' is whatever is between them given the way the man's soft hand gestures in the air to indicate things between the Kindred and himself. "Or do you prefer to take your clothes off before you take your figurative clothes off? I could take you to dinner first, but I'll confess I don't even know if you eat and I'm fairly sure offering myself for the menu would get me into more than one kind of trouble."

--

Buster a cigarette between his lips and sparks it up with the lighter, before he passes both to Tris, and then he talks around it, giving only the lightest puff on it. "I try to be spectacularly shallow cause I certainly ain't profound. I can eat, yeah, but there's no *craving* for food or drink there so it's really just a coverup or a social politeness so I usually don't bother -- I'm not human and I deceive, but I don't pretend, you know?" He says, before he takes his smoke out of his mouth and gestures with it, stabbing the air away from them both.

"And while I gotta hunt? I don't predate my friends. That I keep consent-based. It's a line that keeps me... not completely insane. So you don't gotta worry there, unless you're into this shit. Things about me. Um. Well? I don't like food or drink but I do like to screw. I've been as horny as an ol' goat since my Night Eternal began. Men, women, once a statue when I bit into somebody who was on some LSD."

--

Tris accepts the offerings, but places them down on top of his laptop case, unsampled in the here and now. Then again, he's getting this focused look, like whatever Buster is saying to him has become vitally important; maybe it has. He doesn't have much of a poker face though, so the way he shreds through the information and what registers as something he cares to retain becomes obvious and quickly. There's the things that apply to Kindred and might be useful for him to know someday, and those things get sort of tossed aside into memory banks. What's retained for the thoughtful chew over in the here and now is each of those things that are personal or unique to Buster.

He doesn't do more than simply observe the speaker until all has been said, only then does he chuckle. "Well, at least there are a lot of options around. Between the men, women and statues." There's a little edge of playful teasing to the Beast's voice. "What does a bite do to a person who's bitten? Can't say as I've had the experience." Nor that Tris is necessarily looking to, but one can't help but be curious about such things. "Though, now that I know statues are an option, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to see them the same way. Although there is this one of my kind who looks like a statue..." At least Tris stops shy of naming names, although he does begin to look to look more and more (dangerously) amused.

--

"Oh. Uh." Buster says, "Well that's sorta complicated. Think of it like venom. We have two different kinds, we have the kind that paralyzes the prey with pleasure and the kind that paralyzes with pain." He exhales smoke, and then looks for something to flick the ashes from his cigarette in. "Honestly I can recommend it, but you gotta be careful because the bite can be as addictive as anything else about the Kindred. In some ways we're as much like a carnivorous plant like a Sundew as we are an actively hunting animal." Sundew. Smells good, tastes good, will eat the creatures that think they're going to eat it.

He looks somewhat abashed to be on the spot like that. He doesn't note what he's been able to glean about Changelings.

--

Conveniently, Tris has an ashtray to offer. Inconveniently, it's under the counter on the opposite side, which means the man is leaning across the counter to fish it out. His designer tee-shirt rides up his back a little way, showing scars that are, for the briefest moment, the plain silver of regular scars, until they're exposed to the light. The lines hungrily entrap the light shed on them, not diminishing that which is present, returning it as light split somehow to create the violet, blue and green that are on the other exposed raised lines on Tris' neck and face. There on his low back, too, are tattoos that are mismatched, just like those on his arms, intersected in artistic places with the veins of colored gossamer threading that make up the evidence of his durance.

The ashtray is deposited beside Buster and a hand idly tugs his tee-shirt back into place. Dark eyes study the vampire briefly and one of those heated hands moves to touch lightly on Buster's arm, a silent apology for tripping some unseen line. "Thanks," is what he says, instead of sorry. Surely that information will serve him well in the future to make if not smarter, at least better informed choices. "So if buying you dinner is out," and it doesn't sound like Tris wants Buster to be going through the motions with something he won't even enjoy, "what makes a better friendship offering for you, Buster?"

--

Buster does not seem to be especially manipulative. "Um, well, you could show me your work. Things I've never seen before." He studies the Changeling in front of him, thoughtfully, and then says, "It looks like they shattered you and glued you back together with light, you know that?"

Then he tilts shis head, and says, "Hmmm. Uh. Well--" He says, "...You could have a couple of drinks of whatever you've got put up and I could see how far that glow goes? No biting." He holds up his hands. "Or we could just... look at your photos." He's intrigued, visibly. "Or we could go out and find the most expensive cars and let the air out of their tires. I do that sometimes, when I'm bored."

--

"If the air is out of my tires when I leave here," given that his matte black, Lotus Evora has to be one of the priciest cars in their immediate vicinity, "I'm going to know just who to credit." Tris starts with the remark that he can most readily disarm with humor, his expression pulling into an obviously exaggerated one of severity before he flashes a roguish smile at the vampire. "But I wouldn't mind doing it to other expensive cars." So at least there's that.

"If we'd met when I first arrived, I'd have taken you up on that, Buster." But, here it comes, the 'but.' "But I'm out of the game." There's an apology in his tone if not in his words. "If you still want to see my private collection of shots, I'd be happy to have you by my place to see them, though I can't lie that the place is a mess. I'm in the midst of moving, but it does mean all my favorites are all in the same place at the moment." He tilts his head slightly, the jerk of his chin a little rueful as he adds, "I do make a hell of a wingman, if you're ever in the mood for company."

There's one more beat before Tris offers something that probably makes him vulnerable in turn: "Sewn. I was sewn back together. Repeatedly." So the vampire isn't completely wrong about that.

--

Buster tilts his head, and says, "Well. You can't blame someone for offering to bang their favorite artist." He shrugs, lightly, and then adds, "And that is that. Though uh." He murmurs, "If you and your significant other are ever looking for a threesome I'll give you my number." Then he bites his thumbnail.

"Let's do both. We can go back to your place and look at your photos, and let the air out of the tires of expensive cars on the way there. The night's young."

--

Choking at the vampire's offer is probably not what former playboy Demitrius Kesel had in mind. It's not smooth, it's not elegant, and it does rather (however momentarily) diminish his attractiveness, since he has to step back and cough hard into his arm several times before he can get his windpipe clear of the very sexy gob of saliva that managed to sneak down the wrong pipe in Tris' moment of complete discomposure. His cheeks have flared into a blush, but that may be as much because of the lack of oxygen as the offer. "Foursome," is what he manages to croak out in a moment of oxygen deprivation.

It's a few deep breaths later before he can really compose himself, moving around the counter to pull a paper towel from a roll underneath and wipe off his now damp arm. "Sorry." He will actually apologize this time because that was gross. "I haven't had to say that aloud yet. Caught me off guard." STILL WANT A PIECE OF THIS ACTION, BUSTER? Tris does have a pretty solid puppy face to go with that apology.

--

Buster raises his eyebrows at that, and then he says, "...Even better." He puts his fingertips together.

"I once was told I had the morals of a hooker pirate tomcat. Nicest compliment I've ever been given." Then he licks one canine tooth, and then he says. "I mean, I'm not the dating kind anyway, and I'm always gone before sunrise, so I'm the perfect booty call, *really*--" But then he says, "...But I'm destructive enough of the time anyway. I'm not gonna make trouble for you. There are enough great abs in the world that I don't need to engage in unwelcome pursuit of yours."

--

"I'll keep it in mind," Tris is, at least, able to laugh at himself and look embarrassed in his turn, for that unexpected offer and reaction. Obviously the concept of multiple partners isn't foreign to this set of hot abs. "In the meantime, I would be interested in your friendship, even if there's less booty in that kind of call. Then again, I'll be the first to admit the sight of a nice set of abs does sometime do all the cheering up a person could want, so if ever I can flash you for a much needed mood boost, say the word." Looking isn't touching after all, right? And what else are friends for, anyway?

"Well, come on then, mate," Tris just barely resists adding the -y onto that word, "if there's still air in my tires, I'll drive us back to my place, unless another night would work better?"

--

"...Let's go." Buster says, hopping off the counter. "But first..." He gestures, to Tris's abs. Because life just needs plenty of great abs in it.

"And don't worry, my feelings aren't hurt." He beams, and then... ruffles the changeling's hair. "Just uh. You know." He says, "Let me know when you want to get started on that calendar."

--

Whose life doesn't need more great abs? Just because Tris gets to see these washboard things in the mirror whenever he looks doesn't mean that even Tris doesn't need more great abs in life. The lift of the tee-shirt which is only lifted to the base of his ribcage does, at least, confirm Buster's suspicions that Tris is packing one stellar set, even if they're also artistically re-stitched, though largely bare of re-arranged tattoos. The scars light as they're revealed to the light and Tris will hold his shirt up a five count before he drops it in favor of grabbing up his laptop bag, the gifted folio, camera bag and fishes keys out of his pocket.

The ruffle of the hair (hot, hot, hot, like the rest of him in temperature) draws an amused smile but no greater reaction. "I'm having the contractors start work after the New Year. I should have a place to work by the end of the month." So he's not giving up on the calendar or any other artistically blurred possibilities.

He heads for the door, holding it open for Buster and locking it behind him before turning to head down the block to where the Lotus is parked, already roaring to life from the touch-start keys in Tris' hand before the men even get terribly close. The chief advantage of the Lotus Evora aside from its very sexy shape and killer engine is that there's a back seat (even if it's small), and that's where Tris deposits all his items before stepping back from the passenger door to hold it open for Buster. Chivalry isn't dead, apparently.

--

Buster looks up, and then casually swings into the passenger seat -- he straps in, absent-mindedly, and then he's leaning back, as utterly, comfortably at-ease here as he is anywhere. But his stare pinned on Tris is all intensity, a fierce and hungry look. He takes it all in, that's for certain.

"It's a really nice car." Buster admits, looking around, "I've never really been a car guy. Stolen a lot of cars... wrecked a lot of cars... but never really put much thought INTO cars." One wonders how he casually gets around.

--

"I always had two-seaters before. Needed more room, so..." Tris admits with a shrug of his shoulders. "I mean, I needed more room before..." The Changeling breaks off with an awkward clearing of his throat. "I was driving friends to burn down a house," the Crimson Courtier begins again, "and I didn't think about how many my car could fit. Fortunately, one of them could turn into a cat, which worked out for seating." The story is told so casually that it's downright laughable. But if Buster was looking for some kind of kindred spirit or spirits, it's just possible he may have found them, if he's looking to do more than let air out of tires.

The Changeling straps in, too, and likewise looks entirely at ease, like the driver's seat might just be his second home. Or third. Or something. One of the homes he has at any rate. The ride is fast and smooth, the car humming with restrained power beneath them. A gesture offers Buster the choice of music for the brief ride that won't take them more than a handful of minutes, navigating a fairly simple path east and just a touch north from Central City to the Central Business District, aka downtown.

--

Buster looks up at his driver, and then casually plugs in his phone. It seems that his music taste is eclectic, right now he's listening to Postmodern Jukebox, and their jazzed up rendition of 'Poker Face'. He relaxes again, musing over how this night has turned out. Experience with Buster will reveal how whimsical and destructive he can be, how cruel he can be -- at least to people who aren't his friends, or perhaps he has a different sort of cruelty he levels at those he trusts most. You have to know someone well before the most vicious pranks are OK.

But for right now, he's sitting and relaxing. "Okay." He says, "Fuck, Marry, Kill. Any three people."

--

The relaxing question does draw a sharp sidelong look from Tris though the car remains perfectly on course to its destination. The music is left to fill the space while the Millennial digests the game that he can't be unfamiliar with. "Fuck Kenny, marry Odile, kill..." And Tris hesitates. Maybe there's an answer, "Shit, I don't know. The next person to cross the Freehold. Which... really could be a lot of people right now." Not to get all serious and stuff, but... that's how it goes sometimes. "You know about freeholds and all that shit?" This car is manual transmission for a reason and though he's flying through those gear shifts with ease, the man's hand is wrapped around the ball-shaped head of the gear shift a little tighter than it needs to be. "What about you? Met any real gems or dipshits here so far?" Apparently everyone on Tris' list are here in NOLA.

--

"I'm guessing it's some sort of Changeling society. Way more civilized than ours, probably. It gets a little cutthroat sometimes, though I guess we're playing nicer because we don't wanna jeopardize our status in the Accords, which is as clever a Prince's Gambit as I've ever seen." Buster watches Tris manipulate the car and then he says, "Oh, a couple of people. Met this cute werewolf... going into business with this guy who I just can't define--" Buster looks out the window, and says, "I'm just kind of putting down roots for the moment, you know? I might stay for awhile."

--

"Roots are good. I'm in about the same spot. Needed to get out of New York, start somewhere new after everything." Tris replies, expression briefly thoughtful. "Think the Accords will make the cutthroat bits easier?" This is asked as Tris navigates the car into a parking garage and pulls into a spot. The car shuts off and he unbuckles, twisting to lean between the seats, that heat coming with him again, as he reaches for his bags and the folio to pull them with him as he turns back and then shifts to get himself out of the car. If Buster likes, Tris can open the door for him again.

Once the car is locked, Tris can lead the way across to the 20 storey Aquitane building with its doorman and marble and mahogany lobby, to the elevator and on up and up and up to nearly the top floor and down the hall to his apartment door. On the other side, there's the mess that's promised (in the form of stacked moving boxes and some in various stages of being packed) in a disgustingly expansive bachelor pad space that is almost painfully modern in its decor. The floorplan is relatively open and there's a huge island with swivel stools in the kitchen. Tris gestures invitingly to the area, though there are also couches a little farther away, before the ceiling to floor glass windows that are only marred in their expanse by a door out to a balcony area.

--

"It's nice." Buster says, losing his coat. "A little high up, a little too much sun exposure," He drawls, "But it's nice." He asides, "Almost as nice as that mercedes we saw five blocks back," Before he hops up on the counter and sits, apparently inclined to perch rather than sit on plush furniture.

"Are you moving?" Buster asks, gesturing to the packed boxes. "If so, where you're going must really be something."

--

"I didn't pick it." Tris rolls his shoulders in a shrug as he deposits his camera bag, laptop bag and the gifted folio onto the counter a little way from Buster so as not to crowd him. "It's alright, but suits someone who doesn't really exist, maybe never really existed. Can people who don't know you even begin to guess what you need?" It's a rhetorical question because Tris goes on, "I probably should've looked for myself when I was moving down, but I wasn't in a great head space for that. Found a place that'll work better for me. It's near the studio, or closer than here." He shrugs his shoulders. "The movers will be here next week to get the rest of my crap." His very expensive crap.

"So does alcohol do anything for you?" Tris inquires as he moves away from the counter to go to one of the nearby open boxes and rifle through the contents, producing a fairly slender binder after a few moments of searching.

--

"Not really." Buster says, leaving it at that. Then Buster studies Tris, looking after him, and he looks around. "It's really not you. Cold, sterile. Not like your art at all." He puts his feet up on the counter and wraps his arms around his knees. "I'm still living out of a hotel, and looking for a place. Kind of got a list of very specific needs, along with some definte sensibilities."

Then Buster looks up, and huffs out a sigh. "Do you know..." He shakes his head. "Nevermind."

--

"If I don't, someone I know might? Unless you really don't want to ask." Tris allows the out with an easy lift of one shoulder as he pads back over toward the vampire, kicking off his loafers as he comes nearer. "Sometimes people aren't what anyone else expects them to be. I'm a little relieved you aren't one of those." This is probably because Buster doesn't seem inclined to think of Tris in terms of what the world might see him as but rather who he is through the reverse lens of his camera. It's not a bad way to see the man behind the art, really. "Living out of a hotel gets uncomfortable quickly," is added with a sympathetic grimace. Rather than offer the binder when he arrives back near the vampire, Tris twists and hitches a hip up onto the counter top before sliding back further to make himself comfortable beside Buster and hold the binder in his lap.

--

Buster turns his head, and looks over at Tris and his binder, all interest. "Oh, just a half-formed thought, I have them all the time, and I usually drown them with a belch." He smirks, as he puts his hand on Tris's shoulder, and leans in further to observe. "You know a little raccoon guy?" He said, "I showed him one of my powers. He told me it sucked."

--

It takes a moment. "Racoon guy." Tris has to repeat it but his brows dip down in not disbelief but rather something else. For the keen observer, something sharpens around the eyes, the look harder but only briefly. It's forced to gentle with a slow inhale of breath and release. "No, can't say as I've met any racoon guys on this side." The scarred man doesn't seem to be the least bothered by the hand on his shoulder although he tilts his head a little to look at the vampire from a slightly different vantage. "Is it the kind of power that's supposed to suck for the receiver?"

--

Buster rolls his eyes. "I can summon and command animals. Honestly it's a pretty fucking common trick we do. He just didn't think very much of it." Then he says, "Yeah, name's Wayfarer, he's a Trash Panda about yay tall," He holds his hand way down there, "Interested primarily in electronics. I gave him a cheeseburger, he said that sucked too." There's a ... fondness in Buster's tone when he talks about the creature.

--

The binder is forgotten in Tris' hands for the time being, his lips pursing slightly as he considers and then inquires, the obvious question, "What kind of animals?" His fingers toy with the edge of the binder mindlessly. "Wayfarer. Sounds sweet." There's tongue in cheek humor there, but not of the malicious variety. "Every one of us has been through some kind of Hell. Some get out of it with better attitudes than others. Electronics sounds... potentially useful." There's something more to be thought about there, but perhaps not this moment. "Was he good at letting air out of tires? We can go back for that Mercedes." It's an offer, a real one. Either before or after what must be the photos in the binder in his hands.

--

"...I can't even begin to explain what the little fucker did to a car, except it ended with four guys shitting themselves." Buster says, "I thought all of you knew each other." He cants his eyes down. "...Yeah, let's go pay that car a visit." Heh ops off the counter, apparently needing to let off some malicious steam himself. "Oh, no, he was hilarious. And all sorts of animals, really. Rats, bats, birds, cats..." Dogs.

--

"I probably just haven't met him yet. Most of us seem to be getting to know one another, but we couldn't come here before... well, I haven't met anyone that could come here before the beginning of November or thereabouts. We're not sure... well, no one seems to know why that is. Now we're popping up everywhere." Like weeds. Tris briefly flips into the binder, though he doesn't make move to make Buster sit through the D. Kesel highlights book. What he does, however, is pull one print free of the protector that holds it and sets the rest of the binder aside. "In exchange for your favorites," the photographer offers. It's a superb shot of a tangle of limbs, that must be at least six people, the play of shadow and light across different body parts artistic and captivating. There's even some very fine abs on at least two of the bodies, though all the faces have been blurred, but beautifully so. That debt fulfilled, Tris moves toward the door to pull on his athletic shoes before opening the door to lead them back out into the night where (mild) mayhem awaits them.