Logs:A Frosty Reception for a Kindred Spirit

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A Frosty Reception for a Kindred Spirit


Characters: Buster, Jules, Miles and Tris
Date: 2020-01-01
Summary: After an unexpectedly gory event at Chubby's Cabaret in the wee hours of the new year, Tris brought his friend, Buster, home. It all might have been fine... except that the two Winters in Tris' life woke up in time to meet his new friend. It did not go well.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

Buster is a mess. Black-eyed, with clawed hands and feet, covered in gore, the vampire shies away from bright lights and occasionally lets out these noises halfway between a hiss and a growl. He's what you'd call 'on-edge'.

--

New Year's Eve is a bad night for a lot of people. Though Tris stayed home with his partners until the ball drop, just after he slipped out to go for a run because too much was riding him too hard. He was gone a long time, though. Longer than he should have been, had anyone stayed awake to worry about him. The dogs are away at doggie school, so he went alone. They wouldn't have kept up anyway. Now it's closer to four in the morning than three and Tris is trying to be quiet as he leads the way through the front door of the large, relatively dark house just one block over from Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. The key in the lock is quiet, the gesture to Buster is 'shh' and in comes Tris, splattered with gore (his running shoes will have to be burned), and trying not to make a fuss. "You can shower on this story first while I block out the windows down there." This isn't especially loud, but he doesn't, apparently, expect anyone to be awake just now.

--

"Shower?" Buster says. He blinks once, twice.

He thinks about that, and then walks into the bathroom. He doesn't turn on the lights, or turn on the water -- but he does crawl into the shower, up the tiles, and clink to the corner where the shower stall walls meet the ceilings, palms and the soles of his feet adhering to the tile as he perches there like a lizard or a goddamn spider.

--

Tris might not normally be in the habit of following guests into the bathroom, but given that this is the Master Bath, and that there's been enough to make the empath concerned for his vampire friend, he makes an exception. Tris follows through the door, probably with the intent of securing the door that leads to the Master Bedroom to avoid any accidental company. Only, Buster isn't getting to the business of getting clean, and so the Beast pauses en route to stare up at the vampire. "Buster, you're getting blood on the wall. Get down." Tris is trying to keep his voice quiet, but firm.

--

At some point, Jules did sleep. He probably should have protested the running business, but let's be honest: midnight was already past his bedtime and he has, however temporarily, developed some tiny level of trust that Tris could take care of himself. But he was awake again by a little after three, and apparently has chosen to spend this time in the kitchen (the main kitchen? dear god), poking through cabinets and rearranging half of them as he goes. He isn't really making a giant racket, though, and it could have just been a stray light left on.

He is not so far away that someone out there talking isn't noticeable, enough to draw him out, to come up behind Tris in sock feet and pajama pants. His right arm to just above the elbow and the right shoulder have both been replaced by something mechanical, steel and glass and occasionally glimpses of tubing through which passes something that could be power steering fluid. The rest of him looks pretty normal, except the space between shoulder and elbow, which is really clearly imprinted with someone else's glowing scars. Two questions, no greetings: "Who's your friend? Any of that yours?"

--

So Tris goes for a run, presumably, and is gone for ages and just doesn't expect the people he left at home to care about why he's been gone for so long? Miles is not upset, he's just very disappointed, even if he's apparently been very quiet about being a worried... okay, father figure would be weird in this context, but you get the idea. He comes into the bathroom from the bedroom, wrapped in a robe, expecting to only find Tris, and pausing in his tracks when he realizes they have not only company, but vampiric company and a lot of mess. "What is this? Why is that in our house? Where the fuck have you been?"

--

Buster shows his teeth, long fangs on prominent display. You might try poking him with a broom. Or otherwise make staying in that corner undesirable without trying to pull him down. "Don't want to." He says, plainly. You may have to talk him into this.

Maybe a nice warm bubble bath would work? Something enticing.

"Happenssss." He says, his clawed fingers splaying along the tile. "Just need to clear my head. That's all. I like it up here. I can see everything."

Then he holds one hand over his face. "Too bright." His abs contort, as he pushes back into the corner. "Cute friends, but it's too fucking bright." He's wearing just a pair of slacks, and is completely splattered with distressingly fresh gore, his muscles like steel cable wrapped in velvet. Not an animal, no--

But very much a Kindred.

--

Well, this isn't quite the least preferred of all possible outcomes (if Tris even thought that far when inviting Buster back to his place, since thinking ahead is not the Beast's strong suit), but it's climbing the list as Jules flanks him and Miles pens him from the bedroom door all while Buster is being less than agreeable and getting gore on things. It's like an ambush and it takes Tris a moment while his cheeks touch with a blush before he can answer anyone. Jules gets to be first, "I'm not hurt."

Both partners get more answers as he looks over to Miles, "Someone was roughing Phoebe up and threatening Buster." Who's Buster? He makes a gesture of a hand. "This is my friend, Buster."

The man with the glowing scars (now lemon yellow and twists of baby blue) has hit his limit. "Buster, get the fuck down." It's not persuasive, it's not appealing, it's annoyed. Maybe Tris has lost the last of the fucks he has to give. Maybe now it becomes plain that he's not always a nice guy. There's a growl in Tris' throat as he turns back the way he came, toward Jules, pausing only long enough to pull off his gory shoes and throw them into the tub where they stick with a disturbing squelch.

--

Jules' level of distress at the blood is not, aside from that single question, particularly apparent. He's one cool guy, you see. Frigid, in fact, frost gathering around his feet. "I'm glad you're okay, but don't think much of your way of doing introductions." His disapproval however is limited to just a moment of glowering; then he's looking under the bathroom sink, making a disapproving noise at that. "Think there might be bleach in the laundry room. Going to need it."

--

"Your friend Buster," repeats Miles, looking at the Buster in question with a frown all over his face, if not necessarily an actual frown. It's a negative sort of neutrality, his expression. But the vampire's complaints about the brightness are internalized enough that Miles moves to lower them on the dimmer, but not turn them off completely. Some of them need to be able to still see what they're doing. "Is he safe?" Miles asks Tris directly, still watching Buster like he expects him to explode at any moment. Surely Miles would like to think that Tris wouldn't bring Danger into their home, but apparently he's not sure Tris wouldn't.

--

Buster tries to push further back into the corner.

"Make me," He says, to Tris. "I like it up here." Oh, now who's being childish!?

"Maybe if your friend took that bathrobe off I'd come down." Oh lovely, Tris brought home a blood-covered wall-crawling vampire who's also a pervert. "He has a poet's brow. It's sexy." Uh... huh.

Then he fixes Tris with a stare. "They don't want me here, you should probably listen to them."

--

"You think I won't?" Tris swings around again to face the vampire, teeth bared, tone challenging. Children. Evidently, his inability to be persuasive in the present moment is cascading toward a dangerous rekindling of the anger that is always with this Changeling. He does actually start to move toward the vampire perched up the wall to make good on that threat: some Changelings don't do empty threats like they don't do empty promises.

It might then be sort of whiplash that he goes on to simultaneously defend everyone in the room as he snaps out rapid fire words that might not make the most sense unless one takes them by parts, "It's been a shitty night. It wasn't planned." So Buster is probably as safe as Tris, maybe. Maybe less. At least Tris is a known danger.

"They're surprised." They, poor Jules and Miles who had the poor luck to get ensnared by this Beast, "We're a fucking mess, Buster," that's the only directed statement. "They're entitled to be surprised. To be pissed. Fuck. We haven't even lived here a god damned week yet and you're getting blood on the walls!" It's not about the walls, but Tris' voice has risen and risen in volume and though his forward momentum can be stopped, it will need to be physically stopped, not just with words. Words barely matter right now to Tris.

--

"We don't all live here." Is that the important thing for Jules to be correcting right now? Maybe it shouldn't be. But he's still rifling around under the sink. Apparently the cleaning supplies are wanting; when he stands again, it's empty-handed. "Nobody's undressing." A pause. "Well, no. Buster can get a shower and we can find him something clean. Tris can get a shower upstairs?" It's Miles he looks at though, to confirm this plan of action.

--

Miles doesn't seem entirely convinced that Buster isn't a danger, though it should also be noted that he's not afraid of him. Tris doesn't require the blood of others to survive, and presumably Miles knows just enough about vampires to be cautious. "If you come down and get clean, perhaps I'll consider taking it off," barters the Fairest to Buster. There's a glance to Jules for probably both comments, honestly, but Miles only says, "Go look in the laundry?" Then to Tris, "Perhaps he'll be more amenable if you just shower here, Tris. There's enough room." And perhaps Miles doesn't want the Beast to leave the vampire here unattended.

--

The vampire looks down at Miles, and then at Tris -- and then with a slow hesitation, he creeps down the wall. He looks at them, and then he starts uncapping bottles, sniffing at them, before he finds something he likes -- and he proceeds to lose his slacks, which are hopeless unless you happen to know a very good, very discrete dry cleaner and turns the water on. He's... well, he's all muscle, and he squirts it into his palms before he starts soaping himself up, in full view of the other three. Nooooot a shy monster. "It all went wrong." He says, "When you lit yourself on fire. Don't DO THAT around a Kindred unless you plan to kill it, you ass."

--

With the Beast unblocked from his goal of engaging in childish games of catch the vampire on the ceiling, it's good for everyone that Buster came down when he did. The blood damage to the ceiling would have, in the least, been vastly multiplied. It does mean that Tris is not far from Buster when he finally gets down, close enough to get splashed by the shower water which sizzles into steam when it hits the Summer heat in Tris' skin.

"Fuck," is a word that holds frustration and so much more. There's a flexing of muscles that speaks to the anger still fueled within the scarred man, but he steps back the way he came rather than join the shameless vampire. "Bad idea," is all he grumbles to Miles as he stalks away from the shower, checking the bottom of his feet before heading for the door. "Please, would someone bring me clothes upstairs?" There's less heat, less anger, less everything in that remark, tossed over his shoulder. "I told Buster he can stay the night in the basement." The basement that is only half under the ground. A walk-out basement. The basement of the South. "Need to cover the windows." That's more mumbled as perhaps the exhaustion of all of this starts to hit him as he heads out the door and toward the stairs.

--

"Does Buster not have a place to stay? We can't go housing stray vampires." Pot, kettle? Except Jules intends to collect Lost, which are entirely different and safer creatures. Maybe. Jules very aggressively avoids looking at the stranger as he undresses, carefully picking his way across the bathroom and into the bedroom, where he can rifle through drawers that aren't his in search of clothes for both men.

--

"Good," says Miles when Buster comes down to commence with actually cleaning himself off. He doesn't watch the vampire shower, though not as aggressively as Jules doesn't, but he does stay nearby to, presumably, keep tabs on the creature while Tris goes to shower elsewhere, and Jules goes to find clothes for both. "I expect that you won't take advantage of Tris' generous nature," is all the conversation, not that it begs for a response, he strikes up with Buster.

--

"I'm living out of hotels until I set up a haven. Don't need a place to stay. Just a patch of dirt." Buster says, as he continues briskly shower... with the door open. He scrubs the blood off him, and then says, "It normally doesn't go that wrong." Then he looks up, and says, "I take advantage of everyone's generous nature. Tris isn't special that way." He uncaps another bottle and then adds a liberal amount to his hair. "You two are his polycule?" He begins to rinse himself, and then lathers up again, apparently intending to use entirely too much soap. "You're both a pair of icy bitches. Changelings bug me. You all act like Kindred gross you out, but I've seen what you do to people's heads when you go sour. I've seen the people who're dead inside, all their emotions are gone."

"Because you ate them."

--

"His what?" Jules wanders back into the bathroom now to drop one t-shirt and pair of sweatpants onto the vanity. Probably Tris' clothes aren't precisely going to fit Buster, but they're Tris' clothes because this is Tris' stray, apparently. "Wouldn't call it 'grossed out'. Don't want vampires around. Or werefolk, mages, any of it. You're trouble. Case in point."

--

"Indeed," is Miles' response to all of that. Most of it, anyway. Either way, Miles doesn't seem particularly disturbed by any of what Buster says. "Your kind does not 'gross me out'," using the other's phrasing there. "Coming into my home like this does," but Tris did it, too, so it's not something he holds against Buster alone. "On the contrary, I've enjoyed time spent with a vampire on occasion. But forgive me if I point out that emotions return to their natural state. Bleeding someone out, on the other hand, is quite final."

--

Buster rinses again. And then lathers up a THIRD time. He's doing this on purpose. "You're probably right." He says. "Which is why I wanted to deal with it myself but he won't let me. He lit himself on fire and I flipped out. It happens. Be very very careful with fire around the Kindred. You might get clever and try something. But I completely lost it and now a woman is dead. It happens, but I wouldn't have ordinarily done it." He finally finishes rinsing, steps out of the shower, looks at the clothes and the towel, ignores them, and stands there, dripping. "Do they?" Buster says. "Tell that to the people in the psych ward." Then he exhales, and strings his thoughts together enough to explain. "A man named Lysander and I bought that shitty strip club on Bourbon Street. Chubby's. We may have strongarmed him into signing the paperwork. Tris was there to talk to me, Chubby came back and tried to take... one of your kind hostage. A real frail waify type, the sort looking for a Daddy to protect her. I never had the patience for that shit myself." He digresses, pauses, and then remembers his thoughts. "Only there was something ELSE in there. Something--" He thinks, "Like the Kindred but not. I need--to clear my head and get my working tools. Then I can find out. Anyway. Tris lit himself on fire, and I held it back for as long as I could, but between him and that... thing, I lost my grip completely. And an innocent woman got killed for it. That's a worst-case scenario. Now I have to deal with it. Not him. Me."

--

Jules does give Miles a bit of an odd look for part of that, but he doesn't dwell on it. "Fire is exactly the sort of reason we don't mix. We use the tools we have to hand to defend ourselves. If you're not going to dry off, please don't leave a puddle." He's not going to dwell overlong on the idea that someone died tonight, it seems; instead he's going to step out of the bathroom again and head upstairs to take the change of clothes to Tris.

--

Neither of the icy bitches seem very concerned that someone died, then, probably because it wasn't Tris. All the same, Miles notes to Buster, "It's heartening to know it bothers you. I'd be more concerned if it didn't. Tris likely won't feel the same as you about that, however. Especially if he helped set things in motion." Miles, pragmatic guy.

--

Buster totally leaves a puddle. And he doesn't put on the sweatpants, either. He just lets it all hang out, moving like a lizardy-panthery man as he air dries and walks out of the bathroom. "I'm not angry at him for that. He wasn't trying to kill ME. I get it, we're the redheaded stepchildren of the bump-in-the-night world. You're wonderful and glamourous and better than us in every way, and engineering emotions in people so you can drink them is so much better than drinking blood. I mean, what's nobler than stealing Pollyanna's teddy bear so you can sip on her sad?" Fucker.

"I killed that woman. Not him, and I'm not owed anything. I'm not even mad, beyond the..." He curls his lip, "Immediate, VISCERAL annoyance that the sexy bastard lit himself on fire in front of me. ...But he tried to help me and I appreciate that. Call it the high stooping to help the low if it makes you feel better!" He puts a clawed hand on his chin.

--

"I don't know where you got that chip on your shoulder, kid, but you should probably grow the fuck up and get over it. Nobody has said anything of the sort. Except for you." Miles is not in the mood to suffer foolish bullshit right now, apparently. "But if coming into our home has been such an imposition for you, you're welcome to leave." With that, Miles leaves Buster to his own devices in the bathroom and probably goes to get himself a drink or something, honestly.

--

Buster rolls his eyes, and says, "FINALLY." Apparently he was waiting for someone to overrule Tris, apparently. Because, without taking the clothes or anything, he walks out of the house and into the night. Truth be told, he's going to find the nearest park and sink into the dirt, and figure this shit out tomorrow. He might even be grateful. Possibly.

--

For all the sharp edges to the conversation in the bathroom below between fangs and frost, the scene in the bathroom above has decidedly more physically sharp edges. Tris is clenching the edge of the counter in front of the sink, right hand with blood on the knuckles, dripping from the tension of the grip he's holding on that counter. The mirror is largely still in its frame, but shattered with enough epicenters for the damage that it means the Summer punched it more than once. He's clean, but barely damp anymore, since the heat rolling off him is an inferno short of blazing, markedly stronger than it was before, making the water dry, escaping into the air as a haze of steam. The dark eyes are focused on nothing, blankly staring at the sink, but not really seeing it.

--

Once to the upstairs bathroom, Jules sets the clothes down on the back of the toilet, safely out of the way, and approaches Tris with the sort of wariness usually reserved for wild animals. "You doing okay there? Think you had a rough night. We can wrap that hand up a bit, get you dressed, get you to bed." This before Jules actually hears the door, downstairs, but apparently his concerns are all closer to home.

--

"That asshole had a gun and Phoebe." Tris' voice is harsh through his teeth. The rise and fall of his shoulders is steady, but perhaps too deep to be anything but a purposeful effort at continued control. That steam is hot. It's probably only Jules' own mantle that keeps it from being painful if he comes within its range (which is extended to a full body-length beyond the reach of Tris' arm now). "She's ours, yours." She's sworn to Jules, to the freehold. Is he defending himself? Explaining?

"Once I started, I couldn't stop. That trash had his hands on her..." It's hard to say what bothered him most, but the hand clenches harder to the counter. At least he's not making any aggressive moves toward the Ogre. "I don't have it in me not to help when I spent so many years helpless to stop the monsters, Jules." That much manages to be even but dark in tone.

The man's eyes cut toward the Winter and hold before he releases the edge of the counter. "I'm sorry I worried you. Both." He'll have to make that apology again since Miles isn't right here, but it probably won't be anymore of an apology for the actions he took then, either, just the worry his absence caused. And then, of course, "The woman... I might as well have killed her myself. I didn't know." Ignorance doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that works as an excuse though, not for Tris.

--

Jules closes that distance once Tris has released the counter, as though he was waiting until that point for some other, more destructive shoe to drop. "You didn't know, but you'll know in future. Should probably work on making sure that you know you have more ways to help. There's a resolution for you, huh?" He gets as far as putting one still-cold hand on Tris' shoulder. It doesn't, for once, warm considerably with the contact. "Here, I brought you clothes, why don't you get something on and we'll go back downstairs."

--

Frigid Winter King. The Summer mantle borne around the Crimson Courtier yields only for that crown to which it is sworn, though the new strength doesn't diminish even as Tris seems to begin to calm. For people who don't generate their own weather, the heat of being near Tris may now be permanently like being laid out to tan, in the desert, in the heat of the day. At least he dries off, quickly, though? He does turn the water back on at the sink, the cold water, and it steams off his bloody hand as he rinses away. He lifts his hand out of the water long enough to look for glass shards before turning off the water and reaching for the hand towel to wrap it around his hand before he moves past Jules to pick up the clothes. "Thank you," are the only words that break out of the brooding ramping up, edged with a shaken fragility that's at odds with the Beast's sometimes capable character. "Miles," is the mumble that seems to indicate which way Tris is going, which might not mean he has any intentions to tend to the hand Jules suggested be dealt with.

--

"Put your clothes on," repeated because Jules seems to be somewhat concerned that otherwise it might not actually happen, "and we'll go down and see how Miles is doing with your friend." But it's still a gentle thing. Gentle is a thing ogres can be, even if it's sometimes a bit tricky. Once Tris has managed that much, he'll be quick enough to get back downstairs to check in.

--

The repeated reminder penetrates and Tris stops a few steps out of the door to look down at the clothes in his hand and make a quiet, "Oh," like he hadn't realized that he hadn't dressed when he grabbed them, or that he was still holding them. It takes Tris a little extra effort with the wrapped hand, but he does manage to skin into the pants and tee-shirt brought for him. He catches at Jules hand with his good one, the injured one tucked against his chest. Fingers interlace, perhaps just needing the grounding contact that provides since he doesn't really look at the Ogre, just makes the connection while they head down the stairs.

--

Miles is in the kitchen with a tumbler of whiskey, all pensive but not so tense that he's frosting the floor or anything. Just his glass. "He left," he says at the first sign that either man has come back down from upstairs. "It's for the best. The boy doesn't think too kindly of us." And obviously Miles is a great person to talk to when that's already one's inclination. "I have no doubt he can manage himself."

--

"Don't think he seemed wholly wrong about most of it. Going to be... difficult, learning to work with folks like that, but I think we're going to have to spend at least a little time getting to know what they're up to if we ever want to find out what happened here." Jules doesn't let go of Tris even once they're in the kitchen, but he does use his free hand to briefly liberate Miles' glass and have a drink. It has been a night. He does at least give it back.

--

Tris has little in the way of a convincing poker face in the best of moments. He has none now. The news about Buster's departure draws a frown and a glance back toward the door, like he might (impulsively, the way it happens so often) seek to go after his new friend. But before he can deal with things outside of this room, he has to deal with what's in the room. Since his free hand is wrapped in a towel, that means Tris' only option since Jules is keeping his good hand is to lean in and press his shoulder lightly to Miles'. "I'm sorry for worrying you." There's the repeat. It doesn't alleviate the pinch of his brows that probably has 'Buster' written on it.

"I left my phone in my shorts." Presumably upstairs in the laundry basket for lack of a tub to throw them into in that particular bathroom. "I'd like to text him. Be sure." Nevermind that Miles is telling him so. "I didn't know... I've never been on fire before." That's added with a touch of a daze, a hint of confusion. This Changeling is definitely not doing his best thinking right now.

--

Miles allows Jules to take his glass easily enough, and it probably has nothing to do with the other Winter being his king. "Leave it, Tris. You need rest. I can only imagine he does as well. You can check on him tonight. I won't even complain if you invite him back here." Not that Tris would probably care if he did, but whatever. Miles pours a bit more into his glass as he asks, "Are you hungry? I can make something while Jules tends to your hand, if you like." It won't be as good as anything Jules could make, but Miles can microwave something better than he can tend a wound.

--

"Still not sure about this business of making friends with vampires." Jules pauses, here. "Less sure about making friends with that vampire. And the way that vampire was looking at Miles. And--I should really find the first aid kit. They would have made sure there was a first aid kit, wouldn't they?" With all his poking about so far, apparently he hadn't thought to make a note of something like that.

--

"Yeah, I'm sure there's one. Maybe in the utility room?" The one with the extra fridge and freezer and laundry machines and all that expansive space. "Or in the kitchen here somewhere?" Tris might be basing his guesses about the first aid kit based on wherever he found it in his apartment that time he ended up wounded and tried to YouTube video teach himself to dress it. Tris' people may be fairly clueless about taste when it comes to their employer, but they've surely covered all the basics and a lot besides. The issue here is not a dearth of supplies, but an excess and where to find the one that's needed. The practical probably needs to come first because the rest might derail it. Among the practical is also, "Food would be good, if you don't mind." Whatever Miles can microwave has to be better than Cup O'Noodles (still the sum of Tris' culinary abilities)... unless it is Cup O'Noodles.

"Buster said he's been horny since he became a vampire. Doesn't sound like it's his fault. I don't think he's any more dangerous than some of the Lost we've met here. I don't know enough about the Kindred," OBVIOUSLY, "and I need to learn more. I like him, but I can see why he'd get along better with me than with either of you." There's a beat and then Tris haltingly offers up, "He knows that I'm taken. That I'm interested in only friendship." Because that's right, right? He glances from Miles to Jules, trying to study reactions, but one hand rises to rub blearily at eyes. "I should get my phone and text him. Just..." Obviously, he hasn't forgotten Buster's out there after all that and that he's worried about in, in spite of his partners' opinions about the vampire.

--

Miles isn't going for fancy, because he's probably not capable of making fancy food even if he wanted to. But he can throw some frozen burritos in the microwave to be ready whenever Tris decides to eat them. "I think you've got this well enough in hand, Jules. I'm going to see if there's anything I can clean in the bathroom, and then, unless you need me for something else before then, I'm going to bed. I'm glad you're home safe, Tris." It's only Jules that Miles pauses to touch a hand on the arm with, squeezing for a moment, you can do it, before he's continuing on to the bathroom.

--

"If the bathroom's too bad, leave it for morning and I'll get it," is the response to that arm squeeze. Jules is not going to protest that Miles shouldn't sully himself with housework at all, especially given his ongoing thing about how he is only visiting, but apparently he still considers himself the one who is going to be doing the heavy lifting in that department. He finally manages to track down the first aid supplies, or at least some of them, and sets about making sure that Tris' hand is reasonably well bandaged. "Really thinking I ought to be able to do some of this... not by hand. Should probably have learned long since, but you know, I always used to have Spring folk around."

--

Tris is inarguably tired, but his dark gaze follows both partners as they move about at their individual tasks. The Beast navigates himself to a seat at the counter, settling carefully after using his good hand to procure the microwaved burritos with no complaint and a murmured thanks. It's Miles that draws his eyes more in the end though, especially as he speaks and goes. The younger man's eyes briefly close, perhaps only because his hand is entrusted to Jules' care and therefore one of his partners has him.

When they open, the look is unhappy but not entirely bewildered. "Sorry to keep giving you reasons." He says after clearing his throat. "I keep messing up with him. I need to do better." At least he's not unaware of the problem. "I didn't want Buster staying the night in a place where there was an enemy I couldn't kill. The puddle of blood was... alive. It ran away from me." All of these words come quite slowly. It is a bit much for the changeling to process and that might be why his opposite hand briefly finds Jules' arm in a grip for grounding before he manages to move it to get a burrito in hand.

--

"Puddle of blood. Huh." Jules tidies up the box of supplies again and then--well, he seems neither in the mood for a snack or for a drink, here. He just leans against the kitchen counter and watches while Tris handles his burrito. "It's late. He's tired, I'm tired, you're tired. It'll all be better in the morning. Sure he knows how to find a safe place for the day if he's been around any time at all. He might have just come hoping to get something a bit more than friends out of you." A pause. "Not everybody's good at respecting boundaries, I hear." But he smiles, still.

--

"I need to find Phoebe and check on her, too. Or you do." He doesn't recommend Miles, for some reason. "I told her to run and then..." Tris licks his lips briefly but not because there are burrito crumbs there. "Then it got worse before it got better." Tris briefly looks the amount of shaken he really is - and it's not insignificant. The burrito is set down, unfinished. Maybe he lost his appetite. He stands, "Can we go to bed?" It's tired, so tired, and like he's really asking Jules to help him shoulder the weight of the world, to make the burden lighter for just a few minutes. The unbandaged hand rises to rub his face, the will to stay conscious fleeing. "I need you. Both. Please." And if Jules is willing, Tris will latch his hand into the Ogre's to be led the not yet wholly routine path back to their bedroom.

--

"If you're not going to finish that--" If Tris indicates he isn't, then trash it is. Can't just go leaving these things out in a warm climate, even in the winter. But that one last task aside, Jules is happy to give Tris his hand, and probably a great deal more physical contact once they get to bed. Of just the reassuring kind, obviously.