|Characters:||Chastity & Slip|
|Summary:||Slip answers some questions for Chastity. An agreement is made.|
|Disclaimers:||The player is aware that dreamcatchers might not actually have any mechanical effect.|
Slip is not a morning person, wherein 'morning' is properly quantified as anything before noon. Or three PM. Or dusk. Whatever hour this is? It's not natural. Still, when work calls, the chatelaine answers. And so she's dragged herself out of bed and into clothing, managed enough make-up to not look like the walking dead, and ventured out into the world. Her black tee shirt declaring KINDA PISSED ABOUT NOT BEING A MERMAID really sums up the vague why-am-I-awake grumpiness that clings to her, paired today with denim cut-offs and an impractical pair of well-worn black leather boots with studs on the sides. And a good deal of black and silver accessories, including a locker key around her neck and a glass pendant in the shape of a hand with an eye in the palm right below it. Her glasses are still on when she shuffles in, but she's still fairly easy to pick out from among the run-of-the-mill sleepy brunettes. Her skintone is odd, for one, and then there's the faint movement of large, pointed ears just barely peeking up past her dark hair. Definitely not human. Her attention settles on the most obviously tall blonde in the place, starting low and working up, eyebrows arching above her cheap shades as she goes. Is this Charity's sister? Best head over to ask. "Chastity?"
Chastity is overtly looking over each person that enters. It's surely getting her a fair amount of attention - intense stares from hot blondes rarely go unnoticed. But her attention quickly moves to the next person as she concludes 'probably not Slip' to each passing face. Until that one stands out. And then, she's staring right back? Yes, this surely is the woman. And so Chastity pushes off from the counter she leans against, to stand tall, and stare down at the other woman. "Probably," she answers, with a sweet smile. "I can probably help you get wet," she adds.
Slip's lips, painted a fairly sedate shade of burgundy, skew left in a sleepy little grin at that offer. "How about we start with you buying me a drink." It takes her a second to connect that thought to its logical follow-up, pushing her sunglasses up into her hair to glance at the menu and ask for a, "Large iced caramel latte?" That was up there, right? Reading's hard at this hour of the day. That done, she points to a spot at the bar with her brows arched inquisitively, wondering if they'll be sitting here or snagging a table.
"Whatever will help," Chastity answers, her sweet smile turning smirky. She then looks thataway, following Slip's gaze. She responds with a faint shake of her head, and looks the other way. "Find us a table? Somewhere remotely private?" she asks. Then she turns, to step forward, to order. Surely she's got Slip's order. That and a coffee, black, will complete the order that she hands off to the barista.
Slip understood Chastity's answer. Surely, she can be forgiven for the slight delay in complying which allows her a couple seconds to enjoy that turning and stepping forward and all that leg and so little denim. With a little shake of her head to clear it and make room for appropriate business, she turns to wind through the tables to one toward the back, near shelves filled with games nobody's up for playing just yet. It's as private as she's likely to manage in so public a place. While she waits, she gets out her phone to shoot off a quick text or two. And not stare at people she's meeting with in some official capacity.
It doesn't take long for the drinks to come, and then Chastity is turning to find where the Lost had slipped off to. There she is! The blonde steps on over, and sets both cups down, then slides into a seat opposite Slip. One leg crosses over the other, and she perches, straight-backed, in her chair. She wears that soft smile. "You are decidedly pleasing to look at," she says, her tone soft and curious. "No fur, feathers, claws, quills, steam vents..."
When she catches the sound of Chastity's approach, Slip clicks her phone screen off and sets it face down on the table, turning a sleepy--and rather grateful--smile up at the coffee-bearing blonde goddess. The first half of the wolf's observation is met with a quiet breath of laughter and a faint widening of her pale green eyes that may well read look who's talking. She pulls her cup closer and stirs it with its straw, just in case the sugary syrup hadn't mixed in fully. Or just to fidget while she talks. "Remind me to keep my hair down," comes with a smirk. "Sounds like you've met a few of us. At least three, I'd guess?" Sip.
"At least three," Chastity answers, with a faint nod. "Many, many more... in a past life. But here in New Orleans, it's been a little different. A lot less hostile," she decides. "Which is why I am contacting you. MacKenzie suggested you'd be a good source of information and assistance, particularly with questions I'd rather not ask my sister directly. There's just certain matters you shouldn't rely on family for." There's a pause, then a head tilt. "I'm sure you understand?"
Vague curiosity flickers across Slip's features at the mention of previous hostilities elsewhere, but she doesn't actually ask. Nor does it look like she's particularly inclined to ask, that fleeting interest let go as readily as it had risen. With a shallow smirk, she shakes her head. "Not really? But I haven't relied on my family in a long, long time, so." She takes another sip of that sugary drink then nods. There's a subtle shift in her expression, a suggestion of more attentiveness, more wakefulness. Business mode engaged. "How can I help?"
"Mmm," is Chastity's answer. How do you explain family to someone that doesn't have one? She doesn't try. "My sister is strong and capable. She is the most competent person I know. But-..." A breath. "The rest of the family is of a different nature. We are strong and capable in ways that... I mean no offense... but you lot can hardly even imagine. We are simply not well versed in... your kind," she says, her tone careful as she attempts to pick the 'right' word. "And, as such, I need to know... how to keep my sister safe. How to keep my family safe. How to deal with those dangers that come from... that other place?"
Slip's smirk skews wry at the assurance that no offense is meant before the imagination of changelings is brought into question. It wouldn't be productive to note that most can't imagine the depths of what the Arcadian-made Lost can imagine. That surely wasn't the point. Beneath her hair, one of her ears pivots toward the door as someone else enters, an absent gesture to keep tabs on their surroundings while her gaze remains focused on Chastity. "Your sister is gonna be the best authority on how to keep your sister safe. I won't speak to that." Her lips flatten for a second before she moves on. "As to dealing with the threats from the thorns and beyond? Mm. Don't make promises you don't mean to keep. Don't make deals with people you don't know and trust. Always have a loophole, an escape plan, a contingency. Hang dreamcatchers above every bed and check in on people's dreams when you can, if you can. And know where the handiest piece of cold iron is." It looks, for a second, like she's considering adding more to that list, but she stops there for now and takes another sip.
Chastity's look turns *unamused*. That, in response, to Charity knowing what's best for Charity. The blonde's face is expressive and open, and it's likely clear that she's heard this answer before. But, then, Slip starts listing things. Chastity's eyes go wide, and she's quickly pulling out her iPhone. She starts keying in some short-hand notes. "Cold iron?" she asks, a moment later. To say Slip has her full attention would be an understatement. The eyes that lock on Slip are intense and maybe... just a touch violent?
Slip isn't about to back down over one displeased look from even the prettiest and most intense of werewolves, that ground held. Maybe in part because she does mean to offer up useful information about Arcadian threats in general. Surely, the straightening in her seat is just a mark of professionalism and not an answer to the inherent threat in Chastity's attention. "Easier to find in old cities like this. Primarily iron, hand-forged without the aid of machinery or magic. It'll hurt your sister, too. Badly. So, careful with it. But it'll also hurt the things that hunt us, the things that take."
"How?" Chastity asks, her brows remaining peaked. Clearly, Slip is playing all the right cards, and she has the she-wolf-blonde in the palm of her hand, as it were. "Sorry, how does one *use* this iron?" she clarifies.
The left corner of Slip's lips quirks upward just a smidge like she's got a smart-assed quip waiting behind that smirk. What comes out, though, is a direct answer: "As a weapon." She sets her cup back down and rubs her condensation-damp hand on her hip without thinking. "It burns on contact. Not the sort of thing you wanna leave lying around. But wielded as a weapon? Especially in the hands of one stronger than my people can possibly imagine?" She grins and tilts her head, curious. "Are you worried there's some current threat?"
"Oh," Chastity answers, before giving a light, melodic laugh. Surely she imagined it was more complex than that! But she nods, yes, she understands. And then, a question. "Not current, nor present," she says, her expression sobering. "There was a threat, back home. Which is why we are here. Among other reasons."
Slip's dark lashes dip low as she smiles crookedly, sleepily for that lovely laughter. Any pretense that her straightening had been all about presenting herself as professional fades when she relaxes as some of the intensity of Chastity's attention abates. She nods slightly at that reasoning, quiet for a few seconds before wondering, "Do your people have a way of looking in on dreams?"
"Mmm." Such a confident answer. "I am assuming... no," Chastity decides. "There are those of us that receive visions... that see things, in their dreams, sometimes. But... that is not what you're asking?"
"No," Slip confirms, "though we do have some of those ourselves. I was actually saying the other day, to one of our, uh, oracles? That maybe we should organize some sort of cross-faction group. Of seers. And maybe other things, too. Places where talents intersect, but I'm getting off-track." Her smile flashes apologetic briefly. "When we dream, any of us, not just Lost, though... mm, maybe not vampires?" She squints a little at that, shelves the thought for later. "When most people dream, they have this sort of self-contained place in their head that's all their own. Oneiromancers call this a Bastion. Every Bastion has a door into the Dreaming Roads which means that all dreams are connected and, more worryingly, that all dreams connect back to Arcadia. It's a means of infiltration and influence. It's why we need oneiromancers, people who can patrol dreams, keep them safe. If you notice anyone acting strangely or not sleeping well, worth reaching out to someone in our community, see if we can go in, look over the Bastion and its door, make sure everything's well."
Chastity is listening, to be sure. When 'seers' are mentioned, she gives a faint gesture, fingertips moving toward her own chest, just above the line of her tube top. Self identification, it would seem. When 'vampires' are mentioned, she merely makes a face. She doesn't much care for them, it seems. "Hm," she finally answers. "And the... dream catchers? They help with this?" she asks. "Does it need to be something special, or can we just go down to the mystical thrift shop?"
Another flicker of curiosity crosses Slip's features, though it doesn't entirely hide the way her pale-eyed attention lingers a second too long on that striped line across Chastity's chest before lifting to meet her gaze again. "Probably better if it's made by an oneiromancer?" sounds uncertain. She might be straying from her own area of expertise. "But any precaution will do. Like adding a chain lock to the Bastion door."
"I'll purchase a few, then. Each room of the house," Chastity says, with a confident nod. She then flashes a smile again. "I cannot express how grateful I am, Slip," she says, her tone so very open and honest. "I am ... somewhat ... romantically involved with one of your kind. She is extremely skittish and protective of me. She ... tends to think I shouldn't do a thing without her assistance." Beat. "Meanwhile, my sister and I are... a bit competitive." There's a moment to consider this, then she gives a faint shrug. Neither here nor there! "Anyways, the result of these attitudes... is a lack of open, honest communication. Everything is tangled up in-..." Her eyes roll and she flicks her fingers dismissively. "Feelings."
"I get it," comes with a little wobble of her hand. "Sort of." Her gaze dips, briefly, to the puddled ring that has formed around the base of her cup where the condensation has pooled. When she looks up again, she flashes a smile and moves on, offering no elaboration pertaining to her own experience or personal life. "I'm glad I could help. You've got my number, should you need anything else."
Chastity stares... there's something going on behind that intense gaze. She might have missed the end of the conversation entirely. Finally, she starts again. "Will you take me?"
"Right here?" Slip quips, eyes flashing wide with feigned scandal. The humor fades quickly as she asks earnestly, "Where?" rather than assuming she understands which thread of conversation that question is tied to.
Chastity leans forward. That dangerous look is back. For a moment, it looks like she might jump right over the table and... well. It's hard to say what she'd do, but mouths would be involved, without a doubt! "To the other side," she says, her tone heavy. "Through the Thorns. To the dangerous place."
Slip doesn't look inclined to bolt at that threat. To the contrary, she gives a tiny little nudge to her cup to suggest clearing the way, to imply invitation. Which might make it a bit confusing when she says, "No." With a little shake of her head, she explains, "If you mean Arcadia, definitely not. And if you find anyone who says they will, they're either lying, stupid or looking to do you and yours some grievous harm." Canting her head, she continues, "But if you mean the Hedge?" She's quiet for a few seconds, considering before she asks, "Why? To what end?"
Chastity's eyes narrow, and the threat of mauling (in the literal sense) goes up a tick. She doesn't move, though, as an explanation and clarification comes. She just gives a faint nod. Understood. And then the question, that has her huffing out a breath. "To see it for myself," she says, agitation now brimming in her tone, where so much sunshine and happiness was just minutes ago. "Your people keep saying I do not understand, as I've never been. I'll have been. I'll have cause to tell those wankers to fuck off. I'll be better prepared in the event that my going there is *necessary*."
Slip frowns faintly at the explanation offered, expression almost apologetic. "There'll still be a lot you won't understand," is sympathetic. "Like how we'll never know what it is from your side, what you see, what you experience. You'll never know what it means to be changed by Arcadia, to lose your memory, to have parts of your very soul torn from you." Her lips flatten for a second before she nods. "But you could at least see the thorns, how the Hedge reacts to those in it. Give me some time, and I can make that happen."
"I will take you to the Hisil," Chastity counters, in a hushed tone. "Show you the place where emotion and intention shapes the very world. Where *idea* is given form and flesh. Where nothing is *not* alive," she says. Then she sits up straight once again. "I believe we will find we know more of each others' world than we realize." And then, the smile is back! "I would greatly appreciate it, love. And I will, of course, be in your debt. Should there be anything you desire, just name it, and I will do what I am able to satisfy you."
Slip isn't particularly prone to blushing, but there's something about those soft, whispered words of thought and vibrance that brings a burnished blush to her otherwise pale cheeks, drawing out the metallic undertones more prominently. All she offers, there, is a nod, agreement to that exchange, admission of curiosity. What follows is easier to address, a sly smirk accompanying a quip of, "Careful, gorgeous. Desire's what I do best." A little lie, a downplaying of the things she does better. "Were I a more unscrupulous individual, I might take that 'anything' and bind you to it."
"You can bind me to my best effort," Chastity replies, her own smile going sly. "I assure, it will disappoint, but-... Who doesn't need a little disappointment in their life?" she asks. Then there's a nod. "I am grateful for your help and pleased to have met you," she says, businesslike in those words. "And I look forward to our next coming together."
Slip's smile widens at that clever point about wording, the awareness of the loophole left in. That smile then goes damned near ear to ear at the promise of disappointment which follows. "Yeah," is a lot more casual. "This was worth getting out of bed for." She lifts her latte as if to toast, to issue some sort of thanks for that, then finally turns her phone over, a notification light blinking... and a very verbose text flashing across the screen when she first clicks it back on. There's other business waiting, it would seem.
"Let's hope I can find something worth getting into bed for, in the meanwhile?" Chastity asks, and follows those words with an air kiss. She then gives a nod. "Right then," she says. Which is English for 'this conversation is officially over'. She rises to her feet and offers one more smile. "Stay safe, love. I'll be in touch."