Logs:I'll Take the Awful One, Thanks

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I'll Take the Awful One, Thanks


Characters: Darcy & Slip
Date: 2020-05-21
Summary: Darcy shows Slip a couple possible apartments. She picks the worst one.
Disclaimers:

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "So I got a job, finally. It's not bartending, but it'll do."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Tell me it's stripping. I've got all these tips I need to tuck in somebody's undies."

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "HAH! You wish. Nah. I got a building manager gig up in Seventh Ward. It's cushy."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, ":( :( :("

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "The world is lesser for your sensible career choice."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "What sorta building?"

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "I'm sure."

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "Apartment building. It's not much, but it's something. It'll get better."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Yeah? That mean you've got your own place or do you just work therE?"

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "I get my own apartment outta the deal, yeah. Bottom floor, near the entrance."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Nice."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "I'm still looking for a place. Sorta. I dunno."

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "Yeah. I'm pleased. Sweet gig for my kind."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Territory thing?"

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "Yes. Well, there's a few empty places here if you wanna come look. I got a line to the different owners."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "What's rent like? Income's picking up with the city reopening, but still not stellar."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "And how long will I be locked in?"

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "Rent's pretty good, especially given how close the place is to the quarter. Depending on which apartment you want I can probably talk the owner into a 6-month thing to start? Maybe 4. Assuming less is more, gfiven your phrasing."

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "I'll take pretty much anything with some privacy and lack of complications if I can get it cheap and short-term."

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "Well, you can come down and see if it fits!"

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Are you looking for an excuse to see me, pretty?"

<text> To Slip: Darcy sends, "You're the one dreaming about me taking my clothes off. :P"

<text> To Darcy: Slip sends, "Fair. What's the address? I'm putting clothes on."


By the time Slip is coming up on the building, Darcy is sitting at the front steps. He's got a basketball between his feet and is in a pair of basketball shorts and shoes, with a light trainer jacket on top of a white v-neck with a breast pocket. He dribbles shortly against the step his feet are on.


Slip's rocking a summer goth look today, with black denim cut-offs beneath a black tee featuring a bat hanging upside down inside a rib cage, with worn-down black boots with studs on the sides and all her usual black-and-silver accessories. Her dark make-up is mostly hidden behind dark shades, only the muted crimson lipstick providing a pop of color today. It certainly highlights her smile as she crosses from where she parked over to where Darcy sits. "Hey there, hunter."


"Hey there, tinkergoth." Darcy smiles and rolls to his feet, catching the ball on a rebound off the floor and tucking it under his arm. When she's close enough, he leans over and presses a kiss to her head. "How you holdin' up?"


Slip leans into the affection, soaking it up like a flower might drink in the light. With a shrug, she answers with an airy, "Alright," that doesn't seem much of an answer at all, a hollow statement that skims past any genuine consideration of her current state. "How about you?"


"I'm pretty good, actually. Some things are better, some things are hard. But all in all, making some headway." He nods at the door to the building, swinging his non-ball-holding arm around her and starting up the steps. "Come on. Six floors, one old-ass elevator. I don't suggest particularly _relying_ on it, but it works fine. And six flights isn't too much, compared to other places. Still a hike for some people." Him, he lives on the bottom floor, so.


"Something like that," Slip agrees of Darcy's assessment of his own life, like the same could be said of hers, but it's got the same noncommittal quality as her own answer. She falls into step next to him easily, arm slinging absently around his hips while they head in. "I'm not picky. If somebody's not willing to risk life and limb in an ancient elevator or walk six flights of stairs to see me, we probably aren't gonna get on all that well anyway." She might be joking. Maybe.


"Truuuuuue dat. I personally think you're worth nine, maybe _ten_ flights of stairs," he teases, hipchecking her. "Lemme change and I'll show you the one I think you'll like. Hold on." He stops at apartment 101 and pops the door open, slipping inside. He leaves it open in case she wants to go inside, but heads into the bedroom to change.


Slip issues a contented sound when Darcy adds a few more flights to her worthiness, the murmur shifting into a laugh at the hip-bump. As they head in, her ears tip and tilt to get a sense of the acoustics, of how much she can hear going on inside the building without magically amplifying her senses. She might continue to look around the lobby, take in the mailboxes at the front, consider the state of the elevator, were it not for how her attention is drawn toward door 101, temptation presented. Very pointed temptation, on the wake of her teasing about wanting to watch him take his clothes off. But no, no. She stays focused. She really is looking for a room, and keeping to that business is probably for the best. For now.


Darcy doesn't take long. He's back out a minute or two later in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He didn't shower, but he wasn't too smelly in the first place and deodorant is a wonderful invention. Darcy closes the door behind him and then says, "I think either 201 or 402 are your best bets. 201 is on the second floor, not many people like it. It's -- got some issues. But you'll be left the most alone there. You'll also _want_ to be more and more alone, so maybe not a great choice. 402 is higher up and there's a lady with a loud toddler on the other side of the floor, but she's good people. Almost everyone in the building keeps to themselves, from what I've been able to tell in the past few days. Not a lot of _sharing_."


By the time Darcy returns, Slip has made her circuit around the lobby and has returned to the mailboxes to shamelessly snoop on names and decorations, to guess which apartments are vacant and who might make decent neighbors. She already has an ear turned toward his arrival before he steps back into view, her gaze slipping his way--and up and down his frame--as he closes the door. Hands in her shorts pockets, she moves to join him, toward either steps or elevator, and crinkles her nose at the mention of a noisy kid. "Sensitive ears." That might not be the best spot for her. "Not that I haven't managed sleep in plenty of loud places anyway. Just that given the choice..." Alone sounds a whole lot better. On the surface.


Slip adds, "Place where I've been staying has a whole lot of sharing, which can make it hard to find any real privacy. Can't leave my space without crossing through shared space, and given that I've got responsibilities to those people, I don't always want to risk getting snagged on my way through." Which is to say that keeping to themselves doesn't sound inherently bad to her either.


"Well, the kid is loud, but he's on the other side of the floor. Might be able to put in some noise dampeners on the wall? But we'll check the second, see if you like it." He starts up the steps. Elevator's not worth it for a single floor. It's a short trek. He fishes out a set of keys and flicks through them. "Now, 201 is the one I said, but you should -- well, come here, so you can see what you'd be dealing with. I mean I normally wouldn't care, but I like you." He smiles at her, scrunching his nose as he steps in front of apartment 204. Once she's near enough, he opens the door.

It's like opening the door into a humid and hot summer's day after spending hours inside with the AC on max -- except it's not heat wafting over them; just loneliness.


Slip lets Darcy take the lead. Because he's the one showing her around. Not at all because this gives her a good view of his denim-clad ass. That's just a bonus. "It's not a big deal," she says of the potential noise. It's just a preference, from the sound of it, rather than a proper problem. As they move past 201 in favor of 204, her curiosity is certainly caught, especially given how very little activity she hears on this floor, one ear sweeping wide beneath the fall of dark hair. "Feeling like maybe I should worry," has a joking tone to it, even as she feels the stillness of the second floor creeping out around her, foreshadowing for the harder hit to come.

She isn't ready for the way it washes over her, that sense of isolation, of being unseen. How it claws at the edges of missing memories, at the emptiness the thorns left inside of her, the hollow core of an identity half-shaped in some faraway, terrible place. She falls still, silent, and just stares. She's probably fine. It's just... it draws on indefinitely. Should Darcy speak, she doesn't seem to hear him. That can't be right. She hears everything.


Darcy doesn't speak. Not at first. He waits for a long moment, and then pulls the door closed. It doesn't get rid of the _feeling_, but it certainly helps to block out that wafting sensation. He locks the door and then slides an arm around Slip's shoulders from the front, turning her away with a tug at one shoulder and walking with her a few steps away, waiting for her to come back to her senses. Or at least get control of the one that's going haywirre.


Slip starts when Darcy touches her, pale eyes blinking and refocusing on the elodoth. She musters a small smile which quickly grows into something broader, a bit more comfortable. But she doesn't sink into the comfort of his arm around her shoulder the way she otherwise might, keeping her own hands in her pocket as she lets him guide her away from that far too familiar feeling. "That's not so bad," she lies in that airy way of hers, like maybe it won't be so bad, like it might be something she could get used to. The closed door certainly helps.


"Uh huh," Darcy says, clearly not buying it. "It's not as bad across the floor, but over time, it sinks in. That's the thing I'm here to both protect and, with some help, change into something more positive. Or at least, not as fucking depressing." He furrows his brow. He _chose_ this place, apparently, because it actually has a mission for him. Being a werewolf doesn't seem to be all shapeshifting and hunting down pretty fairies. "You wanna check the one on the fourth floor first?"


Slip angles a faint frown up at Darcy, acknowledgement of how he's called her on her bullshit, but without any attempt to offer up anything more honest instead. Not about herself, anyway. "That's a good goal. Very spring of you." Alright, maybe a little about herself. She leans in a bit, briefly, a little nudge at his side, and nods for the offer of checking out the fourth floor as she asks, "How did you find it?"


"I heard some weird stuff might be going down and when I got here, I found Charity, her sister, Taylor, and that Lucas guy. We walked in. Spirit was causing all sorts of problems. So we kicked it out, Lucas ate the other one, I think, and then I just came back a few times to see how people were doing." He shrugs, making his way up the steps at a decent pace with her. "When I noticed the company in charge didn't have anyone posted, I inquired."


"Yeah?" Slip says round about Taylor's name getting mentioned. The three preceding Lucas are familiar, to varying degrees, but the rahu at the end is as yet an unknown. It's that last detail about the stranger, though, that catches her curiosity. "You can do that? Eat spirits?" Which has her then wondering what isolation would taste like, how it might feel in the mouth, how it might settle in the stomach. There might be a poem in there, were she more artfully inclined. "What's involved in making it... less... that?"


"Well, same thing's involved in making anything less one thing and more another. A place like that is a lot like a person. First, you respect that it is a place of its sort and that there is a reason it is that way. Then, you try to change the surroundings, slowly, to fit a more positive ambience. Eventually, you go in and you do the same in the actual area. With time, patience, and a lot of spirit-wrangling, you can turn it around." He shrugs. "And yeah. Spirits get eaten all the time. By us, by each other." He stops at the fourth floor. "That's Kate and little Josh," he says, pointing at 406, "and that's 402," clear across the floor.

There's a thump coming from the door of 406. "Dammit, Josh, people'r gon' think I hit'cha you keep headbuttin' the door like that." The voice is soft, but audible to honed ears like theirs.

Kate's complaint makes Darcy smile slimly. "She's having a hard time. Husband died a few months back."


This may well have been a pointless trip, climbing those two extra flights of stairs. Funnily enough, it's not Kate and Josh that tip the scales against 402, but rather Darcy's explanation of what's happening in 204, what he means to do with it, that tips the scales very heavily in 201's favor. She smiles shallowly herself, a hint of sympathy for the stranger on the other side, but she turns toward the building manager and tells him, "I'll take the other one." Sight unseen, evidently. "Think I'll do more good down there." Nevermind the way her lips flatten faintly at the awareness of how little good down there might do her. It's brief, anyway, broken by a brighter smile as she notes, "Besides. It's right above yours, right?" Surely, she'll never succumb to the temptation of eavesdropping on friends. "We can communicate with morse code through the floor. Ceiling. Whatever."


Slip appends promptly, "Assuming we can wrangle a short term lease. And rent I can afford."


"I'm not responsible for the things you end up hearing," Darcy says with a laugh. "201 is owned by Marshall Johnson, retired M.D., surgeon until the day he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. He's seventy-two and he will tell you you are _very pretty_ without it sounding creepy. It is a _feat_. He'll be thrilled someone wants to pay rent at all for any stretch of time." Darcy doesn't fight her decision; he just nods back to the steps, heading down. "You oughtta look at it first, anywho. It's a lot like mine and 204, just... somewhere in middle, chipper-wise."


Slip breathes a mild laugh at Darcy's description of her potential future landlord, teasing back sweetly, "Bet you could manage it, too," with an encouraging smile. That lasts for all of half-a-second, no genuine expectation to go with it. She follows as he starts back toward the stairs without question, possibly appreciating the lack of attention drawn to how little chance she gave the fourth floor spot, but she came into this biased. And maybe needed a little distance from the locus to let the way it affected her to really sink in, the journey not entirely without purpose. "I've stayed in some pretty bad places. Fairly certain this isn't gonna be the worst of it. Which isn't to say I don't wanna look."


"I wouldn't tell you you're pretty," Darcy admits, spinning once mid-step, hand on the bannister. "I'd use other words. Like 'hot'." He wrinkles his nose with a grin. "Maybe," he sniffs, putting on a show, "aromatic." Every syllable pronounced. And then he laughs, jumping down the last few steps and shaking out the key for 201, holding them out for her as he pulls out his phone. It rings once-- twice-- and then: "Hey, Doc! It's Darcy from Rampart. Yessir, I _am_ the pretty one." Maybe it was the 'general' you.


Slip feigns momentary heartbreak at that initial denial, left lip pushing slightly outward in a suggestion of a pout, not yet fully formed. The prospect of other words has her pale eyes widening, her smile skewing left at the first selected. She definitely smells pretty today, that promise of a spring evening that always surrounds her filled out today with notes of rum and tobacco, leather and chardonnay, all settled on a sweet low note of tonka. It's a scent of indulgence, the sort of thing one might want to sink into, better suited for darker hours, but she wears it well. She takes her time finishing those last few steps, eventually collecting those keys as she smirks at that confirmation of identity. Even she, after all, calls Darcy pretty; it's simply well-established fact. Rather than banter further or wait for the go-ahead, she makes for the door to unlock it and head in, to get a lay of the space and how she might fill it. With all the next-to-nothing she owns. Good thing the apartment's small.


It does not come pre-furnished, though there is an old fridge, currently unplugged, and what looks like an old, wooden filing cabinet in the corner; the kind libraries use for the Dewey Decimal cards, or doctors for the patient cards, back in the day.

Darcy leans against the frame of the door as she looks around. "Doc says we can use a four-month contract for --" He shoots off a number. It's not expensive. "-- and see how you fit, if you like it, etc., extend later if you like. And I can help you move, of course. Anything heavy's gonna have to come up the stairs." It's just one flight.


"It's not about liking it," echoes through the empty bedroom into which Slip is peeking, taking a look at the size of the closet, the unignorable absence of a bed. With a gesture toward the relative direction of apartment 204 and its bad vibes, she says, "It's not even about that." Shrugging, "I had plans," has more weight than she meant to convey. "Not really ready to give up on that entirely just yet. Figure I'll know one way or another by fall." Her smile's slim, not particularly optimistic. Whatever it is has the shape of something old, already half-abandoned, just not quite enough for anything else to take its place yet. "And I don't have anything to haul up. Don't have much of anything at all. Been traveling real light for the last few years. Never had occasion to buy furniture before."


"I'll let you know, Doc. Thanks." Darcy hangs up and smiles at Slip, crossing his arms over his chest and staying against the frame of the door. "I can talk him down to three months. He's just happy to have someone. And I recently had to purchase furniture so I know a place. If you want the apartment, it's yours, and I'll help you out. Fridge works, too. Doc says the heater might be an issue but I can take a look at it or get it fixed before it gets cold, if you stay that long."


Slip shakes her head at the offer to talk the lease terms down. "No," is too certain to suggest it's just a matter of not wanting to inconvenience anyone. "End of September's good. Four months from today puts us at the edge of the equinox. Four months from June first, however he wants to do it, gives me time to move it autumn proves promising." A very fairy way of telling time, making decisions. Moving by the season. Her smile's shallow but present as she nods, confirming, "But yeah, I want it. And I'll take you up on the help picking out furniture. Got a little cash from a job that went sour earlier in the month. Partial pay. Enough to get me a bed, at least." More than that, and she knows it, but no harm in downplaying it now, splurging later. "He say when I can move in? Or when he'll have paperwork for me to sign?"


"Y'all got a peculiar way of telling time, anyone tell you that?" Says the guy whose accent drops like a ton of bricks when he's not noticing. "It's all electronic now. We can fill it out online, swing by the Kodak place and print it out, you sign it, we get it scanned, send it to him, and it's done." Darcy smiles. "I got it on my computer downstairs." He beckons for her to give him his keys back. "I got your copies downstairs."


"Nothing weird about moving with the seasons," asserts the changeling matter-of-factly, sure of this, but probably not willing to go toe to toe if Darcy wants to further contest that. Slip follows without question, passing the keys over with a sly look which denotes her awareness of the fact that he's gonna have a key to her place, a flirtatious edge that easily masks the genuine comfort in knowing he's around and responsible for the place. "Might miss the front-door access to the pool at my other place as summer sets in," she considers idly, but it doesn't sound like regret. Just an idle surface thought to keep her from sinking lower, into all the complicated feelings swelling as this who deal gets closer to being finalized.


"If I get the roof all cleaned up, maybe all you tenants can help me pitch in and we'll buy one of those thousand-gallon standing pools, stick it on the roof, have ourselves a building party." He sticks his tongue out at her as they head back down. "Though, now I know you have access to a _pool_ and I haven't even been invited. _Wound_ me, Slip. _Wound_ me."


"I have access to two pools," Slip corrects with a smirk as they leave one apartment behind to head to back to his. "And a whole lot more if you add in my willingness to make use of any motel or hotel pool in the city, whether I'm renting a room or not." With a considering cant of her head, she wonders, "What are your top two criteria for the perfect pool?"


"Oh, _two_. Doubly wounded, then. Mortally so. Surprised I'm even standing at the moment." He leads her back into his place with a laugh. "Uhm. Long, so I can do laps, and deep, so I can dive. I prefer the ocean. Lemme get you logged onto this thing so you can fill it out."


"If you feel like you're gonna swoon," the darkling murmurs. Without taking her hands out of her pockets to actually back up the unspoken implication that she might be there to catch him. Slip closes the door behind them once they're inside, taking some time to take in what Darcy's done with comparable space. "That's an easy mark to hit," she tells him of his pool preferences. "You okay with strangers or prefer some privacy?"


"Lots of pools in L.A., you start looking for the basic stuff." He sets up the laptop on the countertop dividing the living room from the kitchen and waves at it. "All yours. You want something to drink?" He circles behind, to the kitchen. The apartment is, dimensions-wise, exactly the same as the one she's renting.