|Characters:||Jacob, Gast & Slip|
|Summary:||Jacob enlists some help on his initiative to get the freehold official representation in the Accords.|
The dark haired Fairest sits out on the deck as he waits, smoking a cigar and watching the ripples on the water below. He's dressed more casual now - dark jeans and a t-shirt - but he hasn't lost that sense of confidence. He taps his foot against the beam of the porch to a tune in his head, blowing out smoke rings, entertaining himself until his guests arrive. If they arrive. His demeanor seems to say 'waiting' more than 'given up' though.
Gast's car might not be the best fit for the neighbourhood. It's well maintained, sure - nothing that would warrant a second look from an officer looking to hand out a ticket or issue an inspection. A silver, 2003 Honda Civic. Anonymous on most roads, cheap, and fuel efficient. And for the most part, even the interior is regularly cleaned - an extension of duty, for the investigator. An instrument for his work, not subject to lifestyles outside it. The radio has five stations favourited for selection, and is left to Slip in the passenger seat to choose from or ignore them for further exploration until they pull up into the driveway of the house toting the for sale sign. He might have voiced consideration for parking elsewhere in the neighbourhood, only to walk the remaining distance. But there's enough people stuck at home that he doesn't risk the nosy interloper that might report a strange and dated vehicle lurking about.
He exits from the driver site. Black suit jacket, black pants, black shoes, and a skinny black tie - another fitted suit, plainer and more forgettable for its lack of any pop of colour. Ditching the jacket, he might just seem to be a late convert wishing to prove himself as a missionary - and that notion couldn't be further from the truth, when he opens his mouth. "And I'm just saying that it's probably not regicide if the crown is made of thorns." Is this a back and forth? Is he just relating a conversation he had with someone? Or overheard? Who knows. Aside from Slip. He lifts a hand to wave to Jacob, after, closes the door, and prepares to lock it.
Slip isn't actually Gast's shadow, but she may as well be tonight, a sliver of semi-substantial darkness following in his wake, whether officially invited to this tete a tete or not. Her attire tonight isn't far removed from the last: dark jeans, her same beat-up old boots and an off-black tee shirt, this one with the phrase I <3 Pretty Boys on the left breast, where a pocket might otherwise rest. The very picture of informality next to Mr. Black Suit, she even has her hair pulled up today, a concession to the heat and humidity which leaves both of her odd ears exposed, their vaguely batlike shape easier to see without her dark tresses obscuring them. "One little crown is hardly a death-of-a-thousand thorns situation," she quips back in apparent agreement, but that conversation is coming to its close. Dead like the remixed Duran Duran that had been playing when they pulled up, one of the local stations evidently playing an 80s dance party tonight. She starts for the porch while Gast sees to the car, the shadow getting away from its source. "Nice place! Love the sign out front."
To be fair, Jacob's chosen house is a bit off the beaten path. They have some privacy. And Honda's are great cars,, even if Jacob has a Jaguar parked in the garage. The house is nice, and secluded. Meanwhile, the Fairest looks a bit like shit, with his jeans and t-shirt, his week old beard, his disheveled hair. Like very pleased shit.
He stands when he spots them approaching, extending his arms in a welcoming gesture, then heading down the stairs. He pauses at an ice chest and pulls out a couple of bottles of beer, tossing one to each of them. He's loving this American way. "Glad you came. I'm going to cut right to the chase here. You offered your services and now I'm going to take you up on them. I need..." He spots Slip then and he smile widens. "The sign's temporary but I think I'll stay at this place for a while. What can I say? The southern charm is growing on me."
He offers Slip a wink, but he's motioning for her to join them, and them both to join him. "I have a plan to fix the Accords. To become official. But to pull it off, I need your help. I need names of who supports the Accords and who doesn't. Past transgressions. Most importantly, I need precedents. Precents to those of us who have upheld the Accords, and of others who have not."
He pauses a moment as they reach the deck, pouring them each a drink, then offers them around. Whiskey, with sour available. "Why is this any different than any other time? That's what you're asking. What's different is that you're working with me. I know how to make this happen. But in order to do it, I need your help, and your trust. I've spoken freely now, taking a risk. So, will you do the same?" He smiles. He seems confident, sure of his answer, although someone good at reading people might feel his nervousness, might know he's rolling the die and hoping for the best.
Gast locks up, takes a quick look back from the vehicle, toward the road - a grunt at the conclusion that Slip presents, to the conversation. Good point. The aperture of his eye widens, to the darkness, and shrinks as his vision sweeps across streetlit segments. The gentle whir hardly straining in this perpetual state of readjustment. And then he follows in Slip's wake toward the porch. His footfalls are dulled on pavement, the soft grips of his shoes working toward that effect. Slip's sound-shadow in turn. A dulled echo of her boots on the ground as he follows. His posture, relaxed, casual - at home in his suit, as his keys are slipped into his pocket, followed by a hand on each side, thumbs hanging out from each. Words, Duran Duran, and his very attitude deters from the idea that he might be here to ask Jacob if he's familiar with the other-other good book.
He lifts his chin, acknowledging that he's listening, along the way, as Jacob meets them at the foot of the stairs. He sees the beer incoming and lifts a hand to pluck it from the sky - a confidence that speaks to an athletic familiarity. His hand hits the mark but doesn't close in time. A hearty smack of the palm, and the container is on the ground, rolling, impression left in pink on the skin. He shakes his hand out as he chuckles, no worries, and steps on after the rolling beer with just the slightest bit of visual tension knitted into his shoulders. He was athletic, once. Properly so. Now his breath rattles with the rasp of rust in his bellows. He picks it up, and listens in as he heads back over. Not opening the drink up, for now. Nodding at the whiskey on offer, instead.
"I wouldn't have offered if I weren't liable to hear you out," he offers. Like nothing just happened - like he didn't just play the slowest game of fetch with a rolling can on someone's driveway. He hears Jacob out - smile crooked, and amiable. "Was one that didn't seem keen on them. Tolerated," he says, an aside to Slip. Recalling the crowning. "Mostly a tone thing. Swore anyway, I imagine." That he's working out a starting point might mean he's agreeable. He flexes and unflexes the fingers of his struck hand. Can in the other.
Slip's eyes go wide when, quite suddenly, a can is sent arcing her way, that momentary surprise the only evidence that she isn't as capable as her two-handed catch of the beer makes it seem. It's like she's spent half a lifetime catching casually tossed beers. She has not. But she does have the sense not to open it after it's taken that airborn tumble, certain that's an eruption waiting to happen. Besides, she's distracted by the smack-and-thump of Gast's failed catch. And, ya know, maybe the fit of those black pants over his ass as he stoops to pick the errant bottle up. Springs. What can ya do.
Once on the porch, she sets the beer down--it's gonna need a minute--and accepts the offered whiskey as she leans back against the railing, settling in for the evidently big conversation ahead of them. "Made me wonder if there might be trouble, come summer. Which, really, might be our biggest hurdle. The Wardens approached us, but how do we guarantee our continued agreement when our leadership changes seasonally, when the Wyrd could choose someone who doesn't want to include the Accords in our pledge?" With a little wave of her glass, she murmurs, "But I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe you are too. Would you mind connecting the dots for me?"
Jacob watches the two of them. When Gast speaks, he looks in that direction, setting his own beer aside. He moves closer, within the unacceptable six feet, and then smiles at Gast. "Get me a list of those who are Accorded. Those who aren't. I'll talk with those who stand out. Hear the true stories." He smiles. "You see, we all have different skills. Yours is finding out the details. Mine is... after." He waves his hand and smiles. "What I'm trying to get at is that if we work together... Mr. Shiny Hat has given me just enough authority to make this happen. If we do our research, and if I'm the one doing the talking, then we might become equal in the Accords. But I need information."
He watches as Slip catches and sets the beer down. "Get me names, information, about the Wardens. Let me talk to them. We can win this one." He takes a breath. "I want the Accords to be fair to us, because they apply to all of us. Until we understand why the Lost didn't appear here until a year ago, until we find out why this is a black hole, then we need more information. The Accords will insure we have it, once we are fully accepted."
He smiles. "Equal terms. I can make this happen."
There might have been more pride in Gast for his failed athleticism, and the contrasts of nostalgia, had he known it earned a glance. He holds that beer idly, to the left of him, at his side - not to go to waste, but not to spray the contents about either. He'll probably opt to take it with him if the meeting finishes without his having opened it. Trouble come summer. He makes a sound that's agreeable with that prediction. She knew to whom that he was vaguely referencing. And she takes it further, to a politically finer point. More her skillset then his, that awareness of politics. He nods his understanding, following thus far. "The Accord would have to be signed by individual monarchs, on a seasonal basis. It'd give anything else out there an insight, though." Into the nature of their governance. A potential solution, and the downside. "And being transient signatories - that'd hurt the king's position, relative to the other big signers?" he asks, directing the question at Slip. He nods, though - yes, maybe getting ahead of themselves. He looks to Jacob with that question of hers, for what answers he might have, connecting the dots.
Jaw tense as he considers what he's being asked to do, until the implication that it comes from the king himself. He'll check up on that. But it's enough to make considerations by. And to plan with. "I'll start with reaching out to a Warden. Or some other official," he wonders aloud. "See if I can get a soft census to work off, on who among as are in. And go from there." Duty takes priority.
"That's what I expect, yeah," Slip confirms for Gast's understanding of her worry about the seasonal situation, the uncertainty of the Lost's collective reliability in regards to a long-standing agreement likely providing sufficient ground for others to worry. Of course, they also aren't predatory or territory-driven, like the other signers, which should help balance things a bit. When Gast indicates he'll reach out to a Warden or someone Warden-adjacent, she reaches over to touch his elbow, a silent indication that she either has reservations or relevant information. Who knows. It's hard to tell. Especially when her continued focus on Jacob includes a faint grimace. "I'll want to read over anything you write first. Or hear your talking points, your pitch. You might have the charm for it, but I have the experience. And the way you're trying to sell me on something I already told you I support has me worried." Never let it be said that the spring darkling isn't honest.
Jacob smiles at Gast. "But. What if there was a way to prove that the Lost have been nothing but supportive all year long, and we offered them someone who wasn't bound by a Court to act as a mediator? A diplomat, so to speak. A translator, whatever you want to call it. It could work. Because what we need is /solid/ representation. Our society is about adapting. We need to, or we'll find ourselves with no rights."
He dips his head a moment, then chuckles. "I know, I know. Doom and gloom. But... it could also be beneficial. At any rate, you don't have to decide today. And any inforation you bring will be well rewarded."
When Slip speaks, he looks towards her. He nods, his smile growing. "I wouldn't expect otherwise. This is something that will not be changed with one person's effort. We must work together." Says the Fairest. He's either an exceptional Fairest or he's still getting something out of it. He seems genuine, though, when he stands and says, "Think about it. We'll meet again in a night or two. Trade information. And then we'll see how we feel. No expectation suntil then except... do not talk about this. Agreed?"
"It might take one set of lips to sink that ship and let anything else out there know the divide between mediator and the wyrd-chosen ruler," Gast thinks aloud, back at Jacob. A squint at solid representation. Something that his tongue doesn't voice just yet. A touch to the elbow gets pause, acknowledging that he should wait to hear what Slip has to say on the matter. For good or for bad. Gast looks sidelong, her way, beer held steadily still; in the short term, if opened without due patience, a mess. In the longer, something to be enjoyed for the caution taken. A successful endeavor. Here, his duty is snagged. But he trusts in Slip to guide it right, tilting his head to her terms in indicating that he's behind that caution as well. The carefulness of stride to do what might only get the one attempt, right.
"We'll think about it," is about as much as he promises. He has the details to work over in his head, and Slip to hear out. And whatever had been giving his mind room to wonder at the idea of an official unbound by the courts; his eyes to squint, his brows to furrow and his nose to scrunch. "And thanks for the beer. Have more of these waiting and that whiskey, and we'll be right back over for the follow up." An amiable note to end on.
"A good salesman knows when the buyer's already in," Slip counters with a steadily held wariness. She washes that unease down with... well, all her whiskey, with practiced ease and only a little reflexive wince. Her expression resolves into something less hesitant, though. The dots did get their connecting, to her satisfaction. "I don't need time to think," contradicts Gast. "Not on whether I'm interested or not. The logistics, perhaps." But that's a bigger conversation that it seems they're gonna tackle tonight. "I like the idea of a courtless representative on the surface, but it falls prey to the same fickleness of Lost politics. A crown who doesn't care for you can undo your good work pretty quickly." As she sets the glass down to pluck up the beer, she allows, "Which is why the groundwork makes sense. See what we're working with." Finally, she nods, as if that might seal her agreement with the plan, with the request for silence. "We'll do some preliminary work and be in touch."