[MH] Master of Disguise? [Te S2:4.2]

edited April 2014 in In-Game
You and Ashley showered together right? That must have been an interesting experience. Being with her in the water like that must've reminded you of Myrii, at least a little. After getting herself together, Ashley kisses you again, several times, tells you she loves you and reluctantly says goodbye, ready to walk into the face of...whatever. She hoping, actually, that she'll get a chance to talk to her Dad first, but...

It's after she leaves that you remember the phone. The missed text is from Adam.

* We need to talk. - AW
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  • Interesting, I guess. A little desperate, and - I don't know - I guess kind of reminding me of Myrii, yeah. I'm telling her, you know, it'll be okay, we'll work it out, her mom is number one priority and everything. I'm telling her she should call her dad. And then I'm in the parking lot watching her drive away, and ... well, I know what I need to do. The King. The King promised that I could fix everything with Ash's mom if I took care of the knife for him, and now he's back with me: I can feel his strength around me like a cloak, all full of power and protection, and I know that I can do this.

    The problem is Eric. But ... the only problem is Eric. I can do it.

    I'm checking my phone and, uh, oh. It's him. I don't have time for that, I have things to do. And I know I can't brush him off forever, but I can ignore him for right now.

    That's what my head's telling me, but at the same time: I'm standing here alone in the parking lot. The King's power is around me, warming me though I'm not quite dressed warm enough for the cold, sharpening my senses so that I can smell the wintry forest smells from the woods starting out by the back lot. And that music is around me, the three-part harmony of the magic the King wants me to work, and the first part - Adam's part - is strongest. I want something from him, I want -

    My thumb hits the call button.
  • The phone picks up. There's his breathing, a slight hesitation. You can tell, even over the phone that after what happened between you, he isn't sure what to say.

    His voice is gruff.

    "Teddy... Where can I meet you? You need me to pick you up?"
  • With my free arm, I hug myself against the cold, look down at my toes.

    "What do you want? We can ... we can talk like this."
  • "Teddy...." sigh. "What's the matter, don't trust me? You told me what was probably your biggest secret yesterday."

    "Look, I need... There's things I want to know. And there's something going on with you. I can't explain how I know that, but I do. Whatever it is, you shouldn't have to deal with it by yourself. I"ll help you. And I have something to give you. Are you home? I'll be in your parking lot in 5 minutes."
  • edited May 2014
    He hears just, like, a really long pause. Maybe he's even starting to wonder if I'm even still there. And I'm, you know, on the edge of saying no, telling him to stay away from me, but ... I look back at the apartment building, thinking about Mom, thinking just, what other adult can I even look to for help? At least Adam, I don't know, I guess I have some kind of hold on him (though it feels very, like, fragile and dangerous). And why'd I call him if I didn't want anything from him? Why did I call?

    I don't know. But there's that silence, and then I say, "... Okay."

    And I end the call. When he gets here, though, I get in the car.
  • Five minutes later you're in the passenger seat of a shabby but clean, blue Ford Explorer. You can tell he's spent a lot of time in this car.

    But it's maybe the energy between you that has your attention: tense, hot. Last night is written all over his face when he looks at you. Even now his eyes darken with something... desire you think, but you can tell he's fighting it off. He won't look at you too long, but it's like he can't help but do it every so often. And it's that thing again, isn't it? Like last night: this isn't Brad, it's not a 'guy', he's an adult man. And he's into you, even if he's conflicted about it.

    You buckle in. He reaches into the storage container in the hump next to him and puts a semi-transparent white sack in your lap. Pulling his hand back a hair too quickly, as if it might do something he doesn't want it to.

    "There's a coke for you." He gestures at the bottle that's sitting in one of the cup holders behind the shifter.

    He starts to pull out.

    "Where are we going?"

    When you open the sack it's a package of emergency contraceptive. The morning after pill.
  • edited May 2014
    Well ... fuck.

    What do I do? I'm sort of, I guess, reluctant to acknowledge or whatever that this is a, a thing - that this is between us. But it's real, and there could be, you know, consequences. I shoot him one glance, and then don't look at him again as I crack the foil and, um, just dry swallow. Leaving the bottle. I'm kind of keeping my motions small and tight, close in to my body, trying not to give him any reason to, uh, to want anything of me.

    What does he want from me? Where are we going? I don't know, he came to me, not the other way around.

    When I can't use the Plan B to stall anymore: "Just ... I don't know. What's going on?"

    I give the Faery King a String in order to realize a secret about Adam Walsh. Reveal one of his secret fears, secret desires, or secret strengths.
  • A secret fear, huh?

    Adam's a loner, as much by circumstance as by choice, perhaps more. He grew up a military brat, always moving. His mom passed away when he was young. His dad fell apart and committed suicide a few years later. He and his brother were taken in by their grandparents, now gone too. His brother was killed by an IED in Iraq only a few years ago. His best friend died in a drunk driving accident. His fiancee went nuts when they lost their child. He's charming person to person but not extroverted, and he doesn't make friends easily.

    The way things have been going these past years, he's pretty sure he's going to die alone. He's afraid he is anyway. He doesn't understand why he has this strong emotional connection to a sixteen or seventeen-year-old girl. (When is your birthday, anyhow?) It makes him feel a little slimy, his attraction, his desire. But he feels compelled to try and help you. Maybe he's just looking to take care of someone to make himself feel like he has a purpose in the world. He hasn't examined it too closely, what he wants. He's afraid to. Bad things happen to people he cares about. At the same time he can't just stand by and do nothing.

    Just for fun though, I'll say you understand a strength too. If anything it's his intuition, and his ability to recognize patterns and figure out the picture. He makes big leaps, but he's often right. It's served him well in his career, and well in reading people.

    He glances over at you.

    "You tell me. What happened between us last night wasn't....wasn't normal. The end of it I mean. Marsha left a lot of occult shit around that place she was in. There was a bunch of stuff about witches and fairies and magic. And I dismissed it all as another part of her problems. But after last night... If there is magic in the world, that was it. I felt something... I don't know, sort of behind you... some kind of presence." He shakes his head. "It sounds crazy, but it's real, isn't it, and you're mixed up in it pretty good."

    He pauses.

    "Why were you down in the basement of that house?"
  • When he shoots me another glance after that, I've straightened up and relaxed a little. I'm not as tight and closed off anymore, and I'm looking right at him, meeting his eyes. I'm wearing like, ordinary clothes now, like a pair of skinny jeans and a big nubbly sweater ... but I don't know. Maybe just yesterday, I would've looked all stick-like like that, but right now my collar shows a scoop of pale neck and hints of a tight white undershirt, and my legs shift distractingly as I put my real attention on him.

    And my eyes are dark, and flecked with gold.

    "Why ... why do you think I was down there?
  • Turn him on, too:

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )

    xp (4)
  • And a string, of course.

    His eyes darken more, he swallows hard and jerks his eyes back to the road, and shifts in the seat for what a glance towards his lap confirms is a perfectly understandable reason.

    He shrugs. "You took something. I never saw what, exactly. There's... something in that place."
  • I'm like:

    "... Yeah. Something. You don't really wanna talk about it. It's dangerous - it's safer if you don't know."
  • He looks at you again, eyes flashing.

    "It's not safer for you. So I do want to talk about it. Maybe I can help. Just... tell me."

    The vehemence of the first sentence is remarkable. He's awfully... protective.
  • He has to look away, but he can feel my eyes on him, piercingly deep, and I'm sharp as a knife: "I don't -"

    I spend a String to make him falter or hesitate. I'm still just a human, so there's that, but my tone has this spark of anger that he thinks I need him, that he's automatically more prepared for this than I am. I can't rely on any adult in my life, so I can do this on my own ... I have to. And anyway: I have the King. I am strong.

    "... I don't need your help. I'm not just some little girl, I'm not afraid, I don't need you to - to protect me. If you weren't already involved ..."

    I pause, and I kind of stare at him for a second while he's faltering or whatever, just kind of getting control of the situation and letting him feel my eyes on him.

    Then I'm telling him, slowly, "... The thing at the house. It went to Marsha, and it told her it could give her her baby back. That's why she did ... it made her do some horrible things, and that's why everything ... happened the way it did. It gave her a knife too, this evil black-looking ... knife. I was there for the box, this box for closing up the knife and stopping its, its power or whatever. I'm going to break it, and ... that's it. I can handle it."
  • He was maybe about to speak, interrupt you, but yeah, he hesitates, uncertain, as you spell it out for him.

    His jaw tenses, and he blinks long when you mention the thing giving Marsha her baby. He's quiet for a moment too, after you're done. He's more distant now. Contemplative.

    "Okay. But why?" He asks quietly, not looking at you again. "Why even mess with it? Like you said, it's dangerous. Why not just leave it be?" He pauses. "Who is putting you up to this?"
  • "... My grandfather."

    A long pause before that, and another one after. I'm looking away, just looking out the window, out at the street.

    "I owe him a lot. And he ... has power. He protects me. And kind of watches out for the island. And ... there's Ashley. I want to protect her. I'm going to protect her."
  • "Grandfather."

    He glances at you at moment, then back at the road, jaw tightening. It's clear he knows you're not telling the truth, exactly. I mean, this guy is a reporter. And your real grandparents aren't exactly... well are they even alive?

    But he nods. "Good. She needs someone to look out for her. Her parents... " He glances again, musing grimly. "They've never been great, far as I can tell. She totally lives and dies for them, but..." He shakes his head. Sighs. "If she didn't look like her mom, I'd think they'd kidnapped her. In fact, I looked into it at one point. She wasn't in the system before she was six. Birth records were lost in a fire. Thought maybe she was some kind of foreign adoption, and the resemblance is just a coincidence. Russian maybe, or Czech. Didn't find anything else though, and the fire turned out legit. Couple of other girls lost their records at the same time."

    You realize maybe that you've never seen any baby pictures of Ashley. I mean she's seen some of yours, right? Some sleepover or something. What did she say when you asked about hers?

    He's quiet for another long moment.

    "Marsha wouldn't let me help her either."
  • I brush that aside:

    "You - why are you so interested in Ashley? How would you know all that? She's just, like, your intern - you're stalking her or something?"

    I'm all challenging here, but maybe not one hundred percent. I have a tone where it's like, maybe I'm kind of stalling, being confrontational to give myself a second to think if I want to open up. Though maybe it also depends on what Ashley is to him.

    She told me, like, her parents lost a photo album or something? Maybe that wasn't it ... maybe she's wasn't that sure either. I guess her little brother was the favorite, so maybe they just - no, that's stupid, he wouldn't of been born then.
  • His jaw muscles twitch again. "Contrary to what you might think, teenage girls aren't usually my thing." He pauses a moment, then: "When I started looking into what happened to Marsha I also investigated everyone she mentioned in the crazy stuff she left behind. Including both Ashley and her mom, and something about it just didn't... sit right. So I did some digging." He glances over again. "And then she called wanting to intern, so I took her up on it. I was trying to look out for her. She's a sweet kid, and she tries so damn hard to get people to love her... especially the folks."

    He blows out a breath.

    "I would say the old 'If I were 15 years younger...' line, you know. But truth is I wouldn't have pursued her at that age. She's the whole package: sweet, smart, beautiful and athletic. She's almost unnaturally perfect." He chuckles a little bitterly. "Too damn intimidating."
  • edited May 2014
    I'm silent for, I don't know, a while. I was watching him out of the corner of my eye, but now I'm looking out the window again. Where's he driving, can I tell?

    After a minute, I say, "I don't know how you can help. I have a job to do, but it's not ... I just need to, um, meet a couple certain people. I guess if you want, I need to meet a friend over out in the park. You could drive, uh, up to the school."

    I give it a second, but then because I don't remember Marsha really saying much about Ashley:

    "What did Mar-, what did she leave behind about Ashley?"
  • Yeah, actually he's driving out to the woods. That same parking lot by the head of Eagle Lake that you met Marsha in. He doesn't seem entirely cognizant of that though.

    But he realizes he's already on the way there once you tell him where he can take you. You feel a certain... amusement. Not yours.

    "Uhm...Not a lot. I mean most of it seemed like gibberish. She had several girls she was watching and keeping track of. Ashley was listed, with her Mom, with a Roman numeral 5 and some other glyph I couldn't read. And a bunch of notes about her, like she'd been watching her. She had a few other..."

    His voice fades as he thinks about it. He shakes his head. "Shit. I'm an idiot." He glances at you. "She had seven record books dedicated to Mother-daughter pairs she was watching. Well six. She hadn't found the last woman, or her daughter. But two of the other girls... they were the ones with lost records. I didn't think to check the rest of them against those records. Aubrey Benton and .... something Carmichael. Summer maybe? I remember it was a season. Anyway, I gather they're all supposed to be witches and they serve some kind of... um... fairy."
  • I shoot him another sidelong glance.

    "... Ashley's not a witch. I mean obviously, she's totally normal. There's some girls who are, but ..."

    But the fairies hate them, and anyway I know Ash isn't one of them. Whatever. I guess I think about it a little, but it doesn't matter that much - I don't really need to figure it out myself. The King will know. I slouch down into the chair, leaning against the door and staring out at the winter trees. It's better to focus on what I have to do right now. I think the conversation kind of dies like that, with me just waiting until we reach the trail head.

    Somewhere in there, I tell him, "Thanks. You didn't have to do this stuff."

    Just saying it kind of out of nowhere, after a long silence and not really responding after that.
  • He stops in the lot. Looks around. Sighs. Looks at you.

    "You want me to wait? Or maybe come back?"
  • edited May 2014
    I'm like kind of shrugging while I unbuckle and pop the door to the Explorer. I step out, Doc Martens crunching in the blown snow, and I look around a little, getting my bearings.

    It's cold. I'm not really dressed for it - I don't have a coat or anything, just jeans and a sweater. The King's presence around me helps, but it's really kind of less that it makes me warm, and more that I just don't care too much that I'm cold. And all the carriage roads are closed this time of year, they aren't shoveled or anything, so it takes me a second to even see where the path is in all the snow. It's not that hard, though - I think I could find my way to Myrii blindfolded.

    Then I turn around and look at Adam through, you know, the open car door. I go ahead and meet his eyes, mostly.

    "... Um, look. You should go. It's dangerous, like more dangerous for you than me - nobody's protecting you. And I don't, uh, really think there's much you can do to help anyway. And you seem nice."

    Kind of creepy, maybe, but nice.

    "But if you want to come, I mean I can't ... I won't stop you."
  • His mouth quirks on the 'nice.'

    He considers you a moment. He turns and pulls at stuff in the back of the Explorer, then unbuckles and gets out and comes around the front of the SUV. He holds out a jacket, one of his. It's not perfect, but a little extra insulation.

    I'm assuming you move towards the pond, or Nyx's hiding spot first?
  • I don't know. I'm kind of thinking ... I feel like Adam isn't totally here for his own reasons? Like maybe the King wanted him here, helping me somehow. So I guess I have questions. I mean, what's going on here? When the knife is gone, what then? Will the dark power in Marsha's basement just be gone? Or what?

    So I think I'm going to do a thing, something I don't think I've exactly tried before: I want to talk to the uh, well, to my great-grandfather. And without being, like, high on anything, or in some kind of weird place in my head.

    What I'm doing is, I'm taking Adam's jacket, sure, but I'm just kind of shrugging into it, not closing it up or anything. And while I'm starting leading him into the woods, I'm kicking off my Doc Martens and picking them up, just kind of carrying them hooked in my fingers and continuing on in my socks. I figure, if my grandfather is kind of also the island, then feeling the ground or whatever under my feet, that might help, even if it hurts. It's like cutting, maybe. There's that feeling of control, you know, pushing through pain and taking total control over something, like you body or, whatever.

    I'm going to take 1-harm and +2 to communing with the King, but before I do that I guess maybe Adam might say something or whatever. Just before I start off and while I'm doing that with the shoes, I'm saying, "Just let me lead and do this ... I'm going to talk to my grandfather, and introduce you to someone. But there might be some weird things, okay?"
  • Well, yeah. The ground is mainly freaking cold. And wet. And Adam frankly thinks you're nuts for taking off your shoes in a Maine winter, but once you give him your turns he quiets down, nods in response giving an uncertain "Okay."

    He's clearly ready to pick you up if he thinks you need it. But for now he's willing to follow.

    So you're communing then?
  • Yep.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+5 )

    xp (5)
  • Just showing Holly how the pros do it. The visions are lucid and detailed (what's really going on here? what use is Adam?), and whatever the King shows me it shows me that I'm not really just a human.
  • edited May 2014
    So I push out into the forest, my socks getting all wet and freezing, just kind of focusing inward with everything dropping away but the step, step, step through the snow ... and Adam's footsteps behind me. It hurts, but I'm using it - reaching out, stretching for answers. I'm not really even sure where I'm going. Maybe I'm going to Myrii, or maybe I'm just walking, finding my way to my grandfather.

    In fact, I'm going to learn and use a new move. I spend one of my Strings on Adam, and I take him across the veil into the faery court.
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