08.21.3013: Half Is Better Than None
Summary: Rook and Nitrim go to get new tattoos, and Rook meets her half-brother, Lincoln, for the first time.
Date: 21 August 2013
Related: None
Ithaca Lincoln Nitrim 

Zakk Pryde's Tattoo Parlour — Landings
See Log
21 August 3013

Zakk Pryde is one of the finest tattoo artists in all of Haven. His prices are extreme, but his work is entirely memorable. The shop is moderately sized, because the artist keeps his client list small, usually reserved for the rich and famous. It looks like what one would expect a rockstar's pad to look, black and red walls, ultra modern furnishings mixed with classic instruments and records as art. One wall is full of framed photos of Zakk with celebrities showing off the ink he put on them. The man himself is grizzled to a degree most older rockers are, with his hair still past shoulder length in dirty-blond feathered waves. He wears tons of silver jewelry and a little bit of eyeliner with his leather pants and half-unbuttoned white shirt.

Normally, Rook can't afford his work, but she takes tattoo sessions as occasional payment for her research and hacking services for the Cabal. Thus, the slight creature is here with Nitrim Khournas, who is providing that payment for her, to get a new piece of art. She's lying on her side in a chair, with a sports bra and sweat pants on, as Zakk's tattoo gun goes over her side from ribs to hip to emblazon her with a blue snake with a black bird flying out of its mouth. She doesn't even flinch at the pain.

Lincoln's been to several places today. For someone who dresses as Rook does and has her reputation, you'd think she'd be easier to find. Lincoln's dress casual, a loose fitting shirt, with several leather necklaces hanging from his neck, and a few silver rings on his fingers. His pants are just the right amount of tight. Pushing his way in, his dark eyes flicker to the wall, a small smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth. He's got one of those faces that's hard to place an age, he could be 18…or in his 30's.

With his long, drake-emblazoned coat thrown over a chair, Nitrim steps over from a wet-bar with an amber colored liquor on ice in a glass held in an overhand grip in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Wearing a loose-fitting black tank-top that shows off his tattoos and the muscle he's gained through his weeks of training as a squire. Pushing back a long, sheathed dagger on his hip, he drapes his body to straddle a chair and press his torso into the back, looming as he watches Zakk's work. "Look at you, Rook, you look absolutely in your element right now. Zakk, you're an expert—" Catching a shifting of the light, Nitrim lifts his green eyes from Ithaca's slender hips to see a newcomer arrive. The man looks vaguely familiar, if Nitrim's expression says anything.

Rook snorts at Nitrim. "Element is needles?" she quips at him with an arched brow. When his eyes shift, hers follow and she looks a bit confused at the terribly familiar face of a complete stranger. She stares at him with her black eyes boring into him.

Lincoln freezes. This was a bad idea. She doesn't look like she would want anything to do with this. Ah well, in for a penny…He'll give a half smile, not wanting to intrude while she's getting inked, that could be disastrous. And lead for a really awful reminder of the meeting, if it goes poorly….which is a strong possibility.

"No, element being getting tattooed. I'm really glad I was able to link the two of you up, he's good with your skin." Nitrim sidelongs to Ithaca, bringing the glass of whiskey to his mouth for a small sip. Always keeping one eye on the man that's entered, especially now that he seems almost hesitant, the Khourni lordling slips his cigarette into the corner of his mouth and motions over to Lincoln. "I think I know you," He starts, narrowing an eye to keep smoke out of it. "You work on the Ring, right? Minding a door from time to time?"

Zakk sits back, at last, with one final wipe of a cloth over Rook's freshly tattooed skin. "There, perfection. And it's not hard to work with her skin. I don't think this one has ever seen the sun. Makes colors take brilliantly," he notes to Nitrim, before offering the woman a hand up off the chair so she can go look in a mirror.

Rook listens to Nitrim's conversation with the stranger even as she moves to admire the new ink in a full length mirror. She only has one word for this piece of Zakk's work. "Truth," she murmurs.

Lincoln takes a moment to look at Rook's tattoo, not sure if he should think it's pretty or not. He's eyes slide over to Nitrim. Oh, Ball's of the Knight, seriously? Lord Nitrim? the bad boy of Khournas? His voice is steadier than he feels, but also makes any age guess swing closer to the younger. "The door, almost other things, ya." His eyes go back to Rook, knowing he just needs to do this, "You're Ithaca Black, right? Your mother was Nysa Black?"

Returning Zakk Pryde's nod, Nitrim leans back and offers an arm to Ithaca to help her rise as well. With his own skin being next on the dockett, he instinctively reaches to the back of his neck to rub softly in anticipation of the needle's sting. Eyes canting to Lincoln, recognition dawns on him as he suddenly remembers where he's seen the man before. His mouth opens in a silent ahhh; it's a realization that he chooses to not elaborate on. "I thought I re—" Nitrim cocks a brow, looking over to Rook. The unsaid question hangs in the air. IS she Ithaca Black? Fuck all if Nitrim knows for sure…

Hearing her name, her birth name, spoken has Rook whipping her head towards the stranger almost fast enough to give herself whiplash. Hearing her mother's name has her whole face twisting in a mix of anger and confusion. "Why?" she asks. She glances sidelong at Nitrim, since she hadn't told him her real name. She stands in an almost defensive posture her hands curling and uncurling at her sides.

Shit. this was such a bad idea. Linc narrows his eyes as well, especially at the fists forming at Rook's side. "My mother was friends with Nysa Black. I'm trying to find her daughter." His eye search her face, trying to see if there's anything familiar….maybe the cheekbones? Definitely not their skin tone.

Nitrim's brows knit together in a look of understanding that screams I guess she IS Ithaca Black. Who knew? Rising from the chair, he sets his whiskey aside after one final, satisfying sip and comes to stand beside Ithaca in a vague air of defensiveness. Still, the Khourni lordling is well trained, so he appear every bit friendly as he plucks the cigarette from his lip, smiling as he exhales to the ceiling, and offers Ithaca the cigarette. "A face from the past, Rook?"

It's the eyes. Those dark enough to be a shark's eyes. Rook looks at him carefully before she nods her head, admitting she's Nysa's daughter. "What for?" She lifts her arm as Zakk goes about putting a sealing film over the ink to help it heal. She takes the cigarette from Nitrim and shrugs. "Don't know him. Who?" she asks Lincoln, in regards to his identity.

Well, he's not been lunged at, he'll take it. Lincoln narrows his eyes at Nitrim, him being here isn't making this easier. Well, at least on Linc. "I'm Lincoln Dunne. My mother was Gabrielle Dunne." He'll search her face, hoping she might know his mother's name. Six knows that would make this easier. "She passed away a few years ago, and I've been going though her tablets. You mother and your's name was in it…." His eyes flicker to Nitrim a moment than back to rook, "Can we talk?" The implication is alone.

Rook ponders with a tight-lipped expression. She vaguely remembers Gabby Dunne. She shrugs. "They're cool," she notes with a jerk of a thumb at Nitrim and Zakk. Then she looks over at the Khourni. "Get your tatt." She gestures Lincoln over to sit on a chair near the tattoo chair as she takes another for herself, closest to where Zakk gestures for Nitrim to lie down.

Listening to Lincoln's explanation, Nitrim nods his head in a vacant, understanding way, and looks to Ithaca with an arched brow in an unsaid question. Clearly, his opinion is that whether or not they talk alone is up to her. He takes a step back from her, towards the tattoo chair, and lets Ithaca keep the cigarette. "Just don't go too far, Rook. I don't want you to miss out on this tattoo." Of course, this is Nitrim's attempt at giving her space. Watching them walk off, he sits and turns to Zakk. "Alright man, let's do this."

Lincoln frowns a moment, this is not how he pictured this. "Uh…ok." He'll sit, there's certain amount of grace to his movements. Nitrim would probably recognize it as something he's seen in Linc's place of employment. he probably works in several positions there. "Look….do you know a man named Martin Ellis?" He'll pull out an old tablet, fairly out of date, and after a moment will hand it to her. "It's opened, page 87 of her journal." He hates asking out loud, it's easier to just ask then to read it. If she looks, it's a poorly written journal, talking about Martin Ellis and how he's knocked enough of the whores where Gabby worked that he's been banded. And there's names. Including Nysa Black's. And a small sob story about how she should have listened to Nysa before getting involved with Martin.

"No," Rook says with a frown. Her mother never mentioned who her father was. She takes the tablet and looks over it, before she begins tapping on it to do a search on Martin Ellis. It brings up a photo from somewhere and then she grunts and nods. "Yes." She'd seen him a few times visiting her mother. Those were some of the times she was forced to hide in the closet or Gabby or one of the other whores would take her out for ice cream. Nysa was afraid of him seeing his own features in her daughter and taking her away.

Zakk turns the chair so that the back of it faces Rook and Lincoln, allowing Nitrim's dangling arms to wrap around the back of it while the tattoo work begins. With his head pressed against the side of the chair, Zakk looms over the noble and tattoos the back of his neck while Nitrim sips quietly at his drink.

Lincoln stops breathing for a moment, Ithaca's the first to give him any kind of response implying that they could be related. "Yes?" He's trying to not sound hopeful.

"Came to visit Nysa. A lot," Rook murmurs with a frown. "Why?" she hasn't put two and two together yet as she hands the tablet back.

Seriously?!?! Lincoln blinks and will lean back in his chair turning off the tablet, "I….because when he stopped visiting Nysa, he started visiting my mom. A lot." He'll keep his eyes on here's praying she'll get it this time, and not make him say it.

The calculations run in Rook's mind, all the possibilities why this is at all relevant to her. But at the end it's the eyes that clue her in. "Your father?" she asks with a knitted brow. "My father?"

Barely able to hear anything higher than a murmur with Zakk's tattoo machine buzzing in Nitrim's ear like a million mosquitos, Nitrim's eyes dance over their myriad of facial expressions. Blood hasn't been spilled yet, so it can't be all that bad, but from his perspective it looks like things are going well. Turning his head, Nitrim murmurs something to Zakk, which starts a quiet conversation while the work is done.

Lincoln nods slowly, thank the six! his voice is stronger than when he first came in, "Yeah…I think so. I mean…It doesn't mean we have to… be anything, if you don't want, but I thought…." a deep breath and he'll lean forward, leaning his elbows on his knees, "I don't have any family, 'sides this." He'll motion to the tablet.

It seems to take Rook a moment to digest. She holds a hand out to Zakk who stops his tattoo gun a moment, because Nitrim needs to hear this. "You're my brother?" she asks, blinking.

And Nitrim can't move his head. Instead, he breaks off the conversation with Zakk and quiets. The tattoo artist, gracefully, allows Nitrim the freedom to turn his head and lower his body back against the back of the chair so that he can watch before the artwork resumes. Knowing he definitely heard the word brother, Nitrim actually cracks a small smile. "You guys should blood test." He calls out to them, though in a friendly way. It would kill the confusion.

Lincoln gives Rook a small,'sorry' look with a nod. While she's not mad, she doesn't seem happy about the idea either, so he'll not start nay kind of celebration. His eyes dart over to Nitrim, unsure of the Noble's intent, even with the friendly tone. He'll look back to Rook, and quietly respond,"If that's what you want, we can." something in his gut is telling him it's not needed though.

Poor Lincoln. Happy isn't usually something Rook looks. But she shakes her head at Nitrim and gestures at the kid. "Look at him." The resemblance is clear, and he looks like her in all the ways she doesn't look like Nysa. "I have a brother," she states, as if needing to hear it outloud. She seems stunned.

"Well I'll admit you two look alike, but I still suggest you run the genetics. If there's ever any question, it'll lock that into place. Perhaps I'm just a stuffy, paranoid noble. I'm sure in the right part of town I've got ninety-some cousins." He flashes his teeth to them in a broad grin as he jokes, getting his point across. "Not that this man seems to want anything. I'm not suggesting that." He raises his glass to them, saluting. "How about I buy you two dinner tonight to celebrate, perhaps I could float off and give you two time to get acquainted?"

Lincoln frowns, who is Nitrim to Ithaca, anyway? Isn't he betrothed? He'll look back to his sister and drives a small smile, "Up to you. Whatever you want. I have the day free."

"Have nothing to want," Rook points out to Nitrim. She shakes her head at him when he suggests leaving. He can see in her eyes she's mildly freaking out on the inside. She doesn't know what to do in this kind of situation. It's about as foreign to her as their food is to the Hostiles. "All go to dinner," she suggests. "After you're done," she adds to Zakk.

"It's not that large a tattoo, just detailed." Nitrim calls out, his eyes shifting from Lincoln to watch Rook, carefully minding her facial expression. In an outward display of conspiracy, the noble's eyes wash over to pure white while he speaks with Lincoln. "Rook has few things, but I'm sure in the days going forward it'll be nice to have family. Just be gentle with her, Lincoln. She'll be new at this."

Rook senses: Nitrim sends mentally. Are you okay, Rook? Are you okay with this? Do you want me to stay near?

Lincoln looks between the two, getting a little uncomfortable with Ithaca's curt sentences and Nitrim's sudden use of some kind of awakened power. Maybe Ithaca has some kind of speech thing, like his reading? Linc studies Rook, he may not know her, but part of his job is to read people, and Nitrim's words aren't comforting him. "We don't have to…I just thought you'd want to know." Narrowing his eyes, he'll look to Nitrim, "It's not like I know what the hell to do in this situation, either."

Rook's eyes wash over white as well, the pair clearly both awakened. "New to this, yes. No real family. Nysa," she searches for the right words. "Not much of a mom." She grimaces. "Don't talk much," she admits to Lincoln.

Nitrim senses: Ithaca sends back. Please stay. Never had real family. Don't know what to do. Scared. Nervous. Happy? Is this happy? she sends a wash of emotion that is more like hope.

Rook senses: Nitrim sends Yes. That's happy. You don't send it often. I'll stay close, just tell me what you need.

Nitrim senses: Ithaca sends back. Help me talk to him. You understand me.

"Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln…" Nitrim drolls with a viper-like smile. "…if you don't calm down I'm going to have you hung from your small toes. Get over here and pour yourself a drink. Would you like a tattoo?" Nitrim motions to Zakk with a grin, for the money the man's kept well fed indeed. "Ithaca and I have known each other for a while. She's…spent a lot of time alone. Try to see how much she puts into those few words she says. She says a lot more than she used to, but she's never had many friends or loved ones. She's had a hard life, and this will mean a lot to her, I assure you."

Rook senses: Nitrim sends How's that? Did I do good there? Consider this emotion a mental hug. Tell him something about yourself. He's nervous.

Nitrim senses: Ithaca sends back. Yes. Thanks. There is a warmth sent to him of gratitude.

Lincoln nods to Rook, "Yeah, from what I heard she was a lot like mine. No one's winning any awards there." His head snaps to Nitrim, he's never heard of the noble getting violet at the brothel, but isn't going to let the man theater him, either way. He's quickly stand, again, there's grace to it. He'll not respond to Nitrim, but does glare, instead he'll turn to Ithaca, "I don't know if he thinks he's being funny, but that's not going to help. He threatens me again, joking or not, I'm out." First rule, if it feels dangerous, it probably is.And he has no back up here.

"Work with computers. Not much with people," Rook tries to explain. "Not many words," that she has to convey what is in her head. "Numbers easier." She sighs. "Stop. Joking. Means he likes you."

"Seriously, Lincoln, I actually meant this. Come, get a drink and a tattoo if you want it, and I'll take you two out for dinner. I've never actually strung anything up. I'm not one of those nobles with the tilted nobles and the looking down. Your sister is my best friend. Quite possibly the best I've ever had or ever will for that matter." Nitrim lowers his head to take a sip from his glass. "You should be proud of her. She's a luminous soul."

Rook senses: Nitrim sends warmth back, followed by an almost cringing emotion. I think he doesn't get my humor. That or he's heard of my reputation. That or…Rook? I've been to brothels before. You should probably know this, but I've never treated a woman like a slave nor been with one I thought was one. I think that's where I recognized him from A pause. …and I haven't purchased services at one since the war started. I'm actually friends with some of the girls here in Landing.

Nitrim senses: Ithaca sends back. He's a whore? She seems a little bit confused. She didn't see too many of the men when she was young and then they moved her into Hermeticism training. That's a good job, right?

Rook senses: Nitrim sends more. No I think he's the security. Some whores make more than nobles. Some make less than you. It can be a hard or soft life…till the money stops coming in

Lincoln still looks uncomfortable, but will watch rook as she talks. "I'm rubbish with computers. All that looks the same to me." which is actually true. Studying Nitrim after considering what Rook said, "I have been strung up. It's not as pleasant as I had hoped it would be. Not really a funny joke." He'll then move to get a drink. HE doesn't even really look to see what it is. His favorite is what ever is there, at this point.

Is that a blush? Is Rook actually BLUSHING at Nitrim's compliments to her. She reaches out a tentative hand to Lincoln's arm, and the touch is very quick, birdlike. "Sorry. Not good with things," she whispers, dipping her head in an almost autistic manner. "Want to try though. Get to know you."

"As have I, Lincoln. A few weeks ago I nearly had my head taken off by a hovercart thrown at me by a Hostile. Stabbed twice. Shot once. In fact, I have just recovered from a broken leg. If you'll pardon my black humor, but when things are bleak and complicated it helps when you make a few jokes." Adjusting his shoulders, Nitrim lets out a sigh and calms, watching the two siblings interact. "But if it offended you, Lincoln, I apologize. I have a habit of not knowing where I'm stomping my feet. Rook will say it's because I'm an ass. Being an ass covers up the neverending pit."

Rook senses: Nitrim sends quietly. I am very happy for you, Rook. He pauses. Do you still want me to call you that?

Nitrim senses: Ithaca sends back. yes. I am Rook. I chose Rook. Nysa chose Ithaca. She seems very relieved he's still here in her emotions.

Rook senses: Nitrim wraps Ithaca's mind in a comforting emotion. Take advantage of this. He's your brother, Rook, not mine. Just let me know where I can help. You -are- my best friend. Don't be afraid to ask.

Lincoln takes in everything, from rook's blush to the touch to Nitrim's apology. He'll give Rook an honest small smile, "We can. We will. It'll work." He sounds awfully sure. A small chuckle escapes Linc, Nitrim took that is a different direction, "Well, I suppose medically strung up would suck worse." He'll snort, "An ass huh? I've heard you called worse, no worries." HE'll turn back to his sister, "Do you have any questions?" He knows more about her than she knows about him, only fair to let her go first.

"Ass. Yes," Rook confirms. "Wellmeaning ass," she elaborates. She looks between them. "Should meet for dinner tomorrow night?" she offers. She needs to sleep on this, to process it properly. At the request for questions she swallows. "How old?" she asks him.

"I've heard worse, yeah. I've been called worse, far publicly. What they don't tell you in the papers, Lincoln, is that I have a public face and a private face. I don't mind what they call the public face." Nitrim laughs quietly, downing the last of the whiskey and setting it aside. Zakk is just finishing up, and is preparing to start the healing patch on the tattoo. "For what it's worth, you two, congratulations. Don't waste it."

With a bite to his lip, Nitrim nuzzles his forehead into the tattoo chair and his eyes slowly peel away to normal again. He lifts his tattooed shoulder in a shrug and looks from Lincoln to Rook. "I'll make reservations at some place that is good, but not stuffy. You two should be loud and be yourselves and not get stuck in some fake restaurant. Tomorrow works for me."

Lincoln rolls his eyes, but there's undertone of humor in his voice, "That's the worst kind of ass's, the well-meaning ones." Linc considers making her guess, no one ever gets his age right, but, that's not a way to start, "I'm 22. Birthday in Feb. Tomorrow night will be fine, I can get it off, I'm sure." He'll just beat Ren till he gives him the night off. He'll hesitate, but nod to Nitrim about the restaurant, "That's fine with me."

Rook moves to grab her jacket from the chair it was on, and she digs out a blank business card and a highlighter. She swipes the highlighter over the card and it reveals an email and a phone number. She hands it to Lincoln. "Call me Rook. Go by that now. Have for a long time." She pulls on the tank top she'd worn over the sports bra, not like she really needs a bra whatsoever, and then the jacket over that. "Need sleep. Work in morning."

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