08.17.3013: Horror and Temptation
Summary: Nitrim visits the Ring and reaches out to Ithaca. The two continue to mend the cracks and revisit old ones.
Date: August 17, 2013
Related: None
Ithaca Nitrim 


RP Suite (Coffee House/Hotel)
Descriptions in scene…
August 17, 3013

When it comes to finding places to meet, Nitrim Khournas isn't known for picking the trendy, flashy places. In fact, many of his favorite haunts have low ceilings, recessed booths, and the pale stench of cigarette smoke that makes the venue feel far more like an opium den than a restaurant.

The coffee house on the Ring at Occulus that he's chosen is no different. Nestled far away from the overt trappings of the below-decks where Ithaca lives, the swanky nightclub district is framed with travelers, but the curious little coffee shop is a mere door between two larger storefronts. A set of metal, grated stairs leads down into the pit dimly lit pit that serves as a sanctuary, where coffee can replace the excess of nightclub life.

Having already sent a message for Ithaca that he's back on the Ring, bored, and interested in making well with their coffee meeting, Nitrim has nestled into a corner booth where he can watch the door and smoke like the sorcerous lizard he is…

Rook was surprised that the invitation came as quickly as it did. But it's a Saturday and she doesn't have to do any "off the books" work for LucCorp this weekend. She enters the coffee shop, her military-style heavy black boots clunking on the steps as she descends. She's in leather pants, her usual hooded tunic, and a leather jacket. Her hood is up, a cigarette is in her lips, and she has her backpack slung over one shoulder. She glances around until she spots Nitrim, and heads for his booth, sliding in across from him silently.

Sitting back against his half of the curved booth, Nitrim presses a shin against the edge of the table and wraps an arm around his knee. Reclining like he owns the place, he looks across the table to Rook and blows a cloud of smoke up and over her head towards the little smoke-eater unit that keeps the atmosphere clean. With a hand that is burdened with claw-like rings on two of his fingers, he takes up his steaming cup of coffee and salutes her with it in silence.

"Not next week yet," Rook points out, as if she'd been waiting for an explanation. She gestures at a waitress, points at his coffee, and points in front of her to request one of the same. She slides the backpack off her shoulder into the interior of the booth and watches him drink with those dark birdlike eyes of hers.

As if it'll explain everything, Nitrim's shoulders come up in a rather bored shrug before he taps the ashes of his cigarette. "And yet still you came?" It's a question, a rhetorical one. With a shake of his head, he sips his coffee and sets it down before him, letting the steam waft and cast a slight haze over his face if only viewed from the perfect angle. "I didn't feel like heading back to Volkan just yet. I think I'm staying here tonight."

"Trouble?" Rook asks, tilting her head to one side, her cigarette in one hand smoldering away. Seems she thinks there must be trouble back home to keep him here. Her coffee is set in front of her and she picks it up for a sip with the cigarette hand, sliding the money to pay for it to the waitress. "Thanks." The waitress eyes her like she's the strange thing she is before fleeing their company.

With a flash of his teeth, a half-scowl, Nitrim hesitates to answer her question. The way he slowly eases into another shake of his head suggests it's personal. He directs his gaze to a clutch of posters behind her head and draws his cigarette back to his lip for a drag. The end of the cigarette flares as the smoke draws into his lungs. "I'm just not up for it till I have to, that's all. My week's been long enough."

Rook nods simply. She doesn't push for him to talk. In her experience, if she's quiet enough, he eventually talks enough for both of them. She digs in her backpack for a moment and comes up with a keycard. "New codes," she explains. "Old ones compromised." When her handlers broke in to get their money, she had to redo the lock system. She slides the thin card across the table to him.

To retrieve the card, Nitrim's long, tattooed arm snakes out and presses a fingertip to the top of the card, pinning it to the table. Slowly, he drags it back over to him where he can take the card up and give it a look over. His eyes flit to her, a curious look falling over his features before he slips the card into the inner-breast pocket of his coat. "I'd return the favor with access codes for my own, but the Blackspyre is bogged with security and I don't exactly have to standing place anymore. I'm sort of rotating between three places now." Bitter humor indeed. "How've you been?"

Rook shrugs at his mention of return codes. "Didn't expect them." She sips her coffee and takes a long drag off her cigarette. She gestures at the card she gave him. "Drop offs, trouble, safer," she notes, indicating he's the only one who can get into her place if she's in there in trouble like an OD or something. The question has her looking a little perplexed. "Same?" she offers.

"Well I've changed the information for my little gift packages just to shift things around a bit, we could take care of that later, though," Nitrim replies, his lower lip pressing to the corner of his mouth as he blows a thin strim of cigarette smoke once more. Tired, more tired than normal, he leans back against the padded cushioning and lets his eyes lid nearly shut. "Nothing much changes with you, does it? Funny how that works, as I'm the one that's supposed to have all the stabilities and comforts."

Change needs freedom," is Rook's too smart answer. The brain locked up in that sociopathic body is really quite something. Her life is the real daily grind. She is stuck in its cycle due to debt, addiction, and the circumstances of her birth. Even were she to change one or two of those, the third would keep her right where she is.

"I've always taken the opinion that everyone's free for the first ninety days, after that we're stuck with trying to protect our bottom line." Nitrim retorts, leaving the cigarette in the ashtray. His long, tired legs stretch out beneath the table, and his arms fold across his chest as he tries to get comfortable. "Any good horror movies coming out? I'm trying to stay away from clubs and keep low, this is more your place than mine; you tell me."

"Oubliette for getting lost," Rook says quietly. The down below of the Ring is where no one looks for anyone, or at anyone. "My place?" she offers. "Cabin in the Arboren Woods, Exorcism of Emily Sauveur, Mother." Those are her movie recommendations. "Pirated them all." Of course she did.

"I don't necessarily want to get lost. I just don't want to be found for a little while, and it's either find somewhere to not be seen or go back to the hotel." Finally, his eyes crack open and he looks across the table to her. Her place? "Do you have the vids in a format that can travel? There's plenty of space back at the rooms," Yes, rooms. Rich is excellent. "If you're looking to get away for a bit."

Rook nods once. She can put them on cards for travel. She looks uncertain at the idea of going to his hotel but in the end she shrugs. "Sure." She doesn't even need to go pick up things. She has her essentials in her backpack, her new policy since she might need to vanish at any time if her handlers get cranky again. She stubs out her nearly expired cigarette in the ashtray and drains her cup of coffee.

Bringing his ringed fingers together, Nitrim steeples them before his face and leans in to press his eyes to his hands. Eyes closing, he lets out a quiet sigh and then reaches for his cigarette and his cup of coffee. It looks as if he hasn't slept well in a few days, and the coffee isn't helping it. "We have a stop to make on the way, come on." He replies, suggesting there's a new locker, a new drop point. It's not far from where they are.

Rook reaches over and puts her hand over the top of his coffee. "Enough," she states firmly. She gets up and grabs her backpack. She can tell he's in a bad way, and she's determined to help him help himself. She jerks her head towards the exit. "Let's go."

Not exactly used to being told 'no', a brief moment of annoyance crosses over Nitrim's features, but he lets it go. He glances down to his mug and slips the cigarette between his lips as he nudges his head towards the stairs that lead back up to streetside. Carrying around his black cloud on his shoulders, he leads the way down the street and into a bank of secured lockers. He flicks his cigarette, where it flies through the air and collides with the wall in a shower of sparks as he comes to a lean beside a locker marked 22. "New pass was in your messages this morning I'm sure you got it," Nitrim jerks his thumbs toward the small screen and keypad. She knows the drill. "Otherwise, everything lese remains the same."

Rook follows, like a second little black cloud in his wake. She looks at the locker and then reaches over to punch in the code. Clearly it's been memorized by her highly mathematical mind. When it pops open she takes out the contents and stashes them in her backpack without looking them over. There is some level of trust there still, apparently.

Everything so quick and business-like, Nitrim is already moving as she closes the locker door and the auto-locks engage. Brushing past her as he walks with his hands stuffed in his coat pockets, he tucks his hood over the top of his head and slips back out into the crowd. There's no sense in looking back to see if she's following, if she wants to, she will. The hotel is a short distance away, and as he approaches the doorman opens the door for them, recognizing Nitrim with a bow of his head and a lack of questions that can only mean he's been paid off. It allows for easy slinking through the foyer all the way into the elevator. Once inside, Nitrim presses a button for one of the higher floors and looks to his side, expecting her to be there. "Have you ever heard the term hell hath no fury but a woman scorned, Rook?"

"Like," Rook corrects. Like a woman scorned. Clearly that's a yes. And clearly she's standing in the elevator with him. She arches a brow at him as if to say, 'and?' and waits for an answer with her hands shoved in her pockets.

"Like, yes," Nitrim shakes his head quickly, rubbing at his eyes. He should have remember this. "Tomorrow at Volkan I'm going to likely run into a woman scorned and her newly betrothed, my cousin." He pauses, his green eyes casting over to hers. "I'm about one insult away from throwing people off of tower balconies. We'll just have to see how it goes."

"Right to be angry?" Rook asks in regards to the scorned woman. She looks at him sincerely, her blunt simple views of life nevertheless have their sharp edges.

"That's gray area." Nitrim admits as the door to the elevator opens, revealing a plush, track-lit hallway. Seeing that they're alone, he steps through and reaches for a keycard of his own as he approaches one of the doors. "I've acquired a reputation that was funny, I think, for a while, but the moment a girl that I've been with popped up as a political marriage to my cousin, there have been words. People are starting to forget I'm not their fool to push around."

Rook studies him as he goes about leading her to the hallway and opens the door. "She cared too much," she surmises of the woman in question. "Happens with you. A lot." That might almost be a dirty look she gives him, but as she's behind him, it's not likely he'll see it.

With a quiet beep that echoes through the hallway, the door unlocks and Nitrim pushes the door open. Already shrugging off his coat to reveal his sleeveless, gray tunic, he doesn't stop just inside the door, save for holding it open long enough for her to secure he own entry. "I had friends in her family I lost, friends in my own I've lost. I'm the last person being consulted about this, and like always things aren't what they seemed." He tosses his coat onto the back of a chair, pausing to scan over the large suite with couches, a pair of bedrooms, and its own dining area. It's comfortable, but it's a sterile, non-personal living space. "Apparently she was going to ask the High Lady of her house to arrange a banns with me when word came through. I had no idea, and thought she was finished with me. I never had any idea."

"Huh," is Rook's insightful comment on that. "Why would she?" she asks, confused as to why she would think he would marry her if there wasn't any reason to base it on. She looks around the suite and it's as intimidatingly large and lavish as she would expect. She feels too dirty to sit on the furniture, but that doesn't stop her from slumping onto a couch and digging out a disk from her laptop with the movies on it.

"Because there used to be a thing. The last she told me was that she wasn't going to make me wait for her to get over her dead husband and we were friends, close friends. Overnight I became the enemy and my knight trainer started pushing me twice as hard. Guess who received all of the fallout?" Explanation complete, he motions to his chest and then slips past her towards the kitchenette. Digging out a small pack of beers and a plate of sliced meats, he returns to the sofa. Plate set down, he unceremoniously dumps himself onto the other side and nestles in against against the arm. "I never said I wasn't flawed, Rook, but right now I have a right to be angry. I've done far more than they could ever know, put myself in danger in ways some of them haven't. I'm not a child."

That gets a bark of a laugh from Rook. She sets her bag aside and tugs off her boots, putting her feet up on the way-too-expensive-for-feet coffee table. "You are," a child, seems to be the retort. She looks over at him through slightly narrowed eyes. "You want love." Then she shakes her head, as those aren't the right words. "You want to be loved. By everyone. Don't want to love, though." She tosses him the disk to put in the player.

Catching the disk on his lap, Nitrim looks down to it and tucks it in between thumb and forefinger. Giving her a mocked look of disapproval, he offers her a bottle of the beer. "Shut up and drink your beer, Rook." He rolls his eyes, humored. He rises and leans a hip against the sofa to unbuckle one boot and hops to kick the other off. "I want to be respected, and I want what I've earned." He turns his back to her as he slips the disk into the screen's port. "My list of people that won't throw me under when it's convenient for them is dwindling, and it's bullshit." He confides, eyes avoiding her as he returns to the sofa and sits. "I never would have had these problems had I never thrown out the fucking Red Eye."

Rook drinks her beer but she looks at him sincerely. "Truth. Hard to tell. Be loved versus to love. Misread easy." It's her trying to explain to him how his way of dealing with women confuses them into thinking he wants more from them. "I couldn't see," she confesses with a grimace. She takes another deep draw from her beer. The mention of Red Eye has her glancing at her bag, but she's not feeling the pull of it just yet.

Settling back in, Nitrim puts his feet up and brings the ice-cold beer bottle to his forehead, closing his eyes while the screen passes them through all of the rules and regulations tacked onto the cinema feeds. "I don't use people, Rook. I'm just exceptionally poor at understanding when something isn't consentual, simple. That doesn't mean that my own emotions shut off - I'm not a machine - it's just that I'm bitter enough to assume there's things that won't keep."

"Hm," is her only response, hard to tell if it's agreement or disagreement. Rook watches the credits roll and then 'The Cabin in the Arboren Woods' starts up. She's already seen it, but it's worth another viewing. Horror but hilarious at the same time.

The hrm gets a glance from Nitrim as he reaches out to take one of the cold-cuts. Popping it into his mouth, he settles back into the sofa and sighs. Out come the cigarettes, which he lights one and then offers her the pack. "I always thought everything I had was temporary and hollow. I expected it to stay that way. When it changed, I didn't change with it fast enough." His eyes level onto the screen, watching a long, spanning tree-line shot form with the names of the cast. "I blame myself. That's what makes me different from who they think I am."

"Didn't think we were temporary," Rook says quietly. She reaches for some of the food because she can't get meat that is, well, real meat where she lives. "Worry too much about 'they'," she grumps between sniffing the cuts and popping them into her mouth. Can't get this stuff at Gregor's.

"You know why I worry about they, Rook?" Nitrim asks, eyes shifting away from the movie so that he can turn his head to watch her. "Because I've always been an it, and I didn't want my father to have the satisfaction of cutting my throat for his own benefit when he suddenly decided I was useful." He brings the bottle to his lips for a sip, frowning. "I didn't suffer through being anathema to get used."

"Nothing wrong with anathema," Rook grumbles. She shrugs out of her jacket and hoodie, leaving her in a white t-shirt with some sort of band logo on it. She lights up a cigarette and it's pretty clear her hair has been growing out, and she hasn't touched up the roots, which appear to be brown rather than the dyed black. "Everyone uses everyone."

"Well, I don't use everyone. It makes for angry those times when you know you weren't using but get accused of it. Not that I'm directing that at you, but half of these people don't have a fucking clue who I am." Tipping the bottle back, his eyebrow cocks at the sight of her long, brown hair and a shirt that isn't black. It forces a smirk at the corner of his mouth. "That's a good look for you, you know."

Rook arches a brow at him, sucking on her cigarette and dangling her beer bottle in one hand. "Laundry day," she quips back, joking. She ponders his words and seems to latch onto no one knowing who he is. "Who are you?" she asks, wanting to hear who he thinks he is.

"The walking dead." Nitrim replies, cigarette smoke rushing out of his nostrils towards the screen. "Wasn't wanted, wasn't needed until I started wanting for myself. So I play their game, really." His eyes unfocus in a long stare to the screen as he pauses for another sip from his beer, trading back and forth. "But sometimes I am exactly what they say that I am. I'm someone that watched from the third person while I did it to myself, Rook. Unlike some of these blowhards with puffed out chests and titles, I'm willing to admit to exactly what I'm doing every time I look in the mirror." A pause settles in. "Or do you want a more blunt, less bullshit description of what I think I am?"

"Less words," she requests. Rook is watching him intently, her face a mask of something akin to a mix of tension and blankness. It's focus, deep focus. She sips her beer, since it's the good stuff and she doesn't want to drink it too fast and have it be gone. The fact it can be easily replaced by her host doesn't seem to dawn on her.

Nitrim's face tilts to the side, at least long enough to see that she's looking at him. After a brief moment of eye contact, he turns back to the screen, but they both know he's not really watching. Less words? Less words is something Nitrim can do. "I'm chaos. I destroy things. The things I try to find comfort in either destroy me or I destroy them. That's who I am." He sets his beer down and slips the cigarette back between his lips for a drag, the flare of the cherry illuminating the side of his face in the dim lighting. "So I bury myself in trying to save Haven."

"Ego," Rook replies. She shakes her head and looks back at the screen. "Not chaos. And not you." She shrugs. "Too many masks. Too much 'they'. Not enough 'you'. Real you." That's a lot of words for someone who barely speaks. She scrubs her forehead because talking that much gives her a headache sometimes.

"Yeah, you're probably right about that, you usually are." Nitrim replies, dragging his thumbnail over his forehead, pressing away the stress that's been lining up for days. His hand drops to his chest, the clawed rings scratching lightly atop his tunic. "People see the ego. It makes me a liar, and when things go wrong it could only because I'm a liar, right?" Another rhetorical question. "But you're right. I wear masks. I slither."

"Dunno," Rook murmurs quietly. "Find a book, read it. Think I understand. Later find out written in another language." She still doesn't understand just what transpired between the two of them. If it was real, or a game, or just her not seeing reality. She stares at the screen but they both know she isn't watching it either.

"When I started taking the red, it was to make the dreams stop. Other things fell into place, women, sleep, I think I lost weeks sometimes. A lot of it is still a blur, Rook. I don't know." With a sigh, he presses the heel of his hand against his eye socket and rubs softly. "I didn't want to hurt anyone, I was fine with people who didn't give a fuck about me but at some point I wanted more. There's no way I could get you to figure me out if I can't figure myself out. You weren't discarded like a thing."

"Things easier," Rook murmurs. "Things don't feel. Should've stayed a thing." She drains her beer and gets up to walk around the suite, poking into corners and drawers, trying to figure out why anyone would have so much stuff they'd need all this room.

Nitrim is left on the sofa to watch the outline of her shadow grow against the wall as she slips off. With one hand brushing through his hair, he twists at the hip to snare his beer bottle, nursing it as he taps the button that lowers the volume on the movie. "Well, you're not a thing, you never were." Nitrim's head lulls back to stare at the ceiling, and then starts to close his eyes. He's going on trust that she's not looking for a knife. "But I know what you mean. I was a thing for a few years. I was in absolute control of what I did and did not feel. I slept better back then."

"You learn, Down Below, to be a thing. Safer. If you care, you hurt," Rook says softly, as she rubs her hand down the length of counter in the kitchenette. "I cared. I hurt." Regarding him. "Only time." She shrugs.

"You just did that little shrug, didn't you?" Nitrim comments with his eyes closed. A soft hiss of air follows as he plucks the cigarette from his lips, breaking the vaccuum seal as he breaks the seal at half-drag. He knows that shrug. "Does saying I'm sorry still count, Rook? Because I am."

"Dunno. Everything is," Rook gestures at her head, "all mixed up. Real. Imagined. Don't trust self." She opens cupboards for something to do. "Hurts inside sometimes. Squeezes, pulls, gravity." Dragging her down. "Not good at this."

Feeling the heat at the end of the cigarette's filter, Nitrim senses an end to the little drug. With a lift of his head, he opens his eyes in expert timing to see a topless co-ed's head crushed by a monster. He blinks and stubs out the cigarette into the ashtray. "I spend too much time saying that I'm sorry for things," Nitrim says, his head turning to look down his shoulder, though she's too far behind him to see so his eyes settle on the table instead. "It's a sign that I fuck up too many things." Not sensing her nearby, he goes back to resting his eyes. "Do you want me to disappear? To stop meeting with you? Would that…make things better?"

"No," Rook says quietly. "Tried that. Didn't work. Came back." She disappeared herself, but still came back to him. "Want to know what I did wrong. Want to understand." She scrubs a hand through her hair, unused to the extra length.

Pressing the beer bottle back to his temple to quell the headache that's been hiding just out of reach, Nitrim tries to get comfortable despite the tension the conversation is building. "You didn't do anything wrong, Rook," Nitrim replies mutedly, chewing softly at the side of his lip. "Do you remember when you told me that you wanted it to last until my father took me away? A few days later I got hurt on Ignis, I still have the scar from where that cart hit me." Nitrim fills the pause with nothing, letting the moment be silent as the movie plays in the background. "This started moving fast. Decisions were made. Fuck, I cut myself off from sex and have been in my head since. My father gave me a choice, Soleil now or Soleil later. That's how it happens to nobles, whether we want the banns or not. Well," Nitrim sips his beer once more. "My father's finally getting his use out of me, now."

Rook lets out a long-suffering sigh. Not something he's likely heard from her before. She investigates one of the bedrooms and the attached bathroom, poking in closets and drawers and cabinets with no sense of boundaries. "Was fine alone. Then you. Not ok anymore. Don't like it." That might be Rook-speak for being lonely, or missing him, or both. "Hate this. Hate feeling. Hate" she doesn't have a word for jealousy so she just starts running a bath for herself. Hopefully that's her room and bathroom.

Hearing her get further and further away, Nitrim grows curious and rises from the sofa. With his fingers wrapped around the neck of the beer bottle, he follows Rook's voice back in the direction of the room that is actually his, yet again suspecting his things are being rifled through. When he hears the bath start, he leans in the doorway and lowers his eyes to the floor. "You know, this is going to sound horrible, but please understand how I mean it, okay?" He pauses. "Most people, men and women, I know have been fucked over, heartbreak, good times, bad times, all of that shit long before I ever came around." He frowns to the floor, wistfully. "I hate what I've done. It's like having blood on your hands, you know? I've got that, too."

Rook comes back out after sniffing at all the curious little bottles of bath salts and bubbles and foams and pouring half of them into the tub. She moves to collect her backpack to bring it back with her. She eyes him as she passes by him. If he wants the room he might have to fight her for it at this point. "I have nothing. Wanted you." She steps past him into the bathroom and shuts the door behind her.

Nitrim frowns at the door. Feeling bad enough about it as he is, there's no mistaking that he's hurt her. His fingers ball into a fist and lightly bap himself in the forehead as he turns away from his room. Leaving his things in there, he downs the last of the beer and sets the bottle into the sink. Hands scrubbing at the stress in his eyes, he crosses over to the other bedroom and lays down on the bed. "Just another body for the fucking pile, Nitrim…"

It's some time later that Rook emerges, dressed in her version of PJs, a tank top and shorts that are a size too big on her and fall almost to her knees. Her hair is wet, her makeup and piercings are removed, and she almost looks normal save for the visible tattoos and the red eyes. A look into the closet tells her that this room was taken. She grabs her backpack and shuffles into the main room, very doped up, and looks around blearily. She checks the other bedroom. "Done, you can have your room." She waits for him to vacate, tossing her bag on the dining table.

Nearly asleep, the sound of her voice shakes Nitrim from his drowsiness. From the main room he can be seen sitting up and leaning over the edge of the bed; rubbing at his face to clear out the cobwebs. When he pads out, he looks to her eyes, then to her bag. An all-too-familiar look enters his eyes, the eyes of a former addict, as he pieces the two together. He saw her put the red eye into her bag, the same very bag he's staring at on the table. He opens his mouth, about to say something, but the words catch in his throat.

"Enjoy the movies," Rook tells him as she looks from him to her bag. She frowns, gathers it back up, and clutches it to her chest as she slowly moves into the vacated bedroom. She turns to look at him, her eyes bloody-hued. "Night." Then she closes the door most of the way, leaving just a sliver open so the light from the tv feels like the light from her monitors.

"Yeah…night…" Nitrim replies blithely, his eyes casting a look of near shame as she clutches the bag out of reach of his hands before he can consider. Knowing he's been caught, he frowns and watches her pass into the vacant bedroom. Knocking twice on the wall to let her know he's walking away, he leaves the movie playing in the main room for her benefit and slips into his room. Exhausted in more ways than one, he closes the door and slips out of his clothing, save for his boxers, and slides into bed. His tired eyes stare up at the ceiling to trace the imperfections in the paint above him. He can't sleep. He likely won't. Tomorrow is going to be a troubling day…

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