”Here’s a hundred bucks. Go find Jesus.”
“Free handouts for a lost sheep? You a preacher?”
“i will help if i am still conscious by the time we arrive in front of it.”
that firm grip took hold of his midsection yet again, pulling him up at a slow pace. he had not missed the held back laughter or the sarcastic tone of the response. vital’s strength left him in enough awe to wipe away all previous emotion. the noise of feet dragging filled the hallway, which he failed to notice were his until the boy kicked back at one on accident. he let out a small grunt, but nothing else. even if vital seemed to be an ass, the amount of generosity he gave proved otherwise. once out of this drunken stupor, he would have to pay him back fairly. ideas began to mingle and swim in his head. charles felt himself slipping, but vital’s hand reached out and steadied him.
the door opened seconds later, which must have been some feat for a drunk person. light flooded the room and forced him to close his eyes momentarily. vital remembered to hit the switch, it seemed. he tugged away from the man’s grasp to sway down the left into his bedroom. the small room contained the necessities, all minimalist, yet he kept it in complete order. a few personal touches had been added, such as the candles on the nightstand and books neatly placed in the bookshelf. the change brought along a new outlook to his path as he strove to reach his career goals. now, the only change charles needed was a change of clothes.
he shrugged of the blazer with ease to then toss it onto the bed haphazardly. the buttons on his shirt seemed to be another story. fingers fumbled over one another in a desperate attempt at success. cold sweat dripped down his forehead and across chapped lips. eventually charles gave into frustration which led him to face plant into the bed and moan. vital’s presence crossed his mind at a rather unfortunate time.
“i do not understand why one holds the name ‘vital’, but i am in no position to make judgement. you are free to leave if you have not already done so. by… hhhhssome chance you want to stay and help me out because i’m very fucking incompetent, feel free to do that. at least write your number down or something… if you —if you leave.”
“All right, fair enough.”
He couldn’t truly ask for more than that given the state of the man. It was only worsening as the minutes dragged by, making him wonder about the possibilities of alcohol poisoning and— pleasedon’tletthismangetsickonhim.
The strength the smaller frame possessed remained entirely inexplicable for now, nor did he try to justify it to a drunken stranger out of everyone. Answers always came at a price around him, otherwise he merely circumvented them with such vague responses. But the going was still slow and entirely ungraceful, his foot hitting one of Charles’ own that dragged along as the inebriated man only made a noise of recognition that — oh yeah, he still had feet. Thanks for the help, asshole.
With some fumbling with keys, there was a fraction of amusement at the other. Somehow, despite all odds and the fact that he could barely talk or walk, the man had managed a key and Vital didn’t have to cast in a helping hand.
Momentarily, oddly-hued eyes flickered to the lock itself, searching for scratches around the keyhole, merely curious if this was a regular thing. But alas, the place was so old he doubted he could draw much accurate information like this, especially in the dark. He spared a moment and a hand on his newest acquaintance to hit the switch, uncaring if it bothered the other or not. Like hell he was going to grope his way through a foreign apartment in the dark while carrying its occupant. That was just a call for misfortune upon a stupid act.
Vital was mildly impressed with just how tidy the place was overall. Certainly not as obsessively organized as a certain individual he knew, but this showed that the man perhaps preferred to stay focused, or was trying to. If this was destined to be their only meeting, then he wouldn’t have a clue what it would be like only a month from now. Still as organized and clean? Or maybe that brand of organized chaos that people preferred when entering a bit of a downward spiral.
Charles had managed to hold himself upright long enough to throw off his blazer, taking a moment to fumble with the buttons on his shirt before he unceremoniously flopped onto the bed. Vital lingered near the doorway as if he were perhaps a scared creature but really — he remained to observe.
The idea of coming or going hadn’t truly crossed his mind before, but with the man’s words, he was forced to reconcile and make a decision.
This man was legitimately fucked and probably would choke on his own vomit in this state.
But why should he care?
“I’ll hang out for a little.”
Such few words to convey much more, though he drew near and then placed a hand on Charles’ hip and shoulder, forcibly rolling the man over. In that moment, nimble fingers undid the buttons on the shirt that he had been contending with only moments ago, and had lost.
"Come on, old man."
Perhaps it was a strange brand of encouragement, but he managed to get the shirt off, next unlacing his shoes and pulling them off as well, speaking in soft voice but firm tone of simple instruction.
“Sleep on your side. I’ll leave the trashcan right here—”
And he did just that, setting it next to the bed before he picked up the blazer and shirt, neatly placing them on the most convenient spot he could find — a chair — before he decided to explore the kitchen and bathroom for medicine and a glass of water.
Tony silently raised an eyebrow when the other pointed out the difference between their wallets. It wasn’t the best of reasons for him to pay for someone else but it was certainly the most obvious. He was almost disappointed that the other man hadn’t given him a more creative answer.
"That sounds good to me. I haven’t been to Japan in a while." A grin spread across his lips as he took a step back from the counter. "So… I’m taking you to Japan for sake because I’m simply richer than you? Is that it?”
The simple fact was that he just wasn’t sure if he had enough energy to devote to impressing this man with powers of creativity. While Vital cared about other people’s impressions of him — meetings like this were still hardly any true source of concern. This rich guy had a bunch of other friends, so who was to say that he wouldn’t be cast to the side in favor of someone a little more interesting?
“Well… I suppose that’s part of it.” Head lolled to the side in a rather lazy fashion, though that devilish smirk of his was returning to his pale visage in a certain level of amusement.
If he was going to stay up and supposedly go to Japan on a whim, might as well try for interesting and accept the challenge, even if he wasn’t sure if he had the energy for it all.
“The other part is because I’ll be your tour guide once we get there. I lived there for a while… that sake will be the best you’ve ever had.”
And lo, a challenge of his own was raised — a challenge of adventure.
She nodded and both creatures sauntered in.
"I have treat for you, if you want it." With Vital, she felt like she could just get right down to the point.
"I’ve bought baking supplies for a cake. A good one." Effortlessly putting the bags on the granite coutertop, she briefly paused to turn to the other occupant.
"Hi Theo." Her voice was dropped to a hushed and nearly shy tone. The Mage did her best to exude a comfortable aura.
Vital mentioned him before but she never met the cat; her own was near Vital, sniffing his feet with delicate movements.
"Ok. So…the catch is, can I make it here?"
A heartbeat after.
"Its a chocolate cake." She smiled happily at the thought of it.
Raising an eyebrow, that had certainly been unexpected. But that was what he loved about most of the friends he made — they brought him treats unbidden, always a pleasant surprise. Piper, Viktor, Arthur, Ciel… and now Charlie. Maybe he was just that obtuse in some ways.
Not once did he consider the fact that maybe it was the only way they knew how to get close to him and check up on him, given his track record of just holing himself up in the nice apartment as if he had dropped off the face of the Earth.
After all, he only shared his phone number personally — never did someone call him saying that someone else had passed it along or found him in the phonebook.
Purple-hued gaze traversed to the bag the woman carried as the door drifted closed behind her and her cat. Now that was new as well. Whenever he brought Theodore somewhere, he usually had to carry the big baby… not that he minded.
As if on cue, the small white feline leaped down from the counter to go inspect this newcomer, Dizzy.
He was nearly off guard by this, by Charlie’s strange proposal. But Vital then grinned and nodded.
”Of course you can, bearcat.” Another bit of ancient slang that the guy had picked up from god-knew-where. “Kitchen is, uh, obviously right here to your left. And you’ve got free reign of it. Do you want… music, company, a drink or something??”
"We’re not open yet," Radu said with a yawn. He stuck to the shadows, hardly visible from where he stood out of the doorway. But he had answered the door after someone had been insistently knocking despite the sign that screamed CLOSED. "And won’t be for another…" Radu looked out to judge the light from the sun. "Another five, six hours." Radu yawned again, frowning as he realized his foot was burning. He slowly moved it out of the light and sighed. "But I’m up now, I guess. What’s so important?" Another yawn. "Sorry. That was rude. I’m tired. No excuse, but, yeah."
He saw the sign. He saw it, and yet he didn’t care a single bit. There was no time to really give a shit, or at least as far as he was concerned.
Therefore, he had been knocking relentlessly for a full ten minutes now — and at long last, the door parted ever-so-slightly. Vital stepped aside as to allow the other his room, honestly surprised at how well the man handled someone as rude as himself. A virtue in itself.
”Mmh. See, but I do need something. A tattoo for remembrance.” A slight pause — “I’ll pay bloody well.”
Vetis gasped, his surprise not entirely feigned. “First of all,” he declared, “Firstly, cake is amazing. Especially, yeah, the chocolate kind? I love that, It’s my favorite. Cats? Cats are boring. Bunnies? Bunnies are so much better than cats because they attack people on command.” No, that was… not true. At all. But he went on anyway. “And, and, on top of that, if you just think making out’s all right, theeen you haven’t ever made out with me.” He smirked, pleased with how he fit that into the conversation. “Which, of course, we should fix. Right away.”
“Hell yeah, chocolate!” Already he could feel himself just so amped at even the idea of chocolate cake — but that sensation dropped when the other said cats were boring.
Vital leveled amethyst eyes at the stranger, frown painted openly on pale and delicate visage before he only looked away despite the latter part, even missing the Killer Rabbit reference.
”I don’t know if I can smooch someone who said cats were boring and think that bunnies are better. I just don’t know, man.”
With that, his head dropped into his palm, as he apparently truly was distraught over someone slandering his precious creature of choice — or maybe it was the alcohol. Who knew.
Charlie gazed with half-lidded eyes at the door. She sensed the cold man and his feline inside, her own felidae creature stood behind her ankles.
The Mage lifted a decievingly delicate hand and knocked gently.
"Hello. Its Charlie!"
Turning her large eyes back at Dizzy, she smiled gently.
It didnt matter if Vital let her in or not…she was going bake a cake. The kind that was sinfully beautiful.
Since she felt kind today, she wanted to bake for Vital and share a slice of cake.
'Come on Vital.' If her thoughts had a audible tone it would be 'amused'.
A knock at the door.
But it was unlocked.
Yet they didn’t come in.
With a dark glare at the work he had been doing, Vital rose. It better not be a Mormon. Lord help the guy if it was, since Theodore hated them perhaps more than anything else he’d ever come across. Though the voice on the other side had been muffled.
Easily weaving through his surprisingly spacious apartment, the small white cat joined his steps in curiosity and instinctual need to protect his owner, leaping atop the granite countertop.
What could he say? He was rich — though he often didn’t boast the fact.
Vital didn’t bother to even check the peephole before wrenching the door open, hesitating when he recognized the woman’s face, amethyst gaze momentarily darting to the feline near her feet.
”Charlie. Hey. Didn’t know you were gonna stop by. Come in,” was the casual greeting as he stepped aside, shooting a look at Theodore — who hopefully would behave.