No Exit

Cast: date: '9 October 2012'
place: 'Regent''s Park'
participants: 'Cedric, Lex, Yuki'
synopsis: 'A quiet experimentation session turns awkward. Yuki might be just a little too innocent — or not. '
log: "Sleeping at night is actually pretty difficult for Lex, but with all the lights on and the shades drawn, he can't tell what time of day it is. This means that when Cedric shows up, he's dressed in whatever patchwork of clothing Wynn's found for him, and, having peeked outside, actually seems to be about ready to go out on his own. It's a damn good thing Cedric shows up at all, because he couldn't make the choice himself and was about to go stir crazy. \"Oh good. Let's go out. Unless you'd rather not?\" The look he flashes the man is actually a bit pleading. Lex apparently does not like being cooped up.\n\nThus half an hour later they're meandering back into the park. Lex still has his wallet, but all he had were Hong Kong dollars and his credit cards have all been canceled, so it's up to Cedric to pick them up some breakfast or the like on the way. The cards, one might note, as Lex is digging through them, all read Alex K. Wei Sun. \"Got any scissors?\" he grumbles as he pauses by a trash can to empty the wallet of now-useless items. There are quite a few of those cards, too - he used to have access to money.\n\n\n It's not raining, for a wonder, although it looks like it might. When doesn't it in London in October? It is a bit chilly, though, and when Cedric shows up, he's dressed in several layers, a pair of jeans, and a relatively new pair of Doc Martens against the chill. He's quite audible as he takes the stairs, fast and two at a time, so Lex has plenty of warning to his presence, and although the usual smell of cigarette smoke clings to him as he enters, he seems a good deal more relaxed than he has been previously, even flashing a good-natured smile as he spots Lex ready to go. \"No problem,\" he answers to the question of going out. \n\n To settle the question of breakfast - and whatever Hong Kong dollars were still in Lex's wallet, he leads them to Paddington Station. Coffee and bagels are easy to come by and cheaply had, and there's a currency exchange booth in one corner. He finishes the fag he'd started on the walk there, crushing it out and tossing it in a nearby ash bin before eyeing the posted exchange rates. \"Bank'll give you a better rate, but a station won't ask as many questions and most banks want an account with them to do the exchange anyroad,\" he remarks offhandedly, eyeing the board before moving on. If Lex wants, he can exchange the currency while they're there, but Cedric says nothing further about it until they're in the park and Lex is emptying his wallet. \"Hong Kong, eh?\" he asks quietly. \"Reckon this is pretty different.\"\n\n\nSadly the cash on hand is equivalent to only a few pounds - why carry much when you don't drive and have cards? But Lex is fine with that, since so far his basic needs have been taken care of. The money gets exchanged gamely and then tucked away. \"Same language at least,\" Lex says wryly. \"It could have picked worse places to drop me.\" By now he's been educated on the geographical uncertainties of the Gloom. He settles for bending each card in half until it breaks and dumping half of each one in this can; the rest get shoved in his pocket for disposal somewhere else. \"I need to call home, though. At least let my father know I'm alive.\" Rest assured, he's not thinking about the one who gave him those cards. \"You're from around here, right?\"\n\n\n \"S'pose you're right.\" Cedric starts to settle his splinted hand in the pocket of his hoodie, but has trouble, so wiggles it back out with help from the other hand and tucks it close to him instead. To the question of him being local, he definitely acts and sounds local. \"Yeah, why?\" The laconic remark confirms it. \"You sure you want to try explaining why you're in London?\" \n\n\nLex pauses at that, glancing over and up with a small frown. No, he hadn't considered that. There's a moment of silence, until the card he's bending back and forth finally snaps and he tucks half away in a pocket. Hmm. A deep breath gets drawn and released in a sigh. \"No, but… I was going through some stuff. I can tell him I got on a boat and stowed away. He'd just like to know I'm around and alive.\" He scratches his chin, frowning still, distracted by another worry… \"Maybe I could send him a letter.\"\n\n\n \"Might be better that way,\" Cedric agrees, shoving his good hand in the pocket instead and leaning abruptly against a nearby signpost while Lex snaps his credit cards in half. \"Has your da got email?\" he asks. \"Might get a Gmail account or sommat and drop him one if he does. That way you can think about what you want to say. Don't say too much, he might think you've gone daft.\"\n\n\nLex can't help it - he laughs. \"My father wouldn't know what to do with a computer unless you dropped it out a seventh story window. Then he'd probably be able to put it back together, and it would even work, and he'd hand deliver it with flowers to the unfortunate miscreant who had the affrontry to sully /his/ lawn with that mess, and the /flowers/ would probably contain a hate note, but as far as he is concerned, computers are worse than the television.\" He shakes his head and sets about snapping another card in half. \"He would read a letter. It might even find him if… if he's been fired by now.\" The mirth is gone.\n\n\n The good-natured smile is gone as the mirth disappears, and Cedric is listening quietly. \"How long since you last saw him?\" he asks, empathy in the quiet tones. He's not a particularly loud individual, at least not in words. \n\n\nHalf the card gets thrown, the other half kept. Lex checks his wallet for more. It's something to do, akin to fidgeting, while he thinks about that. \"I left in the spring of last year. I last saw him then.\" All that time, and he has almost no memories of it. \"He came to see me graduate. Crawled out of the bottle for the whole day.\" There's a shadow there - and then Lex shakes himself sharply and puts his wallet away. \"Come on. Let's find another trash can.\" The ducks get a passing glance - distracted, thoughtful, tempted.\n\n\n \"Right.\" Cedric says nothing about the entire explanation, at least not in words. His body language says quite enough - lowered eyes and a shudder says plenty of his opinion of that as he pushes himself upright. \"Much too easy to get into that kind of shite in this business,\" he remarks in a low voice, pulling his good hand out of his pocket to point up the path, back towards the main neighborhood. He's about to walk away when he spots Lex looking at the ducks. \"Oi,\" he calls. \"Watch the ducks later.\"\n\n\nAttention yanked back, Lex picks up his feet and starts after Cedric quickly. \"Sorry.\" Thataway, yes. Must not stare at the ducks. \"They just looked… relaxed. Wynn says I shouldn't do that trick.\" He sounds a bit unhappy about that.\n\n\n \"What trick?\" Cedric looks back sharply, surprised. Apparently he didn't get the memo on that one. Although his strides are long and energetic, he appears to be controlling that, courteously waiting for Lex. \"I noticed they were behaving a bit oddly.\"\n\n\nLex isn't quite as quick as Cedric is, but he's capable of at least trying to keep up - when not distracted by ducks. \"Possession,\" he says, low-voiced lest someone overhear. \"It's… actually very relaxing to be a duck.\" Of course, it was ten ducks, but that wasn't so bad, right? \"Pigeons are brave little creatures, too. Foxes, not so much. I'm still not sure about people. But I shouldn't practice.\" He says this like he's trying to convince himself. \"It's just… tempting.\"\n\n\n For answer, Cedric simply snorts, the _that explains it_ thought unvoiced but clear enough in his smirk. The smirk fades quickly enough, though. \"Wynn tell you why? Or did he just say don't?\" Good hand goes back in his pocket; he appears to be having trouble figuring out what to do with the splinted hand, but he glances quickly around the area to ensure no eavesdroppers before saying anything else.\n\n\n\"He said the Gloom appears to /want/ us to have the ability. I don't see why. It's just ducks.\" Lex glances back over his shoulder, then adds quietly, \"They don't mind. They think I'm strange, but all they really care about is bread and if they get it they're happy.\" The pigeons probably minded quite a bit more. \"Haven't you ever wondered what it'd be like to fly?\" That has the air of a secretive sort of pleasure.\n\n\n Anger? A forbidding look? Nope. Cedric gives Lex neither, for that admission. If anything, the look he shoots Lex is laced with envy. \"Be pretty amazing, I'll bet. Ever tried it?\" There's genuine interest there.\n\n\n\"Not really freely,\" Lex admits. \"I haven't had a chance yet.\" He flicks a glance upwards to a flock of pigeons flying overhead. \"I could. Of course, I seem to fall down while I'm out riding around in other things.\" A faint smile flashes briefly, distracted. \"Want to find out?\"\n\n\n Now there's a tempting offer that leaves Cedric pondering, at war with himself. Finally he says, \"Go find a park bench and lie down. Reckon I'll watch you this time. Don't reckon you can take a rider with you, and don't fancy you getting kicked by some old bag anyroad.\" The response is equally low and quiet. \"If I nudge you, will you come back?\" \n\n\nLex thinks about it. \"I don't even feel myself getting burned while I'm out, so no. But I can see what's happening through other bodies. So… I'll keep an eye on you?\" He flashes a suddenly brilliant grin. \"Don't go digging in my pockets while I'm gone.\" And just like that, he veers straight for a park bench. Lex might just be excited. \"Want me to try to bring you? We won't know until we try it.\"\n\n\n \"Maybe later.\" Cedric seems more relaxed as he follows, dropping himself cross-legged at the foot of a tree within sight and easy reach of the park bench. \"Don't go out of sight, and if I get up, come back, right?\" His smile is gone, and he appears to be focused and thoughtful, watching Lex intently as he settles down, with an occasional glance at the pigeons up above. \n\n\n\"Got it.\" This ought to be interesting. Of course, it's daylight. Maybe he'll somehow remain unoccupied. Lex drops down on the park bench and settles in, seated and slumped, head bowed as if asleep. He buries both hands in his pockets, one on his wallet just in case, and lets himself go limp.\n\n\nSeveral moments later, the birds begin dancing. It's a subtle thing at first - pigeons always swoop and glide and circle back to their homes - but soon it becomes fairly apparent that the entire flock is suddenly very much enjoying itself spinning circles in the air. They begin flying higher, spiraling slowly towards the sky, wheeling like vultures, as Lex experiments with the idea of having wings.\n\n\n While Lex is doing that, Cedric leans casually against the base of the tree and lights a cigarette, resting the splinted hand across his upturned knee in what looks for all the world like the pose of a young man taking advantage of quiet parkland to have himself a smoke unmolested. His gaze wanders from the parkbench on which Lex appears to sleep, to the tree, and then to the pigeons whirling up in the air. Far too organized - he shakes his head in amused disbelief, a much more benign reaction than that of the other day, for knowning what's causing it and having some way to stop it if it becomes a problem. \n\n A mother and her little girl are watching as well, the little girl pointing happily at the pigeons in the sky with her free hand, and they stop to watch for a moment.(repose for Yuki)\n\n\nLex is slumped on a park bench, head bowed, hands in pockets, motionless. Above, a flock of pigeons appears to be flying higher than pigeons usually fly - and it appears Lex has hit their limit, because he brings the whole thing spiraling back down and allows the flock the control to retreat to its hiding places. The show peters out - only to be replaced by another batch taking wing, this one freshly rested. Having wings is an amazing sensation, and Lex is paying no attention at all to his actual physical form parked empty far below.\n\nThis particular flock of pigeons all descends on a single tree, momentarily filling the thing completely and bringing the loud rustling of pigeon wings down right over Cedric's head. There's a whole lot of cooing going on too, and as the tree runs out of room for more birds, they begin landing on the grass. It's like The Birds, only none of them are trying to kill anyone.\n\n\n At first, Cedric doesn't move as the birds settle into the tree around him and start landing on the ground. That'd be Lex, no big deal … though it looks a little weird. After a moment, though, he freezes and looks up, and unthinkingly, puts the fag in his mouth, then puts his good hand on the ground and bolts to his feet in one supple and explosive motion, taking himself at a jog well clear of the tree before he gets used for target practice! The abrupt motion, though, doesn't feel any too good, and he swears softly, walking back over to the park bench with firm strides. \"Oi, that isn't funny, mate,\" he calls to Lex.\n\n\nIt's daylight. That makes the takeover of Lex's body unlikely - he still has yet to discover it even happens. The pigeons abruptly decide to be in the sky again and launch themselves heavenwards with the sort of confused noises one might expect from a hijacked flock. Lex lifts his head and grins wide. Getting back in that time was easy. \"It was hilarious,\" he tells Cedric cheerfully. \"But I wasn't trying to, er, let drop.\" He smothers the laugh. \"Apparently they do it on their own.\" Ha. Do it. And Lex can't help it - he doubles over laughing.\n\n\nBack to the place she originally met them, that's where Yuki's headed, whether or not she realizes it. Walking in from Primrose Hill to the North, she seems a bit lost in thought. But at least she's cleaned up a bit, having a proper shower and all. She's wearing a t-shirt again, black this time, and a denim miniskirt. Same white sneakers as before, though, and she doesn't appear to be wearing socks either. At least the pretty American lady was kind enough to drop off the clothing and all. She doesn't seem to have spotted Cedric or Lex yet, but the flock of pigeons flapping about oddly does give her some pause to halt and look around. Just in case.\n\n\n \"D'you have any idea what a pain in the arse showering is with this thing on?\" Cedric lifts his splinted hand for demonstration in answer to Lex, though he doesn't seem to be truly angry so much as mildly annoyed. \"Can't get it wet.\" His scowl is short-lived as he drops onto the park bench, flicking the cigarette that ended up in his hand before the first time he spoke. \"Anyroad, looks as if you enjoyed yourself. Pretty cool, yeah?\"\n\n\nLex manages to scrounge up a little repentance and give Cedric an apologetic smile. Still, that turns into a blazing bright grin as the last question gets asked. \"Hell yes. And you wanna know what's better? That's not the only stuff there is out there.\" He points groundwards. \"There's about a million worms down there. Beetles and spiders and…\" Excuse Lex, his English is about to become Cantonese as he falls fluently into something loud and boistrous concerning how much fun this is going to be. Right back to English, complete with a bright grin, \"So when do I get to try people-hopping? Would that be bad?\"\n\n\nYuki dodges, skillfully enough, the odd person or kid in her path as she looks around the area. Skillfully enough meaning barely avoiding at the last second, and acting like the surprise and odd expletive have no effect on her. Finally she spots Cedric and Lex, smiling and starting over. Targets spotted, she can now watch where she's going a bit better. Having suddenly-fewer people to run into doesn't hurt either, \"Hey! Thought that w's you!\" Yuki calls out, being careful not to give out what she thought was who.\n\n\n The stream of Cantonese elicits a snort from Cedric, but his expression now is entirely serious as he leans forward, elbows on knees. He's about to speak when Yuki calls out, and he looks up, and raises his good hand towards her. \"Oi. Come 'ave a sit,\" he offers to her. \n \n Without waiting for Yuki to fully join them, he returns his gaze to Lex, dropping his voice to not ne audible beyond the bench. \"Whoa there, hold it a minute. Bet it'll work, and it might be useful sometime, but I've got to warn you about a couple of things.\" Pause. \"First off, what Wynn said is true, but there's better reasons to think before you go off half-cocked. First is, you ever noticed that you're totally helpless when you're doing that? What happens if someone comes by and nicks your body, and you don't know? What if they decide to rob you … or just off you? There's loads've people out there who'll do that. I'll wager you'd get stuck.\" \n\n \"Second, your manipulation of those birds is pretty obvious, and that's one thing we don't want to be. We're being hunted, never forget that. The Gloom wants us back, and it knows how to spot its own. Third, you don't want the normals figuring out you've got these powers any more than you want the Gloom finding you. What happens if the government figures out you can do that? What do you think they'll do?\" Cedric's tone is hard and warning, but not really nasty. \n\n\nAll of this calms Lex's enthusiasm somewhat; he slides right back into repentance and then a sense of sober worry. That second point definitely got to him. For the third, he frowns. \"Got it.\" He doesn't seem particularly happy to think about this, but… it's true and he can't deny it. He looks up from the little conversation to offer Yuki a small wave. Back to Cedric, quite seriously, \"All right, you're right, but if you're right, then why'd you let me do it just now? How am I supposed to practice this thing, if it /is/ useful?\"\n\n\nYuki has wandered in by around the second or third point, so at least she catches all of what Lex says, and with a good idea of the context too. \"Maybe try in some more controlled conditions?\" she suggests as she sits down near Cedric, though keeping a little distance for his comfort, \"All bollocks if somethin' 'appens 'n a small spot, but th' shite'll really fly if it 'appens out in public,\" she points out.\n\nThen she remembers she's wearing a skirt, not her pants, and she crosses her legs. Modest or not, she's at least aware of what society seems to think, and makes a show of adhering to it. \"I s'pose I'm lucky that I'm 'arder to notice…a spot of a chill, ice that won' melt in a drink…no one pays 'em much mind. But those things…from th' other place…they know. They follow me.\"\n\n\n \"I didn't say don't use it. I said you need to use your head.\" There's an edge, a trace of impatience in Cedric's tone, but he takes a deep breath and a drag off the cigarette. That appears to help, and when he speaks again, the deep, rough baritone is again lacking the edge it had momentarily taken on. \"I wanted to see how it worked, where I could stop any trouble if it started. S'why I had you watch me and come back if I got up. You're right, you need to practice, and it is right useful, but watch where and when you do it, right?\" He nods to Yuki in acknowledgement as she makes the same point before he can. The chill doesn't seem to bother him too much, although he is careful not to touch her. \n\n He also nods to the point about controlled conditions. \"Reckon some of the Watch won't mind, but don't practice on someone who doesn't know, you might get in trouble … and getting them hurt or in trouble would be pretty rude.\" \n\n\nA small shrug and Lex nods agreeably to both of them. \"So long as it's not never,\" he says, and relaxes back to eyeball Yuki speculatively. \"So they put you in your own place now? Someplace a little more chilly, I hear?\" They were almost roommates; he can't help but be a bit curious, even if he barely remembers meeting her. \"Name's Lex, by the way. I can't remember if I introduced myself. It's been a wild few days.\" His hands stay shoved in his pockets where they're warm.\n\n\nYuki offers Lex a smile, nodding her head. He doesn't offer his hand to shake, and she doesn't offer hers either. She may be able to control whether or not she actually freezes someone's skin, but that doesn't mean she's a pleasant feel otherwise. \"I r'member you. Angry ducks, lots of screamin' about…\" her smile spreads into a grin, and she leans back comfortably against the bench, \"So yeah, they shacked me up 'n a colder room. Good an' comfortable enough, an' I 'ad a lovely talk with the pretty lady, Mattie, and some bloke name of Jack…think I might find m'self a good 'ome with these Watch fellows…\"\n\n\n Apparently Cedric recognizes both of those names, because he nods. \"Jack's a good sort,\" he agrees. His lecture done, he leans back against the bench to allow the other two to see each other, and courteously turns his head to blow the smoke back behind the park bench. \"It's good to be around them as know where you've been, 'cause they've been there too,\" he admits quietly. \"Most of us don't do that stuff 'less we have to. All of us have little side effects and stuff that go with it. Mine leaves me stark bollock naked when I come back.\" That's said with a short laugh. \"Gets cold right quick, I'll tell you.\"\n\n\nNot a word from Lex, who just looks at Cedric with arched brows, then looks the man up and down… then turns his attention on some people wandering by. He might as well be whistling innocently; whatever comment he has on that matter, he's keeping quite to himself. It's not polite to find other people's problems amusing. Must behave, see? This is Lex behaving. It won't last forever.\n\n\nYuki shrugs her shoulders a little, turning her head to eye Cedric as well, her smile taking on a pointedly amused look, \"I can't imagine that bein' overly unpleasant. I rather find it fun t' prance about a bit…long as no one is gonna complain an'ways,\" she admits, shrugging. She does know better. She wasn't back in the world ten minutes before being arrested for exactly that.\n\nShe shakes her head a little bit, giving a soft laugh before looking back at Lex, \"Y'look like you might be inclined to agree. Jus' do it private. Som'one'll snitch ya t' the bobbies otherwise.\"\n\n\n Lex's reaction gets a /look/ from Cedric, but whatever he's thinking gets lost in Yuki's comment. \"Yeah, public decency laws'll land you in a spot with that sort of thing, right enough.\" He falls silent, and now it's his turn to look Yuki up and down speculatively. \"There's worse side effects,\" he adds after a moment, but doesn't elaborate.\n\n\nCue a small cough from Lex - before he shoots Yuki a wicked grin. \"I'm not turning down a free show, let's just leave it at that. And if he ends up in the right part of town, hey, he'll end up richer than he left, right?\" He's already ducking aside as though expecting to get swatted upside the head. Good thing Cedric's currently in recovery, maybe the smack won't hurt as bad. Ahem. \"I am /so/ trying to behave myself, you two are not making it easy.\"\n\n\nYuki shrugs a little, nodding in agreement with Lex, \"There are always worse, yes,\" she says, looking down a little before sliding her shoes off, stretching her legs out and reclining again, enjoying the feel of bare feet on the ground, \"I feel like I 'ave it bad bein' unable to eat a hot meal, but it's really not so bad compared to some,\" she admits.\n\nThen, giggling a little bit, \"An' w'at do you mean by a free show? I don' do anythin' like that for entertainin' blokes or nothin'. It's jus' a comfort thing.\"\n\n\n \"Oi, watch that.\" Cedric's response is flat and low. The smack Lex was expecting is indeed forthcoming; even delivered off-handed, it'll hurt if it lands. He's not a weakling, but there isn't a whole lot of heat in it either. \"Bat for the opposition, do you?\" Still, any smile fades quickly into a snort, and if his shoulders tense, he says nothing about it, only sitting up straighter and crushing out what remains of his cigarette. \"Reckon he'd enjoy watching me prance about stark bollock naked,\" he explains to Yuki.\n\n\nFortunately, Lex seems used to getting swatted - and getting out of the way of the really rough ones. \"No, no,\" he says cheerfully. \"Free show. Either of you. If we're going for baseball here, I play both positions. Hedonism, I've heard it called.\" But he's positively hanging off the end of the bench thanks to Cedric's swat, and when he plops back down onto it, he adds brightly, \"So, if you'd both like me to keep my comments to myself, you need to not leave such fine…\" Oh, this is a bad one. \"Openings for it.\" And with that Lex decides being on the bench in reach of Cedric is not safe, and hops up to swiftly step out of said reach and whirl with a grin on both of them. \"Nothing like a dance to chase the night away, that's all.\" He manages to look semi innocent while proclaiming this. Followed by a perfectly casual spin-and-sway, complete with provocative gyrations of the hips. See? He /was/ behaving earlier.\n\n\nYuki can't help giggling a bit at Lex's little dance routine, but she doesn't voice any particular agreement, \"Can't say I know much 'bout this baseball business, but I know w'at you mean. I s'pose I fancy both too. Gents c'n be right 'andsome to look at, and ladies are fun to ogle a bit too. Certainly makes th' nights go quicker w'en I think 'bout it all,\" she admits, quit freely at that, showing no indication that it was either a tease or a slip of the tongue. \"But for dancin' I can't say…never learned 'ow to. I 'ave more fun watchin' it anyways.\"\n\n\nCough. Right then. Cedric blinks at the revelations, then coughs once. \"Right.\" If Lex shows no restraint, the agent seems to be showing quite a bit, though why isn't clear. \"Maybe you oughta look for a job like that,\" he retorts to the dancing man, with a half-laugh that leaves it unclear if he's serious or not. \"Reckon you'd do well enough at it, and you're right for it, no mistake.\" That gets a laugh from him, but he stills it quickly enough, with a sheepish glance at Yuki. \"Reckon it'd be hard to learn there.\"\n\n\n\"Maybe,\" Lex says thoughtfully and then, deciding that Cedric probably isn't going to hit him again, comes meandering back towards the bench to have a seat on the end where he can easily bolt again if necessary. \"You know, I'll think about it. Entertain the lady here for you.\" If Cedric's being restrained, Lex is anything but - apparently he can be a complete and shameless flirt. Yuki gets a bright, engaging grin. Then it's back to sprawling on the bench once more. \"I /am/ going to have to get to know the night life all over again. Would be a possible way to start…\" Twitch. Suddenly the smiles are all gone. \"Then again, it is the /night/ life. Might just hold off on that for a while.\"\n\n\nYuki shrugs a little, giggling a bit at Lex, especially when he mentions the night life, \"There're a bunch of shops down in Soho, big kiss marks on 'em. Not sure if it's coincidence, but they 'ave a lot of queer things in 'em. Lots of naked people on th' shelves, strange toys that look like body parts, and ads for parties an' th' like…might check 'em out if you 'ave an ID,\" she suggests, before shrugging, \"…I kin'a got thrown out on m' arse since they said I w's too young.\"\n\n\n Yuki's description of the shop she found gets an open grin from Cedric. \"Found that by accident, did you?\" A measuring look beneath lashed eyes, the smile fading, but he shakes his head abruptly and looks away, instead addressing Lex. \"Know what you mean … but reckon they'd like it if we all hid in holes forever. I don't go out after dark right now, but that's 'cause of this,\" he lifts the injured hand. \"There's some nasty stuff out there, right enough, but you know what it is, what its signs are, and where it hides. You're better equipped to spot it now. Don't have to hide forever. Just use your head, right?\"\n\n\"I don't know all that,\" Lex protests. \"I don't remember much of anything. If there's anything I remember at all, it'll hit me in the moment at best.\" Twitch. From the uncomfortable set to his shoulders, he might remember more than he's saying. \"Do you people have classes? I could use them.\" If they don't freak him out to the point of running the other direction.\n\n\nYuki shrugs and draws her legs up, only her feet in the way keeping her modest in the skirt she's wearing, helped by hugging her legs in close. \"Yeah, I was was walkin' through Soho th' other day. Not my firs' time through it, but the first I wen' on that street. I 'ad' a strange encounter before that, too,\" she says, tilting her head a little one way, then to the other, \"Was a quite 'andsome fellow meetin' this scary lady. Gave 'er flowers, an' she seemed sweet on 'im…but she scared me. Didn' see all that nice,\" she recollects, before giggling a little bit, \"Th' man was nice enough though. Slipped me a fifty…I didn' even notice before it was too late…I thought 'e was jus' grabbin' me arse for some reason.\"\n\n\n \"No, but it's easy enough,\" Cedric answers, looking between the two of them now. \"Doing it is the hard part. The Gloom likes to fuck with your mind. It won't usually just attack you physically. It'll try to draw you into dark places and take you back. It'll use lures and tricks to try to trap you, like children and pets.\"\n\n He goes on, expression dark and tense. \"You want to spot it at work? Look for things that don't fit. Use your instincts. If it looks dodgy, chances are it is dodgy. That's how we found you, Lex. Those ducks weren't acting right. Had another, just last night,\" he adds. \"Cat approached me. Cats hate me. Was following me. Understood English. Was damned lucky, I would've been well caught if it had been Other. Lucky for me it was a bloke I'd worked with before, turned into a cat and couldn't change back.\" A brief chuckle splits the tense expression. \"Almost got neutered.\" \n\n Yuki's comments, though, cut off the torrent of explanation, and he raises an eyebrow. \"You were off in Soho alone, dressed like that? Small wonder he thought ….\" He cuts himself off sharply. \"Right. He probably thought you were selling yourself, Yuki. You oughtn't to be down there alone.\"\n\n\nLex falls quiet, listening, thinking all of this over. From the look of things, there's a memory lurking there too - something about how he got caught the first time, maybe. He nods agreement in Yuki's direction, though from the pensive expression, he's still distracted - and he probably hasn't got a clue where Soho is anyway, but that's all right. Still shouldn't go there alone, Cedric said so! He tugs one foot up to rest on the opposite knee and leans on it, frowning to himself.\n\n\nYuki shakes her head, \"Was wearin' my jeans…'course it was rainin' too, but not that 'ard…I was jus' walkin' by an' he told me t' stop eatin' this sandwich I had,\" she clarifies, giggling a little, \"Of course I nabbed it from a rubbish bin, but there w's no way he saw that…it was indoors,\" she further explains, before looking between the two again, particularly at Cedric, \"So…your friend turned catty, did 'e?\" she asks, rubbing her feet together a little, hugging her legs tighter, \"Strange…th' woman with th' bloke in Soho…she gave off a very cat-like feelin' too. Very strange…\"\n\n\n \"Not everything that's dodgy is all bad.\" Cedric looks up at the sky, shoving his good hand into his pocket again. \"We stick together, you know. Got to. Too much out there.\" He lapses into silence, then, just looking up at the sky.\n\n\nLex murmurs, \"Yeah.\" Pensive, he gets up and shoves his hands into his pockets, then goes pacing away, wandering on the grass. It's not quite wandering /away/, but sitting still just isn't happening anymore, so he busies himself with that.\n\n\nYuki shrugs a little, taking in what Cedric says before looking over at him, \"Not sayin' anythin' like that, but she did seem t' know…\" she starts, before narrowing her eyes a little, brow furrowing, \"Actually…both of 'em seemed t' know…w'en the man firs' tried t' 'and me th' fifty, I kin'a made it freeze t' 'is 'and. It w's cold an' rainin' out…didn' seem that odd…not overly, leastwise. But there w's no shock,\" she explains, tilting her head up to watch the sky as well, \"…An' th'n th' woman got really mad…\"\n\n\n Something in Yuki's explanation makes Cedric look over at her, raising an eyebrow. \"Oi. If you did that to another Touched … yeah, they'd notice right enough. She say anything to you? What'd she look like?\" He keeps it casual, but he's listening.\n\n\nYuki closes her eyes as she tries to recall some details of the woman, \"Well…she had darker skin, I s'pose…an' seemed th' more aggressive of th' two,\" she opens her eyes again, lowering her gaze and turning it towards Cedric, shrugging, \"Called me a Younglin' or sommat. Was pretty I s'pose…though…\" she looks around a bit, to make sure no one else is particularly in ear show, not even Lex, before leaning in towards Cedric and speaking in a lower tone, \"…though between you 'n' me…not quite as pretty as Mattie,\" she says, leaning back to her side of the bench and giggling a little bit.\n\n\n Briefly, Cedric glances over at where Lex has wandered off, possibly making sure he doesn't go /too/ far, before listening closely. He merely snorts a quiet laugh that fades quickly enough. \"Fancy her, do you? Don't know if she's into that or not.\" Almost as soon as that's out of his mouth, he shuts it quickly and studies Yuki again, speculatively. \"D'you … like to just look?\" Boy is this awkward, and yet….\n\n\nA shrug, and Yuki smiles, turning her eyes back up to the sky as she leans back against the bench, lowering her legs and resting her feet on the ground, \"I s'pose I could fancy 'er. Then again, for all I know of 'er I could say I fancy you too,\" she points out, \"She's pretty with a nice arse, an' you're quite the 'andsome bloke. You're both friendly,\" she shrugs again, and slumps her shoulders, \"But…all I can do is look. Even if I want t' get close t' someone, it'd be 'ard t' do. People like warm company, an' that ain't me.\"\n\n\n And that was what Cedric was afraid of, judging by the crestfallen look on his face at the last comment. He conceals it quickly enough, looking down at his lap. \"Right,\" he mutters, although the compliment does bring a smile to his face. \"S'pose that would be a problem, yes. If it helps, you're not alone. I know one bird whose skin is poisonous. Seems like the Gloom likes to give us powers as should be ace, and the reality is they're a right arse-on to deal with. Bloke I was talking about is a Yank, and he was none too pleased about coming up starkers.\" He shrugs.\n\n\nYuki lowers her head, not exactly seeming her usual cheerful self now either, \"I s'pose it's not that big a deal, really. I w's always alone before, never even knew w'at a friend was. Th'n I came back. I w's…'appy, y'know? The first time…I knew I wasn' th' only thing in the shadows not tryin' t' eat me,\" then she grins a bit, \"…An' th'n I get 'auled in f'r bein' starks m'self. An' it's been 'ard since.\"\n\n\n Cedric is quiet for a moment after Yuki finishes speaking. \"Reckon you can't regret what you never had,\" he says softly after a moment. \"Hope we can make things a bit easier for you. Not everything here will try to eat you, all right? It's a rough life, doin' this kind of work, but it beats the alternative, and at least you're helping people. Even if they don't know it.\"\n\n\nYuki shakes her head a bit at that, \"Oh, you c'n regret it, 'least once y'see others with it,\" she points out, looking back at Cedric and putting another smile on for him, warm and friendly as she can manage, \"I spen' twelve years runnin' an' hidin' from everythin' an' it's mum. So 'part from sudd'nly bein' lonely, th' last four years 'ave been a breeze. Makes a person appreciate simple things. A cool breeze, a friendly smile, a…leftover sandwich of dubious origin…\"\n\n\n More silence from Cedric, and he's not looking at Yuki…at least, not until she says the last part. He looks up, though. when she does, and for just a moment, there's a faraway look in his eyes before he snaps back to the here and now. \"Are you hungry?\" \n\n\nAt this point, Lex comes pacing back, a distracted and intently thoughtful expression on his face. He didn't go far, just wandered a few yards here, a few yards there. Back he comes, and as he approaches, he declares, \"I need a job. Maybe one I don't have to sleep at night for.\" He'd rather have his eyes open when the Gloom comes for him. His attention swipes back and forth between the pair. \"I have a degree in analysis from HKU. I doubt that means much here, though. Hmm. Someone put me to work. I can't stand sitting around anymore.\"\n\n\n\"Little bit, I guess, but I'm fine,\" Yuki responds to Cedric, before Lex wanders back over and starts his little mini-rant about working at night. She draws her legs up onto the bench, turning to rest her back against the armrest, \"Well, if y'need a job at night, w'y not deliver the news? I see them blokes out at all 'ours of the mornin' makin' their rounds. Own your route, make th' orders yourself, deliver…if you wanna analyze th'n there's a good way t' put your brains t' use.\"\n\n\n Cedric looks up as Lex returns, and relaxes maybe a little bit. \"Some Touched lead normal lives, or close to it,\" he replies. \"I've got a job m'self, just on leave at the moment until the splints are off. If you want something to do … anybody talk about the Watch at all? It doesn't pay, it's an on the side thing usually.\" \n\n\nLex gives Yuki a thoughtful nod, lips pursed, then studies Cedric while he speaks. He shrugs. \"I could help out. It seems worthwhile. I just don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do.\" And just like that, an enormous grin appears. \"Anything but finance, that's all I ask.\" And then he's wandering off again, looking quite pleased with himself for some bizarre reason.\n\n\nYuki watches the little exchange between the two, giggling a little bit as Lex wanders back off, \"I c'n never tell if 'e's happy or w'at,\" she observes to Cedric regarding Lex. She raises an arm, laying it out along the back of the bench, her leg resting against it as the other spreads a bit, dropping off the end and resting her foot on the ground. Her head tilts back, eyes closing, \"I'd like t' 'elp out too…Mattie said I might even be able t' get a proper ID, an' have an actual 'ome to live in…be tutored, given 'elp on findin' a job…\"\n\n\n As Lex wanders off again, Cedric frowns after him, then turns back to Yuki. \"Reckon you could do all that. Ring that number I gave you, and they'll get you started. Can't do it m'self, not allowed to, but they can help.\" One eyebrow twitches, and he stares back up at the sky with a soft snort. \"Wonder if they can get me a fake ID or something,\" he mutters, half to himself. \n\n\nYuki shrugs a little bit, \"I did ring it up. An' w'en I did, they sent over Mattie an' that Jack bloke t' interview. That's all I got so far, an'ways. Mattie did mos' th' talkin' an' Jack took notes…asked me 'bout skills I 'ad, an' stuff like that,\" she explains. Her eyes open, still gazing skyward, \"If I c'n do anythin' to 'elp though…I want to. Mattie did ask w'at I might be int'rested in. Research, field work…I s'pose th' field if those are th' only two things. I'm good at teachin' m'self things, but that's 'bout it.\"\n\n\n \"Field is dangerous, you know.\" Cedric finally turns to look fully at Yuki, and presses his lips together at the pose. Right. Face. Eye-to-eye contact, and pretend you didn't just see that. \"You'll run afoul of some pretty nasty shite in the field. Might even find yourself staring down the Gloom again.\" His voice is low and quiet, not meant to carry beyond the park bench. \"We always ned more agents in the field, though. Got pulled in hurt twice now because there was nobody else.\" A momentary pause at that. \"Reckon you might start with tutoring. Who knows what you might fall into.\"\n\n\nYuki seems fairly oblivious to her position on the bench, just relaxing as comfortably as she can. When Cedric starts talking quietly, though, she lowers her gaze, meeting his eyes, smiling, \"Well…I spent twelve years runnin' fr'm that danger alone. Reckon I might be able t' face it some now that I'm not alone,\" she says, grinning just a little, \"It's like a whole new world of sorts…jus' w'en I w's gettin' used to the 'normal' one too.\"\n\n\n \"Yeah.\" Cedric's answer is non-committal. He pauses a moment, though, studying her. \"You can freeze things, right?\" he asks suddenly, sitting up. \"Might have to talk to Dahl on that one, though, but ….\" He pauses, ruminating in silence for a moment. \"I'll find out. I can do that much. Harris better have finished that up already anyroad.\" \n\n\nYuki nods her head at that, \"Yeah, I c'n freeze things…but it depends on proximity, really. If I touch it, or it's touchin' me, I c'n take it down to freezin' near-instantly,\" she says, with a slight shrug, \"But if it's jus' close by, it's slower, it's much 'arder to focus it without contact. Even with contact, focusin' for more than a few seconds gives me headaches. I've never really tried t' push it pas' that either.\"\n\n\n \"Headaches?\" Cedric winces, a sympathetic gesture. \"That sucks. Maybe if you push it, it'll get stronger? Powers are like a muscle, really - you have to push them to get better at them. Here isn't the place, though.\" \n\n\nYuki nods in complete understanding of that, \"Well, freezin' an area an' freezin' w'at I touch…they're the same power. W'en I firs' came back, I didn' freeze anythin' aroun' me. It took practice…but without it I w's always burnin' bad. Now it's like a heartbeat…jus' always goin' on. It takes more effort to stop it th'n to do it,\" she explains, before drawing her other leg back up on the bench, closing her legs together as she hugs them, \"Freezin' w'at I touch is th' same power, but it's much more concentrated. Like the diff'rence b'tween a spray of mist, an' a steady stream of water. If y'put it like a muscle, freezin' on touch is kinda like flexin' hard an' tryin' to hold it.\"\n\n\n \"Isometrics,\" Cedric says immediately; if the word is unfamiliar, the look of understanding on his face is clear. \"You get better at those the more you work them, too. Know it means headaches, but … a good workout'll leave you fair knackered, too. Still worth it.\" His tone is the voice of experience. Maybe the muscular and trim form didn't come from just nowhere.\n\n\nYuki rolls her shoulders a little, turning again to sit properly on the bench, legs hanging off the front and her hands coming to rest in her lap. \"I know it'll probably get easier,\" she says, her voice sounding a little beneath the smile she's wearing, \"…Biggest problem f'r me, though…is the more I concentrate it, or w'en I jump 'round…those monster from th' Gloom seem t' know. Like it's a beacon. So practicin' with it isn't that easy t' do.\"\n\n\n All trace of smile vanishes from Cedric's face at that description. \"Oi. Yeah, that's a problem. Hard to practice with that rot going on.\" He pauses a moment. \"I'm sure there's a safe place we can find for you to practice. Know how that goes.\" He stops there, and studies, Yuki closely, as if gauging how much he can say.\n\n\nYuki starts to say something else, but when she sees how Cedric is staring at her, watching her, she closes her mouth, giggling a little bit and looking away, almost as if she were blushing and trying to hide it, except her cheeks aren't changing color.\n\n\n After a moment, Cedric just sighs and looks away, shaking his head. \"Sorry, didn't mean to stare.\" There's more than a trace of awkwardness in the words. His eyes go down to his lap. \"Sounds like a rough situation you've got there. But … you've got to practice some. Maybe just not alone.\"\n\n\nYuki nods in agreement, looking back at him and laughing just a bit, \"That's true 'nough…be a right bloody mess if I ran 'eadfirst int' somethin' without knowin' well enough w'at was w'at,\" she says, pausing for a moment as someone walks by and throws some food away. She eyes the can, but thinking better of it, she looks back at Cedric, shrugging her shoulders, \"…I'm not that 'ungry at th' moment,\" she assures him.\n\n\n \"Huh?\" Cedric looks up at the last comment, and shakes his head. \"All right. You know you don't have to go diving in rubbish bins for food anymore anyroad, right?\" A glance at the rubbish bin, and off where Lex went to feed the ducks, his gaze lingering a moment to make sure that's /all/ he's doing, and he turns back. \"It would, at that. Don't fancy seeing you get hurt.\" The comment is quiet, reserved - as if he is withdrawing.\n\n\nYuki nods, not even really following Lex at the moment, her attention pretty much strictly on Cedric. \"I know, but it's like a habit. Y'see someone toss somethin' usable an' you make use of it. I never went after old stuff…jus' recent, an' wrapped. Lots t' enjoy, an' never getting sick. Better th'n scavvin' for food in the Gloom,\" she points out, \"Gotta eye everythin' y'find there. Even th' plants…\"\n\n\n \"Can't imagine trying to scav for food there.\" Cedric looks up, his brief fit of quiet apparently vanishing like a puff of dandelions in a breeze as he looks up, and he offers her a smile. \"I'm impressed,\" he tells her. \"You've not had an easy time of it. Surviving in the Gloom for all those years … and remembering it. That's tough. Not too many remember, and even fewer want to.\"\n\n\nYuki shrugs a little, \"I only remember mos' of it. There're parts I don' remember clearly,\" she admits, \"Not sure why anyone'd wanna remember though. I'd trade it to know w'at my mum looked like, or t' know w'at 'appened to dad,\" she further confesses before standing up, stretching out and groaning a little with the exertion, holding the pose for a second before dropping her arms back to her side comfortably, \"It's not 'n easy place t' survive…on your own, the world changin' sometimes by th' 'our…you never 'ave th' same meal twice, an' 'bout 'alf your meals try t' bite back.\"\n\n\n \"I don't.\" Cedric's statement is most definitely heartfelt. \"Don't remember much about it at all. I've got enough to be going on with, thanks.\" He barks a short laugh. \"My mum and da wanted to lock me up when they found out. Didn't want to risk a scandal.\" A heavy sigh accompanies that. \"Reckon it's better if they just forget about the whole lot.\"\n\n\nYuki nods her head a bit, smiling, \"I couldn' find much, jus' w'at w's in th' papers. Was big news for a day or two, but th'n it was quickly buried, never mentioned again,\" she says, sitting herself back down on the bench before continuing, crossing her legs, \"One rozzer said it looked like mum 'ad swallowed a bomb or somethin' like that. Big mess, all over the room…an' dad…they couldn' find 'air nor 'ide of 'em. Jus' vanished. Same things th' bobbies tol' me when I came back…\"\n\n\n As Yuki continues to talk, Cedric falls silent and just listens, for now, open sympathy written across his features. \"That's awful. I'm sorry,\" he replies quietly when she is done speaking. \"We see that, though. We deal with the shite that the bobbies don't want to see or know about, or what they can't handle. They fair well know when to call in the Watch by now, and they sod off and leave us to it 'less we're too loud.\" He sighs. \"Know that's probably not what you wanted to hear.\"\n\n\nYuki shakes her head a bit, \"I don't mind, if I can 'elp someone an' make a friend or two…it 'as to beat bein' lonely, right?\" she asks, looking over at Cedric and smiling, giggling just a little bit, \"I s'pose I can't miss my fam'ly since I don' really remember 'em…but I'd like t' know w'at 'appened. W'ere dad is, or w'at 'appened to 'im. Or the rest of my fam'ly. Even assumin' I am who I am, they couldn' find any relatives. Not livin' ones, anyways.\"\n\n\n \"Sometimes you're better off not knowing.\" Cedric can't help but smile in response to the giggle, the expression brightening his whole face. \"We're our own family, sort of,\" he goes on, sobering. \"Most of us have lost our families and friends or had them walk away from us, and when we do have friends who are normal, we can't ever tell them the truth. Even if we can, they don't proper understand. Among ourselves, we know what's what and we watch each other's backs.\"\n\n\nYuki nods, still smiling, almost like a reflex to something bad, \"I wan' to go back an' visit though…not th' apartment in particular, but jus' Muswell Hill. It w's my 'ome at one time, an' w'en I came back, I was there so briefly I can't even call it a memory.\" She closes her eyes, laying back against the bench and taking a deep breath, \"But…I'll admit part of me 'opes I might find my dad. I know it won' 'appen…but I wan' to know anyways.\"\n\n\n Cedric does like his silences, doesn't he? There's another one after Yuki is done talking, concern written in his expression. \"Hope you're ready for what you find,\" he mutters. \"Let's get Lex and go on back. I've got to do laundry and be home by dark, and you're probably wanting lunch.\" \n"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License