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Find Aiden Flynn

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This post was last modified: 05-21-2017, 07:42 PM by Aiden Flynn Posted | 05-21-2017, 07:42 PM



ooc note: Aiden would like the Belladonna

She talks a lot, he's beginning to realize. Maybe it's at least a little bit his fault. It's natural to want to fill the silence - and he leaves plenty of silences. What is there to say? He can't exactly comment on her decor. He can't say, that's a nice view you have. Small talk has never been a strong skill of his, and now he's left with even less to discuss.

So he's silent, and she speaks. Nothing that she's saying really helps him. Of course her bathroom has a toilet and a sink, at the least. No shit it was hot on the left - but he bites his tongue. Part of him knows that she's trying to be nice. If he thinks too much about it, about why she's being nice, the panic threatens to overwhelm him again. So he doesn't think about it.

It's easier to focus on her hand in his - the first human contact he's had in much longer than he cares to admit.

She takes care of her shopping list, and he's far too distressed at the idea of showering blind to even bring up the other considerations - how he'll shave, how he'll make sure he's presentable. You could just ask for help. Smith's advice is, as ever, unwelcome. This time he doesn't snap - nor does he answer out loud. Why not ask for a sponge bath and a handy while I'm at it? he asks in return, bitterly. He doesn't need anyone's help - least of all Billie's help.

Then she's asking his name, and he hesitates. Is there a point to lying? None that he can see. Aiden Flynn is nobody. He's nobody. "Aiden." It comes out sharper than he means and he sighs, frustrated with himself. "Just... Aiden."

It hurts to ask her this, but he forces it. "If you don't mind, could you... pick up some spare clothes for me? I just..." don't trust you nearly enough to tell you where my bunker is. "Need more than one set. I'll... pay you back, for them." The last thing he needs is more of her charity.

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This post was last modified: 05-22-2017, 03:53 AM by Billie Sweeney Posted | 05-22-2017, 03:46 AM

OOC: She'll take the LION. Rawr.

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"

She wouldn't have minded talking so much had there been an active participant on the other end. In effect, for a duration of their exchange, she felt that he was more than blind, but also deaf. There's not one response or answer prompted from him aside from his name, but even this little crumb of information is cherished. Then, he entrusts her with getting him some clothing-- not one, but a few outfits.

"Yeah, sure, I can do that." Aiden. Knowing his name now, she's still too uncomfortable to address him with it. Billie doesn't want his fucking money, she just wanted to do what she knew was right after being so, very, wrong. Her lips twist over, discouraged by his suggestion, but she says none of it out loud. He doesn't have to know the half of it, she'd do what needed to be done, as she always has and would spare the argument now.

Through their interaction, Billie has peripherally clued into the fact that he's not particularly grateful, but at least he's accepting of her touch. She's come to her own conclusions through watching his expression furrow and shift, listening to the terse tone of his voice, and knowing that he had every right to hate her. No surprise there, it's not hard to pick up on, and it's even easier to understand why. There's no fault she can find in his attitude, as sour as it was, though it did little in the way of fostering confidence within herself.

Icy eyes drift over his present outfit, which referenced little, if anything, in the way of his preferred style. Still wearing the delivery service uniform, regulated and generic, she relies on the memories of their first encounter to inform her fashionably otherwise. The recollection of jeans and a purple hoodie come to mind, and for a moment she toys with the idea of asking him what he liked. That idea is quickly shut down-- he wouldn't notice the difference between one shirt or the next. Whatever was most pleasing to the touch, tactile, with as few buttons as possible, THAT'S what she'd purchase.

"What size are you?"

All the while, she gently guides him by the hand through the apartment. Leading him out of the bathroom and back out towards the kitchen, his other hand remains free to explore at his leisure. She points out all the intricacies and nuances of her home, but as she disclaimed, the apartment wasn't awfully large and with the couch pulled out as it was, there was even less space.

Billie pauses at her bag to get a cigarette, tapping at the carton before opening it up-- the telltale sound of paper, plastic, and the subtle shake of tobacco settling indicating exactly what she was up to. "I need a smoke--" She announces sudden and decisively. "I use the fire-escape, 'cause I don't want the apartment stinkin' like an ash tray." It's a general warning to him, but pointed.

Wood held the smell of everything, and there already was so much wood-- exposed plywood and floors, not to mention the textiles: bohemian carpet, minimal drapes, bedding and pillows, all which would have made living here less enjoyable. And that was to say, Billie did enjoy living here, alone, in her tiny and minimal apartment. But alone she was no more, it would seem. "This is the window..." Her hand draws away from him in order to support herself as she reaches one slender leg followed by the other out onto the fire-escape like a little spider.

Within moments she's quieted again, save the soft sound of exhaling smoke and the depleted sigh of blighted relief which wafts in through the still open window.

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Posted | 05-22-2017, 11:54 PM



He relieved when she says yes, no fuss or muss. Some part of him honestly expected her to say no, to deny him. Nothing of their interactive have indicated she would do such a thing, but he had worried none the less. "Uh... I'm not sure," he admits. "Normally I just wear what fits."

Normally he doesn't have people looking at him, judging him by what he's wearing. That will still be true, mostly. Aiden doesn't plan on leaving this place any time soon, and Billie doesn't seem eager to comment on his fashion sense.

She's kind, unexpectedly so. She takes the time to show him her small apartment, gives him an idea of where everything is. She doesn't need to do this, and he's grateful for it, in an awkward way. He can't quite bring himself to say as much, either. But it's all good, because she mentions smoking and suddenly he's craving nicotine like he hasn't for a long time. He follows her to the window, carefully exploring with his hands.

"It feels cool outside," he notes hesitantly. "What time is it?" Either fairly late or early, he would guess. There is no traffic, no birds, nothing but cool silence. A deep breath brings the scent of smoke to him and he asks, rather sheepishly, " Can I bum a smoke?" It isn't what he needs, but he wants the familiar motions and taste. Besides, it's an excuse for him to touch her. It isn't a sexual desire. Instead Aiden has simply been through a traumatic experience and he craves human contact. He wanted to hold someone, be held. Neither seems likely so instead he reaches for his Machiavellian scheming.

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This post was last modified: 05-26-2017, 05:07 AM by Pouf Posted | 05-26-2017, 04:35 AM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"

"It's just before dawn-- give it another 15 minutes and we'll start hearin' the starlings and sparrows." She pauses to take a brief drag of her cigarette, adding somewhat impassively. "They're always the first." Being awake at this time wasn't unusual for her, apparent from how she speaks of these twilight hours with the familiarity she does.

Without hesitation Billie obliges him a cigarette, anticipating that he might've asked for one before he does. Recollecting their first encounter, she hesitates while opening the pack, staring down at the same red lighter contained within, like before. There would be no offering it to him this time, though.

"Yeah, of course." She draws a stick from the box for him and switches the place of it with her own between her lips. Pressing the cherry of hers to his, she takes a drag and begins to smoke. It lights silently, with not even so much as a flick of the Bic lighter.

"Here..."

She swaps the cigarettes once more, propping her own between her lips in order to complete the exchange. The single word had been gentle and controlled, similar to how she takes his hand in her own. Spreading his fingers with one hand, she preps him to receive her open palm against his. Aiden's cigarette balances precariously between her fingers, positioned in a way such that it can be slipped between his pointer and middle and change hands. Billie takes great care to not burn him in the process, and while a little awkward, it's at least considerate.

Schemed and deceived is not what she feels, though she's unwittingly fallen into his trap. Without realizing this, she can't fault or resent him. Without forcing him out onto the fire escape, as typically required per her own house rules, she tolerates him blowing smoke out the window instead... this time.

✖ ✖ ✖


It was a long ass fucking day. Exhausted and uneasy, Billie has somehow managed to make it back home. She's run the errands intended, she made an appearance at the office, she even endured Nogi's unannounced visit as she tried to close up. She is also left riddled with guilt and a wealth of sharp emotions which had been brought about with the Spirit Detective appearing at the door, and subsequently, the transaction they made.

Billie tries not to think about that now, as she struggles up the three flights of stairs with her fists clenched around bag handles. Unwieldy bulk juts out at either side of her: Two big bags of clothing, two bags full of assorted toiletries and cigarettes, three bags containing linens, pillows and towels, and a double paper bag chocked with groceries... not to mention the leather bag slung over her shoulder. She pauses at the door, plopping the bags down and immediately feels the ache stinging through the sinews of her arms. The keys click and the door unlatches, but her entrance is quiet. Distinctly she feels that this was no longer 100% her own.

Winded, she doesn't immediately make for conversation but instead starts fussing with the bags, lining them up neatly against the wall with the exception of the groceries. What did one say in this situation? "Honey, I'm home!" was off the table.

She begins to unpack the groceries, stocking the refrigerator with fresh food-- something she normally didn't do for herself. She supposed he might not be so keen on heading out of the apartment quite in the way she was at the liberty of doing so. "I brought food, if you're hungry..." she lamely announces.

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This post was last modified: 05-27-2017, 12:59 AM by Aiden Flynn Posted | 05-27-2017, 12:58 AM



It's surprisingly early - but then again, time is relative. Aiden's always been an odd sleeper, utilizing his electricity dominion to keep himself spry. There weren't any windows in his bunker, either. In a strange way his blindness suited him; he hadn't ever appreciated the world to begin with, so how different was it to not be able to see at all? It was a bitter kind of justice, though at this moment in time he wasn't inclined to see it that way.

The simple act of her lighting the cigarette and transferring it to him was a bit of nirvana; he didn't want her hands to leave his, though they indeed did just that. The cigarette is a poor replacement, for all that he puffs willingly on it. It's peaceful, listening as the birds begin to sing and feeling a nearness to Billie. It wasn't remotely enough to offset the lingering bitterness and so-far constant edge of panic - but it was... nice.

- - -

The sound of the door opening startles him, and he swears loudly at the razor cuts into his skin. Pressing fingers to the wound, he's not certain if he's bleeding all that badly, or if it's just the very flowery-smelling shaving cream. Carefully he washes his face off, wincing as he realizes the poor job he's done. The shower was nice, although it had been a learning curve and a half. Aiden was almost certain he'd used body wash in his hair, and conditioner as body wash, but at the end of it he felt better - and that was what mattered.

The idea to shave came from his fingers stumbling over a razor while he had been searching for the soap. It wasn't terribly polite to use Billie's razor, but he wasn't about to go pawing through her cabinets to find a fresh one.

Leaving everything as he put it for the process, he pokes his head out of the bathroom. His head follows the source of her voice, though he has no eyes to watch her with. "I'm starving," he admits readily enough, still rubbing at the smooth part of his face - trying to ignore the rough patches his fingers find. He knows he looks like a mangey dog, but at least it was his own doing, and not simply the default of lacking his eyes.

"Were you just at work?" And then, a belated thought - "And shopping, I guess." Far more belatedly is the realization that he's standing in full sight of her, probably, undoubtedly still bleeding from that last knick of the razor, naked save for the small towel wrapped around his waist.

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Posted | 05-29-2017, 10:24 AM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"

She only realizes he's in the bathroom at the sound of running water and doesn't think much on the matter while she continues to unpack the groceries. The smell of shower, shaving cream, and the fancy shampoo she favored wafts into the apartment and informs her of just what he's been up to in her absence. It's a very feminine scent, flowery and sweet and totally not befitting of the man who smells of it, but she's impressed that he was ambitious enough to undertake a task she knew would come with difficulty.

Minding her own, she's busy separating the immediate consumables from what she's putting away when he pokes his head out, soon followed by his entirety. She glances up when he admits he's hungry and automatically responds "Alright, I got pasta." then looks back down at the peppers and onions. "Sorry to say I'm not a...." She doesn't finish the thought. Out of the corner of her eye she notices movement and she double takes as his full figure comes into view with not so much as a hand towel over his nether region. "Oh!" She squeaks out awkwardly, clearly taken off-guard and averting her eyes-- not that he would see.

"Geez... uhh...." Having her doubts if the sorry excuse for a towel even covered the entirety of his ass, Billie grows beet red. Fortunately (or maybe not? She's not sure.) he's facing in her direction, sparing her that view. "Yeah-- work... shopping..." She echoes back what he says, though the words are failing to register.

She's so distracted by the body of the 95% naked man in her living room that it takes her a moment to notice he's bleeding, not to mention that his face looked like it was shaved by a 6 year old. At least he tried... Which brings her to the realization that his razor was still in the bags she brought home.

Abruptly she blurts out, as if he couldn't already tell by the awkwardness of her responses: "Ok, I'm sorry... I can't have a conversation with you like this." She walks quickly over to the bags, abandoning the pasta and pots, cutting board, knives, and peppers. Rustling through the linens bag, she explains I got you towels..." Looks like you need them.

She fetches one and hands it over, getting a closer look at the hack job he did on his face as she nears him. "You're bleeding you know... did you..." God, she already knew the answer and she is trying not to laugh-- lord help her. "Did you use the razor from the shower?" She makes a whimpering sound as she fights to hold back a laugh. It really isn't funny... it's terrible, really!

"I... I don't know what to say. Did you use my toothbrush while you were at it?" She goes to grab a paper towel to blot his face. "I'm sorry... I just... Wow. Yeah. You want me to clean that up a bit for you? It's not bad..." Yeah it is. "... But I got you your own razor."

She looks to the food on the counter and goes to fill the pot of water, putting it on a burner and placing a lid on it. "I got you some clothes, too. Might wanna put those on..."

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Posted | 06-01-2017, 05:00 PM



At first he doesn't process the cause for her shocked noise. He can't see his immodesty - it doesn't even occur to him to remember she can. It's a slow realization, and he's torn between his natural inclination - to mock her, to put himself on display if only to see her reaction - and his new, more cautious outlook. In the end caution wins, and he edges back into the bathroom.

Pasta sounds good, though it still is frustrating that he's so reliant on her. That line of thought is interrupted by her walking across the room, rummaging around in something. Towels? That would be nice. He grabbed the only one his fumbling, wet, blind, hands could find. He has a sneaking suspicion that it's a hand towel - especially given the occasional breeze he feels on his ass.

She's coming closer, and he fights the urge to flinch away. At first the feeling of cloth in his hand startles him, but he grabs it before he drops it. "It's the only one I could find," he mutters, defensive. He knows he's a sorry sight. Why should he care? It isn't like he has to see himself. He feels better, and isn't that what matters?

He holds the new towel to his front, fumbling to find the edge of it to wrap around himself. His face feels like fire by now, and he's sure that - underneath the blood and patches of hair - he's beet red. Frustrated in more ways than one, he finally shakes the damn thing, aware that he's now standing half-crouched down, one hand firmly over his package, holding the hand towel there, the other shaking a towel without much of a way to see if it's unfolded fully. "Billie," he starts, the name feeling awkward on his tongue, "I can't... I don't know where you put my clothes."

Might as well ask her to hold my hand while I'm at it, he snarls to himself in his mind.

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This post was last modified: 06-09-2017, 11:03 PM by Billie Sweeney Posted | 06-09-2017, 10:10 PM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"
Immediately she regrets feeling any sort of amusement, even if his usage of her razor on his face had absolutely nothing to do with the situation unraveling before her. Her lips twist as he takes the towel and he defends his actions, it saddens her to hear him trying to explain himself-- especially knowing how caustic he typically was. You know, in the whole short time she's known him.

He had done an impressive job of hiding the involuntary flinch away from her, but she sees it in the subtle shift of his expression. It's as if he was expecting a punch when she draws near. Maybe he was.

God. I'm a fucking monster.

She looks away modestly as he struggles with the towel passed off, even more regret filling her for not following her initial inclination to wrap it around him and opting to have faith that he'd be able to manage on his own. The action alone would have been awkward enough, and already she's walking a fine line of being helpful or demeaning.

When he bends from the waist to get the towel under control, she looks back-- mostly because he made a sudden movement, but she catches a glimpse of his spine and shoulders in the process and immediately feels guilty. From the corner of her eye she watches him aggressively shake the thing loose and she tries to play it off by conversing, but ultimately this only leads to another obstacle.

Noëtune is quiet, because she is pleased. Hell, the two of them together was a veritable buffet of misery.

Her tongue fumbles over the words as she starts to respond, noticing how red he's become. "I uh, I'm sorry-- let me get them... you can put them wherever you want." She quickly bounds over to the bags and drags them over to where he stands, taking his wrist into her hand and gently tugging him towards the couch. "Here, let me ..." She catches herself, sensitive to his plight. "Showing" wasn't exactly what she'd be doing for him. "Let's check out what I got."

Billie had made a concerted effort to only purchase clothing which had a definitive front from back, which meant tags in the collars or pockets where they belonged. She purchased underwear, boxer briefs and boxers because she had no idea what he preferred. Flannel pajama bottoms, brushed cotton, bamboo and the likes-- all tactile and soft, one different from the next. Absolutely no buttons (save for the jeans) and two new sweatshirts, though, not purple.

She sits beside him, rummaging through the bags for the various items. "If you don't like anything, I'll take it back." She offers, procuring one item after the next and passing them over to him. "I could put 'em away for you, but thought I'd let you put things wherever made the most sense for you. No more using my razor, ok?" You don't know where that's been.

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Posted | 06-12-2017, 11:20 PM



At first he doesn't understand - he knows she's talking about the clothing, but he still has little idea of what her apartment consists of. It's small, of course, and he's familiar as he can be with the bathroom, all things considered. But he hasn't even tried to feel around for a closet or wardrobe. He has a vague notion of where the window is, where it sounds like the kitchen is from where Billie was speaking about cooking. But that's it, and he doesn't know where she means for him to put things.

He doesn't mention this though. It's bad enough to have so much else to rely upon her for. This he can figure out for himself.

It isn't as much of a surprise when she takes his wrist, and though he hesitates at first he allows her to lead him, his other hand stuck clutching his towel about his waist. At the bed she walks his fingers through a rainbow of fabrics - he can't attest to if the colors of the fabrics make up a rainbow as well. Some of the fabrics aren't what he can recognize. Most seem fine, though his fingers shy away from a few. When it comes to the undergarments it takes him a few moments to understand what they are. Then his already-red face goes all the moreso. Is it strange that she'll know exactly what he might be wearing? Why does he care? It isn't as though it's some great mystery that people wear undergarments.

Before he loses his nerve he orders her - "Close your eyes." He picks up one of the pairs of boxer-briefs, fingers clumsily tracing the seams and hems to find the front of it. Not entirely trusting her - okay, not trusting her in the slightest - he turns his back as well, heat rushing to his face and ears as he drops his towel to try and put on the stretchy underpants. It's a bit of a struggle for a moment, and he's afraid he's about to fall over until he manages. Next is a pair of pants - any of them, though he's aware that the tag is still on them as he hauls them up. "Okay," he mutters, turning back to the bed, focused far more on the shirts, sampling textures and fabrics until he finds one that's suitable - a plain, soft T-shirt that happens to be blue... Not that he's aware of the color. With clean clothing on he can finally relax slightly.

"Thanks for... all of this," Aiden tells Billie, awkward and embarrassed for more than one reason. He doesn't want to need her charity, doesn't want to feel so vulnerable in front of her. Carefully he bends down, fingers searching for the towel he dropped. "I... I'll try to get out of here soon," he blurts without thinking, attempting to fold the towel and mostly succeeding. His hands search for another piece of clothing, the repetitive motion giving him some mental relief from what he's trying to say, what he's trying to ignore. "I have my own place. I just... need a few days." Because that's all he really does need. He'll get used to this shitty, terrible half-life, and then he'll go back to his bunker - where he's safe, where things make sense, where he doesn't stumble over his words and blush at the slightest damned thing.
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This post was last modified: 06-14-2017, 06:17 PM by Billie Sweeney Posted | 06-14-2017, 04:01 PM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"
She watches his responses as much as she listens to his words. Not everything pleases him, which was fine-- at least she was better informed to what he did like now. Each item he withdraws from is taken and put to the side, along with the boxers. It’s a strange sensation, being tickled by the fact that she knows this pseudo-secret of what he wears beneath his clothing. She’s very aware that there was no reason to be-- this wasn’t confidential information or any kind of major discovery.

Ugh. Stop that.

To calm herself, she gathers up the discard pile and places them all back in the bag from whence they’ve come, leaving Aiden to his own devices as he explores the haul. For the most part she avoids looking at him, but a quick glance reveals his ripening face, nearly red as a tomato. All that she’d done to gather her bearings is undone in that split second and she smiles quietly to herself. Making no mention of it, not so much as an indication of amusement, she refrains from commenting. She knows him well enough to speculate how angry he’d be to see that smirk on her face at his expense, but this makes her grin a little wider.

She about loses her resolve as he commands her to close her eyes though, a hand coming to cover her mouth while her lips pinch tightly. Agreeing aloud gives her a hard time and she has to fight through the overwhelming urge to giggle, but she manages an “Alright.” Billie looks away out of respect, still smiling, but she never actually closes her eyes.

… And because they never do actually close, her curiosity gets the best of her. When she catches a glimpse of movement from the corner of her eye, as he finagles himself into the underwear, her eyes flick towards him. She did like what she saw earlier, and he’d be none the wiser… right? Right. No harm, no foul.

She’s spared a full frontal, but she does catch a rear view-- the entirety of his ass and a little more right before it’s all tucked away into the undergarments and he goes for the jeans. She regrets her decision to peek immediately and looks away quick as she could, her face changing 10 shades to a hot pinkish in the process.

He gives her permission to look then-- not that she needed it. Against all better judgement she looks again, appraising his exposed torso without really intending to or realizing-- her eyes hitting points from his belly to his chest to his collarbone to his face. Here is where her unsolicited gaze finally rests.

She’s not sure she deserves his thank you when it comes after that, but accepts it anyway. “Yeah, no problem.”, but, she’s less accepting of his promise to be out of her way soon, and for that, she’s not sure why. There’s a slight pause before she responds, unlike the automatic acknowledgement earlier. “Take your time, I’m in no rush to get rid of you.”

Did that come off creepy? Is he going to take that wrong?

Maybe she should have shut up at that point, but she fumbles over correcting and clarifying what she meant. “I mean, it’s not a problem, really. You can go whenever you want...”

Serendipitously the water starts to boil, jostling the pot lid on the stove and rescuing her from this awkward interaction. “Oh!” She exclaims, far too excited a response for water boiling. Eager to get back to the kitchen, her relief is palpable. Thank God.

She practically leaps off the couch and her departure is followed by the sounds of pot lids clanking, drawers opening, boxes being opened, pasta falling into the pot and the soft thunks of chopping against the cutting board. She glances to the jar of tomato sauce and imagines her face is just about as red.

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Posted | 06-15-2017, 12:55 AM



She confuses him. On one hand, she's responsible for what happened to him. She'd been enjoying it, right up until it was clear that she was no longer in control. Part of him wasn't entirely certain that she hadn't enjoyed it after, too.

But now she seems remorseful enough, even though he can't see her red-rimmed eyes, the way she acts around him. First she says that it's no trouble - even though it clearly is, between the shopping and the cooking and having a stranger living in her small apartment, sharing her not-exactly-large bed. Then she stumbles over herself to say he can leave, 'whenever he wanted'. The question is which one she means. Maybe she was a mother hen, enjoyed having someone around to mother and boss about. The idea isn't exactly appealing. There's a reason that Aiden was living alone before all of this. Admittedly he knows that it'll be harder to cook, harder to clean, harder to survive on his own.

Maybe he needs to convince Agent Smith to start pulling their weight.

With her busy in the kitchen, and having run out of clothing to fold, Aiden takes a seat on the edge of the bed. He pulls one knee up to his chest, the other leg acting as a stabilizer, foot flat on the floor. More than once he opens his mouth, only to shut it. Small-talk has never been his strong suit. Besides, what did one say in a situation like this? "I can't help but notice that you smell very nice. What perfume is that?" Right. He knows that would go swell.

So instead he licks his lips and asks, "Is there a dining table?" He hopes that she doesn't expect him to eat on the bed. He isn't a savage. Beyond that, he hasn't tried eating without being able to see his food. There's a very high probability that more food will end up in his lap than in his mouth. The entire idea is unappetizing in and of itself, but he knows he needs to eat. Even if it isn't much, it'd be better than nothing. He just has to keep it together long enough to get some food in his stomach. The longer he can hide his tics from Billie, the better. She already has reasons enough to pity him; no need to add to that particular pile.
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This post was last modified: 06-16-2017, 12:36 AM by Billie Sweeney Posted | 06-16-2017, 12:34 AM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"
Thankful for the distraction of needing to focus on what she's doing as to not chop her fingers off, the insidious self-talk that had a tendency to color her silence is only half entertained. Billie briefly looks up to evaluate what her guest was doing-- occupying himself. Seemed he had the same idea: keep busy and quiet.

She tries not to think too much about how ridiculous she might have sounded to him... or not. There's no real way to know how she's perceived without asking, and she had absolutely no intention of doing that. Peppers and onions fall into the scalding pan with a sizzle and the pasta is stirred-- now, it was just a matter of waiting. She basks in the silence, save the sounds of cooking, and leans against the counters.

He asks about a dining table-- well, wasn't that formal, and for a split second wonders if she should have had one? Instead, she has three stool chairs at the island, the same which has all the cutting boards and vegetable remnants. "Uh... well, not quite. Just the island here... I'll clear it now..." She actually hadn't considered that, so she appreciates the reminder and hastily tosses the excess away and puts the tools in the sink.

She plunks some meatballs in the pan along with the peppers and the smell of almost-ready fills the tiny apartment. Suddenly, she had no appetite. "Five more minutes, sorry to make you wait-- I know you're hungry." She informs him, hankering for a cigarette.

He might not have been particularly great with small talk, but she wasn't terrible and didn't mind engaging him... or, more aptly, trying to. Maybe it wasn't so small. "Is there anyone, you know, back at your place? A job you need to get to, or... uh, anything like that?" It's innocent enough.

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Posted | 06-16-2017, 12:50 AM



"It's fine." It's a gut response, mindless and not entirely meant. He does mind - quite a lot, actually. He's starving, and the smells and sounds that are bombarding him don't help matters. It's been a long time since the sound of cooking has meant anything aside from brief stops in at take-out places. Aiden can't help the way he takes a deep breath, mouth fairly watering at what he identifies as cooking meats and vegetables. Identifying which vegetables is currently beyond him; all he can think of is getting all of that into his stomach.

But he has to be patient - he realizes he can't very well ask Billie to cook faster. Instead he begins hesitantly picking his way toward the sounds he identifies as the kitchen. His tongue is thick in his mouth as he fumbles forward, though miraculously he manages to cross to the space without breaking anything - including himself. Pulling a stool out he sits at the aforementioned island, he sits down carefully, placing his hands on the counter before himself with equal care.

The question - if anyone's waiting up for him, if he'll be missed - isn't taken as innocent. Instantly Aiden is on his guard, and his carefully-placed and splayed fingers clench into fists. Is that her code for will anyone care if you show up dead? It might very well be. After all, he was a risk to her - he knew that, had to be stupid not to realize it. He can call the police, he can rat out her entire little creepy and horrifying dungeon under her office building. Why would she keep him around, then? Maybe she got some sick satisfaction out of it. All he had to go by was her voice, and well.

Billie was a good actress, he'd already seen that.

"No." His monosyllabic answer is short, clipped, betraying his sudden paranoia. "No need to worry about my face being plastered in the papers." His voice is sharp, sardonic. His parents might miss him eventually, but who even knows when they'd finally realize he hadn't called them any time soon. God, but that sounded pathetic even in his head. Aiden isn't about to tell her that. Instead he taps a thumb nervously, expression not unlike he'd bitten into something sour.

He could bluff - say he had a dead man drop set up, that would tell people who was responsible if he went missing.
Instead he's forced to admit the truth. "Nothing to stop your demon from finishing the job and dropping my body in the harbor, or some alleyway, or some dumpster." He has to bite his tongue, hard, to get himself to stop listing places. As always the lurking fears raise their ugly heads, and it's all he can do to keep from backing away from Billie, and all the possible pain she represents in his mind.

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This post was last modified: 06-16-2017, 01:48 AM by Billie Sweeney Posted | 06-16-2017, 01:39 AM

"speaking" | thinking | "Noë speaking"
Idle eyes watch as he meanders, slowly, carefully. It's admirable, really, how he's adapting to this new state of being. Regret still rushes through her veins with every beat of her heart, but what's done is done. Now that things were settling and a routine establishing, she could begin her research and try to make amends for all the awful she and Noë have caused him.

There were a few big corporations dabbling with the kind of tech she's already been mulling over in her head. Pity she worked at one of the largest independent organ transplant organizations and yet eyes were pretty much the one thing that couldn't be transplanted. Oh, the irony. It's a brief thought, but she's almost certain that's why Noë targeted his eyes as she had...

She closes her own eyes now, as if this action might chase the thought from her head. She doesn't want to think more on it. Not now. Not ever. Unfortunately, it's part of her reality now, and something which will chase and plague and dominate her thoughts heavily over the coming weeks.

Aiden settles in across from her, and that's where things start to go funny again. It's her big fucking mouth, it's the nerves, it's the unfamiliarity, the curiosity, the feeling of indebtedness, the fact that she's not comfortable having someone, anyone, in her apartment when she was so use to being alone.

Whatever it is, it caused him to go from looking hungry to angry with the balling of fists. He might not have been aware that she can read his body language, or even aware that he was so obviously evidencing how he was feeling, but she is.

It should come as no surprise that he is short with her after that, but she's taken aback nonetheless, swinging swiftly on her heels back to the food and clanking around irritably. At first, it was just the tone he took up and the sarcasm. Well, at least he was getting back to who he really was. "OK, that's not what I meant."

She strains the pasta and puts the burners off, dumping everything back in the same pot and stirring. Now she really had no appetite. Part of her wants to be angry, to snap back with an equally sardonic remark, but she can't bring herself to do it. There's something genuine in what he's saying that went beyond simply being a smart ass, his frosty reception like a blanket of snow hiding whatever was truly beneath.

"Christ-- would you stop that!? That's not what I meant. Fuck! I'll just quit tryna talk to ya 'cause you'll just twist up whatever I say, anyway!"

Scooping the pasta aggressively onto the plate, the sauce splashes onto her shirt and she groans irritably, but it doesn't stop her from scooping a few meatballs onto his plate and sliding it across the island to where he sits. It comes to rest practically right under his nose. Grabbing a fork and a paper towel she leans over the island and slides the utensils before his right hand... assuming he's a righty.

No words are exchanged in the process. He could figure it out. The box of cigarettes are calling her, so she answers them, leaning out the window and puffing clouds out onto the street. Left hand fiddles in her pocket and she procures the nearly forgotten about thumb drive from... that night, recognizing it immediately. Glancing over her shoulder, she considers taking a peek while he's eating, all the same kind of frustration and anger ignited as she felt through her exchanges with Encom, whoever they were.

When the cigarette is spent, she dabs it out in the ash tray and makes her way over to her computer to plug the little piece of tech into her USB and read. She tries to get her mind off the grouch who occupies her apartment, and it's a pretty effective tactic. She's rather quickly sucked into the work and entirely forgets about dinner.

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Posted | 06-16-2017, 02:07 AM



There's probably a line, an equivalent exchange that he might reach, where it's no longer fair to rib the woman, where he shouldn't assume the worst of her. Aiden is quite sure that line is still a very far ways away. She can be as upset as she wants but that doesn't change his fears. It doesn't change what happened. It sure doesn't change her words and the meaning he interpreted from them.

Best of all - their conversation lasted all of a few seconds before she's swearing off speaking to him. "Sure thing, princess," he mutters, rolling his eyes in spite of no longer having any. The motion puts a fist around his stomach and it squeezes as he hears the way she's clanging and slopping about. Maybe she thinks that he's just an arrogant bastard - but it isn't just his natural tendency toward sarcasm that drives his words. It would be the smart thing to get rid of him. It's just lucky that she doesn't seem to be all that smart.

The fork is ignored at first; instead, after a second of hesitation, his fingers reach out to examine the plate in front of him. It is indeed pasta, and sauce, and meatballs. Carefully he explores the plate, counting the large bits of meat. He counts them three times, his lips moving silently - one, two, three. The pressure begins building in his mind at this revelation; his hands curl into fists once more, squeezing until the skin of his knuckles turns white and he can feel half-crescents being pushed into his skin.

"You gave me too many meatballs." It's quiet at first, and then repeated louder - "Billie, you gave me to many meatballs." He doesn't just want to flick it onto the counter - that wouldn't undo it. The only way to fix this is to be given another meatball, or to go and get another. That was assuming that she made enough for him to get another. It didn't really matter where the meatball was sourced from. But three - that was absolutely unacceptable.

The panic is building, the compulsion urging him to do what he cannot. His hands open and close uselessly, and his heart begins to race in his ears. Abruptly he hears the wet sound of a meatball being dropped onto his plate, and he hurries to explore with his fingers again. A relieved sigh is issued as he realizes that there are now four meatballs on his plate. It's a lot of food, but at least it's the right number of food. You're welcome. Agent Smith's voice makes Aiden jump; it isn't who he'd been expecting, not in the slightest. Embarrassment is whetted by anger, and he takes the fork up to stab angrily at his food - only to miss the meatball he'd been aiming for.

Groaning in frustration, he has to find the edge of the plate to carefully twist the spaghetti about his fork. Then it's an effort to get the fork into his mouth instead of off to once side. The napkin is used quite a lot the first few bites; he slowly gets the hang of it though, and the meal is quickly demolished after that. It's good - but at this point anything warm and edible would be consumed quickly. When he's fairly certain that his plate is clear he sits back slightly. It's only then that he notices that Billie is being very quiet; only the slight noise of typing informs him that she's still there. He reaches out with his senses, his technopathy allowing him to 'see' the screen as she types. It's another moment before he realizes what she's looking at.

A smug smirk spreads across his lips even as he abandons his seat, carefully walking around the island, hands searching for the sink. When he finds it he has to find his plate and fork, and they're then quietly and carefully deposited into the wink. The next challenge is to find his way back to the couch. That seems easy, at least. The couch is the center of the small apartment, and he collapses gratefully upon it. He knows he should brush his teeth, change into pajamas, but exhaustion is quickly washing over him. He doesn't know why - but it's due to the healing given to him by the kind doctor the day before. His body needs to make up for the sped-up healing, and it's being quite insistent.

Until he drifts off he 'watches' Billie's exploration of his code, and more importantly - anything else she might get up to on the computer. At some point the 1's and 0's bleed into sleep, and feverish dreams of eyes, demons, and pretty women.

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