|Abel Parrish + Fenrir (devourer) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-18 19:50:00
|Entry tags:||fenrir, hades|
cold and disconnected
Who: Abel & Obed.
What: Abel happens upon Obed in the bookstore, who's looking for an alternative method to treat his night terrors.
Where: Modern Times.
When: Late afternoon.
Abel's fingers brushed over the shelved offerings of Modern Times, unsure what he was looking for. He nibbled his bottom lip, pulling out one title, only to re-shelve it for another. He felt antsy, unsettled. Work was going perfectly fine -- one new patient had been diagnosed a sociopath, which was unsurprising since he'd set fire to his home with his family still inside of it for the insurance money. He sighed, turning a corner, and was delighted to find that he recognized a familiar face.
Abel approached Obed from behind, adding some sound to his steps so that he didn't completely take the other man by surprise as he read the blurb on the back of one book. Hands hung loose by his sides as he approached the other Pax tenant.
"Looking for something to put you to sleep?"
Obed started slightly. He blinked as though clearing his vision, and called up a small but welcoming smile in short order. "Keep me asleep, actually," he said. He left the book face down in his palm, curling his hand around it, fingers splayed to hide the better part of the cover. He tipped his chin toward the other man, curiosity in his eyes; and more than that, a desire to turn the conversation decidedly away from himself. "And you?"
Abel shrugged, sliding his hands into his jean pockets. "Killing time. I just finished Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, and now I'm looking for something a little more...relaxing." His eyes darted down to whatever was in Obed's hand; though covered, Abel at least had an inkling due to the simple fact that the other man was standing in the Psychology section. "What sort of sleep issues are you having? Maybe I can help. Psychology major, at Harvard."
"Harvard," Obed echoed, arching a brow. His jaw tightened only a moment. The lie came easily; he had told it often enough. Only four people knew the truth of it: one was a world away, and the other three he knew would never breathe a word. "I'm hardly that interesting a case. General insomnia, restlessness, that sort of thing. I've been told I work too much, and that's probably part of it. The joys of being self employed, though…"
The taller man's brows bobbed over his forehead. "True, stress will have a large hand in it. There are many ways to mitigate that, though. What are you doing for relaxation? A long, hot soak can do wonders for both the body and mind."
Obed chuckled. "A bath," he said. "Yes, I could do that. Isobel would almost certainly be amenable. Or should this be a solo project?" He shook his head, leaning forward to push the book back into its place on the shelf. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to make light of it. I've had this trouble for a long time, is all. It comes and goes, and I'm sure it will go again shortly. Not that I don't appreciate the help, of course." He nodded toward Abel. "So what sort of work do you do, then? That field can be fairly broad, as I understand it."
Abel smiled broadly. "By all means, have whatever fun you like. It's when the actual practice comes into it that you'd need to take it seriously." He made a mental note of the woman's name, unsure if she was a girlfriend or something else.
"Forensic psychology is my particular field. I work down at the courthouse, LA County. It can be... taxing, at times." That was what he preferred people to believe, anyway. Abel found the work fascinating and invigorating, but there were always signs that one could enjoy their work too much. "What is it that you do that causes so much stress? Perhaps it's time to unload a few things onto other people, if that's possible."
"I've been told that, too," Obed said, his smile deepening to a smirk. "I've unloaded what I can. The rest I prefer to take care of myself. Some things just shouldn't be trusted to, or sloughed off on, others. I dabble in real estate, and with the market like it is…" He shrugged. "If things go awry it's just easier for everyone if I have no-one but myself to blame."
Abel's head bobbed, concern molding his features as he dared to attempt to dig deeper into what Obed was willing to tell him. "I can see how that might upset your sleep. Have you tried medication? What has your current therapist prescribed?"
"Oh, I don't have a therapist. It really isn't that bad. I appreciate your concern, but I promise, it's really not necessary." Obed's more pleasant expression returned. "So what does a psychologist do for his own troubles, then? When the work does get taxing, do you have relaxation methods or therapy of your own?"
The glossing over of his questions was not unnoticed, but Abel let the ball drop for the moment. Some were not as easy to parse as others, and Abel found Obed to be less interesting than either Nish nor the man he'd met in the Pax Letale lobby, Rafe. There was still something about him, but nowhere near the level of the previously described tenants.
"A hot cup of tea and a good book," he replied, nodding at the shelves around them. "That, and meditation. I assume it's something you've tried?" His awkward attempt to bring the conversation back around to Obed was merely an attempt to keep the man talking, but he wouldn't be upset if he rose to the bait.
Obed waved a hand, dismissive. "Meditation isn't for me," he said. "But I'll thank you for not recommending prayer or crystals, at least. I've had quite enough of suggestions like all of those. Books and tea, on the other hand… that's sounding more appealing as the day wears on."
Abel rolled one shoulder, nodding in agreement. "The simpler things are usually the best route, though exercise is also a good option. And even in that...more options. Aside from a treadmill, I'm sure your lady friend would be more than happy to help accommodate." He smiled pleasantly, circling back to the joke Obed had made only moments before.
Obed chuckled, biting his lip against a broader grin. Isobel would hardly appreciate being brought into such a conversation, he was quite certain of that, and yet he could not help himself. The thought of her was too pleasant to ever fully put aside; his pleasure showed on his face, in the sincere lines of his subdued but earnest smile. "I hope so," he said. "You should come up and meet her some time. We both like entertaining now and then, and we had a little dinner get-together the other night. I'm sure we'll do that again some time soon, if you'd care to join us."
Abel read every line on the man's face, more and more tidbits of information to be tucked away. He mirrored Obed's smile, though turned the wattage down a tad. "I'd like that," he replied, accepting the invitation. "And if you're at all interested... I know sometimes that sort of exercise can seem like work in itself. I have some books that encourage some control on the woman's side...I've been told by some of my patients that they find it both stimulating and relaxing. It offers a certain...assurance, that their partners would do such a thing."
Obed's brow rose all the higher. He was grateful that he managed to suppress the blush he felt threatening to rise, but it was still far too close a call for his comfort. His expression closed up, his lips drawing to a barely upturned, thin line. "Does it," he said. "Well. You do seem to have a wide-ranging field, if that comes up at the courthouse. I can't say I envy you."
The amusement on Abel's face was unfeigned, though he dialed it back for Obed's comfort. "It's an interesting field, the mind of a criminal. I can't say I've put any of it into use myself, but I've heard good things. The offer stands, in exchange for your generous dinner invitation."
He noted Obed's reaction, such as it was, and changed the topic to more innocuous things. "I don't think I saw you at the Pax event. The Valentine's Day mixer, at the club? I assume you and your lady friend had plans of your own."
"We did." Obed's tone remained guarded; though it wasn't precisely chilly, it was slightly more brusque than before. "How did that go? The earlier welcome event went fairly well, so I imagine it was entertaining. I have yet to stop by CASKET, but I'm sure I will sooner or later."
Abel noted the change in tone, stepping back his frank curiosity. "It went well. They really went as far out as seems humanly possible; live music, a full buffet, drinks on the house. The turnout didn't seem too high, but I think the number of tenants in the building is fairly low as it is.
"We should go there together, sometime. Maybe talk a little bit more about books?" By that he meant Obed's apparent sleep disorder, but there was no gracious way to frame that. "Maybe indulge in a little liquor meditation. It is quicker, or so the saying goes."
"That's what they say." Obed cleared his throat, glancing only briefly down to the book he had abandoned. He remembered its title and could look it up elsewhere, later; he told himself it would likely be cheaper at any rate, and less obvious when he purchased it, besides. "I think I'd like that," he said. "Send me a message when you're free? I try to check on that pretty regularly."
Nodding, Abel followed the small tics that Obed was giving off. "I will. It was good seeing you again, but I'll let you get back to it. And please -- if I can ever be of any help, well, you know where I live."
"I will, absolutely. Have a good day, Abel." Obed gave him a smile and a small wave goodbye. But rather than leave, himself, he only turned back to the bookshelf, making a show of studying the books around the one he had put away.
Abel paused for just a moment, and then headed his way over to the mystery section -- despite his earlier words about differentiating his work from his life via literature, some things were just more entertaining in fiction.