|Rafael Atala (freyr) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-06-21 13:58:00
|Entry tags:||fenrir, freyr|
run, run, rabbit
Who: Abel & Rafe.
What: Rafe finds himself in a difficult situation. Revelations are made.
Where: Pax Letale elevator.
When: Tuesday, June 19th
Despite odd recent events, the Pax Letale lobby looked no worse for the wear. Its entryway was unobstructed, its floors pristine and wellkept. The concierge, Stephan, leaned over a magazine, as per usual, reading over the tops of thin glasses perched on a birdlike nose. One hand had claw nails, blue, curled up under his chin as he read, pausing only to glance up as Rafe entered through the apartment complex's front. He smiled, perhaps as warmly as he was able to; at his feet, a loud yowl could be heard. Edward Scissorhands, renamed Edwina, was the last remnant of a tenant who'd lived on the same floor as Rafe; though her bulky form was not presently seen, she was perfectly heard as Stephan took a step backward and glanced down, making a shushing sound.
"Afternoon, Mr. Atala. Where are you getting back from, if I may ask?" Stephan was still moved back from the desk a pace as he directed the question at Rafe, his gaze up and centered on his tenant.
"Nowhere interesting," Rafael said. He smiled softly at the concierge. His mood toward the man had cooled considerably; he could not say he disliked him, but since Chad had somehow broken into his apartment, Rafael no longer felt as if he could trust him. Still, he raised the small cloth bag that hung from his wrist, and tried to make his smile seem more sincere. "Getting things to make dinner for a friend."
In earlier, lighter times, Rafael might have flirted: meaningless but pleasant, effortlessly charming. Now he simply continued on to the elevator, nodding a curt farewell as he slipped into the opening doors and thumbed the button for the fourth floor.
As if in response to Rafe's semi-cold demeanor (at least, as cold as the man could offer), Stephan's face was draped with empathy.
"Are you doing all right? After, the, you know," the concierge asked, taking a step forward again to lean on his elbows against the desk. "If there's anything we can do..."
Rafael raised a hand; bags shifted, rustling, with the motion. "No. No, I don't think there is." He settled the bags into place, and leaned forward to press -- several times, in rapid succession -- the close doors button. "Thanks."
The doors nearly reached a complete closure, and would have, were it not for another hand impeding their progress. As a pale arm pulled them apart, Abel's face was revealed. The smallest bit of a sullen smile coated his mouth, but there was something particularly mean about him as he stepped across the elevator threshold. Nothing in the building had felt appropriate; he'd been feeling down, despite the fact that he'd had himself a lovely time not too long ago. He should have been in a great mood, and yet...
"Long time no see," he offered Rafe, leaning over to tap the fifth floor button and then block the doorway until the doors finally closed. "I'd almost think you were trying to avoid me."
Though he fought against the impulse, Rafe could not stop himself shrinking against the wall. He held the cloth bag between them, a shield to ward his unwanted guest off. At the bottom lay a small bag of his most recent acquisition; he told himself it would be his reward should he make it through this and safely to Alice's apartment. He clutched it tighter.
"No." A thin smile cracked his lips. "Just... busy."
Abel's head canted back, the briefest of smiles shadowing his mouth. His hands went to his pockets, thumbs tucked in like some profane cowboy. He did not move from his spot near the elevator doors; likewise, his gaze never seemed to blink, nor did it waver from Rafe's face.
"Oh yeah? Too busy to just, I don't know, stop by and say hello?" He took one small step forward, his foot swaying a little with the mostly unfelt motion of the elevator carriage, coming to a stop in the dead middle and closing the space between himself and Rafe with ease. His hands stayed at his waist, but his presence filled the cab like some dark miasma. "Guess you're not staying at your place, then? Since you're on your way up, with everything that's happened. Shame. Was a cute little space."
Rafe gritted his teeth. "It is. Not that you saw much of it." His fingers were white-knuckle tight on the cloth handle of the bag. He straightened up, willing his shoulders to square, his back to be a rigid line. He was not entirely successful, but that he managed anything close to it at all, he counted a victory. "Too many bad memories, though." Amber eyes flicked up to the floor markers above Abel's head. He prayed for the fourth to arrive soon, but time dragged out far longer than it should. His voice turned hoarse and uneven. "I'm sure you understand."
"I do," Abel replied, moving to the side to lean his shoulder against the wall nearest Rafe. There was still a scant inch of space between them. "I wouldn't say that they were bad though. Besides, little shameful of you to just cut and run, isn't it? A little weak?"
"Call it whatever you want," Rafael said. He slid away from Abel, his backside still pressed firmly to the rear wall of the elevator. "If you like it that much, I'm sure they'll let you move in once I'm gone. They'll probably be happy anyone at all wants the place, after…" He shook his head, cutting himself off.
"After?" A million thoughts, memories, spun through Abel's mind. A brow arching along his forehead was the only betrayal that he was more knowledgeable than his reply let on; the elevator slipped past floor three, nearing Rafe's escape. "After which, Rafe? You don't have to be afraid to say it; I like it, actually, when they say it. Denial is so droll these days." He reached out, one hand sliding fingertips just barely under Rafe's chin. Gooseflesh rose beneath his touch.
"So which one? My visit, or something else?"
"Chad," Rafael snapped. He reached up, shoving hard at Abel's hand. In the same quick motion he darted around Abel, sliding past him with the feeling of Abel's fingers still burning on his skin. "After Chad." The doors opened, and Rafe all but dove through them, his voice turned to blurred mumbling as he fled. "Me deixe em paz. Por que você é assim…"
Abel remained in his spot, clearly enjoying watching Rafe run. The words were meaningless to him, their language unknown, but the emotion behind them was not. Rafe was already well out of the elevator, so Abel raised his voice in order to allow for his next words to be heard.
"And your fish?" The question was less seeking an answer; its teasing tone ensured it would burrow into the ear of its recipient. The elevator doors began to close. "Don't you miss him?"
Seemingly faster than they had moved initially, the doors came together, the elevator cab rising to the next floor as it had been programmed to. Rafael stood in the fourth floor hallway, staring unblinking, lips faintly parted, at the tightly shut doors. Abel's parting jab hit its mark; it left Rafe trembling as waves of uncertainty and terrible understanding crashed over him one after another.
Slowly he turned and made his way, on unsteady legs, back to Alice's apartment, comforted only by the presence of the little bag in his cloth pack.