|ᴡɪᴛᴄʜ ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ (spellcasts) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-10-17 16:12:00
|Entry tags:||freyr, sigyn|
it was the night, it was the moon
Who: Rafe and James
What: Meeting and a sense of familiarity~
Where: The 4th Floor
When: October 13th, maybe?
|A firm believer in multitasking, James was determined to finish the chapter he was on before he got home. Beneath a Scarlet Sky was the selection of choice, something he’d been meaning to finish for ages and just never got around to - he switched back and forth between that and the latest in psychiatric medical journals, the subscription on his Kindle rather handy. For works of fiction and nonfiction, he preferred a real, honest-to-goodness paperback. Call him old-fashioned but there was something nice about turning an actual page - though he recognised the uses of technology.|
Waiting for his car at the shoppe meant (it was never just an oil change, was it?) that he had his nose in the book until he was told they’d needed to keep his mode of transportation overnight, which was less than ideal but he’d carry on. It was a bus trip home for him, then, still reading. He got to the lift and pushed the button for the second floor, going through the motions - he stepped in, turned a page, waited, and ding.
He’d gone about halfway down the hall when he realised this wasn’t even his fucking floor (and he’d hit the right button, hadn’t he? He wasn’t experiencing symptoms of early onset dementia?). When he looked up, that confirmed things - because keys, tonnes of them, were stuck to the ceiling like it was a funhouse exercise.
“Christ on a bike,” he muttered, stuffing the book into his laptop bag and heading back toward the lift. Yes. Back to the lift. Things were completely fine.
He was intercepted as the elevator doors slid open, revealing a tall, lean man in boardshorts and a thin white tank. He shuffled forward on sandaled feet, his eyes on the keys above the moment he stepped onto the floor. Only after a few steps did the man seem to notice the tenant already present; he stopped short as soon as he had, twitching a small smile.
"Oh. Hello." His voice was softly accented, lightly lilting. He crossed what small distance remained between him and this new tenant. "I…" He gestured up toward the ceiling. "Were you going to try one? I'd suggest staying away from the, um, spider leg one."
“‘Ello there,” James greeted - with an accent as well, but he was blatantly Irish. Perhaps invoking images of greenery and sectarian strife, a cold drizzle (even colder than England). Or, you know, leprechauns. Bartending for St. Patrick’s Day hadn’t turned him homicidal yet, though trust him, there were days he contemplated exercising the second amendment Americans were so fond of.
Anyway, keys on the ceiling. That was new. “I’m...not sure?” He looked up, eyes focusing on one that called to him somehow - the body was a serpent, the head a wolf. The distinct nudge he received from somewhere, in the corridors of his own mind, had him choosing that one. He was tall enough, if he stretched. “How are we supposed to know where it goes?”
And manners, that too. Those must be attended to before he attempted to figure out the fuckery of this building. “I’m James,” he offered a smile. “Just moved in.” Aha! Key procured. There we go. Once it was in his hands, he managed to get a better look at its design, which was intriguing.
"Rafael." He looked down at the key in James' hand, carefully considering its markings and material. Would that he had been so observant the first time around, he thought. He trusted this key no more than the others, though it called to him in its own way. Still he backed away after a moment, his hands upraised as though he might somehow ward off whatever ill intent that small trinket carried. "That's all yours if you want it," he said.
"As for where it goes… I can't say, really. I tried the spider one… that one, there." He pointed up to one key dangling from the ceiling: black and oddly hairy, a beadwork fruit at its end. "And we did see a spider, at one point." His voice caught thickly in his throat. He cleared it and tried again. "So if I had to guess, I'd expect snakes, wolves, or both, wherever you end up." A mirthless smile played over his lips. "I know how that sounds, but I swear I'm only being honest."
The man sounded utterly traumatised; James felt for him, and he had to admit that seeing a gigantic spider (it had to be the size of a monster truck, he assumed, because a little one could just be squashed with a shoe) didn’t sound like a good time to him either. He could think of more pleasurable things.
“Funnily enough, I believe you,” James stated without hesitation. It was true - he didn’t particularly care for the fact that he believed in something so jarring and that which defied physics, but there it was. “Got to say, I’m curious about where this leads but at the same time, fuck spiders. I’m guessing you don’t want to come along?”
For whenever he opened the door. Whatever door it was supposed to be, with this oddly-shaped key that felt tingly in his hand. And not in a good way either. More like an unsettling sensation of poison seeping in through his pores, slowly. Snake’s venom. Carefully, he stuck the key into his pocket, feeling strange about holding it.
"No offense," Rafe said, "but absolutely not. I think some tenants are posting to the forum about what each key leads to, when they try it, though. So you might want to check there first, or post there when you find out about this one. We can try to look out for each other, I guess. As much as we can." He shook his head, studying this newcomer as though taking his measure. Whatever his final judgment, he kept it to himself.
"Just don't go alone, OK?"
“None taken. I’ll do some research before opening...some door,” he replied, since how the fuck was he supposed to know which door the key opened? Could he just pick a door, any at all? The building had so few tenants though, so he supposed that might be a decent way to do it. He wouldn’t be infringing on anyone’s privacy - the key wasn’t marked with a number anyway.
It was like being on a gameshow. In Hell. “But at any rate, thanks for the information. I actually live in 205 - “ James motioned in the general direction of the lift, “And I’m always up for flipping on the coffee pot or pouring booze, if you’d ever like to come by.” To talk about spiders, or lions and tigers and bears, whatever else - he was a firm believer in the ‘looking out for each other’ train of thought too.
Besides, this man didn’t feel like a stranger. It was the oddest thing, but he didn’t question it too much. Though Rafe said nothing in this regard, the way he inched somewhat closer to James seemed to hint that he felt the same. It was hardly an uncommon thing in this place, this sense of resonance with one another; he and Nish had spoken of it often, as had others in their time.
Rafael smiled warmly in answer; for the first time since he had entered this floor, he seemed almost at ease. "I'd like that. I'm up in 802. I do make a fine cafe Cubano, or so I'm told." He chuckled. "If you're still unpacking at all, that would certainly help get more work done in less time."
Ah, the magic word was said. “Café Cubano,” James obviously was delighted by the prospect, because why not? He was a coffee connoisseur and kept a steady supply pumping through his bloodstream. “Parece delicioso, gracias. I’ll use the energy burst to make quick work of the remaining boxes.”
He only had a few left, really, so it wasn’t too bad. Helped not having much to really move in with, but he was pleased to make his new residence an actual home. Strange as it happened to be, thus far.
And speaking of that. “Have we met before?” James scratched his cheek, prickly with the cactus scruff of black bristle, trying to recall. “I didn’t think so, but I could have sworn - “ Perhaps he was having a stroke. That might explain the deja vu.
Rafael chewed the inside of his lip, studying his neighbor with renewed interest. He nodded, but shook his head just as quickly, his answer as confused as he felt. "I feel the same," he said, smiling sheepishly. He shifted his weight, one foot to another, and wondered just how much he should say. "I don't think I know you," he said, "but, ah, you might have seen me around. Maybe that's all it is." He shrugged, quick to continue. "But I can't say for sure. We wouldn't be the first ones here to feel some kind of connection, easily explained or otherwise. Or to even find old friends again, sort of where you'd least expect them."
“I suppose not - well, no complaints on this end all the same,” James’ smile crinkled electric blue eyes at the corners. He wouldn’t think about the Key of Doom in his pocket right now. Obviously the lift blipped on him to deposit him to this floor (was it a sentient lift?) though perhaps it was to merely encounter someone actually pleasant.
He shifted his laptop bag, rummaging for the real keys to his flat. The ones not shaped like serpents. “I don’t know if you’ve got any plans now, but would you like to come down? Only if I’m not interrupting anything, of course,” he added as a disclaimer. Maybe they should take the stairs, in that case.
Rafael was quick to respond. "You aren't at all. I'd like that." He cast a single, last look up to the keys, as though considering. But he quickly thought better of whatever had entered his mind, and he gestured James back toward the elevator. "Lead the way."