Chivalry Isn't Dead, It's Adamant

Bayswater Road - Westminster - London

Home of the 'West End'. Here, the famous Hyde Park sits, as well as Hyde Park Corner. This area has pubs, shops, and restaurants. Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate undergrounds service the area.


Characters

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Sean Corrie Aidan

Mostly overcast and cloudy in London this evening. Spring is trying to make an entrance, and that means slightly warmer temperatures, but still cool and damp enough to warrant at least a couple of layers of jackets— especially if one spends most of their time out of doors.

Vehicular traffic is moving through Hyde Park Corner like it usually does; sluggishly. Pedestrians line the street, though the thoroughfare is closed off, forcing any who wish to cross the street into a subterreanean 'subway'. Underground corridors are brightly lit with street signs for all of the streets that merge into the one notorious corner.

Along a not-quite-so beaten path is Dr. Sean Watson, his hands in his pockets, heading towards a more dimly lit spot down a corridor that is .. more hidden and not really marked. Just before going totally into 'no man's land', however, there is something of a guard; unseen until the sentry wishes to be seen. And when a living, breathing creature makes his way closer to an area that could very well be off-limits, that guard steps forth from the shadows. Cliche, yes, but underground, it works…

A tall man, dark hair.. and non-descript blocks the way, and Sean stops in his tracks. The height of the other man is such that the necromancer actually has to look up a little, and the point is made silently. He won't get any farther— yet.

"Ah.. I was just heading to see Imef." Perhaps the name-dropping would help?

The vampiric sentry lowers his head, the dark eyes gleaming, "Are you lost? I don't think you are in the right place…" There's a moment after, however, when the vampire pulls his head back, his expression turning slightly puzzled; brows creasing, a frown crossing his face..

-

Distracted is the name of the game this evening. Distracted, and perhaps a little agitated.

Having spent the greater deal of the evening at a restaurant she would rather not have been at, waiting for a potential new client that she would rather not be representing, Corrie is busily closing her jacket with her cellular phone glued to her right ear.

"No, Mr. Randall. What I'm telling you is that Amber Bardot was a no-show. Frankly, I could care less how important she is at the moment, do we really need to be dealing with another one of those society girls that is continually getting herself in trouble?" There is a groan as she notes the line of pedestrians, a slight frown, then a sigh. "What? No, they've got the thoroughfare closed off again. I may lose connection."

Continuing forward, she makes her way toward the underground, meaning to dip into it to make her way across. With all her luck, she instead drops the phone, sending it sliding along the corridor a ways stopping just short of a small puddle several feet from Sean.

"Lovely. That's all I need now is for Randall to assume I'm ignoring him." Which has her chasing off after the device in the hopes that the phone isn't ruined.

-

Aidan has declared tonight to be a night off, even though it's the third night in a row that he's taken done such a thing. He's only half-listening to Kim's words coming through his bluetooth as he heads down into the underground, seeking distractions that he won't be able to find in other places. Aidan's cool blue eyes watch the flows of people around him, not so much looking for a mark this night as he is simply observing. Then again, he's always observing because he never knows what he may find.

Kim rants in a low voice about silver and knives, and Aidan suspects that she just threatened him while he wasn't paying attention. It's amusing actually, though he knows if he tells her so, it'll just get her going more and the woman can hold onto a burn of anger. Makes her so not fun to work with. Instead, he interrupts her with, "I'm going underground now, Kim, you know that I'm going to lose you. We'll talk tomorrow." Her objection is cut off with a quick touch to his blue-tooth.

The quiet is blissful, and Aidan can't help but smirk. Really, the woman should be happy that I'm not prowling about London proper. He makes a mental note to remind Kim of that very fact later.

He continues onward, moving in a more direct path toward his ultimate destination, blending and winding into the crowds moving around him. A crowd of uni types jostle past laughing and planning their night of debauchery, a woman argues heatedly into her mobile with someone, a business man defends his case to the other business man at his side. And crossing directly in front of him, a flash of red and Aidan watches her fumble her mobile which goes skittering across the ground.

There is a split second of debate, and then he simply can't help himself. He moves quickly, slipping around the next passing throng to scoop up the errant device, nearly bumping into the two figures trying to blend into the dark shadows of the nearby corner that was - and still is - his destination.

He rises gracefully from his kneel and recover, greeting the telephone's owner with a winsome smile as he presents the escaped device. "I believe you dropped this?"

-

The *clack* of the cell as it hits the ground after being dropped, and the skidding takes Sean's attention. Divided attention around vampires is not the best of ideas in any circumstance, but it's a very human reaction— and obviously, the tall sentry hasn't lost that particular reaction in the time between life and undeath either. Both dark eyes and blue ones turn.. and before the opportunity strikes, yet another person sweeps up the cellphone to hand it back to its owner.

Sean gives the interaction a long, lingering look before he turns back and looks to try and walk past, "I'll find him myself, thanks." Sean's voice drops, a muttered, or find someone who knows where he is. Assuming, of course, the vampire still lives. The name is one that Sean's been able to track reasonably well through the historical record. Egyptian vampires suffer from something of a vanity; they like to think they're on par with the gods, and thus, will allow for some of their 'deeds' to be recorded. Imef is.. was.. one of those.

"You probably don't know him anyway.."

"You're not passing through.." the voice of the vampire is one of distracted warning, but a warning all the same. He's watching 'the mark', or at least the guard thinks it's a mark..

-

The chase for the little electronic device comes to a halt when it's suddenly being presented to her. Corrie simply blinks, not even considering averting her eyes as she normally would. "Er… yes." Clearing her throat gently, she nods. "I mean, yes. I did. Thank you."

That's when she notes the other two present and dips her head down. "Apologies. Wasn't trying to interrupt, just dropped my phone." She at least has the presence of mind to look embarrassed at the interruption.

Allowing her attention to shift back to the phone-rescuer, she offers a slight smile. "I do appreciate the recovery. I was expecting someone to have stepped on it." Which would have suited her just fine — it's amusing her to think of Randall being stepped on.

-

"You're welcome, and I do think that it was probably mere moments away from its execution by feet." Aidan agrees. The Vampire isn't really that concerned about the conversation going on a few paces away from him, but for the show of manners and politeness, he gives the two men a cursory nod. His gaze locks ever so briefly with the Vampire sentry and Aidan gives a faint brow lift of acknowledgment before turning back to the woman. His smile is typical: light and charming. Blue eyes twinkle in amusement. "I've heard that being trampled in the underground is a fate that all cell phones dread."

Truthfully, Aidan is presently quite torn. He's heard enough of the conversation behind him to know that the human is trying and failing to gain entry into a place that humans really shouldn't go. They tend to come to messy ends if they can't handle themselves, but there is something there about the man that just makes Aidan give him a thoughtful pause. He's not quite right, and he can feel a faint crackling in the air. It's enough to spark his curiosity and make Aidan think that it might be amusing to give the man enough rope with which to hang himself. It's a terrible conflict, entertaining himself with the pretty red head or follow his curiosity. He thinks it's really too bad that he can't work this into a two-for deal; the best of both worlds.

-

"Right.." Sean offers slowly. There's another way in that he knows of. This is just one of the easier ways. The others, well.. he takes his life in his hands just getting near the places. He smiles tightly at the vampire that still doesn't allow for his progress. Lowering his voice, he twists around to turn and walk away, the words given off-handedly; name dropping rarely fails. For the most part. "I'll just ring Erik tomorrow and let him know how helpful you were, ah.." digging for a name now.. but he shakes his head. "Doesn't matter. He'll know who you are."

Now, there's the gamble. The archaeologist will either 1. be brought to Erik, 2. be allowed in, or 3. sent on his way, the name-dropping unheeded.

As for the cellphone conversation, there's not too much he can do at the moment.. but there is that twinge at the back of his conscience. And a decision is made; if the man continues to chat up the young woman, he'll come and rescue.. if not, well.. he'll be on his way to find Imef, and possibly get something of the puzzle worked through.

-

"Better it than me, I should think." Though upon recalling that Randall is potentially still on the line, she lifts the phone to her ear. "Hello? Mr. Ran — " Nope. A disconnection. One that will likely earn her scathing looks and a dressing down come Monday morning. Nothing she can't handle, but not quite something she's looking forward to.

Slipping the phone into her pocket, she glances back in the direction of the two men. "A friend of yours then? I apologize for keeping you from meeting up with him. Generally I'm not quite that much of a klutz."

A wave is given to the man conversing with what appears to be a… bouncer? Perhaps a bit out of place, but not all that odd. "Excuse me. I haven't meant to keep you from your friend here. He was just busy proving that chivalry isn't as dead as I thought it was."

-

Aidan stops short of correcting the incorrect assertion. There might just be a way to get a double-deal out of this after all. Especially after hearing the man drop von Richter's name. There aren't many who would think to use that name, and certainly the majority of them aren't human. Of those that are, well they're not all considered friendlies. Aidan knows better than to cave with a little name-dropping, but he's not sure the brute guarding the entry has the same intelligence.

"It was neither a problem nor an inconvenience. We've all had our klutzy moments." Aidan informs the woman before him. "For some of us, chivalry will never die." He then thumbs in the direction of the human male, a comfortable familiarity to the gesture as though he truly does know the man. "My friend, however, is still learning. I'm doing my best, but some are just harder to train than others."

Aidan shoves his hands in his coat pockets, a move calculated to show that his hands are out of harm's way and that he means her no harm. "Were you headed this way?" He inclines his head in the direction that he guesstimates she was headed, which also will lead to another entrance into the underground. "Would you mind if we walk with you?"

Aidan glances toward the human male, "You don't mind do you? It's on our way to see Erik, innit?"

He wonders if the man is that interested in playing with fire or if he'll tuck his tail between his legs and run. Aidan knows what the wiser choice would be, but anyone trying to get past the sentry and throwing von Richter's name about clearly isn't going for the smarter choice.

-

The comment regarding 'my friend' is caught as he turns, dropping his hands into his pockets in preparation to depart and take a different path in. Sean pauses midstep, blue eyes landing on the other man now, and with a flickered glance to the woman, he raises his brows in askance. Did she really want to accompany him, them?

"Up to the lady, really.." How's that for 'still learning'?

"Not sure I really need anyone's company, though.." Pretty sure that what he's got should be for public consumption, as it were. Sean's attention crosses back towards Aidan, and inclines his head, but keeps a good watch. There's that feeling on the back of his neck that tells him that he has to watch his footing from here on; as if he didn't ever when heading underground? "If she doesn't, I'm sure we can see her out safely."

-

Corrie, Corrie, Corrie. What've you gotten yourself into this time? Realizing that she's in a Jean situation, she lightly bites the inside of her cheek.

"Actually, I really was just attempting to cross. They've got the thoroughfare blocked again which means detouring this way…" The way the other says the word 'safely' leaves her feeling decidedly unsafe. "So if you lot happen to be wandering in my direction, the company will be fine. Otherwise, please don't let me keep you from meeting up with Erik."

Another brow-raised look is shot in Sean's direction. "Again, I apologize. I never meant to intrude on your evening."

-

Aidan considers the other man for a heartbeat. He wonders if the human is that dense all the time or if this is just a special night for it. As much fun as it might be to take the pretty red head where they both want to go, that's not the sort of fun Aidan is out seeking tonight. He gives an exaggerated eye roll, "There you go again, mate." His blue eyes sparkle with humor as his gaze returns to the cute redhead, and he leans toward her a bit, still respectful and yet just enough in her personal space to be flirtatious. Aidan's voice is a stage whisper, "He's always so literal."

Straightening up, the Vampire fixes his gaze on the man. Though he keeps his voice light, there is thin thread of steel beneath the next words, "Oh, I'm pretty sure you need all kinds of company."

"Completely understandable, I wasn't suggesting anything else despite what the brain trust over there," his attention is on Corrie again, and he gives a quick cock of his Sean's direction, "Seems to think." He pauses a beat, his manner and mein warm and open, projecting an air of 'trust me,' though Aidan hasn't yet upped the ante to glamour the woman into his influence. "You are far from an intrusion, and I'd be happy to escort you."

-

"I like literal. It means there isn't any misunderstandings." Simple statement, and one Sean happens to agree with. He smiles tightly, his lips forming a thin line at the suggestion that he, indeed, needs the company, should he actually venture where he wishes. Still, at the moment, he's not about to gainsay; here's hoping that things are still in a position where, while he may not come away unscathed, at least he'll come away, as it were.

"It's no intrusion, really." Sean pulls his gaze from the man over to the lady in their presence. "We'll see you out. Where were you headed? Hard Rock Cafe's on the Old Park corner." It's still pretty popular, even today. "But I know.. the place is a maze of tunnels in good times. When there're detours?"

-

"The Hard Rock Cafe?" Corrie just shakes her head at Sean, giving him one of those 'are you kidding me' looks. "I've not been there since I first came to the city. Actually…" Out comes the slightly dinged phone so she can pull up a map program. "I've parked not far from the Marble Arch."

The phone is once more dropped into her pocket. There is a brief silence, her eyes closing as she determines distance and locale. Then they're given a single nod. "So long as it's not an intrusion."

-

The Vampire mouths 'Hard Rock Cafe' at the same time that the woman says the words. And this bloke thinks he can get into the Undercity and survive? As far as Aidan is concerned, Sean has moved up a notch on the interesting scale despite the weirdness of the vibe that Aidan is getting from him. Not for any of the reasons that Aidan likes the red head, but simply because he thinks it's too rich to pass up an opportunity to watch a human get themselves into mortal danger. He's more than a bit curious to know the reason why.

"Again, it's not an intrusion. As a matter of fact, you completely brightened up the night." A broad, flirty smile spreads across Aidan's face and he makes a sweeping motion in the proper direction. "We'll see you out."

-

Well, there's a few chances given and not taken to get to somewhere with a good number of people, and there isn't much more that Sean can do. There is method to his madness, certainly. He can't necessarily assure her safety walking to a lone car, but a popular club where there'd be a good number of people? There's always backup.

Ah well..

Sean begins to walk, hand still in his pockets, his tones turning towards the lighter, conversational. "The subway here.. when it only had a couple of exits, it wasn't too bad. Now? I try to quell the urge to pop up top, look around, and drop back like a prairie dog. Hard to get ones bearings after awhile, without seeing the streets."

-

"It's very easy to get turned around down here," Corrie agrees easily enough. While she doesn't necessarily like the Underground, it does serve a purpose to get her other places which she wouldn't normally be able to access.

"It'd help if the cellular system down here was a tad more reliable. Easier to pull up the tube map without carrying around a large piece of paper that you can't actually read unless you fold it in a million places to figure out where you are." An exaggeration but it's that nervous type of conversation. The whole situation at the moment is a little surreal.

"Really though, it does appear that I may be making you both detour a little. I'll be fine once I get turned around in the right direction once more."

-

Aidan picks up on the little telling signs of Corrie's discomfort. Nothing that jumps off the page so to speak, but there are little hints. The Vampire thinks the woman might be a wee bit smarter than your average human, which at least for now, bodes well for her life expectancy. Although that hadn't really ever been an option he was considering. Tasting? Yes. Killing? Not so much. Too open, possibility of too many witnesses, and really he doesn't have time for it tonight.

"It's one of the curses of modernization and rapid growth, I think. We keep having to make more room for more people, and expansion is running rampant. Of course, I've heard that these tunnels were a maze fifty, sixty years ago too."

He doesn't think about his next move. It's second nature, and he takes the opportunity when he next catches her gaze to reach and brush against her mind. "You can relax, we're harmless. Really. And it's not a problem." A light suggestion, nothing more and nothing less.

-

"I might even guess that some other tunnels go back even farther," Sean's voice lowers to slightly more than a whisper; a muttered utterance and nothing more. He's more than aware of the Roman catacombs elsewhere in the city. He's got that section reasonably memorized.

Reasonably.

Sean is many things; observant, intelligent, but he's no judge on glamouring. Not when up against a vampire that knows and is subtle— more subtle than the 'newer' ones. He doesn't feel the psychic stroke against the victim. The little hairs on the back of his neck don't go up any higher than that 'alert' that he already feels.

The velvety smoothness of Aidan's voice, however, takes him slightly aback— and he moves, speeding up his step slightly and moving up and crossing the woman's path; an attempt at blocking some of the vampire's access, anyway, to the woman.

"Hey.." Sean tries to get her attention, "where'd you park?"

-

"Be that as it may, would it kill them to install some sort of cellular boost down here to allow them to work?" Corrie shakes her head, trying to do away with that nagging sense in he back of her head.

"So long as you're positive it's not a problem." Relax? In the Underground, with two unknown men, and having irked the potential heir to a network of sorcerers? Not bloody likely. Even so, she starts to relax. Only to blink at Sean as he's suddenly directly in front of her.

Giving her head a slight shake, she nods in a generalized direction. "Just down the street from the Arch. If we've gone in the right direction, we should be there shortly."

-

If Sean's interference bothers Aidan, he doesn't show it. In fact, the corners of his mouth turn up a bit in half-amused smirk. The Vampire always loves a good challenge. "I've heard that there's a petition for that." It's said lightly, to give a reason for the smirk and bit of a chuckle that escapes him. He arches a brow ever so briefly at the other man, a silent acknowledgement that he knows Sean is onto him, but even more importantly, it also signifies that he doesn't care.

As the trio begins moving in the general direction, Aidan shifts tactics, but now it's more to get a rise from Sean than it is out of any serious attempt to lure in Corrie. "Were you heading home from work then? Or is there a jealous boyfriend who's going to leap out and take us both on?"

-

Of course the vampire doesn't care. The bastards never do.. Sean hasn't met one yet that actually did. Must be when the soul does the bait and switch game. Any vestige of humanity disappears when that spark of real life departs and that darker force moves in to take possession.

"Oh, we're going in the correct direction." Sean can make that assurance, anyway, and does so with a glance towards the vampire again. The necromancer isn't so sure that he's done much of anything to thwart any potential subtle pushes against the woman, but at least it's gotten his attention.

Not necessarily a good thing.

"If there's a boyfriend, I could check and see if I get a cell when we get closer to the way up. I may have a different company than you." Yet another chance to see that the lady gets home in one piece.

-

"You both know that there are better ways to ask a woman if she's single rather than trying to fish it out, hmm?" If there is a jealous boyfriend (which there isn't — just an irritated boss), she's not telling.

Corrie nods once to Sean. "Sure, I'd appreciate that, though it's really not necessary."

Once that's out of the way she returns to partially answer Aidan's question, "Heading home, anyhow. Work related outing." So, no. She doesn't necessarily work in the area.

-

"Are you single, then?" Aidan puts forth the question cheekily, a playful light dancing in his eyes. Whether he's hunting or not, he's a shameful flirt and he well knows it. It hasn't hurt him in almost four hundred years, and there's no reason to fix what isn't broken. "I'm not normally this forward but …" He stops and gives a low chuckle, "A'right, I'm lying. I'm always this forward, but you did give the perfect opening."

The Vampire eyes her sideways and briefly wonders how hard it would be to lose the White Knight. If only I'd let him go get chewed up back there … Even so, Aidan is certain that there are still other options. What's that old saying? Oh yes, more than one way to skin a cat …

-

'You both know that there are better ways to ask a woman if she's single…'?

Sean has the grace not to simply stare at the young woman who still is obviously just not getting it. He's hardly as good an actor as the vampire, who apparently sidles in easily at the opening given.

I'm really not asking the same question..

"Home," the word is given some false lightness; strained. "Great. Instead of finding your car, how 'bout we head up and get you a cab? Find your car in the morning, hmm? I'm sure your roommate wants to get to sleep soon, instead of staying up to wait for you." The necromancer is going from a token for the clue bus to the ever handy clue-by-four.

"I'm sure she'll give you her number so you can call her later, pal." The vampire did say they were "friends", right? "Assuming she sets her sights so low, of course.."

-

Were Corrie imbued with the ability to read minds, she might 'get it'. As it is, while she has a niggling sense that there is something going on between the two 'friends', she's not going to come out and say anything.

Until it seems the Sean is trying to ditch her all the more swiftly.

"Honestly, I never meant to step into the midst of a lover's tiff," she says quite sincerely. "Off you boys go then, I've obviously interrupted something." There is a shooing motion made, and she turns to continue on her way on her own.

Stopping approximately five feet away, she turns a look upon Sean and says, "Really, traveling with me was unnecessary. If you hadn't so adamantly offered, I'd've been fine on my own."

-

This is one of those moments when Aidan pauses to take a mental calculation. How quickly could he snap White Knight's neck and convince the red head that she hadn't seen a bloody thing out of the ordinary? Probably not quickly enough, and he hates having to work with such short notice. He squealches the urge, and instead responds to the woman's oh-so-false assumption.

Eyebrows rising, Aidan doesn't have to do much in the way of acting to feign shock and surprise. "Oh come on, if we were together like that, I think I could do better than him."

Aidan swivels his head to look toward Sean and makes a shooing motion that mimics Corrie's, "She's right though. Go on, then, mate. I'll catch up." He doesn't expect that the other man will go away at all, but the baiting is so much fun. Besides, the prospect of actually calling up take away on another day is appealing.

-

The absolute expression of disbelief is plain upon Sean's face at the comments, which are then followed with that 'shooing' gesture. He isn't entirely certain whether to laugh or to get mad at the insinuation. Still, in a way, she's right. He does want her out so she isn't eaten by the vampire. It's becoming more obvious to him that he's the 'third wheel' in this, and should he turn around and go back about his business (and finding Imef), he's not all that certain that it would be a good thing<tm> for the woman in question.

Oh sure, like I'd leave the wolf alone..

"Ah.. no.. actually, now that I think about it, I did want to see if I couldn't find you to clarify some things before I'm off again.." Pal. Moving quickly again to just get near enough to the vampire (not that he wants to!) to act as a buffer yet again for the woman, he begins again, "Remember the other night, when you…"

-

"Methinks the man doth protest to much," Corrie shoots over her shoulder as she starts on her way once more. "You can both just be on your way. Much as I'm appreciative of your offer to lead me back to the Arch, I think I'll be fine on my own from here." Again, she makes the wafting 'off with you then' type of motion.

Digging out her cell once more, she utters a careful words in Latin under her breath as she quickens her pace.

-

Oh, this is just too rich, Aidan thinks darkly. But the situation is fast becoming far more complicated than he really wants to deal with tonight. He's amused that White Knight seems to think he's playing along, and Aidan coughs, loudly, into his hand. "That's enough of that." His gaze narrows at the other man, eyes hard and cold for a moment before his attention shifts to the form of the retreating woman.

With a smirk, Aidan calls after her, "You know, your curiosity is going to come back and haunt you. You didn't even ask for a name …"

He returns his attention to White Knight and lowers his voice, "Are you always this much of a buzzkill?"

-

"Now that she's leaving, I'd say it is," Sean's sotto voice responds, even as blue eyes watch her departure. He gets something of a more satisfied expression; not quite a smile or even a smirk, but the pleased hangs just below the surface. The girl will survive another day without extra holes..

"Always." Now there's the answer to the question.

"Now it's my turn," even now, the necromancer turns back to serious; work is kicking in once more. "Imef.. ever heard the name?" He can always get into the sections he needs to get and drop the questions again. "He's on your team. He's not very careful, if you ask me, and left tracks leading to London. I don't want to hurt him.. I just want to talk to him."

-

Actually, Aidan isn't wrong. Her curiosity is actually getting the better of her at the moment. Corrie considers the situation, and as she walks away she makes a slight gesture that could be considered a wave. Except she knows better — it's actually a fog spell meant to obscure her passage so that they can't follow her as she turns down one of the corridors.

She also doesn't go all that much further, giving herself just a few seconds to utter the correct phrase for the cover spell, which should keep her hidden against the wall of the turn she's made until she moves. With any luck, she's managed to get it to work properly this time.

Maybe she should have gone with the fireball.

-

Aidan watches the woman's retreat until she seems to vanish into the darkness. It tweaks his curiosity, but only ever so briefly because Mr. Good Guy is radiating smug so strongly it makes Aidan's palms twitch. Humans break very easily. Aidan considers that the man demanding answers from him doesn't realize that he's lucky Aidan isn't as young and reckless as he was a couple of centuries ago.

"Wow, you're either bold or stupid. Maybe both?" Aidan studies the man, the mask of playfulness and friendliness falling away now that there's no one to impress. His blue eyes are like steel, and he sheds his human mask as he holds the other man's gaze. "First you chase away a lovely new acquaintance and now, you want my help?"

Aidan hasn't yet said whether or not he knows Imef, because he never shows his full hand right away. Aidan leans in closer, intentionally crowding the man's space despite the sensation of tingles and prickles crawling over his body and telling him to back away,"What exactly could you want to talk to this particular gentleman about?"

-

Sean's voice is low, and as far as he's concerned (or rather hopes), she's headed to her car, into the safety and anonymity of London city streets. There are others, and as far as they're concerned, the pair of men have just finished fighting over a girl and have been doubly rebuked. At least, he hopes that is the impression.

The face of a monster. It shows itself, and if it weren't for the fact that Sean's particular.. gift is to not only look upon the face of death, but to breath some animation that approximates life into it, it'd make him fold. As it is, this particular animated corpse is none too happy with him. Like a lich on steroids.

"You had to know I wasn't going to stand idly by, there." One of the few people in the city that could stand between a vampire and their snack and not get mind-screwed..

It's when the vampire leans in, however, that Sean takes a step back. He's not all that keen on having one of them too close if he doesn't have to. The smell of death; the feel of lingering, corrupted life is just.. not good. There's no soul, not in a human sense, anyway.

"I need information.. and in turn, what I have will be of some use to him."

-

"You made that perfectly clear," Aidan gives an exaggerated, exasperated eye roll. "Naturally, you're the sort that just assumes the worse. I only wanted to talk to her." Somehow Aidan manages make the word 'talk' sound dirty and playful at the same time.

There are so many answers Aidan can give to that last comment, and it's so hard to pick just one. Of course, he takes a moment to settle into a smirk of his own as the man steps back a pace. The smirk slides into place easily and with it the facade of humanity; Aidan is only negligently aware of slipping back into that particular skin. He shoves his hands in the pockets of his coat, a bored human bloke having an intense conversation with a friend for all the passerbys might notice.

Aidan sizes the man up again, and returns to his original assessment of bold and stupid. And Aidan is not handing out that particular bit of information. Though he'll happily play the game for a while longer.

"I've heard of him. Might even be able to point you in a general direction." The smirk is firmly in place now. "Then again, I might not."

-

"Yeah…" The word is drawn out with a slight roll back of his head, blue eyes fixed upon the vampire before the next words follow. "//Talk. //I'll believe that, sure. If you want me to."

Uh huh.

"Really."

Sean exhales and drops errant hands back into his own pockets, his elbows stiffening in order to allow a shrug to come to his shoulders before loosening once more. There's the shift again; fascinating survival mechanism for the creatures. He may be bold or stupid, but timidity never did get him anywhere. Particularly with monsters. Seem the least bit uncertain, and there's the opportunity to be a victim. That, and he's comfortable with the skin he's in, as it were. The confidence is there.

"I think, then," Sean's gaze continues to remain upon the vampire, just as a general rule. "I'll go shopping and take my chances with those who might actually recognize the value in directing me to him." Shopping in the Marketplace, of course. "I don't know where he is here, but he's certainly made a name for himself in Egypt." That, of course, could be good or bad..

-

Value? Aidan recognizes the ploy as the man says the words. It's the dangling of bait for the lesser fishes to bite. Aidan has been part of the politics and played the court game; he found it strangely dissatisfying in the long run. He's not at all keen to board that train again, so attempting to hook him with that sort of talk is going to fall short. His only interest in this man - and this man's interest in Imef - is for entertainment's sake only. Unfortunately, it looks as though getting his night's worth of entertainment is going to mean throwing the man a few breadcrumbs. And, he has to admit, it might mean finding out something that Aidan can take to von Richter. Again, not for the sake of playing politics - the very thought makes him shudder - but simply so that the Master of the City knows that there's a human around who's digging deep where humans probably shouldn't dig.

"How about this?" Aidan tilts his head in consideration, "I can get you down there, and I know someone you can talk to." He pauses a beat, and remembers the idiot's determination to go to the Undercity via other routes, "Please spare me the big man, puffed out chest, you can do it yourself. I'm sure you can, and I'm sure that all the bruises will heal eventually, but why the bloody hell take the hard road when I can get you in the easy way?"

-

Bruises? Yeah.. Sean's taken what he would describe as more than his share of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and it's not something he enjoys. However, the fact that he 'could get hurt' is pretty much part of the job, and not the one with the University.

The necromancer studies the vampire for a long moment, though in actuality it isn't more than a couple of heartbeats before he nods his acceptance. "I'm going to regret this, I know.." A tight smile accompanies his words, and he rocks briefly on the balls of his feet; the only real indication that perhaps he's pleased with the outcome.

"I don't like doing things the hard way. I like it easy. Easy is good. Easy means that everything works out."

-

Aidan watches and waits. He's got all of forever in front of him, so he doesn't mind waiting. Truly it makes no difference to him what the man decides aside from whether or not he will be able to glean any entertainment value out of it. Humans, Aidan has learned over the years, really don't have to be just a food source. They are an endless font of entertainment as well.

When the man finally nods, Aidan is surprised for a moment, but only a moment. It looks like the entertainment might be on tonight after all. "A'right then, mate," Aidan mimics the heel rocking, mostly because he's amused at the outcome and it promises to just get better. "You already pissed off the Hulk at the door, so why don't we let me do the talking this time?"

Aidan turns and starts back in the direction they came from before escorting the cute red head on her way, pausing after a few steps to look back and make certain that the White Knight is following. "Oh, yeah, and just so we're clear? I'm getting you in. If you get eaten alive in there, it's not my problem."

-

Sean shrugs again, the elbows straightening to give his shoulders rise, and follows Aiden up the way they came. "Sure. After all, you had the young woman eating out of your hand. How hard could it be?" The words are light, conversational..

Slowing as the lead does so, and twists around, Sean's brows rise in theatric askance. "Sure. I'm probably not on any one's menu, though. Not even as a desperation snack." A hands are pulled from a pocket and he wiggles his fingers; obviously there's nothing instantaneous about his abilities (it's all pretty time consuming, actually), but that doesn't mean the vampires know that. He does chuckle, though it's not fully infused with amusement and does add, "Doesn't mean they can't wring my neck, or.. worse, though."

-

With the men on the move, Corrie has two decisions.

The first — retreat toward the Arch, go home, research Imef. Find out if these guys are assassins, spies, or what have you. Though if they are, what would they want in the Undercity?

The second — follow them to see if she can get more information. Much more difficult to do, considering the labyrinth the tunnels can be, and the fact that she's likely to get caught spying.

The decision should be simple. She should just go home, and start preparing a press release for whatever trouble Amber Bardot has gotten up to this evening. Yet it will bother her all night if she doesn't ensure that they're not from Reese.

Once the pair is far enough away, she takes a deep breath. Then she casts a blur spell to attempt to keep herself hidden as she moves along behind them.

-

What is it about this human that makes him so bold? He's certainly nothing special, not that Aidan has noticed so far. He's met sorcerers before - though he tends to avoid them with the same care that he avoids witches - but this man hasn't really performed any show of strength, magical or otherwise. If it wasn't for that unnerving energy ripple that Aidan feels radiating from him, the Vampire likely would have been done with this pursuit back when it first started.

"You're certainly not on mine," Aidan agrees readily. "I have standards."

Aidan watches the little finger wave with no more than a sign of mild curiosity, particularly when nothing flashy and spectacular happens. For all he knows, or cares, the man could have cast a spell to protect himself. Whatever it was, if it was anything at all, it doesn't affect Aidan, so it's quickly dismissed.

The Vampire flashes the man an amused smirk at the last words, "Trust me, I've been tempted several times already. Good thing I have restraint." Pause. "And it'll be a lot more amusing if someone else does it."

-

Corrie isn't a ghost, so Sean doesn't catch any magic rippling effects. Now, if it was a spirit on the move…

"Yeah.." Sean gives the vampire a sidelong glance, "Thanks." Now, it could be for agreeing that he's not on the menu or for not killing him when tempted. Or both.. but he doesn't elaborate on that.

"You know, I usually find that's the case too." It's not a matter of 'amusing', however. He just doesn't like to get the souls too pissed off at him about them being unceremoniously dead because he had a hand in it. Doesn't make for a good working relationship.

"Out of curiousity," and his tones are conversational as they walk, "have you ever been to Egypt in say.. last couple hundred years?"

-

One heartbeat isn't different from any of the others as people flow and move around the pair of men. Aidan hears them because he always hears them, they are part and parcel to what he is, but none sings to him more than any other, probably because he isn't focused and on a hunt. However, motion and movement, those are things that Aidan can detect. His predatory senses don't have an off switch, and it's just a matter of time until he notices that the flow of people around them isn't as it should be.

"You're welcome." The words are delivered with a polite, crisp nod, that annoying trademark smirk staying in place. Sometimes, Aidan behaves the annoying ass on purpose.

He swings his head to glance at the other man again as the topic shifts to what could possibly be polite conversation. Yes, the Vampire is definitely amused now. "Is this the part where we small talk?" Aidan waves a hand between them before dropping it back to his coat pocket. "I've been plenty of places in the last couple of hundred years. Egypt might have been one of them." It was, but Aidan's not admitting to that yet. Besides he wasn't there very long.

-

Sean is in the midst of work now, and his mind is moving in a completely different direction than, sadly, having full faculties devoted to his immediate surroundings. Thus, this is why it's always nice to have at least one other person to watch his back. When working alone, sometimes it's the ever helpful skull that sits on his bookshelf; when working with others, well, he delves even deeper into research mode, full in the knowledge that "others" will let him know when it's time to go.

With the response, even with the smirk that rides the vampire's expression, Sean is somewhat heartened, and he pushes on, pulling his hand out to wave in the air before him dismissively, adding to his words. "That's okay.. It's a place that fascinates me, and could have some real bearing London." The uprising and revolts?

-

"Egypt? Of all the places in the world, Egypt fascinates you?" Aidan's brows rise. "Isn't that so typical. Everyone's always all about Egypt and the pyramids and the mysticism. Personally, I happen to prefer Italy. It's provencal to say so, yes, but the women are bellisimo."

He can flip the subject with whipcrack speed, and Aidan does just that. He knows the man is fishing, but he hasn't figured out what the other is fishing for exactly. Except, perhaps, more information about Imef. "You're going to have be a little more specific if you're hoping to extract a wealth of information from me, yeah? I mean, I could talk about my time there, but wouldn't it be a waste of time if it's not what you want to hear about?"

-

"And the mummies, the weight of time in the sand, the history, and.. well, I particularly like the British colonial rule. The French were a bunch of useless.." Shot the nose off the sphinx!

Sean chuckles, and won't argue the merits of the women in Italy. While he's visited the country, seeing those sights aren't the first thing on his agenda. Not even the second. Or a distant third.

"Actually, specifics is exactly what I don't have. See.. I'm an historian of sorts. Archaeologist.. and the record is more than just facts and dates. It's impressions, it's motivations, it's the reason why things went as they did. Because right now?" Sean shakes his head, and allows for a something of a smirk of his own as he begins to shake his head. "London and Cairo have some old connections, let's just say. And the unrest in Egypt isn't going to stay there."

-

Couple of hundred years? Egypt again. Mummies. History. Connections between London and Cairo?

Corrie is certain at this point that she's gotten in well over her head, so it's time to head up and do exactly what she was planning — getting to her car and going home.

As she turns to go, the blur spell breaks and she stumbles right into another person. "Bloody hell," she mutters, giving herself only three seconds to glance over her shoulder before she offers up a quick apology to the woman she's bumped against.

-

As much as he is loathe to admit it, the self-proclaimed historian has captured Aidan's attention as more than just mayhem and destruction bait. Aidan doesn't follow history perse because he's lived it, at least with respect to the most recent bits. He pays attention however, because the movements and under currents are things to stay well abreast of. It means that he knows how to protect himself and when to leave for safer pastures.

"And that's why I'm not in Cairo," Aidan announces. "Given that what's happening there has been brewing for years, I don't think we have much to worry about." He hasn't given anything away, but something of the man's manner and careful wording suggests that he knows far more about the goings on in the supernatural world - particularly the not so niceties of Vampire politics - than an archaeologist should.

Motion catches out of the corner of his eye and Aidan surreptitiously looks that way. Not for long, just a glance that reveals the cute red head apologizing to another woman. He's amused but also a bit on guard, wondering precisely how she managed to slip up behind them and follow without him noticing. He keeps his attention focused on his … companion … pretending he hasn't noticed her; he'll be keeping an eye out for her too now.

"You have a name?" Aidan asks casually. "Not that I really care, but I figure that you might not answer to 'bait.' "

-

"Yes, well, I'm not all that sure we're going to be immune to the influences there. When there's a perception of injustice, or weakness.." Sean lets the last word hang for a moment before continuing, his step falling easily. Definitely 'work mode'. "The idea to push against it and hope to get the same results is almost too good to pass up."

The student of history chuckles, though it lacks amusement, "And London and Cairo have a history together."

Pausing in his step at the inquiry of his name, Sean doesn't see a reason not to give it. "Dr. Sean Watson.. and you're probably right. 'Bait' doesn't sound good. Neither does 'dinner' or 'snack because I'm bored'." Here, another hint of a smile comes, but it's a little more genuine. "And you—"

He would continue the question if it weren't for the woman that just.. isn't that the woman who—

-

The name gives her an opening to 'rejoin' the group so that she can make her way back up to the street in the direction she originally came from. At least for a few moments. Apologies are given, and then she quickens her step to catch up. May as well, she's already been noticed.

Corrie stops beside Sean rather than walking between both men, keeping herself closer to the wall and any potential side paths. "Dr. Watson… I should have made the connection. I knew you looked quite familiar." A far more cheerful smile is given to him as she feigns tripping and tries to slip something into his jacket pocket — a card, with an address for easier access to the Undercity. "Oops, sorry."

'Fixing' herself after that trip she continues, "I've seen you around the campus, haven't I? In the Humanities department I think."

-

"Because that worked out so well for the last regime," Aidan remarks dryly. The conversation is almost an argument for restraint. He enjoys intelligent conversation, and Aidan is willing to admit that not all humans are mindless chattel. He'll eventually lose interest, but until then, he has to admit - at least privately - he is intrigued by the turn that the night has taken.

He gets the name - Watson, probably a Ph.D right before the cute red head makes her way to them. "Wonderful," Aidan murmurs, the tone of his words implying many things, but wonder is not among them. The conversation with the archeaologist has just taken a turn toward the interesting, and while Aidan is at a loss to figure out the woman's game - First she escapes us, then she follows us and now she's sucking up … - he doesn't care much for the interruption. If anything he sounds mildly bored and exasperated.

She's not quite as smooth as she thinks she is, and Aidan sees the poor attempt at subtlety. I really hope that sleight of hand is not her day job.

He has a choice to ignore it and see how it plays out, but listening to the little voice that says, 'Let it go,' is really not his strong suit. "You should have said that you'd have preferred his number over mine." Aidan's blue eyes fix pointedly on Sean's pocket before turning back to the woman. He doesn't tell the other man that anything is there, but he's sure it's enough to let the red head know that he's on to her. If I'd known she was going to turn out to be a problem, I would have just eaten her.

-

A soft chuff of air escapes the necromancer; it's almost a physical effort to shift his gears from the work mindset to something .. not quite so much. Couple that with the fact that he gets this sudden feeling that perhaps he's going to end up raising the vampire's ire once more in that he's going to do what he can to keep the girl from being eaten.

While not a student of vampires per se, he does recognize potential alarm bells that are about to be pulled. (Or perhaps are being pulled— darn vampires and their subtlety!)

Reaching out to keep the young woman from falling, he offers aid in straightening her up and making sure she's regained her footing. Sean has absolutely no idea what's going on, and the confusion is evident. "Ah.. yes." He nods his head in assent, though now his brow creases in trying to place her on campus. There are so many students, undergrad and grad.. faculty, TAs..

"Are you okay?"

Sean looks to Aidan once more, a hand is out to help keep Corrie on her feet more than to keep himself at least partially interposed between her and the vampire. "Looks like we'll be making that detour." To escort the woman to her car. "I'd really like to finish our conversation…" Sean fishes for a name, any name, that the vampire might offer.

-

"No, no. Don't mind me. I made it all the way to the Arch and realized I'd left my handbag at the restaurant." It's a good enough cover, if not a perfect one. Corrie nods. "I'm fine." The undertone there being that she's more than capable of taking care of herself.

Only, she's been caught again.

This one she tries to brush off with a laugh. "His number? I'm sure I could look him up in the campus directory if I wanted to." Meanwhile her mind is having another one of those 'bloody hell' moments. //How does Jean get out of these messes — oh right, I generally help her out of them… //

"Though if that was an offer of a number, Mr… ?" The pause is just long enough for Aidan to fill in the blanks. "I'll gladly take it and be on my way so that you two can continue your conversation."

-

Aidan arches a brow at her. He keeps his hands in his coat pockets because he is seriously tempted to grab the little chit by her shoulders and glamor her into going into some dark alley to wait for him. For some reason, he doesn't think that would go over very well with Dr. Watson, and it will be a true trick to try and glamor both of them in some sort of sequence without interference.

None of those thoughts show on his face or are even reflected in his eyes as he gives her a patronizing smile, "For some reason, I just don't believe that you'd actually call me. I'd really hate the let down."

There's a few beats then while he looks between the pair of them, realizing that Watson is clueless as to what has transpired and that the chit is faltering all over the place. It's a right comedy of errors 'cept I'm not laughing. "It's Aidan," the Vampire volunteers finally. He can't think of any reason to not give Watson his name, though for some reason he holds back his surname. "And yes, the conversation was just getting interesting. I'm definitely game for finishing it."

He doesn't offer to walk the red head back to her car or even the restaurant, though he suspects that if Watson has anything to say about it that's exactly where this is headed.

-

"Yes, well.. let me walk you out anyway, hmm?" Bright blue eyes look down on the young woman, and his brows rise in the offer. "That way, I can be sure you get to your car okay, and send you on your way home." Not to a boyfriend, nor a roommate, most likely. "Then," Sean twists around to check on the vampire. Unhappy. Decidedly so. Great. Not the position he really wanted to be in. "I shouldn't be more than a couple of minutes." What are a couple minutes to a vampire? "Or.. I can meet you down here later, assuming you don't have anything else that demands your attention."

Raising his hand to press Corrie's back lightly to begin to maneuver her out of the way and on her way back, on their way back, he's not really very pleased with the outcome of the evening thus far. Sean doesn't actually invite the vampire to go with them either.. instead preferring to make the trip alone, to the exit and back. "C'mon.. let's get you out and home, shall we?"

-

Not getting away from Sean so easily this time, she guesses. Though she's being maneuvered out of the way, Corrie digs her heels in momentarily. "You, better than anyone else, should know that this is not Camelot." Therefore, she's in no need of a knight. In shining armor, or otherwise.

"Regardless of what you think, Aidan…" Or was that meant to be 'Mr. Aidan'? It was rather ambiguous after all. "… when I bother to ask a man for his number, I do call. But as I'd really rather not argue the issue or prolong the wait for your conversation, I'll simply say that it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and be on my way."

Then she allows Sean to lead her back to the exit, and once they're several feet away she whispers, "I put a card in your pocket. An easier way into the Undercity if that's where you're meaning to go. Safer too."

-

Aidan's eyes widen at the red head's little pique of temper, and a slow, genuine smile pulls up the corners of his mouth, touching all the way to the depths of his pale blue eyes by the time she's done. What's that they say about red heads? "Wow." Aidan puts his hands up in front of him as though warding her off, "My apologies to the … modern woman that you are. You've got spunk though, it's rather attractive." Too bad she's still looking more interesting as a late snack, albeit a fiery fiesty one.

Aidan leans against the wall, making it look far more casual and comfortable than leaning against the wall should possibly look. He nods to Sean, "Go on, I'll wait here. I've got nothing but time. You two kids take your time." Aidan punctuates the last with a wiggly finger wave at the pair.

There's actually no guarantee that Watson won't stand him up, other than the fact that Aidan now has his name and with a little work, can probably hunt him down.

-

While Aidan may find humour in the firecracker, Sean does not. It's more like.. hunter finding amusement in their prey, which, he's pretty sure, Corrie just doesn't seem to quite understand their position— at least not the way he understands it.

"No," Sean is trying to keep his voice low, and even, "it's a great deal worse than that. Chivalry being dead isn't necessarily a good thing, you know."

The way she digs her heels in, however.. it almost makes him give up and give in. Aidan's casual air, however, spurs the necromancer on, and once again, moves to guide the woman out with a hand and a step in the proper direction.

"I'll be back. Shouldn't take too long, really."

Lowering his voice again for the woman, though he's pretty sure that vampires can hear quite well, "Thanks for the card. I was more hoping for the announced.. wait.. wait.." Stopping once more, his head ducks down, his gaze clear and direct, "Undercity.." No one but .. yes..

-

"I'm not unopposed to chivalry, but you're going a bit above and beyond, aren't you?" Corrie shakes her head, letting out a little laugh. "Sorry, but don't you think acting meek as a mouse around someone who believes themselves to be over a hundred years of age is a hell of a lot less wise than speaking my mind?"

Someone may have heard more than she was letting on. Maybe.

"Going in announced to certain… areas… probably isn't wise, Dr. Watson, and my sister would likely never forgive me for letting her favorite professor get killed." Beat. "Be careful when you head back to him. I think I agitated him quite a bit which really was not my intention."

-

"I think," Sean begins, his voice a hissed whisper, "that acting a little less like a target is a better idea around a man who believes himself to be over a hundred years." He begins walking once more towards the more populated portions; the 'mundane' sections of the subway. "And believe me, I'm not going anywhere near above and beyond. If you believe in 'everyone for themselves', I'm sorry, but I don't. Not in this world, I don't."

Shaking his head ever so slightly, he presses his lips together tightly as he considers; at least he's willing to listen to opinions. Even if he doesn't agree with them. "I'd rather go in announced than have them unhappily surprised with my presence." Sean smiles tightly, though the further out they get, the more seemingly genuine the expression becomes. "And.. your sister's favourite professor?" Even professors don't mind the occasional ego boost. Means students are actually paying attention. "I'll.. have to ask about that later." And how in the hell she knows about the undercity.

"But, I just want to get you to a safe enough spot.. and you have to promise me," here, Sean stops, "that you won't follow me back in there, thinking you're going to save me from something.. Okay?"

-

"I was hardly acting as a tar — ." At the end she was, so she simply exhales a frustrated sigh. "I appreciate the save, but it was really rather unnecessary. I am not a child and I am more than capable of taking care of myself." She must be if she's wandered down into the Undercity.

"Still," Corrie says after a rather long pause, "I //do.. appreciate the save," she says again. "And provided that you promise not to get yourself killed…" Beat. "And don't think I won't be checking on that come morning, Dr. Watson."

The rest she allows to fall to the side, knowing that a potentially dangerous situation is not the time, nor the place, to discuss a certain crush a certain younger sister may or may not have on the professor.

Once they reach 'safety' however, she winks at him. "You know, I can definitely see why you're her favorite. See you around, Dr. Watson."

-

Yes, yes you were. At least Corrie realizes that she had, indeed, drawn a giant target on herself. Now, there is the very real possibility that the vampire back there is going to track her down, just for the sport. Sean wouldn't put it past him.

"You're welcome.. and I promise I won't get myself killed. If I do, I'll tell you what. I'll come back just so you can tell me that you were right and I was wrong. How's that?" Wouldn't Charlie love that? How many times did his friend ask him if he knew of another necromancer, just to do that very thing? (To raise him just to kill him again for being stupid!)

"I'll make time for you to check on me during office hours tomorrow. How's that?"

It's not long before they do reach what Sean considers to be 'safe'; in the pedestrian flow once again, and within a reasonable distance of a stairwell going up to street level. His brows raise at the compliment, and he looks.. somewhat surprised. A little taken aback, and the only response he can think of is.. "Thanks.. and go home." Lock the doors.

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