In the Interest of Information

Sean's Office

The office of Dr. Sean Watson is almost stereotypical of what one would find in the office of an active archaeologist. Bookshelves line the walls of the office where there is no window, and where there is the one view outside, there are low-slung shelves. Not only books adorn the shelving, however. With each sectional, it can be discerned what specialty the shelves contain. There are small statuettes of random Egyptian figures of history, a couple of skulls that look very much like the mummified remains of some poor soul who lived a couple of thousand years ago filling the shelves behind his desk and chair, pottery, examples of textiles of the Middle East on the 'far shelving', and the nod to MezoAmerica under the window.

A desk sits on the side, papers piled along the front and on top of the blotter that also acts as a calendar. Pictures are hung on the walls in the spare spots, devoid of shelving, which is only on the wall nearest the door. There, Dr. Watson's degrees are hung, as well as a couple commendations from the archaeological community at large.

Just beside the door, a tall, cherrywood hatrack stands with a jacket draped upon it.


Characters

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Aidan Sean

When Aidan receives the text message that Dr. Sean Watson is on campus, he concludes that the time he took to put the glamour on the night janitor was worth the time and effort. He doesn't expect the message to come on a Sunday night of all times, but he will take what he can get. He has a deal with Elsie, and really this little mission is easy enough. Added bonus is that if he can worm his way into the necromancer's trust and respect, he might be able to find out a lot more. Something that Elsie can use; that he can give her in exchange too for her promised assistance with his little witch problem.

Campus is quiet and mostly deserted, but it doesn't bother Aidan. He's not hunting and has no nefarious plans, unless talking to a necromancer can be considered nefarious.

Social mores, such as knocking and waiting to be asked in, are things that Aidan ignores. If it were a private home, there would be a problem, but there's no problem with accessing public entry places. He nudges Watson's office door open with his foot and steps inside as though he's been making regular visits his entire life. "Not married. Maybe not even getting a bit on the side, because if you were, there would have to be something more exciting to do than research on a Sunday night," Aidan says by way of 'greeting.' "Doesn't Mum even invite you over for dinner so that she introduce you to the nice Smith girl?"

Office lights are on, if a little dimmed for study. Door is closed, and all is well with the world as far as Dr. Sean Watson is concerned. It's quiet, he's got most (if not all) of his resources to finish up a couple of things before the exam cycle, and once all that is done, he can return his full attention to other matters 'at hand'. Books are laid open, side by side, a couple notebooks set in places around the desk with one in front of the archaeologist. A Vedic text, in the original Sanskrit, sits on a corner, notes scrawled in English in the side-bars; some of the foreign text is underlined, put into quotes, or crossed out with notes written over top or in the margin.

At the motion of the door, blue eyes rise from study, his hand, however, continues to mark a notebook, almost as if by 'automatic writing'. It slows to a stop, however, and with a quick glance to the page to make sure he didn't crash into anything else on the page, so to speak, Sean puts his pen down on the desktop. His jaw shifts to the side and his brows rise in partial surprise as to the presence. They fall just as fast as he considers the greeting, and his own response.

"Good evening to you, too. Finding things a little dull out on the streets tonight?" He's not even going to grace the vampire with a response regarding his personal life..

"My life is never dull, Dr Watson. There is excitement around every corner, up and down every alley. You just have to know where to look."

Aidan paces a bit further into the office, blue eyes darting around to take in the important details: the exits, the windows, the placement of furniture. Only once that is done does he let his attention roam to the shelves of books and trinkets. The one nearest to him contains small Egyptian statuettes and a plethora of books on Egyptian history, culture, mythology. Aidan scans the titles with a finger, not touching the books, but clearly reading off each title before casting a glance toward the archaeologist, "You weren't exaggerating when you said you have a deep interest in Egypt, were you? The National Library quite likely envies your collection." There's no bite or snark to the words, as close as the Vampire is likely to come to giving the topic a nod of respect.

Sean's brows rise again as he watches Aidan move around his office, looking at the titles that are set upon the shelves, as well as the minor statuary. "I try not to make it a habit of lying. Makes it harder to remember what you said when under.." Duress? ".. stress." He leans back in his chair, still watching the vampire's movements, and a hint of a smile appears. "That's not to mention there are people out there that have an uncanny ability of discerning lies."

Sitting forward again, Sean reaches out to close his notebook and the text in which he was actively searching, making notes. "There are a few I'm missing, but the National is missing them too." He looks up, his expression expectant.

"To what do I owe this visit? If you're not bored, you've got something that beats out all that excitement of a Spring Sunday evening?"

Turning from the Egyptian bookshelves, half of Aidan's mouth turns up in a crooked smirk. "What's that, then? No, 'Hello, Aidan, how've you been, mate?'" The Vampire feigns a very much put-upon frown and sighs, "What do they teach you kids these days?" It's a subtle reminder that though Aidan might look like he's a decade the necromancer's junior, that he's lived a lot longer.

He strolls to the desk with the casual air of a man who has no motives, nothing to do and nowhere at all to be. The latter at least is pretty much the truth. Tonight, Aidan's only interest is getting the necromancer to trust him. Which he knows will be a helluva lot easier said than done.

"I have a present for you. Or at the very least, something I'm certain you'll want to take a look at." Aidan reaches into his coat, and pulls out the book that he's been keeping out of sight. He holds it out to the necromancer, explaining, "I have contacts, and I know people. I managed to get this from the plethora of items that belonged to Nikola."

The Vampire can't help but look to the skulls however, and waves to them with his free hand, "Trophies? Or reanimation gone wrong?"

"Hello, Aidan. You're looking well." Sean's spent a little time with his friend Charlie and has learned something of the art of the deadpan. "Hope you've been keeping out of trouble."

There. Pleasantries done.

"By the well, I'm well too. And not married. And currently under a deadline for this term's exam cycle." He gestures towards the books. "We've covered a couple thousand years, so you can imagine what sort of questions might be on the test."

Watching the other man's progress through his small office, his brows rise again and he exhales softly, a small smile quirking. "I understand Mozart was one of those that parents wanted to keep their daughters away from." Kids, these days, aren't any different than they were centuries ago.
His attention is moved quickly, however, to the newest shiny, and he half-rises from his seat, reaching for the proffered book. He's surprised, certainly, and taken off-guard. "Ah.." Once it's in his hands, the inevitable question comes, "Why?" The question could be for a number of things, and all of them would be appropriate at the very moment. Sean wants to open it.. his hand is hovering at the corner of the cover, but he pauses— "Wait.. what are you looking for in return?"

The gesture towards his skulls is graced with a scant glance; he knows they're there. "Company when I'm feeling particularly lonely." And it's back to the subject at hand, "How did you get the book?"

Aidan chuckles at the deadpan delivery. One perk to this job is that Watson is entertaining. "I try to keep out of trouble, but somehow trouble just seems to find me." A dismissive shrug is given, and he adds, "Glad to know that you've been well. Wouldn't have wanted you to have attracted the wrong kind of attention down there." It's not necessary to say where.

He falls gracefully into one of the chairs in front of Watson's desk, stretching his legs out in front him and crossing them at the ankles. "Why? Because you were interested, I was interested, and most importantly my lovely blonde friend was interested in you not having it or anything else there." The easiest deception in one mixed with the truth. Aidan tilts his head at the archaeologist, looking eerily not human for a brief moment before he straightens and furrows his brow. "I know you were thinking exactly what I was thinking, at the time. Her death was too coincidental, too timely to be accidental. She knew something that someone didn't want you — or maybe anyone else — to know. I'm annoying curious, especially when I smell a cover up."

A nod is given to the necromancer's question, "I told you. I know people. Living under the radar in the city or any where else requires contacts and connections. People who know people, who can get me what I want." A beat, and Aidan considers, suspecting the next question. "Yes, I'm sure someone was killed, but I doubt they were human. Nikola's effects didn't fall into human hands."

Aidan shifts quickly, leaning his arms on the free edge of Sean's desk. "All I want to know is what's in the book, and to be kept in the loop about your search for Imef. If I find anything out, I'll share it. You said it yourself in not so many words: things are shifting and changing. I want to know what's coming." Showing that Aidan did pick up the subtleties of Sean's conversation, and is very capable of reading between the lines.

"Somehow, I don't believe you try and stay out of trouble," a quirk of a smile returns, if only briefly. "Going against the wishes of one of your own? Somehow, I'm not entirely sure that falls under the auspices of 'out of trouble'." Sean cants his head in silent askance; the concern is strange, at least to him, coming from a vampire. Still, not to be argumentative, there's no challenge.

Play it as it lies, as Charlie likes to say.

The shift in manner and mien to that not human aspect catches Sean off-guard for a heartbeat. The necromancer easily feels the not rightness as a constant when in the room with a vampire, but to have it placed right before his eyes is something that he doesn't actually see all that often. The demon revealed. A reminder of exactly that with which he deals.

A husk of a man long dead, replaced by a demon that animates the flesh, keeps the decay at bay, and echoes the mannerisms of humanity.

"It was too convenient." That is an easy point upon which to agree. "Though, if I was to think about it too deeply, I could find myself running around and around. Did the death mean to keep information from me, or was it simply a red herring to make me thing there was something more, but really not?" Sean chuckles, but the amusement doesn't quite reach the blue orbs. "My problem is, I don't know enough." Not enough about the blonde, not enough about Aidan, not enough about the Russian… and information is a necessity, if not—

A commodity. To be traded.

There it is.

"Imef hasn't done anything in London that I can track him, though. He's got a mark in a few places, but since coming up? Not a peep.. so I'm beginning to wonder if he's here, or simply laid a false path and he's somewhere else." Sean only half believes that, though he's got that question as to why all is now on silent running, as it were. Unless he came up here to get away from whatever was coming. Which could mean he's weaker than the growing storm? Or just doesn't..

Sean exhales, the thoughts running roughshod through his brain. "As for what's coming? Don't we all." The archaeologist says this with something of a exhaled sigh. While tired, he's not willing to give up the work. The Department needs the information.

"If I find anything of note that I think you may find interesting, I'll let you know?"

Well played and cleverly worded, but Aidan knows better than to accept those terms. "Whatever you find, Sean, because I'm fairly certain that I'm the only one who knows what I'll find interesting." A beat and he fixes the other man with a steely gaze, "I'm the one poking the hornet's nest on this one, so I really don't want to be kept out of the loop."

A little bit of truth, a little bit of a lie, a very slow spinning of a web. It's too bad though, that I can't just glamour the man. So much easier, Aidan thinks, but Elsie was clear that it can't be done. "If I am able to procure anything else of interest, I'll let you know."

Pushing to his feet, Aidan reaches into his coat again, this time removing an envelope. It contains the photocopies of a few pages from one of the mysterious journals which Aidan received; more precisely, the pages from the journal pertaining to Aidan's brother. He flashes the envelope, but doesn't hand it over to the necromancer just yet. "This is a more personal pursuit. I need a translation, and the University website has you pegged as the master of languages. I'll pay for it. Up and up, on the table, completely legitimate." The icing on the cake, another step to build up the necromancer's trust and start wiping away his doubt.

Sean does something that there are few people who would dream of doing, and that is to meet the vampire's gaze. It would take a very strong vampire to be able to glamour him, and he'd have to be a great deal more receptive to it. Of course, there are downsides to that too… all of which Sean is very much aware.

"Yes, but you're a hornet too, Aidan." Which, admittedly, could put the vampire in a better or a worse position, depending upon whim— his or Erik's.. or the blonde's.

Now he is beginning to understand why Charlie always seems to suffer from headaches after dealing directly with vampires.

Aidan's wording, that was very much like his own, brings that hint of a smile of amusement forward. An understanding.

When Aidan gains his feet, Sean's giving up on finishing what he'd hoped to accomplish this evening, and rises as well. Not that they're matched by any means, but Sean does like it for appearances.

With the envelope coming out, it does pique Sean's interest, and with the explanation behind it, as much as the book does.. and both, should the papers be acquired, will be read this evening. Holding out his hand for them, it is something of a tease. "Translation.. Okay.." Sean considers, "How about the book for the translation; academic inquiry on an even footing?"

If Aidan didn't already know that Sean is immune to his gaze, he would have admired the man's brass. As it stands, he just lifts his mouth in a smirk. "Maybe I'm tired of being a worker bee, then, and want to strive for something more?" Not really, but it certainly sounds good.

"No." Aidan doesn't need more than a heartbeat to consider the professor's offer. It's a smart move on the man's part, and a calculated one, Aidan's sure. Whether it's because he doesn't trust Aidan, or because he thinks he might actually find something that the Vampire will find useful, Aidan doesn't know and he's not going to waste time reflecting on it. "The book is business. This," Aidan waves the envelope, "Is personal."

That said, he does hand the envelope over to Sean. "I speak and read several languages, unfortunately, this isn't one of them." A lie, and it does come so easily to the Vampire, his face and demeanor giving nothing away. This particular dialect of Greek is one that Aidan reads, because he's going to test Sean's translation skills — and trustworthiness — before presenting him with material that Aidan can't read.

A business card for Flare is produced and Aidan borrows a pen out of Sean's pen holder, scribbling a number on the back of the card. It's a mobile number, for a disposable mobile he shares with Kim, but for now, it will suffice. "That's how you can contact me."

Dealing with the devil. That pretty much sums it up as far as Sean is concerned.

The envelope is accepted, and listening to the brief explanation, Sean's brows rise again in question; he can't read a vampire. He can't tell when one is lying or telling the truth. No one can but another vampire, and that's questionable at times. Matters of degree.

Curiosity takes control, however, and he cracks open the envelope to get a glimpse of the script and quickly recognizes it as Greek. Subtle differences, however.. and he nods slowly, catching one, two words in the unintended reading. "Okay.."

He closes it again in order to take the business card, and looking at it, he pauses— one of the first times that he truly expresses some surprise. "A restaurant?" Perhaps it came out a little more incredulous than he intended, but still! "Really?"

"Yes, really," Aidan drawls his answer, drawing out the last word in complete deadpan. There is a long explanation that he could give — regarding supporting oneself over a long period of time, legitimate means of business, the utter boredom that comes from doing the same thing century after century, and the contacts that can be made when the business is one as simple as dining. People simply don't realize the deals and contracts, legal and not, that are made — or broken — over a fine meal.

However, the Vampire says none of that, settling for an apparently bored shrug, "I keep having to reinvent myself. Why not be original? Everything else has been done, and it's boring." Also, the irony of feeding the food source was never lost on him.

Sean actually laughs in the answer, or rather, the prelude to the answer. The irony isn't lost on the necromancer, and for a moment, a heartbeat, he actually believes he could have liked the man if he was like Aidan is now. Still just an animated corpse!

"A little public. Playing with fire, but you don't strike me as someone who is either lazy or one who likes the easy way. What is life if not a challenge, right?"

The smile remains behind, and the card is set down on the desk before the cellphone comes out to place the number into his 'contacts' list. It's under 'Flare'. "Got it.. and if I'm not here, well.." He's at the library, or at the pub, or in a meeting… or on a date. "The chances are good I'll be unable to answer the phone." Or unwillling.

Aidan can't help but smile at Sean's perception of him, especially since it's so spot on. "I'm also a rich, spoilt, man-whoring playboy, so if I should suddenly get tired of the stress of it a and go jet-setting off somewhere, no one will really put up a big stink. It's to be expected." One does not tend to live to be as old as Aidan by going into things like this blindly. Yes, he can be rash and reckless, but maintaining his long term livelihood and monetary support is something that Aidan takes great pains to do right.

"But," Aidan adds after a beat, "There is something satisfying about hiding in plain sight." He doesn't pretend for a moment that he wouldn't be able to do it without a little help, but he also doesn't admit that to Sean.

"Good, I'll wait to hear from you, then." Aidan turns toward the door, and stops with his hand on the knob. Turning casually, employing that bored drawl that implies it's really not important to him at all, he decides to go fishing. "By the way, I ran into a mutual acquaintance of ours … again. Fiery red head, about so tall?" Aidan holds his hand out to Corrie's height. "She wanted me to tell you that she said hello."

Sean nods in the crafted(?) persona of Mr. Aidan Boyle, and the smile shifts ever so slightly. It's.. tacit understanding that comes with being who and what he is, and embracing the … eccentricities that come along with the territory.

No one will mark the vampire's passing, whether it 'dies', or simply moves off. The chances are good that the vampire will cover tracks (unlike Imef). At least the necromancer will have people behind that will actually miss him, wonder where he's gone, what he's done…

Maybe that's how he might be able to flush Imef out, if he's still in the country? In London? A whisper campaign. Force him out?

"You'll hear from me.. for this translation, a week, tops. Just to be sure I have the context correct for the time period." Thorough.

Looking up in surprise, though he really shouldn't, the last vestiges of that smile wear away. "You did?" Is she still alive? He exhales in a sigh and shakes his head. Though, on the good news side, Jean hasn't either taken a leave or come in tear-stained. "You resisted the urge — no, of course you didn't.."

Sean's reaction is too priceless for words. While it is amusing, it's also disappointing because it tells Aidan that the necromancer has not been in contact with Corrie. He didn't know why he thought that the witch might have been in contact with the necromancer after the tete-a-tete in the Undercity, but he likes to leave no stone unturned.

"Oh, Dr Watson, you do have such a bad impression of me." Well-earned, though, certainly. "You will be pleased to know that I didn't harm a single one of those pretty little red hairs, no matter how much she pushed my buttons. And she truly pushed them."

A beat, and then the lopsided, smug smirk is back. "I didn't even get a taste. Though … I did get a kiss." Stolen, more like, but that isn't the point at all. "I left Miss Kavanaugh completely unharmed. Actually, you probably wouldn't believe that I may have saved her pretty little neck?" Aidan throws out the name and the follow up, his voice almost filled with pride. However, there's more to it than that: Sean is such a white knight, that given the name he might try to find the woman, and if Aidan has an eye kept on the professor, the Vampire may track her as well.

Oh, Sean did have contact, a couple of times. Once the next morning, and the last time for lunch.

The necromancer offers something of a wry toned, "Ye-ah.. I'm sure it's undeserved, and I'll find it within myself to apologize. Maybe." Not likely.

"I.. can believe she pushed them." And hard. "And.." Sean exhales audibly, "Did you happen to mention that you now believe yourself.. owed in return, Sir Galahad?" No, of course not?

He doesn't react to the name, so perhaps there's a hint in that other direction, the fact there had been, or there is currently contact. "If you see her before I do, ask her to call me please? At the office here."

The professor doesn't react to the name, but it's the non-reaction of one who knows the name, and not one who is surprised to hear it. Still, Aidan is skilled enough at reading people that he sees there's no subterfuge there. If Sean has been in contact with the little witchling, it hasn't been since Aidan walked her to her car after spiriting her out of the Undercity.

Aidan shakes his head and gives a laugh, "If was her knight in shining armor, I wouldn't expect repayment. However, I'm not, and so of course I do. But that will be between Corrie and myself." Whenever I happen to find her. Also dependent on if she's caused him to have a sorceror on his back.

"Good night, Sean, and thank you for your help. As soon as I see Corrie again, I'll be sure to pass on her message." Aidan takes another step, and looks back again, "Pointless to ask you do to do the same?" He's pretty certain that if Sean can help it, if the man should talk to the little witchling, he'll not mention Aidan at all. At least not in any encouraging fashion.

"And gentlemen never tell." Sean offers the old 'adage' with a deadpanned tone.

"Good night, Aidan. If I hear anything, the chances are good I probably won't pass the message on to your benefit.. and I'll just apologize in advance for that." Better to 'sin' and apologize for it..

It's only after Aidan truly leaves (and Sean can feel it) that the necromancer sits back down behind his desk, his exhale making him sound as if he's deflating as he does so. Bowing his head and closing his eyes as he considers the conversation just recently passed, he shakes his head slowly. This is just.. the definition of 'not good', as Charlie would say. Of course, Charlie would go down the list of everything not good about it, but that's mostly to annoy Sean; Sean's more than aware exactly where the glaring problems are.

Raising his head again, he takes hold of the book and the envelope. He's giving up on the rest of the books and paperwork for the night. He's still ahead, so he's got a little wiggle room— by design. Never know when he'll be pulled away for days.

Now, with those items in hand, it's time to turn off the lights of the office and head to the Underground, and home.

To do some more reading.

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