Blast from the Past

Undercity


Characters

aidanboyle08.jpg ms01.jpg hr01.jpg
Aidan Sean Gwen (npc)

For those who know what they want and where to find it, the Undercity is a treasure trove of usefulness: information, material, supplies, drugs, food. Whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as you have the money for it, the skills to barter, and ask the right person. There's always the danger of asking the wrong person too, or offending the wrong person simply by looking at them sideways, so it's not a place to be entered lightly. Or unprepared.

Aidan is always prepared when he comes here, and it is seldom on a whim. Some nights it's to visit the blood brothels that only be reached from the Undercity, some nights it's to paticipate in gambling and other illegal types of things, and some nights, like this one, it's on a quest for inrormation.

He hasn't been idle since handing over the peculiar journal to Sean Watson; while the necromancer translates, Aidan has been looking around and asking questions. The journal's existence and the information within its pages bothers him more than he will ever reveal, and he wants to know where it came from, who it came from, why it came to him.

As always when wandering below, Aidan dresses for it. The finer clothes are left behind in favor of dark jeans, a dark sweater, work boots. Tonight he has a lead, however flimsy, and it's to that he's in pursuit.

-

By all rights, by virtue of who and what he is, Dr. Sean Watson, Sem, has every right to be down below. While he may not have preternatural speed, may not be able to sling spells at the whisper of a word and a twitch of a finger, he has the ability to commune with those who are passed on, and in many ways, take over and command them.

Charlie finds immense pleasure at the thought of Sean at the head of a zombie army.

Vampires find immense… displeasure at the thought that the bodies they inhabit may be emptied, should the necromancer have the time and wherewithal to do such a thing.

Dressed down for the occasion, Sean walks with a hand in his pocket, bright eyes watching that which goes on in front of him, to the sides.. as best he can, anyway. It's dark, and even after acclimating, he's at a disadvantage.

At least he returned her journal. So that's one less…

Aidan's company is.. a mixed blessing. As long as they have their detente (can't even be called a truce— more like 'an understanding'), the end of this trip will be like the beginning. Amicable.

With the discussion with Alex, Sean, too, has a couple of potential leads on the journal.. and he's serving as 'wing man' on his brother's journal. (He is still unaware of Aidan's own accounting.)

"You see.. there is that potential that there's either some monastic order that simply wants to record— but that wouldn't make sense. Not sit and watch his actions, dispassionately. And there's something very old in that writing.. so…"

-

"There's always a purpose or a motivation," Aidan interjects. Even if the motivations are unfathomable, such as those of vampires to humans, the motivations are there. "I find it hard to believe that this individual … or individuals … have sat dispassionately by for centuries and simply watched events unfold." Then again, perhaps not so much so given that at last word, as far as Aidan knew, his brother was still alive. So to speak.

"A centuries old monastic order?" Aidan lifts a brow to the necromancer. "I'd think they'd be most likely to kill 'the demon' than anyone else." Aidan does include the air quotes where appropriate.

Perish the thought of the other possibility: that this watcher (watchers) might find something useful in his younger brother? And by default in Aidan given the other journal.

-

"Not all monastic orders were .. devout followers," Sean corrects. "Templars were a monastic order, but based upon military. They had their writ of being simply because they served the Pope at the time and offered to protect the pilgrims. It was lucrative."

He exhales softly, "So, theoretically, there could be something that watches like.. photojournalists record baby turtles getting eaten by sea birds and do nothing to stop it." Now there's a simile.

Nodding his head once, twice, Sean continues his path with the vampire, ignoring the proximity alarms that are screaming in his head, his body. "There's always a reason," he agrees readily enough. "Trick is to find it."

-

It's never easy or relaxing to be around the necromancer. That feeling of pins and needles and prickling up and down Aidan's spine never quite goes away. The vampire adjusts, rather more of becoming numb to the sensation, relegating it to a distraction in the back of his mind, but it's never quite comfortable. How Elsie ever managed to be involved with a necromancer, Aidan will never know.

"You do realize that makes you the baby turtle?" Aidan offers with a besmused smirk. "I'd have gone for the lion taking down the gazelle, or the zebra. Not quite as cute and squishy."

Aidan frowns, turning serious again, "Theoretically speaking, have you come up with any reasonably plausible ideas?" Beat. "Because, frankly, the only explanation that my mind continues to wander back to is control. It's the age old reason for watching and observing; if you understand it, you can control it." Or conquer it. Or, in the case of vampires, hunt among and prey on it, which depending on your point of view, is a certain type of control.

-

Sean chuckles at the examples offered up in the baby turtles' stead. "Nowhere near enough indignation for the plight of the gazelle or zebra. But, I'll tell you.. I've seen some serious fighting back of wildebeest when attacked by lions." See? There's an off-off-off-hand compliment there. After a fashion, anyway.

The half-smile remains, and he shakes his head quickly in the negative before answering, "Theoretically speaking? No." A softly audible breath is drawn and as he lets it out, he adds yet another, even if it's not quite so.. based upon paranoia, "Or you can figure out how to live with it. Understanding isn't always the precursor to crushing." Though he can understand why the vampire's mind goes in that direction.

"I gotta say, though.. in that writing, there was no value judgements. It was impassive. Nothing that would incite the emotions of the carriers of pitchforks and torches." Blue eyes still scan the path before them as he continues, "So that could say a lot. Like he may not have been trying to rally the troops."

-

London is not a city Gwendolyn Bishop is able to visit at all often these days. France, Spain, America, Scotland even, but Seamus keeps her far away from London, and it's a very rare occurrence when she can slip free of the tight grasp he keeps on her.

A lesser person would be bitter about such things — about never being able to return home but for once every fifty to eighty years or so.

Gwen accepts the sacrifice she made — at the time it was a fairly altruistic sacrifice.

Moving quietly, and unseen through the Undercity isn't all that difficult to do. She's hardly noticed by most, much less the pair she's following at a decent distance. The only thing that gives her away is the once-in-a-while flash of red hair.

-

"That's almost creepier than raising up an armed mob bent on destruction." Emotions have a place, in so much as they are expected. They may be unpredictable and unmanageable, may lead people into doing foolish things, but they have their purpose. A completely emotionless observer is either not human - problematic in and of itself - or what humans consider a sociopath. Though the latter would be much easier for Aidan to deal with.

Aidan is also watching the path ahead of them, though his eyes will sometimes flicker to the sides, or he will give a casual glance behind. The Undercity is not the place to ever let ones guard down.

He pauses and blinks, looking into the distance with a faint frown, then shakes his head, returning to walk with barely missing a step. A glimpse of red hair is put to the side as quickly as it is noticed. Aidan only knows one person who might be trailing them, and Kavanaugh wouldn't bother with the stealth. She'd just come out and plant herself in their path.

"We should be there in a bit." There being the Undercity equivalent of a bar, one where Aidan was told this particular individual was known to make his haunt. "Don't drink anything." Seriously, he doubts he has to tell Sean that, but one can never be too safe.

-

"Just looking at all the angles. I have to agree, though.. definitely creepier. Harder to deal with. At least if you can pull an emotion, there's something there. Something that can be leveraged. But nothing?" Sean shakes his head, "They could be capable of pretty much anything."

Not good.

Sean doesn't catch the flicker of a glimpse of another vampire, and the proximity of this particular one at his side almost overwhelms any secondary, weaker push of the 'vampire alarm' that is already sounding quite steadily. It isn't comfortable, but like Aidan, the necromancer is willing to ignore it in preference for this fact-finding mission.

"I'm good. Not tired yet.." It hasn't escaped Sean's notice, however, that his companion seems a bit off-kilter, which could mean everything or absolutely nothing. He doesn't ask yet, however.

"Right. Don't drink anything. Or eat, I'm sure. Had take-out before I met up… and thought of you as I passed on the garlic chicken." A small smirk ghosts upon his face, "You're welcome."

-

The conversation is quite intriguing, and she did hear Aidan mention his brother. Which, when Gwen stops to think about it, is a tad disconcerting. The chances of him mentioning Seamus, when she's snuck off to London specifically warn Aidan of Seamus' planned arrival is unnerving at best.

Aidan seems to pick up that she's there though, causing Gwen to curse just a little. She'd much rather catch him alone. Especially since the man he's with is giving off a slight vibe that she's uncomfortable with. She maintains her distance, slipping in and out of the sparse crowd, and any nooks she can find to try and stay out of sight for as long as possible.

-

Aidan smirks at Sean's joke, lifting his brows. "You shouldn't have. Really. Some of my best dishes are prepared with garlic." How could he possibly let that comment go unremarked?

"I did too, by the way," Aidan continues conversationally. "Ate before I left. I had delivery." For whatever reason, Aidan doesn't seem to be able to resist jerking the necromancer's chain. Not that he's lying about eating. It's always important that he takes care of the feeding if he's going to be around people. Had he not been coming along to the Undercity with Sean, he would have waited and found one of the more specific vampire … dining venues, but that wasn't an option.

The area changes, from more modern to a little bit more turn of the century, the shadows lit with gas lamps as opposed to electrical somehow stolen off of London's power grids. It's danker here too, a bit cooler as they venture into an older part of the Undercity. It smells of damp earth, wet stone and gas and diesel. A step into the past.

-

"Well, okay.. maybe not for you. It's been giving me heartburn lately. Can't have that." Keeping it light isn't a bad thing while down here. It's akin to whistling a tune in the dark to keep the monsters at bay— not that whistling can or ever did, mind.

"Oh good." Sean's voice is dry and deadpan, "Good to know." He chuckles, the humour in the concept found, even if the actual content bothers him. He does resist the urge to scratch at the back of his neck, though he does pause to look around their immediate area. Gaslights don't offer much in the way of illumination, and shadows are everywhere. "Pizza delivery? Or Chinese, too?"

Soon enough, in a mile or two more, they'll be deeper into the past, stepping into Roman ruins. But, for the time being, they've stepped into something more like the Elizabethan era. "You know.. I've actually been in this area before. A few times, really." His voice is low but conversational.. the sound carries now, what with the stone walls and floors.

-

The gaslights are a godsend of sorts, they allow her to be better hidden to Aidan's human companion.

Gwendolyn keeps tailing the pair though, waiting until they stop. Her movements are graceful, and when she dips behind the next little bit of wall she tucks her hair up under the brim of her hat so as to keep herself hidden for as long as possible.

Keeping to the shadows is nothing new for her, although she's not exactly got the ability to leap between them. Pity, as that would be far more useful in this situation than playing a one-sided game of hide-and-seek.

-

"Football mum," Aidan answers without skipping a beat. The barely concealed upward lift of his lips and the faint twinkle in his clear blue eyes is the only hint that he really is taking the piss out of the necromancer this time. His 'regular dining experiences' tend to be young twenty-somethings who have yet to lose their perkiness and can't imagine a future beyond the next party, the next shag or last week's examination. They are so much easier to handle than full grown women, which are an entirely different sort of game.

"I always get nostalgic here. I really liked this era." A slight hint into Aidan's past, a reminder that he's older than the mid-twenties he wears everyday? "'S prob'ly why I come back so much, yeah?" And there's the faint leakage of brogue, a barometer to measure the state of Aidan's mind; whether good or bad, it's indicative of a shift in his emotional state.

"Ye came here alone, Sean? 'M'impressed. Not the safest place even for the likes o' me."

-

"Ah.. better than footballer's wives.. or maybe at that…" They'd probably go for something like that.

Sean cants his head to look beside him, and from the looks of it, Aidan is enjoying the banter.. okay, while he will never admit it, as much as he is.

To a point, of course. This is still a demon that animates a corpse.

"You did, hmm?" Drifting slightly to the side, he pulls his hand from his pocket to run it across the walls. He pauses in his step before he turns his head quickly to look at a spot slightly ahead of them. His brows crease and shaking his head quickly, takes his hand down. The brogue is noticed, and after a moment of a studied stare, drops his hand back into his pocket.

Nodding, his step begins again, though blue eyes shift back to that empty spot further down, even as the distance closes. His voice is low, "Yeah.. I do, actually. Usually passing through, and actually sometimes under invitation." Vampires are funny about invitations.

-

When the human pauses, Gwendolyn nearly makes herself known.

It's Aidan, actually, that stops her from revealing herself. His getting nostalgic means he's either realized who it is that happens to be following him, or he's just missing a simpler time, before the age of digital imaging, and it going noticed far faster that a person isn't aging at all.

She waits until the human starts up again before quickly moving to the next shadow.

This would be far easier if I still had my spellcraft…

-

As Sean pauses to fondle the wall, earning another one of those curious brow lifts from Aidan, the vampire takes a moment to scan their surroundings. Most of the other forms, whatever race and species they are, pay them no heed. Indeed, the attitude of the Undercity is to look like you belong, act like you belong and try not to piss anyone off and get yourself killed. Aidan has so far managed to not get himself killed, but sometimes he really doesn't do so well with the 'not pissing off.'

Probably should have mentioned that to Sean, Aidan thinks idly.

Casting about, he sees nothing out of the ordinary, and turns his focus back to the necromancer as they being to move again. "I could tell you stories about footballer's wives," Aidan chuckles, the brogue still in place, though neither lighter nor heavier than before. "Tabloid stuff, though and I'm not a gossip." Again, easy banter, keeping the situation light.

"Really?" Aidan drawls, glancing at his companion, "And here I always thought being a professor would be so boring. Sounds like you tkae the most interesting field trips."

-

Yeah, probably should have mentioned it to Sean before heading downbelow, but that wouldn't have been any fun, now would it? And Sean's more than capable of finding trouble all by himself.

Sean's attention flickers back and forth from that empty spot to the vampire and back again.. "Hmm?" The first hint of mild distraction. "Yes, and after reading the papers, I'll believe everything you tell me on that one. Including the remarkable Mrs. Beckham." He does chuckle, "It would amuse The Daily Mail readers, though.. and could get you more than a few thousand pounds."

The young-looking vampire is given a glance once more, and this time, his gaze doesn't come back around on the spot they are now quickly approaching. "Nah.. I actually get to do some fun things. Trips to Egypt, Syria, Israel.. all on Uni money. And I'd never give up spelunking.. down here." Not unless Alex insisted.

-

Nostalgia is all well and good, and Gwendolyn almost wishes she'd bothered wearing her favorite gold dress down here this evening, just to be a tad bothersome as she browsed wares, and tracked Aidan.

She'd really prefer to continue tracking him quietly, but as she betwixt the shadows, she gets a slightly better look at the human, and frowns. It's an odd sense she gets from him again, coupled with a hint of familiarity. Rather than moving back to the shadows, she walks along, affecting a rather bored look as she glances at the others passing by.

-

The necromancer is 'off' and Aidan doesn't mean that in the classical sense of 'slightly mad,' either. Something garnered the man's attention, or rather served to distract him and though he gives a few veiled and careful glances around, Aidan sees nothing out of the ordinary. He also hears nothing out of the ordinary, so wonders if he should chalk it up to a case of nerves … or some sense of 'otherworldiness' that he doesn't have.

Rather than ignoring it, just in case something is amiss that has escaped his attention, Aidan looks casually about while lowering his voice, "Everything a'right, mate?" Because this is not the place or the situation to get caught in while distracted.

-

Sean shakes his head quickly in prelude to his answer to the vampire. He's not quite as distracted as he was a moment ago, and there's a fleeting look of a grimaced apology. "Soul — ghost." He points slightly behind him now, not bothering to turn around now. "Harmless.. he doesn't like me much.." Which means the chances are good that the shade will keep their distance from the pair.. even if he could affect the physical — which isn't very likely outside a light flicker.

"Most don't.. and oddly enough?" The necromancer's smile turns slightly lopsided, "I'm not the least bit offended by it." Because once he's got a 'bead' on a soul, he can call it at a later date… depending upon proximity and the like.

-

Necromancer?

What on earth would possess Aidan to be wandering around down here with a necromancer?

Gwendolyn has only ever run into one necromancer in the past, and the woman was a real nasty piece of work.

Bloody fool.

Quiet footsteps take her closer to the pair, though she still stays back by about fifteen paces.

-

You are one creepy bloke, Aidan thinks when Sean makes the comment about the soul. Still, it doesn't make the man any less interesting or good company, so Aidan doesn't voice the thought aloud.

"I suppose then that you could be considered a soul man?" It's a terrible, horrible joke. Aidan knows that it's a terrible horrible joke, but it doesn't stop him from saying it. Again, breaking the tension, because what else do you do when you've been told that there's a spirit lurking nearby?

Aidan slows and looks ahead, giving a nod. A few doors down, a rusting old fashioned - perhaps the preserved original - hangs out announcing 'The Grotto' in red and green old fashioned lettering. "There it is. Let's hope this isn't a dead end."

Bad choice of words? Perhaps.

-

Sean groans, albeit good-naturedly, at the poor joke. "I'm more eyes." He raises his free hand to wave around his face, "Windows to the soul." Brows raise in a get it gesture before turning first behind them.. his proximity alarms are sounding, before looking forward again.

"The Grotto.. Really?" The necromancer pauses at his step, "'Sean.. don't drink anything here.. or eat..' and you take me to a bar." The last bit is deadpanned. "Great..

"It would still be useful if it were a .. dead end."

-

"Are we quite done with the horrible jests part of the evening?" Gwendolyn finally falls into step beside Aidan, still looking quite bored. "I was much preferring the conversation prior to deciding that neither of you should really quit your 'day jobs' as it were."

There is a slight pause, and a wrinkle of her nose.

"The Grotto? Good lord, I doubt I've been here in the last century." Whisking the hat off her head and giving her hair a shake, she finally smiles over at the dark haired vampire and winks. "Hello, sweetie. Miss me?"

-

Yes, it is possible to surprise a vampire. While it is possible to surprise a vampire, it's not necessarily a good idea to surprise a vampire, especially deep in the bowels and shadows of the Undercity. Aidan's reaction is whip-snap quick, and he's turned on the voice at his side, fangs bared and a hand extending - only stopped in that split moment when recognition kicks in. His hand is lowered, though there is a second … maybe two … before the demon reels itself back in.

"Gwen." Aidan narrows his eyes, and then grabbing her roughly by the arm, jerks her deeper into the shadows, launching into a tirade of Gaelic, "What the hell are you doing here?"

-

The seemingly sudden appearance of a vampire at Aidan's side does cause Sean to stop.. and step aside. Her presence behind them really didn't register; recognition doesn't come.

The speed in which Aidan reacts, however, is simply.. stunning. In all senses of the word. Sean takes a second step, blue eyes wide open. He can feel the demon rising, he can.. see it. One of those rare moments when the evil that inhabits and animates that long de-souled human is fleeting, however, as control is effected.. and the sound of reason comes back into the vampire's throat.

It takes Sean another couple of heartbeats to get himself back onto something of an even keel. He doesn't rejoin the pair, but rather, casts a glance around, looking to see who or what else may be on their way to offer up surprises.

-

"Ow," she replies when he grabs her arm, though it hardly hurts at all. "Do slow down. I still haven't quite got a great grasp on Gaelic, and I can only make out ever fourth or fifth word when you go that quick."

Gwendolyn jerks her arm free, fixing her jacket.

"I don't suppose you'd believe that I simply missed you?" Brown eyes drift toward Sean's direction and she tilts her head at him. "What's with the necromancer?" The inflection in her tone is more of a question as to whether said necromancer is safe to be talking in front of.

"As to what my business here is…"

Beat.

"… I came to warn you that Seamus is planning on visiting London in the near future. Unfortunately, he's keeping the exact dates from me."

-

Aidan opens his mouth, finds himself with a lack of a response, and snaps it shut. Taking a much unneeded breath, he draws it in and releases it slowly, closing his eyes briefly, very, very briefly before refocusing on the vampire in front of him. "You should know that it's a terrible idea to sneak up on me down here."

Another breath is taken and Aidan really can't help but take a look around, blue eyes tracking the shadows. They settle on Gwen again, and he rolls his shoulders somewhat with relief and the release of tension.

He tucks a strand of hair behind Gwen's ear, "I wasn't expecting you…" Aidan's gaze flickers from Gwen to Sean and back again, and another exhalation of breath is given. "Gwen, Sean. Sean, Gwendolyn Bishop."

Aidan lets that sink in for a moment, and then frowns at the younger vampire. A low, quiet stream of curses in Gaelic comes forth, and Aidan switches to English with a sigh, "Absolutely wonderful."

-

To hear the rapid-fire Gaelic, as spoken, moves as waves over Sean's consciousness. It's a dialect that is never heard today, and with inflections that linguists could only dream of; and sadly, Sean isn't a linguist first and foremost. Given research and time, he can put together coherent translations, embedded happily within their contexts. But in the Undercity, in front of a bar called 'The Grotto' isn't the best place to find context.

Though the necromancer could easily understand the underlying.. not-happy-ness eminating.

While still not identified, Sean stiffens somewhat at the intonation the acknowledgment of his presence is given, and he responds in the same question, only different, "Aidan?" There's the pause, then, "What's with the vampire?"

That question, however, isn't really followed up on given the news that Seamus will be arriving, and his brows rise in surprised askance, followed by a shaking of his head. His particular thought on the matter finding early release. "Yeah.. that's not good."

The necromancer is still giving the vampires a slightly wider berth, given the fact that he's now outnumbered, and while one is 'friendly', he's not all that certain of the other. And detentes only go so far.. or at least he's seen them as.. fleeting. As fleeting as the whim of a demon within a vampire, giving the corpse voice. The name, however.. Sean pauses, finding himself staring at the newly arrived vampire. "Gwendolyn.. Bishop." The name is repeated slowly, consideringly. "I see.."

-

"Would you have preferred I wandered into the restaurant?" Beat. "I did consider that, before I realized the ramifications of introducing myself to a descendant." Considering she herself has been wiped from family history as far as she can tell, that was just a mess Gwen really did not want to have to deal with in a public venue.

"I would have called, but a message like this is far better in person." No chance of a call being overheard, an email being read, a text being intercepted before it's sent. Her voice drops to a whisper intended only for Aidan. "I left him in Bucharest four nights ago." Seamus is, for all intents and purposes, 'off'. Hiding somewhere, finding someone new to torture… or kill. Really, she never questions what he does when he's away, she just takes the time and disappears for a while to do her own thing — far away from her Maker.

Her very proper upbringing keeps her from giving the necromancer an odd look, or a harsh word. Instead she almost very demurely smiles at the man as she holds her hand out to him in friendly manner. "Quite the pleasure, I am certain. I do so apologize for sneaking up on the pair of you and spoiling your evening. Please do go on." She would have curtsied, behaving in an even more proper fashion, but one looks rather silly curtseying in a pair of shorts and a leather jacket.

-

Aidan watches the necromancer for a moment, and then gives an innocent shrug. "I might have neglected a few details in the accounting I gave to Corrie …" Trailing off, his gaze swings back around to Gwen, "You've been spying on me?" For a moment, Aidan's collected bored facade slips away, and he looks genuinely surprised by the notion.

Looking beween the pair, Aidan actually manages to quirk a smile, either oblivous to the tenseness of the situation or ignoring it. Safe bets would be on the latter as this is Aidan Boyle, after all. "A'right the pair of you. Let's all trust each one another. Sean is … safe, and Gwen won't bite."

Even as he speaks, however, he does reach out, gently wrapping his hand around Gwen's extended hand. He leans in and gives her a soft, light kiss on her temple, the words a low whisper meant for Gwen's ears only. "You really don't want to touch him." There's a beat and he sighs against her head, "I wasn't expecting you, but don't go off in a sulk." They are going to need to talk, but not here and not in front of Sean.

Aidan straightens up then, giving Gwen his trademark boyish smile, "Join us for a pint?"

A finger is lifted at Sean, "I'll even be your taste tester."

-

"Uh huh…" Not the first time Sean's used those utterances with the vampire in response to a 'confession', and probably won't be the last. Not unless, of course, he ends his acquaintance with Aidan. Right now, that's not at the top of his 'to-do' list, though it can appear at any moment.

Sean still doesn't really approach the pair, even with the formally spoken greeting from the newly arrived and introduced Gwendolyn. He opens his mouth and shakes his head slightly, a ghost of a smile upon his face. He doesn't reach for her hand, even if Aidan hadn't run interference. Flesh to flesh with a vampire isn't a pleasant experience.. particularly when even proximity is a conscious effort to ignore. (And the reaction is never gone.)

"I've read a great deal about you." It's never a pleasure to meet a vampire.. and even in polite exchange, he can't lie. He says it as gently and kindly as he can, however.. another one he'd regret for a long second after he pulled the demon from her corpse..

The offer to taste-test for Sean from Aidan is met with a barked laugh. "And what happens if you die after drinking a drink?" Beat. "Oh, I forgot. You're already dead." Now, deadpanning, he shakes his head, "That's okay. I'll be fine."

-

"Spying is a little harsh," Gwendolyn replies with a devilish grin. "I was merely waiting for the most opportune time to talk to you." Away from Kim. Away from her whatever-removed-niece. Away from the restaurant.

"If you trust the necromancer, then fair enough." She may keep her distance, but only because she hardly knows the man and really has no reason to trust him. The taking of her hand, the kiss to her temple, the whispered words all have her smiling. "I wasn't truly sulking, simply offering to go off as I interrupted your evening. We will have time for a chat later."

An odd look is given to Sean, and then to Aidan. "Hopefully it was not a boring read. I did lead quite the interesting life." Beat. "Well, before it got rudely interrupted far too soon." Oddly enough, she doesn't seem bitter about it, not really. The plan just didn't execute quite the way she'd wanted it to is all.

-

"Observe anything interesting while you were … waiting?" After a beat and a second thought, Aidan's gaze flickers to Sean and he clears his throat. "Never mind. Don't answer that." He might have a detente with the necromancer, and they might even stretch it so far as to say they like and respect one another, but there are things that Sean does not need to know about Aidan's habits and behaviors, feeding and otherwise.

The elder vampire notices Gwen's look, but chooses not to explain away Sean's words. That involves more explication than Aidan wishes to get into, and it can wait.

Shaking his head, Aidan gives a half-chuckle, half-snort. "Chances are, it'll only hurt me, but will kill you. It's a'right though. We can all be tetotallers this evening." Motioning toward the tavern, Aidan starts walking again, figuring Sean will either fall in with them - or he won't. He doesn't really blame the man for his wariness, but then again …

"At least this one isn't dressed like a slutty coed," Aidan tosses back over his shoulder with a smirk.

-

Ye-ah… Sean really doesn't care to know the details of what Gwendolyn might have seen or even imagined. It's not that he's a prude, per se. It's just.. the dealings of vampires simply.. no. Sean returns Aidan's gaze, his brows creasing and a slight shake of his head states that he fully agrees with the decision reached.

"No, definitely not boring." Sean offers the assurances, and they are genuine. He is a true student of history, and the paths that the undead take.. the pre-turned and the post is actually fascinating in that.. comparison. How close is the demon to the soul that once possessed the body? It's something that crops up every once in awhile.. and to put a face to the name, and the writing.. even if the writing was done before.. and.. and..

And this is why Sean never seems to keep a girlfriend, except for the stalwart.

"Yes.. I kind of got that. And I'd prefer not to be dead, if I can at all help it, thanks. So.. I'm not even going to touch the water." Water. In an old sewer system.. (even if it has been dry for centuries!)

The necromancer has to bark a laugh at Aidan's observation, and shakes his head, a step towards the bar taken. "So not my type." Being.. undead and all.. "I'm sure that was all just a show for me, though.." Pretty sure, anyway.

-

"A few things, but I think the list had better wait until later." Gwendolyn isn't about to go mentioning everything she's been privy to over the last few days with an unknown right there. At least not in so far as the specifics of it all. Humans, she's noticed, tend to balk when you start talking about feeding on them.

"Brilliant. I should hate to think that my life would ever be considered boring. Though I do suppose it was a little droll before our little deal, hmm, sweetie?" The last directed to Aidan as she leans over and taps him on the nose.

-

Someone has found Gwen's journals quite entertaining and informative, but it wasn't Sean. The necromancer was relegated to the search for the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack: a dead woman who wasn't really dead. He did a damn good job of it, too, all things considered.

"I thing Sean is speaking of his research to find you." Beat. "One of yours wanted to know if you existed or were simply the product of my twisted machinations and deranged delusions."

This, however, is why he has not shared the other journal with Sean. While Aidan doesn't care on whit if Gwen knows about 'The Chronicle of Seamus,' Aidan isn't ready for anyone to know or read the one that follows a good century of his life. Let Seamus be the tagged and tracked species in the wild for the interim.

"Your life was typical of the time, Gwen. Not many dared to step outside of the box, color outside the lines, march to their own beat … " He trails off with a smirk, not quite having exhausted his cliches, but pretty certain that his companions will tire of much more of them.

"I'm not so sure," Aidan replies to Sean, "She does seem to prefer her … companions to be … older. Mature. Settled."

-

"I prefer my companions to actually have a body temperature of 98.6'. As a general rule. My preferences usually go up from there. But that's my baseline."

The repartee between the vampires is .. well, between themselves, and Sean really doesn't have the time to reminesce. Clearing his throat, he looks to Aidan, a touch of an apologetic smile on his face is given for Gwen.. but it is to his escort of the evening that he speaks, "That's all well and good. But can we get on here?" Now, he apologizes to Gwen, but he doesn't sound that sorry. He's not a vampire, and has little patience for the catch-ups of several centuries. "The carriage turns into a pumpkin for me before sunrise.. so I've only got a little while.. so.."

"Can we please get on with it?" With the request, Sean steps forward to take hold of the door. Before he pulls it open, however, he pauses.. and takes a deep breath to set himself. He's got to be nuts. Alex is going to kill him if this doesn't.

-

"As a general rule, were you not a necromancer, you'd really never know the difference." Gwendolyn doesn't mind that Sean's a tad put out, though she does nod toward the pub. "If we're well fed, our temperature is close enough to that."

Beat.

"Why, Aidan, would one of mine be trying to find me? I was stricken from the records ages ago." She nudges him to start moving again, and then laughs. "I like that. A figment? I could most certainly be one of those. The deranged imaginations of a very lonely vampire…"

Opening the door for the gentlemen, she allows her hazel gaze to shift to Aidan. "As I said, droll. When have you ever known me to be typical?"

-

At Sean's rebuke, Aidan gives the necromancer a curious look. The man is usually more patient with Aidan's antics and conversation, but the annoyance certainly can't be ignored. Rolling his shoulders, Aidan doesn't question it, but brings it down to a more professional level.

The word 'necromancer,' earns a wince and a low hiss, "Not so loud, Gwen." Because really, there's no need to announce what Sean is, and if anyone should take offense to it, Aidan will feel a bit honor-bond to protect the man.

"Later," Aidan tells Gwen as the three step into the establishment. "We'll talk later."

Blinking in the dimness, Aidan waits the few seconds that even his eyes need to shift and adjust, though it's easier for him to see in the dimness - if the Grotto was dim at all. It's not, even lit by candles and gas lights as it is, and he sets his shoulders and marches directly to the bar. Might as be direct about it.

-

The 98.6 is a baseline. Beyond that, the person actually has to have a soul.

The pronouncement of the general title of his particular.. ability earns the vampire a smile. "I prefer.. Sem. It's more accurate." And less alarming than 'necromancer' to a room full of supernaturals. It's not too much information— with any research, his base abilities will be revealed, but there is so much more that is never spoken aloud to any who aren't of the line of the priests.

Sean needs to pause at the door to allow his eyes to change and focus with the change in lighting; hooray for human reflexes. Once he's sure of his footing, as it were, he, too, heads over to the bar just behind Aidan. He's not trying to hide per se, but look somewhat.. well, not natural, but at least at more ease than any bloke off the street might.

That, however, is some trick.. what with his alarm bells going off up and down, left and right..

Oh, goody.

-

Gwendolyn tousles her hair and lifts her shoulders. "It's hardly as though I'm bellowing, there are only the three of us." Beat. "Potentially one spirit that would have heard anyhow."

Hanging back as they enter, she keeps the door open long enough for Sean's eyes to begin the adjustment to the dimness, closing it slowly so as not to leave the man completely in the dark. She may be a vampire, but she's obviously not a bitch about it.

She would step up behind Sean and tell him to ignore the alarm bells, especially down here, but she's a feeling it would undoubtedly spook the man a little more. Rather than saying a word, she glides gracefully toward Aidan, looking every bit the demure 18th century female — though a tad out of place in the modern clothing.

-

Aidan waits until Sean is one side and Gwen on the other. The bartender, who is not human nor a vampire - yet clearly something else that Aidan doesn't think about too strongly at the moment - hasn't paid them any attention yet, or at least is pretending not to, so Aidan leans close to Gwen, his mouth pressed to her ear, the words a low barely spoken whisper. "Could you do me a favor, Gwen and keep an eye on things? I need to keep an eye on my mate here, and another set of eyes would go a bloody long way." Meaning that he needs to watch Sean's back very carefully before someone decides to make an issue of the necromancer being there.

Beat.

"We're going to have to step away, and the fewer of us asking about the better."

This is a lead for he and Sean, really, and it's not something Gwen needs to be involved in. Also, if what Aidan has heard is true, this particular contact doesn't much care for women, supernatural or not. He'd really rather not have this go up in smoke. It might anyway, but not for lack of trying.

Straightening up, Aidan leans toward Sean, "Let me do the talking, yeah?"

-

"Not so much a spirit as a shade.." There are differences of levels, "Probably here since, well.. the time this place was built. The first time."

But, stepping into the place, with a nod of thanks to Gwen, he pauses one more beat as Aidan moves.

Ye-ah.. the bartender. Sean's alarm bells aren't going off just because of the vampires. Demons, demi-demons.. whatever.. they hit the level of 'keep your back to the wall and get the hell out of here', easily. Sad when vampires are the least of the evils, known and unknown..

The necromancer shifts to the side, allowing Aidan free passage, and he takes a step away. Not that he can overhear what is said in confidence anyway. His hearing is .. par for human, obviously.

"Hmmm?" When Aidan comes back around to him, his brows rise, "You? On good terms, then, I take it." Probably not, if the .. concern that Sean just has a feeling he can see within the vampire's manner is correctly read. He smiles tightly, "Right.. and I'll back you up when things go badly."

-

A teensy nod of her head is the only recognition that Gwen gives that she's heard Aidan.

Twisting to lean back against the bar, she sets her eyes on the room, already listening to — and now watching everything that's going on. It's one of the few things Seamus taught her to do to keep herself out of trouble (though really, that was more for his sake than her own).

Leaning back a little, she nods to the bartender. "Oi! Something to drink'd be lovely when you get around to it." She pulls out a few older looking coins and slides them toward the man.

Then she does her best not to laugh when Sean offers backup.

-

"No," Aidan drawls, smug and low, "I'm just not human." Then again, he hasn't ever pissed off this bartender, so that's an actual mark in the plus column. Though, really, the fact that Sean has a 'vibe' - beyond the one felt by vampires and their ilk - is the one thing keeping the denizens here at bay, and stopping Aidan from being in the uncomfortable position of claiming the necromancer is his or shedding blood to defend the man. The former Sean wouldn't like, and the latter Aidan wouldn't find enjoyable either; it's not the right sort of pain.

At Gwen's bellow, the bartender looks their way. It's a few moments before he - she? - wanders over. A set of foggy eyes looks them over, "What can I get you?"

"Information," Aidan says without missing a beat, "And whatever the lady would like."

"Information don't come cheap, Vampire."

Aidan smirks, "Neither do I."

It's a gamble really, sometimes his pompous attitude doesn't really help a situation, but this time it pays off. The bartender nods ever so slightly and turns to Gwen, "What can I get you?"

-

"Ah.." Sean responds in that dry, I see tone.

Taking a deep breath, he wanders slowly towards the bar, trailing Aidan. He'll have to ask later if 'pissing off a bartender' was the only qualification to speak for them, aside from 'not human'. Not being a living, breathing thing could also be a mark in the 'not good' side of things.

The necromancer is well aware that his 'vibe' goes a good distance at keeping people from doing the theatric muscling up and invading personal space with a 'we don't like your kind here' sort of drawl. It's something that helps keep him alive just across the board.

He whistles softly, under his breath, a whispered, "Smoooooth", in response to Aidan's oh-so-very-casual, I'm going to lay it out manner. Remind him to mock.. er.. ask him about it later.

Still, if it works, it works..

-

Peering over her shoulder, she takes a look at the bottles and shrugs. "Brandy if you've got it." Otherwise, she's not at all fussy.

While she waits, Gwen keeps one ear on Aidan's conversation, one ear on the rest of the establishment. Other than her request, she's quiet. Still playing the part of the kept woman (she's had years of practice at that), and being left completely out of the loop as to the conversation.

-

There's no laugh as Sean's quiet words reach Aidan's ears, but his smirk does grow a bit. He usually does have more finesse than that, but tonight is a special case. The midnight oil is burning - well, for one of them - and this place isn't known for it's drag down, knock out brawls or brawn versus brawn to find something out. Either someone will talk, or they won't. It might cost you, money or a favor, you just have to know what you're willing to pay.

He waits while the 'tender makes Gwen's drink, and glances around the room as well. Aidan has a vague - very vague - description of their contact, but he's not seeing anyone here that fits that.

Did you really expect it to be that easy?

"Nothing," Aidan tells Sean with a shrug. Hopefully the man will figure out that Aidan doesn't spy their supposed contact.

-

"Ah.. shame."

Sean looks around, his brows rising at the request for brandy. Don't they have.. larksblood daqueries, or something like that down here? Seems pretty.. un.. mysterious, if that makes any sense.

Still, not his problem. His is the fact that there's no contact in the room, and no one is 'fessing to having seen or heard of said contact (in a certain length of time). Exhaling in a soft sigh, he offers Aidan a tight-lipped smile. His voice is low, but he knows that he'll be heard by at least a couple of other bar denizens. "I'll just send someone down to take a look later. Just so we can keep this place off the list of visits." Other than necromancers, there's little to nothing anyone can do about a ghost in their midst, even if they could sense it!

"I'm ready.." Not drinking here, nope..

-

Noting Sean's brows rising, Gwen simply grins. The drink is taken, and sipped from. "I happen to like brandy. Is that surprising to you?" Why ruin good alcohol by mixing in bird blood? Blech.

-

"Not so fast, mate," Aidan cautions when Sean seems ready to throw in the towel. "That was a sight check. Give it a few."

"Surprise me," Aidan tells the bartender before he turns away, as if deciding at the last minute to order a drink after all. "And while you're at it, maybe you could tell me if you ever heard of a bloke goes by Darius?"

-

Oh great. Two out of three are drinking, and two are vampires— so there isn't much that'll put them down for the count. On his end, however.. Sean has absolutely no desire to imbibe anything from this fine establishment. He smiles tightly and waves off any inquiry with a gesture. Should it be necessary, he'll simply follow it up with, "I'm fine, thanks.. for the moment."

Sean doesn't feel quite.. right, though if the evening looks up, all the better. Best laid plans, and all that, seems to be in effect— and with some discussion with Murphy and his set of Laws, well.. things, he's sure, could only get a little more fouled.

Still, he's willing to wait, and let Aidan do the talking. Once again.

-

"I can walk him to the surface if he really wants to go," Gwen offers quietly. She's not doing it to get the necromancer alone. Frankly, she'd rather not be alone with Sean, whether Aidan trusts the man or not. Her purpose is really just to help Aidan out. Act as escort so he can continue to wait for whomever it is.

With that, she sips from the brandy again while slowly giving the room another glance.

-

"Never heard of 'em," the bartender puts a glass of something dark and slightly thick in front of Aidan.

The vampire neither has to look at the glass or lean close to it to smell the whiskey mixing with the sharp tang of fresh blood. There's something else in there too, something smoky and minty, and a bit undefineable.

"Maybe a different name then…Mykos?" Aidan offers. There's a tell-tale twitch, just barely, the jaw of the bartender, a faint blink to the eye. Without waiting for an answer, Aidan picks up the glass and holding it up in a mock salute to the bartender, he takes a swallow. It's not terrible, but Aidan wouldn't exactly ever drink it again; most importantly it's not laced with silver nitrate or holy water or anything else poisonous to the vampire.

"Ain't heard that name in a long time," the bartender answers with a shrug, "Not gonna find 'em round here, either."

Leaning closer the bartender looks Aidan square in the eyes, "Folk don't like people coming round askin' questions, specially with the company you keep. I was you, I'd just keep on movin'. " With that the tender wipes down the bar, and turns away.

Aidan shrugs and looks from Sean to Gwen. "Looks like we're done here."

-

Sean looks.. well, he's not surprised. Not in the least. There was a flicker of something, but his vantage point wasn't the best. Still.. just the reactions to the names gives the necromancer (and vampire) something to work with later. The drink Aidan receives before him looks.. odd. If he was a little closer, within whisper distance, he'd offer counsel not to drink it. But, to offend the host isn't the best approach either.

Glancing at Gwen, Sean offers a tightlipped smile and a shake of his head. "I'll be fine, thanks." He's on edge, he's sure.. and perhaps once he gets out of the bar, he'll understand why. But right now, there's just something setting him off-kilter, and he doesn't like it.

An exhale exits the man and he nods at Aidan's suggestion to depart. "Yes, it does.."

-

Gwendolyn would honestly laugh at poor Sean again, but she keeps her expression somber for the time being. Finishing off the brandy, she sets the glass down on the bar and then shifts her gaze toward the man.

"Suit yourself." Though she does lean in to whisper, "You're perfectly safe with me." Beat. "Unless you hurt him." Then… well then it will be an entirely different matter. After all, she did go off with his brother to keep him safe, and she'd be sorely disappointed if someone else hurt him.

"Thank you," she says, turning back to the bartender. Another old coin is removed from her pocket and sent down the bar. "Best brandy I've had in ages." Then she winks at Aidan and heads toward the door.

-

Business concluded and the marker palmed in Aidan's hand, slipping into his pocket, the vampire is ready to leave the establishment. He's not at all subtle about placing himself between Gwen and Sean, though not soon enough to prevent the vampiress from whispering her words. Outwardly, there is no reaction aside from the flicker of blue eyes toward Gwen, and the tightening of his jaw that's gone as quickly as it appeared.

With the younger vampire's back to them, Aidan holds up a finger of caution - and request - at the necromancer, a gesture he hopes that the other man picks up on as 'Let me handle this, please.' He neither needs nor wants the posturing, particularly not in here. Not tonight, not ever if he has anything to say about it.

Motioning for Sean to preceed him, Aidan waits to follow behind. Chances are that the necromancer doesn't want the bar of demonic supernaturals at his back, and Aidan hopes that he is considered the lesser of two evils.

"Outside," is all Aidan says to the necromancer. They'll talk away from the establishment.

-

Sean's brows rise, not at the first comment from Gwen, but the second. Was that a threat? Of course, any would respond, No, a promise, and his mouth opens to respond. Blue eyes catch blue, and he's waved off; anything he says in here would certainly be picked up by supernatural hearing, but what he'd like to say would certainly give anyone who even considered messing with him food for thought.

And it's such a short sentence.

I know your name.

Those words from a necromancer usually is enough to cause any demon to back away. Usually. Because they know there is power in a name…

Sean resists the urge, however. His eyes narrow at Aidan, and he nods, his jaw shifting to the side. "Right." Damned vampires.. in more ways than one.

Moving past the pair now, the necromancer walks towards the door, and with a pull on the door, departs into the corridor.

-

Aidan follows the pair outside, and takes the moment to wait for his eyes to adjust. A quick glance allows him to find the necromancer waiting just up ahead in the corridor. He doesn't know Sean all that well, but he can tell that the man is angry. Aidan can't blame him, after all, no one really likes to be threatened. And Sean really doesn't seem the sort to stand down.

Except he did. Small favors, Aidan supposes.

Wrapping an arm around Gwen's shoulder, Aidan hugs her to his side and leans down and speaks quietly in her ear. "Mo cailleach chroi, I am happy to see you, but do not threaten my friends. And do not make me look weak by posturing your protection in such a way." The words are gentle, spoken with the tenderness of a lover, despite the meaning. Aidan knows well that she will likely not like the chastisement, but he doesn't like looking as though he needs protection, when he is in a position where others need protecting from him.

He presses a harsh kiss to her temple and steps away, crossing to where Sean stands. Aidan digs in his pocket and pulls out the marker the bartender slipped him. It's more an old coin, but the original images have been rubbed away and and there are words - or a code - scratched into the surface.

The vampire twirls the coin in his fingers and then flips it to Sean, "That's our next lead. Let me know if you can make heads or tails of it." Smirk.

-

Sean's hands are both in his pockets, elbows locked, and he's staring down the corridor beyond. Eyes narrowed, his posture is stiff, tense.. and his lips move ever so slightly; he's talking to himself softly.. or perhaps talking himself down, finding that 'happy place'.

Mesedjer-sedjem, I know good flows to those who are good and evil goes to the wicked.

He misses, or rather, ignores whatever occurs behind him as the pair of vampires exit the bar. He doesn't care to know; the battle between trust and lack thereof is one that the necromancer fights each time he meets Aidan. Each time, the vampire gives reason to give him the benefit of the doubt— to the point where it really would be a shame to find that he'd have to .. exorcise him. (after a fashion) In quiet moments, he'd even say he liked the guy, which of course, makes him question whether he'd have liked the soul when he lived centuries ago.

Aidan's approach is felt more than seen or heard, and as he approaches, he casts a glance in Gwen's direction before he returns his attention to Aidan. His brows rise as he follows the motions, and a hand is pulled out, then the second in order to catch the flipping coin.

"Heads or tails. Nice.." is given dryly. "I'd have to look at it under light." He considers, "Know any good psychics who could read an object too?"

-

"It was not a threat," she points out. "Merely that he has nothing to worry from me unless he attempts to re-ensoul you. In which case, I may take offense." Gwen's words are barely more than a whisper, and while she doesn't take the chastisement at all well, she's not pouting or sulking.

"I apologize for overstepping my bounds, mo chuisle."

Folding her hands daintily in front of her, she really looks like she belongs in the corridor — despite her outfit. She stays back a proper distance while he takes care of business with the necromancer, carefully placing the hat atop her head again and angling it down.

"What is it with you and the awful jokes?"

-

Aidan shoves his hands into his jacket pockets. "Not any that would be any good to you. Been a good century since I met one, so they're all pretty much dead." Beat. "Then again, I guess that isn't a problem for you."

"Let me know if you do find out anything," Aidan says after a moment, glancing back at Gwen and then back to Sean. "I'll keep looking around, as well. There may be a few other rocks that I haven't looked under yet." A few people he can toss around names and weight with.

A nod is given to Sean and Aidan looks again toward Gwen. "I happen to like my jokes," Aidan protests with mock indignation. "Need something to brighten up the drabness down here. " Beat. "We should probably get back to the surface. Before your coach turns back into a pumpkin and the horsemen are fat plump mice again." Said to the necromancer with an easy smile, though there are some hints of tension around the eyes. Aidan suspects that he will have to track Sean down and speak with him later.

-

"Helps if they have a hand to touch it.." Sean actually allows something of a smirk to come to his lips, "though that's not really a problem either."

He glances at Gwen, watches the pair, and nods, responding to his original guide into the bowels of the city. Pocketing the coin, the necromancer exhales and nods. "I will. I've got a few places I can check myself before bed." He can give Zoe a call and see if he can't get into the library tonight. Or, if not, he can get there first thing in the morning.

"I can find my way up. No one'll bother me." He's pretty sure that no one'll touch an annoyed necromancer.. and free passage will be assured. "But travelling in a gourd just isn't what it used to be. And, it's hard to find good mice these days."

Looking at Gwen, it's a long, lingering look before he nods, "Good night." That'll do for a farewell. And back to Aidan, he smiles tightly, "Enjoy."

-

"Good evening, Sem," Gwendolyn says with a polite nod of her head.

There is a small pause before she advances toward Sean, though it's an incredibly light pace and there's absolutely no malice in her steps. Her hand dips into her pocket, and she pulls out pristine looking coin obviously not from this century. "For allowing me to interrupt your evening, for which I do apologize." It's worth something to a collector at any rate, but she doesn't seem to care about giving it away.

Turning back to Aidan, she nods. "I will meet you in the park. You know the place." That way he'll have time enough to escort Sean to the surface without her tagging along and irritating the man any further.

-

"I think Sean will be fine on his own," Aidan says. Truly, he's not really worried about Sean finding his way out. The necromancer has been this way alone before. A parting of the ways is probably the best and wisest of choices at this juncture. "G'evening, mate," is given to Sean in the way of a farewell, and a respectful nod.

Turning to Gwen then, Aidan extends his arm as though they are back in Victorian or Elizabethan England. "Tell me again, what brings you all this way, and what my dearly beloved brother has been up to…"

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