|2045-09-12 Ghost From the Past|
|Location||Alexandra and Ciel's Apartment - Avenue B Apartments|
|Participants||Alexandra, Ciel, Rohan|
|Summary||Rohan shows up on Ciel's doorstep. Surprise.|
| This apartment would be nice -- nice-ish, at least -- if it were for one person. It's not the smallest studio, and it looks generally free of vermin, but the nice-ish space has been turned into two distinctly more cramped spaces with the use of a partition to separate two beds. A sofa is shoved in there somewhere too, and the little kitchenette has been liberally reinforced with additional shelves and hooks to make up for the lack of counter and cabinet space.|
There is a knock on the door. Not an angry, banging knock, but not a shy little knock either. It is a firm, insistent knock, the knock of someone who is at least pretending he (or she) knows what he's doing. It may come as a bit of a surprise, considering no one buzzed in, but who knows about this building's security.
Inside, Alexandra frowns. Knocks usually follow buzzers, and unexpected knocks are rarely welcome in New York either way. She's on her bed, working through this or that on her tablet and Eyes -- let's face it, she's probably just watching future Netflix or something -- in particularly short shorts and a looser tank that dips low on the sides and twists in the back, leaving a bralette exposed on either side. Her dark waves are twisted up in a messy tumble on top of her head, falling a bit crooked to one side. Back to the action, though: she looks at the door, frown lingering, gaze narrowing, and slides out of bed to approach it on bare feet. "Yeah?" she calls through the heavy door.
The knocking pauses. There is a particularly long pause, in fact. Perhaps someone is pondering kicking it down. Pause. However, the door remains intact, and a man's voice ventures through said door, "Ciel?"
"Uh, no." Lexie sets her hands on her hips, then leans in to check the peephole with a touch more curiosity. Considering this is going to just show her a guy she doesn't know, albeit an attractive one, she settles back and then goes to open the door with the chain still hooked to speak more directly to him. Hi! "She's out."
Rohan leans one elbow against the wall and studies Lexie through the gap in the door. He is clad casually in jeans, a worn t-shirt and a leather jacket, as well as shades. Indoors. He pulls off said sunglasses, and for a moment, he looks tired. Tired, his stubble a little untidy than artistic, his jeans a little too dirty. The impression fades as he gives Lexie an absolutely brilliant smile. "Why, hello there," he murmurs, northern English accent clearer when he's not yelling through a door. "Sk--Ciel's an old mate of me. I was in town; thought I'd look her up."
"Hi." Lexie doesn't look so much easily charmed as readily charmed. Oooh, hot friend. Oooooh, English accent. She goes hipshot as she leans against the doorframe in the few inches of open air between them. "I mean, I'd let you in, but you might murder me," she says in a sunny voice.
"Quite understandable," Rohan assures her, with an arch of an eyebrow and another flash of grin. "Although if I _really_ wanted to murder you, I could probably murder you through that door. After all, Ciel might just have really dangerous friends."
"She does," Lexie agrees with a bright laugh. "I know cause I'm one of them." She's SUPER TOUGH, dude. Look how tough she is!!
Rohan nods solemnly. Or mostly solemnly, with a glimmer of merriment in his dark eyes. "I can tell," he says. "You just have that look. And muscle." He studies her bare arms as he says this. It's only polite.
"Thanks for noticing." Lexie tosses her hair, belatedly remembering that it's still twisted on top of her head. Dammit. Hm. She flexes an arm instead. "Well, I suppose I could let you in under threat of me kicking your ass if you try anything."
A smile plays around Rohan's mouth. "I promise to be on my very best behaviour." He pauses. "Well, on acceptable behaviour. I'm rather dull when too well-behaved."
"Ooh, I like you." Lexie closes the door, but only to unhook the chain and open the door wide. "Welcome to the abode and all that. Don't step on anything." She closes the door behind him, her attention quite curiously fixed on him. "You have a name?"
Rohan steps in. He does not step on anything, or make messes, or show any immediate signs of being unhousetrained. He turns a grin on Lexie, giving her a long, unobstructed look. "I do," he replies. He pauses, but he takes pity on her and adds, offering a hand, "Rohan."
It is at this point that Ciel appears, a little flustered from the combination of heat and rain and the bags she's hauled up the stairs. They're slung heavy over her shoulder, and even with the occasional cheat up the stairwell, she looks like she will be glad of a break. Her thin cotton tee and her hair are spattered with drops of rain, sending the latter into a bit of a frizz. She stops at the door, kicking at it with her foot in a sort-of knock as she adjusts her load. "Lexie!" she yells through the door. "Get the door!" This is apparently a common request, because her Eyes are programmed to interpret that as a text message in time with her kicking.
"/That's/ Ciel," Lexie tells Rohan, as if he couldn't tell. She's actually distracted from clasping the man's hand by her roommate's arrival, and she steps back to the door to open it up. "You've got company," he tells her brightly, and then in more of an undertone adds, "Super hottie!" with a thumbs up.
Rohan freezes at the sound of Ciel's voice, so much so he does not notice that Lexie has not taken his hand. He turns, slowly, taking in the sight of Ciel as Lexie opens the door. Finally, he says, "Hello, Sky." Super casually.
Ciel shuffles one of the bags - groceries - off on Lexie as she slips inside, and she gives her a brief look of confusion before her gaze lifts to fix on Rohan. At which point she freezes, two bags still heavy on her shoulders, and stares. Not super casually. For a long moment, she doesn't say anything.
"He's Rohan," Lexie reminds Ciel, in case she's forgotten. "He just told me. And I'm Lexie! So there's -- all of that." She gathers the bag up in her arms to sling it onto one of the few bits of counter space.
For all his aggressive charm earlier, Rohan now looks awkwardly. He thrusts his hands into his pockets, eyes on Ciel, and says, "Hey." He did sort of already say that.
Ciel :'s eyes leave Rohan long enough to dart toward Lexie, and the look she gives her is just a teeny bit desperate. Teeny. By the time they flash back to Rohan, though, they've gone hard to match her tone as she says, "Get out."
"/Oh/." Lexie's brows shoot upwards as she settles at the counter in between them, and for the moment she just watches the drama unfold.
Rohan visibly flinches. "Sky, I--" He removes his hands from his pockets long enough to gesture awkwardly, in place of the really convincing argument he could have come up with if this was anyone else. Finally, he says, softly, "Sky. I'm sorry."
"Oh!" Ciel says, shifting to drop one of the heavy bags from her shoulder. She gives Rohan an exasperated glance as she strides toward Lexie, the other bag in hand, to shove it toward the counter. Leexiiiie. Save her. "You're /sorry/. Isn't that fucking /grand/. What exactly are you sorry for, Rohan? The part where you left me to bleed out in the middle of the firefight, or the part where you /didn't come back/?" Out comes a carton of milk, a box of cereal, a can of beans that finds the counter with a *thud*. "Or the part--" Whatever part /that/ is is lost in the sudden tight press of her lips.
"Whoa, what the fuck, that sounds super fucking shitty!" Lexie turns a furrows, angry brow on Rohan, hands on her hips. "You can leave now."
"All of it," says Rohan, sincerely, but as Lexie turns on him too, he draws himself up, and the earlier moment of vulnerability. "Look," he says. "I had some...unfinished business. Some stupid trouble I got in years and years ago reappeared when I least expected it. Right then. I didn't want it to swallow you up too."
"Oh, well, in /that case/," Ciel says, and *thud* goes a bottle of juice. "I suppose I should thank you for instead letting me /almost die/ and then spend the next /three months/--" Again she bites off the end, gaze flashing toward Lexie, because that's far safer than flashing to Rohan.
Alexandra's frown only deepens as Rohan tries to justify whatever happened. "Yeah, nice sob story, now get the fuck out of my apartment. Pretty sure you remember where the door is."
Rohan flinches again, and he closes his eyes, taking a deep breath. He reopens them, watching Ciel, and says, voice soft, "No. Don't thank me. Yell at me. Scream. Call me every name you can think of. Throw things at me, if you like. I am pretty sure I deserve all of it." His gaze goes to Lexie for a moment and then back to Ciel. "Just please don't make me go."
Ciel draws her gaze slowly upward, her breath short and her swallow tight as her eyes find Rohan. For a moment she watches him, her expression tightly uncertain. It's not a familiar expression on her face. She glances at Lexie with some silent question that might be 'what do you think?' or 'can he stay' or 'will you help me hide the body?' And then back to Rohan, as she asks, "Why are you here?"
"I mean, technically it's my name on the lease, and it's not like you'd /fit/ anywhere." Lexie's gaze flitters to meet Ciel's, trying to eke out a single meaning from those possibilities.
Rohan is, briefly, brutally honest, "I don't actually have anywhere else to go. And--I missed you." He glances around the cluttered apartment. "I fit in all sorts of spaces," he adds. Helpfully.
Whether that is the right or the wrong thing to say is not entirely clear. Ciel's expression doesn't change much, but the question in her eyes resolves somewhere toward the first as she looks at Lexie, frustrated and resigned. She says, "There are plenty of hotels," but she doesn't sound very firm, and the sorts of places that rent out rooms in Mutant Town are also the sorts of places it's best to sleep with one eye open.
"Also plenty of dumpsters," Lexie agrees with a sort of blind loyalty to however Rohan has slighted Ciel.
Rohan swallows, the set of his shoulders still tense. "I cook," he offers.
"Shit," Ciel says, and rubs at one eye with the back of her hand before looking toward Lexie. "There's the couch," she says, lowly. "For-- the night."
Alexandra turns her back entirely and emphatically on Rohan so she can converse with Ciel in a low tone. "I mean, I don't have a problem with your /friends/, but guys who apparent left you for dead back in India just because they had some stuff come up?"
"I didn't--" begins Rohan, and then closes his mouth. Firmly.
Lexie's position means that Ciel can watch Rohan over her shoulder, and she takes him in with the occasional short upward flick of her eyes. Her jaw sets at Rohan's aborted comment, but still, when she looks back to Lexie, she says, "I can't actually let him sleep in a dumpster, Lex," voice low and quiet.
Alexandra huffs a noise that sounds something along the lines of "/Ugh/." "Fine, whatever. It's your -- whatever it is." She turns halfway back to Rohan, glaring at him. "But you can't use my towels."
"Wouldn't dream of it," Rohan assures Lexie, a touch of lightness creeping back into his voice. "I can just air dry instead. Better for the skin."
"Ug," Ciel says, and gives Rohan a thoroughly annoyed glance before she tells them both, "I'm taking a shower." Which is in no way the same as 'running away from my former whatever possibly until I've had a good amount of alcohol'. She leaves the remaining groceries atop the counter, apparently requiring retreat so quickly that she actually opens a portal to cut the tiny distance between kitchen and bathroom to nothing. The door closes solidly behind her.
Alexandra watches Ciel go with that lingering crown creasing her expression, and when she looks back at Rohan it's full of accusation. "Okay, you are a fucking /liar/, because you said you were a friend of hers and you're clearly /not/, so you get this /one night/ and you stay out of her way and then you're /gone/."
Rohan exhales as Ciel disappears. His shoulders sag a little; he looks tired again. "I was," he replies to Lexie. "Last time I saw her. And I'll--behave." Before the whole leaving for dead business. He looks to the groceries and offers, "Need some help putting these away?"
"What, so you can jerkily bumble around my kitchen like a jerk?" Lexie turns back to the kitchen to put her /own/ groceries away, /thank you/.
"No, so I can slave away doing all the boring work and so you can sit down and put your feet up," replies Rohan. "As the world should be." He takes a step to the side and considers the couch. He settles on it carefully and cautiously plumps a pillow.
"Nice try," Lexie says, like Rohan is trying to -- trick her into letting him help with groceries. Idek. "I no longer care anything about you, by the way. You're dead to me."
"That was quick," observes Rohan. "Usually it takes a week for most people to get to that stage." He lies back on the couch, arms folded beneath his head. "At least if I'm dead to you, you won't be trying to kill me. After all, you can't make me dead twice."
"That's what you think," Lexie stubborns in a lower voice as she puts bread away. Just wait until you're sleeping, Rohan. Just wait.
Rohan considers this. And the ceiling. "Well. I suppose if I was a vampire, you could," he concedes.
"/Ugh/." Lexie whirls back around, glaring at him. "Can you just -- /not/?"
"I am not here," Rohan tells her. "I am a particularly large pillow." He closes his eyes, and, for the moment, falls silent.
"I'm going to throw you out a window," Lexie tells him, turning back. She glances in the direction of the bathroom, lips pursing with other words unspoken.
"No, you're not," Rohan tells Lexie. He glances, too, toward the bathroom, and presses his lips together. He returns to being silent. Pillow-like.
Oddly enough, Lexie doesn't decide to start sprawling on him as she would some other pillow. But she also doesn't really decide to start talking to him more than she needs to; anything really juicy would need Ciel farther away than the bathroom, in any event. So mostly Rohan's evening is going to involve a lot of quiet glares.Rohan is impervious to quiet glares, or at least is good at pretending he is. Like any good pillow is.