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 House Call, 2 Nov 2167 / @Bruce
Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 09:53 AM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Reese has settled in for an evening of doing nothing. Hiding from the world in sweat pants, news played on what was likely one of the last remaining freestanding televisions in the city, a humming came from the screen that couldn't have been good. Reese didn't notice. When he heard the knock on the door however, he muted the TV, opened it, and confused expression aside, invited Bruce in.

The first impression upon walking in was that it was a nice little apartment in a minimalist, rustic style. It was clean. There were pictures of his family on the wall, and then everything would start to turn sour as the first impression died out for reality.

The apartment was a grand total of three rooms, a tiny bed room, a bathroom with only a shower and toilet (the sink was missing), and a living room which had an excuse for a kitchen attached to the left side. There were pictures of elementary schoolers and toddlers all over, but no sofa and no toys. There weren't game stations or dolls. The projects on the fridge held up by alphabet magnets were yellowed with age except one that had four people: me, Grandma, Grandpa, Dad. Dad held Me's hand with a huge frown on his face and a big heart over his head.

There was a woman in the vast majority of the photos, a pretty thing who looked at Reese with an expression they seemed to share whenever the other wasn't looking and sometimes when they were, but there weren't two chairs in front of the TV and there wasn't a flat or high heel in the closet when he motioned Bruce towards it to take off his jacket and boots.

The most stark contrast however was the man in front of him. In the pictures, he shone like a desert sun. In every frame he smiled; his eyes glittered. He rocked a child with some snide look towards the mother holding the camera. In one he was tossing a girl in the air with a boy wrapped around his leg. In another, he was missing, but the look on the pregnant woman's face was an attempt at anger, though she was blushing too hard to pull it off, as the two children beside her looked the wrong way in an intentional, playful way and a baby was nestled and sleeping against her chest.

Reese wouldn't have said he was the best father, but the pictures made no doubt that he'd been a good one. His children were happy. His wife was happy. He had been happy. He closed the door behind Bruce. "Sorry about the mess." He offered picking up the single empty beer bottle that was on the table and moving it into the recycle. The place was immaculate.

"Is everything alright?" He sounded like himself, no safer here than in the outside world. No more likely to open up. Here was a visual of what lived in his mind every moment, a man frozen in time, reliving a warm August day perpetually. But Bruce was new, and perhaps that meant something. "Did someone jump you and give you new clothes?" And just like always, the joke didn't reach his voice or his eyes, but what else could it be?

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 8 2017, 05:12 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
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Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


Bruce Vaughan was a mass of contradictions. Someone who made his living through mind control but was as ethical as the sun was bright. Surrounded by people seeking enhancements for their own romantic relations or searching for a partner, yet so often single himself. A man who helped others realize their deepest fantasies while rarely taking time to explore his own. An entrenched resident of Haven who still identified so strongly with the politics and goings-on of Evedown. Mr. Respectable, a man who wore a suit to work every day, and, even on his off-time, preferred dark slacks with neat creases, and light collared shirts with a good pair of suspenders. Who also enjoyed leather.

The unmistakable scent. The rough feel under his fingers or the soft-lined sensation against his skin. The aesthetics. The psychological associations.

He so rarely had the opportunity to wear more than a jacket; his persona at Shangri-La didn’t lend itself well to anything quite so ostentatious. He was the respectable, presentable front man; the therapist, the cultured and reliable Mr. Vaughan. And what were his hobbies outside of working too much at Shangri-La? He visited with his daughters and their parents. He visited with his own family, and he certainly didn’t dress like a biker with the other Vaughans. Movies? Restaurants? Dance halls? They tended to have expectations and at least a casual dress code. And while he enjoyed going to other clubs, many of them catered to the same clientele as Shangri-La, and so he felt the urge not to dress down too much, in case he ran into a client or an employee.

But he’d promised Larissa something special for her Day of the Dead rave, and he kept his word. He didn’t have to work the floor at Noc, and so he could let his hair down.

Beyond raiding the costume closet at Shangri-La, he’d told nobody about his costume idea. Though it had occurred to him weeks ago, he kept it carefully under wraps so as not to ruin the impact of showing up fully decked out in leather and metal.

Soft, shiny, black leather from torso to toe.

Tight black pants with a built-in silver-studded codpiece. Heavy black boots added two inches of height for the night; each laced halfway up his leg and then covered in five heavy straps. The right had a sheath for a knife, but instead held a thin paddle strap, heavily weighted for its intended purpose, though he wore it more as an accessory than with the desire to use it with casual strangers. A riding crop at his belt. A black leather vest over a black tank top, pockets filled with his wallet, keys, and phone because the pants left no room for anything. Two matching leather straps around his biceps, and a pair of black fingerless gloves covered his hands. A pair of dog tags dangled from his neck, one with a triskelion in the colors of the bisexuality pride flag and the other simply read, “Daddy.”

He’s carefully gelled his hair to spike it, and he still had his facial hair from his party on Saturday night. He certainly looked the part, and he felt pumped. Confident enough to ride the SkyRail to meet Reese at his apartment, with little worry about what other people thought. A few people stared. A couple of the older riders awkwardly avoided looking at him. One young man licked his lips and offered Bruce his number.

Yet, for all the spectacle and the pageantry, when he reached Reese’s home, he fell back into the role of therapist. Intermixed with that of a polite house guest. He followed the other man’s lead when he stepped inside, and though he didn’t reach out to touch anything that Reese failed to offer, he still noticed, still look around at the décor with the training of a mental health professional and the meddlesome eye of someone who dearly wanted to help.

The array of photos covered the walls, and Bruce took a moment to study each in turn, without losing sight of the overarching story that they told together. Reese and the children he had lost – happy, playing, loving. Reese and his wife – happy again, very much in love.

Bruce kept photos of his daughters in his apartment as well, but not with the same dedication. Of course not. He was their father, but he wasn’t their daddy, and would never be their daddy. Only their Uncle Bruce, who held no responsibility for discipline, school preparation, or visits to the doctor.

Reese kept the house in immaculate condition, he noted. Responsibility for his personal space that one might consider outlandish in light of his apology for a mess that consisted of a single bottle. So much to unpack there, if they weren’t on their way to a rave. Although, based on Reese’s outfit, he might have forgotten the invitation. Considering how busy the weekend had been, he supposed he couldn’t fault the other man for that.

“It’s hard to jump me,” he replied, also joking, though he adopted an equally serious expression. “I don’t let people get away with it. But we have a party to get to; I’ll take care of the cover charges, but you need to get into a costume, and we need to hit the SkyRail if we want to get there on time.”

Other people might mean fashionably late, but not Bruce.

“I’m the only one who remembers much of anything from Saturday night, so you can go as Elvis again if you want, but we’ve got to get going.”

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 10 2017, 08:15 AM
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38 YEARS
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There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



The smile that came to Reese's face was too easy to garner. The way it lingered perhaps implied something different than it had at their previous meetings. It was real, but there was something almost outlandish about it. This wasn't the way he'd acted at the diner or at Shangri-La, but perhaps the little smile would remind him of how Reese was lightened up a shade or two after a few drinks at On the Rocks.

"Right. Right. All the mind control shit." He said, as he reached out and flipped over the dog tags. "You must've turned fucking heads on your way here." He shook his head. If he hadn't known Bruce, he might have even said he looked hot. It was the kind of leather that Reese would have claimed made anyone want to rip it off of someone else. His hand touched the leather of the vest, and then withdrew like he had forgotten there was a person beneath it before he started talking.

His brows knit with what seemed to be confusion at the mention of the rave. In fact, the confusion was palpable. Reese never forgot things. He never failed to go to an event or be ready. But Bruce mentioned the Halloween party and the look on his face changed from confusion to nerves.

Evidence that something had really gotten to him.

In an almost inexplicable movement, he touched his own shoulder over his shirt near his neck like he was trying to hide something, and then he nodded. His shoulders curled in, the hand not moving.

"Uh... Yeah. I'll... put something on... Sorry..." He turned away, moving towards the bedroom and then hesitated again, not looking back. "There's beer in the fridge if you want some. Make yourself at home, Bruce." And perhaps the phrase sounded strange coming from a man who didn't seem at home in his own skin and he finally disappeared into the next room closing the door behind him.

spoiler


@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 10 2017, 10:03 AM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


The remark earned a playful eye roll from Bruce. He didn’t mind playful or affectionate teasing about his powers, only the rumors that permeated the city about more nefarious applications since those impugned his business, his ethics, and his honor. “The mind control. That’s why they come to see me.”

And why he and his employees were the only ones who had any accurate memories of the night.

His smile broadened as Reese fingered the dog tags, and then as his fingers fell to the vest. Almost imperceptibly, his chest puffed out, encouraging the other man to enjoy the leather half as much as Bruce did. He hadn’t chosen the outfit for other people to paw at him, but he couldn’t deny other people with healthy admiration, and he had no expectation of Reese sliding a hand up his shirt or down his pants. Besides, he enjoyed compliments on his appearance as much as the next man, free of the expectations and boundaries at Shangri-La. “A few. Not as many as I used to when I was young, but that’s par for the course.”

Then again, he’d opened Shangri-La in his late twenties; he ‘d had to play older and mature even during the years he might otherwise have had a shiny innocence about him.

He noticed the other man’s bewilderment, attributed that either to the beer or the lingering effects of The Touch. Reese was new to it and disorientation sometimes followed when waking from the influence. He also noticed the way the other man rubbed his shoulder, and he raised a hand to hide his smile. Good. Hooking up was probably good for him, and thus Bruce approved even as he wouldn’t remark on it now that Halloween had passed.

“Thanks,” Bruce replied to the intent behind the offer rather than the offer itself. He didn’t pregame when he went to clubs because his alcohol tolerance had never developed beyond “middling.” A beer or two elsewhere was the difference between arriving sober and arriving impaired, and also the difference between buying drinks from Larissa and having to forego. They were friends, and they were in similar enough businesses that he couldn’t stiff her that way. 100% of his alcohol consumption had to come from Noc’s bar and go back into the club coffers.

Instead, he watched the other man’s retreating back until Reese vanished behind a shut bedroom door. Only with that respite did he heed the instruction through his own filter and turned his attention to the photos on the walls. Meddlesome as he was, making himself at home involved less pulling food or beverage from the refrigerator or sitting on the sofa, and more examining every detail of the man’s décor to better understand Reese’s current mindset. That he lived in a mausoleum dedicated to the family he had lost in the accident surely contributed to his overall unhappiness and his withdrawal from broader society. Here in this isolated apartment, he could drink alone and drown in memories, berating himself endlessly for an accident years ago. The pain wouldn’t change the past. The memories wouldn’t change the past. Unending misery wouldn’t change the past. But if he wanted to atone by telling himself he could never be happy again, then he had surely cracked the code for that.

Bruce moved along the wall, eyes raking over each photo in turn, until he stopped on one of Reese as a young man, no more than twenty-three or so, if Bruce pegged his age correctly. Happy and in love, beside his wife who upon closer inspection…

Bruce frowned to himself and leaned closer, nose almost up against the photo as he examined her face. She bore a striking resemblance to Bryn, the midwife that had delivered Avery and whom he met occasionally for coffee and lunch.

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 11 2017, 09:37 AM
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There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Reese shuffled around his room, blissfully unaware of the realization that Bruce was having in the main room. He found some jeans and a t-shirt that someone had given him as a joke, a blazer, and a pair of glasses and when he walked out no more than five minutes later, he looked about as half-assed as he felt.

He raised a brow at seeing Bruce looking so intensely at the pictures and there was a quiet happiness that wrapped around his voice when he started talking. A gentle ringing of what one might have imagined he had once sounded like, for the man in these pictures on the wall could not have carried the weight that Reese did.

He didn't have to walk up to him or over to the picture as he spoke. He knew all of them, every detail from the number of wrinkles near his eyes to the number of teeth missing in his toddler's mouth. He pulled a soda out of the fridge. "Prints were in back then. It's whales. I told my girlfriend she looked stupid, but she wouldn't listen." He laughed, "Thats Annie in her arms."

He was moving across the room, hand tucked in his pocket, other holding the soda. "She's about 12 weeks in that picture. We were trying to do the family picnic thing like they do in ads, ya know? It's bullshit. She wouldn't fuckin' shut up." There was no anger in his voice, no malice. In fact, it was perhaps happiness that Bruce would hear, tempered though it was. "God. They're perfect, right?"

Finally, pointing at one and then grabbing it off the little side table it was on, he held it out so Bruce could see. "We got these done a week before..." He didn't finish the sentence, but it wasn't hard to fill in. He leaned forward. "That's Annie again." He pointed out each of his children. It was perhaps strange that he sounded better marginally just pointing at the children's pictures, naming them for Bruce.

He was still a proud father. Nothing had changed except that he wasn't a father anymore. His daughter was being raised by his parents. His others were ashes tucked under folds of Earth.

"Anyway. We've got to get going, right?"

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 12 2017, 10:59 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


Uncannily like Bryn…

Reese’s reemergence drew his attention away from his own memories and redirected his thoughts. There would be time to contemplate that unexpected resemblance at a later time, perhaps when he and Bryn next met up for coffee and cake. They were due at the end of this month or the next one, depending on the holiday rush at his work, and more general family obligations.

Bruce allowed Reese to guide him to the different photographs, his gaze shifting to each one in turn as Reese provided his children’s names and shared these happier memories with him. A more innocent time when his children had lived carefree lives, before his daughter became an only child through the forces of tragedy.

That hung heavily in the air between them, and Bruce finally turned around to face the other man, noticing his outfit for the first time.

The disbelief washed over Bruce’s face, unconsciously mimicking the expression of a long dead actor in the movie from which he’d taken his costume two nights prior. Blue eyes narrowed as he glanced from Reese’s head to his feet, gaze raked over the jeans, the tee shirt, the mismatched blazer, and the utterly random pair of glasses. He looked as though he’d rummaged through the lost and found at a movie theater.

That wouldn’t do.

“What are you supposed to be?” He asked, with the same tone he used when gently correcting one of his clients who had broken a rule because their conditioning was beginning to wear off, and they required the guidance.

Bruce didn’t wait for the other man to answer the question. His hand reflexively touched the riding crop on his belt, pulled it out, and he gently, so gently, touched the keeper to the middle of Reese’s chest for emphasis. “I can’t let you leave the house dressed this way,” he remarked decisively. “Our host would never forgive me.”

As it was, Larissa had displayed excessive interest in Reese because she didn’t completely believe that Bruce would bring a platonic friend to a party. She would come out to greet Bruce and would assess Reese’s appearance, and then she would never let him hear the end of it for bringing someone to her Day of the Dead rave dressed like a teenager’s closet had vomited on him.

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 14 2017, 09:53 PM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Reality returned as all of the, subdued as it was, happiness wandered out of the other man's voice as he heard Bruce's words. The soft smile that had been lingering on his lips had vanished now and even the quiet contentment in his eyes left them empty again.

He glanced down at his clothing, running a hand over the shirt that upon closer inspection Bruce would realize was a probably seven year old championship shirt for Reese' favorite football team. "Uh--" He was quiet for a moment.

"Fuckin'-- Out of work actor or something." He brought in a deep breath, and nodded when Bruce said that it wouldn't do and that he would need to change. There was a look in his eyes that look pissed for a moment, like he considered just flying into a storm of swearwords and telling him to get out.

And then the anger faded like all of his other emotions, tempered by years of practice and drowned in the vats of self-imposed suffering as he set the photograph back down, perhaps too carefully, like this image of his children was worth more than suppressant on the black market.

He situated the picture, pushing back and forth by millimeters, focused. He didn't even look a Bruce when he spoke."Why don't you just pick something out that this picky-ass host will like?" he suggested, stuffing one hand into his pocket as he finished placing the picture and motioning Bruce towards his bedroom with the other. "Pretty sure I've got some of my girlfriend's thigh highs and crop tops. We could both turn fucking heads." he offered, and though the sarcasm didn't reach his eyes or voice, the way he snorted after it left nothing to the imagination.

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 06:51 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


Out of work actor. He expected that of a petulant twelve-year-old who resented having to chaperone their kindergartener younger sibling at an elementary school Halloween party, not of a fully-grown man who had promised to pick out a costume without prompting. But no matter. As with their past interactions, Reese had shown small flashes of interest, while that larger part of himself seemed intent to torpedo even the hope for fun. Fortunately for Reese, and unfortunately for that part of him that ensured his misery, it was nigh impossible to out-stubborn Bruce Vaughan.

“That’s fine. I dress people daily.” That was not an aspect of Shangri-La that he necessarily advertised to other people, but he often played a role in choosing clients’ attire, either the ones who came through for a specific fantasy or program, or the ones who stayed for depression and required a parental surrogate to help them with those more basic tasks of life. Those clients didn’t receive sexy costumes or uniforms, but instead wore comfortable sweatshirts with hoods into which they could disappear. As long as they rose from bed and came down to eat breakfast on time.

The mental manipulator had a keen eye for detail for color coordination, and so he squared his shoulders and followed Reese into his bedroom proper, made a beeline for his closet and threw open the door to sort through his outfits.

“It’s a bit nippy out for fishnets, otherwise you’d have something there,” he replied deadpan, certain that Reese had no intention of cross-dressing, and not a person to force that onto someone without their consent.

“Before Saturday, when was the last time you’d dressed up for anything?”

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 09:27 PM
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38 YEARS
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



When Bruce said that he dressed people daily, Reese' expression turned from it's natural flatness to a look of something just shy of judgment, but he didn't ask. He knew that Shangri-La had its quirks, and Bruce had them to match. He'd shown up at his home dressed in all leather with a cod piece after all. At the end of the day, Reese wasn't sure he had any right to say something about someone else's choices.

His bedroom looked like the rest of the house -- perfectly maintained with a made bed. There were pictures in here too, fewer pictures but far more intimate in nature. He didn't point them out, and he certainly didn't say anything.

The closet had its fair share of clothing, though most of it was dark in color -- suits from dinners his parents had made him go to, and then the very normal, dull-colored button downs that that had worn every other time they had met. A corner of the closet had dresses -- sized for someone much smaller than him. Perhaps he hadn't been kidding about the clothing he had left from his girlfriend despite the seemingly dismissive noise that had accompanied it.

The question lingered in the air for a while the way that questions seemed to always do when speaking with Reese. "I wear suits to all my parents classy-as-shit get-togethers," he intentionally misinterpreted, perhaps to buy himself time, then he said, "But we dressed up for Atty's birthday party." While he didn't explain who the 'we' was, the nickname of his son who had died in the crash perhaps put the time stamp on it. His voice sounded hollow and his expression matched and then he pulled himself back into he present.

"He had this.... thing for Dracula and his bride. The one they did --" He tried to recall the name, "Juliette Marlowe and Taggart Vanderbilt? It's from the 40's. Anyway, we did this bullshit vampire party for him, and I dressed up as Dracula, Insane coat and all." He leaned against the wall, taking another sip from the soda.

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 09:52 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


Bruce didn’t linger on his remark, as he found nothing noteworthy about it. Only a simple truth. He also didn’t linger his attention on the photos beyond brief glances. He had been invited into the other man’s private space not to snoop or to dredge up painful memories of his lost family, but instead to help him put together a costume that wouldn’t earn Larissa’s derision. He wouldn’t take advantage of that trust by poking the bear or overstepping Reese’s boundaries.

He did, however, slowly appraise the other man’s hanging wardrobe. One by one, gloved hands touched the hangers to isolate each subsequent outfit, studying it in its place in the closet before shifting it to the side for the next one. He took additional care with the clothing that had belonged to Reese’s girlfriend, beyond sizing it up for his next meal with Bryn; he wouldn’t disturb her memory or distress Reese by manhandling those outfits. And for the clothing that belonged to him, so far nothing caught Bruce’s eye for the purposes of this rave. A few suits he could ask Reese to wear were he taking him to a coming out ball or a French restaurant, but less so for a costumed party at Noc, where the theme was Day of the Dead, and Larissa had made plain she wanted outlandish, the devil to Bruce’s (perceived) angel.

“I remember that movie,” he offered, as he slid another plain suit, drab and dark, across the hanger, dismissing it for lack of panache. "My baby sister had such a crush on Taggart back then.” Willow had grown out of it, as most well-adjusted people set aside their celebrity crushes when they moved on to forming healthy teenage, and then adult relationships with their peers. Now she was a grown woman, a mother, on the cusp of forty and no longer pined for the polished pretty boys of stage and screen.

Although that did provide a potential template for what they could do with Reese tonight. Vampires fit every angle of the party theme, from death and rising to horror to biting and hickeys, the type of slightly dangerous hooking up one expected at Noc, and the reason Bruce never met anyone at Larissa’s club that he invited home with him. Over his shoulder, he inquired, “Do you still have that oufit?”

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 10:38 PM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Reese nodded. "It was a good one. Taggart was good pre-Jump In. They always say playing nut cases messes with your head or whatever." He set his hand on Bruce's shoulder to move him out of the way, gentle and careful as his touch away was.

"Here." He offered as he handed him the soda to hold and leaned down. The shirt pulled and the love bite on his neck was revealed as he kept talking. "I used to hold him on my lap -- Atty -- and we'd watch the ballroom scene over and over." He managed to get his hands on whatever he was trying to grab and tugged it out.

The response when the trunk was in view was somewhat strange. He looked at it, his fingers ran through his hair, and then turned away and went to sit across the room on the bed. Abandoning his soda and Bruce to stay with the lovely oak chest.

"You remember that scene? Elisa comes runnin' down the stairs and there's that whole fucking ... interlude where they stare at each other and walk so god damn slow until Van Helsing breaks down the door?" He continued as if he hadn't literally run away from something in his own home. "I don't know. He loved it."

He was pointedly looking at Bruce and not the trunk when he said, "Anyway, it's in there, I think." It was filled with things that seemed utterly random -- purely kept for sentimental value. A ring box from a fancy jeweler with a diamond inside that she'd never accepted; report cards and valentine's day letters. A purse and a bottle of perfume. There was a lidded box that filled up half of it: "She kept everyone's costumes in there." he offered, "At least, the ones she liked. And she... liked the coat."

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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 18 2017, 11:38 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


“Mental illness is difficult,” Bruce offered diplomatically. The majority of his job duties might involve catering to fantasies, but he remained a mental health professional in terms of his ethical obligations and training, and he could never think of someone with a mental illness as a nutcase. The word, and the attending concept, were anathema.

Without argument, Bruce took the proffered bottle and stepped to the side, clearing a path for Reese to access his closet and locate the Dracula costume in question. He peered over the other man’s shoulder from a combination of interest in the process and those meddlesome impulses he couldn’t set aside entirely, no matter his location or the task at hand.

“I remember,” he confirmed. He’d been in his twenties when that movie had first been released, and he’d escorted Willow who had gushed about Taggart and his acting range for the entire trip to the movie theater, and then her sighs of pleasure - those quivering first stirrings of puberty – whenever his face filled the screen. True to type, Bruce preferred Van Helsing.
“And what’s your favorite movie?”

Though expecting an outfit pulled from the deepest recesses of the closet, Bruce instead watched Reese produce a wooden trunk. Unexpected but, in retrospect, it made sense. What better way to keep treasured objects and memories intact while ensuring Reese wouldn’t have to look at them every time he opened his closet to pull out a shirt or a pair of slacks? His effort to return the soda to the other man was thwarted, leaving him with a beverage he couldn’t sip, the use of only one hand, and the nagging concern that sticky carbonated liquid would ruin everything contained in the chest through one wrong gesture. He cast about for the nearest solid surface (not the trunk) and set the soda down on the nearby dresser.

Both hands free, he crouched in front of the chest, carefully bent his legs because these pants left nothing to the imagination and precious few millimeters of free movement. Mindful of the importance of this chest and everything it contained to Reese, he lifted the lid and peered inside at the contents. Smaller containers, everything arranged precisely and packed away lovingly, just as Bruce would expect of the other man from his behavior and the impeccable mausoleum of his apartment. No costumes at first, but an interior box that certainly appeared large enough to hold everyone’s costumes. Bruce hefted that into his hands and pulled it free of the bigger trunk, rocked on his heels for balance while he set it down beside the chest.

“You’re painting a vivid picture. The type our host would appreciate.” Larissa would enjoy a Dracula, even if she would also tease about biting.

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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 19 2017, 10:36 AM
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38 YEARS
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Typic
240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
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For a while it seemed like Reese was done for the evening with even putting on his show of being functional. Bruce asked a question and it merely lingered in the air. There was no sign of Reese contemplating it or acting like he had even heard it.

If he had been lying down, perhaps, he would have warranted a touch of the neck to see if he was still alive. His eyes had glassed over, blank and cold. His breathing was silent and shallow. And then finally it came.

"I don't know. Before, I would have said this remake of an old hockey movie, hands down, no fucking question. It was called Mighty Ducks. But... I don't know." He didn't watch movies anymore or go to plays. He didn't honestly do anything that wasn't go to the bar to drink or out with Bruce, which seemed to be happening a lot.

He still wasn't looking at him. "You find it? I don't know if she kept all of the pieces. But I wore the coat a few other times." There was a ghost of a smile and then a chuckle to accompany that. "If it's not in there, I got a box in the coat closet it might be in."

Then he added offhandedly: "Are you planning to strip all night? You're going to be fucking hot in all that leather." as he got up and grabbed his drink off the dresser, wiping away the little ring that it had left behind and glancing down at Bruce and the trunk. He looked less engaged than normal, but perhaps it was better than sitting across the room, and he reached out to carefully close the lid while they went through the costumes looking for his coat.

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Nov 20 2017, 11:23 AM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


“I don’t know if I’ve seen that one,” Bruce remarked over his shoulder. He’d never been one for sports movies more generally, and then particularly golf and hockey. They did nothing for him. But he saw every movie about dancing, so they all had their vices and hobbies.

Bruce sorted through the costumes in the trunk, first coming across a few children’s outfits, far too small to belong to anyone but the kids, and which Bruce immediately set aside. He had no desire to dredge up even more difficult memories for the other man. Instead, he had a task ahead of him, to find costumes belonging to an adult man.

His hand touched soft yet thick fabric, and he pulled the garment out. Now that was a coat. He could see why Reese’s wife (and despite the lack of formal vows, he considered her his wife) had been so fond of it, enough to save it for posterity. “I think I found it,” he remarked, holding up the coat so that Reese could have a better look at it.

The question and comment earned a good-natured smile from the mental manipulator. He deliberately chose to misinterpret Reese’s words. “I’m always hot in leather. That’s why I wear it.”

And for the feel, the scent…for everything about it.

He slowly rose up to his feet so he could hold the coat aloft without brushing it against the floor. “Put this on so I can get a look at you.”

@Reese Marshall
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Nov 26 2017, 09:12 PM
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Typic
38 YEARS
Citizen
Typic
240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Despite the figuratively gaping open wound that Bruce was pawing through. The children's costumes set carefully on the floor, the joke about being hot in leather made Reese smile. His eyes rolled without malice. "Fuck -- you know what I mean."

Pulling off the suit coat he was currently wearing, he reached out and carefully hung it into place before he reached out for the coat itself. He looked at it for a moment, brows knit. It wasn't hard to imagine that this coat brought back bittersweet memories.

It was thick and made of a black velvet that shimmered blue when the light hit it properly. As he pulled it onto his shoulders, it looked tailored to fit him, every seam fell in the perfect spot. It dropped to just past his knees, right where the coat in the movie had, and perfect for the set of boots that had accompanied it when he had worn it at his son's birthday.

Perhaps it spoke to the status of him emotionally that after he pulled it on he didn't look at himself in the mirror on the dresser behind him. He didn't run his fingers over the fabric of the coat despite the needy softness. He tugged at the collar and rolled his shoulders a bit.

"I bet you could open up a second shop in Nautas, wear that, and..." he hesitated, "....have the same client base." The rich always seemed to have more time for the exotic than the every man; at least, that was what he'd figured somewhere along the line.

He made no mention of the coat or ideas involving it. Perhaps he really was going to just wear whatever Bruce handed him.

@Bruce Vaughan
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