Guess vamps don't hit the concession stand?

Hamilton Center 
Outfit minus the dog. @Dax Attwood

Took her a little bit of Google-mapping to find the movie theater, but after some wandering and a few distractions by cool stores, she made it with some time to spare.

Lurking outside, the fear of being stood up for her friendship-date was less intense, because like. Dax seemed into it right? She wasn't gonna rudely ditch her when like, they were going to see each other at Clutch meetings. So.

heeeey i'm like right outside the door when you get here!

Then it was just a bit of waiting, the girl bouncing in place out of eagerness. She hadn't been to a movie since she'd died!

The only downside was she couldn't gorge on movie theater snacks anymore. The horror. This was actual cruelty because like what was a movie without popcorn?

Well folks, next best thing was two travel mugs she'd hidden in her knapsack. Filled with blood of course. She was learning the ways of back-door hospital bagged stuff, but like it actually terrified her and it was easier finding a live victim half the time. But hey, for special occasions? Why noooot.

Dax spent the drive to the movie theater talking herself out of and then back into this whole endeavor. Hanging out. With a college student. At a movie theater. Which, sure, was the most innocuous thing ever, but Dax didn't do any of those three things. At least the movie choice could be worse.

She arrived several minutes early but spent them waiting in her car, not wanting to seem over eager. When Savannah's text came in, she exhaled a tired breath and made her way toward the theater.

Dax greeted the girl with a short jerk of her chin. "Hey."

The chin jerk was like, maybe a little terse? But a lot of people were terse. Or edgy. Or whatever Dax's deal was??

At least she'd shown up!

Savvy happily waved both hands and beamed. "Hiiii! Thanks for coming it's gonna be awesome. I haven't been to a movie theater since I kicked the bucket!" There weren't too many people around, and her voice was soft (albeit enthusiastic) so it was cool.

Nooooo one gonna know the two ladies were dead and about to watch a horror flick.

She led the way inside, getting in line and looking up to Dax with a grin. "So how you been?"

She felt instant regret the moment Savannah opened her mouth. Way too perky. Abort mission.

Dax was not an enthusiastic person and she spent the vast majority of her time in the company of ghosts, who also were not enthusiastic, minus the occasional outlier. At least she wouldn't have to manage conversation for long—unless Savannah was one of those degenerates who talked during movies (and not to deliver feminist critique), in which case Dax would just dip.

She walked alongside Savannah to wait impatiently in line. They should've bought their tickets online. "Uh. Fine. Just whiling away eternity with bad television and work." A pause before she reciprocated the question, "You? Other than done with school and bored."

Oh gosh, the bad television yeah. Thank god for Netflix, because she tried flipping through the cable channels one time at like, three AM and lemme tell you. Way too many infomercials.

That's how she ended up with the Bob Ross Chia pet.

"Not muuuuch, I started working too. Jo's hole, like an Italian restaurant place? They haven't fired me yet so yay me." Maybe if she dropped another plate of spaghetti.. But like she was getting less klutzy. So.

Small shrug. "At least I'm not tempted to eat the food I'm serving to people hah!" They were next in line at this point, but the person in front was taking a moment longer trying to use some gift card thing, so she managed to keep the talking going a bit longer. "Where do you work?"

What other undead job options were there?

Dax did not envy her. She'd gotten fired from her fair share of shitty service industry jobs as a teenager before she landed a writing gig that could pay the bills. (She had authority issues a mile long, which managers didn't tend to appreciate.)

"I ghostwrite crime thrillers," she answered as the person ahead of them departed. She stepped forward in front of Savannah, forked over her credit card, and requested two tickets, adding absentmindedly as she waited, "So I work from home."

She tucked her card back into her wallet and her wallet back into her pocket, then handed Savannah one of the tickets. She might be a bitch, but she had a soft spot for people working underpaid and menial jobs. Dax wasn't rich, but a $12 movie ticket wouldn't make a dent in her bank account.

Ghostwriter?? Dude like. She wouldn't have pictured Dax to be a writer. Maybe some sort of harsh critical blogger or something part time. But a writer! Of crime thrillers no less!

"That's so cool - oop," she squeaked, having been about to go pay but then Dax was going ahead and um. Rude. But. She paid for two tickets?? That was like so freaking sweet??

Feeling a little overwhelmed with the sudden niceness, Savvy went quiet for once and kind of stood off to the side with a shy little grin. "Thank you so much," she offered when the ticket was handed over, because like. While $12 wasn't much, it certainly helped.

Right, before she got the urge to hug Dax (she doubted the vamp would enjoy that), she looked down at the movie room number. "We're in room 5 it says." So she started walking towards it, eyeing the concession stand wistfully. "You ever miss like. Food?"

Coz fuck, she really did.

At Savannah's thanks, Dax, eloquent as ever, hummed a short sound. Don't mention it. Like. Literally don't mention it.

"It's been almost four months for me, and I would fucking--" she dropped her voice just a tad halfway through the word because whoops there's a small child three feet away--"kill for a shitty burger and a bottle of tequila."

Before dying, she'd subsisted entirely on ramen and red Gatorade. Food had never really been important to her, but now that she couldn't have it, she desperately wanted it.

Score, she wasn't alone in the food department. See, this is why she needed vampire friends. To like. Get some empathy and understanding over first-world vamp problems.

Also Dax language there were children!

"Pizza and coke for me. And fries. Oh my god I'd kill for fries like. I wonder sometimes if it's worth just trying to eat some and see what happens but like.. I dunno. Can you die from that?" Maybe she'd know something Savvy didn't.

Though actually. Like. Dax was newer than her which she hadn't expected at all. No wonder she was grumpy, jeez.

"You'd just puke it back up." She recalled what Beau had said that first night he'd found her, about vomiting into bushes outside a dinner party. No thanks, she'd rather go without tequila and burgers.

She handed her ticket to the ticket checker person or whatever they were called and shoved the remaining stub into her pocket, then stepped through and aside to wait for Savannah.

.... Ew. So many levels of ew.

"That's a bummer," Savvy sighed, following suit after Dax and pocketing her ticket stub too. "No popcorn for us then."

But it's cool, she had her blood-mug to go.

Her step had a natural little skip in it as she went inside the darkened room with her sort of maybe friend, pausing at the bottom of the rows and looking around. Weren't too many people, yet anyway, so they had a decent pick of the theater seats. "Where do you like to sit?" Because some people fought over the front and back row thing, and then others said the middle.

Savvy personally didn't care, as long as some tall person didn't sit in front of her.

You know who else was in Room 5?

This guy. Who was also feeling a little wiggly about sitting in a movie theater for several hours, which was weird? He was usually content to flop after a long day. But something had him, well, sparking with energy.

Karim leaned back in his seat somewhere in the close to the entrance of the theater, intentionally slouched as if maybe that would get him to chill. He munched on his (unbuttered) popcorn kind of madly too, like it was gonna disappear if he didn't eat it all now, though that was pretty ridiculous?

Oh well. He kind of just hoped the movie would start soon and he'd stop being so uncharacteristically fidgety. He looked over at every new person or people who entered like they would be somehow more entertaining than the commercials going on screen, which was probably true...?

Giving a glance to the girls who popped in just now, he... thought he might have seen the short one before.


She paused alongside Savannah, scanning the rows and scattered faces. A weird restlessness radiated off the man sitting near where they stood, and her only real seating preference was not close to him. She didn't need his weirdness on top of Savannah's.

"Middle or back," Dax answered, magnanimously narrowing it down to two choices.

Yeah, she noticed the restless wiggly guy too.

And very immediately panicked because in a flash, she remember meeting him awkwardly in a cemetery. Then promising him pictures. That she put off sending until she FORGOT COMPLETELY.

She was an Awful Person.

It also way more awkward to confront the fact she was an awful person, and hopefully he wouldn't see her so with a quick squeak of "The back the back the back!" she scurried up the aisle stairs like a frightened mouse.

When she was safely out of sight, unless he like, looked behind him, Savannah calmed down enough to go flop into a movie theater seat. "Kay. That was awkward."

Remind her to not be lazy procrastinator next time?

He didn't get much of a look before they were already scurrying to the back. Was it because he was brown :(


Anyway, he kept on fiddling with the tips of his fingers between popcorning, noticing they felt... warm? Warmer?


feel free to skip a few rounds!


Dax raised an eyebrow but obligingly followed, although at a more leisurely pace, and tried to squash down that sudden flare of panic she felt. Chill the fuck out, girl.

She settled into the seat beside Savannah. "Was it?" It hadn't seemed awkward, and Dax had a very fine sense for awkwardness because she was queen of it. She also didn't really care enough to ask what her problem was.

Was it??

Dax, gurl. You didn't know the story.

"I met him a while back and it was a bit awkward, and I offered to send him some photos I took. And I kept putting it off and guess what? Never did! He probably thinks I'm some lazy rude teenager which is kinda true but like. Ugh. I hate being rude." That was as much as she'd get into it though, because the actual cool trailers were starting now, the lights dimming out a bit more around them.

Seeing as they were pretty much alone in the back, she dug into her bag then. And handed Dax one of the blood mugs as casually as someone would hand the other person the chocolate bar they'd sneaked in.

Dax... was unimpressed, but she didn't have time to say as much before the trailers began. So she kept that little seed of irritation to herself and reminded herself she was trying to be nice, don't get so pissy over this chick being a drama queen.

Then Savannah handed her a travel mug? Closer inspection yielded the smell of blood, and Dax had a couple questions on the logistics of getting someone's blood into a travel mug, but those could wait until later. She took the proffered mug with a quiet "thanks", then slumped in her seat and settled in.

She quirked a small smile at Dax, murmuring "No probs," in return. This was.. Okay. Not exactly the fun she used to have going out with her high school friends, and there was like. This tension Dax had that wasn't too great to be around.

At least she picked a nice, quiet, no talking type of outing.

It was weird though, watching a movie as a vampire. Even if you tried focusing on the trailers, and then the start of the movie.. You couldn't fully because your senses were making it a bitch. The room was darkened fully, but Savvy could still watch the picture-dude fidget clear as day.

She could also hear so much loud, annoying popcorn munching.

He couldn't get a sense that he was still being stink-eyed. That was fine. Karim had bigger problems. Like - the trailers started, and the lights dimmed.

He tried to focus, but could not, his eyes darting at all the whitest spots on the screen. A few times, he actually jumped a little, even though it wasn't for scary movies.

Actually, his eyes kind of hurt? Like a stinging.

So he rubbed at them, trying to focus. Come on, dude, it's your day off, why you pulling this stuff now.

The movie theater experience ™ did not benefit from super vampire senses, and Dax was pretty sure she was going to dive straight into bloodlust if some asshole in the front row didn't stop chewing with their mouth open. And her empathy continued to pick up the weirdo Savannah had fled from, his bizarre brand of restlessness and occasional surprise.

The color leeched out of Dax's eyes as she extended her powers in an attempt to blunt the sharp edges of his feelings, blanket them in a kind of calm, paying more attention to him than to the first few minutes of the movie. Whoops.


She couldn't even be focused on how scary the movie was because was focused on how gross the guy in row three was picking his nose.

Frowning, she sipped her blood mug with a little annoyed grunting noise, turning to whisper to Dax about how frigging loud people were when you weren't human. Only she watched as Dax's eyes went colorless, her own widening in interest. "Are you using a power?" she whispered very softly, not to add onto the mass of noise already in this place.

What power was it?

The power of silencing the loud chewers?

As suddenly as his fidgeting started, it seemed to relax. The stinging in his eyes was still there, but... minor annoyance. It would fade, surely.

And for about three minutes, it did seem to fade.

But then, with a high-pitched, electronic sort of squeal of sound cutting through it, the movie abruptly and somewhat violently shut off, and the theater lights went out, save for the red emergency lights.

Very faintly, there was the smell of smoke.

Whoops, caught red-handed. Dax didn't feel particularly bad, but she withdrew her metaphysical influence until color sprang back into her eyes. "Your friend was restless," she murmured. "Just lending a hand." So his restlessness would stop pestering her, thanks.

And then the lights cut in an electronic whine that left Dax's sensitive ears ringing, and she was about to grouse about their terrible luck when she caught the smell of smoke. Just a hint, hardly more than the idea of a scent, but enough for some kind of lizard panic to claw up into her chest. She noted faintly that she and Savannah should probably bee-line for the exit right about now. She also noted that if she moved, she was going to lose her shit.

Her hands shook as lifted the mug to her lips, the cloying smell of blood overriding that other scent, and took a healthy swallow. Like soothing a wild cat with a flank of steak so its hunger might distract it from its distress.

"Ohhh," she whispered back at the reply, grinning a bit. "Smart!" Anything to help quiet down at least one restless movie-goer. The others? Still fucking annoying. Maybe Dax could fix them next with some paranormal sedatives too.

Snuggling down into the seat, she started to take another sip of mug-blood...

Only to promptly mlem it back out when the lights cut off in a way more shocking fashion than any other jump-scare so far. "Uhhh.." Yeah, that wasn't for added effects was it? The 4D experience?

Noting Dax's shaking, and also the faint smell of smoke, she assumed that no, no it was not.

She started stuffing her movie snack back in her bag, eyes sharp as she tried to keep chill enough to make it out of the theater room. Then she could flail for days. "We need to go, up up up," she hissed to the other girl, who was blocking her escape currently.

Mcfucking move it before they turned into crispy-vamps.

In contrast to the sudden hush in the theater, the pervading feeling of wariness, Karim suddenly felt... oddly better.

Obviously — still wary. But he looked around, and he was sharp-eyed and not gaze-darty, and that was a huge improvement. Like lifting the lid off a boiling pot to settle the pressure some.

Man, he was hungry now. Where was his popcorn.

He did not notice the traces of smoke, but he did notice that the crew was coming in, waving down the crowd.

"Ladies and gentlemen," a tired-sounding usher announced, "we regret to inform you we've had a sudden equipment failure, if you'd like to proceed to the lobby, we can issue you an exchange ticket for another showing upon request. Please move calmly and in a single file,"... Blah, blah, blah. Karim sat stubbornly, like he really wanted at least a minute of comfort after all his fidgeting before.

Dax noted with a kind of distant, detached logic that she was losing it. Her hands shook, and her jaw burned where her muscles stretched and shifted unnaturally, and her gums ached as fangs worked their way down to prick painfully at the inside of her lip.

Savannah urged her up and Dax obliged, instinctively obedient, and shoved the seat of her chair up to press against it and let the other girl proceed first. She raised her free hand to cover her mouth as she frantically muttered, "Fuck fuck fuck."

She didn't notice at first Dax was in major distress, until she brushed against her to get by and.. Did not hear her following. "Dax?" she questioned, one eyebrow raising as she turned to look, then two as she noticed her hand over her mouth.

Ohhh boy.

Now, Savannah wasn't the dominant figure here. She didn't like being in charge. She would if she had to, though, and leaving Dax alone to freak out and go all vamp-attack in a panicked crowd? Yeah. Not happening.

"Dax," she repeated more firmly, taking the hand not covering her mouth and squeezing it firmly. "Calm down. Something spazzed out, a circuit fried, there isn't a serious fire. The alarms would have went off. So just.. Breathe, and hold my hand, and we'll go outside okay?"


He was still sitting, looking around. But the reality was that he was a pushover, and the minute a couple started heading his way... up he got. Karim stood out of their way of the exit, pressed against the wall for now, wondering why they needed to be evacuated at all? Couldn't they just wait until things came back on?

As he looked up with intent to see if maybe something was visible from the tiny projection window, he happened to see two chicks there, one seeming to have a freakout.


Ascending the stairs, he reached out a hand. "Hey, everything alright? I think they need us, like, out of here..."

He squinted at the short hair girl. She seemed a little familiar?

Success to pull out of Savannah's grip, fail to grab Karim

Dax's skin crawled when Savannah took her hand, but she didn't jerk away. Just nodded mutely and tried to convince herself that the girl was right, everything was fine, they weren't trapped in a burning tin can in imminent danger of permanent death, even though it was very hard to think, like her brain had gone ahead and detached itself from her body.

And then this granola fucker came ambling up to point out the obvious. She bared her teeth in something like a snarl behind her hand, and her eyes, already a milky green, shifted the rest of the way to silver.

"Go away," she snapped, voice muffled and and thick around her fangs. The hand Savannah held was suddenly more claw than hand, nails tapering into veritable talons. She jerked her hand out of the other vampire's, making an instinctive grab for the guy's outstretched hand even as she slammed her own feelings into him, practically blugeoning him with that animal panic, anything to chase him off.


Oh no. Dude. No. Go away man. Savannah glared at him, for being an idiot, and coming near them. Like. He probably didn't know. But still, dude, you high?

She opened her mouth to make him go away, fast, but suddenly Dax was wrenching her hand.. Er.. Claw?? away, making her gasp in shock as it cut her palm a bit. "Hey! No no no.." she gasped, any confidence she had evaporating.

Now she just wanted to get out, and if Dax couldn't calm herself she might have to.. Leave the poor dude to his fate. She wasn't about to get caught up in anything.

But one last effort.

She tried to catch eye contact with the weed-dude, eyes flashing teal. "Run away now," she all but squeaked, not very terrifying. Mostly terrified, you know. And in case Dax decided to follow, she lunged and attempted to grab her arms, pulling them behind her body like she was about to be cuffed, if she got a hold.

Just, god, chill please. Don't make a scene.



"hoLY SHIT," he yelped very loudly as he stumbled back, his hands feeling like they were suddenly rigid with the urge to throw something — but there was nothing to throw.

Still, panic. Karim had rarely felt it, and he clutched the rail as he attempted his way down the stairs, and then happened to look at the other girl also. And she was. Saying a thing.

Run away now.

But like. He couldn't even.

But he did, pushing past people as if the theater was on fire.

Savannah yanked her wrists behind her back like she was about to get perp walked, but the granola fucker fled and that's all she could really ask for. Instant relief flooded her, butting heads with equal amounts of panic and that kind of angry, hungry haziness that had heralded her transformation into further depravity.

"Sorry—I'm sorry," she all but yelped, jerking halfheartedly to pull out of Savannah's grasp. Her fingers gradually straightened from where they'd partially shifted into crooked talons, and claws receded back into short, bitten nails.

Somehow, she managed to regain some control over this fuckcluster of a situation. Partially at least? Karim took her compulsion to heart and fled like a bat out of hell, and Savvy managed to hold Dax back. Like, legit hold her back as if she was the star of some Busted - CSI Special show.

So uh.. Score?

"It's okay, you're okay! Just! Chill out, and we're gonna get out of here nice and discretely, kay?" Rule number 1 about vampires - don't make a scene. Which thankfully, they avoided aside from the pot-cop dude.

... Fuck, hopefully he was too stoned to remember this..?

Slowly, she released Dax's arms, but kept a firm grip on her right hand in case she freaked again. "You just follow me, okay?" If she didn't go all vampy, Savannah would gladly lead her outside.

A tense beat passed before Dax offered an "okay", and she hated how small she sounded. But self-loathing was an acceptable substitute for panic and hunger, so she latched onto it, reached out for that hazy numbness like really shitty emotional armor.

Whatever got her through the night.

She kept her hand still in Savannah's and let the girl lead her outside, where the evening air lacked any trace of smoke. Dax rubbed her jaw with her free hand, skin still crawling in phantom memory. "Sorry about... that," she mumbled, reluctant as ever to apologize but this fuck up was entirely on her and so she'd willingly eat dirt over it.

They were outside now, away from the smoke, away from the crowds. She kept pulling her friend along though, in case the dude told anyone or started a stampede or.. Whatever.

"Totally okay, no worries just. Shhhh." Savvy wiggled her hand she still held, encouraging as she watched the older girl rub her jaw. As long as she didn't go all.. Freaky.. They'd be fine.

They were fine.

When they were far enough away, she'd stop and release her hand. "I think it's best we both kinda split up and go chill at home tonight. Shouldn't be any trouble but like. Yeah. I'll see you later okay?"

Hopefully Dax could get home safe, and this would be all behind them in a few weeks.

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