I Speak Astronomy

Mountainside Planetarium 
#1

Not wanting to go home immediately after such a disappointing evening, Cassidy drove around Lavender Hights, replaying her sham of a therapy session. It was stupid, foolish to expose herself like that, but she'd been desperate. Or at least that's what Cassidy convinced herself. But she realized quickly into their first session this wasn't right for her.

She should have gone home, but Cassidy ended up at the Mountainside Planetarium; a place she hadn't visited since playing tourist in her first weeks in town. Another business that kept night hours; but this one made a little more sense. Maybe watching the world turn would give her perspective? She doubted it; but sitting alone at home wasn't what she needed right now.

The interior was degrees cooler than the crisp evening air and Cassidy strolled with hands in her jacket pockets. She paused before a display of rocks, skimming the placards. Rocks were interesting, she guessed. Sinking boredom reinforced her stalling tactic and she'd be homeward bound soon.

There were still a few more exhibits to peruse and Cass ambled along, glancing at her phone for the time.
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#2


Boredom was horribly potent, and without a job and no safe volunteer option on the line today, Dakila had ended up all across Mountainside, trying to keep himself occupied throughout the day. Nearly time to turn home, all too aware of what could lurk in the dark but decidedly undaunted despite of this, he nonetheless has lingered at the Planetarium.

Which, in itself, struck him oddly and he couldn't figure out why. Something about the scent, off-color in a way he hadn't ever experienced before. New enough to not yet put two-and-two with the warnings he'd received from Alina together, he wasn't alarmed so much as he was just at a loss. So it was, he found himself looking around, less at the exhibits and the planetarium itself and more at the people around.

Didn't quite follow his nose. Reminded himself that he wasn't on some sort of investigation or hunt. He'd just ended up here because it was a place he hadn't yet made it to in his time here. Whatever it was wasn't his concern... or so he was trying to convince himself when he came up short, surprised when he caught sight of a face not completely unfamiliar, focused on her phone.

New curiosity stoked, he approached. "Morgan, this is a surprise."

For them both, no doubt. Last time he'd seen her, he'd not been a wolf yet. A wolf who was now trying very hard to sniff her curiously out through metaphysical bounds, but was easily pushed back when nothing strange manifested in his awareness.
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#3
She stared at a large telescope which wasn't that large on the scale of telescopes. Her head tilted from side to side, arms holding her sides, as she considered it. She pursed her lips, taking baby steps to view the telescope from a different angle and wondered how far she could see through its lens.

Cassidy turned as she heard her name, guilty that anyone knew her here. Her eyes settled on Tomas and she stared for the moment, jaw not quite closed. A casual hand moved from her side towards him and a smile came to eventual rest on her lips.

"Tomas. Yeah." She looked around and expected to see more people from the office; it was just him. Cassidy collected herself and wiped the dumb smirk from her face. She stepped towards him.

"Hey, man. Didn't expect to see you here." She said as if she hadn't expected to see anyone here.
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#4
Brief and ultimately odd as their interactions had been in the past, he didn't feel particularly awkward around her. If he had, maybe he would have carefully evaded catching her gaze and gone home without having ever called out to her. But he approached now, and he even offered a hand for shaking. A little formal, maybe, but they had never really moved past that point and he tended to be polite to a fault.

"Yeah, same," he agreed, the usual easy smile defying every ounce of nonsense he and she had been put through over the last few months. "Finally trying to get out and see Mountainside and all she has to offer now that I've been here a while." He didn't mention his leave, didn't know if she would have heard or not and knew it would be harder to explain himself to her than it had been to get the leave in the first place.

There was just not a really great reason for it, other than the reality, which he couldn't share.
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#5
She shook the hand before moving hers to the jacket pockets. It was good to see him again, although harder to ignore the bullshit between them since she'd instigated most of it. Even with the impossible situation, Cassidy felt she could have handled it better.

"Still in that tourism phase? Yeah, I hit this place up when I first got here too." She looked around. "It's changed a bit. Under new management or something."

A pause returned them to what Cassidy could talk about easily.

"How's the murder business?" Absorbed with a new taskforce and a headstrong captain who demanded results, she hadn't heard about his leave of absence.
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#6
His own arms moved to cross over his chest and he turned a little to glance at the telescope she'd been admiring instead of focusing too intently on the woman who had experienced supernatural injustice first hand. Wondered fleetingly how a planetarium changed hands, but he was pretty far from understanding how business worked.

"It goes," he said, then decided to confess to at least some degree. "Actually a little break from it. Been too intense since I got here, so I felt like a breather was in order before something bad happened." Hah. He was reminded of his conversation with Katya for not the first time lately, but tried not to let himself doubt too much the things well and truly permanent or outside of his control.

"So, days off. Hard to keep busy. Beginning to think I'll be happy going back, intense or not."
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#7
"Oh?" Her eyebrows arched and the inflection asked if she should be worried. Cass knew how sometimes a little break was more than it seemed and sometimes not their idea. The worry subsided as he continued, but not by much. While she got the impression this break from it was his idea, she frowned at the reason; break now or break later. She got that.

"Days off." She repeated, then grimaced, shaking her head. "Nah man, I get you. I go crazy on leave."

Cassidy paused, realizing something. Blanked memories hastily filled in came to mind and the smile grew. "But you know that already." She had to laugh, even it was self-conscious.
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#8
Mutts of all varieties lingered in the planetarium from time to time. Truly, Beauregard welcomed their money well enough, so long as they didn't piss on any of his belongings.

This evening was no different, but he was also of the belief that it was important to remind the beasties whose home they sniffed about in.

That was the reason for his casual stroll toward the scent of dog, eyeing up several familiar exhibits with distant interest.

He was not yet close enough to hear every word, but he could smell them. One reeked of dog, the other of dinner.

Beauregard would make his way at a very comfortable pace closer, but would leave several yards between them in the end, just close enough to eavesdrop as he looked over a pale moon's face on the wall.

100% skippable unless addressed


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#9
Morgan didn't delve too much--or at all--into his reasons. Just like he expected from a friendly acquaintance. Dakila was glad for it, relieved that he didn't have to try and fumble his way through his ruse or otherwise dodge the question. It was almost a shame, because after learning about Morgan's own woes previously, it might have almost been nice to confide in her.

You know that crazy shit you went through? Well, here's mine. What do we do?

But nope, other than other wolves--and other weres, he supposed, though he had yet to involve himself with anything of the sort--there was no one he could talk to about this. Even with 'shifters' a known entity in the greater world, he actually completely understood why Alina didn't want to have that information out there. When people are afraid of you, even falsely, laying low was an instinct. And a good one, a lot of the time.

But he put on a sympathetic smile to what Morgan said last of all, as she realized he already saw her go through the motion of a forced suspension and the strange memory fallout that had followed.

"Well, we all have our moments, I think," was the empathy he could offer. "Not to be nosy, but you gotten anywhere with the whole..." vague gesture towards his own head without really getting anywhere near, because he realized it probably might be a bit insensitive, "...yet?"

There was something on the fringes of his awareness, a growing sense of something off, and he didn't quite realize it but in the dim lighting a pale green had begun to creep into the center of his irises as his wolf tried to figure out what it was on his own.
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#10
He waved off her crazy and Cassidy smile tightened, knowing how fucking insane she felt during those weeks when the pieces didn't fit. It didn't make her feel better, but she tried not to dwell on it. The man, who looked a little like the Nazi in that Tarantino film, served as a good distraction to avoid doing just that. She watched him peruse like he owned the place.

"Eh, not really." She said, turning back to him. Cassidy considered telling Tomas about her appointment, but it was too embarrassing, even if she managed to put a humorous spin on events. Maybe later, maybe once she was comfortable with it.

"I think it's all lost." Cassidy shrugged, consigned to rebuilding everything that was taken from her. She waved off the conversation, eager to not be the focus here.

"When you heading back to work?" She missed the sign of the wolf in his eyes, not yet trained to notice what amounted to a refraction of light.
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#11
"Sucks, man," he said to her, knowing he'd already apologized enough about not being able to help her. Wasn't about to tread back over that ground again when he had a slightly more open avenue to get information on the thing that ailed her but didn't really have the authority to divulge to her. Drove him a little crazy, wishing things were different, but again... he understood the costs.

Just never figured he'd be on the side of something that had to deal in the shadows. He preferred an open path.

All the same, a deep breath had him faltering again, catching that scent that was driving him a little bit flustered. A glance around didn't really seem to reveal much other than the same scattering of people, and he looked back to Morgan again, her question not exactly something he was prepared to answer.

Hesitating on the answer for a couple of seconds, he shook his head and gave her the best one he could. "Hopefully soon." Then, deciding it sounded a little bit mad to make it clear he wanted to go back to work but for whatever reason wasn't doing it despite the implication that he'd chosen it, he...

Kinda swung himself out over a proverbial pit, struggling with the deception. "Honestly, kinda gotta pass a psych eval first."
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#12
No shit it sucked, but she nodded to the sentiment. They said all there was to say about her dilemma.

"Fucking shrinks, man." Cassidy shook her head and fell silent. Which moment threatened to break him? Maybe it was their case; Tomas took it personally when it went cold. Cassidy almost asked but stopped herself. Wasn't any of her fucking business. Convinced he'd share if he wanted her to know, Cassidy let it drop.

"It's actually kinda… not gonna say fun, but yeah, rebuilding what I lost. Ain't never gonna thank them, but seeing something again with fresh eyes? It's an experience." Best word for it. Reliving something so rich and varied with hundreds of books, thousands of hours of TV, and countless blockbuster movies. Perhaps this was looking on the bright side, or making good of a bad situation. Or maybe it was all she could do to not scream in frustration.

Cassidy considered and wondered if there was more to him telling her about the eval. Sometimes an eggplant was just an eggplant, but sometimes it was more. She pushed aside the overarching worry this wasn't her business and stuck her nose in.

"What's the chance you won't pass the eval?" How fucked up are you, in other words? There was a conspiratorial hush to her question, almost as if spoken too loud the Powers That Be would make it happen.
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#13
It was high quality eavesdropping. They spoke with a sort of vaguery that implied secrecy -- or a simple shared understanding of whatever subject this was.

Beauregard chose to believe the former for the sake of drama.

He wondered how well a beastie could pass a psychological evaluation. Drawing a step or two closer, he leaned shamelessly over a railing to adjust a plaque that seemed to have shifted some fraction of an inch off kilter.

still skippable :D


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#14
The wolf really, really wanted to look around. The desire to sniff and investigate was strong. But nothing could deter Dakila from his conversation with the woman. Even if the wolf was incredibly disinterested in her, Dakila still had the reigns. Mostly.

The perspective she offered was interesting, that it might be interesting to investigate what she had lost. To re-learn things that were commonplace to those around her. "Sounds like an experience," he agreed, the smile more habit than actual pleasure at her plight. A wry twist to it, sympathetic but at the same time... not really sure what it was like.

At least she was finding silver linings. That was a thing they all needed. Now more than ever. Their line of work combined with the twists of life it brought--dealing in the darkest parts of realism would end them up in a shrink's office--as he was now basically claiming for himself. And he tried not to sigh, feeling a slight edge more anxious as she decided to ask a hard question.

Harder than she realized.

"Really, depends probably on how much time I give myself. So I'm trying not to rush it, so it's hard. I think two, maybe three months would give me a solid chance, but I'm yearning for next week, you know?"

It was, in all, an honest answer. He would actually have to pass an eval at work based on the excuses he'd given to go on leave, but in reality it was a different test, a different mind he'd have to convince. He was pretty sure Alina would let him go back to work if he felt like he was ready, but he also knew if he fucked it up, it'd be her he answered to.

The wolf would not disappoint his king.
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#15
Her eyes widened, betraying the calm surface. Cassidy understood taking a week off. Two was okay. Three was pushing it. Two or three months spoke to deeper trauma. She frowned, not knowing what to say, and considered what she knew of Tomas. There was the case she didn't remember, a handful of other encounters; majority positive, some less so. Discounting other purged memories, the case she didn't remember was their biggest moment together. Cassidy paled to imagine what pushed him to take two or three months leave.

"Shit man. I didn't realize." The more Cassidy considered the words, the more she worried. It wasn't maybe three months and I'll be good. Maybe three months would give a solid chance. Casidy felt like something important was stricken from the record; something she should have known. The frustration born scowl darkened her expression and Cassidy turned away to watch a man adjust a plaque past the railing.

She met Tomas' eye. "I mean, if there's anything you need…"
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#16
Abort, abort, abort, some little piece in the center of his head screamed. He stifled it to a tinny noise, but all the same--too much sympathy would garner questions and he could not pull her into any of this. The smile gone wan, he shook his head to it all. "No, no way you could have known. It's really fine. I'm dealing with it better than the numbers suggest, I promise, it's just... patience." Deep breath, he thought, and took one. "You just don't realize you're into something after so many years and--yeah. Just. Worst of it is not having much to do, is all."

Hopefully she'd drop it. Between the wolf trying to get him to turn his head and the fact that he was straying too close to impossible truths with a woman who wouldn't benefit from knowing them, he could feel a little stress mounting.

"So. Planetarium. Thinking of going to the aquarium sometime. Been volunteering with stuff. Going to movies solo, which is a little sad, but it's... yeah, I'm really fine."

Maybe some would have scorned any notion of pity, but that wasn't him. He just didn't want to pull her needlessly into it.
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#17
Such open chatting about psychological failures. He could hear the pitter patter of a little dog heartbeat.

Beauregard sought for some sense of feelings from the beastie.

He found very little. Absolutely nothing, in fact, and as he sought to tap in to the woman next to the dog, there was nothing.

This was not his first experience with having his beloved ability rudely denied, and he certainly could not claim to be a fan. In fact, it irritated him into immediate boldness.

"Ma'am, could you perhaps put a pause on your... ability? It is giving me quite a headache."

A polite smile for a polite request, briefly scrunching his brows to indicate his pain.
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#18
She touched her hair, running fingers across the pull of her ponytail and smiled. Turning her gaze, Cassidy briefly took in the display before turning back to Tomas. She felt there was something more between them in the blackness of her memories—or at least the potential or something more. She hadn't known how to ask and there hadn't been many opportunities since. But this gave her hope and the anticipation pinched a nerve at the base of her skull.

"Haven't been to the aquarium before, and if you needed someone to take to the movies…" Cass trailed off as the man lingering close made himself known.

What he said made her squint, mouth turned into an open-mouthed frown. Realization snagged and Cassidy sucked air like she'd been unexpected pricked with a needle. He was like Cris, like her; a mutant freak and she just psychically cockblocked him. Eyes widened at what he might say in front of Tomas, she shot the cop a wary look.

"We're having a conversation here. Do you mind?" Brisk and dismissive. Take the hint and walk away.
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#19
There were two shifts of mood here, one more subtle than the other. Dakila hadn't really had a chance to much pick up on the first more than a tiny curious lift of his own eyes to hers before the offers were shoved sideways in favor of being absolutely interrupted.

Confusion became more a part of it, the words making no track to the detective. And beyond that, instantly, there was an identification of the scent that had been rankling his wolf. And it clicked, finally, far after a man trained to put together clues should have put it together--vampire, had to be. Death on two feet.

While the human part of Dakila was as curious and otherwise accepting of vampires as a fact of life as he was about any were, the wolf absolutely was not alright with this, especially in the context of the interruption. Snowy was snarling, Dakila's eyes gone absolutely pale green, a little more tension as he kept his foot on the proverbial tail of the wolf.

He wondered if the vampire could sense the wolf. See that he was upset. Other wolves could, but he wasn't at all certain what lines that crossed. He hoped not, because he was not here to cause an incident.

Morgan handling the man in her own way, Dakila kept his mouth wisely shut.
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#20
Beauregard could have wriggled in delight for her clear disdain. How bold for a dumb little woman to make such claims. If she was alone, he might have sought to bring her somewhere to put more holes in her neck than some vampiric saliva could heal.

He recalled the vampire who would... lose consciousness, was it, when she utilized this ability too much?

Could he trigger such delight here? It was a difficult thing, to push harder on an ability whose effectiveness seemed to have vanished, and he was reluctant to give her that sort of time. He truthfully wasn't sure how to do it at all.

Thankfully, Beauregard was a man who adapted easily.

His eyes widened, hand rising to cover his mouth in surprise that swiftly turned to apology.

"Oh, goodness, I hardly meant to-"

The hand fell from his face to his chest, resting over a dead heart. He took a quick glance about them, checking for any eavesdroppers, before his voice fell to a conspiratorial stage whisper.

"I thought it would be okay to mention, given that all three of us can do something a bit special."

A playful wink, then a dismissive wave of his hand as he glanced between the two, seeing some lovely shade of green in the dog's eyes. Oops.

"I'll find another exhibit. I do apologize, sincerely. The two of you take care."

He turned to walk at an ambling pace back the way he'd come, but kept a decidedly sharp ear out for any little beastie's potential appearance.
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#21
Cassidy eyed the man's jaunty retreat. The way he left was like an ice cube rolling down her spine. She huffed and shook her head, wondering what the fuck that was about.

"Asshole." She grumbled and crossed her arms, scowling at his back. Now he was out of her space, she considered his words. They were the same, Cass got that part. But the three of us? She side-eyed Tomas and frowned. He was one of them too?

Part of her was offended he had said nothing earlier. But Cassidy's logical side gestured to the abyss of her memory and shrugged. Maybe he told her during a vampiric conversation. Not knowing was a bitch and she gave Tomas the benefit of the doubt. She did that a lot these days. But she needed to know and that meant reading him in.

"What he mean about you being special?"
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#22
All three of us.

Instant dread, and for the moment Dakila was glad that he had entirely too much experience talking people out of hostile situations, because being called out definitely pushed his beast right up to the point. Forcing himself to breathe in spite of an overwhelming stench, he felt an uncomfortable prickle up his neck and...

Mercifully it lessened as the meddlesome vampire took his leave. The wolf kept his eyes on the retreating back, metaphysical teeth bared.

Asshole, yeah, definitely.

Feeling very much on the verge of something ill advised, he forced his attention back to the woman, eyes slightly averted, unable to meet her gaze as he bought himself a moment.

" Not sure. But we should leave if we're gonna talk."

What was Morgan hiding, he couldn't help but wonder.

What mattered more, though, was making his own didn't become abruptly unhidden. More distance between himself and the object of his wolf's ire was vital.
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#23
She shivered as if someone walked over her grave. The sensation only abated ones the asshole sauntered from sight. Cassidy's frown deepened as she tried to understand what happened. The beginnings of her headache expired to background noise. Hands in her pockets, she nodded to the request. She was over this place, anyway.

There was something about how Tomas held his gaze that worried her. It was almost like the asshole took something important of Tomas' with him. Was this shame? Whatever secret Tomas held close was just ripped from his arms. Cassidy built the secret up in her mind and compared it to her own. Being a mutie freak didn't change much in her life. It wasn't like she could fly or control fire. She was just another member of the shitty powers club.

"Come on." They were going to talk. Were. Heh. Cassidy walked.

"Your place or mine?" She said with a small laugh, eighty percent serious.
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#24
Come on, she said, and he was grateful for her seeming to understand that he was serious without question. A little taken off guard by her next question--though he shouldn't have been, it was logical even if it was unexpected--he looked at her briefly from a position at her side before he dropped his gaze forward and on the path they now tread together.

Silent but at the same time somehow mentally frantic, he was trying to figure out what he was doing here.

He could lie his way out of this, definitely. Wasn't his forte, or rather, wasn't his preference, but he could have.

But...

"Where you live?" he asked, realizing he didn't know, but having a feeling it was probably closer than his own little 'on the verge of being out of the way' home in North Glenn.

No idea what he was doing, but he was doing it. The eerie calm that wasn't really calm at all.
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#25
They made it outside into the cool Colorado night. She drew to a stop at the curb and wearily glanced back, not expecting to the man following but it wouldn't have surprised her. It was difficult to dislodge people like that once they got their teeth in.

"Crestview. You know Charlie's? Not too far from there." She said, and waited if that was okay. Briefly she considered her one-bedroom apartment. The place wasn't filthy, but she preferred to have bit of a tidy before having guests over. There wasn't much in the fridge either. The taskforce didn't give Cassidy many opportunities to cook at home.

"Shit, but if this convo's gonna be easier with alcohol… maybe yours."
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#26
He shook his head. "I'm all the way out in North Glenn. It's... really, it's fine. Don't need anything." Don't even need to talk, if you don't want, he thought, but it was a series of words that never made it past his lips in that particular moment. It felt like a weird backpedal that he wasn't prepared to take just now.

Shaken by the encounter, he was nonetheless curious, and concerned about Morgan's own sense of curiosity in turn. He pat down his own pockets, as if looking for his keys or something, not quite so focused as the task required.
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#27
North Glenn. She frowned. That was at least 40 minutes out of town. But whatever, they were heading to hers. Cassidy began towards her car.

"Alright, just follow me." She said over her shoulder.

She considered Tomas as keys were fished from her jacket pocket. The asshole said they were both special. What was his power? Cris was the only reason she cottoned on to her power. But thinking back, it sounded like Tomas knew what the asshole meant. Truly, this new world was full of terrifying possibilities.

Climbing into her car, Cassidy lamented the simple days of burglaries and non-supernatural murder, before Mountainside became the center of the supernatural epidemic.
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#28
Turned out that they weren't parked that far apart, which was good. Though he felt like he was in a weird headspace--which, if he'd had more experience, he would have realized was himself distancing himself from a stress shift--and a haze that he was having a hard time articulating through.

"I'll tail you," he said to her, barely really even hearing himself. His own truck was opened, he sat in side. He even would go so far as to pull out after her, but...

He knew, even then, even exiting the parking lot, that he'd follow her for five minutes max before he bailed from her route and disappeared into the shallow sea of headlights and hope she could forgive him or at least try to understand.

There were no right choices here.
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