Hamilton Center 
outfit + giant white hoodie

Devin did not feel at all ready to be outside. If he'd been at all able to get away with hiding in Cris's apartment for the next ten years, he wouldn't be here, loitering, but he was scared enough of Cris to get his ass out of the apartment even though he technically had the day off.

He wandered through the mall, looking into familiar chain shops and thinking, he needed to buy something silver. He needed a blowtorch. Or maybe just a giant axe.

This mall didn't host a medieval weapons outlet, so he gravitated instead into an upscale kitchen supply store, almost immediately gaining a store clerk who was perpetually conveniently in sight.


The thing about living in a Tiny Home? Well, it was tiny. And her old kitchen appliances were not. There were some that worked, but a large portion of her pots and pans had been impossible to store or really even use. So, she'd had to donate them. Which left her with one pan, two pots, and a whole drawer or spatulas and silverware. A trip to go purchase a whole new set was in order... if she could find something that worked well enough for her living situation.

So far? No dice. Nothing without giant pots that were going to be a waste of money-

Except! She spotted a set that maybe could work. Displayed on a small table, all different bright colors. Yes. Could work. Octavia took a minute to ponder them, weigh them in her hands, then looked at the name on the tag that was fastened to the table. Okay. Now to find it on the aisle... Octavia wandered down, eyes scanning the different different boxes of various sets... no, nope, nah, nooo. Oh. It was there. About four feet above her own head. She clicked her tongue as she stared up at it, hands on her hips. There weren't any of its kind down lower. Great. Did they have a ladder? Or? Why did the world hate short people?

If it were socially acceptable, she might have just climbed the shelf to get it. Alas, this place was higher end, and that was a one way ticket out of here. Instead, she found the next best option. A tall man. With a bright smile, Octavia started after the guy in the white hoodie she spied passing the end of her aisle. "Um, sir!" She called after him.

Devin was busy engaging in psychological warfare with the sales clerk that was tailing him, drifting out of sight behind a ceiling-high shelving unit and glowering directly at their face as they hoved inevitably back into view. The woman's voice startled him, his first thought being that he was about to get called on his bad behavior.

He looked over at the miniature person with an uncomfortable frown, hands brushing briefly at his hips for pockets that weren't there. "Miss?"

He was nice! Really tall and sort of gloomy looking, but nice. Octavia fixed him with a brilliant grin and clasped her hands together at her hips. “Hi! Could you do be a favor really quick? I couldn’t help but notice that, well, you’re tall.” She gestured with a hand up and down, as if he wasn’t aware of it himself.

“And I’m not. But there’s a box I need down from the next aisle over...” She hug the corner of her lip, and bounced on the balls of her feet. “Please?” Good delivery. She could have kept it simple with “can you get something down for me?” But. Welp.

Devin was still made deeply uncomfortable by overt friendliness, and had a hard time hiding the fact on his face. He blinked away from her eyes even though it was broad daylight outside, haunted for just a moment by the fear that rose up and swallowed him each sunset; there shouldn't be much to fear from a tiny lady needing something off a shelf in a public place.

Devin had regrettably learned very little from his vampire experience.

Still, he dropped his gaze below her eye level, which was very, very low. He stared for a moment at the birds on her skirt. One hand lifting to smooth the hair at the back of his head, he nodded and followed the girl obediently. She was overselling it on the delivery, but Devin was mostly too weirdly uncomfortable talking to any stranger to care.

He was tangibly awkward, but Octavia never let stuff like that phase her. She figured if she was positive enough, he'd eventually realize he was allowed to be comfortable around her. So! He nodded, and she beamed as she turned on her heel and lead the way around the corner. A few marching steps later, and she paused underneath the shelf. Both arms extended upward toward the box as if presenting it to the tall man.

When he moved to grab it down, she would grin and continue. "Thank you. You'd think they would put the smaller kit down low for smaller people. I wish I could get a normal size set but they would be too big in my Tiny Home." Hello, you're rambling. She couldn't help it, though if the guy wasn't going to provide any sustenance for conversation! She couldn't just let there be an awkward silence.

He didn't smile at the arms thing, because he was preoccupied with being uncomfortable, but he did sort of clock it as harmless and distantly endearing; it was the sort of thing the girl he'd met at the record store might do.

Belatedly, remembering the lessons he had learned from Minerva, he ratcheted up some unused cheek muscles for a smile that was trying its best, promise. He pulled down the box without issue and offered it carefully to the woman, hovering for a moment in incomprehension. "They make houses for tiny people?"

...That couldn't be right.

He brought down the box, and she accepted it with a grin. Her arms wrapped around either side of it, holding it to her chest. Even for a small set of pans, the box was awkward to hold. His question had her snickering. "I mean, normal sized people can live in them too. They're called Tiny Houses. Like, compact. Mine's 400 square feet, loft bed, on wheels so you can move locations." Some people gave her a lot of flack about it, but honestly that was all the space she needed. Enough room for Crookshanks to be comfortable, and a place for her to rest. She liked having the option of moving locations if she wanted too.

His brow furrowed; that sounded suspiciously like just living in a car. Still, motivated partially by a desire to continue irritating the salesclerk watching him, he crossed his arms and did what was unnatural to him, making small talk with a stranger. "Do you park in in a parking lot."

A parking lot! Octavia giggled, her nose scrunching some as she shook her head. "No, it's in a little rural neighborhood of other tiny homes on some land in Magic Hollow." Secluded and beautiful, thank you! "I bet you'd look like Hagrid in there." The ceilings were a bit taller than him, except for maybe the kitchen.

Despite some efforts in the opposite direction, Devin was definitely still picturing a Hobbit-Shire situation full of tiny people. Rural neighborhood and magic hollow and all. Then she nailed him with a Harry Potter reference, to which he scowled.

Hagrid was all hairy and sloppy and shit. Devin did not look like Hagrid, even if he was dressed like a scrub today. "Hagrid looks like shit," he contested carefully.

Um, okay, a little rude there sir!

"Yeah, but he's lovable!" She defended, mostly joking. A small pout formed at her lip as she considered him. "Hmmm, maybe Gandalf then. He's clean and wise." Not as lovable, but maybe that suited this boy!

He was so fucking bad at this. He had no idea what he was doing or whether he even wanted to do it. A brief attempt was made at a smile, and he kept his arms hugged to his chest.

He wasn't lovable, so that was dead-on.

"Maybe like a thicker Legolas," he offered in deadpan, which did something for the comparison. "You'd probably be a hobbit."

She actually did appreciate his ability to reference characters like that. A a fellow nerd. There was immediate approval. "I went as Bilbo for halloween once!" She grinned proudly. "But my feet aren't that hairy, I promise." She said, slightly leaned in some as if letting him in on some secret.

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh Devin was having a genuinely nice interaction with a person, and it made him feel weird. She didn't know she was talking to Florida swamp-garbage, and that was a big fuck-up waiting to happen. Look at her, all telling cute hobbit jokes and shit.

Since when did he ever find things cute.

He managed an uncomfortable laugh, which again, by Devin standards, was startlingly friendly behavior. He had no idea how to respond to hairy foot jokes and felt an approaching awkward silence with mild-to-moderate terror. So he threw words at it. "I came in to buy a blow torch."

The conversation was stalling, and Octavia was pretty sure he would excuse himself then. She was preparing to thank him for his help, but instead, she got an unexpected explanation of why he was here. She spluttered some, blinking. "What for?" She chuckled incredulously, a bemused smile on her lips.

Was there a way of talking that wasn't just saying things and then having to immediately deal with the things you just said? If so, someone needed to teach Devin these secrets; he was barely keeping his head above water here.

"Um. I got attacked by a vampire." He squinted one eye at her, a whole new kind of uncomfortable. "Apparently they're allergic to fire, so." Oof. He shrugged and proceeded to loom.

O-oh. Ok. Octavia blinked as her gut wrenched a bit. "Oh, man. Are you okay? I mean. Like- obviously, but." Yikes. "Thats rough.... and good to know." She hadn't known that vampires could be "allergic" or sensitive to anything. Except sunlight, that is. Alas, she could make plants grow and earth move and shift water, but she could not create sunshine. If only. Fire would do, she though. Not that she would start carrying around a blow torch like this boy seemed to be planning to do.

Ffffuuuuuuck. He'd made it weird. Ducking his head slightly and avoiding eye contact, he nodded, giving up on the idea of being social and returning to the numb affect he trundled around inside like a tortoise shell. "It's cool. You wanna carry a lighter if you go out at night, though."

His cowardly gaze flicked back toward her eyes for a moment; he didn't want her, or anyone, to fall into the same appalling trap that he had, but that didn't mean he knew how to explain the whole thing without grabbing her by the shoulders and squeezing way, way too hard.

Shit. This was how Cris felt.

"See you around. Good luck with your hobbit house." He was already turning, course set to drift gloomily back toward the appliances.

A lighter. Okay. A little less extreme than a blow torch. It was doable. Anything to keep herself safe from vampires. Her father would be happy to know about the little tid-bit she learned. The boy was going, and while usually she would be sad to see someone that had helped her go without a proper thank you, she wasn't entirely put out. "Good luck with your blow torch." She chuckled, puzzled.

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