The Evening Stars

Mountainside Planetarium 
One time of doing this wasn't enough. So on his night off, Tikanni had set aside as much time as possible to visit the Planterium's theater dome. If he could literally live right there forever he'd be content. He'd arrived at 7pm, before closing hours especially considering it was an exhibit and such, but paid very little mind to it. If anything, having guests present made it less of a 'should, I?' thought and instead made him more sure. Never mind him, he was another star freak here to see the things too.

Crossing his fingers that it'd be open and empty, he'd made it to the room in question and slowly opened the door. A quick look around and no one seemed be present. The projection was still moving slowly though, something Tikanni was grateful for otherwise it would've been a wasted trip. He would've figured something to do, but this was what the main reason to travel from Ravenswood to here tonight. Closing the door behind him with a soft click, the vampire chose a choice place on the carpeted floor after several lengths and laid down. Looking up, the stars and planets rotated above and he raptly took them in, spreading his arms out with a deep sigh. This was nice and calming and something he'd been missing in Ravenswood's, well, woods. The the trees had a knack for being in the way when one wanted to look up at the sky. Having a full view like this was refreshing. If he could sleep, Tikanni imagined it would be easy to do so right now.


 Minerva knew little to nothing about government spending or space, but her debate paper topic for English 101 was “Why NASA deserves an increase in federal funding.” Belatedly it had occurred to her that she might be way in over her head, but she was determined to see this through. Research was in the cards for just about any topic she chose, and while it might be difficult to list a whole planetarium as a source, it could at least bolster her knowledge.

 So, here she was, wandering from exhibit to exhibit with a spiral notebook and pen in hand. Her expression was somber and serious, a byproduct of her focusing with all her might on every morsel of information she came across. She was probably taking more notes than necessary, but she decided it was better to have too much than not enough.

 Eventually she would find herself coming into a room that was a great, quiet dome of star-spangled darkness. It was so quiet, it felt that making any sort of noise might disturb some underlying force, and so she moved as quietly as possible, letting the door close with a little click and stepping across the floor as lightly as she could manage.

 This silence lasted until she realized she was a few feet away from stepping on someone sprawled out on the floor. Her heart and breath seized up simultaneously, notebook paper fluttering as she gave a small jump that might betray that she had been startled. "Sorry," she whispered to the man, who was hard to make out in the darkness. "Boy, I almost squished your fingers." Not really. She had been pretty far from it. But it felt better than saying he, a man in an open, public place, had startled her.


The little click of the door had been something reasoned off to just another room, sounds from the other activities still going on around the place. Tikanni's attention was still rapt on just spacing out, literally, on the moving screen. It wasn't until movement was in his peripheral vision and there was an air of being startled that he looked over, brows knitting together as a girl seemed to have come out of nowhere. Whoops, she couldn't see him nearly with the same clarity as, well, as well as he could see everything else.

An amused breath escaped him as she apologized while whispering. Imagining her randomly stepping on his body in the darkness was super funny for some reason. It almost equated it to tripping over carpet or a log, literally dead weight having her unbalance. "But ya didn't. They aren't jelly filled just yet," Tikanni whispered back conspiratorially. He lifted his hands up and wiggled said fingers to prove as much before dropping them back to the floor. "You here for a show?" A gesture around accompanying. He would've thought all of them would be over by now, but maybe that wasn't the case.

 Minerva grinned good-naturedly at the stranger as he confirmed that his fingers were still in fact just fine. She watched them wiggle in the air and return to the carpet. Why was he laying on the floor in the first place? She was distracted from her own question by his, and the girl blinked a few times at her surroundings. So, this was a theater. Oh, man! A little space film would probably be super helpful to her endeavor!

 "I guess I could be," she responded with a hum of consideration. "I don't really know what I'm doing, to tell you the truth. I'm writing a paper about funding space exploration and I thought this might be a little more fun than just sitting at a computer looking stuff up for hours." Although she would probably still end up doing that anyway, sigh. She looked up, catching sight of the grand rotating image of a star-peppered night sky. "Oh! Wow! Is that why you're laying down?" Star gazing in the modern era.

The girl guessed she could be? Dang, then he probably had to get up in a minute if they were going to start one. But, the next bit had him stopping from considering moving. Tikanni looked at her more carefully as she explained her quest to find information for a paper about funding space exploration. That was a pretty cool thing to plan for in his opinion.

Before Tikanni could say anything in regards to it, she was looking up, taking note of the slowly rotating stars up there. Her enthusiastic approval of it had him laughing lightly in response before looking back up. "Yep! I promise I'm not just chillin on the floor for nothing. It's a bit of a whoopee to watch since it's got all the stars and is constantly moving so you can see how it's all connected. This is def cooler than a computer." Turning to look at her again, he made a thoughtful face. "What's your opinion, on space exploration?"

 Minerva grinned up at the ceiling as the man confirmed her suspicion, looking down once she tired of the strain on her neck. She laughed at his words. This was definitely cooler than a computer. She glanced at what she could see of his face, considering his question, and decided then to join him on the carpet. Tucking her long skirt against her legs with one arm, she bent down and rolled to sit, setting her notepad aside and leaning back on her elbows. She settled at a comfortable distance from him, neither too close or too far, because either way could be awkward.

 "Well, I don't know any of the logistics about it or anything like that," she began, looking back up at the replicated stars. "But I think it's super cool. It's like... mankind's greatest adventure. You know? There's just... so much of it, and there's a lot that we just can't reach, which makes me even more curious. I really want to know if aliens exist - or if there's at least even microorganisms on other planets." She chuckled. "So, I think it's worth the money. Even if it's just space probes. What do you think? Is it a waste of money?" Some people seemed to think so. Her dad, for example, was generally unimpressed with the idea.

A laugh tickled the air from her and then she made some decision to sit down and look with him, albeit a length or so away. He'd expected her to leave, but this was a pleasant surprise and he always welcomed company. The motion, however, shuffled the air just so. Breathing wasn't going to happen apparently as a waft of her scent was hard to ignore and gracious sakes alive, this was Party City all over again except a bit better because hairspray wasn't currently burning his nose. When was the last time he'd eaten? He was suddenly very, and regretfully, aware it hadn't been today yet.

Tikanni brought up a hand to rub particularly his nose and eyes as she answered the question, willing for the waft to leave, but it didn't because she was right there stupid. So instead, his hand came away as he listened. Everything she had to say paired with watching the projection seemed inspiring in a way. At the 'you know?' he hummed out agreement, willing for her to continue the reasoning. It definitely was one of mankind's greatest treasures and he was happy to find someone that thought similarly. There was a kinship here. And then the comment about aliens, very close to home. Everything else she'd lumped into it all was a super smart take and Tikanni found himself looking at her instead of the stars, hands now in his hoody pocket, clasped tightly.

"I think whoever says its a waste doesn't know their onions. Space is amazing. There's a lot of secrets there and sometimes you got to shine a light on those types of things no matter the cost," he said, fondness for the topic flooding in.

 Minerva's boot-clad feet sort of wagged as she listened to the other man, toes tipping together and then apart and back again in a steady rhythm. She giggled at his kind idiom, and nodded enthusiastically at his statement, realizing that they were clearly in agreement on this topic. What a happy coincidence! Then again, she figured, if he didn't like space, he probably wouldn't have been hanging out here in the first place.

 "Doesn't know their onions," she repeated jovially, before continuing, "I agree! There are so many possibilities out there. Totally worth the cost - what if there's like, a cure to cancer out there or something." Okay, maybe that was a little ridiculous, but he got the point, probably. "I'm Minerva, by the way." She rolled her weight slightly so that she could hold a hand out to shake his.

Her repeating the use of Tikanni's choice in words had him nodding. He'd meant what he'd said. The onions were important to know.

It was a very good bonus possibility. There was a feeling she'd do just fine on this paper if this was how she had already reasoned things. A planetarium was definitely a perfect start to gather information to support this argumentative paper of hers. Why funding for such a thing even had to be fought for was beyond him. Didn't humans want to know what was out there? He sure did, as well as this girl. "Yeah, exactly!"

Weight was shifted and then a hand offered for a shake as the psychic girl gave her name. A stupid grin slapped itself on his face and Tikanni scooched closer so he could adequately shake it from his position on the floor. "Will, resident star-aholic at your service." He let go then, the handshake had internally stalled thought for any follow-up sentence for a beat. Tikanni looked away, putting hands back into the safety of the pocket, the added weight to his midsection a hold of sorts to keep him down even though internally things were prickling. Her being here in a home base of vampires, and to some extent him, was risky and he really wanted to say as much, but kept his mouth shut. Their conversation was something he hoped wouldn't end anytime soon. Just companionship in a similar view point was enjoyable. So instead, with a slow soft exhale, the vampire started talking without much thought. "I think you've got a good start. You just need some facts to support it or people are going to be a wet blanket about it, but sometimes things can't all be chalked up to numbers and science stuff."

Taking a hand out, he pointed up at a particular cluster of stars that had come into view, the North Star being a prominent point in it, a constant bookmark for many. He still saw the caribou extending from it's point, his finger drawing it out after resting at at the star in question for a beat. "That one, the North Star, gives people a nostalgic sort of feeling. You can't really just use facts to prove how people feel though, but that should be enough for doing something and learning more about it, right?" Tikanni looked at Minerva, wondering if he'd lost her or perhaps, she had an opinion. "Same can be said for anything."

 It was always nice to talk to someone who seemed to be on the same page. Even if there was no cure for cancer in space. Shaking hands when both parties were somewhat reclined on the carpet tended to be a little physically awkward, but they managed it. Will! Resident star...aholic, with chilly hands. She laughed a little at his self-given title. "Nice to meet you, Will."

 She rolled back onto her elbows, craning her head back again to look at the rotating sky as Will continued to speak. It was encouraging to hear that he thought she was starting off right, but she would definitely have to scrape some facts together. He was right about that - she wouldn't get a good grade at all otherwise. Beyond that, though, she agreed; the magic and mystery of space could hardly be encompassed by science and math. A lot of it could, sure - thanks, Albert Einstein - but there was a lot that remained unknown. Life was too short!

 Her train of thought might have chugged off into eternity if not for the sight of Will's finger raising to point at one of the stars above. Minerva moved her elbows out from beneath her to lay down completely, linking her hands over her head so that she could better see the tracking of his hand. She couldn't really see what he was drawing in the air, but she listened to him speak all the same. "Yeah. There are a lot of things that you just... I dunno, you can't prove it, but you just intuitively know it. You know? Like. When you can just feel whether or not someone is a good person, or something. Maybe that's not a great example but," she waved her hands a little as if to erase her babbling. "I agree with you." A laugh. "What other stars can you pick out here? Do you know any constellations?" She only knew the big and little dippers, and sometimes she couldn't even find those.

Life had been dramatic as of late. Beauregard was dedicated to letting it settle, to falling back into comfortable habits of feeding more regularly than was needed to soothe some of the pernicious energy threatening him.

Making his way through the planetarium, a place very much a second home these days, an extraneous breath in brought with it a promise of dinner. Delivered nearly directly to him, no less!

He trailed toward it, sniffing like some very handsome undead bloodhound.

One hand moved to the door, hoping to find it empty, but he paused.

A familiar voice. Chattering on about good people.

He pulled his hand away, frowning. There was a vampire in the room as well, though he didn't immediately pick out who.

Perhaps she was with a vampire and some other tastier thing. Minerva had been utterly human each time they'd met. Beauregard rubbed a hand to his chin, taking a few steps away, lingering in the hall and frowning at the floor.


Minerva had followed his point along really well and he nodded, looking at her as she added. "Yes, intuition, that's it," he agreed, going quiet again so she could continue and nodding as the feeling thing was explained. That gut reaction would get you far.

And then Minerva was asking about constellations and stars after summing up. ”I get ya, that's exactly what I meant. And yessiree! I actually probably know too much about that stuff," he ended with a small laugh before looking up, trying to figure what to start with.

There was a pause, not because he was hunting for something in particular since he had one qued up, but a familiar pressure was close and it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up suddenly. Tikanni flicked his gaze for a quick beat to the door, but who he thought would be there wasn’t. Perhaps, the guy was just walking around and he himself was being over aware which was most likely the case considering where they were. Of course other vampires, including Beauregard, would be out for a stroll. It wasn't weird for them, it was just something he personally wasn't used to being a nonchalant thing. It made him nervous still, however.

Turning full attention back to the projected sky, brown eyes tracked the familiar grouping that had moved a bit since looking away and pointed to them. A frown graced his features as he realized that might be a bit hard for her to see due to different vantage points. So, rolling to the side and then lifting up just so so as to move legs under him in a kneel, Tikanni scooted closer to Minerva. He then pointed up, shoulder close to her. Tikanni held his breath as best as was possible while talking, but was increasingly uncomfortable with each word.

“See those?" He closed one eye to see it more clearly at the edge of his fingertip. “That’s the Big Dipper and can be found easily because of the North Star which is the brightest tip at the edge of the cup, buuut if you look at it with more connections that's what most people call Ursa Major because it looks like a big bear. I know it as The Caribou since where I grew up that's what we saw. See?” He slowly started to draw the lines again he'd done only a moment ago, but this time Minerva would be able to actually figure out what was being pointed at. Shuffling his position a bit, he then pointed to another bright cluster to the left and below as it slowly rotated closer. “And thennn if you follow that direction down towards over there, there's a series of three bright stars.... Those are The Runners and can be used for navigation." His finger drew a line between them, holding at each star for a little longer. "They are also known as Orion's Belt because if you look to follow the stars up and down there's the Greek hunter known as Orion who was killed by Scorpio who can still be seen chasing him in the night sky.” At each explanation, he drew out what they were looking at, keeping his arm between them so they had a similar line to follow, ending on the menacing scorpion last.

Oh and then, there was a lot more and his mind was buzzing with the information, on the cusp of oversharing and info dumping completely. A wide grin was shot towards her, faltering for a second before resuming to cover up his unease. Tikanni could hear her heartbeat this close and that claw of hunger was hitting again. Chewing on his lip, his body couldn’t, wouldn’t, get up and just walk out as he wanted, at odds with himself. That pressure behind didn’t help matters whatsoever either, feeling protective of not letting her go out there and potentially getting chowed down on. However, that could easily happen in here too. This felt like a winding of a trap, any moment it was gonna snap into place. There was a doubt suggestions would even work in lowlight like this if she couldn’t see his face properly. He was able to see hers just fine though and it was too easy to imagine it twisted in fear and that made his stomach do all sorts of knots. I need you to leave and go home wanted to be said, but what came out instead was,“What’s your star sign? We can find it.”

 Ignorance was bliss, right? Minerva was oblivious to the more sinister factors in this situation, so absorbed in star talk that the notion of her companion being anything but utterly human didn’t even approach her thought process.

 She watched as Will rolled closer to better show her what he was looking at, and while she struggled to see what he did at first, the pausing of his finger eventually helped her catch on. She would nod and ooh and ahh appropriately, soaking up as much information as she could, plugging the appearance of the constellations in with their names. Whether or not she would be able to remember the caribou and the belt and the scorpion later would remain to be seen, but for now she was totally impressed by Will’s ability to see them so easily and hoped she could hone such a skill. If nothing else, the stories that went with the stars were endearing and she would certainly remember those.

 Minerva laced her fingers behind her head, crossing her legs at the ankle, content to lay on the floor and gaze at fake stars. Her star sign? She laughed quietly, eyes moving from the sky to his shadowy form and then back up again. "Ugh, you know so much! This is super cool. I’m a Pisces!" What that looked like and where in the sky it could be found, the girl had absolutely zero idea, so she was looking forward to having it pointed out to her. Eagerly, her eyes returned to the ceiling.

That laugh killed him. She was sweet and in the span of this meeting he was already looking forward to future times they could hang out. This was all going to get ruined maybe, possibly, somehow and he really didn't think he could live with that at the moment. He shifted his weight uncomfortably a bit. That's all that kept running through his mind, as she said what her sign was. A Pisces, so they'd be looking for the fish looking pattern which was enough to get him out of internal grimacing thoughts briefly.

"Yeah, it can be. I like to imagine it as an old storybook that has a lot of spiffy epics written, the only thing needed is knowing how to look at it just so. It's like a bedtime story for night owls," he beamed. "Ok, so Pisces.." Tikanni hummed a bit as his eyes tracked to where it should be. "The trick to yours is you gotta find the Great Square of Pegasus first." He pointed out to a square of bright stars above above a bit and to the right, drawing out the lines that made the shape. "And then south just a pinch, right next to it, is a circlet which is the head of the Western Fish of the two. Then up to the east is the Eastern Fish. They are always swimming away from each other." He circled each and then drew a line down to meet in a point with both an index finger and thumb after placing each where a fish was. "Where those meet is the star Al Risha, and it's said that it knots the two fish together with a cord around their tails."

Chatter about stars, and only two voices.

Beauregard continued his frowning, sensing what felt like anxiety from who he'd identified to be Tikanni through the door. He was aware to a degree that left him marginally ill: this could be a feeding. Some boyish recruit could be sinking his teeth into her, perhaps clumsily.

There were ways to disrupt the process without directly stepping into the room. He brought his hands together, fingertips resting beneath his chin,

With purpose, he left the hallway in search of some security guard he could convince to interrupt the moment for him.

 Idly, Minerva wondered how long Will had spent studying the stars to know so much about them. And where was he from to call the Big Dipper a caribou instead? Canada, maybe? He seemed so happy to have such a discussion, though, and she figured it was no wonder she had found him here. The guy must really love stars.

 The great square of pegasus. Minerva's eyes strained for some connect-the-dots horse body, but saw nothing of the sort - she was, however, able to pick up on the square that Will pointed out. "Mhmm," she confirmed quietly, eyes following his hand "just a pinch to the south" and looking for fish. She realized then that she needed to keep an open mind - what ancient Greeks had seen as winged horses and fish looked to her merely like caveman line drawings. They were beautiful all the same, she decided, and she wanted to know them. Besides, she didn't want Will to think he was doing all this teaching for nothing.

 Pisces seemed to her a fancy V of stars, with crooked circles at the ends of the letter's limbs, but Minerva locked it into memory anyway. She would probably end up googling this later, but getting an in-person lesson was definitely cool. "Wow," she cooed finally, sitting up on her elbows again. "How long have you been studying this stuff? Are you an astronomer?"

There was a sudden gap from behind them from where that powerful presence had resided before. It was both unnerving and relieving. Tikanni dropped his arm, keeping it in his lap, staring up for a moment longer before turning to Minerva. At this point, with her so close, a decision had been made. He wasn't about to do anything without a suggestion though and if that didn't work at least his conscience would rest easy just a tad knowing he'd tried his best.

Minerva's question had him breathing out, amused. "Since I was a kid more or less. I wish I was an astronomer. That'd be whiz-bang."

That brought up an idea that was quickly latched onto, feeling butterflies in anticipation and nerves, hoping this would work. "Here." He fumbled in his pocket for a second, grabbing for the phone currently at home there. Taking it out, a finger illuminated the screen, the bright light playing on their faces. They'd be able to see each other better, enough so that she could probably actually see his face now in detail. "If you're still wanting to learn more and, well, you're not here or I'm not, there's this cool app thingy that uses the phone camera. It puts drawings of constellations over the real sky." All he needed was eye contact, words were already being considered. Tikanni was unlocking the screen, starting to navigate to said app in question with a flick or two, looking down for a split second, but more or less seeking eye contact, thumb pausing as he reached the app page. "Unless you have it already?" The phone was tilted so it's screen could be seen by both parties.

 Whiz-bang. Minerva laughed, not at him, but amused by the phrases he used. Who said stuff like that? Maybe that was Canadian slang. He was moving, then, digging for his phone, and the girl used her hands to push herself into a seated position. She squinted against the brightness of the phone, pushing her hair over her shoulder as she leaned in for a better look - hopefully, he was actually trying to share his screen and she wasn't just being a nosy, presumptuous weirdo.

 "Oh, that's neat," she said, genuinely at that, watching his thumb pad around the screen as her eyes adjusted to the light. Unless she had it already? Minerva looked up at the man - boy, maybe, he did look pretty young now that she could actually see his face - and grinned. "Nope! Sure don't! What's it called?"


Anddd she looked up and finally met his gaze. Oh boy, here he goes world, please just let things go right.

"It's called, Skyview. Let me start it. Stay still until I say when," he said while tapping on the screen to start the application. Tikanni had fully hoped that'd work, but there wasn't a single itch of a feeling of success and ultimately, he was glad to have played it safe. There would be other chances, hopefully, because his patience was wearing. C'mon magic wordy-woos, help a guy out here.

Skyview loaded and the screen they were greeted with was instantly filled with a few bright dots and a ghosting to the edges hinting at a drawing. Holding it out to Minerva, he met her smile with his own, hoping she'd take the phone and try it out. "Since we aren't outside it doesn't look as sweet, but if you move around you can see stars, planets, and like our telescopes out there. It'll even connect the lines for you and it has drawings of the big constellations. Give it a whirl."

 Skyview! And then Will was telling her to stay still - which was kind of strange, but Minerva froze where she was, thinking maybe it would... help the app get its bearings faster, or something. She really had no idea why she needed to stay still, but she did it anyway, just in case! Will the star-aholic probably knew what he was doing. She watched him with a look of anticipation, eyebrows raised as she waited for the okay to move again.

 He held his phone out to her, and she would take that as her cue that she was free to move again. Grinning, Minnie would gingerly take the device from him, holding it in both hands and glancing back up at the rotated sky. There was... the belt, Orion's Belt! She aimed the phone just beyond that point, slow and steady, grinning broadly when the app drew lines between the stars that would make up the Scorpio constellation. "Whaaaat!" She laughed at the screen, moving it slowly until it picked up another constellation, Canis Major. "This is too cool. I definitely have to download this." Grinning, she pulled the phone away from her face and made to hand it back to Will, while also feeling in her purse for her own phone.


Minerva had actually stayed still, playing along with his words, which was adorable and not needed. As she took his phone, Tikanni was back at indecision, watching her delight when playing with the app, laughing at her loud ‘what’. This was such an innocent display and he felt a bit sick. If everything had been right as rain, he’d just walk out of here and tell Minerva he hoped to meet her again soon. However, that wasn’t something he could easily do right now and the more time he was by her the more borrowed restraint was being used. Tikanni felt like he was drowning being this close, making it really hard to think much else than seeking eye contact again. He’d had human friends and usually it was fine, but this time she’d caught him in a precarious situation, her being a psychic wasn’t helping matters at all. Maybe if he hadn’t shuffled closer to point out stars and had just stayed permanently on the floor it would’ve been ok. If only he’d figured his own personal stuff out before coming here, but how was he to know someone would’ve joined him, wanting to talk about one of his favorite subjects and be just as interested?

As Minerva handed the phone back to him still illuminated, he took it, keeping his gaze on hers steadily as she fished for her own, trying to smile, but it was strained. ”Yeah, def. I figured since you'll forget everything about this night besides some things about stars, it’d be a good point of reference for the future.”

If this didn’t work, Tikanni told himself he was going to just walk out of here. Just make a direct line to the door and leave with many apologies even if she had no idea what he was babbling on about. Minerva would probably think he was a nut case, which, well, it matched a star aficionado persona, did it not?

Tikanni waited for that confirmation that it’d worked with baited breath.

There was nothing.

It hadn’t worked and his eyes went wide. He scrambled to quickly back up word wise to cover up his attempt.

”Er, I mean, you might because it’s a lot. I forget things easily too, so I just meant. Y’know! Words are hard, sorry. I'm just excited you like this stuff too.” His hands fluttered about animatedly and if he could blush it most likely would’ve been seen. He was flustered now on top of everything. Get your shit together, Tikanni.

”But yeah! It can even tell you information about them all too if you tap on them. I’ve had a lot of fun with it.”

There was probably only one attempt to suggest left in him and he was very worried, especially since the plan to leave had promptly not happened. Instead, he was more or less reprimanding himself, but decidedly staying put for now, willing to give it another go if allowed.

It wasn't very nice, he was sure.

But Beauregard was a man with preferences, and his preference was that Tikanni not sink his teeth into Minerva, and his preference was not to be directly involved in the effort.

On his way to fetch a security guard, he'd found a janitor instead, someone who would work twice as well. The suggestion was simple: You must vacuum every inch of carpet in the theater, and you must not be deterred from this task for any reason.

Content with his efforts, he watched the man toddle off with a heavy vacuum on wheels that squeaked, deciding better than to follow despite a deep desire to know exactly what would happen.

Perhaps there were cameras he could look at, Beauregard realized, and made his way to continue toward the security room he'd initially intended to enter.

 Her fingers found the phone in her purse as Will spoke some strange words, and Minerva's grin faltered for a moment. Did he really think she was going to forget everything about this? It was more likely that she would forget a lot of the star information she learned than anything else. Her expression crumbled into one of solid confusion, mouth open as if to speak, but she struggled to figure out what to say. It seemed best to gently assure him that her memory wasn't that bad, but he beat her to speaking, scrambling to clarify what he had meant.

 Oh! He was just excited, and tripping on his words. Minerva's almost-too-big-for-her-face smile returned, and she laughed kindly. What a sweet guy, just passionate about stars and eager to saddle the world with more astronomical information. "I getcha," she assured the man warmly as she unlocked her phone, navigating her way to the app store and seeking Skyview. Someone else entered the theater, but for the moment she was too absorbed in her phone and present company to notice. "I am pretty forgetful sometimes, and this is definitely a lot of stuff to remember!" Minerva might have said more, but the quiet rustling of the one who had entered suddenly became the loud whine of a vacuum cleaner.

 The girl jumped slightly, picking her notebook up from the floor beside her as her eyes found the figure of what must be a janitor. She looked awkwardly back to Will with a questioning sort of grin, unsure of what to say or do in this instance. She wasn't ready to stop looking at and learning about stars, but it seemed maybe this was someone's gentle way of saying it was cleaning time and they should go?


There’d been a momentary flick of confusion and perhaps defensiveness from her that thankfully had been all squashed back down at his explanation. Oh thank god she’d bought that cover up. Tikanni just really wanted to catch a break.

Minerva had found her phone and assured him she’d understood. Relief shot through him as she agreed with the reasoning.

Suddenly, the door was opened, lights turned on making him blink a few times in discomfort to adjust, before a vacuum was turned on. Tikanni looked over to the janitor, confused. Were they really that close to closing hours? Turning back to Minerva, she had a look about her as if to ask what they were to do. Anything he would’ve tried to here was frankly squashed by the onlooker. This felt like someone or fate was squirting a water bottle at a cat, effectively stopping the behavior momentarily even though internally he was still trying to figure out what to do. Tikanni was feeling exceedingly irritated at his own incapabilities.

He shrugged, offering a hand to help her up. ”I guess that’s our cue. Let’s blouse,” Tikanni said sadly, genuinely meaning it. This conversation had been really fun even with his own hang ups. ”Umm, how ‘bout you listen to my directions and I can get you out of here, make sure you see any last minute exhibits before it all closes?” His legs lifted him up at that, hand still extended to help her up as well, hiding his disappointment. Another suggestion, failed, and the vampire honestly wanted to go sulk somewhere even though he was starving now. Ok eat, then sulk. What was even the purpose of having word magic if most the time it failed? But there was the blessing that at least he could offer Minerva advice on what to see before she left and the distraction had given him a momentary break. She was only going to remember him as nice guy Will that knew entirely too much about stars, not some monster. So at least there was that and her night hadn’t been ruined. If they met again, hopefully under better circumstances, they’d have another fun conversation.

 It seemed their time here was up. The janitor seemed very absorbed in his work, and Minerva wondered if that was meant to deter them from making conversation or anything. Some people looked purposefully angry to ward off socialization, she had learned recently. Or maybe the guy was just really into cleaning the carpet.

 Blouse. Minnie grinned at Will's unusual terminology again, gathering her feet beneath her, doing her best not to step on her long skirt and trip herself up. One hand rose to grasp the man's extended one, trying not to put too much of her weight into him as she rose to her feet. His words made it seem like he was an employee, or at least spent a whole lot of time around here.

 "You know, I would like to see the Saturn one," she mused aloud. If it was still open. Hadn't a space probe just disintegrated in said gas giant's atmosphere? Minerva made for the door, as long as Will was coming along, and tilted her head at him. "Do you work here?"

Hand grabbed, he'd helped Minerva get to her feet too. Which was mistake number two on the handshake channel. Letting go when she was steady, he consciously forced himself to take a step forward so as not to be right up next to her. Maybe that distance would help? It did not. The mention of the 'Saturn One', had him trying to remember where it was exactly. It sounded far out and now he wanted to see it as well, but perhaps another time. With all failed suggestions done and over with, there was every intention of just leaving after giving her directions. She'd actually taken him up on the offer, but from what he was piecing together from her actions and words, was probably wanting him to lead her there. Oh, no, that hadn't been the intention, but now it'd be stupid if he did and didn't go. Getting some distance to figure out his life choices sounded like a plan. But, this was a route to help her find the Saturn thing and look at that too and with good company. The later was playing with fate though and he found himself once again at an impasse.

He followed at a polite, but familiar distance to her side once he caught up those few steps. At the idea he was perhaps an employee had amusement playing through him. Planetariums were a new experience, something he wished he could've taken advantage of sooner. "No, I just have a lot of time on my hands sometimes." Just the few times he'd been here before, of course. Enough so that at least the layout of the place wasn't as new to him.

As they walked passed the no-fun police plus vacuum friend, Tikanni lifted a hand to wave bye. "Have a good night." Even though he'd said it loud enough, the janitor didn't even look up or notice which was a bit... odd. Nor, even when they'd first come in had anything been done or said, now that the vampire was thinking about it. Furrowing brows in thought, he was more than happy to leave a theater that someone most likely didn't want them in. Whoever it was, unless of course it was just the routine cleaning schedule, probably wanted the stars to themselves which was super rude, but oh well.

Door closing, he took stock of where they were in orientation to everything, before pointing to the right and beginning to walk that direction. "It's this way I think... You think the Saturn one will help your paper?"

 Yikes, his hand was really cold! She couldn't help but notice it again, but saying as much still felt strange. She decided to just focus on the conversation at hand, in case bringing up his skin temperature was like. Offensive or something. Minerva would grin for his response, head nodding as she uttered a little "Ah" of understanding. It was nice to have free time, especially when it meant you could spend extra time star-gazing, right? Her eyes wandered to the janitor in passing, who did not seem to really even notice them as Will bid him farewell. It was admittedly bizarre, but Minerva would give him the benefit of the doubt.

 She turned with him, sliding her spiral into the opening of her purse. "I think so. NASA had a probe that orbited it for uh. A while. I think. Cassini or something like that?" Minerva shrugged, tossing a lock of hair over her shoulder. "I'm thinking maybe I can link the money spent on it with all the information it gathered as a good argument for my point." That's how it worked, right?

He couldn’t not keep showing around because it’d be rude to just leave someone hanging after offering to help. Stuck here now, he was trying really very hard to ignore everything sensory wise which was all kinds of impossible when they were heightened because you were supernatural. This was just another joke pulled by life itself probably.

Tikanni looked at Minerva as she explained how the exhibit could potentially help her paper, genuinely curious, before turning to see ahead, since, well, he was the tour guide at the moment. Perhaps it was better to label him a trapped tour guide of his own making. Someone had to lead them where they were going or they’d walk for circles. Cassini wasn’t a topic he was familiar with and it was fascinating. A probe just twirling around Saturn taking pictures and information. That wasn’t something you thought would be possible till it happened. If it had indeed exploded recently that was such a waste.

A unintended momentary thought ran through as they passed a fire exit. It made him feel sleazy as fuck, hands balling into fists at his side a bit too tightly. No, absolutely not, his patience wasn’t completely gone right now. They were going to go to the Saturn exhibit and Minerva was going to get her information without any problems and be able to write her paper and get flying marks, and yeah! Except another part of him wanted to pull a fire alarm in a few minutes since pushing her right into a stairwell wasn’t a pleasing option. Perhaps, the idea of asking for help with wiping a mind, something he hadn’t had the option to turn to in years, was the sobering thought that kept Tikanni in line for a few more minutes. So, he’d just keep on telling himself he could make it through the Saturn exhibit.

The absence of words had him looking back at her, grasping for what she had last said. He’d been listening, just not a 100% due to internal grimacing. It was easy to piece together the parts though. ”Yeah, that sounds like a good point to make. Bonus, if the information the thing found was really whizzy. The more awesome the stuff, the better the argument to fund additional outings out there.”

Coming to the doors, he opened one to allow her through. It looked like this particular setup was still open. ”Here we go.”

 Minerva had noticed the distant sort of look in Will's eye as she spoke. Was she talking too much? She had a tendency to do that sometimes - eek, maybe she was boring him. Maybe he was more into stars than planets. Oh, but then he was talking again! It seemed like he had been listening. Maybe he just had something else going on that was pulling for his attention. Minerva decided to let it go, oblivious still to anything beyond her current realm of imagination.

 She laughed for his words. She didn't even know what exactly Cassini had found. Hopefully it was something whizzy, as Will put it - even if it wasn't all that spectacular, it had to be worth something, right?

 Minnie squeezed between the man and the door he held open for her, thanking him quietly and peering around the exhibit. A large, colorful image of Saturn was the first thing to catch her eye, but even as she marveled at it, she was wandering over to an information plaque. Her hand ran over it as she read quietly. "Cassini was in Saturn's orbit from June 30th, 2004, to September 15th, 2017." Her eyebrows raised. "Wow. Thirteen years. That doesn't even include the amount of time it must have taken it to get to Saturn," she said softly, awe clear in her words. Now to see what all it had discovered.

Minerva walking passed him found Tikanni looking into the room pointedly, nodding at her thanks, and keeping his jaw clamped shut. That movement had basically tripped a wire and his patience was on a thread now. He’d been here before and learned many a time and yet had he really? Here he was continually making bad choices that went against who he liked to think he was. This was just stupidity, but he still wanted to try to not ruin spending time with her normally even if it was grasping for nothing.

Following after she was ahead of him a few lengths, the door shut quietly, rather at odds to how he felt. Even the soft click made him twitch in somewhat of a jump. An arm came up to hold onto his other in uncertainty just as Minerva reached the information stand. Gaze on the planet, he listened to her while taking it it in, stopping a customary casual distance from her.

What’d he been doing in 2004 to have missed this? Thinking over it, memories were sifted that were thankfully without weird patches his sometimes were, to realize he’d been back home that year. It felt like a lifetime ago thinking back and perhaps it kind of was. Pre-lower 48 Tikanni and all. ”Thirteen years for things to go amiss? That sucks.”

Taking a few steps forward, a hand came up to place on her arm lightly for a second in a soft ’I’m here, excuse me’ sort of way so he could get closer and see too. He leaned next to her to read the information himself, trying to look for a specific without much luck. Maybe Minerva would know? ”How long does it usually take to reach?” He turned to her expectantly, thoroughly interested and grasping onto the vein of conversation to keep from going off the edge. The hand had immediately come back to grip onto his own arm very tightly, reeling.

Minerva just wouldn't leave.

This was Beauregard's assessment as he watched from a room practically glowing with screens, views into cameras throughout the museum. He hadn't even installed them himself; such paranoid access came standard with a planetarium, it seemed.

He sat in a chair previously occupied by a security officer who had been asked to nose around elsewhere. Arms crossed and feet up on another empty chair, Beauregard simply watched. Frowning.

She was an easy target. Tikanni was not unwise to pursue her. But it burned at Beauregard with great unpleasantness, and he huffed a sigh as he hoped the spectacle would end without incident.

He was certain he'd pull the boy's teeth out if he hurt her.

 Thirteen years for things to go amiss? Minerva blinked at the display before her. She guessed that was one way to think of it - thirteen plus years left a lot of room for an expensive project to be struck by a passing meteor or something. That really would suck! But apparently, that had not been the fate of the probe mentioned here. She nodded and hummed thoughtfully in response, reaching for her spiral notepad again with taking her eyes off the information before her.

 She felt him coming closer, and looked over at him with a small smile as he touched her arm. That was a good question. She glanced back to the plaque before her, but not without catching a glimpse of the deep wrinkles Will was leaving in the sleeve of his hoodie with the opposite hand. It didn't take a genius to realize that was a tight grip. "Uhhh. Let's see." She tried to focus instead on the information. "Launched in... wow. October 15th, 1997." It was older than her! She counted back. "That's like. Seven years of space travel." Long time. Lots of money. Was it worth it?

 Her eyes gravitated back to Will's arm, and she frowned gently at him. Gingerly, she touched his shoulder closest to her. "Hey. Are you okay?"

Ah, math like that would've been helpful, but he really wasn't in the best of sound mind right now so giving himself a break on that was fine. He listened to her raptly as she counted back 7 years to 1997. A thoughtful nod could be seen on him as she digested that. It was assuredly a lot of time for something to be floating up there trying to reach a planet.

"I wonder if-," he was cut off on the idea as to how newer tech would've made the experience richer by Minerva's sudden hand on his shoulder. It made everything freeze to a screeching halt and he tracked up from the hand, to the arm, to eventually land on her face. The prompt if he was ok was almost humorous, especially now as things tensed and his shoulder felt like it was on fire with the heat radiating from the point of contact. She was so sweet and Tikanni was so sorry. "No, not really," he said, strained and truthful, swallowing with a slight smile that died quickly. The tight grip remained on his arm, truly needing that grounding right now so as not to completely jump the gun. He could play this game and not even have to lie about half of it and that made him feel all sorts of disgust and hope. Any reason not to do this had promptly had the door slammed on its face when she'd made that final move, the last thread of patience snapped. You didn't touch a snake preparing to strike even if it was a very apologetic one.

"I'm feeling really lightheaded, dizzy." He tried to take a step, but grew unbalanced a bit, face downcast.

 No? Minerva’s frown deepened. Had he been feeling bad this whole time? Or maybe just a while ago, when he was spacing out? Her free hand returned the notepad to its place in her bag so that she could focus on Will. He confessed to being lightheaded and dizzy, which was made obvious as he made a wobbly movement in the form of a failed step. Immediately, her attention was far from Saturn, and she did her best with her tiny human strength to steady him with both hands.

 "Maybe you should sit down," she offered, searching his face. "Do you want me to go get someone?" Like a security guard, or maybe a tour guide or some other such employee that would be more helpful. Maybe get him a drink, or a wheelchair? Was that too far?

That’s been enough for her notebook to be put away and a steady grip placed on him out of concern. He looked back confusingly, heartstrings pulling at her honest display. Letting go of his arm to hold one of hers as if that might help, he met her gaze that had been searching for his own. Sitting down would’ve made sense for someone in his proposed predicament, but Tikanni would rather stay standing so as to have a better stance for what he was about to do. Center of gravity was important and leaning over a chair or the floor would put him at odds. So he’d play the stupid boy that was too headstrong to give in to help.

In answer, he shook his head, a quiet, “No,” coming out to the idea of getting help and sitting down. He shifted his weight as if to pull away, but wobbled, feigning continued unsteadiness, leaning a bit more into her arms. “I’m sorry,” he managed to say faintly. He was, truthfully, very sorry. His other hand sought to hold onto the side of her torso as if help steady himself more when in reality it just helped him get a good grip on her. This close, he couldn’t not hear her heartbeat like before, but it almost seemed to be a pounding drum now. “Just give me a moment,” he breathed out unsteadily, unable to keep looking Minerva in the face while blatantly about to breach her trust. “I’ll be ok in a moment.”

His eyes watched with a greater sharpness for detail than a security camera could offer him.

There was some temptation to go in and knock the boy into dead sleep. It would be challenging to explain to Minerva, but he had the capacity to wipe her mind if he needed.

Assuming it didn't... fail.

But he would also need to clear Tikanni's mind, and it was a slippery slope to step down. For now he scowled, knowing he could be there in seconds if needed. If fangs appeared as more than the threat of numbed pinpricks.

 A less concerned Minerva might have been more keen to the utter strangeness of this entire encounter. Some of the weird things he had said, and now his sudden and extreme dizzy spell. Alas, Minnie apparently had more heart than brains, and the idea that this might be anything less than genuine sickness or strife completely evaded her. Maybe that was why he felt so cold.

 He poured more of his weight into her, and while it wasn’t enough to knock her off her feet, she did have to widen her stance slightly to help support him. "Oh. Don’t be sorry," she tried to assure him gently. Please don’t die omg. His hand at her waist made it harder for her to brace his shoulder properly, but maybe it was what he needed to steady himself. He didn’t want to sit, but she figured she might try to lower him to the ground. Even if he said he only needed a moment; what if he fainted on her? What if she dropped him and hurt him? Just the thought that he might be very seriously ill was enough to make her start to feel a little panicky; that he might collapse made her feel even worse. Her heart sort of hiccuped in her chest as her brain spiraled into worst case scenarios.

Her words continued to pull heart strings and Tikanni wanted to disentangled himself and left right then. A fed him would’ve. There was a lump in his throat, Minerva’s unneeded concern washing over him and making guilt bloom. Of course he hadn’t eaten like he should’ve, of course it was coming to bite him in the butt right here, of course it was all coming down to terrorizing someone that he’d had a connection with who was so sweet. Dammit.

There was a change in her heart rate and he blinked slowly, knowing if he was going to do this he had to right now. The last thing that needed to happen was for her to dote enough to get help as she’d suggested. They were thankfully alone and Tikanni would rather it stay that way.

Taking an unneeded breath, the situation was flipped quickly, his grip tightening, forcing the arm he had his hold down and tightly against her side. All the while, his hand at the waist moved to her back, pushing Minerva closer to him. ”Be quiet and don’t do anything. You’ll be ok, I promise,” he said thickly, trying to catch her eyes, tone merging with near desperation at this point, but wanting her to understand. If she followed all that, he’d make sure she was fine and ok. With that said, he pulled her flush against him completely, aiming to look away from her. ”I’m sorry,” he said again, the words reverberating through his chest before Tikanni’s mouth opened, fangs making an appearance, and he bit down where neck met shoulder as carefully as possible. He was sincerely sorry suggestion hadn’t worked earlier and that he’d pushed himself passed a familiar limit. The welling of blood was like a breath of fresh air after so long underwater and for that, he was grateful. Now she just needed to do what he’d asked for a few moments and it would be ok.

 You know what hadn’t occurred in any of the pessimistic possibilities threading through her brain? This. That Will, the friendly star-aholic was actually just a hungry vampire.

 His grip tightened on her, and for a moment she thought maybe it was just a side effect of him trying to get his bearings. Of course, there was a very distinct fear in the back of her mind that she was loathe to really consider until he spoke. Those were not words she wanted to hear, and they made her cold with a rush of adrenaline - probably every ounce her body could make at a time. What woman didn’t like to imagine themselves being brave and warrior-like in moments like this? Even Minerva had been the type to consider she could fight for a happy ending to any unsavory situation, but this was... mortifying. It literally froze her as she met his gaze, her own eyes wide, mouth hanging open in uncertainty. Then he was all but clinging to her, and he looked away, apologizing.

 Her breath came in sharp, short puffs suddenly, her skin crawling with a grotesque terror as his mouth touched her neck. Instinctively, she sort of jerked in his arms, but he was far too strong for it to do much of anything; her hands gripped the fabric of his sweatshirt as the pressure at her throat suddenly dissipated. He was still there, and she could VERY clearly hear the wet gulp of him swallowing something rhythmically, although she could not feel the piercing of his teeth.

 All of this, and she had not made a single sound, fear closing down on anything she might have said. She wanted to kick him, to scream and shout until he left her alone. Instead, she locked up and trembled there in the monster’s grasp, wondering if she was going to die. Her heart thundered, and slowly but steadily, bits of metal in the Saturn exhibit would begin to come free of their fastenings. Screws that held plaques and screens together began to vibrate out of their homes, rolling to the ground and gravitating slowly towards them. Even the security cameras began to shake as Minerva’s fear meant to pull the pieces apart.

Beauregard couldn't stand it.

Such an ugly thing, to watch another vampire feed from her. He realized very sharply that he should not have allowed it at all. Minerva felt some degree ruined to him. Some things were so specifically precious that even the slightest damage, however fixable, destroyed their value entirely.

This felt like one of these cases. He sighed, rising and making his way at a slow pace closer to the room they were in.

If nothing else, he would do his leaderly duty and help a fool clean up a mess. Perhaps Tikanni had compelled her in advance and there would be nothing to worry about.

He would see when they left the room.

The jerk was expected, his grip not loosening even as she grabbed his hoody’s fabric, heart racing in fear causing his own unease to uptick to a billionth degree. Tikanni’s face went to one of concern as he drank. He knew this was scary and he wished his grip could comfort instead of entrap her in what was probably a terrifying experience for the girl.

There was a consistent sound of vibrating metal pieces all of a sudden, and his grip tightened instinctively, eyes opening and looking down as a few screws rolled and hit shoes. She was doing something. These were powers—the creaking and groaning around them was proof enough and it made him slow, the hand on her back beginning to stroke up and down in a calming manner. If Tikanni’s fangs weren’t currently biting into her, he would’ve offered a shushing, but if he did that now it’d just cause all sorts of nasty blood bubbles so that was a hard no. So instead, he hummed in what he thought was a soothing tune, one reminiscent of songs nursery songs he’d heard from one tv show or another. He didn’t need her to attack him, not right now. This would be ok, he wasn’t going to lose himself. It would be ok so long as things calmed down in the room which had him scared for a different reason, concerned about that possibility if anything increased. His instructions had been simple, but all in all he couldn’t blame Minerva for her response.

Fighting against himself to say something after a few more long moments so this didn't go south, eventually fangs let go for now and his mouth lifted just barely from her neck, a steadying breath escaped. His gaze pitched back and forth as he blinked heavily to get it to stop, brows coming down in frustration, as he scrambled for words. ”Stop…. The thing you’re doing… the magic, stop.” The words got all garbled coming out, tongue feeling too thick in his mouth. He wasn’t done, but he needed to say something of a warning.

 Distantly, she could hear the tinkling chorus of tiny pieces of metal moving, but she was too preoccupied by the realization that her blood was being made into a meal to notice it just yet. It... was definitely weird, and while not as terrible as what she had feared was going to come of this, she still felt violated and betrayed. His hand rubbed her back, but whatever it was meant to do, it only served to increase her discomfort, to the point of tears springing in her eyes. Her muscles constricted a little harder, eyes screwing shut with a sort of whimper as he hummed some random tune against her skin. Never in her life had she been so repulsed by touch.

 There was a cold breath on her neck suddenly, and she remained as still as she could, fearful of the cost of moving. Then, he spoke. Her face crumpled into an uncomfortable look of confusion. The thing. The magic. He wanted her to stop using... magic. Immediately, she thought of Zachary, and all the things they had discussed about her mysterious power. Breathing shakily, she turned her head just enough to glance down. There, at their feet, was a slowly-growing collection of metal. Screws, nuts and bolts, mysterious plates of metal. It was a dull realization that her magic had to do with metal.

 "I can't help it," she whispered, words tight around the lump in her throat. "I'm scared."

There was a problem.

Beauregard could sense this as he drew nearer. And as he got close enough to draw emotions from behind the wall and door that separated him from the problem.

There was also... the most curious tension, one that left him looking to his wrist where a watch rest. It felt almost faintly tugged, and he frowned to it amid everything else here.

He could throw himself through the door, snatch the boy away and send Minerva home thinking she'd become president of the goddamn United States if he wanted to. But this required a delicate touch. There were private habits he would not reveal here.

Instead, he lingered just beyond the door, out of the way for if it flung open, but ready to grab someone trying to escape.

There was fear on both sides. He could quell it all. With a deliberate effort, he sought to soothe it, smoothing frazzled edges toward neutrality. Neither could practically be made giddy or warm here, but to bring them down from a potential disaster would be enough.

Even through the door, though, he could smell her. She'd certainly blossomed into something tastier.

Such an innocent reply had him stiffening in an affirmation. “Try,” was said, still feeling disconnected. If able to he would’ve assured her again everything would be fine and he knew and was sorry which had already said, but those were far too many words than able to be said at the moment. It was all heartfelt though and had his chest twisting painfully. If she couldn’t get her power under control and this only got worse all of that was going to be a lie.

He wanted to hope for the best and keep going but couldn’t will himself to bite again. Instead, a shaking breath quaked his body, blinking heavily a few times, not sure what to do. On one hand keep going and ignore her fear and powers, but risk things spiraling. On the other, leaving and hoping for someone to help wipe a mind or deal with knowing this girl was traumatized.

A sudden wave washed over Tikanni and a lot of the prickling at the edges were smoothed in lulls, his own creeping negative emotions squashed to something more manageable and easily tucked away to be aired out later. It was enough of a calming change for him to slacken his firm grip a bit. He wanted to let her go, but pulling away wasn’t easy when instinct said to drive forward. Right now there was the wish to have that ability to turn into some animal and hideaway, seeking freedom to just curl up in a dark corner somewhere and hide from a self-made problem. But that was impossible and the truth was he'd broken a bridge just starting to be built. It hurt. So he placed his mouth back to the crook of her neck, intending to bite again, to just ignore this all and hope she didn't hit him with a giant chunk from the exhibit, wanting badly to try to cover feelings up in the high for a moment longer. But ultimately, couldn't do it.

Jerkily, Tikanni pulled back enough to look at her. It was his turn to search her face which was entirely easier said than done at the moment. "Hey,... you’re fine," he said reassuringly. There was an arm squeeze to accompany it, but he searchingly waited for a response, swallowing heavily, not sure what else to do.

Minerva would benefit from a mind wipe, but he was all out. After all this time, hunger was still hard to control because he waited to the last moment and his planning was shit. This was a familiar tightrope routinely walked and tested only to fail, surprise surprise, once again. Now he had a very scared little psychic on hand, one whose words would be echoing in his head for quite a while. It was then that he noted the presence outside the room as his own internal dialogue had been calmed a tad emotion wise and was instead trying to pull ideas together on how to handle this whole thing. If it was indeed Beauregard, he hoped the man would help other than hinder this interaction, including a much needed suggestion for the poor girl. “Can you stand?” He'd let go if she could, but didn't want to risk Minerva just falling over.

 He wanted her to try. What would happen if she couldn't? He was very strong, and probably magical in some capacity as far as she knew. He could end her life. She had no doubt about that. She closed her now-purple eyes, inhaling a trembling breath as hot tears streaked her face. "Please stop," came the quiet plea. She wanted the powers to stop just so that she might live. She wanted Will to stop holding onto her and making her feel like she might die soon.

 The terror, very suddenly, gave away. Minerva was left feeling empty, almost numb, as her tears ceased to fall and the dissolving of fear left her feeling physically and mentally weary. The rolling movement of metal stopped. That his mouth fell to her neck again didn't even bother her as much as it did just a moment ago, and for a moment it seemed that maybe she had just come to accept things as they were, even bleakly. Will pulled back then to look her in the face, and she glanced at him sheepishly before looking quickly away as he spoke, eyes resting on her hands that rested on his shoulders. He was being so nice. Was that normal? Why was he still being nice?

 She supposed she was fine... she was still alive, at any rate, if not a little light-headed. She sniffled. Her heart pounded still, but was steadily slowing down. Could she stand? Minerva tested her legs, tensing her muscles and teetering her weight away from the man. "Yeah," she squeaked. She made to step away, and the movement of her foot would launch a doorknob across the floor. She watched it move, quiet, uncertain of... well, everything.

Beauregard waited through it.

There was some strangeness within the room, some... rattling, some metallic noise, but he was uncertain what to make of it. His primary focus was on Minerva, on the fading of her despair to something else less upsetting to pull from her.

If her blood was as potent as it smelled, surely Tikanni would be rolling through some variety of high by now. The thought did not sit well with Beauregard, some slovenly young boy lurking next to a young woman already very damaged. There was no way Beauregard could appear as a bird now, too convenient a situation as it would be. She would need to have her memory wiped of all of this.

Perhaps Tikanni had already done it. Beauregard was uncertain. He lingered for now, waiting for either a request for assistance, or the familiar sound of a smoothing suggestion.

That reply had him almost breathing a sigh of relief and he watched her dizzily as Minerva tried out moving, a huff of a laugh escaping. "Good." It was so so so good she was ok. A rolling noise had him looking down to see a doorknob making its way over. The sound seemed to replay several times in his head on repeat, metal echoing. Such an innocent thing. Dropping his arms, Tikanni kept hold of one of her wrists as she made to step away. It was a light hold, but the warmth was easy to hone in on and enforce if she tried to break away. Gaze coming up slowly, he tried to frown without much luck. She was so nice. "Wait, lemme," said uncertainly. The thoughts were fleeting, but coming.

Taking a few steps, he wanted to get out of the room that much was for sure, drag Minerva with him, but everything was spinning threateningly and in a space exhibit it was all a bit wild. Stumbling, he ended up bent at the waist after catching himself, free hand on his forehead with eyes closed. Walking them to the door and to the help out there wasn't going to happen easily. It'd probably end with him on the floor multiple times and that would just take forever. Sucking up his pride, Tikanni was going to just have to ask right here. "Please, help." It was said loud enough he knew Beauregard could hear. The way the sound seemed to echo was something he wasn't entirely sure he'd heard for real for real or it was entirely in his mind.

 She felt... weak. Distantly, Minerva recalled a time as a young child when she had to have blood drawn and it almost made her pass out, and they made her drink a soda. Maybe she needed something sugary. The thought just seemed... really freaking silly in the shadow of all this strangeness. Her eyes fell to Will's hand as it encircled her wrist, and then back up to his face again as he asked her to wait. She was struck with the realization that he seemed very... drunk. Did blood make vampires act like that?

 No longer terrified, but still wary of the star-aholic who held her wrist, she made small movements that were meant to follow him as he walked. Instead of walking, though, he just sort of stumbled, and then stopped, holding his head. Then, he had the gall to ask for help. Part of Minerva hated him, but the feeling was weaker than her stupid heart. Slowly, she moved to put her arm around him, shoulder in his armpit. "Why did you do that to me?" she asked him quietly, her face drawn into a pitiful frown, not moving from where she stood just yet.

Help was certainly nearby.

He heard the plea, felt the need for assistance. Hand to the door, he opened-

Beauregard attempted to open the door, at least, but the doorknob seemed strangely loose in his grasp. It turned uselessly, and he was so utterly surprised and confused by this that he might have laughed in different circumstances.

Eventually he simply pushed, finding that it opened without the doorknob's turning. As small bits of metal were swept aside, his heart seemed to clench at the sight of the young woman he knew.

She looked dreadful, and she was holding onto this drunk vampire. Beauregard felt some faint sense of sickness.

"Hands off the boy, please, Minerva."

Perhaps she would recognize his voice. It wouldn't be for long. His gaze shifted to Tikanni.

"Find your way to the lounge when you can."

A pause, followed by an unusually thoughtful addition. Minerva seemed to soften him.

"You are in no trouble."

He stepped in to free the doorway, dreadfully ready to make a grasp at the girl if she tried to take advantage of it.

And nothing immediately. Instead, movement shuffled nearby and to his surprise an arm encircled him from Minerva as if to help support. She thought he'd been talking to her and it made him laugh lightly as the door was being worked. That would've been so rude if he had asked her to. Minerva's question had him opening his eyes and looking towards her. I'm sorry welled up again, but he'd definitely said that a lot so time for something else. "I didn't want to. It'd been too-," and then whatever else he would've said was quickly cut off as the door was finally opened. His gaze remained on her for a beat before dropping to the floor, dejected and a bit ashamed, found like a kid in trouble as Beauregard began to speak while walking in.

However, the use of her name had him a bit confused, pinching his brows together, not sure if he'd said it a moment ago or not. It made Tikanni risk looking up in confusion, which didn't help anything for the swimming of it all. What he found was Beauregard looking at him pointedly before telling him to leave to the lounge. Cool, great, he was whatever it was clutches did for punishment. He'd messed up, it was probably time to move again, and there was an upsurge in his chest of momentary loss. First clutch to ever join and ruined it. All that spiraling and paranoia helpfully compounded by the high was quickly rectified with the additional thought from the Dominus, assuring he wasn't in trouble. Which was something not entirely believed, but it's all he had. "Ok," he said with a breath. He put a hand on the one used to help steady him, trying to lightly pull it away so she could follow the directions given to her. "Keep her be safe fish." As soon as that came out he knew it hadn't been correct. Ugh. Try number two. "Be careful with her." That had been for Beauregard before turning to Minerva. "You'll be safe, little fish." Nailed it.

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