The Evening Stars

Mountainside Planetarium 
 The vampire laughed as she came to his aid. She didn’t really know what to do with that. But he began to explain himself to her all the same, though it was cut short as the door came open, and a stream of light cut into the exhibit. Minerva blinked against it as she apprehended the stranger who entered, freezing as he spoke her name. Yes, she recognized that voice, but not the older man that it came from. For a moment, her brain just sort of danced around the action of connecting the dots, as if refusing to acknowledge who had found them.

 He must be very important to be bossing Will around, she figured idly. But the young man complied, prying her hand off of him, which she would pull back to herself without a fuss. She took a small step aside, as if to give him enough space to leave, both hands coming to grasp the strap of her purse. A sort of nervousness lingered on the edges of her somber neutrality as she stared at him, blank-faced as he stumbled over his words. He was asking the old man to be careful with her. And also telling her she would be safe. Little fish. Minerva suddenly found herself torn between repulsion and a sorrowful sort of pity for him.

 Only when Will had made his way out would she look at the newcomer, her expression now one of clear uncertainty. There was nothing recognizable in his plain features, but she supposed if he would be a human, this could very well be what he looked like. "Whitewing?" she asked, without much conviction in her tepid tone.

Beauregard did not care for the clumsy dialogue here. The words of seeming affection frothing out like vomit.

He offered only a nod to Tikanni, continuing with a quiet order of "Close the door behind you."

And then there was Minerva, putting it all together so much faster than he'd expected. He was proud of her and also unhappy with the realization. It was kind that she wouldn't be remembering it.

"Someone akin to him," he admitted.

He did not want considerable time to feel some sort of... unhappiness from her about that reveal. It would be smoothed over. Beauregard sought her eyes with a certain mournfulness.

"When you leave this room, you will forget all encounters you've had with anyone at this planetarium after the ticket counter."

Clean enough. The next part was some small act of kindness.

"You will remember instead that you've spent this time slightly lost on your way to the cafe."

That, of course, would fail. How cruel. He would not repeat himself, and instead he waited for some degree of fallout. Whenever she did leave, certainly she would be somewhat confused, but no more so than the thousands of victims with similar incidents before her.


Minerva let go without more prompting, even taking a step back, and her reaction wasn’t super clear. Beauregard was far more talkative in response if an order could be considered that. If he wasn’t currently having emotions muted at the moment, the request would’ve caused a prickling of irritation. As it was, it just made his eyes tight, but he nodded. Beauregard was doing him a favor and that came with shooing as well so it was just something to be accepted for now.

With that, he carefully began to make the way out, feeling a bit more sure of his feet than a few moments ago. Finally reaching the door, the lack of a doorknob made somewhat muted sense as he slipped through the opening made from the other coming in. Closing the door as requested, the vampire would slowly walk towards the lounge, but not before the muffled name coming from Minerva met his ears. It was puzzling, but not his business. So, he kept going. The further he got from the radius of power though, the more those emotions from earlier were rising their stupid heads, all coming together to make a sad melancholy bouquet due to the time away. God, that could’ve gone so bad.

 Someone akin to him. Minerva’s mouth opened, and then closed again. What was that supposed to mean? Maybe they knew each other and their voices were a funny coincidence, but why had Whitewing told this man her name? When had she been important enough to come up in conversation? Maybe... maybe the stranger was not being exactly honest with her. It was not so hard to believe right now, and she would stare at him as she tried to figure it out herself. Maybe she was actually just going insane like she had worried so many times lately.

 He was speaking again. More strange words, saying she would forget all of this. Was that possible? Was this some kind of hypnotism? She frowned at him. It was not entirely hard to believe, either. What was even impossible in this world anymore? Her grip slackened on her purse strap some, weight shifting from one leg to the other as she processed the information slowly. It was hard to imagine moving on from this without any recollection of the sorrow and fear, or even the happier moments that had occurred just thirty minutes ago.

 An unsaturated sort of dread passed over her as she was struck with a very sudden realization. If he could truly take her memory, that meant she would lose the one diamond in the rough here. Her magic. She would forget it, too, wouldn’t she? "Wait," she began, a panicky sort of sadness trying to swell against the heavy blanket of the stranger’s unknown power. "My power. Don’t let me forget the metal. Please." She didn’t know if she could bank on that kind of hope - at least if she did forget it, she wouldn’t have to be sad about it for very long.

It was difficult to maintain in the face of such a push. Beauregard eased away his metaphysical force, almost dizzied by it. Perhaps that was why his suggestion had failed.

Her plea was a fair one, and he already had plans for that.

"You will not forget. I promise you," he said. Beauregard would remind her, if not in this moment.

And now would come a suggestion that had the potential to upset her. It was good that she would forget its origin quickly enough. He sought her eyes one last time, speaking gently.

"You should fall back into the habit of painting in the barn loft around sunset over the next several days."

A success, how kind. He added a flourish of half honesty.

"It will all come back to you then. On your way now, dear."

He stepped to the side, having no desire to crowd her, and indicated with a hand to the door.



 She would not forget. He promised. Minerva stared at him uncertainly. Whether this was Whitewing or not, she didn’t know if he could be trusted. He might not keep his word. Then he made a suggestion that made her skin crawl a little. If he wasn’t Whitewing, maybe the bird was his spy, or his familiar or something. She didn’t know anything about him, and yet here he was calling her by name, remarking on her painting in the barn loft. How was she supposed to feel about that? She definitely felt not great.

 He assured her that her painting would bring it back to her, and then just sort of. Dismissed her. Which was almost hurtful if not for how absolutely strange this all was. Minerva didn’t know what to do, except go. Just go.

 The girl clung to her memories. Of Will and a man who might be Whitewing. All the good and terrible things as she walked quickly towards the door, heart pounding again, shoulders tense as she passed the old man. She would not forget. She would—

 It was sort of like snapping out of a daydream in the middle of driving. How long had she been out of it? How did she get here? Her pace slowed as she stared at the great hall before her. What had she even been thinking so hard about? It totally escaped her now. Her face itched with the drying of tears that she didn’t remember crying. Minerva would spend several moments struggling to grasp for the missing time as she walked slowly on; surely no more than a few minutes, right? What had been going on in her head though? Huh. Maybe she definitely was losing her mind.

Exit Minerva!

The door closed, and for a moment, Beauregard simply stood there. He stretched his jaw some, trying to convince fangs to recede.

What a headache, all of this. He sighed, waiting a few minutes, glancing over the pile of assorted metal on the floor.

A headache. A mess. A collection of unpleasantries.

Eventually he left the room and made his way to the lounge, wondering what shape Tikanni would be in. Amelie had expressed some concern over the boy being too soft, and Beauregard began to wonder if this was the case. He stepped down the stairs at a slightly less lively pace than was typical, offering a transactional sort of smile to the other vampire as he spotted him.

"She will go home chipper and oblivious."

Eventually, time found him where he'd been told to go, making his home on the side of a couch. Tikanni was bent forward and leaning into hands to cover his face to get a handle on everything. The high was fading now and he was left with unpleasantness. Straight up, he was dreading Bearuregard showing while also another part was itching to make sure he hadn't hurt Minerva. That poor girl. Never mix making connections with food was a good solid lesson. He knew that it never ended well, especially when suggestions were all out, but he also hadn't been planning for someone like Minerva to just show up. Maybe the most company Tikanni thought he might've received would've been another vampire. He would've eaten before hand if he had known, or so he told himself. However, that was such a slim chance for what was normal for him, but still. Tikanni grit his teeth, upset with how everything had turned around on him. Maybe he should've just stayed in Ravenswood tonight after all.

He felt Beauregard approach and looked up, dropping his hands to instead help hold his head up. The smile given once the man appeared wasn't returned. Instead, Tikanni's gaze slipped down to the floor, taking in that statement. That's what he'd requested and it was relieving to know. Everything was fixed and she was ok. A twinge of loss that she wouldn't remember their talk, but nonetheless he'd would rather it this way. "Thank you for helping," he said meaningfully. There were several things he could say, but it all got stuck in his throat and so Tikanni left it like that, wondering what would be said as a follow up. Beauregard had said he wasn't in trouble and yet Tikanni wasn't so trusting to believe that hundred percent just yet.

Tikanni gave every appearance of a beaten dog. Beauregard told himself this was a time to shine, to play the role of the kind dominus. The source of comfort.

He stepped further into the lounge to find a preferred arm chair, settling into it and taking a few seconds to ponder the quiet before speaking up.

"Tell me what's on your mind."

Perhaps the boy was better off a user of blood bags as Persephone and Edvin were. Some stomachs were simply too weak for the life of a vampire.

Out of everything he'd expected, sitting down and talking wasn't it. No violence, no loud words, just 'let's talk' like it's therapy. There wasn't even an indication that he was being patronized in the tone to get stiffed about. This was different, but a good different.

He blinked, not really sure how to even frame this. His mind was tired. "She was nice and we got along and I pushed myself too far, but I wanted to help and spend more time talking with her. I-" Squeezing his hands tightly, Tikanni looked up while leaning back a bit, careful with his gaze still, not sure that was safe at the moment. The last thing he wanted was to be compelled in any which way though so best to be on edge. "Didn't intend for any of that," and he stopped with a moving hand indicating 'that' was a big lump of events. There was more here, but he wasn't about to just let be all in the open just yet, still not exactly at ease with the guy, but this was a good start he thought.

Tikanni said about what was to be expected. Minerva did have a very innocent variety of charm, and Beauregard did feel drawn to her himself.

He nodded, leaning back, letting his eyes wander to some nondescript part of the space as he spoke thoughtfully.

"None of us want to turn a friend into a meal by accident," he said. "I have lived through it before. You are not the first to slip up, nor will you be the last."

All truth. Beauregard had done rather unfortunate things to more than one pretty young woman in his life in earlier days in some enforced drive for blood.

"How often do you feed?"

It wasn't his first time either, but it always jarred him and something hoped to not happen again. At least he was understood at that level and wasn't having to defend himself.

Or so Tikanni thought. That next question had him prickling. That'd been something he'd intentionally avoided bringing up. He didn't want to answer that and actually be poked and prodded about, criticized. "Often enough," was supplied dryly, looking off to the side at something curious over there instead of to whom was listening. A round-a-bout answer seemed good enough for now to explain his poor eating habits.

Obviously not.

"I see," he said, quiet. They both knew it wasn't enough.

But in the end, Beauregard was no one's father. He wasn't here to monitor feeding habits. He could suggest the boy go on some bagged diet, but likely it would be met with offense.

"Then I suppose there was no way to prevent it," he continued, somewhat leading.

Feeling on edge with how this conversation was going, he just kept looking away at the first bit. Yep, ok.

The next part had him furrowing his brows. Beauregard most certainly knew what was up if he was wording things like that, leaving a moment of space for Tikanni to follow on. There was always an answer to a problem so of course he wasn't going to just say no and move on even though that was wanted. He'd been effectively caught within one move. Wow. "No, I mean, yes, I mean, ...I'm trying." He crossed his arms, one leg jiggling, unable to sit still now.

Suggestions didn't always work and seeing people get all scared was just, ugh. A puff of air in exasperation was let out. "I don't want to be forced away and start over again. So I just... wait." That ended with a sharp noise from pronouncing the 't'. That dog and pony show was so tiresome though.

That was much better. Tikanni fell into stuttering, but at least it was honest. Beauregard let his gaze rest on the other vampire, a soft frown on his face, but a thoughtful sort of expression.

"Waiting can lead to much nastier consequences. I have soothed more than one vampire in this clutch on the verge of bloodlust."

He was careful, sensing the potential for offense here. How delicate it all was, the feeding habits of others.

"I have been lucky. I've spent nearly my entire 'afterlife' within a clutch. I have some advice, if you'd like it, but I don't want this to seem like some scolding."

Tensing at what may be an implication, he listened. Beauregard didn’t know him really and his right to mentor in this was welcomed but also a testy sort of thing for someone feeling emotionally drained. Waiting was just part of him now as a habit, on the edge of disaster, and outside forces safely not of concern for a bit longer. He’d had that part handled by now hadn’t he, the bloodlust thing? It wasn’t an occupancy done recently and yet, there’d been a point when the use of powers had nearly set him off today so no, to answer his question, he didn’t. It was part of why he’d been so shaken he supposed. Just imagining how it could’ve gone if Minerva and him hadn’t calmed made him sick. If he had actually kept going and she hit him with a chunk of metal or that doorknob, would he have been able to stay in control? It was enough of a thought he stayed quiet.

The opportunity to learn something new from another had him looking up questioningly. Tikanni only had advice from the occasional rogue here and there. What big secret was kept in the shadows by clutches this whole time that he had been failed to be taught?

Shuffling in his seat a bit, he considered. “Like what? I can take it.” If it would really help, he wasn’t about to decline tips.

"I can take it," the boy said, as though Beauregard were about to impart wisdom using a baseball bat. He seemed a vampire with some need to prove himself.

"Feeding more often allows you to be more opportunistic. If an encounter begins to go... awkwardly, you'll have the capacity to leave because you won't be desperately hungry," he said. "Make your very first suggestion one of forgetfulness. If it fails, someone thinks you're a bit crazy, but keeps walking. If the suggestion 'stay still and silent' fails-"

He chuckled.

"They might think you're about to rob them and make a scene."

Beauregard only sometimes followed this advice, but he was more than willing to get more... assertive as needed with a meal.

"A year spent within a clutch can inspire more growth in a vampire than a century without one. I think you'll find yourself learning at a faster pace than you have before, particularly if you spend time with other vampires within the group."

That was sound advice. Why had Beauregard been worried it’d come off like scolding? Sure, some of it was overlapping with his own knowledge, but put all together with an even tone, Tikanni could appreciate the try to help. And… he wasn’t exactly used to that first bit being an everyday thing and he wasn’t privy especially to the last.

”I’ll give that a go, then,” try being a keyword. It was against what he was used to, but if it would help, sure. If it all blew up in his face, well, he’d certainly tried. New habits to be built then.

”I’m not used to other vampires being a constant for company. To be honest, it makes me bit nervous, but if you think it’d help, I’ll do so.” From his experience at the Halloween party they all seemed nice though and was hoping that was the case when he got to know them better.


That was all Beauregard could ask for. He felt no significant resentment. No quiet anger.

"The nerves will fade with time. You'll likely find it nice to have company you're at no point tempted to sink your fangs into."

A smile.

"That's all the wisdom I have to offer. I am always a message away if you need assistance."

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