Landing Strip 
This was not the most enthusiastic response, which Robin would never understand; the secret mechanics of bodies, supernatural or otherwise, were intrinsically fascinating to most people. Still, she smiled radiantly, ready to get him on her side. "So, okay. Close your eyes."

A demonstration! A little tick of paranoia caught him, but there was no trick she could perform that he couldn't remove a limb of hers for.

Beauregard closed his eyes after a brief moment of deciding it was worth it not to be a curmudgeon.

"Proprietary... pro-something requires blindness?" he quipped, but ultimately obeyed, tilting his chin inward some so as not to stare closed-lidded at the bar.

She smiled even more as she saw him obey, holding his eyes closed with an unsurprising small protest. She ignored it, knowing better. "Okay. Then lift your hand up, so it's about level with your head."

This felt like a trap. He did as instructed, fingers reaching upward carefully as if she might have held a bear trap out for them.

His eyebrows rose, then, wordless acknowledgment that he was waiting for the next step.

In her element, Robin continued beaming. "Ok, so keep your eyes closed. How do you know your hand is level with your head?"

In spite of himself, Beauregard was amused. He smirked, caught in her demonstration and without complaint.

"I won't butcher the word again," he said, chuckling. "But I assume that."

His eyes remained closed, hand up as he wiggled his fingers some. Perhaps there was another step toward explaining her point and gently making a fool of him.

It took some of the magic away to prematurely assign a word to it, didn't it? "Proprietary sepsis." She let him off easy, guessing he would open his eyes as soon as the lesson-voice stopped. "But really. It's an actual sixth sense. Real people lose it, and they have no idea what their legs are doing if they don't have them in their field of vision. Some of them collapse when they close their eyes." Wasn't that interesting, William? Please find it interesting, and let something of this night be salvageable.

Sepsis? Wasn't that some sort or infection? He opened his eyes, lowering his hand to the bar top again.

There were some hints, here, of disbelief still. An actual sixth sense. Real people.

"Fascinating," he said, and it was. Beauregard was not a man of considerable scientific knowledge. Perhaps his own ability and... "proprietary sepsis" were related.

"You bring this up because you think it to be related to our abilities, or because you're looking to offer 'true' science in the face of what seems like quackery?"

Oh, hello. This was a little pointier than expected. She paused for a moment, unsure of how to take his comments.

"Maybe I'm bringing too much to the table for the Landing Strip." The name skidded to an ignominious halt between them. "But I'm a scientist, by trade. So, magic powers, altering emotions..." Her hand fluttered emphatically around her head. "It all has to fit into the same picture. I'm just trying to make conversation."

Unsaid: she didn't know whether he was a psychic or an effective con man, and was trying to make the best of the situation either way.

Too much to the table, as if some drink dampened woman could bring anything overwhelming to a bar.

But her answer was interesting enough. Beauregard was enjoying the conversation. There was a way to make it more compelling, but it needed some introduction first.

"You don't need to apologize," he said, deciding that was what her backpedaling meant. "Tell me, what do you think of shifters? Vampires?"

Her eyebrows raised, and she tapped the implicated table, looking down at her nails. "I think that if I'm real, then so are they." A whiskey truth. Rendered truthier by the ruckus before, and not forgetting her companion's claim to a century of practice.

She had met vampires in particular before, she knew. She glanced over at William's well-manicured hands. Then, inadvisably, his face. "What about you?"

Oh, he was a little disappointed. Beauregard had been hoping for some denial so that he might surprise her. The evening kept tipping up toward something delightful, but never quite committing.

"I have met many a rude shifter, and I came to this spot right here to determine which person at it looked especially like dinner."

A scrunch of his face and a correction, voice lowering.

"Well, to be truthful, smelled like dinner, but it sounds a bit uncouth put like that. Regardless, you're wise to believe in both."

Dinner. Unattached to any particular memory, he felt her skin goosebump under her shirt.

The smile and gentleness of her expression fell away, leaving the hard, sharp look of an animal assessing risk. "You can smell it?"

A century of practice. Sniffing out supernaturals, shifters and magic girls alike. This would be a profoundly informative experience, if she could only manage not to get her memory wiped.

Of all things, he would be the comment about smell. He chuckled, honestly a tad sheepish. The smile drained from her, and that was just fine.

"It's rather barbaric. I understand one psychic can determine another with an aura, but for us, it's quite literally a scent."

There was a spike in his mood, and he smiled, though extended fangs simply looked like unfortunately long teeth if he wasn't baring them like a beast.

"If I hold my breath, I can't tell a difference between you and a shifter, save for your better manners."

She enjoyed a good conversation about human nature, a good conversation about anything really. But it was hard to take this delayed admission as anything but threatening, and all she could think now was on whether any of her friends were checking in on her, whether any of them had noted the man at the bar.

They certainly hadn't noticed the drink thrown at her face, earlier. They hadn't come to check in when the man was thrown out.

She looked forward, to the woman who'd returned to refilling drinks and cutting lemons into imprecise wedges. "This might be a good time for you to leave, William."

Ooh, a veiled threat. She even used his name, trying to puff herself up, make herself larger, threatening.

"I don't like to be dismissed," he said, frowning. "I have been nothing but polite to you. I might advise a different approach, if you're feeling threatened."

He looked to her, seeking eye contact but not expecting it. What would a scientist do with the idea of suggestion? What word could she teach him to explain it?

Taken all together, she couldn't decide whether to be more angry or incredulous. Take a different approach? She turned on him, all five-foot-two of her ready to kick him off that stool. "I don't want to get bit, man," she said in a voice that was loud enough to recall her earlier defensive outburst. "Was I not being polite enough about that?"

A scientist lacking stoicism, it appeared. He was unmoved, looking over her face, to her eyes, noticing the lingering scent of alcohol and the visible residual of it on her skin and hair.

What an unfortunate mess.

"This is a rather ugly look on you, Robin," he said with a frown. "Perhaps you should find somewhere else to sit and breathe before someone else splashes a drink on you."

A puffed up negation psychic. If only she we're prettier.

Holy shit, holy fucking shit. William the Dad Bod was a vampire, definitely, but more importantly he was a FLAMING PIECE OF TRASH. Had she not literally already yelled in this establishment, had she already not gone through the whole scene of black-woman-emasculating-a-man, it would be happening right now. She wished she had force powers, so she could pop his head like a grape where he sat. But instead, apparently, she had the power to not have a power, and lucky her.

Her mouth had a plan before her self-interest was able to check in. "You feel like the good guy in this situation? I don't think you can come to a dirty old strip club and tell people they ain't livin' right. Maybe you should go suck on someone stupid, okay? Get the fuck outta here."

It had gotten loud again, her voice. This was exactly as well as an excursion to the Landing Strip was destined to go.

It was a tremendous outburst. She was very, very bold.

Beauregard found her eyes, listening through her chatter.

"You want, even more than to breathe, to take this drink and pour it sensuously atop your head."

It worked. How wonderfully kind.

Sliding the drink toward her (heaven forbid she snatch it), he rose with the intention to leave at some point during the show.


She felt proud of herself. She felt incensed. She knew she already had a sticky splash-pattern across her shoulder, and that the extensions she had sprung for would ready plague her to the end of days with the smell of whatever fruit-rum drink that toad had purchased.

She grabbed his drink, with great agency and pride. It was profoundly important that she did this for him, let it spill steadily over the crown of her head. "You dumb piece of shit," she said cruelly, little cubes of ice plinking off her skull and onto the counter. "Is this what you wanted?"

My, my, what a show. Beauregard would leave underfed but satisfied. If nothing else, the drinks had probably saved her from becoming a meal. He didn't need sticky alcoholic residue on his skin.

He clapped his hands together once, nodding, giving her the satisfaction of a retreat.

"I think it's very nice, though perhaps a twirl?" he said, lifting one hand with his back turned to her to twirl a finger demonstratively. "Next time, next time!"

Perhaps she'd tackle him on the way out, but if not, he would exit without further trouble. That was enough entertainment for the evening.

She leered at him, truly wishing for head-popping powers, for them to manifest right now. This man was a predator, and she wanted to mark him so that he couldn't just sail out of the room and pick it all back up again. But instead here she was standing, dripping at the bar and profoundly unclear about why she had decided to pour his drink over her head.

She watched him leave, feeling vodka and cranberry juice soak into her bra...and eventually turned back, to arrive defeated in the middle of her circle of friends.

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