Den mother

Lavender Heights 
Tikanni was an usual thing. Young looking, but outdated in speech. Obviously uncertain despite not being entirely new to it all.

And yet Beauregard held a newfound appreciation for him following actions as simple as mindful text messages. The Dominus' mood was good, and he decided to arrive on the wing, a fluttering in the fluorescent light of a young, bar heavy area.

He settled upon the top of a stop sign, waiting for the appearance of the other vampire. Beauregard had already fed, but that was hardly information he needed to share.

His health was too guaranteed not to enjoy a bit of gluttony.

Driving back to Lavender heights gave him enough time to get a bit antsy about doing this. But! It had been a nice offer to make up for a meal he had let go. There had been too many possibilities and in the end really he’d made the better option to just not. And he’d be in Eventide for a good long while, having liked it so far and not wanting to leave any of the connections he’d made. So, that meant he needed to get used to being around the
Dominus and maybe this’d help.

Now walking down the street, Tikanni made his way to the address in question. He didn’t see Beauregard, but certainly felt him. It was enough for him to pause, and look about questionably at the faces walking in an out of various places. Nope.

Beauregard was no patient man, but he had some sense of how long it would take Tikanni to arrive. Little bird eyes observed the crowd, looking always for someone to nibble on. The general state of it all was "slightly inebriated," though not as rowdy and stumbling as it might have been later in the night.

He could sense the nearing of a vampire, one he hoped to be Tikanni, and very kindly he wasn't wrong. Head tilting, he pondered an abrupt approach, perhaps a shoulder landing. But startling a potentially hungry vampire was unwise even with the capacity to put a swift end to it. No one enjoyed waking from an enforced dead sleep, and how embarrassing to carry him home.

So instead, he fluttered down behind, hopping delicately to be sure that he wasn't stepped on.

"Ti-kan-ni!" he said in something of a stage whisper over three bounces on his twiggy legs.

A fluttering and his name being said had Tikanni turning around looking down towards a mockingbird that could only be Beauregard. It drew a smile on his face, the animal form not expected for this.

“Howdy hay. How’s it wingin?”

A smile! How cheerful. He responded with a small bow, wings tipping outwards in an avian flourish.

"Un instant s'il vous plaît," he said, feeling cheerful enough to spout out French with the assumption that Tikanni would find enough understanding in the words to wait. He bound ahead, finding the entryway of a closed laundromat and popping into the corner. With the street traffic flowing away from him, he would switch from bird to man, then step as casually as effort back into the street.

"Tell me all about what happened," he said with a beckoning wave to invite Tikanni to walk beside him.

That earned him a grandiose bird bow. There was something about seeing a powerful vampire in an animal form that was easier to digest. Perhaps, it was because he worked with animals all his life, or it was just a bit harder to really put any danger to a tiny bird. Tikanni watched Beauregard bound ahead, catching ‘an instant’ out of the words said for the full meaning.

He waited patiently for the dominus to return in sight after flying off, making his way on over at the reappearance. Falling into step at the invitation, there was the familiar ruffle of unease washing over him full force, but he looked up at least in recognition of the question, before turning attention to in front of them, hands in his pockets to keep from moving them around too much.

”Uh, I was checking out a book bar and this loon tried to cause a scene unless I confirmed what I was to ‘em,” he sighed heavily in agitation, scuffing a shoe on the pavement. ”And then he asked for payment for a bite. He knew about eye contact so, couldn’t really do anything without making it worse there or later,” Tikanni scrunched up his face a bit, shrugging. ”Ended up just letting him go since he wouldn’t and him knowing so much made me nervous.”

Beauregard could feel the nerves. He was tempted to soothe them, but it was useful feedback, and perhaps flattering in some way.

To intimidate a woman meant he wasn't as charming as he could be. To intimidate a man indicated the balance of power was just right.

The story did inspire him to frown as his eyes searched for splitting groups, the current of people growing closer to a trickle.

"You were wise to leave. That's certainly suspicious," he mused. "How did he know what you were?"

It was nice to have confirmation he wasn’t the only one finding that situation weird.

”It was a stupid reason.” Tikanni looked at the various groups walking about, wondering what Beauregard’s plan was here. Turning to look up a bit, he finished the thought. ”He said I wasn’t drinking my coffee.”

Hmm. Beauregard frowned ahead in thought. Clearly someone expert at picking out vampires. Aware of food habits, a willingness to pay for blood, avoiding eye contact.

"Someone knows too much for their own good," he said.

Ahead, some little blonde thing no older than her teenage years went cutting across the street, away from the well lit side they strode. She jaywalked, but Beauregard would take them to the corner to lead them in crossing. Patience was important.

"Was he human or psychic?"

One more dangerous than the other, and the latter at least might help explain how Tikanni had been picked out so easily.

To the declaration, Tikanni nodded, catching sight of the movement up ahead as some girl crossed the street. He continued to follow where the dominus led his feet wanting to go the other way.

”Human.” Which he’d been grateful for in the end. Powers and knowledge of vampires in tandem was dangerous. But, it also made him a bit worried for the guy just tromping around asking vampires to bite him without a safety net of some kind.

Human. Hmm. That was too much knowledge for a human. Larkspur was a hotspot for troublesome vampires and those looking to trouble them.

"He will run into a less kind vampire in time, I'm afraid," he said. Perhaps Beauregard would be lucky enough to be that vampire. "The knowledge of eye contact is all too common these days."

He led them across the street, nearing the girl as she meandered.

There was a temptation to tell the boy to lead, but Beauregard knew it was unkind.

"Just stay with me and look lost, hm?"

He flashed a smirk to Tikanni and walked at a slightly faster pace. Beauregard hoped she had a pretty face.

That was what he was worried about. Luckily, tonight hadn’t been the night, but it wasn’t the best to hear others also new the eye contact thing enough to comment. It seemed, he’d need to be more careful just in case. ”Buncha horsefeathers,” he breathed out in a sigh, more to himself than anything.

Following, it looked they were in fact going after the very girl noticed prior. Tikanni quirked a brow up at Beauregard, but nodded. If he had had a heartbeat it would've upticked in anticipation. He could play lost boy pretty great. Hands coming out of his pockets, he took on a concerned bewildered expression, falling behind the dominus in pace a tad.

Horsefeathers. Tikanni was a walking dictionary of outdated lingo, but it had its charms.

Nearing the girl as she stopped to stare at her phone, Beauregard pulled out his own and called to her.

"Pardonnez-moi, mademoiselle. Puis-je emprunter votre cellulaire?"

He waved his phone a bit, then took another step forward. Her confusion was evident as she turned to face him, and he would not allow her to waste time saying she did not understand. Eye contact was all he needed as she swayed some on her feet. Beauregard did like them drunk.

"Vous oublierez que nous nous sommes déjà rencontrés une fois que nous avons quitté votre vue."

A successful suggestion. He would try for another, this time in a language Tikanni would understand.

"You will follow my friend and I without issue. You will willingly allow us to feed from you."

Flush with good luck, he looked to Tikanni.

"Find us a private place, and dinner is yours."

Language not understood, he watched the interaction with interest. And then it flipped to english for a suggestion. Based on Beauregard’s reaction and task set to him, it had all worked. Tikanni was a bit in awe on how easy that had been.

Not wanting to waste time, he nodded with a thankful expression and yeah, an alley was probably the only “private place” on the side of a street. Leading to one close by that had minimal light compared to others, he grabbed her hand to hurry steps along, assuming Beauregard would be following. His patience was running thin now with a meal in their grasp, but he was careful with the grip as he maneuvered to an area in it that was hard to make out from prying eyes.

He managed a look towards Beauregard even though he desperately just wanted to dig in already. It wouldn’t do good to forget manners when he'd been helped. ”Thank you,” said sincerely, albeit a bit shaky.

And then, he was quick to step forward, using his free hand to move a bit of her jacket aside. Leaning in, he bit her neck, grip tightening where he held. Even though she was suggested to let them, there was some apprehension because of earlier tonight.

He could sense the apprehension, and greedily he could also feel fangs pushing from his gums. Beauregard tapped one with the tip of his tongue behind his lips, as if perhaps appraising the point.

Beauregard would follow behind, eyes on any audience, but they were not the most suspicious trio. A brother and a father to the girl, perhaps, if you could look past some notable genetic differences. He would stand nearer the entrance of the alleyway, hoping to block view of any prying eyes.

"You're welcome," he said quietly. The appreciation was noted and valued. He could sense the tendrils of desperation, and in some great kindness in the face of his greed, he continued. "Drink as much as soothes you. I've already dined this evening."

There was curiosity in Beauregard, sparked by wonder of how much Tikanni would take, given the option. Shy eaters always amused him. Something more gluttonous would tell him a variety of other details.

For now, he felt something akin to protectiveness for the boy, and with great care, he sought to soothe any frayed edges of Tikanni's nerves, wanting the sensation of this feeding to be a pleasant one. Fear of feeding would do no vampire any good.

The go ahead, knowing Beauregard was being a lookout, and some kind of wash of calm descending all added up to him being able to stay there for a few more seconds than he was usually comfortable with. There was something very familiar with this kind of set up. In a way, the ease of it all, was missed. Tikanni could be greedy here if he really wanted to be. It was tempting to just rely on someone else to tell him to stop, especially since fear wasn’t a thing to be tugging at his heart here. But, he wished no harm on the girl and let go when satisfied before her heartbeat could show signs of getting sluggish.

Taking a forced step back, he blinked quickly as the world tilted at the edges for a beat and warmth thrummed through him due to the alcohol that’d been running through her veins. Letting go of the girl completely and a few more steps away, Tikanni wiped at his mouth on habit. He looked towards Beauregard, wondering if he’d have a bite or not in the end.

Beauregard played the good Dominus.

He kept watch, offering a polite smile to a couple that passed a bit closely. But in the end, a feeding looked very much like some romantic encounter at first glance.

Tikanni reemerged somewhat dazed, and Beauregard somewhat jealous. He smirked, though it faded some as the girl instinctively followed.

"No more. Go home," he said simply, but not with any malice in his voice. She lingered, confused, and Beauregard sought to direct Tikanni back onto the street with a wave of his hand.

"Feeling better?" he asked of the vampire. His voice softened some. "She will forget it all when we leave."

There was a moment where the smirk mixed with ‘no more, go home’ momentarily confused him. He wasn’t doing anything? And then, oh yeah, that was for the girl, haha. It made him scrunch his face a bit, getting thoughts in order. He followed at the wave, giving one last look towards her, before turning forward again.

As they came back out onto the street, he was happy to hear that that suggestion had worked. And for the first part, yes, definitely. Everything felt more inline and the gnawing hunger was gone for now which was relieving. ”Yes,” he hummed to the first question. ”You made it look so easy to do that,” Tikanni said, awe weaved in his notably happier tone.

A fed vampire was a happy one. Beauregard felt his own mood lightened as his fangs receded.

"Practice and time. But any one of those could have failed, which is why I began with forgetfulness," he admitted. "A hit and run like that is easiest when you're very hungry. Less time with conversation, which will only make you hungrier and more irritable."

Easier said than done, he knew, but perhaps demonstration would help.

Tikanni listened, soaked in the advice as they went, and wondered if it’d actually work for him in the future. Hopefully, he’d never need to do a ‘hit and run’ since he was taking previous advice of feeding more regularly, but if he did it was good to know.

”Good to know… I tried to do something similar a few months ago and ended up waking up in a bush,” he mused. That psychic luckily remembered nothing in the end or that could've went a lot worse. ”Suggestions can be bushwa sometimes and it’s frustrating.”

There were many distractions here ("bushwa" included), but one notable thing cause Beauregard's attention.

"Woke up in a bush?" he asked. Considering that sleeping outdoors was a death sentence, he was left rather concerned for what loss of memory or consciousness would inspire waking up in shrubbery.

He looked up at him from the corner of his eye. ”Yeah, some psychic told me to sleep when I fed and I was out like a light.” Tikanni gave a snap to emphasize it. It hadn’t necessarily been the worst interaction, but if it had been closer to dawn, well, he would’ve died again he supposed. ”She walked away without memory though, so.” So, yeahhhh.

That was undeniably disturbing. Tikanni seemed not to grasp the severity of it.

"How precisely did you wake afterwards? Did she wake you?"

Vampires did not simply wake from naps. So focused on this concerning detail, he nearly slipped stepping off the curb to take them back across the street.

At the question, he titled his head, turning to face him more as they stepped down and across the street. He wasn’t entirely sure what the hang up here was, his expression perplexed. ”I don’t know, exactly. Maybe?” Tikanni turned to look at his shoes in thought. ”One moment I was out, the next I was on the ground lookin up at the sky.”

This was disturbing for all that Tikanni seemed unshaken. A vampire knocked completely unconscious by an unknown power apparently simply verbalized. And it wasn't from another vampire.

Realizing this was an unshared concern, he sought his best to push it away for now.

"Very strange. If you happen upon her again, perhaps you could let me know? That could be very, very dangerous to a vampire."

Knocked unconscious and held there. Or introduced to a lighter.

There was a twinge of hesitation with following through with that request. Looking at the interaction under a new lense, he could see it being dangerous kind of, but maybe not to the capacity it seemed Beauregard had. But his hesitation stemmed from putting a giant spotlight on the girl for a dominus to find. Tikanni had no bond with her, but he was concerned. Face momentarily flickering with unease, he ended up giving a slow nod, keeping his gaze firmly planted on how the wet asphalt twinkled and melted with streetlights.

”Okay, I will,” he promised and would in the end. If it came to her being a potential threat to his friends here, it was an easy decision to at least let Beauregard be aware if she was close.

He could feel the hesitation. It was interesting, and Beauregard wondered where precisely it stemmed from, but he was not in a place to ask.

If only he had Raziyya's power.

In the end, there was obedience, and that was what Beauregard asked for. He would not police pauses, moments of thought.

"Thank you," he said with relatively sincere appreciation. "I believe I heard the other day that you were interested in potentially pursuing a role within the group?"

Settling into stuffing hands into his pockets once more, if anything just for something to do, he avoided a particular snow melting puddle as Beauregard asked about roles. That had gotten around fast.

"Mmm, yeah," he agreed. "I don't want to be known as the clutch's local dewdropper, especially since I think I'm going to stay for a long while." Tikanni looked up from the ground with a small smile. "I like it here." It was starting to feel like a home to him and so he wanted to help out where he could, how he could.

The local dewdropper. Heavens, anything but the local dewdropper!

The rest was charming, at least, and it was good to hear the boy planned to stay. Beauregard did not handle the sorrows of parting handsomely.

"I'm glad to hear it. Does any particular rank interest you?"

Mentor, or perhaps medic, he assumed.

Oh, he'd had a feeling it was getting to that. Since talking with Raziyya about it, he'd given it some thought and was definitely a bit more sure of what interested him. He just wasn't sure, absolutely, one hundred percent was all.

"Maybe, ummm, mentor?"

Mentor. An easy guess. There was a challenge, of course. Tikanni still had much to learn himself.

"I was a mentor for many decades. It is a rewarding role," he said. "Edvin has a new fledgling, Samuel. Perhaps he might be a good potential student to start with."

Samuel had offered all the personality of damp cardboard in their conversation, though Raziyya had revealed his thoughts to be rather endearing.

Based on their few interactions he could see Beauregard holding that really well.

Knowing the man he’d texted once briefly had a fledgling was more information than he’d ever had about him. Other than wondering what had exactly happened, there was no opinion on the matter. Samuel’s name was vaguely remembered from the group message, though.

”How’s it differ from what Edvin could teach?” That part had been tripping him up a bit, what all he’d be providing that was different than a sire fledgling info handoff.

A good question, if an insecure one. Beauregard nodded thoughtfully, knowing they did not have far to walk and slowing their pace accordingly.

"To begin with, Edvin is Edvin. You are Tikanni. Even if you were to both teach the same lessons, you would frame them differently, provide unique insight. Not to mention that, based on his still-human perception of age, you'll likely seem far more relatable than Edvin and I."

He thumbed at the cuff of his sleeve for a moment, continuing.

"Besides, the relationships between sires and their progeny are always complex. Like any rebellious teenager, Samuel may find that he prefers information from any source but his... supernatural father figure."

Beauregard offered something of a playful edge to his voice and expression, but it was no less a sincere statement.

Tikanni adjusted pace when he realized Beauregard slowing after a few steps where he’d drawn ahead. The reasoning given made sense, though the bonus of perception of age was humorous and highlighted how old Samuel was.

There was a pause and he held back on any comment in favor of soaking up what had already been said. The next commentary had him letting out an amused puff at air. That was a complex relationship and he really hoped Edvin was a good one. But overall, the image of vampire acting out like an over-dramatic teen like they broadcast on television was something he couldn’t shake. He understood, of course, but it tickled him. So being a mentor was kind of the ‘cool’ uncle or teacher from school. Those were shoes he wouldn’t mind filling if so.

”Gotcha, that makes sense,” he said with an open smile before sobering a bit. ”I’d be game to try it out, though I may ask for pointers if that’s hunky-dory?” Beauregard had just said he’d been a mentor so just knowing he could reach out for that kind of communication was good to know.

No one spoke as Tikanni did, Beauregard decided. It was an intentional effort. The boy studied a book of outdated phrases before resting at the end of the night.

"It's not an endeavor you need to rush, and not everything needs to be a highly educational encounter. Companionship, someone to simply watch their back in a hunt as I watched yours, can be simply..."

Beauregard wracked his brain, searching back.

"Peachy keen."

He found himself smirking slightly.

That was reassuring to note. He could do that, the companionship thing. That came easier than becoming some lecturer.

The addition of ‘peachy keen’ was how he might’ve put it too. Raziyya had pointed out the use of old expression, told to embrace it even. He’d been a bit more aware of hearing himself since, but it was a manner of speak at this point that was hard to stop, which drew all the more delight from the fact Beauregard had used one. ”Okay, I can do that.”

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