Loves me, loves me not

Lavender Heights 
Mid-February meant commercial romance was wafting through the air like cheap perfume. Beauregard was no romantic, but he took grand joy in romantic gestures.

He was no thief, but there was little sense in buying a dozen roses when you only needed one. And so he'd swiped a single stem from a bouquet at a nearby store, white and respectable looking enough to get away with the pettiest of crimes without notice.

Some half hour later, he was settled on the entry gate of a garden at the edge of some lovely street of shops. Beauregard learned quickly that a rose in its entirety was, unfortunately, too much for a mockingbird to carry. It sent him teetering, head bobbing one way and then the other. A bit of adjustment later, he was settled happily atop the gilded metal fence, just the head of the rose and a few inches of stem in his beak. From time to time, he would stretch his wings out in greeting, bowing his head as he clung tight to the rose.

The evening was a quiet one, but certainly someone would pay him proper mind in time.



It wasn't often that Rowdy found himself in Lavender Heights. The place was far too fancy and hipster for someone like him, but when his buddy Joe told him to meet him there for a drink he didn't have to buy, Rowdy was down. Apparently there was also some sort of singles night at the bar, and though Rowdy wasn't interested in that, he knew that Joe would need a good wing man.

As he walked down the street to the bar, he paused as he saw some dumb little bird with a rose in its mouth. Rowdy stopped in his tracks and shook his head. He wasn't drunk yet, but a bird holding a rose was just not a site one saw every day. The young man started to walk up slowly, cautiously, as quietly as his heavy work boots would let him. He didn't want to startle the bird.

He was close now. He wanted to grab the rose. Maybe let Joe use it to give a pretty girl. Damn, he was a good wing man. He started to reach one hand towards the bird's beak, unsure exactly how he'd ever manage to grab the flower. He wondered if it would be better to just try to startle the bird instead. Maybe it would drop the rose. So, instead, he jumped at the bird and yelled loudly, "Ahhhhh!"

He earned a few bewildered looks, occasionally, even a half bow back. But no proper engagement, no direct attention to the degree he was looking for. And so he would continue, offered all night as he was. Dinner had not yet been served, but he had fed yesterday. Another meal today was an issue of luxury.

It was some time into this game that a... someone, approached.

Beauregard had preferences regarding his company. This particular... thing approaching him now fell into not a single category of interest. Oversized, bearded, dressed fresh out of a thrift store. And nearing, nearing, a large enough figure that he found himself tensing some. One hand rose, and he was ready to be grabbed, to spring into a form that would startle them both for the sudden appearance of a very different creature.

And then there was the shout. Beauregard could read emotions and do so adeptly, but he could not read thoughts. He could not predict this moment as it happened, and this left him utterly unprepared.

The sound that burst from his little beak was decidedly human, a yelped "AH!" in return in Beauregard's voice. The rose fell from his grasp, a casualty of surprise, and the feathers of the bird puffed out in alarm.

One of two things happened that Rowdy expected to happen. First, he expected the bird would drop the rose. Second, he expected the bird to fly off. He watched as the rose dropped, his own throat having yet to fully stop producing sounds, but he stopped suddenly when he thought he heard another scream. Rowdy looked around, scratching his head as he searched for who else had screamed. When he gave up with a shrug, he turned back to grab the rose and noticed that the bird was still there.

"Brave little booger, ain't ya," he said, several decibles quieter than the yell had been. He grabbed up the rose on the ground, and then briefly wondered if the bird was in shock at the loud noise. "Go on then, get outta here," he said with a little wave of his hand, shooing the little creature away.

Beauregard was not happy.

Not as a bird. Not as a man. This rankled deeply, his stolen prize stolen again. The feathers settled as he found his wits after the scare, and already his mind turned.

Eye contact was always a goddamn challenge as a bird. The oaf sought to shoo him from his own earned perch, and temptation trickled in. This was too public place to whirl into a frenzy and put a fence iron through any eye sockets.

And so, he tilted his head, then straightened it again, rising high on his little legs to try to seek the man's eyes. In his best talking parrot impression, he croaked out words.

"Brave! Yes!"

Then two triumphant chirps to seal the ridiculousness.

Rowdy had met a parrot exactly one time in his life, and it didn't look a thing like the little bird on the fence. The man had all but turned away when it chirped out some words, and Rowdy turned to look at its beak in confusion. "What in the hell?" he mumbled, sure that this bird was definitely no parrot, even though the only type of parrot to exist to him were Macaws.

"You some sort of puppet?" he asked, quickly reaching out and grabbing the bird with his free hand. The bird definitely felt real, but maybe this was one of those really fancy puppets.


Beauregard was a quick creature when he needed to be. He knew the danger of such a fragile form. And yet as the hand came toward him, there was some disbelief that this poorly camouflaged ape would actually pose any sort of threat.

This proved to be hubris.

A hand wrapped around his feathered body, and Beauregard suddenly felt very, very small and easily crushed. For all that he was mindful to play his games away from security cameras, they were not entirely alone here. Enough ruckus could draw a crowd.

Best get this over with in a hurry.

With a restrained jerk of his wings, what once was a bird would abruptly, confusingly be a man. He did not have opportunity to offer a thoughtful suggestion or careful attack. The shift was awkward, clumsy, abrupt. It sent a well dressed vampire pummeling forward, seeking to knock the idiot to the ground beneath him as he stumbled forward.

To say this was a deliberate move would be dishonest, but it would be a forceful one.

If this idiot so much as swung at him, Beauregard had grave intention to harm him terribly and every capacity to do so.



The tides had drastically turned as the little bird suddenly became a grown ass man. Rowdy gave his own yelp of surprise as he tumbled backwards onto his ass, dropping the rose in the process. "What the fuck?" he breathed out, staring wide-eyed at the man before him. "What the fuck?" he said louder, finally getting his bearings.

Alarms were going off in his head that this wasn't a good situation to be in. You had to be living under a rock to not know the types of crazy things that existed in Mountainside. And Rowdy had no idea what exactly he was dealing with as he never paid a whole lot of attention to what was real and what wasn't.

It was not a good look for anyone. Staggering, bowling the idiot over and scraping palms on the pavement himself. He ended up unflatteringly on his own ass on the damp concrete, but thankfully humanity made eye contact marginally easier.

Wisdom said to make this man forget it all immediately. Anger put another suggestion first.

"Eat that rose in its entirety," he snarled with vicious, stupid success. The next would be easy, and he continued on without pause. "Forget you ever met me."

That... did not stick, and likely he would not have the man's eyes long enough to sputter the same thing out again.

The human had a rose to devour, after all.


The older man was on his ass as well and as Rowdy continued to dumbly look at him, the man said to eat the rose on the ground. There was nothing in his mind telling him that this wasn't a good idea, and he grabbed the rose and shoved the entire bud of the flower in his mouth. It surprisingly had a hint of a sweet taste to it, and as Rowdy masticated away on it, he smiled at Beauregard. "This is actually alright!" he said, not caring that his mouth was full of flower. "Who knew flowers could taste so good!" Rowdy laughed, not paying any attention to the rose chunk and spittle coming out of his mouth as he spoke.

This was.... harmful.

Beauregard was being harmed by this moment. Witnessing the sort of grotesquery of nightmares, it felt like the sneer on his face would rend the flesh from his skull if he kept it too long.

He could barely hear the words, so utterly disgusted as he was, lowered to the literal ground with this fucking animal of a man. There was a need to get away from this before it upset him to the point of something nastier, but there was a mess to fix first.

"Forget. You. Met. Me."

Enunciated clearly, carefully, eye contact held. And it did absolutely nothing. Beauregard felt a tension in his jaw, a trembling of the muscle. Fingers threatening to twitch into a lengthier, clawed state. Some speck of chewed flower landed very near his shoe. Fangs grew in his mouth.

This was not the place to make a scene. He pushed himself from the ground with a hand, so goddamn frustrated, irritated, failed by his own goddamn powers. Taking one step away, then another, he whirled to take off again as a bird, flying up and as high as his wings would allow him to go.

failure >:]


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