Actually Insane


Dan_icon.gif Seth_icon.gif

Summary: Seth tracks down a man he believes to be a legitimate Watcher. Dan is confused.

Date It Happened: December 9, 2001

Actually Insane

Skid Row

Between Third and Seventh and Alameda and Main streets, there is a pocket of cardboard boxes and camping tents and a population of people who have no other home than the garbage-strewn sidewalks along this stretch. This is Skid Row, Los Angeles. There are businesses here — heavily protected by alarms and armed shop owners — but they are greatly overshadowed by the many social services centers that fill the area. This is where most of the city's homeless population can be found — and sometimes, at night, that's not necessarily a good thing.

Los Angeles is known for its good weather, especially during the winter months. It's still sunny, still (relatively) warm — but on this particular day, it's also raining. And that means the residents of Skid Row are trying their best to find shelter. Some huddle in the doorways of the buildings, others crowd within tents and boxes. Dan has found himself a fairly ideal spot just under the awning of the florist shop, where he sits cross-legged on the sidewalk with his notebook cradled on his calves and a pen busily working on that. He's dressed in his typical fare: an open button-down shirt over a plain white T-shirt and a pair of khakis — all of which have seen better, brighter days.

Most people would probably find the task of locating Dan to be a difficult one, but for a warlock it's not quite so hard to do. That's why it takes Seth only a short bit of wandering from the corner of the street (from where he exited his cab) to bring himself to a halt in front of the bum's sitting-spot, cane and polished shoes all clicking on the sidewalk. "Hey there, sunshine!" Apparently there's not going to be any sort of additional pleasantries, since the man dives right into business. The rain probably has a lot to do with that, though most of it is kept free of Seth's face thanks to the black bowler that's perched on his head. "There's a man running around town who likes to set things on fire, and I thought that maybe instead of letting everyone else take care of it you could get off your silly ass and do your job. Kay?"

It's one thing for the upper class to come by and harass the homeless. It's another when the upper class come by to harass the homeless and say things crazier than the homeless crazies. Dan does not initially look up when Seth stops in front of him, as it's very easy to tune out others when he's deeply engrossed in his writing. However, once it becomes apparent that he's being addressed, he slowly raises his head and blinks up at the man — then glances over both shoulders just to be sure he's not mistaken. Finally realization sets in and he blinks up at Seth again. "… I'm not in charge of stopping arsonists," he responds mildly, if not bewilderedly. "That's something for the police to handle. You should try calling them."

"Ghettajobhi, I don't have time for you to whine and moan and act clueless. This fire-slinger crisped two vampires in about five seconds, and I don't trust him not to burn down the whole town." Seth isn't crazy. He's just very blunt about things that directly affect him, like creepy guys named Frank who set things on fire and seem to take an interest in him. "What's the matter, huh? Is the Watchers' Council digging so far for recruits that they've hit the layer of igneous moron?" The scary part is that all those things Seth has been saying have been said with a straight face - and it sounds like he means every word.

Yes. Yes, that is the scary part. Dan just goes silent for several pregnant moments. He stares. Blinks once. Blinks twice. And with a face as straight and unimpressed as ever, he states in a near-monotone, "Vampires." Seth has officially gone from Random Well-To-Do Guy to Oh That Poor Man, He's Actually Insane.

Seth just stares impatiently at Dan, looking very much as though he's mere seconds away from beating the homeless man with his cane until he admits his knowledge of the supernatural world. "Yes, vampires. Those demons with the bad dental and the faces and the blood-sucking pain. Vampires. Crazy firestarter that's dusting them. You, not doing your job."

In his day, Dan has dealt with many a crazy, and he has learned that humoring is one of the best things to do. But even he is finding it difficult. "I see," he intones flatly, straightening his back and folding his hands over his notebook. "And what is it you would like me to do about these … vampires and the … firestarter?" Use the Crazy's terms, yes.

"Oh. Oh my god. You're just being intentionally obtuse now. That's very funny, sunshine, but the procedures taken by the Council to deal with scary people aren't my area of expertise, they're yours." At least according to the gypsies. Seth lifts his cane, using its handle to tip up the front of his hat just a little as he crouches down to put himself on eye-level with Dan. "Do your job." For Dan's benefit he speaks slowly and clearly as if to a two-year old.

This is just too much. "My area of expertise," Dan utters. "I see." Dear God, he just … wants the crazy man away. Awaaaay. "Well, then. I'll take care of it as quickly as possible." Humor the crazy man and he will go away. Awaaaay.

Finally Seth smiles at Dan, apparently pleased by the other man's agreement. "Good girl. Please don't screw it up or I'll be forced to hex you until your eyes cross and then pop right out of your fake-English skull." The warlock cheerily claps Dan on the shoulder after this pronouncement. Because it was totally normal.

Dan just smiles tightly. "I am Indian," he says matter-of-factly. As for the hexing, well, he's not afraid. Seth is, after all, insane, and Dan is not a superstitious sort. Despite everything he's seen and heard of late, he really isn't. "Have a good day."

Indian, fake-English, it doesn't matter. The Watchers' Council is based out of Britain and that is good enough for Seth. He straightens up slowly and rather painfully, tips his hat again, and moves off towards the street again to where his cab is still waiting. "Enjoy your firestarter."

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