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Summary: Ava and Nic discuss the aftermath of their most recent outing with Gunn.

Date It Happened: November 28, 2008


Nicolae and Ava's Apartment

Following the nightly patrol and victory sandwiches, the remnants of vampire dust because impossible to ignore and the rambunctious atmosphere of the team's hideout began to grate. Showers were needed, as was peace and quiet. Nicolae likes hunting with the group, but has never really enjoyed socializing with anyone. This lot proves to be no exception. Even among hard-bitten, world-weary-before-their-time young persons, the surly hunter seems to stand alone. Well, mostly. He and Ava occupy their own untouchable space even when separate and mixed in with the others. It's a gypsy thing.

On the way home, the couple passes by the street where they encountered tonight's kills, and discovered that the sword had in fact been retrieved and someone had even removed the dead woman's body, leaving only a forlorn-looking parked car with a ruined front tire on its driver's side. This inspired an eloquent grunt from the laconic Hungarian, and a more telling shift of his fingers from her back to her hip, his arm slipping more securely around her waist. The night itself seemed to give them a wide berth all the way home. The trip was quieter even than usual, but without any ominous underpinnings to the silence, no ill omens carried upon the gentle breeze.

"You want the shower first?" Ava asks tiredly, leaning on his larger body. She's in a rare and generous form tonight. Usually she's all about stumbling ahead of him to get into the shower, and take the majority of the hot water for her erstwhile effort. But then, the aftermath of her effort tonight might have an effect. Summoning an element is harder then some may think.

"You can go first," Nicolae replies as usual, even while he wraps his arms around Ava under the pretense of keeping her from falling over. Only rarely does he try and take anything before having made sure she's got her share first, showering included. But the difference between having that choice and not tells him a lot about her state. Clearly she is more exhausted than dusty. "You'll have a better chance of staying awake to finish if you go first." His frame judders with a brief, soundless chuckle.

Ava reaches behind her to tug out the ponytail holder that had kept most of her dark brown mass out of her face, rolling her neck and looking somewhere between lazily content and tired. She disappears into the bathroom, but leaves the door cracked so there can be conversation. "I need to go to the laundromat." she calls out as she starts doing shower prep. "And if that perv from upstairs tries to sneak looks at my bras again, I'm going to turn his eyes into Indian nickels."

Nicolae lets go of Ava as she lets her hair down, tracking her movement with a slight turn of his head. His body follows this reorientation a moment later and he winds up leaning against the wall next to the bathroom door, sliding down into a squat with his arms propped upon his knees, fingers loosely interlaced between them. "That would make him a blind pervert," he theorizes aloud, raising his head until he feels the gentle thunk of his skull coming to rest against the wall. "You'd just give him an excuse to grope you then." He turns his head to look through the crack, and then nudges it a bit wider so he can address her reflection in the bathroom mirror. It doesn't count as peeking when he does it. "I think Gunn is coming around. You've never done something like that around him before tonight. Next time will go more smoothly."

Ava snorts as she sheds clothes, leaving them on the floor a moment, and he thusly addresses her bare back. She's doesn't prance around the apartment naked, but she's also a lot less shy - everything she's got, he's seen. She leans into the shower stall to turn on the water, fingers splayed under the raining droplets to wait for the heat to kick in. "He acted like it was no big thing. As if he's seen real magic. Or even remotely understands the kind of power you have to process to manage that little parlor trick."

There really isn't any facet of Ava's being, physical or otherwise, that Nicolae hasn't seen already anymore. He regards this as a good thing, the lack of surprises in their relationship as a liberation from guesswork. It lets them concentrate on things that matter. Presently he considers the bruises upon her pride. "Maybe he has," he offers with a shrug that's conveyed by the implicit question mark in his tone as his shoulders roll soundlessly up and down along the wall. "This is Los Angeles. You've always told me how in America anything can happen. So far you haven't been wrong. Anyway, he seemed distracted. It was a fight, although looking back…" He simply grunts. It was a light warmup at best. "But what you were doing helped, and what that one vampire was saying did not. I think it was….a sign of trust that he did not make a thing."

At last, the water's hot enough, and Ava clambers in. Almost immediately, she starts washing flakes of vampire ash out of her hair. "I suppose you're right." Nicolae's long been able to push her into a reasonable perspective in hindsight of most situations. Now is no exception. "But see, he didn't seem to act like he'd seen anything like it before, because he didn't think I could be of any help. I wonder what kind of magical contacts he has in the city. I should nose at him a bit, see what he says."

They are unlikely tempering influences on one another. For each of them, it's easier to keep the other one out of trouble than to police themselves. In response to Ava's first statement all he can do is grunt, and only with deliberate effort does he make it loud enough for her to hear. He starts to peel his way out of his shirt in preparation for his own shower, pausing a moment with his forearms tangled in dusty fabric as he turns his head toward the door and replies, "That sounds like a good idea. He's always talking about the Hyperion. Whatever that is." If the story's been told before, Nicolae hasn't been around to hear it.

"I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to find out." Ava's fallen under the spell of the hot water, and having washed her hair, her body comes next. "I worry that he spends so much time there. His people are going to forget who's in charge if he acts like a negligent father."

With another grunt, Nicolae conveys agreement. Surely all it takes is to remember to ask. He rises to his feet, indulging himself a moment with the rough texture of the wall to scratch his back on the way up. Breathing out a sigh, he wads up his shirt as he says, "They're not too happy about it as it is. I can understand. Part of what keeps a good pack strong is isolation. You wouldn't see a Lakatos taking a day job away from his brothers…at least not unless he had jobs for everyone. But," he says, aiming at the laundry hamper, bouncing up on the balls of his feet and shooting his shirt across the room to nearly sink it. The wad comes apart as it hits the rim, and his shirt drapes precariously before spilling down onto the floor, "they're gaje. Things are different for them. I don't think they're all cousins like they say they are."
<OOC> Nicolae says, "'apart' not 'away'"

Ava laughs. "Please. If they're all related I'll eat my big toe." She finally emerges from the shower after shutting it off, and wraps herself in a towel before padding out, barefoot. Los Angeles tends to be warm, so she's not going to give herself a chill. "All yours." she says as she passes by him, smelling of blueberry shampoo.

"They are still a family," Nicolae concedes. He may have been poised to say more, but Ava's emergence from the bathroom in blueberry scented, towel-clad splendor distracts him. He leans in as she passes him at the bathroom door to sniff exaggeratedly at her hair and then grins as he concludes, "I hope it all works out for the best." He takes a moment to savor the distraction Ava represents, until the light misting upon his arm reminds him that the shower's free. In he goes, after that, hastily shedding the rest of his clothes to get under some hot water. "How are you feeling?" It occurs to him to ask, once he's under the torrent of steaming water. Having had his fill of 'character building' freezing showers growing up, he is an unabashed hot-water hog. That's part of the reason he usually lets Ava go first.

"Better." she says. She takes the time to slip into the clothes she likes to sleep in - a leftover of one of his button down shirts he wore while they were in highschool on rare necessary occaision. "How about you? I don't even think you got a bruise, did you?"

There's a noticeable pause as Nicolae either examines himself for damage or reflects upon the lack thereof, and the hint of a sigh heard over the hiss of the water. "No," he answers, sounding almost dejected. It's not that he likes pain, simply that he still measures the worth of a fight by how hard it was to walk away from. "They were newly risen. Couldn't have been more than a few days, and slow starters besides. Back home, they come out of the ground deadly. The blood is older, you see." Riiiight. "These were weak. I'm certain someone finished off the one we left behind when they came to fetch the sword. He couldn't even pry himself off of it. Pathetic."

Ava stretches out on the bed, catlike. She rolls onto her stomach. "I don't think it matters so much when they first pop out of the grave. All they care about is the food, at that point. But you're right, they were easy. I wonder who sired them."

Quickly rinsed and still mostly fresh from a shower taken before he left the apartment earlier, Nicolae cuts off the water and slaps wet feet on the floor as he steps out, vigorously assailing his scalp with a towel. "They are terrors, back home," he assures. "Terrors." The farther he gets from the Old Country the more its bull comes out of his mouth. It's some kind of slow-acting purge or something. Her curiosity is met with a grunt and a shrug as he dries himself off and probes the laundry on the floor with his toes in search of the sweats he sleeps in. "Maybe we'll get to kill it tomorrow," he muses hopefully. "If that lot was any indication it will probably fall over from fright and prolapse itself to death."

Ava watches look for his sweats with the unwitting fascination of a lioness on Wild Kingdom. "I love how you have such a glass half full outlook." she grins. "We can sleep in a little, so you know. My first appointment isn't until ten."

Nicolae dons his sleeping attire rather gracelessly, first nudging a foot through the waistband. He pauses to give Ava a look that quite plainly says her quip has gone over his head. Then he shuffles his feet through the legs until his toes emerge on the other side and settles heavily upon the bed to pull them the rest of the way on, settling as-is atop the bedspread. "Two nights in a row we can sleep in," he sighs, turning his head to look at her, and draping the back of his hand upon her back as he sprawls. "This kind of living will make me as soft as those vampires. I'll set the alarm for four o'clock…" This claim goes unsupported by action, and if anything he settles his weight even more firmly upon the bed as if putting down roots. It's more of that vestigial humor of his.

Ava snorts. "How about eight thirty?" she faux wheedles, twisting around on the bed so her shoulder's pressed against his side. She looks up at him and bat sher lashes. "You're not getting soft." she says firmly, and to prove it, jabs her finger into his side. "See?"

The wheedling isn't met with a verbal acknowledgment but it does manage to coax a slight smile from him. Nicolae watches her with steady amusement and makes a soft sound as she jabs him. He is neither soft there, nor ticklish, but even as he nods in wordless agreement his face takes on a thoughtful cast and he turns the hand he has resting on her back so that he can wiggle fingers against her side.

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