Hard To Know Who Your Friends Are


Jack_icon.gif Matthew_icon.gif

Summary: Jack finds Matthew and tries to be big brother wolf man, also tries to tell Matt he's not evil. He's not evil, right? -right?

Date It Happened: February 7, 2002

Hard To Know Who Your Friends Are…

The Beach

While it would be absurd to expect the beach to be completely empty, with a bit of walking ( a lot of walking ), and the hour growing more than late, the other people Matt is currently sharing it with tonight simply appear as dark spots in the distances. He's going for the dark, not the ocean, finding a place on the sand between hotels, clubs, private homes. Places where lamps, lights, strobes, and spots don't pollute the black. Where the ocean just seems a black shimmer, where the noise of a city exists as muffled and distant, and the moonless night above almost shows its stars. Almost.

Matthew has cleaned up considerably over the last week or so. Both literally and in his dress, he barely resembles the street rat he is now that he's getting regular showers and meals. Though his scent… that very unique and morbid quality of it… that hasn't changed, soap and water not washing the blood from his hands, so to speak. But as he digs his feet into the sand (barefoot, his tattered shoes lying a few feet away, the only bit of clothing he still has that he came into town with.) it isn't the ground he's paying attention to, nor the city around him. No, its the sky, and a moon hidden away.

New-moon nights are typically the best in which to cause mischief. It's darker than nights in which there is a moon; people see less, while those with better nightvision have an advantage. That said, Jack's not out for mischief just yet. In fact, he's being very genial. He even stopped and chatted with a woman and her little boy. Cooing was involved. In fact, Jack looks more lucid tonight than he ever has been since he made his appearance in LA.

But he's here for a reason, and making an idiot of himself for the sake of a baby's smile is not one of them. There is at least one person who is not just a dark spot in the distance, and he's following directly in Matt's footprints. He's also barefoot, brown dress shoes tied by the shoelaces and draped over his neck. Jack's dressed in a ruffled brown suit tonight, and once he's sure that he and Matt are out of earshot of everyone else, he picks up the pace to catch up with the boy. "Nice night, eh?" he calls in an accent that could be from Chicago.

To say that Matt's guard is down would be an understatement. Eyes and chin still pointed upwards, he paces 'round just as casually as can be as he slowly meanders to kinda face the Chicago man's voice. "Oh man, you have no idea." Matt answers, his accent also placing him from clearly out of town. "Wish we could see the stars a bit better. They call it light pollution, right? Or something' like that."

Jack casts a glance upward, then shrugs. "Sure." He grins — not an entirely friendly sort of expression. There's a hint of menace or … something else equally disturbing hidden within. "Shame about the moon, huh? Always looks better when it's full." That grin just grows, seeming to stand out in the almost starless night.

Of course, that turns Matt's good mood sour pretty quick. "Yeah, uhm, too, uhm bad." he answers just a touch more cautious than a moment before as his eyes are taken off the world above and placed down on the world of now. He squints those eyes as he tries to focus, tries to focus on the man, but only making out the smile for now, and slowly backs away to his shoes. "Anyway, uhm, buddy. Nice to meet'cha, but…"

The grin disappears again into the more genial smirk, and Jack follows right after Matt. "What's the hurry? I'm not gonna bite you. Not that it'd do anything that ain't already been done." He's obviously not been recognized yet, which he's using to his advantage. "You got a group, kid?"

And there that guard is, his posture shifts to a defensive one, muscles all up and down his body tense up as they prepare to be used at a moment's notice. His hand even reaches behind him to feel for something… that isn't there, he left his bat at Dajan's. "I ain't got no one." Matt answers evenly. "And I don't want no one." Recognition still hasn't made it to his face, but he's trying awfully hard now to tray and get a good look. "No offense buddy, but if you're sayin' you are what I think you're sayin' you are, lets just say what I've seen of us hasn't exactly made me want to send off for a membership card, either."

Jack's smile grows again. "What, you mean that little incident in Los Feliz? You didn't understand what was going on, is all." Well, if there was no recognition before, there probably is now. "The woman was dangerous to that kid, and that kid will be a danger to everyone else when the next full moon hits. Kid's been bit by a werewolf. I was trying to take her so she could be taught how to control it, like I can."

Yeah, that does it. When recognition hit, another shiver tenses through those muscles of his and his heart begins to race 90 miles a minute. Again, he paces back, and his toes start to feel around for his shoes. "Y-yeah?" he asks, fear in his voice. "If it was just a misunderstanding'… what was up with the other girl? Or that knife?"

"Distraction." Jack seems totally unruffled, though the overwhelming sense of fear is almost intoxicating. Mmmmm, fear. Better than alcohol. "Can't just walk up to someone and say, 'Hey, sorry to be a bother, but that kid's going to turn into something huge hairy and horrible next full moon. Mind handing her over?' now can you? Just hope that vampire has the sense to deliver her to Hannah before then." But he's getting off the track. "So what're your plans next full moon? You wanna go rampaging, or would you prefer keeping yourself out of trouble?"

The story is making it's sell. Given his situation, Matt is pretty keen to believe in horrible tragic misunderstandings. The fear isn't gone, no, but at least his posture relaxes an inch. His eyes quirk at Jack, as if trying his best to read him. Not a skill he's particularly good at, and he hasn't learned to use his nose to help yet, either. "Figured I'd try some chains this time." Matt lies, but the sentiment at least is true: rampaging bad.

Chains. Fff. Jack seems amused by that idea. "Cages are the best way to go, y'know. Reinforced cages. Of course, knowing how to control it is actually the best way, but that's not something you learn overnight." He cocks his head to one side. "I happen to have both. Cage is for charity, mind. I already know how to control it."

There is a considerable step from 'I'm willing to consider that you weren't trying to eat a little kid' all the way to 'Sure, lets go back to your place and lock me in a cage.' And that isn't a step Matt is willing to make just yet. "Like I said, doin' this thing on my own. Worked out alright for me so far." That is a giant red lie, right there, more than enough tells to give that way. His little toes begin wiggling their way back into his shoes as he tries to just keep the conversation goin' "But… not overnight, huh? I've seen you got a handle on it, don't know how the hell you did that. How long is /not/ overnight?"

"Yeah, I can smell how much you've got it handled," Jack snorts. "You'd have a more convincing argument if you didn't smell like you'd had a buffet at an orphanage." Sure, it's an exaggeration, but Jack's good at that. He shrugs a little. "Could take a few months, could take a few years. Depends on how fast you learn." Remember that bit about exaggerations? Yeah. He means years. Not months. But he's damn good at that too.

Matt's face hardens at the accusation, and the hairs on the back of his neck stand straight up as just a hint of a rumble forms in his chest. Not aggressive, no, this isn't a challenge. It's fear, full on and mortal this time. This is backed into a corner. "I'm handling it…" he asserts, taking yet another step back. "Afraid your friend didn't leave me the handbook between ripping my dad's throat out and giving me this hankerin' for some seriously red meat."

Damn that smell. Terror is so … delicious. Jack grins again. "Wasn't no friend of mine if he wasn't willing to stick around and give some help," he states. Then he withdraws a piece of paper from his pocket and holds it out toward Matt. "Think it over a bit and get back to me." On the paper in scrawled red ink is a name and a number:

jack spratt

Matt risks it, taking small steps towards Jack until he can reach out and grab the card. "Well, man, fair's fair, and you seem to be giving me a good shake here…" Matt ventures, falling for the act. "But I would be careful here, a lot of people don't like you. That bit last week almost got me killed, and they think you're the Big Bad."

"People are always trying to get after the things they don't understand." Jack seems nonchalant about the veritable manhunt. Or maybe he's pleased at Matt's reaction. Either way, he gives a wink, then starts to head on back up the beach. "Take care of yourself, pup."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License