In Vino Veritas


Daisy_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif

Summary: Julian manages to get Daisy home in one piece, and over drinks, fills her in on some of the scary truths of the world.

Date It Happened: December 24, 2001 (following You're Sick)

In Vino Veritas

Daisy's Apartment

Daisy manages to survive the cab ride without fainting and now leads the way up to her apartment. Her hands shake slightly as she fights to get her keys out, but finally the door is opened for them. Onto nothing fancy, but not a slum either, the likes of which she can scarcely afford but wanted to be as close to Hollywood as she could manage. This partly accounts for the sparseness of the furniture within. Most of it is second-hand or straight from IKEA, but it's functional and the place is neat and well-organized, though that's easier to do when you don't have a lot of stuff. There are those few personal touches, mostly in the form of photographs of a very large family on what looks to be a farm, and those few items that suggest Daisy at least tries to be a good Catholic girl. "I, um…" She hesitates just slightly there on the threshold, before gesturing to the room within. "You want to…?" It's quite possible she's not had any company here yet, let alone men who may or may not have crazy things up with their faces.

"I'd love to, dear." Far be it for Julian to judge someone on their environment. Not everyone is as financially fortunate as he is, after all, and it looks like Daisy has kept her living space clean. That's about all he could ask for. He mimics her indication of the room, ushering her in first just as he did with the cab. "After you." There's certainly nothing freaky about Julian's face right now. He looks perfectly normal, if a little distracted and shell-shocked. But who wouldn't be?

Daisy nods and leads the way inside, pausing just a moment to hang the keys on a little hook by the door that is obviously there for exactly that purpose. She's still carrying the rose, though her bag she sets on the ground beneath the key-hook. She lets out a little breath and then shakes her head, as if to clear it. Shellshocked is definitely the order of the day for her as well. "I guess … we should sit?" she suggests, trying to remember her manners, figure out what it is a hostess does in this particular situation. "Or, um, a drink?"

Julian follows Daisy in and shuts the door quietly behind himself, shucking off his jacket a moment later so he can drape it over one arm, leaving him in shirt, tie, and waistcoat. He doesn't take his eyes off of the woman for even a moment; he's full of concern. People don't often survive vicious vampire attacks almost completely unscathed, and it's probably traumatizing. "I think both would be a good idea. It'd calm us down."

"Right," Daisy agrees, as if realizing he's made a very good point about it calming them down. She makes an idle gesture for him to have a seat on the IKEA sofa if he'd like, but she drifts over towards the small kitchen, which is just as organized as the rest of the place and shows signs of an owner who actually does do more than simply reheat frozen dinners. From the cabinet above the stove, she pulls down a couple of small bottles, the extent of her wet bar. There's a moment where she's not entirely sure what to do at this point, which is perhaps why what is brought forth in the end is a tray with the bottles, a bottle of soda, and two tumblers. Somehow, it just seemed easier than trying to take orders or figure out what she wants.

No need to sit just yet. Julian isn't sure how well Daisy's holding onto her senses, and if she suddenly loses them - it'd be better for him to be on his feet for an immediate response. His jacket, however, is folded the rest of the way and then deposited over one of the couch's arms. It's a somewhat anxious wait for Daisy to return. Losing sight of her, even for a few moments, was not nerve-settling. "Really, though. Are you alright? Should we go to a hospital?"

Daisy sets the tray down on the coffee table, wincing just a little as she straightens back up. "I'm - I'm okay," she assures him, with as much certainty as she can muster. "I mean, I'm not hurt. Not really," she appends, after taking a look at the nasty mark developing on her forearm where Simone had held on so tight. "I just … Well, maybe I should sit." There's a weak smile with that, more of a reflexive twitch, and she moves over to drop onto one end of the couch, tucking her hair back behind her ears as she sits. "Are … you okay?"

"Right as rain, doll. Simone can't hurt me enough to cause me any real trouble." Or at least Julian doesn't think she would hurt him that much. It's not in her, right? He seats himself beside Daisy and leans forward to start pouring drinks, mixing equal parts of the soda and some of the liquor, aiming to mix something sweet and soothing for Daisy while just dumping some liquor straight into a glass for himself. "She's a little tense with new people. You can't blame her for it. But I think you should head the other way if you ever see her again."

"Um, yeah. I don't think I'll be having any more heart to heart chats," Daisy replies a little wryly, because, really, sticking around Simone is pretty much the /last/ thing she can imagine doing right now. "And if that was a little tense, I'd hate to see her really upset." No word of a lie there. She leaves the drink preparation to him, content to sag back against the sofa, positioning herself in a way that she can cradle the sore arm without being too obvious about it. "Seriously, Jack," she goes on, her tone more sincere now, "What was that? What … what happened?" Because the jealous ex under bad lighting just isn't filling in the blanks enough.

The sad thing is that Julian isn't joking. That was Simone: Only Mildly Irritated. He lifts Daisy's tumbler and reaches out to hand it over to her, not taking his own in hand until she's got hers. "Well, dear. I don't think you'd believe me if I told you the truth, and I'm afraid you'd hate me for telling you in the first place." Not many people are thrilled to knowingly keep company with half-demons. "And my full name is Julian Tiggs, by the way. Jack's a nickname."

Daisy takes the glass with a nod of thanks, holding it close to herself for a moment, before taking a small sip of it. As he offers his full name, that answers one question at least, though it's a question she'd more or less forgotten about by this point. "I … don't know /what/ I'd believe at this point," she goes on after considering it for a moment. She takes another sip of her drink and then gives her head a small shake. "But I don't think I could hate you."

"Well." This is awkward. Julian decides to steel himself for the inevitable Even More Awkward conversation by gulping down the entire content of his first glass with a sour expression, hissing slightly once it's done and promptly pouring another glass. "Uh. Simone is touched by demonic forces. She's a vampire." Blunt might be the best way to do this.

"I- What?" Daisy asks, sitting up slightly but still looking rather placid, considering what Julian has just said. This is, of course, because she assumes he must be joking. There's even that tight, awkward smile beginning to be forced into place, because surely she's supposed to laugh now? Except Julian's not laughing. After a beat, she slouches back against the couch. "No. That's … Well, that's not possible," she points out practically. Still, she takes another sip of her drink, this one longer than the first two combined.

"See," Julian accuses, "I told you you wouldn't believe me." He leans back and hooks one arm about the couch's back, putting it behind Daisy's shoulders. "I'm entirely serious. She's been around since the seventeen-hundreds. I have been around since the the eighteen-sixties. I'm not a vampire, though." That last part is added as a nearly-desperate afterthought. Julian knows perfectly well that Daisy saw his non-human face. He saw the look she gave him. And obviously she wasn't accepting the trick-of-the-light excuse.

"Well, how /can/ I believe you?" Daisy points out, though it's clear she actually feels badly for not believing the crazy man's crazy stories. "Vampires and - and people living that long, that's not… Those things aren't /real/, Jack." But now she's beginning to doubt which one of them is the crazy one. Because, well, there were those scary faces. And the fact that an ex, whether she's jealous and anti-social or not, should not be that strong. Or that casually homicidal, even in LA. There's another long pull of her drink.

This is going to be a difficult sell. Julian frowns at his glass, twisting his hand on its wrist several times to shallowly slosh the liquor around, the stuff getting dangerously close to the lip of the tumbler before settling again. "Darling, Simone is incredibly dangerous. She doesn't have the same restraint that I show. If I hadn't been there, she'd have sucked you dry of your blood and ditched you in the nearest alley." Harsh, but true. "I think I'm real enough."

Daisy shivers slightly at the what-if picture that he paints. Even if she's not convinced these things are real, enough has happened tonight to make it hard to brush off that visual. "I … didn't say /you/ weren't real," she goes on more gently. "Just that, well, /clearly/ you aren't over a hundred years old." She looks over at him, gesturing slightly with her glass to indicate the evidence she has to this end. "Though I believe she's dangerous," the woman has to allow in a quieter tone a moment later. There's that flicker of doubt again.

The girl still isn't getting the picture, though it is indeed true that the half-demon has aged well. "I am a hundred and thirty nine, actually. I don't know how you expect me to prove this to you without doing something unsavory that I'd probably regret later." Because possessing your Christmas Eve date is totally not socially appropriate. Julian knows this. "I - could show you my face, I suppose. But it's not exactly pretty."

Daisy hasn't yet picked up her copy of Dating for Demons, but she'd probably agree about not getting possessed, if she knew that were even an option to be considered. "Was that-?" she begins to ask, thinking back to that 'trick of the light' there in the churchyard. But she stops herself because to finish would be sort of like admitting these things are possible. "I don't really /expect/ you to do anything." Let alone prove it to her. "But you're asking me to believe an awful lot." She still tries so hard to be diplomatic, despite the major trauma.

Trick of the light indeed. But Julian doesn't prompt a change in his features - at least not yet - instead looking over at Daisy with a rather mournful expression. "I know I'm asking you to believe a lot. And now you think I'm crazy. Really, dear, I'm not."

"I /don't/ think you're crazy," Daisy insists, but while she's actually not a bad actress, she's not quite up to lying convincingly right now. "I just…" But she trails off with a sigh, closing her eyes wearily. "I don't know. I don't know /what/ to believe at this point. Other than that was a really lousy night." That much, she believes, yes.

"You think I'm crazy." Julian knows it. There's no point in the woman trying to lie her way around it, but perhaps the sudden change in the features of the man sitting beside her will help convince her otherwise. Wrinkled forehead, pointy teeth, and yellow eyes - the entire package, without any fanfare, is now staring at her. "It shouldn't be a lousy night. You've been saved from a horrid fate."

"I-" But Daisy is spared from any further attempts at trying to deny convincingly when Julian suddenly goes all demon face on her. "Oh my God!" she exclaims, jumping enough that it's a good thing her drink was more than half done, or she'd be wearing most of it. There's more of that wide eyed staring, as she gapes, trying to think of something more to say. "I - Oh my God," she repeats more quietly. "You /aren't/ crazy." But now she's kinda wishing he was maybe.

Julian only keeps the face for as long as he feels is necessary for Daisy to be sure she isn't simply seeing things, and then lets himself return to a more human appearance. "I'm not crazy, no. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't run around and let all your chums know that you're involved with anything… abnormal. Most people can't handle it. Are you alright?"

Daisy gives him a searching look as the human visage returns, like she's trying to see signs of that other one in there, or just trying to figure out what's going on. "I … don't know. I mean, yes. I think," she replies, giving her head a little shake and then finally just finishing that drink he made her. "I won't tell anyone," she goes on, once that's done. "I wouldn't know what to tell them, even if I had someone to tell." She pauses and then adds, "Plus I wouldn't break a confidence like that. Even if I- What /are/ you? Sorry, is that rude? I just mean…" But the babbling trails off, since that's pretty much exactly what she meant.

Luckily, Julian just finds the verbal fumblings endearing. He lets his arm slide down along the couch a little until it's settled onto and across Daisy's back in a companionable embrace, wrapping his hand around her far shoulder. "Well, I'm half Ethros demon. A mongrel with some useful traits, like a long lifespan. I don't mind answering your questions," he adds quickly, smiling after a second's hesitation. "It's nice to talk to someone." The man returns his attention temporarily to the drink in his other hand, taking a long draw from it.

"A demon," Daisy repeats in a flat tone, really not wanting to believe that, but the denial is a lot harder now after that demonstration. She tenses just slightly as his hand touches her back, though since she relaxes a moment later, it seems to be more just jumpiness from the night. "Like a 'I cast thee back to hell' type of demon?" Because 'Ethros' really means nothing to her, unfortunately. "And that woman was a vampire. And would have killed me. And she's your ex. But you saved me from her." These facts are having a hard time adding up.

"Strictly speaking, if you were to stick a cross at my face I would probably cower. If you touched me with one, my flesh would burn - but that doesn't hold true for all demons." So don't run around shoving crosses into peoples' faces. Julian won't be responsible for what happens if Daisy does that. "I'm.. not so much a fan of killing women, Daisy. I like human women too much to want them to end up food for hungry vampires." Also, he and Simone are a special case. Julian finishes off his second glass with a few short gulps.

"Seriously?" Daisy is a little awed at the idea of crosses actually /burning/ someone. "Are you - I mean, you don't /seem/ evil…" Which is why she's sitting here with his arm around her and not going for the nearest cross, no doubt. "You're really serious about all this, aren't you. This isn't some sort of joke? Because I'll tell you right now, I fall for those so easily, it's really not even sporting." So, you know, if he wants to tell her she's on Candid Camera aaaaany time now…

Sigh. She is trying so hard to avoid the truth. People seem to be that way whenever they're told the traditional Vampires Are Real line. Julian squeezes Daisy's shoulder lightly and leans forward to fetch himself the same bottle he's been using for the drinks, pouring himself yet another. "It's not a joke, dear." There's no answer as far as 'evil' goes.

Daisy is too busy having her mind utterly blown to notice that he's kind of dodged the non-question about evil there. "Wow," she replies in a quiet, awestruck tone, leaning back against the couch with a little sigh through her nose. She considers it a moment more, and then holds her glass out for another, even just the hard stuff at this point. "Is it weird I don't even know what to do with that?" she inquires finally. He might be part and parcel of the very thing she doesn't know what to with, but she still seeks his advice on it.

None of that. Julian takes Daisy's glass and then scoots forward to the edge of the couch, unwrapping his arm from her so he can properly mix her a duplicate of her last drink, setting his own down in the meantime. He can wait! She's the lady, and should be served first. "Don't know what to do with what? That monsters are real? Humans have produced worse than we have in the last century alone."

"Yeah, but at least I didn't think war and genocide were just fairy tales up until five minutes ago," Daisy points out earnestly. Not that the human-derived evils don't pain her also, but there's a certain level of being used to them. "I guess it's just a lot to take in, is all. I'm sorry. I don't mean to say you're a /monster/." Even if it was his word, not hers. "I don't really know what I'm trying to say. Words just keep coming out." A natural tendency to babble and more liquor than she's used to having in one sitting combine with lethal force.

Awwwww. Daisy's so cute. Julian hands her the refilled glass with a smile, fetches his own, and then leans back to resume his previous position with his arm around the woman. "There's no need to apologize. I understand that it's a rather large adjustment to the way you see the world."

Daisy takes the glass with a murmured thanks, though she's at least wise enough not to gulp this one down. Not yet, anyway. Depends on how the conversation goes from here. But for now, she's content to just take a small sip and then nurse it, looking down into the murky liquid thoughtfully. "Huge," she agrees with an emphatic nod. "Bigger than huge. My parents didn't even like me watching horror movies. Though I think that was more because of the time that evil clown gave me nightmares," she allows. "Gosh, those aren't real, are they?" Vampires, okay, but that creepy clown from It? No way.

"—I'm not sure, actually. I haven't personally come across any evil clowns, but that doesn't mean they don't exist." This is not exactly comforting, so Julian scoots ever so slightly closer to Daisy to shift his grip on her into something more like an actual hug. "Not all of us are horrifying." Just most demons. Julian has his moments, too! He is proud of them. But Daisy doesn't really need to know about that.

Daisy is not exactly comforted by the idea that the clown could exist, no. But she does seem to appreciate the hug-like gesture, leaning in against him slightly and closing her eyes for a moment. "No, I - I know. I'm not scared of you," she says, sounding a little surprised at the realization, though the fact that she's curled in beside him probably should have been her first clue. "You've always been really nice." Not the most eloquent words, but they're genuine.

If it was Daisy's intention to fill her demon companion with fuzzy happy feelings, she has succeeded. Julian just can't resist the affection of women, and for some reason Daisy is particularly fetching in his eyes. "I'm pleased that you're not afraid. I'm getting quite fond of you." He pulls his arm closer around the woman and into a more comfortable position, dropping his head backwards to rest on the top of the couch.

That gets a little grin from the young woman, shy and girlish and helped along by a slightly fuzzy head from the alcohol she's consumed so quickly. "Well, I guess that works out well for me since you're sort of a hero, saving my life and all," Daisy decides, before taking another small sip of her drink. "God, it's still so hard to believe all this is real. It just sort of keeps coming back to me. So, um, are you /really/ a hundred and thirty nine, was it?"

A hero. Maybe - just maybe - that's better than being a villain. Either way, it sounds good to Julian. He smiles at Daisy and shrugs a shoulder, nodding. "A hundred and forty this coming June. You should probably be lying down after all this excitement. If you like, I'll stay here for the evening." On the couch, of course. It'd be the only appropriate place for him.

"Wow," Daisy replies again, giving him a scrutinizing look and then shaking her head, because, really, he doesn't look a day over a hundred and thirty. When he suggests lying down, her first impulse is to insist she's okay, but it /has/ been one heck of a night, and the liquor is starting to go to her head. So she pauses just a moment before nodding. "Yeah, okay. If you don't mind. I don't want to keep you if there's somewhere you need to be…" But the idea of keeping her hero nearby is too good to turn down flat.

"I'd be happy to stay if it'll ease your mind." Because Julian is such a great guy. He pats Daisy's side before uncurling his arm from her, finishing off his drink and setting the tumbler down one last time. It's likely that the price of his protection (for the night) will be the finishing off of the bottle of liquor that has already been opened. "Go on, dear. I'll be fine out here."

"Thank you," Daisy replies with a genuine (if somewhat besotted) smile, sitting up carefully once he's uncurled from around her. She's unlikely to miss the bottle anyway, seeing as she doesn't even finish that second glass and this was a night of heavy drinking for her. Instead, the rest of it is just set down on the table so that she can get herself to her feet. "There's sheets and blankets in the linen cupboard beside the washroom," she explains, gesturing in that general direction. It's not a big place, so she doesn't expect he'll get lost. She pauses, pondering saying something else, but then just gives a small smile, shakes head and turns to go with a simple, "Good night, Jack." No need to get into more drunken rambling.

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