Tomb Talks


Seth_icon.gif Francis_icon.gif

Summary: Seth and Francis meet each other in a graveyard by chance, and two unfortunate vampires bite the dust. PUN INTENDED.

Date It Happened: December 7, 2001

Tomb Talks

Location: Cavalry Cemetary

Quiet, subdued, well-kept, Calvary Cemetery is watched over by angels, disciples, and other celestial figures — or so the heavily Roman Catholic masonry and theme would have one believe. This graveyard is home to many beautifully crafted stone figures who keep eternal watch over those interred here. Among the most famous dead here are Lionel and Ethel Barrymore, and Lou Costello of Abbott&Costello. Also within this cemetery is Calvary Mortuary, which serves Catholic cemeteries and families throughout the city. Additionally, there is a mausoleum with breathtaking stained glass windows of a religious flavor.

But no heavily religious motif can protect from what might be lurking amidst the tombstones when the sun goes down…

It's a beautiful evening in LA. Winters aren't too harsh, so Francis can sit quite comfortably, feet dangling off the edge of a box crypt. He's smoking - a man has to have some bad habits, after all. The scent of smoke is oddly sweet on the air. He's in a leather jacket, dark t-shirt, and jeans. At the moment, he's keeping watch on a pair of new graves - a couple of young men who died in what was nominally a fraternity drinking accident. The last of the sunset is dying in the west, a scarlet smear, and there's no light close at hand beyond the ebbing and flaring gleam of the cigarette. He's apparently waiting for something - the blue eyes are calm, contemplative.

There's another living, breathing person with a human heartbeat in the area tonight. A man in a somewhat worn black suitjacket and matching trousers is hobbling towards the section of the graveyard that Francis happens to be in, a polished, smooth wooden box tucked away neatly under his right arm as he uses his left to navigate his way with a cane. Seth's polished shoes aren't treated too well by the dirt and damp grass of the graveyard but he's used to the grime, and it can be worked away easily enough. It's a testament to the warlock's distraction that he doesn't even notice the presence of the other man until he's within speaking distance, his shuffling gait coming to a sudden stop. Well. That's inconvenient.

There's no challenge from Francis, no demand as to what Seth might be doing here. The cop exhales from his nostrils, patiently, and ashes on the crypt, eyeing Seth. Well, the man hasn't monstered out, so he's not the reason Francis is here. Mutely, he pulls a case of some absurdly posh brand of cigarette from his jacket, and flips it open, proffering it to Seth. All with complete aplomb, as if this meeting had been arranged.

"I only smoke Sobranie Blacks." Seth continues forward after a few hesitant moments until he can set his burden down on the edge of the crypt that Francis has managed to occupy, leaning against it and setting his cane down over its top. "Thanks, though." Posh is not posh enough for Mr. Ward, apparently. Said cigarettes are soon produced from his own jacket pocket; one is lit and tucked into the corner of his mouth without a further word on the matter. "People don't usually hang around graveyards. You some kind of necrophiliac?"

Dunhills aren't good enough? Man, talk about refined tastes. Francis just grins, a faint, sidelong quirk of the lips. "No," he says, laconically. "You?" It's not delivered with a sneer, but rather a complete deadpan.

With a returning grin, the warlock shakes his head. "Don't be a jackass," he murmurs around his smoke, "I have an ex-wife to mess with. Don't need dead bodies." He turns to face the crypt, starting to edge open the corners of the box so he can peek inside. He doesn't open it all the way; not yet. "Waiting for something?"

Frank is about to answer, but he suddenly peers past the warlock, not commenting on his meddling with the box. He hops down to the paved walk, and takes a pace forward, scowling. There is, behind Seth, the snarl of new and very hungry vampires - the newly dug grave with the college kids is suddenly burgeoning, the carefully rolled down sod peeling back like a comforter on a bed as the vampires emerge. It takes them a moment or two to come up fully, and they turn in near perfect unison on the two living humans. Only to both simultaneously burst into flame - it's an eyesearing flash, almost like that of a camera. "That." Francis says, flatly, as they drift away as ash.

Seth has his jacket off and is in the midst of rolling up his sleeves by the time the vampires make it up to the open air, and since he's turned to watch Francis' progress he gets an eyeful of grave-fresh deaders. Rather than freak out and stand in one place shrieking like an idiot he does the reasonable thing: shrieks and then dives, hitting the dirt behind the crypt for shelter while pulling his arms up to shield his head. It is through his forearms that he witnesses the barbecuing of the monsters. "Jesus—!"

"You gotta keep on top of 'em. IT's like a roach infestation, they just keep BREEDING," Francis says, from between gritted teeth, as he chain-lights another cigarette. "I think that's all we're due for tonight, according to the schedule of services,"

The cigarette that was in Seth's mouth is now smoldering by another tombstone, soon to be extinguished by the damp grass that forms its bed. Slowly and painfully the man on the ground rolls to the side, dragging one knee underneath him until he can pull himself up using the crypt for support. "Yeah, well, you don't expect vampires to come popping out of the damn ground every time you show up for a ritual. Usually they have the grace to stay under for a bit longer, and usually—" A pause. "Who the hell are you, anyway?"

"Frank," says the cop, matter of factly, as he hops back up onto the crypt - though this time he sits crosslegged, as if he intended to meditate.

"Jesus." It bears repeating. Seth reaches across the crypt with a hand that shakes - just a little! - to fetch his cane. "…not you. You're not Jesus. You're a weird guy named Frank who hangs out in graveyards for shits and giggles and sets vampires on fire."

Francis tips his head back, as if particularly savoring the smoke. "No. Something of an agnostic, really," he corrects. "And you?"

Seth doesn't answer until he has his cane supporting him again, at which point he squints at the other man with a frown prominent on his face. "Technically Catholic. I don't want to talk about it."

Francis observes, serenely, "That's a hell of a name. If you're referring to religious affiliation, then well, so'm I. Raised and baptized in the church," HE meets Seth's gaze levelly, with a rather feline arrogance.

"My mother has a thing for angels and hymnals." The warlock takes a few short steps towards Francis, holding his free hand out towards Francis. "Sorry about the dirt. Haven't really had time to get to a restroom since the whole vampire attack thing. Seth Ward."

Francis extends a large hand and clasps Seth's firmly. "No worries," he says, shaking his hand. IT's not one of those pissing-contest grip strength competitions, just an amiable greeting. "Frank Doakes."

If it was a pissing-contest, Seth would lose in about five seconds. He doesn't do the machismo thing anymore. The squealing like a girl and hiding behind the nearest large object was probably a good indicator of that. "A pleasure, insofar as you are extremely scary. And how did you set the demons on fire?"

Francis's smile is positively beatific, though it is in no wise helped by the smoke leaking past his teeth. "I couldn't tell you. It just happens."

Seth's smile is not quite as wholesome. "Bullshit. What's your style? You a demon? Spell-slinger? Top-secret government project with rapidly deteriorating genetic alterations?" Anything is possible.

"None of your business," Frank says, amiably, flicking ash away on the winter wind. "But I'm human enough for government work."

"When you deep-fry a pair of vampires in front of an interested party, it becomes the interested party's business. Especially when it's life-saving interference." Seth edges closer to the crypt until he can pull himself up, this time to take a perched seat on the edge of it. "So. Is this what you do for fun?"

"Something of a hobby, yes," Frank allows. "I hate the damn things."

Seth nods several times, conveying that he was expecting as much while he produces another cigarette from his discarded jacket. "Fun. There are probably worse ways to get your jollies."

"A good many, and considerably worse," Frank opines. "And what are you doing out here?" he wonders, casting a thoughtful glance on SEth.

Psh. "Don't be silly. Vampires are high up at the 'bad' end of recreational activities, and what I am doing here is not really a matter of public record." In other words, it's probably the opposite of innocent and fun and healthy. Seth isn't big on those things.

Francis just eyes him, patiently, as if waiting for him to expand on it. A cop's stare.

Seth isn't forthcoming. He leans back a little, rubbing his chin with one hand. "It's been a long day. Don't you have a woman or something to occupy you instead of vampires?"

"Don't you?" Frank retorts, lazily, grinding out the last of his cigarette against the side of the tomb - it smears ash right between the 'Beloved' and the 'Husband of'

"…Well, that's just unkind." Seth is in the graveyard, as it happens, because of the inhabitant of this very crypt - but he's not going to be fussing around with it until he's alone. "I told you, I've got an ex."

Francis looks down at the tomb. "Sorry," he says, presumably to the corpse in residence. "And ….well," He shrugs elaborately, and apparently debates yet another cigarette, deciding against it.

Seth chuckles and glances over at Francis, tapping a few ashes off of his cigarette. "Well. Yes. Things are just wonderful, aren't they."

"I don't know. I've a decent life. Not much time for a relationship," Francis says, not sounding terribly upset by it.

"Trust me, you're better off not having a relationship. They're for the birds and they only end in tears and divorce after ten years of marriage." Oh yeah. Seth hasn't got any issues to work through.

Francis does not laugh. But there's a definite moue of restrained amusement, there. "I'll take that as read," he says, quietly.

This time the look that Seth gives Francis is rather more pointed than the previous ones. "Don't you have somewhere to be? Someone else to bother?"

"Don't you? I'm just hoping more vampires will happen along, it's such a gorgeous evening," Francis drawls. "OR do you just need me to move off this tomb. I really hope you aren't thinking of actually opening any graves?"

"Nope!" The answer is a little too quick to be truthful, and a cop should be able to pick up on that. Seth smiles his deceit away, though, beaming like a trooper. "I just like to be alone. I need to visit my grandpa's grave. Don't like to cry in front of strangers."

"Don't mind me, then. I'll look away," says Francis, in positively dulcet tones. He doesn't seem inclined to just move along.

But. But. "It'd be more polite if you just went off somewhere that isn't here so I could have privacy with my tender emotions. Because I'm delicate." Seth smiles. Please go away, scary vampire-crisping man.

There is a great deal of mirth, none of it nice, as Francis just grins at him. "Sorry," he says, with a complete lack of genuine contrition.

"Then I'll just wait until you feel the need to piss off." And wait Seth will. Because he is patient. He bites his lip and leans back, flattening himself on the top of the crypt to ease the pain in his spine from all the lunging and hiding and stuff. "Don't take too long."

Apparently that's enough. Because Francis eyes him speculatively, as pondering gunning for trouble, and then thinks the better of it, and saunters away.

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