Log:2 Fairest, 1 Food Court
|2 Fairest, 1 Food Court
Haven't seen you around here.
17 May, 2018
Logan happens upon Raymond in the food court.
It's almost evening, and as such the mall is busy. Even worse, it's a friday. Through the morass of people one of the Lost can be found, and doesn't do much to hide his presence. He idles in the food court, food growing cold as he chats on the phone. He's dressed in a white t-shirt that fits his lithe form, jeans that could do with a bit of ironing, and tennis shoes that could do with some cleaning. What marks him as one of the lost are the horns atop his head which he occasionally scratches and his stark alabaster skin.
Yes, it's busy -- but not full of Lost. Raymond is the only one here...at least until another moves into the food court. Lithe, graceful Logan is hard to miss, seeing as he's surrounded by a corona of golden light. One ribbon of shadow darts through it, like it's trying to consume the beams, but can't seem to manage it. Logan is carrying a shopping bag; he's with a shorter, skinny young man with glasses on and many more packages, who takes Logan's and scampers off, leaving Logan to peruse the food court. The golden-haired Fairest is dressed in a relaxed shirt of soft cotton, sky blue with subtle, darker blue stripes and a banded collar, plus blue modern chinos and light blue Toms. Unlike Raymond, his clothing is immaculate. He scans the offerings here and seems to immediately catch sight of the other Lost, bright blue eyes locking upon the horned man.
Raymond's attention drifts to Logan with ease, and for a moment he loses track of the conversation he was having on the phone. His grey gaze turns to the shorter man that hurries off, and again back to Logan. He says something on the phone that ends in a chuckle as his eyes briefly drift to his abandoned meal of a burger and fries that look as cold and soggy as a lonely night in teh rain. He lifts a hand, waving to catch the other Changeling's attention while flashing a brief smile.
Logan immediately flashes a smile right back. He has very white, very even teeth. Toothpaste commercial teeth. Then he, too, offers a cheerful wave, and starts towards Raymond with no hesitation. His posture is great and his steps are long and self-assured, so it doesn't take much time for him to be standing in front of the other Lost. "Hi!" he greets. "Haven't seen you around here." He offers him a well-manicured, golden-skinned hand. Logan has a slight accent -- California, maybe. "I'm Logan Brenner. Are you new in town?"
Conversely Raymond's hand is calloused along with a few scars across the top. "Somewhat, yeah. I've only been here a few weeks, and today's about as close as I'll get to a complete day off." He then motions to a seat accross the table in offering to Logan. "Raymond Rhodes, at your service."
If Raymond takes Logan's hand, he'll find that Logan's is smooth and clean, but not without strength. "Well, welcome to the Tam Valley, Raymond Rhodes." And yes, he takes that offered seat, crossing his legs guy-style as he does so, seeming relaxed and confident. "What brings you to our neck of the woods, and how can I help you get adjusted?" He says this like it's his job or something...
"Just gotta get used to things is all." Raymond sits up a bit straighter in Logan's presence, and when looking upon the other Fairest rubs at the back of his neck. "I'm sworn, if that needs to be said, but still getting used to a lot of the place. I wanna say I came up here because of the beautiful view or a vacation, but the truth is that I came up here so my kids could see their grandparents. Beyond making sure they're good to go with a new place I think the best way for me to get adjusted is to just help out where I can. Ya know?"
"Oh, you're sworn. That's great," chirps the Golden Boy. But he seems surprised at something else Raymond says. "Kids?" He laughs lightly, just a touch. "I assume they're from...before. Well, good for you. I'm a Waykeeper, so let me know if you need anything specific. I'm delighted to assist, or just fill you in on what's been going on." That easy beachside smile never really leaves his face.
"I know it's weird, but from before yeah." Raymond lets out a nervous laugh then, his youthful visage betraying the point of said awkwardness from the Fairest. "I'd appreciate any kind of filling in, really. I kinda have a grasp of the place, but not really where I can or should fit in. Something to focus on and stuff like that."
Logan has an easy smile, designed to put people at ease, and it broadens when Raymond laughs. He nods, brushing a lock of golden hair from his handsome face. "Sure! Well, tell me about yourself and your interests. In what sort of capacity do you think you could best serve the Freehold?" And yes, when it comes to stuff like this, he keeps his voice low and subtle. Not to be overheard.
Raymond was going to add something else, but stops to clear his voice. "Back home, back in Boston, I did a few thing. As a summer I can fight, but that's kinda expected of us. Sadly." He lets out a laugh, more sure in humor than before. "I used to run shelters and the like for the newly arrived, either ones more recent or folks that just needed a place to stay. My sister-in-law and I usually did the housekeeping and caretaking. After that I went wherever I was needed and for whatever."
Logan nods, continuing to smile. "Sure, sure. Well, it sounds like you're ideally suited for two groups here: the Harvestmen, who protect the Freehold, and the Waykeepers -- like me. Our role is similar to what you described in that we provide shelter and introductions for the newly arrived. And in fact, we're having a meeting tomorrow. You should come! We could use more recruits." His grin grows bigger again. "I can give you the address to the Wayhouse. It's right near my house, actually."
Raymond nods along slowly as Logan speaks. He reaches for his phone at the mention of directions, and with a tap the screen comes to life once more. "That'd be great, actually. It might mean meeting some more of the people in the freehold, too. So far I'm just at three, and I haven't been let down yet. Things have been a lot more welcoming than I would've imagined."
That pronouncement just makes Logan smile more. "We're a pretty friendly bunch, I think!" He gives the address of the Wayhouse, some out of the way area of Tamarack Falls. "Here, let me give you my number as well. Feel free to call or text anytime with questions or concerns, it's what I'm here for." The light around him twinkles and sparkles, like it's just agreeing with his statement.
Raymond's quick to take down the address and then Logan's phone number as he taps away at his phone. When done he sits his phone back down, and smiles back to Logan. His mantle expresses the building glee in him with more of that radiating heat wreathing his form, and due to Logan's proximity he starts leaving behind fiery handprints. "I very much appreciate all the help. I figured it'd just be me, the Irregulors, and taking care of the shop when I got here. Maybe see how things may or may not be in the hedge, but this is something to really look forward to."
"Who are the Irregulars? Is that your motley?" Logan's tone continues to be bright and pleasant. "I think you'll find there's plenty to do, be, and explore here, Raymond. I know I'm always surprised, which is why I'm sticking around this time around." His Toms-clad foot bounces a touch. "For a sleepy town in Vermont, it's certainly not quiet! Although I do wish the Mexican food were a bit better." He winks, very briefly.
"Well, I guess there's always Taco Bell and things like it," Raymond notes with a sullen shrug. That somber demeanor is quickly gone as he cuckles at the thought. "But, yes, my Motley. There's a good number of us, but I'm not really sure who's really going to make the trip. I know Elora and Sara are, but I can't speak for the rest. Not now at least."
Logan has to laugh a little. "Taco Bell's okay, but it's just not the same." He actually sounds quite wistful for a moment, but quickly puts it behind him. Onto bigger and better things. "I hope the rest of your motley will come by the Wayhouse, too. The more the merrier."
"Hopefully!" Raymond retorts with a slight laugh. "Sara's family is originally from here so it won't be too much of a change for her. I'm still getting my legs under me, but Elora should adapt well enough. She's the chipper one that'd do anything to save a laugh." The memory of her elicits a chuckle that ends in a sigh. "I'll very much make sure to point them to the right place. No doubt about it."
Logan's smile grows a touch bigger, if that's even possible. He doesn't really seem to stop smiling in some iteration or another. "Do you and the others have somewhere to live, while you're in town? Are you staying with your grandparents, or do you find that gets difficult, given the circumstances?" He gestures to Raymond and his horns, for starters.
"The kids' grandparents. Mine are still down in Boston," Raymond responds with a soft smile that soon fades as he sets his hands in his lap. "But, we're staying with them for a while. It's mainly about finding something close enough to school, but also not too far from work. Which may be impossible, but that's never stopped me from trying before. As for these-" His gaze briefly flits up, and then fall back to Logan. "Maybe. One day. Thankfully not now."
"Right, sorry." Logan's smile turns apologetic. "You did say your kids' grandparents, of course." He nods as Raymond explains his situation, then chuckles a little. "Well. /You/ could always commute to work via mirror, though I suppose that'd raise some suspicions." Then he comments, sounding almost far away, "There aren't a lot of Lost who come here with a functional sense of family. I might say you're ahead of the game."
"It's all right," Raymond notes with another smile. "I can't do the mirror thing. I have been trying from time to time, but I don't need them walking in on something like that. If I ever have to have that conversation I want to be when they're grown, and a lot less likely to go telling every kid they meet." A fluttering laugh slips out of him, causing his mantle to flare again ever so lightly. "Well, I try to keep it functional. Enough white lies, and you kinda get used to it after a while."
"So they don't know?" Logan's golden eyebrows raise. "That's interesting. That's got to be tough, to have a whole double life like that your family doesn't know about." His blue eyes shine, wider and rounder for a moment. He laughs a little with the line about white lies. "You're just doing it to protect yourself, right? So it's gotta be okay."
Raymond nods, still wearing that ghost of a smile. "More them than me. Those kinda things attract the wrong kind of attention, and it's part of why I'm happy for them to be up here. I try to keep all of it separate, and, Christ, you are right. It'd be easier if I was normal, but then I wouldn't be me. The new strange has been my normal for long enough now that I don't really remember what regular normal is unless it's on tv."
"How long have you been out?" Logan asks. He listens intently, foot tapping every once in awhile, but other than that, his gaze is focused completely on Raymond's face. Like there's no one else here but Raymond and nothing else but this particular moment.
Raymond pauses to check his phone gain, and after dragging down something he clears his throat. The pronouncement that comes out is neutral, devoid of emotion. "Three years, two months, and three weeks tomorrow." He sets his phone back down, and flashes a warm smile more likely to calm himself than Logan. "Counting the days helps me remember."
Logan, of course, is never devoid of smiles. There's one to greet Raymond when he looks at the golden-skinned Fairest. "That's smart," he says, nodding. "Memory is a precious resource, for people like us. Don't you think? It can be used that way quite literally, after all, at the Goblin Market."
"Market?" Raymond tilts his head to the side for a moments in catlike curiosity until it clicks. "Oh yeah. Those places. It's where I commisioned my sword a while back. I don't think I could ever do something like trade a memory, though. Have you? I mean- have you ever traded someting like that?"
There's a moment -- a split second -- where Logan seems to go very still, but it's probably over before it's even recognizable as a moment. Then he smiles and shakes his head 'no.' "Of course not. I've just heard it can be done. Seems a little extreme, doesn't it? But it just goes to show exactly /how/ valuable memories are to our kind, and that was my point."
Raymond nods slowly, but it still doesn't wholly take by the look of him. "You do have a point, I guess. It might even help with some of those troubling memories now for some people, but now you've got me thinking. I wonder if things like dreams of your time away can be given away too."
"I /bet/," Logan says, those blue eyes getting wide again as he bobs his head. "Those greedy hobs will take just about anything you want to give them. They think everything about us is either precious or dangerous. Or both." He has to laugh, showing off those pretty, even teeth of his. "It can't be easy to be a hob, can it? I feel kind of bad for them."
"I do too. For the ones that aren't feral or just trying to survive. The crazier ones are a different story, but I haven't ran into too many of them aside from the odd infestation of harvestmen." Raymond puts on a brave face, but the faint shiver tells another story. "I'm curious about something if you don't mind, Logan. What kinda stuff do you do around here? Aside from the waykeeping."
"Me either, I'm happy to say." Logan smiles brightly -- if he can smile any other way. He /is/ very bright, after all. The question is invited with a nod, foot tapping. "I'm actually retired, at least for the time being. Sold my company last year. I was in the media and tech business, though, so I still do some consulting now and again. I have plenty of hobbies to keep me busy -- sports, games, books, you name it. In addition to Waykeeping, I'm also a Custodian -- a member of another Freehold group. We collect and guard knowledge relevant to the Freehold."
"Retired?" Raymond asks with mild disbelief, although that may as well be for Logan's currently brilliant visage. "I wish I could see that kinda life, but it sounds like hard work if tech's involved. That kinda stuff always goes over my head if it isn't simple like my phone." The warmth of his laugh is as hot as the aura around him as he nods. "So, you guys are like super librarians?"
Although Changeling looks are certainly deceiving...Logan at least /looks/ like he's not more than 30. He laughs a little at Raymond's words, then makes an easy gesture with one golden hand. "Well. It's not for everyone, it's true. And being an entrepreneur /is/ hard work. But it sounds like you know something about that, right?" He laughs again at Raymond's next question. "Kind of, yes. We go on adventures sometimes, even if it's often just to recover a lost book! Though we haven't had much to do as of late."
"So like Indiana Jones and stuff, huh? Do you guys have, like, a library I can check out some time? Just something that sounds really interesting." Raymond shrugs meekly at that, and as his lips open again his phone starts playing chaotic music with high pitched voices that sound like something from a kid's show. "Well, crap." He stands from his seat, takes the phone, and pockets it as he turns his attentions back to Logan. "It looks like the kids are ready to go home for now, and then means I gotta head out." He extends a burning hand as he did upon first meeting the other Fairest. "It was a really good to meet you, Logan. If you or anyone needs any kinda help don't hesitate to gimme a call."
"We sure do have a library!" Logan exclaims. "You'll find it in Stoneheart. It needs a little --" But then Raymond's phone starts to ring, and Logan looks at him with that pleasant smile on his face. He stands as well to give Raymond's hand a hearty shake. "Likewise, Raymond. Contact me with anything you need, okay? Hope you have a great day!" He's the kind of person who says things like that and completely means it, and he whistles to himself as he heads back into the food court, that light shining all around him.