Log:A 22-Cat Halloween

From Fate's Harvest
Revision as of 03:34, 1 January 2020 by Misparse (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

A 22-Cat Halloween

In which there are more than the usual number of cop cars parked outside Cat-22


Edmond, CB Alexander, Sterling, Skye, Poppy, Teagan, Franklyn

31 October 2017

Halloween, politics, philosophy, social justice, alcohol, and vegetarian foodstuffs.


Cat-22 Collective, R06

It's Halloween! Which means there are likely small children trick or treating out along the way, going from place to place in search of candies and other goodies. It's possible that they're avoiding Cat-22, because all Cat-22 usually has to give out is health food. Yuck. But the weather is fair, if a bit chilly, and the rain has so far been staved off for the evening.

And someone has a sense of humor, because in walks a person wearing a long cloak, and a plague doctor's mask, with a floppy hat. It's all very... authentic looking. So whoever is wearing it, has a fair amount of money, or is an excellent crafts person, especially when the quality of the garb is investigated. No trick or treat bags are offered out as they approach the counter.

Cat-22 is NO FUN. It is not bedecked in spider webs and ghosts and witches and shit for the holiday. HOWEVER, the infoshop has had a display going on for awhile: a combination of books with "horror" or "terror" in the title, plus several to honor the Irish roots of Samhain with books about the IRA and the potato famine and lots of other scary shit. There /are/ a few makeshift gravestones set up in front of the display that read things like 'JUSTICE' and 'TRUTH' and 'LIBERTY.'

Like I said...no fun.

Speaking of no fun, C.B. looks the same as he always does. He's sitting behind the counter with his glasses on, a red and black work shirt open a gray t-shirt that says READ A FUCKING BOOK! over an open book graphic. Billie Holiday plays over the speakers. Yossarian, his papery Hedgebeast cat, watches Sterling come in and go to the counter, but C.B. doesn't look up immediately. He appears to be reading a paperback in Russian and is rather absorbed.

Following the Plague Doctor in with a fair amount of amused bemusement is a guy who looks too pretty and graceful to be any use at all, all night sky and pointed ears and vines creeping up from under his Hawaiian shirt's collar, and-- um-- wooden hands-- and clay feet in birkenstocks, despite the chilly weather--

--but the wash of sultry tropical heat and the dim sound of cicadas probably explains his lack of caring about that selfsame chill. He's headed for the counter, most certainly, but he jogs a little to catch up and come around to Sterling's side, a little in front of her. "What on Earth are you meant to be?" he asks, half laughing, incredulous. "I mean it's a fantastic costume, but-- what?"

Distinctly British-Kerala accent there, voice as smooth and musically rolling as a Bollywood heartthrob. His gaze flickers over to CB and Yossarian, and he politely lifts his hand in greeting to the cat. You don't bother someone who's reading a book.

Sterling stops at the counter, resting one kidskin-gloved hand on top of it, and the beaked mask swings towards Edmond. The expression is inscrutable, considering that it's hidden behind lenses in the mask itself, which have been darkly tinted. "What do you think I am, boy?" the voice is middle-aged or female, with a fairly clear British accent present to it - not quite verging on BBC British. A lower dialect, some might say.

The mask tilts downwards, and then up, and amusement laces the next commentary the figure gives, "And what are you? A personified, sugary cocktail? You look like you belong on the beach, with a young lass, and not roaming around New England in that clothing." Says the woman dressed as a medieval harbinger of doom.

The head turns over towards C.B. then, and she wonders, "Are you preparing yourself for the current conspiracies?" Because it is, afterall, Cat-22. In America. In the middle of a time of civil and political unrest even if by far not the worst ever.

"Semper paratis," C.B. deadpans, without even looking up. Until he does, placing the book down with a scowl and finally looking up at the masked doctor. "It's Turgenev. Pretty conspiratorial." His eyes move over her form, then slide to Edmond. Eyebrows raise. There is clearly at least one new Lost face here -- he's not so sure about Sterling. Looking as skeptical as one could expect, he picks up a little pad and his fountain pen and asks, in his best customer service voice (which is to say: the exact same tone), "Get you something?" The question appears to be for the both of them.

Yossarian definitely dips his head when Edmond greets him. He's not going to speak, of course, lest the mortals in here start wigging out over a talking cat.

A big grin at Yossarian! But then-- Edmond bristles at being called 'boy', and instead of it making him ornery, it makes him straighten up and lose his amused expression. "I'm not wearing a costume," he says shortly. "And if I knew what you were, I expect I would have foregone asking." He turns to C.B., then, wooden fingertips clicking against the countertop as he settles them there, and offers a faintly tight smile. "I'd like a spinach and roasted garlic hummus pita, please. Unless you've got specials, in which case I'd like a look, if it's not too much trouble."

"Ah, my apologies - I meant no actual offense. I am a plague doctor," is the fairly simple response from the bird-masked woman. Her voice, at least, does sound incredibly sincere even as muffled as it is... even if she doesn't necessarily sound like she feels -bad-. A little weary, maybe, at the bristling response from Edmond. She is, however, polite enough not to cut in while C.B. is taking the living painting's order.

"Turgenev. I'm not familiar with that one; literature was never my strong suit, to my dear mum's chagrin," the humor from the plague doctor is kept, in spite of the apology she just gave Edmond. Now, presumably, she's looking at C.B. since that's where the mask is pointed. "Semper paratus. So what are your thoughts on the current situation, compared to the past of sixty years ago?" she wonders.

C.B. being himself, he has to take a moment to weigh in, though he's just as deadpan as he has been. He looks between Sterling and Edmond and says, "You think /maybe/ he didn't like the fact that someone like /you/ called him 'boy,' given the sociopolitical and racist ramifications of using a term in this case? Unless being a colonial dick floats your boat." He shrugs a bony shoulder. "Anyway. Today we've got some faux-eyeball tofu stew that Xa insisted on making, despite me not wanting any Halloween shit in here, plus there's some non-fish tacos that I hear are pretty decent." To Sterling he says, "Turgenev is one of the many Russian novelists worth reading." He points to his shirt. Then he blinks for a moment at something Sterling just said. "Sixty years ago?" There's a beat that seems kinda...nervous, maybe? "You talking McCarthyism here?"

Lifting a hand, Edmond shakes his head; he'd already started relaxing at the apology. "It's quite all right; I do look very young. I'm just not." He blinks. "I think no, on the fake eyeballs. The non-fish tacos sound like a worthy experiment; I'd like one of those, please. And a coconut milk, no flavorings." He takes a half-step back, then, leaning on the counter a little further down-- and he frowns slightly, pulling a notepad and fountain pen out of his pocket, then starting to scribble things down to look up. Turgenev, for one. McCarthy, too. He glances up.

Silence from the plague doctor. It's possible that she just doesn't know what to say according to C.B.'s commentary about perceived racism. The mask again turns towards Edmond, and presumably she's just staring at him for a good ten seconds or so. All that comes out at the end of those words, is quite possibly a completely unsatisfying, "Oh." Another long pause trails on on the end of it, hanging heavily in the air, until she finally turns back to C.B. "I meant the general sociopolitical climate and concerns that arose out of the era, particularly surrounding the issue of civil rights for various groups. McCarthyism could be included as well." Edmond is writing something, so she doesn't make an order. Yet.

C.B. scribbles down Edmond's order, passing it back to the kitchen and dinging the bell -- "Order up!" He goes to pour him some coconut milk, but his sharp gaze zeroes in on Edmond's own notebook and fountain pen. He doesn't ask about it -- yet. As he circles back to place the glass in front of Edmond, he turns to Sterling. "Sixty years ago would have been 1957, which is why I mentioned it. Now, what exactly do you mean by 'the current situation'?" Yes, he uses air quotes. "That could be an /awful/ lot of things." He reaches over for the mug he'd left on the counter and takes a long sip, those his intent gaze remains on Sterling.

"Oh don't pause on my account-- I've been... I'm just taking notes on things to look up in the library," Edmond says, giving Sterling and C.B. a winning smile, teeth bright in his night sky face. "So I'm taking notes." He holds up the page for them to see: written in a beautiful looping hand is, in fact, a startlingly correctly spelled 'Turgenev' and 'McCarthyism', and under the latter, something written in Malayalam. "Social politics are a-- hobby? A vice, perhaps. I'm looking for external comparisons, so..."

Another grin, quicker, more fleeting, something brittle behind it, and then he picks up the glass and faux-toasts CB and Sterling with it. "Thank you. Also, do you mean the Cheeto?" he finally asks with interest. "There's been worse, but not here and not recently, from what I understand."

Wandering into the shop out of the cold, Skye breathes a little sigh of relief once inside, a relief at the change in temperature. She's wear a black peacoat today, all buttoned up, along with a pair of matching leather gloves. Combined, they do a fantastic job of hiding her token arms from view as she glances around the restaurant, trying to decide what she wants. She also sports a pair of jeans and some boots, not at all an expected Halloween costume, as she doesn't celebrate the holiday, or so it seems.The tiny Darkling's hair floats about her face, and she moves a strand of hair out of her vision as it wanders into the way. The sight of other Lost in this location definitely puts her at ease a little bit, and she wanders over towards the counter, perusing the various vegetarian options available to her.

The pale girl seems a little confused by the various options, the wealth of different items available, and she shrugs after a moment, giving up as she turns towards C.B. "Ummmm, hello." she greets, giving a little wave by way of greeting. Her voice has an otherworldly echo to it that seems to follow every word she speaks in an eerie manner. "I haven't eaten here before, ummmm...what would you suggest for a first time? I'm looking for something with lots of vegetables, or a sweet treat." She seems a little nervous in her speaking, avoiding eye contact, but she's very clearly speaking towards C.B., her body facing him. Her gaze falls on the other two patrons, and she gives them a polite little nod in an attempt to be polite.

A sudden laugh spills from the plague doctor, muffled by the mask that covers her face. "I see you like your specifics," she remarks to C.B. in the wake of his response, entertainment lacing her words. "I will put away the loose mathematics. I had meant, roughly, the sixties - one of the foci of civil rights studies. As you seem to be interested in McCarthyism, however, I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts pertaining to both that idealogy and the current state of things in American government... or even global government. It does seem to be more of a focus here." A single nod of that beak is given.

And then it turns towards Edmond, and she remarks, "A noble pursuit - something more should invest themselves in. More heavily, perhaps, than the pretentious mimicry of times and organizational efforts past." Oh, was that a jab at the cafe she's standing in? It may have been. "And to an extent, I do speak of the current President of the United States, but he is merely a figurehead and often times convenient scapegoat for a number of underlying issues, as opposed to an actual wellspring of them."

The plague doctor gives a small nod to Skye, not turning any remarks her way - perhaps in effort not to frighten the quiet, small woman off.

C.B. squints at Edmond's pad, pushing his glasses up his nose. "Mm hmm. Well, we have plenty of books over there you can check out." He waves vaguely to the infoshop. "I'm sure you'll find things here you won't find at your local library. Or even on the internet." His lip curls. He no like internet. Then he adds -- when Edmond mentions 'the Cheeto', whose portrait one must step on to walk into the cafe -- "Look, imperialism is imperialism. At least with the current idiot-in-chief it's right out there in the goddamn open. For that, we should all probably be thankful. Liberals will tell you otherwise." Yes, he considers the 'l' word dirty..."But that's just because they like their imperialism nice and sanitized, you know. It's all the same shit, different flavors."

He's briefly distracted by the sight of Skye -- another new Lost? Her question gets his attention, and he leans his elbows on the counter to look down at the tiny Darkling. "For veggies, the Buddha Bowl's pretty good. Some folks also like the matcha tart we have over there." He nods to the bakery counter. "What's your pleasure?"

"And I do like my specifics, yes," he tells Sterling with a frown. Then again, he's just rambled about the very subject she asked about. "Doctor Plague here's not wrong. And we're still fighting wars and blaming them on people who aren't white. I'm just speaking of America here." He smirks. This is a can of worms that could keep me here all night. Not sure you really want that."

"Maybe not a source of the problems that plague our society," Skye pauses for a moment as she speaks to Sterling, frowning slightly as she wonders just how much place a changeling has in normal society, before continuing. "But, be that as it may, the president certainly exacerbates the issues we have. Much as immunodeficiency diseases break down the the body's defenses to other diseases, he makes it easier for the more horrific parts of our society to present themselves." She falls quiet, a little surprised with herself for being willing to speak up in the first place, and she giggles with delight at her own success and perceived cleverness at tying it back to disease in conversing with a plague doctor. After but a moment though, she frowns and lowers her gaze from the plague doctor's face, her tall rabbit ears wilting a bit as she gives a frustrated sigh. "S-Sorry, I butted into your conversation. Apologies."

The diminutive darkling's attention returns to her ordering, and she licks her lips at the mention of food, which she nods enthusiastically at. "I'll take one of each, sure! A Buddha Bowl and a...matcha tart? What is that, anyways? It sounds good, though!" Her stomach rumbles, and she moves a hand towards her tummy, grinning a little at the prospect of filling it.

Speaking of Halloween costumes, it seems one siren has decided to get all she can out of the one she's got this season, as Poppy steps in, currently dressed as Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad movie (like it or hate it), complete with blue-and-red hotpants, white-and-red shirt with black writing, fishnets, and stiletto boots. Her seaweed-streaked blonde hair is pulled up into two dip-dyed ponytails, and her face is painted as one would expect. In a concession to the weather, she's wearing a short, red leather trench, although it's allowed to fall open in the front. Also, apparently someone let her have a baseball bat, which, once inside, she drapes over her shoulders, hands resting atop the printed wood. Giving a glance around the room, she grins cheerfully at familiar faces, although she remains silent as she catches wind of the current conversation.

Giving the newcomer a friendly smile and a lifted hand in greeting, Edmond flips the page of his notebook over and finally swings himself into a seat. "One does one's best," he tells the Plague Doctor with a crooked grin over the comment about it being a noble pursuit. He raises his eyebrows at C.B. and glances over at the infoshop. "Well-- if I can borrow them, I'd love to. Or even read them here. I don't have a steady income at the moment, so I'm afraid I won't be able to buy them." A beat, and he adds hastily, "I have enough for the food."

As Poppy comes in, Edmond brightens considerably. "Poppy hello! I finally got the context for your costume. I thought it was just how you dressed, I forgot it was a thing until today."

"It is human nature to blame everything on the 'other', especially if that 'other' is relatively unknown to them whether by Fate or preference and action. It saves the human beast from being forced to confront the ugliness within themself, and drag it at least partially into the daylight," the Plague Doctor (Sterling) says philosophically in the wake of C.B.'s commentary about Liberals, sterilized imperialism, and blaming wars on the brown people.

At Skye's commentary, she lifts a hand in order to wave towards the sign that says "Differing Opinions Welcome" with two pistols on it. The kidskin-gloved extremity is soon lowered back down to her side, against the quilted, stiff oilskin greatcoat she wears. "You are correct, of course. Much like a tumor that should be excised - but a tumor is merely an expression of the cancer. If you don't remove all of it, it is doomed to come back again and again, until the larger structure it is part of is so riddled with disease that destruction is assured." She rattles that all off in almost a deadpan tone, muffled by the leather mask. "Removing your ugly orange tumor won't fix the situation, without a proper regiment of treatment."

C.B. shifts, folding his arms and squinting at the various newcomers. Evaluating each in turn, even as he's scribbling Skye's order down and sending it back to the kitchen, and heading over to get her matcha tart. He pops up and slides the tart over the counter, eyeing Edmond next. "Borrow 'em. Read 'em here. I don't care. You have a place to stay?" He smiles faintly in Poppy's direction, but does he get her costume? Not one whit.

Meanwhile, he picks up his book -- it's in Cyrillic -- and goes back to reading it as he leans on the counter, even as he answers Sterling. "There's only one treatment we've ever wanted," he mutters, apparently /not/ getting super-worked up about this topic? Wait, isn't this his whole thing?

A peal of laughter greets Edmond's comment, then Poppy says mirthfully in her oddly harmonic voice, "Well, that's one way to make a fucking impression! No, I don't usually dress as a psychopathic clown; glad /that/ got cleared up." Swaying her way over to the group near the counter, she peers at CB, then says warmly, "Hey, you. When you get through the line, I'd love something with sugar; whatever the hell you think is best. Same as hers works." A nod to Skye, followed by a cheerful smile as she offers the other woman a hand assuming Skye has one free. "Poppy; nice to meet you."

Frankly most certainly does not flounce into Cat-22. The Mortal girl glides; taking careful steps, wrapped up in a black sheepskin coat and scarf wrapped right up 'round her nose. Bag? Swinging from her arm. Gloves? On. Hair? Tightly pulled back, fringe in her eyes and the rest in a short bun. Very gamine. The only part of her which isn't wrapped up in black are the several inches of pale ankle, exposed between those snug but too-short cuffs of black capris and the very low black ballet flats on her feet.

Tap-tap-tap. Franky's foot-falls are quiet against the floor, as her unusually monochromatic butt makes its away over towards the counter. How does she look? Franklyn looks /tired/, that's what - also possibly a big dazed, but hey. Maybe she just needs a drink -- lord knows she's making zero-attempt to catch up with, let alone engage, with the political banter of those fae over there... Well okay, maybe she'll be a little facetious instead, as she quips to C.B.: "What treatment is that? Dead sea mud or anti-ageing?"

Brightening a bit as she's given encouragement, rather than admonishment, Skye beams at Sterling and nods along quickly. "Would that I had the power to cure such an ailment, but I think fixing American politics is beyond my ken. I'll stick to helping out around here, as able!" She takes the tart from C.B. hungrily, and is just about to head to the table when she's greeted by the sight of Poppy, holding out a hand to greet her. "Aaah! Poppy? That's a really pretty name, I like that! And your costume is pretty cute, its from that movie, right? Suicide Squad? I didn't catch it, but the character is way cute. I'm Skye!" Her voice is oddly melodic, sounding almost like multiple ghostly voices speaking at once, and there's a faint echo that seems to follow her every word as she speaks. She reaches out to shake Poppy's hand happily, then nods toward the other newcomer in greeting, before looking over towards a table.

"Ummm, I'm going to go have a seat, so I can enjoy this tart, it looks rather scrumptious! Oh, also...hee, you have a lovely voice. I'm always appreciate of such a unique way of speaking..." Skye adds, beaming up at Poppy, before following through with her word, moving over towards the table so she can have a seat. Once there, she takes a fork and begins to eat hungrily from the tart with a decided lack of manners, completely unconcerned with holding her utensil correctly or making sure to keep her face clean. At some point in the process, she removes her gloves to avoid getting any crumbs on them, placing them aside, which reveals the token limbs beneath, a black fog rising off of the fae hands as she continues to munch on her sweet treat.

It's possible that Sterling was going to respond to Skye, but the Plague Doctor seems to get distracted with watching the girl put away the food. Eventually, the span of muteness wears off, and the beak turns back towards C.B. "Oh? And what would that be?" Intrigue is thick in her voice, even as she takes a step to the side in order to make room for people who are... you know... actually ordering food or something. Franklyn's commentary, at least, gets an attenuated sound of amusement.

"Oh, thank you!" Edmond says, blinking a little at C.B. and sitting back slightly, surprised. "What?" It clearly takes a second to process, and after that second he looks delighted, and then just genuinely pleased. "Yes, actually, thank you for your concern-- I'm staying at Highgate for now. I do research and dangerous things, and they both pay fairly well, it's just irregular and I'm conserving."

He takes a good healthy swig of the coconut milk, then pockets his notepad-- and gives Poppy a wide grin. "I had wondered--"

That also reminds him; he glances back to C.B. and Sterling and looks mildly embarrassed. "Here we are talking about all of this... I'm Edmond Basumatary. I'll be in town for a while, and since I live so close and the food here so good-- and books-- I'm sure I'll be here often."

The introduction's brief, though, as now C.B. seems to be quite swamped-- and by a very monochrome girl into the bargain. Perhaps she's in mourning. Or it's Halloween. Edmond slides off the seat and jerks a thumb toward the infoshop. "I'll be over there when the kitchen's done with my order, but I'm sure I'll hear."

"Alrighty," C.B. says with a sigh, about to hoist himself up again to get Poppy another tart when the Black Widow herself enters and sweeps her way up to the counter. Her facetious comment /definitely/ gets a scowl from C.B., though he does pat her cheek in a condescending manner to pay her back. "You would know, my little chickadee." He moves off to do a few things: get that tart, deliver Edmond's three (to an order) faux-fish tacos, and after a moment, Skye's Buddha bowl as well. There's no table service, so they'll have to come back to the counter to get them, though he does call out all the orders."

Then he turns to Sterling and looks her right in the...eye, as much as one is able to do that to someone wearing a mask. "What do you think? Revolution. The only answer. The only cure for any imperial disease." He waves to Edmond as he retreats. His way of saying hi, one supposes, though he doesn't introduce himself.

By the way, Yossarian's in his usual place, perched on the cat tower aaaaaaaaand there are cops outside. More than usual, probably in honor of Halloween: three squad cars with their lights on. Freakin' pigs.

Poppy grins at Skye's greeting, nodding confirmation at the questions and warmly thanking her for the compliment before glancing over her shoulder at Franklyn's arrival, smirking a bit at the questions with a small shake to her head. Looking back to Edmond, she laughs again. "Well, it's /an/ impression, at least, even if it was entirely fucking unintentional on my part," she says to him. "Maybe at some point you'll get to see me in relatively normal shit." Another grin, then she turns back to claim her tart, first pulling a wallet out of her coat pocket and dropping cash onto the counter, then picking up the dessert and taking a bite, watching the conversation with interest as she does so. She does at least shuffle over out of the way should anybody else wish to order.

"And what do you do when, inevitably, the revolutionaries or at least their disciples become the new status quo and the state of affairs drifts once more in this direction?" wonders Sterling-the-Plague-Doctor, presumably looking right back at C.B. from behind her goggles. It's hard to tell, since the lenses are tinted, whether or not she actually is - but posture and head position would suggest that she's doing so.

It's an odd, subtle little thing, but even in the Plague Doctor getup the woman just doesn't seem... big. Unremarkable, really, but she just doesn't catch the eye as much as she could. Nor is she, even in the creepy outfit, particularly imposing. "Unless we could, figuratively, reach into the heart of humanity and wrench out this... ugliness... it is always doomed to resurface within a few generations."

Then she removes her gloves from the counter, straightening partially, with a more idle commentary of, "When you have a moment, I believe I would like to make an order as well."

Black Widow!? As if. Franklyn bites at the air -- gnash, gnash, gnash -- after C.B. pats her cheek. What, no wittisism?! None. Franky in unwrapping her layers -- there go the jacket and scarf, hung on a near-by chair before she hot-steps it around the counter -- as if she was even a worker/owner here, which she /is not/ -- to hide her bag somewhere 'safe'. This done?

Franklyn stretches, arms raised above her head, back arched as she oh-so-carefully steps back to the civilian side of the counter. Huh. Black turtleneck, black capris, no socks, black flat shoes. Is that a costume or has she gone all goth? Or beatnik... What's perhaps the -oddest- thing is how small, or /slight/ she is, without the usual boho layers to flounce about in. Franky's kinda painfully slender.

"Everything is a nightmare, and you are all nightmare people." Well. Happy Halloween too, Franky. "Nobody is going to save you, the compromises you make will be your end, if you're not careful." Uhm. Did she come as a sense of fatalism? "And you'll never be as careful as you think you are. There is no real salvation for any of you. You'll never get what you really want."

SO SERIOUS. Franklyn stops mid-stretch, a hand in the air, her body jerked to the side in quite a contorted pose. "...I am opening a tab, for all -- don't drink to blindness, drink to open eyes. It's not like we'll ever wake up, anyway. Cin cin!"

Was she in front of the bar? Franky's stepping back, behind it again - no rules, no boundaries, she en route to gather up a bottle of rye and some glasses and lining them up and just...

Being Franky.

You can tell that Teagan is dressed up for Halloween: they're wearing all black and underneath their long hoodie is probably a machete, clearly they're dressed up as a MACHETE KILLER--


--is that Teagan? The face is wrong but that's definitely their clothes. The face is just ... sort of generic, somehow, not exactly Teagan. Their Mirrorskin face slides and shifts, their hands are in their pockets, and they drop their cigarette right outside the door, sliding in and letting the door drop behind them. As explained to their best-beloved earlier, Halloween is their favorite holiday, because all Darklings belong to spooky at least secondarily. Also Summer has crap holidays. So they stop just inside, squinting. "Hunh." It's not like they can tell what's on the books. Oh well. And off toward the bar they go.

C.B.'s eyes are all half-lidded as he looks to Sterling, brows lightly raised. "Have another revolution. It's not rocket science. Like anything is eternal or incorruptible. How naive do you think I am?" Big sigh, and then he readies his pad again. "What're you having?"

Franklyn, in pure Ingmar Bergman mode here? Gets a long look from C.B. His eyes follow her as she moves behind the counter. "I could've gotten you that," he says with a shrug. "And are you talking to us, or to yourself? It's easy to mix the two up, I admit." He sounds almost...thoughtful when he says that, like it's something he's been pondering for himself. Either way, he tries to reach for one of those glasses she just took out.

Then he's squinting at the...not-Teagan who's just appeared. He frowns, his posture becoming more defensive. Shoulders squared, standing up straighter. But he neither leaves the counter nor confronts not-Teagan.

Polishing off her tart just as her Buddha Bowl comes out, Skye gathers up her gloves and moves to intercept her food, picking it up quickly where its come out of the kitchen, before turning towards the bar. Franklyn's seemingly-jaded comments get a small smirk from the tiny changeling, but those glowing eyes light up quite a bit at the mention of free drinks, and she makes her way quickly over to the bar, placing her bowl on the countertop before literally climbing up onto the stool, taking her time to make sure she doesn't fall.

"Mmmm, I'll definitely take something to drink! Ummmm...can I just have a beer? But like a janky hipster beer, not like one of the water-masquerading-as-beers?" A powerful fatalism gives me a strong thirst!" she adds with a giggle like the ring of windchimes as she begins to eat from her bowl, munching down the vegetarian delight as she takes great enjoyment in her food, whatever it may be. Its not people, after all. Well, probably.

The Plague Doctor's response is given a thoughtful look by Poppy, but then her attention is quickly claimed by Franklyn, expression somewhat bemused at that particular series of statements. Mention of free alcohol, however, garners an interested look, although the siren doesn't move quite yet, instead continuing to enjoy the tart she's eating with one hand, keeping that baseball bat balanced over her shoulder with the other. The person wearing Teagan's clothing earns a cheerful grin.

"The only real revolution would be to shatter the wheel, once and for all, so that it would stop indefinitely. Not even a return to the stone age would truly cease what things have become, because it is ingrained upon humanity's animal nature." Geez, did Sterling just get extra-dark from the cynical responses she'd been giving C.B. prior? There's a frown in her voice, but the beaked mask blocks any view of it - as well as what she looks like other than small, female, and unimposing. Teagan, however, might recognize the voice even if it wasn't nearly as emotionally-charged last time they heard it.

"You are certainly correct that we are all absolutely terrible, and horrible. What better day of the year to wear at least a small patch of our wretchedness on the outside, above our skins?" the Plague Doctor opines aside to Franklyn, for the moment having possibly forgotten that she was about to make an order. Unfortunately, this patch of dark mood seems more... aggressive than depressed. "I will drink to that, I suppose."

The Plague Doctor also says, aside to C.B., "Your optimism is admirable." What?

Who's defensive? Not Teagan. Or ... well. not Not-Teagan. Who's emo? Who's defensive? For once, none of those things refer to the behoodied person with the machete, who instead slides up alongside Poppy and slings their arm around her shoulder. "Heya, Pops," they greet easily, eyeing the Plague Doctor's mask, as if perhaps trying to figure out if they know the person behind that mask, maybe. "Can I get a coffee with bourbon?" across the counter easy-as-you-please. "Kinda expected it'd be decorated, to be honest, but." A roll of their shoulders. "I guess this jawn's always scary to middle America." That's almost philosophical, Teags. Be careful.

"Nightmare people." Franklyn clarifies firmly, sloppily pouring about, well, let's say about seven shots. Are there seven people here wanting drinks? Franky is placing them on the nearest tray-like structure she can find -- hell, she'll use a plate if nothing else is available. Franky's not picky. Franky's fatalistic. Who cares? Not her.

Well, maybe Franklyn cares a little - as C.B. speaks to her, asks her who she's talking to? The Mortal girl snorts - HAH - and stick her tongue out at him -- nee-ner nee-ner -- before pretty much shoving a tumbler full of rye in his direction, but hey he was already looking. "Drink up, buttercup."

Then back to the other patrons -- Franky's lips purse in either disapproval or scheming. "No. You -- like ever other single fucking person -- get only what you're offered, and you'll like it." Hi Skye! Franky shoves a glass of un-measured rye in her direction. "Take it, drink it, experience it, suffer -- you will have no chaser, and it will not be kind, but you'll either feel better or throw up on yourself. If you're lucky you'll learn something."

Rye? Bottoms up! Franky downs her glass, then The Plague Doctor is being handed/shoved/having a drink forced upon them. "Why hide it? Because in /my/ experience, that wretchedness is hardly ever too far from the surface anyway..." Uh, was that even her first drink? She may be smirking at Herr Doktor, but she's not exactly being 'nice'. "Who benefits most from the lie, that you could even possibly /begin/ to contain =all= that wretchedness at all?"

Welp, Franky's made all sorts of work for C.B., too, but he plays along well enough, pouring up several pints of I Feel Hoppy and just lining them up on the bar, gesturing. "Have at." Beer, shots, they're there for the taking. He takes a moment to listen to Sterling's uber-cynicism, scowling as he's called an optimist. "I'd be fine with shattering the wheel. I didn't detail the level of revolution involved, did I? Change is change."

The scowl is leveled at Teagan next, but he goes about filling their order, too. "Why the fuck would it be decorated? Halloween is a stupid fucking holiday." Was Teagan even talking about Cat-22? Does he care? He shoves the coffee-with-bourbon across to them peevishly. Meanwhile, his inkstained hand wraps around that tumbler of rye and he toasts her with it. "To the awful inevitability of our lower natures." Then he downs about half of it in a go. Then he chuckles a little, pointing at the beers he poured right after Franky says 'no chaser.' So much for that.

The viny Telluric Malayalee with the literal feet of clay, he Hawaiian-shirts his way back over to the counter, leaving his notepad and coconut milk over on the table by the books he'd picked out. This time it's with cash for the notfish tacos and coconut, and he slides it over. There's enough going on now that Edmond's having a tough time tracking it all, but he does notice Franklyn's outburst because who doesn't, and he squints at her. "You seem to be trying to start shit," he opines, but leaves it at that, because he has notfish tacos. And there comes Teagan in the door-- he doesn't recognise their face, but their costume, like Poppy's, is-- "I still haven't got the context for your costume yet, Teagan!" he calls over, tone bright in defiance of the gloom emanating from Bourbon Seat. And then he legit just goes over to sit at that table over there with that coconut milk and those notfish tacos and that notepad and fountain pen, and he reaches to pick up a book from the stand and carefully read it with the hand that is not currently devoted to eating.

Herr Doktor has the shot shoved at her, lifting up a kidskin-gloved in order to take it. Underneath of the coat, most of her garb - including the gloves - seems to be a pale grey; and those are most likely ladies' gloves. "I imagine we all benefit from the mask called 'society', which makes men--" she stops to bark a laugh "--out of monkeys. Planting a thin veneer of civility over our pervasively horrible selves." One hand lifts up, and she readjusts the mask to raise it from her lower face, revealing a tanned and lightly weathered lower face, pressing the shot glass to thin lips and downing it in one.

Skye's rabbit ears wilt a little bit as she's passed the rye, and as she leans in to sniff at it, tendrils of her hair wrap themselves harmlessly around the glass, as if inspecting it. She makes a face even as she picks it up with a soft sigh. "Well, I suppose that's the way of the world..." she murmurs ruefully and tosses the rye back, drinking down a gulp for it, before placing the glass back down. The look on her face isn't a particularly pleased one, and she coughs several times as she pants a little, making it clearly she's definitely not one who' normally drink this sort of thing. "Egh, its...ghh..." she stammers, but to her credit, she manages to keep the stuff down. Her attention quickly returns to her salad, however, the rabbit eager to drown out the flavor and heat of the alcohol with food before she dares take another drink.

Poppy moves the bat enough that Teagan doesn't end up getting accidentally smacked by it, giving them another grin. "Hey," she says cheerfully, but apparently isn't going to be too distracted from dessert, taking another bite of her pastry; apparently she's not currently involved in the conversation at hand. Franklyn's largesse of rye is met with another grin, although the addition of beer has both of her eyebrows raising, and she suddenly seems more interested in acquiring alcohol than finishing the sugar. Edmond's comment has her smothering a smirk, however. Oh, hey, that last bit of tart.

They don't try to distract Poppy from food: they've learnt. They do, however, pick up their coffee, giving C.B. a brief, puzzled look aside, and then they sort of shrug dismissively at his defensive words. One arm slung easily around Poppy's shoulder remains for a moment, before being unslung, and they aside to Poppy, "Look, maybe if I show up on the spooky night I don't have to be a dire omen." The smile is brief and sharp, and their face shifts and relaxes into a much more Teagan-like face. Now that they're inside. Fucking cops. To Edmond, they call: "I'm a machete killer, of course. I exist in a perpetual state of costume."

"You're trying to start some shit" Franky chimes, roooolling those overly expressive and/or possibly literally deranged green eyes of hers. "NO. This is poetry in /motion/ man, this is realness, this is the sacred and profane, this is realness -- don't be such a square. Let me /live/." SIIIGH. Huffy sigh. Franky may or may not have been dipping too freely into the collective's library of sociological texts lately, as well as the bar...

The huffy Mortal turns to Sterli-- Herr Doktor, lifting her at-least-second glass of rye to them in toast. "Society is the thin membrane of civility stretched over the gaping chasm of chaos and indifference." Cheers! Booze is sipped at that toast, then Franky ehhs and looks at Skye, "Feels good, doesn't it? Like pressing into a fresh cut; that pressure-pain, makes you feel more awake, right? Reminds you there's something to stay conscious for?"

Franklyn turns, oblivious to some of the social activity in front of the bar -- must be a coincidence she's shuddered, stuck her tongue out and looked like she'll lose her rye at the mention of 'machete killer'. Instead she's turning and looking at C.B's artfully arranged beers, wrinkling her nose before she turns to frown - frooown - at him. "Why would you placate these people? Why pander to their sensibilities? There is no benefit in this compromise, is there?" A beat. "You're right though. A person can always get lower."

Following the shot, and the sudden -slam- of the glass down on the counter top after she's finished it, Herr Doktor (Sterling) stands there momentarily. She's silent, and then slides her mask back down over what had been revealed of her face. "The night is wearing on, but it has - in a sense - been a delight." That might be particularly to -Franky- of all people, Doctor Killjoy for the evening, but the bemasked woman seems to also include C.B. and Edmond in that. Maybe Skye. There's possibly a glance sent that way. "And I do believe my bedtime is quickly arriving." Even though she didn't check a watch or anything. "Until we're free of the wheel we all need to tread on it."

C.B. squints at Edmond. There's plenty of squinting to go around. But he's mostly just standing there, vaguely tapping his inkstained fingers on the bartop. After a moment, he even picks up his book again, idling reading as he drinks from that tumbler. He glances up again as Teagan gets rather handsy with Poppy and rolls his eyes, for whatever reason, and then comments idly on Frank's heels. "I don't think Franky /is/ trying to start shit, actually." More of a mutter. Franky gets accusatory with him and he glances up. "Frank, I /work/ here. You opened a tab. You don't want to pay for these, I will. I don't care. Unless you're talking about something else?" He makes a little symbol with his hands: a circle around his eye, moved off quickly. "Be seeing you," he tells the Good Doktor as Sterling gives her goodbyes.

A sharp-toothed grin meets Teagan's comment about their Harbinger status. "I am pretty sure most of the time we've had fucking alcohol /first/, horrible things haven't happened." Poppy pauses. "Of course, there's always a first for everything, and it could be just /that/ damn night. However, this means that it's incredibly fucking important that I have something to drink now." Mindful of the bat over her shoulder, she sways over towards the rye, humming cheerfully to herself. Solving the problem of only having one hand, she shoots the rye, following it up with a sip of a beer. There. Rye claimed, beer claimed, and she hasn't fallen over or smacked anybody with her bat. Yet. A blink at that slamming of the glass on the counter is followed by an interested look at the speaker, although it seems the blonde has nothing to add to that declaration.

Blinking a few times at Franklyn's response, Skye coughs again as a faint blush lights her cheeks, and she rolls her shoulders in a shrug, trying not to seem too overwhelmed by the alcohol as she attempts to put on a strong show, although not a particularly convincing one. "Ummm, s-sure, I guess its like that, or maybe when you poke an especially bad bruise cause you accidentally bumped your knee on the corner of a wall..." she mumbles, but she eyes the drink again anyways. Perhaps its from a sense of pride in not letting this drink defeat her, or maybe its simply as Franklyn said, that it made her feel more alive, but she definitely has some determination for the moment.

After a few more bites from her Buddha Bowl, Skye takes another gulp from her glass, then another, eager to drink it all down fast rather than have to endure it for too long. She slides it down on the counter away from her when she's done with an "Ugh..." shaking her head at the taste. "That...that'll be just enough for me, I think. That's quite enough shoving my thumb in the wound for one night." The tiny changeling lays out a couple of bills on the countertop to pay for her food, cleaning up the bowl as well when she hops down. "Thank you for the drink though, and the meal. That part at least was delicious!!" She gives a wave as she heads for the door, pulling her gloves back on as she heads out into the night.

Handsy? Familiar, friendly, maybe, but an arm around the shoulders ain't exactly tit-grabbery. Still, they lean comfortably against the Harley Quinn, taking a sip of their caffeine-and-booze. An eye fixed on Skye for the moment as she skedaddles, their fractured-mirror gaze reflecting back bits and pieces of the newcomer mometarily. Possibly Teag's gaze is attracted to prey. Or motion. Like a T-Rex. "That... is true. Booze first, and shit ain't happenin too much. So drink up, Pops." Their phone buzzes, and Teagan unslings their arm to check who the incoming notification is from. Apparently it's nothing important, since they don't open the text, just stuff it back into their pocket.

"--oh," Edmond says in Teagan's direction with a blink of startlement. And then a quick grin. He eyes Franky thereafter, for a moment, but then Sterling is leaving, and he stands in order to flourish a ridiculously over the top courtly bow, in perfect form. "It's been a pleasure, Doctor Plague," he says, and there's as much sincerity and amusement in his voice as there had been in hers, earlier. And then there's a very faint smile. "And some of us will never be free of samsara, and some of us have fallen so low that our only hope is to avoid dying long enough to achieve some vestige of lost purity. Good night."

He glances toward C.B., and lifts his hands in surrender-- he may not have heard the mutter, but he caught the squint. And then Skye's leaving, and he lifts a hand in farewell before dropping himself back into his seat and moodily eating his tacos.

The Plague Doctor had started to turn away from the counter, but pauses part of the way, and then turns the mask back towards C.B. Another momentary silence, and then she wonders, "What makes you think I will return?" Just a wee bit combatative, there, but there's humor in it. "Or you could die gloriously," is the Plague Doctor's response for Edmond, without directly looking at him. The mask dips once, however, and she says, "A good evening to you as well." Possibly, she really is leaving quite soon.

Dr. Killjoy?! Franklyn is a physically slight and overly expressive yet gamine delight -- so what, she's also argumentative, drunkish, and intoxicatingly fatalistic? The Mortal girl gives a long, hard-done-by siiiiigh as C.B. schools her on the owner-worker/patron dichotomy, then she leans down to grab her wallet out of her bag that she's sashed under the counter.

One twenty, two twenties, three... About eighty-five dollars later, Franky is shoving money in C.B's direction before moving to sip more rye. "Am I talking about something else? Who knows. I don't know, possibly. Maybe I'm talking about -everything-..." Sooo dramatic.

Franky sighs again, as if to accentuate that feel, then turns and peers at Sterling. "Remain safe, you horrible stranger." She chimes -- before looking at Skye, eyebrows raised. "I can honestly say, wherever you go? There will be nothing like shoving your fingers in an open wound. I hope it brings that sharp-eyed lucidity and bitter pleasure."

What next? Time to drink... While sides-stepping in C.B's direction. Probably coincidental. Probably nothing to do with Edmond's words making Franky frown. Newp.

C.B. faintly nods to Skye, collecting her money. He shrugs at Sterling. "I don't. It's just a saying. Means nothing." About that time, Lisa emerges from the back for this, the last shift of the night. He slams back the rest of the rye and puts his hand down on the counter, then scoops up his book and shoves it into his bag. Glasses are still on, but he doesn't care. "Psst. Yossarian. Time to go." The papery cat moves into one of the tubes, disappearing into the back as C.B. looks to Franky. "Let's get out of here." He shoves the money back at her. "Don't worry about it."

"I studiously attempt to avoid making promises I will never keep," offers Sterling in answer to Franklyn's well-wishes, since it seems C.B.'s have ultimately come to naught, considering the situation at hand. But then she's lifting one of those gloved hands, and waving at the other cafe patrons, before turning to move to the door with a swift gait. Just like that, she's gone.

Skye's mumbling garners a sympathetic look from Poppy over that glass of beer, and she gives a small toast towards her as the shy, begloved Lost heads out; it's hard to say if that may also encompass Herr Doktor. Turning back to the others, she takes another sip of beer as she listens to Franklyn's monologue, expression still somewhat bemused. As it becomes clear C.B. is heading out as well, she offers him a wave of the beer and a friendly, if wry smile, given both hands are currrently occupied.

Coffee, company, people to watch: Teagan's got everything they need at the moment. They lean next to Poppy, leaning over momentarily to whisper something to Poppy, and then they take another sip of their coffee. Edmonds words? Get a boozy-coffee salute. A chin-up toward Sterling, and then they casually comment, "See you later," somewhat generally. Their fractured-mirror gaze slides 'round the room, lazily.

"Mmf," is all Edmond says to Sterling's suggestion, one corner of his mouth turning down. But then C.B. and Franky and Yossarian are leaving, and the brightly-clothed night sky boy lifts a hand to wave at them. "Thanks!" he calls to C.B., "about the books!" Unstated: and the implied offer for someplace to stay.

He finally finishes his coconut milk and his last fish taco, and digs in his pocket for a handi-wipe so his hands are book-safe once more, then brings the glass and plate back to the counter. On his way back, he leans wooden fingertips on Poppy and Teagan's table with a faint clack, and says mildly, "Six o'clock tomorrow evening."

"I opened the tab." Franky says all firmly to C.B. -- only to turn and give Sterling a laugh, a genuine laugh!, at the mention of avoiding promises. It is not snarky. Listen to her, all /sincere/ and shit. And yet? Franklyn is moving - going to grab her coat, scarf, bag, bottle of rye she may have possibly payed for, and then an extra glass before she joins up with C.B. again.

The Mortal girl's expression is all thoughtful n' stuff -- stuff meaning 'probably kind of drunk'. "...Can we take the long way?" So thoughtful, so quiet. "I'm so tired, so tired -- I want to feel cold... I want to by cleansed by the cold..." Because that makes sense. Either way? Dr. Killjoy is on her way out.

"Later, Poppy," C.B. says to the singer. He frowns at Edmond, giving a little wave, but his brow furrows at the six-tomorrow-evening-thing. He looks between him, Teagan and Poppy with nothing but suspicion as he takes Franky's arm. "Long way it is," he mutters, leading her out and towards the back, with Lisa to take care of the place.

Poppy tilts her head at Teagan's whisper, then gives a wry, fuck-all-if-I know sort of look and shrug, bat rolling a bit against her shoulder before she catches it. Edmond's seeming non-sequitor has her immediately distracted, however, eyebrow arching inquisitively before she nods. Another sip of her beer, and she looks back towards the pair leaving, expression turning thoughful. "Well, that was a little fucking weird." It's hard to say who she's referring to.

"Welcome to Franklyn and C.B.'s sideshow extraordinaire, playing whenever the fuck they're in the same place together," Teagan sighs. They're not even the least bit bothered by it, if their expression is anything to go by, just sort of mildly tired. "Six tomorrow? I'm on it. Where you wanna meet up for drinks?" because that's clearly what they're talking about.

"Your choice!" Edmond says cheerfully. "I don't know my way around town yet. Here, let me give you my number, you can give me a call or something," he adds, pulling out his notepad and ripping a sheet out, then handwriting his cellphone number in loopy pretty cursive digits with a fountain pen. Eyebrows up at Poppy. "Is she always like that? Free speech doesn't mean freedom from the consequences of it." He offers the paper to Teagan. "I'm bloody bullshit at texting, the screen doesn't like my fingers."

"I don't think I've seen Franklyn be that - serious? Was she serious? I can't fucking tell - before," Poppy says wryly. "It was pretty damn interesting, anyways; this is only the second time I've met her, so fuck all if I know how she usually is. Not going to complain about the free booze. C.B. just seemed like himself in a mood, although I'm sure I don't fucking know him as well as other people do." The siren sips her beer, then seems to consider something before announcing, "I need to sit. Where do we want to sit?" A grin at the other two.

"Generally speaking, Franklyn doesn't believe in consequences for Franklyn, period. Neither does C.B. believe in consequences for C.B. Just read the newspapers - that guy got away with throwing molotov cocktails at a police station. That's why there's always a cruiser outside when he's here. The cops want to fuck him in the un-fun way. But, like, as long as he's not throwing anything, just... whatever." Teagan accepts the phone number, and then looks at the cursive digits. "... I can't read this," they explain, simply, even as they're unlocking their phone to try to add it. "So it's not just speech without consequences, it's... you know, being without consequences," shrugs Teagan. "Don't let it get to you. And don't like, bother trying to make sense of it. Just smile and nod and let it roll over you like a wave." And then they gesture toward a table. "Siddown, Pops. You're the one in the stiletto heels. I'll join you."

"I just didn't like how doomed I am getting shoved in my face out of nowhere," Edmond says grumpily. "White noise, then. All right." He glances at Teagan and grimaces, sliding the paper back and carefully printing the numbers. "Sorry. My tutors were extraordinarily strict about penmanship and-- it was different... I'm not used to anyone but me looking at my writing," he says sheepishly and slides it back over: the new numbers look like the ones on the keypad.

He leans against the back of a chair instead of sitting, giving Poppy a wry smile. "First time I've met him, actually. He seemed all right to me. Said I could borrow any of the books here." Hands get spread, and then he tilts his head thoughtfully for a moment. "Not believing in consequences when you can take care of so many of them with a thought seems like a fairly standard trait. But people being surprised when others get upset over their words has never failed to surprise me."

"A little doom and gloom can be entertaining, but not if you're not fucking expecting it," Poppy says cheerfully, then peers at the handwritten phone number. "I can put it in your phone, if you want," the siren says to the darkling. "Although you'll have to hold my damn bat while I do it," she adds. Bat, apparently, not beer; it seems she has her priorities in order. Either that, or 'hold my beer' isn't really applicable in this situation. When Edmond offers to rewrite the numbers, she looks over at Teagan to see if that's good enough for them. Another sip of beer and a wry look for the elemental. "Most people live in their own heads."

"Yeaaah, like I said. White noise. Let it all roll over you." And then Teagan shrugs absently. "It's okay. I ain't gonna get on anyone about their writing or non-writing foibles. I literally cannot read. I mean like, I know a few letters, but." Shrug. That's sort of a thing this evening. Once they have the corrected numbers, they go about putting it in, and then ask: "What are the letters of your name?" Seriously, they can't read.

"I'd say that we used to date," explains the Darkling as they are busied with putting the numbers into the phone, "but in reality we used to hang out and occasionally screw. And then I ended that. So I'm not exactly an unbiased opinion about C.B. Alexander. Take everything I have to say with a deer lick of salt." A pause, and they take a swallow of their boozy coffee. When Poppy offers to put it into Teagan's phone, Teags hands the phone over. "Put the name in, please," they say to Poppy.

Very, very wry grin at Poppy. "And I nearly never expect doom and gloom. Truth about people living in their own heads. I don't much like the inside of mine, I dare say, which is probably why I try not to." He's silent for a second.

"Fair," Edmond says to Teagan then, apparently not shocked by Teagan's inability to read. "Also fair about not-dating and salt." One corner of his mouth crooks up, then. "Didn't know his name until now, though." He takes the paper back and block-letters his name on it for Poppy, because his handwriting really is very 1914, and his surname does have a few letters in it.

Poppy gives Teagan another wry look at that comment about 'white noise;' and their description of 'a deer lick of salt' is met with a musical laugh. Once the darkling relieves her of the bat, she takes up the phone, peering over at Edmond's paper; it seems she doesn't feel the need to wait until he's done writing, entering number first, then adding his name afterwards. "Thanks!" That seems directed at the elemental. Once all of the information is stored, she offers it back to the darkling before heading towards a table with her drink, humming in her eerie, choral voice under her breath; it seems she trusts Teagan to keep their word of joining her.

"Well, now you know. And you know how much of my opinion you should take seriously, and now we move on." Teagan takes the phone back, and points it at Edmond. Picture taken, unless he hides his face. How else will Teagan the un-reading know who is calling or texting? "You know, you can text message without using the screen, if your fingers don't like the screen or whatever. I use speech input to text, and have the phone read it back to me." A pause, and they add, moving to settle in next to Poppy, "I mean, I use a headphone for listening when I'm in public."

"That," says Edmond -- who gives Teagan a really bright and kind of ridiculous grin when she takes his picture; he is a Large Ham apparently -- "is genius. I will look into that. Thank you!" He pauses, and looks wistfully at both books and company for a moment, then shakes his head a little. "I am afraid I shall have to take my leave; the police haven't left yet and it's making me nervous. See you tomorrow!"

With that, the too-pretty Elemental's out the door.