220101101 - A Serious Talk

Setting

Burger Tzar

Burger Tzar - Home of the 'Whammer.' An all beef patty, grilled to perfection, topped with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and served on a sesame seed bun. Would you like fries with that? No problem. How about Tzar sizing that meal… it's only a few cents more?
This establishment is the standard build of a fast-food place; a counter with highlighted menu for ordering, a few laminated tables and booths with attached metal chairs. Not exactly 'fine dining,' but hey… it's cheap, quick, and mostly clean. Equipped with a drive-thru, it's a handy place to swing by for a bite on the go. And remember… "It's your way, right now" at Burger Tzar.

Cast

Scene

After a few bouts of eating at the pub, Cale has settled in for something a bit less expensive and surely less healthy. But it works for him. A simple setup. Burger, fries, drink. The typical combo meal, though half of the burger is gone and Cale is quietly eating the fries as he looks out the window wall beside him, casually watching the traffic and people on the street. Ever a thoughtful one he has been, since Jandra has known him. And now is no exception.

The door opens and Jan enters, hesitating on the step, her gaze scanning the cafe. She sees him, her face relaxing, as she smiles, a smile that warms her grey eyes, lightening them. She moves to join him, sliding into the seat opposite him. She doesn't offer a kiss, her hand reaching for one of his fries, an ancient habit from before. "Thinking hard?"

Cale rouses from his thoughts as she settles down opposite him. His smile coming at once as he reaches out lightly to pass the tips of his fingers against the back of her hand softly. "Yeah, I am. I've never been to a place like this. It's.. big. I wasn't sure what to expect.. I was thinking I might have to.. walk the streets with your picture to find you, like in those old movies." His smile gaining an amused lean then. "Wouldn't that have been a pitiful sight?"

"It is huge. I keep getting lost." A smile hovers at the corners of her mouth, and she bites her lip, lowering her voice. "I followed your scent here." She turns her hand over, reaching to intertwine their fingers together. A faint flush rises in her cheeks at the suggestion of him walking the streets with her picture. "I'm sorry I crashed on you…"

"Why sorry?" Cale grips her hand with a comfortable firmness. "It was like the old days. If that'd have been our place, I would have stayed but.. I didn't feel right after April nodded off and Matt left." He shakes his head a little. "I probably shouldn't feel that way, but I suppose I still think along human lines a lot." His voice lowered for such admission, soft enough for their ears to hear alone. "And I don't mind if you follow me around.. I did sort of follow you a lot, afterall."

Her thumb moves lightly across his skin, her gaze dropping to their hands, her face softening a little. "I don't mind either way…" She speaks softly, Jan's gaze lifting to his face, grey eyes soft and warm. "I don't think what we are has to make us less human, perhaps differently human." She nibbles her lower lip thoughtfully, a tiny pucker between her eyes as she speaks. "People choose to let the beast rule, or to control it." This is theory, from her work, not personal experience.

"By the looks of it, everyone does things differently.. this Pard, it isn't like ours was," Cale murmurs lowly. "And Matt.. he seems to embrace his beast closely. I'm still trying to figure him out, but he thinks I shouldn't be so focused on just you. Human morals, he called it." He shakes his head slightly. "But after before.. I like what we have. It may be just one woman, but there is still so much. It does make me wonder.. him and Talen.. and now April. How long will he be with her? Or perhaps I'm just thinking about it too much." He shrugs his shoulders, head shaking. "I don't really know her.. perhaps she is similar?"

A brief flicker of anxiety in Jan's eyes, and her body tenses as Cale talks about Matt. "Just…?" She murmurs softly, her thumb stilling on his skin, her face impassive as she listens. "I don't know. I've barely known them a week really…" She sits back, the movement drawing her hand from his, and she shakes her head. "I don't know. He seems to think it should be more about that than it is for me."

Cale lets her hand go without bother. It is easier now to do so, without the danger that he might not touch again. "I suppose we'll see. What I think is we should be who we are. Perhaps in time.. we will think as they do. But if that will be, it will be. I have you. It is all I need now." He smiles, "We still haven't found our place here. Though you do have a bit of time over me. I'll have to have a talk with Forest. I tired asking Matt about things I need to know, but he wasn't so helpful. I think his mind is drawn back to politics that don't really matter in the here and now. I want to know more about relations with the vampires.. what people to watch out for.. hate groups, that sort of thing."

"I don't think I ever will…" Her words taste of doubt, uncertainty, and Jan absently rubs her hand up her forearm, as if cold. "I haven't asked Forest much. When I stayed there the few nights, he and Talen seemed to want time alone and I didn't feel I could disturb…" She reaches for one of his fries, automatically, habit driven. "Someone else warned me against the vampires here. Even Memo did too…"

Cale arches a brow slightly at that, not troubled with her picking at his food. "That is strange.. what did she say?" He reaches out lightly, wanting to take her other hand, which he will hold lightly between his. "I'll probably speak to him at the Pub.. a time when I'm sure he's not busy or otherwise."

"She said to keep clear of them, that they are dangerous." She lifts one shoulder lightly, letting him have that other hand, her thumb resuming the slightly anxious rubbing of his skin. Jan looks up from the food, her face worried. "This pard seems a little less cohesive than the other one. I can't tell if it is just that I'm new though."

Cale shakes his head a little and smiles. "Don't worry, Jan. We'll just keep to our own. I'm notlooking to get into any trouble around here and I know you aren't. It does seem a little less so, but that just shows.. everyone does it differently. So can we." He squeezes her hand, then rises up, his food left on the table. "Come on.. lets go have a look around. best way to not get lost is to get the lay of the land."

Jandra takes a handful of the fries, giving him a quick smile as she slides from the seat, popping them into her mouth. "I guess. I definitely don't want trouble, I think we made enough of a noise…" She reaches out for his hand as she moves in next to him to walk out of the cafe. "I don't even know how our family works with the others here…"

Cale lifts the gripped hand up, brushing the back of it against his cheek. "We'll find out, Jan. One way or another. And we can find out place in it. Hopefully a nice, quiet place." He grins, confident enough in that before he tugs her along as they go out onto the afternoon streets to get lost for a bit.

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