Author Topic: Reviving Thursday Traditions  (Read 265 times)

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Offline rainshadowck

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Reviving Thursday Traditions
« on: May 17, 2019, 03:31:41 AM »
For Saiketsu

The night that Rachel and Quinn passed out on the couch together after she spilled her guts had been, well, exhausting.  The sounds and smells of eggs, toast, and coffee late that next morning had finally caused the two to stir; covered in a couple of blankets that she could only assume Damien had placed there.  It was a super thoughtful gesture that stoked the affections she had for the vampire, though she felt a touch guilty that he had been left alone after such an intense conclusion to their celebratory date.  She missed crawling into bed with him but she really needed her friend time.  Breakfast was filled with quiet awkwardness and mutual exhaustion, Damien mostly keeping his distance from them as they fully woke up.  She'd debrief with him later of course but for now, she was appreciative that he was mostly letting her figure this whole thing out on her own.  Before sending Quinn off in an Uber (one that he did not have to pay for), the two swapped current numbers and made plans to meet at Sanctuary that Thursday for brunch.  She could tell Damien was nervous about that but this was important.  And she had a bodyguard now so she'd be fine.

The days passed quickly and Rachel had exchanged a few texts back and forth with Quinn trying to reestablish some kind of "normal" with him.  By the time Thursday had come along she was filled with a kind of nervousness that felt like a combination of going on a blind date and a job interview at the same time.  Which was really weird.  Before leaving the house she had spent a good chunk of time after getting ready reassuring Damien that everything would be okay, that she would text him when she got there, check in with him at intervals, and text him when she was coming home.  Honestly, she was nervous too but tried her best to not let him see that.  He didn't need any more reasons to be apprehensive. 

Greg, the shifter bodyguard, was a bit late picking her up.  Damien wasn't happy about that at all, but she managed to convince him to give the new hire a proper chance before making any real judgment.  That and she was eager to finally get out of the house during the day and didn't want today to go badly.  Greg did apologize, after all.  Although he didn't seem as concerned as she would have preferred--but she set aside those thoughts in favor of her excitement.

He tried to make some small talk with her as she sat in the backseat texting Damien, and she felt bad about giving mostly one-word replies but she wasn't really in the mood for conversation. 

"Sorry, I'm just distracted."  She ended up saying, glancing up into the rearview mirror and catching his eye.  An uncomfortable feeling nudged its way in as she found that she couldn't read his face at all really.  Chalk it up to nerves on the first day.  His boss, Damien, was pretty damn intimidating when he wanted to be.

"Nah, it's all good, I get it."  He returned his gaze to the road and left her alone, turning the music up a little bit as if indicating he wouldn't bother her anymore. 

You get what? She couldn't place why the comment rubbed her the wrong way but didn't feel like exploring it further.  Part of her wanted to tell Damien she was feeling weird about it, but she didn't want him worrying about it on top of everything else.  Instead, she looked out the window, trying to get a sense of the layout of the city in the sunlight as they traveled through it.  Everything looked so much different by day.  Some things were recognizable--things closer to home anyway.  She couldn't remember if they had ever gone into the West district before, but she thought it was cute and artsy.  This part of the city seemed like the kind of place she would've wanted to explore on foot.  She missed doing things like that.

It didn't take too long to get to their destination and she was thankful that the awkward car ride was finally over.  When Greg parked the car, the two got out and headed toward the cute two-story building housing the Sanctuary cafe.  He kept a little distance away from her, but not so far that he couldn't reach her if needed.  It felt a lot like being alone, and there were things that she liked about that but her nerves felt electric beneath her skin.  She took the time on the short walk to take in the scenery, quaint cobblestone putting her mind at ease.  Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew that it didn't matter what a place looked like--He could be hiding anywhere.  No thinking of that now.  She sighed through her nose and pushed open the door to the cafe. 

The place was a bit busy, but there were a handful of empty tables.  No Quinn yet.  She felt a slight touch at her back that made her jump and look back.  It was just Greg, attempting to urge her into the building because she had just stopped in the doorway.  That steering thing that men did really got on her nerves and she didn't think it was really appropriate of him.  She must've had some kind of look on her face because he took a step back and apologized.  Without replying to him, she made her way to the counter to get a coffee. 

Oh, they're hiring?  She took note of the Help Wanted sign as she paid for the coffee, thinking that maybe it would be cool to work here.  It seemed like a cozy place.  It wasn't anything like the diner she worked at back home, but it was something.  Maybe it was fate?  The thought made her smile as she took the drink she ordered.  The smile fell a bit when she turned back around toward Greg, who was doing a bit of hovering uncomfortably close to her.

"Um, why don't you grab something and sit somewhere nearby?"  She offered quietly, hoping he would take the hint that she didn't want him sitting with them.  He nodded obediently and complied.  It was a bit weird to have someone listen to her like that but she was relieved nonetheless.  Rachel moved toward one of the empty tables by the window, one where the sun was streaming in.  As soon as she sat she leaned back in her chair, letting the sun warm her face as she closed her eyes.

This could be her new normal.

Pulling out her cellphone, she sent a quick text (and cute selfie) to Damien to let him know that she had arrived safely.  Then she sent one to Quinn to see where he was, since she was a bit late herself.  She would've offered to pick him up but it wasn't really on the way so it felt a little awkward.  Especially on her first outing with this bodyguard.  She really hoped that he wouldn't be weird again.  This needed to work out.

Rachel took a small sip of the coffee, inhaling deeply as she brought it close to her face, and reached for the menu on the table. 

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 10:00:23 AM »
Sleep had evaded him and left his eyes more bruised than usual. When the sun had finally risen it refused to let him drift back to sleep, Quinn got up and showered. The fogged mirror showed him the horror of his sleep deprivation; reddened scleras, puffy lavender bags beneath them, dark hairs sprouting on his cheeks, widening his pores.  "It's too early to deal with this shit," he muttered darkly, miserably to himself before trekking off to get dressed and dose himself with coffee and nicotine.

By the time he left for the cafe to meet Rachel, his anxiety about seeing Rachel again was riding high. Quinn was ashamed of the feeling and began second guessing the decision to meet up with his old friend again. Perhaps they had just grown too far apart after all these years. Maybe they were better off in their own little worlds, separate. He couldn't place why he felt that way - his reconnection with Rachel had been one of those reviving, life-breathing meetups that forge deep friendships, and yet... There was no placing the feeling, and that made him even more anxious. Doubt. He spent much of his time on the bus fidgeting with his clothes and hair in the reflection of the phone.

Ten minutes late, Quinn Patenaude climbed off the bus across from the small cafe they had agreed on. He felt stupid with his stomach full of anxious tension and tried to breathe it out as he crossed the street, peeking into the glass windows and trying to spot his friend. She was easy to spot, sitting alone looking at her menu in the streaming light. Instantly forgetting his tension, Quinn tapped on the glass near her face as he passed. When her eyes showed him surprise (and fear?), he smiled guiltily and pulled the cafe door open.

"Hey you," Quinn greeted with a cautious smile, unsure of how to greet his best friend now. Would she stand and hug him like old acquaintances? Should he just slide into the booth next to her and pretend like no time had passed at all? He dropped his bag in the opposite side of the booth near the window and was about to turn to make a gesture in greeting of his friend when he came chest to chest with a solid wall of a man he had never met before.

"Oh," Quinn said stupidly, looking up at the hulk of a man who only glared down his nose at him as if Quinn had just hit on his boyfriend. "Can I help you?" Quinn roosted back at the man who prevented him from moving, his dark blue eyes mirroring the stranger's cockiness. Was this guy that demon that Rachel was talking about? He somehow didn't think so, but couldn't figure out why some meathead was up in his face.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 08:46:34 AM »
Rachel was about to say something when Greg suddenly appeared between them.  People were starting to turn to see what was going on.  She flushed a bright crimson with a flash of anger.  Like, he fucking knew she was meeting someone today--or had he not been paying attention?

"Dude--seriously?"  Voice strained as if she were ready to go off on him to begin with.  He gave her a confused look, then his features relaxed.  Like he had just realized that Quinn wasn't a threat.

"Sorry," he murmured, stepping down (though still eyeing Quinn warily).  "I'll just uh, be over here."  He pointed.  Rachel sighed in agitation and put her forehead into her hand.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me," she whispered to herself, slowly prying her hand away to watch Greg return to his table.  Not good.  Technically the, what, fourth strike?  In one damn day?

"Hey, Quinn."  Rachel slid out of the booth and went to give him a hug.  "I am so fucking sorry."  She sighed again as she warmly squeezed her friend. 

"That's the new guy," she said lowly, sliding back into her seat "Literally the first day I'm out of the house with him."  And it's been just great.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 10:36:14 AM »
Quinn's anger and aggression was slow to subside, the slight of being approached in some macho, commanding way triggering every last one of his defenses. The two men glowered at each other even as the bodyguard backed down and returned to his spot a few booths away.

When Rachel hugged him, some of his tension eased, though a bitter taste of ire still lingered in his mouth. "It's okay," Quinn said trying to recover some of his friendliness. If he had actually slept last night, he may have found the entire situation funny. As it stood, his irritation remained piqued. "Guy seems like a fuckin' peach. Whehd'ya pick him up?" His words came out fast and angry, heavy with an accent he couldn't hide in anger. He said it loud enough for the bodyguard to hear him, even if he didn't have supernatural hearing. Quinn flapped the menu open as he threw one last look in the other's direction.

What a great start to the morning.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 10:55:23 AM »
"Yeah, fuckin' tell me about it."  She sighed through her nose, "He was a friend of a friend of someone in the company."  There was a beat as she realized he wouldn't know what she was talking about.  "Damien's company, I mean."

Rachel watched Quinn as he looked through the menu.  He looked exhausted.  Ordinarily, (well, back when they were living together) she would've pointed it out.  Maybe she should.  Maybe it would bring the "normal" back faster. 

Maybe it would make things more awkward.

"How'd you sleep?"  There was a familiar concern in her voice.  Quinn always had trouble sleeping, and it seemed like that hadn't changed.  She felt inexplicably guilty about it like it was somehow her fault even though she knew it wasn't. 

Before he could answer, the server made her way over with a pot of coffee "Hey hun," she addressed Quinn "Coffee?"

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 11:17:40 AM »
"It's like you read my mind. How'd you know?" Quinn smiled miserably up at the server, flipping over his cup and loving how dark it was as it flowed into the white china.

After the waitress had left their table, pouring some in Rachel's cup as well, Quinn reached for a packet of creamer and three packs of sugar, dumping each into his coffee as he spoke. "Awful, if I'm being honest." He smiled pathetically at Rachel and stirred his drink to combine the sugar better. "I still sleep pretty much the same as I always did." He blew on the surface of his coffee in a futile way to cool it down faster before leaning in for a sip - and consequently receiving a burnt tongue for his efforts.

"So is this your very first time out during the day? What's it like?"
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 11:22:45 AM »
Rachel frowned at his reply but didn't press him, knowing that he had literally tried everything to get to sleep.

"I'm sorry,"  was all she said.  It was all she could say.  She shook her head sympathetically before taking a sip of the refreshed-coffee. 

"I've been outside during the day,"  for whatever reason she felt the need to clarify.  Maybe she was a touch defensive.  It felt like an important distinction.  "But seeing the city during the day is... different."  She looked down into her coffee, passing her cup slowly between her hands.

"Honestly, its kinda scary,"  She admitted quietly.  "It feels like I'm doing something I'm not supposed to be doing, but it also doesn't feel real--ya know?" 

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 07:27:04 AM »
"That's right," Quinn nodded, remembering that from their previous conversation when they had first reconnected. Maybe he could blame his forgetfulness on the lack of sleep - it sounded as good a reason as any.

"Oh, so you've never seen the city during the day, have you?" Excitement crept into his voice as the possibilities bubbled forward. He could drag her to museums, downtown, to restaurants and cafes now! He could show her the city with her fresh eyes! "I like this city a lot. It's way bigger than Boston and there's more to do at all hours of the day. It's pretty much a human city by day and immortal by night. The vibe changes so drastically once the sun starts to set.

"Also, it's super gay friendly here," Quinn diverted quickly, putting his coffee down as an act of emphasis and amazement. "Like amazingly so, it's strange.

"I want to show you all the things!" He smiled genuinely at his friend.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 08:04:19 AM »
"Ohmygod I would love that,"  She easily matched his excitement, elevating it even.  "What's your favorite thing to do around here during the day?"  When the two of them got going--well, when they used to get going, they could get pretty rambunctious feeding off of each other's energy.  Rachel hadn't even really had that kind of a connection with anyone since.  How fucked was that?  She'd lost years to this bullshit.

In spite of her best efforts to avoid thinking about bad shit, she could feel sadness bubbling up, bitterness at her past circumstances sending prickling tears to the corners of her eyes.  She really didn't want to be bringing down the mood like this.  It was Thursday--time for fun and relaxation.  At least that was what they had declared it way back.

"Sorry," she muttered, hurrying to blot a napkin to her face before taking a sip of coffee and changing the subject. 

"Tell me about this experience with vampires you mentioned the other night."  Rachel tried her best to smile mischievously but it didn't quite meet her eyes.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2019, 09:30:37 AM »
What was his favorite thing to do during the day? Well, sleep, obviously - not that that was often the case. He began listing off some things that he liked - smoking on the beach, going shopping at the enormous mall (had she been there yet?), food trucks, tiny restaurants, visiting a nearby hill with a view of the city that was unparallelled at sunset. This city had given him his first opportunity to actually look at a sunset on the water in person. He threw out fingers for more things, getting wrapped up in his own discussion that he felt like a complete asshole when Rachel had started to tear up. Quinn stopped immediately, feeling both like an idiot for talking too much and panicked at making her cry.

"Hey, Rache," he questioned pleadingly, tenderly as if no time had passed between them. "What's going on? What's wrong?" The temptation was there to take her hand, but decided against it. There was still some distance that needed to be bridged now that they were reunited. He purposefully ignored her last question, both as a stubborn way to prevent her from taking the focus off herself and his desperate attempt to not bring up all the Jerry drama. God, he'd have to drag that all up in conversation eventually. It wasn't like they kept that sort of thing secret from one another...
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2019, 09:55:48 AM »
"Sorry, I just..."  she rubbed at her eyes in frustration.  "I'm just pissed that I missed out on so much.  That you were so close this whole fucking time."  There was more to it than that, more that she wanted to say.

"I'm sorry, I'm really not trying to do this right now.  I really just want today to be..."  What, normal?  Yeah, right.  "Fun.  I guess.  I don't know."  She sighed and buried her face in her hands.

"I miss having friends."  Muffled and through her fingers.  God, she sounded pathetic.

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 11:14:25 AM »
It was painful and touching and sweet all at the same time and it all broke Quinn's heart. He didn't have words for any of it, having no actual comprehension about what it must have been like to go through everything she had. Sure, she had told him the basics and the basics were terrifying, but he knew that it was nothing compared to the lived experiences.

"Well," Quinn said decidedly, "we'll make it fun again. It might take some time; but we've both missed five years of each other's life. Let's just do this, and have this moment every week, to just re-establish what we had, you know?" He reached across the table and took Rachel's hand away from her face and held it sincerely on the table between them, her fingers in his palm. "I miss you and I'm so happy that you are back in my life." He opened himself to her as much as he could, forcing himself to be as emotionally vulnerable as they had been in the past. The person in front of him had been with him through much thick and thin and Quinn was determined that five years of their lives was not going to put that to rest so easily. Not now, after he had finally found here alive, healthy, and so nearby.

"We'll get you back there, Rache." There was unwavering conviction - hell, optimism - strong in his words and he wanted more than anything to have her believe them too.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2019, 09:42:33 AM »
There was a swelling feeling in her chest as Quinn spoke that made her want to sob.  But they were in public and she was not going to be That Bitch to cause a scene.  Her eyes, shining with tears threatening to spill, gazed openly into Quinn's as he took her hand.  A smile spread across her face in spite of the nagging need to cry. 

The tender moment was ruined with the approaching waitress that Rachel spied out the corner of her eye and she retracted her hand after giving Quinn's a quick squeeze.  The waitress came to the table with a faltering smile, not quite knowing what to make of what was going on between the two.

"I think we're ready,"  Rachel hurried to say, giving her face a quick rub and picking up the menu again.  "I'll have waffles with chocolate chips."

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 07:07:07 AM »
Quinn ordered crispy-fried french toast with two eggs over hard and bacon. As the waitress began to walk away Quinn had a brilliant idea and ordered two mimosas as well. "I totally interrupted your celebration the other night," he explained as she gave him a look. "I figured we've got a bit of celebrating ourselves to do!" He shrugged. Back in the days of Thursday brunches, when they had to scrimp the money together all week after bills, mimosas were a luxury reserved only for terrible break ups, new jobs, or make-up conversations after shitty arguments over roommate things. They were special things to him and he wanted to sit and have a mimosa with his old friend after all the shit that happened.

When the waitress returned with both drinks, Quinn lifted his glass ceremoniously - and with a touch of campiness. "I'd like to propose a toast," he announced dramatically to the table. "To rediscovered friendships, eventual daylight plans, and Thursday brunches!" He left space for her to propose a toast of her own and, if so, listened intently, a giddiness in his smile and core.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The Hermit (Damien)The Devil (Nikolai) | Justice (Pierre) | Temperance (Quinn) | The Empress (Zoheret) | The Star (Levinia) | Death (Monet)

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: Reviving Thursday Traditions
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2019, 07:27:35 AM »
Rachel giggled as the drinks were ordered.  She always felt a touch naughty drinking alcohol so early in the day even though it was specifically a daytime drink.  Quinn was right, they should be celebrating.  When the drinks were in-hand she felt suddenly transported back in time to when this was more of a routine thing, and bittersweetness threatened to overshadow any feelings of joy that had begun to creep in.  She shoved it roughly back down, biting the inside of her cheek.

Enough of that already--he's in front of you now!

Lifting her glass, she beamed at Quinn's toast.  There wasn't anything that she could think to add, he had summed it all up perfectly.

"Thursday brunches!"  She echoed with a bit of finality before taking a large sip.  Time to wash away all the old bullshit and start fresh.

Without missing a beat, she put the glass back down and leaned forward on the table.  "Okay, so now you have to tell me about your experiences."  Her smile was playful and suggestive.