My, my, why is everybody kissing each other~? Hopefully none of you has a cold or anything of the like~ *chuckle*
Heh, I was more worried about mono.
Could you imagine all these people catching mono? It’s almost like a game, you know. *laughs a bit* Maybe we should place bets on who of all these kissers has the disease.
“Oh my, does that make me a VIP? Hehe~” you chuckle light-heartedly. You listen to him describing his friend with somewhat of a smile, thinking that indeed, you should recognize this Rufus right away. Well, more thanks to the actual description than for the “he looks like a puppy” part.
“Don’t worry Sterdarling, I will make sure to avoid saying unnecessary things~ I just want to tell your friend to be more careful to avoid being in trouble. Even if my situation seems more dangerous, it actually isn’t because I have comprimising materials in my possession, and ways of spreading them widely in case anything happens to me~ I’m fine” you conclude.
“Also, if your friend is ‘handsome’, surely it wouldn’t hurt to have a look and enjoy the show I guess” you giggle.
“Sterdarling?” The petname elicits a laugh from the pale shaded man, as he looks at his watch. Damn. Break time was almost over, although the time was spent wisely. ”That’ll never get old and yes, consider yourself a VIP on this ship known as friendship… god what am I saying.”Wise question, indeed. A small chuckle and a hand wave dismiss this small moment of ridiculous metaphorical indulgence.
Anyways yes, this was exactly why he loved Scarlet so goddamn much; she was another human being that could appreciate the art of having a few tricks up the proverbial sleeves. Well, one that did and was tolerable enough to sit around for long periods of time. “If you’re sure, Scarlove.” God, that nickname may just get him killed but it certainly made up for Sterdarling. Lord only knows what would happen if she knew his first name, and the embarrassing nicknames to come with it. “I trust you can take care of yourself but don’t forget I worry, alright? And go enjoy the show as much as you would like. After all, it is his job.”
Maybe Scarlet could, with all her red-blooded money and all, help another fellow red-blood out. Then again, Scarlet really wasn’t so rich… and neither was Rufus, for sure. It was probably time to drop stereotypes, but old habits died hard.
Hard to forget how much a red’s fist hurts.
You smile when he starts murmuring about your “adult” jobs. Of course you know people are only being hypocrites - or prude, for some. You don’t feel concerned by other people’s opinion - “the commoners” as used to say your parents. You very slightly wince at the memory.
You simply reply with an odd mix of softness and cruelty in your voice: “I could not care less for people’s so-called morals. I know they’re no better than me - the only difference is that they hide it.”
You come back to the main subject, namely his friend, who also happens to be a stripper. And apparently in financial difficulty.
“Oh, I wonder what he looks like… Male strippers are pretty rare after all~” you chirp. “I’ve never worked as a stripper, but it’s really nice to watch when the stripper is good~”
The more you think about it, the more you want to actually go to the place this Rufus works to watch him - and maybe slip some money for him. You knew what it was like to try making ends meet as a “sex worker”, and maybe in a way, it reminded you of the time when you left home without a penny.
“Yes, I can manage on my own, Sterling. I’m a big girl - no matter how questionable my carreer choice may seem” you smile. “But you sure seem to worry a lot about other people~”
“Not necessarily ‘other people’, but more like a select few.” His parents, her, Fae, and a hot stripper guy. What a motley bunch to worry about indeed.
“Oh, Rufus is memorable. Really really red hair, long too. Looks nearly like a woman from behind if you look too fast but if you get a good look at him you can see how handsome he is.” Sterling gave a thoughtful nod at that. Yes surely, that would be a clear indicator of what kind of guy Rufus “shinra” Leon looked like, though not entirely a good one of what he was like as a person.“… kind of reminds me of a dog too. Like a puppy.” Much better. A hopeless dog was a bit more accurate. Enthusiastic and eager.
“B-but I don’t recommend searching for him no reason alright?” Not that you were her mother of course, just that only now did it occur to him that maybe, just maybe, Scarlet was going out to patrol exactly who had her buddy’s panties all in knots. “Anyways you know very well why I worry about you, and I think my concern is justified. ” Strong, Scarlet was. Tactful on the other hand… no. No Scarlet had made a few enemies and even if she could handle herself, how many people could one woman take down when push came to shove.
You do. Oh do you do your job, and admittedly the one you maybe, just maybe, enjoy a little more than your normal nine to five one. Not that you’d admit it of course, being a gentleman of such a high status in society. Feh. A high status, the local informant and coffee shop owner having a status beyond his rather dooming title (Cosmic Latte?!) and his late night parties.
At least the parties he could let go a little bit.
Just a little.
This home is not familiar to you, a new customer perhaps. Or a college dorm? Whatever, it didn’t matter. The address matched what was given to him and he was running a bit more than late, seeing as there was some rather annoying man on skates harassing him just before it was quitting time. Seriously. What the hell was his issue what was wrong with paying a goddamn five dollar bill for his moolatte?! And that helmet? And the fact that he didn’t have a shirt and dear god what the hell…
No. No no no he wasn’t going to let dumb things like… like men in skates ruin this night! After all he could easily make back that lost money if he played the cards right, and if Sterling could turn the charm on which by god he could if god so granted him mercy.
He took out— yes a mirror, shut up, a man always needed to look good before closing this business deal even if L. Sterling was only a dildo salesman. A few hairs were put into place, glasses were adjusted, and so were collars before the mirror was shoved back into his pocket, the handle to his rather large suitcase was grabbed again, and he rolled into the building, to the right door, and came inside.
“So sorry, ladies and gentlemen.” A friendly grin was given to the party guests gathered around the living room. “Had to deal with a customer. He liked my products so much he didn’t want to give it up…” Half truths were fun to play with. “Lets get this started. Introductions? I see a few familiar faces and some not so much, how about we all get comfortable with one another?” His suitcase was lifted up and carried now from where he stood in the doorway to his rightful seat next to the hostess, who Sterling gave a firm handshake to, and sat down. “I’m already familiar with our lovely hostess, thank you very much for the opportunity ma’am…” The woman softly giggled at that, and replied with something or another about being charmed herself. “How about the left? You are…?”
A passerby has given you a twenty dollar bill, thinking you are homeless.
You have enough to buy some more cans of soup.
You must venture into town.
You brace yourself, and step into the city limits.
“Sweetie it’s nice you want to help, but sometimes you should just… leave them alone…”
“There’s a lot of con artists out here in Colourtown, all pretending to be them.”
“They understand if you don’t give them anything, it’s alright.”
“Don’t be a fucking moron. Don’t talk to hobos.”
Sterling liked to think he was raised well and that, for the most part, his parent’s words have yet to fail him. But there he sat, taking his break outside on the bench outside Colourbucks, watching a homeless person trudging in from the woods like he’s a man on a mission. Hell, the guy probably was. At the same time though he looked like simply walking into the city was enough reason to catch on fire. Maybe he was lost. Maybe he had some sort of anxiety disorder. Sure, he’s not supposed to talk to guys like that but…
It couldn’t hurt to talk to a hobo ONCE, could it? By god he was a full grown man! The baristo could take great care of himself, thank you very much.
“Aah… mister?” No, he was probably much too quiet. “Mister!” Much better, much louder. “Sir do you need any help?” Money, directions, a place to wash his laundry efficiently…
Rufus was feeling much better. He had skipped out on waking up that morning and going into Colourbucks for his normal coffee + conversation. Just sort of hit the dismiss on his cell phone and rolled over and went back to sleep. Really, he needed to work on his article but that was a bit of a stretch when he was exhausted.
He had woke up at noon feeling much better and much more prepared to take the day by the horns and show it who was boss. He took Cameron out for a run - jesus fuck she was getting big, and he just about had enough saved up to take her by the vet which was apparently a necessary thing - and played with her in the park a while. He’d dropped by Colourbucks, bought a sandwich. Wrote a little (all of which wound up getting selected, deleted and replaced with an eloquent ‘agdfhdfhdf’), and then headed over to The Candy Cane a little earlier than his shift demanded.
He had just finished dressing (midriff-exposing vest and tight pants and a clip on tie. Least his hair could stay braided tonight) - lollygagging around the backstage while he waited for the club to pick up just a little - when that new guy had shown up. Well shit. He hadn’t really made the best first impression last night on this guy, he was sure. Poor guy probably didn’t even want to work at a strip joint and was doing it out of necessity - not everyone was like him - not everyone enjoyed it.
Overhearing him pretty much cemented that conclusion in his mind. Rufus took a deep breath (mentally, of course), and headed over, leaning on the locket next to Javier’s. “Hey there. Ready for another night? Sorry about last night, by the way, dude, I was just -dragging- all the livelong day and I had just wanted the night to be over. Pretty sure I didn’t come across as all that friendly. Rufus Leon, at your service. You’re brand new, ain’tcha?”
Okay, so maybe he rambled a bit. Wasn’t hard to do when he was trying to fix up what had probably been a terrible fuck up on his past self’s part. Yes, he had past selves. Easier to give a degree of separation with past stupidity if that was the case. He had extended his hand upon the fresh introduction - the fresh start - and was smiling at Javier - his whole demeanor much more warm and friendly than before.
Oh my god
he never came in today
Rufus must have been taken out back last night by a patron and had his brains blow out.
*goes to his computer to print it*
*takes it to the bed with him*
“…….. a-aaah… mmmm… R-ru…”
He held the door open for Sterling, stepping out and watching him lock up. “Seriously? Well, bikes don’t seem all that popular out here I guess. Back home, there were more people on bikes or scooters than cars, swear to god.” Rufus, being Rufus and not some actually self-aware, thoughtful individual, slung an arm around Sterling’s shoulders. “An’ don’t worry, man. I promise, this’ll be fun and I’m a really safe driver so you’ll have nothing to worry about.”
Just like that, Sterling’s shoulder was released and Rufus was walking a little ways down the street. “I don’t even know where we should head to. Just wanted to go for a drive, you know? You have anywhere you wanna go with me?” The red haired man glanced back with a playful smile, and stopped in front of an alley way. He turned, took a few steps down - and tossed a second helmet Sterling’s way once the baristo had caught up to him.
He was standing next to a fairly modest motorcycle, all things considered. What had been a splurge, really, as far as his pay grade went, but really didn’t amount to much. It had an extra large seat, though, so there was plenty of room for Sterling to sit. “I mean, seriously, anywhere at all, Sterling.”
“Ah well it… may just be me, I walk to work.” Colourbucks was only a half hour walk from home, so it was just more economical that way. Heck Sterling didn’t even own any sort of vehicle, bikes, scooters, cars, or otherwise. “It really saves on— m-mmoney…” he stammered, as an arm draped over his shoulder in a loose hug. Woah, woah wait a moment were they already up to level five on the one to fifteen friendship scale? Arm buddies? Was… Was it appropriate to give a hug back? It must have calmed him down in at least ONE way, because the next thing he knew a small, warm “Thanks, I’m trusting you here” slipped past his lips, and once Rufus’ arm was off his shoulder, Sterling was following after him like a moth drawn to the flame…
Or an owner being led by a puppy. Either analogy worked.
Where to go? Who knows. Gosh who cared, either way they were going to die in a horrible bike crash. “Um… anywhere is fine with me, A ride would be oh my god really that’s your bike” It was more a stunned remark than a snide one, seeing as how stunned he was over this fine piece of machinery. Heck, Sterling never even noticed he had put on the helmet (or even received the helmet in the first place)!
He looked from the bike back to its owner and back again, before cracking a smile that the other probably could not see. “It actually suits you well, Rufus. Like… real well.” And it did. Oh did it. Maybe that impending doom burning in his belly could go take a fucking hike in exchange for a moment on this bike with this adoni—- no. No no no, NO. Bad Sterling. There was not going to be any of THAT direction. “And as I said earlier, anywhere. Just as long as we go somewhere.”
Despite every bit of his soul screaming this was a bad idea, the white shade sat on the bike, before finally realizing… “S-so um… do I… how do I stay on… is there seatbelts?”
“Just bundle up and the chill’ll have nothing on you.” Rufus agreed with a bob of his head, a grin spreading across his face. Awesome! Really, super great that Sterling was agreeing, this would be totally fun. He stepped more fully into the shop, the door closing behind him, and pocketed his hands.
“Mmkay! Good timing on my part, I guess, wanting to go today of all days right?” He rocked back on his heels, watching Sterling move around. It was good to see him being generally okay. Even if he’d been even more shy and skittish and quiet. Rufus, however, had been perfectly fine.
Especially, oh man, getting to read Sterling’s work, that was just great. He had really enjoyed that.
“Ready to go? Ready? Oh man, you know how to ride, right? I mean, I’ll be the one driving, but you’ve ridden before, right? This’ll be so much fun!” If anyone was present at that moment, they would swear that his dog had made him more alike her, than the other way around. It was like looking at a puppy eager for a walk.
Or a belly scratch.
Sterling loved the cold. Sterling was also a pussy when it came to the cold. Gosh, why did something so amazing have to sting so badly? Wintertime was the most beautiful time of the year yet it was a bitch to get around in. At least he could wear cute clothes though. God just LISTEN to him, cute clothes.
The man was fussing over the very idea of it as he nervously bundled up, scarf, peacoat, gloves, hat. Having an audience was just nerve wracking. “H-hold on I just need to grab something…” At the very least, he could take Fae’s latest letter back home with him and write a response that night. With great care her little note was folded and put securely inside a pocket. “Alright, I’m ready to go.”
“Also I’ve… no I’ve never ridden one before.” That scarf sure could hide his nervous expression well. What if they fell off a cliff and DIED for gods sakes?! “But um… it shouldn’t be so bad. Just tell me what to do, okay?”
He didn’t DARE ask Rufus’ opinion on his writing, oh no. No he couldn’t bear the thought of hearing him say how terrible it was. That would just break the white shade’s heart.