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Author Topic: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]  (Read 201 times)

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Offline nephero

Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« on: August 08, 2017, 04:41:32 PM »
Something hot brushed against Talbot’s fingers, singeing the fine blonde hairs and sparking white hot pain for the barest moment. He hissed and dropped the culprit: a cigarette now ninety percent ash save for the still burning space just above the filter.

Son of a bitch, how long had he been just sitting there? He looked around the outdoor patio that haloed the Manolins-- just within sight of where the main station let out.

He really hoped he hadn't spaced so bad that Havanah had managed to get herself lost again. It had taken almost every last bit of willpower he had to even leave his apartment, let alone go traipsing about for his friend, the poor Haviah lamb.

Soba sighed, brushed ash off of his pants, and then rubbed at his face. Potentially not the best order in which to do things, because suddenly his eyes felt like someone had dropped a cup of acid into them. Shit. Shit!

Squinting hard against pained tears, Talbot brought his jacket sleeve up and scrubbed at his eyes with that, cussing under his breath the whole while. Bad enough he looked a mess, and now he had streaks of ash lining his cheekbones. Oh well. If he was gonna look like a hot mess-- snarled hair yanked back into a bun, and clothes that you couldn't see the cat hair on unless you reeeally looked-- he might as well go whole hog on it.

Hell, who knew. Maybe ashy eyeliner would become a thing.

Already exhausted with that train of thought, Soba looked down at his phone, saw no new messages. It'd been especially quiet lately, and something deep in his gut twisted to know there was a very good reason. A very good reason that everyone on the Haviah side had been too busy to blow up the chat with the usual horseshit. A very, very good reason, and meanwhile he had been spending all his time fucking around like an asshole.

He hadn't even given Cinna’s absence a second thought-- had just assumed the Kulshedra had gotten anxious like he often did and decided not to join them for their strip-off. Soba had just shrugged it off like no big deal and done what he always did.

He should have known better. It was his job to know better. It was his job to know how to read people, to know what was innocent shyness versus a genuine problem. And yet here he was, sitting at an outdoor cafe table, utterly and unequivocally useless.

It wasn't like he blamed Sim for denying his request to assist in the investigation. He'd been pissed, sure. But after he had a moment to rage and utterly destroy Pego Noodle City, he’d been able to consider just why they'd denied him in the first place.

It was all just too close. He was too close. He'd tried to justify himself being brought on-- it wasn't like Cinna’s friends weren't involved, with Havanah and the rest clearly on board, but…

But… despite his every effort to avoid admitting anything of the sort, even Soba knew that being friends with Cinna hadn't been the problem.

Soba reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out another cigarette, and after a few tries managed to light it. This one at least, he remembered to actually smoke versus just letting it burn to nothing.

The deep breaths, smoke filled as they were, did wonders to settle his nerves. He scratched at his forehead with one thumb, and settled into people-watching. Families. Suited business folk rushing through their lunch. What looked to be two young ladies on a date.

Something in his chest pulled, and Soba very wisely turned back to his phone before he drove right to Fuck-It-Land and went home.

That'd be rude. And Havanah was just trying to be friendly. He felt like shit, but he wasn't about to make that her problem, too.

Offline Blink

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 05:28:34 PM »
It may have been a joke a while back about renting space on the rail, but it seemed every single day this week Havanah had made at least one trip over to Margad for some fucked up reason. And here she was again doing just that, twiddling her thumbs while she waited for the right stop.

The last few days had been hell, between personal drama and the entire Cinna situation the poor girl hadn't even slept much. Seemed to look like shit was a new fashion among most of the pilots, and Havanah was no exception. She was in her gray jeans and one of Alec's t-shirts. She didn't even have time to run home and change yesterday after they talked but instead went right back to searching Sector C for anything they may have missed. Her hair was pulled back, frizzy from not being brushed and sticking out in random chunks.

In fact, this afternoon was when she decided perhaps she just needed to take a step back from the case and clear her head. Maybe then she could return with a clearer mind. There was also the looming worry from the moment she was informed of Cinna's disappearance on how Soba would take this. She guessed he had seen the picture posted yesterday before it was taken down because shortly after it was rumored he requested to join her team in Haviah.

Stepping off the rail she quickly saw the illuminated sign for Manolins and began walking, determined not to be making any 'rest stops' on the way like last time... her ass was still recovering.

Looking like shit was an understatement when Havanah finally lay eyes on Soba. He looked awful, his usual quirky presence like it never existed at all. With her lips in a fine line, she pulled out a chair and took a seat, giving Soba a sorry expression.

"How are you holding up?" The one question that had been burning in her chest the moment she found out he knew.

Offline nephero

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 04:05:46 PM »
Soba looked up at Havanah, noting the shadows under her eyes and how her hair had similarly been yanked back into a ponytail. Simone’s rejection letter, as he’d taken to calling it, had at least been accurate. The Haviah cell was doing everything they could, and running themselves ragged in the process.

The thought was simultaneously endearing and infuriating. But Soba wasn't here to ruminate on being told to fuck off. He was here for coffee. Or tea. He hadn't decided yet.

“Well, you see, most vertebrates have what is known as a spinal column, which in conjunction with a series of overlapping muscles grants me the power to stand on my own two feet.” He snorted, pushing the corners of his mouth up in a facsimile of a smile. It was a weaksauce joke at best, but a joke nonetheless. He could at least expend that much effort here.

“Seriously, though? Holding. Been taking on a few more cases, some mediocre shit. Keeping busy since I can't…”

Soba cleared his throat, dismissing the thought and pulling on his cigarette instead of finishing what he'd been about to say.

“You? Not to be the guy who tells a lady she looks like shit, but you look like shit. Dig the shirt, though.”

Offline Blink

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 07:57:16 PM »
Irritation was evident when Soba first responded with a joke of anatomy. Still, she could see he was trying to be funny. Thankfully he quickly told her that he was at least trying to keep himself busy. That was good, better than sitting at home and freaking out like she worried he may have been doing.

"You're one to talk" she countered, shifting in her chair to cross her legs over one another. She wasn't meaning to be so agitated, it's just she was so tired. Coffee, strong coffee was what she needed right now. When he mentioned the shirt Havanah did manage to soften up, smiling at the thought of having Alec so close... well at least his shirt anyway.

"Thanks... Alec and I uh..." okay so maybe now wasn't the best time to get into the details of her personal life. Havanah wasn't going to risk stirring something up in Soba over Cinna right now.

Taking a deep breath Havanah reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone, scrolling through it for a second before finding some random annoying song to play. Setting it down on the table with music playing Havanah then leaned in, resting her arm on a knee while her fingers touched her lips.

"I want you to know Soba that we are doing everything we can right now to find him. None of us in the inquiry department is slacking off on this... I promise. We WILL find him. If there is anything you need... ANYTHING at all I am only a phone call away."

Havanah's entire guise was to keep what was being said from being heard or understood through video. With her fingers over her lips like that, it would surely make it nearly impossible to decipher what she was saying. Then there was the music, another tool to keep any audio incoherent. Havanah knew she was breaking so many rules right now but this was Soba... this was Cinna... these were her friends. I mean, Havanah didn't push just anyone to buy an elephant thong... that shit is deep.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 07:57:38 PM by Blink »

Offline nephero

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 10:05:33 PM »
This wasn't what he wanted to hear. Soba’s jaw twitched, he licked his lips and looked to the side.

Of course he knew they were all doing their best. He wasn't accusing any of the Haviah cell of slacking off or not taking Pilot Rook’s-- Cinna’s disappearance seriously. Havanah knew that, but the platitudes were still there. And while Soba knew it was not her intent, all her kind words sounded to him a lot like ‘we're working hard here, what are you doing?’

Soba had a long practice of misbehaving internal voices, and bit down on his tongue to keep from a waspish reply.

Havanah was doing her best. Haviah was doing its best. His own issues about being benched, about being out of the loop, about being on the other side of things-- the hand-wringing, left in the dark, eagerly awaiting news side of things. The victim side of things.

He got enough of that during the work day to deal with it here.

“You and Alec, huh…?” He said, instead, mouth quirking to the side, “Color me completely unsurprised. Told you he sounded needy.”

He shot her a quick grin, just a few teeth before he tapped the table with one hand, fingers rattling up and down in some scattered rhythm.

Just enough to keep his focus split, able to run his mouth on autopilot.

“What do you think the color of unsurprise is? Surprise feels a lot like a yellow, so, what, color theory prevails and unsurprise is purple?”

It was an odd conversation, a rambling one, but anyone who knew Soba knew to expect these sorts of things. Because Soba always rambled about stupid bullshit.

The thing with talented telepaths, of course, was that they could focus on where their thoughts went, be that in broad terms, into a specific object, or…

To a specific person with careful precision and even more careful guarding. There was a pressure against Havanah’s temples, and then words. Words that would never be words.

‘I know. I know you're doing your best. I just hate the sidelines, not knowing anything… until some sick fuck puts a photo on the Pilot chat…’

The whole while, Soba’s lips were moving, muttering on and on about colors and sensations. The only tell that he was concentrating on telegraphing his thoughts to Havanah was whenever his fingers stopped drumming.

‘Do you have any leads? Ideas? Anything?’

Soba knew he shouldn't ask. It wasn't like there was anything he could even do-- even if he knew everything, he still lacked clearance. And Havanah had already risked so much even saying what she had.

“Ah well. Let's get that coffee,” he said, audibly, finally, standing up and brushing bits of ash off of himself, “tell me all about your beau.”

Offline Blink

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 11:27:40 PM »
At first, Havanah was completely confused by Soba's reaction, but then everything became so clear. She could feel the pressure as Soba's thoughts entered her mind and quickly turned to play the game.

"Coffee sounds great" she smiled, standing up behind Soba and grabbing her phone off the table. Clicking it off with one hand and shoving it into her pocket Havanah followed Soba, while she tried to recall every bit of information she could. She knew she was breaking protocol, she knew she was risking everything she had worked so hard for by being here but again she shoved those thoughts to be sorted through later.

"He loves food of all kinds. Steak, sushi rolls, whipped cream, cake..." Havanah started rambling on about all the various foods she had shared with Alec while she pushed her inner thoughts to reach Soba and Soba alone.

"He was last seen getting off the rail and following an AWOL pilot. After that more footage surfaced of him being subdued."

Havanah's concentration broke as she edged up to the next part, the part that would be hardest to tell without getting emotional. Taking a deep breath she dove back in.

"Oh, and how could I forget that he likes sandwiches, bagels, omelets, pancakes..."

"There were two other images you did not see... removed from the pilot chat and covered as system maintenance. It doesn't look good Soba..."

And that was pretty much it... or at least all the information she could give without risking permanent disbarment from the Inquiry department. Havanah didn't go into detail of what the other two pictures contained for Soba's sake, that would be just cruel.

"Venti cold brew with an espresso shot, wait.... two espresso shots please," Havanah ordered after stepping up to the counter with a tired smile on her face. After that, she stepped back so that Soba could make his own order. On the outside everything seemed so calm, just two friends sharing coffee and talking about their random lives.... nope nothing to see here.

Offline nephero

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 10:13:41 AM »
It doesn't look good, Soba.

Soba was no stranger to hopeless situations. He got to witness them firsthand, got to go up to families and friends and lovers and explain that they needed to start considering the worst.

He needed to start considering the worst. He needed to start considering that there was a very real possibility that Cinnamon Rook would not make it out of this alive. Something shook in his chest, and it took a careful, wavering breath to keep him from shaking right along with it.

It was a fate that awaited all Pilots. Eventually the risks of the job caught up with you, luck spent and all too ready to collect on borrowed time. There was no denying that.

But no matter how much Soba tried to tell himself this had been inevitable, it didn't make the sting any easier. It was ridiculous, really. He barely knew the missing Pilot, they got on well enough, but Cinna had actual family, actual friends. Where did he get off being so grief stricken?

He'd been only too happy to pretend Cinna’s no-show hadn't been a big deal, after all. He hadn't even sent the man a message as the evening had gone on. Not so much as a “you coming?” Soba had no right getting hysterical now.

But oh, hysteria was a harsh mistress, and she did not much care for being told what to do. His chest tightened, hard, and it was all he could do to keep his voice from wavering when it was his turn to order.

“Ah, large-- venti-- doubleshot, cinnamon and white mocha.” Soba nearly flinched at the flavor choice; it'd been just an automatic reflex, his usual combination of sugar products, but the spice’s name was just too close to home, “Actually just the white mocha.”

Soba rolled back the sleeve of his jacket, setting his wrist under the scanner without a second thought, his chip automatically deducted the price of their drinks.

Another hard-fought grin at Havanah, and he stepped to the side while they awaited their beverages, arms casually folded over his chest in some last ditch effort to calm himself the hell down.

“Dude's got an appetite, huh? Well, shit, I'm happy for you. I mean anyone who wasn't a brain dead salad fork kinda expected it, but hey, not everyone gets to be a paring knife.”

His grin turned into a wry sort of smile, mischief returning for a hot second, just long enough to tease the other Inquisitor mercilessly.

“Try and save some whipped cream for the rest of Aedolis, though.”

Offline Blink

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 11:56:00 AM »
It would have been impossible not to notice Soba's reaction to the spice's name. The way he flinched at the very mention of it broke Havanah's heart. She knew it, she knew that deep down Soba probably cared for Cinna more than anyone else.

About to set her own wrist on the counter to pay Soba beat her to it. Causing Havanah to give the same hard-fought smile he had been giving her since she arrived. Stepping back she held her wrist with one hand in front of her while her eyes wandered.

When he mentioned Alec's appetite Havanah smiled before she let out a light laugh. "Yeah, I guess he does." And then, for a flash of a second, she saw the Soba she had grown to admire return. Who knew the talk of whipped cream was so magical?

"I wouldn't dream of depriving our lovely nation of such a pleasantry." An attempt to joke back that lacked Havanah's usual luster.

"Maybe after all of this is over with I will actually be able to talk about more than food with him." Her shoulders rolled as she sighed, that feeling of defeat returning. "So we really were that obvious huh?"

Havanah took a moment to recall the times she had spent with Alec before everything became so complicated. All of it sparked the moment she set eyes on him at the gym. From there they were both doomed, they just didn't know it yet.

And that brought Havanah back full circle to all the things she still had to sort out. There was still the issue with Kazoo and what she did to him. Her eyes flicked to Soba for a fraction of a second as she thought of how he could have easily been the last person she slept with if it hadn't been for Alec. At least he probably would have taken it better than Kazoo was. Poor guy had done nothing but given her silence. There was also the issue of the measuring tape still on the floor....

Offline nephero

Re: Cinnamon Mochaccino, no whip, hold the feels. [Blink!]
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 01:53:32 PM »
“Havanah, my dear, ‘obvious’ is leaving magazines around open to the page that has what you want for Yule on it.” Soba quipped, more than a little thankful to be able to put someone's feet to the coals, even if completely in jest, “‘Obvious’ is dying your hair fluorescent pink and getting a day-glo wardrobe. You and Alec?”

He clicked his tongue, and shook his head, hands thrown up like someone who's been handed a terminal case for which there is no hope.

“That shit was about as subtle as a dragon in a tea shop, okay?”

He smiled at her, probably a far more genuine one than ever belonged on his face. Soft, and sincere. Because at the end of the day, as much flak as he loved to give Alec about cockblocking him, as much as he adored pretending to be completely offended?

Havanah and Alec were cute together. And supportive, if the Pilot Chat was any indicator, and utterly smitten if Havanah’s choice in stolen attire was any indicator.

Soba missed stealing shirts, sometimes. Okay, all the time. But it wasn't something that would ever be in the cards for him. So, it was nice to see someone else enjoying having something that good in their lives.

Even nicer that it was a good friend getting it.

Soba took a deep breath, let it out in a rattling raspberry, and shoved his hands into his pockets just for something to physically do with them.

“So, coming from the resident massive ho, get your grains of salt ready, even if you don't got time? Make it. Sitting around realizing you shoulda said shit when you had the chance sucks mightier than an escort on new year's.”

Okay, so his voice fell flatter than he had intended. He had meant the comment to be light, just another line of teasing in a long string of the stuff. Like a skein of yarn, except somehow he managed to cut the threads three inches in.

Thankfully, their drinks decided right then to be completed, and Soba got the opportunity to bury the social faux pas behind retrieving his coffee and taking a solid swig.