You've Got a Friend In Me

It's been difficult to reach a certain someone, but that doesn't mean that he's given up the search. There's been nothing new to report, not until the mess that is the festival. Once the news hits a very groggy Robert, he immediately picks up his phone and dial's Hope's number.

It's been a Hell of a week - nearly literally. First, her sister is a vampire. Second, she watched her sister get all exploded with silver via television. At least it looked like her sister took a nasty hit. For all she knows, Faith is dead.

Top that off with the fact that Hope has been avoiding any and all phone calls from any and everyone associated with the Fellowship, and she's pretty much been on her own. Noting the name on the phone, she considers not answering it, but she sighs. She can't ignore him forever.

"Hi," she says, voice weary and worn.

If she can't separate him from the others, then he obviously doesn't mean anything to her. That's fine, just not what he was hoping for. The way that the phone is answered causes Bobby to pause. "Hope?" Well, obviously, but she doesn't sound like Hope. "Are you… do you want company?"

"I don't know," she says with a little sigh. "Sorry, it's been a long week. Everything okay on your end? My sister is a vampire and I think she took a body full of silver." Hope just sort of rambles that all out and then makes a little sniffle noise. "Didn't mean to avoid you. Didn't want to talk to /anyone/."

That's an awful lot to unload all at once, but thankfully he's prepared for it. She may not have been speaking with him but he can watch the news. Eventually. The man requires some sleep, after all! "Hope, can I come over?" He's not trying to be forceful but she sounds like she just needs someone. "I'm sure that Faith is alright. You know how she is. She may just be confused." It's hard to say this last part as he honestly believes that she's dead. Still, he must be strong for Hope.

"Sure, why not… can't feel any worse than I do." Hope nearly stabbed two people at the cemetery, trying to find Faith and finish her off. Directions are quickly relayed, and, as a properly brought up young lady, she asks, "Is there anything I can have ready for you when you get here?"

"Ouch." Yes, he actually says this, even if he doesn't mean to. Her words do cut but he can understand. It isn't as if he's actually dating her. The directions are jotted down and he nearly hangs up, but he hears her last question. "No. Just no. This is for you. What can I bring over?" He will not allow her to fuss over anything today.

The words aren't meant to cut so much as they're just meant to relay that she's not exactly feeling her best. "Pint." Pause. "Of ice cream." Not alcohol. "Any flavor'll do. I just don't have any and it's one of my favorite comfort foods." Hope exhales a sigh, just before she hangs up. "Hey, Bobby? Thanks for thinking of me. Appreciate it." Click. Dial tone. Poor guy.

The things that guys do for girls. This one is worth it, he reminds himself. She's hurting and she needs someone during this time. Her parents likely aren't around and now her sister is dead. His phone is pocketed as he hears the dial tone. A shower, a stop at the store and a brief car ride later he appears at her front door. The bell is pressed as Robert waits, brown paper bag in hand.

The door is opened, after she checks the peep hole. Hope can't be too careful. No telling who will be after her due to her sister. After all they /do/ look the exact same. She's wearing a pair of pajamas - a white tank top with a pink ice cream cone stating 'I scream for you' and a pair of matching pink bottoms. "Come in," she says quietly. Despite her distraught state, her apartment is neat and tidy. Sparkling, almost. Simple white couch and chair set, faux suede, a small bistro table, and a really simple kitchen. "Sorry it's a mess," she says with a sigh.

That does make sense. In some respects cleaning can be therapy. "I don't see a mess anywhere," he comments as he peeks inside. Bobby takes it upon himself to walk inside, allowing her to close the door. The bag in his hands looks too big for just a pint of ice cream. It is put down on the nearest counter he can find before he walks over to Hope. She may not like it, but he reaches out to give her a hug. The last thing she might want is a hug but it's something that will help him, too.

Hope begins to pull back from the hug, but finally just resigns herself to it, crying as she does so. First time she's let her emotions out other than the cemetery. After a moment or two of crying herself out, she unlatches herself from Bobby's hold and turns away to look for a tissue. "Sorry," she mumbles.

The resistance doesn't surprise him, nor do the tears honestly. They do catch him slightly off guard and as soon as he attempts to recover she's pulling away for a tissue. Robert shakes his head and moves forward again, holding her closely to him. "It's okay to cry," he points out as a hand moves to the back of her head to comfort her. "Hope, it's me. Don't pretend. I want you to be able to cry. You don't always have to be so strong."

"Ijustdon'tknowwhattodo," she laments, all the words blurring together. Hope sniffles, and dabs at her eyes with a tissue, even though he's drawing her back in. "I… I tried to find her to take care of it myself… so she'd have someone there, you know? But all I found was a mouthy guy who works for the mayor… and then I saw what happened on television last night, and now I don't know what's happened, and I really hope she's not dead even if she's a soulless demon… it's all just confusing and…" Hiccup.

The bag is noticed and she tilts her head a bit. "Not just ice cream? Should put it in the freezer, and get you money…"

The other hand reaches up for her now so that both of his hands are on her cheeks. Bobby looks down at her, in her eyes, baring himself to her. "You can't stop believing that everything will be okay." He may believe the worst but she doesn't need to. "She'll be okay. She has friends that can help her. You'll see." A smile is even given to try and reassure her of this.
But then she's looking at the bag, and it seems as if she needs a distraction. Guiding her over to the bag, Robert takes the time to show her what's inside. Several different pints are produced along with some peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. "I figured you might need several comfort foods for now and didn't know what you liked."

All the different ice creams are stared at for a long moment. As is the peanut butter and fluff. Hope just blinks, causing the tears to silently spill down her cheeks. Then she laughs. "It's perfect…" She grabs for a pint of the ice cream, not caring about the flavor. The marshmallow fluff is grabbed in the other hand, and she draws them both to a counter and begins dishing them out into small glass bowls. Spoons are added and she shoves one at him.

"I hope… I mean, if it is the worst… I hope she didn't suffer. I don't like vampires, but she's my sister… and if she can't have someone that loves her there when she goes, I hope she didn't suffer."

If he knows anything, he knows comfort food. He does have two sisters, after all. Robert does blink, however, when a bowl is shoved at him. This wasn't what he signed on for, but cute girl Sighing softly he decides to take one for the team and do his best to cheer Hope up.
"Don't think like that," he continues as he spoons a mouthful of junk food. "The whole thing is odd to me. She has friends that are vampires, right? As messed up as that sounds, I don't see them letting this happen to her." This line of thought likely isn't helping so he finishes it as quickly as he can. "Maybe they're just keeping her safe until the people responsible are brought to justice?"

Hope starts for the couch, motioning for him to actually come in and make himself comfortable. "I don't know. She never really talked to me about her friends except this Wit guy, and of course Mr. Fontane who works for the mayor and could be responsible for what happened last night." Sniffling, she flops onto the couch, not even realizing she's in her pajamas in front of a very cute boy. Then she begins spooning the ice cream mixture into her mouth, taking small bites as she does. "Whatwouldyoudoifitwasyoursister?"

The ice cream mixture continues to be eaten and he can feel himself gaining weight. He does follow her as she relocates, mostly because he wants to keep an eye on her. "Wait, you think that this Mister Fontane had something to do with all of this?" Bobby shakes his head as he considers it all. "That wouldn't make much sense. If he's friends with her, and she was up there, he wouldn't let it happen."
The last question brings a strong pause to the normally mouthy bouncer. He continues to eat as he considers it all. "Which one?" This is said with a grin before he shakes his head. "I'd be out there looking, but we already have. So after that I would follow up on all the leads that I have. You said that this Mister Fontane is a friend of hers, so why not see if he's had any recent updates? Especially if he works for the mayor and you suspect him of being involved in more."

"I don't know? I just don't like him. He's a creeper, and was like all over her after just finding her on the streets." Hope frowns, and starts to mix the mallow fluff into her ice cream, making it more of a Heavenly Hash sort. "He wasn't there, I don't think. Not on the stage. I didn't see him. Guess he could've been hiding."

Hope sighs, heavily. "He'd lie to me. He was supposed to call when he first found her, but he kept it a secret, and apparently she got away from him, and then explosions or whatever last night. I really hope no one was seriously injured. I'm glad I didn't have the energy to join the protests…"

Whoa, slow down a notch. This is all a lot for the man to take in, especially since she's been avoiding his calls as of late. "Wait, what?" There's no real class in the way he acts but it's still early for him. Robert just watches her as he tries to process all of the information. "So he's seen her since she supposedly was turned into a vampire? How do you know?" This is certainly quite interesting. "Did you, did you talk to him, Hope? "

Another sigh, another ice cream scoop. While she lets it melt in her mouth, she's quiet. Then Hope sort of curls into the couch and glances at him. "Yeah, when I went to find her to put her out of her vampiric misery. Waved a knife at him. He told me he saw her, but she got away. He tried to say she wasn't a vampire, but I /know/ Faith. She wouldn't kill a man just because she /thought/ she was a vampire, no matter how crazy she was…"

Okay, now this is getting intense. "You what? Hope, you need to stop that. Do not carry weapons. If you think you need them to go out, take me. Let me be your weapon. The last thing you need is the police arresting you. Please, let me help." With this being said, Bobby sits in silent for a moment to ponder the situation. "So he said that she wasn't a vampire? He must have reason to suspect such a thing…" Yes, he's getting the idea that he needs to talk to this Mister Fontane. "Your sister is sick, Hope. We all know it. Someone could be taking advantage of that."

"It was just a knife. I was out at night, and you were probably working." So she doesn't know for sure, so sue her. Hope really didn't want to burden him with this at all. 'Hi I like you, deal with my issues' isn't a good way to get a guy interested, right? "But I'll call next time. Especially since I know you're a good friend, Bobby, and I appreciate it." Shoulders lift in a teensy shrug. "I can't trust him though, he's lied so many times. She could be a vampire and his mistress or something, and he just doesn't want me to off her."

A loud sigh is made as he stands to take his dish to the sink. If anything, he is a good house guest. When he comes back Robert lowers himself down before her. The intent is to get eye level and lock eyes with her, even if he has to force it somewhat. "No more knives. You have my number. It doesn't matter the time, call me. I'll be there." Bobby really is a nice guy, and above everything he just wants to be there for her. His hand reaches out for hers, to try and rest atop it. "Let me talk to him, okay? I'll see what I can find out, even if I have to be a little rough."

Hope is still happily… or somewhat contentdedly scooping ice cream into her mouth. She pauses as he talks to her, and she grabs his hand rather than letting it rest atop hers. "You can talk to him if you want to, Bobby. I'm just scared and not thinking properly, I think. I've already lost one of my best friends to a vampire, it's killing me to lose my sister to them as well. I just hope to God I don't lose you too." Especially since she just /found/ him. Never mind that they're not anything to each other beyond friends.

The hand is given a squeeze as he smiles up at her. "I'll help you, I will. We'll find out the truth and you'll find your sister." He may find her to be dead, after all, but at least she'll be found. "You're not going to lose me. You may get sick of it, but I'm here with you. No matter what." Robert's going out of his way to show that he actually cares for her but he knows that she likely won't see it. "I'm truly sorry about your friend but you won't lose anyone else."

Except that she does see it. He was persistent enough to get here after all. Hope closes her eyes, then sets her melting bowl of ice cream onto a side table. She scooches a bit closer on the couch, and offers a tiny, sad smile at him. "I don't think I'd ever get sick of you. I'm just not all that… well /here/ right now. I nearly stabbed people the other night, and I want Faith to not have to be a vampire, and I want my life to not be upside down. I just want…" Well she wants it all to be like it was before the relationship with Tripp became an issue to either girl. "What do you think about the attacks last night?" Pause. "How are your sisters? I'm sorry, I'm not being a very good friend."

He won't believe that she sees it. Not right now. "I'm not judging you. I understand where you're at right now. As long as you don't stab me, I'm not going anywhere." He's trying to make a joke, really. One of Bobby's hands lay delicately on her leg, more to accent his point than anything. "Please stop saying such bad things about yourself. You're not a bad friend, you just need a good one right now." That charming smile is flashed at her. "Now do you really want to talk about the attacks, or would you like to talk about something more upbeat?"

There is suddenly a hand on her leg. Hope just sort of sits there, silent, curled up on herself, staring at it. The silence might be unnerving, but sh'es just not sure what she wants to talk about, if anything. So she reaches for his hand and then bites her lip. "Bobby… why are you here? I mean, I know you're worried as a friend, but most friends wouldn't keep calling…"

Uh-oh. Busted. "I'm not the average friend." He finally looks away, taking his hand with him as he does so. It was just a simple gesture, really, and it has gotten him into trouble. "Hope, I'm not going to lie to you. I like you, but that's not why I'm here. When I think about how I'd feel if my sister were in trouble, I just worry about you. I know how I'd react and I want you to be safe."

"You'd probably react better than I did," Hope says, not ashamed to admit it. "I think I'm losing my mind. She's like.. well I don't know how to explain it. A part of me? She's my /twin/. So it's confusing, and it hurts, and I just want it to stop hurting. If it means I have to cut that piece of me out…" Well then she'll do it. Hope shifts again as he moves his hand away, and semi-leans on him. "You're a really sweet guy, and I appreciate you being here. Even if it's just to make sure I'm safe."

He'll take semi-leaning. It's a good sign. It means that she's not angry with him. "I don't have a twin so I don't know what it's like, but I know it has to be worse than what it would be like if Chloe were in danger." Robert clearly loves his sister, this much cannot be debated. "Don't write her out of your life just yet. Just have some faith." No pun intended, honest. "Give me some time and I'll get you some answers. Just don't do anything reckless until then." Now if he were like most other men, he'd take advantage of the situation. Bobby is not like most men. All he does is smile at her. "I'll be here for anything you want, Hope, anything at all. And not just to make sure that you're safe."

The lean turns into a semi-hug. He's doing a lot more than her friends back home would ever do for her, and she barely knows him beyond a few conversations. Hope clings to him briefly and exhales a heavy sigh. "I'm trying. But I've been trying to keep her away from the church too, in case the worst happened… they wouldn't understand that it used to be my sister, Bobby…"

He may not be taking advantage of the situation, and in her right mind, Hope would thank him for that. As it is, she just gets all snuggly against him and leans her head on his shoulder. "Your sister is a lucky girl, having you to protect her."

"I think that's for the best." It's not something that he enjoys saying but the situation is different now. "If it were my sister? I couldn't let the church near her. It's nothing against the church but it's always different when it's someone that you love." He certainly loves no one more than he love s Chloe, at least not at this point. As she hugs him he hugs her back, keeping her relatively close and comforted. He won't resist if she tries to break free.
Seeing her like this is hard for Robert but that's not something that he's going to even let on to her. What she needs is someone to be strong for her like she's been strong for Faith. A hand goes back to her head where it strokes some of her hair idly in an attempt to further comfort her. "I think that depends. Having a older brother who's no fun sometimes gets annoying. But I can protect you, too, Hope."

It's hard for /Hope/ to see herself like this too. She's been close to a nervous breakdown several times in the last few days. As is, she stays put. Much as she won't admit it, she needs the comfort and the security, even if that makes her a weak woman. "They'll know though. The church, I mean. Several of the members were meant to be at the event, protesting it… and she showed right up there."

Just means it will be harder to put Faith to rest in a loving manner. "We never had anyone but each other. I think I would have loved to have an annoying older brother." Mostly because if they'd had an older brother, he could be taking care of the both of them.

At least she hasn't realized what she's wearing yet. That's the last thing that she needs at the moment. "If they know, then they'll think that she's gone." His words are grim but they're being said for a reason. As Robert continues, so does his hand as he attempts to soothe her. "I say that you let them. Don't talk to them about it. This is your issue and not theirs. And while that happens, I'll find out the truth."
"I'm sure that you've had someone else at some point, even if it wasn't a brother." It's easy in a time of grief to see things differently than they are, or to focus on only certain times. "I won't offer to be your brother," Bobby attempts to joke. "I think that would be awkward. Besides, I already have two sisters."

"Right…" Lip-wobble. Vampire or dead, Faith is gone, and she's just going to have to accept that. At least she wasn't there to actually bear witness to the loss this time, so maybe she'll be able to get over it a little easier? Likely not. "… what if they think I'm her? The… the other vampires I mean? We're identical twins." Odd how everyone seems to be able to tell them apart though! She's not been accosted by a single police officer, or brought back to the facility or anything of the sort.

"I guess there was someone… but he's gone now." Throat torn out gone. "I wouldn't want you to be my brother," Hope says, quite honestly and innocently. "Not that you'd be a bad brother," she quickly adds, "I just don't look at you that way."

He'll find out what he can about Faith, even if it is to confirm that she's gone. He won't give up on searching, especially for Hope. "That is a good point," he replies, his hand still attempting to comfort her. "But you're never out at night, so you won't have to worry about that. If you want, I can escort you until this whole situation has been resolved. I'm sure you're not overly thrilled about going many places right now."
The mention of Tripp, even without his name, causes Robert to squeeze Hope reassuringly. "Then we're agreed," he comments through a toothy grin. "I'm happy to not be your brother." See, if he were anyone else he might use this time to make the moves on her, but even Bobby can't bring himself to do it. There are other times. "Is there anything else I can get for you?"

Not never out at night, just rarely out at night. She doesn't mention the cemetery incident, since she's sure someone will want to lock her up for acting so insane. "They have day people too. Like Renfield's or whatever… and those fangbangers could tell them…" Hope blushes a bit, then shakes her head. "I couldn't ask you to do that, Bobby. That's just too much."

Honestly though, she'd love the constant company. Sometimes it gets lonely being by herself. Hope bites her lower lip, worrying it between her teeth. Then she suddenly shifts enough so that she can place a quick peck on his cheek. "Nope. I feel better just being with someone I trust."

A mental list of his scheduled appointments is run while she's talking. He's not going to be bold enough to pull out his phone at this particular moment so he's hoping that he's got it down solid. "Hope, I offered to be your bodyguard. Do you remember?" It was a cheesy pickup line but Bobby was at least being serious. "It's not too much. I'll just tell my sister, and make a few other phone calls. Then I'm all yours."
Blink. That came out wrong. He shakes his head but soon relaxes as that brief kiss finds his cheek. That makes everything worth it. "I can make you something to eat later. Something that is better for you than junk food." Better for him, too. "Trust me. By the time I'm done you'll be begging for some alone time."

"I remember," Hope says, settling in against him again. There's some part of her that's innocently doing it just to have the closeness of another human. Then there's the part that just finds his arm extremely comfortable and his body nice to snuggle against. Once she realizes she's wearing her pajamas, she'll probably leap up and lock herself in the bedroom.

"I just didn't think I'd ever need to take you up on it." The innocent girl in her doesn't take that comment wrong at all. He's meaning just plutonically anyhow. "You have work," she points out. "You going to drag me there with you?"

It will actually be quite comedic to see her react to her current wardrobe. He'd mention it now if he wasn't taking advantage of her closeness. "Well, the offer is still on the table." It does sound like she's trying to talk him out of it but he'll keep insisting until she throws him out. That's what Roberts do best. "I have vacation time that I never use, and you honestly would be doing me a favor by getting me away from the club for a while." Bobby shifts just slightly to be able to look her square in the eye. "The choice is yours, Hope. I'm here for you."

"You don't need to waste your vacation," Hope admonishes. "You can just lock me in before you go to work, and I should be okay." She pauses, unable to even blink when he gives her that square look in the eyes. She just sort of stares back silently for a while. Until she realizes what she's doing and blushes. "If it's doing you a favor," she says, with a quiet little gulp as she turns her head to the side, "then I'd love to have you around."

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