Protected No More

So much has happened in such a short period of time. At least for now she won't be hunted by the police. At least for now she won't have to worry about being forced back to the mental institution. At least for now… she can actually breathe. That's exactly what Faith Tyler does as she finishes her quick walk from the bus stop to Ivan's apartment building. It's cold, it's dark and she's alone. For the first time in many, many years she is actually bothered by this.

Michael's been having a quiet evening, he's fed, he's arranged what business he had, and now he's minding his own business, that is until he spots Rose, as usual he heads over to her with vampire speed, when he speaks its with the void tones of a vampire. "Rose, it's good to see you're well. I… was unable to find you for some time, I had worried, then after the parade…"

Something is different about the woman, indeed. When she's approached she immediately turns to strike out at her would be attacker. In the process she brandishes the metal brace that is around her wrist to keep it stabilized. Only once she's good and sure that it's Michael does she lower her hand. "Michael, I-I'm sorry." New and improved, for now, Faith is not the same as he knew. She does look sheepish at her actions, however. "I tried calling out for you, you know. When I didn't know any better. But hey, it all worked out. Kind of."

There's a slight flicker of sadness as Michael looks at Rose. "I'm sorry, I said I would protect you, but you simply disappeared." He shakes his head. "I had no way of tracking you, or even being sure that you were in that much danger." He reaches out to rest a hand on her shoulder. "You are ok now I hope?" He smiles very slightly. "You seem more… composed."

When he touches her, she actually makes a point to put her hand on his forearm. This isn't to push it away, but rather to show that she's comfortable around him. The hand is her dominant one, which is attached to her broken wrist, but her splint is not made of silver. "It makes it hard to know when I go out of my way to do my own thing, sometimes." Faith is really doing her best to accept things for what they are. She does begin to tear up slightly but she pushes it past for the moment with a smile. "I don't know if I've really properly thanked you for everything that you've done for me. And I'm as well as I can be. This isn't something I can just get to go away."

Nodding Michael smiles, his expression looking a little relieved. "I'm just glad you're well, some things…. some things won't leave you, you'll learn to live with them, but no matter how long you live, no matter what you do you'll carry them with you." He meets her eyes for a moment. "I didn't do anything you should thank me for, I didn't do enough to protect you did I?"

This is a very difficult conversation for her but she's handling it well. "I'll more than likely go to jail for what I've done, and the police think I was involved in the explosion." So she honestly does have some things to worry about. "I honestly don't know what's worse right now: my future, my present or my past." Faith's hand slips from his arm and she moves it so she can look at it. "I'm afraid, Michael. I can't remember ever being this afraid. Of, well, you know." Of him, or his kind, rather. "I don't think anyone should have to protect me. That's a full time job that no one has the time for, and I have a habit of making people miserable."

Shaking his head Michael smiles very slightly. "Actually I always found you fascinating, you never made me miserable, and I offered to protect you." He pauses a moment. "But there is something I must tell you." He seems to be searching for the right words. "I was given instructions by Will Grant. I no longer have any claim to you." He sounds once again the cool, emotionally distant void. "I will do what remains in my power of course, but I can't offer you the protection of ownership."

That explains so much. That's why he wasn't there for her. Faith looks at Michael, her eyes sparkling with the tears that are struggling to break free. "Hey," she says nervously, suddenly realizing that she's far less protected than she had thought. "I mean, who wants to claim to someone in jail?" It's a poor attempt at a joke, really. The woman shifts slightly, moving and then hesitating, before moving forward to try and hug the vampire. "You've still been so kind to me. For that I am thankful."

Shaking his head Michael offers a slight grin. "I doubt you'll be sent to jail… And I didn't choose to withdraw my protection." He shrug a little. "You are now under the protection of those with greater reach than I, at least from my kind." He smiles his hand coming down to his side. "You sound much better than the last time we spoke."

It's like people don't seem to see her point, but she never gets upset about it. "You mean Mister Grant? I nearly got him killed. I think he's done with me, and I don't blame him." This is why she chooses to not see a doctor about the wounds she received that night. "And Ivan? He's sweet, he is, but I don't think he can protect me very well." Faith shakes her head then and takes a step back. Like most times, she does find a reason to smile. "I'm fixed, you know. Up here." An index finger indicates her head. "I get things now."

There's a slow thoughtful grin. "You think that was your problem? That you didn't get things?" He chuckles. "I suspect you got things better than you think. Sometimes the only reasonable response to a situation is madness Rose." He shrugs. "When you see terrible things nothing but going mad would make sense, then you can get better and find… peace of sorts." He looks at Rose for a moment. "I don't believe you know Mister Grant as well as you think, I suspect you'll find he'd be very angry if any vampire attempted to mistreat you."

Okay, this is getting uncomfortable. It shows in her reactions, but why she's uncomfortable is hard to tell. "I just want to throw up now that I remember." Even now she can see herself covered in blood and she very nearly does get sick. Shaking that part off, Rose nibbles at her lower lip. She still has her fanged teeth as she hasn't seen a dentist to correct them. "Please don't be mad at me, Michael, but I had to defend myself." This is one of the many things that she's been hiding. "I did it. I killed one of, one of you."

There's a slight nod, it's done with that same vampire calm, there's no sign that her killing one of his kind doesn't trouble him at all. "Yes, you'll feel that way for the rest of your life." He smiles as he looks at Rose for a moment with a slightly sad expression. "I'm sorry you're going to need to find some way to live with what you saw. I know what that's like and it's not going to be easy for you."

This is why she can't hate him, fear him or anything negative. Yes, she needed his help and she called out for him, but he's made it clear why she was alone. "I just hope that I can stay this way. You know, sane. Sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to or not." She can feel moments where it would be easy to go back to that insanity, but Faith is holding strong. "How can you not hate me?" It's a sudden snap in conversation, and she's suddenly not as mild as she had been. "I'm liable to do it again…" Then she just kind of stops on a different thought. "Wait. Why were vampires helping this anti vampire organization?"

Frowning slightly Michael shrugs. "I'm not sure, who did you kill? How and why?" He finally sounds interested. "I'd like as much detail as possible please." He watches her for a moment, his expression the blank expression of a vampire of great age, although his eyes never leave Roses face.

The way he watches her makes her uncomfortable. Flashes of bites, of blood, of a torn out throat reach her mind but she does well not to make it show. He deserves better than that, at the very least. "No clue. The jerk was following me, tried to take me back when Ivan found me the first time. That's how I know who he was working for." Not that Faith knows -anything- about this organization, other than where they kept her. In retelling the tale she does not appear to be upset at all that she killed this vampire, no. In fact, she may have just found a calling in life. "He was going to take me and he was going to hurt Ivan. Ivan did the best he could but we might both have died. I just reacted. It was clear he wanted me and not Ivan anyway."

Nodding Michael motions for her to continue. "And how did you kill him? What did you do to him, and… how did he die." He seems to be thinking. "And what makes you sure he was working for the organization?"

Hey, if he's asking she'll tell him. "Luckily Ivan was able to distract him. Silver, I think. But we were near the woods in a park so I found a branch I could stake him with." That's exactly what Faith did, too. "He was the one following me, not the humans who first took me. And the way he went after me he wasn't trying to hurt me, or eat me. He wanted to take me, to keep Ivan from me. Why would any random vampire want to do that?" The Sheriff charged Ivan with her protection so he wouldn't order it.

Frowning Michael considers that for a few moments before nodding. "Perhaps. I'll see what I can learn. There's much that we can't be sure of." He shakes his head. "Did you see him use his powers?" He frowns a little. "You got very lucky."

"I saw him run after me. People just don't move that fast." What she's leaving out is the part where Ivan used -his- powers. She's going to keep him as uninvolved as possible, now that she's ruined his life. "I could even show you where they took me. I remember, you know." It'll be difficult to get to where she started out as the group has backup plans, but she still has a basic direction. "I just have a bad feeling, but hey, you know what? No one ever believed that before so maybe I shouldn't, either."

Nodding Michael smiles slightly. "Maybe soon, but for now I must speak with some people." He looks at her a moment smiling as he meets her eyes. "How are you handling this? I doubt you've had anyone to speak with who might understand?"

Sometimes she just has to wonder why he's so nice to her. He may pick up on those thoughts based primarily off of the expression she has on her face. "No one ever believes me or listens to me," Faith admits openly. "I told everyone Hope would kill me, and she wanted to." Ha! Take that everyone! Rose shakes her head and looks away. "I don't talk about it. Not what all happened. No one asks and I don't tell. Easy as that."

There's a slow nod as Michael looks at Rose for a long moment. "Yes, well few people have seen such horrors, at least from the point of view of a loved one." He shakes his head. "Despite my age, despite everything that I have been through there are moments in my past that were burned in my memory, things that I'll never forget." He pauses a moment. "I won't ask you for details, but I'll listen if you wish to speak of what happened. Or even just how you feel about it."

This is the point where he learns why people don't like Faith normally. She's fun and lighthearted when her mind is gone, but she's pretty much cold any other time. "I don't know what's worse; the fact that it happened or the fact that I missed my best friend's funeral because I'm weak." Her shoulders turn up in an almost uninterested shrug. That's her why of trying to not have feelings. Yet when he talks about that last part she sets her jaw. "What I want to do is to learn to fight. I want to stand up for myself and not be such an easy target, as so many others have called me."

Once again he reaches up to rest a hand on her shoulder. "That's understandable, but you need to learn to express what you feel." He pauses a moment. "When my family… I took fifteen years to learn that, fifteen years I wandered with the empty pain of having lost what I cared for, the knowledge that I'd been unable to protect what was important to me, and that I had nothing less." He shakes his head. "You can learn to fight, and you'll still not feel safe."

"I can learn to fight and I can help keep Ivan safe." He has been charged with protecting her, after all, so it would only be fair. Rose shifts uncomfortably as Michael touches her but she doesn't move away from him. "He loved me, you know. He told me that day, and he kissed me. My first kiss." Just as Faith is about to reminisce at the thought of it all she catches herself. "See how far it got him." A glance is given to the apartment building before she looks to Michael. "I should go. He's probably wondering where I am." Ivan, not Tripp.

Nodding slightly Michael smiles. "I can't remember ever telling my wife, or my children that I cared." He lowers his hand again. "I saw their bodies after they were killed, after that there was nothing left for me, not until I was brought over." He smiles a little. "When you want to speak with someone I'll be willing to listen." He laughs almost sadly. "I will however leave you to your evening."

Michael is either an extremely kind man or an overly cruel one. Faith just stares at him as he talks, doing her best to not show any emotion at all. The woman fails, honestly, but at least she's trying. Again she shifts, very uncomfortable with all of these thoughts that are plaguing her. "Yeah, need to go talk about a lawyer." But hey! There's still a mix of Rose in her, too. "Thank you, Just Michael. You know where I'll be if you have questions, and I'll call you if I need to talk."

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