Honey, I'm Home

Unit #440 - Alexandrov Apartment

The living room of this apartment looks more like a very comfortable library than someone's actual living space. A large bookshelf encompasses all of one wall, various nooks and crannies filled with books and magazines. A small flat-panel television set sits in the center most space of the shelves. Underneath it is a cabinet that houses a DVD player, along with a few game consoles and a scary amount of video games. A good number of the books that rest on these shelves are obscure works dealing with mythology, the occult, and mysticism. A few select shelves have been dedicated to romance novels, cookbooks, and foreign language guides. The walls have been done in a warm beige, the carpet in a light, plush cream. A long off-white sectional couch sits a comfortable distance away from the bookshelves, with an overhead lighting fixture providing an ample amount of artificial light for the relatively small living room. A narrow hallway leads to a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.

The late afternoon has just seen Mischa off of a shift. Or at least partially. He didn't come straight home, but instead went on a small shopping spree for ingredients, and even a few surprises for Chloe. When he starts into the apartment, he looks around cautiously — more like he's the guest in someone else's house, instead of him being the owner. He shuts the door behind him very quietly and locks it up, moving into the kitchen to drop his bags on one of the counters. "Chloe? It's just me. Figured you could use a few things, don't be mad…"

Days. It's been days, and she's going restless. Not like she can even scoot down to her own apartment and grab a few things. They can follow the scent or something, right? But she seems more restless than yesterday, thanks to a phone call just before dawn. In fact, when Mischa opens up the door it will be to the local radio station blaring pretty loudly and the entire apartment being absolutely sparklingly spotlessly clean.
Aww, look! Someone went and domesticated themselves a Chloe!
At the moment, she's at the bookshelves, reorganizing them to the Dewey Decimal system, then by author, then by book title. The crazy librarian has gone just a wee bit mad.

Oh dear. Someone is screwing with how Meesh's books are arranged. He doesn't freak out right now — he will save his tears for later when there are no witnesses. When he realizes that there's not a speck of grime or even crumbs in the kitchen, he pauses. "Alright then…" Mischa mutters to himself. After all of the perishable goods are in their proper spots, he moves out towards the living room and turns down the radio station. "Chloe, I went shopping for you. I figured you're getting tired of wearing my old, baggy clothes…" One of the bags is from a Penney's-ish store in the mall. Inside are a few casual tees, some jeans, and a couple of belts — it's not like Mischa looked at the tags in her dirty clothes while she was sleeping or anything. The other bag has girly shampoo and deodorant in it.

"GAH!" The millisecond that the music stops, the telepath yelps and turns away from the shelves. She takes a few deep breaths and then blurts, "Sorry on edge today." A romance novel goes flying from her hands, and she fights to catch it as she stares at the bags. "Oh." The book is placed haphazardly on the shelf, and she keeps staring at the bags. "I'll pay you back, thank you." Chloe could definitely do with something that's not someone elses. Something to make her feel even just a /little/ more feminine.

"I can see that." Mischa fights back a little bit of a laugh as he watches Chloe, shaking his head. "No need to pay me back, I insist. You take it. I know you'd do the same for me if I were in a bind." The other librarian moves to Chloe's side, looking at her work. "Commendable efforts. It's amazing how much of the system you've committed to memory. Even I haven't…" He trails off and tilts his head for a moment. "I saw that Mellie girl last night. She was asking after you." No, he hasn't put it together that they're sisters yet.

Chloe gives him a stern look, ready to just yell at /someone/ for trying to run her life. Instead, she bites her lip, "I would, but I'm still paying you back." It's just who she is. Color hits her cheeks then, and she clears her throat. "The library and I are fast friends, I've got nearly every book we have in there memorized to exact location." Probably why she volunteers to stay after hours to replace any and all books that are on the wrong shelves. Yes, folks, Chloe leads the most amazing of lives. The color instantly drains away at the mention of Mellie. "You saw her? Was she alright? Mischa, /wasshealright/???"

"She was fine. You two are friends? Or…?" Mischa reaches up to scratch at his head before shaking it very slowly. "Yes, she was fine. She helped me see a vampire through an allergic reaction. Now /that/ was an experience. Apparently the vampire was allergic to a nearby werewolf…" Then Mischa realizes that he left her sister in the custody of a vampire, who may have seemed nice enough at the time, but may not have been. Oopsy. He turns red and clears his throat. "Anyhow — yes, she's okay. She was actually there that night, at the accident."

"Yeah I bet," mutters Chloe, knowing just how much Mellie likely helped the vampire. "Christ. Did you /know/ this vampire, Mischa? You left her with them and…" Okay, she's not going to hyperventilate. She takes the bag to the couch, starting to rummage through it to see sizes and colors. "They're going to use her to get to me… I wish she would have listened…" Chloe looks back over at Mischa, and sighs. "Mellie is my baby sister, and she's a fangbanger." A look of distaste crosses her face.

And in point five seconds, Mischa will feel bad. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. He takes in a deep breath and gives a regretful looks towards Chloe, shaking his head a little bit. "I didn't know them, no. But they were weakened… I wasn't really thinking about it." He turns red, embarrassed at his own slip up. Especially after how upset Chloe has been. Especially after she expressed the danger that everyone is in because of 'rogue' vampires…or whatever. He's still a little hazy on the details. "Your sister? Oh /God/ if I had known, Chloe, I'm so sorry… give me her phone number, we'll try to call her."

"Won't do you any good. She won't answer." Chloe shakes her head then pulls out a top. She holds it up against her and figures that it will do. "She made her choices… hopefully they won't realize what she is to me, and they'll… they'll leave her alone. Plus her employer is a vampire, and I don't think she's all that bad…"

Mischa moves to take a seat on the couch, taking his glasses off. They go onto his end table before he leans back a bit rigidly. "Chloe, I'm really sorry. I had no idea… if she has her employer's protection though, hopefully…" Suddenly everything makes sense — the fact that Mellie talked so intimately about Chloe, anyhow. His hand comes up to rub at the bridge of his nose. "Let's just hope that all vampires are as stupid as I am and they won't know."

"They /always/ know," Chloe says. She looks at the top again, then sets it aside. Only to pull out another one and check it's size as well. "It's okay, I'll live. Besides, it's not like they can get in here… they have to be invited, right?" It's lore, but she's sure as hell hoping that it's lore that really works. She's yet to invite one home, so she doesn't know.

"I've never invited one in. And I certainly don't intend to now. But maybe this Vera woman, the vampire… she might help us if we contact her? As long as she doesn't have to be near any werewolves, I suspect." Mischa reaches up to run his fingers through his hair and take in a deep breath. "I'm not sure how actual vampires operate, Chloe. I'm hoping that you do have to invite them in… and that they can't just use brute strength to force their way in."

Chloe considers, for only a second. "No." She shakes her head. "Mr. Isonzo said that they had a plan, and I don't want to ruin it by bringing in a wildcard." She doesn't mention anything about her own plans just yet. "I didn't think to ask, to be honest. I didn't think… I mean, Mr. Grant is so /safe/." Beat. "Not in a puppy-dog way safe, I just mean that he seems to want to keep /me/ safe, and someone out to get me wouldn't really be doing that."

Mischa nods a little bit to Chloe. "I guess you're the, ah, expert. Sort of." He points towards the far end of the couch. "Won't you sit down? ..Did you sleep at all last night?" In truth, he's hoping that she won't have noticed the fact that he slipped out so late at night. He clears his throat a little bit and bites his lip, sucking in a breath before he looks around the room. For an instant, it looks as though he may start up his own nervous pacing or fidgeting. "The vampires, this cavalry… they have a plan, then? As long as it doesn't involve using you for bait."

"I'm going to use myself as bait," she says, haphazardly, folding a green t-shirt and setting it aside. Chloe looks over at him, then moves to take out a pair of the pants, checking for one that will fit her. "I actually haven't slept much at all since…" Shrug. So yes, she's aware he slipped out, but it's his place so he can come and go as he pleases. "I guess they have a plan. I was told they do. Then again, I only really know Mr. Isonzo, as he's the one that frequents the library, and well, for all I know their plan is to let him die."

Now he does start up his nervous pacing, giving Chloe an incredulous look. "No…Chloe, no." It only takes him a few seconds after that to realize that Chloe is probably going to have her way whether he helps her or not. "Fine. But I want you to know that I don't condone of this, but I'll transform into a cheetah or something if it's what I have to do. I've never actually mauled anyone…" He just shakes his head, looking towards Chloe for a long moment or two. Mischa bites his lip and sighs, moving over to her. "Please just don't get hurt. You're one of the very, very few friends I have…" As in only. "I like you very much, Chloe. It would…be hard for me if you got hurt, okay? I'll do whatever it is I can to protect you. And this Mister Grant fellow."

He's all over the place with his thoughts and emotions, and while they only come in small clips, she gets the general gist of his concern. "I /have/ to do this, Mischa, whether you condone it or not." She can't explain it, and it would be cheesy to say that it's her destiny or some such. "I don't want you mauling anyone, just keeping people from being hurt. If we go in right before they wake up, we'll have the vampires not far behind us and we shoul— or maybe we could go in earlier, and only have to deal with their humans? Those won't be as strong and I'd be able to hear where they're keeping him." When he says he'll help despite, she moves in to give him a small, briefly kept hug. "Thanks, Mischa. I'll owe you one."

"No, you don't. You don't owe me anything. I've probably put your sister at risk and I'm probably not going to do anyone any good anyway." Somehow Mischa distinctly seems to be against the idea of Chloe owing him something. He doesn't really return her hug, but gives her a strained little pat on the arm. One of this thoughts that's evident, though muddled, is something about Chloe's affection. He wants to return it, but is hesitant. "Whatever the case may be, just count me in. I need you back at work anyways."

The thought strikes her, and she releases him. A look is given to him as though she's had a slight bit of a shock, and then laughs. "Come on, Mischa! It can't be that boring without me there. You must be happy for the break to get away from Crazy Chloe." Winking, she turns back to the clothing and sighs. "This is great. This is really great. It looks like most of it will fit too. You have a good eye."

Mischa shakes his head. "It is fairly boring, I've noticed." He won't tell her that it's more because he misses seeing her face between shifts, but lets that slide as he moves to sit back down. "Thanks. I did my best there. I would have got you, err, underwear but that would have probably just been weird. But if you need laundry done, you can feel free to toss it in the dirty clothes hamper. I'll go down to the laundry mat sometime soon."

Yes, well, Chloe would /love/, really, really /LOVE/ to get to her apartment and get some fresh unmentionables, but it's not something she's going to talk about with a male friend. She clears her throat a few times, shakes her head, and mutters something about using the sink. "That would have been weird. I don't think we've hit that level of friendship yet." Rubbing the back of her neck, she clears her throat again and looks away from him. "It's a library… it's supposed to be boring."

Commando it is for Chloe. And now Mischa feels borderline mentally incapacitated for bringing it up. He lets out something of a withered sigh before biting his lip. "Yeah, I didn't think so either. Sorry…" He looks legitimately embarrassed, almost bashful in a schoolboy sort of way. "Yeah, it's a library, it's supposed to be boring. Hey, can I let you in on something? It might kind of cheer you up."

"They got a new coffeemaker in the lounge room?" Chloe is much happy to hold onto another topic. One that does not involve her undergarments. She grins at him, then starts fussing with the clothing again, trying to decide what she should put on.

At least he seems to have gotten the sizes right, and she's brightened by the new clothes. Mischa smiles at Chloe, his gaze finally returning to her. "I'm working on a book. It's part of the reason I have so many books about shapeshifting and folklore, etcetera. It's always been a passion of mine, but I figured…why not? I don't intend to out shapeshifters, but I'm working on a compendium of folklore and mythology, plus actual sightings. I don't know how far it'll go…but would you like to read some of it?"

It is absolutely uncanny how alike they are. Really, frighteningly so. Chloe stares at him in silence for a long while. "That's a great idea, and I'd love to read some of it." She keeps mum on her idea to compile a history of vampires directly from the source.

"Well, the computer's password is 'kittycat'." He gives Chloe a look after that which says 'don't even say anything'. "It's the only document on the desktop. Just please do it when I'm at work. I can't take harsh criticism…" He puts his hand to his heart and playfully slumps back against the couch before he grins. Mischa doesn't seem to pick up on the long silence, however. "So, what do you want for dinner tonight? Your wish is my command."

She starts to snicker, but bites down hard on her lip at that look. Chloe turns away to clear her throat again, but she can't help it. "Oh my /gawd/, Mischa… that's /adorable/!" Nodding at his request, she finally settles on a pair of jeans and a green shirt. Something to enhance both her hair color and her eyes. "I was just going to grab a tuna sandwich for dinner. No sense of you doing all that cooking for me."

Mischa sighs very quietly at Chloe's playful teasing, stripping off his sweater to reveal a plain white t-shirt beneath it. "I would have cooked no matter if you'd have been here or not. With you here, it gives me something to do." There's a pause, and Mischa bites at his lip before admitting quietly, "I've liked having you around. It's been a long time since I really had anyone around." Mischa clears his throat and pauses for another moment. "And I mean, look at this place. It's like that commercial for meth addiction where the woman cleans with her toothbrush. Except you're not a meth addict, which I'm really grateful for."

Maybe she /is/ a meth addict. Only, she's not. Just a worried woman with so much spare time on her hands she doesn't know what to do with it - especially at someone else's home. Chloe forces a laugh, trying to brush it off as just something she does. "You just like having a spotless apartment is all. You'd feel the same if you hired one of those maid services, I'm sure."

To be fair, his apartment is fairly clean anyhow. But now? Well…he DOES feel like he has a maid service. A particularly adorable one. Who has been wearing his shirts to bed. "No, it's been nice to have someone around, really. Usually the only people other than our patrons that I converse with are my parents." Whom he went to go see yesterday. He did not mention the redheaded librarian staying at his place, lest they start asking, 'When is she going to give us grandchildren?!' "If I really wanted to make you suffer, I would make you meet them. But that would be a mutual torture experience, I fear."

It would likely probably be worse for her, being able to pick up on their thoughts and all. Chloe looks down at the clothes, then makes up her mind on something. He's already given her a place to stay, and kept her in food and apparently clothing, so there's no way in /Hell/ she's going to let him give up his life for her silly need to save Will. "Maybe, when all this is over." A smile is offered to him, brief and faint, but at least it's a smile.

Mischa starts slinking off towards the kitchen. Rather than go too extravagant, he gets out the ingredients for homemade pizza. "What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza, Chloe? I feel strangely hungry… say, can you look on the calendar and tell me when the next full moon is?" With everything going on, it's slipped his mind to be more aware. And right now he's fixated on the sound of his own stomach growling without mercy. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair as he preheats the oven, humming something to himself. It sounds almost like a lullaby, though not any conventional American one.

"The twenty-third," Chloe replies, after locating the calendar and finding the moon symbol on it. "Week from today." Glancing toward the kitchen, she bites her lip. "Y'all'll be alright to keep me safe until then, right?" Noises from the kitchen stop her from going in there, because he certainly doesn't need Calamity Chloe getting all up in his away. "Sounds fine, and I ain't that fussy."

"You can come in here you know. Just sit at the table and don't touch anything." It's said as a joke, Mischa laughing afterward. When he hears the date of the full moon, he nods, although Chloe may not be able to see it from wherever she's standing. "Of course. You'll just have to not hold it against me if I feel very cuddly as a cat and demand belly rubs." He takes a few baggies of freshly chopped vegetables from the fridge as well as a package of pepperonis. "You can't tease me about the litter box either. At that point, I reserve the right to withhold cheesecake from you."

Chloe does as told, moving to sit at the table and not touching a thing. Then she fidgets, gets up, and is silent for a long while. She's disappeared entirely from his sight. After about ten minutes, she comes back, sits at the table. This time she's wearing some of the new clothing, hair pulled up into a french braid. "With any luck you won't have to put up with me by then."

Mischa just rolls his eyes at Chloe. "How many times have I told you? I like putting up with you. If I didn't, I wouldn't have offered in the first place. You're very silly, Miss Chloe." He winks over his shoulder at her and is already past putting down some sort of homemade pizza sauce down on the crust, along with cheese. Now he's working on evenly distributing the toppings; pepperoni, mushroom, bell pepper. No onion this time, but at least everything is finely diced to prevent it from being chunky.

"It's just Chloe," she says automatically, with a small roll of her eyes. "Besides, /Mr. Alexandrov/, it's not as though I gave you much of a choice. Showing upon your door step, looking all sad and bedraggled. What guy can resist that look?"

She DOES make a good point. He's a sap for the damsel in distress, though he can't let her know that. No matter how obvious it already is. He clears his throat and finishes sprinkling the toppings on the pizza, throwing it into the oven. Once that's through, he takes a seat across from her and smiles. "I had a choice. I could have told you to get lost. That I didn't want whatever you were selling. But…" He didn't and so here she is. "For the last time, I enjoy having you around. No more arguing. One last comment and no cookies for you."

"You haven't had time to make cookies," Chloe teases, though she relaxes a little on the chair. "Look, Mischa… I'm sorry for dropping this all on you. I really am. I just don't have all that many people I can call a friend, and there's no way I could've gone to my brother with this… he's, well, he follows that church, y'know?" She chews on her lip, and then shakes her head. "If you want me out or anything, please just say so. I'll understand and I won't hold it against you."

"Chloe, enough!" Mischa is starting to sound slightly legitimately annoyed. Though he can't help but laugh after that. "I won't have any more of your protests. Stay as long as you like, I don't care. Having someone else to talk to has been really refreshing. And despite the odd circumstances, I'm glad we made friends." There's a pause as he thinks about 'that' church before realization dawns on him. "Oof. I'm sorry to hear that, about your brother. Their followers can be a bit, um, zealous."

"Well he's not. Not overzealous or anything. I mean, he just doesn't like vampires, which I suppose I can understand. All things considered with Mellie, I probably wouldn't have cared one way or another were I not genuinely intrigued by why I can't, well, y'know, hear them." Chloe lets out a soft chuckle, then gets up and goes to the kitchen. She doesn't touch the oven, but she does grab a glass and fill it with water from the tap. "I just think he wouldn't exactly relish the idea of me trying to save one." Or being bitten. Or being touched. Or him finding out that's who she was talking about over dinner.

Mischa nods a little bit at her explanation, frowning. "I guess I could imagine his concern. Frankly I don't understand why people are so enamored of vampires. I mean, it's interesting. To a degree. But it would also be a terrible burden to be immortal, to watch everyone around you die while you never age. How sad." He does seem genuinely saddened by it, his brow furrowing as his mouth creases into a tight frown. But the notion is soon forgotten when the smell of pizza wafts through the apartment. "It must be strange to have two siblings on each end of the spectrum. Mellie being the vampire lover, your brother disliking them. You stuck in the middle." Quite literally and figuratively.

"So it has been, and so it will be," Chloe says, her shoulders lifting in a shrug. She sips at the water, and then grins. "Maybe that's why I was cursed like this, so I could understand all sides of the spectrum. I mean, I know why Mellie does what she does even if I don't like her reasons for it. I know why Bobby is as he is, and I can't fault him for it. I know this whole section of the world that most people would never even realize existed if they had lifetime upon lifetime to see it right before their eyes." She seems more animated about vampires though. "But think of all the /history/ you could see. Could be part of. Think of the things you could learn in immortality. You wouldn't just be skilled at one thing, but /everything/. I don't know that it would be that bad… if you had the right person to spend eternity with."

"I admit that I don't quite understand what it is that 'fangbangers' are after. It all seems entirely too dangerous, too risky…and just strange to me. Hence why if shapeshifters ever out themselves to the world and there are groupies, I don't think I'll be able to handle that. At all." Not that Mischa seems the type to go for groupies whatsoever anyhow. He runs his fingers through his hair, shaking his head. "Sharing in eternity with someone would only be good for a while. Most married couples can't stand each other past a few years these days. Imagine having to share your life in eternity with someone. The historian aspect of it all is interesting, yes. But too much risk, too many cons to outweigh the pros."

"It's the danger of it all. The danger, and I think the need to be wanted in someway." At least, that's what she surmises is what it's like for Mellie. "Then again, it's not like they're all that different from prostitutes, except they let a vampire feed from them." No, it is /NOT/ the same with her. It isn't. There's an actual connection, so it's different. "What on earth would you call a shapeshifter groupie?"

Mischa gets up and wanders into the kitchen, pulling the pizza out of the oven (with the use of hot pads, of course!) and puts it down on the stove top. "I think it's ready. As for shifter groupies. Hmm. I'm not sure. Shiftersniffers? No clue whatsoever. It's something I dread thinking about, really." He laughs however, shaking his head as he reaches for the pizza cutter. "The danger, sure. I can understand that aspect of it. Still. Vampires are all cold and hard though…" Judging from the noise he makes next, it's not exactly something he might relish.

"But they /aren't/. All hard and cold, I mean." How would she know though, right? Chloe's innocent! "I mean, they don't exactly run as warm as you do, but it's not like they're icicles." Closing her eyes, she inhales the scent of the pizza and smiles. "It smells delicious as always. Are you sure you should be a librarian? I bet you could open up some sort of literary cafe…"

"How would you know?" Mischa voices an instant later, looking down his nose at her. If he were wearing his glasses, he'd probably adjust them as he looks at her. After the pizza is finished being sliced, he reaches up for the plates and scoops a piece onto his. Chloe can help herself, and thus he moves to sit down at the table. "I can't say I've ever touched a vampire before, outside of last night. That I know of. And she was covered in blood. So that puts a damper on my vampire touching experiences."

"I had one save my life," she says defensively. Not a lie. Michael /did/ carry her all the way from the Unity Parade to the Sheriff's Estate. "I guess there's probably a bigger temperature difference for you. What with you feeling so warm when I hugged you." Beat. "You aren't getting sick or something, are you? If so you should be having soup instead of pizza."

Mischa waits for Chloe to fix his plate before he'll have his own first bite. It's just polite. When she mentions the temperature difference, he turns crimson red and starts to stammer a bit. "Err, no…" Pause. How to explain 'I am burning for your love'? "It's just that when..well…the shifting aspect…cats temperatures are normally higher than humans anyway, you know. As the full moon approaches, my body changes. I guess it's like shifter PMS."

"I'm sorry," she says as she pulls a slice of the pizza onto her plate. "I didn't mean to pry or anything." Chloe knows how embarrassed she can get when people pry about her ability, so she busies herself taking a bite of the pizza. "Well it's good you aren't sick. I was worried there for a bit."

Mischa laughs and shakes his head, taking a bite of his pizza. He waits to chew and swallow like any domesticated human being/cat would before grinning. "No, it's alright. You just caught me off guard with that. Most people don't notice the subtle things like that. But then you start to try to scratch yourself all the time, and you need more sleep… like I said… I think the older I get, the more of the cat I become."

Taking a small bite, she chews it thoughtfully, washing it down with a sip of water. "Do you worry about that? That you'll lose your humanity?" It's a valid question. Quite a few vampires feel that way.

There's a pause from Mischa at that point. He takes in a breath and plays with his pizza more than he eats it. "Oh… to be honest, yes. I guess I should be happy that my primary animal form isn't something more primal. That would be incredibly distressing. But as it is, sometimes it bothers me to know that I'm not functioning like normal people." He takes a large bite of his pizza then, effectively stuffing his face.

"Join the club. It's not like I function like a normal person." Chloe takes another small bite, again eating quite quietly as she thinks on things. "You need an anchor, right? That's what they always say on those pop psychology programs. Something that'll ground you in your humanity so that you don't lose yourself." Beat. "Or something like that."

"You don't turn into a cat once a month." Mischa points out, grinning at Chloe toothily. "Though if you did, I surmise that you'd be a cute little calico." Not that he's spent time thinking about it, certainly not! Mischa finishes his piece of pizza before leaning back, realizing he wasn't as hungry as he thought he was. Damned cat logic. "I had an anchor once. It didn't last as long as I'd have liked."

"Sounds like you've thought about it," she teases, getting a faint inkling that he just might have been! Chloe finishes off the slice, and shoots him an apologetic look. "It's great, but I think that I wasn't as hungry as the adrenaline of cleaning made me think I was." Tiny little frown. Then it becomes just a little deeper. "I'm sorry it didn't work out for you."

Mischa shakes his head, smiling at Chloe, although it's certainly strained now. There's a brief moment in which he just stares down at the table. "I'm sorry it didn't work out either. But things happen. So you have to move on." With that, he stands up and puts his plate in the sink. "Well, Calico Chloe. I think I'm going to go grab a shower and then curl on the couch with a book until I sleep. Help yourself to more pizza."

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