Tripp on By

University Park

One of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Dallas, University park is the perfect suburb. The homes in the area lean toward a lot of Spanish architectural designs and look to be extremely luxurious, and the yards are lush and green. Trees and lights line the sidewalks, making it extremely safe to walk the area at night. The sprawling neighborhood is also home to Southern Methodist University, and as a result many of the professors and research staff live in the area. Plenty of open-late restaurants can be found just on the outskirts of the neighborhood, as can a few nightclubs and the 24-hour Gym.

The appointed time has drawn near, and interesting enough the atmosphere of University park doesn't necessarily match the emotion of tension that may rise in such an (arguably) unusual scenario. Not long ago Tripp had gotten a letter to one of the twins in a request to meet him at a particular corner of a particular nightclub.

And emphasis on the 'night' as it's well into nine in the evening, and the line to get into the area is pretty long, the bouncer taking extra care in checking IDs to make sure no one underage gets in.

Standing at the corner nearest to the end of the line would be Tripp, dressed to blend in sort of, in just jeans a t-shirt and a leather jacket, a set of sunglasses resting on the top of his head and hands in his pockets- He's leaned up against a lamppost and for the most part trying to stay out of trouble, staring up at the cloudy sky when he isn't checking his watch.. He's a pretty patient man, willing to wait up to two hours if his expected company is running late.

It takes a little research as she's honestly not familiar with Dallas but eventually the particular nightclub is located. It puts her mind at ease, somewhat, that she knows of one of bouncers there. Granted, she has no idea what all bad things have happened involving him other than the fact that he dumped her sister. Still! He should be close if she screams loudly enough. Hopefully.

As promised, however, she does not walk out on her own. Faith does well to wait around for Ivan, this causing her to actually not leave far earlier than need be. She's wearing her usual garb and has even left without a jacket, her mind so preoccupied that she doesn't think twice about it. Her steps are slow, staggered even due to the damage to her tailbone. It's uncertain if her head injury has helped her hindered her progress of sanity, but here she is. At least she's shown up.

There was no way in Hell Ivan was going to allow this meeting to take place without him. He'd lock the perpetually addled Tyler in the apartment if she insisted on leaving without him. Luckily, however, there was no contention at this point, making the commute over to University Park relatively painless and easy, though not without laborous preparation. Beneath the dark jacket that alights upon his shoulders, Ivan is prepared for the very worst, armed to the hilt in silver contraptions. A number of silver necklaces happen to rest around his neck - after all, they've saved his behind before - and before leaving the car, he had insisted that Faith put on a newly purchased silver choker. As a show of his affections, of course - not vampire insurance in the sleightest, nope…

But now, all that worry, and headache, and preparation has reached its culmination. Curiously paranoid, green eyes dart around in the darkness. "D'you see him?" Ivan grunts, stiff and stoic as a board by Faith's side.

Tripp may or may not have known that Faith is familiar with the bouncer- But his plan of course was to pick a place with a good number of people around in a fairly well-lit area. After all, best-friend or not, it'd be in poor taste to request someplace private. He's not a stalker.

Er.. Well, at least he doesn't -think- he is. Let's not get too deep into that.

Now what he wasn't expecting was heavily armed company; Tripp can be a little naieve since he'd never been in any particular danger in the past, maybe he's taken it for granted; could tonight be a really nasty wake-up call? He doesn't notice the duo at first though, about the time that they're arriving, Tripp is approached by a couple of already smashed college students, "Hey there, handsome, wh- what're you doing over here all by yourself?" one asks, with short red hair.

"Wanna come inside with us?" the other, a brunette teases.

Tripp's cheeks redden a touch, eyes briefly wandering to the short skirts, and then quickly avert to the side as he coughs into his fist, "Uh sorry, I'm.. Uh.. Gay." he tries as a ward-off. It seems to work since the two disappointedly frown and stumble elsewhere.

It was not for him to know just where Faith is at in her life, nor the company that she keeps. He is looking for a friend, a best friend, for whatever reason. There are deep rooted fears within the woman; she feels that he's going to blame her for everything that's happened. There's no way that he's still going to want to have anything to do with her. It simply isn't possible.

Then again, it's all just a dream. Or something is made up. With Ivan so close, and Tripp supposedly being around, it's time for her two realities to clash. One of them will surely prove to be false, allowing her to move on that path of recovery. One of them has to be false, after all. She's spent two years protesting that Tripp is alive and she's been told the whole time that she's wrong. So something isn't adding up.

The new choker is worn with pride even if it's not a gift meant to be a gift. She'll likely take it off once they return for the evening and not touch it again, just because she knows what it's for. "It's dark," Faith whispers to Ivan in response. Frightened eyes search the area but with little luck. It isn't until he speaks, though, that she turns to face his direction. The mere action causes her to wince but soon enough she realizes that she's walked right past him and is once again nearly standing face to face with him. This causes her to freeze, nearly paralyzed with fear as she watches him. He doesn't look all that evil.

Well, here it comes. The collision. The moment of impact. With his sense refined, attuned to the fluctuations of the semi-insane woman by his side, Ivan slows and turns to stare at Tripp with an unabashed ferocity. The air around him crackles with tension. His shoulders roll back, drawing himself to his full height in a rather defensive show of intimidation.
And yet, Ivan does not disappear, though really, he can. He remains as solid, and persistent as always. Just as real as always. No words are offered, as the man allows the two childhood friends their moment, but he stands ready - poised to intervene if necessary.

One moment he's glancing to his watch again, and the next he's looking looking to Faith and her understandably deer-in-headlights expression. He blinks a couple of times, an expression of his own-uncertainty on his face, but then after that a small, almost charming smile as he attempts to break the ice by giving jazz hands, "Hey, guess who's back?"

Eh-heh. A poor start, he knows it, but it's after his greeting that he looks to Ivan, an obviously unfamiliar face. And there's a faint, prickly feeling forming on his own arms, one he wasn't too familiar with. Rest assured it wasn't being caused by the look he was being given, "Hey there, I'm Tripp." he greets, offering his hand to shake, "You.. Probably already knew that."

There's that knee jerk reaction to run forward and tackle him, to hug him so he never goes away again. This will not happen, not now at least. The stare continues, even after the jazz hands. For a moment it appears that Faith is going to just up and cry, right there, no words spoken. She very, nearly does, but then he's introducing himself to Ivan. Finally she moves, coming to bite down on her lower lip. It's not much but it is a start.

"Tell me," she finally says. The way she's speaking may indicate that she's speaking to no one at all, even if she's looking directly at Tripp. "Which reality is it? What is real and what is just my psychosis?" No, she doesn't want to know but she needs to know. "They said that you were dead. They told me that you weren't coming back." Fingers twirl in her hair nervously, roughly, but she doesn't begin pulling anything out. Yet.

Ivan eyes the hand as it is offered, his lips pursed in a grim, wary manner. No move is made to accept it, at least at first. But then, reluctantly, the witch reaches over to take Tripp's frozen appendage, giving it one curt, business-oriented pump. "Ivan." He snaps, clearly uncomfortable with the situation at hand and disliking it in general. "Ivan Fontane. The pleasure is all mine, I'm sure." Once the pleasantries are done with, he can return to standing like the sentinel he is here to be.
But then Faith is speaking. She's speaking in that altogether too familiar kind of way, the one that hints at her general instability. And just like that, Ivan finds that he has more important things to do then stand around like a surly bastard. It's tentative, but with a dark frown, he reaches over to place a hand upon Faith's shoulder. "Faith…I'm reality." His eyes flicker towards Tripp once again. "He is dead. He's just not gone. The two are not mutually exclusive."

"S- Same here," Tripp replies with a bit of uncertainty. Ivan's attitude isn't one the vampire is used to dealing with, but he's hardly put off by it, in fact it's probably something he's going to have to get used to, much to his dismay. Though in the first place his plan never really involved meeting other people.

The unexpected can be good for you though, experience is always good.

Tripp isn't very certain how he feels about Ivan's response to Faith, he himself clueless to any signs of instability; he's expecting the girl to be nervous after all. "Ohhh.. kay. Well I'm not going to argue that, but last I checked I'm perfectly real. Just saying," he starts, and looks to Faith again, "Faith, listen I know this is going to sound crazy, but it won't do me any good to sugarcoat it, but I felt you'd take it better than Hope. Ivan's right, I'm dead- Well, undead if you want to get literal. But there was just enough of me alive that I was able to, er, come back. But by the time I was able to get things back togeather, you all were gone."

He doesn't touch Faith's shoulder, though he wants to. To see Ivan doing it, well.. For some reason he feels slightly annoyed by it.

Any tensions are not really noted, not at the moment. The woman has lost her marbles and really has other things to worry about. "Hope isn't very open to things sometimes," she admits with the tiniest of nods. "She thought I was a vampire once. I thought I was a vampire. She wanted to kill me." The way she speaks makes it seem as if this memory was some time ago, but it was only a matter of weeks. He's likely read or seen it on the news. "I don't think she'll take this well at all." In fact, she already isn't. Faith doesn't know this.

Finally she turns her head slightly, first to look at that hand on her shoulder then to look at Ivan. She tries to give him a smile but ends up tearing up in the end. The young woman can only be so strong, especially considering that her mind can be like Swiss cheese.

"I didn't want to leave." Her breathing increases, growing heavy as she continues to allow herself to be upset. The memories are harsh. "I didn't know what was going on. I forgot. I forgot all about everything." At this she does afford herself a single tear. "I'm sorry. For it all, for not remembering and for making you…" Like he is.

When Ivan hears the explanation Tripp gives, the information is stowed away in the back of his mind. Mention of Hope prompts a tightening around his mouth, though he refrains from comment. It's bad enough and difficult enough without dragging the other Tyler twin and her issues into the picture. Some other time, the topic will have to be addressed. With both parties.

Instead he shoots Tripp a particularly dark look, as though the vampire is personally responsible for every tear that has managed to escape Faith's tear ducts. Unaware of Tripp's distaste for his proximity with the woman, the witch proceeds to silently reach over and brush a couple of salty tears away from her cheek, intent on being a warm, stable presence right beside her. He does not cut into the conversation that has been needing to occur for over two years.

"Wait, what? Come on, Faith, don't be rediculous," Tripp quickly interjects when the woman starts to break down- he feels guilty, that much is obvious but he just wasn't expecting this kind of reaction. What kind of reaction he -was- expecting he's not entirely sure of though, he didn't think very far ahead in all of this.

He's quiet for a moment, long enough to catch the glare Ivan gives him, and he rubs the back of his neck while thinking, 'Give a guy a break, will you?' to himself. With the other words sinking in though, he can't help but shake his head, "Anyway there's nothing for you to apologize for, I mean it could have been worse, I could have come back as a bird or something, how unfortunate would that be, huh? We wouldn't even be able to talk like this."

A small chuckle, "It seems I've missed a lot, I figured that'd be the case, and really I was just hoping for a chance to try and catch up. I mean, if you wanted to, you don't have to.. answer.. Now.." his voice kind of drifts off, his lips twisting up a little in reaction to Ivan's affection. He clears his throat.

"Sounds like Hope will be a problem. Well, I'm sure somehow that'll work out. Probably- So how'd you meet Ivan?"

Vampires are evil and they do evil things. Horribly evil. Those she trusts, even, they take things from her, force things that she doesn't want. Now her best friend ever, only friend really, is one of those very things. It's as if the world really does hate her. This is not something she should have to choose, to decide.

"I am ridiculous. I'm the Queen of Crazy, haven't you heard?" A glance is given to Ivan before she looks down to the ground. "I was crazy and he found me. I made him miserable and then he was forced to protect me." That's the truth, after all, no matter how unpleasant it sounds.

Her small hands ball into fists as she battles the tears. "I was shown that vampires can't be trusted. I was" She can't even say what happened to her, and not two years ago. With the rape not too long ago he's lucky that she's even here at all. This is Tripp, though. Tripp. A large breath is taken, a huge sigh, before she basically springs forward.

It isn't an attack, no. It's a hug, a tight one at that. She's missed him so much and it shows, even if she's crying and not smiling. "I'll wake up and you'll be gone. Never happened. I'll be on the news for assaulting some stranger with hugs or something."

When Faith lunges forward, Ivan instinctively lifts his hand after her, reaching to pull her back. But once he becomes aware of the fact that the gesture is a hug, the arm falls back to his side lifelessly. That's a positive gesture, right? Not indicative of badness…and yet, his eyes narrow at the spectacle, and he watches the pair with a dangerous sort of intensity - ready to jump in and separate the two whenever he deems it necessary. Or at least when the sickening, overprotective, jealousy becomes too much.

"You've missed much." Ivan drawls, cool and dark, for Tripp's information. "The vampire that killed you broke her mind. She was in a mental institute for the last couple of years. Until another vampire broke in, bit her, and eventually kidnapped her. I saved her." There. An abridged history of one Faith Tyler. His fingers flex by his side, and he tries for a calming breath. "She lives with me. I'm her boyfriend."

"Well, you can't trust everything you hear on the news these days, you know? It's all about making the story sound big or whatnot.." Tripp replies with a little shrug, small smile still on his features. But he could understand, it was a traumatizing situation back then. A bit of guilt follows of course, wishing he could have been there but 'luckily' someone else was.

He barely budges when she comes in for the hug, that is, he doesn't fall over. Thanks to his clothes, she probably won't feel how cold to the touch he is. He returns the gesture of course, it's a very brief squeeze though because it's at this point that Ivan mentions his relationship to the girl, which almost has the same impact as a good electrical shock.

Geez, and he thought -he- had it rough, "Her.. Boyfriend. Oh, well of course, right?" he replies as unshocked as he can. It kind of sort of works.. Maybe? There's a moment of silence from the vampire. There's a bit of a bitter taste in his throat, yet at the same time, he has to pay his respects, "Thank you, Ivan." he starts, "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be able to see Faith today, I hope you understand how big a deal that is to me."

Though appreciative as he is, he's of course got mixed feelings on the situation overall. In the end, though, he just gives Faith a light pat on the back and forces a chuckle, "I doubt I'll be heading anywhere else anytime soon. That's a promise."

The exchange between the men is heard but it isn't fully registered. She's not really with it, not at this moment, her mind lost in the attempt to piece everything together. The sanity she does have is slipping, slipping, but at least she's not as bad as she was when she first met Ivan.

For the time being Faith clings to Tripp, not caring if he's cooler than normal. She's emotional, she's crying, and he's just so familiar. He's the man from her dreams back when she was crazy. Crazier. He's the brother she insisted she always had and the man that her sister loved so dearly. Now he's dead, a vampire, someone that she shouldn't trust at all. Yet she can't just let go of him so quickly.

The pat on the back and not some twirl in the air, some sort of playfully fun gesture finally causes her to start to pull away. "Sorry," she comments with a sniff. She's uncomfortable. "I forgot that you're not the same." So her sad expression is turned to Ivan, the new man in her life. "I think he wanted to have nothing to do with me when we met. But he helped me anyway and gave me a chance to be normal. No one has, not in a long time."

This is so awkward. And what about Hope?

"Yeah," Ivan confirms in that borderline passive-aggressive fashion, his tone dark and undertoned with danger. Stubbornly, his fisted hands are shoved into his pockets as he tries to convince himself to relax, to calm down. But, it's a bit difficult. The surprise and lack of enthusiasm the news of their relationship was greeted with merely confirmed his suspicions. "Of course." The thank you is drunk silently by a rather thoughtful man who continues to eye Tripp with unadulterated suspicion. "I didn't do it for you. But…you're welcome." He has to begrudgingly accept that.

But then Faith is speaking, and Ivan turns his attention over to her, where his frown grows less intense and more confused. Though the opportunity is there for him to speak, he merely lifts his shoulder in a shrug and proceeds to shuffle on his own feet in stony restlessness.

Well, Tripp isn't trying to be cool, just trying very hard to keep things from getting very awkward- The news that had been brought to his attention, it's all so different, but he's good with adapting. He'd pretty much always been. Or at least acting like it.

"Fair enough," Tripp replies to Ivan, standing a little awkwardly once Faith draws back from him, and rubs lightly at his arm, "I'm not exactly sure what you're apologizing about, as far as I know I'm only different physically. I can still tell good jokes," he insists with a small grin, "But that aside, I can't believe how difficult things have been for you. I'll do my best not to add to it, but.. Well, I guess that would be easier said than done. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about Hope right now. For the time being lets just keep this between ourselves, ok?" he even looks to Ivan as he says this, looking a bit more on-edge himself. Really, Ivan is probably a nice guy, hating vampires isn't anything out of the ordinary. But it's not Ivan's clear dislike that bugs him. Duh.

"Mind if I ask a little more about Hope? She's not always that hysterical, is she?"

It's a group of three very uncomfortable people. Hooray! Faith just looks between the two men, the two most important men in her life. "I named a hamster after you while I was locked away." It's so sudden, so random, so Faith. "But she's a girl. And she got knocked up. Eleven babies." A pause. "Want a hamster?" Tripp very well may not like the fact that this woman is not the one he knew, not exactly like her. Some things are the same and her heart is still good but her mind goes on a day to day basis.

"Hope doesn't like it when I don't tell her things." Because it usually involves something illegal or some sort of crime against her or something. Rose just has a bad life all the way around when she's not around Hope and Ivan. "She was going to get married, you know. The guy works there." Faith points at the Warehouse. "But he broke up with her. She said it was mutual and that she's fine, but she's a bad liar. That's why she died her hair blond."

There's a moment where Faith just stares at Tripp, as if wondering if he knows, how he doesn't know. "Tripp. You don't know why she was so upset?" The insanity is still there but when it comes to Hope? Faith will be the protector, the strong one, for as long as she can. "Her entire life now is built up because of what happened to us, happened to you. She was in love with you. Is in love with you."

Normally, all things Hope-related are off-bounds when it comes to Ivan. But then again, normally Hope is a raging bitch to him. Right now, the newly blonde needs all the help she can get, and Ivan's going to clench his jaw and provide all that he can give her. He owes her that much, after all, he supposedly stole her sister. "Hope knows. About the meeting, about your existence, about everything. I suggest you don't underestimate her. And that you don't pursue her." His eyes steel upon Tripp's form without hesitation or warmth. "She doesn't know whether she wants you dead or alive yet. She can't reconcile all that she feels. She needs time. You've broken her faith." And then, an awkward pause, followed by a grumble of "No pun intended…"

".. You what?" Tripp asks, blinking rapidly to the news of naming a hamster after him. A -female- hamster at that. And the talk of being 'locked away' is still needing a little getting used to but, he figures he'll get over it. And then he raises his hands, "I.. Don't have any money to take care of one. But if I do I'll get back to you."

He doesn't her to comment to her about Hope though, once Ivan sets the record straight, causing the vampire to close his eyes and cross his arms, again taking in the news, "Well there are things I've heard, and that isn't always the same as hearing it from one of you two. Well, that and I guess I've become a little naive over time. But nievity isn't good for anyw- What."

In love? With -him-? Tripp gives the most awkward smile that Faith may have ever seen, "…" And that's where Ivan's words sort of clash, forming a sort of mental car wreck. He looks to the other man, then, and he asks, "I'm curious, let me ask you something completely hypothetical. How many days could you go without speaking to Faith?"

It's in that moment that she is shown that he has spoken more to Hope than he's let on. It's in that moment that Faith turns to focus fully on Ivan, a shiver finding her. Yes, she's without a jacket but it's not often that she so openly shivers. Eyes lock onto her boyfriend as confusion strikes. "But he didn't break m - oh." It is one of the reasons that she finds her name to be rather lame. Faith wants to ask him more, see just how close he's gotten to Hope, to see how she's doing but she knows that now is not the time.

But then Tripp is declining a hamster. It makes her sad but at least he won't be taking his namesake. She wants to keep that one. Faith looks to him and only then does she notice is expression. She tilts her head, obviously so, as she watches him. Just as she's starting to warm up, he asks the question involving her. The dark haired Tyler squeaks and actually freezes, unable to decide what to do. Surely he's not intending anything bad, but she thought the same thing about Hiro.

Ivan darts his steely gaze over towards Faith, looking grim and uncomfortable - an expression that does not befit the man's general good nature and upbeatness. "He almost did. Break you, that is." He points out, cool an factual. Really, it's not fair to Tripp. It's not fair for him to take all this blame when he never wanted anything of the like the occur. But, still - Ivan isn't here to by sympathetic to the vampire. He's here to protect the Tylers.

"However many days strictly necessary." Ivan counters with an edge, the corner of his lips twisting downwards in a slight sneer. "However many days I needed to to ensure her safety, her happiness. To do otherwise is incurably selfish and evil." His words, heavily emphasized as they are, are quite deliberate.

Tripp stares quietly at Ivan; gaze for a moment shifting to the side, as if in guilt. He can't deny that his presence seems to have made things extremely difficult, and almost questions if it's foolish to believe that there is any sort of linking power in friendship. He almost does, though he suddenly shakes his head, and rubs at his temples.

After that, though, he nods his head and gievs Ivan a little smile. It's.. Honestly kind of a dirty one, but he nods his head, "Is that that truth? Well, I don't see any reason why you'd lie to me. All right, Ivan, I'll remember that." and after that his expression gradually falls neutral, "Well, I've kept you two here long enough. I appreciate you coming down, Faith, I.. Have a lot to think about. I'd better get going."

She's not a fan of where this is going. It's a showdown, she just now realizes. These are the two men who mean the most to her and they're not going to get along. Will she be able to just accept Tripp for what he is now? Well, this is Faith. The Queen of Crazy. She'll very likely forget he's a vampire sooner or later. That's how she is.

Still she takes a step back, away from both of them. The movement is slow, pained, but it comes nonetheless. "I would do anything for you, you know that." Perhaps it shouldn't be said but it comes anyway. Even as a hand falls onto the new choker of hers. "I want to trust you. Last one I trusted…" And just like that she almost falls into herself, the warning signs of a near panic attack clear to those who know her. Aka Ivan.

"Be careful. Stay away from Hope until she realizes she's being silly. She has a silver knife."

Ivan can see them. He can recognize those telltale warning signs, can read the fluctuations in Faith's behaviors like the back of his hand at this point. And, swiftly, he moves. His hands are out, and he's reaching for the woman, hoping to pull her into his embrace, to reassure her with his warmth, and solid form, and familiar presence. But he is not entirely unsympathetic to Tripp's situation. Something needs to be said - the man is owed an explanation. And so, Ivan will offer it. "She was raped. By your kind. By the last vampire she trusted." His words are acidic vitriol, and explain why he is so vehemently suspicious of Tripp. Well…that and the fact that he's a jealous bastard, period. "Just do us all a favor and disappear for a little while. Until they can handle it."

Tripp doesn't really catch on to it, so when Ivan is so quick to respond, he ends up feeling just a touch frustrated. But only a touch, it's pretty much Faith's presence alone that's keeping the vampire in check. Well perhaps there's that the explaination of Hope's fate is kind of like taking a bowling ball to the head, "…"

Really, what can he say to that? He takes a moment to glance at his own hand, reflecting upon what he had become. "I understand, Faith. I will."

As for Ivan, well, he gives him another glance, "So that means I'd do the same. Becaue I'm a vampire. Makes sense." he gives a small shrug, turns around and proceeds to walk off.

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