Vampires, who knew?

St. Cecilia Catholic Church

A small entry hall lit by a single chandelier contains a bulletin board for parish news, and a rack containing various church brochures. In the left corner is a barrel marked "City Food Drive".
The church is a generally open and lofty place, several chandeliers hanging from the arched cathedral ceiling. A huge stained glass window above the door washes the pulpit in color. Pews of dark wood have the slightly polished and used look due to the decades of parishioners using them. As well, the kneeling bars look well worn. At the back of each pew are hymnals and the Book of Common Prayer.
The altar is on a dais, carpeted with crimson and surrounded by a small rail. To the right is the lectern, to the left the pulpit. Above the altar is a suspended wooden cross.

It's not even an hour after sunset, the church has a couple of people still praying quietly when Michael enters, the fac that he's not making any effort to hide that he's a vampire may cause a stir, especially when he dips the fingers of his right hand into the cistern his voice quiet as he touches his finger to forehead chest and each shoulder "In nomen of Abbas , Filius , quod Flamen. Amen." His usual stoicism is replaced with genuine solemnity as he head over to light vigil three candles are lit a few quiet words are muttered and then Michael slowly makes his way to the pews.

Kneeling at the end of one of the pews about half-way up, is the form and figure of Brett Coleman. Rising slightly so as to regain his seat from the kneeling bench, but only after making the 'sign of the cross' with his 'amen' quickly following, he rises from the seat completely, and upon exiting his row, faces the front and makes an obeissance before turning his back and walking down the aisle towards the back and eventually out into the nave.
Brett isn't fully out of the sanctuary itself before he spies what he thinks to be a familiar figure.
Do they—?
CAN they?
Twisting his head back to look at the front of the sanctuary, Brett looks puzzled. Confused, even.
Maybe his eyes are playing tricks on him. Yes… that must be it. Because if it isn't?
A couple more steps, and Michael's face can be discerned, and it's all that Brett can stand.
Meeting Michael as the vampire begins to make his way to the pews, Brett is now.. well and truly confused. "Michael?" Is that you?

Michael looks to Brett, his expression still as solemn as ever he nods. "Hey Brett; you're well I hope?" For a moment he seems as though that's all he's going to say, but then he continues, his features not giving away what he thinks his tone just as quiet. "Yes, I can enter a church; holy water and symbols don't burn, bother or otherwise trouble me." It seems Brett's not the first to be surprised by Michael's presence at a church.

Now, it's not necessarily a crisis of faith that Brett suffers, no. He's good to roll with the punches, as it were. What he is actually more concerned with and more than a little disappointed with the fact that legends and mythology were off on this one 'biggie'.
"Okay.." Brett begins slowly. "This is news."
He shakes his head slowly and has the grace to look almost embarrassed, with a lopsided grin. "Sorry about that. I.. uh.. well, I'm wondering if a class action lawsuit should be started against the libel."

Nodding Michael looks around the church for a moment. "I know it's a lot to take in, I've been where you are, albeit a long time ago; I'd suggest that it's a sign that we're part of His plan; or at least that He doesn't truly loathe us. It's better than the alternative." He seems just a little distracted as he looks at the candles he'd lit and then back to Brett. "I don't come often, and I don't know of many vampires that go to church, so it's not likely the myth will be caught any time soon."

Looking down, Brett shuffles in the aisle. Keeping his voice down, he nods first, "Don't let me keep you. I'm going to head out and wander a little. If you want, meet you somewhere later? If you're not busy, that is." Brett looks around again and lowers his voice even more, "I met another .. vampire last night, and just sorta could use someone to talk to about it." As she's latched on to her brother, as amused as he is, there is also that hint of concern. All he needs is his fears allayed.

There's a nod and again Michael looks around the room. "I'm free now; I've done what I had to." He nods towards the door. "I'm hoping the vampire in question wasn't… inappropriate?" He sighs. "Shall we go somewhere more suited to the discussion? Or are we good to stay here?" He seems unconcerned if anyone else knows that he's a vampire. "I wouldn't suggest Mary's for such a conversation.

"Mary's…" Brett begins, and rolls his head back slightly as the lightbulb goes on, "Oh.. no. No.." He exhales and shakes his head, "No. Um.." Pressing his lips together in a flattened line, he gestures out towards the nave and out. "Park, maybe?"
It probably isn't as bad as it may sound, though. "Nothing inappropriate. Just.. well.. yeah. Park is good?"

Nodding Michael motions for Brett to lead the way. "Well then, shall we? As I said, I'm done here; I'm not even sure why I thought of staying." He turns looking to the door. "And as I said, Mary's isn't a good idea; too many of the customers hear more than they should." He looks at Brett. "I can't promise I can tell you anything that will be that useful."


The park isn't far from the church in historic Oak Cliff. This particular park is one of Brett's favourites as it's near his house, near where he used to work and still spends a great deal of time after dark. There's a comfort level here that many other places just haven't reached.
The park, after sundown, is quiet. The air is damp and cool, and families are inside for dinner. Only one or two stragglers, but they're not long as the lights come on. Parks, regardless of location, just aren't all that popular after dark.
Brett takes the couple of blocks in relative silence, his hands in his pockets for warmth. It's getting easier to ignore the nagging discomfort that accompanies the presence of his current companion. How odd that Brett can almost call the man friend, or at least, trust him enough to believe he'll get straight answers to his questions or concerns?
Once there, Brett foregoes the relative comfort of the bench seats and looks to the vampire with him, "I met another.. well, vampire last night, and she's got designs on my brother, I think. She's nice enough, and swears she lives on a diet of bunnies…" He stops himself, chuckles and shakes his head, correcting himself, "rabbits."

The silence doesn't seem to bother Michael, he doesn't speak or even look at Brett as he walks beside him, even when Brett speaks he doesn't answer for a while, giving no sign that he's even heard the other man, when finally he replies it's with a thoughtful answer. "It's possible; your brother would be human?" It would seem Mike's somewhat familiar with Shifters. "I don't know many vampires that would be able to settle for a rabbit diet, that's why we waited for synthetic blood before coming out, but I've heard there are some who are able." He shrugs a shoulder studying Brett for a moment. "Tell me what you can think of about this vampire."

"Uh.. no." If Michael met Corey, he'd know in a heartbeat anyway. "Corey's another shifter." Brett smiled slightly and shrugged, "Adopted." Just in case Michael thought his information was wrong.
"She's a little unstable, and she seems to have latched on to my brother," and after a fashion, himself. But Brett is attributing that to familial ties, as it were. "Can you really just live on the stuff, or do you think the urge might— well," There really isn't much in the way of delicacy, "Do you— do vampires," bring it out into the general, "well, can vampires eat shifters," the word is virtually whispered, "or are we just not on the menu?"
Brett shrugs slightly, "She seems.. childlike. Felt sorta guilty when Cor and I told her that we wouldn't go to the roller rink with her."

Nodding Michael sighs. "Personally it's not something /most/ can do, there are exceptions… I can't tell you any more about her than you could about a shifter you'd never met, I can't tell you if she's unstable, or dangerous." He seems to give the next question a little thought. "I've never known a vampire who ate shifters, and I've never found the scent of your blood appealing, but honestly I don't know how 'off the menu' you are. Or how genuine any childlike appearances may be."

Brett nods slowly. "Right." He's a little disappointed, sure, but Michael does make sense.
"True. One isn't like another.." And the mantra comes back; all are individuals. Unfortunately, it's not playing in his favour at the moment. "I mean, heck.. I can't even tell when another's around." Brett smiles, the gesture lopsided, "You're easy. But.." He shakes his head and exhales. Hold on.. did Michael *sigh*?!
There's a somewhat amused expression that comes over his face but it's not necessarily a point to tease an older vampire about.
Not yet, at least.
"Okay.. but you're probably not into rabbits either.. which puts me back at square one again, for the most part." His jaw shifts to the side in thought, his hands still deep in his pockets as he considers, "I don't trust the 'childlike'. I mean, she's a young woman.. looks about my age.. and she asked us to rollerskating." Brett really doesn't rollerskate. Nor does Corey, but the brothers pretty much determined that a disappointed vampire wasn't necessarily something they wanted to deal with.
Then there was the guilt after the pout.
"So, ultimately, it's 'keep your eyes open'." The statement reads like a question.

Michael tilts his head a little to one side looking at Brett for a moment. "You should be careful; if you need to ask me if you should 'keep your eyes open' where /anyone's/ concerned then you've not been paying attention; always keep one eye on your gold purse, and the other on their dagger." He studies Brett for a moment, seeming to pick up his expression. "Something wrong?"

"Well, we have our own escape route, after a fashion, though it's probably nowhere near as fast as you can move," Brett admits, his smile listing a little. "But we're always pretty careful. It's just.. well, still working out the whole balance thing." The shifter brothers apparently have very little experience with vampires.
He takes the advice with a great deal of seriousness, but shakes his head. "Just a little.. thing" he pulls a hand out to wave it at the back of his head, "hanging out here. Nothing I can grab yet."
Looking at the elder vampire, he offers the man a smile, "I appreciate the help, Michael.. and the advice." He smirks soon after, "Still need to go out for my run." He's planning on trying out an akita tonight… see how much ground he can cover.

Bowing his head Michael still carries himself with that almost cold stoicism. "I wasn't just talking vampires Brett, my adivce is never trust anyone without a very good reason." He seems amused by the statement about escape routes. "I'd be surprised if a vampire would be particularly interested in random violence to one of the Two-Natured, like I said we don't eat them; they're not much use to us." He turns. "I'll see you around, having a good evening."

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