Spot Me

Fitness World

Fitness World is filled with all kinds of fitness equipment. Mirrors make up the majority of the walls, so that people can ensure that they are doing their workout correctly, or merely to admire their bodies. Atop a black exercise mat is a free weight area with several dumbell racks, exercise balls and specialized weight machines for each muscle grouping.
Stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical trainers, stair climbers, and rowing machines are along the outer edge of the workout area, but still about ten feet from any wall. Televisions hang from the ceiling above the equipment and are meant to provide some form of distraction for those busily training. Surrounding the entire area is a circular track, where people can run if they don't feel like using a treadmill.
A large section of wall is void of mirrors. In place of the mirrors is floor to ceiling glass, enclosing an aerobics room. A large raised platform sits in the far back of this room in front of another mirrored wall, devised for an instructor to call out to the class.
There are doors which lead from both the gym, and the locker rooms to a large, heated pool.

The one great thing about Fitness World is that it's one of those twenty-four hour gyms. This means that when the hours grow late, and there aren't a lot of people around, someone like Chloe can slip in and not be bombarded with shallow thoughts or images of what people really want to look like.

Tonight is the same as any other. A small crowd, a small gathering around the weight benches and elliptical trainers. For Chloe, though, she's just busy doing some cardio. Her new aerobics class has just ended and she's coming out of it. Smiling for once. Feeling refreshed. Happy at the fact she could block all the minds in the class and just focus on her own body.

Ivan's in a restless sort of mood. It's an all-consuming, overwhelming sort of restlessness - the kind that usually follows after chugging a 12 pack of energy drinks. And so, this left the man with two choices - risk another embarrassing incident at some pub or duck out of the apartment and try something productive for once: to exercise his energy by hitting the gym. Cardio is overlooked. Instead the man finds himself sweaty, straining, grunting on the bench press, his face turning red with exertion as he systematically lifts then lowers the weights attached to the bar. His thoughts, while all over the place with mental static, have one underlining message that shines through - and that is a lot of self deprecation. Which wouldn't be surprising…except, it's being thought by what is commonly considered the most narcissistic, arrogant bastard in Dallas. «C'mon, what're you, a pussy? She left you - now she's going to leave you, 'cause you're too weak. If you can't do this, how can you manage to keep yourself safe, nevermind everyone else?»

"Who left you?" Yes, after exerting so much energy in ignoring her classmates, Chloe has absolutely no brainpower left to ignore the thoughts of a voice she knows. Granted, it likely won't endear her anymore to the man, it's just that she honestly can't help herself at this point.

Perching on the weight bench next to him, she reaches for a 2 lbs. weight and begins doing arm curls. Trying to be nonchalant as she watches him.

Chloe's sudden inquiry catches Ivan off-guard. And this is not a good thing, considering the kind of weights he is lifting. Especially since he doesn't have anyone spotting him. He manages to catch himself before choking on the bar, and after easing the weights back on the resting point. Only then, afterwards, does he sit upwards, panting rather heavily and eyeing the woman beside him rather solemnly. After picking up his bottle of water and unscrewing it, he shakes his head slowly. "Your kind are a pain in the ass, I hope you know."

There's no point, no reason to lie. She'd be able to tell anyway. "An…ex girlfriend of mine. But I guess that's not entirely true. I did the leaving."

"Well shame on us. If I was still medicated I wouldn't be." But medication taints the blood, and thus she's not allowed to be on it while she's with Will. She still tries to ignore what she hears, but when tired she just can't.

"You and Rose having troubles? 'cuz that thought was entirely confusing if not." A slight frown as she moves to stand behind his weights instead of resting, going to spot him if he wishes to continue.

"What?" Ivan inquires, pursing his lips slightly in confusion. "Oh…oh, no. Well, not that I know of, at least. She's…fine. Healing up well." Realizing what she seems intent on doing, he arches a brow in amusement - seeing as the weights exceed her body weight by quite a bit, he's unsure that she'd be able to do much of anything. But the attempt is noted and highly appreciated, and slowly, he eases back into position, speaking even as he picks up the bar. "Ugh. I…was…it was another girl. Before Rose. Before Dallas. Couldn't you - ah - read that?"

"Let me see. It came out as…. 'She left you - now she's going to leave you.'. Really confusing, you see? I've neglected my abilities for about ten years." Granted there are reasons for that — such as nearly going bat shit crazy. "I don't pick up on emotions or pictorial meanings. Words are words, and thoughts are thoughts." Chloe is no weakling, though she likely would have to struggle to get the bar off of him if he dropped it. "The attack was my fault, I'm sorry."

"I…uh…" It's becoming increasingly difficult for Ivan to continue thinking, speaking, and pumping at the same time, so he stops. Talking, that is. He continues on his work out routine, brows furrowed, fighting against the sweat that coats him, before finishing his set of repetitions and easing the bar back on the rest. "Ack! I…I dunno. I'm just trying to keep me motivated, man…Don't take me seriously, I guess, and…" Beat. A moment, taken to collect his thoughts, and form them into actual coherent thoughts. Blink. "What do you mean?" He gruffs. "What do you mean, it's your fault?"

"Think about it, Fontane." Chloe frowns. He doesn't really need a spotter, so she can take a moment or two to comment. "Will goes off, takes care of that VVEMT problem… and then when we get back, the attacks start. Three librarians, my brother, my brother's ex-girlfriend, someone that works at Mary's that looks like my sister… my brother's ex-girlfriend's twin…" There's a WHOLE lot of guilt associated with this, but she's trying to not feel it as much. "I think whoever is responsible for the attacks was a follower of Kegan."

Ivan listens, solemnly, to her words. His eyes, cool and troubled, remain fixed upon her person. But slowly, eventually, he ends up shaking his head. One swift movement is taken, and he ends up sitting up, peering over his shoulder to the red-head. "No. It's not your fault. You might be the reason, the target, whatever…but it's not your fault. Unless, that is, you personally hired the attacker to do its bidding. You're a victim, Chloe. And…I don't blame you. I don't think anyone does."

"Mischa does." Chloe isn't at all positive on that either, but she's pretty sure he blames her. "My fault for getting involved with vampires, for saving the current reigner, for not stopping the damned bitch before now." She exhales a sigh, and starts curling with her little weights while he's busy talking. "The target, the one to blame… honestly, Ivan, I'm sorry Rose was hurt."

"…Who?" Ivan doesn't know who Mischa is, nor does he particularly care. And so, with a shake of his head, he moves on. "You couldn't have predicted that this would happen. You couldn't have prevented this from happening. There's honestly not much you could have done." However, he is quite aware of the fact that she needs to get the apology out, for her own sake. "Well…for the record, I accept your apology. She does too. And I know you're sorry."

Wafting her hand, even though she still holds a weight in it, Chloe sighs. "Not important. Neighbor. Co-worker." Friend? Well likely not anymore. "I could have stayed away from vampires." Shrug. "Do me a favor, Fontane. You see a black wolf hanging around your building? Shoot it. Don't ask questions. Don't worry about upsetting anyone. Just shoot it." If it's the wrong wolf, well then it's the wrong wolf. Person can't be blamed for that in this sort of climate.

"I…I'll keep that in mind. See what I can do and all." Ivan definitely isn't about to shoot anything. The last thing he wants is to attract more attention to himself and his significant other. There is an awkward pause, during which nothing is said, before he ends up quirking the corner of his lips upwards. Just to lighten the mood, he smiles to her. "Two-pounders. Cute. Do you have a purse dog, or are you planning on buying one in the immediate future?"

"Shut up, Fontane." Chloe blushes, then drops the weights, quite literally. Barely missing her toes as she does so. "I'm not what you'd call… athletic." She sort of doesn't bother to pick them up, instead leaning in against his bench a little. "Actually, oddly enough, someone left a dog on my doorstep. Gave it to my brother. I think I'm more of a cat or non-pet person, if I'm being honest."'

Ivan grins. Broad and amused once he finds the woman blushing. But then the weights are dropped, and he blinks, scrambling to go pick them up. "Careful! You're not supposed to drop the weights around, geez. You a clutz too?" There is a pause, during which he quirks his brows upwards in surprise. "Heh. I've a cat now. Actually…I have a half-cat, half-demon spawn. Hey, could you read their minds…?"

"Never tried." Chloe pauses a beat. "Maybe if it's actually half-demon." She may just be being dead serious about that. "I'm not a klutz, but if you're going to tease me about my pitiful weight lifting, they can just stay on the ground." Two two lbs. weights aren't going to cause a big scene unless he makes it one. "Haven't seen you around the estate lately…"

"I…God, I hope it isn't. It's going to permanently scar my face, I'm afraid. That would be a right shame, wouldn't it? This handsome mug, ripped away from the good people of Dallas…and, hey, it's okay. Everyone's got to start somewhere. Go on - keep curling. I'll try to keep the teasing on the down low." And Ivan offers the small dumbbells over to her. "Mhmm? Ah…well. I don't have much of a reason to be there, to be honest. Thankfully. Between the Sheriff and her obsession with drinking my blood, and the King and his manipulations…yeah. I'd rather steer clear."

With a hmph, Chloe takes the dumbells and starts curling with them again. It's really not a lot of work, but she's not all that athletically minded, if she's being honest with herself. "You could always use that hoodoo stuff." Nice way of mentioning his witch craft without mentioning it. "Haven't met her. Don't want to. I keep a pretty strict locale set aside for me when I'm there, but I highly doubt that Will would want to manipulate you. He's just not that kind of man."

Ivan lets out a low laugh of amusement, using the back of his hands to wipe the sweat off of his brow. "I don't think my brand of…magic is well suited for that, to be honest. I'm thinking locking the rugrat out of the bedroom while I'm sleeping ought to do the trick." And not pissing off Rose. It's not fair that she uses Puck as a weapon. "You've never met her? Really? Don't you spend much time at the estate?" Beat. "Wow. That's…surprising. And…I'm not sure about that. Here's to hoping you're right, but…his kind aren't exactly known for being straightforward and honest."

"I'm generally not out in the open when I'm at the estate," Chloe admits freely. What's she care if Ivan knows that she's busy with other extracurricular activities? Who's he going to tell? "I have no desire to meet her to be honest. I think I may just be jealous of her." Since the Sheriff shares a bond with Will that she'll never have unless she's turned. "He has never lied to me, he has never been anything if not straightforward and honest with me."

"Jealous?" Ivan leans forward with slight interest. "You're biased. He's lied to me. If not lied, deliberately maneuvered and altered the words behind a promise so that he could cast aside his responsibilities. I don't trust him any further than I have to." His position as a liason between the races requires a certain level of trust that he wont just be killed on the spot during discussions, after all. "How would you know if he's been? Can you read him as well?"

"Not so much, though with the bond, the ability to read him is there." Emotionally at least. Chloe frowns. "Actually, if anyone of my persuasion tries to tell you that they can read a vampire, they're full of shit." She would know. The only reason she could even tell Will was a vampire at first was because she was able to sense the mind void. "Well of course I'm jealous! She's younger, and will always be younger than me. She's blonde for crying out loud." It's one of Will's weaknesses. "That, and he turned her, you know. He chose her."

"Really, eh?" This is strange. Somewhere in between dealing with vampires and politics and crazies and weights, Ivan and Chloe have eased into a tentative friendship. Or at least, a civility that goes beyond pure common courtesy. Filing away the tidbit of information about psychics, he rests his elbows upon his knees and frowns thoughtfully. "I…I know what you mean." He offers finally, soft as can be. "I know how difficult it can be. Dealing with the past in that regards. Coming to terms with the bonds they have with other people…It sucks." He sounds sympathetic to her cause, and that's because he is. "If you find a way to deal with it, short of drinking yourself to oblivion? Yeah, do me a favor and let me know."

"It sucks. Literally." Chloe has a way of dealing with it. She's become pseudo-girlfriend and food to the new illustrious King of Texas. With a sigh, she moves to sit beside Ivan on the bench. "Honestly the only way of dealing with it is giving up the mortal coil and becoming one of them. No jealousy then, as there would be equal ground. No need to worry about sharing different hours." In a way? Exhilarating. At the same time? Depressing.

Ivan finds that Chloe's solution? Not quite applicable in his situation. And so, he frowns with mild disappointment. "…No jealousy? Do you really believe that, then?" He inquires, voice soft and thoughtful. "Do you really think being on the same 'level' as she is will sate your jealousy? That you'll be content with just being equal? If…if that's true, then you're a better person than me." He allows his eyes to shut, before turning to peer at her. "Are you really going to go vamp?"

"Even if it means losing Will?" Chloe moves just a little, setting the small weights into their proper location. "Seems to me, I'd lose him to boredom either way. At least as a vampire, I wouldn't be gaining in years as he grows bored." That they're having a conversation where alcohol isn't involved is surprising to her. "I don't think I'd be jealous. At that point, why should I bother? I could have any guy I wanted…."

"And you wont see the light of day again. And you wont taste food again. And you'll never get drunk, or high. You'll never be able to have children. And…your heart will never beat. Life…that's one hell of a lot to give up, Chloe. Too much to give up for some doomed romance. Or some romance period. Because once it's over…you're going to feel like an idiot for having closed all these doors for him." There's a pause. "The point is, no matter how close you are to them, you'll never have all of them. You have to share them with the other people in their lives…and…I have trouble with that. I don't like sharing what's mine."

"I rarely see the light of day as is." Chloe doesn't mind. What little she sees of it is generally overrated. "Do children matter, Ivan? In the scheme of things, do you really think that bringing a child into a world where all the things that go bump in the night exist… do you think that's a great idea?" Besides, she's likely lost any hope of that happening anyhow. It's not like she's able to just be with anyone. "I don't hear them, Ivan. You likely wouldn't understand that, but it's a minor miracle. I can pretend, even if just for a few hours a night, to be normal." No voices. No nagging. No being bothered by other people's really nasty thoughts. "Don't kid yourself. You have to share someone when you're in a relationship. Any relationship. They have families, and friends, and sometimes people you're just not going to like. The only way you can get away with not sharing your significant other is if you locked them up and never let them out." Beat. "Last I checked, that was a criminal offense."

"Probably not, but…ah, I don't know. I guess I'm old fashioned like that. I just can't imagine not going through that bit, you know. And…I don't know. I think I'd like being a dad. You're a different person, though, so…" Ivan offers Chloe a shrug of his shoulders, casual and easy as can be, before pausing. "Heh. That's it, then. You don't trust them because you find them more trustworthy - you trust them because ignorance is bliss. And they're the only ones that afford you ignorance. That's…frankly, kind of funny."

But then, he's being lectured. And with his pursed lips, he stares at Chloe. Followed by a furrow of his brows. "Save your lectures. I'm serious. I'm confiding to you as a…a friend, I guess, and I'm very much aware that it's not a healthy, rational thought process but…" It's difficult for him to continue. And so, instead, he swallows back his words bitterly.

"How many chances do you think a girl like me would have for normalcy?" Chloe knows other telepaths, and she's yet to meet one she actually likes and can get along with really well. Nor does she meet many people who's brains she can't hear. "Beyond vampires, the only ones I have difficulty hearing are…" She mouths the word 'shifter', then shrugs. "No one said I trusted them fully either, but being able to just relax and not worry about a constant wall between me and the rest of the world? It's nice. If it means I get screwed over in the end, then I do."

Her words weren't really a lecture either. More a point. "It borders on abusive," she points out. "I've met Rose. She's a strong personality, and… just be careful with that thought process, okay? You don't want to wind up alienating her by telling her she can't see people."

Silence. Her words are met with silence, but she ought to feel the way the man draws into himself, carefully reconstructing the walls he had momentarily laid to rest. Even Ivan's thought begin to buzz with higher intensity, making them nigh impossible to read. It's the magic, the static crackling in the air. "I would never do that. For the record, your desire for normalcy is short-sighted and near masochistic." And with that, he grunts as he pushes himself off of the bench, greedily eyeing the next machine he will use to keep active yet again. 'Share time' seems to have ended.

That Ivan has put up the wall? That he's got the fortitude of mind to do so? It makes her smile. It's brief, just like his wall with be brief. The next thought he has will distract him from it, and she'll hear again whether she wants to or not. It's what always happens. It's why Chloe craves normalcy. "I know you wouldn't. I know that, Ivan. If I thought for a moment you'd actually hurt her, I wouldn't have done my damnedest to fix her." Because, left crazy? Rose would have been cared for and looked after. "For the record, wanting to be normal has nothing to do with wanting to be hurt."

Leg presses it shall be. With his water battle in hand, Ivan makes his way onto the machinery after having toggled with the weights, and even goes through a set of repetitions with steady grunts before even returning to the woman. "Yeah, well. Shut up about it, then. Don't act like getting jealous every once in a while is such a bad thing. And the willingness to be hurt just for the sake of being momentarily normal?" Grunt. "That's masochistic."

"Wouldn't you give anything for your deepest desire, Ivan? If accepting that I could be hurt because I can't hear what someone is thinking is normal, then sure. I'm masochistic. Then again, so is every person on the planet that doesn't have these abilities." Chloe doesn't need to spot him with the leg curls, so she sets the weights down and exhales a sigh. "Beyond that, we can't help loving who we love, can we? Should I deny myself that just because I might get hurt?"

"Yes." That is Ivan's answer, plain and clear cut. Simple. Easy. Once his repetitions have been finished, he rests and stares rather solemnly over to Chloe, green eyes piercing. "You'll fall in love again, in the future. Humans are remarkably adaptable creatures - or fickle, I suppose. We're still human. You'd move on, if given enough time. If you give yourself the chance." A pause, during which he fetches water. "If I had the chance to take back all my heartache, I would. I wouldn't enter in a relationship I knew was doomed from the start."

Chloe reaches up, tightens her ponytail, and slides her bag over her shoulder. She'd fling a towel around her neck as well, though she's just really not interested in reaching into her bag and getting one. "I still don't think you're fully understanding me. Could you honestly fall in love with someone if you could hear all their secret thoughts? Every time they're upset with you, to know how they truly feel about you? To know that while you're having sex with them, they're thinking about someone else?" There is a reason Chloe was single for so long. "I'd honestly rather have heartache further down the road, then spend one night with a person and know that they'd rather they were with someone else."

Ivan quirks his lips into a wry smile of amusement. "To hear the truth? From a woman? That'd surly be a refreshing change of pace." Ivan doesn't live with her reality, so it's no wonder he underestimates the devastating effect it has on her. And so, he makes light of it. "If they're thinking about someone else when you screw, you're not in a relationship. You're a fuck buddy. A place holder. And you'd be fucked then even if you couldn't read their minds, and it'd still not be love, and I'd still not put up with that crap. Your choices aren't exclusively 'love and be hurt down the road' or 'have meaningless sex', though. And if that's really what you think they are then…eh."

"Christ, Ivan. You really don't get it. I can barely walk down the street without hearing every thought in every mind. I was very heavily medicated for years, and spent a year in Green Oaks due to the voices." Chloe rubs her temples. She knows that it's going to be fruitless, trying to explain this to him. "And if you think that people don't randomly think about others during intimate situations, you're wrong. Even in a relationship. They may be entirely into you, but if the image of Angelina Jolie turns them on? Their minds will wander that way." That's just human nature. "You're lucky. You're lucky that you don't have to see that. Don't have to see it as an absolute truth. You're normal in that regard."

"Okay. So, maybe I don't get it. But I don't know what to tell you," Ivan points out frankly, rolling his shoulders. "I'm not going to get it. No matter how much you try to explain it, because I don't live it." Although, he finds himself snorting in amusement at her latter point. "I wasn't aware that you were present at every coupling of mine to derive that absolute from. That's a bold statement to make. Also, an erroneous one. But, yeah, I am lucky."

"It's human nature, Fontane." Chloe doesn't need to have been there to know that there's about a ninety-nine percent chance that it happened at some point. "Unfortunately, you can't say it's erroneous, because you've never seen into the minds of your partners." He'll never get it, that much is an absolute. "It doesn't matter though. Because the only absolute that I need to deal with is that my life is to be with them, become one of them, or die old and alone."

"Color me the exception then. Hell yeah I've fantasized about other women - when I was with someone I didn't much care for and was only flinging with anyway. But whatever, Sullen Susan. It's your life, I guess." And with that, Ivan returns to his body maintenance. After all, he has an image and a reputation to protect.

His response is only met with a shrug. Chloe's not going to argue with him when he thinks he's right. Either way, it's not as though she could truly prove it to him one way or another. "It is my life. I wish there was a way I could show you what I mean, but barring some sort of mind-whammy that would turn you into a telepath for a day, I honestly have no clue." When he returns to his workout, she sighs and starts on her way. The hour is getting late and she has places to be.

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