The Ribbon and the Shield

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.

It's just around the normal dinner hour. Mischa's apartment has been cleaned up from the mess that it previously was. There's some semblance of normalcy in his residence, although he's been even more withdrawn lately. Besides work, only trips to the grocery store has he found prudent. Currently the librarian sits on the couch with some sweet and sour chicken, flipping through the pages of a cooking magazine while he chows down on his dinner.

Things have changed recently. Not much, but they've changed. For instance, there is no ribbon around her wrist. There is a smile on her face, and there is a peace offering of sorts in front of her. A shield. Not a faux shield, an actual full shield that she's using to keep distance between herself and her friend? Well maybe once this mess is all sorted out, Chloe can be friends with the dining Mischa. Too bad she doesn't realize it's food time. Knocking on the door, she takes a deep breath. "Okay, here goes nothing."

Mischa pops open the door and seems both somehow unsurprised AND surprised to see Chloe there. Those contradicting mixture of feelings is quickly replaced with a rehearsed indifference. "Oh, hey. It's dinner… I can pack some up for you i—" There's a pause. "Is that a shield?" Mischa asks, squinting at Chloe. "I'm not going to hurt you…" He seems a little offended that a woman has brought a shield to his apartment. "Should I go get my jousting equipment or something?"

"It's a distancer," Chloe says with a grin, above the top of it. "Three medieval shops in the city, and not a one has a chastity belt." Holding out her wrist, she shows him that it's bereft of the ribbon. "I didn't realize you were having dinner. I can come back if you'd prefer?" Even though is smells absolutely delicious. "I came to talk to you about the spell."

"No, it's fine." Mischa sets his plate down on a coffee table. "Do you want to come in, or stand out in the hall where Mrs. Jablonsky might see? It's kind of your call. I could care less either way." His pride is wounded, his feelings hurt. He's a bit of an ass. Even so, there is tenderness in his eyes when he regards Chloe. Mischa reaches out to poke at the front of the shield lightly. "Chastity belt?" The notion makes him smile a little bit, though it's a humorless gesture. "You've lost your ribbon. What's this mean for the spell?"

"Mrs. Jablonsky might get a kick out of the shield," Chloe points out as she edges carefully forward into the apartment. "Well yes, a chastity belt would be better than a shield that I can just toss aside." Simple logic, really. "I thought about full armor, but I doubted they'd sell me a set. I really don't look like the typical cosplayer." The ribbon hand goes back to holding the shield, and she shrugs. "To be honest, I don't know. Putting the ribbon on me didn't activate the spell, removing the ribbon from the gift did. I spoke to a witch, and he said that he'll work on something to break it, but he's going to need some time to get in touch with his coven."

At the mention of cosplaying, Mischa has to snickersnort for a good moment. There's no doubt that the poor man isn't a nerd. He picks his plate back up and leaves the door open however, perhaps more for Chloe's comfort than his own. He sits back down on the couch and takes a bite of his dinner before turning back to Chloe and quirking a brow. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I don't think that there's any spell that lasts forever…" He sounds as though he certainly hopes there's not, though. There's a long pause before he shakes his head. "I'm sorry, Chloe. I know this isn't easy for you either. I've had a lot of time to think though. The bottom line is that I do care for you, with or without the influence of this… spell. I know it's something that's hard to comprehend after all we've been through together and I don't make any excuses for my behavior at times. So the best I can do is ask you to forgive me. Neither one of us can help what's going on right now, but I probably have a lot to apologize for anyway…" Mischa furrows his brows a bit and reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, mussing it as he's wont to do.

Gently closing the door, though keeping it open just a smidge for peace of mind, Chloe takes another step into the apartment. She runs a hand through her hair and then exhales a heavy sigh. "He mentioned the potential of it lasting six months or more… it would help if I could just get in touch with whoever owns the Ogham, but the place seems to be closed up without any reasoning behind it." Sad, really, since she did enjoy talking to Lillian quite a bit.

"Look, there's nothing really for you to apologize for. I should have been paying more attention to what ribbon I grabbed, and… don't. You can't care for me. Maybe I can break the spell within the next three months." Surely if she 'dies', even if it's very briefly, the spell will be broken? Thus, turning will mean he'll no longer feel this way.

"Six months?!" He asks incredulously. He calms down a little bit more upon hearing most of the rest of it. "Chloe, like I've asked you before… don't tell me how I can't and can possibly feel, because you don't know. Not to mention that's a tad bit condescending. I mean, it would be like me telling you to go get my pipe and robe. And bake an apple pie afterwards. Or something. Maybe that wasn't a really good analogy, but it still stands!" Mischa says, looking generally cheesed off. He eats his food in brooding silence for a long moment before turning back to Chloe. "If nothing else, I've gotten a sweet yogurt maker out of the deal."

"No, I mean, you can't care for me. Stop it right now." Chloe lowers the shield a little and shoots him a look. "I'm going to die in three months, which will break the spell then, and where's that going to leave you? Feeling all sad and mopey, and I won't stand for that at all." Were it possible to cross her arms over her chest and not lose the shield, she would do so. Instead, she just snorts at the analogy and then shakes her head. "Yeah, at least. Doris ate it all."

These words make Mischa pause. He eventually takes in a breath and then manages to sound completely breathless as he asks, "Die?" He wets his lips with his tongue and stands up fromt he couch, crossing his own arms over his chest. "You can't just decide to die, Chloe. It doesn't work like that and I won't let you. You can't just plan these things…" Mischa seems confused about the certainty of her words. He uncrosses his arms and throws his hands up in exasperation, shaking his head at her.
<OOC> Mischa says, "Thanks. It's just a catering. We'll see how it goes."

"Of course you can! Hello, vampires?" Chloe takes a step back toward the door then, preparing to bolt if need be. "I'm going to die the night after my brother's wedding." It's just as plain and simple, matter-of-fact like that. "It's already been planned out, because of course Hope wants to have the wedding during the day which means that it can't be before that, and I want to be there for Bobby, because there's no telling if mama'll show up…"

"Chloe…" Mischa starts out before he removes his glasses and rubs at the bridge of his nose with a harried, exasperated look on his face. "I… I don't really know what to say to this. I guess I shouldn't say anything at all since it's not my life, not my decision. But would you please reconsider this? Again?" There's a bit of desperation in his voice as he tries to get through to her, tries to plead with her not to give up her life in the most literal sense.

"What is there to reconsider? This way, the chances of the spell breaking is much higher, and sooner than waiting it out for the next six months." It's practical, and it's what she wants to do. "Why do you care anyhow? The only reason you're even remotely interested in not having me die is due to that stupid ribbon."

Mischa shakes his head at Chloe. "There are other ways to break the spell. And no. I was interested before that. Jesus Christ, Chloe. Why can't I make things more plain for you? You are truly dense. I'm pretty sure what I'm feeling for you at the moment is the opposite of spellbound love. You're one of the most frustrating people I've ever met in my entire life, do you know that?" Mischa asks, picking his plate up and carrying it into the kitchen. He scrapes the remnants of his dinner into the garbage disposal and then clatters the plate into the sink before moving back into the living room. "I've always cared about you. The sooner you learn to accept that, the better off we'll both be. Maybe you'll even ditch the shield, Dame Chloe."

"Christ, Mischa. I'm sorry that I avoid social settings, and that I'm inept and dense in some things." The way she grew up, and had to keep herself hidden, is it any wonder? "But I seem to recall telling you that I actually cared for you, and being blown off. So excuse me to have gone and figured out something else for myself." Her fist punches into the back of the shield and she grumbles, "Was going for the Joan of Arc look."

"So we've both screwed up. I didn't want to hurt you. Lot of good my noble intentions did." Mischa doesn't bother to move over to Chloe, though he does take on a look of concern. "Your knuckles better not be bleeding from that. Now, you just settle down. I'll punch the wall for you when you leave. I am not getting my safety deposit back." He lets out a very quiet sigh, reaching up to rub at his brow idly for a moment. "You dying won't solve your problem completely. I'll still be here, pining for you, and you'll feel like an ass because you didn't believe me, AND you'll be dead. The feelings don't go away when you die like that, Chloe."

"Undead," Chloe clarifies. She'll still be around, but she'll be disassociating herself from a lot of people. "My knuckles are fine, it's just metal. No spikes, no abrasive surfaces." Just metal that likes to clang when she hits it. "Mark too many carpets?" The question is out before she realizes she's said it, and then she's literally hiding behind the shield. "Sorry. I've been having these weird mood moments. When he gets in a bad mood, so do I." Blood bonds are so much fun.

Mischa smirks for a moment at Chloe's question. He doesn't answer her question save for shaking his head. "Mister Grant isn't forcing you into this, is he? Don't get offended. I'm just wondering. That's some bond you two have." He reaches up to rub at his eyes a little bit before looking back to her and taking in a deep breath. "I guess I could say something really offensive right now, like that your sex is subject to strange mood swings, but."

"When have you ever known me to be forced into anything?" Chloe shakes her head and smiles. "He asked me if I would like the honor, and I accepted. Had I not, he would have just turned someone else due to the fact that he has to for a punishment." More than she really should be saying, but she's saying it anyhow. "You could, but it's not. The sex is fine. Wonderful even." He's the one that brought it up, and she's just being straightforward. Nevermind that she's still hiding behind the shield and not peeking out from behind it any longer.

"Uh. I didn't mention anything about sex?" Mischa asks cluelessly. And his facial expression says that he didn't really want to know. Then it dawns on him. "I meant your gender, woman." Now he just looks disgusted. Or perhaps insanely jealous. "So, before you kick the proverbial can and are born again as one of Dracula's children… or something… would you like something to eat? I have plenty of leftovers. And you're more than welcome to them." He doesn't bother to ask about vampiric politics and punishments. It's more than he cares to process at the moment.

"Ah… oh." Chloe peeks her eyes over the shield, and then quickly ducks behind it again, very glad for the fact that it's hiding her completely from view. HELLO RED FACE! "R-right… mood swings. We get them." Aheh. "No, I'm good. I grabbed a sandwich at that deli in the mall before picking this up. I…" Social ineptitude for the win.

The mention of 'deli at the mall' brings about a groan from Mischa. He doesn't bother to try to explain it. "Well, alright. Come up if you change your mind, or give me a call. I can put it outside your door. You're not going to start wearing one of those bird flu masks around here either, are you?" Mischa asks teasingly before smiling at Chloe. That smile eventually turns into a grin. "God, this is silly."

"Why would I need a bird flu mask? I don't see how that would protect my honor." Chloe remains hidden behind the shield, edging a little closer to the door again. "Sure, outside my door, or something. Knock before you run off though, or I won't get it until morning." It seems sensible. Perhaps childish, but sensible.

"You can leave now if you want. I'm not going to tackle you and rape you, you know." Mischa seems a little offended by the entire exchange if nothing else. Especially the fact that Chloe feels she needs a shield. Perhaps he'll look back on it later and laugh, but for now his head is swimming with the information gleaned tonight. "I'll be sure to feed you. Not tonight though, since you got a sandwich at that deli." Bitter much?

"Bitter much? Next time I plan on coming over, I'll just bring an empty stomach and some tupperware." Chloe has no idea what his issue with the deli is, but the food was good. "I didn't think you were going to do that, geeze. Still, you never know how that spell is going to react and it's better safe than sorry, right?" Beat. "You always were a gentleman, Mischa, but the spell…" See, it's not him, it's the weird wonky magic that she's trying to save herself from.

Mischa lets out a quiet sigh. "I know. It's fine, Chloe. Just go enjoy the rest of the night or something. I'm going to bake some carrot cake cupcakes… I'll bring you down some in a while. So be hungry. I plan to fatten you up as much as possible before you become all… vampiric." The idea makes him a little nauseous as a whole, and he moves to sit down on the couch. He'll probably end up falling asleep when she leaves, but for now he tries to make himself look as calm and calculated as possible.

"You do realize I can hear how you feel, right? It's a bit fuzzy, but you can barely get that word out without gagging." Chloe frowns at him over the shield, and then exhales a sigh. "I plan on it. Will is back in town for a little while, and I want to spend time with him before he has to leave again." There is a movement, as though she's going to head toward the couch. Instead, the shield just clatters to the floor and she slides out the semi-open door. « I don't really want to be fat, so just bring one or two if you feel up to it. »

He can't say much to this, although he simply sighs and nods his head to her. He closes the door behind Chloe as she leaves and picks the shield up, putting it down on the kitchen table before he moves to lie down on the couch.

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