Uncomfortable Confessions

It's night time. And inside the quaint little abode, the rooms of painting supplies and such have been closed off from the rest of the home as it, slowly, becomes furnished. With the living room all set, the leather couch and television has been carted in…which means that Ivan has set up his old video-game consol. This is what is preoccupying his life at the present time. With his fingers mashing buttons left and right and his concentration kept solely on the television screen, he doesn't even notice what time it is, or the kitten making its way across the couch, watching Ivan with the air of a predator.

It isn't that it is exactly extremely late, by any means. Usually when Faith goes out, even with an escort, she's only gone for a brief period of time. Board game night has been in the works for a while, however, so likely they just got in a few good games before she got tired. She is dropped off outside of the residence as her escort is aware of his place and will not try to associate with Ivan. Tired as she is, the Queen of Crazy is still careful not too make too much noise upon entry. If Ivan is asleep she doesn't wish to wake him.

"No…no…No! Foul play!" Ivan groans, throwing his hands into the air in defeat as his little asian character, the person he had chosen from the much vaulted fighting game, falls to the floor unconscious. Faith should know by now - Ivan wont go to sleep until she's safe and sound in the home. The noise is all Puck needs, however. Immediately taking that as his cue, the wild cat in training pounces onto Ivan…and Ivan barely notices. Mostly because Puck isn't using his claws, as it's clearly a playful hit. But more likely? Ivan's used to being attacked. So all he does is grumble to himself, pushing the kitten away.

The room is entered just in time to watch the interaction. There's a soft smile at the sight even if she's not actually laughing. It's been a long night, after all. "I'm not sure if that's a sign that you're too distracted or if you're used to it by now." This is said as Faith remains standing just a few feet away, wearing her fatigue. The way that she's been working has been causing her to tire out earlier than normal lately. "And he tried so hard, too."

Ivan's head shoots up when he hears the noise, and there's confusion written on his face as he looks to Faith. "I'm used to what?" Truly, the man did not even notice the feline advances. Instead, however, he makes a bit of a face before returning his attention to the television screen. "Want to play a match before bed or did the vampire tire you out? C'mon - I'll even go easy on you." He attempts to cajole, clearly in an easy mood. After all, he's known about the game day for a while, and consented to it. No negativity here. "Didya have fun?"

"Puck pounced on you." This is said softly, gently, with no sign that anything's going wrong. A face is made at the box with the game and eventually she sighs. Soon Faith settles into place on the couch, waiting to lose. "I'm not really good at these things," she points out, even though she doesn't openly dismiss it. "I did." This is true, she did have fun, but Rose always has fun while Tripp is around. "I learned that I suck at blackjack. I really shouldn't ever go to Vegas." It will be idle chit-chat for a while as her mind is still heavy from everything that she's taken in this day.

"What? He did?" Blinking, he peers down at Puck, before letting out a grin of amusement. Particularly, when Rose agrees to play with him. He is enthusiastic about setting up the match to two-player, and then even hands Faith his own controller, so that he is left to get up and pick out the other. "That's awesome. Hey - I'd chose the chinese chick with the buns in her hair. She's really easy to use, all you have to do is press the buttons quickly. And, no worries!" About losing, that is. "Heh. So I wont take you with me as my gambling buddy. Gotchya. You know…I'm pretty good at gambling myself. I used to play quite a bit back in college." He used to do alot back in college.

The cat comes up to join Faith once she's settled and then gets much attention from her. This is the one creature in life that she doesn't currently have to re-assess. Men. She looks up as if caught by surprise when the controller is handed to her. "What? Oh, right." She looks over the controller then at the screen, certainly displaying signs that she's not exactly on the top of her game. "Okay, sure. That sounds easy enough." She'll still lose. Faith isn't all that good at games anymore. The young woman blushes before she shakes her head. "No way, not if you want to win something." She pauses just enough to snicker. "I bet you did more than that in college."

"It got me some extra money here and there, playing Poker in the dorms. Heh. Well…that's one bet you would win, if it's any consolation prize." But then, the game starts. And though Ivan vowed to go easy on the woman, the television screen still sucks up the majority, if not all of his attention, as he plays away… That is, until he notices the absolutely lackluster performance from a certain Tyler. She's barely even putting up a token struggle. And it is this that prompts Ivan to look away from the TV to stare at Faith, a thoughtful frown on his features. "What? What's wrong?"

"I have to win something eventually." This is said almost absently as the game begins. True to her attitude, she doesn't actually try to win. In fact, she's just pressing enough buttons to not flat out die. It almost appears by looking at her that she's getting stressed out over the fact that she's not winning but she's not really struggling all that much. Eventually he comments to her but Faith continues to try and press buttons, using the opportunity against him weakly. "Nothing's wrong." She is physically healthy with no wounds or bite marks to be seen. "I've just got a heavy mind."

Ivan might be competitive, and a bit of a closeted geek, but really? He doesn't care what the outcome of the match is. Particularly not when Faith is clearly struggling with something. "Huh…" She looks physically fine, so that's a good sign. It doesn't mean she is fine, though. He knows her well enough to know that the mental pains? They're more dangerous than any physical wound could ever be. "Penny for your thoughts, then? Let me try to lighten the load, babe."

He's not even trying to kill her at this point, and she's failing to really use this open opportunity. Eventually the controller is placed down beside her even as her hand begins to once more scratch Puck. "Honestly?" This isn't going to end well; she knows that this isn't going to end well. "This isn't something I think you want to take on." Well, now that she's said that Faith knows that she has to continue. "It's been a very long day, and so much has happened, and my head hurts."

"Honestly? Probably not, under regular circumstances. But you're my fiance. Which means I've got to be there for you, even when things are heavy and…well, not optimal." Encouragingly, Ivan moves to nudge her arm slightly, before picking up the television's controller and shutting off the screen. No need to have it on, not when there are serious conversations to be held. "I know you're probably going to say no, but I could get an aspirin for you? Maybe it'll ease the headache a bit." He offers easily, without urgency.

He's not going to make this easy on her, but then again he honestly shouldn't. "No, really. It's not that I don't want you to, but it's not going to help. I'm getting hit with a lot of things up here, you know?" A finger points to her temple to accent her mind as Faith knows that he'll understand what she means. "It's like when I got my memories back? I got them back the way that I wanted to perceive them in some ways. And I kind of thought that a lot of drama was gone now, but it isn't. I mean, I think it's going to get better in some ways, but it's not going to be easy."

Ivan purses his lips as he listens to her explanation, and he finds himself nodding along with it. "Well…I can't say that I've felt what you're feeling before." After all, he never lost his memory, only to be hit with it all at once again. "But…I do know what it's like to be overwhelmed. With stuff at the office, personal life, all that. Sometimes, putting my thoughts down on paper helps? I mean, it's still in my head and all, but if I can see it I can better organize things. I dunno. It works for me…maybe you might want to give it a try?" He's trying to be as helpful and as nonintrusive as possible.

"It's not exactly that simple?" It really isn't, and if he catches sight of such a list he's likely to go off the deep end. At least he's trying, though, and that means a lot to her. Faith attempts a smile, weak yet genuine. "I think I might end up going to hang out with Hope tomorrow." Not that she's going to tell her sister what's happening, exactly, but she's someone to talk to. "But I really need to tell you what happened tonight. You're going to find out anyway, and the more I think about it the more I think that evil lady set it all up."

Ivan arches his brows patiently, and in the end he merely nods his acknowledgement to Faith, waiting for her to go on. "Yeah, things with you generally aren't, huh? I just thought I'd suggest it, though." And with a faint smile, the man moves to scratch his head slightly, only becoming considerably more nervous as she continues on. 'Evil lady' is not…good. "What, Faith? Did something…" She hates it when he assumes the worst, especially about her friends, but its ingrained in him.

He has a point. "Nothing will ever be simple or easy for me. Every time that I think I'm finally getting there? Something else comes up. It's hard." She's almost like a pouting child at this moment but is doing well to just remain calm. "Nothing bad happened. I mean, nothing that will harm me at all. But -you- have a right to know what happened." He is the one who set up the arrangement, after all, so he should know. "Tripp offered to claim me, to further the protection that was ordered by the Sheriff."

Ivan just sits down, looking to the woman in a thoughtful sort of fashion. Just waiting for the supposed bad news, for whatever is bothering her so much, and it is with increasing anxiety, though he ends up nodding when she assures him that she's fine. But…then. She's talking. And she spills it - what he thinks is the bombshell. "No." He fires it off without thought, just a pure, instinctive reaction. After a second, he shakes his head then, frowning. "No. That's what his job is for in the first place, there's no need to claim anyone. Period. We agreed upon that, you didn't want to be claimed."

That was quick. As if it should be over so quickly, so simply. "I think she convinced him that it's the best way to look out for me, in case anything happens. I -am- a magnet for everything that could possibly go wrong." She's not being all that upset about the situation, which is far different for Faith. "I might have, maybe, already agreed to it." It's -Tripp-. He doesn't really count as an evil blood sucking demon. "But that's where it ended. Not like last time."

"What! No!" Ivan is adamant about this, and why shouldn't he be? Knowing her history…knowing all that he does, all that he suspects, it's perfectly right for him to be wary of this. "Take it back! I don't even give a shit if all it is is a verbal agreement. You're covered on the vampire front, it's his fucking job. So he's not trying to claim you to protect you, because he's already doing that, right? So he's just trying to claim you. That's not…that's bullshit!" His jaw is set stubbornly as he glowers at the wall. "Call it off. Take it back and…" Beat. "What do you mean, not like last time?" Cue eerie silence. "What last time? What happened last time?"

This is what she's expected from it. He hasn't even heard all of it, just the parts that she's chosen to tell him. It will only get worse if she were to elaborate on things. "I think he means it for just that; protection. I believe him." A fool, perhaps, but she doesn't believe so. "Ivan, it's -Tripp-. Can you really tell me he'd do something with ill intention? I don't think so. If he were up to no good he would have had plenty of time to act on it by now." Yes, Faith is going to stand up for him, even if her voice is still rather meek. It is made even more so when he asks the last question. "You know," she comments as she shifts uncomfortably, looking away from him. "What happened the last time someone wanted to claim me."

"Protection from what! All claiming does is protect you from law-abiding vampires…which, you know? Is kind of his job? Yeah, well, I don't believe him." And Ivan never will. And with good reason. "To you? No, he'd never hurt you. But he'd want to get rid of me. He wants me gone, wants you for himself. Fuck yeah he'd do something with the intention of hurting our relationship." It's her response to the last question that has him lighten up, if only slightly. He can't rag on her, not with the memory of that. And so, softening, he looks to the ceiling with thin lips. "So…that's it, right? That's all that happened?"

It really isn't helping to have him yelling but she doesn't scream back. The fire filled passion she normally has when going toe to toe with him is gone. Something obviously is bothering him. "You'd say that even if there was strong evidence that it wasn't true." This she is fairly certain of since it seems to be a guy thing, and something she just cannot seem to get under control. To understand. "And at least I know that he's well motivated to protect me, unlike some random vampire that would never be seen. Not that I even wanted this, I should point out. I told you to make it go away." She did, too. "We had a really long talk tonight."

"It was the only way to protect you. You didn't want to be claimed, and I understood that. And…well, have you had any real troubles with vampires lately? Since I managed to get that?" Ivan must point out the success of his endeavors, and as far as her safety goes, the vampire bodyguard has been a smashing success. "That blonde vampire wasn't able to do anything terrible to you, and it was indoors, outside of the body-guard's jurisdiction. And, guess what? Even if that might have been true? The truth right now is that there's strong evidence that I'm right about him." Beat. "About him claiming you…?"

"No, it didn't work. I still got attacked by a wolf. I still got bothered in our own home. It wasn't flawless, and you know what? She -knew- better. I heard her say that she knew I was protected and she -still- tried something. I think that there are people out there that honestly don't care about the orders of this new Sheriff." That has to be it, right? The reason why she continued to suffer even though she was supposedly protected? "I haven't said anything about him. Why are you so certain that he's doing this out of ill will? Spite? He knows that you care for me and he wants me to be happy, but I supposed you likely don't think about that." Okay, now Faith has to stand up. She's not trying to make this worse but she's not going to sit around and hear bad things about Tripp. "At least he doesn't show this level of jealousy."

"Did you tell him we're getting married?" Ivan prompts then, eyeing her with a devout frown on his face. Just to throw a fastball in the situation. "Is he alright with it? Planning to come to the reception?"

The ring, very much on her finger, is flashed before her fianc. "Why do you think that I -went- to talk to him in the first place? I'm not going to keep this fact from anyone, let alone my best friend." The fact that he's even asking this of her actually pisses Faith off, much more than she had been up until this point. "He'll be there if I'm there. It'd defeat the purpose of trying to protect me if he didn't." Another flaw in logic, perhaps. "He just thinks it's too fast, is all."

This calms Ivan slightly. Slowly, he lets out an exhale of calm, control even, collapsing into the couch. "I don't know. I don't know what you guys talk about or do. I thought you went to talk to him just to hang out with him?" Beat. "Wait - isn't the wedding supposed to take place during the day? And…bleh. He doesn't know us. No one does. It's not too fast."

He'd better at least feel a little better about that. "I wanted to go play a few games with him, but I made a point to not cancel on him -because- I needed to talk to him about things. Despite what you think about him, Tripp -is- my best friend." It will stay that way for a while. Even though Ivan's calmed slightly, Faith has not. In fact, she brings a hand to her temple as a bit of pain courses through her head. "Yes, it is. And he doesn't know us, he knows me. I respect his advice and his opinion, and even if it's stressful for me I'm glad to hear everything that he had to say."

Silence. Complete and utter silence. "What are you saying?" Ivan inquires then, turning to stare at her with an impossibly blank expression. Masking the dread, and anger, the everything that he really feels at this moment. Tense as a board. His fingers cling to his shirt.

"I'm saying that you hate him, but I don't, and I'm not giving him up." Marriage is about compromise, yes, but this is not something that she's going to budge on. This includes the claim, which for the time being seems to be forgotten. "I'm saying that he did talk to me, and we talked about the past. I realized what I was doing and he admitted how he felt." There, Faith said it. "And it hurts, but I'm glad he did."

"What have you been doing, then? And he…admitted that he loves you." If there was ever an 'I told you so' moment, this would be it. But…Ivan cannot. Instead, his heart is icy, like there's a hand clutching at his heart. "…So?" he's waiting for something. A resolution. Anything. He doesn't know what to do, how to handle the situation at hand.

She was going to approach this differently, act better about it, but he's not making it easy on her. "I remembered that night fully. How I told him to go after Hope because she loved him. I did that for her." That's what she's been doing. Faith shakes her head at the way that he's acting, but she can't blame him. This is why she's not lecturing him. There's no denying his words but she doesn't confirm them, which is confirmation enough. "So? My mind is throbbing, my heart is in shambles and all I want to do is get some sleep."

"…" That's all Ivan needs to know.

"You're heart is in shambles…" Ivan repeats, slowly and silently. It confirms, and echoes something that Hope has been whispering into his ears all this time. Something he's valiantly denied. Something that, in conjunction with her agreement that it's 'too soon'…it breaks Ivan's heart. "Alright." He gets to his feet then, and without looking to her, moves. To find his shoes. To grab a thin sweater, keys, and his wallet. "If we had what I thought we had? Your heart wouldn't be in shambles. You'd know exactly what you're doing. I didn't want to believe it, I really didn't. I kept saying no, that she was wrong…" Beat. "But I knew it was true, deep down. I've always loved you more than you've loved me."

This is very much what she feared. "Do you think it's -easy- to just have that sort of memory and feeling come back, suddenly? It's not. What did I do about it? I asked to leave. So I'm so glad you think you know everything." No, she's not going to be entirely nice at this point. If he wants to find a place to stay for the night he's more than welcome. "When your past came back, I got mad at -her-. When mine comes back? You insult me." With that said, she does move to walk away. It's obvious he won't believe anything she says anyway. "Congratulations for knowing more about a mental patient than she can remember about herself."

"I'm not angry with you, Faith. I love you, more than I could ever say. I could never be angry with you." But boy, is Ivan crushed. "But I'm no one's second choice. And I can't do this. You can't have me in the mornings and him in the night. And….fuck. Hope told me this would happen." His voice wavers, if only for the moment, and though his back is turned away from her, he hazards lifting a hand to brush away the tear that's falling down from his eyes. "It's not…" He can't follow after her. He's done everything he can, everything for her. Pursued her despite everyone's expectations. But now? It's her turn to convince him for once that it's true.

"You could have fooled me." Something that he says, however, triggers some boiling feelings. "You can't tell me that I'm the first woman you've ever loved, because I know that's a lie. A bold faced lie. How is this any different? Because he's around? Newsflash, Ivan. He's a vampire. You're the one who gave me the ring that I'm wearing and a second chance at life. I will not apologize for being flooded with emotion but I think, in the end, my actions speak for themselves."

Ivan wants to leave. Ivan wants to drive fast, and hard, and feel the wind on his skin. He wants to drink, and dance, until everything is numbed out and he can feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Until his tired mind stops thinking. Until the despair drowns away. But she's talking. Talking. "…How? How could I have fooled you, Faith?" He speaks, and every word seems to take more and more of his energy, more and more effort. But then he looks to her, and there's no hiding the disjointed, broken quality in his eyes. Like a cracked mirror. "I don't love anyone now. That's the difference. The difference is I don't have room in my heart for anyone else. And that even if I wanted to feel something for someone…I couldn't." A tentative, uncomfortable pause. "That's why you let him claim you, isn't it? Are you planning on seeing him again?"

It comes more difficult the closer and closer he gets to her feelings, even though she's torn. The last bit is technically true, but technically not. So Faith just stares at him, her eyes beginning to water but she's not crying. "I would let him claim me no matter what because he is my best friend. I -do- know him, and I trust him." If he couldn't be trusted, she would be far away with him right now. He has kidnapped before, after all. "Do you think I wanted this? I accepted you, the wedding, the rushed wedding. I accepted this with open arms because of you. Not my past, not what it could mean for me, but for you. The last thing I want is this, but it's not like I can help it. And at least I told you." She could have kept this a secret like she has many other things. "Yes, I plan on seeing him again."

"You didn't want it, but you're not willing to do anything to stop it. You're going to continue to play me, for him." Ivan is going to call a spade a spade. he has no sympathy for her. "You're going to continue seeing someone you love, someone who loves you, despite the fact that it kills me. You're going to let him claim you, knowing all that you do, when you're supposed to be mine and mine alone." Beat. "Okay. I just wanted to get all the facts. This is unfair to me. You know it is. But you don't care enough to change it, or do something about it. I…I might be taking that trip to Mexico." He needs a vacation. "You…you wouldn't stand for it, if I were pulling the same shit you are. You got irrational enough when an old booty call of mine showed up. What you makes you think I should stand for it? Or that I will?"

"Fine then. Don't stand for it." Is that really something that came from her? "You know how I feel about what you do with vampires to begin with but you don't seem to care. All I'm trying to do is have a freaking friend. I'm adult enough to know what is and isn't appropriate. And honestly? If I came back to -you-, then you should know what I'm doing." There is no running to him, cooing him and asking him to forgive her. "Just remember that the only reason I'm in this position at all is because of you. All you had to do was drop that protection when I asked you to. And you know what?" Faith shakes her head. "If someone so important to you came back into your life and made you happy? -I- would be happy, instead of turning it into a competition." So Faith begins to walk up the stairs, allowing him to react as he will. "I've been honest with you, I've been open to you. You have to make up your mind now." Are those tears? Does it matter? "Leave if you'd like."

"The whole nature of that relationship has now been made inappropriate, Faith. And you know it is." And with that, he does leave. She's wrong - she's the one that can't be coddled tonight. She's the one that did wrong. And he can't apologize for behaving in an entirely justified manner. He can't. He's caved so much to be with her already, it's pathetic. And with that, he's out. If only for the time being.

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