To Skin a Rabbit

Old Warehouse

Several fluorescent lights are held suspended from a high ceiling. They give little illumination to this dank, musty warehouse, leaving many portions hidden in shadow. The floor is covered in freshly laid wooden planks, far too new and shiny looking to be in a rundown warehouse. Various exercising mats have been placed strategically upon the floor. The walls have been decorated with many different types of weapons, most mounted and on proper display.

A few large windows, placed high on the walls, have been recently replaced so they can serve as the primary source of light. A set of iron stairs at the far end of the warehouse leads up to a rickety looking catwalk which surrounds the second floor. Three doors are visible on this level. Also at the far east corner of the room is a ladder leading down to the basement.

A large space within the main warehouse area has been turned into a separate room. This room remains locked at all times.

It's about midday when Skylar is able to track Quinn down. His hair is still damp from the shower he recently took, and he's a little more vibrant looking due to some coffee and an energy drink - but he's still fairly worn looking as he pulls up in front of the now-familiar warehouse. He gets out of the car, clicking the alarm on his keychain as he moves to the front door, and rings the buzzer.

It isn't as if she's not been expecting some sort of company, or contact with someone today. In fact, the woman made a point to get up early and run some errands. She's just walking across the hard floor of the warehouse when the buzzer rings. Timing. Calling out would be pointless, so she just walks to the door rather slowly. Eventually it opens and she takes a moment to examine Skylar's current condition. "Smallville." Due to the rushed morning, Quinn's actually wearing jeans and a baby-doll tee. "Come sit down or something." At least she isn't telling him that he looks bad.

"Hey Quinn," Skylar says as he enters. Despite his apparent tiredness, his face lights up upon seeing Quinn. "How're you doing?" is his first question. He doesn't sit down, not yet, but will instead ask his second question. "You got my message, I take it?"

A leather messenger bag of sorts is across her shoulders as she stands, and of course she makes room for him to come in. There's a moment where it looks like she might almost hug him, but instead she closes the door and begins to walk towards where they can actually get more comfortable. There are actually a few futons and chairs around the bottom floor so she figures he can make himself at home. "I'm alright. I hate getting up early, but it's worth it." The bag is shifted as she pauses and looks back to him. "I did. I don't know what all I can do without knowing how much she knows about vampires in general, but I'll help out how I can." Quinn's being soft but it isn't /all/ his fault. She really does have a bone to pick with vampires.

"I'm not sure," Skylar says slowly, eventually moving to take a seat near Quinn. "I'm not even positive she is the witch you mentioned, though I'm pretty sure. The vampire called her one, according to her, though she tried to pass it off as nothing. But the big thing was she mentioned blinding him somehow, and then fending him off from the man that he was originally after." He pauses, rubbing his face tiredly with his hands. "Apparently he doesn't like being bested by a woman, which is why he is after her now. But, worst of all, she wants to go after it when she's better."

"That's just stupid." Which part? Perhaps all of it. Just because Paige is his friend girl doesn't mean that Quinn is going to play nice. From the bag she removes a rather thick book. "I don't know if she'll want this or not. Or if maybe you do? Either way, she can't go after a vampire without any skills. They're faster than us, even if she is like me." A witch does not a hunter make.

"They also hate it when we kill them, even if they are attacking humans. If this thing is out there doing it, they'll want to take care of it. Trust me, I can understand that she wants to do it, but she /has/ to be prepared for what could happen." It's all in this book, obviously. "But I don't know who to go to here to make it happen peacefully. I don't mind doing it, but she shouldn't risk her life. There are things she can try to do to be safe."

"I…" Skylar looks at Quinn, surprise evident in his expression. Then he smiles, a touch ruefully, shaking his head. "And here I was expecting you to be ready to go after it yourself." He pauses, his expression now considering. "I… was thinking about contacting Chloe. She seems to have ties to at least two vampires. And both of them seemed formidable, in different ways." Clearly he's not happy with the option - not because he doesn't trust Chloe, but because he doesn't trust vampires in general. "But can you help keep her safe, at least? I can't exactly sneak a silver sword into the hospital. And even if I could, I was lucky they let me stay the one night. I doubt I'll get away with it again."

She stares at him, openly confused. "I thought you didn't want me doing things like that." Clearly she doesn't get that he might be joking. "If you want me to, I can go after it. But the last time that I helped someone defend themselves from a vampire I ended up with my stake in my leg." That would be exactly how she injured herself. The truth does come out, eventually.

The mention of Chloe causes her to openly shudder. "You have to be careful with that, Skylar." Oh, she's using his actual name. "Once you owe a favor, you never know what you will end up doing. Even if she does have contacts, I wouldn't advise you do it." She might smack him silly if she finds out, in fact. Quinn pauses and considers a few things. "I'm not good with warding, but Scarlett is. I picked up some things for Paige, but as much as I can try to help her, there are things that she should be doing herself. Like not going out at night. Not inviting strangers into her home. The hospital is a public place and I can help a bit with that, but she has to stay smart about this."

"Well, anything you can do will be appreciated, Quinn. This vampire sounds powerful, and is possibly fairly old. Paige mentioned him invoking the name Annubis, though I'm not sure if he's just a poser or the genuine Egyptian article. But she also said he could fly." Which is certainly nothing Sky's ever heard of, but then again, he's not really up on vampire lore. "And I know, Quinn. I'm not crazy about the idea myself. But I need to do something. If Chloe's vampire friends can help me protect a friend… well, I'll work something out."

Annubis? That causes her to pause before shaking her head. "Poser. There's no way that he can be that old. It isn't typical to run into such creatures. It's bad enough that there's one around that is fourteen hundred years old. I wouldn't worry about that much. And if he is going around attacking people? He may be just as hunted." Skylar may not know much about vampires, but she certainly does. "Flying doesn't seem unreasonable. They all move extremely quickly. Flight isn't out of the ordinary, even if not all vampires can actually fly. It's just like us humans. Some of us can use different powers while others can't."

At first she rubs at her forehead before Quinn actually glares at him. She moves to stand before him before she looks down at him, almost using that professor approach. "You are /not/ going to make a deal with a vampire." Isn't someone being Miss Bossy. "I mean it. It's not a matter of paying them or owing them a small favor. Bad stuff happens, Skylar. I don't think you're equipped for that." He certainly knows a lot less about them than she does.

There's a moment where it looks like she's going to actually yell at him, but instead the illusionist just sighs. "She means a lot to you. I'll do it."

Skylar reaches out to Quinn, taking her hand in both of his if she'll allow it. "She is a friend. I am very protective of my friends," he says, softly, looking up at her. "Something we both have in common, I think. But you can't make this decision for me. If the vampires want to handle this internally, then I'm the one doing them a favor. And if they don't? Then I'll find some way to deal with this vampire." He won't be able to do it alone, he knows that. But he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it. Assuming he's holding Quinn's hand still, he'll bring it to his cheek, kissing the inside palm. "And thank you, Quinn. I knew I could count on you."

No amount of hand holding is going to prevent her from giving him a piece of her mind. In fact, even as he speaks, she literally looks like she's dripping anger, and is about ready to unleash on him. Right as she's about to, he kisses her hand. It does cause that near explosion to ease away as she instead stares at him.

Instead of blushing and acting obviously embarrassed, Quinn instead turns her head back to her bag. Her free hand puts the book back inside and removes a case. "For you, for her. Unless you want me to talk to her. Jewelry made by Scarlett. It will glow faintly whenever danger is near, and offers a bit of protection. It's not a flawless system, though. She really needs to be safe about this."

What was she going to yell about? Oh, right. "Don't go after it, Skylar. I can at least confuse it, as she did, where you can't. Don't sell your soul, at least if you don't know what you're dealing with. You have other options."

"Oh no. You don't get to warn me out of danger only to go in it yourself," Skylar says. Clearly ignoring the fact that he may be a tad hypocritic here. "And I'm not going to sell my soul, or anything else for that matter. But you were the one who said that if we handle this on our own, there could be consequences. One vampire is bad enough, but having to deal with a whole city full of them? Noone is that good. So we'll do it my way - and then, if that doesn't work out, we'll do it yours. Together." He really is just as stubborn as she is. Even as he speaks, however, his thumbs run up and down Quinn's hand in a soothing motion. "And thank you, for the jewlery. I'll make sure she gets it."

That evil plan of his isn't going to save him from a lot of dirty glances. How dare he try to play all cute with her hand while they're talking about something so serious? "But you might! Never, /ever/ owe a vampire a favor. Chloe? That might be different. But do not make any agreements with them. It really could be your life." He doesn't get it. If only he knew what she did. Quinn is about to plead this with him but finally buckles, if only for the moment. "The /second/ things go south, let me know. I'm not afraid to get dirty." It is better that she do it, after all.

"Don't worry about it. I can try to do more, but I'm not the one who does this. She could probably go to this tattoo artist that's around but I don't know if she really wants to do that." The witch community has so many wonders. "Even if you're going to throw your life away like a fool, try to keep her from doing it."

"Ok. I'll go through Chloe. Perhaps I won't even have to deal with them directly. Ok?" Skylar smiles, as if he knows that his evil plan is working, and he kisses the back of her hand as she finally acquiesces. "And I promise. If this doesn't work, we'll figure out something together." He pauses. "This tattoo artist, he is someone that can protect her? Do you know him well?"

Stupid, evil man. His plan will backfire eventually. She won't always be derailed so easily. It's a good thing for him that she hasn't actually called him on it. Skylar's lucky, in fact, that she doesn't slap him with the hand that he's kissing. "Together." The way the word is echoed, however, may imply that she'll plan on doing it herself. That's just the way that Quinn is. "I don't know the guy, honestly. He's an older man, probably middle aged or so. He can use protection spells, too. But not like this, not in jewelry. They're in the ink, in the tattoos. In the end, every little bit can help, right?"

"Yes, together." Skylar's tone is such that it's fairly clear that he hears the implication. "And you are not to do anything on your own, Quinn. Because I might just have to enter stupid protection mode with you too, and you won't like it." Despite his words, he smiles up at her. "Protection spells. Alright, I'll look into that too. Thank you." He rises, at this point, drawing Quinn into a hug. "Promise me. I want your word you won't go after this thing, Quinn. If it comes to that, we will do it together." He may not be the vampire hunting expert, but he's certainly no slouch with a blade.

They were so close to having a moment, too. "You'd have a pretty tough time going Hero on me, Smallville. Remember, I can kick your ass." She's done it, too, in more ways than one. There's more to say, but then he's /hugging/ her. It's awkward, honestly, as she doesn't really know how she's supposed to react. No alcohol has been involved in this, so it can't be natural. Eventually Quinn hugs him back, but she does so with great caution. "I don't go after any vampire, not like that. I don't think you know how I do this. I save people, not actually track them. But I won't hesitate doing what I have to if it comes to that." That's close to a promise, right?

"Only when I'm already beaten up," Skylar teases. However, once he sees, or perhaps feels, how awkward the hugging is for Quinn, he'll start to step back. "Sorry. I didn't mean to overstep myself." Perhaps she'd rather pretend the other day didn't happen? Quinn's certainly more complicated then any other woman he's known (and that's saying something), so he wouldn't put it past her. "And that's good. Just… don't put yourself in harm's way." Because he would likely do something stupid to try and protect her.

It's even more awkward when he tries to adjust for it. Her eyes roll, but hopefully not where he can see, and she mumbles. After this great accomplishment, she removes her bag and places it on the ground. Quinn then moves to hug him proper, as one would to any that they care about. "Stop making me act normal. You're going to regret it." At least she sounds somewhat joking when she mentions this. She doesn't really say much about being in harm's way. Quinn will do something stupid if need be, and she won't plan on telling him before doing so.

"Promises, promises," Skylar says with a small smile, as he wraps his arms around Quinn. He leans his cheek against hers, just holding her for a long moment. Finally, however, he says, "I have a gift for you, in the car." Thankfully it was a cooler day, so he could leave the present in the car without risking it's health, as long as he left the window cracked.

This is still awkward. If anyone were to see this? She might actually be seen as someone who cares. What would Scarlett think? "Don't make me show you," comes the threat. To Quinn, yes, it is a threat. Yet before too long he mentions a gift which just causes her to blink. "You what?" People don't buy her things, and there's nothing that she really wants. "Is it food? I'm kind of hungry." Perhaps she's just giving him a hard time but she has to somehow. He's already so close and she has little other ways to push him away, and little desire to do so."

"No, it's not food. And if you eat it, we're going to have words," Skylar says, with a small grin. "Wait here, I'll go get it." He places a small kiss on Quinn's cheek, then disengages from her embrace, making his way to the door. When he returns a few moments later, he has a large square object in his arms, covered with a cloth. He sets it down before her, and pulls away the covering, revealing a cage, and inside is… a small, cuddly looking rabbit with impossibly huge ears, that looks up at her with big eyes.

Words aren't so bad, honestly, and they're softer than blows. "That doesn't mean that I can't try." This is said with a smirk, one that fades slightly as he does give that slight kiss before heading out. It's mixed signals, to her, as she knows he's not ready for anything. Men are confusing, and they suck.

When the bunny is revealed, she just stares at it. It. A thing. A living creature, other than herself, that's in her home. "I know I said no stuffed animals, Smallville, but that's a bit of a stretch." Her head tilts as she watches it. "Am I supposed to stuff it myself?" The way it's asked almost indicates that she'll do as much. With the weapons around them it certainly is possible.

"Don't you dare, Quinn Niveus," Skylar warns. Yet he doesn't seem to believe she'll actually do such a thing. "Remember when I asked you what kind of animal you liked, and you mentioned the rabbit that used to come to your old garden? Well, now you have one of your own. I have some rabbit toys and food in the car, everything you'll need for him for awhile. And I printed out some rabbit care guides as well." Since it's pretty obvious she's never had to care for a pet before.

Obvious is an understatement. "But I don't have a garden." The expression she carries shows just how deep her thoughts are. "I can make one outside, but the stray cats would probably eat it. Though if that's what you want, you're kind of sick." Wait, wait. Toys? Quinn finally looks at Skylar, boggled. "I'm supposed to take care of it? Like feed it and walk it and tell it stories at night? Doesn't that sound like a large commitment that I'm jumping into?" Perhaps she's joking, but she's not familiar with this sort of thing. "I mean, I suppose I can keep it around. Until I get hungry."

"Quinn, if you joke about eating this poor rabbit one more time, I will take you over my knee, and see if I don't," Skylar announces, with a gleam in his eye. He may just do as he says. However, he does smile, afterward, saying, "And yes. Look, if you need help, I'll be glad to. But I think it would do you good." He pauses, studying her. "Unless you really don't want it. I'm not about to force a responsability on you that you don't want." Well, he kinda just did, but he's giving her a way out if she really, truly wants it.

"You bought me a damn rodent." Ironically, this part is said with a bit of a smile. Hands find her hips as she stares him down. "And you will do no such thing. It won't end well for you." Finally Quinn bends down to look at the cage, studying the rabbit that is inside. A finger pokes at the cage, almost poking it, as if testing the waters. "You realize that this thing is going to try and kill me. You know how animals react around me." That's why she's leaving it in the cage instead of actually touching it. "If it bites me, you'll be eating it for dinner." By now, yes, Quinn is testing the waters herself.

Apparently Skylar's warning trumps Quinn's. Or so he thinks. He doesn't actually put Quinn over his knee. But he does reach out, and smack her ass. Not too hard, more playful then anything. "What did I say?" he asks, hiding a grin. "And I made sure, it's not an evil mastermind rabbit, nor is it Bunnicula, vampire rabbit. So relax, you'll do fine."

He's lucky that she's bent over before the cage when he decides to go places that he shouldn't. The bunny is forgotten for a moment, though, as she instantly stands and glares at him. "And what did I say?" And the way that Quinn's going towards him, it looks like she's either going to kiss him or try to get in close and kick him. Knowing her past, it very likely is the latter. He's already got her stuck with some fluffy mass of something that she has to deal with.

"Is this how you treat the man who brought you a gift?" Skylar asks, doing his best to seem completely innocent. And failing. Not to mention she didn't want the gift in the first place. However, while Skylar does hold his hands up in truce, he doesn't back away. He followed through on his threat, and he's willing to take a kick if he deserves it. Because yes, that is the option he completely expects.

Her hands find his shoulders, if he continues to allow it, and Quinn does bring a knee up. It rises gently, though, pressing on the inside of one of his thighs. She keeps it there, as if reminding him that she really can be a bitch if she'd like to be. "I didn't want a gift," she points out. "And I don't do soft and cuddly. Or animals. But I'll keep it tonight. I'll most likely kill it in the morning." At least she honestly was paying attention to the movie. "Thank you, I guess. I think. Although I think you're just mocking me."

The nervousness that leaks into Skylar's expression as Quinn presses her knee between his legs seems to have little to do with fear of injury. He remains still, and does his best to ignore the pressure, looking Quinn in the eyes. "No," he says, finally, though he has to clear his throat once or twice. "I'm not mocking you, Quinn. I just know you've never had a pet before, and I honestly believe that you'll benefit from it. I wouldn't have done it otherwise."

"Benefit?" It doesn't seem like something to benefit from. It seems like he's mocking her inability to be around animals without something bad happening. Her eyes move ever slightly, back and forth between his, then down slightly, then back to his eyes. Slowly, eventually, that knee begins to lower. Quinn doesn't actually wish to harm him but she had to at least threaten it. "It will have a home. Even if it tries to kill me." Besides, it is kind of cute.

"Well, good," Skylar says. Though it's almost hard to tell if he means about the rabbit having a home, or Quinn's leg no longer pressing into him. Some tension, previously hidden, seems to go out of him. He leans in, placing a kiss on Quinn's forehead. "I'll let you two get better acquainted, then. I should probably try and get a nap in, and then head to work." Since he's been playing hookie alot lately.

Another kiss? This is odd. She wants to call him out on it, she honestly does, but he's tired. The confusion likely will end up showing through as she's making no attempts to hide it. "We'll see what condition it's in when you see it again. If you see it again." The threats have to be made. There is an evil bunny in her home. Finally Quinn brings a hand up to his cheek, to pat it just as she patted his head the night of the movie. "You should sleep. Work can wait. I can drop those things off to your friend if you want."

If Skylar sees the confusion, he doesn't comment on it. He just nods, absently bringing his hand up to hers to press it briefly against his cheek. "I'd appreciate that," he says. "Her name is Paige Logan. She'll still be in the hospital for awhile now, I believe. And… be patient with her. A friend of mine said that Paige might have feelings for me, so she may be jealous of you if she recognizes you. But she's a good, kind person." He doesn't mention the part where Alexa said that Quinn might have feelings for him as well.

"Paige Logan. I'll see what I can do. You really need to worry about you for now, Skylar. It's still daylight so she'll be fine." Quinn is actually admitting that she might be concerned for him, maybe. She was going to pull her hand away immediately but finds it there, on his cheek. So she stares at it, as if it is on fire yet painlessly so. "I don't get along with anyone. And I don't doubt she has feelings for you. I thought she was your girlfriend." Hey, the truth doesn't hurt. "But she doesn't really have a reason to be jealous, does she?" The question is asked but the witch immediately shakes her head. "Go get some sleep. I'll let you know how things go."

"You did?" Skylar asks, somewhat bemusedly. "It took you that long to figure out how broken I am in that department?" He shakes his head, then stares at her when she asks that question. "I…" Yes. Maybe. I'm not sure. But she changes the subject. And this time, at least, he lets her. "Thank you, Quinn. Be safe." He offers her a smile, releases her hand, and turns to head towards the door.

"Of course I did." She's not going to hide it, especially since she's told Scarlett that Paige is his girlfriend. The hesitation on her question, even if she's changed the subject, is more than enough for her. Momentarily she looks sad but instead focuses on the cage on the floor. "You too, Smallville. Don't be a hero. It's not worth it." Quinn's about to add more, about to ask more, but she ends up falling into silence as she picks up the cage. "This won't do at all," she comments softly, already making plans. Skylar's left to leave on his own, as she's fairly convinced he knows where the door is.

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