The City of Ipses

Laifan

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The food certainly helped him with the alcohol's effects but he noticed Damian seemed as unaffected by the alcohol as he was by seemingly everything else. However, the other seemed genuinely interested in his stories (or so he hoped). He figured he ought to thank Steve for his shenanigans over the years - they made for great ice breakers.

He nodded at the comment, his bright smile spurred by the funny stories and the alcohol.

“He really is. We're like brothers, really, cliché as it may sound. We've known each other since kindergarten.”

Eventually they were done with their food and moved on to order dessert, the brunet feeling definitely more relaxed around the other. Eventually, he realized he hadn't really inquired much about the other man.

“So…what is it that you do? Your job, I mean.” He really couldn't picture Damian as having a regular 9 to 5 job. Or having the need to have one, really.
 

Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
It didn't surprise or bother Damian when the conversation suddenly turned towards him. The man had always been sparing with his words, not one to ramble about anything, but he didn't fear or begrudge conversation when it was appropriate. After all the stories Aslan had told him, it seemed like only fair turnabout for Damian to offer some information about himself.

"I've been... sponsored, you could say, to live in this city. Normally I don't stay in one place for very long, but I helped someone, and he seems to have acquired a vested interest in keeping me in Ipses as long as he can." Damian's tone and expression made it obvious he had no qualms about living in the city entirely on someone else's dime, and even that he considered it perfectly normal. After all, they both knew Damian was doing the other a favor by staying in the city, or he long since would have headed elsewhere.

"I think he still believes I'm going to become a hero, if he keeps me here long enough." Damian laughed slightly at the notion, little more than a breath of air from his nose. However, despite the apparent mockery, it was obvious that Damian still held the man in high regard.

Damian took a bite from the slice of chocolate cake on the small plate in front of him, before suddenly seeming to realize something. "But that didn't actually answer your question, did it? I spent most of my childhood in one place, but there's so much out there to see. When I got out on my own, I decided I wanted to see and experience as much as I could. Therefore, I suppose you can consider me a professional vagrant."

Damian laughed again at that, apparently amused by his own description of himself.
 

Laifan

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Damian’s story did make sense. He wasn’t surprised he had a sort of sponsor. With his sort of ability, it figured he would have gained the interest of someone important.

The other man didn't seem interested in the hero lifestyle, despite his power. Thinking back about the incident in the bookstore, Damian had only really intervened when the villains had ended up making too much noise. Yes, despite his overwhelming power, the other man didn’t seem to have the same altruism as most heroes did to really become one. It was something he could understand - not everyone was cut out to be a hero, after all.

“Why do they want you to become a hero?” It really wasn't a job you could talk someone into doing.

He rested his cheek on his hand, trying to imagine the sort of living where you kept traveling at will, going wherever you wanted.

“You must have seen a lot of places then.” That sounded interesting, but he'd said he was on his own? “But… don't you ever get lonely?” As soon as the question left his lips, he wondered if it was something he should ask. Probably not. He returned his attention to his green tea cheesecake, frowning a bit. “Sorry…”
 
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Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
"Because he has a firm grasp of what I'm capable of," Damian responded comfortably. "And he cares about this city. He knows I'd be very useful in turning over the growing tide of villains that have been appearing in Ipses." Damian shrugged slightly, a trace of something between indignation and embarrassment crossing over his face. "But I'm just a visitor, in the end, and I don't want the fame or the money or the attention that inevitably comes along with hero work."

The man had never asked Damian to become a hero. He'd had a firm enough grasp on Damian's character to understand that attempting to take advantage of his powers would be the quickest way to lose the small bits of goodwill he'd been able to build up in the loner. But, even with his silence, Damian had easily been able to feel his hope, his expectation, and his disappointment when Damian had ignored his problems.

In response to Aslan's second question, Damian just laughed slightly. "Why are you apologizing?" he asked with a small smile. "It's a fair question." He shrugged slightly, before taking another bite of his dessert.

"I don't..." Damian hesitated for a moment, trying to correctly phrase his words. "Expect much from people. And generally I don't like spending time with them."

If Damian considered it, he would probably have to admit that, yes, he was lonely. However, there had only ever been one person in his life Damian had truly cared about, and he was long since dead. He'd been lonely for so long it had simply become normal, and he had no desire to seek out other people, especially not when their motivations were often so questionable.

A moment after he finished speaking, something suddenly seemed to occur to the dark-haired man. "I've enjoyed this lunch quite a bit, though," he reassured gently.
 

Laifan

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Yes, it was true Damian's abilities would put a real dent in the city's rising crime rates. Despite the existence of heroes, the fact was 80% of the population had some sort of ability, so sadly crime rate depended on people's general good will (or lack thereof) and their ability to use their powers in a responsible way. The older man really didn't seem the type to give autographs anyways. Or wear costumes.

“I see…” It sounded like Damian's life had been very different than his own. Despite his occasional setbacks with his parents, he'd grown up surrounded by friends and family, while the other man seemed to be lacking in both. Someone with such abilities, it was no wonder he'd perhaps seen the worst of people? He could see how many would try to use the other for their own devices…

He glanced up from his dessert at the additional comment and couldn't help the smile that lit his features.

“Really? I-I mean, I'm glad. Me too…” Too bad that they were almost finished here.
 

Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
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Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
"Really, really," Damian replied with a faint laugh. "You're only the third person this year who's asked me out without some sort of ulterior motive, so you're already leagues ahead of everyone else. Thank you for the nice meal, and the good stories."

Damian's plate was clear, and the attentive waiters lingering in the background noticed that he and Aslan had finished their desserts, and approached quietly to pick up their plates and offer to bring them the check. Damian nodded to the waiter, before digging into a pocket to pull out his wallet, extracting a silver credit card from one of the slots and placing it on the table.
 

Laifan

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He wasn't at all surprised Damian had been invited for more dates. People would have to have a serious problem not to, in his opinion. What he was surprised about was the comment about the ulterior motive. Surprised and slightly panicked.

“Please don't tell me you can read minds….” He practically begged the other. And of course he was now too busy trying not think about things you shouldn't think about around a possible telepath and absolutely failing. He was busy feeling and looking mortified.

Again, the silver credit card coming from the other was no surprise, but if he'd invited the other as a thank you for saving him, he would be paying for the meal, even if it stretched his finances beyond the comfortable point. He set his hand on Damian's automatically.

“I said it's my treat.” Then he realized his gesture and hastily removed his hand to fetch his own wallet. He was also trying to think of something else they could do that day that seemed vaguely interesting for Damian to want to stick around, if he didn't have any plans.
 

Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
Damian took both his hand and his card back slowly, one brow raised slightly. He didn't mind paying, but he wasn't about to steamroll over Aslan's intentions, even if he had the money to pay for plenty more expensive meals than this without so much as batting an eye. Instead, he smiled slightly at the young man's good intentions, before tucking the card back into the wallet.

"No, I can't read minds," Damian replied slowly, clearly picking up on some of the young man's anxiety. Unfortunately, comfort wasn't one of his strong suits, lacking in practice at the seemingly simple behavior. "Full thoughts are far too complex for me to properly draw out.

"Emotions, though, aren't all that hard to figure out," he continued with a small smile. "And don't worry. I certainly don't consider lust an ulterior motive. It's about as honest as you can get."

It was only after he finished speaking, and saw the look on Aslan's face, that it occurred to Damian that might have been exactly the opposite of a reassuring statement.
 

Laifan

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He breathed slightly in relief for the fact the other couldn't read thoughts. His relief was short lived, though, as the other continued talking about reading people's emotions as if he was mentioning the weather. And…there it was, yes. Although in his case he was aware his attraction for the other was probably so obvious one didn't need to have that sort of ability to see it. Still, he wasn't used to being read like an open book, especially not by someone he had a crush on. He could feel his face heat up, as expected, and he really didn't know what to say to that, frankly. Well, at least if Damian had known about his motivation and still chosen to come, he could have some hope, maybe?

He was glad they were about done here because he was sure he would die of mortification if the conversation didn't change in the next five seconds.

“I-I need some air…” He announced and made a beeline for the exit, successful in not making his retreat so hasty that the other might think he'd seriously offended him or something, but decidedly faster than would be normal in such a setting.

Outside, he did manage to get much needed fresh air and hopefully his color had receded from overripe tomato to something a bit more normal. He ran a hand over his hair, as he was wont to when nervous, forgetting that he'd gone to the trouble of styling it. Oh, well, the other had seen his emotions clear as water, having his hair mussed up was nothing in comparison.
 
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Peregrine

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Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
Damian let out a somewhat self-mocking sigh at Aslan's sudden retreat, watching the retreating figure of the pale-haired young man before he ducked outside. He rubbed lightly at the sides of his temples for a moment, before collecting the payment receipt and Aslan's own card, and following the younger man out of the restaurant.

He hesitated at the edge of the door for a moment, before sighing to himself and stepping out the door towards Aslan. "Sorry," he said softly, proffering both the receipt and the forgotten card. "I'm afraid tact isn't one of my strong suits." Too little practice dealing with delicate situations, he supposed, combined with a sharp distaste for anything that had even a remote flavor of dishonesty.

"I didn't mean to embarrass you."
 

Laifan

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Extreme Gore, Disturbing Themes (Sexual Violence, Suicidal Tendencies, Terminal Illnesses)
He was a bit more collected when Damian stepped outside. He had never really fled from his date before like this, but admittedly, he'd never dated someone like Damian.

“Oh, thanks…” He accepted both his card and receipt from the other, stuffing both in his wallet.

“I-it's fine…” He waved his apologies away. “Sorry to leave you alone…”

He cleared his throat, hand moving automatically to his hair again.

“Would you like to go for a walk? If you don't have any plans, that is…”
 

Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
"Sure," Damian replied, tucking his hands inside his pockets once they were relieved of their small burden. He seemed to be very intentionally avoiding showing concern about Aslan's abrupt departure, or his embarrassment about the matter. It wasn't like it bothered him all that much, and he was more than a little bit to blame for Aslan's embarrassment.

As far as he was concerned, that made the walk an excellent suggestion. It would give Aslan time to relax, and help their get-together end on something more like a positive note. He hadn't been lying when he said "Riverfront Park is only a couple of blocks to the southeast from here, and it shouldn't be all that busy at this time of day. How about we head that way?"
 

Laifan

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Extreme Gore, Disturbing Themes (Sexual Violence, Suicidal Tendencies, Terminal Illnesses)
He nodded. He'd been to this area not many times, but he'd heard about the park in question. “Sounds like a good idea.”

The walk there allowed him to unwind a bit more. The Chinatown part of the city always had some interesting things to see out in the colorful streets, and there were several street markets selling spices, tea, a quick bite and all sorts of trinkets. The photographer in him hitched for his camera in some moments, but he figured being in good company beat the acquisition of a good image. Not more than once did he envy Steve's ability that allowed him to record images in his mind and then print them out whenever he wanted.

As the park's name implied, it was right near the river, so after they turned a couple of corners they were walking by the riverside, the winter sun making a kind appearance and shining down on the quiet waters.

Aslan had stuffed his cold hands in his jacket's pockets - despite the sun being out it was still a bit chill by the river. The soft breeze was making sure to undo his previous efforts of styling his hair, but he didn't seem overly concerned. He seemed to be thinking about something, probably weighing whether or not he should bring it up.

“About your ability… can you tell me more about it?” He looked at the dark haired man. “I'm just curious about it.” He reassured, but he wasn't too worried, since the other would be able to read his intentions, apparently. “It's just that… Usually people will have just the one, or a combination of their parents’. But you are capable of doing so much. It's just amazing…”
 

Peregrine

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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
Damian had spent a lot of time roaming Ipses since he'd moved here, but there were plenty of streets he'd never walked down before. This one, for example, was an entirely new route to the Riverfront Park, which he'd never traveled before. The edge of the street was lined with cars, and half of the signs were in Chinese rather than English.

There was only a couple blocks of transition between the edge of Chinatown, and the start of the park. Three to four story buildings dropped away as though they'd been sliced off with a hot knife, while asphalt and concrete was replaced by dirt and soft grass.

A paved path wound through the trees at the edge of the river, curving to follow the ins and outs of the shore. It was a nice path, one Damian had walked several times. However, this was the first time he had traveled the path accompanied by someone else. He glanced over at Aslan, the young man's hands shoved deeply in his pockets, almost as though mimicking Damian's posture. They'd been silent for the whole walk, but Damian hadn't pushed for conversation.

Most likely, Aslan was still trying to figure out how to deal with the bombshell he dropped at dinner.

However, when Aslan finally spoke, Damian was forced to admit that the question was far outside of his expectations. For a moment, a subtle frown crossed his lips, before he forced himself to take a deep breath. Curiosity. Honest curiosity. He didn't doubt it was true. He'd already checked the young man's intentions when they'd met that second time in the bookstore.

"It's... only one thing," he finally said, "Even though it doesn't really look like it."

How long had it been since he'd tried to explain his powers to someone? Years. He hadn't even been a teenager at the time. It had been a lot harder to work out the words then. But the reply he'd been given still rang in his ears whenever he thought back to that moment.

Don't tell anyone.

Damian studied Aslan for a moment. He'd held to those words for so long. He couldn't help but wonder if his brother had ever considered how much his life would change in the future.

"Here, watch."

A ripple filled the air, far more visible than the ones that had formed at the bookstore. He left it there, shimmering around them like a heat haze for Aslan to see. "This," he said, gesturing to the bubble. "Is my space. I own it. Control it. Like a lucid dreamer in his dream."

He held out his hand, and a little butterfly formed on the tips of his finger, before flying towards the edge of the space. The moment it passed beyond the bubble, however, it vanished, little more than a memory.

Damian nodded to himself. "That's what I do."
 

Laifan

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For a moment Aslan though he'd gone too far with his curiosity - after all not everyone was comfortable talking openly about their abilities and Damian had mentioned his distrust of people before. He was almost waving his question away when the dark haired man answered.

He met the other's eyes for a while, trying not to shuffle in place at the intense look. He blinked when he saw what looked like a…translucent dome forming on the space around them. He'd definitely missed that back in the bookstore but he'd had more pressing matters at hand at the time. He ran a hand over the edge of the ripple, trying to feel for a difference, but he felt none. If his eyes hadn't been seeing the difference in space, he wouldn't have guessed it by touch.

“This is…amazing.” He was being repetitive but he really could find no better word to describe Damian's ability.

His eyes followed the small butterfly until it vanished. He smiled at the other, eyes warm, glad the other had trusted him despite his dislike for most people.

“Thank you for showing me.”
 

Peregrine

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Primarily Prefer Male
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Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
"You're welcome," Damian replied softly, letting the space dissolve with a thought. Once upon a time, the sudden feeling of loss that always struck him when he released his control over a space had felt like he was chopping off his own legs with an ax. However, over the passage of time, he'd grown used to that momentary bout of weakness when the space once more slipped beyond his control, and he was left simply normal again. It wasn't ever more than a thought away from him, after all.

"You seem to have guessed," he continued, hands back in pockets as he started walking along the path again. "But don't go sharing this with other people, okay? Even that delightful friend of yours."
 

Laifan

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He saw the small area around them returning to normal and couldn't help but feel impressed one single person could wield such a power. Damian could very well act like a deity in the spaces he created. He looked at the other when he was asked to keep things to himself - well, he doubted people would believe his story even if he told them but the other man did have a point.

“O-of course! Your secret is safe with me.” And because he sometimes bypassed his thought-to-mouth filter he continued. “I've told him about you, but it wasn't because of your abilities…” He stopped as he realized what he just said, cursed his nervous tendencies, and brought his stubborn cold hands to his mouth to try to warm them up, hoping the other would put the slight coloring on his cheeks to the chilly river breeze. He really should have brought his gloves.

They were just nearing the park, the golden, copper, and pale green leaves in the trees making for a pleasant scenery, along with the stone benches, well kept bushes and flower beds with seasonal flowers. There were also some squirrels hopping around and a few different species of birds, some of them aquatic, which would land softly on the inner pound at fge center, a few of them doing a balancing act on the logs sticking out from the water.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays, Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
One Post a Day, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
My Usual Online Time
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Genders You Prefer Playing
Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
Damian let out a soft chuckle, momentarily tempted to reach out and ruffle Aslan's hair like he was a puppy or a toddler. However, he held his hand back in the end, having the feeling that such an action on his part would likely only embarrass the other man. "It's fine," he replied casually, gaze turning away to stare out across the river. "It's not like I don't want anyone to know I exist. I just don't want people going out of their way to bother me." It would be a shame if he ended up having to give up the nice apartment Chris had prepared for him. Although he had no intention of staying here indefinitely, he didn't particularly feel like getting harassed out of his living space again.

The two continued their slow stroll along the length of the river, sharing the occasional word or thought, but mostly just drifting along in relative silence. Almost unconsciously, Damian would occasionally take control of a small pocket of space around him and Aslan, leaving it in existence just long enough to balance the temperature around the two, keeping it from getting either too cold or too hot.

However, their stroll couldn't last indefinitely, and the park got narrower and narrower as the nearby buildings encroached on the park. Eventually, the path teed into a sidewalk and roadway. Damian came to a halt at that point. "Do you want to keep going?" he asked, glancing at Aslan before looking off down the road. "I spend most of my days just roaming downtown, but you probably have other things you want to do with your Saturday."
 

Laifan

Edgebabby
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day
Writing Levels
Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Tend to be on the aggressive side but I am always open to plot suggestions.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Drama, Romance, Yaoi, Magical, Super powers, Slice of Life, Sci-Fi
Genre You DON'T Like
Extreme Gore, Disturbing Themes (Sexual Violence, Suicidal Tendencies, Terminal Illnesses)
He nodded in understanding. If people knew someone with such a quirk existed, he could see the other man’s life getting more than a little hectic.
Eventually he noticed the air around them would stop being so chilly and he smiled softly to himself. Having such an ability was handy alright. His wondering about the other not needing umbrellas seemed to be just about right.
He looked at the other man when they reached the end of the park. True, most people would have plans but his only involved a game night way later, thankfully.

“It’s fine, I only have plans later. The guys are playing D&D, which means my elf or wizard or whatever character I play is gonna die a gruesome death.” He said good naturally, running a hand over his hair. “You might have guessed already, but I don’t make the best decisions under pressure.” Such as entrapping a couple of violent criminals in the same room as himself, for example.

Eventually, their walk did come to an end, as the sun slowly set and there was no way he could delay their parting anymore.

“Um, thank you for this day. I really had fun.” To an outsider’s point of view it probably wouldn’t seem like it, since Damian wasn’t very conversational and Aslan wasn’t used to do all the talking (he wasn’t Steve after all). But still, even in companionable silence, he’d enjoyed the other’s company and, slowly, had learned more about the mysterious man. “I hope we can meet again soon.” He definitely didn’t mind it if this became a regular thing but did the other feel the same?
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays, Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
One Post a Day, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
My Usual Online Time
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Genders You Prefer Playing
Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Fairly aggressive. I'm perfectly happy to guide the story, but if your posts never move the plot forward at all, then we'll have a problem.
Favorite Genres
Modern fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by high fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Genre You DON'T Like
Not a big fan of purely realistic stories. I want something more than real life in my plots please!
One of Damian's brows rose in surprise as Aslan politely refused his offer for them to part, but he smiled a moment later. "Alright," Damian agreed, glancing around to orient himself before picking a direction. "Let's go."

Damian led them around the city from that point onward, as Damian gave Aslan a small taste of what his days were normally like. He picked places to turn almost at random, wandering in and out of stores that caught his interest. One little shop with a narrow entrance, tucked between a store that sold olive oil and another that sold jewelry and wooden sculptures, turned out to be a particular surprise, three times as deep as it was wide, a full four stories tall, and full of everything from cooking utensils to furniture to kid's toys. Almost the entire second floor was devoted to a massive variety of candles, incense, and scented oils.

On another street, Damian insisted on buying the two of them some strawberry shaped chocolates, which had been filled with a fruity, jello-like substance. The two shared a small bag as they wandered on, occasionally trading a few words if they had something to say.

By the time the sun was starting to set, Damian had led them back to the rose garden he'd found a couple days ago, and he sat down on a bench tucked in between two bushes that still had their leaves to stare up at the coloring sky.

"I had a good day, too," Damian replied, offering a soft smile to Aslan. "I don't usually explore with other people, but it was a very welcome change. Have fun with your game, and send me a message the next time you're free, yeah?"

They parted ways not too much longer, and Damian lingered on the bench for several moments later, watching the sky slowly darken to black.

He hadn't been lying when he'd told Aslan he enjoyed the day, and far more than he'd really expected to. Somehow, getting to share his discoveries, simple as they might have been, with the other man had made them all the more special.

Only once the sky was completely dark, and the streetlights had long since turned on, did Damian rise from where he was sitting, before making his way back home.



Two morning's later, Damian's cup of tea and quiet music was interrupted by a buzz from his cellphone, and a brisk two-tone note. For several moments Damian considered ignoring the notification. There were currently only two people in Damian's phone who had been assigned a notification noise different than the default. One was Aslan, who he'd assigned a four-tone bell. The other was Chris.

After several more moments of consideration, Damian let out a slight sigh, and the phone lifted off the table and floated gently through the air into Damian's hand.

I'm arriving this morning, train shows up at 10:23.
Come meet me at the station?


Damian rubbed at the corner of one eye, before opening the cellphone and replying with a quick agreement. Chris was his friend, and he hadn't seen the man since Chris had left the city a little over a week ago. At the very least, he needed to go pick him up, and he could take advantage of whatever nice dinner the man would inevitably invite him to afterwards.

Three hours later, Damian was dressed and out of his apartment, making his way towards the train station. He picked a bench at the arrival zone that was tucked away behind a pillar, visible from where he knew Chris would be coming out in a few minutes, but hidden from most of the rest of the station.

Governor Christopher Laughlin appeared a few minutes later, accompanied by two men that Damian recognized as plainclothes officers of the state police heroes department. Damian stood up from his bench and lifted a hand in greeting, as Chris broke out in a broad smile.

"Damian," he said cheerfully, gesturing to the two officers before briskly striding forward. He took Damian's hand, shaking it briskly with both hands, an eager smile spread across his face. "It's such an honor to meet you."

Damian couldn't help but laugh at his friend's antics, clasping the other's hand and shaking them vigorously in turn. "And a pleasure to meet you, The Honorable Mr. Governor."

Chris grinned, before clapping Damian lightly on the back. "Come," the man said cheerfully, gesturing towards the exit of the train station. "Jennie and Robin haven't gotten to see you in so long. Let me treat you to lunch today."

Damian was about to agree, having been well prepared for the invitation, when he suddenly caught the sound of a familiar laugh from across the train station. A ripple momentarily filled the air as Damian activated his power, confirming his guess. For a moment, reflected in his eyes wasn't the image of Chris' smiling face, but another face covered by a familiar wild head of blonde hair.

"Alright," Damian agreed casually. "But I want to go say hello to someone first. I'll be right back?"

Chris nodded and Damian turned away, missing the look of shock that flashed in his friend's eyes only a moment after Damian turned.

"He wants to... say hello to someone?" Chris repeated dumbly, barely able to school his expression into something resembling neutrality. "Who?"

Glancing at the two officers, and then at Damian's retreating back, Christopher swallowed, before quietly following after Damian.

It didn't take Damian long to round a corner, going from the waiting area for the trains into the ticketing area. Behind one of the counters, Damian was able to see the young man his powers had shown him only a few moments before. He smiled slightly. "Aslan," he greeted, walking up to the other man. "We seem surprisingly good at meeting each other in unexpected places."
 
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