(2018-02-25) Invisible Friends
Invisible Friends
Summary: The Lost make plans regarding the Bureau, and Fie makes a friend.
Date: 2018-02-25
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Bea, Eddie, Fie

-| 6th Floor - Brundle Investigations - Cahuenga Building - The Bay |

A room of hazy lights and lots of shadows. A trio of windows would offer a spectacular view of the bay, but they are hung with nicotine yellow blinds that seem permanently glued in the 'closed' position judging by how speckled they are with flyshit and the permanent bends and tears in the old plastic where someone has roughly bent them apart. Over and over and over again.

There are shapes in the half-dark. An uncomfortable looking loveseat and rickety side-table faces a bulky oak desk with a large armchair behind it. On top of the desk is a crossword collection. In a corner is a cheap office chair and a smaller rolltop bearing a beige computer that looks to be from the 80s, along with a matching elder coffee maker. Next to the door is a coat rack, and numerous boxes line the walls, several seemingly permanently employed as makeshift filing systems. Yellowed photos adorn the walls. The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place. Somewhere a hidden radio plays jazz made sibilant with white noise.

The lights were on in Eddie's office when everyone showed up, and the door was unlocked. The man himself was sitting behind his desk, reading what looked to be a woman's diary, wearing a pair of second-hand reading glasses nobody's ever seen him wear before. When the door opened he scrambled to get them off, knocking them onto the floor. They're still there. He's ignoring them. The coffee's on and all the good sitting boxes are pulled out for everybody and the disary goes into his desk, locked. "So Tyla said you wanted to talk about the cops."

Bea swoops down and picks up the glasses, setting them on Eddie's desk before taking a seat on one of the boxes nearest the window. She lets the others take the lead in this conversation, since she doesn't actually know much about cops or stealing things.

Audgrim arrived with Bea in the ice cream truck. He's already pouring himself a cup of coffee. He's sometimes swatting away something from the side of his head, like he's seeing things - he's still suffering from a glamour high, though it's mostly over by now. If anyone else wants coffee, he'll pour for them too. "Yes. We will steal necklace from cops."

Fie tilts her head, considering Eddie, before she speaks, her voice light, the glimmer of a smile on her lips, "Who were they? Where were they from? I think I can get the necklace…" The grin is brief, vanishing shortly afterwards.

"Thanks," Eddie says sourly, as Bea picks up the glasses. He opens a drawer in his desk and brushes them carelessly into it. "Thanks," he says, a little more genuinely when Audgrim makes with the coffee. "I wasn't there when they turned Tyla's place over," he answers Fie, "I only know the one of them. She's a social worker, technically. I don't know where they've got the thing but something tells me it's not the regular evidence locker."

Bea considers that, "A social worker cop? That seems weird. Especially if she's stealing the evidence."

"Maybe there is magic to find where it is," Audgrim suggests, slurping his coffee while half-sitting on Eddie's desk like he always does when he's here. "Maybe we can go into Sydney's dream and find," he suggests next, having all sorts of ideas. Must be the glamour rush. "Maybe we can tell her to give it to us. Maybe she is nice."

"Is that weird?" Fie clearly doesn't have much contact with the police generally, and her hand lifts up, the fingers tugging the sleeve up, a nervous gesture characteristic of the woman.

"Not so weird," Eddie says, hesitating, "when you know the whole story. We found out about it about eight years ago, when I was in Autumn. We, uh, kind of kept it to ourselves. The long story short is they know about us and all the other creatures that go bump in the night. Not a lot. Just enough to get everybody in trouble." He makes a nasty face and drinks his coffee, which is the reverse of what most people do, drinking his coffee. "I'm pretty sure she's with them. True Thomas had an arrangement with them. We fought about it, sometimes."

Bea considers that, frowning slightly, "Oh, well that is something different then, isn't it? Like, if already they know about us, then maybe it will be easier…or maybe lots harder, but for sure if they were friends with Thomas, then I am sure they are nice enough." She does, in fact, seem quite certain about this, to the point she looks like she might be about to rush off and introduce herself and get it all sorted out. But she stays put, for the moment, asking, "But then they have some secret cop place or something?"

"We get in trouble good on our own," Audgrim says dryly, gesturing at Eddie with his mug. "They know, but not tell everyone? Think they want to keep it secret, but also keep people safe. Maybe that means - if we do dumb things, they will think of humans first, us next. Not so sure they should know all." He's showing a certain paranoia, and expression is a bit darker. "But if we have deal, maybe we can get necklace without stealing."

Fie narrows her eyes slightly, speaking softly, slowly, "If they know about us then maybe they will use things to stop us getting the necklace?" She glances at Bea, her expression worried, "If they liked us, they wouldn't have taken the necklace." Her voice is worried, definitely.

"I don't know where they keep their clubhouse. Maybe it's with the rest of the cops, but I doubt it. It'd be embarrassing, keeping files on goblins," Eddie says. He looks from face to face and finally settles on Audgrim, nodding, apparently impressed with his assessment. "I've talked to her once, already. I'm going to do it again, soon. If we can make a deal that's the best way. But we should be ready to do the other thing. I was thinking you could help," he looks at Fie. "Follow her around, a little. See where she goes, who she sees. I'd do it myself but I've been swamped."

Bea offers the cheerful suggestion, "Maybe we should just, like…make her give it back, like…" she does an elaborate mime of basically man-handling Sydney into submission, including some rather imaginative side effects. "I mean, if, like, the deal part doesn't work out, is all."

Audgrim turns an expectant look at Fie at Eddie's suggestion, because though he can be quite sneaky he's nowhere near her level of finess with the shadows. "Maybe necklace is no good anymore, but better we get it back. They maybe do stupid things with it. So, Fie can follow, find where. Eddie talk to Sydne. Bea, maybe think of ways to make her tell us. I know there are ways to go into dreams - I don't know how, but must be someone." He considers it and reluctantly adds: "I can do something too, don't know what."

That characteristic head-tilt comes, as Fie considers Eddie's suggestion. She nods, slowly, nibbling on the cuff of her top, her blue eyes worried. "I will." She slants Bea a surprised look, replying with a faint tone of surprised, "I thought you were too nice!" That might be a touch of admiration there too. Audgrim's look is met with a bright grin, that flash of one, her eyes glinting.

Eddie looks incredulously at Bea. He shakes his head. "I try not to rough up social workers, just as general rule," he says, "and anyway, we don't know enough about these people to go picking fights. What they know, how many they are, what kind of support they've got from the top. Not enough by half. Better to do it nice, or do it quiet."

Bea gives Fie a sly little smile, "Oh, for sure I am too nice, and everyone says that. But still, I am more like a late-May Spring, and not an early February one, so sometimes just a little Summer comes out. And anyway, everyone knows that you sometimes have to do just whatever it can take to protect the hiv-…'hold." She shakes her head, frowning a little, and wrinkles her nose in a sort of internal frustration. "Anyway, maybe we all have some job to do, then." She shrugs at Eddie and sighs, "Anyway, probably you are right."

Audgrim fins himself oddly uncaring about the safe being of a cop, frowning as he tilts his head. He shrugs, and finishes his coffee, setting the mug down. "We look for more necklace piece in laundry place too."

Fie's giggle is sudden, and she shoots Bea a bright grin, the glint in her eyes amused. "I'll follow. And we'll look for the necklace." She widens her eyes at them all, deliberately, "Which first?"

"Maybe one of your people could make her want to help?" Eddie asks Bea. He's seen Spring magic at work, before. He nods at Audgrim: "I imagine they were pretty thorough, and it's been a while, but it can't hurt to look. You might do a little beach combing, while you're at it. We'll need some regular shells to swap out for the real things, if it comes to that." He looks at Fie: "We'll do it all at once. You follow, I'll talk, we'll decide what to do next when we know more. If anyone -does- find the necklace, somehow," he addresses the whole group, looking from face to face, all serious, "don't give it to Tyla."

Audgrim does like the beach. "Shells," he says, giving Eddie a thankful look. He can totally do that. Standing up, he gestures to the door. "I have to go - won't give to Tyla. Call me when we do things."

Bea nods at that, giving a hesitant little shrug, "Oh sure, and I can ask around, if anyone knows some good trick." When Eddie talks about what not to do with the necklace, she nods emphatically and agrees, "Oh for sure, she'll do something stupid and dangerous with it, and then pretend like it's just no big deal." Bea is clearly still…unhappy with Tyla to say the least, but with her nature it comes out as more of an almost childish petulance. She waves to Audgrim as he heads out, then looks to Fie "So, you think you can really sneak in invisible?"

Fie watches Audgrim leap to his feet and flee, her expression thoughtful. "I won't give it to her." Her voice is low, and she replies to Bea, "I think I can sneak. It depends what they see…" She lifts one shoulder slightly, letting fate decide if they can see her or not. "I will do my best."

"Or like she's doing us a favor," Eddie agrees with Bea, scowling. He's not too happy, either, though there's some concern mingled in there. "Just ask about the trick. Don't tell them what it's for." He waves Audgrim out the door, then frowns at something Fie said. "They aren't all normal people. Or at least they didn't used to be. Some of them," he puts his fingers up to his temple, like Professor X, "they've got their own tricks. If it looks like trouble, get the hell out and we'll try a different approach."

Bea suddenly jumps up and gives Eddie a hug without explanation, then sits back down and suggests, "I can bring some bees, and just if things go south, then 'bzzz'," her wings buzz along with her sound effects for extra emphasis, "they can jump in and distract those cops so you can get out okay."

Bea's phone starts buzzing, echoing her buzz noises, and she hops up again. "Oh! That's work. I gotta go. You guys just let me know when the plan is, and if you need any help." And out she goes.

Fie nods slowly, her face thoughtful, her eyes darkening for a moment. She is silent though as Bea buzzes out, and turns back with the same thouhtful loook. "I'll run if there is trouble." Her voice is low and soft, and she adds, "I am good at running away." Her fingers tug at the cuff of her top, twisting the sleeve around her arm a little.

Eddie gets hugged and seems surprised, like he always does. "Good idea," he nods at Bea, waving as she goes to leave, "I'll let you know." With the other Beasts gone, he turns his attention to Fie, studying her face and all those little nervous gestures. "Well, I'd hope so," he finally says, cracking a crooked grin, "or you're wearing the wrong mantle." He snatches a snipe out of his ashtray ane drags a match across his desk, lighting it. "Any luck finding your people, so far?"

Fie's smile flickers on briefly, a look at him slanted through her lashes, the glint in her eye amused, but it fades at the last comment and her expression becomes troubled. "No… do you?" The subdued tone of her voice holds emotion, but frozen inside her, not released, not like those warmer mantles.

"Do I what?" Eddie asks around his cigarette. "Do I have luck? Not the good kind. Do I have people?" He looks thoughtfully at the door Bea and Audgrim just went out. "Not like you did, anyway, with a motley and everything. There's people I'd like to find who I haven't, yet, but I guess that's not the same thing." He finishes the snipe, then collects another one out of the tray, and lights it off the cherry of the first one. Waste not, want not. "They could still be asleep. A lot of us still are, just stumbling around out there. Not knowing."

Fie listens, tilting her head slightly, her eyes fixed on Eddie's face, before she nods slowly. "I miss them but I was alone before them, and…" She shrugs now, wrinkling her nose slightly. "You didn't have people?" The question is asked low, and she watches him light his cigarette, before she adds softly, "You have people."

Eddie looks at the door for a while longer, a smile slowly creeping its way onto his face despite his best efforts. "I have people," he finally agrees, nodding. "Sometimes I think it'd be easier if I didn't, but only sometimes." He looks away from the door and back to Fie. "You've got them, too. If you want them."

When he looks back at her, she is studying him, her expression grave. There is a moment of silence before the darkling replies, in a whisper that carries, "Sometimes I think we have people even if we don't want them. Sometimes they make it harder than if you haven't got them, because they make things matter."

"Yeah," Eddie says, still smiling, "I know what you mean." He sets his cigarette down in a little wooden ashtray that used to have a glass bottom and doesn't anymore, then ducks down under his desk to fish around for something. There's the sound of glass on glass, and he comes up after a second with a little pint bottle of bourbon. It hasn't got a label, but when he twists the cap off the smell makes it clear this isn't high class stuff. "But if it was just me I would have laid down and died a long time ago. None of it would matter like you say."

The flash of a grin actually warms her blue eyes for a moment, amusement glinting there. "I don't know." The words are a simple admission of a lack of knowledge of something, in this case it seems it is people. "People." The word is a taste of the whole, the darkling savouring the thought, her eyes narrowing slightly. "Have you been in a Motley, Eddie?"

"No," Eddie says, ducking down again to retrieve a couple of mismatched drinking glasses. One Collins glass, one Highball. He finds the handkerchief to wipe the dust out of one of them, then pours himself a drink in the dirty one and leaves the bottle on the table next to the other one. This is a self serve establishment, apparently. "Almost, once. It didn't work out." He looks down into his drink, a little regretful, then swallows half of it. "People say it's like family. I was never too good at family."

Fie considers him, before she reaches for the glass and the bottle, pouring a small amount in. She slants him another of those thoughtful looks, as she leans back, tucking her foot up beneath her. "I… don't know if it is like family. It is like feeling safer, and wanting to kill them at the same time." Something softens her eyes then, and she lifts the glass, taking a gulp.

"Sounds like family to me," Eddie grins, plucking his cigarette back out of the tray. "At least that last part." He watches approvingly as she takes a drink. Cheap stuff, but surprisingly sweet. He finishes his glass and pours another. "The other part sounds nice. We could all use some of that, right now."
She holds the glass up, peering over the brim at him, her eyes narrowed. "We could." She is speaking slowly, the obvious signs of someone thinking so hard that the words come harder. She takes another sip, before she stares at him with narrowed eyes. "We could make a motley." The words are cautious, a wary offer.

That comes as a surprise. Eddie leans back in his seat and looks at her, considering his response. "We can't," he finally says. "Not now, anyway. Not even if we wanted." Does he want? He's playing it a little coy. "I keep forgetting what people know and what they don't. I guess nobody told you, about what happens when you try and make a pledge, these days." He sighs, and he drinks, and he tells a little story from a couple of weeks ago.

Fie's eyes widen and she reaches out for the bottle, pouring more of it into her glass in silence. She takes a swig and then lowers the glass slowly, a frown on her face. "That is… bad." The whisper is worried, and Fie's eyes are dark when she lifts her gaze to him, the frown on her face serious. "Trouble." She hesitates before she asks softly, "Friends then."

"Bad trouble," Eddie agrees. "I never liked pledges very much, but you learn to miss them when they're gone. Beat the hell out of trust, anyway." He says 'trust' like it's a dirty word. He cheers up a little at her question, though, and he raises his glass like you would in a toast. "Friends."

Fie tilts her head a little before she nods, echoing his movement with her own glass, taking a sip. "Friends." Her swig of the drink is a little urgent,, the shock of the missing pledges still written on her face. "How can this happen? Does something want us to go back…?" The last word is hesitant, the darkling avoiding naming the place.

"Lots of things want us to go back," Eddie says, snorting a laugh. "What else is new? I don't think that's what this is, though. I think we made a deal with something. A big one, so big there's not room for anything else." He frowns and looks down and thinks for a moment before he says anything else. He sighs. "Oh, what the hell? We're friends now, after all." He starts to explain, reluctant again at the end, when he gets to the part about what he remembers. About being involved, in whatever this is.

Fie gets stiller and stiller as he speaks, her fingers tightening slightly on the glass, her eyes widened as she stares at him. There is silence when he finishes speaking, the words whirling around in her brain, trying to find a home to settle onto. "Oh." The sound escapes the frozen state, and seems to release something in her. She empties her glass, lifting the end up to thoroughly empty it. "Find the crowns then…" Slowly, she is almost coming around from the shock of the tale.

Eddie gives her all the time she needs to process, sitting quietly and finishing his cigarette. He seems a little winded, like it took something out of him to let go of a secret that big. "That's the idea, anyway," he nods. "We've got four. There's supposed to be another. That's why we went up the mountain, the other day. We thought maybe it was up there." He rubs at the bridge of his nose. Remembering what happened up there is worse than spilling secrets. "I know, I know. Five crowns, four seasons. I can't do the math on that one, either."

Fie sits still for a moment before she reaches for the bottle, and pours a large slug into the glass. Drunk Fie? That would be a new thing. "Do you know when I'm there? When I'm following you?" The question is almost unplanned, blurted out, and she slants him a look, her eyes narrowing. "Five." She is back to the original topic, her fingers tapping on the glass as she tucks her feet up beneath herself. "Five…."

Eddie holds up five fingers in confirmation, closing them one at a time and then wiggling his thumb. Four down, one to go. He looks away and considers her question, his eyes rolling back in her direction after a moment. "Sometimes," he says, a sly smile coming across his lips. "Probably not always. You're pretty good at it."

"Especially for a redhead," he adds, after a beat.

Fie tilts her head, and then she grins, that abrupt one that appears and vanishes again in a moment. "I'll try harder." The word is teasing, her eyes glinting, and then she giggles, covering her lips with her hand. "You talk to me. I think you talk to make me think that you know I am there, and you do it when I'm not there too, just in case."

"Maybe you're just nice to talk to?" Eddie offers, grinning his crooked grin. He narrows his eyes, for a value of narrow. "Why do you do it? I know how entertaining I am, don't get me wrong. I entertain myself every day. But you're the first one to make a hobby out of me. Unless I've got more invisible friends I don't know about." He waves at the corner, where someone invisible might be.

Fie peers up at him, her eyes narrowing. "It isn't a hobby." Her voice is low, and she turns to the corner, glancing over it for a moment before she speaks again, "I feel safer." She lifts one shoulder, her hands wrapped around her glass, studying him, "Everything is wrong, and my motley is gone, and there is nothing." Her voice is flat now, matching the blue eyes, before she blinks, and that grin reappears, "Or you are funny."

Safer? That's a new one. Eddie looks at her skeptically, not sure how to react to that. Skepticism gives way to sympathy as she goes on, and he returns her grin with one of his, a crooked reflection. Like a house of mirrors. "I always thought so," he says. "Well, I've always wanted an adoring public. I guess you'll do. I'll stick a pillow for you in the trunk of my car, next time I go out of town."

Fie's grin is firmly in place, her blue eyes gleaming with …something like mischief. She finishes her drink, shaking her head, "And be funnier." There is an edge, the swift cover for her own moment of vulnerability. "And snacks." She uncurls from the chair, putting the glass on the table, the movement a little catlike - not the cute type, but the touch-me-and-lose-your-hand type. Then… she is just gone.

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