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 Coffee Time!, @J-chan /Xander
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Mar 20 2017, 05:46 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




Duncan heaved a relaxed sigh as he entered a little entered the little coffee shop. It wasn't very big, but it had managed to cultivate itself into a comfortable little atmosphere, with books, some plants, and comfortable chairs. It was a wonderful little find that Duncan had happened to stumble upon and it had quickly become his favourite. The Britishman could be found there at the very least once a week. It had gotten to the point that over the last handful of weeks Duncan had become enough of a regular that he was recognizing and having small amicable conversations with the baristas.

It was a nice day, he had the day off, and Beth was a ball of stress in their apartment. She was in the midst of a bunch of assignments of her own for her graduate studies and work to do as a TA. Her emotions were heavy around her and nearly oppressive, making it kind of uncomfortable to be in for the nephilim. But at the same time, Duncan could sympathize - he'd been in a similar type of situation when he had been doing his own graduate studies part time and working. He could sympathize but it still wasn't a nice environment to just be in if he didn't have to. And any frustration on his end - that Duncan had wanted to express - would just make her stress and emotions run higher. So it had been a relief to get out of that apartment and to the comfort of the little coffee shop. The coffee shop was mostly full, with most people coming in to order and then leave but most of the tables were occupied too. So Duncan kept his conversation with the familiar barista short and just order the coffee, opting for trying a new roast and blend.

With the coffee in hand Duncan quickly scanned the rest of the shop - by now the tables available had waned down to a single one. It was a small little table with two comfortable looking chairs in a quiet corner of the shop that was conveniently close to some of the books that the shop offered. Duncan chose a book at random as he walked by and gratefully sunk into one of the chairs. He easily dove into the book - Jekle and Hyde - and let the noises of the coffee shop filter in the background. Every so often he'd look up and around at the coffee shop or a stray comment would catch his attention.

As he surreptitiously glanced around the coffee shop he noticed an other young man who seemed to be looking for a spot but was finding the tables occupied. Duncan glanced at his open chair and mentally shrugged before trying to catch the blonde's attention with a small wave and a small. "I have a chair open if you want. It's just me, so feel free to it." He commented, hoping for welcoming and not socially awkward - which he felt to a degree.
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Mar 20 2017, 07:58 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



It was another day, another morning where he did not want to get out of bed. The pillows were too fluffy, and the bed was too warm and soft, compared to the hard, cold and scratchy carpet of his apartment’s bedroom. Complaining didn’t do anything about that, either. All he could do was endure it while he could – until he struck it rich out here in the west and could afford a place of his own. Ah, well. Those were the dizzy daydreams of a young man, too young to have a fortune, yet old enough to know what he wanted out of life. Rolling over, he glanced out from under a corner of the blanket at the alarm clock on his bedside table. Just after nine in the morning, meaning he had been asleep for little over six hours. Well, that had to be a new record for him. Sighing to himself, the witch dragged himself out of bed, bare feet colliding with the carpet and being pulled back in surprise. He glared at the floor, mumbling something to himself about shitty landlords, as he forced himself to stand on the cold carpet. Shouldn’t have been this cold in the morning, but the building was old, and, as it was said, the landlord was shitty. A downright asshole that deserved to be shish-kabobed, fricasseed over an open fire… but the witch wouldn’t use his powers in such a way. It was satisfying enough to think of it that he didn’t have to act on it.

Yawning and rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Xander dragged himself to the shower and began the tedious process of getting ready for the day ahead of him. Shampooed, conditioned, and lathered with soap, Xander let the warm water run over him, even after the soap was gone and his hair draped itself flat against his head. The water began to turn cold, and he switched it off before it got too unbearable. The cold did well to wake him up even further, and he dried off, leaving his hair in a mass of curls atop his head. It always got frizzy when he took a shower. When that was taken care of, he went through the tasks of getting breakfast, feeding Oscar, and doing the dishes from the previous night. Tasks completed, he combed through his hair – a moot task, seeing as how he was going to be putting a motorcycle helmet on it – and headed out the door, keys in hand.

The trek to the first floor took a bit of time, as it usually did, before he came down the stairwell into the belly of the parking garage. His bike – a red Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle – was parked in a compact space along the wall, facing outward so all he had to do was get on and press on the gas. Checking it over for any dents or any kind of damage – hooligans could still damage the vehicles, in spite of their illustrious security booth at the front of the garage – he then threw a leg over it, put his helmet on, and leisurely went out of the parking garage before hitting the street at a rather quick pace. The drive didn’t take entirely too long, speed limits pretty well ignored for the most part, and soon he was out front of one of his most favored coffee shops. He’d not been here in over a month, however, and he was sure by now they had new team members that wouldn’t know his name.

Helmet pulled off and draped over his bike, he could watch it from the window, the tiny spot he managed to park in nearly the only one left in the immediate vicinity. Pushed his way into the shop, his eyes scanning the baristas to see if there was anyone he knew. There was one, a woman, who was one of the managers – and she waved to him when she caught his eye from across the shop. It was busy within, which was why he didn’t come here as often as he would have liked. His order was generally the same in theory – something far too sweet and loaded with cream if it was just plain coffee. Cup in hand, he turned to see that the place was jam packed with people – another reason why he wasn’t as much of a regular as he wanted to be.

He was about to give up all hope when he noticed someone waving at him from the other side of the room. Smiling back, Xander shimmied his way through the other chairs with bodies in them, and plopped into the empty seat. “Thanks. Crazy how busy this place is huh? Guess they got something new that people have been wanting to try.” Generally did this time of year, some green colored concoction to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. He didn’t really see the appeal of brightly colored hot beverages, but it was what it was. “I’m Xander, what’s your name?” Conversation, heh. Always interesting when meeting someone for the first time.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Mar 21 2017, 07:39 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




Sometimes Duncan' appreciation for out of the way coffee shops boarded on cliche considering his tendency towards introversion. It never changed anything other than serving to amuse him on occasion, just how many of the stereotypical introvert things he enjoyed. Maybe he was just a bit more aware of those stereotypes because he'd spent so many years studying psychology and personality. He was aware of it because he'd spent a considerable amount of time and energy into understanding it. Which primed Duncan to see it more. Or Duncan was just thinking about it and reading into it far too much. Definitely wouldn't be the first time for him to do something like that.

Sure the coffee shop was busy, it wasn't unusual for him to find it that way. But he still found it a kind of comfort, that the world was continuing to spin and move as it always had around him. That despite the way his own little world had changed radically in recent years, everything else kept on moving - it didn't help to get consumed in his own thoughts and worries about the things that were going on. Sometimes taking a break from his own issues to remind himself of that gave Duncan some breathing when trying to deal with them, let him relax and forget them for a time so that he wouldn't get overwhelmed with it all. Plus it helped that despite the busy crowd in the shop he had still managed to find a stop and wasn't crowded out of the place.

It was a small relief that the other young man had noticed Duncan's atempts to get his attention. There wasn't much more awkward that waving at someone who was oblivious to it. Or to waving at the wrong person. And it didn't seem to be a kind of awkward or embarrassment that faded with age, at least not yet anyways. He set down the book as Xander sat, not wanting to be rude and just ignore him in favour for the book when Duncan had made the effort to draw his attention to the empty seat across the table. "Yeah, I think this is the busiest I've seen it. Might be the new blend they brought in, plus St. Patty's - people either drinking whatever green drink they came up with or trying to get over the morning drinking." He commented, vaguely amused at the possibility. Duncan vaguely remembered what the day been like in his university days. It was probably the only day he'd seen students purposefully waking up early and not being grumpy about it, with pancake keggers and a marathon of drinking all day. Midday hangovers and friends that would be done and out for the count by now sometimes. And there was nothing quite like remembering a class or meeting during a morning of drinking and trying to sober up enough to make it through those alive. It had been fun the, but sounded like a lot more effort than was worth it. But everyone's gotta make some mistakes in their younger years.

"I'm Duncan. Nice to meet you." He greeted with an easy, relaxed smile. A little bit of nostalgia to clear some of his current troubles. "Not too into the whole festive and green mood?" He asked, figuring Xander looked about university age.
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Mar 23 2017, 03:41 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



Xander liked coffee shops, too, particularly if there were books allowed within the shop. On his days off he’d come to coffee shops with a freshly bought book in his hands and sometimes read them until he finished them. Not always, sure, but sometimes. It helped that the book store he worked at had a little barista area, managed by the owner’s niece while she went to college here in San Francisco. It was a good job, just like his own, and was relatively stress free. The owner tried to make the work environment for his employees and even his customers as stress free as possible. Couldn’t eliminate the stress entirely, though. There was a little in Xander’s life when it came to work. Everyday life presented enough stress, but he had to have a job, had to pay bills and take care of himself now that he was away from family. The only reason he’d go back home would be for holidays, birthdays and if he somehow couldn’t make it out here on his own. There was the possibility the schizophrenia could get worse, effectively making it impossible to live on his own. He didn’t want that to happen. Didn’t want to lose his independence. But what could he do about it, really?

Days off were welcomed, and enjoyed in full capacity. Days where he could just be himself, and not worry about anything. Although, he had to say that he worried about things, anyway. Just the way he was. Worried about his co-workers when they had to cover his shift because of an attack, worried about his boss opening the store in the morning by himself, and worried about things in which he had no control over for one reason or another. Again, that was just the way he was. Putting others before himself, like the unselfish person that he was. Sometimes it was good to put others before yourself. Other times, not so much.

The shop was busy, true, a popular place for college and high school aged people alike to come and socialize with one another. It was a place, though, where the worries of his life seemed to melt away all at once, the atmosphere just what he needed during a stressful time. Places like this were rare in a city. There were a few of them, but they weren’t in any drastic number, scattered throughout the city. One of those places, too, was the bookstore where he worked. But that went without saying, really. Of course, he could have been biased, too. There was always that possibility whenever he liked a place. Places like this helped him be social, helped his condition rather than aggravating it to a point where he couldn’t function. Hadn’t prevented him from being out in public, yet. Then again, there was always that possibility, too. He’d seen the extent of what his condition could do to a person back in the mental ward. Wasn’t a pretty sight any way you looked at it.

It was a comfort to Xander that someone seemed so welcoming. There was no way he’d receive this kind of treatment back home. Of course, nearly everyone who knew him there avoided him because of what he had done. No one really knew what had happened here, and he had that working for him. “Makes sense that a place like this would be busy, given that coffee is life and everything,” he smiled at that comment, and knew for a fact that it was entirely true – coffee was life to a lot of people, another thing they couldn’t live without, “That I don’t understand at all – is the coloring supposed to make the drink taste better or something?” He didn’t see the appeal of colored drinks. Something that was meant to be ingested shouldn’t be brightly colored. Or at least, that is the way he saw things. Other people – particularly with the number of those drinks he saw in people’s hands – wouldn’t rightly agree with him.

“Nice to meet you, too, Duncan,” he said with a smile, “It’s nice, I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing,” he shrugged, adding, “I personally don’t see the point of coloring something brightly if you’re going to ingest it. But no one asked the peanut gallery.” He said, laughing a little. “Are you a regular here?” He figured that Duncan – like him – lived here in San Francisco. Seemed like an awful lot of trouble to come from another part of the state – or even the country – just to get a cup of coffee.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Mar 25 2017, 11:30 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




Having real days off was still a little weird for Duncan. At the treatment center, he'd had day off sure, but he had pretty much always been on call and had been called in at all hours of the day to help deal with situations that arose. Particularly if it involved a patient he was familiar with. Or a particularly difficult one, in which case her strength came in handy. But here, working as a simple bartender Duncan's days off were actual days off where he wasn't half waiting for a call, didn't both with making a specific ringtone to recognize when work was calling him. It was a little odd like a small pressure had been removed from his shoulders and he wasn't sure if he was more comfortable with or without it.

Though he was adjusting to it, adjusting to the freedom of time that Duncan knew was his to do with as he pleased. There was no worry of having to cancel plans last minute of suddenly having to leave if he'd ordered something because Duncan knew he had the day. No one needed his attention or his time. It was an oddly freeing sensation, mostly because he'd never really felt confined or constricted by any of his responsibilities before. A sensation that was added to by letting the world moving around him, everyone going about their own days and their own responsibilities. While Duncan was comfortable in his little corner of the coffee shop, content to sit and read as he let the world move by him for a little while. Or socialize, the added presence of Xander didn't bother him, wasn't unwelcome but a pleasant little surprise he hadn't expected. Although that was mostly because he hadn't expected the coffee shop to be this busy and filled with people who were also content to let the day pass in the shop.

Even despite being an introvert Duncan enjoyed meeting people, usually, it was the other person who would initiate conversation, though, because Duncan was just a content people watching while quietly sipping coffee or tea. He hadn't needed the chair and was more than happy to offer it for someone else. "That's a fair point. It is pretty necessary for daily functioning." He agreed with a chuckle. Duncan had certainly relied on caffeinated drinks throughout the years and was generally more aware of life in general after a morning cup of coffee. "In my experience, no. At least not with anything hot. It's just more about the festivity and all of that." He commented, making a hand gesture meant to convey the 'all of that' surrounding the festivity and completely arbitrary enjoyment of coloured drinks. It was ridiculous and a little odd, but Duncan could also remember the years in which he'd been almost completely surrounded by green up to St. Patrick's day and the excitement of pancake keggers while he went through university. Anything and everything that could be green was usually made green. He'd never been so thankful that food colouring didn't have any taste of its own. Or that he had the night off, because Duncan could imagine the shit show that would be. "Just because everything should be green around St. Patty's apparently. It's just lucky that food colouring doesn't taste like anything. It doesn't really change the taste, people just like it green to suit the apparent holiday." He reiterated his previous thoughts out loud.

He nodded. "Yeah, been coming here pretty regularly for the past six weeks or so, I think. I just kind of found the place by accident and adore it. Between the atmosphere, the books, and the different blends available I find myself here at least once or twice a week." Duncan replied before sipping on his coffee, which wasn't green. "You a regular customer here too?"
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Mar 26 2017, 11:13 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



Two days a week to himself – it was a concept he hadn’t imagined until he started working. The whole being in San Francisco, actually, was something he had to get used to. He’d been here a couple years at most, enough time to get used to everything for most people. But then again, he had spent four years in prison and three in a mental ward. Seven years of his life taken away from him. Seemed a short sentence for killing someone – some people he had met in prison were serving life for such things – but he wasn’t going to complain. And he wouldn’t because freedom was something other people took advantage of. He had to call in to work sometimes, though, because his attacks made life exceedingly difficult. Even performing small tasks were hard. Such was the nature of his condition, hence why he was on medication for them. The meds worked, to an extent – an unfortunate truth whenever he was told to take pills for the condition.

Days when he had his attacks were spent just trying to get through the day. He didn’t have people in his building who could check on him to see if he was okay – but his boss took it upon himself to check in, and see if things were bearable for Xander. He’d assure his boss by saying everything was fine, in spite of sitting up against the wall, knees drawn into his chest as he regulated his breathing. Fine was a relative term, capable of turning him into a liar whenever someone asked how he was doing. He didn’t like that, didn’t like that he had to skirt around the truth just to appease his friends. He still had that worry that something was going to happen when he was out with a friend – it was something that kept him at home more often than not. At least at home he had the moment’s notice warning provided to him by his ferret. Oscar could sense when an attack was coming – and it gave him a few moments to get into a safe spot so he didn’t hurt himself.

His introversion was self-inflicted, you could say. As a high schooler, he never was an exuberantly social boy. Things changed over the years though, the more he was exposed to his classmates and crushes like Annabelle. Okay, that was a topic he didn’t want to think about – moving on. “I know some people that can’t do little things without it – the simplest tasks they just can’t do without coffee.” He didn’t know if he was quite that bad. His father, on the other hand, couldn’t get through the day without the stuff. And his brother was the same way. But it hadn’t affected his mother, his sister or him. Would have said it was just the men in the family, but seeing as how he was a man now, he didn’t think it had anything to do with his father passing it on to him. “Hot, green drinks aren’t all that appealing to me. But like if it’s a cold one, like a milkshake or cold coffee, I guess that would be better? I know I like mint chocolate chip milkshakes. Those are green.” Which was true on both accounts. “I’ve known of a few kids from the city where I grew up that had green pancakes for breakfast around St. Patty’s day.” He’d never been one of them. The only time food coloring was employed in the Grayson household was to add appeal to a particularly nasty potion that was made.

“Mhm-hmm,” he says, taking a drink of his coffee, “I’ve been coming here off and on for the last… I dunno… year or so?” He says. “Been a favorite place of mine for my days off, particularly. What do you do for work? You work at some place in the area or uptown?” He asked.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Apr 4 2017, 10:38 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




Even with the drastic change in work - from an institution to a service job - Duncan had found that a surprising amount of his skills managed to transfer over. Plenty of people used drinking as a way to deal with their daily woes and would find some kind of solace or apparent connection with the person serving their alcohol, connection enough to spill small secrets or troubles. It seemed there was something true in the old stereotype of finding a cheaper kind of therapy in a bottle and bartender. Of course, it helped that Duncan actually had a degree in psychology and could offer advice that had theoretical and academic clout behind it. The easy way he could offer advice helped with the transition back into working but straying from his original choice. And having to handle belligerent drunkards - which were luckily fewer and farther between than he'd expected - wasn't too different of an experience either. It was different, but something he was adjusting to. Besides it was leaps and bounds better than the aimless direction he'd been going in, jumping from reuniting with friends in different parts of the country that he hadn't seen since university. Quite honestly Duncan was much better suited to a stable working job than being untethered from responsibilities beyond himself.

There were still days that he mourned the loss of the life he had planned out, that he had managed to carve out and make a home in. Other days that mourning turned to anger, anger over what choices may have been different had he simply known about the possible damage he could do to his own psyche. Maybe then Duncan wouldn't have had to completely uproot and tear himself away from the life he'd planned, the people he knew and loved. But a bitter part liked to remind him that it wouldn't have done anything about the other issues he'd been dealing with, other reasons that the move had bothered him so much. Why he was still emotionally reeling some days.

But days like today, there were no thoughts of mourning or anger, just a contented feeling. Duncan was finding he quite liked the city, he'd finally managed to find a part of his family he never thought he'd encounter, and he was helping a friend to make it through graduate studies without having to worry about affording rent. It was much cheap with two people, and he'd had no future plans at the time.

Despite being an introvert a good chunk of Duncan's friends growing up were extroverts. The higher energy and louder kids who drew his attention and were often more than happy to chatter along at him while he'd nod and provide a word or two to show that yes he was still listening. Or teammates as he'd tended towards athletics as a child, ones that allowed for camaraderie without forcing a ton of talking out of him. A balance to those kinds of people to fill a silence with stories or who flourished with attention. Early practices had meant coffee and caffeinated drinks were abundant in his family. Duncan's mother had preferred coffee, while his father had drunk tea. He'd drink either, enjoyed both hot beverages as much as the other. He chuckled and nodded, "Caffeine is a hell of a drug, but it does make mornings easier." Duncan was guilty of mornings where he shouldn't be considered a real person until after coffee. Somehow the dependency on caffeine seemed to be limited to just him and the man who raised him. No one wanted four caffeinated children running rampant in a house. "To be fair both mint and chocolate are good flavours on their own, so together they're better. And the mint cuts some of the sweetness of the chocolate." Being raised on different chocolate often had Duncan finding American chocolate to be too sweet on its own. "Well green pancakes don't sound too weird. I think green scalloped potatoes is the weird looking thing I've endured on a St. Patty's Day." He recollected that interesting potato dish before sipping his coffee, glad to not have gone green with it. College on Patty's Day was fucking weird.

Duncan nodded along to Xander, mildly surprised that they hadn't run into each other before. "I'm a bartender downtown, at Up In Smoke. Been working there a couple months now and it's not really like aware I've worked or seen before." Not in the midwest, but he couldn't exactly speak to back while living in Oxford because hookah wasn't something that was usually part of a child or young teenager's life. "What about you? Working or going to school here?"
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Apr 9 2017, 07:41 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



His own work hadn’t changed in the few years that he had been here. He was still at the same bookstore, doing the same job, and even working with the same team of people. Boss man didn’t go through the tedious process of firing so much. He gave a lot of his workers a ton of chances, so unless they fucked up completely, they would still have a job at the end of the day. Xander was an example of that, actually. Not a lot of people would hire someone like him – someone with such a volatile condition such as Schizophrenia – and so he never thought he’d be hired. But his first interview progressed into a second, and the following Tuesday – two days later – he was working for the bookstore. He got the job a little after he moved here, although time seemed to blur together, and he couldn’t really tell you when that was. He was a reliable worker, though – one of the only reliable workers that been there for more than a few months.

Strange though how that would be with his condition. Managing it took patience, and pills, and a lot of courage to face every day challenges other people would overlook. Sometimes even getting out of bed was a struggle for the young witch. Feeding himself, taking care of his ferret, showering, sleeping – all were simple tasks that other people took for granted. Rarely did he partake in alcohol. As a schizophrenic, he already saw a lot of unsettling things – he didn’t need alcohol amplifying any of it. And it wasn’t necessarily a good idea to take a depressant and an anti-depressant in the same hour, on top of everything else he was taking. Drinking made things easier and harder at the same time. He could slip into a stupor and not have to deal with anything – except his own thoughts assaulting him when all he wanted to do was sleep. Racing thoughts really were a bitch and a half when he was trying to sleep.

Every day presented a unique challenge for him, but he usually met them head on. He had his highs, and he had his lows – all a product of his condition, indicative though they were of bipolar disorder, schizophrenics could have them too. Some days were better than others. Some days he did get out of bed – and others, he stayed in bed with no drive to do anything. Those days he often had people visit him – people who hadn’t heard from him in days, unusual for someone as friendly and vibrant on the outside. What he showed others and how he really felt on the inside were two completely different things. Rarely did an opportunity present itself for him to be his true self with another person. Unlike today. Strangers were different for whatever reason. He felt he could be his true self with them because they wouldn’t know any different.

Most of his family were introverts – all with some kind of talent that fell into the introvert category. His sister was a writer, published even, where his mother was talented at making potions on her own. She had her own potions shop, actually, and sold her talent all over the country, sometimes even out of the country as well. His father was a business man, and the oddball of the family. His brother was content with his own little family that he didn’t come around much – only for holidays and birthdays, rather like Xander in that department. His father was a coffee drinker, while his mother was always drinking some mixture of hot tea she had made herself. Xander liked coffee more, but he liked Iced Tea. Sweet Iced Tea was his favorite, actually. “Yeah,” he said, taking the lid off his coffee and stirring it absently with one of those coffee stirrers, “My dad drinks a lot of coffee – but my mother makes her own tea blends, and always drinks those. Some are better than others while others are just – “ he paused a moment, looking for the right word, ”terrible”.

“Green scalloped potatoes?” He asked. The whole idea seemed entirely preposterous, but then again, this was the same holiday that a lot of people got drunk on. He had a few interesting food ideas when he was drunk – although he couldn’t recall any of them right at this time. Maybe it was the kind of thing that only happened when you were drunk – but he wasn’t going to test that theory any time soon. “I think the pancakes are the weirdest thing I have ever seen to be honest,” he stared at his coffee cup while he stirred it, and then looked back at Duncan, putting the stirrer on a napkin on the table.

“Up in Smoke? I don’t think I’ve been there. What kind of place is it? Something to do with smoking?” He wasn’t much of a smoker, either – in fact, he was never exposed to any of the usual college behavior of kids nowadays, seeing as how he had never been to college… at least, not yet. Didn’t have the opportunity to. Life kind of threw him a curve ball before he was done with high school. “Working. I want to go back to school at some point, but I honestly have no idea what kind of degree I would want to get. I work at a bookstore now, kind of just putting money aside until I what I want to do cements itself in my brain.” That wasn’t too unusual; a lot of college aged kids didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives, even after they graduated.

“How long have you lived here, if I may ask? I myself have lived here for a couple years now.” He asked, and laid out the time he’d been here, just to get it out of the way.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Apr 16 2017, 09:47 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




The weight of responsibility and work was something that Duncan was more than comfortable shouldering, to the point that it felt more natural and comfortable than when he didn't have it. It had been something he'd grown up with, ever the older brother and parental stand-in for his younger half-siblings, and honestly sometimes for his friends as well. The nephilim had grown up usually being the most level headed one and had always had an easy to talk to air about him. Ever the big brother of a group. So responsibility had almost become a character trait, a given thing in his life. And then it hadn't. He'd shed his responsibility to others and of work in order to look after his own health and wellbeing, something that put him adrift and lost for several months. Traveling and catching up with friends who had moved away after college had been a way to try and stave off that aimless feeling and try to find some other way to tether himself back to his life. Helping with rent and finding a new job in a new city had been daunting, but so far Duncan was enjoying San Francisco.

Of course working as a bartender had considerable less responsibility than working in a mental illness treatment center, but it was better for him. Both his psyche and his personal life. Having a mostly set schedule and not being on call meant that he had more reliable time to be out and actually enjoy the city and spend time with friends. Of course it also meant that he actually had time to establish some friendships because he wasn't constantly worried about being called into work. Responsibility and the freedom to have a social life. Something that he hadn't had since.... probably college to be honest. Well undergrad of college, considering he interned throughout his graduate studies.

Even then Duncan had had more responsibility in terms of his family than he did now. He'd stayed relatively close to them geographically and had been willing to drop everything at a moment's notice to help them. But in the time he had traveled and taken settling into the city Duncan had kept his siblings at a bit of an arm's length, needing the space to deal with his own issues and because they'd want him to come back home. Which, without any kind of real anchor holding him anywhere would have had Duncan caving to his siblings, and going after the familial comfort they offered. But they had lives of their own and he was carving one out for himself where he could learn and try to adapt to the effects of his abilities. Once that happened the nephilim would gladly reopen lines of communication back to what they had always been, and honestly, it was something that he was looking forward to. They were a combination of personality types but it was one that worked for them because of how familiar with all of it was.

"My parents were opposite, mum drank coffee and dad drank tea." Duncan commented amusedly. He offered a good-natured laugh at Xander's expression on the word 'terrible'. "Well not every blend can be a winner I suppose." And not all food related ideas were either. "Honestly those potatoes weren't either. They tasted fine apparently, but no one could get over how they looked except the friend who's brilliant idea it was to make them." That had been Blake. Any idea involving food while Blake was drinking was usually a bad idea if it didn't involve a drive through window. It was just off-putting to try to eat green potatoes and most had simply passed on them all together, naturally a drunk Blake hadn't thought anything was wrong with them at all. No one was willing to disprove him.

He nodded before taking a sip of his own drink, "It's a restaurant and hookah lounge. It's flavoured smoke I believe? Honestly, I don't smoke it, I'm just there to serve the alcohol and make sure no one gets over served or too unruly." He admitted. He hadn't ever smoked, not cigarettes, anything recreational and not with a hookah either. It was a minor godsend that Duncan didn't have to deal with the things, because he honestly would have no real idea how to get one ready for customers. "That's really smart, trust me, trying to decide what you want and switching majors in college is a lot of work. A lot. And frustrating sometimes. I actually switched majors three separate times, not sure who I drove up the wall more - the academic advisors or my best friend who had to deal my indecisiveness." It really didn't help that Blake had suggested psychology from the beginning and it was what he'd ended up settling in and enjoying.

He counted back while taking another sip of coffee, fingers tapping the cup absently as he did so, "Only since late December or early January, that time of year kind of always blurs together for me. But I was here and moved in in time for Beth's semester to start of her post grad studies, so a couple months in the city. So pretty much long enough to find a couple shops I really enjoy. It's a bit of an adjustment after living in the midwest."
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Apr 17 2017, 09:46 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



Xander didn’t have the kind of responsibility that Duncan had as he was the youngest of the Grayson children. The youngest, the most doted over – and the most damaged. Not to say that his siblings hadn’t shouldered the burden of their younger brother having to go to prison and then a mental ward. They had, and yet it had been his sister that had been the one that bothered to come see him. His mother, too, when she could spare the time away from her shop. But his father nor his brother had come to see him. Were they embarrassed by him? Afraid that what happened to Annabelle could happen to one of them? Xander didn’t have any answers, nor would he actively seek them now that he was out of both the prison and the mental ward. The weight of responsibility seemed to hit him like a Mack truck by the time he came out of those institutions. His mother had visited him shortly before his release, pleading with him to come home. But he wanted nothing to do with a town that didn’t want him. He took the money she offered, and took a bus to San Francisco – the furthest destination he deemed far enough.

The type of responsibility he had now was of his own making. He wanted to be in his position at the bookstore, wanted to live in the apartment he had now, and wanted to live his life as he saw fit. It wasn’t an easy road by any means, but he was surviving, coping. Doing what he could to keep the sanity he had left. He lost a lot of it in that mental ward – spending his days cooped up indoors with a load of other people with mental illness. A situation like that could weigh on a person, and it had, it did. It was hard to tell his mother no and just take her money, but he needed a new start, a new life somewhere away from the hate and the fear. Somewhere, where he wasn’t known. Two years he’d been here now, and he loved it here. He loved his job, loved the coven and its members, and he loved the rest of what the city offered him. But most of all he loved the freedom. A seemingly limitless amount of being able to do what he wanted to do, needed to do, or he could do nothing at all. It seemed like a dream from which he did not want to wake.

Being so far from home was hard some days, and yet his mother had always said he could call her any time, at any hour of the day and she would answer. To this day she had kept her word, answering even in the odd hours of the morning when she should be sleeping. Two hours wasn’t much of a time difference but still – he appreciated that his mother would be willing to speak with him in the early hours when they were both awake. He kept in touch with his sister over E-mails, or written letters, and sometimes she’d call him. They would talk for hours, sometimes about nothing at all because they had that type of relationship. But the other men of the Grayson family seemed to not want to speak with him. He all but fell out of contact with his brother, and his father called him sometimes on his birthday. In a lot of ways Xander felt as though he failed his father after everything that happened. Perhaps the man was right; maybe different changed outlooks over time.

“Was this a close friend of yours? Does that mean with me being weird, I have a chance to be your friend?” He quipped; terribly, he knew, and he gave a nervous laugh, hoping he hadn’t offended anyone with that statement, to which he added quickly as he rubbed the back of his head with a free hand, “Sorry that was a bad attempt at a joke. I didn’t mean to offend anyone.” His face flushed with color, a thing that didn’t look good on a pale person like him, a fact that only deepened the redness. Pushing passed it, he listened as Duncan started talking about his job.

“Don’t they call the stuff they smoke Shisha tobacco?” He said, remembering that Louisiana had a few places like that. Although, he doubted he would trust any of those shady places. He listened on about scholastic choices Duncan had gone through, and he took a drink of his coffee before widening his eyes a bit. “Three times? Wow, I really do need to give my degree some thought, then.” Honestly he thought that something in astronomy or chemistry might be the way for him to go, seeing as how he excelled at those subjects in high school. He had the brain for both subjects, and was fascinated by them both. In the end, though, it’d be best to pick one over the other. The interesting question remained, though: which one?

“Oh you’re from the Midwest? What part? I’m from Louisiana myself. Born and raised on a plantation there, if you can believe that.” It was a place steeped in magic as it was, and sort of iconic that he was born in the state. “This past March marked the second anniversary of moving here. I like it here. Enough that I rarely go back home nowadays. Only on special occasions, and usually only when my mom says things like ‘get here now’. But that’s parents for you. Mine, anyway.” And boy was it ever. “Well, let me be the welcoming committee and say, ‘Welcome! Please enjoy your stay! Yadda yadda etcetera,” he laughed, adding, “Been a while since I met anyone who held a conversation this long with me. You seem like a good guy, Duncan.” He said, meaning it.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: May 9 2017, 10:28 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost




Having gotten so used to always being responsible for something, the familiar weight had become a tether. Rooting him to a place and to a life to settle into and enjoy. It gave Duncan something solid in his life. He knew he wasn't made for an aimless or wandering kind of life. Rather the nephilim was more than happy as a tethered and working adult. Without it Duncan felt as if he'd float off, directionless and unstable without any way to root him to a life. It may appeal to some, but Duncan had definitely learned it didn't suit him.

Traditionally in his life family and work had been his largest anchors. Acting as the points he built his life around and where he drew meaning and connection from. Family had previously always superseded anything else, but for once he had put his own well being before anyone else. It had been difficult to do, but somehow he had managed it. Tore himself up and took off without any more direction or decision than what friend he'd visit next. It had been fine in the short term but daunting and exhausting to think of doing it any longer than he had.

Of course uprooting himself had done some damage to his relationship with his siblings, and there were moments he regretted being so far away from them. Times he'd go to make a comment or send a text about something they'd like only to remember the time difference or distance. The occasional text or random call from them always made his day and would only ever go unanswered if he was at work. It had always been like that and would always be like that; Duncan may have been further away but he'd be damned if he still wasn't their big brother. It was hard but necessary and Duncan was looking forward to being able to fully connect with his siblings again.

"My best friend actually." Duncan laughed, unable to really say anything against Xander calling Blake weird. It was a weird sounding story, because who in their right mind made potatoes green? Although Blake had had more than enough charm to make most people seem to forget his oddities until they were confronted with them point blank. "He's been called worse, so don't worry about it too much Xander. He's especially weird whenever he got drunk.". Honestly Duncan had probably called his friend worse things. He wouldn't comment on the blush, figuring the blonde already felt bad enough about it. Rather the nephilim would let it pass without comment and wave it off as easily as he did the comment about his best friend being weird.

He nodded again, shisha sounded right. Honestly it was a small wonder that he got the job with knowing so little about smoking hookah, but somehow he'd managed it and wasn't about to question his position. "That sounds like the right name. It's generally good for everyone involved that I don't touch the hookahs. But I would say the bar service and food is good." A little bias on his opinion but oh well.

Remembering back to his struggle to settle and stay in a major was both amusing and a little cringe inducing. From applying into a health sciences program, to kinesiology and finally to psychology had been quite the journey. From pestering friends to be sounding boards for his decision when they had barely made their own, borderline hounding academic advisors, and to the occasional attempts to basically beg his way into classes he needed it had been a lot of extra work. Especially because Blake had suggested psychology from the very beginning. "Yeah, always knew I wanted to help people I was just never sure how. I'm pretty sure by the end of it the academic advisors were happy to not see me. And knowing you're in the program you want and enjoy makes the work so much more bearable too." There was nothing quite like paying and spending hours working for a course you hated.

So Duncan's knowledge of the southern states wasn't the best, consisting mostly of stereotypes and conceptions that were probably misguided. But he had thought plantations weren't a thing anymore. "Like a working one? Or just the property? I mean my history isn't the best but didn't plantations largely shut down?" He was quite certain they had but Duncan hadn't ever been to the South. Honestly San Francisco was the most south he'd ever been. "Illinois, though I moved there when I was fourteen. Originally I'm from across the pond, I was born and grew up in Britain. That had been different.".

"Congrats on two years here?" It felt a bit odd to say it, but also a bit odd to not say it considering the small welcome he'd received. "At least your mum says it out right, let's you know in no uncertain terms she wants you home for a while. My dad attempts and usually fails at subtly, and then my sister blows up my phone until she gets an answer.". Sure he'd never been this far from home before, but his work used to often have him missing holidays and such so his family would just randomly start dropping hints he'd gone too long without seeing them. It was heart warming and mildly annoying at the same time - but only because his sisters were fantastic at harassing him.

He shrugged and sipped his coffee with an momentarily contemplative look. "It's hard to talk with new people, everyone is usually so busy in their own little worlds that they forget everyone has their own little world to worry about. And it probably doesn't help that a lot of times it's introverts camping out in places like this."

PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: May 16 2017, 10:09 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



Once upon a time a long time ago, family had meant more to him than anything else in this world. But as it often happened to most young men, a different kind of love came his way and he was snatched up in its embrace. Love had been a beautiful thing to the young witch – and with that love came being wanted, as in someone actually wanted him in their life. Of course, his parents loved him and wanted him to remain with them for as long as he could – but it was that want that only another person could supply that he sought out the most. The kind of thing that family just wouldn’t be able to supply.

With love came heartbreak and loss, two things that he had never experienced before in his life. He had to grow up relatively fast after it all came crashing down. The little boy became a man long before his time, and was introduced to things that no one should ever see in their lifetimes. An overwhelming sense of guilt haunted him for a long time as well – and still was carried on his shoulders most days. His family told him that it wasn’t his fault, and others would say the same – but he saw the way they looked at him. A gift, his grandmother had said, was his empathy – being able to understand and share the feelings of another. It never mattered what they said because he could tell what they were feeling. People who knew him knew about the empathy, and some of them didn’t even try to hide their feelings. In fact, he had one friend of his tell him flat out that she thought Xander was ‘shy a few crayons from a full box’. It was a nice way of saying he was a lunatic – and he appreciated the kindness, but it didn’t erase what it meant.

Living on his own was a far better option. He could walk down the street and people didn’t throw him looks of distrust or hate. In fact, when they looked at him, sometimes they smiled at him and that always seemed to lift his spirits. But that was only some of the time. There were also weird looks that Xander didn’t try to explain – some people just looked at you weird. Occasionally he grew homesick, and he’d call his mother or his sister and get the latest of what was going on in the state. Things were relatively ordinary: a bit of crime here, a marriage there or a funeral, or someone told his mother to say hi to him. Bits and pieces that were neither significant nor unimportant. Rowena was the one that emailed him every other day, but it was his mother that called him every week. And what was more, he always looked forward to her call.

“Oh yeah? Whoops.” He felt bad almost instantly, and knew it couldn’t be taken back now that it was said. It was best to try to go on with the conversation as best as he could. Duncan’s words eased him a bit, and he smiled at the comment about being weird when drunk, “I think a lot of people have been weird at one point while drunk – I know I have.” Although there were no wild keggers or college parties in his life, there were a few nights where he sang to his ferret when he was drunk. At least Oscar didn’t think him weird or call him as such. Such a faithful pet that ferret was.

“Maybe I could stop in one time and check it out – I like good food,” he said brightly. Being raised in the south, there were a lot of good foods to enjoy and try out. His mother always spoiled him growing up, feeding her family with Cajun cooking. “What kind of food is it? Any specific type or just the usual bar food? Burgers, fries and that kind of thing?” It was nice to know what kind of food was served, lest he order something strange – like cricket casserole or something – and insult the cook by not eating it. That was just rude. He wondered, though, if there could be weird food joints like that. If so, he’d avoid them. Simple as that.

“I will sit down one of these days and do some hardcore research for what I want to do – until then, I am happy to try to make some cash to put towards it,” there really wasn’t any rush; he was still young – although he didn’t know if he would turn sixty and choose to go to school then. There was nothing wrong with that, of course, because he knew there were people that did that.

“Oh no – this plantation was shut down shortly after the South went under, pretty much like most of them did after the war. Those, anyway, that weren’t burnt down by the Union. But it has been in the family since before then – my great, great grandparents built it.” A place steeped in history – Xander knew the most of the history, but the nitty gritty details were kept from him until he was old enough to understand them. His mother had just started to pull out albums and books shortly before the accident. He loved it there, in spite of the history it had. He always felt as though home was where nothing bad could ever happen. And nothing ever really did, fortunately – other than his mother getting ill shortly after he was born. “Oh yeah? That must have been a pretty exciting place to be. I’ve always wanted to travel.” His extent of travel was by bus across the country practically after he left Louisiana.

“Thanks. Mom didn’t want me to leave – but,” there was always that but, “Dad convinced her it was the right thing for me to do. My sister and brother left around that age, and dad figured it was my turn.” He shrugged, not really knowing what else to say then spilling the beans about the actual reason for his leaving. Xander chose this moment to drink more of his coffee, and snuff any idea that he should tell his life story here and now. There was a time and a place for everything, yadda yadda.

“Like us, right?” He certainly wasn’t an extrovert – not really, anyway. Sometimes, but not all the time.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Jun 18 2017, 09:55 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost



So much of Duncan's life had revolved around his family, even after moving out for college and then to live on his own. Even with more distance he's remained ingrained in his family's lives, always there to be an open ear or to offer advice. And of course he hadn't been above some good natured teasing when spirits were high and they had a chance to just be close siblings - without all of the weight of life they carried. Particularly with Elizabeth, the next oldest of his siblings. Hell even Duncan's first love - and best friend - had been well entrenched into his family, staying at his place often enough that he had fit into the flow of Duncan's family. That had only made it easier when they'd moved in together to start their adult lives and venture out on their own.

Now Duncan was even further from that family, and finding a new flow in a life not living with someone he already had an established routine with. Not that his current roommate was hard to live by any means, just a new rhythm to find. They'd had a bit of practice when he'd visited her before they moved out west together so it wasn't something totally new to get used to.

All in all it had mostly been a gradual thing, establishing himself as something separate and other than just the oldest Anderson child. It gave Duncan room to slowly grow into himself as his own person. Even though he'd grown ad matured much too fast as a child - shouldering the weight of responsibility early Duncan had still been young and reliant on his family for support and as a grounding point for his life. For once he'd felt on par with his peers as he'd adjusted to being without his full support network. It was that that Duncan had often attributed for his ability to take in and handle the kind of work he had without it bearing down on him.

Of course that didn't stop it from impacting his psyche, but that had more to do with what he was and not who.

Just like many of his peers through college Duncan had his fair share of weird drunken stories, times of waking up with a pounding head and cursing his choices from the night before. Especially the next time he'd wake up hungover after making those same choices again. But wasn't that part of growing up? Making stupid mistakes and sometimes learning from them. And occasionally hating the drunk version of yourself for having to deal with the consequences of a night that may have gotten a little out of hand, gone a few beers too many. "I don't think I know anyone who hasn't been weird while drunk. Except for a few friends who don't drink, but that's a whole different story." Couldn't really count if they'd never been drunk. But it was easy to brush aside some less than stellar choices with the comradery of others whose choices were just as bad sometimes. Everyone was entitled to their mistakes. Bound to happen when trying to figure themselves out mixed with a new form of freedom.

"Middle Eastern food actually, it's a full restaurant before shifting into a bar later at night. Dinner and drinks, that sort of thing. It's all really good food, I haven't tried anything I didn't like." He'd offer casually. "And I swear I'm not just talking up the place I work, or because I'm friend with the chef there. It's just good food." Though it did help for when he worked longer shifts and would simply grab food there instead of going somewhere else. Saved him time and who would turn down perfectly good food.

Duncan would nod, "Smart plan." He had a good head on his shoulders, something that the nephilim figured would help Xander in his pursuits - even if the boy never managed to make it to university to pursue more schooling. It was the kind of thing that would help with what life could throw at a person. Make some of the curveballs easier to handle when you were able to sit down and think things through rather than just react.

Sipping on his coffee Duncan supposed that made sense - lose the war and the point of contention would be put to bed. Hopefully. Of course attitudes would still persist, as they were tricky and had the annoying of persisting well beyond their welcome. Particularly when those attitudes involved negativity. Though he supposed referring to slavery as a negative attitude wasn't quite acknowledging all of the horrors experienced because of it, but the sentiment was true enough. "Makes sense. Sorry, American history isn't my forte by any means." Any history that didn't involve a haunted building and/or location wasn't to be quite honest. "I suppose it was more so just different. I mean I was fourteen when I moved and there is only so much excitement you can get into that young. Less so when you're sometimes responsible for toting three younger siblings around." Really learning to play with fire was about as exciting as it had been, and that had been more stressful than anything else. Plus hiding the realities of a sick mother from those same siblings. That really left little room for too much excitement in his life at that time.

"Sometimes it's harder when the younger children leave I guess. Empty nest and all of that too." He mused aloud, as if an extra late protective streak showed up when a younger child was ready to leave. Protective tendencies that may have been lax in earlier years returning much later. "My younger siblings had a harder time than my dad when I moved out. They had the unfair advantage of still being cute when they tried to guilt me into staying." Duncan admitted with a chuckle.

"Exactly like us." He agreed holding his coffee up for a moment in a small salute with a grin.
PMAIM
^
Xander Grayson
 Posted: Jun 21 2017, 04:38 PM
122 posts
puppeted by J-Chan
Xan, Pyro, Blaze
MST Him/His/He
job
Bookstore Clerk
species
Witch
group
None
sexuality
Heterosexual
status
Single
age
26
mature
Yes, bring 'em on.
If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.
N/A
Firestarter



To be ripped away from everything he knew was the hardest part for Xander when it came right down to it. But it was better that way, he knew. His family wouldn’t be hounded by those looking for answers, trying to peek through the windows and shit like that to get a glimpse of the killer that lived in their hometown. Didn’t stop the hurtful words and the glares his family received, yet in much less volume than if he had been around at the time. In the last couple years it was easier to talk with his family, not hearing what this neighbor said or that neighbor said. Easier to sleep, too, knowing that they wouldn’t be hounded or chastised for having a son that had killed someone. The hate had fortunately stayed in Louisiana, and hadn’t followed him. He had to wonder, though, if he were to go back for any length of time, if the hateful talk and such wouldn’t sprout up again at his arrival. His visits to home were few, and he had very little contact with anyone outside his own family. Unlike some families, they weren’t judgmental and knew that the accident had been exactly that – an accident.

No one to judge him here, though, and whisper about him behind his back. Could finally go out into the world and not be judged for the incident – judged for other things, sure, like the way he dressed or the way he wore his hair. And that he didn’t mind. Not one bit. Let someone criticize his sneakers or his not-name-brand clothing he wore on his back. It didn’t matter to him – all that was just talk. Talk he could live with. Easier to live with than best friends turning to strangers because of what they read about in the paper or heard on the radio. But the man across from him wasn’t going to judge him, or at least, that was the impression he had gotten from him so far. Hell, Xander had straight up lambasted a friend of the man, and he didn’t so much as flinch. Perhaps that was a sign that this man wasn’t what most people were, IE, judgmental assholes?

Being out here, Xander had learned that in order to grow, he’d have to get himself out there and meet new people. He could be a shut-in for only so many years, and six months of it a little over a year ago was enough. Enough for a lifetime, in fact. The shut-in he had become was his fear of something new, egging at him and reminding him that new wasn’t always a good thing. But the new was generally always accepted, eventually. As strange as it sounded, even prison and the mental ward was something he accepted.

He’d not gone through the keggars and drinking fiascos of college, yet. Perhaps he would, but perhaps he wouldn’t. College didn’t mean you had to go out and get drunk every weekend. And besides, he wasn’t really the type to drink himself into a coma. A few sips here or there, and drinks usually left without being finished – sacrilege in most social circles, he knew. But that was how he was, and how he always would be. “I don’t drink much, and I know what they say about drinking alone – that you shouldn’t – but honestly drinking alone is the only way I drink nowadays. I don’t do bars, really, unless there’s food there, and avoid parties as often as I can.” Not that he had many friends in which to party with, but that was more or less his own choosing.

“Oh that sounds interesting. I’ve never had Middle Eastern food before, I don’t think, so it might be something I’d try. I’m used to Cajun because of my mother, but I’ll try anything, as long as it’s good.” He didn’t think that Duncan would lie in that regard; friends, on the other hand…

Xander merely smiled when Duncan said that it was a smart plan. While he wasn’t exactly the smartest person in the world, he did have a good head on his shoulders, and like with most things, experience often would get him farther than merely just talking of something. Perhaps it was a bad comparison, but even going through the things he did with Annabelle was experience that would only benefit him in the future. And the moral of the story? Don’t rush into anything you don’t think you’re ready for. And the same could be said of school, he gathered.

“Guess I paid too much attention to the History channel when my dad was watching it…” and in high school, if he was being honest. He rubbed the back of his head as he spoke, letting out a bit of a laugh as he recalled his father watching it. Being the curious child he was, he’d watch TV with his father, learning more about the world outside their quaint little plantation in the South. “You have three siblings? Brothers, sisters?” Family; it was a topic he liked talking about. “Yeah, I know it was hard for my sister, too. I’m really close with her, and that kind of distance…” he trailed off a bit and shook his head, and continued, “We joke sometimes that she should move out here, and here in the last few months, she’s gotten more serious about it. I really don’t know if she’d like it, though. Of course, she does like the city.” He shook his head and drank a bit of his coffee, deciding then and there that it’d be better to talk of those kinds of things with Rowena herself, and not some stranger he’d just met.

“Sorry, shouldn’t be bothering you with those kinds of things, having just met you and all. I tend to ramble when I meet someone I like,” awkward, “And I like you, Duncan. You’ve been really nice to me, and I appreciate that.” He flushed, a feeling rising in his cheeks that embarrassed him further, and he tried to mentally cut it out. You’re cute, too, he thought to himself and quickly told his mind to shut it. He held out his cup as well, hoping to make it seem like the steam from the cup was the thing that was flushing him. It wasn’t, but it was a good try, at least. He cleared his throat, and set his cup back on the table, saying, “So what is it like being the older brother? I know being the youngest is – well, no picnic, but my siblings were good to me, ya know?” Right. Talk about family.
PMEmail
^
Duncan Anderson
 Posted: Jul 4 2017, 02:52 PM
55 posts
puppeted by kenzie
Duncan
EST (Canada) he/him
job
Bartender (Up in Smoke)
species
Nephilim
group
Heaven
sexuality
bisexual
status
single
age
32
mature
let's get down and dirty
Chasing me to my end, I can’t say where that is I’m running again
N/A
just a little lost



As much as family meant to Duncan he was happy to no longer be cramped into the same living space as his siblings. There was a kind of easy respect and space given to him by his father, something Duncan had had ever since he'd shouldered some the responsibility of raising the three other Anderson children. A comradery and ease of sharing space born of having the weight of a household on their shoulders and somehow managing it together. It had meant that there was less worry when he'd gone off to college and then to move out on his own. No need to worry that he wouldn't be able to take of himself when he'd taken care of everyone else around him.

Sure taking care of himself was much less hectic than adding the needs of three other people onto his things to worry about, but he'd also lost some of the comradery that came from losing a parent young and having to have moved across the world. It also tended to get a little awkward when others discovered that he'd lost his mother, always tripping over their words to apologize for asking or worrying over reopening an old emotional wound. It hadn't hurt to think of his mother in years, Duncan had mourned and grieved her loss already. Hell there were times that he forgot the people he met here didn't know. It was just part of his life that seemed like such an integral part of him and how he grew up that he was often caught unawares when people learned that. Basically made it an awkward situation all around and best to be rushed through so as to avoid too much embarrassment for either party involved.

Most of the time Duncan had been content with smaller and more lowkey drinking with his friends, with no real compulsion to go out to clubs or keggars. Half of his friends on the other hand were the kind of people happy to host them. So Duncan was often cajoled into going and usually at least enjoyed himself - even if he'd dealt with sick friend more often than he would have liked. "Avoiding college parties isn't necessarily a bad thing. They can get weird and really messy. Keggars make everything sticky." He'd lost a few pairs of shoes to the mess that keggars made of floors throughout college.

"I hadn't either until I started working there. Figured I should at least have an opinion of the food since I'm useless for all the hookah stuff."

He'd shrug while grinning, "Not a bad channel to have paid a lot of attention to." Better than being obsessed with reality shows or overdramatic soap operas. Sometimes having younger siblings to gang up and outnumber him hadn't been fun, particularly when they to control the remote for hours on end. Which would usually result in Duncan retreating into his own space to avoid the mind numbing programs. "Two sisters and one brother. Our house was almost always in some kind of chaos with all of us. Honestly going to college was kind of tough because I had to leave them, the distance can get hard huh?" Evidently they both knew how distance sometimes made it feel like being a whole world away from family. He laughed, "Sounds like she might be open to it, or at least visiting." Duncan would do the same to his siblings, and he was pretty certain if he gave even the smallest hint of wanting his siblings to visit yet they'd make it happen. Sometimes distance made you realize how much you missed having a person there all the time.

"Don't worry about it, it takes a lot more than a friendly conversation to bother me." He'd awkwardly hitch up one shoulder in an embarrassed shrug, almost ducking a bit at the appreciation. "I like you too Xander, and I mean it's not really - well I mean I'm normally a pretty nice person. Or at least some I'm told." It had been a surprise to hear it and suddenly Duncan was sheepish at the compliment, offering the seat and falling into a conversation wasn't too note worthy right? The conversation had come easily and naturally, but it seemed that suddenly all of his introversion had remerged. Talking about school and work and family? Easy enough. Appreciation? Not so much apparently.

Oh back to family, yes that was easier to talk about. "I guess it's different for everyone, depends on the family y'know? But I've always tried to look out for them, they're my younger siblings and I'll be damned if something happened to them that I could protect them from. We've always been close siblings, especially once we moved and all had to get used to a whole new country, of course it was easier for Cam and Annelise - the two youngest - since they don't have as many memories of living in Britain."


"I helped take of them as we got older, made sure they were okay, helped with homework and projects all of that stuff. There was all the normal bickering and all of that, but at the end of the day we're siblings and we're close. So I guess being the older brother is a lot of work sometimes, but it's all worth it to know that they're taken care of, that they know they've always got me in their corner."
Talking about his siblings it was clear how much Duncan loved his family. "Even if they harass me about moving at every bloody chance they get." He'd add, blushing a bit over talking about his siblings and half sounding like a proud parent.
PMAIM
^

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