Logs:Couch-Surfing Prince

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Couch-Surfing Prince
Dramatis Personae

Landon, Wish and Wyck

19 January, 2018


Wyck runs into 'Prince Charming' who's down on his luck at the Daily Grind.

Location

Daily Grind, Seabreeze Apartments


It's early evening and Wyck of the White Hair is seated at a small table in the front of the coffee shop sipping his favorite black brew while absently letting a pencil drag itself across the surface of a new sketchbook. Dressed in the black of a faux-goth, he's a mix of 'street-chic' and 'Mad Max'. Nothing's for show on him, it's just a look that's developed over his few, short years.


Coffee is, of course, an amazing elixir, especially these days. It's not that coffee didn't exist in his time, it was simply a luxury beyond his station. Although technically his station elevated when he became a Prince in Arcadia, though he can't remember enough of his durance to consider whether or not he had coffee there. Probably not. Landon walks in, wearing a threadbare t-shirt, ratty jeans, and a simple black hoodie which is honestly not his color at all. Not with all his brightness--he literally glows, to those who can see such things, with an inner radiance. Or perhaps it's that the light is drawn to him? It's hard to say. What isn't hard to say is that his voice, when he orders, is just outright distracting in its beauty. The Fairest of them All. They call them such for a reason. And no amount of ratty clothing can hide that, as he beams a smile out that makes hearts flutter. He pays for a simple, plain black coffee, and doesn't sweeten it, or put anything in it at all. Instead, he seems to just enjoy the warmth of the drink--it's a cold night, and he isn't going to have to go out into that cold for a bit yet.


He notices Wyck. How could he not notice Wyck? The only other changeling in this place. Landon is mostly human--although clearly more than that--but Wyck has obvious qualities...pointed ears and dandelion-fluff hair. He moves over to Wyck and gives him a small bow--more than a nod, less than actually genuflecting. Rather courtly, of course. "Good evening...May I join you? I don't know about you, but I could certainly use pleasant company, if you wouldn't mind my own."


Wyck's only seen one other of the Bright Ones before and every time it catches him by surprise. Paused in mid-sip of his cup of sweet, black coffee, he doesn't move his hand to lower the cup but just lets his ice-blue eyes shift to track the black hoodie-wearing young man. The courtly manners seem throw him for a bit and the artist can't decide whether he should put the coffee down and start sketching frantically or just play it cool and invite him to sit. For now...coolness wins and he uses a booted foot to push out a chair for the guy.

"Have a seat," he offers in a nonplussed tone.


Whereas Landon might still retain the princely looks from his time in Arcadia, Wyck seems to be more of the prince that was turned into the pauper. Still blessed with the eternal youth and striking features, he's more of a diamond in the ruff.


It's strange perhaps to see such earnesty from anyone in this day and age. Because when Landon is offered a seat, he is -genuinely- happy to have made a friend, or at least to have the opportunity to make one. But then he realizes he hasn't even introduced himself, and rushes to do so--it's basic etiquette. "Forgive me, I haven't even given you my name. I was, perhaps, distracted by the prospect of making a new friend. I'm Landon. Um. No last name yet. And it's not my real name but I don't remember my -actual- name and I've been called 'Your Majesty' for so long that I don't remember if I had an actual name in Arcadia either..." He rambles slightly. And then catches himself, as he sits. "I apologize. Too much too fast. I'm clearly starving for company." He laughs, and his laughter is musical, and bright. It's almost laughable how much of a fairy-tale prince he really is. Put him on a horse, give him a sword, and you'd expect him to burst into song while fighting a dragon or kissing a princess. It's somewhat jarring, like he just stepped out of a Disney movie. It's especially jarring since his clothes are so very common, and he seems to be actively trying, and failing, to turn off the courtly etiquette and charm. He sits properly, squared shoulders. Like royalty. "Oh that doesn't mean. Please don't call me that. Just...Landon, please. I don't. I'm not a Prince. I never was. I just. Played one." He pauses. "Okay, let's start over. I'm Landon." He reaches to shake Wyck's hand. "How fare you this evening? I mean how are you?"


Where as Landon is tripping over his own words, Wyck is curiously silent. As the Princely, bright one tries to express so many things in the first few steps in this conversational journey, the gentleman thief answers with a simple twitch of a pointed ear or a raise of an eyebrow. He's, above all things, patient when he needs to be. So he's content to let the man try and get through the first few salvos of an introduction before he sets the cup of coffee down and returns the favor. "M'lord..." he calms, "...you would do me the honor of addressing me as Wyck the Whitehair, Captain of the Icarus." His head bows slightly, a practiced if minute gesture to greet the man. "...or using the more mundane parlance, 'Wyck White' or even more simply 'Wyck'." He winks mischievously at the apparent recent refugee and offers. "But we can speak however you would prefer...assuming that you keep your voice to a moderately respectable level."


Landon laughs. "Oh god, what have I inspired?" He pulls one leg up to balance on the other, holding his ankle on his knee with one hand--trying to be less formal. "Wyck, then. And please, Landon. I revert to courtly etiquette when nervous, it's a terrible habit. It will give everyone the wrong impression of me. When you play a role for so long, it becomes a part of you...Not that I...remember all of it." The light behind him seems to give him an aura--like the spotlight were on him. But mortals wouldn't notice that of course. Nor would they notice him softly glowing in complete darkness. He intentionally slouches in the chair, trying his best to be relaxed, even if it feels uncomfortable. "I'm afraid I'm still adjusting to the world I now find myself in. Even before I was taken, I wasn't in a world like this. I am a man out of time." He pauses, then nods to the sketchbook. "You're an artist?" He inquires, with genuine interest. "I can draw, somewhat, but I am sure that I will never be accused of being an artist. Not in that sense, anyway." He smiles, and sips coffee. Somehow the lack of sugar doesn't bother him. He's honestly used to drinking much worse.


The whitehair's face is a mask of patient curiosity, like the lazy cat in the kitchen who's been watching some random bit of fluff blow across his line of sight. "Yes..." he finally answers as his weirdly blue eyes dance across the man's form in a way that could be seen as invasive. Nothing's off-limits to his gaze as the artist in him is already half-drawing the way that he holds his ankle when he sits or possibly how straight his posture is. Whether or not Landon would ever sit for him, at least parts of him will probably end up in his book at some point. "...I'm an artist. That's actually how I've been able to afford to live in this..." he looks around as though indicating the 'modern' world. "...new life. You'll forgive me but it looks like you're not adjusting too well to life outside the castle. Yes?"


Landon considers. "Yes and no? Outside the castle, sure. I went on grand adventures, saved princesses, fought dragons and witches...Although I can't fathom how I did some of that. It comes to me in flashes." He pauses. "But outside of my...role as Prince? I'm having trouble adjusting, of course. Because even when I think back to my life, I was...things were...different." He puts a hand on the back of his neck. "It's louder. It's more chaotic. There are machines here that are terrifying, and yet people treat them as mundane. Money is...somehow...formless? It's...In the air, somehow?" He doesn't get it, clearly. "That is..People pay for things without actually having money in hand, and I don't understand how any of that works. So. Yes. I'm not quite there, yet. But I have clothes, I walk the city, I sleep under the stars..." He pauses. "Well no, actually I mostly sleep during the day because it's warmer." He admits. "But I used to have a cloak to make that easier, and now cloaks are out of fashion. I lost mine on my way out...along with my sword..." He pauses. "Ah...I take it you've had longer to become acquainted to everything."


“Yes, I’ve been out for about a year and traveled from the south west now to the north east in one of the machines that carries people around.” The terms that Landon is using immediately grabs Wyck’s attention because he’s met someone who has had a time-jump like this. The one he knew lost nearly eighty years in Arcadia but it would appear that the princeling has lost quite a bit more. “Could you tell me what Court you’ve sworn fealty to?” He asks curiously and then waves a hand dismissively as though political issues aren’t as important in their discussion. “Well, I will find lodgings for you until we can get you situated. I am used to such a life but...you, my friend, would attract more attention than we would -ever- want to handle.” There’s a faint, if mischievous smile turning at the corner of his lips as he takes a contemplative sip of his coffee and then asks, “Have you any other belongings or baggage to move around or just what you stand up in? Have you eaten or anything else that I might address this night?”


Landon considers. "Dawn. Court of Hope. I...their ideals are the only ones that made sense for me." He pauses. Considers. "Ah...Don't trouble yourself overmuch on my account. I'm not really hungry..." Oh yes he is. He is a -terrible- liar. Children can catch his lies. Easily. Seems Arcadia beat out any dishonesty from him. "I don't mean to attract attention, really. I have these clothes and...that's it, basically, yes. But I don't need material things, really. I am used to travel, used to feats of endurance..." He pauses. Bad memories apparently. He's used to being pushed to within an inch of his life over and over. And he loses himself in those thoughts a few moments. Then realizes, you know, the world still exists and Wyck is still conversing with him. "I suppose I get by on kindness. There are shelters that give out clothing. I've gone to them for clothing, and little else. I'm concerned about taking space from someone who could use warmth and food more than I. I've...done fine with much less. Although I've had to scavenge the hedge here and there for food. Seems...simple, human food isn't enough." He trails off a little. If he's fallen through the cracks it's only because he seems intent on being a martyr. It isn't pride, it's -intense- compassion for others.


So the man can not lie. Well, that could just be down-right fun to watch, Wyck thinks to himself. The younger-looking Fair Fae learned to tell a lie before he could speak - if his mother was to be believed. He learned to live one when he was ten and could sell it by the time he was twelve. But such is the life of a gay kid in the deep ‘Merican south. “Well...first, you’re going to follow me to where I tend to stay. That way we can talk and it won’t matter if you can’t remember that you aren’t what you were...here. Then I’ll get us some food because it would be -terribly- impolite for me to eat in front of you and not offer you something. I =do= have manners and all that.” His rationale is based on the fine southern tradition of using one’s offer of hospitality as a kindness to the host rather than to the guest. The guest will be fed and housed but only because the host ‘couldn’t bare’ to let all of what they have go to waste.


”Sound like a plan to you?” he asks politely while depositing his sketchbook in his satchel in preparation to leave.


Landon pauses, in thought. "It's...odd, being on the receiving end of such hospitality. I hope to one day be able to repay the f avor." He stands, and nods. "Hopefully I can at least repay you with pleasant conversation. That may be all I have to offer. Unless you'd like a song." He grins. "But I don't have an instrument." He shrugs. "I miss my lute. One day I'll buy another. Or um. Something more modern, I suppose." He reaches forward to shake Wyck's hand again. "Thank you. Truly. I suppose it's fitting for us to stand together. I doubt any of our...experiences over there have been pleasant." He then gives Wyck another small bow, a little deeper this time. "Should you need a favor in the future, don't hesitate to call on me." The two would have been a sight that would have drawn photographers. The two fairest, riding on Wyck's 'borrowed' motorcycle, driving through the city with the wind in their hair. Since it's Wyck's bike, prince awesome can ride behind him. The tip didn't take too long and the good captain managed to call ahead to Wish while they were pausing to pick up a bag of burgers on the way over. Wyck explains that the apartment complex is a safe house, of sorts, for the fairest kind while they walk inside, up the stairs to knock on Wish's door.


The girl that answers the door is a slight thing, a touch over five foot, slim, athletic build rather than some wispy waif. Dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin. Wolves' ears and tail of chimerical smoke. No fancy hedgeware, just comfy leggings, hoodie over a pink tee of some sort. It has a faded flower print of some sort. "Hello," this girl shall greet, in a bright and welcoming way. A grin, an earnest one, though perhaps a bit too tooth, with feral canines. "Um." And she pauses. She should've rehearsed. "Uh, welcome to apartment? My apartment?" East Euro accent of some sort.


Landon is still getting used to this. Motorcycles and cars and such. He nevertheless rides on the bike, though he hangs on for dear life. When he gets to the apartment door, he's shaking a little. "Hi. Yes. Happy to be here. On solid ground. That isn't moving." He laughs. Oh god seriously when is he ever going to get used to that. How has his skin not flown off, going that fast. In any case, he is definitely glowing. Literally, like. He is luminescent. Surrounded by the light of the stars and the glow of porch lights, that seems to cling to him, embrace him. But he has his own inner glow as well. It's like a spotlight, or an aura, depending on where he's standing. In complete darkness he will nevertheless shine bright. Like a princely nightlight. And of course, the beauty and charm and, it might be noted, physical perfection of the Fairest is apparent. What else is new. Seem one unearthly beautiful fairest, seen them all, right? But he at least has something different than usual. A princely quality. Sort of heroic. Like he stepped right out of a fairy-tale. Except he's wearing ratty jeans and a black hoodie. "Landon." He offers, by way of introduction. "A pleasure. I apologize for the short notice. And for lacking an appropriate gift for the hospitality." He bows to Wish like he were greeting a lady in court. And then immediately realizes how foolish he looks, and blushes a little, as he nervously adjusts his hair. "Uh. Right. Good to meet you, anyway."


Wyck hands the bag of burgers to Landon and smiles at him with a quick suggestion that he should ‘share’ some of the burgers with Wish. See...instant gift. “Thank Wish. I would have taken him to my place but it’s not empty, no where -near- as neat and...well…”he glances between the Dawn and the Dusk, “...this is just going to be fun to watch.” The teenaged artist doesn’t exactly make himself home in Wish’s place - that would be more rude than his Southern upbringing would ever allow, but he’s probably been by at least once before if only for a short visit.


“We’ll need to get him a place...he’s another one of the time-jumped folks. Pre-century from what I’d gather based on how he’s reacting to things.” He smiles over the smoke wolf and asks, “Would you allow me to stash him here for a few minutes while I go see what rooms they have available?”


She doesn't have an observable Mantle. And, around her, nor does anyone else. And where the newcomer might be all princely in bearing, the wolfgirl has a strong sense of the feral. Like all this (apparently genuine?) civility was a thin veneer over something predatory. "My name is Visnja," she shall introduce. As one does. Because that's how things are done, though the formality of a bow seems to amuse her, like whatchadoin'thatfor? Wyck is regarded as he wanders off, effectively abandoning this new person to her devices, so she'll study him a bit. In case she needs to reassemble him later, but the moment passes and she sort of looks around her own apartment. "This is my apartment." A little nod, agreeing with herself. "Um. Come in?" This sounds lame. Landon is already in.


Landon happily passes on the burgers to Wish, with a smile. He doesn't sit until/unless Wish does. It simply isn't polite. "Gladly, thank you." He moves into the room a little further, although he does remove his shoes and place them somewhere out of the way. It's a courtesy--not one he's used to, really but one he learned of and now employs. "Visnja." He says, fairly easily. He's actually native to Austria, so that sort of sound isn't super unfamiliar to him--he's probably known people with similar names. Although you wouldn't know he speaks fluent German unless you asked him. His English is perfect. There is probably a reason for that. "I'm sorry to intrude, truly. It seems I um." He looks toward Wyck for a moment--except he isn't there, which is fine. "I must seem like a lost puppy. I am...more or less getting along alright, but everyone immediately offers shelter. It's kind. It's heartening to see, but I'm sure there are more deserving recipients."


Austrian? The girl's accent is Croatian. Or near enough. The formality is waved off in an absent way and she'll pad over (in socked feet) to the kitchen-part of the small apartment to get a couple plates for the food. Not because it's inherently uncivilized to eat without them, but more... well... she has plates. They came with the apartment. They get distributed over the small kitchen table. To not use them seems to deny their being. "It is okay? I like to have guest. Do you want drink? I have... uh..." A moment to check the fridge, because she forgets. "Juice. Beer. Wine. Votka. Also water-from-tap." And a bright grin, beamed at her houseguest. DECIDE ON A BEVERAGE NOW.


Landon considers. "Beer sounds good." He considers, as he finally forces himself to sit. Now it seems that being overly polite is its own sort of rudeness--something he's learning. He does his best to sit comfortably, ending up sitting cross-legged in the chair, if only to force himself out of his normal politely stiff seated posture. And, scandal of scandals, he takes a bite of a burger--he's actually fairly hungry, and it seems formality isn't necessary after all. He's had burgers before, of course. People have bought him one before, in the last few months he's been around and homeless. They were given out at shelters here and there. But this is a particularly good one. It isn't donated, isn't stale, isn't cheap. And he's basically ravenous. But to his credit, he nevertheless eats slowly. Chews thoroughly. "I'm...Not entirely sure how I will...I know this is a safehouse, as he said, but still, it's a debt I must repay..." He pauses. "I don't have much to offer other than myself. If you have work you need done, perhaps?"


Another gesture, a handwave that might flutter away such a suggestion, "You are guest? Is okay." Wish pauses a moment, rephrases. "It /is/ okay. Don't worry about thing." Beers are fetched. Apparently she doesn't feel the same way about glasses, these are served in-bottle. She'll sit crosslegged in her own chair, unwrap the burder, pop the lid to make sure it doesn't have any foreign or crazy ingredients. And all while she's doing this she's talking. She has an odd cadence to her speaking, like she needs to buffer every couple of words. "I am trying to use English proper," she explains, smiling, "So I sometimes say again things?" The burger seems to pass and she'll bite into it, continue talking around a mouthful of food. "I am in this town for two years now? Is nice town. People are nice."


Landon swallows before speaking, aided with a sip of beer. But he nods. "I've seen great kindness. And...Well. Opportunities for kindness." He shrugs a little. "But people in the most dire straits are some of the most generous and kind people." He polishes off that burder efficiently, and reaches for another. However rude it is, he's just that hungry, and willfully suppressing his drive for etiquette. "Erith I met the other day...She allowed me to sleep over. She is..." He has no idea what to say about her other than, "...kind, as well. Those of us who aren't broken by our experiences must have a sense of camraderie. Although I'm obviously no great threat. I've already sworn myself to the freehold. A little late for betrayal, I imagine." He pauses. "I hate to think I'm taking up space that would be better given to another, though. There are others who could use this more than I, I'm sure." He shrugs a little. "I'll have to pay it forward. Simple as that. When I'm in a position to, I'll offer shelter and food to those who need it."


A grin, the girl holding her burger with both hands, smiling over it at her guest. "Yes? That is the way of thing. Try help when can." A little nod, agreeing with herself, "While you can." While you still can? The man's reluctance to accept her hospitality seems amusing to her. "I do not have line out door," she'll point out, noting the man did not have to fight off other people who got here first.


Landon laughs, a little. "Okay, but still..." He grins. "Alright. I'm just used to being...on the other side of things." He admits, taking another bite, and considering, never speaking with his mouth full, though not commenting on it when Visjna does, of course. "My keeper um. Liked stories. Epic romance. I was...recruited into a role. I played a hero. A prince. Like...from Disney?" He didn't grow up with Disney or anything, but how could he not have heard of it at this point? "More like the original fairy tales though. Still. Grand, epic romance. Music. Life-threatening monsters. Heroism." He shivers a little. "I don't remember a coherent narrative but I get flashes of it. Fighting for my life. Rescuing damsels in distress. Dancing with princesses at grand balls..." He pauses. "Honestly, if I seem out of sorts, you can probably understand why. The Prince isn't supposed to be in this position." He smirks. "I'm supposed to be saving people. To do otherwise is to deny my role. Which is fine, honestly, because I need to remember how to be me again. I've forgotten who that is, at this point."


"I killed for Him," Wish states. It's sort of phrased like an offhand remark, but it isn't. The smokey wolfgirl's Mien seems to readily reflect her thoughts and feelings, and this is a thought that seems to bring her down. One she's still struggling through. "I think anyway? Is hard to remember. Very long time ago." Another bite from her hamburger, like otherwise this was a perfectly normal conversation. "Is not nice, um, subject?" Dim shrug. "I have been out very long time. Almost ten years? I was little girl." A hand gesture indicating something yea tall off the ground. Presumably the height of a young girl.


Landon considers. "I did too. But. Dragons. Monsters. Evil witches. Except they mostly escaped. Witches don't tend to die for real. They keep coming back." He says softly, as if he were an authority on the matter. "Or, that's how the story goes. Or maybe it just kept getting repeated. Same stories." He considers. "I've only been out uh...Less than a year, I don't know how long. Some months." He shrugs. "I'm still getting used to everything. The cars were uh. Terrifying, at first. Still are, I suppose." He admits, with a sigh. "Riding on those I don't...I don't know how...I've ridden fast horses but those are just death machines." He looks toward the door, wondering if Wyck heard him call his bike a death machine. "Do we all get around on motorcycles? That's what they're called, right? Do changelings just love riding those, and I'm the odd man out? Because Erith and Wyck both do, so far. Do you have one too?" He grins. "Please tell me I'm not the only one that finds those things horrifying."


"I do not have driverlicense," Wish says. Which is perhaps a nonanswer, as it doesn't directly address the question. She has another bite from her burger. The wolfgirl doesn't seem in a hurry to eat. It's a secondary activity to this conversation thing. "I have skateboard? Is fun. But not in winter." No, slush and snow are not helpful. "I want to try snowboard sometime. Is like skateboard. But no, uh, skates." And in this moment it occurs to her that a skateboard doesn't have skates either. Then why's it called a skateboard? What the heck?


Landon very clearly has no idea what a skateboard is. Oh he's probably seen one, sure, but he doesn't know that's what those things are called. He's definitely never seen a snowboard. But it must be like some sort of...sled? "I mostly...I'm used to...wagons...horses...carriages. Slower modes of transportation." He sighs. "But I'll have to adjust." He leans back, full after two burgers it seems. Mostly because when you don't eat a while your stomach shrinks a little, and he's already pushed it past where he should. But the burgers were really good. So sacrifices must be made. "I need to figure out how to function. I don't understand a great many things." He shrugs. "But that's just how it goes. I was raised in the 1900's, and then my durance was uh...sort of...medieval. And now there are boxes that do everything. Boxes that connect to other boxes. It's all basically magic. That I can push buttons on one box and talk to someone on another is just...I can't explain how ludicrous it all sounds." He rubs his eyes.


Another little shrug? But she's been out in the world for at least ten years, according to her owh words, so she probably doesn't think about any of it. It just is. "It's magic," Wish'll state, helpfully. She doesn't really seem to think it's magic or not, she just doesn't seem to care. Knowing how mobile phones really work would be of no net gain to her paradigm. Anyway. "That couch is comfortable," she'll point out, pointing out the only couch in the apartment. Somewhat redundantly. "I will get blankets?"