Creepy, the outside, no doubt good for keeping people away. People that aren’t Sin-Eaters, anyway. To them, it’s just another house on the landscape. Out of a horror film, even if that film is their real lives. It certainly doesn’t surprise Damian that it is a Sin-Eaters, and most likely Rasender’s haunt. What would be a barrier to others in the form of ominous tidings is just scenery to him. Soon he is knocking on the door outside. A study of the house is given, but not overly noted. Somehow it fits the rock star, though Damian doesn’t know why. And that thought, brings that odd half-smirk to Damian’s lips as he waits.
For the record, the house isn't quite as creepy as it once was. Someone has planted flowers, opened windows, kept things looking tidy. The house itself can't help but be creepy by nature, maybe something in the feng shui or how it's perched on the hill, but it's almost not its fault. Or is it? Cobalt rarely uses the front door, but this time, it actually opens, and there stands the man of the house. He's wearing a black wife-beater and shorts, and appears to be eating a piece of...cake? He grunts at Damian with his mouth full. "Hey. Come in." And then he disappears again, back into the house, leaving the door open for his guest.
Damian shrugs. Probably the best greeting he’s ever gotten from Cobalt, so you take the small victories. He follows the man in, closing the door behind him. Only polite. He’s dressed in his normal suit, for anyone seeing him enter, he could very well be on a business trip. Especially with his laptop bag strapped over his shoulder. He looks around the interior, studying it as he passes through, continuing to follow Rasender until he settles. “Thanks for, uh, seeing me. It was important or I wouldn’t have bothered you.” The place suits the rock star, if not the Sin-Eater, that’s for sure. At least, in Damian’s mind.
Cobalt leads him into the dining room, where a rich chocolate cake is sitting there. An enormous piece has been cut from it, presumably the one Cobalt is eating. He sits at the head of the table, of course. "Yeah, sure." The rock star cranes his neck around, like he's looking for someone, and he frowns a bit as he shoves another forkful of cake in his mouth. Remembering his manners, he indicates the baked treat. "Have some, if you want. 'S good."
“I’m sure it is, but no thank you.” The laptop bag is removed from his shoulder as he looks where Rasender does. “Someone missing? You have some guests here?” He could very well means ghosts as he could people, considering their nature. If Damian is anything, especially now that he’s settled. “I came here about two things. Some information and a possible favor. The network suggested you’d be one to talk to for the favor. A reliable source said you’d be a good one to talk to for the information.” His expression never changes, neutral and unreadable. It’s basically his perma-expression.
Cobalt is rarely friendly with his fellow Sin-Eaters. And he's certainly not friends with any of them. But he has been more open than he used to be, at least about talking to them and meeting with them. "My woman lives here," he mutters, in response to one of the first questions, but he doesn't elaborate. He just watches Damian with his intense green eyes as he slowly chews his cake. "I'm listening."
“Ah.” Damian glances around again, perhaps looking or listening for another person. Still, it’s a quick thing and he returns to Rasender as he pulls out his laptop and flips it open. “Yes, um, do you know a Ting?” Damian pauses on that. “Let me rephrase. Who is Ting?” A brow raises as he looks back up at the man, already typing into his laptop. “It’s important. And whoever this Ting is seems to know you. And Frankin, but…” Well that Damian sought out Rasender over Franklin must suggest something, but that’s for Cobalt to decide, Damian doesn’t explain any further.
Now you've got his attention. Cobalt even stops eating the cake. "Yeah, I know a Ting. What about her?" Protective. He definitely sounds protective. He doesn't even touch on Frankling -- Ting is all, as far as he's concerned. Damian doesn't know it, but such is the way of the wild Cobalt.
“Who is she?” Damian easily notes the reaction it gets out of him. It’s not hidden, so even he can pick it up. “About her? Apparently she’s involved in this God-Eater thing, and I would really like to know how. She saved one us named Hassan. He didn’t know her, I don’t know her, but apparently she knows you and Franklin. It feels a little suspicious, is all. And I’d like to know what she knows.” Tap, tap, tap goes his fingers over the keyboard. “And she came to save Hassan from the White Horseman known as Jessica Toys.” He looks back up at Cobalt. “It’s obvious you know her well, so I will hopefully assume that means she’s not an enemy. And I don’t have to suspect she is…in league with this…Eckhart?”
Bluebeard is in the backyard meowing up a storm and pawing at the door off of the kitchen. Said door suddenly opens, allows the black feline passage, then closes. A youthful girl with pale red hair is escorting the cat inside and makes a beeline for his food bowl. The cabinet overhead is opened, food is procured, and kibble rattles in the bowl until it overflows. Someone doesn't understand the finer points of not overfeeding the animals. The voices in the other room draw her closer. Her name... was spoken, and this would explain why she is suddenly so close. It's like a parlour trick. Say her name a number of times and she appears. Now an unexpected but mightily sought after faerie is peeking around the corner and into the dining room where Cobalt is sitting with his houseguest and a pile of cake. It's just a flash, though. Sunset hair, pale face, big indigo eyes. Then she retreats to the kitchen and things go silent.
Cobalt leans into Damian, apparently not noticing the flash of girl around the doorway. His lean is menacing, still protective, gaze narrowed, eyes accusing. "Ting is /my woman/, Damian. Are you accusing her of being some kind of fucking traitor?" That's really all it takes to get Cobalt riles up. There's even some red in his face, now. This sort of apopletic reaction probably wouldn't be happening were she in the room, though it's hard to say...
And if there is anyone suddenly not intimidated by Rasender, it’s Damian. In fact, the attempt brings that odd half-smirk to his face. If only he knew what Frankie said to cause this. Still, there’s distraction, noises in the kitchen, someone moving. He hears what Rasender says, but he’s all too aware of his surroundings. There’s a faint nod, but he spies the young red head, and he gives her a nod too. It’s one of those: I see you. An affirmation. “Ting, I presume.” Finally, he looks back at Rasender. “A traitor? I don’t think she’s one of us, since no one knows her, so I am unsure if she can be traitor.” He just shakes his head, his face still placid at Rasender’s reaction. “Besides I’m not accusing her of being anything. I’m just looking for answers. There’s a lot still unknown.”
Because the faerie is a saviour by nature, the moment she hears Cobalt going from a steady boil to an explosion in the next room she appears again and floats about the area like a flower on the breeze. She skirts the table and moves quickly to the rock star's side, then inserts himself into his lap with an arm draped over his broad shoulders. A slender, pale finger is poised against his lips to silence that rumbling anger. "Shhh, vihane lovi," she murmurs before allowing her finger to slip down from his mouth and rest upon his chin. Her gaze shifts to Damian, and she just stares, for a very long time, like social mores are of no consequence to her. "I am Ting," she tells him, confirming what he already knows.
Her presence has an immediate effect on Cobalt, who might just have been ready to go nuclear on Damian. No one knows her? /He/ knows her! But as usually, he's on the fringes. Cobalt calms, readjusts the girl in his lap, and joins Ting's stare with one of his own, his green gaze steady and feline. "Yeah. This is Ting. She's here now, what the...what do you wanna know?" Look, he even edited some of his profanity for her.
Damian doesn’t even flinch. Poor Cobalt. Heck, he doesn’t even start to raise defenses. He’s had enough shit over the past little while, that Rasender would probably need nuclear to draw a reaction from him. Besides that, there’s Ting joining the party. What she does, all of it, makes that faint half-smile appear. It’s brief, and he looks partially…amused? He even shakes his head a little, though the reason might be unclear. He has, indeed, come to the conclusion about Ting when she introduces herself. She only confirms his assumption. “Nice to meet you, Ting.” His tone is flat, though. A glance at Rasender, but he focuses on Ting. “Tell me about Jessica, if you will? Everything you know. It’s important…that and...” A pause, not his words coming, but he nods to her again. “Hassan says thank you.” He’s not actually sitting himself, still standing at one end of the table, typing into his keyboard as he watches Ting now, not Rasender.
Ting is petting Cobalt's wild mane of hair, treating him like he is a big cat to be placated with affection and constant attention. Even odds say that if she stopped he would force her hand onto his head to continue the gentle pawing. But her pointed stare remains on Damian the entire time he speaks. Her expression is an even mix of interest and awe up until the point when he mentions Hassan. Then she offers a wide, toothy grin and turns Cobalt's face to hers. "Hassan says thank you, polite boy that he is. I saved his life. Twice. Helped him escape. Water slide. Sometimes there is fire," she offers in a winsome tone, her eyes growing a bit distant. Oh, but Damian asked something and she shakes her head a little then nods to him. "Jessica is a dead girl. Blond hair. No eyes to cry. Needle fingers. Slippery. Telekinetic. She likes traps. I know where she hides. I know her tricks. She is waiting for me. Oh, Coby, I need money to get us matching necklaces for when I see her." Details. "Um, she is mad, but she likes me very much, so I make her less mad. She wants to kill... everything. She has friends. There are five of them. She was given powers by Eckhart. The God-Eater. He eats Geists and Sin-Eaters, he eats everything. Not faeries, though. Do you want some cake?" the Elemental suddenly asks Damian. "There are also cookies. I have to keep him sweet or he will hit things with his sledgehammer," she notes matter-of-factly about Cobalt.
Damian is safe. Any nuclear reactions are, indeed, being kept down by Ting's constant sweetness and sweetening, though he scowls when she says that. She's not supposed to /tell/ people that, it's bad for his rep...he looks between Damian and Ting, and is suddenly struck by how little he knows. Some things he knows. Eckhart, the God-Eater. Who Jessica is. Maybe even who Hassan is, sure. But he sometimes has problems seeing the forest through the trees. It happens when he has his instincts on a chain. Eventually, though, he is staring at Damian again. "What's this all about? What are you after?"
Wait. A Second. Damian almost missed it, watching the play before him. The darling Cobalt being treated like a cat. Being placated so easily. Frankie’s statements about him come to life. This is really dispelling his tough guy demeanor. And this is really affirming several things for Damian internally. He nods to himself at it all. There’s that voice too, unseen and unheard by both suddenly invading his thought, knowing just what he is thinking. His eyes close briefly, but then. What she said. “You know where she is? Can you…no, will you tell me? Tell me about her tricks, too? Her powers? Eckhart? Whatever you can.” As she continues to ramble on, he nods. “I know, the five horseman. I am aware. One to match each threshold.” At that, he looks at Rasender, even as he continues to talk to Ting. “This is an incredibly dangerous game you play, Ting. You should be careful.” Wait did she say fairies? He’s typing like a madman now, just shaking his head incredulously. He finally looks back up at Ting. “No, thank you.” No point in not being polite, at least. Rasender’s rep is completely destroyed now anyway, he has no worries where Damian is concerned. Frankie cracked it, and Ting has shattered it. Like his hammer. But Rasender’s words, they actually sort of annoy him. He looks up at him. “Where have you been Cobalt? The Jedi order, your old friends? The West End Watchers? What do you think I’m after? I’m a…” He looks at Ting, and then back. She knows too much already to bother. “…Reaper. I’m after resolution. I’m after ending this Eckhart, this God-Eater, before he kills more of us.”
It was anything but easy. But those outside these walls would know nothing of what sacrifices were made to secure tranquility. And compared to when the faerie first stepped foot in this house full of haunting, it is a veritable paradise now. She planted flowers outside for the love of god. Cleaned up all of that blood... "I know where she is. I can tell you. But not yet. You're not ready. I am trying to make sure that you are ready. All of you. These things take time." Ting's temple is pressed to Cobalt's, and her eyes remain on Damian. She is so calm, so quietly detailing things for him. "No. It's not a game. But it is dangerous. I took on the danger so you wouldn't have to. You don't even realize what I have done for you. All of you." Then he levels his accusations on Cobalt. Where was he? Not doing the hard work in Los Angeles, no. "I am helping you. I have to meet Eckhart so I know what he can do. I can't send Cobalt into that. I can't send any of the Sin-Eaters. It's not safe. I am going to help you. Like I helped Hassan."
The five horsemen. Cobalt knows nothing about this. He's staring at Damian like he might enjoy pulling his head off and tossing it into the laundry basket. But of course, Cobalt isn't dangerous or tough. Right? Then Ting answers him, and he looks at her curiously, frowning. He doesn’t like that she has risked herself, for him or anyone else. But there's something else there that Ting herself may not have seen before. Something like /respect/. He knew she was strong, but maybe he forgot how strong. Then once more, he exchanges glances between the two of you. "Look. No one's ever unified in their efforts here. There are two things I do: I lead, or I fight. Or both. I'm not a spy and I'm not a follower. I need to know enough to put my foot down, and I never fucking do."
“I don’t know what you are Ting, or how you’re involved….” A look at Cobalt is not particularly a friendly one. “It’s clear you know more about me than I do about you. That’s really starting to bother me. First the other one, now you.” Eyes settle on Ting once more. He’s pretty sure how she knows how she knows so much, this time. Probably the reason for the look at Rasender. It’s neutral again on Ting. “The point is, Eckhart might not be hunting you, but he is hunting us. Which means we need to know everything, I need to know before he can continue to kill more of us. And if you think, for a minute, he won’t kill you, I think that’s foolish.” He’s not mincing words with the young looking girl. “I appreciate what you did for Hassan, what you think you are doing for us. I do. I don’t need the protection. I can’t wait around to be ready while more die. While he maybe gets Hassan’s secrets. And then what? Don’t send Cobalt, send me. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, don’t worry.” He stands up a little straighter, from his computer. “I don’t know what you know, Ting, but THIS is what I do.” He sighs a little. “You said she was given powers. Abilities. What are they?” Then there’s Cobalt, staring at him like that. He seems in no mood. There was a time, when Damian first came to town, that it might have been a thing. Damian being intimidated by others, but that’s past. Now he’s focused, like a missile. Damian’s looking for resolution, it is what he does. “Some of us are unified…” He shrugs at that, glancing at Ting and back. “All you have to do is ask, Cobalt. You were in Los Angeles. You know this is happening. I’m sure that’s why she’s involved.” The she here is probably apparent.
"Damian is here to unify efforts. After I give him information." Ting offers a mild and innocent smile to the Sin-Eater across from her, then turns ever so slightly to rub her nose to Cobalt's cheek. "You worry too much, Coby," she tells the rock star. "You worry enough for the both of us." The faerie does not worry. It is simply not her style. "I am on a mission, Damian. This is what they believe. A mission to lure you all in. A mission to manipulate Cobalt into funding the murder of Sin-Eaters. I am going to return to Jessica. I am going to meet Eckhart and all the other horsemen. They will trust me. Please believe me. I will come back and tell you... everything. You just have to be patient." Ting is no stranger to being stared at, and when Damian's gaze grows weighty, she offers a wider grin. "You don't need protection? Is that so? Alright. You don't need protection. That's a relief." The faerie lets out a huff of laughter then stands. She walks over to the cake and slides up on the table beside it so she can dip a finger into the frosting. "I will give you a wide berth to do what you do. So, go ahead. Do what you do. And I'll do what I do." She licks chocolate frosting from her finger and grins. "I am involved because Jessica came here to kill Cobalt and I got in her way. She tried to kill me. She failed." Here Ting shrugs. "If you can find her bones, you can kill her. Jessica. If you would let me do what I do, I could tell you how to kill them all. Why won't you let me help you?"
Yeah, sure. Cobalt knew what was happening. He went to LA, and then no one ever discussed the issue with him again. The last time there was a major Sin-Eater problem, he browbeat everyone he could, only to find that information was still flowing behind his back. His look says that those times are over. He also stands, and puts his hands on his hips. "You are a paranoid fuck," he tells Damian, "and self-righteous, too. Ting is a goddamn faerie with crazy-ass powers. Just because she's a gorgeous princess doesn't mean she can't fuck up their shit." He turns to frown at Ting, but it's a very fond frown. "Even if I wish she wouldn't. I fucking trust her. I don't have a better fucking idea." Then he smacks the wall. Not that hard. Just enough to get out some frustration and some anger, which he has in spades.
“Because, at least one of us in this room cares who dies. And I think you are going to get yourself killed. I’ve died once, I know what it’s like. If it happens again, it happens again. We’re not supposed to get second chances, so I don’t mind risking mine.” Ting can’t see it, but at those words, Damian’s Geist manifest from the Shadows in which he is often buried. It is staring at Damian. Whispering to the man, but he ignores it like a fly buzzing in his ear. It does not seem happy with him. “Your web is going to unravel Ting, and he’s going to squash you, too. We don’t know his powers…” He looks up and around. “He could be listening to this, right now, for all we know.” His gaze levels on Ting again, still neutral, like his tone. “Maybe Cobalt hasn’t explained you what he did to some of us who he killed.” That can be fixed, Damian has pictures, but he doesn’t show her yet. He goes back to typing. “As for the horseman trusting you?” He shakes his head in disbelief. “One of his horseman is a creature in life that simply lived off the torture and dissection of people.” He doesn’t know what Cobalt actually know, but he finishes that by looking at the man. “The red Horseman, James. The Kabuki killer.” Does that ring any bells to Rasender? He’s certainly watching him for some. “I already knowing about all five. I need more.” He looks back at Ting, one more time. “If you want to help me, help me. Tell me what you can, all you can. I can’t stop you from foolish endeavors…I don’t care how powerful you are, I doubt you’re invincible.” A shake of his head. “Her bones can banish her, not kill her. But a good tip. I would imagine that’s her anchor. She can’t be that far from them.”
Oh Cobalt. He turns that gaze on him, and he actually frowns. “You’re right, I am paranoid, and it’s what keep me alive. Maybe even self-righteous. I don’t really care what you call me Cobalt. I made a bargain, and for as long as I’m alive, I’ll keep it.” That actually seems to placate his Geist a little, the shadows begin to wrap around it again, swallow it from view. Damian is in full control again. “And trust her, it’s none of my business. I don’t have time for the drama. I just need answers, and she has some. What she and you do after I leave this house is out of my hands. I know this though, I’ve said my peace, I will not carry the weight of her death if she dies. I imagine you will.”
"Just a little bit paranoid." She nods, but ultimately shrugs. Being paranoid is ok. Ting dips her finger into the frosting again then smears the chocolate across her lips so she can lick it off. Something a child might do. "Goddamn faerie. Coby, come on. I think this meeting has given us all a lot to think about and process. But when communication becomes more tedious than it is beneficial, we might all agree to just table it and reconvene at a later time. When everyone is calm. You seem anxious and upset. Champagne is good for that. Calming nerves." This is said to Damian, but it is far from condescending. It is an honest assessment. Champagne calms her. The swipe of sugary frosting still on her bottom lip might quell any bad feelings since she looks about as cruel and harmful as a mouse. "Do you want to come by for dinner tomorrow?" she asks, her face lighting up with happiness at the thought. A house party. Guests. Coby could grill. But more is said, and the happiness fades, washed away slowly. "I don't think this is productive anymore. Not if everyone is going to just insult each other." Well, she is not insulting people, but still. "I met Jessica and ran away with her nearly a month ago. Hassan was freed that very first night. No one has looked for me. Hassan didn't go to Cobalt or Franklin as I told him to. You are just now coming here, in a mad rush, angry, accusatory, rude, actually. Demanding information I did not come by easily. You don't want me to protect you, fine. But do not discount that a complete and utter stranger endured a tormented hell just to protect you. Come back tomorrow. I'll tell you everything. But for right now you have hurt my feelings, and I want you to leave before I cry." She seems dead seriously, and though she is still twirling her fingers in the frosting, her eyes are glossing over, glassy with the threat of tears. She looks to Cobalt and shakes her head, silently asking him not to move.
A lot of words are getting flung around. Cobalt doesn't bother responding to all of them. But Damian isn't the only one who made a bargain. The huge, dark-winged finger of the Nightbringer flaps his wings behind Cobalt, green eyes burning light out at his houseguest. Arms folded, Cobalt takes a step closer to Damian, looking down at him. He cracks his knuckles, just using one fist. He can't help it. No one is going to make his woman cry. "I think you better go," he suggests, his voice low and rumbling and dangerous. Damian said just enough things to piss him off just enough to get him to act like this in front of Ting. Granted, it's a rather subdued version.
So many things pass through Damian’s head, unseen behind that placid mask he has as Ting speaks. “I am concerned. Not anxious or upset. I need help, but…” Damian shakes his head. He should have known better. His one question he came for is answered. Who is Ting? He doesn’t have time for feelings. His mouth opens and then closes, and then does it again. He wants to say things to Ting, but it’s like the words won’t come, he’s simply stunned. It’s like he’s suddenly losing his sanity in this very moment. He confirms nothing, not even his return tomorrow. Eyes just flicker to Cobalt as his threatening movement. All Cobalt gets in response is a blank stare. There’s no move to defend himself, and that suit of his covers a lot of the muscle reaction, but the really perceptive will notice the flexing of muscles all over his body. Plasm begins to seep out of his body, plasm that seems to begin to form into shadow. There’s a brief moment of challenge in those eyes, and then the plasm retracts back into his form. “I think you’re right.” Damian closes the lid on his laptop, picks up his laptop bag and just takes them both, heading for the door. His head shakes quietly to himself.
Ting's hand gathers up a mound of cake and soon her palm is nothing more than a makeshift plate. She is nibbling on the moist chocolate confection and grins at Cobalt. "I want to see the new Star Trek movie." Such things are vital to the faerie, whose grasp on reality and time being of the essence is tenuous. "I like Spock," she murmurs beyond a mouthful of dessert. Her indigo gaze shifts to Damian as he takes his leave. She is not going to stop him. She wouldn't even begin to understand how. Sin-Eaters are peculiar and difficult. "I am not doing that again," she tells Coby. "I will write it all down and you can give it to them. The dead are hollow. That made my heart hurt."
Cobalt opens the door for Damian, maybe less out of politeness and more out of a desire to hasten his exit. "You need help? We'll fucking help you. This doesn't have to be hard. You come to me, and you leave her out of it." Which is sort of what Damian did in the first place. Cobalt watches him carefully as he leaves, and looks back over his shoulder at Ting. He nods solemnly. He gets it.
"I am the only one of us that seems to want to leave her out of it." Damian just shakes his head at the man after having put his laptop away and strapping it over his shoulder. He wants to say something else to him, but he probably assumes that might be poking the bear too much. Despite the way it went, Damian didn’t come here for a fight. “I’m not the one making it hard, Cobalt.” He pauses though, just outside the door, it certainly will allow Rasender to slam the door on him. His voice lowers to a level he assumes Ting can’t hear. Who knows if she has super hearing? He doesn’t. “She’s going to get herself killed, Cobalt. Can she come back from that? You and I can. Maybe.” Whatever the case, he doesn’t wait for an answer. He’s starting down the porch and through the yard towards his car, shaking his head again. He keeps being reminded why working alone is so much easier.