It was Enki's turn to try and get a hold of Deckard this time, rather than the other way around. Figuring out how to send a message to a pager from a cell phone took quite a bit more googling than one might expect ... the technology is practically antiquated in 2016, but the intrepid mage managed to figure it out nonetheless. Currently, he's sitting at a table in one of the little research alcoves on the side, half-buried under books that have been formally bound; tomes on thanatology, underworld mythology, and a vast array of related fields... and a few that aren't really quite so formal. Old, leather-bound tomes that have been blackened at the edges, and smell a bit like wood-smoke, stained with ash on the covers, and clearly hand-written in many cases. He's lost between two or three of these volumes at the moment, taking notes on a battered old notebook and occasionally scribbling something out with a muttered curse.
It wasn’t really a spur of the moment decision. Deckard had lain in bed for countless nights, staring at the ceiling, wondering about things. After seeing the carnage wrought by that motorcycle accident, Deckard was helpless to do anything. If his friend wasn’t one of those mage people, he’d have died. That wasn’t the only occasion either. After feeling his own skull shatter in his brawl with Free, he realized that if he wasn’t as sturdy as he was, he too would be dead. Who in that basement would have been able to help him? Who in that forest would have been able to help Enki? If the coloured felts at the ghost party were really knives, who would be there to tend to their injuries?
Deckard was only ever good at one thing, and that was hitting people. That needed to change. He couldn’t just be a one-hit wonder. If ever the situation arose where somebody was seriously injured, he’d have no way to deal with it. Eventually, Deckard found himself in a place he never thought he’d be. The dreaded library.
He’d just finished picking out a bunch of books on medicine and first aid when he got the message from Enki. “Huh, who woulda guessed…” Deckard mumbled to himself. Deciding to meet up with the man, Deckard made his way towards the place Enki mentioned he’d be. When he came up to the man, the table was already full of books. Deckard was carrying a bag /full/ of his own, and slammed them down on the table. “Hola.” He said, taking a seat.
Enki, for his part, nearly jumps out of his skin when Deckard slams the books down, nearly visibly upending his chair as he slides away. "Jesus!" he says, taking a moment to analyze the situation before he finally lets out a bright smile. "Damn, man. You get here in a hurry." An apologetic glance as he closes the books, setting his own heavy stack to the side. "I wasn't really expecting you for a minute, or I'd have all this shit squared already." He hastily starts to pile books back into a satchel, leaving others on the corner of the table, even as he's examining Deckard's stack with some curiosity.
Taking one of the other man's, he flips it open, looking through the pages. "Grey's Anatomy, huh? Better ways to learn this than from a book," he teases, though the smile starts to fade a little as he looks at the other titles in the bag, curiosity getting the better of the mage. Looking back up at Deckard, he asks, "You trying to learn medicine, man?" There's a little spark of excitement behind his eyes. "Cuz, you know. I can help with that. If you want," he adds, hastily.
Deckard couldn't help but laugh as Enki jumped back. "I was already in the library when I got your message. I had just finished picking out some books..." He said, pulling some titles like ‘First Aid for the USMLE Step 1’ and ‘Fundamentals of Pathology’ out from his bag. "Heh, I bet you'd know. But yeah. I've been doing some thinking lately, as hard as that is to believe. I need to start broadening my skillset, and the first place I thought of to do that was here. I can't sign up for courses just yet, so I figured I'd get a head start with this." when Enki offered to help, Deckard's eyes lit up a little. "Really? That'd be sweet...but I mean, you called me here for a reason, right?"
Enki looks through the books, curiously. "Man. You're diving straight into the deep end," he tells the other man, fingering the books almost lovingly. The mage's respect for the written word is practically legendary, as stereotypical as the image of a wizard with his book is. Stereotypes exist for a reason. "And yeah, man, I'd be happy to help you out. I can probably speed your knowledge along a good way. Show you the world how I see it, for a change," he explains. "I think you can handle it. And it'll pretty rapidly advance your understanding. Promise."
As Deckard asks why Enki called him there, however, the man grows a touch lighter once more. "You're right. I -did- call you here for a reason," he admits. "That reason being... the only things we really know about each other are as follows: you got a public blowjob from a hot blonde about a week ago. You can eat like your life depends on it. You're good at moving furniture. And the stuff about your, uh... friend?" Enki taps his chest, indicating where it is he sees Deckard's Geist's essence centered, the one time he was actually able to see it visibly. "Partner?" How does one address a semi-possessing entity? "Figure that it's about time we get to know each other as -people-. Otherwise," Enki teases, "how am I gonna figure out how to make you blush, when random flirting seems to not even phase you? That's my best trick, man." That impish grin comes back.
Deckard nodded, reluctantly grabbing the simplest looking book he could find. "That would be pretty cool if you could do that. Ya know, I guess that could count as getting to know you as a person too. But if you're looking to make me blush, that's probably gonna be a tough one." Laughing, he cracked the book open. "I was told a while ago that I don't respond properly in a number of social situations, and I've been trying to learn how to do that. I've gotten by pretty well for the most part with my raw charisma, but that can only get you so far, ya know?" He sais with a smile on his face. "Speaking about getting to know people, it comes to my attention I actually don't know that much about you either, besides you can speak a ton of languages and you know a ton about drugs. And pulling rabits out of a hat kinda deal." He chuckled, his eyes turning to the page. Immediately his brow furrowed. "Man, I can't even pronounce half the fuckin words on this page."
"I know plenty more than that," Enki tells him, shrugging a bit. "I'm kind of a nerd, in case it's escaped your attention. And as far as how you react in social situations goes? The fact that you don't respond how everyone expects you to is half your draw, big man. If you were every other average joe on the street, I'd probably think you were boring as fuck. Since I -don't- think you're boring as fuck? Plus one, you. Getting the attention of someone who can pretty much literally edit their reality to conform to their expected desires? Not an easy feat."
He looks down at the book, glancing at some of the words Deckard frowns at, himself only passingly familiar with half of them due to his knowledge of their root languages. "Those are the muscles in your shoulder that allow it to rotate like it does, instead of moving around like a stick puppet. And these," he explains... or starts to. And then, just as quickly, stops. "You know what? You wanna know me, -and- get to learn a little more about this stuff?" He takes the book from Deckard, putting it back in the bag as he hands the man the bag, standing up and gathering his own stuff up. "Come with me. I wanna show you something. Maybe," he explains, "you'll get to know me a little better."
"Really now? Hmm, I guess. If I didn't learn about handshakes or certain gestures, like a 'high-five' though, I'm sure it'd be a bit more detrimental. From what I understand, if you 'leave a brother hangin', it's not a good thing." Deckard said, shrugging. "Glad to know that it worked in my favour this time around though." When Enki started pointing things out, Deckard rolled his eyes a little. "I know the basics of how the body works ya little nerd, I don't know /why/ it works. Professional fighter, remember?" He said with a snarky tone. When Enki stood and made the offer, Deckard shrugged again. "Alright, sure man. Lead the way!"
Enki leads Deckard outside onto the quad, moving past the Librarian with a "I'll send you the list." The Librarian, of course, simply nods, knowing full well that the mage will do exactly that, even for the materials that Deckard is hauling around with him. "And I didn't know you were a professional fighter," Enki tells Deckard matter-of-factly. "Though now that I know that... you'll have to show me the basics, sometime. I can hold my own well enough, but not against anyone that's had any real training." He gives the man a bright grin. "Little nerds go down easy."
Still, he keeps moving, over to a bench along the quad, where he drops his things. Turning to Deckard, he says, "You're probably gonna want to sit down a bit quickly after this," he explains, maneuvering the man into position. "And... for the love of fucking god, do -not- freak out," he tells him. "Remember, I got this. It's under control. It can end any time you want it to, if you give the word. But this is part of that 'magic is hard' bit too, so..." He shrugs. Sometimes, things are a little strange.
He moves up to stand in front of Deckard, placing a hand under the man's chin and angling his head down. "Try to relax," he tells him. "And take a deep breath." With a motion too deliberate too be intimate, yet too intimate to be casual, Enki runs his thumb over Deckard's right eyebrow, fingers brushing over his cheek, even as he leans up to plant a gentle kiss directly in the middle of the man's forehead, where the third eye is located... and the world explodes into colors and sensations that regular vision simply has -nothing- on.
The first thing that stands out is Enki himself, directly in front of Deckard, seeming a shining pylon of life. The man is a pillar of vitality, passion, every cell that makes up his being visible as a passing energy under Deckard's new gaze. Every muscle, every organ, every old injury in scar tissue and bone... all of it is laid bare to Deckard, leaving nothing to the imagination, the pure, unfettered -truth- of Enki there before his eyes. And what's more, the magic that currently connects them, flowing from a bright spot in the center of the man's being, where the soul is, threading out like tiny vines to wrap around Deckard almost lovingly. "This," he tells Deckard, "is how I see the world. You died, and your soul connected to the Geist. I ... lived," he explains. "More than I've ever lived before. And my soul? Connected to -this-."
Deckard laughed at the comment. "Hmm, must've slipped my mind. And I'd be more than happy to show you the basics, if you're interested. You don't have to be a muscle-bound caveman to learn self-defence." Deckard said more factually than anything. He followed Enki through the front doors, to the bench where he's instructed to sit. At his command, Deckard too a deep breath, not exactly sure what to expect, but steeling his nerves nonetheless. Once Enki finished his little ritual, Deckard blinked a few times, his face completely blank, his breath normal. He kept perfectly still with the exception of his eyes, only blinking and moving his pupils around. He wasn't exactly sure what he was and was not allowed to do. The sights...He couldn't imagine seeing everything like that all the time. He didn't want to stop seeing. It was almost an overload, and mentally he was exclaiming and jumping for joy, but his physical self didn't flinch even a single inch. He simply listened to Enki, and looked around, seeing into the man's being.
"You wanted to know about me," Enki tells him, quietly. "This? Is how I see the world. Not all of the time, mind," he explains to Deckard. "That would be a little much. But when I choose to? The Truths behind things? Those are laid bare." He moves down to his knees, smiling at Deckard, the very essence of his being seemingly full of life itself. "You wanted to know the how, and the why, right?" He raises a hand, stretching his fingers out before Deckard's new gaze, then flexing them individually a few times before making a fist. To Deckard's sight, the 'how' and the 'why' are perfectly clear -- an instinctual understanding, perfect in all of its simple complexity, the great interlocking machine of the human body there before one who could have built it from the ground up.
Enki slowly stands, flexing a bit here and there for Deckard's enjoyment. To any passersby, it probably just looks like college flirting, but Enki does it deliberately, showing Deckard how every movement requires the heart, the blood, the muscles, the bones. How every cell has its part to play, and how they are connected to the world. But more than just a sight, it's a feeling, too. A pure, animal need, somehow so deep inside Deckard as to be inescapable, but also so disconnected that it might as well be pages in a book. The urge to fight, to fuck, to feed. To claim dominance. To -live-. The horrible, beautiful -passion- that is the most basic and fundamental of living experience -- Enki is made of that, too. MOreso than nearly any other person in Deckard's line of sight. It's what he -is-, ruled by higher intellect and the desire to play.
The information, the sense, the emotion...It was a lot to take in, and the fact that he could take it in at all, and so easily was mind blowing. Even so, Deckard didn't move a single inch, he did not say anything, he did not even breathe too hard lest it all fall away. Mentally, Deckard was reeling in awe. He had seen some things people might consider strange, otherworldly. There was little to compare what he was seeing now to, even with all his experience. He suddenly felt himself wishing he could see the world like that all the time. It was like a dream, something beautiful, something primal.
Enki moves forward, taking Deckard's hand gently and turning it up so that he can run his fingers lightly over Deckard's palm. The sensations themselves, the pleasant tickle, are even visible under the weight of that gaze, moving through Deckard with whatever color he associates with pleasure. The interaction of skin on skin is also visible, Enki's vibrant life and Deckard's also-vibrant life (as augmented by the Geist) mixing auras, weaving in and out of each other like fish diving through the water.
"I didn't break you, did I?" Enki asks quietly, letting Deckard's hand fall gently away. "I know it's a little much. If you want me to make it stop, just say so." There's concern in the man's voice. "I know it can be a lot to take in, all at once."
Deckard didn't know what to do when Enki took his hand, afraid the vision would fall away. When it didn't, he breathed a sigh of relief, watching the auras mixing together. "I was afraid to speak. I didn't know if I could or not without breaking this spell." Realizing he could move around, Deckard stood and looked around the room, and at himself, and everything he could. To other people walking by, he might have looked like he was tripping on LSD, the way he was moving. "No...not broken." He whispered. His vision snapped back to Enki, and he grabbed the man's wrist, staring into his hand. "How do you...do this...it's..." Watching the way the cells moved, the auras interaction. He let go, and watched the results, before bringing his own two hands together in a loud clap. "Why would anybody ever not want to see this way all the time?"
"Because," Enki tells him. "It's..." He searches for the words. "Difficult." That's not nearly the correct word, so he tries again. "The magic... when it's surging through you, you're connected to the -source- of all of this. What you're feeling now? That... that -need-? It's disconnected from you, because it's -here-," he tells him, placing a hand on his chest, right over that glowing ball of whatever-it-is that Enki calls a soul. "You just wanna surrender to it. Let it consume you. To be one with it forever, and do whatever it tells you to. Right now," he tells the man, "if I didn't have as much control as I do, I'd probably try and tear your clothes off right here, even while I was looking for a rock to bash you with. It's straining, keeping this up all the time. It can drive you mad, after a while. Greater mages than me have completely broken themselves with spells even simpler than this one." As if to emphasize the point, he lets out a little shudder when Deckard grabs his hand, the spirit inside of him writhing as the higher intellect fights against it. "Magic is alive. And it has needs. So, we supply it with what it wants in other ways. Under our own terms. Have you ever read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?" he asks. "There's a line in that, very fitting for those who walk my path -- 'The only way to get rid of temptation is to yeild to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden itself.'" He shrugs, color rising to his cheeks, the embarrasment clear even without that sight. "It's... what I am." It's as much an apology as an explanation.
"Turn it off, turn it off." Deckard said, blinking rapidly. He listened to the man speak, and it made sense. Something like that could easily become an addiction. "I want nothing to do with this." He said, calmly. It was a beautiful thing, as troublesome as it was for Enki to conjure. As much as Deckard learned in that short amount of time, as much as he enjoyed the feelings and the sights, he knew it wasn't something he could rely on. The realization of everything that happened in their bodies, as well as Enki's words, they were comforting. But Deckard didn't need to be comforted; he didn't need to be cajoled into revelations through seeing the fabric of the universe. As much as he desired to continue seeing, Enki was the source, and it was just putting him in the seat for something terrible to happen, if it should ever occur.
"Relax," Enki laughs, though he reaches out for Deckard's hand again. Gently, he blows in Deckard's direction, slowly banishing the magic as the vision starts to fade before releasing his grip once again. "I'm more disciplined than that, man. I wouldn't disrespect you like that. I can keep this up for days without doing anything untoward. It's part of the reason our training is so intensive." Apparently, Enki thinks that the part about clothing and rocks is what Deckard was freaking out about. "But," he explains. "That's me. The truth of me. It's just how it goes," he laughs. "Just like you're you. And under all that? There's still a person. A person who likes beer," he explains, "and nerdy roleplaying games. A person who likes long walks on the beach, getting into fights, being, uh... promiscuous. Drugs. Music. Surfing. Having breakfast in little local dives with friends after a hard night's partying. The usual, mundane stuff that makes life worth living."
"You don't get it. This ain't about your discipline, or whatever. I don't know what you saw man, but I ain't just the sum of my parts." Deckard said, clearly distraught. "I don't ever want to see that shit again. Err, fuck, that came out wrong. I didn't mean I was disgusted by seeing your soul, or...everything, I guess, I just don't want to /see/ like that." Deckard brought his hand through his hair, stopping to scratch the back of his head. "As cool as that was, I can't accept it." He said shaking his head.
"Oh." Enki looks almost crestfallen at that, shaking his head and mimicking Deckard's hand through the hair. "Sorry about that. I didn't realize..." Realize what? Maybe the man isn't sure himself. But he stands in awkward silence for a moment, not really sure where to go from there. "But if that's what you want, then... sure." He takes a breath, and then eventually gives the man a bright smile again... even if it's just the tiniest bit forced. "Guess it's back to chill places and the occasional random flirting, then. Getting to know each other the old-fashioned way." He grabs the satchel, throwing it over his shoulder. "Let's go get a beer."
Deckard sighed. "Yeah. I can use a beer." Cracking his neck, he patted Enki, lightly this time, in the shoulder. "There's still a bunch of places I'd like to check out. Still haven't seen the entire town yet." He said simply, his tone warm. Picking up his own bag, he started to simply walk, not looking back to see if the man behind him was coming. "Hrmm...I'm thinking a seafood place. Sound good to you? There wasn't much in the way of seafood where I came from."
"We're in Maine," Enki teases. "Ten bucks says you can get lobster at Taco Bell. But sure, man, seafood sounds good." He walks alongside Deckard, asking, "Sooo... medicine. Now that you've seen the 'how' and the 'why', maybe we can start attaching some names to some of those things. Get you a better understanding of how they work in a more mundane sense."
"Hmm...Never thought about it like that. Going to have to try ordering some caviar there..." He said more ponderously than comically. He turned to Enki. "Why would I bother with names when I know the meaning behind it all?" Deckard asked, as they made their way off campus.
"Sometimes," Enki says, "the more hands-on approach is the best way to learn. Learning what your lats are while getting a massage is way better than learning from a book on bodybuilding. Just saying." He bumps Deckard's shoulder playfully, grinning. "Stick with me, guy. I'll show you the wonders of the world."