Similar Differences, or Different Similarities?


zachery_icon.gif diogenes_icon.gif

Scene Title Similar Differences, or Different Similarities?
Synopsis Zachery is followed home, where he has a brief conversation regarding certain arrangements with the one calling himself Diogenes.
Date October 30, 2009

Le Rivage: Zachery's Apartment

This once pristine apartment has definitely seen better days. Although it's fairly spacious and most rooms contain large windows, the drawn curtains and overall lack of bright lights don't exactly give one a welcoming feel. One other thing should immediately be clear— someone doesn't like a lot of colours in their living space. With the exception of the hardwood floor nearly everything in sight is either black or white. Paled, dried out potted plants placed here and there look like they've simply given up, and a fish bowl which at some point must surely have contained something now hangs ineffectually on the coat rack near the front door. In the livingroom, an overly comfortable black leather three seater and accompanying chairs face a large flatscreen TV and shelves and shelves of books next to it- the larger part of those medical or scientific, both new and old.

The monotonous theme continues into the adjacent kitchen, the bathroom and two bedrooms. If someone were to look in any of the various cabinets, cupboards and closets, they would find the usual necessities strewn in its place, bachelor-style. The fridge is home to several kinds of take-out foods, a carton of milk, and most of all— a pretty random assortment of alcoholic drinks.

Coming home from work before midnight was a strange thing for Zachery, and something he's only recently getting used to. But the journey home seems kinder on him, somehow, and it's nice not to have to rush in order to try and avoid trouble so late into the night. But not lately. Lately, like today, he's been home in time for dinner. It's nice. In a strange, alien way. It might be nicer if dinner wasn't Chinese take-out over an otherwise empty table, but one can't have everything.

Still, he's glad not to have run into anyone else living in the apartment building on his way up to the right floor. A semblance of a normal life is good enough for him, and after yet another day at the bookstore, the prospect of near-permanent silence in his apartment seems like a true blessing. His keys are out far before he reaches his door, and the door is opened smoothly and with a relieved sigh. Home.

Languid steps echo throughout the corridor, hinting at the approaching presence of another. For a moment, it seems as though Zachery will be forced to endure the usual friendly chat with one of his neighbours to satisfy the daily social status quo. However, the man that appears in the entranceway can be instantly recognised as someone much worse than annoying neighbour who delays your trip home. The lissome frame, the pretentiously elegant clothing, pitch black hair combed back, and those desaturated eyes, filled with all emotions a man usually tries to shun aside.

"I know Halloween's tomorrow, but… Trick or Treat?" Diogenes carries himself closer to Zachery still, although he does not breach the line that might possibly cause the other man to freak out and rush into the apartment to lock all locks and barricade the door with the heaviest object he can find. Sneaking up on someone was quite similar to fishing - you needed patience, you needed distance, and you needed a sharp mind. Thomas knew the common fear factors of men. Personal fears are an entirely different matter, but for an amateur stalker, he is quite good.

"Hope you don't mind unexpected guests", he adds with a weak grin.

Zachery halts in his steps, hand still on the door, when he hears the voice. Whether he heard the footsteps at all isn't clear, perhaps he did or perhaps was too busy pretending he didn't. The lack of surprise seems to hint at the latter, though it doesn't take long before a blank expression turns into one of sheer confusion. That's not a neighbor.

Yet… he isn't startled. Compared to the last time he saw Diogenes, he stays surprisingly calm. "That's funny." Sarcasm. None of the stammering of last time, and there's a decidedly sceptical expression when he turns to face Diogenes. Standing in his own doorway as though in an attempt to block it. "Is there a list I'm on? One that tells people who to follow home unwanted? Because I'd like to unsubscribe."

The imaginary line is breached. Diogenes moves himself forward with an air of apathy and intended intimidation, the two both complementing and contrasting each other. Provided Zachery moves nowhere, the young lithe man would eventually stand quite close to the ex-coroner, eyeing him curiously… or eerily. Pick one.

And as he cants his head to the side, Diogenes stretches his grin further. "What makes you say I followed you?, he asks, "What if I live here, and am here to ask for a cup of sugar?.." With these two questions uttered, his grin begins to fade, and a much somber inquiry is made then: "Are you going to invite me in, or will I have to invite myself in? As always, the choice is yours."

Something is different about Zachery. Here. Something more defensive. Protective? He stays right where he is, regardless of how uncomfortable the lack of personal bubble makes him. The latter shows in his expression, twitching to something slightly more annoyed.

The first question is ignored. If Diogenes does live here, he'll get an apology later. It seems an unlikely scenario. But the answer to the second question is also delayed. First, a question in return. "Why did you come here?" Or maybe two questions, since another one seems to pop in his head after the last. Despite the steady flow of words, his tone is still riddled with uncertainty. "Do you enjoy throwing people off balance? Is that it?"

The first question nets Zachery an incredulous look from the intruder of his personal space. The glare he receives from Diogenes seems to speak for itself, questioning Zachery's presumably poor choice of words. The second question, however, prompts the stalker to loft both brows in tamed surprise. "That's… interesting", he notes in an unusually low tone. "A man who was digging around in corpses all day now suddenly cares for social niceties. I did not expect that."

Pointing behind him with a lone thumb at nothing in particular, Diogenes shifts his tone to one of stinging satire. "Would you like me to leave, phone you up tomorrow, and we'll go to a pub to get a drink or a few?" His hand shifts, as well, emitting all manner of flamboyabt signs usually spotted in extroverts when they converse with someone dear to them. "We could totally talk in a public place about cutting up that Humanis First dude alive, man. Just gimme your phone number and we'll sort it out tomorrow. Biddy's a good place, they have awesome alcohol, dude."

Momentarily alarmed by the glare, Zachery pushes back into the doorway slightly. But only slightly. Jaw clenched just as tightly as his fists, he waits for Diogenes finish his little act before he speaks up again.

"I had a job." The ex-coroner corrects, with an air of anger and haste all at once. "I studied for this. For years. Every single day, every waking hour. I wasn't digging around, I was carefully performing the most intricate tasks to find out what others could not."

Then, without further explanation, he just… turns again and opens the door to his dark apartment. Whether Dio goes ahead and enters first is up to him, it seems. He is at least given the time and the gesture to.

As tempted as he is to interrupt, Diogenes allows Zachery to finish. The job has apparently meant a lot to him, and that became apparent long before this desperate tirade. After all, the ex-coroner had agreed to aid a man who has toyed with him, purely because of the chance to indulge his ambitions. "You keep mistaking me for someone I am not." That is the reply Zachery receives.

And as Diogenes enters the apartment, offering his back to the apartment's owner either out of ignorance or to show trust, he elaborates further: "No doubt you had practiced that speech several times, what with people not understanding what it is that you do. But you and I are not that different." If no vase or anything heavy lands on the back of the young man's neck, he will turn around to face the other.

"You carefully perform the most intricate tasks to find out what others cannot - in the dead. I do the same - in those that still live."

No heavy object. It's tempting, but no. Zachery closes the door behind him as he enters, pauses in front of it as he ponders locking it, but then ultimately draws away from it again without doing so. Swiping an arm past a nearby wall, he flicks on a light- it's not very bright, but it offers sufficient visibility of the living room.

"I think you're wrong. I think you're overestimating how much a similar interest really matters. We are different." His voice is about as monotone as his apartment's interior. Eye contact is attempted for a few seconds, before… he simply takes off again. Toward the kitchen this time. In a suddenly friendly tone that mostly definitely seems out of place, he calls behind him, "Drink?" Because he could definitely use one.

"Keep telling yourself that. You'll sleep easier if you think you're not similar to a mass murderer. You won't be the first person to lie to himself to get through the day— and night."

Diogenes eyes Zachery, who ventures to the kitchen to fetch a drink, one for himself and possibly one for his guest, if he could be called that. "Some beer would be nice", he replies in an equally friendly tone, slowly following in Zachery's footsteps. "I need ideas. I need transportation. I don't suppose you drive, since chose the bus?" As he speaks with Zachery, his eyes scan the uninspired apartment. It seems to have reflected its owners rather well, Diogenes figures.

Zachery is comfortable in his denial. In fact, he's even more comfortable in his denial about his denial. Whether Diogenes is right about their similarities falling into these categories… well. That remains to be seen. The possibility is ignored for now.

A beer. Somehow he expected something more… original? Something stranger. Yes, that's it. Nevertheless, after a short frown into the poorly stocked fridge, Zachery retrieves two bottles of Guinness. After the first one meets its destiny with an opener, it is offered. Take it or leave it. "I have a license. I sold my car a year or so ago, though. Gas prices." The latter sounds more like an excuse than reason, somehow. Something he's heard people say before, and it made sense enough to repeat. "Transportation for what?"

The bottle of Guinness is accepted, of course. Diogenes has never tasted Guinness before. He might have asked for something out of the ordinary, but despite all of his oddities, Diogenes is human. Or relatively close to that. Regardless of how human this eccentric man might be, he duly takes a swig of the alcoholic beverage; and, judging from a prompt second swig, he seems to approve.

"Illegal underage Chinese immigrants. I get twenty bucks per each", he replies to Zachery, doubtless indulging in sarcasm. "Your future subject of experimentation, and my future subject of interrogation. I paralyse, I do not teleport, as convenient as that would have been." Bearing a momentary pause, Diogenes finds the nearest wall to lean against. "Stealing a car is not an option I am fond of. So, how do you suggest we transport an adult, heavy man who cannot move a muscle?"

"… A hearse."

Though Zachery's only response to the sarcastic remarks is a fairly unamused smirk, this answer comes almost immediately after the question has been asked. It is suggested in seriousness, though it isn't long before he attempts to use a bottle he has by now opened for himself to try and hide subsequent doubts. Against the glass, he mumbles slightly more timidly, "I've got the money for one…"

"A hearse?"

First came surprise. And then… Had the man's lips were a rusty abandoned mechanism, one would hear them creek painfully as they stretch widely on the man's visage, which is lighting up with amusement as bright as a searchlight. It is not unlike of Diogenes to be quick about restraining his joy. It takes little effort to do so, especially with the aid of another generous swig of Guinness, the bottle concealing his face.

"You're minimising my regret of choosing you. There is hope for you, yet", he notes, faint hints of a smile still apparent on his face, ones he allows to slip. "Buy a hearse. Think you can be prepared by tomorrow night? Halloween's perfect for finding Humanis First. There are currently two plans: you act as Humanis First who has captured an Evolved, or I go in alone while you wait not too far away. Again… Your choice."

The praise, if it could be called that, very very nearly gets a proper grin out of Zachery. Instead it manifests halfway before it is wiped out by an ill timed clearing of his throat. Ahem! Right, he was doing the whole… uncaring approach. Which will probably serve him better in the long run.

Still. A reason to get a hearse is more than enough to at least get him to stop slumping, and make him a bit more eager about this whole thing again. "My acting skills are… limited." He easily admits. What he really means to say is that he'd rather show his face as little as possible, but that doesn't mean what he DID say isn't true. "I think it's probably best if I opt out of the social part." He lifts his bottle again, apparently intent on pouring nearly all of it down his throat in one go. This is a bizarre evening indeed.

An understanding nod is given in return. "Good", he remarks, "Means I will have no liabilities to drag me down." After drinking straight from the bottle some more, he leaves the kitchen, slowly but surely wandering over towards the door. A hand buries itself into his pocket to retrieve an oudated Nokia 3310, which is then placed on the nearest counter or table on his path to the door. He notes as he does so, "I will call you tomorrow on this phone. Do not use it for anything else, although it has my number there should you need to contact me— And yes, I will want it back afer the whole ordeal."

Diogenes casts a glance to Zachery, asking a question that is hard to read, and no words are offered as a way of explanation. That ambiguous gesture is not all the intruder leaves Zach with. "Home on a Friday night? At least call up a morgue, see if they delivered any new blondes." A smirk finishes that mockery, and Diogenes would finally make himself scarce.

And as would be expected by anyone who has met Zachery more than once (and probably a large part of the people with whom he's only shared a single encounter), the mockery goes straight over Zachery's head. He is quick enough to dismiss it, however, when the thought of his imminent purchase pops back into his mind. He may be doomed, but if he's going to go ahead and give into it, he's at least going to have some fun with it.

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