The coroner's assistant opened the drawer and pulled back the sheet, and Calla saw a living woman. Lucy's face was intact, her eyes closed, her long red hair fanned out around her head. She was breathing softly, chest moving just the slightest bit. Even her clothes were there--gray sweater, dark jeans, a chunk of quartz on a thin gold chain. Calla bit down hard on the inside of her cheek and concentrated on now. The image flickered and blurred and vanished, leaving only the waxy, jawless corpse, naked and autopsy-scarred.

Bodies remembered what they'd been.
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 Lnch D8, [Ariel | Present Tense]
Nathaniel Whitaker
 Posted: Jan 16 2015, 01:47 PM
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Nathaniel Whitaker
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He texts ahead to warn her that he's going to be late, although he suspects she already knows.

Every day is a long day for the retired detective, who finds himself called upon by the local police an awful lot for someone who hung up his badge more than a year before. Today is his day off, and he's scheduled to have lunch with an old friend. He is just getting ready when they call him, hushed voices hissing familiar words like “fragile” and “delicate situation,” and when he arrives, he finds nothing of the sort—just a scared youth with an ill grasp on their abilities (ah, he remembers those days) and the urge to flee from whatever conversation they're supposed to be having with the police. He can't blame them, but by the time they finish their meeting he should have already called himself a cab.

Crowded diners are one thing with Billy there to rest his hand on the sliver of bare skin between Nathan's shirt and his gloves and take his mind off the noise, but he and Ariel have always agreed that for the two of them, somewhere quieter is probably better. The café where they often meet is small, locally owned, and several miles out of the way—though Nathan prefers to walk, over that kind of distance it does not prove to be a calming advantage—and there are only a few patrons who frequent it during daylight hours. He arrives just over twenty minutes late, coat-collar turned up against the cold, and tips the cab-driver extra for her pleasant demeanor.

She is already waiting for him, book in hand and drink still steaming (good, he thinks, because he hasn't kept her waiting too long). “Sorry, sorry, I got caught up in an incident with a kid and some traffic cones,” he says sheepishly, sliding into the seat across from her. “How have you been?”
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Ariel Katsaros
 Posted: Jan 18 2015, 03:41 PM
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Ariel Katsaros
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Ariel is meditating. She ordered hot tea just to inhale the steam and help clear her mind. The book she brought along is a little dense for her tastes, as definitions of post-modernism tend to be, but she's been feeling some creative block lately and returning to the basics is always a good strategy. So is taking her mind off of work by spending time with friends. Speaking of which, Nathan is conspicuously absent from their rendezvous. She is just about to reach out for him when her phone buzzes, letting her know he's running late. She smiles to herself and considers that there is usually some level of redundancy in their communication, which is an expected hazard in their friendship.

Ariel reads the same paragraph in her book a few more times before he appears, an apology immediately on his lips. She doesn't care for how tired he looks, but she knows what it's like to lose sleep and she knows he's trying.

"Bored out of my skull, it's about time y'all got here," she replies as he attempts to make himself comfortable, "Do I get to here more about your traffic cone incident?"

She makes a mental note to see if she could use traffic cones or even a pilfered road sign in her upcoming projects. In a sudden burst of happiness to see Nathan and gratitude for his companionship, she leans across the table to peck the air next to his cheek.
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Nathaniel Whitaker
 Posted: Jan 22 2015, 03:49 PM
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Nathaniel Whitaker
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Nathan beams. His cheeks flush lightly, although the minimal change in color is barely noticeable

He has always been fond of Ariel, in much the same way that one is fond of an older cousin. He has fond memories of growing up alongside someone who understood his gift—someone besides his mother, his brothers, who were always there to look out for him, but never to just share his experiences. Ariel looks out for him; he can tell by the way her face softens when she sees him, the way her gaze lingers on the dark circles under his eyes and on his gaunt cheeks, and the way the air is saturated with concern is certainly a helpful indicator.

“I didn't mean to keep you waiting,” he said, crossing his hands over one another and then uncrossing them again. “The department called me this morning to tell me some kid had tossed a traffic cone through the window of Al's. Self defense, missed the douche who was harassing them but gave him a good scare. Turns out they hadn't even touched the damn thing. Adams wanted me there because she might be fragile.” He resisted the urge to stick his tongue out, but it was a strong one; people who thought of psychics as being 'fragile' made his hair stand on end, and when he knew he was the reason they felt that way, it made him feel worse.

“It's not really as exciting as it sounds,” he admitted. “What about you? Besides reading your book what have you been up to?”

If they had the conversation early enough in their meeting, it wasn't even redundant to ask, but Nathan also liked the confirmation of hearing another living person's voice.
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Ariel Katsaros
 Posted: Feb 12 2015, 12:55 PM
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Ariel Katsaros
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“Working on spring displays for Focault’s,” she says, “Although I’ve kind of hit a wall. Your traffic cone gave me an idea, though. Something along the lines of “Traffic Stoppers” or “Stopping Traffic.” Anyway, I’m fillin’ in since their current window dresser walked out on them and they’ve really gotta get rolling. I have to hit up three or four displays after they close on Valentine’s Day and I still don’t know what kind of help I’m gonna have. I’m starting to see why the last guy walked out.” She sighs and smiles ruefully. “But a friend recommended me to help them out since they’re in a tight spot, and I’ll look great if I can pull it off. My friend will also owe me a bottle of wine.”

Ariel watched Nathan’s hands fidget nervously.

“You want some coffee or something?” Ariel asks him out of courtesy.

He’s perfectly capable of buying his own coffee, and it’s not like she isn’t used to his constant, minute motions, but it’s nice to do things for people you like. Coffee is easy. Liking Nathan is easy. She’s always remembered him as a doe-eyed child, staring at things other people couldn’t see. She was drawn to his sensitivity to other people’s emotions. Her parents had always made their best effort to understand how she was feeling, and Nathan did it intuitively. Ariel rarely feels so in tune with other people. It’s relaxing to be able to lay down all of her checks and guards when she spends time around another psychic, and she wishes she could take him to work with her just for the company. She’s got at least one late night ahead of her.
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Nathaniel Whitaker
 Posted: Mar 4 2015, 12:47 PM
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Nathaniel Whitaker
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“Do I look like I need it?” he asks with a grin. Nathan has been keeping later nights than usual since getting back to the job, and it’s starting to run him down. Again. He knows better than to keep up the kinds of cases he was doing before—the kinds of cases where the victims follow you home because you’re the only one who will listen to their wailing—but knowing better and acting better don’t necessarily occur simultaneously. He’d chosen to get a job with the police when he knew better, had chosen to stick it out when he knew better, had chosen to return after a mental break that left him unable to do much of anything for a few weeks when he knew better.

Nathan is beginning to suspect he was not a very smart man. Ah well. His case load is lighter in this consulting position than it was as a formal detective, so he has that to look forward to. He has four mornings to sleep in on any given week, barring weeks where a particularly troubling case requires his attention. That’s almost enough to offset the sleep he’s losing over the nightmares, and he is adjusting.

“I should probably stick with tea. Something decaf? They’ve got me on some kind of anti-anxiety that doesn’t mix well with caffeine, and I’m at least trying to be good.” He’s going to have some long nights ahead of him too, and if he can only have a few cups of coffee a week, he figures he’d better save them.
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Ariel Katsaros
 Posted: Mar 4 2015, 01:03 PM
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Ariel Katsaros
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Ariel makes a sympathetic noise in an effort to not actually gush “You poor baby!”
Nathan isn’t a child. He’s an adult with adult problems (problems that are arguably worse than hers) and she has no choice but to trust him to handle those problems as best he can, and ask for help when he can’t. Still, medication is a hard burden to shoulder at times.

“Try my tea,” she offers, “It’s a ginger zinger, supposed to be good for energy and concentration or whatever. Wait, shoot, that probably means it has caffeine in it.” She laughs.
“Well, why don’t we split a sandwich. I’m not hungry enough to finish a whole one off and I’ve got a fridge full of leftovers already.” Ariel takes a drink from her mug, but she realizes she has no idea what caffeine might taste like. Probably bitter, she thinks. Ariel’s experience tells her that drugs are always bitter.

“How’s things with the fiance, if you don’t mind my changing the subject?” she asks. She grins mischievously. “I want grandbabies to play with, Nathan.”

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