The various homes, flats, and other dwellings of London are located throughout the city. You can visit a friend at his home or even have one over or enjoy an evening in with yourself. Your choice!
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June 9th, 5:15 p.m.
Cora's warehouse

She hadn't asked him what time he would leave for the day, dammit. Stupid mistake and now here she was, just pacing across the warehouse like a toy on a track - from her potions nook, past the stairs, over to the gym, and back and forth - and she would continue until Teague actually showed up. She was just too wound up to sit still and wait. Maybe a drink would help calm her down? No, that was an even dumber idea... She didn't want him to think she was drunk or needed to be drunk for this conversation! Oh Merlin... hurry up, bloodhound...

Matt was somewhere up in the rafters as far as she knew, which wasn't helping her nerves any if she was being honest. While she couldn't really put up much of an argument against him insisting on being here to protect her just in case, it was just far too awkward for her tastes to have her current lover (or something like that...) lurking around for a meeting with her ex-lover. Matt had argued (surprisingly gently, all things considered) that since Day Zero and the rumors that the Dark Lady was working with the Devil of Judgement, it was too risky for Cora to meet with Teague without backup. The man was not only the leader of the Death Eaters, but also the Lord of the wizarding government to boot! Combined with the fact that Cora still didn't know if any of her fellow Death Eaters had known about the now-broken magic left by their former Dark Lord, letalone if Teague harbored any personal ill-will toward her, and Cora had agreed to have Matt at least in the warehouse when the tracker showed up. Which would hopefully be soon, she thought anxiously once more...
Last edited by Coraline Larson on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
The day had gone relatively fast considering the unexpected letter from this morning and an even more unexpected response with a time. Well not a time really. While having Cora say that they could meet at the end of the day, the tracker knew end of the day could technically be whenever the hell he decided he was done with all the political bullshit... or rather, when Delilah let him loose, which thankfully hadn't been to late considering the events of the past week. There had been a fair bit of overtime put in to deal with the aftermath of that attack but honestly in the trackers mind it couldn't have come at a better time. The Order had given the government a gift without even knowing it and with a bit of creative license, they'd managed to spin the attack on the alleys to be that of terrorist cells.

Slowly the tracker turned Lord made his way down familiar streets, keeping his head low and for the most part out of sight and out of mind of those he crossed paths with. If he'd had a tail it would have been long shed by now and that brought a grin to Teague's face even though his stomach was in knots over this unexpected meeting. He'd gone over Cora's letter numerous times before setting out and he still didn't understand why all of a sudden she decided it was worth reaching out. Teague was under no illusion this was probably just to make their break up official or whatever... mend the bridges or whatever it was people called it. Heh...

Teague tucked his hands into the pockets of his jeans and made his way up the lane that would stop at the front door of Cora's warehouse. He'd made sure to change into something more comfortable and trackerish then the stuff he was forced to wear on the job. Comfortable boots, jeans, a warm green sweater over which his dusty brown leather jacket hung. Maybe it was a bid to prove to Cora he was the same guy she'd left, that the job and title hadn't change him. Heh... who was he kidding. The whole thing with Trevor, the syndicate....

The tracker shook his head to clear his thoughts as he found himself in front of Cora's door. She had said it would be open but the tracker couldn't bring himself to just walk in. So the tracker reached up with his left hand and rapped a couple of times before taking a breath to calm himself. he then returned his had to his pocket, settling into the lazy tracker persona he showed the world and waited for Cora to answer the door.
Was this real? Matt ratcheted a bolt into the rafter beam and considered the farcical circus his life had become. Marine, agent, mutant, prisoner, lover, and now...what?

He was making a genuine effort to keep control of his newly unshackled rage issues. For now, that meant staying up in the rafters and working on a home improvement project. He was laying on the beam and working on the underside to attach the anchor and swiveling eye for the aerial silks he had purchased earlier in the day. They were a grand gesture of reconciliation. After all, he'd dropped in on Cora and berated her for destroying his life, then had an emotional freak out. Her nervous energy was likely just as much his fault as it was the impending visit of her old friend...former lover...Lord of the wizarding world. That was a tooth clencher, wasn't it? With one final ratchet twist, the bolt was set and the silks were ready to hang.

Matt clipped the silks in place and unfurled them. Two aqua ribbons of fabric fell to the floor, creating a pillar of gauzy light.

A knock came on the door, so Matt stilled and waited for Cora's movements. He should probably go to his room at the very least. It wouldn't do to advertise to the head of the Death Eaters that their Devil-target was still alive...Matt stood and picked his way to his room, dropping in and settling onto his bed as the door opened. He'd eavesdrop from here and step in if necessary.
As she turned on her heel when she reached her potioner's nook, making another lap across the foyer toward the gym in her effort to not lose her sanity while she waited, Matt dropped the aerial silks into place. Cora stopped about halfway through her lap and stared at the brilliant blue fabric curiously. Matt had been up in the rafters installing the hardware for the silks for quite some time now, but hadn't really explained much about what they were for beyond being a gymnastics-like workout. She had been too on-edge and stressed out to question him too much about it at the time though, but seeing the pretty new addition to the gym her interest was effectively piqued.

Before she could mention anything to Matt about it, however, he had begun picking his way through the rafters toward his bedroom, apparently intent on not being an active part of her reunion with Teague. Cora had half-expected him to lurk behind her like the jealous and slightly possessive ass he could sometimes be, but certainly wasn't complaining about being alone with her old friend. Although the thought of actually being alone with Teague nearly gave her a heart attack in itself when she thought about it further. Maybe she should just stop thinking so much, the witch scolded herself, jumping at the sudden rap on the door.

'Hell's bells, woman, you need to get a damn grip!' the witch silently berated herself as she walked the few feet to the front door.

When she opened it Cora couldn't help but smile at the painfully familiar sight that greeted her on her doorstep. Leaning casually up against the door jamb, clad in that same old brown leather jacket that she remembered, looking around with that devil-may-care (haha, funny right?) expression...

"You look just the same as ever, Bloodhound," Cora greeted him, opening the door and motioning for him to come inside. "I'm... actually surprised you agreed to come at all..."
Same as ever? Teague wasn't exactly sure what he'd been expecting her to say as an introduction but he supposed that same as always was a good thing. She wasn't yelling, wasn't snarky.... hell she wasn't even in the leathers she typically wore. This Cora seemed almost to tame, to normal to be the Dark Lady... The tracker reached up to run a hand through his hair and let an easy smile slip onto his face.

"Looking good yerself lass. Good look you got going there."

Teague let out a soft chuckle at her quip about him coming as he stepped inside at her invite. Honestly he was as surprised as Cora was that he'd agreed to it. He didn't need the closure or whatever the hell this was going to end up being and it was more than a bit disconcerting if that was what Cora was seeking. He'd never know the Dark Lady to need something as mundane or human as closure.

As he entered the warehouse it was comforting to know it looked the same as it had before. It was something normal, something familiar he could surround himself with and it help to set his mind at ease. He could get through this. Get through and bury it deep down so it wouldn't ever be an issue again. He'd learned his lesson about trusting people as more than just a means to an end, and the tracker had no intent of ever having to repeat the lesson.

"So how's life?" he asked, as he kicked his boots off. Once off he stood tall again and waited for Cora to take the lead.
As much as Matt wanted to go down and try out the new aerial silks and reacquaint himself with the routines he used to practice, he'd made a promise to stay out of Cora's way. Matt pulled The Two Towers from his shelf and began to read it from where he'd left off several days ago. It was easy to distract himself with a good book.

Despite the distraction, though, he couldn't help but eavesdrop. The man's first mistake, Matt thought, was letting Cora take the lead. Such a submissive display wasn't going to get her respect. It sent subtle messages that the man I question wasn't willing to take charge and lead as needed. Frankly, it was surprising since this softie was supposed to be the leader of the wizarding world. Did that mean there was a power behind the throne, so to speak? It seemed increasingly likely.

Bloodhound. Hmph. Pack hunting dogs always needed a pack handler. Who was this Teague's handler and what was their opinion of Cora? That was the real worry, when it came down to it. Matt bookmarked his chapter and set the distraction aside. If he was going to think political thoughts, it was better to be focused.
Last edited by Matthew Cox on Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It was a good thing that Teague was just a human with human senses and hearing and smell, Cora thought as she ushered the tracker inside. Her heart was racing and it felt like the muscle was determined to pound its way right out of her chest, while her palms were clammy and her chest was tightening with anxious, nervous energy as well. She was certain Matt would be able to hear her pulse and smell the anxiety in her scent, but all she could do was hope he kept his word to stay out of sight until and unless something went badly and be glad that Teague wouldn’t be hearing the same things. At least she could pretend everything was okay in front of the tracker…

At Teague’s jab at her outfit, Cora felt her heart skip a beat before she forced herself to smile and even managed a little chuckle in return. She hadn’t even thought about her clothes giving away that something was different! Shit… She looked down at the dark, plain jeans she had on paired with the cream-colored rose-print shirt and green cardigan and silently cursed herself for not dressing more like what the tracker would be used to seeing her in. At least he didn’t see m to be put off by it and seemed to still be not suspicious, the witch was glad to see. Maybe this would be okay yet, she hoped silently.

“Well… I, um…” she stumbled over her reply to his question. Cora waited for him to remove his boots like he always did when he came in, then started across the entryway toward the sitting room. “That was… I suppose that was what I wanted to talk to you about,” she finally managed to spit out, sitting down gingerly on one of the leather couches. “You deserve an explanation… a full explanation…”
Something was decidedly off with Cora. The stutter only reinforced that notion. the Dark Lady didn't stutter, she spoke her mind, wasn't shy and this Cora... the Cora in front of him was not the Cora he remembered. It was unsettling in its own right and only caused the knots that had formed in his stomach to tighten. Great...

When she headed off toward the sitting room he followed, slow enough to take a good casual glance at the place. Everything for the most part looked normal, as it had been the few times he'd stayed, though there were a few things he did pick out as being out of place and set off a few red flags... aerial silks? And the tracker was almost certain that there had been a pair of men's shoes at the door that were defiantly not his... was someone else here?

Teague looked up at Cora when she finally managed to get something out, only to realize she'd taken a seat on one of the couches that furnished the room. Again with the deserve explanation bit? Heh... he didn't deserve anything in his opinion. Still he was here and it didn't hurt anything by hearing Cora out. He wasn't sure where she wanted him to sit so he opted for the same couch only the at the opposite end. He sunk down into the cool leather but didn't lean back. Instead, Teague casually leaned forward so he could rest his arms on his legs. He turned his head to give Cora his full attention.

"Alright lass, everyone's been saying that I'll get an explanation but so far yer the only one that seems even remotely sincere about it. What happened? Where the hell'd you disappear too?"
He ran his tongue over his teeth as he listened to the banter. Cora wasn't as eager or happy as their guest. If anything, she seemed to be getting more and more stressed with every passing exchange. She'd warned him to stay out of the way for his safety. It was an interesting concept. He could free run from the roofs of London and take death-defying leaps, but the presence of one of Cora's associates was too much. In a way, it made sense. A building couldn't torture you. Either you respected the height or you went 'splat.' People, on the other hand...wizards especially...had all sorts of nasty little vindictive tricks. The wrong people could make your life hell. Death wasn't the only punishment for a misstep when dealing with people.

The nervous tics and gestures from the witch put Matt himself on edge as well. The urge to get into the rafters and have no obstructions between him and his potential target kept climbing. He promised her that he'd stay out of the way unless absolutely necessary, though. He couldn't eve go to the library right now since he'd be visible on the balcony. No, Matt thought as he licked his lips. He'd have to sit here in his room and wait. Reading was out, especially when he sensed the tension in the man. Teague, his name was, right? Matt would have to keep himself distracted somehow.

Laundry was done, room was neat, books were alphabetized already, desk was straightened...damn. Why did he insist on the neatnik lifestyle? It left him nothing to do while he was in his room. Well, besides his radio and reading. The radio was out for obvious reasons and the tension in the warehouse was too palpable to really immerse himself in reading. Oh, how the mutant longed to sequester himself in the greenhouse or be outside. No...he needed to be here as the safety mechanism if the worst were to happen. Cora was worried about her Death Eater cronies and their reaction to her retirement plans. Understandable. They didn't seem like the kind you could tip your hat and bid 'good day' to...either this was going to work or it was a death sentence.
The suspicion and echoes of hurt in Teague’s eyes tore at the witch’s heartstrings. She had hurt him, she had known that, but to see it written so clearly on his face now that they were sitting down together with a chance for her to tell him the whole truth, it really was like a slap in the face she realized. Cora felt the knot of anxious guilt in the pit of her stomach tighten once again as she searched for the words to say to the man before her. She knew the explanation would hurt too, but she prayed that he could at least understand that she hadn’t hurt him on purpose when they were finished. Cora took a deep breath and clenched her hands in her lap to keep them from shaking.

“What happened is a long story, but I’ll start with where I went,” she started with a soft sigh. “Trevor had intel that resistance groups from overseas were spreading globally and were working toward being able to strike at the regime. So he gave me a mission. Infiltrate and annihilate. I…” She paused with an expression that spoke of guilt, frustration, and hesitation, but continued on with another soft sigh. “... I was told to tell no one. I tried to write you a letter before I left but I… I couldn’t find the words when I tried… like something was stopping me… The mission was supposed to last at least eighteen months, and since it was deep cover I couldn’t have any contact. I didn’t know what was happening here until Trevor sent me new orders to abort mission and return immediately…”

The raven-haired woman looked up at the tracker with genuine sorrow in her eyes, almost begging for him to understand. “He told me that his daughters were taken and that you were the suspect… I told him there was no way you would betray him like that or hurt the girls… He showed me a letter, pictures… said they were real. He wanted me to find you and find out the truth while he tried to investigate more. He summoned me a couple nights later with another woman, Delilah.... And that’s when we tried to infiltrate the group that had taken you all…”
He listened silently as Cora said her peace, doing what he could to stay impassive and keep up the aloof persona he normally wore, but it was hard. Ever since coming back top side (and before if he was really be honest with himself) it was becoming harder and harder to keep his emotions in check and simply brush things off as he'd always done before. Maybe it was a combination of being stuck down below and having 2 people he thought he could trust ultimately hang him out to dry... or maybe Jake really had messed him up after that trip down memory lane.

"So Trevor was more concerned about overseas threats then the home grown one right here?" Teague didn't even try to hold back a snort of disbelief. "And a letter. Christ Cora, all you would have had to say was it was a job, you should have know that would have been enough. I didn't need details. Not once over that year you thought to maybe check in? Just a simple, "Hey I'm not dead? "

Teague matched Cora's gaze and from what he could tell she was being serious, felt some sort of remorse... But then the hammer dropped and the trackers expression hardened. He'd known all along that Trevor had probably brought Cora back to take him out or wring enough information out of him to prove that he had or hadn't taken the girls, but to hear it from Cora, the Dark Lady? That she'd written him off and sided with Trevor with no more proof than a desperate father and a picture that could have easily, had easily been faked... That hurt more than Teague cared to admit.

He let his head drop slightly, wrapping his hands around his head a moment as he let out a long slow breath. Honestly the tracker turned Lord didn't know what to say... and instead of words he couldn't help but let out a soft laugh. After a moment he dropped his hands to his lap and turned his attention back to... well he didn't even know what Cora was anymore. Hit-witch? Not likely... unless she was putting on one hell of a show, which was a strong possibility. At least it seemed like Delilah had been in contact with them and was probably a good reason as to why he was still breathing.

"So you come back after a year ready and willing to take me out cause Trev showed a doctored photo? Heh, I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe all these years with him gone made me soft."
Once upon a time, Matt and his buddies aboard the Albion had cobbled together a neat little aerial to pick up television stations while the ship had been in transit. The reception was about as good as they had imagined a wire coat hanger could produce, but they'd picked up some telenovella off of the coast of Spain that had become a running joke with the crew for years to come. Anyone who had been a part of that little electrical engineering summer camp just had to dramatically exclaim "Oh, Ricky!" and anyone who knew about the story would start laughing their ass off. Funny enough, it seemed like he was hearing that episode all over again. Estranged lovers, kidnapped children, backstabbing bosses. It was all fascinating...right up until he was mentioned. The immediate stress and fear-off both of them-made Matt nearly certain the pronoun was referring to the asshole who had corrupted and hurt Cora. The fact that Teague seemed to think that the evil bastard was in the right, had made him stronger, made Matt on edge and protective.

It was time to do a threat display, he thought. Matt slipped out of his room and down the stairs and into the kitchen. He stayed quiet for the most part, then got a glass of water for himself. He leaned against the counter and sipped carefully. No doubt the tracker would get curious. What would the man say then? Did it matter? He'd know then that Cora had back up and that she wasn't going to be an easy target for harassment or beratement. And for damn sure, Matt wasn't going to let him take her back.
The tracker’s normal stoicism was cracking, she could see it. As hard as he seemed to be trying to stay calm and civil, he was angry and Cora couldn’t blame him one bit. They had been serious with each other at the time Trevor had given her her mission- well, as serious as the Dark Lady was capable of being romantically- and she had just vanished. He wasn’t getting it though from the sound of it. Cora’s pulse spiked along with the knot of anxiety in her stomach as she tried to explain better.

“You aren’t getting it…” she started, her voice quivering slightly with anxiety. “Teague, I wasn’t capable of telling you, as much as I wanted to. I didn’t want to hurt you, I swear to you, and I didn't believe that you did it… I told him it wasn't right... it wasn't possible...” Cora stopped herself before her voice cracked with emotion, taking a few steadying breaths before looking him in the eyes again. “I was given a direct order. The only people who were to know what I was doing was Trevor and myself. I literally couldn’t tell you… I’m so s-sorry… P-please… I want to t-tell you the whole tr-truth...” she added, her voice trailing off in volume until it trailed off completely and she seemed to almost freeze up.

Heart was racing, chest tightening up… hard to breathe. Everything was too loud and too quiet all at the same time. Palms clammy and cold. Felt like she was going to be sick… was this another cardiac episode? Was this what a heart attack felt like? Had to calm down. Had to explain… had to explain… Would Teague listen? He was already angry and hurt… would he even listen to the full explanation now? She wanted him to know what had been done to her… maybe he would understand then… But to explain she had to calm down and she wasn’t sure she could do that, what if she couldn’t calm down what would he do would he just leave oh Merlin she was having a panic attack not safe it wasn’t safe oh God…

The panic overwhelmed the witch quickly. Her small frame trembled as her arms hugged her torso tightly and she curled in on herself, her breathing shallow and too fast as the panic attack swamped her.
He wasn't getting it? Of course he wasn't bloody well getting it! He hadn't been asking for a full debrief, just a simple "Hey I'm gone for a bit." And even if she hadn't believed Trevor and though him innocent of kidnapping the girls she'd still followed the former leader.. and direct orders didn't mean anything as long as you completed the mission. Teague noted the quiver in her voice and his head snapped up so he could catch her gaze and the words that followed didn't fit with the Dark Lady he'd known.

"Then bloody well tell me lass." He tried to keep his voice even keel but the stuttering and stammering weren't helping his current disposition or mood. Everyone was always going on about the truth and blah, blah, but every chance they'd had to spill it was brushed off with word vomit. Cora had told him multiple times now that she was going to give the "truth" but so far he didn't feel like he'd been given anything but the run around.

The tracker turned Lord didn't know how to react when Cora seemed to under go some sort of anxiety attack. To see her curl in on herself like that made his stomach twist itself into knots. He wanted to go to her, to tell her it was alright, he wasn't going to hurt her or whatever else he could spout off the cuff to help put her at ease, but that little voice in the back of his head kept screaming that this was some sort of set up. A way for Cora to get back in the good books, a distraction to make him forget what she'd been about to say.

Eventually Teague reached out with his left hand, the intent to set it on her knee, but he paused half way through the motion when a flicker of movement from the kitchen caught his eye. His right hand instinctively reached toward the small of his back to rest on the knife that was sheathed there while his right stopped mid motion, wrist curling up so fingers could brush the wand that was resting comfortable against his forearm. His gaze took on a hard edge as it shifted between Cora and this new interloper. Was this a set up? Was this her way to get back at him for something? A new guy? A way to rub the hurt in even more?

"What in the bloody hell is this Cora?" Teague didn't even try to hide the anger and hurt that tinged his words. "Who the hell is that?"
Panic. Shit. He'd been asked to stay out of this, to let her handle it, but the panic attack could very well get her hurt and Matt was NOT going to risk that...He took the water glass and headed into the sitting room, coming to kneel by Cora so he could put the water glass into her hands and get her to focus on him. While he walked Cora through the grounding process, he wasn't ignoring Teague. No doubt the glasses would be a giveaway to his blindness, but the visitor was too canny to not have questions. Those could be answered later, though. Right now, Matt's priority was helping Cora.

"Cor...focus on me, Cora. It's okay. You're safe, you're home, I'm here. It's okay. Breathe with me...slow and steady. feet flat...there we go...slow breath in...and out. Can you tell me the first five ingredients for the Guinness cake you make?"

He stayed at her feet and kept his hands on her knees, providing a tactile sensation for her. He tilted his head towards Teague and finally greeted him.

"Sorry to burst in like this. I'm Matt. Please, don't pull your wand. I just came in to help her through the panic attack and I'll leave once she's comfortable again."

Not that he wouldn't be eavesdropping or keeping a metaphorical eye on things. The mutant had assigned himself as Cora's unofficial bodyguard, but really...he was her whatever. Whatever she needed, he would try to be. It had become instinctive without him realizing.
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