The Ministry formally advises that all contact with muggles and their world be kept to a minimum. Muggles are an admittedly useless creature, far inferior to our abilities and knowledge. The Ministry advises those who have made it clear they are blood traitors are not to be reckoned with or kept informed of the goings on within our world as they have made their choice.
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by: Matthew Cox
#18710
Hands clasped in front of him, head bowed, Matt looked like he may have been praying instead of listening. His breathing and heart rate, however, responded to Everett’s assurances and follow-up offer. Matt’s hand reached and trapped Ev’s hand for a moment in a connection.

”Good. And thanks. I’m...pretty isolated. I know that’s a big vulnerability, so if I need help, I’m bee-lining to you, hooyah?”

He looked up, eyes tight in the corners and lips curled in a crooked smile. That smile grew and overcame the tight look, turning the look on his face into amusement as he listened about his friend’s new dad and uncle.

”Weaponsmith? So like...forge and hammer? That’s...actually...” he juggled words. On one hand, archaic and quaint. On the other? ”Really cool! Cora’s been teaching me more about herbology. She has these lilies that are like...half cobra? They’ve taken to me,” he said with a note of amused pride. Castor, Pollux, Romulus, and Remus were his four charges in the greenhouse. He’d learned to feed them, trim their shoots, and milk their venom without injuring them. Soon, he’d be learning to transplant them, hopefully.

Lord, what would Ev think about his fellow hard-core operator playing with flowers? Bad ass flowers, Matt rebutted to himself. Dangerous, venomous, adorable flowers...Matt grinned all the broader, inviting the ribbing and teasing to come.
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by: Everett Cooper
#18744
Ev’s scarred face split in a reassuring smile and he clasped Matt’s hand tightly for a moment, letting go when the marine pulled away. “Hooyah, buddy. Y’all better not make me chase your ass down, I’m tellin’ ya,” he chuckled, obviously just teasing the other man. Help wasn’t something you chased someone down to force on them, especially not when it came down to mental health like they were talking about. The joke was there really to simply lighten the mood a bit again and he hoped Matt would take it that way. Matt’s admission of being pretty isolated did raise a couple red flags in the vampire’s mind but he supposed that wasn’t too big of a surprise if Matt was… uh, modified? With his new abilities it made sense for him to be more on the isolated side, he rationalized, so Ev decided to drop the issue until Matt wanted to address it.

Ev was glad to see the smile creep back onto Matt’s face as he talked about his new life some more. He chuckled at himself and still wondered how the hell he could’ve missed recognizing the mischievous, slightly haughty grin of his friend since it didn’t seem to have changed at all in the last decade. “Yeah, forge and hammer,” he laughed, sitting back on the couch and getting comfortable again. “The Nosferatu clan I’m fostering with is actually renowned for their weaponsmithing techniques, so I’m lucky that I get to study with them really. The master I’m apprenticed to, Master Cyprian, is real nice and he’s been great with, well everythin’ honestly. I love it,” he added with a bright smile, nodding and listening to Matt’s explanation of the plants.

“Cobra plants?” Ev laughed in delight. “What the hell are those?!” Just when he thought the magical world might be starting to make sense, something else came outta the woodwork and threw a wrench in things. “That sounds like a… what’d’ya call ‘em… damn. Anyway, it sounds like transfiguration, yeah that’s the word! I’ve seen other creatures that were kinda half one thing and half another, except they weren’t plants they were these weird, halfway transfigured gardening shears? Scissor-bats. Nasty little shits,” he pronounced with disgust. “Is that what these lily-things are too?”
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by: Matthew Cox
#18769
The crooked smirk only grew wider at Everett's tease. "As if your fat ass could catch me, Rebel! Enhanced human, yeah? I don't know what your new speed's like, but I could out run you back in the sandbox and I'd put a quid down on still smoking you on the track. Or across the rooftops, if you were brave enough." The cocky confidence took years and worry off of Matt, lifting the patina of time to reveal the lance corporal that had served in Afghanistan.

He settled in and shut up, listening to Everett appreciatively. Nosferatu...another word for vampires, maybe?...seemed to favor old fashioned things if they were still doing forge and hammer stuff, organized in clans, and had apprenticeships and masters. Given the mood he was in, Matt couldn't help himself with his next jab.

"Master? Really? I thought you were training to be a blacksmith, not a Jedi. Can I call you padawan? What color is your lightsaber? Don't fall to the dark side, Ev!"

He fell back, laughing in delight, then calmed himself with a happy sigh. The grin faded as he listened to Ev puzzle through the cobra lillies. Transfiguration was the changing of a thing into another thing, right? He'd thumbed through that textbook briefly, but it hadn't interested him as much. Something about not being able to apply the theory he was learning about just made it frustrating rather than interesting. Herbology, care of magical creatures, even Astronomy and history had been interesting because they were useful. So, here at least, he had an answer for Everett.

"Hmm...no, not so much...I could see where you would think that, especially if you've already seen a transfigured thing. But those spells wear off eventually; it might take a while if I remember the reading right, but it'll eventually wear off. The cobra lily is...fuck, what was the term...plantimal? Some stupid portmanteau like that. Anyway...they're magical creatures that fill a niche between plants and animals...combines the best of both. You find 'em in extreme environments usually. Rocky coast of the Med, the Himalayas, deserts. Whole slew of different types of plantimals, and all of 'em are fuckin' weird as shit. Cat-cactus things, bananacondas...potato frogs. The cobra lily eats smaller prey than an actual cobra, typically, and is hardier than the average lily, too. It's late for them, but d'you want me to go get one and introduce you?"

If Ev was interested, Matt was more than willing to go get one of the potted plantimals and introduce his friend to the weird and wonderful creatures. Castor, most likely, would be the candidate for introduction. Of the four, he seemed the most mellow and open to new things.
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by: Everett Cooper
#18780
“Fat ass?!” he laughed incredulously, “I’m two hundred and four pounds as of this morning, midget boy, and it’s solid muscle! I ran my mile and a half for the PST in ten minutes flat!” the SEAL stated proudly, referring to the physical screening test that all SEAL wannabes had to pass before being accepted into the training program. “And the only reason you could outrun me in the desert was ‘cuz I was the one runnin’ backwards givin’ you cover fire, ya scrawny shit!” Ev laughed, his scarred lip curled slightly as he grinned at the other soldier.

Damn he had missed getting to bullshit and just be around other soldiers, more than he had realized. It was nice to relax with someone who understood that it was okay to joke about their time overseas because it was the only way to cope with some of the things they had been through and seen. Dwelling on the horror of battle and the blood and guts and gore was a surefire way to drive yourself over the edge into a dark place nobody wanted to be. Ev had seen men and women go down that path and had even started down it himself way back before he had sought help for his PTSD. One of the first techniques his therapist had gotten him into the habit of doing was to focus on the better memories of those times, which sounded like it should’ve been common sense but was way harder than most people understood. Getting to reminisce and just be around someone else who understood that mentality was… indescribable, for Ev. ‘Needed’ was the only word that was coming to the vampire’s mind, only further cementing his decision to discuss the possibility of seeking a therapist for regular sessions again now that he was out of his transition and stable.

Matt’s crack about padawans and Star Wars references had Ev sharing in his laughter, falling back against the couch holding his sides until he calmed down again. He chuckled again as he wiped the tears of laughter out of his eyes. “Shit… that was a good one, buddy. Gonna have to tell Master Cyprian about that one; I think he’d appreciate it,” he grinned. Nevermind the fact he didn’t even know if the Nosferatu would even know what Star Wars was. Fuck it; he’d explain it if he had to.

The explanation of the plants Matt had been taking care of was fascinating at the very least and made Everett think about Alasdair and how much the wizard would enjoy getting to see a creature like that. Matt insisted that the plant, er, plantimal things weren’t transfigured objects like the scissor bats but were a natural thing that just happened in nature, which just seemed… weird, to say the least. But, hey. Before he was one, vampires sounded like bullshit too, so really who was he to judge anything on whether it sounded real or not? The offer to be introduced to the nifty little guy was tempting and Ev nearly said yes, but looking at his phone for a time-check had the vampire reluctantly declining the offer.

“I’d love to, bruv, but it’s gettin’ late and, well…” He paused a moment, unsure just how to phrase what he was looking for. “I, uh… I was actually hunting when I ran into y’all and I mighta had a meal but it wasn’t the one I was lookin’ for, if ya catch my meaning,” he added with a wry smirk. It wasn’t an emergency that he feed tonight, but Everett did try to stay on a regular feeding schedule since it seemed to help him stay in control of his hunger and he was getting to the end of his 3 day cycle of feeding. He’d be okay if he didn’t get blood tonight, but that put some pressure on him for tomorrow and he didn’t want to worry Alasdair. Better to just cut his reunion with Matt short and make time to see his old buddy again soon now that they knew they were both in London. Maybe he could even get to know his girlfriend better too; shame Cora hadn’t been feeling well after dinner. Ah well. There was always next time, right?
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by: Matthew Cox
#18784
Two oh four? Really?

”Shit, maybe I’m the fatass…you only have four pounds on me…though…I clocked myself at five forty three for a mile and a half the other night on a patrol,” He smirked in pride at the brag. It wasn’t fair that he was beyond peak human standard, but did that matter? He may have been shorter…Midget wasn’t a new moniker for him, but scrawny was a name that would never apply again. He was a solid ninety point seven kilos of bulk and he worked to keep it.

God, thank you for this night…I needed this.

Matt shot up the small prayer of gratitude with a happy sigh as he and Ev both wound down from the laughing and camaraderie. Ever since he’d retired, he’d felt like an outsider. All of his life had been given to a community of the elite with their eyes outward into the darkness, ready to defend against whatever lurked. The entire mindset of readiness and willingness to kill and die for a cause twisted a man in such a way that it made it difficult to untwist after coming home. In an odd sense, he missed the cycle of deploy, fight, return, and prepare to deploy again. Civilians just didn’t understand the life on the razor’s edge and the kind of humor that it bred. It was genuinely nice to just relax and let the civilized face drop away and just be a soldier again.

But they weren’t that, were they? Neither of them…Matt was a mutant, Everett was a vampire. They’d never just be soldiers again. If Everett’s polite bowing out wasn’t indicative of that reality, then what would be? Matt listened and caught Everett’s meaning clearly. Vampires didn’t eat food. The legends must have been true then about blood as well. That was one of the things Mi5 hadn’t really caught onto yet…the legends of what went bump in the night weren’t stories. They weren’t fantasy. They were warnings, culturally passed down from generation to generation about why you locked your doors at night, about why you avoided strangers, about why you learned to defend yourself. Generations of their forefathers had stood with their backs to the light and their weapons drawn to the things in the shadow…

So what were they supposed to do now that they were the things in the shadows? How was Matt supposed to react to the concept that his friend, with whom he had crusaded against the dark, became one of the things that preyed on people? The literary embodiments of evil were the things that ate people, used them as their playthings, destroyed the concept of sovereignty and free will…magic, monsters, and shadows. Fables and Fairytales were full of fae, vampires, werewolves, and other nasty things…so how was Matt supposed to react?

Well, what was the reaction he wanted? Wasn’t he just as much a monster of the night, now? Preying on the dregs of society, hunting, destroying, mauling and taking their freewill? There was only one reaction that a soldier of his caliber could have to this situation.

Matt unbuttoned his shirtsleeve and rolled his sleeve up, then offered his bared arm. His expression went from pensive and thoughtful to sympathetic and soft.

”Bruv, I told you, whatever you need, if I have it, I’ll offer it. If…if you’d rather go elsewhere, cool. But you don’t need to waste that effort, I mean…”

He shrugged instead of finishing the sentence. What was the proper way to offer your blood? Hell if he knew…
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by: Sarah
#18885
End Summary- Despite Matt’s generous offer to feed him Everett politely declines, citing the unknown nature of Matt’s mutation and being unsure of what effect his blood would have on the vampire. The two old friends exchange phone numbers with promises to keep in touch and get together again soon before Everett excuses himself to go find a meal.
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