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 Where They Won't Be, [Ben/Marisol]
Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 7:17 PM
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Harried by the perceived deadline that was Valentine's Day, Ben had finally manned up and broken things off with Lib. It had been...not ugly, not the way people thought of breakups being ugly. But difficult and painful even so. Because he really did love Elizabeth, he was even 'in love' with her by his best understanding of the term. It was just that he was unhappy in the relationship and didn't know how to fix it.

In his own head, he thought that he and Elizabeth had been bad for one another. This was objectively true, if not for the reasons he thought. And another man could have fixed it, salvaged the relationship into something healthy. But Ben wasn't another man, that was kind of the point, and he'd eventually had to admit that he couldn't hack it any more.

That had been right after the first of the month, and Ben had dearly wanted to disappear into a mope immediately thereafter, but his new position didn't exactly allow for it. And so he'd been at the pard house, hanging with the kitties and helping with the upcoming move, being as cheerful as his nature allowed but giving a little speech about wanting time to process before he talked about the split. Which was, for a miracle, actually true. He accepted that he wasn't going to get out of Talking About Feelings with this one, but he needed time to resolve it in his own head first.

Now it was Valentine's Day, and Ben had it on good authority that Lib was going to the rats' thing with some girlfriends from the pard and hospital, which meant he needed to not go there no matter what. So after his gig at Moons he just stuck around. They discounted his drinks, there was plenty to watch even from a seat in the whiskey bar rather than in the club proper, and there was nobody there he knew in any real way.

At least, he thought there wasn't. When Marisol came walking in, he smiled and raised his glass in toast, but gestured her right over. His hair was still damp from the shower he'd taken after his last set, he was wearing a plain t-shirt and ancient jeans but the pleasure in his voice was real enough as he said, "Hey, Mari. I thought for sure you'd be at 439 tonight."


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 8:54 PM
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Mari, who just about never went out in anything but dresses, had chosen her outfit carefully. She didn't want to look like she was putting on the full court, but wanted to look nice. And red seemed fitting, given the day.

She smiled openly, shrugging as she got to the table. "You're here," she said simply enough. "I can respect the Code of Silence and all? But I reserve the right to check on you, so here I am." All of it true, in its way.

She did not sigh mournfully at the shortened hair, which took massive effort. "Buy me a beer."

It probably should have been a question. Oh well.



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 12:40 PM
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He grinned at her and looked over to the server, engaging in a little Bar Sign Language to indicate their order, then turned back to Mari.

"I'm okay, you know. Stressed, and the headaches never fucking quit, and I'm walking a tightrope with Lib, trying not to make anything harder on her without actively avoiding her or the pard. But basically I'm good. Just getting that out there to start with."




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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 6:29 PM
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"Thanks for that," Mari said, "But I'll probably push and prod at you anyway, especially about the headaches." She was worried about those more than she would say out loud. But that much head pain this long after the fact in an Alpha was not good.

She slid into the seat across from him and gave him a small smile. "Not that 439 didn't sound amusing, I like the atmosphere here more, I think."



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 6:45 PM
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Ben was constantly pushing himself these days to be what the cats (and the pard's handful of non-cats) needed, and so he stretched his legs slightly so that their ankles touched, a spot of warmth through both layers of denim. A little warmer with memories that he'd turned out to be shit at letting go of.

"I"ve been thinking about going in there and seeing if I can't land a once a month gig. Bust out the stuff that's a little too down-and-dirty for here. But yeah, for sitting around having a drink, I like this place. Comfortable, quiet, and the noisier fools stay out of it."


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 7:48 PM
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She moved her leg against his, up and down a little, as comfortable with casual touch as anyone who'd been a shifter a long time, though she didn't get the happy tightening that came with it from anyone else.

"I've had my fill of fools for the time being," she informed him. "So that's an added bonus. You know if you play there," she could switch back and forth between topics with the best of them, "And they don't like you, they may shoot you, right?"



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 7:53 PM
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He shrugged, "Keeps a certain vitality in the performance. Otherwise, things get stale. All this time I've been working here, only one little invasion/orgy and one wolf war. I need to get my kicks somewhere."

Bumping his shin against hers, "How are you doing with all this? Lotta change in a hurry. You feel like we're going the right direction?"


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 8:44 PM
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"I don't know, I only just got here," she said breezily, knowing full well that wasn't what he'd meant, "But I'm liking the footsie. Keep that up." She and Rin weren't actually genetically related, but sometimes it was really hard to tell.

"The Pard? I think we're taking the first steps to get there, all the drama aside."



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 9:16 PM
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A slow smile, his eyebrows went up. "Is that where we're heading? Good to know." He supposed he should feel guilty about that or something, but it wasn't like he hadn't been counting the days until he was 'allowed' to feel her out about it. Apparently she'd decided they were allowed, and he wasn't going to complain.

He reached down and laid his hand on her ankle, because he was apparently allowed to do that now. "I was thinking of calling some friends of mine, seeing if they wanted to come to Seattle. Up the number of healthyish cats. And maybe some of the ones who blew town during the past few years. You think it'd be a good idea to bring in fresh blood?"


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 8:17 AM
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"Let's just say if I'd heard you were staying in tonight I would have worn something completely different," she told him. She was well aware of what she was doing, that there was some sort of code that said she shouldn't be hitting on him this soon. But she'd followed that code, staying as far away from his as possible while he made up his own mind about his relationship. She didn't encourage him to cheat, she didn't give him relationship advice and she had respected that he'd had a girlfriend. If he'd stayed with Elizabeth, she would have respected that, too.

But he hadn't, and Mari wanted what she wanted and she was not afraid to be blunt about that now that she could be. Made even clearer when she lifted the foot under his hand and dropped it into his lap. She was good, though, she only moved it against his thigh. For now.

"I think it's definitely a good idea, as long as they're healthy. If some of the ones who used to be here have issues, keep them away." She sounded like she knew what she was talking about because she did. The jags back home had taught them all what and what not to do. "Anyone who knows how to be part of a pard and who knows how to respect their leadership." She scowled. "This pard needs both of those things modeled for them."



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 11:24 AM
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He kept his hand on her ankle, now reaching under the cuff of the jeans to find skin. Soft, smooth, good just in a kitty way apart from the rest of it. Not that the rest of it wasn't right there front and center in his mind, it very much was.

"I've got my own issues with that," he admitted. "The 'respecting leadership' thing. Never been much of a reason to before. And now, Coll's my best friend, and I do respect him, but I also don't really know how to show it in the kitty way without it feeling weird." He shrugged, grinned at her. "Mostly I watch you for it."


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 12:08 PM
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"You don't have to know the kitty way, your cat'll know well enough for you both," Mari said with a shrug. "As a person? It's not bowing and scraping or anything, God knows you see how often I give him shit and my cat's way submissive to his. It's more...giving deference when it matters. When the Seahawks are playing? No. When he says something about the pard or gives an order? Yes."

Another shrug. "It's kind of like working for family. Knowing when your boss is your boss and when they're your Aunt or whatever."

Enough of that, since she wasn't all that worried about Ben anyway. He'd be a natural, she'd put money on it. Couldn't have all that blue blood and not get it on a genetic level. And the others would learn by watching, just like Ben was.

"How'd you do tonight?" she asked, reaching for her beer and wiggling her foot against him because she liked the petting and would like that to continue.



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 12:19 PM
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He kept up the petting. "That makes sense. Just gonna take a while to get to where it feels natural. And it was an okay set. Not the best I've ever done, but not bad either." He quested up under the cuff of her jeans, but could really only go so high. Pity. "Ran a litle long. I have to watch that these days, I tend to want to keep going because it's the one break in the headaches. Nothing mystical, I don't think, just that I concentrate on the music and forget the pain."


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Marisol Delgado
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 12:30 PM
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She gave him a look. "When are you going to let Collin or Bobby take another look?" she asked, then, because she was wrong in the head, "Or we could just have Aunt Gen take care of it while she's here. She heals, you know."

She was certain Collin would have told Ben all about his aunt because when your aunt was a sex healer and healed just about everyone in the pard at one time or another, well, it was the epic kind of awkward that you wound up telling stories about.



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Ben Morrow
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 1:17 PM
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He started to give her the excuse about just shifting a lot, but broke off when she suggested Collin's aunt, going all deer in the headlights for a moment. "No. Thank you. No. I'm sure she's a wonderful person, but that's way too The Graduate for even me."

A tug at the hem of her jeans. "Maybe you have that power too, and you just don't know it because you don't screw pard folks. You could be hiding your light under a bushel, so to speak."


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