Cristal got gotten home after a bit of an exhausting day at worked. Normally she would have cleaned up a bit but she was simply too tired. She did turn on her computer in the room carefully kept free of magic along with her phone. It was odd to her she even owned these considering she was a with but well, Quinn. He explained everything strange that she kept in this little room. To any wizarding people it was nothing but storage space but she knew better. She checked her phone and noticed a missed call from Quinn. She had worked late so maybe that was why she missed it? She figured he'd be at work or something now with the time zones so she simply dropped the phone again and checked her email. Or well, she planned but her wifi was acting up again. She blamed magic interfering.
With a grumble she shut the device off again and made herself a cup of tea. Tea and then sleep early. It was that kind of day. She put on her pajamas and curled up in bed with her tea and a good book. She'd read for a bit first, she decided. So she started on her book, the supplies of the potion sje'd made still all over the kitchen. She was normally a bit more secure but she didn't expect any company so she didn't think it needed to clean up. Today wasn't going to be as expected though...
It was a red-eye flight, but he was nearly convinced he was allergic to jet-lag so it had always been better to go headfirst into it than to try to avoid it. He always became sick after trips, if only for a day. The plane landed in the afternoon, and by the time he passed through customs, gathered his luggage, and caught a ride, it was nearly six. London had prepared its drizzly homecoming for him, spilling rain heavily in the way that poured off the roofs, as though there were some stellar waterfall leagues above the city, and all the city were a drain. It all went into the Thames, the smell of car exhaust and wet stone going with it. It was home, and there was just one more person to make it sink in.
He punched in her number while in the cab, riding from the tube to her apartment. Their apartment? It hadn't been his since he had left for Japan, but he still had the keys she gave him, both sporting the happy rubber key toppers, a yellow Pikachu reserved for the main flat key, and doraemon for the other key that he still didn't know what it went to. "Hello, Cristal, it's me. Remember how I mentioned might be traveling in the next two weeks? Well I am, and obviously I have signal, so you should give me a call and let me know where you're at... because I'm back in the country. That counts as traveling -" It cut him off.
When he made it into the flat, he called out for her but received no response. Making his way into the kitchen he was struck by the assorted oddities. There were jars over the kitchen, and a cutting board with some slip of slime. On the other side of the sink, there were two rows of bottles lined up holding some dark liquid. He had a homebrew hobby once, but he couldn't figure what a newt had to do with beer, or the smattering of leaf matter in the sink. His appetite all gone, and more confused. "Hello? Cristal?
He made his way to the bedroom. The light was off, and there was a form on the bed. The mystery of the kitchen still tickled him but a wicked smile curved across his face. Quentin crept over to her, humming a tune - pausing only when he was standing over her, then he circled around to the side of the bed so it would smack less of Friday the Thirteenth and more of the Notebook. He studied her for a moment, before reaching out and resting a gentle hand on the back of her head. There should always be time for quiet moments later, when she knew he was near, but it was still a sight he tucked away to savor. "Hey, wake up." His fingers threaded through her hair gently, carding rivers in the amber threads. He leaned closer while he could, pressing a fleeting kiss to her forehead.
Last Edit: Jan 17, 2017 13:35:51 GMT -6 by Deleted
Cristal fell asleep sooner than she expected. She'd just closer her eyes for one second. Waking in a start five minutes later she'd given up on the notion of staying awake and had turned off the lights and turned in for the night. She wasn't usually the type to sleep deeply and woke at the slightest noise but today was different. Where she sensed she was safe or had truly gotten to a point of sleep deprived nature that she slept like a rock wasn't sure, but sleep she did. Even as Quinn called for her and walked their apartment she did not wake.
It was still their appartment in her mind. She still loved him and he had a key. His moving to Japan had been harder than she thought or would ever admit. But it was odd when she woke up. She felt, even in her deep sleep, like something crawled through her hair. She felt lips touching her forehead and she swore she was still asleep. Yet as she slowly woke up she noticed a shape in the darkness. Her hand instantly took the wand under her pillow but it didn't get in sight. She felt safe, which was strange since there was somebody with her in a dark room. Heart beating fast her free hand reached for the lightswitch. Then as the light came on he appeared.
"Quinn?" She said in full surprise. Then she smiled broadly and jumped up, throwing her arms around him in an embrace. "How did you get here? I thought you were travelling." She said, wondering if he'd mailed or called to tell her. Considering the missed call she guessed the later. She really needed to get better with those darned phones and learn to listen to her voicemail. She kissed fondly nonetheless, happy to see him. "Did you have dinner yet? Do you want anything to eat or drink? She asked, unable to help herself. The surprise had her head a bit scrambled and she had forgotten about the mess in the kitchen. With magic she could have cleaned it in minutes but she had to act muggle around him. Or well, normal in a sense. She took his hand and then smiled at him. This was the best surprise she'd ever had.
"I flew, of course. I tried calling but you were obviously busy sleeping or cooking or something." He frowned, the mess in the kitchen crawling to forefront of his mind. He opened his mouth to ask her about the jars and herbs and goop in the sink but then she had pressed her lips against his. His balance shifted and he fell back against the wall, dropping into a seated kneel, his arms still supporting her around her waist. @cristal was warm and solid in his arms, and it had been two years and he didn't want to move but just lose himself in her warmth, her form, her scent. The circumstances of his untimely departure from Japan - three months early - washed through his mind again as it had been haunting his waking and sleeping visions. To his consternation, Cristal pulled away and the horror lingered. He focused on her face instead, soaking in the speckles and the bright eyes. He loathed to leave Japan early, but if there was anywhere else he would have wanted to be it was right where he was with her.
"Ate on the plane but I'm not sure when breakfast began and dinner ended." He didn't drop her hand as he moved to stand up. His other hand came down on top of some slender stick lying on the floor beside him. "What's this?" He picked it up as he rose and inspected it. "You learning to knit or something?" He gave it a twirl and tapped her lightly on the nose then leaned in to capture her lips in a slow kiss that asked nothing, only proximity and reassurance. In another part of the world, thousands of lives had been obliterated in a fell tide that kept rising. But for now - he was hale, he was home, he was safe, and he was with Cristal.
It only took one or two moments at most before all the bad things that had happened over the last two years to completely fade into the background. Yet some pains seemed stronger now that she felt safer than at any other point in the last two years. She had to believe this was real and that he was going to stay around this time. There had to be something she could do to try and convince him not to leave again. She just hoped that he wanted to stay as much as she wanted him to stay. She smiled as she pulled away and ran her slender fingers over the side of his face, almost as if she needed to convince herself she was awake and he was real. He was him and not some polyjuiced stranger out to get her. She didn't think anybody could possibly manage to fool her at this point though. He kissed like her Quinn and the adorable little frown as he spoke of....
Cristal's eyes widened for a moment. "Oh gods, the kitchen." She muttered and looked up at him in shock for a moment. She must have kicked or swiped the wand from under her pillow to the floor somewhere in her excitement to see him though, as he suddenly held her wand and twirled it around. Too obviously clueless about exactly what powers it possessed. Well, no doubts possible about his being himself. She delicately plucked her wand from his hands and smiled at him, shaking her head slightly. "Not knitting. Who uses wooden knitting needles? No, it's merely a priceless----"
Kissing. See, that was much better. Cristal gently dropped her wand back on the matrass and wrapped her arms around his neck, melting into his arms. She'd worried about him endlessly ever since the news of the earthquake despite knowing he was fine. She'd been irritable at work and people noticed something was up. She had to hold back regularly just to stop herself from taking a direct trip to Japan to see him. Magic be damned, she wanted to see he was safe, not just hear it! Now she could see and hear and feel he was safe. Grudgingly she pulled away for a moment. "I'm glad you're back you know." She murmured softly. "Now can you just take off your clothes and come to bed? We have a lot of catching up to do on a lot of different things." She said with a cheeky wink. She felt enervated by his presence already. "Should I grab the laptop so we can watch some criminal minds?" She asked, already starting to settle back into the old routine of normality where she couldn't use magic for everything. Not that she had moved even an inch more than was absolutely needed to talk. She stayed close, safe. Plus she did not know how to explain the mess in the kitchen and she had a feeling he'd spotted that. Which could be a little problematic.... potentially.
Last Edit: Jan 25, 2017 14:38:28 GMT -6 by Deleted
Cristal had such an appealing expression of surprise, radiating nervousness beyond reason. It was just the kitchen, just a small meaningless mess. His challenges were small again compared to the destruction he had left be hind. It was relieving as it was terrible because it separated him from hundreds of thousands of others through a host of justifications and connections that meant he could be here, alive and well and an ocean awawy from trauma and nothingness, and nothing about him was worth any more than the faces and people he had come to know over the past two years. Just a kitchen, a small mess, but it meant so much more. Quentin leaned in to capture her lips in a deft kiss, reassuring and seeking forgiveness for thoughts he couldn't yet begin to put into coherent sentences. He felt her arms come around his neck, further grounding him in the moment. The shadow of anxiety still lurked in the back of his mind, but with the passing seconds he felt the tension ease.
"Glad I'm here with you. I didn't think as far as what I'd do if you'd changed the locks. But can we do food first? I know I woke you -" He punctuated his sentence with a kiss, and pulled her with him as he rose -"And it's late but I can't do anything on empty." The siren call of the bed and the prospect of holding her close was strong, but the edge of hunger was just that bit sharper. With his mind clear and stomach sated, he could show her just how much those two years away meant to him.
Notes: first post back kinda icky, sorry. poke for changes
She really needed to clean the kitchen. She was tempted to ask him to stay here so she could magic her way out of this but if he got to the kitchen for even a moment and noticed it was spotless much faster than humanly possible she'd have far more complaining to do. Not to mention she wasn't sure if he'd accept being cooped up in the bedroom so soon after returning. Even more, she didn't really want to be separated from him. If she was quite honest to herself she finally was back to understanding why her sister had married so young. Why wait when love was this strong? For her it was mostly because she didn't want to scare him off and well, she was a sensible kind of girl. She was just sick of keeping secrets from him, especially now that more purebloods were starting to go missing. She wasn't pureblood but those things were not usually confined to one group unless it was a serial killer. That seemed unlikely though. The ministry was trying to keep a lid on it though and hid as much as possible from the magical community. So manu secrets that strangled her.
As he raised her to her feet she giggled slightly and took his hand to drag him to the livingroom. At that point she let go of him to get to the kitchen. Did she even have a clean enough spot or did she have to clean up first? Since she usually kept her potions to one side and food to the other she had enough clean stuff left. She did put some of the nastier jars away in a cupboard. She'd have to keep them elsewhere now that Quinn was back. Or find a really good excuse. New age muggle witchcraft? The wicca stuff? She thought it was mostly candles and chants though, which made little sense with her potion ingredients. She'd figure oyt something. Too bad halloween hadn't been recent. Otherwise she'd have had the perfect excuse. She grabbed some eggs from yhe fridge and grabbed bacob, sandwhiches and plenty of othrr things for a good hearty breakfast. It was the best she had at the moment.
She calked out to Quinn. "I hope bacon and eggs will do. I still need to do shopping for this week." She said, hoping he wouldn't mind as she started on his meal. She'd steal a slice of bacon off his plate and call it a late night snack. It seemed like a great plan to her.
@quentin Pm for changes! He can have followed her to the kitchen or not. Up to you!
Culture shock was the best and worse part of traveling. It hadn't sunk in yet, in the way his mind was floating somewhere among the flotsam and eddies of time and water across the Pacific. The apartment was shelter, a reprieve from the turmoil outside and the uncertainty lapping at the peripheries. Crystal released him and slipped toward the kitchen. He followed her, at once finding relief in the distance from her and the intensity of expectations, as well as craving the reassurance of her proximity. The night was endless and blue, carrying the sort of time-warping silkiness that only comes between the hours of eleven and three. He felt he could lose himself entirely in the interim, and they could recoup the two years they spent apart before light kissed the horizon. Endlessness, stretching him further and furhter the way time bent and stretched as he had flown across the international date line. Once more they could bend time, until the heaviness in his head coalesced.
"I haven't had proper bacon in two years. Make me bacon and you'll make me the happiest man this side of the dateline." He leaned against the doorframe to survey her as she shuffled about. He wanted to be the man who could cook, but want exceeded skill. He could imagine it, planing out in detail the fourteen varieties of rice he could make for her, and wrapping sixteen kinds of sushi: raw meant no chance of burning the fish. Two years away at the least meant he could vouch for his ability to survive on his own. All the basics of a very eligible bachelor, apartment not included. Perhaps the illusion of thet night would end, and he would wake up on the plane having missed disembarkment only to realize he was in Australia - the wrong sort of English he couldn't speak in three months. Then he would find Crystal had moved on, along with NASA, the film industry, and even the millenials' fixation on nostaslgia. Recipe for complete dislocation, And Crystal would be that hazy figure and he would be another recollection. He had gone around the world to realize there were somethings in particular he dind't want to leave behind. It momentarily snapped him into a state of hyper-clarity in which he watched her, soaking in every movement, the sheen of copper hair under flourescent lighting, the smattering of freckles across her shoulders. It had always been the small things, always be the small, expansive moments of just being. This spurred him to reach out again, wanting her close. "What is this mess anyway? You decide to pickle salamanders, or did you suddenly become a neopagan while I was gone?"
Cristal got to work instantly. She retrieved the needed ingredients from her fridge and started the fire to bake the eggs and bake on. She got her pans out and cut the bacon into smaller pieces before throwing them in the pan where they sizzled. She got the eggs out but first she needed to get some free bacon done. After that eggs. For now she just put some bread in the toaster. Not quite the feast but it would have to do. "I've been practising my bacon making skills so at least it should be good." She said and beamed at him. It would be fabulous. He was back after all and she'd been waiting for that since the day he left. She'd missed him more than she could express, which she was going to try nonetheless. Even if it failed he'd understand what she'd meant to say. That she'd missed him.
Then he asked about the state of the kitchen. Cristal nearly flinched but kept herself composed. "A neowhat?" She asked confused before suddenly realising that might have been a save option. It sounded weird though. "It's more like a belated halloween party that kind of got out of hand. We watched a few witch movies and made our own magic potions. The guck is a bit... messy. I didn't have time to clean it up yet." Close enough. She did brew potions for halloween but they had been the more giggly stuff. Not love potions as she was pretty sure they were illegal or should be. She never bothered to look it up yet.
She finished up his bacon and eggs then and put then on a plate with the toast and handed it over to him, a bit keen to get out of the mess in the kitchen she was getting herself into. The mess she no longer could solve with magic. Well, maybe one day if they ever got married. For now that was more of a future dream than desire or expectation. Things were perfectly fine the way they were, Cristal mainly needed a moment to reset her thinking pattern from the lazy side of magic to the mire active muggle life. That was a good thing though. She liked being active, even if just with chores. Crazy or not, it worked for her. She loved the life she could lead with Quentin almost as much as she loved him, which was saying something. He had managed to steal her heart in such a way not even distance had managed to give her any doubts or hesitations. She just hoped she'd never have to be without him again.
"Bacon-making skills.," He said, leaning up against the frame of the entry to the kitchen. "Now that's a phrase I never thought could sound so sexy." He took the moment to soak in the smells, the familiarity of the kitchen and the small, distinct elements that were uniquely Cristal impressing on him again like a mantle of warmth.
"Double, bubble, toil and trouble." He grinned at her, shaking his head in mirth. It had always been his favourite holiday, and it wasn't quite the same in Japan. "What kind of, ah, potions did he make?" He retreated to the coffee table in the other room as she finished, setting down the plate in front of him. It was good, a year off from usual British fare elevated the swirl of grease, the touch of sodium to succulence. Quentin paused between bites, wiping his hands on the yellow and black plaid napkin swiped from the drawer, and leaned back on the futon. Behind the anticipation - the tripping, dancing, dragonflies darting around and through his ribs with stuttering zeal - there was a current of nerves. Beyond and within all that brought him to this moment, basking in Cristal's company - earnest and colorful - there was the year behind him, waiting like an unanswered letter left on a desk. He was torn between wanting to distance himself from the events sparking his flight from Japan, to lose himself or to find himself in the nascent possibilities of "us" and "we" manifest in the burnished brunette smiling back at him, the woman he knew achingly well in all the right ways, and with the right amount as yet undiscovered for the years to come, and wanting to distance himself from the very comfort of the moment so he could process the undertow of anxiety. There was a ripcurrent in his mind and it was dragging him down.
Quentin glanced down at his hands, hearing an odd clatter. It was his fork against the plate. His hands, trembling. "Cristal,...."
Note: you should give me random details about Cristal that I/Quent should know - like favourite color, random important objects to her, weird things she might have that are uniquely her.
Quinn still loved bacon about as much as she herself did. She always had bacon around in the house in case she felt like a snack. It was like her own personal guilty pleasure, which was indeed rather brilliant. The only other food that seemed to compare to bacon were the things Quinn cooked up. Cristal was not a great cook unless she had a judgemental chef next to her that would constantly and loudly think about how he'd do it better. She knew it was abusing her talents as a legilimens to steal thoughts on cooking but it was the only way she knew to make a really good meal rather than average or even bad.
She giggles for a moment as his love for halloween popped up. "Obviously not love potions. Those would have to taste a lot better." She said, not lying because there was no use. She at times let it shimmer she was odd and not quite like other people. In a sense she guessed she hoped to prepare him for a day she'd tell him the truth. Law made it forbidden to do so now but it said nothing about the future. The future she hoped she could have. "We made a potion to make ourselves look like another person." It was true enough. She had been making some polyjuice to replenish the stock at work. With some of the infiltration they'd been doing it ran dry a little faster than usual. She acted rather casual about it as she cared little about the truth if the one hearing it wouldn't believe it was real anyway.
The turmoil on his face was very real but Cristal was cleaning up a little she missedbit at first. When the fork fell upon the plate and he called for her she instantly dropped everything and walked over to him. She gently ran her fingertips across his face, tempted for the first time to see into his mind. She had never invaded his privacy like that before but right now she wanted to know what was going on more than usual so that she might comfort him. "What's wrong Quin?" She asked gently. "Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I'll do anything." And that was very serious. She'd break the rules for him, even if it meant covering her tracks up. He meant the world to her, which was why distance was never an obstacle for her. It couldn't stop or diminish what she felt. "Quin? It's okay, no matter what you need. I'll be there." She promised in a soft and quiet voice.
Cristal loves bacon, tends to read minds at checkouts so she has that weird habit of answering questions before they get asked (except for with him ofc). She loves bottle green and has loads of wooden objects and art. Her favourite habits include walks in the forest and swimming. She is clumsy around technology and not at all afraid of muggle made killing things. She might have some arrogance in not thinking muggle things can be dangerous to those with magic. She tends to be brave and practical but prefers plans of extremely spontanious actions. She's down to earth and not at all superstitious although knowing ghosts are real makes her believe in the afterlife. She's not attached to any religion. Her fav flowers are orchids and she has a soft spot for reptile pets, mainly gekko's or iguana's.
"You're so weird," Quentin mumbled affectionately as he finished the plate. Traces of yellow still streaked across the plate, eggs and bacon. He focused on the small details then. The aroma of spice in the apartment, the tang of grease, the cool metal between his fingers of the fork. He let it clatter to the plate a he leaned back into the couch. His breath struggled through his chest, and so he focused on that as his eyes slid shut. In, and out. And again. And again. Quentin felt fingers against his face and he leaned into them, grateful for the grounding presence to pull him from the encroaching panic. This wasn't him, ever. He was calm when others were frantic. But everyone breaks, even if it's in the aftershocks. @cristal was speaking to him and he tuned back in. "Just-" he couldn't ask anything of her. Shame washed across him as he felt himself slipping into uncontrolled panic. " It's like I'm back there - and now I'm here." He knew he wasn't making sense, but it wasn't making sense to him either. "But I'm so far away, and some people I saw - they didn't even have a chance. The wave just swallowed them." Quentin shook his head and looked back up at Cristal, begging her to understand. He was adrift in his guilt and he knew it for what it was. Why was he alive when others weren't?
Quentin wrapped his fingers around Cristal's and tugged gently, asking her to sit by him. "I'm not crazy, I'm not broken, I'm just -" He clenched his eyes shut as if that could drain the images from his mind "I see them. Fighting against the current. And they got me out, but there was no one for them." He didn't want to put this on her, but her presence was a balm against the turmoil. As long as he kept looking at her, he could focus on the good. It hung heavy in his chest, the implicit message.... And she was joy, she was possibility. It washed over him. There were probably a dozen calls on his phone from his parents, but the only peron he wanted to speak to for the next few hours at least was she. With his hands gently around her fingers, like grasping a delicate vine, he turned to her, tracing every freckle, shadow, and highlight of her face. He opened his mouth as though the words might billow forth and take form of their own, like leaves they might swirl around the essence his feelings for her. But they didn't. He was left staring at her, stifled in his own speechlessness, and resulting amusement. He found it absurdly funny as he met her gaze. The whole evening he had planned in his head was about showing her all the wonderful photos from Japan, pre-tsunami, giving her the few gifts he had picked up - because he never could find reason to get anything for himself, but every scarf or necklace or painting made him think of her - and instead he was falling apart at his seams. Some return and poor impression I'm making, Quentin thought. Like a soggy puppy or kitten.
notes" oh dear, or oh yay? it'll be over soon. *snuggles*
She supposed he was right and that she indeed was weird. Not that she saw that as a problem personally. Barely even counted as a challenge. The true challenge was finding a way to help him through. Crystal had never been tempted to immerse herself into the mind of Quentin. He deserved his privacy even though she could so easily invade. Today was the first time she was even temoted to try and see what went on in his head. To sift through his memories and take those most painful away from him. Yet it would still be wrong to do so. So she restricted herself and just cuddled up a little closer to him, fighting the temptation to look. She nodded as he spoke in that odd way people that had seen too much always did. Thank goodness for auror training.
"There is nothing you possibly could have done Quinn. I'm sure you would have if you could. I for one am just happy you're still here on this earth with me. I don't want to imagine losing you. Especially not after... well, you know." She said, her mind shying away from the pain the death of her brother still brought her. She couldn't have endured another loss of somebody so dear to her. She needed Quinn in her life. "You're safe here, but if you wish we can hop on a plane back tomorrow and help out there. Just tell me what you want and I'll be there with you for whatever you need. All you have to do is say it." It was a big promise but Crystal had no problems keeping true to her words. Not this time. She waited for Quinn to reply, her mind on what to pack in case he wanted to go back. All he had to do was tell her his wishes.
@cristal,,Quentin opened his mouth too respond, but words evaporated as he searched her eyes. Dark, flickering with worry and earnest. His mind filled in what the eye couldn't see, what wasn't visible by light but by the tremor in his chest when she was near. The physical manifestation of deep knowing. "I love you." It slipped from his lips like a breeze through willow, like looking up suddenly to realize that the room he was in was much more expansive than at first glance, and that there was a presence in the room familiar in ways he hadn't expected. Seeing with depth in a person who had been there all along.
People were good at mind tricks, and in so doing, their own obstacle. They saw what they wanted to see, looked for the signs and imagined the ones that weren't there. But he and Cristal had been caught in the same orbit for many years. He couldn't remember first contact but he remembered all the small things. "I can't lose you, but I can't lose myself - lose us to this," he said, extending a hand into the empty space in front of them, eyeing the subtle shadows that clung to his skin where the light curled around it. He turned to look at her, words warring like fluttering keys in his mind. There was always a time to be strong, true, but also true: strength was an undercurrent, never just a time. He wanted to remember what it was like to feel in control, or at least to lose the fear of his own mind. "I think another day, I want to return, but now, I just want you." He swallowed thickly, hating the feeling of curdled weakness, a wet tremble in the back of his throat.