Dec 09, 2018 7:30 PM
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Johanna has elected to spend the night after that little mattress-shopping episode getting very drunk and seeing if there's any available ladies in this town. There seems to be exactly one bar not frequented by demons (she's not prejudiced, but she'd rather not land a mantis-woman for a one-night stand), so she stops in for a pint.

Her search is unsuccessful; there's a couple of gay teen witch-girls, but she's not keen on sleeping with someone who could be her grandniece, and anyway they seem less than interested in her slightly dusty charms. She gets miserably drunk, sobers up miserably with a whispered invocation, and makes her miserable way home.

...She spots someone lurking, out the corner of her eye. She knows from lurking, it was a whole unit in Watcher training. That is a vampiric lurk. Recalling last night's incident, she decides to investigate. From her purse, she retrieves an unobtrusive spraycan of sanctified Mace, and she strolls very casually into the occupied alleyway.
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There is a bored blond boy leaning against a wall of the alley, next to a rusted fire escape ladder. He gives Johanna a what-the-hell-do-you-want glance.

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"Hello," says Johanna sweetly. "Isn't a bit late for someone so young to be outside? Shouldn't you be home by now?" She strolls toward him in such a way as to keep the boy's escape routes limited; the alley seems almost to have been designed for just such an approach. Johanna makes a mental note to look into that.

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"Seriously?" he says, looking aggrieved. "Don't you have anything better to do?"

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"I don't really think I do," she purrs. "After all, safety is very important. If children are wandering the streets after dark... bad things could happen to them. Do your parents know you're out so late?"

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"Ugh. Get lost, lady."

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Johanna pauses. "Oh, fuck it, this whole bait idea was ridiculous," she snarls, snapping her arm upwards to bring the canister to bear. "This is a can of mace. Moreover, it's consecrated. You're a vampire. It'd be exceptionally unpleasant for you to be exposed to this. My reaction time is fucking unbelievable, and I wouldn't advise testing it. Answer my questions and we go our separate ways, maybe I'll even give you a shiny toy. Try any funny business, I melt your goddamned face."

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"That's a relief," he remarks. "I was starting to think you were hitting on me. What do you actually want?"

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"Ugh. I'm gay, and you look about twelve. Don't be ridiculous. Anyway, I want information on why the vampires in this town are so weird, and why so few deaths are attributed to barbecue forks, and if you've got information on a gay midget vampire and his cheerful blonde behemoth boyfriend and/or mindslave, that'd be nice too."

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"Never heard of a gay midget vampire around here. The cheerful blond's bad news. If he catches you eating people twice, he punches you to death. I stay out of his way. Is he dating now? Good, maybe he'll have less free time to spend threatening people."

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"Huh. He hates vampires?"

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"Most people who hate us just kill on sight. Which he used to do, but he stopped a while back and started on this reformation kick."

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"Well, that's... bizarre. Vampires can reform? Without Romani curses and all that? Thought the whole soullessness thing sort of meant irredeemably evil by default." She inclines her head briefly. "No offense."

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"None taken." He shrugs. "I mean, I'll take pig's blood over death, who wouldn't?"

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"But do you still... I don't actually know what you lot do besides kill people. Mug pensioners? Play poker for delicious kittens? Ravish young ladies, or possibly young men if your haircut's anything to go by?"

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"Okay, now I'm offended. I like my haircut."

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"So do I, I'm sure. Makes you look like a girl, which is worth something in my opinion. And you didn't answer the question."

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"I'd have to know you a lot better before I'd start telling you who I ravish. Kitten poker's always struck me as tacky. I steal, but usually not from people who are around to complain about it. I don't know, what do you want me to say?"

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"Well, really I'm just curious as to how well the mountain man's redemption game sticks. Despite my status as a nosy old bag, I don't actually give a flying fuck if you lift someone's dead mother's pearls. I'd care if you were snacking unethically, but I'm told that's not my department. Unless the usual sheriff's been mindslaved or something, which may well be. I'll light you on fire if you eat people and he's not in a position to do anything about it, in case you were wondering."

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"I figured," he says. "Why do you think he's been mindslaved, anyway?"

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"Mostly because I've been led to distrust vampires' ability to love minus a soul, and vampiric psychic abilities are well-documented. And while it's theoretically possible that a vampire hunter has developed a taste for the toothy side of things, this looks more to me like a newcomer moving in and sweeping the local muscle under his wing."

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"Good for the newcomer, then."

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"Yes, yes, you continue to be a vampire. But it's unfortunate for me, since the blonde has been doing my work for me and Tiny is by default on the opposing team. Anyway, unless you've got any particularly juicy bits of information you think I'd like, I suppose I'd better be on my way. Want an enchanted somethingorother for your time?"

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"Sure," he says. "Tall-bright-'n-brawny is some kind of half-demon, does that count for anything extra?"

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"Well, it's very nice to have, and it's a nice show of good faith, so yes! Ta. Let's see what I've got in here..."

Keeping the can trained on the vampire's face, Johanna slings her bag over a protrusion on the fire escape and rifles through it one-handed. "Hm, not this one, definitely not that one... Your pick of a ring that enhances beauty or a translator necklace. Necklace is a bit tacky, but you don't have to wear it visibly. Oh, here, there's also a pendant that makes shadows cooperate with you, I'd hesitate to give you this one but for the extra, see what being polite gets you. Which would you like?"
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"...I'll go for shadows," he decides. "Shadows sounds like fun."

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