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Thread Contributor: Christian VerglasAt the End of the Day
DC-DCTVU-1

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#21
The wince was noticed immediately, and Christian mentally crossed scalloped potatoes off of his list of possible side dishes. He wasn’t interested in torturing the man with dishes he obviously didn’t want. “Alright, so this is what I mean, Safi…” Chris said with a small sigh, “Just say if you don’t like it.”

Inter office sniping? Was it really so bad? He’d never meant for it to be so bad… Hell, he’d never meant for it to even get back to Safi… He just… Complained when he was annoyed, and got it off his chest. He felt better, and he was able to deal with it. “Yeah, well, so am I, and if me complaining is making your professional life difficult, Safi,” he shook his head, “I never meant for that.”

Yes, cooking was a thing for Chris. Food was a thing. Food was important; everyone needed it, and cooking was his way of caring for the man who was currently giving him shelter. “It is. I like pasta, too.” Chris smiled to Safi, then returned to his own meal, “The broccoli is okay, though?” Safi shouldn’t only have the beef for dinner, after all.
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#22
Safi rolled his eyes grinning at the smaller man, “You're allowed to bitch about me.” He had decided he was going to stick with amused instead of getting irritated at Chris’s constant apologies. Although to be honest he wasn't sure if he was disgruntled at Chris or who ever trained him to be like this.

“It's ok. Besides-” Safi smiled nudging Chris’s foot with his own, “Shows who is in your camp. Which is not a bad thing at all.”

Turning his attention back to the meal Safi gave a thumbs up, “unlike my daughter I love broccoli and cauliflower.”

Stroking a thumb over the faint scar under his jaw “I'm not anything like a good cook, but I can polish up your hand to hand. So when you escape to visit belle maybe you aren't gonna end up a statistic again?” He offered openly.
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DC-DCTVU-1

446 Posts
19 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,336
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#23
Allowed to bitch about him? Christian frowned at at the other man, “It’s not like that!” He sighed, “I should be able to make a random complaint about some little thing without it making your life difficult, Safi. It’s never anything...real… Tiny things. Like not liking something I make to eat and not saying anything.” The look he gave Safi as he mentioned the example was a cross between amused and the sort of almost-glower that Chris did sometimes when something bothered him. There was nothing angry about it, not really, but he wished Safi would be more forthcoming about that sort of thing. “Because guessing is frustrating, and you never know if you’re right or not, you know.”

The nudge to his foot earned a shy smile back to Safi, “I don’t like it. But… They get that annoyed? Half the time I’m not even that annoyed..” After all, he had little room to be irritated with the man! Safi had opened his home to Chris, and the smaller man was grateful.

Broccoli and cauliflower were circled on the mental list that Christian was slowly making of foods that Safi did or might like. It was growing, and Christian was pleased that some of the things he liked seemed to make the list. He’d make roast cauliflower with paprika sometime soon. Safi should like that, and Chris knew he’d eat plenty of it as well.

Hand to hand? Chris had no interest in fighting. At all. But the offer was extremely kind, and…

Well, he’d seen Safi’s workout videos.

“Sure. If nothing else, maybe I’ll learn how to avoid getting hit, right?”
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#24
Safi could see the little hamsters collecting data, filtering preferences...it was either adorable or vaguely creepy how much his preferences mattered to the little man.

He was going to go with cute.

Mostly because he didn't want to assign malicious intent to the bouncy little man.

“Yes. That would be more what I had in mind.” He responded dryly. There was no way he was going to teach Chris to think he could take on anyone in a fight. Not when he was commonly going up against Gotham muggers who had a reputation of already knowing how to give and take a punch.

“I've done some work with...mages.” He said the last word slowly. “There might be a few things I can try and show to use your magic to defend?” He had no real idea HOW such things worked but he'd seen the prep and effects.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#25
Chris just wanted to be able to make things that Safi would actually like, rather than just tolerate. So he kept track of the man’s preferences, yes. He had a running list of things to try, things that worked, things that didn’t… He didn’t pry, he didn’t nose into things that weren’t his business… The last thing he wanted was to make himself unwelcome.

When Safi smiled, Christian counted that as a win. The thumbs up and stated preferences were bold on that list; he took Safi at his word rather than worry about being misled, not by Safi. Safi was too straightforward for that!

“Well, it’s not like I’m going to hit anyone.” Christian actually scoffed at the idea of him doing the hitting; not because he didn’t approve, but rather, he just couldn’t see it. He couldn’t imagine ever actually wanting to hurt someone. Mages? Chris looked up, blinking and frowning in thought. Safi had worked with mages? “You did?” The surprise was evident, in part because he hadn’t known that was a thing, and partly because Safi didn’t like magic, and Chris knew that, so when and how had he worked with mages?? “Defend how?” If nothing else, he had Chris’ attention.
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#26
“Yes. In the military.” He answered briefly. “They would...make the strike rebound, mirror on the attacker.” Among other things. “I remember what they did..can see if you can understand it? Or you can ask the teacher.” Chris had mentioned Zatanna more than once.

“No...I think we focus on less hitting.” Safi smiled. “You don't want to hurt them right?”
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#27
Chris mentioned Zatanna because… Well, she’d become one of those people who were in his life, and weren’t likely going to stop being in his life anytime soon. Like Safi (thankfully), or Belle. He nodded slowly, considering, “You can show me, but I’m not really looking to hurt anyone.” Though the idea of not being hurt himself was quite nice, too. Chris smiled shyly, “Yes, less being hit is good. And no, I don’t want to hurt them. Some of them are just trying to get by..”
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DC-TV-1

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#28
“Yes. And you have said you're..happy to give up your wallet and not get beat for it. So let's go with the assumption that the unprofessional Gotham holds are who we are defending against.” Really he couldn't fault the man's survival priorities. Just seemed luck was not in his favor.

“Tomorrow? Or have energy tonight?” He wondered, after all he'd worked and cooked so he could easily be tired.
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DC-DCTVU-1

446 Posts
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#29
Nodding, Christian agreed, “Yes, if the choice is being beat up and having my wallet taken, and just giving up my wallet to begin with, then yes, I’ll give up the wallet. Wouldn’t anyone, though? Who wants to fight over a few bucks and a some pieces of plastic? He knew the phone numbers for his credit cards, had a spare ID, as well as his old phone for a backup, with the numbers all saved in it. Chris wasn’t one to be unprepared, and when it came to saving as much hassle as possible when he did inevitably get mugged or robbed, well, he was ready for it, which really did cut the hassle and complications down.

Tonight? Chris blinked, then looked down at his meal, spearing the last two pieces of broccoli with his fork, “Um, sure. For a little while we could.” He gave Safi a smile; he wasn’t so tired (the meal was one of those ones he had where he could throw things together and leave it in the crock pot. Steaming the broccoli had taken minutes when he’d gotten home), and this would make Safi smile, he was sure of it.
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DC-TV-1

371 Posts
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#30
Finishing his own meal in a few bites Safi took his plate to the kitchen, rinsing it and the cooking utensils. “Hand to hand or what I remember from mages?” He asked stacking the dishwasher.

“Maybe..45 minutes training a night to start.” He pondered aloud stroking his chin thoughtfully, leaning hip propped on the counter.
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DC-DCTVU-1

446 Posts
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#31
Chris always tended to take his time to eat. Still, he didn’t take overly long to finish his meals, either; he ate, and conversed over dinner, but he didn’t sit and linger, either. He took the time to enjoy his food, and that was it. He was still finished shortly after Safi, and followed him into the kitchen to rinse his own plate and pack up what little leftovers they had (could be a nice lunch for one of them tomorrow!) and help get everything situated in the dishwasher for overnight washing.

45 minutes a night? That didn’t sound bad at all. “Sure.” He could handle that; it wasn’t as though he wasn’t in shape already, after all. “Which do you think would be more beneficial?” Chris knew how to take a hit, but avoiding them reliably wasn’t something he could claim. “I have some magical training, obviously, but martial skills have never been my forte.”
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#32
“I show what I remember you speak to teacher.” Safi nodded decisively, pushing off the counter. “So why no hand to hand? Tried before? No good teacher? What was the problem.”

Rubbing a thumb over his bearded jaw Safi contemplated where to start their lesson. “Come let's clear the living room.” Striding purposefully, he began pushing the couches to create a clear space. “Maybe could do on roof, but gravel plus pretty face does not end well.” He quipped sweat pants holding onto his hip bones as he worked though some fateful force of the universe.
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DC-DCTVU-1

446 Posts
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#33
Nodding, Christian agreed with what Safi said. If Safi showed him something he didn’t know, and he asked Zatanna about it, it was a good shot that she’d teach him, or at least tell him if it were above his skill level still. But that skill level was growing, and quickly, as he stretched his newly discovered muscles and worked to weave his magic into more than just his little automatons. “Oh, um… No… I just, uh, I never liked the idea of hurting someone else. It’s not something I can really picture myself ever doing.”

Clear the living room? Chris followed Safi out into the mentioned room, watching as Safi moved some of the furniture, joining him to help make a space in the room to practice, which had the added benefit of forcing him to look somewhere other than at Safi. Or rather, at all of the skin that Safi was showing. Still, when Safi called his face pretty, Chris looked over, blushing, a small smile gracing his lips. It was nice to hear, especially coming from Safi. “Somehow,” he told Safi quietly, “I doubt your face would ever get near the gravel, so I don’t see the cause for concern.”
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DC-TV-1

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#34
Ahh pacifists. If it wasn't so hard on the younger man Safi wouldn't have pressed. But as it was he was getting mugged it seemed every time he visited his sister. And that...well that was unacceptable.

“Well unfortunately that is going to happen. Until you are so well trained that you can dodge anything but the Batman.” Rolling his scarred shoulder Safi nodded.

“Right.” He snagged a paper and pen, frowning slightly in concentration, inking out the diagrams he remembered. “There was always writing, prepared before the mission. Than they would burn the papers or tuck them into their clothes.” Safi finished his sketches, “this is what I remember for shield.”

He cocked his head curiously, “does it seem...right? We can try?”
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#35
Christian sometimes felt a little bit...guilty...about being a pacifist. Not because he could get hurt, but people looked at him oddly when they knew or realized it. As though they were waiting for the lecture against violence. And it wasn’t like that. Christian admired people willing to fight for themselves and others. People like Safi. But fighting back had never done him any good, and the idea of actually hurting someone for his own good just didn’t sit well with him. So yes, he was a target, a mark, and an easy one, because he wasn’t going to throw a punch in return or anything.

It left him feeling like a burden on people like Safi, though.

Chris grimaced at the statement that he’d hurt people. He didn’t like it, not at all. Not even a little bit. “I’d rather not fight then…”

When Safi started to draw, Chris watched carefully, intently enough to memorize what Safi was sketching, to be able to replicated if need be. “Burning rituals.” Chris nodded, “It’s not my preferred sort of magic, but…” But it wasn’t something that should be entirely out of his ability, either. With practice. Chris settled over the paper, nodding slowly, “We should be able to try. I can’t say it’ll work, if the picture isn’t just right, or if we’re missing something. But if we can’t make it work, then Ms. Zatara should be able to help me get it right.”

Chris picked up a pencil and a piece of paper, and drew the same symbol Safi had shown him, careful, his focus entirely on what he was doing, why he was doing it, what he wanted to get out of it. And when he was finished, he looked to Safi, “With magic, intent is nearly as important as ritual. Focus and effort.”
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DC-TV-1

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#36
“Please.” Safi sighed, “I cannot be with you at all times. This way...I will worry less.” Pacifist to the extreme… “how will Belle feel every time you are hurt?” He knew he loved his sister and hoped the reference would inspire him to realize that more than him was affected by his choice to not fight.

“Why?” He asked curiously, Safi had avoided learning more than he had to about why and how the mages choose their magic. It was unnatural in the extreme to him.

“Yes?” He nodded, “I heard this, but they also said they needed this to do the focus.” He knew that simply destroying the symbols didn't always work and that was apparently why.

Raising his hand Safi prepared a soft strike, “ready?”
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#37
Chris sighed quietly at the push. The idea of hurting someone else, even in defense of himself, bothered him, it made him cringe. But he didn’t like Safi being worried, either. If it would make him feel better, if it would make Belle feel better… He could at least learn. There was nothing saying that he had to use the lessons. Still, Safi’s mention of his sister earned a flinch, though he spoke his answer quietly, “Exasperated.” It wasn’t untrue; Belle knew he didn’t fight, not even to keep from being hurt.

Why? Chris blinked, then shrugged, “It’s not… As natural to me?” He shifted; Chris knew that Safi didn’t like magic, and was simply indulging him, but he tried to be honest nonetheless, “Different, smaller, actions, um, flow better for me? I don’t know. I prefer to create instead of destroy. But I can do this.” He was determined; Safi wanted him to learn this, and he would learn it. For Safi. For Belle. Rituals were a little bit more overwhelming, but this wasn’t complex or difficult, not really. It was learning the right lines and shapes to make, and then bending his will, focus, and energy to causing the right effect to happen when he burned the paper.

Nodding, Chris agreed with him, “Well, yes.” He went silent while he worked, pouring himself into the drawing of the symbol. Afterward, he wondered if it were the symbol that were so important, or the meaning of the symbol to the caster that mattered more… Like the dolls he made to heal and invigorate those he cared about. Knowing a doll was meant for Belle meant more than the doll itself…

Chris nodded, ripping the paper; as much as he called it a burning ritual, he knew that it didn’t have to be burned; it was the destruction of the symbol that triggered the spell, not the fire itself.

Thank goodness for recycling. Looking at Safi, Chris nodded, “Ready.”
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DC-TV-1

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#38
“Getting hit is more natural to you?” Safi did try and keep his voice neutral, how much he managed to keep the disbelief muted was up for debate.

Ready?

Safi took a breath; here's the thing, from what he'd seen the spell didn't trigger under lower amounts of ‘stress’. Ie he'd have to punch like he meant it.

Yay.

“Sorry.” He muttered sending his fist forward towards Chris’s gut. Sadly if the punch did get through that would hurt the least.

Safi also wasn't to concerned with the backlash if it DID work. At least that he'd had experience in.
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DC-DCTVU-1

446 Posts
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#39
Getting hit… “Um… Yes?” Chris spoke the answer more as a question, mostly because he knew, he knew it wouldn’t go over all that well with Safi. Safi was a protector, a guardian in the truest sense, and he wouldn’t like hearing it, but… Christian had been getting hit since he’d been a young boy at the group home; it really was more natural for him than the idea of hurting someone else. “But… I meant that creating is more natural to me than destroying something. Most of my magic makes things instead of being destructive.” He shrugged and fidgeted, “Personal preference.”

Safi was absolutely right; the spell wasn’t going to trigger because Chris caught a corner on his toe or stumbled into a doorframe. It would take a certain set of emotional responses to trigger the spell to protect him; this was for several reasons; it conserved energy by not needed to be recast constantly, and it allowed a magic user to cast the spell before he needed it and not have to worry about triggering (and wasting) it on something innocuous, leaving him unprotected when he really did need it.

The fault in this at the moment was that Christian was absolutely not scared of Safi. Even knowing that Safi was going to hit him, or try to, Chris didn’t imagine that Safi would actually hurt him, that he’d suffer any pain or injury at the other man’s hands, and so when Safi swung at him, Christian didn’t so much as flinch.

At least Christian really did know how to take a hit; it was all that saved him from hurting more than was necessary as the punch connected, knocking the breath out of him with a startled ‘oomph!’ and causing him to take a couple of steps backwards, leaning heavily against the wall.

Yeah, that hurt. Chris closed his eyes and took a second to gather himself and make sure that none of the pain showed when he opened them and gave Safi an unhappy smile, “Well, that… Didn’t work.”
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DC-TV-1

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#40
Chris didn't have time to stagger backwards; Safi caught him at the first backwards flinch, “Ah ya.” Safi's arms held him tightly wishing the spell had worked so he'd be feeling that hit instead.

“No it didn't.” His lips flattened out unhappily. “Truth. You ok?” He pulled back, hands still on his shoulders. He didn't hit hard enough to seriously hurt but winded hell ya.

“Protection. Is like creation. Shields should be same yes?”

The last thing he wanted was for chris to be afraid of him.
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