1965-02-09 - Don't Taste Me Bro
Summary: Elmo and Kai talk about art shows and cannibal trolls.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
elmo kai 

There's a pair of warehouses down in SoHo that Kai is considering. He's favoring one over the other, but he showed them both to Elmo on the grounds that 'if there's something to nitpick, Elmo will find it.' "I like the location of the one," he tells Elmo, "but the other is in a better part of town, and apparently the odds of someone getting shanked at your show isn't the right kind of street cred." Once he gets inside, he shrugs out of his coat and greets Kevin, who runs up to both of them, wiggling and barking.

"You gotta admit it might be bad for business," Elmo says, also taking off his coat. "People maybe don't wanna get mugged right off the subway. On the other hand, what do you care about money?" He's got a clipboard that he's looking over. "They both got trash for wiring, but the one at least has the drops run right, this other one, who /approved/ that?" He's indignant.

"Yeah, that one seems like it'll be too much of a fixer-upper. I mean I know the safe one with the opportunity for actual repair is the right choice, but yeah, what do I care about money? Except Mr. Rand's really going out on a limb financing this for me." Does he mean the Mr. Rand? Of Rand Corporation? Those are deep pockets. "I kind of want them both, but that's asking too much."

Elmo skims over the clipboard, adding, "Plus, the skylights leak in that one. That's the worst thing to fix, it never seems to take right." He tosses it on a table with a clack and crouches to pet Kevin and let the ugly little dog love on him.

Kevin licks Elmo's fingers and bounces around him. Elmo! His bestie! Kai walks into the kitchen and pours them both a splash of whiskey in a pair of tumblers. "So I guess we'll go with the good one," he says with a small sigh. "I'm just a sucker for an underdog, but this is important. This is my gallery."

Elmo grins, scruffling Kevin's head and ears. "Good boy, Kevele." He joins Kai in the kitchen and starts washing his hands, even though he was finicky about what he actually touched in his inspections. He has the cleanest mechanic's hands in the state. "I know, bubbeleh," he says, to comfort Kai. "But you gotta reach people. That's the really important part, right?'

"That's true," Kai says. "The message has to get out, and it's not going to get out if people are afraid to go to the gallery." He offeres Elmo his drink. "To the gallery," he says, "And to getting out the message of mutant rights. Now if we can get the show seen at least once before someone burns the place to the ground, we'll be in business."

Elmo's mouth and eyebrows quirk. "L'chiem." He taps the tumbler to Kai's. "It ain't an idle question. I've been thinking about what I can do for security at the garage." The one he doesn't own yet, but never let it be said he put off worrying about tomorrow when he could worry well ahead of time.

"I've been wondering if I could hire someone for security, but it would have to be with Danny's money. We're comfortable, but we're not 'hire a security team' comfortable. I mean we might be? But I live on what Loki gives me. I just want to make sure the pieces are safe and no one gets hurt when they attend, but I want it to be subtle." He takes a drink of whiskey and savors the burn, mild as it is for him. "I don't want people to think they're under lockdown while they're there."

Elmo takes a drink too, but he doesn't have the superhuman tolerance Kai does. "Maybe we could get some volunteers from M.T. Me and JP are always tryin' to find ways that the kids there can help. I dunno, though, most people there are just trying to get by." He shrugs, tilting the glass to make the liquor run around, apparently totally blank to calling people his own age "kids".

Kai arches a brow. Kids. Still, he grins, and he says, "Some volunteers would be just the thing. If they had powers, wouldn't need very many of them. I don't want to put any stress on the community, though. They don't owe me anything." He flops onto the couch, and Kevin hops up to crawl on his lap. "Ooof, you're all belly, dog."

Elmo sits on the floor, back resting against the couch. It's a favorite way of theirs to talk, one or the other on the couch, the other man on the floor close by. They wind up doing it a lot. "Yeah, don't worry too much, they won't do it if they can't. I'll see if I can ask around."

"That would be great," Kai says. Then he laughs. "I'm going to be an art director if I play my cards right." He's quiet a moment, then he says, "I almost got eaten the other night. These troll-kin chased me to Saganaki. They tore up the place, too. I feel really bad for Lambert."

Elmo's taking another drink and has to hastily swallow. "/Eaten/?" He blinks at Kai, startled. "Eaten, how? Like vampires?"

Kai shakes his head and says, "No, no, no, by these… how do I put this? You know how Lambert is part satyr but part human too? It's like that only their strange bloodline is trollish. Trolls eat people. These guys, they cornered me on the street, and I bolted. They really wanted elf meat." He shakes his head. "It was insulting."

Elmo pulls a horrified face. "Are you /kidding/? They wanted to /kill and eat/ you? Kai!" He twists around so he can see the entirety of Kai, like he wants to be sure all his parts are still there.

Kai does seem to be intact, albeit under a dog who has sprawled out and fallen asleep. He stirs a little when Elmo turns about, but then he drops off again, snoring lightly. Kai pets his ears, and he says, "Yeah, like tear the flesh from my bones and gobble it down." He pulls a face. Lambert took bolt cutters to their teeth. They won't be rending much of anything with them now."

Elmo's entirely at a loss for words for a minute, until he gets out, "Good!" Screw those guys! He runs a hand through his hair, eyes wide. "Bert told me he's a monster, he ain't no monster. Those guys are monsters!"

"Lambert's fantastical," Kai says, "but yeah, those guys are the monsters." He shudders, and his features pinch in profound unhappiness. "The way they talked about me, like I was a thing. They just asked him to hand me over like a plate of baklava. He wouldn't, though. It's nice to know when the chips are down who your real friends are."

Elmo makes a helpless yet eloquent motion of the hand, a mix between 'are you even serious right now' and 'I'm going to strangle somebody'. "Oh my /God/, Kai." Almost naturally, he puts his hand on Kai's shoulder. "Oh am I glad Bert was there. That's probably why his head was all bruised up and he said he butted a wall down, huh?"

"Yeah, he got a little crazy," Kai says. He leans into the touch, and there's a little whimper in his voice. "It was awful. I was on the wall and they were on the other side of it, taunting me. Then they started chucking stuff at me so I jumped down, and my friend who's a crow was there. He flew at their leader's face. This guy named Lamont was there, too. He fought them off." He shudders. "Anyway, they paid for it with their teeth. They'll have to eat normal food like the rest of us."

Elmo freezes for a second. Kai is distraught. What should he do? Wait—he knows the answer to this one. It's hugging. He winds his arms around Kai and holds him tight. "Kainka, that's /awful/."

Kai hugs Elmo. It comes easily to him. He's so rarely upset, but this? This has him rattled. "I hope there's only that one nest of them. I can't imagine what they're doing in Midgard. I'm telling you, you'll find every time in New York." A hug does soothe him, and he relaxes in Elmo's grasp. "Lambert let them live. They're lucky. I was ready to finish them."

Elmo strokes Kai's hair gently. "Maybe you shoulda," he says, then grimaces as if he doesn't like the taste of his own words. "Maybe I shouldn't say that, butKai" He searches his eyes. "Nobody gets to eat you."

Up close, how could those eyes be taken for human? The deapth of them is almost eerie, and the flecks within the iris are silver like moonlight. Soulfully, he regards Elmo as he says, "I agree. I'm not food. Besides, if they're eating me, who else are they eating? They're going to come back around, mark my words. Next time, they won't be walking away."

"I know Lamont," Elmo says. "He's a good guy. Another one of Lindon's boyfriends. Lucky he was there, too." Historically he doesn't have a good record of meeting Kai's eyes for too long, but he puts in a strong effort. When he has to break off, he kisses Kai's forehead. It's such a vanishingly rare thing for him to do, but hearing that his best friend almost fed trolls is apparently the right occasion. "I didn't think much on Midgard could hurt you like that." After so long hanging around Kai, 'Midgard' doesn't hold any strangeness as a word for him anymore.

Kai relaxes further at the kiss. Sometimes one just needs a kiss on the forehead and a hug. "If they'd just been trolls I would've killed them, but I couldn't get over them being human, too." He sniffs. "They were strong, and they had these claws, man. But they were just human enough I hesitated. I won't make that mistake twice." He talks big, but could he really be cavealier about taking a (mostly) human's life?

Elmo is holding Kai at this point and there's no use pretending otherwise, like this is just a hug. It's full on cradling. "You did what you thought was right. That matters, that counts. We didn't even hang Nazis without a trial."

"It's hard doing the right thing," Kai says, and he cuddles up close to Elmo. The dog grunts and rearranges himself so that he's still on Kai's lap. Lazy little thing. "Loki would just kill them, and I'm not even sure he'd be wrong." He sighs quietly, then says, "Thanks, Elmo. You're a good friend."

Elmo bends his head to Kai's. It's intimate but not romantic. "I'm not so sure he'd be wrong either," he murmurs. "But he wasn't there. You had to make that call." A tiny smile appears when Kai calls him a good friend, fading away as soon as it's come. "I'm tryin," he replies.

"You're one of my best friends," Kai says with a small smile. "And the only one who knows how much this rattled me. I don't want Loki to think I can't handle a half-dozen hungry half-trolls." He rests his head on Elmo's shoulder. "You're doing a good job. You're always real good to me. I want you to know I know that, man."

"Aw," Elmo says. "He wouldn't think less of you. He loves you, that guy." Inevitably, he gets flustered under compliments. "Yeah, well, I'm tryin to be a real person these days. It's hard."

Kai murmurs, "He loves me." Another soothing thought. He tests Elmo's good friendness a little further by letting his eyes drift closed. Just as Kevin is napping, he too is drifting off now that this burden of stress has lifted. Napception. "Won't let anyone eat you," he mumbles as he drifts off.

Elmo stays. He rearranges himself some, so he can keep holding Kai. It's important. It's /really/ important, that he keep holding Kai. The grisly story has him rattled, too, but hey, it wasn't him some trolls were trying to eat. After a while he rests his head next to Kai's and drifts off too.

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