"It’s a pleasure to meet you as well.." Augustus finally reached out and gently grasped the younger vampire’s hand, "So many wars in France over the years. I was born 1610, on the same day that King Henry IV died. My mother was convinced that I would one day rule because of that coincidence." He chuckled mostly to himself. "She was wrong, of course. I wanted to do art and theatre. I actually had the chance to meet so many of the artists I study today. I even have pieces that were specifically painted for me after I told them that I was a huge fan of their work even before they were famous."
"There’s no place like Paris. Maybe we can get there….one day. After..what happens passes." His voice took on a somber tone. "…Do you know what happens if we try to leave…? I heard that you have to pay your toll to get out and that you’re only allowed out for a specific amount of time. My employees are probably worried sick.."
His hand was soft, except for the tips of his fingers. Even if Gerard didn’t know beforehand, just by his hands he knew Augustus was a painter. A kindred spirit. Gerard had lived a few lifetimes now, and he’s always felt like he was invisible. He’s never met anyone like Augustus before. It was a breath of fresh air. Especially after what happened recently.
The jealousy showed on Gerard’s face that Augustus got to meet some of the painters that lived before him. People that he admired. That lived a life that may not have been glamorous, but a life that he’d always wanted. Even if it was mortal and fleeting. At least then it would mean something. That was something he would never be able to portray on his canvases. Because he would never die. Everything was more beautiful when you were doomed. “Wow…that’s incredible. I’m jealous. I mean, I’ve met was amazing people. A couple painters. But nothing quite like that.” He sighed. “I was born in 1750. I did my duty,” he quoted the word,”and fought against the Red Coats to protect the dream of old men while the young ones died in their backyards.”
Gerard shook his head. “I don’t know. I haven’t tried to figure it out.” A smile worked its way back onto his lips. “I would love to see Paris again.”
The sadness came from the certainty that he was, and always would be, alone in this city. He knew the consequences when he crossed over, but unfortunately had no other place to go. He wasn’t even sure what would happen if he tried to leave. Would he turn into dust? Would he be chased back? Would a phantom hand grab him and pull him back into the fold? He realized that in Devilhaven, any of these options were possible. For a moment he seemed distant and disinterested in the entire gallery, thinking of another time when it was safe for him to live out there. There beyond the walls that had never attempted to hurt him until recently. Now there was nothing but everlasting darkness and flowers that would never bloom.
Gerard’s sudden change in demeanor was what shocked him back to reality, to the welcoming room around them. He offered Gerard a huge grin, blue eyes shimmering beautifully. “I’m the director of both. I’m in charge of the exhibits and general events. So yes..yes I do.” He didn’t think he could grin any harder but when Gerard mentioned Paris he swore he could’ve died with excitement. “I’m from Paris….that’s where I grew up….and also where I was turned….”
School was completely forgotten now. He would pay for it later. Well, not really. It’s not as if it’s a real school system here. His “students” would probably be happy that he didn’t so up today. Ecstatic probably. Considering there were supposed to start talking about the Civil War today. No student liked talking about the Civil War. Gerard showed the shock and delight on his face. “Director?…wow,” he said in an awed whisper. “That’s amazing,” Gerard held out his hand towards the older vampire. He guessed that he was older anyway. “It really is a pleasure to meet you.”
His smile turned into a grin when Augustus mentioned that he was from Paris. “I lived there not to long after I was turned. It…didn’t work out with my sire. We had…differences. I arrived just after the American Revolution. I was there when they stormed the Bastille.” He smirked. “And people ask why I’m a history teacher…” He put his hands in his front pockets. “I lived there for about 50 years. I was finally able to start painting. Never really could before. I’ve been wanting to go back but…” he shrugged. “Things happen.”
Augustus gave the younger (?) vampire a mischievous grin, letting it linger just enough to cause a bit of worry. Truth be told, Augustus had a part of him that wasn’t exactly…right. Not as far as vampires go. He would much rather help people than harm them, often attempting to teach other vampires how to sustain themselves on bags of synthetic blood. He didn’t like the idea of hurting others, because life, to him, was a very sacred thing. Especially considering the years that stretched out in front of him.
He nodded. “I understand if you have to go…..” He trailed off, once again looking around the gallery. “I’ll be here..most likely. I don’t think I can leave town…” The last part was tinged with sadness. “Thing is…I have some exhibits to oversee at The Louvre and another one at the MOMA…they’ll be so disappointed that I won’t be there…”
He could see the disappointment on the other vampire’s face. The sadness. He wondered for a fleeting moment what brought Augustus here, wondering if he knew the cost of crossing over into this city. Which is exactly why Gerard came here in the first place. Gerard nodded solemnly. “Yeah…it’s a bit difficult to leave unfortunately. Which is the reason I came here. Anyone that knows the truth wouldn’t dare come. I hope you knew the consequences of coming here before hand…I’m sorry if you didn’t.”
Gerard perked up immediately at the mention of the Louvre and the MOMA. “You have exhibits…in Paris and New York? That’s…that’s amazing.” The awkwardness in his voice and his posture disappeared immediately. “You work at museums?” The fact that he had to be at school soon was momentarily forgotten. His longing for New York and Paris was back on the forefront. If people didn’t know his habits so well Gerard would have run back to Paris. Not Devilhaven. Then he smiled. Really smiled. “I lived in Paris for a while. And New York. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Trust was definitely something Augustus had a problem with. Even with his kind and caring demeanor, he was always apprehensive when speaking to someone of his own kind. Any other type of creature he was always able to handle gracefully, but when it came to other vampires, Augustus remained professional and slightly removed from the conversation. It was mostly due to his beliefs. The belief that vampires didn’t need to kill to survive, that they could get along, that the entirety of the supernatural races could co exist somehow, peacefully. He desired that most of all. He was not one for petty bloodshed and betrayal. Augustus had seen his share of it, and grew to hate it. He still remembered the first time his old companion smiled at him..right before he went off into battle and never returned.
He stayed silent as the other vampire went on about his creative process, nodding even though the creature hadn’t met his gaze. Licking his lips, he responded. “You’re a natural. I haven’t encountered a true natural in a couple of centuries at least.” He said it with some wonder, head tilting to the side. “You should finish it…and then I can take you on a tour of the gallery if you would like?” He didn’t know why he was offering to take him on a tour the place. Usually, Augustus just let the visitors roam the hallways as they saw fit, taking in their surroundings. Perhaps he still felt bad for making Gerard feel bad..?
He never felt comfortable in the presence of other vampires. Because he understood them, being one himself. He knew what hunger and hate and that..madness could drive you too. And with any other vampire, you never quite knew what you would get. Did this other creature before him have control of his urges? Or was he like what Gerard used to be? A ravager? Insane. Those are the ones that you could never quite trust. Because that would trade anything for what they wanted most. Even their own family.
Gerard’s shoulders slumped and he tucked his hands in his pockets at the compliments that Augustus dished out. “I don’t know about a natural…” he shrugged. “I remember when it used to be nothing but stick figures. But, that was a few centuries ago…” Gerard glanced up at him in surprise. “I uh…I don’t know…” he trailed off. “I have school….” he motioned gently with his hand out the front door. “I’m sure my classroom would be a mess if I was late. But uh….I would love to see the gallery, of course.”
He took the man’s outstretched hand carefully in his own, giving it a small squeeze. “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Withinghall.” Now that he was closer, he was able to examine the lovely creature a bit more closely. The messy dark hair and almost cherubic features made him seem ethereal, perhaps wise beyond his years. The way he carried himself hinted that somewhere underneath, there was a mischievous side waiting to bubble to the surface.
"The school, hm? I can’t even imagine what kind of hell you go through every day trying to get children to listen to you. I can barely get any of them to sit still long enough to draw a godforsaken circle, much less lecture them on the importance of "The Catcher in the Rye." His expression turned coy. "But then again, if you were my teacher..I might pay a bit more attention. Especially if you were the summoner of hurricanes." He tried to get the vampire to look directly at him, just for a moment..but to no avail. Augustus could remember being that nervous and unsure of himself..he could remember the way he felt in a new place. Cold, and alone. After the incident that had occurred in the last place he thought he belonged, it was hard to find his footing somewhere else. He was lucky Devilhaven had a surplus of buildings just waiting for the touch of something special.
He cast a glance back over to the painting, his arms crossing in front of his chest. “So..what were you thinking of when you painted this piece? I know any amazing artist just lets the paint work for itself..and I see that that is what you did here. I am just curious if there was something specific you were attempting to create?” The tone in his voice was jovial and curious. Augustus was usually very, very pleasant..until one got know him and realized how…interesting he could be. Ceruleans fixed back on the younger vampire as he waited for his response.
"….likewise," Gerard said, in a lighter, softer tone. He’d always been shit at meeting new people. Especially in the last few years. Not to mention it was hard for him to trust anyone nowadays. Not to mention he didn’t really want anyone trusting him either. It was just too hard being an immortal and keeping friends.
Gerard chuckled. “No, no. I don’t teach English. I would hate myself as much as if not more than my students. I teach history,” he corrected the other vampire. The of course, the small ounce of confidence that he did have for a moment was quickly washed away at Augustus’s next comment. Another pink twinge crept up into his cheeks and he looked away again. Gerard cleared his throat. “I uh…I don’t know about the summoner of hurricanes. I’m not much of a fan of the rain…” he commented pathetically.
He was grateful when Augustus changed the topic to the unfinished canvas in front of them. “Umm….nothing..?” he said, a little unsure. “That’s not exactly how I paint. I don’t like planning anything. Whatever comes out…comes out. I let my hands do the work. Not my head. It tends to get in the way when I let it control my…creative process.”
He hadn’t meant to startle the other vampire as much as he did, and immediately felt absolutely terrible for doing so as he watched the artist’s palette make its merry way to the floor, watched the blue paint only slightly taint the surface. Good thing the paint he was using was water based, and would be no trouble to clean up. He couldn’t help but smile as the younger creature explained his clumsiness. Adorable. Why hadn’t he seen this one around town before? Just as he was about to tell him it was no trouble at all, and just as he was going to warn him of the coffee cup at his feet, there it went as well. His demeanor didn’t change, however. He simply stood there, taking in the scene with a critical eye, taking a moment to look over the painting in front of him and then back to the clumsy artist.
He felt his heart almost break at the other man’s embarrassment. He couldn’t have been angry at him if he tried. “Oh no, don’t apologize. I have tiny hurricanes sweep through my gallery all the time. All you can do is clean up the mess. Here..” He removed a washcloth from his pocket, something that he carried with him just in case he got paint on something himself, and held it out to the other vampire, kneeling in front of him and the mess he created. “Nobody ever said art was a clean business..sometimes it has to get dirty before you have a finished piece.”
He couldn’t help but notice the vampire’s delicate features, hidden under a mop of dark hair. He didn’t seem to be as old as Augustus, but he wasn’t exactly young. “So..what’s your name? I’m Augustus Tresaunt and I own this gallery.”
Despite the fact that this Augustus seemed to take Gerard’s clumsiness very lightheartedly, he still felt terrible and was very embarrassed for making such a…horrible impression of himself. But it was fairly accurate for who he was after all. The only time that Gerard had any real confidence at all was through the paints that he put on a canvas. He took the washcloth from the other vampire’s hands and started mopping up the mess that he created. He chuckled a little nervously, still not giving a real look at the other man yet. “You should see my flat. Paint all over the place. I’m not much of a cleaner myself. In fact, my classroom is far more tidy then my living space.”
He stood when the mess was finally cleaned up, making sure to wipe his hands as well before reaching his hand out towards Augustus. “I’m Gerard Withinghall. I teach history over at the Institute. Or school. Whatever you would like to call it. And I dabble in art. A bit.” He glanced over at the unfinished painting over his shoulder. “I try…” he said softly. “I’m sorry again, about the mess. It looks like you’ve put together a lovely little gallery, which is quite refreshing in such an isolated place. And I love that you gave the public such access to it. That’s not something that I’ve seen before. The kids will love it…” he trailed off, careful not to ramble.
Gerard tried to keep most of his gaze on their surroundings rather than the vampire before him. He always felt uncomfortable staring directly at another being. Unless he was painting a portrait. That was another matter entirely. His gaze flicking back and forth between the man’s face and the rest of the room he smiled nervously, nibbling on his bottom lip and then clasped his hands gently behind his back.
Augustus was prepared to call out to whoemever had entered just as he rounded the corner, starting to form the words just as his eyes caught the small creature that had folded himself in front of one of the canvases. Another vampire. The words that he had formed quickly dissipated out of respect for the other artist. Augustus didn’t dare disturb another creator at work, never. He had learned that lesson long ago. Instead, he quietly took a seat on the chaise lounge across the room, and watched the lovely creature paint. One of the first things he noticed was the long fingers clutching the paintbrush expertly. Artist’s fingers. This one knew what he was doing. He watched as white turned to blue, each place slowly covered up by a different color.
He couldn’t remember the last time he had the pleasure of watching someone paint without his expert opinion, couldn’t remember the last time he basked in the creativity of another like minded individual. He stayed blissfully silent, not even bothering to start the music back up whenever it stopped. This was art in its finest form, when it was nothing but an idea waiting to be born.
Finally seeing a hesitation in the artist’s movements, he stood to his feet and crossed the room, a bright, genuine smile crossing his features. “..It’s beautiful.” It was the only thing he said as he waited for the vampire to turn around, keeping a safe, comfortable distance.
As usual, Gerard didn’t really notice the rest of his immediate surroundings while his hands were at work. He didn’t notice the other vampire that entered from where the music was playing. Gerard was far too lost in the colors coming to life before him to be deterred by the other being’s featherlight footsteps on the soft wood floor. He also didn’t notice that the music had in fact stopped, yet, the song of the paint continued to play in his head.
He finally paused and set down his brush briefly to roll up the sleeves of his black button up. The soft voice behind him made Gerard shutter briefly, and he dropped the palette that was in one hand, splattering blue slightly on the wood beneath him. He glanced up and what he now realized was another vampire, his mouth hanging open slightly. “Umm…” he stuttered. “I’m so sorry,” he said quietly. Dark bangs fell slightly into his eyes when he bent down to pick up the palette. “I’m…a bit clumsy,” he added nervously.
Here he was, having entered the art gallery to introduce himself and wanting to communicate his pleasure of having a gallery so close by, and then he goes and splatters paint that will probably stain the beautifully stained wood floor. He moved to push back the stool that he was sitting in and then knocks over the coffee that he long forgot about at his feet, and the dark liquid spreads across the impeccable floor as well. Gerard closed his eyes, cheeks turning a little pink in embarrassment. “I’m so sorry…” he said again.
The Starry Night Art Studio and Gallery stood proudly on a dead end street somewhere towards the center of Devilhaven. A grand and stately building supported by the corpselike structures long since abandoned, windows boarded up and graffiti art littering the stucco and brick. There was a certain anarchy to harsh and beautiful lines of the vandal’s work, all of them elaborate or immature in their own way. Perhaps that was why the vampire had chosen this street to open the gallery over any of the others. He had even set up a completely empty room that the public had access to at any time underneath a small awning, and provided loads of spray paint in different colors and textures. A tiny note read “Please paint whatever you would like. The owner won’t mind and gets a good chuckle out of artsy penis drawings. But only here. Any other place and he will personally make sure you sit through at least 30 sermons on how to make your art more refined and therefore make you a horribly boring artist.” As of yet, there hadn’t been an incident. In fact, there was a gorgeous tree painting within a few hours, but if one was to look closely, they would see that hidden inside the bark..was at least three penises. Someone had taken him seriously, indeed. For a few minutes he couldn’t stop laughing, and eventually went back to his own devices.
When one was to step through the door to the Studio, they would find it rather cozy, with several places with easels and different types of paint set up all around the room. These were for anyone who wanted to try painting for themselves, people who wanted to lose themselves in the artwork. The furnishings were rustic and grand in scale, giving the illusion of walking into a castle dedicated solely to art. In another room was a large private studio where Augustus spent most of his time painting or sculpting and listening to music. All the music he had available lined shelves down some of the hallways, everything from Mozart to Iron Maiden, all genres carefully organized. The patrons were more than welcome to listen, but they were never welcome to take them home.
Unfortunately, business had been rather dismal as of late. Not a lot of creatures came to Devilhaven willingly, not a lot of them found themselves amongst this dark playground. But with the state of the supernatural world around them, and the way things were shaping up, Augustus had a feeling even more would flee into the darkness of this place somewhere on the edge of life and death. Time didn’t pass in the usual way here, and it always seemed to be either sunset or dark. He hadn’t tried to leave, afraid that someone might need him here.
And so here Augustus Tresaunt was, music blasting as he painted another one of his masterpieces, letting the painting tell him what it wanted to be. It was a Cityscape of New York City, each detail brilliant, but it was branched out like the Tree of Life, each section even more whimsical than the next. His artwork was displayed here and there throughout the gallery, but it was mostly a place for his very vast art collection. One of a kinds from Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dali, Picasso, and other famous artists carefully and lovingly displayed with benches in front of each piece. Art was one of the only things he had in his life, his last companion passing away in the last war. He killed loneliness by painting it red, sadness by painting it blue, but there was no color for love that he knew of. Not anymore. He sighed and stood back to admire his work, just as he heard the front doors sing their greeting, the bell telling him that someone had slipped into his gallery. He sat down his brushes and started towards the front doors, a spring in his step.
He was still new to this town. Devilhaven. And despite the fact that he really couldn’t leave without paying a price, he really didn’t have any intention to. After the…chaos that ensued at the last place that he called home, to be isolated in a town with the lost and the forgotten was a little refreshing. This wouldn’t be a place that many supers would want to come, so this isn’t a place that many people would look for him, if anyone ever would want to. And, Gerard found comfort and joy in still being able to be a teacher. It was what he knew best. And what made him feel at home. And despite the failure of that last school that he was employed at, he was still teaching a mixture of species, but on a much smaller scale. It was almost like he was back home, in the 1700’s in a tiny schoolhouse teaching all the kids from the village.
Exiting the small cafe below the second floor walk up that he was renting above it, he made his way down the street towards the institute. He was planning on getting a little grading done before class started later that morning, but something a few doors down caught his eye, and Gerard found himself heading the opposite direction instead. A small smile came to his lips as he approached the new art gallery. Seeing the areas for the public to paint and experiment was a nice touch, and what easily got him in the door. Whoever the owner was of this place, he would definitely need to meet. Hands clasped gently behind his back he glanced over the array of paints and tools that he had available to use on the empty canvases before him. Gerard settled into one of the chairs immediately, glancing over the colors that were placed at the station. A wonderful variety of different hues of blue. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do with them, but decided to just let the blood do the work.
Setting the plastic cup of coffee at his feet he took a brush in his hand, testing the bristles and experimenting with the thickness of each of the paint colors before he found one that he was happy with. When he was ready, Gerard just stared at the blank canvas for a moment, releasing a long, deep breath before finally touching the brush to the white expanse before him. As he did when he always painted, he didn’t let his head get in the way of what his hands wanted to do, or wanted to say. Eventually he found himself humming along with the distant music that had been playing from another room. deeper into the gallery. Perhaps it was a little rude of him that he didn’t go introduce himself first, but blank canvases just…bugged him in a way. This room was just far too white. There were too much empty space that needed to be filled, and the artist in him needed to contribute to that.
[It appears Dean deactivated and I am sad. sigh]
Yeah. Don’t worry. I’ve been so busy because it’s that time of year. As soon as things settle down, I’m going to revamp the RP. So please stick around. It’s just I’m busy at work, C is busy at work. And everyone has school. But I’m not going to give up on this RP. I’ve put too much work into it. C and I aren’t going anywhere. Just give us some time to get shit up ad running again.