The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Scenes set in the "Highlander" universe.

Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:43 am

Claire shot Adam a look that would have been almost scathingly reproving, had it not been for the mirth that was dancing through her eyes. It seemed as though he and Joe had a somewhat prickly, albeit good-natured, dynamic, and she had the feeling that watching the pair of them banter would make up an interesting part of the evening. Settling in her seat, Claire watched as Adam sat down, close enough to be able to talk easily in the busy bar, which was also close enough for her to get a slight hint of whatever cologne he might be wearing.

She listened as he waxed lyrical on music, as smile settling on her lips as he appeared to display a disdain for modern pop music, an opinion similar to her own. Claire arched an eyebrow as he excluded opera from his listening tastes. "Any reason behind not liking opera," she asked, her voice curious. She wasn't keen herself, but thatw as because she just couldn't stand the false vibrato employed by the genre. It grated on her nervce. She shrugged and grinned as Adam asked what she listened to. "Not enough," she admitted. "I mostly play music in my car on the way to and from work. Rock features pretty high on my playlist, along with a lot of Kiwi music. Can't say I listen to blues very often, though." Probably the wrong admission, given where they were.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:46 am

His cologne was Old English Leather, for the record. He liked the picture on the bottle and the earthy smell of, as advertised, well oiled leather.

"I knew singer once, fell madly in love with her. When she passed away I found my taste for it had soured with the association." He offered the information in an odd balance of long enough ago to be tolerable to mention but not so ancient that suggesting he give opera another try seemed the route to take. A poignant moment in his past that he'd healed from, but that still had it's little scar somewhere on his heart. "What does Kiwi music consist of, exactly? Local bands in whatever genre or do you mean the cultural music of the people?" Both good, solid, academic questions that completely belied the image of tiny flightless birds playing "Bird's the Word". Very entertaining.

"Blues is a decidedly American cultural phenomenon. You don't really see it outside of certain inner cities and the odd joint out in the middle of nowhere in the deep South. If you like rock, you should find something of worth in what it offers."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:19 am

The warm, earthy scent of Adam's cologne just about tickled Claire's nostrils. It was something of an old-fashioned fragrance, but, oddly, it seemed to suit him, despite him being so young. Claire's own scent was reminiscent of jasmine flowers, blooming in the soft, night air.

A tiny, sympathetic smile twitched at the corners of Claire's lips, and she held Adam's gaze. "I'm sorry," she said, just about loud enough to be heard over the music. "Must have been hard for you." It flickered across her mind that he was very young to have lost someone he loved, but she supposed that it could happen to anyone. She didn't like to pry, though, so left it at that. The smile broadened as Adam turned the discussion back to music.

"Kiwi music's a bit of both, really," she admitted. "Although you find a lot of New Zealand artist incorporate traditional Māori music into whatever genre they align with." It was a big part of what gave a lot of Kiwi music its very distinctive sound and quality, and probably why a lot of New Zealanders, even if they lived overseas, still manage to feel connected to their homeland. It was like an emotional hotline to their spiritual home.

Nodding as Adam gave a quick explanation about blues, she resisted the urge to tease him about trying to 'mansplain' it. She didn't know him well enough to risk that kind of tease yet. "I'm sure I will," she replied simply, that smile still twitching away on her lips. "So... what else do I need to know about Adam Pierson? Aside from the fact that you're rich enough to donate expensive medical equipment without batting an eyelid, and once fell in love with an opera singer?" Her voice still held that gentle tease.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:55 pm

"It wasn't easy, no." He agreed with her. "It happened as fast as the rest of our relationship, living a lifetime in the space of a year, so... even though it ended too soon I can't say what we missed out on. When all you've lost is unknowable, you can't really know if you lost anything at all. Makes it easier to deal with, in an odd sort of way." That was to say, Methos hadn't processed it as anything but a murder of a woman who deserved better. He'd buried his mourning in the anger that drove revenge, let that cool, and left the idea of mourning buried under the cold ashes. Then he'd gotten his revenge, because that was always a dish best served cold.

"What is traditional Kiwi music like? Woodwinds, percussion, throat singing, screaming incoherently at the spirits?" He didn't presume, though he bet himself a dollar that it was percussion based on what he'd seen of the culture so far. Probably hallow sounding, rather than merely banging solid objects together, but he was just guessing. He'd not got to explore their leisure culture when last he'd visited New Zealand, at least not that he could recall. Probably for the best, all told. There'd been an old Immortal on the island that had unlocked the mystical nature of his Quickening, that was the sort of Immortal that Methos truly feared. Cassandra, Sun Tzu, and that old man. Methos knew of others, few and very far apart for very good reason, but that old man had gained unusual perception into the souls of others and that was amongst the most dangerous powers to be had.

"Hm... that those two details are an insufficient representation of my wealth and my heart, for being too small a sampling in either case. Oh, and I collect antiques. Like my butler, Rupert." He grinned and winked.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:17 am

Her eyes misting over with compassion as Adam talked about his relationship with the opera singer, Claire instinctively placed her hand on top of his, her fingers curling lightly around the side if his palm. "I don't know whether it's worse losing someone early on, or after you've been with then for years," she said, her voice gentle. "I've never been in that position." Aside from having lost members of her family through the mundanity of old age, Claire had never lost anyone she was close to, and felt eternally grateful for that. However, despite her professional detachment, the loss of a patient still cut her to the quick. She had learned to deal with it, process her emotions, but it never really got any easier as time went on.

Claire laughed at Adam's question about what constituted traditional Kiwi music. It was a loaded question with about a million different answers. You could offer ten different viewpoints, and they'd all be right. "Depends on how far back you're going," she grinned her eyes sparkling. "Māori music has a base in log drumming, where they literally hollow out logs and beat on them. There's the flute, and, even through they're not particularly known as a musical instrument, you'll often hear the sound of spinning poi incorporated into music." Of course, Māori music was one thing, but the pākeha settlers had brought their own music with them, sounds that wound their way into the fabric of the music of Aotearoa.

And here came the flirting again. She couldn't help but chuckle at Adam's comeback, telling her pretty much nothing new about himself, but tossing a joke in at the end. "See, that's a big cop-out," she replied. "Do you always deflect talk about yourself?" And so what if he did? It was a technique Claire often used herself. She nodded at Adam's beer bottle. "Want another," she asked. "My shout."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:55 am

Adam got that older than his years look in his eyes as he told a truth, both from the perspective of Adam and Methos. "When you love them, there's no difference at all. You want one more. If you had a day, you'll wish you had another. A year, one more please. A life time, a second would be lovely." But you didn't get any more, no matter how long you lived whoever you lost was gone and never to be replaced. Methos briefly reflected on the differences between the loves of his life while Adam gave Claire's hand a squeeze. "A very smart woman once told me a few wise words on the subject of grieving. Life ends, but a real love never does." And then she'd passed away and proved herself right, but that was neither here nor there. It hadn't cost him an appreciation for any genre of music either.

Log drumming seemed to be a bit of a thing in the South Pacific, but given the theories he'd heard about human migration in the area that made a certain amount of sense as well. And it was far from an unpleasant basis for music, as well. Get a couple of guys together with good endurance and you could make some real party jams for busting a move around fire in the center of the village commons. "Not a bad basis at all. Does it come with energetic dancing? I find percussion heavy music usually does." And there was nothing wrong with that either, though it all boiled down to how they used the instrument in question. He rubbed his shoulder in sympathetic memory at the mention of poi, unconsciously remembering the feeling of having poi thrown at him once upon a long bleeding time ago.

"I've been advised that talking about myself for any extended period of time, no matter how interesting I might find the information being provided, isn't the best tactic on a first date. So I may have developed a habit of meeting far reaching and vague questions with far reaching and vague answers." He smiled apologetically. "Thank you, but this one will last me quite a while. And besides, if I make you shout tonight I'd rather it be on a subject other than beer." Being tipsy was dangerous, it compromised reflexes and precision. And decision making. It was like shooting himself in the head before a fight. But flirting, that was both safer and more enjoyable.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:42 am

Claire didn't miss the strange look that passed across Adam's eyes. It spoke of a love lost, of regret, of missed opportunities, and it was a look that didn't sit well in one so young. If she hadn't known better, she'd have said that he was up there in years and experience with her kaumātua; he would often get that strange, reflective look in his eyes like that, as though he had seen and experienced things that she herself could never even imagine. Her kaumātua was well into his 80s now, although didn't look a day over 50. She felt the pressure from Adam's warm, callused fingers as he squeezed her hand, and she didn't even think about moving it out of his grasp. "And still, we fall in love," murmured Claire. Life was short, and it would be a cold, dark thing without loving another. Still, she had shielded her heart for a while, to avoid getting hurt. "I guess I'm still waiting for that 'real love'," she replied, a wry smile on her lips.

She laughed, though, as Adam asked about the dancing that came with log drumming. "Only if everyone's pissed," she chuckled. "Most of the time, you only see it at staged performances, which doesn't so much come with energetic dancing as the traditional kapa haka. You know, women in traditional costume, moko painted onto their chins? You'll probably have seen it if you've been anywhere near Rotorua." She frowned for a moment as Adam rubbed hos shoulder. "Are you alright? Not injured, I hope?" She stopped short of offering to look at it, that might be a flirt too far.

Claire rolled her eyes as, yet again, Adam sidestepped talking about himself. "So how do you propose I ever get to know anything about you," she teased, an eyebrow quirked upwards. An open, leading, question, and one that could end up with any number of answers. She nodded as Adam refused another beer, and was about to excuse herself to get a drink when Adam made his throwaway remark about the potential for her shouting. Claire laughed in surprise, her cheeks colouring as her mind wended its merry way through things it really shouldn't be thinking. Instead of going to get herself a drink, she twitched an eyebrow up. "And what subject did you have in mind?"
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:38 am

"And no one ever does it gracefully." Honestly, it was a surreal statement. The kind of thing he'd say to McLeod shortly after the Scotsman buried a lady love. It was true, for those Immortals who were willing to invest their heart in others. The kind of thing worthy of being etched into stone, for it would be true long after the man who etched it was dust and ash. "Well, if one is going to wait for something, why not love? Not that I'm prone to waiting for that sort of thing, myself. Buses. I'll wait for buses. And eggs to boil, but I have to wait in another room because Rupert says I make it a harrowing experience. He can be over dramatic." He certainly didn't brush her hand away.

Adam grinned, remembering just such a performance on a beach and viewed from the deck of a Portugues exploration vessel. It had been quite impressive, one of the few times in the early days of firearms he'd been happy for their invention. He'd grown fonder of them over the centuries, but that was another line of thought entirely. "I've seen that, it was very... effective. I wish I'd been present for the brain storming session that had created it in the first place, I can only imagine that was one hell of a fascinating series of conversations." Even he'd been too late to that particular party, though not for a lack of trying. "The chin painting, and I hope you don't mind the observation, is... particularly striking. I don't suppose you've done that, hm?" He just about looked like he was imagining the lines coming into existence on her face right that moment, as he teased her with a grin.

"Well, I'm open to various forms of bribery, respond well to seduction techniques, and have been known to babble quite a bit when I think I'm doling out life lessons in cynical fashion. One might also try asking pointed questions." He gave her a smoldering smile to go along with that. "Any subject that pleases you. Obviously."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:26 am

Claire frowned momentarily. How the hell did they manage to get talking about the nature of love on a first date? It seemed strange, but, at the same time, not uncomfortable, even though Adam was so much younger than she was. Anyway, it was an odd thing to say. "Oh, I don't know," she said, her voice thoughtful. "I think it can be graceful. At least, the falling in love part. It's what happens once you realise you've fall than is invariably messy, and painful, but still we do it." And Claire would do it again, if the man she felt something for was worth it. In that respect, she wondered whether or not she had actually ever really been in love. She smiled, slightly sadly, as Adam explained he wasn't the kind to wait for love, and she wondered if that was him perhaps warning her off. However, the smile turned into a quiet laugh as he turned the conversation to more ridiculous things. "Who's Rupert, if you don't mind me asking?"

She wasn't surprised that he appeared to have witnessed a kapa haka performance, though. It was something that most visitors to En Zed decided to take in on their travels. "It's actually based on traditional ceremonies," she explained, although she would be surprised if he didn't know that already. "Each element has a meaning, either welcoming, or warning, or 'fuck off or we'll kill you and eat you', depending on the reason." Claire wore a teasing grin, before chuckling at Adam's question about the painted moko. "Actually, I have," she replied. "I'm an active member of my whānau's marae, and perform with the kapa haka group when my schedule allows." She cast her eyes downwards for a moment, before almost shyly meeting his gaze again. "I actually have a real ta moko on my arm, though."

The sparkle danced through Claire's eyes as their conversation descended into all out flirting again, and she realised she didn't want to fight the attraction that she was feeling. The only thing now was to determine whether Adam was feeling it as well, and, if his comments were anything to go on, he most certainly was. "I think asking a few pointed questions might be the way to go," she replied, arching an eyebrow upwards. "Bribery's not an option, I'm sure I'll hear your life lessons in time, and..." A beat of silence. "Well, it's a little early for seduction, don't you think?"

Clearly, Adam didn't agree, as he shot her a look that was almost indecent, with a deceptively innocent comment. If she'd had a drink, Claire would have choked on it. She wondered whether Adam was seeing the same kind of look in her eyes. "That's a pretty broad set of possibilities, you know. We could always start with the latest developments in paediatric emergency surgery..." Her grin had turned lopsided, and her voice was husky, low and ultimately teasing.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:57 pm

"Yes, it can be. The people, not so much." Adam said it all with a smile, one of amusement and approval combined. He wasn't judging, he was not just okay with it he seemed to rather consider it appropriate. It certainly fit with the dignity of being newly smitten, because no matter how old you were a new love made you feel like a teenager again. An observation battle tested over not just centuries, but thousands of years. All the same, she had an incredible grasp of the reality of it. No matter how bad it got, they did it anyway. "On paper, Rupert is my butler. But in reality, and don't let this get around, he's my extremely fussy, overly worrisome, and often put-upon butler. I worry him something awful, by all reports." He'd raised the man, why he'd chosen to use his twilight years to fuss over Adam's prime time was anyone's guess.

He knew that already, but he watched and listened without a single reduction in his open interest. He would love to see each performed in sequence, just to try to figure out if he could tell the difference. As long as they weren't required to follow through on the kill him and eat him bit. Then she admitted to participating in this event, more than once no less. "Now that would be something worth seeing, when do these performances take place?" His eyes reflexively moved to her arms, while his free hand lay over the wrist that possessed his lone tattoo.

Adam checked his watch when she declared it was too early for seduction. "Well, we can put it off for another couple of minutes but in my experience there's much to be said for anticipation." Too clever for his own good, but in his defense she'd already offered to stick around long enough to hear a few of his life lessons so he had no reason to think they weren't going to be... something. "Well, I do enjoy possibilitie..." He tilted his head when she suggested that what got her going might be something about medical advancements. So he slid his chair closer smoothly, via hooking it with one leg and easing his weight above it with the other. Then, in a very seductive voice he stage whispered right next to her ear: "I hear they're doing amazing things with intraosseous access as a fast and safe way to deliver medication."
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