[SUMMARY: Cassius wakes-up after spending the night of January 18th in a chair at the bookshop. Narciso comes down and lets them pet his lizard.
CONTINUITY NOTE: Back in January, Asher jumped on the Blood Ivy and Theodor & Cassius found him. With the help of Nathan & Bar, they managed to get him across town to Paulsen and Associates to a waiting Scarlet & Henrik. There was a big scene where Scarlet, Theodor, & Nathan got into a fight (over Seeking!), and then Cassius had a bath. Followed by an awkward conversation over cold tea with Theodor on friendship. Cassius then fell asleep in the chair.
Cassius sits at their table. Hunched over and hair a mess, they haven't been out of their shack all day. Simple cotton pants, and a too large knitted sweater seem to hang on them. The sweater is a gift from Mila on The Surface, and has been made the same way as what would be more suitable for a 'normal' fisherman, and not a slight detective of Spite. Made to the measurements they had over a year ago-knit a little bit big to add comfort-it now is almost ridiculously on them. But it is from Home, and that is exactly what Cassius seems to need.
On the table in front of them sits Saunder. A little brown messenger bat that Cassius had scraped almost all their Echos for to buy. That was back in March, and the little bat had been one of the few companions Cassius had for most of those months. They don't coddle him like the bat that was owned by Cassius' "lady", and he isn't kept in a cage. He has a small perch, but is generally allowed to come-and-go as he pleases. Well except when he is needed to deliver messages. For the last hour Cassius has been sitting there offering him the occasional cricket, but mostly just enjoying that for tonight at least, the little bat has decided to offer his company.
Cassius feels like an idiot. A fool even. If they had known...well they certainly wouldn't have become so close to the man they can only think to call their 'Alluring Accomplice'. They hadn't planned on becoming close to him, but it seemed so gradual that they hadn't really noticed. Not noticing something was a horrible thing in their line of work, but they decide; maybe they didn't want to notice. He was affable, and comforting, and made Cassius feel as well as they haven't since--Perhaps it was that he tried to play the part of sunshine, and Cassius had been playing the part of a sun-dwelling bird. But he had made them feel alive, and it wasn't until after they had arrived back from Venderbight for the third-and last-time that they had really realised it.
And yet they still don't know if they are even friends. Or if as awful as Cassius seems to feel, if them and Narciso were friends. They could never bring themself to ask, afraid that it had only been that red-haired detectives were fashionable, or something just as cruel. It had happened before after all. So for months they had been, not content, but well with calling him an 'associate'. But now, now after mucking-up everything with Henrik Paulsen--they knew the men were in the past, but--and then kissing Narciso, Cassius is planning to stay far, far away from any of their associates, and even the few they can call friends.