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Charlotte Moreau

Sugar and spice and everything nice. And then some.

0 · 470 views · located in Northern Main Street

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by CrashQueen

Description

Image
Very pretty and very doll-like, but you can't help but wonder if there's not something just slightly off about her...



Note, the following information is for authors only, part of this character's fun is having whom she interacts with unaware of what she keeps tucked under her pettis.

Charlotte Moreau, or perhaps more accurately, Daniel Shaw, is a non-imposing fellow with a childlike face and short black hair. He's particularly thin and actually awkward looking, but he has learned to cover his flaws in the appropriate style of makeup, padding, and styling. Daniel really only becomes Daniel in the privacy of his own room, for as far as the rest of Wing City could care, Daniel Shaw is a very dead man.

tl;dr, it's a TRAP.

Personality

Daniel takes great pleasure in dressing up, coming across as a flat-chested, petite young woman. He doesn't actually see himself as a girl but simply a boy that likes to look pretty, and is there a crime in that? A native Wing City boy, the environment has allowed Daniel to express himself in any way he wishes. And his way of expressing himself is to lose himself in the character of Charlotte Moreau, a polite, otome-girl carrying about her clutch. He enjoys the feel of stockings on his legs, and the clean, cutesy, femmy look when wearing his wig.

He considers it a great success when he can con a free drink out of an unsuspecting male. <3

Charlotte herself is polite and undeniably girly, talking with a bit of a Southern twang like the 'belle' she imagines herself to be. She looks the part of a princess, and she expects to be treated as such. However, if she isn't lifted above the rest of her peers, she won't throw a hissy fit, but she might pout a bit. As a character, she's rather flat, but it seems that benefits Daniel the most.

Contrary to popular belief, this little transvestite is NOT GAY. He is straight as they come.

Equipment

Charlotte carries a matching bag filled with makeup for touch-ups, a can of spray mace, and of course a pretty in pink tazer. You can never be too careful!

So begins...

Charlotte Moreau's Story

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While Charlotte considered herself first and foremost a writer, making a living on that alone got tough when there was simply no muse for it. It'd been rough, and a general lack of inspiration had her thinking that there was something missing from her life, though she couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. Not to mention, Gambits was closed on account of some fuckery, and that bar and its occupants having been the subject of her last two books, she had no idea where to go now.
But bills were piling up, and her emergency funds were running incredibly low.

She thought about going back to camwhoring for cash, but that was a desperate measure, and she liked to think that she was better than that now that she was out from under the umbrella of student loan debt from university. Apparently 'dying' cleared you of said debt. And the man that had enrolled in Wing City U was no more, at least publically.

She'd registered Charlotte as an official name, and the name Daniel was only left to the most trusted of confidants. Either way, it was Charlotte who applied for a job at the Teahouse, finding it a good fit for her refined tastes, and it was Charlotte who was headed for the entrance after being called in for an interview. Instructed to sit and wait on a bench, she quickly checked her makeup to make sure things were contoured well and flawless, from foundation to her curled eyelashes. She wore a toned down version of her usual go-to, less print up top, but still immaculately put-together. Dress to impress.
She waited, patiently, with a smile on her face.

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As they moved through the teahouse, Charlotte quietly admired the scenery. She'd been here once before, but it was during an event and there was more to be had in socializing than really appreciating just how pretty the place was from the blooming cherry trees to the dark finish on the furniture. It oozed class and elegance, and she could only hope that she did the same enough for the job.

She nodded and smiled at the man in the booth before taking her seat. “Pleasure to meet you, sir.”
Her voice was proudly feminine. Daniel had spent years practicing it.

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She shook his hand, internally agonizing that her hands weren't nearly pretty enough to be girly, despite the french tip manicure, but it was over in an instant. She couldn't read Jackie's stony face, and that slightly unnerved her, but she pushed on through.
“Not at all,” she replied. She was prepared for this, she was certain.

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“I've worked as a server before at the Cafe Italiano on Ponce Street during college,” she reassured. “And I brew looseleaf tea at home all the time. I find the flavor to be better than bagged tea. I have a nice clay pot and everything. I admit I'm not an expert, however, but I'm willing to learn.”

His next question threw her a little bit. Was there a problem with a teahouse in Wing City? She thought on his two options for a little bit before speaking. “A little bit of both, I think. But it goes without saying that the citizens of this city are all a little insane for living here. Personally? I enjoy the atmosphere and I think that Wing City could use a little more in the way of culture and refinement I try to reflect that in my behavior and the way I present myself to the world.”

The setting changes from The Cheri Teahouse to Wing City Gardens (South)

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Why couldn’t anything ever be easy? It was getting to the point where she almost missed the century of captivity. Granted, being the ghoul to a vampire was definitely not what she enjoyed, but it seemed a whole lot easier to have her entire life dictated for her than it did to figure out what she wanted.

Claire reached into the plastic bag beside her on the stone bench, liberating a slice of stale bread. Staring down at the piece of bread in her ungloved fingers, she pursed her lips. Her skin was almost as pale as her ivory kidskin gloves… except for the scars over both wrists. Those circular blemishes shone bright, an angry reddish purple. She’d been religious about keeping them covered, but today, alone as she allowed her fingers freedom. Twisting the bread between her fingers, she broke off a piece and tossed it into the pond in front of her, watching a cluster of five ducks lunge for it. She broke off another piece and tossed it directly toward the smallest duck who was on the fringes of the group.

Why couldn’t anything ever be easy?

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He'd given up writing some time ago. There was no muse for it anymore. He thought he was writing a great love story, when in reality, he was just writing a tragedy. He couldn't bear to lie to himself and make it a happy ending, and so he walked away from it. Life was quieter now, it lost a lot of its color and intrigue.
No, Daniel just shambled around like a zombie in drag.

Of course, outwardly he didn't appear zombie-like, he could fake a good smile and pleasant demeanor when it called for it, and certainly, his new job at the Cheri Tea House called for it. They knew him as Charlotte there, as did everybody else. Daniel was a secret known only to himself now that his other confidant had left.

It had been months now, and he thought he was okay, if not hollow.
He moved through the park, enjoying the spring flowers. He was feeling unusually spritely today and he thought maybe he'd try to make a flower crown to wear with his wig, cinnamon red and long and wavy. It was his favorite yet. He felt the furthest from his disgusting self in it.

He didn't notice her at first, but when he did, all the color drained from his face. He glanced briefly at his own scars on his wrists, those he'd used to save her. The one in his neck from being half-ghoulified- again for her, itched and burned. He said nothing, and why the hell would he? She'd abandoned him one night. She was done with him.
She used him up.
He spent a while in a hospital before being let out.

He sat further down the bank of the pond and withdrew a book from his bag, a familiar leather-bound notebook, with a story left unfinished.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Claire hadn’t seen Charlotte yet. Her eyes were fixed on the ducks as she tossed bits of bread to them. At one point, their antics as they battled each other for morsels of the stale loaf would have made her smile… perhaps even laugh in delight. Instead, Claire stared at them, her face impassive.

Memories played out behind her blank expression, as they seemed to do more often lately. Perhaps one day, she would find clarity… as if the knot in her stomach, in her heart, would untangle and everything would make sense. Snippets of conversation played themselves over and over in her mind. Images. Memories of feelings, of sensations. She closed her eyes as she felt a ghost of a touch across her shoulders, the ghost of lips against the back of her neck.

Shaking herself as the ducks in front of her quacked impatiently, she tore free another pinch of bread, tossing it halfheartedly toward them. Glancing around herself to see if anyone had been disturbed by the cacophony, she froze as her eyes landed on the familiar figure further down the bank. Her heart leaped into her throat, beating wildly. She tried to swallow it down, but succeeded only in drying out her throat.

How unfair she’d been. She’d simply left, without a word. Disappeared. It had been unfair… and at the very least, Daniel… Charlotte… deserved an explanation… But how could she tell him what she was feeling inside? How could she make him see?

The ducks began squawking again, and Claire tossed the remainder of the piece of bread into the water, not bothering to watch them fight over it. She scratched her cheek. She twisted her fingers in her lap. She chewed the inside of her cheek. She kicked the toe of her blue ballet slipper against the grass at her feet. And then she took a deep breath, steeling herself, before rising from the bench. After grabbing the plastic bag, under the watchful eyes of the group of ducks, she made her way slowly over to where Charlotte sat. Without a word, she lowered herself to sit beside her… close enough to denote familiarity, but not too close. Within arm’s reach… but with enough distance.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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His voice was quiet, but he stared pointedly into the book, over the last words that would never be finished, but he spoke.
"There must've been something wrong with me," he started, stating the only conclusion he could come to. "No note, no explanation, just empty sheets and an empty apartment."

He didn't want to look at her, she hadn't been there for so long, it was better to keep pretending that she hadn't just suddenly dropped back into his life. And in that instant, he became angry, though he didn't raise his voice, he never did. "What the FUCK did I do or not do?" he hissed instead, finally tearing his eyes away from his book to stare at her with this deep hurt, and he wanted to share it because he wasn't sure if she could even feel guilt considering what she did to him.
"I DIED for you, I turned myself into a fucking monster to buy your freedom. I bled, I opened myself up in so many ways and you walked out on all of it."

He put his hand in the grass and curled his fingers to tear up a clot of it.
"And all I could think, what was wrong with me? If the person I loved to death didn't actually love me back, who else was going to love me? Who cared whether I was here or not? Two bottles'-worth I think it was? I don't know, I wasn't conscious or lucid for a long time when they talked about it. I wish they hadn't found me."

He pushed the half-finished notebook to Claire with a pen, as if he expected a handwritten apology.

"Write. Tell me what I did wrong so I might have some peace."

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Silently, Claire accepted the notebook and the pen, but she made no move to write… to “speak.” Instead, she turned her eyes out to the water, noting the way the waning sunlight caught the ripples. She chewed the inside of her cheek as she thought about what she could possibly say to him. His words caught her in invisible barbs, tearing at her heart. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath.

He had every right to be angry with her. He had every reason to hate her. She had no idea that he tried to kill himself… no idea that he had it in himself… all for her? And why not? He died for her. He faced Him for her… he gave so much of himself for her. And what did he have to show for it? Scars… an empty bed…

Slowly, she uncapped the pen with naked fingers, focusing on the way the smooth plastic felt between her fingertips. Smoothing her free hand over the page of note paper, she stared at the emptiness before lowering the pen to the surface. It sat there, unmoving, for a handful of long minutes. Finally, she began to write, forming each letter carefully.

I never deserved you. You deserve so much more.


She stared down at the words before skipping a line and adding two more words… six letters in total… and her heart bled with the formation of them all.

Hate me.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He glanced at the words and held back a snort of derision. Of course, the classic 'it's not you it's me' line. But he refused to believe that. She was too perfect and pretty and flawless in his eyes, even when she couldn't speak, even now when all he wanted to do was hold her head under the water until she stopped moving.


He took the book back, snapped it shut. He couldn't do it to her, but he could do it to their story. She wanted to end it, he didn't want to hold onto it. With a throw, he chucked the book as far as he could into the center of the pond.
"You know what, Claire? NOBODY deserves you because nobody deserves to suffer like I have at your flighty hands."

He rose to his feet and moved away. "I get it- you don't need me anymore, because you have him, right? Whoever he is. Will he give up everything for you? I sure hope he doesn't. I hope he's smarter than my dumb ass was."
He shouldered his bag and shook his head.
"I can't hate you. Even though I should, I can't. But I am disappointed."

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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What had she expected? Of course he would be angry. But she hadn’t expected him to fling the notebook into the middle of the pond. She rose to her feet as it splashed into the water, staring after it, watching the concentric circular rings of ripples emanate from their collective broken dreams.

He was right. Nobody deserved her. She didn’t deserve anyone… Not Daniel… Charlotte… nor Jeremiah.

As the circles got wider, Claire bit her lip, staring at the last of the remaining bubbles that rose to the surface as the notebook sank.

Her movements happened without any thought. Swiftly, she toed off her shoes and before Daniel had even finished his angry words, Claire found herself leaping out into the pond. With her eyes on the area in which the notebook had been thrown, Claire swam as quickly as she could... which wasn’t very quick considering Claire wasn’t a very good swimmer. At every stroke, the water splashed up into her face, up her nose, down her throat, yet she moved forward until she was near where she thought the notebook may have landed. After spitting out a mouthful of water, she took a deep breath, and without looking at Charlotte, dove beneath the surface, the powder blue diaphanous skirt of her dress tangling around her legs as she kicked her way down, angling herself to the bottom of the pond. It wasn’t until her outstretched searching hand encountered the mucky bottom that she wondered just what in the hell she was doing.

She held her breath for as long as she could, her hands groping the bottom of the pond blindly as she searched frantically. Before too long, however, she had to rise to the surface for a breath. As she surfaced, a sob escaped with the gasp for a fresh lungful of air… and with one brief tortured look at Charlotte, she submerged again, kicking her way down to the bottom, searching.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"What the hell are you doing?!" Daniel called, genuinely concerned that she might hurt herself. He rubbed his face, agonizing. He wasn't that great a swimmer himself, but if she was so determined, he figured he could do it too. He splashed out in his dress and wig as far as he could go before following after Claire with broader strokes. When she resurfaced again he grabbed her and pulled her into him, back, back to where he could touch the bottom again, his heart starting again.

"Claire," he sputtered. "Stop, stop. It's over, okay? That part is over."
He tried to brush some hair out of her face, pull her back onto dry land. "It was fun while it lasted, but maybe it's...it's time to start a new book...."
He exhaled and then coughed.
"I put down the pen a while ago, maybe I'll find the muse to start writing again."

He wrung the water out of his borrowed hair.
"I'm sorry. I'm just...I wish you just told me before you disappeared. I hope you're happy with him, I really do."
He coughed again, maybe more water got in than what he intended.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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She’d been under longer this time, her fingers frantically searching the muck at the bottom of the pond for the notebook. Her lungs were burning as her fingers touched the edge of the notebook, but her body had already decided that it hand enough. She kicked to the surface, intent only on inhaling a fresh gulp of air into her lungs before diving down again. She almost had it!!

As she surfaced however, between her gasping, coughing and spluttering, she felt Charlotte’s arms around her, pulling her away… back toward the bank. She fought briefly before catching a small wave to the face. Again, she coughed, choking on the water, fighting to clear it from the entrance to her lungs. Now, with the muddy bottom squishing between her toes, she looked up at Charlotte… Daniel… His makeup was ruined, just as she was sure her own was. Turning in the water, she scanned the surface for a sign of her previous location, but from here, it was impossible to tell where they had been… where the notebook had been tossed in. With a silent curse, she slapped the surface of the water angrily, spraying herself with a splash. Almost like a child having a tantrum, she slapped the water again, her brows furrowed. The water droplets disguised the tears of frustration. A sob as she slapped the water once more. She almost had it! Lowering her head, she allowed herself to be pulled from the water.

Standing on the bank, her once diaphanous gown clinging almost indecently to her form, Claire stared out over the water. As Charlotte wrung out her red wig, Claire remained still, silent, staring. To an untrained eye, the twisting of Claire’s hands and fingers together at waist level might seem to be nothing more than uncertain fidgeting. Slowly, she formed the words with her hands, words she couldn’t say aloud… As they stood beside the bank of the pond, Charlotte wringing out her hair, talking about everything being gone, about writing a new book, Claire’s fingers twisted together, asking the same question, over and over again, her movements slow, sad, easily passed off as just nervous fidgeting. Why do we dream?

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He didn't want to look in his mirror, didn't want to see the ugly that melted through the ruined makeup. He smeared it again with a sigh, because there wasn't a point anymore, before finding his bag he'd thrown aside before diving in and removing tissues to wipe it all off to reveal his face and not the painted mask he wore to make himself feel better. Dead eyes, blemished skin, pointed nose; it was him and he hated it, even more so now than before because somehow it had pushed Claire away.

He recognized Claire's hand movements and shrugged. "I suppose to give us something to look forward to when we sleep. I want to sleep, forever and ever, because dreams are so much nicer than reality. You can't get hurt in dreams."

He went quiet for a little bit, staring at the place where the book had sunk. The pages and leather would eventually rot away, he supposed. A fitting metaphor, his writer's brain decided.
Quiet, uncertain, as if he were searching for that one piece of hope that'd keep him from joining his book at the bottom of the pond, he asked, "Do you still love me, Claire?"

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Claire’s eyes shifted from the water to Charlotte’s face… no… Daniel’s face… To Claire, the figure beside her in the dress, removing his makeup was Charlotte... but most importantly to her, he was Daniel. As the makeup was wiped away, Claire’s eyes moved over the face. She’d memorized the contours and highlights of the face in makeup, just as she had memorized the contours and shadows of the face without makeup. Her eyes shifted from the forehead to the chin, to the left eye, to the right cheek, to the space between eyebrows at the bridge of the nose, each blemish, the jaw line… and his eyes bothered her. Dead. They’d been so warm once. So bright.

’You can’t get hurt in dreams.’

Claire stepped toward him then, her eyes never leaving his face. She lifted her hands, signing out carefully: I disagree. Dreams cause the worst pain.

She watched him as he looked out to the pond, her eyes following his line of sight. He was silent, and so was she. As they looked to the water, Claire began peeling the soaked fabric from her legs, but as soon as it was free, if she shifted at all, it clung to her once more like a second skin. And then he asked the question. Claire turned to look at him once more, her naked fingers lifting to his face, fingertips gentle against the skin beneath his left eye, trailing down over his jaw before pulling away. In her eyes, a depth of sincerity. Her hands moved together. I never stopped.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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For the first time in a long time, Daniel gave a small, but genuine, smile, which brightened up his naked face considerably. He wasn't ready to forgive, of course, but knowing at least that bit of information, that she still cared, was enough to keep him off the edge for now. His eyes remained empty, it would take nothing short of a miracle to get the fire back into him, and Claire wasn't going to allow for that, he knew, and it hurt. Because there was another, who was better than him, or else she would have said something before vanishing.
And he could never stack up to it. He was just a boy with a head full of romantic notions wearing a dress.

He exhaled slowly and rose to his feet again before extending a hand to her to help her up.
"Come to my flat with me," he began. "I've got some dry clothes of yours you can change into. I'll fix you tea."

He removed the soaked choker from around his throat to reveal the bitemarks left there and scratched at them. "You don't have to walk, I can vampire-magic us back. I'm tired of...being cold and wet."
He kept his hand out for her, expectant.

"Just tea," he reassured. "Then you can go back home."
Because his apartment was not.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He could think as negatively about her as he needed to… He could think that she used him to get free of her bondage to the vampire. He could think that when she was finished with him, she’d simply tossed him away because he’d served his purpose. He could think of her as callus and hardened… as a terrible person… but there was no way he could not see the way she reacted when he removed his choker. Her eyes flickered over the mark briefly, and immediately a myriad of emotions crossed her face. Her eyes closed, her lips tightened, curving down at the edges, her brows knit together, her forehead wrinkling as she turned her head away, angling her face down. It was a reaction as uncontrolled as one could possibly be and, if Charlotte was paying attention, would demonstrate more than words could ever say. Shame. Guilt. Sadness. Remorse.

And then the only thought that could ease any of that: I never asked him to…

The emotions were so deep, so heavy, that she nearly simply shook her head and walked away… rejecting his offer… She physically winced at the comment about vampire-powers… as if it physically hurt her. But she stayed. Her only response was a quick nod, and she placed her hand in his, her fingers naked against his. Hesitant. She owed him this much.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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It took next to no time, and suddenly they were standing in the living room of a small apartment. Prints of Toulouse-Latrec paintings hung about, the entire place smelled warm and inviting, a mix of mocha and earl grey tea. For being depressed, Daniel tried to keep things looking nice, just like he did himself. Still, there was the organized chaos one expected of a creative type, papers strewn about, empty wine glasses scattered on whatever flat surface had enough room for it, and a blanket tossed over the couch, where a typewriter sat on the coffee table in front of it, another half-written manuscript still sitting in the rollers.

He was loathe to release her hand, for fear that she'd just disappear again, but slowly, he uncurled her fingers from his shivering ones and moved down the hall towards the bedroom before returning with a lighter blue dress than the one she was wearing, a tad more summery than the first. "Don't have any underthings," he replied. "But this should be good until I can dry what you have."
He handed it to her, being polite.

"I'll be right back," he nodded. "Then I'll start some tea."
He left again, leaving her to her thoughts. The apartment was surely not the same as the room he had in Gambits, but he'd been kicked out when the place closed due to some stupid drama. He found this place on a steal, and he was fairly sure it was haunted in some way, but that was really the least of Daniel's problems. Still, it was familiar to her, a pleasant reassurance that maybe she hadn't ruined the man entirely. Especially since on one of the bookshelves between the living room and the kitchen, there was a glass terrarium filled with dirt and bark and a very content, very fat toad.

When Daniel reappeared, he was dressed in casual pants and a t-shirt. He had no reason to dress up for her after all. She knew him, and he knew her, he was sure of it. He held onto this tiny sliver of hope that maybe he might coax her back to him. He smiled at her noticing the tank and set to making tea.

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Character Portrait: Claire Brownlow Character Portrait: Charlotte Moreau Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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She had traveled with him this way before, but for some reason, this time was different. His hand around hers seemed tighter… his palm sweatier. Upon arrival in Daniel’s flat, she noted the reluctance to release her hand… but she didn’t seem to be in quite a frantic hurry to release his either. She studied her surroundings as he fetched her dress. Though the space was unfamiliar, it was still filled with an essence of him. A feeling… It was homey… it was… familiar and comfortable though she’d never been there. It was filled with him.

Nodding her head in thanks as she received the dress, Claire waited until he left the room again before quickly peeling herself out of the curve-hugging soaked fabric she currently wore – all of it. Despite the fact that her hair was soaked, as she slipped into the fresh, dry gown, it seemed to warm her. A scent caught her attention and she lowered her head, lifting the bodice to her nose, inhaling deeply. It was his scent. Daniel’s… And Charlotte’s… She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply once more before releasing the fabric to fall against her chest once more. Turning, she studied the room once more before her eyes landed on the tank on the bookshelf.

Breaking into a broad grin, she made her way over to it, pressing her finger against the glass. A small quiet sound slipped from her throat as the fat toad within lifted his foot and pressed it against the glass as well. “Spot,” she whispered quietly. A small clattering from behind her made her swivel around. Daniel. Daniel Daniel, not Charlotte Daniel. Comfortable enough around her to be himself… despite everything. The thought pleased her and she smiled at him… a small smile. Sad. But happy. Reminiscing. Realizing herself, she broadened her grin and gestured to the fat toad, her finger still pressed against the glass.

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"He told me to hang onto him," Daniel replied. "Because you'd come back, eventually. Smart toad."

He left it at that, pouring hot water into an elegant looking pot, using the leaves through a strainer, because he didn't want to tempt fate with them. The blend was aromatic and fruity, with hints of spearmint and raspberry leaves. It tingled the nose pleasantly as he brought the entire tray over and cleared some papers from the coffee table to set things down and pour it out. He took a seat in one of the other chairs and took his cup.

"Glad that works for you," he noted about the dress.
He was trying to remain calm, polite, but he so desperately wanted her back. He wanted to kiss her, tell her it'd be okay, lay with her on the couch until they both drifted off, and start fresh. It was evident in the way he looked at her. Just stay with me, his eyes said. I can do better. I can LOVE better.

No strings attached.