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 Half Light, Atlas
Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 21 2010, 11:24 PM


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The world had muted in strange ways. Like someone had stuff wool, not into his ears but into other senses that he hadn’t been aware existed. He blinked at the objects around the room, trying to think if they had changed shape or color with his new perceptions. Sound was the same, and so was the light, it was more his body that felt differently. Oddly heavier as if it had been welded securely to the ground and left there unattended for a number of years, causing corrosion and rust. It was like being dead, was the conclusion Atlas came to quickly as he sat absolutely still. Different in feeling from the way his body had reacted after the Ministry incident.

Does it feel like I missed anything? How’re you doing? Finally Atlas looked up, if only just to confirm that it was still possible. The potion left on his tongue now felt like low grade acid, burning its way along his mouth and down his throat, his breath must have been terrible. Shifting he fumbled for a mint, one of the dozen or so scattered on the side table and chewed it. Reminding himself that this was what Calixtus must have felt like all the time, everyday, he nodded to Jasper. All the candles had been snuffed out and now he was in the dark while Jasper uncomfortably fumbled over the neat piles in the living-room. Mostly books, arranged into small mountains that Jasper strode over like a giant, searching out gin. Yes drinking, there was one sure way to fill the time.

Standing Atlas had to catch himself on the sofa arm as things worked their way into place. This too had been a concern, that shutting down would inhibit measures put in place by Mungos. The process might be compromising his immune system to begin with, leaving already injured places the worse for wear. He was a bubble boy, free from his spherical prison for the first time, and desperately wanting to get back to it.

Want any? Further exploration of his new scenario was stopped as Atlas came back to attention, watching Jasper turn with a drink in hand...there was no way that the gin had been cold. I'd say we've got about six hours on our hands, so you probably want to say yes.

“Six hours?” He sounded like a small child told he wasn’t going to be allowed out to play that day. When he spoke again he tried for a more petulant teenager tone. He’d work his way back up to adult. “Yes...just straight....what do you think my tolerance is like this? Lower?” Was Cal’s lower he wondered, suddenly curious about what traits had magical buffers and which lacked them. “Did you think about doing a freezing charm?” He waved his arm in imitation of a wand flick and felt a thud in the side of his head. He wouldn’t try saying the incantation, instead he pulled himself up again, “Or there’s ice in the Freezer.” He bumped into the end table, not particularly hard, but enough to cause Jasper to jump and take a step forward, as if Atlas might need some assistance. “M’fine. Just a little disoriented.” Reminders of Calixtus, his movements about the room and his disjointed function rolled in with his over active mind. “This must be what Calixtus feels like...I can’t say that it’s pleasant, but I don’t think anything is left active. Running dark.” The thought of Cal and the six hours they had to spend pricked at Atlas’ brain, going into the places where other thoughts should have been, where spells should have been.

Empty nest syndrome of the mind, he needed to fill the space back up, too much of it would let thoughts drift around with no port to enter...bad things. “Are you alright? You look a bit flustered. So long as I’m an invalid I had some experiments I thought we could run, upstairs in the lab?”

"Or we could stay here, there's going to be a hoarders marathon."
up!
Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 22 2010, 04:25 PM


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“Six hours?”

Atlas sounded about as enthused as Jasper at that prospect. Possibly even less so because he was the one without magic for those hours. Jasper hoped that eventually Atlas would fall asleep and he could at least sneak into another room and catch up on some transfigurations for the shop, but he suspected they'd both be too restless and wary. Atlas certainly wouldn't want to sleep with the chance that Shallah could be attacking them at any second. That might have been something more wisely kept to himself.

“Yes...just straight....what do you think my tolerance is like this? Lower?”

Jasper had no idea. Research on magical versus muggle differences like that was limited, and even more unclear in complicated cases like magical lapses and squibs. Atlas accepted his drink with a slight frown of disappointment when he felt that it was lukewarm.

“Did you think about doing a freezing charm? Or there’s ice in the Freezer.”

"I thought I'd try to keep residual magic at a min--" Atlas had swayed forward and jarred the table and he put a hand out reflexively. If Shallah did try to attack them in this state they were well doomed. Atlas waved away his offer of assistance and sat back with the warm gin.

“M’fine. Just a little disoriented.”

Jasper could relate. The static sensation was fading a little as his mind slotted Atlas' various spells into place, but he still didn't feel like himself. The spells were like someone tapping him constantly on both shoulders and humming behind him. Totally maddening. He sat down on the other end of the sofa.

“This must be what Calixtus feels like...I can’t say that it’s pleasant, but I don’t think anything is left active. Running dark.”

There was an expansive and uncomfortable pause. What was he supposed to say in response to a mildly, perhaps unconsciously, derogatory comment about his boyfriend? They had six hours to spend together, he couldn't really be defensive. And it seemed as though Atlas had meant it only as an offhand comment, for once not purposely expressing disdain for Cal. He shrugged and took a sip of his gin. It was awful.

“Are you alright? You look a bit flustered."

Jasper nodded. He hadn't realized how annoyed he must have looked for Atlas to comment. "Just working out the spells. I'll be okay in a few minutes."

"So long as I’m an invalid I had some experiments I thought we could run, upstairs in the lab? Or we could stay here, there's going to be a hoarders marathon."

The Hoarders marathon sounded like a fate worse than death, but Jasper did accept the offer of tv until he felt up to working. They got through half an episode of something called Iron Chef, which seemed to be mostly a Japanese man shouting and gesturing at squab, at which point Jasper expressed certain homicidal thoughts and Atlas consented to To Catch a Thief. That left them with about three hours to go and Jasper felt like he was going to explode if they sat still any longer or it Atlas offered him popcorn one more time.

"Right, I'm going mental here. I'm feeling better now, we could do a few of those experiments if you're up for it. If they're not too magically intensive. It might not be the best idea and I'm not up for anything too tough. You feeling any different? Anything going on with the--"

up!
Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 22 2010, 05:14 PM


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Atlas hadn’t watched to Catch A Thief with Jasper in a long time, at least a few months, probably since before the events at the Ministry. Now that he had he realized that he’d been meaning to perform another background check with Harry, just to make sure....he very well could have had an earlier career as an actor, time turners were amazing little things. He’d tried to ask Jasper about it a few times during the film he’d tried to ask Jasper about the whereabouts of Harry, only to be shushed as if he was interrupting a blessing from the pope. Grace Kelly was there, all other questions and conversation were going to have to wait. Atlas couldn’t feel the dilabo kicking around in his skull, but even if he had, even if Shallah had burst through the confines of the house and started to nibble on him, Jasper wouldn’t have moved from his position on the sofa. She was beautiful and if he felt the need for conversation he could throw that out and watch Jasper nod enthusiastically in reply.

By the time the credit were rolling Atlas felt himself beginning to drift. Not toward sleep, but into the abysmal sheep filed half space where he wouldn’t feel rested but remained there with the thought that he might. Jasper pulling himself on the sofa brought him back a a bit, unsettling the cushions as they adjusted to the loss of weight.

Right, I'm going mental here. I'm feeling better now, we could do a few of those experiments if you're up for it. He wasn’t really sure that he was. He still had that floating feeling he’d gotten the moment Jasper had cut off the last of his magic. Floating but welded to the ground, always looking at the same view while he turned in the wind. Moving might help, mental stimulus to replace what felt like great expanses of nothing in his mind. What was left there was just rolling around, knocking against the inside of his skull.

If they're not too magically intensive. It might not be the best idea and I'm not up for anything too tough. You feeling any different? Anything going on with the--

“Dilabo.” Atlas didn’t know how Jasper felt about it being said aloud, but he’d found that for him saying it often made it better. Acknowledging it the same way Jasper wanted people to just say ‘squib’ when talking about Cal. Pulling himself up was unsuccessful on the first try, and the second, on the third Jasper offered his hand and Atlas took it, trying not to make eye contact.

“I feel...weird. Stiff physically, mentally....unsound. No clear reaction though.” He pulled back from Jasper, heading toward the stairs. “Its the perfect time to do the testing phase really. I’ve been working on a few things for Calixtus, defenses that he could use if anything were to happen. I didn’t want to test them on him because well.” he pushed open the door to the third floor lab and made his way in, turning to relock the door when Jasper was in and then remembering that his hands to the wood wouldn’t do anything.

“I didn’t think that you’d approve.” Stopping he sweapt a hand over the table before them. In it were a few items, playing cards a money clip a few bouncy balls and a jar containing a thick looking silvery liquid. “Choose your poison.”
up!
Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 28 2010, 12:17 AM


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“Dilabo.”

Jasper wasn't sure which of them was being more childish, him for not being able to say the word or Atlas for saying it just to provoke a reaction. He didn't comment and tried to keep his expression from doing so as Atlas struggled up from the couch. Offering a hand up without the implication of pity was a challenge. He'd honed the gesture when Atlas was staying with him after the attack and had improved its execution, if not perfected it. They both got through with minimal embarrassment and he let Atlas lead the way up the stairs. Just in case something was waiting to attack at the top. Always a real risk in SHOP.

“Its the perfect time to do the testing phase really. I’ve been working on a few things for Calixtus, defenses that he could use if anything were to happen. I didn’t want to test them on him because well.”

Because Jasper had asked him not to put Cal in danger. That was the problem with Atlas' inventions. While they were usually genius, he lacked the caution that Jasper considered the most important part of the creation process. Sure, the combination circular saw/dart gun had been brilliant and handy once the kinks were worked out, but Jasper would have had the forethought to not mount the saw on the handle quite so close to the trigger sometime before the testing phase.

Atlas paused, fingertips on the door and forehead creased in disappointment, once they were inside the lab. He couldn't relock it now, of course. Jasper took a step backward and waved Atlas away so he could set the wards in place. When he turned around Atlas was looking down at an odd array of objects spread across his lab table. It looked like the contents of an office drawer, the one where you shoved things you didn't use very often and they eventually got buried under a mound of worn out highlighters and half-used pads of sticky notes.

“Choose your poison.”

Years of experience had taught Jasper that the more innocuous one of Atlas' inventions looked, the more likely it was to set your hair on fire. All but the jar of liquid were right out, then. With the cards he estimated he might live for around four minutes. He picked up the jar and unscrewed the lid. It couldn't be that dangerous if Atlas had made it to be useful for Cal.

"What's this one? A shield?"

He poked a finger into it experimentally and it came away with a strand of the stuff, like partially dried glue. After some explanation from Atlas they ended up with part of Atlas' arm in what looked like a gunmental cast and Jasper holding what Atlas told him was a Turkish scimitar from the mid-16th century. He tapped the blade cautiously off the metal then raised it to strike harder.

"You're sure about this? If I screw up, you're well aware of my healing skills."

He looked from blade to arm and realized how glad he was that Atlas and Cal weren't running these tests before slicing through the air. The scimitar bounced off the shield with a metallic clang. Not bad against Muggle weapons, then. He was more reluctant to try guns, especially the kind Atlas created. As he raised the blade again he noticed a growing red aura at the edge of the shield.

"Mate is your arm okay? Is there some kind of solvent for this stuff?"
up!
Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 28 2010, 12:36 AM


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It was going rather brilliantly. He’d tried suggesting that Jasper might be more comfortable in the harem pants and the turban that went along with the sword. But then Jasper, who had been tense all evening (when not watching the goddess that was Ms. Kelly), had lost his sense of humor and brandished the thing at him menacingly. He was an aristocrat, unequal sword fights with commoners were in his blood, Atlas had retracted his statement. Now he watched the way the sword came down, wincing, but trying his best to keep his eye open as it met with his arm. Nothing, no pain, he barely felt the hit actually, even the force appeared to have been negated somewhat.

Which had been the plan really. Being able to take a few hits from a sword was one things, but having it knock you down wouldn’t be very helpful. He waited as Jasper took another strike, a slash this time with more force behind it judging from the way his friend was standing, legs apart and shoulders squared. It met with his skin again and again was pressed back, but there was pain this time. Low level, like a contact burn from a fire spell.

Mate is your arm okay? Is there some kind of solvent for this stuff? Atlas paused to look down at his arm, rubbing at the stuff, couldn’t feel the heat but he could see it from the edges of the coating. Rather than responding he made a non committal sound and then looked at the scimitar. It was still wobbling, long after it should have stopped and then it feel apart, streaming away like sand grains. Jasper, looking like a panicked gazelle near a crocodile hole dropped it and stumbled back, taking out his wand as if it might help.

“It’s fine.” Atlas urged, dropping to his knees to collect up some of the dust. “That’s what its supposed to do...could do with a quicker reaction. Should stop a bullet but I’m not positive it would melt it...” It had started to burn more. “As for that.” Indicating the light beneath the veneer. “That’s one of the problems....starts to eat through the skin the longer its on. I thought maybe you could do some time modifications? Put your work to good use.”

Standing back up he cracked his spine, then his shoulders. “Takes it a bit to go through though. We need to take advantage of the time. You need to try a few spells. Terrorists aren’t really going to come at him with a blade or a crow bar.” Jasper looked less than enthused. “If something goes wrong just use the green bouncy balls. Need to test those too....Well, when you’re ready.”
up!
Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 29 2010, 11:58 PM


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Jasper, primarily concerned with the fact that Atlas' skin might be dissolving, didn't notice the change in the scimitar until the blade disintegrated with a faint whoosh of silver dust. He stared at the floor of the lab, open mouthed. That was one of the main problems with Atlas' inventions. He didn't always bother to tell you all the things they could do. This was one of the more harmless results of such an omission. Atlas, apparently unbothered by the upcoming loss of a limb, was busy scooping up bits of what had very recently been a rather nice antique weapon. Jasper stayed still, holding the useless hilt of the thing.

“It’s fine. That’s what its supposed to do...could do with a quicker reaction. Should stop a bullet but I’m not positive it would melt it...”

Jasper didn't need to point out that there was only a slight chance Shallah might consider bullets, considering she could throw fireballs out of her hands. He didn't enquire how effective the shield might be against those. Atlas glanced down at his arm, which was now alarmingly red around the edges of the shield.

“As for that. That’s one of the problems....starts to eat through the skin the longer its on. I thought maybe you could do some time modifications? Put your work to good use.”

Defensive magic wasn't really Jasper's specialty. If anything it was his biggest downfall. He hated how quick and haphazard it was. At least Atlas had put some sort of organization into the process here, though he looked down at his friend's arm again and wondered if there was quite enough. In an actual defensive situation the distraction of having your arm toasted was dangerous, and Cal would be at such a disadvantage anyway if he had to use these things--

“We need to take advantage of the time. You need to try a few spells. Terrorists aren’t really going to come at him with a blade or a crow bar." Jasper swallowed. It wasn't something he liked to imagine. "If something goes wrong just use the green bouncy balls. Need to test those too....Well, when you’re ready.”

Jasper picked up the item Atlas indicated, glowing a slightly radioactive green. When he touched it, it turned warm against his fingertips as the spells inside came to life, waiting. He pocketed it and focused on finishing the test on the shield before Atlas had to go back to Mungos. A couple of basic ones to mirror things Shallah might try, first a modified, stronger version of the fire charm he used to light his cigarettes, one for freezing. The shield bounced them easily until he tried a mild electrical current, at which point it crackled through the air around them, standing their hair up comically on end. Jasper fumbled for the ball and bounced it quickly off the lab table and the air stilled instantly.

"Right, so not good with electric shock." He pulled out a stool from the lab table and perched on it, turning the bouncy ball between his fingers. It had solidified and turned black. "The shield itself seems solid, it's just a temporal issue. I could try a reverse of the spells I did with Cal, actually. Speed up the reaction in relation to time outside the shield--"

He looked down at Atlas' arm.

"Take that thing off, we'll do another round of testing later once we sort out why it's doing that, too." He leaned his chin in one hand, thinking as he spread a film of the silver substance from the jar over a sheet of parchment, prodding it with his wand for diagnostics. "A slight change in the atomic structure might help, something a little less like a conductor--"

He screwed the lid back onto the jar. "I'll do some work at home and bring it back tomorrow with the changes. Maybe we can work in a way for it to form a second layer against the skin?" The bouncy ball was rolling toward the edge of the table and he caught it as it dropped. "What do these do anyway?"

He paused, waiting for Atlas to peel the shield away.

"Thanks for doing all this, mate. You didn't have to."
up!
Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 01:41 AM


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Jasper was talking science. Rare for Atlas to hear these days after years of being conditioned to tune out talks about models or this band or the other, or the dis-merits of national radio, it took a moment for Atlas to adjust his internal settings to listen. All of it sounded like it was a plausible, Cal’s temporal spells were essentially to making the entire thing work, but he’d been reluctant to present the shields to either man before they had been properly tested.

Atlas was mid way across the room, going toward the large crock where he’d stored the shield solvent when he heard Jasper thank him. It was a rare enough occurrence that Atlas could have counted it off on fingers, toes and appendages with relative ease. Jasper wasn’t looking at him, was leaned over the table examining the ball like it was a puzzle box, rather than something Atlas had picked up surplus at a party supply store. “Did you just thank me?” That made Jasper look up, raising his eyebrows like it was the most natural thing in the world for him to have done. Sighing Atlas finished his journey plunging his arms into the stuff and letting it sit for a moment, feeling the shield slowly dissolve replaced by the too cold feeling of the solvent racing up and down his arm, repairing any damage that had been left from the experiment.

“Cal needs some defenses, besides that horrible pistol he carries around. Looks like it needs to be cleaned, by the way, have to tell him that....” He was drying the arm now, examining for any damage and not finding any lingering as he returned to the work table. “Wasn’t much else to do really. Insomnia is a horrible thing. Was this or late night muggle comedy marathons. This was a much more worthy use of time.” Plucking the ball from Jasper’s hands Atlas tossed it over his shoulder, listening to it as it pin balled across the room. Something shattered and Jasper shudder, pulling a face.

“They’re pre loaded spells. I tried a few different chambers, but the rubber actually holds the spell best, keeps it fresh. Worst was tomatoes....and they’re a little impractical to carry around. These are basic things, a few healing spells, an alarming charm, emergency port keys...one or two have offensive magic, that purple one has a nasty poison spell in it. I can set it to Cal’s dna, the spells can’t be used on him, with some more work they would only react to his touch. Sort of hard though without him being able to spark it.”

Cal’s limitations were the main challenge, but they’d also served to give Atlas a break from thinking about anything else. A welcome distraction. At the mention of what they could actually do, Jasper had inched away from the work table, as if Atlas had just told him that they were working with radioactive isotopes, or with Marlene, may she rest in automatic rifle heaven. To refute Jasper’s wordless accusation that Atlas was trying to kill them all he juggled a few of them, feeling the rubber of the ball but nothing else. Nothing. One of the balls fell from his hand and rolled out onto the floor. He more carefully disposed of the others.

“Pretty clever, isn’t it. Putting my brain to good use for once.” One ball was still in his hands, a glittery one, gold flecked that he offered to Jasper. “Take that one home, see if it works when he touches it. Feel a bit awkward asking him myself...” He felt tired suddenly, a bit dizzy. “Want to go back downstairs? Feeling tired, we might be able to find more Grace on the classic movie channel....”
up!
Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 09:27 PM


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Atlas seemed slightly flustered by Jasper's gratitude, pretending to be very interested in the vat of solvent for longer than necessary. Was he really so surprised that Jasper was grateful? He had to know that Jasper wasn't equipped to make this kind of stuff, and Cal certainly wasn't. Plus he was under no obligation to do more than the minimum in his research with Cal, especially given the fact that his magic was still working its way back to full capacity. Jasper let the conversation slide back into more comfortable territory.

“Cal needs some defenses, besides that horrible pistol he carries around. Looks like it needs to be cleaned, by the way, have to tell him that....”

Jasper smiled sarcastically. "You know my feelings on firearms. You shaped my feelings on firearms. You and Rita or Ruby or whoever..."

Atlas returned to the lab table and flung the ball into the recesses of the lab, looking a little too gleeful when something crashed in a dark corner. A lobster bandit scurried across the floor in surprise. Jasper waited for an explosion but it mercifully didn't happen. Atlas, with his usual disregard for keeping his limbs in tact, was juggling several of the bespelled balls as he explained the various ways they could die if he dropped one. The entertainment value of Jasper flinching eventually faded, apparently, because he caught them all neatly and put them aside, offering a garish gold one for inspection.

“Take that one home, see if it works when he touches it. Feel a bit awkward asking him myself...”

Of course he would. This all had to be awkward for Atlas; it explained why he wanted Jasper to do the testing. Developing things like this was as good as Atlas saying to Cal, 'Oh right, I remembered you were rubbish if something dangerous happened;' no matter how good his intentions were there was bound to be an undercurrent of offense. Jasper accepted the offered ball, which looked like it had suffered an encounter with Apollo and his bedazzler. Atlas puffed a breath out. It was the sound he'd made when he'd been in the early stages of walking again after the SHOP attack, part frustration and part exhaustion. Jasper glanced up at the clock; it was getting quite late.

"Not a problem. Cal's pretty good with that kind of workaround himself, has to be I guess--" He trailed off.

“Want to go back downstairs? Feeling tired, we might be able to find more Grace on the classic movie channel....”

"Yeah, sure." Jasper pocketed the ball cautiously. "We should probably switch your magic back on soon. I'm knackered and I don't want to fall asleep before we do. I'm not sure the defensive spells will keep running if I'm not paying attention."

He started down the stairs then thought about Atlas' suggestion and turned back, feet on two different risers.

"What do you mean, more Grace?"
up!
Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 09:40 PM


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Jasper had paused, feet spaced out on the stairs, effectively blocking the way back down. The expression on his face slowly shifting from the tired and guarded veneer he’d had on since Atlas had suggested coming up to the work room to something more akin to joy. Not hopping up and down exuberance but the sort seen on the faces of children when they heard a particularly attractive and fun babysitter was coming over. As long as he’d been friends with Jasper Atlas had known that Grace Kelly was probably going to be the only woman of his heart. When she was even mentioned Jasper got a sort of day glow look, like someone had sprayed him with pixie dust and sent him off to never land. To him she was the perfect ideal. Beautiful, poised well dressed and dead, excepting her from being tarnished in his eyes by a suggestion from Eres about marrying her. Though, had she not been otherwise engaged, Atlas thought Jasper might have been eager to agree.

“You know...Rear Window, The Swan......those old variety show appearances.” Carefully he took a step down onto the stair well, only to look up from the placement of his feet and find Jasper was still there, still blocking the way. “I mean, if you really like we could watch To Catch a Thief again...it’s you doing me the favor...” There was only so much international jewel thievery and Cary Grant that Atlas could watch in one night. More than one and a half viewings and he’d start work on his theory about Freud and just why Jasper was so infatuated with that one film.

This time when he looked up Jasper was gone, just the pounding of feet on the stairs and the edge of his shirt tale. Somewhat like a goat bounding down a mountain, Atlas exhibited somewhat less speed and grace as he made his own way down the stairs, coming back into the living room to find Jasper near bouncing with glee in front of the TV.

“Jas?”
up!
Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 09:48 PM


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Usually it was best to not believe Atlas when he said something outlandish. If you started buying in, soon you'd be going on hunts for were-panthers and making a tinfoil fedora for your next trip to the National UFO Fancier's Convention, Milton Keynes Regional Edition. But this was about Grace. Not even Atlas would joke about that. He was saying something about windows and swans but Jasper wasn't listening. He'd heard more Grace and that was really enough. The sooner the better.

Once he'd gotten down the stairs he realized Atlas wasn't there and he didn't know how to make more Grace appear. He waited on the couch as he listened to the slower footsteps on the stairs, impatient. How could there be more Grace? Wasn't she just preserved, perfect and untouchable, in To Catch a Thief? It had been Jasper's favorite film since Harry had brought it home when he was five, a small prop for when they had Muggles over at their new house in London. He'd been inconsolable when Harry had been forced to explain that they couldn't invite Grace over for tea, but that hadn't stopped him from wearing out six subsequent dvds until he learned to just charm the tv to play what he wanted. By then he'd memorized the movie.

"Atlas hurry up." His friend had appeared in the doorway. "I hope you're being serious. If there's more Grace why didn't you tell me sooner? What's Rear Window?"
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Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 10:00 PM


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Patience had never been one of Jasper’s strong suits. One of the few major carry overs from his childhood of elephant rides and summer holidays and corner-less rooms. As with anything when Jasper wanted something he wanted it right then, with the immediacy of a summon rather than the slow and painful pace of reality. Of late his limited patience had been strained still further, when the mention of the possibility for more Grace Kelly it had all but shattered, leaving behind a child like innocent, whose eyes kept going between the TV and the person who could make it operate to provide him with more of his true love, right at this instant.

If there’s more Grace why didn’t you tell me sooner? What’s rear window? All said very fast as Jasper continued to fidget, he’d found the remote, but obviously had no idea what it meant. He brandished it like a sword, leaving Atlas to roll his eyes and carefully take it back from him.

“Of course theres more Grace Kelly films, she was one of the shining jewels of old Hollywood. How did you not know there was more? Just thought you liked the one.” Aiming the device he blipped on the tv, causing Jasper to scoot forward on the sofa, leaning in as if Atlas would be able to summon her up from the static. “Rear Window is a Hitchcock film...he was a director. Its about a bloke who breaks his leg and goes about spying on his neighbors. Noble profession if you ask me, it’s where I got the idea for the upstairs telescope from it actually.” Maybe the fact that it was an idea that took place in a Grace movie would mean Jasper wold finally stop whining at him about taking the things down. Always on about privacy and boundaries and the like.

Stopping on the channel revealed Lawrence of Arabia and Jasper sank back into the sofa looking crushed. “Oh, move over.” Jasper didn’t, he stayed looking at the tv until Atlas sat down heavily, nearly crushing one of his legs and then giving him a good natured shove the rest of the way over. “Can’t you just summon it up? What you do with everything else....you really thought there was only one Grace Kelly movie? Didn’t Harry and Eres get you the others?”
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Jasper Christie
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 10:56 PM


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Atlas took the remote with a look suggesting Jasper was being very trying. Really Atlas was the one who was being trying, withholding the alleged further Grace. Jasper stayed perched on the edge of the couch as Atlas went through the silly Muggle pantomime of using the small box to operate the telly. Honestly, Muggles made everything so complicated. He refused to buy into it, despite Cal's constant protests that using the small box was very easy and almost like a wand.

“Of course theres more Grace Kelly films, she was one of the shining jewels of old Hollywood. How did you not know there was more? Just thought you liked the one.”

Jasper did, in fact, like the one very much. But he'd always assumed that was it. Perfect Grace had made one perfect film then ascended into royalty, where she belonged. He'd never dreamed of asking for more than that.

“Rear Window is a Hitchcock film...he was a director. Its about a bloke who breaks his leg and goes about spying on his neighbors. Noble profession if you ask me, it’s where I got the idea for the upstairs telescope from it actually.”

Jasper rolled his eyes. He'd hoped the telescope hadn't survived the SHOP attack, but Atlas had gone shopping for a replacement almost right away. 'Top priority,' he'd proclaimed as he dragged Jasper around some shop in Oxford Circus that was full of security cameras and furtive looking men in trench coats. The telly buzzed and flickered. Some sandy blokes appeared with a pack of camels. Jasper, momentarily interested, slumped back in disappointment. Grace would never deign to be in the presence of camels. Only regal animals were suitable for her. Atlas took the opportunity to almost tackle him into the cushions and Jasper narrowly avoided having his femur snapped as he shuffled toward the side of the sofa.

“Can’t you just summon it up? What you do with everything else....you really thought there was only one Grace Kelly movie? Didn’t Harry and Eres get you the others?”

"We only owned one movie, I'm not even sure they knew there were others. We just had it to show to Muggles when they came round. So they thought that wizards weren't so different." The last phrase with some irony. "I can summon it probably--"

He paused, wand out at the TV. Having failed to adopt the actual functions of Muggle technology, he'd developed a spell that let him command the telly to play whatever he liked. Which was mostly To Catch a Thief, but on rare occasions he took requests. A flick of his wand brought a sleeping man in a wheelchair onto the screen. Grace wasn't there. Jasper's eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"Well? Atlas if this is some kind of trick--" He swished his wand again and paused the movie. "Is Grace coming or not? If she is we should reset your magic first, I'm going to have to concentrate on this."
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Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Aug 30 2010, 11:10 PM


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As Jasper rattled on about the purpose of the original and now long gone copy of his favorite film Atlas had to roll his eyes. Repressing the urge to point out that owning one muggle film from the 1950s, a bygone era by even most older wizards standards, wasn’t the best way to put muggles at ease was difficult. Especially when one gave consideration to how magically reliant both Jasper and his mother were. All the muggles films in the congressional vault weren’t going to convince anyone of your harmless normalcy when they looked down to find a 7 year old turning pebbles into tea sets, freshly brewed tea included.

The time to mention it passed before he could think of a sufficiently snarky thing to say, Jasper had flicked his wand and managed to come up with the correct movie. Hitchcock’s familiar and still off putting shadow appeared followed by the opening scene, Jimmy Stewart, noble wheel chair bound and spying on his neighbors with a telescope. Atlas was settling into the sofa, easing in for a potentially enjoyable hour or so. Jasper would be happy, something that had been in short supply over the past few months. Maybe they could even banter, Jimmy Stewart said remarkably stupid things throughout the entire film.

Well? Atlas if this is some kind of trick... Jasper paused the movie and Atlas lulled his head over to watch the other man. He looked like someone who’d just been screwed out of a good time. Like maybe this was a clever rouse on Atlas’ part, a way for them to finish Hello Dolly, which Jasper had watched a full 2 hours of before depriving Atlas the chance to see if poor Irmengaurd got her man. Or to watch Gene Kelly dance on roller skates. He could be so picky. Is Grace coming or not? If she is we should reset your magic first, I'm going to have to concentrate on this. Serious business. Atlas wondered if he should offer to leave the room, let Jasper and Grace have some alone time.

They’d probably end up with it anyway as he yawned and streatched, nodding at the same time. “Yes, she’s here, promise. Right about to walk in before you frooze poor Jimmy mid monologue.” Jasper turned back to the Tv so fast Atlas had to skate tot he side to avoid getting a wand tip in the eye. “Potions should be wearing off soon, would you care to hand over the rest?We’ve given it a good go of things, and then you can watch Grace. Live and in technicolor. Promise.”

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Jasper Christie
Posted: Sep 4 2010, 10:19 PM


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Jasper didn't care about Jimmy, whoever that was, or anyone else appearing on a television screen who wasn't Grace. He felt about her the way Cal felt about Christian Bale, except in a far more appropriate and gentlemanly manner. Ready to start the film playing again, he almost missed Atlas' agreement that it was time for the experiment to come to an end. All in all it had been something of a let down. Not that he'd wanted Shallah to sort out what they were up to, but it seemed like they'd gone to a lot of effort for no result at all aside from substantial stress and lost sleep. Exhaling, he held a hand out toward Atlas, palm up, so they could do the transfer back.

Letting go of the spells was a lot easier than taking them on, and Atlas seemed pleased to have control again. Jasper paused once they'd done the transfer, waiting for something dramatic, but nothing happened. A clock ticked somewhere, a lobster bandit scuttled across the floor from beneath one chair to another, upstairs Rudolph lost an arm or leg bone. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.

Tired as he was, Jasper wasn't prepared to go home without discovering if Grace really was going to appear, so he started the movie again. And then, amazingly, there she was. Doing all new things, in new clothes and new places and with new people. Jasper was enthralled. Grace in an evening gown with a diaphanous white skirt, Grace intrepidly spying on nefarious apartment dwellers, Grace bestowing the kind of good morning kiss Jasper had imagined a million times on the utterly undeserving and slovenly Jimmy. He watched the whole thing leaning forward, elbows on his knees, and didn't look at Atlas until the credits were rolling. The other man had fallen asleep slumped against the arm of the sofa.

"Mate?" Jasper prodded Atlas in the shoulder gently, glancing at his watch. "I'm going to get home, all right?"
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Atlas Caedmon
Posted: Sep 4 2010, 10:48 PM


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The spells, when Atlas took them back, felt different. More sterile. Like they had gone through a disinfectant process, he would need to get them a little bit sullied before they could feel at home back in his head. It did feel better though, like all the birds had come back to the nest. Jasper seemed to be relieved himself, blinking around at the room as if he were experiencing it again for the first time. Through new and un-muddled eyes. Really it wasn’t so bad.

Then Jasper blipped the TV back on and settled into his Grace position. Elbows to his knees, chin in his hands and with a light in his eyes that usually went out when children were told that there was no Santa but that the tooth fairy was very real and if they didn’t appease her she’d come for them. While they were sleeping.....

When Grace came on screen Jasper’s face melted and while Atlas did bother to watch a bit of the movie, he spent most of his time awake watching Jasper. When Grace smiled, he smiled more. When she twirled around in her dress, one of Jasper’s feet left the floor, just a few inches. Floating on air. Atlas would have rolled his eyes, but he didn’t have the energy or the heart. As he started to drift off, pulled down by exhaustion and a strange and building buzz in his head, he wondered about making a comment concerning Jasper watching this around Cal. Something about the other man’s jealousy and how Jasper might want to keep his affair between himself and Grace. It didn’t come though. Instead Atlas just settled into the arm of the sofa, feeling secure with Jasper there watching Grace and the scuttle of claws above and below.

He didn’t know how long he’d been asleep, but he didn’t dream. It made it jarring when Jasper began shaking his shoulder. Leaving him with the feeling that he had blinked and everyone had moved the furniture. He didn’t startle awake though, just opened his eyes and blinked at the change of light in the room. Before he lifted his head and angled himself to see Jasper more clearly. The afterglow of new Grace exposure was upon him and a glance at the TV showed that the movie had finished.

He’d have to make Cal a list...to tell Jasper about whenever things got a bit...however they got between the two of them.

I'm going to get home, all right?

‘“Mm...” Lifting a hand he scrubbed it over his face, the beginning of a beard. Ugh. “What time is it?” Jasper answered with some time or another, Atlas wasn’t really paying attention, just asked the question to wake himself up. “Yeah, fine.” As soon as he said it he knew that it wasn’t strictly the truth. He felt a little rickety, and light, like someone had pulled the couch out and left him hovering. Just tired, needed to wake up. “Did you do something to the lights?”

Hauling himself upright he went to stretch and thought better of it a moment later. His vision was fuzzyer than normal at the edges and the sounds the floor board made when he stepped didn’t sound like his floor. Instead he heard a sound like jello, have congealed, flowing over something. And the space behind his eyes hurt. “Jas.....” He turned to look back at Jasper, thinking to scold him for dimming the lights while he was trying to navigate the room, but Jasper wasn’t there when he looked. He was in a room that he didn’t recognize and there were voices that weren't his friend....and how had he ended up on the floor.

“Jasper?” When he hit the floor in the living room he didn’t register it. Sometimes he heard his friends voice, like it was on the wind, but wherever he was, it wasn’t comprehensible sound. Oddly he was hungry...so hungry. There had to be food here somewhere...he could smell it. It was just getting to it that seemed to be the problem. He felt so sluggish....

"Jasper?"
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