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Forums » Fantasy Roleplay » Two Ghosts, Two Exs, and One Wizard (one-on-one)

Wanted!  One roommate to share expenses on an apartment.  Two bedrooms, one bathroom, spacious living room, decent eat-in kitchen.  Apartment is within waling distance to grocery store and park.  Roommate must be employed and willing to share cleaning duties as well as expenses.  Easy house rules.  No children.  Small pets are up for debate.

Elk took down the advertisement he'd stuck on the refrigerator to remind himself to remove the ad from the paper.  He'd finally had someone answer the ad!  Just in time, too.  Rent was due in two days, and he hadn't finished his latest job yet.  He only got paid once the job was done, not before, no matter what, and his savings were starting to look very thin indeed.  He breathed a sigh of relief, glad that one disaster had been averted, and glanced around.  This was the neatest he'd ever had the apartment since he'd moved in.  He needed to make a good impression on his new roommate, especially considering everything they'd have to put up with concerning him.  Maybe he should make one more round around the place just to be sure.

Smiling to himself, he flicked the loose strands of his bright red hair over his shoulder.  Sometimes he didn't even know why he bothered to braid it.  It was always escaping!  Ah well.  A little bit more cleaning, and then everything should be set.  The living room took up the entire front of the apartment with a couch and two chairs as well as a coffee table.  All of the furniture as well as the rug of indiscernable color had seen better days, but they were comfortable.  The living room shifted directly into the kitchen with a counter and bar separating the kitchen from the living room.  Three stools stood at the bar looking into the small but clean kitchen.  It was a bit cramped, but it had all the necessary appliances.  A hall off to the right side of the kitchen led back into the two bedrooms and the bathroom.  The washer and dryer had their own closet in the hall, concealed behind two rickety doors that were barely hanging on.  Maybe he should fix those or replace them.  Rent here was cheap, which was nice, but it was cheap because the landlord refused to step foot into the building unless absolutely necessary.  No one knew why, but the apartment across from him had been empty since shortly after he moved in three months ago.  The last tenant had packed up and left in the middle of the night.  Annoying since he'd wanted that apartment to begin with, but the landlord refused to let him move without a better reason than, "I want to."

Elk closed his bedroom door and pushed the empty bedroom door open wider to seem inviting.  There.  Perfect!  Now just to wait for his new roommate.
Corey finally got out of the black car, honestly looking like he was about to throw up. He stumbled on the sidewalk, plopping down on it and laying on the ground, arms spread across. A man got out of the driver's side of the car, sighing and looking at him, shaking his head full of deep black hair. He fixed his glasses with a finger, rolling his light brown eyes and going over to his brother, grabbing him by the yellow sweater and trying to pull him up. A good 40 lbs of difference stopped him from doing so.

"Corey, it was barely a one hour drive" Castiel said with a struggling voice, trying to pull him up a couple times more, before giving up and looking at him with his arms crossed.
"It was 55 minutes too much" he whined, pushing on the ground with his hand to get up from the ground, using his other hand to balance on his bigger brother, almost making him fall down.
"You want to live alone with that attitude? Come on, get your things off the car." The brother chuckled, opening the door and reaching in to pull out a few boxes.
Corey took care of the suitcases that were tied on the car roof, taking them off with ease. He was lucky his flare up ended just a few days back, and he could do the whole moving in thing without much problems.

He put down the two suitcases and turned around, to look at the apartment complex. It looked... Old. It was completely painted in white, but in a way you know it got painted over at least 5 times, but they decided to give up the last 10 years. One of the apartments, in particular, was almost black. It had some pieces of white paint on it, but it looked like it was ripped as soon as it dried down, out of spite. The balcony, though, was more perfect than anything else in the whole street. He didn't know how to feel when he realised it was his neighbour apartment.
Cas stood near him, a box full of plants in hand.
"... At least the balconies look up to code." He commented, glancing between him and the complex. The younger took a deep breath, before slapping Castiel on the back and throwing the suitcases over his shoulder.
"That's the spirit! That's a good house, good roommate, good neighbors, and it totally doesn't creep me out that they tried to give me that black house for basically free!" He exclaimed, walking towards the house, Cas rushing behind him screaming at him to stop overworking his muscles, before ripping one of the two luggages out of his hands and bringing it for him.
"That house looks like we should call the police."
"And the landlord looked like we should mind our own business." Corey whispered back to him, before pulling out his keys with a big smile and opening the front door.

The hallway looked possibly even more old, but this time it didn't look like some teen tried to rip the wallpaper off the walls at least. He looked around, little stars in his eyes while admiring the pink and green wallpaper and the almost ancient lights every two feet, while the other seemed to only notice the little dried blood droplets that appeared once in a while.
"... Are you sure you don't want to live with me?" He tried to offer while walking a bit behind him, the younger walking at full speed to apartment 175B.
"We talked about this, too near professors houses, too far away from my job. Come on, you're still basically half an hour drive from me! You can come check that my roommate didn't kill me every other day." He shrugged, not even turning around. Castiel, on his behalf, started praying to Gods no one even mentioned in the last centuries.

He finally reached the door. He brushed through his hair, to fix them up a bit since they had some grass strands on them, and knocked.
When his roommate opened the door, his mouth opened wide. A moment of silence filled the hallway for a second. Castiel looked both reliefed and terrified at the same time. At least he knew who the future possible murdered was.
"Elk?" Corey said, well, screamed. He screamed once again, pulling him by the shirt into an hug, almost rising him and twirling him around.
"That's like, the best thing ever. Can you believe it? Dude! I'm your roommate!"
"Oh dear god." He heard Cas whisper to himself, turning around with two fingers over the bridge of his nose.
He finally put him down, now having to look up to him. He glanced from Elk to Cas, the biggest smile ever, before pulling him in a killing hug again.
"God, how long has it been?! I haven't seen you since graduation!"
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Elk heard the knock and glanced around once more as he walked toward the door. He needed to make a good impression! He only got one, and he really needed to keep this roommate. Or at least get them to pay this next rent. It was selfish and perhaps a little underhanded, he knew, but he was getting desperate. He would be able to pay them back as soon as he got paid.

He opened the door with a smile, his lips forming words of welcome before the door was even fully open. "Hello! It is good to see..." He trailed off, peering at the person in front of him. Didn't he know them?

The next thing Elk knew, he was being hugged and lifted off his feet like a rag doll. The stranger set him down, and Elk had enough of a chance to catch his breath and figure out who was assaulting him before he was lifted up once again into a hug. His vision blurred a little, and he was fairly certain he heard a rib crack or at least creak threateningly. Finally, he got his elbows up and pried himself loose from the hug that just might literally kill him.

"Corey Porter?" he wheezed, one hand on his ribs. "My. I barely recognized you!" He took a couple of steps back to save himself from more hugging. He didn't mind physical affection, but this was a little... aggressive for his tastes. He brushed off the long, loose black shirt he was wearing over grey chino pants before looking them over again. "Ah. Castiel, a pleasure to see you again, too," he said with a nod toward the elder brother before he turned his attention back to Corey. "What do you mean you're my roommate? Are you the one who answered the ad?"
"yeah I am! Who could've thought?"
Corey laughed a little bit, opening his arms and doing a little twirl to show his new self to his old friend.
"I changed quite a while since high school, huh?" He did, in fact. Everything changed. When he went to high school, he was still at the prime of his "I spend every day at the gym, for at least 3 hours" body, he had very short hair and used to dress in tight shirt.
Now, he was proud of his... "long" messy hair, in which he even got some very mild purple undertones, just to have that shine in the sun. Of course, he stopped going to the gym and gained a few pounds to hide his defined muscles, although they were still there. He was sure Elk's ribs felt them enough.
He also missed the flower tattoos on his collarbone he was now showing, thanks to the collar of the sweater being extremely loose.

"Hello Elwin, it's a pleasure to see you again." Cas greeted him, shaking his hand. From his dead stare, it looked like he was lying. He truly did look like a skeleton sometimes, and not of the funny kind. "At least we know you're with a known face. Mom will be happier." He said to Corey, who nodded. He took a few steps forward, to peak inside the house.
"That's nice! Did you furnish the house yourself? That's a nice set up" he complimented, looking around. Cas was talking behind him about the usual, always call, he could've covered him at work whenever and the same went for his siblings, that he was going to bring the rest during the week, to let Elk know about "the news" and that he was going to consider him responsible for everything that happened to his brother. Corey just shrugged him off, quickly gave him a gentle hug and sent him off.
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Elk took the invitation to look Corey over and nod in approval. Elk had also changed since high school, though his changes were not nearly as dramatic as Corey's. When in Hich school, he had been about as filled out as a string bean, lanky and somewhat uncoordinated. He appeared a bit more solid now, though still quite thin, and he moved with an assurance and grace he hadn't had before. The only drastic change was the shock of white hair near the front of his hairline that made him appear older and had most certainly not been there when in high school. He was also wearing dark, solid colors, something he never would have permitted before, but that was more of a case of wanting to make a good impression than an actual style choice.

He stood back and let Corey and Cas look around the place, listening and nodding along to Cas' nagging. Cas' comment about "the news" went right over his head. He was busy watching to make sure neither of them went into his room, and he sighed in relief when Corey sent Cas off with a hug. Now he just had to decide what to tell Corey, if anything. Maybe another day. Not right when he moved in. Besides, they had a lot to catch up on. This was even more awkward than if Corey had been a stranger.

"Would you like some tea?" Elk offered Corey politely, waving toward the kitchen. He was already moving in that direction. "I have a lot of choices. Or coffee. I don't know if it's any good. My last roommate left a bag and the coffee maker here."
"Coffee? Nah dude, you sit down, you know damn well to let me know handle the drinks." Corey said, dramatically showing him off to a chair and going to inspect the kitchen.
He fiddled around for a second, finding the bag and taking out the coffee from it. He squeezed his eyes to read the label, then his eyes widened and made a subtle disgusted face, putting the coffee back in the bag.
"A simple tea is fine." He said, leaning on the counter of the kitchen. "I'll bring over some real coffee from my job tomorrow. Oh!" he turned to him again, the same excitment he always had, since he was small. "Do you want me to make that green tea with lemon and honey drops, and rose essence with a stick of vanilla? I remember you used to always drink that at that coffee place I used to work at in high school. I think I everything with me if you want one."

Corey was simply oblivious to the awkwardness his old friend was feeling. For him it was just like the old times, feeling the same affection for him he always had. He was going to be happy with everyone, but that was Elk! They had every single lesson together in high school, and he remembered doing everything with him back in the days.
"Did you bleach your hair? It's nice on you you know? What else is new about you?"
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Elk took a seat on the end stool, watching Corey with amusement. He, himself, couldn't stand the taste of coffee, not even Corey's specially made ones, but even he knew enough to recognize a cheap, horrible bag of coffee when he saw it. Just as he expected, Corey's nose wrinkled in disgust, and the bag was gone. He kept the bag around because even cheap, nasty coffee was useful in other things, but that was the only reason.

"You carry around sticks of vanilla and essence of rose with you?" Elk asked, smiling. "Ah, but of course you do!" He drew one besocked foot up to rest on the edge of the stool and looped his arms around them. "If you have it and it is not too much trouble considering this is the day you just moved in, I'd love a cup. Seriously, though, I should be the one making you drinks. I'll make it up with food. I suppose that's what is new with me. I have become a rather decent cook! Remarkable, I know. Other than that, nothing particularly remarkable. I am working as a freelance artisanal engineer in homeopathic artistry, now, which I quite enjoy, but it is... fluctuating in pay. I only get paid when I complete a job, and while I make enough to cover rent, sometimes, I go for a couple of months before payment, which is why I needed a roommate with a steadier job than I."

He carefully avoided the comment about his hair. That was not a story he wanted to tell or could tell without revealing certain other truths he was not prepared to face yet.
"that's a deal I like." He said, walking over to his suitcases and taking out a school bag. He opened it on the kitchen counter and started taking out a lot of barista stuff. "It's almost dinner time anyway. I make us drinks, you make us food. And pancakes. God I miss your pancakes, you know that? I think about them every morning." He took out a tea kettle and filled it with water, putting it on the stove. Meanwhile, he was pouring the other ingredients in a little cup, occasionally swirling with the vanilla stick.

While he was waiting for the water to boil, he inspected the coffee machine, checking if it was up to his standard while listening to Elk. Yes, it was good enough. He took out his own decaf coffee and started pouring it in the filter.
"Artisanal engineer... In..." He tried to say after him, getting a bit lost. "I don't think I ever heard of it, you'll need to show me someday. I bet you're awesome at it though."

Now went to the fridge, and was very happy to find some almond milk. He took it and went back to his station, taking out a big purple cup, a bar of chocolate and strawberry juice.
As he waited for both drinks to be ready, he leaned on the counter again, turning back to him.
"Little update on my life, I stopped weight lifting, I got a little stuck on my college plan, but I should graduate in about 6 months. I stopped working at the That Heavenly Coffee back in our hometown and now I work at the Sweet Ambrosia near the library- I don't know if you ever saw it, that bar with the cute strawberry blonde barista?"
He heard the whistle of the kettle and turned around, seeing that the coffee was ready too.
He poured the tea in the little tea cup, poured the little liquid he made before in droplets and added a little bit of almond milk in it, less than an ounce. He then poured way more milk in the big cup, adding the strawberry juice and what looked like 3 shots of expresso, then cutting up some chocolate and throwing it inside.
He put the tea cup in front of Elk and sat in front of him, lightly clicking drinks.
"I'll bring you some more milk tomorrow. Cheers!"
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

"You miss my pancakes? That's what you miss?" Elk chuckled. "I have to admit, they are pretty good pancakes." He quieted as Corey spoke, resting his chin on his knee. His eyes narrowed as he studied Corey. He stopped lifting? And delayed his college plans? That was not like the Corey he remembered. There was something under that cheerful demeanor, something in the shadows that haunted Corey's eyes. Something had happened - no, was happening - to Corey, but Elk had no intention of prying into it. If Corey wanted to talk, he'd be there and listen, but Elk had his own secrets to keep and wouldn't appreciate Corey turning the spotlight on him. If they were going to room together, there was a high chance Corey would figure some of it out, but Elk wasn't about to offer up information on a silver platter. Or should he? They were old friends, but it had been surprisingly easy to fall out of touch. Perhaps it would be better if neither of them got too close.

The heavenly scent of Corey's special lemon green tea pulled him out of his thoughts, and he smiled at the little clink. Lifting the cup to his face, he breathed in deeply, savoring the aroma. "I think you've gotten better. Oh, this is a delight!" He took a moment to enjoy the tea before setting it down and rising to his feet. "Now it's my turn!" he stated with far more vigor.

He went around into the kitchen and shooed Corey out of his way so he could work in peace. He'd never learned how to share a kitchen, sadly. Pancakes were an easy thing to make no matter how fancy one made them, and he got to work, scattering ingredients and utensils all over the counter while the pan preheated on the stove.

As he worked, Elk commented, "I have to admit, I never expected to see you on my doorstep. Not once! How is your family?" That seemed to be a safe topic.
That was not a safe topic.
Thankfully he got kicked out of the kitchen. He stood in the living room, close enough to still talk but not enough for Elk to notice his face dropping slightly.

In the past year, his family made sacrifices for him he never wished them to make. They probably spent about half of his mother's paycheck in pain medication and therapy, the only reason they got by in a family of 6 was because Lady Methis was known as the do-it-all single mom, the neighborhood loved her to bits and helped her out with expenses and everything.
Harley refused to go to multiple national races when everything started, missing out on being noticed by scouts and offered a scholarship, thing that would've totally happened seeing the athletic talent that he was. His twin, Cecilia, started working at Corey's job, almost doing a full time to support his mom now that Corey was forced to stop working. His missed-out-twin, Walker, put his college career on hold too, to be by his side 24/7 during this whole ordeal.
And most importantly, he found out a while back that Castiel gave up a PhD scholarship at Columbia , his dream university to help them out.
That was most certainly, not the best topic.

He hesitated for a second, shuffling on his feet, turning around pretending to check out the living room.
"Uh- they're doing okay! Walker got a bit behind on his college schedule too, but he's working hard for that Journalism degree. He started working at the local newspaper too, this month. The twins are getting ready for their last year, hyper- Harley started to take on climbing and is possibly even better at it than he was in racing, and Ceci Is starting to go see colleges- she, uh, wants to go into astrophysics." He did the tour of the living room, paying too much attention to every single furniture.
"And Cas... Getting into theatrics and stuff... Oh!" As he looked at a thrown True crime paper on the ground, he found the perfect way to change subject.
"Did you know Cas got arrested a few months back? Cas. I mean, "I'm a 70 year old stuck up professor in the body of a 20 yo guy" Cas."
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

More unsaid words that Elk was not going to pry into. It seemed Corey had had a lot going on in his life. The whole family did. How unfortunate. Especially considering how talented the entire family was, and having those talents recognized would have made life a lot easier for all of them, but knowing them, likely someone got hurt or was ill and the entire group threw away everything to be there for that person. Sacrificial truly to a fault, the lot of them. He just hoped it wasn't their mother who was ill or injured. He liked her.

"Really? Cas?" Elk said, accepting the topic change with ease as he continued his work. "What on earth did he do? Rearrange the wrong shelf?"

He started plating up the pancakes, and taking a cue from Corey, he added strawberry syrup and preserves on top before sliding them onto the bar. "Time to eat!"
Corey laughed, slamming (gently, or he would've dented the table) the table with a closed fist. He then watched with eager eyes the pancakes as they were placed in front of him.
"Aww, you remember I like strawberry stuff. You never stopped loving me, right?" He joked, taking a fork and the first bite. "Oh, I forgot- I also broke up with Mary, I don't know if you remember her." He just dropped, easily like it was nothing. He hoped Elk treated that news like every other 'I broke up' he threw him almost every 6 months since he met him.

"Anyway, yes! I couldn't believe it when he called me to bail him out." He took another big bite, already being at almost half of the plate. He also hoped Elk remembered he ate for three most of the time.
"So, what happened is- he has this new friend, Morgan, right? 25, drop out, single parent with two kids under three that's trying his best. Odd couple huh?" He took a sip of this coffee. Unlike food, he liked to make it last.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense. Then you know Castiel and his full time nurse behaviour, and you understand he's trying to help them get back on their feet." He took another sip and put down the cup and the fork, pointing at Elk and looking at him.
"Morgan's not talking to his parents right? But they want the kids, so they came by with a lawyer and took them while Morgan was at work." he let a little silence take place, to create some tension.
"He drove all the way to Montana, right? And get this- I promise you I'm not making this up-" He put both hands on the table "He stole the kids. Broke in the house, took the kids, put them in the car and drove back here."
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Elk made no comment about Corey's revelation that he'd broken up again. He only dimly remembered the girl as it had been right about when Corey first dated her that Elk's attention had been drawn off onto his own path of study and they'd begun to drift apart. It wasn't a surprise, anyway, though he had thought Corey had liked the girl more. Oh well.

"He stole the children?" Elk repeated in disbelief at Corey's story. He got up and fetched Corey a few more pancakes. "Good grief! I mean, I can completely see where he was coming from, but those poor children! How traumatic, and how very like your brother." He chuckled and shook his head. "Such a mess. I have remained blessedly free of all legal troubles! Although I did accidentally set my last apartment on fire. A little blaze, nothing to be too concerned about, but they thought it best I find new housing. Especially after the mouse incident. Free of legal messes, but not free of messes in general, I suppose." He waved a hand dismissively and polished off his own plate of pancakes.
Corey took a big bite of the new pile of pancakes, giggling about Elk comments. He gulped down, and was getting ready to cut another piece.
"Yeah, well, thankfully they know Uncle Cas. But that was a very awkward court meeting." He sipped down on his coffee, and it turned into a very long sip as he listened to Elk's messes.

When he was done, he gently put down the cup.
"What?" He said, still a polite smile on his face. Did he set an house on fire? What mouse incident? He really wanted to ask, but he was scared to ask. He took another slow sip from his cup, a frowned expression on his face. He then waved his hand to shrug off the thing.
"Ah, my brother is a registered kidnapper, what do I care" he commented while stuffing another piece of pancake in his mouth.
"What happened with the mouse? You can't just drop such an interesting name and not explain."
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Elk laughed at Corey's reaction. He couldn't help himself! He shook his head to calm himself and leaned back on his stool. "Well, the fire is very simple: I had something on the stove that I was cooking while trying to finish up a project, which was not a good idea. I am sure you remember how distractable I can be. I completely forgot about it, and I had a lovely little kitchen fire. It did not actually do too much damage, though it was rather scary. Now, the mouse story."

He let his words hang for a moment as he finished off his tea. "I was keeping four mice for a friend as a favor while they were traveling. Well, four mice turned into many mice because they neglected to tell me - or didn't know themselves - that it was one male and three female mice. They were gone for eight months, and I had mice coming out my ears. I tried separating the male, but I got the wrong one twice. It still might have been okay, except the super came over as a surprise inspection, the mice cage got knocked over, and there were tiny little mice running everywhere." Elk made a scurrying motion with his hands as he told the story. "A couple scampered right over his shoes, and, well, that was that."
"You did not!" Corey laughed, finishing his second plate of pancakes.
"Oh my God, that must've been... i can't even... how do you even solve something like this?!" he exclaimed, slamming on the table again, this time less gently.
"Please tell me they're all okay. And that you kept a couple." He stopped for a second, retelling in his mind what he just said. "... And that they are 100% both males."

He finally finished his coffee, getting up to bring the empty dishes in the sink.
"You know, if you promise me you won't set this kitchen on fire, I'll admit I'm very happy with this arrangement." he started running the sink water, using this excuse to not turn around and look at him in the eyes while talking.
"... Although, there's a thing I should talk to you about. About this arrangement."
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

"Lots of human traps and bait, though I am afraid to admit that I have absolutely no idea if we caught them all or not," Elk admitted with a melodramatic sigh. "Sadly, no, I didn't keep any of them, though I wouldn't have minded." He slid off his stool and gathered up the rest of the dishes with a flourish. He was about to state that he would take care of the dishes when Corey said they needed to talk. Something in his tone made Elk pause. He set his dishes next to the sink and backed up to lean against the counter behind Corey.

"I hope you are not going to tell me this is a temporary thing or that you have your own pair of mice," he said lightly, though quietly. He tipped his head slightly to one side, studying the back of Corey's black hair. "I'm sure we can figure out how to deal with any unexpected pets." It wasn't about pets. He was certain of that.
Corey chuckled softly, starting to clean the dishes. His sweater with the stretched out collar shifted more to the left side, showing a bit of that scar that ran through the muscle on the left side of his back, right under the shoulder.
"No, it's not that. Though, your story might attract me towards rodents. A hamster perhaps? 5?" He tried to joke, to lighten up the mood he felt like he brought down.

"Soooo..." He really wanted to not face him, but it wouldn't be right. He turned off the sink and shook off the water from his hands, then grabbing a towel to dry them. He put it to the side and looked at him, struggling to find the words.
"I used to weightlift, right? Well, as you can... Clearly see and as I told you, I stopped. But the reason--"
He hummed a bit, shuffling on his feet and leaning on the counter with his hands behind his back.
"Well, you know, I had a weight. It was heavy. That's the whole point. Maybe a bit too heavy? I might've over did it that day. Soo my muscle tore real bad, didn't expect it, dropped the bar, my spot didn't catch it in time, fell on me, broke my shoulder plate." He spat out all in one sentence. Okay, first part, gone. Now the actual hard part.

"Okay. Well, it took a long time to heal of course. It was a little hell, but could've been worse. Well, months pass by, I'm completely healed, but the pain didn't pass." He turned around, moving his hands from left to right and looking up, as if he was trying to remember what he had to say. Completely wrong, he rehearsed this in the car about 15 times.
"Long story short, I have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, meds rarely work, it can be manageable, in fact I'm in pain right now." He said quickly, chuckling at the end trying to cover what he said. His shoulder started hurting when he was making his tea, but it was a solid 2/10 and as good as his pain could get.

He awkwardly hummed again, trying to get out the last part.
"But sometimes not, I have flare ups that can last just a few hours or two weeks where I literally can't move. My family helped me until now but I can't keep relying on them so heavily and- of course they'd run here if I asked but- I can't, like, they can't keep doing that. So maybe you could...? A little bit? Man, I can't live here if you don't support me with this." He exhaled, holding his breath since he started talking.
Okay, one last part.
"Mostly, I kind of... Need you to cover me at my job when I'm out for more than 2 days." He went back to look at him, both apologetic and guilty. He really didn't want to ask this, but that were his mother's condition, and he knew that's what he needed if he wanted to move on with his life, and mostly not get fired. He added a very faint "you'd be payed for those hours of course", but so faint he wasn't even sure he heard him, kind of closing up in himself.
"Well I mean--" he soon added, more strongly now "if it's a problem, no problem, Castiel lives near and I can go there - I'm sure the university will... be flexible about that." No, they absolutely wouldn't be.
Elwin Kinkaid (played by BookKnight) Topic Starter

Corey, the usually open, energetic, and engaging Corey, was really struggling with this. Elk listened patiently, unmoving except to shift his weight once to a more comfortable position against the counter. His reddish-brown eyes never left Corey no matter how much Corey fidgetted and looked away. He didn't laugh. Didn't smile. Just listened quietly as Corey shared his heavy burden. When Corey finished, Elk didn't say anything right away, just continued to stare as he mulled over everything.

"I can't cover your job for you, Corey," he said at last, his tone quiet and serious. "Not that I wouldn't if I could, but I have zero experience barista-ing, and I don't know how your old job or baristas in general are set up, but most jobs will not allow some random person off the street to waltz in and do another person's job. There are legal problems, safety issues, all of that, and even if all of that is not a factor at your current job for some weird reason, that still doesn't help that I would make such a terrible barista that I'd likely get us both fired." A ghost of a smile flitted across his face before he was serious once again. "However... you have an actual diagnosed medical condition. That means you are entitled to certain reasonable accommodations. You can take medical leave when you need to and arrange for a more flexible schedule and things like that. I am absolutely positive that your job will not be a problem."

He clicked his tongue and folded his arms, shifting his feet to a different stance and frowning as he thought. "Of course, my own work schedule is as flexible as I want it to be, so that's no issue if you have a flair-up. I don't know much about fibromyalgia, but I do know that it's more of a neurological condition, which is not awesome. Heat usually helps, as well as moderate exercise and sleep, when you can get it." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "I tend to have a very bad sleep schedule, so perhaps we can insulate your room so I don't bother you? Yes, that could work. I wonder if there's a diet that is helpful? I can look into that?" He looked off to the side, now lost in thought as he got lost in his own train of thought. "Stress is very, very bad for it, I think, if I remember correctly. Of course, stress is bad for everyone, but perhaps we can focus on lowering your stress? Yes, that could work. I wonder if I still have that lavender. Lavender is good for stress, and some people like orange."

He paused, blinked, and looked back at Corey with a sheepish smile. "I apologize. What I mean is, while I can't fill in at your work, I am more than happy to help you navigate this problem as best as I can and help you learn to be as independent as possible. We'll learn together. If that seems fair."
Corey tried to interrupt him at least 5 times while he was talking, listing all the things Castiel wrote down in multiple pages and hanged around their old house.
He waved his hands at him, begging him to stop for a second.
"Elk- wait- wait-" he started, getting just slightly closer, with a rushed tone. "don't worry about the legal stuff, it's all sorted out. You think Cas would let me sign a contract without him? come on, now. You know damn well he's the one who wrote it. I have all the benefits, I'm still getting payed for the time I don't work and such. It's in the contract, though, that I provide a person to cover for me. Doesn't matter who, just need it to be the same person... most of the time. They would be inserted into the job through a subpar of my contract and get all the work benefits, and they'd just have to work when I can't. I'd train you and teach you how to barista."
He stopped for a second, taking a little break and joining his hands together in front of his face, lips shut, trying to find the words.
"I don't care if it's you. Doesn't have to be you- i mean it would be comfortable for you to have a non fixated job, so you could keep up with rent- but like, could be anyone. The girl next door, a client of yours, I don't care. But I really need you to find me someone, because I don't know anyone here to ask! I can't start working if I don't write down the name of my cover."
He took another deep breath, putting an hand in his hair, opening his mouth and closing it back up multiple times.
"If- listen, if Cas stole a couple of children for someone he met 4 months prior, what exactly do you think he'd do for me?" He asked, rejoining his hands and pointing his hands at Elk. "I heard him tell someone he was going to leave his current program to come cover for me full time. I cannot allow that."

He exhaled, relieved to having got out the whole thing. He crossed his arms, with a very more relaxed look on his face.
"Also, thank you for the tips, but don't worry about it. I got my pain covered, no need to take out the wall to put on insulation or dunk everything in lavanda extract. I really just... need you to take care of the house alone and bring me food and meds when I ask."

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