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Christmas Bells
Strange things happened all the time. There were all sorts of reasons for people to do what men like the Butcher did. It wasn't something Alex really wanted to discuss. She wasn't here to discuss work much less a creepy case she was working on. His profile was still being built, but his MO was clear. He preferred red heads, 6 out of the 10 girls had been red heads. It was a pattern and something Alex was working on. But she didn't mention that to anyone, much less two 'christian' men.

But her thoughts were soon disturbed when she felt both of the men at her table were completely emotionless. She blinked at them. Alex hadn't been prying, but they were just gone off her radar. There was only one person who was not Sentient that she knew could do that, and Dane Gregory was not someone she wanted to meet on the streets ever.

Dane had used whatever gift he had to fling a man across the room. Pytor he had made a near impossible catch. Alex saw steam rising from the once cool cup before Pytor had arrived. Jensen's comment about the coffee made sense now.

Alex decided to relay a story in response to Jensen's comment. "Men are capable of many things. My first day here in Moscow gave me quite an interesting story. It was the day the trains stopped functioning, I was already late to work. A girl died from the sickness, and a bunch of people were brought into the station. One man we think was a kidnapper, but sadly we couldn't prove it. And that wasn't the strangest part either, he literally threw a guy across the room, without touching him."
Alex looked at the two gentlemen in front of her to gauge their expressions. She hated doing it, but she would read them as easy as she did the menu sitting on their table. "If I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes I would think I was crazy. Men can do a great many inexpiable things, what's to say what leads any of us anywhere."

Pyotr was filled with a sense of foreboding and his eyes darted around the room looking for the source and then it dawned on him. Jensen had reached out to him with his coffee comment. The man next to him could use Luck too.

Damn it,"
Pyotr thought. "Marcus didn't want people to know about me."

It wasn't really his fault though. He couldn't control when his Luck happened yet. Hopefully that would come soon and Pyotr was reminded of the fact that he would more than likely be spending way too much time throwing up later that night. He assumed Jensen would talk about it later and he would devote some time to thinking about what to say later.

Alex told her story, drawing Pyotr's attention away from the menacing presence. Pyotr's own Luck had been used up, so at least that was done. Maybe Jensen would calm down and make the feeling go away.

Her story caught his attention because she mentioned the man throwing someone across the room. He was filled with curiosity on who this man was. He didn't sound like the kind of person he would want to meet, but he still found the subject interesting.

He wondered if she knew about his Luck too - the comment so seemingly out of the blue, but felt like he had to respond. He couldn't tell her about his Luck - Marcus would get angry, but he had to respond.

"I think it all comes to power. The Butcher has power, or at least thinks he does, and how he chooses to use it is in a dark way. What's the line? 'With great power comes great responsibility.' As for this kidnapper - I have no idea what's going on there."

The fingers on his left hand twitched as he said it. He didn't like to lie, but had to for Marcus. He just hoped the other two didn't notice.
Well the conversation certainly took a dark turn. Jensen was more than ready to release the thrill of the Gift back to the heavens, and as soon as it did, his world dimmed. Aromas and colors faded until he had to wonder how he'd ever appreciated anything before.

Alex was a psychologist, he had to remember her position. At first he thought she was the only one to have caught onto what he was trying to communicate with Pyotr, but in reality, she was likely commenting merely on the Butcher. Her story only cemented how terrible a position she must find herself. For her sake, he wanted to change the topic of conversation, but Pyotr's sudden unease made him think the other man now knew what they both were.

Jensen looked back and forth between the two of them. They could dance around the topic the rest of the meal, but in truth, Jensen was tired of hiding. He'd done nothing but hide the last four years.

He took a drink of liquid courage - coffee - and lowered his voice. "Alex, you asked why I went to mass when I'd never been before. Well its because I was afraid of being recognized in a Christian church."
The drawl in his voice dried as he choked out the words, but he had to get used to admitting his ... faults. "I used to be on television."

He turned to Pyotr and his expression shifted sympathetic. "Pyotr, the Gift is terrifying, but its a Gift none the less. I don't want to hide it. Especially not from you."

Pytor was clearly lying through his teeth about not knowing what she was talking about. The fingers on his left hand twitched and Alex gave him a dry look. "Really now. You do realize I do this for a living right? Read people and their faces, their body language?"

But what really caught was Jensen's open statement. He was American, she didn't watch Christian sermons, which would be the only thing that he'd fear being recognized for. American TV or movies, anyone in Russia much less the world would probably recognize him, but if his only worry was a Christian church he was an evangelist. Alex only vaguely remember some huge ordeal about a preacher, but it was an American thing, she could care less.

But his admission of a gift had Alex dumbfounded. While she had been open with Connor, she wouldn't have told him if she hadn't been trying to get information from him. These two had a gift. A gift that she now knew Dane Gregory had. The fact that she'd meet three men who could do extraordinary things, and another Sentient she didn't know all with in a matter of months? Moscow as truly a special place. Alex wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.

These two didn't appear dangerous, but on the surface neither had Dane Gregory. Alex didn't like the fact that they could evaporate from her radar at moment's notice. But at least now she knew to keep an eye out for it. Her predisposition to not monitor those around her had just flown out the window. Alex was scanning the surface of every individual in the diner. At least they all seemed normal.

But Alex wanted confirmation. "The man I told you about, he is terrifying. With this so-called gift he's even more dangerous. How many of you do you know about?"
Alex wasn't a cop, but she was sure that Cheif Inspector Drayson would want to know about what she'd learned and probably that she could tell when they held this so-called gift.
Pyotr blinked at Jensen - completely speechless. He had no idea how to respond to the man's monologue. Pyotr put his fork down, processing all that just happened in the last few seconds.

Jensen trusted Pyotr. It was a unique feeling. The only one who had trusted him before was Marcus. Then Pyotr's attention was drawn to Alex who had started speaking, asking about how many he knew about. She knew his secret now - and she would see through a lie - but he was obliged to keep his word to Marcus.

"I'd rather not talk about it."
His heart sank when Pyotr shied away. Not in disappointment, but in understanding. He reached out and pat Pyotr on the arm. Shame colored his admission, but his gaze was soft as lamb's wool. "Pyotr, I spent four years convinced I was possessed by a demon. I'd sit still as a puddle and stare at the wall just to flood myself in those powers, but too afraid to wield it in any meaningful way. With it, I knew I could level buildings and flood the streets with fire. I was so afraid of what that meant. That if I started to work with it, I wouldn't be able to stop until I'd committed unforgivable atrocities."

He swallowed painfully, but for Pyotr's sake, continued the story. "Like hurting someone. Even if it was only on accident. When I paused, I'd realize an entire night had gone by and I'd barely moved. I was convinced I was possessed, and the worst part was, I didn't want to be cleansed of the demon that took my soul for its home."

He glanced across the table, ashamed to meet Alex eye to eye. She was a psychologist, but Jensen did not know if she believed in the forces of hell, or if she thought he was demented for such an assumption. He licked his lips nervous to carry on the conversation with her specifically, but what she proposed was not something he could ignore. Its entirely possible that while Jensen's gift could restore the wounded and injured to full and glorious health, then another man might chose to submit himself to the destruction that once tempted Jensen. Worse yet, it was possible that the forces of hell might bestow their own gifts to the wicked of mankind. The very idea made Jensen shudder.

"Alex, I've met three others like myself, but they are good men. If the man you describe is like us and also gifted with powers, he has to be stopped. You don't understand what this can do. Its horrible to say, but..."
he looked around hastily and lowered his voice to barely a whisper. "...but, if I wanted to, I think I could kill everyone in here in minutes."

"Do you know where he is now? If you go after him, I can help you capture him."

Alex could feel that Pytor was afraid. Something scared him into his silence. There could be any number of reasons why that was the case, but Alex's gut said someone was making him be quiet, for fear on his life possible.

But Jensen's talk of demons made her skeptical. Demons could be real she supposed, just as men with magic and entire family of empaths were. But she didn't think this was other-worldly, there was a scientific explanation of their abilities. There had to be, but really it didn't matter, it was what it was and she'd seen it with her own two eyes.

When Jensen told her he could help Alex laughed. "I have no intentions of capturing that man myself. We have a special task force that's meant for such oddities.
Alex grinned. "But the man in question has fled the CCD and is now out of our jurisdictional and without actual evidence, it's hard to prove anything to keep him off the streets. You don't want anything to do with this man. I'd fear the lives of anyone who came up against him."

Alex finished the last bite of her lunch. She hadn't realized she was so hungry. Alex looked to Pytor. "Whatever you are afraid of, I'm sure the CCPD can keep you safe. Your secrets, your fears, they need not be a hindrance, nor are they worth your life."
Alex took two cards out of her wallet and handed one to each man. "You can find me here. I should probably be getting back, my father is in town and likely looking for me."
Alex rolled her eyes. Parents, sometimes worse than children.
Pyotr hadn't really realized that he was afraid, but now that both of them had mentioned it, he was. He knew what Marcus could do to him if anyone found out. Although he doubted the man would. Marcus had taken him into his fold for no other reason than he wanted to help.

And Pyotr was afraid of his Luck. This strange power existed inside of him and he couldn't control when he used it. Embarrassment was necessary to make it work, and although he was a klutz, it was hard to find a way to use it when he didn't really want to draw much attention to himself.

Pyotr had been eating, mostly so he had an excuse not to talk. He really didn't want to talk about, as Jensen referred to it, the Gift. Jensen attempted to comfort him and it worked a little. He relaxed under the man's touch and speech, but still remained silent, listening to Jensen and Alex talk about the crazy man.

As Alex finished eating, she spoke directly to Pyotr, saying that the CCPD could protect him. She had known his fear, likely because of her job and had assumed that there was a person he was afraid of. She handed him and Jensen a business card. Pyotr placed it in his pocket and rose, offering his hand.

"Thank you Alex. I wish you the best of luck...and sorry I seemed a little cold for awhile."

He didn't feel the need to call the CCPD now, but something made him want to hold onto the card - a sort of primal fear. As Alex left, he placed the card in his wallet and sat back down to finish his coffee. His attention moved toward Jensen, who hadn't left yet and he wanted to ask the man questions, but nothing came to mind - his own thoughts occupied but the events of the day.

"Sorry, I'm not sure what to say."
Jensen accepted Alex's card, unsure of what to do with it. Finally, he scanned it into his Wallet and saved the data for later. As for the card itself, he left it on the table for the time being. "It was an immense pleasure to meet you Alex. I wish you luck in your work. Please be safe, and should you have need, please call on me for anything."
His delicate was soft as fallen flowers as he offered transmission of his own information to her device.

The news that this criminal was out of the country was not as comforting as Jensen would prefer. He was still out there, and potentially using for ill what should be a gift. What kind of task force could oppose such a man?

Following Alex's departure, he and Pyotr were left to contemplate each other.

Jensen pushed his plate aside in favor of his coffee. Now that the other side of the table was empty, Jensen picked himself up and slid into the seat Alex formerly occupied. Sitting face to face made conversation less awkward. He slid his coffee along for the ride. He could always come up with something to say. Speaking used to be his job, after all, and despite his current predicament, Jensen used to be rather great at it.

"Now you know why it was my first time in Mass. Tell me, Pyotr, why has it been so long for you? What has kept you out of church for so long?"

Alex departed and Pyotr was left with Jensen. Jensen moved to the other side of the table and Pyotr was still unsure of what to say as he sipped his coffee. Pyotr tended to be awkward at times.

Luckily, Jensen seemed to be good at talking. Pyotr had been in situations where both persons weren't the greatest of conversationalists and both parties sat staring at each other for the duration of their meeting, and that could really make things awkward.

Jensen had been a preacher of some sort, so the fact Jensen asked Pyotr about his spiritual life hadn't been a surprise. The thing is Pyotr didn't really know the answer.

"I don't know. I just sort of phased out of it as I grew up. I was doing other things and just didn't go, I guess. I still believe, it's just, I didn't see a need to come every week."

Jensen was calm and collected, a trait that must have made him a great preacher. Pyotr found himself quickly comfortable around the man. Perhaps the man was wanting him to feel that way.

"How did you find out about it...the Gift."

Edited by Pyotr Grigory, Aug 27 2014, 10:48 AM.

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