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alderwitch

Explanations, Take Two!

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Rather than returning home, Taylor had taken to the rooftops as Phantom. For once, there was no hapless mugger to take her current emotional turmoil out on. It was likely fortunate for the mugger, but it had left Phantom unsettled. After a second circuit of the rooftops, Phantom found a high ledge and pulled out her cellphone from her cloak. Dialing Jack's number from memory, she slipped the cellphone up to her ear under the hood. She wasn't sure if she'd be relieved or dissapointed if the call went to voice mail.

Still not sure what she was going to say, Phantom listened to the phone ring impatiently.

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She did get Jack, as it happened, this being one of the best times of day to call a daywalking vampire with many, many new responsibilities. "Hey, Taylor," said Jack cordially, leaning back at the desk he'd built into his home office/headquarters. "Nice to see your number pop up. How's it going?"

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"Let's say my week hasn't improved," Taylor said dryly. She hesitated and realized there was no good way to transition into things in anything like a graceful manner, "Stesha asked me out to coffee. During which there were insinuations you worked in some sort of porn industry and that the episode with Moira had been while she was too drunk to consent. I don't believe you'd do that, nor do I think Moira would let you live afterwards if you had. So why does Stesha think that you did?"

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Unseen, Jack's face worked itself through a variety of different facial expressions. "I...well, that's a surprise." He frowned. "I wouldn't have thought Stesha would jump to conclusions like that. I certainly don't work in the porn industry, and there was hellacious consent when Moira and I had our...thing. Stesha herself was pretty drunk, so she may not be remembering it as clearly as she thinks she does. Why does she think I'm a pornographer?" he asked her, sounding more baffled than anything else.

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"Something about flowers delivered to a sex-party. I don't know." Taylor said her tone exasperated from the entire thing, "Like I said, it was a very surreal conversation. I got the impression that she thought you were trying to take advantage of me in someway and it was an attempt at a warning. I didn't ask a lot of questions."

She ran one gloved hand over her mask, and shifted her phone to the other ear. At least up this high the reception on the phone was amazing. "Stesha said that Moira had drank too much to remember the experience afterwards which seemed to be the basis for her anger."

Taylor paused then despite her best efforts really couldn't help but repeat, "'Hellacious consent'?"

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Jack would have blushed under other circumstances. As it was he squeezed the bridge of his nose before saying, "People who are too intoxicated to consent generally don't make the first and last moves. Or tackle you to bed at an early moment in the evening's festivities." He really didn't enjoy sharing the gritty details of his personal life this way. "Trust me on this, Taylor. What we had, on that one night, was decidedly a mutual thing."

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On her end of the phone Taylor did blush before she made a face of displeasure. Hearing the blow-by-blow account of one's boyfriends activities with perhaps the most attractive woman on earth was an experience Taylor planned never to repeat. I must have done something truly unpleasant in a previous life. Clearly.

"I figured as much," she said in what she certainly hoped was an even tone, "Stesha believes her sequence of events wholeheartedly. While I said that it didn't sound like either of you, I think she just thinks I'm being naive."

The irony of that wasn't lost on Taylor but she wasn't in the mood to smile over it.

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"I don't think Stesha's lying to you," said Jack honestly, trying to avoid the deeply embarrassing topic of his sex life as much as possible. "Like I said, she'd been drinking heavily, and I admit I gave her strong reason to dislike me. She may have assumed that Moira was drunk as she was, or that I was so depraved that I would take advantage of someone intoxicated. It just...it just was a thing."

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"I don't think Stesha's lying to me either. She admitted how messed up she was and I know that has to alter your perceptions. I did get the impression that some of her opinion on the matter came from a conversation with Moira after the fact." Taylor frowned on her end of the phone and shifted to cross her legs under her on the rooftop ledge.

She sighed before picking up the thread of the conversation once more, "I believe you, Jack. I believed that you wouldn't do that before I picked up the phone. I am strongly considering hiding for the rest of this week, though. It's starting to look like a really good time for a vacation."

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"I don't know how she could have gotten that from Moira. She is very...capricious, so, so maybe Moira told Stesha one thing and meant another. As for your vacation, go somewhere nice," Jack suggested. "There's got to be a dimension that's all beach and all daiquiris," he said with a small laugh. "And people interested in being very nice to their guests. You've got the whole multiverse as your oyster."

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Taylor chuckled at that. It was a tempting option. The reading she could catch up alone...

"I s'pose I could find something but I'd end up missing our movie night." Taylor pointed out as she scooted off the rooftop and began to float back towards her part of town. There was no point in patroling tonight if there wasn't even going to be a measly robbery. "I think I'm just going to hope the week's got to get better from here. How's your night?"

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Jack smiled, pleased to hear that he was interesting enough to keep Taylor in town. "I'll have to make movie night especially memorable, then. My night is...busy, unfortunately. Not even Avenger business, either, which sucks." He laughed. "I don't suppose you know anything about industrial medical supply contractors, do you?" he asked. "Because let me tell you, they're not nearly as sexy as they sound."

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Fortunately, Taylor was high enough in the air that she wasn't in danger of smacking into buildings as she blinked once or twice, "I'm going to assume that you don't work in the porn industry then. No, I wasn't the sibling that went into medical. I can tell you that my mom complains about the company the hospital uses pretty often over dinner conversations. Dinner with three doctors is always super-appetizing, let me tell you."

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"Then you won't hear a word about it from me," Jack promised. "When we're together, I always have other things on my mind, anyway. Bad guys and one good girl, to be precise. I'll be there at six for movie night, right? I'll even bring the popcorn," he promised, having already worked out the details of that little maneuver already.

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"Six it is. I'll see you then, Jack. I certainly hope your week goes a little better in the meanwhile." The smile was finally back in her voice. A beach vacation might be out, but she was going to spend the evening at least doing something that she wanted to for once. No homework, no crime-fighting. Maybe a good book and a hot bath...

"Call me if anything comes up."

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"I will," Jack said agreeably. "I'll see you later, Taylor. Good night." Having ended his conversation with his girlfriend, Jack returned to organizing the massive purchase of industrial blood storage units that would hopefully facilitate the "humane" feeding practices he was doing his best to introduce to Freedom City's vampires. It was nice to have some mundanity in his busy schedule.

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