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alderwitch

Summer Job Listing [IC]

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"I just want to be able to go out for a night and not worry that the baby's going to turn the babysitter into a nighttime snack!" These are the sort of topics of discussion in the Faretti household these days. To be fair, little Jack Jr. was still a long way from being able to drain a whole human accidentally but Taylor was starting to grow worried for his little cousins. It was a long term view, really, but it didn't make her less adamant. After exhausting a few avenues of contacts, she'd remembered Claremont and after some spousal debate, a rather odd notice when up on the summer job board at the school:

Babysitter wanted for occasional afternoons and weekends. Combat reflexes a plus. Will pay for infant cpr certification.

Hazard pay provided.

There was a number at the bottom to tear away and when Taylor had received a few phone calls, she arranged for interviews to occur in one of the empty classrooms. When each student arrived they'd see two chairs behind the desk but only one of them filled. Taylor was casually dressed in a tank top and jeans over boots. A battered jacket and fedora discarded in one corner and the only real oddity in her appearance the glittering amulet at her throat.

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Erin had dressed up for the interview, as much as her wardrobe allowed, anyway. Khaki slacks and a dark blue blouse made her look more serious and professional, she figured, and putting her hair up in a bun made her look a little older. She felt pretty good about the interview, for the most part. She'd had babysitting experience, even if it had been a really long time, and she certainly had combat reflexes. She even knew CPR. It would be nice to earn some extra money over the summer, and to get off campus sometimes. This summer would be a lot more normal than last.

Her tenuous confidence evaporated the moment she walked into the conference room and stopped in her tracks. The voice on the phone had sounded vaguely familiar, but she hadn't really thought much of it at the time. That had been a tactical error. She hesitated in front of the door and looked at the Phantom with something like consternation. Phantom didn't even like her. This was sure to go well. But Erin wasn't going to turn and run. She tried on a smile and stepped forward, offering her hand. "Hi, you were looking for a babysitter?"

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Taylor blinked and stood up to shake Erin's hand. She was shorter even than Erin's roommate, having to tilt her chin up to keep eye contact. She returned the smile reflexively, her cheeks dimpling, as she tilted her head to the side placing the young woman.

"Wander, right?" Taylor asked to confirm. "My real name is Taylor Faretti. We are indeed looking. A... special sort of babysitter. Our son was born in April. Although, I don't think you've met my husband, Jack."

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Erin pursed her lips uncomfortably. "I think I may have met him once," she admitted, "just in passing." Erin guessed she wasn't a very good judge of pregnancy, since when she'd met Taylor before, she hadn't looked at all on the verge of giving birth. But then, Erin hadn't had a lot of experience in that area. "So your baby's very little, then? I haven't babysat any newborns before, but I used to watch my neighbor's kids when they were like a year old."

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"He's two months old now," Taylor said with all the pride of any new mother and looked on the verge of pulling out a stack of pictures before she shook herself and focused on the task at hand. She did notice the discomfort but hoped that it wasn't the whole vampire thing. That would be a big check in the no column as Jack Jr. despite rather constant efforts hadn't managed to mask his predatory leanings. Apparently baby fangs didn't retract. Or if they did, neither parent had figured out how to coax that response out of the baby.

Taylor shook her head slightly, shaking off her mental musings and gestured to the chair, "He's a very easy baby and it would just be for a few hours at a stretch. He's still nursing so I don't ever go very far for very long. So, I've got a few questions to ask and as you can probably guess, we've got some... ah, special needs with a baby sitter."

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Erin took the indicated seat, crossing her legs and putting her hands in her lap. She already knew this conference room, so she didn't feel like she needed to scope it out the way she would a new place. "I have CPR training," she began, "and combat training as well. I was wondering," she admitted, "if you're looking for someone to protect the baby, or if you think a babysitter will need combat training to look after the baby."

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Taylor hesitated, folding her fingertips together and twisting her rings on her hand. It was a nervous habit. This was the part of the interview that weighed the most on Taylor's thoughts as she didn't want the kids to be unprepared but working up to 'his dad is a vampire and the baby bites' was a conversational tap dance that she really wished she didn't have to manage.

"Both. Due to the... nature of who his parents are, he's got a few quirks. He's not *entirely* human and that provides its own challenges. Not to mention that active work over the years has left us with no small list of enemies. Our home is very well protected but we both feel more comfortable with as many lines of defense as possible." Taylor's voice was very firm on that part, recovering from her brief wobble when circling the subject of the baby's nature. "How do you feel about traditional fairy tale monsters. Witches, demons... vampires?"

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Erin cocked her head, looking a little surprised. "Is this about what that guy was yelling at your husband, about him being a vampire? Cause I sort of thought that was a figure of speech. But one of my best friends is a demon, so I guess that's okay. The only, um, movie monster type I have trouble with is zombies." She figured she might as well admit that, as it was likely obvious to anyone who'd seen her in action that night.

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"Which guy was yelling at my husband about being a vampire?" Taylor looked both honestly surprised and more than a little affronted at the idea. She glanced to the corner of the room automatically like she was looking for someone and then shook her head a little. She twisted that ring on her finger again and temporized, displaying that for all the many things that she was quite good at, covering wasn't one of them. "Ah, maybe. That might have upset someone, yes. There's a lot of heroes that have issues with the undead and its not uncommon for that to cause a ripple or two for us."

When she said 'ripple or two' it sounded a good deal like 'bloody and somewhat epic battle'. Taylor tilted her head to the side and blinked once before glancing off to the side again, murmuring, "Yes, I can see how that would be a problem."

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Erin turned in her seat to follow Taylor's glance, but she couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. If Taylor was actually looking at someone or something, it was apparently something mystical or invisible. The idea made Erin a little jittery, but she centered her attention back on Taylor. "I don't know who it was," she admitted, "I didn't know him and I wasn't paying a lot of attention. Some guy in a gas mask, and then they fought, and your husband cleaned his clock. I left right after that, I dunno what happened then. Is he like a real blood-drinking vampire, or more like "Vampireman," like "Geckoman" isn't actually a gecko?" she asked curiously.

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Taylor couldn't manage not to laugh at Erin's question. Her straight and generally somber face cracked into a broad grin and she laughed until she was almost tearing up, trying to stifle it the whole time. She just knew she was getting a dirty look from *somewhere* in the room. If she was really lucky, Jack had wandered off and wasn't scowling at his wife who was likely going to come up with a theme song for 'Vampireman'. With some real struggling, Taylor managed to contain herself into some thing resembling composure but her lips still twitched occasionally like she was repressing another episode.

"No, he's not like Geckoman." Although if he ever needed another new costume.... Picturing Jack running around with a giant 'V' and a Vampiremobile made Taylor's lips twitch once more and she cleared her throat. "He's much more, ah, the real thing."

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There was a noticeable pause between the two women before the door Erin had entered through opened. Jack entered, a big smile on his face. "Hey, are my ears burning? Hi, you two!" He grinned and walked over, planting a kiss on Taylor's cheek. "I remember you," he commented to Erin. "So you're interested in keeping an eye on my son? How fast are your reflexes?"

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Erin had no idea what the joke was, but Taylor's laugh was contagious enough for her to smile in a confused way and hope that it was a good sort of laughing. She turned as Jack entered the room, automatically sizing him up before deciding that, real vampire powers or not, he was not a threat at the moment. It was daytime, for pity's sake. What would a real vampire be doing out in the daytime. She must be missing something. "Very fast," she told him simply. She rarely bothered to brag about her physical skills, the truth was good enough.

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Taylor gave Jack a wary look at his broad grin. Jack was still good at hiding things from his perceptive wife but Taylor had some of his mannerisms down at this point. That display of even white teeth, grin or no, was enough to have her shooting him a questioning look. Oh, she was probably going to suffer for that laughter later. At the moment, she was a bit more concerned for Erin.

"Honey," Taylor murmured as he leaned in to her cheek, "Play nice. She's still a kid."

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Jack considered his wife's words carefully. She made a good point, but on the other hand, if she was just a kid, she'd hardly be worth watching their son. She'd have to be able to defend herself, and him, with as much skill and power as she could muster. "Fair enough." Jack looked at Erin and said, "Erin, I'm going to attack you now." And so he did, jumping up in the air and launching a spinning kick at her face.

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Erin, who had been expecting something like that since he asked the question, was out of her seat in a heartbeat. The problem with not bragging, she supposed, was that sometimes people didn't actually believe you. Just in case it was a trick, she waited for him to actually come at her before retaliating. He could control minds, she knew, and become insubstantial, but she wasn't at all sure how far he intended to take his attack. She made her first shot count. In the blink of an eye, she moved past his leg and drove the heel of her hand into his chin with a loud crunching noise.

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"That's enough," Taylor said quietly but in a voice that carried. She stood slowly and came around between the two of them with a marked lack of caution. She reached up to place a tender hand on either side of Jack's jaw. Most mages had to speak or gesture but Taylor simply frowned in concentration. Eldritch light licked along the back of her hands, turning marked crimson before being absorbed into Jack's skin. Bones moved and mended seamlessly back into place and after a few seconds the light show ceased although Taylor kept her hands on his cheeks for a moment longer, "All good now?"

It was a new spell, and a complicated one. Healing was one thing but Jack wasn't technically living any longer.

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"Ow." Avenger's eyes turned red for a moment, but after a moment he shook his head and was back to himself. "Nicely done, Erin," he said, offering her his hand. "Taylor will make the final decision, but you've passed my part of the test with flying colors." He smiled, trying to cover up how much his jaw hurt. He hadn't quite been expecting that. "I'll just be an observer, then."

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Erin gave his hand a perfunctory shake and stepped back, eyeing Jack warily as she returned to her seat. She didn't even bother rubbing a pretend ache out of her hand. "Sorry," she said, not sounding immensely sincere about it. She'd gotten lucky in that his own momentum had driven his chin further into her hand, but anybody who attacked someone else for no reason but ego or curiosity deserved what they got. She sat down in her chair again.

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Taylor did wiggle the sting out of her hands as she took her seat again. Blood magic worked better on vampires but stung without fail. She shot Jack another look, trying to guage how he was doing before smiling at Erin. "There's a reason we're quite so... hm, concerned. In addition to all the threats out there, there's the baby himself who can be just a bit of a challenge."

Taylor hesitated before saying delicately, "You see, he bites."

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Erin thought about that for a minute, also looking over at Jack, His jaw had knit, but he still wasn't looking too comfortable. She turned back to Taylor and cocked her head thoughtfully. "How hard?"

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"Well, he can pretty easily break the skin on a normal person but he rarely manages to get Jack. Mostly he just gnaws on him pretty ineffectually," Taylor smiled a bit at that, like she thought it was cute. "I'm the favored target but I regenerate. But, you can see how that might prove a problem with a normal babysitter."

Especially when he got mobile and really started on the play stalking.

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"Bullets bounce off me and I can regenerate most wounds in a few seconds," Erin offered, hoping she might somehow pull this interview out of the bag yet. "And I'm not poisonous or anything, either," she thought to add. That would be something a mom with a bitey kid would worry about, right? "I have my own truck, so I can drive myself if you need me to, and an emergency teleporter beacon. Just in case of trouble, you know?"

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"Well, I think we'll definately put you on the list. If you could write down your availability and contact informantion?" Taylor asked, pushing a form over to Erin to fill out with a few minor personal details that were all pretty standard. She looked pleased with the idea of invulnerability and regeneration in a baby sitter which would probably have worried most people. She added in appologetic tone "Oh, also, if you have any crosses or other religous jewelry, we have to ask you to leave that at home, just in case."

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"Haven't got any," Erin said absently, filling in days and times on the sheet. Indeed, she didn't seem to have any jewelry at all, at least at the moment. "It's not really my thing." She made short work of the sheet, filling in the blocks on the weekends when she wasn't in team training and the days nights when she could easily shift homework and solo training around. "How much do you pay?"

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