Rice Bluff We literally did start the fire and we have regrets
#1
Grace was here to do some stupid bullshit. It was stupid bullshit she was supposed to try with Rika first, but if it failed and they were each out a hundo and a half, there was a very real chance Grace would teleport herself off a cliff in rage and/or despair.

So instead she was alone, tank topped and jorted (sleeves were a fucking no go with this so early on), a miniature flamethrower strapped to her wrist. Holding the instructions and a small black trigger box in her opposite hand, she took a breath.

Make. A. Fire. Grace. There was a wince, and a clench of her fist to activate the button. Like fucking magic, an instant fireball burst from the contraption at her wrist. It offered a shock of heat, but no singeing, and she screeched out in delight.

Immediately, again, another fireball. POW. (Minus the sound.) But now she needed to see if it could actually catch shit on fire, like, say, a vampire. Five minutes later, she found herself facing a trashcan outside a strip mall, peering in for something flammable. Didn't look like much in there, but that meant it could be target practice: shoot fireball into trashcan. It was luck that had her finding her mark on her first wrist flick, feeling like some fucking wizard as the ball of flame whirled and danced downward into the narrow entrance of the can.

She realized her mistake close to immediately. Not the details, but the ramifications. Because she heard the crackle of catching flame, then a loud POP. Whirling back, she grimaced, hoping it would just burn itself the fuck out.

But it did not. Someone had apparently dumped gasoline or chemical weapons or stray bullets (all possible because this was Rice Fuck You Bluff) into the garbage, because now it was groaning and popping threateningly, flames rising, spitting char into the air, up, up toward the strip mall roof.

"Awh fuck," she hissed, looking around for something to cover the opening as the smell of burning trashbag punched her in the face.


sometime after dark, set at rando strip mall

#2
Leon was coming to the impression that he should never step foot in Rice Bluff ever again. He didn't even like the place, it was an ugly mess of how life could go wrong. From the abandoned buildings to the homeless that grouped in camps by the river. Last time he had come had been on a whim and he had run into Thomas. And now that he had come back for another night of wondering he was met yet again by the crackle of a fire. It couldn't just be a fire barrel for the homeless, of course not. Because why would a burn barrel be by a run down strip mall?

He hated every fiber of his being that made him turn towards the noise and follow it. Fuck all the police training. But someone could be hurt. And if it was Thomas, if something had happened.

Because the gods clearly hated him it was not in fact Thomas, nor was anyone dying and in need of his help. No, it was just a garbage can currently smoking with a godawful smell and a pixie haired woman with a fucking flamethrower attached to her wrist. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened. He pinched the brow of his nose and let out a long suffered sigh before reaching out with his power to smoother the disaster flame.
#3
How Grace had missed another person so close was definitely beyond her. She did have shit vision, but this guy appeared like he'd teleported here. (Which, if anyone knew that shit was possible, it was Grace.)

Still, she startled because when people just fucking appeared during an emergency, how could you not. Whirling to him, she found him vaguely familiar, but couldn't pinpoint him yet. Instead, she barked a laugh. Dude looked like she'd just pissed in his cereal.

"You put out a lot of trash fires?" she asked, grinning crooked toothed as her eyes flashed purple, confirming that psychic status. Emergency averted. Convenient.
#4
The night at a masked ball was all but gone from Leon's memories and with it any remembering of a sporty young woman. One that apparently shared the same psychic eye color as him. Why was a psychic burning perfectly good trash cans with a mini flamethrower? The world would probably never know.

As the fire whisked out he felt the familiar cold settle with shivers up his spine and goosebumps on his skin. At least he hadn't fought anyone for control over the flames. Which meant the woman wasn't a pyromancer or hadn't given a damn about the fire she had started.

"Far to many to find it fun."

The air stunk with whatever had been in the trash bin.

"Is there a reason you've decided to destroy a perfectly good trash can?"
#5
Grace remembered that accent.

This was the rich guy. The so rich he didn't feel the loss of thirty grand guy. Unfathomable. And here he was, appearing to have a bad time over being able to magically put out fires. Money couldn't buy happiness.

"Testing something," she said. "For science. It worked."

She eyed him up. Supposed he could defend himself by getting jumped in this part of town by lighting people on fire.

"You waiting in Rice Bluff for people to set shit on fire?"
#6
Leon did have a gun on him in case of any future jumping of his person, along with a carry and conceal permit. But he wasn't thinking much about said gun, it was rather impossible to think about other stuff when confronted with rather chaotic being that was this woman. He quirked a brow as he stared down at the mini flamethrower at her wrist considering what she had just said. For science, though he was pretty sure she was not the first or the last to try and become a human torch.

He couldn't stop his lips from turning up into a smile. A psychic trying to become a superhero?

"You should probably keep a fire extinguisher on hand while you practice your science, you can get fined for damaging public property."

Really who would do anything about a small fire in Rice Bluff? He was sure the police had other things taking up their time.

Her second question did bring out a ruffle laugh.

"I suppose in some part yes. Theres an inexperienced Pyromancer around that Im helping."
#7
Getting fined. Grace wasn't afraid of getting fined. Her last cop interaction had put her against a wall while he tried to do who the fuck knew what before holding her at gunpoint. Over standing somewhere after dark. She assumed if she was found standing next to a burning trashcan by the local police they'd shoot her in the back eleven times.

What's his name rich guy seemed to be lightening up, which was good. Grace didn't have time for rich people who also frowned. The least they could do was not be a buzzkill when they wiped their bleached assholes with hundos.

"So you patrol the streets looking for fires to put out?" she asked. "What's your pyro like?"

A pyro in Grace's very own little part of town!
#8
I might have come across that he was patrolling Rice Bluff, but he winced at the very idea. No thanks. He wasn't even getting paid to do that anymore.

"Im not patrolling, I was just in the area and heard the fire."

Well didn't that sound like a weak excuse even though it was the truth. He did not come to Rice Bluff often, especially not in his car, but sometimes he just wanted to see the river. The bridge in its large expanse. Feel the rush of air in his hair. Recently it held a different feeling, that otherworldly sensation that wasn't fire. The power that could suck his breath away just as it had done in the theater. More terrifying then any cold. He could deal with numb limbs, blue lips, and the ice in his stomach. Those few minutes in that theater, unable to move, unable to breath. Another shudder ran up his spine, this one not driven by side affects.

"He's name is Thomas, young and afraid of himself."
#9
Not patrolling, but in the area after dark watching out for his pyro friend. Sure, buddy. What were you finding around here? Except she was distracted quick by his answer, barking out a laugh, swiping an arm into the air.

"Tommy boy!" she cheered. "I scared the shit outta that kid so bad that he set a trashcan on fire too. Didn't mean to, though. He's just jumpy as shit."

She'd never intend to make him fire his pants in public! Grace wasn't that kind of bully.
#10
Tommy boy, that was certainly a nickname. It was good that Thomas had friends. Even if it was sad to hear that there had been an incident.

"He is a bit jumpy. Im helping him gain better control of his ability."

He could only hope that there would be no more accidents. Their first session was coming up soon. Maybe he ought to send a reminder message. Was he any better really? There had only been one time in the theater that he had lost control of the new power, but in a way he was just as scared as Thomas. He could feel it even now, the strings knotted around his body. Couldn't see them, could only feel them, and if he touched. Well he wasn't planning on dying here.

"So were you planning on doing damage to something with that mini flamethrower?"
#11
She was pretty sure Tommy needed to put more work in on that front. The world couldn't hold his hand through it. But it was good he had a rich French mentor.

"You do a lot of magic tricks?" she asked, wondering how the fuck anyone would see a sliver of black plastic under her wrist and know it was a flamethrower.

It was a new product for magicians. Unless Leon did a lot of jealous pyromancer research, she wasn't sure how he'd picked it out. But she did turn her wrist up to inspect the plastic, mindful not to point it at herself.

Grace wasn't that dumb.
#12
He supposed an average person wouldn't have known what was currently strapped to the woman's wrist.

"I use to be a cop, I've seen crazier weapons."

Things had only gotten more crazy since the tiger and vampire had shown the world what was out there. He had been to some horrendous crime scenes, people burning silver into their bodies, covering their houses in crosses and garlic. Even worse finding the bodies of people who had been accused of being supernatural. Girls accused of being witches' and burned or drowned. Silver bullets in murder cases. Considering all that, the mini flamethrower was fairly tame.
#13
That was weird. Still seemed like lightning fast recognition. Next time she'd be wearing sleeves, anyway.

"Then you'd know it's not a weapon," she said, chin lifted in challenge. "It's for magic tricks. Can you make a fire dragon or some shit?"

Grace pointed her arm out to the parking lot, then pressed the trigger, sending a shortlived fireball twirling out toward the concrete and putting an automatic grin on her face.
#14
He watched rather unimpressed as she shot a fire ball out into the parking lot. Wondering if someone would see it and call the police. As for her question of a fire dragon. Well it wasn't out of the realm of possibility. Actually he was fairly sure he could do such a feat but to do something on such a large scale..

"If I wanted to get hospitalized for hypothermia I could."

Not something he was really interested in doing just for a demonstration.
#15
Spoiler alert: she'd been hoping he might turn the fireball into a tiny dragon, but no such luck. Hypothermia was a kicker of a side effect for fire powers. Reminded her of Priya sniffling and shivering after pact making.

Yeah. Remember that, Grace.

"Bummer," she said. Finagled the fireball button from her palm to switch the device off. Didn't need to accidentally blast on her way home.

"You ever do any fun shit with your power?"
#16
It seemed she was done with her pyromania, or at least he hoped whatever button and fiddling she was doing was for that purpose. He was starting to see how she might have scared Thomas, even without the boy being jump to being with. She was a force to be reckoned with, extremely pushy.

Well he wasn't one to be shy about his ability, and something small wouldn't be bad.

Taking her previous suggestion in mind he would cup his hands together and a flame would spark to life above his skin. Twisting around itself until it smoothed out into the shape of a very small dragon. Once formed he would send it up into the air where it could twirl and dive in circles around her.

The cold settled in as it always did, the longer he held the creature and controlled its movements the worse it got. From shivers to teeth clattering and if he pushed it to far blue lips.
#17
Yo, hot fucking shit, he did it. Grace's brows rose, mouth falling agape first in surprise and then into a bared grin.

"Ayyyy, magic boy!" she cheered, and the delight was sincere. She only barely resisted the urge to reach a hand out and touch it, knowing better than to singe herself. Barely. By like, two percent. "This is sick as fuck, dude."

Grace would watch as long as he kept it going, catching the blue of his lips but trusting he wouldn't freeze himself to death with it beside her.
#18
He could barely feel his fingers and his body was racked with shivers. It was worth it though to see his ability make someone so happy. Slowly he began the process of extinguishing it, letting it burn down until it was just a flicker. Then as he went to close off the fire all together he brushed lightly over the other ability. The one he had no control over. Perhaps he had been to careless in his confidence over the fire. One moment he was snapping out the fire dragon and the next the air was shrieking with a blast of air. It was the kind to bring tears to eyes and whip hair around in a frenzy but it was short lived disappearing as quickly as it had come.

If only that had been it. However just as in the theater a stillness seized his limps closing up his throat. Knees hit the pavement as he toppled over, It took a few seconds for his mind to catch up, to realize that the body was no longer function as it should. Most importantly that he could not breath. He couldn't scream, could grasp at his throat. No he was stuck in a frozen hell suffocating. Unable to even ask for help.
#19
The blast of wind caught her by surprise. She thought it was something like Joseph's power, and this guy was dual wielding. But it didn't last long, and shit way more distracting rolled in.

Pierre (she didn't know if she knew his name, so generic French would have to do) melted to the ground, and she reached for him a moment too late, fingers grasping at his upper arms to try to slow his descent. His knees would eat pavement, but she could ease him down from there, grunting at him.

"Showin' off too much," she teased, but without bite, recognizing the reality that pushing too far could happen in an instant. If she could, she'd let him down slow and easy onto his side, trying to check that he was still breathing at all.
#20
He hadn't realized she had caught him, to wrapped up in the sudden side effects. It was impossible to miss being turned onto his side. Desperately he tried to grasp for her hand but his muscles wouldn't move. They weren't stiff, still shaking from the cold, but it was as if his mind had been cut off from them. All he could do was move his eyes and besides looking around frantically they did no good.

Frantic was a good word to describe the fear coursing through him. Clear as it was that he couldn't move thats all he could think about. Moving, screaming, anything to breathe.

He need to breathe.

No air was passing through his throat and filling his lungs. Already dark spots were filling his vision.
#21
No choked breath. No breath she could hear at all. Grace squatted down beside him, hoping he wouldn't see up her shorts but figuring it might bring him back to life to see her bush if he did.

"Ayyy buddy, come on back outta there," she said, reaching a hand around to rub her knuckles against his back, then thwap him twice with an open palm. "If you're all tense, just chill the fuck out, unclench."

Sometimes it was a matter of tensing through it. Other times you needed to chill your fuckin' sphincter out before you blew a power o-ring.
#22
He couldn't really see much of anything at the moment as the black was taking over his vision, so her's privacy was safe. In a couple more seconds he had fallen unconscious. It was purely happenstance that the moment his back got a sold slap from the other psychic the side effects ended. At once his body began convulsing as his lungs sucked in air.
#23
And then, he was alive!

Grace stood, letting him have his space on the ground as she stomped a circle adjacent to him with a "PHEWWWWWW!" of relief for them both. It was hard to freak Grace out with side effects; she'd seen close to it all. But there was a tension in seeing someone get all blue in the face like that.

She wandered to the smoldering trash can, toeing a shoe at hot plastic as she gave him time to come back to planet earth.
#24
Coming back around from suffocation was not a pleasant feeling. His stomach was doing summersaults and he felt rather like a baby deer with how much he was shaking. But he woke up pretty soon after the initial breath so he got to experience the whole thing. Very weakly he tried to push himself up, all it really accomplished was getting him onto his back.

The sound of someone stomping around reminded him that there had been the other psychic. So at least he wasn't alone in run down strip mall parking lot. Laying there just waiting to be robbed.

He sucked in more air and stared up at the dull sky, wondering if she would be willing to drag him back to his car.

"Merde"

The word came out the moment he felt like he wasn't going to vomit just from opening his mouth.
#25
When she heard a sound, a voice, she looked back to him. Had no fucking clue what he said, but it was still progress. Dude looked like shit, and this wasn't the best place to be on the ground. Concrete not real comfy. She didn't have anywhere to teleport him off to, though, not that she had any reliable control in here.

"How you don't, bud?" she asked, shuffling over to sit crosslegged near him, but not too close.

While Grace didn't relish the suffering of another psychic on its own, she was more cozy seeing a rich guy down and out.
#26
He felt like he had just nose dived off a cliff, not that he had an energy to say that to her. No he was just going to focus on breathing until things felt a bit better.

"baise moi de côté"

Was his next groan in french as once more he tried sitting up, only to actually achieve doing so. Though the movement wasn't any better for his stomach as in the next moment he unceremoniously threw up. Miraculously not on himself or on the woman, but to the side so at least he had that going for him.

"Could I trouble you to take me back to my car?"

Was said with a few drawn out pauses of feeling to sick to talk.
#27
What was with people just dropping different languages on her like she'd know them? He rattled off some words, and she squished a big confused eyebrow look his way.

Then came barfing, and Grace was rocketing up off the ground in a second, practically cartwheeling to her feet. Yarfing wasn't an uncommon side effect, but she didn't want it on her. There was the stink of inside guts turned outside, and her nose wrinkled as she backstepped. And, hey, he had a voice!

"If you got it all out," she said, gesturing to the puddle. "Though should you be driving like this?"
#28
He was sick to notice any side eye at his use of French. Or to notice her cartwheeling the moment he'd barfed.

"Car's got a heater at least."

Because he was also still dealing with the effects from the fire, which was really making the sick feeling worse. He couldn't tell if the shaking of his limbs was from the intense cold or from the suffocation. And he was positive if he stayed like this in the parking lot he was going to die from the elements or some less friendly stranger.
#29
So he was still chilly, huh. Grace strayed nearer, but didn't huddle up too close yet.

"You yarf on me, you gotta buy me a car, deal?"

There was no way he would, nor would she take a car from him, but it was the kindest threat she had as she approached, offering out an arm to begin to help hoist him up.
#30
He tried to crack a smile at the joke, although it didn't really feel like a joke. It was quiet the joke to make, most people couldn't afford the car they had. He could but the woman didn't know that. Though she'd probably figure it out when she saw his Bugatti. Which was securely parked nowhere near the strip mall. God he hated himself for that at the moment.

Threat or joke he took the offered help. Having to use her strength and weight as an anchor to even get to his feet, which were rather shakily.
#31
Up they went.

Grace considered, in this moment, that she could rob him. Too fucked up to control his fire. Couldn't run after her. She could hop on her bike and peace out in a second. But it was unlikely he carried fat wads of cash; he wasn't a vampire.

She wasn't exactly the mugging type, anyway. Regardless of what some limp dicked suspended police officers thought of her.

"Where's your car?" she asked, spotting only a few scattered vehicles that didn't scream "rich guy."
#32
[the writer will be uncreative for the next little bit involving names of people and places]

He gave her the name of some more secure parking lot a bit away from where they currently were. Not to far of a walk for a person who wasn't currently having their legs threating collapse. He was also a lot closer to the other psychic (he was going to start calling her jane from now on) and he wasn't so sure it was a good thing or not. Jane after all still had a mini flamethrower attached to her wrist. Hell maybe if he got burned he would be warm again. Even the little warmth Jane gave off felt like a fire he wanted to be a part of, which gave him very conflicting emotions none of which was desire beyond the heat.
#33
Pfft. Shit. Grace didn't want to carry this guy forever. She could smell his stank-ass vomit breath.

"We could call you an Uber that'll get here faster than me dragging you," she said, not pausing their trek, but meaning it.

If he couldn't drive anyway, might as well buy a ride home.
#34
"I dont think many ubers would be around Rice Bluff after dark."

It was not the safest place to be in town. Certainly no Oakland, but as terrifying as any part of Colorado could be. Though maybe the chart of what was scary was different now. Vampires and shifters could live in the suburbs just as easily as in Rice bluff.

He was starting to feel a bit better the more time passed. The shaking in his legs lessening. So he probably wasn't going to die here even if Jane did abandon him.
#35
Grace laughed, openly. Alright, rich boy, you didn't do Ubers. You probably thought a gallon of milk cost twelve bucks.

"For a cop, you sure think people are shitless."

It was a bad part of town. Grace knew because she lived here. Got around on her bike here. A bike she'd have to go back for and hope wasn't stolen.

Still, she helped him along, defensive of her town, but unshaken in terms of supporting him.
#36
If he was not feeling so sick he might have taken the words in and had a mini existential crisis. But right now he just wanted to make it to his car. The lot he'd parked in wasn't to far and he even managed to get his legs fully under control about half way there. Still felt like his stomach was churning and certainly still freezing.

"I think I can make it from here. I appreciate the help."
#37
She felt him unsag, the weight against her assistance less and less. Grace wouldn't offer to carry him if he didn't need it, and she eased away from him accordingly.

"Don't drive unless you're good to, yeah?" she said, lingering next to him but taking one shuffling step back.

He'd really wrecked himself. To a degree, Grace admired that. No pain, no gain in the psychic practice world.
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