Fuck-ups know best (Attn: William, Margot, Doc)
"If I could accurately summarize what I think the problem is? I mean fully and utterly articulate the spectrum of all that could and has gone wrong? I might be able to explain to you how to fix it. As it is, I'm not sure that I can. I'm not sure anyone can, really because this is by far and away the vastly distinct cross section of 'Fucked' and 'Up' that rarely comes along outside of the all seeing, all knowing reality slap we're too scared to court most of the time."

~Marissa Triers, Dreamspeaker having found out the anchor she's been using has just been destroyed~

Ned's home. 

The front door chimes open and closed without a bell or a ring or a flutter of anything, really because they didn't have any bells. Ned had removed anything resembling a bell after an explosion of some sort had rocked the house and caused him to hear ringing for a few days afterward. The front door had a knocker on it which none of them used and since no one visited, it had remained stiffly new where it sat, eye level and glaring with it's ornate vagueness.

Ned is yelling.

"Oye! The two of you! Get down here we have to talk about something..."

Perhaps accumulating an air of dread, concern or at least, displeasure knowing there was something to discuss amongst the fuck-ups of the house hold, Ned's feet are moving into the nearby study with it's open doorway, vast library of books and assorted pieces of furniture that serve basically the same function as the long large table at the centre; for placing various books on as a saving spot, if the current condition of the study is any indication. 

Ned finds a chair that looks like it was once decorated in cobwebs and mystery and is now just a faded piece of fancy that has long since been repaired to a serviceable position. There are a half dozen other chairs scattered around the room, few of which match each other. Eclecticity.

Ned picks up a nearby book. Something with no title, a brown cover and the sort of crumpled pages that come along with water damage. He skims the page the book is opened on before trimming through the next 15, stopping briefly to regard the passage there before repeating the process. He pauses only long enough to glance up at William, the other individual who'd walked through the door. Then he motions the Hermetic to find a seat, try to breathe and start the process of farewell to various body parts. All with nothing but a blink and a roll of his eyes.
It wasn't until he was looking for a place to sit that he began to feel mildly concerned about the fact that he'd told Sepúlveda that he wanted in Margot's pants. Not because he was concerned about what his reaction would be- William Holmes was past the point of being too desperate for approval- but rather because this was a home court advantage and if all parties in this equation didn't agree to letting him in then Ned was going to do his level best to kill him.

Grant you, Ned probably possibly wouldn't succeed in making the Hermetic part with his mortal form but it was the thought that counts. He didn't necessarily want Ned to try and kill him, it would make Margot upset and it would totally make the time they've got to spend with Arturo Nihm Really Freaking Awkward. There were lots of things that were going through his head. Even more when he had a chance to really look around the room he'd stepped into.

There was a book with a brown cover that made the sound that all books who opened too easily made. There was the quiet smell of dust that lingered in old furniture even when it's been used and used and used plenty of times. He was subconsciously counting the number of red things that he saw (twenty three, twenty-four, twenty-five...) and not at all hearing conversations that didn't need to be heard in this particular realm.

It's... nice.

No, it's really nice.

He took a seat nearest the exit, in case he needed to get a head start. His eyes travel back to the bookshelf, "how do you guys have that organized? Subject matter? Traditional leanings? Author?"

He's trying to distract himself. Will would probably keep talking even if Ned didn't say anything at all.
Oy! The two of you!

Something lands on the floor upstairs with a thud. Footsteps thud. A door mewls open.


They have to talk about something.


He doesn't want to get into a Forces vs. Matter fight with his student-turned-cabalmate, so Andrés allows his boots to drag him down the stairs and into the library. When he appears, he's wearing his non-work outfit of corduroys and a wrinkled dress shirt, cardigan and glasses making him look disheveled rather than studious. Lord knows what are in his pockets.

His eyes narrow when he sees Will.

"Ah, Christ." Even if Margot hasn't arrived yet, he looks back at Ned and says, "Explain."
Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon
Margot wasn't far behind. She wasn't shouting through the house like the other two, but that wasn't to say she wasn't guilty of the practice herself. It was more that by the time the door to her bedroom swung open the Doc was already hollering assumptions of guilt down the stairway to drown out any 'whaddaya want?' that she may have had to contribute to the shoutversation.

She came down the stairs barefooted and in a pair of denim shorts that were high enough on pale lean thighs that they threatened to disappear beneath the hem of a slightly-large long-sleeved tee, colored primarily black but smudged a spectrum of grays here and there (ash-- the smell of smoke still clung to her hair as well, she'd been practicing something up there). She blinked with mild surprise at what she found in the study. From Ned with the book in his lap, Will seated straight-backed and nervous and looking like he was (mostly) ready for an interview, and Doc glaring at the both of them.

"Uhh... Hi, guys?"

That was about it. Other than that, and sans glare, she was with Doc on this one.
William's conversational airs are met with relative silence, even overly concentrated focus on his book. One might think Ned is ignoring the poor fellow and that would be true but mostly for the reasoning that involved keeping his mind on what was going to need to be said. Preparing a speech or what all.

Ned doesn't look up from his book when Doc enters the Study (except perhaps a glance to see which of the two it was first, a brief smile cutting across his face before his gaze drops back into the volume). The Doc takes the lord's name in vain and Ned is still reading. The Doc offers a single word indicator of what this is all about. Ned is squinting at something on the page, rubbing at it with his thumb. Then Margot enters and Ned's eyes flick upward toward her. Then over at the Doc. Then around toward William, all while still holding the book poised in his lap.


Margot says hello. Ned returns it, though it seems intended for both his Cabalmates. He sucks in a breath, almost as if he is about to go on one of his patented Ned explanations (Ned tried to call it a 'Nedsplanation' once but Doc interrupted him halfway through with a 'No' so that was the end of that). Instead, Ned claps the book shut, puffs his cheeks out and lays the book in his lap.

"I've asked William to Join our Cabal."

Pause for effect. Wave of his free hand at the room.

"So... should we get the negatives out of the way or the positives? I feel like we are all on the same page about the negatives for the most part, though I can clarify if there are any questions. I'm more than capable providing evidence as needed," he told them. Possibly the first instance in recent memory where he had offered to justify or at least explain the rationale behind some of his bad decisions.

There was a second, hands clasped in front of him before the put them palm down on the arms of his chair. Stillness doesn't suit him, and the fact that he hasn't gotten up and moved yet is really starting to wear away at whatever resolve he might have, "I'm trying really hard not to dominate conversation since this is a discussion and not a lecture."
After Will's first question, Andrés shoots Ned a look that clearly asks Are you fucking kidding me right now? before hitting a button on his wristwatch. It beeps, and it beeps loud enough for everyone in the room to hear it, but it does nothing aside from keep time. He stands with his hands on his hips until Will shuts up for a second, lifts his eyebrows when he keeps talking, then decides he's had enough and hits the button on his watch again.

I'm trying really hard not to dominate convers--

"Then stop talking!" Andrés says, astonished more than disgusted. A hand goes to his temple like he's got a headache coming on, and he blows out a breath before crossing both arms over his chest.

To Ned: "Why did you not discuss this with us before bringing him back to the house? Now I have to dig a hole in the back yard. I had other plans this evening, you know." Quick, to Margot: "Elucidate for me why you like this boy, besides the fact that he's tall and has floppy hair."
Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon
First, Margot blinked with surprise at the announcement. Not so much surprised with Will, but rather surprised with the other involved in this spring-trap open floor. Will hopped in with a quick babble about fessing up his negatives right out the gate, Doc hopped in to cut him off, and the witch just looked at the 'floppy haired boy' in residual exasperation with his willingness to fling his flaws out into the light.

A light blush spread on her cheeks when the Doc posed his request for her to go on ahead and vouch for her friend the way that he did, and she cut a look to him in return for it. Then she huffed a big breath and thought for a moment. Leave it to them to guess whether this was because she was hunting for reasons or phrasing.

"He's good, and reliable, and cares about everything and nothing at the same time. His perspective's different than mine; brighter sometimes and from darker spots too. It's a balance that works." She shrugged her shoulders, then turned her attention to Ned, now with a frown. Rather than looking surprised, she seemed poised to scold.

"What are you doing? Why'd you drag him here for this? There's gotta be some kind of emergency or reason you couldn't just use your words first, right?"
"Because he's putting you in danger."

He eyeballs the pair of cabalmates. Ned had an air of eye-rolling that didn't quite make it to his eyes when the Doc asked for an explanation but he didn't speak up immediately. Instead, he let Margot take the floor first and answer Doc's question. Then she turns around on him and Ned returns her stare and question with something else. His voice is quiet but not subdued. His gaze and features are tired but not exhausted. Resignation and conviction in a single breath.

"It was just you before-" He nods so very slightly toward Margot "-but you're stubborn and don't seem to know any better. Then we're called into the city by him-" Ned nods to the side, indicating William "-to pick up the optional corpse of you-" Another slight nod toward the Doc, who receives a slight glare for the effort. As if to say that situation might well have been avoided...ifs...ands...buts...digressions.

"-and each time I'm sitting around thinking 'alright'-" He claps, once. "-'I guess it's time to do something about him'..." And there's an air there. Something under the tone that Margot might recognize from another (life)time. (He's gotta go...you know that...but if you don't want too...)

"Because we're living here, no one's done anything to fix the situation and we're all content just to ignore the stupid sitting in the chair in our study and the stupid that keeps saying 'It'll be fine'-" Eyes at Margot "-or 'Kill it with booze'..." Eyes at the Doc.

"So no I didn't discuss it with you. All of us are experts in denial tactics. I think that's blatantly obvious. We're here to discuss this as a collective. No hiding. No walking away. No telling us to shut up or complaining about what's right and wrong. I want to know what we're going to do about him and inviting him into the Cabal so we can keep an eye on him and minimize how much fucking half-life he spreads around, was the option."

A pause. Then around on the Doc and his question:

"I've already told William that if the two of you don't comfortably and logically see why he should be in this Cabal, that I'm going to do my level best to kill him. Felt like a compelling reason to do this in person and isolation so that there's no holding back."
The Etherite has considerable more tolerance for Ned speaking more than a few sentences before getting to The Point, chief among them being the Orphan has earned his trust and respect. Try as he might to act as though the two younger Willworkers are a giant pain in his ass, he has made precisely zero attempts to live without them.

... or 'Kill it with booze'...

So the 30-something just rolls his eyes when Ned looks at him for clarification. Then comes an explanation. Then comes the thesis statement.

It may very well cause Will discomfort that Andrés doesn't object to killing the Hermetic whose presence has been a variable during at least two separate incidents that nearly removed a cabalmate from Ned's life.

Despite the fact his arms are still crossed over his chest, he doesn't come back with an argument. The corners of his mouth pull down in an expression of Well alright then.

In preparation for Margot's response, Andrés removes a flask from a pocket and takes a long swig.
Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon

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