Closed RP Mechannibal

This RP is currently closed.

“Takes one to know one, yeah. Explains a couple of things to me.” There was a bit of a smirk on her face as she said that. She took a big bite of her teriyaki chicken and made a small face at the flavor. Teriyaki chicken was by far one of her favorite foods on this green earth. Then she shook her head slightly as she chewed. She was thinking.

Maybe that bite that had almost happened outside had been as much a threat as a flirt, then. She chose not to take it that way, however. She had been asking for it. Maybe he would have even done it if, well. He clearly could bite through and eat bones. That definitely meant that he had to be careful with that kind of thing. Maybe he had a hard time with the pressure, and couldn’t control it very well, and– god damn it, that was not the point she had been trying to think of. She was trying to think of how his jaw and teeth were clearly much more enhanced.

He likely had a strength factor as well, just like her. He had definitely been putting on a show with the car. He probably pushed it as easily as she had. So strength and enhanced jaw, and probably something else. That was too odd a combination for there to not be more. She wanted to pry. She wanted to ask him about himself and what his gifts were. She had so many questions, more than she had already had, and– No. She did not have questions about him. She crushed that thought beneath her heels and swallowed her food, giving him a smile.

“I think we have a few commonalities.” She gestured to the food between them, indicating that they both had insane appetites to offset whatever powers they had. “Although I imagine yours aren’t like mine. Does yours eat you from the inside out as well when you don’t eat enough? Mine breaks down anything in my body it can find. That’s what happens when you’re a human furnace.”

She chuckled at the end, a genuine sound that was accompanied by a genuine smile and a glow in her golden eyes. The first person she had talked to for longer than twenty minutes in a month and it was another meta. The odds of that seemed astronomical, and yet, here they both were.​
While Sam thought over what she was going to say, Todd sipped at the soup, using the little provided bowl like a cup and taking time to let the warmth spread through him. He smiled back as she gestured to the food, and nodded to accept her point.

He used to explain his situation, typically to people who wouldn’t have the chance to tell anyone. He still did, from time to time, although he saw it as a better torture tactic than a relief if conscience these days. People didn’t like to think of themselves as food. Humans were too smart to be prey. They weren’t animals. But there were some hungers that didn’t know the difference. His was one of them.

Obviously he couldn’t say those things to Sam, because she got the arguably normal ability of generating heat. He wasn’t jealous; he never was. Everyone’s gifts came at their cost. He had no idea what he’d be doing if he had some other ability. He certainly wouldn’t be the person he was. Some of the good he’d done, along with the bad, would be gone.

“Something like it, anyway. I don’t do anything cool with it, though. I’m just a bottomless pit.” All technical truths. He thought some more for a second, then decided to give more explanation before she started asking the wrong questions. “Actuaally… okay. So you don’t have to ask, I’m a shapeshifter. It’s not nearly as cool as it sounds, and I can’t do it anytime or with any person. Yes this is my real face, no I can’t do Elvis. But I think part of it for me anyway is that I store mass to use for that later. Sometimes I can use it for energy, so I can do things like…push a car. Like I said, you win for awesome factor.”

Most people found that to be an acceptable explanation, most of the time. They’d make up explanations for the rest, one way or another. It didn’t really explain his bite force, but if that was the only follow-up question she had for him, then he could live with that. He was just glad that as far as he could tell, she couldn’t hear lies.

Even though, technically, he wasn’t lying to her.

Sam listened while she chewed on mouthfuls of chicken and rice, watching his face as he described his power. Shapeshifting, huh? That was neat. That was actually really neat. She was almost tempted to ask him more because that didn’t explain his bite force or the way he moved earlier. Instead, she chose to wash down her bite with some Coke and let there be a moment of silence before nodding.

“Okay then.” She didn’t pry. If he wanted to keep some secrets, she’d leave it. After all, it wasn’t like they were going to see each other again. For that reason, she smiled and continued in that hushed tone, “My power is, I think, as far as I’ve been able to put together, energy conversion. My body takes energy, turns it into heat, and offputs it at extreme temperatures. But I can’t turn it off. It’s entirely linked to my emotions, or at least my control of it is, and it will literally eat all of the energy my body needs to keep things running if I go too long between meals, or eat too little. Gives me a little extra strength and speed. Just enough to push a car.”

Her smile there got a little smug, and her brows rose a fraction. There was no harm in telling him. Not really. She had told a few people in the past, but usually ones where she couldn’t explain it away. There was the time she’d been at a glass-blowing course and an instructor had caught her catching a molten hot vase with her bare hands. This was her first time telling it all to another meta, other than Alice, that was. But this wouldn’t be another Alice. She could never have another Alice.

“What are you doing being a mechanic then? If you can do something like that, why be a mechanic? Just because you like to fix things, to work with your hands?”
Todd shrugged as he set the soup bowl aside and picked his chopsticks back up to start on the sushi. “Why’re you opening a gym and not a bakery? What I am doesn’t define who I am. But you’re right – I like fixing things. Puts a little net good out there in the world.”

Once again, he was speaking in truths. While what he was had shaped who he’d become, it didn’t definite it. If he chose to just be what he was, he’d just be a mercenary or worse, selling his abilities and appetite to the highest bidder. Fixing things, especially for a guy like Vik, was something that kept him grounded. Kept him human.

In contrast, her powers, emotionally driven, seemed very human to him. Maybe it was the draw of warmth, or maybe it was the glow she wore around her, or maybe it had been the sound of the police scanner in her bag earlier. She felt like a real person to him, one who could glow and smile and eat easily as much as he did.

He hadn’t even been this semi-honest with Summer. He’d been more honest with Arlo, but not completely, and then only after a while; he’d been a loner for a long time before that, and had only recently figured out what he could do. This time, she was a stranger, and they’d part ways as strangers. Somehow, that made it all easier.

“Haha. Right.” There was a hesitation in her voice. She looked down at her hand for a moment, where it rested on the table with the chopsticks in hand. It would be easy to show him if she wanted to. She was wearing the suit. It was on under her clothes, covered by the cowl-necked hoodie and the long sleeves of her leather jacket. It would be so easy to just tell someone the truth. Someone she’d never have to see again.

Instead, she sighed lightly. She didn’t deserve to tell anyone. Not really. As much as she wanted to, she didn’t deserve to tell anyone what she really did. They might get the wrong idea and think she actually did something good in the world.

She smiled again, pulling the tray of sushi close to her. She picked up a piece of the dragon roll and gave him a real grin before popping it whole into her mouth. It gave her another moment to figure out what she wanted to say to that.

She nodded thoughtfully and then swallowed, taking another moment before she said in a soft, warm voice, “I haven’t told anyone what I am in… years. I’ve only told people who have caught me doing something, and then I would leave and never see them again. The last real person who knew what I am and didn’t make a fuss about it, well. She’s gone. She was also like us. But she was way better than me. Way cooler too. She’s the reason I am doing what I’m doing.”

That was as close as she would get to admitting she was a vigilante. That was as close as she could allow herself. Todd seemed like a good person, and he seemed like he wouldn’t care, or might even be the type who supported it, but still. Still, she didn’t say the exact words. Maybe he was smart enough and he would just get it.

Either way, Sam didn’t really deserve his recognition.​
He definitely heard that wistful sigh. It might’ve been too quiet for normal people to notice it, but he heard it all the same. She smiled like whatever had made her so sad didn’t mean anything, and then she went back to eating.

When she finished what she had to say, he understood. He could’ve said something. Said it so quietly that only she would hear it, guaranteed. The police scanner, the leotard, the powers, the sadness. He wanted to say that he understood. That he’d been there.

That whatever had happened, he’d done worse.

“I knew someone like that,” he said instead, sitting back in his chair, appetite not gone – never gone – but not right, for this. “I mean, I’m not really shy about what I am, but I knew someone like us who could be everything I couldn’t. Stronger in every way. He’s gone, too. But I think about him a lot.”

He didn’t talk about Arlo. And he wouldn’t – he wouldn’t let him bother him, damn it. Not now, not so long after. But he needed to get his thoughts under control before he let himself eat again. Some kinds of guilt didn’t go away with a wave of the hand or a passing thought.

Was Arlo really the last time he’d made a friend? A good friend? It felt like forever ago, and it felt like yesterday. Summer hadn’t really been a friend – not in the same way. She’d still been a kid. He’d looked out for her, right up until he didn’t.

He took a long sip of his root beer, letting the sugar and fizz wash that depression away. He could only handle one dead friend right now. And one living one, however temporary, was right here across from him.

Without thinking about it, he raised his glass. “To the good who died young?”

Sam gave a soft smile as he talked about his own friend who was also gone. She wondered if he, like her, went out on the streets at night to manage the rage that their disappearance left in his heart. She wondered if he was like her, and that he used his gifts to try and make up for their loss in the world. She closed her eyes and sighed out of her nose before raising her own glass and saying, “To the good who died young, and to holes that can never be filled.”

She took a drink, tipping back her Coke. The rest of their conversation over lunch was soft, and Sam never quite lost her heat, but she kept it better leashed than she had in the car ride. And on the way back, she let go again, enjoying the conversation, which had shifted back to a little bit of casual flirting, but never quite reached the levels it had on the way to the restaurant. She was a little disappointed by that, but honestly, he was just pleasant to be around. That more than made up for any wistfulness or could-have-been-ness she felt about them. Still, though, she made a decision in her head.

She hadn’t just made a decision, but she had solidified the decision as a plan. Sam followed through on plans. She always followed through, whether it was following through on her own plans, or following through on others. And this plan left her feeling a little flutter in her chest. They had both already agreed on one thing that made her feel better about what she was going to do. Neither of them wanted relationships, so he wouldn’t take this the wrong way.

They pulled back into the garage, and Todd went off. She waited outside for him to open the bay doors, so she could stand there and talk to him while he finished putting her car back together again. She let her warmth back out for him since he hadn’t complained about being too hot at any point during the day. Besides, it gave him a good indication that she was still happy and still more than happy to casually flirt with him.

“About done, big guy?”
They drank to the friends they’d lost, and ate the rest of the meal in good spirits. After the incident with the bones, however, Todd put a little leash on the part of him that he’d let go on the ride in. He didn’t shut down completely, but he skirted around some of her comments instead of encouraging them. The worry made him happy that this was going to be done when they parted ways today, but not as happy as the banter that had let him feel genuine, even when he hadn’t been completely honest.

Good things came and went, though. He’d at least remember this.

They hadn’t reached his goal, maybe because he’d taken it slowly, maybe because the place really didn’t have an upper limit, but he’d lost the bet and paid his dues. And despite a few more good-natured threats, he didn’t take a detour to a warehouse or a hiking trail, even if either meant more time enjoying the company.

But, no, they were back at Vik’s too soon. Todd left Sam’s side long enough to unlock the shop and check for voicemails – two, looking to make appointments for next week sometime. He’d call them back after he was done with the Beetle. He then took a minute to change, before finally heading back to the garage.

She was waiting for him when he opened up the bay doors, with a wave of heat that countered the cold that had tried to crawl back in the second there was a door between them. He tried not to look like he was basking when he smiled at her again. The heat was controlled by her emotions, she’d said. There was no anger in the wave that met him, and he knew she had to be as happy as he was.

It wouldn’t last, if she stuck around longer than today. If she found out what he really was, what he had to do. To the good who died young, they’d toasted. He hoped she lived a long life without knowing what kind of people other metas could be. Villains, sure. Just not monsters.

“Another hour or two, maybe.” He went back to the car and patted one of the Bug’s round headlights as he started collecting up pieces. “I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a car in her condition in here. You don’t see too many 2002s that don’t look like fifty different morons have scrambled up her wires.”

He talked while he worked, answered most of her questions, gave most of the truth. Dropped lines that could’ve been about the Bug, if he hadn’t given her surreptitious glances with a wide smile whenever he did so. The new parts went in smoothly, the old parts went in around them, and he finally stepped away to scrub his hands clean before the mandatory test drive to make sure nothing was rattling that wasn’t supposed to be. He called over to her while he got the big bottle of soap out, and stepped toward the massive garage sink.

“Alright, I just have take her out to make sure everything’s good, and then I’ll ring you up in the shop. You wanna come with? I won’t be five minutes.”

Sam was more than happy to wait the two hours it took for him to finish, especially since it meant she could keep talking to him. She was making the most of the time she could since it would only be for that day. She didn’t mind that it would end, but still, she felt a twinge of disappointment when the time finally came for him to ring her up. Of course, all good things ended, and Sam was just impressed at how well she had avoided taking away her temporary joy with sad thoughts or anger.

When he asked her if she wanted to join him on the test ride, she smiled but shook her head no. “I’m sure you’ve got it handled, cheekbones. I’ll be more than happy to wait here. Just bring her back to me, got it?”

That wasn’t going to be the right time for what she wanted. The right time was going to be right as he was checking her out. Right when he handed her back her card at the end. She already had it in her head how it would go, so now she just had to wait.

She walked inside the shop to wait for him to get back, meandering through the halls. The day had been, overall, very different from what she had been expecting. She’d expected to go sit at a cafe down the street while she waited for some mechanic to fix her car. She had not expected Todd, with his smile and curly dark hair and ice blue eyes. But who could ever really predict what the future held for them? Sam certainly couldn’t. Would she have come here at all if she had known he would be waiting for her there?

The answer was an emphatic yes. Every time, she would have come. She might not be able to turn this into something long-term or meaningful, but it was a good reminder that she was human still. It was a good reminder that despite everything, Sam Walsh was still human. Despite everything, she still deserved some good things in life, even if they were temporary. Todd Fowler was one of those temporary good things she was allowed.​
Driving alone had always helped to clear Todd’s head. It’d been a while since he felt like he needed to clear his head, but right now it was spinning, and not in a bad way. Her temporary term of endearment had warmed him up faster than any wave of heat she projected, and he grinned like an idiot.

“Yes, ma’am, understood.”

He gave her a sharp salute, and then folded down into the beautiful Beetle. He really shouldn’t leave her alone with the shop, but it was a slow day, and his instincts told him she was trustworthy. And that she could take care of anything that came up.

Driving, alone, had always helped to clear Todd’s head. He hadn’t felt like this in ages. He remembered feeling happy before. He couldn’t place when, though, or who with. It was a breath of life, of fresh air, into the life that had become routine and solitary. He knew better than to believe that this could become anything more, to believe that he was still human enough to deserve that kind of happiness with someone as radiant in every sense of the word as Samantha Walsh. Good things couldn’t last for him.

So he enjoyed them as they came, and he enjoyed her even in her absence. In the smell of the Beetle that didn’t make a peep out of place, in the smell that was her cinnamon and apples and vanilla. And jasmine, too, that started to come out, that had wafted out before whenever she let her hair move. The paint, the chalk, the fresh new leather that all had to be from her restoration work at the gym she wouldn’t give him the name of, and he wouldn’t ask for, because this couldn’t last. Even if that undertone smell of blood, her blood, probably from nights spent on long patrols like him – her blood ran under almost everything in the car, and it was there like cigarette smoke, and somehow that didn’t rouse the beast inside of him.

And in the ten minute test drive, he found underneath her the smell of other. The last owner, maybe. Maybe her friend, who she’d lost, not like he’d lost Arlo – not like his reminder that this couldn’t last because of what he was, and who she was. The smell of makeup, powder and foundation, when Sam didn’t seem to wear any. The smell of baked goods, of pastry crusts and bread. The smell of someone who’d maybe balanced out Sam’s tendencies, just from the gentle hints it pushed onto Todd’s imagination.

He thought about Arlo, who’d always smelled like sweat, work, and motor oil, of the food he cooked in his downtime and shared when he realized how drop dead broke Todd had been. He couldn’t bake to save his life, but Arlo had been skilled at the stove. A dark little corner of Todd’s mind liked to think of good taste when he thought of Arlo. He didn’t like that corner. It wasn’t him, just a part of him, and he couldn’t let it it. Nobody could see that.

Least of all someone like Sam.

So it was with thoughts of ending that Todd parked the Bug next to his Malibu outside the garage, in perfect condition. Nobody else had come up yet, which was good. He trudged up toward the storefront, and paused outside the glass front door, sorting his thoughts as he put his hand on the pull grip. One last moment of happiness, however distant, and then it’d be over.

He stopped putting it off and stepped inside.

“All’s well, cap’n, she’s purring like a kitten.” He strolled forward, letting no trace of the cloud that had clung to his thoughts while he was alone show in his face or smile. He couldn’t when he saw her again, anyway. She sent the darkness off like a ray of sunlight on a bad day. He’d hold onto that while he could.

He gave her a little space, though, as he stepped behind the counter and tallied out the parts. Vik’s already had low prices for parts. If it’d been his shop, he might’ve given a discount for labor – the day hadn’t felt like work, even if his hands were sore and his heart ached for things it couldn’t have. But it wasn’t his shop, and most of the costs were calculated to keep the lights on, so he tallied her up at Vik’s full price, and announced it to her with a smile that was mostly apologetic.

“Like a kitten, you say? Well, I’m sure that’s–” Sam stopped as she turned and watched Todd walk through the door. In much the same way as it had clicked for her that those were his clothes and that the font on his shirt wasn’t right, something else clicked into place in her head. She just didn’t know what it was. And that bothered her. That bothered her a lot. She didn’t like the way that just seeing him made the flutter in her chest return, or the way it made a faint blush rise to her cheeks. She especially didn’t like the way it made her smile.

Sam had what Alice called “the vibe checker 9000”. Sam could tell when people were being disingenuous, or when they were directly lying to her, or when something was just right. The last time she had felt it about a person in general, it had been Alice, as she came running up to her at the lake that night in her green and black superhero dress and her domino mask and excitedly asked her how she had flown. Alice had clicked, and she had slotted into Sam’s life in a way that she never quite understood.

Todd Fowler was now clicking into place. She didn’t know how or why, but he was. She gave a slow smile and approached the register, leaning onto the counter as Todd finished ringing her up. It really was too bad she was who she was. It really was too bad that Sam couldn’t let anyone in. And it really was too bad that it would never work out. As she stood, pulling out her debit card, her brain slotted him into place as someone who was supposed to be in her life.

That really was too bad.

Sam allowed herself one last look at the man her brain had decided in some way belonged in her life. She would never see him again. And if she did, she’d go out of her way to make sure he didn’t see her. So she let her eyes slowly drag over him. His curly thick hair, the blackest black she had seen on someone naturally, the icy blue eyes that her fingers twitched to paint, his full smile, his broad shoulders, all the way down his slim frame. She gave herself permission to look at him with a level of heat in her eyes she normally didn’t allow herself.

Then she looked back up at his eyes, placed her debit card on the counter, and said softly, “Ring me up then?”
Todd felt an entirely different warmth flow through him when she watched him, when she smiled. When he met those golden eyes, he felt, rather than saw, the sadness in them. They both knew this was almost over, and they were about to part as strangers again. And he still smiled back, because this had been a good thing, while it lasted.

He rang her out, without any coy comments. He needed to take time to let go without cutting her off. It’d be a gentle thing, if he could help it. The warmth of her, the knowledge she was there, was enough for now.

The card went through, and the receipt printed. He picked up a pen, and then leaned over the counter to slide back the card, the receipt, and the keys.

“I just need your autograph right there, Ms. Walsh.” He marked the spot with a flourish, and then brought his eyes back up to hers. There wasn’t any pain, and this close, the cold was nonexistent. He smiled at her, all teeth and no bite, and he did his best impression of teen with his favorite actress with the rest of his expression just to make the joke fit.

A stroke of the pen, and it was over.

“Just my autograph, huh?” She held his eyes for a moment. His eyes simmered with warmth, and it made her smile grow bigger, knowing what she was about to do. She picked up the pen and signed the paper in her small and tight handwriting, the cursive font curling across the paper. Then, as she set the pen back down, she said in a soft voice, “Why, Mr. Fowler, it appears I almost forgot something. Can’t leave you without something to remember me with, can I?”

Before he could speak or give much of any response, Sam let her hand dart forward to grip the front of the dark Western-style shirt he wore as part of his uniform. She reached up high, grabbing close to his collar, and pulled him forward over the counter. She gave him an almost animalistic grin before bringing her lips to his.

It was just what she was expecting- except it wasn’t at all. She’d expected heat, a warm fluttering, and a gentle simmer. She’d not expected whatever this was. It was more like a forest fire than a heat, more like a hurricane of sensation than a fluttering of butterflies, and more like a boiling than a simmer. She leaned into it, her lips moving against his in a way that gave as much as it took. The hand she had been stabilizing herself with on the counter was in his hair, and she couldn’t quite remember how it got there.

She broke the kiss with a small, almost inaudible gasp, a wave of heat hotter than any that afternoon rolling off her, matching the temperature she had released during her anger before. She hadn’t been aware she could summon that level of heat without anger. She caught his eyes again, hers half closed. She grinned again, a grin of satisfaction, but just as wild as her first.

“Now, I think that’s a good way to end the day, don’t you?” She breathed the words as much as said them, staying in his space. Then, as if broken from a trance, she abruptly let go of his shirt, placed her card in her wallet, then turned for the door. The curls she had let down after lunch bounced as she moved, and she turned at the door and looked at him.

“Who knows. Maybe I’ll see you around, cheekbones. Or maybe not.”