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 A Fateful Journey, frey and voltaire
years old 9 posts PM
PLAYED BY dynasty
Ethan was not known for his appreciation of accountants—and even less appreciative of arbitrary budgetary constraints. Which was why, three hours into the quarterly finance meeting, the archdemon had begun to hunger for his untold time in Tartarus. Bright green eyes lifted, again, to the college’s expenditure chart as the leader of the number crunchers—a man who tested the dean’s patience—tiptoed around a point he had made an hour earlier. “As I said earlier, Mister Simmons, I am aware of your concerns—” A pause followed as the demon turned his corpse-like eyes to the screen. “I just don't care.” He could add and subtract financial figures without all this needless pomp and circumstance. He missed the days where vassals bowed to their bosses.

Normally a man who lived by his e-mail calendar, Ethan was surprisingly grateful when his iPhone began to vibrate against the cherry wood table. Heavily-scarred fingers scrolled across the screen, the man’s flat expression altered by the slightest downward twitch of the lips. “I am sorry to say that we will have to save this exhilarating discussion for another time, gentlemen.” Pushing himself away from the tabletop, the archdemon rose to his feet. For a moment, his gaze lingered on the squeaky-voiced man who sought to lecture him. “Have a good evening, Mister Simmons.” As he buttoned his trench coat, the demon paused inside the doorway. “And pick your jaw up off the floor—I do not recall hiring a goldfish.”

After a fifteen-minute walk to the parking garage, and a brief pause to set his e-mail to out-of-office, the newly-crowned dean slid into the driver’s seat of his jet black Rapide S. Large fingers danced clumsily across a minute keyboard leaving behind a simple message: ‘I will be there shortly.’ After a hit of the send button, he tucked the armored phone into an empty glove box. ‘That boy is far more trouble than he is worth.” That thought—due in part to his wife’s rage—did little to stop him from turning the key in the ignition. With the purr of a sated jungle cat, the car surged to life. A gentle nudge of the pedal set the luxury car on its away.

Glad to be relieved of his human duties, the demon took a moment to remove his false glasses and bask in the feeling of his tail curling past human skin. In complete, and content, silence, he guided the car past the city suburbs to a desolate dirt road. On its edge, lilted badly to one side, was another—much less impressive—vehicle with its hazard flashing. Green eyes narrowed slightly at a puff of red hair as he nosed his car into the dusty gravel.

Witt an expression somewhere between tart and disinterested, he extricated himself from the car. “Couldn't find room for a spare tire next to all the empty kegs?”

// tag voltaire mckenna
// words
// notes
years old 13 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes passed before he received a reply, during which Voltaire grew increasingly convinced that not only would he be stranded in the middle of nowhere until some other source of help could come, but he would almost certainly miss the midterm he’d been on the way to. The latter, naturally, was significantly more concerning.

Then, finally: I will be there shortly. For once, the knowledge that his father would be coming to meet him came as a relief.

Although, it was a bit hard to hang onto that sentiment as Ethan pulled up next to him and at the first opportunity droned out an insult. Of course.

“Thanks for coming to pick me up, Ethan,” Voltaire grumbled in response, firing off a few final texts to his mother to let her know he’d been picked up as he walked around to the passenger side of his father’s car. “I really appreciate it.”

A weak attempt at mimicking Ethan’s voice was made. “Oh no problem Voltaire. I understand the importance of ensuring you arrive to your exams on time, and am happy to help!” A pointed look fixed on the elder redhead.

ethan mckenna
years old 9 posts PM
PLAYED BY dynasty
Halfway between his car and the young man, Ethan paused. As his lips twitched downward in a mild sign of displeasure, his left brow lifted slightly. At the use of his first name, his expression soured further. It now rested somewhere between blank canvas and a mild lemon. Such disrespect should have been beaten from him years ago. This boy has no right to speak my name so blatantly. When Ethan spoke, however, his voice was flat and somewhat droll. “I did not realize you were so allergic to sincere gratitude, Voltaire.”

“I am certain it was not an easy call to make.” Ethan turned towards the hatchback perched precariously on the side of the room. A brief glance up and down the road revealed an area free of distinguishing landmark. “I will send someone to pick your car up once we are closer to civilization.” His ‘familiar’ was always willing to play the part of damsel in distress, especially when hot men could be involved.

Green eyes watched curiously as his eldest stalked moodily towards the waiting car It appears my son is unaware of what the phrase ‘teenage rebellion’ implies. Following behind, the archdemon moved to open the waiting door. Fingers curled around the doorframe an atrocious, guttural attempt at his own voice filled his ears. His nose wrinkled ever so slightly as he took a step away.

“You may pretend that’s what I said if it makes you more at ease.” As he moved to his side of the car, the man paused. “But, if you recall, I am also the one who advised you to stay home last night.” Sliding back behind the wheel, the demon slid the seat back a few clicks. His frown reappeared as he adjusted his mmirror. “I was not aware my voice so closely resembled an emasculated gorilla.”

As he clicked the car into drive, imagining the gears that allowed such an action, he spoke again, “I am relieved to see those drama credits put to such good use.” The ghostly remnant of a wry smile flitted across his face.

// tag voltaire mckenna
// words
// notes
years old 13 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

Already, Voltaire was beginning to weigh whether missing his test would actually have been the better option. At least then, he might not have had to deal with… this. The back and forth, the bitter banter that made up the majority of the conversations between himself and Ethan. “Have you considered that I might be more sincere if you hadn’t started this encounter by flinging insults?” Not even five minutes, and the heat of frustration was already building. Lovely.

A terse grunt was the only acknowledgement the mention of his car received. Glen would handle things for them. Great. Sounded good. The less he and his father had to talk to one another, the better.

Unfortunately, Ethan did not seem so inclined to shut up as he would have liked. Maybe it would have been better not to engage and encourage him further, but like hell was he not going to defend himself. “You’re really bad at picking up cues, you know that?” the younger man answered, brushing past him to plop into the passenger seat. “What I decided to do last night is irrelevant here.” Whether they agreed on the matter or not.

Once seated and buckled in, his eyes found fixture on the screen of his phone, picking through one app or another for the sake of at least a little distraction. It… sort of helped. “Well, now that you are aware, perhaps there’s something you can do to fix it, hm?” Tap tap, flick. “Who would have thought.”

ethan mckenna
years old 9 posts PM
PLAYED BY dynasty
Erasmus had been a demon of order, intellect, and iron fists. Those foolish enough to undermine him rarely persisted long enough to question the decision. That is not to say he was an impatient man, however. He was, at his core, a spider: a creature of carefully laid traps and limitless patient. Where this boy was concerned, however, such cool-headedness was difficult to come by. Green eyes stared impassively down at the younger man, his expression unreadable. For a moment, he imagined visiting such punishments upon this ungrateful, recalcitrant child. Instead of throttling the life from his body, however, the elder McKenna merely frowned. “I did not open our conversation with an insult, Voltaire. I merely insinuated that you smell of booze.” A sigh followed.

The elder raised a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. You would have to be a fool to miss such immaturity. “I am aware that you do not wish to speak to me.” A pause followed. When he spoke, the words were tinged with hints of bewilderment and confusion.  “I just have no desire to pander to your wishes.” As a man much happier left to his own devices, he was not certain why he insisted on being present in the young witch’s life. While Ethan often equated it to a feeling of duty, the term failed to encompass the warmth that often rose in his chest. Perhaps there was some affection involved.

The edges of his lips twitched downward. “As your decisions contributed heavily to our current situation, I am not entirely sure how they are irrelevant.”

As they set off, the demon could not resist tossing a glance towards his son’s phone. Again, his normally placid lips dipped downward. “I believe there are more productive ways to spend the last fifteen minutes before an exam, Voltaire.” The demon tightened his hands around the wheel. Once a man of soaring speeches and endless charisma, some part of him was disturbed by the comparison. Most of him, however, cared little for the jibes of children. “Perhaps.” Regardless of how much of him did not care, his voice still rose noticeably in pitch.  His shoulders rolled in a shrug, “Even the creative arts have their uses.”

A strange feeling gnawed at his chest as the archdemon lifted his eyes to the rearview mirror.  “I am also relieved that you are not hurt, Voltaire.” One hand left the wheel as Ethan allowed the sounds of orchestral music to fill the awkward silence that might follow.

// tag voltaire mckenna
// words
// notes I'm sorry. This is horrible.
years old 13 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

Ethan could claim innocence all he wanted, but his son was hardly inclined to believe him. Hadn’t been for years, in fact. “Good to know your social skills still suck then— at least you’re consistent.” It was unfortunate his phone couldn’t prove to be much more of a distraction than it already was. He got the feeling that if he tried pulling out his earbuds, they’d be ripped away just as quickly, given how intent on hearing his own voice his father seemed to be today.

The next few taps against the screen in his hands ended up maybe a little harder than they needed to be. All this was… frustrating. Aside from some fresh sado-masochistic streak, he couldn’t fathom why they couldn’t just settle into a more typical tense silence. It wasn’t like they had much of worth to say to one another, aside from more arguing.

Maybe his father was just that bored. “The flat tire could have happened anywhere. In the city, our neighborhood, the driveway… It’s a coincidence, not a correlation.” A very unfortunate coincidence, but that was all.

A brief glare flicked Ethan’s way before the younger man managed to school his expression back into one of disinterest. “Cramming until the last minute is no better. Besides, I’m not eager to have any sort of conversation with Mom explaining why I didn’t keep her informed on what was happening. Are you?” A brow quirked while a smirk threatened to appear on his features. He hadn’t missed the change in tone, and some part of him found it kind of amusing.

Far less amusing, however, was what came out of his father’s mouth next. Stunned, Voltaire fell still and quiet for several moments, staring at nothing until he recovered his senses enough to frown. Of all the things he expected from Ethan, sentiment of any sort was not among them. “… Wow,” he managed after a while, throwing up a healthy dose of cynicism as a familiar defense. “What’d Mom have to do to get you to say that?” It was a shame he didn’t buy it. Some small part of him had wanted to.

ethan mckenna
years old 9 posts PM
PLAYED BY dynasty
The elder redhead stared down at the other, head tilted ever so slightly to the right. One bushy brow rose upward, looking like some sort of hellish caterpillar. “I am relieved to know that I continue to exceed your low expectations, Voltaire.” Nostrils flared slightly as the archdemon sniffed at the air, his lungs filling with the scent of pine resin, dust, soul, and beer. “I do not believe, however, that my supposed ineptitude invalidates my initial assessment.” Unlike the child’s mother, he cared little about how many shots his son drank or how many lampshades he chose to wear on his head. Such things only became worth his notice when they inconvenienced him.

To the archdemon, this surly child was a bit of an enigma. He did not fit into any one of the boxes he had categorized humanity into over the past few millennia. And, according to many developmental books he had read, such rebellions behavior was meant to be constrained to the teenaged years. “I am well aware that flat tires are not constrained to country roads and steel mills, Voltaire.” He sighed. “That does not mean, however, that it would have happened if you had remained at home.” While he certainly did not mind the partying, hell had long ago worn away his appreciation of mindless revelry. After a moment of further studying his recalcitrant son, much like a naturalist might a pinned butterfly, Ethan turned away. Further study was required.

“Such ‘cramming’ allows for a few moments of final reflection.” The quiet tapping upon the steering wheel stopped at the mention of the infallible force of nature that was his wife. And, while few things in this world worried him, Lenore McKenna certainly did. “I am not. Please inform her.” The contract shattering witch was much more tolerable when she was not otherwise irritated.

The lack of an immediate acerbic response meant that the shock ran in both directions. It appears he is unused to affection. Strange. Pushing at the accelerator, Ethan nosed his car onto a two-lane freeway. “She was in no way involved.” His lips pulled downward into a pronounced frown. “The statement merely seemed appropriate.”

Lips pursed into a tighter. “May I ask why you seem so eager to discount such a statement?” A heavy sigh shook his frame. As the two alpha males spent much of their time avoiding one another, such solitude was hard to come by. And, yet, it seemed to be a wasted opportunity. Dark eyes slid over to the young witch, a thoughtful frown upon his face. “And, perhaps, what imagined affront drives your animosity towards me, Voltaire?” The boy had been provided for: Never hungry. Never wanting. The demon did not understand why this young man despised him.

And, Ethan McKenna disliked things he did not understand.

// tag voltaire mckenna
// words
// notes I'm sorry. This is horrible.
years old 13 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey


“It’s not by much, don’t worry,” Voltaire grumbled, shifting his attention out the side window once there was little else left to distract him on his phone. It was unfortunate the passing trees couldn’t do much to ease the ongoing burn of irritation in his chest.

Part of him wanted to point out that arguing about how he’d spent the night wasn’t exactly productive either. Instead, he answered, “Or to barely keep the knowledge long enough to get to the test in the first place. I’ll remind you that I have been studying consistently throughout the term.” Then again, almost nothing had ever seemed to be enough in his case. Anything less than perfect was unacceptable, as his parents had established long ago. Why should it be different now?

Whatever shock he’d felt soon faded as his father spoke once more, utterly and efficiently ruining the effect. “Gee, I don’t know. It might be because you don’t do sentiment with me?” He flashed a flat glare in Ethan’s direction. “I don’t believe I imagined the emotional distance, Ethan. Or the endless criticisms, the ridiculously high expectations, the fact that you never treated my sisters the same way… Shall I go on?”

ethan mckenna
ethan mckenna
years old 9 posts PM
PLAYED BY dynasty
Even if he had packed his ears with cotton, like Odysseus protecting himself from the siren’s call, he would have been able to carry on the conversation without pause. As always, Voltaire sunk to the levels of passive aggressiveness once reserved for the television housewife. Perhaps he will one day realize how predictable his behavior has become. “I believe that feeling to be mutual.”

For a moment, he allowed himself to examine the boy, a frown upon his face as he finally remembered the name of the creature his son so often reminded him of: Naja nigricollis. Allowing himself to mentally criticize his son’s posture, the archdemon returned his attention to the road.

That rapt attention lasted for approximately 15 seconds. Green eyes slid towards the slouching child. His next words were announced with a grunt. While Ethan allowed himself the slightest of smiles, there was something fundamentally off about the expression. It was as if he were an alien being told how to smile without any true understanding of what a smile entailed. It was flat. Tight. Curdled. “I am well aware of your dedication to your studies, Voltaire.” A deep breath shook the monster’s heavy form. “Perhaps you could impress the importance of such things upon your sisters?” The other two children, while less ornery, had a habit of putting off matters of import until the last possible moment. As a creature of order, preparation, and punctuality, such things irritated their father far more than his son’s impotent sarcasm.

Any hint of pride vanished in an instant.

For a moment, a strange, dark emotion stirred in the elder man’s eyes. When he spoke, there was a hint of gravity to his words. “Voltaire, you are well aware that I—"’ Another deep breath shook his frame. For a moment, the crystal upon his deck flickered with a faint glow. “I do not do sentiment with anyone.” Walling himself off from unproductive emotions, such as sadness or rage, was one of the only reasons he had survived this long. With a wry chuckle, tainted by what might have been tears, the demon spoke frankly, “You are not treated like your sisters, because you are not your sisters. You are more.” Even if the eldest was the product of a shattered rubber, he was the only child to inherit his parent’s intellectual curiosity.

The car edged towards an old dented stop sign. “All men are not created equal.” The tendency to pretend otherwise was the symptom of the inefficiencies of modern society.

// tag voltaire mckenna
// words
// notes I'm sorry. This is horrible.
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