What Would You Give?

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What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:25 am

Mr. Fix-it, the only 24 hour technology repair shop in a 3 state radius and the only repair shop that was for anything other than cars in at least an hour radius from Portland where the store was located, if not two. It wasn't 24/7, it did have to close if a house call was required, but availability was nearly 24/7 though the, business line for emergencies. Though if you wanted to get technical, the shop was also a house. Or at least, had a house attached to it.

Rook Johnson, the proud owner and only employee happened to live there. He enjoyed the work, and living above the shop (and sometimes in the back workroom when he was too tired to make it up the stairs) was a bit of a blessing to be honest. It meant that he could stay close to his projects, especially the ones that had to run as they were being fixed or had to be monitored while they ran programs, he didn't have to lug his tools around if something needed special attention, he didn't have to take work home with him if it needed special attention, and the best part: He could pass out at his desk from lack of sleep if he wanted because he was already at home!

Unfortunately, with that actually being his current status and location, that also meant that he was closer to the help buzzer he had installed at the front desk, and the main business phone, which was installed at the very desk he was slumped over, clutching a socket wrench in a hand that was hanging lazily off the side opposite of the one that supported his body.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:09 pm

Lazy autumn sunlight drifted into the quiet office where one Mr. Ajax Nikitas was sorting through the remaining paperwork in his inbox. It was, technically, his 'day off', not that one really had a day off when one worked from home, but the things left for him to do for the week were mostly household chores, anyway. There were bills to be paid, paychecks to post in the mail, orders to be placed, and small repairs to be scheduled.

As many people as lived transiently under his roof, one would think that Ajax would be able to delegate most of those tasks away, but he was one who lived by the adage "if you want something done right, do it yourself." He did, after all, have an abundance of free time, even with his busy work schedule. Not having to sacrifice a quarter or more of his day to sleep, as most people did, made him a particularly productive person, and also one prone to getting even minor things accomplished out of sheer boredom.

He was a man of many hats, with many responsibilities. Among many other things, he was an anthropologist, the accounts manager for the North American activities for some very important foreign families, and the owner/operator of a very elegant boarding house. That is, of course, not including his many hobbies that he cultivated in his spare time.

On this particular fall day, he watched the leaves fall gracefully from the trees with each stray breeze that shook them and found himself already dreading the coming winter, unable to concentrate on the beauty of the moment. It was already getting too cold for him to enjoy being out of doors, and it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet. He sighed and wondered aloud to himself what could have possibly possessed him to move to Maine in the first place.

He brushed a stray lock of blonde hair behind his ear and adjusted his reading glasses on his nose, returning to the task at hand. In just a few minutes he had penned his name onto several checks and sealed them into their respective envelopes, to be posted in the morning. The only remaining item in his inbox was, blessedly, a personal matter he had been meaning to attend to, but had been putting off in lieu of other duties.

A fine, silver watch, tarnished slightly from age despite his attempts to maintain it, which his father had given to him when he was much younger, had stopped working suddenly several weeks ago. It had worked reliably for more years than Ajax cared to count, and it's sudden malfunction displeased him. He was a pale fellow by nature, but even still there was a patch of even paler skin on his left wrist where his watch would normally sit. He felt somewhat naked without it, but he would have felt even sillier wearing a watch that didn't work. He hoped to find someone competent enough to fix it.

He swiveled his chair around to his computer, bringing up the database he had compiled of small businesses in and around the Portland area. CNTRL + F brought him swiftly to the section of repair shops, and he quickly saw that there was only one within an hour's driving distance. He made a mental note of the number and swung the chair back around to his antique rotary phone. He dialed, the chk-chk-chk of the rotary device after each number providing one of the more simple pleasures in his life, and waited for the party on the other end to pick up.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:42 pm

The phone was unfortunately Rook's greatest downfall in most cases. He had specialized each ringtone to be as attention-grabbing as possible, to snap him out of anything he may be absorbed in, to startle him out of even the deepest sleep. Which is what happened now. The loud shrill tone, reminiscent of the panic alarm from old cartoons magnified to intolerable levels startled Rook out of a good deep sleep (arguably the best sleep he'd gotten all week) with a jerk that sent the phone tumbling to the floor.

"I'm up, I'm up!" Rook exclaimed, running his hand over his face and swinging his head around. "Phone, phone, phone, shit"

He spotted the phone on the floor and clumsily leaned for it, falling out of his swivel chair with a loud noise that he was sure was heard over the line now that the phone was off the hook. At this point he was certain professionalism was out the window since he was cursing breathlessly from his sudden reintroduction with the floor.

"Mr. Fix-it repairs, if its busted, we can fix it guaranteed or we'll replace it for free. Rook speaking, how may I service you on this fine morn-" He caught sight of the digital clock on the front counter through the open doorway and quickly corrected himself "-Evening. Seriously? Its evening already? I did not intend to fall asleep that long."

And of course that is when he remembered he just answered the phone. "Uhh, Sorry, You didn't hear that." he mumbled in embarrassment.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:33 pm

Ajax was reclined back in his black leather office chair, his right ankle resting on his left knee, smiling to himself at the commotion on the other end of the line. It reminded him a lot of some of the younger boarders who stayed with him, and he wondered how old the fellow could be. From the sound of his voice, Ajax would have put him in his early twenties, but voices could be very misleading and there was no way to be certain.

When the phone was picked up and answered properly, and the repairman - Rook, he had said his name was - exclaimed his surprise at the time, Ajax couldn't maintain his quietly amused composure and laughed. It wasn't mean-spirited or mocking laughter, but delighted, melodic laughter.

"I'm sorry," he said, still chuckling softly, "I'm not laughing at you. I'm very sorry I startled you. If you were sleeping so deeply, you must have been working very hard. Do you have space in your schedule for an additional small repair?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:48 pm

Rook's face flushed in embarrassment. "To be perfectly honest, I hadn't even intended to fall asleep. I, uh, had an all niter last night on an emergency call and came straight back to work on more stuff, which I can see from where I landed that I at least finished, thank god on that one. I am open all night so I can take it and get it back to you if that works for you too, depending on what it is I may even be able to fix it for you right away. Er, what exactly do you need repaired? I can tell you how soon I can do it, if I need to come to the repair to prevent from additional damage or if its safe to bring in, etc. I mean, if that's okay"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:14 pm

"You sound like you're very dedicated to your craft -Rook, wasn't it?" He smiled, pleased that he'd found someone who seemed competent. "I have an antique, silver wristwatch. I've done my best to take care of it, but it stopped on me recently, despite my efforts. It's a wound watch - it doesn't run on a battery, and I don't know a thing about clockwork. Do you think you'd be able to take a look at it?"
As he spoke, he picked the watch in question up from the desk, turning it over in his hands, running his thumb over the inscription on the back. 'Της νύχτας τα καμώματα τα βλέπει η μέρα και γελά,' 'the day sees the deeds of the night amd laughs.'
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:31 pm

"A watch? Oh that's easy stuff!" Rook replied, sounding relieved. "Anytime you want to bring that in I can probably fix it for you in less than ten minutes. I have all the stuff to do it, and I actually just realized that that it will probably cost me less to fix the watch than it would for you to drive down here to bring it to me." Rook made a small noise of exhaustion. "If you have anything else you need fixed that you wanna bring down, I can fix it at the same time for a discount, or if its big I wouldn't mind making the trip to you. I would hate for you to not get your money's worth for a trip in."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:10 am

"Well, if you insist, I'm sure I can find a small thing or two around the house that I haven't gotten around to having fixed. Though, I assure you, you needn't worry about giving me my money's worth. I have plenty to spare, especially if it's benefiting a local business." As he spoke, he tucked the phone receiver between his shoulder and his ear, and reached for a button on the underside of the desk. There was a soft 'click' as the locking mechanism on his desk holster released, allowing the revolver there to fall into Ajax's palm. He released the chamber, made sure that it was unloaded, and spun it idly with his thumb. "What is the scope of things you are able to repair, Rook?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:20 am

"Well, anything that has a mechanic to it. I specialize in electronics or things with moving parts, but I can fix almost anything." Rook hummed in thought. "I'm not limited to modern technology though, I spent a good part of my childhood fixing things from my grandma's attic so I've got a lot of experience with antiques. In Theory I can fix a car engine, but I only ever tried once in an emergency where it worked in my favor. What kinds of things do you think you might need fixed?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:33 am

"Oh, plenty of things, I'm sure. I've collected many antiques over the years. That I can think of off the top of my head, I have a .45 revolver with a broken chamber hinge, and a New Franklin typewriter with a few broken keys." He sighed briefly. "It's a shame you can only fix cars in theory. I collect antique and vintage cars, and I've yet to find a mechanic in the area with a delicate enough touch to handle them. Ah well." He laid his gun on the desk and swiveled around in the chair, switching his crossed legs and twirling the phone cord idly around his finger. "When would be a good time to come by? I'm sure you'd like a chance to catch up on sleep beforehand," he said, his voice tinged with amusement.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:51 am

"Well, I'm willing to try for free" Rook offered. "I mean, I can look at it and tell you if I can do it or not. The Typewriter shouldn't be too hard, but the revolver I would definitely have to look at to see if it can be fixed by saudering the hinge back in place or if the hinge would need to be replaced altogether. If its the former it'll be quick but if its the latter, I will have to order the piece or possibly recommend a gun specialist."

Rook pushed himself up off the floor with a grunt. "If you want me to look at the cars, I can make a trip out in the morning"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:44 am

"Wonderful. Have you a pen?" After determining that his new repairman did, in fact, have a pen handy, Ajax dictated his information; name, address, directions to said very out-of-the-way address, and instructions to use the gate intercom to be allowed onto the estate. He was very particular about who he let onto the grounds and when, and he had multiple security measures in place to monitor things. He wasn't merely paranoid (though that was likely a part of it); there were many very expensive antiques, anthropological and archaeological relics, and other such objects of importance on his estate. There were also his boarders to protect, as several of them were in very delicate situations. "I will see you tomorrow morning, then. Have a wonderful evening, Rook."

Hanging up the phone, the clock happened to catch Ajax's eye. It was nearly dinnertime, and he hadn't even thought about cooking yet. If he didn't make something, certainly no one else would. The entire household would end up eating junk for dinner, or, wore, trying to order a pizza, though he'd told them multiple times that they weren't allowed to send for deliveries. "Ah, well," he sighed. "Best get to work then."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:51 am

Rook wasn't an early riser by nature, but when he promises a house call in the morning, you can bet your ass he's gonna be there at a decent hour before noon. He shifted his back pack on his shoulder and looked at the sheet of paper he had written the address on one more time before he hit the button for the intercom.

He waved over his shoulder at the friend that had been kind enough to give him a ride, turning to give him a smile to let him know he was okay and that he could go, only to see the slender blonde man roll his eyes as he shifted the car into gear.

Briefly he wondered what it would be like to have a normal sleep schedule that was frequently interrupted by people asking for favors before he realized he was already pretty much doing that only without the set hours of a 'normal' schedule.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:40 pm

Ajax had moved his morning work to a desk by the intercom, which, of course, everyone assumed to mean that he was expecting someone important. He'd placed himself there for the convenience of not having to stop work to buzz Rook in, but it seemed now that that wouldn't have been an issue, as he couldn't seem to get any work done at all. Every few minutes, someone would walk past to pester him, so he was very relieved when the intercom finally buzzed for his attention.

"Ajax Nikitas, master of the house, speaking. What is your business?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:15 pm

"Rook with Mr. Fix-it. I believe we talked on the phone last night Mr. Nikitas, otherwise I am having some very lucid dreams and have absolutely no idea how I got your Name and Address." Rook replied, attempting to be playfully humorous after their conversation the night prior.

He thought better of it a minute after it came out of his mouth. "Sorry, I try and open with a little bit of humor on house calls. As you can probably tell, its not my strong point at ten in the morning. But I am Rook from Mr. Fix-it, and we did speak last night about some repairs you would like done?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:10 am

"Wonderful! I'll open the gate and have someone meet you at the door."

As he said this, he pressed the gate release, and it slid slowly into itself, allowing Rook to come through onto the property, then slid back into place on its own. As soon as Rook set foot on the property, a hundred pairs of eyes were on him. Ajax smiled, amused by the irony of the young man being tracked by his namesake. He turned his attention back to the forms he was filling out and pressed another button on the intercom switchboard on the wall in front of his desk.

The page was answered quickly. "Did you want me to show our guest around the grounds?"

"You noticed him, then." It wasn't a question.

"Of course. Did you think I wouldn't?"

"I didn't know if you were otherwise occupied."

"I had actually just taken a break and was enjoying some tea. But, I digress. I would be happy to collect your guest. Shall I bring him chez vous, mon ami?"

"If you wouldn't mind terribly, Louis, I would much appreciate it."

"With all that you do for me, mon ami, I would be delighted. À bientôt!"

Releasing the intercom button, Louis Durant ran a hand through his hair and straightened his tie. If there were guests - even if they were just here for maintenance - he had to look his best. His pride would allow for no less. He breezed through the halls and down the stairs to the atrium, which he and Ajax had turned into an indoor garden full of roses and ivy. It was beautiful and dramatic, which did an excellent job of setting the tone for the rest of the estate.

He wasn't sure what to expect when he opened the front door to see their guest on the front porch, but his first thought was 'Est-ce qu tu viens ici souvent?' What he said was, "Bonjour, friend, and welcome to the Nikita estate. My name is Louis Gwenael Durant, and I shall be your tour guide du jour."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:20 am

Rook absently gave Louis a once over as he looked down at him, feeling ridiculously under dressed in his faded jeans and worn tee shirt. "Uh, hi?" He answered, ever eloquent with his responses. "I, um, I'm Rook... The repair guy..."

He frowned momentarily before face-palming. "Christ, I sound like a bad porno."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:29 am

Louis was silent for a beat, then burst into laughter. "You're cute. I like you. It's a pleasure to meet you, Rook. Please, come in. Maître Ajax is working today, and has asked me to take you to him." He opened the door a bit wider and bowed, a hand extended to invite Rook into the opulent building. "Notre maison est votre maison."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:35 am

Rook looked at him with a small frown. "I'm really sorry, but I don't know a lick of french." He paused looking thoughtful "No, that isn't true, Fleur taught me a little but I'm not sure its appropriate for conversation because I can't remember what it means."

"What does 'une fille coquine pour moi, voulez-vous vous donner la fessée à papa?' mean? I think it might be a joke she taught me to tell, but I'm not sure" he stated as he stepped inside.
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:08 am

Louis stared at him a moment, trying to determine if Rook was being serious. He decided that he was, and abruptly started laughing. He laughed so hard that he actually broke his usual facade of pristine elegance, leaning against the wall with tears brimming in his eyes. When he finally managed to compose himself a bit, he was able to respond. "Oui," he said. "Il est une blague très drôle - a very funny joke."

He had no intention whatsoever of translating the phrase for the boy, and put a gentle hand on his arm to lead him along. He steered Rook down several hallways with vaulted ceilings, and up a couple of staircases, only slowing down in a few spots to give him a chance to ogle at appropriate moments. They were soon at Ajax's auxiliary office, which didn't have a door.

He was at the desk, facing away from them, bent over some paperwork. The single window in the room - stained glass, of course - was open, allowing the light morning sun to filter into the room through the leaves of the tall oak tree which stood just outside. The breeze had carried a few deep red leaves into the room, which had settled on the rug.

As Louis and Rook entered, there was a raspy "caw" from outside, and large bird with deep black feathers and a bald face alighted upon the windowsill, looking at them quizzically. Ajax swiveled his chair around to greet them with a smile.

"A pleasure to finally meet you, Rook. I hope you've found my home to be pleasant and welcoming."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:15 am

"Beautiful place" Rook assured him with a smile. "Tell you what though, you look a lot different than what I'd imagined from talking to you on the phone. I wouldn't take you as the type to collect antiques just by looking at you."

He took a minute to slip his bag off his shoulders. "But it isn't polite to judge and if I'm not mistaken, you said you had something dear to you that needed to be fixed?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:52 am

"Oh," Ajax chuckled, "I'm just an old soul, I guess." He gave Louis a conspiratorial wink, and Louis grinned.

"But, on to business. I've got a watch here-" He reached to open the drawer of his desk, then stopped and brought the palm of his hand up to his forehead. "I was so busy moving things from one office to the other that I left my watch upstairs."

He glanced over at the black bird that was still hopping back and forth on the windowsill. "Could you fetch my watch for me? It's in my desk drawer upstairs." The bird hopped around, flicking its tail at them as it took off and disappeared into the tree, scattering more leaves onto the floor. It returned a few minutes later and perched on Ajax's shoulder. Ajax held his hand up to the bird, and it dropped the silver watch from its beak.

"Thank you," he said. The bird squawked and fluffed up its feathers, settling down on Ajax's shoulder as though it intended to take a nap there. "Here, Rook. This is the watch I initially called you about."
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:14 am

Rook paid no mind to the seemingly strange behavior of the bird. He had, after all, seen much stranger things, though his present company didn't know that. "Do you have a table or someplace flat and well lit where I would be able to do this? Last thing I want to do is drop and lost a part of this." He smiled at Ajax. "I would ask to borrow your desk for the few minutes it would take, but I hate when people steal my work space, so I would hate to do it to you"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  Ezikeel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:18 am

"Louis, why don't you take him to the fourth floor study? My typewriter is in my office up there, so he wouldn't have to go far to have a look at it when he's done with the watch."

"As long as the kids aren't using it for homework."

"They've got essays, so they're downstairs in the library today. It should be nice and peaceful up there, so long as the boys leave him be. And the skylight should give him plenty of light to work by."

"How do you feel about that, Rook?" Louis asked, putting a hand on the man's shoulder. "Is that arrangement agreeable to you?"
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Re: What Would You Give?

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:23 am

"So long as I have a place I can see I'm good to go" Rook smiled at him.

He turned back to Ajax after a thought. "If you still want me to look at your gun, I would very much prefer if you were present while I had it. I'm not the best with the things, and I'd rather someone be with me in case I do something stupid. If that's alright with you I mean, I wouldn't want to keep your from your own work for too long."
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