When Chase answered, his answer was an obvious one. But in essence, it was also a wonderful one, and Leif just couldn't feel frustrated at it. Chase could breathe again. How could he ask for anything else? He was very, very glad to just sit and observe Chase as he breathed in and out, something that just a minute ago was turning into a serious struggle. And he gave Chase's hand a light squeeze when the man was done tap tapping his palm. Yes, he understood, and he was just as glad as Chase himself that he was breathing well again.
The tension in Levi's voice, however, made Leif's gaze divert from Chase for a moment as eyes sought the smaller man. "If the risk's manageable, we could let him sit here a few more minutes...." Only Levi knew just how manageable the risk was, of course. But Leif didn't plan to sit outside too long, just enough for Chase to relax a bit. They still had a lot to talk about.
And they were probably going to have yet another subject to talk about, as Levi was soon the first of them to notice the elf had split.
"Shit..." Leif repeated right after Levi, eyes following him as he headed inside after looking around for any signs of the woman and finding nothing but a faded scent. So she bolted. Right. She did seem like she didn't want to get involved in their mess, so hopefully that was her goal.
"She looked like some outsider... worst she could do would be calling the cops, I guess." He shrugged, trying to convince himself as much as Levi when the man came back outside. Shs hadn't touched Chase, and apparently hadn't touched Chase's stuff, so that was good enough for Leif at the moment. "But Tucker... how worried should we be about him?" He added.
"He's... I dunno." His tone said the man was not good news. Levi turned to look toward the woods with a hand on the back of his neck. He pondered for just a few seconds before muttering, "Prolly bests to get inside sooner than later. Less knows, the better." Meaning the less Tucker knew, the better, but he couldn't bring himself to say it out loud.
Levi's tone said it all, and Leif nodded, turning to look at Chase again as he reached for his hand and started writing.
M-U-S-T. Squeeze. G-O. Squeeze. I-N-S-I-D-E. Longer squeeze. S-A-F-E-R. Squeeze. F-R-O-M. Squeeze. T-U-C-K-E-R.
Chase wuffled, with a hint of a whine, but he nodded his head. There was a scrunching up of his expression when Tucker was mentioned. He moved to stand, one hand using the wall behind him to steady himself, the other not letting go of Leif.
Levi kept a look out as they worked their way back inside, though when Leif drew close, he did take a step back, still a bit wary of the blood drinker. With a glance toward Chase, Levi scowled in conflict between self-preservation and his concern for the dark haired man's well being. A grumble or two might have escaped, but he didn't say anything.
Edwight stayed kneeling where he was as Chase was guided away. He'd listened halfway about the two strangers, the Harper woman and Tucker, but most of his attention was on the strange spectral plants laying near his feet. His hand drifted nearer with each passing second.
Part of him thought to simply try to pick it up, to see what it was, part of him thought it wouldn't be there and he'd look strange to any on lookers. A final part feared it, like some snake coiled to strike. He wasn't sure what it was he feared, but he was aware that the fear was losing the arguments.
Finally, his hand touched the ground around the strange leaves, and his palm came to rest where the plant glistened. He attempted to look as though he was merely balancing himself to stand up, but probably wasn't moving to rise fast enough to fool anyone.
It was a strange sensation, for it wasn't tangible in the physical world, but in the spirit plane of existence, it was there. This meant Edwight needed to balance and maintain both sides. It would require him moving in both realms if he wanted to grasp it and pick it up. The strand was wet, slick, and the leaves were rather large and limp.
The mass felt strange, primarily because he wasn't truly touching it. Rather, it seemed like he expected to touch it, and was simply imagining the sensation. A part of him knew that was the wrong way to think about it, the same part of him that knew how to move to pick it up.
The movement was inherent, like he'd done it his whole life but had never thought about doing. Like controlling his own breathing, it took more focus to actively do than expected. Standing with the clump dangling from his fist, he moved inside with the others, trying not to clench his hand too tightly.
"So, neighborhood watch. Is he normally a problem? He didn't care for us walking in the rain earlier." Edwin would ask, once everyone was in and the door was closed. "And would you happen to have anything to draw with. I'm not sure how else to explain some things.
Levi turned toward Edwight with the question once he had closed the door and locked it. "He's .. an asshole. Likes to stir up trouble." As for the something to draw with, it made him remember Leif's request for something to write with. "Yeah, one sec."
He rummaged around in the kitchen drawers, trying to find which one held all the junk stuff. Eventually, he did find a couple of small notepads, and some pencils. As he handed one set to Edwight, and one to Leif, he couldn't help but ask, "Where's you staying at?"
He still had to put the boxes out of Chase's way, so the man could maybe get some rest soon.
Leif led Chase inside when he indicated he was ready by standing up. He waited a moment to see whether Chase had anything to say about Tucker, but it seemed like his expression said all for now.
On the way, Leif only stopped briefly to glance at Edwin, who still hadn't gotten up. He seemed to be aware of something the others weren't, as usual, but the vampire decided it'd be better to ask later. First would be getting Chase inside.
It wasn't hard to notice Levi's reservations about them, about him more specifically, and Leif didn't really blame him. He was actually glad Levi hadn't kicked them out after the little blood spectacle, so he really didn't mind if Levi gave a cautious step back whenever he got too close. That was a modest reaction compared to what Leif had already seen.
Once inside, he led Chase to the same recliner, and soon enough Edwin joined them in the house and the door was close. When the man spoke, Leif was glad to see he wasn't wrong in his guessings. Edwin really saw, or sensed something outside.
When Levi moved to get something they could write with, Leif again sat on the armrest of the recliner and started writing the question he'd just remembered ro ask Chase.
H-O-W. Squeeze. D-I-D. Squeeze. Y-O-U. Squeeze. K-N-O-W. Squeeze. T-O. Squeeze. G-O. Squeeze. O-U-T-S-I-D-E?
"Notepad." Edwin responded snarkily as he sat down. He held up the other hand, inspecting the ghost herb to try to draw it as best he could. The general shape at least, along with the idea of a rabbit pulling at it. It only took him a moment to get the the drawing done enough to communicate with
He held up the drawing to show the others, dangling the spectral plant for un-needed emphasis. "So this, these breathing issues, you said his chest felt hot. Have you ever noticed that before Levi?"
Levi's expression reflected his growing irritation at not knowing what was really going on. But he wasn't going to just abandon Chase because of his annoyances that were wholly his own. "No, everything's on the hot side to me."
And while they were communicating in a way Chase simply couldn't, he was able to 'write' back against Leif's palm. W-O-L-F pat-pat W-A-N-T-E-D pat-pat O-U-T pat-pat-pat. He wuffled a few times, melting back into the chair, fairly exhausted as it had been a much more eventful day than he's had in a while. Exciting, but exhausting.
And Levi had been studying the drawing, commenting when he recognized some of it. "Are those rabbits? And kelp?"
"Is that was kelp looks like?" Edwin asked, turning the sketch around to double check his accuracy. "That's an ocean plant right? But yeah, the bunnies pulled it from Chase's chest." Finally satisfied about it, he dropped the spirit kelp, shaking his hand of the ecto slime feeling.
"Everything is hot? Are you, like, cold blooded or something, or just from colder climate?" Edwin asked as he pulled his drawing from the pad and folded it up into his pocket. Might as well keep some form of memento. "And if so, why come here in the first place?"
Now Levi started looking decidedly uncomfortable with the topic at hand. "I jus' did, kays?" He sniffed and started to be busy. "Looks, he's gots to get some rest. And I gots to get those boxes out o' his ways so he don't goes and trips an' all. So.. if'n yous going to the inn, yous should gets there afore it gets much more darker an' stuff." His not quite right manner of speaking came out stronger when he was riled up, or otherwise feeling strongly one way or another.
Leif had only half of his attention on what Levi and Edwin were saying, for the other half was on the letters Chase was writing on his palm. And he nodded vehemently at Chase's answer, which made perfect sense, only then remembering Chase couldn't see him, and switching to giving his hand a light pat with his own free hand to tell him he understood.
But all the while he did listen to the others, and he did look at Edwin's drawing, which made him frown a little as he tried to make sense out of it all the new informatiom both Levi and Edwin were dropping. The bunny swarm pulled kelp out of Chase's chest?
"Chase has a strong scent of kelp." Leif added in his own bit of information. "That's what you were holding?" He glanced at Edwin's hand, then down at the floor where the invisible kelp probably was. He then remembered the others didn't know any of the things Chase said, but before Leif could say anything else, Edwin went on to ask Levi some personal questions.
Questions which weren't taken too well, given the man's immediate reaction. His tone changed, his blood flowing faster and he was just overall uncomfortable and ready to call it a day. But Leif wasn't. Not before he'd drawn up a plan for the night.
"Chase said his wolf wanted out. That's why he requested to be brought outside." Leif quickly chimed in, before Edwin could push Levi any further. Eyes remained on Edwin for a few seconds, both because he wanted to know if the information rang any bells for the druid, and also to make sure the man's focus would be directed away from Levi.
Sure, Leif was curious as well as to why Levi ended up in Marasong, but figuring that out was not a priority. They needed Levi to cooperate, and testing his limits wouldn't be a good idea.
He then let go of Chase, not without guiding one of the man's hands to hold onto his arm so he'd know he hadn't just left. He started scribbling something on the small notepad, and seconds later turned it around to show the others.
'Chase said we need to find a doll to free him. What do you know about this?'
'How did he end up like this?'
Eyes were on Levi the whole time. Earlier he'd said he couldn't say it, but he probably could write his answer.
"I need a lead, now." His tone wasn't an order, but it wasn't a plea either. It showed Leif didn't want to waste any time. "Then we'll be out of your way and report back in the daytime."
And before he was done speaking, he was already writing on Chase's palm again.
W-H-E-R-E-S. Squeeze. T-U-R-I-D? Long squeeze.
Levi's response was more aggressive than expected, but the meaning was likely as Edwin had thought. Levi likely didn't know why he was here, and that confusion was frustrating.
Before he could apologize, or explain why he'd even asked, Leif stepped in with his questions. Whether ignorant of or ignoring the hostility, Leif explained what he knew. A doll, a wolf, a rabbit swarm, and kelp. A riddle with half the pieces missing most likely.
Leif had looked at Edwin for part of the explanation, so he'd shaken his head to show his own confusion and lack of answers. They would be returning later, Leif's statement was almost unnecessary, though he did specify during the day. Strange choice for a "nightwalker" but who was he to question.