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[personal profile] lottawork
[tw: mild gender dysphoria]

Today is the day for self-establishment.

In the days that follow his sloppily conceived, poorly enacted integration into a city in a brane that is not his, Rush has not bothered to streamline his introduction to ROMAC and its indiscreetly watchful employees, who take in his ragged appearance and neglected beard and straggling hair with an admixture of pity and distaste. It would seem that scaling ROMAC’s institutional ladder becomes significantly more difficult when it is patently obvious that one has for several years been in an extremely resource-poor environment.

Rush has little interest in truly living here, but existence in any space requires certain foundations. At the very least he will make the necessary adjustments to advance his appearance from ‘unacceptably disheveled’ to, at minimum, ‘academically unkempt’, because said appearance seems to be something his overcritical co-workers have vested an undue interest in, despite the reality that Rush has previously and independently decided, quite simply, that he cannot list all the ways in which he does not give a fuck.

He’d spent most of the night of his arrival divesting his apartment of its non-necessities, which largely involved removal of all furniture save the unremarkable table and its accompanying chairs, and on the whole he succeeded. He favors a space without distraction. The place is etched cleanly in white walls and hard angles, perfectly bereft. It's an advantageous arrangement. The day lacks distractions. The day lacks interference. He showers. He shaves. He makes himself presentable. He cuts his hair. He purchases clothes. They’re similar enough to the ensembles he favored before catapulting himself across billions of light years of space and into Destiny, that of the finite resources. They approach formality. They’re satisfactory. They achieve what they’re meant to. He can radiate poise and smoothed-over self-possession and competence, and this is what ROMAC prefers, the clear-cut and sharp-edged lacquer of deceptive professionalism.

An unreasonable amount of time is wasted in delaying the final constituent. Rush made it his final item for a reason, and this is because that while Destiny did not lack mirrors it did not have them in abundance, and following his release from stasis he took his care to avoid them. He has no wish, then or now, to see the physical evidence of his steadily reversing biology, the inexorable unraveling of years spent meticulously scheduling the proper care. But then when he showers he stares, and he sees it anyway. He locates a medical clinic specifically for those of Rift origin, he memorizes the number of the street, and today he’ll fucking well be done with it. He takes a cab. He’s cutting down his travel time. He’s reducing the half-life of his own escalating, splintering nervous energy, but he has a handle on it. He does. He's certain. He’s performing a necessity.

Rush enters the clinic and makes an appointment, and sits in the sterile white-walled waiting room and thinks of bone density.
bibliophale: (Default)
[personal profile] bibliophale
Aziraphale has kept his head down for the most part as he works at the Base, but lately, with Illyria having been at his shop, and now Crowley more or less avoiding him and Melanie still seeming guilty, it's been a bit of a blessing to go to work there. He sits quietly at his desk, entering data about new registrants, blessedly undisturbed.

Nearing the end of his shift, which comes early, due to his tendency to come in at the literal crack of dawn, one of his superiors stops by his desk.

"Your shift ends in five, right?" she asks.

"Er - yes." He blinks up at her, wondering if he'll be asked to stay on. Wouldn't be such a hardship.

"Are you heading to the apartments?"

He nods, frowning, perplexed.

"Great." She checks her watch. "Would you mind escorting one of the new recruits over there with you? We're just finishing up with him now. He'll have the keys to a new place, if you could show him around a bit, make sure he knows how to use his phone?"

Aziraphale doesn't tell her how comical it is that she wants him to help someone with those accursed so-called 'smartphones'. He nods calmly, getting to his feet.

"How recently did he arrive?" he wonders.

"Yesterday," she says. "And he's not from around here. If you know what I mean."

Well, none of them are. That isn't terribly informative. But Aziraphale will find out the rest for himself easily enough.

"I'll have him wait by the west entrance," she says. "Thanks so much, Az."

He resists the deep urge to quiver with irritation at the nickname. He is going to have to find a way to politely keep that from happening while acknowledging that yes, he knows his name is weird and difficult, and he's sorry about it, but please.

He shuts down his computer and gathers his umbrella, which he's taken to carrying no matter what after the previous rain incident - an affectation that only makes him look gayer, more academic, and more English according to certain of his acquaintances1 - and heads toward the western path out.

It's not difficult to spot his charge, with his unusual facial markings, glowing eyes, oddly shaped and asymmetrical ears, and those clothes. He barely bats an eyelash at it, stepping over to the flamboyant little man and greeting him with, "Hallo. I'm to be your escort, it seems." He offers his hand. "Aziraphale. Pleased to meet you."


1 Essentially up for grabs. If you're acquainted and you might have said this, you did.

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