Log:Times are Different
It's that time of month again, and the kids are preparing to hole up at the Marchant house again. How many there will be is unclear, but Morrison is there again, and at the very least Landon and Lucas are going to be there. He's spent much more time in the Marchant House over the past month and a half than probably in the past half dozen years combined. For the moment, it's still early enough, just before sunset, that he's there before most others. The twins are having some sort of a conference with Silver, discussing something or another. He wasn't paying attention, letting them do their thing. He'll worry about them once the sun goes down. So instead, he merely stands by a window, hands in the pockets of his jeans, staring out at the view, and the dipping sun in the distance.
When Theo finally shows his face it might be a bit of a shock. He seems finally to have slipped into relaxation mode, or else he's sending signals to his father that he's not intending to return to the bank in the immediate future, since he's wearing jeans and a black button down. Who even knew he owned a pair of jeans? Unless he borrowed them from someone else. "Twins holed up?" He says by way of greeting, making his way over to the liquor cabinet off to the side. "Drink?"
The sound of Theo's voice doesn't surprise him, of course, since the man lives there. But when he turns and sees him wearing a pair of jeans, that seems to draw one eyebrow up. He can probably count on one hand the number of times he's seen Theo in jeans. "Are all your suits at the dry cleaner's?" he asks, turning to lean back against the window frame, arms folded in front of him. He nods vaguely in the direction of upstairs. "They had to talk to Silver about something or another. They'll be back down and in the media room at sunset." Like they're supposed to, the implication being that if they aren't, he may go up there and fetch them himself. He nods, though, when offered a drink.
Theodore looks down at himself and shrugs. "I figured if I'm going to be up all night babysitting I might as well get comfortable. Forgot Brenda snuck these into my closet.. for when we went on our honeymoon." He shakes his head with a slight frown. The jeans don't seem to be losening him up though, he's as rigid as ever and still manages to stand like he's wearing a suit. He flips over a pair of glasses, pouring a couple fingers of one of the more expensive bourbons into the glasses and brings them over to Morrison to hand one to him, rather than just thrusting it in his general direction and waiting for him to come get it.
Morrison can't help the slight darkening of his expression at the mention of Brenda and the honeymoon, though it's brief, merely a flicker and then gone again. He doesn't move from where he's standing until the glasses are poured, and then he leans away from the window. Though when he sees Theo coming over, he remains where he is, reaching out to take the glass once it is offered. He lifts it to Theo then, and then takes a sip. "Could be worse this time. There's supposedly going to be more of them here, tonight. There could be an attack."
"While I'm usually not one to discount the generally stupidity of people, it would be rather stupid of a bunch of bikers to attack this house." Theo sighs and takes himself over to one of the seats, sitting down and throwing his arm along the back of the plush chair. "Even if you did get through father's security to get what you want, people with money tend to be extra spiteful in getting their revenge when they feel attacked. It is one of those lovely problems you /can/ just throw money at and get things to go your way."
"I don't think that they're likely the smartest bulbs on the tree," Morrison says with a slight shake of his head. "They're brainwashing a bunch of teenagers into their cult to do.. what, exactly? Brainwash more teenagers and murder people? These are not sane people." He lifts his glass and takes another swallow from it before he moves over to where Theo is sitting and settles himself into the chair opposite him. "Then hopefully they'll give it a shot, they'll get their asses beat, and then your father will actually nuke them from orbit and we can all move on with our lives."
"So was Manson, and he may be famous, he's also very in jail." Theodore shakes his head. "And my father does love nuking things from orbit, I've used it to my advantage more than once." He peers into his drink without taking a sip. "Speaking of, with the kids all talking about their futures, and this break, has given me time to think. I might be taking a more extended leave from the bank than I originally anticipated."
"Well, hopefully they'll all end up very in jail soon, and then we don't have to deal with them anymore," Morrison opines, balancing his drink on his knee. Though when Theo talks about taking a leave from the bank, that seems to catch him a little off guard, and he asks, "Oh? Why's that? And.. what are you going to do instead?" He studies Theodore's face closely, his expression, as though he might be able to read something there.
"What I'm doing now, just somewhere else. Not at a bank, father wouldn't tolerate that, but plenty of places could use my services." Theo takes a sip of bourbon and looks over at Morrison. "I need time to build my own name. I don't want to just be Robert Marchant's son until the day I die, and we both know he's not giving me the bank until the day he dies." He taps his finger on the side of the glass. "Build a reputation and some clout of my own."
Morrison's expression falls into something neutral, and impassive as he takes in this information, giving a small nod of acknowledgement that he knows very well that Theo's father wouldn't let him go work for another financial institution. That would be aiding the competition, after all. But he does seem to understand the need for the man to make his own name. He nods slowly then and says, "What are you thinking of doing? Starting your own practice? Or.. leaving?" The implication being leaving the area, leaving Lake Havasu, leaving.. him? Maybe.
"Too much cost and too much liability in my own practice. Maybe get my foot in the door elsewhere in the private sector, contract law is useful that way. Everyone needs someone to handle financial negotiations and all large companies keep a general counsel on hand." Theo looks at Morrison then sighs. "Not many companies based here, I'd probably need to move out to Phoenix or Los Angeles. The casinos up Vegas way are tempting, too." But he does sound at least a little reticent. "Have you thought about it? Leaving the factory? Maybe giving boxing an actual shot?"
"True enough," Morrison agrees. "Almost every business needs it at some point, and larger ones almost constantly for one thing or another." The factory, after all, uses the bank, and uses Theodore for that sort of business already. It was one of his excuses to see him, after all. He takes another swallow from the glass. He keeps his expression carefully neutral when Theodore mentions Vegas or Los Angeles, but he studies the glass in front of him as though its contents had become fascinating. "I am giving boxing an actual shot. I have to keep doing amateur tournaments for now, until I build up enough wins to go into the pros. I'm close. But I'm not there yet."
"This town is too.. small. Even you are getting out from your father's shadow. I'm.. stuck under it." Theo wrinkles his nose. "It doesn't help that his shadow is.. very large here as well." He looks over to Morrison, his face going into that sort of blank slate expression he uses when he doesn't want to give anything away. "There are more amateur tournaments in the bigger cities. True, more people fighting for those spots, but with what you have under your belt already.." Maybe he's not quite so eager to leave everything behind.
"Yeah, I'm not working at that factory forever. And I get it, wanting to make your own name, do your own thing. Hell, that's part of /why/ I am making a go of this thing. You know? I don't really /want/ to end up a foreman at the factory. That's not where I see myself." Morrison says as he studies his glass, lifting his eyes in time to meet that blank slate that is Theo's expression. Though, as he listens to what he says, he continues to search that expression, and of course, finds nothing, because that's what Theo intends to reveal -- nothing. "I'm going to need to fight in other cities eventually, to get enough wins. To get enough other fighters. And when I go pro.." Not if. When.
"Easier to lose ourselved in the big city, too, and just be." Theo's expression melts a little. "No more hotel rooms over the weekend to get some privacy, unless wanted." He's picking through his words, slowly, deliberately, so that anyone that might walk in on them probably wouldn't get the gist of the conversation. "I realized something when Brenda disappeared.." And then he turns almost shockingly direct. "I didn't enjoy faking being her fiancee for even just a couple hours. Being married would have been torture. I guess I'm selfish that way, I want what I want."
"It is easier to get lost in a big city. It's not hard to just be a part of the crowd, not like in a small town where everyone is constantly in your business," Morrison says, choosing his own words with that same sort of dance that he is very well capable. For all that he might turn up at Theo's office and push him, tease him, he's always been very careful when there might be people to overhear. Though, for the moment, it's just them. The security are outside. The kids are all busy wrapped up in their own drama. His expression turns just a bit curious when Theo mentions Brenda's disappearance. The directness of what he says though, that is what takes him a bit by surprise, and for a moment or two it might seem as though he's not going to respond at all. When he does, it's careful, cautious. "You've always been pretty convincing when it came to her. I figured that was going to be the inevitable end. I think everyone did."
"So did I. It made sense. For my family.. for the bank.. for business.." Theo shakes his head slowly. "Just not for me. I've given up a lot of what I want over the years, thinking it was building trust with.." His eyes drift towards the direction of his father's office, as if he can pierce the intervening architecture and see through it. "What it did was make me a doormat." He actually bristles, a bit of anger bubbling to the surface of his cool pond. "So, for once, I want to do something for me."
Morrison actually laughs then, and it's perhaps a little incongruous to the seriousness of the conversation, and in the face of Theo's anger, "Theodore Marchant. Of all the things that you may be, I don't think there is anyone who has met you who would call you a doormat." And expect to live to tell about it. He lifts his glass in Theo's direction though, forestalling him for a moment. "Okay, it's fair to say that yes, wanting to live up to family standards is a Marchant trait. My brothers are practically attempting to clone themselves in your image. But.. doormat, no." He then sobers a bit and says, "Good. That you want to make your own name for yourself. You will. You're brilliant, and skilled, and I have no doubt that nothing will stand between you and what you want, if you really want it and decide to have it."
"I also don't appreciate flattery." Theo says flatly, but with a smirk. "Even more reason for me to go be something on my own. God help me, but I actually like those two. I don't want them being so much me that they go to college, come back, take over Kokomo, then realize at forty that they wasted their lives doing what other people wanted them to do." He shakes his head. "Hell, I'd kill to bring either of them on at the bank.. eventually. Father can make do without a second Marchant tooling around the bank for a while."
"I'm not flattering you," Morrison says with a shrug of his shoulders, expression serious once more. "It's just the truth." He downs the remainder of the alcohol in his glass and then gets up to pour another. It will take far more than that to even give him a buzz. He stands where he is then, and nods, about Landon and Lucas. "They're going to go to college, and they're going to figure out what they really want to do with their education. If you're off making a name for themselves, maybe it will show them that that's what they ought to do, too. Be who they are. Figure out who that is and then do it on their own terms."
"I think Landon might already have that figured out. Lucas..." There's a slight shake of Theo's head. "The kid is trying too hard. I wasn't even that.." He rolls his hand, trying to pick up the right word for it. "Between the two of us, it might temper them a little, keep some of that Lester passion to temper the Marchant icyness." He's well aware of his own personality, and has never been ashamed to admit it.
"Yeah well, Lester passion didn't ever get anyone anywhere," Morrison can't help but chuckle. "Look at the lot of us." Not a single one of them is well off. "They've got a bit of the fire, but they're probably fortunate that they've got Marchant blood." Not that he doesn't still lay claim to the pair of them, and remains fiercely protective of them. That's just a given. He lifts his second drink and takes a swallow from it. "Lucas is trying to be both of us, in a way. Fortunately, he's got someone to call him on his bullshit. If he keeps that kid around, then he might actually be better off for it."
"Everyone needs someone willing to call them on their bullshit." Theodore laughs softly. "There's more than one reason I keep you and Tanner around. Just not everyone is willing to keep that person around. You have to like them enough to be willing to put up with them pointing out when you're being an idiot." He drains his glass and makes his way over to the cabinet for a refill. "It's why I wouldn't mind having a.. roommate if I moved away."
"There's always been more than one reason you keep Tanner and I around," Morrison says, though his expression remains carefully neutral there. He lifts the bottle when Theodore approaches and he pours a couple of fingers more of the liquid into his glass when he is near enough to do so. Then he sets the bottle back down on the cabinet. "Yeah?" he asks, then, "You got anyone in mind in particular?" It's asked in that way that sounds half-joking.
"I do. I even made the offer. But he can be a stubborn prick about things." Theo says with a nod of thanks for the refil. In this close proximity he lowers his voice to just above the hint of a whisper. "I'm not trying to pull you into something. I know you hate.. formality. Nothing more than we've been, just with our own place. Think on it." He moves over to the window where the sun has now slipped below the horizon leaving them in those few minutes of light before true twilight sets in.
"Or maybe he just likes being real clear, so there's no misunderstandings," Morrison suggests. He caps the bottle and picks his own glass back up. Though the lowered words draw a slight crease in his brow, and for a moment that carefully maintained neutrality falters as he watches Theodore walk away and move over to the window. He pauses where he is for a moment and then walks over, to take up a lean against the frame where he had been earlier and drops his own voice low to respond, "I don't hate formality." And then, after a couple more long moments, "I've been okay with what we've been. But while we're talking about being selfish. And what we want," he says pointedly. "I want more than that. I'm.. willing to take what you're willing to give. But this.. here.. Brenda.. all of it.. is the only reason I haven't asked for more." And while he may be direct, it's certainly the most direct and the most honest he's ever been.
Theodore's brow twitches. In anyone else that would be a gasp of surprise and a few moments of dumbfounded shock. Maybe it even is considering he remains silent with his eyes on Morrison for a disconcerting period of time. "I didn't want to push you. In the same way, I was just trying to take what you were willing to give." He reaches out and places a hand on Morrison's arm. "Eventually. It's what I want, too. But being open about it right now, with the mess everything is in, would just be throwing gasoline on a bonfire." He laughs, softly and more than a bit bitterly. "I think the police still think I had something to do with Brenda, and being public about a new relationship now would just have them looking at both of us."
It seems to be an evening of surprises, because Morrison is actually struck silent, and his mouth opens, and the Lester who is usually quick with some sort of quip, or tease, or remark of some kind is speechless, at first. But then he seems to come back to reality and says, "I.. honestly didn't think you'd want it at all. Let alone to ever be public." He shakes his head though and says, "But no, now is.. really not a good time for that," he agrees. "But yes, eventually." He very briefly squeezes Theo's shoulder, a gesture that could just be a friend offering support, and then lets go. It's only then that he notices that twilight is beginning to set in. "We're going to need to get them soon," he says, quietly.
"Times change." Theo says as he looks out the window. "It's different than when we were in high school. Another ten years and who knows?" He nods slowly as he looks out the window. "You want to go get them? I'll order some pizza." Then after a moment's consideration. "A lot of pizza if there's going to be a group I guess."