(1939-01-02) Maybe There's A Heart In There
Details for Maybe There's A Heart In There
Summary: Tiberius and Beryl discuss an evil plan - And then finally act upon the question all gender-balanced partnership have to ask. The resulting confusion between is made all the more difficult by a report to Hector, and then near suicidal declarations by Tiberius. At last, an argument breaks out between Tiberius and Beryl, and his explosive exit heralds a grim future.
Date: 1939-01-02
Location: The Leaky Cauldron, London -> Carrow Investment Services, London
Related: Crack The Skye - Tiberius mis-apparates into Hogsmeade, near death.

This Log Contains Content and Themes That May Offend People

Tiberius is drinking, although this time with a social bent rather than 'Get me the hell out of this reality.' He's back in his suit, groomed well again, and smiling to himself as he nurses a glass of whiskey with ice by the fireplace. A piece of parchment rests by his hand. The letters might seem random to most, but it's a very simple code. PJPx8. D/Ax2. D/LUx2. D/DSx30. The man taps it with his quill, leaving a dozen little ink marks.

Despite her bent for facetiousness, Beryl can be serious - at times - when the occasion calls for it. She also has a decidedly uncanny way of creeping up on people unawares. In all fairness, that isn't too hard to do within the confines of a normally busy pub.
"Being a busy little bee today, Tibs?" Beryl asks sweetly after a moment of standing silently beside the table in a cute pose with her hands on her hips. She'd been observing him for some little time as she approached.

"Amazingly. Miss Crabb, you're looking breathtaking, as always." Tiberius shows a complete lack of shock at the sudden arrival. In the Cauldron, he's never surprised by the people who might creep up on him. The man turns, reaching up to rub at his beard. "Though you might want to play a little game of catch up. There's business to discuss, if you want to grab a bottle and a private room. Otherwise, pull up a chair." A casual smile for her. He /does/ like her, after all.

Beryl looks gratified. She never looks smug when a man compliments her looks. That would be undignified, even if she deserves the praise.
Flashing that sleepy-eyed cute smile at Tiberius, she remarks: "As I've said before, flattery will get you everywhere." Then, she slides a chair over to the table with a flick of her wand in one hand, catching it with the other. Taking the seat smoothly, she props an elbow on the table and then rests her chin atop the upraised hand: "I'm content to do business out here - unless it requires privacy. But I'm assuming not, given how you're working on it out in the open."

"Oh, no, it's very much the kind of conversation best had behind closed doors." Tiberius smirks, "Besides, it allows us to keep our options open for afterwards. As for this… I could leave it anywhere, and no-one would be the wiser. Shall we find somewhere private?" The man pushes out of his chair, taking his drink and waving to the bar for a bottle and another glass. His parchment is rolled up, quill and ink pot too. "Accompany me, my fair lady."

Beryl's eyebrows arch in mild surprise. She's far from upset by the proposition though, and happily leaves the newly acquired chair behind. Smiling, she rises smoothly and then slips her arm into Tiberius with a cute tilt of her head: "I like having open-ended options." She remarks quietly. She has an insufferable way of always looking lady-like, even when her words don't quite match. "Lead on, ol' business partner of mine."

"So you claim. What you fail to understand, Miss Crabbe, is that you're dealing with the least Genteel of Gentlemen." Tiberius chuckles. Somehow he manages to juggle it all into the bedroom, placing it all down upon a small table with two chairs opposite it. He's kind enough to pour her a drink, before he states. "I've been commissioned to steal some information from St. Mungos - Specifically, personnel files. Additionally, a select few patient files. As part of the discussion we earlier had."

Tiberius is not the most genteel of gentlemen. "I thought that was accepted fact, already." Beryl remarks dryly with a smirk. She slides onto the chair and takes the glass poured for her into her hand delicately. Holding it just below her prim little nose, she sniffs the aroma first and then takes a little sip as the man gives her some particularly interesting facts about the job. Her brow furrows slightly, and she cants her head thoughtfully: "Well, now… that's quite an unusual request. Might I ask if we're privy to the reason behind it?"

"I'm looking into it. A man by the name on Von Koch is involved." Tiberius notes, with a frown. "Somehow. As for my genteel nature, I am at least charming and attractive. That's enough." He chuckles softly. "I was thinking that the best way in is as a patient. Perhaps you, as my loving fiancee, and myself, with a mouthful of muggle-flavoured polyjuice and a few select poisons coursing through my veins." A smirk. "Until we're alone, late at night. Perhaps under the guise of doing what loving couples do, we escape into the records room, take what we need and disappear into the night?"

Beryl listens intently to Tiberius' outline of a plan. Her poison-green eyes narrow with a look of cunning, as they often do. One finger runs smoothly round and round the rim of her glass as the gears turn in her mind. Now, a devilish little smile tugs at the corners of her lips and she glances back up toward Tiberius: "I don't think we'd have any difficulty pulling off an act like that. Feigning illness or acting like an affianced couple. It would be an amusing one, to be sure." And Beryl likes amusing jobs.
"Von Koch - sounds foreign," the woman adds after another moment's thought.

"Besides, you'd /love/ to dote over my soon-to-be corpse." Tiberius teases. "But I would actually be terminally ill, so I would appreciate you remembering the antidote that I give to you." The man chuckles softly, folding his arms over his chest. "I doubt there are many pairings of us we couldn't pull off, in a fashion. And if you'd like to investigate that man as well, I wouldn't mind another voice. Just be careful when, where and who you ask. I wouldn't like the clients to know I'm asking questions about their work." His own blue eyes show a more considered kind of cunning.
"I'm glad I've piqued your interest."

"You can depend on me," Beryl says quite uncharacteristically serious for the moment with regards to the antidote. "Good partners are hard to find and even harder to keep. I want you alive as long as possible." A little shrug is given as she regains her placid demeanor and takes a sip from her glass. "I don't just get along with /everybody./ It's not necessary for a working partnership - but it makes things a lot easier in the long run." She couldn't possibly mean Hector… could she?

Now, she swirls the lessoning alcohol in her glass thoughtfully with a gentle movement of her hand. "Piqued is a good word for it." Beryl remarks with a half-smile. "Still, it's always a good thing to delve a little into a client. Helps to weed out those who may be more useful as targets in the long run." She's apparently not averse to the good old double-cross.

"Some partnerships are required to end. Occasionally prematurely." Tiberius states blankly. "I'm already investigating what my client is worth as a bounty. Although I need to get as much of his money out into the open as possible. He makes my blood chill; I'll be much happier with him left to dangle." Tiberius finishes his own glass swiftly, the thought of the creatures he'd left in Hoxton still disturbs him. A refill, and he nods to Beryl.
"I thought we'd make a good team. This seems like a good time to actually test that theory. Besides, I've every interest in the world to keep you alive and gorgeous."

One perfect eyebrow lowers and Beryl looks at Tiberius narrowly. Something interesting must have gone down between the man and his mysterious client - something she doesn't know about, for sure.
She too finishes her drink, swallowing the smooth liquor and laying the glass to rest on the table once again. She covers it with her slender hand to indicate she wants no more for the time being. Leaning over and onto the table a bit, she gives Tiberius that cunningly attractive, almost sleepy-eyed smile again: "You're an unusual one, you know. Sometimes, I almost think you have a heart in there, somewhere."

"If you're looking for love, Beryl, you might want to find another suitor." Tiberius knows she isn't, but the man can't help but play. Reaching out, to stroke a finger along the underside of her chin. "You're gorgeous. And I would cherish you. Protect you. Want you. But you, I think, have almost as little heart as I have." A soft chuckle. "But I still have my morals. My standards. And certain members of our partnership would do /well/ to remember that."

Clearly, Beryl enjoys the glide of his finger along her chin - her smile says as much. However, her expression becomes more bemused than anything, and she forms a little trademark pout with her lips before saying languidly: "It's the job. It eats the heart and soul out of you. All that's left is instinct after that - and the need to satisfy it." She pauses before adding coyly: "You and Carrow get along about as well as a couple of stray cats, don't you?"

Tiberius is an affectionate kitty though - He slides his hand from chin to cheek, cupping it warmly, catching her eyes with his and smiling. "You've called it in one, Miss Crabbe. But you're /far/ too long to be so jaded. Carrow and I will never get along. The man is an ass - Cruel, without loyalty or honor. But right now he holds something over me… So he gets a pass."

Tiberius is far preferable company to Hector. She most definitely enjoys the attention he pays her - that much is certain. Maybe she is heartless, but there's some sort of inherent latent ability to show affection. Maybe it's feigned; maybe she's just as good an actress as she claims to be.
She leans her cheek into Tiberius' hand and her soft skin brushes against his. She raises one silken-smooth hand to hold him there, and she moves her head just enough to lightly stroke her lips against his hand. The gesture is almost tender.

"Careful." Tiberius warns, making no motion that might involve moving his hand away. Instead, he leans in just a little bit towards her, smiling sweetly. "Much more playfulness, Miss Crabbe, and we'll be approaching 'Instinct' territory. You might even hear me call you 'Beryl.'" They're both a strange kind of monster, after all.

"So?" Beryl says, also not moving now. Only her eyes flick toward Tiberius, and the tone of her voice is both low and placid, and yet delightfully impish in that one word. Her gaze asks the question curiously, leaving them in silence a few moments longer before she laughs softly. "I have no delusions about feelings, Tibs. A little practice for your future faux fiancé couldn't hurt, though." She gives a tiny hint of a shrug.

"So, you say." Tiberius leans in a little bit, his other hand slowly pushing the bottle, the glasses to the side. The one against her cheek draws her forward, ever so slowly. His lips curl into a smile, as he murmurs. "I'm /extremely/ fond of you, Beryl. And I meant what I said about taking you apart, layer by layer… I meant every syllable." It's a complicated form of compliment. She's /stunningly/ attractive. "And I'll not object to practice, sweet lady."

Drawn closer, Beryl doesn't break her gaze with Tiberius as he leans near - almost near enough. There is a breathless silence as her cool green eyes lower ever so slightly, and she tilts her head just enough to brush her soft, luscious lips against his. Not pulling away, she smirks a little, still through lowered lashes: "I was wondering just how much of that was an idle boast to impress me." She murmurs coyly. "If Hector had heard, I think he might've been jealous…"

Tiberius brushes his lips against hers every bit as much as she does his, his eyes lidding just a bit. Afterwards, he chuckles a little bit at the mention of Carrow. "I couldn't give a damn what Carrow thinks, Beryl. I might not know love, but you're one of the most beautiful creatures I've ever seen." He snickers, and moves in to press another gentle kiss to her lips - The hand cupped against her cheek keeps her from withdrawing. The kiss the man offers is just a little bit chaste, lips only parting after a few seconds, and then the kiss breaks again. With Tibs smirking.

A little soft sound comes from Beryl as they kiss again, not quite a sigh and not quite a moan - but something akin to both. She leans into it with a little more passion before they break. The heat rises a little in her face, which Tiberius can certainly feel beneath his touch. "If that's true," she says at length, with a devilish glint in her eye and hint in her smile: "What's stopping you from finding out what lies beneath the layers?"

Tiberius is left smiling in the wake of that sweet little sound, his other hand coming up slowly, sliding along the back of her neck affectionately. "Now? Nothing." He murmurs sweetly, pulling her in nice and close, a little further over the table. "Come, Beryl. I want to know." He presses his lips against hers again - This time they part, so his tongue can tease out, hoping to meet hers, explore the beautiful creature.
There's no denying that he's wanted this. Beryl radiates sin and desire, there's no doubt. A slight flush takes his cheeks.

Up until now, Beryl has been serene and composed; but things can change in the course of a few seconds. She's been asking for this without saying it for a long time, and she's already like a racehorse pawing at the starting gate - hot and ready to run.
More deeply and passionately her slick tongue glides hotly along his as she pulls in closer, still making those little hints of sound in her throat. She slides off of the table though to maneuver herself close enough to get her hands on Tiberius and urge him to his feet. She breaks long enough to breathlessly ask in an impish way: "So, how do you want to go about unwrapping your late Christmas gift?"

Tiberius has been on the receiving end of a self-pity dry spell for far too long. Now he's committed to this course of action though, and Beryl seems far more interested in passion than sweetness. He stands when urged, his hands leaving her face, one travelling down to gently clutch her rear end, and pull her in against him firmly. The bulge from his crotch hard to ignore, from how it presses against her. His other hand drifts to his side, though, determined to give her all the reason in the world to squirm. "With /Vigor/."
It returns with his wand, the tip drawn from her wrist, up to her collarbone. The silk parts under the spell without a moments pause. A flick, and the sweater pulls itself off the other arm swiftly. He'll repair it later.

A Brief Span Here

One warm, silken hand drifts over Tiberius chest and Beryl just sort of allows herself to slip into what could only be termed a cuddle. One gets the impression from her that, as a general rule, when the sex is over, she's up and out of there as quickly as possible. She's just too warm and content to leave his arms. Her lips brush lightly along his jaw line and his neck as he lies there. She didn't exactly show a lot of affection during the heat of things, but now she is. "Mmmhmm… So, pretty good partners." Beryl says with a restrained laugh in her quiet voice.

When it all started, Tiberius had expected just that. To finish, get dressed and get back to business. Instead, they're… Snuggling. Teasing. Playing. "Oh yes." He tries to find the words for what he wants to express. "I… Beryl, you're an amazing girl. Far more'n I expected." Far more than he's ever experienced. But his bites his lower lip rather than say it. It's not often the Rogue is completely lost for words, but her affection… Well, it does the job.

"You're quite a man," Beryl says with genuine warmth. There's no bullshit behind her words, as there so often is with the woman. It's like the mask was dropped when the last tiny piece of clothing was torn away. Feather-light, her fingers play along his chest thoughtfully. "My first impression of you sitting on Hector's doorstep was that you looked like a kicked dog that was down." A little pause and then another sweet caress: "But I knew there was a man under there still."

Tiberius smiles, listening… Loving the touches to his chest, the affection, the sweetness to the touches. His hand cups her cheek, ensuring that he can look deep into those lovely, dangerous green orbs. "You're everything I told myself I wanted. In a partner. Smart. Cunning. Ruthless. Gorgeous." He chuckles softly. "But you've met me at a VERY interesting time in my life."

That cunning little smirk shows on her lovely lips again as she gazes into his eyes. Now, her playing fingers trace a slow and deliberate circle on his skin. "Interesting? Because of the vow?" Beryl asks quietly.

"More'n that, Beryl…" If he'd been thinking what she thought, lord knows what would have happened. Probably turn bright red and explode. "I…. I thought I was done with it all. Done with life. I was so… Unsatisfied. My last few years, I amassed wealth, and spent it without a care in the world. I had women, and barely felt a thing." Tiberius hasn't shared so much before. It's unusual, to say the least. "Facing down Carrow's wand, disarmed… I can't say why I took the vow, over death. But… Holy fuck, Beryl."

Anyone who knows Beryl Crabbe on the street would not take her for the kind of girl you spill your secrets to. They would say that she's the kind you lose your soul to if you give her the advantage. Maybe that's true to a point… But here and now, she's not the devil incarnate. She's a woman, soft and lovely and almost seemingly fragile lying in bed with Tiberius - and quite disarmed. And what's more, she's listening without any judgment or snark in her expression. Something of her own barrier is cracked. Or else she would not murmur with slightly lowered eyes: "You make me feel like I'm /worth/ something. Nobody ever placed any value on me before."

The small gaps and breaks in their respective armor are clear targets, it seems. Tiberius smiles kindly, pulling her a little closer to him. "You are. Perhaps more than something." The weight behind his words is missed, as they leave his mouth. "Whatever may come, Beryl Crabbe, know this. I care for you. For you, not for what you do, or what you represent." A kiss on the forehead follows. He doesn't know how to interpret these feelings at all. Sick, and knotted up inside. but what he's saying he knows to be true.

Beryl doesn't know how to interpret her emotions any better than Tiberius does, although she's not lived nearly long enough to be so jaded and used as he has been. Silence lapses for a short time as she lies in his arms, but she does speak up at length: "I may have to do some pretty rotten things sometimes, Tibs… but you're my partner." A slight pause and her head nestles against him gently. "I'll take care of you." She will too - to whatever extent is in her power to do so. It may mean getting between Hector and Tiberius at times. That ought to be interesting.
What the hell has Beryl gotten herself into?

Tiberius only nods gently, keeping her in his arms. Close. Peaceful. Each slow breath in is tasted before it's expelled.

A brief span here

"Come along." Tiberius had suggested to Beryl. "It's your assignment too." Sure, certain things had to be repaired, but that only takes a moment. And a moment later, with a loud crack, the man apparates.

Tiberius reappears in the Investment Services building, in the reception area outside of Hector's office. He pauses to adjust his collar, ensure his shirt is sitting properly. The double-doors to Hector's office are thrown open, and Tiberius walks through with a large smile upon his face. "Carrow. You're looking /well/." He seems awfully pleased. Of course, he's here with good news - Who wouldn't be pleased.

Hector is standing in his office doorway putting on his suit jacket when the man arrives all too suddenly. His bronze eyes peer up at Tiberius for a short moment as he greets him with pointless flattery. "I look the same as I did last time you saw me." Another short pause is given as Hector draws out a cigarette from the pack in his pocket and is then lit. "Which means it's not me that's changed in some noticeable way… it's you Mr Tripe."

Beryl looks as Beryl always looks: Suave, smooth, graceful, elegant… and forever wearing a cat-that-ate-the-canary smirk on her face. She too apparated behind Tiberius by only a second, and her arrival just seems all the more fashionably late for it. She glides through the office doors slowly in the heels of her co-worker. Coolly, her eyes drift toward Hector and she flashes - not quite a smile - but a larger, more self-satisfied smirk.

"Fine. You look like a sadistic monster in a suit. I can play either card." Tiberius shrugs, a soft chuckle rising in the back of his throat. "Or would you rather I bring the source of my happiness to your desk, so I can sacrifice it in an appropriate manner?" The man's sarcasm is lashed upon them. "My man claims he may have a buyer. He'll do the handshake, be present at the handoff, but at no point will he handle the merchandise. Although it'll run to about 20% of the sale price." To business. Right away, then. "Is that good enough news, Carrow?"

Carrow simply takes a drag from his cigarette and listens, his fetaures impassive. When Tiberius is finished Hector tilts his head in an inquisitive manner before he asks, "You really are going to be a drama queen your whole life aren't you?" However before Tiberius can reply Hector waves a hand, as if to wipe away any reply he might have. "So this 'fence' of yours wants a sizeable cut, doesn't want any risk, and is simply going to provide us with a single buyer?" Hector shakes his head as he takes another drag. "No. Until we find ourselves in a situation where buyers are in low supply I won't have an untrusted source twisting their way into my business."

The boys are at it again. Beryl gives a small, delicate little sigh as she slips past the males and into the inner sanctum of the office. As there is no sofa and only uncomfortable leather chairs upon which to sit, she decides to go over to Hector's desk. Carefully shifting a few little things to one side, She lifts herself slowly and quietly onto the ledge and makes herself comfortable to listen.

"I've used him before. And I could convince him to reduce his cut to 15% in a pinch. He did remind me that there's one of our former fellow businessmen," Black Marketeers, "Languishing in a cell in Azkaban for something similar. By not handling the merchandise, he limits his risk but also his exposure into the business. But if you would rather find an alternative, so be it." Tiberius shrugs, and then adds. "In the interests of full disclosure. I'm also in progress of putting one of your less subtle competitors out of business. A man by the name of Joseph Cardinal." Another black marketeer. Of a less sanguine, and more violent bent.

"You have been busy." He remarks with a short looks in the direction of Beryl. His eyes looking her over once before returning to Tiberius. A slow sigh emits from Hector now as he takes in all this information. When he peers up at the other man once more he adds, "Finding buyers is what I asked you to do. However, I fail to recall any orders regarding going after a competitor. So tell me Mr Tripe, what exactly are you planning to do?"

Hector's blatant once-over glance is not missed by Beryl. She arches her perfect eyebrows, gives a little shrug of her shoulders and seems to cast him a smartassed look that says: What?
As no one appears to be concerned with her at the moment, she's content to listen. Perching her purse on one knee, she withdraws a slender cigarette holder and goes through the lady-like ritual of placing the cigarette into the end piece and lighting it with a little flick of her lighter. Why she uses muggle means for this is hard to say. No doubt the lighter holds some sort of significance to her. Beryl never does anything without a purpose.

"The competitor is an independant action. The Cardinal," Street names are fun. "And I have some business that was never resolved. And as you well know, Tiber the Technician doesn't leave things unfinished." Tiberius folds his arms over his chest. "Sufficit to say the Cardinal will be operating in a reduced capacity for a time. And you might recall, I just found you a buyer by proxy at an excellent market price, it did not satisfy. Now that I'm aware of it, I'll have to find a buyer directly." The younger man fixes his blue stare on Hector, the sweet Beryl is briefly ignored while the two argue. "As promised. I will get the job done. I always do. But the price /will/ suffer."
At least that's something Beryl hadn't found out about yet. It's a surprise for her, too.

The name 'Tiber the Technician' gets a quirked eyebrow from Hector while the other man speaks. His cigarette is brought to his lips for a drag once more as Hector takes a step toward the man and brings himself closer. "What…" As he walks close each step is attached to another repeated word. "Exactly…" Hector is now only about a foot from Tiberius now. "Do you plan to do?" There is another short pause before he adds. "Tell me now."

At first there is an arch to Beryl's brow - caused largely by Tiberius' remark; but Hector's threatening posture and intonation causes the brow to sink once more. She draws on the deliciously spiced smoke of her cigarette and then lets the smoke slowly seethe from between her lips. A sharp contrast to those /things/ that the boss smokes. It faintly covers the acrid-stench of Hector's office with a hint of perfume.
The last of the smoke drifts away from her and Beryl murmurs a little testily: "Must I play referee at a cockfight?"

The date, and time of the meeting as well as the location are all given freely. Tiberius stands his ground though, as he explains. "I plan to ambush him. A show of overwhelming force, and I'll take what I'm due." The man maintains a closed stance, staring Hector down, chuckling. "Do you mean to intimidate, Carrow? Just wave your magic threat. You and I both know the Cardinal means fuck all to you, far less than my life. Far less than /my/ reputation." It's a brave call to make, but true.

"What you are an asset." The reply comes quickly as if it doesn't take any sort of thought on his part. "You are of use to me only if you use your brain long enough to see that your actions do have an affect on my business. I don't care about your reputation or your need for revenge or satisfaction." Hector stands where he is, looking down at the man. "Unlike Ms Crabbe you are not a partner in this business but are instead a tool. A pawn. Your duty is to follow orders."
Standing where he is Hector tilts his head once more. "You will not ambush and attack this Cardinal fellow." Slowly lifting his cigarette toward his mouth and taking a drag Hector then adds, "Is that understood?"

From the sidelines, Beryl's cold green eyes flash with something akin to… it's difficult to say. She just doesn't particularly care for the line of discussion going on right now. Nor does she approve of the men going toe to toe like this. Another breath of smoke seethes out, and she withdraws the holder to flick ash from the tip irritably. One leg uncrosses from over the other and she seems ready to step down. Her narrowed eyes say plainly: Don't make me come over there.

"Not yet." Tiberius staves off the fires that he can feel flickering in the back of his mind already. He's dancing along the edge of his vow, nad nicely so. "If you want a tool, then you're about to receive my resignation, and a nasty stain on your carpet." Referring to himself so coldly. Tiberius smiles at Beryl, and then turns back to Hector. "Let me make this very clear. My continued presence in this world is as an asset. I will use my contacts, my /reputation/ and my ability to the benefit of this business, as I have done. I will maintain my reputation as it serves the business. I /will/ have some measure of a life - And I will not take actions to harm the business. And if you waste my time by threatening to end me each and every time I don't behave exactly as you'd like, I /choose/ death. Because that's even more of a joke than life already is."
"Your call, Carrow." The man's hand slides into his coat pocket. Grasping the wand hidden there, for reassurance. "Or should I say; What are your orders?"

Hector merely smirks as the man blusters further. Threatening further as he comes to realize what kinds of deal he has made. "You could have died in my home when you were trying to rob me. You could have gone quietly instead of begging for your life and swearing an unbreakable vow." The cigarette is put out in a nearby ashtry as he continues. "If you raise your wand at me your vow is broken. What life then is that?"

That does it. Beryl has had it up to the neck with this malarkey - and she's fed up. Her cigarette holder is laid gently on the ashtray; why waste it, after all.
Off the desk she slides and in one step, she is right up to the boys. She doesn't stay there though. Slender hands reach out and frankly claw between the two of them to shove both to either side. "Lay off!" She says sharply, losing her cool for once in her life. A sharp, poisonous glance flashes between both men, landing on Tiberius last of all: "You're not a puppet. You're not a monkey on a string. You're bloody ego is talking here. And," she pauses and jabs an elbow sharply into Hector with another daring glance: "You're behaving like a rabid wolf in the woods. I swear, if either of you pulls anything stupid, I'll make you BOTH pay for it."

Things might be about to come to wands. Well, a wand, and then flaming death. Begging? Never. "You have my terms." He murmurs, about to take a step forward to Hector - When Beryl slides up inbetween them, and forcibly shoves him back. Pride rankles, but something else stays his hand immediately. There's no backchat. His hand falls from his jacket, empty. Staring from Hector to Beryl. Lingering on Beryl.

The elbow from Beryl is slapped away in annoyance as she steps between them, however Hector does nothing else to half her tirade and simply stares at the pair of them before he walks past and opens the door to the cold night air which sweeps in. "Think about why you are here Mr Tripe." His voice as cold as the wind. "Think about why you are the one facing an unbreakable vow. You can be a puppet if you refuse to follow my lead, or you can listen to Ms Crabbe and consider her wellfare as well as your own." With that Hector closes the door and cuts off the conversation between them. Within moments he has disappeared into the night and is on his way home.

Beryl's gaze returns to Tiberius. Naturally Hector cannot see the expression in her eyes from where he stands on her other side. His tirade does not go unnoticed, but she doesn't dare react to it now. There is a look of something dangerously close to desperation; pleading, even. It could be saying all sorts of things: Please, don't do this to me. Please, don't leave me alone with this bastard. Please… just stay?

The two have a moment of silence, as Hector departs so suddenly. And once he's gone, Tiberius crosses the distance between himself and the crimson woman. It's almost familiar, the way he reaches up, brushes a stray bit of hair from her cheek, cupping gently, his other grasping her hip and pulling her in firmly - From there, both his arms encircle the lady, and draw her in close.
Yeah. That happened.

Without saying a word, Beryl allows herself to be drawn into Tiberius, and she clings to him with unexpected fervor. Her head nestles against his shirt, and her eyes close. She really does seem to have been genuinely upset by Hector's fury… is she really frightened of him? Maybe Tibs can understand better in time why she so willingly does his bidding.

There's a fleeting thought that this might all be part of the leash that's being slipped around his neck. But it's fleeting. Tiberius closes his eyes as well, tucking Beryl in nice and close. Slow, deep breathes, as he savors the woman. The feelings she invokes. His heart is beating rapidly, the thrill of his own near death has left its mark alright. Silent, though.

"You shouldn't antagonize him like that," Beryl says quietly. Her voice is still somewhat muffled by the fact that she's pressed so close to Tiberius. "I've already lost one partner to him. Don't …" Her voice fades and she finally shifts to look up into Tiberius' eyes: "Why can't you just /want/ to stay alive?"

"I have /so/ little to live for, Beryl." Tiberius sighs… The man's heart is racing, from how close he came to sacrificing himself. He's meeting her gaze. "… What do I hold sacred if I let him take my freedom - And my reputation? What next. Where does it end? What will I not give him, to stay alive?" There's a pause. "Today… It's my name. Tomorrow… It could be you." He closes his eyes. Holding her. A partnership. It matters.

"You can't give him /me/." Beryl says pointedly, letting that pretty, perfect face of hers slip into what can only be termed a scowl. "I belong to myself. Just as you belong to /yourself./" She grips Tiberius a little tighter now and almost gives him a small shake: "Don't you understand that he's all bull and bluster? But he /is/ in charge here - and he's paying the bills, so to speak." A small pause as her expression relaxes once more. "You've got to try to work with him a little… much as it may hurt your pride." Now she winces a little. That violent shove from Hector hurt more than she realized.

"He can take you away from /me/." Tiberius explains, biting his lower lip. "I… I'd rather not live, if this is going to be what life is." He reacts to the shake with calm, holding her a little tighter in return. "I will, Beryl… But only so far. I won't give up what's left of my life in order to keep living. How is your arm?" He inquires, releasing her to take the slender limb in both hands, concern writ upon his face. He would have taken action, if she hadn't put herself between them.

Beryl's perpetually cocky attitude has been failing a lot over the last twenty-four hours. This moment is no exception. He killed her last partner in cold blood in front of her eyes. He could have done the same to her - he could still.
"It's alright," she replies with a faint hint of her regular smile returning as Tiberius gently holds her arm. "He just jarred me a little. He was holding back. I deserved a worse belt for crossing him that way."

"I should just kill him." Tiberius frowns, slowly letting go of her arm. "End this nightmare before it gets worse." A pause. And then he shakes his head, before taking a step back and pushing himself onto Hector's desk. "I'll not be afraid of him, Beryl." Using her first name now. "But I'll behave - As long as he keeps to my terms, we can do business. Pride pushed aside." A pause. "… But Dill is right. This can only end one way. I've got to make peace with that."

Beryl watches Tiberius in a way that she has not before. Those cool eyes of hers seem wary and mistrustful of something lingering in the background that is unsatisfied. She doesn't follow the man to the desk when he sits, instead, she remains rooted to her spot in the floor momentarily: "And just how did 'Dill' decide this was going to end?" The question is asked tightly, but also coolly at the same time.

"An Unbreakable Vow ends when it's resolved." Tiberius pauses. His hands grip the table, nails digging into the expensive wooden finish. "… Ends when Carrow dies. Or I do." Maybe both. He's managed to make a mess of it. All of it. His eyes narrow, as he reflects on the situation. The robbery. The Vow. And now this confusion with Beryl. "… Fuck." He exhales.

There is a moment of silence, and Beryl's inscrutable expression turns decidedly inward. Something tumultuous brews behind those normally calm eyes, but she continues to keep a complete strangle-hold on whatever may be surging within. She blinks once and plants her hands on her hips: "So, where does that leave me?"
It may sound like the petulant question of a greedy child - that's what Beryl is in many respects - but there's something else behind the sound of her voice.

There's several long, heavy seconds of silence. Tiberius stays seated, staring at the floor, as he tries to work out the answer to her question. When he eventually manages to gaze at her, it's after a hefty pause. His lips part - But it's not to answer. "… Where are we now?" He asks, sounding genuinely confused. "… Where do you want to be?" They're fairly heavily loaded questions.

"I don't know," Beryl answers pretty easily, though her expression is bitingly confused. "I always figured I'd find that one big pot of gold to hold me over as long as my heart desired. Or else, that I'd die on the job - but at least I wouldn't be bored." A small shrug here and a helpless one at that as her hands drop to her sides. "I tried working for myself - didn't work out. Hector comes along and makes an offer I can't refuse he's the boss now. What he says goes. That's how I get through life. On the uncomplicated philosophy that you work for the dog on top if you can't work for yourself."

Her answer leaves him… Unsatisfied. It's obvious, from the look on his face. Tiberius sighs again, and then takes his eyes away from her to look out of the building instead. "I don't work for others." A pause. Finally, he answers. "I don't know, Miss Crabbe." He pushes himself off from the desk. The softness fades from his expression, as he pulls himself together. Armor back in place. "I've nothing else for you. I'll endure it, for now. But with how Carrow is, you're going to end up short a partner - Or an employer - And probably both." Perhaps a little callous. His arms fold over his chest. A closed stance.

Maybe it's for the best. Maybe they both went a little overboard in the heat of the moment. Still, something seems to twinge in his words, and more than just her shoulder bothers Beryl now. Her gaze drops, though her expression remains calm, and she begins to turn to leave. However, she stops and does a half-turn back to him to say: "Then it's a good thing I take care of myself, isn't it?" The voice sounds pained. "I meant what I said when we…." Maybe it's better not to hearken back to their time together in bed. "For as long as you're my partner, I'll do my best to take care of you - regardless of /this./”

Tiberius thinks better of his comment a minute later. He opens his mouth, as if to speak. "Beryl… I…" He struggles. Tries to grasp the words he needs to express himself. The man turns, swallowing… Lord knows what. The sound he makes is somewhere between a growl an wordless shout of frustration, followed by an ungodly loud crack. It sounds almost as if the building has snapped in half, as Tiberius apparates out of the building in an emotional fury. Behind him, he leaves a ribbon of sheared grey and white material, flesh, and /blood/.
The evidence remains. The man, however, is gone.

The crack causes Beryl to stop in her tracks with a shivering start. Calm eyes suddenly go wide with a sense of dread and she turns again… only to see the horrible evidence left behind from Tiberius' exit. "Tiberius…" She says thinly, her voice almost without sound. She darts to the blood on the floor and stoops to touch the torn fabric, only to draw back her hand to her face shakily: "What do I… TIBS!" She cries, back on her feet. Beryl has lost her cool. She doesn't know where to go, what to do. Only that she has to find Tiberius - or what's left of him - but where in the world…

The sky cracks. At least, that's what it sounds like. As if the words most ominous bolt of thunder had touched ground at the juncture of Sow Street in Hogsmeade, not too far from the Hog's Head. Tiberius apparates - The man standing when he first appears, although his eyes go from flashing with anger to /wide/ with suprise. He falls to his knees, mouth open in shock for a few seconds, before sound comes from it. And then, it's somewhere between a scream of pain and a roar of anguish, the man fighting to remain /kneeling/ in the street.
The cause becomes apparent. A vicious slice is missing from his shoulder, a good fist-sized hole inbetween arm and neck, distorting the graceful line his suit created. The suit has suffered the same damage - Although it also reveals the long, vicious tear that goes from the bottom of the wound, right down to the back of his waist. It doesn't start bleeding until he falls, but then it's immediate. Copious.
…It's a splinch. And not a small one.

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