Tilly and Miranda gave the customers their space once plates had arrived and towels had been handed out. There was plenty for them to do, like baking more muffins and cookies, those always went fast. Especially with Tilly insisting all the customers, voucher or paid out of their own pocket, got a cookie at the end of their meal for free. Something about a warm cookie warming one's soul, as she frequently said.
However, they wound up not being completely alone in the cafe for long. The bell dinged quietly as it was opened. A dark haired woman entered, wearing a black leather jacket, worn with normal wear and tear. Underneath the jacket, she wore a flowing blouse, and topped the outfit off with with ankle-length riding breeches, and knee high black riding boots. She spared the group of three at a table a nod and a smile, slightly larger upon seeing Wiri there.
A hand lifted in a bit of a wave, and she said, "Hey, ranger." Her voice was on the lower end, with a bit of a rasp. However, she didn't linger long in the greeting, moving on toward the counter where Tilly came around to meet her. Tilly held a towel and was using it to dry her hands. "Hey, Tills, can I speak with you a sec?"
Tilly gave a nod, and with an arm, guided the woman Wiri knew as Benny, into the back area. "Och, yes. Come wit' me, loverly. 'Randa, some tea, please?" Miranda gave a nod and moved to start some tea, while the two disappeared into the back part of the cafe. Seems like the business was starting to draw a few more as the bell over the door went ring a ling ling again.
This time, it was a young man. Someone Hastu and Wiri have at least seen around town. After all, who wouldn't remember the pet fox the man kept unleashed by his side? It was Jay, with his bleached blonde hair, all year around tan, and dark rimmed glasses. He wore the typical racing hoodie, light blue jeans, and basketball shoes, but he looked dry enough to know he hadn't been out and about in the recent rain.
Aódh / Wiri / Hatsu LarryCollidias Rexsilverwhere
: In the times you've been in the cafe, none of you, aside from Wiri, can recall Tilly taking someone who didn't work there into the back just for a conversation. Wiri, you've seen it a few times, and usually with Benny, so while peculiar, it isn't completely unheard of for you.
: After the very strange and intense rainstorm that swept in without warning, and dispersed in the blink of an eye, you figured it would be a good time to try and get some lunch from the Loving Spoon. When you enter, only Miranda is behind the counter, and there are three men sitting at a table. You recognize Wiri as the town's ranger, and Hatsu, having seen the latter around town for a little while. You also know he's the one whose house burned down shortly before the freak storm swept in. It's been the buzz of the town, and while you may have slept through the fire alarm, downside of being up all night, there's no way you could have missed others talking about it on your way to the cafe. The third man you're not quite familiar with, and he's scarfing down his food like some ravenous beast.
This new Levi guided the merry band through the storm to a small home. Everything was overwhelmingly familiar. This was Levi, without a doubt, but the home and furnishings were definitely Loki. And then Chase was brought out.
Neither Edwin nor Dwight knew Chase very well, but they both knew of the bond Leif had to them. That bond was still true, if Leif's reaction was anything to go by. Chase, and his wolf spirit, however did not show the same recognition. Their eyes searched empty air, their whimpers full of fear and anxiety. Levi stated that they were blind, but those eyes could still see. Maybe they couldn't see the world around them, but they were far from empty.
Despite their questions, both Edwin and Dwight could tell Leif needed this moment. They stayed to the side, observing this Levi, watching the way he and Chase looked to things beyond the room. Whatever oppressive force they'd felt upon entering the town, it was clear that the locals knew something of it. The nurse had stated the ranger was a large spirit, but Edwight doubted that he was the source of this fear. There must be more out there, something worse. Perhaps what the 'Coven' or 'Realmwalkers' had been after, or something they had created.
They pressed these thoughts aside, instead focusing on the conversations around them. Leif was enjoying his time with Chase, even if he was mentally absent seeming, and the affection was charming to observe, calming even. Levi stated that most of Chase's possessions were still boxed away, and Leif inquired to search them.
Whatever Leif hoped to find, Edwight knew they could not assist that search. "If you need," they spoke up after Chase had been cleaned up from the meal, "I can sit with Chase while you look into the boxes. I may not know him as well as Leif, but I can keep him company if nothing else." It was a simple offer, but perhaps he could spend the time to figure out what they were seeing, what could frighten a spirit wolf so badly, and if the spirit bear was facing the same fears.
The results of Bill's spell, was a little bit more than she expected. However, it shouldn't be surprising, seeing as how remnants of some other magic had played with the two of the witches when conjuring up a simple spot of rain. Instead of a ribbon of light, a small, mostly translucent, partially luminescent, white rabbit formed only a few feet away from Bill.
It sat on its back haunches as it seemed to sniff at the air. The little bunny nose twitched, the left long ear flicked, and with a shake of its tail, the thing began to hop away. The rabbit only moved a foot or two before it paused, looked directly at Bill, and thumped one hind foot on the ground before moving again. The creature clearly expected Bill to follow and threw a small snit whenever it didn't think Bill was moving fast enough.
Beatrice wordlessly followed behind, her expression showed amazement at the conjured animal. The little rabbit would pause now and then, sniff the air to get its bearings, and then continue leading the charge through the woods until it arrived at the steps to the building where Bill rented out a room. Yet, it was still visible to the witches, but only the witches. The latter became apparent when Mister Willis opened the door intending to go see where he might be able to help, with the house fire and the following storm.
The rabbit hopped to the side as the man moved down the steps, one arm extended to hold the door open for the two women. "Ellos! Here, I got the door. Watch your step. Got a little muddy just inside. I'll clean it up right quick soon as I'm back." He didn't even glance at the faintly glowing, partially see-through rabbit right by his feet.
Bill / Beatrice BillieRossOrganicUFO
: The rabbit will lead you all the way to your rented room, and then help itself inside after you. The cat can see it, but it passes through the rabbit each time it tries to pounce on the creature. The rabbit just wriggles its nose and keeps checking out your home until it eventually makes itself comfortable on one of your favorite tops you left out on the floor. Or maybe the cat had pulled it there for itself. Either way, it did not seem to be dissipating or leaving anytime soon.
Chase's eyes closed for a short while, when he felt the touch of the paper towel against his face. He seemed to lean into it, as if seeking some type of physical sense to ground him, to keep him from falling into a lost, panicked state of being. Something he existed in more often than not these days. His hands held on tighter, afraid to be let go, to be alone wherever he was.
Levi came around to collect the bowl and napkins, exchanging it for a bottle of water. "Usually, if yous can get one o' his hands around the bottle, he cans handle the rest. He'll drink his full and hold it out to be taken. He's... aware of some things. Just.. less and less as the days goes on." His voice was quiet, full of regret, maybe even a touch of something else.
When Edwin made his offer, to sit with Chase while Levi showed Leif the boxes, Chase was still relatively calm. He'd drink the water when it was guided to a hand, sip by sip, until he wasn't thirsty. Then it'd be held out until someone took it from him. Chase would then try to hold onto Leif's hand with both of his own again.
Levi put the bowl in the sink and put some water in it, adding, "Should be okay, just need to guide his hands over. Chase doesn't like not having something to hold, and fares better when it's someone's hand or arm." He then moved to the hallway, gesturing to the bedroom he let Chase have. "I'll go drag the boxes out of the closet. Just join me when you're ready. Or uh.." He ran a hand through his hair in a quick debate.
"I can.. bring them out here as well, I suppose. There wasn't a lot."
Leif & Edwight KodakWolfThropian
: The wolf stopped whining so loudly, and instead rests with the occasional whimper. About the same time Chase lets out a soft wuffle or two. Both are still unsettled, but able to remain calm for the most part. Levi waits to see if Leif would rather have the boxes dragged out there, or if letting Edwin sit with Chase was acceptable.
As Roje decided to check her phone, it was a delicate balance of moving the device, and keeping the slightly broken cord working. A little wriggle here, a little wriggle there, as she moved to check some recent texts on the phone. And she had a few, five to be exact. Dad, Mack, Juniper, GEICO, and Garth.
Roje tapped on the second in the list, and opened up the text history with Mack. The last text was the first one Roje read, and by itself seemed rather disheartening.
Dammit, Mack! Where the hell are you?
It was sent a week ago and remained unanswered. Before Roje could start scrolling up to read from the beginning, or even backtrack to see what led up to the last text, there was a knock on the door. And a voice Indy would easily recognized called out. "Sunshine? It's mom. They gave me your room number downstairs." Knock knock. "Indigo?" Beth wasn't always known for her patience, especially when she was excited or eager about something in particular.
And she was most excited to see her Sunshine again.
The small black orb drew closer to Boy's muzzle, and the grip tightened harder and harder, digging into the dog's skin. Rio's face twisted, becoming the visage of a skull for a few seconds as he loomed closer to the canine's face. "TAKE IT!" He roared, teeth were now razor sharp needles, row upon row as the gaping maw opened wide enough to nearly swallow the dog's head whole.
Boy's body jerked sharply, like when one's just falling asleep and you dream you've walked off the edge of something. The body just jerks, and you wake up to realize it was just a dream. A nightmare. There was no Rio standing in front of him, or holding Boy's neck. There wasn't a black orb poised to be shoved down the dog's throat. There weren't any growling whispers, or a cacophony of laughter.
Boy had fallen asleep at the mouth of the cave. It was afternoon, the waves were gently lapping at the shore not terribly far away. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. A glance back over a shoulder revealed Augie to still be napping in the same spot. Boy could even see the man snoring slightly, based on the way his mouth opened now and then with the movement of his chest. Arms folded and resting in his lap. Boy could even see the man's dark hair threatening to be pulled in on the next intake of breath. Boy could see the... wait.
Boy could see.
: You can see. Like see see. Color and texture, depth and more. Ignore the small churning inside your stomach. Ignore the faint chuckle in the back of your mind. Ignore the way your mouth feels dry and gritty.
Bill Location: Home again, home again With:OrganicUFO
Bill’s eyebrows raised at the rabbit. That was new. Very Wonderland, she thought warily, but she had faith in the spell and followed it anyway.
“Come on, Alice,” she muttered to Greenwitch, and slogged her way through the damp, sunny forest, a few paces behind the rabbit.
She followed the rabbit, which seemed worryingly sentient. She’d cast this spell hundreds of times, and this had certainly never happened before. She thought about asking Grace or even Lara if that’d ever happened to them before, but quickly dismissed it. She knew Grace too well - she’d have bragged about the cute bunny as soon as it had happened. And Lara was too much of a bookworm to not start pestering all her siblings into looking for rabbit holes to other worlds.
She missed them, briefly, but she’d missed them a while. She wasn’t sure when the last time all eight of them had been back in the same town. Before Harris went off to uni, probably. Or maybe the Christmas before Lara started her PhD.
Her sisters were going to be a bust, anyway. She’d need to call her gran. It was getting late back home, though, and she’d probably be asleep. Bill’d need to wait until the evening to call back and ask.
They’d walked along in silence for too long, Bill thought. “My room’ll be a bit of a tip,” she warned over her shoulder. “I wasn’t expectin’ company. Ah, and you’ll need to mind Mary. My mad cat. She disnae like anyone, best tae just keep your hands away from her, or she’ll bite yer fingers off. Absolute beast of an animal, but she’s done a good job of killin’ the rodents in the shitehole apartments I’ve been living’ in these last five years.”
The town sprung out from between the trees like a mirage. Bill let out a sigh of relief, hoping the rabbit would dissipate, but it kept hopping along, bounding down the streets in broad daylight. She flinched a little, but nobody seemed to take any notice. Not even Mr. Willis, who flung the door open, staring directly at the little glowing thing.
“Ellos! Here, I got the door. Watch your step. Got a little muddy just inside. I'll clean it up right quick soon as I'm back."
“Ah, nae bother,” Bill said, trying her best to be personable again, frantically fishing around for the kind of thing normal people talked about, “Strange weather, aye?”
She knelt down in the entry way and wrenched her muddy boots off her feet, gesturing for Beatrice to do the same.
The rabbit was still here. Still leading her back to her room.
“We’ve got it from here,” she tried, but it still lingered. Bill tutted irritably.
“Whatever,” she groused, and roughly nudged her bedroom door open.
Her room wasn’t a tip, necessarily, but it wasn’t particularly tidy either. To the untrained eye, it had all the hallmarks of the room of an ordinary teenager. Her bedsheets rumpled, dirty clothes piled in a heap on the only chair in the room, desk covered in a clutter of random bottles and old books, playing cards from a game of solitaire strewn across the little free space there was, and a small forest of potted plants fighting for sunlight on the windowsill. Someone more acclimated to her lifestyle might note the way whatever was int he bottles swirled in the sunlight, or the box of chalk next to the old rug, already warn from being flipped back and forth. The obscure names on the books, the weird smell of the plants. The biggest giveaway was perched precariously on the unsteady desk: a solitary hotplate with an old, beaten up pot with carvings on the side - much more economical than lugging around the traditional iron cast cauldron.
“Mary?” She called, just as the awful creature shot out from under the bed, presumably to start biting her ankles. At the last minute, she changed course, and pounced on the faintly glowing rabbit, just to fall straight through. Bill laughed under her breath.
“Aye, I don’t think that’s gonna work for ye,” she said, and started emptying her pockets filled with bottles of lotions, potions, ointments, whatever else she’d thought to grab. She shoved it all into the bottom-most drawer of her desk, grabbing a few sitting on top of it and shoving them in as well. Tidying up, she told herself, even as the rabbit tugged a shirt off her 'clean shirt pile' and settled down on it, right as Mary had a second go at killing it. Little bastard. She placed her wand on the windowsill and shrugged out of her mud-covered jacket, tossing it on the chair with the rest of her laundry. “Ye can sit on the bed, if yer no’ too damp,” she called over her shoulder to Greenwich.
Whilst Greenwitch got herself comfortable, Bill grabbed her phone from where it was charging on the bedside table and tapped out a quick text to her sister Grace:
sorry cant call atm. emergency in town I had 2 look @. Someguys house caught fire lmao. im ok. More wierd shite in this weird town- spells all amplified??? idk. Can u make sure granny has her phone plugged in tomrow so I can ask her. Ik u won’t kno anything abt it. lol.
She hit send before bothering to fix the typos, knowing it’d irritate Grace.
And then, to her mother:
Sorry I didn’t call! There was a wee problem in town, but it’s sorted now. Miss you lots
She put the phone back on the side table and sighed.
“Right then,” she said, rolling back the rug, “Let’s no take any chances.”
She drew a quick, slightly wonky circle of binding on the hardwood floor under the rug, just in case whatever was in there was hostile. Unless it was more powerful than her, or if she’d misspelled something (not outside the realm of possibility), anything she put in wasn’t getting out until she wiped it away.
Circles and sigils had never been her strong suit, but Murdina had insisted she learn at least a few useful ones. Bill was absurdly grateful for her insistence now.
“Keep on yer toes,” she said to the Greenwitch, “could be fuckin’ anythin’.”
She held out her hands for the bundle of scarf and whatever else, carefully laying it in the circle so as not to smudge the chalk.
“Alright,” she muttered under her breath, “what in the world are ye?”
She unraveled the scarf, looking for that thing was at the heart of it, whatever it may be.
Riley Adler / Boy Location: I can fucking see!
Tags: Out Of Words
In those seconds of pure terror, the dog squirmed desperately as fingers that felt like claws dug into his neck. As the black orb drew closer and closer, his panicked state prevented him from willingly opening his mouth. There was no trace of logical thought, and all the dog could focus on despite trying to get away was locking his jaw shut and swallowing the yelp of pain that threatened to come out.
Then there was the roar, and the terrifying sight of his own face being disfigured into a skull that loomed ever closer, threatening to swallow him with that maw full of inhuman teeth. Powerless to set himself free from the monster’s grasp, the dog no longer saw the approaching black orb, the source of his panic becoming that thing, the impending threat that forced him to not only resist, but fight back. Something he hadn’t done in so, so long, but that he still knew how to do.
And the dog stopped squirming, stopped pulling back and trying to get away, and instead lunged forward, fueled by a burst of sudden rage as he went for the throat, his throat, and when teeth were expected to meet flesh… there was nothing. He was free falling into the void. And he suddenly woke up with a sharp jerk of his whole body.
It’d been a dream, a nightmare. Or had it? His heart was still racing, blood roaring in his ears and he was still trying to catch his breath from having seemingly held it for quite some time. First thing he did was quickly look around, as Augie was supposed to be right beside him, and yet Boy didn’t feel him there. He was quick to spot Augie a few yards away, deeper into the cave where he himself supposedly fell asleep, which meant he was probably sleepwalking now.
Boy felt so disoriented after waking up, his mind chose to observe Augie while regaining its bearings and trying to calm the thrumming of his heart inside his chest. He watched as the man’s chest moved up and down in tune with his breathing, and eyes registered the several handmade shell necklaces the dog always wondered what they really looked like after listening to their clinking sounds for so long, registered the gentle swaying of the tips of Augie’s hair… he had to be really, really disoriented, because it was only a good minute later that he realized he could see.
Was it another dream? The dog quickly looked around himself, but found nothing unusual, no more monsters, no more evil clones of himself with shining eyes… no, everything looked normal. Or as normal as he remembered normal to be. He hadn’t had a dream in which he could see in years. It was a common occurrence in the first few months after losing his vision, but they eventually became more and more sparse until they stopped happening for good.
Instead of calming down, his heartbeat was again racing as he quickly made his way to Augie, stopping just inches away from him as he debated whether he should wake him up or not. How could he explain to Augie what was happening, though? Yes, he could see, but he was still a dog. And he didn’t even know if that was permanent or not. The dog circled around the man anxiously a few times, eyes darting back and forth, up and down as he tried to register as much as he could.
He was feeling a mix of emotions, from excitement, to anxiety, to worry and happiness, all at the same time. How could eyes that had been damaged to the point of uselessness by the abuse of dark magic be brought back to full function by the very same magic? He was afraid of the consequences, afraid of what the price for such a thing would be, because there was no other explanation. Despite feeling great, he felt corrupted at the same time, like at any given moment the orb he might or might not have swallowed could start corroding him from the inside out, if it already wasn’t.
But it wasn’t enough to keep the dog from being ecstatic at everything surrounding him. At one point, he laid eyes upon his own tail, and set off after it in circles for a good minute. Then he’d dart outside, deciding it was best to let Augie sleep for now. He had a lot to explore. But he wouldn’t go too far, so as not to worry Augie in case he woke up alone in the cave.
In full zoomies mode, the dog would run across a large stretch of the beach, only to come back, then he’d switch to playing in the waves and later would jump up the short climb that led into the woods. He could finally see, truly see what had been his home for months now! After a good bit of euphoric exploration, he’d trot back to the cave, wet fur covered in dirt, sand, leaves and twigs, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth as he panted heavily. Even his characteristic limping was gone, so warmed up that he was. He’d then plop down on his stomach, hind legs stretched back, still watching the sea as he tried to catch his breath, mind empty of thoughts without much effort as he just enjoyed the moment.
Indy sighed at gave one final stretch, feeling the joints in her back and shoulders crack as she screwed her eyes shut. Roje was right. They needed a shower. Something to wash the day off and clear her head. Yet the idea of going into the bathroom had her stomach churning; she couldn't bring herself to even look through the door adjourning the rooms, terrified of spotting any white tile and brassy prison-style shower heads.
Terrified of spotting a splotch of blood in the corner. A small broken girl sitting within it, next to the raccoon she'd truly rather not think about.
Roje didn't seem in a hurry and was fiddling with her phone, so that was ruled out as an excuse.
"You go first"--she jerked her head at Silver, who absolutely looked like someone who needed a warm shower and a relaxing evening--"I'll go after,"
Indy froze, every hair standing straight as the light rapping on the wooden door rattled her bones. The voice that followed was musical, comforting, hyper-real compared to the tinny quality she had come to associate it with after only hearing it through the phone for most of her life.
Sunshine. Strike one. Indigo. Strike two. Fuck.
She slowly rose, glancing quickly at Roje and Silver before taking a deep breath. Her flask still had a bit of liquid still sloshing about and she would have reached for it if it didn't seem improper to color this reunion with the scent of alcohol on her breath.
"Uh, hey, ma," Indy said with the wobbly vocal grace of a terrified teenager. Slowly she made her way to the door, hand frozen on the handle. She took a breath, glanced back at Roje and Silver over her shoulder, then released it in one long huff.
Indy opened the door.
"Hey, ma. I'm back."
Beth Ann Sanderson stood on the other side of the door, nearly just as Indy might remember, only her blonde hair was more of a dyed strawberry blonde, more strawberry than blonde. She wore a fashionable pink jacket, light colored flowery blouse underneath, and a knee length skirt in the same color as the jacket.
Her mouth opened in what could have been a terrifyingly large smile if one didn't know the woman for her slightly exaggerated gestures, and expressions. "SUNNY!" And she moved in for a hug, long thin arms outstretched to either side.
Roje almost let out a grumble as she was just about to scroll through her text messages for more clues as to what was going on. Being interrupted by her birthmother in a moment like this wasn't her ideal way to find answers. Her gaze watched Indy as she moved toward the door, meanwhile mother called from the other side of the door. Thank goodness Roje was never raised around that, she would have hated her name by this point. The door opened, and mother was soon in vision, strawberry-blonde looking too. There's no way I came out of that woman. She's so cheery and almost like those overly happy horror movie moms... the vampire thought as she moved in for a hug towards Indy. Despite seeming like she was chilling by the bed, her guard was up, and eyeing every move 'mother' made. What could she say in this moment? Probably nothing, so she remained silent, casting Silver a glance, hoping the girl knew she wasn't alone and the Vamp would charge if anything.
They took care of her, now it was time for her to take care of them.
Silver questioned the almost pestering desire to comfort Indy who seemed to be in more dire straits than the rest of them. The stress oozing from her was essentially feeding into her own, rubbing her inner wolf’s fur the wrong way and making Silver acutely aware of her emotions and that of the room itself. She gulped at the idea of a shower, weighing the pros and cons for far longer than necessary as she tossed around the idea of shifting. Who knew if they were being watched?
“I’ll take a gander at it then, figure out if there’s hot water or not.” Silver tried to lighten the mood a bit but the very light of the fire glass seemed to warp in coherence with the knock that rapped against the door.
A friendly, almost too cheery tone spoked muffled yet clear words through the only thing dividing them between the room and the hallway where yet another new individual made their appearance. The way Indy reacted was almost too relatable for Silver, feeling her heart both drop to her stomach before leaping harshly into her throat. The knock alone was triggering, reminding her of how she hadn’t been allowed to close her own bedroom door at home for risk of the wrath of her father knocking on her own head with a merciless, scolding thrum.
Her nails dug involuntarily into her fingers, carving her internal turmoil into her palms until she simply stepped the furthest away from the room’s door as possible by delving into the threshold of the hallway connecting their rooms with the bathroom. It was here that her wolf was baring it’s fangs against a wall Beth wouldn’t be able to see as Silver attempted to calm down. Would it be alright to hide in the bathroom? Or would it be rude to Indy’s mom? Did it matter? When the questions in her mind rang too loudly, her ability to deal with adults rapidly deteriorated.
Her dark gaze darted between Indy’s just as she was embraced by a lean, strawberry blonde in a bright outfit and Roje’s glance, giving the vampire a pleading look.
What do I do? She wanted to ask aloud.
Indy froze at the sight of her mother, once long and windswept hair now bleached and smooth, aging knit sweaters with holes Indy would wiggle her fingers through as a child replaced with a primly pressed blouse-blazer combo. As though someone had kidnapped her mother and replaced her with Norma Bates.
And Sunny, she couldn’t remember one Goddamn time her mother had called her that.
Like a stiff board falling onto a wall, Indy leaned into Beth’s embrace and gingerly patted her back. She even smelled different, like hotel shampoo and department store perfume samples.
“Hey, glad you’re doin’ okay, ma.” Indy swallowed and extracted herself from Beth’s embrace as carefully as she could. Best to cut right to the chase before this got any stranger. “So uh, I’m with some people from my group, we’re a little shaken up, I know it’s abrupt but we really need a way to get out of Marasong—“
Beth was already talking before Indy got to the part about getting out of Marasong. "So, I am cleaning up the house, making some room so you can stay there instead of here. Though you already have the room for tonight, so it would be a shame to let it go to waste. It is a very lovely inn."
She was moving a bit further into the room already, eyes sweeping through the place as she talked. "Tomorrow, I should have some room, for a couple.." Her eyes glanced at Silver and she gave a sugar smile. "For you and.." Then her eyes settled on Roje.
Poor Silver, she was really having it rough. Hiding the way she was, no matter. Roje still had their backs. Giving a slight nod, she placed her phone back down on the bed and got to her feet, taking a look at the woman who embraced Indy. Unfortunately, she was unwilling to listen to Indy's words to get them out of this forsaken place and was instead making arrangements for the girls to stay at 'mother's' home. When her eyes examined the area, they landed on the Vampires as her name left that woman's mouth. Causing her stomach to knot and a frog to clog up her throat. Mother already knew of Roje, so that was some sort of step? Not like Roje herself was ready for this encounter.
The silence seemed to have gone for a little longer than she anticipated, but she found the words to speak "Woman." was the first thing that came from her lips. No way was she going to call her 'ma' like Indy did. She slipped her hands into her back pockets of her pants and diverted her gaze away, her guard raised even more than it had been before. The air felt more uncomfortable followed with it, but it was an all too familiar feeling that she knew how to already deal with it...Or so she thought.
Silver’s eyes visibly darkened somehow when Beth cut Indy off, her desperate need for guidance flipping to irritation in the blink of an eye as she mirrored the hackles rising in the shadows. Something beckoned Silver in the back of her mind that hadn’t stirred before.
It upwelled quietly—a creek fissuring it’s way through a dry, pebbly riverbed, branching out with a steady bubbling of cool water. Bite. It mumbled easily, too matter-of-factly. Bite. Bite. Bite. It was her wolf’s desire. To remove that which was bringing such an intense need to shift—bring it to an end that was. Silver caught the woman’s eyes, feeling her breath hitch in her throat at the smile. It was momentary, the way she hesitated but it was enough to have her shuffle backwards, reeling between slamming a door in their faces and leaping for this woman’s throat.
The dizzying haze of thoughts had her gripping the threshold to anchor herself, hearing the blood roaring in her ears as the desire to protect Indy and Roje was more so turning into an animalistic desire to remove Beth from existence.
She took one careful step back, another, heels clunking heavily against the floorboards. She could feel Silver's tension behind her, on the precipice of combustion. She saw Roje's gaze, directed away from Beth, hackles similarly raised.
And Indy was filled with rage.
"You knew." Her voice was low, each syllable another crack in the fireplace. "You knew about her."
Maybe some part of Indy was screaming, a piece of her brain ringing out to remind her that this may not be where she remembered--something was off, she knew that; everything a simulacra of what is once was, ever since she left her apartment. Nothing entirely real or unreal, a fantasy wrapped up in enough truth to plant itself in the uncanny valley of reality.
Yet there was no reality where her mother had not lied about Roje. There was no reality where Indy had not been robbed of her sister. In every reality, her rage was legitimate.
"Why?" The word was hollow, the anger failing to ring true and instead giving way to an exhausted exhale.
Beth seemed surprised at Indy's strange and sudden 'out of nowhere' rage. She put on her disappointed mom face and folded her arms primly in front of her chest. Her eye blinked, expression somewhere on the edge of guilt trip 'you hurt my feelings' and 'how dare you use that tone on your mother' anger.
When she spoke, it was slow and with slightly exaggerated enunciation. "Your father said you two might be coming this way." She gave an 'exasperated' sigh. "You know, if you had wanted it to be a surprise, you should have told him to keep it a secret. Honestly."
"Our father?!" Indy wheeled back, her hips bumping into the bedposts as she slid her fingers through her still soggy hair. "That washed deadbeat shithead?! Ma, I haven't heard from Logan in fucking years. I thought he was at the bottom of the goddamn Hudson."
Beth replied in that tone, "Language!" Even did a tsk tsk sound with her tongue before giving a sigh, you know the kind. The one that clearly said she was composing herself. Ahem. "Your father said he talked to both of you just last month. You were.." One hand moved around in the air for exaggerated emphasis on just what her unspoken thoughts were on their activity habits. "...galavanting around with your rock band, and Roje was in training. But you both were going to take some time off and come here."
Roje didn't have a motherly figure In her life. In fact, she had to be the mother figure for her little brother...who probably wasn't her brother to begin with. Then her father was a sad drunk who did nothing but beat herself and her brother. So being in front of her birth mother as of this moment started to bother her, especially as she tried to reprimand Indy for language "Damn well I guess you won't be liking my language then." She kept eyeing both girls, making sure they were okay. The sound of Silvers rising heart beat was enough to tell the hazel-eyed woman that something was wrong.
"As for my father, he was a drunk. Always will be honestly." She faced the woman a bit more head on, stepping in between her sister and 'mother' just to give Indy something to hide behind just to process and feel safe knowing someone would stand up and protect her. Same with Silver "why would we come this way anyway? There's really nothing here. Like at all. It's so fucking weird just to stay for a few hours let alone years."
Beth looked confused at Roje. "Logan hasn't touched a drink in.. over ten years. I.. are you okay? First.. you sounded confused on the phone and now.. this story? I..Oh. I'm going to get the vapors!" She moved to take a seat in one of the sitting chairs inside the room, one hand fanning herself.
One step back. Two more steps. She could feel the threshold of the bathroom, the door was shut. Her eyes were trained on the ground as she fought herself internally, a quaking feeling making her tremble down to her core. She could practically taste the rage coming off Indy, her very image blurring for a moment and being replaced by something else. Small, fur spiked in all directions and sharp, white teeth bared in a loud hiss. She heard the hiss.
This woman—Beth, Indy and Roje’s mother? Her voice was grinding in Silver’s ears, her words weren’t even directed towards her but her tone. Her very aura, the way she was clawing her way into the room with such carelessness and ever approaching yet keeping a flitting distance, the combination of it all was turning that creek into a waterfall that Silver felt as if she’d dunked her head into. It bore down on her skull with such a force, not allowing her to hear anything but it’s rushing uproar.
The moment Indy reeled backwards and came into contact with the bedpost, Silver hadn’t realized she’d lurched forward. In the blink of an eye, her lithe human form had been replaced by a wolf who’s bright white coat was shadowed by the green light of the room. Eyes flared with a wild light as it stalked forward, trained on Beth’s face as she now fanned herself. She could clear the distance in a single bound. A snarl twisted Silver’s maw into an ugly, grotesque mask of anger as she stood in a position readied to strike.
Thoughts wrapped in a whirlpool, unable to be parceled apart as Indy's mind was lost in overwhelmed confusion and panic, instinct won out over logic. Muscle clenching, the sudden blur of white fur and sharp teeth launched Indy forward.
Only one short curse hissed between her teeth as she felt herself launch, arm curled upward over her face as she threw herself in front of her mother's body, thin claws splitting from the beds of her nails as she felt the burning of her features morphing, skin stretching taut over her bones as her own fur tingled, ready to emerge beneath her skin.
Mind whirling, panic seizing her body, Indy charged the wolf.
Leif/Levi Location: Unpacking the drama. (Discord-ant)
Leif would take his time, and would do as Levi instructed so Chase could drink some water, gently taking the bottle from him when he indicated he was done drinking, although a glance was shot at Levi for a brief amount of time. A glance that noticed something about his tone, something Leif couldn't fully place. Yet.
When Edwin spoke up, Leif glanced at him, almost instantly giving a small nod. He wasn't one to trust people easily, but something about Edwin had made Leif at ease from the first time they mey. Whether the fact he was a druid, or the bear spirit, the fact was that Leif didn't feel resistant to allow the man to approach Chase.When Levi spoke from the hallway, Leif nodded at him, noticing how he seemed to leave the decision up to him instead of deciding himself, as the caretaker, what was best for Chase.
"I'll join you." He answered Levi.
When Chase sought his hands again after letting go of the water bottle, Leif gently grabbed his wrist, and would slowly guide both his hands to Edwin when the man approached. He not only trusted Edwin, he was also hopeful the druid would be able to sense something he couldn't. Something magical perhaps. And that made it a tiny bit easier to let go of Chase to follow Levi deeper into the house, although Leif lingered back a little to make sure Chase wouldn't get agitaded again with the change in company.
Chase was a little unsettled at first, but after a moment, appeared to be calm again. Maybe it was the wolf spirit side, sensing the druid's own connection with such matters, and accepted the company. Chase wuffled quietly a couple of times, though blue eyes did dart left and right periodically.
Levi waited for Leif before moving into the back bedroom and proceeding to drag out some boxes from the floor of the closet. There were four in total, pretty normal sized moving boxes. "He ain't had much. Guessing he didn't feel like ordering a lot of stuff after settling down here."
The only label they had was a name - Chase Moon. They were folded with the flaps tucked into each other to keep it closed instead of with tape. "I weren't able to make it all pretty like. Didn't have a lot o' time for the packing. So.. Ain't real sure what's where."
Chase seemed to accept Edwin's company well after a brief moment of nervousness, so Leif deemed it safe to follow Levi into the room. As hard to admit as it was, it was a brief respite from having to witness Chase in such a state, a respite that allowed his mind to think more clearly and digest all the new information and clues.
In the room with Levi, he watched as the man dragged out the boxes, eyes lying upon the known name written on the boxes. He approached the one that was closest, sitting down by it and working on unfolding the flaps and opening the box with a level of restrained eagerness.
"Was all of this stuff purchased here?" A glance was briefly shot at Levi, before eyes turned back to the contents in the box.
Levi moved to sit cross legged on the floor. "Yeah, mostly. He ain't had much. Small bag o' stuff and only a couple clothes. Most he got down at the goods store on the docks." He watched as the first box was opened, remembering things as they were pulled out.
It really was kind of a hodge podge of things. This box had some fuzzy wolf head slippers, made Levi chuckle to see them again. "Ain't never seen someone with wolf slippers before." Followed by a smaller container of what one would expect to find in a bathroom, including a robe from Marasong Inn. "I guess Sera let him keep it from when he stayed there."
Soap, shampoo, and the like were all in ziplock bags in case they spilled. "I mean.. I guess could use those here, but.. I dunno. It's like his stuff so.. if'n he asked.." But he hadn't.
It was all so strange. Why would Chase move into Marasong? And why would he bring almost nothing and purchase everything in town? There a small chuckle at the wolf head slippers, more of the sad kind. He took a mental note of all the stuff he found in the box, and everything Levi said too. He'd have to check the inn, and the mentioned goods store on the docks.
"Does he have an ID, any documents...?" He asked, briefly shooting Levi another glance as he reached out to open another box.
"Yeah, uh.. one of them has it. Didn't wants it to get losts if he uh.. got lost like Marius does sometimes." The second box seemed to hold items from the kitchen area. A couple of pots and pans, utensils, various kitchen items, including a heavy ceramic mug of a full moon and a wolf howling on one side. On the other it said My Moonshine.
And at the bottom, a few other items not from the kitchen. There was one framed picture wrapped in brown paper. Someone else had taken it, as it was of Chase standing on the edge of what appeared to be a mountain, overlooking a vast forest of lush trees, a fantastic picturesque lake, and snow capped mountains a little farther away.
There was a keyring, with about five keys, and a full moon keycharm, a folded, worn leather wallet, and an older model smart phone. Batteries dead.
As Leif went through the stuff in the box, he'd carefully place each item on the floor right beside the box before going for the next one. He nodded at Levi's words, but didn't reply right away.
A bit more time was devoted to inspecting the mug, which was ultimately also placed on the floor. He then reached for the framed picture that lay in the bottom. And a lot more time was devoted to looking at it once unwrapped.
It was Chase, but the man in the picture looked so different than the Chase in the living room, it made Leif's heart lurch in his chest. The physical traits were about the same, yet everything else was painfully different. Leif was in silence for a while, the amount of time it took to recompose himself before eyes shot to Levi and he spoke.
"Do you know where this was taken?" He asked quietly, waving slightly with the picture. The landscape wasn't particularly familiar, but then again he didn't remember taking the pictures in his phone gallery either, so perhaps he shouldn't trust his memory too much. And it didn't look like the picture had been taken too long ago.
Levi looked at the picture when Leif turned it around. "Not round here. Mebbe it was before he found Marasong. I don't know a lot of the land areas much." He gave a bit of a shrug. "Mebbe Wiri might know. Or uh.. trying to think who's been round. Oh.. Angelo. The town lawyer guy. He comes and goes a lot."
Leif nodded, half expecting the answer he got from Levi, but he did take a mental note of the names mentioned.
"Wiri... the truck guy?" Had to be the same Marianne mentioned. Although Marasong didn't seem to have all too many trucks, he felt it was better to specify. "Marianne's son? Is he... friendly?" Eyes lingered on Levi longer this time, attentive. And there was distinct stressing of the last word, hopefully enough for Levi to pick up what he was referring to.
Levi nodded. "Oh yeah, he's like the ranger of the place. Pretty friends like, specially if you're of the water type. Been here a long while, more'n most."
Leif wasn't convinced Wiri was friendly friendly, but Levi's body language and expression when talking about him didn't hint he wasn't. Not like earlier when Leif'd asked him how Chase ended up like that. But the 'water type' thing was unsettling, especially if one considered the kelp scent that clung to Chase.
Leif laid eyes upon the smartphone at the bottom, reaching for it and turning it in his hands only to deem it useless for the time being. "No charger for this?" He asked, but a hand was already reaching for the wallet and unfolding it.
"Nah, well.. if'n it ain't in one o' the other boxes. Sera at the inn might have one. Lots of folks leave chargers behind and she keeps them in case someones needs to borrow it." He gave a little shrug, still just content to sit and watch the unboxing.
The wallet was well worn at the binder, but the pockets inside still tight enough to not let things fall all willy nilly. There was his driver's license, from Colorado, though it expired just a couple months shy of a year ago. He had a more trimmed beard then, shorter and shaped. Blue eyes bright as they used to be, and he had a sideways smile in the photo even though they tell you to not smile. He got one in, anyway.
There was about a hundred bucks and some extra ones. No credit cards, no other identification cards save for a walgreens membership card, not very useful around New Zealand.
Tucked away in one of the pockets lay a couple sheets of paper. The small lined notebook kind, the personal ones, complete with the fringed spots were it was torn out of the book. First one seemed to be some type of to do list.
1 - 2 -Visa
2 - Book travel
3 - 1 - Save money!!!
4 - Make number 3 number 1
5 - Check tour guides for NZ
Second one was just a list of items, possibly things he planned or had ordered. Just general house items.
New shoes (non slippery omg!)
Warmer clothes (!!!)
Brows furrowed as Leif tried to draw any conclusions, but it was hard. It could've started out as a tourism intended trip, or maybe Chase already had it in mind to move to New Zealand, regardless, no tourist would list a 'new mattress' on what looked like some sort of shopping list.
Some time was spent looking at his expired driver's license, longer than what would be necessary to check the basic info such document provided. A thumb brushed over the small picture a few times, as if he unconsciously hoped to scrape Chase off the small card, pull him out of the picture and back into the room. Back from wherever he was. A sigh was let out as Leif eventually tucked everything back into the wallet and set it aside.
Strangely enough, there was no passport. But there was still a chance it was in one of the other boxes, along with the phone charger. So he reached for yet another box.
The third box had some books, and what looked like file folders, along with miscellaneous papers. A lot of the books had to do with wolves, or had wolves in them, including Twilight. But thumbing through them would find he made a lot of notes along the margins. He had a lot of criticism for Twilight. Otherwise it was little comments, like how accurate one book's wolf portrayals were, or unbelievably bad another.
Even had some comments about vampires and how badly nearly all of them got it wrong. Especially seemed to have a strong aversion to sparkling in the sun, based on how much the mere phrase was marked out.
The folders held various things, and yes, his passport was in one. It was just randomly put into the folder by the look of it. There were some manuals on various things he must have owned, like a user guide for his phone, proper ways to wash the pots and pans, and so on. Nothing of importance.
Then came some journal pages, with his handwritten scrawl. Along with some printed out papers, mainly various sheets from the interwebs, things he must have found interesting in one way or another, and usually all about supernatural beings, with some writings here and there. Looked like more commentary. But the deeper into the rubber banded pile, the more writings there seemed to be.
When Leif looked at what was inside the third box, eyes shot up at Levi for a brief second before returning to the box's contents. That could take a while, and he wondered whether he should ask Levi if it was okay for him to go through all those papers right then or if Levi would rather he came back later, or even took the stuff to the inn so he could look through it with more time. He wondered that for only a brief second, though, not enough for him to even say anything. With how much he craved information, he couldn't bring himself to ask, and instead just dove into the box's contents. If Levi really needed him to leave, he'd certainly find an acceptable way to say it, right? Plus, he seemed content enough just watching the unboxing.
Making good use of the extra speed granted to him by the fact he was a vampire, Leif went through most of the notes fairly quickly, though he did pause for a bit where Chase wrote about vampires. The Chase he used to know, the barbecue Chase at least, he didn't seem to know that much about vampires, or he wouldn't have asked so many questions. To Levi, it'd probably just look like Leif wasn't really reading everything, although he was.
He took a bit of time examining his passport, checking what kind of visa there was and to which places he'd been, then of course staring at the picture, although this time he didn't linger as much as he did on the driver's license and the framed photograph.
Looking at the printed out web pages, Leif took a mental note to attemp a web search about Marasong, Chase, and the place depicted in the picture. Perhaps someone in some online forum would be able to tell where it was, and perhaps there was a missing person report on Chase back home.
He'd go through all the notes and pages, trying to spot what could be valuable information and what was just random study notes.
"How does one get a job at the docks?" He asked Levi while eyes still scanned the pages. From the looks of it, three days weren't going to be enough for him to finish his business in Marasong. Perhaps retracing Chase's steps would lead to something
At first, the notes were rather frivolous, little commentaries and the like. It was about a fourth of the way through the bundle when Leif could pick up on changes. Like they grew more serious, some were underlined, some were circles, and referenced pages in books, possibly some of the books in the box.
There were all sorts of creatures noted, from the loch ness monster, selkies, bigfoot, though the latter had been crossed through. There was even some diving into old mythos and legends, like Neptune. Heck, there was even some comments about Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Levi gave a bit of a shoulder shrug. "Best time is usually mornings, when the ships are in early and needing cargo unloaded, or loaded. Theys usually short handed. I's say ask for Dusk or Sage. They's big on the docks. Like.. big." And he used his hands to try and show the sheer girth of their shoulders.
The further into the notes he got, the more they started sounding like a detective's work instead of random curiosities. Brows furrowed, at some point Leif stopped, reaching for his phone and opening the camera.
Then he'd go back a little, up to the point he felt the notes had become more serious, and started taking pictures of the most important pages. If a book page was referenced, he'd look for said book and said page in the box, and if he found it, another picture.
He nodded at Levi's words in between, and threw him a glance.
"What do you do here?" His tone was more casual now, the weight of the shock in seeing Chase partially lifted as he felt a level of excitement in reading those notes.
Levi was curious about why Leif was taking photos of the notes, but didn't say anything. He just watched. "I help untangle some of the fishing nets, or check the crab traps jus' under the dock. Help Augie keep the beach all tidy like. Uh..."
His head tilted and green eyes looked up as he tried to think about all the things he did on the regular. "Help out wheres needed. Sometimes the stores on the docks, coverin' if'n someone needed a break. Uh.." He shrugged with both shoulders. "Stuff."
Leif rubbed the back of his neck at all those familiar names tossed around again. Dusk, Sage, Augie... and there was also the fact that this Levi modt certainly wasn't a leopard shifter... but Leif refrained from asking, afraid Levi might not be able to answer out loud, and also afraid he might then have to reveal he was a vampire.
Once done taking the pictures, eyes shot back up to Levi with renewed energy, and he fiddled with his phone a bit as he opened up the picture of Turid on the cruise ship, then showed it to Levi.
"Do you know her?" Eyes remained on Levi, hopeful, but his free hand was already reaching for the fourth box.
Levi leaned forward a bit so he could look at the photo on the phone. Green eyes widened slightly, then his forehead furrowed, expression unreadable otherwise. "Uhh.. who's she?"
That didn't look like the expression of someone looking at a random person they've never crossed paths with.
"Someone you've seen before." His tone was calm, not too accusing, and a corner of his mouth even tilted slightly upwards as he spoke. Despite growing expectations, he managed to keep his cool, and pondered for a moment as he observed Levi before replying. "A relative I haven't seen in a while." He didn't even know how long it'd been since he last saw Turid in that universe, but felt like that was the best approach for now.
Levi scrunched up his face, knowing he didn't hide it well enough. A hand even hit the top of his leg in a fist, but without a lot of oomph behind it. More of a 'dammit' than anything else.
He sat back, face still scrunched up somewhat, eyeing Leif closely for a solid minute before he said anything. "I mean.. yeah. I've seen her, but.. I don't know her."
Leif eyed Levi the whole time, shaking his head a little in confusion when Levi's body language gave away he was intentionally trying to omit information, silently asking him why, although no words were spoken.
When Levi stood in silence for a good while, he did start putting the itens of boxes 2 and 3 back in the boxes, leaving out the phone and the framed picture, and when Levi finally spoke again, Leif nodded in encouragement.
"But do you know where I can find her? Anything about her at all?"
Levi rubbed at the spot where he hit his fist. "Chase was lookin' for her, too. Think he gots one of them uh.. card things? But not a card. Just one side, photograph on one, writings on the other? One of them. I remember he showed it to me, and a photo just like the one you had. Some big ship thing. He weren't finding her before... you know."
Now it was Leif's calm demeanor that was shaken by Levi's answer. Eyes widened, and lips pursed as his mind reeled, trying to make some sort of sense out of everything. Then Chase was probably not a complete stranger in this timeline. "A... postcard? With this photo on it?" He spoke, words barely audible as his head lowered a bit, eyes still on Levi. Then he added, a bit more incisive. "Where can I find her?"
And then an obvious idea struck him, and he shook his head in frustration at not having thought of it before. He turned his phone screen back to himself, hoping to check the date and time those pictures were taken, and any text history there might be, but those eyes would consistently return to Levi until he either gave an answer, or signalled he couldn't speak out loud.
Edwight/Chase Location: Seeing the unseen, hearing the unheard. (Discord-ant)
Chase was a little unsettled at first, but after a moment, appeared to be calm again. Maybe it was the wolf spirit side, sensing the druid's own connection with such matters, and accepted the company. Chase wuffled quietly a couple of times, though blue eyes did dart left and right periodically.
Edwight gently took the man's hands as they were offered, doing his best to seem calm and confident. Chase may not be able to see it, and the others may not really care, but just in case the facade was made.
After the others walked away, they decided to make some form of noise, something to try to keep Chase grounded, as he seemed to do well with the action of eating. First was humming, and occasionally squeezing Chase's hands along the rhythm of the simple tune.
Before long he had started muttering and talking as one would to a pet. "What do you see boy?" and "How you doin' buddy?" Meaningless questions to fill the air. But all the while he watched Chase's eyes, watching for where they darted too. Wondering if he saw a place, or if it was some thing, a thing that moved about.
Chase tilted his head when there was sound, as if to try and listen harder, but he didn't seem to recognize any words being said, just that there was sound. The wolf spirit was a bit more animated, it would perk its ears and tilt the head to either side. It stopped panting briefly when it would hear sound, or the sound would change. It did quiet some of the whimpering.
Eyes never seemed to zone in, focus on anything, like whatever he was seeing couldn't be zeroed in on. Occasionally, they'd pause, usually with a wuffle that sounded resigned.
Edwin studied the way Chase moved. He seemed to be looking for something, something out there that he could hear but couldn't find. He listened like someone trying to get the gossip of the neighbors fight, like he need to be still and silent to pick out the words muffled through the walls. To Edwin, it seemed as though Chase was far away, distant from his own body.
Maybe Chase wasn't here. Could this be the Wolf? Unable to speak, unsure of the language, unfamiliar even with the body and how to move with grace? If only the Bear was here, Edwin thought with despair, or if we could connect with the spirit itself as Dwight knew, they could speak to the Wolf. They didn't even know Chase well enough to know how he may have spoken to the Wolf, or if he even knew it existed.
What did normal people do when talking to animals? It seemed a long shot, but unless Levi returned and though them strange, there wasn't really much to lose in trying. Edwin did his best to mimic the sounds of the Wolf, the whines and wuffles under the sounds Chase's body made. Quiet barks and low growls. Weak panting, and a faint howl. All the words of hounds he knew. He wasn't sure if any meaning could be gleaned from such sounds, so he didn't bother attempting to arrange them into any fashion. He'd only hope for and new sounds in return, any change in Chase's actions.
Hatsu had started to push his hashbrowns around on his plate. He was debating if he wanted another bite when Wiri spoke up, asking if he needed a place to stay. "Not really. I still have a room at the inn, what's another four months going to do." Hatsu said with a shrug. He decided that maybe he didn't really want any more food. Being reminded that he was still going to be sharing a bathroom for the unforeseeable future cause him to lose the little appetite that he did have. And maybe he put too much ketchup on it. Even though he didn't want the food, he kept poking at the potatoes with his fork as Wiri and Aódh talked. He couldn't help but look up at Aódh as Wiri addressed him. Everyone had secrets, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to pry into what secrets either of them held. Especially Aódh. Whatever was up with him Hatsu didn't need to know and he didn't really want to know. Hatsu didn't consider himself Aódh's friend and it really wasn't his place to pry and be there for the other man. It was noble of Wiri to offer that support and Hatsu wasn't going to shame him on it. Wiri was just a better person then he was. "I didn't know you were Irish." Hatsu said mostly to himself.
The bell rung and Hatsu turned his head around to see who was entering. He hadn't mean to be nosy, but what else was he going to do while he waited for everyone to finish eating. Hatsu saw a dark-haired woman enter and he wasn't sure if he knew her. But she obviously knew Wiri. She wanted to talk to Tilly and the two went into the back. Hatsu couldn't help but watch as the two disappeared. This was the first time this had happened but it really wasn't his business. Maybe they were good friends or family or something. The bell rung again and this time with was someone more familiar to him. He never really took the time to talk to him, but he did that with most people. It was a familiar face. Not only that but he owned a fox. That wasn't common.
Jay tried to shake off the feeling of something wrong when he entered the café. The storm was abrupt and was almost nice, if it lasted longer. A rainy day inside would’ve been preferable to having to go out and do errands. Beggars couldn’t be choosers he supposed. Aside from the obviously strange and mysterious storm that had happened moments ago, something in the air still was off. Finally looking up at the people in the café, Jay realized why. One of the people new to Marasong, Aodh, it was a weird name, was here.
Yun began to paw at his leg, and knowing what she wanted, he reached down and picked her up. "He smells like a wet dog." she said disgusted, whether it was from the rain, or that's just what she got from it, he didn't know. Giving a wave to Wiri and Hatsu as he passed the table, Jay continued on for food.
Making his way to the counter, he took a stool that was nearby and waved to Miranda. “Tilly’s not in today?” he asked as he grabbed a nearby menu as well. Quickly scanning it over, he put the menu back down as Yun curled into his lap. “Also the fire earlier, know what caused it? Oh, and can I get a cup of tea and some pancakes?” he added as a quick afterthought, his stomach growling.
His sights returned to the other table as Yeung, who was hiding within the sleeves of his sweatshirt, slithered up and around his neck into his hood. The serpent was oddly silent, but noticing where he was staring, Jay couldn’t help but be intrigued. Turning back to Miranda, he rested his cheek into his hand. “Who’s the new guy with Wiri and Hatsu?"
The Irishman sat in silence listening to Wiri’s offer of emotional support, and, if he hadn’t been so drained after exhibiting the whole emotional spectrum, he might have needed to stifle a sniffle. It was hard keeping this secret to himself for all these years, for the obvious fear and chaos that its admittance would cause. If he were to let one person know, just a single human aware to his predicament, the weight on his shoulders, though stilly hefty, might ease somewhat.
But Marasong would not allow for such a thing, or whatever forces pervaded through it.
“Your offer is appreciated Wiri, it really is,” he responded, a soft smile drooping over his lips, “When, and if, the times comes, I’ll let ya know.”
With that brief conversation bolstering his mood even more, he turned back to continue chomping away at the feed in front of him. It was at times like this that his secret might really be exposed, purely for the lack of table manners when’s he hungry. The sound of the door opening and a dark-haired lady entering and subsequently going with Tilly into the back of the café roused his attention for a brief moment, as did the entering of a blond-haired man, who must have missed the sudden downpour.
Then, Hatsu, who had been as encouraging as Wiri, chimed in with a comment about his nationality.
“You…*munch**munch*…didn’t notice…*munch*…when we were in the forest?” Aódh wondered, looking up from the now thoroughly food-reft plate.
Perhaps it didn’t come across as well over the rain, he reasoned out mentally, despite remembering the emotion that was flooding about him in that moment, and moments subsequent to it.
“But yeah,” he began, wolfing down the last portion of the chicken steak before placing his knife and fork on the plate, “Warm food is quite the tonic, I used to love coming home from a match and see it laid out on the table for me, especially when I-“
Aódh caught himself before the sudden onrush of those paranoid feelings. In a way, the experience a few moments ago served as a litmus test for the young man; it confirmed for him that a confession of his status as a werewolf, or a faoladh as he heard them called in Irish, caused these feelings to overwash him.
It would be prudent on his behalf, to lodge such incidents in his mind for reference later on, since Marasong will no doubt have even more surprises for him later on.
Miranda gave Jay a smile. "Tilly's in the back, she'll be out in a bit. And no, I heard the alarms, and then the rain? Crazy." She gave a little chuckle and quickly noted Jay's order. "Sure!"
She started to get the ingredients together, as they mixed most things fresh when ordered. Sometimes it took a little longer, but not terribly longer. Miranda tucked a strand of hair behind an ear before glancing back to Jay, then to those at the table. "Uh.. Oh, he's pretty new. I.."
She paused to come closer and lowered her voice a bit. "I'm not the best with remembering names. Maybe Tilly will remember." Then she gave a little embarrassed smile, clicked her tongue at the fox, and returned to making those pancakes and cup of tea.
They didn't mind animals in the café, as long as they behaved, and were not in a shedding their fur mode. Fur and food did not mix.
Jay gave an inquisitive look to Miranda and then turned to the back door. "She in the back? Oh well..." he sighed, going to tapping the counter to a song in his head. Petting Yun's head, he turned and waved to Wiri, Hatsu, and Aódh. Maybe he'd go over and say hello if he was new.
Turning back to Miranda, he gave her a teasing smile. "Didn't it take you like a whole month to remember my name?" he asked jokingly. "I mean, yeah I didn't socialize much, but I still came here often. Those meal vouchers saved my life." he chuckled quietly.
Going back to petting Yun, he placed the fox back on the floor and watched as she curled into a ball at the foot of his stool. Her eyes kept staring at Aodh, never once leaving him. Jay didn't know what to think. Was she anxious, afraid, curious? He didn't know and he really didn't want to ask. Yeung was also staring, but his tongure kept flitting out, smelling the scents around them.
Quietly waiting for his food and drink, Jay once more became lost in his thoughts.
"Not really. I still have a room at the inn, what's another four months going to do."
Not the answer I wanted. Wiri shifted his eyes from Hatsu to his plate to hide his grim expression. He wouldn't contest Hatsu's plans, not right after his house had burned down at the very least. There would be time for that later, when things calmed down. His head tilted just a little as the bell rung, inclining his ear toward the door.
" 'ey Ben." Wiri managed between mouthfuls, waving two fingers lazily and giving Benny a nod as she passed. He didn't meet her eyes this time; considering his company, he didn't want to subject the others to the inevitable staring contest that would ensue. From the look of it, it seemed like she and Tilly had business today. Hm, I wonder if they know something.
He went back to his meal, letting Hatsu and Aódh speak. Sometimes it was just best to listen. He paused and gave a nod to Aódh as the man addressed him. And then the bell rung again.
Ah Jesus, it's the fox kid.
He continued to stay silent, watching as Jay approached the counter. Wiri didn't exactly watch Jay himself - no, his eyes were glued to the goddamn spirit fox. He assumed it was a spirit fox, anyway. A spirit fox in Marasong was vastly more likely than an ACTUAL fox - and he didn't like to spend much time considering the ramifications of it being a regular fox.
You better be a magic fox, you fluffy little shit. He grimaced and stared at the critter. And you sure as shit better not start gnawing on the birds around here.
Wiri didn't want to try explaining to Jay that his fluffy little friend was an invasive species and needed to be shot. He told himself again: an animal like that in a place like this was highly unlikely to be a real animal.
He did, however, notice the way the fox was staring at Aódh. He arched a brow for just a moment. Yeah, you can feel it too - can't ya, fluffy?
Beatrice settled on the bed, seemingly both excited and anxious as she watched Bill dealing with the cloth wrapped box. The scrabbling continued periodically, giving a small burst of activity when the object was jostled. The rabbit's ears perked up each time there was a small burst of activity, otherwise the summoned creature seemed more than content to nestle into the witch's shirt on the floor.
Once the box was placed on the floor, the skittering paused and it grew quiet inside. Bill unfolded the fabric to reveal a simple black box, the top was hinged and heavy enough it couldn't be opened without someone purposefully lifting the lid. There wasn't a lock, it relied on the weight to keep it closed, which could be dangerous if someone underestimated whatever it was inside the box. And for a moment, it might have seemed to be the case.
As if sensing someone was debating opening the box, there was a sudden movement inside, almost a lunging toward the lid. It moved a small amount, but not enough to get an idea of what was inside. The eerie skittering, scrabbling went into a wild flurry before stopping completely. The silence seemed to linger long enough for even Beatrice to lean in a little closer in antici...
The lid lifted a little bit higher this time, giving Bill the smallest glimpse of many legs, and a black carapace shell. And then there's the chittering.
Bill / Beatrice BillieRossOrganicUFO
: There's a spike of anxiety when the lid starts to move, and the sound of the scrabbling grows more intense. Hair raises on the back of the neck, and goosebumps rise on the arms. When the chittering starts up, it's just one, but then there's another, and another. And more still, until it sounds like some type of choir all coming from inside the box.
After the chittering, Beatrice flees the scene, mumbling something about leaving the stove on in her room, and she'll check in with Bill later.
There are so many colors, and by not having seen them for so long, they were more intense, more vibrant than the dog could recall. Seeing the colors also heightened other aspects of Boy's new world. The sand felt more gritty, the water a sharper sense of wetness, and the smell of the trees in the forest felt amplified. Boy could even see droplets left behind from the rain still clinging to some of the bark.
It was a wild, fun, exciting time, and Augie was still sleeping through it all when Boy returned to the cave. The dog could clearly see the many amenities Augie had setup to try and make sure Boy was comfortable. He even had a small storage of supplies off to the side, including more ragged blankets and towels to prepare for the winter ahead. In one corner, Boy would find the sacks and crates Augie used to store the rocks and shells he gathered from the beach, and to the side, some of the food he actually purchased for Boy, but hadn't opened yet.
Everything was so clear, so bright, so... different. Even the waves lapping at the shore seemed to sparkle in the sunlight. And something moved.
: When you look out at the waves, and the way they catch the sun, there's something deeper in the water. Just far enough to be unrecognizable, or maybe you've never seen anything quite like it. For only a moment it lingered, and then it was gone, the sparkling of the water making it seem as if it had never been there in the first place. You could swear you saw a pair of horns.
Benny and Tilly emerged from the back, and Benny had a half eaten cupcake, with a bit of frosting on her upper lip. It didn't linger there for long as she wiped it off with a finger and licked it clean after. "Thanks, Tills. I'm sure it'll be appreciated." She moved into the cafe proper, while Tilly gave a bit of a hand wave.
"Och, dunna worry aboot it, loverly. I'm grateful ya let me kin. Ye did th' righ' thin'." Tilly noticed Jay, but didn't see the fox from her spot behind the counter. So the woman came around just to see the animal. "Allos, loverlies. Is 'Randa takin' care o' ya?" Miranda gave Tilly a smile, as the woman obviously knew she was. The smell of pancakes couldn't be missed.
Tilly was already gesturing to a container on a shelf near Miranda, who obliged and handed something to the woman. "Oh, 'ere ya go." The bacon flavored hand baked treat was handed to Jay to give to the fox. Tilly had a soft spot for animals, and always had something to offer them when they came in, as few as there were in Marasong. "Good ta see ya, Jay. Doin' well?" The smile was warm and welcoming like always.
Benny also gave Jay a wave and grin, before wriggling fingers at the table of others. "Wiri. Next time." And a wink, knowing the ranger would know she planned on a staring contest soon enough. The bell dinged as she left and disappeared in the direction of the docks.
And not long after, Miranda set Jay's food in front of him. Everyone had food, and Tilly went around to ensure their drinks were filled up. However, when she was filling Wiri's drink, she set a hand on his shoulder and spoke a little quietly, but not in an obvious whisper kind of way. "Wiri, luv, when yer dun, kin ye spare me a few moments o' yer time?"
Aódh / Wiri / Hatsu LarryCollidias Rexsilverwhere
: The weight of the fox's gaze can be felt. Otherwise, the atmosphere continues to be a relaxed one. When Benny leaves, there's a brief moment when she glanced back inside, gaze pausing on Hatsu before she looked to Wiri. With two fingers, she pointed at Wiri, then herself with a smirk.
It's finally starting to feel like a normal day.
: The treat Tilly hands you was baked just that morning, and should draw the fox's attention away from Aódh. You've been here long enough to sense it was Tilly's intention for it to do just that.
Everyone : You're all enjoying the rather quiet moments in the cafe. The day is just past halfway over, and already proven to be 'one of those days'. You're free to continue conversation in the Discord.
Levi shook his head, his expression betraying his confusion. "Uh, no. The card thing was just like.. New Zealand. Chase had a photo of her on the ship thing. Showed me once, when he said he was lookin' for her." Then Leif was fishing out his own phone and pulling something up while asking where he could find her.
Levi shook his head, eyes watching what Leif was doing with the phone. "Chase didn't find hers. Not that Is know of." He couldn't help but lean forward a little bit, trying to see what Leif was doing. At least until a sound came from the other room.
When Edwight made the wolf noises, Chase's eye activity increased. The spirit wolf whined harder, and Chase wuffled in rapid succession. His head tilted, and his grip tightened, nearly to the point of being white knuckled. And then he spoke for the first time.
That's what drew Levi quickly up off the floor and into the other room. He moved to check on Chase, even as the man's voice raised in volume. It was ragged, rough through and through, evidence to the man's stress and emotional wear and tear endured so far. "No. Nono. I.. I can't.. why? WHY? Rarareseat." He started to not make sense with some of the words escaping his mouth, but the turmoil was strong enough to taste in the air.
"Sees. Seeeees! Wieavt! Please! Please! Pleeeeeeeeease!" The last was drawn out, full of desperate pleading, as if his life depended on it. The sheer intensity of the emotion in his plea was enough to cause goosebumps. And the spirit wolf wasn't faring any better. Something had been triggered, maybe a memory, or something more tangible to Chase.
Leif & Edwight KodakWolfThropian
: When Chase starts speaking, the volume is normal, but increasingly grows louder. His grip will turn painful if not redirected, his body will grow tense and muscles tight as if prepared for fight or flight.
When the wolf stood facing Beth, the woman stopped fanning herself and stared, eyes wide, mouth in a near perfect 'O' shape. She didn't even appear to be breathing, at least until Indy moved to protect her. Then an unholy screech emitted from the woman, it sounded like some dying car alarm on steroids.
On automatic pilot, Beth reached out and grabbed the back of Indy's shirt, hauling backward with all her might. Surprisingly, there was a lot of might. The woman intended to stop her daughter from charging the wolf, and pull Indy backward, while her other arm started to stretch out toward the wolf baring its teeth.
The tension became thick in less than a second, but the screaming ended abruptly, as Beth's focal point became the snarling wolf. Hell hath no fury like a protective mother.
Roje & Indy & Silver Britt-21RhymeSilver-
: Everyone please roll a d20. You can send me the result in Discord as we'll likely need to continue the encounter there.
Riley Adler / Boy Location: Chasin' the big bad somethin'
Tags: Out Of Words
Yes, Boy was exhausted. But he was still riding high, so exhaustion didn't keep the dog still for long. Soon enough he was looking around again, finally noticing all the stuff Augie had set up inside the cave.
The dog got up with a huff and headed inside the cave as silently as he could so as not to wake Augie. He'd sniff and look closely at literally everything, no matter if he'd checked it out before or if it was something he had no idea was there this whole time. Even Augie. And the tail kept wagging because he was still marvelled at all that sharp , vivid information all of his senses were picking up.
He took an extra while examining the shells and rocks Augie collected. Maybe now that he could see, he'd be able to help Augie somehow. As excited as he was though, it was still a double edged blade: there was a churning in his gut, a fear of losing that which he'd already lost once. That which came back all of a sudden, and perhaps would go all of a sudden again too. He had zero guarantees, he didn't even understand what was happening, so perhaps he shouldn't start making too many plans with his newly reacquired sense of sight.
It was starting to make Boy anxious again, so he stepped back outside and lay there in the same spot, again watching the sparkling waves to keep his mind distracted. There was so much to see, so much to keep his mind distracted with.
Indeed. Indeed there was. There was something in the water, Boy could swear. The world was so sharp and vivid it didn't even cross his mind that perhaps it was an illusion. No, there was definitely something in the water.
Getting up, ears perked forward and tail carried high, the dog trotted forward a few steps, then slowing down to a walk. A curious dog he was, but not a dumb dog. He'd made his fair share of bad decisions already, he wasn't about to run into the arms of some sea monster. Because yes, Augie's warning that there were things in Marasong that would love to dine a stray dog was the first thing that came to mind as he approached the water, but stopped a good few yards away. And the thing... the thing had fucking horns!
Boy used to frequent a lot of beaches back when he still could see, and no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't recall having seen anything like that strange blot beneath the surface of the water.
It was hard to pick up any details with the sun reflecting off the surface of the water like that, so as the dog's head moved up and down as he tried to find a better angle, suddenly there was nothing. Just the sparkling waves, and no more sign of... whatever Boy could swear was there just second ago.
The moment he realized that, the dog trotted forward again, stopping when the water engulfed his paws, burying them into the sand just a little bit as it drew back into the sea. Still nothing. He let out a single bark, eyes scanning the waters on high alert.
Leif Hjalkarssen & Edwight Location: So much for appearing human
Tags: Out Of WordsThropian
Eyes remained on Levi for some seconds when he spoke, instead of the back and forth shifting between him and the phone. So Chase'd gotten the same picture he had on his phone somehow. Now who sent whom what remained to be uncovered, and a hand reached for Chase's phone that lay on the floor beside one of the boxes. He'd have to find a way to charge it.
Eyes shifted back to his own phone, and while he noticed Levi was trying to peek, he didn't really mind. He had nothing to hide from him, or at least nothing came to mind in the rush of the moment that he should have to worry about hiding, so all the same nevertheless.
Still, Levi hadn't answered his question. Chase hadn't found Turid, but Levi had. Or did he mean he'd only seen her in the picture Chase showed him? When eyes eagerly shot back up to clarify that, Leif froze.
He froze as the sounds of a very familiar voice came from the other room. Levi wouldn't have needed to get up for Leif to know it was Chase, he knew the man's voice too well, even if the rough stress and emotion made it sound almost foreign.
Clutching both phones in his hand, Leif didn't get up when Levi did. Instead, his form was quickly engulfed by a surging wave of black smoke erupting suddenly out of nowhere and immediately shooting through the hallway to the living room, dashing right through Levi as the man made his way to the next room. If one looked carefully, which no one probably did, they'd notice the smoke taking the vague shape of a quadruped animal.
It landed right in front of Edwin and Chase, dissipating while Leif stood in its place, eyes darting between the two men, eyes that didn't accuse Edwin but also didn't not blame him, eyes that reflected a mind that struggled to function and not break under the sheer distress that emanated from Chase, a turmoil that affected him in more ways than he could understand and more intensely than he was able to keep at bay.
Leif's breathing went from held to almost hyperventilating as his mind got nowhere and he felt powerless to stop whatever was harming Chase. He wanted to hold him by the shoulders, shake him and scream for him to come back, yet feet were cemented on the floor and he was frozen. Nothing felt like it'd be enough to bring him back. Leif knew how to deal with many sorts of beings, curses, threats, be them natural or supernatural, but that... that invisible enemy shook his core and left him paralyzed.
Well, paralyzed until that desperate, bone chilling plea. Because there was nothing in this world or any other that'd keep Leif from doing something after hearing that.
Not really thinking things through, but reacting, the curtain of black smoke returned, shrouding Leif's form before it darted to Chase. This time, it didn't pass right through Levi and Edwin, instead it pushed them back as if it possessed a weight of its own. The smoky shroud hid Chase's form for an instant until smoke was seamlessly replaced by Leif.
He stood behind the chair where Chase sat, an arm secured around his torso in an attempt to restrict his range of movement, another arm firmly holding his head in a side tilt. And teeth were buried into his neck, a small streak of blood starting to trail down.
It wasn't a painless bite, it couldn't be. The vampire was in no mental state for such, nor would he go for such a bite if he were. If anything, when touching and talking proved fruitless, pain could maybe be a powerful tool in the attempt to bring Chase back.
But there wasn't much reasoning behind Leif's actions, no room for concerns about the others' reactions, not much room to process all the sensations produced by the powerful blood he knew so well, a blood that tasted strangely tainted by a foreign bitterness, a fear, a desperation that shouldn't be there and that affected himself to a considerable extent.
It really wasn't about the blood. All he could think about was trying to bring Chase back, but more than that, he wanted to drain whatever was causing him such torment, to see into it while it was in action. He knew it wouldn't be the same as prying into someone's mind and overhearing an intimate thought, or watching a memory. No, whatever was wrong with Chase was a lot more than a mere memory, as could be the implications for Leif himself in attempting to drain it out. But, well, it didn't matter.
Edwin expected Chase to react to the sounds he'd made, expected some sounds made in return. He had not expected the panic, nor the speaking though. Chase didn't quite make it through a sentence in his panic, but it was more than he'd shown during the visit thus far. And it was no surprise that Levi came running down the hall.
What was a surprise though, was the amount of smoke billowing from behind Levi. Edwin's shocked mind couldn't fully process the idea of a fire at the moment, so it didn't even register when Leif stepped from the smoke, and passed almost judging stares his way.
"He... It... The wolf." Edwin stammered, trying to both explain and understand what had triggered. His stammers meant nothing, and mostly went unheard. Leif once again bursting into smoke to grab hold of Chase. And biting him.
The thin trickle of blood shocked Edwin, through all the other confusion, the blood was the last straw that broke him. If not for Dwight stepping in, they would have fallen. Dwight hadn't seen the vampire feed off Chase before, but had safely assumed it happened.
Dwight kept his voice level, as he turned away from the sight before him, and spoke to Levi. "It would seem Chase can indeed hear, though I don't know how much he understands." He then cast a quick glance to the windows, and another at Leif. "Given, current events, would it be safe to speak in details?"
Levi stumbled when the shadow first passed through him. One hand pressed against the wall next to him, the other flattened against his chest. Green eyes, wide and surprised, followed the shadow over toward Chase and Edwight, widening more when it reformed into Leif.
He barely moved, edging along the wall, as the shadow appeared again, and then Leif was behind Chase, biting Chase. Levi's eyes didn't move away from the scene even as Edwight attempted to talk to him. Step by step, he had continued closer to the door, sparing a brief glance to the bearded man who had come with the blood drinker.
And then he was bolting for the door.
Dwight saw the confusion and fear in Levi's eyes. He kept his voice calm as he spoke, but as soon as Levi lurched he was moving as well.
Dwight threw himself against the door, hoping his weight could bar it against Levi's smaller frame. "Now, I know this is strange, but so are you. This is a part of their... relationship. Just relax a second, we are here to help Chase how we can. We got him speaking, just trust us."
It was a long shot, but better than nothing. And if he was still trying to push past, a classic bear hug should be enough to hold him down.
The fox is still staring at me, Aódh thought to himself, having stole a glance at the creature looking at him sedulously.
Ever since the creature had walked into the café alongside Jay, his name being bandied about by Tilly and Miranda, the Irishman felt himself being the object of it’s gaze, for some reason. Even as he was eating, the creature’s gaze was felt so intently that it might as well have bored a hole where it’s sight landed upon the youth’s back.
It didn’t bother Aódh much: on the contrary, it had him curious as to what it is was about him that grabbed the fox’s attention so.
Was it his accent? He didn’t have as strong a Galwegian accent as his father or even his friends, but it would and has stuck out in a place in a place like Marasong.
But then a thought passed him that struck out like a quick, furtive jab.
Does it know I’m a werewolf? he wondered to himself, the possibility of the creature knowing causing his thoughts to race, Do werewolves give off a particular scent, compared to normal people?
The tourist then parsed through whatever memories he could recall, specifically of instances where he was near or interacted animals, whether it be dogs, cats or something else. Did they act in a strange way around him? Where they weary around him in a way that they weren’t for people in an analogous position to himself? As he collated those memories, he couldn’t remember an instance in which an animal, say his friend Ciarán’s hamster, acted in a manner that would betray it being aware of his lupine state.
So what was it about this particular fox? Wondering what the people he was dining with thought, he addressed them: “Hey lads...” Aódh started, glancing back at Jay’s pet one last time, “Why is the fox gawking at us?”
"I really wasn't paying attention." Hatsu said to Aódh when asked about how he didn't noticed in the woods. He honestly was much more focus of getting out of the woods then what anyone was really doing. Now, he was more concerned on how long it'll take Wiri to finish eating his food. Aódh ate as if he didn't know what food was, so Hatsu wasn't too concerned about him being a slow eater. Wiri, he wasn't really sure about. All he knew was the sooner the better. He was ready to go back to his room and relax.
He needed time to wind down from all the craziness of today as well as refill his social meter.
Too many people interactions that he was not prepared for today. Not only that but he had things he probably should do. Like look up horse behaviour or figure out how to break into his new safe. He was pretty sure he could punch out the lock with a strew driver and a hammer...and he should have those tools somewhere.
Hatsu sighed as he went to people watch Jay as he talked to Miranda, his eyes happening to meet with the fox's. He was pretty sure the fox was a health code violation. Maybe it was a service animal and its allowed in because of that. Then again Tilly never really seemed to care about animals being brought in as long as they were well behaved. The fox seemed to be civil and glued to Jay's side, so he doubt it would cause any problems. As long as it stays over there then everything would be fine.
"Probably because we have food," Hatsu said responding to Aódh "or we're the most interesting thing here...or both."
Jay waved as Benny came from the back, his eyes more focused on the roof of the café more than anything else. Spacing out as he was, Jay did toss the treat for Yun in his hands a couple of time. Looking back to Tilly as his food was placed in front of him, Jay smiled as he held the treat to Yun down by his side. "Good to see you too Tilly." he said, as Yun's nose twitched as the smell of the treat forced her away from staring down Aódh. "I'm doing fine. Tomorrow's looking like a good day to hit the water after work. Maybe I'll catch some stuff you can use for a special or something."
Yun, looked up at the offered treat, a dangerous glint in her eyes. "Bribing me away from observing the wet dog with food. Irredeemable." The vixen jumped up slightly to grab the treat from Jay's hand, also nipping his fingers. Pulling back from the sudden pain with a yelp, Jay cradled his hand as he turned to stare at the fox now munching away at the food. "Love you too." he muttered to the fox.
Going back to his food, Jay gave a questioning look to Tilly, and then a motion to the table with Wiri, Aódh, and Hatsu. "So, who's the new guy?" he asked quietly, turning to wave at the aforementioned group of people. Yun, now done with the food had hopped into his lap, ears intent on listening to the conversation. Smelling the scent of food, Yeung decided to wake up, and from his sleeve, darted out and nabbed a piece of pancake. "He just move in or something?"
"Hah! Fuck, what'd I do to deserve your wrath?" Wiri snorted and managed a half grin, waving two fingers at Benny as she left. "Have a good one, Ben."
Ah shit. He liked Benny - but that made things a little difficult. At least when you "tolerated" someone you stayed a little on guard in their presence, but Benny was ... disarming. Hiding behind that smug grin and kinda quirky charm was a familiar sharpness. She liked to stare, and she had a probing gaze. Wiri figured Benny was the type who could learn a lot about someone just by holding their gaze for a moment - a talent he both respected and feared.
He paused, looking up as Tilly spoke.
Huh. That could've meant anything on a day like this - especially after Tilly's meeting with Benny. Wiri glanced down at his plate, then back to Tilly with a nod.
"Yeah, sure thing. Jus' gimme a min to clean up and I'll be right with ya." With that, he tucked into his plate with renewed ferocity.
Wiri flicked his gaze from his plate to Aódh for a moment as the man questioned the fox, but didn't stop eating. He shrugged wordlessly in response, though he did murmur affirmatively at Hatsu's comment. "Food," he agreed between mouthfuls. That was a simple enough answer and it didn't warrant additional questioning. He finished off his plate and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, climbing to his feet as Jay questioned the group.
"Which one?" He asked as he shuffled his chair back into place, picking up his plate as he went. "Irish here is passing through. Good cun- uh, good lad." Wiri bit his tongue and flicked Tilly an apologetic grin. "He helped heaps with the fire today." Wiri clapped a hand on Aódh's shoulder as he passed, giving the man an appreciative nudge. "Hatsu's in the inn for the time being. Play nice, Jay," Wiri gently elbowed Jay on passing, flashing a cheeky grin, "he's having a rough go of it."
With that, he followed Tilly back. He'd visited the Spoon frequent enough that he knew where to take his plate after a meal, so he dropped it off on the way past to save Miranda the effort.
"Eventful day." He breathed at last, once the two were alone. "I'm guessing you already know, if you wanna talk to me. What can I help ya with, Tilly?"
“What the fuck,” Bill hissed, as Greenwitch made her escape. “Ew, eugh, what the fuck is-“ she took a few steps back, hoping that the containment circle would work, and stop whatever was inside from spilling out and scuttling across her bedroom.
“Uh…” she said, looking at Mary. Mary blinked unhelpfully back at her from atop the wardrobe.
She took a deep breath.
“Okay,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “Right. That’s…”
She took a deep breath. She was a witch. She could deal with this. Whatever it was. She was a McNemara, she could deal with anything. She knew what to do.
She turned around and started running her fingers along the spines of her books. They were mostly sci-fi novels, one or two first aid books, a couple old nursing textbooks she’d got from an old roommate. A couple were more magical; almanacs of plants and their properties from Russia, a spell book from India, a guide to wand maintainance. “Ah!” she said, finding what she was looking for, and pulled out an old encyclopaedia from the shelf.
She carefully set it down on top of the box, weighing down the lid and muffling the chirping.
She sped to the bathroom, washing the worst of the mud off her face and thinking frantically about the fact she had no idea what to do. Greenwitch was gone, and wouldn’t be much help anyway if the shade of green she’d turned was anything to go by. And she was Green, and new to Marasong besides - if Bill didn’t know what the hell it was, Greenwitch was unlikely to. That left her with precious few options. She could ask Tilly, or maybe Mr Willis, but she wasn’t sure either of them would have anything helpful to add. And it would require too much explanation anyway - Well after Hatsu’s fuckin’ house burned down and that miraculous rainstorm swept in Hatsu ran off into the woods with a safe and we chased him and then- no, not an option. She didn’t know any witches in town other than Greenwitch - she didn’t know anyone else in town that well at all. That really left only one option.
She shed her muddy shirt and pulled on a clean one, shrugging herself into a hoodie as well and pulling her clean trainers out of the wardrobe.
She glanced at Mary, wondered if she trusted her alone with the box, and decided she didn’t. It wouldn’t be the first time Mary had smudged a magic circle whilst she was gone. She grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and put her in her carrier, dodging the more aggressive swipes of her talons.
“I know, I’m sorry,” she said, and tucked the carrier under the bed. “Stay here, I’ll be back in a mo.”
She spared half a glance at the rabbit. He didn’t seem corporeal enough to cause enough trouble, and there wasn’t anything she could do about him anyway. Not in the rush she found herself in.
Grabbing her phone off the nightstand and her wand off the windowsill, she tore out of her room and down the street, slamming her shoulder into the door of The Loving Spoon, likely startling anyone inside.
She knew how she must look. She knew how she always looked, but now - still slightly damp from the rain, face wet, eyeliner half removed, hair frizzy and still slightly muddy, wearing an old hoodie and ratty trainers, she must have looked wild.
“‘Lo, Tilly, cannae stay long, ye know how it goes, alright, ta,” she called out in a rush, and scanned the mostly empty table until she found who she was looking for.
Hatsu and the Irishman were sitting at the table in the corner, looking disheveled and damp. Seeing the Irishman made something weird and unhappy flair up in her stomach (and she knew the Hatsu guy wasn’t a big fan of her either) but she tamped it down. It didn’t matter. There were other things to be dealing with.
There was a new guy as well, sitting nearby, with bottle-blonde hair and a fox sitting by his feet. Weird. Because this fucking day needed to be weirder, she thought to herself more than a little hysterically.
Whatever. She rushed over and all but threw herself against the table, leaning over the half-finished dishes and half-drunk drinks with a loud clatter. She was probably a little too close to them.
“Are ye busy?” she asked, more than a little breathlessly, “and where’s Wiri, is he around? Got something for him to take a look at. And the rest of ye, as well.” She turned to the new guy, the one she’d not seen before. She was still probably a little too close. “Not ye, I dinnae think it concerns ye, ye can stay here n’ finish yer meal. Or not, it’s of no consequence tae me. My names Bill, by the way, nice tae meet ye, drink yer tea.”
Her head snapped back to the other two, and really hoped that her eyes were expressing her thoughts. I don’t like ye, I know you don’t like me, n’ I wouldn’t be botherin’ you if I didn’t have a really, really good reason.
At first, the bark directed at the water did nothing. A minute later, the dog could see the glimpse of dark, twisted horns slowly grow closer. Underneath the water, they were slightly more distorted, sometimes disappearing briefly under a fresh wave. Boy couldn't deny the fact, whatever it was, was moving toward him.
Bit by bit, more details of the thing came into focus. It was a humanoid figure, but instead of a face, the being seemed to be wearing a mask. The color of seashells, it was egg shaped, with two dark holes for the eyes, no nose or mouth, and some markings deeply engraved. The horns appeared to be dripping with thick kelp, and still it moved closer toward the canine.
The humanoid creature had a slightly blueish skin tone, as it was bare from the hips upward. Barnacles and other underwater fungi grew partially out from an upper arm, and down the forearms. More strands of kelp seemed to be worn like a skirt from the waist down. More strands were held in a hand, and small skulls of various animals were tied at the end with fish hooks and barbs, giving the impression of a weapon.
The black eye holes seemed to be staring at the dog as it started to break the surface of the water only a couple of yards away from the shore. Then Boy felt himself tugged, no shoved, backward as Augie moved to stand between the horned being and the dog. "NO!" He shouted the word, full of emotion, anger and fear coupled with a unmistakable feeling of determination.
"NO! He's under my protection!" Augie had one fist clenched tight, and the other pointed at the horned being, who had drawn to a stop and stood there. Staring.
: You can feel a deep, dark foreboding sense of dread the closer the creature comes. Yet somehow, you're unable to retreat from the water. It's as if the water itself has solidified around your front paws to hold you in place. It's only when Augie physically pushes you back that the water reluctantly lets you move again. The smell of seaweed is nearly overpowering.
Roje could not believe what the hell was going on. These two were literally going to kill each other in the fucking room. "You've got to be fucking joking." she said, looking between both of them and at Beth who screamed, causing her to grit her teeth as she peaked her heightened senses "I know you're all stressed, but would it kill you to sit still without causing a scene!?" she shouted, really not wanting to deal with both shifted women. ESPECIALLY in the INN where HUMANS hated people like them. Looks like mama Roje had to become a thing "Listen, you don't know what you're getting yourself into, Strawberry Shortcake. It's best that I take care of this." and thank goodness she knew how to compel people to forget situations like this. Her next move was to go on ahead and stop both Silver and Indy, but Silver was the bigger threat being in her full form.
Indy’s ears were ringing. Mid-shift, ever noise was heightened. It had been so long as well, so terribly painfully long since her last shift that a this partial form was like ripping open an old wound halfway. The sound of the wolf’s snarls, Beth’s screeching, the heavy thunk of Indy’s body slamming into the door as she was thrown backward, Roje’s shouting—each one mixed in her mind into one long screw that twisted between her eyes. The pain of it, the building burning with no crescendo in sight, it pressed her past the precipice. Roje was right, the logical part of her brain reckoned, but instinct drove her forward again, scrambling across the floor to lung again into the space between Silver and Beth.
The scream rammed into her ears like Silver had voluntarily pressed her head against an active fire alarm. The sound in combination with her wolf taking over out of instinctual need and the fervor of emotions that she couldn’t recognize where they were her own or not, didn’t allow her to practice a calming technique. Things were falling one after the other until she essentially let go for a heartbeat, but it was enough for her feral mind to take action against the source of all the stress. She barely noticed how she’d cleared the space between Indy and Beth, feeling something approaching from her flank that smelt of feline.
It was a rather amusing scene. Beth screeching and trying to haul Indy backwards while extending an arm out toward the wolf. Roje trying to talk while all the shit was hitting the fan, and the wolf lunging forward despite the furious catgirl going all protective 'not my mama'. And Roje kept on talking.
Everything just collided together. The wolf leapt, the cat pounced, Roje went for a choke hold on both, and Beth.. well. You thought it was an unholy sound before... For those with sensitive or enhanced hearing, which was pretty much everyone in the room, the effect would be swift and unmerciful. The high pitched sound filled the room, sharp enough to make everyone wince and have the instinct to cover and shield their ears. Roje was able to withstand it longer than the others. Silver would have to fight an involuntary spasm, interrupting the focus on her lunge toward Beth. However, it wasn't a fight the wolf won. There was a sharp pop of the left ear, and warm liquid could be felt. Blood, wolf blood, but thankfully Roje had fed recently, or it could be a bigger problem than it was. Indy was also strongly affected, enough to make her stumble in her pounce, which landed her more directly into Roje's grasp. A grasp that would soon grow tighter and tighter the longer the high pitched wailing continued.
Roje had both girls in a chokehold, trying to keep them from ripping each other apart. As if that wasn't bad enough, Beth started to scream. Her ears feeling like they were going to get absolutely annihilated from the pitch. Unfortunately for those in her hold, her grip was getting tighter as her ears continued to cause her pain. Gritting her teeth, she threw Indy onto the bed and released Silver after feeling her reactions to the scream, as well as smelling the scent of blood coming from her. Looking toward the screaming Beth, the hazel-eyed female went and threw a punch in her direction. Hopefully a good punt to the face would stop this agonizing pain.
Indy heaved in a deep breath, her head spinning from the piercing noise that drove nails through her eardrums, mixed with the vertigo from being launched from one side of the room to the other. She felt herself slam into the bed, absently aware of Roje's voice mixing into the chaos though she could not parcel out the actual words. It was too much. She curled up, feeling her body shrink as she tried to roll into a ball, away from the noise, smaller until she was a small grey and white fury bundle on the bed, buried beneath the clothes left behind, body resting above the coin she had kept so carefully pressed to her chest.
Screaming. Whether it be from a full grown adult or a small child, Silver could always recall it was one of the banes of her existence. The voluntary disquiet in an area could normally be avoided, save for the irritation it caused, but in this particular situation it was inescapable. Mid-lunge she’d begun to dodge Indy’s effort to bar her from Beth, Roje’s approach earning them a glance just as the fire alarm turned into something far more excruciating.
It was like a taut string had been strung with more force than expected with Silver then falling into Roje’s vice-grip as more of a struggling heap than a wild threat. Her maw was wide with a soundless cry as she flailed around, paws scrabbling at the carpeted floors and tearing up tufts until both her and her wolf struggled to maintain a particular form.
Her very image seemed to flicker between both the white wolf and Silver herself as she attempted to gather her bearings, shocked out of the emotions she’d absorbed until it was just one. Pain. Her wolf locked command long enough to snarl harshly at the sudden explosion in their left ear, Silver now pinning both of them tightly to her skull as warmth trickled down her fur and the wails refused to cease. On one hand, she wanted to silence the woman, on the other hand, instincts told her to simply run. The noise was threatening her right ear already as it was now taking the brunt of the volume with her hearing now gone in her left. She wanted to run. To escape into the next room, but whatever this woman was, her caterwauls were wreaking havoc on both Silver and her wolf’s bodies enough to keep her from steadying herself on all four legs as she now attempted to put a distance between them all after had Roje released her grip.
Beth did stop screaming, thanks to a fist aimed at her face. It hit her jaw with enough force to make her stumble to the side. It pushed her out of Silver's path, though the wolf wasn't quite in any shape to continue the attack. Indy had fully transformed into a cat, so that left Beth and Roje.
Beth rubbed at the side of her face, where a bruise might form later. Eyes narrowed at the woman as she straightened her shoulders. "So rude." Her gaze shifted briefly to the wolf woman even as she moved to pick up the cat, her daughter. "Is it under control now?"
Silver’s right ear swiveled at the woman’s seemingly irritated grumble, steadying herself now and allowing her fur to lie a little flatter now that the merciless sound had ceased. Her eyes darted between her and Roje before she lowered her head, growling a warning when Beth drew closer to the ball of fur tucked between the clothes on the bed. Her mind was slowly beginning to focus back on rational thought and it was filled with distrust for Beth, regardless of whether or not she was related to Indy.
She couldn’t tell if the question was directed towards her or Roje, the words nearly sounding as if the vampire was her handler and Silver was merely her disobedient dog. The idea of Beth thinking of her that way almost made her want to lunge again. With a huff, Silver looked away, turning her head so that her injured ear wouldn’t be judged.
The moment Chase's blood was tasted, Leif felt the world around them fade into the background. For the first few moments, he was surrounded by darkness, and silence. Then with the rushing of water, the black gave way to a deep green with a hint of blue. Moving like thin curtains, it surrounded him, blanketed him. It felt like he was engulfed in this sea of green, it became his world.
The vampire could hear sound, but it came at a great distance, and distorted to the point of being unintelligible. There were two different tones, but that's all Leif could determine. At times, there was a great weight upon his shoulders, then his chest, making breathing difficult before it eased, only to return randomly and without any discernible rhythm.
Edwight had attempted to make a move toward the door, but one foot got in the way of the other, and the floor is where the man ended up with a solid thud. Levi was able to skirt the grasping arms and hands, and was at the door, turning it to escape outside when someone else spoke.
"Le..Levi? I.. where am I?" Chase, with clear blue eyes, focused on the blonde haired friend he had made in Marasong. His expression was confused, but it was unmistakable, he was present, and the man saw the two of them. Then the bite and blood drinking registered. One hand lifted to feel whatever was biting him, the other grasped at the arm holding him in place. "I.. what.."
Chase's heartbeat had spiked suddenly, and was faltering, skipping a beat here and there. It was enough Leif knew he needed to stop, but as soon as the drinking slowed, the vampire's world began to return to normal. Chase whimpered and uttered an anguished, "No!" Leif was left to assume what he had experienced was returning to torment Chase.
Leif & Edwight KodakWolfThropian
: Levi stops trying to open the door when Chase spoke clearly and without anguish in his tone. The small male winds up staring at Chase and Leif, motionless for a good minute. Leif, you know if you keep drinking you will seriously jeopardize Chase's health, just as you know with absolute certainty, what you experienced is what Chase is returning to. You also have a strong salty aftertaste, but it's almost sour.
Tilly was about to address Jay's questions, but Wiri, always the ever prepared ranger, answered first as they prepared to head into the back for a chat. Miranda gave him a thankful grin and nod as he handed off the plate, and they were soon out of sight, much like Tilly and Benny previously. The only thing the others might have heard, was the closing of the door.
"Ye saw Benny?" It wasn't really a question Tilly had to ask, but she did. "She was 'ere fer a mo', tellin' me about some new folks? At th' inn. Only... one o' em, 'ad a shadow.. that weren't linin' up with them. Benny says it made her think of a wolf." She folded her arms and adopted a 'why didn't you tell me there were new folks in town' sort of look. "Ye need to make sure they're all settled in like, an' direct 'em 'ere as soon as possible." She couldn't help but give the ranger a smile. "I'll fix up some of my special roast. Fer everyone at dinner."
In the diner proper, Miranda moved to check the supplies. There was still some time before dinner, and she didn't like feeling rushed. And then the door opened almost violently. Bill had shoved it open with a shoulder, and enough force the bell jangled harshly in protest. When Bill called out for Tilly, Miranda pointed toward the back, "She'll be out in just a little bit." She did give Bill a bit of a 'be nicer to the door' look before checking in on Jay. "Did you want anything else? Dessert?"
Aódh / Hatsu Larrysilverwhere
: Aódh, you can smell the sense of urgency coming off Bill, and a sprinkling of magic that seems to cling to her. Hatsu, you can feel Miranda's gaze briefly when Wiri says you're having a rough go of it. And having been in the cafe enough times, you're pretty sure some type of cupcake will be finding its way to you soon enough.
: When Bill enters, you see your serpent spirit flicking its tongue in the air, tasting something before it hisses out, 'Magic.'
Wiri Collidias Rex
: You know Tilly well enough to know she's not really upset with you for not telling her about the new folks. However, she looks like an update now would be appropriate.
: As you're leaning in close at the table, you spot Hatsu's safe tucked next to him. It looks exactly like the one you found in the forest, but Hatsu still has his. So the question of the moment is, what safe do you have?
When the wolf didn't try to attack again, Beth seemed satisfied. She picked up Indy the kitten, and curled it close, cradling the feline in her arms. One hand petted Indy's head, while she returned to the chair near the door. "Honestly, you really need to learn better control. Or you'll wind up in trouble in this town sooner than you can sneeze."
She spent a couple of moments cooing to the kitten, then gestured vaguely toward the wolf. "There are washcloths in the bathroom. You should clean it up before the blood gets to you. Based on it changing forms like that, I'd wager it.... she.. will heal before the end of the night." At least she finally started to correct herself toward the end.
"Now.. Don't worry about someone coming up to investigate. These rooms are surprisingly sound proof. You should be grateful for that." She clicked her tongue before danging a loose thread from her sleeve above the kitten to get Indy's attention. "Do you have any milk? Most of the rooms have a small mini fridge and they stock it with a few things. If not, can you please ring the desk and ask for a small milk? It'll help Indy recover faster."
Roje & Indy & Silver Britt-21RhymeSilver-
: Silver, your wounded ear is ringing. Thankfully, it isn't deafened, but you will experience the ringing in that ear for several hours, gradually decreasing as it heals.
Roje, you can see the mark on Beths' face where your punch landed, but it already looks like it might be healing. It isn't nearly as red, or as swollen as something from your strength should have caused.
Indy, you can remember being held as a kitten, cooed at, petted and even played with. It plays with your senses, torn between wanting to be rocked to sleep, and having someone bring your coin back to you. A coin which is, surprisingly, not as loud as before when you were parted from it previously.