Who Needs Pants?

(n) 1 : a joker or blank card that the holder can play as any card.

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Who Needs Pants?

Post by KhaoticBliss » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:52 pm

11.18.16

It had gotten very cold very abruptly. Saila was not amused. Having experienced all four of the seasons now, she had determined that winter was her least favorite with its bitter, biting winds and sudden, sharp frosts. She'd taken to wandering again, roaming further and further afield in the hours she had to herself, a haunting restlessness preventing her from settling anywhere, from being at peace. The time between sudden, involuntary naps seemed to be stretching out ever longer, too, and especially when she was spending so much of her time alone, the mercurial muse found her days blending together, one sliding into the next until she was looking up at the moons again, wondering how it was that there had been already been so many.

She couldn't have said what time it was when a sense of loneliness seemed to seize her, one hand prying the bedazzled assault weapon from her pocket to check its display. There were no messages, and as she walked, pale fingers navigated until she found the phone number she was looking for. I've decided that winter sucks, she sent to Amare: It's cold and I'm bored. What are you doing?

Text to Saila (five minutes later): Then you're not doing Winter right. Which isn't surprising. You're probably slugging around and seeing things freeze.

There's a ten minute pause before he responds again.
Text to Saila: Making friends. Do you know how to make a sandwich? I need twenty.

It had been long enough that she was pretty sure he was otherwise occupied, long enough that she'd shoved the phone into the front kangaroo pouch pocket on her hoodie and was back to exploring a new area somewhat aimlessly. The way it vibrated against her belt buckle was something of a surprise, then, and with her brows furrowed, she fished the sparkly cell out of its spot to see who it was.

Oh, hey. Amare's around after all. How does one do Winter right, then?

Again, there wasn't a response, and Saila was most of the way up a tree she was climbing when the phone went off again. Of course. She finished scaling the trunk and perched herself in a fanned splay of pine boughs several feet off the ground before she retrieved the phone again, to see what he had to say this time.

...Sandwiches? That's the thing with the random stuff stuck between pieces of bread, right? I mean. I've never tried it before, but it doesn't look hard?

Text to Saila: For ***?s sake I can't write you a manual on every goddamn thing.

Text to Saila (3 minutes later): You really need to use Google. Or you can be a heathen and Bing it. Come over to my house if you paid enough attention last time to know where it is.

You're a lot more fun to annoy than Google. Google wants to show me pictures of cats and naked people. Her response had come a handful of minutes later, once she'd pulled herself back down out of the tree and shaken the pine needles out of her hair.

It was another twenty minutes before the girl was knocking on his door, dressed all in black as per usual. Black slim fit jeans and a black hoodie, her winter wardrobe, long purple hair pulled back in a sloppy bun. Her pale cheeks were flushed pink from the cold night air. She knocked once and then tried the door handle.

The door swung wide with a quick, sharp energy. His right hand at the knob, his left holding a dull knife he had been using to spread mayonnaise. Tonight's garb was the usual expensive cut business suit in a light, metallic blue. The white shirt underneath was crisp, untucked, and open at the neck. Before she could step in he stepped forward, arching one brow and looking left and right as if he had expected her to bring company.

Amare stepped forward practically into her, and Saila had not an inch of give. She stood there, silvery brows quirked curiously as he looked around for whatever invisible army he thought had accompanied her.

Was he irritated that she hadn't? "Well, don't just stand there for ***'s sake." Impatient circles cut in the air with the knife before he shut the door behind her. His gaze cut over to the kitchen, which practically melted into the living room if not for one dividing wall that had a window-like cutout in the center. As usual, it was impeccably clean except for the recent remarks of his activity in the kitchen. "All the stuff is there. Ham sandwiches. Lettuce, tomato, mayo and a slice of that plastic Kraft crap."

He stepped back and she followed, and it was almost a dance the way his right leg moved back at precisely the same time her left moved forward. Naturally, the Rabid Baby would chide her for being 'slow' anyway, despite the fact that had she been any faster she'd have been pretty literally up against him. This brought a dry smile to her face as she stepped inside, moving so he could close the door.

The teenager had not the first clue what a 'slice of that plastic Kraft crap' might be, but neither did she ask, figuring that the answer would reveal itself here in a few. Peering through the cut out into the kitchen, her strange gaze slid back to Amare. "...Kay. And how many have you made already?"

"None. I've been preparing this stupid ***." He motioned. There were many slices and loaves of bread all spread throughout the counters and being polished over with the mayonnaise. If Saila was paying attention she might notice that there was an open packet labeled "Kraft" with the individual slices of cheese half way spilling out of it. His job of opening it had been less than delicate.

"Take those, unwrap and put one on every other piece." He frowned and moved over to the counter, resuming what he'd been up to prior to her call. There wasn't music or television playing, just his breathing as he scowled at the bread like it was actively trying to be problematic. It did not bode well for the bread.

"Winter doesn't suck, okay? It's a good *** time of the year. It's a time of year where the air feels good to breathe, coffee tastes better and you actually feel like cuddling because your body's sweat won't glue you to another person while you're sleeping. There's about a hundred things you can do with snow and ice, so don't be such a..." a pause, he sized up the purple haired teenager and selected the right word, "twat. Yes. Don't be a twat and use some imagination. I'll show you, when we're done."

Trailing him into the kitchen, she swiped a stray tendril of purple away from the edge of her jaw, hooking it behind an ear lined in titanium rings. Surveying the various things he had laid out, it wasn't hard for her to put two and two together, but she laid her hand lightly on his forearm for a moment anyway. Pulling it away, she turned from him, moving over to the package of semi-real cheese slices.

The teen was just about to unwrap the first slice when it occurred to her that she had been climbing trees and running around outside. Instead she re-directed her steps to the sink, pushing her oversized sleeves back to mid-forearm so she could wash her hands, using dish soap if there wasn't any hand soap, and she dried them on a paper towel. Then it was back to the Kraft singles.

"These feel super weird," she commented once she'd liberated the first rubbery cheese product from its cellophane prison. "And the plasticky stuff is sticking to me." Saila frowned, shaking her hand like a cat with tape on its paw to get it to come loose. She reached for another one, peeling it apart more smoothly this time.

Listening to his explanation about winter, a dim smile touched her lips. "...okay," she said skeptically, particularly where snow was concerned. Her experiences with snow mainly involved Cane getting her caught in the crossfire of an epic snowball fight and then buried in a magic induced avalanche. It was cold and wet and super confusing.

There was one glance down to her hand when she wrapped it along his forearm. It was neither harsh or soft, he gaze was only fractionally disarmed before being swept behind a blink. His task had his full attention, sloppy swipes of white disappearing into the face of every slice of bread.

"Kraft crap. It's sort of like cheese. It works in interrogations with the French.? It did catch some of his humor to see her struggle with the plastic. Amare typically found those little struggles hard to ignore. They caught his attention. Maybe that was a predatory thing.

Maybe it was the way her hand had wound around his arm there briefly, but for once Saila actually got the joke, and a soft snicker escaped her lips accordingly. "Good thing I'm not French, I guess," she replied, and by the time she'd taken the wrapping off the fourth slice, the girl seemed to have a working system in place.

"Okay. Finally. This *** gets boring after five seconds." It was lucky he had started prior to her arrival. The fridge sucked against his tug to pull it open, relenting with a pop before he dug out three plastic containers of ham and began popping the plastic seals and unwrapping them. Wrappers of all sorts, in this case, were left to fall to the ground like hair clippings. He didn't count out the meat but peeled what "felt right" and applied it. Some would be more filling than others, apparently, in this meat sandwich game. "So, you have done hot chocolate, right? And I don't mean that cheap ass cocoa *** the gas station slings at you."

It didn't take her long to get through all the slices, and Saila turned to see what Amare was doing. At his question, she shook her head. "I have had chocolate, but not ...hot? What do you do, stick it in the microwave?" She didn't mention that it gave her an epic headache. This seemed like information her dear Rabid Baby didn't particularly need.

"Only if you're ridiculous." Needless to say, he had certain opinions concerning the world and how things should be done. He didn't look at her as he leaned over the counter, fingers plucking at the slices of meat and spreading them out accordingly. They were getting surrounded by forty slices of half made sandwiches. Some were on the counters and other the kitchen island and barstool seats which pulled up to the other side of it.

"You take a pot and you heat milk in it. Gently, don't boil it. Then you take high-quality chocolate shavings so it will melt in. That's how you make a *** hot chocolate and if you're not a complete moron you add peppermint."

His hands brushed against one another in a manner that initially seemed as though he was applauding his own explanation, but it was just to clear sandwich-making debris from them. After a pause, he brought his fingers up to his nose and sniffed at them. Apparently, the resulting smell on his fingertips was slightly better than expected, though he still shrugged. His eyes lit back to her and he nodded at the zip lock bags and Sharpie marker, "Write something uplifting on those bags, all twenty of them, when you are done. Something like 'you are loved' or 'today is the day you get it.'" He was starting to humor her enough that tasks were getting additional instruction.
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Re: Who Needs Pants?

Post by KhaoticBliss » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:53 pm

Up until the moment he described it, the picture in Saila's mind had been a literal one -- putting a Hershey's candy bar in the microwave or the oven or something to make it... hot. She wasn't sure why that was preferable to room temperature, or how you went about eating it since heat tended to melt things. Needless to say, the clarification helped.

It helped, too, when he assigned her a new task; Saila couldn't have said what 'uplifting' meant. She got the gist based on his explanation, and with a nod she reached for the Sharpie marker and began to write things on the bags. It can't rain all the time. You are not alone.

He reached over, catching the edge of the first few she finished and began closing the open-mouthed sandwiches and then shoving them into their plastic body bags of inspiration.

?So maybe, if you don?t *** this up I?ll make some and you can try it. And then I?ll put vodka in it.? It was fine, apparently, when he opted to deviate from the honored recipe. The counter was slowly starting to clear before he paused to look at her, arching his brow up the same way he had before when she?d answered the door, ?Getting slow on the uptake there??

"Trying to think of more uplifting *** to say," replied the muse, tapping the Sharpie's tip against the counter thoughtfully. We believe in you. You can do it. "What are we doing with all these, anyway?" Amare had said he was making friends, but she'd also seen Quinn plow through nearly this much food on his own in one sitting. Mainly she needed to know so she would be able to gauge whether she was *** it up -- trick question, everybody was always *** it up, according to Rabid. Oh well. You are special. You have a purpose.

"What?" He frowned at the question, putting the sandwich bags into larger grocery bags as they were being completed. For a few he was too hasty, his thumb or index finger smearing the ink on the outside of the ziplock bag, "Weren't you paying attention? I'm making friends." With the final Sharpie-draw affirmation done and the sandwich jammed into the second of the two grocery bags he continued, "So are you coming or are you going to sit on your ass and moan about how winter sucks while you watch Clueless?" It had been some time, apparently, since Amare was a teenager.

"What the hell is Clueless?" The actual teenager arched a brow at him quizzically. Amare's idea of 'making friends' was a broad one, certainly more broad than most people subscribed to. He could be 'making friends' with another puma, for all she knew. With a shake of her head she set the Sharpie down on his counter where she'd found it and crossed the kitchen to join him where he stood.

With the ham sandwiches bulging from the two old grocery bags, he opened his front door and waited for her to step out first. There was always some impatient gesture, but with one hand holding the food and the other on the door knob, it was up to his eyes to express it. They widened, a half smirk for her as he waited for her to slip on through the door. Once she had he stepped after her. The door was locked and then his little red sports car lit up when he pressed the unlock button, "Climb in." He cut around, swinging the door open and tossing the bags into the space behind the driver's seat which barely existed on a Z.

It seemed to be a thing, his constant impatience with her, his making fun of her for being slow or making him wait. It was amusing because Saila was pretty much never slow and didn't know the meaning of hesitation most of the time. She stepped through the door the moment he'd opened it, got into the car as soon as the door was unlocked. It was low to the ground, and as she dropped mostly gracefully into it, she briefly pictured Quinn trying to fold himself up into a car like this. She was smirking by the time he'd gotten into the driver's seat.

The car gave a dramatic little purr when he turned it on. The Z was a classic racing car, though it was hard to tell if he cared about racing. It was likely that he cared about being reckless with himself, that he liked the idea of having a toy that wasn't a far throw from being a bomb. Amare didn't make it a point to boast about his car, nor did he show much interest in "car talk" as the enthusiasts did. It was a beautiful red bomb he liked to ride around.

Case in point-- the violent reverse and then shift into drive, propelling them down the road at an instant sixty miles per hour. The chaos was the norm, his gaze settling on her face for a moment before curve-hugging the road, "Clueless is a movie, the Holy Grail for teenage girls."

Via Hex, the mercurial teen had developed a healthy appreciation for - and entirely too much information about - cars and motorcycles of all descriptions. She could admire the Z for what it was and also know why it was that it appealed to Amare, holding those two somewhat conflicting ideas in her head at the same time. The purr of the engine made her smile, and so, quite frankly, did his recklessness.

She didn't bother with a seat belt, and neither did she seem particularly jarred or startled by the way he drove. It did occur to her, though, that "I'm pretty sure this is the first time you've been the one to drive, actually," commenting on the novelty of the reversal without coming to any conclusion about it one way or the other.

His explanation didn't do much to explain what Clueless was, except that it was a movie and it was a something to girls. That at least told her why she hadn't seen it - mostly she'd seen movies at the suggestion of boys, or occasionally a necromancer. Jackie was technically a teenage girl, but that wasn't exactly the way her tastes ran. "I see," said Saila, though she didn't entirely, given that she didn't know what a Holy Grail was. "Is it good?"

"Most movies are *** and that one is no exception. It's a laughable reflection about how young women should be stupid, superficial and nosy. It was apparently catchy at the time. I didn't get it, all it did was make me hate women." He reached into the inner pocket of his light blue suit to tug out his packet of cigarettes. It was a one-handed dance, his thumbnail catching the lip of the cigarette box and flipping it open. The bottom of the packet rested on his thigh as that hand turned around, drawing one out and putting it between his lips before he tossed the pack on her lap. The freed-up hand found a small, cheap looking lighter at the bottom of the cup holder.

All the while the world raced, eighty miles per hour, beneath them. His attention checked on it from time to time, but he never seemed particularly interested. It was like they were a flying blur of red along the street.

She was accustomed to that needing a cigarette dance, and as such she did nothing to facilitate or assist him. The pack landed on and then slid across her thigh, catching in the small valley between her legs. Saila snagged it, ran her fingers thoughtfully over the package and then nodded. After a moment, she slipped a second one from the pack, moving it to the cup holder as she took the lighter from him once his was lit. Sparking the flame, she touched it to the tip of her pilfered cigarette once it was between her lips, her cheeks caving with the first inhale.

"...Sounds annoying," commented the teen, rolling the window down a crack to exhale a stream of smoke. "So other than this hot chocolate thing and wanting to touch people, what else is good about winter?"

"That's what teenagers do. Annoy. You're a bit passive, like a lukewarm teenager." Free hand stuck out in a horizontal gesture that he made a seesawing motion with before it went to his mouth, tugging the cigarette out from between his lips as he shifted gears. One more turn before he pulled up to a slum dog side of the city. It was all so typical, the homeless with their little steel drum fire going. He put his car into park and, without word or instruction, put his cigarette in his teeth and grabbed the sandwiches in the back of the car. Just as suddenly, his door open and he slipped out, instantly on his feet like a soldier on a mission.

"What else is good? ***, you don't smell like a sweaty, disgusting pig." This was a new emotion to him, largely because of his increased ability to smell. Amare was, against his will, aware of how most people smelled. Beyond that, he got the TMI notification if a woman was on her period or having any hormonal issues. Sometimes information could be too much information. People with endocrine problems could be too sweet or really wretched to smell.

A dim smile touched pale lips as she carefully ashed her cigarette by tapping it against the window's edge, towards the back of the door so that it wouldn't blow right back into the car. She was getting relatively good at parsing Amare's way of saying things- not every insult was meant entirely the way it sounded. "Sounds like that's probably a good thing," she said dryly, bringing the cigarette back to her lips for another drag.

She watched the city streak by to either side of the vehicle, street lights and neon signs blurring into the same kind of continuous light that emanated from virtually everything for her. It was a strange phenomenon - the notion that if you were just moving fast enough to see it then the whole place could be taken as a single, living entity.

Rabid turned the car off and she was getting out of it immediately, lest he start yelling at her for being slow again. "...Am I supposed to...?" Smell like a sweaty, disgusting pig, that is. Saila didn't smell much like a girl most of the time, she'd learned. Those traces of hormonal shift and blood that enveloped every woman in varying degrees depending on the day or week was entirely absent in Saila. He would undoubtedly have noticed by now that she never smelled like she was on her period because she never was. There would be the telltale markers of desire, absent at some times and almost overwhelming at others, but other than that she seemed only to shift noticeably in the presence of fresh blood.

Raking her fingers through her hair, she turned her strange mismatched eyes on the tent city he'd brought them to, the homeless in their scattered clumps around this fire or that bottle of shared whiskey. It was the kind of environment that would make most people nervous, but Saila didn't really do nervous. She seemed alert but relaxed, observant as ever, and curious as to the wolf's next move.

"Hello, hello," Amare spoke and then whistled. He was good at it, he had the sort of loud whistle someone did where they didn't even put a hand to their mouth. The sound just shot straight up in the air as he jostled the bag and then walked along. He wasn't nervous, but then again, a werewolf didn't have much call to be nervous in this sort of environment, even if he was outnumbered. The homeless people grouped together were nervous and wary, some looking like they thought he was the police come to clear them out.

"I come bearing gifts!" His smile was exceptionally broad and as he walked along, taking in a breath of his surroundings, he handed out the sandwiches. At one point three were shoved into Saila's hands to do the same. Several of the people looked confused, uncertain of the 'gift' they had gotten. He wouldn't be the first person to try and poison all the homeless 'vermin' of the city. At about the eleventh sandwich he could tell they were skeptical, which caused him to stop in his tracks and scowl.

"It's food for *** sake," reclaiming one of them from a hesitant junkie, he tore it open, took a bite and then shoved it back at the man. This helped a little in regards to making them feel like it was truly edible.
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Re: Who Needs Pants?

Post by KhaoticBliss » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:53 pm

Rabid Baby had a predatorial smile on him that likely predated his transition to wolf. It was a charming smile, attractive and charismatic, but there was something about the way it bared his teeth that could lift the little hairs on the back of your neck, if you were the kind of person who had a working sense of danger. Saila didn't know that poisoning the homeless was a thing, but she mused to herself that these humans were smart to be wary of him all the same.

When the sandwiches were thrust into her grasp, Saila turned to the nearest group and started offering the out. "Hey," she said quietly. "They're just...sandwiches." It was a relatively new word for her, and it sounded foreign on her tongue. "Meat. Kraft things. Lettuce." A woman met her gaze for a long moment and then took a bag from her, snatching it quickly away with a darting, swift swipe of her hand like she was still expecting a trap. The teenager didn't flinch or react in the slightest, giving only a smile and then offering the next one out to someone else.

It wasn't long before they were all handed out. At some point, he had tossed his cigarette aside or he had just dropped it while being preoccupied with the task at hand. One of the homeless men grumbled that he 'needed to take that fancy car and charity and shove it up his ass.' Other things were said, but none of them seemed to faze him. At times, he even chuckled between the gate of his teeth.

With the last of them handed out his posture became straight, his attention settling back to Saila, "Okay, we're done here. We've made friends."

Once a few of them had deemed the sandwiches safe, suddenly everybody wanted one, and they ran out rather quickly. There were a couple of leers, men looking at her in a particular way, a couple of comments about young girls being out after dark. Saila met comments like that with a wide smile, obvious amusement that broadcast a very clear try it, and separated herself from the small throng with ease once the last of the bags were handed out.

She'd given her cigarette to someone who asked for it instead of a sandwich.

Somewhat surprised to find that they were already done, Saila met Amare's gaze with a shrug and headed back towards the car. Clearly her definition of 'friends' needed even more work.

Saila got unintended and unnecessary 'protection' because of Amare. She didn't need it and it was debatable that he would have even given it to her. Regardless, people saw a man and woman spending time together and the assumption was that they were an item. Though that couldn't be further from the truth, his broad-shouldered height and cutting mannerisms meant that no one wanted to mess with her because of her 'boyfriend.' That didn't mean they wouldn't mutter, or insinuate.

They weren't an item in the way people tended to insinuate, but they were undeniably a pair. Siblings, gang members, whatever they were, they were family. Neither particularly needed the other's help or protection, but should Amare find himself in trouble, Saila would be there in a heartbeat, no questions asked. She suspected the reverse was also true, whether Amare particularly wanted it to be or not.

Once they were back in the car, it wasn't long before it was squealing as they peeling out of the sheltered alleyway between an old warehouse and abandoned club. The road was passing under the car again, a dark black snake weakly illuminated by his headlights. He looked at her and motioned for a cigarette. They were on her side. Or the floor. Or whatever other stupid place she'd put them.

Back in the car, she caught that glance and fished the pack of cigarettes out of the cup holder where she'd left it. Pushing the top back with her thumb, she slid one of the cancer sticks up from its grouping and offered it out to him across the gear shift.

Filter to his lips, he lit up. There was a moment that he slowed down at one street sign and then, it apparently not being the one he wanted, he continued. He was looking for something, that much was clear. His mind had moved away from the sandwich hand-outs, of which he didn't offer much illumination. Eventually a new road came to them and he took the left hand turn, hard enough that her shoulder would press into the leather of his door. The engine roared, he shifted gears and drew hard on his cigarette, opening up the car's speed on the dark, unwatched road.

The intense burst of speed eased minutes later, the car settling into something within reaching distance of the speed limit. Their path was becoming less and less lit by nearby traffic and businesses. Trees crept up to the roadside shoulder.

"Before I got through the goddamn annoyance of explaining to you a whole *** season and why it doesn't suck, you tell me why you think it does. Don't give me a stupid explanation. You do that. You like to answer things in goddamn circles and I'm not going to chase you down for a real answer like I had to when I asked you about whatever the *** you were. So, I asked and now the polite thing to do is answer. Why. Does. Winter. Suck." Ash of his cigarette was tapped out the cracked window.

She spent a lot of time in cars these days, Hex's, Quinn's, sometimes even her own. Driving at night was becoming one of her favorite things, the open road, the scenery falling away to either side. Her sense of direction hadn't improved any in the past year, but her ability to locate her people from increasing distances had gotten to be extraordinary, so although she had not the first clue where Amare was taking them, she didn't get lost nearly so often anymore, either.

He slowed down, and Saila tried to get a sense of where they'd ended up, her gaze sweeping out each window in kind. Eventually it landed on Amare. "It's the sphinx thing. I kinda can't help it." She explained, about the talking in riddles and answering things with questions. To date, he was still the only person she'd actually told, which made him one of two people who knew.

"It's cold," she went on, trying to answer his question as directly as possible. "Bitterly cold. And dark. And everything dies, which makes it darker." Her nose wrinkled. "And I've been buried in snow before and it wasn't much fun."

"What's dying? Other than the annual petunias people keep insist on buying, which is sort of morbid. Beyond that, everything else is getting pruned and taking a nap. The trees aren't dying. The grass isn't dying. But, you know that, right? Super spidey-sense knows all this *** isn't dead unless you're broken or can't tell the difference."

There were many signs along the way, but he didn't give many indicators which ones applied to them. If the sign was superficial or on point. One more turn and the road became gravel, causing him to slow his car to a gentle roll as they continued a quarter of a mile further. The gravel roadway eventually opened up to what seemed like a circle drive around with parking spaces branching off of it. No one else was visiting the small park at that hour, apparently.

The car was in park. Outside, the air had the sort of chill that made clouds erupt from between lips.

"Yes and no. The tree lives but all its leaves go dark. The animals live but they go to sleep and their light dims to the point I almost can't see it anymore. It's like..." Saila trailed off, struggling to put into words the way she saw things, because --as she'd discovered-- no one else she'd encountered so far saw the way she did. "It's like the difference between being in a room with bright spotlights, and being in a dark room with no windows. In Winter everything is in shadow, covered up. The lights are there - some of them - but they're so faint. So dim. It's a lonely, solitary time for me," said the girl who had spent almost all of the previous winter homeless, at least until she'd spent two months running herself ragged between Coilin and Quinn and the wolves.

"People, too, become less energetic in the winter. Maybe it's because they've all holed up somewhere that's warm, cuddling, like you said." Saila gestured, her strange gaze spilling out the window again, maybe looking for signs of light other than the bright, hot werewolf beside her. She shook her head then, raking her fingers through vibrant purple waves. "And anyway, I like warm. I'm cold by nature, I guess because I don't eat, and I find myself most drawn to people who radiate heat. The wolves. The demons. The hell-born." Quinn. Cane. Hex. Amare himself, even. She gave a dim smile. "I'm like... like a lizard, or a reptile, I guess." Not far from the truth, considering that part of her was lamia, an entity that was somewhere between a vampire and a snake, sometimes referred to as a shark, all steeped in Greek mythology.

"Ah, that's not so *** bad. Solitude is a place where you do all that introspective ***. Self-discovery. The noise of everyone else's opinions isn't crowding anything. If you don't like being in the quiet with yourself then you're *** broken. Or," a tilt of his head before he popped open the door and stepped out. "I guess really it's not being broken enough. Just being a vapid, airy, whatever the *** without a thing to sort."

Amare didn't seem to slow in Winter, or for any occasion, really. Maybe she'd seen him a bit more sedate because of sex, but those moments tended to be private. His quiet, at-ease moments were precious and far between. At times, he seemed as if he might itch his way out of his skin.

"Maybe you need to *** hibernate. That's what the lizards are doing. Sort of." The thin lines of dew that had been on the grass once more had now frozen the blade into spikes that crunched under his shoes. Every step was an announcement.

"Broken," echoed Saila, her gaze out the windshield at the park. One of the advantages of the coming winter was that as the world got darker, the life in it shone significantly more brightly for her. Already accustomed to tracking prey for the wolves, her peculiar eyes narrowed, pupils contracting. Following its movement, she sought to identify the source for a moment, blinked a few times and then shifted her gaze back to Amare. "...Or just unfinished."

She'd seen the Rabid Baby sedate and at peace precisely once, fleetingly, and she'd been the one to cause it. All the rest of the time, her 'brother' was wound like a powerful spring covered in razor blades, practically humming with violent potential energy that could explode at any moment.

"Yeah, maybe," she replied, letting herself out of the car in kind. It was cold, and even though she knew it would be, Saila's shoulders drew in against it, huddling deeper into the oversized material of a hoodie that had probably once belonged to Quinn with a shiver.
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Re: Who Needs Pants?

Post by KhaoticBliss » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:54 pm

"In New York," he said, stopping at the edge of the frozen lake and motioning with a hand over the sprawling, white fog surface, "They would put up an ice rink for people to skate on in Central Park. Probably still do it." There was a shrug and then with the toe of his shoe, gave it a test nudge of his foot before stepping on it completely. After one step, he looked back over his shoulder to her impatiently. His stride was restricted by the slippery threat of the ice, causing him to shuffle, leaving behind a trail that was more clear than white.

Saila followed him out to the frozen lake's edge, pausing at its banks. She'd done her fair share of wandering at night, in the winter and otherwise. She had walked onto frozen water before because, at the time, she hadn't known it wasn't a thing you were supposed to do. The girl was fearless, besides, so after a moment's reflection Saila followed him out onto its surface with zero hesitation.

"New York. That's where you're from, yeah?" It was phrased like a question, but it wasn't, not really. She'd been there before, a couple of times, though never for particularly long. Ice skating was another one of those concepts she didn't understand, but then maybe that's what they were doing now.

He didn't answer her question about it. Maybe he thought she already knew that was the case because Saila tended to automatically know things about people. Beyond that, he was most always annoyed at the prospect of talking about himself for longer than two-second intervals.

The lake was solid, its surface a slightly wild fracture of growth and refreezing, unlike the blocks of ice that the skating rinks would provide. Once they had reached the center he grinned a bit, pushing his foot over the face of it to uncover a glint of something, "Rhy'Din can be such a *** hole. But at least it isn't a boring *** hole." There was a nod and another swipe of his foot. With the white rough surface stamped into glass, the item beneath was more visible. It looked like a tankard suspended in glass, "***, I dunno. It's just one of the things that makes winter interesting."

She did know, but she'd learned that you were supposed to ask people about things anyway, that it made them more comfortable overall, and maybe there was some part of her that wondered whether he'd be more willing to open up on his own, knowing that she already knew. A gentle nudge, of sorts. It found resistance, though, so Saila dropped it, concentrating on choosing her steps carefully.

There was one moment on the journey to the center of the lake where her balance, usually flawless, teetered. She'd stepped on a spot that was more slick than it had first appeared, and her booted heel slid a couple of inches askew, threatening the integrity of her upright position. Her left hand lifted lightning fast to his shoulder, fingers curling around the ball joint to catch herself. Once she was stable, her hand slipped free again with a quickly muttered "Sorry" and a shake of her head.

They came to a stop and she watched what he was doing, quiet. When the tankard was revealed encased in ice, a smile touched her lips - this was the second time Amare had 'retrieved' personal items belonging to someone else from a lake. "...True," replied the girl after a moment. "And even at its darkest, it's still brighter here than it is on Earth." The world itself had a magic hum to it, a visible presence that Saila hadn't realized she was picking up on until she'd visited New York for the first time and found herself wondering what was wrong with her eyes.

"?Which means that Winter is not *** dead," he asserted, but it wasn't said like a painful grenade of truth or like he was basking in the glow of winning a debate. His tone had a hint of bitterness, like Winter had been some comrade that needed to be defended because it was too often misunderstood for being dead. Or uninteresting. Or lacking in any sort of splendor that other things got just because they were warm and colorful.

"So what we're going to do now is this," his hand spread out, fingers as far apart as possible when he motioned, "we're going to find the most interesting piece of refuse that floated to the top. Then you're going to figure out who it belongs to and maybe we bring it back to them. Just as is, or a little dressed up. Haven't decided yet. Don't take all night thinking on it, look look look," his hand moved like a brush in the air, motioning her in one direction while he shuffled in the other, the blade of his leather dress shoe shoveling aside the white for a better view of what was inside.

Saila saw his point, but knew better than to comment on it overtly. Instead, she nodded, her gaze on the frozen water underneath them. Maybe Amare was right, maybe winter only felt lonely and unreceptive because it was misunderstood.

She was something of a sucker for the misunderstood.

Rabid issued his orders and she nodded again, her gaze sweeping the ice in more earnest now. "Okay. I take it you're in charge of bringing it up from underneath there when we find it?" Her voice trailed frost like smoke rings as she moved away from him, trying to find something.

"Aren't you supposed to be super-special-something? You think someone dropped a few million to make a pretty bottle opener?" An arch of his brow over at her. His was crisp and cold, almost bereft of color from where he stood on the ice. The silver-blue suit and shirt beneath offered no colorful warmth to him. It was only his skin tone, the tinge of red that grew over his cheeks and at the tips of his ears from the chill. Cigarette or no, a trail of grey slipped from his mouth on his exhale.

"I have," the blade of his leather shoe swept like a windshield wiper over the lake surface, "Empty Badsider bottle," his tone already said that he found that boring and he moved a few feet. Nothing. A few more ungraceful shuffles. Nothing again. Finally, a secondary announcement, "Huh. Looks like someone left an old stick of dynamite behind." That might have perked his interest more if he didn't know people used it for ice fishing. Casual leftovers were not interesting.

"In theory," she called back to him without looking up from her critical sweep of the lake. The muse blinked several times, squinting here and there at the blank sheet of ice. It was opaque, but she seemed to be studying it intently anyway, as though she could see through it.

Because she could.

It took her a few tries to get her eyes to focus the right way, using the light that emanated up from the fish and other lake creatures far below to pinpoint the dark spots in the ice, where a physical, material object must be trapped. Once she had it, her steps were confident, and not at all haphazard as she moved from one item to the next.

"Boot," proclaimed the teen on her first find. "...Um. I think that's like... a pair of... pants?" she said of the next. How did one come to lose a pair of pants in the lake under that much ice? "Liquor bottle," moving on.

Saila didn't know about fishing, much less ice fishing, but she did know a thing or two about dynamite. Looking up from her study of the lake's surface, her strange eyes fixed on the wolf in his business suit some thirty feet away. "Really? How come?"

"Pants are the winner," he exclaimed, his posture straightening and his smile cutting into the sort of grin he had when he envisioned the possibilities other people couldn't seem to see. It took a certain degree of insanity to follow the path of his thoughts. She asked him how-come, and the suitable answer for that and many questions seemed to be a partly annoyed but largely nonchalant shrug. Next topic.

"Let us return the pants from whence they came. There is sure to be an explanation warranted," the bark of his voice didn't seem to soften as he cut the distance between them, stopping in front of her. He swore. Amare was always swearing, though. Under his breath, like a threat, "*** better have something in their pockets that's worthwhile."

When he'd announced his decision, Saila backtracked to the spot where she'd identified the twisted fabric coiled into a serpentine S shape a handful of inches between the surface. It looked something like an eel-- flash frozen, stopped in time. That is, the muse would have thought so had she known what an eel was. To her it mostly just looked like a coiled twisty thing: it was the unnatural color, and a hand pressed flat to the ice for a fleeting moment or two, that had clued her in.

When Amare joined her, the girl took a couple of steps back to give him room. The wolf might have been better dressed than she, but he was also stronger than her and if worst came to worst, he also had claws.

Amare stood by, not offering help or even the shadow of it. He was intrigued by her, and decidedly calculating just what she was capable of doing. Truthfully, he figured it was a lot, but that she didn't have the sense to apply it or even do too much internal searching that didn't come up day to day. It was show and tell time.

"Go on. I mean... if you need a cigarette..." The offer didn't sound like he meant to ever get her one but nudge her in the right direction. There was one comforting norm reintroduced, "I mean, we could just stand here all night. Watch things freeze. You can show me the Art of Moving Backwards."

Saila arched a brow at him quizzically. "...M'not a multi-million dollar bottle opener," she echoed him, by way of response. It wasn't that she was worried about breaking a nail, or whatever: The science project's hands were clearly meant for more than menial labor. "And you're the one with natural weapons at your disposal."

A vague wave seemed to indicate his fingers, but she could just have easily meant his teeth. And anyway, she'd seen how efficiently all of the wolves could dig when they were properly motivated.

"I found the pants, you get to dig." She declared with a nod and a hint of a smirk.

"Figures," he patted around, digging up a new cigarette and lighting it before he pinched his pant legs over both his thighs and gave a small tug of the cloth, easing its restrictions before he dropped down to one knee. His head tilted to the side, moonlight highlighting his flexed jaw and temple as he sized up his little problem.

"Next time you don't get to be a goddamn princess." The thumbnail tended to be thicker and harder, talon-like even before he had been transformed. He leaned forward, one palm spreading warm and flat over the dusty, cold white surface while the thumbnail of his other hand cut into the ice and worked a line into the ice. First one, then another, until there was a geometric shape outlining where the pants were. Had he been less attached to the idea he would have insisted Saila do it, or just shrugged and distracted himself with the next shiny thing. As it just so happened to be, Amare was focused. Usually, his adventures were alone, anyway, since Dirk...

He put the thought out of his mind and kept digging.
feed my will to feel this moment draw me way outside the lines
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Re: Who Needs Pants?

Post by KhaoticBliss » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:55 pm

"M'not being a goddamn princess," her retort came as one corner of her mouth twisted up in a smirk. "S'just an efficient division of resources. You should always use the best tool for the job, right?" Her slight weight shifted from one boot to the other, her gaze still scanning the surface periodically to see if she could pick up on anything else interesting while he worked.

Her attention slid back to him, though, as she watched the way he controlled the escalation in his energy so precisely. It wasn't a thing she would ever say out loud, but of all the wolves in their motley little tribe, Amare was the one who most reminded her of Coilin. Not that their temperaments were at all alike, and they didn't resemble one another in the slightest, either. It was more in the way that Amare seemed most at ease with the fluidity of his frame, most capable --and comfortable-- with altering his body here and there as needed. Using what he was to his advantage, like an asset more than an obstacle. He seemed the most natural.

But then, she hadn't spent a whole lot of time around Dirk.

"Oh, see..." she went on as she figured out what it was he was doing. "I wasn't even thinking about the whole... internal furnace thing. You're way better suited for this particular part of the project than I am."

"I'd say you were making a pun with the word tool but you probably wouldn't get it." Amare had that talented way of being able to talk around his cigarette. It bobbed only a little when he spoke and usually seemed fixed into place like a toothpick that smoldered closer and closer to his lips. His nail scraped over and over, leaving curls of ice behind. It wasn't a seamless process, at one point he tapped the ash of his cigarette at the center of his clawing, icy debris and switched hands. Little lingering marks of blood were beneath his nails. They were uncomfortable but, hell, he'd heal.

Amare had never balked at being a werewolf. It was as a young man that he was torn between what he wanted to become-- werewolf or vampire. He decided either would be acceptable. What he wanted was power and longevity, he wanted it so badly that he had nearly bullied Dirk into it. Some people became werewolves and vampires accidentally, or for love. The painful transition was far from an 'oops.' As it was with many things, Amare dove in with an unrepentant zeal. He had found something he wanted and he persisted until it was his. He would be a werewolf.

Since the change, he had felt more at ease, more 'right' than before. Hadn't it been his destiny? His mother had called him a beautiful monster.

Amare was right, she didn't get it. Humor was a thing she was still working on in general - Saila understood the concept but not its nuances. She'd called him a tool, it's true, but she'd meant it literally, applying the moniker equally to herself. He'd had the idea. She'd found the pants. He'd get them freed. She'd figure out who they belonged to. If the teen had any idea that the word could be seen as an insult, she wouldn't have used it.

The wolf couldn't have seen it, given his preoccupation with getting underneath the ice, but Saila's pupils dilated all at once when his maneuverings drew blood. His nose may have alerted him, however, to the subtle hormonal shift it inspired.

The word tool still worked. He still felt like he was a tool, digging in ice because it was less effort than convincing Saila. Beyond that, it made the pants more his than hers and he preferred to have that level of ownership. Amare had a way of being possessive that was flattering right up until the point of asphyxiation.

The blood being the reason for her hormone shift wasn't readily apparent. What he offered her instead was a little verbal jab, "Winter doesn't seem to be that boring, huh?" A squint up at her, his grin broad. Same grin he had when he was face down in the guts of something. One of his fingernails bent back, lifting from the bed of his ring finger long enough to bleed and bruise purple. He swore, talking about all the ways the ice was *** as he switched hands.

If anything, he was persistent.

His recklessly enthusiastic grin was one of the things Saila liked most about her 'brother'. He was a complex, layered thing, and most of those layers were bound in cyanide-dipped, rusty razor wire. But his zeal for his pursuits, the way he threw himself with abandon into whatever he was doing right in that moment... they were infectious. It was hard not to go along with Amare and his little schemes, even when logic and common sense said they were a terrible idea.

It was probably for the best, she mused, that he had a tribe to belong to, the black widow too tangled up in its own web to focus its destructive energy outward. She could absolutely picture the Rabid Baby in the role of bloodthirsty tyrant, charismatic and violent, leaving a scorched pile of burning bodies all along his wake.

His nail bent back and there was more blood. Saila's eyes narrowed, fixing on his injured hand, tracking its movements as he gave that one a break and continued with the other. Pursing her lips, the girl shook her head, forcing herself to look away, to meet his gaze. Her smile appeared to answer him. "...You are definitely persuading me to the contrary, yes."

"There's no need to persuade if you're right," the familiar sound of annoyance in his voice had come back just in time for the tear and sudden release of the pants from the ice. At first it was just one leg and he gripped it, tightly. He drew it out of the ice like a hair being nudged out from a layer of glue. There were catches, pulls, a final show of resistance where he stood up, pulling harder on one leg of the pants until they could have been plucked like a guitar string. The Will of Amare was greater than the Will of the Ice. It released, luckily before the cloth gave into tearing.

His hands were so cold they blushed red. His breath came out in little, hot pants. His smug, delighted grin could have been visible for miles, "THIS IS THE MEANING OF WINTER!"

The muse found herself reflecting that grin back at him, though the expression in her unusual eyes tended more towards affectionate than smug. The truth of it was that she was having a good time on this little mini adventure of theirs, random though it may have been. She liked having the image of him doing something nice - feeding the homeless - pinned up there in her memory next to the image of a certain highly animated puma puppet. Layers on layers. Somewhere in her mind rested the certain knowledge as to why he was providing sustenance for the neglected, but it was a nice image just the same.

"The meaning of Winter," echoed the girl sometimes called Echo. "Got it." The part she didn't say was what came in the middle, that --so it seemed right now, anyway-- the meaning of winter was apparently helping other people.

Her gaze moved over the pants curiously. Saila wondered how long they'd been in the water, whether she'd still be able to pick up anything recent on the soggy fabric. The deep, ingrained things -- what they were called, what they were for, what they were made of, how they were made, maybe even the person or machine who made them -- would be there, but what of the person who lost them? She wet her lips with a quick sweep of her tongue. "Y'gonna check the pockets?"

"Yeah, of course. Then you're gonna check the pants and we're gonna figure out what nutso with some screws loose lost their pants," he might have sounded more snappy with her if he wasn't preoccupied with trying to get the pocket open. It was easier than one might think, or perhaps it just seemed a whole lot easier in comparison to digging it out of solid ice. The pants wouldn't have a life of anomaly anymore. Apparently that was the meaning of Winter, too.


(the result of this scene was an RDI playable, thread here: https://rdi.dragonsmark.com/forums/view ... hp?t=31545))
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