Time: It is currently 14:36 Pacific Time on Mon Mar 21 2005.
Weather: Currently in Saint Claire, it is raining lightly. The temperature is 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the southwest at 8 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.11 and steady, and the relative humidity is 65 percent. The dewpoint is 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase: Currently the moon is in the waxing Gibbous Moon phase (75% full).
Safehouse: Common Area
The foyer of this house is set off from the living room with its octagonal bump-out by a four foot high halfwall. Stairs lead up from
the foyer, turning and disappearing to the right, and a steel door with a keycard lock claims the wall opposite the living room. The rest
of the main floor is taken up by a small bathroom across the hallway from a dining room which is separated from the kitchen at the back of
the house by another half-wall. The decor is decidedly sparse - white walls, beige carpeting in the living and dining rooms and down the
hall, unremarkable vinyl in the foyer and kitchen. A used couch and a pair of recliners are grouped around a coffee table
in the living room, with a foursome of wooden chairs claiming the bump out for quieter conversation. The dining room boasts a white laminate
table with four aluminum and vinyl-upholstered chairs - too new to be 'vintage', too old to be trendy. The appliances and cupboards in the
kitchen are new - or at least refurbished to look like it - and a door leads out to the backyard from there.
Up the stairs are a number of empty rooms where anyone affiliated with the Sept can crash and an office for private meetings. The Glass Walkers have their own area accessible via a locked door off the foyer. The main doors themselves lead back out to the front porch of the house.
At a little over five foot tall and with a slim build, KL is hardly awe-inspiring on first sight. She appears to be around
seventeen years old and still carries a teenager's air of disenchantment and irritation.
Her mid-length mousy-brown hair is brushed back out of her eyes and behind her ears. It's not exactly styled, as it appears to have
been hacked at without any hint of hairdressing expertise, but it's at least had contact with a brush at some point recently. She would be
quite attractive - in particular she has a very cute, upturned, nose - were it not for the sullen and aggressive set of her mouth and the
hostility of her gaze. Her hazelnut eyes look out with disappointment and poorly hidden anger, as if the world were a holiday villa that
didn't match the travel agent's description. Her skin is oddly pale, and on her right shoulder-blade a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged
horse visible. Physically, she's well proportioned, and her bare arms show a tight musculature that speaks of regular exercise.
She's got a habit of slouching and of leaning up against any available support. When she forgets to slouch, however, she moves with a surprising degree of grace and compact poise.
She is wearing a faded and beaten up pair of blue jeans that are just a little too large for her, and have holes in the knees, a pair of worn combat boots and a faded red tank top with "And your little doggy too!" emblazoned across the front. The tank top has a badly-repaired tear across the chest, causing the word "little" to be have its second "t" deformed. Similarly, the jeans have a set of unrepaired holes on her left thigh, pale skin showing behind the rents.
Kevin Lockwood is a somewhat gangling mid-teenage boy. Starting at the top and working down, he possesses very dark brown hair that might be mistaken for black in some lights, that's starting to grow out and look bushier than it did when he first showed up on the scene, and which, regrettably, he's taken to spiking up with gel; a long face with a rather large nose in the middle; brown eyes under heavy eyebrows; a downturned mouth, and a distinct Adam's apple. His prominent chin seems to be sprouting a few whiskers, as befits his age, though not enough yet to be seen by a casual glance. Below the neck, his body looks fairly slim and fit, though it's masked by a scruffy blue sweatshirt and grey sweatpants, both on the large side for his slim frame, and a rather worn pair of trainers. His legs seem a little long for his body, as though he's just undergone a growth spurt and his lower limbs reacted to the hormones before the rest of him.
Early afternoon in St. Claire and the rain is falling in a steady drizzle. From outside the quiet of the main house footsteps can be heard walking quickly up the steps to the main doors. A diminutive figure is silhouetted against the glass, and there's a long pause as the figure looks around, mutters indecipherably, then finally makes up her mind to knock on the door. A somewhat timid, awed knock, that gets stronger as if the knocker is relieved that the door hasn't eaten her hand.
The door is not answered in a hurry; luckily the porch is well enough built, and the rain coming down vertically enough, that the querent can at least stay dry while she waits to see whether anyone's in. Eventually noises come from inside, and then a voice. "Emma? Have you forgotten your key again?" The door is opened a crack and Kevin peers through the gap, giving a cry of surprise when he sees a face that's been absent from his life a while. "Stone me! It's KL!"
The named Black Fury is, indeed, standing on the porch to the safehouse. Yet again, she arrives to see Kevin looking like she's swum there, her T-Shirt wet and sticking to her body. "Hi Kevin." She says. "Can I come in?" Clutched in one hand is a large carrier bag from, by the legend, a fabric store.
Kevin says "Um. Guess so... Nobody's told me /not/ to let other Garou in," Kevin muses. Then his face sets into a resolute pattern. "Damn it, I'm gonna take responsibility for letting you in. Worst that can happen is that they cull me," he grins as he swings the door wide. "And if they try that... something tells me that they'd have more objections than just mine, now." A cryptic smile accompanies that little statement."
"Well, I'll just stand in the fucking hallway and attempt not to endanger anyone by my presence then." KL says, a smile taking some of the sting out of her words. "How've you been?" The Fury steps inside and looks around. "Fallen on your feet?"
Kevin snorts amiably at KL. "Don't be so bloody daft," he says in his finest English accent. "You're soaked to the very bone. For Gaia's sake come in and have some tea or coffee or /something/ warm." Closing the door behind her, he ushers her through to the living area. "Take a pew. We've got catching up to do! It's good to see you again," he says, with evident genuine pleasure to see once more one of the people who treated him with kindness in his sojourn at the Farm as a lost cub.
"Yeah. It always seems to rain whenever I come and see you. Could you stop it from doing that?" KL runs a hand through her sodden hair, pushing it back away from her face. She tosses the plastic bag onto the couch and slumps down next to it. "Coffee, if you're offering."
"Coffee it is," Kevin agrees. "I won't set up the machine in here, the one in our half of the house has just brewed. See you in sixty..." With which words he vanishes through the 'door into summer' that leads to the Glass Walker's side of the house, to emerge scant seconds later -- less than the promised sixty -- with two mugs of coffee on a tray with milk and sugar to be added /ad libitum/. "Rain. Hah. Could live with some of that on my face, because I'm not getting outside here much more than I was at the farm," Kevin resumes, "but I get the impression it may not be much longer now. Hope not, anyway."
"That's good." KL says. "How the Walkers treating you?" She takes a mug of coffee from the tray and cups it in her hands, as if the warmth can somehow be transfered around her whole body. "Any regrets?"
Kevin gives the Fury a long, long look over the top of his coffee mug (which bears the logo of a well known software firm). Setting the drink down, he speaks. "I'd be lying if I said there were none, but up till last night I was pretty sure I'd got it right." Cryptic, isn't he? He makes no move to explain why his views have changed since last night, if indeed they have.
KL nods slowly. "What happened last night?" she asks, face solemn, before taking a sip of the steaming black liquid. "If you want to tell me, that is."
Kevin pauses again, and drinks more coffee to cover up the silence. "Seems like my life wasn't quite weird enough already," he drawls in mock-casual tones that don't quite succeed in covering up the tightness lying beneath. "Turns out I've got a little visitor living in my head. Turns out he's some ancient, cobwebby old Get from the year dot. And turns out he wants me to be sent back to Signe and her warriors for Brom to stick knives in me and break my bones in the name of teaching me how to be strong."
KL bares her teeth at the mention of Brom's name, in a sneer of contempt. "I had a little meeting with Brom. Let's just say he didn't come out entirely unscathed, and he was whining about how it wasn't fair." Well, technically true, on some levels at least. "Voices in your head? That's a bit unusual. Still, at least it's good news on one point, no?" She raises an eyebrow enquiringly.
Kevin compresses his lips at KL's words. "Brom is a great warrior," he states slowly, "but he is blind to many things. And I do not think he will ever respect me for my choice." A long sigh from the cub, as though he regrets that fact. "Voices in my head, nothing," he goes on. "I never knew he was in there. I didn't really believe it till he took over my body and got Natalie-rhya so wound up that she ended up nearly tearing my goddamn throat out. Whereupon he skipped back out and left me back in control of things, to take his lumps." Kevin snorts with contempt. "Not a good way to wake up."
"Fuck..." KL says in wonderment. "So...um..." she pauses, obviously a bit thrown by this, and looks around the room as if searching for inspiration. "Is that the only time he's appeared? Do you think he can hear us now? Given that Natalie was near raging... how does he feel about your choice?"
"No, but I'm pretty sure it's the only time he's been around people. He seems only to be awake when I'm asleep and vice versa," Kevin explains. "Last night, Grey and Nat put me to sleep." He doesn't go into how. "And apparently he came and started bossing them round, and when they wouldn't hand me straight over, demanded a Philodox to judge it." He warms his hands on the outside of his coffee mug. "I've no idea whether he can hear us now. He certainly knows things I know. He left these notes in Danish in the kitchen, telling Nat that she should have me shot more often to teach me strength." From the expression on his face, the cub's more in need of patience just now. "So, yeah. You're looking at a guy with seven generations or more of Get in his family tree. Don't that make you feel kind of humble?" These words are, perhaps fortunately, delivered in tones dripping with sarcasm so that not even the most anti-Fenrir of Furies could think them meant seriously.
"Abso-fucking lutely." KL says, eyes wide in mock respect. She schools her face into a more serious expression. "So, now you know all this... Does it change anything? And if so, how?" She pauses, corners of her mouth twitching. "Discuss."
Kevin sighs and slurps coffee. "I have. Absolutely. No. Idea," he says, after swallowing the java. "If they tell me I've got to go back to the Get, I'll do as much as I can to be a good one. If they tell me I've got to stay here, same applies for the Glass Walke s. I'm kind of hoping they won't tell me I've got to choose /again/, given that it took me two months to make my useless mind up last time." His eyes meet KL's, his expression sardonic. "Hey, you didn't come here, you a Cliath, to listen to some cub moan about his troubles. What's been going on with you, KL-rhya? What did bring you here? What's in the bag? You carrying bags seems to be as constant as you towing rain clouds round with you over your head."
"Well, I came here to see you, believe it or not." KL says with a shrug. "What did I have last time? I mean, I only carry bags because they've got things in. Which reminds me," she reaches in to the bag and pulls out a tape measure. "Could you measure me? Across the shoulders? I'd ask Helen - oh yeah! I finally made contact with her, and I've got a room at the Fury house." Her eyes are bright at this, a genuinely happy look. She pauses, and her brow furrows. "Look... All Garou are the descendants of long lines. And while it does place some burdens, you've got to be your own person in the end. Or you'll go mad." Wisdom dispensed, she stands up. "So, could you measure me?"
Kevin cocks his head a little on one side and looks at the Black Fury as though he's not quite sure whether to believe her. "You came all the way here into a City -- which I've been led to believe you Furies hate -- just to get me to wrap a tape measure round you? Sheesh." He grins. "Mind you, I can't see you longing for my company or the sight of my pretty face, and I can't see any silver knives concealed on your person, so I can't think of any ulterior motive. C'mere." He takes the tape from her and moves round behind. "Stand up first? Or doesn't it matter?"
"We Black Furies..." said grandly "...do not approve of cities. They are the work of the Patriarch, and thus bad. Having said that, this Black Fury quite likes them, as she was born in one." KL is standing, and holds her arms out. "I need a measurement from wrist to wrist, and then one just across my shoulders and no, I didn't come here just to see you. I needed to get some fabric, and visit the library, and I also wanted to come and see you. If it's a consolation, you were third on the priority list."
Kevin gives the Fury a knowing smile and sets to work with the tape measure. He seems relatively blase about actually laying his hands on a female body these days, compared to what happened on their last encounter. "Multitasking, as we city Garou call it," he comments as he takes the second measurement. "So, what's the news from outside the dear old scab? Been to the farm recently? How's Rae? How's..." he pauses for a moment as though to brace himself mentally, "...Hope?"
"Haven't been out there since Brom..." Her voice trails off. "Since Brom and I sparred in the barn." She puts her arms down to her sides. "I've been keeping a fairly low profile." She turns and faces the cub. "Thanks. Now all I need to do is learn to sew and I'll be sorted." This with a grin. "It's kind of important."
Kevin nods, and smiles at KL again at the mention of Brom. Could it be that her choice of words has left the boy with the impression that she defeated the Get in sparring? "Sewing, heh. Fraid you've come to the wrong wolf to teach you that. Natalie /might/..." He sounds dubious. "Sewing, measurements, fabric -- you making yourself a new outfit? Some kind of ritual thingy?" he guesses.
"Kind of." KL replies. "In about a month and a half I'm going to be eighteen." She waves at the bag. "And there's some sort of coming of age things to do, and I thought I'd make myself an appropriate outfit.It's not really acceptable to pitch up to an ancient and sacred ritual wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans that haven't been the same since the metis cub got at them. I've got a couple of books and lots of time, and as long as I can avoid throwing things around in frustration, it'll be cool."
Kevin rolls up the tape measure neatly once he's finished calling out the numbers to KL. "There's a metis cub now?" he blinks. "That's... ahhhh.... /oh hellfire/." He bites his lip, looking as though he's just mentally added two and two. Whether he's made four or five, who knows. "Never mind," he mutters, looking flushed.
"What?" KL demands. "Hellfire? Damnation? Maybe." There's just a little more heat in her questioning than the situation probably warrents. "And the cub in question happens to be the child of someone who was very friendly to me when I was here last. So...what are you talking about?"
Kevin flushes still more. "Spoke out of turn. Doesn't matter. Really." The cub shifts from one foot to another.
"What?" KL demands again, much quieter. "You were obviously thinking about something in particular." Her arms fold across her chest in a gesture that ought to be becoming familiar to the Walker cub by now. She stares directly at him, eyes hard, bottom lip being held between her teeth.
Kevin shuffles some more. "I know who you're talking about, I think. One of the... city garou," he equivocates. "I've been finding out how much other garou hold it against you. Being... Charach."
KL frowns a little. "Yeah, Renee is a Bone Gnawer. So's the cub, I guess. I don't remember who the father was, not sure I've been told." She pauses. "This is another one of those things that you're probably only getting one side of. Not all the tribes are as.. hardline about some things as others." Her hands drop to her sides, and she plops back down on the couch, anger dissipating as quickly as it gathered. "But I guess it's not my place to teach another's cub."
"Well, if we're talking about the same episode of charaching -- is that a word? -- I think I know who the father is, and he's had a right old time of it," shudders Kevin. "KL... if you ever, ever, ever, see me so much as hold a door open for a female Garou, please slap me silly until I promise not to do it again." This from a cub who held the door open for KL herself scant minutes ago. "Come to think of it, make that /anyone/. Sex is bad enough and messed up enough for humans. For our kind it's more so still."
"It depends why you do it, Kevin." KL says, leaning forward. "The door-holding, that is. If you do it to be polite, or because someone's carrying something, or for a good reason, then that's fine. But if you start holding doors open for someone purely because they're a woman, and I catch you doing it, then we'll have words. Do you know why I was glad that you became a Walker? Do you know why I was praying that you wouldn't go with the Get?" There's the light of the fanatic in her eyes, and her hands a clasped into tight fists. "Do you know why I went and sparred with Brom, even though I knew that he was going to smack me into a bloody pulp?"
Kevin leans backwards just a little from KL, as though to maintain a smidgin more distance between the two. "Well, I've heard say that your tribe and his are rarely on the best of terms," he ventures, "but why that might be I couldn't tell you. The Get aren't exactly sophisticated but they're not devious sods like the Shadow Lords..." He retrieves his coffee from the arm of his chair to give him an excuse to take a couple of steps away from the bright-eyed Fury, all too aware of how the moon is swelling towards fullness overhead in the sky beyond the roof.
"Oh...we don't like those bastards either." KL says with a wolfish grin that doesn't spread to her eyes. "The fight between the Get and the children of Artemis has many episodes. But the one that still hurts the most, the one that keeps Furies awake at night, polishing their knives, dates to the Burning Times. The Get helped feed thousands of women into the fires...and it's still in their blood." She pauses and looks down at the floor, before lifting her head to stare at him again, a flat, unfriendly stare. "And it's in yours, Kevin."
What answer is there to a comment like that? None. And Kevin says nothing for a long moment, seeming to wilt under the stare of KL's hazel eyes, formerly friendly, but now, suddenly, without a trace of fellowship or pity in them.
Eventually, KL looks away, and her mood changes in moments. "Anyway, impending doom, litany-breaking and ancient history apart, do you like living here? It's a nice house - rather like my Father's. Maybe slightly bigger." She turns back, a smile on her face and studies her coffee cup, as if suddenly reminded of it's existence, and knocks back the contents.
Kevin relaxes as KL does and the tension in the room vanishes in an instant as though it had never been. "S'cool," he responds. "The Walkers, we live over /that/ side." He indicates the door through which he fetched the coffee earlier. "You other peeps, you get to hang out this side. Emma stays here quite a lot. She's one of Nat's packmates." The mention of the female Get causes him to furrow his brow for the briefest of moments before he discards the thought and continues. "There's others who stop by as well. In fact, pretty much any Garou can come and stay, s'long as they contribute to the catering and don't trash the joint. Wouldn't be a bad thing to see you here sometimes, seeing as you're a city slicker at heart," he teases mildly.
"Well, you're welcome to sample my famous omnibus stew." KL says, leaning back in the sofa. "People talk about it for days afterwards. Is there another way in, that doesn't involve walking through the doors of doom? I feel like I'm eight again wandering up to them. Maybe I should get something smarter to wear." She looks down at her customary outfit. "D'ya think I'd look good in an evening dress?"
"Give one of us a buzz on our cellphone," Kevin suggests. "If we know you're coming we can be ready to let you in. I didn't hear you atfirst, I was listening to my iPod. Dunno what Thomas and Nat were up to. Probably discussing ways to burn my great-great-whatever-grandad out of my head." He lets his eyes wander over KL's form cautiously. "Dunno," he says frankly. "I'm never any good at knowing what girls look good in. Or... well, anything about girls, really." With that he clams up, possibly due to awareness that he's drifting back towards dangerous territory when a Fury is present.
KL looks at Kevin and grins. "Um... cellphone number? And remember that I haven't met Natalie or Thomas or any of the other Glasswakers.." She stands up and looks down at her body. "I don't think I've got the figure for a gown, y'know. Would look a bit strange. Anyway, I ought to get myself moving, I want to get back home by dark. Thanks for the measuring. And when they let you out some, come by my place and we'll go for a run."
Kevin sighs. "Thought a city girl like you'd have a mobile phone. Oh well. I'm around here, like, all the time anyway, so just keep hammering on the door and I'll hear you eventually. You should come and meet Nat, at least. You'd like her. She's our Elder. Tough as old boots, but she can be dead nice as well. Often," he adds with a thoughtful expression, "when you'd least expect it. I've no idea where your place is, but hell, I'm a new moon, I'm meant to be a scout... I'll find you. Wherever you are." He chuckles in a low, sinister voice, then explodes with more genuine laughter. "Dammit it's good to see you again, KL. Travel safe, and come back soon, and don't forget that the coffee pot here never gets turned off."
KL smiles brightly in response. "Now...that's an offer that's hard to refuse. 24 hour coffee." She turns to go, picking up her carrier bag of fabric as she goes. "Look after yourself, Kevin. And if you need anything...get a message to me somehow. I'll try and get back here soon."
Kevin walks KL to the door and -- yes! -- opens it for her. The rain's still drizzling outside. "Better get cracking, this weather'll get worse before it gets better."
R's Comments: There's a couple of really lovely miscommunications in this. The whole sequence about Squeaks is fun, then there's KL getting all Black Fury, then the bit where she asks him what his phone number is and he thinks that she doesn't know what a cellphone is, then she doesn't realise that he thinks that.