Place : Safehouse: Common Area.
Time/Date : It is currently 14:05 Pacific Time on Thu Mar 31 2005.
Weather : Currently in Saint Claire, it is a cloudy day. The temperature is 51 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). The wind is calm today. The barometric pressure reading is 30.24 and falling, and the relative humidity is 68 percent. The dewpoint is 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase : Currently the moon is in the waning Half Moon phase (57% 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 is 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, in the three months since his arrival in St Clair, has changed a little from the neat, nerdy teen he came here as. His hair is still so dark a brown it's nearly black, but it's grown out from its close crop into quite a bush, giving him a slightly wild air. Below it his long face, large nose, heavy eyebrows and brown eyes, of course, remain. His prominent chin and Adam's apple are definitely starting to sprout beard hairs - still not many, but they're there right enough, and he'll likely have to start shaving soon. Below his neck his body remains slim and fit, though possibly a little less athletic in appearance than it was three months ago. He's grown another inch or more of late and is now a good five foot nine - and as that extra inch went on his legs, he looks even more gangling now due to the relative length of his lower limbs to his body. That's growth spurts for you. Clothing-wise, he remains clad in the blue sweatshirt, grey running pants, and worn trainers.
A dull and overcast afternoon in St. Claire, Washington State. The slate grey clouds lie over the city like a suffocating shroud, unmoving. Even the air can't be bothered to move today, the wind entirely absent. Yesterday's springtime has retreated to winter. However, at least it's not raining, a rare occurrence when KL comes to see Kevin. The ennui of the afternoon is broken by her sprightly, not to say forthright, hammering on the door.
After mere seconds Kevin opens the door silently. His face shows sign of stress as he gives the visiting Fury a tight smile, lips closed, teeth hidden. Inside the safehouse, the air is as motionless as outside, and seems faintly musty.
KL has some shopping bags with her, from a local supermarket. It's not that unusual a visit, after all. "Hiya Kevin," she greets the cub cheerfully as she steps through the door. "I brought some stuff for you guys; I'll take whatever you don't need home with me." She holds the bags up, in case Kevin thought that she'd meant some other stuff, obviously.
Kevin speaks for the first time, in tones so hoarse as to make the informed listener wonder whether somehow the cub has had the Jackal's Voice inflicted upon him. "Cheers," he croaks.
"Coffee papers in there?" He steps aside from the door to welcome KL inside. "Yes, and some more coffee, and bread and similar shit. Not good stuff, but perfectly edible." KL says, her voice trailing off as she peers at the cub. "Are you sick? Or have you been practising howling?"
Kevin makes a move as though to take one or both of the bags from KL, then quite visibly thinks better of the gesture and simply walks through to the kitchen area, preceding the shopping-laden Fury. "Nah," he says, still in hoarse tones. "Screaming. I lost my temper and beat up a concrete block." He closes his eyes for a second as though to gather strength. "Lucky for me that a spell in crinos heals all ills of the flesh. Wish it would do the same for the spirit."
KL dumps the bags on a worktop, then turns around and puts both hands on it. With a little jump and a push, she pulls herself up so that she's sitting on the surface, next to the shopping, her legs dangling down the front. "So...what's up? Is there anything I can help you with. Sometimes talking to an outsider is easier than talking to someone involved." She looks concerned, putting one hand on her knee and leaning forward to study Kevin.
Kevin starts mechanically sorting through shopping, selecting a few items and putting them in the sparsely-filled cupboards. He finds the coffee papers with a little grunt of satisfaction and opens the packet, putting the first one in the coffee machine. Only after he's started the machine going does he respond. "You're not wholly an outsider," he muses. "But on the other hand... you're as close to one as I'm going to have available..."
"I'm an outsider in a number of important ways." KL reiterates. "And I promise not to repeat what you say. Cross my heart." She makes a little gesture to match her words. "You can say whatever you like."
The cub leans on the kitchen counter and folds his hands together, then back on one another, cracking his knuckles like a sequence of tiny gunshots. "It's about tribes and things," he says carefully. "I'm beginning to get scared that I made the wrong choice coming here. Brom came by at the weekend, and... I told him about Snowy-Toes in here." A tap to the head with his knuckles. "Gaia alone knows why I did. I think I wanted to try and make him respect me. But now, Emma says, he's gone dead keen on retrieving me from the city and putting me back in the Get." His eyes look at a wall socket as though it's a Weaver oracle with the answer to all his riddles.
KL nods slowly. "Yeah. Brom." She says, pursing her lips in an expression faintly reminiscent of someone who's just bitten into a lemon. "I don't know. Why are you scared you made the wrong choice? Because you don't like the Walkers? Because you secretly like the Get and think that really you should be there? Or because you think it would have caused people less trouble if you'd picked the Get in the first place?"
Kevin looks at the plug socket still. "All of them and nothin'," he responds bitterly. "Also because when I tried to act like a Get earlier I just ended up acting like a bully. A brute. A bastard." The alliterative words are spat out one after another. "I've got myself into a position where no matter what I do, people will hate me for my choice. Or at least be disappointed. Nat, Grey, Tu... Brom, Emma. And you too, 'cos you can't tell me you'd be as chummy with me if I turned out to be a goddamn Hitler Youth as you are while I'm just a roachwolf boy, can you now?"
A bark of laughter from KL at this. "It really doesn't make that much difference for me, Kevin. We don't get on with the Walkers very well, either, as a tribe." She grins. "And don't underestimate people's understanding. You'll do better by decideding what you..." she points at him with a jabbing finger, "...want, and standing up for that as best and as far as you can, than by trying to please people. That's a fucking stupid game that you can never win. Who did you bully?" Another one of KL's patent mid-flow subject switches there.
As KL's finger points and comes close to Kevin's personal space, the cub jerks and bares his teeth momentarily as though thinking about biting it off, before regaining self-control. "I don't know what I bloody want," he scowls, "that's the trouble. I want to have a nice place where I belong and not to be fought over like two stray dogs with a bone. I want to have had a kinfetch. And I don't want to turn into the sort of person," he concludes, in response to KL's subject-switch, "who smacks around pathetic little girls like Hope. Whom I'm sure you remember."
"Yeah, I remember." KL nods. "I don't think you will. And anyway, I wouldn't let you. Was that you trying to act like a Get? Back at the farm with Hope?" She rubs her leg absent-mindedly, while still studying Kevin.
Kevin nods, cheeks colouring. "Kind of. You saw part of it, didn't you? I got meaner after you left. Guess I didn't think even a kid Get should slap a girl around under the eyes of a Black Fury." He gives a snort of laughter that's devoid of any humour. "You're probably right about me trying to please too many people. Brom said that too. I'm starting to think the big lunk may have more of a brain in his head than I gave him credit for. I... just want to be a good garou, do my part for Gaia, not get into trouble all the time or set tribes at loggerheads over me."
KL sighs and shakes her head. "Kevin, Brom's not an idiot. He's a testosterone-addicted regressive brainwashed bastard, but he's not an idiot. Those are good, laudable aims. So do them. Don't try to be something you're not. You have everything you need to be a good garou, except some confidence." She grins widely. "I could give you some of mine! I've got loads to spare."
Kevin, despite himself, smiles. "Aw. KL. You're really nice to me." He looks at his hands, examining the knuckles closely. No matter what he may have been doing with them earlier, they're unmarked now. "It's so funny. Back at home, before I changed, I didn't have a single girlf... I mean, friend who was a girl. I thought they were all giggly and stupid and played pathetic games with each other and formed cliques and... that kind of stuff. And now here I am a garou, and I've hardly got a single friend who's a boy. You, Emma, Nat, Olga, the ones I turn to when I need a friend, you're all girls. It drives someone crazy."
The Black Fury nods slowly. "I was always excluded, mostly, from the cliques and the sleepovers and fucking crap like that." she says. "I know why now, but it bugged me at the time." She looks him up and down. "Sometimes stuff happens like that. I don't usually get on with men that well, so you're an exception too." There's a delayed reaction as Kevin's words take a surprising time to register with KL. "It drives who crazy?" she asks.
"Me," Kevin says simply. "Just a figure of speech. My mother says it all the time. 'Kevin, you drive someone crazy!'" He sighs. "Far as I can see, there are two reasons Brom's so dead set on snagging me for Fenris. One's the guy in my head. The other is, I like a fight. Well, /every/ Garou likes a fight, pretty much, so that shoots down reason two. And as for reason one, if my so-called family wanted me so much, why didn't they just stick a kinfetch on me instead of relying on some mouldy old mediaeval Dane to tell them where I belong? Eh?" His jaw juts out belligerently.
"Because they didn't know who or where you were?" KL asks. "Kevin, I didn't have a kinfetch either. I'm the daughter of two black fury kinfolk who fluked into meeting each other. I'm a one in a thousand chance, and I just got lucky that I got picked up by Moira and the gang." She gestures at herself. "I could have ended up as anything, though it's fucking obvious when I'm in Lupus what tribe I am. Sometimes stuff goes wrong. Look, here's a great secret." She bends forward, oozing conspiratorialness, and whispers. "Garou fuck up. Rather a lot."
Kevin bends his head forwards too, the two teenagers sharing a secret looking awfully like normal kids as the Fury whispers. "No kidding!" Kevin whispers back, and sniggers. "Seriously, you didn't get kinfetched either? I thought it was pretty rare not to be?"
"It is." KL shrugs. "Well, perhaps. I mean, it does happen, though it's unlikely and troublesome when it does. But yeah, I was a lost cub. Though I got found pretty quick, and dropped with a trank dart." She grins at the memory. "Probably still one of the best ways to deal with me."
Kevin gives a heartfelt sigh of fellow-feeling. "What I'd have given for a trank dart! Me, I got three muggers scared out of their wits who'd have been mince if I'd not been too damn amazed to hit them, and then Scratch coming along and pummeling eight bells out of me to save the veil." He looks sidelong at KL. "I shouldn't worry so much about tribes, I suppose. I'll end up in one or the other, and either way, I'll still hopefully end up a cliath and able to do my bit." These words are spoken bravely, but the cub's eyes are still troubled.
"I know it's hard, Kevin." KL says, not without sympathy. "Just do the best you can. Stick to your guns, but don't be disobediant or rude. Well, not too much, anyway. And things have a way of sorting themselves out. Though it might get more muddled before it gets better." She pauses. "And remember that it doesn't matter too much what Brom thinks. He's less important than Signe and Natalie, as far as you're concerned."
"I know," Kevin says regretfully, "only... call me crazy, but it really matters to me what the guy thinks of me. I must be bloody mad!" His face twists, though it's hard to tell whether in a humorous or a bitter way.
"Yeah. He seems to have that ability on people." There's definite bitterness there. "But just keep going, Kev. You're doing fine." She slides off of the worktop and onto her feet. "Anyway, I ought to get moving. What of this stuff can you use, and what should I take back to Furyville?"
"Eh, I dunno..." Kevin ponders the groceries. He diffidently selects coffee, a loaf of bread, a packet of bacon, and some pasta shapes, leaving about two-thirds of the shopping in the bags. "I'll tell Nat you've paid your rent," he says.
KL raises an eyebrow. "Rent? I'm just helping out. I drink enough of your fucking coffee. And though I've only stayed here the once, seems worth building up some future credit." She pauses. "I ought to meet Natalie some time soon, I think. After Megan, though."
"If it were up to me," Kevin says, standing and strolling towards the front door, "for the help and support you've given me, you deserve free coffee from us Walkers --" he stresses the 'us' there -- "for life. If you do meet Megan-rhya, tell me what she's like. I've never clapped eyes on her either."
KL collects her bags, and heads for the door. "See you about, Kev. And keep your chin up. Don't let the bastards drag you down, and all that stuff." she says as she leaves.
"Am I downhearted? Naaaah." Kevin summons up a grin for KL as he opens the front door for her. "Gaia keep you safe, and, um... Artemis too?"
This gets an eyebrow raise from KL. "You too." She mutters something unintelligible. Could it be in a foreign language? Without saying anything more, and with the merest hint of embarrassment, she walks out the door and down the path.
Kevin watches KL depart, his head round the nearly closed door, for a couple of seconds before his head pops back in and the door closes.