Place :Safehouse: Common Area
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waning Full Moon phase (97% full).
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is mostly cloudy. The temperature is 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the east at 3 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.17 and steady, and the relative humidity is 86 percent. The dewpoint is 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius.)
Time :It is currently 22:56 Pacific Time on Sat Apr 23 2005.
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.
As a very full moon shines through the patchy late evening cloud over the city, Kevin opens the door of the safehouse to a familiar face. His own face at the moment reflects the skies above, being intermittently clouded but with light shining through from time to time. He does seem pleased to see KL, as usual. "Coming in?" he asks the cliath. "Got a surprise for you, if you are."
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.
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 showing the signs of recent careful, if unskilled, attention - the ends have been neatly trimmed and it's been well brushed. 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.
"Yeah, if it's not a bad time." KL says, with a little shrug. Expert eyes would notice something ever so slightly different about her from the last time Kevin saw her. "A surprise? A good one or a bad one?" she asks, taking a step closer towards the door.
Kevin's eyes are not particularly expert, perhaps; at any rate he doesn't show any signs of noticing anything unusual about the visiting Fury. "Well, that depends. Actually, it's two surprises," he corrects himself. "I /hope/ they're both good." Ushering KL in he shuts out the city evening. "Do you want the big one first or the little one?" he asks, a faint smile on his lips.
"Um...the little one." KL decides, once she is inside the building. "Especially if they come accompanied by coffee." she adds, with a little grin.
Kevin's smile turns into an outright laugh. "Coffee is the /perfect/ accompaniment to the little one! Hang one just one minute." Waving KL to a seat, he pops through the Glass Walkers' door. A bare sixty seconds later, he emerges carrying not only two coffee mugs giving off the aroma of a fresh brew of java, but also a little plate piled with cookies. "Tuck in," he invites, taking a seat by KL and putting the food and drink within reach of them both.
KL slumps into a seat and grabs both mug and cookie with some relish. "OK, so tell me your news, then I'll tell you mine!" she says, through a cookie-filled mouth, waving her coffee mug in a gesture that's obviously supposed to be encouraging.
Kevin takes a sip of coffee and a bite of a cookie, and swallows. "Like the cookies?" he asks, rather than directly obeying KL's request.
The Fury frowns slightly, a frown of concentration rather than irritation. "Yeah." she says. "They're not bad at all. Why? Did you bake them?" She takes a swig of coffee and then studies the cub from over the rim of the mug.
Kevin's smile broadens and he nods. "Nat got fed up of how useless I was in the kitchen, so she's been showing me some things. It may sound little, but it's all important," he goes on, sounding just a little righteous. "We city garou can't just go hunting our food, so we need to be able to provide for ourselves without being wasteful, same as anyone else, for Gaia's sake."
"Always a good idea." KL says. "Though raw rabbit is rather overrated, you know." There's a self deprecating little shrug to accompany her statement. "Was that the little surprise? The cookies?" she asks, keenly.
Kevin gives an affirmative gesture of his head. "This is the first batch I did all by my little self," he says with disproportionate pride. "The big surprise... well, I've already kind of given it away..."
KL looks blank and shakes her head slowly. "Nope. Missed it. You'll have to do a show and tell with circles and arrows." She sips her coffee and takes another cookie, which she bites into with some relish.
Kevin says "It's finally been decided," Kevin says simply, and with a note of relief. "I am, as I said, city Garou. A Glass Walker." He finishes his cookie and sits back in his chair, watching KL keenly for her reaction."
The Fury nods slowly. "And you're happy about that." It's not quite a question, and there's no real edge on it, though perhaps the slightest hint of resignation. "Now that's decided, all you need to do is pass your rites of passage and then you'll be the same rank as me." She flashes a grin at the Walker cub. "And I'll stop being able to be all Garou-of-the-world at you."
Kevin puts his coffee down and steeples his hands. "I'm glad it's all over, for sure," he says. "It was starting to get me down, all the ifs and buts and he's-mines and no-he's-mines. Quite how Signe-rhya will take it I don't know. Not to mention him up here." He knocks a knuckle on his forehead. "Nat, of course, is over the moon... if you're allowed to use that metaphor about a garou... and she's already making big plans for me to be tested for adulthood in June. Around my sixteenth birthday." He pulls a face. "So I can't afford to rest on my laurels."
"Cool." KL says, with a nod. "That's quite quick, I think, but you'll be OK." She pauses, and takes another bit of cookie, before putting her mug down for a moment. "Can I tell you my news, now?" she says, looking keen.
Kevin waves a welcoming hand to KL. "Course you can," he says with slightly overexaggerated enthusiasm. His hand-wave concludes with him picking up another cookie and munching as he listens, bright-eyed.
"Right." the Fury says. "First up, I met Megan. She came to the Fury house. I've got some stuff to do as Chiminage, and I did the first bit so I'm allowed on the Bawn and everything. The second bit will take longer, as it's a big thing I have to do with Signe and the others." She pauses, and takes a sip of coffee. "Then there's a new Fury in town, and a new Fury kinfolk. The kinfolk's really nice, even if she does own a car, and she has evil furniture." Another deep breath. "And it looks like I'm going to be accepted into HAVOC, providing the totem Vex likes me. I've met Natalie and Signe and both went really well." Big long stream-of-consciousness to the max.
Kevin's smile becomes slightly more wooden at the mention of Megan, but he keeps his silence and listens as KL imparts her news. "Nat and Signe are still talking to each other, then? That's good. When you say the second bit of your chimmy's a big thing, what do you mean?" he asks.
"Well, it's a big sort of mission thing. Don't know how much I'm allowed to say, but Signe's in charge of it." KL replies. "I don't know about Signe and Natalie together - I didn't meet them at the same time. They're packmates, though, and that means a lot." She looks genuinely happy at the moment, barely able to keep from grinning in the most cheesy manner imaginable.
Kevin holds up a hand in a gesture of aquiescence, the cookie in it with a neat bite out of it, like a full moon just beginning to pass into the earth's shadow at the moment of eclipse. "Don't say anything you're not meant to." He sighs. "Got to envy you, if you're going to be in a pack. I've been letting myself wonder about that. From what I can see, new-moons aren't exactly the sort of thing every pack wants to have one of. We're more your loose cannon sort."
"Every sensible pack should have a Ragabash." KL says. "Don't think that you won't be wanted, providing you're not too big of an asshole. You'll get sworn at and smacked across the room and everything, but in the end, a good new moon can save his pack's skin over and over again."
Kevin looks a little stunned. "You're not kidding? You're not having a poor little cub on? No silver knives?" He gives KL a rather suspicious look. "Nobody's ever said anything like that to me."
KL looks back at him, smile fading slightly. "I'm not having you on." She looks like she's about to say something more, then shakes her head. "Ask Natalie." she says, after a rather long gap. "She'll explain."
"Oookay," says the British cub, "I will. I mean, I know about the getting sworn at and being slapped across the room," he clarifies belatedly, "just that it's never been presented to me in what you might call a pack context."
The Fury girl bites her lip and shakes her head again. "Explaining your role in a pack is well outside my territory." she says, studying her, by now empty, mug. "So, what else is new?" she asks, changing the subject with a grinding of gears.
Kevin munches another cookie. The level of tension in the air seems somehow to have increased. "Went out into the city the other day," he says. "They wanted me to steal some things. See how I was learning, I guess."
"Oh." says KL blinking in surprise. "How do you feel about that?" She asks, with a raise of an eyebrow and a concerned lean forward.
"I stole them," Kevin replies coldly. "All the ones I could, anyway. Four out of five."
"I see." KL says, sitting back. She doesn't offer anything else, but stares at the cub, with a flat, piercing gaze, her lips pursed together and her hands clasping the arms of the chair with a pressure that makes her knuckles whiten. Tension. Knife. You know the drill.
Kevin releases a sharp grunt. "No, I didn't like having to do it," he adds as a belated reply to KL's actual question. "Bibles from churches! Name-plates from office doors! What earthly good does that do in the /real/ struggle?" He snatches up a third cookie and crams it whole into his mouth, chewing.
KL relaxes, slightly, hands releasing the arms of the chair. "I see. Which laws did you break?" she asks intently, her eyes still sharp. Once more, she leans forward, a hand moving from chair arm to knee to support herself.
"I don't know the laws round here," Kevin says, indistinctly through a mouthful of cookie. "Not the human ones anyway." He swallows. "But I'd guess, apart from simple stealing, there might be trespassing on private property, handling stolen goods... oh, and entering a sex shop while underage," he adds with a frown of distaste. "God, that place was vile. It made my flesh creep."
"Pornography is rape in paper form," KL says nodding. "The correct answer was 'none of them', but you really knew that. We only obey human laws in as much as we don't want to cause a veil breach, or stop ourselves from doing our duty. And in answer to your question, what good does sparring do for our /real/ struggle? What good does me shooting arrows into a target do? Practice is practice."
Kevin sighs. "I guess so," he concedes. "Getting my head round a different set of morals is a weird one, and I keep hitting unexpected bumps in the road. Like, why does it feel so much less wrong to go into a big shiny office building and steal something, than it does a church where I could just saunter in, take it, and out again without any fear of being caught? I know I've done some stupid things in my time, but up until the other day, I can truthfully say that not once have I ever gone out with the deliberate intent to commit a criminal act."
KL nods sympathetically. "Yeah. Some things are hard to get to grips with. There's stuff I still struggle with." she admits, slumping back into her chair and stretching her legs out in front of her, ankles crossing with a thump of boot on boot.
The corner of Kevin's mouth twitches in the faintest of smiles. "Ain't life a bitch," he says wryly. "If I get like this about stealing a five-dollar name plate, or going into a porn shop, Gaia help me when it comes to actually killing something."
"She will." The Fury says, reassuringly. "It's...less difficult than you might think. It's rare that it happens in cold blood, and it's usually clear that they _are_ the bad guys. Not hard to reconcile yourself with killing something that came at you with acid breath and a fuckoff big shotgun."
Kevin closes his eyes for a second. Opens them again. "That happened to you?"
"Not recently." KL says, with a grin. "And I'm not sure about the combination, but ask Emma about banes and corrosive breath. If you ask real nice, she'll show you." She folds her arms across her chest, but in a contented manner, rather than her usual I'm-not-hitting-you way.
Kevin nods slowly as though putting two and two together. "Was that what singed all her hair off after the last Moot? She told me all about that. She was bald as a football, and looked so proud she could have burst."
KL nods in response. "Yes. She's right to be proud - scars and damage are a sign of glory. Means you've done something worth doing. Usually." She grins at her own 'joke', and unfolds her arms, still relaxing in the chair.
Kevin laughs. "Now, as a new moon, this is where I say 'Or else, done something stupid that nearly got you killed', isn't it?" He raises his eyebrows at KL playfully, but there's still more than a hint of darkness in his air, and in the atmosphere generally.
"Yep. That's pretty much it." KL says, smiling pleasantly. "That's the other option, for sure. Of course, if you did your stupid thing gloriously, then that's fine as far as we Ahrouns are concerned."
Kevin drinks down the rest of his coffee in one long gulp. "Speaking of glorious things, how's that robe you were making coming along?"
"Fine." KL says, with a snap. "It'll be fine. Eventually. When I get the bloodstains out." She pulls her feet back towards her and sits up, her expression hard, daring the cub to say anything more about it.
Kevin is never one to resist a dare. "Bloodstains?" he prompts.
KL seethes. "Yeah. I don't have the right tools, so I cut myself trying to make do." Her nose twitches into a sneer. "It's just fucking society that says I have to be fucking well able to sew. It's only a fucking couple of fucking more steps to gingham fucking dresses and fucking Barbie."
Kevin leans forward and speaks low and conspiratorially. "You know what? To use your own words, fuck society. You've got better things to do than sewing. If someone tells you to mend their clothes, punch them right in the eye."
"Yeah, but I did this to myself!" KL replies, still sneering. "I should have got someone I can bully to do the fucking sewing for me." She looks at Kevin with an appraising eye. "To change the subject, are you keeping yourself busy here? Much to do?" Saccharine sweetness. Bright smile. Transparent beyond belief.
Kevin grunts. "There's a new cub," he says in ominous tones. "And what a little bitch she is. She's got all of Hope's powers of denying the obvious, only instead of being sulky and whiny and denying, she's sulky and confrontational and denying. I've already come close to clouting her more than once. Would you believe she managed to somehow make our basement look like a sewage farm. And I had to clean it all up."
KL laughs at Kevin, perhaps not particularly pleasantly. "Oh, brilliant. Well, that's the price you pay for being an Ur...a city Garou." She slaps her knee. "Join the Glasswalkers! Clean up cubshit!"
Kevin's brow furrows. "You can say Urrah, you know. And I do know what it means."
The Fury smiles brightly, showing teeth. "Cool! That's what you get for being a Urrah. Cubshit in your basement." She folds her arms back across her chest, still sitting up, challenge oozing from her posture and expression.
Kevin takes a deep breath, and another, and looks away from KL. "You can go off people, you know," he says, a veneer of good humour scarcely one molecule thick covering an underlay of annoyance.
KL bounces to her feet. "I'll be going, then." She says, brusquely. "It's obvious that you're moving on and up, right to the Penthouse." She clicks the fingers of her right hand repeatedly, with her arms by her sides, a gesture of anger that's mirrored with the colouring of her cheeks.
Kevin raises his eyes. Not to meet KL's, but skyward, or at least, to where the sky would be if that nasty weaverish roof weren't in the way. "Penthouse? Me?" He gives a sharp bark of a laugh.
"Yeah. You." KL says, still standing. "Well away from the ground. That's where the Walkers'll take you." She doesn't make a move to go, though she's obviously really annoyed about something.
Kevin's fingers drum on the arm of his chair. "They're going to teach me to /fly/?" he asks the Fury, with heavy irony.
Irony. Annoyed Black Fury. It's never going to be a good combination. KL spits, literally, on the floor. "Don't be so fucking stupid. You were born under the right fucking moon all fucking right. Get right under fucking people's skin like all fucking ragabash do, never fucking knowing when to stop prodding. Fucking fly. Fucking Glasswalkers." She takes a step towards Kevin, hands clenching into fists, face choleric.
Kevin's fists clench in their turn and he bounces up out of the chair. "You do NOT spit on OUR FUCKING FLOOR, bitch," he yelps indignantly at the angry Ahroun. "Respect our territory!"
"Don't fucking well quote the fucking litany at me, you fucking child." KL shouts back, "Fucking submission to those of fucking higher station." Her voice is nearing a scream, and she takes two very very slow steps towards the cub, her arms rigid, the tendons on her neck standing out, witness to the tension in her body.
Kevin's knuckles go pure white as his fists squeeze tighter. He jerks his head back, almost on pure instinct, and exposes his throat, his breath coming in short sharp frantic gasps.
KL stares at the exposed throat, body frozen into rigidity. For three heartbeats, the tableau remains unbroken as the battle rages within the Ahroun. Eventually, she tears her eyes from the throat, pivots on her heel and sprints for the door without saying another word. On reaching it, she flings it open and runs down the path, leaving the door swinging on its hinges.