Time/Date :It is currently 13:55 Pacific Time on Mon Apr 9 2007.
Place : Nicholson Hall(#3494RJ)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waning Half Moon phase (53% full).
The main room of the Hall is well furnished, with beautiful ash floors. Wooden beams support the second floor, while giving the large home a rustic appeal. The room has been divided into two sections, with a clear pathway that leads into the kitchen. One half of the living room is filled with comfortable armchairs, end tables, and a sizable coffee table. All of which are situated in front of the living rooms main windows and creates a perfect environment for reading, or simply watching the world go by. The remaining half of the room contains a couch, two plush chairs, and a coffee table in front of an expansive stone fireplace. A spiral staircase is tucked into one corner.
Alexander is down in the kitchen, dressed in nighties and an housecoat. From the kitchen, the smells of bacon waft upstairs.
From the staircase comes the sound of someone descending. Someone moving very slowly indeed, each thud of foot on step echoes discretly. KL stumbles into the kitchen looking faintly like a zombie - bleary-eyed, a little green around the gills. She's managed to put on a fresh T-shirt, but otherwise is dressed identically to yesterday. "I feel like shit," she comments, bleakly. "Alcohol is bad."
"Only when you do not drink enough water," Alexander chides mildly, as he dolls out bacon, scrambled eggs, ham, and sausage. "Or in your case, shift before going to sleep." The kinsman flashes a winning smile in the Ahroun's direction. "Please, have a seat my lady and breakfast will be served in a moment. On the table, there is already a pitcher of orange juice and two glasses on the table.
"My lady?" KL says, with incredulity. She sits down and peers at the orange juice for a few moments, as if trying to work out which bit goes where. Eventually, she pours out two glasses of the orange juice, downs the first and then replenishes it. "Oh. That feels slightly better."
Alexander chuckles softly and places a huge helping of food in front of KL. "Well yes. You are a woman, are you not? And a rather lovely one at that. Is it really so surprising that I should address you in such a fashion?"
"Given that it's not the fifteenth century, yes, it is a bit surprising," KL replies. She looks ambivalently at the food. "This looks very nice," she says, dubiously. "Um...Toilet where?" she asks, standing quickly.
"Right down the hall, to your right," Alexander offers, preparing his own plate as he speaks.
With an alacrity and speed of movement that would put an Olympic sprinter to shame, KL bolts for the toilet. A few moments later, the sound of retching can be heard. A couple of minutes later, the flush goes and she returns, looking somewhat sheepish. "Sorry," she says, quietly, taking her seat again.
Alexander smiles, offering KL a fresh glass of orange juice as she returns. "Not a problem in the slightest."
The Fury drinks the glass of orange juice with a little more care and trepidation. "I'm not sure that shifting when drunk is that good an idea. Or if I can do it. I've never tried." A moment's consideration. "I suppose I could. Still...um...what happened after we left the restaurant? I seem to have woken up under a blanket wearing all my clothes."
Alexander smirks, settle down across from the Fury. "You were quite drunk. You merely fell asleep in the guest bedroom."
KL starts to eat her breakfast, taking it quite slowly and with a great deal of care. "I thought that was something like it. Thank you for getting me somewhere safe. And...oh...this is rather good." A pause. "Though I think it might have been your fault that I got quite drunk, no?"
Alexander chuckles. "You requested wine, I merely provided. And thank you. I do fancy myself something of a cook."
"Yeah, I suppose it was my fault," KL agrees, helping herself to another forkful or two. "So, you cook, drive, work in insurance and own what appears to be a mansion? Is there no end to your talents?" There's a little bit of sarcasm in this, but really only a light sprinkling.
Alexander smiles warmly. "I have always attempted to be a use to my Tribe, in all capacities."
"You keep saying stuff like that," KL says, "And it's very laudable and everything." She shakes her head, "but, fuck, it would be nice to feel...I don't know. What do *you* like? What do *you* want?" A little shrug. "I guess I'm selfish or something."
Alexander smiles and lifts his hands in an elegant shrug. "I like good music, good food, and good company. What more is there to have?"
"I don't know. Running. Fighting. Climbing trees," KL says with a shrug. "I don't know much about music. What do you like? I was quite fond of the Backstreet Boys, but then I was about 12 years old at the time."
"I'm no fighter," Alexander replies with a smile. "More of a cook, as you may have noticed."
"Mmmm." KL says, consuming the evidence with growing relish. "This is actually making me feel better," she comments. "Usually I don't have much for breakfast. Milk and some cereal, usually after I've run a couple of miles." She grins. "I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to that."
"As before, thankyou for the complement," Alex says with a smile. "You're perfectly welcome to stay here, if you wish."
KL looks around the room. "It's a lovely house, but I think it would be very bad for me," she comments. "I... put a lot of effort into not being in places like this." A wry little smile. "Do you know what my other name is?"
Alexander shakes his head. "I'm afraid not."
The Fury grins. "It's Escapes-From-Money. It's a bit odd, I know, and I keep wanting to replace it with something more...glorious." She shakes her head. "My dad was...really quite wealthy. And I hated everything about him, so I ran away. Well, that and the..." she mimes claws.
Alexander shrugs. "Well, as you can tell, I am quite wealthy as well. Do you really find all this objectionable?" He gestures, encompassing the house.
KL winces. "Objectionable? Interesting word." A long pause, during which she polishes off the remainder of her breakfast. "I think it is, a bit. Well, maybe. It's...more than your fair share of the world, isn't it? So, yes, I think that's objectionable. But I do like your food, and I like you, I think."
"I worked for this," Alexander states in his defence. "When I purchased this home, I purchased several acres of your Bawn, which I no keep safe from developers. I provide shelter for Family, if it is needed. Anything that is needed."
"Yeah yeah," KL says with a wave. "I'm not like... I don't think you're evil or anything. I just think that this is a bit dangerous for me. And I guess I'm indebted to you for giving me a lift. And dinner and breakfast. And a place to sleep." She pushes the plate away from her. "I don't know. This isn't stuff I understand very well. I just hit the things I'm told to, you know?"
"And I merely do what I am told, whatever that may be," Alexander states with a smile. "And please, you are hardly indebted to me at all."
The Ahroun's brow furrows. "I just wish... It feels like your service, that your willingness to do whatever, it feels like it's a barrier that you put up. And...the first time I met you, it just didn't feel genuine. I'm still not sure it does."
Alexander scoops some egg onto a piece of toast and bites down. "And what about it does not seem Genuine?"
"I just don't know why anyone would really want to do...you know, whatever," KL says, speaking slowly, thinking things through. "I'm not totally stupid, and I know what you're talking about when you say that and I don't understand it. And I can't get... I don't know *why* you're the way you are, and it seems too much like the way...people behaved when they've been coerced into doing something." She shake her head. "Bah. That doesn't make any sense at all."
Alexander shrugs. "My mother was a Black Fury." The kinsman states, as if that explains everything. "I've been serving the Tribe since I was a teenager."
KL grimaces again, and screws up her nose. "Yeah, OK, that makes sense. But it still doesn't answer...what do you want? We all do the things we have to do, but there's space for ambition, for aspiration. You know, for being who *we* want to be, as well as what we need to be."
"My mother did not give me all of this," Alexander states, indicating his home with a wave of his hand. "My education, my job, my wealth, are all things that I have achieved on my own."
The Fury nods. "Yes, I know. And it really is an achievement, and you shouldn't think that I'm not impressed." A pause. "But why? Is this an end for you, or merely a means? And a means to what?" She sighs and shakes her head. "Maybe it's my priorities that are fucked, not yours."
Alexander shrugs easily. "I am content. What more could I ask for?"
"Recognition?" KL asks. "Something more? If you're content, then that's really good. I'm not sure I could ever be content. I think it's not in my makeup - I get too fucking irritable about once a month." She grins. "Do you have a dishwasher, or can I contribute in that way?"
"I do have a dishwasher," Alex replies, almost apologetically.
KL sighs. "OK. So no dishwashing. I think I can live with that. Do you exercise? Does this palace have a built in gym? Or better, do you ever run?" She grins wolfishly. "I like running."
Alexander smiles, a touch sheepishly. "I do frequent the Gym and there is equipment downstairs. I do admit that I am more fond of the hot tub in the back, then the equipment in the basement."
KL grins. "Can I use the gym? Will you come and spot me?" She bounces up from the table with enthusiasm. "Nothing like a bit of exercise to get a hangover gone, I always say." She pauses for thought. "Well, that's what I did the only other time I've had one."
Alexander smiles. "If that is what the lady wishes."
That pained expression crosses KL's face again. "Could you possibly do me a favour? Could you stop calling me "my lady" or any other variants? I'm not much of a lady, really. Call me KL. It works, everyone else does it, and I don't go all crazy and gut people when they do."
Alexander rises and offers the Ahroun his hand. "Every woman is a lady," the kinsman states with a smile. "But if you wish me to call you KL, I will."
KL shakes it with a grin. "Thank you. It might make me a bit less edgy. Well, OK, not a lot of fucking chance of that, but I'll try. Meet you downstairs?"
Alexander gathers up the plated and places then in the sink. "Sounds like a plan to me. Meet you downstairs." And that's where the kinsman goes.
Some small time later, KL comes downstairs, having changed into a plain t-shirt and a pair of lycra cycling shorts. Like much of her clothing, this too looks brand-new. A pair of shiny white trainers and sport socks complete the ensemble. She looks around with interest, and then flashes a grin at Alex. "Hadn't I been running when I saw you the first time?"
It's a reasonable full gym and when the Ahroun gets down there, the kinsman is stepping out of a bathroom, having already changed into a pair of sweats and a firmly fitting shirt. Alexander is actually in very good shape, complete with a six-pack and arms that come from regular weights. "I believe you were, yes."
KL looks at Alexander's chest with obvious interest. "You were lying when you said that you preferred the hot tub to exercising," she comments. "Or rather, you must like the hot tub an awful lot." She looks around, obviously impressed by the gym. "OK, this is the most impressive bit of this house so far. Shall we get started?"
"Be my guest," Alexander gestures towards the equipment with one hand.
The workout is fairly intense. It's obvious that KL's in excellent physical condition, although she perhaps isn't as strong as might be expected from her general athleticism, she's untiring thoughout the whole thing, as bouncy and as enthusiastic at the end as she was at the start. At odd moments, when she's spotting for Alexander, or when they're both working out at the same time, she keeps sneaking little peeks at him, especially once the kinsman has started sweating and his tight t-shirt becomes even more revealing. By the time they've finished, she's positively glowing. "Fuck me! That feels so much better!" she exclaims, stretching her arms above her head as she warms-down her muscles.
Alexander laughs at the Ahroun's enthusiasm, face flushed from the exercise. "Well, I'm glad that you're feeling better. I am going to go upstairs and shower, then make use of the hottub out back. You're welcome to join me, if you'd like."
KL bits her bottom lip. "OK, the one thing I don't have is a swimsuit. Are there any stored in this magnificent palace of yours that might fit?" She studies the ground at her feet, as if suddenly embarrassed.
Alexander pauses to think about that for a moment, then shakes his head. "I had purchased a few for Alesia, but she's a fair bit smaller then you."
A cloud passes across KL's face. "Alesia?" she asks. "How is she?" A small shake of her head. "I guess I'll have to go into the hottub naked, then." A pause, and a sly grin. "Of course, I haven't decided which form to be in, though."
Alexander looks quite distressed for a moment, but smothers the reaction. "Or a shirt and a pair of swim trunks. As for Alesia, I haven't seen her in a good long while." The kinsman clears his throat. "I'll go have that shower now."
By the time Alexander reaches the hot tub, KL is standing by it, looking a little embarrassed but wearing another white t-shirt that's sufficiently large to hang down to her thighs. Her hair is freed from its usual plait, having obviously just been washed, and is hanging straight down her back and almost below the hem of the t-shirt. "'kay?" she asks, pointing at herself. "Decent enough for you?"
Nicholson Hall - Backyard(#3385RJ)
A wooden deck dominates a backyard surrounded on all sides by dense forest. The deck is roughly the size of a large living room and it has been designed in such a way that the fencing around the patio doubles as a bench. In the southeastern corner of the deck there is a beautiful twelve-person hot tub. A large stainless steel barbecue dominates the northern end of the patio, along with a prep area that includes a sink. Reclining chairs are scattered about the remainder of the deck, while a glass-topped patio table and umbrella provides an eating area close to the barbecue. A sliding glass patio door leads into the kitchen of Nicholson Hall.
The dense forest that surrounds the backyard and stretches towards the east is home to many animals. It is not uncommon to spot the occasional deer and rabbits are frequent visitors, feasting on the neatly trimmed grass. If one looks close enough, there is a faint game trail in the northwestern part of the backyard and a more defined path to the south.
Alexander is wearing his swim trunks, hair damp from his shower. "More then decent enough," he states with a smile, crawling into the tub. "Honestly, I was worried you were going to hop in as a wolf, or something along those lines. The tub filters would have been brutal to clean out afterward."
"Heh. I was thinking about it," KL says, climbing in too. "I should point out that this isn't a hot tub, by the way, it's a swimming pool." She settles down below the water level, and then lets out an epithetical "Fuck!" and turns bright red.
Alexander hmms. "Something the matter?"
KL is blushing violently, and turns to face away from him. "Um..." she says. From behind, it's apparent that her white t-shirt has, well, it's not transparent, but it's rather more translucent than she might have wanted it to be.
Alexander chuckles softly. "You're a lovely sight, KL. Nothing to be embarrassed about in the least."
The Fury looks over her shoulder and glares at him. "Yeah, right. Very fucking funny." She turns away again, and sits motionless for a time. Eventually, she shrugs, and turns back. "I find that anyone's heard about this, and we'll be having a fucking pointed conversation." Her cheeks are still inflamed with embarrassment.
Alexander sighs softly. "KL," he states rather evenly. "Please, don't feel embarrassed because you shirt is just a little translucent. You're a woman, one of the Sisters, and beautiful because of what you simply are. There is nothing about yourself that you should find embarrassing, for any reason."
KL studies him closely, as if checking his statement for evidence of sarcasm, still slightly crouched down so that her chin rests on the water level. She looks down into the water, and then lowers herself down a little further, opening her mouth as she does so. Having done this bizarre maneuver, she straightens up a bit, and smiles at him.
There is no discernible sarcasm and Alexander appears to mean every word. When the Fury smiles at him, he smiles back. "Would you like me to get you a drink from the kitchen?"
The grins gets slightly wider, and then KL shoots a jet of water at him from her mouth, arcing it through the air, covering the distance between them. "Yes please!" she laughs, when her vicious assault is completed.
Alexander acks and gets splashed, then sticks out his tongue before exiting the tub. Skin flushed from the hot water, a tracework of fine and faint white scars can be seen on the kinsman's front and back. Jogging toward the house, the kinsman disappears inside. He returns a short time later with a six-pack of beer, a bottle of wine, and various accessories. "And here we go," he offers with a smile, resting the alcohol on the side of the tb and getting back into the warm water.
"You're planning on getting me drunk again," KL observes, though without rancour. She pauses. "How did you get the scars?" Just genuine interest in this, and she slides over towards the drink, still staying mostly submerged.
Alexander clears his throat faintly, his turn to look a little embarrassed. "A few places. The heat is just making them show a bit more then usual," he replies, opening a beer and handing it to the Ahroun.
KL takes a big drag of the beer, and grins. "Every time I drink beer, it reminds me of Clemency. She was the first person to ever get me drunk." She looks very sad for a moment, and mutters something that's just audible, and sounds like "fight on, awesome claw of Gaia." She brightens quickly, though. "I have just the one scar, on my back," she says, beaming with pride. "Maybe I'll get more, soon."
Alexander opens his own beer and lifts it in a salute. "You heal better then we do."
"Good thing, too." KL says, lifting her beer to chime it against his. "The number of times I get hit, I had better." She grins conspiratorially. "So, where did you get yours? I got mine fighting against banes. Sneaky fucking bastard crept up behind me while I was shredding his mate."
Alexander shrugs and takes a sip from his beer, then focuses rather strongly on the neck of the bottle. "The Sisters are the defenders and the warriors of Gaia and because of this, they are granted Rage. It's not surprising that tempers are lost on occasion." The man shrugs.
"Ah," KL says, looking embarrassed again. "Yes. It does...happen." She takes a swig of beer and then looks up at him. "Do I scare you?" she asks, quietly.
Alexander looks up at the Ahroun and smiles. "No more then any of the other Sisters. I've become reasonably adept at picking up on warning signs. And, you don't seem to be the type that despises men for simply being male."
KL shrugs. "Sometimes I'm not a very good Sister. I don't really understand a lot of things that I should understand better." She grimaces, then leans back, resting her head against the end of the tub, holding the beer barely out of the water. "But I do the best I can, even if sometimes that's pretty fucking awful." A pause, and then a smile. "I go from fine to furious in nothing flat, I should warn you. But I do cool down quickly too." She sips some more beer and closes her eyes, looking blissful for a moment. "I think I like hot tubs."
Alexander smiles, sinking in a little further. "Then I will do my best to avoid your wrath."
"Probably a good choice," The Fury Ahroun grins. "Though there are days when it's kind of hard. I think it unlikely that you'd see me on those. I tend to stay in the Fury house and not come out very much." She takes another big gulp of beer, and then rolls onto her side, facing Alexander and looking at him intently.
Alexander pauses mid-sip, bottle held against his lips. "What?"
KL doesn't say anything in reply, just looks at him. A smile plays across her lips, as if there's something she knows but isn't saying.
Alexander blinks and looks around behind him, just in case.
The Ahroun snorts with laughter. "There's nothing behind you," she says, helpfully. "Well, other than the wall and stuff, obviously." She shakes her head, and drinks again from her beer, returning herself to a more standard sitting position. She studies the can closely. "Whee, beer," she observes.
Alexander turns back around to face the Fury and smiles. "Will you be staying here this evening, or searching out the others?"
KL considers this. "I should go and seek the others soon. But my first port of call should be Emma, and that means going into the city. I think that I should wait at least another day before I risk that. Luna is still a little heavy." She looks at him slightly oddly. "Think you can put up with my company for another night?"
"I'd hardly say that I've had to 'put up' with anything," Alexander states with a smile. "Well, aside from the near incident in the restaurant. You're more then welcome to stay here. More then welcome."
The Ahroun looks puzzled for a moment, and then looks away. "Was only a fucking chair," she comments. "They had plenty. It wasn't like it was going to be needed or anything." She drains the end of her beer, and sets the can on the edge of the tub. She turns again onto her side, curled into a loose ball, looking at Alexander. "You are sort of decorative," she says, absently.
"Decorative?" Alexander questions with a smirk. "I don't think I've ever been called that before."
KL smiles. "Yeah, well, you know. Sort of pleasant to look at." She looks down and away, as if she's said too much, and suddenly develops a fascination with her fingernails, which appear to need urgently inspecting.
Alexander laughs, then sets aside his empty beer. "Are you content with simply looking?" He asks, clearly smirking this time.
The Fury looks over at him. "Don't know," she says, after a long pause. "Need to think about it." She pushes herself across to the other side of the hot tub, so that she's directly facing him, studying him fairly intently. "I'm still not sure about you."
Alexander shrugs easily and reaches for another beer, popping the lid off. "And what is it about me that you find so uncertain?"
"The duty stuff," KL replies. "I'm not sure if I'd qualify as a job well done or another notch on your bedpost. And I don't want to be a task or a conquest." She lifts a hand and pushes an errant lock of hair out of her eyes. "And there are some other things, but they're about me not you."
As before, the kinsman shrugs easily. "I'm male. I'd be lying if I didn't say I didn't enjoy some aspects of what I am called on to do. Otherwise," the man shrugs. "You're not demanding anything of me, so it's not a task. I've fathered dozens of children, more then I can count, because I have been asked to do so. That is duty."
The Ahroun considers this, cocking her head on one side. "Interesting answer," KL says, in an ambivalent tone. She slides herself out of the hot tub, the sodden t-shirt hugging her figure closely. "I'm going to go have another shower, then maybe a nap. I think I'm still a bit hungover." A beat. "You're still a 'maybe'."
Alexander watches the Ahroun get up with a certain amount of appreciation in his eyes. "Let me know if you need anything."
KL looks back over her shoulder as she leaves. "Mmm. I will." With a shake of her head, she's gone into the house. Trailing water after her.
Alexander stays in the tub a little while longer, then turns off the jets, cleans up, heads inside, and disappears into his office for most of the day.