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Administration => Infusco Archives => Archives => Old Roleplays => Topic started by: Harlequin on October 02, 2008, 03:40:20 PM

Title: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 02, 2008, 03:40:20 PM
After saying their temporary goodbyes on the curb outside the White Verandah, Morgaine LaFayette and Tau Leander parted ways – he into the dim, grimy interior of a cab, and she onto the seat of her stripped-down Harley hybrid.

The cab got a head start, but Morgaine gained and stole the lead quickly; a consequence of habitual reckless motorism.

She caught up to him at a red light, the roar of her engine loud enough to be a nuisance even when idling. Under the guitar case strapped to her back, the singer now wore a leather jacket festooned with spikes, studs and patches, and her simple Converse sneakers had been traded for a pair of scuffed but serious-looking motorcycle boots. Only peripherally aware that the cab she idled next to might contain her companion, she used the window tint that ensured his anonymity as a mirror as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail before the light changed.

When that happened, however, she was gone in the primal roar of the engine and a cloud of black exhaust. From there, her route diverged from the cabbie\'s and – despite every cab driver\'s innate knowledge of the cities they prowled – Morgaine arrived at their destination first. Too bad she still couldn\'t get in without Tau\'s key; an electronic keypad thwarted any attempts at lockpicking before she even thought of them.

So – leaving bike and jacket at the curb (the latter locked in a saddlebag attached to the former) Morgaine let her hair down, unstrapped her guitar, sat down on the steps, and began to play – humming and picking out nonsense melodies as she waited for her host to arrive; snatches of songs she knew, songs she didn\'t, and songs that hadn\'t been written yet. Her head was a blank canvas; her fingers and the notes they coaxed from her instrument kept intrusive thoughts at bay. This was an experience to be taken one second at time, and she intended to start with the right frame of mind.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 02, 2008, 04:33:44 PM
Tau\'s cheeks were pink as he got out of the cab and saw that Morgaine was waiting for him already; considering the way she\'d taken off from the lights, he wasn\'t surprised, but he still felt he\'d somehow failed (probably due to his competitive nature) by arriving second.

He cleared his throat as he pulled his keys out of his pocket, approaching her with an embarrassed expression and not wanting to speak while she was playing, as that seemed very rude.  As it turned out, she stopped of her own accord when she caught sight of him and followed him calmly into the building.

For some reason, her assurance was disquieting and he fumbled as he opened his apartment door (after he\'d led her up one flight of stairs and down the corridor, of course), not opening t anywhere near as smoothly as he would\'ve liked.  "Please, come in," he told the singer formally, gesturing for her to precede him into his elegantly-furnished home.  He busied himself putting his keys on the table just inside the door, then locked the portal behind them.

One deep breath told him that Alec wasn\'t home and although he wondered where she might be, it didn\'t distract him too greatly as his gaze followed Morgaine, looking where she looked.  He pressed his palms to his hips, wondering if he should offer a drink or simply begin changing shape.  The latter didn\'t seem the right way to go, however.

"Can I... get you anything?" he asked hesitantly, wondering belatedly what he could get for her, as raw steak was hardly going to be something that topped her refreshment list.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 02, 2008, 05:01:52 PM
The singer couldn\'t help but smirk a bit as her host fumbled with his keys. Seeing that he was nervous provided a small amount of comfort. The expression had vanished by the time he turned to invite her in, however; thinking about his nervousness reminded her of her own, and that simply wouldn\'t do. She had a reputation to maintain, after all.

Nevertheless, a flicker of invisible wings disrupted her Chi as she stepped over the threshold.

Her eyes took in the interior; nice apartment, not too messy, but not so spartan it didn\'t look lived in. Handsome, masculine furnishings. It was an apartment, however, and these details blurred together in her mind, noted only fleetingly. She\'d seen a lot of apartments. There was only so much that could be done with such a space.

After toeing off her boots absentmindedly, Morgaine moved to the area of the apartment that always interested her most (aside from the bedroom, of course; though the thought of that was only a flicker at the back of her mind, at this point): the living area, and the respectable sound system she\'d immediately zeroed in on. She wandered toward it – with the intention of looking aimless – as Tau spoke, "No thanks," she responded. The part of her that wanted to ask for a drink was utterly silenced by her desire to remember this experience for what it was, unclouded and picture-perfect.

"Hey, you mind if I take a look at your CDs?" She asked, turning toward him when she could not put her hands on the requested items. Had their location been more readily apparent, she would not have bothered to ask. He might have thought it an odd request in this situation, but Morgaine was simply trying to get to know him a bit better before everything got...hairy.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2008, 10:11:28 PM
Tau\'s expression shifted liquidly as he took the few steps required to move him to her side (having finished with the door), his fingertips sneaking into his pockets.  Looking at his face would have told her that he was initially confused followed by thoughtfully enlightened, chased up with a bit of apprehension, confusion, awkwardness and a need to apologise... his face then stilled as he gazed intently at her, the brevity of his tone far outweighing the message he needed to convey.

"I do not have any CDs," he said seriously, again getting that \'failure\' feeling in the pit of his stomach.  His initial impulse had been to question why she would want to see his CD collection - hence his confusion - as he only associated the shiny discs with saving his work data in case of emergency; he didn\'t even know how that worked, the technician always did it for him.  After a few moments of thought, however, he realised she likely meant music CDs, for she was obviously interested in such things and he did know they existed.  He just didn\'t have any.

He\'d also never managed to play a DVD in his expensive system (which he would likely have been interested in, given the knowledge) or even find the radio stations he could get... in fact, Tau was rather hazy on the technicalities of the whole thing.  He knew how to turn it on to watch television, flip channels and alter the volume, what more was necessary?  "I\'m sorry," he added sincerely, looking into Morgaine\'s depthless eyes.  "But your music is better than anything that could be stamped onto a CD, anyway."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 04, 2008, 02:33:05 PM
The singer\'s head slowly titled to one side as she watched the emotions shift across Tau\'s handsome face. When he finally answered, however, the quizzical pout melted into a look of utter incomprehension.
 
No CDs?
 
"Then...what do you listen to?" she asked. He couldn\'t not have any music. The thought was simply ludicrous. Laughable.
 
Until she remembered him saying that he didn\'t have a telephone.
 
This was something she would have to fix. Soon. But not now.
 
For the time being, she pushed the outrage to the back of her mind, momentarily caught in the way his eyes caught and held hers; honest and open, completely matching his words. This man simply had no guile in him; almost like a child. The thought stopped her in her tracks, both because of how refreshing it was to experience such a thing, and how sad that was in itself. She recovered before the silence could stretch too long, however, and grinned broadly, belatedly pleased by the compliment. "It\'s why we never recorded one." Apparently, Morgaine was as unfamiliar with humility as Tau was with the minutiae of human etiquette. Or she was covering the way she really felt with witty banter. Sometimes, it was impossible to tell.
 
Tau might have noticed, however, that she spoke in a collective tense – as opposed to the singular he\'d intended to imply; saying \'we\', instead of \'I\'.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 05, 2008, 03:49:27 PM
(I\'ve come to crash and let it be known I have returned. Sorry.)

Alec walked up the stairs to her and Tau\'s apartment trying to think of what she had left in her bag. She would have to buy clothes soon. As she was walking down the corridor she could smell Tau. Alec paused and licked the air, someone was with him, a woman. An odd sense of jealousy swelled up in her that she pushed down quickly. Why was she jealous of a woman with Tau? Alec was cofused but had an odd sense of knowing as she tried to think of a good reason for the jealousy spreading through her chest. Walking up to the door she took out the key that Tau had given her to get into the apartment. She quickly slid the key in and out in one fluid motion and quickly opened the door.

Alec stepped over the threshold and into the home looking up toward the living area. As she caught sight of the woman and Tau, she stopped. She flushed slightly with both embarassment and slight jealousy. "Sorry," she said, almost formally and looked at Tau with confusion. What was another woman doing here in the apartment. She looked at the woman while waiting and took in her appearance. She had longer hair than Alec and a bigger chest and thighs. Alec could tel that she was just a few inches taller from where she stood. The jealousy swelled slightly and Alec had an odd need to shift but kept the foreign emotion surpressed.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 05, 2008, 04:32:31 PM
Before Tau could formulate any kind of reply to the singer\'s query, the sound of the front door latch disengaging stole Morgaine\'s attention. He hadn\'t mentioned a roommate. She hadn\'t exactly asked, true, but even so, her stance shifted very subtly into one that hinted at combat readiness (though she was hindered somewhat by the guitar case still strapped to her back), in case it wasn\'t an invited guest.

The figure who came through the door, however, immediately had her taken aback for an entirely different reason; it was female, first and foremost. Upon further inspection, she didn\'t seem built for brawling (which is to say, Morgaine believed she could take her out. It wasn\'t personal, though – the singer assessed every new person in this regard), and was altogether too apologetic, though the reason for that was unclear.

It was the first that made blood and fury rise to the dark surface of her skin, but it was the last that made her pause in unleashing it on Tau. If the girl had simply stood there, gaping, Morgaine would have assumed the two of them were lovers – and that she had missed her guess by miles in thinking that Tau was an honest man. A lover would not have apologized for walking into her own home, however, and Morgaine rarely missed her guess by such a wide margin.

With a deliberate slowness, she turned her eyes away from then new arrival – allowing her body to relax into a less offensive (but no less tense) arrangement of crossed arms and tight lips – and up to her host\'s face, silently demanding an explanation, but withholding judgement until she\'d received it.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 05, 2008, 10:56:34 PM
Tau glanced at Alec as she entered, spared her a minimal smile of greeting that flared in his blue eyes and then looked earnestly back at Morgaine.  "I listen to the television," he asserted indignantly, having paused in giving this response only long enough to watch his houseguest enter, but it had been queued at the front of his brain and God himself would have had to pluck it out for Tau to avoid the words being said; he was nothing if not dogged.

"It\'s okay," he then told Alacer, flashing that warm smile again as he glanced back in her direction.  "I thought you might be home soon.  This is Morgaine; she has come to watch me Shift," he said brightly, only aware of the demands etiquette made in such situations and oblivious to any animosity the women might feel towards each other (or why) - though Morgaine\'s body language was putting him subconsciously on edge.  Still, he was ignoring it for the time being.  Introductions were a part of any new meeting, he\'d learned that early on, and he knew his was the key role here, so now he would do that job, his elegant hands gesturing from one female to another as the situation demanded, choosing to ignore the body signals flashing at him.

Turning to look back at Morgaine, Tau\'s smile broadened slightly, his eyes crinkling almost secretively (for he was about to share a secret that he felt was his to share) as he did.  "Morgaine, this is Alec, my houseguest.  She\'s a Shifter who is new to the city.  She came to see me at the office - a bit like Ami did - and I found out she had nowhere to live, so I offered her my spare room until she gets settled.  My brother will not be coming back any time soon," he admitted with a suddenly sad shrug, lips twisting into a pout of disappointment that passed very quickly.

Before Alec had come to live with him, he had lived a very dull and forlorn life, missing his littermate interminably, but in the few days she\'d been around, she\'d cheered him up no end.  She wrestled with him, they had curious conversations about shifting, reptiles, mammals and gameshows and he secretly enjoyed it very much when she cuddled up to him just to sap his warmth.  Jed was still very important to him, but he\'d unknowingly begun the process of moving on and had stopped pining for his brother, finding a lot more to life despite his absence.

Now he paused, the smaller version of his smile returning to his lips as his gaze flicked from one woman to the other, his fingertips finding an arrhythmic beat to drum against his leg without him being aware of it.  It was customary for people who\'d just been introduced to speak to one another, shake hands and make greeting comments that were rarely reflected in their body languages but always sounded very pretty coming out of their mouths - Tau had seen it almost a hundred times before.  It was what people did and so he waited for his females to do it now, too.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 06, 2008, 12:40:17 AM
Alec\'s stance settled comfortably as Tau introduced the woman. Her name was Morgaine. The odd jealousy settled into a hum in the back of her chest. Alec was curious as to why she had come to see Tau shift, Alec had not even seen Tau shift before and she had very much liked to. Maybe she could see him to day. Alec smiled at Morgaine, a little more comfortable and honestly friendly. She guessed that Tau thought they should have polite introductions now, something she knew he would probably be expecting. She walked forward with fluid, slithering steps, her hips slithering as well, hinting at what her form was when shifted. She approached Morgaine with a friendly smile and held out her hand.

"Hello Morgaine," she said politely. The woman seemed to be like Alec was when she walked in the door. Alec was cold right now and she knew her skin would reflect that and seem like ice when Morgaine shook her hand. She waited to see what Morgaine\'s reaction would be to the introduction and handshake. Alec made a mental note to go check her clothing later and find something warm, also to make a list for clothes that she needed and would need in winter. Alec was all too aware that winter would be coming soon, but she pushed all of these things out of her head and looked at the woman in front of her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 06, 2008, 08:53:44 AM
Morgaine almost flinched when Tau said he listened to the Television. Televisions invariably meant showtunes. Or MTV.

She would have to enlighten him later, however. Right now, there was nice to be made.

Morgaine was used to dealing with the unexpected, and this ranked very low on the bizzarreness scale, despite the supernatural element. She adapted easily. As he explained, her icy gaze warmed, and dropped from Tau\'s face, returning to it\'s place on Alec\'s. Having learned long ago to take nothing at face value, she was still curious – and slightly suspicious – of the relationship between the two, but she accepted Tau\'s story. Another shifter, eh? The woman certainly moved oddly, though Morgaine couldn\'t exactly put a finger on how. She was graceful, but not in the conventional sense – her steps were more liquid, as if she were flowing across the floor toward the singer.

Tension gone from the set of her mouth, Morgaine smiled easily "\'Sup?" was her reply as she accepted the outstretched hand in a firm shake. Immediately upon contact, goosebumps raced up her arm, and she shivered. "Shit, girl," she exclaimed as her hand was released, "What do you turn into? A yeti?" She resisted the urge to take the other woman by the shoulders and vigorously rub the bare skin of her upper arms only because she didn\'t seem bothered by the cold.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 06, 2008, 11:10:33 PM
Although it wasn\'t really his place to answer, Tau was slightly overexcited by his introductions following along just the way he\'d envisioned, so he jumped in and spoke anyway.  "She turns into a snake," he told the human singer helpfully, looking from one female to another (inviting Alacer to elaborate and to check Morgaine\'s understanding).  "She is cold blooded and cannot regulate her body heat without help."

Something stopped him explaining that he was very often the help that Alec received when she needed to get warm; part of him didn\'t want Morgaine knowing that, for reasons he didn\'t wish to examine at that moment.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 07, 2008, 10:31:27 AM
Alec looked over at Tau as he spoke and explained on her behalf. She looked at Morgaine and smiled. "I turn into a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. My body temperature depends on the temperature around me and I have to keep it regular lika a snake." She nodded. "If I don\'t I could die. Since itwas cold where I come from, I\'m cold too. And I need to warm up soon." She smiled and looked back at Morgaine.

Alec felt that she didn\'t need to reveal that Tau sometimes helped with her body temperature. She was sure Tau felt the same. Though Alec was a little disappointed they had company because she was, truthfully very cold and would have liked to curl up against Tau. Even from right here she could feel his heat, which was so much greater than the woman\'s in front of her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 07, 2008, 12:06:08 PM
Tau once again captured the singer\'s attention by speaking for Alec, causing her brow to rise slightly. Well, he certainly was eager, wasn\'t he? Her eyes stayed on his face only slightly too long – searching perhaps – as Alec began to speak again, elaborating on Tau\'s statement. A breath hissed in through the singer\'s teeth when the other woman finished. Cold blooded? As if a girl didn\'t have enough to worry about without having to constantly regulate her body temperature. That just had to suck. "Ouch! Don\'t let me keep you, then. I\'m gettin\' cold just lookin\' at you," she enthused, giving voice to half of her thoughts. The other half were concerned with – and quietly amused by – whether or not the girl had a giant heat lamp and a big flat rock squirreled away somewhere in the apartment, as she\'d seen in the snake enclosures at zoos. She thought it best to keep those to herself, however, "Cold blooded! I do not envy you that, Ilagkoti."  Occasionally, the singer\'s speech was peppered with her native Tamil. She never expected the people she was speaking with to understand (though she did expect them to ask if they wanted clarification). Without pausing, however, she pulled a face, then shrugged,  "At least you got something good in return though, right? Rattlesnake. That\'s bad ass. Not, like, a gecko or a tree frog, or something."

When she had played the \'what animal am I like?\' game that children often played, Morgaine\'s friends had often told her she reminded them of a Mongoose. Though the thought didn\'t exactly warm her cockles – as she didn\'t especially dislike Alec – it didn\'t make her uneasy, either. She smiled her easy smile again, dark eyes giving nothing away.

"Hey, d\'you have somewhere I could set this down?" she asked, suddenly, angling her body towards her host once again as she shifted the guitar case strapped to her back uncomfortably. It was a sign of trust that she was willing to let it out of her direct possession, as the instrument was her livelihood (maybe not this particular one, as most of her current income came from her electric – but she\'d be devastated to lose the acoustic she carried, just as well).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 07, 2008, 04:22:47 PM
Tau was busy thinking of how he could work an invitation for Alec to shift into the conversation as well (should he ask Morgaine first? To check she wanted to see that too? Or ask Alec to volunteer first, in case she was shy about doing it in front of a perfect stranger? It was a tough call!), so he looked slightly startled when the singer addressed him, taking a few moments too long to look towards the guitar she was indicating.
 
Since she hadn\'t already taken it off and leaned it against the wall in the lounge area - and there were corners and wall spaces that very obviously got no traffic, so that nothing precious would be accidentally harmed - he rightly assumed Morgaine wanted somewhere special for her instrument. Somewhere out of the way. Only one place immediately occurred to him, but it was perfect, as far as he was concerned.
 
"Sure! My bed!" he answered brightly, lips curving into a friendly smile as he walked to the open door that was only a few metres from where they all were. His large hands were spread somewhat like a hostess\' on a gameshow would be, grandly indicating the path Morgaine should take around the end of the cloister of couches to enter his inner domain.
 
Tau only continued the rest of the way forward and into the room because he hadn\'t made his bed (though he did have a cat\'s pedantic desire for cleanliness and washed his sleeping area weekly - less, occasionally) and Morgaine\'s treasure obviously deserved a hallowed resting place.  Momentarily distracted from asking Alec about shifting for an audience - and from even speaking to her as he innocently led his new acquaintance into his bedroom - Tau set about pulling his top sheet and quilt neatly towards his pillows, expecting the Indian woman to follow and the guitar to need placement any moment.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 08, 2008, 12:05:23 PM
Alec smiled at Morgaine. She had always thought it an honor to be what her mother was. Her father was a little out of place in the desert and thankfully wasn\'t cold-blooded in human form. When he did shift, he could only do so for short periods of time or else he would overheat. Body temperature had always been an extremely important problem to Alec, ever since she was a small girl. Even as an infant her father would take her temperature every so often. Alec was brought out of her thoughts by Morgaine speaking. She laughed at the woman in front of her\'s words. "Yes," she said, "At least I got something that is neater than a gecko or frog."

Alec watched Tau\'s reaction to Morgaine\'s question with amusement and put her hand to her forehead as he came up with a place. Sometimes he was just too innocent. She could probably guess half of the thoughts of normal people who didn\'t know Tau, and they weren\'t so nice. She watched him with a curiosity as he led the woman back to his room. Alec left for a moment to put her bag in her room and return to the small living room. The central place in the tiny apartment.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 08, 2008, 12:45:52 PM
My bed!

As soon as the words left his pretty mouth, a grin began to tug the corners of hers skyward. With some effort, she managed not to let the expression mature. He was just so earnest; it made her want to just reach up and pinch his cheeks (all of them). She barely heard Alec agreeing with her – and that was something in itself, given how much Morgaine liked it when people agreed with her – as she ambled after Tau into the bedroom. As she left, however, she saw the expression on Alec\'s face, and laughed.

The living room had been clean, but she hadn\'t expected it to continue into the bedroom. The fact that he was making the bed caused more raised eyebrows. A clean bachelor pad? Kept by a clean bachelor, and not a maid? (The fact that he\'d had the option of calling a car to come fetch them from the cafe\' led her to believe he could afford such a luxury). She\'d never even heard of such a thing! True, he had a chairless desk, and seemed to use a milk crate as a clothes hamper, but she\'d still never seen a tidier bachelor\'s apartment. Hell, the place was cleaner than her room (though, this was not saying much).

She didn\'t dwell on it, however. She did – of course – consider just shutting the door behind her and letting nature take it\'s course, but she dismissed the thought firmly as soon as it entered her head. That was not why she\'d come here.

Instead, the singer undid the closure at the center of the straps holding the case to her body (four straps – making an X, like a racing harness – came to  cross at the center of her chest, where the snap rested; this closure held it more securely to her small frame when she rode. The case itself was hard plastic.) and breathed in deep as she swung it around and set it on the newly-made bed in one smooth motion. Once she was sure it was settled, she placed her hands on her lower back and arched. Stiff, her spine made several satisfying cracks, "Oh, that is the best feeling in the fucking world," she sighed. The best part  – in her opinion – was that her tits weren\'t squished against her chest in all sorts of directions they didn\'t want to go, "Thanks," she added, adjusting herself furtively, "That thing gets heavy after a while."

Reluctantly, then, with a gesture toward the living room, where Alec was most likely waiting for them. Unless she\'d run off to go bathe under the sun lamp which Morgaine was now positively sure actually existed, somehow, despite the fact that such a thing was ludicrous.  "Shall we?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 08, 2008, 11:53:22 PM
Tau smiled at Morgaine, having been taking advantage of the fact that they were in his room by removing his footwear.  He\'d just started on his shirt when she indicated they should leave the room, but he had something to ask her first and so, with a slight frown of consternation, he whipped his shirt off hastily and leaped for the door behind her.

Furtively, he peered out to see that Alacer was back in the lounge, so he quietly pushed the door to and grasped Morgaine\'s elbow with his other hand, wanting her to stay put for his query.  Earnestly, he peered down into her face, aware that he\'d likely unsettled her by suddenly invading her personal space - especially since he was bare-chested and had dropped his shirt in his clothes crate - but not wanting to be too loud when he spoke.

"Can I ask you something first?" he whispered, seeking eye contact with the musician pinned quite unintentionally in place by his bed.  His fingers were cupped loosely about her arm and, subconsciously, he found her deliciously warm, as opposed to the coldness of the other woman he had regular contact with.

"I was wondering what you thought about me asking Alec to shift for us as well?  Would you be interested?" he murmured, finding his gaze drawn to the exotic markings on his face every now and then, before he concentrated on her dark irises once more.  "See, I have not asked her to shift, but I am curious as to what she looks like and I thought... well... that you might be the perfect excuse to ask... what do you think?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 09, 2008, 08:20:43 AM
Alacer was probably quite a sight as she sat there on the small couch. She had a hoodie over a tshirt and a sweater. The little warmth her body did make spreading through her clothes. She looked down at her hands and twisted them as she waited, thoughts flying through her head. Where did Tau get this woman and why did she want to see him shift? Alec felt the slight jealousy rise but she pushed it back down. The main thought that kept going through her head was There is another woman in the apartment. She wondered why it was taking them long in Tau\'s room.

Alec watched her hands as she picked at her finger nails. She couldn\'t figure why the jealousy was ripping through her ever few minutes. The only thing she could come up with was (wrongly) that it was something over territory. She dismissed the fact that she didn\'t react that way when she moved in with Tau. She really wished that she would figure the reason out soon. She glanced up at Tau\'s door as she heard it go silently to. She could hear the ghosts of whispers coming from Tau, and couldn\'t help but wonder what he was saying. She resisted the urge to get up and go to his door to see what was being said, instead stayng in her place on Tau\'s couch.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 09, 2008, 08:53:58 AM
There are a great number of things that one usually tried to avoid when interacting with a person they barely knew who did not fully intend on having sex with you. One was casually disrobing. Another was shutting a door that thereby trapped them, alone, in the same room with you. A third was getting close enough to put your hands on them, and then putting your hands on them.
 
Had he done any of these things individually, Morgaine probably would have been alright with it, but since he did all of them in conjunction, her first instinct was to go rigid, eyes immediately suspicious; darting first to the closed door, then to the hand on her elbow, skimming over his shirtless torso, and finally settling on his face. No telephone, her brain reminded her, and the thought stopped her from pulling away. Maybe he just hadn\'t learned, yet.
 
Then he was talking, and those baby blue eyes had caught hers again. As he spoke, she relaxed, though her lips pursed unconsciously as she listened. "Yeah, sure," she nodded, at length, "I\'ll be your alibi. I\'m interested to see how a big ol\' person becomes such a small creature. I\'ve never seen a rattlesnake in real life." As the initial panic wore off, she became more aware of his touch on her skin, and smiled slightly. He looked damn fine with his shirt off, "But if she bites me, I\'m comin\' after you before I die." she warned, hoping to distract attention from her initial reaction with the joke.
 
After a moment, she spoke again, "Now, excuse my ignorance, but I\'m new here," she explained, looking him up and down, "But -- is it shirtless O\'clock for everybody, or is this just a you thing?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 09, 2008, 10:48:33 AM
He tilted his head curiously at her final question, then looked down at his bare chest before finally releasing her elbow with an easy laugh.  "Oh!  No - well it is a me thing because I hate clothes but-" he broke off and looked perfectly horrified as another thought occurred to him, staring wide-eyed at Morgaine as another conversation ran through his mind, a conversation held when Alacer had first moved in with him.
 
"Oh, no," he muttered, his lips twisting as he broke from simply staring and began gnawing at the inner side of his lower lip, frowning in consternation.  "She asked me not to go naked, but I was going to strip before I shifted because when I change back I\'ll be naked anyway but... Alacer will not want to see that.  When she moved in I told her how much I hate clothes and she asked that I just not ever be naked - I used to strip as soon as I got home from work, you see, so I had to ask what she thought - but if she stays to see me shift, she will see me naked either before or after."
 
He sighed and returned to chewing on his lip, thoughts slotting into his awareness like the teeth of a cog.  "And I\'ll see her... I suppose she will refuse me, in that case, but you are female, she might still show you," he reasoned, brightening at this notion.  For some reason, it was very important to him that Morgaine see a Shifter as up close and personal as possible... almost like revealing his biggest secret right away, so that there was only up to go from here on out but... why?
 
Because you want to see her again
and you want her to sing
Oh yes, you want her to sing for you, that is why
 
"Well, all we can do is ask," he told Morgaine with a shrug, deciding to leave further decisions up to fate - or Alec, at the very least.  "If she says no, we will just come back in here and I will show you alone," he decided, given to wonder if Morgaine would like that, considering she\'d just about jumped out of her skin when he\'d touched her just now (and she\'d begun to perspire, leaking the scent of anxiety into the air for his intelligent nostrils to detect easily).  He began to back towards his bedroom door with a questioning look, intending to stop only if Morgaine waylaid him somehow.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 09, 2008, 01:10:36 PM
A chuckle resonated in her chest at his comment about clothes. As much as she loved clothes (for varied and sundry reasons – one of them being how great it felt to take them off after a hard day) she knew how he felt – mostly because Ami felt exactly the same way, which is why she often ended up nearly-topless onstage. She wrinkled her nose, and pushed that thought aside, however. There would be no thinking about the band tonight; tonight was hers.
 
Morgaine\'s eyes widened along with his as the terrified expression came over his face. Did she have something in her teeth? Oh, God, she had something in her teeth. That must be it. When he finished, Morgaine rolled her eyes, relieved beyond measure, "This is different," she said, "This...means something." At least, it meant something to her. The singer was amused by how concerned he was with making sure Alacer was comfortable, even though she was a guest in his house. It was refreshing, but she wondered if it was hard for him – the guy was wound tighter than an eight day clock, after all, though that might have something to do with the excitement. She was feeling her fair share of that, for sure, though years of practice allowed her to keep it carefully confined to the pit of her stomach. It was like the day before a big show – only now, she was in the audience.
 
That didn\'t stop her from giving advice, however, since he was in her usual place, "Just chill, okay? Take things as they come." She smiled up at him, and placed a hand on his arm briefly before he got to the door. She hurried her steps once it was open, and sidled out ahead of him into the living room, "Nice digs," she commented – very belatedly – as a way to break the silence in the living area. "You look toasty, " she said to Alacer as she laid eyes on the bundled-up snake-woman. Inwardly, she lamented the death of her heat lamp theory.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 12, 2008, 12:34:08 AM
Alec looked up at Morgaine as she came out of Tau\'s room with him following behind her with no shirt. She rolled her eyes as she saw him. He was seriously too innocent. She smiled as Morgaine came up to her and spoke. "Yes," she said holding out her hand, which was now warm,"Wanna try the handshake again? I think I\'m pretty warm now." She smiled genuinely at her, comfortable again, even with her in the apartment. Alec looked up at Tau. "So..You want to show her what you look like as a cougar? That should be interesting. I haven\'t even seen it."

Alec looked up at Tau then back to Morgaine. "I\'ve seen many people who change into different things, but never a cougar. Birds, snakes, bears, monkeys. even a white tiger but never a cougar."She shrugged, suddenly feeling like she gave away too much information.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2008, 01:00:31 AM
"You have seen that many Shifters change?" Tau queried in surprise, easily distracted from his intended conversation.  His blue eyes were alight with curiosity but he caught sight of Morgaine and quickly recalled that that was not what he was meant to be talking about right now.  "You will have to tell me about them later," he said sheepishly, finding it necessary to clear his throat and look away for the briefest of moments.

His gaze was quickly back on Alacer, though, as he continued.  "For now... do you wish to see me shift?  I would love to show you but you will also likely see me naked," he warned her, his tone both apologetic and regretful.  "I know you do not want to see that so feel free to refuse.  Also, Morgaine and I would both like to see you change form as well... do you think you would be interested?" he asked eagerly, not giving her a chance to answer his first set of questions before he\'d piled more on for consideration.  His hands danced nervously and constantly across the flat of his muscled stomach and the hem of his pants, finally managing to wait for an aswer.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 12, 2008, 01:15:18 AM
Morgaine laughed again and stepped forward to enclose the offered hand in a friendly clasp, "Much better," she agreed as she let go, turning her attention back to Tau, who was still being painstakingly careful to avoid rudeness.

Shaking her head, the Singer moved around to the other end of Alacer\'s couch and sat, stretching her small body out into a pose of relaxation, with one leg negligently slung over the arm of the couch. Small enough not to infringe on Alacer\'s personal space even spread out so, and smart enough not to interject, she stayed quiet -- though she paid avid attention, dark eyes flickering from face to face as they spoke -- and let the two of them have their conversation. She noted, with a wry twist to her mouth, that Tau had not taken her advice to chill. It seemed, however, that the nervous motions giving him away were an inseperable part of his physical syntax.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 12, 2008, 01:20:42 AM
Alec nodded. "Yes, many shifters." She smiled at Tau\'s change of subject. She knew how easily distracted he was. She almost laughed when he had to clear his throat before going back to the subject. Alec listened to the rest of his questions. When he was finished she looked down at her hands. She looked at Morgaine stretched across the couch and back at Tau. "Sure, but I have one request. I shift into a snake in my room and I turn back in my room so no one sees me nude." She looked at Tau pointedly and looked at Morgaine.

"I would like to see you shift. Like I said, I\'ve never seen a person shift into a cougar before." Alec smiled slightly. It almost seems like a secret, showing people what you shift into. No one will ever know what you look like in that form until you do. She stood up from the couch in one fluid movement. "Sure," she said to Tau smiling.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2008, 01:28:41 AM
Tau\'s smile was beatific and he spared Morgaine a triumphant glance before looking eagerly at Alec.  "Great!  I do not mind if you shift in your room and come out afterwards, if that is what you prefer.  Now, do you wish to go first or shall I?" he asked, fingers straying to the snap of his pants but not doing anything about it.

He considered the fact that he could shift inside his clothes anyway, to spare Alacer\'s modesty, and then she\'d only see him in all his natural glory when he changed back.  Really, it wasn\'t likely to be something Morgaine wanted to see within the first couple of hours of knowing him either but... it was different with her.  She was more knowledgeable and... accepting.  Something in him wanted her to see all his secrets out in the open up front after all, didn\'t it (not that his body was a secret, exactly.  If it was, it was the worst kept one in the world)?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 12, 2008, 01:49:11 AM
Morgaine smiled back at him, pleased that he was pleased. It was difficult to resist giving him an enthusiastic thumbs-up to emphasize, but she managed. Barely.

Still, however, she thought it best to remain quiet as the two of them decided on a course of action; she was open to anything, at this point, and it wasn\'t her show (for once) to run.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 12, 2008, 12:18:33 PM
Alec shrugged. "You go first. I still seem to freak people out and the last thing I need is for someone to step on me as a snake." She made a face at a previous memory. "Yep, you go first." She sat back down next to Morgaine on the couch, twirling the edge of her hoodie. The jacket was black and had an ornate Chinese serpent embroidered into the back, making it look expensive even though she got it from a donation home. She fingered the weared edge as she looked at Tau.

Alec knew why she was jealous but she would never let her mind think it. she felt stupid when she came to the conclusion earlier and now that she realized it was true she would not even think it. She looked at Morgaine then back at Tau, thinking while waiting. She prommised her past would never get in the way again. She was hoping that Tau\'s interest in her seeing other shifters would allow her to have a talk just with him later. She looked to Tau, waiting for him to shift.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2008, 12:36:02 AM
"Alright," Tau said jovially, making a space for himself before the two women by moving the coffee table out of the way first.  He then undid the snap of his pants, as well as lowering the fly so that they would restrict him as minutely as possible, then lay on the floor. He always found it easier to change when he lay on his side as a human - he decided against removing his clothes up front because he didn\'t wish to offend and he would only walk out of them once he\'d shifted, anyway.

Once laying down, he looked up at the two females with a reassuring smile and then closed his eyes to aid his concentration.  The process began with loud cracks - Tau\'s leg bones were the first to snap and appear to shrink while his face contorted and began to shift into that of a far-broader cat\'s. His arms shifted next, in accompaniment with his spine, which shrank his overall height but created a ninety centimetre long tail smoothly from his coccyx. The final part of the transformation was the appearance of his fur, claws and the \'tidying up\' of all features such as feet and hands to paws. The whole process took about a minute, though it was noisy with the sound of bones altering with a dull thud, beneath muscles that bulged and shifted wetly around inside him.  It looked painful and sounded worse but what came out of it was not a creature seeking sympathy in any form.

Tau the cougar finally sat up, his back legs lost within the pants he\'d been wearing and leaning up onto his forearms.  Immediately, the scent of another shifter struck him and he sniffed deeply in Alacer\'s direction, large mouth falling open so he might taste the air around her to better ascertain what she was.  His broad, rough tongue undulated in his head, tasting.  She also smelled of rodents, which intrigued him no end.  In fact, with one good heave, he hauled his long, muscular body to his paws and headed for his housemate, the human clothes he\'d been wearing so comfortably just a short time ago falling down in his wake (thought it took a few extra steps for his underwear to go, making him look rather comical with briefs around him).  His long, fluffy-tipped tail twitched as he approached the woman his repressed mind claimed he knew but which his animal instincts said he didn\'t.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 13, 2008, 02:08:12 AM
Morgaine watched the process as if her life depended on it. As he lay down, she shifted her leg off the arm of the couch and leaned forward, elbows on knees, tattooed face cradled in one hand. So intent was she on the visual aspect of the process – which was endlessly fascinating in itself – she almost entirely missed the auditory piece.

When that registered, she almost wished it had stayed buried. The myriad of pops, snaps, and grindings of bone on bone sounded anything but pleasant. Her face, however remained locked in it\'s mask of rapt attention – if something had been wrong, she assumed he\'d put a stop to the transformation.

If he could.

That thought gave her pause. Not much of one, though, because now it was over, and he was moving – sloughing off clothes like dead skin – with all the majesty and grace this form offered (though the undies did make her have to suppress a laugh). Up close, it was easy to see why the big cats were called Kings of the Jungle.

As he moved toward them, however, she had to wonder exactly how much of his human mind he retained. And how much of a good idea it would have been to ascertain this information before this stage. She considered asking Alacer what her experience was – but it would be endlessly embarrassing to find out that he could hear and understand her asking such a personal question just fine, if that were the case.

At any rate, it was Alacer he went to first, so she supposed she\'d find out that way, and concentrated on trying not to be nervous. Which was not an easy thing, though her limited experience with shifters did help somewhat.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 13, 2008, 10:05:48 AM
Alec leaned away slightly as the cougar Tau came to her. She reached out slowly with her hand letting him sniff her. She looked up at Morgaine then back at Tau. "Don\'t worry, I don\'t think he will attack. You don\'t need to be nervous. Animals can smell it sometimes, I can now. Don\'t be nervous." She smiled at her then at Tau. "You know," she said, looking at the cat\'s face, "I can see the resemblance."

She let the cat sniff her. "I thought the bones would be worse. I expected more breaking, but I\'m glad that there wasn\'t that much." She shrugged. "If you thought that was bad, listen when I change. My bones split." She looked at Tau\'s face. How do you kknow me now? she thought to the cat. Do you know me as Alec or the girl that seems oddly familiar? She watched the cougar Tau to see what he would do next.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 14, 2008, 06:48:20 AM
Tau snorted fine droplets of nose mucus upon Alacer\'s arm as he got hold of her scent, licking at the back of her hand with all the delicacy of a kitten lapping at milk - except his tongue was no kitten\'s, it was far rougher and stronger, moving Alec\'s hand with the force of his attention despite the gentleness of his intent.

Something about her taste obviously prompted further investigation by his feline senses, because all of a sudden, Tau reared up on his hind legs and half mounted the couch, his long, powerful body straddling the other shifter\'s (paws on the couch either side of her legs).  He snuffled into her hair, exhaling as much as inhaling, and grumbling low in his throat - it wasn\'t a noise of annoyance though, it was a prequel to a purr, like a thoughtful hmming to himself about what he was smelling.

After pressing his face all around Alec\'s head and neck, he licked her throat and opened his jaws to test the width of her shoulder, moving a huge paw onto her thigh and looking for all the world like he was going to push her sideways on the couch and instigate one of their wrestling matches.  He didn\'t, though, for something about tasting and smelling her triggered a form of familiarity in his brain and he merely pushed off her and dropped to the carpet again with a muted thud.

The big cat was facing morgaine, sniffing in her direction as if sampling from a palette of fruit.  He padded over to her and nuzzled around her legs, poking and prodding at her knees and thighs with his broad nose, snuffling a bit less than he had with Alec.  After a minute or so of that treatment, he looked consideringly up at Morgaine, as if waiting for her to scratch his ears, blinked and bounded up onto the couch beside her.  With no further ado, he then plopped his long, graceful body down on the space beside her, butted against her thigh and then rolled onto his back, paws poised in the air.  This little manoeuvre put his big head into her lap, throat exposed and not looking at her.

It seemed the large cat had found a place he wanted to rest... or be petted.  He flexed his claws and commenced purring, his blue eyes falling closed (though only Alacer would be able to see that from her angle) as he rubbed languourously against the couch and Morgaine.  Although it looked like a loving gesture, it was really just a way for him to leave his scent on the furniture and the woman who didn\'t bear any of his smells - because the other one smelled enough of him to satisfy his territorial urges.  The two humans might\'ve got a hint that he wasn\'t all just cuddly fur and rumbly throat noises from the fact that his long tail, which should have been dangling onto the floor, was flicking about the place in agitation... like he was about to attack or spring elsewhere any minute, he just needed a few moments to decide what he\'d like to do more.

Until then, he was content to swipe his head from side to side, up and down Morgaine\'s leg, and wriggle his huge, muscular body all over his couch.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 14, 2008, 07:25:36 AM
Being no expert in the body language of big cats – or any animal, for that matter – Morgaine nodded, and did her best to follow Alacer\'s advice. She found no difficulty in releasing the tension held in the set of her shoulders as her much-changed host manhandled (no pun intended) his houseguest. She even found a smile spreading across her face, which only widened as he turned his attention on her.
 
The smile, then, became a full-fledged laugh as he leapt onto the couch and laid his huge head in her lap. It was easy to forget that he was anything more than a huge housecat in those initial moments, and Morgaine caught herself in the midst of forming such an opinion. This was a predator; claws like the ones flexing from the pads of his enormous feet didn\'t come pre-packaged on any other type of creature. That, and he was huge – at least as far as Morgaine was concerned. By itself, the head currently rubbing against her legs took up most of her rather generous lap. She suspected, also, that he was far from tame, and only accepted them because his human side knew them. That thought made something inside of her very happy indeed. The purr emanating from his throat made her happy, too. She wanted to touch him; to see if the fur was really as soft as it looked, but she didn\'t fancy trying to rub his belly, and there was no way she would go near his throat, exposed as it was. He seemed friendly enough, but she also didn\'t want to try her luck by reaching around for his ears – part of this being (of course) that she didn\'t want to jostle him; she liked him where he was – though she was also eager to see more off how he moved about the apartment.
 
She looked toward Alacer, letting Tau do as he pleased – but paying close attention, even so, to his movements – and a awed joy flickered in the depths of her dark eyes. "Is it okay to touch him?" she asked, past caring whether or not the question was silly.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 14, 2008, 10:46:13 AM
Alec leaned back slightly when he leaned up on her. She laughed when he snuffled her hair, breathing in and making the medium lengths fly around her head. She chuckled as she watched him get on Morgaine\'s lap, rubbing all over her and the couch. Alec smiled as Morgaine laughed, the woman\'s pure joy in the big cat laying on her evident. Alec laughed quietly, a little scared to get any louder.

When Morgaine spoke she considered for a moment. "Well," she looked at Tau\'s tail and saw he was flicking it. "I wouldn\'t with his tail like that. I mean, normal cats flick their tails when they are agitated. Tau probably doesn\'t even know us now. He probably thinks we are slightly familiar but he is completely different. An animal." She watched Tau and chuckled. "Though he does seem pretty cute as a cougar though. You have to admit, the resemblance is still there." She looked at Morgaine and shrugged.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 15, 2008, 06:35:13 PM
After about five languorous minutes scenting Morgaine, Tau suddenly performed a neat spin-and-sit-up manoeuvre on the couch.  His back legs stuck out to the side and mostly off the couch, but the length of his body and his forepaws were secure on the soft cushions as he lifted his head into the air and sniffed, looking in the direction of Alacer\'s bedroom.  He\'d obviously caught the scent of something interesting in there, for his ears were perked up and his tail had begun to swing, rather than twitch.

A few head lifts and audible snorts in the air told him that he smelled a delicious rodent odour coming from her bedroom (mixed in with the lingering - but faded - scents of his brother) and he rose to his feet, intending to investigate properly.

In the few moments he took to gauge the gap that existed beyond where he currently stood (over Morgaine), the females would likely realise that he was going to spring away and explore whatever he\'d detected on the air, but only Alec would understand what he was going after.  If she valued the cages and her food at all, she would try to get in his way and close the door, but her reflexes would have to be very quick... and Tau would make short work of the enclosures sitting on the desk in there, if he got by.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 16, 2008, 08:06:21 AM
"Oh. Okay." Morgaine\'s disappointment barely touched the joyful glow of her aura. She simply nodded, and looked toward the appendage Alacer had indicated -- to find the fluffy plume twitching madly, as his fingers had so often done in his human form. She hadn\'t noticed. Morgaine had never been allowed to keep pets (though she had, once, tried taking care of a stray cat. Her father crushed it with a shovel when he caught her at it, scolding his young daughter because the animal was \'unclean\') so she had no idea what most of his body language meant, and was grateful to have Alacer -- who was obviously knowledgeable -- there to tell her what was what.

Even so, his next signal wasn\'t all that difficult to interpret; he almost literally coiled like a spring on the edge of the couch. What surprised the singer was the speed with which he got there. Something that big shouldn\'t be able to move so quickly on such a small surface, especially not with that much grace. No matter what happened next, though, she instinctively leaned as far out of his path as possible without falling off the couch. She did not want to be anywhere near those claws when he made his leap to whereverland, the home of this irresistible smell she could only begin to wonder at.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 16, 2008, 11:43:53 AM
Alec smiled at Morgaine as she watched the big cat joyfully. Alec leaned back slightly at the quickness of his movements as Morgaine leaned back. She watched curiously befoe she realized what he smelt. "Oh, crap," she said calmly as she grabbed the couch and leaped over the back nimbly toward her room, which she ran to quickly, thanking her namesake graciously all the way. When she got to the door she shut it quickly, turning on her foot and landing in a crouch outside her door.

All of these movements were conducted within seconds. If Tau had followed and wanted into her room badly enough, she wouldn\'t be scared to shift and defend her room. She didn\'t want to start eating rats out of the yard and risk getting her head chopped off with a shovel, which is what people in Arizona did to unsuspected invading snakes. "No Tau, you can\'t get into my room." she said it firmly at the cat that had sniffed her food. Alec stayed in a crouch, prepared if he wanted to force his way in. Though more intricate than Tau\'s transformation, Alec had learned over the years to change faster and faster. It hurt to change fast but she had the ability to change within a few seconds, if need be. If he didn\'t persue it, Alec was ready enough to dig out one of Tau\'s raw steaks from the kitchen for the now cougar Tau.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 16, 2008, 11:36:52 PM
Tau did follow, but lazily, launching himself like a missile through the air and coming down quietly just in front of Alacer.  He butted his head against her and pressed his muzzle to the door, sniffing delicately and making a soft yowl in the back of his throat.  What he smelled within the room and what he took from her body language were enough to deter him from fighting her to enter the bedroom, however, and he turned away.

The big cat padded through the apartment then, strong shoulders rolling in his body as he investigated the familiar smells of the place - and any new ones that had gone undetected while the blinkers of more human olfactory senses were on.  He was relaxed in his exploration, but his tail kept swinging as he went.  As always, he exited through the sliding door in his bedroom to spray his scent on the balcony (some upstart domestic cat had had a go at wiping out his last declaration of dominance) before roaming back into the apartment.

His tail was flicking and he was looking for some fun now that he\'d secured his environment and broadcast his ownership for all surrounding beasts to be impressed by.  A relaxing wrestle was certainly the way to go and the female who didn\'t have any animal smells about her except what he\'d put on her was his goal; if she was still on the couch, he would drag her off, if she\'d begun following after him, he would pounce on her where she stood and push her down so that he could wrap her up in his arms and lick her face better... where and when and how didn\'t bother him at all, when he wanted to play (claws sheathed, of course).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 17, 2008, 05:12:38 AM
Immediately , Morgaine got up on her knees and spun around, leaning out over the arm of the couch to watch the proceedings, "What\'s in there?" she asked – guessing correctly that that room must be Alacer\'s – as she watched Tau poke his nose about the door. Shortly after, though, he lost interest, and she seemed to as well, preferring to watch her host prowl about the apartment, standing up on her knees, prairie dog-style - to get a better view.

And what a surreal sight that was. As little as a year ago, the sight of a full-grown mountain lion prowling about the interior of a second-floor apartment would have sent her 180 degrees in the opposite direction, feeling sorry for the dumbass who left his patio door open, and glad it wasn\'t her house getting ransacked. Perhaps, if it were a real (well, simple perhaps, was a better word) puma, she might have done the same thing – doubtless, though, she would try and hold a conversation with it first. Obviously, things had been a lot different a year ago.

As she watched him, the singer\'s mind wandered back to a question she\'d originally had: how much of the man she\'d met was in there? He seemed to be almost completely assimilated – except for the fact that he was acting more or less friendly toward the human-shaped beings in his vicinity. That thought lead to another: How did he know when to change back? She doubted very much that big cats often thought to themselves \'Man! All this hair is cramping my style! I so wish I were bald and bipedal, right now.\'

At about the time this thought process was going on, Tau had wandered out onto the patio, and since she somehow felt it would be rude to watch her host do his business (once she realized that\'s what was going on) Morgaine turned her eyes back towards Alacer (wherever she may have got to) and spoke what was on her mind.

"So, how d– WAAAAAAGH."

At least, she tried to, before she was dragged unceremoniously to the floor. Even her surprised cry was cut off by a faceful of sandpaper tongue as her body was wrapped in a powerful feline embrace, before she even had a chance to feel the carpet under her back, or the panic that had bubbled up in that split second. Her tattooed face crinkled under the tongue, a product of the velcro texture scraping over her skin, but she laughed anyway. "Hey!" she gasped, smiling and wriggling about in his grasp in an attempt to escape the questing tongue, "You\'re in my grille, mister!"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 17, 2008, 11:35:14 AM
Alec let out a low hiss as Tau sniffed the door, her reptilian side fighting the mammal slightly. She relaxed however as he lost interest. Alec looked up at Morgaine as she spoke, leaning over the couch. Alec shrugged slightly, "My food." She said it simply, leaving some to wonder what kind of food it was. Alec returned to her feet, back to her complete height as she watched TAu walk around the apartment. He checked some smells out as Alec returned to the living room. She sat back down on the couch next to Morgaine, glad that snakes didn\'t mark territory. She looked away from Tau as he marked outside his patio. The snake woman took off the hoodie she was wearing, regulating her temperature once again.

She watched as the giant cat came and tackled Morgaine. Alec laughed at the situation. "My guess is that you don\'t smell like an animal and he wants you to." She smiled as she laughed again, watching the cougar Tau lick Morgaine\'s face as he seemed to hug her in his strong feline grasp. She smiled at how odd the situation was. A shapeshifter turned into a cougar, a shapeshifter that turns into a snak as a human, and a human all taking in the playful feline form of their new friend. She laughed at how odd this would sound to someone that didn\'t know about their world.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 18, 2008, 10:27:43 AM
Tau was less concerned with how Morgaine smelled than he was with having fun.  His growling returned - though it was mixed with the very unusual cougar ability of purring, indicating that he wasn\'t angry, just occupied (and could be angry if the whim took him) - as he began rolling his captive bodily around on the floor.

He stopped licking and pulled his head back to get a look at her, then opened his broad, strong jaws and began nipping at her arms and body - mostly just holding her arm in his mouth, gnawing a little and then letting go, but chasing her hands if they moved before his face (ears perked curiously) and batting at them while he attempted to bite.  His claws were sheathed but his hits, when they landed, weren\'t soft.  In addition to keeping her upper body under his control, he kicked at her legs with both of his back ones (somewhat like a rabbit) in a rapid attack that wasn\'t too terrible to him, but which would likely leave bruises on her hips and thighs later, simply because he was more powerful than he understood, in comparison to the slight female.

After a while, he would begin to let her go so that Morgaine might think she could escape him, only to have him pounce on her anew but even that would grow stale and eventually he sat up suddenly, four legs poised under him, tail flicking, ears flattened and looking around the apartment in agitation.  The domestic, human side of him could only stand to be pandered to for so long in cat form, before he needed to immerse himself in the wilderness; to travel and hunt.  He\'d had enough of wrestling tamely (well, tamely for him) and now sought the freedom of the forest so that he could stretch his claws, mark some territory and investigate all that smelled ripe.

Of course, this was also the moment that triggered the change in him; when something inside him reasoned that if he left as a cougar, he wouldn\'t return and he was committed to living as a human for a while longer (at least).  He therefore needed to change back, or flee.

Tau\'s back legs slid out from under him and he thumped back down onto his side (almost as if he\'d been pushed).  The only motion visible from him for a few moments was his ribs rising and falling in rapid pants as his body gathered itself together for the change, then the cracking bones and movement beneath the furry skin began to pick up pace.  His back legs began to elongate as his tail was sucked up into his body as if by a straw.  This time, the noise wasn\'t nearly so loud, for the process of small bones turner into longer, stronger ones was quieter.  The fur upon his body seemed to draw into his skin all at once (it was quite a bizarre sight, to see tawny fur one moment, then smooth, humanly-haired skin the next) and be the catalyst for the extra length to be pushed into arms (his fingers had already formed), muscles to be stretched over much wider shoulders... even the length of his penis to be extended so it was thicker and lolled along his thigh, sprouted from an inscrutable patch of hair.

With a few blinks, Tau leaned up onto his right elbow, tilting his head to the right and rolling his shoulders like he was trying out his new body.  His left leg arched up, making him look distinctly like a sveltely-muscled clothes model (sans clothes) sprawled across the cover of some elite magazine, but what he was really doing was waiting for his internals to finish putting themselves back into position - a silent but necessary process.  His brain, also, didn\'t immediately spring back to human size and give him something to chat about; his vocal cords needed to reassert themselves and then human thoughts needed to travel the synapses in his brain, rather then the animal impulses that had just been dominating it.

It took about two minutes for Tau the human to become aware of himself, clearing his throat to get a feel for speech once more and looking around as he recalled that he\'d changed for the benefit of his guests.  He was still a very sleek heavily-muscled package as a man, but the shift had aged him very subtly; there was now a tinge of salt mixed in with the pepper of his hair - at his sideburns, stretching up to his temples - and the lines of his face were ever so slightly deeper.  He looked to be older in the face too, his bright blue eyes seeming to shine out from the face of a man approaching forty, rather than just cresting thirty, but his body was as toned and angular as ever and he wore the new age with grace.

Recalling what he\'d done as a cougar was much like remembering an instant where he\'d woken from a deep slumber on a long road trip - like he\'d sat up at one point and watched the scenery blurring by but couldn\'t recall exactly what he\'d seen because he\'d dropped back to sleep almost immediately.  He only vaguely remembered wrestling with Morgaine, but it was enough to spur him to sit up and look in her direction in startlement.  "I did not hurt you, did I?" he asked worriedly, registering that he was on the rug in the lounge area and that his pants were close by but he was more interested in checking that the fight hadn\'t injured his guest.  He believed he\'d been gentle, but what he believed and what was actually true was very rarely the same, when it came to women.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 18, 2008, 11:55:25 PM
When you hold a puppy on it\'s back with it\'s front legs pinned up above it\'s head, the response is almost universally the same -- nippy little teeth, flailing limbs, lolling tongue -- and quite similar to the provoked in Morgaine when she realized Tau wasn\'t going to lose interest in the first two minutes, and damned if he wasn\'t mauling her with those powerful back legs of his. Although she didn\'t bite (because who wanted a mouthful of fur?) and her teeth stayed firmly clamped shut, with little growly sounds of her own sometimes escaping through them -- her strategy had about the same effectiveness as the puppy\'s. Which was to say, nil.

But then, finally! She could escape! There was an opening! Haul those aching legs under you, honey, this is your shot!

Until he pounced on her from behind, and the air whooshed out of her lungs with a grunt, and the process started all over again.

Still, somehow, she was rather disappointed when he sat back, looking unhappy (as much as a cougar could look unhappy, at any rate). She\'d been this close to turning the tide, she told herself. Somehow, he must\'ve known it, and that\'s why the look. Yeah, she smirked as she lay panting on the carpet, you better run, punk. But then she rolled over onto her back, to see that he wasn\'t as cougar-shaped any more.

Up close, the process was a hundred times more disturbing to watch (and to hear, despite it being much quieter now - body parts weren\'t supposed to slurp. Ever.), but oddly fascinating at the same time. When it was over, though, her gaze traveled up his new (old) body (starting politely above the waist, which took a good deal of effort -- though his nudity overall didn\'t seem to affect her overmuch) to his face. She sat up when he did, smiling dopily, still breathing somewhat hard, "Naw," she said. It wasn\'t strictly true; she could feel the predicted bruises already starting to form on the insides of her thighs -- but she was unhurt in any way that would last, as she assumed he meant. There wasn\'t an inch of her skin that wasn\'t intimately familiar with bruises, "That was fun, man." As she studied his face -- all crinkled up in that concerned expression, her smile slowly flowed into a perplexed crease between her brows. He was different, but she couldn\'t place how immediately. After a moment\'s study, though, she grasped it; he looked impossibly older.

The silence stretched as she searched his face, leaning forward. The skin was ever-so-slightly creased where it shouldn\'t be. Where it hadn\'t been before. The singer reached out, brushing the gray at his left temple with a feather-light touch of her calloused fingers, "What happened?" she asked, almost a whisper.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 19, 2008, 12:11:57 AM
Alec laughed as she watched Tau play with Morgaine. She knew he wouldn\'t leave any lasting damage from previous experience with big cats. A chuckle escaped her as she watched Tau give Morgaine a place to move then pouncecd on her. Alec knew that the woman would be very bruised later. She watched with a slight amusement as he wrestled with her, not that much different than the wrestling they did. It was very similar. Tau sat up suddenly with discontent on his face then flopped over. Alec turned serious again. She knew that look, when you know you\'re about to turn back. She sat quietly as she watched the furry form turn into her gracious host again.

Alec kept her eyes above his waist and immediately noticed his older appearance. She grimaced slightly as Morgaine asked him what happened. Since Tau answered earlier for her she decided to take the liberty this time. "Every time Tau shifts, he ages. Tau ages in cougar years, not human. He\'s actually about six years old." Alec looked at his face again, noticing that he looked rather well in it. She seemed sad at the fact. "Damn Tau, I didn\'t know it could be this bad." She leaned in closer until she was next to Morgaine, feeling the heat from the woman beside her. She didn\'t touch him however, because the other woman was lightly touching his temple.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 19, 2008, 12:32:36 AM
Tau was initially confused at Morgaine\'s question and his hand lifted hastily to follow in the wake of hers, expecting to feel his hair gone or something equally as drastic but no, there was still the same thick, wavy thatch of hair in place that there\'d always been in his human form.  He tilted his head and frowned, ready to repeat her question in a far more confused way, when Alec answered and his expression lifted to one of enlightenment.

"Ahh," he said in realisation, giving a deprecating shrug as he lowered his hand back to his lap and met Morgaine\'s gaze directly.  It made him feel inexplicably warm inside to see her concern and he felt reassured by her touch.  Even though he spoke jokingly to Alacer, his stare didn\'t shift from Morgaine.

"Gee, how bad is it?  You make it sound like I look ancient now when really I should be looking," he paused to calculate silently, then gave up - his brain was still too addled from shifting to perform such tasks this quickly, "well, a bit less than middle aged.  Cougars live for about fifteen years and I am over six, close to seven, which is almost halfway - I have not shifted for a while, so I have not shown too many signs of ageing.  For some reason, shifting seems to bring it on rapidly, I do not know why.  Am I... repulsive now?" he asked worriedly, not being overly vain about his looks but feeling that being repulsive looking would make working at the Oligarchy more difficult - if he was trying to make himself known as approachable to shifters who would find him hideous to look at, he would be defeating his own purposes.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 19, 2008, 04:55:07 PM
Morgaine, too, kept her eyes on Tau\'s face as Alacer spoke, though she registered the woman\'s words quite clearly. Seven years old? A profound and inexplicable sorrow spread through her veins, blossoming in the depths of her brown eyes. When she was seven, she\'d just been starting the first grade, and he looked like he could be a college professor. How could he fit in all the experiences? All the joy? All the pain? Everything it meant to be --

He\'s not human, Morgaine.

Still, there was so much to learn! How long did he have until he wasn\'t able to do even that?

"Oh, Tau," she said, still, barely a whisper, as she traced his hairline, and then the line of his jaw, with her fingertips. Her touch was still feather-light, as if she expected him to turn to dust at any moment. "I\'m so--" what, sorry? This is his life. He\'s accepted it, it\'ll just be painful to hear you say you\'re fucking sorry. What is there to do? Still, something in her wouldn\'t let it go; this simply could not be all there was for him. Some part of her couldn\'t stand the thought of him – or anybody – whiling away this little time in an office way up in Rapunzel\'s tower.

Instead of finishing the statement, however, she found herself almost smiling at his question, "No!" she said emphatically, with an almost laugh to go with her almost smile "Repulsive? Never. Distinguished, maybe." She let her hand drop back to her side, and her eyes followed it reluctantly to the carpet momentarily, a deep breath trying to work it\'s way into the knot in her chest.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 20, 2008, 02:43:37 AM
Alec smiled at Tau\'s words. "No, a few years older, a bit of gray at your temple, but you wear it well." She smiled falsely though, fighting the pain at seeing him like this, and also the jealousy that came back to her at seeing Morgaine touch his hair. She watched however at Morgaine\'s reaction. The woman seemed to be fighting deep sadness, Alec licked her lips, tasting the air for the sorrow and finding it. She looked down at the ground then back at Morgaine. Alec knew all too well how she felt when she realized that Tau was so young. She felt so sad and scared for him.

She smiled sadly at the woman sitting beside her. "It\'s okay Morgaine," she said softly, feeling the own pain return to her. She knew it was probably visible in her eyes. She put her still-warm hand on her shoulder. Alec knew the need to comfort was hard-wired in her somewhere from her own mother. She looked back up at Tau and smiled slightly. "You make a good cat. Almost tame if you ask me. Very playful." She grinned slightly at this as she scooted back some, giving him some space. "It was a remarkable experience, seeing as I\'ve only seen one other big cat shifter." She sat and watched Morgaine and Tau again, knowing somewhere that Tau would be wanting to see her shift soon.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2008, 07:06:50 AM
Tau was able to partly relax when Morgaine said he looked distinguished, not unattractive and then Alec backed it up.  It was a relief to him that he wouldn\'t have to struggle to keep his clients near him but he was fully aware that there was suddenly a lot more to it in the heads of those around him.  He frowned, trying to figure out why the one wouldn\'t look him in the eye any more and the other moved to touch her reassuringly.

There was... sadness but he simply couldn\'t fathom why; it was another case (as far as he could tell) of people saying one thing with their words (you look fine) but another entirely with their bodies.  This time, however, he couldn\'t read the body language like he usually could, because he didn\'t understand where they were coming from because it was about him and he wasn\'t able to have that outside perspective.

After looking from one to he other - and back again - to no avail, he realised he would just have to ask about whatever was bothering them later, starting with Morgaine.  For the time being, he was still sitting on the rug on his lounge area floor completely naked.  Instead of sliding over a little to simply collect his pants, he stood and walked over them, hoping that his movement would make Morgaine lift her head (not necessarily to watch the movement of his powerful muscles beneath his sleek skin or assess... his other gifts, but simply because he wanted to move proceedings along and for her to have something to think about besides... whatever it was she was thinking about right now).

"Well, I am a cat," Tau told Alacer somewhat sharply - not because he was mad at her, but simply frustrated she would say something so obvious.  Of course he made a good cat and was somewhat tame; even if he wasn\'t aware of it in that form, he still had a human side that modified his behaviour!  Still, it was interesting that she\'d seen another cat shifter and he would ask for comparisons and details later, when they were alone and he didn\'t have a guest to entertain.

"So it is easy to act like one," he finished wryly, picking up his underpants, holding them open and putting one foot in at a time before pulling them up.  After a moment\'s adjustment - well, a bit more than a moment really, because he hated underwear and would likely never get used to the restriction of having his penis pushed awkwardly against his body, so it always took him a while to find a position he could stand (but the alternative of having hairs pulled by a zipper if he went without undies was even more uncomfortable) - he did the same with his jeans.

He reached down a hand to help Morgaine up (unless she\'d already retreated to one of the couches so as not to share the floor with him while he dressed) but spoke to Alacer.  "Would you like to show us what sort of snake you make, now?" he enquired, wondering if the pall on proceedings that he\'d somehow cast would be changed or lifted entirely by seeing a snake amongst them.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 21, 2008, 09:10:43 AM
Morgaine wasn\'t often caught unawares, but Alacer\'s hand at her shoulder did just that, though the only evidence of this was the sharpness with which her head came up to look at the other woman. She wasn\'t used to being touched in such a manner by someone who wasn\'t part of her core group – and even that was a rarity. Morgaine wasn\'t the sort of person who needed reassurance. She smiled, "I was just...surprised," That wasn\'t entirely a lie, as she\'d certainly been surprised, but there was obviously much, much more to her reaction.

She watched Tau as he walked by, but her gaze held more of an attitude of consideration than simple appreciation (though he was an impressive specimen). And raised a brow at his sharp tone, though she felt it was deserved. She\'d only been bothered by the comment about tameness, and how she\'d mentioned it in the positive. He hadn\'t been tame – he\'d been aware. In some way, at least, as far as she\'d understood it. Which was still not much, so she kept her mouth shut. Either way, in Morgaine\'s mind, tameness was wildly overrated, and twice as undesirable.

The singer accepted the hand when it was offered, giving a slight squeeze of thanks before letting go. She took a moment to work out the stiffness that had settled into her abused muscles with a short series of little stretches. As she bent to rub the tops of her aching thighs, Her head swiveled  to follow Tau\'s gaze to Alacer as he spoke. Glad for the change of subject, she nodded agreement as she straightened. The sadness still felt like a weight in her chest, but it wasn\'t so hard to breathe any more, and she masked it very well, "Yeah, man," she joked, "We\'re all waiting with baited breath, over here."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 21, 2008, 10:44:22 AM
Alec watched Tau with no surprise as he spoke to her sharply. "I meant more like a house cat than a big cat. There is a big difference there. House cats are.....gentle. Big cats, in my own personal past experience...." her eyes looked far away and sad for a moment while she remembered something, she regained composure after a few seconds and smiled, "Big cats are....wild. Based completely on instinct." She shrugged and retreated to the couch as Tau pulled on his clothes.

Alec smirked as they wondered if she would shift now. "Well, I have an idea. I will shift in my room and you two can watch me in there, then when I\'m ready to shift back, I\'ll go back and put my clothes back on without you how about that?" She looked at them curiously before standing. Alec sighed and looked at them seriously this time. "I have a few rules. When dealing with poisonous snakes you do have to have some. Okay, first is abslutely common sense. Do not poke near my head or make me do something I don\'t want to do. Next, I guess you could say I\'m more like a dog and more in control of myself than Tau. I will get near ou and you can pet me and hold me if you wish, if I get agitated or know my snake insticts are taking over, I\'ll rattle my tail." she took a deep breath and looked at the two beings in front of her.

"Understand?" she asked, the always constant fear of rejection for a serpent running through her. Alec was always scared of people scared of snakes or those that disliked them. She waited patiently in front of them, making sure they knew her rules before turning. she didn\'t want to lose what little bit of control she had and end up biting one of them.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2008, 10:00:52 PM
The cougar shifter positively glowered as he was likened to a domestic cat - he ate the stupid things from time to time, he didn\'t wish to be \'favourably\' compared to one!  He found it best to ignore the rest of her comments about cats and focus instead on what she wanted for her shift.

"Those rules are fine," he agreed decisively once she\'d outlined her expectations, but was compelled to ask a question.  "So... you wish to go into your room and shift... and then we come in after a short while?  And when you are ready to shift back you will... go to your clothes in snake form and put them on?" he queried with a frown, showing that he was quite confused by what she\'d said - willing to meet any wish or rule she had, yes, but confused about how he and Morgaine would know it was time to leave Alacer alone in her room to shift back to human form.

She couldn\'t actually wear her clothes in that form, so... what did she mean?  It seemed easier, to him, if they just waited in the lounge for her to come out and retreat when she wished.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 22, 2008, 02:28:38 AM
As Alec kept rationalizing her earlier comments instead of letting the uncomfortable subject go, Morgaine\'s expression could most accurately be described as \'Eurgh\'. There were pursed lips and a brow raised over the housecat comment, but her mouth was twisted to the side in sympathy for the girl\'s previous experience – though she had no way of knowing what that was, exactly – wide eyes, aimed toward the ground indicated the treacherous ground she tread, and the other half of her brow knit over the fact that she was digging herself deeper into an already awkward pit. Overall, it was a strange, unhappy – yet comical – arrangement of those tattooed features.

It was also mercifully short-lived, however, and soon replaced with the simple pursed lips and single cocked brow of noncomprehension as the girl continued speaking. Thankfully, Tau seemed to understand her at least slightly better than the singer. Her expression smoothed as he explained, and expressed his own confusion. Unbeknownst to either of them, Morgaine\'s thoughts almost perfectly matched those of her host on the subject of how they should go about this whole business; Alec\'s plan seemed overly complicated. But, once again, what did she know? "I think I can manage to keep my hands and feet inside the cart at all times," she said, as a circumspect way of agreeing to Alec\'s rules. Maybe too circumspect, "I mean, I got it."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 22, 2008, 12:19:46 PM
(I made that confusing for myself. Sorry!!)

Alec chuckled at her confused spectators. "Okay. More simple: Just follow me until I go back into my room. I want you to se me shift and I have a feeling Tau wanted to see how I, a creature with arms and legs and much more mass than a snake, shifted into one."  She looked at them with an uncertain expression on her face. "How about I just rattle at you when I don\'t want you to follow me?" she asked, thinking it may have been more simple. She smiled as she turned to go to her room.

She walked to her room quickly and fluidly, leaving the door open for Tau and Morgaine. She glanced over at the rats in cages, hoping she wouldn\'t go for them as a snake. She turned and her feet and sighed as she sat down in the floor. She laid down and was on her stomach as she could feel her muscles and bones start to move. Alec lay still as she let herself shift into a more natural form. The bones popped and cracked as some split and repositioned themselves. Her arms and legs shrank until the bones from them repositioned themselves and became sections of rib bones and vertebre. Alec\'s skin changed into scales and became harder. The birthmarks on her legs shifted into rattles and shivered slightly.

The complete process took a little longer than Tau\'s but was still short. Alec was buried in layers of clothing which she quickly found her way through. She squirmed and slithered a few minutes and came slithering out of the neck hole of her shirt. She tasted the air and saw the heat coming from Tau and Morgaine. Alec slithered over to Tau\'s feet, tasting them for a moment before moving to Morgaine and tasting hers. She slithered past them and out of the room. Alec as a snake stretched out was just as long as Alec was tall.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2008, 06:19:33 AM
Tau, for one, was quick to agree and to follow when Alec clarified her intentions, arriving at her doorway as she lay on the floor on her stomach.  He leaned against one side of the opening, cheek pressed against the wood and watching avidly as, even though the room was technically his, he didn\'t feel it was right to intrude on space he\'d allocated to his houseguest.  He also didn\'t want to take up the whole doorway, as Morgaine needed room to stand there and see as well and as much as the fleeting thought of her crammed up against him to do so was very pleasant, he couldn\'t bring himself to be rude about it.

"Whoa," he breathed in wonder as woman arms and legs shrank in and became part of a body he couldn\'t see, due to the mask of clothes.  When she slithered out of them, her movement immediately stirred the cat within him and his gaze darted all over her length, watching her curiously and anticipating her next move (almost like he was going to pounce on her - his body was coiled, yes, but he wasn\'t that stupid).  As Alec slid past, he turned on the spot, looking up at Morgaine as he did.  "She is a pretty snake... but I am not sure I want to hold her after all those warnings," he grinned.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 23, 2008, 06:58:02 AM
Morgaine followed as well, though she arrived at the doorway shortly after Tau, since walking fast for him was practically running for someone with much shorter legs -- and Morgaine just wasn\'t going to make herself look like a fool by jogging to catch up, though she was intrigued enough to want to.
 
They both got to the same place eventually, however, and Morgaine took up much the same position as her host on the other side of the doorway to take in the show. Of which there wasn\'t much, seeing as to how Alec vanished inside the puddle of her clothing fairly quickly. The singer didn\'t mind; she had the idea in her head that Alec\'s transformation might go along the lines of seeing a human body getting squeezed through a toothpaste tube, which had never ranked too high on her list of Things to See and Do.
 
When the finished product appeared, however, Morgaine was no less amazed, depsite the fact that that product was more or less exactly what she\'d expected. Only bigger. By kind of a lot. Alec had been taller than her, so the snake was too (well, longer, at least). And that was a bit nerve-wracking, any way you slice it. Morgaine\'s wonder vastly overwhelmed her fear, however, and the latter was silenced as the now-transformed young woman slid over the tops of her feet. It was hard to be afraid when one was concentrating so hard on not jumping up in the air and squealing like a schoolgirl -- because damn, did that tickle.
 
She exhaled once it was over, though, turning as Tau did, "I\'m with you there," she replied, "God, just look at the way she moves." The singer lowered herself slowly into a crouch, watching the rattle as she did, not wanting to irritate the snake, but desiring a better look.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 23, 2008, 11:02:28 AM
Alec reacted to Morgaine crouching down, turning to inspect the heat she looked at Morgaine and raised herself off of the ground to inspect her closer. Alec raised up and tasted the air near her. She lost interest after a few seconds and turned back toward the living room, where she smelt the feline side of Tau. Alec slithered into the room, lightly tasting the ground as she went.

Once in there she went around, tasting various objects, the TV, parts of the couches, and the floor. Finally tired of that and with a slight chill she curled up in a coil in the middle of the floor. She sat her head on top of her and looked to Tau and Morgaine. Even in her animal form, somewhere in the back of her mind the question of what they thought about her flitted through her mind.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2008, 03:49:18 PM
"It is beautiful," he agreed with Morgaine, walking slowly after Alacer and watching the muscle in her body work so subtly they barely moved at all - yet she did, so they must have been.  He sat on one of the couches to watch the snake explore her environment, encouraging Morgaine to sit beside him with some beckoning hand gestures and an expression to match.

When the shifter became a coil, Tau could suppress his urges no longer; he simply had to play!  "I am going to pick her up," he announced, sliding off the plush chair and onto his left knee.  His right leg was raised and folded in against his body, heel against backside and knee not far from his chin.  He reached around it to slide his large hands gently beneath the enormous rattlesnake on his lounge room carpet.

Recalling Alec\'s rules, he moved slowly when picking her up, allowing her to slide and slither over his hands and forearms in order to find a position she liked, listening for the rattle that would tell him he should freeze and let her go altogether, lest he be bitten.  When it didn\'t come, he slowly backed into a bent over position and then moved back to sit on the couch.  If Morgaine had chosen to sit with him, he would try to sit a little apart from her, in case she didn\'t want the snake so close to her, otherwise he would position himself in the centre of the settee, on the edge of the cushion, sitting up straight and watching the reptile in his hands in rapture.

"She feels so smooth... yet powerful... cool against my skin and- oh!  Her muscles bunch and squeeze when she changes direction!" he cried delightedly, sounding very much like the young boy he technically was, enchanted by the beast he held within his grasp.  "Do you want to hold her?" he asked the gorgeous Indian woman nearby - even though he couldn\'t bring himself to look away from the snake in order to make eye contact.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 23, 2008, 10:42:18 PM
When the snake reared in front of her face, Morgaine could feel her heartbeat quicken, bringing a rush of heat to her face. She barely dared breathe, but still she held the reptile\'s gaze until she lost interest and slithered off across the carpet. It was only when Tau moved after the snake that the singer realized that she was not, in fact, breathing. Fortunately, she was able to maintain her composure as she took a deep breath, pulling much-need Oxygen into her lungs.
 
This done, she followed after her host, sitting next to him on the couch, as he\'d indicated -- even though he was soon gone again. She nodded in response to his declaration, but couldn\'t keep her muscles from tensing in anticipation as he carried through with it. Her mother had taught her how to tourniquet and excise a snake bite, and she ran through thee steps hurriedly in her mind. But he moved slowly and carefully, and the snake did not initially seem disturbed by his touch.  She even smiled as she watched the two of them.
 
She folded her legs over themselves, and placed her hands between them on the couch cushion to steady herself as she leaned forward to get a better look. "Wow," she breathed. Morgaine didn\'t blame him for not looking at her as he spoke (She\'d have reprimanded if he had, even), "Let\'s give her a second to get used to you first, yeah?" Though this was probably a very good idea, morgaine was also afraid of hurting the snake. As a guitar player, her hands were very rough, and she was afraid of Alec\'s scales getting caught on one of her calluses, or something equally unpleasant. It didn\'t stop her from at least wanting to at least touch the snake; she loved the way she moved  over Tau\'s fingers; like living water, or a chain of some intelligent alien metal.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 24, 2008, 01:34:24 AM
Alec tasted Tau\'s hands as he picked her up, letting him take her with him. she moved over his hands, feeling him move with her. She curled over his hands and arms from elbow to elbow, coils overlapping. She tasted the feline in him and tasted his skin. Moving over his arms she lifted herself up and tasted his chest and arms, barely touching with her tongue, feather-like licks.

The heat that Morgaine possessed made Alec turn toward the girl again. She reached slightly over Tau\'s arm, watching the moving heat then lay back in his arms. He tasted familiar and she was completely comfortable with him in this form. Morgaine was also familiar and if she were to take Alec from Tau, the snake wouldn\'t mind that much, thought Tau was a lot warmeer than the woman. Alec moved and curled slightly in Tau\'s arms to lay impossibly between them.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 24, 2008, 05:08:52 PM
Tau\'s head jerked back and forward and he giggled delightedly as the snake hovered over his bare chest, tongue moving incessantly as she explored the swirls of hair and peeks of skin evident between.  She was feather-light and cool upon his skin, something he enjoyed greatly (though if he gave too much thought to the fact that he had Alec resting upon his nudity, he felt awkward... so he quelled such thoughts as soon as they began).

"I think she has had plenty of time to get used to me," he announced ruefully, once the rattlesnake stopped sliding across him and appeared to settle in his arms.  He gathered as slowly and carefully as he could and held her out towards Morgaine.  "Here, you have a turn.  Be ready though, she is heavy.  I wonder if it is anything to do with her being a shifter, rather than a normal snake?" he mused aloud, already pretty certain that the creature he held was far heftier than a normal rattlesnake (bigger, too) and convinced it had to be because she was a different species.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 25, 2008, 12:42:45 AM
Morgaine enjoyed watching the two of them. And as she she did, Tau\'s form transformed momentarily into that of a delighted Adam in the Garden, mindless of his impending fall, and simply happy to be alive – wait, did he just giggle? She stifled a laugh of her own. Though she couldn\'t rightfully blame him, she was still going to razz him about it later.

"It might have something to do with her being fucking huge," Said Morgaine, who had no experience with snakes, She slid off the couch to sit next to him on the floor, however, and held out her arms once she was solidly seated. The transfer was a bit tricky, but both of them were very careful not to hurt the transformed woman, and eventually everything got settled. With the full length of Alec\'s body curled in her arms (or wherever Alec chose to go, after that) the snake-to person ratio of the two of them was obviously somewhat high, but everything balanced out eventually. Then Morgaine knew what he\'d been talking about, "Whoa, yeah, she is a little on the heavy side, isn\'t she?" Then, belatedly, "No offense, Alec. If you\'re in there. Or whatever." Snake or no, no woman liked to be referred to as heavy.

But Morgaine forgot all of this when Alec bean to move, and she felt the sensation Tau described: the liquid bunching and coiling of the muscles under the cool, smooth skin as the rattlesnake moved through her hands, over her skin. "Oh, wow," the singer reiterated. Apparently, the hesitance of before had all but dissolved – though she was still listening keenly for the sound of the rattle.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 25, 2008, 01:05:33 AM
Alec was a little disappointed that the warmer man had given her to the woman. Tau and Morgaine her head shouted back at her. She curled up in Morgaine\'s arms and started to taste her like she did Tau. Alec tasted her shirt, her arms, and reached up to her neck. She tasted different than him and she knew she didn\'t smell like an animal. Alec lay down in her hands now, winding around one of them comfortably and laying her head over the coil.

Alec stayed like that for a few minutes, but lost interest and slithered out of her arms and onto the floor. She slid across the floor to the television and reached up about two feet to taste the screen. If she wanted she could stand up half her length, but she refrained and tasted all the different smells and tastes. Alec started to go to the couch and slithered up on the armto rest. She looked toward the two people on the floor and yawned, her mouth opening up to reveal light pink gums and needle-sharp fangs. She popped her lower jaw apart and back together as she yawned, then fixed it as she closed her mouth.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2008, 12:42:08 AM
Tau\'s head drew back and he pulled a startled face as the snake opened her mouth and... well, clicked her jaw.  "Oh," was all he could say as he watched the strange sight, wondering if that was some sort of warning or not.  He looked at Morgaine, expression puzzled.

"I do not know if that was a lead-up to her rattling, but perhaps we should leave her to it?" the Oligarch suggested, recalling the desire he\'d had from earlier as he made eye contact with the exotic singer.  "Maybe we should lock ourselves in my room and you can pass the time by singing to me?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 26, 2008, 01:33:18 AM
When she was young, Morgaine\'s parents had told her stories about the snakes of India– some of which spit deadly venom into the eyes of attackers. So, when Alec reared up and opened her mouth to that rather disturbing degree and exposed those wicked-looking fangs, Morgaine\'s first reaction was to raise a hand to shield her eyes. She quickly ran the raised hand through her hair, however, when it occurred to her a split second later that they weren\'t in India (not that she had ever been). It didn\'t stop her from feeling stupid, but it may have kept her from looking that way.

"Jesus, I thought she was gonna take my head off," mumbled the singer.

She tore her eyes away from the snake for a moment to look at his face after he finished speaking, single brow raised. How subtle! He\'d already heard her sing that night, but Alec hadn\'t. Part of her wanted to give something to the snake-woman in return for letting her see her as she was now – but she hadn\'t asked to see Alec, she\'d asked to see Tau, and now he wanted something in return. "I\'m down," she said mildly, "Should we leave a note, or something?" She didn\'t know the other shifter as well as Tau did, but she knew she\'d feel all kinds of ditched of she came out of her room to find that the two of them had vanished without so much as a how-do-you-do (as it were). She also wasn\'t used to caring about what other people thought. Or waiting. But perhaps it was better to err on the side of politeness when dealing with someone who could kill you in your sleep as easy (it seemed) as not. Not that she was planning on sleeping there. Was she?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on October 26, 2008, 11:06:34 AM
Alec\'s consiousness knew what they were saying and she slithered from the arm of the couch landing with a thud on the floor. She slithered to her room, gently flicking her tail along the way, making the small rattles on her tail audible, not in an agitated way but an aknowleging way. She slithered quietly into her room, her tongue wasn\'t flicking in and out but she knew the tastes.

Alec crawled into the room and into a small space by the bed to change. If anyone had followed her, Alec was more preoccupied with being shifted back into her hman form. She lay there and the cracks started, louder than the first time. She lay there completely motionless until all her organs and bones had come together and went back into their places. Alec opened her eyes, the only difference being they weren\'t slits anymore. She sat up, joints popping in and out of place as they realigned themselves. She gathered her clothes and put them on quickly, returning to the main room barely two minutes after she left. Alec smiled at the two people. "And just for a forewarning, I was yawning when I opened my mouth."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2008, 11:06:30 PM
Unfortunately, though Alacer believed her transformation to have happened in a manner timely enough for her to be able to speak with the others when she exited her room, she would quickly realise she was wrong; by the time she spoke, Tau had led Morgaine into his room, handed her her guitar and flopped down on the edge of the bed so that she would have plenty of room to climb on as well.  He was laying on his right side, elbow bent so that he could rest his head in the palm of his right hand and laying as close to the left edge of the bed as he could (it was the side he always slept on) so that Morgaine had the majority of the space.

He\'d closed his bedroom door so the snake wouldn\'t chase in after them but had given no thought to the fact that the human could easily follow - he was too intent on hearing Morgaine\'s voice again (and perhaps asking why he\'d been given strange looks for clapping the performance he\'d seen earlier that day).  "What will you sing for me?" he asked eagerly, his expression both hopeful and innocent.  His long legs were slightly splayed and his feet were jiggling with excitement and anticipation as he watched his guest avidly. His left hand was toying absently with the hairs that went from his belly button to down beneath the waistband of his pants.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 27, 2008, 05:17:56 AM
Morgaine felt a little bit bad about simply scurrying away into the privacy of Tau\'s room, but it was squashed soon enough but the weight of his simple, childish excitement.

It took a little bit of fiddling with the he plopped in her lap before her guitar was out and in it\'s place, with a pick between the singer\'s teeth and her nimble hands picking out simple nonsense melodies on it\'s strings, making infinitesimal adjustments to their tension with her other hand using the pegs at the top of the instrument.

"\'Ell ut oo–" she paused, taking the bright yellow pick out of her teeth which effectively stilled her hands, "Puah – well, what do you want to hear?" she repeated. The question was out of her mouth before her brain caught up with the fact that it seemed he didn\'t know any music, other than what he heard on TV. She\'d give him the chance to answer, anyway, in case she was wrong. Regardless, her mind began flipping through the extensive catalog of acoustic songs (and songs that were never meant to be acoustic, but she\'d gone ahead and done \'em, anyway).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2008, 06:28:17 AM
"A song," he asserted solemnly, nodding his head to show that he meant what he said.  His glance at her fingers sliding over the frets of the instrument might give away the fact that he thought she was already performing for him, and that he didn\'t seem to like this show nearly as much as the one where she\'d sung words - he had no idea that instruments needed to be tuned.

Looking back at Morgaine\'s eyes, he smiled reassuringly, hoping he wasn\'t being too rude to ask her to stop playing... whatever it was she was playing and switch to something else.  "I do not care which one, I do not know any.  I liked the one you sang at the café, though," he finished brightly, hoping that that would give her some direction as far as playing went.  She could whip out \'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star\' about now and he would be enraptured and exclaim over her genius.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 27, 2008, 11:13:17 AM
Sitting on the edge of the bed, she smiled back at him, and the last of the experimental notes faded into nothing. A song. Yes, she could do that. She would\'ve sung him the world, if that what he\'d wanted to hear. She said nothing of that, though; simply: "Cool."

Her hands moved automatically into position on the strings. A certain complex rhythm had sprung into her head, and the lyrics that were poised on her tongue matched nicely with what she felt that he might want to hear, and with her recent state of mind – but it didn\'t feel right. There was suddenly a beat nudging at the corners of her mind that she simply couldn\'t ignore. Lips pursed, she paused, and then, in a series of decisive motions, she tucked the pick under the strings and flipped the guitar onto it\'s face, so that the strings lay against her lap, and the back was exposed. She used this, instead, as her instrument.

The snap of her fingers set the rhythm, and for four beats, it was the only sound in the room

"Hustle
Most every day
\'Cause I don\'t have the good Lord
To Light my way


At first, only the snap of her fingers accompanied the rich sound of her voice, but after the first line, she elaborated on the beat, using her other hand to clap, and then both hands to strike the back of the guitar, creating a deep, resonating sound within the hollow body of the instrument. These three elements, alternating in an intricate pattern as complex as anything she could have done with the strings on the guitar were the underlying components on which she built her song. Rising above them was the sound of her voice, the knot which bound the piece together and made it something more.

At the first line of the next verse – and and every verse after it – her hands stilled, allowing her voice alone to fill the silence. They picked up immediately where they\'d left off, however, coaxing that powerful note from deep in the belly of her guitar.

"So I carry the Hustle
And every hour
Yeah, little by little
Sellin\' love for power

And I\'m steady grindin\'
Straight down to bone
I push it around all day
And when I come home

I find myself alone
No one is by my side
Yeah Jimmy and Good Lord
Come to tan my hide"


The words weren\'t entirely true – Morgaine was not alone, nor had she ever been, but her voice sang beyond the words, to the pain she felt at the disconnect she could feel looming within her tightly knit group. The fact that all the stress and confusion brought on by the world around them could either strengthen their bonds, or tear them apart at the seams. She didn\'t think about any of that as she sang, however, she simply sang it, and knew that it felt right.

"Tell me how all the Angels
Yeah they sing and cry
\'Cause I don\'t have the good Grace
of the watchful Eye

They all know that I\'m lonely
And it\'s in my veins
Yeah I push it on this town
\'Til they feel my pain

\'Til everyone is addicted
Yeah to my name
They forget all the rules
And I control the game

Now it\'s just me and Jimmy
walkin\' by my side
Yeah he told me that the Good Lord
Is to be found inside

So I let him deceive me
Like I did you
Well it\'s hard on my colors
When everything is blue

So I carry the hustle
And day by day
\'Cause I don\'t care that I\'m sinnin\'
In most every way

And I\'m stead grindin\'
Straight down to dust
\'Cause I don\'t got no Angels
Tellin\' me that I must

Go out and seek a savior
Jesus is a fuckin\' joke
If I took your Jehova
Then I\'d just be broken"

 
The word \'Jehova\' stood alone, drawn out beatifically, with silence surrounding it, and the next line was delivered as if it were a new verse. There was a jarring emphasis on the word \'broken\', and her voice filled an extra beat with it\'s jagged edges before the next verse began.

Yeah, heart and dreams
I just wanna be loved
I don\'t know what it means

So now it\'s me and the devil
Gonna take a ride
I look around and it\'s Jimmy
Standin\' at my side

\'Cause all along it was just me
Yeah Jimmy ain\'t there
But I\'m still drivin\'
And I\'m goin\' nowhere


At the end of this verse, the mood took her to finish with the song she\'d originally wanted to do, in place of finishing this one. So she last few verse out, and instead flipped the guitar over once again, and her fingers flew to the strings, barely breaking stride. The new melody she picked out was intricate, but more laid back and upbeat. The song she\'d been singing spoke to her future, and to her uncertainty. It spoke to the things she feared becoming, and to the parts of her that hurt the most.

This song spoke to her past, to her present, and to her cure.

The guitar spoke for her for a few moments as she let Tau get acclimated to the abrupt change. Her eyes had been closed, but now they opened, and caught his. Her furrowed brow unknit, and a smile touched her lips as she turned her eyes back to her hands and began to sing again.

"My name is volatile
I\'ve been this way a long while
I\'d surely like to rest
But the energy gets the best of me

And it\'s been a wild ride
I wouldn\'t change a minute
I can\'t slow down inside
I guess that\'s why I live it."


Here, the guitar became heavier, and her voice rested in it\'s place, though her head nodded, bringing her body with it. Once again, she was lost. At the beginning of the next verse, the guitar subsided slightly, without returning to the sedate pace it had begun with.

Ten years of mischief
Followed by week of thrift
I land on Earth\'s hard face
No legs could keep that pace
And through the rest I sift


The guitar picked up again, and this time, it did not subside as she began to sing again.

Is there ever a time when the state of sleeping willingly leaves my mind?

I\'m not used to it
You\'d think I\'d be by now
The ins the outs
The ups and the downs

I wanna make a mess
I wanna blow off stress
I wanna stoke the fire
Just creatures for a while
I wanna make a mess
I wanna blow off stress
I wanna stoke the fire
Just creatures, just creatures,

Comes and goes it comes and goes
Sometimes I go a little crazy
Sometimes I get a little out there
Sometimes I go a little crazy just like you, I do"


She looked up at him again as she sang the first verse of the chorus, and her smile broadened. Forgoing the rest of the song – which was not as pertinent, and definite overkill, as had a few elements she\'d skipped within the first verse –she opted to repeat the chorus, lowering her eyes back to the strings.

"I wanna make a mess
I wanna blow off stress
I wanna stoke the fire
Just creatures for a while

I wanna make a mess
I wanna blow off stress
I wanna stoke the fire
Just creatures, just creatures."


After the final line, she wrung three powerful chords from the guitar, and then let those fall into silence before she looked up again, breathing slightly harder than normal. It had only taken about five minutes, but she felt as though she\'d walked for miles.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2008, 08:08:08 PM
Tau was feeling much the same way, though... well, truthfully, he wasn\'t sure what he was feeling.  He\'d stopped fidgetting entirely while Morgaine played and his mouth had literally dropped open in wonder, his eyes dancing a furious jig as they followed every move of her beautiful hands (as if attempting to catch them).

At some point he\'d sat up, his legs crossing tailor fashion and his hands curling ever-so-politely into the gap between his legs as he watched avidly, an awestruck audience of one.  though his body was, miraculously, still for once, inside him there was a rage of emotion and wonderment that bore no labelling.

It was so strong, he could taste it and it brought tears to his eyes, so powerful he was swept away though he hardly dared move, so vibrant his every blood vessel thrummed in a blur inside his skin - which seemed too taut, too hot, too wrong, too limiting.  The beat she made echoed in his heart, the words she spoke besieged his mind, the notes she hit bewitched him.  It was as if she\'d rapidly wound him with string so that she could pull him in any direction she liked, but injected him with a million ants that moved incessantly and raged through his body.

He didn\'t know whether to laugh or cry, to whoop with joy or mourn... something.  His body wouldn\'t lose the resonance of the guitar\'s pitch, the beauty of her tones, the frenetic energy of the very air around her.  She was transformed in a way so much more beautiful and meaningful than anything his mutant body could come up with he was humbled and afraid of the glory that was her.  She inspired and astounded him, moved him like he\'d never known he could be and left him aching when she stopped playing in a crescendo of sound he didn\'t have the intellect or training to understand but which his primal instincts exulted in.

"I... " he attempted to speak after a time, his voice sounding strained and foreign to his ears, who wanted nothing of his mundane tones now that they\'d been exposed to heaven.  He was mediocrity and banality in its every form and he didn\'t even feel worthy of speaking in her presence... but he had to try to express his appreciation for... that.  He had to do better than one word, though.

"I... think I understand what being human is, now," he told her with wonderment, for he\'d certainly just had a crash course in every emotion in the human spectrum... it bore no resemblance to the feline one whatsoever.  "I want to... run and jump and... be more, all at once!" he enthused, gathering steam as the words came to him, his blue eyes twinkling wildly at her.  "You are so gifted, I do not fully even know what I feel, only that I do and it... it makes me want to... to do!" he cried, unable to contain himself any longer.

He leapt very suddenly into the air in something akin to a starjump - a move commonly performed by children who reach the apex of a jump on a trampoline.  Unfortunately, though Tau\'s exuberance matched that of a child\'s, his body stature didn\'t and his uncontained bound of joy only resulted in him cracking his head on the ceiling above his bed then landing on his feet and falling down into a crouch, holding said bumped appendage.  "Ow," he said belateldy, laughing as he held ahand to the crown of his head and squinted over at Morgaine.  "Maybe I should have gone with my first instinct and punced on you, after all," he chuckled.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 28, 2008, 01:22:43 AM
"I... think I understand what being human is, now,"

These words were the ones that lay at the core of every artist\'s dream; at least, every artist she\'d ever liked. Everything those artists did, the driving force behind every song, every brushstroke, every word on the page – was to inspire the kind of emotions that Tau was feeling.

Theirs was an impossible task to accomplish, as this was something that almost never happened. Everybody thought they already knew what it meant to be human, or – more often – they didn\'t think about it at all. But when it did happen that an artist inspired such a response, it meant they could rest. It meant they had done their part; they could put down their guitar, their brush, their pen, and sleep.

But the only thought Morgaine had, when her brain started out of the shocked silence his words had inspired, was this: You\'ve done good tonight, Morgaine. She closed her mouth, which had hung similarly open, and solemnly nodded her thanks, which were deeper than he could\'ve understood, and far beyond her capacity to express.

This happened just before he executed his daring jump toward the heavens, only to be stopped abruptly by the most mundane of ceilings. Surprised, the singer barely had the forethought to brace one foot against the floor and one hand against the headboard to avoid getting jostled off the bed when he came back to Earth. Though the sound of head meeting ceiling caused her to wince and grimace, she couldn\'t help but laugh – even as she set her guitar gingerly on the floor, and then scooted across the covers, toward him, "That probably would\'ve crushed my guitar, though, and you\'d be feeling a whole lot more pain right now, if that had happened." Morgaine had done exactly the same thing he\'d done innumerable times, in low-ceilinged motel rooms all across this glorious country, and the pain – while considerable – was nothing to what she\'d be doing to him if her instrument had been smashed, "Let me get a look at your head though; I\'m pretty sure they heard that in Kansas."

Alec had undoubtedly heard it, at any rate.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2008, 07:16:26 AM
"I would never hurt your guitar!" Tau declared, obviously horrified by the prospect.  He also removed his hand from the top of his head and tilted it downward at a very extreme (awkward) angle so that Morgaine could inspect what he was certain was just a bruise.  Already, his mind was off the dull pain in his head and back on her music and the way it made him feel.

"Does all music change the way you feel inside, or is it just yours?  Why did the people at that café not clap for you when you finished singing?  Is it not polite to do that when someone performs for you?  And you were wonderful!  I loved that performance, too."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 28, 2008, 11:26:16 AM
Morgaine shifted to her knees and craned over his bent head, doing her best to keep her tits from smooshing his face (because he was talking, and that would have been impolite). She managed to find a way while her deft fingers poked and prodded about until she found the tender spot, and quickly deduced that it was going to become an obnoxious goose egg at worst, and not the concussion she\'d feared. She listened intently to his questions – fired off so quickly that she had to laugh, "Hey, hey, slow down, buckaroo! Your head might be fine, but mine can\'t work that fast."

But her face was serious as she rocked back on her heels and then settled her rear on the comforter, legs splayed out before her, leaning back on her arms.  "Alright," she said thoughtfully. This was not going to be an easy task; She would have to remove herself from the things she was closest to, the elements that made up her life, and pick them apart – explain them as she would to a child. Morgaine didn\'t have much experience with children (in fact, she wasn\'t all too fond of them at all) but she\'d make a go of it it anyway.

Alright, the easy one first. Music. She\'d gone to classes for this. Taking a deep breath, she caught his eyes when she began to speak, and held them until she was done. This was vitally important, "First of all – Music – good music – is supposed to make you listen. Great music makes you feel. Sometimes it\'s not always important. Sometimes it just makes you want to dance – which isn\'t to say that dancing isn\'t important," She held up a finger, emphasizing her point, "\'Cause it is. But the difference between good and great music comes not from the songs, but from the performer. Two people can sing the same song, and only one of them will make the audience cry. The words are the same, but if the passion isn\'t there," She shook her head, and waved a dismissive hand, "That\'s all it is, is words." Morgaine realized that this may have sounded egotistical, but she knew she had the passion, and she knew that\'s what made her good, "If you don\'t use those words for everything they\'ve got, than the best you can hope for is good." She shrugged, "And that\'s okay. It keeps people interested, it\'s fun, it doesn\'t always have to mean something."

She looked away for a moment, when she answered his next question – the more difficult one, by far (but then, what question of emotion was easy?), "The cafe...nobody who mattered was supposed to see that." She sighed, and raised her  eyes, "That song was full of rage, and bitterness, and other scary stuff that I can\'t even begin to name – and if I had shown those things to the band, they would have been afraid. Of me. Of what was going to happen to us. And nothing good comes of fear like that.

"But after awhile those things start to build and build and build until you feel like you\'re going to break if you don\'t do something, and sometimes it gets so bad that you\'d rather feel nothing at all. That\'s where I was, earlier tonight," She took a deep breath, "Nobody clapped, because nobody wants to see that kind of pain. Most humans don\'t like strong emotion, especially if it\'s negative. It makes them uncomfortable, because they don\'t know how to fix it. And if your average Human can\'t fix something – anything – they ignore it. The people in the cafe went there for a night of soft acoustic and quiet conversation, and I went up there and laid myself out. I would\'ve gotten the same reaction if I\'d gotten up there and taken all my clothes off and shouted \'Look at me. I\'m a human being. I cry. I bleed. And right now I hurt inside, and I want you to pay attention.\' They knew they couldn\'t fix it, but I wouldn\'t let them ignore it.

"And then when you started clapping so enthusiastically, I got angry because well...I was angry to begin with, but also because you weren\'t supposed to enjoy it. You were supposed to feel what I felt, and what I felt was bad, bad, bad. And even if you didn\'t feel it, clapping is generally not the way to acknowledge the fact that somebody – even a stranger – is feeling that way. You were supposed to look away; to try to ignore it, to willingly forget that you had ever even seen me."

The singer smiled; an honest expression that looked natural on her face, but also like it was unused to being there, "But you didn\'t, and now I\'m glad."

She shrugged, and summarized, with a helpless, wry twist of the lips, "Feelings are complicated."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2008, 10:54:22 PM
Tau wore an equally serious and earnest expression as Morgaine rationalised the artistry that was music for him.  Needless to say, he was swiftly educated.  Sure, when he\'d worked at the gas station after newly arriving in the city he\'d heard music, because there had always been something or other being piped through the shop\'s system, whether it be radio or one of the monotonous tracks they owned.

The thing was, he\'d never bothered listening that that stuff, it had been disembodied and surreal, just more strange noises for him to attribute to the alien landscape he was surrounded by and another thing to become acclimatised to.  It hadn\'t ever made him feel... it had barely even registered as being there, so how could it?

Despite those prior experiences, however, he didn\'t doubt his guest\'s assertions about what music was supposed to be, for he\'d just experienced the truth of it for himself.  As far as he could tell, it had to be the right music and, preferably, experienced live and up close for correct profound impact.  Morgaine was certainly in possession of plenty of passion though, so she was likely so good at what she did because of that reason more than simply because she was sitting not three feet away from him and could sing so well the hairs on the back of his neck stood up on certain notes.

"I\'m glad I\'m ignorant to some things," he told her stoically when she explained that it was \'the done thing\' to ignore the rawness of peoples\' pain and be silent if you wanted to be polite.  "Though I didn\'t want to make you mad.  Feelings are very complicated and mostly I do not get too worried by them, because cats do not have nearly the range that a human does," he told her ruefully, smiling in return.

He fell quiet momentarily then, looking into her eyes with a little half-smile tilting the left corner of his mouth upward.  "But then... you went and played for me and that was the first time I have tasted what it is to feel with such passion... and I\'m also sorry that I have not understood it until now, that I have missed out on it for this long.  I cannot identify all of them yet, but I know that the most important one is love.  Morgaine... have you been in love with someone?  Is it like music?" he queried innocently, a frown wrinkling his brow slightly.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 06:22:23 AM
Another pang of sadness hit the singer as he told her he was glad of his ignorance, but she could understand. When you had as little time as Tau did, the last thing you wanted to do was waste it worrying about feelings. She tried to do as little of that as possible, herself, preferring to just say what she felt and have done with it – but sometimes it just wasn\'t that easy.
 
But then he was looking into her eyes, and asking that question, and every other thought flew out of her head. Love. Love. God, but this guy was innocent. A pained expression came to her face, and she looked away –though for some reason it pained her to do so, "I\'ve never been in love, so I really don\'t know," she said flatly, in answer to his question. This was something most people were surprised to hear. "I\'m not the person to talk to about love,"
 
You could love him.
The thought stopped her, and she paused for a moment, unsure of where it had come from.
Shut up
You could –
Shut. Up.
But he\'s different
SHUT. UP.
 
"No romantic love, at least." She shook her head, to clear the cobwebs. Stuffing that train of though back into it\'s box, she sealed it up tight and shoved it back into it\'s mental corner. Tonight was strange night, "I know that I love my guitar, and my art, and my band," She went on, and looked up again, "And yeah, all of those are like music, in their own way, I suppose, though I\'ve never thought of it that way."
 
She laughed, not without an actual measure of humor, "Like I said, though. I\'m not the person to ask." Morgaine did not believe in romantic love. She believed in the love a man had for his guitar, his brother, his friend, his mother, and his child. The guitar was the only thing that was incapable of betraying him, and if he picked his friends right, they would stay with him until the day he died --  Morgaine didn\'t need anything else. Didn\'t want anything else. Romance was simply a biological imperative; a way to insure that the people who made a child would stay together long enough to raise it well, and when that went bad...it went bad.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2008, 07:24:27 AM
The thumb of his right hand had begun tapping the tips of his fingers in turn, hitting along and then back, along and then back without him paying it too much attention - he had his \'thinking face\' back on again and was puzzling out the concept of there being different loves.  He was sitting on his butt but was slouched back against the headboard of the bed, hands resting negligently across his thighs and legs arranged so that they were more or less curled where Morgaine\'s weren\'t (but he didn\'t mind resting against her, for his awareness of personal space with someone he was fascinated with and wanted to be close to was nil).

Television had been his greatest educator in the realm of human emotions thus far and he was forever watching shows where men were grabbing at crying women and demanding 1) if they slept with him and 2) were they in love with him.  He rarely stayed long enough on one channel long enough to pinpoint who \'him\' was or if there would be a resolution to this dilemma, but he\'d certainly got it into his head that, for people, being \'in love\' was a common and desperate thing.

Morgaine saying that she\'d never been there surprised him, since she\'d just told him how she had a big range of emotions and that she liked to let them out on people who really didn\'t like that back, but he didn\'t disbelieve her.  What really stumped him was that there was a way to qualify love, that it could be directed at a guitar or art... but not at a person.  If she was capable of it, then it seemed stupid to aim something he got the distinct impression (from TV) was overwhelmingly wonderful at things that wouldn\'t return it.

"So... love can be different, depending what you love?" he mused, tilting his head as he offered up the summation of his thinking.  "And you only love things that cannot be in love with you?  Is that because you don\'t want to cry all the time?"

Like the people on TV do.  They\'re always sobbing over love - or being violent because of it.

"Why does love make people hurt?" he added hastily, thinking about the way television men seemed to punch things when the woman they loved told them yes, or they hurt the woman, depending on the show and the answer.  Tau meant the question physically, rather than emotionally, as per his perspective.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 08:57:39 AM
"Okay," said the singer, seeing clearly that she had a lot of work to do, "Now, there\'s a big difference between loving someone or something, and being in love with someone." She sat up, extricating one knee so he could bring it up and rest her elbow on it, pointing again, "Now, I love my band," she repeated, "Every bastard one of them, but Lord have mercy if one of them ever said they were in love with me." Which didn\'t really explain anything. She sighed, and tried again.
 
"Okay, loving something means that it\'s an integral part of your life. if it were gone, there\'d be hole where that thing was, and you\'d have to rearrange your life to fill it, and it would hurt, but you would move on. Being IN love with somebody means that that person becomes a part of yourself. Not literally," she added, unsure whether or not he would get that off the bat, "But emotionally. When you\'re in love with someone, you feel what they feel. When they hurt, you hurt. Seeing them happy makes you happy. It\'s a lot more than that, and it\'s different for everybody," she paused again, taking a deep breath, "But it almost never lasts, and losing the person you\'re in love with is like losing part of yourself. Like losing a limb. It can happen slowly, like getting your arm stuck in the gears of a clock, or it can happen in an instant, like getting hit by a truck -- with a whole smorgasbord of emotional agony in between. And sometimes the pain gets so bad that one -- or both -- people do terrible things; to each other, themselves, other people. Sometimes it makes people never want to love anything ever again." She shrugged, yet again. she was explaining something she\'d never felt, and thought she was doing a terrible job of it. Suddenly, her brows creased.
 
"Wait, who said anything about crying all the time?" She\'d meant to answer his question about why she didn\'t want to be in love. Really, she did. Really.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2008, 11:28:49 AM
"Um... " he murmured, having to give that some concentrated thought.  She had him so bamboozled trying to figure out the rest of what she\'d said - the image of someone with their arm stuck inside a clock was what was giving him the most trouble in deciphering, because he doubted she could be being literal but the truck reference was so she likely was being literal but how did a grown person get their arm stuck in an itty bitty clock? - that he was having trouble following now.
 
"I did," he eventually stated, completely deadpan, after his brain had backtracked to decipher exactly who\'d said what.  He normally wasn\'t so literal but his recent shape shift to and from a far simpler brain and the current discussion about a topic he was beginning to drown in had reduced him to a very simplistic level right about now.  "Because that is all they ever do on television - whenever people are in love, they are happy only briefly and before long there are tears and shouts and fights.  Usually all at the same time.  Now, I know television isn\'t real but it is supposed to be a caricature of the human condition is it not?"
 
Someone had said that to him not so long ago, laughing at him because he\'d made the mistake of asking someone at work about something he\'d seen on a television.  Asking that one person had caused them to snort laughter and repeat his question to someone walking by, who laughed with teh first person and then included a third person and so on and so forth until everyone (just about) had had a good laugh at the fact that he was taking television seriously.  One of the supervising demons put a stop to the chain of mockery by telling him television was a caricature of the human condition and to not believe everything he saw unless it was a documentary.
 
Unfortunately, he\'d then got so distracted growling at the people who\'d stopped working to make fun of Tau, that he\'d not fully explained what on earth a caricature was.  By saying it now, the shifter was mostly hoping that Morgaine would tell him in her own way; he was sure she wouldn\'t laugh at him meanly, at the very least.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 11:53:17 AM
It was very, very difficult for Morgaine to stop herself from introducing her face to her palm in the classic \'oh, God, really?\' gesture prompted by his confession of getting his information from the TV. She managed, instead, by taking a deep breath,sitting up fully, and taking both of his hands in hers. Fixing her eyes on his in a solemn stare, she spoke in a very serious tone,

"Tau, I\'m going to tell you this once, so listen good," She took another breath, "The television lies. That is not what real life is like."

She let go of his hands, and laughed, but not meanly, "A caricature is like...a cartoon. Everything is blown waaaaaay out of proportion, so it\'s more exciting." Once again, she laughed, and tossed her hair over one shoulder, "I mean – real life is boring, so people watch TV." Unless they lived HER life; Morgaine almost never watched television, unless it was with the rest of the band. And then it was usually movies they were watching, and not actual television.

God, please, please, please let\'s be done talking about love now. She felt like the blind leading the blind. She wanted to teach him, but she wanted  him to learn from somebody who wasn\'t –

Bitter?
Hopeless?
Scared?


Indifferent (she thought firmly) to the subject.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2008, 01:26:24 PM
Tau enjoyed her small, rough hands on his bigger rough ones and it almost made him smile, except he was too busy being forlorn about the television lying to him and not being like real life at all.  Now it was clear why he\'d been laughed at and dismissed so easily whenever he\'d talked about it; he\'d thought television was the quickest way to gain insight into the ways humans lived, to vicariously experience hundreds of lives he\'d never live, but to find out very little of it could be trusted was devastating.
 
He sighed heavily, attempting that smile but failing fairly spectacularly.  "I do not think real life is boring.  I just think it\'s confusing.  I thought television would teach me to understand people better but... it seems there is no shortcut.  I just have to live it to understand it, but I do not have very long to do that," he said miserably, suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of unavoidable hopelessness.  No wonder his mother had only dabbled in the human side of things and his brother had decided to give up.  This was all seeming quite insurmountable and hard now.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 02:25:27 PM
That was not a look she\'d ever wanted to see on his handsome features. Her face twisted into a pained expression, uncertain, apologetic. The crease that appeared between her brows was becoming almost familiar,  "Hey, hey," she said softly, "It\'s not your job to understand human life, okay? It\'s your job to live your[/B] life. I know it\'s not easy, but there are things that make it worth it."

She reached up as if she were going to touch his face, but, fingers flexed, she just sighed, and let her hands drop back to the bedspread, "God, I\'m sorry," and she was; it had been years since she\'d said those words, "I didn\'t want to upset you. I mean, I really didn\'t want to upset you." It would seem that he now understood why she\'d been sad, before, and that had been the opposite of her intention.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2008, 04:06:55 PM
Tau nodded solemnly, acknowledging that her intent had not been to upset him but still needing a little bit of processing time to get used to all this new information. After a few moments he took a deep breath and sat up out of his slouch, mentally talking himself out of the doldrums.
 
"No, it is good," he asserted, squaring his shoulders with a rigour that saw the tendons across his chest briefly stand out. He forced a smile upon his face too, not liking tha pall that was being cast (by him) over what had been a wonderful and enlightening experience just a short while ago. "I needed to know these things. I\'m glad you told me," he said warmly, his light blue eyes twinkling sincerely at her.
 
Impulsively, he reached over and scooped her far slighter frame up, lifting her over the gangly length of his closest leg and depositing her between his thighs so that he could hug her from behind. His long arms just about wrapped around her twice but he was careful not to squeeze her too hard (unlike when he\'d been a cat and done more or less the same thing, of course).
 
"Thank you," he said quietly, leaning down so that his chin rested upon her left shoulder and his mouth was very close to her ear. "I will try to pay less attention to what the television shows me about people and enjoy the real things more. Will you be my friend and show me more of the things that make life worth it?" he queried hopefully, already crediting her (in his head) with sharing music with him and starting him on the path of finding all the things that made a human life worthwhile.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 04:35:11 PM
Of all the people she\'d met in her life, Tau and Joe were probably the only the only people she\'d allow to handle her in the way that Tau did now (though, it didn\'t help that she hadn\'t seen it coming at all, still busy trying to pull herself out of her own melancholy). Anyone else, and she\'d be hissing and spitting like a hellcat. This was especially odd, considering they\'d just met, but she didn\'t question it. She felt safe here.

Despite this, she couldn\'t help but stiffen slightly in surprise. This faded quickly, though, when she realized he wasn\'t going to initiate another wrestling match to alleviate the tension, as she\'d almost expected (and would\'ve welcomed, though this was nice, too)  – and she relaxed back against his chest. It was difficult to pay attention to the words he spoke with his breath at her ear like that, but she was more than interested enough to overcome said difficulty. Friends. Alright, she could deal with that.

"I\'m already your friend, mister Tau," She patted his thigh with one hand, and brought the other up to squeeze one of the arms wrapped around her slight frame, "And I\'ll do my damnedest, for the rest," she promised. And Morgaine kept her promises. She felt it was the least she could do to make for introducing him to the twisted, convoluted rollercoaster of Human emotion – for as beautiful as all of them were, they were equally difficult to wrap one\'s head around.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2008, 04:48:18 PM
Tau felt that the time for commenting on the cues she broadcast (as far as he was concerned, anyway) with her body was now.  Before, they hadn\'t been openly declared as friends and things had been moving rapidly, but it was different here and now and he felt it was necessary to clear this stuff up.
 
"You do not like me touching you, do you?" he queried, his hold only loosening the barest of fractions, simply because she\'d relaxed in his arms after that initial tensing.  She\'d done it before when he\'d grabbed her, too but it was only now that he had the perspective of wanting to understand as much about humanity as he possibly could in a very short amount of time that he was open to being told he shouldn\'t.
 
Alacer\'s words, from the first night she\'d moved in, floated back to him about then and he realised he had been told about sexual harrassment and about how it was wrong to stare at women\'s breasts or touch them without being invited to... he just hadn\'t really connected that warning with someone he was having over to his house.  Now, he realised taht it probably did mean any woman and that he should respect the privacy and personal space of every person.
 
Damn, that was going to be very difficult... he knew himself and his habits well enough to understand this, too.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on October 30, 2008, 05:08:18 PM
Morgaine would have been perfectly content to doze right then and there (not that she was particularly tired, he was just so warm, and...nice) "Eh?" She jerked out of her reverie when he spoke, "What? No! I do like it. This is nice. I\'m not used to people touching me who aren\'t in the band, and who don\'t want to f– sleep with me," She congratulated herself inwardly on catching that one, but went on quickly, "And it\'s just surprising to find yourself suddenly picked up and moved around. I\'ll get used to it." She laughed, "Plus, I was kinda expecting you to pounce on me again," she admitted, shrugging the shoulder that his head didn\'t rest on, "To lighten the mood. It\'s what I\'d\'ve done, if I knew me better. And I were you." Apparently, that sentence made perfect sense to her, because she didn\'t elaborate.

"This is cool, too, though." She didn\'t know if she could even deal with another wrestling match, even if he was aware of himself now; her legs would certainly have something to say about it in the morning, either way.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 31, 2008, 11:00:32 PM
Again, she gave him some more thoughts to chew on.  She sounded rather more blasé about him touching her than he\'d expected but he couldn\'t get a good idea about whether she was lying or simply hiding anything because he didn\'t have a good view of her body to judge it at the moment.  She felt sincere, and that would have to be enough.

Of course, the fact that she more or less requested a pouncing-on to lighten the mood intrigued him no end.  The phrase \'lighten the mood\' was not something he immediately understood - though he was pleased he knew \'sleep with me\' and didn\'t have to ask about that - but he got there in the end, despite not understanding what she meant about being him and knowing her better.

"Well... I do not want to disappoint you," he said cheekily, smiling because he knew that what he was doing was designed for having fun, rather than being sad, frustrated and, above all, serious.  Without further ado, he lifted his right leg over her hid, half-slid, half-stepped forward then bent and turned back to face her.  With his hands placed on the bed either side of her, he then unceremoniously barged her into a prone position, laying himself along her (but careful not to lay on or make overly much contact).

"Do you want to wrestle?" he grinned, blue eyes returning to their former lively glinting as he stared down into her darker ones, ready to drop and roll with her the second she agreed.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 01, 2008, 05:14:12 AM
Morgaine, too, was glad that she didn\'t have to explain Sex (capital S) to Tau because -- while she knew a vastly more about about the subject and would\'ve done a better job at laying it out (so to speak) -- it was, like love, a subject on which her opinions differed from the norm; and talking about it would inevitably lead to more depressing talk and introspection, and -- while healthy -- too much introspection could be detrimental to one\'s desire to be and awake. Or alive, depending.
 
She was immeasurably glad, also, to see the smile back on his face. Fuck sore muscles, she thought, and a smile of her own claimed her tattooed features as he began to move.
 
She let him crowd her onto her back, but she raised her hands as he did, fully prepared for the match to begin. But she froze when he stopped, and actually asked her if she wanted to play.
 
Morgaine did not extend him the same courtesy.
 
With an exalted crow of laughter, she snaked her raised left arm about his neck, twisting her torso the right as she did so, locking her arm (not to mention Tau\'s face) to her side , and levering herself into a halfway sitting position.
 
And let that be his answer.
 
It was a cheap move, and she knew it -- but it was also likely to be one the only good ones she\'d get in, considering his superior size and strength, and even then, he would probably get out of it without too much difficulty.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 01, 2008, 01:40:39 PM
His laughter was muffled by his face being smooshed into her body but her message was loud and clear and a wash of happiness surged through him.  He was back in his own element and despite the sadness of their conversation thus far, it seemed that Morgaine was just like him when it came to reverting to play to avoid trouble.

He was so very glad he\'d made a friend in her and it made him aware, for the first time, of what it was like to be on the inside of human solidarity, to know what acceptance was and why it was so fulfilling.  Despite the negative repercussions, he could appreciate again the gamut of emotions that were open to humans and what was so damn good about them.

But then, there was also a wrestle to be had and he was held rather awkwardly at the moment, and unsure about how to go about extricating himself because he didn\'t want to squash the stuffing out of Morgaine in order to get it properly underway.  She was wily.  He loved that.  The best he could do was push forward so that she continue her roll onto her side and he was able to at least get his knees under him so that he was kneeling behind her and wasn\'t about to sprawl upon her.  His hands flailed around a bit, squeezing her arms to ascertain the extent of her hold on him and then he made a very human decision; he tried tickling her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 02, 2008, 12:50:18 PM
"Agh! Bastard!" Somehow, Tau had managed the singer\'s only weakness (well, the only one she\'d been born with, anyway). Morgaine was tough as nails, meaner than a pit viper when she wanted to be, feared nothing...

...and was extremely ticklish – which meant his tactic worked beautifully, because suddenly her hands were too busy trying to keep his hands away from her by batting, swatting, and trying fruitlessly to catch them.

Seeing as to how he was mostly attacking her from behind, however, most of her defense maneuvers were utterly ineffective, and she ended up in paroxysms of the most embarrassing girlish squeals, and the unavoidable wriggling that accompanied it. Shortly after this torture began, she managed to dodge his hands long enough to spin around to face him, (gaining her knees as she did) and followed up almost immediately by launching her rather insignificant weight at the shifter in a football-style tackle, which had her wrapping her arms around his middle as she bore him to the ground.

At least, this was the plan.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on November 02, 2008, 01:42:34 PM
Alacer\'s little patch of living room rug was her little haven she found. She thought about the few days she had been here, this was the longest she had stayed anywhere since her childhood orphanage. She picked at the threads as she heard Morgaine and Tau yell. She had a small smile on her face as she knew he had gotten her into wrestling. Alec picked at a string as she thought of other shifters. Tau was a really unique one. They usually aged and grew like humans and the ones that chased her were more humanaly aware in animal form. She thought back to her times in Arizona and Texas and shuddered. She shook her head as if to shake out the memories. That\'s a story for another day. she looked sadly at the rug underneath her.

Alec stood up and went quietly to her room. She looked toward Tau\'s door as she stepped into her own and closed the door behind her. She crawled on top of her bed fully clothed and sighed. How long her nightmares would last and how long she could keep from screaming out in the night she didn\'t know. But she would have to tell him soon about what had happened to her. She could wait until his guest left. She curled up into a small ball and bit her sleeve. She could wait until something happened.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 03, 2008, 11:28:13 AM
Tau was so busy laughing at Morgaine laughing that her plan to tackle him worked far better than either of them likely expected.  She seemed to have an innate understanding of leverage and the power of a well-placed fulcrum, for she had him toppling backwards like a newborn with what seemed very little effort.
 
Of course, where he was headed, there was only very minimal amount between him and his dresser, so he copped a wooden thump to the back of his head as h went down, his hands ceasing tickling her immediately in order to get a feeling for his landing (with his left hand) and nurse his throbbing skull.
 
Cats might have the uncanny ability to always land on their feet, but in such situations, were-shifters are nowhere near as graceful.  Had there been more space for him to spin... perhaps.  He wouldn\'t have banged his head yet again, either.  But such was not the case and so Tau Leander fell like the legendary Goliath toppled by the miniscule David - hard and painfully.
 
"Ow!" he declared as he contacted unforgiving linoleum, his long legs bent at extremely awkward angles beneath and beside him, upper body scrunched to avoid the leg of the dresser and hands pinned by his own body, one way or another.  He laughed and gingerly lifted his head to look at Morgaine.  "I think I will declare you the winner now, before I pass out," he told her, still chuckling as his head fell back to rest on the floor.  It had taken a great deal more effort than he wished to expend to keep it up there; looking at the ceiling was easier.  "We need to find a less painful way to pass the time."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 03, 2008, 12:13:27 PM
He was right; she did have considerable knowledge on the physics of backyard wrestling. But, apparently he was used to girls that didn\'t. She came with him to the ground, either way, though her landing was better cushioned than Tau\'s, considering it was Tau she landed on.

"Oh, fuck!" she cursed, when she heard his head clonk against the dresser. Arms still wrapped around his middle, the singer tugged on them a bit "Hold on. I\'m stuck." Well, actually, they were both stuck, but after a bit of uncomfortable wriggling and no small amount of untangling limbs, Morgaine was able to maneuver herself off of him by rolling awkwardly sideways. From there, she got back on her knees, to a position where she\'d be able to help him sit up, at least, so that he wasn\'t all scrunched up, "Hey, you feel like sitting up, or d\'you wanna just...lay there for a minute?" Morgaine had certainly been there herself, which was the only reason she\'d asked. She held her arms out, either way, so that he could grasp them and haul himself upright if he so chose. If she\'d set out this evening with the intention of giving someone a concussion, she doubted she could have done a better job.

"I\'m sorry, dude," she said, a worried look painted across her face, "I totally didn\'t expect that to work." She was used to wrestling with her friends, and they were used to her tactics. "But thats what you get for tickling me."  She grinned, "But I\'m down for playing scrabble, or whatever –" Of course, her mind went in an entirely less wholesome direction – because she\'d liked having him above her, and the touch of his fingers on her skin – even despite the tickle-torture they\'d been inflicting – but she kept her trap shut. She couldn\'t help the devious smile touching the corners of her mouth, however, "–After I get a look at your head."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 04, 2008, 07:14:38 AM
"I think... I\'ll lay on the bed," Tau laughed, accepting her offer of help to get to his feet, surprised to find his head actually ached with a dull throbbing once he was upright.  It brought back memories of the pain he\'d endured a few years before, thanks to the bear trap, and caused an internal shudder to boot.  "It worked very well," he told her wryly, sitting on the side of the bed and then gingerly laying back.  Even the softness of his pillow hurt the point of contact with the dresser, though, so he turned on his right side, hoping Morgaine would lie with him and he could still see her.

"After you look at my head," he began, feeling her hovering over him - at least his turn onto his side had given her better access to the pulsing spot at the back of his skull, "maybe you could play me another song to help me feel better?"  The suggestion was asked with enough guile that it could have just popped into his mind to request it, but really, he wanted to take every opportunity he could to listen to her sing and play while she was there.  The afternoon was fading and he had no idea how much longer she\'d stay; he had to make the best of it.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 04, 2008, 08:13:32 AM
"Well, let\'s call it even, then," she said, chuckling as she helped him up, "As a cat, you can kick my ass three ways to Tuesday, but I\'ve got you beat on two legs."

She clambered up onto the bed shortly after Tau, and knelt at his side (which, when he turned, became his front) – once again running her fingers gently through the softness of his hair in search of a serious contusion (and finding two minor ones, this time – one slightly worse than the other).

His request surprised her, considering all of the bad talk that had come out of their first session – bad talk which had lead them, ultimately, to their current position. She couldn\'t help but keep a note of enthusiasm from entering her voice as she answered, however, because she\'d loved playing for him; his was the kind of childish wonderment that made her job the beautiful thing it was meant to be. Playing for him was nothing short of cathartic, and she was thrilled that he\'d asked her to repeat the experience. "Totally! So long as you promise not to try and jump out of your skin again," Then, lowering herself into something more akin to a crouch than a hover, "You\'re sure you don\'t want some ice first?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 04, 2008, 11:05:25 PM
"Ice?" he queried, having to settle the jolt of excitement that shot through him when she agreed to play again when she proposed this rather unusual... remedy?  In his mind, he pictured himself sucking on one of the little blocks of ice that his fancy new freezer had to offer... and he had no idea how that was supposed to help his wounds.  "How would ice help my head?" he asked, nonplussed.

Although he was impatient for the music to start up again, he didn\'t ask this question meanly, but rather more warily than anything.  He trusted that there would be some sort of wisdom to her making such a random offer but he was buggered if he could figure out what benefit there might be.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 04, 2008, 11:50:38 PM
She furrowed her brows. He couldn\'t really be ignorant to this most simple of remedies, could he? Really? "It feels fantastic when you put it on bumps like yours," she explained, anyway, as she mentally wiped away the perplexion  that showed on her face, "I mean, you aren\'t bleeding or anything, but it\'ll help take down the swelling." She grimaced. She sounded like somebody\'s mom. Not his mom, though, because that would just be too creepy. "Honestly, there\'s nothin\' better than an old-fashioned ice pack for a bump on the noggin." Well that sentence certainly didn\'t help her image any. And then she remembered their previous conversation on the term \'old-fashioned\'.
 
So she barreled on, "Really, I\'ll show you. You got any plastic bags in this place?" She assumed he had one of those fridges with the built-in ice dispenser (who didn\'t? Except her. But that was because she lived in a motel.)
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 05, 2008, 07:15:02 AM
"Um... yes," he answered tentatively, for he bought meat and vegetables on a regular basis (not that he ate the vegetables regularly) and didn\'t always remember to take the material bag he had purchased to save the environment.  "I\'ll show you," he told her and got up off the bed about as carefully as he\'d laid down - if he hadn\'t been so intrigued by what she was going to do with a plastic bag while he sucked on some ice, he probably wouldn\'t have bothered.

They emerged to find Alacer no longer slithering about and her bedroom door closed.  Tau figured that meant she\'d transformed back to her human form (for how could a snake close a door?) and wanted some privacy.  Perhaps she was eating.  He decided he wouldn\'t close his door when they went back into his bedroom, then Alec would have a better chance of hearing Morgaine sing as well (though she\'d likely not missed the last performance, closed doors would have muffled the brilliance and lessened the impact, he believed).

As it turned out, there wasn\'t a great deal of mystery to what Morgaine wanted to do with the bag and the ice after all.  The shifter was fairly certain he\'d even seen this process happen on T.V. in some show or other before... but he didn\'t bring that up.  His freezer was a shiny silver and very new, he watched as Morgaine took the bag he\'d extracted from a drawer full of them and got a good fistful amount of ice from the dispenser into it.  She twisted the top together, wrapped it in a tea towel and told him to hold it against his head.

Ohhhhh.

Feeling silly, he refrained from doing any more than nodding before he led her back towards his room, holding the ice against his head.  It actually did help, which pleased him.  He paused in his doorway, right between the lounge area and his bed, and turned to face the beautiful singer.  "Did you want to stay in the bedroom or would you prefer sitting on a couch?" he enquired, willing to go wherever she felt most comfortable - he could lay on one couch while she had the other if they stayed in the lounge room (and Alec would be certain to hear the gorgeous noises Morgaine could make) or he would lay on his side of the bed if she was comfortable enough sitting up on it.

He didn\'t mind either way.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 05, 2008, 08:39:11 AM
That beautiful singer almost ran straight into him when he paused and turned, but she caught herself and stopped short a few paces away, though she still had to aim her eyes skyward to see his face. It didn\'t matter to her one way or the other where they were (though she did like the privacy a closed door offered) but she assumed – wrongly – that he wanted to move, since he\'d brought it up in the first place, so she nodded. "Well, I\'d sit on the coffee table, " she told him, "It\'s hard to play on a chair with a back. But out here is fine. You get settled, and I\'ll go grab my guitar," She moved to scoot past him, considering the matter closed, unless he had a problem with her sitting on his coffee table.
 
 Happily for her, he didn\'t, so the singer scootched past him into the bedroom while he arranged himself on whichever couch he so desired. She was almost jogging when she returned -- guitar in hand, hair messily wound up and clasped in a black plastic claw clip retrieved from her guitar case.
 
Once she was back in the living room, she placed herself on the corner of the coffee table nearest him, and spent a few moments adjusting her guitar. Up close, it was easy to see why Morgaine had been nervous about where the instrument in her hands would be placed; that guitar had seen a lot of love. The wood was worn all the way through in some places - -creating tiny windows into the hollow body of the instrument-- and paper thin in others, right under where her hand caressed the wood when she strummed as she did now.
 
She chose a relatively low-key song for this performance, to spare Tau\'s head; a loose translation based on an old German ballad called Die Lorelei. She liked the story -- it told of the Lorelei, a siren whose song lead men to their deaths as they travelled the German river Rhine; though this version painted the Lorelei as more of a trickster, a beautiful devil of wind and waves and current -- and there were no jarring chords to aggravate the shifter\'s throbbing head.
 
"Feeling better, yet?" she asked as the final notes faded, feeling bad for selfishly hoping he\'d say no, so she could keep playing.
 
He wasn\'t feeling better yet, but he did have questions about the lyrics -- which she answered to the best of her ability. And so it went for the rest of her performance; she sang, and played, and he listened as exactly as one was supposed to listen to music; with every fiber of his being -- only stopping her to ask the occasional question about something she\'d sung. So absorbed was she in this rapport, Morgaine lost track of time itself, not to mention her surroundings.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on November 05, 2008, 12:02:09 PM
The snake woman heard all of their playing in Tau\'s room. She sat up in her bed when she heard them walk near her door. Listening intently, Alec moved from her bed to the floor right beside her door. Then she heard Morgaine singing. The woman was a great singer, she could give a siren a run for its money if she ever ran into one. During the performance Alec had inched her way out of her door and was now sitting outside it beside the frame, leaning against the wall.

As Morgaine continued to play and speak with Tau, Alec\'s curiosity got the better of her and she inched down near the lounge and was leaning against the nearest couch arm, where only Morgaine could see her if she looked. Morgaine was so into her song and music that Alec could have swore she had some Siren in her. Alec watched and listened curiously as the woman played.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 05, 2008, 02:37:58 PM
Morgaine came up for air shortly after Alec made her entrance, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw the other woman leaning against the arm of the couch, "Jesus!" she cried, accompanied by a jangling of strings, which she put an abrupt stop to by slapping her palm down across them, holding them to the body of the guitar and silencing their noisome vibrations, "You scared the living hell outta me, girl," she declared, breathing deep to calm her razzed nerves.

It took a lot to rattle Morgaine, but Alec had just done an admirable job.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 06, 2008, 07:06:21 AM
Tau watched Morgaine looking down towards the floor at the end of the couch where his feet were and frowned - both because he couldn\'t see through his own body and also because he\'d not been aware of Alacer moving about at all.  That was unlike him, but was evident of how enthralling Morgaine\'s music was, he supposed.

He swivelled positions, not raising his upper body above the midline as he crawled down to the other end of the couch and rested his chin on the flat, cushiony arm to peer over.  The fingers of his left hand were beneath his chin and he was surprised to find his head so close to Alec\'s, since she was hunched down, against the sofa.  He didn\'t say anything, just watched, waiting for her to reply to Morgaine first.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on November 06, 2008, 11:57:18 AM
Morgaine\'s reaction made Alec jump back slightly. She arched forward as if she were a snake again, then remembering that she was human, moved back to sit cross legged. She heard Tau move but when he popped up over the couch so close to her face she fell backwards trying to get away fast enough. She looked at Morgaine as she lay on her back for a minute. "Well, we should be even now," she smiled, then looked back at Tau. she blushed slightly at the thought of how close he popped to her. She propped herself up on her elbows and looked over at Morgaine.

"You have a lovely voice Morgaine," she said to the darker woman. Alec sat there looking between the both of them.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 06, 2008, 01:27:34 PM
"She certainly does," Tau agreed enthusiastically, taking that as his cue to turn over off his stomach again and position himself so that he was mostly on his back, propped along the backrest of the couch and laying on his makeshift ice pack; he\'d got sick of holding it on his head ages ago and decided laying on it after wedging it at the crook of where the arm met the back of the couch was a more than acceptable solution.
 
"I could listen to her sing all night," he sighed, looking blissful despite the fact that his stomach rumbled a protest to that idea.  He glanced around, finally forced to acknowledge the shadows that had encroached upon the living room while he\'d been staring so raptly at Morgaine.  It was getting late and he was hungry... but he was loathe to stop the impromptu concert, lest she never play for him again or, worse yet, decided she had to go home for dinner (which he didn\'t doubt was the case but he wanted to draw their sojourn out as long as possible).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 06, 2008, 02:38:20 PM
Morgaine laughed, "Hey, I could sing for you kids all night," She thought it wold be rude not to include Alec in that statement, though it was mainly Tau she sang for, "But I think my throat might have a wee bit of a problem with that." As she spoke, it became apparent that her voice was a bit ragged around the edges; barely noticeable, but there nonetheless. She hadn\'t paced herself like she should\'ve, but thrown herself into the songs, and now that she was no longer in the zone – and coming down from her high – her body reminded her of it by way of an annoying tickle at the back of her throat. She knew she\'d be fine in a couple of hours, but it irked her nonetheless.

Contrary to the shifter\'s belief, Morgaine was perfectly content to stick around until Tau was sick of her. And she didn\'t have mealtimes; she ate whatever was available when she got hungry (which she was, but not tummy-rumbling hungry, as Tau apparently was. She bit bit her lip to keep from smiling at that.) "I\'m going to be out of commission for a little bit. My vote goes toward lightening up your fridge, in the meantime." She grinned ingratiatingly – misguidedly believing that Tau had something resembling normal food somewhere in his coffers – and looked from one face to the next, as if trying to convince them that feeding her – not to mention themselves – was absolutely the best thing for them to do.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on November 08, 2008, 03:42:20 PM
Alec ignored Tau and instead concentrated on Morgaine\'s words. As she spoke of food Alec bit her lip and looked to Tau. "Do you have any normal food?" she asked, confused. Having never ate normal food herself, Alec was intensely curious. Being part snake wasn\'t that great. Alec stood from her place on the floor in one fluid movement and headed for the kitchen. She kept her mouth open and her tongue trailing across her teeth. Tasting the air she could taste the meat smell in the kitchen. Speaking so that Tau could hear her if he stayed in the living room, "Tau, is all you ever eat is meat?" She poked around a few cabinets and the fridge, not smelling anything particularly appitizing to her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 09, 2008, 01:25:08 AM
Embarrassed, Tau was forced to nod (head bobbing carefully upon his bed of rocky frostiness so that he didn\'t dislodge it) and give Morgaine an apologetic look.  "I really don\'t have any food you would like to eat - unless you enjoy tearing into raw steak or chewing on some of the fresh vegetables I have?  I cannot cook at all, so raw would be the only thing I could offer," he winced, gaze lowering worriedly as he tried to think of a solution.

Of course she would want a drink after singing for him so long!  Why hadn\'t he thought of that?  Just because water was the only thing he ever drank didn\'t mean it would satisfy his very talented guest!  He felt stupid, his cheeks pinking with embarrassment, casting about mentally for a solution to this problem.  When he had one, his expression brightened immediately, eyes opening wide and eyes twinkling eagerly.  "We could go out and eat?  Or order something in?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 09, 2008, 12:23:39 PM
Though she hadn\'t thought of it herself, it came as no surprise to the singer that her host kept a diet similar to that of his other half – he aged like a cat, why wouldn\'t he eat like one, too? Alec didn\'t seem too concerned – or familiar – with what the kitchen had to offer, which could only lead Morgaine to believe that she ate like a snake –

"I\'ll order chinese," she said quickly, not wanting to travel down that avenue of thought. She cleared her throat, realizing that she was, in fact, quite parched. So, on her way to the bedroom (after rising, and setting her guitar carefully on the coffee table), she detoured into the kitchen, to join Alec, where she requested that the snake woman reach her down a glass from one of the cupboards she\'d been poking around in, so she could get a drink from the tap. Once her request was met, (with a bright \'thanks\' for Alec), Morgaine filled and emptied the glass twice before she was satisfied.

"You kids want anything?" she asked, as she set the glass down on the counter and crossed the room once again, headed for the bedroom, "Or are you happy with...uh, what you\'ve got here?" She didn\'t want to mess up their diets, or anything, "\'I\'ve got the menu kind of memorized," She admitted guiltily, pausing to lean against the counter in order to hear both of their answers.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 09, 2008, 01:03:09 PM
Tau, who\'d followed Morgaine once he spied her heading for the kitchen - he\'d been busy deciding whether or not his head was adequately repaired enough to move around before that and had come to the conclusion that he was fine (especially since the ice was more just water being barely contained than ice, now) - was baffled by her statements, as per usual.

"What is available at Chinese?" he queried, figuring that Chinese had to be a food place but not knowing what there was on offer.  Once Morgaine had finished skulling almost all the water the sink had to offer, he moved in behind her and concentrated on pulling his watery plastic bag out of its tea towel to tip the contents into the sink.  He glanced over his shoulder towards the other two women in the room as he listened for his answer, concentration divided but certainly not lacking as he tidied up his ice pack.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 09, 2008, 02:02:01 PM
Morgaine laughed; she liked his way of putting it, though she realized it was out of ignorance. She stifled her laughter quickly, however, and arranged her features into a more subdued smile, not wanting to cause offense, "I\'m sorry." She took a deep breath, and arranged her features into a more subdued smile, "From a Chinese restaurant," she elaborated, "Is what I meant. She saw a glint of recognition in his clear blue eyes, at that, and her smile widened, "So you know what the food is like?" she ventured.

At his slow but slightly pained-looking shake of the head, she turned her eyes on Alec, who seemed slightly more worldly, even if her diet didn\'t exactly correspond with the human pallet (though Morgaine was still unsure on this point), "You wanna take this one? I don\'t know how to explain it without making it seem really, really gross."

Then almost immediately after, she amended, "Ah, fuck it. I\'ll just take you out, Tau. There\'s a place I know not far from here. Walking distance," she amended, "I mean, if you wanna walk seven or eight blocks."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 12, 2008, 11:12:49 PM
Finishing with the plastic bag and tea towel, Tau turned a delighted grin Morgaine\'s way.  "I would love to walk seven or eight blocks," he asserted, proving that not only was he keen for any sort of physical exercise that might crop up, he was just as keen to avoid riding on her motorcycle (should she be about to offer that).  Two feet on the ground was exactly how he liked things at this stage and he was pleased that she had offered that option up first.

He took a few steps towards the gap between bench and fridge that was the exit out of the kitchen but stopped when he was about even with Morgaine, a wry expression on his face as he cast a pointed look at his bare chest and down his long body.  "I will need better clothing than this, will I not?" he queried, knowing the answer would be affirmative but unable to stop a cheeky, hopeful grin that said he rather hoped she\'d tell him going half naked and without shoes was fine.  "Do you want to come and tell me what I should wear, to be safe?" he chirped, waggling his eyebrows playfully.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 13, 2008, 04:05:44 AM
Morgaine liked what he had on juuuust fine, but she doubted the rest of the world would agree. She sighed mournfully, and gave him a baleful once-over, her eyes, when they returned to his face were twinkling with mirth, however, and she shrugged.

"Why? You wanna match?" She put on a mocking valley-girl falsetto as she said this, putting a shrill emphasis on \'match\', before letting a grin spread over her face, head canted to match his playful expression. "Why don\'t you just wear that shirt you had on earlier? That was pretty sexy," she said mildly. The fashion demon inside her snapped and snarled at the suggestion, but she stayed quiet; all of her other suggestions either involved less clothes or ruined clothes, and she simply couldn\'t see Tau in a faded T-shirt and leather jacket. The plain shirt had looked good.

"But yeah, c\'mon, I gotta put my guitar away, anyway," She pushed away from the counter, and beckoned for him to follow her back into the living room – so she could fetch her guitar, as promised – and then into the bedroom, as if the whole thing had been her idea in the first place.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 13, 2008, 07:18:14 AM
Tau\'s eyebrows arched at the flippant reference to him wearing something \'sexy\'.  He understood the human desire to be thusly labelled and felt a surge of satisfaction, even while it intrigued him that Morgaine would compliment him like that.  He wished to explore this excited, fluttery feeling and followed her eagerly - only pausing to give Alec\'s arm a squeeze, smile and tell her he\'d be home later, he supposed.

Once in the bedroom, he made a show of extracting the jumper he\'d had on from where he\'d tossed it, and smelling it to check it was still clean.  He hadn\'t had it on all that long before he\'d come home, so it didn\'t smell of body odour, just the coffee house where he\'d met Morgaine and a little bit of her.  He pulled it over his head and watched his companion re-sheath her guitar in its case.

"Are sneakers alright to wear or should I wear nicer shoes?" he enquired casually, gaze lingering on the curve of her shoulder, admiring the way her arms went about their business, muscles and tendons straining haphazardly.  She moved very gracefully, he thought.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 13, 2008, 08:07:54 AM
"Uno momento," Two crisp snaps punctuated his question as Morgaine flipped down the clasps on her guitar case, effectively sealing the instrument inside. She flipped a piece of hair out of her eyes as she rose from her crouch, turning to look at him as she did.
 
"Sneakers\'re fine," she said, after a moment\'s consideration. She preferred a man in better shoes -- she really preferred a man in big black boots, but, once again, couldn\'t see a pair of face-stompers looking right on him -- but it had never been a huge concern. Plus, they\'d be walking, and nice shoes were often not conducive to such and, well: "You only only have to be as well-dressed as your date, right?" She grinned, joking, and knowing that she\'d look underdressed next to him, in her faded jeans and motorcycle boots; though she\'d at least worn a hole-free T-shirt (relatively plain, too; a pale pink number with a realistic painting of a buffalo skull printed on the chest, advertising a band called Great Big Sky). At least he\'d ditched the suit jacket, so she didn\'t feel like a total scrub.
 
Absently, She checked her pockets for her wallet and cell phone (check and check) and then gestured for the door with one hand while the other gathered up the errant strand of hair and tucked it back into the confines of it\'s claw clip, "Shall we?" she said, with a great deal more gusto than when she\'d said it the first time that night.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 13, 2008, 11:34:25 PM
He wanted to compliment her in return when she told him he only had to look as good as she did - he really wanted to tell her he thought she looked sexy as well - but even though he opened his mouth to say something, nothing came out.  He just ended up looking a bit like a fish that had died mid-gasp, before she gestured towards the door and he realised that the moment had passed.

With a snap of his jaws (there was no real sound to it beyond a slight click of his teeth, though), he closed his mouth and followed her out of the apartment.  He plucked his beeper, wallet and keys from the table by the door, called out a farewell to Alacer and closed the locked portal behind him.

He was pleased to find that Morgaine moved swiftly and without hesitation down the stairs and out to the footpath before she turned in the appropriate direction and continued striding along.  She seemed to have a great deal of energy - or maybe she was just really hungry and eager to get to where they were going.  Either way, he kept pace with her happily, a smile touching his lips as he looked around at the gathering darkness.

"How do you know where to go so well, if you have not been in the city all that long?" he enquired curiously, after the silence had stretched comfortably between them and he\'d had cause to wonder how she was so clever when she was barely any better associated with the metropolis than he was.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 14, 2008, 12:03:25 AM
The dead-fish expression caused little more than a raised eyebrow from the singer, but she was too busy growing hungrier by he second to comment, and just head for the door, instead. Morgaine had never had the patience required for taking long, leisurely strolls, and quickly became annoyed with anyone who insisted on such a pace -- so she was glad that Tau accepted and adopted her more brisk walk (not that it would be difficult, with those long legs of his). One was also less likely to get robbed if they looked like they knew where they were going, and walked with a purpose, and Morgaine did not want to get into the habit of getting robbed.

When he broke the silence between them with a question, Morgaine listened, and shrugged when he was done, "I live in this neighborhood, too," she admitted, "in one of the less, uh, savory areas." Truthfully, the Chinese place she was thinking of was close to the halfway point between their two residences (though it was slightly closer to his apartment than hers), so they would begin to get into the seedier part of town, but not into the truly scary, bars-on-the-windows bits, "And I eat out a lot." Morgaine wasn\'t a total disaster in the kitchen, but she -- like most young people -- had an inexplicable aversion to cooking for herself -- though she\'d eat anything anybody else cooked.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Luna Moon on November 14, 2008, 01:11:01 PM
At the mention of Chinese Alec wrinkled her nose. "I can take other foods but that stuff is just nasty to me. I don\'t like egg-rolls." Alec smiled as they walked out the door and returned to her room. She looked at the rats in the cages and sighed, "Not tonight little guys." she could almost swear she saw them become more relaxed.  

Alec watched the small mammals in the cages and grinned like a cheshire cat. "I know what to do tonight." She turned and walked out her door and to the balcony door. She looked at the screen for a moment before going back into her room for a piece of paper. She came back with some tape and a slip of paper. She taped the note securely onto the security screen before opening the door just enough to get her snake form\'s head through. Alec looked around the apartment to make sure no one was still there and took off her clothes again.

More quickly this time, she transformed into the large snake. Alec slithered out the door and down the balcony onto the ground below. She hoped Tau would read the note and not lock her out. Her note read: Gone out as a snake for a while. Please don\'t shut the door all the way.   Alec Her only hope now was that she wouldn\'t get into trouble.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 15, 2008, 08:41:00 AM
"I did not know that this was not a very nice part of town when I first came here - it was all that my brother and I could afford, with what he stole and what I earned working at the gas station - but I have since got many odd looks when I tell people where I live, especially at work," he explained, surprised (and pleased) to find that discussing himself and his past with her felt so good.  Usually, it just pained him to think of Jedrek, but Morgaine had agreed to the title \'friend\' and that was deeply reassuring.

He gave a wry laugh as he pictured the condescending expressions on the faces of his Oligarchy co-workers - lesser beings on the ladder and in the scheme of things than he, but knowledgeable enough to disbelieve he lived here in this part of town.  Their attitude always became not-so-subtly superior once they had it confirmed, as well.

"Usually, they ask me if I actually earn any money for being an Oligarch and when I tell them that I do and that it is plenty, they say they cannot understand why I do not move away.  I do not bother to explain to them.  When my brother and I came to the city, we had nothing and the apartment had about the same - two beds for us to sleep in.  The rest of the furniture we created by using plastic crates we found at the back of shops.  I use all my money to buy better furniture now but I\'m afraid to move away, in case Jed comes back to visit and he cannot find me.  This city is big and even though the possibility of him returning is very slim, it exists, so I cannot just move out of this area, no matter how rough and cheap it is."

He nodded at the end of his explanation, as if agreeing with his own reasoning, his story spoken steadily and in a tone of pure logic rather than uncertain justification.  He didn\'t talk of such things with anyone, but he believed Morgaine to be different; well, she was his friend for a start and he was happy to open up to her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 15, 2008, 09:44:12 AM
Morgaine listened intently to is words, keeping her eyes on his face (for cities were cities and sidewalks were sidewalks, and her feet knew the way). Ami had told her what he\'d said about his brother, but it seemed more real, now, coming from him. She\'d seen that it was hard for him to adapt to this crazy world they inhabited, but to do it alone would have been nigh impossible. She admired his strength. Also, his genius; milk crates as furniture! Brilliant!

She put a sympathetic hand on his arm when he\'d finished speaking, letting the lingering touch speak for her, somehow sure he\'d understand (she\'d been wrong before, though). She hadn\'t known the love of a brother, but she knew what it was to lose someone.

"I don\'t think it matters where you live,\' she said, "As long as you\'re living a life you love. If that makes any sense." A pause, and then, "I live in a motel." A chuckle, and then she elaborated, "When we got to the city, we were just planning on staying a week, so checked into a motel, and then got offered a gig at Risk." She shrugged, "The rest is history, I guess. We still live in the motel; I think it\'s because we\'re not wiling to admit to ourselves that we\'re staying here, for awhile, anyway."

"But I know what you\'re talking about, with money. We\'re making more than we know what to do with, at Risk. Mostly we just buy new gear. Ami found a cheap stand-up bass somewhere, and she\'s been locked in her room with it for days." She laughed, and changed the subject.

"I didn\'t know you used to work in a gas station. That must\'ve been the dullest job ever!" And a colossal waste of his limited time, but she didn\'t add that.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 15, 2008, 12:14:09 PM
He smiled gratefully at her sympathetic words and spared a very satisfied glance at her reassuring touch.  He was surprised by the urge he had to lift his hand and take hers into his and keep a hold of it, but figured that would be too forward and he\'d probably be reprimanded for it.  When she changed the subject back to his first ever job, his grin shifted to something a lot more predatory - yet his cheeks suffused with the colour of a sudden blush.

"Well, it was, because I was hired to work the night shift - which nobody else wanted to work, but that was exactly why I walked straight into the job, with no other work experience and barely any experience as a human, either.  The thing was, it taught me a lot about how to act and even talk and... well," he broke off momentarily, the blush seeming to increase as he debated saying the rest.  After a moment, he decided she would likely find this detail about him interesting as well and that she was certainly worldly enough to handle it - she would probably even laugh!  He still couldn\'t meet her eyes but he took a breath and continued.

"My boss used to like to come in whenever I worked my shift and she liked it when it was quiet - she would close the station up and uh, take me into her office and have sex with me.  She was married but she said she liked me better.  It confused me and I was terrible at it because I\'d never done anything like that before, but she taught me everything she wanted me to do," he laughed self-consciously, recalling the mixed emotions and thoughts he\'d had at the time and how he\'d reacted much like a cat when initially stimulated (flipping her over quite roughly and just banging away until he climaxed).  Cougars didn\'t mate for pleasure but for species survival and he didn\'t have the very human drive to rut for the fun of it as his utmost instinct.  He came to understand it eventually, though, and even sort of enjoyed the lessons he learned; he definitely found he missed the regular release after he left that job, anyway.

"I wouldn\'t say it was dull there!" he finished with a laugh, shaking his head shyly and forcing himself to look at Morgaine.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 15, 2008, 01:23:12 PM
Sensing a good story behind the grin (though it was the sudden flush of color that interested her more; the schoolboy blush on the grown man\'s face, looking both out of place and innocently adorable), Morgaine raised a brow, a put her listening face on.

As he spoke, her expression went from interested, to wide-eyed \'oh-no-she-did-not\' shock, to utter hilarity. Though, of course, he wouldn\'t see any of them, since her refused to look at her face. She understood, though; it was always weird, talking about your first time. It got less weird, but she supposed he hadn\'t had the time. Beside that, the brown-skinned vixen was too busy laughing her ass off to care overmuch. Head thrown back, the girl more or less cackled, "Oh. My. Lord." she enthused when she was done, trying to catch her breath, though the grin was still splashed across her tattooed mug "Really!?" She took a few deep breaths, "Yeah, no, not dull at all, I\'d say!"

She could picture him only too well, unsuspecting, young, and innocent, working the register in a little blue vest – while from the shadows, an entirely different kind of predator stalked, red-painted claws outstretched. "Well, you gotta learn sometime, I guess." She found herself hoping – in an abstracted kind of way, of course. Really – that his boss been a good teacher, when suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks, hand over her mouth, though the most devious grin yet spread across her face underneath it, unable to be contained

"You know what women like that are called?" she asked slowly, jogging a bit to catch up, "The ones who go after younger men?" at his perplexed shake of the head, she spit out, trying very hard not to burst out laughing again, "Cougars!"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 16, 2008, 01:34:39 PM
He blinked rapidly, his expression one of disbelief initially - and then he couldn\'t resist joining in with her laughter.  "Really?" he asked, despite himself and unsure about whether he should be offended or merely fascinated by this fact.  Why would people have come up with such a name?  Because older women regularly stalked younger men?  It had to be to do with the predation thing... but it was rather insulting in a vague and undefined way.

"Well," he uttered after he\'d calmed his short-lived laughter, "she wasn\'t that much older than me... but I suppose she did stalk me like a cat.  She liked to prowl in and push me down on her desk so she could pounce on me, anyway!" he grinned, falling silent momentarily as he pondered asking his next question out loud.  After a few moments, he plunged ahead.  "People... they have sex a lot, don\'t they?  Just for... fun?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 16, 2008, 03:46:51 PM
Morgaine hadn\'t meant to be offensive (for once) but was simply pointing out the irony. She also wanted to point out the fact that – unless he\'d been employed by a second grader – his boss was most likely more than few years older than him. It was a sobering thought, and her laughter quieted a little before his, and her eyes slid to his shoes. His description of said employer\'s stalking, however, brought a devilish smile back to her face, and his question brought her eyes back to his, before she tilted her head back and aimed them at the stars as she formulated an answer.

"It depends on the person,\' she said, finally, still looking up, "Some people are really afraid of sex for different reasons, and some people just don\'t like it.  But, on the whole, yeah, most people do it for fun – and most people do it as often as they can," she grinned, to, and fixed her gaze – eyes a-twinkle – on him again, "And lots of people do it to make babies, sure, but that doesn\'t make it any less fun. At least, I hope not."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 16, 2008, 10:51:20 PM
He kept smiling but the nod he gave her in response was rooted in seriousness; anything Morgaine said was gospel, as far as Tau was concerned, for she was the expert on everything human and was gifted enough to have patience and sympathy when explaining things to him.  She didn\'t laugh at him, and he really enjoyed that.

"I\'d like to have babies before I die," he admitted, frowning at the complicated scenario such a desire posed, "but I know that is a bad idea.  Being a Shifter isn\'t easy and I have yet to meet even another feline female Shifter, let alone a female cougar Shifter."

He fell into a pensive silence that was soon broken with a shy little laugh and another embarrassed grin flashed Morgaine\'s way.  "Alec and I talked about what would happen if we mated.  What sort of babies would we have?  Rattlesnakes hatch inside their mothers and are born but she is coldblooded so... I doubt a warmblooded cub would survive inside her.  Or maybe we\'d make a hideous mixed Shifter!" he exclaimed, eyes widening at the thought and a hoot of laughter erupting out of him before he shook his head.

"No, it would be too complicated to mate with another non-feline Shifter.  But I wouldn\'t want to have a litter with a human woman, either; she would have to watch her babies live a short and very confused life and she would have to teach them all about something she does not even fully understand.  Besides, women like there to be love and... I don\'t really know what that is like so... I\'m pretty sure I will not get that wish!" he finished wryly, uttering another laugh.

He didn\'t understand why he was laughing, because this topic just made him feel helpless and disappointed... he thought it was a human habit he\'d picked up, though.  A cover up.  Masking all the sad feelings he had when he realised he wouldn\'t be able to live his life to the full and breed as Nature seemed to intend for all her creatures.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 17, 2008, 06:22:36 AM
Children. Screaming, dirty, squirming, ruin-your-figure, scare-off-your-friends children. As Morgaine thought of these, her nostrils flared, her eyes widened, and her breath quickened – as if she were already inexorably trapped by the burden of motherhood.

These feelings were obviously not the same as those inspired in the shifter, however, so she wiped the thought from her mind, and listened. The image brought to mind when he mentioned mating with Alec was not a pretty one, and she was glad that he wasn\'t seriously considering it. That laugh almost made her cringe; it was the strangled sound of someone who was giving up.

"Hey, now," she said, placing her hand back on his arm. This time, it stayed there, "Don\'t you give up, though, right? There\'s no way to know for sure that there\'s no one out there." She paused, "And, is it really guaranteed that any kids you\'d have would have a short lifespan? Even with a Human?" She asked because she honestly didn\'t know, "I mean – I don\'t know anything about Alec\'s parentage – but she doesn\'t seem to age like, uh, like you do. Just...judging by her reaction, I mean. Does it always have to be like that?" Putting aside her own opinions about children, Morgaine just couldn\'t stand to see anybody simply give up on something they wanted, especially something as important as this.

"Turn left here," she added, using the hand on his arm to steer him in the right direction.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 17, 2008, 06:57:56 AM
He spared a sad smile for he, then glanced at her hand upon his arm, finding that overwhelming urge to be connected to her rising in him again.  This time, his body took over while his mind was still weighing up the pros and cons and he lifted his arm briefly away from hers so that he could catch her hand and hold it between them.

Morgaine\'s hand was likely very rough to someone who didn\'t also use their hands as paws to run for miles through wilderness, but to him it felt incredibly soft and delicate.  In fact, he hoped she didn\'t hate the feel of his tough, leathery hand but he only held her loosely in case it was too much for her and she wished to pull away from him.  Still, a feeling of warmth and satisfaction welled in his chest as he claimed teh connection to her - and turned left, as instructed, of course.

"No, it\'s not guaranteed that I will have children who share my short life span but it has always been that way in my family, for every generation my mother knows about.  Most shifters are not like me, you are right; Alec is like every other case I have encountered in my job, dominated by their human side and living out a basically human existence, with the life span to match.  I seem to be the exception there, too, and it\'s just another reason not to get my hopes up."

Thankfully, he\'d got over the awkward laughter business and was coming back to himself more - enough to be aware of Morgaine\'s very obvious body signals that she was uncomfortable with the topic of children but that she was kind enough to humour him, anyway.  Still, the sad smiled flared again as he struggled to find something less emotional to talk about.  His life was altogether too simple and short to hold any mystery for her, so he switched the topic back to her (most people enjoyed talking about themselves the most).

"Anyway.  How old are you and how has your life unfolded so far?  Why do you dislike children so much?" he enquired with genuine interest.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 17, 2008, 07:53:13 AM
She looked up at him and smiled when he took hold of her hand. Morgaine was not, generally, the hand-holding type, but his skin was warm, but not clammy, and calloused – even, perhaps, worse than hers, and the prolonged contact sent a thrill of warmth through her that had only a little bit to do with physical attraction. It both pleased and worried her. She decided to focus on the former, however, and leave it at that.

"Well, there\'s always a chance you\'ll be the one to break the cycle," she said, as a final comment, giving his hand a squeeze. But she didn\'t want to make him sad, so she dropped it. For now.

Morgaine liked talking about herself, for sure, but on her terms. There were things she didn\'t like talking about (and, in fact, would not, if she could avoid it at all). So, when he asked her to go through her life\'s history, she barked a laugh, "Well, now, there\'s a weighted question!" she exclaimed, "You never ask a lady her age, or her weight, by the way," She grinned, and used one of her favorite lines, "Good thing for you there aren\'t any ladies around. I\'m twenty-six. Almost twenty-seven," she seemed rather surprised as she said this. She\'d always been aware of her age, but it had never really meant anything to her before; it had simply been a number. She was old enough to have sex, and she was old enough to drink, and she was old enough to rent a car, that was really all she needed to know. But now she\'d said it aloud; twenty-seven? That meant she was almost thirty.

She made a face, but went on to tackle the last part of his query, "I don\'t like kids because they\'re loud, and messy, and a hassle. And they have to go to school, so you can\'t take them on the road, and you can\'t say what you want around them, because they might learn something they shouldn\'t and –" realizing she was ranting, the singer took a deep breath, "Basically, they make me nervous, and they annoy me. We\'re almost to the restaurant, though, you think you can wait \'til then to hear my Life\'s Story?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 17, 2008, 05:02:11 PM
"Of course," Tau answered politely, beginning to pay more attention to their surroundings, now that she\'d said they were close.  They were approaching what looked to be a small shopping centre and he watched as they walked by a few different shops, wondering which the Chinese place was going to be - though his nose picked it out before his eyes did.  It wrinkled, finding the smell of cooking flesh to be almost offensively strong (though he\'d never been to any restaurant before, so it wouldn\'t have been right to say it was the smell of the Chinese food cooking, exactly).

He said nothing and schooled his features into an expression of mild interest as Morgaine turned them towards the predominantly-red decorated eatery, finding that holding her hand was useful because he could hold her back momentarily while he opened the door for her with his other hand.  Once inside, he let her do all the talking in order to acquire them a table - the place wasn\'t exactly crowded but there wasn\'t no-one in it, either - and followed the maître\'d to their table.  She helped them into their seats, handed them a menu and walked away with a short bow and a smile.

Tau looked at the menu he\'d been given with great interest, as if reading it might hold the answer to life itself.  "We look at this and choose what food we want?" he guessed, reading words like duck, chicken, beef and pork sprinkled all over the page.  Unfortunately, his reading was so poor that the headings were about all he could quickly make out and he would have to take his time deciphering the rest.  After a quick look at the pictures, he turned his attention over the menu to Morgaine instead.  "What do you think I should eat?  I like the sound of duck," he told her helpfully.  As for what they did to the duck... he couldn\'t be sure, but he was a fan of the animal at the least.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 18, 2008, 04:46:32 AM
Well, at least Tau knew something about chivalry – because Morgaine had forcibly forgotten most everything she\'d known about it, and so Tau would find that he had to hold her back in order to keep her from opening the door for herself. Of course, he didn\'t have to try very hard, because Morgaine was very small, and didn\'t want to make a scene, besides.

She\'d forgotten all about it by the time they reached their table, anyway. The smell of grease – detectable, now, too her dull Human senses, to an effect completely opposite to the one elicited from Tau – overwhelmed all else, reminding her of how hungry she was. Which, apparently, was very.

"Uhm," she said, picking up her own menu, which she scanned, "Chance usually gets the Szechuan duck," she said. It wasn\'t her favorite, but it was one of the least-fried things on the menu, and the dipping sauce it came with was quite mild; she told him as much, standing up and reaching across the table to point on his menu with a chopstick (though she had to momentarily pull the laminated menu down a bit while it was still in his hands to orient herself), "It\'s sliced, kind of like lunch meat, so no bones, but it\'s pretty tasty all the same." She shrugged, "I like really spicy food, but I don\'t think that\'s your scene."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 18, 2008, 10:51:26 AM
He gave her a look that was somewhere between pained and wry.  "I like food not cooked, so I don\'t think we enjoy the same types of things either," he said with a laugh, glancing down at his menu again.  It swirled into a collection of random characters beneath his confused gaze, looking insurmountably indecipherable at this stage, so he put it down and gave Morgaine a hopeful smile.

"I will just have the one you said... however you said it.  The duck one that Chance likes," he told her with an assertive nod, resting only his wrists on the table and linking his hands together like he might\'ve been about to pray.  "Will you order it for me?" he enquired sweetly, not doubting that she would make the offer but feeling it would be polite to ask (if there was one thing his mother had been good for, it was teaching her boys the right way to act when they were human... even if it only covered social graces - not useful things like deciphering slang and other human speech eccentricities - and only one of them chose to pay attention to her teachings).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 18, 2008, 11:51:11 AM
"Sure, sure," she beamed at him across the table,  "If you don\'t like it, we can be packed up and outta here in two shakes. I\'ll even carry you back to your place, if I gotta." What she meant was if you get horribly sick, but she hoped that wouldn\'t be the case. If it was, well...they\'d cross that bridge if they came to it.
 
As she was tlaking, though, a waiter magically appeared at their table, and she placed their orders -- letting Tau decide on what he wanted to drink, while she went with a pot of hot tea. She skipped appetizers and went straight for the entrees, because now she was done messing around; the lady was hungry.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 18, 2008, 12:58:03 PM
Tau was happy with water but was interested in the whole experience of ordering and watched Morgaine avidly, learning from her mannerisms, her speech patterns, the way she dealt with the waiter.  He smiled at her when attention came his way again folding his arms across his body (but being sure that only his forearms rested on the table, not his elbows) and giving her an expectant look.

"Now we wait for them to bring the food out, do we not?" he enquired placidly.  "So you have time to tell me about yourself?"  His grin seemed to be quite cheeky now, considering.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 18, 2008, 01:39:20 PM
"Yep," she said, nodding in answer to his first question, "And, uh...yeah, I guess so. The abridged version, anyway." Morgaine had had an interesting twenty-seven years, with a vast array of experiences to show for it, but she started from the beginning.

"I was born in India, but my parents immigrated here when I was still a baby, so I grew up American. My parents had a hard time with that; they\'d wanted a good girl – they tried raising one, too – but somehow, what they got was a rowdy kid who played guitar and got into fights at school and did the opposite of whatever they wanted her to do." She laughed – a mostly humorless one sort of like the one Tau had uttered earlier, that had worried her so much – and looked down at the table.

"Now, where my parents come from, it\'s still fairly common to arrange marriages – which means that they decide who their kids are going to spend their adult lives with when the kids are still really young, and don\'t get to have any say," she spoke about this particular subject with a certain detachment, though she didn\'t seem to notice. She paused there, took a breath, and looked up again, "When I was seventeen, I found out that my parents had done this – arranged a marriage for me with some person I\'d never even heard of. He\'s from a good family, they said, He\'ll make a good husband." She couldn\'t keep the bitterness from her voice as she mimicked theirs.

 "Anyway," she went on, shaking her head, "I didn\'t want that life. I didn\'t want my mother\'s life of subservience, doing everything your husband says, deferring to him in every way – I couldn\'t even respect my parents; how could I be expected to honor someone I never even knew?" She laughed again, and this time there was humor there – showing how ridiculous the thought was to her, "So I ran away. I stayed with friends, and I made money by playing guitar in the subway. I didn\'t make a lot, but I only needed enough for a bus ticket."

She paused, and sighed. This was the hard part, the part she still didn\'t like talking about. She wore her scars with pride, because they were part of who she was – but it was a difficult part, a part she liked to keep inside. As if gathering her strength together, she went on, "I didn\'t have time to make enough even for that, though. The kid I was supposed to marry – his dad found me, one day, while I was packing up. It was late, and the station was empty, so it was just he two of us. We fought. He – he had a tube of battery acid – sulfuric acid, I\'m told – and he threw it on me. On my face. And as I lay screaming on the tile, as it burned, he shouted at me, that it was my fault, for bringing shame on my family, for refusing to marry his son. He said now, no man would ever want me again," She spoke dispassionately, and her gaze had travelled back to the tablecloth, at the last sentence, however, a smirk crossed her lips – but it was gone with her next words, "Eventually I passed out, and somebody found me like that. A cop, I think. When I woke up I was in the hospital, with my guitar and a suitcase by my bed, and a note from my parents telling me I was dead to them," The smirk returned, and her eyes moved back to his face, "And that was the best damn thing that ever happened to me."

"So I graduated high school, living with friends, off the charity of others. Colleges gave me more scholarships than I could ask for, and I got into a good school, studied music for four years, got my degree, and hit the road. I got my tattoos the day I met Ami, a year or two later. She held my hand," The singer smiled, remembering the experience – painful though it had been, "And the rest is history I guess."

A shadow passed dover their table, and she looked up, suddenly delighted, "Hey! Food\'s here!"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 19, 2008, 12:26:02 AM
Tau had to blink himself out of the rapture he\'d fallen into while listening to her story, amazed at how there were different cultures and beliefs within the world, even though there was only one species; how did people get to be so different, yet still have the same genetic makeup?  It floored him!

The food looked appetising and he was firstly tentative about dipping it into the sauce as Morgaine advised him to do, but once he tried it, he found that the assault to his tastebuds was actually far more pleasant than he\'d anticipated.  It made him pull a few faces because it was so damn sweet, of course, but he was happy enough to supply comic relief, considering the very serious story his companion had told.

After a few appreciative mouthsful of duck and even some of the rice that Morgaine had ordered to share (it had some good, big meaty bits in it, though they were terribly dry and stringy for the most part), Tau decided to ask one of the many questions that had arisen during the tale.  "What does it mean, that your parents said you were dead to them?  And why is that the best thing that ever happened to you, don\'t all children love their parents?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 19, 2008, 06:59:58 AM
Watching Morgaine eat was a little bit like watching a backhoe; face close to the table, she used a method that was more akin to shoveling than actually picking something up with her chopsticks and eating it – as Tau was doing masterfully (though he used his fork), despite the delightful faces he made while doing so. This was a habit she\'d picked up shortly after meeting Ami – because if you didn\'t pay attention to what you were eating around the bassist, it would likely be gone by the time you went to take a bite.
 
She\'d come up for air (and a hearty drink of still-too-hot tea) when he spoke again, and she answered after she swallowed, cringing slightly, "Well," she began, "It means that they never wanted to see me or hear anything thing from me ever again. In their minds, I might as well have died when I ran away, and dead people don\'t call or write. To them, I didn\'t exist any more." It felt odd to be explaining it this way; she was used to simply telling the story, having people say, awkwardly, \'wow, that sucks\', and leaving it at that – because there was nothing else to say.
 
This was good, though. Maybe they\'d both learn something, "And it\'s the best thing that ever happened to me because it meant I was free. I had nobody to answer to but myself. I could do anything I wanted, as long as I was willing to put in the work to do it." And she\'d lived that way ever since; true, she\'d had to answer to her professors in school, and to the state, for a year before she graduated – but those were nothing compared to the constraints her parents had tried to put on her, "almost all kids love their parents," she said slowly, pushing a piece of chicken around on her plate with no real intention of eating it, "when they\'re little, anyway – but sometimes parents don\'t love their kids. Or the people their kids grow into."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 19, 2008, 06:01:52 PM
Tau was watching her carefully, obviously not overtaken by the emotions of this confession but quite perplexed nevertheless.  "You were not... lonely?  Once your parents said that you were dead to them and all you had were friends and... a guitar?" he queried, putting himself in her situation and believing that even if he wasn\'t super in touch with his feelings, he would be bereft without his mother to teach him how to make his way through the world, and without his brother to rely on.

He missed them a great deal, every day that he remained in the city alone, and those feelings of emptiness very frequently overcame his desire to be here, explore and find a mate.  Those were the times where he shifted and roamed for days at a time, visiting his family and the wilderness to get his strength back and continue along the human path he\'d decided to tread (it had happened twice in the past year he\'d been there).  Most of the time it was just a hollow space in his gut, though, and he was able to put it aside and look for positives in the life he had.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 20, 2008, 10:13:23 AM
She shook her head, "I was too mad to be lonely, at first," she said, "Parents are supposed to protect their kids, no matter what, and they abandoned me when I most needed protecting, and I hated them for it."  She set down her chopsticks, no longer interested in the food she was pushing around her plate, "but I still missed them, sometimes. My friends were good people, though, so I was never really alone – until I cut my ties, there, and went to live on my own.

"It got better, though. I got over being mad. I\'m even grateful to them, in a way; now, it\'s like I said -- the best thing that ever happened to me, even though it hurt like the dickens at the time. It taught me to rely on myself," A pause, in which she refilled her empty teacup from the little metal teapot that had come with it, "But then I got lonely, after I was done being mad," she tilted her head to one side, considering, "It still took me awhile to be able to trust people again, though. That was hard."
 
She smiled, then, "You can only be lonely for so long, though," she said, "Before somebody -- or somebodies -- happen along and fill that void."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 20, 2008, 06:11:42 PM
Tau nodded, finding that this information sat well with him; he was comfortable with it. Telling him she\'d been fine hadn\'t been quite correct - or hadn\'t been the whole story, at least, for he\'d picked it up in her body language - but now that she\'d elaborated, what she was saying and showing were once more aligned and he was pleased. For her, as much as with her.
 
"That makes a lot of sense," he told her thoughtfully, the line something more than throwaway. Again, he had the urge to reach across the table and touch her, but only for the sake of contact... so he did. He brushed the backs of his knuckles against the closest bit of arm to him (where it had landed after she\'d used it to pour tea) and smiled. "I think you have led a painful but very interesting life, Morgaine, and I\'m glad you shared it with me. I\'m interested in why you decided to tattoo your face like that, though, when most women seem to like to cover up blemishes?"
 
He watched her earnestly, too curious to chance the thought that she might not want to talk of such things - even though the greatest tension had appeared in her body at the time of her telling about the scars.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 21, 2008, 09:15:41 AM
A smile spread over her face at his touch, and broadened over his last question, and she laughed in a  single exhalation of breath, "Well, that\'s what they\'re supposed to  do," she said. For a moment, she was actually panicked -- before remembering that Tau didn\'t see things the same way other people did. Other people could be fooled by their preconceptions -- of which Tau had almost none.

He was right about the desire to cover things up, however. Morgaine\'s tattoos were designed to make the scarring less noticeable -  blending the raised marks into the loops and spires of the design to make them  seem flat. More than that, however, they were meant to distract attention away  from what they couldn\'t cover, and she told him as much, though her tone made it clear that the subject was a difficult one for her to talk about, though she persevered, "I mean, the tattoos are meant to make the...scars, less noticeable. So when somebody looks at me, they think \'Wow, she got tattoos on her face? That\'s hardcore, man,\'...or, you know, something less flattering. Though I can\'t imagine why," She coughed into her fist, eyebrows lifted over her little joke, and continued, "rather than \'Wow, that chick got fucked up by somebody. That\'s terrible.\'" She wrinkled her nose, "I don\'t like people feeling sorry for me."

She didn\'t mention the scars that weren\'t covered; the ones on the left side of her neck, and those on her chest -- the first he could see, since she\'d put her hair up earlier, and her t-shirt covered the others, which were by far the worst.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 26, 2008, 04:16:57 PM
"Ohhh," the Shifter Oligarch exclaimed, in much the same way that someone who\'d just been told the answer to a puzzle would; Ohhhh! That piece fits there, I see it now!  Ohhhh, you\'re twenty-one so it is legal, I understand!  Ohhh, Miss Scarlet in the ballroom with the rope, not the candlestick!

He was clearly enlightened by what Morgaine had to say - well, to a degree, anyway.  The frown that signified he\'d thought of something else that confused him was soon back, furrowing his prominent brow, but he\'d definitey understood that the tattoos were designed to cover up the scars.  In fact, they did.  Very well.  He felt somewhat foolish for not recognising that sooner but was glad to have eventually been led to the fact.

What he didn\'t get, however, was why it was so bad for people to feel sorry for someone else and he said as much.  "But... why is it wrong that people should feel sorry for you?  What happened was horrible and makes me sad... is that bad?" he asked seriously, realising that the emotions he\'d allowed himself to feel on her behalf might well be wrong and offend her.  This worried him greatly and the tension of it stiffened his shoulders and raised his head slightly, causing him to look like a very alert animal indeed (should anyone in the restaurant be attuned to such a pose, anyway).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 27, 2008, 04:04:27 PM
Morgaine was concentrating too hard on his words to immediately register the change in his body language (mostly because her eyes were aimed determinedly at the tabletop) "Well," she began, "It\'s not bad, no. It\'s just –" she wrinkled her nose,"I don\'t want to explain to every Tom, Dick and Harry how I got them, and I don\'t want people to be sad when they look at me. I want them to think I\'m the baddest, craziest, sexiest bitch they ever laid eyes on," she said frankly, grinning as she did so, and raised her eyes.

The grin died as she registered the drastic change in the tone of his posture, however. It confused her greatly – since his body read as though he\'d sensed something to put him on the alert, but his eyes were still glued to her. Even so, she darted a look over her shoulder, as if the answer might lie behind her. seeing nothing but their fellow patrons (few though they were) talking quietly over their own meals, her eyes returned to his face, and a frown pulled at the corners of her lips, "What\'s up?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 28, 2008, 05:24:40 PM
"Up?" he repeated in a bewildered manner, following her gaze to around the room and back.  He noticed she was looking at his shoulders then, and it dawned on him that she\'d realised he was worried.  Quietly, he was completely impressed, being very unused to mortals so in tune with their instinctual sides that they could pick up on the subtleties of body language like that.

"Oh," he said and smiled, forcing himself to relax and look intently into her eyes.  "Nothing.  I was just... worried that I had offended you by feeling sad for you and I really don\'t want to do that.  Upset you, I mean.  I like you and I want you to like me as well.  And I\'m sorry I\'m not intimidated by your tattoos," he confessed apologetically.  "Probably if I wasn\'t used to bright colours and strong markings being a sign that something either bites hard, smells bad or tastes worse and should just be avoided, I might be?"

He said it hopefully, uncertain that she would see his cat viewpoint on this matter and belatedly worried that she\'d be mad that he\'d just likened her to a brightly-coloured stink bug or a skunk.  On second thought, he thought he probably better keep his mouth shut from now on and just let her sing to him; it was likely to be safest.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on November 28, 2008, 05:53:59 PM
In Morgaine\'s world – where so much was hidden and so little was said, outside one\'s close friends (and she was lucky in that regard, because she actually had some of those) – one learned quickly to pick up on subtle cues, especially those that might signal danger from an otherwise unseen source. A sudden attentiveness was one of those signals, and she\'d responded accordingly – but was pleased to find there was nothing to be afraid of.

But then he caught her eyes again, and she forgot all about body language. The verbal kind had her caught up, now, and the sincerity reflected in his clear, blue eyes. He was actually apologizing for not being intimidated. It took her a moment to come up with a response, but she was smiling when she did, "Hey," she said with mock sternness, reaching for his hand – even if she had to get up and reach across their now-cold dishes to get it – "We\'re buddies, remember? Buddies don\'t get mad at each other over stupid stuff like \'feeling the wrong thing\'." She grinned deviously, "And I do bite pretty hard," she confessed, though she seemed far from sorry about it, "For a Human, anyway." She relinquished his hand with a gentle squeeze, and returned to her original position.

The tattoos had only been meant to affect other Humans in the first place – since she\'d been ignorant of anything else when she\'d gotten them. Se was finding that – like Tau – most supernaturals saw the markings in a very different light (if they saw them at all, that is).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2008, 05:46:22 PM
His laughter - relieved, warm and genuinely happy - filled the space between them and around them as he responded to her cheeky comment.  The thought of her biting hard was hilarious to him and he didn\'t have the social conditioning to worry that he was laughing too loud in a polite setting like a restaurant, he simply laughed because he was amused and it was as natural to him as breathing.

"Is that your way of telling me you are interested in another wrestling match when we get back to my place - fangs and claws included?" he teased back, merriment dancing in his bright blue eyes.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 02, 2008, 09:18:46 AM
Being part of an organization of people who made noise for a living, Morgaine didn\'t have much use for social morays concerning volume, and laughed right along with him – much to their fellow diners\' consternation.

As much as she liked talking about herself (Not this aspect of herself, obviously – though she realized, belatedly, that she had enjoyed this conversation, despite the fact that it had been a difficult one for her to have – she also realized that it had been easier to tell her story to Tau than almost anybody she\'d told it to – who were more or less limited to the Hunt, and a few others, here and there) Morgaine was glad to be laughing again. As he spoke, however, she was reminded of the growing ache in her thighs, ad grimaced, but laughed again, "No way!" she chuckled, "But I\'ll go again, mano e mano. I\'ll even tie one hand behind my back; make it a fair fight." She grinned, teasing – but also, as ever, challenging.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2008, 10:44:35 PM
Tau - recognising that she was joking - was slightly puzzled by her interjection of another language, but laughed along with her anyway.  The thought of her tying a hand behind her back just to make it a fair fight was hilarious!

"Mano e... what?" he chuckled, tilting his head as he popped some more of the food they\'d ordered into his mouth.  The oils that it was cooked in were very powerful to his tastebuds and made him a little queasy, but he did enjoy the overall taste beneath that.  He was just eating very slowly, so that it didn\'t get the better of him, and was more or less cold now.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 02, 2008, 11:18:18 PM
She smiled as if she, too, thought the idea was hilarious, but sighed inwardly. She\'d been so serious. Ah, well, she\'d bring it up again when they were back at his palce. If she remembered.

 Morgaine had more or less abandoned her food (what was left of it anyway -- the girl sure knew how to demolish a plate of General Tso\'s) "Mano e mano," she repeated, reaching unthinkingly for her now-cold cup of tea, "Man to man, in the Spanish." She wwaggled her brows at hijm, and tok a swig, making a face immediately after, "Y\'know, figuratively speaking -- Man, that\'s gross." the latter was directed at her teacup as she set it down, "Anyway, you wanna blow this popstand?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2008, 11:33:21 PM
"Blow... what up?  Is that Spanish too?" he asked, still keeping with his quizzical act but standing up because he had understood what she\'d said - mostly because of her body language and tone of voice, though, not because he specifically understood the meaning of what she said.

"You know, you really should be kinder to me," he told with mock pompousness, taking the time to tuck his chair in and wait for her to get round the table and be back near him once more; he was beginning to look forward to the walk through the darkness with her close by his side, hopefully holding hands.  "I barely speak English well enough to get by, let alone another human language!  Now, tell me, how do I go about paying for this food?"

Ignorant to common speech he might be, but commerce and he were well acquainted.  He understood that anything you got, you had to pay for and he\'d brought his wallet for that reason.  He had a bank account with plenty of money in it and though there had been some very confusing lessons initially (numbers and the concept of infinity were not something his feline brain could grasp onto very well), he was now well versed in how to spend that money and he wanted to pay for dinner.  He just didn\'t know how.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 03, 2008, 06:23:26 AM
There were lots of different uses for the word \'blow\', and one of them caused a grin to spread over the singer\'s face, but she kept her trap shut, "It\'s a figure of speech," she said, and tilted her head thoughtfully, "You know, I\'ve never really thought about where it came from, though. I heard it from Chance."

She watched him get up, and quirked a brow, "I think what you mean is \'how does this fine, bright, young woman across the table from me go about paying for this food\'," she pointed a finger at him, and raised both brows, daring him to disagree, "And the answer is, she gets the check from Hovers McQueen over there – yes, I see you over there, eyeballin\' us, we\'ll be out of your hair in a second," this last was addressed to their waiter, currently hanging out  by the entrance to the kitchen a few feet behind Tau, and not-so-subtly keeping his eye on the pair of them, though he blushed appropriately when Morgaine called him out on it, "–Gives him her money, and leaves with her charming, rakish, and ever-so-suave companion," she stood as she said this, and accepted the check – just as she\'d said – from their now entirely motile waiter, "It\'s what I meant when I said I\'d take you, out, see? I picked the place, so I foot the bill." It wasn\'t often you caught Morgaine offering to pay for something – even with the newfound (relative) wealth she\'d told him about.

 "But we can flip a coin for it, if you wanna be difficult." And now she was willing to fight or the privilege. Something really had gone wrong with the world.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 04, 2008, 06:00:03 AM
Tau raised his eyebrows at her aggressive manner (even though he understood it to be in jest) and took a deliberate step back.  "No, fine, bright young woman, I do not wish to be difficult and fight you to pay for the food," he told her robotically, eyes wide to add to the effect that he was too scared of her to fight her.  It dropped after a few seconds and he exhaled a cheeky laugh as he made a gesture for her to go do what she had to do.

It turned out to not be too complicated.  He realised that the thing with restaurants - as opposed to other shops - was that you still paid but they waited until the end until they made you do it.  It was rather a strange concept, considering every other store he\'d encountered made you pay before you got what you\'d gone there for (even if they let you pretend to own it by letting you go round and collect bits and pieces into a little trolley, you still didn\'t own it until you\'d paid and left the store - he learned that lesson the hard way), but not something irreconcilably weird.

After Tau had finished following after Morgaine (and peering curiously over her shoulder to see what happened and what this \'check\' thing was) to satisfy his curiosity, he wandered towards the door.  She caught up with him a few moments later and he gave her a fond look as she approached him, not realising how he was looking at her, but feeling every bit of the excitement and pleasure that her walking back to him put on his face.  He loved her vibe, the energy she put out and he was so very glad she was still hanging out with him.

Once back on the street, he moved close to her, shortening his stride so that their arms would brush as they walked but not taking her hand this time; something in him wanted to know if she was interested and had decided to let her make the choice.  "One good thing about being dominated by my cat side is that I see very well in the dark," he told her casually as they strolled along.  To show that he understood her basically challenging nature by now (and that he was interested in provoking her whenever he could) he added: "Better than you, that is certain."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 06, 2008, 11:38:09 AM
His fond look was met watt for watt with a bright smile from the singer. She was getting used to the fact that he wasn\'t going to get sick of her (no matter how many times she tried to give him a concussion). She liked teaching him.

But even more than that,it seemed, she liked touching him. The way her hand found his when the opportunity was orchestrated–  with all the skill of a middle-school mastermind – to present itself as they walked out onto the street was almost automatic, and she lifted her hand (their hands, actually) slightly, and looked at it with aa \'well-it\'s-never-done-that-before\'  expression, of the sort–that one might aim at a pet or a computer that was acting oddly – but in a way that was simply interesting, and not disturbing. Morgaine wasn\'t a hand holding person, in general; she liked to go at her own pace, all the time, no matter what – but somehow, she felt that she\'d never have to worry about Tau holding her back. Which is why it felt okay. Yeah.

The look she aimed up at him was dubious, however, as he spoke of his night vision, "Yeah," she said, "but you can\'t see color, can you? Even during the day?" She shook her head, "I would\'t give that up for anything." Well, he\'d hit that nail on the head.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 06, 2008, 01:28:26 PM
Given that he didn\'t know any different, Tau was slightly affronted to be accused of being colourblind.  "I see colours just fine," he told her indignantly, then, after a moment\'s pause, he frowned and admitted the rest.

"Well, I see most colours just fine, but not reds.  I figured that out when I was a human child, in hospital a few years ago.  They had me trying to catch up on all the school I had missed and it came up when I coloured something strangely.  The doctors then did tests and found out I have a total lack of red perception - I can only distinguish shades."

He gave her an interested look and grinned.  "If ever you wear anything you want me to appreciate the colour of, just make sure it\'s not red.  I\'m happy I can see better in the dark, anyway; colour\'s just not that important," he told her with mock haughtiness, wanting to reassert his original proposition that night vision was better than fully-functional colour vision.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 06, 2008, 07:22:56 PM
"Oh, I meant just when you were a cat, but...you can\'t see red? Even in this form" She sounded genuinely horrified, and her eyes went wide "But red is–is blood, it\'sjoy, it\'s passion,!" she gestured grandly with her free hand as she said each of these things, punctuating each exclamation with her body. She\'d heard of red/green colorblindess; so perhaps it was better just to be cheated out of one color – but what a color to miss.

"Red is so – so essential," she concluded, "You can keep your nightvision," she said, "If it were a choice between being able to see in the dark, and red, I\'d take red, and pay the price in bumped shins a hundred times over. I\'d trade orange, though. Orange is kind of a throwaway color." Not to mention that it reminded her of the Marigolds her mother had surrounded her with on the day they\'d announced her engagement.

"But all the colors are important!" she contested fiercely, though her grin was devilish, and broad, "Can you imagine a world without color?" She simulated a conversation in deadened monotone, staring blankly ahead, as they walked, "What do you want to wear today? Gray. What do you want to wear tomorrow? Dark gray. What color is the sky? Gray. What kind of apples do you like? Gray." She shuddered at the thought, animating once again,"So boring!"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 06, 2008, 07:48:40 PM
He watched her like she was television, eyes wide, grin broad and laughter unsuppressed.  She was, quite possibly the funniest, most talented and entertaining being he\'d ever met in his whole life and he couldn\'t take his eyes off her, fascinated with the character she adopted, the fabulous way she celebrated colour the... everything about her.  He was hooked.

"I don\'t think my eyes change, that is the problem.  They aren\'t supposed to still be blue, that should have faded when I was a cub, but something is different about me, because they never switched to brown and I have the same vision with four legs or two," he chuckled.  "Luckily, I don\'t know anything about red, so I do not miss it," he teased, squeezing her hand to drag her closer to him so that he might poke his face towards hers for a step, to make his superior-sounding point.

"And I can imagine a world without colour.  It is smell that I could not do without!" he crowed, finding her spirit and energy contagious.  His volume was creeping up on shouting in his enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 07, 2008, 07:23:06 PM
She had been about to reply to the comments about his eyes, when suddenly he pulled her close, and leaned his face toward hers. Her first instinct was to snap her teeth wolfishly at him – eating those imperious words with a brief,f ferocious growl, even as the words continued and the singer\'s grin only grew – which was what she did. Her very second instinct had been something very different – which she did not do, as it would have occupied his mouth, and she greatly enjoyed this argument they were having. Truth be told, she liked almost everything he had to say – his enthusiasm for the simplest things was contagious. It made her feel like a child again, learning about the world all over again, by teaching it to someone else, who hadn\'t had time to become jaded and cynical.

"Smell!" she said, scoffing at the idea, "You\'ve obviously never been stuck in an elevator with four sweaty humans who haven\'t had a shower in four days." Her face twisted into a grimace – exaggerated for the benefit of her audience – as she recalled that lovely experience she\'d had one afternoon. In Tuscon. In mid-August.  "Sometimes I wish I couldn\'t smell. But I wouldn\'t give up hearing for anything in the whole wide world," her grin, if possible, broadened, "Speaking of – keep it down, bub, you\'ll wake the neighbors," she teased.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 07, 2008, 10:03:03 PM
"All humans are smelly," he asserted pompously and then performed a very deft manouevre, lifting their joined hands over her head and stepping gracefully behind her before lowering it again.  Quite without warning, he was walking along behind her with his face pressed in against the right side of her neck and his arms around her, one across her body, as it was still joined with hers.

"You smell lovely, though.  And sweaty humans are my favourite, we cats like salt.  I would love to get you sweaty and lick you all over," he purred, nuzzling at her throat pointedly.  He knew that his actions were bold and he intended them to make her think twice, to start her thinking along lines of companionship that were a lot more intimate than just friends but which he\'d been thinking along for a while now.

He didn\'t intend to be lewd, however, and would be aghast at the fuller implications of his words, had he known.  He genuinely meant wrestling and licking up her arms or perhaps her neck (he predicted she\'d like that, his old boss certainly had, especially since he had a particularly rough tongue) to taste her salt; his actions though, would only back up his very untoward declaration and make him seem a whole lot more sophisticated than he was being.

"And I\'ll be quieter," he continued, his lips moving to nudge against the edge of her ear as he did, indeed, drop his volume to a whisper.  "I think the neighbours should hear you instead, you sound far prettier than me - though you are very greedy.  Sight and sound already you could never live without... next thing you\'ll tell me you can\'t do without touch," he teased, the hand not still linked with hers trailing across her stomach and whispering up and down her forearm pointedly.

His steps were faltering suddenly,his longs legs straddling hers so that his feet were walking on the outside, but for some reason, their combined stride was nowhere near as graceful as he\'d thought it would be.  He blamed her far shorter legs and began pondering simply picking her up and carrying her.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 09, 2008, 11:32:09 AM
Well THAT came out of nowhere

The shortness of her legs  was less to blame for their ungainly walk -- which was growing moreso by the second  -- than the fact that his forward talk had caused her to stumble slightly, surprised. And it was hard to concentrate on walking when there were such lovely things happening to her neck, which she let him have better access to by tilting her head to the side, once she\'d gotten over the initial moment of \'hey where\'d he go?\'

His words caused her eyebrows to lift, however, as she was taken aback by their implications. All of which she was 100% okay with, but damn, if that hadn\'t come on fast, "you know," she said, even as her skin heated slightly beneath his stroking fingers, "That\'s not how friends talk to each other," It wasn\'t how friend\'s touched each other, either, but that wasn\'t necessary for him to know, right now. The playfulness -- slightly more devious now than before -- of her tone mostly belied her words, however; the singer didn\'t mind one teeny tiny little bit. There was warning there, however; if this went beyond flirting (as she really kind of hoped it would) their budding relationship would change -- but it seemed like that\'s what he was going for, and it wasn\'t hard for Morgaine to stop herself from thinking about exactly how that would turn out. The future was the future. Now was now.

"And of course I\'m not gonna give up touch. If I did that, I wouldn\'t be able to feel your...tongue." And the devilish grin was back, "But all either of us are gonna be feelin\' is pavement, soon, if we don\'t figure out some other way to move." More precisely, she felt like Tau was well on his way to running her over, despite her efforts to increase her stride -- which were comical, yes, but also wildly impractical.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 10, 2008, 06:33:12 AM
He laughed and unwound himself from her with about as much grace as he\'d displayed in getting them into their awkward positioning.  "Better?" he queried, pausing before he began walking earnestly (but taking a few steps to test if she\'d be able to keep pace with him again).

Her jibe about how friends touched each other hadn\'t been lost on him, either, and he\'d figured that walking beside her again would relieve the pressure.  He knew that things like licking were intimate and would lead to a lot more than just hanging out, wrestling and listening to her sing, but what he didn\'t know was how she felt about that.  Nor himself, for that matter.  He would hate for their relationship to become only about sex, as his relationship with his boss had become.

No, Morgaine was a lot more fun and interesting as a friend than he believed she could be as a lover, so he decided he should back off the innuendo and intimacy tracks for now (no matter how good she smelled and how tasty he believed it would be to lick her all over and then be inside her).
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 11, 2008, 08:05:53 AM
Somehow, the singer found herself slightly disappointed when he untangeld himself from her, and she found herself walking by his side again (though she kept hold of his hand -- if only to make the untangling slightly more difficult; because goddammit, no one deserved to be that graceful. Of course it wasn\'t only that, but she boxed that away too.) Unsure of exactly why that was, she shrugged it off as best she could. After all, she had, told him it wasn\'t how friends talked. Apparently he\'d simply taken that to heart. Obviously (somehow? That had seemed damned forward. Whatever. Move on.) his talk -- and touch -- were only meant to be friendly; no matter how they affected her.
 
"I guess," she said in answer to the, question, shrugging as indifferently as she could, "Less chance of me falling on my face, anyway. That\'s never pretty. I probably deserve it, though." And the grin was back, full force, "How\'s your head, by the way? Still better? No dizziness? The world\'s still not tilting sideways or anything?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 13, 2008, 11:23:55 AM
He looked closely at her, watching that shrug with more than just his usual amount of curiosity because he found he was looking for a sign... a signal that his touch had had some sort of impact.  He was pretty sure he was seeing exactly that and he knew it when she changed the subject.  He smiled - it was quite a smug expression - and gave her hand a spontaneous squeeze (which might also have been interpreted as reassurance).

"It\'s fine," he said jovially, using his free hand to touch the spot.  He winced as he did, though, because there was still a sizeable amount of swelling there and he realised right then that his head was actually aching quite a bit.  It had been dulled by the food and the company but now that he\'d prodded himself in the most tender of spots, he realised that he wasn\'t entirely recovered, it had just been easy to ignore.

"Well, it\'s mending, anyway," he added sheepishly, dropping his free hand again.  "But no dizziness or world tilting or anything like that.  Only from being with you - because you fill my head with lots of wonderful things," he confided, wanting to explain so that she wasn\'t offended by him saying she made him dizzy.  If he\'d known the phrase \'head spin\' he might have used that to explain how Morgaine made his imagination whirl, but he could only say words that he knew, so he did.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 10:31:57 AM
She looked at him askance, unsure of how to take the dizziness comment until he tacked on the addendum, which caused her to laugh, "I get that a lot," she joked. Though, she usually only made heads spin in search of her – there and gone in the short hours between the rising and setting of the sun.

Her laughter died, however, as she caught sight of Tau\'s apartment building, and she sighed, "Hey, when do you work?" she asked, wanting to know if she\'d ahve to go home. She wasn\'t sure if the Oligarchy was entirely nocturnal (well, she didn\'t know anything about the Oligarchy aside from where it was, and that it was run by a complete asshole), Because if he worked during the day, it was probably getting close to his bedtime. Which, apparently, meant she would have to go home. Sigh.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 01:02:30 PM
He shrugged and smiled sheepishly, for he hadn\'t paid a thought to work up until now. "Well, I usually go in soon... but then, I usually sleep in the afternoons so that I can be there as late as possible, and I didn\'t today.  Most of the business the Oligarchy does is with vampires, I don\'t usually have much to do but I like to be there in case something comes up.  When it does, they beep me.  The rest of the time I am usually in my office finishing paperwork or watching television," he admitted with a giggle.

"Sometimes I\'m requested to sit in as a witness to other proceedings but that does not happen very often," he explained, and then tilted his head as he looked down at her.  "You know, technically, I am at work, because I was investigating you to see how much you knew about Shifters and if you had any extra information that might benefit me.  I think you might still know something you haven\'t told me," he said slowly, nodding to himself and making a show of thinking that had him grasping his whiskery chin with his free hand.  "I think I should keep working at home, unless they beep me, tonight.  That will involve keeping you close by, of course," he told her with mock seriousness, looking down at her through thoughtful, narrowed eyes.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 01:16:51 PM
Morgaine nodded with mock seriousness, brow furrowed with the weight of her imaginary concern "Of course!" she agreed, "I\'m one of those shifty rock-and-roll types, y\'know. You can\'t trust as far as you can throw us. Uncooperative, too. I\'m sure I\'ll require lots of unconventional interrogation."

Secretly (or not so secretly, judging by the smile that broke out on her face once her charade was over), she was delighted by his desire that she stick around. "So what do you wanna do?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 01:41:27 PM
"Listen to you sing," he answered without prevarication, his desires simple and obvious.  After a moment\'s consideration, he decided that he might need to give her an alternative to that... in case she was tired of singing to him.  "Or... whatever you would like to do.  We could watch television... or I could question you... with tickles!" he laughed delightedly, recalling that that had had negative ramifications last time, but determined he would do better this time.

Spontaneously, he reached down and scooped her up into his arms, carrying her bridal style up the steps of his building and inside it.  "I can\'t afford to let you get away," he told her sternly, climbing the stairs effortlessly and staring intently into her eyes with a crooked little grin lifting the corner of his mouth.  it seemed he did not to see the stairs he was ascending to know where he was going and that his grace in such matters was unquestionable.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 02:10:19 PM
Morgaine was in the midst of threatening him with tickle-related retaliation, when she was – no pun neccesarry – swept off her feet, uttering a very unladylike (unhumanlike, really) squawk of protest. She made a face up at him, but found it difficult to actually be annoyed with those big blue eyes looking deep into hers, "Yeah," she said, "\'Cause I\'m sure I could outrun you." Joe had often been know to resort to tactics such as these – though he employed the lift-and-carry only when she needed to be physically removed from a situation. Or from somewhere he wanted to be. Or to somewhere he thought she should be – okay, he more or less treated her like a doll. Suffice it to say, the singer was more or less used to it. She somehow minded less when Tau did it, though, and her annoyance was mostly for show.

She looked down, seeing stairs passing under his feet, and was dutifully impressed, once again, by his grace. Just when she\'d figured out exactly how to put this sentiment into words, they were at the door to his apartment, and she was being transferred to one arm as he unlocked said door, which admitted them into said apartment. "It\'s gonna be difficult to do any of the stuff you mentioned, like this," she pointed out, once inside.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 02:18:14 PM
"Not true!" he countered jovially and dropped his keys and wallet back on the stand beside the door where he kept them before heading to retrieve Morgaine\'s guitar.  On his way back to the loungeroom, he sniffed the air in the direction of Alacer\'s room and decided she wasn\'t home.

"Alec must be out," he announced and strolled casually back to the couch that faced the front door.  "That means we can be as loud as we like," he grinned cheekily, and plopped down onto said couch with a guitar in one hand and a lovely woman in the other.  She was sat squarely in his lap, his thighs parted to give her balance and his arm still at her back to hold her steady as he gave her a winning smile.

"Now what?" he prompted with a playful waggle of his eyebrows.  He figured the guitar - resting on the couch right in front of her, held up by his spare hand - was an apparent enough clue to tell her why he was giving her devious looks and he was, as per usual, ignorant to all other insinuations that might\'ve arisen due to his cheeky actions and very obvious announcement that they were alone in the apartment.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 02:29:56 PM
Morgaine squeaked as she was – once again – transferred to one arm, but she laughed when Tau picked up her guitar, and proved his point (though she was all sorts of confused when he first carried her into the bedroom; the laughter was caused mostly by surprise – and, perhaps, relief – that he wasn\'t actually looking for a reprise of their tickle match – or something entirely different, in light of his ever-so-apparent announcement regarding his roomate\'s absence.)

Once on the couch, however, she eyed her guitar dubiously, and then looked at him sidelong, "I dunno," she said, "Us rockstars are fragile. I might be too ruffled to play, after that indignancy." Once again, her voice was heavy with feigned concern.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 02:37:58 PM
This time, Tau wasn\'t entirely certain she was playing along with him and genuine concern had him placing her guitar carefully on the floor (leaning against the couch within her easy reach, should she lean forward) so that he could place his other hand on her leg.  He gave her thigh some rhythmic squeezes - like a cat sharpening its claws on carpet, perhaps - and looked closely at her.  "How might I... unruffle you, then?" he enquired seriously, his voice deep and blue eyes hovering close as he examined her expression.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 02:50:54 PM
"I..uh..." Well, she knew of several ways he could unruffled her, with his big blue eyes that she got lost in and those  kneading hands – friends!

His concern was warranted; she was partially serious – after all, her stated reason for going out had been to rest her voice; and she\'d spent the whole time talking. Talking so much, her soothing tea had gone cold, and the tickle had now set itself up as a bonafide soreness at the back of her throat. She could deal with that, but the knots in her shoulders from hunching over her instrument had stiffened up unpleasantly – so maybe those kneading hands could be put to use. "You could give me a massage," she suggested innocently.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 03:55:23 PM
"Alright," he agreed, the word drawn out because he had to think on his response for a moment.  He decided being truthful would be the best way to go.  "I have attempted to massage before, but it was under orders and I was quickly told to stop because I was terrible at it so... you may regret that order," he told her wryly, flexing his long fingers before her for impact.  "How do I do this?  Where should I start and is this how we should sit?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 04:09:54 PM
She eyed the raised hands with a healthy amount of suspicion, in light of his words, but plowed on determinedly. They were learning, weren\'t they? "I\'m sure your technique just needs tweaking," she said, "Here, I\'ll show you," she scooted off his lap – pushing the coffee table out of the way so she could kneel at his feet, with her back to him, sitting up as tall as she could.

"Hands?" she requested, holding her own hands up over her shoulders – presumably to catch his – and craning her neck to look back at him.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 04:19:55 PM
Obediently, he complied after shifting so that one of his long legs was on either side of her (he\'d managed to kick his shoes off already, though no announcement of the fact had been made).  She took his large hands in hers and placed them on her shoulders, instructing him on how best to knead the muscles there.

After a few quick gasps when he applied too much fingertip pressure or squeezed just a little too hard upon her bones - which felt incredibly fragile beneath his large paws, like he could snap her if he wasn\'t careful - Tau eventually got the knack of what he was doing and relaxed into the process of massage.  He was fairly intuitive as far as feeling where tendons and muscles ran and how to nudge them loose, but he was finding her clothing rather a hindrance.

"It would be easier if you weren\'t wearing a shirt," he hinted, around the tongue he was sticking out the corner of his mouth to aid his concentration.  As if enlightened by what he\'d said,he paused his ministrations long enough to remove his own shirt, realising they were finally home again and he could get about in as little clothing as he liked (well, not entirely as little as he liked, for he wasn\'t naked).  Once his upper half was bare, the shirt flung idly over his shoulder towards his bedroom doorway, his hands were back upon Morgaine\'s shoulders, back and upper arms, squeezing and prodding gently.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 14, 2008, 04:52:29 PM
It turned out she\'d been mostly right about the technique, and he was soon on his way to unkinking her tired muscles. The singer closed her eyes, sighed, and smiled, relaxing into his hands – until he spoke again, and the words penetrated the fog of her wandering mind.

She looked at him over her shoulder again, lips pursed as she considered the prospect. She\'d seen him naked, after all, hours before, and it didn\'t seem to affect him overmuch. And he was half-naked again, now – so maybe it was just a simple hint, meaning exactly what he\'d said. And fair was fair, right? And she did want him to be comfortable around her, right?

Or maybe it was meant to make her want to turn around and tackle him, lips-first. If so, his plan was working admirably.

"I\'d think bra straps alone would be...tangly," she hedged, under the guise of making conversation, as he did what he liked with her shoulders, back, and arms, his fingers producing all sorts of wonderful sensations.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2008, 05:12:58 PM
He paused in what he was doing, looking down at her back consideringly.  "Well, you could... " he began, but stopped when he realised he was about to advise her that she could take her bra off too, which would leave her upper body naked.  He blushed at the thought and quickly stopped giving advice.

"Never mind," he said hastily, not knowing what else to say since he\'d started down that track and throwing all his subsequent concentration into massaging her over her really-quite-insubstantial-after-all T-shirt.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 15, 2008, 11:13:25 AM
Morgaine laughed, her shoulders shaking under his hands, "It\'s cool, babe," she assured him, "Most people wish they could be as comfortable with being naked as you are." She herself wasn\'t one of them – but when her clothes came off, they rarely went back on for at least twelve hours, and it wouldn\'t do for Alec to come home to find them lazing about on the couch, topless; which was the absolute best that could be hoped for.

Best to avoid the temptation altogether, "I think I\'m good, now, though, if you still wanted me to play...?" she questioned, craning her neck upward to see his face.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 15, 2008, 11:30:55 AM
"Definitely," he grinned eagerly.  "Do you want me to keep doing this while you do?  And do you want to be out here or would you rather go in to the bed?" he asked guilelessly, so excited that he was about to hear her sing again that he began fidgetting, unsure of whether he should unhand her and move the two of them or not.  He settled for wriggling on the spot until she answered him, instead.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 15, 2008, 11:41:54 AM
She raised a brow at him, face still upside down, "I thought you were the boss," she teased. Nobody was the boss of Morgaine, "Here\'s good, unless you prefer the bedroom. I\'m easy."

She started to reach back for her guitar, and sighed, "But I suppose you should quite with hands," she told him mournfully, "\'Cause I think I might melt, and what good am I for anything, then?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 15, 2008, 12:03:04 PM
Tau did as suggested and removed his hands from Morgaine\'s shoulders, lifting himself completely out of her way so that she could grab her guitar.  He lay along the couch behind her to watch and listen, intrigued as she again tested the tuning of her strings and plucked playfully at them, trying to decide what she\'d perform.

Once she began, he settled slightly better but being behind her was a different experience, too.  The quality of her voice - with his head resting on the couch base just behind hers (even though that had his legs dangling off the edge and propped up on the couch set perpendicular to the one he was on) - was different and fascinating, louder, huskier, more alluring.

By the time Morgained had started into the second verse, Tau\'s curiosity had got the better of him and he was nuzzling against the back of her head, enjoying the vibrations that travelled through her scalp and into his skull.  He slithered back on the couch a little more (aided by toes grounded in the other sofa\'s cushions) then and rubbed his right cheek against her left, thrilling in some very serious sound and vibrato transfer.

Unconsciously, he began to purr as he did, his eyes falling closed as he luxuriated in this very up close and personal musical experience.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 15, 2008, 12:19:42 PM
It might have been the years spent taking all sorts of odd occurences onstage that gave gave her the ability to play through Tau\'s actions without goofing – though she did smile, quite broadly, at the feel of his tickly whiskers against the side of her face – but she liked to think it was the fact that she was becoming used to his touch – and the odd (and infuriating; he was so close, goddammit it all!) forms his touch sometimes took.

When the song finished, she slid her eyes sideways to look at what she could see of his face, "Well, since I\'m gonna be your boombox, I oughtta play something you like, then, huh? You\'ve heard enough to pick, I guess. Tell me which of the songs I\'ve played that you liked; based on the words, or the music, the vibe, whatever – I\'ll probably know what you\'re talking about."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 15, 2008, 04:03:26 PM
He rested his chin on her shoulder and gave it some thought, the rumbling coming from somewhere between his chest and his throat more noticeable in the silence that signified he was giving this some thought.  He wanted to say that she loved everything she did but knew it wasn\'t what she was looking for.  Of all the songs he\'d heard her play, it was difficult to choose, but he eventually did.

"I liked the one where you used the guitar like a drum - the one about you and Jimmy," he told her, his voice oddly distorted due to the purring that wouldn\'t stop, making it sound like every word he spoke was said while enduring a rapid, intense earthquake.  "But I like everything you do," he needed to add and lifted his head off her shoulder so that he could press his ear to her back.  It took quite a bit of nudging to do, but he eventually squeezed his head between her and the couch so that his ear could listen to the noises that emanated from inside her - somewhere around the region of between her shoulder blades.

Problem was, his head was not small and he\'d more or less pressed her into a position where it would be near impossible for her to play - still, he waited patiently for his concert to begin anyway, sprawled half on and half off the couch and purring like a madman.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 16, 2008, 12:04:46 AM
"Okay. Why did you like it?" Asked Morgaine, as she was nudged an manuevered into her current position (which included her legs - which had previously been drawn up – straight out before her on the carpet, so as to not crush her guitar. The same guitar that was currently digging into her midsection, as well as the tops of her sore thighs, making her wince). Once she was there, she couldn\'t help but think what the hell?

But all she said, with a tone meant to convey infinite patience, was "Tau," Alright, there was suppressed laughter in there, too; suppressed because it was hard to breathe like this, much less laugh, "I think we might have to rethink this position a little bit, babe."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 16, 2008, 12:44:04 AM
Silence was all that emanated from her back region for a little while - well, except for the purring, but it soon died down as well, and then his head reappeared over her shoulder, to inspect the damage (so to speak).  He was confounded to see her all squashed up and realised she\'d never be able to sing that way.

He gave a grumble of frustration - that was transferred almost directly into her, since he\'d had to walk forward a little on his hands to see over her shoulder, and his chest was now pressed solidly to her back - and then tumbled past her altogether.  He rolled to her left, narrowly avoiding the coffee table as he somehow ended up in a seated position, facing her.

"I want to feel you sing," he pouted, glad to see that she was now free to find a comfortable position that didn\'t involve her huddling over her guitar, but still sad that he\'d not had an opportunity to listen to her properly from the position he\'d found.  "Could I... maybe... hold you in my lap?" he asked suddenly, thinking fast and brightening immeasurably when this idea came to him.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 16, 2008, 10:22:39 AM
Almost immediately as she was released from her hunched position, Morgaine was leaning forward again with an alarmed look on her face, reaching out with one arm, as if to break his fall. Somehow.

But then he was up again, bouncing back like a punching bag with a face, and the stricken \'O\' of her mouth her mouth was slowly replaced by a wry smile, as her eyes returned to their normal diameter slowly shrinking from dinner-plate size, "Uh, sure, why not?" she answered, blinking rapidly, . She liked this sentiment of \'feeling the music, and was glad to play Human Jukebox to support his inner creative journey. Or whatever.

"Nice save, by the way," she commented as she adjusted her guitar, and scooted across the floor toward him, on her knees – looking for all the word as if she were wading through a knee-deep sea of carpet,  "I thought you were gonna take out the coffee table, for sure," she said, laughing off her concern, "Now, uh, where do you want me?".
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 16, 2008, 10:55:15 AM
He patted his thighs with a broad grin, carefully positioning his long legs so that they were together for her to sit upon.  His back was leaned up against the other couch now, the coffee table shoved even farther aside so there was room for her with her guitar.

Deciding that having her back pressed to his naked front would suffice, he eagerly pulled Morgaine onto his lap, unabashedly wrapping an arm about her waist to drag her right back, sitting her ass flush on his crotch and molding his chiselled physique to her curves.  His hands were splayed upon her tiny hips, his fingers so long that just about touched across her stomach.

"Is this okay?" he murmured, his lips unerringly finding their way to press against the shell of her left ear as he spoke.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 23, 2008, 02:42:12 PM
Once again, the singer found herself picked up, set down, and arranged in a manner which –

Oh.
My.
God.


He was just so close. She simply couldn\'t help the heat that trickled through her veins, traveling from the places where his fingertips pressed against her, holding her to him so intimately – nor the breath coming heavy from between parted lips, nearly brushing his as she turned her head toward him, eyes sliding toward what she could see of his face, peering from suddenly heavy lips. Nor the sudden clench of her fists –

TWANG


– one of which was wrapped around the neck of her guitar.

"Oooooow," yowled the singer (in a distinctly catlike manner) immediately in the wake of the discordant note sounded by the E-string – snapped under the sudden sharp tug of her clenching fingers. A thin line of blood appeared on the back of her hand where the suddenly-severed end of the thin wire had found her skin.

What a fine way to be brought back to one\'s senses.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 23, 2008, 11:48:33 PM
Tau jumped and gasped, suddenly having to peer over Morgaine\'s other shoulder to see what was going on - the sight of the blood startled him and caused his hand to run along the underside of her arm to cradle the bleeding limb from underneath.  He tilted it gently, so that he could better look, pushing his face as far forward as his position allowed.

"What happened?" he asked in complete confusion, unsure of whether he should put her back down on the carpet, help her to get up to get something to put on the cut (would toilet paper do?  He couldn\'t think of anything else he had, since he\'d shredded up his last box of tissues) or simply carry her to a tap to rinse the blood away.  His remaining grip on her waist tightened automatically as he considered these options.

"How can I help you fix that?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 24, 2008, 12:08:50 PM
"E string snapped, and got me" All on it\'s own, obviously. No help from her whatsoever. She watched his hand slide down her arm like a lazy dog watches a tennis ball – interested, but passive; until it reached her own hand, and she was forced to lean her guitar (which she still held in a death grip) up against the coffee table (leaning forward slightly to do so, still all too aware of how the motion pressed her ass back against his crotch.

"I\'m fine," she said. It wasn\'t the pain that had made her cry out (as Morgaine was obviously no stranger to pain), simply the surprise at receiving it when her mind had been so completely elsewhere.  Even as they talked, the bleeding had ceased, and all that remained was the beaded droplets along the length of the cut (more of a scratch, really) and a single tiny drop that had run about halfway down the back of her hand. She was thankful for it, though. It had given her the distraction she needed to be able to deal with being this close to him (though, it was still a mystery as to why that was such a problem in the first place).

She brought the hand to her mouth and licked the blood away with one broad swipe of her tongue; once it was gone, only a slightly raised line of skin remained. "But the guitar\'s out \'til I get a new one." She had more strings at home, but hadn\'t thought to pack any for the night.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 24, 2008, 06:25:58 PM
He blinked as she lifted the injured hand to her mouth and simply... licked the blood away.  Again, a surprise, and this one drew a giggle from him because he hadn\'t expected such behaviours from a human - especially a beautiful, petite woman.  The fact that she had made him ten times more intrigued and giddy with humour.

"You... the blood... well!" he chortled, wrapping his long arms about her tiny waist because there was nothing else to do with them, and resting his chin on her shoulder once more.  The vision of her licking the line of blood up without a qualm ran through his mind, over and over, becoming increasingly erotic every time he thought about it.  He\'d never seen an ordinary human so unperturbed by an amount of blood such as she\'d been; thinking about it got him feeling all queer and quivery inside.

"I suppose we shall have to think of something else to do then," he murmured, suppressing the urge to laugh again and instead giving her a kiss on the cheek.  "Do you want to watch some television?" he enquired, trying to ignore the scent of blood on her breath, the way it made his nostrils flare and drew his face as close to hers as possible.  It didn\'t matter that it was human blood or her blood... it set his senses tingling and his animal instincts into overdrive at the mere thought of it - let alone the sight and the smell.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 26, 2008, 04:17:17 PM
Morgaine found it odd that he found her method of self-care odd. Maybe he thought she was spending too much time at Risk, or something.

She frowned, preparing to comment on it when he kissed her cheek – familiar, like an old friend (or a boyfriend – but she wasn\'t about to go there ) – and she smiled again, snuggling (if possible) closer to his chest, laying her arms atop his. It was a perplexing, automatic reaction, in stark contrast to the distance she\'d been trying so hard to maintain – but somehow that didn\'t click in her brain until she turned her head to answer him, and found his face drawn so very close to hers.

The smile faltered, unsure. She looked at him for a long moment, until – Oh, yeah. Hadn\'t he asked her something? "Um. Yeah. TV. TV is fine." Still a little slow, the singer made no attempt to move in order to let him up.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 27, 2008, 08:17:33 PM
Given her affirmative, Tau looked around to see where the remote was, spying it sitting harmlessly on the coffee table off to the side.  He leaned over, holding her steady with one arm while he did but still forcing her to sway with him while he leaned, his long reach snagging the remote after a few swipes before he straightened back against the couch.

The shift in position caused his legs to part slightly but instead of bossily picking her up again, he crossed them tailor fashion so that she had a slightly more comfortable (in his opinion) spot in his lap, his arms still folded securely about her as he peered over her shoulder to see the buttons on the device he held.  There was something very primitive and highly possessive about the way he was keeping her close to him, like a mother cat would do to any of her cubs if she thought they were going to wander off and get into trouble.

"We can move to the couch if you like," he offered, biting his tongue as he located the on button and pointed the remote at the TV.  It blared to instant life, drowning out any response she was likely to make; he hastened to turn the volume down so he could hear what she said to his offer.  It didn\'t occur to him that he hadn\'t said couches, but couch, singular, meaning he was going to keep a hold on her whether they were sitting on the rug or laying along the seat behind him.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 27, 2008, 08:33:58 PM
All of this jostling and bending at odd angles and squeezing about her middle reminded Morgaine rather sharply that, yes, she was human, and yes, she would have to get up soon because, frankly, and very suddenly, the singer had to piss like a racehorse – and informed her host of such –

"You pick," she said, "Pick what we\'re gonna watch, too. But, uh, can you point me toward your bathroom? I gotta piss like a racehorse." – in as many words, too, with an ingratiating smile upon her face, which was craned back to look at him.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 27, 2008, 08:38:18 PM
Tau, with a baffled expression, pointed towards the couch behind him - meaning that the bathroom was down the little hall in the room at the end, opposite the kitchen.  She\'d seen it earlier, beyond the laundry, so he was confident she\'d find it but... he had no clue what she was saying.

"Like a racehorse?  Why like a racehorse?  Why not like a human?" he enquired in a thoroughly stunned manner, trying to imagine how a racehorse pissed that made it so much more appealing to Morgaine... and if his human-styled toilet would be able to cope with such odd positioning.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 28, 2008, 08:04:29 AM
Moragine laughed as she crawled out of his lap and clambered to her feet, already missing his warmth. "Figure of speech," she told him, "Again. Just means I gotta piss really, really bad." She was dancing a little on the spot as she talked, hopping subtly from foot to foot, "As in: right now. Be right back."

With that, she took off for the bathroom, locking the door behind her out of habit.

Once everything taken care of in there, she sauntered back out – all poise once again, and made her way back to the living room, to see what Tau had decided on.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 29, 2008, 12:46:34 AM
If Morgaine took a minute to watch him, she would quickly note that the shifter\'s viewing choice consisted of one thing; commercials.  The gaudier, louder and more obnoxious the better.

In fact, as she strolled up she would note that the featured show returned from a commercial break and Tau flipped channels until he found a breakfast cereal commercial he enjoyed; his feet - still stretched out before him on the carpet rug - tapped in time to the grating jingle and a hum that developed as a purr began in his throat (though she wouldn\'t hear it over the hideous noise coming from the mechanised box).

When it ended, he looked over at his guest, as if he\'d known the whole time that she was approaching but he\'d been too engrossed to drag his attention from the TV long enough to speak to her.  "Morgaine!" he exclaimed brightly when her still form, standing behind the couch to his right, registered in his peripheral vision.

"You know what I need?" he asked her seriously (refraining from enquiring about how her horse piss went, because he knew that talking about such a thing was considered vulgar).  "I need a telephone like yours.  I just saw an advertisement for a fabulous one - do you know how I get it?  It doesn\'t even cost anything, the man said!"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 29, 2008, 10:36:53 AM
When Tau looked up at her, he\'d find that she\'d been watching him instead of the television, though his choice of programming did not escape her notice; commercial jingles grated on a very special musical nerve. She cocked a brow when he spoke to her, unashamed to be caught watching him – staring at the talking box from the floor, all wide eyes and ignorance; like, well, like a seven-year old – as he had been.

A seven-year-old with buying power, apparently. Something about the way he\'d said need and fabulous told her it was a direct quote from somebody with slicked back hair and very white teeth.

His words caused her to smile as she came around the couch, and settled herself at his side, one knee cocked up against her chest, "Babe, I\'m gonna guess that – if you wanna get this phone – you\'re going to need a different phone to call in and order it," she explained patiently, hating to crush his dream.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 29, 2008, 11:12:20 AM
"Oh," he uttered, his expression becoming a frown of consternation but by no means defeat; he was rapidly trying to think of another way around this obstacle.  "There are... shops... where you can buy telephones... aren\'t there?" he asked her cautiously.

He believed he\'d passed them before, but had never had the inclination to cross their threshold in order to purchase a phone, so he wasn\'t entirely certain about this.  There had to be, though; there were shops for everything, right?  Now that he had someone he wanted to call, he needed to find out!
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 29, 2008, 11:28:41 AM
"Sure," she told him, nodding, "But then you\'d have a phone that you paid for, and you wouldn\'t need the free one, babe." The smile she stopped from spreading further across her lips danced in her eyes as she explained this. The singer didn\'t want him to think she was laughing at him, but he was obviously fixed in the notion that he had to have this phone, and his ignorance was just. So. Damn. Cute.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 29, 2008, 12:45:09 PM
"I just want a phone so that I can call you," Tau shrugged.  "I think a cell phone would be good, because then I could use it anywhere and I could also send you text messages, in case you were performing and I shouldn\'t interrupt you with a ring," he pointed out solemnly, knowing the theory behind such a notion but not having even the vaguest idea about how to execute his plan.

"Tomorrow, do you think you could go with me to a cell phone shop to buy one?"
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 29, 2008, 12:58:33 PM
Acquiring a cell phone through legal means. That would be an adventure. "Love to," she told him, smiling brightly, surprised and delighted that he was willing to go so far in order to keep in contact with her.

Of course, as he got to know more people, there\'d be more uses for the cell, but she\'d always be the first. Petty? Sure, but at least she was honest with herself about it. She was surprised, however, that he had managed to get  along without any sort of phone for as long as he had. Admirable, yes, but sooner or later everybody had to step into the 21st century.

One snag: she remembered he said he slept during the day (as she did), and that, typically, was when stores were open, "We\'ll probably hafta go during the day, though," she warned, "Maaaaaybe early evening."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 29, 2008, 01:04:43 PM
"That\'s fine," he told her, excited by the prospect of a trip on the morrow.  Since he\'d decided he wouldn\'t be going in to work tonight (unless they beeped), he saw no reason why they couldn\'t prepare for their trip that much sooner (the fact that it was early and he wasn\'t super tired didn\'t faze him in the light of their phone-buying excursion coming that much sooner if they could fall asleep now).

"Do you want to go to bed with me?  We can go when we wake up, then," Tau told Morgaine logically, turning the television off in his enthusiasm to get everything started that much more quickly.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 29, 2008, 01:21:16 PM
Why yes, I think that would be delightful! We could have a pillow fight, and then, and then –

Morgaine bit down on those words, to prevent their escape. It was just too damn easy. She did let go of her smile, however – though by this time it had morphed into a grin as she watched him move about the room. "Uh, how about I take the couch?" she suggested, perfectly willing to suit his desire to get up and go – hell, she was excited too; it must have been catching, "We\'re gonna hafta stop at my place in the morning, though," she told him, "Just so I can get some stuff, drop off my guitar, all that."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 29, 2008, 01:38:35 PM
That gave Tau pause and he turned a frown towards her, worried by a couple of things that she\'d said.  "I will ride in a car while you ride your bike, right?  And you don\'t want to share my bed?" he asked innocently.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 30, 2008, 08:08:40 AM
"Suit yourself," she said, "But the bike really isn\'t that bad. Face your fear, big guy! Builds character!"  As an appalled look came over his features, she relented, "Fine, fine, take the car. We can meet at the place if you want, or you can follow me to my place and I can ditch the bike, whichever." She quailed at the idea of riding in a car (which, undoubtedly, would have a roof) but she could deal with it for the twenty minutes it would take them to get where they were going, if Tau chose that option.

The second half of his question wasn\'t so easily answered, and she paused. Was now the time to be honest? To tell him how she felt? Did she even know, really, how she felt?
No, no, and no.

She\'d slept in the same bed with every member of the band any number of times (singly and all at once – the all at once had only happened the one time, in Toronto, and had been interesting. The only two of them to get any actual rest were Vivianne – who talked in her sleep, and Ami – who snored like a bear.) So why was there a problem now?

Simple: she wasn\'t – and had never been (except for a shirt-lived crush on Joe) – physically attracted to any of her other real friends; otherwise, they wouldn\'t be her friends any more.

So she lied through her teeth, "Naw, couch is fine."
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 30, 2008, 11:21:44 AM
"I... want to see where you live," Tau confessed in a small voice, accepting her second assertion that she would sleep on the couch because he was still hung up on who would get where and how.  There hadn\'t been room enough for him to ride on the bike with her that day, because she\'d had her guitar, why would things have changed?  Because they were no longer strangers?  Maybe there was some room on the bike with her and the guitar, but only some room.  Not knowing him, maybe she hadn\'t wanted to be that close to him but now that they\'d wrestled and were okay with touching one another...

"Are you sure there would be room for me on the bike with your guitar?" he asked finally, obviously having given it a lot of thought.  He wanted to see where she lived, it would make no sense for him to follow her there in a cab or a work car just to look around for a few moments, then get back in his car to travel with her to the shopping centre.  It would be a better idea to squeeze onto the bike with her, even if it would scare the shit out of him.  He trusted Morgaine enough to assume she was a better rider than Ami and would care about him enough to go more slowly... but then he thought of the way he\'d seen her ride that day and all such assurances left him.  In fact, his face paled and he swallowed nervously as he waited for her to tell him that he was right in remembering that there wasn\'t much room.

He\'d have have to take a car after all, oh well... right?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on December 30, 2008, 11:47:42 AM
"Oh yeeeeah." Morgaine made a face. Guitar. Right. She hadn\'t actually expected Tau to accept the offer, and – judging by his pallor – he wasn\'t exactly thrilled about the idea to begin with. Nice of him to be polite about it, though.

But he wanted to get to know her, right? And that bike was as much a part of her as her thumbs, or eyes, wasn\'t it?

"I could leave the guitar here," she offered, face alight, "I mean, y\'know, if that\'s cool with you?"

Oh God, she suddenly thought, Your place. Your place looks like warzone. A slutty, sinful warzone. She bit down on her lip, and her eyes narrowed, momentarily critical, D\'you think he\'ll notice?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 31, 2008, 12:55:17 AM
Tau took a very obvious deep breath and held it a moment, giving her offer some thought.  What tipped the scale, in the end, was the fact that she offered to leave her guitar at his house - her guitar.  He knew that such a gesture was akin to an amputee leaving their prosthetic limb behind, a doctor foregoing his medicine bag or a child leaving their teddy bear.  Morgaine\'s guitar was her most prized possession and the fact that she offered to leave it at his house in order to take him on her bike spoke volumes for her dedication to helping him.

He was immensely flattered.  He exhaled to a shiny smile.  "That is perfectly fine.  See you in the morning, then," he exclaimed cheerfully, hastening over to her to kiss her cheek before hurrying into bed.  He left the door open, shrugged off his jeans and climbed in in his underwear, ready to fall asleep so that he could wake up that much sooner.  Of course, in his haste, his lacking hospitality skills came to the fore and he didn\'t turn off any lights, show Morgaine where switches were (not that it was complicated) or offer her a blanket and pillow to use on the couch.  He dozed out there on the soft arm all the time, so extra supplies were not something he had the understanding to realise she\'d need.

He had spare pillows and another blanket, but would Morgaine think it was prudent to go into his bedroom and ask?
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on January 01, 2009, 09:23:18 AM
Well, that had seemed final. Felling like she\'d missed something crucial, the singer frowned at her back as he left her there, presumably to repair to the bedroom, and to the world of dreams beyond.

She waited there for a little bit, listening for the noises that would tell her that he was up and about; brushing his teeth, using the bathroom – doing the little things people did before they went to bed.

Nope. That was it. The end.

Sighing indulgently, the singer got to her feet, and set about the task of locating the lightswitches, flicking them off as she found them. The last of them was the one in the living room. Before she went to extinguish it, however, she paused in Tau\'s doorway, just to watch him, once again, unsure if he\'d actually gone to sleep that quickly or not, and – Jesus Christ, how had she missed those scars? He was fucking covered in them.

She lingered perhaps a little too long in the doorway, cataloguing the ones she could see; old battle wounds, it seemed – except for the nasty-looking ring of knotted tissue around his right calf. Perhaps she\'d ask about that one, later. None of them could have been pleasant to receive. She shook her head and came back to herself, and made to move away and flick off the light – unless he\'d noticed her there, and had something to say.

Otherwise, she\'d retire to the couch, blanket and pillow forgone in favor of letting her host sleep. One of Morgaine\'s many and varied talents was – incidentally – being able to fall asleep anywhere, in nearly any condition, regardless of what was going on around her. (Well, alright, most of the time, when extraordinary sleeping conditions had to be made, it was less actual \'sleeping\' so much as \'passing out\', in Morgaine\'s case.) And so, wold speak to him when she woke.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on January 03, 2009, 01:27:20 AM
Tau had believed himself too excited about Morgaine staying in the house and their excursion in the morning (though not their mode of transportation en route) to sleep, but had found that, once his body hit the welcome softness of his mattress, he would have no such trouble at all.  He was exhausted from enduring a day filled with so many highs and a not-small amount of physical exertion; as soon as his head hit the pillow, his eyelids drooped.

He didn\'t even have the strength or co-ordination to get the sheet and blanket pulled over himself and the heat in his apartment wasn\'t so great that he didn\'t feel the cold... but he was instantly too tired to think much (and especially to move).  He roused slightly from his first (catnap) slumber when he sensed Morgaine standing in his doorway.

"Oh, hey," he mumbled sleepily, unaware of how long she\'d stood there or how long he\'d been dozing.  He struggled to lift his head and look at her.  "Take one of these pillows," he invited, aware of how cool it was now that he was away from her heat and barely clothed (dutifully, in his underwear, no matter how much he hated it).  He indicated one of the extra three on the bed near his head.  "You gonna\' be warm enough out there?" he queried, his poor hospitality skills improving rapidly as he started putting himself in his guest\'s place.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Harlequin on January 03, 2009, 08:41:36 AM
"Huh?" Morgaine jerked upright , snapped out of her reverie by his words, "Oh, uh, sure," she said quietly, creeping guiltily into the dark room to grab one of the indicated pillows. "Naw, I\'m cool." Morgaine was wearing considerably more clothing than Tau, and barely noticed any chilliness in the air. "Go back to sleep," she told him as she began to back out of the room.
Title: Re: Anything But Numb
Post by: Existentially Odd on January 03, 2009, 12:51:45 PM
"Mm\'okay," he mumbled, settling his head back on the pillow to do just that.  "But come back if you get-" he instructed, his sentence deteriorating as it progressed, like a wind-up toy losing steam, until the last word didn\'t even come out.

Despite his eagerness to spend time with Morgaine and take her shopping so that she could help him get a phone that would call her, the cat\'s unique ability to be awake one moment and slumbering hard the next had overtaken him.  He was fast asleep.