A Familiar sort of Apocalypse (Nivansrywyllian, Feltipped)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nivansrywyllian, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. The Calling pulled him like iron to a lodestone. His pace picked up as the pull grew stronger, like a fishing line hooked beneath his ribcage. It was an intriguing sensation, simultaneously sweet and agonizing. He had to make his contract. His Bondsman needed him.

    Nobody paid attention to the man sprinting down the street, all long limbs and dark, wild hair. They were all to encapsulated by the pulsing, glowing, verdant shade of the sky. He slowed to a jog as he passed a reporter, and her camera crew reporting on the strange phenomenon covering the sky.

    "-and some seem to think that the discoloration of the sky is due to a weakening of our ozone-" Up his pace picked again, as the tugging in his chest demanded action. The pulling took him to an apartment building, although the direction of the tug changed. His Bondsman would be found on the floors above him. He made a quick circle of the building, seeking entry. Luck found him.

    A wizened old woman with arms full of groceries was hobbling up the stairs to the entry of the apartment complex. Slowing to a jog, the familiar approached. Offered help gained him entry to the building. He itched to set off again to find the upper floors. Instead, he followed the little old woman up to her apartment, and laid the groceries down on her counter top. The woman left him with thanks, and folded a small slip of paper into his broad hand, as he took his leave.

    Glad to be free to pursue his Bondsman once again, he found the stairs. He took them two at a time, up to the fourth floor of the building. After a few minutes of frustratingly similar hallways, the Familiar found the door that was between himself and his Bondsman. He lifted a hand to rap on the door solidly.

    He was a tall fellow, six foot four or so, and lean. He wasn't scrawny certainly, but he did look long. He had curly, brown hair atop his head that didn't look to be styled, and only barely brushed. A goatee circled his mouth, and the long tuft hanging from his chin was braided for about an inch before it stopped. He wore a black tee with some punk band splashed across the front, and a pair of ill-fitting jeans that slanted rakishly from one hip. A fist was tangled in the waist of his pants to keep them up. He wore no shoes at all, and his bare feet kept shifting on the carpet outside of the apartment.
  2. An eerie song poured through the thin front door of the apartment, lacing the hallway with a melancholy tune, broken up only by someone singing loudly and somewhat off key inside. As was her habit with unnerving events, the twenty-something had distracted herself from the unsettling sight flashing across her muted television. The sky outside, the speculation and the debates were all too overwhelming to sit through without fidgeting and she was left trying to ignore a sunken feeling in her gut that had begun as soon as she had clocked out of the coffee house earlier in the afternoon.

    While the news reporter mouthed empty words at her from the small box on her counter, the blond pulled her hair up into a messy bun and set to work scrubbing the dishes left over from last night's dinner. She had donned nothing more than a pair of gym shorts and an old tank top, the converted remains of gym clothes long replaced with newer versions. There were no roommates to account for or parents to intrude on her privacy and she seldom looked presentable enough for guests once she stripped off her uniform and settled in for the night.

    At first she wasn't sure that she had heard the knock on her door over the music and her own belting vocals, convinced that it was some figment of her over-zealous imagination. One finger pressed the power button on her radio as she paused to listen and her brows furrowed when she heard nothing else from the hall. She couldn't simply ignore it, however, and after a moment she cut the water, then toweled her hands off on the rag hanging from her stove door. It was a quick walk around the bar that separated her kitchen from the living room and almost as an afterthought, she swept a hoodie from the back of the sofa as she passed by. She was pulling it on as she reached the front door and was still fidgeting with the sleeves when she rose up on tip-toe to stare through the peephole.

    At the sight of him, she paused, unsure. She didn't know him and he certainly looked a bit disheveled. Whatever was going on outside, she was sure it was bound to bring out the more unmentionable members of society. Her mind was already racing with images of a half-crazed apocalyptic prophet going door-to-door with his sermons, but she knew that she had a way of letting her imagination run wild with her. The woman hesitated on the other side of her door like that for some time, worrying her bottom lip and taking two or three more glances through the eye, until her curiosity finally got the better of her. She couldn't help it, she couldn't take one more unanswered question. Her pale hand twisted the deadbolt open and then pulled the door back slowly, revealing a barefoot man that was even more questionable now that she could see him in all his barefoot glory.

    "Hi?" She couldn't help the note of question in her voice. Her clumsy hands found the zipper of her coat and pulled it up over her abdomen, covering most of her lean torso even though her legs remained bare. In hindsight, she kind of wished she'd put on a pair of jeans. Deep, emerald eyes remained locked on him skeptically until she found manners and remembered that he probably wanted something. "Can I help you?"
  3. The Familiar was getting antsy. She was so close. He didn't know how he knew, but he knew. His Bondsman was a woman, and she was on the other side of the door. The speed of his heartbeat accelerated, and he shifted his weight from foot to bare foot. She was in danger, and she was just on the other side of the door. He considered kicking in the door, but he supposed that it might startle the poor girl.

    Moments passed, and he revisited the idea of kicking in the door, reining in his impatience each time. Finally, the door opened a crack, and more. The lean familiar felt a swelling sensation deep in his chest, and he stiffened. He bent at the waist in a formal, flourishing bow to the half-clad woman on the far side of the threshold. "My name is Kerrenillavyne." He said, straightening. He had an angular jaw, and eyes that shone bright, like blue chips of ice. Now that he'd laid eyes on his Bondsman, the pulling in his chest lightened. "I have come to offer you my services, to answer your questions, and to protect you. You are not safe here."

    He paused, trying to put himself into the woman's position. A strange man came knocking on her door, looking like a ruffian, and spouting relative nonsense. "I am here about the sky." He added. His voice was smooth, and baritone. An underwhelming statement, perhaps, but he was acclimating very slowly to this new world, filled with glass and metal. "May I come in?"
  4. As the ruffian introduced himself, her mouth opened and closed, like a fish gasping in the open air. She realized that not only had she not really gotten all of the syllables of his name, she also had no idea what to say in return to this. The sinking feeling in her gut intensified and she brought one slender hand up over her stomach without realizing it, pressing into the flesh in an attempt to smother the uneasiness spreading through her like fire.

    "I, um," her voice stuttered as she tried to piece words together into a sentence, unsure of herself - or anything. She drew in one long breath through her nose, then blew it out as she tried to calm frayed nerves. He was so sure he was supposed to be here, even if she felt like this was nearly as strange as the sky outside, and it was only his confidence that made her trust him. Lunatics didn't bow, after all. At least she didn't think so. Maybe trust was a strong word.

    "I'm Sana," she managed to introduce herself finally, "and I guess you can come in, yes." Her eyebrows were still furrowed, causing her to squint at him through eyes that still carried the remnants of half-scrubbed eyeliner. The door was pulled open a little farther to reveal a worn, plush blue couch and she stepped aside so that he could pass by her. She at least wanted to get him in here before someone else stopped to ask what was going on.

    "Do you know what's going on with it? The sky, I mean." Now that she had found her voice, warm and melodic now that it wasn't stuttering over every syllable, she wanted whatever answers he thought he had to give.
  5. The Familiar entered, and took in the woman's apartment with a glance. "I do. It is going to take a telling, and we have some time. You may want to make yourself comfortable. Would you like tea?" He asked, as he strode towards the kitchen. He had a gracefully reserved way of moving, with no wasted motion. He looked almost like a dancer. Casting about for a teapot, with little care that the kitchen was not his own, he began speaking.

    "The sky is the result of a breakdown between realities. Your world is colliding with mine. Metaphysically speaking. The barriers between our realities have weakened, and become porous. Portals have opened all across the face of your planet. They're small now, allowing only creatures with small magical talents through, but they will grow, and then there will be war." The man frowned, coming up with a teapot.

    "The cause of all of this, is a great war. Magi fighting one another for rule, and dragging the creatures of the fae to one side or another. I'm not certain of the specifics. I am however certain that we are transforming your people. Evolving them through exposure to our innate magic. Soon there will be rumors of men making miracles all over the planet." Over to the sink he moved, eyeballing it curiously. He tested the faucet gingerly, triggering the flow of water. Up he filled the teapot. He cast about ponderously, eyeballing the varied kitchen appliances. Discarding them all as a source of heat, he turned to Sana with the still-cool teapot.

    "Where is your fireplace?"
  6. Sana repeated that same fish-mouth motion as he passed her and offered her tea from her own pantry, as if he had suddenly become the host and this was his domain. She merely nodded in consent as she shut the door behind him, flipping the deadbolt again out of her own paranoia. She took a seat on the couch, perched on the edge of the cushion with her hands folded together in her lap. It was the picture of perfect posture, but with a rigidness that suggested it was just another consequence of her unease. Those green eyes followed him now, tracing his motions as he flowed through the kitchen, trying to understand what he was saying as she adjusted to his presence all at once.

    "So.." she began slowly, drawing the syllable out as her mind fought to make sense of the things he was saying, and whether or not the tall-tale could be at all believed. She had always had a love of the surreal and liked to think of herself as a believer in something greater than herself but this was... this was borderline lunacy. Her brain had still not caught up to her mouth's attempt at speech when he began to test the faucet and immediately, it latched on to that nearly insignificant gesture. She had not missed his uncertainty, something that she found unusual when he had been so confident about everything else. The thought turned over and over in her mind as it tried to complete the half-realized conclusion and for a time, she hadn't realized he'd asked her anything at all. It was only as she became aware of him staring at her that she blinked rapidly and surfaced from her thoughts.

    "Oh, that's not really practical here," she was already up and striding into the kitchen as she spoke, relieved to have some small task to focus her attention upon, "we just use this now." Deft fingers turned a nob above the burners on her stove until the coil flared to life, red-hot. Convinced that he had no idea what a stove was, or that he was at least a very good actor, she waved him close. "Just set it down."

    In the closer proximity offered by her small kitchen and the florescent light that shined down upon them, it was easier to see the light freckles that she usually hid with make-up. They stretched across the bridge of her nose and cheek bones, adding an air of innocence to her heart-shaped face. She shifted to lean back against the counter next to the stove, tugging at her shorts in an attempt to produce a bit more length. She gave up and just crossed her arms over her chest instead to stop the fidgeting.

    "So, what you're telling me is that you're from another world?" She spoke very precisely, and clearly, in an attempt to sound less judgmental because this was certainly a giant leap of faith he was asking her to have in a complete stranger. "And you have come to, what, save me? Why me?"
  7. The Familiar turned to watch the stove as the girl fiddled with it. It looked vaguely familiar to oven's he'd seen in his own world, but it didn't seem at all the same. He felt a brow rise quizzically as the metal coil glowed cherry with heat. He set the tea-pot down, on the heated coil. Over to the next coil he moved, holding his hand over it curiously. It was cool, not having been activated. He touched it quickly, testing the temperature. He was going to have to clear up some questions later, but he had more important things to do than to find out this new world's technology.

    "That is correct." He said, confirming her recap of his information so far. "I did not come to save you. Not initially. I came because you are my magus. My Bondsman. I am your familiar. When I first came through the portal, it was because your magic had awakened, and it was calling to me." He moved to the counter separating the kitchen from the rest of the apartment, and hefted himself onto it, sitting casually. Into his pockets went his hands, as he studied his bondsman.

    "I have also come to learn that this world did not embrace magic before the portals opened. That leads me to believe that you will have something of a difficult time believing what I have to tell you. I can offer you evidence, if you so desire."
  8. Sana watched him test the coil with that same mix of emotion that straddled the border somewhere between disbelief and acceptance. She was having a hard time denying his peculiar tendencies, but peculiar didn't mean other-worldly. The words he spoke were whirling around in her head - magus, bondsman, familiar, portal - like pieces to a puzzle that she couldn't fit together. Now the uneasy feeling in her gut was growing stronger, gnawing at her from the inside until she clenched her abs in an attempt to ward it off. As a hard lump formed in her throat, she swallowed and let her crossed arms drop from her chest to cradle her torso instead.

    "Difficult is kind of putting it lightly." She tried to laugh it off with what she hoped was a light-hearted joke, but the sound was choked by the knot in her windpipe. Realizing that she was slowly devolving into a basketcase, she turned her back to him and opened a cabinet next to her refrigerator that revealed a haphazard display of glasses. It only took a few seconds to grab a pair of mugs and set them down on the counter next to the range, but she felt better just by having something to do. When she could not longer avoid his offer, she turned back to him. One hand rested on the brim of a mug and traced the ceramic edge with the tip of her finger.

    "Evidence would be helpful. Not to call you a liar, but, well," she paused here and bit her lip, letting her eyes roll up to the ceiling as she pulled her thoughts into order, "it really is kind of absurd." Those deep green irises fell back to him and she offered a hesitant, but apologetic smile. Part of her hoped he had no evidence and she could just chalk all of this up to a raving lunatic. A 911 call was a lot easier to handle than accepting her whole world was going to change.
  9. The Familiar watched his bondsman-to-be approach panic, as she went to retrieve mugs. He felt bad that she was distressed, but there was no helping it. They weren't bonded yet, but already he was beginning to notice some of her emotions. Not mystically of course, but physically. He felt one side of his mouth curl up into a wry smile.

    "You are nervous." He suggested, a note of amusement in his voice. "You will not come to harm, for as long as I draw breath." He assured her. Casually, he wandered around the island separating the kitchen, immediately to the far side. "You may turn your back, if nakedness makes you uncomfortable." He said. Without further ado, his fingers hooked his shirt, and peeled it off over his head. His pants too were discarded, leaving only the island to keep him decent from the waist up. His general lack of clothing suggested that what he'd had on had been picked up on the run, possibly by less-than-legal means.

    A searing light emanated from the man, bright enough to block him from view. When the light vanished, the man was gone. A clickety-clack of claws upon tile sounded, and a great, hip-high, grey-and-white wolf padded out from behind the counter. It didn't approach the woman, but instead sat back on it's haunches. Bright, golden eyes locked on the woman pensively, awaiting her reaction.
  10. The young woman's mouth clamped down around her retort when he pointed out how nervous she was. Instinct wanted her to make a joke of it, to toss it off, but her usual flippant nature regarding her own emotions was abandoned in the face of what seemed to be a pretty serious conversation. She hadn't even gotten to respond to his sudden loyalty when he was talking about getting naked. Shock rippled through her and she just followed him with her eyes as he rounded the counter, trying to think of a good way to persuade him not to strip right here in her apartment. What kind of evidence was going to come from stripping?

    She didn't find her words before the flash of light came and instead of staring at his bare chest in perpetual surprise, she turned away to save her eyes the pain of the sudden, bright flash. It was like a camera's flash she wasn't ready for and the silhouettes of shapes were already imprinted blue on her vision. She squinted and rubbed one hand against her eyelids, groaning lightly beneath her breath, and turned back to him only as she heard a clicking upon the tile floor.

    If she had looked like a fish lost for words before, now she her jaw worked in a repeated open and close motion. She was aware she should have been afraid of a giant wolf sitting in her apartment but logic said that this had to be the peculiar man. Kerrensomething? Mentally, she kicked herself for not remembering his name now. There was one thing she was sure of in that moment as her emerald eyes locked onto the brilliant, golden ones staring back at her: Magic was real. He was telling the truth.

    "Oookay," the word was drawn out, as if she were trying to convince herself to calm down. Her pulse was racing at this new revelation and she could feel her heart beating a rapid rhythm against her ribs. Despite it all, she took a hesitant step forward, closer to him, before folding her legs beneath her and sitting perched across from him. She was close enough to reach out and touch his muzzle but her hand paused, suspended in the air between them.

    "Okay," she repeated, firmer and more confident, "you're a familiar. I don't have magic. I don't know what a, uhm, a Magus? I don't know what that is."
  11. Kerrenillavyne sat easily as the woman approached, unconcerned. He watched her seat herself across from him, as she began to speak. Triangular ears flicked to attentiveness, and his bushy tail swept slowly from side to side. Of course she had questions. Until they were bonded however, he'd have to have his human mouth to speak with her. Again, he rose to all fours, traipsing casually back around the counter. Clickety clack.

    He let out a whuff of casual warning. He was going to turn back. The light welled up again, and the wolf disappeared, leaving the lean young man in it's place once more. He bent to retrieve the pants first. "You didn't have magic." He corrected her. "And now you do. A magus is a practitioner. Someone with access to The Art. The Gift. The Power. One who wields the magic of the world. One who shapes fate." Back up came the pants, before the familiar sat himself across from his bondsman.

    "To access your magic, you must bond a familiar. That is me. When a magus comes into their power, the send out a spiritual beacon that resonates very strongly with one Familiar. The act of bonding a familiar allows you to access the very start of your magical career. Consider me a channel through which you may draw your abilities. Once we have bonded."

    He paused. "Will you take me on as your familiar, Sana?"
  12. Sana turned her head to the side as he disappeared around the counter once more, though she appreciated what she could have only assumed was a warning. Her eyelids fluttered shut and the flash of light happened beyond them. She kept them shut until she heard his words, then opened them slowly onto the man now sitting across from her. He was familiar now, or at least more so than the sight of a wolf suddenly sitting in the middle of her apartment. Though he represented everything abnormal about the night, she was glad to see him. She could pretend this wasn't quite as bizarre as it actually was as long as he looked human.

    "This is all very sudden." She managed to speak, but it was soft and pensive. Her brows had drawn down again and her eyes dropped away from the dark-haired stranger, landing on the unremarkable tile between them. Pale hands fell to her lap and curled in the hem of her shorts, gripping them tightly as she once again tried to reconcile herself to what was about to happen to this world. She was no longer the hard working woman trying to find stability, her two jobs no longer mattered, her career aspirations might as well be dust in the wind. If this was happening because of some war on the other side, didn't that mean that same war was going to be here soon? Her eyes shut as she realized, finally, what this must really mean for her life. What was a college degree if the world was about to change?

    "This isn't what I pictured for myself," she admitted to him from the shelter of her closed eyes, "but this is probably my only chance at surviving whatever is coming, isn't it?" Her eyes opened a little to stare sullenly at the floor, but her hands had relaxed from the white-knuckled grip on her gym shorts. There was a sort of peace in accepting the inevitable. Slowly, her head rose and her eyes drifted back up to stare into his face. She still didn't know if she could do magic, but a giant wolf was a pretty safe companion to have.

    "Okay, yes, I accept." Her teeth dug into her bottom lip as if she could snare the words and draw them back in, but finally she just nodded her head weakly at him in a gesture that looked more like a bow. "You obviously came to find me, so that must mean something, right? I accept you as.. my familiar." The word tasted awkward on her tongue, but she'd said it.
  13. Kerrenillavyne dipped his head in a slow nod, and he felt his lips curling upwards in a smile. For all the talk of war and change, he didn't seem upset. Much the opposite in fact, he seemed wholly at peace. He scooted forward, 'til his knees nearly touched Sana's own. "Very well. If you will have me as your familiar, lay your hand here," He lifted his hand to place it on his bare chest, over his heart. "It may take a few attempts. You will have to say my Name." The way he emphasized Name suggested that it was more important than it sounded.

    "Speak my name, and swear to our bond. The oath will not need to be complicated, but be wary: It will be touched with magic. You will be compelled to hold to it, so don't make it any more than you need to. I will open the ceremony, so that you might better understand the nature of our bond."

    He let his hand fall from his own chest, to lay his broad, flat palm on Sana's shoulder. "I, Kerrenillavyne swear to enter into bondage with my magus, Sana. I will spare no efforts to shield her from harm, and I will speak to her no word that is untrue. I invite her to reach through me to access her power willingly, and of my own accord. Upon binding, so may it be."
  14. The easiness with which he was flowing through the motions of this had already seeped away the worst of what unease remained within her, drawing her farther into the lull of peace. There was comfort to be had in someone that seemed so sure of what they were doing, no matter if that something was sitting in the middle of a kitchen making sacred mystical oaths that she'd only ever seen in fairy tales. She reminded herself not to keep making light of the situation as he took her hand and settled it over his heart. She blew out a steady, slow breath and let her fingers flex there for a moment, taking in the feel of his skin as if she needed one last reminder that she hadn't suddenly gone off the deep end. Then it lay flat, and her attention reverted to him and his words.

    A single moment of panic rose in her as he said that she needed to speak his name, all too aware that it was something she hadn't quite caught all of the syllables of. But then he was speaking, repeating his name once more, and vowing things that she had never heard pass a person's lips in her world. The weight of it settled on her shoulders and she lifted her chin just so, committed suddenly to this stranger that was willing to risk so much without really knowing her.

    She swallowed only once, then began to speak, forcing her tone to be more steady than she truly felt as she repeated what she could only hope was the appropriate inverse of his words.

    "I, Sana, swear to enter into bondage with my familiar. I will trust him with my life, and I will speak no word to him that is untrue. I accept his invitation to draw my power through him, as he offers it. Upon binding, so may it be."
  15. For all of his confidence, this was something that was new to Kerren. Each familiar only ever had one Bondsman. The anticipation of the completion of his bond was sending ripples of gooseflesh down his spine. He could feel the bond wrapping about them, settling on them like a veil. Pressure grew in his mind, almost painful in it's abruptness. Suddenly, a little knot of awareness burst to life in a corner of himself that now belonged to Sana. It was afraid, and tense, and all sorts of uncertain. If he had closed his eyes, he could have pointed to Sana, even if she were across the room. The effects would only grow stronger with time.

    A similar ball of emotion would then pop up in Sana's mind. It radiated confidence, and excitement with undertones of concern, and an urge to move. He smiled, and studied his bondsman. "This is certainly more than I was expecting. Certainly, I was told about the bond, but words don't really do it justice." He mused. He scooted himself back, and leaned to fetch the stolen shirt. He wriggled into it, and moved to the teapot, which was just beginning to whistle. He took the pot off the hot burner, and began to cast about for the tea.

    "You're being very open-minded about all of this, Sana. I was worried that you'd take more convincing than you did." He glanced at the stove-top, still radiating heat. The bond reported wary curiosity. "We'll have to start figuring out what your school of magic is. We can do some of that while you pack. We'll be leaving in the next couple of days."
  16. The moment it began to enfold her - no, the way it began to enfold them - she felt the muscles throughout her body stiffen. It was one thing to accept that magic was real, but now she was feeling it. Her skin prickled at the sensation and she shut her eyes once more, as was becoming an obvious habit she employed to beat back a changing reality. Yet even this could not help her escape now. She could feel him, and not just because he was sitting so close. In fact, she knew the moment he stood and walked toward his forgotten shirt, then back to the kettle. She didn't have to question why its trill stopped.

    "I'm trying," she whispered softly to the air, to the man that was pouring confidence and concern back against her flood of uncertainty, tinged with a hint of panic. It wasn't all bad, and she grasped for it, using the anchor of his more positive emotions to hold her down. He had expected some of this, surely, but she was swimming in an ocean of the unfamiliar. The bond was giving him a front row seat to what made her so fidgety when her nerves began to overwhelm her. "The sky is splitting open and you're the only person that has made any sense about it." She slowly pushed herself up to her feet and turned to face him where she knew he stood by the mugs, focusing her eyes on him.

    "Two days is really soon," but she didn't question it, she could feel the need in him to get moving through the little bundle of Kerrenillavyne wedged in her mind. Her slender hands just pulled her hoodie tighter around her, gripping the sleeves against a chill that had nothing to do with the temperature of her apartment. "How do we figure it out?"
  17. He found some tea, in little bags. They weren't quite what he was used to, but they weren't all that difficult to figure out He selected a trio of the tea-bags, -mint- and lifted the lid on the tea-pot. Opening the tea-sleeves, he let the water-permeable tea bags fall into the pot, strings hanging out over the rim. He'd let it steep for a time. "You'll likely have some minor ability in many facets of magic." he said, running a hand back through his curly brown hair. "We'll run through a few beginner's spells, until you find one that resonates with you. Then you latch onto that feeling, and experiment with what you can do with it. I'll stop you if you start to tread into dangerous territories."

    He turned his attention away from the teapot, and a trickle of concern colored the bond. "It's no small task, uprooting your life to go haring off with a stranger. I'm sure you have questions. Although we mustn't wait long, we don't need to remain strangers. I'd like to get to know you, before we leave. Of course, I'll be happy to answer any of your questions."

    A thought occurred to him, and he added -after a moment- "Also, you don't need to use the whole of my name. As a matter of fact, I'd prefer it if you didn't. It's yours now. If another Magus learns it, he could compel me with it, so long as it doesn't conflict with my bond."
  18. Sana could only nod at him as he began to speak about spells like they were a second language, though the bond between them was showing apprehension and a new kind of nervousness. Not the panic-ridden feeling from before, but a growing unease that came with being afraid that she just might not be good at something. Words escaped her, mostly because she wasn't sure if she was even ready to think about actually doing magic yet.

    As he had before, she pulled herself up and sat on the bar that separated her kitchen from the rest of the apartment. From the kitchen one could see the combined living room and dining area, and a short hallway with three doors. It wasn't much, but it was home. For now. While he was busy finding the tea without her help, she glanced to the muted television still running a constant story on the bizarre sky outside. It was a good reminder that they couldn't stay here, no matter how comfortable she was.

    "That would be nice, actually. Not that it will take very long, I'd bet." She tore her eyes away and offered him a weak smile, a sign that she was trying her best not to stay in her completely overwhelmed state of mind. One hand came up and tapped lightly against the side of her head to further show what she meant, but he probably didn't even need that gesture now. As he mentioned another magus, a small thread of fear filled the bond between them.

    "Really? Do you think there are many others already?" Until that moment she hadn't even considered what had already begun to enter their world. If he had, what else was already here. That train of thought was dangerously close to bringing on another wave of panic so instead she turned her focus on choosing what she should call him. She didn't want him used by someone else.

    "What about Lavyne?"
  19. Lavyne waved a hand dismissively. "None of the magi will have crossed yet. The portals are too narrow to allow something as magically powerful as a full magus through. There may be a handful of other fledgling magi about the city, whose familiars crossed the boundary to find them. I doubt that they'll be any more malevolent than the people here get on a day-to-day basis. In a few days, the portals will grow however." He said, moving to pour the tea into first one mug, and then another.

    His head canted at the sound of his new name. He found himself smiling, pleased at the sound of it in his mind. "I like it," He said, as if she couldn't feel the approval glowing through the bond. "As for the teaching of magic, we can begin as early as you'd like, or wait 'til we're on the road. I don't know where we are, or how much food there is to be found around here. I didn't see a forest for miles on my way here, so we might have some lean days ahead of us." He said, matter-of-factly. Cities didn't get nearly as sprawling as this where he'd come from. "We won't starve though, I'll see to it."

    He found himself grinning. Back to his bondsman, he turned, offering her the mint tea. "Are you the sort of woman who likes adventure, Sana?"
  20. The woman's smile broadened as she felt his approval of the nickname and for the first time, a spark of confidence ignited within her. It helped to know that he was genuinely pleased by it, in a way that only the bond could tell her, and some of the tension in her shoulders relaxed. She found herself leaning forward on the bar slightly, with her hands curled around the edge and supporting herself.

    "I have some things we can take with us, and we can stop by a store on our way out of town, as long as the world hasn't erupted into chaos or anything yet." She knew they would have to pack light, if he was worried about surviving off of the woods entirely. She could forego a lot of things for the sake of food. With that thought in mind, his question made her shrug slightly. The smile on her face seemed tinged with an air of sadness, reinforced by a nostalgic feeling. "I've always preferred stability to adventure, but I'm no stranger to it."

    Pale fingers reached out and grasped the mug as he offered it, with a gentle 'thank you' spoken out of habit. She took the time to purse her lips and blow gently across the surface of the minty liquid before she took an experimental sip. "What did you do, before you came through the.. portal?" Her eyes were concentrated on the murky depths of her mug, but a genuine curiosity had sprung up within her. If he was her familiar, who had he been before they were united?