Hiding in Plain Sight

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saren, Jun 10, 2015.

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  1. She could always trust her co-workers to never leave anything within her reach while she was working. It was a pain in her ass, and it was something she had voiced complains about. Nothing worked. They didn't treat her fair, and it probably had to do with being a female. It certainly wasn't because she was a mythic. No, that wasn't something they knew. No one knew. No one that mattered, anyway.

    With a loud sigh, Ash snatched the wrench from up above, chipped fingernails scratching the ground in search of her tool. Trester had been hit with several bouts of rain as winter drew closer, which meant that more people were bringing in cars. Some wanted to prepare for the inevitable snow, others wanted tires changed, and some were just having problems.

    On that day, Ash was the only one working. There were only five employees total, since the garage was small. Trester was a big city, but half the population was fixated on bikes for whatever reason. She herself had a motorcycle, but two wheels were preferred over four for Trester's citizens. It made her job easier, which wasn't so bad.

    "Carpenter!" Ash peered out from where she was working to see her boss standing in the doorway. "Lunch break. Clock's still broken out here so I figured I'd let ya know."

    "Thanks. Be out in a sec," she answered, watching him nod and return to his spot. Once he was gone, she threw her work shirt off, revealing a black, thin strapped tank top. Given that it was both chilly and still raining outside, Ash slid her arms into her plaid flannel and buttoned up the bottom. Checking her jeans for oil stains, she tightened the laces on her boots and walked out the front of the garage. She made a quick stop inside to grab her wallet and her jacket, two things she never left without. "Hideout for coffee. Want anything?"

    "Nah, I'm good. We don't have an appointment until 2 or something, so be back around then," Ash's boss said before waving her off. Her boss was one of the few people she didn't actively dislike, but his employees took care of that one easily. Still, she found the boss to be amenable more often than not, treating her as an equal rather than a bother.

    Stepping out into the rain, Ash didn't even try to cover her head. Her dark hair was pulled back, showing off the teal locks and the partially shaved head. Her boss never told her to remove her jewelry, which was a godsend since lip rings weren't so easy to pull out. The same applied to the stud earrings nestled in her cartilage. They were just things she had the luxury of not worrying about. Stressing about her secret was enough.

    The tiny bell jingled as she walked into The Hideout. It was a real hole-in-the-wall, if the name meant anything. It was small with just a few chairs made out of gnarled branches and knotted tables. The whole place gave off a clandestine aura, which was something she could get behind.

    The lack of a line had Ash standing right up to the counter in a matter of seconds. "Large latte with extra espresso, for Ash," she said, digging a few dollar bills out of her wallet. Once her order was placed, she spun one of the chairs around and sat, pulling out her cellphone as she did. At least the wait wouldn't be long, and she could spend the rest of her break doing whatever she wanted. It was freedom in the way she didn't want, for she would have loved nothing more than to fly away and never return.
    #1 Saren, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2016
  2. Xena stood behind the counter, the scent of freshly ground coffee beans filling her nose. She heard rain drumming outside and looked out of the glass in the front of the small cafe, water dripping off of the green awning that was situated above the door. The cement sidewalk outside was slick with water and small puddles collected on the side of the road, grey water displaced whenever a car came rushing by too fast.

    Xena sighed and rested an elbow on one of the high countertops, chin in her hand. Only two customers were present, but they had already been served and were sipping their drinks from where they sat at the wooden chairs and tables spread out in the cozy shop. Random indie music played from the old speakers over head, providing some background noise besides the other workers grinding coffee in the back. Xena would much prefer rock or metal, but the manager wouldn't allow it.

    Her manager was usually a dick, bossing everyone around and acting like he was cooler than everyone. He always gave Xena mop duty or made her take shifts at the break of dawn. He wasn't fond of Xena, having had a few spats with the willful little woman. Xena was okay with her coworkers, not minding them so long as they did their work when needed and didn't cross her when she was in a bad mood.

    Xena idly smoothed out her black apron that was spotted with little coffee droplets, all thanks to the older machines she sometimes had to use that tended to spit. Xena also wore a plain grey t shirt and black jeans tucked into her boots. The cafe didn't allow her to wear her usual hat and button up, but they did allow liberty with short sleeved shirts and jeans as well as her boots. Without her hat her black, wavy hair was done up in a low pony tail. Xena felt sort of odd without her hat, but she had no choice because of that dumb manager's whim, and probably sanitary issues. She also felt mlre herself wearing her usual dark makeup, eyelashes drawn out and small eyeliner wings protruding from the corner of her eyes in what some called a cat eye design.

    Xena drummed her finger nails on the counter top which smelled of lemons thanks to the cleaning product she had applied a few minutes ago. Bored, she began to count the money in the tip jar, thumbing over the crinkled green bills. She counted a whopping five dollars. Wonderful. Xena would so rather be playing bass, or even out in the forest risking some time as a dragon. She adored being in her dragon for, finding it to be more natural. Her parents would have flipped if they knew she was even taking the time to shift, wanting their darling to be safe. Well, Xena would rather feel more natural than be safe.

    On the other hand, Xena was sensible enough to fear capture. She could be dissected in a lab by white coat wearing villains, or she could be sold as a slave to do the bidding of whoever paid the highest price. There was also the chance if being flat out killed, and Xena wasn't really ready to die yet. None of those outcomes were savory, but she still had to take the risk. Her dragon form was such a big part of her that she didn't want to stop shifting completely. Xena missed flying too. She wondered if she could save enough money to take a vacation to the deep forest where she could actually be concealed enough to fly. She missed flying the most, unable to soar very high even within a clearing of trees.

    Xena's thoughts were interupted when the bell by the front door tingled and announced the arrival of a customer. Xena looked to the customer, a young woman with an interesting hair cut and teal streaks. She wore a cute flannel and some jeans, a good choice in Xena's opinion, but a bit to informal for her taste. Xena was instructed to greet customers, but she rarely did so she just watched as the woman approached.

    Xena didn't wrie down the order or bother with the name since no one else was here. She just wordlessly shoved the money into the cash register and went to make the drink, collecting the needed materials and readying the machine. As she waited for the latte to finish brewing, Xena looked back over to the woman. Ash was her name. At least the job allowed her to see a lot of people and know their names. Ash was an edgy name in her opinion. An edgy name for an edgy looking girl. Xena liked edgy and she certainly liked the looks of this woman.

    The drink was ready and Xena returned to the counter with the full cup in hand, warm in her palm. "Latte for Ash."Xena said as she set it down, though it was obvious who it was for already. Xena also madebthe comment, "By the way, I like your eyebrow ring. It's pretty cool." Then she proceeded to go back over to the machine she used and carefully clean it with a wet rag.
  3. Ash slid her fingers along the touch screen, typing away at some non-important thing, for the look on her face dictated boredom, not concentration. She switched over to a flashy game, tilting the phone to the side. Her name was called and she flipped her leg over the chair to stand. The paper cup warmed her fingers as she swiped the cup from the counter, taking a careful sip. She never tried to get the same drink twice. Routines were boring, so she spiced it up by drinking different kinds of mixtures. This one seemed basic, but it would crank up her energy levels until she was off of work. Ash leaned against the counter, shoving her free hand into her pocket and taking another drink.

    "Hm? Oh, thanks," she replied, casting a glance over at the barista. She didn't look like much, but with that shaky of an apron, no one was going to look like much. She had some interesting make up on, which seemed to be pushing the limits of the Hideout's dress code. Ash could respect a person who bent the rules, much like she enjoyed doing.

    "Doesn't look too busy today," she commented before drinking more of her coffee. On any other sunny day, The Hideout had people going in and out. However, rain seemed to keep many people in their own homes, and the other two patrons had already left while Ash's drink was being made. She had hoped to be doing something interesting on her break, but between the mixture of rain and a later appointment at the garage, her time was limited. She probably needed to spend it doing something boring, like actually eating since it was supposed to be her lunch.

    "Can I get one of those plain bagels too?" she asked, setting her drink aside to pull out more cash. Her boss might have been mad if she came back on an empty stomach. He always claimed people couldn't think straight without food. She felt like she couldn't think straight from the lack of stretching her wings.
  4. Xena wondered if she had made the girl a bit surprised with that complimemt, judging from the reaction that had followed it. Xena had no regrets with the move though. She rarely did, being rather bold with her decisions most times no matter how rash they were. Xena finished up cleaning the machine she had used, idly thinking that she'd like a chai tea today after her shift. Looking at the clock, it seemed her shift ended in thirty minutes, but if no customers entered then she'd just chill behind the counter.

    Xena heard what the customer, Ash, had said and looked up from where she was putting the dirtied rag away. Taking a sweep of The Hideout, she noted that it was empty save for this young woman and her coworker who was probably sleeping in the back room right about now since the grinding noise had stopped back there. "You're right. I haven't had too many customers this dreary morning. The rain tends to slow business down a bit."Xena replied, even though all she really had to do was nod. She had decided to answer more politely for now, finding this stranger to be a tad bit interesting.

    Xena heard what the customer had said next and replied with, "Sure thing." Then, assuming the woman wanted her bagel toasted, she cut a plain bagel and deposited each half into the toaster. As it was toasting, Xena grabbed some ice and put it into a cup. Then she poured milk and already brewed chai tea over the ice. She set the cup down on the counter that was parallel to the one in front, the one that was a few feet away and back against the wall by some equipment.

    The bagel finished and Xena slid it onto a plate, setting a plastic knife, a few small wrapped blocks of butter, and a cup of cream cheese on the side of the plate. She set it before the woman and placed a little stand with jelly packets on the counter. "That'll be four dollars, please."Xena said. After she had been handed the money, Xena placed it in the cash register.

    Then Xena returned to her ice chai and brought the cup to her lips, taking a few sips and savoring the sweet spices that gave it that great flavor. It didn't matter what weather or temperture was for her to have ice drinks. She also had a higher resistance to the cold in general, able to wear a light jacket in the snow. Xena had thses traits because she had ice abilities in her dragon form, being calssified as an Ice Shadow Dragon, but of course when asked about her high tolerance she'd laugh and say she just lucked out.
  5. Ash grabbed her bagel with a nod, taking it back to her seat. She sipped at her coffee, feeling the espresso working its way through her body. She'd at least be awake enough to handle the day's appointments at the garage and even find time for flying. Humans had been out in abundance over on the trails beyond Trester, making it hard for her to change and find herself free. There was nothing of real importance beyond Trester, unless someone was looking to drive to the next city, which was well over an hour away. It was why so many people in Trester were simply stuck; no money to live in other cities, and no desire to try and get out. Ash was in the same exact boat.

    And she hated it.

    Sure, she could have lived out in the wilderness as a dragon forever, but there were hunters everywhere. It was hard to escape from people who never stopped looking for mythics. It was what forced her to stay in Trester, going about her life as a normal human being who wasn't all that human.

    "You made this pretty good," she said, giving the girl a slight nod. Glancing at her name tag, she saw the barista's name was Xena. "Your name's Xena? Your parents from space or a big fan of Lucy Lawless or somethin', 'cause that's a hell of an exotic name." Ash was never really one to keep quiet about things she liked or didn't like, but it was clear she was making a joke about something she did like. While she might not have inherently trusted the barista, she didn't seem like a terrible person on the surface.

    And since Ash had dealt with her fair share of unkind people in her day, it was a nice change of pace.
  6. Xena sipped her iced chai quietly, listening to the rain drum lightly on the sidewalk outside of the warm little cafe. Ash's voice broke the silence with a compliment and Xena muttered a thanks, also thinking the bagels they had here weren't that bad. Then she heard what Ash had added, an amusing comment that many wouldn't dare to make to a stranger. Xena released a short bark of laughter in response, having been told a few timws in mkre subtle ways that her name wasn't that ordinary.

    "They may as well be from space. My folks live out of town, never see them anymore."Xena answered. It was sort of the truth. They did live out of town, but not in an area others would guess. Xena's name wasn't too common because it was more fit for a dragon than the average joe living in a predominantly human city. Xena quite liked her name, finding it to be fierce and pleasing on the tongue. It was a bit odd though and stuck out like a sore thumb when compared to names like "Mary" and "David."

    Xena decided that no one was going to enter for a while and her shift was almost done, so she removed her apron and hung it up on a peg by a door that ked to the backroom. Then she left the area behind the counter and entered the main area, drink in hand.

    Xena decided that this Ash woman was worth her time and sat down at the counter, leaving an empty stool between them as a polite buffer space. Xena downed some more of her iced chai and stared outside quietly for a moment. Then she looked back to Ash and asked, "So, have you been to this dump of a cafe before? "
  7. Ash didn't ever expect people to engage her in conversation. She didn't always make a point to do so, but she was bored inside the Hideout. Only a few clients had shown up to the garage that day, and when that happened, she usually polished the parts on her motorcycle. Since it was raining, there was no point in making the vehicle shine. In fact, there was no real point for anyone to bring in their cars, but she still had an appointment later in the day. Naturally, on the day the weather brings nice cover... she thought as she glanced out the streaked window. The clouds were out and there was a chance of lightning. Now that was her kind of environment. Uncontrolled, chaotic, and wild. Much unlike the atmosphere in the Hideout.

    The squeak of the stool had her turning her gaze from the window to the barista now sitting next to her. Xena... It was a crazy name. Different, and different was always welcome in her world. Trester was too boring for her taste. Day in and day out, she worked on cars and tried in vain to find the right times to unleash her true self.

    "Few times," she answered, sifting through her thoughts to reply. She had already drained her drink without even realizing it. "Coffee here doesn't suck and it's close to my work," she added with a shrug. "Ain't much else around our wonderful city anyway, least not in these parts." She could have easily left, but then she would be wasting away her break doing nothing. At least in here, she could talk about her dislike of her current position. Bitching to someone always made her feel better.
  8. Xena kept her casual gaze on Ash as she took small sips of her iced chai and listened to the young woman's answer. It was a logical one, considering Xena also found the coffee here to be decent even though if she hadn't liked the stuff it was policy to just pretend. Also, the place would have to be in a convenient distance since if not people would probably choose a less run down seeming cafe. Xena had chose this place to work at since it had a decent pay, it was relatively close to her apartment, and the hours weren't too bad. Xena found the job to be decent enough considering she hadn't really been educated on the curriculum of the human students.

    Xena agreed to the fact that the city was a bit quiet in this area, the more bustling areas being further west from where she resided. She preferred it here considering the forest was only a few miles away so she could hike or take the opportunity to be a dragon for at least a little while. "Hm, yes. This section of Trester isn't too eventful. It's not bad though."Xena replied. She looked outside for a moment to see the gloomy atmosphere was still present, rain pitter pattering on the already drenched concrete sidewalk. The quiet gloom made Xena feel a bit tired, causing her to yawn.

    Xena didn't want the conversation to be over just like that, being too bored to let an interesting person such as Ash leave easily. "So, where are you stuck working?"she decided to ask, the topic being relevant considering the woman had mentioned that this place was close to where she worked.
  9. Ash shrugged one shoulder, her other hand reaching for her cup. She spun the cup around on the counter, watching it wobble and threaten to fall as she picked at the bagel. The motions were vastly opposite to her own, even as she wished she could be doing what the cup was doing. Alas, she was stuck in a dreary building with a much less dreary human being. "I'd say all of Trester is uneventful." Sure, the city council tried to do 'fun' things, but given that the entire population gave less than two craps about the next person, those events weren't always successful. There were the occasional parades and city-wide events, and sometimes a marathon or two passed through the streets. However, on such a day, nothing fun would be happening, unless she managed to get out.

    She fought the urge to yawn alongside Xena, mirroring her bored feeling. She didn't want to work, but at least it would keep her busy. "The garage down the block. Trevor's. Small place, holds three cars at most. Nothing special, but it pays the bills, I guess." The cup tipped on its side, giving a hollow tap as it collided with the counter. Ash watched it spin and roll in a half circle, wanting nothing more than to be doing a half circle in mid air, even in an impending storm.

    "Ain't the best, but I'll save enough to get out of this shithole eventually." She could have forgotten her entire human life and lived amongst Mother Nature, but the risks of getting caught and killed were too high to risk it. Humans were safe... to a point, which was a point she couldn't argue with until she had enough money to move out. For now, she would have to sit and eat her bagel and try to feel like a normal person who wasn't hiding one of the darkest, deadliest secrets.
  10. Xena watched the woman's idle movements, eyes fixated momentarily on the wobbling cup. She looked up to see Ash's face when the girl claimed that Trester was boring as a whole. Xena couldn't really disagree with that. Not much seemed to happen in this city, let alone anything thrilling or intriguing. It was all just watered down parades or fundraisers or some shit that the city council tried to implement in an attempt to entertain a few of the townspeople. Some people tried to get into that stuff, tried to enjoy it, but at heart not many people were pleased with the place. Xena, Ash, and the other hidden mythics had no idea that soon their lives would become much more interesting for the wrong reasons.

    Xena took a quick drink from cup of chai tea again, listening to Ash's next response. "That little auto shop? I've passed it quite a few times, seems quaint."she replied thoughtfully, moving her glass around and watching the liquid inside swirl. It seemed that Ash was in a similar situation considering they bother were sort of stuck in small jobs located in pretty run down places. Well, Xena knew they were different since not many people happened to be hidden mythical creatures, let alone a dragon. Xena sighed, wishing suddenly for more excitement. She could turn back to a wild life, but that would mean she would live on the run away from hunters or dragons that still had a prejudice of species with a more sinister appearance. Overall it was safer to stay in the city, though more boring.

    "It seems that we are both bound by our simple jobs in this damned town."Xena replied, still looking down at the contents of her glass.
  11. "If by quaint, then you mean boring, yeah, sure." Ash didn't hate her job, but she spit the dainty word like she did. It was quiet enough and no one ever asked her why she dressed like she did, which was a plus. To hide as a mythic, you had to stand out as a human. No normal person asked Ash why she had several piercings or why she looked like part of a biker gang. She found it was pleasant that way, so she didn't have to explain she was just a dragon trapped in a human's body. Not that anyone would believe her, and if they did, they were contacting the nearest hunter at the same time.

    And there came the problem with Trester. It was crawling with mythic hunters. That fact alone made the entire city rich and unpleasant to live in. Massive armories existed in pockets of the city, and guns and weapons stores were littered all around. Because Trester was surrounded by forests and there was a visible mountain range, scores of creatures lived among nature and could be easily hunted.

    It was the sole reason Ash didn't keep her dragon form for long periods. Hunters gathered in the same spot was never a pretty sight. Ash feared little in the world, but a group of hunter was something to be wary of.

    Giving a slight shake of her head, she tore another piece of the bagel off and ran the tip through the cream cheese. "Yeah, looks like it." Saving money was a nightmare since her apartment's rental cost was so damn high. Her landlord practically tried to breathe down her neck whenever she was a hour late on payment, which happened to be often. "Ain't no good place to try and forget your problems either. Want people to like this town? Build more than one fuckin' club."
  12. Xena offered a small, low laugh at the comment about Trester being boring. For Xena it was quite boring, though mythic hunters were pretty happy. This town was prefect for them. It was like their base when they weren't out in the surrounding wilderness trying to kill or capture mythics. They would say farewell to their families in the morning and then proceed to track down a stray mythic to murder so that they could parade around and sell its skin the next day. It was awful really. One time Xena had to give coffee to a woman that was wearing a scarf made of a kitsune. Sickened, she had made the coffee incredibly hot and made the sugar collect at the bottom just to spite this awful woman.

    On one occasion, Xena had even seen a group of men driving a truck that had a small green dragon tied up in the trailer. It had looked sad, knife wounds adorning its smooth scales. It had lifted its head to look up at Xena, probably sensing that the woman was actually one of its own kind. Xena had offered a subtle, solemn nod. The dragon had returned it before one of the men that was sitting in the back with the prize decided to punch the poor creature over the head. Xena then remembered retreating back to her home and proceeding to stay up awake thinking that the dragon on the bed of that truck could have been her if she wasn't careful.

    Xena was pretty reckless for even shifting for small periods of time deep in the forest. One false judge of the surroundings could result in her capture or murder. Xena didn't want to end up with her corpse stuffed and propped in a fierce position by some family's fireplace. Her corpse would be a trophy piece, the story of her killing exaggerated as it was told to friends over a drink or something. The thought infuriated her and she bit the edge of her glass before taking another sip.

    "You said it. This place is pretty shitty for most."Xena replied, not quite daring to breach the subject of hunters.
  13. "All. Shitty for all," Ash corrected, but her heart wasn't really in it. Some people liked Trester's natural location and how the place wasn't too large. It was big enough to support an economy, but it was small enough for people to try and build relationships and live a decent life. That wasn't what she wanted. She wanted a life of adventure, excitement, and the freedom to go wherever she pleased without having to look over her shoulder for hunters.

    It was a nice thought, but unless she got out of Trester, it would never happen.

    The notion of failing to get herself out of the craphole she was currently living in had her standing in irritatuion. She ate the rest of her bagel quickly, finding her stomach unsettled at her own thoughts. "I oughta be going. Boss might wonder why I'm out so long. I'll see ya around, Xena." Her name wasn't terrible to say, and Ash almost deemed it worthy to roll from her tongue. Finally, she'd met someone who wasn't a complete dick and shared her thoughts about leaving.

    The tiny bell jingled as the door swung shut on her departure, and it seemed all too cheery for the overcast afternoon.


    True to her word, Ash did see Xena again. In fact, she saw her every day for the next week. It became sort of a ritual for her: go in, get a different type of drink, bitch to Xena about her job, and come away feeling almost happy. Ash rarely felt true happiness, but some of the stress of her daily life came away every time she left the Hideout.

    At one point, they had breached the subject of the mythics and hunters, and while Ash hadn't spilled her secret, it seemed like Xena was sympathetic to the creatures. It was a start. At least she wasn't apart of the group that openly hated on mythics. Whenever they protested, Ash hid inside her apartment to avoid slaughtering them all.

    Ash squeezed the handle bars on her motorcycle at the thought as she wove through traffic. It was Friday, and Trevor, ever the kind boss, didn't make her work on the weekends. Trester was still experiencing bouts of rain, so the skies remained gray throughout the week. It was perfect, and since she didn't have to wake up early for the next day, she found that she wanted to risk shifting into her other form.

    The road to the forest turned from asphalt to dirt, but Ash ignored it. She wished her motorcycle wasn't so loud, since she didn't really want anyone to know she was around. Finding the clearing where most hikers left their cars, Ash found the makeshift lot empty. Perfect.

    She leaned the bike against a tree, shaking her hair as she took off her helmet. If anyone dared to steal her motorcycle from the forest, she would hunt them down.

    Boots shifted the dirt as she walked onto the beaten path. No one was going to stop her from taking her true form.
  14. Xena had enjoyed her week, having her boredom temporarily alleviated by Ash. The woman seemed fascinating enough and never failed to get a drink each day and converse with Xena. Xena liked exchanging stories about her shitty job since it made her feel that she wasn't alone in her opinion that this place was pretty awful. Also, talking to Ash helped pass time during her rather uneventful shift. She almost began to look forwards to the arrival of the other young woman.

    Now Xena was off of work, as her boss had the newer baristas work on these days. She also had the weekends off, which left her plenty of time to play bass of head out to the forest. That was what she was doing today. Her car was currently parked in the quaint parking lot near the woods. She had trekked out deeper into the forest, lost in the sounds of wind through the trees and the song of birds. it was rather pleasant and the rain had let up for the day which was a fortunate occurrence. Her footsteps landed lightly on the undergrowth that littered what used to be a dirt path. Xena didn't take the newer and more populated trails of course, wanting to be secluded enough to take her true form.

    Xena was a few miles into the forest now and in an area less frequented by mythic hunters. Though they usually didn't go stalking around in this area, she would still be wary for any signs of approaching people. She found a small clearing where a stream trickled through and gave way to a pebble strewn shore. Thick trees enclosed the area, providing some odd sense of comfort. Once inside of the area, Xena proceeded to look around the perimeter for any danger and found none.

    Then she proceeded to shift, a black, smooth scaled horse sized dragon taking her place. She was around the size of a horse with a lean, feline like anatomy and a narrow snout. Icicle like spike protrusions ran from in between her smooth black horns down her neck, back, and to the end of her spade tipped tail. She took a moment to stretch out her wings, having a wingspan of about 20 feet. Xena then folded her bat like wings neatly upon her back. She proceeded to stretch out her legs one by one, savoring the feeling of being in her real skin. She walked over to the water and lapped at the stream with an icy blue tongue, violet eyes trained on the trickling water. She pulled her snout away and sat down, taking a moment to look around and enjoy her current position as a true dragon.
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  15. Trester was loud and the forest was not. It was quite the welcome contrast, and there were significantly less dumbasses in the forest. It was a thought Ash could appreciate. The few animals that dared make home near so many mythics weren't around. No birds chirping against the breeze, no rodents scuffling at roots, nothing. The silence was almost daunting if she wasn't used to it, but after a hectic week, it was welcome.

    After walking for a few minutes, Ash heard the gentle lapping of a stream. The water pooled into a lake not far from her current position, and hikers often flocked to it due to its unique structure. Not only was it a sloping waterfall, there was also a massive tree in the center. No one knew what kind of tree it was, for it never produced fruit or flowers, but it had strange, bluish-green leaves, much like the color Ash liked dying her hair with. Maybe that was why she had an odd connection with a giant plant.

    Leathery ruffling caught her ears, which wasn't a sound she was expecting to hear a stream to be making. However, the source of the noise soon showed itself. As Ash rounded the trees, there sat a large black dragon stretching its claws. It had a narrow nose and seemed more sleek and lithe rather than bulky like she was. But it wasn't its size that caught her eye; it was the color. Black dragons were often seen as evil doers, toeing the line between mischievous and truly crazy. She knew that for a fact, for she'd had many the unpleasant experience with a black dragon.

    "Wasn't planning on seeing your type here." She tried not to spit the words, but irritation still filtered into her voice. Above all, this black dragon was one of her own kind, but she couldn't help but feel a latent anger build up. It was the anger of past memories coming back, all the times she had spent hating the only black dragon she had ever known, because after that time, she made a point not to befriend any black dragons. And she wasn't about to start now.
  16. Xena's downwards angled rabbit like ears perked up when she heard a small rustling followed by a voice. The voice seemed familiar for some reason, though it was laced with anger. Xena felt a surge of panic in her gut, wondering if there was a hunter that had just stumbled upon her. She swiveled her head to the side and stood up, body easily forming into a crouched ready position. her violet eyes saw nothing at first, causing her to stalk forwards with her tail trailing carefully behind herself and lean muscles tense.her nostrils twitched, the smell that hit them revealed someone was obviously present. they had a trace of dragon smell, meaning that they could either be a hunter or somehow another dragon.

    A low rumbling warning growl sounded in her chest, violet eyes finding a figure. her growl was cut short and her head raised, ears also upwards. Ash? Was she a hunter? She carried no weapons, so Xena wasn't going to attack. Also, she hadn't boasted about being a hunter when they spoke of the mythic hunting business in their little town. So was Ash part dragon? If Ash was part dragon, it would still make sense to be rudely addressed. many dragons were prejudiced towards black scaled dragons,as they had the reputation of being evil, sinister, and even insane. They were hated by most other dragon species, which is why her family had lived in hiding.

    Xena just snorted and turned away back towards the creek. She stood by its edge, but wasn't relaxed enough to sit. Her long tail flicked back and forth like that of an agitated cat. She soon eased herself back into a sitting position, ears up and angled towards Ash to be aware of the woman's movements. She didn't believe that she would be attacked, but she wouldn't hesitate to retaliate if assaulted. Xena decided to speak, "My kind? what have you against dragons? After all, you smell of one."
  17. Ash narrowed her sharp gaze at the dragon as it growled at her. It perked up and inspected her, but she didn't give it too much to look at. Humans weren't impressive to dragons by any stretch of the means, and even with her more unique appearance, this black dragon was bigger and stronger. Power, in any form, was what got most dragons off, not a pierced lip and a half shaved head.

    Ash crossed her arms and stared the dragon down until it finally decided to sit down. Neither of them visibly relaxed, but it wasn't going to attack her. For now, anyway. Ash wouldn't put it past any black dragon to jump at the drop of a hat. However, that was true for any mythic, because if the hunters showed up, it was a fight, whether they wanted it or not.

    The dragon's voice was feminine, but, like any dragon, had a harsh and garbled undertone. "I never said I had anything against dragons, did I? It's like I said, I didn't expect to see your kind her. Just because I smell of one doesn't mean anything." Scale color was important to all dragons, but it often led to discrimination in some cases. For a blue dragon like herself, it meant nothing, but to a black dragon, it meant life or death in some instances. Not only that, but black scales were coveted by the rich for their sheen. Women liked to mold black scales into pendants and brooches, and Ash had seen many girls wearing black scale necklaces. She'd fought the urge to throttle those girls, but unfortunately, murder was frowned upon. In that, Ash could sympathize, but black dragons were still evil.

    "Look, I'll just go. Have your space to yourself. I'll be sure not to come back." With that, she kicked up dirt as she pivoted on her heel and started to walk away. Her frustration of not transforming was growing steadily, and it hadn't been helped by the black dragon's sudden appearance.
  18. Xena didn't understand why Ash was acting so peculiar in her presence. The woman had seemed to be mythic sympathetic, so why was she so mad at Xena? Xena was puzzled now, stealing glances at Ash. Her eyes were narrowed, jaw set. Her tail was still swishing back and forth, the spade at the end of her tail was leaving light marks in the dirt.

    Xena listened to what Ash had to say next, hoping it would clear some things up. It seemed Ash didn't want to spill too much, though she claimed to have nothing against dragons which was a good start. Xena wondered if Ash was just another dragon that was racist, but the woman didn't seem to want to explain why she smelled of dragon. Xena watched Ash stand up suddenly and begin to leave.

    Xena quickly stood up, turning and following Ash. She easily caught up, reaching just behind Ash. "Wait. Are you a dragon? Is this why you hate me? Humans love black scales and it's dragons who don't. "She said. Xena moved so she was in front of Ash, body lowered like a cat's. Her body blocked Ash's escape, head lowered so her eyes were level to Ash's. Xena was determined to get an answer now, not willing to let Ash go and possibly speak of her whereabouts. Xena didn't want to be discovered and especially not by a good acquaintance. Her heart was thumping faster within her chest, hoping Ash wouldn't be able to direct hunters to her just because her scale color. Many dragons wouldn't hesitate to obliterate her, though mainly they'd do it themselves to feel their claws rake across those despised scales.
    #18 Wistful Beast, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  19. Ash wanted to leave the black dragon in the dust, but apparently, it had other ideas. Diving in front of the human, the dragon lowered its nose toward Ash. While its head was narrow and slim, it was still larger than Ash was. She still could have been torn to ribbons by those wicked claws, but she stood her ground, crossing her arms again. "Didn't say I hated you." Well, not outright at least. Ash didn't want to be judgmental of other mythics, but black dragons just made it so damn hard. "And yeah, I don't care much for black scales, but I don't want to see them crushed and made into flashy jewelry."

    She wondered who this person was, because it couldn't have been a full blooded dragon. They didn't exist anymore, having been wiped out centuries ago in a war that left only the mythics behind. It hadn't been pretty, as far as she'd known. Only her mother had informed her of such things when she was a child, and she'd long put those thoughts to rest. Either way, the dragon standing in front of her was a human under those scales, but the voice didn't give it away.

    "Maybe I am, maybe I'm not," she said, tone growing defensive. Her personal life wasn't in the cards for this dragon. "I'm not here to kill you, if that's what you think. I doubt I could, 'cause you've got some badass lookin' claws there." When it came right down to it, Ash wouldn't kill another dragon out of spite, but she could be as angry as she wanted. "If I'd known you'd be here, I wouldn't have come. The hunters aren't likely to be out today, so you got lucky."
  20. Xena allowed herself to lift her head, eyes no longer level with Ash's. It gave her some sense of control in this situation. Right now Ash was giving her no respect, even though she was standing here as a full dragon. This woman had to be insane or be another dragon since no human in their right mind would offer this much defiance and insult towards a dragon. A full human would have already turned tail and run screaming for the help of some hunter or something. Xena was still confident in her idea that Ash was also a dragon, as she had the scent and the courage of one. Xena snorted at Ash's comment, finding the woman's actions and expressions spoke loud enough to express hatred.

    Xena was fixated on Ash, feelings about this kind and interesting seeming woman becoming conflicted. The woman seemed nice enough in the cafe, always willing to come in day after day to vent her feeling about the town and her job and what not. They had even been becoming more like friends and Xena liked the notion of that, not realizing how lonely she had been. Now Xena was just confused in regards to a friendly relationship with this woman. Xena's peaceful mood was disrupted, the notion of serenity having been thrown out the window with this recent confrontation.

    Looking down at Ash, Xena listened to the woman grow defensive, not revealing her species. Xena found this to be another clue that Ash was a dragon, as denial in mythics was common. "I know. They are pretty cool."she replied proudly, flexing her well sharpened claws in the dirt. She refocused on Ash, gaze intense. The last remark about not wanting to see Xena left a bit of a sting, even though she knew that Ash had no idea who she was. Under better judgement, Xena would have departed now to keep her relationship peaceful in everyday life, but she was fired up from being insulted so she wasn't thinking clearly.

    "Really? Ouch."Xena said, her human form suddenly replacing her dragon form. Her arms were crossed and her posture was rigid. Her voice also returned to its less harsh tone, though it held bitterness. "I didn't know you felt that way."she grumbled as she walked forwards. As she passed Ash, she bumped shoulders with the girl before continuing on. Once back in the clearing, she assumed her dragon form again and sat down by the water's edge.
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