Marvel: Unlikely Alliance

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ampoule, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Cold. Hard. Dark.

    Warm. Soft. Luminous.

    The screaming. The pleading.

    The sighing. The smiling.

    Smile she did, one that was soft and gentle, the expression of a saint, of an absolver of sins. Absolve she did, with a touch that was destruction. Cold metal was shorn beneath her fingertips like damp paper. Shrieks of metal entwined with the screams of men. Her heart was a hummingbird in her chest, beating its wings, fighting to get free. She fought against the cage that housed her, against the shackles that bound her.

    Rain pressed her hair to her scalp, blood soaked her pinions, weariness made her knees buckle as the last man’s breath gurgled from the hole in his throat. Blood blossomed against the expensive white cotton of his cravat. She watched it with wide open eyes, the crimson bloom repeating in the viridian eyes that gazed down at him. Slowly she sank to her knees into the blackened pool that congealed beneath her bare feet, wings sagging to the floor with her, golden pinions spreading outward like a cloak, their fine, hollow fibers drinking in the darkness.

    The footsteps rang out to her, like the soft dull tolling of a bell. An expensive pair of shoes stopped before her, mere millimeters from the pool of viscera that she had made her current nest. A faint growl of warning rumbled in her throat but it hardly caused him to hesitate as he reached for her. With an arrogance that would draw her to him like a moth to a flame, with the surety of a conqueror that would make her love him and with the possessive desire to own the newest living rarities that could be smuggled in that would eventually make her see him in truth, he reached out and cupped a hand to her face. His thumb traced slowly against her cheekbone, the rough skin on the pad of the digit smoothing down the fine, downy golden feathers that had begun to emerge there. His hand slipped from her cheek down to her throat and back to the underside of her jaw as he drew her face upward, trapping her gaze with his own, the first traces of fear that lay etched in the weary lines beneath her wild eyes reflected in his own.


    The words that left his lips were quiet, but in the deadly silence that permeated the empty shipping yard their implications were thunderous.

    “Welcome to the Hellfire Club.”
  2. A dark figure sat on the edge of a church rooftop, listening to the silence of a bell which had failed to toll for the midnight hour. Earlier the same dark figure had disconnected the necessary equipment shortly after the ringing for eleven o' clock had ended. Part of it wanted to get to spend some time at the House of God to think about recent events. Without making the bell inactive, the time capable of being spent here would be reduced to less than an hour unless extreme pain was desired for some reason. During the daytime the bell couldn't be disabled so casually since people would notice and they would certainly notice IT as well.

    IT was the black humanoid shape sitting atop the church in the rain without moving from a rather melancholy looking pose. Only the whole figure was not just black. . . there were touches of dark orange here and there on the strange creature. The eyes were an especially eerie orange while their shape was akin to Spider-Man's yet still. . . alien. IT somewhat resembled a black and orange variant on the Symbiote costume that Spider-Man had worn for years.

    Until the mouth opened.

    Orange fangs glistened along with a long red tongue it somewhat resembled a gruesome reverse Jack-O-Lantern. Now IT no longer bore a resemblance to anything most people would consider a heroic image. Rather. . . IT looked just plain demonic with how those touches of orange gave it this air of having emerged from hellish magma to enter this world. Yet in truth. . . IT had been born right here in New York.

    Now it was a few minutes after midnight, but if IT had wanted to be on time for anything. . . IT wouldn't have disabled that church bell. One that had run just like clockwork for many years. Time passed idly by until enough of it had slipped away for the figure to actually seem to care. Remaining idle for too long was too much to ask of a being with so much energy. When IT moved from the melancholy pose the mouth closed, leaving no trace of the frightening maw as though it never existed.

    Standing up, IT suddenly started to run along the wet rooftop without showing a single problem in keeping a good footing on the slippery surface. As IT reached the edge, a superhuman leap was made before a long strand of a substance familiar to New Yorkers shot out and attached to the side of a building nearby.

    Web fluid.

    IT disconnected from the strand shortly thereafter and proceeded to run along the building sideways as if it were just jogging down the sidewalk. Next came another leap across an entire street to reach to the next building on the other side. Sounds of battle lured it toward the shipping yard when it came within earshot. For some reason IT did not feel like slinging itself around on webs through the city. Someone else already had enough fame from that mode of transportation. But IT demonstrated no regard toward restraint from showing the ability to do amazing acrobatic feats. Ones which competed with gold medal gymnasts from any country. Even Kenyans.

    When necessary, of course.

    Landing on a warehouse rooftop within the shipping yard, IT seemed to transform from what most could have called a monster into a handsome young man wearing all black clothing. The dark-haired youth looked up at the raining sky for a few moments before his clothing suddenly changed. From the collar of his coat a hood suddenly formed as to keep his head dry. Jumping from the rooftop all the way to the ground, he landed about twenty feet from the winged woman and the strange man and just stood there silently. Curiosity from the infant symbiote had gotten the better of them both.

    ". . . . . . . ."

    As the strange man led the girl away, the dark-haired youth followed them through the shipyard with only half the caution he should have used. Had he understood just who exactly the man escorting the winged woman was terror would seize his heart. Yet even then the temptation would remain. The temptation to follow what looked like an honest to goodness angel. Every second he looked upon her, a sense of hope made his heart beat faster during the not-quite stealthy pursuit. Foolish hope perhaps. . . but that was all IT had to survive now along with faith and the abilities of an infant symbiote.

    Could it be a sign from God?

    Outside the gates of the shipyard a mint condition midnight blue mercedes-benz complete with a well dressed chauffer to boot. Upon spotting the vehicle after peering around the corner of a shipping container, the young man climbed onto the top of it as the car started to pull away. But he could not allow the one sign of hope he had come across in months to escape so soon. Right at that moment with his arms dangling loosely at his sides, both hands suddenly balled into fists as the clothes on his body took on a life of their own in some sort of sinister sailor scout-esque transformation took place. Less than three seconds went past before the dark-haired youth had turned into IT once more and leaped all the way from the shipping yard, ascending around sixty feet, sticking his landing across the street on the side of a building.

    Once more he gazed at the mercedes-benz before starting to pursue it on foot. . . from five stories up.
  3. ”Welcome.”

    The words that left his lips were quiet, but in the deadly silence that permeated the empty shipyard their implications were thunderous.

    “Welcome to the Hellfire Club.”

    Her eyes opened.

    Her eyes closed.

    Opened. Closed.

    Each time the sliver of light grew smaller.

    She went blind.

    Something soft pressed against her eyelids as she felt hands pressing to various points of her body, more sets of hands than what she had been aware even remained breathing. Their touch was soft, yet firm as they carefully guided her to her feet and forward, one shaky step at a time.

    Orange eyes that peered from the darkness might have seen something else entirely. They might attest to only having seen two people there the entire time - the bulky man in period clothing and the figure with golden wings that was now rising to stand. The man appeared to be speaking softly to her for a few moments before reaching out to fasten a black strip of fabric around her head, shielding her eyes.

    The young woman staggered forward with the force that guided her, shirking only briefly when something cold touched her. A moment later she felt herself sinking back against something soft and cool. The muscles in her body instantly relaxed and she felt her head loll to the side, her hands that were resting in her lap slipping off her thighs and onto the seat she sat in. The fabric that touched the backs of her hands was cool and impeccably smooth. Leather. Expensive leather.

    After a few quiet words from her current benefactor the sound of an engine starting registered with her briefly before she felt herself in motion. Her limbs felt as though they were made of lead and she didn’t think she could move even if she tried. She doubted that she could focus on anything long enough to remember their current path but something told her that her “rescuer” was a man used to having all his bases covered. No doubt though that the blindfold was merely for show. A dramatic touch.

    The vehicle sped off into the night, weaving between slower vehicles with the ease and practice of a driver who knew what he was doing. For a time their path did not seem to lead anywhere in particular and a few moments before that notion could be solidified, they pulled into the driveway of a residence. A rather expensive looking residence. They paused at the ornate front gate before driving inside. The lush trees that dotted the landscape effectively blotted them from view.
  4. Mouthless at first, upon seeing the 'Angel' blindfolded after she entered the car, orange fangs bared themselves in anger as a red tongue briefly slithered out. Seconds later it vanished back into the mouth itself which turned into a thin line and then nothing but smooth blackness. Orange eyes narrowed while ebony feet ending in sharp toenails the color of magma sprinted along the glass windows of an office building. Slender fingers glided along the glass as well, helping to keep just the right balance going while IT moved with all the speed of a star track runner going for the Olympian gold.

    I won't let them get away with capturing an Angel!

    But what if she's one of those mutant. . . things? I mean you TOLD me about mutants yourself. That you weren't sure why that God guy made mutants either. Sounded like you were scared of them the same way you still, still seem scared of ME. Would you still want to save her if it was just a lady with wings?

    I'm not taking that chance. I couldn't live with myself if I. . .

    Don't start thinking that way again! So much pain fills you when that happens. It kills you from the inside when you're like that. The last time you thought that way you nearly got rid of us BOTH. Not to mention the time before when you tried getting rid of just. . . me.

    I said I was sorry! I'm sorry for that! What you did. . . how you changed my life. . . it was so much all at once. I had to leave everything behind because of you. Everything I had hoped to protect through you wiped away in an instant. The POLICE are looking for me thanks to you!

    IT WASN'T MY FAULT! I WAS SCARED! I TOLD YOU I WAS SORRY! And then you hated me so much for it. . . you hated me so much you tried to. . . .to. . .

    But I didn't. Sam stopped me. And then I made my promise to keep you after that. Keep you alive and safe. . . to teach you right and wrong. And I'm doing my best. . .

    By the way they just turned left into that big place.

    High-rise buildings found themselves left behind by the chauffer a few minutes ago, leaving IT to pursue the mercedes-benz by zipping along web lines. Each one shot out straight ahead, and then yanked on just hard enough to pull IT forward at an impressive clip. IT did not dare to come onto the estate swinging in foolishly. Even without a spider-sense anyone with a brain in their skull knew someone willing to kidnap an angel spelled trouble. Crouched on the top of the wall before the symbiotic webbing even touched the ground, ominous orange eyes glimmered ever so slightly in the darkness while the car drove through the property toward the main building. An oppulant structure without doubt. Now IT leaped from tree to tree with only instinct and gut feelings to guide it through a potential minefield of perimeter defenses that neither the host nor the symbiote could anticipate.

    Orange eyes watched from the trees as the car pulled to a stop.
  5. The muffled thuds of car doors opening and closing sounded through the trees amidst the quiet lull of voices. One voice was of a deeper timbre than the others, their voices echoing and murmuring in quiet obeisance. Though the arrival of the car appeared to be of great significance, the reaction of the household moved with the quiet practice of those well trained in the art of servitude. The figures were ushered inside, the strong arm of the angel’s “captor” circled about her waist as he bent low to her ear, murmuring softly to her. He reached up briefly to her shoulder, slipping off his own brocaded jacket and resting it on her own bare shoulders. Up until this point the angel had been in disarray, her clothing in tatters and her figure on the verge of escaping the boundaries of decency. After a few more moments, the small crowd disappeared inside.

    Should the figure bathed in darkness that hunted after the golden angel finally draw nearer, it would find a grand estate nestled in the trees. A spacious, ancient manor hidden away in the hustle and bustle of the city, the acres upon acres of gardens and orchards making it seem as though it were its own little world. Grand, arching windows opened up the front of the mansion and the rooms within, bathing the immediate grounds in a soft golden light. The ceilings were high and vaulted and although such an estate would obviously belong to someone with the necessary income to sustain it, great expanses of the interior were shrouded in darkness, the light from the inside coming mainly from large candelabras, chandeliers and fireplaces. The owner of the estate didn’t appear to embrace many touches of the modern world.

    Figures surrounded the young woman in a semi-circle, the man who had escorted her remained at her side with one hand on her shoulder, the other resting against his chest, as though whatever words he uttered into her ear were heartfelt and true. For all that any knew, they were. The hearth burned brightly, casting wavering intensities of light and shadow, deepening the darkness cast by the sharp features of the man.

    He stood tall. His broad figure imposing and proud. He was a man used to getting what he wanted...and more. The thumb of the hand on her shoulder began to softly stroke against the bare skin there.

    The young woman's wings twitched.

    The shadows on the man's face shifted as a smile creased into place.

    Light from the flames glinted off the ornate brocade of his vest and the various heavy rings he wore. His thick, unruly brown hair was pulled into a low ponytail, the curls tumbling halfway down his back. Likewise thick, though impeccably trimmed facial hair crawled down his heavy jaw. Everything about him seemed to suggest he was a man stepped out of a different time, but by the reaction of everyone else in the room and by his surroundings, by all appearances he was exactly where he belonged.
  6. After watching the entire mini ceremony of bringing the winged woman into the expansive manse, IT still stalked from the thick forest of trees which covered much of the estate. Orange eyes watched for the difference in clothing between servants and guards as well as their numbers. The host had seen enough action movies growing up, along with stealth-themed video games, to know the importance of figuring out just how large the odds against him were. Even with a Symbiote on his side powers granted by his black and orange half could not compensate against a small army of well-armed thugs.

    From what he had seen so far these were not just well-armed guards either. Everyone, even the servants were finely dressed as though they had come straight from one of his history books back in highschool. Part of his attention focused on the appearance of these odd clothes from another time while noting their patrol patterns as well. On top of all that he kept out an eye for security cameras. Guards circled the house at regular intervals that after a few minutes of observation he learned the amount of time it took for an entire perimeter sweep. Rather than wasting time looking for a place to sneak in undetected he decided to blend in instead. Trees were left behind for a set of thick bushes near the guard path.

    Right out of the bushes a young man with raven black hair emerged dressed from head to toe in the garb one who guarded the mysterious owners of the manse. No need to tip toe around the grounds anymore. A mental thanks went from the host to his Symbiote, one that received the mental equivalent of a thumbs up in return. Without such a versatile ally on his side none of this would even be possible without weeks of preparation and years of training. Infiltrating the impressive mansion turned into a breeze for the intruder as he entered right through the front door with just a few butterflies in his stomach. Even without realizing the full magnitude of just who these people were he did understand he was doing something dangerous.

    But for the chance to rescue an angel and find salvation at last. . . he was willing to risk it.

    Moments later he felt that he had entered the house far enough to change attire. Composite, combat-ready armor turned into rich threads of the highest quality that only the high society from days long past wore. Raven black hair changed not only in length but color and style as well to the old fashioned white of the others. Deception made perfection on the visual level. Instantaneous was the only way to describe the fluid pace of how he went from playing the part of a guard to looking like just another servant in the house. One meant to wait hand and foot on every whim of people both the host and his Symbiote had no clue about. Even more daunting was the fact he had no idea where the angel would have been taken since her arrival. Perhaps it was better that way though since it created less hesitation on his part. A feeling that would only get in his way while trying to search such a large place while not garnering suspicion from others.

    Banking on the chance of gossip, he searched for other servants on the off chance he would get a hint as to her location.
  7. She could feel it snaking around her, slippery like a cold tendril of fog. She could feel it winding around her limbs from the soles of her feet, up her thin legs to her hips and to her collarbone where it lingered briefly before slowly brushing against her neck, unconsciously causing her to tilt her head ever so slightly. It drifted over her being and through her mind, teasing at certain things while lulling others into submission. She could feel it almost everywhere… but not into her veins. There was something else there. A fire laid there, a fire to sear away any fog. The fire now was dimming, un-stoked. The embers of it gleamed and glittered, slipping through her blood like slivers of heat, floating as they searched for a chance to gather and blaze once more.

    As she stood among the crowd of people, the angel’s viridian eyes slowly drifted open and closed in languid blinks. Briefly, a sharp flicker of focus sparked in her eyes as somewhere in the mansion the shadows began to move and deepen…


    While the front of the house was a hush of whispers and muted commands, the other halls and rooms that housed the more “functional” aspects of the large household were bustling with activity. Servants pushed past each other in a rush, carrying various bundles of items and pushing carts laden with goods. Everyone seemed to be hustling to be ready for some sort of event or party.

    The sprawling kitchens had transformed into an ant farm with people either working in groups or frantically carrying things to and fro.

    “Did you hear?” a voice in no particular muttered conspiratorially to the woman next to her as they worked at chopping piles of vegetables. “They said they’ve found her.” The woman next to the speaker only scoffed.

    ”They’ve found HER or he’s just found himself ANOTHER?”
  8. Overhearing two of the servants talking about someone being found, the host hoped against hope that these women spoke of the angel he sought to rescue. Part of him wanted to tear the mansion apart looking for her but he knew that was unwise. Even the Symbiote did not desire a direct confrontation with all the firepower present on those guards. It lacked the vicious confidence of much older Symbiotes when they were dealing with something beyond street punks. A complete lack of something to fight for in the world beyond opportunistic enforcements of justice. Both understood that remaining incognito was the best choice for now. Plus, the longer her captors stayed in the dark about what he was. . . they could not exploit those weaknesses which would be his undoing in a fight.

    "Why would he want to find another? Wasn't she good enough? I really don't understand the master."

    It felt like the right thing to say. Both of them hoped that his comment would not be unwelcome as he stood there empty-handed. A servant with nothing to do in the household. That would not be allowed to last long. What could he do to blend in more? Soon enough the others might get suspicious if he just wandered around the house with nothing to do at all. But he could not just leave an angel in the clutches of some strange man. In the time it would take the women to respond his clever brain thought up a plan to kill two birds with one stone.

    "Hey, if you give me something to bring them, I could tell you if it really is her when I get back."

    Nice one.

    Thanks. And nice job on the disguise. Couldn't do any of this without you.

    You're welcome. But what do we do when we find her? What if she wants to STAY here?

    I'll figure it out when it happens. Just keep up the clothes until things change.

    Yeah, you'd be naked without me.

    Cackling echoed in the host's mind while he waited to see if his honeyed words would work.
  9. The two women’s heads instantly turned to look at the new voice; an eyebrow of the older one rose curiously while the youngest one had an instant blush spread across her cheeks. The older one looked the young man up and down with a quick, appraising look as though gauging his abilities just by giving him a once-over. There was only one reason they’d send an able-looking young man like him to the kitchen…

    In the meantime, the younger one gave him a once-over of her own, the blush only deepening.

    ”Hey, if you give me something to bring them, I could tell you if it really IS her when I get back.”

    The eyes of the older woman narrowed.

    The eyes of the younger woman widened.

    Her eyes brightened as she leaned forward conspiratorially, “Would ya really? Don’t y’think it’d be dangerous?” Obviously the need for gossip was strong with this one, instantly overriding any logical thought processes.

    The older woman scoffed with disbelief and snapped her gaze from him to her. “You idiots.” She snapped, her elbow jutting out to jab at the arm of the girl. “What do you think you’re doing? What are you even SAYING?” She glanced around quickly and leaned forward, shifting a hard look between the two. “You think this is a game, messing around in their business?” She straightened up and looked down her nose at them. “There’s a reason they’re up there and YOU’RE down here.” Her voice dropped down low. “Besides…it isn’t any of our business. You know what he’s like. It isn’t a QUEEN he wants, it’s a—“ she stopped herself and quickly looked down at her hands and suddenly looked as though the vegetables were telling her secrets.
  10. The young man was not a good enough deceiver to hide his disappointment in the older woman's reaction. Just one look at the older woman told him there was a slim chance she would go along with his plan. Yet hope still remained. Eyes that shimmered with an emerald green so intense that would think each eye jealous of the other's exquisiteness now gazed upon the younger woman. A chance still existed to get her on his side. For that reason among a few others he stood just close enough to her that their hands nearly touched. Manipulation was not his strongest quality unless it involved the Symbiote coercing some street tough into pissing their pants at the sight of IT.

    "It isn't our business? Then how come you know what he wants with her?"

    The comment came from him in a way that made a clear point. One meant to egg her on into revealing information of some sort. At this point anything was useful. He waited long enough for the older woman to reply before adding his latest attempt to get what he wanted from the two ladies.

    ". . . It isn't really messing around in their business really. Only a way to see who she is. Just give me a bottle of wine or something. I'll take it up there, present it politely, get a decent look at her, and then come straight back. After that I'll do my duty without another word. Honest."
  11. The older woman snapped her face back toward them, suddenly leaning very, very close to both of them, her voice a harsh whisper. "This isn't some game, you fools! You don't know what they'll do to you if they find you. It's too late for us even now. There's no way you can deny anything if they ask. SHE'll know." there was a strange glimmer in her eyes. "How do you think I've lasted so long here? I don't go snooping around where I don't belong."

    A troubled look passed over the young woman's face as she looked from her partner's face to the young man's. When his hand touched hers the look turned into one of guilt. A moment later a wan smile twitched into place as she put her knife back down on the table and wiped her hands on her apron, grasping the sleeve of the young man as she stepped away from her work station.

    "Oh, that's right! Th-the wine! Actually, we should go check on that! B'sides," she paused for a moment to look at the table heaping with vegetables. "We...we need more potatoes. C'mon n' help me carry some up!" Holding tight to his sleeve she pulled him away with her out of the room and down a hall toward a pantry room.

    The room inside was dark and quiet, the shelves bare in sections. Once they were inside the girl began to absently look over the shelves and slowly stroll along them. A sheepish smile crossed her face as she glanced down, reaching up to toy with her hair. "You'll have to forgive Emma...she hasn't been herself in a...a long time." Her eyebrows turned upward in a mix between sad and hopeless. "There was a..." she hesitated. "Somethin' happened a while back. I don't think nobody's been the same since." She looked up at the young man. "You're new though, right? I ain't never seen you around here b'fore, so it ain't your fault you dunno about it."
  12. Whispered threats of agonizing punishment did not fall on deaf ears. Now he started to understand that this was not some eccentric mogul's estate or any old country club. Fear ached to poison his heart but there were two minds it had to conquer first and neither the host nor the Symbiote planned to give in to some old woman after coming so far. Yet the young man had no clue what the older woman had meant by some other lady just knowing everything at first. Until it dawned on him a few minutes later while heading toward the pantry with the one who had him by the sleeve. A sleeve which felt just like the clothing it resembled. . . but upon magnified analysis would reveal something else altogether.

    You know. . . this is technically the first time a girl has touched me before.

    Don't get any ideas. She seems a bit too kind for some sort of pantry debauchery.

    Are you sure we should be doing this? I mean what if things get bad up there?

    Then we'll get even WORSE. I know we can do this together. When we become IT we're stronger than almost anything.

    True! No one has beat us yet!

    Hesitation had no place in a dark pantry with a young woman.

    Unsure of his surroundings he stayed close to her every second she walked around. With how dark it was inside he did not wish to get lost, which was one of a few reasons he let the girl keep her hold on his 'sleeve'. Once she started talking about someone named Emma he paid close attention. Every bit of information he learned could end up saving his life. Part of him had not realized just how close the two were to one another until she turned and looked at him. For total strangers they lacked any sort of personal space. Red started to tinge his cheeks with a blush as his eyes looked back and forth between her and the floor. Even as he spoke one could sense him trying to stay focused on the objective at hand rather than what was near his hand.

    "Yeah. . . I'm new. Barely even know anyone's name. Anyway. . . where is the wine at?"
  13. A small smile that was a mix between a twitch and a grimace played across her lips, revealing plainly the nervousness that was plaguing the girl before she had a chance to hide it. By her previous behavior and with how willingly she spilled secrets to him, it was a little more than obvious that although her heart was in the right place, the girl didn’t exactly have enough brains or forethought to consider the consequences of her actions.

    “Oh. Right. The wine…” her voice trailed off into a tiny whisper as she turned away from him and headed down the shelves of the pantry with a more determined gait. As she strode onward, she glanced briefly behind her shoulder to speak to him. “They’ll actually prob’ly need some soon.” She turned her head back forward and tilted it slightly. “Kinda surprised no one’s come to get some yet.” She shrugged as she prattled on. “Well actually no, I’m not really surprised. Everyone’s so busy with everything else they probably forgot or there’s no one else to do it.” She looked back at him again. “I guess we’re lucky YOU’RE here then!”

    As they walked on, the temperature of the pantry dropped ever so slightly and the shelves full of more dried goods. After a few more moments, they reached a door with a pair of flickering candles next to it. The girl quickly pulled one of the holders down and handed it to the young man while she pushed the heavy wooden door inward. It groaned open, the chill air that whooshed out rippling her skirts and causing the candle’s flame to flounder.

    She beckoned him to follow as she stepped inside, their faint light revealing a deep set room covered from floor to ceiling with wine. Some were new and bright while others appeared ancient, thick layers of dust blanketing the bottles.

    The girl stood inside and glanced around slowly, placing a hand to her chin, a single finger tapping against her chin thoughtfully. “Wine…wine…a wine…” She cocked her head to the side a bit. “I hear that whoever they’re bringing it might be their new Queen…and I think…” She pursed her lips for a moment before moving to a certain shelf and reaching out to pull a few bottles forward. “I think that if you were meeting a lady for the first time and REALLY wanted to impress her…you’d take this.” She slid the bottles out and dusted them off with her apron before holding them out to the young man, wanting to trade them for his candle.

    “My name is Lissa, by the way.” She smiled. “Just so you know.” Her smile widened a bit. “So you can thank me later.”
  14. He followed her without hesitation, still staying close as they went further into the pantry. Rather than respond to her comments a charming smile came instead. Genuine in its origins. . . it came right after she implied his arrival had anything to do with luck. Despite the less than honest circumstances of their first meeting he truly enjoyed her company. If only she had known his true intentions for being in this pantry let alone on the estate itself. Perhaps she would look upon him with blushes or treat him with such kindness. But as she led him onward that smile faded once the temperature started to fall below the comfort zone.

    It sure is cold in here. . . you're barely keeping me warm!

    Well I'm cold too! Let me try using your body heat to warm me and then I can warm you and-

    All the sudden a candleholder complete with a lit candle came into his possession. He was hesitant about holding the candle, in fact it took all of the host's will to keep his own body under control. The living costume nearly jerked back the limb it was attached to with how close the flame came. In fact the sleeve of his sophisticated clothing almost unraveled and recoiled up to his shoulder. All of his blending in undone within half a second just from a tiny little fire. The Symbiote he had bonded with was wary of an open flame even if it was a small one and kept at a distance. Fear of fire dwelled within it more intensely than Bobby Drake and Frankenstein's Monster combined. Instinct brought it on, rather than a fear taught through experience.

    I wasn't THIS cold!

    Get a grip on yourself, it's just a little candle. Not a flamethrower.


    It can't hurt you like this. I won't let it. I'll. . . I'll protect you.

    No response came from the Symbiote in his mind after that. Yet in the silence there hung a strange feeling in the inky black recesses of their consciousnesses that were bonded together. A feeling that for once was not negative or uneasy.

    And then she introduced herself.

    While he stood there looking at her his heart beat a little faster for a reason that had no logical place in his current mission. Lissa's words triggered something in the host as he interpreted them ow he wanted. Adrenaline started to flow faintly already for a wide array of reasons that included the mission itself. Sneaking into a guarded mansion to rescue an Angel was not an everyday activity for him that helped feed the Symbiote's natural hunger. One that a small taste could not satisfy. Now the alien costume wanted more. Inhibitions dropped dramatically under the subtle manipulations made upon the host in a way that the young man could not fathom yet still felt just the same.

    Rather than trade her the candle he set it down on one of the shelves and took her hands into his own. Now both of the bottles were held by a hand from each of them, his arms moving down to his sides in order to pull her closer. Seconds had barely passed before their bodies were pressed together and their faces so close that their noses could touch. Only the sound of their breath existed as it clouded the cold air with it's heat. When he spoke his voice took on a tone one might expect:


    "I'd rather thank you now, Lissa."

    Youthful lips soon found themselves pressed together in a passionate kiss that was by no means brief as he. . . introduced himself.
  15. The same soft smile remained on Lissa’s lips until he stepped closer and she felt his hands slip around her own. Her smile faltered as he pulled his arms down and pulled her close. The expression faltered further as she felt him press against her. A twinge of butterflies fluttered in the pit of her stomach. Though her original intention was to flirt, the fact that he might reciprocate her advances didn’t occur to her. He didn’t seem the type…

    Lissa had already been standing close to the shelves and in a single moment found herself trapped. The girl’s eyes widened as she looked up at him, the smile fading as her lips parted, a tiny gasp escaping the moment before his mouth closed over hers.

    A tiny whimper of surprise escaped her, the sound muffled by the kiss.

    It was probably for the best that the young man’s hands also gripped the bottles as she faltered. Before she realized it she found herself leaning back against the shelves as her knees weakened and one hand was slipping away from inside his, reaching up to tangle in his hair, pulling him closer as she began to return the kiss.
  16. Thoughts ceased to stir in the mind of the host beyond thinking of how good it felt to kiss her right now. Even more than that was how much pleasure it gave him when Lissa kissed him back. The way her fingers tangled in his hair only inspired him to kiss with even more intensity that dared not relent for fear that the pleasure might stop. Normally he would never be so forward with a girl he had just met but right now for some reason it just felt so right. Lips twisting into a smile, he kissed her right back while the wine bottles kept his hands busy. All of his emotions felt. . . amplified. It made him want to kiss her for hours if it would feel so good every time. Cunning as ever, he even slipped his tongue into her mouth and started to caress the inside of her mouth with a feverish fervor. Sure he had kissed girls before in his life but this felt downright intoxicating to the point he forgot all about the Symbiote bonded to him.

    The one that fed on the adrenaline pumping through him.

    On one hand the alien costume was not trying to turn him into a rapist or anything. It merely hungered for the rush that came from every kiss that the host felt during each kiss. This was something it usually only experienced when the young man got into fights or performed breath-taking feats of acrobatics above the city streets. But now a new sensation provided it with almost the exact same result. Unsurprisingly the host had never tried to date anyone all these months with so much stress on his shoulders and so many conflicted feelings. At the same time that left him with plenty of repressed urges that were never acted on thanks to knowing there was always another there watching.

    How can this feel so good? Has it been that long since my last kiss? This feels amazing! She's amazing! I would have never met Lissa if I hadn't come here tonight looking for that-

    At that moment the host not only remembered his quest, but realized just how far he allowed himself to get side-tracked. Finally he ended the kiss somewhat abruptly and panting with his cheeks tinged red. For all Lissa knew he was merely catching his breath or even taking a moment to look at her face in the now rather romantic candlelight. Just how had he allowed himself to start making out with an almost total stranger in a cold pantry? It wasn't that he found her unattractive. . . it was the fact he couldn't remember exactly what made him start kissing her in the first place. Inside he scolded himself for acting so impulsively while his gaze flickered between her eyes and the floor with a shyness that suited his personality much better.

    "I. . . I'm um, er. . . . . . . . .You're not too mad at me are you?"

    Now he sounded like a schoolboy trying to ask out a schoolgirl.

    "I just. . ."
  17. Lissa’s eyes were closed tightly as a soft moan escaped her when the kiss deepened, a majority of her attention preoccupied by his attentions while a small, instinctual bit hinted at a problem. His words echoed in her head. ”I’d rather thank you now, Lissa.” Something about that didn’t hint at a proposition, but instead almost as an order.

    The look he had given her…It was like a switch being flipped, or a coin toss…even though she was certain it was the same man standing in front of her…something about him seemed different. Something that was almost…


    She could feel him pressing hard up against her, trapping her against the shelves, his kiss reaching a new level of fervor. Her eyes fluttered open, the fingers tangled in his hair loosening their grip. Another sound escaped her; a tiny whimper mixed with pleading that could be mistaken as her asking for more. The hand that rested on the back of his neck slipped down to his shoulder, her arm moving out to press him away just as he suddenly pulled back.

    ”I. . . I’m um, er. . . . . . . . . You’re not too mad at me are you?”

    The young woman stared at him blankly for a few moments, her lips still parted, chest visibly moving as she made to catch her breath.

    ”I just. . .”

    He stood before her now, just as he had been. His tone and face were sweet, nothing but the blush on his cheeks remaining of his previous behavior.

    Her mouth opened and closed silently for a brief moment before she slowly but firmly tugged her other hand from under his grip, leaving him with both bottles now. A brief smile flickered into place as she looked down and smoothed out her clothes and apron. “N-no!” She looked up at him, eyes briefly meeting his before they focused elsewhere before finally settling on the candle. “I’m not mad. You just caught me by surprise.”

    She quickly picked up the candle, cupping her hand around the flame as the sudden movement caused it to gutter. Lissa looked over her shoulder at him, a wan smile on her face. “You might wanna hurry. It’s almost time. Y’don’t wanna make ‘em wait.”

    The young woman paused for a moment as she realized that he probably didn't know the way. "A-all you really gotta do is go up. Go up and head toward...toward the center." It was an old house in an old style trapped in an old fashion way of thinking. Though there were large rooms for entertaining, they were surrounded by a plethora of corridors and other 'secret' passageways for the servants to move around without being seen.

    Lissa gave him one more glance, one that was a bit too brief. One that said more than enough.

    "You should hurry."
  18. Upon hearing her words a feeling of relief washed over him from head toe and painted an apologetic smile on his lips. It said everything he could not find the right words to tell Lissa. Now he stood there still blushing as she picked up the candle. Partially due to his emotions running so high he did not even notice that he took half a step back from Lissa once the candle was in her hands. Despite him hardly knowing her, part of him would have felt even worse if he made a girl who had once liked him start to hate him. Although she would have had the right since what he had done was not exactly some small transgression or a minor invasion of personal space. Only after that initial feelings of remorse and relief did the thought of other potential consequences enter his mind. Even if he did not notice the importance of what order his feelings occurred in the Symbiote did.

    But the alien costume stayed silent for now, enjoying the unique flavor of that particular type of adrenaline.

    "Y-yeah. Yeah! You're right! I can't keep them waiting! I have to wait on them."

    His voice gained a steady level of confidence that increased the more he spoke. So much that he even managed to make an off-hand joke right on the spot. A sweet smile followed the punchline as though it were a finisher at the end of a combo. Whether she would laugh at it remained up to her though. No one could gauge another's sense of humor too easily. Right after it though he followed up with a genuine question hidden within casual request. The host had no Spider-sense or other superhuman tracking skills that would guide him around the massive mansion. Right now she was his best bet for accurate information.

    "Could you tell me the fastest way to get to the room where they're in Lissa? I'm still new enough here that I swear I find a new hallway everyday in this place."

    Once Lissa either gave him directions from the pantry to the room or started to lead him there herself he started to think about what had just happened. Every step he held onto the wine as though they were his own redemption inside a bottle. Just because he had two did not mean that one could afford to be broken. At long last his thoughts finally drew out the voice of his Symbiote and reminded him that the clothes he wore were alive with a mind of their own.

    That was close back there. . . if she wanted to she could have gotten the entire house after us. No more randomly kissing girls during a rescue mission. Way too dangerous.

    Well we could have just tied her up with webbing.

    She still would have hated me for what I had done. Tying her up would have only been temporary. It would not have atoned for what I did.

    And that's what matters to you? Atonement?

    Part of it. What matters even more than that is feeling the guilt itself for what I've done. Not wanting to sin ever again. And it should matter to you too.

    But I don't like that feeling. I can feel it right now. It makes me feel miserable.

    It makes you know right from wrong. And if you don't learn that. . . one day you'll end up in hell with all the other sinners.

    The place with the unending fire and eternal punishment?

    The place with the unending fire and eternal punishment.
  19. Despite the confusing mixture of emotions fluttering through the girl, she gave him clear and concise directions, letting him know what passageways would work the best for where he wanted to go and which ones would let him enter with the least amount of interruption, should he make a mistake.

    After filling him in with the right info, the girl remained exactly where she was, clutching the candle tightly in her hands. It was clear now, that she was waiting for him to leave first. With the urgency of his mission, it was more than likely he would. She watched him go then, the deep darkness of the wine cellar and the endless shelves of the cold pantry soon swallowing her and her tiny candle whole.


    Elsewhere in the mansion, another young woman was caught in a storm of emotions. The chill buffered at her, making her curl her body against it. Her arms hugged tightly around herself and she sank to her knees. The cold bit at her bare skin, making her feel burned. Her fingertips dug harshly into her flesh as she grasped at herself and she was surprised at how stiff it felt, almost as though she were turning to stone.

    The fire inside her flesh and burning through her veins seemed to be resolute in its decision to continue smoldering, something that seemed to make the cold even bitterer. It was as though the icy wind had a mind of its own and was intent on breaking the girl’s will. Something in her fought though, some baser instinct that clung fiercely to life and the urge to fight.

    As the fire inside her and the cold outside dueled, leaving the girl helpless in the middle. A burning, tugging sensation clawed at her throat as she slowly sank to her knees in the darkness.


    Elsewhere in the mansion, a young woman was led away by a pair of servant women. They guided her to a room, their own expressions as blank as her own, though tinged with slight pity. This one was the youngest yet.

    They were gentle as they lead her through the motions of bathing, washing away the blood and grime that was caked to her skin. Some of the blood looked to be from wounds but after inspection, none were found. After the bath she was dried and made to sit as they opened a wardrobe, pulling out clothes that were familiar in their styling but unique enough in their detailing to suit her appearance.


    ”Are you certain, Wyngarde? Certain that this isn’t just another of your…playthings? My patience grows thin. OUR patience grows thin.”

    The voice was thick and heavy, a voice accustomed to giving commands and receiving his every desire in return.

    The immediate reply was a scoff. The voice was thick and cloying, a voice accustomed to twisting and manipulating his way to his every desire.

    ”Patience, Shaw. I’m sure of it and you know full well that simply owning her would give us more than we’ve had in a long time. Imagine it. One of THEM. HERE. Belonging to US. You can’t deny it. You can’t deny that what I’ve brought you is a gift you can’t refuse…” There was a pause, a wide smile playing clearly through the voice. "And SHE says that she should be ours soon. Soon, Frost will break her and make her our pet."
  20. Disguised as but a mere servant, something far more dangerous walked down the hallways that he had been told to take. The host took silent joy in strolling right past potential enemies with little more than a second glance. But none of them dared question one who was bringing refreshments to their masters. All the while his other half paid constant attention to their surroundings in preparation for the inevitable escape that would come soon enough. Just from how the 'Angel' had looked last time they had both seen her she would be in no shape to fight off so many foes. That meant their escape from these grounds had to come swift and without fail.

    At long last he came upon the final doorway that separated him from the room Lissa indicated would contain the girl.

    But when he opened the door with all the caution of a cowering servant, who awaited him on the other side?