Wild Magic

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kaisaan, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. Kalen swore under his breath as he raced down the alleyway, once again calling himself all manner of idiot for provoking the two Thorpe brothers. They were on neutral ground, a place in the city where both species could go about without fear of harm and he just had to open his bloody mouth. He couldn't just keep it shut. Nope. He had to snap back when taunted. Why, why did he never learn? Gah, it would be too much to ask for his mouth to just shut up for once or maybe his feet should stop taking him to places he knew Gifted Human frequented. They'd been at war for hundreds of years, you'd think he'd take that into account before choosing a spot he knew they'd be - neutral territory or not! That would just be smart, though, and heaven's knew he wasn't that.

    Well, he was...all evidence to the contrary.

    His mad dash led to a dead end - oh, didn't it always - and the black-haired male looked behind his shoulder again, groaning at seeing he hadn't lost his pursuers. 'Course not. That would be too easy. Knowing his luck one of them was a damn Sniffer and could track him for miles. The two males, twins; tall in stature, shaved-haired and looking thoroughly pissed, advanced slowly now, watching him carefully and it occurred to Kalen in that moment that they didn't have any idea who he was. They thought he could shape-shift and were waiting to see what form he'd take before striking.

    Huh. This could be interesting.

    Backing up, he gave them a charming smile to hide the thudding of his heart in his own ears and held up his hands. "Come on guys, it was just a joke."

    "We aren't laughing."

    Kalen grimaced. "Well, yes, I can see that. Try harder?" he suggested and one of the men gave something of a growl and lunged at him, something the black-haired male avoided just barely before he spun in a perfectly executed kick that knocked his attacker down momentarily, giving Kalen a slim moment to try and escape. Unfortunately his opponents weren't entirely normal humans and he ran smack into a force field that knocked him right back to the pavement with a groan and he was pretty sure his nose was going to start bleeding at any moment. The second twin snickered. "Going somewhere, Shifter?"

    "Well, I was, but then I decided maybe I should nap instead." Oh, he was so screwed. Sure, they weren't allowed to kill him on neutral ground, but they could hurt him and there were two of them to deny it had ever happened or to say he'd started it. Not good odds. Besides, he wouldn't be going to the Shape-shifters to right the wrong done either. That was the last place he wanted to go.
    #1 Kaisaan, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  2. Adjusting the bag of apples weighing down heavily on one of her arms, Adrienne was struggling to keep from dropping the potatoes and lettuce that she'd just purchased, ending up in a dangerous juggling game with tonight's dinner ingredients. Honestly, she'd hide the apples from her mother and no one would get apple pie if she didn't get some help right now, she thought sourly. With her cousins over to visit for dinner, Adrienne had been sent to purchase the groceries and her cousins had been sent along to help her out. Somehow, though, they seemed to have gotten their task wrong and had disappeared while she'd been selecting a head of lettuce without the leaves wilted at the edges.
    "Derek, if I drop these apples, you'll have nothing but applesauce for dessert" she called, looking around for the more easily guilted of the two boys. If they were late bringing the things back for the meal, she was well aware that her mother would blame her. It wouldn't be a matter of asking them where they'd been to help carrying the goods, though in the spirit of fairness they'd get an earful later, it would be asking Adrienne why she'd made their guests wait around hungry.
    Adrienne turned, looking around the small farmer's market for them and seeing only the stalls bursting with produce. A quick inquiry with one of the stall owners who seemed to be getting less business, no small wonder as he was selling some sadly green strawberries, told her that they'd been talking in a less than friendly manner with some boy they'd bumped into by chance in front of a stall of oranges. He gestured toward an alley and went back to trying to convince passersby that the strawberries were the best in the county.
    With no sense of danger whatsoever, Adrienne repositioned the lettuce under her arm and went tromping off toward the alley, scowling at the idea of them goofing off while she fought with potatoes. She would not hesitate to throw them under the bus when her aunt asked what had taken them so long to get the ingredients. She hurried her pace a little when she saw the outlines of the two boys near the end of the alley.
    "Derek! You cad. Some help you've been. Leave me to carry all the things, won't you? You're just here for decoration, I suppose."
  3. Derek - or so Kalen guessed by the way the male cringed - looked back toward the entrance to the alleyway and he groaned just slightly at seeing his cousin standing there. Nathan, by his side and the one pinning Kalen to the wall with an arm across his throat, cursed before looking back at the black-haired male and giving a growl before he released him. Kalen dropped to the ground and though he would have liked to have stayed on his feet, the pain from being hit in the stomach a few times made his knees buckle and the twins smirked as they moved away from him, Derek aiming another kick at his side as they went.

    "You got lucky, Shifter."

    "Right. I'll remember to be grateful later." Kalen wheezed back, watching the two move toward the woman who called to them. She was a slim thing with wild curly, brown hair and an expression that could bring an army to heel. She smelled fresh even from this distance and his nose caught the barest brush of something like lightning and the chill of frost over her skin. It was a rather nice smell, but it told him instantly that she was a Gifted Human and therefore completely off-limits, technically his enemy....sort of. Oh well. Kalen's ears easily caught the words the brothers said to the woman when they approached her without him even trying to listen in. Wasn't his fault he had advanced hearing. Tended to come in handy a great deal of the time, though.

    "Sorry, Adrienne. We had to deal with something."

    Kalen snorted and worked his way to his feet, his body already working on repairing the damage done though it would take a few hours, calling out because well...he didn't learn. "Just because I can't twirl my finger and knock someone over doesn't mean I'm a something, numb-skull."

    Nathan turned his head, expression thunderous and a definite promise of another beating in his eyes. Kalen wasn't exactly cowed by that as he approached. There WAS only one way out of the alley unless he did something that would draw a lot of human attention and well, that wouldn't be good now would it? "You'd do best to shut up, Shifter." the elder twin warned and the black-haired male nodded slowly. "Yeah, I've been told that a few times. Unfortunately, I think I was born with no brain-to-mouth filter. Pity." Kalen now stood directly before Nathan and though Kalen was tall, the twin was taller still and the 'shifter' tilted his head, smiling, looking for all the world like they were having nothing but a friendly conversation and his face WASN'T covered in bruises.

    "Care to move? I've got somewhere to be."
    #3 Kaisaan, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  4. Looking from the young man in the alley with her cousins and then back to the two boys, Adrienne frowned more prominently. He seemed to be a little worse for wear, bruises blossoming here and there where she could see. Didn't seem to deter him from mouthing off to Derek and Nathan, though, she observed with an arch of her eyebrow. They seemed to have been having a disagreement of sorts and with the fast mouth on him, she could imagine why. Derek and Nathan had never been known for their tender patience.
    Foisting the potatoes on Nathan, who seemed less than suitably contrite, Adrienne took a step toward the man who'd been in the alley with them. She dusted off the front of his shirt apologetically, though she couldn't precisely call him blameless. Still, no matter how cheeky he was, he didn't deserve to be beaten up by the beefy combination of the short-tempered twins.
    "I'm sorry about that. They're not normally so eager to rough house."
    The frizziness of Adrienne's curls seemed to amplify, static crackling from the tips as she shot her cousins a sidelong glare. She was more than a little vexed with them for their list of priorities, and their apparent penchant for getting in fights with strangers. She was still debating whether or not she was going to tell their mother about this, though, and how to make it up to the stranger. Did they not know that they could get thrown in jail if they'd hurt him? Of all the foolish...
    She took one of the apples from her bag and offered it to the man, biting her lower lip as she did so. They could look aghast and angry all they wanted, she wasn't about to let their little shopping trip and family dinner end with her cousins getting hauled off to the county jail for the evening.
    "You're not hurt, are you?"
  5. Judging by the looks on the twins' faces, Kalen would say they were MORE than willing to 'rough house' but for once he bit his damn tongue and didn't say the words that were so eager to spill from his lips. Instead he raised his own brow as she dusted him off, wondering what in the world she was doing. Then again...ah. She didn't realize what he was. That had to be it. She wouldn't get near him if she knew, of that Kalen was convinced, but he smiled a bit and took the offered fruit before taking a slight step back from the woman. He could feel the electric charge from her clearly enough, could smell it in the air and almost hear the crackling energy, and the last thing he needed right now was to be zapped.

    The twins seemed to feel the same as both Nathan and Derek watched their cousin warily and at that Kalen smirked, but shook his head, bringing his attention back to Adrienne. "Oh, I'm plenty hurt, but I'll heal quickly enough."

    "Adrienne, let's go." Nathan's patience was at an end and Derek gave his twin a warning look, but spoke as well. "Cousin, he's a Shifter. He'll be fine." It was true - of shape-shifters - that they healed rapidly when their forms changed and that's what Derek and Nathan assumed would happen with Kalen. They also wanted to make sure Adrienne understood just why she shouldn't be getting so friendly with this stranger.

    Kalen grinned and tilted his head, black hair brushing his equally as dark eyes as his gaze flickered to the two men, Adrienne and then the bustling market about them. All the while his body edged rather subtly around the hulking forms for the twins, that much closer to being able to dart away if he so wished it. Having an escape option was always crucial to Kalen and considering his life-style, it could be understood why he didn't like being confined.

    "Actually, that's only half-true, but by all means, continue making assumptions." He didn't really care if they were listening to him anymore or not. He just wanted to leave and would have, too, as he was now in the clear, if a thundering voice hadn't stopped him. "Kalen!" The black-haired male winced, tensed and peeked over his shoulder to see a blond man approaching, his entire aura speaking of strength and a strange nobility not found often in the world anymore. If Derek, Nathan and Adrienne knew anything about their history and the war going on, they'd know this was Alexander, the 'commander' of the shape-shifters and right-hand to the Leader of the Noven Family, Philip. He was a lion-based Shifter and he walked on neutral territory without fear despite many who would have loved to be rid of him.

    Kalen certainly looked like he wanted to be rid of him as Alexander approached and laid a heavy hand on the younger male's shoulder. His gold eyes looked over the three Gifted Human's with a guarded expression. "He has not been causing you trouble, has he?"

    It said a lot when the blond thought it was Kalen who'd caused the problem.
  6. At a loss for words, Adrienne stood frozen in place, looking between her cousins and the young man. She could hardly register what she'd just heard - a shapeshifter? Here? Her cousins were daft. You didn't just run in to shapeshifters at the market... but what he said seemed to confirm their venomous suspicions. Herself, she'd never seen one in person. Not that she knew of, anyway. Shrugging her cousins' hand away, she had leaned forward to peer intently at him when a loud voice caused everyone in the area to flinch slightly.
    The man here amused Adrienne and she could only envision herself in his shoes from the opposite angle, storming in and instantly assuming that Nathan and Derek were the root of the problem. She straightened, taking a half step away from this "Kalen", worried that being too close might be misconstrued as a threat. Before either of the twins could start more trouble than they could handle here, Adrienne loaded them down with the groceries and pointed out the alley.
    "Take those home, I'm going to get the last few things." There was no room for argument in her tone and neither wanted to be on the receiving end of her considerable disapproval, especially not with her holding the knowledge of them getting into fights while they were supposed to be helping and protecting her at the market. They shot one last look at the cheeky shifter and turned away with the potatoes and apples in hand as though they weighed nothing.
    Turning back to the new arrival, Adrienne allowed a smile to tug at her features. "Nothing more than a scuffle, I'm sure. Boys with too much energy and the world to prove have caused trouble since time began, so I'm hardly surprised. I'll leave you to take him home, though, he seemed plenty witty enough so I don't think he's been badly hurt at all." The blood feud did not always hold so strong when diluted by generations and the mild, bookish Marcus had much less interest than his older brother Evain in carrying on such old stories, so Adrienne knew only scraps of whispers heard here and there about shifters, allowing her to look with unclouded concern at Kalen.
  7. Alexander immediately liked the girl. He liked her spirit, level-headed way of dealing with the situation and her presence of command. Of course, he could not say such things, lest he offend the sensibilities of those who still kept the blood feud close to heart, those among his own people who still hated the Gifted Humans like the war had begun yesterday and not generations ago. Philip was one such person and though Alexander did his best to keep his Leader in line, it wasn't the easiest of jobs and made less so by the black-haired man who stood so silently in front and to the side of him.

    Kalen was his nephew, the child of his sister, but just as his sister had exasperated him, so did her son and while he had sworn to see the young man safe, it wasn't the most rewarding of jobs at the best of times. Now the gold-haired Shifter sighed and while he smiled a bit at the wild-curled woman, he also looked down at his kin with a raised brow. "Well?" Alexander wasn't the most eloquent of men and when he cared deeply for someone, he became even more unsure what to say. Emotions made him tongue-tied. Command didn't. It was obvious which he preferred as he often overlapped his soldier-like ways with the way he interacted domestically.

    Kalen looked up with a smirk, but his black eyes didn't reflect it nearly as well. "Fit as a fiddle." he lied through his teeth and his uncle's eyes narrowed, knowing he'd gotten that answer much too easily. Way too easily. "Kalen..."

    The younger male shrugged off the hand on his shoulder, tone containing a bit more snap this time. "I'm fine. It's not like I haven't been hit the stomach before." he pointed out nonchalantly and in truth that was what Kalen felt about it. He was used to hurt and therefore disregarded it. Or at least he thought he did. He ignored Alexander than and gave Adrienne his full attention and the most cheeky, winning, charming smile he possessed. "I do thank you for your concern, milady. 'Tis refreshing." He didn't speak to her out loud, his voice brushing into her head and his grin turned mischievous, black eyes looking at her through the same shade of hair, daring her to figure out the mystery in their depths.

    After all, Shifters didn't speak telepathically and Kalen loved to confuse people when it came to little details like that.
  8. Grateful that the ordeal would likely end in little more than sour and sulky looks from her cousins and perhaps a lecture from her uncle on how, as a family, they were all supposed to hate the same people, Adrienne had begun turning away with the assumption that the two of them would want their own time together. The older of the two who seemed to be in charge didn't appear to so much as cast a glance in her direction, which she supposed was fair given that her cousins had beaten the other man for the same offense as she visited upon him - existing. In truth, neither needed to thank her, she should still be thanking them for their willingness to let the boys off. Even she still knew well enough that this was supposed to be neutral ground.
    A fluttering voice in Adrienne's head whispered words and she spun to look Kalen in the eyes, her own wide open and staring. The smile on her lips had vanished, leaving her with a bewildered and off-guard expression. For a long moment, she said nothing, instead memorizing every detail that she could commit to memory, eyes darting over his jaw, to the cheekbones, all scribbled furiously in her mind like notes.
    "Who are you?" she finally asked sternly, after seconds that had seemed like years. She did not point this question purely at Kalen, Alexander was not exempt from her gaze in this. She had little to no experience with shifters, which was only slightly less than she had with magic though. Until several years ago, she hadn't even believed in that, which explained some of her reluctance to listen to her uncle murmur bedtime stories of shifters fighting fatal battles with handsome, righteous warrior humans with gifts of magic.
  9. "Kalen!" The warning was hissed, Alexander knowing very well what his nephew had done, but the black-haired male only smiled again, that wild mischief still in his gaze as he continued to watch Adrienne, studying her in much the same way she did him, appearing rather fascinated by her untamed curly hair. It made his smile take on something more amused than anything else and he wasn't even sure why.

    Alexander looked down at Kalen with a frown, aware that he was being ignored and he sighed, looking back at Adrienne and wondering how in the world he always ended up in situations like this with Kalen. Could the boy not just lie low and stay out of trouble like he was told? Would that really be so difficult? "I am Alexander Noven, Second to the Leader of the Noven Family. You have nothing to fear from me on neutral territory, child."

    Kalen snorted and rolled his eyes. "You don't have much to fear from him on the 'battle-field' either. My uncle doesn't like to fight girls."

    The elder glared down at the younger. "Unfortunately for you, you aren't one." The warning there was clear and Kalen winced. "Good point." His black eyes flickered back to Adrienne and he didn't appear the least bit concerned or embarrassed to be reprimanded in front of her. "I'm Kalen Black."

    "Kalen Noven." Alexander corrected automatically, as if he'd done it a hundred times before, and Kalen responded back in kind, not even looking to his uncle. "Technically it could be Kalen Thorpe, too. Let's stick with Black." He smiled disarmingly at Adrienne. "And you are?"
  10. The interplay between the two men drew a barely concealed smirk from Adrienne, though the words from Alexander were sobering in their own right. What little Adrienne knew about Shifters and old hatred was tied to that name. Noven. The assertion that she had nothing to fear, though, brought an amused shine back to her eyes. The pair didn't seem to hold any disdain for her and her stance eased, allowing them the same courtesy. They had, after all, done nothing to earn her ire.

    "My name? I'm Adrienne. Er, Thorpe, that is. Adrienne Thorpe" she shifted in place, making it clear that she wasn't sure how to introduce herself to them. Formally, as though she were reciting a family history? Informally and brief and seem as though she were trying to keep information from them? She bit her lip, warring with the decision, but was distracted by a sudden question that came to mind.

    "Shifters... Can you turn into anything? Or can you only turn into one thing?" She had never before thought of changing her form and the possibility for them to do so filled her with so much curiosity, she had all but forgotten her fretting over the proper way to introduce herself. Time seemed to still for her while she was talking to them, her intent focus drowning out the dull roar of the crowd at the market just outside of the alley. She'd all but forgotten about her cousins, or dinner, or the strained hope that the man would not share the information of his injuries with the wrong people. Instead, her wide-eyed gaze was trained intently on Kalen.
  11. Kalen found her intriguing. Normally when Shifters met Gifted, there was tension, suspicion and doubly so when they met him. Especially when things like this happened; his uncle introducing him one way and Kalen introducing himself another way. Halfbreeds of Shifters and Gifted were probably one of the rarest combinations of mythicals in the world right now because of this blood feud and Kalen wasn't looked on kindly for it by either side of his races. It was fun. Really.

    Adrienne, though, hardly seemed to have registered that and it made the halfbreed relax a little as she did, drawing a curious look from his uncle who rarely saw his nephew anything but tense and wary, even around him. This was interesting to observe and Alexander found himself wondering if it was because Adrienne was female...or was there something else going on? Oh, wait, there was the tension again. Considering the question, Alexander knew why it had come about, too. He started to answer, but his nephew beat him to it.

    Kalen's face had closed off a bit, the sarcastic glint back in his eyes as he pointed a thumb back at the blond still slightly behind him. "He can take the form of a lion and that's it. Other Shifters can take different forms and some Shifters can take more than one form, but I've never heard of a Shifter taking more than five forms. The norm is two and occasionally three." He completely ignored the fact that she'd probably want to know what his own form was and changed the subject, grinning. "So, you don't know much about this, do you? I'd be willing to bet you only realized you've got power of your own."

    She certainly didn't act like someone who knew their own abilities and was confident in them and her curiosity gave her away.
  12. Though intrigued by the idea of what Alexander could transform into and more than a little curious to see said transformation, Adrienne's attention was snapped back to Kalen and her cheeks flushed scarlet at his words. Was it so obvious that she was a late bloomer? That she seemed entirely ungifted until she was nearly grown while Marienne had been levitating tea cups for her imaginary friends since she was four. Normally, Adrienne was the leader of the groups, a teacher or a mentor, and though no one ever made her feel bad about it, she turned red all the way to the tips of her ears when it was mentioned.

    As much as Adrienne clearly wished to bury her face in the sand and never speak on this again with anyone, Kalen knew a lot about shifters, more than anyone would ever tell her before. She swallowed and looked down at her shoes, fingertips fussing with a loose string on the hem of her shirt while she struggled to continue the conversation despite her embarrassment.

    "It's that easy to tell, is it? I'm still learning a lot and I don't always know my own strength" a strained laugh, her eyes still gazing off as though there were something particularly interesting about the ground that she was determined to study. As if to prove something, to them or herself it couldn't be quite certain, a thin veneer of ice frosted the ground between her feet and Kalen's. Tendrils of frost formed delicate crystal patterns on his shoes and it made Adrienne feel better. Even lacking experience, she had something most of the others didn't and it bolstered her spirits. Control.

    "You didn't tell me, though, what you could turn into" she pointed out, lifting her chin to look at him suddenly. The conversation was cut short by the arrival of another figure, a girl half a head taller than Adrienne whose brown hair, while not wild with curls, still hung in loose waves. The girl seemed to remind Adrienne of where she was and gave perspective to the situation. Everyone must be waiting for her and she had no idea what her cousins had told everyone.

    "I'm glad I found you! Derek and Nathan told us that they'd lost sight of you while you were getting the carrots and they couldn't find you." Marienne's oblivious warmth elicited a smile of relief from Adrienne.
  13. At her question, Kalen only nodded, not feeling the need for a verbal answer and not interested in giving one. What did interest him, however, was ice frosting over his shoes and he looked at it with a delight no Shifter should show. Unfortunately, Adrienne wouldn't see that as he was looking down and his black hair hid his expression from her, but his uncle saw it and frowned, both concerned and uneasy about his nephew's reaction. It was hard enough standing up for the young male at the best of times but if Kalen started showing inclinations toward the Gifted...he didn't know how far his protection could extend for his late sister's son.

    Kalen's eyes snapped up at about the same time Adrienne's did, but the fleeting reluctance that passed across his face went unquestioned and he was saved having to answer the query he'd rather avoid by the sudden appearance of another female. Kalen tilted his head a little, nose working subtly to tell him that the two were related, but in what way...he could only guess. Sisters? Another cousin? Did it matter? Eh, not really. Not like he'd see either of them again.

    At the other female's words, though, the halfbreed couldn't help but snort softly and Alexandra smacked him lightly on the lower back, eliciting a wince from Kalen - a pained one; so fine, he hadn't been entirely truthful about all his injuries, big shock - but he shut up for once and the older Shifter looked the two women over before speaking, polite, but obviously wanting to end the conversation.

    "Well, we should probably let you to go as it is close to dinner time for everyone. It was nice to meet you, Adrienne Thorpe. You have my thanks for pulling this one out of trouble."

    Kalen rolled his eyes, really unaware of the sight he actually made with a bruise starting to form on his cheekbone and eye and a small trickle of dried blood at the corner of his mouth, not to mention his clothes were dirty and his shirt had torn. That was only the damage that could be seen. "I would have been fine. They'd have given up eventually."

    Alexander shook his head, eyes closing for a brief moment as if he prayed for patience and he didn't voice the retort at the time of his tongue. Before or after they killed you? No, that wouldn't do to say at all, especially in front of these Thorpe women. He opened his eyes and smiled in a slightly strained way at the two once more. "If you will excuse us." Without waiting for an affirmation, he grabbed Kalen's shirt at the should and pulled the young man after him even as Kalen smiled at Adrienne and waved a goodbye as if he wasn't being hauled off like an unruly teenager.

    "See you later!"
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