Log:The Shadow, Fox & Exiled Prince
|The Shadow, Fox & Exiled Prince|
What does the fox say?
3 January, 2020
The three of them meet in the Wayhouse, but Nuit is scared off early. Picky picky. Adithan and November have a fruitful conversation, and Adithan volunteers to create November's very first ritual.
Nuit sits in the corner of the main room, her back up against two walls. She has drawn the moving shadows that serve as a cloak over her knees, pulling them up toward her chin (what hazy appaerance of a chin there is). A trio of glowing lights, each colored a brilliant shade of cyan with streaks of silver through them bob in an agitated motion about her shoulders, drifting toward the wall and through the shadows that drift off her cloak ... and her. Her Wyrd has pooled about her feet in a mass of dark tendrils that rise slightly from the floor in a wary, guarded position.
That's why he's considerably more wrinkled when he comes into the Wayhouse, and has his mundu pulled up between car and door, and is wearing mukluks on bare feet. It somewhat ruins the image of the outfit -- a sky-blue silk kurta, embroidered in sunny yellow and gold at the collar, down the front, and at the cuffs and hem in a complicated floral design; that white mundu has a broad gold band at the edge, hanging down lengthwise with the wrap, and a pale yellow angavastram that's actually looped around his neck right now to avoid dragging in the mud. His shaggy mop of curly black hair is windblown and artlessly pretty, and there's a white rounded-V tilak on his forehead, breaking up the night sky of his face-- and, well, freakin' nerdy glasses. They don't go with the pointy ears or stupidly pretty face either.
"Hallo the house!" he calls from the mudroom as he steps out of the shuffly mukluks, then clacks barefoot over floorboards into the main room and drops the mundu to wrinkle around his clay ankles.
He stops short for the second time in a week. "Ah-- I am sorry? To intrude? On your -- ah -- tentacle session...?"
The voice is male, and the exclamation from farther back in the building comes an instant before something small, red and furry chortles its way down the hall, rolling over the carpet runner which protects the hardwood floor from too much wear and tear.
Also running, and running faster than the small red furry thing, comes a blur of much floofier blue, lunging, pouncing and rolling to a fluffy-tailed stop against Adithan's ankles. The Summer's Mantle promptly has Dawn to deal with, and while the form may be different, the feel of the Ancient's fickle power, the sense that -anything- could happen, for weal or woe, is quite the same. Her voice is a bit more of a purr, but still hers.
"Ah! Caught you." The small, red and furry thing proves to be a .. bouncy ball? It looks like a regular old large children's toy, now that she is holding it. November tosses it into thin air, disappearing it, and considers Adithan's ankles, the wrinkles there, then looks up at him from his feet with self-possession enough to make it seem totally reasonable for her to be there. A feather is brought out of thin air next, and, springing to her feet, she reaches up to tuck it in Adithan's hair with the announcement that, "Once you've counted backwards from twenty-seven by threes, your clothing will be clean and wrinkle-free."
Fairest-aid given, she bounds over toward Nuit with a cheerful, "Nuit, darling, have you met our prince?"
Then the blue thing is talking to her. Her tendrils of shadow recall in almost horror, before a single one quests out. "No... no... november?" Nuit stutters out in a voice that is surprisingly full of mealody with an almost (But not quite) enchanting quality that suggests 'good things' were it to be followed.
Seeming to come to the conclusion that the blue furred beast of energy and flashing objects is indeed November, Nuit's form strengthens, becoming a little less hazy and outline and a bit more actual being. "No..." She says in an even softer voice than the first, in answer to the question
Amusingly, one of the little orbs of light remains, banging against the wall where Nuit was a moment ago... and realizing its anchor is not there anymore, the little thing turns a sudden shade of crimson streaked with purple, before buzzing out the door...
--and then she's up on her feet suddenly and giving him another gift. Instead of his usual attempt at gravity, he actually actively bounces on his heels and practically crows. "Ahh, thank you! Twenty-seven," he starts, except then she's introducing him to the person with the shadowy tentacle pool by the wall, and he cuts himself off and brings his hands together under his chin, bowing slightly and quickly in greeting. "Namaskaram," he says cheerfully after the 'no', and starts to say "Adit--" and Nuit literally just dissipates.
Adi stares, then blinks at November. "Perhaps she disapproves of royalty, even the crownless sort."
"She is shy, and I was loud. I am not surprised, though I confess myself disappointed." Twirling in place with a swirly floof of tails which seem far more numerous during the twirl than after it, the Ancient seems carefree, thoroughly at ease in her own skin, and drapes herself backward over the back of the couch, soft-fluff belly facing the ceiling. "I wanted to wear different flesh today," she announces, "and this seemed appropriate." Granted, HER blue is not quite the same as the blues used for his deities, but it's still blue, and the kitsune is...weeeeellll... Suffice it to say that it's a good thing so few people pay attention to the unspoken cues declaring her form of divinity. "Do you know my favourite thing about having fur?"
He does, in fact, clack across the room to drop onto the couch by November, despite his comment about shedding. "Or being warm and fuzzy?" Every time she sees him, he's more at ease with her, and there's such joy in it-- like her strange and frequently overwhelming Presence is a comfort to him, rather than the wariness it engenders in some. He is lucky that the holy books portray all of his gods as people, and that he was reminded so thoroughly over the past year how one actually behaves toward a god--
Her floofy tails take up part of a cushion all their own. Sometimes there are three. Sometimes there are five, or seven, or...
Adi says reasonably, "That makes sense." He reaches up to take the feather from his hair and twirl it between his fingers, examining it with his usual absently split attention. And then he says more quietly, maybe a little sheepishly, and looks at her sidelong from behind nerdyspecs, "I do not touch many people. It is a habit from when I was very small. I am sorry if you have been disappointed that I in particular have not." A beat, and a crooked grin. "Mind, I do not think that is the case, but on the off chance--"
Drawing a tail up into her lap to fiddle with the floof factor, flopping the tip back and forth and stroking the fur, she muses, "Of course, at that point I was at the brink, and every step farther...mmm...it suits my purposes to be a distant icy authority." Grinning a fangy, vulpine grin, she allows, "With most. You are special."
Something dawns on the prince, then, that isn't November's mantle or a rising blush on his face. He turns to look at the fuzzy tailful blue fox-goddess, a look of almost comical startlement on his face. "I say I do not touch many people, but just tonight, I did not even notice. Well!"
Still surprised, he laughs once, then shakes his head. "Well. If you wish me to lean on you when you are ice and I am tired and Kelsey is not there to lean on instead, then I shall. But Kelsey has priority as Kelsey is my OTP."
A tail slides sideways to lightly thwap the side of his thigh, making its presence known.
The tailthwap acts conveniently as a reasonable facsimile of ctrl-alt-del, and he straightens up and pets it absently because it's fuzzy and present, and he tilts his head. "I am sorry, I do not quite-- normally I am able to work past the usual elemental difficulties, and I think this may be one of them, and I cannot seem to work past it this time. How did you get from leaning to muscles? I am not-- I think if you explain that to me then I will understand where massage came from, and quiet my unfounded anxiety."
He's a little embarrassed, and yes, a little anxious, but it's not the same kind of anxious as he'd ever displayed with her in the past. He's not physically uncomfortable, but the echoes of it are at the edges, belonging to a reaction to something long ago that has nothing to do with November. It's not dulled by time, it's half-forcibly dulled with trust-- but the colors are shifting toward the patterns she's seen in him when he wants desperately to get away from someone who's too interested in touching him.
She points at another spot, finger dragging that pinky-red flashy contact with it, and mimics petting something in the air, illusory floof even floofier than the real fur. "Contact. Physical contact. Leaning is contact, which I lack; people do not touch me, but when circumstances allow...oh, I enjoy it -very- much. I do not -ask- for touch, I do not insist, but it is pleasure as a sunrise on a clear winter morning is pleasure, beauty as the last starlit song of a nightingale is beauty."
Considering the fact that she's pretty much only wearing fur, she looks down at herself, looks at his clothes, then points out, "I do not suffer from the human compulsion to equate nudity, or intimacy, comradeship, with sexuality. You are Kelsey's, no?" Because OTP is important. Her entire carriage, posture, expression, tone, all of it expresses that single thought without saying a word.
A beat. "I mean, it is not you that is the ultimate cause of that reaction."
Yup. So innocent and fluffy and sweet and adorable. Everyone should believe her!
Suddenly he looks thoughtful, and draws his hand up to his chin, then briefly over his mouth, eyebrows furrowed. Slowly he says, "I have an idea. I will need to pray to my family's goddess for clarity in it, but--"
Adithan, once more absently, moves to pet a tail or two or six while he speaks, and it's not quite a storyteller's tone, nor an instructor's, that he takes: "When I was a child, my cousins and I had to endure ritual cleansing, at least several times per day, and lasting for hours on holy days. I say endure because we were children and it was boring and we were not especially people for it. It involved an extensively methodical bath, ridiculously complicated treatment of hair, and a saffron oil massage. I remember every step in dreadfully clear detail, and I am certain I can look up which herbs to use in what parts. The detail of it, the steps, none of that is Hers, and She could not take that from me. I believe I can gift it to you."
He pauses and says teasingly, "Of course, I shall have to do a test run on Kelsey beforehand. They are the most incredible hedonist and would be quite put out if I did this for you and not them."
Because she would. Really, life is much better when gods -don't- feel the need to meddle.
She listens to the rest, however, with growing interest, perking up at the prospect of enduring all manner of ritual pamperings. That a test run must be performed on Kelsey is immaterial, furred fingers sweeping the matter away with fluid grace. "Of course. Hedonism is a vice I suffer from myself, when it is convenient to do so. Yrrh finds it execrable, but rolling about in snowbanks in the nude to feel thousands of snowflakes tickling one's body isn't his idea of fun."
That-- this-- this is finally a gift that's good enough for the goddess who gave him what he needed to begin to grow up.