Log:The Shadow, Fox & Exiled Prince

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The Shadow, Fox & Exiled Prince

What does the fox say?


Adithan, November, Nuit

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.


MT07 Wayhouse

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.

It's not hideously cold out, and it's not even windy-- heck it's above freezing-- but it's damp, and damp cold is just mean. The roads are gross, slipslidey from melt and mud and slush, and while Adi generally does not mind walking anywhere, he didn't actually bring the pretty pretty silk slippers that make the first clause of separation so hilarious to not spend glamour on, and besides, his mundu is white.

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...?"

      "Don't let it get away!"

      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?"

Nuit shrinks back, digging further into the corner at the appearance of someone ... else. add to that a very sudden commotion of ... red? blue? Nuit goes almost transparent. Her form is cloaked in the shadows that make her cloak, her armor, but her long fingers and her head become a faint outline of mist that suggests the presence of someone there The three orbs of light whirl about her shoulders faster, practically bouncing off the wall to reverse direction, turning a bright silver shade.

      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

It seems, that, despite the recognition, the change and the chaos is too much for Nuit. Fog suddenly bursts forth from inside her cloak, blanketing the room and drifting out into the street. It clears within a moment... but there is no Nuit.

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...

"Oh no, what are you chas--" is all Adi has time to get out before he's collided with and suddenly has a blue Foxvember on his feet with a furball-thing, and he opens and closes his mouth, then cracks up. "You have created another very recalcitrant bouncy ball, and the world shall never be the same~!" he singsongs as November looks up at him, and his smile is so bright, and so pleased--

--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."

      It is, indeed, November! Those sharp teethies flash in a swift and unintentionally predatory grin as she agrees, "Yes, though I suppose I could collect more appellations." Nuit's subsequent disappearance prompts a flicker-flatten of disappointed ears, but those perk up soon enough, and she sidesteps around Adi to ensure that Nuit closed the doors on her precipitous way out of the building. She is a responsible rainbow. Er. Fox. Blue thing.

      "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?"

"Twenty-seven twenty-four twenty-one eighteen fifteen twelve nine six three nought shedding on people?" Adithan counts down ridiculously quickly, answering the question at the end of it without stopping, and then glances down at his clothes and squeaks in delight. "Ahh--! Hooray!"

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--

      November flourishes a bow when the living artwork's garments are put to rights, though she doesn't bother to stand up while doing so. It's an upside-down sort of flourish, followed by a wriggle, a slouch and a flop to get herself head-first onto the couch. She squirms then, shameless, and arranges herself at her ease while answering, "People are willing to -touch- me." As an afterthought, she adds, "I ensured I would not shed. It is not wise to leave hairs lying about where others can collect them. The Blood of Mictecacihuatl, a death goddess I knew in Maine--" because doesn't everyone meet Aztec death deities in coastal Maine? "--used to attempt to steal mine. She changed faces far more often than I."

      Her floofy tails take up part of a cushion all their own. Sometimes there are three. Sometimes there are five, or seven, or...

Adi cheerfully makes room for November to flail on her way down if she should so choose, and her answer lifts his brows. "Ahhh." And then as to why she doesn't shed-- and really? An Aztec death goddess in coastal Maine? Well...

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--"

      "A gewgaw. Not a terribly dignified one, I'll grant, but very effective." She tips her head toward the feather, interjection frank and casually spoken. "When I was...mm...less of myself, I was touched more." Still frank, she lounges at her ease, idly wiggling her toes. "It was the cold that changed it. Even among our kind, there are very few who find it comforting to rest against ice."

      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."

"Ah, I am certain you must say that to all the crown princes of Travancore in the entire state," Adi says with mock sadness, a wooden hand over his heart. Then he fixes the feather carefully back in his hair-- after, of course, hugging it-- and drops his hands in his lap with a soft wooden 'tok'. "That is a terrible excuse," he says after a moment's thought, "not to touch you, though. There are ways around the discomfort of cold to the warm-blooded! At least it suits your purposes."

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."

      Solemn, as is only appropriate, the tricksy fox agrees, "Yes. Sadly, the other princes are ungodly creatures who would never bring me pretty stones and statues." Ears half-flattened in mock sorrow, she pets the floof some more, smoothing out the fur of her tail, then points out, "Should you ever be inclined toward pampering a deity, I most assuredly would not mind." Sky blue eyes, amused, rest on Adi's face as she admits, "I'm not entirely certain I even -have- muscles when I'm myself. Getting a decent massage is pointless."

      A tail slides sideways to lightly thwap the side of his thigh, making its presence known.

The corner of the prince's mouth quirks and he tries to smush it down at November's ungodly creatures response; he clearly enjoys it on several levels. Then since he's already leaning forward and resting on his elbows, he half-twists to lean his head on one fist, regarding November. She can actually see his train derail, visibly, because he's not just blankfaced confused, his stars and constellations start sort of wheeling without settling on anything. He's not following. He cannot get from point A to point 5.

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.

      November tilts her head, ears turning to face him, and blinks twice before straightening to wordlessly assume the posture and stance of an instructor. She points at a blank patch of air, whereupon a blinky dot appears. The dot, once she's sure he's paying attention, is replaced by two figures: a stick figure which is wearing Adithan's clothes leans on a blue floaty fox, with the point of contact flashing a bright neon pinky-red.

      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.

The second November names it, half of the burgeoning full-body flinch dissipates, and the more she explains, the more it bleeds away. By the time she's gotten to Kelsey, he's already nodding; the encroaching patterns of approaching discomfort have vanished, and even his stars have stopped swirling in confusion. He looks-- well. Definitely sheepish. "Yes." His hands still, where he'd begun rubbing at the knot at the base of his thumb with his other thumb, and his shoulders never quite got the chance to tense fully in the first place. "I am sorry. I knew that, but I needed to hear it. It is most emphatically not you."

A beat. "I mean, it is not you that is the ultimate cause of that reaction."

      November reaches out, the soft, thick 'pad'-like skin of her fingertips brushing his shoulder in brief reassurance. "I mean you no harm. Flirtation is a game, only. I enjoy the play, the back and forth, but I would not place myself between you and the ones you love." She pauses, an ear flicking, then adds a more scrupulously honest, "Not for -that- reason," before giving the darling prince a brilliant smile. Oh, how many tails she has -now-...

      Yup. So innocent and fluffy and sweet and adorable. Everyone should believe her!

And there, Adi reaches his opposite hand up to lay it just as briefly over November's, and his starry eyes are fond and apologetic behind his silly glasses. "I do know that, Lady." And then as his hand falls again, he looks rueful and amused, both. "Thank you for that," he laughs. "I do trust that if you came between myself and Kelsey, it would be because something had gone horribly wrong that we could not fix on our own, and you would be doing it to help. I also hope dearly that things do not go that badly wrong."

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."

      Flicking an ear toward a sound deeper within the Wayhouse, November tilts her head to consider matters, then agrees, "Yes. I hope that matters do not go so badly wrong for you that I would intervene."

      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."

"Can he feel thousands individually?" Adi asks with interest, then lightly whacks himself in the forehead. "They would melt either way, I expect," he answers himself, rolling his eyes. "Anyroad, I shall need to invent a ritual for you, as the only ones I know belong to Lord Vishnu and Lady Bhagavathi. It will take a little while, as I am obviously quite particular. But I believe it shall be worth the wait."

      "Yrrh? No. The feathers, they get in the way." Poor crow, dismissed so easily. "I am colder than the snow; it does not melt." Obviously not -now-. In this body, she's warm and soft and sneaks closer to share that warmth, cheek rubbed over the man's shoulder in a very feline fashion the instant before she springs up and does a twirl, tails multiplying in their odd relationship with physics and anatomy. "I've faith in your dedication," she assures, and, excited, adds, "Yours will be my first ritual. There's power in that. You'll inform me of which flesh you would like me to wear, yes?" She gestures toward herself, her foxiness, then laughs merrily and darts toward the stairs. "I will wait. Until we meet again."

Adithan looks-- really ridiculously pleased, actually. He's in the process of lifting a hand again to react to cheek-rub-on-shoulder, and laughs when she springs and twirls away. He stands, too, and her excitement-- that's what really, really makes this important. "I shall!" he tells her, grinning like it could break his face in half. "Good night, Lady November."

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.