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Black Rain



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"Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit." (Dune, by Frank Herbert)

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« Thread started on: May 8th, 2013, 12:05am »

(For FR)

There was the familiar sound of water, the constant, damp dripping from somewhere unseen in the darkness. It hadn't rained in days, yet the steady cadence continued. At the back of the small cavern, shrouded in the pitch, lay a wolf on its side. His brilliant emerald eyes were all that could be seen, staring a small dot of sunshine on the floor of the small cave. The yellow spot illuminated a portion of an intricately carved arch on the flat stone flooring, its position telling the watching wolf that it was a few hours until sundown. This was the third time he had tracked the illuminated circle across the arch since he had come back, no sleep and hardly a muscle moved since the start. Perhaps it was a sign of madness for most, but the brute was highly accustomed to little sleep and stillness. It had been a part of his life since... since the time he chose not to think about.

There was no need for his sundial anymore, not since the sunlight lost its power over him. That had been a thrill at first, his world seeming to open once again. He had made the most of it, traveled to many places he had only dreamed of seeing in the daylight, but the thrill hadn't lasted very long. Every since that cursed war something was missing. He knew exactly what that something was; or rather, who. But she was busy. Being the primary healer of her pack, Nibelheim's time was precious and tightly bound up. He supposed it had taken quite a while to sort through the damage of the war, that war he had heard about far too late. The killer of it was, he had felt it. Felt her panic and worry at the time of the attack. He just hadn't understood what was happening. Not at the time, at least. Sometimes, blessing took a while to understand and focus. But still...

The lean brute took a deep breath, letting it out slowly in a hissing sigh. What was he doing here? Why was he in this cave waiting out another day? He'd been here for nearly a month straight, venturing out once or twice a week to feed. But that was it. Angelus did not understand his own desire to lurk here in the darkness, couldn't fathom why every time he walked out the mouth of the cave his chest tightened dangerously. He recognized his experience as anxiety, knew the signs and hormonal scents from stalking his prey. But, by the heavens, he did not understand why this was happening to him.

And why he refused to leave during daylight at all? Well, he supposed that was attached to some sort of nostalgia. At least that seemed simple enough to grasp.
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« Reply #1 on: May 9th, 2013, 5:11pm »

She had been busy, and she couldn’t say she didn’t like it, but it also was keeping her away. The war had provided much work for her, Wild Fire, Cross Fire and many other young and old fighters for Ice. There was so much, she healed those not even from their lands, one was even on Wind Gale. It was terrible, the whole war was and since then she had been working with Paladin establishing the little land of Haven and setting it up. It had been hard work there and training there was just so much to do. Paladin was a boy who had come to Ice to find his mother, she didn’t know much about why he had been there to begin with save that. He was the most innocent light hearted boy ever. Nibelheim respected so much about him, even if he was younger. Still she would always belong to Ice. Haven had become a land of nothing but peace and harmony. Anyone was welcome there, and lately she had been treating Ouka. It was hard… It really was, Ouka didn’t speak much anymore but her eye, there had been nothing she could do for the red and white fem.

Today though Ouka had left healed up and ready to get on her way, and Nibelheim was desperate to go looking for him. Angel. It had been so long since she had seen him, and did she miss him. The vampire long ago had saved her, and Nibel had never forgotten it. Really she wondered if she annoyed him, she still kept coming to see how he was doing. The last time she had seen him he was in the sun! Everything was going great for the black and white marked male. She wondered if he was still around, she had learned how to get rid of vampirism, but she couldn’t do it, nor was she sure she wanted to tell him. Did he already know? Her tail flicked lightly moving through the forest, her long trailing fur like whisps behind her. She was looking for a very specific spot, the little cave he always held himself in. She wasn’t sure if he still did stay, after being able go out in the sun he could do anything he wanted, just like a normal wolf. Normal wolf. She didn’t want to think of him as abnormal, he was normal, he really was, he just had a bit of a different diet of sorts. Otherwise Angelus sort of reminded her of Wild Fire or really, any of the other equally stubborn warriors of Ice.

The slate, white and brown fem knew she was drawing near, she could smell the musk of his scent in the area. He was here? Oh she felt so elated to know he was so close! But why hadn’t he gone? He could go anywhere he wanted to now. She didn’t hesitate to crawl slowly down into the wet cave, she was trying to stay calm but she was excited to see him, and his scent, there was undoubtedly here.

“Angelus?” Nibel’s bell like tones called in, her bright sky eyes landing on the black brute. “Oh Angelus you are here! I am so happy to see you!” Her tail waved lightly as she moved toward him, “What are you still doing here? Aweful silly of you to stay when it is such a nice day.” She had always been cheerful, she wondered if he had made any other friends since he could go out now, wondered what had changed. Surely a lot could in the time that had elapsed since she had last visited with him.
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« Reply #2 on: May 9th, 2013, 5:52pm »

In the quiet of solitude, the black brute had crashed. This was a normal thing for Angel, going days on end without sleeping until his body simply shut off on its own. Contrary to the popular belief, vampires really did sleep... normally. But the black and white brute was somewhat of an anomaly, going such long stretches without a wink and sometimes unable to acknowledge the times when he did, in fact, black out and pass out. Sometimes it felt more like a lapse in concentration, like a simple momentary daydream and still he wondered if he'd ever really slept. But as the fem entered his cave, completely ignoring the musky scent of deadly predator that kept most living creatures away, Angelus lay almost peacefully on the cold floor of the cave, his breathing steady and gentle and eyes closed and peaceful. That is, until Nibel's voice rang sharply through the damp air.

Jarred awake, Angel was on his paws in a flash, the white diamond patch of fur on his neck standing straight and long canines bared in a snarl. The brute's breathing with quick, heart pounding from a mixture of adrenaline and exhaustion that might be deadly if his body wasn't so used to running off it. Her words passed by almost unnoticed, a slightly painful ringing running through his head at the sudden burst of awareness. The brute back up a couple steps, his rear hitting the back wall of the small cavern, and shook his head violently. That only made it worse, though, and he jammed his emerald eyes shut against the noise. Really, he had never been woken up from a sudden crash, so he had never had to deal with this before.

The brute stole a glance at Nibelheim before squeezing his eyes shut against the migraine, face contorted in pain and mild disorientation. "Ah.. um," the brute managed, his brain still not quite to terms with the fem's sudden appearance. Another quick glance her way confirmed that this was real, that the tri-colored wolfess was indeed on his doorstep. The tall brute tilted his head and tried to force a pleasant smile on his face, but manage more of a reluctant grimace. "You're here," he stated, no real excitement in his voice. The migraine was overriding what limited possession of expression he owned, making his voice sound a bit flat. "You're actually here."

As much timed had passed since their last encounter, almost nothing had changed for the solitary vampire. If anything, even with all his new found freedom, the brute had regressed in Nibel's absence. For a short time, he had traveled about, enjoying the sunlight after going so long without, but the novelty wore off and he'd returned to the natural state of things. Well... natural for him. Brood in the darkness, eat and sleep on extreme occasion. It was probably a sick, masochistic thing to do, but it was really all Angel had known for the better part of his life. There was some comfort in repetition, considering he couldn't not be sure the fem would ever return. And if she did... well, he knew where she would look first. So, his mind had rationalized the regression much more that it probably should have.

The sharp ring began to die down and the brute forced himself to take a few slow breaths to calm his racing heart. When he opened his eyes, the black brute fixed his emerald stare on the fem, sharp and predatory. His nostrils flared, smelling the copper and iron scent of her life running under her skin. He hadn't fed in days, another really bad habit he'd returned to, and she was utterly intoxicating. The brute clenched his jaws tightly shut, growling moodily to himself in a refusal to give in to his horrible instinct. He gave his head another brisk shake, this time without pain, and set his eyes on the moist cavern floor in a haughty, brooding stare.

"It... it's sunny out," Angel managed to answer after a long moment, voice flat and matter-of-fact. It was a poor answer, he knew, considering the fact that he could just as easily walk out in the daylight as she could. But, again, somewhere in that dysfunctional mind of his, the one that just seemed to quit working in her absence, it made perfect sense. He could not go out in the sun because he was a vampire, because he was a monster. For a long time, that fact had ruled over his life, and now it was back almost voluntarily.
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« Reply #3 on: May 11th, 2013, 01:16am »

Nibel couldn’t help but think he wasn’t that excited to see her. She watched as he jumped up, hitting his head and shaking about, staring her down. The mostly grey wolfess’ visage struggled to stay that normally happy look as she looked into the very emotionless gaze that she had thought used to light up when he had seen her. Least, that was before everything that had happened. How he had greeted her in the past had never been exactly openly cheerful but it wasn’t exactly as morose as he was sounding now. Did she do something wrong, well save from apparently jarring him awake? She had thought no matter what the brute would have been happy. Well she guess she was wrong. Her face fell only slightly at his words, he sounded so defeated or something, how he said them slow like he was actually surprised but not happy about her being her.

“I-I’m sorry, Angelus. I didn’t mean to surprise you, or take so long to get here, I was just excited to see you again.” Her tones were very noticeably subdued now, and she struggled to keep everything else moving in a normal fashion. Still she couldn’t help but wonder why he was here and why he was keeping himself pinned up. Had he known she would come looking for him here first? By the looks of it he didn’t even want her company, and that stung her slightly. It never stopped her before though, hadn’t he tired to chase her off? She wasn’t leaving, he liked it or not she would stay and talk to him as she always had.

Still as he closed his eyes and opened them again she could see the feral sharpness to him, the hunter the vampire. She wanted to tell him what all she had learned while she was away, and it had been a bit during her brief periods of study. As fast as it was there though he seemed to shake it off. The slits for pupils larger but he had his gaze steadily fixed away from her. He must not have eaten. She knew him well enough to know what he got like when he hadn’t for some time. “Angelus why don’t we go hunt together? We never have before, you know? It would be fun, you don’t have to stay in here anymore during the day and you know it.” She sounded surprisingly like Flaming Rose she thought, the firm scolding tones of a mother, though Nibel had never been one. It was also much like her own mother, she had never seen her own mother Rei be rough towards anyone a day in her life.

“Please?” She asked her tail waving, “We never have done anything together, I could do with some food too, always nice to have a big male help.” She didn’t want to move closer to him, but she didn’t want him brooding either. She was so confused to why he was held up in here for. “I can tell you about everything that happened while I was gone and what I learned while we eat lunch?” She wasn’t sure if this would go anywhere for him, but she really hoped he would. Nibelheim had been wanting to visit him here for a long time and she wasn’t about to leave here empty pawed either.
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« Reply #4 on: May 11th, 2013, 02:13am »

Sharp emerald eyes studied the fem as she watched him recovering from the panic attack brought on from suddenly being woken up. As her face visibly fell, the black brute felt the another pain in his chest altogether different from the strain of adrenaline. He didn't want her to be sad. Why was she sad? Angel's quick mind ran through a deduction process, replaying the whole exchange in fast-forward while he stared idly at the tri-colored fem before him. He was far too tired to really multi-task, and so, though he recognized that she was speaking to him, the tall brute completely missed the first part of her words while he was busy trying to figure out what happened to make her sad. Eventually, though, he found his answer.

Of course she would be sad. She comes to find him after, how long? He couldn't remember exactly how long he'd been waiting for her. But when she finally does show up, all happy to see him, he jumped up, growled, and probably looked quite disgruntled. It didn't matter that he was mad at his migraine; she had taken the whole act as displeasure for her appearance. He shook his head quickly, feeling rather stupid. It didn't make him feel any better that shaking his head brought back a wave of headache. What an annoyance, for a body to react to such normal things with such violent assault.

Eyes narrowed in confusion on a spot somewhere just passed the wolfess as the black brute's brain finally snapped back to the present. Her voice seemed suddenly loud in his ears as she scolded him in a soft tone, telling him that he could, in fact, go out during the daytime. Well, yes, he knew that. But... Well, he had forgotten the point to staying in during the day, but it was just so easy, so normal for him after so long. She was right, though, and some part of him sank guiltily inside his chest though his stare was just as numbingly void as before. Even with the strange, strangled air between them, some sick part of wolf's conscious was just thrilled to have her here scolding him for staying hungry again. The same part of him that had forced himself back into a nocturnal cycle with little food and sleep was so happy to have its old game back, the one where the pretty fem showed up and told him what to do. Really, it was probably a sign of settling insanity. After so much time alone, it was almost to be expected.

Angelus' paws responded to the fem before he could mange a reply, picking up the tall, skinny brute and jogging him stiffly toward the mouth of the cave. He stopped suddenly, though, claws skittering on the hard cave floor just before the dot of sunlight along his sundial. Once again, his heart began to race, some strange sort of panic enveloping him. He silently cursed at himself, just a small, low growl escaping as he glared at the spot of light in front of his toes. Still glaring icily at the bit of sun, the brute skirted around it slowly, the white diamond of fur along his neck raised this time out of annoyance with himself. He knew his reactions to such things were uncalled for, but for some reason, they still happened.

Angel walked, now, to the mouth of the cave, stopping where the shadows met the sunlight to look over his shoulder and into the darkness. He closed his eyes, a pained expression on his face. Why was he doing this to her? Why couldn't he just be normal for once? Just say normal things like, 'I'm glad to see you,' and, 'How have you been?' It was absolutely absurd that he could internally scold himself for these things, yet couldn't make himself actually do them. He opened his emerald eyes and fixed them on the fem he'd just jogged passed with no explanation and gave a sigh. What was wrong with him? The brute licked his chops, trying to sort through his messy brain for something at least slightly appropriate to say.

"I-I missed you," Angel managed a bit thickly, his tired eyes a little softer on the girl than they had been before. His head dropped slightly at an attempt to look pleading, though the fur still hadn't settled on his spine. He just looked tired and beaten... and a bit malnourished.
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« Reply #5 on: May 11th, 2013, 2:12pm »

Nibelheim was still a bit sad, but she would take it in stride. Maybe he was mad at her for being gone so long. She couldn’t exactly blame him, it had been so long and surely he had been waiting on her, lonely. She frowned, she should have tried to come sooner, she could have tried harder to get away. They could have gotten along without her but she was worried about her patients. If she knew about his migraine she would have helped him, there were herbs and even her skill with some of the blessings could help dull pain and she would have happily helped him. He looked bothered to her, but seeing as it was an inner pain and only made him look angry she had no way of telling his ailments.

His expression went from frustrated to confused though. She wasn’t sure what was going through his mind and wished that she was like Flaming Rose and Black Rain with bond. From what she gathered they could have whole entire conversations in their mind, and could read each other’s thoughts and feelings like an open book. It was probably a very intimate sort of relationship, and probably not something to be done lightly. That much she was certain, but a peak into the black brute’s mind would have been helpful.

He responded to her though, not with words but he rose up as she asked him to go out and hunt. She guessed that it was that and he wasn’t just running away. She smiled turning to follow him, stopping suddenly as he did and watching him stare at the sunny dot. She was about to say his name when he growled and pushed through the sun. In light he looked a bit worse for wear, his fur was not sleek and shiny meaning he hadn’t been eating well and perhaps hadn’t bathed in sometime, and beneath it she could see a definite curve around his hips that should have never been visible. He had not been taking good care of himself. Clearly she needed to keep a closer eye on him then she had been. As a healer it was her business to take care of those who were injured or unhealthy.

Nibel had never considered his vampirism as a health issue, but him not eating certainly was. Her mind moved, a frown creasing her maw knowing there was only one solution to it. Again, she knew she never could do it with her own fangs, she was worried. Sometimes those that were not capable of being brought back. Flaming Rose’s passed pups had been prime examples, for if she could have done it, she would have. If he died, would she be capable to bring him back to life? That scared her more than anything.

His soft words caught her off guard, but a smile touched her maw as she followed him out. “I missed you too, Angelus, I have been thinking about you non-stop even when I was busy.” She led the way a bit further into the woods, “I was worried about you. I’m really sorry I couldn’t have come sooner to visit, but I will try to more now that things are quiet, okay?” Her voice was soft-spoken, she still was not sure if he was happy with her or not, but saying he had missed her made her heart flutter slightly. So he had missed her. It made her feel terrible for leaving him alone for so long. He needed a friend, like a dragon or gryphon to keep him company when she was not around. Usually though you did not just find dragon eggs laying about unclaimed by a parent or another creature of the mountain.

Nibel dared to draw near and push him with her shoulder, “We will get something for you, don’t worry, together we can get something big like a buck no problem! That would be good right?” She continued on tail waving about. She remembered when they had talked about his diet, how prey blood was not so good as another predator’s she had never asked him if he had killed another wolf, knowing that the answer was likely ‘yes’. She couldn’t bring herself to help him track another of their kind down, really she couldn’t at all. If he had she would have to do something to help, it was her nature, it compelled her to always help kin in need.
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« Reply #6 on: May 11th, 2013, 8:52pm »

Nibelheim's reply made the corners of the brute's mouth twitch, the closest thing to a smile he'd had in a long time. Part of his weary mind register the fact that she was worried about him and wondered on why. Had she suspected he would do precisely what he had? Or did she think that, because he hadn't gone to seek her out, he had maybe died? He wasn't entirely sure what to make about the statement, unable to follow her train of thought. Her the healer and him the monster, Angel doubted he would ever fully understand the wolfess... or vise versa. They were worlds apart in all but the literal sense, and yet they continued to come together and clash magnificently. He needed her, as different as they were. She helped him hold on to the bit of him that was still normal, the part that he often forgot existed when she wasn't around. It was for that reason above all others that he had regressed so badly in her absence.

There was a piece of the black wolf's conscious that was still against the idea of hunting with the tri-colored fem, that part of him that fought to keep her world far away from his for her own safety. But he was tired, fatigued from malnourishment and very much hungry. Weary emerald eyes held the only bit of protest he could muster, though he physically submitted. Following Nibel out into the sunlight, Angelus cringed instinctively, his skinny body tensing uncontrollably. He squinted up at the sun for a moment, body paused in a low posture, before scurrying forward a few steps before resuming a normal, languid jog. When the fem bumped him with her shoulder, Angel flinched with a wide-eyed confusion on his face. But she appeared to be of good humor, just another thing he wasn't about ready to understand yet.

"The bears are awake," the black and white marked brute suggested flatly, giving his over dry, tousled fur a rough shake. Due to the lack of steady nutrition, he seemed several shade duller in the sunlight than he should have and flaky dandruff dusted his back lightly. He certainly felt as crummy as he looked, though he'd adjusted to his current state as the new "normal" months ago. Emerald eyes glanced over to the fem quickly, trying to gauge her reaction. Angel knew he didn't exactly look like he was in any shape to hunt a kitten, let alone a bear, but looks could be deceiving. But a bear would be more satisfying that a buck or doe. He wasn't sure how Nibelheim felt about hunting outside of herbivorous creatures as it wasn't common for most wolves. Of course, nothing would be better for him than a fresh, healthy canine... but he could never bring himself to feed on his own kind willingly. There had once been a time, long ago when he was newly turned, when he couldn't control his urges. But thankfully, that was long passed.
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