Tuesday, July 20, 2010

[RP] Vacation! Part 4 [PG-13 for VIOLENCE!]

Ysani moved even faster now that she was on the firmly-packed earth of the jungle trail, and soon she was out of sight along the meandering path. Hammaryn stomped up the trail behind her. "Ysani! Don't run ahead like that." There was no answer. "Ysani?" Hammaryn started running up the trail, ditching her sandals along the path. Eventually the trail opened up into a small clearing.

"Check it out! There's a cave over here!" Ysani called out from the mouth of said cave, one hand on the stone as she peered into the darkness beyond. Her voice echoed off the mossy limestone walls and made her laugh. A chorus of giggles bubbled back at her as she started to head inside. "Awesome."

"Be careful!" Hammaryn yelled, stumbling up the path to Ysani. "You don't know what could be in there." She reached the top of the path and promptly grabbed Ysani by the ponytail, yanking her back from the cave mouth and halting her launch directly into the unknown.

"HRRK," went Ysani.

Hammaryn put her hands on her hips. "Ysani, if you ever run off like that again, by the Light I will..." She was almost visibly fuming. "Something terrible could have happened to you! We're on a strange island in the middle of nowhere, you can't just go wandering off into random caves!"

Ysani's head drooped and she toed the dirt with a glum expression on her face. "Yes, ma'am."

"Now let's head back down to the beach."

"Awww, c'mon. It could be a really neat cave, and it doesn't smell like there've been animals in it or anything. If it's clear we could set up a camp here and make a bonfire tonight." Ysani smiled at Hammaryn and tugged on her sleeve. "C'mon c'mon!"

Hammaryn's lip turned up in what looked like a snarl. She took a very large swig from her bottle of rum. "Fine."

"Yay!" Ysani dropped her stick and actually clapped, utterly delighted. "Do you wanna go first, or should I?"

"I'll go first. You stay right here. DON'T. MOVE." Hammaryn glared at Ysani for emphasis, set her almost empty bottle of rum on the ground, and staggered off into the cave. She reached a hand out along the wall, taking small steps down into the darkness. "Ysani, I can't see a thing in here," she called back. She touched something wet on the cave wall. "Disgusting!"

"Is it clean? I mean if it's got mold or whatever in it we obviously shouldn't be hanging out here but..."

A glint of light flashed in the darkness ahead of Hammaryn. "Well, this is kind of interesting. Looks like there might be crystals in here or something. Stalagmites...whatever they're called." She tip toed a few feet further, and could see over a bend in the path an entire room that appeared to be full of the shiny things. "Ysani, you're gonna like this." There was silence. "Ysani? Damnit, I told you not to move!" She turned back around, going back up and out of the cave slightly faster than she had made her way in. "Ysani!"

The afternoon sun was dazzling and it blinded Hammaryn as she stomped out of the cave to look for her errant friend. "Ysani? Where the hell are you?" she called out, unable to see as her eyes adjusted to the bright light. She took a step forward... into something unyielding, warm and smelly and that chuckled as she bounced off of it.

"Yarr, lass. Yer late t'the party."

* * * * *

The scruffy man's language was foreign to Hammaryn's ears, but his tone was pretty clear: he was awfully sure of himself, and he was up to no good. He snatched her wrist as she blinked the sun out of her eyes and began to pull her out of the cave toward the clearing, where two other pirates stood over Ysani's trussed body, leering at the brunette their boss was attempting to haul over to them. One of the men was squat and burly, the other tall and wiry, and all three were armed in some fashion, with daggers, swords or crude maces hanging from their belts.

Ysani looked up at Hammaryn, eyes wide and apologetic. There was a dirty rag stuffed in her mouth, but she tried to talk anyway. It almost sounded sorta like a muffled 'oops'.

Hammaryn scowled and yanked her wrist out of the man's grasp. He pulled a sword from the sheath at his side, a notched and extremely dirty weapon hardly fit for chopping vines, let alone fierce combat. Hammaryn held up her index finger. "One moment." The scruffy man raised an eyebrow in amusement, humoring her. Hammaryn bent down slowly, grabbing the almost empty bottom of rum she'd set down near the cave entrance. She raised it to her lips and chugged until it was empty. The tip of the ruffian's sword dropped to the ground as he let out a loud belly laugh. His cronies followed suit. Hammaryn smiled as nice as could be.

In the next instant, she brought the rum bottle up over her head and smashed it on the scruffy man's head. Shards of glass sprayed out from the point of impact, and she backhanded him in the face with the remains of the bottle. Dark gashes appeared all over his face and he screamed in rage, dropping his dirty sword on the ground. Hammaryn hurled the broken bottle at the squat and burly man, where it smacked him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. She bent down, grabbed the sword and assumed a fighting stance. "Come on, fuckers. Let's do this."

The bleeding man howled and blindly swung at her as the others began to shout and come to his aid. There was no way in hell they were about to get beaten up by a girl who thought she could swing a weapon. She ducked out of the way of his fist, wrapped her hands around the sword's leather-wrapped hilt, and hit him in the back with it. He fell face-first onto the ground, groaning and clutching his side. Hammaryn reared back and kicked him in the ribs, the top of her foot connecting solidly with his chest. There was a sickening crunch. "Who's pretty now?!"

Hammaryn saw a long shadow fall over the scruffy man's body, and she whirled around to find herself face to face with the gangly pirate. He snickered and twirled a dagger, drawling something in common-speech that Hammaryn was fairly sure meant he felt he would fare much, much better than his groaning companion. Hammaryn backed up, stepping neatly over the scruffy man's body. The tall and wiry man was over his comrade with a lightning-quick step, closing the gap between them. She brought up the leader's sword and swung it into his side, but it narrowly missed and tore through his shirt instead. The tall man laughed and lunged with his dagger.

Easily dodging the blow, Hammaryn raised her sword, hilt up, and sunk the blade deep into his left foot, pinning him to the ground. He howled and lost his balance, falling onto the scruffy man, who was still clutching his torso and moaning loudly.

Hammaryn twisted the sword as she jerked it out of his foot. Blood welled up from the gaping hole, and he howled in anguish, grasping his wounded limb with both hands. The dirt crackled as the searing power of the Light scorched the ground beneath her and engulfed her victims. Breathing heavily, Hammaryn scanned the scene. The short man had backed off at the first sign of blood and was attempting to make a getaway. She glared at him. "Don't you even DARE try to run away from me," she screamed. Kicking the tall man in the head, she picked up his dagger and hurled it into the bushes. He sagged over the scruffy man, unconscious.

The squat pirate didn't bother to look behind him as he tore down the path to try and escape the psycho brunette. Hammaryn dashed after him, snatching a dead branch as she ran, cracking it right off the tree. The sword in her other hand trailed blood down the path behind her. He was barely ten feet in front of her now, and Hammaryn paused on the path, flinging the tree limb at him. It hit the back of his head with a resounding thunk and he fell forward onto the sand. Hammaryn jogged up to him, and bent down to roll him onto his back. She wanted him to see her, see her damn well. He blinked stupidly up at her, attempting to shield his eyes from the glaring sun with one hand.

"You're too slow, you stupid son of a bitch."

Standing up, Hammaryn planted one foot squarely on his chest and plunged the sword into his right shoulder. He screamed in agony. She yanked it out and a gout of blood sprayed over them both. "Now you can run away." She spat in his face, and jogged back up the path to Ysani, sweaty and covered in blood that wasn't hers.

* * * * *

The redhead had inched her way toward the incapacitated men and was in the process of sawing through her bonds with a hunk of glass from Hammar's shattered rum bottle. For all their battle incompetence, they could could sure tie a mean knot, and her fingers were twisted behind her back at the most awkward angle imaginable as she hacked at the tough rope fibers. As Hammaryn walked up, one of the men twitched and Ysani delivered a kick to his belly with both feet, which were still bound together at the ankle. Her heels drove into his soft abdomen and he rolled away, heaving and whimpering.

Hammaryn ran up to Ysani and knelt down behind her. "Hold still, I'll get these off. Hold your hands as far apart as they'll go." Hammaryn sawed through the ropes in three quick strokes. Ysani yanked the gag out of her mouth and spit into the dirt, shook her half-numb hands and started to rub at her wrists. She looked up at her friend with an expression of awe and delight.

"That was amazing! Holy crap!"

Hammaryn got to her feet, flinging the bloody sword to the ground. A scowl spread across her face. "Dammit Ysani, what the hell is your problem?! We are soldiers of the Sin'dorei, you should never let anyone sneak up on you like that!"

Ysani picked up the discarded sword and used it to cut the ropes tied around her ankles, then got to her feet and launched forward to give Hammaryn a huge, crushing hug. The brunette staggered back two full paces with the force of it. "Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou," said Ysani.

Hammaryn blinked, holding her arms out at her sides, completely stunned by the display of affection. "Ysani. It's fine. We'll just...I don't know, we can kill them or let them run off. I think they're scared, you're safe." She took a deep breath. "Please stop touching me."

Ysani immediately relinquished her hold on the other girl and grinned cheerfully up at her. "Seriously, I was cheering for you the whole time. You're the best." She looked down at the heap of struggling bodies and pulled her bathing suit out of her crack. "We should probably just leave them. They'll think twice about attacking poor defenseless girls after all that, I imagine."

"They deserve worse than that." Hammaryn's eyes burned. "We should kill them."

Ysani peered at the fallen swashbucklers. They whimpered with fear, unable to understand the girls and their elven speech. "I dunno. I think they just took the worst beating of their lives, and they're going to be stuck out here licking their wounds for weeks. Plus you know what they say, the Light loves forgiveness."

Hammaryn sighed, clearly disappointed that she wouldn't be allowed to deliver ULTIMATE JUSTICE. "Yes. Yes it does. Fine. We will leave them."

Ysani patted Hammar's arm and wandered over to the cave, where her bag sat in an untidy heap next to the abandoned walking stick. Scooping it up, she hung it over her shoulder and beckoned for Hammaryn to join her where the footpath met the clearing. "Let's head back. I'll buy you another drink, and a sandwich. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse."

Friday, July 16, 2010

[RP] Vacation! Part 3

"Pssst. Hammaryn. Sweetie. Wake up, it's time to flip over or you're gonna be crispier than a plate of bacon at a Fabrio brunch." Ysani nudged the other girl's arm, already turned with her watermelon-printed butt pointed up to the sky.

Hammaryn lifted her head up, eyes groggy from sleep. She wiped a faint trail of drool from the left side of her face. "Ysani? Where -" Her eyes snapped all the way open. "I didn't talk in my sleep, did I?"

"Nope. And even if you did, I wouldn't have noticed. I was communing too hard. Now roll onto your tummy, you've got a bit more meditation to do before we take a break."

Hammaryn slowly turned herself over onto her stomach. This time, she was definitely going to concentrate on meditating. She rested her head on her arms, taking in a deep breath through her nose. Her head immediately started to loll to the side.

Within minutes, or so it seemed, Ysani was poking at her with one bare toe, a cold drink in each hand. "Okay, sleepyhead. Time to cool off! We've had about all the Light we can handle for the moment."

Hammaryn sat up, rubbing at her eyes. "How long did I sleep?"

The redhead pushed a drink into Hammaryn's hand and smiled. "I guess it's just after noon? I think... I never was very good at reading the time." She turned toward the sea and took a deep breath of crisp, salty air. "C'mon, we'll drink this in the water."

Hammaryn took a large swig of the drink. "We'll get wet."

Ysani laughed as she tromped lazily to the surf, downing copious amounts of Booty Bay's finest affordable rum directly from the bottle. "That's the idea, yeah."

Hammaryn snorted, tipped her head back and took another enormous swig of her drink. "Suppose I ought to bathe before I go home anyways." She jogged down to the water.

* * * * *

The water was clear, blue and cool against Ysani's shins. She held her bottle of juice-sweetened rum by the neck and stared out over the water, shading her eyes against the blinding afternoon light. "Check it out, Hammaryn. There's Monkey Island."

Hammaryn took another swig of rum, swishing it around to see how much was left. "There's what?"

"Monkey Island! Well, maybe it's Pirate Island. Or Treasure Island. I've never gone out there to check which is on it, but it seemed like monkeys was the most likely, you know?" Ysani pointed out toward a dark smear on the horizon.

Hammaryn stared at Ysani from under lowered eyebrows. "We don't have any weapons on us."

"Mehhh. How bad could it be? We're tough chicks. Bring your bottle with you, you can smash the bottom off it if we need a weapon. And we'll bring a stick." Ysani paused, then turned to her friend and grinned. "I'm sure the Light will protect us!" Before Hammaryn could respond, the redhead was already halfway back to their spot on the beach, draining the rest of her drink and tossing the empty bottle in a shoulderbag.

Hammaryn remained in her spot, firmly rooted at the base of the water. "I don't like this."
Ysani's voice carried over the salty ocean breeze. "It'll be fine!" She stuffed a hunk of driftwood into her pack, and two full bottles of booze. The weathered stick didn't come close to fitting inside the bag so she pulled it back out and used it as a walking stick.

Hammaryn sighed loudly and reluctantly began to follow Ysani. They started out into the sea and swam for the horizon, the bikini-clad girl trailing her pack behind her.

* * * * *

"Holy crap, did you see that?" Ysani took a swig from what she thought might be her fourth bottle of booze and blinked several times, staggered to a nearby tree and pointed drunkenly into the undergrowth. "Maybe they should call it Panther Island!"

Hammaryn glanced over at the bushes. "It's just a cat, Ysani."

Ysani crouched down, bracing herself against the overgrown palm's trunk and peering into the brush. "No really, I think it's a for-real panther! Neat! ...Where'd it go." Standing, she picked her suit out of her crack and took another drink.

Hammaryn took a large swig from her bottle of rum. "I'm still not sure why we came here. I don't see any pirates or treasure or monkeys. And we're not communing with the Light."

"Well we did a lot of communing already! I feel warm all over, don't you?" She pushed through the dense jungle foliage and disappeared.

"Ysani." Hammaryn's voice rose in volume. "Where the hell are you going?" There was no response, just the sound of Ysani crashing haphazardly through the brush. She growled and whacked down a branch in front of her with a frown, and followed Ysani into the bushes. "You shouldn't go off by yourself."

"I'm not by myself, I have you!" Ysani called back over her shoulder. "Oh hey, I found a path."

Hammaryn's voice yelled back. "Why didn't you tell me there was a damn path!"

"I didn't know! Ow." When Hammaryn emerged onto the forest trail, Ysani was rubbing at a thin red gash just above her elbow. "I caught a thorn or something."

Hammaryn slapped a hand over Ysani's elbow and grumpily mumbled something. She scowled and mumbled the word again, and the cut healed. "We need to be careful."

The redhead stretched her arm up to try and look at her elbow. "Yeah! There are panthers and stuff." She rubbed again at the sore spot on her arm. "Your healing kinda stings a little."

"You'll be fine, it was just a tiny cut." Hammaryn set her bottle of rum on the ground in front of her, and put her hands over her hips. She stared into the bushes just over Ysani's shoulder. "Do you hear something?"

"I'm pretty sure we've been loud enough to scare away anything that lives within five miles of here." Ysani pulled her bikini out of her crack and polished off her drink, peering through her sunglasses before pushing them up onto her head. There wasn't nearly as much light here, even just a dozen yards into the jungle. Using her driftwood as a walking stick, she started up the path that seemed to lead straight toward the center of the humid jungle island, watching the canopy above for signs of the loud tropical birds that called out all around them. Hammaryn picked up her bottle and started up the path behind her, quickening her pace to catch up.

Maybe it was the surf, or the booze, or both; either way, neither girl noticed the faint rustling sounds behind them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

[RP] Vacation! Part 2

Roughly fifteen minutes later, Ysani returned with a double armload of bounty. It was probably wise not to ask where she'd kept her money for such purchases. "Open up, I'm loaded down!" she sang out, a cold mug dripping moisture in each hand and two thick towels tucked under her arms. There was a pair of cheap, hot pink leather sandals under there somewhere, too. Just the barest hint of one sole poked out from behind the towels.

Hammaryn warily accepted a drink from Ysani, and took a sip. She tilted her head to the side, then smiled. "That's actually pretty good."

"Yeah! They make the best drinks, if you know what to ask for. That's an Alcaz Island iced tea." She took a sip and peered into the frosty glass. "...I'm pretty sure there's not actually any tea in it."

Hammaryn shrugged and downed a large gulp. "Tastes like tea." She got up from the bed, and the sarong on her waist almost slipped off. "Ysani. What are these clothes?"

"They're beach clothes. Lightweight, comfy... they'll help keep you cool. And they dry fast if you get 'em wet. They're, um, really good for meditating and prayers, too. Because of how comfortable they are. Yeah." Ysani grabbed the ends of Hammaryn's sarong and untied them, re-knotting them just above her hip, yanking sharply to make sure it wouldn't slip. "There. Are you ready for another drink?"

Hammaryn barely paid attention to what Ysani was doing with her sarong, taking another large chug of her drink.

"I'll take that as a yes." The redhead pulled a loose shirt on over her teeny suit and dropped the pink sandals on the floor in front of Hammaryn. "Put those on, and drink this potion. It'll keep you from getting a sunburn."

Hammaryn slipped the hot pink sandals on, and pointed at the potion in Ysani's hand. "Is this for our communal with the Light?"

Ysani shook her head. "Not really. Like the comfy clothes, it's just something to protect us from the elements while we do our thing. Just like you'd dress warm and cover your face in Northrend, you know?" She opened the tiny vial and tipped it into Hammaryn's drink.

Hammaryn downed the contents of the vial and the rest of her drink in one gulp. She hiccuped, covered her mouth, then frowned.

"What's wrong?" Ysani smiled and put her arm around Hammy's shoulder, guiding her toward the door and grabbing her towels and key with her free hand.

"Tastes funny. Are you sure I need this?"

"Yep! Let's go!" The door slammed behind them, no doubt pissing off any number of inn patrons sleeping off the liquor of the previous evening. The day was officially theirs.

* * * * *

The clear blue water lapped on the shore of the beach. Ysani had picked the best one in all of Stranglethorn; it was peaceful and quiet, with a nice breeze, a long shore filled with white sand, and a secret.

"C'mon, we gotta get there before someone else finds our spot!" The girl could move, and her deep red hair bounced behind her as she rocketed along the slippery, dry sand in her green sandals at a pace that was just shy of a run.

Hammaryn trudged behind her, her flip flops coming off her feet for at least the twentieth time. "I'm trying, but I don't know how the hell you walk in these damn things!" She kicked one a good ways into the distance, grumbling under her breath. "I don't need shoes."

Ysani made a quick detour to fetch the sandal and regrouped, holding out her hand for the offending shoe's mate. "You'll need these later, I'll just carry 'em for you. It helps if you clench your toes!" Then she was off like a shot again, making a beeline for what was slowly becoming identifiable as a cove nestled between two craggy hunks of wind-worn white stone. Scraggy bushes and beach grasses clung to the cliff face, moving slightly in the breeze. Ysani dropped her stuff in a pile under a cluster of stunted palms.

Hammaryn mumbled a string of epithets directed at her shoes as she followed Ysani down to the palms. "Stupid shoes. I should have brought the ones Alanth gave me."

Meanwhile, Ysani shook out their towels and spread them out in the sun, periodically pausing to pull her bathing suit out of her butt, for the hundredth time. Their ice-bucket sat under the trees, slowly melting around their cache of booze. Hammaryn's eyes traveled over to Ysani's hands. "For Light's sake, why didn't you just bring two of these ridiculous skirts?"

Ysani stopped her site preparations for a moment and shaded her eyes, looking over at her friend. "Why?"

"You've been messing with that...piece of fabric all day."

"Well, you try keeping these things steady when you keep running and stooping and bending and--there! All done. Now we can start our meditations!" The redhead stood for a moment to survey her handiwork, hands on her bare hips, then dropped down onto the sunniest towel and sprawled out, sunglasses reflecting the strong midmorning sun.

"And you're sure we don't need books for this?" Hammaryn folded her arms over her chest, and eyed the towels dubiously.

"Mmhmmm. Just lie down like this and get comfortable."

Hammaryn sighed, and lowered herself slowly onto the towel. "How long does this usually take?"

Ysani sighed too, only hers was of a much more dreamy variety. "Until you can't bear it anymore. Now close your eyes and take nice, slow breaths. You can say your prayers in your head if you like, or you can just think about how warm the Light is, or you can think about nothing at all and let the Light just flow right on through you. Or whatever."

Hammaryn took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She waited a few seconds, then let it out slowly. Something was poking her in her back. She wiggled, felt underneath the towel with a hand, and found a piece of driftwood. She casually chucked it a few feet into the distance, towards the water. She lay back down on the towel, trying to focus on her breath. Except she could feel the sun through her eyelids. She rolled over, groping for the sunglasses Ysani had purchased for her. She rummaged through their things for a minute, finally finding them, and put them on her face with a satisfied smile. Now she was ready to commune with the Light. Except she felt something on her leg. Hammaryn sat bolt upright, finding and squashing a small bug crawling on her ankle with smack from her open palm. Now she was ready to lie down again. Deep breaths; time for some quality meditation.

After a few minutes, Ysani was certain she could hear the faint sound of snoring from the towel next to her. She smiled up at the perfect blue sky, eyes closed, and settled more firmly into the soft sand under her towel.

Things were going great.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

[RP] Vacation! Part 1

After Ysani and Keilos had their talk, Ysani decided she needed a little sun and some room to breathe and recruited the cranky, crabby Hammaryn to be her buddy for a weekend at Booty Bay. Hammy's a bit of a hard sell, so she made sure to call it a "spiritual retreat" meant to "commune with the Light." Yeah. Well, you'll see what happens.

Authors: Ysani & Hammaryn

Now, it wasn't like her to be early, but she was just too excited to sleep for very long. Creeping out of bed before daybreak, Ysani kissed Kei's forehead, wriggled into a pair of tight pants and some sandals, and snatched the bag of weekend supplies she'd packed last night off the couch. She left a note scrawled in her loopy girlish script on the table.
Hitting the beach with Hammaryn. Will be back in a couple days. Love you! -Ysani
Swooping through the Legerdemain lobby, she picked up a paper cup of coffee and headed for the Orgrimmar portal.

Hammaryn stepped lightly onto the deck of Booty Bay as the ship pulled into port. She had worn a full set of ceremonial armor; even though she was on suspension, she felt it was still important to be well dressed. She carried a large rucksack on her back that appeared to be bulging with books. A plate helm shaded her eyes from the sun; her hair underneath was plastered to her head from sweat.

The goblin shipmaster, just to her left, winked at her. "Mornin' Toots."

Hammaryn jumped back a step in surprise. She caught herself, stiffened, then glared at the goblin. "I did not see you down there. Sir."

"Just got here from the Frozen North, huh? I can tell by the way your words are laced with ice." He let out a low chuckle as his eyes wandered up her figure.

Hammaryn's familiar scowl crept over her face. "I have important business. Did you need something?"

"Ohh no no," he grinned. "I can see that you don't need my help at all. Have a nice day."

Hammaryn raised her nose in the air and readjusted the rucksack on her back. She took two steps forward before tripping over a loose plank, her legs going out from beneath her as she fell flat on her face. She tried to break her fall by putting her arms out, and books started to spill out the top of her backpack, hitting her on the head on their way to the ground.

The shipmaster leaned up against the side of the ship and lit a cigarette. "Watch out for the loose boards, Toots."

Ysani was awakened from a light doze by the sound of heavy plate boots stomping across the dock where she was sprawled in a wooden deck chair, enormous sunglasses perched on her pale face. Lifting them up, she squinted out into the morning light to see what kind of beast was headed her way.

"Oh! Hammaryn! Over here!" She waved her arm frantically in Hammaryn's direction, trying to get her attention. As Hammar got closer, Ysani's eyes widened. "Oh Light, you look positively baked in that outfit. We need to fix that, " she called out.

Hammaryn yanked her helm off her head, and beads of sweat dripped off of her hair and forehead onto the boardwalk. She immediately started speaking in Thalassian. "The people here are very rude."

Ysani didn't seem to hear. She started taking stuff from Hammaryn and piled it on the ground by her chair, chattering a mile a minute. "You're all sweaty too, believe me, you'll feel better once all this is off, did you bring a suit? I brought an extra if you need it, and you really should try the iced tea, it's so good and it'll keep you from falling over from dehydration--" She paused to pick her swimsuit (if you could call it that) out of her butt, then continued. "I've got a linen shirt and shorts you can borrow. Let's go up to our room, and you can change while I get you a drink. How much booze do you want in it?" Ysani indicated between her thumb and forefinger. One shot? Two? Her fingers crept apart, and she waited, finally giving Hammaryn a chance to say something.

"I ---" Hammaryn blinked rapidly in surprise. "What?" Her eyes wandered up and down Ysani's scantily-clad frame. "I don't think your outfit is entirely appropriate for a spiritual retreat."

Ysani stopped peeling Hammar's clothes off long enough to look down at herself. She double-checked to make sure the strategic green triangles were covering her critical parts, then looked quizzically up at her friend. "It's perfectly weather-appropriate! And I'm pretty sure that the Light comes to those who are comfortable." She reached back again, wriggling her suit out of her crack. Okay, maybe it was a tiny bit too small for such strenuous armor-removal.

Hammaryn frowned. "Perhaps I should not have come here."

Ysani wasn't having any of that. "Nonsense, you just need to get settled in and we can get started on our meditations. C'mon, let's take this stuff upstairs." The redhead was completely loaded down with Hammaryn's things, hefting them over her bare shoulders as she ducked into the inn, calling back over her shoulder for the stunned elf to 'move her buns'.

Hammaryn let out a loud sigh and picked up her backpack, following Ysani into the inn. The girl would not shut up. She talked the whole way up the stairs and down the hall to their room, where she somehow managed to both produce a key from the tiny bathing suit and fit it into the lock with both of her hands full, then unceremoniously dumped books and armor onto one of the small room's two beds. "There! Finish taking that junk off, I'll get you something to wear before I head down to the bar."

Hammaryn dropped down onto the bed, and slowly started peeling her armor off. It was almost stuck to her from sweat, and she noted that she had actually gotten sunburnt on the spots where her armor plates did not fully meet. She let each piece fall onto the floor as she took it off, likely shaking the roof for the people below her. Ysani pressed a bundle of soft, colorful linen fabric into her arms, completely unabashed by the other girl's state of undress.

"Put these on, I'm going to get you some cheapy sandals and a drink." She held her thumb and forefinger as far apart as they would go and gave Hammar a wink before turning and bounding lightly down the hall, giggling.

Friday, July 9, 2010

[CW] Night People

I created a new tag, [CW], to mark posts that contain creative writing but don't have diddly squat to do with roleplaying or WoW. Not that I have a ton of stuff to put under this label, but sometimes these things happen and it's my damn blog, so I get to put it up there.

Treating my Raynaud's means I have to take a medication that causes very vivid, movie-quality dreams. I borrowed one from last night for this.


Pulling up a steep driveway into someone's quiet evening, I am an annoyance on four wheels, my headlights breaking a twilight reverie as my victims sit sipping drinks from white mugs in the semi-dark. My directions are a bit off. Eventually I find where I am supposed to be, a home filled with my displaced family.

I find myself baffled by their daily routines and wonder why the real toilet paper is on a hook so high on the wall. It's to keep it away from my cousin, who had meningitis as a baby. They have rolls upon rolls of a special toilet paper, made just for her, that is supposed to be easier for her to use and encourage her bathroom training. I hate it. It is thick and feels like ace bandages or gauze in my hands as I peel the rolls trying to figure out what is wrong with them. No wonder she doesn't like to use it. I wouldn't either.

Everything in the house is covered in bits of patchwork ruffles, tiers of clashing patterns softening all the corners. My mother is there, watching programs on a small portable TV while she makes beds and smooths out quilts she has made. "I wish I could quilt, I never had a knack for it," she says as she unfolds the heavy, cool fabric. The tiny stitches are delicate under my fingertips. The quilts are fine and dark, the patterns intricate, the blocks cut and sewn into perfect symmetry. I think they are beautiful.

I help her make beds. She tells me I should watch the show. She thinks I will like it too, so watch, watch.

Later I'm driven to the city, where I'm supposed to spend the night all alone. Dropped off downtown with a coat, a scarf and a handful of worldly possessions, I huddle near a closed car wash or laundromat, watching from a distance the Night People as they walk by.

It's scary but after some time I begin to explore the sidewalks, peering into the windows of places that are only open in the middle of the night. The denizens frighten me, but at least they are human. Some are quirky, some are poor, some are tough and marked with ropes of colored ink that cover their limbs like a second set of clothes. They are all different, but they share the same dark eyes that speak of loneliness. Their bodies are hunches, slouches, and angles in the cold florescent light.

They are the Night People, and they are comfortable in their skins, shifting and drifting and stalking with confidence to their positions. I cannot guess where they are going. They have places to be, because it is Night Time, and Night Time belongs to the Night People.

I leave my things in a locker and walk along the city blocks. I am hesitant. Everyone else knows what they are doing, and where they will go. Everyone else has a Place and a Plan. I am different. I am aimless.

A narrow door reveals a gathering of people with long, pale faces at an even longer table. They turn their heads to examine me with those dark eyes that whisper to me I am alone, I am alone, I am alone. Many of them smoke, wisps of poison wreathing their heads where they sit. It makes me want a cigarette. After a silence during which I am certain he has seen and weighed my very soul, the man at the head of the table motions casually for me to sit. I join them and they continue with their business. I have been absorbed.

I pass the rest of the wee small hours going from place to place, observing what people do in the night. When the dawn comes and the streets are lit with something other than sodium-arcs and shop lights, Day People begin to appear on their morning routes and there are so many of them I can only see one face for every twenty that pass. They move in currents and tides so unlike the individually significant journeys of their nocturnal counterparts.

Gradually the Night People are purged by the push. It is cold outside so the people huddle together when they aren't rushing, rushing. Clustered in groups of two or three at the corners of great stone buildings, the remnants of the Night People smoke with the Day People, together in their vice. Harried businesswomen and leggy men in uncomfortable women's shoes and bargain feathers share lights and the dirty looks of passers-by, but mostly they're just part of the scenery, like everything else.

It smells like donuts, cold air and high rises.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

[RP] False Alarm Pt. 2

Authors: Ysani & Keilos

She was too nervous to fit her key into the lock. It jittered out of her hand and tinkled softly on the hall mat, then was scooped up by a haphazardly-dressed Dir. He winked at her, quietly unlocked the door, and bent down to drop a kiss on the top of her damp head. Good luck, he mouthed, and was gone... but not without a quick squeeze to her ass on the way.

Safe from Dir's grabby hands, Ysani very carefully turned the knob and pushed the door inward on its hinges. Elphi greeted her with a muted mew and a head-butt to the calf. "Shhh," said Ysani. A quick scan of the room nearly undid her; Keilos sat fully-armored in his favorite chair next to a bowl of dead cigarettes, and it took her a few moments to realize he was very much asleep. Light, I need to calm down. Relax a little and go change your clothes, it'll give you time to think.

Last night's ill-advised skirt and top combination tumbled to the floor around her feet and she had a mercifully brief flashback of remarkable quality from the previous night. It could have been even worse, she thought to herself before her no-nonsense voice piped up with a hurry up and get out of that wet underwear too, moron.

Dir thought she should talk to Keilos about the things that bothered her. So did Keltyr, now that she thought about it. Unless she was mistaken. Not that it mattered. There could really only be one reason for him to be fully armored and passed out with what looked like a carton's worth of tobacco products smooshed into the tray. She was, indeed, in a fair amount of trouble. Creeping close, Ysani put a timid hand on his shoulder. "Keilos?"

Keilos frowned to himself... someone was calling him.
Why can't they let me sleep? I'm tired. And Ysani's missing again. Ysani...wait. I shouldn't be sleeping, I should be searching. The Blood Knight's head snapped up as he forced his eyes open, locking gazes for a moment with the red-haired girl in front of him. He blinked, in a half-waking daze, trying to process that it really was his lover in front of him.

"Ysani," he whispered. "Oh, Light...you're okay." Levering himself stiffly to his feet, he winced as his neck complained about the position he'd been sleeping in. He reached out towards the other Blood Knight, frowning in confusion at the expression on her face. He wanted to hold her, to touch her, to bury his face in her hair to reassure himself he wasn't dreaming, but the look Ysani was giving him stopped him. "You're okay...aren't you?"

"Were you smoking...?" Ysani put her hands tentatively on the chestplate strapped over his torso, eyes sweeping over his battle uniform with a furrow in her brow. "I'm sorry I didn't leave a note, I just went down to the lobby to have a drink and ended up having a lot."

Keilos sighed, looking ruefully at the overflowing ashtray as his cheeks reddened in a blush. "I was trying to calm my nerves. I was worried. It's coming up on a year since... I guess I over-reacted a little." The blonde knight started to say something else, but was interrupted by a rough-sounding cough. Wincing, he grabbed the cup of tea he'd left sitting and tossed it back, making a face at the taste of the cold, stale tea.

The furrow deepened. Ysani wrinkled her nose, sensitive stomach turning at the smell of stale smoke up-close. Squeezing his arm, she turned and went to the stove in the apartment's small kitchen to start a kettle of water. "I'll make you a fresh cup."

Keilos nodded, eyebrow arching as he saw reactions flicker across his lover's face. "Let me get out of all this and stick my head under the sink in the bathroom." He pulled his tabard off and tossed it into the pile of mending, nose wrinkling as he caught the smoke odor. "Now I remember why I quit in the first place," he grumbled.

She stood slump-shouldered at the counter while the kettle began to steam, examining the tiles and trying to work up the nerve to say anything at all. Instead, she opened a tin of tea and prepared enough for two cups, one for soothing her hangover, and a wake-up brew for Kei.

Keilos padded into the kitchen, hair damp and mussed, wearing a soft shirt and pants he kept for just lounging around. Standing close behind Ysani, he watched her spoon tea into the strainers. Pressing a kiss onto the nape of her neck, he mumured, "I did over-react, didn't I?"

She sighed. "Yeah. A bit." The kettle whistled, but she stood where she was for another moment with her back against Kei's chest.

Keilos reached around her and moved the kettle onto the padded straw potholder. "Are you sure you're all right? Did something happen while you were out?"

Ysani was suddenly quite glad she had her back to him. It would be hard to hide the burning red spots that appeared high on each of her cheekbones as she remembered snippets of her morning. "Not really. I got falling-down drunk and Dir gave me a place to crash for the night." She managed not to wince and hoped she sounded more nonchalant than she felt.

"Dir lives in the Legerdemain. If you were that bad off, why didn't he just bring you here?" Keilos slid his hands up Ysani's arms, then gently moved a hand to brush her temples and let the Light flow through the other elf, applying what little of the healing arts he remembered. He pressed his lips together, trying to ignore the turn of unease he felt in his stomach.

Her headache dissipated slightly and she sighed again, shrugging as she poured boiling water into their cups. "I was pretty drunk. Maybe he didn't want to disturb you so late, or maybe I couldn't find my key? I don't really remember."

Kei frowned again, but didn't say anything. Silently, he took his cup and withdrew to the living room, where he curled up on the couch, a million thoughts running through his head.
Did Dir not think I might be more disturbed that she didn't come home than if he simply woke me? And if she couldn't find her key, a simple knock would have gotten the door open. What happened that she doesn't want to tell me about? Did her brother show up again? Did Haydren? And if it was Haydren, why wouldn't she want me to know? Keilos sighed and stirred his tea half-heartedly before taking a cautious sip.

In the kitchen, Ysani stirred several spoonfuls of sugar into her tea, miserable. He's upset. C'mon, think. How do I fix this? No solutions presented themselves, so she simply picked up her cup and sat silent on the couch in the small space next to his feet, staring down at the reflected light on top of her drink.

Keilos drank his tea, not really tasting it. His tongue felt thick and awkward in his mouth, and he didn't dare say anything, because he knew if he did, he'd say the wrong thing. Instead, he simply sat and watched the redhead at the far end of the couch, hoping his expression might convince her to tell him whatever it was she was hiding. She poked listlessly at the couch upholstery with one hand, cup balanced on her knee. "He said I should talk to you."

Kei set his cup aside, wincing when he made the china rattle as he put it down. "What about?" he asked softly, holding a hand out to Ysani in an attempt to draw her closer. She shifted, careful not to spill her tea as she curled up close to him with her knees drawn up in front of her.

"I've... I've just been noticing things that have changed since last summer." She took a deep breath, then continued, cupping the warm mug of tea in her hands. "I miss the times I could be spontaneous and just do whatever sounded like fun at the time. It feels like they stole that from me."

"I think they stole it from both of us," Keilos said softly. "I've been watching over my shoulder for a year now, just in case." He reached out and gently began to rub what of Ysani's back he could reach. "Is there anything I can do to help you get that feeling back?"

"I want to be able to do what comes naturally. I'm not scared anymore. I mean, I'm still careful and keeping an eye out for trouble--" she squinted, a completely subconscious gesture at the common phrase. "--I just would like you to feel like I can judge what is safe and when to be careful, and I'd like not to feel like I did this morning, when I utterly panicked because I hadn't checked in with you at every turn and thought you'd probably be a total wreck. And... well, you kind of were."

Keilos blinked at Ysani, totally lost for words. For several long moments, he sat there, gobsmacked and speechless. "I...I didn't realize. When it got to one or two and you still weren't home, I started looking, because I remembered feeling so foolish that I'd wasted that time before when I didn't think anything was wrong." The blonde knight sighed and turned on the couch, knotting his hands in his lap. "I was afraid they'd taken you again," he said softly.

Ysani could feel that her entire face was flushed, but the topic was open so there was no sense not forging straight ahead, was there? "That was different, you know. I went completely out of town, alone, without thinking that there could be danger at my own brother's house. Believe me, I am not that clueless anymore. I like to think I'm better at judging what is safe and what is not than I was back then. I'd like it if you thought so, too."

Keilos nodded wordlessly. He couldn't bring himself to look at Ysani, and felt vaguely sickened that all this seemed to be his fault. He swallowed noisily and squeezed his eyes shut to try and calm himself. When he finally did speak, his words were barely above a whisper. "I am so very sorry, love."

"Hey-- hey." Ysani set her cup on the floor and knelt beside him on the couch, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pulling him in close. "It's not like you killed my kitten or something, love. I just want you to trust me. And I want... I want to stop changing how I act just because I'm afraid of what you'll think. Or do."

Keilos didn't open his eyes, though he did frown at her words. "Afraid of what I'd think or do?"

Ysani gulped. "Yeah. I'm uh. Well, I'm guilty of saying things in certain ways or leaving things out because I don't want you to get upset. Or start a fight." This time it was impossible not to wince, and she kept her eyes down, unwilling to meet his if he decided to look her way.

Kei slowly opened his eyes. He wasn't sure which stung more at the moment... the fact that Ysani had lied to him about things, or the fact she thought he might start a fight with someone. "I don't understand," he said softly, running a hand through his hair. He glanced over at Ysani and realized she wasn't looking at him. "How many times has this happened?" He rather thought he probably didn't want to know the answer to that question, but it was out now, and couldn't be called back.

Light, you're doing a great job of screwing this up. "It's not that you've been in a lot of fights, love. It's just that... that you can jump to arms really easily if someone offends you, or treads on your boundaries. I feel sometimes like I've got to be a buffer between you and the things that upset you. Maybe that's not really my job, and I should stop feeling like I need to do it. Or like it needs to be done at all."

The blonde knight sighed and let his eyes close again. Without opening his eyes, he said, "No...I don't suppose it is your job. Though I will admit to not making the best decisions in the world when you weren't here. I should have decked Vranesh like you did instead of trying to make a deal with him." Keilos turned his head towards Ysani, and arched an eyebrow, still not opening his eyes. "How do you want me to try and fix these things? Particular things you want me to do, I mean. 'Be good, Keilos' is charming, but not particularly informative."

Ysani shrugged unhappily and attempted to curl up on his lap. Light, her stomach was just as unhappy as she was, and that certainly took some doing. "I don't really know. Be more sure of yourself, maybe. You don't have to feel threatened by everything. I mean, look at Keltyr. He doesn't let much of anything bother him. Sure, he's also kind of an asshole. But there's got to be some kind of middle ground, hasn't there?"

Keilos sighed and ran the tip of a finger around the base of Ysani's ear. "That's the problem. I tried acting like Keltyr - and he told me not to, because it was getting me in trouble." A second sigh and Keilos leaned his head against the back of the couch, staring up at the ceiling. "I wish I could be as self-possessed and cool and as good at everything as he is. But it seems I keep screwing things up when I try."

Ysani leaned against Keilos. Her headache was coming back, slowly but surely, and the steady throb was making it hard to think. "Well Light forbid you become Keltyr, I didn't sign on to date him."

Kei chuckled softly, beginning to gently rub Ysani's temples. "Well, I should certainly hope you didn't. I don't think Dorri likes to share anyway." Softly, he added, "And I should add, love... it's never been you I've not trusted. It's every other son of a bitch out there. In all seriousness, though... there's going to come a time that I can't help but worry. When you go out... when's it okay for me to do that?"

Ysani lifted her pale face up to his and tugged on a loose lock of his hair. "I don't know yet, but if I don't get some food and water in me real soon I'm gonna regret it. I'll think about it, will that do for now?"

Keilos nodded and gently patted the red-haired paladin on the behind. "If you'll get out of my lap, I'll cook for you. How do blueberry muffins sound?"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

[RP] False Alarm Pt. 1

When Ysani didn't come home, Keilos may've freaked out a bit. This segment kicks off the fallout from her adventures with Dir and was written by Kei's player. Thanks, Des!

Author: Keilos

Keilos collapsed into his chair with a weary sigh, his heavy plate armor rattling as he came to rest. Frowning, he glanced down at the ashtray on the table beside him, which was full of stubbed-out butts. He hadn’t smoked in months, and had been forced to go looking for the little metal dish when he finally had fished out the stale-tasting smokes to settle his nerves.

He hadn’t thought anything of it when Ysani hadn’t come home around dinnertime – in his experience, that usually meant she was off with Fenniel or Frail or whatever-his-name-was, working on their engineering project to restore the sight to her blinded eye. As the hours crept later and later, he’d begun to worry. At midnight, he’d jogged down the back stairs of the Legerdemain to the stable and taken Avatre out to have a quick check of the places the Farstriders usually did such work. He checked in Dalaran and in Silvermoon, finding workshops closed and doors locked. With a knot of cold worry beginning to tie itself in his gut, he’d returned to the Legerdemain to wake Tiktok to go out on a quick search. He’d gone back up to their apartment to put his armor on in case he ran into something that might start trouble. As he came through the door, something on the dining room table caught his attention. A fist-sized stone, pale white with an odd sheen to it.
Ysani’s goblin stone…oh please, Light, not again. He turned to his left and saw the other paladin’s sword, neatly set into the rack on the wall, and a cold chill ran through him. Hurriedly, he threw on the rest of his armor, picked up his blade and shield, and dashed down the back stairs, memories of the prior summer filling his mind.

As the bronze drake skimmed quietly over the moonlit landscapes of Northrend, Keilos briefly considered calling out to ask if anyone else had seen Ysani, but opted against that until he had no other option. He knew well enough what sort of red flags the words “I can’t find Ysani” might raise, especially after the hell they’d been through the previous year. So he and Tiktok searched, even as night became dawn and the snow reflected the sunrise back with blinding brightness. At that point, the drake began to grumble about the cold and weariness, so they returned to Dalaran, long enough for Tiktok to get warm and for Keilos to sit and rest for a few minutes. Or rather, that had been the plan.

Kei blinked as he realized he’d been staring dazedly at the ashtray for several long minutes. He glanced over at the cold cup of tea near the ashtray, then directed his attention to the embers of the fire before him. His eyes were becoming unaccountably heavy, and he wasn’t entirely aware of the moment they slid closed, his tired body overriding any ideas the young elf might have had about going back out searching. His body relaxed, chin dropping down towards his breastplate, as the room began to fill with sunlight.