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Black (Mature 18+)
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Nicanora
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Black (Mature 18+) Reply with quote

10 December 2015


BANG BANG BANG

Knocking pulled her out of bed sometime after noon. She pulled the door open while yawning, not even bothering to cover her mouth. Two inches, just enough to brace the door against the ball of her foot while peeking through the crack.

"Hmm?"

"Delivery for a, uh, Nicky Veracruz?"

"Yeah, that's me. Nica. Not Nicky." Nicanora pulled the door open further.

"Oh, sorry, the handwriting on the tag isn't that great lady. Gotta tell whoever sent it to try harder next time."

"Says the one working as a package runner. I'm sure you know all about trying harder, eh?"

"Tch. Just sign would you?" The clipboard was thrust toward her chest hard enough to make her consider taking a step backward.

"Pinche idiota." Muttered as she snatched the clipboard and scribbled her signature at a left leaning slant along the line at the bottom of the manifest.

"Yeah, yeah, you too lady." The courier traded the clipboard for the heavy and awkwardly sized pair of packages, huffing under their weight as he handed them over. She took them with ease and set them down just inside of the room she had rented at some place called the Red Dragon Inn.

"Uh huh." She replied, kicking the door shut behind her without saying goodbye to the disgruntled courier. A flip of the lock, a slide of the chain. Balancing the pair of boxes, she dropped them on the rickety desk and listened to the groan of aged wood under their weight, then without bothering to open them, climbed back into bed.

They could wait.
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Last edited by Nicanora on Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10 December 2015

Nicanora slept in short bursts. A few hours here, a few hours there. A few hours this time meant rising around four in the afternoon. Thankfully this time around it wasn't to the infernal sound of banging on the old wooden door that shuttered her in to the rented room and away from the odd world around her. Sitting up in bed, she squinted at the two boxes still sitting unopened on the table.

"May as well," she said with a sigh and got to her feet. Shaking her hair out along the way, it became a wild lion's mane untamable by her fingers. She gave up and instead slid her thumbnail along the tape holding the box's seams shut. The first of the overloaded boxes sprang open, nearly thwacking Nica in the face with one of the flaps. With a grunt, she folded them down and peered inside. With only the thin cracks of sunlight filtering around the edges of the window's worn curtain, everything in the box looked black. On top, a crinkled piece of notebook paper that had evidently been hastily ripped from its spiral spine judging by the jagged fringe along the left side. Nica scooped it up for closer examination.

for hunting through the night.

i said i would get it to you.
wait for me.
i'll come for you soon.
you'll be safe there.
-me


Beneath the note were her clothes, the better part of her closet stuffed into one oversized U-Haul box. If the box's contents looked completely black, it was because they were. Jackets, shirts, tank tops, sweaters, jeans, pants, skirts, dresses. All black with very little break in the monotony and all hastily crammed together without any respect for order or folding. She would likely need to spend the next two or three hours properly folding things to tuck in the inn room's dresser or straightening things to be hung in the closet. A closet that was much, much smaller than the one she had been used to in Miami.

The condo in Coral Gables wasn't sprawling by all means, but it was more than a room and a bathroom at the very least. It offered a view of the ocean and was only a few blocks from the Miami Institute. While she likely spent more time at the Institute than at the apartment, it had still been her home. Now it was a world away and she was left waiting for answers.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:02 am    Post subject: deus vult Reply with quote

10 December 2015

She had lost an entire day without realizing it. First to sleep, then to unpacking, and finally to the drifting daze she found herself in while sitting in the Inn's commons. It had been a slow enough evening that there was no folly in spacing off in such a fashion, but she found herself replaying the voicemail she had received. In her head it looped over and over, over and over, over and over.

"Hey, it's me. I can't talk long and I hope that cheap piece of crap phone is working right there. Look, it might be a little bit longer before I can make it there. Stuff got real bad here after you left and I...I'm sorry. For getting you in to this. You didn't...***, gotta go!"

After a shuffling and what sounded like quickly paced footsteps, the line had gone dead. It left Nica with a hint of an apology and a fraction of an explanation and exactly no closure. So it would be more waiting. How much more, she couldn't be sure. Perhaps things were more serious than she thought.

Nica had left the common room behind, leaving with a bottle of water and a headache that hadn't been there before. Again she returned to the strange feeling room with the creaky spot in the floor near the bathroom and the curtains that didn't sit quite straight. Answers wouldn't come tonight, no. Sleep was the second best thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

11 December 2015

Nica opened the second box late the next day. Unlike the first, there was no note and it was taped shut with what must have amounted to half a roll of box tape. It was heavier than the first two, full of tinks and clinks. The yellow wash from the light overhead afforded her a better view of the contents inside. On first glance, it appeared to be a box full of rags in varying colors but as she dipped her hands in and grabbed for the topmost layer, she felt the hard form that was concealed beneath. Rather than rags, they were his old t-shirts wrapped around long thin blades, stacked at even intervals in the box. Nica took them out one by one and laid them across her bed. Her collection, every last blade, was set neatly in front of her.

Beneath that, the rest of her gear sat in the box. Leather armor, thicker than the leather worn day to day and processed in such a way it could withstand most demon venom without putting a damper on movement. It wasn't the most comfortable get up, but it had seen her through several battles that regular leather couldn't have. A pair of bracers were tucked away too, just beneath the leather vest. They were lined with electrum, a silver gold alloy that, while impure, still made for great protection. The clean lines of strength and protection runes only furthered that cause, each one circling the bold crosses that decorated the inside of each cuff. Beside the bracers, two witchlight stones rattled around loosely in the box, unsecured but mostly because they didn't need to be. It was missing the rest of her miscellaneous supplies, like her stakes and her silver, but at the very bottom, she found the most important piece of them all. Smaller than almost everything else in the box, she almost missed it in the jumble. A solid silver ring, stamped with a square within a square, and in the middle, a raised cross. The Truecross family ring. The corners contained smaller crosses, as did the band of the ring, and it fit perfectly in a well worn groove on the middle finger of her left hand, settling a glimmer of silver just below the deep black Mark that permanently claimed space on the back of her hand.

Smothering the ring with constant attention from the opposite hand, she returned to her perusal of gear and blades alike. Out of habit, she arranged them by length for the ease of taking inventory. A number of throwing knives, a trio of flat handle-less daggers, a blessed iron dagger, two butterfly knives, a custom crosshatch blade that was just as dangerous for the wielder as it was for the one on the receiving end, the Iberian falcata that had once been her mothers, and of course, last but certainly not least, a mismatched pair of seraph blades. Penemue and Remiel, as she had deemed them, had come with her all the way from the Madrid Institute when Nica and her father had moved to Miami.

Save for a few minor things, it was as though the box's sender had compiled the entirety of who Nica was as a Shadowhunter, crammed it into two boxes, and sent them, care of a courier who couldn't give less of a damn about their contents. Her life. Reduced to two hastily packed boxes. It took her thirty minutes to get over that fact and another hour to put it all away. When all was said and done, she collapsed face first on the bed, face buried in her pillow. She could still smell where she had laid out the shirts he had wrapped her blades in. They smelled like bergamot and grapefruit with a touch of cedar and something else she had never quite put her finger on. A homey scent that made everything that much more difficult to process. She flipped the pillow to get the smell out of her face and flopped over onto her back.

i'll come for you soon.

"You better."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 December 2015

"Hey, I can't come to the phone right now but if you drop your name and number after the beep, I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

BEEP

"Hi. It's me. I don't really have anyone here to talk to and you aren't answering. So I guess this'll do. I spent the evening rubbing elbows with the locals and drinking high end scotch at some Governors Ball thing. Real black tie affair sort of thing. You would have hated it. Met a few people... can't really remember their names but they were nice. Everyone's been really nice. I'm not drunk but I miss your stupid face. Call me back. Bye."

"Hey, I can't come to the phone right now but if you drop your name and number after the beep, I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

BEEP

"Me again. Maybe I am drunk. They had these pretty drinks there that looked like the Northern Lights. Aurora something or other. There was elven booze in it, the sort that makes your head all swooshy. Like that time we went to Illusion in South Beach and you got totally *** on feywine. I carried your a** all the way back to the Institute. By the Angel, I don't think I've ever seen your dad that angry. Anyways. Yeah, it made me think of,--"

BEEP. "To review your message, press star, to send, press pound."

"--but I wasn't done..."

"Hey, I can't come to the phone right now but if you drop your name and number after the beep, I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

BEEP

"Your voicemail is so rude, you know. Cutting me off like that. What was I saying? I don't even remember. Uhhhhmmmmm...huh. I don't know. Me estoy perdiendo en casa, y yo no quiero estar aquí. Dijiste que vendrías así que voy a esperar. Sabes cuánto que odio esperar. Llámame, Christopher, por favor. Noches."
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

13 December 2015

A lioness caged, she paced the small expanse of the inn room, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The longer she waited, the worse she felt about everything. She swung between the violent extremes, manic hope and destructive pessimism. A swing of an arm sent an empty bottle bouncing off the desk and onto the floor with a clatter of crinkling plastic and hollow crunching. She immediately picked it back up only to crumple it in her grip. The sound wasn't as satisfying as the release of nervous tension that rippled through every muscle fiber in her body. Dropping the crippled bottle into a garbage can full of its plastic siblings, she scooped the burner phone off the bedside table and flipped it open for what must have been the millionth time since arriving.

No new texts.

No missed calls.

No new voicemails.

She resisted the overwhelming urge to throw the burner across the room. Her own phone was a world away, full of her contacts and texts and pictures and games. This two bit piece of plastic barely passed for a phone and it was her only line home. The urge was too much. She threw the flip phone at the far wall. It dented the old plaster and fell behind the dresser. Swearing, Nica pulled the dresser away from the wall and sifted through the dark behind it until she found the phone deep within a pile of dust bunnies. She expected it to be in pieces, shattered, dented. Something.

No, it was fine. Nokia.

Blowing dust off, she punched the redial button. Much like every other time, it rang and clicked over to voicemail.

"Hey, I can't come to the phone right now but if you drop your name and number after the beep, I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

BEEP


"You lied, by the way. You said I would be the only one of us here, that there wouldn't be others. You lied, Christopher. I met one and he says there are even more. Nevermind the sheer number of Downworlders around here. Everywhere! Everywhere. Children of the Night, the Moon, of Lilith... I can't go a block or walk downstairs for a drink without running into one or two. They all just magically coexist peacefully here and it makes--"

BEEP. "To review your message, press star, to send, press pound."

After a brief tensing of her fist around the inflexible plastic, she hung up and redialed.

"The mailbox you are trying to reach is currently full. Please hang up and try again later."

When she threw the phone again, she didn't go to retrieve it.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

14 December 2015

It was well after midnight when she had left the Inn in search of a fast beat and low bass, leaving behind a peculiar Downworlder that smelled of soot and burning wood. Maybe a touch of pine. Nica found what she was looking for in the form of an out of the way club right on the edge between New Haven and Dragon's Gate. Despite the late hour, drinks were still flowing and the music still spinning. The thump-thump-thump was enough to take her mind off of her restlessness and she got lost in the music for hours on end. The bumping and sliding of bodies glistening with sweat didn't even put her off. A tangle of touching and twisting, a swaying of hips hugged by barely there fabric. It wasn't a far cry from home. Nor was stumbling out into the street at four in the morning, her blood thick with liquor and her head light with euphoria. The deliberately weaving path carried her back toward the inn to the tune of one woman karaoke sang in a minor key rather than major, low and haunting but interrupted by sporadic giggles.

The grab of her wrist and subsequent throw against the shadow laden alley wall put a halt to singing and laughter both. It was enough to crack the back of her head, flashing lights appearing in her vision where clarity had been only moments ago. Her back met brick roughly, stealing the air from her lungs but not the muscle memory from her limbs. Drunk or not, the flying elbow was delivered with pinpoint accuracy to the temple of her would be attacker, slowing them for a three count and giving her just long enough to fix her dress. Considering the circumstances, such a thing was hardly necessary but the motion gave her just enough time to slip a pair of blades from the holsters worn high on her thighs. When the dark figure neared, she was ready for him, she feinted high with the right and coming in low with the left. Stabbing then dragging the left-hand blade upwards, she kicked out at an exposed midsection at much the same time she pulled the glimmering weapon free. A guttural grunt spelled masculinity to confirm what the size and shape had already whispered of. He was large and powerful, sure, but she wasn't the helpless damsel that he had taken her for, as evidenced by the gaping gash in his stomach.

"Y-you bitch! You cut me!" He snarled and swung out with her. A graceful dodge tucked her back out of his reach but sent her rolling back over an upended stack of milk crates. He was already advancing by the time she got up but as he closed the distance, she adjusted her grip and with deadly precision, flung the blade in her right hand end of end at the man. It caught him in the left eye and embedded itself with a sickening squelch. His scream and subsequent stumble forward was more than enough time to leverage the final blow. A sharp thrust of the blade in her left hand slipped between his ribs and a quick wrench laterally finished him off. He slumped against her and it was only through the grace of the Angel that she shoved him off before he took both of them down. The man fell to the ground like a dropped bag of flour though without the satisfying cloud poof afterwards. Pulling the knives out of his body, Nica wiped them off on her dress and slipped them back into the sheaths worn like garters around each leg. On closer examination, the man seemed fairly normal. Overweight, a little greasy, but other than that, completely ordinary. And dead, very dead.

"It was self defense," she told herself upon realizing that she had just killed a Mundane. Her head was swimming, either from the alcohol or the initial blow to the back of the head that she had taken. Grabbing one of the pins that held her hair up, it proved to be the wrong one, so she had to grab the second. That was her stele, cleverly disguised as an ornate chopstick to keep her hair in place. Etching an iratze in the crook of her right arm, it flared gold then slowly sank into her flesh. While it did its work, she backed up toward the alley's mouth. Despite the commotion, no one had come to investigate. She could leave and nobody would be any wiser. The late hour allowed her to get back to the inn with only minimal interaction with passersby, stopping along the way to clean the blood off of herself if only to avoid untoward questions. Her dress was likely a total loss, unfortunate considering how cute it was. When she made it back, she had ended up hanging in the commons until she realized she hadn't slept and still needed to change. Then and only then did she return to her room, so tired that she didn't see the folded up note left in her mail cubby.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

15 December 2015

"I've always been a heliophile myself," she told the woman downstairs before climbing the steps back to her room. Melanie had proven to be a strange bird of a woman, not human but not like anything Nicanora had seen before. With the face of an angel and the deadly grace of a viper, strange wasn't even a good word for it. The woman was acquainted with the other Nephilim that Nica had met, had referred to him as an idiot or at the very least something close. These were all things Nica thought about as she slid down the upper floor's hallway, trying to ignore the itch of the envelope tucked up her sleeve as it nagged at her wrist. Open me, it said. Not literally, no. There was no writing on the front or the back to indicate who it was from or if it was even intended for her. It had been in her mail box, which Nica was certain had been completely empty when she had signed for the room, so it wasn't like it could have been a holdover from a past renter. Shutting the door behind her, she locked it and ran her hand over the runes she had marked around the door handle. Protection, strength, quiet.

She sat on the edge of the bed and slipped the envelope from her sleeve, grasping it between both hands. For what must have been the hundredth time, Nica ran her fingers over the front and then the back, tracing the edges and the barely perceptible folds of whatever note lay within. An hour must have passed before she finally slipped a nail beneath one sealed corner and ripped across carefully. The war drum that was her heart rattled in its cage for reasons unknown, the note slipping out of the confines of the envelope and into her open palm. Twice folded, she reversed the creases and smoothed the paper flat. It had been ripped from a notebook, much the same as the note in her box of gear, uneven and jagged along the left side and the bottom. Messing handwriting too, just like the first.

delayed, will join you when i can.
dont go to the old.
943-our time, the day of your birth
-me


"Nine forty-three our time... the day of my birth?" Nica was born in the middle of August, surely he didn't mean for her to meet him again then. That was months away still. She flopped back on the bed and closed her eyes. Maybe mulling it over for awhile would enlighten her.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

16 December 2015

943. 943. 943. Don't go to the old. Four in the morning was witness to her shooting out of bed with a sudden start.

"It's not a time, it's a number!" She proclaimed to the darkness and flung the heavy comforter off of her. Scrambling out of bed, she tripped over her boots, caught herself on the desk, and felt around the Nokia she thought would never ring. As she flipped it open, the dim glow of the blue screen lit her face up with its mocking lack of messages or missed calls. That didn't matter now though. She punched in numbers one by one.

786

Area code. It was a guess. Educated, sure, but a guess just the same.

943.

The one number in the note not easily translated into code, but easily passed off as a time.

10

The number of years they had been parabatai. Another guess but it could have only been one of two numbers, since they had been friends long before their bond had become cemented by the Mark under her collarbone.

20

August 20th, 1993. Nica had come into the world only three months after Christopher had. Or "three months and nine days" as he liked to remind her every time he pulled the "I'm older than you" card. Which was often. 943-1020. She poked the send button and pulled the phone up to her ear.

One ring. Two rings. Three ri--

"Dígame."

"Christopher? Oh, it's you... where are you? Why didn't you call me?!"

"Slow down, slow down. I'm somewhere but I'm okay. For now."

"For now? Christopher, what did you do, you have to tell me..."

"I can't, Nic. Not right now at least. But I'm okay and I'll try to be there as soon as I can to explain."

"Okay, well why didn't you call instead of waiting for me to find this note and figure out your stupid code? You should have called!"

"Nic. Be real. I haven't memorized a phone number since 2001, if that."

"Fine. I'll give you that. I was just...worried."

"I know, but you'll know if something goes wrong and for now that won't happen. I just need a little more time. Stay where you are, you're safe there."

"Not as safe as you thought..."

"What? What happened?"

"Nothing important. But you told me to go somewhere where there are Downworlders galore... even other Nephilim and I'm pretty sure I think I saw an angel last night."

"By the Angel, seriously?"

"Si, seriously."

"Be vigilant then. Tell no one you heard from me. I mean no one, especially not any other Nephilim. The last thing we need right now is for one of them to go back to the Clave."

"Christopher...you're in deep trouble, aren't you?"

"No, but they may think so. You know how they are."

"The law is hard,"

"But it is the law, yes."

"Should be more like de minimis non curat lex."

"Heh, we'd be out of jobs if that were the case. I've gotta go though. Get a new number and phone when you can, just in case. Text me when you do."

"Got it. Just, be safe okay?"

"You too, Nic. Ciao."

"Ciao."
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

17 December 2015

Text to C: got it. envy.

Text from C: kk

Kk. Typically the two most infuriating letters to receive as a response to a text. But considering her own had been all of three words and made little sense out of contest, she would let it pass for now. It got her wondering though, just where he might have been hiding. Where ever Christopher was, he was somewhere he could still contact her. Somewhere he could send her notes and other things. Did he still have access to her old apartment? He had a key, or at least he did the last time she had seen him. He was over there as much as she was, even when she wasn't there. That was an apt way of describing Christopher.

Always there, even if she wasn't.

Almost all of her biggest memories included him in some capacity now that she thought about it.

The first time she rode a bike and crashed face first into a fence. She still had a scar on the underside of her chin from that and could, to this day, still hear Christopher's soft reassurances that it would be okay so long as she got up and tried again.

The time she beat someone up for saying that girls were worse Shadowhunters than boys because they were smaller and weaker. Christopher had taken the blame, mostly because the offending party didn't want to admit they had been beaten up by a girl. His father had grounded him for three month for it. Not once did he complain.

When she got her first Marks, just a few months after him. The fierce pride he had worn was more than she could have asked from any brother ever. They made their parabatai bond only a few months later. A pair of twelve year old kids binding themselves to one another for life. But supposedly they say that if a friendship can last ten years, it'll last forever.

When her mother had died and Christopher stayed up with her all night as she destroyed everything within arm's reach. And when she turned that destructive force upon herself, he had pinned her arms to her sides and hugged her until she calmed down, no matter how many times she had kicked him along the way. He had lost his mother too, a long time ago when they were only toddlers.

The moment her father decided they were moving to Miami to help at the Institute there, Christopher had told his father that he was going too. It wasn't even a second thought. Where Nicanora was, Christopher was sure to be not far behind. Always there, even if she wasn't.

It was time for her to repay the favor.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

18 December 2015

Repaying the favor came up short. By her definition at the very least. No matter how much she wanted to track down Christopher, she had absolutely nothing to go on. No contacts, no information, no way home. All in all, she was a sitting duck, stuck in a weird inn on an even stranger world. Strange didn't quite encompass Rhydin, not in its entirety at least. Children of demons and other Downworlders rub elbows with mundanes and even other angel blooded creatures without a care in the world. The amount of conflict she had seen since arriving had been minimal and had little to do with the blood in their veins unless it was due to the alcohol that diluted it. Men putting their hands on women's asses without permission, drinks thrown in faces, that sort of thing. Which, the more she thought about it, was about the most normal thing in the world. It was something that could have been found at any of the beachside mundane clubs she went to, really.

So why did she still feel so very Alice in Wonderland about it? Perhaps it was the collision of two worlds that had been very, very separate for her until then. While she had drifted with ease between them, it didn't make it any easier to navigate now that she was in Rhydin.

If she couldn't help Christopher, she could at least try and make sense of the new world around her. Immersion. It was supposedly the best way to get acclimated to a new place, so again she had freed herself from the confines of her room and ventured down into the Inn's ever changing commons. The faces were becoming more familiar even if she couldn't always match a name to them. The sheer number of new names that were rattling about in her head from the past week or so were mind-numbing. Annabeth the actress and Zofie the puppet master. Cooper the cigarette savior and the awkward ex, whom Nica couldn't remember her name for the life of her. Melanie the mercurial and Crispin the Nephilim. Will the healer and Taneth the golden ball of youthful delight. Tannie, who had given Nica the nickname "Fanny", was something special though Nica wasn't sure why. The girl was a soft comfort whose hugs made her feel a little less alone in this weird place. It was a good distraction. There was Zan too, he was a whole different sort of diversion. Silver tongued and a decent kisser to boot, he was a fair way to forget about the incessant worry that nagged at her. Yeah, definitely a fair way.

Of course, Christopher wasn't here to make fun of her for it, but she could still hear his distinctively derisive laughter as he pointed out the way she would blush around certain guys. He once told her that her cheeks were a built in lie detector. She couldn't say one thing about a guy to him and mean another without a creeping tint of pink high along her cheekbones and into her ears. Gift and curse, she supposed, but mostly curse. At least Christopher wouldn't be there (for now) to see it. Small blessings.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

19 December 2015

A humming in her pocket twisted her composure into surprise. Shifting in her seat, she dug the cheap phone out of her pocket and squinted at the dimmed screen. "Permítame un momento," she murmured to Taneth and Jed, rose, and pushed out onto the porch to take the call. Will had been left behind as well, just a blip on her radar. The number lit up the screen in the dark of the porch and she took the steps down to the front walk and away from any prying ears that had been out there as well.

"Hello?" Tentative, cautious.

"It's me." Christopher's voice was quiet, rough.

"Chris? You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." He didn't sound fine.

"Are you sure? What's up?" Dropping her voice as she got further from the inn.

"Delayed again...minor setback. I...Nic...I'm not sure when I'm going to make it there." Defeat permeated his tone.

"So if you can't come to me, let me come to you. How do I come home?"

"No, no. You really shouldn't. Not right now, just trust me on that."

"You keep telling me to trust you on this. And I'm trying really hard to do so. But you're making it difficult when you tell me nothing except to sit and wait and trust. I don't sit and wait, Christopher Altatorre. We don't sit and wait. It isn't in my blood and it isn't fair for you to ask this of me. I want to help so just let me help. Dios ****ing mío."

Christopher was quiet as her scathing scolding died down. She heard a shuffle against the mouthpiece. "I know. Just give me a little more time to make things right."

Nica huffed. "How much longer?"

"No sé. I don't want to make promises I can't keep. Just...patience?"

"It's hard to be patient in a place like this, Christopher."

"I know. Just keep your head down, don't draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. Keep an eye on your mail. I've gotta go though."

She was tired of keeping her head down, of playing it safe and hiding. Paranoia was not a good look on her. Nica sighed. "Okay. Can I at least text you? I get so bored..."

It was Christopher's turn to sigh. "Yeah, just be careful."

"I always am."

"Hardly. Later Nic."

"Bye."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 December 2015

Twilight's purple and navy framed the old curtain that covered the window of her room. On this side of the building, the sun rose from the far side rather than directly into her window so she was afforded a few minutes of extra dark. Still though, she could spy the first hints of red and orange drenching the rooftops in the flames of a sun quickly rising. She wasn't sure what time it was in Miami, so she waited until the city began to wake up before texting Christopher.

Text to C: You awake?

Text from C: No

Text to C: Then why are you responding?

Text from C: Ask a stupid ?, get a stupid answer

Text to C: You're lucky you're so far away or else I would have to hurt you

Text from C: Right. U ok?

Text to C: Yeah, fine I guess. Couldn't sleep.

Text from C: U say that like u need sleep

Text to C: Hush. At least it passes the time.

Text from C: So u were bored?

Text to C: Something like that. I don't really have anyone I can talk to here

Text from C: Have some spare cash? I bet u can find a place that sells diaries. It can be like ur 10 all over again and I wont even b there 2 read it

Text to C: Jajaja very funny. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice people here and I've met some people that w/ time I think could be friends but yeah

Text from C: You need to be careful about who you say what to.

Text to C: Duh. I'm not an idiot Chris. Speaking of, I told you there's another nephilim here right? His name's Cris too.

Text from C: But is he a Christopher?

Text to C: Idk tbh. He's a hard read. Kind of afraid to talk to him

Text from C: Don't trust him. Never trust a Chris that isn't a Christopher, that's what I always say

Text to C: What if he is a Christopher?

Text from C: Then still don't trust him

Text to C: He said he doesn't really go back home. I dont think we have to worry about him

Text from C: We can't risk it Nic. Safe rather than sorry

Text to C: I guess. Gonna go get breakfast I think. Diner here makes the best french toast. When you get here, we're going

Text from C: Sure Nica, if it makes you happy

Text to C: It does. I'll talk to you soon ♡
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 December 2015

"So if public service doesn't pay, why stay in the field?" Sitting in the Inn, Nica asked Will out of the blue. They had been out to get food together twice already, so running into him in the Inn was no surprise. Despite the seeming familiarity, they still hadn't formerly traded names. She had gleaned his off of a work ID glimpsed just briefly the second night they had ate together but still called him by the nickname Taneth had given him.

"Because I need something to complain about, obviously." It was an easy reply.

The spill of laughter broke her silence just long enough to be silenced with a swig of water. She sloshed the liquid around her mouth before swallowing and shaking her head. "Isn't the weather crappy enough to fill that need?" She asked Will.

"I grew up in this kinda weather. Doesn't bother me." He shrugged and sipped from his mug. "Let me guess, South Florida, Texas, or So Cal."

Just as quickly as it had died, her laughter lived once more. "Not originally, no. But most recently, yes, southern Florida. Am I that obvious?"

"You don't like the cold. You're not so great at dressing for the cold. Seemed like simple logic." At least he didn't racially profile her, right?

That would have ended poorly for him, inevitably. Worse than exploding suckers too. Nica looked down at herself. The conservative outfit seemed warm enough. She looked back up at him only mildly affronted. "I'm terrific at dressing for the cold, thank you very much."

"Say that again in January." In the moment, Will was smug.

January was the coldest month of the year in Madrid, she could handle January certainly. "I bet I'll be just fine." Confident to a fault. "Plus, January is only a couple weeks away and it's fine...ish now."

"Make sure you keep your heating bill paid." His coffee gone, Will was moving back behind the bar. "Get you anything, Fanny?" See? Almost a week and they still hadn't properly exchanged names. It was a source for great amusement.

"Hopefully I'll be back home by then. Otherwise, this place keeps it paid, right?" She gestured with her water bottle to the inn around them. "Fresh bottle of water?" It was a good moment to chug down the rest of what she had in the current bottle.

"Only passing through, huh?" He refilled his mug and fetched up her bottle, passing the latter back to her when he retook his seat to her right.

"Yeah, something like that," she answered with a shrug of her shoulders. "Thanks Mista Loaf." Taking up the water, a quick pass of her index finger traced the seal. She deemed it solid and immediately cracked it open.

"I liked Senor Loaf better," he teased. She wasn't forthcoming with the details and he didn't pry. Privacy was a precious thing. "Gonna spend the holiday here, watering up?"

"You like the accent, I get it," she quipped and grinned. After her conversation that morning, she was struggling with just how much she could say and to whom. But her smile was still an easy thing even as she shrugged again. "I guess. Don't really celebrate so I'll probably sleep the day away, wash my hair, something like that, you know?"

"I do." The delivery was unabashed. He listened and drank, nodding his head along with her supposed plans. "Could always go dancing."

Against tanned skin, the blush was muted but there, partially hidden by a dip of her chin and a quiet laugh. "Thought you were working or something?"

"I am, but it doesn't mean I can't be curious." His smile widened.

"I am always down for dancing," she said seriously. "Except at this one club down near the harbor area. That one got crossed off the list."

"Always-always?" Staring at her curiously.

"Always-always," she said with a grave nod.

"And what happened at this club?" Will was growing curiouser and curiouser.

That was a story that required a roll of her eyes, exasperated. "Some asshat tried to mug me or something. It was a pretty shady area of town, I'm not all that surprised."

"Could have been worse." Will was either big on the bright side or just very accepting of his surroundings, but he made an apologetic expression into his mug as he drank. "But yeah, I don't think I'd go back either."

She swished more water around her mouth and nodded. "Yeah, it could have." Grim as it was, he was right. "There are some solid places in better parts of town anyways. So...Senor Save-the-World, was talk of Christmas dancing just for fun or is this going to be an actual thing at some point?"

"Wednesday night is the station's annual Yule-Christmas party," he replied without hesitating. "Wanna come make me look more interesting and socially engaging?"

She perked up instantly, a kilowatt smile cutting a wide swath of red framed white across her mouth. "Will there be dancing?" Negotiations, you know?

"There will, I believe, be dancing." He seemed amused.

"Well, if there isn't, we'll dance anyways. How's that for interesting and socially engaging?" If it were even possible, her grin grew. Oddly enough, it was something to look forward to, if only for a few days.



((Adapted from live play))
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

21 December 2015

Her name is Zynnara. Should she be in the company of a demon, pay him no mind. He's large, but he is most definitely not in charge. Nica had been told the night before by the other nephilim when pressed for details about the warlocks of Rhydin that could possibly Portal her home. She had taken the warlock's number and stowed it away somewhere safe with the thought that maybe she would think it over and see if Christopher came through for her. To take the help of a stranger, a Downworlder stranger at that, when he had pushed so vehemently for her not to trust a soul in this realm, was a gamble that she wasn't sure she should take. But Zynnara, or Zynn as she preferred, showed up just as Cris was leaving and Nica felt that if she didn't act then, she may never do so. At first she had faltered, making small talk of introductions and compliments on a dance club recommendation the warlock had given her a few nights prior. It segued from there into the common connection Cris offered and finally the hesitation question of whether the woman still did portal work for hire. Of course it prompted the matter of why, understandably so.

"Friend that sent me here hasn't been real forthcoming on how to get back home. Was hoping maybe I could get my own way there..." She had answered, feeling guilty that her impatience could damage the trust that she had spent two decades forging. It was as if the parabatai Mark beneath her right collar bone itself was itching to nag her that this was a bad choice. She pushed that doubt to the back of her mind as she climbed the stairs to return to her room for the night.

"Entreat me not to leave thee, or return from following after thee— For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge," she repeated the oath as she closed the door behind her, locking it and stepping away while peeling off the numerous layers she had worn. Her knife lined jacket was gently draped over the chair beside her bed while the remaining articles were dumped without ceremony onto the floor. Saving her phone from the rumpled pile, she finished her nighttime ritual and climbed into bed in the dark with only the phone screen's glow doing battle with the shadows that threw long angles over the room.

Text to C: Low on cash, can you help?

Text from C: What, got a hot date?

Text to C: Something like that

Text from C: Look @ u go. Keep an eye on ur mailbox sum time 2moro

Text to C: Thanks

Text from C: Its not w/ Cris-not-Christopher is it?

Text to C: No. It's with Cutie Loaf.

Text from C: Is that one of those My Little Horses?

Text to C: Ugh no. I'm going to sleep

Text from C: LOL. Noches chica caballo

Text to C: I'm going to kill you, I swear

Text from C: Sure u r. Goodnight!

Text to C: Gnight

She set the phone down on the bedside table and rolled over, staring into the slightly glowing dark until the phone's display timed out of its own accord, plunging the room into black once more. She should have been thinking about her "date" with Will. Instead she could only finish the oath that had been on her lips as she locked herself away in her room. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. The Angel do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.
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