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Grim

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  1. He considered for a long moment, his gaze measuring László with the same weighing expression he had studied the phone with earlier. Nadya also stared at her father, surprised at the offer to a relative stranger, though only for a moment. Her dad was nothing if not sympathetic to underdogs, after all. She glanced back at Grim, smiling mischievously. "You get to be my minion. I've always wanted a minion." she teased, grinning as he shot her a wry look, quirking his left eyebrow challengingly. Her father snorted, making plain his own thoughts on that. Grim smiled slightly, then nodded to László. "I do need money." he admitted with a shrug of his shoulders inside the too-large coat. "I'll take the job, sir. And thank you." "Muwhahahaha. My minion!" Nadya mock-cackled as she finished packing the laptop and accessories into a bag and slid it over to Grim. He shook his head, still smiling a little. "Just don't let Nadya pick my uniform." he deadpanned, making László chuckle. "When do you want me to start?"
  2. By the time Nadya had returned the sandwich Grim had taken had disappeared as though inhaled, the lean youth absently chewing the last mouthful as he examined the phones with a careful eye. The older and cheaper ones he quickly considered, then turned to the Samsung Nadya had pointed out. "Can I check the screen, make sure it's responding okay?" he asked. Nadya shrugged, nodding as she leaned one hip against the counter and watched him handle the phone, turning it on after a brief moment of examination. His air of contemplation shifted focus as his odd-coloured eyes flicked up to regard her as he waited for the phone to boot up, examining her face with an intense, bold gaze that was likely very different from the surreptitious gawking the lovely girl was more used to from boys her age. "What?" she asked with a hint of challenge and a tilt of her chin. Realising he was staring, Grim's lips twitched at one corner even as a hint of colour suffused his features, making the scar over his near-colourless left eye stand out faintly against the pale skin before he dropped his gaze once more to the phone as it chimed ready. Without speaking he brushed his finger over the touch-screen, noting the lack of any problems before he nodded, turning the phone back off again. "It's a good deal." he commented with an air of decision. "I'll have to take the older cheaper Chromebook, but that'll do what I need it to." He looked back at Nadya with a nod. Plainly, the scion of Odin had the traditionally male approach to any kind of shopping: minimalist and far too practical.
  3. For his part, if Grim was shocked at seeing Nadya dressed - well, normally - he gave no sign of it. Unless the slight curving up of one corner of the serious young man's lips was a sign. With Grim it was hard to say. Was he amused? Glad to see her? Was the vestigial smile some phantom expression disconnected with what was really going on behind those odd eyes? Of course, Grim knew he was pleased to see Nadya - and surprised at being pleased - and somewhat confused at the fact that she wasn't dressed Nadya-ishly. For some reason he thought that she would dress the same at home as at school - after all, he did. In many ways despite his intelligence and composure, Grim was very much a clueless young man. He also realised he hadn't answered his perky bandmate yet. "Looking for a phone and maybe a cheap laptop." he answered, approaching the counter. Though he wasn't smiling as such, there was a conversational warmth to his tone that Nadya recognised from yesterday after the chilly young man had opened up a little. "I figured that I can't be depending on landlines and the school library computers every time I want to get something done. Hello, sir." He added with a nod to László, who clicked his tongue as he remembered something. "Grim... Grim... You are being the boy who disappeared and returned, yes?" László asked, his gaze keen as he studied the youth anew. He was a worldly man, had seen a lot in his time, but this boy had the second oldest eyes he'd ever seen. "I read it in the papers." Grim forced a slight smile. nodding as his eyes met László's. "Yes sir. Though don't believe all you read. I wasn't stolen away by aliens or Elvis."
  4. ((This side-fiction is happening at the same time as ‘Doubling Up, Doubling Down’)) The chill of autumn was in the air, the weaker sunlight fighting a battle against the cold winds promising winter. So far, the remnants of summer were winning, but sooner or later the first frosts would form. Grim thrust his hands into the pockets of his too-large coat, feeling the warmth of the garment keeping the chill breeze at bay. His fingers curled in the pocket, wishing for the reassuring solidity of the Heartwood Stave to lean on, but that was tucked under his bed back home for two reasons. Firstly, carrying a length of black wood around town was not an action calculated to be inconspicuous. And secondly, he needed to walk without aid if his ankle was to get stronger and his limp was going to get any better. So it was that he’d walked downtown rather than hitching a ride, and though his leg was protesting somewhat it was able to bear his weight. He’d focused on walking without limping as the coach had suggested, and had been mostly successful before the exertion started to tell on his damaged nerves, causing his limp to return as he walked the last couple of blocks to his destination. ‘From Dusk Till Pawn’, the sign read in black lettering. The grill-covered window display showed a variety of electronics, jewelry, watches, and curios that the desperate or needy had traded in for cash. Grim, however, was here to buy rather than sell. Given his... limited means it was out of the question for the young man to buy a brand new smartphone or PC, but a second-hand laptop or early-generation touch-screen phone was within his meagre budget. As the door swung shut behind him and the dim electric lighting replaced the weak Salem sunshine, the son of Odin slouched along the displays, hands in his pockets as he browsed.
  5. "At every door-way, ere one enters, one should spy round, one should pry round for uncertain is the witting that there be no foeman sitting, within, before one on the floor" Grim's voice was soft, but carried despite that in an oratorical cadence as he quoted. Answering the glances that got thrown his way with a faint wry smile, he moved back over to his stump and sat down once more. Naturally enough, it was Nadya who broke the silence. "Cryptic much?" she asked with a teasing quirk of her lips. Grim didn't smile back, at least not with his mouth, but his mismatched eyes glinted good-humouredly as he picked up his blackwood staff and laid it across his lap. He was surprised to find himself relaxing around the others, even enjoying their company, his defensive sense of inferiority abated by the simple realisation that he wasn't the only one who dealt with such issues. "It's from the Hávamál." Fishing the amulet Nadya had given him out of his pocket, he gazed at it for a moment before looking up at the rest of them. "Said to be the wisdom of the All-Father. All sorts of advice for all sorts of situations. I read it a few days ago. Still working on interpreting it beyond the surface layers, though." He fixed his gaze on Rachel. "Point being, it's wise to be wary of people's motives. But equally, being convinced of conspiracy will only make sure you see them even when they're not there. I'm learning... lately... that it's a good idea to accept the possibility that people don't mean you harm, even if they don't tell you everything. Sometimes it's not about you at all." He flicked his glance back at the amulet, then over at Nadya. "And sometimes, people can just be nice." He tugged at something under the neckline of his t-shirt and hoodie, pulling out a large tooth suspended on what appeared to be a braided thong that glinted red and gold in the sunlight. Slender, scarred fingers unfastening the ends, he slipped the amulet onto the braid so that it nestled down next to the tooth, then tucked it back under his clothes.
  6. No problem Vivi. Study hard, and then we'll throw you a party after
  7. Its how it seems to me, yup. Like you, no OOC issue with it, but the vibe.was definitely "kthxsonowwhatguys?"
  8. For a moment he studied her, his expression unreadable as usual, then he sighed and stood. He realised that she wasn't coming closer, that she was requiring him to come to her. A demonstration of authority? Or a test of his willingness to compromise? In a moment of clarity he realised that it didn't really matter what Rachel thought it was. For him to get to his feet and limp over to take her hand was a demonstration of his own good faith - not just to her, but to everyone present. Leaving his black wood walking stick behind, he limped over and took her hand in a firm clasp that gave the lie to his apparently scrawny appearance under the too-large clothes. "I'm not the most easy to get along with either." he said softly, meeting her eyes. "All I had was my sense of... self sufficiency I guess. It's how I survived the last eighteen months. Now I have to adjust, like you and everyone else here. Not just to being the son of Odin, but to being more than the nothing I felt I was before." "I'm not good at small talk, or being pleasant. But I don't think we're strays, cousin. The gods - our parents - didn't carelessly spread their ichor around. We might be pieces on their game board, but that doesn't make us inconsequential to them. Think about it: we are made of human flesh and bone, and they chose to add a spark of their own essence. Would you view that carelessly, if it was you? They have to use us, because for them to get involved themselves would cause more problems than it would solve. And as for us maybe dying..." He let his hand slip from hers and glanced around the Band, then back at Rachel, meeting her eyes once more as some indefinable emotion leaked from behind his stoic expression. "Speaking just for myself, here. I'd rather focus on how I live, and how I die, rather than whether I die. And I plan to live and die as a son of the Aesir, and as member of your Band, if you'll have me." A small crack appeared in his eerie self-possession, and Grim shoved his hands into the pockets of his oversized coat, plainly discomforted at his own display of feeling.
  9. As the others showed up, first Austin then Laurie, Grim withdrew slightly. It wasn't pointed or even particularly noticeable to the newcomers, but the set of his shoulders and the calm stoicism of his expression indicated that the cracks Fisher and Nadya had made in his emotional armor were sealed with the unconscious ease of a young lifetime of hiding ones self. Waving a small, waist-high greeting the slender young man stepped to one side, casually plucking another donut from the box and sitting himself down on a tree stump nearby. Austin and Laurie. Two other people he'd never have crossed paths with outside of lessons before. Popular, good looking, athletes and Most Likely to Succeed types. He studied them both with a steady scrutiny as he munched on his snack, his thoughts clear, for once, of feelings of inferiority or bitterness. Nadya was right - what the Hel did it matter that none of those here would have said more than brief "Hi" to each other in the halls? They were all divinely gifted, a label that seemed particularly apt for the daughter of Apollo. "I don't mind if Wolf doesn't." he said in response to Laurie's query, a touch of wry humor in his tone, if not his expression as he got comfortable, setting his walking stick down beside him and pulling his book out of his bag. Withdrawing a little, but not ignoring the presence of the others, now and then peering up through the mop of tousled dark hair as one or another spoke or acted, Grim relaxed into study.
  10. For a long moment Grim regarded Nadya, his face expressionless as he considered her words, his fingers feeling the rough metal of the amulet in his hand. Despite his dour nature, he couldn't help but be touched by both Fisher's determined diplomacy and Nadya's own special brand of charm mixed with blunt truth. And the gift. He looked down at the effigy of his father, considering. There was wisdom in Nadya's words - scions of the gods had enough problems that trying to tackle them all alone was likely to be a short journey to Valhalla at best. And Fisher was also right, much as it stung. Part of Grim wanted friendship, wanted to be part of something rather than drifting through life like a leaf on a breeze. He was, despite his introverted nature, still human - at least mostly. And after all, what were the gods except humans writ larger than life? He examined the carved face of Odin, noting the one eye, his left hand coming up to trace the scar over his own eye. "Thank you." he said, looking up at Fisher and Nadya, a faint smile curving his lips for a moment. "For the wisdom, for the kindness, and for the gift." He sighed, slipping the effigy into a pocket of his oversized duster. "I meant what I said: I'm not good at... friends. Or family." Nadya laughed at that, offering once more the box of donuts. "Who is? Some are just better at faking it." Grim took a deep breath, then walked over to Nadya and took a blueberry one, looking into her eyes and giving another minnow-flash smile. "I'm not doing anything more important right now, I guess."
  11. Grim's jaw clenched as Fisher's last words hit home, both mismatched eyes blazing with pain that was as terrible as it was all too human. His eyes closed, then reopened, and Fisher could see that shutters were coming down over the display of naked emotion. When Grim spoke, his voice was too calm by far, though his features seemed even more haggard than usual. "Touching tale. Gets me right here in the feels. So what you're saying is: if I'm a good stray and take her shit, Rachel will grace me with her benevolence and allow me to tag along, because she's a sucker for charity cases." He dropped his gaze, focusing his minds eye on the rune Jera. Calm... Harmony... Peace... It was hard. Fisher's words had opened up wounds, stirred up pain, and Grim regretted opening up to the other youth now. He felt like his own secret hurt was being used to persuade him, and he hated that. He hated that he wanted so badly his whole life to have someone give a shit, hated that people only cared because he was god-blooded. He wanted to cry. Instead he looked up dry-eyed and met Fisher's gaze. "Forgive my anger. Gods be with you, son of Izanami. I may be without family, but I'm used to that. I may be hurt, but that pain is old and part of me. I might be alone, but that's not news either." He turned and started to walk away. "To tell the truth, I'm not sure I know how to be any other way. Take care, Wolf." He raised a hand without looking back, waving farewell.
  12. Grim was far from easily spooked or rattled, and even less prone to letting others see it. Even so, the sheer size of the wolf caused him to take a prudent step back as it barrelled into Fisher. A moment later and he realised this monster was a... pet? Companion? He wondered at it's origin - was this Rachel's? Fed on her eitr? A moment's thought and he disregarded that - animals or mortals fed on the Aesir blood were notoriously surly towards everyone but their 'donor', whereas Wolf was a candidate for waggiest tail in Salem right now as Fisher scritched behind her ears. "Hi." he said to the massive canine, then looked at Fisher. "Wolf? Seriously?"
  13. A foxish grin, razor sharp and swift, flashed across the pale scarred face as Grim shook his head - not in negation, but in amusement. With a sigh, he took Fisher's hand in a brief shake. "You get an A for effort, Fisher. And an A+ for honesty. Least I can do is come along and see what you want me to see." The smile disappeared and his usual stoic demeanor returned. "No promises - I'm not particularly interested in a coaxed apology any more than Cooper is interested in taking in strays. But who knows - you might be able to hold my attention until the meeting starts." "And don't expect any profound rune wisdom from me - yet." he snorted, tapping the book's cover. "I know the names of them all, and what they look like, and some of what each one represents. Odin plucked out his eye and hung on the World Tree to learn the lore of the runes, which he then shared. They can be a tool of divination, or blessing, or cursing. You can trace a rune in the air for a working, or sing a rune into a poem, or carve it into bone or wood, or even scar it into flesh. Each has different uses, effects, and layers upon layers of complexity." He smiled that same quick here-and-then-gone smile. "I'm a novice, so far. I used to be interested in all kinds of occult stuff - used to think it was interesting how people made stuff up to explain the world before science. And now... it's all real, magic is real, runes have power and I'm having to deal with it." He shrugged, picking up his sandwich and eating in quick hungry bites.
  14. When Fisher got up to walk outside, Grim had a pretty good idea what he was doing. It didn't take divine intellect to work out that the scion of the Kami was used to smoothing over the ruffled waters left in his leader's wake. If he'd been asked, he'd have told Fisher not to bother - but then, it was Fisher's choice to get involved. Grim shrugged and went back to his book until the other youth returned with a long-suffering air, then subjected him to an appraisal and spoke. Despite himself, the taciturn Odinsson smiled a little. Fisher was laying on the charm, and plainly not for insincere reasons - he genuinely wanted to smooth things over and welcome Grim to the Band. Privately, Grim felt that the scion of Izanami had a gift for getting the best out of people. Hel, he even liked him somewhat. He closed the book again, his expression neutral as he considered Fisher's outstretched hand, then his face with a gaze that was too sharp by half. "Bearing in mind I didn't ask you to get involved, Fisher, what did your leader say?" he said with a slight emphasis on the word 'your'.
  15. For a long moment the slender youth's gaze locked with Fisher's, weighing and measuring. He sighed softly, some of the tension leaving his drawn features as he dropped his gaze to consider the dark swirling of his coffee. "I believe you mean that." he said softly. "But words were spoken. Bad choice of words? Sure, lets go with that. But let me add some more context. First, she plops down in that seat, glaring at me, and stated what class she remembered me from before my disappearance. Fine, good, nice ice-breaker. Point to Rachel. Then she calls me a dumped stray, which stings a little. And finally she asks if my kidnapping is going to cause any problems." He lifted his eyes to meet Fisher's again. "A brief bit of small talk, then a petulant, careless complaint-slash-insult, followed by an inquisition." "She has already defined me by resentment and potential problems I will cause her, Fisher. I believe that you and the others do not want me to feel unwelcome." Grim shrugged, giving a rare half-smile. "The fact I'm even discussing this is proof of that. But the fact remains that the leader of your band has made her position plain. So fuck her. I don't have to take that."
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