Jump to content

Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - In the Light of Day


Recommended Posts

The day after Jungle Sanctuary.

Sakura had wakened moments before dawn in strange bed in a strange room. For a moment, she panicked; then memories from the previous night began to trickle through her mind: the flight across the Atlantic, nearly crashing into the palace in Kinshasa, the Storm King's promises. Einherjar and Jason themselves. She felt a faint flush crawl up her cheeks as she remember her kiss and Bombshell's teasing remonstration.

She took a moment to look around the room she'd been placed in. It was simply but elegantly decorated with a mix of modern and traditional Congolese artwork; the bed she had sat up in could easily accommodate three or four individuals and the windows to east showed the first rays of morning light over the royal gardens. Sakura slid out from between the cool linen sheets and padded across the plush carpeting to the windows; she slipped the ornamental clasp holding the two panels together and smiled as a fragrant breeze stole into the room. The young nova chased after the breeze, slipping through the window and into the gardens without a sound.

She stepped lightly through the tropical paradise, smiling at the zen garden and its koi pond, until she found a relatively clear patch of earth with sunlight streaming down on it. Her silk-like shirt flowed up her arms and torso, twisting into bright green leaves that plaited through her hair; likewise her pants descended to her lower legs, turning brown and knotty as tendrils worked their way into the earth. Sakura's skin took on the same hue as the faux-leaves in her hair; the Spring Goddess turned her face to the rising sun and tasted the light of the Congo.

A few hours later, Sakura disentangled herself from the garden, feeling almost her old self again; her leaves and roots reassembled themselves into a cotton wrap with an intricate light green and yellow leaf design and a matching sleeveless top that added pink flowers to the leaf pattern and hugged her body like a sports bra, stopping just as high up on her midriff. Her skin went from green to a tanned bronze that matched the outfit beautifully and blended in with the palace and its inhabitants far better than the paler skin tone she'd favored in Russia and the United States. So armed in new fashion and her first good night's rest in nearly a month, Sakura, soemtimes known as Konohanasakuyahime, set out to explore her new home.

This thread is open to anyone staying at or visiting the royal palace of Kinshasa. Anyone at all familiar with the palace will know that she's new and neither staff nor any sort of official; her manners will also show curiosity and an unfamiliarity with her surroundings. Also, for anyone that wanted to see Sakura in the garden, she looked like this (minus the weird light-emitting flower thing):


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 109
  • Created
  • Last Reply

His blonde hair still felt recently shorn. His tanned skin covered a muscular body of a sixteen year old. Only recently had he ever had the occasion to face a razor. It felt odd to him to have other people around to answer his needs. In short order, it drove Shaman away, and into the grounds, wearing only a snug pair of worn jeans (yes, he goes commando). Once "alone" in the gardens, he felt more at ease. Soon, he felt comfortable enough to reach out with his soul, re-connecting with the Living Earth, were he truly belonged. He spent the better part of the morning talking to ants, commiserating with the freshly cultivated vines (vines existed to go places they should go, don't ya know.). By the time he came in, he held a particularly poisonous centipede, letting it roam around his arms and hands. It related it's world to him, who felt so blind it it's presence. He felt on the cusp of understanding.

Down 6q for Using Nature Mastery for two scenes

As he walked down the hallways, he began feeling concious of how the other people stared at him, but never directly.

'So, is this what it is like to be the Son of the King?'

'I can't believe I'm feeling guilty for staring at the chests of these woman. It is almost like they want me to ...'

'Ugh. That's just not right. How does Dad stand it?'

'Different Worlds, boyo. Totally different Worlds.'

Lost in thought about his sudden bounty and how bitter it felt, Allen rounded the corner and almost ran into ...


"Sorry, ma' ... "

He gawked. He knew that there were aberrated novas otu there, but here, in person, the effect was stunning.

'What do those feel like?'

Without really understanding what he was doing, Shaman reached out to touch her Blossoms/hair (were they seamless?). At the last moment, his eyes blinked and he found himself staring into ...

'Say something and it better not be "are those real?" '

"Are... (gulp).

"Hi, I'm Shaman. Come here often?"

' ... was that really the best I could do?'

'Eyes up! Eyes up!'

Sakura's whole Nature Mother vibe was quickly overwhelming his logical instincts, striking his more solid, secret core.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As his fingers touched the unknown woman's hair, he could feel where the blossoms connected to individual hair strands; the connection was delicate though and his touch dislodged two of the pink blossoms from their respective strands. The woman, obviously at least several years his senior, though still young, smiled at his innocently inquisitive touch; this was hardly the first time it had happened. Her amusement brought a bright and breezy easiness to her cherry blossom scent and she held out the two blossoms to him while shaking her head. "No, this is my first day here. Here, you may have these if you want. They'll not wither, so they're nice to put in bowls of water or some other decorative place." She wasn't forcing him to take them, just genuinely offering if he did care to.

"I'm Konohanasakuyahime." She let that sit for a moment, a mischeiveous look in her eye, then took pity on the teen, "But most people actually call me Sakura. It's less pretentious and much easier to pronounce."

She looked him over with frank curiosity and then declared with an appreciative smile, "You feel good. Like the sun and spring and summer all rolled into one another." Without missing a beat she went on to ask, "How about you?" She motioned the the palace in general, "Do you come here often?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason hadn't been surprised to find her bed empty when she woke up - she had shared a bed with someone who barely slept for ten years after all - though she still missed waking up with a warm body next to her. But Ein had a country to run as well, so she wasn't irritated. She grinned wickedly as she got dressed in fine silk slacks and a loose, draping blouse - she had occupied a queenly sum of time from a reigning monarch after all, and only some of it had been brainstorming what to do about Sakura and her hunters.

Remaining barefoot, she glided through the private residence, gathering up her daughter for a shared breakfast and a casual math lesson. Neither her nor Danica much cared for it, but bulled through - if her daughter wasn't always in an official school, she would still see she got a full education, even if she had to do it herself.

"Okay, pumpkin, that's it for today," Jason said, shutting off the OpPad and handing it to an attendant to have it returned to her room with the rest of her things. "For math, anyway."

"Awww..." Danica pouted, chin plopping down in her hands.

"It's not so bad, Dani." Jason chucked Danica under the chin, then stood up. "C'mon kiddo, let's head to the garden and run you through some forms and dance steps. You can really impress Ichigo next time you see her."

"Yay!" Danica squealed, jumping up and ducking into the room that Einherjar had had made specifically for her, snatching up a weighted training saber, sized for her diminutive stature, and ran back to her mother. Jason laughed at her daughter's excitement, glad she still saw this as a game and fun, rather than something that could save her life.

"Careful with that, sweetie - It isn't sharp, but you can still poke an eye out with it," Jason warned fondly, spinning her daughter around in a hug, then setting her back down on the ground.

"I'd never!" Danica protested, but she held the saber carefully at her side instead of swinging it around wildly.

Jason strode through the halls, holding Danica's hand, her daughter skipping alongside her merrily, singing a tune Ichigo had taught her, voice vibrating from one distinct tone to four and back. Their progress halted when they reached the veranda however, with the sight of Congo's latest nova guest and young man gawking at her, who she took be Ein's latest revealed child, from what Ein had mentioned last night.

"Making friends already, Sakura?" Jason commented with smooth amusement. Shaman still staring so raptly at Sakura he hadn't turned around yet to see the newest arrivals. "Sleep well, I trust?" She ruffled Danica's silver and gold hair, who was standing right in front of her, staring up at Sakura every bit as raptly as Shaman. "This little one trying to catch flies with her mouth is my daughter, Danica Joy Bellefleur-Waters. Say hi, Dani. This is Sakura, another woman who came to the Congo to seek Ein's help."

"Hi! You have flowers in your hair - they're very pretty," Danica said with unabashed exuberance. Her resemblance to Bombshell was unmistakable - an impossibly cute and adorable ten-year old girl, she was dressed in a wildly coloured tunic-dress, and a fine necklace of tiny, clear gemstones of some sort glinted around her neck with rainbow hues.

"Yes, they are," Jason agreed, shifting her attention to Shaman, who could fail but feel her indigo eyes on his back. "And you are one of Einherjar's children I've yet to meet, aren't you?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hello, Dani, and yes, I do." Sakura grinned at the youngster, kneeling down to Dani's level with an inhumanly fluid grace. She let Jason co-opt her conversation with Shaman at least for the moment; her eyes gentle and engaging with the adorable child. She set aside the two blossoms that Shaman had accidentally dislodged and plucked another one, this one caught mid-bloom, and altered the hair she'd left attached to it into vine-like ribbons. She held it out to Danica and asked, "May I put this one in your hair?"

The ten-year-old nodded enthusiastically and Sakura fashioned a braid at Dani's temple with the blossom on the top and the ribbons mixed in with the braid and tying it off at the bottom; the pink and green stood out against the silver and golden hues of the child's hair. "They're called cherry blossoms or sakura in Japanese, which is where I and my names came from when I was very little."

The girl grinned at the new guest of the king and then tugged on her mother's clothes to get her attention. "Look, Mommy! I have flowers in my hair now, too. Well, one flower, but it still counts!"

Sakura showed none of the hesitation or tentativeness most childless young adults had around younger children, but then if rumor were true, Sakura had a good amount of the past decade ensuring pregnancies and safe deliveries for novas, and even a small number of baselines, over much of the world. Only slightly less well-known was her ability to do so for the plant and animal kingdoms as well. She had eight months before her own children would be born, barring any interference in the speed of their development; seeing Danica made her heart feel full with love for this child, the children she had helped come to be, and the lives growing inside of her. For the first time since she had decided to conceive, she felt a little impatient with how long it would take for her to be able to see her children, to braid blossoms into their hair like she had just done with Jason's daughter.

She chuckled at Dani's correction of the number of blossoms in her hair and offered, "You can have as many as you'd like, Dani, or at least as many as your mother will allow. It's no pain to pick them and they'll stay fresh for...well, I've never seen one wilt, so a very long time." True to her words, buds were already forming where the plucked blossoms had been, growing with unnatural but graceful speed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I want ten sa-kur-ra blossoms - I'm ten," Danica proclaimed proudly, nine more tresses writhing from her mane of gold and silver hair, eager for more flowers. She looked up at her mother with pleading eyes. "Can I, Mommy? Can I?"

Jason chuckled fondly, like echoing, mellifluous music, spines shivering at the exquisite, sensual sound, and flicked the braid in Dani's hair with a long finger belonging to a hand that had its own OpNet fansite. "If Sakura says it's alright and you promise to take care of these gifts and not lose them, then alright, you can."

Danica clapped her hands and giggled. "I swear, I won't lose 'em. Ever! You'll see, Mommy. Thank-you, Mommy, thank-you, Sakura." Waiting for Sakura's smiling permission, Danica reached up with her tiny, delicate hands, deftly plucking ever-living blossoms from Sakura's hair, laughing joyously as another one grew right before her eyes. Though she insisted Sakura braid them in her hair, which she was pleased to do, Danica's hair still twisted and twined through Sakura's fingers with a life of its own. When Sakura was done, ten slender braids bound in Danica's hair, Danica wrapped her arms around Sakura in a spontaneous hug, repeating, "Thank-you, Sakura."

After a moment, Danica's face screwed up in a suspicious scowl. The boy hadn't said anything, he was just standing there, he hadn't even said his name or said hi. Shaman felt a sharp jab as something poked him, than another. Looking down, he saw the cutest little girl with the biggest eyes he had ever seen, the very essence of baby animal adorableness, staring up at him, one hand on her girlish hip, the other tapping her practice sword against her foot.

"Hey, you!" <poke> "What's your name and what do you do?" <poke, poke> Her eyes widened even further with excited hope. "Are you nice like Sakura? And do you have a gift for me too? Sakura gave me flowers, see? Ten flowers, cuz I'm ten. I'm Dani."

Jason's smiled deepened with exasperated, motherly love, a smile that could make rocks and steel melt, heavy-lidded eyes wondering how Einherjar's child would take her daughter accosting him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Flower in wa ...."

(Mind-blasted beyond the realm of all thoughts above the waistline)

'Can you see those eyes/lips/neck/breasts/stomach/hips/thighs/calves/toes?'


'Sigh, that would be a "No".'


'Hello, its Bombshell. You've seen her before.'


'Like a dozen times.'


'Oh GOD! I'm about to drool!'



'Wasn't me.'

<poke, poke>

'She's talking to me. Wow, she' cute ... she must be Danica.'

1WP to pay attention to Danica while his hormones are under duel assault

(Looks down into those thought-breaking eyes)

'Weeeee myself again!'

Shaman knelt down by Danica, "Hi, I'm Shaman. When I was in hiding, my name was Allen, but I don't use it much anymore. I'm Einhenjar's Son. I only arrived here yesterday and," he let a giant millipede climb around the back of his neck and down his arm, "this is the only thing I have to share right now."

He let the creature become entwined in his outstretched fingers. "Be careful though, she's quite venomous. She only bites when she feels threatened, but you need to ask your mother's permission before you can handle her."

'Did we just offer a little girl a poisonous insect to play with? ... why yes we did. Dork.'

Smiling from Danica to Sakura, he adds, "Right now, she's a bit hungry. She could go for some leaves, but some a good deal more rotten than the beautiful one's Kohon ..wana ... Sakura gave you."

He clears his throat, "Nice to see you, Jason ... umm ... I'm from a few hours north of Calgary, if you can't tell by the accent."

'Will not look, will not look.'

"Sakura, I apolgize for my confusion earlier. I talk to plants as well as animals and when I rounded the corner I was surprised I couldn't talk to your ... bosoms (Aaahhhh) I mean blossoms."

'Whoa ... think they bought it? Because breasts had nothing to do with it., or eyes ... or lips ... or ... Dad? Were are the ugly ones?'

(fighting down the urge to openly cry)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danica leaned forward, staring at the brightly coloured centipede on Allen's finger from all of an inch away, indigo eyes bright with wonder. "I wouldn't feed it Sakura's sakura flowers," Danica assured the grown-ups (or almost grown-ups). Danica peered up at her mother over her shoulder, her hand already coming sliding closer to Allen's. "Mom?"

Jason's smooth brow furrowed in hesitation for a mere moment before she nodded her assent. The only way a bug might hurt Danica was maybe if she ate it, and thankfully, her daughter had left the phase were she tried to put anything in her hands in her mouth long ago. "Go ahead kiddo," Jason said with a fluid wave of her hand, "but when you're done playin' with the centipede, let it go in the garden, eh?"

"I will!" Danica promised, spinning back to Shaman and placing her hand right up against his. Instantly, her young face flushed, glowing indigo irises brightening even further and a small gasp burst from her - she was almost vibrating with energy "You're... tingly. Why do you tingle?"

When the centipede made its way over to the back of Danica's hand - with a little nudge from Shaman - the girl had a giggle-snort fit which she couldn't seem to stop as she watched the bug crawl up her hand and across her arm. "It tickles! I'mma gonna find it some crispy leaves for it, 'kay? Bye!"

"Stay in sight, baby," Jason called out to her daughter.

But Danica had already dropped her practice sword on the ground, then literally flew off the veranda, corkscrewing through the air, chortling with childish glee, as the searched the top of the trees and the verge of the garden paths, meticulously looking for some leaves her temporary pet might like. Jason sighed fondly at her excitable daughter, bending over and plucking up her neglected weapon. When she straightened up, she inclined her head in greeting to Shaman, her eyes and dimpled smile glinting with amusement and wry sympathy - he didn't have the presence of a child to shield from being the company of two heart-breaking beauties.

"That daughter of mine... A pleasure, Shaman. It's always nice to find another fellow Canuck out in the world." She held out her hand for a handshake, firm and straight like a man, rather than limp and parallel to the ground. Her smile deepened at his Freudian slip - she didn't fault him, Besides, it was hardly the worst or most embarrassing she had ever heard and the poor boy was making such a valiant effort in trying to stop his eyes from roving. Whether it was her experience of once having been male, or just female intuition, she could practically read the thoughts bouncing around the teen's head, bouncing and jostling with every shift and jiggle of the four breasts in front of him.

She held up a hand to the side of her mouth, her sultry soprano dropping to a stage-whisper as she leaned in his direction. "I was a sixteen year-old boy once, too, y'know, Shaman. I really don't mind if you look - steal all the peeks you like, just... try not to be too obvious 'bout it, hmm? You'd be surprised just how many men really do think bosoms can talk."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Danica brushed against his hand, he had to stop from flinching away. As he stood up, he was watching her run into the garden. She was having so much fun. It was nice to see the world through her eyes. In a way, Shaman thought the child saw things with a greater degree of certainty and understanding than adults. It was a spiritual moment for him. As he turned, he heard Jason's words, they were both comforting and playful at the same time.

"Thank you for that," he got out before facing the two Goddesses.






'You Are Staring at Their Bosoms!'

'But they are so nice and fluffy yet firm ... '



'Maybe if I ran into the wall, it would help.'

'Sigh, we aren't strong enough for that to work.'

'Would someone kick the slack-jawed monkey.'

(Kick to win the World Cup!!!!!)

'Ugh ... wheezzzee.'


Shaman nearly doubles over in imagined pain before the two ... well, you couldn't really call them 'Women' now could you.

"Sorry ... ladies ... mind was ...umm... elsewhere, but I'm balls on now!"

'Balls? Did you just say "Balls to Jason and Sakura?'

(Pushes self off cliff)

(Beneath him was a sea of bosoms)

'NOT fair!'

Shaman turned three shades of crimson that day, but at least his eyes wandered somewhere above the bust line.

"If I touch people they get horny," he blurted out then stood slack-jawed before recovering.

"I'm meant excited!!! Yes, excited ... because no one wants to be horny right now. Nope. No one."

'Nice save Numb-nuts.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura watched Danica demand her way into conversation with Shaman and then into playtime with the centipede, laughing with her when she shot out of the room to find the now mildly alarmed insect something to eat. She reached out to touch the creature's mind, reassuring her that the excitable new friend she had was only taking her to one of the gardens to trying to find food for her. The centipede's return thoughts mostly amounted to a grumble that she could feed herself....but Danica did smell nice and her skin was soft and flying was a very strange experience and not having to forage for herself was always a pleasant day. Sakura chuckled and ended the conversation with, "Just please try not to bite her. I don't know that you could hurt her, but she might hurt you if she gets frightened. She's still a youngling."

Even through her conversation with the centipede, Sakura's mind kept tabs on the conversation. She smiled at Shaman, standing as gracefully as she had knelt and taking a few steps to stand next to Jason. Her outfit hardly helped with his fantasy sea of bosoms, and the opening of the sarong-like wrap showed off a fair amount of tanned leg, up to the thigh, each time Sakura took a step. "Well, since my blossoms and my bosom are both a part of me and you can talk to me, then you really can talk to both of them," she teased.

Her smile became more gentle as he bumbled his way through his explanation of the effect of his touch; her expression was understanding and curious at the same time. "I can have the same effect, or something similar, on people. Especially if I am feeling deeply, which is why I usually try to go somewhere private - or at least unpopulated - if I'm feeling something that is unwanted or would cause problems." She stepped closer to him, well within touching range, the smell of cherry blossoms strong and sweet around her as she smiled just as sweetly up at him. "And it's perfectly fine to be 'horny'. Jason is incredibly beautiful and so am I. Unless you weren't attracted to women, it would be strange if we didn't elicit some sort of...excitement...out of you. It's our nature - and yours."

Her smile still sweet but also mischievous, Sakura leaned up and kissed him lightly on the lips. Her eyes widened at the feel of energy flowing from him to her and the kiss deepened for a moment before she was able to pull herself back. Her cheeks were flushed and she laughed, a honeyed and unselfconscious sound. "See? There. No harm done, yes?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm not so sure." a strong, baritone voice rumbled from a little way down the corridor. An amused expression on his handsome face, Einherjar moved on light feet with a grace that, whilst not as tear-jerkingly poetic as Jason's, carried with it the immense weight of his presence. Call it 'regality', call it 'the look of eagles', call it 'leader of the pack' - the Congo's king had it, and by the container-load. Right now, however, he was genial, infectiously grinning at his son and the two beautiful women bracketing him. "I think he's lost for words. Or at least spoken words." He motioned with one arm towards the garden, where as Danica flitted around trying to find something suitably mulchy for the millipede, some staff were setting up a table and chairs.

"I've just spent a tiresome two hours talking to the Directive's U.S. board member, so it's breakfast time. And as I hate eating alone, I was going to invite three lovely ladies to dine with me. The fact that Shaman is also present is a happy bonus." he smiled broadly, then stepped close and offered an arm to Jason, then another to Sakura. "Ladies, gentleman, would you do me the honor? Waffles, pancakes, bacon and some proper maple syrup." he said with a grin for the two Canadian-raised novas. "That's the highlights, though there may also be muesli, fruit and assorted other healthy things as well."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


'Snap out of it, dude.'

'So intoxicating, fresh, and Real.'

'How about Only Kiss Ever?'

'I want more. Much more. What's my name again?'

(pulls out lounge chair and pipe) 'She realizes she's ruined you for life, right?'

'I want more ... so good ... do different ... so special.'

'If we look at this rationally, there's always time for ... oh hell, you aren't listening to me anyway.'

'Lips ... and eyes ... and lips ... and scent ... and scent ... and lips'

'Hey, have you hear this one? Sakura has totally redefined Morning Wood!'

'Wahah ... man, that was ... like, something a nine year old would say.'

'Hah! Got you. Now do something.'

Shaman finally focused and looked at Sakura. He swayed slightly.

"Thank you. That was my first kiss ... Ever."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura had moved to take Ein's arm, but started at Shaman's declaration. She reached out a hand to steady him, her expressive eyes concerned. "Are you okay? I didn't mean to...." She bit her lip, looking consternated now. "I-I hope that was okay. I'd've asked if it was, had I known."

Her skin flushed again as her hand stayed on his arms; she took a steadying breath, but waited without removing her touch. She knew how it could feel, for people to step away from you or excuse themselves just because of something you couldn't control about yourself. He was almost making her dizzy the longer she held on, though part of it was just enhancing the minor effects that pregnancy had on novas. She carefully kept from squeezing her hand on his arm: she'd accidentally broken a baseline friend's arm doing that once shortly after she'd left the valley she'd grown up in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morri walked along the top of the wall to the garden. Perhaps 'glided' would be a better world. The feral nova walked along the six-inch wide wall like most people walked on a sidewalk. Her usual camo pants and tank top flapped in the morning air around her lean form as she paced out a few more feet, then stopped and turned. "Alright. Prove it," she said tartly in Feliod.

Tahir glared at her, his blue eyes stormy. "I will," he growled, but he didn't move. One paw was on the wall; the other three were still firmly on the roof they'd gained to access the top of the wall.

"I'm waaaaaaaiiiiting," Morri sang softly.

Tahir snarled wordlessly and shifted his weight forward. Another paw came to rest on the wall. Morri could smell his fear and part of her almost relented. But they were fighting, and she wasn't going to lose this argument. She couldn't believe what Tahir had said; the thought of it still boiled her blood. And then they'd fought about what was better, Morri's society or Tahir's. Gradually, it had fallen to each of them to prove who was the best. Thus far, they'd tied at every challenge put forth to support their theories. But Morri knew that Tahir didn't like heights, and wasn't at good at balance as she was.

A sliver of doubt crawled into her as the lion froze with three paws on the wall, snarling softly to himself. She was exploiting Tahir's phobias. It wasn't very nice. "Tahir, just forget it," she said.

Her friend snarled something in Lion. Morri wasn't sure what it meant exactly, but she suspected it was impossible for her to do. "Sorry, the closest I could come to that is sleeping with Bombshell, and that's still not entirely accurate." For some reason, lions loved to go for the mother-fucker insults. "Seriously, forget the challenge. I'm hungry."

"You concede?" he asked, his expression both imperious and hopeful.

That killed her urge to be nice to him. "Tahir, you're being an elephant's butt," Morri growled, crossing her arms. "I will not concede anything to you."

The lion crouched, snarling, then rushed her. Morri scurried backwards on the top of the wall, her feet falling perfectly, until she realized that Tahir was canting. She reversed and reached for him; he lunged for her and together the two crashed into the garden together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason arched her brows at Shaman when he revealed the effects of his touch, a small smirk gracing her lips, but didn't say anything - her own appearance and voice could have a similar effect on others. I'm not sure if I'd call that a gift or a curse, and I'm sure the same would go for almost any girlfriend you end up with, although... She glanced at Sakura as she kissed the boy, obliterating all mental functions for several long moments. She chortled mellifluously as she linked her arm through Ein's.

"I think he'll will be fine, Sakura," Jason murmured teasingly, giving Ein's son a thumb's up. "You did much better than I did for a first kiss, Shaman. Michelle Pelletier. I was eleven, she was twelve, my height, but twice as wide." Jason made an exaggerated shudder, her delectable skin rippling in a very interesting fashion. "I think the braces were the worst - I ended with a pair of split lips. And I think that was how I chipped my tooth too."

Under her and Einherjar's prompting, the younger pair of novas followed them to the table and chairs. She nodded her thanks at Ein as he held her chair for her, shooting him a naughty grin when his hand grazed her ass as she sat down and crossed her legs. She got him back though with her sublimely dextrous foot under the table. She had already a small breakfast with Dani, but she had in full the nova hyper-metabolism and really... she'd never been able to give up freely offered bacon. She made sure Einherjar got the good stuff from Canada, but she was still waiting for a mega-brain to develop a bacon-tree. She'd met Antaeus before, Einherjar had a relationship with him too, and he did linger in the Congo... hmm...

As one of the attendents served her, a heaping mound of bacon and french toast drizzled in maple syrup no one with her waistline had a right to consume, Jason watched her daughter surreptitiously from under her long lashes. Danica had noticed them too and was flitting from treetop to treetop, trying to stalk them, When she maneuvered around so Einherjar's back was facing her, she pounced, divebombing him!

At the last moment, with a grace and speed startling in a such a big man - if you didn't know him - Ein spun around and scooped the little girl up in his arms, tickling her and making burst out with multi-tonal, pealing giggles. "I almost got you that time!" Danica protested between gasping for breath. Out of a pocket on the chest of her dress that hadn't been there before she flew up in the air, the millipede poked out its head. Danica let it climb up on her hand, then shoved it up to Einherjar's face, with a big grin. "Look what Shammy let me play with!"

Einherjar chuckled, hardly surprised by Danica's antics. She was a precocious and precious child, surprisingly carefree despite some of things he knew she had witnessed and endured, courtesy of what Jason had revealed to him in confidence, and his own actions on the Bellefleur-Waters women's behalf. "A bug for a bug."

"I'm not a bug, I'm a girl," she told him primly, with a sniff to boot, as she filched a piece of bacon from Einherjar's plate then hovered over and plopped down in her own chair, either ignoring or missing the smiles of the adults. She let the millipede crawl onto the table, then made it a corral with pieces of crust from the fresh-baked bread, and dropped in a handful of dry leaves pulled from the pocket in her dress.

"A ladybug, then," Jason suggested with an amused smile.

Danica gave her mother an amazingly cross look for such a young girl, making the adults smile again, then went back to the millipede, seeing if it was interested in bacon, pancakes, or maple syrup. It wasn't. She looked up, noticing Sakura and Shammy sitting together. "I like the millionpede - it's pretty. Thank you, Shammy. When I grow up, I think I'm going to marry you when I grow up," she declared firmly, her tone clearly giving Shaman no say in the matter. Then, blossom bedecked braids wiggling, she turned to Sakura. "And the sakura blossoms are pretty too Sakura, almost as pretty as you. I think I'll marry you too when I grow up. I can marry girl, you know. Mom did it."

Just Sakura and Shaman were processing the fact a ten year old had declared them spoken for, a tangle of woman and lion tumbled into the garden clearing with them. Danica clapped. "Oooh! Fun! I wanna play!"

"Danica..." Jason muttered in habitual exasperation, surprisingly unconcerned about the large cat with big teeth and the woman who could sprout blades of blood that were even longer. "Good morning, Morri, Tahir."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shaman's instinct was immediate; hardly thought through at all. He sprinted between Danica and the sudden movement, before it dawned on him that

'1) Her mother is Bombshell, and

2) If there were intruders in his father's house, in his presence, thus

3) the wisest thing he could have done was get out of the way.'

'This is dumb, dumb, dumb..'

His posture could have been recognized by any zoologist. He was in a threatening/warning posture. Then, he saw it was just Morrigan ... and he relaxed somewhat.

'Okay, is this a good thing, or a bad thing?'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura laughed at Danica's declaration, but indulged the adorable child with a, "Perhaps. We shall have to see once you are all grown up, no?"

She blinked at the sudden movement in the garden and then the action around the table; she reached out to the lion to make sure he was okay only to encounter - nothing. The "lion" was a complete blank to her. So, he's obviously something other than a lion. Perhaps a shapeshifted nova?

Regardless of her confusion, the two had fallen from a tall height and were still entangled on the ground; the not-lion was large and either one of them could have been hurt in the fall. Jason seemed unconcerned, but Sakura still made her way quickly to the side of the two impromptu guests. She reached out to test their vitals, relieved that neither seemed to have sustained any physical injuries; pride was another matter, though.

"Are you alright...Morri, Tahir?" It was obvious she was unsure who was who. Her blossom-smell was heavy, like a cherry blanket draping over them with her concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The elephant butt is fine!" The feminine voice came from underneath the big cat, who was still sorting out which of his legs were for walking. The answer should have been easy, but he'd just fallen pretty far. "I was on bottom." As her new sorta-brother struggled with that imagery in relation to his sister, Morri lifted and shifted Tahir off of her body. She stood up, slapping dust off her clothing and pulling at twigs in her hair.

The lion staggered to his feet and then mostly succeeded in pretending he'd been doing no such thing. His blue eyes moved around the gathered group, his expression suggesting that he was memorizing who needed to die so that this embarrassment never happened. That expression changed utterly as he moved his head around and slowly became aware of the scent filling the air. By the time his blue eyes had found Sakura, he was totally... besotted.

Her scent filled the air with life and vitality - and humanity, but that seemed so secondary to him as he gazed at her. The big lion huffed softly and assumed a regal posture. After a moment, he remembered that he was dormed. Trying not to growl with displeasure over how bland he looked at the moment, he moved suddenly, throwing both paws around her shoulders. Everyone but Dani and Sakura tensed; the child was too young to be afraid and the woman knew she was safe as the lion's big head rubbed at her face.

Morri's expression was priceless: the feral nova looked astounded at her friend's actions. That look changed to annoyed rapidly, and as Tahir continued his prolonged greeting, Morri made an angry huffing noise and went to the table. "Elephant butt," she muttered under her voice. The servants had already set a place for her and Tahir, quietly and subtly shifting plates and chairs to make room. "Good morning," she said to those still sitting at the table, "how is everyone?" Despite her polite words, her movements as she settled herself were sharp, and Tahir was getting some angry sideways glances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Careful there. Careful ... '

'Boobies ...'


'Hmmm ... tastes like ... SEX!'

'Down boy ... whoa Simba!'

'Hmmm ... smells better than honey.'

'Punch the lion!'



'... Sister?'

'Punch lion = bad?'

'Punch lion = savage beating!'

'But then she'll help us!'

'What's going on with me?'

"Aahh ... hello Sister. Would you mind telling me what Tahir is doing with my soon to be Future Ex-Wife?"

'Prophecy Center Reporting! Major Ass-kicking in the offing for both the Ego and physique. Invest in white blood cells now!'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura swayed slightly under the lion's weight, but managed to regain her balance by wrapping her arms around his and leaning into to leonine greeting. She rubbed her cheeks against his, smiling and laughing at his enthusiastic greeting; if he was a human shapeshifted to a lion, then he was a convincing lion. His exuberance and cat-appeal (a mix of soft fur and childhood memories of Sakura's most common friends in her hidden valley home) kept her from noticing Morri's irritation as Ein's "daughter" took a place at the table. She pulled back enough to run her fingers gently over the sensitive skin of the lion's face and into the half-grown mane, noting the fading pattern of dappling that marked him as an adolescent lion. "Well, hello. I'm not sure if you're Morri or Tahir." She frowned for just a moment and tried to reach out to him again, to no avail. "Which is a little strange, but I am happy to meet you as well. My name is long, so most people simply call me Sakura."

Her scent clung to him now, bright and fresh from her amusement and genuine pleasure at such an eager and positive first contact with him. She was used to having the attention, even affection, of most animals she met (and plants as well, but their behaviour was more subtle), but this lion wasn't like the other animals she's encountered in her life; it was reassuring that he still seemed quite friendly. Still, he was quite large and while she had the strength to support him, her body was hardly as hardy as most novas and currently devoted more to her children than to her. In short, his over-sized paws and exuberant leaning greeting was hurting her shoulders something fierce already.

Tahir could feel the minor shifts in her weight and quickly realized her discomfort; he slid his paws gently down her front until he was once again quadrupedal, incidentally and completely blind to the fact that he had just copped a feel of young green-haired nova than many human men would easily kill to be able to do just once. Sakura bore it with only a slight wince as he pressed against sensitive breasts, but didn't complain otherwise. The lion still pressed against her, giving off an intermittent low hum that was the large feline version of a loud purr from a housecat. She continued to comb her fingers through the rough hair of his mane, smiling down (okay, only slightly down) at him.

"Shall we join the others, hm? I'm quite hungry myself, and the king has put out quite a feast for breakfast." Tahir kept to her side even as she stepped back to the table; she took a different seat on the bench along one side of the table with ample space next to her for her new friend. "Perhaps we can ask him for something fresher than cooked bacon?" The last was asked more of her host than of the lion, but servants were already bringing a platter of choice raw deer and steak cuts that were always set aside for Tahir. She smiled lightly, though her eyes betrayed her curiosity as she watched the obviously routine practice; her own plate was delicately but swiftly filled with nova-appetite proportions of each offering from the common platters on the table.

Before she began in on her breakfast she regarded the woman that had tumbled with the lion, noting for the first time the tense and less than friendly looks she was receiving from her. Well, I did something wrong by her. She's...annoyed and jealous? Perhaps the lion is not so usually friendly with newcomers? Or others in general? Step carefully, sprout. Her mom had called her that when she'd first come to live with her foster parents, always smiling and running her hand through Sakura's hair when she did so. She caught Shaman's question as she'd sat down, finally being able to accurately assign names and faces. She smiled at 'Morri' and offered, "Hello. I'm Sakura. You are...Morri?" Her mind finally clicked and smiled wider, the scent of cherry blossom buds and spring winds floating around her. "The Morrigan? I heard of you, when I came to Africa before. They said you were the protector of the jungles in the Congo. Very fierce and very good at keeping clear-cutters and strip-miners out of heart of the forests. I have heard many things about you; I am very pleased to finally meet you!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"My future ex-wife," Danica corrected Shaman, only hearing the word 'wife' and distracted by the rest while giving Tahir a petulant look. "Tahir never hugged me. You won't even let me ride you..." She tilted her head to the side, a sly grin on her face. "But you can make it up to me... by wearing a pair of boots."

Jason rolled her eyes, flicking one of Danica's braids with a finger. "We talked about this - no real cats in boots. And if he hugged you, he'd crush you on the floor. But if you ask Morri and Tahir nicely, maybe they'll let you hug him, hmm? And when you're taller and stronger, than maybe the other way 'round will work."

She arched a brow at Morri, noticing her irritation, and pretty sure as to the reason why. "We're doing well, Morri. Y'know, same old, dealin' with my daughter and seeing how many feet Shaman can get into his mouth while his brain breaks." Her scintillating smile took away the sting from the comment, if did nothing to help Shaman collect himself. "We were just startin' to get to know each other - I'm glad you showed up to join us."

Morri had known Jason for many years, the beautiful had always been kind to her, had even trusted her with her daughter, she knew Jason's words weren't just platitudes, she meant them. Jason's luscious lips curved wryly and her eyes glinted as her daughter darted out of her chair and bounded excitedly to Morri's side. "You may not feel the same though."

"Tahir's so soft!" Danica squealed, bouncing on her toes and staring up at Morri with pleading, indigo eyes. "Can I hug him, Morri? Can I?" She turned to Tahir, meeting his blue eyes and completely unconcerned by the fact that even sitting down his head was higher than hers and he must've weighed ten times as much as she did. "Can I?" She dart a glance at her mother, then pointed at her own chest with a tiny finger and leaned close to one of his ears. "I think you'd look dashing in a pair of boots."

She flitted away back to her chair, plucking up the millipede and setting down on her wrist, then dashed back to Morri's side. "I'll even trade you my millionpede." One of her braids coiled up like a snake, presenting a sakura blossom to Morri. "Or one of my hair-flowers."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” Morri said politely, her greeting only slightly marred by the annoyance on her features. What was wrong with Tahir? The big idiot wasn’t even looking at her, his blue eyes on Sakura. It’s her fault, Morri hissed to herself. Smell what she’s pumping out? Poor Tahir – no wonder he’s all messed up. Had Morri not been psychotically afraid of sex, she might have been acting just as dumb as her poor friend. Tahir doesn’t even like human women!

The smile given to Dani was sincere; as always, a child was guaranteed to put Morri in a better mood. “No need for a trade. Tahir, how about a hug?” The lion gave her an arch look of disapproval. “Nice to see something can get you to stop mooning over that girl,” she added in Feliod, startling Dani with the soft growls and strange almost-words she spoke. “The human one.”

“Leave Sakura out of this, or shall we talk about Shaman some more?” Tahir asked icily.

Morri’s expression hardened. “That is not a topic for discussion,” she snarled, the tone of her voice adding to the already animalistic noises of Feliod.

“And neither is Sakura,” Tahir snapped.

“Then hug the girl, give her a nice one, and I’ll not bring it up again,” Morri grumped, crossing her arms. “All she wants is a damned hug!”

“Fine. But just one. I’m not a damned stuffed animal for her to play with,” the lion said snippily.

“Go on,” Morri said, switching back to English and giving Dani a tight smile. “He’ll let you give him a hug.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh ... that lion isn't making any sense.'

'Maybe ... maybe he isn't a lion?'

'What then? Nova shape-shifter?'

'Wouldn't Sakura's sensuous, tantalizing, breathless, intoxicating, wonderful, amazing, stupendous aura ... were was I?'

'Let's go back to squares One and Two.'

'One, Lion is not threat to child, so stance back to normal.'


'Two, Sakura's in the room ... wait! NO! I meant to say, We just made an ass of ourselves!'

'Oh, that.'

'What do I do?'

'Say nothing.'

Shaman looked around at all the beautiful women and thought,

'Life is good.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ein smiled at Morri as she sat beside him, one eyebrow raised as he read some waspishness in her attitude towards Tahir. Why wasn't hard to discern, as the young lion was currently competing with Shaman for worst-case-of-mooning-over-girl prize in the presence of Sakura.

"So let me get this straight." he said mildly as he started heaping his plate with food. "Danica wants to marry Sakura and Allen, Allen wants to marry Sakura, and Tahir is obviously courting too. It's plain that something needs to be done. There's nothing for it." he slapped his hand down on the table like a judge with a gavel, his face serious. "All three of you youngsters are going to have to fight in the royal gladiatorial arena for the Blossom Princess's hand."

Jason smiled, Allen stared at his father, Morri quirked one eyebrow and one corner of her mouth upwards, Tahir looked at the Storm King like the human was touched in the head, Sakura chuckled musically and Danica, about to hug Tahir, looked at Ein, then at Allen and the lion, and frowned speculatively.

"I don't know. They're bigger than me." Danica complained. "They'll win... Unless you'll fight for me, Ein!" she beamed at him. "That's allowed. You can be a champion."

"Ohhhh no." Ein shook his head, still grave-faced. "If I fought, I'd have to marry Sakura. That's the rules. Besides, I'm the king. I have to remain above as the judge."

"But that's not fair!" Danica pouted, giving the large warrior big liquid eyes.

"All's fair in love and war." Ein said back, as though reading commandments from a stone tablet. "You'll have to wait till you grow up. Of course, someone else might have snatched her up by then." As Danica looked at Sakura worriedly, Ein grinned at Jason.

"You don't have a royal gladiatorial arena." Morri said with a smile, nudging Ein with her shoulder.

"And besides, you'd try to claim droit de seigneur." Jason added with an arch of one perfect eyebrow. Einherjar shrugged, neither confirming nor denying the accusation, but his chuckle was warm.

"What's that?" Danica asked intently, looking from adult to adult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason chuckled as well, her laughter coiling around Einherjar's as she leaned close to her daughter and beeped her on the nose. "It means Ein here would try to steal a kiss from you before you married Allen and Sakura."

Danica rubber her nose with a small hand, looking cross-eyed and confused as the regarded the amused adults. "Why'd he have to claim his Lord's Right Kiss?" she asked, verbally translating the saying, though without any more comprehension. Her large eyes narrowed in suspicion. "I've kissed him before. His beard tickles." She looked even more nonplussed by the adults laughter. "What? What is it?"

"Just us grown-ups being silly, dear. You'll understand when you're old enough to fight Allen and Tahir for Sakura's hand in marriage," Jason teased her daughter playfully.

Danica didn't look entirely convinced, like children everywhere, hating being told 'when you're older.' She little girl sniffed, crossing her arms and turning her back on her mother. "I don't want to fight them anyway. I'll marry Shammy before he marries Sakura and Tahir is a big pretty kitty."

Remembering what Morri had said, Danica brightened one more, skipping to Tahir's side, and wrapping her arms around him in a big, tight hug, her delicate fingers tight in his proto-mane. She giggle as his fur tickled her nose, and she could feel the heat and strength coiled under his flesh.Tahir chuffed, submitting to the nonsensical human conventions - and Morri's hard eyes - and leaned against the child and curling a forelimb around her, a huge paw splayed across her back. That done, he let her go, issuing a gusty, feline sigh, which made Danica scrunch up her nose. But he missed the crafty look in her eyes, her hands tightening in his mane as she tensed to swing...

"Danica, no," Jason said, her firm tone broking no nonsense. She hadn't missed the look in Danica's eyes, her sharp intuition, especially in regards to her daughter warning her of her nefarious plots, if not the details. "You were promised a hug, nothing more. Behave or we'll have to leave for your lessons."

"Awww! I wasn't gonna do anything, I swear!" Danica protested, guilt written all over her face. She let Tahir go, patting him on the head, right above and between the eyes, "Another time," she whispered to him. "If I have to be a warrior woman to fight for Sakura, I'll need a ferocious mount, y'know. It'll be fun! We'll be better than any knight and his horse."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura listened curiously as Tahir and The Morrigan; the sounds were similar to vocalizations lions and other cats made, but it seemed to be more than that. A language of vocalizations? I wish I could understand...or communicate like I usually do. This is so odd...it must be how others feel around animals, never able to really communicate. How frustrating.

Sakura blinked as she came back to the conversation on, "...and Tahir is obviously courting, too." She glanced at the lion, obviously startled, then proceeded to turn deeper and deeper shades of dusky cinnamon as the conversation continued. Her chuckle was a little unsteady, tinged with embarrassment; she'd had plenty of admirers, would-be lovers, and very small selection of actual lovers, but she had moved around enough that the concept of truly long-term relationships had remained firmly in the realm of the theoretical. Now, she'd be here in Kinshasa, perhaps even in the palace, for months - or more likely, for years.

She remembered when grandmother had told that a marriage had been arranged for her; the man was a distant cousin and already in his forties while Konohanasakuyhime had yet to reach double digits in years. She'd met him only once, just before her mother had come for her, when she was presented to him and the formal betrothal ceremony had been performed. He'd been like her grandmother, sneering and somewhat offended that he was being strong-armed into a marriage with a half-gaijin freak, royal princess and Kami no Ningen or not. Before the ceremony he'd made it clear that he would keep his mistresses through the marriage and that Konohanasakuyhime would be put aside somewhere deep in the countryside once she produced a legitimate son for him. Her father and grandparents agreed without protest and the date for her formal marriage and transfer to his household was set for her thirteenth birthday, a delay required by the legal age of consent in the country.

Her expression turned soft and sad with memories of her own and the mention of such a barbaric custom as jus primae noctis, even in teasing. Thankfully, those customs aren't followed anymore; at least, not formally and not in Europe. And I don't have to marry Shigeo or anyone else, if I don't wish. For that, Sakura would be eternally and deeply grateful to her mother, for rescuing her, and to Shen for placing her with an American family. That her family had been common and poor had seemed to grant them a wealth of love and kindness for the displaced and abused princess.

A more quiet moment paused at the table as Tahir stared in mute horror at Danica's proposition and the others busied themselves with breakfast, as much from hunger as keep from adding insult to injury with their grins. Once Danica had come to the conclusion that a hug was all she was going to get from the large feline, she huffed and settled herself next to her mother, digging into the food with all the abandon of a ten-year-old nova. Sakura cleared her first plate quickly and glanced at Tahir as she delicately began to fill up a second plate. "I don't mean to be rude," she broke the silence cautiously, "but what exactly are you?" The question was aimed at Tahir, though Sakura's glance included The Morrigan as a (hopeful) translator. "You are not a lion, or at least not a normal lion, or I could speak with you directly. I do not want to treat you as a creature if you are person of your own right, but I also do not want to expect of you more than I would of a lion or any animal if you are not one." English needs better words, she thought with frustration. It is so...incomplete and unwieldy for such conversations. If only I could speak to him as I do to Nature!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shaman struggled to deal with the conflicting and whirling emotions she was emitting. He swayed slightly.

'Is no one else getting this?'

'Nope. We seem to be alone.'

'Run away!'


'Feet aren't moving!'

'Do we want to leave?'



Sakura calmed down and so did Shaman.

'She's talking to the non-Lion. He doesn't seem to be a nova, so what is he?'

'Let's move over to Sakura. She's nice.'

Shaman moved to Sakura's side and made eye contact with Tahir. Not a word was spoken.

'Now what?'

'Not really thinking things through right now. I sense a theme.'

Shaman turned his head slightly toward Sakura and inhaled deeply.

'Yeah ...I could do this all day...'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tahir snarled at Dani’s suggestion. To him, she was a cub who needed disciplining for her assumption. Dani leapt back; Jason tensed but didn’t reaction. “I don’t know what you said,” Morri said softly, “but Tahir is not a pet. He finds it offensive, particularly in front of women he’s being stupid about.” That earned Morri an angry snarl and a blush from Konohanasakuyahime. The lion’s dignity was taking a pounding today.

Sakura’s question was a good distraction. It allowed both Tahir and Morri to calm down a little as the dark-skinned girl looked at her friend. “What do I tell her?” Morri asked him quietly.

“Tell her that I’m a lion,” Tahir said. “Tell her… tell her I will explain later how that can be. Privately.”

“You going to tell her about the Primal Lands,” Morri said flatly, her voice getting angry.

“Yes, of course I am,” Tahir said.

The red-eyed nova rolled her eyes and relayed the information. “So, in short, we’ll have to have a get together soon, probably after breakfast if Elephant Butt gets ants in his pants.” Tahir was now ignoring her, sedately eating his raw meat as if she hadn’t called him names.

“Wow, you’re both being mean,” Dani said sullenly.

“Well, Tahir was being a jerk before we fell into the garden, so yeah, I’m a bit grumpy,” Morri said, her voice still annoyed. But then Einherjar reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. His ward turned to look at him and he just smiled at her. Morri visibly relaxed and returned to her meal. Ein’s hand remained there for a moment before he removed it with a final squeeze.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Digging through a mound of sausage and pancakes, the sunlight glinting off her pure silver hair just so, Jason watched the interaction between Morri and Tahir from beneath her lashes, Danica at her side, sulking and picking at her food, She had at first thought Tahir no more than a pet, if a particularly well trained one, when she had first noticed him following Morri around several months ago. Then she considered that maybe Tahir was some sort of genetically manipulated beast or that Morri had developed a connection or power over the wild, a resonance to the wildness that lay within her.

But now... She had a gift for languages - helpful in pursuing acting and speaking around the world - and those growls and hisses they had made at each other... She couldn't make out the gist of them, but she could tell the communication was far more elaborate than what the vocalizations of a normal animal could convey. She was pretty sure she could even make out a pattern of syntax. And then of course, there was the open question Sakura had posited.

Jason pursed her enticing lips. Whatever he was, he was no normal lion and if Morri saw fit to keep the particulars from her, that was her prerogative, though she found the lack of trust slightly off-putting - she had known the woman for years, if not truly very well. Regardless, if Tahir had presented a genuine danger to her daughter, he would have been one sorry lion, or whatever he truly was. As it was, maybe Danica had learned a lesson about pushing a strange animal too far.

“Wow, you’re both being mean,” Dani said sullenly and Jason reached over, a soothing hand patting her back.

She smiled at the display of affection between Ein and Morri, restrained, but she knew what it meant to them. Finishing her last piece of maple-drenched pancake with a bite that was either charmingly elegant or temptingly sensual, depending on the observer, Jason offered Morri a teasing grin and a subtle nod at the primly eating lion. "You ever try givin' him some catnip? Might improve his mood."

Jason leveled her lovely, captivating indigo eyes on Shaman. She had seen him stand up to interpose himself between Tahir and Danica, and ever since Sakura had shown up, the poor boy's head had been spinning in a pheromonal haze. Not that she could blame him - she herself was feeling... frisky, despite spending a rather energetic night with Einherjar. And that was just this morning for Shaman. There was still the recent revelations of who his family was.

"So, Allen - or Shaman, if you prefer - any regrets since comin' to the Congo?" she asked him in wry amusement. The Congo had its own rhythm, hardly comparable to anywhere else in the world, and the palace had the rhythm, only more so. It could take some adjusting to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Bombshell said something to us.'


Shaman's head popped around so fast that he risked whiplash.

"Allen ... Allen was the name I was given when I was in hiding. I hardly consider it my name. I took the name Shaman for my own, when I was out in the wild places. It sang in my heart, if you know what I mean?"

Inside Shaman, something began shifting. It wasn't something enormous, just a snowflake upon a glacier, but ...

'What has it been like? Like touching the river of existence you have only been able to see until this time. We are more than just people, we are conduits for the great River of Life."


'I know. I feel like I'm taking a sneak peek of my first hunt.'

'Yep. My first time associating life, death, and the continuity of existence.'

'Are we actually ignoring Bombshell?'

'No, but we see her in a totally new light now.'


Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Interesting..." Darrik mused as he came in, appraising the new visitors... and Bombshell. No one could mistake Bombshell. "Shaman, wasn't it? Cora mentioned her meeting you. It's a pleasure, for you and everyone else I just meet now. Name's Darrik." Einherjar and the Morrigan clearly recognized him, but the glimmering effects of his appearance were surely a dark godly shock to Shaman and Sakura. Sensuality was oozed from every pore, and one couldn't help a naughty thought if he nibbled on a piece of lox.

Sakura seemed to be someone new, but given the recent arrival of Shaman and the placement of Maia here... she likely was someone else seeking shelter- or not. She certainly resembled a literal beauty of nature- and so he smiled politely when their gazes met. Shaman looked a bit more on the nervous side, clearly unused to great beauties around. Goodness knew what Cora would have been like for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura smiled back at the captivating new addition to the table. So many beautiful people in Kinshasa. This will take some getting used to.... She glanced around at the others at the table, trying keep herself in check; her cheeks were still cinnamon-red from the teasing earlier and the company was hardly inclined towards calming "naughty" thoughts. She turned her emerald eyes back to Darrik and mustered a merely friendly smile, "It is nice to meet you as well, Darrik. I am Konohanasakuyahime." Her smile deepened and she chuckled, "But please, call me Sakura. It saves a great deal of time."

She returned to her breakfast, letting others take the reigns of the conversation as she got herself under control emotionally. She'd seen what could happen if she let herself become too...enamored...in public company. Darrik was most likely the most beautiful...man? boy?....he looked young anyways....that she'd met, and Jason was certainly the most beautiful woman. Einherjar exuded a fierce masculinity that was itself hard to resist, and his son carried a strong measure of that as well, along with sense of similarity with her that she couldn't quite place. Even Morri had a sort of femme-fatale attraction about her; Tahir was a beautiful cat, but that was much less of an issue than the pull of the human novas around her. Friends. I need - want - friends at this point. Besides, I don't want to go starting some unknown trouble my first day here, so focus. Friends...

Her scent, somewhat dizzying for the more sensitive at the table, shifted subtly from sensual desire to an earthy likability; though as always, an undertone of sexual tension remained.

Spend a WP to beat down her lusty flaw for the rest of the scene. She's now putting out more 'friendly' (Interraltionship) pheromones than she is Arousal pheromones, though the Arousal is always on at a 3 Toxin Rating. Interrelationship is now at around a 6 Toxin Rating as she concentrates on that over being attracted to most of the breakfast table.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shaman kept edging closer to Sakura.

'So warm, and fresh, like spring rains among the pines.'

'I like that ... nice imagery.'

'I need to make this ... more.'

'Wahahahh ....'

'What subtle hips ... lips moist ...'

'Dude! He's a Dude!!'

'But,he's so ...'


'Warm, moist hair ...'

'So smooth and silky ... skin hair ...'

'Did Bombshell's top just slip?'


'Morri - blood- death -SISTER!!!'

'Gotta ... get ...'

'Must touch him ... tenderly ...'

'Can't ... go ... on ... like ...'

' ... can't think.'

Shaman's breath became labored and he staggered, first toward Sakura, then toward Darrik. He shook his head, squinted, then rubbed his eyes.

'Gotta ... get ... air ... c ... breath.'

' .... think ... not ...'

Shaman turns and flees out into the yard. He collapses to his knees, one arm clutching his torso, while the other strikes the ground. The there is a 'crack' in the sky and a lightning bolt strikes him.

'Can't ... get ... free.'

'Want all of them ... but ... '

'What's wrong with me?!?!?'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was Darrik again. After Ein’s touch, she was a little calmer, but he spiked her bad mood higher immediately. And he seemed to know it; when his red eyes met hers, there was a coy challenge in them: if you don’t like what I’m doing, make me stop.

Her fists clenched at the thought of ramming her Blood Weapons into him until he was ugly and bloody. She wanted to cut that beautiful face so it would stop haunting her and so he’d stop looking at her like that. The urge was so strong that she planted her feet and prepared to rise-

Shaman stumbling away was what she needed. The distraction allowed her to stand, saying, “I will see to Shaman.” She cast a glance at Tahir, but he had finished his food and was now sitting at Sakura’s feet with his chin on her knee. Idiot. Fury rose in her and she turned away. As she walked behind Ein, she brushed her fingers across the back of his broad shoulders, a light touch of reassurance – not that she knew why she’d done it after. Shaken by Darrik’s presence as well of her own strangeness, she hurried after Shaman.

The cracking lightning caused her to pause inside the building, but after there was no further strikes, Morri edged forward. “Shaman?” she asked.

Her ‘brother’ shakily rose and approached her but he stopped well away from her. “Morri…” he murmured.

“Are you alright?” she asked, knowing he wasn’t, but allowing him to choose whether to share that with her or now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Spring Goddess let out a soft sigh relief as Morri stood up to attend to Shaman; she herself rose a moment later, slowly enough not to jar Tahir's head. "I must apologize, your Majesty," she said quietly, not quite looking up at those still gathered at the table. "I...can have unwelcome effects on others at times. It is harmless, usually, but I have seen others who are sensitive to..." she flushed again, glancing down at Tahir and then back to some random spot on the table, "sensitive to pheromones may react as Shaman has. I should excuse myself. Some time away from my...away from me...should help."

Shedipped head to the table, a bow learned as soon as she could walk, "Please excuse me." She nodded to Darrik, "Hopefully we will have another chance, later, to speak again." With that, she untangled herself from the bench and began heading out of the gardens and back towards the room she'd awakened in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Get ... away.'

'Morri ...'

"Get me ... me ... away ... please."

Shaman looked confused, disoriented, even drugged. To Morri, it look like he had been poisoned because he clearly wasn't in control of his senses. It didn't help matters that his shirt smoldered front and back, a big hole were the lightning had traveled through him.

Using Morri as a shield, Shaman staggered up to his feet. As he got farther away, he seemed to become more in control of his functions. He looked to her like an animal, wounded by some unseen force.

"Morri ... what was that? I mean, what came over me?"

'Howz about someone hit us with a massive quantum hammer and our head go BOOM!'

'Ya think?'

'I am the smart one, ya know?'


'I wonder what kind of feathered bird Sakura would like?'

'Green, red, and blue would go lovely with her hair.'

'Yes ... yes it would.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Einherjar stared as the Blossom Princess left the table, a strangely pensive expression on his handsome features. The fingers of one hand drummed slightly on the tabletop with a sound like thunder in miniature for a few seconds, then he abruptly stood up.

"Excuse me." he told the others curtly as he left the table, striding after Sakura. His long legs ate up the wood-nymph's head start, his ears hearing the soft footfalls even as her fragrance trailed behind her. The normally calm-hearted warrior felt his blood burning, a combination of Sakura's beauty, her scent and his own lusty nature driving his pursuit of her. Had he been thinking more clearly, he might have wondered why he wanted her so badly, but he wasn't thinking clearly. All he knew was that he did want her, and she'd come to his palace, kissed him gratefully (and he tasted the honeysuckle sweetness of her lips still) and she'd fallen asleep in the safety of his arms. He could protect her, from everyone.

Except himself.

Sakura had just entered the royal apartments when the door re-opened behind her to admit the palace's lord. Turning, her leaf-green eyes had just enough time to widen before she was swept, not ungently, from her feet into arms that could powder vitrium, but right now were cradling her shapely form against Einherjar's war-hardened body as he kissed her passionately, tasting her lips with his as he held her to him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morri sighed. “That woman was pumping out pheromones that made you like her,” she explained. “She was cheating but you are also more than willing to be drawn to her because she’s pretty and sexual.” A corner of her mouth quirked up a bit. “If you were stronger-willed, then it would not bother you.” That sounded mean, so Morri said, “I’ll teach you to ignore such things, if you wish. Once you know it is there, you can ignore it, should you choose.”

Like Tahir wasn’t ignoring her. Morri felt another surge of… something. Something angry – a surge of some emotion she couldn’t name that was also totally angry at her friend. He was being an idiot over a woman who wasn’t even his species, in defiance of all of his peoples’ taboos. She would never be accepted as princess; the attempt would end up with the Reth killing Tahir to ‘save’ him. The Suns had a very direct approach to things they believed to be major problems.

“Come, Shaman, let us walk,” Morri added, waving her hand deeper into the gardens. "Clear your head more."

Overhead, clouds gathered and thunder rumbled softly. Shaman could tell that the animals around them were agitated as well; he could feel it in the air.

* * *

Tahir had been padding along with Sakura. She was... intoxicating. His father had once explained that a woman would smell a certain way - so good that you wondered how you breathed before inhaling her beauty. And when you found that woman, you killed any male hovering around her and took her for your own. He hadn't killed the men in the garden because he knew that wasn't the way things were done here. Besides, he didn't want to kill around her. He wanted to do other things - things he had done before with other lionesses, back home. But traveling with Morri had left little time for that and now here was a woman who smelled so good.

The Storm King swept past him, ignoring him. Tahir looked up as the male grabbed Sakura and pressed his mouth to hers. Golden brows knotted together in confusion before he remembered that this was a human sexual marking. Blue eyes became bluer; his tawny fur was shot through with strands of gold. The Prince of the Suns had undormed, his desire to remain secret forgotten in the face of this insult.

The halls of the palace rang with an enraged, challenging roar. The Omore of the Tribe of the Sun was declaring his intent to fight for the Blossom Princess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, don't blame yourself. Darrik thought with a sudden burst of mental desire, combined of his pent-up urges and the overwhelming scent she put out. You're a beautiful garden, and who wouldn't want to partake of your fruit? What kind of waters would come rushing forth? And all sorts of imagery and innuendo naturally came through to Darrik's head. But when she wished to step away, he let her, patience everlasting.

Even the departure of Einherjar and Tahir did not lead him to go and stake his claim. Roughhousing would be utterly pointless, and he prefered to let the competition make fools of themselves before he took the later opportunity to stake his claim and become the one with the key to Sakura's gates.

Strangely, Gwen and Agatha did not enter into the equation at that time.

Then Tahir's roar confirmed his decision greatly. "Dear me. I wonder what the palace staff will say?" He inquired with a quirk of the eyebrow of Bombshell, sitting where he still was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura's surprise at the fiercely passionate kiss caused her to stiffen in protest, her hands pressing against Einherjar's chest in a futile instinctive attempt to break free that lasted all of two heartbeats before her own attraction for the Congo's Chief of Chiefs caused her hands to slide up and round his neck, the sweet perfume of her arousal once more filling the air. Her lips tasted of honey, just as he remembered, and Ein let his hands roam along the curve of her back down to-

Tahir roared, an unmistakably territorial sound, and Ein pulled back from the sweet kiss, his eyes turning to pale blue chips of glowing ice as they regarded the undorming challenger. Sakura looked a little dazed, her eyes half-shut as she tried to rein in her body's reaction to that kiss, and was only barely aware of herself being gently set down on a couch.

"So that's how it is? You expect me to back down?" Ein said with dreadful calm in his voice as he padded away from Sakura, facing Tahir across the open center of the atrium. The young lion snarled, tail lashing, and the Storm King bared his teeth in a mirthless grin. "You asked for it, cub. Let's have at it, then."

Tahir closed the intervening space in an eyeblink, quantum-laced muscle and sinew augmenting his already formidable natural advantages as viciously-hooked claws lashed out for Einherjar's face. Tahir was strong, and fast, and deadly. A human would have been dead. Even novas might have experienced trouble dealing with the proud Omore. Lesser novas than his current opponent, that is.

Einherjar had been fighting quantum-fuelled battles when Tahir's father was young.

One hand shot out, catching the lion prince's paw in a grip that, had Ein exerted but a fraction of his power, would have turned the bones to mush, even as the king's other hand gripped the powerful lion around the throat. Without slowing Tahir's momentum, Ein whirled like a discus-thrower and heaved the Omore the length of the atrium, through the open french windows, and out into the garden. Tahir hit the turf, bounced, and plunged right through a flowerbed before fetching up against a tree with enough force to make his shaggy head ring. Through the doorway he'd just taken flight through, he saw the Storm King striding down the atrium towards him, a taut smile on his lips as he came out to stand on the steps.

"Try again." he suggested, folding his arms across his broad chest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...