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[Fiction] [NC] Wakinyan - Primals


z-Carver

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I'm not entered in the character contest, so this was just for fun - and as a gift for Carver's first suitor.

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“You cannot see her, Wakinyan,” Jager said with that implacable calm that was so hateful when you face it. “She doesn’t wish to see you.”

“You cannot keep me from my mate!” Wakinyan howled, his scream shaking the heavens – and the façade of the Knights building.

“She’s only your mate if she agrees,” Jager replied, crossing his arms. “You caught her in a moment of weakness, Wakinyan. Let her be; give her some time to recuperate and sort her thoughts out.”

“She is mine!” Wakinyan snarled.

Jager’s mic hissed with noise and the blonde man’s eyes narrow. Wakinyan tensed; that would be the report about the house. He’d hoped to have Carver and be gone before the Knights found out about that.

“Wakinyan, you have one more chance to leave,” Jager warned, his voice becoming flat and authoritative. “And if Amped dies from his injuries, then you’ll lose that as well. Leave now, before Carver finds out you’ve injured her roommate and torn her house apart.”

Wakinyan ignored the Wasicu in front of him as he tipped his head back, searching for her scent. There were a lot of scents in the building: April, Alchemist, DigiGeist and others. His feather-mane flares as he caught that damned wrestler’s scent; it was right on top of hers…

But hers wasn’t hers, at least not completely. Wakinyan opened his mouth slightly, letting his taste buds help his nose sort out the scents…

His blue eyes widen and all of his feral instincts kick in as he interprets the scents and his mind puts together what happened. With a terrible shriek, Wakinyan announced that he sought to claim what was his. His wings snapped open and Wakinyan burst into flight, angling high up the side of the building where she waited for him.

Jager exploded into motion, leaping high into the air. His hands closed around Wakinyan’s tail, causing black webs to arc up the griffin’s fur. Wakinyan screamed as his magnificent wings failed to carry him, and he fell back into gravity’s embrace. Jager twisted away in mid-air, but Wakinyan was not about to be denied his consolation prize. If he could not reach her, he would destroy those who stopped him.

He spun around, quicker than the blonde Nova had known he could, and slammed into Jager. Claws pinching deep into Jager’s chest, Wakinyan attempted to ride the older Nova to the ground. But in a flash of blood and torn skin, Jager was gone, twisting away to land away from the griffin.

Denied both prizes, the last rational part of Wakinyan was slammed into the back of his mind, and the animal dashed forward. And the world became a red blur of fighting and pain.

* * *

Wakinyan woke up slowly, his muscles not working real well. He is battered and bloody, but all in one piece, even the pieces that he had been sure his friends would remove if he ever got this point.

The great griffin raised his head, glancing around him. A grove of tree surrounded him; behind him stretched a massive body of water. Both were devoid of human life.

“Time for some reconnaissance,” Wakinyan muttered, spreading his wings. They were sore, but they seemed functional, and he softly breathed a sigh of relief. He vaguely remembered Jager taking that ability away from him, and he was worried he wasn’t going to get it back. But his glorious wings worked perfectly, and the griffin rose into the air.

Forest and green spread out all around him. Wakinyan gained as much altitude as he could, looking for a landmark or city so that he could figure out where he was. Glancing down, Wakinyan suddenly realized that he recognized the huge lake below him…

He didn’t fully understand what had happened until he found the first bark-covered cabin.

* * *

Nathaniel dumped the bags at Yokiko’s feet, feeling vaguely like her slave. But this was his trip and her favor to him, so he carried the food and gear. “We ready?” he asks, glancing at the lightening sky over the tops of the trees. “Harry’s going to notice that I snuck out soon and he’s going to come looking.”

Yokiko gave him that cold glance that she had learned from her mother and replied, “Nate, this takes time.” Her accent still gave him shivers, which had little to do with her actual voice and a lot to do with her silky-looking skin and the way she was shaped. “I don’t want to be wrong on this.”

“If you’re wrong, we try again,” Nathaniel pointed out. “But if we don’t leave soon, we won’t leave at all. Harry’s going to notice that I’m gone, and he’ll come looking or send Uncle Jager for us.”

“Just a minute,” the tiger-striped girl growled. “I just learned this the other day!”

“Man,” Nathaniel sighed as he glanced around nervously, “your dad is going to kill me.”

“That’s ok; your mom’s going to flay me,” Yokiko flashed him a grin, showing her incisors. Her delicate face, so typical of Asian-Caucasian mixing, became serious again. “I think I’ve got it. Just a minute and make sure that everything is within six feet or so.”

Nathaniel sighed with relief. They were going to make it! He gave one last glance around and got a nasty surprise; Jager was standing in the tree line, watching them. Shit! Nathaniel thought, feeling defeat squeeze his chest.

But Jager just nodded and held up two fingers. He pointed at his wrist and made a circle over where his watch would be.

Nathaniel blinked. Uncle Jager wasn’t going to stop him? He didn’t stop to question the break; he grabbed Yokiko’s arm and hissed, “We have two minutes! Get us outta here!”

Timeslip’s ability to remove multiple people from one world to another was by now well-known in the colony of Novas on Eden. But only a select few knew about Yokiko’s ability to do the same. The black stripes that color her skin snapped out and wrapped around Nathaniel’s body and the luggage, wrapping them in cold tendrils. But Nathaniel doesn’t complain about the chill; when Yokiko’s stripes lift away from her skin, they leave that same gorgeous skin bare.

Nathaniel was so glad that nudity was optional in Eden.

The stripes roll up and over his whole body, and he could see nothing. But smells… he could smell Yokiko, her warm, fertile scent that made his body tremble with eagerness. And the smells of Eden changed subtly, from one verdant, green forest to another. The cold leeches away from his skin and Nathaniel could see again. He caught the briefest glimpse of bare Yokiko before her stripes covered her skin again. Nathaniel had often wondered if he could feel what was hidden under those stripes, but he hadn’t been brave enough yet.

Nathaniel glanced around. He didn’t see Uncle Jager, which was a good sign. “Ok,” he said, pulling out his GPS tracker. The screen lit up, then gave an error. “We aren’t getting a satellite feed,” Nathaniel said as he shut it down and tucked it away. “That’s a good sign.”

“I found a better one,” Yokiko said, her voice tight. Nathaniel glances up to see the three warriors creeping toward them, their dark skin so close to his own. Their facial features are familiar to him as well, but his Caucasian heritage had softened those features.

“They’re Illinois,” he said softly. “Crap, I don’t know their language. I learned Ogdala, figuring that’s where he would be.”

“Are we in danger?” Yokiko asked, edging behind him and pressing herself against his back.

“Well,” Nathaniel said, trying not to get distracted by her pressing against him, “they only have bows and arrows, so I think that we’re ok.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know that I can take an arrow,” Yokiko gulped. “I haven’t learned to make the force field like Mom yet, and I’m not as tough as Dad.”

“Well, let me try Ogdala,” Nathaniel said as he spread his hands to show he was unarmed. “Greetings, Illinoi. I am Nathaniel Carver. Can you understand me?”

They babbled at him in Illinoi. “I guess not,” Yokiko said. “Got another idea?”

“Not really,” he sighed, wondering if they would just let them go quietly.

One of the braves barked a command, which was emphasized by shaking his drawn bow and arrow at them. “Are they the shoot first and ask later kind?” Yokiko asked, her voice shaking.

“Most Native Americans weren’t, but the Illinois were at war with the Iroquois. They might think that we’re spies for them,” Nathaniel guessed. He was keeping his hands at his side, trying to think about how to get out of this without anyone getting hurt.

He had an idea. “Yokiko, a display of power might scare them off,” he said over his shoulder. “Put your arms around my chest and hold on. I’m going to get a bit off the ground and see if that sends ‘em running.”

“Ok,” she said, her arms feeling so good as they wrapped around him. He kicked in the flight and lifted off the ground, carrying her with him.

The Illinoi screamed and ran; one stopped long enough to fire an arrow at them. Nathaniel flinched as it came in, straight for his chest; he didn’t try to dodge because it might hit Yokiko. It bounced off his chest, not even hurting. Nathaniel blinked down in surprise as the Illinois warrior dashed away.

“Nate!” Yokiko cried. “Are you ok?” Her hands groped at his chest, and he reached down to grab her arms to keep her from falling.

“Easy, I’m fine,” he laughed, wishing that he hadn’t because she would stop touching him. He settled back down on the ground, regretfully letting her go.

They gathered up the gear and leave the area. Nathaniel ended up carrying everything as Yokiko opened several warp gates, moving them far away from any sign of civilization, primitive or otherwise. “So we’re probably in the right place – now what?” the beautiful teenager asked Nathaniel.

“We go to the Badlands,” he answered, even as he knew that it would give her an opening that she had been waiting for.

“I wanted to do that in the first place!” Yokiko snapped. “But no, you knew that he would be right where Mom left him twenty years ago!”

“Yeah, I’m admitting you’re right,” Nathaniel sighed, waving the rest of her tirade away. “Let’s just go, ok?”

“Fine,” Yokiko huffed, her solid blue eyes flashing. Turning her back on him, she began to create one of her starfield warp tunnels. Nathaniel picked up the bags and tried to calm down. Soon, I’ll meet him, he reminded himself. Nothing else mattered, not even Yokiko’s anger or the price she’d make him pay later, not if he got to meet Wakinyan.

* * *

Kize-Mato knelt next to the stream filling up the water bags. It was a thankless task, but one that needed to be done. The Ogdala just wished that Mother had gotten her bratty little brother to do it instead.

The wind changed in a sudden burst of power, and Kize-Mato put her hands up to block the stirred-up dust. She expected it to die down almost immediately but instead it picked up fury and speed as a strange howling sound began. She looked to the source of the noise, but it was coming form the same direction as the wind. Kize-Mato peered through her fingers-

To see stars. Impossible! Kize-Mato gasped to herself. She dropped her hands and stared at the circle of night sky growing in the air before her. Suddenly, a knee came out of the night sky, followed by a leg and a foot and a body! A boy not much older than her big brother stepped out, but he was so tall! And strangely pale, with a softer face than she had seen before. He moved with grace as he stepped out of the sky, holding strange containers made of odd materials. His gaze fell on her, and Kize-Mato could not breathe. He was as beautiful as a sunset reflected off the three lakes below the pine woods, and she felt every inch of her skin tighten with desire.

Another foot stepped out of the starfield, and Kize-Mato’s eyes widened further as a creature with white skin and black stripes stepped out. She was not sure if it’s an animal – it appeared to be a woman, but no woman has skin as white as pure snow, or black stripes on her skin. Her hair is black, but it has a slight wave to it. Her face is even softer than the man’s, with round cheeks and a tiny, delicate nose. She reminds Kize-Mato of a flower.

“Hello?” the male was saying, and Kize-Mato jerked her attention to him. “We’re looking for someone. Can you help us?”

“Who…. Who are you looking for?” she managed to say, feeling her bronze skin darken. The white-skinned woman’s expression tightened.

“I am looking for Wakinyan, the Thunderbird,” the man replied.

Kize-Mato’s eyes widened. They must be spirits, too! She hastily climbed to her feet. “I will take you to Wakinyan!” she said, leaving her water bags. She can return for them; one did not keep spirits waiting. As Kize-Mato began to lead them up the gully to the high ledge where Wakinyan lived, she wondered if the male spirit would gift her with a child, as Wakinyan sometimes did for the women in the village.

* * *

Nathaniel’s hands shook as the young girl walked up the path toward the ledge that jutted out into the sky in front of them. Wakinyan lived up there, or so Kize-Mato had said.

“Are you ok?” Yokiko asked suddenly from her position behind him.

Nathaniel looked over his shoulder at her and gave her a quick smile. “Yeah, I’m just excited,” he said. “I’m about to meet him.”

“Ok, just checking,” Yokiko replied in a tone of voice that made it clear she’d like to say more.

“What?” Nathaniel said, frustration tingeing his face and voice. He stopped and turned, glaring at her.

“Nothing,” Yokiko insisted, starting to pass him. Nathaniel grabbed her arm and forced her to a stop. He didn’t say anything; he didn’t have to. “Look, Nate, you’ve never seen him and he doesn’t know about you. He’s been here for twenty years. Just don’t expect too much.”

“All I need is some wisdom,” Nathaniel growled. “I’m not expecting any hugs or love, but I have to know how he dealt with all this shit I’ve got going on in my head.”

“Yeah, I know,” Yokiko said, pulling her arm out of his hand. “I’m just worried about this. I remember all the stories my mom told me.”

Nathaniel flushed. “Your mom never liked Wakinyan.” He turned and bound up the slope, moving easily despite all the bags he carried. Yokiko watched him with a frown before following him.

When they caught up with Kize-Mato, she had already prostrated herself in front of the cave. There were baskets and blankets scattered around and the remnants of gifts and offerings were littering the area. Given the pictures that Nathaniel had seen of Wakinyan’s old cave-home, he had expected to see carving decorating the area. But this rock has no decorations, no personalization.

“You must wait here,” Kize-Mato hissed, turning her head slightly so that she could talk. “Bow down and await him; set your gifts before you. He will see us when he’s ready.”

“What did she say?” Yokiko asked and Nathaniel translated. Yokiko rolled her eyes. “So he expects us to sit on our asses – our knees, that is – and wait for him like he’s some big shit? Please!” Her voice carried into the cave; neither Nova sees the sudden flare of blue eyes. Kize-Mato opened her mouth to warn, but a furred, taloned finger hovered in front of a curved beak in a clear gesture for silence.

“Yokiko, please!” Nathaniel said anxiously. “I want to talk to him, please don’t ruin it.”

“Whatever,” Yokiko growled. “I’m not going to grovel and debase myself at some overwrought pompous ass’ feet just because he’s-”

A black mass slams into Yokiko, burying her underneath. Nathaniel screamed in rage as Yokiko disappeared into darkness. Nathaniel didn’t think; he grabbed the black mass and heaved, throwing it off of his friend. It snapped out obsidian wings and flipped over, catching itself and landing on all fours.

“Isn’t this interesting?” the creature said, blue eyes glowing in sharp contrast to his black fur. The color drank in all light, leaving only the blue eyes glaring at him. “You smell familiar, little girl; like a kitty-cat I used to know. And you have some of your mommy’s gifts.”

Nathaniel bounded forward, landing between the creature and Yokiko. “Leave her alone!” he roared, his claws snapping out.

“And you smell like…” the blue eyes rose higher and a head appeared out of the mass. “Like someone I used to know. And like…” The blue eyes widened further. The black color rippled and faded into a dark brown. Nathaniel’s eyes widened as the creature became the image of Wakinyan. The creature reached up and scratched its – his head in a gesture completely incongruous with the image he presented. “So, this is unexpected.”

“Yeah,” Nathaniel said, relaxing away his claws and shoving his hands into his pockets. He had dreamed of his moment, but now that it was here, he didn’t know what to say anymore. Yokiko had come to her feet and was standing just behind him. There would be hell to pay later from her for what the griffin had done, but it would be worth it – if he could find the words.

“And you’re, eh, named what again?” Wakinyan said awkwardly.

“Nathaniel Carver,” Nathaniel said.

“And here I would have thought that Carver would pick something cooler,” Wakinyan sighed, mostly to himself. His eyes refocus on Yokiko. “Sorry about that. I wouldn’t have hurt you; I was just playing.”

Nathaniel saw that angry, stubborn look he knows so well on Yokiko’s face, and he hastily said, “Yeah, Mom said you had a playful streak.”

Wakinyan’s face darkens. “What else did Carver tell you about me?”

Nathaniel swallowed. Mom had told him that he could be touchy. “Just enough so that I know that I need your help,” the young Nova said.

“What do you need from me?” Wakinyan growled. “I haven’t been a part of your life.” Pain lanced out through the griffon’s voice; after twenty years, the loss of the first woman who had been his mate in truth as well as name still hurt him deeply.

“I know,” Nathaniel said, trying to get through to the giant Nova. “That’s why I need you. My step-dad, Harry-”

“That damned wrestler?” Wakinyan growls. “Carver married that wimp?”

“Yeah, he raised me, but there are things that happen in my head that I don’t understand,” Nathaniel said. “I sometimes think and feel things that… I can’t do in polite company. Mom has tried to teach me to control myself, but I have two very primal parents, and sometimes… I have to fight, ya know?”

“I won’t help you learn control,” Wakinyan grunted.

“I know,” Nathaniel said softly. His dark brown eyes meet his father’s. “I want you to teach me to embrace my other half, the half that Mom denies. Teach me to be true to my primal side and still live with myself.”

Wakinyan’s feathers and fur ruffles up. “Why should I?” he demanded belligerently.

“Because,” Nathaniel said, his voice a touch desperate, “you’re my father. I need you.”

“I guess your mother should have thought of that before she dumped me here,” Wakinyan growled.

“What? No, Mom argued against banishing you,” Nathaniel said, anger warming his voice. “It was the others who decided that you were too dangerous.”

Wakinyan looked hopeful for a second before he snapped his head away, frowning again. “Why should I believe you? You’ll say anything to get me to help you.”

“She kept the pelt,” Nathaniel said. Wakinyan’s blue eyes drifted back to him, and the young Nova nodded as he affirmed, “The one she cut from your chest.”

Yokiko shuddered, but neither man noticed. “It was so good, being with her,” Wakinyan said miserably. “Then she freaked out, like the very next day. She started going on and on about how she shouldn’t have done this and it wasn’t her and that I had tricked her.” The massive head turned away from his son as he said, “She made it all my fault.”

Nathaniel nodded. “I think she’s sorry about that,” he murmured, hopeful that this would mend the bridge between him and his father. “She told me once that she shouldn’t have freaked out like that.”

“Really?” Wakinyan said, sounding little older than his son for a moment. Nathaniel’s stomach clenched as he realized the weight of the pain that the griffin carried inside.

“Really,” Nathaniel assured him. “She said that she had lost her primal spirit in a moment of fear.” He hesitated, then pressured, “Will you help me?”

“That’s what she called me? Her primal spirit?” Wakinyan asked. Nathaniel nodded slowly and Wakinyan lowered his head to Nathaniel’s level. “Yes, Nathaniel, I will help you,” he said. His blue eyes settled on Yokiko as he said, “Maybe I can teach you a better way to deal with that and with others, so that some lucky young lady doesn’t lose her primal spirit someday.”

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