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Apr. 11th, 2016


Plan and Execute (Ariel)

The nights had not gotten easier. He still slept in the pallet beside Ariel's bed, and only after the night sky started fading into morning. His devastatingly dangerous nightmares were kind enough not to disturb him for the first hour before sunrise, and Ariel was always awake - and safe - after that. Ariel's nightmares kept him busy during the evenings, so it was no waste of time for him to sit up throughout the night, his back against the wall of her bedroom, listening to her breathing.

He had a lot of time to think during the evenings. He thought a lot on his friendship with Steve Rogers, his place in this City, and on the past he'd lived through. Most of his memories were returned now; only rarely did he find gaps that he couldn't account for. There was a relief in knowing just exactly what sort of monster he was. And there was a great deal of condemnation from it, as well.

He sought to unite himself with the delicate innocent creature just across from him, sleeping peacefully (for now) in his presence. That was mostly what he thought about, these nights. He was wholly unworthy of her, and yet she'd still agreed. He thought they should be married very quickly, for propriety's sake alone... but also because he feared she'd come to her senses. He had a plan in place for how to wed the mermaid. Now all he had to do was execute it.

The sunrise caught him through the glass as his thoughts roved. Wearily, he ran his flesh hand over his face and pushed up against the floor to stand. She'd be awake soon. Even now, her breathing was changing. James carefully sat on the edge of her bed and waited.

Feb. 1st, 2016


Cracking the books (Narrative)

Ariel had been studying relentlessly.

There was so much to the ritual and ceremony she was still unfamiliar with and it seemed that, in all of the studying she had done thus far, there was a basic structure to be ceremony. She wanted to please James, she wanted him to be proud of her. Little did she know that perhaps his knowledge of marriage ceremonies was not much greater than her own. All she considered was that humanity had a way of doing things and she didn't want to get any part of it incorrect.

It had to be perfect, this wedding.

Day after day the mermaid poured herself over the knowledge. Over the details. Over the process and every small thing she could absorb.

Magazines had been gone through. Books and archives. Anything Ariel could get her hands on she read and memorized.

She had a running list of things to remember. After a while her head had begun to ache with the knowledge. It was more than she had ever dreamed but she strived for perfection.

Rubbing her fingers over her eyes, Ariel sighed. The lines of text were becoming blurry. The letters were beginning to run together but she continued to make herself read onward. She couldn't afford to miss a single detail.

Everything had to be perfect. James deserved no less than that.

Aug. 3rd, 2015


An Engagement (Steve, later Ariel, Edward)

It was to be today. James had everything in place. After having double-checked his work, he returned to Steve's apartment looking for Ariel - but found only quiet. Believing that she'd gone out to sun or to stroll, he went downstairs and circled the apartment building. Then he did it again. Dismissing the mild unease, he headed back up to wait.

But an hour passed, and she had not returned. The second hour ticked by, and he finally picked up his phone and tried to reach her on it. It wasn't unexpected that she didn't pick up. She never really seemed technologically minded. So he rang Steve instead. The conversation was stilted and harsh, at least on his end. His throat felt tight, and the back of his neck was hot.

He knew.

James knew, but was trying to deny it.

Steve was on his way back. James paced the front of the living room quickly, back and forth, and then shot a text to Dr. Quinn.

Today. That was all he needed to send to her; she'd know the rest. It didn't matter that night hadn't even fallen. And, he realized, it didn't even matter that he hadn't confirmed that Edward Nigma had kidnapped her again. He should have handled this long ago. It shouldn't even be a question.

After today, it wouldn't be.

Jul. 18th, 2015


Revenge can be toxic (Ariel; narrative)

Edward grinned as he adorned the gauntlet Jonathan had once worn. He strapped the worn buckles into the appropriate slots, pulled the leather tight and flexed his fingers. The syringes attached to the glove wiggled and the toxin within the vials swirled gently. Holding it up so that he could better view the thing, Edward sighed hard. He missed his lover dearly and it was killing him from the inside out. It was easier to cope when he had something to do besides harassing Harley. No, Eddie needed a challenge. Something to do that warranted a bit of retribution.

Those stupid goody-two shoes jerk heroes would get theirs. They would see. They would all see. Edward loathed every single one of them, Stark, Banner, Rogers and his friend with the arm....each one he hated more than the last. Nobody got away with threatening him. Oh no, that was not how the game worked.

The criminal turned to the body of the breathing and unconscious girl laying on the floor of the cell. He wouldn't keep her underground this time, no...he wanted them to find her like this.

A grin as wide as the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland and Eddie knelt down to the girl. He picked up one of her limo arms and dug the ends of the syringes from the gauntlet into her skin. He filled her with fear toxin, a dose far heavier than she needed. Let them come find her and watch Jonathan's legacy unfold. They took one of the people he loved and so he would return the favor. And who better than the stupid little mermaid girl?

Capturing her had been so easy. Like it had been the first time. And now she would never escape. Eddie knew where the antidote was for the toxin. Harley knew too, but Eddie didn't care of she knew. She was too busy gloating and working she didn't have time to betray him. Plus he would kill the meddlesome blonde this time for sure if she snitched.

Emptying the last of the toxin into Ariel's bloodstream, Edward pulled back, dropped her arm and turned. He left the cell, slamming the door closed behind himself, leaving her laying on the cold, hard and dirty floor. When she woke up she would be screaming and afraid and he would relish in the sound. He couldn't wait to hear it. Just the thought was making him shiver with delight.

And when her boy toy came for her, oh wouldn't he be surprised when she cowered from him in fear! Pushed him away! Oh that would be a treat in itself!

Giggling, Eddie removed the gauntlet and skipped away to brag the good news to Harley.

Jun. 5th, 2015


Unhappy (Ariel)

The last thing Macklyn wanted to be doing was to be hunting down the little mermaid. He wanted to encounter her on happier terms, see her and discover how she might be doing in this new place. He didn't want to have to wash her brain of everything that Eric had told her.

Of course, that's what he was doing.

Finding people when they had a bit of his blood in them was a lot easier, which she did not have, but he'd at least learned what her mind felt like, so he had that. It was more like finding a needle lost in the middle of a stitch, instead of a haystack.

Macklyn spied her red hair in the park, and he watched her for a moment, trying to figure out the best approach. Hoping that this was the end of the line. Hoping that he wasn't going to have to find others.

May. 15th, 2015


The Long Awaited Dinner Party [Peggy, Ariel, Bucky]

It had taken far too long for this, but finally, finally, tonight was the night. Steve had agonized over what to bring, which wine, which tea, but he had finally settled on a pink sparkling moscato and a bit of Earl Grey bergamot for dessert. He'd also gone through several outfits before settling into a dark grey suit with a crisp white shirt, sans tie.

Facing the Red Skull hadn't been so nerve-wracking as a dinner date.

He'd kept asking Bucky's opinion. On the wine, on his clothes, on whether or not he was expected to bring flowers for Peggy. On one hand, he was already bringing wine and tea. On the other, wasn't that what you did for a date? Bring flowers? What kind of flowers? Roses seemed too formal, carnations too casual, lillies too somber. Fine, fine. Wine and tea. Wine and tea were perfectly acceptable.

Man, he hoped he wasn't screwing up already. He'd already missed their first date by seventy years. This one had to go right.

As he knocked at Peggy's door, he realized he had forgotten to ask if Ariel and Bucky liked dancing. This was a dinner date - why was he worried about dancing?

Yeah. Facing the Red Skull had been much easier.

May. 7th, 2015


Betrayal (Ariel/Eric D. log; complete)

Enough time had passed since Ariel's abduction and recovery that Eric felt it was alright to reach out to the girl directly and check on her health. Bran had been keeping an eye on her well-being. She seemed to be functioning alright, as holed up in an apartment as she was. The windows were always constantly shifting so the bird was able to peer in at her from every angle thereabout. Bran noticed, too, the man with the metal arm. Bucky. James Barnes. Eric recognized him from the slab of marble erected in his honor at the Library. Steve had asked for Eric's help to assist in soothing the man and yet the Avenger had never reached out. Eric was alright with that, it meant really that his services weren't needed. Eric wasn't sure if he could endure taking on any more pain and storing it. Especially not pain aged and hungry like that. But Rogers was a friend and Eric would be there if the call ever did come.

Finally the girl did leave the apartment. She ventured out on her own and Eric was glad to see that she was happy. The way she skipped, the merriment in the enticing tones of her soft humming. Her hair seemed brighter, her eyes carried a glow that meant she was radiating from the inside. He was very glad she had recovered. Eric was aware of her friendship with Macklyn, and while he doubted the two had talked recently the hybrid could tell that Macklyn held the slender mermaid high in regard. And she would know who he was simply by the connection and their co-existence in the TARDIS.

Reaching out to her wasn't out of the normal ways of the world.

Eric did stop her and she welcomed his company. So kind she was, so eager to please and willing to listen. Together they walked through the park and she updated him on all of the things in her life. A bench found them, as Ariel had always been one to sit and listen, and they talked. Mostly Eric listened as she discussed herself, Steve and Bucky. Only, she called him James. Always James. Eric was glad for her. He could tell by the tone in her voice and the way her heart fluttered as she spoke James' name that she loved him dearly. If anyone deserved all of the love in the world it was the red-head. Ariel had seen her share of hatred and struggle. Humanity had not been as kind to her as it had some others. But she deserved it more than anyone.

"And what of you, Eric? How have you been?" Ariel asked, eyes alight with wonder.

The hybrid appreciated the question, the concern from her. They had not been friends before but he felt like they would be after this point. It was hard not to like the girl immensely. "I've been doing well, thank you. Ben and I have been staying pretty busy," Eric explained. Ariel nodded. "Can you read my mind? Like Ben can?" Ariel asked. Eric shook his head, "That's not a trick I picked up when he shared with me. I think that's really a fairy thing."

Ariel tilted her head at Eric, and she frowned some. "Shared? I don't understand what that means." Of course she didn't. He hoped she never had to know what that meant. But for all of the bad things that could come with it, even better things were to be had.

"Oh. I guess Ben didn't tell you." Eric could share with Ariel, but not like Ben. He didn't think it was the same thing. "I had an accident on the island, you see...I almost died. Ben saved me. He shared some of his blood with me and that's the reason I'm here today." It seemed a simple thing to explain.

Her tiny hand found his forearm and she looked sad, concerned. "Shared blood?" Her eyebrows lifted. She reflected back on something Ben had told her long ago about creatures that drank blood. Killed fairies for it. Vampires.

Ariel stiffened.

Eric tilted his head at her.

"How did he share his blood with you? Do you drink blood?" Ariel asked, her voice small.

"A wound, I think. I don't recall," he explained, before shrugging his shoulders at her, "I didn't used to, but I guess that comes with the species." A casual slip up. He couldn't lie to her. He figured she knew what Ben was even though he hadn't told her his true name. Eric wouldn't either.

Ariel's eyes widened. "Are you a vampire?" Was Ben a vampire too? He had kept the truth from her.

"Oh. Uh, I am now. But only part." So she didn't know. Damn.

The mermaid was up and fleeing before any other words could be said. Eric didn't chase after her. He could feel her fear but he could feel her sadness most of all. A friend had not told her the truth and she had trusted his word. It broke her heart.

Bran cawed and Eric shot him a look. You are often too giving, Bran whispered.

Be quiet, Eric replied. He had to fix this. But he didn't know even where to start.

May. 3rd, 2015


Force of Gravity (Ariel)

After an exhaustive search, James thought he'd located one of the most beautiful and most deserted beaches in the City. Located in the north, just before the island on which Wayne Manor was built, a smaller, separate island waited untouched by most of the citizens. It wasn't easy to get to; there were no roads to the two small islands sandwiched between Wayne Manor's island and the other. James had to rent a boat to take them over.

But after they finally made it to the north-most satellite island, and after he led them to the eastern side where the sunset would be most noticeable, James decided that it was worth the hassle to see Ariel's expression. He hadn't said much on the way; he wasn't much for conversation. Nevertheless, it was clear from his keen attentiveness to her that he was very interested in everything she did, and everything she said - even if he didn't yet know how to tell her.

"Is this what you wanted?" he asked at last, once he'd thrown a blanket over the sand. His flesh hand gestured toward the beach, and then he looked back at her again. He thought she liked it. He needed to be certain.

Mar. 31st, 2015


Adjustment [James]

Something was wrong. Steve could tell from the moment he entered the apartment building. Something was triggering his instincts, though he couldn't be certain what it was. But something was different, something was wrong. He hadn't been gone long, had he? Glancing at his watch as he navigated the corridor, Steve winced slightly. Three hours. He'd been gone for three hours. He'd done some shopping, done his usual workout at Logan's gym, and had planned to be back in time for lunch. He was within his time limit, but clearly something had happened while he was gone.

What had happened?

The door to his apartment was unlocked. Steve nudged the door open and paused in the doorway for a moment, taking stock. He couldn't identify the majority of items that were now scattered in pieces on the ground. He didn't mind very much - he hadn't had much attachment to the items that had filled the apartment. The small stack of records was unharmed, though the speakers for the sound system would have to be replaced. Wooden furniture was broken and scattered about, either outright shattered or flung in the aftermath. The door itself had cracks in the thick wood, impressive dents from what had to have been a metal fist.

Steve let out a slow breath and stepped into the apartment. "Bucky?" he called. "Ariel?" He didn't see any blood, but he hadn't seen the rest of the apartment yet. There was a scent of violence on the air, and the soldier set his packages by the door and cautiously moved towards some faint sounds in the kitchen.

Mar. 25th, 2015


Bravery (Narrative)

Ariel had been standing in front of Steve's door for....well, she hadn't been noting the time. She knew it had been long enough for her feet and legs to ache from being immobile. But she couldn't bring herself to get any closer to the door. The door that was keeping her from the hallway, which in turn blocked her from the outside. The sun was out there and she wanted to be in it. The water was out there and she wished to see it. But she just couldn't. Her body shook every time she approached the door.

But she was going go make herself open it. She would overcome this. She had before. Ariel knew she couldn't stay here forever, she had to be free. She was still a daughter of the sea no matter if she had a fin or legs. Ariel was not going to allow some man to keep her from what she wanted in her heart. And right now all she wanted was to have the courage to open the door.

A breath escaped her. Ariel didn't realize that her hand and arm were shaking as she lifted the limb up and outward. When her fingers felt the cool metal of the knob, her eyes closed tight. Another breath. She took one step forward, then another, pausing when she was close enough that she could feel the presence of the large piece of oak standing between her and the hallway.

Slowly her eyes opened and she stared hard at the door. I can do this. She repeated it to herself in her mind over and over, biting at her bottom lip. Her fingers gripped and knob and her wrist pivoted, twisting it slowly. Finally getting the knob to turn all the way, Ariel stepped back, bringing the door to the hallway back with her. It swung open lazily, and she breathed out hard.

Her eyes swept back and forth and her fingers released the knob. A few steps and she was at the threshold, peering into the hallway. She stuck her head out first, looking from the left and then to the right, to make sure the hall was clear. It was. A glance over her shoulder at the apartment, no sign of James or Steve. She returned her attention to the hallway, stepped forward and sighed in relief. She had done it. She was out of the apartment and free. She wouldn't be gone long, she wanted to be out in the sun rather than just look at it through a pane of glass.

The door closed behind her and she rushed down the hallway, descended the stairs and burst out of the lobby doors to the outside. She smiled as she stopped, letting the sun warm her face and she basked. Truly basked. This was going to be a good day indeed.

Mar. 17th, 2015


Evaluation (Steve, Ariel and Bucky)

Harley stood in the hallway.

She was spent. Used up. Done.

In one hand she clasped a briefcase which was stuffed full of a variety of things. The other was lifted, fingers curled against her palm. She was knocking without realizing it. Number fourteen. Steve's apartment.

Scare beast had done a number on her psyche but she had a last promise she had to get out of her ledger before she could give herself entirely to the beast. And it had to be now. It couldn't wait anymore. Harleen had managed to change her skirt which had been rendered to tatters. Her button up shirt was halfway untucked from the waist band, and her hair was askew from the ponytail she had pulled it back into. Her blue eyes were hazed, but she made herself focus. Half of the collar of her shirt was pulled up, the other half was down as normal. Bruises and red marks riddled the flesh of her neck. She avoided them.

Again she knocked. Steve could tell her where the girl was, and they could be done with the assessment. She had to be done with it. It was that or she knew the beast would take her life. He had made her choose, and she had chosen him over the heroic life. Over protection. She was trying to save her friends. Steve needed to be alive, he needed to help people like Ariel. Bucky. Harley was past help. She had done this to herself.

"C'mon ya idiot, open tha door," she breathed, though she didn't mean it in a malicious way. She needed to get back. The timeline was growing thinner with each second.

Harley didn't realize how her makeup looked, it ran down her face. Maybe she had cried on the way over. Maybe it had been really hot in her car and she had sweated. She would never tell. But this had to be done. If she was even allowed to do the tests. It all would depend on Steve's friend. She needed the permission. She wasn't going to get squashed by someone just because she was fulfilling a promise.

So, Harley lowered her hand from the door and waited.

Mar. 10th, 2015


Debriefing [James]

[backdated: immediately follows this]

Steve entered the apartment quietly, not sure if his guests were resting, but hoping that they were. Ariel at least needed the rest. He didn't know just how long she'd been trapped in Arkham's dungeons, but it had been long enough, and she was far more delicate than the soldiers who had come to her rescue. While he hoped that James might have decided to sleep as well, he didn't have as much faith that the mindbended assassin had found much solace.

After taking 'Eddie' to the police, and persuading him it was in his best interests to confess, Steve had filled out his own police report, and then looked for something for everyone to eat. He didn't know Ariel's tastes, but he knew his own and Bucky's, so he had filled in the gaps from there.

It was a small stash of food for the time being. Some pulled pork sandwiches, salad, fries, and a few pieces of chocolate cake for dessert. The cake was a special treat for Ariel, the pork for Bucky. The man Steve had known loved barbecue pork.

He heard movement as he slipped into the kitchen, and began to unpack the food.

Mar. 6th, 2015


Security (Ariel)

They'd taken the car belonging to the woman that Steve interrogated. When Steve dropped him and Ariel off at their apartments, he'd tossed his keys without a word. Buck caught them in a flash of silver and gently led Ariel upstairs to the room on the key. Steve was right. Ariel's apartment was on the ground floor - too easily accessible. It was better to put her up at Steve's place, at least temporarily. They made a quick stop at Ariel's place to get the things she wanted. He also took the time to clean her up a little. His hands were gentle, though his eyes still hadn't softened from the moment he'd learned she was missing.

Still, once her hurts were tended and she had everything she wanted, he helped her carry things up to Steve's place. All of this was done in relative silence. Neither seemed to want to talk.

He was curious about the gesture she'd given him when he asked her what sort of power Eddie was referring to. All she'd done was pat her throat. Her voice, perhaps. He thought her voice was beautiful. He wanted very much to hear it again - laughing. He wanted to hear her laughing. The ache of want for that was great enough to hunch his shoulders, to overshadow the pain in his ignored hand.

When they were upstairs, he started helping her settle in. James was surprised to find sachets of tea in the cabinet. He made Ariel a cup and briefly considered one for himself, before his throbbing head determined that it was not wise. He avoided anything to eat or drink, knowing better than to test the limits of his body's tolerance while in this much pain. But he hid the pain from her as much as possible. She had other things on her mind.

At last, when he'd led her to the couch, tucked a blanket around her, and done a circuit of the apartment to familiarize himself with the layout, he finally came to her again. Though he didn't sit down - he was her sentinel until Steve returned - he was close enough to her that he could reach out and touch her shoulder if he wanted to. He did want to. But he didn't do it.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

Mar. 1st, 2015


Have You Seen My Mermaid? [Barnes, others later]

Cleaning up the apartment didn't take as long as Steve had worried it might. Of course, there was plaster to reapply and furniture that needed replacing, but within two hours, the glass and blood had been cleared away, the damaged walls tidied, the bed made up with fresh linens. The door was the final task, and once it was refitted and able to shut again (albeit with some resistance), Steve figured that was the best he would be able to do without a trip out to a hardware store.

He headed back to his apartment, hoping to clean himself up a bit before checking in on Ariel and Bucky.

The discarded basket caught his eye as he reached for the knob to his apartment door. Hadn't the redhead had something like that? He walked to it and picked it up, eyeing the business card within.

His eyes narrowed a bit. What was Harleen's card doing here? And where was Ariel?

A cold sensation nestled itself in between Steve's shoulders. He burst into his apartment, grabbed his shield, and then went to number seven, hoping he would find the pair resting together or talking quietly. He knocked twice and let himself in, the shield at the ready - just in case his instincts were superior to his desires.

Feb. 26th, 2015


Blank (Steve, later Ariel)

At first, The Winter Soldier suspected he'd been attacked somehow - rendered unconscious by some unknown foe, then left inert, tangled in a heap on the floor while they ransacked the hotel where he was staying.

But the door was locked; his safeguards were firmly in place; there was no sign of tampering or disturbance - at least, not around the points of entry to this hotel r -- apartment. It was an apartment, not a hotel. The Asset sat on the edge of the bed. He didn't recognize this place. No, that wasn't true. He remembered coming here, now, remembered being led by a red-haired, fragile thing. In the corner of the room, he saw the keychain lying half-against the wall, with the name 'BARNES' in precise, machined print on the back of the fob. Barnes. That was supposed to be his name. He didn't remember having a name.

The Asset raked his flesh hand back through the strands of damp hair clinging to his face. Analyze the situation. There was a large amount of glass on the floor, but it wasn't from the windows. A twisted metal frame lay on its side against the far wall. Against? Embedded. A glass coffee table, or what used to be one, thrown with force. On the other side of the room, a set of chairs and a small wooden had been reduced to splinters. All around the walls, there were large indentations. At his side, his metal hand flexed and relaxed and flexed again. But the windows and the door were undisturbed. And then there was the bed where he sat. The sheets were ripped halfway off, the duvet crumpled at the foot of the bed, the pillows mostly on the floor, and he saw, smelled, and felt that the sheets were damp with perspiration.

Finally, the Winter Soldier took stock of his body. His feet ached, and so he turned one bare foot over his knee. Dug a few bits of glass out of the sole. Repeated on the opposite foot. Flexed his flesh hand, felt the bones complain under their puffy skin, and stopped moving his hand.

No one had been in this apartment. No one but him.

And he didn't remember any of this.

It had been four days since he arrived here, four days since that red haired angel put her hand in his. He thought about opening the door to his apartment. He didn't. Instead, he dropped back into bed and slung his flesh arm over his eyes.

Feb. 25th, 2015


Research (Narrative)

Ariel smiled at herself as she made her way slowly down the hallway of the building where her apartment was. All day she had been anxious to get out and discover. Since meeting James, Ariel had grown curious about Brooklyn and some of the other things she had come across in her small amount of time in the City. Honestly she wanted to know everything, though she was aware that it would take time and experience to truly know as much as her heart desired. John had shown her music and instruments; Ariel had chosen a book complimentary of that genre, a volume that included photographs and that came with a way to listen to demonstrations of the instruments. It was called a CD. Whatever that was.

Also, Ariel had selected carefully an atlas, and an Encyclopedia that featured places like New York, where she discovered Brooklyn to be, and a mountain of other things that came between the letters L and O in the human alphabet.

And for her last selection, Ariel had chosen a book on mermaids. It had taken a lot of reading to find one she felt accurately described her people. She didn't want anyone getting the wrong impression or idea of what the mythical creatures were really like. Humans speculated, of course, but she found a book that wasn't too extensive, that came with well illustrated photographs and had accurate facts. Well, close enough to accurate for her to be alright with it.

The former mermaid reached her door and walked past it only a few steps to the door next to it. Number eight. She wouldn't bother James, she hoped he was out discovering the City, but she did want to make sure he got the book she picked up for him. Easily, Ariel stooped and left the book about her people leaned casually against the door at the bottom. He couldn't miss it if the door opened, even if it was from the other side. Within the cover of the book was a small, short and well-scripted note in her handwriting, letting him know that she hoped he found the reading worthwhile, and that it was from her.

With that done, and her heart fluttering more than she understood, Ariel walked back to her own door. She stopped only to look curiously at what had been taped to it. It was a small, glossy rectangular shape with a person on it. Her fingers reached out and the tips brushed the thing gently. It was a Queen of Diamonds, what humans would call a playing card. But instead of a regular smile, the one on this card was different. The grin was broader, in a red that made it look clownish. And the diamond themselves were red.

Who had left such a thing?

Confused, Ariel took the card from the door, opened it and walked inside. She closed the door behind herself, tucked the card into one of the books for later and then proceeded to get comfortable in her apartment and spend the rest of the day reading.

Feb. 20th, 2015


Loud noises (James)

Ruh ruh ruh!

Ariel winced at the harsh sound the dog was making toward her. Her ears burned with it and while she wasn't sure exactly what she had done to trigger such a frightening noise, she knew she didn't like it and that she needed to get away from it before it got worse.

All the mermaid had been doing was walking down the sidewalk, headed for the food market. Also she had been tempted to stop at the window of the store where she had met her friend John, but she had made herself not succumb to the temptations. Now she almost was cursing herself for not taking the alternate route.

She held a hand up, palm out, as if to distance herself from the slobbering mongrel whom was all teeth and tense muscle.

Having come upon the canine initially, Ariel didn't realize that the poor, starving mutt was feasting on what was left of a stray alley cat. It was protecting its hard earned kill.

"Nice doggy," Ariel breathed, taking a step backward slowly so as not to aggravate the canine more. It had already managed to lunge at her and its sharp teeth had torn a bit of the hem of her dress, which now hung in tattered ribbons.

Ariel moved one foot behind the other, leaving the dog for the curb and of course then the street. In her desperation to distance herself she had forgotten about the dangers that zoomed up and down the paved ways. Cars. Cars could hurt you and she had forgotten to look for them.

The mermaid backed into the middle of the street and only when she heard the blast of a horn did her eyes widen and her attention divert from one danger to another. Her body tensed as she watched a very large, metallic object careen towards her. What did they call it again? A bus?

A bus was coming toward her. There was the horn again, and she felt frozen to the street.

Feb. 8th, 2015


Pastor Rising (open!)

John felt.... well, hungry, but more than that numb. He'd woken up in his bed, in his room, in his apartment. His apartment. From back home, back on Earth.

He was wearing the same clothes he'd gone to sleep in, but everything else was... home.

Then he'd gotten up, and gone to the window, looking out at the moonlit Cityscape that greeted him. So he wasn't home. Dallas was a new place for him, he hadn't even found a proper house to live in there yet. But this certainly wasn't Dallas.

More magic, then?

He could feel the night was young, he must have just woken. He looked around and felt his pockets, finding his old wallet and keys. He took them out and wondered at it, then let out a sigh and looked around. He'd started to get to magic, and the unusual, but this... he dreaded figuring out what this was all about.

Still, his stomach growled, and he knew he'd have to tend to himself. But first he had to make his home safe.

He went to the linen closet and found some of the thickest blankets he had, surprised and unsurprised that he found them. It seemed like whoever had created this charade had gone to elaborate lengths to make him feel like he was home. If it weren't for the alien city sounds outside his window he would have thought he was home.

He returned to his bedroom, fixing the blankets over the windows, blacking out the room and muffling the outside noise. That done he took a shower and found clean clothes, even his old and favorite jean jacket. Then he pulled on his boots, turned off the lights, and left the apartment behind. Most of him expected to never see it again, though he still locked the door behind him.

It was so strange to walk through the small apartment building. It was exactly as he remembered it, to the last detail, yet even then his vampiric senses saw and noticed things in ways his human self never had.

The City outside was bustling, and full of life. It seemed similar to many cities on Earth, but still he didn't recognize any part of it. And he had gotten around back then.

The breeze ruffled his dirty blonde hair as he stood on the sidewalk. As soon as he'd walked out the loudness of all of the sounds hit and stunned him for a moment. He didn't remember any city being so loud outside of warzones.

His stomach growled and the familiar pulled at him, but even as part of him instinctively told him to turn and leave, to go hunt, he suddenly froze on the spot.

He didn't know how to hunt here. Not in this place. Eric had had volunteers on hand for him to feed from, people who willingly gave doses of blood in exchange for protection and provision. But here... he looked around at all of the people, who looked so normal. What normal person would let a vampire feed from them? If the sirens blaring were any indication, people here wouldn't need protection from monsters and zombies in the ruined wastes.

He looked around lost, eyes wide as alarm dawned on him. He didn't have no choice. He could stave off the hunger for a while, he had fed recently, but soon it would start to drain him. And Eric's initial order, that he couldn't let himself die, was still in place. Soon he'd have to feed, to live. And then.... God, what was he going to do?

Jan. 31st, 2015


Curiosities (Ariel)

Maleficent had not left the island for the city beyond the bridge. She had felt no need to do so. Despite the fact that there was very little activity on the side with the dinosaurs anymore - aside from the dinosaurs themselves, of course, she had no desire to explore.

Not just yet, anyway.

Evey's slumber took a sort of precedence over her own curiosity. The girl slept because of her, and even though the fairy queen had put a secure protection spell over the room, she didn't want to risk anybody doing her harm. Maleficent felt that Evey's trust had just barely been earned, and any misstep might damage that. Though she couldn't say why Evey's trust was so important.

Still clad in more modern clothing, Evey walked away from the strange blue box that had once housed the collective. She had gone to observe it and make sure it was still in the place she'd left it, that the sleeping figure inside had gone undisturbed. In the distance, she spied a shock of red hair. There was only one person that she knew of with hair like that on this particular island.

Slowly she moved toward it, not wanting to frighten anyone by appearing too quickly.

"Did you explore over there?" She asked, when she was finally in view.

Jan. 30th, 2015


Familiar Places (Narrative)

Each step was grueling, painful. But it was nothing compared to the stabbing intensity that was her heart. Every planned step brought her closer to her destination, closer to her end, and each one felt more liberating than the last despite the aching throb. She knew her destination, Ariel could see the place in her mind.

This was not her place. This strange city was not her home. The sea was where her heart was and despite any beaches that may lay attached to this foreign land, Ariel wanted to go where she was familiar and comfortable.

For too long she had visited the beaches of the jungle. She didn't care about dinosaurs, she paid no thought to any obstacles that might stand between her and her goal. She only knew she had to keep moving, and she would until her feet touched the sand.

Ariel paused only when she had stepped half way on to the bridge that connected the dinosaur land to the new one. A glance over a once-pale, now dirt covered shoulder and her blue eyes absorbed the sight for what she hoped to be the last time.

Finally she turned, turned her back on the city and that prospect of a life without a love in it.

Ariel made her way into the jungle and never again looked back.

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