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A Conversation Long Overdue
(2013-03-31 - 2013-03-31)
No description.
Skoll Ulfang Salty seawind touches against Skoll's nose as he stands at the very edge of one of the cliffs that oversees the Port Royal. It's a rather familiar place to him, for this is the place where he'd been taken to by one of the Gaia Sisters and had eventually been saved by Avira and Zia. Had they not been there for him, he doesn't even know what would have happened.

He'd rather not think about it, but he knows that he owes those two girls more than he could ever imagine. But it's Avira specifically he'd called a little while ago - in that way he normally does when he wants to be mysterious and stuff. Just ask them to come to a place, thank them, but not explain anything. He trusts that they will come. It may seem a bit of a jerk move, but some things are simply better said in person.

Behind him lies the same tree-growth that is natural to this place. Previously, Avira and Zia had been forced to cut their way through the forest of tendrils and living flesh-eating plants. Now, that forest is normal. The animals have even returned to it. If Avira would come, she'd surely find a few wild animals like cats and iguanas on her way, giving her curious looks.
Avira A mysterious meeting of mystery. This was nothing new with Skoll. Half the time it ended with him shoving her through one of his dark portals.

Avira has not been looking forward to this, truthfully. Even in light of Manhattan being restored, her problems with those she called friends and lovers have only multiplied. It felt like her group was falling apart and people were drifting away from her.

But she had to have this talk. She had to get through it-there was no sense in running from this any longer. Avira hoped that she wouldn't discover she'd let Skoll down as badly as she had with Angantyr.

The significance of this spot is not lost on her but as she makes her way through the forest, she seems pretty surprised and pleased with how it has changed. It was a real forest again, not contaminated by animal-eating plants. In fact, some of the native wildlife had clearly returned! It was a sign of hope, if anything, and it lifted her spirits just slightly. Perhaps later she could return to this spot alone to hone her hunter skills. Indeed, she had been so busy lately she hardly had the time to train herself.

She spies him as she approaches and smiles sadly. It was tempting to practice sneaking up on him but with him facing the cliff like that, it could result in a mishap she didn't want to imagine too much. "Hey Skoll."
Skoll Ulfang Skoll continues to stand looking out at Port Royal for a little more even as he hears her coming. His ears obviously perk at her presence even before she speaks; mostly because she doesn't try to sneak up to him. After all, Avira had come a long way, practice or no.

It's when she speaks his name that he turns his head slightly and glances behind him. "Hey Avira." Skoll answers her, then looks out towards the horizon before him again for a moment. "We've come a long way, haven't we? Since we first met. Even this place has changed since we've last been here. Everything is changing..." The youth pauses for a moment, then turns around towards her and steps forwards, meeting her in the middle.

He stops right before her, looking down to gaze at her face. His hands then come up from below and he tries to take her hands, and then draw her into a hug. A wolfish one, ala Skoll.
Avira She continues forward, ready to join him at cliff-side to what's no doubt a magnificent view. Small things like the beauty of nature could hardly be appreciated while in the midst of battle, especially in the case of the scarred woman. Her inexperience made every fight risky and demanded her full attention.

"Yes." she says quietly, "So much has changed since that day I pounced you in the desert." Her eyes drop to the ground, a troubled look on her face, "...but there's still a long way to go.." Skoll's eyes find themselves upon her lowered head, but when he takes her hands, she finally looks up at him.

The hug is a surprise. It might bring the werewolf a sense of deja-vu from months ago, when Skoll had startled her with her anger over Avira's encounter with the Black Wind. She stiffens in his embrace but unlike last time when she had still been trembling with fear and still so unaccustomed to the physical contact of others, she relaxes and returns the hug.

"It's kind of weird how much has changed." she says, muffled against his shoulder, "It hasn't even been a year."
Skoll Ulfang "It was a good pouncing." Skoll muses, remembering just how distracted he'd been that day. His expression grows a little more dire when she looks away from him. He wonders what is on her mind. "... of course there is. But you have a long life still ahead of you."

His embrace is gentle, but by the time she loosens up, it grows a little stronger in order to do one thing; to be a strong stone to hold on to within the turmoilous waters of life.

"Indeed." He whispers back to her, leaning his head sideways against her and rubbing her back with one hand. "Not even a year, and you've managed to find your way from an urban city life to the streets of Rabanastre, to the life of a beastmaster novice, and even having saved an entire world along with your friends and allies."

He doesn't let go, he simply keeps holding her, not wanting this moment to end. Even though she had been chosen by Mercade, he is still protective of her. Still - as Maira called it - a good friend.

"And even saved my life, along with Zia." He adds to that. "And I am sure far more great deeds lie in your future, Avira."
Avira "As do you." Avira murmurs back when he mentions having a long life ahead of her. Or at least Skoll would have a long life ahead of him if she had anything to say about it! Pried from the clutches of the Gaudium Lords, of course.

His restraint does make the werewolf's embrace bareable for the small, perhaps even runt-like, woman. She can withstand it and a lot more than expected of her, though, and this strong hug from her favorite werewolf is no exception. "Don't forget, you were there too." she reminds him, "Helping my world at every step of the way, even before it fell."

Avira pulls her face away from his shoulder but does not leave his arms. She /needed/ this hug, she realizes, after all the unpleasantry that has happened around her recently. "Skoll.../you/ are still going to be in that future, right? Even with Mercade around?"
Skoll Ulfang "Yes... that I do." A very... very long life. And at some point, it was almost destined that Avira would no longer be part of it all because of sheer mortality. That is, if he managed to 'stay alive' that long. Still, he tries his best not to respond to that mental image, and instead shows a mildest of smiles.

"That I was. But I might not have been there at all were it not for you two." Skoll reminds her. "And there were many times where I wish I could have helped. But..." But he had to stay on the move. To remain in one place for a long time was something he couldn't just 'do'.

The man's hand goes up to the back of Avira's head and he pets through her hair for a small moment, before lowering that hand to her back again. The question that follows surprises him a little though. But his answer is quick as always; "Of course I will be in that future. I may not take the place I'd thought I'd take, but that's alright. I will still be your teacher. And more importantly, your friend." He's reminded of how Hati had said that he was waiting too long. And her word had indeed become true.
Avira Avira was not unaware of Skoll's mortality either. Many a thought had been spent knowing that, like Will, one day she might wind up dying from old age while Skoll persisted. He'd have to deal with the pain of losing her. It was an unpleasant thought for both of them no doubt and yet, at the same time, Avira didn't want to live forever.

Regardless, this is unfamiliar territory for her. She'd never actually had the affections of a guy-or even multiple guys before. She was a nobody, barely worth a second glance. The attention of Valeth had to be begged for and eventually lead to complete ruin.

The contact is met with a leaning towards the hand, perhaps shades of her mutate form remain in this motion. He speaks and she...pauses. Her entire body shivers and she peers up at him, her eyes misty. "I was so worried..." she says quietly, "I was so worried you'd be mad. THis hasn't happened to me before, Skoll, I've never wanted to break someone's heart." Could things had gone differently? Maybe...but if they had, then it's back to the 'relationship with a mortal' problem again. Only magnified.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll can tell that some deep emotions are behind that gaze. Yet all he can do is show that little smile of his, not certain what else to show. Avira, as far as he could tell, often wore her emotions on her sleeve. And in a ways, he did too - but there were certain emotions that had been stunted by the Gaudium Lords. Only recently had things started to be able to come to the surface.

"Don't worry, Avira. I wasn't mad, when I saw Mercade kiss you and turn you to human again - I guess I just... knew it was to be like that." He answers her. The werewolf glances away however, and she's not the only one who goes a bit misty-eyed. There's that pain in his heart again that he'd tried to flee from that day. The reason he'd howled at the moon with a voice he'd never beheld before.

"I just hope you will be happy with him."
Avira Ah, if only Avira could be a stony-faced unreadable badass. Maybe one day-but not now. She couldn't hide it even with her heart weakened as it was. Her light may be diminished, but the emotion was still there. "Still, I'm sorry. I still have feelings for you, Skoll, just not feelings like...that." In spite of herself, she laughs.

"I hope so too. Time will tell on that one. Mercade is his own challenge."
Skoll Ulfang Skoll nods his head a little when she admits that she doesn't carry 'such' feelings for him anymore. Though at the same time, it partially confirms that once... they had been like 'that'. The youth lets out a long sigh and then nods his head. "It's better that way." He admits. "It would be far harder for the both of us if you did." Skoll is strictly a one-girl kind of werewolf, so he'd never dare step in between Mercade and Avira. He'd never try to steal her from him.

"So Avira." The youth rumbles and looks out at the forest. "Where will go you from here? I heard that TRON is looking to return something special to Manhattan?"
Avira She watches his reaction to her admission and her heart breaks a little. "It would have been...complicated when I became a human again anyway." Clearly Avira thinks he preferred her mutate form. He did say he found it beautiful. In a way it kind of was-not to mention she missed being able to fly. "But...ultimately, I don't think it was fair to any of you to feel I loved so many. Guys shouldn't have to share."

Pretty clear confirmation that Avira was monagamous.

"From here? I think it's pretty obvious." she looks up at him. "I still want to become stronger. I think after that whole princess of heart thing, the need's even greater. Beyond that...I want to help people. I want to help TRON. I want to help /you/." A hand reaches up, touching his collar. She pauses, looking at it, "Hm, this seems a bit more worn than I last saw it."
Skoll Ulfang "Would it really have?" Skoll asks her, but doesn't want to push that conversation more than the little comment that follows. "You are beautiful, Avira. Wether it be a Mutate or Human. I'm simply not human - it's why it is easier for me to see this." He explains, before nodding once. She is right. It isn't fair for any of them to feel like she loves many. Or at least, not in his mind.

"If you wish to become stronger, as I said, I will still be your teacher. I won't stop being your friend and teacher, I will help you grow stronger there where I can help it." He explains, before stalling. Her hand coming closer doesn't have him backing away however. He trusts her.

Her touch against the collar causes a very tiny static spark to fly between the collar and her finger. "It is. Something of immense light corroded it a little." But it also meant that it was damaged and more prone to hurt him.
Avira "...indeed. Forgive me, Skoll. I'm a human raised among I guess I'm still trying to open my mind to those possibilities." Humans: pretty racist! Still, she had to wonder if she would have grown to really accept the mutate form or remained eternally saddened by it.

But she'll leave it at that. She'd rather talk about the future now instead of dwell on the rocky past.

"I do." she says empathically, "I do want your help."

The collar sparks and Avira quickly jerks her hand away. "Maybe it means we're closer to getting it off. Maybe we need even more light?"
Skoll Ulfang Skoll shakes his head a little. "Don't worry about it Avira. People are people." As if this somehow explained everything she'd done. "No need to dwell on it. What has happened has happened. Let us concentrate on the future now." He finally lets go of her, stepping back just minorly so.

"As for my help, you have it right now. I didn't call you here just because I knew you wanted to talk. Though I do want to add something... and this may be entirely selfish. But... see if you can't give Katyna another chance. I know what she did - and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd never be able to forgive her. But those days are behind her now. From what I understand, both she and Hati stepped away from that dark path. But if we block them from our lives, they will never step onto the right one."

He doesn't speak about the light and his collar. From what he understands, Zia has a way to get rid of it, and that's enough for him. He will entrust this to her and 'time'. "Just like I probably did harm to you by walking away 'that day'..."
Avira Skoll's words are actually kind of refreshing to hear. At least some people understood that this ideal perfect hero of light wasn't something Avira could maintain. She was flawed, just like anybody else. (Right?)

There was more? Avira furrows her brow and her frown only deepens as Katyna is mentioned. She seems a little...exaspirated?

"I have given her another chance provided that she proves herself. I've told her this, too." Avira says with a sigh. "I would like to forgive her, I really would, but I have to be sure that she understands just how much her actions have hurt not only me, but VALKYRI as well." And a number of other people to, by proxy. "I have to be sure that she's stepped off that path for good or else I'm going to have another Morrighan on my hands."

She shudders at the memories, from being forced to be her servant in Baron to having the dark elf drag her to the Underworld. "And one Morrighan is enough."
Skoll Ulfang "I don't think she'd become 'another Morrighan'." He's only heard rumors, but he gets the gist of what is meant. "She believes herself to have been used -- not so sure about that part to be honest -- but she seems honest. My instincts didn't... you know." He taps his nose. "Didn't seem like she was lying." And he did have a way about knowing this, as Avira has found out in the past. "But, I've been wrong before. I guess I'm asking this more for my sister than anything else. It seems those two were good friends, and from what I understand, still are." He lets out a sigh. "But yes, she's hurt me too. She put people in so much danger with her actions..."

The youth lets out a little sigh and looks to the copse of trees. "Up for a hunt?" He asks her. "Get your mind off of the troubles of today and the future, and just concentrate on letting those instincts of yours loose and lose ourselves in the moment?"
Avira Evenly, Avira nods. "...she said as much. Still..." Oh, she knows quite well about Skoll's interesting truth-sensing abilities. "So she came to see you recently, then? Hm. She hasn't shown her face around me since I met her in Flourgis."

How complicated. Avira was actually quite fond of Hati herself and given the conversations they've had Avira felt like she actually understood Hati equally, if not more, than Katyna.

"Yes." she says almost immediately when Skoll brings up his extracirricular suggestion, "I think I'd like that very much."
Skoll Ulfang "Hrrm, yeah. She's distraught I guess. Doesn't dare to show up in Traverse Town." He explains to Avira. "Think she's afraid of being hated and all that." Skoll touches the girl's shoulders for a moment, and then moves towards the trees themselves. "Then let's. I hear there's a maneating panther in the forest. Let's see if we can capture and tame it." Skoll decides. "You lead!" And there he is... right back to the old Skoll she knows.

Pushing her right into the deep-end. "Don't worry, I'll watch!"
Avira "I can understand /that/ feeling all too well. I hope she has the maturity to know how to manage it." Avira mutters, glancing away from Skoll for a few seconds until he puts his hands on her shoulders. 'Then let's.' indeed!

A smile slowly building on her face, she follows along after Skoll, not unlike that eager puppy out to learn he met months ago. "Is there now-"

He urges her to lead as, he stops and she walks past him. "Er, wait, I, uh-" darn, and what a day to be without the horn! "...well...we-I mean, I better get to tracking, then."
Skoll Ulfang "Yep, you better get to tracking. Just be careful, there may still be some maneating plants around, and I hear some of the snakes here are poisonous. So... if you get bitten, make sure to grab the snake and keep it alive so I can brew you an antidote, okay?" Skoll is full of smiles. "Don't want you to go losing any limbs." And with that said, Skoll climbs one of the trees as if he were some kind of tree-monkey, and disappears into the foillage.

This scene contained 21 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Avira