Ties that Bind

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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:10 am

"Well, we shall have to hear that tale assuredly." says a cracked voice, and Sruth comes over, bent and walking carefully. She pokes Ignacy with a long, long finger. "Budge up, boy." She takes up the seat he vacates, and smiles at us all. Djhuety looks away from her sharp black eyes. Sruth looks over the two newcomers. "So, this is the boy that was dead. You did a good job fixing him up, girl."
I smile. "It did turn out better than we expected."
There's a burst of laughter, and Eran comes jogging over. "Come on, lovely Liveantreach, it's time for water dancing!" Before I can say a word, he's taken my hands and pulled me outside to the river bank. I laugh. "All right, all right!" I wave at my friends over my shoulder.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Liam on Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:16 pm

I smile at the old woman who poked Ignacy " I am sure Liv and Dejhuty will be better with the storytelling then me, only the very beginning is unknown to them. at least in it's complete form" as the person leads Liv away "If i may be so bold, what is water dancing? i have seen fire-dancing. but never water before." my eyes tracing the group. it feels almost like home, there are differences, many to be sure, but more then ever I wish kaija were not so hung over that she couldn't join in this.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:00 pm

"A sport of ours." Sruth says offhand, "It builds skill and keen eyes. Good to watch, too, if the dancers are fine." Sruth pats her bony hand on Djhuety’s knee. “Come, boy. I would walk to the bank and watch the sport, but these old bones aren’t so good on foot. Walk with me, and I'll use your strong arm.”
Led by Sruth as she leans on Djhuety, a little gaggle of folk sweep the newcomers along. On the bank, the group stops, staring at the tableau. Their knives in their hands, Dem, Liv and three other Dratsies stand not in the river, but on its surface, all of them smiling, excited, ready. A low flute begins to play, and all five bow to one another, then begin to move in a slow, graceful fashion, more like a dance than the martial display it really is.
"Our children learn water dance as a way to work both their muscles and their magic." Moira says, leaning over, "Each of them must command the water, and their own bodies as well. With Dem, Liv and Treth out there, this should be a grand game."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:15 pm

I flash the blade in my hand as I twirl, half my mind on the water under my feet and my constant request that it take up the structure of a solid. To my left, Treth grins mischievously, his eyes black as his hair in this low light. "So Liv, you lost your skill for want of practice?" he asks in the River Tongue. I grin back. "We shall see. On the other hand it looks like you've spent too much work on your dancing and not enough on your English."
"Can still catch you off balance." he says teasingly. I cock a brow as I turn, weaving my knife around my body in a two handed grip. "Oh really?" Our knives glimmer and flash as we twirl around one another. Even in this low light, I can read the blessing marks carved into the blade. His blade reads 'speed'. That's always been his strength in the game, his swift sure way of moving.
My blade reads 'hope', and for good reason. I come to the Dance with disadvantages: I am slower and clumsier than most of my holt, and weaker in my magic as well.But I've always had these disadvantages, and have trained against them for nigh on a century. I know my limits and my abilities precisely, something that better-built players often don't train enough to learn. Treth, Dem, Brea, Ki and I weave in and out of one another's guards. Treth throws a kick, and I drop onto my side, holding my body's weight on my forearms, so that his kick sweeps over my head. Turning, I sweep my leg out from my low position, forcing him to jump back, and at the same time call out to the water to relax, to let go. Treth yelps as he splashes into the river. I grin, pushing myself up. Treth pushes to the surface on a column of water, looking at me with admiring surprise as water drips from his hair. Dem grins. "Never bandy words with her when you're dancing, Treth, you should know that's her forte." he says, twisting gracefully away from Ki's knife swipe. We laugh and tease as we thrust, parry, kick, turn, flip in midair, twist, occasionally doing headstands or cartwheels to efficiently move out of the way, or just to show off. Anybody who says that the Dance isn't about showing what you can do is pulling your tail. A defeat is done by touching a vital place with the knife, or by dunking the opponent by breaking their control over the water, and we all get caught out at least once or twice. By the end of the round, all of us are soaked and breathing hard. Our blades flash through the air, weaving complex patterns. On the bank, folk clap and laugh at particularly fine moves.
The flute music ceases, and we all let go of our hold on the water, splashing beneath the surface. I swim for the bank, but Dem and Ki swim about me, pulling me into the current, eager to play. I grin, and, what the hell, start my Change. It'll be worth it to play.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:35 pm

Sruth stops at the river’s bank, staring at an indistinct, shifting shape wavering beneath the water. Then she looks up at Djhuety, her black eyes glittering.
“You ever seen Liv make her Change before you came here?”
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:08 pm

"No one should bare that pain..." I wince at the thought. "Why do you force the change on her?"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:15 pm

Sruth nods slowly, her dark eyes like bits of night sky deep in their wrinkled hollows. Then she sighs. "I'd not force her save the fact that I know she must Change often, or face even worse pain when she needs to do so. It's her birthright, the Change.And a great burden, worse luck. The shame she feels burdens her too, that foolish shame she carries. And all because something’s crooked in her magic. Nothing that wouldn’t be easy to straighten, for the right hands, though.” She looks up at Djhuety expectantly, her black eyes glinting. “Well, boy? You should practice. She should Change properly. Get on with it.”
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:28 pm

"Small changes are... Hard" I murmur, averting my eyes. "She asked me not two days ago to 'fix' her; easy to do, but it changes to much..." I sigh as Sruth fixes me with a glower.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:30 pm

"And do you not do things that are hard or frighting to you, you daft kit?" she snaps, "That's the act of a child. Are you a child or a man?"
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:36 pm

I rise to the bait. "I am what I am! And I will not use the words I speak to harm a friend!" I feel the blood run to my face as I raise my voice. "She doesn't need me to change her to make her 'better.'"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:43 pm

Sruth reaches out, taking the young man's arm. "It's not a matter of changing her, but healing her. She needs this healing, and you have it in you to heal. She is your kith, boy. She needs you." There's a sternness in Sruth's dark eyes, but behind that, a question that's almost a plead.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:56 pm

I curse under my breath. "Fine... I'll tell the story." My shoulders slump in defeat. "I want her there though." I nod toward the graceful black shadow dancing beneath the water with the others. "She needs to know before I do it."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:01 pm

I push myself onto the bank, my clothes soaked, grinning as Ki, Eran and Treth climb out on either side of me. "Good game!" Brea calls, laughing. We shake river water from our bodies and hair, heading for the warmth of the holt fires. I spot Djhuety, and run over, grabbing his hand, his skin warm against my river-cooled flesh. "Djhuety, come on, storytelling will be starting soon!" I grin up into his face...then cock my head, my grin falling. "Djhuety, what's the matter?"
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:05 pm

I squeeze her hand and give a nervous grin. "I have a story for you first," I shoot Sruth a look, "Are you coming too?"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:08 pm

With a shake of her head, the old woman turns away. "Do what needs doing, boy." she says over her shoulder. I glance after her. "What is she talking about? Has she been bothering you? Sorry. She has a terrible habit of treating the entire world like a kit who needs caring for." I glance up at him, surprised to see red in his eyes and fear in his head. "Is something the matter?"
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:12 pm

"Something that needs doing before I have the time to change my mind. Come on; we should get away from the kits." I pull her away in the general direction of the holt's den.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:15 pm

I laugh a little. "You know, you keep this up and Liam will never stop teasing us..." but he doesn't laugh, or even turn. "Djhuety, you could explain what you're up to, you know." I say, puzzled and a little annoyed. What is he on about?
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:19 pm

I grimace at the thought of Liam's ribbing. "I won't do this with an audience," I grumble, "Quite, private; that's what we need."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:23 pm

My eyes widen. Maybe Liam was right, maybe Djhuety is...maybe he does want to be more than friends. Is he going to ask me to...I don't know...to be his lover? His mate?
"Djhuety..." I begin, but he turns, cutting me off. In the darkness where he's led me around the back of the hill that houses my Holt, his eyes are hard to read, but his mind is full of nervous energy...then, to my surprise, his mind suddenly becomes clear and peaceful.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:39 pm

Once the others disappear around the edge of the hill, I feel the pressure fall off as I turn back to Liv. I motion for her to sit and then slide to the ground opposite. "Your gram wants me to help you." I stare across at her, "Any objection?"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:41 pm

My eyes widen. "Oh...do you mean...well...yes, then."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:59 pm

"She feels the pain roll through her joints, forcing them to rearrange into an alien form... its common place to her; its always been this way, always. It is a reminder of how it used to be, but now, its just background noise to the change itself. She has stopped focusing on the pain which accompanies the physical form and keyed in with the spiritual transformation, the freedom of passing into her true self; the realization that both are her, and the marks of her blood. She opens her eyes, the otter child, freed from her fear and doubt..." I sigh and look at Liv, her eyes open wide, staring into mine. "Your fears no longer bind you, and the pain and misery are but seasoning to the final joy you take in any form you choose."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:11 am

I stare in shock at Djhuety. "I..." I swallow. Barely able to believe it, I leap up, and rush to the river, diving in. I begin my Change, steeled against the pain...but it's not there. There's a sliding sensation, like water over my bones, and then...and then...I'm an otter! In sheer joy I swim in circles, leap from the water, and Change in midair. Again, I slide as easily and gracefully as a leaf unfurling. I can't believe this, this perfect ease. Pulling on my clothes again, I leap from the river, running back to Djhuety, and hug him tightly. "Thank you. Thank you. You'll never know what you just gave me...Thank you so much." I hold him tight, my chest tight with hot joy that I've never felt the like of. After a moment, I realize I'm soaking the front of his clothes with my wet garb. I stand back, grinning, then kiss him full on the lips. Then I take off running back to the Holt, joy singing in my blood.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:21 am

I shrug and smile, following Liv around the hill... and into a crowd drawn by Liv's excited cries. Blushing crimson, acutely aware of my water stained clothes, I cast my eyes around for escape.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:24 am

Sruth beams as her young descendent comes running over. "All's well then?" I beam, hugging her tightly, and she laughs, flapping her hand. "Whist you silly kit, put me down!"
I laugh, dropping down beside Liam, beaming.
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