Monica is pacing. She’s been doing that for the last forty minutes. At this rate, she’s going to wear a hole in Brin and Miah’s living room.
Miah isn’t here, though he hasn’t been gone long. Only about an hour and he’s due back any moment. He’d gone to speak to some people who might be able to help them. Purifiers, some of the few remaining ones who aren’t violent, who don’t treat mutants as the scum of the earth. It’s important that they not be seen talking.
“He’s late. There’s been trouble. I should go out looking for him.” She says, again, for the tenth time in ten minutes. He’s not REALLY late. And the emotional vibes she’s throwing out have to be unsettling.
“He’s fine Monica.” Brin murmurs, watching the feline wear a path in their rug. It’s not a nice rug, to be sure, thread bare and all that. “Why don’t you have a drink?”
The small dusky skinned woman, not in wolf form at the moment, pushes a tumbler of scotch into Monica’s hand, wincing as the unsettled emotions wash over her. “I really need you to be … calm.”
Centering herself, Brin sends a wave of settling emotions towards the feline. Please calm down …
“If you go and he comes back, then we’ll have to come and find you.”
“I’ll drink… yeah. A drink would be good.” As she pushes the calm out the feline calms. A little. Some of her nature resists the calm. And some of her mind… well… it’s like she was made to be like this when Miah is missing. Which is an odd thing to think… until you really think about it.
Before she can get back to pacing though Brin feels Miah coming up the stairs. But… something is wrong. Her puppy isn’t there. This feels more like a wild wolf. A lot more like the one who visited her earlier. Except it isn’t. It’s Miah.
The doors open and there he is. Eyes wide and wild, shirt torn. He looks like he’s been running, and for a long way. He doesn’t speak. But he hardly has to. His emotional presence is near overwhelming.
Brin frowns as she senses Monica’s mind. It’s not right and she knows it but at least the feline is settling. A bit.
“Be calm Monica…” Brin says quietly as she feels Miah’s mind. She’s already putting herself between the feline and the door. “Miah … what happened.”
She can’t help but ask questions even though part of her mind knows he’s not responding to it. She resists the urge to change at the moment but something is pushing at her. Pushing at her to become the Wolf-Woman and exercise control. “First aid kit, Monica. In the kitchen.”
Monica obeys instantly and without thinking. She accepts Brin as someone over her and scurries to get the first aid kit without a word.
Miah doesn’t answer though. He steps forward, eyes first darting to follow Monica and then coming back to Brinley’s.
“Rrrrrrrrrrr….” It’s the low growling sound of a canine that’s uncertain about his surroundings. He can feel her emotions, mostly because she often broadcasts that.
But there is something else. Something… EXTERNAL.
“Brrrrrrinley…” He still sounds uncertain. But also ready to snap.
This is dangerous. Miah like this can be like quicksilver. The urge to change into her wolf-woman form is strong but she doesn’t – not yet. “Miah …” it’s low and firm, in response to his growl. “Look at me … Come to me…” she moves to put herself between him and Monica.
Not that she expects Monica to complain if Miah pounces on her.
Pushing her emotions out to try and blanket him, finding the hooks she’s put in his mind trying to get the control that she knows is there.
“Come to me…” Something external. Can she blanket it?
Miah fixes his eyes on her. Out of the corner of her own eye she can see Monica peeking out from the kitchen. She obediently keeps herself out of easy pouncing range and angle. But Brin’s likely right. Monica wouldn’t object too hard to that likely.
Still, at the moment, Miah’s brown eyes are staring into Brinleys. She might be able to drown whatever is influencing him out. But why Him? And why not them? Or… ARE they being influenced?
“Brinley-girl…” That sounds a bit more normal. He’s responding to her. But slower than he should, like something is interfering.
“First aid kit, Monica.” For one so young and inexperienced, Brin can be assertive. There’s worry though. Worry for Miah, worry for what’s going on.
“Brinley-girl, yes. Focus Miah.” Are they being influenced? It’s hard for Brinley to tell, she’s focussed on Miah, trying to bring him back her. “Let me look at you …” Something is interferring. She can’t feel anything else in the ‘air’ so to speak. She’ll look for other options.
Monica brings out the first aid kit slowly. Approaching Miah carefully. Miah looks at her and for a moment reaches out. His claws brush her arm and make her shiver before Brinley tells him to focus and his eyes go back to her.
Off to the side Monica lets out a very shuddery breath and offers the kit out to Brin.
“Look at me…” Miah repeats and his eyes go distant. When he focuses again something has pushed back on her influence. He takes a step forward, towering over Brin and looks down at her.
He is so much taller than she like this. “Look at me.”
Now it’s a command and his eyes lock to hers.
“Miah …” Brin watches as the wolfman touches Monica, feeling the emotion that flows from that. She’s not unaffected, though less than the felinoide. “… Monica … open the kit and help with Miah.” Letting the woman near him is probably a bad idea.
She needs to get her hands on Miah, check him over. Something is influencing him … Her dark eyes turn up and gaze into his. “… Miah…” She tries again to find those hook in his mind.
It probably is but it isn’t IMMEDIATELY disastrous. Monica trembles as she gets close to him and starts checking him over for where he’s hurt. And he is hurt. There’s blood on his shirt and it’s not clear if he tore it on something while he was running or if something clawed him.
Those hooks in his mind are still there. But Miah is staring down at her and projecting a sense of power. Authority. “Look at me, Brinley Girl…” He growls again. Urging her silently to keep still. To stare at his eyes. Eyes that feel like they could drown her.
Something has to be influencing her. She cannot keep staring at him. She has her hooks back in him. She needs to regain control or she’s going to lose it, possibly for good.
“Careful…” Brin murmurs to Monica, but she’s captivated by Miah. It’s hard to break that sense that aura he’s exhibiting. to help Monica, the dusky skin woman unbuttons his shirt and pushes it open. Not that she looks – she can’t draw her gaze away.
That’s wrong. He’s not supposed to be able to do this. Slowly she begins to change. The woman slowly changing to the wolf-woman. The one who has better control over Miah’s mind. “Miah-Alpha.” she murmurs, pushing against those hooks. Using more influence than she’s had to use ever.
Miah’s mind bends. He can only take so much emotional bending and she’s shifting to the form that makes that easier. Of course, he knows the words to push her back. But… will he use them.
He doens’t at least not right away. Monica whimpers a little and her hands falter in checking for cuts and bruises. Now the flat of her palm is resting against his arm. Just… touching.
His eyes don’t waver. The battle of wills is silent. He trying to overwhelm her as she does the same to him. He doesn’t break… quite yet. She can feel him going under. But he is still able to try and push his influence on her. “Look at me…” He says once more.
His mind is soothing. It makes her want to relax. She’s always been able to shelter against him. Relax. Wait. Is that… her wanting that?
It’s a risk, Brinley knows that. She knows that Miah has certain … influences … over her and control her change. She knows he has more influence over her in her human form. “Monica. Keep checking…” the wolf-woman can’t split her broadcast to the feline, yet.
Her own hand rests on his chest, fingers flexing against the muscular plane.
“I’m looking at you Alpha. You know I like it … you’re mind is so calm.” Another wave of her power but he can feel it falter. Relax. That would be so easy. His mind is safe, isn’t it?
“S-sorry…” Monica says as she keeps checking. It’s so easy to falter though. It’s a good thing Miah hasn’t looked at her yet. That might stop her work altogether. She ties one bandage around his arm. Her touch lingers there, though. She’s definitely being affected by what Miah is doing.
Brin might see her petting his arm now.
“You like it…” Miah tilts Brinley’s muzzle to keep looking at him and sort of looms over her. She can feel him faltering too. His mind is safe. And she almost has control.
“Brinley…” He growls softly. There he is. She’s got him. But is it already too late?
It’s an interesting thing that’s happening here. Miah appears to be developing his Alpha Aura. As Monica’s touch lingers, as she pets the Alpha’s arm, Brinley growls. A low warning sound to the other woman. If Monica’s to be part of the pack, she’ll know her place.
“I do … yes …” Another push but it’s hard to keep the focus. “… and you know you’re my puppy…”
“Miah … puppy…” Is it too late? It might be. But for what? And what the hell happened to the big brown wolf.
“Brinley… beta…” Her Puppy is there. Monica stops petting him and backs away… for the moment. But if this happens again what might that result in? And why did she respond to him so quickly? Has Brin thought of that?
“Monkshood…” Miah whispers to her. Not giving her a chance. Robbing her of that more powerful, more assertive wolfen form. Why did he do that? It’s possible even he doesn’t know. But whatever danger there was has been averted. For the moment.
“Miah-puppy …” There’s a feeling of relief that Brin experiences. She’s not sure why but she feels likes she just averted a disaster. “Monica….” it’s reassuring but not an invitation to draw near again.
“Miah, what happened?” The wolf-woman changing back to the dusky skinned woman. “Let Monica and I look at you. You’re injured. You were fighting?” Monica responding that, Brin responding to it, is a concern. Brin gives Monica a searching look.
Moncia looks back like she doesn’t know what’s happening either. She’s been swept up along in this, ending a long time relationship to ‘support’ Miah. Coming to this part of town. Living next door. Something has been acting on her if anyone thinks about it.
“I don’t remember. I was coming home from the meetings. I felt something and then… I was running. I’m not sure why it just felt so good. I… must have scratched myself on something…”
He looks down at his shirt. Torn in several places. Scratched himself? Or was held down? It’s hard to say.
“And then I was here and everything was so odd but… so good…”
“Sit … ” Brins mind is still clouded. She hasn’t felt like this since … she woke in the Sprawl. “Let us look at you. Monica, how are you feeling?” As Miah sits, the small dusky skinned woman examines the wounds. “I don’t know if you scratched yourself, Miah, these wounds are self inflicted.”
Monica should be able to help clean the wounds as they work. Brin reaches out to check the womans mind. What is she feeling. “Monica, have you ever felt like this before?”
Miah sits and lets the other two women look him over. None of the cuts are deep. But they are all long enough that they look painful and that they’re more likely to be from claws then from carelessly brushing up against sharp things.
“I… don’t remember…” He murmurs.
Monica is… confused. Obedient though. Deferential to Brinley. Almost… docile. “Only a few times. Just… just before I came to be in the pack. Often around you, Brinley. Never around Miah, not like that…”
“Around me?” That gets a raised eyebrow from Brin and she looks at Monica then Miah. “What about you?” Letting Monica clean and dress the gauges, Brinley frowns some more. “You were fighting, I’m sure … These are scratches from another set of claws. Let me see yours…”
She’s betting they’re bloody like he’s raked someone too.
“We need Dora, Miah. Now. Something is messing with us…” It actually makes Brinley shudder and broadcast a sense of unease to the other two.
They are bloody and dirty. He got those claws into something. Miah looks up when she says they need help though. “We don’t need Dora…” His voice is quiet but his gaze is very intense again. Like what he was just doing to her.
“Around you y-yes Brinley…” Monica goes quiet and a bit shuddery as Miah becomes very, very intense again.
Brin pauses and looks Miahs as his look gets intense and that aura flares just a little. “I I …” she blinks trying to clear her mind.
“Why why why don’t we need Dora…” Maybe everything is ok. She’s having trouble remembering why she said that. “I I I … think we do Miah. You’re hurt and you can’t remember how it happened.”
Monica getting breathless has Brin drawing the feline close and leaning against her. Now they’ve got Miah they can ‘lean’ on.
“We don’t need Dora…” He repeats again more insistently. “Everything is fine…” There’s no buzz in the air. There’s no indication that anyone is pushing Miah anymore. This might have been a parting gift.
Monica leans back on Brinley, swallowing and not saying anything, trying to support the dark skinned woman and also trying to hold herself up. “Brin…” She half whines. She’s shaking again. Same as she was when she was petting Miah.
“Miah ….” Brin strokes Monica arm, feeling the feline tremble. “What Monica….”
“Miah, you’re hurt. You … don’t don’t remember how …”
Maybe it will be ok. Maybe she’s overreacting. After all, he feels so calm and safe. Doesn’t he.
“Maybe you’re right… maybe we don’t….” That doesn’t feel right.
It doesn’t feel right but Miah stands up again and walks over to her. She’s once again looking up at him and this time Monica reaches out to touch his chest. Just touch, not pet. Her hand trembles.
“Hard to…” She swallows. “Concentrate…”
It is. Which is what’s letting Miah do this.
“Everything will be alright, Brinley-Girl…” He says quietly. At least he’s not doing anything else. But this might be bad enough.