1963-12-11 - Don't Run
Summary: Skali reacts to the announcement of Loki/Louis' death poorly. Lynette makes sure she doesn't murderate things.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
skali lynette 

This part of the borough had always been unkind. A short distance from Harlem, the streets suffered from the prevalence of minorities in the adjacent complexes when it came to value, but lacked culture or cohesion of community as their neighbors did. It was a gutter for neighborhoods wealthier in all the things it lacked, and served to catch the truly impoverished, the addicted, and the addled. Nobody chooses to live in places like this; they just end up washed into the drain with the other refuse.

Or so it could only be assumed of the woman bustling home, arms laden with groceries, down the infrequently populated streets. Off work late, the pieces of her attire visible from underneath heavy overcoat suggesting waitress. The flats of her shoes clicked in such a fashion on the pavement that her stride seemed to echo, inviting darker things to creep out of the alley ways. It was too cold to rain, too dry to snow, the resulting combination making the bottom lip chatter and the hands shake.

Who knows how far the lone pedestrian was from home, or how close she had come to safety, when a gloved hand reached out and dragged her into an alleyway outside the reach of the street lights. Her scream was almost immediately muffled, only the sprawl of produce and sale day-olds evidencing she had ever been there at all. A nametag was among the mix - 'Jackie.'

If only this was the part of town where heroes made their debuts.


Lynette knew places like this. She had lived in them a fair few times in her travels. In truth, she had only gained a roof over her head that was higher in quality a month or two ago. The girl was Creole trash, both a swamp and street rat; places like this were normal. She walked it most nights, going from her work in Harlem and heading north toward the roads that link and weave through Westchester. Even if the cold sunk deep within the girl's skin, down to her soul, causing her to become sluggish and fatigued, she couldn't give up the habitual need to 'move'.

The scream causes her to freeze in place, and with a flicker of her eyes, she focuses on where the sound could have originated from. A walk turns into a speed walk, then a jog, and a flat out sprint; her scrawny, jacketed arms pumping fluidly with the heavy 'thunk'ing of her boots against ground. The loss of goods and name tag causes the girl to skid to a slushy halt, and looking into the alley's mouth, she glares into the darkness and enters it.

"Let de lady go." She commands in a solid tone.


Jackie had put up a fight. There were three of them though, and while one was too intoxicated to be of much use, he had served as a meat shield for his two companions. A solid upper cut from the waitress had sent him groaning onto the muck-streaked cement, but the other two now held their hostage against the bricks. One brandished a knife, the other counting out dollars from her thin wallet while murmuring something about the tips "being thin" tonight. Both men paused at the intrusion from the mouth of the alleyway, raising an eyebrow and looking between each other before chuckling.

"Miss this isn't something you need to concern yourself with. I assure you. No harm will be comin' to this here nice woman so long as she pays her debts."

The knife glinted in the dim light, and there was a hushed intake of breath as Jackie nodded slowly, just enough that she did not endanger her skin by doing so, even as she was coerced with a,

"Ain't that right, Sweetheart?"


"No harm? Y'doin' 'nough damage seems like." Lynette comments, her eyes settling on Jackie, even as she nods, before looking back to the men holding her at knife point. "I said let de lady go. N'give'r back de money. If y'chasin' debts, do it in 'n office like nice people otta." Moving to now stand on the sprawled out figure, she gains herself an inch or so of height.

A pause, she watches the man rifle through the wallet before her fingers move up and flex a bit in the air. With a tug, and a pull, the wallet, and its funds, float wistfully toward the girl with massive hair. Both in hand, she starts replacing the bills and closes the fold up securely. "Y'let 'r go, n'we talk 'bout dis debt, non?" She then offers, keeping her eyes on the men, said eyes even phasing to that of a serpents, if only for a solitary blink before they're gone again.


There were men who would be disturbed by such a brief manifestation of reptilian presence. Those men were not the O'Donogue brothers though, and though they looked between each other as the wallet floated into the air, the pause was brief. The man on the ground grunted as Lynette's heel ground into the small of his back, and he muttered something about 'not bein' able to understand a damn thing this darkie says.' His standing compatriots were a bit more polite.

"Listen Ma'm, we're trying to do business here. We got people to pay, just like she's got to pay us."

To their credit though, the knife was lowered back into a pocket and the woman was released. Jackie smoothed her skirts with shaking hands and nodded slowly at being excused. She wavered for a moment, seemingly still looking to the men for direction before the more verbose of the brothers simply flicked a hand at her in dismissal as he continued.

"She owes us a solid fifty. Only paid ten so far. And I owe my collectors another five hundred. So I knows my methods seem a bit rough but some broads, they only learn that way."

He spread his hands as he spoke, walking quietly sideways as his brother remained in place. An apple rolled to a boot toe of the silent man, and he stooped to pick it up, wipe it cleanish on a sleeve, and take a bite while his brother spoke.


Lynette stops Jackie, arm out and pressing her wallet against her chest so that she doesn't forget it. "Run on home, now. N'don' be workin' wit men like dis no mo', y'hear?" Assuming the wallet is reclaimed, she digs into her pocket and pulls out a few slips of paper. Offering it out, she keeps her stance on the other man's back. The comment about her causes her heel to dig just a 'bit' more into his spine.

"Dere. S'Sixty. 'nough f'her n'lil extra f'you. Don' be roughin' up ladies, boys. Y'in a pinch, fine. Happens, n'm'sorry y'in dat hole. Dis covas de lady, so don' be botharin' her 'gain, non?"


The wallet is taken back into possession weakly, a soft thanks leaving the woman's lips. She looked older now that she was closer, obviously taking whatever shifts she could get to pay rising costs while her bones got wearier and her muscles all the more pained. It was a mark of her desperation that she paused to recollect her groceries despite her fear, having meager means to replace them and a twisting hunger in her gut.

The older O'Donogue accepted the funds without much compunction, passing them back to his apple eating companion who counted them out silently and then pocketed them with a curt nod. The men did not seem inclined to care where the money came from, so long as it came from somewhere. However, they exchanged a look that spoke volumes. If this woman was just handing out cash, perhaps it would be worth their time to-

The pavement split underneath the impact of four massive paws, something uncurling from the shadows itself. With each fresh ripple of fur, it grew in size and girth, the figure spreading and stretching until it overtook the mouth of the alley, pinning the four remaining occupants between brick walls. On the other side, Jackie had started to scream before choking on her terror and ultimately fainting. The beast give a perfunctory sniff, canid head emerging from the tangle of muscles and teeth, so many teeth, spreading into a smile as the jaws twisted and the tongue tangled. The thing's eyes glowed like twin suns', and it stepped forward with an impossible grace towards the two men.

The apple hit the ground half eaten, and the O'Donogue brother was silent for once. Skali's voice came out of the black creature's throat, a low purr as hackles smoothed and she folded into an elegant sit, statuesque in her poise.

"Gentlemen. Are you taking up a collection in my neighborhood? I would hate to have a misunderstanding about territory."

And every last consonant of the final word was clicked against pearlescent fangs that slavered.


The mambo had an expression that was stoic, knowing, a dare, even, for them to just try anything with her. She doesn't react when the shadows start to twist and swirl, but after a moment, she realizes that, she's not the one controlling them this time around. The apple had dropped, but for now, the girl doesn't look behind her. Thankfully, a voice cuts her own rising tension, and allows the floofy-haired youth to smirk at the goons.

Giving a hop off the drunk's back, she rests herself, flat footed, back on the alley's passage way. "Run." The girl suggests, finally looking behind her at that massive collection of teeth and fur; frozen, briefly, she stares at those swirling eyes. It's the body of Jackie, however, that has her sighing. "Merde…" She mutters and moves out to help the woman up and off the cold sidewalk. "Com'on, chere. Get outta de cold."


The halo of black curls passes easily around the girth of Skali, a singular tail flick marking her interest in the Creole with something akin to a smile splitting open that horrible maw. When it returned focus back to the three men, there was no kindness in the expression. The primary speaker for the trio found himself stammering, even as the nightmarish wraith unfolded itself from momentary repose and stalked forward. The man who had been crushed underneath Lynette's heel managed to reclaim a knee before realizing what new hell had befallen them. He didn't bother standing further, the kneeling position seeming to suit the creature's interests as hot breath pooled rancid between the focus of her attention and glimmering teeth. The man who held the funds kept his silence, but a spot of hot urine ran down his leg, a pungent stench of tangible fear making the hackles rise on the black, grizzled hide.

"Kind of you to collect funds for a tribute. Best pay them. Though you could always take her advice and ruuuunnn."

There was something dangerously forbidden about the way she mulled over that possibility, a flare of gold in those iris' that begged them to do so, to fold into that primal terror she could hear beating in their chests, to let herself get lost in the heady rush of adrenaline already plucking at her senses. Her entire body had gone very still, like a cat before pouncing. A line of drool hit the cement.

Underneath Lynette's attentions, the waitress came to slowly, trying to understand what had happened. She folded weakly into the thin arms of the angel who had come to her rescue, her eyes wide as she saw the monster still stalking down the alleyway with a mind to consume her former assailants. The shaking hands clutched at Lynette's coat and Jackie pulled herself into the shelter offered to her by the stranger, as her eyes closed and she took shuddering breaths that threatened to hitch into hyperventilation.


"Shhh, don' worry. Jus' breathe." Lynette sooths toward the woman, walking her toward whereever 'home' was, and away from the instanity that was happening in the alley way. "B' t'ankful. S'lucky night, chere. Y'safe. Don' b'fraid." Easier said than done, the girl knew, but she was trying. Once Jackie was safe and sound at her home, the girl even returns to pick up her groceries and deliver them back to the tired, older woman. A surprise would be found in the bag as well: a few more folds of cash. Merry Christmas.

Coming back to the alley, the snake-eyed girl turns her sights on the men pissing themselves in fear. There's a dark smirk on her features, seeming to enjoy the show before herself. If anyone in the city deserved to be scared stupid, it was people like the mooks facing down the wolf spirit.


Scared perhaps, but dead?

The payment had been made, the ground littered in bills well past the sixty dollar mark they originally were collecting on. Coins joined with the offering already provided, pockets turned out, knees shaking enough to bring all but the most verbose of O'Donogue to kneeling in the filth of the alleyway. Skali practically vibrated as the talkative brute had managed to find his tongue, whimpering weakly,

"Listen. Misunderstanding. You get it. Don't cha? Had a friend with a dog once. Not as big as you. Whatever you are."

The words touched a nerve, or perhaps Skali had run out of nerves to strain, and she lunged. If not intercepted, her jaws would close around the arm of the man, nigh engulfing it and crushing bone in the first press of teeth.


"Don'!" Lyn snips out, rushing forward as fast as her little boots would carry her. Should she make it in time, she would be standing infront of the idiot with the big mouth. Her arms out, protectively, she eyes up to Skali with a serpent-like flare, her eyes having grown solid, and slittled pupils forming thin lines. "Let de dumbass go on home." She explains, or perhaps pleas, with the massive wolf of shadows and teeth.


Skali has partially disconnected.


The jaws arrested, a gaping cavern framed in pearlescent teeth staring back at the serpentine gaze. There's a shudder of self-control fleeting, a groaning of sinews that bind the wolf, a faint line of drool slipping from the inline of her maw to splatter across the face of the woman she now poised to consume. The head turned, and slowly the head lowered to meet the eyes of her challenger whilst the tail lashed in a nigh feline fashion.


The question was a whispering growl, the scent of blood and old magic on her tongue. She was hungry, so hungry, and the scent of terror leaking out of the pores of the men made her quake until a soft whine of need echoed through her frame.


"'Cause y'betta den dey are." The girl murmurs gently, and in that moment, it was hard to tell if she was saying that for Skali's sake, or her own. "Jus' let'm go. Y'helped me, n'dat lady. S'good night." She assures the wolf before glancing over her shoulder and nodding at the man behind her. "Told y't'run, didn' I? Now get."

Arms still out, the Creole keeps herself between the beast and the man, even though she stood no chances against it in any form. "Relax," she urges of the wolf looming over her and stuffing one of the alley's exits with its form. "S'ova now. Don' gotta make it worse."


"Don't run."

It was a whisper that edged on begging as the creature turned luminous eyes on the men lining the alley, the three brothers seemingly divided on who to listen to. They looked uneasily between each other, frozen in time as Skali continued softer now,

"Back up. Slowly. Don't. Run."

The command was repeated now as every fiber of her being quivered, her pupils pinpricks in the golden current of her gaze. The men complied as best they could, forced against the wall as they edged out of the alleyway, around the great turned in hocks of the beast, the paws twitching on the cement as her claws dug in and split fractures into the wet pavement. When the three had disappeared around the corner, the head turned back, blinking at the woman who had interfered as the old god's consideration rested on the coin around her neck. It was questionable who she had obeyed this night; reason, pity, or fear of an Odinson's wrath.

"Worse. It can't get any worse. Can't you feel it?"

The head tilted, staring quietly at the halo of black curls, the slit pupils meeting her gaze, the absolute bravery or perhaps idiocy that had moved such a thing to intercede on behalf of criminals.


Blinking, the girl glances back as the trio finally escapes their nightmare for the time being. "Huh, s'right. Don' know why I didn' t'ink runnin' 's bad idea. Y'd give chase." Of course, because that's what predators do. Arms down, she turns and looks back upon the figure that dwarfs her. Once jade, now normal obsidian eyes gaze up and into those pools of gold, and once her hands are back in her pockets, she moves toward one of the alley walls and rests back against it.

"Non'…I-I know. N'trust me, c'n always get worse f'it gets betta, chere." A sad smile twists up her lips. Casting a side-glance down the alley, she's back and attentive of Skali within the blink of an eye. "I know I c'n' stop y'. Still c'n'. 'N I know y'c'n chomp m'head off like n't'ing." A beat. "T'anks in 'dvance f'not killin' me. N'tanks f'helpin' me n'dat lady."


There's a low rumble deep in the chest of the thing as it sits, the mane of black fur rippling like a thousand bodies all buried in the flesh as the wind cuts down the alleyway. The thin, almost horn-like ears flick back in distaste before it nods. A clarification is made as the tongue shrinks, the fur begins to recede, the bones twist and snap while fur pours back into the little holes of the skin. Every syllable is twitching and garbled, still legible even through the transformation as the woman takes form.

"You wear his protection. I'm not a fool."

Then Skali stands bare fleshed, unapologetic in her lack of modesty, a monstrosity no longer though inhumanely comfortable in the cold air. The breath pools from between her lips as she pants, gathering her breath, and then bends to gather a dropped apple from the ground. It's polished off on bare skin, leaving a few streaks of grime in its wake, before she takes a bite and glares impetuously at the other woman.

"Neither of you needed my help. I was just-"

Hunting. But she didn't say that out loud.


Lynette keeps her eyes on the beast, perhaps half expecting to still become dinner for her meddling. When the sickening sound of a shift starts to hum in her ears, she can't help but to wence at first. Then, there stands Skali. Wide-eyed, the girl averts her attention quickly, even as she feels a flooding of warmth touch her cheeks. "Pr'tection? I didn' t'ink it was dat, t'be honest. M'wearin' s'mt'ing dat a friend gave me. N't'ing more."

Slipping off her coat, she moves closer to the bare brunette and offers out the covering for her to claim if she so wishes to. "Dat lady did, n'y'helped her. She won' be f'gettin' dat. S'nice t'show people dat, even if y's'mt'ing outta dis world, dat y'ain' here t'ruin dere lives." Whatever Skali was out doing, Lyn doesn't question her. "Here," she says instead. "Take m'coat. S'cold out here."


Skali continued to pull the flesh off the apple, something visceral about the motion, as if there were meat in place of fruit under her teeth. No matter her ministrations, the apple did not satiate her gnawing hunger, a low growl answering Lynette's words instead of something discernable. For all her appearances, Skali was still the fell beast that had crowded the alleyway only moments before.

"It's not offered lightly. We can feel it, when someone is lost that we promised to stand beside. Like a light going out. The embers aren't even there anymore. Just. Gone."

And for all the hate that clouded her voice, there were tears in her eyes as she numbly reached out and took the jacket. It was shouldered on with the mechanical instinct instead of gratitude, a shuddering breath chasing emotion out of her voice.


Turning her gaze upward, the girl with floofy hair takes in the other's expression and a soft pout appears on her features. Her fingers twitch as she nows stands in the chill, scarf around her throat and sweater trying to combat the cold; it wouldn't win for long. "M'sorry." She voices tenderly before a step closer has the girl, if allowed, snaking her arms around the homid, offering her silent support. There's a squeeze, but the contact is brief, and after pulling away, she clears her throat. "Sorry. Lets get outta dis alley. Y'c'n talk 'bout it wit me if y'like…or….not. Up t'you."


It was all wet fur and juniper branches, the heat of her skin pronounced enough to seep through the thick jacket. The embrace was brief, but still Skali sank into it without question, a limp acceptance of the comfort even if it didn't truly reach the hurts she nursed.

"I live just up the street. See me there, and I'll give you back your jacket."

It wasn't a request so much as a command, an expectation issued by something accustomed to being obeyed. Bundling the overcoat close enough that her lack of attire couldn't be noted, she stepped barefoot onto the sidewalk and led the way down the near-deserted street. Silent as she walked, she occasionally glanced sidelong at the Creole without commentary. A few flakes fell from the sky. Skali turned her face up to them and closed her eyes as she walked without flinching on the frigid pavement.


Lynette nods and follows after without question. As they stride together, she moves closer to her fellow 'freak' and slips her arm around her shoulders, allowing that sense of support, even if it wasn't a full embrace. Where Skali goes, she follows, not walking faster, or slower; but just steady and constant. She could guess what was wrong, but her voice did not bring it up.

The longer they walk, the more the girl quakes and trembles, and if the distance was far, the wolf might notice a more sluggish drag of the girl's feet across the sidewalk.


A sideways glance was the only consideration of such trembling that the reaction earned, the way not far but cold as only a Northeast winter can be. Eventually, she guided them to the battered door of an apartment complex that should have been condemned long ago, opening the unlocked and pock marked metal into an alley crowded with trash. The near-nude woman shuffled through it, arriving at a non-descript door, and opened it with a twist of an old key.

The apartment was small. Spartan, in fact, a single room separated only by shower curtain. It held the smell of moldering alcohol in empty bottles and stubbed out cigarettes. There was little difference between the temperature outside and the one within, yet Skali shrugged off the jacket and passed it behind her to the snake without flinching.

"Thank you."

The godling stood silent in the studio apartment, her gratitude hushed as she picked her way across the floor and dragged clothing out of the corner. It was shrugged on unceremoniously, the quiet full of things unsaid and a loss Skali still struggled to swallow.


Grateful for the jacket, it's back around the mocha mambo, and only once her skin drinks in Skali's left behind heat does she become more like herself again. Her eyes flit about the space without any hint of judgement, and as the silence lingers, she allows it to grow and fill the void between the pair. Her steps carry her closer, and like before, she moves her arms around the brunette and simply holds on.

This time, the attention to her is not brief. It stays until the wolf herself pushes the girl away. "Y'all don' die, right?" She finally questions, her voice soft and brushing against the brunette's slope from her throat to her shoulder. "Y'c'm back. Y'immortal. People use t't'ink y'all were gone ages ago, n'look at y'now? Y'here. Y'provin' dem wrong." Pulling back, ever so slightly so that she can look at the woman's face, Lynette gives a soft, if not timid, smile of assurance. "Ti Malice? He don' jus' dis'pear like dat wit'out reason."


Lynette arrives from RP Nexus.


Lynette has arrived.


There's a moment of tension as Skali measures the kindness, balancing between the nervous need to sink her teeth into something that had evidenced in the alleyway and a mortal sadness aching through her bones. The latter won and she buried her nose into the thick curls and the space between collarbone and neckline, scenting the foreign and cold tang of snakeskin mingling with tobacco from the bar. With only her sense of smell to ground her, Skali's breathing steadied and the tears were swallowed thickly so that when her features were considered, the apathetic mask had once more slipped into place.

"It's his reason that I fear."

The admission was breathed out with a shudder and she shook her head slowly, as if chasing away an uncomfortable thought.


She smells of work and the cold. Beer, some odd food now and then, smoke, and something oddly floral. Honeysuckle and lilac; a dash of summer in the dead of winter. Her arms cling around the wolf, hand up and brushing at her hair before the pads of her thumbs clear away any stray tears that may have rolled down Skali's cheeks. "S'easier said den done, but don' worry 'bout 'm. De whole world crazy, n'family? Well…dat's a whole 'notha level. Jus'…breathe, n'try t'relax. Ain't y'fault, n'ain't y'concern. Y'blood, but y'ain't 'is keeper."


Skali inclines her head slightly in a nod, an admission of how powerless she felt even as she untangled herself from the kindness of the other woman. Quietly she circled the only piece of furniture in the apartment, sinking into the ratted cushions of the couch and then slumping to one side until she had sprawled across the entirety of it. A hand dropped to wrangle a bottle of liquor, mostly gone but still worth the pull that she gave it. Despite the chill in the apartment, there were no blankets and the thin jersey knit cotton seemed to keep her amply warm. Golden eyes stared at the flaking paint on the ceiling and she finally muttered.

"I will owe you for this kindness when I return."

There was a finality to this proclamation, something ringing in the words that held power despite the simplicity of the statement. Her attentions flicked back to the woman left standing just inside her doorway, shifting her weight so as to peer around a raised knee at her with an idle smirk before shaking her head and finishing off the bottle


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License