1965-07-06 - Fireworks and Other Types of Explosions
Summary: Jebediah convinces Adam and Halgrim to watch fireworks with him and of course, some asshole who had one too many beers has to ruin the pleasant night.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
halgrim adam jebediah 


Jebediah was more excited about fireworks than perhaps everyone else at the park combined. He's brought a large blanket, hand quilted by his mother, he's brought them snacks, bottles of coca cola, and many candy. He's perhaps as excited that he's managed to drag the two of them out on this excursion as he is that they are going to see fireworks in general. He reaches for Adam's and Grim's hands. "Ah know the best place to see them, in the middle of the park, we gotta lay down there!" He insists, every word a bubble of excitement.

Adam, in contrast, is a dampening presence on the people around him. They smile when they hear how excited Jeb is—then they see Adam. Nine feet of looming in a cloak that hides all of his features, except one enormous leathery hand sticking out to hold Jeb's hand. And people mutter or look away or sneer or the drunker ones start talking shit about muties. Adam occasionally looks at one of them from under the hood of his cloak. It shuts them up immediately.

Halgrim has to trust Jebediah on this, though it's not as if Sweden never has fireworks; on New Years Eve the sky is filled with them for hours, to help stave off the despair of winter's long dark. It's different, though, after the war, and the possession, and he's come prepared with earplugs and a couple bottles of mead (it's not hard to find if you speak the right language and have some home-cooked blodpudding to trade for it) for himself and ostensibly Adam, and probably Jeb if there aren't cops around.

"So we're to lie on our backs and gaze up at them?" he asks as they look for a spot. Like Adam, people shy away from him, though for no obvious reason, which annoys some and confuses others, who don't seem to find anything amiss with him. He gives the ones making noise mild looks that border on smug when they clam up under Adam's gaze.

People shy away from the pair of them, sure, everyone but Jeb, that is, who is thrilled to be with the both of them, hand squeezing Adam's's fingers and Halgrim's as well. "Yes, so," Jeb reluctantly releases them to throw down the blanket, he tugs lightly on Halgrim's hand first. "You lay down on your back and when they fire them off, they will be different kinds of colors and it's alright if you're scared because Ah'll be right here and so will Mister Adam and we ain't gonna let anythin' hurt you." He smiles up at Adam, giant grin crossing his features as he reaches for Adam's hand next, patting the blanket for him. It's not /quite/ large enough for all three of them but they'll all at least get some part of it. "Ah brought candy too."

Adam sits on the grass, cloak pooling around him. Jeb's earnest informing Halgrim that they'll protect him makes him smile, in the shadow of his hood. "Never fear, Professor." Except he's telling Halgrim that he needs not fear hurting anybody, not that he won't be hurt.

"With the two of you, what could there *be* to fear?" Halgrim asks, and allows himself to be pulled down onto the blanket. He takes one of the bottles of mead out of the paper bag he's carrying and hands it to Adam, and the other for himself. They're half-sized growlers of brown glass, with hand-made labels bearing a filigree'd bee coat of arms and bold black calligraphy in German. The labels announce that these bottles hold Frau Hanna's Finest Honey Mead.

"If you like it, allow me to introduce you to her," Halgrim tells Adam. He opens his and has a sip, smiles fondly at the bottle. "She's happy to work in trade, having fled the Reich herself, and is sympathetic to those society would cast aside."

Jeb places himself between the pair of them, scooting in there like the tiny, annoying, little love bug he is. "Absolutely nothin', Mister Halgrim," He says happily. He's somewhat on top of Adam in his effort to be between the pair of them. He reaches into his bag and pulls out a bottle of coke and then unveils an apple pie he's brought as well. "Now, it probably ain't as good as my mama's, but Ah sure did try. You gotta have apple pie for this great American holiday!"

Adam is like a bundle of branches to get on top of. Bony and long-limbed, he's not that comfortable. Unlike branches, he's not going to break randomly, though, so, there's that? He accepts the honey mead and sips it as delicately as a hummingbird. "Excellent," he says, pleasantly surprised. He puts a hand on Jeb's back to balance him, like a wiggly puppy, and examines all the American stuff. European monsters on the fourth of July. "We must cleave to tradition," he agrees, mock somber.

"I'm sure it will be excellent," Halgrim assures Jeb. He gives Adam an amused look, saying, "Yes—though I think it's reasonable to choose which parts." He gives some of those around them disapproving glances, particularly the ones who've taken the holiday as a reason to express their 'patriotism' by talking loudly about those they'd like to see gotten rid of. He offers his growler to Jeb, eyebrows raised. "I assume it's legal for me to offer this to you in this city?"

Jeb seemingly has no problem with Adam's lack of human softness as he settles right there on top of him. He basically is a wiggly puppy, so Adam's steadying hand on his spine is almost necessary to keep Jeb from tumbling over in all his excitement. "Well, yeah, that's why Ah made you a good ol' American apple pie, Ah woulda brought you ice cream but Ah didn't want it to melt. My mama makes her own homemade ice cream, it's the best in the world, Ah'll try to make it for you some time." He slices a piece of the pie for each of them, offering it out on paper plates he's brought along with him, their pre-show snack.

He looks at the growler that Halgrim offers him. "Is it just alcohol? Then yeah, it's legal, here at least. Down south it ain't, but here Ah can drink all Ah want." He says with a smile taking the drink from Halgrim and giving it a sniff. "Is this from your home country?"

Adam listens to these praises of Momma and apple pie with bemusement. There's American flags everywhere and red-white-and-blue bunting and everything is just really, really American. "What makes it American?" he asks Jeb. He takes the paper plate when it's handed to him but seems at a loss as to what to do with it.

Halgrim accepts the pie and sits cross-legged so he can balance the plate on one knee. He looks askance at Adam and raises a brow. "As Hanna is German it's from possibly Adam's, home?" He looks at the bottle thoughtfully. "Though of course my people make it as well. Elderflower mead, which we have in Sweden, is particularly wonderful. But, remains of vessels which bore mead have been found all over Asia, Africa, and Europe dating back thousands of years. So really, it's from just about every country in those continents." Here he stops to hear what Jeb has to say about the American nature of apple pie and ice cream.

"What makes Apple Pie American? Um… Ah don't know, Mister Adam, Ah think maybe 'cause Ah made it here? Everyone always says good ol' American apple pie. Not that stuff that comes from other places isn't just as fantastic! Ah don't know if they do apple pie the way we do, you have it for every big event, except for Thanksgiving, you do pumpkin pie then. Ah think makin' pies is like… an American thing? Ah don't know, there's something really… homey about the smell of a fresh baked Apple pie. Means that it's someone's birthday, or that maybe my brother came home from school, or Ah got a good grade on a test, or my daddy had a day off from the mines and was gonna…" Jeb's voice trails off a little and he turns his head away from Adam as he swallows emotion as it lumps up in his throat, the next words leave his lips a little strained. "Was gonna… stay home with us all day. Maybe that's why Ah think about it bein' American. Because maybe, Ah'm American and my mama's traditions make me think… home and this is my home, you know?" He takes a sip of the mead and his eyes light up, but unmistakably look slightly watery at the mention of his father, his mother and his home. He sniffs a little and tries to hastily wipe at his eyes. "This is really good, Mister Halgrim. Ah ain't never had mead before."

Adam rests his giant hand gently against Jeb's back. "You are lucky, Jebediah Guthrie, to have such things to remind you of your home. To have a home that you love so deeply."

Halgrim nods in agreement with Adam, adding, "And perhaps you will have a chance to return to it yet." He holds up his growler in a toast to that possibility and takes a drink. After a moment, he clears his throat and says, "You've been generous enough to give us a piece of it here, and as someone else who's away from his home and family against his wishes, I'm very grateful. Thank you."

"Ah probably could go home whenever Ah wanted but Ah don't know, my mama got a lot of mouths to feed and… well, Ah'm rather disappointing as far as sons go." Jeb sighs leaning back against Adam's hand and then reaches over for Halgrim's. "Maybe one day you both can too, but if you can't, you can always make a home here. You got each other, right and you'll always have me. We can invent our own traditions. You're welcome, though, Mister Halgrim. Ah like sharing things with you both. Ah like you both a whole lot."

Adam doesn't reply, and it's hard to tell what's going on inside the hood of his cloak. Jeb managed to hit a dozen sore points for him. "Your confidence in me is overwhelming," he finally says, voice rumbling almost too low for words. "I shall strive to be worthy of it."

"Strive indeed," Halgrim says, giving Adam a sly smile. "From what I've seen of you, you can't help but be a generous and decent person. You're in no danger of letting him down." He pauses, bobs his eyebrows at a stray thought of, 'unlike some of us', and has another drink. "And you, are not the least bit disappointing, Jebediah. At the very least you're not allowed to say it around either of us." He points at himself and Adam. "If we do have one another then I won't have you calling yourself 'disappointing' or anything remotely like it."

"You are already worthy of it, you big dummy, that's why Ah done gave it to you already." Jeb says with a smile, wiggling until he falls onto the ground beside Adam just for the express purpose of giving the monster a hug around the neck. He smiles a little shyly when Halgrim chastises him for saying he's disappointing. "You did warn me of telling you that you're like a father meant you might start becoming one," He teases but nods, "Alright, sir, Ah won't say bad things around you about myself or Ah'll at least try not to."

Adam's weird long arm curls around Jeb, holding him while the littlest billy goat Guthrie wiggles. "I have found opportunity to allow generosity and decency," he murmurs. "In that, at least, fortune has smiled on me."

Halgrim humphs. "Well, then you've no one to blame but yourself when I say such things. I happily bestow the responsibility for that upon your shoulders." He sips his mead and has a bite of pie. "And, don't think I won't know that you've been saying such things about yourself when I'm *not* there to hear them." He taps one of his eyes. "Mmm? It's a parent thing. I've seen my sister do it, so I know how it's done. Just by looking, they know." He settles for a moment, considering Adam. "Or, you've made your own fortune. No need to give fate credit for your own hard work."

"You just got bestowed that power because Ah told you that you were like a dad? Soon you're gonna ground me and give me timeouts when Ah am sayin' bad things about myself. What have Ah done?" Jeb teases, a little laugh escaping him as he gives Adam a long monster cuddle and then moves his way back between them. "Ah think they're getting ready to start the show. Here, Mister Halgrim, gimme your hand." Because if he holds Halgrim's hand, certainly the fireworks will not scare him. He holds out his calloused hand, palm up in askance for Halgrim's own. "Do you want one too, Mister Adam?"

"You make an excellent point, Professor," Adam says, dryly. Fate hasn't been his best friend through the years. "Your insight is always welcome." It's Adam talk for 'thanks for not letting me brood too hard'. He puts his hand over Jeb's, then changes his mind and just gives him two fingers instead. "Is this, too, tradition?" he asks, less because he's actually asking and more because he wants to hear Jeb talk about it.

"May it always be so," Halgrim says to Adam, his expression all false sobriety. He can only hold it for a moment, and presently laughs, shaking his head at Jeb. "What you've done, Jebediah, is give me power I have every intention of using. Appropriately, of course, and only ever in your best interests." He sets the pie aside, hoping there aren't ants, and offers his hand to Jeb. This isn't a hand that's worked in the ivory tower, or not just there; it's calloused and seamed, and has a few small scars. "'Scared' isn't likely. Reminded of things…well, with the two of you, I'm sure it won't come to that."

"The fireworks or me holdin' your hands? The fireworks are, we celebrate by being loud and obnoxious as is the way of being American, being loud and annoying is like, our baseline way of existing. Ah hold your hand because Ah don't want you to be scared, or anything to remind you of anything but being here and having fun together." Jeb explains, settling between them, squeezing Adam's fingers and sliding his between Halgrim's. "Ah like the ones that have really bright colors or go off twice."

A very deep, quiet chuckle rumbles out of Adam. "So you are," he says, "you Americans. So you are." And it's kind of growing on him but you won't catch him admitting it. "Stand alert at your post, Jebediah Guthrie. The Professor or I might take fright."

Halgrim mmms in agreement, his voice low as they wait for the fireworks to begin. Of course, around them and in the distance, they already have: plenty of sparklers dance among those gathered, and in the city proper denizens have obtained their own to shoot from rooftops and balconies, the consequences be damned. None of that seems to be bothering Halgrim; even a particularly loud, distant boom draws no more than a glance from him. But the real show awaits.

"Ah will be very alert." Jeb promises. The real show starts and the sky above them is alight with a bright blue burst of flames, the ground below seems to vibrate in tandem with the explosion. He squeezes Halgrim's fingers a little tighter in reassurance, but his face stretches with a wide smile, his eyes alight with the color.

Adam observes the fireworks with the same kind of distant scientific interest as he applies to everything new. "A chemistry course writ across the sky," he remarks. He sits very calm, very still, splashed with colored light from above.

Halgrim squeezes Jeb's hand back in response, and as the show gets underway he stills, like he's listening for something. After a moment or two the tension is gone and he's simply enjoying the show as Jeb and Adam are, with no indication it's a problem. He makes a comment now and then about a particularly lovely array, especially the ones which leave trails or ripples in the sky.

When Jeb feels tension in Halgrim, he moves their hands so that their arms are entangled too, thinking that perhaps Halgrim just needs more physical contact to keep him in the moment. When it fades, Jeb smiles, pushing his shoulder lightly against Halgrim's arm. "Ah like that description, Adam, you always have a way with words." Jeb praises Adam's eloquent style of speaking with as much fervor and excitement as he praises Adam's very existence. Jeb's reactions to the fireworks are a variety of sounds, oos and ahs and when there's a particular fantastic one, he squeezes them both.

"It is merely fact," Adam says. "The colors are created by burning different metal salts. That—" he points, a looooong arm with a long bony hand and finger on the end of it, "strontium, red. Yellow, sodium nitrate or other compounds. The natural philosophers have known this for centuries. This use of them is best, don't you agree? Why keep such interesting effects in the prison of a laboratory." He seems content to ramble on about it and sit, in a sea of mortals cheering and clapping, with Jeb and Halgrim.

Halgrim pushes back with his shoulder, a nudge of confirmation that he's fine. He listens to Adam's description with interest, and nods. "A far finer use than the alternatives, as well." His eyes move not just with the fireworks, but also the crowd, watching their enjoyment of it as well as enjoying it himself.

"Well, it still sounds really cool when you say it like that, why you gotta refu.. refute? My affections, Mister Adam, Ah'm still gonna mean it even if you try to explain how everything you do is truth or fact." Jebediah teases a little, following Adam's finger with his eyes as he points. "Mm, yes, Mister Halgrim, Ah think they should only use explosives for fireworks, to be honest. Not for destroying things, there's somethin' so calming about fourth of July to me, the way everyone just gathers around to watch fireworks and no one is fighting with no one and little kids play with sparklers and those little poppers you throw on the ground to make them snap. We're all just… kinda at peace for a little while."

Adam pats Jeb's hand, a light touch from his other enormous hand. "Please forgive an old pedant's ramblings, Jebediah. A bigger fool than I would be required to turn away your kindness." He does, however, pause, and glance at Halgrim with an unmistakeably ironic look. Fireworks over a rowdy drunken crowd, calming? Americans, man.

"Oh yes," Halgrim agrees, meeting and exchanging Adam's look. "Quite calmimg." He keeps the wry amusement out of his voice. Mostly. And, well, the fireworks and the crowd *are* quite noisy, maybe it will go unremarked. "But it would be a fine thing, for the world to no longer have bombs." He says it wistfully, in a tone which suggests he knows that's never happening, but likes to dream on occasion that it just might.

Jeb has never flinched when Adam pats him, just smiles, so easily trusting of someone who has told him /not/ to so easily trust him. "First of all, you ain't even a fool, so don't say that. You're one of the smartest guys Ah know." He looks from Adam to Halgrim when they exchange that look and he smiles, seeing the irony in his statement and elbows Halgrim lightly. "Hey, listen, it's about community and stuff! It's… like… Ah dunno, nice to be around a bunch a hoopin' and hollerin' people havin' a good time watchin' some loud fireworks. Don't pick on me… telepathically." He says with another laugh, the smile making it obviously that Jeb doesn't feel victimized.

"We are not telepathic. We are European," Adam says, primly.

As the fireworks rise to their frantic conclusion, a glass bottle sails through the air and hits Adam in the back of the head. To be fair, his head is a big target. It does not seem to hurt him at all. He blinks and twists around, eyes narrowing, entire frame going from 'calm and still' to 'massive engine of destruction and still'. The guy who threw the bottle outs himself because he yells at Adam, words lost in the booms, but it's probably not polite. He has friends, too, who are all staring at the three of them with disgust.

"Shared experience, Jebediah," Halgrim adds, his tone similarly formal.

The moment is broken with the arrival of the bottle, and Halgrim blinks in surprise and turns around to look at the men as well. There is a sense of something coiling around him, a vortex drawing in. Keeping his eyes on the unruly group, he says to Adam and Jeb, "We should probably go. If they come over here…it will get ugly." He doesn't sound the least bit worried about that, which is probably a bad sign.

Jeb rises quickly when a bottle shatters against Adam's head, his hand coming up to cup Adam's head, checking for blood as Adam doesn't seem to be in any pain. He doesn't seem to hear any of Halgrim's suggestion that they should leave, he just sees /red/ because someone was throwing things at his friend. He presses up and to his feet quickly, eyes /sparking/ before anyone can stop him. "Hey! What the hell is your problem?" He /snarls/ and then, unless either of them tries to stop him, Jeb starts heading towards the trouble makers. He can't shock them from too far away. He needs to shorten the distance.

"Ain't bad enough muties out scarin' decent people, you gotta be faggots too!" the guy is yelling, and when Jeb starts towards him, he bolts to his feet, ready to engage in violence. His buddies, too.

Adam stands up in one terrifyingly fast surge. His huge cloaked form shows up nicely against the last fizzing fireworks. The guy's next words die in his throat. "Leave," Adam growls, a sound like an angry polar bear.

Halgrim 's previously gentle hold on Jeb's hand becomes a practiced grab for leverage on his arm and a fistful of his shirt. He's trying not to hurt him, but he's also very much trying to halt him. Of course, he probably outweighs Jeb by a good four stone. "*No*," he says, sharply, to Jeb. With less heat and more pleading, he adds, "Please, don't." His voice trembles when he says that, or maybe he's trembling—but to go by the look in his eyes (which are seeming somewhat…lighter in color) it's not with fear.

Jeb whimpers slightly when Halgrim tugs him back, falling back down on his rear with a slight thud. "But they-" He starts trying to push at Halgrim's hand but he looks back at Halgrim's eyes, noticing they've changed in color, something like worry sparks in Jeb, knowing that Adam told him to be fearful of Halgrim's change, that he could kill Jeb when he was his other self, that he wouldn't know him. "Okay. Okay, yes sir." The lack of fear in Halgrim's voice doesn't set Jeb at ease. He stills then to prove his confirmation, his sparking eyes stop with a hard blink. "Ah'm sorry, sir, Ah'll stay here."

He looks up to Adam, biting his lower lip hard. "And /Don't/ use those words anymore, asshole!" He yells back, like a chihuahua barking behind the safety of a great dane.

The belligerent guys back up, not expecting Adam to be so very large and scary. Aren't muties supposed to run when you go after them? "Y-yeah, well, fuck you, pal!" the loud guy yells, trying not to look like a wimp in front of his buddies.

Adam turns around, realizing Halgrim is in trouble. He glances at him, then at the surrounding crowd, most of whom are cheerful and packing up after the show. The mean guy is yelling at him, but now it's like he can't even hear him. There's a handful of the guys. There's a thousand people who aren't cussing them out and throwing things. Adam extends his hand to Halgrim. "Come, Professor, let's take ourselves somewhere less dangerous." Dangerous for literally everybody else around them. Not themselves. "Jeb. Help me with the Professor."

Now that he doesn't need to hold onto Jeb, Halgrim lets go of him and staggers to his feet. "Yes," he says, "let's go." It's a sheer act of will for him to stop staring at the men, and requires digging the fingernails of one hand into his palm. He winces and turns his eyes out to the boisterous crowd, to the various people who aren't begging to be killed. "The Metropolis, I think, Adam," he says. "I don't trust myself in my apartment tonight."

Jeb quickly shoves everything back into his bag and slides his hand back into Halgrim's like he's very concerned that letting go of Halgrim right now is a bad idea though, he's struggling not to be slightly frightened and Jebediah is, clearly, not someone easily scared by anything, as is evidenced in his choice of friends. "It's gonna be okay, sir." He shoves the bag up onto his shoulder, keeping his hand in Halgrim's so long as Halgrim allows it. "You're gonna have to show the way, Adam, Ah ain't been there."

Adam sets his hand on Halgrim's back and guides him and Jeb swiftly away from the men, who are now yelling insults in triumph that they've got the mutie faggots on the run. One of them throws another bottle. Adam snaps around, far, far too fast for someone of his size, and catches it. There's a few screams as people nearby suddenly realize he is giant and ugly and he's moving quick. Adam pays it no mind. Instead, he stares into the eyes of the thrower, and slowly, deliberately closes his hand around the bottle. First it cracks, then it shatters, then it's a dribble of glass dust that he shakes from his hand. His lips are pulled back from his teeth, but he says nothing. The man trips over himself trying to back away too fast. Adam turns back around. "We make haste," he says, growling again. There's a lot of crowd to get through.

The second bottle incident is nearly too mcuh. Halgrim staggers to a halt and puts a hand over his eyes. "Adam we have to leave right now," he says, now speaking Swedish, and probably not aware he's doing it. There's no doubt about it, his eyes aren't dark brown anymore. "I'm not sure…I can stop him. For much longer." He glances at Jeb. "You should go, before it's too late." It doesn't seem to occur to him, right now, that Jeb probably has no idea what he's saying.

"Run," Adam says to Jeb, clipped, brisk. Sounds more English than ever like that, really. "Now." He wraps an arm around Halgrim, tight, and speaks in a rapid stream of Swedish to him. "Hold fast, my friend, we're leaving." And then he tosses his head, making his hood fall back, exposing himself in all of his awful majesty. "OUT OF OUR WAY!" he roars at the people nearby—and boy, do they get the message, screaming and scrambling to get away.

Jeb stares at Halgrim confused as he speaks in a confusing language to him. "Halgrim, Ah don't know what you're saying but it's gonna be okay." He says, rubbing Halgrim's arm but then Adam is telling him to run but where? Away from them? Doesn't Halgrim need them? "Wha- Adam Ah don't..?" And then Adam is taking off with Halgrim, leaving Jeb behind and confused. He hesitates in place, backing up a step in the opposite direction but then he decides against it and /follows them/.

Being grabbed like an errant child is the least of Halgrim's problems at the moment, and he simply lets Adam do it, concentrating instead of literally anything else. The press of people, the noise, the cheering, which is now screaming, and he lets it blur together and focuses on the pain in his hand. It's going to be bloody, soon, but in a matter of minutes it also won't matter.

Adam's face is a remarkable crowd control tool. People pull back from him like pepper flakes from a drop of soap. He guides Halgrim away from the crowd, towards a manhole concealed from view by trees and rock features. This he pulls away as if it was made of foam, opening the way to the underground paths of the city. He glances over his shoulder and actually startles to see Jeb's following them. "I told you to run."

"Adam," Halgrim says, looking down into the manhole. He's at the end of his rope. Still using his mother tongue, he says, "Just drop me in. You canit probably won't try to climb out. I…it may not fit. And if it does, I think you cankeep it in."

"Well you didn't exactly say where and you said we had to help him! How am Ah supposed to help him if Ah run away from him? You can't put him in the sewer, Adam, there are rats down there!" Jeb hasn't any idea that there are pathways that lead to their secret city, just thinks Adam's solution to Halgrim's problem is stuffing him down a manhole until he's no longer murderous.

Adam takes in Halgrim's idea, and nods. "I am sorry." And then does exactly that, gripping Halgrim's wrist and lowering him down into concrete darkness. He looks at Jeb, frowning urgently. "He will transform. You are in danger."

"What are you doing? You think the sewer is gonna hold him? Ah thought you were both geniuses? You just gonna plop him in there like a sack of manure?" Jeb thinks to stop Adam but thinks better of it, knowing he'd lose that battle. He looks at Adam's frown, the urgent tone. "What about him? Isn't he in danger?" He backs up slightly from the manhole but still doesn't run. "What about you? Ah'm supposed to just leave you?"

Halgrim collapses into the filth awaiting him with a grunt. Really, if he weren't so far gone, the stench alone might have been able to keep him from changing. Or maybe it would have pushed him over. Regardless, he sags against the wall, sweating, even pant a little, and looks down at the blood running off his hand from where his nails have cut into his palm. "Thank you, Adam," he says, somewhat absently, not sure if Adam can even hear him where he is. He sighs, the breath running out of him like he's been awake for days and exhausted, and just needs to lie down. He sucks it back in on a gasp—and this is not him, because his skin is darkening and hardening into pearly scales, and dark fur is sprouting over that, and his clothes are coming apart at the seams because the beast is far bigger than the man is. His face lengthens into a muzzle filled with sharp teeth, and his eyes glow yellow and murderous, and heavy ram's horns sprout from his forehead and curl back.

The beast stands up and shakes itself out, and bellows because of all the places to find itself, it is here, in the stinking path to and from the lair it knows. The sound echoes up from the manhole, booming and ominous, if muted due to the enclosure. A couple of people glance at Adam and Jeb, see Adam, and scurry on about their business. Above it's too dark to see much more than a hulking shape in the muck, but the baleful eyes—those stand out quite well, and it glares up at Jeb through the opening, growling low and furious.

Adam kneels by the manhole, watching with focused attention. He looks up, though, frowning worse than ever at Jeb. "Yes. He cannot harm me." Honesty compels him to add, "Much." At least the manhole won't easily admit the beast, not without costing him a good amount of fur and those handsome feathers. Adam grimaces, looking down at him. "The poor man spends too much on clothes." He calls, "Fjorskar! Home with you. There is nothing for you here."

It glares up at Jeb but Jebediah leans down, he LEANS DOWN to get a better look. "Wow, he really is beautiful! Just like you said." The beast is growling like it can't wait to tear Jebediah limb from limb and leave him utterly unrecognizable but Jeb's eyes are wide and excited, fear doesn't even read on him, can't be smelled here. Jebediah is just fascinated. "Why you're not scary at all. You're beautiful." Jeb, do not reach into the manhole to pet the giant murder beast. Jebediah Guthrie, stop leaning forward.

The beast's growling rises up several notches in response to Adam's words. It makes a harsh barking sound at him; it's almost like a curse, if a beast can be said to do that, like it's calling him an excessively rude name. It grunts, snorts…and stills when Jeb begins to lean in, falling silent even as it brings its muzzle up to the opening. The play act is obvious though; its lips are trembling, exposing huge teeth.

Adam immediately scoops Jeb into his arms and tosses him. "Foolish child!" It's close, it's so, so close, the way Jeb is leaning down and the beast is lifting his muzzle. Adam glares down the manhole. "Enough! Away with you." He shoves the manhole cover over Fjorskar's head. Take that! "The two of you will age me beyond my years."

Jeb sticks his hand out to pet the beast's muzzle, ignoring the teeth, taking the fact that the beast has quieted as sign that he wants to be pet. Jeb has to feel like nothing in Adam's arms so, Jeb lands with a thud and a muffled thud, arm thwacking the ground audibly. "Ow!" He complains loudly at Adam, getting up to rub at his arm and at a scrape along his shin which is a lot better than losing his entire hand, a bruised arm, a scraped leg, Jeb was lucky. "He was going to let me pet him!" Jeb limps back a pace though, because despite the pain in his arm, he's more hurt by Adam's words. "He stopped growling, didn't he? He wasn't going to hurt me, you just think the worst of him." As if Jeb were all knowing in this matter.

Fjorskar moves as Adam does, though his movement isn't a simple lunge or snap of his jaws—his form seems to blur almost, and he surges up impossibly fast. He might even have struck true, if not for his horns, which are far too wide to clear the opening simultaneously, and they slam into the concrete with a thud that Adam and Jeb can feel in their feet, stopping his fangs just shy of their goal. Adam can feel the them just brush against his arm even as he pulls Jeb back.

The beast snarls, pulling back from the manhole and sneering at Adam as the lid comes down. 'Better hope there's another chokepoint next time, big guy' that face says. Below them it paces, frustrated, then they hear it begin to trudge into the distance, towards the haven it knows is a place it may go.

Adam passes a hand over his face with every air of needing a drink. The clap of white teeth was too, too close. He rises, goes to Jeb, then drops back to his knees and opens his arms to him, but doesn't grab him. "Jebediah. I am sorry." Unhappiness written all over his big ugly face.

Jeb frowns when Adam comes over to him, still cradling that arm against his chest. He doesn't look afraid of Adam. He knows he was thrown for his own safety. It was the words that hurt. "You're not sorry, you were trying to protect me." He says quietly as he inches into Adam's arms slowly, letting go of his arm to wrap both around Adam. "Ah'm sorry Ah'm stupid. You were right in what you said. You almost got hurt."

Adam holds Jeb's face in one huge hand, looking him over. Then sighs and scoops him close. "I am sorry I had to choose a littler hurt over a greater. He would have taken your hand off, and more if he could get it." This close, his heart thumps against the wall of his chest, thick as permafrost. "Forgive me."

Jeb's hurt eases a little when Adam looks him over, making sure he's okay, because he cares about Jeb. "It's okay, Ah do forgive you." Jeb sneaks a hand down to Adam's chest to feel his heart thumping hard against his chest. "You were scared for me. It's okay, Adam. Ah'm okay. Ah'm sorry." He hugs Adam a little tighter.

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