1965-09-14 - Raccoon Huggers Anonymous
Summary: Vitale stumbles upon some jerks in the park tormenting some animals while looking for the beast he healed a month ago to discuss his nightmares with her.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
vitale halgrim 


It's not fall by the calendar, yet there's a chilly bite to the night air, not quite enough for a proper jacket and too much for a simple long-sleeved shirt. Some of the trees have begun their color change as well, though that's less apparent in the gathering dusk; street lights can't do justice to the shift of green to yellow to orange to red the way sunlight can. Central Park straddles this tenuous time, where the weather can't decide which season should prevail.

The poorwills and bats are already out and scooping up insects around the street lights, and raccoons trundle through the park, seeking scraps and left overs forgotten by the city's denizens. Coyotes dart between the undergrowth, looking for unwary pets allowed out of doors or maybe a rabbit. Other, less savory night life is about as well, skulking in groves or trees or gathered under street lights.

Vitale is in the park way too late at night for reasons, reasons like, he can and he will and no one can tell him he can't. He might be searching for the beast that he had seen before, the one that had put him out of commission for about a month because he doesn't have any self preservation skills and because he's curious if she is still alright. So he's here, probably to the ire of Elmo and he'll never hear the end of it if he does find her and Elmo finds out. He smiles when he sees a fat raccoon skittering away, thinking back to that night when he had asked Elmo if he thought JP would let them keep a raccoon when he was delirious due to blood loss.

Another raccoon scurries by, and then another…and another. There's no doubt about it—they're running from something. In the direction they've come from is the sound of a group of loud, jeering people, maybe four to five. One voice rings out louder than the others, "Again!" followed by scattered yelling. The voices begin to draw closer. They're not quite to Vitale when a bush shudders and a raccoon struggles out from under it. Unlike the previous three, this one is injured; it's limping, and there's a dark mark of blood on its side where something has struck it. It pants as it drags itself away from those voices, desperate to escape.

Vitale is concerned when a bunch of raccoons start to scurry by in a haste and there are yelling voices. He is most concerned when a raccoon comes limping out of a bush, blood on it's side. "Oh no, buddy." He says and being that it is dragging itself along the ground, Vitale picks it up, hoping to heal it the same way that he had the beast and sure enough, the wound leaves the animal, stitching itself closed as blood starts to seap it's way through Vitale's shirt, but being that the raccoon is so small, the wound is little, something the Italian can stomach the extra time it will take to heal it the whole way. "There, that better? What are you running from? Some assholes over there hurtin' you guys?" He asks as he gently sets it back down, looking in the direction of the voices.

Under any other circumstances this would be a great way to get bitten and scratched, but the raccoon is so focused on escaping its tormentors that it doesn't react right away. And then just like that, its injuries are gone, and it begins to wriggle like a frantic cat, twirling in an effort to make Vitale drop it.

"Where'd ya go, little buddy?" someone calls on the other side of the bushes. Another voice says, "Pretty sure he went this way—" And four young men shove through the folliage, halting in front of Vitale and his flailing patient. They're all pale-skinned and no more than twenty; one is carrying a baseball bat, and they all have bottles or cans of beer in their hands.

"Well well well," the tallest of them says; he's a pale, freckled, stick of a person with limp, straight blonde hair. "Looks like we found ourselves a raccoon hugger." The rest of them laugh. "Hey man, you wanna put him down? We were gonna try some raccoon hockey." Baseball Bat wielder is shorter and heftier, with curly brown hair and a blotchy complexion; he swings the bat illustratively.

Vitale puts the raccoon down but then stands right in front of it. He doesn't even say anything to the guy in front, the one with the baseball bat. He doesn't pause to put his gloves on either. He just reels back with his fist with the intent to crack the front guy in the jaw /hard/, with every ounce of brute force Vitale has in him. Some of the paid will fade but not much because Vitale pulls away to try and yank the bat out of his hands.

As soon as Vitale puts it down the raccoon is off like a shot into the bushes. It pauses a moment to look behind it, eyes glowing in the park lights, and then its gone.

None of the young men are expecting Vitale to go on the offensive, raccoon hugging or no. "Woah!" the tall one yells as Vitale takes a swing at the bat wielder; his fist strikes true, and the bat drops to the ground with a thunk as curly-hair staggers back.

"Shit, man," former-Bat-Wielder says, holding his nose. Blood trickles between his fingers. "The fuck is your fucking problem?"

The other two — a short and scrawny guy with prematurely gray hair who would give Elmo a run for his money in the 'picked on for size' category and someone about Vitale's height, with shoulder length, black, greasy hair and ragged clothes — move forward. Gray hair says, "You got some kinda thing for raccoons you freak?" Hippy-hair sneers at Vitale. "Probably some kind of fucking fairy." They're not quite ready to jump him, but it's imminent in the way Skinny Blonde and Former Bat Wielder have moved around to flank Vitale.

Vitale picks up the bat quickly. "What the fuck is wrong with you guys? What the hell a little raccoon do to you? All of you need some fuckin' therapy but first, I'm going to go ahead and administer my own version of cognitive recalibration. So if you could just kindly put your head in the way of this bat, this will be over quickly." He reaches into his pocket with the hand not holding the bat and pulls out a knife. "Or you can tuck your tiny, tiny little cocks between your legs and go home to mommy and I don't have to beat you within an inch of your life."

Former Bat Wielder says, "We were just having fun. There's like a thousand raccoons in this city, why you even care what happens to a few? One less thing carrying rabies." His voice is nasal from the swelling; his nose is probably broken.

"He's some kinda animal-loving queer, is what it is," Gray Hair mutters, and drinks the last of his beer, leaving him holding an empty bottle. When Vitale gets out his knife, Gray Hair turns to a tree and breaks the end against it, leaving him with a good old fashioned bar shiv.

"Awh, big man here got a knife, guys," Skinny Blonde says as Gray Hair produces a butterfly knife, opening it with practiced ease. "Listen — we were just out here having a good time. We got paid, got ourselves some suds, found something to pass the time. Now you fucked it up." He points at Vitale with his knife. "So now *you* get to — " He stops short when a raccoon bursts out into the open with something long and dark in its mouth. It runs between the pack of four young men, starling them into shouting and kicking at it, though it's much too fast for any of them to land a hit. It drops the thing it's carrying as it goes, letting it fall between the four of them, and vanishes back into the bushes.

Gray Hair crouches down to pick the item up: it's a huge, oily black feather. "The fuck…?" he says, turning it this way and that.

"What exactly about not wanting to abuse a terrified helpless animal is queer? Not that I'm denyin' being queer any. I've got a boyfriend far hotter than any of you and the sex, it's fuckin' great, better than I've ever had with a lady. But exactly what about, not torturin' animals is queer? All of you are just real fucked up." Vitale says and he takes that knife spins it in the air once and then /whips/ it towards big mouth with the makeshift shiv. Clearly Vitale wasn't the stabbing kind and with that knife, Vitale has /insanely/ accurate aim. It was known to frighten the guys now and then at the garage. And Vitale aims for the exact hand holding the broken glass but not before he reaches down to get the feather.

Vitale smiles when he sees the feather and wonders if that raccoon wasn't the one he had just healed, run to tell the beast that he needed help. "Hey beautiful, you there? Remember me from before? Could use your help." He calls, probably just lending more evidence to these whackjobs that Vitale is the one that is crazy here.

|ROLL| Halgrim +rolls 4d20 for: 43

|ROLL| Halgrim +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Between Vitale's talking and the raccoon and the feather, the four are all caught off guard, and V's knife lands solidly in Gray Hair's lower arm, causing him to drop the bottle-shiv. "Fuck!" he yells, lurching into Greasey Hair, who staggers even as he tries to haul his friend up by his shirt.

Skinny Blonde snarls, "You're gonna pay for that you damned fag," but before he can advance on Vitale, Former Bat Wielder stops him with a hand on his upper arm. "You hear that?" he says, voice wavering.

There's a pause in the proceedings as the other three stop to listen: something is moving towards them, crunching through the bushes as it approaches. A large branch cracks amidstbeyond the trees around them; it's like a gunshot in the clearing's explosive tension. "Fuck this," Skinny Blonde begins to say, "let's deal with this guy and…"

His voice dies as a new sound intrudes on the scene: a growl that rapidly becomes too loud to talk over. The source isn't visible just yet, but it has to be close.

The growl shakes Vitale too but it's familiar and though a chill runs down his spine, he smiles, like a mad man, placing his second hand on the bat, daring anyone to come forward. "You heard me." His voice is in awe, and now he's certain that the beast is a guardian of the park or something amazing. "She's here and she's angry. Shouldn't have been fucking around with those raccoons." He shouts over the growl though they likely won't hear him. "Listen man, that isn't really an insult. All you're saying is that I have better and more fulfilling sex than you do by choice. That's it." Vitale says with a shrug and nods at Gray hair. "Gonna need that back, by the way. Can't let you keep it."

The four unfortunate guys aren't really listening to Vitale, or if they are there's no indication they've heard him. They're shrinking together and staring around themselves, wild-eyed and terrified. Skinny Blonde points his knife at Vitale.

"You're doing this," he says, voice shaking. "You're some kinda mutie, making us hear these sounds!" His voice breaks mid-accusation.

Greasy Hair has yanked Vitale's knife out of his friend's arm; rather than offer it over he flings it off to one side. He yanks off his overshirt to wrap Gray Hair's arm, and just about has it bandaged when Gray Hair makes a high-pitched sound of terror and points at the enormous shape which is Fjorskar emerging from a smokebush just to Vitale's left.

"Oh *shit*," Skinny Blonde yelps, staggering back into his friends, who are likewise backpedaling in sheer panic. Former Bat Wielder, his voice high with terror, stammers, "Th-that, that is n-not a fucking *bear*!" while Gray Hair whispers, "I didn't think it was *real*."

Vitale smiles sinisterly when the blonde with his bloody nose when he accuses Vitale of being a mutant. Again he doesn't deny it. "Well, while I wish I could take credit for this, this isn't my doing." He says, a little too calmly for the way that they are all reacting to whatever is happening behind him. He's too relaxed, it's almost like a scene out of a horror movie as Vitale slowly turns around, smile plastered all over his face. "I was hoping to see you, madam." He says it like this monster is capable of conversing with him. "I was wondering, though, first, if you could eat all of their hands? They clearly don't need them if they want to hurt animals, which is what they were doing before I got here." Vitale pulls up his shirt to show the mostly healed wound as if to prove it to her. "Just their hands though. Just to teach a lesson. They are far too full of shit to be good for your diet."

The youg men stare as Fjorskar walks right past Vitale, snorting at him as she goes. She flicks an ear when he shows the injury, bares her teeth while the four others stand and stare, frozen in their terror.

Gray Hair continues to whisper, as if that will appease this angry forest god, or at least not make it angier. "Fuck, it isn't listening to him is it? Christ, what if it is…fucking muties…"

Skinny Blonde starts waving all of them back; Fjorskar follows as they go, relentless. "Shit," one of them whimpers. The stumble as they go, colliding with bushes and tree branches and one another in their attempts to keep facing her in their escape. "Please," Former Bat Wielder says. Is he crying? It sounds like he is. "We — we didn't — d-don't e-eat — "

Their whining and wimpering, to say nothing of the stink of their fear, is all too much to bear alongside their trespass. Fjorskar roars at them with her voice that's four furious sounds made one, and they scatter, screaming and shoving one another and fleeing into the night. The sound raises cries of alarm elsewhere in the park and sends several animals fleeing from nearby. Raccoons hiss and growl as they run away.

She doesn't follow the four young men. Her pack-brother won't like it if she leaves a trail of bodies, and this isn't the forest, where they can easily be buried or burned.

Vitale watches almost in glee as the thugs scramble away, half crying, half screaming and maybe pissing themselves in fear in the process. He releases his shirt, letting it fall untucked and wrinkled against his pants, black slacks. He walks over to pick up the knife he threw to pocket it. "Thank you, ma'am. They were really awful." He thanks her, watching as animals scramble away in pure and unadulterated fear, while Vitale is still unshook, dropping the bat on the ground.

He takes up completely casual conversation with the beast and no, Vitale definitely isn't the crazy one here at all. "They were hitting raccoons with this here bat. What's wrong with people like that? And then they say I'm the crazy one because I don't want to let them keep doing it. So how have you been? Are you okay? Hurt any? I heard that my best friend paid you a visit to yell at you about me gettin' hurt and the nightmares. That wasn't your fault. I was more than happy to heal you."

Fjorskar watches the useless, squealing humans flee with obvious satisfaction. When their sounds have died away even to her keen ears, she turns and considers Vitale, listening to him with one ear askew. She moves to the bat, snarls at it, takes it in her mouth and shatters it with a flex of her jaws. It falls to the ground, a pile of colorful kindling.

At the mention of the nightmares she narrows her eyes. "Visions," she says, her voice coming out rough and low. "You, saw." She points one long, taloned finger at the center of her forehead, the location of the third eye, then Vitale. "What, did you…see."

Vitale claps his hands when Fjorskar shatters the bat with her teeth. "That was amazing, now it's just toothpicks, remember this next time you gotta pick 'dumbass' out of your teeth." Vitale says, leaning against a tree, his eyebrows raise when she asks about the visions. "An older lady, I thought it might be you, askin' me if I can see. Ravens, a lot of Ravens, I can't ever scream, and they are speaking in languages that I don't know but in the dream, I can understand them. An old guy, a bone knife, an offering… I think.. and then my nieces, my mom.. It was a lot of things." He says rubbing at his head while he talks about it, just glacing over details from all of the dreams. "Visions, you said? Of what?"

Fjorskar grunts, settles back on her heels in a crouch. She's only a little taller than Vitale like this, instead of looming. "These things, you saw. They are," she indicates herself with a clawed hand, "what has come, before. Can, you." She scratches in the ground as if to write, though it's just a bunch of random marks. "Write, them. Record. Give, to host."

"Write it down and give it to your host. Will he want that? I feel like the pair of you have a rocky relationship at best. I don't know that he wants to have these visions but I will do it. I will." Vitale holds up his hands in surrender in case that answer upsets her, apparently the young Italian man does have at least one self preservation skill. "I will. Are these visions of your prior hosts then? How old are you, beautiful?"

"Not, of hosts," Fjorskar growls. She heaves a great breath; if only she could speak in a reasonable language. "Of…before. And. After." She growls under her breath, a sound directed at herself more than Vitale. "Host. Will…understand." She sounds like she wants to believe he will, at any rate. "Give, to world shaper." She flicks an ear at his question. "I was made, before…the white Christ. Came. Before," her voice takes on the quality of a snarl, "they, corrupted. The sacred ways."

"So you've been reborn?" Vitale asks, trying to understand what she is trying to tell him. He pinches the bridge of his nose while he tries to think. "White christ? I wasn't actually under the impression he was really white. Wasn't he born in Egypt? They aren't white there. And you said /made/. What do you mean made?"

The concern of 'white Christ' is confusing to Fjorskar, so she ignores it, and focuses on the rest. "Not, reborn. Made, by greed." Her feathers start to stand on end as she even thinks about it. "Selfishness. Taking and without giving. *Torn*." She tears at the ground, furious, makes herself stop a moment later. Unlike Adam, Vitale can't really handle one her outbursts. He's frail and small and probably shouldn't be out wandering alone, but they seem to let their pups do that.

She pants, collecting herself. "Made," she repeats. "Locked, in a cage. Tongue…cut out."

Vitale isn't frightened which might be new to Fjorskar, when she tears at the ground. He just backs up another step, more thoroughly against the tree. He watches her tear at it and frowns when she talks about being made, locked in a cage, having her tongue torn out. "That sounds terrible, beautiful. I don't… sweetheart, I wish I understood most of what you were trying to tell me. Made by greed? Like… people were too greedy and you just happened? I know it's hard for you to speak to me like this. I know you're trying."

Fjorskar blows out a breath to express her frustration. Despite Vitale's reassurances, she can *feel* how little she can really tell him, let alone how much of it he can understand if he's not magically inclined, and this collision of problems (like most other things in existence) makes her angry. Anger's not useful just now, though; there's nothing that needs to feel it, and no way to vent it.

"Pain," she echoes. "Yes." Another heavy breath, and she gets up and moves to leave, pausing next to the smokebush. "Write," she repeats, and fixes him with a hard, imperative stare. "Give, to host."

"Alright, alright, I'll write them down, I'll give them to Halgrim, every detail that I can remember, but hey. What if I want to see you? What if I have more questions? What if it makes him angry?" Vitale says and it's clear he's stalling for time. "Can you check on that raccoon? Make sure he's alright?"

"Thank. You." The words come halting and difficult. Eyes narrowed to brilliant amber slits, Fjorskar continues, "Seek, here. Or green places. Ask, the Thorschild. He can find." She huffs in response to his question about the raccoon, which might be a yes, or might be a 'how am I honestly going to find one raccoon there's at least five hundred of them in this one part of the park'. She turns and pushes through the folliage, and is gone.

"The Thorschild?" He asks and then makes the connection and it brings this brilliant smile to his face. "You mean Elmo because he has electricity, right? Okay, I'm sure he'll kvetch the whole time, it'll be a great bonding activity." He smiles when she huffs at him too. He watches her leave and pulls up the shirt to look at the wound once more, seeing that it's healed and he doesn't have to go get a lecture from Elmo so long as he can get up the stairs and changed before Elmo spies the blood.

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