Waste Not, Want Not [ attn: kai ]
#1
Law in War, known in the ape tongue as "Rabid" Jack Rabbit, does his best to track down Raspberry Sky before the calling of the month's moot, approaching the Fostern in his ape-form and with a level of deference.

"Raspberry Sky-rhya," he begins, clearing his throat only after he realizes desert grit and city smog has caused him to croak out her name.

He repeats it again, "Raspberry Sky-rhya," this time more clear in his voice, and he only pauses to see if he's gotten her recognition - a nod to speak, something - before he continues.
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#2
Raspberry Sky is not a Guardian, though her sister was one of their tag-alongs learning to become one. Raspberry Sky has no pack of her own, but she temporarily joins packs sometimes, attacking herself spiritually for a time to amenable groups of garou before moving on. She says she goes where she's needed. Right now, she's needed -- or says she is -- in the lowest levels of 1999 Broadway, where it is almost completely dark, where mortals never go because they don't know it exists, where they bury their honored dead. Where her baby sister is buried.

She comes up, though, when she hears that someone is looking for her. Her hair, still bright bubble-gum pink except at the roots, is pulled back off her face. She's not wearing makeup. She hardly looks like Raspberry Sky, and there is grave dirt under her fingernails and on the soles of her bare feet. She doesn't smile, but she doesn't look otherwise displeased. Just... numb.

Of course she remembers him, when she comes up to the main level of the sept to meet him. She waits for him to speak.
my whole life is thunder.
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#3
"I've got claim on catchin' the truth in this month's moot. I hope t' honor yer - our - lost sister's bones by makin' one the anchor for it," his eyes cast level, but at a tilt, on her mouth, her jaw, perhaps where he believes the first hint of emotion on her thoughts of the idea might come. "Death's hangin' over us. It deserves form. I think its weight'll help keep our Sept's eyes on the road ahead,"

And when he's finished saying this, though it's dark, it's like he can smell it. Any animal, especially one of his breed, can smell it. Death. Its scent on her. He'd wakened the senses of the animal inside, the boons of the wolf, to descend into this dark place. And his sniffs, kneeling down, though it's not in full submission. A comfort in being lower to the ground. And it's to look at her hands. Fresh with the dirt of a grave.

"Can I clean yer hands, yer feet, sister?" His petition genuine.

His fat mitts, sausage-sized fingers than bend like balloon animals, reach out palms up and open for her to put her own in them, should she consent. It isn't a word as sterile as hygiene, but he remembers seeing Ma clean under Pa's nails, clip his toe nails for him when he couldn't bend so far, and for the wolf in him it seems like both bonding and chiminage both, should she allow it.

"And when I'm done, clean her bones as the rats pick them clean, fer that end?"
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#4
Raspberry Sky is staring at him with eyes dark by nature, darker still by circumstance. The sun outside is shining through the great glass walls of the building, and they do cast light on her, but none of that light seems to touch her eyes. He starts to kneel down, sniffing at her, and she knows from the day she kept him from crossing the line from life to a burnt-out death that he was not born as she was, in the same form as she was.

As her sister was.

He asks to clean her hands and feet, and he calls her sister, and this is where he sees the first flickers and hints of emotion. Or not emotion. Rage. It grew that night on the road by the little dark lake, amidst the green fire and scent of gunsmoke, and it has been tainting everything around her for the last month, even making spirits who once cozied up to her skitter further away. It spikes when he asks to clean her hands and feet, and it howls around her like a wind when he calls her sister.

But her eyes are numb.

And then he talks of cleaning her bones, picking them clean like the physical children of their tribe's totem, and that corona of grieving Rage very nearly translates into the sort of action it always, always does in their kind. Put bluntly, Raspberry Sky nearly attacks him. Nearly.

Instead, she lowers herself to the ground in a seemingly effortless crouch. She does not give him her hand to touch, and does not touch him, but she is close to vibrating with fury. And with pain. She looks him in the eyes, and he is not mistaken if he sees glimmers of challenge there. Or maybe just anger.

Her voice is soft, though. If a bit flat.

"You want to dig up Cece's body," she says back to him, steady as a drum. "You want to take her out of the grave where we put the pieces that the Beloved Horror left of her. And clean off the flesh, and the parts of her they chewed on, to get one of her bones. And you want to hold it up before the septs, break it open while our people argue with each other, and then pick it clean."

She's not asking him. She's repeating to him what she hears, just in case she's mistaken somewhere. Just in case he means something else. As though he could mean anything else. Raspberry Sky is staring at him, all but staring him down, but she pauses for only a moment. He knows the answer already. He's likely known since he felt that first spark of rage crackling around her.

"She wasn't your sister," Raspberry Sky says, her voice showing emotion, real emotion, for the first time. It grates with restraint, and rasps with grief. "Not like she was mine. You want to desecrate her grave and mutilate her body, and you call that honoring her."

Her head gives a single, tremoring shake. It hardly registers as a communication. Her knees unbend; she rises back to her full height, though it isn't much. "You should go. And I'd better not see you skulking around the graves looking to scavenge our dead for their parts."
my whole life is thunder.
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#5
It isn't her words that strike at Law in War hardest. It's her rage and every smoldering blast of breath that comes with them. That seems to burn him, render away any sureness he'd had in his quest and request in the first place, and when she says it - desecrate her grave and mutilate her body - he even flinches at the sentiment behind them.

The Philodox's hands stay open in front of him for a moment, even as he knows he will not get her hands to clean. But at that last part, her dismissal of his very presence, he closes them with a gorilla-curl to their digits, knuckles falling to the ground and dragged to his sides where he rests.

Jack's eyes fall down and away, away from the jaw that had bounced open and closed, biting and harsh, to deliver those words that had battered at his will. And then he looks back at her, this time finding her eyes as she rises. He stays on his knee, but he looks up at her as she gets to her feet.

His jaw slackens and despite the edge he'd brought her to before grief and loss and, yes, restraint, had stricken her voice, he speaks again.

"We're family. You're not alone," and Jack does not get up to leave even as she dismisses him. Calls him a scavenger. Which he is. A skulker. Which he is. But one with a spine, and more importantly a heart. And he wears it now as he shovels down the rage and bares sympathy and compassion for her instead. "She's not put t'rest. Yer still bleeding."
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#6
Raspberry Sky has not yet turned to go, but she bares her teeth at him when he's done, lips curling back, the visage of another form fighting to overtake her face, the only sure sign that every word brings her closer to letting that rage in her cut loose.

He says her sister isn't at rest. That's what sickens her the most. "Digging her up isn't going to honor her spirit, you god-damn fool," she snarls, the words raising, drawing the attention of a few others within that glossy, sky-high building. "Waving her bones around at the moot isn't going to cleanse our grief or heal the sept or focus our rage. Not on anything but you.

"There are lots more garou here, Bone Gnawers and not Bone Gnawers, who've got way more of a claim of kinship with my sister than you, garou who sit with me in mourning and share my grief, so I know I ain't alone. An' none of them is coming to me saying that pulling her from her spot in the hallowed graves will do any of us any damn good, so don't go playin' that 'family' card with me again," she goes on, her voice only getting louder, gathering more attention to her words. The eyes of a few garou, in varying forms and of varying rank, are drawn from Raspberry Sky to the Philodox she's yelling at.

"Now I'm gonna go bleed a little a more for the baby sister I watched grow up, and change, and die, and for the tribe-sister I put in the god-damn ground so I could sing her spirit home, and you can fuck off."

The last two words are hardly even words. They're a roar, one that even garou who aren't in their immediate vicinity notice. Even if they don't, they see Raspberry Sky a moment later, walking away from Jack, nearly punching the button on the elevator that will take her back to the graves.
my whole life is thunder.
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#7
Raspberry Sky continues to admonish him, say how unfit he is to call her sister his own, how disgusted she is with the idea he had come to her with. All before resorting to even baser forms of cussing and roaring to banish him from her presence.

How can such a big Garou be made to feel so small? Be made to look so small, and it isn't the eyes of others cast his way that cause his own to again find the floor, to dart across its expanse, gone from kneeling to curling in on himself. It's her words.

He'd said he'd hoped it would honor Wind on Concrete. Maybe he'd meant a last moot for her, for a Ragabash, and for one who had given so much to give one last time. Maybe that's why again he seems beaten down by her words, as piece by piece she picks apart his own and damns him. Says that he'd played the 'family card', as if he even knows what that is.

This part seems to break him further. That it had been broken down to something so trivial as a game of cards.

Perhaps it's that he'd had too many Fenrir packmates in his past. Perhaps it's that he's a newcomer. Perhaps it's that as a lupus, even if one that had spent little time with those of his breed, his understanding of the sanctity of that body she'd buried below is different.

That doesn't matter. His slight and his insult does and her grief, rage, and sadness is all that does, it seems.

In a flash Law in War takes on his lupine breed form and falls to his belly, all his shame filling his eyes.

Worming forward like gargantuan slug and across the skyscraper's floor, one side of his neck bared, and then the other, and back and forth as he writhes forward in a shifting mass of muscle, belly never leaving it.

His tongue lolls out, over his paws, whining as he cleans each one as if trying to wash them of this sin that has grievously wronged her and the memory of her sister, as they follow Raspberry Sky's path toward the elevator. Toward the one that had brought him back from the other side of death. And when he stops, his teeth find the claw of his biggest right toe and tear it loose.

The only gift he has to give in this form.

And it sits on his tongue, actually in it as he bites into that talon, piercing straight through that thin pink and black-splotched muscle that now comes out. The look in his eyes is that if he could, he might've ripped it out, but this must suffice as it lays out in the gruesome pillow he offers it on.

Joey @ 3:51PM
[ Rite of Contrition: Charisma + Rituals. Difficulty is 3. Spending a WP 'cause goddamn is he sorry. ]
Roll: 6 d10 TN3 (2, 3, 7, 7, 8, 9) ( success x 6 ) [WP] VALID

Shay @ 3:52PM
Witnessed!
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#8
It's the whine that catches Raspberry Sky's attention when she turns to walk away from him -- frankly, before she throats him there on the floor. The sound of it crawls up her spine and wraps around her primitive brain, simultaneously aggravating and soothing. She's an Urrah wolf, no doubt about that, but she is still a wolf. She wheels on him, eyes black with rage as he is sinking only lower to the ground, reverting into the form he was born in, scraping his belly on the floor.

The other wolves gathered see this, too.

He creeps forward toward her, whining and keening, tail tucked. He is humiliating himself. He is submitting, gnawing on his own paws until they bleed, til he works the claw out from the flesh. And that hurts. That has to hurt quite a lot, in fact. He leaves traceries of blood on the ground as he's reaching Raspberry Sky, who -- when they are both in homid -- is much shorter than he is but now looms over him. He offers her the claw, still attached to flesh and torn tissue. He's lucky he's garou and it can't get infected. He's lucky it'll grow back quick as you like as soon as he leaves this form.

Raspberry Sky looks at him with something between disgust and recognition. There aren't many Bone Gnawers who don't learn, rather early on, the performance of this rite. They sort of need to. It's so easy for other garou to see them as cowardly, craven, and stupid. Gotta show that you know your place, right? Gotta show you're not too proud to take a knee. Something like that.

She reaches down, taking the claw from him gingerly, then looking into his eyes. He asked for a bone, and gives her a claw instead. There's no tears no, no sudden hug. But she looks at it, and looks at him, and after several long, silent moments where a few of the other wolves on the floor are holding their breath, Raspberry Sky reaches out and puts her hand heavily atop Jack's head. It might not be forgiveness. But it is acceptance. She rises after that, her hand closing around his torn-out, pierced-through claw, and walks away. Quietly.



--
[Good scene!]
my whole life is thunder.
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