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Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

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Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:50 pm

Jonathan Starbuck blinked slowly up at the massive Malamute who was currently shoving a scimitar under his nose. "Alright, kid, I'm going to say this again, because you are apparently brain-dead. Hand over the bag and the gold belt buckle, and you won't have a new smile under your chin. Got it?"

Jonathan blinked at the huge fur again.

The man groaned. "Forget it. I'll just take the stuff off your corpse. Sheez." He drew his arm back for the strike, lining the blade up with Jonathan's slender throat.

Jonathan stepped back and uncorked a small bottle at his hip. With a mighty crack, a living streak of water surged from the mouth and sliced the scimitar in half. The front part went singing away into the loose, dry brush to their right. "I'm very sorry, but I have no intention of dying today." The water gathered in a small ball in Jonathan's palm, practically vibrating with excitement. He whipped his arm out, wide and straight, and the Malamute flew a dozen feet off the path with a yelp that shattered the silence of the early evening. Recorking his bottle, Jonathan smiled faintly. "Well, it worked out, anyway."

He was a young mouse, fairly tall, but with a remarkable small frame that made him look a little like a pole fitted with arms and legs. His fur was a soft downy tan that was uniform across his whole lean body. He kept his brown tail knotted around his waist, generally because it was remarkably long for a mouse and other furs tended to step on it. He had pale grey eyes that were just a hair too large and looked wetter than they were, which had led to a lot of furs assuming he was a crybaby. While he was soft-hearted, he actually cried very little, even when his grandfather had died when he was eight.
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:32 pm

"Well, aren't you a forceful type?" A short, cream-coated cat with brown hair and golden eyes had been watching the incident unfold from a bin she'd hidden behind. She was extremely tiny, and sort of had the appearance of being a Siamese.  "I'm not calling you mean, or anything like that, but that was kind of... mean." She emerged from her hiding place, relatively nervous about being seen by someone with a weapon. "I'm Mitzi, in case you wanted to brag about shanking me or something." Her voice was half-serious, half-sarcastic, as she was unsure of how to deal with this particular fur. 


Mitzi was halfway scared of this mouse to be completely honest. She was only three feet tall, and she felt so tiny compared to his height. With his obviously rough tactics and intimidating ways with words, she wouldn't have much of a chance against him in a fight if one happened to break out. She rocked back and forth on her heels, just waiting for his response. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:14 am

Jonathan widened his eyes at the young fur who had just appeared. She had apparently confused him with his assailant-- who was lying prone in the tall grass about fifteen feet away-- and he wasn't truthfully certain how that was possible. The Malamute had been threatening him, so he was completely justified in taking steps to protect himself. "I'm not sure I know what you mean," he said, scratching absently at his large ears. When he was nervous he tended to fidget, and since his experience with women was minimal, now was one of those nervous moments. "Er, I'm sorry I didn't notice you earlier. Did you get hurt when I broke his sword?" The blade had spun away in the female's general direction, which made him feel awful, but he hadn't realized she was present. She looked alright, which calmed him down somewhat, but he still felt bad.

He was formerly an apprentice to a somewhat eccentric (read: insane) magician on the coast of Edwin, but since then had struck out on his own at the behest of his mistress. It was one of her admittedly batty whims: "Jonathan, my love, you need to see the world!" After this resounding proclamation, Eilene had collapsed in a pile of beakers and gone to sleep. Jonathan suspected she had gotten into the brandy again, but said nothing because he knew she could and would turn him into some form of toad. Perhaps permanently.

His expression changed slightly at this memory, so he looked a little exasperated as he muttered "Oh, Eilene," to himself. He really couldn't leave her alone for more than five minutes. The tower was probably already a smoking pile of ruins.
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:46 am

"Pardon me, then. I'd slept on my front the night before and all the commotion had woken me up. My eyes were a bit blurred and the only thing I really saw of that malamute was him sprawled out and you standing there all heroic or somethin'. Now that I've got a good look at him, he seems like he needed to get his tail handed to him." She giggled a bit once she realized that the mouse before her was a gentle being. Upon hearing his question on whether or not she was hurt, she examined herself for any injuries. "I don't have any major injuries, thanks for askin', sir." She turned a bit to leave, but stopped when something hit her. "I didn't catch your name yet." She told him softly as to not come off as weird. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:19 am

Jonathan smiled down at her. "I'm glad you weren't hurt. Why were you sleeping in the brush? There are all sorts of ruffians about, and it's really no place for a young lady, if you don't mind me saying. You could get awfully hurt." He looked north, down the road, towards his destination. A room at an inn wouldn't cost so much, so two wouldn't really be a bother. She really was too small to be alone in such a wild country-- this part of the islands was rural and far from most settlements. Jonathan worried his lip. He really couldn't leave her here; it would kill him if something happened to her because he couldn't be bothered to escort her to safety.

Eilene would have laughed at him, but she laughed at everything he did.

"I was actually on my way to Olikpok to look for work... If you like, I can take you there now. It's better than sleeping out here," he said, self-consciously adjusting his shabby clothes so they looked less... poor. He straightened his spine and put his shoulders back to emulate the bravest possible face, and hopefully minimize his likeness to a stick. "My name is Jonathan Starbuck. I'm First Apprentice to Eilene, the Witch of Opposites." First Apprentice sounded much better than only apprentice.
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:40 am

"That's kind of you, but I'm old enough to take care of myself. I've just always lived on the street. I was the runt of the litter, so my mom just taught me how to read and speak, and that was it. I figured out everything else on my own. The only thing besides basic social skills that my mom gave me was this big blue sweater to keep me warm." She flopped her hands about, the excess of her sweater sleeves bouncing about. "A room sounds like a bit much for me. Far to advanced. To be honest, I've never been inside a building with heating for longer than five minutes." A sudden gust of wind blew past and made her violently shudder. "Should I do this? I mean, I barely even know this little mouse. Still, he seems like he's got a good head on his shoulder. He could probably take care of me for a while and I could just leave the inn before he woke up and leave him a thank-you note. Yeah, that's what I'll do!" "Okay, Mr. Starbuck. I'll go to the inn with you. I could use a cup of soup and a thick blanket." She warmly smiled back at him. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:59 am

Jonathan frowned. This poor girl had had a tough life already, and there was no telling how much tougher it would get. He had been lucky-- Eilene had been within arms-reach for his entire life, and only now had he begun to stand on his own two paws. He fumbled awkwardly with his cloak (threadbare but better than nothing) and finally managed to pull it off, albeit by half-strangling himself with the knot. He immediately draped it around her. "Here. It's too cold out for you to stay. Olikpok is only a little while down the road, and we can make it before long if we start now." The wind tore right through his bones, but he set his jaw (to stop his teeth from chattering) and set off.

It was really a nippy night, not one to be out in without thick, sturdy Northerner's clothes. Jonathan had lived in the deep South, where it was temperate but stormy year-round, so this back-biting cold was new to him. However, he had no intention of letting the poor girl know he was freezing his tail off. She had probably suffered much worse, and he didn't want to seem like a wimp.
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:59 pm

The thin new layer of fabric had done much for the tiny feline and how cold she felt. "Thanks, Jonathan. You didn't have to give me your cloak though. Now you're cold, aren't you? My apologies if this is any inconvenience to you." She traveled closely beside him, gently grasping his arm. "I know it's not much, but I want to keep you as warm as I can." Following his lead, as he knew the way, she willed a bit more strength into her legs to last the journey. 

A few minutes passed, and she could feel herself getting a bit weaker. Still, she wanted to keep her companion warm. "Gotta stand up... Keep his arm as cozy as possible." Her inner voice gave her a bit more confidence in her ability to last. "So, sir, you're not from here, are you?" Small talk was what she specialized in, being tiny and such. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Jonathan felt a delicate paw grasp his arm. He glanced down in surprise at the petite cat, then smiled. She was trying to keep him warm, poor thing. He tentatively put his arm around her (it was about as effective at blocking the wind as a stick blocking a rock) and settled her against him as they walked. Body heat was their best friend right now. As for clothes, he was certain there was a shop in Olikpok that would have what they needed. He would make sure she had heavy clothes and good shoes, and he would fill a pack with good rations. The Arctic really wasn't a place for her-- he needed to get her somewhere warmer. "I'm from the South. It's... well, it's a lot warmer, I'll say that."

He didn't realize it, but he was making plans for a future. Jonathan would later marvel at how he had instantly begun to knit their lives together. Within a few moments, he was resolved to protect the girl beside him, no matter what, and that started with getting her somewhere safe and warm. Jonathan's small frame was not made for any kind of warmth-- it was vitally important they made it somewhere, soon.

Olikpok's lanterns had not been snuffed, which told him that it was still fairly early in the night. If he was correct, it wasn't quite midnight yet, which meant the rooming houses were still open and accepting customers. With any luck, they were also still making food. Most rooming houses kept a stew pot on, for the late-night adventurers who blew in hungry and half-dead. Most inns made their money from adventurers, hundreds of whom routinely passed through. The Islands (and the other continents) were full of them. Jonathan didn't consider himself one, but he knew other people might, and he wasn't shy about taking advantage of that. When furs thought you were an adventurer, they usually left you alone.

The edge of town loomed out of the nighttime mist; there was a single frostbitten guard standing outside with a spear and a warm mug. He looked them over but seemed uninterested otherwise. "Rooms for rent if you've got gold. Otherwise, you might find a kind soul somewhere. Doubt it. But it's possible," the guard said, from behind his thick scarf.

"Thank you," Jonathan said. On either side of the gate were boarding houses, but only one had a light on. "Is this one alright, Miss?"
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:08 pm

"I'm alright anywhere, as long as I'm warm, well fed, and by your side. This'll do if it's not too much trouble." Her legs were really shaking at this point. The cold had numbed them some, making it hard for her to stand. "Whenever you're ready, Jonathan." 

"Who would I be to leave him now? He's taken me this far, is giving me shelter and food, and I want to just leave?! I'd hate to have him feel alone. I'd hate to feel alone." "And thank you for being kind enough to bring me along."
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:46 pm

Jonathan steeled himself and pulled her closer to his side. "Alright, we'll go in. There should be a fire going-- if not, I'll kindle one for you." He flushed faintly beneath his fur at how close she was, but now was no time to be shy. She needed him. He pulled her towards the inn with the lit lantern. He pulled the door open for Mitzi and shut it behind them.

The inn was a pretty place, probably family owned, with a fire stroked in the hearth and tapestries on the walls to hold in the heat. The proprietor was sitting by the fire, a poker in paw. She nudged the embers, so a wave of heat soared into the room. She got up. "Get you a room?" She was a plump, matronly eagle, her plumage a little ruffled but obviously cared for. The eagle smiled at them and gestured to the fire. "Sit down for a bit, even if you ain't staying-- it's chill out, and the fire'll get some of the cold out of your bones. I can hunt up something to eat, too, if you like."

"That sounds wonderful," Jonathan said. "We'd like two rooms, and food would be appreciated. Extra for my friend, please."

"You look like you need extra too-- you're practically scrawny! You both need some good food in you," the inn keeper said, shaking her head at them as she disappeared in the back. Within seconds she was back with a pair of heavy, steaming clay bowls. "Come in! Come in and sit down."

Jonathan steered Mitzi to the low bench in front of the fire and sat her down, taking the bowls from the inn keeper. He scooped a few pieces of gold from his purse and placed them in her waiting palm. "Thank you for the food, ma'am." He smiled at her. The inn keeper cuffed him gently.

"You owe me half that much," she said.

"That includes the food."

"Bah! Be off with you." The eagle said cheerfully, counting back a pair of coins and handing them to Mitzi. "Make sure he doesn't give all his money away. He seems the sort."
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:32 pm

Once she was given the coins by the eagle woman, she pocketed the gold and nodded to her words. "I'll keep these for a rainy day." Mitzi allowed the fire's warmth to wash over her for a minute, stretching out her toes and limbering up a bit. Her empty tummy emitted a little grumble as she did so. Quizzically, she looked over at Jonathan and the two bowls he was carrying. "Do you need help carrying the food upstairs, hun? I've got two free paws." Even with her stomach making the rumblies, she wanted to ease any possible stresses on her new caretaker. She'd figured if her mom had left her that she'd been quite the handful, and she most definitely didn't want to be a burden on her companion. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Jonathan handed her a bowl. "I'm going to assume our rooms are upstairs?" He asked the eagle woman, who nodded and pointed to the staircase.

"Straight up, the last two doors on the right. I'll be up shortly to make up the beds." With that, she turned and went into the back of the inn, ostensibly to gather the necessary blankets. As the door swung shut behind her, Jonathan inhaled the steam from his bowl. No doubt about it-- they'd hit the jackpot in terms of good places to spend the night. The eagle woman was exactly the sort of fur he would want to look after things, if he ran an inn. The food smelled fantastic; there were hearty beans and chunks of vegetables and the broth was thick and creamy. He started drooling immediately, but held off.

"We should probably eat down here, if only for the fire," he said to Mitzi. "You'll warm up faster down here. Upstairs will still be warm, but nearest the fireplace is the best spot now." He smiled at her, then realized he probably looked stupid and buried his face in the stew. "Eat up," he said around a mouthful.
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by IkarosMelan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:36 pm

"Oh, alright. I'd say be careful since the food's hot, but I'm guessing you already knew that." She took a spoonful of the thick dish and blew on it. After years of staring through bakery windows during dinner time, that little tidbit always stuck with her. The first taste of the soup was interesting to her. It wasn't exactly spicy, but it wasn't salty either. This must have been what the townspeople referred to as "down-home cooking."


Mitzi finished her meal fairly quickly, feeling more than stuffed after she'd done so. "Do you want me to help you clean up the dishes before bed?" She asked Jonathan, adjusting to how an inn was run. 
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Re: Water Under the Bridge... Becomes Ice. Crap. ((Closed))

Post by FreedomFighter » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:30 pm

"We'll leave our bowls with the innkeeper." He took the bowl from her and nested it in his, then walked to the kitchen door and knocked with his knuckle. "Er, ma'am?"

The eagle woman appeared after a few moments, wiping her feathers with a bit of cloth. She smiled at them. "We'll have the morning meal as soon as the sun's up tomorrow. I'll keep some aside in case you want to sleep in." She put the bowls away in the kitchen and returned with a mug of warm ale. "Here, love, for the evening. You look half frozen." She passed the mug to Mitzi.

Jonathan really liked this woman. If Mitzi didn't want to come with him, he could always leave her here-- she would be well taken care of, and she might even start to fill out a bit.
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