Author Topic: A Walk Along the Beach  (Read 623 times)

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A Walk Along the Beach
« on: November 21, 2007, 11:40:05 AM »
Ari shoved her hands into the pockets of her designer jeans, looking out across the water. It was getting late, casting fire onto the surface of the ocean. Under the expensive pink lip-gloss, the corners of her mouth tipped downwards.

“What’s eatin’ ya kid?” James smiled down at his young charge, placing a hand on her shoulder. When she didn’t respond worry flickered across his face. “Come on, Ari. What’s wrong?”

Ari muttered something unconvincing under her breath and shrugged his hand off of her.

“Arianna. Talk to me.” James circled around the Theurge, facing her.

“Gizmo talked about wanting to form a pack between me, him, and the Ahroun, the quiet one.” She turned away and looked at the outline of the small town on the horizon. “A Glasswalker pack, probably under Cockroach. That’s all.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” His voice was quiet. James understood Ari well enough to know that this was deeper than she was letting on.

“I guess.” She shrugged again.

“So what’s with the end of the world face?” He ran a hand gently along her cheek.

“If you haven’t noticed, James, I don’t exactly play well with others.” Her voice was stiff. “I’m not sure I’m exactly ‘pack’ material.

“So is this about you worrying that you won’t be able to keep up or you worrying that they won’t like you? Because it’s one of the two.” He crossed his arms across his chest.

“Or maybe it’s just that I don’t need some flea-bitten city wolves around me to keep myself company!” Ari turned and stormed off down the beach.

“Hey! Whoa! Ari! Come back!” James’s eyes grew wide and he chased after her, his shoes kicking up dust as he ran.

“Go away. I don’t want to talk to you.”

“Ari, slow down! What did I do?”

“Go away.”

“Jeez. What the hell has gotten into you?”

“Go away.”

“Fine, if you want to be a bitch I don-“

“Don’t call me that!” She turned and growled at him, her eyes narrowing.

“Then stop acting like one. Arianna, listen to me. You’re my little sister and I’m tired of this defensive bullshit. I know you. I helped raise you. I’ve looked out for you and taken care of you. Without me they would have shoved you into some foster home. Is that what you want?” The blonde-haired man snapped at her.

She was quiet and stopped slowly, not looking at him.

“That’s better. Now listen to me. You may be able to fool the Garou about being all tough and crap but I know better. First and foremost you’re a little girl. You want someone to help you and look after you and take care of you and teach you. That’s what this pack could offer you. Look me in the eye and tell me honestly that you don’t want that.” His voice grew quieter.

When she looked at him there was a strange sparkle in her eyes.

“What if I can’t do it, James? I can’t go into Crinos form! It’s not that I won’t I just…. Can’t. My body won’t do it. My mind won’t do it. When we were at Lazergate they were all in Crinos and I was just… me. If I’m in a pack they may start to question it more deeply.”

“And what if they do? From what I understand pack sticks together. It’s not all about hack-and-slash, Ari. You’re a Theurge; it’s your job to play ambassador to the spirit world. You don’t need claws for that.”

“Who cares what my auspice is? I’m still Garou! We were created to be Gaia’s warriors! I’m not a warrior. I’m just a little girl.” She muttered under her breath, turning away.

“You’re more than that and you know it, Arianna.” James leaned in close to her, looking her directly in the eye. “Who cares if you can’t? Any pack that you form, if they truly care about you, won’t care about what you can and can’t do. It’s about who you are and what your spirit can do. They have the Ahroun for the bloody work. You were born to interact with other kinds of problems.”

“But what if I can’t do it?”

“Did I ever tell you that your father was in a pack, Ari?” James interrupted gently, taking one of the younger girl’s hands in his. She shook her head.

“They formed under Falcon.” The older boy said softly.

“Falcon? He's the one who is obsessed with honor.” She said, cocking her head.

“Correct. Your father followed Falcon, with his pack. I've never seen anyone more opinionated than that man-” he paused for a moment and looked down at his charge, “except for maybe you of course. Anyways, he had to learn how to follow. He wasn't Alpha but he learned to accept the Alpha. You can do the same. Become close to your packmates and you will make some of the best allies you could ever have. Don't be afraid, Arianna. They'll take care of you. As will I. They know you're young, and still they extended a hand to you. They must see something inside of you.”

“What if they're wrong?” She whispered.

“They're not.” He shook his head and tenderly placed a hand on the side of her face.

“Thanks James.” She said softly, smiling.

“Not a problem, kid.” He ruffled her hair.

She looked up at him. “Don't call me that.”

He laughed and watched as she trotted forward along the beach, kicking off her shoes to pad into the ocean, looking out across the waves.

The moment her back was to him, he turned and sighed.

“May you have better luck with pack than your father did, little one. I'd hate to see you die for them the way he did.” He whispered to the wind, walking up to bring the car around for when his charge was ready to return to the Bed and Breakfast.

((OOC Note: This takes place between when Ari first read's Gizmo's proposal and when she responds to it.))