Playing with Fire

He was determined to show Kiyoshi around the city and since Guillaume mentioned that showing him the competition was not a good tour that left him giving much thought to what would be entertaining to their new employee when he had time off. Evan considered what little he knew of Kiyoshi and hoped to come up with an outing from that knowledge. The man was quiet, he liked to juggle and he liked fire... It was an odd set of things to work with but Evan finally came up with a plan.

There were beach parties and fire spinners down at the marina. Evan figured that Kiyoshi would like watching the festivities even if he didn't participate. They could also wander around the shops or get a boat. That is if the werewolf wanted to be out on a boat alone with a vampire. The thought amused him; if ever there was someone safe from being prey then it would be a shifter.

He told Kiyoshi that he would meet him at the dock a little after sun down. Evan didn't really own a vehicle for getting around the city or he would have offered to give Kiyoshi a ride. An automobile hardly seemed necessary when he could fly.

As he was now, getting a bird's eye view of the beach and the people, circling over head until he found the man he would looking for. Evan found it interesting that despite Kiyoshi's unassuming nature, the werewolf stood out in a crowd.

He found an empty changing stall on the beach nearby and flew through the curtained opening. Emerging in his human form, Evan pushed back the loose hair over his shoulders. Only two small pieces in the front were beaded tonight, tied with slender thongs of red leather, the rest hung loose down his back. Evan's black tee shirt had a picture of the cart from Monty Python and the Holy Grail only this one was full of zombies with a caption that read 'Bring out your undead'. His canvas cargo pants were a deep red. He had on two leather bands with red lacing, two dog tag shaped slabs of circuit board on a long chain, and black pair of converse sneakers to finish off the geek/native look of the day.

With long easy strides Evan made his way up to where he had seen Kiyoshi, waving in greeting when he was spotted.

Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
The way Evan had described this, it didn't seem like they were scoping out the competition. He was honestly fine with that. Really. Instead, Kiyoshi found himself down on a very lively beach at the Nachton waterfront. He'd wandered past the sand volleyball game toward the flashes of fire he'd seen further down and was now kneeling comfortably at the edge of the beach, watching two fire spinners with intense concentration as they spun poi and staffs in dancing patterns. It was only luck that Kiyo had chanced to glance up and catch sight of Evan out of the corner of his eye.

Fortunately it looked like he'd made the right call in dressing casually tonight. Kiyoshi was in what was normal attire for him; a pair of wrap pants that were black outside and blue on the inside so flashes of blue could be seen when he walked and a sleeveless blue shirt. He wore sandals, and his long hair was pulled back into a loose, full french braid to keep it neat in the ocean breeze.

Returning Evan's wave Kiyo stood, smiling at his new employer as he approached. He did not see Guillaume along and wasn't sure if he would be joining them at all; Kiyo's Packmate had not expressed any interest in joining them on this venture when they had initially discussed it at Terminus.


"Good evening," Kiyo said to Evan, his glance flickering back and forth between Evan's face and the fire spinners. Kiyoshi could easily have sat there all night watching, but that was surely not what Evan had in mind. So Kiyo turned away from the fire and gave Evan his full attention.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Kiyoshi had been watching the fire spinners with rapt attention before Evan walked up. He smiled to himself, happy to have guessed correctly about this activity being interesting and hopefully enjoyable for his new friend.

Evan smiled at Kiyoshi and answered his greeting. "Hello. How was your day?"

He moved to stand beside his companion, facing the dancers. Pulling his hair over his shoulder, he seated himself on the sand. Patting the ground next to him, Evan said. "I had hoped that you might enjoy watching them. There is other stuff to do here also but the fire spinning I thought you might like." He shrugged slightly and pointed his chin toward the display. "Do you want to stay for a bit or move on?"

It could be that Kiyoshi was hungry. There were vendors nearby with food and drinks and several restaurants if something more substantial was desired. Somewhere further down the beach someone was grilling something that smelled delicious even to him.

"Do you do any of this?" He gestured up to the dancers. Kiyoshi juggled very well so it seemed like a reasonable question. If the man had yet to try it then he should; Evan was certain he would be very good at it, better than those currently dancing. The werewolf simply had more natural grace and a better sense of timing. While doing his routine the other night, Kiyoshi seemed to go to a different place. His flair was like a meditative dance, beautiful to behold. Evan had no doubt that any fire spinning that the shifter did would have everyone around stopping to take notice.
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi lifted his shoulders. "It was okay," he said. "I slept for most of it."

Kiyo wasn't actually much of a day person. Working at bars meant he worked a late shift most of the time, starting around 8 or 9 and going home until the early hours of the morning. He'd spent so many years at that occupation that he generally slept during the day now, usually not waking until mid afternoon. He was sure Evan would understand that; such was the life of a bartender.

He knelt back down on the beach in the place Evan indicated, tucking his feet beneath him.
"I do like it," he stated softly. "They're very good." The next question had him tilting his head and shrugging again. "Whatever you like. I've been watching them for a few minutes now."

The smell of grilling meat hit his nose, making him swallow involuntarily against the reaction. As much as he loved fire, he couldn't stand this particular use for it. He tried to ignore the scent as best he could, envisioning instead a nice raw steak, maybe some sashimi, anything.

When Evan asked him about fire spinning Kiyo hesitated and then nodded.
"I do, actually. I find it relaxing. What about you?"

Evan had clearly thought to bring him someplace he would find interesting, which Kiyo found touching. But he knew little about Evan's hobbies so he couldn't make another suggestion himself.
"Do you do anything like this, yourself?"

The question was somewhat tentative; Kiyoshi was not good at socializing, but Evan was making an effort to welcome Kiyoshi and Kiyo couldn't ignore that.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
"Imagine that, me too!" Evan smiled over at Kiyoshi when he talked about sleeping the day away.

He looked between the dancers and the werewolf and back again. They weren't here for what he liked, at least not in his mind. Evan wasn't new to the city. He shrugged and continued watching for a moment or two more.

Kiyoshi explained that he did indeed spin fire. Evan smiled, not at all surprised by that revelation considering the bartender's other skills. He shook his head when asked if he did the same sort of thing. "No, funny, I always thought I had a bit too much hair to make playing with fire seem like a good idea." He smirked over at his new friend whose hair was nearly as long as his own. "You're a braver man than I."

When asked if he did anything like the fire spinning, Evan pulled out a coin and flipped it through his fingers. "I think the closest I've come to fire is the flash powder and smoke used in some magic tricks." The coin vanished from his hand. He opened his palm to show that it was empty before wrapping his arms around his knees. "Sleight of hand and stage magic is the extent of my graceful skills." He danced around plenty of fires in his lifetime but Evan doubted he looked very graceful doing it. He always felt like a giant bird flapping around on the ground doing his best lame duck impression.

He offered more information about himself to keep the conversation going, hoping that Kiyoshi was truly interested and not simply being polite. "I make things in my spare time, carving, beading, woodworking. Jewelry mostly and other small things that a person could carry."
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi smiled at Evan's joking tone, allowing himself a little laugh. "I can't imagine you get much time to work on your tan."

The worry about flammable hair was a valid one.
"It used to worry me." He held up the elaborate french braid that hung behind him. "That's why I learned how to do this. As long as I keep it up, I'm all right. Of course, if I know the exact content of what I'm spinning, sometimes I need to bundle it up even more."

Many of Kiyoshi's moves brought is poi very close to his hair, particularly if he was bending backwards while spinning. But his hair would have been in the way at any rate by that point, fire or not. He just tied it up in a knot when that was the case.

Kiyo's sharp eyes followed the coin across Evan's graceful fingers with interest, blinking when he turned his hand and Kiyo discovered it gone. Fascinating.
"Just don't try to saw me in half," he said.

He somehow doubted Evan lacked the grace and coordination to pull of a dance or two. Even though he was incredibly tall he didn't seem awkward or uncomfortable in his own skin. Kiyoshi assumed he was being modest, which was an interesting trait to find in someone as old as he. Kiyoshi didn't know why but he'd have expected less of that in someone who'd lived for two thousand years.

When Evan offered up one of his hobbies for discussion Kiyoshi raised his eyebrows.
"Really? That's awesome," he said. He was always a little in awe of anyone who could create things. The best he could do was spin poi and make patterns in the air but that was something anyone could do with practice. it took creativity and talent to actually make something.

"Do you make wooden beads too? Or do you use glass ones?"

Kiyoshi dug underneath his shirt and pulled out the necklace he had on, which had been hidden beneath the collar of his shirt. It was a simple leather thong but there were several wooden beads threaded onto it, in the colors he liked: dark and light browns and earthy red.


"What made you start that?"

Kiyo was somewhat surprised. Maybe he had thought that as a vampire Evan would have stuck to something more lasting or durable. Wood deteriorated over the years; Evan would have had to keep making things and watching them decay. Unless it was a relatively new hobby for him. He watched his employer's face intently, awaiting the answer.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan laughed. "No, I'm afraid my delicate complexion burns." He glanced down at his bronze skin and then over at his companion with an amused smile.

He nodded to Kiyoshi about the braided hair keeping most of it out of the way. Still he would keep his playing with fire to a minimum, leaving it to the werewolf and admiring the skill from afar.

Laughing at the infamous stage trick of sawing a person in half, Evan rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "But you regenerate, right?" He shook his head. "I prefer close up magic but I do some big flashy stage tricks from time to time. I figure I will do some on opening night."

Smiling at his new friend's enthusiasm, Evan said. "I use whatever seems right for what I am making. Sometimes I use glass, wood, stone or clay." He shrugged and gestured toward the water. "I figure I will look down on the beach for shells or glass if we go walking later." Something might talk to him.

It was an interesting question that Kiyoshi asked and he thought back to when he started making things in earnest. "In the beginning I did woodworking and carving in the winter months because it was something to do during the long nights around the campfire. Each piece of wood has a story in it. You have to touch it, look at it, listen to it, to hear the story it wants to tell. Then you try to make the story visible to everyone else."

"What made you decide to learn to flairtend? Its a rare occupation and a night job seems...problematic." A day job would leave nights free so there was no conflict with the need to run under the light of the full moon but a night job, unless it was one where a person could make their own hours or worked for people who knew the situation, would be difficult to sustain for a werewolf.
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi was glad his joke had not been taken poorly. He didn't mean to pick on Evan for being a vampire, not in a cruel way. Sometimes he just wasn't good at humor. "Good thing you don't have to worry about losing that tan then."

He knew many of his kind regarded Evan's with suspicion but Kiyo did not entirely understand why. He knew the history, sort of, but talking to Evan, Kiyoshi could not find him offensive or intimidating for that reason. Other reasons, sure... he was huge, and striking to look at. Kiyoshi couldn't help noticing that even though they were out of the way there were plenty of women who glanced their way and then did a double take.

He flashed a quick grin at Evan, the expression fleeting.
"Please don't tell me you have to ask all your stage assistants that question."

Kiyo perked up at the idea of opening night.
"Are you going to want me to perform, too?"

He assumed that would be the case. He had offered up his skills, after all. Kiyoshi didn't mind. Flairtending was how he made his living and as he'd observed before, if he could use it to help make Terminus successful, it benefited them all.


"We can walk now if you want," he said, smiling at the idea of looking for crafting supplies on the busy beach. Kiyoshi loved to hide things; needed to hide things, really. So looking for hidden treasures appealed to him too. He would be happy to employ his wolfish senses on Evan's behalf. Once he got a good idea of what his boss wanted, he could help out.

He nodded as Evan described how he felt about carving wood. Kiyoshi was going to have to try to stare at some wood now. Maybe he would see a story in it too. Of course... he was pretty sure he couldn't carve. Maybe he could bring it to Evan if he did find an appropriate piece.

When asked about his flairtending Kiyoshi shrugged. He hated talking about himself. He was usually very secretive, particularly when it came to his personal life and experiences. He was torn between giving a vague answer and opening up. He didn't know Evan very well... but he did like him and he had given him a job.


"I fell into it," he said. It was a short but honest answer. "After I left home I needed work. I worked a bunch of random odd jobs. I don't have many skills or talents. I'm not smart. I ended up being decent at bartending, and I needed the money. Then someone showed me some flair and I turned out to be okay at it. So I kept doing it."

His answer was delivered as quickly as possible. Kiyoshi had never attended college. He hadn't spoken to his adoptive parents very much; on holidays and once in a while between. Those were things he wasn't ready to tell Evan. He glossed over them.
"Maybe a day job would be better, if it's a problem."

Kiyoshi hunched over his drawn-up knees and wrapped his arms around them. He had thought Evan and Guillaume wanted him tending for them. They had said they understood the full moon problem but maybe they had discussed it and decided they wanted a bartender who would not have Kiyoshi's issues. It wouldn't be the first time.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan smiled at nodded. He had seen some very pale vampires in his lifetime, ones that made normal white people look positively glowing with colour. He had been somewhat darker as a human, at least he seemed to remember being more brown, in the summer months especially, when the warmth of the sun was soaked up by every pore.

Laughing, he shook his head about his magic. "No, I haven't lost an assistant yet...only misplaced one or two temporarily but I've always managed to find them again."

"I would appreciate it if you performed on opening night. We would like to put on a show that they will remember."

Kiyoshi offered to walk to with him now and that seemed like a good idea, perhaps they would find something of interest to do further down the beach. He turned his attention to the spinners one last time as his new friend explained how he came to flairtend as a profession.

The tale that Kiyoshi told made Evan turn towards the man, giving him his full attention. It would seem the bartender was overly critical of himself. Kiyoshi seemed plenty intelligent to him and he was certainly better than 'ok' at his work. Evan's somewhat personal question had been misread as condemnation and he was disappointed with himself for phrasing his interest so badly.

He reached out and put an arm around Kiyoshi's shoulders, looking intently at his companion to make sure that his words were understood and believed. "It is not a problem. I only wondered how you chose something so unique." Evan squeezed the bartender's shoulder and added. "I would be sad to see you go so don't think that is what I was implying. Far from it, I look forward to working with you, Kiyoshi."

Evan stood and brushed the sand off his pants. Smiling, he reached a hand down to his companion. "Besides. I certainly have no room to judge. I have chosen a difficult road to walk. One that might cause my own kind to question my sanity."
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi smiled at Evan. "I would be happy to perform. In whatever capacity you like."

He didn't mind doing some fire spinning for the bar's opening if that was what Evan and Guillaume wanted. He didn't normally perform with his poi but it wouldn't bother him to do so.

Evan's reassurance was welcome and left Kiyo with such a feeling of overwhelming relief he thought he might be shaking.
"Thank you," was all he could manage to stammer out, but he quickly followed it with, "Kiyo. You can just call me Kiyo. It's fine."

The arm across his shoulders had been surprising but not unwelcome. Kiyo experienced very little physical contact usually, but that didn't mean he didn't crave it on some level. He shrugged and reiterated.
"It wasn't really a choice. I didn't have a lot of choices. It was available. I needed it."

He was lucky in that he had ended up enjoying his job, but he could not claim it would have been what he'd have chosen if his life had been different. When Evan claimed to walk a different path too Kiyoshi looked up, taking the offered hand and standing when he noticed it.


"Because you work with us?"

Evan had offered the information so Kiyo didn't mind asking about it a little further.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan raised his eyebrows at Kiyoshi but decided to take the high road and not make a joke out of the phrasing that had been used. He was impressed with Kiyoshi's earnest offer to help. It would be poorly repaid by making the kid blush.

His arm tightened around his companion in concern, feeling Kiyoshi shaking ever so slightly next to him. It had to be tough worrying about losing a job at the only place Evan knew of that would understand the reasons for needing off three nights out of the month. They would just have to do their best to let him know that they planned on keeping him for as long as he wanted to stay.

Evan smiled. "Kiyo, then"

He waited until they were away from other people and further down the beach a bit to answer Kiyoshi's question. "Yes, my clan played the biggest part in the war between our peoples." He sighed. "My Creator...the one who made me." Evan gestured at himself. "She didn't believe the Treaty was right. It was cruel and would only harbor resentment for our kind. She was right. I agreed with her also."

He reached down and picked up a small shell from the beach, turning it over and examining all its sides before placing it in his pocket.

"Margosha was killed by our own people." Evan turned to look at Kiyo. "She could change her shape, like many of our kind. She was a beautiful white wolf...so it is easy to see where she might have felt a kinship with the packs. She had gone out to meet with some werewolves to talk about working together for a better peace between our peoples. I do not know all the details of what happened. I only know of the meeting because she told me a few days prior that she had planned it. There were other vampires there and a fight broke out between the two races." One of the werewolves that she had been meeting with had managed to escape that fight with his life. He had told Evan that Margosha had not been there when it started. The others came first and from a different direction. For a long time the shifter had wanted to blame Margosha and to believe it had been an ambush but he knew that it had simply been other vampires out scouting, unhappy with the treaty and possibly holding a personal grudge. Margosha didn't even have a chance to try to plead with her people. She had come in wolf form and a vampire with a large two handed sword took her head off her shoulders before she had a chance to change. It was only after she became ash that he realized what he had done. He did not have long to regret it, however.

Evan looked over at Kiyoshi. "It was her wish to see our races coexist peacefully with each other. I have not managed that...yet, but I try to do my small part."
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Evan's one-armed hug felt ridiculously good. Kiyo was so used to distancing himself he hadn't realized how afraid he was of being turned away. He tried to trust in the fact that Evan and Guillaume did want him there. God, he really didn't want to lose another job.

As Evan spoke to him about clans and his Creator and a fight between wolves and vampires Kiyo did his best to follow. He didn't know a lot about his Pack's history. He knew about the Treaty but not really the details; just that his kind were ordered away from the cities. He didn't want to interrupt Evan though so he nodded and listened, waiting for an appropriate time to ask his questions.


"I'm sorry but... clans? And shape-changers? Like us, then?" This was fascinating. Kiyoshi knew almost nothing about vampires.

He shook his head in confusion.
"I'm sorry you lost your... uh, Creator. It sounds like you're both pretty unique. I've never met a vampire before. I didn't expect to find one who cared."

What Kiyoshi knew about vampires was limited to stories he'd picked up, mostly from Packmates, and mostly not favorable. He didn't know Evan very well but he didn't seem to fit the evil monster stereotype.

As they walked Kiyoshi kept an eye out for anything that looked likely to be of interest to Evan, walking at the edge of the beach where the waves occasionally lapped at his feet. He enjoyed the cold water and the shifting sand between his toes. He didn't worry about his sandals; they would dry.


"I think you do plenty," Kiyo said, looking up at Evan. "More than most people. More than a lot of our own kind, really."

Kiyoshi wanted to be like that. He admired Evan's goals. He didn't think they couldn't co-exist. Just look at the two of them. The only roadblock, he knew, was his kind's inherited memories. Kiyoshi didn't really understand them. He didn't seem to have the same sort of experiences. Maybe it was how he was Gifted, or who he was Gifted by, but his memories, to him, seemed very weak. Maybe that was both a blessing and a curse.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan smiled and stopped. Turning toward Kiyoshi, he held up three fingers.

"There are three groups of my kind large enough to be called clans." There were others, once upon a time but Anantya harshly dealt with any group that was not their own, until Evenhet. Perhaps they succeeded by becoming a group through more official channels. "Anantya is the oldest and probably the largest." He pointed to himself. "Then Evenhet. They believe that humans and vampires can get along in some magical peaceful world. It is a nice idea but we're scary beings. We live forever and we need them to survive. I don't see it happening any time soon. Nice enough people though. The youngest group is Tacharan. They are...well rebellious but they are survivors, very determined."

He sighed softly at the thought of his clan. "Most vampires don't care or consider werewolves a threat. I don't know why really. We can't eat each other, we don't compete for food and we both have a secret to keep from the larger population. It never made sense to me why we couldn't get along."

Kiyoshi talked about the shifters and he was kind of startled, most werewolves seemed very protective and prideful of their people and customs. He wondered if Kiyo had a different opinion for some reason. "Really? The packs always seemed very close knit and involved, to me. But I admit I probably know less about them than a white man, claiming to be a shaman, knows about real Indian ways." He grinned at his companion and shrugged.

Returning to their walk, Evan changed the subject. " Our shifting is different. It isn't very painful. I can show you, if you like."
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi stopped when Evan did and turned to watch him, taking his eyes off of his ground-bound treasure hunt. He silently repeated the name of each Clan of vampires to himself, thinking it was important information to know.

Anantya, where Evan was from. Evenhet, who sounded kind of like hippies the way Evan described them. Tacharan, rebellious survivors. Okay, he could handle that. He nodded at Evan, grateful for the information. Kiyoshi wasn't naive enough to think vampires were exactly a friendly lot. Ones with Evan's viewpoint were few and far between.

He lifted his shoulders, shrugging when Evan said he didn't know why hey couldn't get along.
"Some of it has to do with my kind's memories," he said. "I am not the one to ask though. My own are... defective."

As werewolves went, he was a pretty sorry one. Go figure. He couldn't even get that right. he shook his head at himself, sorry he couldn't try to explain inherited memories in any greater detail. Well... maybe he could try, if Evan was interested. He just couldn't do so from experience.

The observation about wolf Packs made him hunch his shoulders some and kick at the sand.
"They usually are," he muttered. "There's an exception once in a while. Some Packs are older and more traditional than others. And there are outcasts every now and then."

He shook his head at himself again and looked up at Evan.
"I'm being unfair," he admitted. "I'm my own fault."

That was all he said about it. If Evan asked him more, he might be a little more forthcoming. Kiyo didn't talk about himself a lot but it would only be fair, with Evan being so open about his kind and himself in particular.

That said, he jumped on the subject change when it was offered.
"Really? You can shift, too? Into what?"

A shift that wasn't painful? It was like a dream. Granted, Kiyoshi knew his own painful Change was also largely his fault. It terrified him. He fought it tooth and nail every time, hated losing control of his own body, hated watching from inside as his wolf ran rampant under the full moon.

It might be shameful, it might not - but suddenly Kiyoshi wished he were a vampire instead.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan looked over at Kiyoshi sympathetically and asked quietly. "Defective?" He didn't know what the werewolf meant by that but he didn't want to pry into something that was uncomfortable. The racial memories of werewolves had been something he had seen before. Occasionally it had even been beneficial, some of the shifters remembered him being a friend from the past. It lent credence to his efforts in the present.

He was not sure what Kiyo meant by being an outcast and how that was his own doing. Evan found it hard to believe of the unassuming young shifter had somehow caused enough trouble to be considered a misfit of his people. The dejected air the other man displayed was enough to make Evan want to hug him again and tell him it was alright. "Somehow I can't see that being the case. You don't seem like a dangerous upstart to me."

The change of subject had come at a good time. Evan smiled and took Kiyoshi by the hand. "Yes, I have an animal form." Pulling his companion along, he headed for the underside of the docks and then searched the dark recesses for any writhing bodies or unsavory deals in progress. They appeared to be in luck and currently had the shadows all to themselves.

Evan grabbed Kiyo's other hand and walked backward into the darkness. "I'd be curious to hear what you think I might be." He grinned and let go, stepping back another step. "Don't be nervous. I'm harmless, I promise." He warned mischievously, implying he might be something large and dangerous, a bear, a mountain lion, or maybe a buffalo.

Taking a step back, he shifted forms, flapping his wings from the ground, preening a few feathers into place before looking up at Kiyoshi expectantly. In a high bird voice, he said. "Ta Da!" Hopping into flight, he swirled around his friend a few times before landing lightly on his shoulder. "Scary, scary." He croaked.
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyo just nodded shortly at Evan. After a moment he shrugged. "I don't really have any... memories. They're very vague, few and far between. Maybe because of the way I... anyway they're just not really there."

He didn't want to go into details. Kiyoshi hated details when they involved his personal life. He looked away when Evan analyzed his appearance and shrugged again.
"I'm not dangerous. Right now. Every Alpha needs an Omega, right?"

He spread his hands, indicating himself. Surely Evan saw that by now. Kiyoshi was hardly the top dog. Things were slightly different during the full moon. His wolf was far more assertive; still not dominant but far less likely to get picked on. Kiyoshi thought that only exacerbated his human submission. He was always at odds with his inner beast, rejecting it and constantly fighting it in a way many of his Pack did not. For that reason, he suspected, he remained a passenger in his own body when he was Changed, unable to control it, unable to do anything but pray no one got hurt and deal with the consequences the next morning.

Kiyo shook it off as Evan grabbed his hand and towed him along. He followed because it wouldn't have ever occurred to him to resist even if he weren't curious. As Evan brought them beneath the dock, both of Kiyoshi's hands in his, backing into the darkness, Kiyoshi shook his head.


"I don't know. Something clever. A raccoon or a fox?" He didn't think Evan would change into something huge here under the dock, would he?

As he watched, Evan's shape seemed to blur and shimmer and become vague and indistinct. To Kiyo, whose senses were better than average, it was very disconcerting to not be able to track what was happening. but suddenly Evan was gone and in his place was a beautiful black and white bird with a black beak and a long tail. Kiyoshi grinned at the chirped voice, somehow not surprised that Evan was able to speak in his animal form. It seemed to suit him; Evan did not ever seem to be at a loss for words.

He turned as Evan took off and flew around him, laughing with unrestrained delight for a second before clapping his hand over his mouth to avoid notice from anyone nearby or above. Evan landed on his shoulder and Kiyoshi removed his hand from his mouth, nodded, and agreed.
"Terrifying," he murmured in a hushed voice.

He couldn't resist touching the silky soft feathers, which he did gently with the tip of his index finger. He shouldn't pet his new boss... that was probably rude somehow but he was so sleek and glossy.
"I wish I could fly," he said with a smile. "Wolves don't do that so well. Not even if you throw us extra high."
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan thought that Kiyoshi sold himself short. The self effacing attitude was probably a defense mechanism long ingrained to make certain that the man never caused anyone any reason to be angry and perhaps to go as unnoticed as possible. It would take getting to know Kiyo better to be certain whether that was truly the case or not but he hoped that the bar would become a place where the man would feel comfortable enough to be himself and express his thoughts and opinions without fear of recrimination.

He sidled closer on the man's shoulder and rubbed his head against Kiyo's cheek. Hearing the unrestrained laughter was enough to make him want to do whatever silly bird tricks would warrant hearing it again. The finger on his feathers was nice and earned Kiyo another affectionate rub.

Evan chuckled, a sound much like his own normal laugh but smaller. Funnily enough, he could, as a magpie, mimic himself quite well. The idea of throwing wolves into the air made him think of Guillaume and this made him laugh that much harder. "Navid uses metal wings. You can too." They could teach Kiyoshi to fly a plane if he wanted. Evan jumped off Kiyo's shoulder, flapping around again. He said "We can teach."

He flew out from under the dock and over a little ways. Finding a curious piece of beach glass in a nice dark red, Evan pushed it over with his beak to see all of its sides. Finally, deeming it worthy, he picked it up and flew over to Kiyo and held it up.

"No pockets"

Finding such things as a bird was much easier. Birds saw in colour spectra that humans didn't see and, though his vision was excellent as a vampire, it was much better as an undead magpie. Still, he was here to socialize. Evan hopped back under the cover of the docks and changed form again.

Smiling at Kiyo, he held out of his hand for the glass now that he had access to his pants again. "Perhaps we should move on down the beach before people think I pulled you under here for nefarious purposes." Evan smiled and raised his eyebrows at Kiyoshi before stepping out from under the dock.

He leaned down and took one shoe off and then the other. Setting them aside for a moment on the sand, Evan then rolled up the pants with a few turns so that he could walk along the edge of the water without soaking them. He picked up both converse with one hand, fingers tucked into the lacing. Now ready to walk once more, he smiled at his companion.
"I would be happy to teach you to fly. If you wanted."
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi smiled at Evan's chirped suggestion. "I don't know."

Flying was a very technical skill. Kiyoshi wasn't sure he possessed the intelligence to do it safely. He had barely graduated from high school before pretty much diving into the work force. He didn't even want to know how much of that knowledge he'd lost in the past couple of decades.

While he pondered it Evan made a short foray out over the beach and returned with a small piece of red glass which Kiyoshi took from him. Just like that Evan had shifted back and was standing beneath the dock again. Kiyo handed him the glass piece with a shy smile.


"Oh.. yes... okay," he stammered a little, glad Evan had bent down to remove his shoes. It took Kiyo a moment to realize what Evan had meant by 'nefarious purposes' but once he got it he blushed fiercely. He clung to the shadows for a few moments so Evan wouldn't see the color in his face, venturing out from beneath the dock once more when his employer was ready to go.

It seemed Evan was serious about teaching Kiyoshi how to fly. The idea was appealing to Kiyo. He already liked being up in a plane... but could he really learn?
"Maybe," he said, brightening a little at the idea. "It sounds like fun." How could one have a better teacher than a bird? "I don't know if I'd be any good at it but I can try."

He walked along the water's edge again, spotting something shiny and blue. Bending over, he stuck his hand into the surf before the sand could bury it and came up with a pale blue snail's shell, very small, about the size of his thumbnail.

He offered it to Evan.
"Is that something useful?"
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan smiled when Kiyo said that he would learn to fly. He thought the man seemed plenty intelligent to him and hard working. Flying took practice and in small planes there was a feel to it that made you a good pilot instead of just average. He had watched Kiyoshi tune everything else out and become focused on the motion of his flair, calm and centered in the middle of the whirling cups and bottles. Evan felt certain that the man would be a good pilot.

He looked over to see if he hadn't mortified Kiyo into wanting to bolt in the other direction with his humor. The bartender seemed to be fine; perhaps he had blushed, a little. Perhaps his new friend was getting used to his sense of humor.

Kiyoshi retrieved something from the surf and brought it back to him. Seeing what his companion held up, Evan smiled brightly. "That's perfect." He took it from Kiyo with a nod of respectful thanks.

They walked further along the beach and Evan turned to his companion. "So where are you from, Kiyo?"

A giant white dog came bounding up seeming determined to barrel into them. Evan watched its movements. He was not afraid of the canine and he figured that Kiyo wouldn't be scared of the dog either. Of course his new friend might move out of the way just to be polite. Stepping ahead one step, he gave the wolfhound a meaningful stare; to its credit, it stared back without looking very intimidated, despite Evan's considerable height. Sometimes the big ones were all bluff. The white dog did stop short of them and wagged his tail as if to apologize.

"I'm from what is now called South Dakota."

A tall redhead joined the wolfhound, running up to the both of them and waving her hands in what might appear to be frantic pattern at a distance. As she got closer, the stranger repeated her signs again. Evan smiled and signed in return telling her that Gwyn hadn't disturbed them at all. He looked from the dog to the owner and back again before shrugging and giving them a smile.

After they moved further down the beach, he turned to Kiyoshi. "Let's turn around and look." He put a hand on the other man's shoulder to pause him and then tilted his chin in the direction of the dog running full tilt along the beach again. "She didn't see that out of breath to me when she came up to apologize for her dog getting away from her." Sure enough he could just make out the white hound veering toward another couple much further down the beach, far enough away that the new targets likely didn't see his earlier antics.

((OOC: Feel free to describe the rest of that scene. Gwyn is running at break neck doggie speed straight at some other couple and then veering away at the last minute, seeing if he can scare them. Sorcha is running behind him and will attempt to apologize in sign.))
Kiyoshi Salinas 10 years ago
Kiyoshi smiled back at Evan when the blue shell appeared to pass whatever test was required to qualify it as a useful crafting item. He continued to scan the beach with sharp eyes for anything else that might be interesting, hoping to get a better feel for what Evan liked.

He was familiar enough with the geography of North America to understand where the Dakotas were located, even though this was really his first time living in the States. "So... from the plains, then," he said, interested in hearing firsthand how it would have been two thousand years ago. Normally Kiyoshi wouldn't pry. But in this case Evan seemed more than happy to talk about himself. Kiyoshi knew that information usually happened in an exchange. He began to weigh in his head how much information he was willing to give out, versus how much he wanted to have a little history lesson. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.


"I'm from Manaus, in Brazil," he said in reply, "but I've only been back to visit it for the last twenty two years, and compete."

They were interrupted from further conversation by an enormous white dog barreling at them at full speed. Evan stepped out in front of him but Kiyoshi moved up alongside Evan just after that, unafraid of the wolfhound himself and unwilling to let Evan put himself in a position of potential danger, immortal or not.

He was confused at first at the tall redhead's waving hands until he noticed Evan doing something similar and realized they were speaking in sign. Interesting. As the dog and the woman moved off, with the dog running further down the beach to playfully terrorize the next couple of walkers, the red haired woman trailed along, once more signing furiously. Kiyoshi couldn't help thinking she should walk her dog on a leash. Friendly and playful or not, the dog's size was immense. He didn't see anything funny in allowing the hound to make a game out of scaring people.

Kiyo moved to follow but stopped at Evan's restraining hand. He followed Evan's gaze, narrowing his eyes a little bit and nodding in agreement with his companion. Whatever game the woman was playing with her dog... well, it wasn't humorous.

"She shouldn't be playing like that," he said softly. "It only makes life harder for us."

A giant white wolfhound running around scaring people just spread rumors, made people wary, made it tough for Kiyoshi's kind. It was already rough enough under the full moon. They didn't need more complications.
Evan Talkingwater 10 years ago
Evan sensed that there was a story there in Kiyoshi's words. A person who stayed away from home usually had a reason; otherwise humans migrated back to the place of family like any other creature. He looked at Kiyo for a long moment before nodding his head. Evan wouldn't pry.

"I've been there. Brazil is an interesting place. I must admit to enjoying Menaus more a long time ago." Evan sighed. "But I suppose I could say the same about this place, eh?" He tilted his chin out at the scurrying people with all their gadgets,vehicles, plastic and trash. The serenity of the shore; the sacredness of it, was drowned out by the constant roar of a humanity blind to its beauty and necessity.

He turned to Kiyoshi when the other wolf spoke of the woman and her dog. Evan frowned thoughtfully , looking at the redhead. "Want me to go tell her?" He was not overly concerned with the game himself but then he felt that humans needed a little shaking up from time to time. The redhead was going to lose the dog if she wasn't careful; someone here would call the police and snap a picture on their smart phone. For that reason alone, they should probably say something. The wolfhound would be taken away from her, at best. He had looked well fed and happy to Evan so that would be a shame.

"Let's go catch her. She's going to lose him if she keeps it up."

Jogging back the way they came, Evan then broke into an easy run when he was sure his companion was accompanying him. He didn't want to plow down the beach at breakneck speeds or he wouldn't be much better than the dog and the woman but he did run fast enough to over take the two of them. It wouldn't be long before they stopped once more in their little game so Evan and Kiyo didn't need to break any Olympic track records.

Finding her again, he signed and explained he had watched their little game. He asked her why she was doing it and did she not realize someone was going to call animal control some time soon. The woman, Sorcha, explained she could hear him fine and shrugged, blushing almost the colour of her hair. She put two fingers to her mouth and whistled loudly. The sound was not quite right to his ears and he wondered why. The white dog came trotting back to her, looking from the woman to the two of them in expectation.

"I am Evan and this is Kiyoshi. We're just concerned that someone won't be...understanding."