Packs Flat for Shipping (Attn: Kem)

Pyro had called, he'd been working out on the west coast, even farther from the family than she was. He had a new job lined up but he had a few weeks before he had to be in Chicago and he planned to crash her place. Reign was all over that and was excited to see her little brother. But, after she'd hung up the phone, she'd realized that her second bedroom was still a mess. How long had she been in Nachton and it was still being used for storage? God she was lazy.

Stopping over at Kem and Aishe's with a few things Kem might need, primarily a really good whole bean coffee she'd picked up at an import store the other day, the little conundrum had come up in conversation. The next thing Reign knew was she and Kem had wound up at the nearest prefab Swedish furniture and she'd purchased an instant room. Had to love it. Room in a box for a few hundred dollars. OK it wasn't perfect but Pyro would have a place to crash other than the couch (which didn't even fold out).

Together they were starting by putting the boxes and things up in the attic, there was a ladder in the hall that folded down for easy access so that wasn't hard. Reign watched with an odd look on her face as Kem easily lifted a box full of text books, a box she had to strain to lift. And while not a body builder Reign wasn't a small girl and wasn't weak, so she was impressed.

"Are you just showing off or do you really just not notice?"

It was half tease half honest curiosity. Even Sirius, who was keeping an eye on things in the hall, had raised his head as if to look. Although, he was probably more interested in what she was saying than in what Kem was doing.

Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem was hardly going to let Reign go shopping by herself in the middle of the night. What was she thinking, anyway? Aishe was at work for the next few hours and he had just gotten home from working throughout the previous night, getting stuck at Meridian as the sun rose and working through until dusk again with a brief mid-day nap in the movie room behind the archives' break room.

When Reign had appeared with coffee (she seriously must think he badly needed taking care of; she always had something when she came over), one thing had led to another and she'd mentioned her shopping... so Kem went with. Now here they were, emptying her pitiful second bedroom, which was just a storage room currently.

Kem lifted a box and then turned at the sound of Reign's voice, mildly acerbic as was her wont but mostly just interested. He looked down at the box he had in his arms. Books. It was probably heavy to her but it had been a very long time since Kem had had trouble lifting a box like this.

"I didn't notice," he answered honestly. Then he smirked at her and lifted his hands away from the box. It stayed obediently in the air. "This is showing off."
Reign 12 years ago
Reign looked for something to throw at Kem, but everything was neat and tidy, boxed, or otherwise appropriately stored. In a few minutes they'd have an actual room and could put the bedroom set together. At least if Kem wanted to stay that long. She wrote 'Goodwill' on the outside of one box and realized the marker would be good to throw and did so. She had good aim too if she did say so herself.

"You're right that -is- showing off. Perfectly unfair too I could use an extra hand most days."

It would help her bridge in some tight spots. Not that she'd every use it to help her shots, that would be cheating. But helping to take the shot was a gray area Reign was willing to play with.

"So are you in the mood to put this stuff together or are you shopping and running. Oh... shove that one way back there those are all undergrad books. Damned book store wouldn't buy them back."

Or wanted to do so at a miniscule fraction of their cost and she'd opted to keep them. That was one thing Reign didn't miss about school.

It was oddly relaxing having Kem about. Reign was starting to understand she did like having people around, she was lonely with just she and Sirius. At least The Boy came by on a regular basis and she'd started going back to the Den now and then, still playing with the kids but lately the older ones taking a few of them out into the Long Run to splash around in one or the streams or ponds. It had been -hot- out.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Well I can't graft one on for you, so you'll just have to use me while you've got me," Kem said with a quick grin to Reign.

He had been more than a little hesitant to take a familiar after having tried twice before with disastrous results. This time, however, he was relieved to find Reign still healthy and whole. He wasn't some kind of bad luck charm or something. Whatever the reason, this bond, born of his desire to help protect a friend, had ended up producing something like a cross between a best friend and a cousin or sister.

Kem mentally caught Reign's thrown marker and sent it flying back at her without using his hands inwardly amused at the fact that in the past few years he had developed an unusual family, made up largely of some very important women. Between Aishe, Pak, and Reign, Kem was hardly likely to lack a female opinion in any aspect of his life. He didn't worry, and likely wouldn't unless he found himself actively participating in girls' night out, getting regular manicures, and having in-depth conversations about Prada and Manolo Blahnik.

Kem climbed the ladder to the attic to relocate Reign's box as he felt some surprise over her question.

"Of course I'll help you put it together," he said. He was hardly going to leave Reign to do it all herself when, if nothing else, he had it all over her in the brawn department.

"Why would you want to sell them back anyway?" He asked. He'd attended several colleges in his lifetime, and he'd kept all of his books. Knowledge was never wasted... and, in his case, he just liked books.

"You'll never know when you might need them again," he said. This time instead of climbing down the ladder he just fetched the next box to him the easy way and then lifted it into the attic from there. Much faster, far more efficient. And he could keep one hand on the ladder. While he wasn't about to pass out from heights these days, he still wasn't fond of them.
Reign 12 years ago
"Well then tote that barge and lift that bail!"

Reign 'commanded' with a laugh. It was a laugh was cut short as the mutt decided that Kem throwing the marker was a game and he ran after it to 'fetch' it and plowed into Reign instead. Shoving the dog off she watched as Sirius decided to follow the mysterious moving box. He wasn't afraid of it, he just didn't understand it and poked it with his nose once to try and satisfy himself. Since Reign didn't quite understand how the telekinesis worked she felt for the dog.

Shoving the box into easy 'reach' for Kem she unfolded herself and stood up. She grinned up at Kem.

"Great thanks. Let me get my tools. I think you're supposed to be able to put this all together with a tooth pick or something, but it couldn't hurt to have a hammer."

Sliding down the hall, leaving the dog to keep Kem company, she disappeared into the garage and grabbed a medium sized tool box. She wasn't a handy man but between a lot of This Old House and necessity was pretty capable with some home repairs and even a project or two. But she wouldn't quit her day job... night job... whatever.

"Budget oh vampire mine." She called back down the hall. "Both space and money. Starving student isn't just an expression it's a way of life. Selling a book back can buy you a weeks worth of rammen, hot dogs and Cheerios."

She had a big family, there had been no college funds. All of her siblings had paid for their own schooling through scholarships, jobs, and basically scrimping and saving. Considering she didn't actually -use- her degree Reign questioned why she'd pushed for the PhD but done was done and she was glad to have finished it. You couldn't play pool forever.

Before sliding back past Kem she thought that maybe she should be more hospitable.

"Did you want something to drink or eat or something?"

Eat... well yeah she meant both eat and and sustenance eat. You'd think that would be odd, but it wasn't. It was right and she did so freely, openly without any hesitation as if it was the most natural thing in the world. It was no stranger than making sure one of her brothers or a friend had eaten dinner.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Toting, lifting, as ordered," Kem said. "I just do what my women tell me."

He rolled his eyes humorously as he hefted another box that was probably fairly heavy up into the attic. Reign could certainly procrastinate, couldn't she... these boxes had been in here for over a year!

He paused to climb down the ladder and scratch Sirius behind the ears. The dog was sweet; he was clearly devoted to Reign and he'd done as much as anyone could expect from a canine to keep his mistress safe. It wasn't his fault she seemed to attract and unfortunate amount of negative attention. He did his best.

As Reign headed out to find a hammer Kem finished packing away her boxes and shut the attic door while she returned, skimming around him.
"Oh thank goodness," he said as he noted she had the tool with her. "Everything's better with a little application of blunt force."

Reign mentioned budgets and Kem pondered that. He was no slouch with money but it had been a very long time since he'd had to be that careful with it. That was what happened when you lived for over a millennium and a half. Talk about your mature bonds.

He moved into the bedroom again, bringing with him the boxes they'd just bought. He considered Reign's offer and then smiled at her.
"Maybe when we're through."

He appreciated the offer. It was a little unusual to him, having a familiar, but they had settled in pretty well. He didn't normally bite Reign unless she offered, as he'd told her when they'd first started out. She offered fairly often though. He felt a little bad about that; obviously without his influence she probably wouldn't have done so. That was the trade-off though, for their bond.

"Let's get this stuff together first so Pyro has a place to sleep."
Reign 12 years ago
Any other male she would have given hell about being hen pecked but she knew better when it came to Kem. Aishe wasn't the sort to hen peck, Pakpao could be challenging but she'd come to learn that under the bluster she was fiercely protective and seemed to adore Kem and she... OK she might hen peck a little. But only in good fun and never seriously.

"You are a wise man. I know some of the women in your life.... this is probably the most peaceful solution."

Setting the tools down she laughed at Kem.

"Oh good I'm glad we're on the same page. They work well for jigsaw puzzles too."

That and scissors. Reign didn't often have the patience for jigsaws. Once in a while they could be a lot of fun but one every five years or so generally got it out of her system.

Kem had never asked if he could bite her, Reign almost wished he would. It would be good to provide when needed. Not that she didn't now, it would just be... huh.... well it would be nice. It didn't matter one way or another really. When he did bite her there was a sense of... reassurance, comfort and well being. That was enough.

As he put the last box away Reign did a quick vacuum and set the box that proclaimed to hold the bed and all it's parts in the middle of the room.

"Aye aye Captain. But don't say I didn't offer The Boy has stocked me up with a nice light pale ale, great for these hot summer nights and furniture assembly."

She tempted, or tried to, at least a bit. Hell even if Kem turned her down again Reign was very likely going to grab one.

But for now she neatly cut the box open and started looking for the directions. They seemed to be missing a sheet. And she was starting to think it was an important sheet.

"Ummmmmm... so... what languages did you say you spoke again?"

And even if he spoke them there was no guarantee he read them. Maybe they could look something up on line or something that or they were going to need a beer.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem snorted at Reign. "All those long years were good for something," he pointed out, "and even if they weren't, Aishe has me pretty well trained by now."

He settled himself on the floor of the room as Reign chose a box to open out of the several that they'd brought back all stacked up neatly. Her offer made him reconsider. He'd had some of Drew's creations and enjoyed them.

"Okay. You win. Stay there."

He knew where Reign kept the booze; he could provide. Locating two bottles in her refrigerator he opened them with his hands, not seeing the bottle opener anywhere in sight, and returned to the guest bedroom where Reign had cut open a box and was staring at the instruction booklet.

"What languages?" Kem handed Reign her bottle and curiously took the booklet from her in exchange. He leafed through it briefly, noting the distinct absence of any sort of instruction in English.

"I guess I'll be your translator tonight," he said. "Do you prefer," he checked the booklet again, "German, or Japanese?"

Kem raised his eyebrows at Reign. Either language worked, he supposed; the pictures were the same. But she could have a preference.
Reign 12 years ago
She'd been half way to her feet when Kem said to stay put. Reign flopped back rather ungracefully and went back to sorting out screws and fasteners and pegs and whatnot. It was a bit daunting, but she'd yet to back down from a challenge.

Kem came back with the beer, already open and she tanked him and took a swallow before setting the bottle some where safe.

"That is the best use I could ever have for my back yard."

Drew paid his 'rent' in beer and kept her well stocked. They'd had fun critiquing his creations and had even helped come up with an idea or two. He didn't miss often but some of his work had been a mess. Those, however, never made it into the fridge.

"God really? That sounds like something left over from World War II. Hmmmmm... let's do half and half. Just to keep things interesting. You can even do impersonations or something."

Kem had been around back then. Her grandfather had fought in that war, but there was no mistaking Kem for her grandfather.

Rather than actually waiting for directions Reign grabbed two likely pieces and tried to work out how they went together. Being organized and mature only lasted so long, this was after all grown up tinker toys and she had loved tinker toys.

"Should we take bets on whether or not the bed collapses and lands my brother on the floor?"

She muttered while trying to guess which screw, peg, thing to use.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"I won't argue with you there," Kem said, sampling this latest creation of Drew's. He didn't mind taking advantage of his employee's hobby. Especially since he was working for it, after all.

Kem laughed dryly at Reign's decision.
"I'm not doing impersonations."

He peered at the instruction manual, glancing back at Reign.
"You don't really want me to read it out loud do you?"

What good would it do her, after all? It wasn't as if she spoke either language. He did look askance at Reign's manipulation of two completely different parts. He suddenly suspected that perhaps this wasn't his familar's forte.

"Uh, maybe you should put those down," he suggested. "I'm pretty sure this isn't going to be as self-explanatory as we could hope."

He quickly read through the first set of instructions.
"We need parts A and B and some of those little peg things. And he won't end up on the floor if we do it right. Have faith! Sixteen hundred years, I ought to be able to assemble a Swedish bed from a Japanese manual. Right?"
Reign 12 years ago
"Awwww come on not even one? You know you want to."

Of course off the top of her head Reign couldn't think of a single famous German or Japanese person. She screwed up her face a bit as she thought about it. Nope nothing.

"How about you just read the directions with an accent? Accents are sexy you know."

Her own accent was an open friendly Midwestern sound with a little bit of a Chicago sound twisted in. It wasn't over the top but once in a while you did get a touch of 'da bears' in there.

Reign's glasses had slipped down her nose but it didn't really matter, this was close work and she didn't need them. But really how hard could it be it came out of a box, macaroni and cheese came out of a box and she never read those directions.

"Well... I have faith, we have beer... what can possibly go wrong?"

Climbing over a few pieces she grabbed and A and a B and the little bag of pegs and, just for fun, the hammer. Obviously if you had pegs you needed a hammer.

Granted she was a little curious how they got the one bed without any English directions. But she was also sort of enjoying the.... creativity.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Oddly enough," Kem deadpanned, "I don't actually want to. So you will have to make do with plain old boring me. Unless you'd like me to read them in Egyptian. it sounds much more dramatic."

Nevermind that he wasn't too concerned about sounding sexy. He didn't have to suffer many doubts on that score; Aishe didn't leave him wondering. That thought made him smile to himself.

Clearing his throat he began to read the Japanese instructions aloud, translating them into ancient Egyptian as he went. He used his deepest voice, theater-worthy, waggling his eyebrows at Reign and making grandiose gestures with his hands.

He paused when she asked what could go wrong, raising an eyebrow at her.
"Thanks, now we're screwed," he said wryly.

He relieved her of the pegs and put them into the appropriate holes without the hammer. How long had it been since he'd even needed a hammer? Oh well. Reign could tap on them if she felt like it... but he could feel that they were in as far as they went. In fact, he'd had to be careful not to bend the metal piece they'd gone into.

"Okay according to this we need C and D and two more pegs."

He was starting to think they could get through this without anyone dying or losing a limb.
Reign 12 years ago
Reign made a face at Kem.

"Awwww you're no fun any more."

But she perked right up at the idea of hearing them in Egyptian.

"Like old school hieroglyphics Egyptian?"

That would be fantastically cool, after all that is where her studies had started, well sort of, in the classical world. Her love of history hadn't gone away just because she'd moved her studies in another direction for her post graduate work. It was hard not to accost Kem for more detail and information some days. How many people had a witness to history living across the street after all.

His presentation was dramatic Reign wanted to laugh but she also wanted to memorize every single syllable and sound. Laughing won out though.

"Oh I've got those, Phillips or standard?"

She deliberately misunderstood and started crawling over to get a screwdriver blinking as Kem showed off again. Vampires, as bad as werewolves really she was just going to make it a point not to get in a fight here in Nachton any time soon.

"Right C and D check."

Reign changed the direction she was clamoring and found C and D and handed them to Kem and then found the little baggy with the pegs and tossed it to him. -To- him and not -at- him, there was a difference. She was glad Kem had offered to come out and help tonight. Reign really liked spending time with him, it was like having some of The Guys around in some ways.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem couldn't help but smile his usual soft smile as he and Reign bantered together over the setup of the bed. Having a familiar around was turning out to be a lot of fun. It wasn't always like that. His previous efforts, when he was much younger, had produced two miserable humans who'd wanted nothing more than a way out. Maybe it was because he hadn't learned how to live any other way but miserable himself by that point.

He'd like to think he sure knew better now. It was gratifying to see Reign still acting very much like her normal self. He enjoyed her somewhat quirky sense of humor, which was very nearly a match for his. Being raised among a pack of brothers showed.

She handed him the parts the book asked for and then tossed him the two corresponding pegs, which he caught mid-air and held there until he needed them, plucking them out almost absent-mindedly as he looked at the diagram in the book.

He would have liked to say it was simple and straight-forward and they could have done it without the written instructions but sometimes even with the diagram, the picture didn't look exactly like the part it said it wanted you to grab.

"I think it's almost starting to look like a bed," he said as they managed to get part of the frame together. "Maybe. Kind of a dog sled sort of thing."

Kem looked at Sirius. "How do you feel about that?"
Reign 12 years ago
Sirius lifted his head off his paws, looked at Kem, and lay back down. Reign thought it was a great commentary on the statement and laughed again as she consulted the diagram and tried to work out what they needed next and pulled it from the box.

With two more parts in her hands Reign squinted hard at their creation thus far and was less optimistic about what it was turning into.

"Are you -sure- you speak German? Or maybe they gave us the wrong directions too... it sort of looks like the start of a VW."

If you looked at it just right it wasn't hard to see a car frame instead of a bed frame. She temporarily lounged up against the wall and took another swallow of beer considering what else it reminded her of.

"Is this how you built the pyramids? I mean the Swedes sent you the parts in a long boat and then with some ramps and an Allen wrench you assembled them? That would explain the Mayans too you know..."

The idea tickled Reign and it would explain similarities in a number of cultures, not just pyramids. Trade routes. See the traditional scholars had it right they'd just missed the important part the Scandinavians had to play in things.

"That's why there were vikings! Bill collectors. People fell behind on the payments."
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"I thought not," Kem said, nodding understandingly to Sirius. He turned to reign and held the manual up. "Japanese," he corrected. Then he flipped to the front of the book. "Although, trust me, the Germans say we're doing it right too. It doesn't look exactly like a VW."

He tilted his head at the bed frame, hoping it might appear a little different from another angle. Well - he could see the bed coming together.
"It'll be fine," he said.

He laughed outright, something he didn't do often, at the idea that the pyramids had been pre-fabricated, some assembly required, shipped to Giza.
"You know now that you mention it they might have been," he grinned. "I wasn't around. They happened before my time."

He turned to Reign and poked a finger at her to forestall the inevitable age joke.
"Yes, there are things on this planet that did happen before my time. Dinosaurs, for one. The pyramids, for another!"

He stopped to consider Viking bill collectors.
"I can't imagine they would have stayed in business very long if that were the case," he said. He could buy Swiss pyramids... but he didn't think Viking bill collections would have worked well. "You have to leave your clients alive to make more purchases, for starters."

The Vikings had wreaked too much havoc to do so, in many cases.
"It's bad for business when you completely decimate your clientele."

While they chatted Kem found the next section of the bed, leaving the part they'd just finished leaning angled on the floor, and began to assemble it as well.
Reign 12 years ago
"OK more like a Toyota."

Reign cheerfully rolled her yes happy enough to play this game. If he wanted to nit pick and be precise she could definitely oblige him.

She was more than a little tickled when he laughed. She'd known Kem long enough to know it wasn't a common thing. It felt like she was taking care of him when he laughed. Reign tried to come up with an appropriate quip about laughter being the best medicine but failed.

Instead she opened her mouth to say something about his age. But Kem had beaten her to it. She only laughed at him.

"Some day you'll give me a time line so I know what I can and can't mock you about."

Poor abused Vikings. She might be descended from Danish stock some where along the line but it was an area of history and culture that Reign was sorely ignorant on. So she didn't have much to go on to defend them.

"It works for the mob. You don't kill them all, just enough that everyone does what you say."

It was a fun idea and she didn't feel like letting it go just yet.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"You can mock me about anything you want," Kem pointed out reasonably, "but I'm still going to come up with a defense for it most nights."

He grinned at Reign, who was still holding onto the idea that the Vikings were bill collectors. He shook his head again.
"Now here's where I really put my foot in it... the mob doesn't go in for the wholesale slaughter. They typically do strategic take-outs of important people, with maybe a few front-men getting in the way. You just can't compare the two."

He gestured to Reign.
"Hold this end," he said, showing her the middle of what was now turning into a bed frame. As she steadied it he placed the beam that supported the middle as well as connected the front and back. Bolting it into place he moved round to the other side and tightened that one, too.

"Look, it's not a Toyota!" He said, gesturing to the almost-recognizable frame. "Where are all those slats?"

Like most of the beds from there, it wasn't supported by a box spring, just two rows of slats that the mattress went down on. It would be a low bed but Kem thought the mattress and pad Reign had chosen would be comfortable. Her brother should have no complaints.
Reign 12 years ago
"Have another beer."

Reign teased determined to find a weakness in her vampire. He couldn't -always- have a defense. The trick, as near as she could tell, is he had centuries on her and would have heard most of what she would be able to throw at him. But she'd get him.

"Sure you can. I've never understood why you can't compare apples and oranges, they are both fruit. The mob and Vikings... both vicious killers. See how this works?"

With the bottle half way to her lips Reign paused.

"Do you know any Vikings?"

She desperately wanted to talk to more vampires but only for the research she wasn't a groupie or anything. Truthfully Reign felt more at home with the wolves over all. But god what she could find out from the old ones, even the young ones. Even if she couldn't cite them she might be able to get an idea for a new way to tackle things. Lord he might know old Japanese warlords or African tribal leaders. Oh! Native American history? Even The Boy had to be interested in that even if he came from a vampire.

Indelicately she snorted a laugh.

"You're right it's a PT Cruiser!"

Actually it did look like a bed, but Reign wasn't about to tell Kem that. There were makes and models of cars she hadn't brought up yet. A 1957 Caddy had to come up at some point with the fins. She wasn't sure how, but it would.

Even as she gave Kem hell she rummaged around in the packing material, gave a triumphant 'Ha!' and held the slats over her head.

"Tell me we don't need the directions for this one."
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Don't mind if I do," Kem said, allowing Reign to play fetch the beer this time around. He was busy putting her guest bed together. He realized he'd done most of the work so far but that was because it made sense; this might have been a two person task if one of the people involved wasn't possessed of superhuman strength and the ability to move objects with his freakish brain waves.

"I do know at least one Viking, who might argue that the Vikings as a group were not exactly vicious killers," Kem said. "And another who predates them and may or may not share that opinion." He considered that. Would Eiryk think of them that way? He'd never asked. And Alfarinn? He'd known his Clan leader and friend for hundreds of years but hadn't ever really asked the question that way.

"So is it fair to compare the Vikings to, say, Jack the Ripper?"

He had to play devil's advocate.
"The Ripper was a vicious killer too."

How had they gotten onto this topic again? Kem couldn't recall, exactly. He leaned back against the wall and laughed at Reign's assessment of the car/bed, and gestured to her.
"Be my guest. Put that PhD to good use."

He grinned and took a few swallows of his beer, stretching his legs out in front of him and crossing them at the ankles. He'd done this before, actually... and the slats were a serious pain in the ass. They always,
always fell before you got them in place, since they weren't very long and they all tended to slip and slide on the frame.
Reign 12 years ago
Reign ambled off into the kitchen to get another two beers. She wasn't sure about having her second though, if Kem was hungry she didn't want to be tipsy and a quart low. As she came back she wondered exactly how much it took to get a vampire drunk. This was something else she'd have to learn.

Handing the beer off she settled back down on the floor with ha friendly pat to Sirius and she listened to Kem talk about Vikings. She thought about that for a second or three. The idea of meeting a real live... undead... Viking was tempting.

"I might like to meet them some day. Maybe."

Or maybe not, one vampire was special, three was manageable but to find more than that might be a bit more than she cared to deal with.

"How about I just give you a questionnaire and you have them fill it out."

That seemed like a reasonable compromise to Reign.

She shook her head adamantly.

"Nope, that's a no go. A) he was a nut job and B) he is a lone gun man not a ... cultural institution or something."

As Kem settled back, and mocked her education, Reign eyed the slats and the bed and tried to suss out how they worked. It seemed simple enough.

"Hey I use that degree every day... as a paper weight."

If you were going to mock a PhD do it right was Reign's theory. And unless she planned on teaching or writing it wasn't doing much for her. Huh.... writing. Maybe she could do that. Interesting, maybe she'd call her old adviser and see what he thought about that.

As she mused she leaned on a slat she had gotten in successfully. It slid. She slid with it and wound up falling over into a heap on the floor.

"You knew that was going to happen didn't you?"