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[personal profile] shelbyrou
It is currently 11:27 Pacific Time on Mon Mar 19 2012.
Currently the moon is in the waning Crescent (Theurge) Moon phase (22% full).

Country House
An unassuming gravel lane leads up and up the hillside, allowing vehicle access to Suchandsuch whateveritis street. Surrounded by a semi-landscaped stand of stately, mature second-growth Douglas fir trees, this old country house is unremarkable, yet somehow slightly imposing. Perhaps it's the Victorian features of the 1920s-era construction, the nigh-weathered dark brown paint of the exterior, or the haphazard angles of the limestone masonry creating the ground level walls and chimney. The house has two floors, and is modestly sized. On one side, the driveway passes beneath a large carport, constructed of sturdy cedar. This seems to be a later addition to the original structure. The front door sits in a deeply recessed Roman arch, and all the lower-level windows are obscured by greatly overgrown madronas and rhododendrons.

Inside, one immediately comes to a small foyer, and a sunroom with leaded glass windows, perfect for the plants of all sorts that make their home there. Past the foyer, the space opens up into a great room, the stone fireplace and hearth dominating the space there. On one side, creaky wooden stairs curve up to the second floor. Here there is a master bedroom, two other bedrooms, and a vintage bathroom, complete with separate taps for hot and cold water and a claw-foot bathtub. And downstairs, on the other side of the hearth, French doors open to the dining room. Beyond that are the kitchen, the back door, and a spacious closet large enough to have been made over into a spare sleeping space. The backyard boasts wild patches of rosemary and lavender, lending a pleasantly crisp and sweet fragrance to the area. Numerous footpaths weave from the overgrown garden, into the trees beyond.

Obvious exits:

Very few of the restaurants in St. Claire deliver out to Kent Crossing, so Shelby does carry-out with a side of Shadow Lord. "There's soda and water in the fridge," she announces as they head inside, bumping the door closed behind them. She heads for the counter to drop the bags and continues, "Plus there's coffee or tea if you want it. Hopefully Tim'll get his message, otherwise we'll have plenty of leftovers."

Xander is really pretty quiet, hands stuffed in his pockets. He's also been stuffed in the umbra for about the past three weeks, so he's looking civilized for the first time in that long. "Thanks," he mutters. "I heard Tim did this ...thing with some shapeshifter recently, so I dunno if he'll be moving around much."

Shelby nods over her shoulder as she fetches down plates. "I'd heard. I wanted to help with that, but I've been so busy...." She trails off with a shrug. "It seems like every time I turn around there's a new Shadow Lord in town and they're all showing up in the middle of our territory." Which likely explains her own increasing huffiness over the past few weeks, though she's fairly good at hiding it, at least outwardly. "I didn't ask, but you like Greek food, right?"

"You're telling me," the theurge grumbles. "It went from just being me to about five billion in the space of a week." Exaggeration? No never. "Um. Yeah, Greek food's fine. I, uh, don't think I've ever actually had it before."

"You'll like it," she assures him breezily. "This place has the best Spanakopita. --Spinach and feta in pastry." Of which she takes two large slices, in addition to something she says is lamb before drifting over to settle at the table. The Ragabash watches Xander casually, her side of the link silent and unleaking.

"Yeah, definitely never had that," Xander muses, settling in at the table after taking a bit of this, a bit of that. Definitely not a picky eater, this one. "--how long are they gonna be out there? Ky and Andrei?"

Shelby says, "Gaia. Only. Knows," with the best adolescent scorn. More reasonably, "Until everyone's sure all those Dancers are really gone, I guess. Which means that, unless Equinox wants the death of two Garou on our hands, we have to let them keep living on our territory. Though it'd be nice if Nik'd realize what an imposition he and the Shadow Lord marching band are, traipsing all over our territory, and either pay us back or offer to take them off our hands." An slight eyeroll shows just what she thinks of that happening.

Xander's shoulders stiffen a little as he shrugs. "Yeah, in the meantime, we have two targets sitting under our noses. I've been talking with a couple spirits and I think I might have a couple birds willing to watch over things, at least umbrally." He mmfs and grumbles, "I'm gonna be in chiminage with them until I'm old and dead."

"At least we have Chu'mana to guard the grove?" Shelby says, in the tone of one who knows it isn't much help. "And you know I'll help with chiminage if you need it. Tim too, probably." She cuts off a bit of spanakopita but sets down her fork to look across the table instead. "--OK, I can't think of how to sidle up on this, so I'm just going to say it. You know I love you, and if you tell me to drop this I totally will, all right?"

"Yeah, I know. And it gives me something to do." At the latter, his brows furrow and he looks a bit... concerned. "--oohkay," he says, carefully. "What's up?"

Now Shelby does let some emotion leak through the pack link - respect's there, as is awkwardness and determination. "You aren't... look. Your tribe may say Shadow Lord, but I've never thought of you as one. And the more of them I see, the sort of crap they pull... you aren't a Shadow Lord, Xander. I mean, not... not on the inside. You aren't out for yourself and only yourself and screw everyone else. --If you think I'm talking out my ass, then like I said, I'll shut up. But I wanted you to know that. I think you're better than your tribemates."

Xander goes very still at that, and for a moment he looks annoyed, but it's more of a flat effort, as his side of the link just seems ... dejected, sort of. "... I know," he mutters, dropping the annoyed-face and just seeming tired. "I don't want to do this anymore. I don't like any of them."

On impulse Shelby reaches a hand across the table - not to grab the Theurge, but offered as comfort. It's there, should he want it. "I'm sorry," she says, and, "I'm not trying to kick you when you're down. Whatever you need from me, you have it. Gaia knows I'm pushy but if you need me to back off, I will. I just... this has been growing for a few weeks now, and I wanted to get it out there. Can't deal with something until you've gotten a look at it, after all."

Xander looks up towards Shelby, carefully. "Well, I mean." Awkward. "I just--" More awkward. Breathe, theurge-thing, breathe. "What am I supposed to do? If I --if this gets out? People will look at me like I'm a leper."

This is what Shelbys do best: take charge of things. That's what this one does, sitting up straight and keeping plenty of sympathetic eye contact. "You are one of Dragonfly's children. You're obviously trustworthy, or he wouldn't have chosen us. So anyone who thinks differently can just chew on that. As for the other... I'm not sure." At least she's honest. "You know Salem-rhya, right? The Adren Philodox? He used to be a Shadow Lord. If anyone could tell you about what it's like to renounce, I bet he could. But whatever happens, if you renounce or don't, you'll still be my brother."

"Yeah, and then I'll get bitchslapped by half the Shadow Lords around here," Xander grumbles. "I'm--" He props his elbows on the table, running a hand over his face. "Yeah, maybe I will. I just--what about Tim? What will he think?"

"Yes, because everyone cares what the Shadow Lords think," Shelby drawls, and goes back to her lunch. "Seriously, Xander, what do you think Tim will think? He'll probably cheer you on and buy you a 'congratulations on your new tribe' sheet cake. C'mon, this is Tim we're talking about." She waits a beat before adding, "You could always ask him, you know. Get him while he's punchy and hopped up on pain meds, so you can deny it as a narcotic hallucination later."

Xander hesitates, and then says, "Yeah, I--okay. Second." ...not that she wouldn't be able to figure out what he's doing in the next ten seconds.

Pack> Xander sounds incredibly nervous, really. "Uh, Tim? You there?"

Shelby blandly returns to lunch, pretending she's not here, la la la.

Pack> Shelby is so not here. She's almost a black hole, that's how not-here she is. Or isn't.

Pack> Tim is slow to reply. His mind has the groggy, muddled sense of someone who's not totally awake. "...yeah."

Pack> "Um," Xander says, and there's a pause. "I've been talking to Shelby. And. Some things have been bugging me lately..."

Pack> Tim drags himself further awake. There's the sense of a mental squint at Shelby, or her lack, really, and then he says, "Yeah?"

Pack> Shelby gives a brief ping of 'here/awake/listening' before retreating again. Apparently this conversation is between the boys.

Pack> Xander | And then it all comes at once. "I don't think I'm fitting in with my tribe anymore and I've been avoiding them and I don't want to see them and I think I'm thinking about renouncing away from them but I don't know where I'd even go and --" Breath. "Yeah."

Pack> Tim is slow to reply. "Well, that's a big thing. But like, if you're not feeling yourself as Thunder's voice, then, you're not." He's quiet for a bit. "I mean, there's the Big Three obvious choices, if you wanted to bite the bullet. And the less obvious one. Gaians, Walkers, Gnawers, and Uktena."

Pack> Shelby puts in helpfully - brightly, "And if you think it's a terrible idea it never happened and this is a narcotic hallucination." In a loud aside to Xander she adds, "See? Now ask him about the sheet cake."

Pack> Xander | "Yeah, Shelby, uh. Said you'd give me a sheet cake." Joking, clearly, though then it whittles down into more seriousness. "I just. I don't think Walkers would be a fit. And. Uktena. Silvertip would have my head."

Pack> Tim grunts. "Silvertip's not the only Uktena in the world. You could go to another Sept. I can think of a couple." There's a feeling of 'but, I get you'. To Shelby, he says, "Sheet cake is risky. I'd probably fuck that up. I can do kheer. How about some kheer?"

Pack> "So long as it says 'Congratulations on your new tribe'," Shelby agrees. "I don't know what kheer is, though. And we should let you get some rest. We'll bring leftovers - we're having Greek."

Pack> Tim mmmms, clearly happy to hear about Greek food. "Well look. I have never hard of Unicorn or Rat turning anyone away. I don't mean that like 'so at least you've got somewhere to go', I mean that if those work for you, then hey. I don't think August and Stacy or Lefty'll tell you no."

Pack> "Yeah," Xander ponders. "I'll.. have to think it over, really. I mean. It's not like this is a ...small thing."

Pack> Shelby says, "Plus there's Kaz." She hesitates a moment before blurting, "I want to ask her about joining but now is so not the time. Later. --We've got your back, Xander, whatever you decide. Stay or go."

Pack> "It's not," Tim agrees. "And you'll lose your Rank, too, I think--the Spirits don't take it lightly." He offers that as a simple statement of fact, and not a warning.

Pack> Belatedly, Tim says, "I'm fine with Kaz joining us, though I think she'll be inclined to make her own thing." Indeed, he does feel hopeful about it despite what he says.

Pack> "Yeah," Xander says, broodingly. "But I've already lost it once. And gotten it back in a way that doesn't... anyway. Yeah. I know."

Pack> "So," Shelby says firmly, "now you've got something to think about. A do-over of your very own. Tim, you want us to save you some spanakopita? I think I can keep Xander from eating it all."

Once the conversation on pack-chat starts wrapping up, Xander returns to his dinner, picking at it a bit more. "You're pretty perceptive for even, uh, picking up on that."

Pack> "That would be fabulous," Tim says. He's a bit more awake now. "I think I'll get myself showered. Oh, also--I learned Questing Stone from Kaz. So now I can teach it to either of you."

Pack> Shelby says "Fabulous. I've been wanting to learn that, but Xander, you've got first dibs."

Shelby gives him an amused look from under lowered brows. "Thank you. I do try. I'm more than just a pretty face and Anax' favorite." She doesn't bother to hide her smile. "Do you want me to contact Salem-rhya? You're welcome to talk with him here, if you don't want to go into town and don't want to have this conversation out on our territory."

Xander snorts, but doesn't comment. "I, uh. If you could get in touch with him? That'd be great. I don't even know how to get in touch with him. Every time I've seen him he hasn't-- well. He seems grumpy." Understatement.

Shelby tucks hair behind one ear and has some lamb. "He's... usually pretty solemn, yeah. That said, he was perfectly polite to me when I was a cub. I think all this bawn stuff - not to mention Ky and Andrei and their hangers-on - have made him grumpier. But look. It's a small moon. I'll tell him you'd like to talk to him, and give him your number. Do you want me here when you do talk? I can be upstairs or downstairs or whatever. Just, you know, in the house. Not listening in if you don't want."

Xander hesitates again. "I don't mind if you're here. Anywhere," the theurge considers. "I just. Actually. Having you here would probably be a good thing."

Shelby says, "All right," and flashes him one of her brighter smiles. "I'll call him after lunch. Have you tried the spanakopita yet?" And with that she turns the subject firmly to less sensitive topics, disappearing to make the call after lunch has been cleared.


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May 2012

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