stillplaying: ([fear] losing it)
Katniss Everdeen ([personal profile] stillplaying) wrote in [community profile] itinere2017-05-09 10:42 pm

[ota] full moon rising

It's been a strange few weeks. Living in Itinere, that isn't something entirely new. And although it's been strange (strange really being an understatement), she'd still much rather have had her boyfriend stuck in a strange body swap rather than have him die again. So long as she clung to that thought, so long as she could look into the eyes of Laura's body and see Matt staring back at her, she'd survive. She's not alone, either.
For the first time in a long time, she's making friends. And Prim is still here. Maybe it's Katniss trying to convince herself that everything will be okay, but she'd like to think her sister is doing a little bit better every day. She can survive a lot. Even more so when she isn't alone.

Most of the strangeness in Itinere lately has to do with a number of people having switched bodies. But it's been more than that for Katniss. More than just the strangeness of turning another year older. May 8 comes and goes, a day that brings her twentieth birthday. For Katniss, being alive and being around people she loves is enough of a celebration. Turning twenty should be a good day. A simple day. It isn't. She isn't. There's something wrong with her and no matter how much Katniss tries to ignore it, it becomes harder and harder to as May 10 approaches.

Katniss can't pinpoint when exactly it starts. Sometime while Matt is still trapped in Laura's body? That's the closest she can get. It starts with strange things with her senses. Her hearing becomes better than she ever remembers it being. In the middle of the woods, she can hear a rabbit rustle leaves from far away. She breaks a bow another day while hunting. Scents sometimes seem sharper. And maybe she's imagining it, but it seems that her scars are fading rapidly from her patchwork skin. Regardless, she continues to go about her daily life best she can. She hunts. She spends time in the Houndstooth. She explores some of the newer stores in Itinere. But the closer it gets to the full moon, the worse everything seem to get.

Finding out the truth does little to make the situation better. She's a mutt now. No, not a mutt. She has to tell herself that multiple times a day. Laura still acts human in every way that counts. That means she can do the same. She can still be Katniss, just a different Katniss. One that's not quite human anymore. It's terrifying though. More terrifying than any of the horrors she had to face in the arena. The easiest way to deal with this is to withdraw and spend as little time possible around the people she cares for. At least that is something she's good at.

[ooc: feel free to time any reply to some point in the past week or so - before or after laura fills katniss in on things.]
preemptiveforgiveness: (Confused)

[personal profile] preemptiveforgiveness 2017-05-18 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
Matt has really only been in his own body for a week or so. He's more grateful than he can say at being in his body again, though being able to see had certainly had it's advantages. For example, he's gotten a refresher on how the rest of the world sees. He'd forgotten about the color of the sky and the grass. He'd never seen an ocean the color of the one here, so clear and so blue. He'd gotten to see Katniss, really see her. Needless to say, his experience in Laura's body was probably a good deal more enjoyable than her experience in his.

However, he's just now finding out and coping with the fact that there'd been more than a few things he hadn't known and everything has it's consequences, consequences that he hadn't anticipated nor could he have ever. He'd listened to Laura explain to Katniss everything she needed to know about being a werewolf, about shifting, or at least everything that Laura could think to tell her (or thought she could cope with) in one sitting. All of it leaves Matt wracked with guilt and worried about how everything will affect Katniss (and selfishly their relationship).

He's brooding (there's no other word for it) as he paces the room, unable to sit still. "Katniss...I--I'm sorry. I can't--you have to know that I would never, ever have--I didn't know. You know that, right?"
preemptiveforgiveness: (Determined)

[personal profile] preemptiveforgiveness 2017-06-01 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
As good as it is to be in his own body, his relief is just as short-lived. That happiness has been replaced by immense guilt and his guilt had only gotten heavier as he'd listened to Laura talk to Katniss about what was about to happen to her. He knows it's his fault that this is happening to her and if he could do anything to change that, he would. The last thing he's worried about is her hurting him, and if she's worried about hurting Prim or anyone else, he'll do everything in his power to help her avoid that.

It's different, but it hasn't changed how he feels about her. He loves her and that goes deeper than something like this that she can't control. Even if she'd been a werewolf when he'd met her, he would have fallen in love with who she is, not what she is. It hadn't mattered to her that he can smell her across town or hear her heartbeat.

If she does that, he'll go looking for her. No, the shock definitely hasn't worn off, not for her and not for him.

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize--I'm so sorry that I did this to you. I would never have, you know that, right?"
preemptiveforgiveness: (Default)

[personal profile] preemptiveforgiveness 2017-06-13 08:50 pm (UTC)(link)

It's the benefit of his senses and now hers. Some things are easier to say in a whisper. Some things are easier to keep quiet. Of course, it also makes many things hard to keep secret. She'll learn about all of that soon enough if she hasn't already. Hopefully, eventually, she'll become okay with what she is now. Matt knows it will take time. He'll help her learn to accept who she is, to like who she is, if she'll let him.

He understands that blameless anger. He'd felt it when he'd been struck blind as a child. He couldn't be angry at the man he'd saved or the truck that had spilled chemicals all over him. It was easy to be angry at himself, but it didn't quite fit because he wouldn't change things if he had it to do over again. He understands and it will get better.

He can smell those tears, almost taste them mixed in with all the scents that make up Katniss, but there are new ones now: a musty, earthy, sort of animal smell. It's not a bad smell, just a new one. Her question prompts a confused look from him. "What? No! Why would you--do you want to go?" Because he did this to her and if she wants to leave because of it, he doesn't blame her.

preemptiveforgiveness: (It's all okay)

[personal profile] preemptiveforgiveness 2017-07-16 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
She'll learn. Matt understands what she's going through even if it isn't quite the same thing. He probably can't teach her the way that Laura can, but he can help her with being overwhelmed. He can help her figure out how to isolate scents, sounds and how to block everything else out so that she doesn't spend every moment listening to people she doesn't want to hear or being overwhelmed.

The future is scary no matter what's changed or hasn't changed. He gets that. It's ridiculous (in his mind) to think that he wouldn't want anything to do with her. His feelings for her haven't changed. She might be a werewolf, but she's still the same person she was before.

His brows go up at her surprise, at the way she says 'what'. He takes a deep breath, relieved that she's not going to leave the first chance she gets. When she confirms that she wouldn't want him to leave, he stands and walks to her, folding her into his arms, holding her close. "I love you. Remember? That hasn't changed."
ohhhaleno: (ʷʰʸ ᵃʳᵉ ʷᵉ ʰᵉʳᵉ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-05-23 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
It had only taken one sniff and Laura had known. She thought she'd made it perfectly clear to Matt what she is — in retrospect, Laura realizes that she should have been more specific about what, exactly, that would mean for him. Instead of spelling it all out for him when she'd realized he'd taken over her body in their impromptu and highly inconveniencing swap, Laura had assumed that Matt would understand that he shouldn't go around biting people.

Well. What's that thing they say about a person when they assume?

Now Laura has a beta bound to her, for better or worse, because she can't just shirk off this responsibility on Matt. He's liable to get himself killed if she does and then exactly none of the three of them involved in this win. Katniss smells of wolf and the full moon is on the rise. Whether Laura asked for it or not is irrelevant; she doubts Katniss and Matt asked for this, either. It isn't like she thinks that Matt went around biting people to turn them. She has a feeling this was very much an accident that took place in a way that Laura really doesn't want to think about because he's her friend and that's awkward. The important thing is that Katniss needs an Alpha and Laura's got work to do.

The closer the full moon gets, the more Laura can feel the pull. She's practised; there are over two and a half decades of experience in controlling herself under her belt, but Katniss is another story. Katniss is going to thirst for blood and her transition is going to be painful the first time. She's going to be angry and confused and scared and Laura has to figure out how in the hell she's supposed to assuage literally any of that when she barely knows Katniss at all. "Katniss...?" she asks as she knocks on the door, having exchanged addresses to let the other girl know that Laura is here when she's needed. Katniss hadn't come, so Laura's taking the initiative. They're on a clock right now and time is running out. "It's Laura."
ohhhaleno: (ᵒʳ ᶜᵒᵘˡᵈ ᵗʰᶤˢ ᵇᵉ ᵃˡˡ ᵗʰᵃᵗ ʷᵉ'ᵛᵉ ᵍᵒ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-05-27 10:30 pm (UTC)(link)
That sort of greeting at the door has Laura's eyebrows lifted. No, she didn't ask for any of this, but yes she does have to help Katniss. It's Laura's spark that caused this, regardless of who happened to be the person wearing the body with the spark within it. She lets herself inside, but leans against the wall rather than going too far into the other woman's apartment.

Crossing her arms, she shrugs. "No, you're right. I didn't ask for this, but my fangs are ultimately what put you in this position and I can't very well let you go around killing people because you don't know how to control yourself, can I? It's my responsibility. That's what I get for being an Alpha," she says. Laura doesn't mince words and she seldom bothers to sugarcoat things. It might be one of the few things beside genes that she and her younger brother ever had in common.

"Somebody told me once that if you wish for something hard enough in this place, you'll get it. Maybe you can wish not to be like me, if you don't want it. The bite can be a gift, but you have to embrace it. If you fight it, you're never going to learn to control it and this is going to be a pretty miserable experience for you. I might not have done the actual biting and I wouldn't have chosen to make a beta, but it's happened and I'm not going to leave you to fend for yourself. That's not what a good leader does."

Laura pushes off the wall. She isn't going to waste time tiptoeing her way into the conversation because she's already done that and Katniss hadn't come to her. Now, the full moon is coming too quickly and, to Laura's knowledge, there isn't any Mountain Ash around here to keep Katniss at bay, so they're going to have to do this the old fashioned way. Laura's already got the shackles and chains — that was an awkward purchase, let the record show — because Katniss is absolutely going to need them her first couple of full moons, if not more than that.

Taking a deep breath, Laura huffs it out in a soft sigh. "I'm going to teach you how to control yourself so that if you're stuck like this, you can enjoy it rather than fear it. I can amazing things and now, you can, too. But first, let's teach you to crawl before you try to run. Okay? I won't bother you between full moons if you don't want to be bothered, but I'm here if you need me. Is that fair?"
ohhhaleno: (ʰᵃᵛᵉ ᶤ ˡᶤᵛᵉᵈ ᵇᵉᶠᵒʳᵉ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-05-28 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
While she's aware of the fact that it's probably a little rude to have come in and just spoken so much without giving the other girl any wiggle room to try to pipe up or jump in, there's a reason Laura chose to do it that way. It's the sort of thing she had to do a few full moons' worth for Derek when they moved — ran — to Brooklyn after the fire. It was like every ounce of progress he'd made had been torn out from beneath his feet and he'd had to start over. Derek, being as stubborn as Laura herself, had to be talked over in order to be heard, back then. Something tells her that had she not treated Katniss the same way, she wouldn't have gotten to say everything she needed to say before she ended up shoved right back out the front door. She kind of couldn't blame her for it, either.

In spite of herself, Laura huffs a little, humorless laugh and cocks her eyebrows. "Well, I guess you and I have that in common. The trust issues," she replies. "Fortunately, you don't have to trust me. You just have to listen to me and follow my advice until you can do it on your own. Or, if you prefer, you can trust Matt's judgement. I imagine he'd endorse me as helpful as opposed to harmful." She takes a deep breath and sighs slightly. "I don't know what your life back home was like, but I can promise you that mine was anything but rainbows and butterflies. I think I can identify with you enough not to take offense to that and hopefully, I can show you that your leaders weren't real leaders at all. Where I come from, we call that sort of thing a figurehead, but that's neither here nor there, I guess."

Mirroring Katniss a little, Laura reaches up to tuck her hair behind her ears. She tries not to take offense to the word monster, because she's heard that word too many times in her life aimed at herself and her loved ones when their only crimes had ever been daring to be something other than human. Katniss doesn't mean it that way, or if she does, she'll learn sooner than later not to use it that way in front of Laura, anymore. For now, the older woman lets it slide. "I'll meet you here on the morning of the full moon. You're going to be feeling it all day. If there's anyone you don't want to know what's happened to you, yet, I suggest you avoid them that day. They're going to be able to tell there's something wrong, probably just by looking at you," she tells Katniss, her brow creased with empathy. Katniss isn't alone here like Laura is, so that will probably be an actual problem.
ohhhaleno: (ʷʰᵃᵗ ˡᶤᵉˢ ᵇᵉʸᵒᶰᵈ ᵃᶰᵈ ʷʰᵃᵗ ˡᵃʸ ᵇᵉᶠ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-06-09 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
The question makes sense. Katniss doesn't want her sister to know — and Laura gets living with a sibling; she's lived with Derek — and Matt makes her feel safe. The only problem with that is...Katniss isn't safe for Matt. Her lips press together in thought and her brow creases slightly.

"I could meet you at Matt's," she agrees slowly, "but I don't recommend we stay there. You're dangerous to him on the full moon until you can learn control. Hell, you're dangerous to me, but I'll heal. Matt might not if it gets too bad. If you really want to be around him, we're going to have to chain you up. It isn't safe for him if we don't," she warns.

And Laura knows how that sounds. She knows that it's probably the last thing Katniss wants to do: submit to being bound by a perfect stranger. Laura wouldn't like it, either, but if they're going to stay with Matt, then Laura needs to take the appropriate precautions. She can only imagine that Katniss would be shattered if she lost herself in the pull of the full moon and hurt Matt. Laura wouldn't let that happen, anyway; he's her friend. He's one of her only friends, because shockingly, when a woman is conditioned to believe that humans are dangerous and she is then surrounded by people she presumes to be human, it makes making friends sort of difficult.
ohhhaleno: (ᵇᵉᶜᵃᵘˢᵉ ᶤ ᵇᵉˡᶤᵉᵛᵉ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-06-11 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Because Laura had been expecting some pushback, when she doesn't receive any, she's visibly but pleasantly surprised. At least they're on the same page in that Katniss understands right now, she's dangerous and needs to be far away from people. The fact that she asks if there's anywhere safe that she can go illustrates that pretty well. The problem is, Laura doesn't really have a good answer for that.

"I don't know," she admits, frowning. "I never looked around for something like that; I've been a werewolf my entire life. I was born this way. I've had control for years; I didn't think I'd need it."

With that, she runs a hand through her hair and sighs, tilting her head back to look up at the ceiling as she thinks. A moment later, she looks back at Katniss. "We could test the theory that this place will give us what we want if we just want it bad enough and we could both wish really, really hard for Mountain Ash powder," she suggests. "Then you could stay at Matt's and he could just lay lines. Werewolves can't cross it; it'd be like a big invisible cage, pretty much, that we'd be trapped in."

She says we because she assumes at some point, she'd have to step in to keep Katniss from hurting herself if she got too out of control, so rather than breaking the line and letting Katniss out in the process, she'd just have to have Matt lay the lines around them both. "But other than that, I mean...the woods, maybe? I can try to control you but I don't know...I've only ever been my little brother's Alpha and he already pretty much had control by then. I didn't train to become the Alpha, my mother was murdered and I just...inherited the role. I wasn't even supposed to learn how to be an Alpha for another decade or so, but life doesn't work the we want it to, sometimes." As Katniss well knows.
ohhhaleno: (ʷʰᵃᵗ ˡᶤᵉˢ ᵇᵉʸᵒᶰᵈ ᵃᶰᵈ ʷʰᵃᵗ ˡᵃʸ ᵇᵉᶠ)

[personal profile] ohhhaleno 2017-06-24 03:35 pm (UTC)(link)
It actually takes Laura aback slightly to hear Katniss's share, mostly because while Laura might not shout her personal stories from the rooftops, she's a lot looser with the facts of her life — house burned down, family's dead, escaped being murdered narrowly thanks to Itinere's weirdo door — than she ever imagined Katniss would be. Katniss reminds Laura of a wounded animal, what little she knows of the other woman. She's got her hackles up and has every time Laura's met her.

"I'm sorry to hear it. It's a shitty club to belong to," she says quietly with a frown, nodding her understanding. Then, she takes a deep breath and nods again, once and solemnly. "I won't let you hurt him. Or your sister," she replies just as firmly. It's important to Katniss, but it's also important to Laura because now Katniss is Laura's responsibility.

The thing is that Katniss has been here longer than Laura, to Laura's knowledge, so if Katniss doesn't know a place, Laura's going to find a tough time with finding one. "Honestly, the safest choice is the one that includes Mountain Ash, but even if we had some, neither of us could touch it. I don't know if they have it around here. Is there, like, an apothecary or something around here?" she asks. Laura gets out, but it's not the kind of thing she ever really looked for; she's the last person who might ever need one. "The only person I knew back home that kept it was the local vet, but he was also my family's emissary so...I don't...know where to get it. That's the safest thing. Have a human lay a circle of it around us and it's like an invisible cage. You couldn't hurt anybody who wouldn't heal from it."