andhiswife: (what was that)
She sits up with a gasp and an awkward flailing of limbs, forest litter caught in her hair. One skeletal oak leaf drops forward to bat against her nose, and she scrapes it away. She needs to get her bearings. What happened?

She's in the Woods. They were looking for Jack. She found the Prince, and… well, never mind that bit. And then the Giant approached, the ground quaked beneath her feet, and she'd tried to steady herself and missed - she'd felt a flash of disgust: oh, well done, me - and everything had dropped from beneath her, and…

Well, here she is. She twists to look around, soon spying a rather steep hill that starts only a few paces away. That must be where she tumbled down, then. She can't see any obvious signs of disruption along the slope, but she's not a woodsman, and what other explanation can there be?

How long was she out? What else has she missed?

"Oh, for--" she clambers to her feet, noting as she goes that she doesn't seem any worse for wear after her fall. Probably something she should have determined before she tried getting to her feet, but it's fine, she's fine. Goodness knows about anyone else, and she presses her lips together in a self-recriminating frown. A few more leaves are liberated as she gives her skirts a brisk, settling shake and pushes back her hair, getting herself back in order.

That's when she notices her neck is bare, and she pats at her collar incredulously. "Where…?" She circles in place, peering at the ground, then turns her attention back to the slope. She must have lost the scarf on the way down. It won't be easy to spot, and she doesn't have time to search for it, and what had possessed her to knit the thing in earth tones in the first place? She should have made it blue or something. Ugh.

Well, she has to get back up this hill, anyway, doesn't she? She'll just have to keep an eye out for it as she goes.

The hill is steeper than it looks, as it turns out. Much steeper. She makes it only a few yards before she treads on her hemline, overbalances, somersaults back down with an undignified whoop, and lands right on her bottom.

"Fantastic," she grumbles. "Wonderful."

But there's no time for sulking, either, and she gets back to her feet. Maybe there's an easier place to climb a little further along. Not that she has any idea where she's going - she was all turned around even before she fell, and she's not entirely convinced getting to higher ground will help - but she can't just sit here. How far had she gone, a hundred and forty-something paces? She'll try for just twenty this time, and if she doesn't see anything she recognizes, she'll pick a different direction and try again. She gives the slope one last thorough look, rubbing her neck uneasily. Then she shakes her head and turns to march parallel to the hill, counting her paces under her breath.

After fifteen paces, she stops to call out, "Jack?" She pauses for three beats of her heart, straining to hear a response. "Jack!"

Date: 2016-11-23 04:51 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Soulful eyes)
Walking on the edge of a magic forest was always a peculiar sensation. It brushed through Biffy's fur like the gentlest and strangest caress and, unless he had to, Biffy rarely went properly into Cabeswater on his nighttime excursions. When Amalthea was with him, it became more welcoming but the forest (rightly) was wary of the solitary wolves that lived in Darrow.

It was only that he heard something that stopped him. Taking a seat, Biffy tipped his nose into the air and pricked his ears. Yes, he could hear it properly now. Somewhere within the forest, someone had called Jack!

Concerned, he trotted after the voice, picking up a new and human scent quickly enough. It was coated in flour and butter, pine sap, the scent of fear. It painted a vivid picture of a newcomer in the wrong place and Biffy knew he was about to only add to the worst fright of someone's life, but he pursued anyway. It was better to scare someone than abandon them.

Date: 2016-11-25 06:53 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Pensive wolf)
Oh dear. Biffy so hated when people reacted to him with fear. It was inevitable to a certain extent, he supposed. There was simply no avoiding it when one took the form of a wolf. That did not change how unhelpful it was when one was faced with a newcomer who was clearly frightened.

Peering at her, Biffy tried wagging his tail while he attempted to formulate his next move.

There would be no helping her in this form. Perhaps he could have led her to the train station but then what? Even if she followed, he would not have the words to explain. The other option was to resume human shape but she would then be faced with a human stranger clothed only in his own dignity, to say nothing of the rather alarming event of transformation.

Bother.

Date: 2016-11-26 05:50 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Doing me a startle)
He could see her eyes darting around and Biffy supposed there was nothing for it. Looking up at her again, he patted one of his paws on the ground, hoping that she'd understand his meaning and stay put. It was unlikely she'd get far even if she did flee and Biffy had her scent now, but it would make things so much more complicated.

Hopeful, he scurried off a ways, tracking a different scent. He would owe Derek an apology later but there was nothing for it.

Pawing at the tree, Biffy secured the change of clothing and then trotted back toward the woman.

Date: 2016-11-26 07:01 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Permanently unkempt)
Biffy patted the ground again and then set down his clothing before retreating a little ways back into the shadow. It was best, unfortunately, to be straightforward about the situation but that did not make it pleasant to witness. The business of transformation was painful, all shifting fur and hair and bones breaking. Biffy had followed in Randolph's lead, attempting to make it at least look elegant, but there was no hiding the sound of bones snapping.

When at last the nasty business was completely, Biffy stood there in his altogether and creeped forward to take the clothing.

"I do beg your pardon."

Date: 2016-11-27 06:40 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"It seemed the best way to make sure I'd be believed," he said. It wasn't a particularly good justification but what could he have said that made her believe that he was the same being as a wolf that had retreated into the forest.

Apologetic, he hurried into the clothing and sighed; Derek's tastes in clothing ran as simple as ever. Biffy would have to do him the favor of leaving something a bit more suiting in place of the clothes he'd purloined. In ill-fitting clothes and rumpled, he looked like some swain from a novel. Lord help him.

"My name is Sandalio de Rabiffano. Biffy, please, and I am thinking that you were in a different place, not so long ago?"

Then, realizing he ought to alert her, Biffy stepped into her line of sight and waved a hand to alert her to his newly-clothed state. He did not touch her, thinking she was owed at least that little bit of propriety.

Date: 2016-11-28 03:52 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
He was very used to staring by now. Biffy knew he was handsome–not a fact of vanity but the fact that Akeldama would not have retained Biffy if he wasn't–and he also knew that what he had just done was an impossible and unnerving sight to say the least. The only benefit to it was that it tended to quickly introduce the idea that there was something amiss.

Except, perhaps, in Greta's case.

"There is no giant, Miss Baker," he said, caught off-guard by her concern. It was not the concern he would have had. "Nor anyone else in this forest. Despite what it might seem, you have been transported." Such a nasty word, that, but it had the correct implication in such a case of being shipped off to an odd prison.

Date: 2016-11-30 03:58 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Tidied up)
Biffy sighed. Why did denial have to be so aggressive, especially in the face of a wolf turning into a naked man. He thought he had earned some credulity after that. The woman was obviously distressed and in more denial than was typical of newcomers, but surely she could look around and see.

"It would be rather difficult to displace a giant," Biffy observed, gentling his tone. "And have you ever met a man who turns into a wolf before as I do?" Surely, if giants existed in her world and yet she was surprised by the sight of his transformation, they must not.

Gesturing towards the road, he calculated her paces. Five minutes in that direction and she'd leave the woods and see the paved road. "See for yourself."

Date: 2016-12-01 03:57 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
Even in human shape, there was something of a droop to Biffy's ears then. Her denial and her desperation to get back made all the more sense and he felt ever more terrible having to be the one to tell that she would not see them again unless they happened to appear later. Ducking his head apologetically, Biffy sighed. "There is nothing more important than that but I cannot return you to them. If I could, I'd have done so."

He held out his hands, elegant but empty and entirely human now, cuticles wrecked from transformation.

"My dear friend Alexia arrived alone as well, without her husband or daughter." He heaved a sigh then, missing her terribly, even though he knew it was better that she had gone back. It seemed unfair to mention Alexia's return to Mrs. Baker though, not when it had taken her years. "And all I can do is offer condolences, but you must believe me."

Date: 2016-12-04 07:13 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
Sighing, feeling rather terrible about it, Biffy held out an arm for her to take if she so desired. Regardless, he walked them a few minutes to the edge of the forest and toward the paved road. In the distance, he could hear a car trundling along and knew they would emerge from the woods just as it loomed into view.

"Do you see those lights in the distance?" he asked, pointing through the trees. "Are they familiar at all?"

They turned and an old and rather ignominious-looking truck came past.

Date: 2016-12-04 07:15 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Quite underdressed)
It was unfairly shocking, Biffy knew, but it seemed Mrs. Baker would not believe him until she was forced to look the evidence in the face. The poor woman looked utterly shaken and Biffy moved around to her side, once again offering an open arm, a body to lean upon.

"The year is 2016 here," he said. "And technology has changed very much since my time and even more, I wager, from your own. That was a car, pulled by the workings of an engine rather than the strength of horses." Biffy didn't know much more than that. Cars were useful but he had little interest in learning how they worked, not when there were more elegant technologies to decipher.

Waiting for her to settle as much as she could, Biffy finally began again. "This place has taken you away from wherever you were and likely when as well. You'll be given money and a place to stay and it's truly not all terrible but you cannot go home."

Date: 2016-12-05 06:52 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
He tried his best to be comforting but even the most comforting stranger was still only a stranger. Biffy hugged her around the side, something that he thought was slightly more gentlemanly than just pulling her into his arms, even if she was trembling terribly, poor thing.

"Because we can't leave," he said, exhausted by the reality of it. "It's magic–I've no other word for it. We arrive and some people are here for months, others for years. For me, it's been two years as of last October." It was not a comforting thing to say, much less the fact that he had, quite swiftly, been dropped with three years' worth of memories of London in one moment.

"My Lady Alpha was here for some months as well. For her, three years had passed and yet she said I had never left nor disappeared."

Date: 2016-12-06 11:10 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"Well, I suppose. I don't think we've got any fairies," he said. His words were slow, considering. It didn't seem impossible that fairies could be behind it but they did seem to be among the farther-fetched proposals he'd encountered in a while.

And then he realized that his attempts at comfort had tricked a detail out of him and, if possible, Biffy blanched whiter than his usual undead pallor. "People do disappear back to where they came," he said. Many of them, in fact, had been his friends. "But it's as much under your control as the circumstances that brought you here." He could see the little bit of ravenous hope in her eyes and hated knowing that everyone came to accept it in time.

"She was here a year. I have been here more than two. I know a little girl who has been here nearly four." Well, perhaps not little, though Formerly Prenderghast had always seemed small to him, no matter how old she really was.

Date: 2016-12-10 04:40 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
That that was how it was to be, Biffy guessed. That was why he was so hesitant about mentioning that sometimes people left. They did, at times, but never on anyone's terms. She might leave but it would not be soon and she might be disappointed.

"I do apologize," he said, taking a deep breath. "I don't mean to discourage you or frighten you." Perhaps he was going about this all wrong. Almost certainly, he felt. Not frightening her was probably beyond hope now that he'd transformed. At least she looked far from discouraged, if only because she was stubborn.

"Let me take you into the city at least. We can get you something to eat?" It would, he hoped, give her time for it to all sink in.

Date: 2016-12-11 07:11 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"City," Biffy said. Carefully, he turned Mrs. Baker by the shoulders so that she faced further down the road and could see the bright lights of Darrow not so very far away. Likely, she had never seen any buildings like these before. Biffy, himself, had seen buildings in London that aspired to Darrow's heights but had had yet to truly make it.

"That's the city of Darrow. It's the epicenter of this place we've all been taken."

Date: 2016-12-12 06:58 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
Biffy nodded. "Whatever the year was for you and I, we are now in the twenty-first century and the technology is very impressive." It was easy for him to say, he realized. Biffy was very fond of technology, even in his own London. Darrow's modern day gadgets had been a personal delight for him but he wasn't sure how much the appeal would comfort Greta.

"Many of them are residences, but I live in a farmhouse not far from here."

Date: 2016-12-13 06:48 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
She looked as if she was on the verge of swooning and Biffy was ready to catch her but it seemed Greta was made of sterner stuff. The moment passed and she seemed well on her feet again, though Biffy kept near.

"It is. I can walk you into the city if you like or hail a cab, if you think you're up to riding in a car. It's actually smoother than a carriage." But it was still rather a shock, he thought, for someone in Greta's state. Maybe he ought to skip getting her to the train station and get her to somewhere with a nice stock of wine instead. To ease the troubles.

Date: 2016-12-14 08:54 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"Not at all. I don't tire easily," he assured her. Nor, he thought, did she. For all her fine features, she seemed a hardworking sort, accustomed to walking when it was needed. It was, as well, the answer he'd expected. Again, Biffy held out an arm for her to take if she so desired.

"It's not so terrible a place to spend time," he said, trying to be comforting. "I know it isn't home but there are some benefits to this place."

Date: 2016-12-15 01:33 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
Mrs. Baker had no way of knowing just how little danger Biffy posed to her honor and propriety. While he was not shy about the fact that he preferred the company of gentlemen, it did not need to be announced apropos of nothing. It would come up, in time, if she ever chose to speak to him again after all the terrible frights he'd given her.

But until then, he would do his best to be reassuring and gentlemanly at her side.

"The technology, as I said. There is much less disease and much of it far less deadly. Better food. There are plenty of people in the same situation as yourself, so there's solidarity, I suppose."

Date: 2016-12-16 07:28 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
He knew it was poor comfort when someone wanted to get home but he had thought it best to at least try. Biffy knew that his first few days had been messy with disorientation, arriving post-transformation. Darrow had been kind enough not to snap his tether, though it had shifted. Biffy considered himself loosely affiliated with many of Darrow's foreign wolves, though their solidarity was not pack in the traditional sense. It was enough to keep them all from going too much into loners.

"I've been told that it started four years ago," Biffy said. "Though I don't know anyone who's been here four years." The longest-lasting tenure that he knew personally was Formerly Prenderghast who had once been Dorian's neighbor but she had never seemed over bothered by it, not wanting to leave.

"As for how many of us, that number shifts constantly, but we make up a minority of the population." He suppressed a shudder, thinking of just how vulnerable they'd felt when KIRIN had been about.

Date: 2016-12-18 12:44 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
Biffy's posture stiffened at that question. KIRIN and its work had been months ago but there were still scars from their good works on people, on their loved ones, and on the city itself. Even now, after Dorian had thrown him over, Biffy still woke up in the middle of a day's sleep, desperately scenting the air for perpetrators, kidnappers. He still sometimes regarded native citizens of Darrow with a wary instinct behind his polite smile.

"How well-tolerated we are is an inconsistent thing," he admitted. "Many of the...immigrants to this city are gifted with powers. It does create tension."

Mrs. Baker had given him no evidence of powers in their short acquaintance so he thought that if she was possessed of any, she was at least subtle in their use.

Date: 2016-12-20 07:16 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Alpha)
Biffy heard it and easily at that. "Witches, vampires, werewolves. Little girls with power." His lip curled a little but he did not continue his list. It wouldn't change or fix anything.

"Normally, it's nothing a thick skin can't solve. But sometimes, things do not go 'normally.' But that is not always the case." He shook his head and continued walking on, setting a pace that was brisk but not impossible by any means. "But I am not trying to scare you." This was, perhaps, a late and slightly useless statement.

"There was a confrontation, not too long ago, but things seem in equilibrium now."

Date: 2016-12-25 07:46 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"A violent one," Biffy said, equally wearied. "Quite definitive." Daring her to ask further Biffy pressed on. They were nearly to Darrow now and it would be quite easy, he thought, to turn her loose if he were a less well-mannered man.

As it was, good manners and genuine sympathy were proving troublesome in allowing him to be callous.

"And yet, I cannot help but think this city isn't so bad in some ways."

Date: 2016-12-27 10:29 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Quite underdressed)
Biffy smiled, his expression wry. "I suppose there's no sugar coating the truth from a baker," he said. Greta did smell sweet, all sugar and butter and warm flour. The name wore her well and she could easily imagine her at home with a tabletop of pastry.

"But I do like it here, even when it's terrible," he confessed. In London, Biffy had been alone and repulsed by his werewolf state and it had all been worse by the sense of aimlessness that had followed. In Darrow he had work and had, briefly, been allowed to have love. It made certain things easier.

Date: 2016-12-28 05:48 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] modern_alpha
modern_alpha: (Default)
"I've found that it's the strongest trait that people possess," Biffy said philosophically. They could adapt and adjust far better than many of them realized. He had done so twice over with becoming a werewolf and then arriving in Darrow. He was, he supposed, still adapting in the face of his ended engagement.

That pet to his arm reminded him of Alexia and disposed Biffy more kindly towards her immediately. In response, he patted her hand as well.

"For better or worse, I think that's the best way to look at it," he said. Greta seemed the stalwart type and he hoped that she would manage herself and Darrow.

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The Baker's Wife

July 2017

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