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Week 21, day 5

Who: Elfangor, Matt, and Rin
Status: closedish (Marco can feel free to swing by)
Style: Prose, past
Where: Outside of Mizusato
When: Week 21, Day 5 (not long after Peter and Sam's video)
Rating: PG-13 for swearing, as per usual
Warnings: Just said cussing.
Summary: More morphing practice, with a new recruit.

Matt knew the minute he watched Peter and that other guy's broadcast that it would be a terrible thing for Elfangor to see, but he was too late to swipe his Hitomi or attempt any tactic of outright avoidance.

He'd been sticking close to the new place in Mizusato ever since the rescue, hovering a little a lot over J, worried about the effects of her ordeal on her. It seemed as if they didn't have time to recover from one thing before the next hit. Or before something came back to haunt them.

Matt didn't have to listen to Elfangor's disconnected reply to the video, or catch all of it from down the hall. He was pretty sure he knew the gist of it.

He went to the kitchen to catch him on his paced circuit of the place (another way he was like Mello, weirdly), and caught at his arm. "Let's get outta here. C'mon."


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 15th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
Elfangor just barely caught himself on the verge of yelling that getting some air wasn't going to help, but he managed to stop himself and reign in the panic, the urge to all but crawl out of his skin. No, thoughts like that weren't going to help either.

A distraction, yes, he needed a distraction from this, needed to not think about what had happened not too long ago. And so he allowed Matt to drag him out of the house, barely aware of where he was leading them, didn't really want to process it. Just wanted to not think (remember) for a little while, and so he stared up at the trees around them as they went.

"Where are we going?"
Apr. 16th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
"Away," Matt said, taking Elfangor's hand and interlacing their fingers, in something of an apology for his curtness.

"You don't need to be thinking about this." It worried Matt more than he wanted to admit, when Elfangor just sort of checked right out like this. What could Matt really do, after all, to help one of the strongest people he knew deal with something no one at all should've had to face? For the first time in a while, he caught himself thinking that it wasn't fair, to die and have to keep going. To be done and have shit keep happening, and, god, he wouldn't have wanted either of them to really be dead for good, not in a million years, but it was still true that people weren't meant to have to process their own damn murders.

He felt better just being outside, and if he stopped short of swiping Elfangor's Hitomi now, it was only because he had a better distraction in mind. "Didn't you say something once about teaching me to tail-fight?"
Apr. 16th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
He sighed and squeezed Matt's hand in return, an apology as well, for nearly taking out his frustration on him. When really, he just wanted to yell at himself--for not being able to get a better handle on this. Oh, Fai had certainly helped him out considerably with the memory dampening, but in moments like this, when he is reminded in an all too visceral way...

But then his attention was diverted to Matt's words, and the corner of his mouth quirked up in a ghost of a smile. "You wish to do that now?"
Apr. 17th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
"If you promise not to kick my ass too much."

The idea of morphing his boyfriend was a little weird, but Matt had morphed sentient beings before. He actually sort of thought dolphins counted, in that they had moods and wishes. More power to them, he figured, that their main mood was happy and their main wish to play.

"And if you don't mind."
Apr. 17th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
"Of course not." His small smile grew into a full grin. "I believe I can manage that. Although, you do realize that assumes there is such a thing as too much ass-kicking?" He may have snickered at that, just a bit.

When they drew up to a field, Elfangor swiftly surveyed the area. The ground was fairly level, which would be necessary for this sort of training. A low-lying layer of fog clung to the trees surrounding the field, but not so thickly that it would cause too much of an issue with visibility. Yes, this would work just fine.

That decided, he stripped down to his bike shorts and demorphed, and then he reached out for Matt's hand.
Apr. 18th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Matt grinned back, relieved to have coaxed Elfangor out of his distress, at least for now. He knew this problem would keep circling back on them until it was really dealt with, but the only thing he knew for sure would help was time.

"I'd say it'd be too much if you totally humiliated me, but. Heh, I expect that to happen."

He still hadn't gotten to a point where he didn't blush when he stripped down to just the morphing shorts. Matt figured going around half-dressed was only fine for people who weren't scrawny geeks.

He took Elfangor's hand, noticing his fingers again, and concentrated. Acquiring him didn't really feel any different from usual. Not yet, anyway.
Apr. 23rd, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
It had been a while since they'd moved, after the prison break, but still Rin felt not entirely familiar with Mizusato. Certainly not to the level she'd been with Hisato. And she liked knowing a place she was going to live in.

That was why today found her making a bit of a detour to the outskirts of town, even completely outside. She hadn't been to this part before, so she walked it with open eyes (and a ready sword), taking in the new sights, trying to memorize the landmarks -- and listening to new sounds.

Well, she certainly hadn't been expecting human voices among those. Of course, her curiosity didn't permit her to just walk by; no, she had to go and look, so she followed the voices to where they came from, and as she did so, it dawned on her the voices were familiar. She peeked out from behind a tree and spotted Matt and -- a big blue creature.

Marco had described Elfangor's original form to her, but she hadn't really seen it before. She bit her lip, debating with herself about whether to make her presence known. Really, she wanted to -- say hello, make small talk, that sort of thing. On the other hand, the situation looked somewhat... private. Yes. Very private. And why does Elfangor need to be an Andalite if they're... no, surely she must be misunderstanding things.
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Elfangor had never experienced the morphing trance before, but it wasn't unpleasant. It was almost like being both sleepy and high at once, but not exactly, as he was still fully aware of his surroundings.

Otherwise, he might not have noticed the sound of movement through the underbrush.

< Did you hear that? > he asked Matt in private thought-speak, before calling out openly, < Hello? Is someone there? >
Apr. 25th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)

Matt let go of Elfangor's hand and looked around, spotted Rin, and immediately blushed.

"Oh. Hey. Rin. We were just-- I was-- You can't morph clothes!"

He really, really hoped this was sufficient to convey that they hadn't been doing anything dirty.
Apr. 25th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
Now that she was discovered, Rin blushed noticeably, ashamed at her thoughts and at spying. She came forth from behind her tree, rubbing her neck absently and smiling an embarassed smile. "Ah - I'm sorry! I really didn't mean to spy."

To emphasize that point, she bowed quickly. "I just happened by and heard you, and I wasn't sure whether to say something or not...," and she planned to trail off here, but then it cam to her mind that Matt seemed to have noted the situation as dubious, so she felt the need to dispel those thoughts. "You seemed pretty... busy, is all. I didn't mean to intrude."
Apr. 27th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
While it was true that they were busy, that did not mean that Rin's appearance was an intrusion, and so Elfangor tried to quell her concern by explaining, < We were just about to begin a training session. Specifically, I am teaching Matt how to tail-fight. >

He added privately to Matt, < I would not mind her observing--I recall that she has an interest in combat training... but it is your choice. > He gave what amounted to a mental smirk. < And I would be certain not to 'kick your ass' too much with a witness. >
May. 3rd, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
Matt slanted a grin at Elfangor in response to the private thought-speak, and he felt pretty certain it would be understood as I don't mind.

"'s okay," he said to Rin, still blushing, but managing (he hoped, and thought) to seem more composed. "I had to, um, acquire him. So we could give this a try."

He concentrated, and it did feel weird now, swapping his own form for the one of someone he loved, for someone sentient in a way that dolphins, fun as they were, weren't, and the first thing that happened was that his field of vision got insanely huge, as the stalk eyes popped out of his head, and then he was so distracted by a weird lightness of heart that he didn't really notice the rest of the changes.

Then he noticed them all at once, and having four legs was so weird that he couldn't keep track of his center of gravity, and crumpled to the ground.

< How do you even do this? > he said, with a silent laugh, and then he made the thoughtspeak private. < I feel... not happy, exactly. But like everything's gonna be okay. It's weird. >
May. 8th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
This was a procedure Rin was quite familiar with. She'd seen Marco mid-morph quite a lot -- it had been how she'd first seen him, in fact -- and by now, it was an almost everyday thing, as normal to her as dragons and Manji's immortality.

Still, seeing someone else than Marco turn into a big, blue creature? Pretty much caused a case of saucer-eyes in her. She watched intently, unable to even blink. It was still slightly new in an exciting way. She missed things that were new in an exciting way, as opposed to terror-inducing.

Well, she was the spectator here, so once she was done, she figured she should do something to show her appreciation. Awkwardly, she clapped. "That was great!"
May. 12th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Elfangor reached out to help pull Matt up, his amusement written across his face. < It will likely be much easier to adjust to having more legs than fewer. Learning to walk on only two legs after a lifetime on four is not as easy as you might think. > He then added privately, in a subdued tone, < Andalites have an instinctive optimism. We learn to balance that with realism as we mature, and an acquired realism is critical, especially in times of war, but... I would prefer to encourage that optimism, rather than mute it out of necessity. >

Once he made certain that Matt could hold himself upright, he cast a curious, yet pleased look to Rin with his main eyes. < I would expect the morphing process to 'weird out' most people. > Oh, but he knew that she lived with Marco, so perhaps that explained it. < But ah, I assume you must have observed Marco morphing with some frequency by now? >

It was actually quite a relief to have someone react in some way other than with ill-concealed disgust. On the occasions that he had revealed himself over the network to others, it was more often than not met with some degree of horrified shock.

Perhaps... after that fiasco in Yomisato, when so many had been abducted... It might be in their best interests to equip their allies with as many additional skills as possible.

Especially if those abilities were transferable.

< Has Marco told you anything of the morphing technology? >
May. 12th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
< Well, I just. Didn't know where to expect my center of gravity to be anymore! >

Matt still didn't really trust it. He could feel his new fur fluffing, and oh, that was what that meant. He thought he'd probably get distracted a lot by being able to see everything; like, he could look at Rin and Elfangor at the same time without having to turn his head or anything. It was so cool!

< It was not great, > he answered Rin. < Great slapstick, maybe, heh. >

And he understood Elfangor better now, why he'd always seemed to Matt to carry that spark of something hopeful and indefinable, undimmed by everything he'd gone through. < Humans start out that way, I think, > he said privately. < But we lose it really young, and consider it a good thing. >

You grew up, and grew a hard shell on the way, too, to keep the world from hurting you. You learned to distrust hope. Matt would've loved to learn what had happened to hardwire it into a whole species.
Jun. 2nd, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
"Ah, that's right!" She told Elfangor, grinning at him awkwardly and rubbing her neck as she took a few steps closer. "Guess I've seen it so often it doesn't really faze me anymore."

Then she turned to Matt, grin growing... cheekier. "Hey, no one's perfect on the first try! I think it's pretty cool that you even managed to morph. I get the impression it's a rare ability." Winking, maybe? Maybe.
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
Elfangor took that to mean that Marco hadn't quite explained morphing to Rin, or at least, how the ability was transferred. < It is only rare insofar as the devices that transfer the ability--Escafil devices--are rare. The morphing technology actually originated as a weapon, to be used for espionage in covert warfare. > He smiled in that strange way that Andalites do with their eyes. < But it can be used simply for fun, as well. >

Perhaps, if she showed interest in its original purpose or inquired after such a device, he could ease into suggesting that she learn how to use the ability. But it could be a bit much to throw that on someone--he recalled how the children had been so frantic and frustrated, when he'd had no time for anything beyond hurling the technology upon them with a quick warning regarding the time limit.

And even though it had been unintentional to give Matt the morphing ability, he was, ultimately, glad for it, though he tried desperately not to think about how it had contributed to his death in this world. It was a relief, to know that he could use it to protect himself. And if more people could do that--defend themselves against the trials that the gods of this place might pit against them...

Well. It seemed an advisable idea.

He backed off a few paces, and then said with an amused glint in his eyes, < Matt. I want you to try to attack me. Don't worry about hurting me, just come at me. >
Jun. 6th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Matt wasn't sure if Rin was being facetious or not, and just sort of chuckled uncertainly.

That's easy for you to say, he thought, when Elfangor told him to attack. He was damn sure he wouldn't be able to hurt him deliberately. What he was afraid of was hurting him accidentally by being such a fucking klutz that he'd do something neither of them could anticipate.

< Okay... > he said, dubiously.

He managed to stay on his feet to close the distance, but he had to consciously think about swinging his tail forward...

Matt's brain wasn't used to processing visual input from three separate sources. Luckily, this body's instincts were, and Matt ducked in time to avoid giving one of his stalk eyes a nasty sideswipe with the tail.

Well, he thought, trying to un-fluff. Now they all knew what Elfangor would look like if he touched one of those plasma ball things.

< Maybe we should stay, um. More basic than that? >
Jun. 13th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
Rin listened to Elfangor's explanation with interest. Marco had told her one thing or another about morphing, at least the basics, but it had been a while and she wasn't sure if she'd caught all the details, really. So it was good information she was getting here. "I see!" She said, nodding emphatically. "It looks like it would be easy to use for that. Morph into, I don't know -- a fly? No one really notices." And she had to giggle at her own suggestion. After all, who'd want to become a fly? But it probably had its uses.

Then Elfangor challenged Matt, and Rin watched the proceeding interaction. She gasped, hand flying to her mouth, when Matt nearly cut off his own... stalky-thing (was that an eye?). "Whew, that was close!" Half-muttered to no one in particular, really. Just something that slipped out, to the extent that she only realized she'd spoken at all after the fact. She blinked, but said nothing, realizing she'd probably be interrupting.
Jun. 19th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
For the fraction of a second that Matt's tail blade came dangerously close to lopping off one eye, Elfangor's gut twisted with anxiety--but then it was over, and he very nearly gave in to the urge to place a palm over his main eyes, torn between self-imprecating frustration and nervous laughter. < Yes, ah... perhaps that would be for the best. >

Opting to give Matt the chance to... settle down a bit (Is his fur really capable of standing up that much? Apparently), he answers Rin.

< Precisely. It is also useful for passing yourself off as someone else, > he nods in Matt's direction for example, < or performing a Frolis Maneuver--that is, combining the DNA of several individuals to create a unique form. This is particularly useful when merely duplicating am individual might make you stand out rather than help you to blend in with a population. > With a careful casualness, he adds, < I have an Escafil device in my possession. That is how Matt came to be able to morph. >
Jun. 23rd, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
If it hadn't been for the time limit, Matt might very well have morphed an earthworm or something and waited out that week Kannagara went batshit, and he was glad he didn't have a mouth to frown with at the thought.

As awful as it had been, though, the bad parts had faded away, but the good that had come out of it stayed. Matt thought the trade-off was pretty damn worth it.

< A fly with a human brain? Totally useful. But never morph an ant. Marco was... real definite about that. >

He'd obviously been a hazard to life, limb, and eyestalk long enough, and he wasn't surprised that he was blushing after he demorphed, and not just because he was necessarily mostly not dressed.

He thought he could tell where Elfangor was going with this train of thought. "The sake had something to do with it, too," he said, flashing a grin before pulling his shirt on. "But I'm glad it turned out this way, even if I am a totally fail Andalite."
Jul. 25th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Matt's comment makes Rin laugh a bit. "Oh, was he?" She doesn't doubt it. It sounds like a very Marco thing to say. Then, rethinking all the information she's just been given, she looks back and forth between them thoughtfully, unsure what to address first. It is quite a lot of different things, and she wants to inquire after all of them.

"Ah, I have so many questions about all of this!" She says finally, expression between awkward and honestly amazed. "Do you mind me asking so much? Because if you don't want to explain, you don't have to... I guess." Sheepish grin. She just totally gave away how much she's hoping they will have the patience to explain to her, didn't she?
Aug. 6th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Elfangor hadn't expected Matt to demorph so soon, had thought he might just wait a short time before trying again; he tilted his stalk eyes in confusion but said nothing of it, tried to hide his disappointment. But he did manage to smile with his eyes when Matt said that. He certainly was glad for the way things had turned out, too.

He laughed at Rin's exclamation. < Ask whatever questions you wish! I'm not a scientist-- > A thread of amusement there, thinking of how being called a scientist had been such an insult among his peers when he was young. It seemed so juvenile now, in retrospect. < So I do not know the precise function of this technology, but I've been assigned to train arisths for battle before, so I am quite used to inquisitiveness in this regard. >
Aug. 7th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
Matt put his jeans back on, and lit a cigarette, which together made him feel much more qualified to field questions.

"Yeah, that was one of the first things I knew about morphing. That, and don't get stuck.

"And I can give you the human perspective, if you're wondering about that."

He was pretty sure he was reading the focus of her curiosity correctly.

And he could read Elfangor well enough by now that he picked up on the disappointment, but, as he wasn't able to use private thoughtspeak anymore, gave him a glance and a half-shrug meant to say Next time.
Aug. 10th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Still a little embarassed, Rin nevertheless looks back and forth between them cheerfully, happy that her curiosity is welcomed so openly. Not being told -- or have the implication impressed on you -- that you're stupid for asking questions is nice. "Well, then," she says and takes a deep breath.

"Of course, I'd like to know how any of this is even possible. If you can at all explain it to someone as... backwards," and she cringes a little at her own word choice," as me. Then, hum... so the mind of the animal sort of guides you when you're in morph? Does it tell you how to walk on four legs and how to fly? Can you talk to animals when in morph? Is there anything that's off limits? Are there any big drawbacks to the whole deal? Would it be possible to morph into an animal at a ridiculous size -- a human-sized ant, for example? And..."

She grins sheepishly again and rubs the back of her head in a gesture of embarassment. "I think I'll... leave it at that for now." A look to the side, then her eyes dart back to the two of them. "You don't have to answer all of those, of course!"
Aug. 28th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
[That backwards comment takes Elfangor aback, and he isn't quite sure what Rin means by that, so he tries to reassure her,] < Humans, as a species, advance at an extraordinary rate, most likely for their ability to adapt to new circumstances so well. It took Andalites millions of years to get to the technological point we are now. There is no need to feel self-conscious in this. >

[He steps over to where he'd left his satchel, pulling out the Escafil device and holding it up to show Rin. At a careful distance, mind, considering the whole accidentally-while-drunk thing, which thinking about in retrospect draws a smile to his eyes.] < Touching this device changes a person, at the most basic level, to be able to store the information, the physical memory of other creatures and morph into them. You take on whatever the creature naturally has, from useful things like instincts to not so very useful things like birth defects. Injuries, anything that you are not born with, are not carried over. >

[Elfangor laughs, amused with the question about communication.] < That depends. For example, as you've noticed, I can speak perfectly well when I am human, though that is largely to do with my translation chip. > [He taps himself on the side of the head.] < For non-sentient creatures, they do not have languages as we do that can be readily translated. But you can bark as a dog to signify danger, or use echolocation as a bat or dolphin to guide your movements. That type of thing comes along with the instincts. And no, you cannot turn into a human-sized ant, though you might give the appearance of such while morphing. Only those naturally gifted in morphing--we call them estreens--can control the process to such an extent to intentionally do something like that, but the process must conclude; they cannot hold that half-form indefinitely. >

< As for drawbacks... > [He darts a glance to Matt; it is second-nature to Elfangor by now to look to him for reassurance. This is an uncomfortable subject, but it is a warning that must be given.]

< There is a time limit. Normally, it is two hours, but Kannagara somehow is able to stretch time, so that it is more like six here... But if you remain in an assumed form beyond the time limit, you will become stuck. A nothlit. Unable to return to your true form. >

[There are other limits, such as not always being able to morph quickly enough out of injuries, the risk of dying while in morph, but that thought brings up the memory of crumpled wings and a world that shouldn't exist, and he says nothing of it. Doesn't want to think about it, but more importantly, he doesn't want bring that memory up for Matt.]
Aug. 30th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
[Matt can guess where Elfangor's train of thought led him, not a mental landscape either of them want to get close to (Matt could do it, could go dragon again, but he still fights off a pang of anxiety every time he thinks about it). He steps closer to Elfangor without really realizing he's doing it, out of an unconscious need to give and take comfort in closeness.]

If you morph something with wings, you know how to fly, [he tells Rin.] You hafta be Zen about it. It's not really a conscious thing, you just do it, like breathing. But, heh, things that're learned skills, like tail-fighting, obviously don't carry over.

And sometimes... [He blushes, remembering the first time he tried out the tiger morph.] ...the animal's instincts can be tough to deal with. Like, the first time you morph something, you have to get control. But after that, you're used to it. It's kind of like the part of your brain that's the animal remembers that the part that's human--or whatever--is in charge. [He shoots a grin at Elfangor.]
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