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 daisy the dragon saviour

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PostSubject: Re: daisy the dragon saviour    Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:36 pm

he wine is French, and Daisy has a very low tolerance when it comes to alcohol. It only takes them an hour to relax and get comfortable, and during times when Islah and Matheus switch to giggly Portuguese, Daisy sits closer to Tawny as she translates the late night news from the television. Tawny isn't drinking, but the rest are, and Matheus labels her as the designated driver for all eternity.

Somewhere around two or three in the morning, when the laughter died down a bit and Daisy and Tawny are knitting Kip's shaggy hair into braids, Islah clears her throat.

"Drinking made me remember something… Tawny, you know this story, but Matheus and Daisy don't, would you mind listening to it once more?"

"Go ahead, the mic is yours", Tawny waves her hand noncommitially.

Daisy lets go of Kip's hair to sit down more comfortably. If she could, she'd spent days just listening to lives of immortals, and if she can't do that, she'll settle for hearing snippets, at least.

"So, as you know, I was born in the Ottoman Empire, sixteenth century. From a young age, I was shown that the only way I could have a happy life is to be a warrior, so I decided to train as well as I could. I'd volunteer to take part in all village quarrels, every year I'd apply to fight in state's wars, and every year I'd get rejected. I was a village kid, with no notable family members and no prior training. Why would they pick anybody like me to fight for them?

"They were starting the first Russo-Turkish war in the Astrakhan Kanate at the time, and while I didn't know the reasons of the conflict, I knew that it was my chance to gain experience and make myself known in the community.

"There was that war. And another one. Constant civil wars, all over the country. I'm not proud of that, you know. But it was the only way I could secure the well-being of my family. And I was good. All that training on my own had to result in something, right?

"After I had made a name for myself, the general invited me over to his tent. He sat me down, poured us wine, and waited until I was significantly drunker than when I came in to tell me about his plans. He said that he knew a way to make me an even better warrior.

"Of course, I said yes without listening. A man comes up to you and offers everything you want. What would you do?"

A comfortable, thoughtful silence falls, and Daisy looks around the room. It's so strange, dawning on her all at once—all these people have a story, and this is just a fragment of one. Matheus is sitting on the floor, level with Daisy, staring at some sort of an imaginary spot on the coffee table, looking like he's going to break. Daisy doesn't know why.

Islah continues.

"So I accepted. He then, completely sober, tells the guards to show me the way to another tent. In that tent, there was a man, alone, sitting on the floor. I don't remember precisely", she shakes her head a bit, "but he said something along the lines of, 'I will give you power you dreamed of', and 'the world will bow at your feet' and other such nonsense, and then he made me a wizard."

"Sounds sketchy", Daisy notices.

"It was indeed. I don't know where that man is now, but I honesty just want to ask him what made him so dramatic", she adds with a chuckle. "Anyway, I blacked out, and woke up in an empty tent hours later, with a headache and a weird feeling in my hands."

"It's all the power", Tawny adds knowingly, and it makes Islah laugh.

"Indeed. I've got the power. And that's how I'm here today."

"What happened then?" Daisy probes further.

"I told you already. Tibet. Then France. Etta." Something sounds hollow in Islah's voice. "You know, Daisy, you remind me of her. Then again", she adds with a bittersweet smile, "everything does."

"Wait." Daisy is either too drunk, too slow, or just uninformed. "Etta, as in Henrietta?"

"Yes", Islah says as a heavy mood falls onto the room like a layer of dust.

"You were the wizard who saved the tarasques?"

"I was. Now that I think of it, my Etta was something like your Dora, huh, Matheus?" Islah asks.

In the few seconds Daisy didn't pay attention to Matheus, tears collected in his eyes, stubborn but not dripping. More pain. After a dull beat of silence, he speaks in a hoarse half-whisper.

"But Etta lived."

"She did."

Something passes between Islah and Matheus. Shared grief, pain and understanding. A comradery forged through pain. Daisy doesn't know about Dora, but she's certain she doesn't want to know. Some pain should be left behind to sleep.

Matheus gets up and walks to the window, leaning against its frame like it's his safety net.

Tawny whispers something in Portuguese as she places her hand on Kip's shoulder and shakes her.

"Kip", she whispers, "wake up."

"What's wrong?" Kip asks before she opens her eyes, and when she does, she gets up and stretches. "It's Dora again." It's not a question, but Tawny answers it anyway.

"Only you can comfort him."

Kip bites on her lip, leaning her head forward before straightening her spine and approaching Matheus as if he were a frightened stray dog. She whispers something continuous, monotonous, something that sounds like a murmur of soft river rapids. "Theo, Theo, Theo…" It's a cascade, as well as a prayer.

When she finally stops next to him, she allows her head to drop on his shoulder, and he mirrors her.

"It's not your fault. It's not… your fault."

"Of course it is. I am Permanent Man, I am a destroyer. He's gone so the fault falls on me now."

"Don't say that. Don't say anything."

"I can't—"

Matheus's voice is nothing above a whimper.

Daisy doesn't understand. She's not sure if she wants to. The last thing she remembers is Islah coming up to her, saying,

"That's it for the night."

Then black.

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PostSubject: Re: daisy the dragon saviour    Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:36 pm

She wakes up in an unfamiliar bed somewhere around ten, to the smell of pancakes coming from the kitchen, and, for some good ten minutes, she just remains in the bed, processing. Mostly, Islah's story. When the bricks fall together, she gets dressed into lighter clothes (as light as a Londoner owns) and heads downstairs. Nobody's in the living room, so the kitchen is the next place to check.

Kip's half-lying on the dining table, scribbling into a notebook, and Tawny and Islah are making breakfast.

"Good morning", Islah says, and Kip mumbles something close to a greeting. "I hope you don't mind, we transported you to the bed."

"I've had worse, don't worry", Daisy shakes her head, having flashbacks from all the times she fell asleep on her schoolwork. A million times worse.

They're making pancakes, Daisy realises when Tawny opens a cabinet to place some marmalade jars onto the counter, and, not even seconds after, Islah turns to face Tawny and collides face-first with the cabinet door.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!"

And, as Tawny's apologising and Islah is letting out entire strings of Turkish swears, Kip glances at Daisy, pushing out a chair for her to sit.

"You know, Daisy", she says calmly, in the contrast to the mess in the front part of the kitchen, "if you want to know someone's first language, just punch them in the face."

When the situation settles and Islah is shooed to sit at the table while Tawny finishes the breakfast, Kip closes her notebook and glances at Daisy.

"So, when can we go to your chemist friend?"

"After breakfast", Daisy answers. Before she finishes, though, Kip laughs.

"How strange, that the person cooking is the person that doesn't eat."

"The irony doesn't escape me", Tawny says, flipping a pancake. "For all I know, these could taste like car tyres."

"You just gotta give me their address", Kip seamlessly switches to Daisy. The marmalade jars float up to the table, as well as a trio of spoons, and Daisy can see Islah's fingers moving to assure their safe flight.

"Yeah, of course."

They eat in silence, broken up only by the TV in the living room, and the newsreporter spoke in a dull, monotone voice. Daisy asks Islah about her dragons—she says they slept in the clearing, and now were playing. After Daisy makes a mental reminder to call James and Anna about their gorynych, Kip eats the rest of her fifth pancake and wipes her hands into her jeans.

"Let's dash", she says. "Hm, probably better to go outside first. Don't wanna knock something over."

Daisy obediently follows Kip through the front door, leaving Tawny and Islah behind.

"Work on your persuasive speaking skills. Oh, and don't get freaked out", Kip recommends and cracks her knuckles. It dawns on her—they're going to teleport. She's not sure she's ready for it, but it's not like Kip's asking questions. "Close her eyes." She does. "Three, two… ta-dah."

Daisy opens her eyes and immediately gets a headache. It's London, in all its gorgeous, misty glory. It seems as if her lungs got too attached to the forest air—she finds it hard to breathe through all the fog. And there's Kip, with her hands in the pockets of her jeans, balancing on the heels of her feet.

"That was… That's…. Wow." As soon as Daisy stutters out a praise, Kip bows.

"Gracias, ma'am. Now. Which one's your friend?" she asks, pointing at the many doors of the street they teleported to.

After Daisy and Kip settle on the porch, it's silence until Daisy decides to speak.

"What do I tell him?"

"Just make shit up. I'll jump in if you mess up", Kip says, ringing the doorbell. "But, um, don't. Mess up, I mean."

Daisy makes an undefined, insecure sound, and it's not long after that they hear footsteps. The door opens, and it's Vihaan, plus a pair of glasses. Daisy never knew. Glasses buddies.

"Are all scientists visually impared?" Kip shares Daisy's train of thought.

"Pardon?" Vihaan asks, then notices Daisy. "Oh, hello."

"Hey. Hate to bother you, but are you free right now?"

"Um. Yeah, sure, come on in." He doesn't seem too awake as he's turning his back to the girls and heading up the stairs. Kip pats Daisy's shoulder, whispers something resembling an encourage for dogs, and follows Vihaan. Daisy closes the door behind her and tags along.

When they reach the living room, Vihaan shows them the sofa and brings out two mugs to fill them with tea, no questions asked. When Kip notices and opens her mouth to say an undoubtably mocking comment, Daisy's heel flies up to kick Kip's shoe. Vihaan doesn't notice.

"So", he starts, stil visibly misty. Daisy doesn't know the time difference between Rio and London, but it looks like it's early morning. Oops. She can always blame it on Kip. "I don't believe we've met. I'm Vihaan."

"Kip", she says, with a slight nod of her head. They're both clutching their steaming mugs so no one attempts to shake hands. Then silence. Daisy has no clue what to say.

"What's up with you?" Vihaan says, in that aggressively British way of treating guests properly. "You still didn't tell me anything about the egg I gave to you."

"So it was your egg?" Kip asks, and it's so abrupt and harsh Vihaan stops mid-sip.

"Er, no? Why? Is it something illegal?"

"That's not the most important thing in this moment. Kip, for Christ's sake." Kip glares for a Daisy a few seconds—there's no fire behind it—and then she sips her tea. There's something, however, in the nonchalany way she does that which makes Daisy think that it's Very Not Nonchalant. Everything Kip does looks so unplanned it almost appears planned. How does Tawny survive the headache Kip brings into the room?

"And, if I may ask, what is?"

"We've got a couple of people with chemical burns, and we don't know enough about them to heal them properly", Daisy says, carefully picking her words. Sirens are people, right? So technically she isn't lying to him.

"Shit, man, how are they?"

"I don't know, I haven't seen them."

"They're friends of my friend", Kip butts in, leaving an empty mug on the table. The tea is/was steaming hot, and Kip drank it as if it was a lukewarm shot of something strong.

"And who are you?" Vihaan isn't buying it. If it was only Daisy, perhaps he'd believe her. But Kip was strange enough to make him suspicious.

"I'm Kip."

"Yeah, sure."

"It's really irrelevant, guys", Daisy stops them, because she has a feeling that they might start fighting and if they want Vihaan to help them, him losing an argument won't further the cause. "What matters is that we help people who are hurt. Right?"

"Alright."

"I took the egg off you, the least you can do is repay me."

That hits a nerve, it seems, in Vihaan, and he immediately straightens his spine up.

"Okay. Where are we going?"

"Brazil", Kip chirps, with her grin reaching monstrous proportions.

"What?"

"Listen", Daisy jumps in, before Vihaan completely freaks out. "There's gonna be some weird stuff today. It'd be easiest if you just… accept it? And then it's all gonna be over and you won't have to think about it ever again."

If it was Reggie on the other side, he would turn on his heel and storm out of the room like a bat out of hell. Fortunately for the duo, Vihaan is a little more adaptable.

"It's nothing illegal, right?" he asks, with a look of a martyr on his face.

"Oh my gods", Kip throws her head back in exasperation. "I do not have the patience I'm supposed to have for my age. Tawny will do a better job explaining. Humans, close your eyes."

"What?!"

"Vihaan, please", Daisy says, getting up and putting her hand on Vihaan's shoulder.

"I will never owe you anything in my life ever again."

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PostSubject: Re: daisy the dragon saviour    Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:37 pm

Once their eyes are closed, Kip teleports them back to the clearing.

"WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!" Vihaan shouts out once his eyes are open again. This, Daisy thinks is not the most terrifying surrouding. There isn't a single dragon in sight, and Islah and Matheus sit around the unlit wood where once a fire had been, talking to each other about the forest. They stop abruptly when they notice Kip and the humans.

"Vihaan—" Daisy doesn't even start a sentence before he yells over her.

"You better have an amazing explanation otherwise I'm throwing myself off the London fucking Bridge."

"That might turn out to be difficult, since it's across the pond", Kip has a smirk on her face as she joins the bonfire gathering. Not even a couple of seconds after, Tawny is sprinting out of the house at inhuman speed to Daisy and Vihaan.

"I can't believe it. Did she just drag you here without a conversation about it? We don't do that, Kip!" Tawny scolds Kip as she comes to face the humans.

"It would've taken too long!" Kip says, without a single regret.

"Have mercy", Tawny says looking up, then nods to the house. "I promise I'll answer all your questions as soon as we get inside, the sun is killing me."

Vihaan gives Daisy an I'll-kill-you-later look and follows Tawny into the house without a word. There's some of her in him, she notices. She trusted Tawny before she even began trusting Kip. Maybe it's a natural reaction and Kip is just not someone you trust instantly. Maybe it's Kip's plan. There are too many layers of Kip for Daisy to comprehend her, and she wonders about the things she must have lived through.

She doesn't wonder for too long, since there are things to be done and sirens to be healed.

But it's for the best to let Tawny calm Vihaan down before attempting anything. Yeah, she'll leave them and go play with Napoleon. Sounds like a plan to Daisy.

So, when Vihaan exits the house fifteen minutes later and carefully sits next to Kip, Islah and Matheus, that's Daisy's cue that the coast is clear, so she lets go of Napoleon, giving him the freedom to fly away.

"As much as we all claim to be able to control magic", Daisy hears Islah as she approaches, "I think Tawny is the most magical out of all of us."

"It's psychology", Tawny smiles as Kip envelops her shoulders in a consuming, one-armed hug, kisses her temple and whispers a Portuguese word or two into her ear.

"Um, so…" Vihaan starts, but the sentence lingers in the air, unfinished. He shakes his head and starts again. "Are you guys all witches?"

"Matheus can't be a witch, first of all", Kip replies, "he can be a wizard, but he's not."

"What?"

"I'm a dryad." It seems that Matheus resetted completely. He's back to the person Daisy met a couple of days back in the car, and Daisy's glad. Maybe it was just an outburst, or it could be normal. But then again, they don't know each other well enough for Daisy to even begin comprehending what's normal for them.

"Like the Greek myths?" Vihaan asks.

"Something of the sort", Matheus shrugs. "Most of it's made up anyway."

"Of course it is. Real nymphs told the humans all these crazy stories about fake nymphs and it all spiralled into what you now know as young adult urban fiction." It's Kip, butting into the conversation again.

"You know, sometimes it's nice to be quiet", comes Tawny's reply, 'surprised', but not really.

"Quiet is all sorts of boring."

"Daisy, what are you?" Vihaan's asking, and there's something like hope in his voice. 'Please don't be something weird'.

"I am hungry", she answers in the simplest way dhe can. "And also human."

"Okay, that's all I need to know. I don't want to hear anything related to magic from here on out. I do not care." He looks around the circle, making sure it's understood. "Now, for your friends with chemical burns?"

Islah gets up to show him where the sirens are and Daisy tags along. Maybe she and Vihaan will be each other's sanity when they see fish people.

Daisy comes to the realisation that planning ahead is not an option. How can she know what will happen in a week when just a week ago she was a college student with two friends and an unhealthy obsession with reptiles. Everything can change in a week, and, given the opportunity, it will, and who's Daisy to change the natural progress of things?

College? Jobs? It seems like a memory so distant she's having troubles fathoming it. She could stay with Islah and learn about dragons all her life. She could fly back to Moscow and learn about werewolves. She could do everything.

But right now, she'll settle with finding stories. Exploring the world around her like an adventurer exploring a new continent.

Everything feels so new.

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