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Dominic tossed the wrench he was using on the workbench above him as he rolled backwards on the creeper and out from under the car. The garage was void of workers except for him which was never unusual this time of the day. Mostly everyone would be gone around 5 or 6pm, but he tended to hang around a little longer because this place was more than just a job, it was a hobby, and he enjoyed being able to work in the quiet.
As the classic rock song crackled from interference, his eyes looked to the ancient radio which was almost as old as him. A message was coming through from the dj that was breaking up just as badly as the music was, but from the few words that did come in clear, he was urging people to not leave from wherever they were and to stay off the road. His hues slowly moved upward as the wind howled over the rooftop. For once it seemed the meteorologists might be right; It looked like a storm was coming.
Groaning, the therian sighed and stood up, reaching for his jacket which lay on the hood of the vehicle he'd been fixing. It was barely springtime and it was rather surprising a storm of this magnitude was being predicted, but it also was no secret that Colorado would be hit by all kinds of bad weather throughout the spring and summer seasons. Today was unusually warm and it appeared all the conditions were perfect for the predicted storm.
He had taken no chances either. Dominic had made sure his home was properly boarded the night before just in case and had told Sio to take the pets and stay with Clarissa inside the city and away from the river where they lived. Being in the woods during bad weather wasn't exactly the safest place to be, especially since his cabin was so close to the river which would undoubtedly rise from the flash flooding.
Pulling open the metal door leading outside, a drop of rain landed on his cheek. He glanced up to the darkening sky which had a sickly green color to it and he immediately knew that whatever weather event the citizens of Evermore were about to see would not be easy on them. Hopefully now that rush hour was almost over, he'd be able to make it into the city fairly easily. Climbing into his truck after locking up the shop, he reversed onto the road which was becoming sprinkled with the oncoming rain and put his foot down a little harder on the gas. Dom lightly bit his lower lip in thought. There was one thing that brought up a bit of concern that could make getting into the city mostly impossible. He'd need to get over the bridge before it was deemed impassable by the bridge operator who could shut down drivers from crossing into downtown. Dominic would no doubt be stuck on the wrong side of the city and not many options to find somewhere safe. With a bit more pressure on the pedal, he drove faster towards the bridge.
She’ll have to worry about the break room later, when she has more time to focus on what she’s doing. If she can sit down and focus maybe she’ll be able to manage something about that but that will come after they get what they need. A gas station is bound to keep supplies that they could use. While Dom’s gone to gather whatever it is he wants, she heads to the stock room just to see what they might have. He probably notices her displeased frown as she jiggles the locked doorknob. She’s never exactly picked a lock before but surely they must keep spare keys somewhere… She joins him behind the counter and bends down, looking at the shelves behind the counter to see if she can find any keys anywhere, glancing up when she hears him speak.
“Too late, I’m already worried.” He can hear her shuffling things around, moving until she finally finds the shiny silver key and she starts wading back through the water after pulling it from behind some magazines. He does pull a soft laugh from her with his comment and she looks over her shoulder at him to smile. “I didn’t say anything, I think you’re projecting.” It does seem to have reassured her that he’s okay a little though. The key slides easily into the lock and she finally opens the door, leaving the key right in the handle as she goes into the room, her wings still illuminating the space. Toilet paper, cleaning supplies, extra stock for the store, a mop which prompts a tired giggle from her as she pictures someone trying to mop up this mess with the tiny thing, and there in the corner what she was looking for. She comes out of the supply room carrying a box full of large towels, placing them down on the counter beside Dominic and taking one out to start to dry her hair off with. “Believe it or not,” she begins, glancing up at him through her wet bangs, “I don’t actually like staying in it either. But we can’t both fit on that counter all night…” Which brings her back to her plan to attempt to use her powers to clear out some of the water. She needs to regain a bit of her strength first though so she does as he asks and hops up on the counter beside him, letting her wings mold back into her back as though they had never been there.
While he’s leaned over to break into the case she takes a piece of the beef jerky from the bag, slowly chewing on it and raising an eyebrow at how easily he pops the lock off. She leans away from the smoke a bit as he exhales, wrinkling her nose at the smell that invades her senses. “Nope, don’t smoke and too young to drink. I’m boring.” She gently takes the bottle of aspirin from him when he offers it back, taking a couple from it and quickly swallowing them before she answers him, hoping it’ll make the ache in her shoulder go away. “Actually I know a few of us who smoke, but I’d hardly say I’m an expert on the matter. ‘You know that mess will kill you right?’” She’s obviously imitating someone with the way she drops her voice and makes a goofy expression. “That’s what I’m always told, you know right after someone’s lit one.” She’s moved the towel to rest in her lap now, leaning her elbows on it as she looks toward the shattered glass door. “I messed my shoulder up a little when I fell but I’m alright. Seriously though, you’ve done all the hard stuff, I hardly deserve that sort of praise. If you’d been with any other niveis you wouldn’t have to worry about this storm at all, they’d just… make it go away. At least enough not to have to worry about all of this.” The smile she turns on him now is self deprecating to say the least. “You got unlucky, stuck with the weakest of us.” Also the newest but to her that doesn’t matter very much. That doesn’t mean she can’t at least try to use her powers to help though, no matter how slow going it might be. She focuses her gaze on the water at the base of the door to the break room, silently willing it to move backwards and clear out. The markings around her wrist start to glow faintly as the water sluggishly responds to her, flowing backwards. It’s almost unnoticeable at first but before too long there’s a visible swell that’s moving back into the main part of the room. She can already feel the headache coming on but she’s honestly a little proud of herself. Her training with Mikaere is slowly paying off, even if her ability with ice isn’t up to par yet. “I can try to freeze the water at the door… but I make no promises.”
Dominic gave her a single nod of understanding with a grin as she confirmed his suspicions about not smoking while grabbing one of the towels she'd found. He haphazardly dried his arms off quickly before shaking his hair out again. Even if getting warm was going to be a bit of a struggle in their current situation, he was glad for the small relief the towel had provided. Dom draped it over his shoulders and ashed the sweet smelling cigar out towards where the floor would normally be, watching as the wisps evaporated in the surrounding dark water that had filled the station. A small shake of his head came as the thought of being in this strange circumstance went through his mind. Never in his life could he have predicted this scenario. He set one of the cold beers down on the counter between them and looked to her with a slight smirk. "I won't tell anyone if you won't. You deserve a little rebellion."
Listening to Autumn speak, he could tell she was still being hard on herself. He wondered what it was in her life that caused her to be so critical. "Listen, kid, give yourself a break." Dominic pulled out another piece of the beef jerky and snapped a bit off with his teeth. He pointed it towards her as he spoke as if it was a way to strengthen and solidify his point. "You may be the weakest, but you're just new to this whole niveis game. You'll get better using your abilities with time like everyone else that's just starting to stretch their legs. Have to crawl before you walk before you run." Dom thought back to when he first turned into his brown lycan form and how getting used to that was both natural and confusing, especially when it came to his enhanced senses. "I can tell you that with my temper, it wasn't fun losing control and inadvertently ripping my clothes to shreds because I couldn't help wolfing out by accident. Awkward encounters when that happened to say the least."
Dom's eyes moved to follow her gaze and he watched as the water began to slowly bend to her will. His hues moved to the niveis markings that intricately wrapped her small wrist as they began to emit the blue glow he was becoming familiar with at this point before looking back to the storm water. At first it was barely noticeable, but soon he could make out the tiles of the floor underneath as the wave pulled backwards from the door. "Not bad," he commented with a smirk and tossed the last piece of his jerky into his mouth. He leaned back against the register again, pulling a knee up and letting the other leg dangle off the side of the counter as though he owned the joint. "Don't exert yourself. The water is just going to keep seeping in anyway." He looked towards the large glass windows and watched as the water moved about the street in the continuous river. Dom spoke then with a teasing tone. "Unless you can craft an ice boat and we can paddle our way out of this nightmare."
Her new companion looks a bit too pleased with his correct assumption if you ask her, but she hates the way those things smell enough not to want to even test her luck. She’d rather not be sick on top of everything else and something about those things always makes her feel a bit nauseous, they’re cloyingly sweet, much like poison. Though she supposes they are in a way. She blinks a little at the still-cold beer he sets on the counter between them, looking at him with a raised brow only to laugh at his bad influence. “I think you’re trying to get me in trouble. Should cops be encouraging teenage rebellion?” Yet despite her words she picks the beer up and looks at it, almost suspiciously, before popping open the tab and taking a swallow. The face she makes immediately after is picture worthy, her eyes and nose screwing up as the strange flavor hits her. “Ugh that’s bitter…” To her credit she doesn’t start coughing like some would. “Do people actually drink this for fun?” The disbelieving look she turns him is nearly as funny as her earlier one.
She finds his presence during all of this strangely comforting despite them being strangers, he really reminds her of members of the crew she spent several years with. Perhaps it’s odd that she compares them but to her they seem quite similar, though she doubts he spent several years in the arctic ocean. Only stupid people do that. She eyes the bitten off piece of jerky that he’s pointing at her and though she wants to retort she finds that she really has nothing to retort with. He’s right. Since arriving here she’s been told many times that she’s too hard on herself but old habits die hard and that’s a lifetime of learned behavior to try and unlearn. His admission does cause her to chuckle and she steels herself to take another swallow of the bitter drink, mostly because she’s actually thirsty and doesn’t feel like wading through the water again for something different. “I can’t even imagine how awkward. It’s hard to unlearn old habits though, isn’t it?” Figuring out how to get a temper under control sounds hard, though she imagines it causing you to turn into a giant wolf and ruin your clothes would help you get a handle on it faster. “Being honest? Mikaere thinks my biggest struggle is that I’m scared of my powers. That I can’t separate them from my old phoenix abilities… no one’s been able to give me a solution to that one yet.”
She knows that’s why she finds something that should come so naturally to her difficult. It’s why the water responds to her sluggishly instead of fluidly to her whim and direction. It’s why holding the water back is giving her a headache as she forces it instead of compelling it. She hears Dom talking to her but her focus is on what she’s doing so she concentrates instead of answering quite yet. Once she’s sure she has the water pulled back enough from the door her attention shifts into freezing it. She shifts her eyes toward him to answer him. “Have to practice somehow don’t I? Don’t worry, the worst that happens is I lose control of it and the room gets flooded again.” Which would suck, she really is hoping for somewhere dry to sleep for both their sakes. Ice is beginning to creep up the wall of water she’s made, white patterns of frost beginning to overtake it. It’s quite slow going though so she doesn’t imagine she’ll be able to actually make much headway. His joke manages to completely break her focus and she barks out a laugh as she loses her grip on the wall, allowing the water to flow back into place. “If I figure out how to do that you will be the first to know. I’ll leave finding the paddles up to you though.” Well, the progress she made is gone now but hey, at least she accomplished what she did. She’s too tired to start from the beginning again so instead she leans back and closes her eyes, willing the headache she just gave herself to go away.
Dominic watched as the water continued moving to her will, but he could see the forced concentration it seemed to be taking. The wall of ice continued to climb and he watched impressed as the frost crept along, etching intricate patterns as it went. It was quite interesting and impressive to witness despite how unskilled she clearly felt. Dom was of course no expert on the matter when it came to helping a niveis harness their abilities, but he'd been known to help more than a few different supernaturals on and off the Guard. He wondered when they might bring into their ranks the first of their kind.
Her sudden outburst of laughter from his remark about a possible escape out of their predicament made him chuckle in response though he instantly felt bad as the water Autumn managed to pull away from the floor instantly filled the space again. "Ah, shit, I'm sorry," he apologized, nudging his knee into hers. "I'll buy you another beer for the trouble." Dom was of course joking, but then a sudden and rather crazy idea came to mind. He glanced at the can she had been sipping from and then to the dark water that surrounded them still, finally deciding that it was worth the mentioning because it wasn't like they were going anywhere fast.
"Okay, hear me out." Pulling a long drag from the skinny cigar, the therian tipped the ash down and glanced to her with a grin. "You're having issues with your powers because a mentor of yours thinks you're scared? You seem unsure of that and perhaps it's true, but your brain is not really accepting that either since you're wavering on the idea." He reached down for the can she'd been drinking from then and lifted it to her. "I say you lower your inhibitions a little so you aren't overthinking it so much. Perhaps a little buzz will do you some good. You don't have to get drunk or completely wasted, but it might help you relax a bit and let the natural course of your powers flow through you better without the walls you subconsciously put up from the possible fear of what may happen."
Dominic gestured towards the space they currently occupied. "This is now your training playground." He picked up his own beer and touched hers with it in a toast. "Beer isn't the most ideal of choices, but sadly Colorado gas stations don't sell the good stuff. This shit is an acquired taste and still isn't necessarily my go-to if there are other options available." A grin formed then as he pulled from the cigar again. "Seriously, what have you got to lose? Sometimes you have to think out of the box and go the unconventional routes instead of the straight path to an answer and solution out of the rule book." He tipped back more of the cold drink in his mouth and then chuckled with an added note. "Just maybe don't mention it to your mentor."
The headache she’s currently experiencing makes it hard for her to feel too bad about the water rushing to refill the space. She turns her head to Dominic when he apologizes, flashing him a brief smile to show that she’s fine and he really doesn’t need to worry about it. Actually, she appreciates him trying to make her feel better with the jokes. A chuckle blows past her lips as he jokes again and she half rolls her eyes. “Make it a coke instead and you have a deal.” She quietly pulls her knees up to her chest as he falls into silence, staring at the dark waters around them and only barely pulling a face as she takes another sip of the beer.
She almost jumps when he starts talking again, having apparently entirely spaced out in the couple minutes of quiet, but she quickly turns her head to him with interest. ‘Hear me out’ is usually followed by a rather ridiculous idea and for a moment she thinks he’s about to joke with her again. She stays quiet as he starts talking about her powers and, since he’s obviously older than her and seems to know what he’s saying, she seems content to listen to the idea. It’s… not a ridiculous one actually. Though it’s certainly something she could see Mikaere having a problem with. He can see as her expression turns thoughtful and she slowly takes the can from him, glancing between him and it. “It’s not a bad idea.” She just wishes this crap tasted better. To be fair, she does think Mik is right. She spent her entire life suppressing her powers, trying to get rid of them even, so it’s no surprise she’s struggling now. “Alright, I’ll give it a shot. Just… if I start to lose control and ice starts flying everywhere, stop me.” The look she turns him for a moment is completely serious. Ice and water isn’t as uncontrollable as flame but right now there’s an overabundance of it and she has no idea what drunk brain will cause to happen, if she manages to cause him to get hurt twice in one night she’ll never get over it. With a slightly withering look towards the can in her hand she decides to get this over with and tips the beer all the way back, downing it in one go so she doesn’t have to keep dealing with the taste of the crap. She can’t help but give another shudder as she puts the now empty can down. “Ugh, I don’t know how you drink that with a straight face.”
Still feeling fine, if rather disgusted, she grabs another one out of the box alongside a piece of the jerky. “It’s good to know that the other stuff tastes better. If all of it tasted like this I’d probably think you were insane to drink.” It’s a joke… mostly. Thankfully a few sips into the second one and she can feel heat rising to her face, prompting her to put the can down. She really has no intention of overdoing it, especially not in the middle of a storm like this. Though… there is the added side effect of her brain apparently no longer caring about the thunder. That’s nice, she doesn’t want to curl up in a corner with earplugs in. “How many messes like this have you gotten yourself into?” She turns her eyes to him again, watching as the smoke wreathes around his head as he puffs more on the cigar. “My grandfather was determined to keep me where I couldn’t hurt anyone. Or be hunted. Other than the shipwreck this is probably the biggest mess I’ve been in. He was an earth master so, out at sea, there was no one around to help us.” She’s rambling a bit but doesn’t appear to be too out of it.
“Part of me wishes it hadn’t taken me dying to get these powers. Did you know that extreme cold smothers phoenix fire? I couldn’t produce a flame out there when I tried. It’s the happiest I think I ever saw him.” Happiest she’d been too. Would he have been so terrified of these new powers of hers? Hard to say for sure. She puts her feet back into the cold water, lightly kicking them and watching it move. “Apparently the strongest of our tribe can change the weather. Just for a little bit but how cool is that?” Why exactly is she telling him this? She has no idea, she just feels like talking and he’d seemed interested in her powers earlier. It’s not fair that she can’t use her powers like the others either. Logically she gets it, part of her is still fighting their expression, but people don’t hate niveis like they do phoenix, right? Not that it isn’t still dumb, phoenix can’t help their fire powers and it’s not like ice is that much less dangerous. Almost as though she’s proving a point to herself she focuses on the water at the door and, with a soft huff that speaks to her internal irritation, freezes the entire way around it, the crackling noise immediately overtaking the sound of water coming in as the rushing water stops instantly.
Dominic watches as the wheels begin to turn in her head. It seems she might be considering the crazy idea he's proposed, though he's still not so sure it would be as outlandish as it might seem. Sometimes lowering one's inhibitions makes for progress when the fears dissipate that have been holding you back for so long. "No, no, no. None of that shit," he quickly interrupted with a shake of his head as Autumn warned him to step in if she should lose it. "Don't begin with the uncertainty of you losing control. That's already starting you off with doubt." He nods towards the beer for her to continue and watches as she tips it back and finishes it all in one go. "Look at you," he says with a sly smirk, scoffing at her next comment of his ability to drink the beer without a hint of despair. "Years of practice, darlin'. I'll introduce you to the better stuff when we get out of this little impromptu vacation."
As Autumn picks up the next can he chuckles slightly, taking a last pull and putting the flavored Black out on the glass counter before turning back to her. Her inquiry about ever being in predicaments like this before causes a grin to pull at the corner of his mouth. "Like this? Well, life and death, far too many, but this new added element of weather being the cause of all the drama is certainly a new one." His hazel hues moved out through the large panel glass windows and to the storm water that continued its merry way along the once visible road which seemed like a black river in the night. "Of course, I also have a niveis beside me and that's something I'm not used to having either. A lot of the company I keep during times like these are trying to kill me. I'd say this is a big step up from the usual."
Dominic listened as she slightly rambled which he knew would be from the beer. Hopefully the long chug of the cheap drink wouldn't make her feel sick in the long run since beef jerky and their previous junk food snacks weren't the best thing to have settled in the stomach under a coating of beer. Regardless, he felt bad for her after hearing what her grandfather thought about her powers in her previous phoenix life. The shame Autumn must've held onto and was still holding onto to this day wasn't fair. She never asked for any of this.
As her words suddenly fade, Dom follows her gaze towards the gas station's door. He can see the concentration and focus, but it wasn't as before where the hesitation was hiding behind her eyes. The familiar glow of her markings began and despite the darkened space they were in, he could see the water across the room had solidified. "Nice going, kid." Raising another beer in a toast to her success, he sipped the bitter drink and shivered from the taste. "God, this is shit." He chuckled, looking back to her new accomplishment and seeing the ice crystals start snaking their way on the glass. "How are you feeling? I'm not so sure we won't be getting that boat out of you soon enough."