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The Secrets of Esper
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June 2007
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Who: Beatrix and Saix
When: December 2
Where: The forests outside of Ultima
What: A chance encounter with a very cranky native
Warning: Mild swearing, disappearance of posts
Status: Completed

Beatrix had gone to Ultima because she'd had a business meeting there earlier that day. After the meeting, she'd been told of a ruin not far from the west gate of the city. Since it was still early afternoon, she decided to suit up and go check it out. Simple enough right?

He spent most of his days hunting and cooking--this day was no exception. Long, golden limbs ripped with lean muscle hoisted the wild man up into the trees, so he could reach ripe, plump fruits just ready for the plucking. His toes gripped the branches and kept him faithfully anchored to his spot,
while he dusted off the thick pomegranate, checked it once for bugs, then sank his fangs into the juicy skin.

She'd been trudging through the jungle for almost an hour now, unable to find the ruin her contact had said was here. She was beginning to think he'd lied to her.
She paused a moment under a tree to glare at her map again and to take a short break to recharge so to speak.

He heard her before he saw her, and remained motionless out of instinct. From where he was camouflaged behind the greenery, golden eyes peered down at the combination of auburn hair and an eye patch. Just a female. Saix continued to feast quietly on the fruit, idly dangling himself from the limb so he could read over her shoulder, not readily recognizing the map.

She frowned a moment at the map before cussing in the little Wutanese she knew and tossing the map aside. When she got back to Ultima, she was going to strangle her contact.
She took a deep breath after a few seconds and rose to retrieve the map and fold it up. Least she could do while here was enjoy the pretty area while she ate her lunch.

He drew back, brow furrowing at the sudden movement. What in the world was wrong with this female?! The hunter dropped to the ground with a barely audible 'thump', landing in a crouched position, knees spread every which way. He still clutched the pomegranate in one hand, sucking out a few of the seeds to noisily crunch on them. Curiously, he followed Beatrix to see this map she was holding.

Beatrix stopped short when she felt someone behind her. Was that fruit? She turned slightly and let out a startled sound at seeing said person painfully close... and rather naked at that.
She stepped back a couple of paces and stared a moment, trying hard to keep her gaze at chest level or higher.

She really was a strange woman. Saix regarded her with boredom, it seemed, rather comfortable being so much taller and broader than she. His powerful fingers continued pulling apart the skin of his fragrant fruit, slurping up more of the sweet insides. Strangely enough, he didn't look the girl in the face, his golden eyes locked to the ground. "The village is in the other direction."

"I am...not looking for the village I am looking for a Ruin..." She said quietly, turning around to give the man privacy. She kicked herself for thinking anything untoward about the man, but honestly, he... was rather...well taken care of physically.

"The Organization XIII has staked claim to the ruins in this area," he replied slowly, as if the words were unfamiliar to him, or if he was unsure of what he was saying. "You look like ShinRa. Are you ShinRa? If you are, you can't be here."

"I have no affiliation." She said evenly. It was true enough. She was freelance after all. "I am here for me, no one else." She went and sat back down by her things and pulled out her lunch. Just some bread and such, nothing fancy.

What was that thing she was eating? Saix wrinkled his nose at the scent, then retreated back to his tree, fetching a second pomegranate as he went up. He took a new place towards the front-facing part of the plant, stretching out on his stomach and hooking a leg beneath the branch to keep his body upright. The first fruit fell to the moist earth, and then he started on the second, watching Beatrix curiously.

"You certainly are a strange man... Running about the jungle without a stitch on..." She murmured softly as she made herself a sandwich.

"What's a stitch? And I wasn't running." Foolish little female. An itching sensation started behind one pointed ear, and he reached back to relieve it with a few clawed fingers.

"You know...clothes?" She said tugging at the front of her top gently as she looked up at him with her good eye. Her face itched under the eye patch but she ignored it.

Had he been brave enough, he would have stared, but that gaze remained downcast, residing somewhere next to her sandwich. "I don't know what a 'clothes' is," he finally commented, plucking a few tiny sticks out of his tangled mess of blue hair.

"What I am wearing is clothes." She said softly, wondering about him now. Was he a native? Surely, he had to be, with such exotic eyes and hair.
"You been out here long?" She asked softly, watching him in near silence.

"Since before dawn." Of course, she hadn't specified what she meant about 'out here', so he just assumed she was referring to his foraging. Saix finally dropped the skin of his pomegranate, then rolled on his back, his palate now craving something else. "I have a 'clothes', then. Xemnas makes me wear it sometimes, to cover my 'areas'."

She could no longer ignore the itching as it had turned into a burning sensation and she yanked the eye patch off and hissed in pain as she flicked a large ant off her face near her eye. It had weaseled its way under the eye patch, gotten stuck and stung and bit her in an effort to get loose.
There was a scar that went from just under her eyebrow to the top of her cheekbone that ran vertically over her eye. The eye itself was that strange white-blue that blind eyes were.

He didn't even bat an eyelash at the sight of her eye, daring one glance before looking back down to the ground. "You are seated near his home," he informed her as-a-matter-of-factly, "And his family smells your prey. You should climb up in a tree, too, because they cannot reach you there."
She winced a bit as she reached for the pack she carried and some ointment to rub into the sore spot. "Not all of us are as gifted with tree climbing as you are..."Do you have a name?" She asked softly, watching him again.

"You should find some place to elevate yourself, then. The soldiers of the inner ground will give you more painful bites if you remain near their home." That, of course, was why he didn't sit on the ground. Not only would the ants swarm him for a chance at whatever fruit or meat he was carrying, there were larger beasts who would adore ambushing him. "The people of the villages call me 'Saix'."

She rose form her seat and took her pack and moved away from the tree, taking his advice as she spied a rock outcropping and climbed up onto it, but only after inspecting herself a bit to be sure she didn’t have any hangers' on.

The moment she moved, thousands of little red ants scuttled to pick up any crumbs she'd left behind, very much like the "soldiers" that Saix referred to them as. "What did your village name you?"

She shuddered at the sight of the ants. She'd not really encountered them near Meteor... "I am Beatrix..." She said quietly making sure she repacked the rest of her food with care so as to not attract them.

He watched in interest as his pomegranate was dissected and carried away, tongue clicking in the roof of his mouth as they carried it back to the mound hidden by the underbrush. "Beatrix. You're a city-dweller. You shouldn't be out here."

"There isn't any rule that says I can't be out here." She said quietly watching him again. She could not, for the life of her stop looking at him. He was wild and an unknown and that fascinated her to no end.

"If there was a rule, would you actually follow it?" He scratched lazily at his tanned chest, his other arm dangling off of the branch.

"No." She said quietly, smiling for the first time. She stared at the rock she was sitting on only to jump up and start to kick aside the vines that had started to grow over it. She was sitting ON the damned thing!

"You must settle down, or you'll attract one of the man-hunting beasts. I don't have my spear with me right now, so I'll have to leave you behind." He narrowed his eyes, wagging a finger in her direction.

"Oh my god.... It was here the whole time!" She said softly, but excitedly. "I am not without my own defenses... I am not stupid you know... I did not come out here without weaponry..."

"Then you can fight the bandersnatches by yourself. Their meat is stringy, though." He shifted, rolling back on his stomach, then tucked his feet underneath himself, squatting as he peered at the female.

She did however quiet down and within a short span of time she uncovered the ruin she was looking for. A soft chuckle left her as she ran sensitive fingers over the writing on the fallen monolith.

He stared down at the thing she'd found, then immediately lowered himself to the ground, balling up his fists. "That is not yours."

"I cannot take it with me no.... Not that I would in the first place." She said gently. She crouched over it, eyes wide as she watched Saix move, her fingers still sliding over the words slowly, almost intimately.

"Then you can't tell anyone where it is, either. There doesn't need to be any more city-dwellers in this sacred place... You can agree to silence, or the soldiers of the inner ground can carry you to their home in pieces."

"I never tell people where I find them. Their coordinates are always kept confidential." She wasn't stupid; she knew how to keep things quiet.

"Then why are you here? I know that the city companies don't give money unless they know where these ruins are..." He looked very confused, crossing powerful arms deftly over his chest.

"I do it for the adventure.... The discovery..." She whispered softly, watching him intently. He was distractingly nude....

"Humph... there are better things you could be doing." He crossed to her, trying to shoo her away from the ruin.

"Like? Sitting around pretending I love the false flattery of the oh-so fake people that make that city totally unbearable?" She said quietly, sliding further down the monolith as he came closer.

"You should be finding food, a mate, and having pups," he snapped, leaping easily up on the opposite end of the monolith, and then hunkering down to crawl gracefully on all fours.

"And be tied down to a typical female existence? No thank you..." She hissed crawling backwards from him slowly. "I do this so they are not forgotten..." she said softly after a few seconds of silence. Watching him crawl that way was slowly shorting out her brain...

"That is what females are supposed to do..." he muttered, clicking his teeth as he settled on his calves, nails plucking up leaves from the vines. He seemed very interested in the markings below them, even though he couldn't read, and the scar in the middle of his forehead was distorted as he scowled.

Beatrix scowled right back at him. "I do this because I can...." She whispered softly, uncovering more of the monolith. She wanted to get rubbings of these writings.... However, she could not if there was a naked man crouched over them.

He refused to budge, rather pleased with where he was seated. Once this girl left, there would be more humans coming into his territory, so he would be sure to cover this spot back up when she was gone. "Hn... leave it alone."

She pulled out some paper and some charcoal as she began to rub the charcoal over the paper. "No one knows of my forays save for a few trusted souls, and even they don’t know the coordinates. They do enough damage with those damned railroads." she stated quietly but her tone implied that she disapproved of the more 'civilized' people's way of doing things.

He watched all of this with mild interest, then set about the task of shoving at her paper, to discourage her from continuing. "I don't care about the railroads... I just don't want anymore people here."

"And I keep telling you no one else will come!" She glared at him as she grabbed for a wrist of his. "I am well and truly alone in this." She whispered, unable to keep the interest out of her eyes at the contrast of skin tones, hers being kind of pale against that lovely golden tone.

The hunter let out a low hiss and clawed her arm as hard as he could, enough to rip flesh and draw blood. "Don't touch me!" He growled low in the back of his throat, retreating from her as though she'd burned him.

A screech of pain left her as she withdrew as far from him as she could without falling off the monolith he had torn her good, through her shirt and everything. She clutched the half-done rubbing to her chest as she curled in on herself, bloody arm cradled protectively against her chest as well. God bless it, it hurt...

Golden eyes flashed threateningly as he hovered protectively over the writings, his ears rigid, every muscle tensed as though he was preparing to strike. "Never put your hands on me, do you understand? I am not some pet."

"I never said you were!" She shouted, unable to keep the tears of pain form her eyes. Fuck it hurt. She risked looking at her arm and let out a soft whimper as she saw just how deep his claws had gone. He sure as hell wasn't going to help her back to the city after attacking her for no damned reason.

Still lowly growling, he lifted his fingers to his mouth and lapped away the blood that remained underneath the nails. He didn't much enjoy the taste, per se, but he didn't much enjoy having dirty hands either. Those ears were still rigid in irritation, and he bared his teeth at her once all the red had been laved away. "Do you city-dwellers allow people to touch you?! No!"

(At about this time, Beatrix!Mun’s Trillian crashed, and deleted some of the posts. To sum up…
Saix: *Anger!* D<
Beatrix: *Irritation!*
Saix: *Yelling!*
Beatrix: *Rebuff!*
Saix: *Spies shiny, goes to take Beatrix’s tools.*
Beatrix: !!
Saix: *Offended by Beatrix’s attempts to look into his eyes.*
Beatrix: Biology!
... and so we continue.)

"You act as though being alone is some misfortune... Wolves live alone, don't they? Do you speak to them of 'biology'?" He didn't even want the tools anymore... His heart was hammering in his chest at the prospect of actually killing someone, and he wanted nothing more than to go hide in his 'den'--basically, a little shack near a stream.

"They live in packs. They are social animals." She said quietly, pointing this fact out gently. All she had wanted to do was point out that he had no reason to be afraid to look her in the face.

“I have survived many harvests on my own. The beasts of the forest don't approach me, and my wolf-mother's blood gives me the gift of the hunt." He was terrified to chance it, and would much rather spend the rest of his life alone than ever harm a human. "I'm fine.."

"Liar..." She said softly, staring up at him from her hunched position. "Are you more scared that I would be right or too frightened that someone might actually chance that to know you better?"

"Neither. I don't want a human death on my hands." He turned his head away, his back to her now, and crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm not going to do what you want."

"You don’t have to but you are too narrow minded to know that a yellow gaze like yours won’t cause me to die or petrify or turn onto a wrinkly old hag or whatever it is they fed you to keep you docile."

"How can you be certain?" He was thoroughly bristled by then, his ears rigid and brow furrowed in a scowl. "You don't know the ways of the gods and guardians."

"And neither do you! So how do YOU know for certain?" She said, staring at him, daring him to break from his forced isolation.

"I know them better than some FEMALE who doesn't understand her place!" He finally did take a swipe at her, backing away as quickly as he could.

She jerked back but he sliced her shirt wide open. She was glad she had a tank top on under the loose tunic she'd been wearing. "I think you are just scared shitless that someone might think more of you then thinking you are just some beast to be cowed, controlled with folklore."

He'd had enough, and exploded at her in the language of the Ancient Cetras, flinging his hands this way and that as he cursed her repeatedly in that nearly forgotten tongue. Still, his anger couldn't drive him to look her in the face, and after finally dropping into silence, he let out an irritated snarl and slipped into the safety of the trees.

"Typical...." She said softly, not in the least bit harmed by his theatrics and his speaking, though she did scribble down what words she COULD catch. They were probably spelled wrong but she'd spelled the phonetically. She was smart enough to wait until he'd turn his back on her to write though, just in case he got it into his head to take another swing at her.

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