2020-12-21 Cuddlepile Revelations


Amur Khatun (Hunter's feline form) decides she wants a snuggle pile after the events of the Russian Razor's plot, afterwards Laynia and the Hunter have a very serious conversation and forge bonds of true friendship

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Dec 21 04:08:24 2020
Location: A Hidey Hole in the Disaster Zone near Mutant Town

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Theme Song



After healing - an incredibly laborious and moderately terrifying process for all concerned, from patient to restraint artist to healer - everyone needed sleep. Amur Khatun needed protein, and then sleep. What no one other than possibly Lexi expected was that said sleep would result in folks waking up to find themselves dragged into a cuddlepile surrounded by a ginormous tigress. Everyone had their own bedroll, blankets, pillows, all neatly arranged with privacy nooks and everything. But come quite a few hours later, it appears most everyone has been fetched and drawn together.

It is something of a surprise when Laynia wakes up to find herself pretty well pinned under a massive paw, blankets and all, right next to a head larger than her torso. Still, she's not uncomfortable, really, she's warm, she can breathe, and after a long rest she's not really feeling all that bad. She'll just lay there a bit, eyes of cinnamon peering around to see the Amur Khatun amassed cuddle pile, and she cannot help but smile about it. A slight shift, and then she'll work a hand free to scritch the mega-kitty's jawline, long fingers sinking deep into luxuriant (surprisingly soft too!) fur.

The giant tigress stirs just a bit as the movement begins. Some of her kits are stirring, it seems, and she awakens to look over them, assuring herself that all are safe in her care. Oh. Oh, yes. Scritching is good. Yes. Right there. MMm. The tiger's mouth widens as that ginormous semi-engine churring begins. It's not quite a purr, but its effects are similar, just projected with a power that almost brings the concrete to life with vibrations. Her tailtip flips, lifting and then puffting down on the far side of the pile.

Oh, insert scritches for magic semi-purr massage? That's a good deal! Laynia laughs very softly, her voice a bit deep for a woman, a little bit of a 'furry' quality to it too. And then she ponders a moment, and focuses, her hand encased by Darkforce to form a grooming mitt to /really/ let her give good scritch! Jawline, up the length of the skull to the base of the ears, and then between them, she keeps the strokes even and smooth. A smile up to the massive tigress as she looks about, and then she'll head butt her just a little, an attempt at a greeting. She's not Catseye, but she does /pay attention/ to how they treated each other, a gentle headbutt is a greeting, right?

Yes, scritch-operated purr-massage machine, complete with warm furry cuddles. Amur Khatun is, admittedly, even less verbal in her communications than Diya has proven to be, and that's saying something when comparing to the laconic minimalist. But one thing Laynia will likely have noticed is that Amur Khatun is much more personable, more friendly, less angry and untrusting.

At least, she is when she's not virtually blind with agony from obsidian poisoning.

Indeed, Amur Khatun is warm, friendly, gentle, and quite mothering. This was especially evident in her interactions with Catseye, but also with Lexi. The purple mutant girl literally laid there and tolerated being groomed by the tigress. And now, in the middle of the night, apparently the tigress decided that all of the bipeds needed to be drawn together, because what they all needed most was cuddles with their sleep. And she insisted on being there with them. Guarding them. Protecting them. Keeping them warm.

The addition of the darkforce grooming mitt amplifies Amur Khatun's purring, and gets her to stretch and twist, maximizing contact in just the right ways. Her limps twitch and wiggle as her nerve endings spasm a little in pleasure and release, and her breathing deepens, a bellows-like panting.

Well, sure, the tigress can't talk, but she still communicates quite effectively via body language, and actions. The thing is that the core of both Diya and Amur Khatun is the same - the urge to protect. They may express that urge in different ways, but it makes sense they would considering how different they are physically and mentally. The point of congruence is what lets them work in accord, really.

And that's pivotal.

Delighted at the response to the grooming mitt, Laynia shifts, she's dressed in an overly long t-shirt and sweat pants at the moment, and then conjures a second mitt so she can make sure that the grooming job is thorough in both application and quality. She LIKES this giant tigress, she LIKES Diya too, even if Laynia drives her to distraction - a small part of the Darkstar rather enjoys vexing the sniper, just a bit, but it is there.

A huge fluffy paw reaches up to cover the darkforce-mitted hand, pressing it to the tiger's scalp, encouraging more scritching right where she wants it as Amur Khatun's huge churr continues. Eventually the tigress releases the hands and burrows in closer, laying her enormous head on top of Laynia, wuffling at her t-shirt clad tummy as those huge amber-backed green eyes peer up at her.

The t-shirt is goldenrod, has a round collar, and is otherwise plain, the sweatpants black. Another laugh, and a broad (albeit no teeth showing) smile forms as she's directed exactly where to scritch. Honestly, with the head of the tigress being some three feet or so across, that is still a two handed job. The Darkforce mitts are a bit chill, but that might be nice contrast to the warmth they all share.

And then laynia is once again pinned, a faint almost giggle at the whuffling, the shirt smelling a bit of lilac but mostly of Petrovna. She takes her time, her Darkforce sheathed hands stroked repeatedly across that vast expanse of head resting across her legs. Laynia leans against the kitty, the buzzing almost purr thrumming through her rather soothingly.

Is good.

The cat and the biped visit like this for a while, probably the better part of an hour or two. Eventually, as others stir, Amur Khatun is - somewhat regretfully, it seems - forced to accept that her kits are going to flee the nest. She makes gentle objections known, trying - without being bullying - to convince folks to stay. But without using aggression there's not a lot she can do. Eventually most of her kits have fled, and Amur gently headbutts Laynia in the chest, then climbs up to her paws and pads around the corner, apparently having decided she's done for now. She did grab a backpack with her jaws and dragged it away with her.

What follows is about ten minutes of some very disturbing sounds. The only good part is that Laynia cannot see what is causing the flesh-rending sounds of bones snapping and crunching, muscles tearing, tendons ricocheting, all the while the heavy, panting breaths get lighter, smaller, but never stop.

Finally the more disturbing sounds end and fade away. Then comes rustling and zipping. About three minutes later, Diya emerges returning from the same corner, carrying a much lighter backpack. The ashen-blonde Russian sniper nods to Laynia and sits down, starting a thorough check of knives, guns, ammo and other gear as she suits up to face the world no longer armed with the massive innate power of the tigress.

"Contained? Kept her from killing?" the other woman asks after a while. She never looks up, doesn't make eye contact. One could be forgiven for perhaps assuming she wasn't even talking to Laynia. Except Laynia is the only person here who possibly could have done what she is asking about.

It is a nice drowsy couple hours, Laynia has never in her life experienced anything like it. She really does enjoy the company of the huge tigress, you know, when she's not a pain maddened berserker. Of course…she still likes Amur Khatun herself…just not the terrifying engine of death and destruction those conditions bring out of the creature. When Amur rises, Laynia does too, a few moments after once her legs feel more…supportive, rather than like noodles.

She tries not to listen to the horrid transformation noises, but…hard to considering they're in close quarters. During the change, she gets cleaned up herself, ending up dressed in some packed clothing she'd left here. Simple stuff, really, just a brown knit top and dark grey jeans, comfortable and practical both.

With the question, Laynia nods. "Da, Okhotnik…nobody was hurt. Do you feel well?"

Diya nods just a little; she is very understated even in her physical expressions, not just her use of words - or lack thereof. "Da." she answers. Honestly, she gives the impression like that may be all she says. She is that exceptionally laconic. After almost a minute of continuing to see to her weapons and gear, she asks off-handedly: "Even harder, this time?"

Settling down near, but not crowding Diya, Laynia rolls up her sleeve and then digs out a first aid kit. Her wounded upper arm definitely needs a change of dressing, she tends to that as Klavdiya does the same with her weaponry. First Laynia cuts the gauze free, and then removes the rust stained dressing, wincing a bit as she starts cleaning it with some four by fours and saline water. "Yes, was very bad this time. You were shot many times with the black rounds, the obsidian. Frangible, of course." Yes, she's manifestly disgusted. "It took a while to get things in hand, but we managed, and nobody was hurt, as I said."

After cleaning the bullet wound, she rests a moment. "Is good you are doing well."

Diya glances at Laynia as she is working on her own wound. "Hand?" she asks. Why use five words and some politeness when one word and some inflection will do?

"How they knew …" Diya murmurs, growling bitterly as she finishes her work on another blade and tucks it away, almost done with her work. She really would have liked to have gathered up the gear their enemies were using last night, but apparently working with SHIELD agents and bloody costumed superheroes leads to problems with 'appropriating' deadly weapons. Who knew?

At the offer to help, Laynia nods. "Da, tovarisch." She shifts a bit to make it easier for Diya to get to the wound, the first aid kit well stocked and modern. Plenty of bacitracin, four by fours and several rolls of gauze and medical tape. The wound probably could use some stitches too. Definitly going to leave a scar though, couple inches long too. As to the polite? Optional. It is the offer and the thought that matters.

"They had a large bear-man, perhaps they have others and have encountered others like you in past." Which is not a comforting thought. As to the weapons and such - yeah, Laynia knew. A pity they didn't act faster, but they had a berserk tigress to deal with - that was the priority.

Diya's movements are swift, sure and very matter-of-fact. She doesn't hesitate or wonder, and doesn't think to warn at all. She just does what needs to be done. Which apparently includes stitching Laynia up before she then dresses the wound. "Knew it wasn't silver." she offers conversationally. It might take a bit to realize she doesn't mean that these Red Room allies, the Razors knew, but that she herself knew. Probably because she had tested that one herself. She had no idea what her body's 'kryptonite' was, until they shot her with that frangible black bullet to start this whole thing unraveling.

Laynia is not terribly surprised at the rather direct and decisive action, to her credit she just deals with the pain though she is probably going to want some vodka after! Once the wound is stitched and dressed, she flexes the arm, a soft grunt serving as approval and thanks both before she rolls her sleeve down over the fresh dressing. "Your weakness?" She asks. And then nods as she considers. "Is good thing to know though, da?" She hops up, and then goes to her car, her poor abused car, and digs out some vodka from…somewhere, returning with the bottle as she settles in the same spot she just vacated. Two tin cups are set out, and she pours for two, leaving it to Diya to decide if she wants one. The vodka is actually rather a nice one, Laynia has good taste!

It's mostly pure habit as Diya picks up the cup of vodka, lifts it to Laynia, and then slams it back; the stuff cannot affect her anymore. Not even a little bit, really. "Somewhat." she answers. It would be good to know, but she would rather no one knew. Instead her enemies knew and she did not, and that went poorly. Now even more people know. They may be allies today, but who knows about tomorrow? Anything could happen.

"She … likes you." Diya observes a bit later, just as quietly. No mention is made to figure out who she is, or why the sniper cares enough to say anything.

In the circles they've traveled and lived in the question really has never been 'are you paranoid', it was 'are you paranoid /enough/'. Laynia catches the undertones, the layers to Diya's 'somewhat', and nods her understanding, she downs her own vodka, and then refills both tins again. Setting in, she leans on her uninjured arm's elbow and extends both legs, crossing them at the ankles.

The comment about 'she', draws a smile from Darkstar. "Da, and I like her too." She admits. "And you as well, truth be told." She drinks more slowly this time, savoring the vodka. "Is problem that she likes me?" Laynia asks.

Diya gives a slight head-waggle side to side, but it's more of a half-jerk and a twist. No. It's not a problem. "Makes me … trust. More." Not entirely. But more. Because she knows her tiger has much better instincts about people than she does. Her tiger is not ruled by fear, by almost socially-crippling paranoia, or by PTSD and flashbacks and the like. "Good judge." she murmurs. Diya doesn't go for more vodka, and she has no more weapons to care for, so she folds in on herself, arms around her folded legs, chin on her knee looking away into the darkness.

Diya is definitely one of those people who can just sit with someone silently for hours and consider that good enough. There's no presence, no urge to say more, to ask or prod or pry. She just seems to be. In the moment.

"Oh." Laynia says with a smile. "More trust is good." It really makes sense that the tiger would be a good judge of character, especially without the bevy of conditions poor Diya has to deal with all the time. And keen as Diya's senses are, it seems reasonable that Amur Khatun's would be sharper still. Of course - compared to Laynia's senses the acuity is meaningless, but between Hunter's human and furry shapes, /they/ would be able to tell the difference readily.

Hunter reminds Laynia a bit of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a friend pointed her to the show, and she was /totally/ sucked into NCIS. She binge watched the entire run over the course of a couple weeks.

Content to sit quietly for a while, Laynia settles down a bit and props hands under her head as she looks up at the ceiling. The vodka set aside, she half lids her eyes and then just quietly sings an old song from her childhood. She's no performer, but her voice is not bad all the same, and the old Russian folk song is sure to resonate.

"'Till gets you killed." Diya offers honestly. There's no accusation. She's not implying Laynia will betray her. But she has to point out that more trust is not always better. Easier, almost always. But not always better.

The sniper knows nothing of most things of American popular culture, and certainly would not know who Gibbs is, nor understand the comparison. She would hate it if it were explained to her. But that would not make it not true.

Diya does not join in the song by singing. But after a while, a couple of verses, Laynia might be able to pick out that the ashen-blonde woman is softly humming along.

Later, Diya murmurs, "Miss?" Nothing more. Just that, but as usual she packs an entire paragraph into one word. She can be annoying that way.

"True enough." Laynia agrees. "I was referring to us, to here, to now." Laynia's head turns to face the sniper, and she offers another smile. "Trust given without /care/, well, that is another matter." In truth the two women largely have similar views, of course Diya's are intensified by her PTSD and other issues, still, being a Spy, even an ex-Spy, yeah, Laynia's possessed of her fair share of paranoia.

Sadly, Diya has an UNFAIR share!

Her lips curl into a soft smile as Diya joins in, in her way, and then she nods a little at the question. "I miss my brother most of all. He was Soviet Super Soldier too, Vanguard. Probably he has died in the time I slept - the decades I lost to sniper shot." Her hand rests just over her heart, seeking the scar left from the shot that nearly killed her even though it is presently covered.

A sniper shot that - had she been old enough to be active then - Diya herself could have delivered. Or so could the asshole Razors who attacked them all just days ago. "Da. Family." she offers quietly. Diya may have built another family here, with the Pride, but they are not the one into which she was born. She will never think of them consciously as family. Treat then as such? Definitely. But never use that word for them. That is reserved. Special.

Yes. But Laynia doesn't hold all snipers accountable for the shot that nearly killed her, after all, it really did make her stronger when it didn't destroy her. She's the poster child for Nietsche's comment. "Family. Da." Laynia mirror echoes. "Do you?" Miss home. Laynia rocks one of her feet a bit from side to side, and then grins. "We just need campfire and star filled sky."

It is a good long while before Diya answers. But her answer is no surprise. "Da." Yes. She misses her family. She knows she will never see them again; she is as good as dead to them, and they to her, and that hurts. But trying to make contact would virtually assure that she would be caught, and they would be killed. So it is what it is. No use crying over spilt tuna.

"Always liked being out." Diya admits. It is the one thing she and her tiger have most strongly in common and have from the beginning. It was how she found peace in all of her raging confusion while running.

No, not really a surprise, the answer and her situation. Laynia does not know situation of course, but she can suspect. Diya is not old enough to have outlived her family, or at least she doesn't /appear/ to be, who knows how long a were-tigress will live? Not Laynia, that's for sure. Content to just sit for a time, she nods. "Da, I love the night sky, especially when in mountains far from civilization. The sky…like an gleaming beach, so many stars, the night bright with their light." A fond smile, eyes peering up at the ceiling. "The scent of the cold air, the trees…I especially like conifers."

Diya answers the description. "Da. More … before." And like usual, she leaves it like that. She doesn't say more for quite a while. But unlike before, she does not just stay silent indefinitely. Eventually, she does add more. Minutes later, she explains, "Attack. Changed me. Mountain forest. Night. Alone." That should be more than enough to paint a pretty vivid picture, though she does not give a description of the incident itself. Still, it should be enough to know why the mystique and love of the quiet conifer-filled out of doors is a mite less entrancingly beautiful to her now than it once was.

A faint sigh. "I am sorry." She says once the explanation is given. "I did not know. Did you ever find the one who attacked you?" She's not asking in a 'grar! get even!!' sort of way, she's wondering if there was ever any closure, any explanation. She's leaning towards no since Diya didn't know what effects obsidian had until she got shot, that's arguably one of the first things you'd tell someone, right?

"Nyet." Diya answers. As before, this is the only answer she offers for quite a while. It's not hard to imagine she is processing a lot of thoughts, feelings and such for a while. Then finally she offers more. "Was dying. Scooped up, medivac to hospital base." She waits a bit. "Did not die. Should have. Healed up faster, better than should. Doctors notice." Of course they did. "Unit activated, Chechnya. Healed, I go, join. Knew different. Not how. Why. Then Razors come. Orders. Team say nothing. Do nothing. Let them. I run." And eventually she ended up in the States, hiding as a homeless woman in Mutant Town as the best job of hiding she could do.

Until a whole bunch more damned superpowered Russians started showing up in the area, and the f__king Razors showed up.

"Of course they did." Laynia knows how this story would have gone in HER day, she can't imagine it went much differently in more modern times, the military is the military is the military, and their mindset has changed very little over the years. If anything it has become more the same. She frowns, shifting up to look at Diya as she speaks, and her lips thin as the betrayal of her team is spelled out in monosyllables that still paint the picture crystal clear for the Darkstar.

"I have no words." Really, who could? What words could cover that? Not many. Arguably not ANY.

And yes, Laynia is well aware that it was /her/ fuck up that drew the Razors into Diya's life once more.

"Me neither." Diya eventually murmurs. Nothing else. There really isn't anything more to say. At this point Laynia can pretty well understand and imagine the sniper's entire story and situation. She ran. She has been making it up as she went along, doing the best she could. Being the best she could be. She joined the army to protect her people. To fight for those who could not fight for themselves. When she had to run, when everything she trusted seemed to betray her, she ran and hid … and did it all over again. Trying any way she could to protect those who could not protect themselves.

Laynia shifts over, closer to Diya, close enough that her shoulder rests against the other woman's leg if she permits it. Nothing more, just a simple touch - an unspoken 'I am here, I understand'. It is a pledge of sorts, and a gift of friendship. These two share many things, their backgrounds, their upbringing, their exiles, their desire to protect those less able.

Laynia is uniquely one who COULD understand, if not in the nitty gritty, on a level that few others in the world possibly can.

And that possibility makes the gesture have real meaning.

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