stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
It's interesting, all the small, simple things from your childhood, like sitting on the ground, cross-legged felt so foreign as you aged. It felt odd to her to sit cross legged across from her companion in a purely innocent manner and yet somehow reminded her that despite how bleak the world got, perhaps there was still innocence despite it all. Those monsters could take away so much and yet they couldn't rob everything. Not the intangible like the past or the future, or even fate itself. No, those were every persons own.
In that moment, that she felt the child-like innocence, fleeting as it was as she peered at the leopard across from her. Even he seemed far less intimidating that way, maybe just as Darcy did sitting peacefully in the ally high as fuck. Those two beings were so far from the same cloth and yet she could not help but think of it. Not a damn being could look intimidating cross-legged, or sitting on the floor, in her opinion. It was then that the dark-haired man placed that procured photo album between them. Harley chose to stay away from photo albums as much as possible, well, that rule only applied to her own.
The beaten up, old photo peered up at her like the very past whispered in her ear, an image of two beaming, youthful boys staring up at her, the pair clearly close. They could be brothers. How did she miss those eyes on the first glance, those iconic emerald eyes and curly hair that belonged to no other than Tetradore. The shaggy hair of the much younger man before her at his side. Tobias and Tet. Why would he show her this?
It was hard to believe that such carefree beings in that photo would end up the vastly different beings that she knew today. She swore she could still see the small wisps of a youthful ghost in the now men. More notably, she saw it in Tobias. Her gaze shifted from the photo to him as if actively seeking those resemblances. How one photograph, solidifying a moment in time, could say so much and yet prompt so many questions within the raven haired were. The main question being 'what went so wrong?'. It wasn't her damn business, she reminded herself. Yet it was Tobias' mention of Risque only further explained to her what those vampires could do to a person. Like they were nothing more than a glorified shredder of joy.
Even still... it was clear they could not take away the love of two brothers. She could hear the absolute adoration as he spoke of Tetradore. But what good was a love so vital when it did nothing to protect a single person from those vampires. Her parents would be alive, she was certain... even though time itself blurred their memory, including the brother she had once known. She didn't recognize him anymore... beyond his appearance. Could barely remember how things were and part of her resented that even her own mind had turned on her too, just as it did for most people. Maybe that's why Matteo kept a whole room as a sacred token of remembering, or maybe it was a room of torture, she hardly knew. How well she knew that sometimes life had a way of fracturing so completely just as much as it grew and shaped you. But one thing that was clear was... Love brought only heartache.
That sometimes, people were merely a product of it. How it was so much easier to treat Tetradore exactly like them, because in so many ways he was.... and yet.. he wasn't. She could not help the way her jaw tightened or the way she rose her striking lilac eyes to meet the dark fathomless depths of her companion's. A certain kind of understanding stirred in her own depths and yet it didn't do much to settle her. Those thoughts did not linger there long as Tobias spoke.
The leopard explained that Tetradore had a sister before recounting several other beings from their past that existed in the time the photograph was taken. She kept her hands placed upon her knees, knowing damn well she wished to reach and touch it. Yet the woman knew better than to risk that peace the pair found themselves in. That single emotion-filled word fuck rolled off the petite woman's tongue as if further solidifying her own knowledge and just how much loss could shape someone. How well she knew.
That word was met with a startling outburst of stark laughter amongst the somber mood. It jerked her from it, taken aback. How quickly his moods changed... and she thought Darcy was bad. It was the most unusual laugh she had ever heard, one that seemed like it belonged to an eccentric super villain rather the unique man that sat across from her. All before the boy started to declare with pride that 'Fuck' was Tetradore's favourite word before he began chanting it as his own personal mantra. Latching onto it like the interest he had taken with the tile by the pool.
Harley rose a brow at how the leopard seemed lost in the moment, thrilled as it jolted her from her strange, impeding reverie. A damn good thing too. She shook her head, leaning back, palms toying with the dark black fabric of her jeans as she swiped those thoughts a way. "Seems like it might be your favourite too." There was always something satisfying about saying that word, universal for any occasion.. Although, Harley certainly held no preference to one particular curse over the rest. Regardless, she found the leopard's enthusiasm almost infectious, willing to chime in with him and yet didn't, letting him have his very moment of glee. After those stories, he certainly deserved it.
However, like most of the leopard's fluctuating moods, it was short-lived before he stared at her blankly, like the emotion was shaken away like a reallife emotional version of an etch a sketch. She hadn't expected Tobi to go into detail, not after he seemed distracted.
Any hint of amusement had left her face as she pieced together his fragmented words that was not nearly as difficult a task to do anymore. A frown drew across her features at his attempt recall of that heart-wrenching tale. How much had they endured together? She hadn't anticipated to feel the emotion he evoked at having searched for his companion. Loyal to the bitter end. Now that was a rare trait in any being. Tobi was Tetradore's ride or die. The distinct way that he said 'my Tetra' had plucked her damn heartstrings, unsolicited too. He needed to stop that. She couldn't afford to feel for them. She should have been busier hardening herself to the world and everything in it.
It was so much easier to dislike the alpha when he was.... not so much a person and more of a symbol of everything that had only caused her harm ... But to Tobias, to the pack, he was so much more. How could she not see it? How could she miss this? How could he even have a heart with all the ruthless shit he had done? Tobias' gaze locked on to hers as if making sure she understood that point. A simple nod offered as she remained silent, doing the only thing she could in that moment... listen to his story. That understanding gripped her more than she anticipated it to. Her hardened features softened as she let those words settle. No kid deserved what they endured. No one deserved to have everything they knew and loved.. their family taken away from them. How well she knew... only perhaps, in some regard as she fared much better. Harley, at least, had some reprieve.
Tobias wasn't finished. She hadn't come her expecting to find feels...nor did she expect to get answers to things she didn't even truly know. How a once selfish pursuit to find out how Tobias escaped... turned into an emotional journey she hadn't prepared for or fathomed until that moment.
The pair of boys had been apart from what she gathered of the leopard's words... The shaggy haired man explained that he was tall when he found him. How long had Tetradore been alone? Facing Risque and Darcy on his own.... For how long? Years at the very least.
It was then that the mention of that near legendary bite was brought up. The one Darcy himself told her about. No one bit Risque, least of all her cats that she controlled. Although, she still didn't know why beyond Tobias saying he did it for Tetradore. "What happened? Why did you risk biting Risque for Tet?" She couldn't help but be curious to hear more of that story. What had caused Tobias to do and get away with what seldom few could ever get away with and live to tell that tale?
She was entirely engrossed with that story that she forgot just where she was. That she was within the Ark of all places... sitting on Tetradore and Tobias' balcony as he was forced to relive such horrible memories.... With the alpha's beta, his best friend and brother of all people.
Harley's words were spoken, truly. Void of the sarcasm and walls she often armoured herself with. They were lucky to have one another. She stated. They were true brothers, even if not by blood but by sheer closeness of all they endured together. Sometimes it wasn't the blood in your veins that bound you but the beings that walked into your life at just the right time that made a true family. Not that she didn't miss her own family, not that she spoke of it.
That mention that Tobias was taller now seemed to earn her grin as if it pleased him. Tobias was massive, he dwarfed her, even sitting there.. he was still huge. He declared that he was the most tall and it thrilled him to say, proud as that grin widened into a big toothy smile before fading. She had not expected him to say he would reach the roof... For whatever reason, it lit up her face with humour before she huffed out a slight surprised laugh. "And here I was only hoping to grow only a few more inches."
With equal suddenness Tobias changed course once more. Do a trick Tobias suddenly prompted. What? She was not a fucking dog. She really didn't appreciate how he barked his orders and yet she had come here, for him. First he told her to sit, now he wanted her to do a trick. She had verbally destroyed men and their fragile egos for less.. and yet how certain anything she might have said would be met with deaf ears... or blatant hostility. She waited for him to explain, to elaborate in some way before he seized that moment. He did a trick, he insisted, now it was her turn. Oh. Now that made more sense. Instantly, any irritation she might have possessed for him was gone.
Did she trust her powers in this place? But then again, she had moved exotic cars, and cutlery, opened doors with a mere swipe... unlocked locks. She had practiced... while she might not be a master of her own affinity she could certainly do something. Hmm.. But what. It required some amount of finesse and really.. she wasn't quite sure she could isolate it when there was so much metal. Or maybe she didn't have to. Not for long at least. "Alright, it is only fair..." She shifted, remaining on the ground on her knees, sitting on the backs of her heels facing out into the crowd, near the ledge of that balcony.
At first, it was all but one simple chair levitating, suspended by the interesting magnetic pull that kept it there. How she felt like she could do so much more... could do more than make things with metal in them hover in the air and yet it was just out of grasp. "Watch the chair." She stated to Tobias, it was impossible to miss which one she was referring to... The feline-woman focused on that seemingly levitating that one single chair to send it hovering over the alpha's head, the one that Tobi had pointed out earlier as his stand-in 'Risque'. It danced around for a little while without the alpha noticing, teasing, impish. It was almost hilarious how long it took before people started to take notice.
How unimpressed that alpha-male seemed when he did, the man trying to swipe it out of the air madly, but Harley moved it just out of reach. He looked around sharply, trying to pinpoint who was the cause of yet another disturbance. How boring it was to be so serious all the time and yet that seemed to be the calling card of every alpha in existence. His irritation visibly grew, especially when he found people pointing and snickering at his expense. The metal chair swooped again, just in front of him before swiftly moving out of reach. Harley could not help that her lips that began to smirk in a look that matched the devilish gleam of her eyes.
"Wait for it..." She uttered to Tobias, eyes remained trained on that alpha and her control over that one chair.
The alpha seemed determined to swat it out of the air... looking a little crazed. Really, people got so bent out of shape sometimes. Anticlimactically, she simply placed it on the ground so suddenly that he nearly tripped over it. Just in time for another chair to draw behind him, wiggling playfully like it was mocking him. His packmates tried to bite back their own laughter and failed... one bold enough to mention there was another one behind him. It wasn't long before it became a spectacle as she only repeated the process, the man growing more and more frustrated by the moment as he nearly tripped over the chairs she moved abruptly in his path. He looked clumsy, silly even, only fueled by his irritation.
"WHO IS DOING THAT? Who the fuck keeps using powers. Who is in charge here?" He yelled but he got no response to his enraged display. All it did was cause the room to stop and stare at him. The only being who seemed bothered by the whole thing. The raven haired woman hardly relented. "STOP IT, FUCK MAN. You want to challenge me? Face me like a man!!" Harley couldn't fight the snicker that escaped her before muttering. "Clearly not a man, asshole." She retorted, not that he could hear. Of course he would think it was a man fucking with him.
He rose his arms as a dare to provoke whoever was clearly messing with him. Okay... how about changing it up a bit. Harley caused another chair to rise, only this time it was to lightly tap him on the head. It was the final straw as the man totally lost it on those chairs, kicking them only for Harley to make them right themselves and encircle him. Laughter erupted loudly throughout the room, along with ribbing and potshots were called out.. Harley not even feel the least bit perturbed.. But focusing on only a few objects was not as easy as she thought. She felt her control slipping.
Harley rose those chairs in the air, urging the man to box at them before letting them fall around him with a loud clatter. Although, she supposed it wasn't fair that she focused on the one. "Hmm, probably not fair that I just focus on one of them, huh?" She spoke those words more to herself.
Just as people began to go back to their business... Harley stretched her powers out further before, touching anything metal that was not tied down. It all began to rise into the air, just as she began to stand too, to get a better view of everything below. Peoples, pens, keys, coins, cellphones, all, floating skyward. It was a strain, she could feel her body tense just to hold it. "Hmm. What to do with all of this stuff, Tobs?" She did her best not to just drop it all as she turned her head to let those gemstone eyes to meet Tobias' stare.