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You're a Wizard
[ continued from Sold Out! ]

Dorian's house was a three story mansion surrounded now by an 8 foot wall of solid earth - about 10 inches thick, but Nox hadn't measured it - he and Cruz had erected to keep the Atharim out. Nox wasn't done setting up safe guards for the inevitable event of the Atharim trying to kill them. New weapons meant new experiments so Nox had a lot to play with to make Dorian's house a safe place for Dorian's family. It reminded Cruz of home with the Spanish architecture and the palm trees that required year round maintenance Christian said. Too much for Nox...

Nox used the combination Christian had given him for the side door. It was a 'servants' door, but Nox had this thing about going in Dorian's front door - very self conscious about looking like a snob. The door opened into a small entry area that lead into the kitchen. Nox liked Dorian's kitchen. It was the one room that Ana had said didn't need remodeling and Nox would agree. It was nice. Cozy and warm and had everything anyone would want.

Before he stepped into the kitchen Nox grabbed a case of beer Christian had purchased. There was no point refrigerating it when Nox or Cruz would just make it ice cold anyway. It was the the reason they had so much of it. It had become a game with Cruz. One of few weaves Cruz was allowed to do without supervision. Nox wasn't about to let Cruz hurt himself so long as Dorian continued to pay the bills. He normally wasn't so cautious.

Nox wove a weave of air and pulled the basement door open. It was one reason why Nox liked the side door. The kitchen and the basement were his two domains he felt comfortable in. He hated wandering to his bedroom at night. He chose to most nights only because there was a warm body in his bed. Some nights though he needed space and slept in the small 'servant's room with a twin bed a desk and a small dresser of drawers with no door on the room. Christian had a room down here as well but he never used it - Ana wouldn't let him sleep down here anyway, but it was his own space. Nox liked their arrangement.

Down stairs was shaping up. The large area down the stairs was still mostly incomplete, but Nox and Cruz had managed to rubberize the floor. It had taken a lot of work to put the rubber coating down. Air had worked well in spreading it out evenly. But it was still manually and mental labor. Cruz hated doing manual labor, it was one reason why Nox made him do it.

The weights from Dorian's boxes had been set up with a punching and speed bag sat in the far corner with a ceiling to floor mirror to check out form.

Under the stairs down into the basement Sage had carved out a space for himself. It was basically where he sat while Nox practiced weaving and fighting and just about anything else he could think of to do downstairs without having to go upstairs. Sage rarely left his side which was odd, but comforting in a weird sort of way. He wasn't clinging to him in a bad way. More like they shared the "I'm uncomfortable here" vibe. When Nox and Cruz were gone to Moscow University Sage stayed in his hiding spot too. He never really left the corner under the stairs except to sleep in his bed upstairs or to eat.

There was a couch sitting just outside the rubberized floor for people to watch. Or just gather. Sage and Cruz wanted to bring video games into his sanctuary and Nox veto'd it. They'd get broken. Which is why Sage pulled his things underneath the stairs. A stray fireball almost took his laptop out one day.

Nox set the case of beer on the floor under the stairs, it was safest there and pulled out two beers. He purposefully grabbed the power and slowly wove the ice weaves to chill them. If Jay could see the threads he'd see it - know what he was doing. It would be an interesting talk.

Nox handed Jay one of the beers after opening both with a quick twist of air and tossed the caps into a bucket nearby. Nox waved his hand to the couch for Jay to sit and Nox walked into the room he sometimes stayed to grab a clean t-shirt. The shirt he bought was just not going to cut it anymore. It was itchy and made Nox shiver in disgust. As he walked he asked, "While you were talking about my reason for killing that guy, you were thinking about something else. You think you can manage that emotion again? Those exact feelings?"

Nox disappeared into the room and came back out with a new shirt. He pulled the other one off and flipped it into the air and burnt it. It was nothing but ash by the time it hit the floor. Nox sat down on the rubberized part of the floor in front of Jay as he pulled on the t-shirt. His shoulder was staring to ache from where the creature had grabbed him and he hadn't thought to look at how bad it bruised while passing the mirror - later he thought to himself.

The trek over to this fucking mansion of a house was fairly normal. Jay had his chance to see more of the city - the real city - not just the downtown touristy areas and government buildings. Don't get him wrong, the parks were nice, the river was nice, and the technology practically lived in the sidewalks. Seriously, there was a sidewalk pad that gave him a biometric screen for a dollar if he wanted to purchase it. Mad.

But the real city was the one where people lived and worked. Where schools were sat up and people went to church, if they were into that kind of thing. Bars and restaurants and movie theatres. Grocery stores for crying out loud. Don't get him started on the bloody grocery stores either. Damn chandeliers and marble floors.

The house that Nox showed him to was unbelieveable. Jay had never seen anything so grand or opulent in his life. Even the home of the former french ambassador, while grand from outside, had been stripped bare within, streamlined to only the most functional and basic belongings.

He was eager to peek around the corner when they went through the back door. The kitchen, from what he could see of it, was like something out of a movie. There was little left to see, though, as Nox led them downstairs pretty quick. "Your proprietor, you said? A cop owns a house like this? Damn."
He must be on some pretty hefty payrolls, legitimate and otherwise.

The basement was set up like a mix of a gym and arena. The main bulk of the space was open and the floor rubbered. It would make a good place to practice some hand to hand combat, or even knife moves. Like usual, Jay took a general sweep of the room, examining everything from hidey holes to escape routes to objects that could be used as a weapon if necessary.

Nox handed him a beer, already cold, and Jay watched with some awe as things floated away. He took a load off, as instructed, while Nox disappeared for a few moments and sipped at the beer, careful to not drink too much too fast. It took a lot of beers to affect him, but he wanted to stay sharp. Call it a feeling.

When Nox returned, Jay didn't blame him for switching shirts. But the question he asked pulled his gaze low.

Ok, yeah, time to drink. He took a long swig, downing half the bottle so that the cold burned the back of his throat.

"Yeah. I was thinking about something. Something best not to think about at all."

Only darkness shows you the light.

Nox laughed at Jay's comment about Dorian's house. "Dorian has a rich Daddy. No way he could afford this on a cop's salary."

Jay was scoping out the joint. Nox would do the same thing, but he made himself as nonthreatening as possible. This would be hard enough to do without making it seem like he was going to hurt Jay. There was no telling how he'd react to being told he was a wizard. Jay's confession made Nox frown. He didn't want to trudge up old memories. Nox knew how hard it was to do this without fighting the bad things.

Nox changed tactics. "You called me a wizard before."
He chuckled mostly to himself. "What if I told you you were one too?"
Nox held up his hand to stay any response. "Before, when you were thinking those things you don't want to, you touched the source of my power. I could feel it. You've touched it. It'll happen again, and again, and each time you will get sick. You will have a fever, and uncontrollable chills at the same time. Vomiting. You will think you are dying. Unless you learn to control it, it will kill you. But I can help you. Or your wizard friend can, if he understands what he did to get past his block and survive his own sickness. I've never helped anyone actually touch it for the first time. Only break their blocks, but I don't think they like me much after that. But you will die if you can't control it. So someone needs to guide you sooner rather than later."

Nox got up from the floor and pulled two more beers from the case and chilled them both and sat one down on the floor in front of Jay. He knew what it was like when you find out you were a god. Except Nox hadn't called Jay a god. A wizard sounded just as crazy to him though.

Nox sat back down on the floor and waited for Jay's response. He knew he sounded crazy. It was crazy. Wielding the power of the gods was crazy. Nox felt the call of the power just out of sight. Could he explain it well enough?

Jay shook his head, "Nah. Can't be true. Vanders would have told me."
A moment later, he realized he said a name he shouldn't have. Well, Nox had a lot to drink tonight. He might forget it.

After shifting his weight, Jay looked more closely at Nox, holding his gaze. He could be lying. Making it up to get something out of him. He'd already guessed his affiliation with Africa, and presumably with the Legion. There was no way he could know much more than that. It wasn't like Jay had a website with all his past fuck ups outlined in chronological order. Probably no good reason to make it up. Maybe to get him to talk about the Legion's use of magic in war. That'd be a good reason to chat someone up if they were in the market of that kind of intelligence. Nox had killed a man without even thinking.

Despite the thoughts coursing his mind, there was no overwhelming sense of distrust from Nox. It reminded him of someone, although he couldn't name who it was. He'd felt something similar the first time he met Jacques, despite the logic that spoke the complete opposite. Ironic. Now, it was the logic that said Nox was trouble when his gut seemed at ease.

He shrugged, breaking the study with a sip of the beer. "What I mean is nothing like that has ever happened to me. You must have sensed something else. Or maybe someone else. I don't know how all that works."
He waved his hand in Nox's general direction.

Even as he said the words, he took a longer drink at the beer, guzzling three or four long gulps, as a quiet thought crossed his mind. His brow furrowed low.

What if he was right?
Only darkness shows you the light.

Nox laid back against the rubberized mat and stared at the ceiling trying to figure out how to make Jay see what he was. He knew only one way but it was dangerous - it was always dangerous. First times....

Memories flooded into his vision and Nox only caught part of what Jay had said. It wasn't complete memories, only a rush of feelings, snippets of words said. Hands on his body, a breath on his neck.

Nox sat up shaking the memories from his head what the fuck did that have to do with his thoughts? He had to remember where he was going with it - first time the gift manifested was usually out of a pure emotional response. Nox sighed and rolled back gracefully into a standing position and smiled at Jay. The man was not going to believe him no matter what he said, but he'd try that first before resorting to the one true method.

Nox wove a wall of air around him, separating him from the rest of the room - safety precaution. The power coursed through his body and Nox started speaking. "But it is true. There is no doubt in my mind it was you. This could be you first time touching the power inside you which is why your wizard friend didn't tell you."

Nox wove a ball of fire between his hands and held it there as he started a Tai Chi kata. The ball of fire forever held between his hands or resting above his right as he moved from the first position into the second. It was a show of control, but more importantly something for Jay to watch and see the patterns of fire and air before him.

Nox continued. "When we were back in the bar, and you remembered whatever horrible thing that I won't make you speak about. I don't even need or want you to think about it. But in that moment - the world became clearer. You could see better in the dim lit bar. You could smell the perfume of our waitress. The ever lingering scent of smoke and alcohol on the air. It was all there, the details were clearer than they ever had been before. But then you calmed your fears, your reaction to that memory and the world lost some of its color. The smells faded to tolerable levels and the world was dull and boring."
Nox quirked a grin as he spoke, even his own colorful personality would have dimmed when the power fled. He didn't say out to Jay, but it made him smile.

Nox moved from form to form as he spoke. The ball of fire perfectly safe between his hands. He'd ask for permission, this time.

"What if I could prove it to you? Can you trust me that much?"

Edited by Nox, Feb 23 2017, 07:06 AM.
Jay shifted, clearly made uncomfortable by the accusation. Not that it was a crime or whatever, but the very idea was absurd.

Something clawed at the back of his mind, however. Like an itch he couldn't quite scratch. He was thinking about it when a brightness popped into being. He flinched at the sudden presence of fire, despite the apparent safe distance. But settled quickly enough. Nox's smile attempted to be soothing, but as Jay peered into the gently rolling flames, a grin slowly grew on himself. Into a daring one.

"Alright, Nox. I'll bet you a hundred bucks you're wrong. Hundred bucks and the loser has to run through the mansion naked and yelling 'I'm a pretty little girl.'"

He laughed and stood up. That fire was still sparked, so he kept a wary eye on it, but mostly on the unpredictable man that controlled it.

Taking a longer drink of beer before setting it aside, he wished for something stronger for the first time that night. Liquid courage and all that.

However Nox said he could prove it, Jay was ready if Nox was.
Only darkness shows you the light.

Nox couldn't but laugh at Jay's dare. But it was just that a dare and he couldn't refuse it. It wasn't like he cared one way or the other if he lost he lost. Nox knew he was right, but he questioned his ability to prove it to Jay. He'd never shown someone they could use the power of the gods. He'd broken through preconceived notions of requirements, but to teach someone they really could do miraculous things.

Nox pulled out his wallet and set aside 100 credits. "You have a deal. Hundred bucks and naked through the mansion yelling 'I'm a pretty girl'"
Nox let the fireball hang in mid air as he stepped around it and dropped the wall of air to offer Jay his hand. A gentleman's contract!

Nox smiled as he walked back to his fireball still fluttering in the air where he left it and erected the wall of air again a little further out than he had before. Nox continued his kata as gave Jay a little background and to take away some of the expectation of the next action. "The first time I touched the source of power, I was saving my sister from an Oni. She was about to be pummeled into a cave wall and I reached out and a fireball shot from my hand. The sear force of the blow and the fire killed the beast. We expect my sister first showed her ability a year before when she healed me from a bad fall - one I likely would have died from. Most that I know of spark from some sort of tragedy or some freak event. The power is a dark light just out of sight. It will call to you and you will wrap it up and bend it to your will. It must be controlled or it will burn you a live."
And without warning Nox flung the fireball at Jay. It would splatter harmlessly against a wall of air a foot away from where Jay stood. In that moment of release Nox wondered how many tries he'd get to prove it to him. One would be fine because Nox really knew no other way than this to prove it. It was his only option.
Jay smirked, "Pretty LITTLE girl. Get it right, bro."

Chuckling to himself, he snagged the beer bottle, finished the rest of it, mentally tapping scratching a number two inside his own mind, to keep track.

He found himself surprisingly relaxed while Nox described his own magic spells. It was all so dorky, Jay was pretty sure there were no less than three guys from high school that would be pissing themselves with excitement if they knew what was going on. Hell, maybe one of them were wizards too. These days, you couldn't tell. They could be anyway. A rather disturbing thought. And people used to blow their lids over Concealed Carry laws.

But something quirked his attention from the story. "Did you say healed?"
He blinked, thinking back to two very clear instances. The first was Vanders working his magic on Jay's knee. The second was when he dragged Natalie out of that fiery building and Vanders came to her rescue.

Jaw tightening, Jay realized he was starting to believe all this. Not that he doubted Nox, so far, but how could it be possible? They could be anyone, he thought, just as the first tendril of a fiery strand sparked across his vision.

The fiery strand exploded into a sphere of light. The fire roared and blazed close. Heat blasted his face. He yelled, ducked, and threw his hands across his head as though dodging another type of firefight.

When he looked up, the fire was tickling the edges of an invisible barrier, dissipating even as he jumped to his feet, sprinted away, and hopped the couch. Like the couch was going to provide him any more cover. He glanced at the stairs, gauging whether he could get to them. His gaze finished scanning the rest of the room, looking for a way to dislodge Nox of his magic. Though he was pretty sure he was trapped.

"What the hell are you doing?"
He found his voice colder than he expected it would be. He felt like he was otherwise shaking all over.

Gritting his teeth, he made himself not wince as Nox threw another ball of fire. Though he did duck as it passed over his head.

Fists clenched, he had the sudden sick feeling that this was how a hazing felt. Some kind of trial by fire. Well fuck it. He survived the Marines. He was MARSOC. He could deal with some pyro.

He stood, pivoted, and walked out around the edge of the couch. A deadly grin touched the corners of his mouth. "Alright. Let's do this for real."

Imagining how Nox positioned his arms as he threw the fireballs, Jay shrugged, figuring he was going to look like an ass, and mimicked the movement as he ran aside to jump and roll behind another piece of furniture. No idea if anything happened, he figured another fireball would give him the answer.

Either way, he found himself hiding a smile.

Only darkness shows you the light.

Fireballs were dangerous and after the second or third toss and Jay's humorous attempt to mimic the movement Nox went into safer tactics now that it was game for Nox. Though Nox wasn't sure how Jay felt about it. He wished for Aria's or Elyse's ability to sense fear.

Instead of trying to just coax it out violently Nox started taunting and rambling his friend. "You just touched it again, Jay. Yet you do no thing with it."
Nox sighed, he didn't know why certain topics brought up the menacing feeling in Jay, but it did and Nox only wished he could think of a way to make that work to his advantage. Aurora might have helped, if she where here.

Nox had to push his sister far from his mind - depression and the power were not good. The desire to feel better made the seductive call of his gift dangerous - he could drown in the depths of the dark light inside and it wouldn't even hurt until it was too late.

Nox moved to stay between Jay and the exit. He would make Jay see his ability one way or another but leaving the basement wasn't going to work.

Nox laid down a bar of air directly in front of Jay's current path for the other man to trip over. He taunted. "If you opened yourself to your gift you'd see it, not fall over it."
Nox grinned as he threw a ball of water at his new target. It splashed against the wall inches from the Legionaire.

"The power is a dark light just out of sight, but always with in reach. You can't turn your eyes to see it, but you feel it - know it's there. It's calling out, begging you to take it so it can devour you before you claim it."
The words sounded far more dirty than he had intended them to, but it was the truth of the matter - the power was just as seductive as a woman - sometimes even more.

Nox threw a fireball just above Jay's head when he took cover behind the couch again. "Hiding does you no good."
Nox wove a small cloud of rain above the hiding spot and a down pour fell for moments before Nox let it go. He didn't want to drown Dorian's basement - or his and Sage's things. This was their home and Nox knew he had to take even better care of it than his own - it didn't belong to him. Aurora would kill him if she'd saw him doing that in their own house.

No matter how hard Nox tried memorize of times since passed tickled his mind. Aurora, and Methos concerts, his father, dancing and music, and things Nox knew hadn't ever happened yet the flitted through his mind anytime his mind wandered.

Nox focused on the task at hand - or tried to, the beer and nights events were taking a toll on his mind and body. "There are five elements - five threads we use to create a...."
Nox didn't know what the word to use was. It wasn't a spell, more like a cloth, a pattern, something more mundane than a spell. Nox left the sentence hang as he wove a single thread of fire and tickled Jay's check with as he threw another ball of fire that missed his friend by a wide berth. "Fire is red, or orange, the color you'd imagine fire to be. It's warm to the touch, it smells like smoke from a campfire. The purest essence of fire, whatever you think of it that's what it represents."

Nox continued threw a ball of air. "Air is yellowish in color. It's soft and feels like a cool breeze against your cheek."
Nox sent a single thread of air to flick at Jay's skin. It was a gentle touch, he didn't want to hurt him only make him aware of the sensation. "It smells like clean pure air, no smog, pollutants."

A ball of earth shattered in front of Jay. "Earth is brown or black. It smells like pachoulli oil or when you dig into fertile soil and the earth is begging you to plant something. It's rough like sandpaper when you touch it."
Nox did the same as he'd done with fire and air, a gentle flick against exposed skin.

Water was next. A pure strand wrapped around Jay's body as a cascade of water fell from above. "Water is blue. It smells of the ocean. It's wet almost slimy and slippery to the touch."

The last was hard to explain. "The fifth element is hard to explain. It's white in color - pure and everything perfect in the world. It smells like clean laundry hung out to dry on a windy day, like sunshine after a rain day. It's in describable to feel."
Nox sent a strand of spirit at Jay. He didn't want to actually do anything else with it. It was the least known element to him, but he'd seen it's perfection when Manix had shown him to heal the cut on his arm. It was beyond useful - just not currently in Nox's wheel house - he intended to remedy that.

But there was little time for more words as Nova hurled himself on silent paws from the now open door of Christian's bedroom.. The small black and white puppy's tail was wagging furiously as he headed straight for Nox. Nox saw a groggy Sage standing in the door rubbing his eyes as he started blindly out on to the practice floor...
What the fuck was suppose to happen?!

Jay was sweating as yet another streak of fire flared near his head. Nox kept telling him to do something, and Jay tried. For crying out loud, what was suppose to happen?

He grit his teeth and tossed his arm like he was pitching a baseball, but again, nothing but ridicule and looking like an ass came from it.

Water splashed his face. His feet fumbled beneath him. A pinch on his skin. Then the whisper of cool air. His arms pebbled with goosebumps as he turned to swat at something he couldn't see. Nox was taunting him, talking about patterns and colors. Jay's narrow gaze darted, searching for something, but fuck if he knew what was going on.

Finally, something like a warm blanket wrapped around him, or maybe it was more like dunking into a hot tub. His cheeks flushed and he gasped like it was painful even though it really wasn't. It was like waking from a dream in a panic but not remembering why. He went still. It was right there. If he just closed his eyes and focused. Shapes were there, buildings, tall and ominious like shadowy skyscrapers. Open fields. The heat of spent cartridges and smell of hot oil.

Something grabbed his shoulder and Jay spun, clamped down on a forearm and flipped the attached body to the floor. With his knee burrowed into the man's shoulder, he held onto a loose shirt. Now that he looked the kid in the face, he knew he didn't need to draw his knife. Course, in the marines, you react first and ask questions later. True to training, he didn't withdraw, but instead he examined every detail, every fleck of color, every vessel in the kid's eyes. They drew him in like he'd never seen eyes before.

Yet in his heart, he knew the kid was no threat. Nox had him on edge. That warm blanket had him on edge. Like relaxed danger. Fires, wizards, monsters and girls. The fog soon faded from his gaze, and he shook his head, releasing the kid and lifting away. As he climbed to his feet, a slow thought formed.

He looked at his hands, oblivious to Nox, the kid, and -- was that a dog?

He blinked as he watched the knife fade into thin air. He was in civilian clothes. He wasn't armed. There never was a knife.

He looked at Nox as he realized what happened. "Guess you're not full of shit after all."
He grinned, but it was one of disbelief suspended, of fate coalescing.

Only darkness shows you the light.


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