(continuation from live chat)
Confusion filled Ari’s gaze. She did not want to give up the safety of her car for whatever was out there. Her car was solid and dependable. Her car was safe.
"Do we have to? I'm.. more than a little scared by what's out there at the moment. The only thing that seems real is me, you, and my car." She patted the dash affectionately. Well, more than a little affectionately. This was her link to safety. If he didn't want to get in, then so be it. She sure as hell wasn't getting out.
Devon smiled. There is more than one way to be safe, he thought. Devon walked to the other side of the car and opened the door. Taking a deep breath, he climbed inside.
"So, what are you?"
Ari rolled the window up and locked the doors, breathing a sigh of relief when he got in and sat down. She turned towards him as much as she was able.
"I don't know what the Gray is. I'm not a demon or witch. I'm a woman. A person. What is all this? What are you? Who are you? Have I gone crazy?" She looked nervous again. The interior of the car was comfortable and warm, but she crossed her arms over her chest making it clear with her body language that she felt more than a little insignificant and small.
"And what the hell is that" She pointed to the black ghost thing in the graveyard. "And those?" She pointed at the giants walking the pylon causeway.
Devon laughed. A woman, a person; yes ,this was true but there was something else. He had to know what it was.
"No, your not crazy, you're not imagining any of what you see." When she pointed, the four scratch marks were easily visable. His eyes focused on the marks and then returned to hers. "Those things belong to the Grey. The Grey is a world that is along side your own, albeit a darker one. What are those scratch marks?" Devon looked a little worried, not for her health but for his safety. "What happened?"
Her steady gaze into his faltered as she lifted her arm and looked at the scratch marks. "There was a cat outside my house. It looked hungry so I fed it and then picked it up to pet it. It stayed for a bit, then jumped away." She rubbed the marks on her slim wrist with her other hand. "Then I got a stomach virus. Next thing I know, I'm feeling better but ... " She peered at him. "You look worried. Should I be worried?" There was a tremor in her voice now. Ari blinked, trying not to have tears well up in her eyes.
He tried to look calm in the face of what was going on. He had to find out things. From what she described, it wasn't a stomach virus. This was something else - a Change. A Change to what is what he didn't know. He needed to know. "Oh you're fine, may I take a closer look please?" Devon held out his hand and tried to give her a smile, but didn't know if it turned out that way. It had been a very, very long time since he had smiled. A smile was an outwardly expression of pleasure and when there is no one around to see it, then what's the point?
Devon had said she was fine dismissively. Ari bit her lower lip again as her brows drew together over a pair of brown eyes filled with worry. His smile wasn't quite that believable either, but he acted like he might know something. Ari held out her left arm for him to look at. Devon reached for her arm and pushed the sleeve of her jacket up. Softly he held her arm, his left hand by her elbow and his right hand holding hers to keep the arm aloft. Her skin was cool to the touch and soft, a lovely feeling.
"This light is terrible. Would you mind if I did something that helped a bit?" This was his chance to find out was going on. If he could take her fully into the Grey, things would be clearer... he hoped.
His touch was solid and real. Something else to which she could grasp. She still felt nervous, but also felt a little relief that he wasn't ghostly and intangible.
"Something? I suppose..." Ari also reached up with her other hand, leaning in slightly toward him. A click brought a light on above their heads as well. Ari looked at him inquiringly, but then peered down at her arm as if trying to divine what he saw. Devon felt her move closer to him. He took in a sharp breath. How long had it been since he had been around an attractive woman? A long , long time... Devon felt himself slightly blush. Realising that he must look stupid just sitting there staring at her arm, he made the decision to "see things a little clearer."
"Ok Ari, what I need you to do is stay calm and relaxed," he said as he closed his eyes. Ari's eyes didn't need to be closed for this, but it would be nice if she wasn't trying to get away. Devon felt himself flicker. Flicker was his term for when something tries to enter the Grey. Devon flickered again and felt the cool, yet humid air around him. His body tingled. Ari hadn't moved. Well that was good, he thought. Though he couldn't tell if she was saying anything or not. Trying to enter the Grey has a tendency to dampen the senses quite a bit. He felt his body stop tingling.
"There we go, all better. Now what exactly do we have here?" A being's true form is shown inside the Grey, there's no way to get around that. As he opened his eyes, Devon realised that Ari, was indeed, just a woman.
"Well that's a bit odd" he said and gave a resilient shrug.
For Ari, the experience was uneventful at first. At least, up to the point where he flickered. For a moment, it seemed as if he was touching her, but not there. She could feel him, but not see him. Then, it happened again. Ari looked up at him. Had it been a trick of the eye? She wasn't wholly without substance in the Gray. Instead, she seemed to be limned in a faint hint of color. The scratches were like quick-silver. They seemed to smear across her skin and form in drops. It had not been a change, so what he was expecting to see was not there. Odd?
"Is it?" Ari said in response to his comment. "You don't say..." she said blandly and with a little sarcasm. She breathed another deep breath and squinched her eyes closed. Another bite of the lip, gave way to a thought. "Perhaps if we found the cat?"
Truly unmiraculous to be quite honest with himself. He didn't know what would happen when he brought her here. But what he did know, was that he was no longer in a car with no escape, locked inside with a being that could enter the Grey he knew nothing about. And that was good enough for him. Devon looked around. There was a reason they called this world the Grey. It was exactly like Home world. In fact some Grey beings could even see the Home ones. But things here moved at a different speed. If you could see the Home world, then you would see it moved entirely faster than the Grey. But you could still see everything that was standing still, like her car. They stood within the car. If it wasnt from the Grey, it wasn't solid in the Grey. "So then, where's the last place you seen the cat?"
Ari suddenly felt a little dizzy. She existed in both places at once and his attempt to bring her completely into the Gray was not without effect after all. Ari felt as if she had double vision. She reached out her free hand and grabbed his upper arm for support, stumbling from the disorientation. She felt a little naseous, too, but she wasn't going to give into it. She bowed her head, closed her eyes, and grit her teeth until the feeling passed. When she reopened her eyes, she was in the Gray with him. Standing freely through her car.
"Oh for fuck's sake..." She looked around, wide-eyed in disbelief. She shook her head and finally just gave in. "Fine. Fine. Fine! Fine! Fine!Fine!" A little spark of a fiery nature lit in her gaze and posture. She was a fighter when it came down to it. Giving one more glance around, she looked up at him. "First, what is your name?"
"Name's Devon. Hahaha, you okay there? You look like your gonna puke. Thought you'd done this before?" He smiled, this time it was real and natural. Dark, brown eyes narrowed at him.
"That's not funny." A mutinous pout settled on her lips. "Quit smiling," she grumbled good-naturedly. It's too distracting, she thought. "The last time I saw the cat was at my house. Over that way." Ari pointed north-east of their current position. Suddenly, home seemed very far away.
"Alright, well, let's head that way and find your cat thing. Oh do you need to get anything out of your car before we leave? Oh, that's right nevermind." He smirked. She was definately human and that made him let off his guard a bit more. He was actually enjoying himself now. Time to go find ....well, something, he thought.
Devon set off and Ari was left looking back and forth from the semi-opaque existance of her car to him. "Can't we drive? I'm not exactly wearing hiking shoes today." And she wasn't. She was wearing cute little heels that gave her an advantageous 2 inches on her height, but that wasn't the real reason. Leaving her car was like learning to swim for the first time.
Devon stopped, looked back. She didn't seem to understand she was standing with the hood of her car going through her stomach.
"Sure, you jump in and follow me, and we'll see who gets there first. You can't find the cat if he is in the Grey, and you're outside. C'mon, you're not going to feel your shoes anyway. You're fine, I personally want to know why the cat was in your world. If you don't that's fine, but I'm finding it." He threw her a playful smile trying to cajole her to move.
Ari looked around in consternation. Her car was going through her midriff. She looked to Devon and suddenly found herself by his side. "This... is going to take some getting used to." Ari felt that unsettling sensation in her stomach again and reached for Devon's arm again to steady herself. With her eyes closed and face pale she said, "So, looks like if we think about where we want to go we're there? Does it always work like that?"
Devon showed a look of both awe and respect when Ari made a Blink. He wondered how long she had been able to enter the Gray. It was if she had been doing that all the time, as natural it came to her. There was no premeditation, seemingly no immense concentration at all. She was either really lucky, or she was just damned good. "Uhm, not always. Some of us can't do it at all, some of us require alot of concentration. You, on the other hand needed none. Intersting at least. Well then, I don't know where your house is, so I can't just Blink my way there. So were gonna have to do it the old fashion way. Shall we?" He waved his hand in front of him, motioning for her to lead.
"Blink? Is that what that is called?" There was a rueful tone to her voice as if the whole blink concept was not necessarily something she wanted to do, much less do easily. "Sure..." Ari nodded and started to walk in the direction of her house and thought better of it. She looked at Devon with a little chagrin. "If I 'blink' and you are touching me, do you go, too?"
Well that was an interesting concept. He altogether didn't know to be honest. He had never been touching an Other while they blinked. He supposed it would work, or she would Blink there and he would stay. But if he was wrong, things could go badly. Then again, he wasn't one to be overly cautious in the Gray, This had become his world, and he felt he had nothing to fear. "I have no clue to be honest. Wanna try?" The tone of his voice was resemblant of a child daring another to do something new, not knowing if the choice held consequences or not.
Ari stared at Devon and then reached out her hands to hold his. Her fingers twined through his. Looking up at him again, she said, "Sure." This time, she thought about going home, to her house. She thought about her kitchen, her living room, her bedroom - picturing bits and pieces clearly in her conscious mind while others were hazy. Certainly the images were in her subconscious mind. Ari hoped that this blink thing worked with both. She felt the blink coming this time. Probably because she was bringing someone else with her. She felt stretched and pulled, like silly putty or taffy, but it was as if it was inside out. Ari just kept her eyes on Devon's. Her pupils dilated making her eyes seem darker. She grew pale. And just like that, something snapped and they were standing in the driveway. Ari looked around. "Oh, it worked," she said. Then, she promptly crumpled in a faint.
Devon snapped out of the blink. His eyes crossed for a second and then went back. His face went pale and he bent over, vomiting. Well that's embarrassing, he thought. At least he managed to turn slightly and avoid her heels. He spat and straightened up.
"Well that was something I don't wanna do too often. At least I've seen your house this time. Let's not do the whole dual blink unless we have to. That wasn't pleasant." He reached inside of his jacket and pulled out his smokes. He touched his left thumb to the end, and it lit the cigarrette on fire. No flame came from his thumb though, it just sort of glimmered for a second until the smoke was lit. "Alrighty,' he said as he exhaled a puff, "now what?"